Sunday, April 22, 2007

It's not your Fathers America

Daylight again, following me to bed
I think about a hundred years ago, how my fathers bled
I think I see a valley, covered with bones in blue
All the brave soldiers that cannot get older been askin' after you
Hear the past a callin', from Ar- -megeddon's side
When everyone's talkin' and noone is listenin', how can we decide?

(Do we) find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground

Mother earth will swallow you, lay your body down
Find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground
Mother earth will swallow you, lay your body down
(Find the cost of freedom buried in the ground)
-- "Find the Cost of Freedom", Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
I have been around this world long enough to remember a lot of privileges or freedoms that have gone away in the name protection. For example:
  • I remember going to the local airport and watching the planes. Watching the passengers board and de-plane, watching the planes take off and land. Not from a concourse but from an overlook with emergency stairs to the tarmac.
  • I remember cars without seat belts and no requirement to buckle-up.
  • I remember when the voting age was dropped from 21 to 18 because "if you were old enough to "die for your country" you were old enough to vote.
  • I remember when the drinking age was 18 or 19 country wide for the same reason.
What happened? Hijackings, deaths due to no seatbelts, drunk driving deaths. Are these "good enough reasons"?

This week we were saddened by the deaths at Virginia Tech. What more evidence of a broken world do we need?

In a conversation with a friend this week, the conversation changed to "we need to do something to protect these students" came up. After listening to the argument, I asked, "At what cost to freedom?". My ancestors for 3 or 4 generations have served in the military to guarantee freedom for themselves and their children as well as to fight injustice.

Looking at the changes to freedoms over the last 40 years or so, each one, taken individually is a "good thing". Taken as a group, however, I wonder.

I wonder if we, as citizens, have lost common sense, self-control and the power of observation. A case in point was the McDonalds Coffee burn lawsuit which netted the woman quite a bit of money for doing somethin my mother would have told me not to do. The result is not, of course a loss of freedom but all these crazy warning labels that, for the most part, are ignored because many people do have common sense.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Observations on Joshua - Taking Sides

If you would like an intro and haven't read my previous "observation" you can go back and read it here.

At the end of Joshua 5, the people have successfully entered the land they were promised and are poised to take Jerhico. Joshua is out doing something (the text doesn't really say what) at the end of chapter 5. verse 13-15 and we read (New Living Translation):

When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?”

“Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord’s army.”

At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?”

The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did as he was told.

Here is Joshua and Israel about ready to follow orders that are strange, marching around a city to conquer it, and we find out that God's army is not on Israel's side but on Gods.

Why did that catch my attention? Because way too often we find a righteous cause and assume that because it is what we think God would approve of (or even has told us to do) that he is on our side.

The choice as I see it is not whether God is on our side but are we on Gods?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Observations on Joshua

Yes, I do mean the 6th book of the Bible.

The Daily Audio Bible has now finished Genesis through Deuteronomy. As I have been listening to Joshua I have had a couple of "ah-ha" moments.

Let me set the stage. The people of Israel have been wandering around the wilderness for 40 years while the generation that left Egypt have all died off. Moses has just died and Joshua took over and has asked the people for their loyalty. Joshua 1:16-18 (NLT) says:
They answered Joshua, “We will do whatever you command us, and we will go wherever you send us. We will obey you just as we obeyed Moses. And may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. Anyone who rebels against your orders and does not obey your words and everything you command will be put to death. So be strong and courageous!”
At Northern Hills, we have recently finished a series on "Heros" which was based on Judges. The theme is that the people drift away from God to worship idols. The people end up being oppressed by other people in the area. God raises up a leader to help liberate the people. The cycle starts all over again. By the end of Judges, you start asking why?

I think these verses shed some light on it! The people replied "...And may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses..."

This stuck out becase here it appears that they never personalized their relationship with God. That was Mose's and Joshua's job to them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The iPod as a learning tool...

I can tell you that while people keep buying them, there are those that still see no real use for an iPod. Because they are an "electronic device", their use is frowned upon during take-off and landing in planes.

We did, however, put Kyle's iPod to good use last month. You see, Kyle auditioned for a part with lines in the school spring play at his school. Since Kyle is busy but can memorize well, he didn't know his part as well as the teacher would have liked. To help with this problem, Marj and I got his script, read lines into some recording software (Garage Band in this case) and had him load it onto his iPod. Running through his lines with the lines we recorded (everything around his), he was able to memorize them quite quickly.

Wonder if that would work for Scripture memory!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Life at home without a net

I would have to agree with you if you were to call our situation this week trivial. However, being unplanned, it made things tougher.

You see, on Tuesday evening, I decided to tighten the security on our wi-fi (wireless internet) and, in the process of an upgrade, caused the device to go into an endless (if one or two hours weren't proof of that, I'll send it to you for verification) cycle.

A call to Qwest and magically, another is on the way, as long as you agree to pay for it.

Yes, I had internet access at work but due to the fact that my employer allows me to use it for work I don't like abusing the privledge.

We are back on-line now....

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Ice Floats -- That's cool!

I started to think about this while filling my water glass...

Because ice floats you get natural convection. This cools the bottom of the glass as well as the ice cooling the top, making the drink that much more refreshing.

Cool Huh!