Friday, April 30. 2010
Much has been made of the birth
certificate issue. I guess the Republicans hope it will keep B.O.
From being re-elected. That would be an OK goal, save for the causes
of this whole effect. For me, the issue isn't so much that he is or
isn't eligible, it's two things:
1. That a whole lot of people voted
for the man. Your quasi communist neighbor voted for the big commie.
As for the idea that they wouldn't do it again, you could establish
all the allegations about Comrade In Chief, and they would look you
in the eye and say:”I don't care about those things...I like him.”
2.What Republicans need to have front
and center in their thinking is that it's not Mr. Obama's fault, it's
not your uninformed neighbor's fault, it's the Republican's fault he
was elected. Do they honestly think things would be much different if
their guy had been elected? It is the Republican's fault that there
was so little choice in the presidential election.
Friday, April 30. 2010
My wife was at a local equine event,
and a man we've met before told her that others have said we are
Amish or Mennonite. I guess people need a point of reference to help
understand someone's motives, or he's just curious as to whether we
belong to some cult.
No, we are not Amish or Mennonite, for
several reasons, probably more. First off, we are not “plain”.”Plain
People” refers to Anabaptist people. A little history, as I recall
it, don't quote me here: Hundreds of years ago, there was a man in
Europe named Menno Simons. He lived in a time of political and
religious upheaval. He traveled about, ministered to many people, was
a strong and courageous leader. His followers became known as
Mennonites. Later, a part of the group that favored stronger church
discipline broke away and followed a man named Joseph Amman. These
are the Amish. There are other groups that may also be plain people,
the Hutterites and Dunkers, maybe they're the same, my knowledge is
Plain people are correct to recognize
that the bible teaches Christians to dress modestly. To them, this
means long skirts, no jewelry or makeup, and extends to the way your
transportation looks. One look at my truck (leaf truck) and you'd
know that it wouldn't fit in.
Plain people are also non-resistant.
I'm not sure if this is that same as pacifist. I do know that if my
wife or children were threatened, I would try to intervene.
The third difference that comes to
mind is that a number of their decisions are determined by the group,
and or the local Bishop. This is a thing that can go two ways.
Submission to authority is usually beneficial and right, it helps to
control evil pride. But, there is a very real danger in not
developing the strength and discernment to decide matters for
yourself. Also, a huge danger lies in trusting outward appearances
and routines. The starting point of a new life in Jesus Christ is to
recognize that you, along with everyone else, have sinned. Maybe not
as much as some, but how much does it take to offend a pure and holy
God? The next thing is to understand that a courtroom awaits. There
is a very serious penalty for sin, which must be paid. When Jesus
died on the cross, he took the penalty of sinners upon himself. If
you repent of your sins, and ask Jesus to forgive you, you will be
saved from your penalty. What concerns me is that I think a lot of
people are trusting their upbringing, traditions, or church
attendance instead of trusting the sacrifice of Jesus.
We are more old fashioned than
probably anyone around here, but that's for the following reasons:
It's very practical, and it's fascinating. I wonder if people born
and raised here in the mountains of East Tennessee are over
acclimated. They've been here so long that they don't see the beauty
of the area, and don't appreciate the history. The first white
pioneers carried but a few iron tools, with which they made a
standard of living which surpassed stone age peoples. They learned
all about the many kinds of trees.
These old ways are also a solution to
many of life's pinches in this modern world. There are times when I
need a post, but can't go get one. So I make one from Locust or
Cedar. We have and milk our own Jersey cow. We butcher hogs and
venison, should a hunter give us a deer. We heat our house
exclusively with wood. We make our own music.
I don't want the children to grow up
thinking that everything comes from the store, or that you move the
little lever on the wall, and the house gets warm. I want them to
understand cause and effect. You want heat? Split some wood, and
bring it in. You want music? Make some. You want a car or computer
fixed? Understand how they work.
I don't reject the new ways in favor
of the old, nor am I like some who do the opposite. We reach back in
time, and see if an old method is better suited to what we need to
do. For instance, there are times when my electric welder and cutting
torch would be difficult to do a job with, but our coal forge is
So far, we have lived without debt,
I'll discuss the reasons later. Since I can't reach for the plastic
every time I need something, I have to make due with other ways,
usually older tools and equipment. We don't watch TV because I think
it dulls the mind and creativity, more on that later. We homeschool
our children because the public schools are teaching some really bad
So there you have it... we don't
belong to a religious organization of any kind. My wife comes from a
large family, and some of them are quite serious that divorce and
remarriage is adultery. That's as close as we come to an
organization. If it were formal, I might have been kicked out by now,
but that's a whole other ball of wax. What I do not want to be
associated with are people that call themselves Christian, have a
house full of guns, and buy camo pattern cloth by the bolt.
Oh please, not that.
Wednesday, April 28. 2010
I've wondered about someone renting
billboard space to put out a message. It would say something along
the lines of: “Attention ruffians! Want to kill your critics, blow
people up, and beat your wife? Then join __ religion.”
If someone accused the renter of
Continue reading "Oh...THAT religion"
blaspheming their religion or prophet, wouldn't it be self
incriminating? Everyone else would say:”Oh...THAT religion”.
Sunday, April 25. 2010
Funny the things you remember. I
remember a scene from the movie Deer Hunter, where (De Niro?) goes
back to Vietnam, to try and get his buddy. It’s at night, he’s
looking for information. There’s fighting in the distance, small
arms fire, an explosion. In front of him, leaning against a wall, is
a prostitute, practicing business as usual. A bizarre scene of
acclimation. I seldom watch movies any more, but I’m not totally
against violence in art. I just don’t approve of glorifying it, or
masking its destruction. Like, you enjoy violence? Go watch Saving
Private Ryan. Then again, as per the law of unintended consequences,
it might make said person enjoy violence more. Whatever…I certainly
am digressing here.
I remember living in less than ideal
conditions in my former drug daze. I remember hearing a guy on the
radio talking about moving here from Beruit. He was surprised at how
much he had conformed to bizarre circumstances. He told of how here
we hear a rush hour traffic report saying “There’s a minor wreck
at 4th and Henderson, try to find an alternate route,”
But over there, it would be:”Watch out for sniper fire at 15th
and Main, work your way around it.” He was surprised at how
acclimated he had become.
So one night it struck me. I awoke to
a very quiet and peaceful night. I thought about living in a civil
war area. You would learn to sleep with one ear open. If the fighting
got too close, pack up and run. But there I was, so peaceful. No war,
no drunken neighbors, loud rock music, arguing, none of it.
The things we overlook. It's not as
though the above would be a little different, it would be terrible,
even if you did adapt. I got out of the tub this morning, in the
absence of a rug, I folded my towel, and dropped it on the floor to
stand on. How very good it felt under my feet. I once read that part
of officer training in the US Coast guard is to spend time on an
actual large sailing ship. I'm sure that this imparts an unrivaled
understanding of ships and the sea, but I also think it gives an
appreciation of even the most ordinary contemporary vessel. I know
that having a knowledge of hand lettering and artwork gives me an
amazement of computer made graphics.
Remember the term “the myth of
continuity”. Remember the upheaval of New Orleans after Katrina.
Remember the disruption of the Icelandic volcano. There is growing
tension between the Federal government and the states. Look at the
really neat stuff around you, enjoy it now, we know not what tomorrow
Sunday, April 25. 2010
I'm not a member of a local church. I
have visited a few churches and assemblies, but my attendance is not
regular. The Bible does say not to forsake the assembling of
yourselves, but under dire circumstances, this must be carried out in
unconventional ways. I have contemplated starting an assembly, it's a
very real option, but for now, I participate in visits with friends,
and our daily Bible studies. I want to tell the reasons for not
attending a local church, your church may well be like the following
descriptions. I'll start with general reasons, and move to specifics.
Going to most churches is dangerous
for my children.
I can't stand the trends and the
I'm a foreigner there.
More specifically, there isn't enough
difference between local churches and the society around them. The
following list refers to how people live during the week, not their
Sunday morning activity.
The church members wear the same
clothing fashions as the rest of society.
They live in the same houses.
They drive the same cars.
In order to support the last two, they
have the same amount of debt, and two incomes.
They watch the same TV shows, also the
same magazines, DVD's, music, and other media.
They send their children to the same
I also have major doctrinal differences
with most churches, things like:
Polarizing over the free will debate,
and the Charismatic debate
Identifying with the Republican party.
Or worse, the Democrats.
Being led by the surrounding society,
like a dog on a leash, rather than leading.
Still more specifically, attendance is
dangerous for my children not so much because of what is said and
done during the service, but because they come in contact with other
children. The Internet is interesting, it has some really bad
content, and some really good outcomes. One of those are the meetings
which form of people with like interests. They're classes you can
attend to learn hands on about a topic. We were at one for a certain
agricultural group. There is a family we know, who are very involved
in their church. As we were leaving, their children were in their
family van, waiting for the parents, who were attending some last
minute details. Our children were near the van chatting with theirs.
One of their children started singing the lyrics for a favorite hip
song about the interactions between a boyfriend and girlfriend.. They
were gleeful about it, but I had to remove my children from this
abomination. It was awkward but necessary.
One of the biggest problems faced by
society is that people move too quickly from induction to deduction,
they don't gather enough information before coming to a conclusion.
So it is, I try to limit that in myself, try to imagine what the
other side might say. Something like: “You can't protect children
all their lives, they won't know how to deal with it if they're never
exposed to it.” Really? You're unaware of how powerful a motivation
lust is? How addictive it is? Why do you not give them a bottle of
whiskey? Some cocaine? Probably because children don't have the
discipline to regulate things so powerful. Not only that, you're
going to expose them to these things, then make them wait? How nice.
Maybe you wouldn't mind if they didn't wait, you know, experiment
with each other. After all, they need to know how to deal with it.
That is stupid. Yes I said it, you_are_acting_STUPID if you expose
your kids to this stuff. I have a sister in law that calls TV child
abuse. Well said Auntie M.
I realize the dangers of over sheltering
the children. I've seen kids who went to an opposite extreme once
they left the rules of their parents' home. Worse still are people
that trust in the rules or their upbringing as salvation, being the
hardest ones to convince of their true spiritual condition. These are
huge issues, and that's probably an understatement. But how about
raising the children with a discreet teaching of the power and sin of
uncontrolled lust, teaching them that God wants people to enjoy it in
the context of marriage. As they get older, you explain more of the
details, and they get to see real life examples of people that went
outside the lines and crashed.
More later, thank you for reading.
Remember, if this strikes a nerve, be brutally honest with yourself,
don't “kill the messenger”. You might eliminate him, but truth
will stay. Psalm 51:6 is about intellectual honesty: "Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts..."
Sunday, April 18. 2010
A joke I almost told at another blog:
When a simple minded man makes
commentary, he's either:
1: Wrong, or
Bwa-ha-ha-ha! A bonus perk is that he
gets to laugh at his own jokes. If only it were so, there are lots of
simple minded people who are long winded. Anyway, over the years,
I've looked at advertising how-to books. Usually, they're fun and
fascinating. I read in one that when writing copy for a roadside
billboard, you should use 5 words or less for the main message.
Another place said 6 words or less. Of course, that's not always
possible, and for a blog, it's just an excersize in brevity.
So maybe that's been a conditioning
for me, maybe I'm just the guy in the joke. Either way, here are some
of my treasures:
Either the bible changes you, or you
change the bible.
They've been lying to you for years,
why will you trust them with your vote now?
If the place you left was so
great, why do you want to make this place like it?
Sunday, April 18. 2010
I have a lot of ideas and
contemplations I'd like to share with people, but there was an
additional impetus in starting this blog. It has to do with gossip
and nosey people. These days, all it takes is one vertebrae
challenged person who is misinformed to make an anonymous call, which
will get your home invaded by a government agency, with potentially
very dangerous consequences. Forget the ideas of innocent till proven
guilty, a trial by one's peers, or the US constitution. Of course,
spineless people don't care about those things anyway, but maybe they
can be more informed about their weird neighbors.
We live in an area of Appalachia that
is affected by its history, a lot of it for the better. Many of the
immigrants to this area were of Scotch and Irish origin. I read in
one book that long ago, before modern communications, it was a
societal obligation to pass along information one had received. It
was a way to alert the community to coming dangers. In this area, the
tradition is alive, and I have been surprised at the accuracy of the
information passed along. Not only that, I heard things sooner than
from more conventional media. So it is, that I want people to be
accurately informed of us, the reasons we do things the way we do.
Some of it will no doubt rub those who
love tradition more than reason the wrong way. Upcoming topics like:
“Why I don't go to your church”, or “Television is turning your
mind to mush” will offend some, but remember, *Be brutally
honest with yourself*. You're vertabrae challenged if you do
Jim Donahue, weird sign artist guy.
Sunday, April 18. 2010
For years I've watched organizations work diligently to
resist legalizing marriage and other activities for homosexuals.
Lately, I'm contemplating the motives. If you asked those resisting
for the basis of their morals , I'm sure most would say the bible. I
concur that the bible calls homosexuality an abomination, and that
the bible is the word of God.
My time on the internet has put me in contact with a fair
amount of Libertarians, and their thoughts. This has been rewarding.
Not that I'm in complete agreement with them. I don't know if there
is an official Libertarian manifesto, or what it's content would be.
My interpretation of Libertarian thought is: "Mind your own
business". So it is that any position I think they would take is
just a guess.
My guess of their position on homosexual marriage is: “fine,
knock yourself out. Get married, Get divorced, Get remarried in a
bathhouse for all I care. But you can't use government to
indoctrinate school children into your preferences. Also, since
freedom of association necessarily means freedom to not associate
with who I choose, I'm not required to perform your marriage, or
photograph it, or rent you an apartment.”
I'm sympathetic to that position, although what matters is
what God thinks. You might wonder how I can be, seeing that I already
acknowledged that the bible considers homosexuality a perversion. For
one thing, government itself has proven dangerous. For another, this
nation doesn't want Godly laws. If they're going to insist on the
freedom to sin, I'll insist on freedom of association. Lastly, and
this is the main point of this post, I see an inconsistency. The
bible does indeed condemn homosexual behavior, but it also prescribes
the death penalty for adultery.
If the goal is to protect families, why not make an issue of
adultery? One of my concerns has long been that God will be disgusted
with a nation that accepts perversion, but what about a nation that
has adultery as a societal norm? Divorce as a societal norm? Is
public perversion the chain reaction of these norms? Are we spraying
water on the tool shed while the house burns down?
Sunday, April 11. 2010
Little kids can get into some really dangerous things: household chemicals, fire, knives. and guns. But I consider those more of an accident than a decision. What I tell my children is that the older they get, the bigger the consequences of their decisions. I saw two young people at a KFC the other day, and it got me thinking.
First, as an aside, let me say thank God for Kentucky Fried Chicken. Before I got married, I did window ad painting (window splash) full time. It doesn't pay as much per job, but at the end of the week, the income is better, because it seriously eliminates a ton of office work and other non production stuff. I moved here about 15 years ago, have done very little window painting, and have been struggling since. Then, a couple of weeks ago, KFC calls, and wanted me to paint windows on 11 stores. Just like the good ol' days. Yesss! Check out their whole menu, they have a lot of choices regarding lunch type boxes with chicken strips, potato wedges, and...honey mustard sauce...Yum! Also, a really good sandwich on the value menu. It has a terrific fresh bun, chunks of chicken meat, and a tangy BBQ sauce. Very good.
So there I was, jazzing up their windows, and I saw a young girl, still had teeth braces, dressed in the typical sexy clothing that women wear these days. We've watched a video with Pam Stenzel a couple of times, regarding teens and STDs. It's a must-see video. Seriously. I can't imagine anyone doing a better job. She's informative. lively, determined, and passionate about her message. If you have kids, get_this_video. In the message, she says that there are something like 39 common STD's going around these days, and that 1 in 4 teens has one. Some are viruses, which you never get rid of.
So I look at this girl, and wonder if she'll get an incurable STD before her braces are even removed. What a sad icon of "life in the fast lane". Then I saw a young man with tattoos all over his arms, and the side of his neck. I've heard of some people that get them just about all over, but stop at the wrists and neck. That way, they can always put on a dress shirt, and the tattoos won't show. That option was no longer available to this young man, and I started thinking how long term and unwise his decision was.
Then it hit me: the other young people are making decisions just as serious, the difference being that his just show more.