Wednesday, March 7, 2012

God Knows What is in Store of Us: It is Good

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. (Rev. 21:6)

I really have not written as much as I like here and hope to increase my posts as my time frees up. But my real reason for the blog is to help my spiritual and education growth by actually putting my ideas down in an organized fashion. My ideas are, in most cases, not original, but it helps my journey.

Over the last few years, I have been pondering fate. I acknowledge that God is omnipotent, but does he know the future and is this future set in stone? The obvious response is, “Of course! He is God and as such is all knowing – perfect.” Yet, does this not contradict our understanding that God has given us free will, our opportunity to choose our actions even then they are against the Will of God? If our actions are predestined, how much free will do we actually have? A known future means our will has already been decided…where is this freedom supposed to be? Over this time I have tried to rationalize this idea that while God has the ability to know the future, he also has the ability to not know the future by choice so that he could grant us ultimate free will. Yet, as I read through the Bible from beginning to end, I cannot reconcile this idea because of the vast amount of prophesy proliferated throughout the text. Hmmm.

This Sunday during our Sunday School session called W.A.I.T.T. (We’re All In This Together), the topic was grazed upon while we were discussing Leviticus. I really cannot remember how were arrived there, but we mentioned God’s awesome power and how he can see all and know all. He knows the future of us getting to the Promised Land and knowing what laws we need and when we need them. He already has this whole thing planned out. Suddenly, it was like the heavens opened up and clarity shined down upon me. I pray that everyone can experience this feeling at some time. It was a mixture and excitement, warmth, and peace all wrapped up into one. God does know the future, does acknowledge it, and the future is amazing; it is just a matter of time. He knows that we will succeed and we will Love in a Christ-like manner – we will eventually win over sin (Hmmm…T-shirt idea?). Humans using their own free will shall walk in the Kingdom of God as Kingdom People. This will apply to all humans as they realize the Power, Love, and Peace of Christ. It is the one of the most spiritual and optimistic moments I have had in my life.

God is Love and all of God’s actions originate out of Love. God as the Alpha created us out of Love, and it was great. We, as humans, screwed that up right away and turned to sin. We, out of our divinely given gift of free will, tarnished the first pure Love given to us. As such, we turned to jealousy, violence, etc. Then, God gave us Jesus out of Love for his people, the embodiment of Himself as a human, and created the mold of the perfect person that all of us need to imitate to purely walk as Kingdom People. So, we did what we humans tend to do with gifts as pure as this; we turned to our old friends, jealousy and violence. We crucified our Lord, who in turned slapped us back with his Love and that Love is what has saved us from our sins. Yet, we continue to fight wars based out of jealousy. Have we learned anything?

Don’t fret because God still has the last turn as the Omega. God is Love; God only acts out of Love; and as such the end will be Love. Therefore, God has already foretold us our best prophesy, that the end of days will be basked in Love. God knows already that humans will eventually “get it.” We will figure out one day that jealousy and violence only begets more jealousy and violence. The vicious cycle is continual and helps no one. At that point, we will turn to the Love of God waiting for us to embrace it. God’s promise is that it will still be there for us when we are ready for it…this is our Salvation. God does know the future, and we win. No matter how much we hate…fight…blastphemize…and stray from the Word, God knows that we will eventually get it right. We were created out of Love in God’s image and as such we will end in Love. God knows that our free will cause us to make wrong turns, but God also knows that our same free will brings us back to him – we just need to stay true to the journey. How uplifting is that!

Peace, Love, and Joy


Tuesday, February 21, 2012



I have spent a lot of time lately searching. Searching for what? I am not too sure. An answer of some sort I guess, the problem is that I really do not know the question (O.K., no Hitchhiker Guide jokes out there!). I want something to tell me it all in one simple format, and it needs to make sense to me. In science, there is the search for the “Everything Formula,” all of the secrets of the universe, wrapped up into a neat package. In literature, there is the perfect “Great American Novel,” one of struggle and failure, but perseverance and self-awareness conquers all. It inspires change in all and speaks to every reader. It is a unanimous selection as the best. In sports, there is the search for the “Dream Team,” a team of modern and classical players that not only were the best at their position, but would work perfectly as a team. I want my Christian “Everything Formula,” “Great American Novel,” or “Dream Team.” I want something to stand out and scream at me, “I am the answer and this is why!” Where are you?

My relationship with Christ has always been faithful. Growing up in a very “milk toast” community, God was just assumed to be there. I attended a Christian pre-school, prayed before dinner, but never attended church on any regular basis nor did we read the bible at home. Then, my good friend at the time invited me to a church based group called Awana. Even though I was Christened in the Lutheran Church, I felt compelled during this meeting to raise my hand to say I did not have a relationship with Jesus. That night, I truly met God with this group of youth leaders and confessed my faith and accepted Jesus into my heart. I was an emotionally awesome moment for me that I will never forget. As a 12 year old, I cried after my acceptance, and I felt great about it. I would love to say that my life was completely changed from this point, but I would be lying. True, I received my first bible for Christmas that year and tried to read it…failed. True, I began attending church with my friend on occasion, but on my own…failed. Many times I have been given perfect opportunities to disciple Christ to others…failed. While it was definitely a dramatic change in my life; I thought that accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior was supposed to solve all of my problems. Try again.

Fast forward a bit…the college years. During this time, I was a very conservative, right wing republican. You know…for God and County. Yeah, that type. I did not attend church, but still had my Student Bible and actually read a little bit now and again…the good parts (Genesis…Jesus…Revelations). Still, I was more interested in politics and how religion fit into that mold and not the other way around. It was simple…America is God’s country. So, when you think you know everything, life has a way of turning things on its head – I met a girl. To kill the suspense, she is now my wife. She was not too different from me, actually. We both knew Jesus as our Lord and Savior, pretty conservative, white picket fences, 2.5 kids, yadda, yadda, yadda. Yet, she WAS an avid church goer growing up…and her heart ached to go back. So, we began going to our current church home, and THAT is what has changed my life. The friends we met there are more family than friends – this is truly home. I have served on the Church Council, Bell Choir, Vocal Choir (they must have been VERY desperate), and I even teach a Sunday School class (again, they must be pretty desperate). My whole life basically revolves around church, family, and work, in no particular order. In fact, my whole world view is different than before and I consider myself much more socially liberal than I ever thought possible. With a consistent fiscal conservative nature of a banker, I am more Libertarian than anything. I feel that Jesus’ Love for us is perfect and the only way we can show appreciation for that love is to pass it along to all we know, friend or foe. Yet, something is still missing…an answer…THE answer.

This brings me to today. I continually scour the internet for blogs, articles, book suggestions that have the answer (think Matrix...kind of). There are thousands of different interpretations of the intentions of various passages in the Bible. Is there a Hell? What do we do about Gay Marriage? Islamic extremist terrorists want to kill us, is a good offense our best defense? Why did God create us, what was His motivation. Is God actually a He? Intelligent design? 7 days or billions of years? AAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Someone has the answer that make rational sense to me, I just have to keep looking.

Then tonight I had what a friend of mine would call a “God Winking Moment.” He told me, “Stop asking.” He directed my thoughts to what I have been studying in Genesis and Exodus – God’s plan can never be understood by us and we are just wasting our precious time trying to figure it out. Plus, in the end, it does not matter because He will always love me and take care of me because I am his faithful servant. Exodus 33:19 reads:

And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

In other words, stop worrying about the details, God has it figured out for me already. All I need to do is have faith in Him and follow his word – God is the judge, not me.

Like that night at Awana, I feel like this is a changing point in my faith journey. While I may stub my toe again or may lose my way, I will never be the same Christian again. Praise be to God. Peace and Love Forever.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Training Day 2

I have decided to finally write in here again. I am actually surprises that my Blog still exists! I need to use that space now to journal my training. I am entered to run in the Roots n Blues n BBQ 10k on October 2, 2010. Only 5 months from now. I have no seriously ran in about 10 years and then, I did not really seriously run. Just for marching band and previously for wrestling.

Yet, more importantly, I need to run to get healthy. I am roughly 260-270 lbs and about 6 ft tall...not good. I really don't eat all that bad, but I have too many snacks and physical activity is relegated to yard work and playing with the kids, and I huff and puff doing that. Not good. I don't want to die before my kids graduate HS, college, get married, have kids, least if it is something I can do to avoid it.

My personal policy used to be that I only ran if someone was chasing me...not sure if I can even do that now. Anyway, I am using the 10k to motivate me to get out there and train. I have some beautiful trails to run and need to start using them.

My first day of running was on Tuesday April 13 and I am using a free program from the internet,, and I modified it slightly since I am used to doing physical activity in my past. So I am altering the running section to 90 seconds of running then 60 seconds of walking. So, far it is working well. The first day I did O.K. and made it most of the way through until I had to walk more than run. I am O.K. with that because at least I am out there.

Day 2 was today and it felt great! I went farther and faster than yesterday, but did not need to kill myself. I found a great turnaround point in my trail and a really cool ravine to hike down with a great steep stair climb at the end. Great burn! I feel wonderful and have more energy than I have had in a while. Who would have know that burning energy actually GAVE you energy. I am so pumped and excited to finally look and feel the way I want to.

Praise be to GOD who got me through it!


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

United States of America – The Enabling Parent

As a new parent (2 ½ year old and 7 month old girls), I am constantly second guessing my parenting skills and decisions. My main goal as a parent is to make sure my daughters become positive contributors to society. Their success in life cannot be measured in salary, degrees, or power. Yes, I want them to be better off than me; I do not want them to have the same money concerns that I have. But I will consider myself a successful parent if my children are honest, law abiding citizens that take personal responsibility for their decisions. This cannot happen if Daddy enables them their entire life. When my oldest learned to walk, I was there to catch her if she fell. That was great for a little while, but I needed to step away and let her fall. This taught her no to over extend herself if she was reaching for something, or to control her balance. When she first learned to use a “big girl” glass, I helped her pick it up and find her mouth without spilling the contents. Now, I need to let her spill. She learns that she must clean up her messes and the consequences of not holding the cup still. I am sure this type of parenting will continue to occur as my girls get closer to adulthood. There will be bike accidents, boyfriends breaking her heart (over my dead body J), car accidents, and education choices. There will be failures, but I will be there to help her learn from these mistakes, pick herself up, and keep going. This will continue to be the case when she is an adult. She will fail and it will hurt. But how we deal with failure will be my biggest lesson to my girls. Learn from it, correct it as best as possible

As I think about that, it makes me worry about how our government deals with failure. The most prominent example has been the recent action by the Federal Reserve to protect against the failure of Bear Sterns, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae (
read the Op-Ed Column that set me off). On the surface, these bailout situations make perfect sense. If Bear Sterns would have been let to fail, then the waves it would have sent through the nation’s economy would have been tragic. The credit markets would have tightened up numerous times more than it actually did and stock holders would have devastating losses. People would have been hurt. The same would go for the failure of Fannie and Freddie, just to an nth degree.

Yet, in the long term scope, failure may have been the best thing that would have happened to us. The same as what falling did for my daughter or even 9-11 did for us and national security. At our lowest points do we gain the most appreciation and motivation for success. If financial companies would have failed, then by God, the ones that survived would be forced by the free market to be more thorough in their analysis and be focused more on long term viability than short term profits. The market would gain the power to force these institutions to comply with more transparent financial reports, more conservative investments, and more hedges for riskier operations. The free market allows for choice. It allows for innovation. It allows for transformation and adaptation. The allows people to judge for themselves what options are best for them, not telling them what is best for them. It is like going to Baskin Robins and finding 31 containers of vanilla ice cream. On average, most people like vanilla. But, some like Chocolate more, or Strawberry, or even Double Peanut Butter Banana. While you may lose money if you buy a flavor you don’t like, you were able to learn not to buy that one again. If enough people do not like the flavor, the store will no longer stock it because it will not sell. That is the beauty of the free market. It lets the people decide, not some bureaucrat or faceless regulator.

Like it or not, the free market encourages success. The government encourages adequacy. The free market is the parent that lets their children fail, but helps them learn and grow for the future. The government is the enabling parent that turns out spoiled brats that continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. So, let’s stop allowing government to swaddle us to death and have the guts to push away and walk on our own. It is amazing how well we will do.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Check it out…Downsize

We all know and joke about how the fat cats in Washington, D.C. do what they want and get what they want. Well, it is not a joke and our future is in jeopardy due if we do not act and act soon.

· Do you want to stop “pork barrel” spending?
· Do you want our senator or congress person to live within the Constitution, not outside of it?
· Do you want a balanced budget?
· Do you want your fellow citizens to be more accountable for their actions?

If you answered “yes” and ANY one of these, you must visit This organization’s mission is to cut down the government—eliminate their excess. You can go to this website and truly see how the government ACTUALLY works. Trust me, government is not like your textbook told you all those years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a conspiracy theorist. I don’t believe that there are secret societies that are secretly running our lives or spying on us. I believe that our congress persons are overtly taking advantage of our apathy. They know that the more confusing and complex they make the government, the less likely we are to call them on their excess. Thus, the same old politics will continue.

The most interesting legislation that they are trying to garner support for is the One Subject At A Time Act. It would force congress to only pass legislation concerning one focused topic at a time. Therefore all of this “pork barrel” spending would have to stand up on its own and cannot be thrown at the end of some big bill.

Please, explore Downsize DC and see what I am talking about. It is straight talk and simple.

God Bless

P.S. you can also listen to the Downsize D.C. President, Jim Babka, each week on The Eagle 93.9’s The Drive hosted by Gary Nolan (Downsize DC Chairman) from 4-6pm.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sarah Palin…Great pick or Great Disaster?

So, John McCain shocked the world on Friday. The faces of everyone who thought that she should pick Romney, Ridge, or Paulenty the Arizona senator picked a little known governor from Alaska. She is pretty, feisty, smart, moralistic, and well…a woman. The GOP is loving this because they hope to gain Hilary supporters without losing their base. Brillant!

Not so fast. I liken this to a one night stand. At the time is feels great and you are loving life. When you wake up the next morning you realize just what you are stuck with (those 34 Nattie Lights went down so smooth, though.) I will admit that McCain swung for the fences with this one. Lets just see if it goes foul or stays fair (enough metaphors). I feel that Palin will create a lot of buzz and excitement through the GOP convention (if Gustov allows it to happen), yet as we become closer to election day, we are going to realize that Gov. Palin just does not have the experience to be president. Lets face it, McCain is 72 years old and has been battling various illnesses over the past few years. There is a strong chance he may die in office. So, we must ask ourselves if we can see Mrs. Palin sitting down with Putin, Ahmadi-Nejad, Jintao, or Chavez. I cannot. Is she prepared to understand the economic complexities that runs our nation (pending a fair tax implementation? Can she balance traveling the world and running the country and still have time for your downs-syndrome baby (Alaska allows for family time). I feel that as we get to know her more, we will like her spirit and motivation, but we will not be able to get past the fact that we cannot see her being the leader for our country.

More to come…

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

DNC Convention Day 3


I hope you can get used to it, because from here on out it will dominate the US until November 4th. Luckily, I love politics and this is where the fun starts.

Day 3 of the Democrat Convention has just ended and, while entertaining, nothing new was brought to light. It does not take much to figure out that I have Libertarian leaning philosophies. (Mark my words, I will always vote for the best available candidate no matter which party they come from. I have voted for democrats, republicans, and libertarians in the last 12 months.) So, I hope that I can listen to this rhetoric without too much bias. Except for the fact that, if Obama is elected, I hope you like socialism. The entire content of each speech is what government can give you. When will people realize that the government is THE MOST inefficient organization still in existence in the US. Why would anyone want this group of special interest patsies deciding what medical attention you need, how you should invest your money, how much money you make, etc…? I know that you are smarter than that! Take control of your own life and kick the government out of your life.

Still, there were some obvious problems with the various speeches tonight.

Bill Clinton – I will admit it, he was quite entertaining (even though Mic helle Obama would not agree). He said what he needed to say and it proved why he is one of the best public speakers in history. I may not agree with his politics, but if I have something to say, I want Bill to say it. Yet, this was just a rah, rah speech with very little substance to hang you hat on.

Various military personnel – This was obviously the night that the DNC wanted to show the country that there are actually some people in the military that are democrats. Too bad that they could not have coached them better on their speech content. Where they get the impression that Barack Obama is the best choice for Commander-in-Chief is lost to me. Just because Barack want to Walter Reed to visit our troops does not make him an expert on military strategy. It is not like he is the first politician to visit, so get off it. Also, they kept saying he went with no intent for political gain. BULL!!!!! Everyone with half a brain knows that the media watches his every move. So, he does not need to send out a press release for the entire nation to know where he is going. This was a calculated move that Obama is trying to exploit. Shameless.

Joe Biden – I like the man and I can understand why he would be a good guy to hang out with. But, can you get any more liberal? Oh yes, his name is Barak Obama. He made some very aggressive accusations. He stated that it was George Bush that ruined the economy. Really? Last time I checked the economy is not ruined, we are just have a correction to greedy financial companies who left conservative lending practices for quick profits. Sorry, no GWB here. He also said that THREE years ago, John McCain said that a time table is not the answer, but ONE year ago, Obama said that we need one. The current administration is now in conversations with Iraqi government on a time table, so Barak is right? I don’t think so. McCain made that comment THREE years ago!!!! The entire climate of the war was different than it was a year ago. This is a horrible comparison of apples and oranges.

These democrats are already trying to grab at anything that they can and seeing if it will stick. This does not bode well for them.

Don’t worry, I will have plenty to say about the Republicans next week.

God Bless