free web stats Lost in the Eternity of the Here and Now: March 2007
Sola Scriptura · Solus Christus · Sola Gratia
Sola Fide · Soli Deo Gloria

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Living a Dream

I just finished reading a book that currently holds my highest rank for the year, so far, Living a Dream by Suzanne Giesemann. The book details the first year of retirement for military retirees Ty and Suzanne Giesemann. The book opens in a very strange place for a book about sailing adventures: The Pentagon. Ty is a retired Navy ship driver, both as Captain and Destroyerman, who has had an impressive career of Naval exploits. They were working on the West coast when Ty’s job no longer held the challenge and stimulation that he needed, so he found a great job in Washington. Suzanne was a successful career Navy woman serving as a Fleet Support Officer. Through a little social networking she ended up working in Washington with her husband, and shortly thereafter the Pentagon as an aide-de-camp to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, no small potatoes. The second chapter of her book details her experiences from 9/11. Being connected to one of the most powerful men in the country meant she saw things and did things that no other person would that day, she witnessed what will be written in history books firsthand, and recounts it with pathos and clarity. She, and those aboard the plane on which she was flying, were the only ones to see the devastation of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, from the air, in person, in the same day. Her recounting of that momentous day brought back a stream of memories that makes me hold my head in shame.

Everyone who is of age will recall exactly where they were when they first heard what had happened on 9/11, the feeling in their stomach when they first saw the video of the plane flying into that mighty tower. I remember the feelings I had, but I also remember how quickly those feelings passed. I was a naïve child, a sophomore in college, who did not think that the events of that fateful day would really affect me. Now that I am out in the ‘real world’ I can’t help but wish I had known better, that I had been more informed. This book brought that back to me and I am grateful for that reminder. Today, we are spared the images of that day, yet without constant reminders, our memories get pushed aside as complacency tries to wash out what should be vivid images of hate and destruction; images painted in vibrant black, white and red, in lackluster shades of gray.

But I digress. Their experiences that day led them to forsake the ‘normal’ life and pursue their dream, to sell off their possessions, buy a sail boat, and cruise into the sunset. Having read every page on their site I was concerned that this book would have little to offer. I stand corrected! They followed the same path as they describe on their site, yet in more depth and with more feeling. Suzanne’s style completely engrossed me with emotion and descriptions that did not overstay their welcome. I felt like I was with them aboard Liberty living the life. I shrugged off schoolwork in favor of reading this book, and I feel better for it. Who needs Hebrew when you have a story like theirs tempting you. I have not sped through a book or enjoyed one this much in years.

Now back to my studies!

Friday, March 16, 2007

A more inconvenient truth

About a month ago I received an instant message from a random person with whom I had no previous contact. To this day, who he is and from where he obtained my screen name remain a mystery. His message was simple. Everyone should see Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth, and that we must act now or the world is doomed. Now, anyone who knows me also knows that I am a news junky. I listen to talk radio all day and read 10-15 news reports a day, not counting the headlines and summaries that I review. Being so informed, I was aware of the controversy surrounding Gore’s presentation in his ‘documentary’. Armed with that knowledge I struck up a conversation with my new, albeit misguided friend. The conversation started polite enough. I highlighted the inconsistencies in Gore’s movie and was immediately attacked. I had not actually seen the movie, and freely admitted the fact. He threw expletives at me, derided my ignorance, and vehemently insisted I not talk about things I do not understand. So, I went and rented the movie. I had to admit, the movie was well thought and paints a clear picture of destruction from alarmingly increasing CO2 levels; that is, on the surface. Had I not been informed prior to seeing the movie, I might have been similarly duped. There are glaring inconsistencies in his presentation. Amongst others, he makes an error of causation versus correlation. Just because two things follow the same path does not mean one causes the other, only that they are related.

Forget a moment about the inherent problems with Gore’s movie. The best indicator of the devotion one has to a belief system is their commitment to what they preach. If Al Gore cared about, or believed, what he was saying, his lifestyle would show it. If man is causing global warming, and each person is responsible for their own contribution, then he should be setting the example. The average American carbon footprint is 18. Al Gore has a carbon footprint of over twenty times that.

If he really cared, then I have to think he would change his lifestyle. Instead, he buys carbon offsets. Carbon offsets are what environmentalists buy to feel good even though they don’t actually reduce. The theory is that you can buy carbon credit from others who are not using their allotted amount. The problem with this? NOTHING IS CHANGING! It has been rightfully compared to the indulgences sold by the Catholic Church. The entire global warming philosophy has been compared to a religious establishment, because that’s all it is. Aside from that, someone did a little research and it turns out that Al Gore buys his offsets from a company that he founded, and at which he currently serves as chairman. That means he receives a salary. In effect, he is paying himself! Contrary to Gore’s protestations, there is NOT scientific consensus that man is causing global warming. When there is, or someone can show me an equation that proves man is causing it, I’ll jump on board. Until then, all they’re doing is advancing their socialist, America-hating agenda.

Visit Glenn Beck!
A U.N. report has recently been brought to light that states that the largest greenhouse gas emissions come not from gas guzzling SUVs, but from cattle! Yes, believe it or not, cow flatulence! Everyone wants to blame SUVs, but none of the environmentalists are protesting cows, only our freedom to drive our vehicles, enhance our economy, and live our life. This report didn’t come from the evil oil companies or the numerous groups of ‘deniers’, it came from the U.N., easily one of the most corrupt and blind, left-leaning organizations in the world. If Gore had done his homework, he would have known this. If he really believed the propaganda he preached, he would stop eating meat, and urge us to do the same. Where’s that bulletin?

There is another problem that necessarily arises out of the U.N. report. If you accept the premise and follow the path to the logical conclusion your head will explode. If cows are such a problem, obviously we need to stop with the cows. We all need to become vegans. Here is where I bring my own opinion, the consequence to which I have not heard anyone in the entire media make the leap. If we become vegans, then we will consume the same amount of vegetation as the cows did before. Instead of the cows producing the methane and CO2, then man will be the largest direct contributor to green house gases through increased flatulence! So from start to end, no matter how you look at it, man is the problem, and the only solution is to stop the spread of man. Ultimately, their solution must be self destruction.

Visit Glenn Beck
Can you see the absurdity in their premise and its necessary conclusion? Their logic fails them, or more rightly is completely absent. Gore says that global warming is a moral issue. I say it is a scientific issue. Show me the science and then we'll talk about its morality, otherwise you're just fear mongering and reactionary.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

On the crisis of faith

I think it is a fair statement that anyone with a deep faith in God has at some point questioned the validity of that faith. By that I mean being confronted with a severe problem, something that shakes the very foundations of your faith, something that if accepted holds the potential to completely destroy your faith. For some it is science, others a book or a movie, while others personal loss of friends or family. Last weekend the Discovery Channel aired a documentary directed by James Cameron (think Titanic) that claims that they have found the tomb of Jesus and his family, including wife Mary Magdalene, and son Judah. This is reminiscent of the attacks that came as a result of The Da Vinci Code. I don't know if Cameron has a vested interest in destroying Christian faith, or if he is just trying to make a quick profit through religious controversy, but the fact remains that a cursory survey of history is enough to disprove most of these allegations. The most damning fact to his case is that what he presents is not new, though the advertising seems to indicate this is all breaking news. The tomb was excavated in 1980! It has been around for twenty-seven years, and Cameron certainly isn't the first to make these accusations. The problem? The tomb where Jesus was buried is historically in another place, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and this documentary does nothing to honestly challenge that. Never mind that the inscription on the limestone box is not clear, nor that Jesus was a common first-century name, nor that the supposed coffin of the founder of Christianity was almost completely unadorned. All ridiculous, but I have little doubt there are those out there who will see this 'documentary' and have their world shaken to the foundations.

There is something in our society that says believing in God is out-dated. We live in a nation of absolutes where everything is observable and measurable. I find great comfort in that. The very philosophy used to deny the existence of God, I in my faith use to affirm him. Let's look at one of these absolutes. When I become weighed down by all the purported evidence that secularists use to bombard my faith all I need do is look at people. I see one absolute that secularism has yet to remedy, or even explain for that matter: man's fallen condition. The secularist will say that science, both nature and nurture, can explain all of man's failings, and that by addressing those issues, a perfect society can be created, a veritable utopia. Unfortunately for them, such a society has not been produced, even after hundreds of years and countless failed attempts, all because they deny the absolute nature of sin.

I see hurting people, who are entrenched in sin, eagerly plodding down a path that ultimately leads to self-destruction. I see people with a vacuum in their hearts, trying in vain to fill it with the empty promises of post-modern humanism. And from personal experience and observation I have seen only one thing that can save man from that emptiness, or more rightly, have met one person, Jesus Christ. Try as men might to destroy God, the grace of God reigns supreme. By his grace and to his glory we are saved, renewed, and sustained. Soli Deo Gloria!

Romans 1 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
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