My Wordspace

A dumpster full of various musings over life, God, scripture, and any random thought that may fly by meanwhile. Comments welcome.

Archive for October, 2004

Not Voting

Posted by Iszi on October 27, 2004

Greetings, Readers.

You read the title right. I have officially decided not to vote this year. Why? Because I’m tired of the constant political mud-slinging I’ve seen all year, and for me to vote would be to say that I fully support a mud-slinger, regardless of which side I choose to vote for.

All year, ads have been running for both candidates pointing out one screwup or another, thoroughly outlining all the ugly sides of the opposite candidate, and then showing one brief moment of the advertising candidate’s “good side”, with a voice-over by that candidate saying “I am [Joe Candidate], and I approved this message.” Why can’t we just once have a presidential candidate who will run their entire campaign based solely on their own merits, without targeting the other’s downfalls over and over again? Would that candidate win the election? In this world, it would seem, probably not. But if he were to stick to his advertised (Christian) morals in his policies and campaign, and not lay down wave after wave of personal attacks against the credibility or value of the other candidate, then he most certainly would have my vote behind him.

Since I am also now a father in this election year, I begin to wonder, “What is this teaching our children?” I mean this seriously. Imagine if the candidates for the position of class president in their High School were to run their campaigns this way. I don’t even want to imagine the defamatory, slanderous posters there would be seen around that school’s campus, or the hateful advertisements that might be run during the morning announcemnts. But then, of course, I’m sure the principal of the school would have something to say about such things. Surely they would not want to allow their children to advertise themselves that way. And yet, who’s to argue against those children when, season after season, we see grown, “mature” adults acting the same way for virtually the same reason?

So, what would I say if I was asked who I would vote for? I honestly don’t know. I mean, who do I want to vote for – a war-monger or a flip-flopper? Either way, I’d be voting for one person slinging mud against the other, with me being one in the middle catching the crossfire.

– Iszi

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Blown Away

Posted by Iszi on October 22, 2004

Greetings, Readers.

I just got done staying up all night with a thought in my head that has just blown me away. Okay, so that’s not the only thing that kept me awake. I had work, too. But the whole time, my mind kept wandering back to this one idea.

What if Jesus wrote an autobiography?

Seriously, what would it be like? To read about the days of Jesus’ life, from his own perspective? Okay, so we have the Gospels that tell us all about what he did, but it’s all second- and third-party information. In some cases, it’s only a man’s translation of what God’s Holy Spirit has revealed to him. And, while I do fully believe the Holy Spirit is a power to be reckoned, whenever you add a human into *any* project, whether divinely inspired or not, there’s always a margin for error or mis-interpretation. Especially when you consider that the Bible that we read has already gone through a few different translators before our eyes even get to see it.

So, consider that Jesus Christ himself were to write an autobiography, and write – individually – a copy in every language of the world, so that he would not have to rely on fault-prone human translators to spread it around. What would it be like to read such a book?

A couple questions that come to my mind first are:

1. When would it start? Since Jesus is part of the Holy Trinity, He is fully God, and therefore has existed alongside the Father and the Holy Spirit for all eternity to date, and to come, even before the Creation of Earth, and likely before Time was even created. So, at what point would He start His autobiography?

1a. Would He start it at the beginning (if there is such an applicable concept) of events in Heaven? Would we, through His eyes, get a glimpse of how Heaven existed when all was in perfect harmony for a time? Would we then be able to see what Jesus saw when Satan and his angels were cast out from Heaven, and understand the feelings and emotions Jesus must have experienced when those events took place?

1b. Or, would He choose to start where the Bible starts, with the Creation of the Earth? Then, we would enter into a universe devoid of any existence, and witness how God created the stars and heavenly bodies, and chose one of those bodies to be a workplace for Him to create all known forms of life, including those made in His image. We would be with Jesus, and feel the heartbreak He must have felt in the events leading to the fall of man. We would be with Him to watch such Biblical events as the Great Flood, the Exodus, the downfall of Sodom and Gemorrah, and more. All these events we have read about, but we can only begin to imagine what it was like to witness – and likely even have a hand in – these events unfolding, from on high. We can’t even begin to dream of what went through Jesus’ divine consciousness, as He saw again and again how mankind turned from the Father, and as a result was punished time and time again.

1c. Would He maybe wait just a little while, until it was decided that He would be sent down to be the once-and-for-all perfect sacrifice and salvation for mankind’s waywardness? Then, we would start by meeting the Old Testament prophets as Jesus did, and possibly even see what it was that made God choose the select few who foretold of Jesus’ ministry, hundreds of years in advance. Perhaps we would even get to know them more like God knew them, better than any man on earth would have.

1d. Would He just simply start with His birth? That would be the way most humans could relate, by following the path of His “natural” life on earth. Might He actually begin writing of this path with the night of His birth? Or would He choose to wait awhile, until such an age that humans naturally begin to collect memories, so that we might relate better?

1e. Or would He maybe just start with His ministry, with the day that he was baptized by John the Baptist? This would be, by most measures, the most pertinent turning point in His life, and therefore probably the latest time that anyone would expect such a being to begin writing his life story.

2. Then, one must wonder when the autobiography would end? Being a divine entity, Jesus has existed and will exist for all time, longer than the Earth or humankind ever has or ever will exist.

2a. The earliest time one might expect this book to end would be with Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven, after His Resurrection. While this may only (at the very least) cover the time period already documented in the Gospels, we would still have the unique priviledge of experiencing now-familiar events from a never-before-seen perspective.

2b. Or, Jesus might just decide to follow through a little further and show us how it was as he influenced the lives and ministries of his Disciples and Apostles. We would get to see Jesus’ meeting with Saul on the road to Damascus, along with other earthly appearances He made after ascending to Heaven.

2c. Possibly, he might come fully up to speed to the current day. This would allow us to follow His perspective through all of currently known history, seeing and feeling what He saw and felt as various wars were fought, new lands were found, and other revolutions changed the course of history. We’d get to know His feelings on the current status of the world and His church. Then again, might we not want to? It’s possible that He is not very much happy with His church as it is now. After all, a sadly large portion of the Christian church is very much asleep in regards of accomplishing any tasks that are of Heavenly importance.

2d. Maybe Jesus would come up to the current day and further. Perhaps he might jump into the future and show us more of what the end of the world would be like. Without revealing too many unknown secrets, He could still give us a very unique perspective on the things that would happen as the events described in the book of Revelation unfold. And, what is most important to me and been very much the driving force of this dream (for lack of a better term), it would also give us a look into His heart as He watches humankind punished once more, for the last time. We would delight with Him as he takes His children up to Heaven to be with Him and the Father and the Holy Spirit forever. Then, we would watch as God creates Heaven and Earth anew, in such glory as has never been seen or imagined by mankind.

These are the thoughts that have been driving through my mind all night. What if Jesus did write an autobiography? It would be an amazing read, I can garuntee you that for sure. It would definitely rock the world – for both the secular and Christians alike. And I can almost definitely assure you that it would completely revolutionize the Church, and the way she looks at things.

The very concept of such a thing has absolutely blown me away like nothing else.

– Iszi

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Well, What The Hell?!?!

Posted by Iszi on October 19, 2004

Greetings, Readers.

So, I’m headed to church to help set-up for Tuesday night’s service, right? I miss the bus I’d meant to take, so I decide to just bike it all the way. It’s an hour-long trip by bike, which about equals the same time I’d take if I waited for the next bus. (About a half hour to wait on the bus, and another half hour in transit.)

So, I’m biking along now, minding my own business. I’m trying to stay as close to the edge of the road as I can, in order to stay out of the way of traffic coming from behind me since there is no sidewalk most of the way. This isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially when leftover hurricane debris is factored into the equation (and yes, there still is some on the side of the road in some areas). Riding along now, trying to focus on keeping my bike in the thin strip of asphalt between the outer white line of the road border and the grass on the right, and all of a sudden – SMACK – something feeling very hard nails me in the back out of nowhere! Then, after the initial shock wears off, I start to notice it feels cold and wet as I see a Wendy’s cup flying over the shoulder that was impacted.

Now, consider that the average speed limit on this road I’m biking on is about 45 MPH, for those that follow it. Most cars going along this road typically run no slower than 60. On my bike, my average speed is about 12 MPH. So, relatively speaking, we can say that I was hit with a pretty full cup of ice and soda (and it didn’t feel light on the ice) flying at about 48 MPH. I would like to attribute the incident to a careless litterer who happened to just toss the cup out the window at the wrong time, but I’m no big target to be hit easily on accident.

So, could someone please tell me what is the frickin’ point behind doing such a thing? Why the hell would a person just want to nail some Joe Blow riding their bike on the side of the highway? Had I not been so focused on the road, or had the cup hit me in the head, I could have ended up swerving and bailing out to the side of the road (if I was lucky) while my bike flew in the other direction, wreaking havoc on the front-end of the next car to come up behind me, and likely causing them to screech to a halt, creating a road hazard that could lead to an accident involving more than just myself and the one car!

And that’s assuming I had bailed safely to the side of the road! I don’t even want to imagine what would have happened if I had completely lost control and found myself lying in the middle of the road! And the damn bastards would have gotten away with it! By the time I even thought to get a tag number in the actual course of events that happened, the car was too far out for me to even get a clear description.

So, why do people do stupid things like that? What’s it even worth to them? Is it to show that they’re better than me or something? Hell, I’d like to see the next time they intend on riding a bicycle for an hour to a church for the sole sake of slinging some couches around and throwing up some curtains.

This reminds me of another time I was on my bike a few months ago. Our car was not working at the time, and we needed diapers and toilet paper. I went to the nearest Albertson’s, and got the biggest package of diapers and biggest pack of toilet paper I could find, so I wouldn’t have to make the trip again any time soon. Each package was nearly the physical size of my own torso, albeit (thankfully) not nearly so heavy. On my way home, tail-light flashing and headlight leading the way along the sidewalk as I carefully held onto one bag on each wrist so my hands could guide the handlebars, a red pickup flew by with some doofus sticking his head out shouting some insult or another, accompanied by gratuitous maniacal laughter. I’d like to see the next time one of those guys even thinks about making such a late-night trip out to a grocery store on a bicycle for their wife and child, let alone consider taking such a cumbersome load along!

Who raises such kids that they would enjoy seeing and/or causing someone else’s hardship? How is it that society just lets these kind of people go unignored and running around rampant, pulling such drive-by pranks as these? Does no one care anymore, unless they’re the ones on the receiving end?

In short, these kind of people piss me off. Especially since there’s not a damn thing I can do about them since they’re out of sight too quickly to even consider any recourse.

– Iszi

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Sudden Realization

Posted by Iszi on October 15, 2004

Greetings, Viewers.

I just came to the realization that, since I started living together with my wife, I can’t think of any pictures that have been taken with me in them that can successfully be cropped to include me entirely without her. Okay, so there’s a couple from our wedding (dad wanted a shot with my grandfather, himself, me, and my daughter – to show the generations), and then some from my dad’s wedding (since she wasn’t in the wedding party), but aside from those pictures, the few pictures that exist of me after January of 2002 all include her.

And, of course, none of these exist on my hard drive. At least, not that I can think of. Maybe I should do some digging to find out, or request them e-mailed to me from my father.

This was just a thought that crossed my mind as I was trying to find a picture of me to replace the picture of Ewean McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Star Wars – Episode II, that currently covers as my profile pic.

In fact, now that I think of it, I don’t think there are any “recent” pictures of me at all that don’t include some friends or family. I guess there is some deeper meaning behind this, but I’m running out of time to come up with it. I just thought I should toss this up before I scrambled off to work and forgot about it.

Maybe I’ll edit this post later, or make a complementary post after I get home or something.

– Iszi

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Abbott and Costello

Posted by Iszi on October 13, 2004

Greetings, Readers.

I’ve always known there was this famous comedy pair out there named “Abbott and Costello“. Their skits and movies have apparently impressed enough of America that many know their names, even though they may not have heard or seen a single one of their works. (i.e.: Someone like me.)

Yesterday evening, while staying at my grandparents’ house, I had the pleasure of watching their production of Jack and the Beanstalk on DVD. In this production, Lou Costello plays Jack – a “professional babysitter” – who falls asleep while the child he is watching reads him the classic story of Jack and the Beanstalk. The rest of the movie is a dream sequence in which the story is played out with Lou Costello as Jack (of course), and Bud Abbott (who plays Jack’s “manager”, Mr Dinkel, outside of the dream sequence) as Mr. Dinkelpuss, the butcher to whom Jack sells his cow. Although the picture quality (even after being put on DVD) leaves much to be desired by today’s standards, the story is nevertheless still timeless and well played out by all the actors involved.

Then, this morning after breakfast, my grandfather introduced me to one of the radio shows done by Abbot and Costello, called “Who’s on First“. If the rest of their productions have near the quality of humor as this one, then I can definitely see why their names are now so commonly heard of. The web link above has a text script, and audio and video files of the comedy skit. It may be a bit tricky to follow by audio or video, as there’s a lot of quick talking, but those are definitely the best ways to enjoy the production. Go ahead and download one, then sit back and laugh a few minutes today. It’s good for your blood pressure. 🙂

– Iszi

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I Should Probably Say Something

Posted by Iszi on October 11, 2004

Greetings, Readers.

I guess I should probably say something about the recent death of Christopher Reeve. Everyone else is, at least. Not that it’s a bad thing or anything – I’m just not typically one to talk about deaths of others that do not personally affect me, often.

One thing I must mention though, is that I find it sad that he is only remembered in most of his obituaries as “the star of Superman“. I mean, sure he did a great job in all of the Superman movies, and he definitely created a face and character for Superman that most recent-day spin-offs of the series try to imitate, but that’s not all he did as an actor.

I’m no film and movie guru, but I do know that most “big name hero” actors (i.e.: James Bond actors Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan, Star Trek actor William Shatner, Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Patrick Stewart, Spider-Man actor Tobey Maguire, just to name a few) don’t have just one movie or one series that’s all they do in their acting career. I mean, sure there’s the one that really get’s their name on the map. Or maybe not the one that’s the first to put them out there, but still the one that most people will recognize. Yet, that’s not the only movie or series that completely should define the actor. There’s plenty other movies in which every actor has performed very well, outside of their most-recognized role, and few ever get much recognition for those movies when they’re being referred to, unless they don’t have one of those “defining roles” as the aforementioned actors do.

As I ramble on about this, I must admit that I’ve still not seen every other movie Mr. Reeve has acted in. In fact, I’ve only seen one outside of the Superman series. It is one that I believe he deserves just as much credit and mention for as any of his Superman roles. In my opinion, it was a very great film, with a well-played part by Christopher Reeve. It is called Somewhere In Time. In short, it is about a playwrite who meets an older woman that turns out to be an “old flame” of his, that he’s not yet had. This sparks a short series of events that leads him to be obsessed with this woman, whom we later find was a turn-of-the-century actress, and decides that he absolutely must meet her again. In probably one of the most unique ways that I’ve seen yet, (using self-hypnosis) he travels back in time to meet her and they fall in love, although much to the disapproval of her manager whom also has an eye on her. The rest of the movie, I will not spoil. Go see it for yourself. Chances are, a local library has a copy you can check out, if all else fails.

Anyway, it’s now a couple days after I started this post, and I’m picking up from the middle, so I’ve halfway lost the train of thought I was originally running on. I’ve also got some other things that I’ve jotted down in the meantime, that I wanted to post about, so I’ll cut this one off here. I think I’ve said most of what I wanted to say, even if the thought line seems somewhat incomplete.

– Iszi

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Delightfully Dreary

Posted by Iszi on October 11, 2004

Greetings, Readers.

This morning’s weather has been, by most measures, quite miserable so far. The sky has been mostly overcast, with only a few patches of sky showing through the clouds, which have been steadily letting down a light drizzle of rain upon our heads.

I’m lovin’ it.

I don’t know why, since I typically don’t like riding my bike in the rain, but today I’m just loving every minute of this weather. The air is cool, there’s a light breeze running about, there’s the fresh smell that accompanies the rain, and the dark blues and grays in the sky are absolutely magnificent. (I love it when blues and grays blend just right.) The rain is really barely there, and entirely tolerable. In fact, it’s somewhat conforting. Since there’s only a light drizzle coming down on me, and no noise coming from above, I know these clouds are not signs of some horrid thunderstorm on its way that I need to avoid. So, I can just carry on and enjoy the weather.

So, today has been quite a delightfully dreary day for me so far. That is, if you measure the day from dawn to dusk. Running the other way around, (as I usually refer to it) I think I can describe my night about the same. It was delightful in the sense that it went by quickly and easily, yet dreary because it was filled with extra detail cleaning chores (scrubbing the front sidewalk and parking spaces, pulling out the frozen drink machines and mopping behind them, hands-and-knees cleaning under counters) to prepare for today’s inspection. So, while the tasks dealt with overnight were not overly enjoyable, the night went by quickly and shortly and I got out before daybreak, even. It also helped that my co-worker pretty much left me to deal with my own work almost entirely for the larger part of the night.

Altogether then, I think I’m pretty happy right now with the way the past 10 hours have gone. I might post some more thoughts and ramblings later, but right now I need to go do some laundry and stuff in preparation for a night to be spent at my grandparents’ house. (Something I’ve not done in several years, and have always enjoyed, even through my most recent ages.) I’ve barely walked in the door and gotten my feet out of my soaked-through socks (soaked from hosing down the lot, not the rain) before I came to post this. I wanted to get these thoughts out before I lost them, though.

So, with that all said, I’ll talk to you later.

– Iszi

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Anyone Else Having Problems?

Posted by Iszi on October 10, 2004

I just recently downloaded and installed the latest release of Mozilla Firefox, to try to get myself away from the Internet Explorer hook. It’s a beautiful browser, and I love all the features that it’s offered, but I’ve been having problems viewing this blog properly. After the Archives section in the sidebar, there should be a Links section, followed by a Blogger button and a couple other icons. However, in Firefox, all I see is some text that is supposed to be commented out in the HTML code of the template. Anyone else using Firefox that’s having this problem? Any slick coders wanna take a shot at it?

– Iszi

[EDIT]

Seems some good person at Blogger was able to fix the problem for me. The site looks nice and pretty now in Firefox, as it always has in IE. Thanks, Blogger!

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Fasting – A Lesson In Resisting Temptation

Posted by Iszi on October 10, 2004

Greetings, Readers.

As I have mentioned before, since my wife has been gone I have been slammed with a wave of temptation towards acts that easier for me to resist when she is here. I won’t sugar-coat this, now. It comes right down to porn and masturbation. It’s something that I had let run rampant in my life long before I got married, and for some time after. At one point, for several months recently, I had full control over these desires and was able to steer clear of everything. But the past (three, now?) weeks have been harsh.

I’ve been sexually deprived, and could not rest in the reassurance that relief may be available within a few short hours, or days depending on how our moods and schedules worked out. No, relief is still several weeks away. Also, there’s fewer people in the house for me to have to worry about being “caught”. So, for the first two weeks of this abscence period, I found myself succumbing to the temptations, although every time I would beat myself up over it (not physically, mind you) afterwards. I hate the compulsion that leads me to these things, and yet I had not the strength to consistently resist it.

Then something came to my mind. I don’t know how or why, but I had another compulsion coming forward now. This one, however, was not of Satan and sin. This was the re-arising of a desire to do something that had helped me feel spiritually free in the past. I wanted to fast. Now, when most people consider fasting, they think it means going off of food for a few days or so. Some people do this kind of fasting as a regular practise and exercise of their Spirit. For me, however, that is just not an option. I’m 6 feet tall on a thin frame, weighing in at 129 pounds. I can’t afford to go without food for much more than 12 hours (and that’s sleeping), let alone a whole day.

So for me, as well as many others, fasting has a slightly different meaning. Instead of going without food for days on end, they’ll choose to avoid some other compulsory behavior or desire that they have. It may be food-related, or not. Some may fast off of chocolate, some might stay away from the TV or computer. There’s all kinds of ways to fast, as long as it is something that you have to constantly consciously make your mind up not to do.

What, then, am I fasting away from? After reading the first part of this post, you may assume porn and masturbation. But that’s not something to be fasted from, that’s something to be avoided altogether regardless. Yet, at the same time that is obviously my end goal, right? So, my fasting is targeted towards assisting me in that. In a sense, it’s a temporary aversion from one thing, to accompany and aid in the permanent aversion of another. When I fast, for the second time now, I’m fasting off caffeine and other forms of artificially made stimulants. I used to be big-time hooked on Mountain Dew Code Red. I used to drink between one and two liters of Code Red throughout each work shift, occasionally downing a SoBe Adrenaline Rush in low-energy emergencies (i.e.: working a shift after already having been up for 24+ hours).

Some had said I was addicted to the stuff, which I may have been. One day, at the last Men’s Encounter that I attended, Pastor Rob saw me walking down a hallway with a 1-liter Mountain Dew Code Red in tow, as I almost always had one by my side during those days. He said “I’m going to pray that you get delivered from that this weekend.” In the middle of the Saturday of that Encounter, (Encounters start Friday nights, and run to Sunday morning) my three-liter supply for the weekend had run dry, and the hotel’s convenience store didn’t carry any. So, I decided to take Rob’s word as a challenge. I got some lemonade to help my praising voice last the days, and that’s all I had to drink for the rest of the Encounter. For a month afterwards, I stayed off all drink-based caffeine (couldn’t keep entirely away from the caffeine that naturally comes in chocolate) by supplementing my liter-sized Code Reds with liter-sized Aquafina, proving that drinking Code Red was no longer an addiction, but a choice of habit.

After that month, I slowly started to slip back into keeping a regular supply of Code Red handy as I used to. Once in awhile, I’d go for the water instead, but Code Red was again my habitual choice. So now, to accompany my re-establishment of abstinence from sexual sin, I am once again fasting off caffeine and artificial stimulants (i.e.: the aforementioned SoBe Adrenaline Rush). The closest I have come to breaking this so far has been one relatively small dose of Ginseng the other night, upon the insistence of one of my concerned co-workers. Since it is a natural herbal supplement, I do not consider this a breakage, but also am not going to be making it a habit.

Through this period of fasting now, (which has lasted a week and a day today) I have come to realize what the real purpose behind fasting is. Most will say it is to help weaken your flesh, in order to allow the Spirit to strengthen within you better. While I agree with that, I also believe there’s a psychological aspect to it that can actually aid those struggling with sin.

As stated before, fasting is abstaining from any activity or indulgence which you would habitually do, and have to make a conscious and willful decision on a regular basis not to do. Now, what is sin? Willful disobedience to God. That means that every time you sin, you are taking that opportunity to make a conscious decision to follow the desires that lead you towards that sin. That also means that every time you are presented with that opportunity, there’s also the choice available that leads away from sin. The conscious decision to follow God’s will and not succumb to Satan’s wishes for your life.

Given that parralel, one can gather that not only is fasting a strengthening of the Spirit, commonly in preparation for prayer or some heavy trials. It’s also training to resist sinful temptations. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have to constantly resist one of the most primal natural urges and bodily needs – to eat. That has got to be the ultimate training grounds for one to learn to resist any form of sinful urge. Especially for those that fast for days on end like that.

So, I’ve decided now that I will continue this period of fasting until my wife returns. After that, you can bet Code Red will be back at my side, although once in awhile substituted with a liter of Aquafina. But I do not by any means intend for the end of my fasting to be the end of my resistence to these sins that have plagued my life for so long.

– Iszi

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Photoblog Is Up!

Posted by Iszi on October 7, 2004

Greetings, Readers.

I’ve now established my photoblog, entitled “My World In Pictures“. This is where I’ll be posting all my pictures, when I have them to post. Right now there’s just a handful of my wife and daughter, and one of my wife and I, but there surely will be more to come so stay tuned!

– Iszi

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