Archive for January, 2012

Solar storms are coming your way

Posted by    |    January 30th, 2012 at 7:00 am

Two people under spectacular northern lights display, near Hammerfest, Norway.Your View/Zbigniew WantuchLast week, radiation from the sun disrupted satellites and forced airlines to reroute their planes.  It was the strongest solar storm to strike our planet since 2005.  Today we learn that such attacks will be bombarding us on a monthly basis.  As big as last week’s storm was, scientists say we got lucky–it glanced off our planet’s magnetic field.  If future storms attack us more directly, they could cause massive power blackouts, radio disruptions and satellite failures.  And there’s absolutely nothing we can do to stop them.

Every now and then, nature reminds us of our frailties.  Yesterday I encountered a statement in Scripture that seems relevant to this fact.  Responding to his critics, Jesus said, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).  Immediately I was struck by this insight: it is vital that we trust both the word of God and the power of God.

Is God an imaginary friend?

Posted by    |    January 29th, 2012 at 5:40 am

The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, a famous painting found on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (Credit: Erzalibillas via en.wikipedia.org)The Colorado Coalition of Reason claims that he is.  This week they posted this assertion on three billboards in Boulder along with the request: “Choose reality, it will be better for all of us.”  Why did the group take this action?  Their website explains: “We are concerned when religious people feel they have not only the right, but the obligation, to force their religious views on others.”

They add: “We don’t ask you to stop believing in your version of a super-natural being.  We do ask that you consider not forcing your religious views on others.”  So they have created billboards which force their religious views on us.  Is this not a bit contradictory?

I am altitudinally challenged

Posted by    |    January 26th, 2012 at 6:45 am

Heights are not my friend.  Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20, KJV) and that’s good enough for me.  When I board an airplane, I prefer an aisle seat where I can read and pretend we’re still on the ground.  Forced to sit by a window, I close it and do the same.

Given my distaste for elevation, I learned this morning that I’ve been flying the wrong airlines all these years.  It seems Alaska Airlines hands out prayer cards with its meals.  For more than 30 years, the airline has included small cards with verses from the Psalms along with the meals it distributes to passengers.  One example is this statement printed over a beach scene: “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.  His love endures forever.”  Another depicts a mountain with the words, “I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O most high.”

Kyle Williams, Billy Cundiff and forgiveness

Posted by    |    January 24th, 2012 at 6:45 am

New York Giants wide receiver Devin Thomas (L) recovers a fumble by San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kyle Williams (R) during overtime during the NFL NFC Championship game in San Francisco, California, January 22, 2012 (Credit: Reuters/Jeff Haynes)If Kyle Williams had not fumbled two punts, the San Francisco 49ers might be playing in this year’s Super Bowl.  If Billy Cundiff had not missed a 32-yard field goal, the Baltimore Ravens might be joining them.  This morning, there’s more to both stories.

It seems the scoreboard operator in the Baltimore-New England game had the wrong down displayed, which caused Cundiff to rush his preparations and may have contributed to his missed kick.  Meanwhile, New York Giants players are now admitting that they targeted Williams for vicious hits earlier in the game because they knew he had suffered four concussions in the past.  They claim that these hits contributed to his fumbles.

Does this new information change the way you view Cundiff and Williams?

I Dropped This Hint To My Wife … And I’m LOVING It.

Posted by    |    January 24th, 2012 at 5:40 am

First, I must make a confession … I’m on Pinterest (find me here). Yes, to my men friends … you may want to take my man-card, BUT to this point … Pinterest has been pretty good to me. Let me explain…

Towards the end of the year, my wife was spending a lot of time on Pinterest and finding new ideas, recipes, and other things on it so I had to see what Pinterest was. If she found something that interesting, I wanted to know what it was. After looking around on Pinterest, I realized it was a female-dominated website that I thought I might bring a little testosterone to. So I joined. After joining, I’ve enjoyed “pinning” man-stuff, running stuff and other things that deal with hobbies of mine. I also noticed that Pinterest had a lot of things that dealt with marriage (of which I’m very outspoken).

I soon found an idea on Pinterest that had to do with a year of romance and monthly dates. I quickly showed it to Lea and said, “Hint, hint.” She took the idea and ran with it.  This morning I got up and found this by my coffee pot. It’s a folder full of ideas, plans and fun for the month of January.

There will be a envelope showing up each month that contains pre-planned activities just for us. Some dates will take place at home, some out on the town.  All 12 envelopes are different. Here’s a little of the contents from this month. (more…)

Rick Perry and the call to politics

Posted by    |    January 20th, 2012 at 6:45 am

Texas Governor Rick Perry stands with his wife Anita as he announces he is dropping his run for the Republican presidential nomination during a news conference in Charleston, January 19, 2012 (Credit: Reuters/Chris Keane)Winston Churchill claimed that democracy is the worst form of government except for every other form that has been tried. One wonders what he would think of recent American political experience.

For instance, it has now been revealed that Mitt Romney may not have won the Iowa caucuses after all. He had been declared the winner by eight votes, but the final count now shows Rick Santorum ahead by 34 votes. No winner has been declared, however, because the results from eight precincts are still missing. Meanwhile, one newspaper called last night’s Republican debate in South Carolina “fiery” and the day’s political news “bizarre.” Who knows what lies ahead in this bitter and divisive season?

Intimacy Killers in Marriage

Posted by    |    January 20th, 2012 at 5:40 am

Intimacy is both physical and emotional closeness in marriage. Being physically intimate is what leads to emotional intimacy and is what God talked about in Genesis 2 when he said, “… and the two (husband & wife) shall become one flesh.” Intimacy should be one of the strengths and cornerstones of your marriage. One of the struggles of our marriages is how to keep intimacy strong and how to keep intimacy killers out of your marriage.

The “serious” intimacy killers that do the most damage are things like…

  1. lying
  2. technology
  3. loss of trust
  4. inability to express your needs and feelings
  5. not listening
  6. daily separate lives
  7. being self-centered
  8. angry arguments
  9. lack of touch
  10. lack of time

Lea and I always laugh and say that our 10 biggest intimacy killers are the following …

  1. Children
  2. Kids
  3. Offspring
  4. Babies (Thankfully we’re past this.)
  5. Toddlers (Past this one, too)
  6. Pre-teens
  7. Teenagers
  8. Niños (if you speak Spanish)
  9. Taylor, Parker, Connor & Cooper
  10. Yes, you guessed it, children.

Okay, just so you know, we do believe our children are blessings in our lives and not burdens. We love our children with all our hearts, but at the same time, we work extra hard to have “us” time in our marriage. Here are a few things that have helped with the “children” intimacy killers …

  • We work hard to eat together by ourselves several times a week.
  • We have a lock on our bedroom door.
  • We’ve always encouraged our children to sleep in their own beds … not in ours.
  • After our children leave for school, we take a little time every morning to drink a cup of coffee together.

Those are just little things … but very important things. God is sure good to me to put Lea in my life. I definitely married up!

I’m curious … does your “intimacy killers” list resembled ours?

America is drunk

Posted by    |    January 18th, 2012 at 6:45 am

bottles of liquor and alcohol sitting behind a bar in Manhattan (Credit: Edwin Land via Flickr)This headline caught my eye today: “America is drunk.” Psychiatrist Keith Ablow cites new data from the Centers for Disease Control that reveals the crisis: One in six Americans downs eight mixed drinks within a few hours, four times a month.  Twenty-eight percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 binge-drink five times every month.  Thirteen percent of those between the ages of 45 and 65 do the same.

According to Dr. Ablow, this is equivalent to news that a quarter of our young people were abusing cocaine or injecting heroin more than once a week.  He warns: “The psychological/cognitive effects of seven or eight drinks are no less intense, and, possibly, even more dramatic.”

Learning from Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted by    |    January 16th, 2012 at 6:45 am

Dr. Martin Luther King giving his I Have a Dream speech during the March on Washington on 28 August 1963 (Credit: National Archives and Records Administration)Today our nation honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Dr. King was unquestionably one of the pivotal figures of the 20th century.  His biography on the Nobel Peace Prize website summarizes his remarkable career and influence.  As president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, he traveled over six million miles, spoke over 2,500 times, wrote five books, and directed the March on Washington at which he delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech (audio/video/text).

He was arrested some 20 times, assaulted at least four times, awarded five honorary degrees, and named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963.  The next year, he became the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize; he gave the prize money to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.  On the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, he was assassinated.

Would Mitt Romney be our first Hispanic president?

Posted by    |    January 15th, 2012 at 5:40 am

Mitt Romney greets supporters during a campaign stop at Cherokee Trikes and More in Greer, South Carolina January 12, 2012 (Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder)Everyone knows that Mitt Romney is a Mormon, a fact that has provoked consternation among some evangelicals who would otherwise be predisposed to vote for him.  But you may not know that he’s also Hispanic.

The 2000 Census states that “the terms ‘Hispanic’ or ‘Latino’ refer to persons who trace their origin or descent to Mexico . . . and other Spanish cultures… People who identify their origin as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race.”

Today’s CNN website asks, does Romney qualify?  This week, he told a crowd at a New Hampshire campaign stop that his father was born in Mexico and came to the United States at the age of five.  The story begins with Miles Park Romney, who fled the United States for Mexico in 1885 to escape persecution against Mormons.  Neither he nor his descendants ever became Mexican citizens.  His grandson, George, eventually became head of American Motors Corporation, governor of Michigan, and a Republican presidential candidate in 1968.  Now George Romney’s son is leading the race for his party’s nomination.