Saturday, May 30, 2009

Where Are My Cookies? Saturday Evening Post by Wifey.

I love my husband. Has anyone guessed that? Boy oh boy, has Solid had to be extra patient and loving to Wifey this week! And she is grateful :)

I'll take advantage of my Saturday evening guest blog posting to follow up on Solid's Monday blog. You may have read that I was in some pain from kidney infection. We headed to the ER early Memorial Day, about 8am or so, which, by the way, is the ideal time to go to the ER. At 8am, you can get right in! No one in the waiting room, nurses ready to poke you in the arm.... they just run around with IV trays at that hour, looking for someone to poke. Unless you just HAVE to, don't go anytime after 10am. It's just a long, boring, probably painful experience, as you sit for HOURS and wait. If you don't have a leg dragging behind you broken in six places, with a cougar still clinging to your ankle, just bring a book or a Kindle, and definitely some dinner, because honey, you're in for a wait.

Nice kitty.

Everyone else in that ER waiting room, and half the people that came in AFTER you got there are getting in before you, and you're going to sit there squirming until the person with a sprained toe is the only one left in the room.

Then again, the people in the ER may be the most entertaining bunch you can find on any given evening. Last time we were there, we heard a woman screaming over and over, "I'm SO DRUUNNKKK!! I'm an idiot! It's terrible!" and on and on about how plastered she was.

And the people-watching can be terribly sad in some cases, but there's always the fair share of amusing injuries. You can’t help but eavesdrop when you hear other patients describe their injuries, like the following--

Falling While Ice Skating in Costume:

Jump Roping:

Falling Down: (You know you've hurt yourself falling down at some point in your life. It's okay! So has Wifey!)

Fight During Hockey Game:

Anyway! Feeling much better, almost my old self again, and was elated to have the energy to go with Solid for a friend’s surprise birthday party and clean the dang kitchen.

Thank you all for prayers, good wishes and emails. It’s so good to be on the upswing again! And I bet Solid's glad I'm not so... whiny? Irritable? Needing of much attention? All in my extraordinary cuteness of course. Ha! Poor Solid :)

When you're in pain, which lovely characteristic best describes you? Do you cry or clam up? Tough it out or expect loads of sympathy and cookies?

Where are MY cookies, Solid?


Solid, where did you go!!?? I'm still on the mend, Solid!


The extra attention was so good while it lasted.


Friday, May 29, 2009

UPDATE: The Redonkulous Situation

(Hey, if you're looking for today's real post, it's right here. This is my second post today. Consider this supplemental.)

You may remember that a couple of days ago I posted a link to a story about what appeared to be an imposition on religious freedom in San Diego. The whole thing still looks a little fishy to me, but if anybody did anything wrong here, it sounds like it's not going to be tolerated. After I raised the issue a few days ago, I thought it only fair to share the other side of the story.

I've got a friend that works in government, and I believe she's personally done a little work on this. Today she called this to my attention:

I don't know about you, but I feel better. And if you are still concerned, rest assured that if anything goofy is going on here, my friend will unleash 104 lbs. of fury on anyone responsible.

Be afraid, people.


Will we recognize each other in heaven?

This question is from Kat:

Assume the Bible is true. Assume it is our go-to source for the answer to this question. So no one else can monkey with why you're answering the way you are. I want to know if I will know you - the DPM I knew here on earth - and be able to recognize you when we get to heaven.

Did you ever see that movie City of Angels? If you haven't, don't run out and rent it or anything. I never much liked it, and the only reason I'm referencing it is that I figure it would be a bad idea to reference Dogma.


But in the movie, Nicolas Cage plays an angel that falls in love with a human woman played by Meg Ryan. One problem. Angels aren't allowed to love humans. So he has to choose between his (Eh?) and his love for Meg Ryan. TOUGH CHOICE!

Oh, wait. That's Dogma again. Dangit!

Anyway, this whole thing about non-sexual angels most likely comes from Matthew 22:30, which says...

"At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven."

Incidentally, this is Wifey's least favorite verse in the whole Bible. She's convinced she's going to talk God into letting us still be married in heaven.

I think this verse may be the biggest reason people think we may not recognize each other in heaven. There are a few more, but I think this is the one that really hits home. And the Bible doesn't really address the question directly, but I think there are enough clues to help us come to an answer.

Now listen. I could go on forever with exegesis, but I'm gonna try to just hit enough verses to make a point. First is Luke 16:19-31.

This is the story of the rich man that goes to hell and the beggar Lazarus who goes to heaven after spending his life starving and covered with sores that dogs would come and lick. (Gross, huh? It's in the Bible though!)

But the nasty sores aren't really the point. What you need to see here is that the rich man recognizes not only Lazarus, but also Abraham.

To further illustrate that point, consider the Transfiguration story, found in Matthew 17:1-13. That's where Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus on top of a high mountain. The glory of God fell on Jesus, but the disciples still recognized him. And they also recognized Moses and Elijah.

There are a ton of passages I could throw at you, but let me just give you a few more that you can look up later if you're interested.

Matthew 7:21-23
We'll remember our earthly lives.

I John 3:2
We won't be less of who we are in heaven. We'll be more of who we are.

II Samuel 12:23
We'll join our deceased loved ones in heaven.

I Thessalonians 4:13
There's no reason for us to worry about losing those that have passed on.

And here's the biggie, for me at least. I Corinthians 13:12.

"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

The general idea here is that we're not going to know less. We're going to know more. We won't just recognize those we knew on earth. We'll recognize everyone, including Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and a bunch of other people we've never met.

So what will stop Wifey from grabbing my neck and holding on to me for all eternity? Well, I have a thought...

I don't think she'll love me any less. In fact, I think she'll love me more. For that matter, I'll be more lovable, cleansed from corruption and clothed in glory. (Oh, she thinks I'm handsome now. Just wait!)

But you'll be more beautiful too. We all will be. And there will be no sin to separate us from each other. We'll all love each other with real agape - perfect love - in a way we're just not capable of right now.

But that will all be nothing as compared to the experience of seeing God face to face. Kat, I'm not sure if you remember this, but a long time ago I read you a poem I wrote that included these final lines:

We will not know what beauty is, 'til then in paradise,
We see the beauty in all things when gazing in God's eyes.

Yeah, maybe it's bad poetry, but I affirm the theology. All the goodness and all the beauty we've ever experienced or imagined will find their perfect culmination in God. Everything we've always really needed, and the subject of our uncorrupted desire...we'll be staring it right in the face.

Crazy, huh?

Will I know you in heaven? Yes.

Will I care? Sure. I'll love you very much.

Will Wifey throw her arms around me? Maybe every once in a while.

Will it be her primary occupation? I don't think so.

Will she believe me when she reads this? No. She'll be sad. That's just Wifey. (Love you, honey!)

Isn't she cute though?


P.S. Tomorrow Wifey's taking over the blog, which is always fun. Monday I'll be back at it to answer a question posed some time ago by SuperEgo. I'll also announce the contest winner!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Would Jesus Join a Political Party?

This question is from Wifey:

If Jesus were alive today, would he be a Democrat, Republican, or something else all together, based upon what we know of his character and life lived? Do you think if he were on earth now, could he have his ministry separate from politics?

This is my third day in a row writing about political topics. If anyone out there is getting tired of it, be patient. This is the last day for a while. I get really nervous when I talk about politics. It’s not that I’m not into politics. It’s because I’m way into politics.

It’s the one area where I consistently get emotional about my opinions. I wish I didn’t. I almost always look back on it later with regret. So I want to try to be as non-partisan as possible, and I’ll probably do a poor job of that. I don’t have a problem with people being outspoken concerning politics. We desperately need citizens that are willing to stand up and voice their opinions. I’m just going through a stage where I don’t feel like I’m as articulate as I’d like to be on politics, despite the fact (and partially because of the fact) that I spend in excess of five hours most days hearing and reading about politics.

Enough of my soft underbelly. Let’s get to the question.

I think if Jesus were alive today, a lot of Christians would expect him to be a Republican. There’s the abortion thing, the gay marriage thing, he’d get to go to political rallies with guys like James Dobson and Rick Warren. Ah! And let me give you Isaiah 62:2-3.

“Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like
him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.”

See? He likes red.

I’m sure a lot of people would expect him to be a Democrat too. He prioritized the poor, established a universal health care program by giving his disciples authority over disease, and gave out free food to large groups of people with no expectations.

Don’t most people sort of think he’d be whatever they happen to be? I don’t.

Seriously, I really don’t.

Like I said, I’m way into politics. And while Jesus couldn’t help but be involved, he tried to avoid unnecessary conflict whenever he could. The best example of this is a story that can be found in Luke 20:19-26 (and also in Matthew or Mark).

The Pharisees were sitting around one day trying to figure out how to really nail Jesus, and somebody came up with a really great idea. They masqueraded as Greeks and tried to trick Jesus into saying something that would get him in trouble with the Roman government.

“Hey Jesus!” (I’m paraphrasing.) “You are SO smart. Not even like normal smart, but like REEEALLY smart. So riddle me this. Do I seriously have to pay taxes to Caesar, since you’ve got that ‘kingdom not of this world’ thing going on? Whaddaya think?”

Oh, but Jesus was REEEEEEEALLY smart. He knew what was going on. He asked them to take out a coin.

“See that picture on the coin there, guys?” Jesus asked.


“And who’s it a picture of?”

“Caesar,” they answered.

“Good,” Jesus said. “That’s probably why his name is under the picture, huh?”

They nodded.

Then Jesus smiled out of the corner of his mouth, winked, and said “How about this? You give Caesar what’s his. And give God what’s God’s.”

Let’s dissect that a little bit. Jesus was the Messiah. He was supposed to set up his own government and save the Jewish people from their oppressors. They wanted the Messiah to kick some Roman butt and fly the Jewish flag right where they stood.

Governments get taxes, right? So if Jesus was this revolutionary Messiah figure that was supposed to set up his own kingdom right in the midst of Roman oppression (Incidentally, this is exactly what he did), people on his side ought to help his government by paying their taxes to him, right?

On top of that, everyone was expected to confess Caesar as lord. That’s what the whole thing in Romans 10:9 is about when it say if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you’ll be saved. When the Romans entered a new area, the inhabitants had to confess “Caesar is lord” before they could inherit the Pax Romana. If anyone refused to do that, they were executed.

So this was a HOT political topic. And Jesus chose not to get involved. He threw the question back on them instead. Why? Because the issue wasn’t on his agenda.

When I was growing up, my mom used to say, “Save your guns for the big battles.” I try to do that, but I’ll be the first to confess that I’ve wasted my share of ammunition along the way. I remember somebody in college once saying, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” (A couple of you probably remember that one.)

I think it would be unfair to say Jesus never had to deal with a two party political system. In Jesus’ time, Jerusalem faced something similar with Greeks and Jews. And as much as people expected Jesus to join the “Israel party,” he never really did.

I have a few friends that work in politics. And like I said, I’m very interested in it myself. Jesus couldn’t help but get a little involved too, but he chose to make other things more important than taking political control of the country.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t be involved in politics. I very much believe we should. But it’s not supposed to be the “main thing.” To live is Christ. That’s what Paul said. And my nation is very important to me. But my kingdom—my home—is also not of this world.

I have to work to remember that sometimes.


UPDATE: Redonkulous?

I just had to put this up. Last night I told you about some crazy stuff at Liberty University. But what do you think about this?

Couple: Country trying to Stop Home Bible Studies

And it's right here in San Diego.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Is Liberty University Redonkulous?

This question is from Amy:

Liberty University just banned the Student Democratic Club from their campus. They are no longer allowed to advertise, use university facilities, etc. (I read about it on my bro's blog: Do you think this is something that Jesus would do?

The university's stated reason for banning the club was the Democratic Party's stance on abortion. My question, and really I guess I'm just looking for a well-articulated opinion, is do you believe this is proper justification? Do you think the best way to handle opposition or views that one views as wrong is to, in effect, silence it? What would Jesus' example point to?

I’m gonna throw an answer at you that some people may disagree with. Unfortunately, with questions like this, the “correct” answer depends on the specific situation. But I think we can hit on a few generalities to inform an answer.

You ask, “Do you think the best way to handle opposition or views that one views as wrong is to, in effect, silence it?” First of all, views that one views as wrong are generally viewed from the viewpoint of the viewer, and by viewing those views from the viewer’s viewpoint, the viewer’s view comes more clearly into view. In other words, the phrase “see things differently” is pretty descriptive, because we often holds opinions based on the way we’re looking at things—our paradigm, or worldview, if you will.

Abortion is a good illustration. I really don’t think the abortion debate is as much about different morals as it is about different ideas of the truth, at least on the surface. The real question at hand is whether or not a fetus constitutes human life. I think it’s helpful to look at it from both sides.

Generally speaking, the Pro-Choice movement would say that no, a fetus does not constitute human life. Assume for a minute that side is correct, and a pregnant woman does not have a human life growing inside her—just a mass of cells. Is it such a bad thing to terminate the cell mass, just because it could become a human life? (Before you answer that question, consider your own stance on birth control. Condoms and other birth control methods prevent a lot of human life too.) If the Pro-Choice movement is correct in their scientific assumptions, abortion isn’t really so bad. It’s certainly not murder.

If you assume the other side is correct, and a fetus actually is a human life with (or without) a soul, then abortion is absolutely murder. If that’s not your perspective, just consider for a moment the fear such an idea might generate in someone that sees abortion as murder. What if we did the same things to five-year-olds if they proved inconvenient? Just because they're a little older and more closely resemble an adult, is it more wrong? Is it better then to kill them when they're two years old? You see where I'm going with this.

I hope you get what I’m saying here. It’s all about whether that fetus is actually a baby or just a cell mass. It’s about perspective. And I don’t think it’s fair to use the “your truth” and “my truth” language here. You wouldn’t apply that in the example of the inconvenient five-year-olds, would you?

(That's Peanut. He's my nephew. He's grown a little since then, of course.)

Would I go to extreme measures to save human life? You bet. I hope any of us would.

There are some values that we all hold so dearly that we’d be willing to do a lot to preserve and uphold them. I’m not just talking about the protection of life either.

A few years ago, a student organization I helped with was kicked off the San Diego State University campus because they refused to sign a non-discrimination contract with language that restricted them from showing preference in appointing officers based on sexual preference.

The student organization filed suit and lost. Here's the article. It's worth reading.

That situation had a lot in common with the one described at Liberty University. Both groups were kicked off campus because their belief violated a core value. With the group at SDSU, they violated the core value of discrimination. According to post-modern cultural rules, that’s a sin.

So this stuff goes both ways. Is it right? I sure didn’t think so when our student group got kicked off the SDSU campus. It’s not like they didn’t want to welcome homosexual people into their meetings. They just didn’t want to be told they couldn’t even consider sexual preference in appointment of their leadership.

Hey, you may think that student group was wrong. Ok. But before you get mad, just consider that the religious right isn’t alone in excluding people that disagree with them.

Now… Let’s get to the core question here. Is what Liberty University did to their Democratic Party club "redonkulous,” to borrow a word from Becky? I think so.

It would be one thing is it were the Planned Parenthood Student Group or something. But it’s not. The Democratic party is much bigger than a single issue. Not all democrats are Pro-Choice either. So yeah. I agree with Amy’s brother that this decision may have been at least partially fueled by bitterness over Republican losses. The timing is certainly curious, and Republicans are generally a pretty frustrated bunch right now. Besides, if you wanted to intentionally lose your tax-exempt status, this would be a great way to do it.

Later this week, I'll talk about the two major US political parties, but for right now, let's just say that our President still has some work ahead of him if he's going to bring this nation together like people said he would.

Would Jesus have that group kicked off campus? I don't think he would, but I can't really say for sure. Would he prevent them from holding Pro-Choice rallies? Maybe. It sort of depends on your paradigm, doesn't it? Personally, I'm very strongly Pro-Life. I figure that if there's any chance that abortion is leading to the mass-murder of children, I'm willing to take away choice from women. But that's me.

If there’s a lesson here, I think it’s an introspective one. I used to have a pastor that would say the same thing to almost every person that came to him with frustrations at other church members. It went something like this… “Before the day is over, I want you to take a pen and a piece of paper, and start writing down ways that you’re guilty of the sin you see in that other person. Then take it to God in prayer and ask for forgiveness.” That generally ended the complaining real quick.

I sure don’t want to sound harsh, but maybe that’s a good lesson here. Freedom of speech isn't a left or right issue. We all get upset when we feel like our side is being denied their fair say.

Maybe I'm wrong. What do you think? As for what Jesus would do, I'm curious to hear your opinion.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Will homosexuality exclude someone from heaven?

Now that I’ve caught up on sleep a little bit, I want to get started on these incredible questions you folks have asked. I’m going to answer every one, even though it may take me into next week after yesterday’s events. I'll announce the winner after I've answered all the questions. Thanks again to those of you that expressed your concern. You’ll be glad to know that Wifey’s feeling a little better today, and even went into work for a couple of hours this afternoon before her night class.

Our first question is from rsfnat, who I eventually figured out is my dad. (Wait. That didn’t sound right. I knew who my dad was. I just didn’t know he was rfsnat. There were no blood tests or anything.) Here’s the question:

“…please reconcile the prevailing Christian opinion that gays will not go to heaven with John 3:16 and 17. This is not a "stumper" merely a question.”

This is particularly relevant today. In case you haven’t heard, today was a big news day in California, as the state Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8. In case you’re not familiar with the situation, let me give you a little history. (If you know all this, just skip down.)

1999: California institutes domestic partnerships as recognized legal unions open to homosexual couples.

March 7, 2000: California Proposition 22 passes by a 61.4% majority in a statewide vote. The proposition defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. (Marriage is generally understood as distinct from domestic partnership.)

May 15, 2008: The California Supreme Court rules that Proposition 22 is unconstitutional (per the state constitution—not the national one). Proposition 22 is overturned.

November 4, 2008: Proposition 8 passes a simple majority vote among registered California voters. The proposition amends the state constitution to read, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” That language was taken directly from Proposition 22.

November 5, 2008: Opponents of Proposition 8 file suit with the California Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8 on the basis of the “Equal Protection Clause,” and argue that Prop 8 should have been a constitutional revision, as opposed to a constitutional amendment, and should require a 2/3 majority vote as opposed to a simple majority.

Today (May 26, 2009): The California Supreme Court upholds Proposition 8, precluding the possibility of future same-sex marriages in California, but recognizing those same-sex marriages performed prior to the passage of Proposition 8.

So California won’t be doing any same-sex marriages for a while, but still allows for domestic partnerships. This really isn’t about people getting in to see their partners in hospital rooms. They can already do that. It’s more about the word and the idea. It does, however, have a few important ramifications. Most importantly to me, I don’t have to worry that my pastor will be accused of discrimination if he refuses to perform a same-sex marriage.

The scripture passage Dad mentions is John 3:16-17. I’ll hit you with it in the KJV. Why not.

3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

And while we’re at it, we should probably read at least one of the passages that deals with homosexuality. Here’s Romans 1:26-27, again from the KJV:

1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Of all the verses on this subject, I think this one is the most clear. We don’t have to debate the meaning of effeminate or sodomy or anything. Verse 27 talks about men lusting after other men, and…doing stuff, and Paul identifies that as error. I think that at least is pretty clear.

John 3:16 is telling us that everyone who believes in Jesus gets everlasting life, and verse 17 says that God’s motive in sending Jesus was to save the world and not condemn it.

Dad asked me to reconcile the idea that “gays” won’t go to heaven with that passage. And I think it can be done. The first step is to stop identifying them as “gays” or “homosexuals” or a bunch of other words I won’t say here. (There are more words all the time, and they’re owned by the homosexual community. The Gay Student Organization [GSO] at most universities became the Gay Bi Lesbian Student Organization [GLBSO] and expanded from there. These days they’re sometimes referred to as “Alphabet Groups” because of all the letters in their group names [GLBQUX$#SO, or whatever].)

I don’t like to call someone a gay or a homosexual. It’s like that’s all they are or something. And I think it’s helpful, especially in an environment of fear, misunderstanding, and prejudice, to see the person first. So I prefer “homosexual person” to “homosexual.”

That’s important here, because I don’t want to identify a person by something Paul calls error. I believe my words have power. I believe naming has power. And so I exercise that belief here.

Let’s look at John 3:16-17 again, this time in a new version called The Expanded Bible:

If we were to really narrow down what this passage is saying, I think it might be something like, “God gave his son to save everyone who believes in him, not to condemn the world.” Is that fair? Because if that’s the message here, our response should be to do likewise.

I’m not saying Christians can’t speak up in moral matters. I’m just saying that if we’re focusing on condemnation of the homosexual community rather than the salvation of homosexual people, we’re really missing the point.

Will we see some people in heaven that identified themselves in life as homosexual? I think so. I like the Roman Catholic position on salvation. There are a few people we’re sure of, but for most people we can only guess. Only God knows.

For me, the most educated guess I can make is based on choices in life. Heaven is a place where God’s will is done, where we experience God in full measure, as God is rather than how we’d like God to be. Hell is the alternative. Hell is God’s way of saying, “Ok. If you want things your way, I’m sad, but that’s fine.”

As for me, I’m gonna do my best to love homosexual people enough to give them everything I’ve got, like God did (and does).

There ya go. Reconciled.

Love you Dad,


Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day?

Let me tell you a little about my day.

I had intended to start answering questions from the "Stump Solid" contest today, but as it turns out, things today didn't go exactly as planned. It started off with a sleepless night that finally ended with me dozing off around 4:30. That's fine. I had the day off today. One problem though.

Something you may not know about Wifey is that she's fought long-term health problems. She's ok. It's just not as easy for her as it is for some people. She doesn't really advertise it, but she'll gladly talk about it if you ask her (even if you just met her).

Last night she had horrible kidney pain. It was really, really bad. She tried to get a hold of her urologist, but instead got some on call doctor that just wanted to go to bed. This was probably about 10PM. He kept telling her to go to the emergency room, thinking she had kidney stones (which he'd realize was a little silly if he'd paid attention when she was going over her medical history). She asked if there was anything else she could do, and he said no.

Julie went off to the south wing of our 600 square foot apartment. (Kat, Amy, that's about 183 square meters. I know you internationals have some trouble with Imperial measurements.) When she came back I sat her down and said, "There is one alternative, and I think you know what it is."

Lately, we've been listening to Kenneth Hagan's ABC's of Bible Faith series. Julie's listened to it more than me, and she immediately understood what I was saying. We prayed with faith and expected healing. The pain left. I thought it was done...maybe forever.

But at 8:30 this morning she was hurting again, and we decided to go to the emergency room. (Let's not get into the theology of this right now. I'd be glad to talk about it sometime, but I'm sleepy and just want to tell the story.) There was no wait (another miracle), but the whole experience did take most of the day. By the time we'd been released, found a pharmacy that was open on Memorial Day, and picked up Wifey's prescriptions, it was almost 3:00.

We did share a nap on the hospital bed. We raised the head of the bed, I laid back, she laid back on me, and we slept for about thirty minutes while we were waiting for her lab results to come back. But I'm still pretty sleepy.

And in spite of it all, it wasn't so bad. I spent Saturday in traffic school, and most of the day today in the emergency room, but Wifey and I are such good friends, so in love, and we feel like we never get as much time together as we want. (I know. We're still newlyweds, but it has been two years, and it's more like that every day.)

I guess that's all to say Happy Memorial Day. It's a little ironic to fixate on our problems when our nation is at war, and many families across our country are not at church picnics, but rather mourning the loss of a loved one. God bless them and those that gave their lives.

I know our problems aren't on that level. All the same, I'd really appreciate it if you'd pray for Wifey. She's sleeping right now, and I'm not gonna wake her. I almost always have her read through these things before I post them on the internet for everyone to see, but I'll just send this one off with a prayer.

And if you're not sure how to pray for Wifey, I'm sure she'll be grateful if you pray for her comfort, peace, and restful sleep. But we're praying and believing for healing--not just this time, but forever. If you can have faith for that too, please stand with us. Thanks friends, and Happy Memorial Day.


"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." ~Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Does even a kickboxing instructor have to keep his word?

Hello again, fabulous peoples. It's Wifey, back in action! Solid has invited me once again to post on his rockin' blog. As my second guest post, I'd like to share with you an hour of my yesterday.

Wifey and work colleagues go to kickboxing on their lunch hour on Fridays. It’s a really challenging class, and Wifey generally can keep up for the first 20 minutes or so, then wants to fall on the gym floor hyperventilating for the last 25 minutes. Wifey goes with two other women who are about 10 years older and each have two kids, and are in far better shape than Wifey. Wifey feels her out-of-shape-ness much more keenly on Fridays, and this past Friday, Mr. Puny Kickboxing Instructor received the brunt of this and other frustrations. Other frustrations include parents of new freshmen yelling at her on the phone (entertainingly described in future guest posting), not nice emails in Wifey’s inbox, and too much laundry waiting at home for her. And 2 hours of homework to look forward to when she gets home that night.

12:10 pm: So, Wifey is doing the boxer bounce thing from foot to foot, with kicks and punches and uppercuts and all that. She is feeling good! Workin’ it! Whatchu got, Mr. Puny Kickboxing Instructor!? Nothin!! (Punch! Punch! Knee! Knee!)

12:18 pm: Wifey can’t really breathe so much at this point, but she is determined to not let a little thing like that stop her!! Breathe, schmeathe! (Kick! Punch! (groan) Jumping jack (grunt, wipe sweat sloppily onto forearm) Work through the pain!

12:22 pm: Wifey may now be dying, so she feels this is a good time for a water break. She inconspicuously does the boxer bounce thing in the direction of her water bottle. She avoids looking up into the wall mirror in case anyone else notices the weak woman who needs water (!) during this kick routine. She glances up, just in time to see that Mr. Puny Kickboxing Instructor is eyeing her drinking water. Wifey semi-chokes when caught, and hurriedly drops the water bottle (hopes it was closed!) and boxer step bounces back to kick routine. (Kick! (stupid class stupid instructor why did I payforthisclassuugghh!)

12:33 pm: Wifey is now verifiably irritated at Mr. Puny Kickboxing Instructor. He has been bouncing (yes, bouncing) around the room, hollering at all the oxygen-deprived women, punching at their heads to make sure they “get low” after each blessed kick. Kick! GET LOW! Punch! GET LOW! (Not quite-hit-the-ground low, but squatted gracefully all the way down, ready to spring back up to kick.) Wifey cannot make her hair stay in the hair tie, cannot “get low” as her work colleagues can, and has about 10 ounces of sweaty mascara in her eyes.

12:41 pm: Wifey despises Mr. Stupid Dumb Annoying Loud Puny Kickboxing Instructor Who Plays the Worst Kickboxing Music EVER, her work colleagues (they are SMILING! LAUGHING! ), everyone else in the room, the girl nearest to her who is crowding into Wifey’s space and is drenched with the worst perfume ever (who wears perfume that strong to work? Did she apply more before class?), and the sunny day outside the gym windows.


12:43 pm: Mr. Stupid Dumb Annoying Loud Needs to Wear Longer Shorts Next Time Puny Kickboxing Instructor decides the class has not perfected his perfect lovely kick routine of sculpting perfection (IDIOT!!) and does this to Wifey’s class: “One more time!! You’ve almost got in, but you want to do better, right? Come on, Jab! Kick! Knee!.....” Wifey gives it her all. One last time. As promised. As told to her. Then, he does this at the end of the routine: “You can do better!! Let’s finish up strong, okay! ONE MORE TIME!” Wifey is DONE. But, Wifey must not be the only one in class who won’t do it again, so Wifey does the routine ONE MORE TIME as promised. And then. Then, it happens AGAIN. "Just ONE more time!!!" Wifey is beyond furious. She wants to scream at him, “LIAR!! YOUR WORD MEANS NOTHING!!!!”

12:55 pm: Wifey limps and frantically gulps water and oxygen on the way back to the office, while her colleagues stroll along in front of her laughing about how they just SO enjoyed this latest kick routine. Wifey despises everything at this point, so she takes her sweaty, whiny, sorry self to go to buy some Greek food for lunch.


PS - Please take this time to submit your questions to Solid - unless you can't HANDLE the challenge. Deadline for entry is Sunday, 11:59pm PST. Or before Solid wakes up on Monday morning. :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

What's up?

Up /up/ : a preposition referring to a higher place, state, or condition; the direction away from the center of gravity.

What’s up? I’m taking my wife to dinner tonight. Yep, we’re having a date. We will be dining at Souplantation and then going to bed. Are we 65 years old? No, but why should senior citizens have all the fun?

Before we go, let me remind you about my very first contest! This is your chance to have any question answered. Is there some big philosophical question you’ve always wondered about? Or...anything? Give me a shot! You might win some free movie rentals!

Have a great night folks!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Is THIS why I went to college?


Here before you is the view from my “office.” Note the vast expanse of carpet and office furniture, prompting great minds to contemplate questions such as, “How do they make carpet with so many colors?” Why do they have a trash can in an uninhabited office?” and “I wonder who waters that plant in the manager’s office."

With a layoff quickly approaching, the mind turns back across two years spent here. Remember that time the ceiling started dripping, and then the drip turned into a stream, and then the acoustic tiles started to disintegrate until water was everywhere because the upstairs maintenance man screwed up when he was trying to drain a water heater?

Yeah… That was an interesting day.

So this is my cubicle, where I spend eight hours a day. And yes, I’m getting laid off June 30th. I don’t have anything else lined up yet. It’s an exercise in faith. If you’re worried, console yourself in the knowledge that I’ll have much more time to come up with interesting blog topics.

Here’s the radio that gets me through the day with it’s constant companionship. One of the best things about living in San Diego is that you get to listen to The Mikey Show every morning. I’ll have to tell you about it sometime. If you think I’m exaggerating, you’ve obviously never heard the show.

(Incidentally, if you’re worried that the antenna is blocking my phone, don’t. It’s not gonna ring. It never rings. And if you’re worried cause you noticed my pink headphones…um…they were on sale, ok?! Lay off!)

This is my “Kanban Board.” It’s actually not so much a board – more a piece of paper. The company figured a board would be a waste of money, since I’ll be laid off soon anyway. (Do I sound pathetic yet? Just wait.)

A few months ago, somebody decided I might not have a balanced workload. See, I have four different managers in this office. As a result, no one has any idea what I do on a daily basis, unless I make a mistake. Then I’m big news.

Yesterday, one of my four managers (the office’s Lead Administrator) came by my office with a chip on her shoulder. Honestly, I have no idea what happened to get her mad, but she had to take it out on someone, and I’m glad to be of service. Hey, whatever I can do to help, right?

So she starts questioning me on the legitimacy of all the items on my board, moving my “Urgent” items to the “non-urgent” column. (Forgive the inconsistent capitalization. I wasn’t allowed to create my own board. It’s best that way, as I might screw it up or something.)

So this lady is crumpling up notes and throwing them in the trash, because they’re not the sort of things that are supposed to go on the board (Dang! I’m such an idiot!), and ends up taking three or four with her. (Obviously, I wasn’t doing them correctly.)

The next hour was spent training her on how to do the tasks I’d been screwing up.


Do you ever just have to vent? I’ve tried for so long not to do that. I mean, at least I don’t have to make sales calls all day. I’ve done that before. At least I’m not going door-to-door, trying to sell vacuum cleaners that cost almost $2,000 each. I’ve done that too. I’m not unemployed…yet. Basically, I just have to show up every morning, do eight hours of data entry, and then go home. I have to keep remembering that.

Seriously, if work were fun, they wouldn’t have to pay you to show up, right? And I realize this is just a job I’m doing to pay the bills while I put myself through my second Masters program. So why is it so tough to do this day after day? One more picture…

This is the official work clock. Sometimes I get crazy ideas, like hooking it up to a VCR so I can fast-forward to 4:30.

Let’s get serious for a minute though...

This is the school of character. Even as I write, I think about what a spoiled little American I am. But that’s kind of the point, right? God puts me in situations like this to make me better than I am. Really, I have a pretty great life.

I think about the lady that messed with my Kanban Board yesterday, and in all seriousness, I have to wonder what her life is like. I just sit there and smile, cause I can do that. Who cares, right?

She can’t do what I do. You know people like this. They’re miserable all the time, and all they know to do is take it out on other people. You want to be mad at them, but if you really think about it, it’s just sad.

Somebody once told me that if you squeeze a piece of fruit, nothing can come out except what's inside. You can’t get lemon juice out of an orange, and you’ll never get apple juice out of a kiwi.

So what comes out when you get squeezed? When things get tough, how do you behave?

Does violence come out? Or anger? Or meanness? Is it faith? Is it character?

When things get worse, do you get worse with them, or do you get better? Do you become a more admirable person or a less admirable person in rough times?

Cause whatever’s inside is gonna come out when you get squeezed.

Me? I’m a mixed bag. That’s why God’s got me in the school of character…again. Pray that I learn quickly.

Before I let you go, don't forget! Between now and Sunday I'm giving you a chance to win a month long subscription to Netflix just for coming up with a good question! Read about it here.

Your friend,