Friday, December 14, 2007

My current thoughts on the Presidental race

(paraphrased from this thread over at Alarming News: )

This year's Republican candidates are exactly like the Democrats. They believe that government has the solution to all of our problems. They just disagree with the Democrats as to what are the problems.

(No, it's not the least bit original.)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I bombed the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker

I thought my pocket 8s had the other fellows pocket 10s beat. Of course they didn't....

It's really hard for me to care. UK beat LSU. :)

Update: I think the BCS rankings are probably closest to "right". They have LSU 4th, South Carolina 6th, and UK 7th. The AP poll is close, but the USA Today poll has UK at 13th, which is IMHO too low.

There is just too much parity out there. Any of the "top twenty" teams could beat any of the others on any given night.

Things are just plain wrong when UK's football team is ranked significantly higher than Tennessee.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Conn Terrace is under control

When I attended UK, my first apartment sat at 111 Conn Terrace Drive, near the UK Medical Center and Waller Avenue. It was a big student neighborhood then, and it's a bigger one now. (My old apartment is now under the new UK parking garage...) After UK's amazing win over LSU in football (I think I screamed for three minutes straight), Milady wanted to drive down and see if there was any roudiness.

After UK's win over Louisville, a bunch of partying students tossed around trash and burned furniture down on Elizabeth Street, which is behind Conn Terrace. The police didn't like this, and promised to stop it.

We got down to where Press Avenue turns into Elizabeth Street. We passed one drunk pedestrian, but everything else was quiet. And then we saw why.

In a three square block area, we passed 2 horse-mounted officers, 6 bike cops, 7 cruisers, and 5 cops on foot. Based on the side-street ac tivity, there had to be 50 officers in the area. Every student in the area was sitting on porches or the yards like the Culhanes. They wanted to throw a rip-roaring party, and they couldn't with at least three cops in view at all times. Poor students.... ;)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Turning down an honor

Several members of our church suggested that I consider standing as an elder or as a deacon for next year, since I had several suggestions on things that have been wrong at the church (see here). I was honored, but I told everyone who mentioned it that I considered myself too young for either position.

Someone wasn't listening: they went ahead and nominated me as deacon anyway. Whomever that was, thank you. :)

I am going to decline the honor. Even if we weren't having troubles at the church, I don't have time to do the job with the kids young. It is something I can see doing in 10 years, when they're in college and desperately trying to find ways to not come home and see Mom and Dad (unless they're broke, hungry, and/or out of laundry... ;) ). For now, I have to focus on being a husband and father, and try to work on a college ministry somewhere when there is room to spare.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Taking apart a laptop

I forgot pictures, but I've been doing surgery on our laptop today.

We bought a Toshiba P35-S6111 a couple of years ago. We needed a laptop that was more desktop-py, and it fit the need. It's certainly a luggable.

There are several known flaws with the P35s. They clog their CPU fans with dust bunnies pretty quickly. I've had to invest in air cans to clean the coils off. Then, a couple of weeks ago the laptop quit charging.

The Internet is so nice. The plug on Toshibas of the P35 era break under any pressure, leading to problems like ours. Of course, our two-year support deal was over, so I was either looking at paying a couple of hundred to get someone else to fix it or I fix it. Duh. ;)

As I mentioned, this problem is common, so there's a lot of plugs for sale on Ebay (and I buy one). I just have to unsoldier the old one, and soldier the new one in, without cooking the board.

It just took two Wal-Mart runs and three burns, but I did it. And then I gilded the lilly: I took the CPU fans and heat sink off and re-gunked the heat sink. The CPU is now wanting to stay hot, so I had to turn it down a notch (the games will LOVE that....).

When I get the new speakers in (did I mention I broke a speaker? oops...), I'll also have to redo the CPU heat sinks....

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Playing Poker

As I've mentioned before here, I am a Christian who enjoys playing poker. I have been playing free tournaments and freerolls for a while now. Once again, I've applied to play in PokerStar's freeroll Blogger Tournament.

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 8459745

Been worn out

My grandfather is recovering from the morphine-induced mania well, and you can hardly tell that he's had surgery. We're still trying to unwind from that fun.

Milady's brother-in-law has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. It still appears confined to the prostate itself, so they're very optimistic. He's talking with the specialists at Good Samaritan in Cincinatti about possibly having their robotic surgery team do his surgery. He would appreciate any and all prayers.

Politics bores me. I'm going to register Republican solely to vote for Ron Paul, even if a few of his answers concerning Islamic terrorists bother me. Otherwise, I refuse to think too much about the election until 2008.

I've also been typesetting a new book. More about that later in the month.

Finally, I haven't been blogging a lot because of problems at our church, Southern Acres Christian Church. We've had a lot of problems over the last several years. We fai led to execute a land-buying program (for very good, God-led reasons). We transitioned to three different worship services with three styles. We have a new, VERY young minister. Then the elders and that same minister saw that we were running our volunteers to death trying to do three services.

Our older population had gotten very attached to their 8:30AM traditional service, but the elders and the minister said "No, we are going to have two services. Period.". Between the older people disgruntled at the changeover and those people who left with the old minister, we've gone down from 1200 people to around 700, and that includes the 110+ people we've added this year alone. Basically, our minister has replaced older rich people with younger, poorer people. As a result, our weekly offerings have dropped from $35k a week to $24k-$25k, and that's barely enough to make our payroll.

The blame here abounds. Our ministry staff often appears underworked, and are notorious for not b eing of use when people need help. The elders are executing changes without getting congregational buy-in, and are not willing to respond to concerns from the congregation. When people in the congregation bring up problems, they are told that the current way is the way things will happen, and to hush, but sometimes the item is then later quietly fixed.

The congregation has also not responded well. Complaints were lodged over trivial things. Anonymous, hateful letters have been sent to the minister and the elders. People have gotten mad and acted in un-Christlike ways. A committee of members was formed. Lifelong friends are refusing to speak. Many of the people I most respect in the church have had to leave.

I was also greatly upset by the appearance of Barry Cameron at our church. He is appearantly a financial guru in the Restoration Movement, having written a "Godly" finances book. (IMHO, he's not Dave Ramsey, but that's another discussion.) During his sermon, he mentio ned that the church wasn't smart about money, at least McDonalds and movie theatres got their money in advance! As one of my co-workers mentioned, "I thought that simony was an obsolete sin." We would have left SACC immediately, except that he was a guest speaker, and we had some leadings that made us think the Holy Spirit was against a move. (At this point, those leadings have failed, so I don't think they're from God.)

Dysfunctional social situations wear me out. I have a hard time dealing with social situations anyway. I can't deal well with people who only take and don't give, and now my church is taking too. It's finally got me to where I'm not wanting to go to church.

If you can pray for our church, that the egos get turned off and they turn on to the directing of the Holy Spirit, I would appreciate it. I just don't think we can stay to see how things work out.

(If you are from Southern Acres, or are upset t hat I'm responding in a pseudononymous fashion, Email me. I'll be happy to "pierce the veil" or say more in public. I have talked to at least one elder about most of the contents of this message, and nothing has happened.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

UK STILL has a football team

We are ranked eighth in the AP and USA Today polls, mostly because everyone other ranked (or formerly ranked) team in the country stinks (right, Jeff?).

Does UK have a serious chance at the BCS Championship game? Probably not. We shouldn't be outranking Florida, that's for sure. Not unless we beat them, at least.

The SEC is just murder on football teams. Florida, UK, and LSU could beat each other fairly consistently, but could take any other team in the country on any given night. UK could even have trouble with Tennessee at the end of the season (and boy, is that a turnaround). I don't think any SEC team will be able to go unbeaten to get to the BCS championship, and with things as squirrelly as they are this year, that could be the only thing that puts a team in.

It's just amazing that we've gone from the cellar of the SEC to a reasonable chance at a real bowl and an outside chance of BCS contention. Yes, it may have taken a weak year nationally to do it, but whatever it takes. :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Did you know that UK has a football team?

Last night, they set themselves well on the path to top-25 excellence. Now if they can just keep marching that way....

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My grandfather is in surgery now.

Yesterday, my grandfather went to the surgeon to find out when the surgery would occur. They ended up scheduling it for today.

He went into surgery at 12:50PM EDT. They expect that he'll be in ICU overnight, and longer if the surgery requires.

Please pray that he loses as little of his lung as is required for the cancer, and that it hasn't spread.

Update: 9/12 21:50: My grandfather is resting comfortably (albeit a bit groggy from the pain medicine). They removed the upper lobe of his right lung (about 40% of the lung), but as long as the lymph nodes are clear they will not recommend any chemotherapy.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Something new every day

For the last couple of days, my iMac G5 at work has been powering itself off randomly. It's been very dependable ever since the motherboard replacement to fix the bad video that the first generaton iMac G5s suffered, so to see it appearantly eating a power supply was disappointing. Resetting the SMU and the PMNU didn't help, and it died in the middle of the test CD run (so it wasn't software).

Then, I found a page that said to change power cords. Appearantly the power supply in them is very sensitive, and if the cord isn't pushed in 100%, or if there are problems with the cord, the machine can randomly shut off. I dragged an ugly (but heavy-duty) black cord out of the desk, and switched it after the last power-off. No more problems.

Apple's stock cord is sitting in my trash can, cut in three pieces, (NEVER leave a bad cord intact; someone will want to use it again.) and my iMac is happy. Hopefully, that's the only problem and my iMac can keep humming along happily.

Upda te: It wasn't the power cord. The power supply is dying. Fortunately, my employer bought AppleCare, so the repairman will be there in a day or two.

Request for Prayer

My grandfather went last Friday to have a biopsy on a suspected lung tumor. The doctor is preparing us for operable lung cancer, and there were some slight hints that he might even avoid chemo if the cancer is large cell. I'd love for the lump to be non-malignant, or even not even cancerous. It'd be a wonderful miracle to use to witness to him. Otherwise, healing would be nice.

Update: The lump is definitely cancer, but as long as it hasn't spread to the lymph nodes, they think it can be treated with surgery only. This is certainly a blessing in a rough situation.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A hero died yesterday

(Hat tip to Captain's Quarters) Richard Jewell died yesterday, probably due to complications from diabetes.

IMHO, the FBI agent and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter(s) who leaked that he was a suspect should be given a fair trial for murder and then hanged. Jewell put himself in harm's way for hundreds of people and saved all but one of them. Because he was a "bubba" who lived with his mother, he had to be a psychopath who did the bombing. Some FBI agent had to be Deep Throat, and some Atlanta reporter had to be Woodward.

Richard Jewell didn't deserve what he got for his troubles.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A few things broke

The web server didn't like the storms Thursday. The DSL line didn't either, and I noticed that first.

Be patient, I'm working on it.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Wonderful news ahead of church

Wonderful news for my fellow Kentucky blogger, Jeff of Think Sink. The tumor found in his mother's brain was really just an abscess. She is expected to make a full and complete recovery.

Jeff, know that you, your wife-to-be, and your mother are still in our prayers.

(EDIT: No, I can't spell "church". Yes, I fixed the title)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Breaking News: Nifong Disbarred

Too bad the State Bar couldn't throw him in jail.

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Death of the Republican Party?

The bloggers have turned. LaShawn Barber, the Captain (of Captain's Quarters), Heading Right (seconded, and again, and again), Peggy Noonan, and even Karol over at Alarming News are stirred up.

I voted for George Bush because I believed that, as non-conservative he is, John Kerry was worse. If it weren't for the judges (and conservatives had t o scream to stop Meyers), I would completely repent. As it is, John Kerry couldn't have been much worse.

We have a government that is bankrupt, a currency that's two or three steps away from toilet-paper hyperinflation, and an economy that is pushed against the wall by predatory undercutting by China and India. We don't need No Child Left Behind 2, Amnesty 2, or the Lizard Queen (a.k.a. Hillary).

King George had the perfect opportunity to do a drastic government overhaul at 9/11. He could have said "the Federal Government needs to defend us. We're building a fence at the borders, we're sending illegals home PERIOD, and we're going to focus on getting ourselves out of debt, off of oil, and getting competative overseas. The states will have to do roads, schools, and welfare, but the Federal Government is going to lower taxes enough to pay for it."

Did even one of these happen? No. Dr. Paul might do this, and Mr. Huckabee comes the closest after him. Otherwise, the rest ( Democrats and Republicans alike) sound just like Roman senators arguing about which circus to change while the Visigoths are at the city walls.

A pox upon all their houses.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The local hawk

I've been noticing a hawk or falcon operating from around campus for several weeks now. Last week, Number One Son noticed the hawk resting on one of the antenna atop the Patterson Office Tower.

I was walking into work, and I noticed him flying around one tree. It seems that he is in fact a she, and she has two chicks in a nest near the Main Building.

I'm still working on pictures. Give me a bit of time. :)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Why C isn't anything special

Slashdot had an article commenting about the Top 10 Dead (or Dying) Computer skills article in Computerworld. It's little surprise that no one is paying for Cobol skills. People have had 7 years to get rid of Cobol and their mainframes, and those who aren't are planning to train in-house anyway.

I am just surprised that people are surprised that no one is paying a premium for C skills. My first CS class was a FORTRAN and C class (programming for Engineers), and my first "real" CS class was Pascal. After the first classes, we didn't use anything but C or C++ for any serious projects. It wasn't until I started to leave that Java was even introduced.

Programming C is like a carpender hammering nails: some things should just come standard. No programmer in 2007 should NOT know C.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Thanks for your prayers -- and a call for donations.

A few days in prayer have helped a lot. Milady is feeling better now, and the neighborhood seems to be more under control. Now, I just have to convince the family that riding to Mississippi in a passenger van for a junior high mission trip is just as good as riding in a tour bus. NOT! ;)

Our church still has to raise $800 (out of $1000) to fund our gas bill, or the kids will have to pay for the gas themselves (they're already paying $250 each for food and lodging). The Church is accepting Shell gas cards or cash to pay for the gift cards. If you'd like to donate, let me know by Email, and I'll let you know how you can donate on-line so that the money goes straight to the Church and to the Gas fund.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Please pray for us

It's been a rough couple of days at the Packrat household. Please pray for us, especially Milady, as we work through a couple of decisions.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Overheard at the Shriner's Circus Last Night

"Noble Lumpkin, this is the Illustrious Potentate". No, wait, that was another event. ;)

My brother-in-law is a Shriner, and he buys us tickets to the Shriners Circus every year. This year, we packed ourselves and the next door neighbors, and went to see the show.

About halfway through, one of the clowns came by, selling "Clown of the Year" pins as a fundraiser for the local Shriner's Hospital. I would have bought one myself, but I was down to 2 dollars from all of the Cokes, Nachos, and cotton candy I bought for myself the kids. While he's turned to me, Little Miss sneaks up on his other side.

Clown: "Would you like to buy a Clown of the Year pin? It's only 4 dollars."

Me: "No thank you"

*clown turns, face to face with Little Miss*

Little Miss: "I'd like 4 dollars."

Clown: *dramatic pause* She doesn't miss much, does she?

It took me 5 minutes to quit laughing.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I had a really good post yesterday, but it's gone now

And there's nothing anyone can say to prove me wrong... :)

Give me a while, and I'll have something good up.

Friday, May 4, 2007

I watched the Republican debates last night

Really, Milady watched the debates and I sat with her. Ron Paul has my support, not that it'll do him a lot of good. Mr. Huckabee surprised me with being such a state's rights guy, so I guess he would do.

Otherwise, I stand by my earlier ideas that it's just way too early for me to care.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Dreaming of trains

My great-uncle called me Saturday. Appearantly, he had just read the article about Peak Oil off of the Internet. As I've mentioned sometimes before on this blog, my whole family has a strong pessimistic streak running through their psyche. I have to fight it some myself.

The last couple of nights have had some rough sleep. Tuesday, I remember waking up around 1AM and going to the computer, and very little else. The rest of the night, I dreamed of trainyards.

I've found myself growing more optimistic in general as I've gotten older. I've seen the predictions of the false End Times prophets ("this means we have to be in the last couple of years, because X is about to happen") fail to pan out. I lived through the end of Cold War and the Clinton Administration. God willing, I'll even survive GWB.

As I've told Number 1 Son, Iran isn't going to nuke Israel. The Bible says it won't happen. We aren't going to starve in the cold when oil runs out, because God said not to worry about food and water, that He would provide everything we need. And if He doesn't protect us from something, we still win by losing.

I'm not afraid of what comes up, even if what is coming up is bad. "Cheer up, the worst is yet to come!" And then He is coming.

Give this man a Nobel Prize for Economics

Not really, but kcbrown on Slashdot wrote a comment, "Expand or Die?" that summarizes my own thoughts on expansion at all costs:

It used to be that you could keep a company going simply by consistenly producing good products for a good price and a reasonable profit. As long as the products and the price both remained good, people would buy the products and the profits would keep coming in. Obviously the products would have to be refined over time as the needs of the customer base changed, but this fundamental approach is sound.

Back before the world reinvented fiat paper money, companies didn't go up a lot. Unless you could help start a new company that would make a new market (like AT&T or IBM), you got money when that company made a good dividend and gave it back to you, the stockholder.

The concept that HP, the company that made good computers and excellent printers is better off than HP, the maker of junk computers and worse inkjets, is rediculous.

There is nothing wrong with Good Enough.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Are you still able to cry?

I've heard the Blue Man Group's Exhibit 13 several times while listening to my CD The Complex. However, I just found the link to the video. Sometime life and The Enemy conspire to make one's heart hard, but occasionally things peak back in.

Can you still cry over it? Should you?

Friday, April 27, 2007

I can't vote for my prefered candidate

I didn't realize that Kentucky law required that people switch parties before Dec. 31st. to vote in a given Primary. I would like to see Gatewood Galbraith elected governor of Kentucky. Gatewood is the author of a book I wish I could have published: The Last Free Man in America

While I certainly don't agree with every position he has, I respect that Gatewood is certainly the most honest man in the election for Kentucky Governor, and the least "buyable". If I had any spare money, I'd certainly donate to the cause.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I'm still sick of Politics, but one thing is for sure

Bush has an undisputed ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Mr. Gonzales is a perfect example. All the bloke had to do was cruise for 4 years, and things would be fine. But no, a few US Attorneys have to be fired for political reasons, and then he can't even explain what his subordinates did.

Gonzales needs to resign, and a reasonable replacement named.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

UK Benefits -- Milady is Disappointed

Milady isn't disappointed about the fact that UK is extending "partner" benefits to live ins (i.e. same-sex committed pairs and non-married opposite sex pairs). If anything, both Milady and I would prefer that employers simply say "You'll pay all costs, but we will insure anyone who lives in the house with you". This would take sexual preference out of it, and instead cover family members or friends who live together for non-sexual purposes (i.e. two sisters live together as old maids, etc.).

No, Milady wanted to get her degree. UK employees get 6 hours a semester free, and there were high hopes that they'd extend those benefits to spouses and children. Instead, the UK employee can either get the 6 hours, or the spouse or child may get 50% off tuition and fees. Very useful for kids, but where Milady wanted to take 1 or 2 classes for free, that won't work.

Oh, well....

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Good, cheesy science fiction

As one of my guilty pleasures, I've been watching The House Between. It's an excellent low-budget science fiction show similar to the Twilight Zone.

Star Trek: Of Gods and Men is behind schedule, so they only have the first 3 minutes of Act One on-line. It's still a really good three minutes.

Hidden Frontier (a Star Trek fan fiction follow-on) is wrapping up its final season soon. The first couple of seasons are very painful to watch, but they have matured into a cast capable of rivaling any series put forth by Paramount.

Finally, New Voyages will be releasing "World Enough And Time" any day now. I'm not quite over what they did to Chekov in "To Serve All of My Days", but they may fix it in the Special Edition later....

If you know of a show that should appear here, leave a comment or Email me and I'll add it.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Song of the Day

"Bad Moon Rising" by CCR.

Why? All kinds of bad moon magic being used here at work. I can't say much more, but fortunately it's not my manure pile to shovel....

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Sounds Of Wretched Silence

Thanks to The Captain (of Captain's Quarters), I've read about one of the silliest ideas I've heard about since campaigning for the 2008 election in March 2007: One Day of Blog Silence. We bloggers are supposed to be quiet tomorrow as a show of solidarity for Virginia Tech's victims.

I have been praying for the families of the people who died at VT. I've cried over the incident. But in this case, I have little sympathy for the victims, because (with few exceptions) they chose to be victims. Cho surprised the people in the first room. OK, I can see where the people in that room had little room to act. However, every other room had ample warning. Why didn't they fight back?

People are victims all over the world because they are denied the fundamental right to defend themselves. In the US, we teach our kids to never, ever fight (which 99% of th e time is right, but not 100%). In the rest of the world, we deny repressed groups access to arms to defend themselves.

I think Darfur is a shame. That said, every argument I used to oppose our trip into the Balkins and Milady used to oppose Iraq also apply there. It's a terrible problem trying to be a consistent libertarian...

Bloggers do little good when silent. Christians do little good when silent. That's why I won't be silent.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Why women avoid IT -- and possibly should

Slashdot had an article last night titled Women Are Fleeing IT Jobs. Appearantly, women are figuring out that Information Technology isn't a place to work if you want a lot of nights and weekends free. Imagine that. Milady and I discussed me living the blue-colored outsourcer for almost 2 years before I went to the current job, and one of the reasons I left was that my only advancement paths involved working more hours and traveling more. I ended up having a little less take-home pay and fewer methods of advancement, but a lot less overtime and much fewer nights and weekends.

In the comments to the article, Natomui said:

It really frightens me that the tone of the article depicts all IT related women as doting career moms who are only waiting for an easy out to go home and take care of Father Jr. This backslide into 1950s pre-feminist movement status scares me. Why can't the IT dad have to worry about day-care and being on call 24 hours a day because he has to take care of his children too? Why have we set up yet another situation for detached parenting that falls prey to the same social normality that we've been trying to eradicate for decades to pave the way for something far more beneficial - a well rounded parental structure that depicts both parties as nurturing.

1960s feminism has failed the children. The Baby Boomers may not have realized it, and even their kids, but the current generation is, because they've lived it. Feminism is "I want it my way" for women. OTOH, having kids is all about their needs and growth. If a kid needs Mom to stay home, then Mom stays home. Period. If the family needs Dad to skip the promotion to $150k manager so that he can be at every ballgame and play, then you don't advance.

Once you have kids, it's about duty and responsibility, not rights and privilages.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Be careful Michael

One of my worst guilty vices is listening to Michael Savage. We didn't hear that Cho sent a package to NBC News, but Michael was raving about needing a lot of new mental hospital/jails, and using them.

Mr. Savage needs to be careful. Too many frothing-mouth rants like tonight, and the powers that be might put him to the front of the line for one... ;)

Built Lord Tough

Some people are just positive thinkers. Now, most of my crew isn't. Number 1 Son, Milady, and I all have that "ray of sunshine" missing. As my mother-in-law once said to her husband, "you'd pick up a free puppy and look at its hindend".

Not Jeff. Jeff looks at things from the sunny side of life. It took us almost a year of going to our church before we realized that he wasn't the children's minister. Jeff has run the 3-5th grade ministry at our church for at least 9 years now, on top of his day job owning his own contracting business and his "night job" as a husband and father of 6 kids.

A couple of weeks ago, Jeff had some form of seizure or attack on the way home from work, and lost control of his Ford truck. He doesn't remember the truck entering one end of a house, and exiting the other end. Now, Jeff vaguely remembers the firefighters saying that he must be dead when they were getting him out of that Ford truck. At the time, he woke up asking why he was in the parade.

The doctors of course ruled out drugs or alcohol, and found that Jeff had broken several bones in his back. They also had to restrict his pain medicine, since there was a fear it could cause another seizure.

Sunday, Jeff was at church. He was in a plastic brace, and you could tell he hurt, but he was smiling and talking to everyone. When Milady and I tried to be gentle and shake hands, he pulled each of us into a strong hug. He was talking about how he knew it was the Lord who saved him, and that he's already talked to Ford about using "Built Lord Tough" as a theme for wristbands and a speaking tour. He's going to talk about "The Lord, Me, and a Ford", and how the Lord and his Ford pickup saved his life.

It takes a truly Godly man to feel that way about such a tragedy. Instead of kicking back, he's turned to God and is going right on. I for one am humbled.

If you'd like for Jeff to come talk to you and your church, Email me, and I'll pass the request along.

Prayer Request: Jeff still wants and needs a lot of prayer, because he's facing the possibility of other surgeries to his back, and months of healing and rehabilitation. His family also is going to need a lot of help getting past this.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

We MUST Understand -- Or It Will Happen Again

When I heard of the Virginia Tech shootings, I couldn't help but cry over both the victims and the killer, Cho Seung-Hui. A couple of months ago, I read Mark Ames' book, Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagan's Workplaces to Clinton's Columbine and Beyond. Mr. Ames describes the nihilism and complete and utter bleakness to which a person who is pushed beyond hope.

We have created a society of people without hope, either in God (whom they either don't believe in or don't know) or in man. Their parents don't raise them, foisting them instead into car seat pens (early daycare) and child holding areas (later daycare). They get to school and have absolutely no structure or discipline. If they can't sit down or quit acting like a kid for 5 minutes, they get pumped full of speed and labeled a problem child. There is no right, no wrong, and the kid who causes the problem gets the attention. Through a lack of discipline or being sympathetic to the abusers, school administrations will not take the picked-on kid's side. Is it any wonder that we have angry children who are so narcissistic and nihilistic that they are ready to die and want to take their attackers (real and imagined) with them?

As Christians, it's time for us to say that enough is enough. We must raise our children, even if it means living on one income for some time. Like The Anchoress has raised Buster, we must teach our children that living boldly is more important than just living. We must push the rest of society to raise theirs, and give what aid we can. Public schools need to be a place of limits and of love, or we must ALL force them to change, even if only by leaving them and driving them broke.

Most of all, we Christians need to throw this Purpose Driven, Prosperity asserting, touchy-feely pseudo-Gospel junk out the window. We must get back to the business of loving people and telling them that there is a God in Heaven who loves them, and who wants them with Him for all eternity.

These people need hope, real hope, and we are the ones who haven't been telling them where it is.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This is the old blog

I've decided to restart blogging from scratch. I'm turning off all comments here, and keep these old posts as an archive.