Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hot Weather, White Man's Burden, and Hurricanes

Oh my!  I'd better hurry if I want to get another post up for August.  Even though it's one of the long months on my calendar, it has slipped by rather quickly.  Don't know what I've been doing that was so much fun but it kept me occupied.  

Summer has returned for a last gasp.  I hope so anyway.  Warm is good; hot is not.  And it's hot here when the temperature (Do thermometers have mercury any more?) gets up around ninety.  

Speaking of weather, the weathermen are so excited that they have a real hurricane to predict doom from now.  Only thing better for them I suppose would be for it to end up in the Gulf of Mexico.  Yeah, I think the news cyclers or recyclers love doom.  If there isn't any, dredge up an old story and respin it.  These are the same guys that point at certain political persons and accuse them of fear mongering.  Kind of odd, don't you think?  I guess that only applies to the other guy.  

School has started here now.  The seniors are all tucked in at the college of their choice now.  Or those that chose the military have graduated from basic and gone to their next assignments.  The next generation of leaders are being formed.  Wonder what it'll look like when they are in a place to do the leading? Or will they opt out like so many of my generation did, leaving the leadership to those that are purchased by whoever the highest bidder might be then?  

We keep hearing about the need to do the hard thing, the right thing but no one steps up to do it.  Has it always been that way and I'm just catching on now?  What little history I have read says yes to that question.  Even down to the arguments used to justify a position.  Update the language, change a few names and there you are.  Seems like Solomon was right about nothing new under the sun after all.  

But, even at that there's still no reason no let things drift without at least making a few course corrections.  I think so anyway.  And the time for that is yesterday in reality, but since that's gone, today will have to do.  Tomorrow may not be soon enough.  And since most politicians value their jobs and those are threatened by current events something will be done eventually.  And especially when the newer bunch realizes what is at stake.  Yes, I still hold a hope that we aren't done yet.

The best part of what's going on now, is that our country is transitioning into a new era.  One where we aren't the world fixers or cops.  One where it isn't the white man's destiny to enlighten the heathen savages.  Yes, I do believe that's the root of where we come from politically.  We inherited it from our ancestors across the pond.  And for a long while believed that idea.  

Now, is a new era.  More of everybody on the globe knows more about everybody on the globe.  And guess what?  Most of those heathen savages have a way of living that predates our great idea and aren't ready just yet to give that up.  Isolationist?  Not exactly, but no longer an interventionist just because they choose to live in a way I don't like.  Or because they have all the oil on the planet.  Or under it.  So buy it from them.  Too expensive? Then innovate and find another idea that works and is cheaper.  What's the old saying?  Necessity is .....  You know it.

So much for my political musings.  See what hot weather does to me.  Feels good to spout an opinion of my own too.  Catharsis.  Even the word feels good to say.  Must be time to end this.  The cat just walked across the keyboard.  

See you in September.  Wasn't there a song about that?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Review: 1,2, & 3 John, Life Application Bible Study

1, 2 & 3 John
Life Application Bible Studies
Linda Chaffee Taylor et al
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

This book is one of a series of studies available from Tyndale House Publishers that includes the full text of the book to be studied from the New Living Translation of the Life Application Bible. When I received this study guide the first thing I noticed was the very attractive presentation. You will want to pick it up and thumb through it. Inside, the pages have enough room to record your responses without having to resort to abbreviations or microprint. I like that. It also means the responses are likely to require more than one word.
The first few pages contain an explanation of how the translators worked through the some common language issues to arrive at the NLB translation. Interesting reading but not necessary for the study itself. The text of John 1, 2 & 3 and notes from the Life Application Bible follow. I think it is reprinted directly from the NLT Life Application Bible so that you get to test read that version while doing your study. I didn’t find any questions that rely on this particular version like I have in some other studies. That is very thoughtful for the class member that prefers another Bible version will still find that this study available for them.
To the study itself now. I have not done the entire study so this will be based on a preliminary impression. As with most studies this one starts with something easy and familiar but pertinent to the content to allow the student to wade a little deeper into the material. The whole point of this study is to do more than study the content. It is application. Learn it and live it might be the short version of the authors’ purpose.
Conversation is stimulated by the way the questions are asked. How, when, why, what, or describe start nearly every line. Can’t get away with those “yep” or “nope” responses any more. Another nice thing is the student is encouraged to think more deeply, more thoroughly so the learning is more apt to become action. For students or leaders looking for more depth and more interaction during their meeting times, this study may be what you are looking for. Give it a try.
Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Marriage, Prop 8, and Other Stuff

Need to put up a post.  Need to!  Just gotta do it!  Why?  Don't know. Just want to express myself I guess.  Why does anyone do this?  

Celebrated another wedding anniversary last week.  A whole bunch of years.  Had no idea when I got married I'd see this many years go by.  The young can't think in those terms.  Not sure the old can either.  I'll let you know when I get there.  Took the day and visited a Renoir exhibit and ate a cheesesteak sans the cheese.  Enjoyed it.  Even decided to renew the contract for another year.  That's the way we've done since the beginning so why not continue the tradition?  Was it easy staying married?  Most of the time.  Yeah, there were times that one more day seemed impossible, but I guess it was possible since I'm still here.  Maybe that's how it works.  

Speaking of marriage---Prop 8 in California is history now.  Unless the Supreme Court does something unexpected.  The idea was lame to begin with and the court proceedings even more so from the media reports.  So many questions attached to this issue that I don't know how to reconcile it all in my head.  Assuming that's even possible. Are some things so disparate that they cannot be reconciled?  I suspect so, but not sure if that applies to this issue for me.  Still pondering and still realizing that what I think doesn't matter to anyone else.  I just need to figure it out for my own peace of mind.

So now that the oil isn't gushing into the gulf what will become of all the calls for real regulation and inspection?  Or the R&D to find faster, better, safer ways to minimize the damage from the next leaking well?  Umm, probably the same as before.  Nada.  The news coverage has already died off and soon it'll be like other disasters like Haiti or Iraq.  Forgotten in the need for ratings.  And Congress?  Oh, that's right.  It's an election year.  No time to do the right thing, must get re-elected.  Promises and more promises and little or no action.  Can't wait for November.  Guess that makes me an anti-incumbent voter.  Keep voting them out until I get one that will do his job.  Can't screw it any more than it already is IMO.

So much for the opinions.  They are mine though, so I guess I still have the right to say so in a public area.  If not I suppose the thought police will banish me to somewhere lovely.

Haven't mentioned my cat lately.  He's settled in nicely now.  Still plays a little and loves to snoop.  Open door = invitation to enter.  Closed door = opportunity to practice opening said door.  Related to the open door he thinks the outdoors is just another area to explore and tries to do so any chance he gets.  Not a good idea though, so with some help form a spray bottle he doesn't bolt through as frequently any more.  Another cat maxim is water = bad.  That one supercedes the open door maxim.  Works quite well as a deterrent.  Glad somebody suggested it to us.

This has gotten longer than I anticipated so it must be time to quit.  So I will.