Monday, April 27, 2009

The Power of Seduction

I know it has been a long time since I have posted
anything here but boy o boy do I have a plan for
this week.

We will be looking at the different forms of
seduction out there from clothing, body language,
clothing choices, as well as perfume. This will
be a week to remember so be sure to tune in
each and every day this week.

Hope to see you soon as we begin this journey.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Power of Communities

Working as a pastor in a small community can be a rewarding and a discouraging job all rolled up in one. See, for many of us we look at what God does in so many larger communities and then wonder why he chooses not to work the same way he does over there. Adding to that, I suffer from bi-polar disorder and some times I just want to run into my bedroom and lock the door never to reamerge. But, that is not an option when called to serve in this profession. Last Friday night was not one of those days. To see God work in such a grand way was something that I just needed to share with the world around me.

When I started preaching at this small church there were many challenges that lead the way. With a small church there are only so many folks there that can help with the work, and those folks at times get real tired, real quick. After a while there was a family of ranch hands that worked to bring a spark into every thing they did. The husband taught the adult Sunday School class, his wife was working tirelessly to create a spirit filled worship service. And to top it all off they had a wonderful daughter named Denalli. She was a bundle of joy that filled the sanctuary with a quiet joy that just moved through the adults like a breath of fresh air. Then with out warning they had to move back to South Dakota and take this great family of servants away from the fold. As a pastor you think, shucks. But for every action that God takes there is a reason that he is taking it.

Shortly after moving to South Dakota the family had baby number two. Things looked as though they were going to have a great family, filled with adventures of never ending love and joy. That was farther from the truth when they found out that Denalli suffered from SMA type II. SMA is a spinal muscular atrophy that affects the larger muscles in the child’s legs, preventing them from developing fully. At this time there is not a cure for this disease and for the most part it is also fatal. We listened in horror as the news was brought to this church. Why in the world would God choose to blight this loving family with so much hurt when things were looking so grand? While I will never know the answer to the fullest, I am grateful to the members of the church standing up and saying “How can we help?”. Well there were numerous ideas that were flooding through the minds of those around us as to what we could do to get the ball rolling. We decided to do a benefit dinner at a local high school game to see just how much we could raise to help with their medical bills and treatments. This is were things just went crazy and God took over to make a grand success.

See in Wyoming there are a few games that seem to bring out the biggest crowds and we choose what should have been one of those games. We bought the food and planned to feed 100 people dinner at $6.00 a plate. When I got to the game my heart dropped there were maybe 50 people there if you counted every person that was playing and sitting on the bleachers. I looked out and just shook my head and said to God its in your hands now, I guess what ever you bring us is what we are supposed to get. As the dinner started folks were really getting discouraged. In the first hour or so we maybe served five meals and packages of nachos rolled out of the booster club concession stand like they were on fire. Then without warning the wave hit, five meals became ten. Ten became twenty and so on. The movement was staggering we were serving food as fast as we could as I was getting excited after washing each and every lunch tray that was brought back. Oh I forgot to tell you, the High School let us use their kitchen, trays, cooking utensils, warming trays, everything they had at our disposal. Well while I would like to tell you that we served all hundred of our meals that would be a lie, we fell short by around 16 or so. So the real amount of money that we should have seen was around $504 big ones. Not bad for one nights worth of work, but just not grand either. Then we started counting the money and hearing the stories that were being told by the ones taking the money.

See, we also had a bake sale going on at the same time, and was able to get a little more money from that as well. But the other thing was a donation jar set up at the table as well and more and more people were dropping more money into that and just walking off. Never really paying attention to what was dropped in until later we realized there were your normal $1, $5, and then a few $20’s, and even more $50’s. It was exciting to see what folks were dropping off to help this little girl many of them have never met. Even in these tough economical times folks reached into their much guarded billfolds and gave from the heart.

But one story stands out from all the rest. There were two adults that came into eat and bought two dinners. Total cost was $12 bucks, and they payed with a $100. When the lady running the cash box began to get them their change they smiled and said keep it. Keep It they said. While I am a type of person that tips extremely well for great service I have never given someone a $88 dollar tip for six tacos, some rice, beans, cake, and a small glass of drink when I didn’t even get a refill. They even had to pick up their own dishes and bring them to me so I could wash them. This was truly one of those wonderful experiences where we were able to see God’s full movement from a persons heart. After counting all the money given we were able to raise $1017.71. And even more donations are planning on coming in as the days move forward.

If you would like to see more of what is going on in this child’s fight against SMA check out her web-page at CaringBridge . Here is a picture of her as well riding a horse with her daddy. I hope you too, can experience the joy from this family with this one picture, like I have each time I pray for this little child.

Radicalism VS. Practicallity

A while ago I joined a site that gets folks to sign petitions to get action from government officials. The reason that I joined was to prevent the slaughter of a military woman’s dog that she befriended in Iraq. I felt at the time the woman had gone through a lot as it was, and that the senseless death of her beloved friend would be more than some one should have to endure. It was a cause that I believed in after listening to the stories of my little brother after returning from his third tour of war over in Iraq. That was a cause that I felt had some great merritt to it. But because of having to join the site to sign the petition I am now receiving numerous requests to sign dozens if not more requests each and every month. Many of which I just can’t do, because of my personal beliefs. The numerous ones being to prevent drilling for oil in our very own country.

Living in Wyoming we are left with hundreds of square miles with nothing in between here and there. We are forced to commute to jobs or are forced to move from where we want to live to places we will be forced to live. So for most of us the need to commute is a constant reminder of how isolated Wyoming is from the rest of the world. That being said the need for cheep and affordable fuel is extremely important. I can remember fondly when gas rose over $4 bucks a gallon and I was constantly asking myself if it was monetarily worth while to work, or to join the hundreds of others in this country and begin to live off the system. Then we were blessed with the drop in gas prices after the market collapsed in the fuel commodities. I nearly danced for joy in the streets of my town buck naked because I was so over joyed. But once again the prices are slowly climbing back up, and the environmentalists are in an uproar over off shore drilling as well as drilling more in the Alaskan tundra. While I can see the idea of not drilling in the ocean due to the fact of the low return for the monetary means and environmental dangers put to risk each and every day of operation. I can not, nor will I ever see the reason for preventing drilling in the Alaskan tundra. That to me is just plain Stupid.

First off, if you look at what is in the tundra you would see very quickly that there is little to nothing there. For the most part animals don’t even live in the area due to the constant cold and poor food sources of algae and Arctic mosses. So what are we really loosing with drilling there. A place for folks to come and take pictures of strange grasses and molds. Please, this is so stupid that I can not even come up with a strong rebuttal to the problem. I feel for the most part that people are against drilling for oil just because of what it is. Not, for the purpose of the danger it may or may not post to the environment that it resides in. There is a need for oil in this country until we can come up with sustainable and affordable meas to provide fuels for long distances for those of us that live in rural America.

The idea of the tree hugging, nut crunching vegans that want to control every square inch of this country has to come to an end. I have to ask you this major question to those of you that find yourself in this category of believers. Do you walk or bike every where you go? Do you live in the wilderness in a tent so as to not bring more of a demand to the need of oil dependency in this country? If not, then what are you really speaking out about? You are using the same fossil fuels that I am using just to get to work. I know, I know, you can take the bus in most major cities. But for the most part those vehicles use fuel to operate. You have heat in your homes, and hot water and unless you are independently wealthy you are having to use some form of fossil fuel to get those luxuries of life. To put the matter to rest unless you can live this life and are currently doing it with out damaging the environment or causing pain to it yourself then we need to look at things a little bit differently. The need for oil is constant and growing. Everything in this country is shipped into it, through it, or out of it with fuels that are found from drilling. We can either drill for it ourselves, or support extremist nations by buying it from them.

Now for point number two. I know many of you out there are saying to yourselves that you could get a hybrid to use less fuel, or maybe an electric car. To squash both of those ideas at once is easy. The idea of a hybrid would be nice but the cost for most Americans makes them unattainable. I don’t have the disposable income necessary to purchase another vehicle that I would have to drive another forty miles out of my way just to find a place to fill up with E-85 fuels. Or for those that work off both electric and fuel, I would have to question how well they work in cold, cold, environments. See the manufactures like to test them in places like California where you never experience temperatures as low as -20 degrees. I unfortunately do experience these temperatures and have to question their performance in extremely cold temperatures. Then for the full electric car. The car will not work for me. I commute for a total of 120 miles each day, five days a week. Most electric cars have a range of less than a 100 miles. So then what, do I grab the neighbors horse to come and get me for the rest of the trip? Then you are forced to ask yourself the question of, where does the electricity come from? Most power plants are powered using some form of fossil fuel, whether it be from coal powered plants or some other form. So even with dropping out the need for oil we are still dependant with a fuel that has to be harvested with destroying the environment we live in.

So in close, I would like to leave you with this. If you are against the drilling of oil in this country, then stop using it. Unplug your refrigerator, turn off your T.V.’s, computers, heaters and the lot. Don’t drink your water because it has been cleaned and filtered using electricity and fossil fuels. Live in the woods and please don’t start a fire because of the air pollution that you would be causing and deforestation that would result from your Californian ass having to stay warm. If you can’t live life under these circumstances then join the military. Go over seas and join the war on terror or like many folks like to say the war for oil and do your part in securing the oil from our over seas enemies. Until then, push for the use of renewable resources. Not just putting up wind turbines in my back yard, but in your homes as well. Put those solar panels on every roof in America and push the failing auto makers to really come up with rock solid solutions to this global problem. Put the fight to the areas that really need it.

The Cell Phone Bubble

When working as a bus driver you have to put up with all sorts of discomforts. From the lack of bathroom breaks, bad weather, sick students that sit behind you and cough all over you, to the vast array of food odors coming from different cultures. But, nothing compares to the annoyance of the invisible cell phone bubble.

What is the cell phone bubble you might be asking yourself? Let me enlighten you. It is the invisible barrier that supposedly surrounds the speaker on the phone, that prevents others from having to listen to their conversations. While I’m sure it does exist, I have yet to be able to experience this strange phenomenon. See for some reason people believe that while speaking on their cell phones that they are the only ones that can hear what is going on in the conversation. Here is just one example of what I was forced to endure in my five minute drive from hell.

The conversation started out like this. Astrix’s will be used to protect my readers from the filth that flew from this young woman’s mouth. “Hey b****, what’s up? Oh really. F****in aye. Ya, I went to that party this Saturday. Not a whole lot happened, except I got really F***in tore the hell up. Then I saw this guy that I wanted to F*** right then and there. So I told him to do my F****in A** right there on the middle of the floor. Listener must of said some sort of reply. I don’t F***in care what people think. If they don’t want to F***in watch they can F*** off.” I’ll stop there because I am sure you are getting the jest of how this conversation was going. Unfortunately for me she was sitting right beside me, so I was forced to endure this triad of language coming from this young woman. I can only imagine what her mother must have thought if she would of had to listen to this filth for five minutes like the other 57 people on the bus had to. Oh I forgot to mention to you that I don’t listen to my radio because of a complaint I got about it being too loud. After this example you can see first hand why I usually turned it up to drown out the noise.

I mean, come on, what does this woman have wrong with her. First off she is screaming all most into this phone like it is an old tin can with string connected to the recipient on the other end. For some reason most people think that because it is a cell phone that they have to yell into the thing so that the person on the other end can hear what is being said. Then to not even care about the people around you even one bit. Who needs to hear your lack of vocabulary prowess while driving in an enclosed cab of a germ ridden environment just to get to class? For some reason the moral fiber that we once had in this country has been replaced with the attitude that it is all about me. I say what I want, when I want, who cares that it might offend some one. The sad thing is that when she got on the bus later that day I asked her what her major was, to be astonished that it was elementary education. I can’t imagine how that job interview would go, well yea I can. I think it would have to sound something like this.

“Miss So&So why do you think you are the most qualified for this job?” Followed by the reply of “Because it would be the best F***in decision you have ever made in your F***in life. I would teach all of them little B***es on how to be the best beer bonging winners that elementary has ever F***in experienced. So when do I get the F***in job?” Which would be followed by the statement of “We’ll call you. Don’t call us.”

So until this magical barrier seems to be made for cell phone users, please remember one thing. You are not in your house all by yourself. You are out in the world where others have to live as well. And yes the phone is working and you don’t have to yell into it. Followed with the life long idea of talk like a duck, walk like a duck, well then I guess you must be a duck. But in this case I would have to say more like a Wh*re.

This last week on Friday I noticed a wonderful part of the human mind. It seems that folks are just resistant to change on many of the basic fundamental levels of ones every day life. See, I was lucky enough to break two of our last 40 passenger buses and was forced to drive one of our smaller 15 passenger units for my route. So as I got the news I got the bus ready with putting on my sign on the side of the bus so that potential passengers could read the sign as I pulled up beside them. No to understand these little signs, they not only display the route that the bus is on but they are color coded as well for easy recognition. Needless to say there were several instances that folks just gave me a smile and a wave as I pulled up not realizing this is the bus that they are needing to board. It was so bad that once I had to honk the horn and point at the passengers that I pick up all the time to get them to realize that this is the bus they are actually needing to board. At times it was very humorous and at others I was ready to just drive by and leave them standing there for another five minutes in the cold and frigid weather. This was really insightful for me as to study how adverse we are when it comes to change.

Now this was something I couldn’t quite understand because of how many folks voted for our current President for nothing more than wanting change. But what change have we really gotten. We received more and more economic stimulus that influences big business and those with large amounts of money. Not so much for the working man that goes through life struggling paycheck to paycheck. Where is the relief to the working man and woman that are struggling to just stay afloat. The idea of giving the banks more money so that loans are more readily available is great and all. But, what good is it if the folks getting the loans can not really afford them any way. Why do we as a country continue to reward and support failure? I nearly choked the hell out of my computer when I saw that AIG was going to pay out 165 million bucks in bonuses when folks across this country are loosing their jobs left and right, but these top executives are going to get bonuses for sinking their ship. That would be the equivalent of the company you are working for to give out millions if you don’t show up for work, or if you do show up, play computer games all day and never do a piece of work. This is ludicrous, but yet this is the change that we can look forward to. I believe that it isn’t the idea of change that people have a hard time accepting but the lack of real change. We believe change is necessary to get things going on the right track but we are not seeing it so when some happens we don’t expect it, so we are not looking for it.

So in close when will this government really bring forth some real change. Address the need for health-care reform. Help every American to get the health care that they so desperately need to survive. It is not enough to give them health insurance at an affordable rate, but setting the rates that are truly fair for the help that they are receiving. Just as an example I have health insurance with a very low deductible. But the max out of pocket expenses are horrendous. The amount that we have to pay for major problems is more than my meager salary can even come close to afford. Or when will the government get the clue that income taxes are not working any more and go to a national sales tax. This is a tax that would move much faster than income taxes and this is one that the rich or the poor can not hide from. Think for a moment of what would happen if the feds came up with a national 6% sales tax on purchases, excluding food and gasoline. You go out and buy that $1500 flat screen television, you would have to pay $90 big ones. No take that amount and place it on all Americans the amounts coming in would be staggering. The idea of raising taxes on the wealthy sound great in theory but in practicality they will do more harm than good. If I had a couple hundred million in the bank and I knew you were going to tax the hell out of what I made that year I just wouldn’t work. Now you get less and less, and companies would slow down production and things would go from bad to worse. But things you can count on is that folks with money or without are not going to stop spending it. Can you imagine Paris Hilton stopping her frivolous purchases of thousand dollar handbags, or a movie star not buying a 100k car. No way, one thing you can always count on is that those folks that have money will all ways flaunt it. Flashy cars, expensive clothes, and big homes will never go away. With the use of a national sales tax, that makes it impossible for them to get off with big write offs and over payed accountants. It now creates an equal playing field, creating a you play, you pay economy that would move a hell of lot more money than the meager pay roll taxes that we are currently spending and receiving.

Rise of the Phoenix

The time has come to be reborn. From the fires of tribulation the rise of my new blog Reborn of Fire has been form. A new creation from the reign of The Power of Me. Just like the mythological creature of past it has been born from the creation of works past. As the fires of life consumed my past creation I have chosen to bring to life a new creature. One of passion and rebirth that will fill the reader with hope and joy found in every day life. As we as people journey through life we miss out on the joys that are around us because we never see the life we live but the scenes of lives we wish to have lived. In this current stage of life with the turmoils of economic woes and missed opportunities we miss out on the life we want to live to live the lives we seem trapped in. This blog will focus on getting people out of our nests of myrrh and setting fire to our old selves to rise again the mystical bird of destiny. So then and only then can we face the world with open eyes longing for what life will bring, instead of fearing what we will face. Now is the time to grab the world by the horns and ride through it like every great bull rider, but better. We will not only ride the ride for 8 seconds but find the joy to ride for all eternity until that time we are forced to leave this world behind and begin a new journey in a land far away.