Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I never heard a wage-based insult until I started working at a private (Christian[?]) college. A co-worker of mine was insulted between swear-words the other day with "you make $8/hour!" (we make considerably more). The inebriated speaker apparently thinks that making 8/hr is a reason to hang one's head in shame, probably because his daddy's patched his every boo-boo with a big fat check. The poor kid somehow equates wage with intelligence, character, or ability.
I pity the fool who thinks that this (wage=worth) is the case. I'm making close to twice what I've made at most of my previous jobs here, yet I don't think of myself as any more or less worthy to walk the earth because of it. It's a job that I enjoy and that I'm grateful for, and that's it.
How do these people live? Even more puzzling, how do they remain in the upper classes of society? By pure snob power?
Part of me longs to fulfill the proverb "Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence". Unfortunately, most institutions of learning have abandoned this effective teaching technique.
And so, I am left to apply the message of my last blog. Even though it wasn't even me being insulted.
On another note, the other day I had to go down the hall and confront the hispanic gangsta-guest-of-our-neighbors that's been ogling my wife when she does laundry. It's hard to warn people who don't speak English, but I think he got the idea.
Well, I just got out of the night shift, and now need to write a paper on the difference between Romanesque and Gothic art for a class I have in two hours. Tuesdays are rough.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Unlike our pachydermous friends, we must forgive.
"bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." - Col 3:13.
Now there are a host of things I constantly remember when I meet certain people, things ranging from minor perceived slights ("complaints") to large onslaughts of nastiness, which I must decide what to do with.
Most of the time I hear the demonic audience in the colosseum of my will chanting "kill!" (or something less dramatic but still ill-tempered) and giving the thumbs down as I face/remember people and choose how to think about them. And then the Holy Spirit chimes in with verses like this one.
After reading it, I decided that God's being really generous here. It says "Forgive, as the Lord has forgiven you". However, I don't think I can. Not that I don't think I can forgive someone, I don't believe that God asks us to do things He doesn't give us the power to do. However, when Jesus forgave me, I was 100% in the wrong, and He was faultless of all transgression, against me or anyone else. I will never face that situation. No matter what trivial thing anyone's done against me (and honestly, I can't think of anyone that has done me a terrible wrong. People have done terrible wrong to my friends and family yes, but people seem to pretty much leave me alone in the "terrible wrong" department) I will never be 100% innocent when faced with the decision (and command) to forgive.
"Who has ever given to God, that He should repay him?" - Good question. I am perpetually in His debt, but he asks me to follow in his example of forgiveness, even though he forgave from the moral high ground, and the only people I'll ever have to forgive are transgressors like me.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Blades and Benjamins.
What is it with guys and knives?
(Or at least, with me and knives?)
Anyway, I finally bought the Becker "Campanion" that I've been looking at for the past week, after finding it on Amazon for half the normal price + free shipping. I was able to give away my last good camp knife to my cousin Aaron as a "going away to Basic" present. (It was the Ontario Spec Plus Quartermaster, a great knife all round, and I only used it once.) However, that left a knife vacuum in my heart, and as you know, coveting abhors a vacuum.
So after extensive research and comparison, I chose the Campanion. It's 1095 Hi-Carbon Chromium Vanadium steel. Tough stuff, and it's got high tensile strength and it keeps an edge (unlike stainless). A quarter of an inch thick, it can double as a hatchet or a prybar, but the blade is wide enough to allow for an edge geometry of a kitchen knife. This means that along with any bear slaying I may find necessary, it can also slice an apple. Life is sweet.
Some of the earliest human artifacts are knives. This is a Neandertal stone knife made some number of thousands of years ago (evolutionary timeline says it was much farther back) Here's a knife from the later clovis culture. What could be more useful? A Knife isn't just a tool, it's an archetype.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
DOG POOP, OR CHICKEN BONES?
I don't agree with the Dog poop brownies theory. It states that watching/hearing/seeing something that contains sin is the same as eating brownies laced with dog poop. A good rendering of the story can be read here. If this was true, then we wouldn't eat pretty much anything due to the trace amounts of whatnot in it (Have you checked out what's allowed in our food recently?), and we wouldn't go outside for fear of seeing sin, and we wouldn't go to work for fear that our employer might be involved in something sinful, and if we got really picky we probably wouldn't read our bibles for fear that some transcription or translation error would shipwreck our faith.
I think the main thing the Dog Poop model of mental ingestion disregards is the faculty of discernment. So I would like to propose an alternate model, the "Chicken Bone" model of mental ingestion. most people, especially mature people, are capable of eating meat with bones out of it, and realizing that the bones wouldn't be too healthy to swallow, they learn to separate the meat from the bones and spit those naughty bones out. Some foods are so bony and bereft of meat that they aren't worth eating. Some people, for example children, are unable to safely remove the bones, and so we don't try to feed little kids, say, a bony fish. Anytime we eat something with bones, it requires a degree of care and alertness to make sure we don't choke on a bone. But as we do it it eventually becomes second nature. So, I would say, with the faculty of discernment as regards entertainment and art. Some of it's to full of "bones" to be worth the trouble, some of it wouldn't be safe for immature ingestion, and all of it requires something more than thoughtless absorption.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
I don't know anybody as good as you
faithfulness and truth
your beauty is a solid thing, and sure
bringing grace to plain things
all the things I despised
you show, and I now see they mean more.
I always loved the equations,
but you live by the sums.
The ideals I worshipped haven't lasted
some have chipped and some have shattered
no one can reach those crazy dreams
so it's good to wake up
when visions fail
and find you.
Monday, January 04, 2010
Watched Avatar a couple weeks ago.
I came out of it feeling like I haven't felt for a decade or so, that old feeling I used to get after reading a really good sci-fi or fantasy book. It's a mix of excitement and low-grade melancholy produced by the fact that the world we live in is much more boring than the one I'd just been immersed in. The melancholy wasn't near as bad as it used to be though, since I was thinking about the New Earth, and how likely there would be comparable landscapes in my future.
Heard some christians complaining about the "occult" or "new agey" themes in the film. I used to do the same thing (quickly criticize movie philosophies that I didn't think were "christian"). But I've found it slightly annoying this time around, partly because I think it's silly to expect pagans to make a "christian" movie, but mostly because I didn't see what was un-scriptural about most of the movie's themes. I think concern for creation should be a christian trait, and it's irritating when I see and hear christians ridiculing compassion for animals or conservationist actions that really are just good stewardship. I don't think it's christian at all to kill animals for fun, or to slash and burn, mine, or otherwise ruin swathes of earth for convenience's sake. I think a big theme in "Avatar" was a critique of destructive greed - covetousness. Scripture says covetousness is Idolatry.
If it wasn't for covetousness, there would be almost no abortions, since abortion rates are driven by a covetous desire for "reproductive freedom" and a unfettered lifestyle full of things and opportunities that a child would get in the way of, as well as the covetous desire of the abortion industry for the cash kickbacks of their dirty business. Covetousness is the root of most other sins, the Lord Jesus even said "be on your guard against all kinds of greed, a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions". I think this is one of the biggest things christians need to hear today in wealthy countries like America. I know I need to keep hearing it. I have about 20 shirts, and more books than a third-world library. I have a computer that costs more than many people make in a year. It's too easy to buy stuff online that I don't need, it's too easy to feel like my life consists in the abundance of my new purchases.
I also think it's good for people to have their imaginations expanded, to see beautiful things. It's too easy to let the grind convince you that it's all there is, and to get too wrapped up in the trivialities of the here and now. So a sub-theme of biological pantheism doesn't really scare me. Especially when the pantheism functions more like theism, and the "god's" name is an phonetic anagram for Yahweh. It scared me to hear christians laughing about torturing animals, or talking about deforestation and strip mining like it's a scriptural mandate.
All that to say, I really liked the movie. It's the best story I've watched onscreen in a really long time, it ended just like I wanted it to, and it made me happy to live in the great state of Washington where we have a rainforest just a couple hours away!