Jaxson Got Snow or Who is Your Neighbor?

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

“Mom! Mom it snowed!”.

Wow (sarcasm), snow in North-central Indiana in January. At 4:30 in the morning, the local weather report brought to you by your 8-year-old son isn’t so cheery. But love covers all sorts of inconveniences.

It was Jaxson’s birthday after all and he had been praying all week that it would snow on his birthday. Pretty good reasons to be excited. “Jaxson, you need to go back to bed, until daddy’s alarm goes off at 5:00”. Rules are really important in Jaxson’s home. Autistic children do well in a structured environment, but get out of the routine and there could be trouble without an extra helping of parental love.

Tic toc 5:00 and Jaxson is ready to go.  Mom and dad roll out of bed and get the day going.  Showers, beds to make, laundry to finish up, Madison and Emma to get going on their day, snow day arrangements to make and Jackson wants to go outside.

The snow suit is on.  “Jaxson, when mommy calls you need to obey and come in”.  “Need to obey” are code words for an autistic 8-year-old.  He might not understand why obedience is so important but he does understand the practical need to obey.

“Ok mom” and out he goes with his brand new “snow brick” maker (Where were these cool things 50 years ago? I want one) in hand.  Time to make the coolest snow train ever imagined by a 8-year-old boy.  It was going to be the best ever birthday for Jaxson.  Past or future, nothing was going to be better than this birthday.

“Jaxson!  Time to come in!”  No response.  “Jaxson!”.  Nothing.

I will not pretend to understand what goes through a parent’s mind at this point.  Is it terror first or is it “been here, done that”?  A wise parent is a steadfast parent.  No need to let emotions run ahead of the facts.  “Jaxson?”

“Danny, Jaxson is not responding.  I am going to look for him.” Adrenaline can be a great friend or a dreadful enemy.  The cautious mom dresses for 5 degree weather and with the skill of a native American tracks the the birthday boy to the neighbors.  Thank the Lord it snowed.  Jackson’s footsteps where easy to follow.

“Oh Jennifer, come in, quickly dear it is cold out.”  It was as if Miss Ruth was waiting for her, just as she had been waiting for Jaxson.

Quick apologies for Jaxson barging in at 5:45 in the morning were not necessary, but Jennifer felt obliged to offer them.  Miss Ruth was a mother too and a grandmother also.  But most of all to Jaxson and his family, she was a good neighbor.

“Jaxson,” the tone was a little more stern, but loving nonetheless, “what are you doing?”

“Mom, my train was going to need lots more snow than what we have.  So I came over to ask if I could use theirs.”  A mother’s anxiety and fear melted away in sheer delight.  “Ge’ez, he does get it” she thought to herself.  There were still some motherly duties to fulfill though.

“Jaxson, that is really good that you thought to ask before borrowing something.  Maybe next time you can tell mommy that you are going next door before you go?”

“OK mom”, the joyful engineer replied, “and I just had to stay.  Miss Ruth had biscuits and gravy, just for me, it’s my birthday you know!”  No harm in letting the little railway sojourner think the breakfast was just for him on his birthday.  Who knows, maybe it was.

“Who is your neighbor?” the Lord asked of his disciples in Luke 10:29-37.  Is it the traveler who was beat and left to die? Or is it the 8 year old autistic boy who stretches the boundaries of “normal” family life?  Maybe it is the person next door who’s political and religious views are completely opposite of yours?

Gosh, maybe it is all of them.

Advertisements

Specialization: Or How Not to Get Lost in the World

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Matt Belisle is a specialist.  He throws a baseball and he throws better than most, but not a good as others.  Better than average but not the best.  Consequently, he is paid according to his skill level by those who want that particular skill;  $3.2 million next year.  Nice work if you can get it.

Matt pitches in very specific situations that arise in a baseball game.  He is a right-handed middle reliever.  Last year, he only pitched 65 innings.  Do the math:  162 games a year with a minimum of 9 innings per game.  He pitched 4% of the possible innings his team played.  He does not concern his efforts on anything other than middle relief.  His specialty is not to be wasted in the 1458 innings his team played.  He concentrates on one thing, does it well and is rewarded for it.

Specialization is very simple notion that applies in virtually any endeavor.  It is hallmark of a well-developed economy.  A specialized economy is efficient, creates a diversity of products/services offered in the market place and creates tremendous wealth.  It is a good thing.

Specialization is a hallmark of Biblical Christianity.  Before the world stumbled upon it God commanded it. Prior to the nation of Israel entering the Promised Land, God commanded them in Deuteronomy 8 to “remember all that the Lord had done” while they were in the wilderness.  The commandment to “remember” is repeated throughout scripture because of sinful man’s forgetfulness.  God wants us to remember what He has done.  Why?

The world we live in is much like the baseball.  It is full of all sorts of distractions.  Image if Matt Belisle did not concentrate on his specialty.  “Get Belisle ready, he is going into the game.”  The reply comes back, “Sorry coach, Matt doesn’t want to pitch in the middle innings today.  He wants to catch.”  Opps, fail.

Image God’s call to us, “Child, there is a difficult situation ahead, I want to use you.”  I hope my response would not be, “Sorry God, I don’t remember why I am here, I would rather not go.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unbroken

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

I wish my life was a non-stop Hollywood movie show,
A fantasy world of celluloid villains and heroes,
Because celluloid heroes never feel any pain
And celluloid heroes never really die.

Unbroken, the story of Louis Zamperini, is remarkable.  Actually, I find it more than remarkable; it’s amazing.

His strength and determination to overcome adversity is inspiring.  I would have folded like the proverbial house of cards had I been in his situation.  And that is probably why not only myself, but so many marvel at his character.

Unfortunately, the best part of the story is probably going to be missing in the movie, as it was down played in the book.

Louis in fact was broken. But that does not “play” well.  We want “celluloid heroes”. We like individuals that overcome evil by seer determination and conviction.  We eat that stuff up and glorify it in our society.

But what happens when we can not overcome evil?  What happens when the force of evil is so great that mankind can not overcome it by intellect, moral conviction and the physical exertion of the will?  What kind of story does that make for? Not a very good one.

Well, maybe not.  For Louis Zamperini, being broken makes a difference for eternity .  Regardless of his notable exploits, that we love to hear about, Louis’s greatest experience was born of broken and contrite spirit.

If any one had a reason to trust in their own abilities to overcome, it would be Louis.  But, towards the last years of his life, Louis acknowledge that he could not over come the greatest evil; indwelling sin.

Out of broken spirit, Louis agreed with God, that he, Louis, was helpless in His, God’s, sight to overcome death.  With sincere humility, Louis believed what God has said in the Bible and was born again.

Live By the Sword…..

Tags

, , ,

1riotpolice

Zach Medler, a really terrific artist, is in a real pickle.  He joined forces with the politicos in Lafayette to help “funkify” the town.  But I think he is really is enrolled in Politics 101.  Today’s lesson:  the city that takes from others to give to you, will ultimately take from you to give to others.

The city annointed Zach to make Lafayette hip.  They picked the artists, they found the locations, they gave a thumbs up to the Small Space:Lafayette project and they put up the money all in the name of funkifying Lafayette.  The only problem is one man’s funkify is another man’s say what?.

And so the battle begins.  Zach is feeling bullied because the art work at Sylvia’s Brick Oven is being covered up.  Free speech you see really isn’t free; especially when it is paid for by politicians.  It’s political speech.  The golden rule of political might is proven again:  They that have the gold, rule.

The police feel bullied because the art work left them in a say what? sort of mood. Politicians like police, especially when you are in a law and order sort of town.   Opps, sorry Zach, you lose.  The police special interest is more special and interesting than your special interest.

Here is a better idea for public art.  If you have a building, house, apartment ect that you would like to be funkified contact me.  I will put  you in contact with Zach.  You as the property owner and Zach as a supplier of labor can work out the terms of the deal and get to it.  Maybe you would like a yellow banana?2014-08-19 11.16.43  I love yellow banana’s painted on houses, or even stuck on a pole.  Pink/fuschia houses are cool too.

Than we will ask the government to preform one of it’s legitimate functions:  protect free speech.  And maybe they will cease with the illegitimate function of promoting art.

And God Said….

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in intself, upon the earth, and it was so.  Genesis 1:9

 

For the invisible thing of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.  Romans 1:20

 

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

The Death of Reason?

The death of reason is exaggerated. Reason is not dead; rather it is circling the drain of totalitarian despotism.

Reason itself does not exist apart from a moral foundation. It is reasonable to stop at a red, octangal with the word “Stop” posted on it when driving in your car. Why is it reasonable? Because there is a tradition of authority represented on that sign that we understand: our individual best interest is served by stopping. Therefore, as a corallary, it is in our collective best interest to obey the sign. Apart from the historical development of the Stop Sign, there is no reason to stop.

Reason has to be supported by an understanding of truth. The Western Culture of Judeo-Christian belief (hence forth referred to simply as Western Culture) holds that truth is revealed, objective and universal: Revealed by both nature and nature’s God, understood without the judgement of ideology and the same for humanity regardless of time and space.

Contrary to this understanding of truth (revealed, objective and universal) is the dogma of discovery, subjectivism and relavitism. A dogma that does not have a singular home, but rather is wide spread amongs various idealogies that have only one common tenant: The death of Western Culture.

Western Culture believes 1+1=2. The dogma of contraism believes 1+1= anything but 2.

There is no one singular entity that represents a threat to Western Culture, rather there is the singular idea that truth must be discovered, is subjective to the individual and therefore relative. From Muhommad to Khomeni, Rousseau to Ropspierre to Pol Pot, Marx to Stalin to Castro…..it doesn’t matter, the end goal was the same. Death to Western Culture.

Example: Is it reasonable to abort children? If your epistemological foundation is Judeo-Christianity tradition then the answer is “No”. Human life belongs to God, and except for the agency of human government to punish the guilty, the end of a life is His.
If your world view is that an unborn child is the property of the woman, then your answer would be “Yes”. Property can be acquired and disposed of at will of the possessor.

More to follow.
Used up my word count.

The New Entrepreneur or The “Gimme, gimme, gimme” Leech

Tags

, , , , ,

…if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it?  2 Kings 5:13

We would do well to learn from Naaman’s arrogance and realize that man knows very little, yet claims to know so much.

Naaman “knew” what was necessary for him to be healed; the prophet was to come do something stunningly miraculous to heal him.  Instead, the prophet Elisha told him to go “dip seven times in the Jordan”. How utterly simple.

In his arrogance, Naaman was wrath.  “There are better waters!” Naaman “knew” there was a better way. It surely could not be so simple.

The problem with “simple” is it robs politicians of glory.  There is no feeding of ego when the solution to a problem is easy.  In fact, human government has become so convoluted, that politicians make up problems so they can make up solutions that bring glory to themselves.

Witness the issue of “brain drain” in West Lafayette Indiana.  Here is the problem:  students graduate and move away.  Go figure. It is commonly referred to as growing up.

Oh, “But there is a better way!” is the rallying cry of planners, economic developers and politicians.

To stem this natural phenomenon of growing up the city is going to pay $200,000 to lease space for entrepreneurs to incubate ideas.  That is a stunning and miraculous idea Naaman!  Seems West Lafayette/Lafayette will shrivel up and die if we don’t start creating jobs.  Sarcasm intended.

The irony; once seen as the ultimate risk takers entrepreneurs are the new “leeches”:  Gimme, gimme, gimme.  Obviously the entrepreneurs have already come up with one great idea:  “Taxpayers, you pay the bills and we will take the proceeds”. “This is a better way” is the  mantra.

There is a simple solution:  “You take the risk, you get the rewards”.  But there is nothing in that for politicians or bureaucrats.  Freedom doesn’t have an interest group that can easily be pandered to.

Free markets have always worked in producing the most efficient means of distributing goods and services.  But there is nobody to claim they came up with a “better way”.

Go dip in the Jordan Naaman.

 

 

 

 

 

Marginalzation of Western Culture Part II

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Here is a thought experiment:  Suppose I am a well-respected University Professor at a rather prominent school here in the U.S., with lots of academic credentials and I made the following claim:  “Romeo and Juliet” was written by Sheikh Bahaii.  And the proof is the work fits all the criteria of Sheikh Bahaii writings:  the themes of romance, love, jealousy, conflict, religion, the use of iambic pentameter and a few other things.

What would you say?

Now suppose that Hossein Askari, an Iranian-born professor of International Business and International Affairs at George Washington University wrote a paper that claims that Ireland leads the world in Islamic values.  To prove it, Askari developed a system IslamicityIndex that measures economic and social featyres that are consistent with Islam’s teachings.  Please note, the index was actually developed prior to the paper.  Askari applied the index to the Ireland.

What would you say?

You might immediately respond with dismay and skepticism.

Ireland: a country that historically called itself “Christian”, a European country which developed right along the rest of Europe based on Judeo-Christian principles and values, a country which had no Islamic influence in the development of the laws of political economy or the rule of law in general and only until recently has had a significant Islamic population.  How can it be that Ireland ‘lead the world in Islamic values”?   It’s simple:  make the Judeo-Christian principles that guided Europe’s development and Islamisize them.  Then convince the world that Islam is so powerful that in less than 20 years time a throughly Western Culture/Country can “convert” from Christianity to Islam.

The saddest part:  Nobody is challenging this non-sense.

 

Marginalizing Western Culture Part I

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

Are all religious belief systems the same?  Is one “religion” right and all others wrong?

Is a culture based on the tennants of the correct religion better than a culture based on a wrong religion?

According to Hossein Askari, an Iranian-born professor of International Business and International Affairs at George Washington University, “No” or maybe “Yes”.

Askari used the following criteria to establish “good Islamic countries from bad Islamic countries”

“If a country, society, or community displays characteristics such as unelected, corrupt, oppressive, and unjust rulers, inequality before the law, unequal opportunities for human development, absence of freedom of choice (including that of religion), opulence alongside poverty, force, and aggression as the instruments of conflict resolution as opposed to dialogue and reconciliation, and, above all, the prevalence of injustice of any kind, it is prima facie evidence that it is not an Islamic community,” he said. Italics mine.

Leading the list is Ireland.  Go figure.

The world is not a vacum.  Remove the historical development of Western Culture under the auspices of Judeo/Christian values from a country’s identity and a vacum is created.  That vacum is now being filled by Islam.

“Looking at an index of Economic Islamicity, or how closely the policies and achievements of countries reflect Islamic economic teachings – Ireland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Singapore, Finland, Norway, and Belgium round up the first 10”.

None of these countries are historically Islamic.  They are Western.  They identify historically with the values taught in the Bible.  Their cultures, with the exception of Singapore, are historically Western.  Singapore was a little late to the Western identification.

So how could Askari identify them as Islamic?

Because we fail to believe: that God spoke to Moses (not to Muhammad), that God came in the flesh as Jesus Christ, that He is coming back again and any position contrary to the proceeding, is wrong.

Truth is very narrow and in the age of tolerance, you don’t want to be narrow.   Therein are the seeds of destruction sown.

Social Security and The Arrogance of Man Part II

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Luke 14:28

Consider two groups of people:  Givers and takers.

Each group has 100 people in it at the beginning of the experiment.  Further suppose an outside force, government, promises each taker that they, the government, will give them, the taker, $1.00 a year.  Consequently, the government will take $1.00 annually from a giver and give it to a taker.  It’s pretty simple, as long as nothing changes.

Outside the truth of God’s word, things change and change a great deal.

Now, one year later, there are 90 people in the giver group and 110 in the taker group.  Each taker is promised $1.00, but now each giver must give $1.22.

Two years later, there are 80 people in the giver group and 120 in the taker group.  Now is giver must give $1.50.

It is clear, this is not a good situation.  Nonetheless, this is exactly what is happening.  Proportionally, the number of “takers” is growing faster than the number of “givers”.  Consequently, the givers are giving more and more of their wealth to the takers.

The Biblical admonition is for man to “consider the cost”.  The principle is often applied to Christian discipleship but it certainly is not limited to that.  In fact, the context would lead us to understand that the principle is an economic one.

Since the Fall, man has sought his own way based on his sinful nature with tragic results.

 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12