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Archive for October, 2006

Reunions

October 23, 2006 3 comments

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This weekend my family was blessed to be able to be reunited with some good friends we met in Memphis, TN. Bill Jones flew in Wednesday night. Bill and I first met 10 years ago at Freed Hardeman University. Bill, myself, and about 5-6 others guys from there still remain friends today because of the bonds we built in college. Bill is currently in pharmacy school. He has way too much knowledge crammed into his head. He really seems to enjoy the career he has chosen and is very knowledgeable about his field.
We met Jeremy and Diane Post about two years ago. Jeremy is originally from Nashville, TN and Diane is from Florida. Diane has her PhD and is working for the NIH (National Institutes of Health). Jeremy works for Johns Hopkins University and is currently applying for medical school to get a MD/PhD. This couple is remarkably talented. They moved to Columbia, MD two weeks before we moved to Lebanon, PA. It is really a blessing to have old friends within a 120 miles of you.
On Friday night we headed down to Columbia. This town was amazing. This year Columbia was named as the #4 city in America to live in by CNN Money Magazine. The town consists of 11 boroughs that surround the downtown. Each of the boroughs have their own community center and shopping plaza. The downtown area has a mall that housed several stores that I could never afford to shop in, but it was fun looking at it anyway. We spent most of Friday night catching up with everyone and enjoying a great meal of lasagna, salad, and rolls.
On Saturday morning we drove to the Metro station and took the subway into Washington D.C. This was my only second trip to D.C. since age 3. So needless to say it was basically my first trip. Mikayla thought the subways system was cool. She repeatedly told us that it was the best subway she had ever seen 🙂
We saw too many things to post here so I will just end this blog with my top five thoughts about the city:
1) I didn’t know a $1.50 vendor hot dog could taste so good
2) WWII memorial is a definite must see
3) I will be returning to visit all of the Smithsonian museums
4) We need to do more for our homeless, especially in the nations capital
5) Rallies regardless of the cause are interesting to watch

Never underestimate the power of good friendships!

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Categories: Family

Baby Got Book!

October 19, 2006 5 comments

I saw this video a few months back and I just had to share it. I hope you enjoy!

Categories: comedy

Are We That Stupid?

October 17, 2006 6 comments


I was watching an episode of ER last night that really got under my skin. This episode is from this season from about two weeks ago. The ER got several new medical students who are doing their rounds. One of the new med students is a blonde girl who apparently has a faith in Christ. In several scenes she was shown saying the Lord’s Prayer, quoting Psalm 23, and praying for different patients. These were all positive things, however, they scripted the character to be incompetent and unskilled in her profession. It was quite obvious to me that this show was trying to send a message that Christians are not normal and do not fit in. This is not the first time I have seen this depiction. Many shows on television have bought into this. Pay attention the next time you watch a crime drama. The overly zealous Christian is the one who went crazy and started a murdering spree.
I believe my biggest problem about all of this is that it is okay for the media and any other group to say whatever they want about Christians and Christianity, but if a Christian shares their opinion on a controversial topic then we are being judgmental. John 16:33 reminds us that we are going to have trouble and persecution in this world. I pray that we can continue to be reminded of this and attempt to ignore the bashing of God’s people.

Categories: discrimination, satire

What does it mean to forgive?

October 6, 2006 2 comments

Each of us has been in situations before where we were in need of forgiveness or where we needed to forgive others. There are so many opinions about this topic and I want to share mine.

When we forgive we are allowing others to be released from a debt with no expectation of future retribution. This is not an easy process because our emotions usually get involved at some point. I remember as child that this was easy to accomplish. I would be mad at someone for a few minutes or days, but within a week I had moved on. I am not sure why this changed as I became an adult, but I think it is just easier to hold a grudge against someone else.

There is, however, some unrealistic expectations when it comes to forgiveness. Some people want you to ‘forgive and forget’ while others think that forgiveness equals loss of consequences. I am not sure about you, but it is impossible for me to forget anything negative people have said or done towards me. I can remember many racial slurs and being picked on due to being a high school nerd just like it was yesterday. I do not let there memories control or define me, but I will never forget them. I also do not feel that people should expect to be released from their consequences just because they are forgiven of their transgression. Imagine a world without consequences for our actions. This would be a scary place! I know that I have grown so much due to consequences I have recieved because of sins I have committed in the past. I am not sure where I would be today if it were not for my consequences.

The question that we must still answer is ‘What does God say about forgiveness?’ I am sure that his standard is more important than what anyone else says on the topic. Luke 23:32-43 gives an account of Him being on the cross and praying for the forgiveness of those who crucified Him. Why would He do such a thing? I think He does this to give us an awesome example about what forgiveness truly means. He was innocent and sinless yet wanted forgiveness for his attackers. When I see this example I cannot help to think how petty the debts owed to me are in comparison to the debt that was already paid by Jesus.

Someone reading this may have had some terrible things done to them that they are holding on to. Situations such as these can bind you with anger and resentment that you may be determined to carry to your grave. Mark 11:25 and Matthew 6:9-15 remind us that if we do not forgive others then God will not forgive us. This is a hard fact to swallow, but our relationship with God will be hindered if I am not willing to forgive those who have offended me.
I believe the only way that we are able to do this is through prayer. We must ask the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to forgive others. I do not believe that forgiveness is natural, but it is still God’s will for us. I pray that each of us will begin to evaluate our relationships with others and begin to forgive because we end up hurting ourselves when we don’t.

Categories: forgiveness

No Pride and a Lot of Prejudice

October 1, 2006 2 comments

James 2:1-4 (NLT)

My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim that you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people more than others? For instance, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in shabby clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”–well, doesn’t this discrimination show that you are guided by wrong motives?

I have always been interested in the topic of social equality. It is amazing that people can be so cruel to each other because of skin color, socioeconomic status, etc. I know that my parents never taught me to hate anyone and I am proud of that fact. Our family today is a product of that: my wife is Caucasian, I have a sister-in-law from Puerto Rico, and one from Africa. Our family get togethers are always interesting. I feel that our diversity is a blessing and am glad that we all accept each other despite our many differences.

I presented a lesson on the above scripture that I would like to share here today. First I want to define a few terms.

1. Prejudice – Evaluation of a group and its members.
– Unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or
without knowledge, thought, or reason.
2. Discrimination – Behavior based on other’s membership in a social group.
3. Stereotype – Beliefs about a social group and its members.

There are several ways that we can show prejudice:
– Disability
– Racial/Ethnic
– Ageism
– Sexual Orientation
– Socioeconomic
– Marital Status (Divorced, Single, Interracial)
– Weight

I could add more to the list above, but I think you get my point.

James was saying that it is sinful to make superficial judgments concerning others. I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that we are ‘made in the image of God’ (Genesis 1:27). This tells us that everyone regardless of what they look and act like are created in His image. If we begin to see people that way then maybe we can get rid of some of the prejudices that we hold on to. I am also reminded of 1 Samuel 16:7 where it tells us that God looks at our hearts and not our outside appearance. If we could only see ourselves as God sees us then we could start the process of healing. We have beat each other up and discriminated so much that it has become a normal part of our society. I pray that each of us will begin to look at ourselves and be honest about our prejudices and those we discriminate against. This realization and acceptance of our problem is the first step in recovery. God bless.