Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Courting, dating, going out, etc., what term(s) should i use?
I have issues with courting and dating, though i would use the terms "dating" or "going out with . . . " if i was in a relationship with someone.
"Dating" has a taboo among many Christians, especially conservative ones like myself, because many people have relations before marriage. That's not a practice i believe in, but society has gotten to the point where "dating" often means "sleeping with". Seeing as i don't have that ideal, and that i've never been in a relationship for that matter, that doesn't apply in my head. Since i've never been in a relationship, the terms are rather interchangeable to me, except "courting" . . . It stands apart. And not typically in an appealing way (i'll explain why). But if i were in a relationship, we'd probably be setting "dates" on the calendar for us to "go out", and that might mean from my house to hers, or from her house to mine, or even to go walk around town, in which case she or i would be "going out" to see the other on "dates" we've set.

The reason i would prefer those terms over "courting", despite taboo, is as follows:
Birds. Fish. Animals.
During mating season, animals strut, puff themselves up, boast about, parade around, show off, and so many other things that 1 Corinthians says Love isn't . . . In the mating season, when males are doing this, they are "courting" females. Often more than one at a time; as many as will have them. Not only that, but it's a temporary 'bluff', lasting only for a season. It's wooing the females into letting the males mate with them, then leave. Courting implies trying to win over the body and nothing more.
I'd never go out with more than one person, and never with someone i wasn't trying to win the heart of. Not only that, i would refuse to be boastful or prideful, or to show off--that's false advertising, especially seeing as i'm quite . . . Mild.

So no, i would not "court" a woman, but strive for her respect, do all i could to bring her honor, and try to elevate not myself in her eyes but rather herself in her own.

Basically, i'm putting personal taboos over society's taboos. I'm removed enough from society, it doesn't matter what society thinks anyways . . . Should we, the most conservative of Christians, let society's faults weigh in on what we term things, or should we go by our personal reasonings?
If we're to be in and not of the world, it shouldn't matter to us what they've lowered the standards of something like dating to; we're not them. We can still date without it being taboo because our personal convictions/standards are what we abide by, not society's.
So my personal reason is i don't want to call what i consider "dating" the same thing we call what animals do.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Triumph Over Tragedy pt. 2

The sound of a pained and exhausted inhale rang in his ears and he closed his eyes. The male nurse in the room lowered his face and stepped back, disappearing behind the opposite cloth barrier.
“Eu . . . gene . . . ?” a weak voice muttered.
He toppled forward, his face pressing against the speckled linoleum tiles on the floor, gasping for air in insufficient quantities.
“Eu . . .” the voice trailed off, being replaced by the sound of the respirator; the pump exhaled into her again, “gene . . . ?”
He squirmed and writhed about on the floor, wailing; “We were supposed to have another year!” he shouted, twisting onto his back to stare at the ceiling, “A blasted year! Not two hours!”
The nurse knelt beside him and put a hand on his shoulder, somehow helping him regain his composure. Agonizingly, he rose to his feet and straightened his face.
“Eu—” the voice was cut off and sent into a fit of coughing and wheezing, “Eugene?”
The constitution of his face faltered momentarily, but was quickly reaffirmed. He took a long step forward and into her view. She never turned to focus on him.
“Terr?” he beckoned quietly.
Her face turned slightly in his direction and he saw her once-brown irises, now coated in a silver film, flutter back and forth, searching for him, “Gene?” she whispered back.
He turned to the trash bin and fell to his knees, emptying the contents of his stomach. He began slamming his forehead into the cabinet. The nurse urged him to stop, but didn't force him to until a trickle of blood began to stream down from his hairline.
He shoved her back and stood again, taking his wife's hand in his own, fingering her ring, and pulling it to his lips. He pressed a couple fingers to her temple and caressed the height of her face, down to her jaw.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"Triumph Over Tragedy" pt.1

“Oh, God,” he whispered, “How can this be? After all she and I have been through, after all our fights, after all our years together . . . How can You let it come to this?”
He waited for a response.
Nothing to break the silence except the softening hum of the engine as he eased off the gas, decelerating behind a tanker he was rapidly approaching. He sniffed hard and wiped his nose with his sleeve.
“Why now? Why can't it be me? Why does it have to be her? Why does it have to be anyone? You're all powerful, can't You save her?”
He'd never been a praying man, but the worst-case scenarios always brought him to prayerful interrogation of God, sometimes to His knees. He never once heard a response. But as long as He believed in a God that was infinitely powerful to intervene, he had someone to blame.
“God? Are you there? Just let me . . . Let me hear Your voice, just this once. Please . . . I need You more than ever right now.”
The downshift and sequential rev of the engine was nearly deafening inside the stuffy cabin as he sped around the tractor.
“God, if You're all powerful and omniscient, then You can see her. Why won't you save her life?”
The grid of buildings grew visibly closer through the hazy evening sky, distorted by wet eyes. Many of the towers had already begun to glow, the tallest ones emitting a rotating beam of light from their peaks. They caught his attention momentarily. He'd soon be inside one of them, by his wife's bedside.
Can't see the forest for the trees, he thought.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Drugs; pro- or anti-legalization?

I'm against drug use because it's illegal, and a crime, and i am against crime. There are other reasons i'll state here as well.

First off, the most common reasonings in favor of legalization that i've heard have been 1) It's not up to the government to tell us what we can or can't do, 2) If it's not hurting anyone else, then what's the harm? 3) The only reason it's illegal is because the government can't track and tax the farming/use/sales of it, 4) It would reduce/eliminate the drug cartels, and lastly, 5) It would reduce crime, lower the amount of money going into the justice system, and increase our domestic product.

Now let me address these ideas;
1) It's not. No, that should be a personal conviction, just like beating the crap out of someone (refer to #2 for why i use this correlation) . . . We should know better than to do it. It should simply be common knowledge and instinct to not do things that kill us, just like with smoking and drinking. But no. There are millions of people who do things their body tells them not to.

2) Again, it should simply be common knowledge and instinct to not do things that kill us, just like with smoking and drinking. If it doesn't hurt others . . . That's the thing, though; it DOES. Just like alcohol and tobacco; alcohol claims 2.5 million lives each year. Those aren't just people who drink, but people whose judgement has been impaired by it. It probably takes less of most drugs to get someone 'buzzed' than it takes alcohol.
And smoking . . . I don't know how many lives that claims. Smokers aren't the only ones who get lung cancer from cigarettes; people around smokers do, too. Same thing goes for most drugs; the smoke/excess of them would affect others. That sense of logic is flawed and, sorry, downright stupid.
It would make drugs cheaper, so anyone could have them . . . That doesn't sound appealing to me, knowing that even more people would be intoxicated or under the influence of some sort of substance.

3) Sadly, that's true. It makes me sick to think that, if it has the same effects as alcohol does, that'd be another 2.5 million people worldwide if it was legal across the globe. And the government's only concern is cash. Revenue > lives. Lovely. It's depressing knowing that the government values you and i just a little less than money.

4) True. It would eliminate them, or at least reduce them. But then, once they were no longer running drugs, they'd run something else, just as has happened since boats were invented. It's human nature to want what we can't have. There have been smugglers since the beginning of countries' borders, and there will always be smugglers. As long as anything is illegal, they will run that product.
And i live just a few hours from the US/Mexico border, and there's said to be families of drug runners in Lake Jackson, a town about 15-20 minutes away from my home. I worry about alcoholics more than i worry about drug cartels. I would worry more about the influx of doped-up people roaming the streets (in vehicles, no less) if it were legal than i worry about drug cartels.

5) It would reduce crime. Personally, i think the best way to reduce crime is not to give in, but make the punishment so severe that it's no longer worth the risk of getting caught (why should criminals get access to the internet and tvs? Why is the American public paying for their luxuries? Why do the more vile inmates even get beds and chairs? It should be prison, not a stay at a fully furnished second-home). Like drunk driving--i think that should be attempted involuntary manslaughter . . . But that penalty does not exist and is only inside my head. Legalizing it for the sake of reducing crime is essentially surrendering morals because it seems the easy thing to do. It's not the wise choice, in my opinion.
And i understand that money used to have drug users arrested, tried, and incarcerated costs you and i both, but i would prefer some dopehead who can't see because so many of his brain cells have been burned out was sitting behind bars in his zombified state rather than piloting a 4,000 object traveling 60 mph past any combination of my spouse/parent/child/sibling/cousin/niece/nephew/grandparent/aunt/uncle/etc.

6) . . . If you have another reason, please message me on FB or Tumblr, comment on this, or send me an email at (please state in the subject it's regarding this blog or i probably won't even see it), and i'd be happy to discuss it.
If you're looking to argue, i'm not so naive as to think arguing online changes anyone's mind, so i refrain. If you want a legitimate conversation about it, though, just two people discussing it with reason, please do send me a message; i'd love to get more than the stereotypical reasons.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Lord's Prayer (pt. 2)

"Give us this day our daily bread."

In another verse, Proverbs 30:8, the author, Agur, pleads for only two things, one of which is to have neither poverty nor riches. For in poverty, we may become thieves and "profane the name of my God," whereas in riches we will forget where our hope rests and where our blessings come from.
Not only this, i find the whole aspect of "daily bread" to be quite interesting. It's long been in my thoughts to always have a need, but not poverty. I want just enough, nothing more. I'd prefer a little less than enough rather than a little more, so i have to strive, i have to better myself, and i have to trust God wholeheartedly to provide.
But daily bread; the literal translation of that is "the bread of my portion" (in Proverbs).
Enough, nothing more and nothing less. Paraphrased, that could imply "give us this day [just enough so that we rely on You always]."
But we're not to live by bread alone, but by every word of God. The basics of this world, and the blessings of the spiritual. Adequacy here, and abundance in our soul . . . And our cup will overflow.

"And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors."

I'm analyzing these two as the same line . . .
Forgiveness is something we have to strive for from mankind. We have to earn it. Jesus earned forgiveness of sins for us and gives it freely to us, all we have to do is ask.
But to forgive, that's not just an empty phrase. If we say we forgive someone, we should mean it. We should eliminate that wrong from our memory as best we can and live as though it never happened. In Romans chapter 10, it says "
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
Forgiveness is much the same way; to forgive, we must believe in the heart that we've forgiven, and by mouth we utter that the wrong has been washed away. It's an oath to not throw a past sin in someone's face after it's been said that you've forgiven. Jesus was God's oath to us that He'd not hold us accountable after we've been forgiven. By Jesus' blood, our 'debts' against God and man have been washed away. His blood is grace, and we're covered in it. It's not that He can't see our sins, it's that He chooses not to.

"And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one."

God does not tempt us to do wrong, so i've caught myself wondering why we'd ask God to not lead us into temptation.
But it's simple, really. In Romans chapter 1 (i'm using other verses to make my point a lot this go-'round), we can see where God doesn't lead people into wickedness, but 'gives them up to uncleanness'. Their hearts were darkened.How do you darken something? You remove the light. God is the light of salvation. He removed Himself from them, and left them to their own hearts' desires. Without a glimmer of God in our hearts, we revert to things that are unnatural, diseasing (not a word, but its intended meaning should be obvious), and crippling. They professed wisdom, all the while becoming fools. Their hearts became void of God's light.
Romans 1:29-32 says: "being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them."See, this shows that it's God alone that keeps us from evil.
To me, "And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one" is much as a plea to have God continue to shine His light in our hearts, which will keep us from evil.

"For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."

By Him, through Him, and to Him are all things; all things were made for His glory, and this is stating that all glory will be properly directed to Him. All power we may gain, whatever strength, ability, respect, honor, or place among men, it is His. He gets our glory, He gets the power appointed us by man, and His is the Kingdom that is established with such power.
The kingdom of God; this universe but a territory. His is the kingdom.
Forever. It's hard to think of something infinite with a mind as finite as ours. Let me put this in a finite manner: The Voyager I Probe was launched in 1977. That's 35 years ago. It's travelling nearing to 50km per second. Each breath you take, it travels the distance it would take you an hour and a half to drive. And it's been going for 35 years. It's 33 hours away at the speed of light. Now picture walking that distance. It would take millennia, and that's 1/265th of one lightyear. Our galaxy is 100,000–120,000 lightyears across. Now imagine walking that. There are galaxies billions of lightyears away . . . Imagine walking back and forth between here and one of them . . . Now picture it a thousand times. And that's a flash in the pan compared to God's eternal glory.
To Him is our glory, and our power (our all), and our kingdoms. Forever.

Amen: to be firm, confirmed, reliable, faithful, have faith, believe, so be it.