A post from 2010 for the religious prognosticators who see God sending tornadoes to Oklahoma ...
A few years ago my son and I were in the car and he advised me that he thought I was a modern day Job - I had to chuckle as I told him that Job had nothing on me. Of course we all have a story and mine is not all that different than many.. it is just different than folks who have not dealt with the death of a spouse.. or a parent who has not dealt with grieving children.. or a person who has not struggled with a disabling disease that has attacked their spouse.. we all struggle.. and our struggles are ever so personal.
Job and his friends argued about the reasons for his hardships.. his friends blamed him.. Job asserted his innocence.. but at the heart of their cumulative thinking was the idea that someone was to blame for what happened.. and God was judging Job and his wife for some secret sin that they had committed. Even though Job asserted his innocence he did not contest the basis of his friends claims. Job also believed that his hardship was God's judgment.. he just did not believe that he was guilty of a sin worthy of the judgment.
Of course Job's hardship was not initiated by Job or by God.. the story tells us that Job was not being judged.. it says that Job was blameless.. and it also says that Satan (not God) killed Job's children and afflicted Job with a disease. Even so Job and his friends believed that God's judgment was involved.
This theology of divine judgment often rears it's ugly head even today. When bad things happened to New Orleans four years ago religious pundits were speaking about the judgment of God on this area. More recently religious prognosticators were embracing Job's theology and speaking oracles of divine judgment when a massive earthquake hit Haiti. These religious folks seem to have embraced the erroneous theology of Job by saying that hurricanes and earthquakes were God's reaction to somebody's sin.
Interesting that in Job's story God shows up at the end of the story speaking from a whirlwind.. but the wind did not seem to hurt anyone or damage any property.. perhaps God's winds are of this sort? The end of Job's story also teaches us that "sometimes" hardship ends okay - I say okay because even though Job was healed, his fortunes restored and new children were born there were still many lives lost in tragedy.
The moral of Job's story is that things are not always as they seem.. bad things happen to blameless people.. and it is foolish to blame God or invoke a theology of divine judgment when hard times come. I reject that theology on a personal level and I also reject it for the people of New Orleans and Haiti.
"While we believe that good is something to be invented, we demand of our rulers such qualities as 'vision', 'dynamism', 'creativity', and the like. If we returned to the objective view we should demand qualities much rarer, and much more beneficial - virtue, knowledge, diligence and skill. 'Vision' is for sale, or claims to be for sale, everywhere. But give me a man who will do a day's work for a day's pay, who will refuse bribes, who will not make up his facts, and who has learned his job."
• Saturday, May 18, 2013
• KC Star review contained a huge spoiler that I wish I had not read;
• I like Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachery Quinto as Spock;
• Felt it was too long and could have used better editing;
• I like Benedict Cumberbatch as the villian;
• Found the relational development of the main characters to be lacking;
• No surprise that the movie mostly appeals to fans of the original series;
• Nice high-tech update to the bridge of the enterprise;
• The story line was a bit jerky and seemed to jump around a bit;
• Enjoyed the twists at the end of the movie;
• Was a nice re-imagining of an old TV show episode.
I mostly liked the movie and, on a scale of ten, give it ★★★★★★★.
• Friday, May 17, 2013
I think that the Watergate scandal and aftermath changed the way that we view our leaders. In a sense Woodward and Bernstein were the first to topple a president from his pedestal. Since that time we have been confronted with the many character weaknesses of our leaders. Nothing appears to be off limits to the press any more. I am not sure that I like the changes that Watergate brought. What do you think?
• Thursday, May 16, 2013
thoughtful Shoebox cartoon reminds me ...
I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done. -Lucille Ball
Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind. -C. S. Lewis
I have many regrets, and I'm sure everyone does. The stupid things you do, you regret... if you have any sense, and if you don't regret them, maybe you're stupid. -Katharine Hepburn
My one regret in life is that I am not someone else. -Woody Allen
The past is a great place and I don't want to erase it or to regret it, but I don't want to be its prisoner either. -Mick Jagger
I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country. -Nathan Hale
• Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Often religious folks like me speak of grace as being God's unmerited favor. So interesting how that concept seems to elude my grasp every day. Here are a few thoughts about sharing grace today ...
Consider the notion of tipping more for bad service ...I would love to hear other ways of sharing everyday grace. Please share!
Say thank you even when you do not feel thankful ...
Be nice when someone treats you badly ...
Smile even when your heart is hurting and life sucks ...
Encourage a friend when they deserve it the least.
• Monday, May 13, 2013
A few months ago I told my daughter, Susie, that she was so much better of a parent than I was. Over the years I have watched her raise my grandson and granddaughter with such an amazing grace. So I thought that, on this Mothers Day weekend, that I'd take a few minutes to share some of the lessons that she has taught me about parenting and about life.
- Advocacy: I have never seen a more tenacious mom than Susie. She will defend her children against anyone and anything that would come against them. She is the definition of a Momma Grizzly.
- Bravery: Susie is one heroic woman. She has confronted major obstacles in her life with such resiliency and power. There is nothing that can defeat her.
- Compassion: My daughter has a very tender side to her. You see it the most when she is around the kids. She communicates such a passionate love to them.
- Discipline: I love the way that Susie disciplines the children. She is firm and unbending when they do something wrong. Then she comforts and encourages them later.
- Education: Sometimes a single mom can give up on their dreams and settle for smaller ones. The way that Susie perseveres in her education makes me so proud.
- Forgiving: I have watched my daughter grow in this area over the years and admire the way that she has been able to forgive and forget past failures.
- Gladness: Susie is a fun person to be around. Her love of life is a bit contagious.
As you can tell, I am very proud of my daughter. And on this weekend dedicated to great Moms I wanted to take a few minutes to celebrate Susie and share a bit of her with you.
• Sunday, May 12, 2013
The Motley Fool comments on this chart saying: "There are two big takeaways from the chart.
One is that gas prices are much higher today than they were during the 1990s and early 2000s. There's no disputing that.
The other is that real gas prices are no higher today than they were a decade ago. That's largely due to two factors. In 2003, the average new passenger vehicle got 29.5 miles per gallon, while today a new car averages 35.6 MPG. And annual miles driven per capita has declined 5% over the past decade."
• Saturday, May 11, 2013
"This is really an '80s movie about a relationship between a grown son and his doting mother, and with the exception of some gratuitous bad language it has little in common with most of the crude and cynical comedies we see today. There is great chemistry between Streisand and Rogen, both are very much in tune with their characters, and I think a lot of mothers will relate to Streisand's speech to her disrespectful son toward the end of the film. My mother gave similar speeches to me, and this scene helped me acknowledge how right she was."
I liked Guilt Trip and think you might too if you enjoy heartwarming flicks. On a scale of ten, I give it ★★★★★★★.
• Friday, May 10, 2013
ZDNet wonders if we should thank Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry for many of the advances that we see these days. I must admit that many of these inventions do bear a resemblance to things found on the Starship Enterprise. Consider ...
- Flip cellphones do resemble that "Beam me up Scotty" Communicator.
- The ear piece that graced Uhura's ear is a predecessor of current bluetooth ones.
- Gigantic flat screen televisions of our day were once imagined by Roddenberry.
- Remembering those tablets used by Captain Kirk reminds me of an iPad.
- I talk to my Android phone like I am interacting with the Enterprise computer.
The article goes on to speak of medical advances that look like a Starfleet Sickbay and how we are a long way away from Replicators and Transporters. Even so, you have to wonder if maybe Roddenberry saw further into the future than we can imagine. :)
• Wednesday, May 08, 2013