Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Farewells

I remember when I was younger I would often feel happy that I didn't know anyone who died. I mean I knew of people dying, but I didn't really know anybody. That, of course, is a short lived period. Indeed, not only is it short lived, but it also accelerates in the other direction as age comes to you. You will start hearing that people who were your contemporaries are passing away. It is a very sobering thought. 

I recently learned that a friend of mine, and fellow Marine, died this week. I didn't keep in contact with him much after getting out. I tend to let relationships drift off; it's something I need to work on. Anyway, his name, was Neil Favaron. Being in the Marines we just called him Favaron. He was one of those guys who just knew stuff. You could talk about any subject and he would be able too add something substantive to it. He was also served in the armory (so everyone tried to be good to him). He was a good guy, plain and simple. 

It was shocking to hear of his death. He was not much older than I am, and he was certainly too young, in my opinion, to die. My heart goes out to his parents who will face the nightmarish task of lowering the child, whom they witnessed be born, into the ground. I wish this on no parent. And I hope God gives them, and all those who loved Favaron, the grace to continue. 

Requiescat in pace, my man. 

Favaron is next to the skinny black guy with bad posture (me) on the right. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

On Methodism: Then and Now

I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid, lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case, unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out. - John Wesley

John Wesley’s writings and life spell out the “method” of the Methodists in detail.  But almost nothing of it remains in current practice, and in this denomination we have one of the clearest illustrations of the tendency . . . to admire a great Christian leader in words, but never to think of simply doing what he or she did in order to do the work of the Kingdom of God. - Dallas Willard Spirit of the Disciplines

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Hundreds

I know I am not the most humble of people, and I'm not even gonna fake it here. 

I stepped on the scale this morning and to my surprise I saw a 1 in the hundreds place. 

Here is the proof:


I haven't seen the hundreds on a scale since 2007! Note: it is the week before Thanksgiving and the onslaught of office pastries. Sooo, this might be a short visit for me. 

We'll see. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Not So Good News

Here are two FaceBook posts that many of my friends are liking.


Best summary of the Bible I've ever seen:

GENESIS
God: All right, you two, don't do the one thing. Other than that, have fun.
Adam & Eve: Okay.
Satan: You should do the thing.
Adam & Eve: Okay.
God: What happened!?
Adam & Eve: We did the thing.
God: Guys...
THE REST OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
God: You are my people, and you should not do the things.
People: We won't do the things.
God: Good.
People: We did the things.
God: Guys....
THE GOSPELS
Jesus: I am the Son of God, and even though you have done the things, the Father and I still love you and want you to live. Don't do the things anymore.
Healed people: Okay! Thank you!
Other people: We've never seen him do the things, but he probably does the things when no one is looking.
Jesus: I have never done the things.
Other people: We're going to put you on trial for doing the things.
Pilate: Did you do the things?
Jesus: No.
Pilate: He didn't do the things.
Other people: Kill him anyway.
Pilate: Okay.
Jesus: Guys.....
PAUL'S LETTERS
People: We did the things.
Paul: Jesus still loves you, and because you love Him, you have to stop doing the things.
People: Okay.
PAUL'S LETTERS PART II
People: We did the things again.
Paul: Guys....
REVELATION
John: When Jesus comes back, there will be no more people who do the things. In the meantime, STOP doing the THINGS!
THE END

And...

A 10 year old little girl was asked by another classmate, "What is it like to be a Christian?" The girl replied, "It's like being a pumpkin. God picks you from the patch, and washes all of the dirt off of you. Then he cuts open the top and scoops all of the yucky stuff out. He rmoves the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc, and THEN he carves a new smiling face and puts his light inside of you to shine for all the world to see."

I know these are just for fun, but I wonder if you can spot the underlying sadness of the good news presented in both of them?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tea and Taste Buds

I'm starting to think that my taste buds are lazy. I had the opportunity to go to a decent restaurant called J. Liu (good spicy chicken, by the way), and at the end of our meal my group ordered a bunch of different flavors of tea. Me, being an Englishman at heart, got lemon tea. (I actually don't know if Englishmen generally like that kind of tea.) When I tasted the tea it tasted like the regular Lipton bags to me. It smelled fantastic, but tasted the same. So I'm thinking that maybe I have to do some kind of wine tasting trick; but it didn't work. Everyone else was all, "This tea is amazing!" Meanwhile I'm wondering, "Is it the smell or the taste that they're talking about; do they know the trick and aren't sharing?" But they seemed legitimately excited about their tea, and they are honest people, as far as I know. So it got me wondering if my taste buds aren't giving 100%. I can taste sugary stuff and really hot stuff, and even in between stuff, but maybe not as fully as I thought. Maybe I've been going through life missing out on flavor. Is it possible that bacon really tastes as good as it smells and I've been deprived? How will I ever even know? Why am I even drinking lemon tea? 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sugar Free

There is nothing like a well planned toothache to cause someone to reconsider the way they've been living.

One week before Halloween I was afflicted with a toothache that was so severe that I stayed up one night pondering whether I really needed ur (the tooth, that is). I even watched a few videos of men who were less manly than I successfully remove their own tooth. But wisdom and fear prevented me from going that route. 

One thing I did change, however, is my abusive relationship with candy. It has been two weeks thus far, and I am candy free! Not that I haven't held an Almond Joy or Snickers in my hand, while looking at it with lust. This happens almost hourly at work, but I remain unsullied. This is pretty big for me. We will see how long it lasts, especially since we are entering that sugary time of year. 


This, along with a commitment to do two marathons next year, should leave me in pretty decent shape. I guess we'll see how committed I am.