Sunday, July 31, 2005

Whose Side Are You On?

Whose Side Are You On?
"Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord"

Well, since I began posting blogs again I have talked about life and religion. I guess it is about time for me to throw politics into the mix.
The one big political struggle over the last 30 years has been about a matter of life and death. I am talking about these questions...

a) When does life begin?
b) Who should decide when a life can terminate?
c) Who should pay the money the answers that the decision of the first 2 questions will require?

This is heady and weighty stuff to consider. I do not believe that I am qualified and knowledgeable enough to answer the first 2 questions. It really bothers me that so many people are answering these first 2 questions, and they want to know whose side I am on. I do think that I can answer the last question, and while my answer might make a reader of this blog think that I am on the pro-life side, they need to reread my words more reflectively. I think that the Federal tax dollars should not be spent to pay the money for abortions or any research that will destroy viable human fetuses. I also think that the Federal governments should not legislate, judge, or execute anything concerning the private acts of abortion or private research involving viable human fetuses. I know that it would probably be a real stretch if the Supreme Court ruled that because of the separation clauses of the US Constitution 1st amendment that all laws that pay money for or ban any of these private activities are heretofore unconstitutional. I would be very happy if they did this. Private investors would certainly breathe a lot easier if they knew that a venture they had a vested interest in would not become illegal. Taxpayers would breathe easier if they knew that the money collected from them is not going to be used to pay for activities that they find morally abhorrent. This still leaves a large number of unhappy people who have picked a side on these issues and they feel like their side did not win. The only thing that I can say to all of these folks is remember this verse from the Holy Bible: “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.” There are just too many things that we do not have the knowledge or the objectivity to judge another person. We need to keep steadfast in our faith in God, and believe that God will have the final word in all of this. Until that happens I am living in the world as a voter and a taxpayer. If a politician wants to legislate and enforce laws that allow taxpayers' money to fund abortions and viable human fetus research then I will not vote for them. If a politician wants to legislate and enforce laws that ban private abortions or private investments in medical research then I will not vote for them. Who I vote into office is my right to decide. What other people do in private medical procedures and research is not my right to decide. I will let God decide that outcome.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Raising Cain in the church?

Cain And Abel

Cain said to Abel his brother, "Let us go out to the field." And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?" And the LORD said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground

I added a question mark to the title of this post to let you know that I am not absolutely certain. I only can write about my experience assimilating into a small fraction of the churches of the Circle City metropolitan area.

a) Like the song goes from 'Sly and the Family Stone' 'it's a family affair'. If you visit a church it is better to visit as a family. Most of the regular church goers come as a family. They are going to be more comfortable greeting you and your family than greeting you.

b) Sign the guest book including your address, telephone, and a request for a visit. You will receive a telephone call. The caller will be working from a script. Never will someone come to your home.

c) When you converse by telephone or even if they do come to your home to see you in person never expect them to care about your wellbeing. They are there to ascertain how much of your time, talents, and treasures are available to support their church.

By now you might be wondering what all this has to do with raising Cain, and I will tell you. I happened to come across a very interesting article on the internet about Cain before he killed Abel.

Just before Cain goes for that fateful stroll in the fields with his brother, the Almighty speaks to him. This is what He says:

Why are you angry and why has your face fallen? Is it not the case that if you do well — lift up! And if you do not do well — sin lies crouching at the door, its desire is unto you, and you can rule over it (4:6-7).

In this article Cain is compared to a person who is awakened at 2:30 am by a pet cat that is meowing strangely. This person wakes up the roommate and the following conversation ensues.

You: "She really doesn't sound right. I think we should call the vet."

Your Roommate: "What do you mean, call the vet? It's the middle of the night!

You: "I don't know. She really sounds pretty bad. I think we should call the vet…"

Your Roommate: "Look, just go back to sleep. She probably swallowed a hairball."

You: "Are you sure we just shouldn't call the vet?"

Your Roommate:"Goodnight!"

You both go back to sleep, and when you wake up in the morning, the cat is dead.

Now, take a deep breath and ask yourself: How are you going to feel towards your roommate, when morning comes and you discover the lifeless kitten lying next to your bed?

You are likely to be enraged.

"It's all your fault! Here I was, telling you that we should take the kitten to the vet, and all you could think about was getting a good night's sleep! And now, the kitten is dead…"

Whether you like it or not, though, the reality is otherwise. You were not the victim of circumstances beyond your control here. You were not betrayed by your sleep-seeking roommate. You had free will. There were choices open to you, choices you refused to grab hold of. No one forced you to get permission from your roommate before calling the vet; you could have made whatever calls you wanted to. If you feel angry or depressed here, it is because you choose to see yourself as helpless, as a victim of your lousy, insensitive roommate. But in fact, you weren't a victim at all.

Cain, in feeling angry, locates the source of his problem outside of himself, in God. No one can control God, and as long as that's the problem, you're nothing but a victim. But that wasn't the reality. The core of his problem lay entirely in the choices Cain was himself making, in the nature of the relationship he was trying to build with God, and this was a realm entirely within his control. The first step off the bridge, then, is letting go and of anger and depression, and reclaiming this element of control.

I submit that a very similar pattern occurs when church goers converse with each other about somebody that they have not seen at church lately. They can come to many conclusions, and nobody telephones the person or visits their home. It is so much easier to feel sad and angry than to feel empowered to talk directly with the person.

Maybe God is saying something like the following:

Why has your face fallen? If you are active; if you seek out the good — you can lift up your face. And if you are neutral — if you do not act positively — you can't tread water. While being neutral is not itself an evil — it leaves you vulnerable to evil. Sin lies crouching at the door, and even the most well intentioned neutral party can still become its prey.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Don't Be a Glutton for Punishment

>Well. It is thirsty Thursday. It is not quite the weekend, but it is close enough that I am not too concerned with Friday's work to avoid taking in the pleasure of a few drinks of rum and coke. I have been thinking about the words I wanted to put into this post for a week.. I want to organize my post into answering these 3 questions.

a) what is it that bothers me

b) what is my problem that stems from what bothers me

c) what can I do to address my problem

It bothers me that vows people make at a wedding or to one another as a promise of friendship are not as simple as they sound. A bride and a groom vow before God and everyone that they will love, honor, and cherish one another for a lifetime. Friends will promise each other they will be loyal and caring to each other. What is said is simple and straight forward. Later a spouse finds out that the mate really only promised that they would love, honor, and cherish until they were bored, unhappy, and desiring to go out and get some 'strange'. Later a friend finds out that the friend really only promised to be loyal and caring until they obtained some information about the person that would be some 'juicy gossip' to tell other people.

The lack of shame, morals, or class that people like this have bother me, but this is not my problem. Whether or not people like this will confess or not is not my problem. My problem is that I have a void in my life where I at one time had a lover or a friend.

I need to let myself take a chance on love or friendship from another person. I should not transfer any of the feelings of ill will that I have for the former spouse or friend to anyone I meet. If I do that then I really am not giving myself a chance for love or friendship.

To sum it all up I need to tell myself......

Don't be a glutton for punishment!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Let Me Introduce Myself

Let me introduce myself

Hello. My name is Richard, and I am
a) living age 53 years

b) large at 6'1" and 400 lb.

c) I'm in the Circle City, Indianapolis, Indiana motor racing car capital of the world.

There are a lot of blessings that I count for myself daily, and I am not going to write about them here and bore you to death. I want to try writing about things that bother me. Usually when I am bothered by something I go to the refrigerator and food pantry for food and drink. I need to change some of these habits in my life if I am going to keep living. I plan to have these folks help me lose about 100 lb. I realize I still have more weight to lose, and I need to make some changes in my life to be successful. I plan to read this book
to help me in this journey. I am bothered by people who do not understand me and and my medical condition. I will tell you how I feel, and I do not presume that everyone who is my size feels the same way.

a) I am not proud of being fat. Don't ask me to join up with any FAT PRIDE parade group or anything. No Way.

b) You are not helping me by asking me to talk with you about proper food nutrition and food selection and diet. It is not about the food choices that I am making. It is all about the fact that eating food is what I choose to do when I wage battles with my personal demons.