Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Pope's Christmas Wish--Peace

I would love for any reader of this blog to take a few minutes to read this article. As a guy who was led to believe that the Catholic Church was the Whore of Babylon, reading stuff like this is refreshing, and confirms that only research, an open mind, and guidance from the Holy Spirit should be involved in the formation of my own opinions.

The Pope called for courage in bringing peace to places like Congo, Darfur, and Iraq. The article states that, "He said he hoped Christmas would bring consolation to "those who are still denied their legitimate aspirations for a more secure existence, for health, education, stable employment, for fuller participation in civil and political responsibilities, free from oppression and protected from conditions that offend human dignity."
Peace at Christmas? That isn't so far fetched. The physician records that the angels geralding the birth of Christ said, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Wasn't Christ reversing the fall of Adam, whose blunder resulted in strife, war, and murder (Cain and Abel, as Rob pointed out).

Not only that, but the Pope keeps the poor and the widows in his thoughts (and presumably, his prayers) and those who have been displaced by natural disasters resulting from "environmental upheavals."

The Pope seems very culturally relevant...very comapassionate...very...Christian.

What do you think?

Credit Card Nation

I was swindled into signing up for my first credit card by a used car salesman trying to sell me a Saab which I didn't quite have enough money for. I would pay for the bulk of the card in cash, the remainder being put on "credit" card.

I didn't buy the Saab. After a close examination by a friend, turns out the object of my affection had a bad head gasket. But I did keep the credit card, max it out, fall behind in my payments, and learn a valuable lesson. Fortunately that was 10 years ago and has disapeared from the ominous credit report.

One of the definitions among many for credit is "a positive balance remaining in a person's account." (American Heritage Dictionary). The definition demands "real" money.

I wish credit cards weren't called "credit cards," which is so misleading. I wish they were called, "high interest loan card," which, although literal and not as catchy, not only nails the idea on the head, but would deter material hungry Americans from entering into a lifetime of servitude to big banks, high blood pressure, and dicontent.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Global Warming Sells

Global Warming or Global Hoax? Maybe a bit of both? Who's to know…certainly not me; you didn’t see me walk the graduation line MIT. I can’t trust the media. For goodness sake NBC’s green week made me nearly puke--not because I was sickened that every show on one network had a green theme for a week, but because it was a manipulative marketing tactic. General Electric-- besides owning my copier lease at work, a ton of light bulbs, and half of God’s green earth--owns NBC.

In between all the eco friendly punch lines in the sitcoms were the concomitant advertisements for eco friendly products all manufactured by…you guessed it…General Electric.

Media aversion aside, I do care about the earth. It seems that the first biblical character, Adam, was charged with tending the creation, so I think I should too, whether or not I understand or accept as truth every scientific claim made by ex vice presidents. Thus said, a fellow blogger posted this link to a video, and it made me think. It's worth a few minutes of your time.

If there is one thing I would like any viewer, no matter what your stance is on the state of our natural environment, to take away from this clever clip, it is this: We, as a culture, spend too much money on temporal things when so many things with an eternal future (people) are in need of a helping hand.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Sr. Anne of Nunblog has tagged me. I have never done one of these "random memes" as, Sr. Anne puts it, but it seems simple: I write down 8 interesting facts about myself (and I think I will choose 8 things not many friends of mine would readily assume) and then I choose 8 fellow bloggers to do the same. Why the term meme? I am GUESSING that a meme in the blogosphere is to show the similarities that exist between people. The tag should show a hyperlink trail (theoreitcaly) to the original tagger. A "meme" by the way, is a cultural trait that is reinforced (in an evolutionary sense) in a society by means of repetition, like, for example any aspect of fashion.

Anyway, I tag Sandra, Rob, Amanda, Nick, RC, Dave, Kenni B (get your blog up), and Angel (get your blog up). Without further ado:

1. I hold a deep disdain for TV but watch too much of it.
2. It takes me about 3 years to finish a book because I start reading many other books in the process.
3. The older I get, the more I like foods that used to make me vomit as a child...i.e. olives, squash, and mushrooms. Still waiting to see what happens with sweet potatoes, pork chops, and beets...yuck.
4. My wife thinks I am a horrible driver, but I think I am incredible...although it took me three attempts to pass my lisencing test. I feel the DMV officers were too rigid and unclear in their instructions to me.
5. I am a LOT LESS outgoing than I may seem. I need alone time to recharge my batteries on a near daily basis.
6. I love recording my own music with my guitar, synthesizer, and computer...but out of 50+ nice starts, I think I have only finished two songs in five years.
7. Sleep feels nice, but I usually dread going to sleep every night--not because I suffer from nightmares, but I would rather stay awake and just rest.
8. I love Jesus, the Bible, exegesis, theology, biblical languages, but sometimes (often) I have to drag myself to churchon Sunday.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Blog of Note

Occasionally I swing on by the Blogs of Note page just to see if there is anything worth reading. This feature of of Blogger is typical month in, month out. There is always the green blog of note warning against global warming, the hobby blog of note, exhibiting lanterns hand crafted out of used cigarette butts, and the philosophicalesque blog...which is the inspiration for this post.

Adventures of the Coconuter is the cliche deep thinking blog of the month. I checked it out just because of the name--as you all may or may not know, I am the owner and curator of an impressive coconut collection. The Coconuter is a journal of a young Texan's travels in the Philippines. Why would a young man fresh out of college go to the Philippines? To teach English? Visit family? Find a bride? Not this guy. The description of his blog underneath the title says it all:

The adventures of David "Coconuter" in his epic journey as a modern nomad in third-world Philippines in search of purpose and meaning to life encapsulated in an allegorical golden coconut. (emphasis mine)

After looking through the blog, and deciding not to donate to David's metaphysical conquest, I was left with my own question: Why do so many Americans' feel they have to travel to some exotic third-world or developing country to find the answers to life? God knows there are enough slums in David's native Texas that are comparable to parts of the Philippines--or i f that isn't gritty enough, Mexico has a lot of poverty to offer.

After reading a few of David's adventures I was reminded of the mass pilgrimage to Brownsville made by thousands of Christians in the late 1990's. Apparently (I never made the trek) a revival, a move of God with healings, signs, and wonders was moving in Brownsville. Plenty of folks made the journey to Florida, similar to David's journey to the Philippines, to find meaning to their faith. Did God exercise some cosmic favoritism over Brownsville, choosing that as the ONLY location in which he would touch his people? Is some southeast Asian Island the only place where one can find the meaning to life?

I would be willing to guess most nomads' trans-global quests for meaning are glorified excuses for a break from the normal, a change of scenery; a vacation.

As for David, if he is to find the meaning to life in a third world country, I think it would lie in somehow, if even in a small way, removing the adjective "third world" from "country." I hope that all of the donations aren't earmarked strictly for his and his friend's needs, and that a portion goes towards the needs of the third-world country in which he is a guest.

Back on the Wagon

Wow. Over a month since a post.
No excuses offered here...but I am going to make a noble attempt to blog a little more, for reasons as follows:
1. I like the interaction. Talking to folks I have never met, and probably never will meet is oddly comforting.
2. I tend to be oppinionated (even on topics of which I know very little) and I enjoy making my opions known (don't we all)?
3. Communication is the best education.