Monday, May 25, 2009

Remembering Memorial Day

This may be controversial to some, but I believe the facts of history will show that on the whole, the United States military has been a force for good in the world. Obviously, as a military power, we have blundered at times, both individually and corporately. But on the whole, the men and women of our armed services have fought and are fighting for causes that promote freedom, defend the rights of human beings, and reject tyranny. War is still hell and a tragic result of the fall of mankind. We should praise God for his promise to one day end all human conflict. But in a world where people are evil by nature and leaders are not always reasonable and countries do not always have good intentions, war is sometimes the way to peace–at least the best peace we can hope for between peoples and nations this side of heaven.

But I will say that love of country can be a good thing. As Christians we have dual citizenship. Our first allegiance must always be to Christ who is in Heaven, which is our eternal home. But we are also citizens of an earthly country. We will stand before God as people with distinct languages, cultural affections, and homelands. It is not wrong to love our distinct language, culture, or nationality. Whenever I’m at a ball game I always show respect during the singing of the National Anthem. I think this is good. Love for God does not mean we love nothing else on earth, but rather that we learn to love the things on earth in the right way and with the right priorities. Love of country is a good thing, and it is right to honor those who defend the principles that make our country good.

Today, Memorial Day is mainly thought of as the unofficial start of summer which will include a long weekend with a car race, playoff basketball, and hot dogs and burgers on the grill. But, Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was instituted to honor Union soldiers who died in the Civil War. After World War I, the purpose of the day was expanded to include all men and women who died in U.S. military service. We should all be very thankful to those who have given their lives in the service and especially thankful to those that currently serve. Happy Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Human or not?

Here's an article in the "Globe & Mail" from Toronto, on an unborn baby having heart surgery in utero. Amazing!
“TORONTO — In what’s being called a Canadian first, Toronto doctors have successfully performed a heart procedure on a fetus inside the womb.

A team of doctors at the Hospital for Sick Children and Mount Sinai Hospital expanded one of the baby’s heart valves using a balloon catheter. The device was inserted through the mother’s abdomen and then into the fetus to reverse heart failure before delivery.

Sick Kids Hospital says the procedure allowed the baby to remain safely in utero for a crucial extra month before her birth on April 15.

Within an hour of Oceane McKenzie’s birth, she had another procedure, and a third followed a few weeks later. Doctors say Oceane is well on the road to recovery and will soon be going home.”

End of Article

I try not to talk too much about this stuff because there's just so much back & forth on the issue with both sides getting so upset that usually nothing is accomplished but yelling & arguing. But, those who heavily promote pro-abortion probably will not care for this article. It refers to this little girl as “fetus-baby-fetus-baby-Oceane McKenzie.” This is clearly a fetus, which is also a baby, who also has a name.

Under Canadian law her mother could have changed her mind after the heart operation and had Oceane killed by an abortionist at any moment up until the baby emerged from the birth canal. So how can we say that abortion is not killing a person? Could it be that Oceane was a person because her mother wanted her? So one human being can bestow and remove personhood from another by an act of will? The last time that sort of thing was legal was in the days of slavery, right? Just how “progressive” have we actually become?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Traveling Light

The wife and I really don't have a lot of hobbies as we live a pretty quiet life in the town of Rome, Georgia. But if there's one thing we really like to do, it's travel! And travel we will in the coming months as it's our goal to book around two or three trips a year if possible. Of course this isn't always possible, but we usually try to put money back throughout the year just for certain trips. Other than the basic necessities of life, eating out occasionally, and a show or concert here or there, we really don't spend a lot and save what we can just for the purpose of traveling when we have the chance. It's a beautiful and diverse world our Lord has created, and we enjoy taking it in. We've discussed having kids possibly in the not so far away future, so we know we must cure this traveling bug while we can! It's been almost a year since we took a nice long vacation together traveling around, so we are excited about the opportunities this year is bringing us!

A great thing for us about this year is that we should get to use our passport four times!! Twice to the same country. The company I work for sent us to the Bahamas back in January which required a passport. In a couple of weeks, we're flying off to Seattle to tour around Washington state. While there, we plan to go on a whale watching trip to see Orca whales up close. (or at least that's what they tell us!) We're going to explore the Cascades and Olympic National Parks which are nestled on each side of Seattle. This trip will also have us crossing the border into Canada by way of Ferry boat as well to the little town of Victoria, British Columbia, the capital of that beautiful province. I have been to this part of the states and Canada once before and found the green landscape, dense forest, and water surrounding the islands and city of Seattle to be just beautiful. Lynn has never been here and is in for a treat. We've both worked long hard hours throughout this year and are looking forward to this trip coming up soon!

In July, my lovely wife is turning thirty. I jokingly tell her that it's time to turn her back in for another 20 something year old. Then she reminds me of how quickly i'm approaching forty and that shuts me up pretty quick! For her birthday, I've worked out a short trip to Ireland. Both of us have wanted to visit this country before and will be spending most of our time in & around Dublin. It's not as long as we'd like to stay, but we'll get to see most of what we'd like to see being in the city for day, and then checking out a couple of castles and seeing the beautiful landscape and hopefully shorelines that surround Dublin a couple of other days. Lynn is fascinated with castles and loves the architecture and design of them. While there, we're also going to see a little band called U2 as well, in their hometown of Dublin. That's a treat for me as I grew up a huge fan of this band and still am. Lynn has never seen them, but likes them as well and is excited about seeing them in their native land. Should be a good show.

Finally in September, we head back to the north country of Canada, planning to tour, hike, and sight see the Canadian Rockies. We had planned this trip last September, but had to cancel at the last minute due to a very serious sickness in Lynn's family. So, we vowed to give it another shot this fall, and hope to see as much of this beautiful land as possible. Flying into Calgary, this will give us a chance to tour up and down the Canadian Rockies mountain range from Banff national park all the way up to Jasper. If time permits, we may swing down into Montana and see Glacier National Park as well. We both love seeing these parks that have been set aside and display the beauty of God's hand in this world.

This is a lot for us this year, and we certainly don't take it for granted. I can't help but think of a passage that our Pastor covered this past week in the book of Job, where Job laments after receiving bad news that "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." We feel very blessed to be able to tour and see these beautiful places, and to spend time together which at times can be much needed! I know there are many that do not have these opportunities. But we also realize that we may not always have these opportunities, and of course we never know what life can bring. The point being, we love and trust the Lord of scripture through our blessings and through any other times that may occur.

I hope to post pictures on here and at Facebook throughout the year of where we go. As I stated in my very first post, I do this more for me as a way to keep a scrapbook/diary/journal of things in which I'm thinking on, and of course what I'm going through, and just my life in general. If anyone reads, I hope they enjoy and feel free to correspond!