Friday, February 22, 2008

What if...

WOW, what a battle of the minds that has taken place this past week. I have refrained from commenting because, honestly, it would be like a JV player joining the defensive line of the Panthers. Well bad example, the Panthers need help, but you get the point.

Very interesting posts have been left both on
Rob's Rants and on The Barefoot Bum’s blog. This intellectual tennis match has made me become a “free thinker”. Hey wait, I was one before. Anyway, point in here somewhere; I started looking around “the net”, which I am very skilled at, and I found the fab four of atheism, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens. And guess what? They filmed a 2 hour round table discussion on their atheistic, theistic, and secular views as well as their experiences in interacting with each of those groups. Now I know I cannot watch this and expect totally understand all the intracies of why atheists believe what they believe but I can gain more insight into the mind of an atheist. Very interesting stuff.

To me one question loomed high above all others, what if we are wrong. Now “we” can apply to any of the three basic groups, atheistic, theistic, and secular, but I want to focus on “my” group, the theistic. I personally have no problems asking the question “what if I am wrong”. From what I gathered one of the “rubs” that the fab four had was the vehemently persistent opposition from theists to question their faith. Admittedly, that probably accounts for more than half of those professing to be Christian. What I am suggesting is that, much like the rise of free thinking atheists seen in society, there is also a growing movement of free thinking Christians and non-Christians. There are groups out there willing to ask some of the same questions that atheists ask. I propose that the people that are getting the most attention are the “squeaky wheel” fundies. I myself have encountered them from all three aforementioned groups.

Bottom line, I am willing to have open, non-defensive discussion on a wide range of philosophical and social topics. I also hope that we move towards having a society where the sensitivity in the discussion of these topics diminishes. The question still remains,
what if you are wrong and I am right?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Radically Transformed

Let me start this off by saying I am not trying to force my opinion on anyone, I am not making a frontal attack, I do not have a hidden agenda, and I am not taking sides, well maybe a little skewed towards Rob. I considered long and hard on whether or not I wanted to jump "into the fray" here and post a response especially since I am, for the most part, only a “recreational” blogger. We may disagree on most, if not all, points made based on religion, but I believe we have similar opinions in other matters, probably closer than you would think at first blush. If you want to post a reply please post to either my blog Famulus Deus or Rob’s Rants. Oh, and please keep it clean, these are family friendly blogs. : )

There was a post the other day from Rob’s Blog and there were one or two things
Larry “the Barefoot Bum” Hamelin and Rob “the Rev” Singleton said that have been gnawing at me to respond to. Now to begin with I am no statistician, theologian, or claim to be an expert in any field for that matter. I do come pretty close to being an expert when it comes to computers and cooking though. : ) Anyway, I am a fairly young Christian, when I say “young” I have only been a believer for about 10 years now. I was once a "militant" atheist sometimes agnostic for many years. I have been a student of countless world religions, cults, and belief systems. In fact, and I will probably catch some flack from someone by saying this, by definition Christianity is a cult.

Our culture has put a negative spin or connotation on the word
cult but that is another discussion altogether.

ADD moment over, for now.

Introductions and background aside, back to the post. Larry, commented, "I must say, I’ve never encountered anyone who seems “radically transformed”, but I have met many Christians who were very nice people."

This was in response to one of Rob's earlier replies from the same post stating, "On the other hand, I doubt you’ve encountered someone so radically transformed by the love of Christ that their life just overflows with kindness and an attitude of servant hood, a joy for living, etc. that stuff’s pretty appealing."

I think at this point the discussion was, of course, way off the original topic. It could have become a whole new blog, hey it did, or message series in and of itself. So, question one for Larry and Rob. What would it take for you to believe and/or prove that you have encountered someone who has had what could be defined as a "radical transformation"? Furthermore, perhaps a definition from both of you of “radically transformed” would be in order, please? : ) My attempt at a definition is below.

Without being too presumptuous, as I am sure I have already been; Rob I think you touched on the answer to my question. You talked about someone being “radically transformed by the love of Christ” but perhaps that answer could be expanded on and explained further.

Larry, based on what I have read from your blog and commentaries you are well versed in statistics, probability, and that you consider yourself an amateur philosopher. Do you think that “radical transformations” can occur? (spiritual, natural, metaphysical, etc.) Any and almost all answers from anyone at this point would be either theoretical or simply one’s beliefs of course. ; ) MHO is below.

I do know with 100% certainty that in the physical realm the answer will always be yes because we are all experiencing “radical transformations” right now, and again, hey there is another, and again, and so on and so forth. Every time we take a breath we experience a “radical transformation”, or at least that what biology teaches us. Heck, the big bang was a “radical transformation” that we all are all still witnessing. Is that still a viable theory? Rhetorical of course, unless you want to point me in another direction thus educating me further. ; ) Beyond that quantum mechanics/physics kicks in and "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics." -
Richard P. Feynman

At this point everything is relative or theoretical, but I have severely digressed and for that I apologize to you and your readers Larry. (and Rob’s readers too) I will stop there and let you or anyone for that matter, respond as you see fit. I believe I left some possibly interesting (at least to me) questions for you back there somewhere in one of my ADD moments, I warned you. : )

From my perspective
Larry and Rob’s discussion was more likened to, or rather became, a debate about spiritual matters rather than the topic concerning social matters that sparked the original conversation. I believe the two are linked but I would never presume to tell someone else their lifestyle is wrong or flawed. I am pretty sure that was not Rob’s intention either but again that was the catalyst for the discussion, which ultimately is a good thing. I can say that myself and others close to me, have experienced firsthand several "radical transformations". I categorize them as spiritual and physical life changing events that sometimes seemingly had no meaning to some but to others there was no question that those “events” were not merely chance or coincidence. That of course would make it a matter of one’s perspective or viewpoint.

IMHO in most cases those two words, “radical” and “transformation” barely describe the changes, both positive and negative, that I have gone through and/or witnessed. I have seen things happen, for good and sometimes for bad reasons. I am not deluding myself either, trying to find meaning or purpose in the minutia of day to day life. I did that for long enough over intellectualizing, internalizing, or trying to escape reality. It is not just a feeling I have, a hunch, or a guess, I know in my mind and in my heart that it was in God’s will for the things to happen or unfold as they did. Again this is my belief in an omnipresent, loving, God, and also another topic, freewill, destiny, pre-ordination, etc. The choices made and how things played out, in some cases, were firmly grasped by human hands. I do believe that we all have a purpose for our lives and it is revealed to us daily. Our lives will be our legacy to others regardless of what decisions we make or what we believe. How that changes our environs depends on if we create or destroy, it is as simple as that. Ultimately no matter what we believe, “…
what we do in life echoes in eternity”.

Anyway the topic was “radical transformation”: as
Linda Richmond would say, “Discuss”. Or if you want to take an offensive or defensive Mills Lane like posture then, “Let’s get it on”. ; )

Please post responses either here,
Famulus Deus or Rob’s Rants

Rob's Rants Link Back

rob's rants: Let's just give it Time. and rob's rants: A respose to, "Evolution and Chance"

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I posted the following on Rob's blog but I thought it would be good to post it on my blog as well. Enjoy!

Dee and I always grin and joke around when we pass by or hear that a church is having a “revival”. You know the kind, complete with good old fire and brimstone yelling, (I mean preaching) with the covered dish buffet, and baptism under the tent. Well the baptism part is great but we always ask ourselves, what needs “reviving” so bad that they need to have a revival in the first place?

To expand on the topic of “A Death A Day”, during one of my travels across the “net’ I stumbled upon an article that contained some great insight on this topic. The article was paraphrased directly from three 1991 issues of The Trinity Review. Never heard of the publication, maybe someone out there has, but check out this powerful paragraph:

“Do we need revival? No! We need transformation. And this transformation cannot be achieved by “weeping and wailing” before God (as the revivalists would have us do), brought on by some “unusual” outpouring of the Spirit. The transformation that the Bible talks about is the continual sanctification through the Word and the power of the Spirit (Rom. 12:1,2; Phil. 1:6; 2:12,13; 3:20,21). Transformation is the product of our prayers for the courage and the grace of the Holy Spirit; standing fast with the Word in battle; not wavering, not compromising, not being overcome with fear, but steadfast in the cause of the truth — TRUTH! — a word foreign to most of the revival movement, both past and present.” -

Forrest Gump’s voice in the background, “That’s all I have to say about that”.

For more interesting church signs like the one above check out
Church Sign Generator. Note: no relationship, that I know of, exists between Dr. Joe Langley and my family. (that I know of)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Link Love - B.A.D. (Blog Amnesty Day)

Ok Rob, here goes, ALA KAZAM!

Hopefully this not only helped smaller blogs get readers, this also helped raise their authority—and raise it A LOT. Project Link love - AKA "B.A.D" complete. (Notice the date. I borrowed a friend’s DeLorean and traveled back to Tuesday so I could create this post ; )

confessions of the preacher’s wife
rob’s rants
craig groshel
av club
garth gilpin
kiko’s house
the moderate voice
three sticks
physio prof
the midpoint
welcomt to pottersville
i miss fafblog
reno discontent
peace arena
fran i am
fitness for the occasion
electric cerebectomy
drink liberal
drifting through the grift
done with mirrors
dave away from home
dandelion salad
comrade kevin
freida bee
publius endures
never yet melted
skippy the bush kangeroo
brilliant at breakfast
zippidy doo da
terry face place
group news blog
targas tirade
suburban guerrilla
Fausta’s blog
the democratic daily
i cant believe its not a democracy
grace magazine
the impolitic
the king pin
pacific views
618 rants
over the cliff, onto the rocks
jon swift
rox populi
on my mind
the galloping beaver
a poetic justice
zen comix
the news hoggers
never yet melted
my view of it
mr roger’s neighborhood
mental detritus
marginal utility
maha blog
a blog around the clock
matt and dee langley
lance mannion
culture vulture
smart pastor
abandoned stuff
the art of peace
saying nothing charmingly
nathan ketsdever
jeff kapusta
no fish no nuts
the painted veil
philly bits
pidomon posts
myrtle june
polite company
rubber hose
shadow of a hedgemon
sir robin rides away
the garlic
the grand panjandrum
zaius nation
the inscription
the largest minority
the seminal
the spitting vessel
vagabond scholar
chuck for
reno and its discontent
american street
the crone speaks
christian views
science blogs
the barefoot bum
writes like she talks

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Three Ring Circus!

Ok I will be the first to admit I LOVE MY BORING LIFE!!!

I will also admit that I have watched those “Swap your wife” shows. They make me squirm. I do not have that much drama in my life and I like it that way. Peace and tranquility are my goal in my household. Well, some of you know that this past Friday (2/1/08) Carl, my 7 year old son, had pretty extensive ear surgery. Well, while we were waiting for Carl to come out of surgery I got a call from my 5 yr old son’s kindergarten teacher. She thought that he had had a mild seizure. I typically don’t panic but to hear the teacher’s voice I was concerned. So I had my mom go and pick up the children. Carl came out of surgery and then my mom and I flipped. She sat with Carl and I went with Will. Needless to say I spent 11 hours in the hospital. I was WIPED!
Thankfully to all the prayers that went up for my boys, they are fine! Carl is recovering well and we have moved Will’s appointment up for the Neurologist to this Thursday (2/7).

I want to thank everyone for their prayers! Our God is AWESOME!!!

I will pass on anything like this happening again because I love my boring life! I like watching a circus but not participating in one!!

See the previous post below if you are coming here from Rob's blog looking for my dating "horror" story.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Worst Date, Ever!

I don’t think many people know that Matt and I met online. Yes 12 years ago we met on AOL. I wasn’t into internet dating or chat rooms or anything like that and I don’t recommend it to anyone either!

In 1995 I tried this new thing called "the internet"! I had just completed an internship in New York City and I wanted to keep in contact with my boss(es) but didn’t want the phone bills. They did have e-mail, even back, then so I signed up of AOL. (It was the cheapest at the time and pretty much everyone with internet access was on dial-up) A friend of mine in college signed up at the same time I did. She began chatting on AOL with people and that progressed to “in person” parties. This is where you get to meet the people you have been chatting with online. Being the responsible friend I am I wouldn’t let her go by herself. BTW, I only went a total of two times, no really I did!

The first time I went to an "in person" party I met a gentleman who proceeded to tell me “He LOVED me” and “If he told me I had a beautiful body would I hold it against him”. This happened within 10 minutes of me entering the bar! I almost left right there but I stayed. At that same party I met this guy name Steve. Steve was a doll! OH and he smelled SOOOO GOOD! I spent a good long time getting to know Steve. He had beautiful brown curly LONG hair. When I say it was long, it was down to the middle of his back! I am a HUGE 80’s fan so when I saw he drove a Camaro, as well as having the Bon-Jovi "rocker" hair, I was hooked. (OK NO LAUGHING...YET!!)

We spoke several times over the next couple of weeks and made a date. We went to another party but sat in the back in a secluded booth. I have to admit that I was enamored with Steve. He smelled so good, had that "rocker hair" and was HOT! I couldn’t keep my hands to myself I had to run my fingers through his hair! That is when I realized that NONE OF IT WAS HIS!!!! This long hair was a WIG! No not a weave, not a toupee but a WIG!! Then he proceeded to tell me that I “discovered his secret”. I didn’t want to pull away in disgust but when he took the wig off to show me his scraggly hair I couldn’t help but want to scream like I had seen Frankenstein!

I excused myself to the restroom. My friend was also at this party so I found her and told her what had happened. As she began to laugh uncontrollably nearly peeing her pants, and tears flowing out both of our eyes we came out of the bathroom. I was trying so hard to find a way to tell him I was no longer interested in him. When he came up to me and said that someone told him I was crying over him. He said “he couldn’t handle someone who would get so attached to him so quickly and he didn’t think it would work out for us.”

I stood there stunned trying really hard not to laugh right in his face. I let him leave with his delusion and pride intact!

Needless to say I never went to another party again and I stuck to my small circle of friends to talk to online!