Friday, July 31, 2009

Episode XX


This week, I am on vacation! It has been a whirlwind, but at least a different whirlwind than I am used to, which is a nice change of pace. I think I need a change of pace, scenery, and activities every once in a while or I will go crazy.

This Sunday, we packed up after church and went to my parent's house in Tyler. It's nice to go to east Texas (not to stay) because it feels like everything goes slower there. So Monday I went with my dad to ride around with him to see what he does every day. He's a "Land Man." He buys right of way rights from people in order to put a pipeline across their land. He's really good at it and it was cool to see what he does.

Tuesday, we got up and headed home. On the way, we stopped in Garland at the DPS so I could pick up a copy of my driving record for yet, ANOTHER ticket dismissal. Kara and the kids waited in the car for me while I went inside. Upon entering the room, my jaw hit the floor for the 100 people also waiting for something. They were actually having you take a number and wait to be called. So I waited for an hour while Kara took the kids to Lake Ray Hubbard to hang out. Finally, we got home and hung out.

Wednesday we went to the Dallas Aquarium. Kya loved it. Rylan hated it. He actually hated most of the things we did Wednesday. And luckily, he's inherited his father's need to voice his opinion. We ate at Landry's, which is NOT a family friendly resturant, then headed to American Airlines Center for the Circus, which will likely be the subject of my next post. Wow, what a weird thing that was....

Yesterday, Jessup was good enough to come babysit Rylan and we took Kya to Six Flags. Here she is riding her first ride ever by herself. More pictures of our six flags trip are at the top. Look at how many big rides she rode! My little daredevil!

Today, I've replaced our front door handle, vaccuumed, cleaned my bathroom, picked up the house, gone to Wal-Mart, and we will top it off with the Conaway's coming to visit. Tonight, Kara and I are going to a Ranger's game.

The next few days, I don't want to do ANYTHING!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Episode XIX


In light of the title of this post, I think I will stop titling every post as an "Episode" at XX. Just to change it up a bit.

I think as a whole, humans enjoy patterns. I know I do. Not necessarily knitting patterns, but routines, sequences of events that happen regularly. Now, I'm all for changing it up from time to time, as long as the change is for the better. Sometimes, "for the better" means changing something for the sake of changing it. No rhyme or reason, just different.

I feel more comfortable with a pattern. Something I can predict. It gives me the control to change the pattern when and where I see fit, because what can be expected can be manipulated.

It's the surprises that throw you off. When you are shocked by news or someone does something unexpected, most of us freeze and have no idea what to do for a few seconds. I believe that it's in those few seconds we find out who we really are.

Change brings conflict. Conflict brings growth. And why not? Without a little rain, there would be no flowers.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Episode XVIII


It bothers me when someone misuses the word "religion." For instance, "I don't care for/see the need in religion." or "Religion is responsible for all kinds of evil." I thought money was responsible for that?

What they are really saying is "I don't care for/see the need in God." or that "God is responsible for all kinds of evil." Which is an oxymoron.

Religion isn't a person, it's a system. A system one develops based around a person, or in this case, God. You can't be hurt by a system, offended by a system, or even be angry at a system. All of these emotions have to be directed at the cause of the system. Or, a relationship, I would call it.

If you do not see the need for God, then there is something in the relationship that went terribly wrong or never existed. If you believe God is responsible for evil, what you really mean is that someone in God's name is responsible for evil.

Isn't life just a summation of all these systems trying to coexist?

Go see the new Harry Potter. Wow. What a great movie.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Episode XVII


I'm not going to say a lot in this post, because, come on, it's 1:30 in the morning. But I'm reading a book right now that has gotten me thinking about hinges.

No, it's not a Bob Vila, do-it-yourself book on how to hang doors. But it's a book that tells a story with a meaning and agenda, like any other book. I won't say what it is because I don't like to deter people away from reading, since it grows your mind in ways that nothing else can and because I don't want to to sway your opinions until you have read it yourself.

However, the book attempts to make points that hinge on you agreeing to already determined "facts." Many things are like this. For instance, I can't get to you to understand the difference between a jet and a turbo prop airplane unless we both agree that flight is possible. However, if you do not believe that flight is possible, having never seen it or for some other reason, you will not agree that there is a difference between the way the two flying machines get into the air.

Many things we hinge our lives are are hinged on pre-conceived notions we believe to be true. But what if the pre-conceived notions are not true? At least, not proven true, but simply other Hinges? It's like hinging a door to a popsicle.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Episode XVI


I worked out yesterday for the first time in about 2 months. Camp preparations prohibit me from working out in the time slots that I can do it, so naturally, I'm a little sore today. I woke up and that first move out of the bed sent off alarms in my brain that said, "Don't move that fast today!" So, naturally, I didn't.

It's ironic, but we talked about pain tonight at church. It was a really cool service. We had a student play acoustic while another sang "Hurt" (the Johnny Cash version). It was pretty sweet. Then PT Lee talked about pain. His main idea was that pain was a part of life. It is necessary even to help us learn lessons and direct our paths. Does it suck? Yes. Is it uncomfortable? Of course, that's the definition of the word. But it is necessary.

While I am no fan of pain, I do appreciate the times in my life that I've been able to learn from it. If nothing else, I don't grab hot stoves at all.

Did you know that in Louisiana, there is a hospital dedicated to the treatment of Leprosy? Yes, leprosy! It still exists! It's the disease that slowly kills the nerve endings in your extremities, causing your pain-indicating system to malfunction. You could easily get your toe cut off and not even know it!

I really don't have a point with this post. I simply wanted to make you aware of the fact that, while uncomfortable or even unbearable, pain has a purpose.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Episode XV


Tonight at church we talked about the need for humility in our lives and how it is God's purpose for us to lead humble lives that place others first. I like the "others first" mentality. I think it's what Jesus was all about.

However, arrogance is the exact opposite of this attitude which can be defined as "me first." I'm not just talking about me first in line, or me first to do something cool. I mean the attitude that elevates the self above all others. My way of thinking, my way of living, and all others are stupid.

I have read and heard others say that it is arrogant to say that Jesus is the only way. Is it not arrogant to so boldly claim that he is not? Then isn't it just rude and mean to call this way of thinking stupid? No, YOU are stupid. Stupid for believing that everything you think is right when this religion, this Way of life has survived persecution, ridicule, and corruption over thousands of years, and yet at the heart of it, the message hasn't changed. Then you have the audacity to mock others for believing it.

The real important part is and always will be what you believe about Jesus. I think it's God's way of making it simple and clear for us so we don't miss it, not arrogance on our part for believing in something of substance. Is it arrogant to like the Rolling Stones but not the Beatles? Or to think that America is a better place to live than France? No. Why do these rules not apply to my faith?

What have you done? What have any of us done that warrant our arrogant parade of our ideas like we're the first to ever have them? I'm insulted and angry at the pot-shots others take at what I hold to be most dear in my life. Especially those who know how important it is to me.

Don't hide behind "discussion" if you're not really seeking truth. All you're really being is an arrogant jerk.

Sorry that this post is pretty personal, but I take my faith very personal. An attack on what I believe life is all about is an attack on me.