Wednesday, September 29, 2010

5 1/2 Tips to Recover from Religion

I read a few blogs, and man, there are folks out there that have been hurt by church - lots of them! Today I was thinking about some of them, those that are blogging to express their pain and frustration. I have done the same; used my blog to give a voice to those same feelings.

I used to think it was sort of funny that some of the folks I met at AA meetings would say, "I'm a recovering Catholic." They were men and woman that had found a relationship with God through the agony of alcoholism. I know what they were talking about. I had my own empty religious upbringing in which God was sort of a myth, and religion was more of a social/cultural activity.

One day I met the living God, and all the education I had previously had, as shallow as it was, gave me a starting point. I went and dug out my little red leather bound Bible with the velvet bookmark still on the verse from John that we read when we became members of the church. I hadn't looked at it since.

In the Christian blogosphere, it seems that there are "recovering Baptists," "recovering fundamentalists" and "recovering Lutherans" and Pentecostals too. When folks are that damaged by religion, it makes me sad - hey, they are my brothers and sisters in Christ.

When I first started reading, I thought it was just an excuse for being liberal, rebellious and getting even with the "church." The pendulum can really swing depending on where you started. In the process, like most folks that act out, display a little religious arrogance, or prefer talking about the problems instead of the solutions, I found some folks doing a little soul searching as read between the lines.

The inspiration for this blog came when I read a comment from a gay Baptist woman. She asked, why is it that the church can't seem to support me in bringing my lusts under the control of Jesus and simply let me be single? They do it for other straight singles with dedicated programs. I sit in church each week feeling ashamed, keeping to myself and Jesus.

She seemed to make a good point. Are we out to change how people feel, or support them in their quest to know Jesus; which includes holiness? I think folks that need to recover from religion need God, the real God, not the God in the box with a prize.

Here are 5 1/2 hints to recover from religion - well, if you are going to give Jesus another try - oh and make sure your foundation is in place:

-1 Look for Fruit, Not Results: If Jesus is really at work, there will be fruit. Spiritual fruit comes in the form of miracles, healing, prophecy, good character, forgiveness and folks that feel loved. Skip the paradigms you know, the name calling, and the political mixture. If there is no fruit, it is just a social club. Who knows, if that all you are looking for, you might find the model train club more fulfilling.

-2 Context: Read the Bible context for any scriptures that the teacher or pastor toss out as "proofs" for their points. It is easy to spectator, but it is better to participate. This is your best defense against the wiles of dead religion.

-3 Be In Some Sort of Small Group: I don't care what sort of church you go to, small or large, house or mega, it is good to get with other Christians to pray, talk about the word, share communion, love each other and bear one another's burdens. Out of true Christian relationship will flow the power of God. Here in lies the real test of "church" 1 Cor 14.

-4 Seek Out God: There are lots of churches that seem to represent God, and occasionally He shows up. Isn't that how you got wounded by religion in the first place? It is time to get with God, to cry out to God, to pray, and search for Him like treasure. (Prov 2) Try lots of churches. I always look for the ones that have testimonies. If God isn't doing anything for anyone in the church, than it is probably stuck in religion.

-5 Mediate on the Things You Hope For: So many folks sit around and worry - especially when religion doesn't work. Worry is the enemy of faith. Find folks that are not worried about everything when they are having tough times. There you will find the peace of God at work.

-5 1/2 Love: You never know, you might attract God that way...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Political Tuesdays - Second Amendment

I was sitting with my family at a local Mexican restaurant for my wife's birthday. Here is the conversation that took place between me and two of my daughters.

22-Year-Old: I am joining the gym.

David: Why?

22-Year-Old: Well, when I go out running the neighborhood, I get home and hear gunshots around the corner (a few months ago, they were in front of the house, that last time there were in the neighborhood).

David: Get a gun.

22-Year-Old: Yeah, right. I'll just shove one in my running shorts.

6-Year-Old: Don't do that, you'll shoot your privates off.

So much for advancing the dialog for safe and legal gun ownership.

U.S. Constitution: Second Amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

As an average citizen untrained in constitutional law, I have a couple of thoughts. First, what is a well regulated militia? Second, doesn't this give me the right to own a weapon that I can be a part of the protection of a free state; free of tyranny and oppression from the government and foreign enemies? I don't have the answers to those questions.

US Courts have determined this right to include the following SOURCE:
- Deterring undemocratic government
- Repelling invasion
- Suppressing insurrection
- Facilitating a natural right of self-defense
- Participating in law enforcement
- Enabling the people to organize a militia system

Those that originally debated the 2nd in Congress, saw the personal right to bear arms as a potential check against tyranny. I see that as the primary purpose of having a personal weapon. On 9/11 most of us in the office chose to bear arms until we found out what and who the threat was. Had the terrorism spread, I am sure many folks would have preferred to be armed.

There are may pros and cons regarding legal gun ownership. Even the most right-wing enthusiasts agree the illegal gun ownership should be a punishable crime. And they'd like see them off the street.

In Boston, Police Chief, Ed Davis was on the radio (WBZ 1030 AM) asking for a mandatory 10 year sentence for illegal gun possession. The media billed it as "increased gun control." What he asked for was tougher sentencing at the country club we call jail - which has better care than most nursing homes - for felons that are caught with guns legal or otherwise.

For the record, Massachusetts has one of the toughest right to carry laws in the US. Here are some of the requirements.

- Cannot have been institutionalized for mental health or addiction problems.
- Cannot have any convictions for felonious crimes.
- Cannot have had any misdemeanor convictions for assault or a restraining order.
- One must have personal references to obtain a permit.
- One must pass State Police sanctioned training and a written test.

Lots of folks, like me, question the shootings at Virginia Tech. Those were legal guns. For 2nd Amendment supporters, that is a bitter pill. However; if VA had the same laws as MA, the shooter would not have been able to purchase a gun, or be licensed for one.

It is hard to find reliable stats on gun deaths on the Internet. The debate is polarized and emotional and I find statistics very one-sided.

I would like some conclusive stats on how many legal gun deaths vs. illegal gun deaths are we talking about. Is it true that if guns were outlawed, only outlaws would have guns? That is my opinion. It is also my opinion that left leaning news sources do not want that fact to get out.

Any gun death is not a just a gun death. Why we don't focus on illegal guns, as BPC Ed Davis asked, can't we have tougher laws? It is beyond me. I find it interesting that the suicide rate by guns is often lumped together with all gun related fatalities.

I also find it interesting the Vermont does NOT require a permit to carry a concealed handgun - nothing. They are way down in the death by gun statistics, where NY, MA, CA a way up in the standings, and have strict gun permitting laws.

The other issue is children that are exposed to firearms where a shooting occurs. This scenario is preventable. If properly trained and permitted adults have guns, a gun safe to secure them should be mandatory. There is absolutely no reason that an adult should ever have an "out of control" of a weapon. It should carried or locked. Duh!

Children in schools with guns; are you kidding me? Again, there are mostly opinions and few facts. It appears from my limited research, that these are again, illegal guns, or ones that are "out of control" of the rightful owners. Schools where kids feel the need to protect themselves, is entirely another issue.

Automatic weapons ban? Fully automatic weapons are illegal. The one use in the North Hollywood Robbery a number of years ago were illegal, and illegally modified.

Much of the reported shootings take place in urban areas. Boston records about one a week. Interestingly Chicago has ban in legal guns. Their homicide rate is 9 times greater than Honolulu, Hawaii who also has a legal gun ban. More insane, an 80-year-old man was robbed and bought an illegal handgun to protect him and his family. He killed an intruder who shot at him first. He may face charges. STORY

In Malden, MA just a few weeks ago, a licensed gun owner shot and killed one would-be bugler, and wounded another. HERE is that story: Is this an isolated incident? Google it , there are licensed gun owners that protect themselves and their loved ones everyday in the US.

The CDC has exact stats on murders in the US - but again, they do not differentiate between legal/illegal guns.

Even the FBI does not classify homicides by the method.

We often hear the phrase, "if one life is saved, then we should pass anti-gun legislation." Conversely, if those legally possessing and using firearms save a life or two or three, can't we view it from that perspective?

And yes, there are even some countries where guns are illegal that top the US for violent homicides each year.

I do not believe there is any conclusive evidence, either here in the states, or abroad proves that guns, or the lack of guns reduces death by gun statistics. I believe the most common factor in preventing tragic deaths, is cultural, not control.

So the last issue is this. Why would a Christian need to defend themselves. HERE is more on that.

How about you, can you support the constitutional right to bear arms? Can you join me in asking for sane legislation for gun permitting?

Monday, September 27, 2010

5 1/2 Things Christians Do that Have Never Been Taught

Once you get into Christian culture, there are some things that you need to learn, but they won't be taught from the pulpit. I have noticed that even new Christians pick these lessons up very quickly.

-1 Watch Your Language Around Church Folks: I don't care where you are from, if someone is in a church, they usually stop using the "F" word and most of the other ones they wouldn't use in the presence of a 5-year-old. Especially if the pastor/preist is around. Why is that? I don't know about you, but I have never had a sermon on freakin' profanity.

-2 Sermon Notes: Most churches give out a bulletin of announcements. While some outline the service, they inevitably gets used to make a sermon note or two. I have even seen sermon note spaces and my favorite, fill-in-the-blank sermon notes. If I forget my pen, they have some cheesy small pencils in the chair backs.

-3 Pray With Your Eyes Closed: Maybe it is Billy Graham, but why Christian pray with their eyes closed is a mystery of the faith. I used t do it to, but I: A) can't find any Bible references for it, and B) I almost got mugged by a demon once, and I like to see them coming.

-4 Bible Roulette: Someone tells you that God's will is in the Bible. One day you are hoping to hear from God, and you toss a few prayers towards Heaven - no answer. After a few days you decide that the answer has got to be in the Bible, but reading the whole thing is just going to make you confused. So you decide to randomly flip pages until you feel God said stop. There is ti, the first thing that you see, that's the answer. This is the reason most woman marry a David, a Paul, a Matthew or a John. It is also the reason that Lady Gaga is still single.

-5 Wish God Would Speak to You Personally: If you are like most Christians, you are waiting for the "spiritual bellhop in the sky" to pay off on more than a few prayers. It is interesting how easy it is to come to a place where we'll say, :"if God would just speak to me, I would know what to do." Honestly, what would you do if He did?

-5 1/2 Say Amen...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

5 1/2 If You Worry Why Pray?

I was at an AA meeting many years ago and someone said, "If you worry, why pray, and if you pray, why worry?" I like that. It places trust in God to do His part, and relieves of the burden of managing an outcome from a situation that we cannot control. I think that everyone prays when things get worrisome.

Here are 5 1/2 things that help me not to worry.

-1 Past Experience: I survived a flood losing most of my personal possessions. I survived divorce, a deadly car wreck, the loss of a close friend to an overdose, my parents to cancer, not mention the problems that I created for myself due to my own sin.

1 Peter 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

-2 God’s Peace: I just believe him. I guess I am more afraid of prolonged pain torture or sickness, than I am of actually dying. Paul said that he would rather be in heaven than here except for the work that still needed to be done. I agree. Peace is the greatest gift that we can have from Heaven. It can be valuable in any situation.

Philippians 1:23 But I am hard pressed from both, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for it is much better; 24 yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.

-3 God’s Promise: As a missionary I had some interesting moments; they sharpened my faith. There are lots of debates about what God's promises are, but in the end, it is the one that I am willing to lose my life for.


Matthew 10:39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

-4 Using My Weakness to My Advantage: I often put stuff off that is no fun, I just added worry about tomorrow to the list. (Matt 6:34)

2 Corinthians 12:10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

-5 Managing Doubt: The church often points to doubting Thomas. Thomas was ready to die as long as he was with Jesus (John 11:16) He didn't seem fearful of that. He actually saw Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead, so he did not doubt the power of Jesus either - and probably not the possibility of the resurrection. What Lazarus doubted was that Jesus could do the same from Heaven, and he could do on earth.

Martha had it right.

John 11:27 Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.

-5 1/2 God is In Control, or He's not...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Parable of the Internet Explained - GodlySheep.com - Guest Blog

Today I am the guest blogger at Brett Barner's Godly Sheep. He is a hi-tech Christian with a sense of humor! Don't just read my post today, but be sure to visit Brett, you'll get a kick out his Monday Morning High 5 - I sure do.

The Parable of the Internet Explained

In beginning Al Gore [Judas] created the Internet [the Heavenly Realms]. It was 1969, and it took 4 host computers to make "Hello World" appear on the monitor screen [oracle of God]. At the time, a partnership with the world seem like a good thing....

Read more...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Political Tuesdays: Witchcraft and uh... That

Delaware Republican Senatorial nominee Christine O'Donnell is a political powder keg waiting for the fuse to ignite it. Even for me, one who often avoids the media side-shows for thoughtful political dialog - this is a opportunity of a lifetime.

I have been hoping to write about a couple of important topics before the elections next month, but I cannot pass up and opportunity to write about Christianity, masturbation and witchcraft!

I have to laugh as I watch ABC's George Stephanopoulos try to keep a serious tone as he plays the MTV clip of O'Donnell talking about the sin of masturbation. I can't even imagine how much Bill Maher is enjoying himself with what he thinks in a right-wing Christian lunatic. Let's face it, even Carl Rove is running gun-shy over the TEA Party's favored DE candidate for Senate.

CBS News says the vibrant senatorial candidate is a clearly a criminal for the way she used $20,000 in campaign funds, [allegedly] for personal use.

All I can say is look, in a world that also includes Bill Clinton and Charlie Rangal, there is nothing new under that sun.

Regardless of what side you are on, no one is immune from greed, selfcenteredness and moral failure.

So why do we vote for certain candidates anyway? Because they are Christians, because they are conservatives, because they like ponies - what?

Before I tell you what I really think of Christine O'Donnell, let's take a look at what the TEA Party represents on the basis of issues, and their merit.

The name is an acronym for Taxed Enough Already. It started as a grass roots alternative to big spending Republicans (and continued by the Democrats) who fed the national debt machine. For anyone who has ever labored under heavy debt, trillions in funds spent backed by thin air is a real concern.

My friend says that most folks tend to feel they are taxed more than they really are. Hey, I read my check stub, it's a lot, it's a real lot. It is hard to see what comes out in terms of sales and property taxes in addition to what I am seeing to Uncle Sam. He also says that I am getting all these services, roads, national security and that wort of stuff. Yeah, I pay $2.50 per day to go to work on the Mass Pike each day, I pay oceans in gasoline tax every year and I am sure I forgot something.

I have another friend that says he'd gladly give up 50% of his income if he got guaranteed health-care, and retirement benefits at age 62. He's 57, and like most older Americans, health and retirement are looming costs on his horizon. As a pot-smoking 22-year-old, I doubt he would have said that.

That said, the TEA party gets all sorts of retarded media coverage, not because of what they stand for, but what they stand against. Funny how the media is all over O'Donnell for falling behind in her taxes, her mortgage and her student loans. Why don't they send her a bailout? I'm just saying. And honestly is laughable when you see how many of Obama's cabinet; Giethner, Sibelius, Daschle to name a few are/were not behind in their income taxes, they just didn't pay them. Double standards are dangerous.

Getting past all the character noise, and media spin - and a Senate that includes Al Franken, what is Miss O'Donnell's platform, and is it viable, and why have folks put nearly $2 million into her campaign fund?

She proclaims the following political positions:

- Believes jobs are created by tax cuts to business, and should be in the private sector.
- Believes in strong national security.
- Believes that the national debt and spending is out of control.
- Believes the sanctity of life, even for the unborn.
- She supports a market based approach to solving energy problems
- Supports the repeal of Obamacare
- Is supporter of the 2nd Amendment

I don't agree with her on energy, and I doubt we'll repeal Obamacare- but hopefully we can amend it so that it is more useful to the consumers, and less profitable for healthcare unions and insurance companies.

So what do you think, would it be better to have a tax-and-spend Democrat Chris Coons (and did she ever make the tax-and-spend Republican mad!) in there, or would you take a chance on Christine O'Donnell? After all the Senate seats, regardless of what state they are from, are very powerful and will affect you.

I still haven't decided.

Monday, September 20, 2010

5 1/2 Reasons to Go On a Retreat - Or Make Excuses to Hang out at the Beach

I just returned from the Fall men's retreat. We went to a beautiful summer home on the water facing Buzzard's Bay (North Atlantic).

I have been on men's retreats on and off over the years. It's usually church to the 4th power. You arrive on Friday, and there is an evening meeting. Saturday you get 2 more meetings and Sunday you get another one in place of regular church. Some of the guys go for a walk, others play a little golf, and the rest play cards Saturday afternoon. And the food, there is plenty of that. The whole thing can be exhausting - and you end up sleeping with someone that snores loud enough to set off the tsunami "early warning alarms" in the  South Pacific.

And then there are men being men - it's not a pretty sight. I wonder how some of them ever got married!?!

This one was different. First, I didn't know anyone - new church, new faces, bad with names - a losing combination, I thought.

Well, I liked it - the weather was perfect, and God was afoot. Here are a few reason you might want to go to your men's retreat if you get a chance (or start one if you don't).

-1 Beer: This one had beer, oh and wine. I don't drink, but some of the guys seemed to have a great time without getting stupid. As an alcoholic; sober for a long time, I find that miraculous.

-2 Lobster: There is nothing like North Atlantic Lobster - well, maybe Wellfleet Oysters. I love seafood, and the bounty of the sea is a real spiritual treat - especially when you sit at a table with a bunch of guys you don't know.


-3 Games: These guys should have their own game show! This retreat could have passed for an episode of Wide World of Sports with Howard Cosell. At any one time there was a game of Baggo, a game of Rook (Pentecostal Poker) or Ticket to Ride going on. I've never played any of them - but I am getting pretty good at Rook. It's interesting what happens when there is no TV or Internet. And other than a few "check in with the wife" calls, there were no cell phones.


-4 Fishing: If I didn't have bad luck, I wouldn't have any at all. For the others, however; that was a different story. The Blue Fish and Stripped Bass were hitting, and hitting hard. The pastor caught over 120 lbs of "stripers" in about an hour Sunday morning - yeah 5 over 20lbs each. And no, they weren't a sermon illustration.


-5 Devotions: One of the guys did devotions; there were just two. One was about the overflowing "cup." The other about taking a Sabbath - you know, not being a 9 commandment Christian. He read about how Jesus hung out with Peter and his mother - just hung out, loving, eating and drinking. Who knows, maybe even Jesus play Rook?


-5 1/2 Free time to hang out...


Let me interpret "free time" because what happened during that, was the most amazing. In the midst of conversation or a walk along the beach, we got to know each other. One shared the heartache of an affair. Another shared his fear over a health condition. One of the guys was looking for work, and his friend was suffering from severe kidney failure. People have trouble, and it was a pleasure to stop and pray for them. One was healed, and we are waiting on doctors reports for a couple of others. Some of the guys cried, others laughed for the first time in a long time... that's why we need a Sabbath - a time to hang out.

How about you, do you take a day each week to hang out, and enjoy Jesus and his children? It's a quite a family you know.

Friday, September 17, 2010

5 1/2 What I Like About Church

Isn't it amazing what people focus on? I was thinking about the different church movements, or whatever you call them: Hipster, Emergent, Relevant, Authentic, Charismatic blah blah blah. I don't think these terms aquatically express what is important to me as a believer.

Does it really matter whether we meet in a home, or in a mega-church building in an Industrial Park? Does it matter if we use beanbags for pews? What are the basics of a persons faith? Reading the Bible, prayer, and going to church?

What is important to a Christians anyway? Here are my top 5 1/2

-1 The Presence of God: I remember the first few times I felt the manifest presence of the Almighty. The day I went from darkness to light.  There was time I sat in the sanctuary with the candle; symbolic of His presence, at it lit the host on the altar. Amazing. My wife and I went to a church in East Boston and sat in his presence for a few hours - just beautiful. When I was in Brazil, I was at a Presbyterian church, an the presence of God was so profound it was hard to stand up.

-2 Prayer: I am not talking about the tossing thoughts up in the air type of thing, but the knowing you are in communion with God, and knowing what to pray, and waiting to hear his response. It is more than faith - I actually find that rather easy - but a "knowingness" as I ask for things, and ask Him to reveal things. I don't know about you, but I can't just pray, I need to have a 2-way conversation. For me, there is nothing worse than feeling like  am tossing prayers into thin air.

-3 Spiritual Gifts: I love to watch the Lord in action. I like the gifts that I have, and I love to be with others that do not have my gifts - being a body is great! I am always astounded by healing, casting out of demons, prophecy and the like. I just don't know how Christians can go to church week-after-week and not really experience God. It seems so boring, uninviting and religious. The gifts are God's expression of love to us, and our use of them is the expression of love to others.

-4 Musical Worship: I love to tell Jesus how much I love Him! I think praise and worship - singing out to God is such a wonderful privilege. I have done it for many years in many different styles - but it's the same God.

-5 Communion: There is something deep and meaningful in remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus.

-5 1/2 Fellowship, but nobody seems to have time for that.

What is important to you in your walk with Christ?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Here's Your Opportunity to Witness, What Would You Say?

I have a online friend, I'll call him Marshall for the sake of anonymity. He has been struggling with this whole "God" thing. My suspicion is that he has had some bad religious experiences. I'd like to say get over yourself and join the club, but how would that change his mind and heart?

It is pretty common in pop-culture to believe in god, but deny the whole Christian/Jesus Christ thing. And honestly, I wish it was that easy - just believe in God. I remember when I cane to believe in God, I didn't know who it was, I just knew I was different. I remember singing Amazing Grace and I couldn't hold back the tears. I honestly don't know what happens when the human spirit is infused with the Spirit of God. The Bible uses terms like "seal of the Spirit," and "hearts filled with joy"; stuff like that. None of them explain what regeneration really is... oh and what it feels like.

If you go to an evangelical church, you might hear "testimonies" of how folks came to Jesus. It's a very personal path. I read some very compelling books in my early Christian years. One of my favorites is The God Smuggler by Brother Andrew. If you like testimonies, HERE are some that I found online.

My friend, however; is concerned that he would somehow have to become "bad enough" to truly find God. He feels that he is a pretty good person, and the fact that he is not in jail testifies to that fact. I was different, I had a lot of trouble in life, and when the time for Jesus came, I had exhausted all other options.

Jesus, now he was pretty cool. He hung out with sinners - one guy was a religious politician names Nicodemus. Judas, he was thief who stole a couple of grand. If they had income taxes back then, he probably would have cheated on them too. Then there was the woman at the well, all she did was get married 5 times and move in with her boyfriend. The woman taken in adultery, she slept with some religious politician. Zacchaeus, now he was a corrupt tax collector skimming a little for himself - and so was the Apostle Matthew. The others were fisherman; probably reciting limericks about the "man from Nantucket", as they cast their nets. Oh and the list gets worse, Mary Magdalene was a hooker someone said.

Did you notice the folks that Jesus was the most angry with the religious folks of his day?

Personally, I am tried of religion - and I recently wrote a blog with some reasons why you would not want to be called a Christian. I wonder if it would be easier for my friend to see the real Jesus, if there wasn't so much stupid religion around; leading others astray?

I think about the handful I folks that I have led to the Lord. Some times, those folks were witness to something amazing that God was doing. One had just seen demons cast out by the team I was on in Brazil. Another, God healed her back from an injury she sustained in a car wreck. There was an ice cream vendor in Brasilia City Square - I just traded him a few Reis for the opportunity to pray for him.

One of my favorites was at a young adults group that I did. The host parents had a foster child for a few days. The kids went around the room and shared how they knew God was real. They struggled for words to express spiritual things... finally one of the kids said this: "I know that God is real because I didn't care about life really. Then one day I felt loved." I looked across that room, and the foster child was in tears. She received Jesus right there - and the then power of God came into the room. She fell fro the chair to the floor and wept for a long time.

I don't know what to tell Marshall, should he go to a meeting, pray, read the Bible - what should he do? If I could afford to go there, I'd leave right now.

Here's your chance Christians, here is a guy who is interested in God. He'll be reading be reading this, so don't get all religious, but tell him what you think God would want him to hear.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

6-Years-Olds Have a Different View of Life

We took my wife out to dinner for her birthday, and the conversation was fun. Here is a snapshot.

6-year-old: Mom, when you were pregnant, how many babies did you have?

My wife: Just one, Honey, you.

6-year-old: Did you sell some?

I really think that she spends too much time at the barn and around animals...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You Can't Fix Stupid, but You Can Vote it Out!

It's Primary Day here in Massachusetts. On the coattails of Scott Brown's overthrow of the Kennedy Monarchy, there are, in fact; Republicans running in every Congressional District! It wasn't' long ago that many Democrats and few Independents ran unopposed as Bay Stater's were lulled to sleep by government over indulgence and the housing bubble.

I am NOT a Republican, I am NOT a TEA Party advocate and I am NOT a conservative, but I do like to see a good political race. I don't think my friends in either party find me very predictable.

I have changed my voting strategy in the last decade. As a Christian, it used to be important to me if someone was part of the fray. It's a little shallow, I know. As I look back, I still would have supported G. W. Bush, but much more because Al Gore and John Kerry fall way short of my religious and political ideals - and they still do.

Let me add, I thought there were better choices in the presidential primary last time around. I voted to Mitt Romney. I actually felt he better represented traditional Christian values better than Mike Huckabee - and I can't think of a better person to have solved the economic woes of the USA. I mean, the Omnibus Stimulus Package was a pay-off to unions and campaign supporters, while it bloated government payrolls.

Trust me, I would have been thrilled if McCain or Huck had made it to the Oval Office now that we've seen the real deal.

So, what's my new strategy?

-1 Issues, issues, issues! I don't care about parties, religious affiliations (Though I do think Obama should get a home church, or a home mosque and settle his allegiance or shut up about faith altogether.), gender, sexual orientation or much else. As a Christian, some things are important to me. I am pro-life, and I can't find any biblical loop-holes for being pro-abortion. There are none. I am pro-capitalism and free-markets, yet I do think that we need some oversight. But no one will ever legislate greed out of the equation. I am pro-green to the point of passing up any fossil fuel usage.

-2 Likely Winners: I am way past voting for my favorite candidates. I want someone that will represent me and my fellows in the Commonwealth as closely as possible to my religious and political views, and still get elected! It now becomes a strategy - sure, it sounds like voting for the lesser of two evils. But Regan and Kennedy are dead, it's time to be realistic.

-3 Stumping: Though Scott Brown would not have been a favorite, I got behind him and did some digital stumping, blogging, Facebooking, and Tweeting on his behalf. It worked. I voted against Ted Kennedy every time I ever voted for Senator. I got a bumper sticker and a McCain/Palin yard sign. Might as wellbe vocal about what we believe - and I am happy to take on my detractors.

Education: It is hard to keep up with all the candidates in the smaller elections. In our state, the state site is misleading, and unfair to all the running candidates. There isn't even a list of names for who is running! http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleidx.htm and the site is 4 years out of date! htttp://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elecand/candidx.htm

Unless you do a lot of work, or meet these folks at all the Labor Day weekend festivals, you don't have a chance of getting educated. The media, already slanted left, will not even give coverage to candidates they don't see fit; or those they see as a threat. (In the governor's race, also coming up in November, all the candidates are not invited to a number of scheduled debates. I wish that I had time to hear from all of them. Unfortunately, I have to rely on the ISSUES tab on their web sites, including the polish and spin - that is if you can even find a list of who's running without a 1/2 hour on Google.

Prayer: I believe that God only has one will, and one choice for each office. Period. I also believe that God is able to use non-Christians as well as Christians. Jesus is about destiny, and I do NOT believe that one can vote for one side and one for the other. God only has one choice, and it is up to believers to get it right. God does not debate these issues. He has a voice, and you are responsible for hearing it.

I also find it interesting that 63% of the folks in MA, where unemployment is still under 10%, believe the economy is the most important issue facing the state. 24% think the war in Afghanistan is the most important issue facing the state, while the rest feel it is the environment.

I saw a focus group of Christians that voted for Obama, 44% felt they made the wrong choice. I'm just sayin', I don't think we can afford anymore voters remorse, the stakes are too high for us, and for our kids.

Tomorrow I am supporting Tom Tierney (R) http://www.tomtierney.org/ in my district because our current, spineless, Washington insider, was against Obamacare and voted for it anyway. Ed Markey was on the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming that allowed the cozy relationship with BP to perpetuate; and bears some culpability in the Gulf oil spill. There is another Republican, but it looks a lot like business as usual to me

On my radar are folks that will energize the private sector to create jobs, not continue to send them overseas. It currently cost the US taxpayer $160,000 for each new job created under the Stimulus package.

And if I lived in the 4th district Barney Frank (D), I'd vote for the Independant, but I hope someone is making bumperstickers that says "Anyone but Barney Frank."

See you next Tuesday, for more politics.

For those who are voting today, here are the competitors for the Congressional races.

Delaware - Primary Election

District of Columbia - Primary Election

Maryland - Primary Election

Massachusetts - Primary Election

New Hampshire - Primary Election

New York - Primary Election

Rhode Island - Primary Election

Wisconsin - Primary Election

Monday, September 13, 2010

Nose Hairs, Armpits and Kneecaps, Which One Are You?

Can you answer this question: do you fit into the body of Christ, and feel as if God is using you? It is not two questions, but one. If you fit in the body of Christ, He will be using you. If you are not being used , and you are attending church, there is a problem. If God is only using you outside the church, there is also a problem.


1 Cor 12:12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.

The body is not made up of believers (saints) all having the same sort of gifting, anymore than a body is made up of folks that all have the same personality traits.

In the body of Christ, there are two classes of gifts.

1 Cor 12:5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

Most church folks are tuned into service, but when it comes to the "kinds of working", some folks get a little widgy for no reason. Let me ask, you this: are you just serving, or are you being used in the kinds working type of Holy Spirit ministry?

The spiritual gifts, whether those of service, or those of supernatural working, are God's gift to the body of Christ, not to you personally. If you love others, they will become part of your personal ministry; one which we all have. The spiritual gifts are given to you to steward - and like a muscle, they will atrophy, or burgeon, depending on how you use them. 

2 Timothy 1:6 Stir up the gift within you.

If you have primarily been serving the church in works of service, I challenge you to desire one or more of the supernatural gifts.

1 Cor 14:1Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts.

I have written about the spiritual gifts many times. They are essential for the Kingdom of God to flourish here on earth, even before the return of Jesus.

Here are some older blogs.

1 Corinthians 12 - The 12 Spiritual gifts with biblical references.

Ephesians 4:11 - The 5-Fold ministry, or Ascension Gifts in 7 Parts.

How about you, do you serve in church using supernatural gifts, or just natural gifts? Are you happy with that? If you could have one more gift, what would it be?

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Parable of the Internet Explained

In the beginning Al Gore [Judas] created the Internet [the Heavenly Realms]. It was 1969, and it took 4 host computers to make "Hello World" appear on the monitor screen [oracle of God]. At the time, a partnership with the world seemed like a good thing.


Though no one owns the Internet [heavenly realms], it is governed by The Internet Society [denominational authorities]. The Internet, mostly unseen - virtual - is very real. The fact that millions of computers; all connected to form a huge network [religion] accessed by billions of faithful users [believers], trading packets of information [prayers of the people], is a miracle!


The World Wide Web [Christianity] is only one way to use the Internet, and it's quite useful for the average citizen [parishioner]. The users [saints] know that the "Web" can help us perform many types of "computer tasks" including: shopping, banking, research, entertainment, and social networking [church programs].
Domain names (Dot COMs) on the web are managed by InterNIC [church secretary], and overseen by ICANN [Pharisees].


There a three basic groups of users on the Internet, Windows [Liturgical], Apple [Evangelical], and Linux/UNIX [Fundamentalists/Cults].


Our personal computers and cellular devices are connected to a network; via either a WAN (Wide Area Network) [church] or a LAN (Local Area Network) [home-group]. While we are "on" the Internet [attending church] our computer is given an IP Address which is unique to our PC [offering envelopes]. From our keyboard or mouse, we will send information requests to a switch on the network [board meeting]. Everything we send through the switch is routed by a router [leadership team].


Once the router has decided where our request should go, it is sent out over the backbone [statement of faith] and received via the router and switches of the specified host [sometimes heavenly, and other times demonic]. That host will decide what requests will be handled, and what information, if any [error 404], should be returned to your specific IP address via the backbone, and displayed on your web browser.


Without some backbone(s) the Internet could not exist.


There are different types of software we can use on the Internet [tongues and interpretations]. These "apps" are developed by software manufacturers; most notably Microsoft [Satan] and Apple [God]. As we race into the new age of wireless computing via handheld devices other big names have emerged [Rob Bell, Mark Driscoll]. At the forefront are Google's Android and the Apple iPhone [archangels].


Software developers [apostles] use various programming languages [bible translations] to code the applications and utilities you use every day. Software development; turning caffeine into code, is a noble art - and open to interpretation. Software geeks use two methods of coding: Object Oriented Programming (OOPS) [Arminianism] and Scripting [Calvinism].


There are three very popular languages for developing applications: C++ [King James], Java [New International Version] and C# [Good News Bible].


All of that determines what will appear on your web browser or mobile app. The most popular web browsers are: Internet Explorer [Cain], Firefox [Able] and Chrome [Moses].


The history of the Internet is varied, however; it has survived more than a few changes: ICQ, AIM, MySpace, eBay, Google Earth, Twitter and Facebook [famous preachers].


The interaction between you, your PC, the software, and a huge network of servers, switches and routers is in fact, an amazing feat [religious experience], don't you think?

5 1/2 Jesus Plays Monoply - Ancient Board Games

Ever since I was a kid, I liked to play games. Matchbox cars, catch, hockey, cowboys and indians, cops and robbers, but board games such as Clue, Checkers, Parchisi, and Monopoly; those were some of my favorites. The video world seems to have taken over, and kids are a lot less imaginative then they once were, but they still like to play games.

I was thinking about the disciples and Jesus. They hung out a lot. It seems like it was so serious all the time. All that preaching, healing, casting out demons, the Pharisees creating tense moments, and Jesus sort of letting them experience life long enough to teach them a lesson. I was thinking, what if some of pop cultures best sellers were available to the King of Kings, it might have lightened things up, don't you think?

-1 Monopoly: Count out your play Minas, Talents and Denarii and drop a couple of hundred under Free Chariot Parking. Set aside the plastic houses and stables, and choose a game token: the donkey, the chariot, the fishing boat, the sword, the goat or the sheep and place them on GO. Take a Chance or Community Chest card, and see where you land.

-2 Clue: The classic who dunnit game. Bible characters: Cain, David, Moses, Paul, Jezebel and Judith are the usual suspects. Their weapons are crude but deadly: axe, spear, rope, quiver and bow, and the sword.

-3 Scrabble: Complete with a Greek/Hebrew Lexicon and congrated verb dictionary.

-4 Trivial Persuit - the B. C. Version: This would have been quite something. Limited, but surly better than sun dial reading.

People & Places - it probably would have read like an Old Testament who's who and not a lot of fun - well unless they used the names of the temple prostitutes that Jesus wrote on the ground when the woman was caught in adultry.

Arts & Entertainment - Cave drawings, and the names of the crucified... maybe stupid things Peter did.

History - another limited category

Science & Nature - What's that?

Sports & Leisure - The Olympics and fishing

Wild Card - Amazing Stuff Jesus did...

-5 Chutes and Ladders: There is only two places this is going - especailly if it s the evangelical version.

-5 1/2 Casting Lots


How about you, do you have a favorite game you play with Jesus?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

5 1/2 Ways to Receive Hate Mail and Upset Religious Folks

I have been thinking about what's important in church. I read the preface to a book where the writer gave a warning about his seemingly unorthodox approach to church ministry. I am a sort of unortohdox guy, so I kept reading.

There are things that seem to upset religious church folks, and the following is a list that could easily cause an uproar in the average congregation.

-1 Bring a tattoed and pierced teenager to the service. Church folks can get pretty confortable with the status quo. I used to bother me when a drunk alcholic would come to an AA meeting and disrupt it -n like they shouldn't be there for some reason?!. I guess some times it's easy to forget that we are there for every human that is seeking God. He loves them in the package they come in. Maybe we would grow more if more folks that were not like us showed up every Sunday?

-2 Start giving a tongue, or a prophesy, or offer a word that is on your heart at the service. It's so easy to be a spectator in church, yet God calls all of us to be ministers, what if we came ready to offer something each week during the service?

-3 Give money away instead of putting it in the basket. Wouldn't it be cool if we could just show up and try to meet the needs of someone that God shoewd us each week, instead of feeling obligated to put money in the basket or offering box?

-4 Tell someone that you don't believe being a homosexual is a sin. Isn't interesting that we treat different sinners differently? We let alcoholics, pedophiles and pornography addicts come to our churches without requiring them to change into something else. When will recognize that what were are is not a sin, and that it is what we do that is sin? We don't require alcoholics to become social drinkers, so why do we require homosexuals to become straight? Can't we just let Jesus deal with their sin the same way we have let Him deal with our sin? Does it matter if it is drunkenness, fornication or lying? Our job is to preach the Gospel and to disciple those that have made a decision for Christ, not try to change them into something they may not be.

-5 When someone suggests that you get together for coffee, lunch or dinner, ask the for a date and time. It's high time that we hold folks accountable for making invitations they are too busy, or too uncaring to keep. Pull out your Day-timer or Blackberry and set a time.

-5 1/2 Tell some one in church that you really don't like; that not only does Jesus loves them, but you do to... then ask their forgiveness for being such a dolt.


How about you, what is difficult for you in church?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Political Tuesdays - Economic Recovery, Who's to Blame?

Whose fault is the sagging economy? George Bush, President Obama, Wall Street, or someone else? As we head into election season, it seems certain that many Democrats will get blamed for the sputtering economy. The question: Is it really their fault?

As an uneducated American, I suppose I represent "the" average citizen. Outside of the biased headlines, the experts on both sides of the aisle, and partisan politics, how could anyone figure out how we really get into this recession?

I have a few thoughts - hey, isn't that why you read my blog?

Gas Prices:
I don't think that anyone would disagree that the financial fireworks came in June of 2008 when gas prices topped $4 per gallon (SOURCE: Reuters). Certainly cutbacks in the labor force had already been taking place. G. W. Bush provided tax rebates which came a little too late, and in the face of skyrocketing fuel prices, were ineffective.

Fuel prices continue to be a contributing factor as recovery seems nearly stalled, while the national debt and the weak US dollar are not helping. There is an opposing view HERE.


The crudest explanation is that the price of gas is following the price of oil upward. Oil, like all commodities, has been rising, pushed higher by increased demand and a weak U.S. dollar.
(SOURCE: Washington Post)


But who is really to blame? I put the largest portion of the blame squarely on the US housing market, along with a very loose credit market. A lot of folks would like to blame Wall Street outright, however the inflated housing market has its roots much deeper than that. Wall Street simply responded to the demand - and you can't regulate greed. Lots of hard-working Americans with stable job situations got mortgages commensurate with their ability to pay.

Wall Street:
"Over the past few months, we have become increasingly concerned that the US housing and credit market downturn would trigger not just a growth slowdown and substantial Fed easing -- our long-standing view -- but also an outright recession," Goldman Sachs said in a note to clients Wednesday. (SOURCE: CNBC) 

That was the headline as we stood on the precipice of collapse. I think it goes back much further. Let's turn the time machine back to September of 1999.

Housing:
Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits. SOURCE: New York Times

The idea, that in a time of relative fiscal abundance, that we should let our guard down to make the American Dream more inclusive - more available, was the beginning of the end. My Democratic detractors will point to the Clinton surplus in the budget without mentioning the the dismantling of the Regan military machine, which was; for the most part, responsible for the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Politicians:
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both quasi-government agencies, became the "government guarantee" for mortgages and also paid out handsome dividends to investors. A very nice way of funneling tax funds to a "for profit" entity. Eventually "mortgage backed" securities, which relied on them failed, and Wall Street took the blame for plummeting investments. Honestly, who needs to be regulated, Wall Street or the Federal Government? For fun, let's take a look at who Fannie and Freddie support politically. Here's the top 12.

Dodd, Christopher J - Senate  CT Democrat $165,400
Obama, Barack - Senate  IL Democrat $126,349
Kerry, John - Senate  MA Democrat $111,000
Bennett, Robert F - Senate  UT Republican $107,999
Bachus, Spence - Republican House AL Republican $103,300
Blunt, Roy - House MO Republican $96,950
Kanjorski, Paul E - House PA Democrat $96,000
Bond, Christopher S 'Kit' - Senate  MO Republican $95,400
Shelby, Richard C - Senate  AL Republican $80,000
Reed, Jack - Senate  RI Democrat $78,250
Reid, Harry - Senate  NV Democrat $77,000
Clinton, Hillary - Senate  NY Democrat $76,050

SOURCE: Open Secrets

To top off the government's insatiable appetite for deficit spending, Barny Frank (D-MA) has decided that instead of fixing the problem, we'll just over look it. Why not get rid of the problem and create a new agency that he and his party can claim political and financial success for while abandoning the one that will hurt their November campaigns?

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank is calling for the abolition of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored enterprises with a public mandate to boost home ownership, and which were taken into conservatorship during the 2008 financial crisis. (SOURCE: TPM)

George Bush:
Well, if you still want to blame George Bush, who certainly played a part by allowing this charade to go on, you are in the majority.

Former President George W. Bush gets more blame for the country’s economic troubles than his successor or the Democrats who control Congress, according to a Harris poll out Wednesday. SOURCE: Politico

Talk about uneducated!


All in all, it's looking bad for both the Democrats and even some of the Republican cronies in November. I hope that you'll consider voting for folks that can turn this around!

In the final analysis, this economic recession was years in the making. Quick political fixes for financial and political gain are at the root of the current recession; which has cost million of US jobs, and trillions of dollars in debt.

So, you don't believe David Johndrow? HERE are 15 reasons for the melt down given by the experts - but this time, I just happen to think I am right.

What do you say? Who's fault is it, and who is the best person to fix it? And please, spare me the name calling and partisan bigotry - I am looking for solutions.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

5 1/2 Things I Like About Hurricanes - Wussicane Earl

Well, we survived Hurricane err... Tropical Storm Earl. He was sort of a wuss compared to his grandparents Bob '91 (Cape Cod, MA) and Gloria '85 (CT).

I have lived in New England all my life; most of it on the coast. We have some pretty severe weather from time-to-time. I survived a tornado or two in Connecticut. We have Nor' Easters that pound the coastline and drop huge amounts of rain and/or snow - one nearly wiped out the Bush family home in Maine during the Nor' Easter of October 1991 with hurricane force winds and 39 foot waves.

I survived the Blizzard of '78 where we had snow drifts that completely covered every car in the driveway and rose 6 or more feet about the ridge of the roof on the house! Sometimes winter storms don't get much credit, but we had 42" of snow in 32 hours back a few years ago.Massachusetts/Rhode Island recently had torrential rains that flooded malls and washed out all sorts of bridges. Hey we even had an earthquake in Boston a few months ago.

I have to admit, as dangerous as hurricanes are, and even with the damage they can cause, I really like them - here's why.

-1 WIND, WIND and more WIND! I like to get right outside and experience the high winds. It's an amazing experience as the winds whip around faster then the speed limit on the interstate highway. The best experience is out at the beach... but I wonder where the sea gulls go?

-2 Giant Waves! The day after a hurricane the waves can be taller than a 3 story house. The magnificent surf simply leaves me standing in awe of the raw power of the ocean, and our Creator.


Matthew 8:27 The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"


-3 Power Outage: It's a good reminder of how much we depend on electric current to run our lives. I sort like the eerie quiet and the smell of candles.

-4 Rain: There is nothing more spectacular then to see "horizontal" rain blasting by at over a 100 miles per hour. It has such a distinctive sound.

-5 The Eyewall: One of the most spectacular things about a hurricane is the eye. The sky suddenly changes from the ominous blackness and driving winds, to a beautiful calm with a blue cloudless sky. As it passes overhead the "eyewall" is like looking up from the bottom of a giant empty milk glass - the wall of clouds extending into the heavens.


-5 1/2 Pop-Tarts (the largest selling item at Wal*Mart before any major storm.) ...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Are You Thirsty?

This month my follow blogger; Matt Appling at The Church of No People, is raising money for water - he drinks a lot! He also might make you laugh - so head on over there and support his water project, read his blog, blow a couple of bucks and feel good about yourself.

A few facts about water:

- The number of toilets in the U.S. is between 300 and 350 million.
- An average person uses about 123 gallons (466 liters) of water daily.
- Roughly 70 percent of an adult’s body is made up of water.
- Drinking too much water too quickly can lead to water intoxication. Water intoxication occurs when water dilutes the sodium level in the bloodstream and causes an imbalance of water in the brain.
- Pure water (solely hydrogen and oxygen atoms) has a neutral pH of 7, which is neither acidic nor basic.
- Of all the water on the earth, humans can used only about three tenths of a percent of this water. Such usable water is found in groundwater aquifers, rivers, and freshwater lakes.
- Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease.
- In just one day, more than 200 million hours of women’s time is consumed for the most basic of human needs — collecting water for domestic use.
- Beer is about 97% water.

Now stop reading and get out your check book! HERE

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

5 1/2 Things I Wish I Didn't Know So Much About

Have you ever had grandiose expectations regarding an some event that was supposed to amazing? Some life experiences people talk about with such fondness, you are certain that you are just going to love it too - but it is not the case. Or worse, have you been thrust into an event you didn't sign up for? I am always amazed at how folks brag about how they weren't scared once they've had a chance to change their pants.

Here are a few things I wish I knew a little less about!

-1 The Birth of a Child: I don't care what you think this is supposed too look like, or what type of film you saw in health education; when it's your kid, things are different. It is common for couples to say "we're" pregnant. If that is the case, then we should both receive an epidural. It seems folks tend to forget the ugly part. If you have a healhty baby, it makes it so much easier to be "fond" of this experience.

Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.

-2 Car Accidents: It's best if you just get hit from behind. If you see it coming, not only does it make your navel pucker, it is not a blessing at all. I suppose, if you see it coming, you might have time for a short prayer, which; may not be as effective as required - but go ahead and ask anyway. And why do they make you get out in the middle of traffic to trade papers where ther is often no a bathroom around? Tow-trucks should have porta-potties. We can GPS anyone on he planet (well not Osama Bin Laden), find me and I'll give you my insurance info.

My friend had an accident and the air-bags broke both his thumbs. He had to have the female traffic cop get his wallet out of his front pocket.

John 12:49 For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me.

-3 Politics: If you are like me, you spend a lot time, hoping, praying and trying to convince your stupid friends that Jesus was a radical, not a liberal. And then, possibly you lose the debate. It's worse than a car accident.

Now Jesus was never in front of a King during his ministry on earth. He didn't cozy up with the Jews nor the Romans. John the Baptist, however; was beheaded by King Herod even though the King feared him. (Matt 6:14-29)

Politics and religion don't mix too well, but it doesn't mean that we should stop participating in the process!

Haggai 2:22 I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms.

-4 Courtrooms: It's nothing like TV. Skip it if you think that you'll somehow get things to work out. Plan on getting half of the half that you thought you were going to get.


Proverbs 25:7 it is better for him to say to you, "Come up here," than for him to humiliate you before a nobleman. What you have seen with your eyes 8 do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame?

-5 Moving: Here are a few tips for moving.
- Sell as much as possible on Craigslist and give away that rest!
- If you happen to have stuff that you really need to keep, put it in plastic storage tubs.
- If everyone does this, you just need to bring your clothes and a toothbrush. It will be more like taking a vacation.
If you need more help, HERE is a blog I like with more of my wisdom in the comments.

Genesis 33:14 So let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly.

-5 1/2 Sin...


How about you, have you experienced something that was supposed to be great, and it wasn't or ended up in a situation that you would have skipped if it were possible?
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