Monday, December 26, 2011

Prelude: Part 2

Psalms 42: 5, 11
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Sunday before Thanksgiving 11
My little cousin, taking a picture of herself, which she does a lot
A friend from long ago. While she is smaller than me, it's not quite the David and Goliath difference that my camera makes it seem.

My brother, cooking.
Really didn't know this picture was being taken. Would have put down a longer word for the camera.

Brother's meal. Super yummy.

Okay, now that I brought me a car (and not at those crazy California prices),  so it's road trip time. But I haven't been to my home assembly in a while, so Silver's maiden voyage can wait until after I have some Christian fellowship and worship and remembrance. Received an invite the day before to my brother for dinner, so after the afternoon meeting,  I grabbed my little second cousin ('little' as in younger, she's quite tall and even picked me up last year), and we checked out his new place, ('new' to us, at least), played games, ate and meet some new friends.  (Someone commented that they liked the pictures on my "prelude" post, so this entry is fulled with them.)

3 Fs: Family and Friends and Food.

Monday Before Thanksgiving 11

So in VA, there's this wonderful place called Aletheia Springs CEC (Christian Education Center,  Doc and Judy hate it when people call it a camp.) As children, Tyler and I would go there every summer. As we grew up, we didn't leave it behind. However, while I only volunteer to  be a counselor, Tyler has dedicated himself fully to work. (His local assembly even commissioned him to that ministry. America needs missionaries too, right?)

So for my vacation I helped him out some. Work ain't really work if your enjoying it with some good friends.
Tyler and I, posing in the middle of the work day.

One of Tyler's younger brother. He was really short at 15. He grew so much in the year and the half since I saw him. That's one thing about my job. I now go a long time without seeing certain people.
Tyler stacking some of the wood we collected and carried, after they chopped it and it dried earlier

Tuesday Before Thanksgiving
So Doc and Judy have this old, old radio. Like the kinds you see in museums. So cool. Doesn't really work (although it will pick up random, bizarre stations), but it does light up when you plug it in. So Tyler hooked up his iPod and it's little speaker behind it to give the illusion it worked. He played old music (like old hymns  and songs recorded in 40's or so), so it really did apparent to function. So our guests came over and we're all having fun until we hear this little "boom" followed by this "flo-osh" sound. We're like "Did something just catch on fire?" Then we notice the radio started smoking.

Good thing Tyler had a working fire extinguisher. (Seriously, I didn't know people actually keep those in their houses.)
So we put the fire out (by we, I mean Tyler. I just grabbed my camera and took pictures) and it would've been all laughs after the fire was out, but it wasn't our radio to begin with...and we didn't really ask permission to use it, and there's some doubts as to how assuming Doc and Judy will find it that we blew up their antique radio for what was essentially entertainment.
Fire, beware!

Can you see the smoke?
The radio was against the wall when the radio blew or sparked or whatever it did, and left a little black smoke/ash spot on the wall.

A little taste - part 2: Q&A

We need truth.
We want the truth to match up with our desires or ideals, but in the end we all need truth. Children have mastered one method of finding true answers and understanding of any enigma: Asking questions.

If there's an afterlife, that's the mean there's a god?
Not "a god" necessary, but there would definitely have to be something greater than our understanding.

If there's a god, does that mean there's an afterlife?
No. It could even mean there's an afterlife for some, reincarnation for others, something else still for others, and nothing for some.

If there's an afterlife, could there be an afterdeath?
Umm…sure, I guess.

Is this topic beyond us?
Okay, if we've no basis whatsoever to base the afterlife off, then there are unlimited possibilities about every aspect of it! There has to be something more if we are to discover the truth, but just knowing or thinking about an infinite list of possibilities won't guide us into the answers we seek. That method may be consider a noble or an enlighten approach, but, that will overwhelm or confused us. Searching for truth is great, but it does not compare to actually finding it.

What would be valid or legitimate sources of knowledge concerning the afterlife? How would their legitimacy be judged?
Hard to say. The sources should be proven true on the things it already says. Also, if the source has made predictions, all or some of those should have come true (depending when the prediction was referring.) Also, this goes beyond natural limited of our knowledge, so the source should have some expertise on the supernatural or spiritual.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Prelude: Part 1

Romans 8:31-32 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás?
                Nov 15th, Tuesday night
So I spent my last hours in San Diego at the Castillo's, who were kind enough to drive me to the airport for my late night flight and the kids even helped me finish packing. As a matter of fact, the kids even made up a goodbye song for me .It went "Marcus is leaving, we're so sad." But that song had a happy tune, so the kids couldn't help but smile when they sang it.

                16th, Wednesday Morning 
My brother picked me up around 9 AM at the airport in Charleston. We went out to eat breakfast at Denny’s and then we went to my nephew’s elementary school.  Technology is so advanced now, even in first grade. Smart boards allowed the kids to drag a projected digital image across the board with their finger tips and all the kids have iPads to play educational computer games.  Man, I feel old. When I was in elementary, my teacher still used the blackboard and chalk.
19th, Saturday
Seeing your own family again is great… at first.  But, when you’re home by yourself because everyone else is at work/college that initial nostalgia wears off and boredom sets in. And how do you kill boredom? Road Trip! And what are the important elements of any Road Trip? People (who you rarely see, but are often on your mind)( living far enough away, but not too far away)… and a vehicle.
I name all my cars. First Shelby, then Jaden. This one is "Silver"!

Verses on my mind:

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  (The word "careful" is translated from the Greek word “merimnaō”, which would be translated in today’s English as “anxious”.The same word is used in Matthew 6: 34, which reads “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

A little taste - Part 1

The statement "Everyone dies" is not commonly contested nor is it often considered a great revelation. What happens after death, however, is highly contested. Interestingly, what a person believes occurs after their passing seems to greatly effect their life.
So how are we to be sure what happens after death? "Take it by faith" is said, but, honestly, we would all like some proof. We would almost give our lives from a little taste of the after life.
What if it's nothing? Not darkness, because that we've realize as darkness, but truly nothing. No more thoughts and the inability to comprehend that you're thinking no more thoughts.  You've never again remember scent of your husband's aftershave, or your daughter's smile or the taste of blackberry jam. You also won't remember the time your cheated on your wife, hearing the news that your son was killed in war or being evicted after losing your job. Truly, no rewards or consequences. We couldn't even care about your legacy we leave behind. All life is gone in a flash. Everything utterly meaningless.

And who's to really say that isn't true? Just because we don't want to believe, that doesn't make it so.

In that same manner, what if there's an afterlife? Heaven, hell, reincarnation or something else. Obviously, this is more the worrisome of the options. While no afterlife can be a depressing notion, it is simple and not too frightful. But the concept that you can end up in hell from making a wrong choice or no choice at all is beyond scary.

SO before our hearts cease beating it would behove us to know to the best of our ability what happens next.