Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Creed" by Steve Turner

Ravi Zacharias asks, "Who are we? What is our creed?


We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin.
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don't hurt anyone,
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your definition of knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during,
and after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy is OK
We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything's getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated, and
you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there's something in horoscopes,
UFO's and bent spoons;
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha,
Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher although we think
some his good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same;
at least the one that we read were.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation,
sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes The Nothing
because when you ask the dead what happens
they say Nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied,
then it's compulsory heaven for all
excepting perhaps Hitler, Stalin and Genghis Khan.

We believe in Masters and Johnson.
What's selected is average.
What's average is normal.
What's normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament because We believe
there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors
and the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good.
It's only his behaviour that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth
that is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust. History will alter.
We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds
and the flowering of indvidual thought.

Post Script

If chance be the father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky,
and when you hear:
‘state of emergency’,
‘sniper kills ten’,
‘troops on rampage’,
‘youths go looting’,
‘bomb-blast school’,
it is but the sound of man worshiping his maker.

Steve Turner

** Note: I've found at least 5 different transcripts of this in addition to the audio in Dr. Zacharias' talk. I've done my best to union them to include all and hope the words are a good representation of the author's composition.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Robin has been admitted to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

Once again, Mike Dulak has blessed me. I am kicking myself for waiting the month and a half to get in touch with him, but I figured I was doing the responsible thing, not indulging in the luxury of having her fixed while other expenditures should have priority. Whee, self-denial, and the more absence was making the heart ache, but I proud of myself for doing the right and responsible thing.

In retrospect, not at least asking Mike what it would cost, and just assuming it would cost $150+ was stupid.

I drove to Rocheport yesterday and he admitted Robin into the intensive care unit. He loaned me a lovely little mando to serve surrogate and ease the heart for the three weeks he'll be away on vacation.

Time to fix? 1 day.

Cost to fix? Oh... about $8.

I'll spend probably close to that in gas.

I'm kicking myself... stupid stupid stupid.

Thanks Mike. You're awesome.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Good news from the IRS (It's all a matter of perspective)

Received a notice of "Overpaid Tax Applied to Other Taxes You Owe". My $1,542.00 return was applied to my 2007 Tax Debt. Called them and now I owe $2902.96 ($1,410.75 for 2007 and $1,492.21 for 2008). That's down from over 6 grand. At $105 a month that's 28 months if you don't figure in overpaid tax applications from future years and any charges, penalties, interest, federal-smack-smack.

I think I may be able to increase the payment here in the near future, and it will be so very wonderful to have the federal monkey off my back.

I would have had several hundred more in returns to apply but I didn't realize that the IRS forces me to file Married Filing Separately and if one of us doesn't itemize, then the other cannot itemize. Oh well, just one more way living outside of God's plan brings heartache in this world. Glad this world is momentary and light. :)

So yes... it's good news, or rather, I choose to look at it that way.

Friday, April 16, 2010

In the midst difficulty, God still blesses me

Accepting it as a given that these have been the hardest 2+ years of my life, with a lot of financial difficulties just making the sorrows and heartbreak a little less easy to deal with... there are still blessings....

I had planned to have Tami R. Benis do my taxes again this year and have had all my documents organized since January excepting figuring out income and loss of the portions of my house I let to tenants.

What with one thing and another, and the subject basically terrifying me, it was well worth it to pay $75 to Tami last year and make certain it was done right and not have the added stress during a time period where I was praying not to have to continue in life.

With her help I ended up getting back $5 from the state (applied to outstanding $750 owed), and around $1,500 federal, added to several thousand dollars owed.

This year too it was worth the money to have her do it, but the finances were just too tight, and things such that in the end I bit the bullet and did it myself.... and... I feel pretty confident (well, less filled with dread) that I got things right and won't be expecting a visit from the IRS... I'd like to say that my fears were unfounded and it was really much easier than the bugbear I had made it, but I'd be lying.... It was the standard exercise in fear, frustration, and unpleasantness... but... it's over... It's done.... that definitely does feel good.

Added to that the blessing that, what with the difficulties I survived with no tenants and no rent, and reducing my possessions a great great deal and beginning the bare minimum of contribution to ministry that I feel I should, and want to be making, I'm getting a significant amount back free and clear (I paid off the state for back taxes in Dec '09, and Goodness!, did that feel great) from the state, and enough 'back' federally to offset all of last year's owed taxes plus a little towards the previous year.

Now to prayerfully consider what to do with the return I wasn't expecting from the state. My initial thoughts lean towards some combination of 1. Get the dental that I've needed done for several years done (It really is a big issue to me), 2. Pay off the Taurus early, 3. Make up for tithing that I missed. Oh, there are lots of places I could put it, but I think those will be the most meaningful, and responsible... I hope.

Thank God for His blessings. This really has been a rough time, especially in the last week or so, and it's so very comforting to know that my Abba father is holding me.

Monday, April 12, 2010

When all hope is gone...

I realized a very positive encouraging comfort in the midst of sorrow.

God had shown me a course of action and I chose to obey and wanted to believe it somewhat to my credit and so feel a little more positive about myself....

However, deep down, God's course was the one I would have chosen anyways, and I had hopes that at the other end was something I wanted very badly... That negated somewhat that positive feeling even though my longing was a 'holy longing'.

I had questions that I never felt I could answer absolutely and be completely certain that I was being honest with myself and with God. Was I obeying to be obedient, or was I obeying partially, more or less, to get what I wanted? How much was obedience? How much was selfishness? How much was that in between reality that we don't really give name to where even loving or obeying someone is some blend of selfish and selfless by it's very essence?

And in the midst of sorrow and disappointment, God blesses.

I no longer have any hope of what I wanted... I worried that I would be crushed with disappointment and find that my obedience wasn't obedience at all... was no commendable facet of character (I do like to have one or two I can acknowledge).

I realized the evaporation of that dream far before I realized that I had continued in obedience even after knowing the dream was gone, and now, even realizing that, there's no urge to change or make excuses, or find an out.

It brings the image of a little girl on her bicycle with her daddy running along side encouraging her while she keeps looking back and checking and then looking forward and pedaling and back and forth and back and forth, all the while admonishing her daddy, "Don't let me go daddy!", knowing that while it seems she's gliding along and pedalling, the minute daddy lets go she'll take a tumble, until that point where she stops checking and feels comfortable and confident and she turns to tell daddy so and finds that she's left daddy behind and she's achieved what she's both hoped and feared..... The blessing of not realizing things are the way they are until after it's far too late for there to be any question that she's staying up on her own and not because daddy is helping....

God can work miracles.... God could choose to give me what I hoped for, and I would never suggest that it's beyond him..... for now however, I have no lingering hopes, and I haven't for a good long while.....

And yet, I don't see anything changing. In fact, I could easily see more of the same or worse, but that's entirely OK. I know what I have to do, and I'm actually encouraged to do it and there's joy as a reward.

This parallels closely with my convictions over the last year regarding love.... that love is not love unless it's unconditional... if it's conditional, it's not really love.... unfortunately, short of being tested, there's no way to know for certain if it is really love. No one would chose to have love tested by a nightmare of horrible conditions to see which, if any, would be the condition that negated love.... but somehow, even that has a reward... knowing your love is true and selfless means having any doubts and worries laid to rest.

I'm sure there are parts of this I will later come to feel differently about... after all, my ideas and thoughts are constantly changing (I hope, growing)... One thing I do think I know with certainty however, is, that even if it is true love, and true obedience, it's not at all to my credit or positive reflections on my character. They are a gift from God, and nothing of my doing... the very reason I felt uncertain is because knowing those very weaknesses of my character.

I digress... I feel sorrow, but in the midst of it, gratitude, and blessing, and resolve to continue. God blesses.

God Blesses.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Why? - Michael Card

And why did it have to be

A heavy cross He was made to bare

And why did they nail His feet and hands

His love would have held Him there

I'm beginning to think

That there can be no worse pain or punishment than being given a Godly love and then seeing the object of that love go through agonizing heartache and pain and knowing...

Knowing that I can do nothing to help, stop, slow, prevent....

Knowing that I don't have the least iota of a shred of a scrap of a wisp of an idea of what to do to make things better....

Knowing that it was in part to my sin that my my beloved is in this pain, in this peril, in this terrible terrible personal hell.

I guess in a way, this is my personal hell... the hell of the reality of the pain my beloved is experiencing and the hell of the reality of the mirror.

There's only one thing I have to grasp on to. All things are possible to God. Our Abba Father who loves us and promises to always do so. I have His character and His heart to rest on and the hope that He will heal.

That's all I know to pray for any more. Healing. Non-specific, non-directed, non-adgenda-ed healing. Whenever I try to give direction I'm wresting away control and failing to trust and follow. Healing. I ask for healing and comfort.