Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Diaspora, a KickStarter Darling

For over a year now I have been bemoaning Facebook's assault on its users' privacy, and thankfully, the din is growing. But from the beginning of Facebook trampling on its users, I've wondered if someone was going to come quickly with their offering of a site that has many of the advantages of Facebook without the tricks. Aah! that may soon be upon us! Yep, you may still be able to easily share with your friends and family without having to hide from the continual stripping Facebook gives you.

The lovely site KickStarter has been helping to promote the innovative among us who don't make the circuit with VC guys. It's a sort of collective angel investor in cyber world to which you have to be invited, and recently they invited a group launching what hopefully will be a comfortable alternative to Facebook. Oh, you're done with that? Think again. Social media, and especially sites such as Facebook, are eclipsing the phone and the post office, so I'm not so sure it's that easy to give up. There was a time when I thought I could walk away from Facebook. But my angst about it bordering on downright hatred during the last year has not been enough to make me leave it. The richness and ease of staying in touch with family is hard to give it up. But now there may be a better way.

Diaspora is a project being launched by four students at NYU. It's a sort of twist on the Cloud. I'm not quite sure how it works yet, but my curiosity is killing me. Need to go read on it some more, but in the meantime, I'll let the young men tackling this idea speak for themselves:

Thoughts about the video:

It might be a little scary to think of having your own "node," but maybe it's time you got in the 21st century and learned how to control your cyber information, or someone else will control it. Frankly, this idea will probably be old hat in a few years, so why not get on board now? If you're interested in being part of the test program for Disapora, you can get on their mailing list, and they may send you an invite. Invites start today.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Defining everything?

I've had tons of experiences online. Some good, some not so good, some terrific and some terrible. Being online (even on sites with good moderators) is still a bit of a free for all. But that's what I love about it. I love to hear others' viewpoints, and it is boring to always hear what I already think. But when does diversity become only disruption? I don't know. All I know is that it's like pornography. I know it when I see it.

A possible smidge

Saturday, July 3, 2010

More RA Love

For potential inmates

It began with a movie called North and South, and no, it's not the one with Patrick Swayze, may he rest in peace. The North and South I'm talking about covers roughly the same period (mid-1800s) but takes place in England. It was originally a serialized story written by Elizabeth Gaskell (Mary Barton, Cranford, Wives and Daughters) and published in the magazine Household Words and then later as a novel. In 2004 it became a BBC mini-series starring Richard Armitage (or RA as his fans often think of him). You might recognize him as the bad guy in BBC's Robin Hood or as one of the spies in MI-5 although most people have never heard of him much less seen him.

For the women reading this who have not seen North and South, even if you're not a period drama lover (I wasn't), chances are good you'll like this one. But there should be a warning on the DVD case about watching this late at night or when you don't really have time to watch the whole thing in one sitting. It is in four one-hour episodes, but most cannot stop with one even if they think they can. I started watching at 11:00 at night, and that was a mistake. I then tried to warn one of my daughters about it, and she didn't listen and ended up doing the same thing but complained that I didn't warn her. LOL!

Richard Armitage says he's "a bit of a detailed actor," and I believe it. Every time I've watched this movie I've seen something I didn't before. It truly is a little wonder, and it prompted me to find out what else he had been in. This was a bit of a feat, but thankfully, Netflix had a few other shows. By the time I got done with Netflix, I was definitely a fan. Really I was a fan after North and South, but now I guess I'm a rabid fan, and RA just gets better and better.

Recently he's done a series of audio books, and the next one, The Convenient Marriage, is due the first of August. Just as I wasn't a fan of period drama, I wasn't much of a fan of audio books and certainly not a fan of Regency novels. The mere thought of most Regency novels had me in sugar shock. But his ability to convey the characters in these stories has me laughing and smiling and definitely seeing them in my head almost like a mini-series. This is amazing to me since it was stunning how much he could convey saying little or nothing in his film performances. Then for him to switch gears and use only his voice to convey a wealth of meaning with not just one character but several? It's unlike anything I've ever witnessed in a performer. I never thought I would have James Dean and Richard Burton rolled into one.

Thank you, Netflix.

If you're still not sure about North and South, here's a little sample: provided the screencaps.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Who Are We?

For years now I've been communicating online, and it's been a wonderful experience. I really enjoy it and don't plan to stop. What's helped me sustain my joy is to never take things personally (or try not to) even if they're meant personally. I try to live by this rule in all my interactions, and if I hadn't, I probably wouldn't leave my house much less get online. I've also told my kids ad nauseum to go and do likewise. They usually finish the sentence for me when I launch into it and say, "Yeah, Mom, we know don't take anything personally." To which I usually reply, "Yep." Several weeks ago I broke my rule.

There is a forum which I've frequented for almost two years, and I really love reading it and do not go there to have any kind of serious discussion about religion or politics or anything that tends to get people riled. But in reading some of the boards there, I got the sense that Americans are not held in high esteem and especially "conservative" Americans. A lot of places online are fairly "liberal" in their views, and frankly, it's good for me to read those views. It provokes me to think about my views, which tend to be "conservative" or "libertarian" depending on the issue, and why I have my views and whether or not they hold water, as it were. So opposing views usually never bother me. Some of this may be due to growing up in a household that loved to argue and frequently practiced the devil's advocate. If someone doesn't play that role, I find myself wanting to do it. Yes, I guess I'm that antagonistic, but again, I don't usually take opposing views personally and expect others to do the same. It's not about me or someone else but should be about the issue.

All of that changed when I kept seeing posts either strongly implying or seemingly flat out saying that "conservatives" in America are stupid or mean or other things that none of us want to be. No, this isn’t the first time I’ve read personal attacks. Far from it. But I guess I got my fill of this because of all that's going on in our country. I'm sick and yes, tired of hearing that crap. So I jumped in and stated I was offended. Then I got involved in the discussion in earnest, and it was not taken well at all. Hey, I expected that and began to give as good as I got. This only served to make some people on that board really dislike me. I realize I rose to some bait they laid out there (whether intentional or inadvertent) about "conservatives," and I was dumb enough to create further tensions. Shame on me for breaking my rule, but hey, I did, and considering how seldom I do that, I'm not going to beat myself for slipping up one time out of hundreds or maybe thousands online where I could have. Having said all of that, this post is not about making amends or trying to figure out whether or not those people will eventually like me. I guess I'm arrogant enough to think they'll get over it and learn to like me or at least respect me. I like them and hopefully, they know I respect them.

What I can't shake is the private reaction I received. Numerous PMs and emails of support came to me from others who read the conversation. Some of them encouraged me not to back down, and I had to really step back and consider those so I didn't let myself get more inflamed. Those kinds of communications are common when a debate is going on. But this was far more than I've ever seen. However, the majority of communications I received were from people saying more or less, "You're not alone; I agree with you! I'm just not going to give my views because I don't want the hassle or to offend." These kinds of messages are also fairly common when a debate is going on but again, it was a lot more than usual. By the way I respect when someone doesn't want to get into an argument. But those responses have me thinking about how we, as "conservatives," respond.

I don't think a fun forum is necessarily the place to comment, but it's not just in these places that "conservatives" restrain themselves. We're so good at keeping quiet, that when we do speak, ala something like the Tea Party groups, "liberals" have to characterize it as out of control. All of that serves to keep us quiet. Because hey, we're the reasonable people, the sane heads. We can't be out of control. That's how "conservatives" generally think of themselves. The sum of that is that we are still pretty much a silent group. We believe that the difference is made at the ballot box. Certainly, cheating notwithstanding, the ballot box is where the difference should be made. But my friends, what inspires people to go to the ballot box? Talking. Defending your position. Certainly not in a harsh, knee jerk, name calling manner, but in a thoughtful, factual way, and yes, with some passion! And no, passion doesn't necessarily mean being loud and certainly doesn't mean spewing venom or name calling, but it does require being heard.

We need more of this, and I challenge myself as well as anyone else who needs to hear this that your speech, no matter where it is done, is being heard. Some may actually change their minds based on what you say in public places including fun forums. Don't be shy. No, I'm not advocating that people indiscriminately argue or take on a hassle, and especially where it will do no good. Some wisdom should be applied, but perhaps it's wise not to decide so quickly that we are in a place where it will do no good to speak. It will require thinking and, dare I say it, praying to determine this. Even though I received all those communications from people who agree with me, there was one type I received that got to me more than the others. Those from people who admitted being on the fence and didn't feel like they knew enough to make a decision. Yes, those are common communications too, but once again, there were a lot more of these than usual. There are people out there who really do want to be informed but are afraid and don't know where to go. That was clear by their questions to me. Hopefully, I was able to help them in some way. Think of all the people who didn't send a note and just read my posts.

Bottom line: if we don't speak more about our views and why we hold them, we will certainly see more of what we're currently getting in our government. So as much as that was a painful exercise on the forum, if it helped someone to see the principles of "conservatism" are worth exploring or adhering to, I would gladly do it again!

note: if you're wondering why I put “conservative” and “liberal” in quotes, it's because those terms can be fluid. I'll be happy to define what I mean by them, but that’s another post.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What Can I Say?

My daughter moved away from home, and I have nothing to say that is earth shaking. Yes, it's a rite of passage for me as well as her. Yes, I miss her and yet am glad that she's taken off to become the person she was meant to be. But I can't let another day go by without saying that I feel so blessed for the person she already is.

Her dad went to visit a few months ago, and like the sensitive person and writer she is, she shared her thoughts on her blog. I cannot read that without getting choked. She nailed the description of her dad. I could spend years writing about him, and I don't think I could capture him like that. Well done, Rachel!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What is it about April?

How appropriate that during a month that's historically one of our most violent, the SCOTUS should rule in defense of people who make videos that perpetrate cruelty to animals.

I would wax on about this, but my friend, Jack does
a much better job than I could.

Oh, and it's Hitler's birthday too.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Eternal Sunshine

A few weeks ago I spent two days driving a U-Haul truck from Texas to Colorado. Somewhere on the outskirts of Fort Worth I got stuck in a snarl of traffic about two in the afternoon. Certainly not what I thought of as rush hour, but I was so out of the groove on rush hour I didn't know anymore. I got jumpy sitting and waiting and having people cut in front of me as I inched forward in a really large vehicle with poor visibility.

A few minutes later I spotted a WalMart and immediately started fighting to exit the highway. By the time I found a parking place and walked around the truck, made sure nothing weird was poking out of the back, I was so ready to get into WalMart that I practically ran in the door. Pavlov has nothing on these people. I hustled in and noticed they had a McDonald's (don't they all), and I had to get one of those McCoffee drinks with a couple of extra shots.

This trip to WalMart was more than a respite from the highway. My youngest child was about to have a birthday, and she wanted a "big girl" bicycle. I knew WalMart in the city was going to have a much better selection than WalMart in the boonies. I was right but not entirely. Then I had to wait quite a while for someone to help me after I hit the pole buzzer. I always feel like a crumb when I have to ring a bell or buzzer to get service, and I had to stand there for a while before I overcame my self-consciousness about looking like I think I'm someone important.

A teen boy finally appeared. He was very polite but didn't know much about the bikes. Thankfully, the boy and I muddled through it together, and once I made my choice, he easily took it down from the rack and even offered to get me a few bucks knocked off the price. He and I decided to take the bike through Lawn and Garden, which usually doesn't have a long customer line. Plus, I could park the truck right outside the door and load it without blocking traffic.

While I was waiting in line with the boy, I kept trying to look outside to see if the traffic on the highway had cleared and wondering whether I would make New Mexico before it got really late. I didn't want to come over Raton Pass late at night. It's not usually a terrible pass. But it still has a treacherous feel, and I'm always relieved when I'm over the state line in Colorado even though home is another eight hours.

When it was my turn, the cashier smiled at me and a young man in his 20s stepped up to the end of the counter near her and nodded his head at the bike and asked in almost a musical tone, "Is that a birthday present?"

I looked at him out of the corner of my eye and said, "Uh, yes, it is."

Then he asked, "Is it for a girl or boy?"

I was a little irritated 'cause I was in a hurry. I could see the traffic had cleared and some people in the store had told me rush hour usually starts around 3:00 pm, but I answered his question.

Then he grinned and asked, "When's her birthday?"

I answered as I was putting my credit card away and nodding at the cashier, and he said, "And what year was she born?" I was really getting perturbed at the incessant questioning, but I was polite and told him. Before the date was barely out of my mouth, he said, "Oh, she was born on a Tuesday!"

I finally looked at him fully and said, "Why yes, she was."

He grinned and said, "I'm autistic, but I'm good with birthdays. Yep, yep. yep."

"Yes, you are," I said.

"Want me to do another one?"

I smiled and said, "Sure."

"Just be sure to tell me the year."

"Okay," and then I asked him about my son's birthday.

Again, before I barely finished, he said, "He was born on a Tuesday too!"

I laughed and said, "You're right!"

I asked him several more dates and he was always right, and we could have played this game all day with the cashier and the boy as audience. But I knew they needed to get back to work. I quickly introduced myself to the young man and he told me his name was Kevin. I said, "Do you work here at WalMart, Kevin?"

"Well, yeah, I guess. I'm not sure what I do, but they pay me."

"I know what you do. You cheer up people like me and these people you work with." I noticed as I spoke the cashier and the boy were smiling and nodding their heads.

Kevin kind of ducked his head, and I shook his hand and said, "I'm glad I stopped, and I'm glad I got to meet you!" He pumped my hand vigorously and grinned and I grinned back.

I could not stop smiling as I walked to the truck, loaded it and then crept onto the highway. I was halfway home before I stopped. That was almost three weeks ago, and every time I think of Kevin, I grin.

Kevin, wherever you are, God Bless you! and I know He does.

note: I don't know a lot about autism and certainly don't know if Kevin is really autistic or if someone just told him that.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

She Glittered When She Walked

A dear friend of mine died thirty-six years ago, and I have wanted to talk about it for a long time. But capturing her has always eluded me, and I want to do her justice. I'm not sure this will do her justice, but I don't want to wait any longer.

She was like a beloved character from a novel who gives you a warm feeling and makes you hate for the book to end. Two years older than me, she was the sister I never had, and I followed her around and hung on her every word, and those were often quirky. She had a way of looking at life that I've never encountered again, and I wish were still in the world. Her zest for almost everything seemed uncontainable, and she frequently brought light into a room and defined it for everyone.

I loved the way she put everything in her terms. Even her terms of endearment. Anyone who was an object of affection, no matter how young or old, was referred to as "old skinny leg." Maybe that's a common expression somewhere in the world, but I've never heard anyone else use it, and I'm not sure I ever want to. I still hear the sound of her voice when she said it.

This week I'm thinking of her because Monday was her birthday. When I hear or see April 5th, she's immediately in my head laughing and talking. Her head is cocked and she's making a crack about something, and I hear myself laugh. I've had to content myself with reliving those moments and wondering what she would have been like as she grew older and married and had a family or whatever it is she would have done. But that's never going to happen, and I still mourn it.

When she was seventeen, she gave up on life. One day after school she shot herself in the head. Her dad found her, and of course he was never the same after that. Her mother never seemed to have much reaction until about ten years later when she killed herself too.

I don't know what particular pain Jan was suffering, but I know the kind of mental anguish that can tempt someone to think ending things is the only way to get some relief. It's a horror to be in that state, and the real tragedy is that it doesn't have to be that way. There is relief that doesn't require self-destruction, but it does require bowing. Bowing to something greater than ourselves. Something filled with more light than ourselves. I don't know if Jan had done that and just lost her focus, but I hope she did. It's the only thing that really alleviates the grieving.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

For My Fellow Inmates

You know who you are.

So I read Venetia, and now I'm listening to the audio book, which is as wonderful as everything else I've listened to. Is it possible to wear out an MP3 file?

For the uninitiated, I'm referring to the voice work of Richard Armitage. You've never heard of him? Oh, most people haven't, but maybe that will change. He is an incredible actor who has an extraordinary voice. Anyone who can make me like audio books has something going on.

Scene from North and South

I thought my first post on RA (as his fans affectionately refer to him) would be more lofty. Sorry, but it's just gushing this time around. I'll try to redeem myself later with some heady analysis. Maybe there's an audio equivalent of microexpressions? :D

In order to help anyone reading who doesn't understand the affection, I give this for your listening pleasure:

And a big thank you to the wonderful Angela for making this video.

Monday, March 22, 2010

So It Passes

I just have one question about this supposed fix to the health care system. Where is the money going to come from? Aren't we broke? Aren't we in a recession where the economy is shrinking? Okay, that's three questions. But those are three questions I would love to have real answers to and not the gobbledygook we get from politicians. Has a steady diet of that crap made anyone else nauseous? Four questions.

Is anyone else as sick of this as I am? Or is it just a bunch of right wing nuts who are too stupid to know what's good for them and really we need the government to take care of us? Six questions.

With all the supposed resolutions the health care legislation will bring, why do I only have questions? Seven.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Harvey Goes to Washington

It's not the six foot rabbit but my six foot brother. He's a business owner who employs 30-40 people and has been in business about 15 years. During that time he's had almost no turnover in staff. It's like one big family, and my brother feels so strongly about their livelihood (and his too) that he is at the capitol talking about the health care bill and visiting all of the undecided congressmen that he can.

I talked to him yesterday morning, and he said it was surreal because he felt like he was in "The Distinguished Gentleman." It seems most of the congressmen's offices have the requisite good lookin' hottie sitting at the front desk to screen out the people the representatives don't really have time to nor even want to see. Fair enough. So Harvey figured out pretty quickly that the offices don't have any back doors, well, doors that open somewhere other than the main hallway. All he had to do was wait for these guys to exit so he could speak to them, and so far he's talked to almost 20 of the supposed 40 who are on the fence (at last count anyway). Of course they are all polite and give politician's answers (non-answers). But Harvey's not going to let that stop him.

I realize that everyone is not in a position to do what my brother is doing, but I respect him for making the sacrifice of leaving his business for a week. He really can't afford to do that, but he is just that committed, and in case you're wondering, no, he is not part of any group. He is merely an individual who is exercising his freedom to speak to our representatives. Go Harvey!! As he put it to me, "I had to do this because if things turn out badly, I want to be able to look myself in the mirror and know that I did everything I could."

May we all be able to live with ourselves if it turns out badly. But I hope that people are not so overwhelmed at this point that they feel they have no voice. That's a lie. Please don't believe it. SPEAK YOUR MIND to your representative. Do something. Whether they appear to be listening or not, they are listening. You still have the power of the vote, and they know it. So don't be shy. Today, it's not too late to send an e-mail or spend a few bucks on a telegram, and if you're not sure where to send it or how, I can help.

First you have to figure out who is your congressman if you don't know already. After you've accessed your representative's page, you can click on his/her contact page to see where to direct your e-mail or to send a telegram. I'm doing both because if the system is down or they're not reading their e-mails, something will get through. If you're sending a telegram and not sure of which service to use, here are a couple of options below, and please note Western Union no longer does telegrams.

Telegram US -- this is a private company despite the appearance of the screen; the link is to the same day option.

American Telegram -- you can scroll down to the same day option.


I hope this guy is right. We'll see. In the meantime, it's still a good idea to contact your representative. Frankly, none of us do that enough, and that's why the country is in a mess.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Oh, yeah, I have some regrets about my life. Don't we all. But I'm not thinking about anything of that magnitude. This morning I simply regret not being anonymous on this blog. I've written about a hundred or more pieces, but I can't publish many of them. They would be too raw. Not for me but for some others close to me. About the only one who wouldn't miss a beat is my husband. He is cool with a lot of stuff, and in fact, he is the one who has encouraged me to write and to be fearless about it. But as for the others, I wouldn't be impugning anyone. It would just provoke too many questions from family and some close friends when I just want to write and let it fall where it may without questions. Is that even possible? Even with the most damaging questions that will remain unspoken?

I know it's not entirely possible. I am writing for someone to read it and be affected by it, so it's not fair to ask my family and friends to just check their wondering. I suppose I could just treat questions like I sometimes do the phone -- because it rings doesn't mean I have to answer it. Yeah, I know that sounds selfish. Yeah, I know it may leave a bad taste in someone's mouth that I said that. Yeah, I know. I know.

Well, I guess I just wasn't as smart as some other bloggers who are anonymous, but then someone speaking his mind anonymously just rings of cowardice. A word comes to mind. But is it cowardice? Maybe not. Maybe sometimes it really is discretion, and I'm finding that out the hard way. Or am I just a coward? I don't know. Then there is the Lord. I do want to honor Him because He deserves it. That simple. But what would be dishonoring?

For someone like me who is not a natural writer, this is tough. Oh, I'm thinking about it, and I'll continue. My gosh I've spent so much of my life pondering every cussed thing.

Time to go to the Lord. Thankfully, He really does know and will have my answer, and Hallelujah! He always answers even if I don't like what He says at the time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day Massacre

Another Valentine's Day has come and gone, and I am unfazed. For most of my life Valentine's has meant exactly nothing romantically; however, there was a year (1984 to be exact) when I really let it get to me. Valentine's rolled around and all the women I knew were talking about it. But the day after Valentine's reached a crescendo. My newlywed status seemed to generate a lot of interest from other women wanting to hear about my husband, still in the idiot honeymoon stage, manifesting his love in gifts of chocolate, flowers, jewelry and other products marketed to be the zenith of love expressions. But the women were to remain unsatisfied because frankly, nothing of that sort happened. It was just another day at our house.

So my pout started about half way home from work. By the time I walked through the front door, I was pretty frustrated. All those years of never celebrating Valentine's and now that I had a great guy, I still didn't get to celebrate it! Never mind that I had never thought about celebrating it. All of a sudden something was wrong with the universe, and I had to ask myself why I wasn't worth some chocolate and flowers or at least an expensive card. Didn't he love me enough to do that? I was so hurt, and I worked myself into a real snit by the time he got home. It took him about an hour to figure out what was going on, and then he got mad at me! After getting over the shock, he called me a fraud and asked what happened to the girl he married? The girl who was not like everyone else? My response was to say that she was a woman, so why was he so surprised? I just dug in my heels and let him know that I wasn't settling for less than other women got. I'll never forget the stunned look on his face. It really shook him up that I had such a visceral reaction, but he dropped it.

We went to bed mad that night and didn't talk about it again. February ended and the first two weeks of March came around. I was eating lunch in my office when I got a call from the receptionist in the main lobby. "You need to come down here!" she said. Even a couple of my co-workers coming back from lunch had mentioned something unusual in the lobby. I was so busy that day I didn't really pay attention to them. But as soon as I rounded the corner from the elevator bank on the ground floor, I could see what all the fuss was about. There in a gargantuan vase were five dozen roses. The thing was almost as tall as I am. It was absurd. As I got nearer to it, everything seemed to slow down. There was a kind of buzzing in my ears, and I don't remember the receptionist saying anything. She just grinned (along with others standing there) and pushed the vase toward me. I hoisted it up and kind of held it in front of my face as I made my way back to my office. I thought for a moment about taking the stairs so I didn't have to run into anyone. Since it was quite a few floors up, I realized I wasn't that embarrassed. Somehow I made it back to the office without being stopped, and I shut the door and fished out the card to see who it was from. No, I did not know. Then I read the words, "Why does it have to be February?"

I'll never forget laughing. I'm laughing as I write this. Those words flowed over me and reminded me why I am so in love with my husband. He is clever. Oh, is he clever. Even more than that, he is sincere. No marketer can sell this. It is priceless. I am so cynical, and even was at that young age, that I would have never believed my husband if he had celebrated Valentine's. I would have chalked it off to obligation. My husband was clever enough to realize that and not succumb to its power, and I have long since gotten over my succumbing. But it really did make me miserable for a few weeks, and this was in the face of my husband often expressing how he feels about me. He has written me love letters and poems and taken me on trips and sat and listened to me and just generally been a great guy, and that started before Valentine's 1984. And yes on occasion he's given me flowers and candy. But never on Valentine's.

I respect him so much for flouting the marketers -- for smashing those false notions of love to hell. I have thought often about the power it had over me and what it produced, and I hope I never forget that it was hollow. So here I sit on the 15th. Glad to have something much more important.

Now if we could just break the power of Mother's Day.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jesus on Aisle 6

The consumer mentality is such a part of Americans that we can't check it even when considering God. For many of us (yes, including some who name themselves Christians), He is like any other good or service, i.e., how's it workin' for me? is it hassle free?

Man, nothing is new. I can't help but think of this:

19...their god is their stomach,.. Their mind is on earthly things. (Philippians 3)

May I always heed the Holy Spirit with respect to my "stomach."

I love this blog post I found this morning: Leave Us Alone Jesus

Saturday, January 23, 2010

We Need More Mel

Does this guy look like he's having a good time or what? I can't stay upset about anything when I listen to him. He's a joy. One of my disappointments is that I did not get to see him and George Shearing when they came to my hometown years ago. At the last minute something came up, and I couldn't go. Thankfully, I've got YouTube even if it can't really equal a live performance.

If you read my blog much, you realize you're going to get posts like this. I'm serious so much of the time that music is a wonderful outlet for me and especially swing. This has been true for most of my life, and I don't see it changing any time soon. So I hope you enjoy the music!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Be Who You Are

Q IDEAS | Ted and Gayle Haggard from Q Ideas on Vimeo.

This video is only an excerpt. Hear the rest. Frankly, I couldn't listen to this without crying.

Man, we need to hear more of this! When will we get real? When will we let perfect love cast out fear? Believe it or not, it really is okay to be who you are in Christ even if that means you're not perfect yet or even far from perfect, which frankly, most of us are.

Even the Apostle Paul said he had not reached perfection but pressed on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of him. I commend Ted Haggard for doing just that. It is a testament to the Lord in his life, the power which the Lord can truly bring to make us more than overcomers. How edifying to see someone who is this honest. Where is that in the church? We desperately need more of it, and the way to get it is to forget about protecting our backsides and focus on the Lord.

I hope that any Christians reading this who feel alienated from the church and the Lord because he/she thinks that the sin is too great, realize it is a deception. Yes, some other Christians may be participating in the deception. But the Lord is not. He loves you, and He does not hold your sins against you. None of that means that someone should keep walking in darkness. In fact, it means it is okay to come into the light and have something exposed that is harmful, so that you can begin to live. It doesn't matter if the world or even some Christians condemn you. The One who matters does not. That is the good news.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Obama Doesn't Get It

Tax the bankers? If he is able to levy this tax, do you really think it will not be passed onto the rest of us?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Where was I?

Oh yeah, I was talking about the dynamics of what happens on the web with social media, and how that's changing the nexus of ideas. If you think it's boring, then you need to realize that this isn't about some highbrow professor speaking gobbledygook about something that will never affect you. It's ultimately about how many acquire truth.

So in that interest I've embedded a playlist below of David Weinberger where he broadens the discussion. I hope you will watch. His comments raise very interesting questions, and the most fascinating is how man is changing his frame of reference. Suffice to say that I have lots of thoughts on this, but I'm still thinking about it in terms of scripture, in terms of what I believe to be truth. Thoughts in a later post.

I will make two comments about his comments. First, I agree we're in a renaissance and I embrace it heartily. Second, I could care less about his political views -- at least with regard to this subject.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Another day

I wanted so badly to make a really snarky post about why I don't like New Year's day or a lot of holidays really. Frankly, I'm becoming enamored of the Jehovah's Witness idea of not celebrating holidays. No, I don't embrace anything else of the Jehovah's Witness; I'm weary of holidays. Grandparents Day?

But I'm going to keep this post edifying -- I hope.

I was reading John Piper's website, as I have for years, and I guess I missed today's commentary when it was originally posted in 2007. So glad he posted it again. The resolutions are wonderful. I won't list them all here, but I do want to mention one:

3. I shall not fall into the falsehood that this day, or any day, is merely another ambiguous and plodding twenty-four hours, but rather a unique event, filled, if I so wish, with worthy potentialities.

I have a friend, Tammi, who thinks holidays are wonderful, but then just about every day is a celebration to her. She loves life and people in a way that I just thought I did. Her door is open to anyone and she embraces all comers. I admire her big heart. We should all be this willing to love people. But most people aren't like Tammi. Most people don't hang out with the Lord. For most people the holidays are about a show that makes them high so they can affirm that they're good people, worthy people, good sons or daughters, or husband or wives, or mothers or fathers, or lovers or whatever. Or it's to forget how boring their lives are. Or both. I think one reason I am so put out with holidays is not just that so many people do this (yes, I've been guilty of it too), but that somehow we're all supposed to act like that's not what's really going on. I hate that. I hate game playing. I hate it when people pretend.

So where's the edifying part? Well, I could have written about how I hate New Year's resolutions. Seriously, the edifying part is that we need to hang out with the Lord more. When we hang out with the Almighty, everyday is a holiday, my friend.

Read more of Resolutions for Mental Health