Ronee and I got up at went to Church at The Village Chapel. The sermon today was especially good and left me really thinking about a lot of things. Jim (the pastor) mentioned in passing how our faith should inform our politics. I thought that was crazy in light of my post from earlier this week. He was almost paraphrasing what I was trying to say, but a lot better because he’s a professional and I’m not. Ha. These are not my ideas anyway. They are a synthesis of books and studying and experience. Anyway, it was cool nevertheless. Pastor Jim has a great way of bringing the Bible alive that I really appreciate.
Afterward, we headed straight to Chattanooga to meet up with our best buddies Chad & Candy. Today is Chad’s birthday (well, for another hour or so anyway) and for some reason I can’t figure he wanted to see us! Since we try to never pass up an opportunity to hang with the Pearsons, how could we say no?
Just outside Chattanooga we ran into a bunch of traffic and found ourselves surrounded by Louisiana and Mississippi evacuees. That was kind of crazy!
We were going to try to go to Ruby Falls, but there was a lot of people and you could not even see how much it cost without waiting in a really long line. So we bailed and went out to eat. I am sorry to say that we picked a dud. So bad, in fact, that Chad was not even able to eat! (WTF?! Happy Birthday indeed!) It’s a long story that involves waiting 2 hours for a small pizza. Fortunately there was an ice cream parlor nearby. So we managed to all get some nice tasty treats. About then it started to feel moderately birthday-ish. We took a nice little walk out on one of the bridges there and took some fun pictures (I’m sure some of those will find their way online soon!).
For me, the time flew by and was all too short. Before we knew it we were back in our cars and headed in opposite directions. But I like this whole meeting-half-way strategy. It was a great idea! The next time we will have to pack our own lunches! Happy Birthday, Chad! We love you guys. Hope to see you both again soon!
Tomorrow we’re heading over to have breakfast with some family down in Franklin. Then I’m going to school with Ronee (I guess they don’t consider being in grad school laborious, so no Labor Day holiday for them!)
This week is going to be exciting, though. I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow when I blog from the Vanderbilt University campus!
I was up until after 3 am this morning. I tried to sleep in, but was only moderately successful. I had some coffee and downed an energy bar. Ronee’s been studying and I’ve been importing (if you can call copying an pasting code 1 post at a time “importing”) all my old blog posts from my Blogger archive into Word Press. There is about 9 years of blogs with over 1,000 entries. It’s going to be time consuming but hopefully worth the effort. I will be able to search the entire database when I am done. And it gives me the chance to reconsider the last decade of my life and fix any dead links, etc. But, no lie, it’s damn tedious.
I went to the gym and spent an exhausting but rewarding hour on the elliptical machine. I definitely got my sweat on.
I think I finally settled on a template too. I found this one called Fervens and I think it’s pretty awesome. It took some getting used to and I’m still tweaking it. But I really like the colors and simple clean feel. That whole New York Times thing I had going was not working for me. Anyway, I’m a fickle bastard so who knows what could happen next. I’ve resolved to try to limit my use of the transition “…” and the prefix of “Anyway” on my posts, in addition to not changing the template again for the rest of this year. So good luck to me on that!
Ronee’s just about studying. We’re going to grab some dinner and re-watch the movie “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.” Should be a nice relaxing evening. I hope each and every one of you is enjoying your weekend!
“We need a president who puts Barney Smith before Smith Barney.”
I love it!
Recently I’ve done my best to not bludgeon anybody with politics as they’ve been kind enough to come and visit the old blog here. But, it is an election cycle. And like it or not, I’m going to be talking politics from time to time. Not every day. Maybe not every week. But, it’s going to come up. Like now, for instance…
I go back and forth on my political enthusiasm. I swing from one end of the pendulum to the other. From excited fervor to cynical apathy. I don’t think it’s entirely unrealistic to think that there’s little hope of us ever regaining what we once had in our once great country.
If you want to call me a liberal…or a socialist…or a commie…or a traitor…whatever. Labels only serve to divide and deride. I am a person and I can think for myself. I am not registered with one party or the other. Because the truth is, neither one of them has the answers. They just blame each other when it is US who are to blame…the American people.
HOPE IS FOUND ONLY IN JESUS, NOT IN POLITICIANS.
God has the answers to our deepest questions. Not George Bush. Not John McCain and not Obama. The system in America is broken. Why? Because it’s based on the love of money. DEMOCRATIC CAPITALISM. Look it up. You may not like me saying this, but it’s the truth. The love of money IS the root of all evil. Our dollars should not say “In God We Trust,” because we don’t really trust God or love God. We love money. If you are REALLY honest with yourself and take a look around you will realize that we really love our houses, our cars, our computers and our gadgets more than anything or anybody else. If people suffer around the world – who cares? As long as we have our stuff. (Yeah, me too.) Jesus told us to sell our crap and follow him. It doesn’t look like that’s working out.
We don’t believe God will protect us or our children. That’s why we are attacking other people half way across the world.
We don’t believe God will provide for us. That’s why we give the least amount of money to charity of any developed country in the world.
Personally, I’ve grown tired of living in fear and insecurity. No matter who is elected this November we are still going to worship money and ourselves.
Sure, I’m voting for Obama. Why? Because I’m tired of old white men using my tax dollars to bomb people. It’s really that simple. Is he the pefect candidate? No. Do I love the democratic party? No. But I do believe in peace. And I am not convinced that peace will EVER come to people who believe war is a means of gaining peace.
The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Martin Luther King Jr.
We are reaping what we have sown. Is it a surprise to you that the fruits of our rampant DEMOCRATIC CAPITALISM is mortgage meltdowns, a credit crisis coupled with record food and fuel costs? It shouldn’t be. Our government should provide for the health, education and welfare of our citizens first and foremost! We’re supposed to be the “leader of the free world.” Are we?
The United States ranked last across a range of measures of health care in a comparison of 19 industrialised countries, despite spending more than twice as much per person on health as any other of the countries, says a report published last week.
Surely our students are doing better than every other country, right? Nope.
The scores from the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment showed that U.S. 15-year-olds trailed their peers from many industrialized countries. The average science score of U.S. students lagged behind those in 16 of 30 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a Paris-based group that represents the world’s richest countries. The U.S. students were further behind in math, trailing counterparts in 23 countries.
Is this the dream that we fought so hard for in the American Revolution? Is this “of the people, for the people, by the people”? I really don’t think so. More Americans vote for American Idol contestants than they do for candidates in elections. Our country is deeply divided. No matter who is elected, they are not going to unite us. It’s just not possible. The forces of the money makers and money lovers are too strong.
For years we’ve been told horrible tales of enemies that are seeking to destroy us. It used to be the communists and now it’s the terrorists. But maybe, just maybe…the real enemy is ourselves.
Obama is running on a campaign of CHANGE. But the changing needs to happen with us.
WE NEED TO CHANGE.
Republicans and Democrats alike love to use the term VALUES. They talk about shared values, common values and American values. I’d like to suggest that you can tell a lot about what people really value by what they spend their money on.
Well, we’re spending BILLIONS OF DOLLARS A MONTH for WAR IN IRAQ. I’d like for you to take a look at some pictures of what this money has paid for (WARNING: These pictures are graphic!). Is this what we value? Is this what America stands for?
Millions of people die in Darfur, Sudan and we do NOTHING. We call it GENOCIDE, but we do not intervene.
There is also a lot of talk with both parties about taxes. Lower taxes. Raise taxes. Get rid of taxes. But the problem is not that the government is taking our money from us. It’s what they are spending the money on! If our money was being spent on causes we could all believe in (hospitals, schools, health care) would we really complain about paying our fair share? Isn’t everything we own really a gift from God anyway? Yes, it is!
There are good, honest and wonderful people living in this country. But we have allowed the system to corrupt us. We have become apathetic and complacent. We say, “nothing ever changes” or “there’s nothing I can do.” How sad!
Thankfully there are people and organizations that are doing their part to fight this rising tide of corruption, greed and apathy. You can find the names of some of them on this page. They are listed under “MAKE A DIFFERENCE”. I am convicted by these great courageous people who build homes in America, wells in Africa and who fight disease and death. They make me want to do more. They make me realize that no matter how much I give it will never be enough.
This November, you should go to the polls. Vote for who you believe will best follow what you believe is the right direction for our country. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for. But don’t be surprised if you don’t find the change you were looking for in the voting booth. It’s not there.
In the great words of Gandhi, YOU MUST BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD!
With the HOPE of Christ in our hearts, YES WE CAN make a difference in the world. And no matter who is in the oval office for the next four years, we can make PROGRESS possible.
By repenting of our greed and love of money.
By changing how we see the world and ourselves.
By serving those who cannot serve themselves.
By loving God and loving others.
IT’S UP TO YOU!
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. – James 1:27
My wife sent me a link to this video today. She’s only had 2 days of classes for grad school (she’s getting a masters in Human Development Counseling from Vanderbilt/Peabody). I wonder if I should be worried. Ha ha. Hilarious video, by the way. If you are back in school or ever were in school you will probably appreciate it.
BOOK REPORT FROM YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN
She has also added this video (even funnier) to her MySpace page.
Well, I’ve been trying to import all my old blogs from Blogger so they will be searchable in the new Word Press database. Somewhere between windows in my browser I accidentally deleted all my NEW posts from August 2008 on the new blog. I nearly had a heart attack. Good thing I’ve been working out! The good news (for anybody reading who cares) is that I rescued them from my Google RSS Reader. The bad news is that I lost all the nice comments everybody had made on the new posts.
I love your feedback and comments. I promise to try to be a better caretaker of your data in the future!
UPDATE: I recovered comments from moderation e-mails and re-posted them!