Friday, December 01, 2006

Black Sheep Motel

Black Sheep Motel
You guys are on a roll now! I don't know if I like the Mona Elysa or Black Sheep Motel better. Peace,

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Quote of the Day: R.A. Torrey

R.A. Torrey once wrote:
“We can accomplish more by time and strength put into prayer (and bible study) than we can by putting the same amount of time and strength into anything else. The religion of Jesus Christ is a supernatural religion from start to finish, and we should live our lives in supernatural power…The power of God through Jesus Christ…And we should perform our service with supernatural power, the power of God ministered by the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ: Prayer will bring the power of God into our work, and into promoting our individual growth into the likeness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as nothing else but the study of the word of God.”

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Quote of the Day: Blake White

“Jesus is healing my eye, but it kind of hurts while He’s healing it”
Blake White, four years old, 1-8-2006

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Quote of the Day: C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis on materialistic thoughts
Quoted in:
Creation Ex Nihilo 21(2):47,
March–May 1999
‘If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents — the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts — i.e. of materialism and astronomy — are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It’s like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milkjug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset.’
C.S. Lewis (1898–1963), The Business of Heaven, Fount Paperbacks, U.K., p. 97, 1984.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sometimes Resolve means Putting Yourself on the Line

Sometimes I feel like Sponge Bob Squarepants. Mostly in the sense of wanting other people to like me and wanting things to work out perfectly. A recent example relates to my eBay account. First, to bring everyone up to speed, ebay’s primary method of security is a system of public feedback. Both parties of a transaction have the option of leaving positive, negative, or neutral feedback with a short statement about the other’s character for the world to see. Yes, character is the key word. Though it may not be mentioned on the website explanation, they are responding to how well or poorly they were treated by the other person, which is a commentary on the person’s character. If someone has a high percentage feedback rating, you can assume it will be safe to buy from them.
Over five years of having an account, I had accumulated 126 positive (100%) feedback. This is a big deal to me. It tells the world that I have done everything right. And I have. When I buy I always pay immediately and when I sell I try to describe the item accurately, display good pictures, and ship promptly. I ALWAYS respond to email inquires, and try to make communication a priority. I have adopted a policy of being the first to leave positive feedback as a seller when the buyer pays promptly. After all, what more is required of a buyer than to pay? Many sellers don’t abide by my rules though. They “hold it over you head” by waiting to leave feedback until the buyer has left them feedback. This gives them a recourse if someone leaves them a neg. Even if they have not held up their end of the bargin by giving slow service, poor service, or misrepresenting the product, they can make up lies or any reason they like to mar the feedback record of the honest person who leaves honest negative feedback for them.
My spongebob dilemma is that the last thing I want is to have some jerk ruin my perfect rating just because I left them a negative. I recently sold a bike on eBay, but the winning bidder never paid, and never responded to my emails. So when it was all said and done, the question was “do I leave them negative feedback?” It’s certainly justified. Then it occurred to me that resolving to do the right thing means I must leave them a negative. The system won’t work if people like myself are too scared to leave a negative all for the sake of preserving a 100% rating. What if the next person does business with this guy only to have the same experience, but it could have been avoided if I had warned the poor guy about it through feedback. Most people will understand a few negatives on a record of 100+ and shouldn’t be dissuaded by an unwarranted negative. Spongebob probably wouldn't leave the negative, but I had to do the right thing, even if it keeps everyone from liking me.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Throw Away Your Rags

When my son was a baby, instead of a security blanket, he latched on to clean, soft rags that in another generation were used as diapers. Since the modern miracle of disposable diapers, we used the cloths as spit-up rags, and they eventually became Blake's precious material to be carried everywhere along with his pacifier. One time the kids were at their grandparents' house and for one reason or another Blake's "rag" was misplaced. Out of desperation, his grandmother took an old T-shirt and cut it up so he would always have a "rag" to hold onto. Blake was quite pleased and adopted the t-shirt fragments as his new rags. He didn't care how small they were, as long as he had one to hang on to, especially when going to sleep. This went on for a couple of years. Aimee and I had been encouraging him to give up his rags knowing it would be quite a hurdle for him. After all, giving up his passie was a monumental feat, but he had finally achieved it after his second birthday. This was about a year later, and we felt almost unkind asking him to give up his rags too. One day he came to me and said "Dad, I'm going to throw away all of my rags." With some shock, I looked up trying to find the words to handle the situation properly. "Okay," I said, "Let's get all of your rags and throw them in the trash!" With a smile on his face, he did just that, and never requested a rag again, though occasionally he would mention his triumph. "Dad, remember when I threw away all of my rags?" He knew at the moment of his initial resolve what it meant and what it would cost, and it didn't even phase him, he never looked back. He knew the significance of the triumph, and wanted to relish the moment even years later.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Moving the Line Between Intention and Resolve

I thought it was a catchy phrase; one that embodied a constant struggle I have with society. Not that I am perfect or ever find myself with good intentions without follow through, but that society seems to land almost completely on the "good intentions" side when it comes to every day activities, conversations, and commitments. As a Christian, I would expect this from the world, but fellow believers seem to struggle with it as much as anyone. I see examples every day with the people I associate. Maybe it is a problem inherent in our sin nature. With this blog I hope to work through this issue with biblical basis and pose a challenge to recognize the difference in our daily lives that will ultimately restore integrity and trust with those closest to us.