Friday, March 28, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

WARNING DANGER WARNING DANGER

The following post is extremely toxic and may cause watering eyes, heart burn and a desire to preach long, impassioned salvation messages to the author.

I'm Don the Baptist and I approved the following message...

REMEMBER THE MAGINOT LINE!

Between World Wars One and Two the French decided they'd had enough of German military depredations. So--at great expense--they built and manned a hugely fortified wall all along the French/German border. As George Patton was wont to say, "Fixed fortifications are monuments to man's stupidity."

Faced with this massive, unbreachable wall, the Germans decided to ignore it completely. Instead, they attacked France by way of Belgium, where there was no Maginot Line, proving Patton's dictum.

The Maginot Line was wastefully expensive in money, labor, time and manpower. And it did not do what it was constructed to do; i.e. keep Germany out.

Christians have constructed a Maginot Line of their own. It is laboriously maintained and anyone who questions it is by definition a heretic. Our line of defense is SIX DAY/SEVEN THOUSAND YEAR CREATION.

I'm a heretic; I question it. The Book of Genesis does NOT demand six literal days of creation. The Hebrews used DAY quite loosely. DAY of the Lord, anyone? On the DAY God created the heavens and the earth; Genesis 2:4.

Don't get your panties in a bunch. I'm not denying belief in the creation account. I'm denying our attempt to make it into a modern scientific statement. That is not what Moses was doing. He was proclaiming that YHWH is the ONE God who created everything, thereby socking all the other Ancient Near Eastern creation accounts in the nose.

Check it out: the earth was UNFORMED and UNFILLED. YHWH FORMED it in the first three days and FILLED it in the second three days. It's not a modern account in modern language and concepts. It actually speaks to EVERY age and level of science.

Too many Christians are so terrified of Evolution that they feel giving ANY ground to it is a slippery slope. I think there is a belief that six day creation/seven thousand years ago makes it impossible for evolution to take place. Like it's a safety net or something. Like it's going to keep science from marching on.

The fear is if we grant the actual four billion years of the earth's existence (and some fifteen billion for the Universe) than evolution MIGHT have enough time to happen, so we can't have that.

Science has followed the evidence through "Belgium;" They simply ignore Six Day Creationists as loons.

Christians need to recognize that the age of the universe is pretty well established. It's determined by the distance light has had to travel from the most distant objects in the universe to reach the earth. And no, I wouldn't put too much stock in the apparent age argument, either. Where does God do that? God does everything in the fullness of time. It's like His motto. Just the distance in time between the promise of Messiah in Genesis 3 to his coming as Jesus, to his still long-awaited return ought to tell you about God's comfortable relationship with looooong lengths of time.

Six day/seven thousand year old creation is a useless, hollow, "Maginot" line that only makes us look stupid. Fine, I know I have not convinced 99.9% of any Evangelical Christians who could bear to read my opinion to this point. But Six Day creation misses the point completely.

The point is NOT did evolution happen or not? The point IS: Did God create the Heavens and Earth or not? Isn't THAT the message we have for the world?

The HOW is not nearly as important as the WHO.

PRIDE GOETH BEFORE A WATCH

I was slightly guilty of gloating to my hiking buddy the other day. I told him I had walked half a mile in seven minutes. Mathematician that he is, he remarked, "that's a fourteen minute mile!"

So today I went for my regular five mile hike up Godde Hill. (2.5 UP--2.5 DOWN) Today I wore a real watch with minute gradation markings, instead of my classy one with only 3, 6, 9 & 12 on the face.

Ouch. No fourteen minute miles here. I did walk eighteen and twenty-two minute miles going uphill. I managed two sixteen minute miles downhill. That's still better than my usual, humdrum twenty minute (3MPH) miles on flat ground, but not a superhuman (otherwise known as a normal guy) fourteen minute (4MPH).

Sorry Eric, the record is now straight.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

DEATH TO SPAM!

Because of an increase in SPAM comments I have changed the settings. At this time...
1. ANYONE can comment, not just Google members.
2. I have added Word Verification, which means you must type in a secret cypher as it appears to you on the comments page. This supposedly foils automatic, mass spam posts.

Now, c'mon, lets see some comments from those of you who refuse to join Google.

CHRIST IS RISEN

He is risen indeed.

Physically.

Bodily.

Actually.

Totally and unaccountably against the "laws of nature."

Not a mere reversal of corruption but a new glorified, resurrection body.

Alive forevermore.

He offers eternal life TO you because he has conquered death FOR you.

Believe and repent.

He's coming back.

Friday, March 21, 2008

GOOD FRIDAY

Today Christians commemorate the death of Jesus the Christ. Jesus himself said he came "to serve and die a ransom for many." He also said that "as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so I, if I am lifted up will draw all men to me." Those are Don the Baptist paraphrases.

Moses lifted up the serpent at God's direction. The Hebrews were murmuring against God and his nearest representative; Moses. God sent poisonous serpents into the camp which created quite a bit of excitement when people began dropping dead. God told Moses to raise a bronze casting of a serpent on a pole ( the modern medical caduceus symbol is a stylized image of that event ) The divine promise was that anyone who looked to the serpent would be healed/spared from death.

Jesus' reference to the event promises eternal salvation to all who look to him.

On the night before the crucifixion, Thomas said to Jesus, "Show us the Father and that's all we need."

Jesus replied, "Have I been with you so long and you don't even know me? He who has seen me has seen the Father."

Jesus IS God in human flesh. Look to him for salvation. Not some murky, future cloud nine with nothing but wings and harps and a long, boring church service for a bazillion years.

He offers to make you the you he created you to become in the first place. THAT'S what Christians mean by SALVATION.

WEEKENDS ARE FOR FUN 27

Happy Trails to Youuuu!


MEXICO TRIP
















Went to Mexico this week; a time to visit my parents and connect with friends and new friends. Had some good conversation, great food and wonderful rest. here's a picture to tantalize you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

ANCHORS AWEIGH 3





















I wanted to remind you to pray for my friend, Commander Mark Schwartzel, USN, as he and his troops are serving in the Middle East Area of Operations. Mark is the Commanding Officer of a customs detachment. (Expeditionary Logistics Support Group Customs Battalion TANGO) The command consists of 500 sailors performing Customs Inspections on sailors, soldiers and airmen returning home after serving in Iraq.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

WEEKENDS ARE FOR FUN 26





















Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

I'M GOING TO DISNEYLAND!

Today Karen and I went to the "Passport Fair." It was great. We went on rides, ate cotton candy, bought balloons and watched the clowns cavort. No, wait; THAT was the actual fair. The "Passport Fair" was held at the Post Office which should have been my first clue.

When they say "Fair" what they mean is: "Going to the Post Office five days before Christmas to mail packages, FAIR." Or perhaps, "Going to the post office at 11pm on April 15th hoping to get today's time stamp on your income tax return FAIR." In other words it's going to the Post Office to stand in line. A long line. A REALLY LONG LINE. It took us two hours to get to the "talk to a human person" point. Which is still not the "process your application" point.

This made me truly enthusiastic over the prospect of government run health care.

The first thirty minutes weren't too bad. We spent that time filling out the application. On the other hand, we did have to do that while standing in a shuffling line writing on our hand for a hard surface. (I brought a book, which all authors know is immeasurably better.) While filling out the paperwork I was helped in my concentration by the woman in line behind me. She was having a loud, one-sided conversation on her cell phone which consisted of the following exchange: "Mom, I'm here but I don't have the proper documentation, it's all in your safe... But your told me to come here... But I don't have the proper documentation, it's all in your safe... But you told me to come here..." On and on, over and over for thirty freakin' minutes! It's helpful trying to remember your parent's birth date and place of birth while juggling over-sized paperwork on your hand with stooge-level inanities shouted in your ear.

Five minutes after I finished the paperwork she got out of line.

We finally made it to the front of the line where the first question was, "Will you be traveling out of the country in the next four to six weeks?"
"Yes."
"Come back when you return to the United States."

ANNOUNCER: ...Don the Baptist, you just survived another bureaucratic nightmare, what are you going to do next?

I'm going to bed.

Friday, March 14, 2008

YAY!...HEY, WAIT A MINUTE!

"My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world.

I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it." -- Barack Obama

Saturday, March 8, 2008

T-MOBILE SUCKS

The battery died on my cell phone today while I was out and about. Fortunately there was a convenient T-Mobile store just down the street.
"Sorry sir, we don't carry batteries in the store."

Did he add, "but let me order one for you."? He did not.

Did he say, "Let me see what I can do for you."? Nope. Just, we don't carry batteries in the store.

I would expect Ford to carry or at least ORDER parts to support my car. I would expect Singer to carry parts for my wife's sewing machine. But T-Mobile DOES NOT SUPPORT IT'S PHONES.

I paid a hundred bucks for that phone. It's not even a year old. I am not happy.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

HEALTH ALERT HEALTH ALERT HEALTH ALERT

Whoo Hoo! I've now walked 100 miles in just over a month.
Ya know what? I'm happy.

K-DTB: ALL DON THE BAPTIST, ALL THE TIME

DISCLAIMER: The following post is the result of an old fart discovering modern technology. For those of you under fifty, I realize I sound like a two-year-old discovering that ice-cream tastes real good. Just remember, many of us seasoned citizens have great difficulty mastering buttons that perform more than one function.

I bought an MP-3 player. Not an IPOD mind you; I figured I better break a cheap one before going whole hog. Over the last three years I've thrown away money on "personal" AM/FM radios that only pick up mariachi music (apologies to Gil) I have a nice Diskman but the batteries always die before I finish the workout. Okay, FINE. I broke down and bought the darn thing and I'm instantly in love with it.

WARNING: the following information is for Geezers only; non Geezers skip to next paragraph. The primary reason I was slow to buy this thing is I didn't understand how easy it is to copy CDs onto my computer and then load them to the MP-3, a process known as Syncing. But its a snap. If you are a Geezer faithfully hanging on to your eight track tape deck, waiting for it to make a comeback, give it up. C'mon, take a chance. Its well worth it.

My RCA MP-3 player cost less than $40. It's the size of a credit card and holds like twenty CDs worth of music. REAL IPODs hold a LOT more. It plays for fifteen hours on a single charge. And here's the thing, I only sync music I want to hear. I don't have to listen to the seventeen songs on an album that suck, waiting for the one or two I bought the thing for in the first place. I set my player for shuffle and start walking. Its like listening to the perfect radio station. Every song is something I want to hear. Its even better than satellite radio.

Now I'm saving my pennies for a real IPOD.