Archive for the ‘creation’ Category

Well here is the first (and quite incomplete) version of our introduction book. Tell me what you think. Anything we should take out? Add in? Anything you particularly like or dislike? Drop a comment and let me know. And since I can’t resize this, just click on the link to see the whole 14 or so slide presentation.

My Scrapblog

Here are some sentences I humbly offer to help you on your way [If you use any of these sentences in your next great novel please give me credit.]:

“IF it weren’t for those damn squirrels! Now I was left to ponder, how would I get my toast out of the tree.”

Okay, that was two sentences, but just let it slide. Squirrels who steal toast aren’t for you?  How about this gripping beginning:

“AS my car spun off the road, and all I could think was, “How did that Elk know my name?”

Okay, the idea of a talking elk doesn’t get you thinking (in which case I must ask, what is wrong with you?).  But I’ll try something else.  If you want a deeply emotional beginning that tugs at the heart string, how about this:

“I had to admit, I did love her. But could I live with her odd obsession to shoelaces?”

So you didn’t like the squirrels, the talking elk, or the shoelace obsessed girlfriend. Well, you sure are tough to please. But maybe these next few might help:

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Take a chance. Who would have thought 15 years ago that J.K. Rowling would be so fabulously famous and rich? Not even J.K. Rowling I bet.

I got to thinking about this when I went through some old boxes last month. In one box I found one complete opera and one half way finished opera I wrote when I was 17 (maybe 18). I no longer have the compilation disk of classical music I used- since I can’t compose music worth a darn. But the characters and their words came back to life in my mind the moment I opened the somewhat yellowed pages of the old notebook where I recorded these little experiments in lyrics.

In another box I found a series 17 sonnets I wrote when I was in my freshman year of college. Sadly, the middle sonnets [7, 8, and 9] were missing. But reading through them I was amazed at how optimistic, idealistic, and verbose I was back then.

In yet another box I found my handwritten notes about operas I wanted to put together, with story lines and characters. I found my notes on books I wanted to write back when I was 19. One book was about a major revolution in the U.S. led by a Cuban-American Senator and a young idealist- whose death at the gallows inspired an apathetic populace. Another was a Swiftian satire about a young scholar who travels through different nations recording their history and his experiences with the local government. I remember writing one about his experiences in a socialist state, but sadly, I can’t find it anywhere.

The last was a book based on an old Spanish folk tale about a beautiful young woman who lived in a large glass enclosure inside an old bar. Two rich young men come to court her, and pay the barkeep large sums of money in order to visit with her. Can you guess what happens next? Well go ahead and guess before you click on the page break.

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Long before there was the Total Transformation Test blog there was “Musing, Rants, and Monologues.” It was my first blog and it ran from June 2005 through August of 2006. M.R.M. represents a different phase in my life, and a very different writing style. My writing was a bit less polished, my humor and criticism much more caustic, and my topics much more political.

On this blog I try my best (often without success) to avoid political topics- as this is primarily a weight loss blog. I don’t want my radical right wing libertarian politics to drive away those interested in losing weight and beginning a healthy lifestyle.

However, after going over some blog posts from the old blog (for some unknown reason) I can’t resist introducing a new kind of blog post entitled “Classic Posts.” These Classic Posts will highlight posts from the old blog that I consider hidden gems- in an otherwise poorly maintained and inconsistent (not to mention poorly read) blog.

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Visit Yahoo! Answers to find the answer to millions of different questions.

This Yahoo! Answers badge is really getting me angry. I am supposed to have a really nice looking badge that shows various questions I have answered on Yahoo Answers, but yet the best I can get is the sentence above. So I think I will highlight some questions I answered on Yahoo! Answers by reposting them here (and crossing my fingers that Yahoo! doesn’t mind).

Question 1: Cheery! asks, “Global Warming: Interesting/boring? why? I want to talk about Global Warming in the Oral exam which we are allowed ot prepare beforehand for. I know that alot of people are going to speak on this topic. So does anyone have any interesting facts about global warming so that i can engage the examiner’s interest? And if you find Global Warming boring, why?”

Answer: Although it doesn’t directly answer your question, I would suggest you find a new topic. If there will be several presentations on this subject in a classroom setting you run a very high risk of boring even those interested in Global Warming.

No matter how many interesting facts you find, if you are the fifth or sixth speaker on this topic most will have tuned out by then. So I would encourage you, if you have the ability, to find a new topic.

Personally I find the topic interesting, but if I had to listen to several students give speeches on the subject I would probably…(Continue reading here).”

 

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Well, I am due to turn in my encyclopedia entry on slave patrols on August 1.  The only problem is that I can’t find my muse.  I have written four drafts, all of which I’ve torn up (figuratively since I am using Word) and thrown away (deleted).  Which stinks since most of them were near complete but they weren’t quite what I wanted to write.  The topic of slave patrols is so large and I only have 750 words to express all I want to say.  This is driving me crazy.

So I guess I need to pray, focus real hard, block all outside distractions (dog, radio, etc.) and just sit here till I either starve, go insane, or write the perfect entry.  I am hoping that the third option happens first.  Although, while in law school I came pretty close to the first and second taking place all too often.

Well, if you remember my post from two or three days ago, here is what my living room used to look like…

bar-side.jpg bar-front.jpg

Well here it was a day later…

mimi-and-papaws-june-visit-021.jpg

And here it is today…

mimi-and-papaws-june-visit-025.jpg

Now all that remains is some sanding, priming, and painting. Thank the Lord for helpful in-laws. We also thank God for our friends from church who helped knock down that hideous old bar, put up sheet rock, and tote away the left over junk.

Sorry for the blog silence.  I have spent the last three days ripping out an ugly Tiki Bar from the living room of my home.

bar-front.jpg  bar-side.jpg

Ugly, isn’t it?  That ungodly abomination was taking up quite a bit of space in my living room.

I will probably be off line for the next few days.  On Monday normal blogging activities will resume.

Well, despite the frustration of using a cordless circular saw, I got a bit done on my chin-up/dip bar project. Here are the first two steps I was able to complete

Step 1:

Secure two 8 foot long 4X4’s. Cost at Home Depot $12.

4X4’s

Save yourself some time and let the guys at Home Depot cut them into two equal (four foot) pieces.

Step 2: Notch the ends of each board so that each can interlock together in a square shape

yard-work-may-28-031.jpg

That’s where I stopped.  Not because I was tired but because the battery on the cordless saw works for about ten minutes and then takes 4 hours of recharging.  So this will be slow and steady over the next few weeks finishing up notching the wood.

Step 3: Coming soon.

When we hope we look forward to something with confidence or expectation of its attainment[1] Something that is hoped for is almost never a negative or bad thing, but something that will in some way enrich our lives; Captives hope for freedom, drunk men for libations, poor men for some cash, and weak men for power. There is not a man who lives without some hope- for once hope has departed life soon follows. It is what men hope in that defines them, and is the measure of their desires and character.

When Simeon of Antioch the stylite (388-459) stood upon a pillar twenty meters high and two meters wide for thirty-six years with very little sitting or lying down- preferring to bind himself to a pole so he could sleep standing- he certainly had an incredible amount of hope in something.[2] Then saint Simeon Stylites the younger (521-597) came along and sat upon a similar pillar for almost twice as long- sixty-eight years.[3] These men are two examples out of many men and women who devoted (although I would argue in a flawed interpretation of Christ’s commands) their life to God in the best way they knew- and should elicit some degree of respect for their resolve. If only modern Christians had the same resolve of these men to stand by their convictions with strength.

Would a modern Christian submit himself to such severe deprivation for the sake of his Lord? Would a modern Christian deny himself the pleasures of the world? I said earlier these men were flawed in their thoughts, I say such because they separated themselves from the world entirely- living apart the anchorite lifestyle. Yet, to endure such deprivation, such pain, such discomfort (imagine the blazing Arabian sun in Syria burning down directly on you for thirty-six years) was a task that could not be completed without a sure and certain hope. A hope that transcended the flesh and it’s base desires.

Now, over 1,600 years later, what is our hope? Where is the evidence of our hope in God, in Christ, and in God’s word? It is easily understood how we could not endure the life of a anchorite or stylite, but how much discomfort would we endure for Christ? Would you be willing to lose your family?[4] Would you be willing to be hated by the world for the sake of Christ?[5] Would you be willing to endure imprisonment?[6] Would you be willing to die for Him?[7]

We must all answer these question for ourselves. But as best I can guess, many believers will turn away due to the hardship. For today few in our nation suffer imprisonment, torture, abandonment, or death for their Lord- as believers in other parts of the world currently endure courageously. Could we as believers in America endure as much? I doubt it.

I doubt because so many of us are already too concerned with the way the world, our neighbors, and the media view us that we compromise scripture to avoid being stereotyped as a fundamentalist or evangelical Christian. We avoid confrontation on those parts of our beliefs and scripture that we are unable to defend, conceding ourselves into a more limited form of Christianity. A Christianity that isn’t defined by God or His word, but by man and his views- or his scorn of us as believers.

But why lay our trust and hope in men? Why value their opinions above those of the Lord? The great apostle writes, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”[8] As believers we are admonished to, “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”[9] But are all our thoughts obedient to Christ? Or have we adopted the wisdom of the world because we are ashamed of our perceived foolishness?

There is a simple equation that explains why we should not trust secular men to dictate our views as Christians. That equation is: No God = No Hope. If our secular friends win in persisting us they are right, if there is no God of the creation, no redeeming death of Christ from the fall, and no judgment and eternal life for the believer- then there is no hope. Men great enough to build pyramids currently slumber in museums and under the ancient sands of the Egyptian deserts, but their power, wealth, and privilege mean nothing to their rotting (or preserved) bodies. They know no thought, no judgment, no pain- only a constant void of existence. A similar fate finds kings and jesters, CEO’s and janitors, doctors and carneys.

We are free to hope in man all we want, but in man we will always find death. For even should man discover how to live 200, 1000, or even 10,000 more years he would still ultimately find the cold visage of death awaits him at the end of his journey. We will all discover at the final judgment that death is the result of sin and its entrance into our world. For as Paul writes that by one man sin entered this world, so by one man (Christ) we will be freed from sin.[10]

So we should never be ashamed to espouse our full and unfettered faith to friends, family, and strangers.[11, 12] For Christ is not ashamed of us when He stands before the Father to present our case as our great defender.[13] For when through a fear of shame before man we compromise our hope and faith in Christ and His creation- we show the world we respect them more than we do our own Lord. What image does that give unbelievers of our church, our faith, and our certainty in salvation?