Through a glass darkly

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)KJV

Monday, June 25, 2007

5 Things About Jesus

So I've been tagged by Laura for this meme: 5 Things About Jesus.

1. Jesus is the most well-known person who has every lived but none of us alive have even a clue about what He looks like. I was reminded of this when I was looking for a particular picture of Jesus to use as a sermon background. Some people depict Him as lily white with blond hair and blue eyes, but I've also seen Black Jesus, Asian Jesus -few of them look like Middle Eastern Jew Jesus.

2. Jesus is incredibly patient and restrained. You know I wouldn't be happy if people called me a devil or treated me with disrespect. I certainly wouldn't have stood for people beating me, mocking me or crucifying me if I had the power to strike them all dead. People still ridicule Him today and yet He holds back His righteous anger.

3. Jesus is not impressed by wealth, good-looks, status or fame. Instead, He has a special fondness for the humble, the meek, the lowly, the brokenhearted, the downcast, what we would call the dregs of society. Those that need and seek Him, will surely find Him.

4. Jesus is the most courageous person ever to have lived. To know, from eternity past, that He would have to live on earth as a human and then die a horrible death in order to save His rebellious creatures would take far more bravery than any warrior, statesman or martyr ever exhibited.

5. Jesus loves me. The most profound line in all of Christian hymnody: "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so." This truth changes the course of my life for all eternity and yet He does so for reasons completely unknown to me other than His very nature being love. It is profound, yet personal and intimate.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Find Another Dating Pool, Part 2

A year ago, I posted on the tasteless phenomena of teachers dating their students (see post here). I don't know if it's because schools are letting out for the summer, but another one of these icky relationships has been reported in the news this week. Seems this 16 year old track star married her 40 year old coach on Monday. ABC News reported that her parents had gone to school authorities and to the man's pastor to get them to intervene to no avail (there doesn't seem to be law against this behavior in North Carolina where this took place.) What is even more bizarre is that after they were unsuccessful in their bid to stop this, the parents went ahead and gave her written consent to marry the weirdo.

Most everyone connected with the story agreed that the relationship was not right (77% of those in ABC's on-line poll thought it was wrong, too), but they all seemed powerless to do anything. Really? Nothing they could've done? Oh I don't know, the school could've fired the guy for having a romantic relationship with a student, the man's pastor could've thrown him out of the church and refused to perform the wedding, but most of all, the parents could've refused to sign and made her wait until she was 18. The guy did resign from his job, but only after he got the girl to marry him.

The expert quoted in the ABC News story was asked if the girl was old enough to decided: "With most teenagers, they're not sure yet who's who and what's what and what should be done," said Henry Paul, author of the book "Is My Teenager OK?" "It's obviously up to the adult figure to set the boundaries." And that was my point from a year ago: adults in a position of authority should be prohibited from having romantic relationships with their students/counselees/clients/patients/parishioners -period. The adults who allow these relationships to continue share somewhat in the blame for the inevitable marital failure when the young person finally wakes up and wonders how they were sucked in by their Svengali.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

And You Know Me How?

In the previous post, I talked about trying to remain incognito. Speaking of being recognized by strangers, my father and his buddy recently went to Hume Lake Christian Camp Fishermen's Retreat. Now this shocked me on so many levels, one, that he'd drive all the way there for a Christian Men's conference -see my reason below as referring to the distance. Second, that he'd go on a fishing weekend (since when does he like to fish?). Third, that he would go away from his wife and business for relaxation. The one that surprised me the most was the following story he told me.

As the guys were checking themselves in at the Registrar, my dad gives his last name (BTW, our last name is very unique) and the young lady waiting on them says, "Are you related to Ann?" "Yes," he tells her, "I'm her father." Of course, he doesn't bother to ask her name or how she knows me (For those who don't know California, Hume Lake is a seven hour drive away from me. Consequently, we haven't gone there as a church for over a decade, so how this girl knows me or who she is, is anyone's guess.) I hope she knows me not for some infamous action on my part, but because I possibly influenced/taught her in youth ministry. The only "unsettling" issue is that I tend to know whereabouts of most of the people I feel I've positively influenced and I've been wracking my brains to try to figure out who it might be.

On an encouraging note, for years I've been known as Roy So-and so's daughter; now he got to be known as Ann's father. Amusing.

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Bowling For Father's Day

Okay, so rather than just going out to eat for Father's Day, my new brother-in-law suggested to my sister that we all go bowling to celebrate. Hey, I like bowling, I used to bowl in lunchtime work league and so I own my own ball and shoes, let's go as long as this is fine with Daddy.
She called my dad and his wife and they agreed. We go to this new upscale bowling alley called the Lucky Strike Lanes. But this place is not your greasy spoon diner type food, it's like a nightclub after 9pm with DJ's and plasma screen TVs. Pretty good food, but I did terrible at bowling, even my sister with her long, manicured nails did better than I did in the second game. Daddy did okay for a guy of 82, but tweaked a hamstring (his wife Sara said that he had already tweaked it walking around the farm yesterday) and sat out the second game.

You can see some pics from this on my Flickr down on the right side or read Laura's blog for her view of it. There's even a picture there of me! [Something you will rarely see here so I can remain somewhat incognito ; -) ]

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Splat Happens

In my long career working in the Aerospace industry, I have noticed a phenomenon that I have titled "Splat Syndrome". Splat is what happens when a deer or some other animal caught in the headlights of an oncoming car, refuses (or is unable by some mental paralysis) to move out of the way before it is too late. The deer goes splat against the vehicle.

In Splat Syndrome, a person knows that bad news is coming their way potentially and yet, for whatever reason, they are unable to make the necessary corrective steps to avoid being devastated by such news. (note: there are some catastrophes that are unavoidable, but I'm referring to those over which we do have a measure of control.)

I first observed Splat Syndrome over 20 years ago when I was a young engineer. I saw some fellows get layoff notices and watched them complain for the next two months about having to find a new job while they did nothing towards finding one.

One guy I observed a few years later, had been warned for months that layoffs were coming for his position and that he was particularly in danger due to his low seniority. When the layoff notice finally came, he was given an additional three months (with pay!) to find a new position. One of the supervisiors lined him up with an interview at another nearby company. That company offered him a better job with more pay that he turned down because he thought maybe he could find something even better. Another co-worker turned him on to a civil service job with even more pay, less work and excellent job security. He had successfully interviewed for that position and only needed to take an easy written exam to secure the job. Instead, he was over an hour late for the test, which he could have walked to from his house - so no excuses about about transportation, and decided to blow it off. After he finally lost his job, he still remained in denial about needing to actually send out resumes, go on interviews and show up on time. Unemployment eventually ran out and he was forced to move in with his family. SPLATTTTTTT.

Every once in a while, I see the same patterns of behavior repeated over and over by different people - not just when they received layoff notices, but sometimes when they were forced to move to a new apartment, or even when they'd had been warned that their job behavior needed to change. They instead were gripped with this paralysis and rather than doing what any sensible person would do, they were run over by circumstances and left wondering as to how this happened.

I've recently observed a person I know, fortunately not at my company, about to become splatted. Those around them have warned that things need to change -the boss, their co-workers, even the person's friends have tried, all to no avail. The individual acts as though they are daring the boss to fire them and perhaps they are -the soon-to-be splattee shows everyone around them that they no longer desire to work there and they are looking for a career change.
Too bad that they don't have the fortitude and integrity to do it themselves, but again, maybe Splat Syndrome really is some sort of mental glitch that keeps them locked into a terrible fate. Who knows?

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