Monday, May 23, 2011


I have been fighting my judgmental spirit since I was a teenager in my own fundamentalist youth group, and it's amazing how those attitudes keep trying to sneak into my daily life.

However this whole business about Harold Camping just makes me really sad.  It seems the organized churches should have had a strategy to help those hurting, confused or "flabbergasted" Sunday and today - like a potluck with an invite to a simple information session to explain why Camping is a heretic and a false prophet.

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  1. If you claim to be a prophet of God - your margin of error has to be at worst zero. Hello? All knowing?  If He was giving you a message you wouldn't be wrong.  If you got it wrong, you're not a prophet of God.
  2. See number 1.  
The thing is, there is really no room for judgement here.  This guy has been trying to peel people away from the church for decades - with his made up stories about the end of the church age - something I've never seen in scripture.

His general tactic is to berate and abuse anybody who points out his errors, which are legion.
  1.  "You shall not know the day nor the hour" - Matthew 24:36
  2. "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." - Acts 20:28 to 30
  3. "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." - Deu 18:22
That last part is particularly telling - because this man has been wrong before and yet, people still follow him. Do you know who else was/is a false prophet? ... try Jim Jones, Warren Jeffs, and Fred W. Phelps.

I hope and pray that people can recover from following false prophets - and there are many and they are influential in today's world.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Electric Keyboard

When I worked with/for interns at the Baltimore Examiner we made them bring a laptop to work.  There were few spare desktop computers, most of which worked, but periodically someone on staff would desecrate a keyboard with an unholy combination of crumbs and diet Coke and swap it with one of the "intern desks."

So I learned to have them run a keyboard test on their first day (especially as there were usually two or three weeks between classes of interns) to verify that every key, shift and normal, worked.

God bless Hassan from IT - he got so irate about the number of keyboard's I requisitioned, and I know he didn't blame me, but it bugged him something fierce the way people would let food and drink kludge up their keyboards.

Now I'm the green recruit, getting to know what it's like working up from the interns' perspective in a huge and opaque organization made of smaller sub-groupings.

I particularly enjoy the part about not knowing how or why people can get pissed off when you try to help. I have this vision of typing at a keyboard with hundreds of keys, most of which you never use, but nevertheless have to brush past to get to the useful keys.  Only in this twisted qwerty-verse, all the keys are topped with copper wire linked to circuits, some of which are live, and never in the same combination.

I'm finding it better to test the keyboard at the beginning of a project to see which ones carry current, before the project amps up and the current is enough burn.  There may be more discomfort initially, however in the long run it should cause less scarring.

Now if only I had a keyboard map.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Divine Mercy Sunday

I just came across this open on my laptop.  

Just in time for Divine Mercy Sunday, May 1, 2011.

Attending mass is guaranteed to be 100% less violent and destructive to yourself or others than rioting in the streets (I'm looking at you - Europe).

This holiday was given to the world by Jesus in words to another Catholic visionary - St. Faustina., canonized 11 years ago

Even people rioting in the streets need mercy, anyway.  It's not like you "turn to the darkside" forever just for chanting about how, "the (insert leader title here) is a poopyhead!" And people you love need your mercy more than judgement.  Who says we're to treat anyone with disrespect or derision - much less outright malice.  

It could stop people from rioting in the streets - Mercy.

Think about it. Are we heroes in distant desserts rolling around in our expensive tanks and SUVs covered with guns? 

They have their uses, but their uses probably should be limited to protecting pipelines for a massive influx of aid. Not just programs signed off in contracts, but actual, managed, tangible aid. Not "for-profit" GMOs or anything in-between, either. It would have to be about helping people, economies of scale, just policy. If basics can be corralled and mass produced for war (WWI and WWII, especially).  And once, sort of, with the Marshall plan.  (Yeah, we kept several nations from the grip of communism by that little bit of worn-out mercy (compared to the war effort - what was left over))

Imagine if we had done that with all the spirit and resources that we entered into war. Imagine if we had done that in late November 2001, all over Afghanistan? How many castoff Russian jets did they have running? (not so rugged as Kalashnikov)

Imagine if our mercy was faster than our anger. If we forgave our brothers before even deciding on a reaction. If we didn't typecast him as "the darkside" and make of him an entire race - or these days - military/political entity of indeterminate substance. 

If we talked to our children like adults, rather than abandoned them to the XBox or PetPetPark.

Thank you for your visit, Christina, even though I couldn't personally welcome you. I did have a good weekend demonstrating mercy to our children, who have all been to visit you in Ireland at some point.

Pray for mercy. 
Accept mercy.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lenten sacrifice

It's not about coffee or beer or candy or vices any more. I've found I pick some pretty intangible things to sacrifice for Lent in recent years.

This year Barb and I are not raising our voices with our children - in anger. That's working out pretty well and the level of peace in our home is a beautiful payoff.

Then I decided I would have a work-related sacrifice. No more But somehow that wasn't good enough, I had to go further. No more loafing online. I actually decided to do something rather than give something up - that's to try and be productive all day long at work.

So far that's not going as well.  Today I drank 3 or 4 cups of coffee - I lost count - between 9 and 10 a.m.  I worked like a Champ for about 6 hours, then ran out of work.  There was about an hour in there I was trying not to annoy the hell out of Rob, who sits next to me.

I've been grading myself too, so one hour down out of an 8-hour day is about an 82% - on 3 (or 4) cups of coffee.


The Tick

"Gravity is a harsh mistress!"