24 August 2005

What is in his bucket?

Just when I am convinced Pat Robertson can no longer do anything to surprise me, he does. Yesterday he advocated the assassination of the Venezuelan President. I am cannot believe this statement could be made by anyone who calls himself a Christian. Where in all of his studies of the Scripture did he come to the conclusion that the way to deal with a foreign government you would like to see changed calls for murder?

Sadly he has the potential to reach millions with his twisted thinking. Sadder still, many will take his words as right without bothering to think for themselves. I most often consider myself a "conservative Christian" but depending on the issue I am sometimes a liberal. I am deeply bothered to be thrown into the same pot this man is in. He makes us all look bad.

I guess the reason this disturbed me so is I find myself hearing angry hateful words from more people I believe to be children of God. Is everybody becoming bitter or am I just more sensitive to it? I enjoy being politically active but am seriously considering lessening my actions. I am unable to bear all the mean-spirited rhetoric about democrats. Adversarial does not have to be spiteful. I am surprised to find just how vicious the talk can get from folks who claim to know the love of God.

My dad impressed me deeply with a sermon he gave once. He talked of holding a bucket as you traveled through life. When times got tough or the way was difficult you might get jostled and spill from your bucket. The only things that could fall from your bucket were the things that were in there in the first place. If hate and anger spill then they were there to begin with. If your bucket is filled with love and peace, no matter how hard life becomes they are the only things you can spill out. I am sure I have paraphrased him badly but you get the basic idea.

This concept has been important to me ever since I heard it. I try to make sure the only things spilling from me are kindness and love. I believe how we behave in an instant is the truest indicator of who we are. Everyone who has known me even a short while has probably heard me say it. I have little patience for people who act with malice and then claim they didn't mean to. It had to be present in them for it to appear at all. With enough time anyone can be kind, the person you want around is the one to whom it comes instantly and constantly. I hope to be that person.

Well, this is probably enough rambling from a person who can't sleep.

23 August 2005


Today is the 700th anniversary of William Wallace's execution. If you only saw the movie you don't have a fully accurate view of who William Wallace was or how important he was to the Scots quest to escape English rule; Edward I.

Under Wallace, the Scots, - commoners and knights, rather than nobles, - were united in a focused fight for freedom from foreign rule. Whereas the Scottish nobility had usually given in to English demands for allegiance, Wallace's patriotic force remained unequivocally dedicated to the struggle for Scottish independence.

On the 23rd of August 1305, he was executed. The punishment for the crime of treason was that the convicted traitor was dragged to the place of execution, hanged by the neck (but not until he was dead), and disembowelled (or drawn) while still alive. His entrails were burned before his eyes, he was decapitated and his body was divided into four parts (or quartered). Accordingly, this was Wallace's fate. His head was impaled on a spike and displayed at London Bridge, his right arm on the bridge at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, his left arm at Berwick, his right leg at Perth, and the left leg at Aberdeen. Edward may have believed that with Wallace's capture and execution, he had at last broken the spirit of the Scots. He was wrong. By executing Wallace so barbarically, Edward had martyred a popular Scots military leader and fired the Scottish people's determination to be free.

Almost immediately, Robert I the Bruce revived the national rebellion that was to win independence for Scotland. He succeeded and was crowned king of Scotland in 1306.

Never underestimate a Scotsman's determination.

15 August 2005


I make impressions every day. Whether it's the customer in front of me or a potential client, I have to make a good first impression. While at the store we try to reach every customer with information about how we can help them. This is referred to as an impression. Since I have now had the opportunity to pass along my insight to the newly hired people I have given this subject much thought.

It was also the subject of our new co-pastor's first sermon yesterday. From making his first impression upon us, to the impressions Samuel had when God sent him to anoint a new king. Fortunately he did not have to rely on his own "king choosing" skills. God had already seen the one He wanted to call. God chose someone for the state of his heart, not how he looked.

So the question I have been mulling over is: how can I make an impression worth noting? I shared with my co-workers my thinking had changed when I re-evaluated what an impression is. When you take a coin and push it in to clay it leaves an impression. What I found interesting is the object impressed is changed. If I do it right, the impression others have of me brings some change in them. Now I'm praying I become someone God can use to leave a great impression.

10 August 2005

I always thought I was hard-headed but...

Tonight I discovered just how hard-headed I truly am. This discovery came oddly enough in the shower. Those of you who do not know me will find this tale hard to believe. Those who do will just laugh along.

I was hoping to find relief for my aching joints by taking a nice hot shower. This was not to be. As I was holding the soap it slipped out of my hand and went flying up above me. (glycerin soap is very slippery) As gravity took over it's flight path it descend in a trajectory which brought it directly in contact with my noggin. (glycerin soap can also be very hard) After it bounced off of my skull it landed in the tub.

When I got out and was drying off I took a glance back at the little purple bar which had hit me so hard. It was then I noticed the dent. I'd like to think it came after the soap bottomed out in the tub. Still, I have been told by many people I am very hard-headed. Guess they were right after all.