Monday, October 29, 2012

The Fall and The Flood (of emotion)

So I figure it's probably time for me to post again. I haven't decided what emotional direction this one will take but I will be a creature of habit and start it with a story.
It was a dark and stormy night and the men said to their Captain "Tell us a tale!" And this is the tale he told: "It was a dark and stormy night....." Right, how about not.
It really was dark but that is still no excuse. I was shuffling off to do my dear mothers bidding and I walked betwixt the trailer and the van while forgetting that the two were joined in matrimony. The old shin whacks the hitch and over I go like a top heavy bowling pin. My face contacts the gravel and I go from a nice young man to a street fighter in a bounce or two. Curses! I see Johannes Kepler and Copernicus' theory of orbit flash before my eyes in three dimensional detail. In other words I behold the heavens with both eyes closed. I roll over to my back and drape my arm over my forehead in the pitiable position of despair. The comfort squad approaches but I fend them off with threats. A sudden burst of emotion forces itself on the overfull hoover dam.
Here I insert this comment because I am proud. It really didn't hurt that much, I actually thought it was funny. And so should you, except for the next part.
I feel the urge to cry. And of course I think to myself, "What is this, tears? Auhh! Mon Dieu! A grown man crying! What kind of lame sauce is this...." I get up and stumble over to a log and sit myself down to sort my emotions with a bloody face. WHY on EARTH am I Crying! Arghhh. I can just feel the annoyance surge over me in waves. Then more tears. And then sunshine at 9:00pm at night. Here I am taking a risk. I am a young man, I have hopes, dreams, and wants, and I have realized yet again that they are next to impossible. So this emotion is a result of discouragement, down-right sadness, some pride, a little bit of anger, I'm guessing some jealousy (for good measure) and excitement. Quite the witches brew, eh? Well I still haven't sorted it out but quite a bit of it comes down to setting goals that no one can stop you from attaining.
Huzzah! I can be undefeated if my own lazy self is my greatest enemy. A song is sometimes appropriate.

These Times -- Safteysuit
These times will try hard to define meAnd I'll try to hold my head up highBut I've seen despair here from the insideAnd it's got a one track mind
And I have this feeling in my gut nowAnd I don't know what it is I'll findDoes anybody ever feel like,You're always one step behind?
Now I'm sitting alone here in my bedI'm waiting for an answer I don't know that I'll getI cannot stand to look in the mirrorI'm failingI'm telling you these times are hardBut they will
And I know there's someone out there somewhereWho has it much worse than I doBut I have a dream inside, a perfect lifeI'd give anything just to workIt's like I'm only tryin to dig my way outOf all these thing I can't
And I amSitting alone here in my bedI'm waiting for an answer I don't know that I'll get
I cannot stand to look in the mirrorI'm failingI'm telling you these times are hardBut they will pass,They will passThey will passThese times are hardBut they will
These times will try hard to define meBut I will hold my head up high
Sitting alone here in my bedI'm waiting for an answer I don't know that I'll getI cannot stand to look in the mirrorI'm failingI'm telling you these times are hardBut they will pass
These times are hard and they will pass. I will not fail if I press on towards the goal, the prize that is promised. I may fall, but by God's help I will pick myself back up and press on to the end for he is with me through to the end. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012


In an attempt to assert the hypothesis of the expected volatile reaction between two ingredients I shaped and molded the clay into a stunningly uneven cone. I had one of those cheap water bottles on the inside of the cone to be a sort of mixing chamber for my 'experiment.' I filled out a sheet of paper under the heading 'Scientific Method' with a hypothesis, a list of materials, and gave a brief description of what I was about to attempt. I was yet another homeschooler doing the ever popular: baking soda and vinegar volcano, for the umpteenth time. Is this science? According to the famous atheist Richard Dawkins, when I do it, it is not.
Dawkins states "Even if there were no actual evidence in favor of the Darwinian theory...we should still be justified in preferring it over all rival theories." He is specifically referring to Intelligent Design as that 'rival theory.' If you read Dawkins and many other scientists with years of experience under their belts they will tell you that the worldview with which you come at science action will dictate whether or not what you are doing is really science at all. Published in the scientific journal, Nature, is a quote from a Kansas State University professor which is a little more clear in stating this position: "Even if all data pointed to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic." Accordingly, if the action does not come from a naturalistic perspective it is not science at all.
It all starts with the definition of science. If you define it as "the testing of hypotheses and the development of theories based on the results of that testing. With a preconceived belief that the world is purely naturalistic and free from all supernatural invention" then its game-over for me. The uber-smart scientists have won. They are right, experimentation and theory making that comes from the perception that there is a supernatural being in the universe cannot be science. I, however, believe that science is something different. It has little or no relation to a man's worldview. It is free from the consequences of your position on God or dinosaurs or the Dodgers. At the start of an experiment you have a belief and after the experiment that belief could, remain unaffected because it is inapplicable. Second, it could be affirmed because the experiment supported your hypothesis because it was born out of that belief. Third, it could change your belief because there is no evidence to support your belief-born hypothesis. This the very effectiveness of science itself, otherwise it is completely fruitless. For the first definition science becomes an elite club of naturalists or whatever other worldview is guilty of limiting the members of club "Theistic Science." Science is designed to make those who are eager to learn, but may not know everything, far wiser about the way things work in this universe. Not to prove the theory of naturalistic origin. Science is discovery, not just proof of one's position. I think much of the scientific world, despite their brains, is slightly messed up. Prejudice ought not play any part in science.
The next step is to redefine science. A more appropriate definition of science would be "the testing of hypotheses and the development of theories based on the results of that testing with an eagerness to learn." World Book Dictionary defines science as "knowledge based on observed facts and tested truth arranged in an ordered system." Still is has no relation to someones preset beliefs. If we are required to come at experimentation with a particular belief then science becomes religion and not the discovery of truth. Many creation scientists are often accused of making science a religion. They could be guilty of doing so, but they are not guilty as charged if they are merely making and testing hypotheses with no requirement for what you believe before that.
If I pour my vinegar into the small lump of baking soda at the bottom of that clay covered water bottle I am doing science. It may not be very impressive test of reaction, not perhaps as shooting molecules through a specially designed tube to find a particles interact when they collide; nonetheless, I am testing the hypothesis that "When baking soda and vinegar are mixed they will create a release of bubbling fluid and a mixture of sodium acetate and water will be left when the reaction is finished." I have my hypothesis, I pour in the vinegar, and voila: I get the desired result, I have fun, and I am doing science.
Another long and Boring post....

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Mirror of that Greater Glory

The Fountain

I took this picture awhile ago and sent it to a close friend of mine (also a professional photographer) who edited it. This is the original version below.

See the difference? What strikes me every time I look at these two photographs, is that they are exactly the same photo but one has had the touch of one who knew what he was doing. Both also have the mark of one who is inept. I compare myself to the original photo, I am a reflection of something glorious, made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), I have potential. But I am dull and out of focus (like the woman in the bottom right corner...). I desperately need a Savior, I need to be made new. I hold the promise of new life in Christ without a doubt. I have been saved from death and from my sin, a Christian since age 4, but I am far from what I ought to be.
As a saved man, I have been commanded to be perfect. Perfect....oh dear, what am I to do! Is this perfection attainable? Well yes and no. I will never be perfect in this life, but I will be perfected, slowly but painfully, until that day comes when I am called to glory. The journey to that perfection, what we call sanctification, is brought about by the Holy Spirit, the helper that Christ promises us. It is the making of a reflection more and more like what it reflects. I am becoming more like that which I am made to be. I have a long way to go too, or so I think. What startles me is that appearances are not what they seem.
Joshua Eddy, the young man who took the potential of the above photograph to its best and brightest in this world, has attained that perfection. His time being sanctified in this world was compete on May 5th, 2012 at 3:30pm in the Rogue river. I didn't think he was ready to go and I didn't want him to go either. That decision was God's decision to make though, not mine; but, I sure would have put in my two cents. "Psst, God, Josh isn't ready." But boy was he ever.
He, just like myself, was an ordinary photograph that needed to be made new. His sins were forgiven, just like mine by the same blood of the same Son of God. He, like myself, began that process of becoming like Christ at Salvation, but he was done sooner. He now reflects his Savior as he was created to, he now knows the glory of God like no one on this earth. I can't accelerate my growth rate to match his because that isn't my choice. But I must always be ready now, because no man knows when he will pass be it to damnation or perfection, one can know which, but never when. 
I am a photo, a mere reflection of my maker I am faded and dim. Sometimes I get out of focus. On that day when I will bear His righteousness before the throne of God as perfect a reflection of my Savior as is unimaginable to the human mind, for that day I must be ready. Do I reflect him to the world as best I can, or do pass myself off as "just another photograph about what I'm not sure?"

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I was reading the blog of a dear friend and was convicted of my lack of desire for the things of God.
A few questions come to mind.
Do I fill my mind with the things of God? Well er.... sometimes.
What kind of an answer is that? How cheap am I? I say I'm a Christian, I believe I will go to heaven and all that stuff. How absurd that I would flirt with the world and then think that its okay or even that God is still pleased with my behavior. (Sheesh, you'd think I was smarter than that.)
Second question. Do I desire God? Well, apparently not. I want my stuff, to go my way, and have my time. I fear that I must be "living a holy life doing nothing fun." Yikes, all of this seems so silly yet so serious. What seems to be my problem? I should know better than this, right.
Third thing I have to say is that, "I am Proud." There I said it and you had better believe it baby!
So now what is my problem? Well first I am not humble. I usually won't accept that I'm wrong nor am I willing to give up having what I want. When I feel like it, I make a really good christian. So, I happen to be a great faker. What a bummer for me, I am missing out on the joy and delight of serving God for real.
Where does that put me? A stinking sinner just like the rest of us. Except for what 1 John 1:9 tells me "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." And then of course now that I'm forgiven I have to have somwhere to go.
1 John 4:7-12 "7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." There goes my freedom to have what I want.......right out the window.
So now you know

Whaddya Think

I wrote this as a school assignment, in the impersonation of a short story by Flannery O'Connor. If you know her work well you will, I hope, appreciate it, if not then you might think I'm bonkers. Bon appetite.


The Bus

Mrs. Tobin stood, with her arms akimbo, staring down the dusty road as if it were an oil painting that she was considering purchasing, at a garage sale. Her eyes were a dull grey with flecks of green. Her chiseled face, slightly gray as well, was deceptive as to the appearance of the rest of her ample form. Her cotton dress pressed against her legs in an attempt to billow in the breeze, yet there was not enough loose fabric for it to do so. She stood as she was, entranced, as a group of three figures came up the road toward her. Her brother’s wife and his two children, whom she had never met, were coming to visit.
As they advanced it became apparent that they were thin, bony, and dirty people.
‘What did he send these straw men to feed off me for,’ she wondered. ‘I hope the pigs got fed today,’ she could hear their faint, incessant squealing ‘they eat too much anyway.’
She glared at the sticks as they approached.
“Where’s your car?” She hollered, thrusting her chin out in front of her large form, making her look like a French washer woman about to be guillotined.
“Hain’t got one” yelled one of the sticks.
‘That must be the boy’ Mrs. Tobin decided. “How did you get here then?”
“We rode the bus,” said another stick, though not so loud as the first, now that they were closer.
Mrs. Tobin brought her neck back in, satisfied with this first exchange of blows. ‘That’s the girl.’ Mrs. Tobin confirmed in her mind.
“And walked!” hollered the boy. His mother glared at him.
They stopped at the gate to her lawn, staring over the white picket fence. She couldn’t decide what they looked like, tired cows, or pigs, yes that was it, tired pigs with their dirty faces and beady eyes.
Mrs. Tobin clasped her hands together and stared at them for a moment. The boy was about fifteen but looked like a five year old, with his stupid grin. His clothes were dust covered and his face had two little white dots that might have been eyes in a puddle of mud. Mrs. Tobin shifted her glance to the girl who was plain and wore a cotton dress not unlike her own, only perhaps with a little more room in it. Her hair was tangled and a dirty brown. Mrs. Tobin now shifted to look at the mother. She was met with a furious blaze. Mrs. Tobin took a step back with a cry. She quickly stifled it and began to make her speech. She had paced back and forth practicing it in her room for days now, all the while envisioning the looks that would come to their faces.
“Now,” she began “welcome to the Tobin family farm.” She stressed the Tobin part and looked at the woman as she said it.
“We are all glad you’re here, even the n------s.” She savored this phrase. “We have a special room for you all to share, with a toilet all to yourselves.” She smiled as if she were giving a small child a candy that it had never had before.
“We want you to enjoy your stay but we do expect you to share the load.”
“When do we eat?” asked the boy, letting his tongue hang out.
Mrs. Tobin glared at him briefly, but then smiled with pity and said, “We have some nice meals planned for you. You all can eat in your room whenever you want.”
Her voice rolled out the phrases with the same variation in pitch; up and down, up and down. The mother rolled her eyes.
“Well what are you standing there gaping for? Come see where you’ll be kept,” she halted, was that a mistake? Yes it must be; it was too soon for that.  “Ohh” she chuckled, “Forgive me, what was I thinking, you’ll be staying in here.” At least that was what she intended to say, she said kept. This was not how it had been rehearsed. The first time she had caught herself, this time she said nothing. She pushed open the door to her sunroom and let them pass in by her.
“If you need a hand with your bags, tell my n-----s, they’d be more than happy to help.” She paused, “Oh I forgot, this is all you brought. You don’t have a car.”
She shut the door and went up her front steps and in her front door. She collapsed on her dusty faded sofa in the living room.
“Oh it’s such a drain, all these people coming to eat off me, like swine.” She sighed. “You’d think I was carrion.” She laughed wearily. “You wouldn’t let them do that to me, would you, Bill. You wouldn’t let me starve to death with these pigs feeding off me. Taking away what’s rightfully ours. She’s not even my flesh and blood; she’s my brother’s wife!” Mrs. Tobin spoke to the ceiling, or at least it seemed that way to the mother as she walked up the steps to the house.
She was furious. She wouldn’t stand this. She wasn’t going to be treated like swine, and she wasn’t going to let herself be beholden to that woman for anything. She meant to come in and change that woman’s attitude toward her. Because it stunk, stunk like a piece of road kill that the maggots had got to, or the bus they had come over on. It all stunk, everything.
She drew a breath and marched in uninvited. She stood with her legs spread apart and her arms by her side.
“Mrs. Tobin, if I may say, you are most disgraceful in your treatment of us.” She spoke forcefully at the inert figure of Mrs. Tobin who was still breathing heavily on the dusty faded coach. Her bulk shifted at the intrusion, but she remained splayed on the sofa.
‘That is what swine like you deserve,’ Mrs. Tobin observed to herself, but she didn’t move.
“What are you going to do about it?” Plied the mother.
“Exactly what I’ve been doing,” Mrs. Tobin decided, to herself again.
“You’ve been treating us like, like swine,” the mother steamed.
“Oh, I’m glad you noticed.” Mrs. Tobin remained silent and motionless.
“We are people not animals, and what’s more were related to you.” The mother was beside herself.
“Why should I care?” Mrs. Tobin asked herself. She was becoming disinterested with this one-sided conversation that merely stated the obvious. She went back to her own world with Bill. More was said but it all went unheard.
“Oh, you don’t like your brother.” The mother began again. “Would it change how you relate to us if you knew that I’m not his wife, I’m just the mother of his children. Does that change anything?” The mother's face was a deep shade of fuchsia.
Mrs. Tobin was now completely disinterested but this last bit of information caught her attention. Slowly she sat up and faced the mother. She stared at her blankly for a split second before whispering, “No.”
Mrs. Tobin got up slowly and pushed the mother of her brother’s children out of the way. She strode out the front door with her feet barely catching her weight as she fell forward on them. She kept saying, “No.”
She kept walking, “No.” The sky was blue and it contorted itself to fit the shapes of the clouds.
“No.” She could hear the swine in their pens squealing and grunting. The ground rolled in waves into the road which, like a hungry whale, swallowed each one in its turn and waited eagerly for the next. The tree tops bent over backwards but still managed to touch the twisting blue sky. The yellow leaves began to switch places with each other and the road moved closer to her.
Mrs. Tobin continued stumbling towards the road, she could hear the faint roar of pigs as they began to muster themselves running toward her in a pack, black and ugly. They were still far off.
“No.” She said again louder, much louder.
“No.” She was shouting now at the pigs that were running toward her and at the mouth in the road that kept swallowing the ground in front of her and at the yellow leaves that were furiously switching places in a blur. She moved more quickly toward the mouth in the road, she was almost at the mouth when she heard a shout behind her and saw the mother running at her with all the hordes of swine at her back. She turned and broke into a run, the road was upon her, the roar was deafening; the pigs leapt at her throat. She dove into the mouth of the road and the roar hit her in a flash of yellow and a blast of sound.
The mother stopped running and looked up at the bus, it was the very one they had come on; she turned quickly and walked back up to the house. The sky was calm now, the leaves had stopped moving, the tree tops stood upright again, the only disturbance to the quiet was the sound of the bus backing up to drive around the object that lay in its path.

Connor McMurray, 5-12-12

Illusion of Control

I was headed for bed and began the ceremony that leads up to such an event when I heard that annoying whine of two (or perhaps four) wings humming across the air toward my head. I, being only 'unafraid' of things flying at me in public, ducked for cover. After a moment of silence I saw my tormentor land on the light (how typical) and catch his breath. Wait, do insects breathe? Anyway, reaching for a handy tool of destruction I swiped at him. He (she, it) flew through the air, this time involuntarily, to my dresser. He disappeared momentarily till I caught him moving again. This time he began flying in circles to the rhythm of and the path of the fan. How impressive! He topped this act with timing his rotations so that he could fly betwixt the blades of my ceiling fan as he circled. I was appreciative of his ability but I still not enough to want him plaguing me whilst I slept. Thus I renewed my attack only to send him buzz-buzz-buzzing behind a picture frame. Here I determined that sleep was of more value and I halted the battle for my rest. As I lay there, I reflected on the fact that I was determined to destroy the bug not because I had to, but because I could.
How often do I justify my action with a quick "just because I can." Am I some cosmic bully who sends down consternation and destruction upon those things that are under my control which displease me. There is nothing wrong with killing bugs, in my mind, but what startled me was the realization of my motives.
Am I always like this? Do I wreak havoc on people or things, or bugs, because I can get away with it? How disturbing.
I calls to mind the fat man who says "I'll eat it because I want to, not because of its nutritional value." Or the boy (I would call him a man but he does not deserve that title) who has premarital sex because he can. Or the girl who gets an abortion because its "my body." Is it just me, or do we live in a society that does things because it can, not because it needs to.
We want to believe we are in control, that we can do what we want. Our society has worked very hard to try and create the ability to make your own choices and then control the consequences.
Birth Control, artificially injected Insulin, things like Tums or Pepto Bismal because you can't control what you eat, even so much as Tylenol for that nasty hangover you gave yourself, what about energy drinks because you didn't have enough sense to go to bed on time. This is the illusion our culture has created. Do what you want and find something or someone else to deal with it.
Why do our attempts at control fall so far short? Because we were not designed to take over the running of our own lives. God wants that privilege. Not as a the "cosmic killjoy that he has been deemed by the world, but as the shepherd of his sheep. The problem is society deplores the idea of God. Because then, He is in control and we, are not. Christopher Hitchens the late atheist once said "Religion is not belief in God, it is the belief that God tells you what to do." No wonder we can't stand the idea of God. We like to have things just so. "Its my way or the highway buster." Listen for it, our culture is thick with it. Everything from art to industry. 'We want what we want an' ain't nobodeh gonna stop us.'
Is God a road block to our fun, or is there another reason that he desires to walk us through life? The chief end of man is to "glorify God and enjoy Him forever." If we are serving ourselves we completely blow off any effectiveness we have to that end. If we let God steer the ship we are fulfilling our end to the fullest because that's what brings him glory.
Who will be in charge. You? Because your life will come crashing down around you as you try and patch up from your mistakes and keep control of your consequences.
Will it be the one who made you. Who is in control whether you acknowledge Him or not.
It gets a lot bigger than squished bugs, but I know who rules my life.