Archive for May, 2007

My conversation about drinking

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

Thought I’d post a re-occurring discussion I have with other Christians around this area. I’m kind of a jerk in it, but that’s because I’m getting tired of this kind of debating in general, which I find myself getting pulled into it a lot. The irony is that I don’t like drinking alcoholic beverages. So why do I defend it? I’m just a stickler for not calling something a sin that clearly isn’t. I believe that drinking may be a sin for people who have alcohol addiction problems, but if you don’t, than it is OK in moderation.

I don’t have a problem with people who think it is a sin for them. In fact, I have a lot of respect for them. However, I do have a problem with people who think it is a sin for everyone on the planet and like to vocalize this opinion.
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Music Boxes and Meaning

Friday, May 25th, 2007

Years ago, I worked with a charismatic and very gifted co-worker named Craig.

Craig was an amazing man. I only knew him a couple of years before he retired, but I wish I could have known him better. He and most of the other men his age that I worked with were an inspiration to me. Either they came from a better generation than I, or they were just more mature, but they had a depth my generation seem to lack. I didn’t stand above the flaws either: my most pressing concerns back then was my lacking romantic life, a stupid and self-centered angst.

But back to Craig. In many of my interactions with him and the legends that my other co-workers would tell, Craig’s life was a striking series of missed opportunities. In an interview with another company before he came to Xerox, he was asked to design a solution to an engineering problem on the spot. He did so, but never got the job. However his idea was so good that his interviewees took it and patented it, and it has been integrated into successful products ever since. Craig at times would find any reason to pull out his wallet for others to see and flip through the bills. He would watch closely for your reaction when he flipped past the thousand dollar bill among the twenties. It was all in good fun, but I couldn’t help but notice that there was a tinge of sadness – as if he and everyone else were wondering: why didn’t this guy make it big?

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The dark side of free will

Saturday, May 5th, 2007

warn2.gifNote to atheists: this post may look like I’m pointing a critical finger exclusively at you, but I’m not! This isn’t a happy or easy topic for me. After reading this (if you choose to) please believe me that I, like all humanity suffer from the same problems that free will makes us susceptible to. If I end up offending you, please forgive me! I’m not perfect and I don’t have the ability to write about this sensitive subject very well. Please know I have a great respect for you and that I do not know the whole story for why you believe the way you do. I borrowed the cute warning sticker off of alistapart.com, and will use it when the posts I write have potential to annoy or offend people. BTW, this is NOT reverse psychology trick. It means to get ready to be offended (possibly).

I have talked in earlier posts about the concept of man’s free will in a worldview of an all-powerful God. It’s a nice thing – it makes us different than robots and all that. We have the freedom to choose what to do with the time we have – to live a spiritual life or to live a selfish one. What has haunted me for the last 5 weeks has been this – that free will, as rosy as it seems on the surface, has a terrible side-effect.
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I’m leaving…

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

I’m not leaving the blogging world, but I am leaving Rochester, NY. I moved here about 10 years ago to start a job here, and now it’s time to say goodbye.

My time here has been mixed – both filled with the best times in my life and some of the worst. I don’t think I’ve really had a lot of luck with any one church in the area (I’ve seriously attended 3-4, and tried out about 20+) but I never was able to call one home before I had to move on to the next. When I go back to Pennsylvania, it will be going home to a church community that I can truly call home. My reaction to many of the churches here could be best summed up by what my father, exasperated by the funky Christianity, told some curious women at a religious retreat he was teaching at…

Women: Is this Christian stuff really real?
My father: (after being part of a weekend of near-insanity and regretting it) I just don’t know.

I believe it is real, but it is so encrusted with the ridiculous that it’s hard to sift the real from the crap.

But you know what makes me smile the most about going home? I look forward to being with my younger brother and his family most of all. It’s been tough being gone for the past 15 years – I hope to be able to spend time with him – probably on lunches every week. He and I will both be working in the same town – me from the comfort of my sweet home office, and him from his office at his work. What a wild life it will be from here on out.

I can feel it. Something is happening… Something good in all this. 🙂