Archives for category: faith

I am hopeful (yet cynical) that we will take this current economic recession and learn to live within our means, not go EVEN farther in debt.  This video takes it even a step farther and encourages us to give but to give less materially and more meaningfully.

[via joshuablankenship]

I’ve been debating whether or not to post this as it is far more personal than I usually choose to share in this public forum, but it has just been on my heart, and I wanted to share with the few that read this little blog…

A couple days ago I got a letter from Jackline (a child I sponsor in Kenya through an amazing organization called Compassion International). The letter was fantastic and heartwarming, but when I got to this line I just stopped and thanked God for my ability to help her.  

“Thank you for the christmas gift […] I purchased a mattress.  Thank you for your support to my life.”

If anyone has ever thought about sponsoring a child, I strongly recommend it.  I’ve spent some money over the last 12 months:  An iPod Touch, a new iMac, a wii … but by far the best money I’ve spent was on Jackline and I’m thrilled that for the financial cost of a wii and a couple games I can provide the finances for a marked improvement in the quality of life for a child in need.  It is humbling that an extra $20 at Christmas buys her a mattress, a luxury I completely take for granted (in fact I have one in my house that sits unused in a guest bedroom).    

I live a very blessed life, and I thank God for my letters from Jackline as she helps keep me grounded.  I also had to smile as she closed the letter with:

“Many people are now planting their crops during this rainy season.  Are you planing your crops?”

What easy lives we live…

This week I did some research about twitter to see how different entities (companies, organizations, etc) are using Twitter, and stumbled across something interesting. Everyone can now follow the FSM on Twitter. Yes, your very own ‘deity’ now twitters like the rest of us, only I guess it uses a ‘noodly appendage’ instead of fingers…

Seeing as Google has deemed me an expert on Spagnostics and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), I figured I could let all of you who keep finding this blog via searches about this ‘religion’ know about this new development.

My thoughts on this:
I think the ‘church’ of the FSM is sad and makes me very disappointed that it has gained such a cult following. My hope and prayer is that by discussing and thinking about things of faith (even if it starts in a mocking tone) one day, maybe years later, these people may be open to the ideas of a real faith.

While I think “Hopping off the corporate bandwagon” by Paul Glavic may over simplify the issue, he sheds some light on a common thread that many of my friends (and myself) have been feeling now for a while. We simply do not have the corporate ambitions of previous generations of Americans (just look at the subtitle of this blog and you’ll notice I’ve felt this urge for a while – “Ambition is the enemy of success”).

My best friend hopped off the corporate train years ago. My roommate just recently downshifted from 40-50 hours to about half that. Even my brother (who is very corporately driven) turned down a HUGE promotion years ago because it would involve excessive travel and his quality of life would suffer.

I would consider myself someone who genuinely enjoys my job right now, however I would consider a 4 day work week (with full benefits), earning 20% less a very attractive proposition…

If government run healthcare were to ever take off here in the US (and I’m quite torn on whether or not I think that would be a good thing) , I would expect that a number of people miserable in their careers would drop them and choose to simplify their life while working 20-30 hours in a coffee shop or bookstore… Something to think about.

“I never can comprehend how the snails managed to get into the ark, yet they did; they must have started very early.” – C.H. Spurgeon

One of spurgeon’s lesser known and light-hearted quotes…

It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy that brings happiness.” – C.H. Spurgeon

“Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.” – C.H. Spurgeon

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) is now recognized as the second largest “religious” group on the Missouri State University campus according to this news story (there is a quick ad before the video starts). This “church” has found a welcoming environment on college campuses thanks to our generation’s skepticism regarding authority/status quo as well as the liberal skewing of most colleges and universities.

“Pastafarians” or “spagnostics” as they are also commonly referred do an interesting job of asking all the right questions. I pray in a decade or so when the apparent invincibility and rebellious nature inherent in college students wears down, these questions will stick in their heads, and they will seek answers that at least “claim” to be truth …

Food for thought:

“They must find it difficult… Those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority.” – Gerald Massey

In an example of the internet directly affecting real life – this is just a guy who just desperately wants attention

For those of you who are not aware, the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) is an internet joke used to test limits of free speech and freedom of religion.   While no one believes it is actually TRUE, many athiests and agnostics have adopted its use to counter any point – typically pushing to an absurd proportion.  Unlike traditional faiths that believe their view is truth and thus would like to convince others of the truth – the pastafarians  simply try to convince all parties that ALL beliefs (theirs included) are ridiculous.

My youth minister introduced me to this message given by the late S.M. Lockridge back when I was in high school. The background music could have been mixed better (too loud at times) but the original message still rings loud and clear. (here is the sermon text in case you would like to read it)