Monday, December 31, 2007

Sage advice!

Every morning when I wake up I am amazed. I am amazed that I have once again woke up! I almost can’t believe it. Every night when I feel tired, I assume that it is the end, that the day I just lived through was my last. Then I wake up and I am shocked all over again! How did this happen?

I had an experience about 18 months ago that I should not have lived through. I did live through it though. I progressed and I got better. When the perpetrator of this violent crime was sentenced, the judge gave him a verbal lashing about the horrible thing that he had done. One of the things that the judge said was that this criminal may have shortened my life expectancy. Initially I just thought that this was something that the judge was saying to express the seriousness of the crime. I had never even thought that this might actually be true!

You read crazy stories everyday though. A man that smokes a pack of cigarettes a day lives to be 92 years old, while a 17 year old healthy student just suddenly drops dead while jogging. You could die while riding in a plane or while simply visiting the zoo. I think that it is not unreasonable to think that my injuries could have left me with some sort of ticking time bomb in my head or heart that could go off at anytime.

I am in a lot of pain and I generally ignore it. But pain is that body’s way of telling you that things are wrong. Ignoring it doesn’t make things not wrong. They are still there…….. lurking……..waiting!

So I try to live each day as if though it was my last, but knowing that it may very well not be this becomes quite a feat. You have to work, pay bills, take care of responsibilities……. maybe a car breaks down, or a friend needs a favor, or an ear to talk to. You can’t just up and do what you want because while you may die tomorrow, you may very well live another 60 years. Then what? If you are stupid now, then you will be fucked then!

The ultimate message here is that there has to be a balance. The reason that this balance is hard to find is that it is dynamic. It is different from day to day. It is with this knowledge that you can start to understand how the mass institutionalization of our societal structure, being static, works against a healthy lifestyle, on a mental, emotional and physical level.

Live for today, but live for tomorrow too. Remember that there is not much on this earth that matters. When it comes down to it, all we have is each other. Treat people good, make healthy decisions, be kind, and be compassionate. Don’t take shit from anyone though. If someone is unhealthy for you and beyond your scope of ability to help, cut them out of your life. You only get one go at this so your lessons have to be learned quickly. Please remember to give yourself credit when you do something great. I assure you that Jesus had nothing to do with it!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Violence begats violence

It is really hard for me to know exactly where to start on this topic. I am so disgusted at what took place in Colorado over this weekend. It was senseless and ridiculous and had the potential to directly affect some people that I love.

As many of my readers may know, I spent the last 3 years living in Colorado. (Although the last year was spent commuting back and forth between Denver and Las Vegas) Last night I was reading through CNN and saw this front page headline. This gunman walked into a ministry center that trains young missionaries in Arvada and opened fire after being refused a place to sleep. I recognized it immediately. It is the center that one of my best friends since 5th grade works at with his wife. My friend was not there but his sister was. She was one room above the area where it happened. I frantically tried to get him on the phone last night and had a tough time sleeping as I could not get through to him.

Someone was asking why they just didn’t let him sleep there. Like that would have avoided this issue. The fact is that these institutions are businesses. Don’t be fooled by the religious status. As a business they have rules and regulations that they needed to follow and I think that the decision not to let this guy in for the evening was probably a very good one. Apparently he was planting explosives around the building, had grenades and guns.

Then there was the shooting at New Life in Colorado Springs. This is the same church that Ted Haggard was ousted from a little over a year ago. As of right now they believe that this was the same guy at both locations. My Ex wife’s sister had just left the worship service moments before the gunman entered and opened fire. Can you imagine that I could have lost this many people that I care about in one swoop. My hat is off to the armed security guard at the Colorado Springs church that heard the gunfire and rushed towards the scene and took down the gunman. I am glad to see that she didn’t kneel down and pray and ask god for help. She took action and put a bullet in him. As he layed on the ground wounded he started to reach for something, so she fired the second and fatal shot.

This woman is a hero. She saved many lives. I am glad that this man was killed and does not get the opportunity to go through our circus of a court system. We need to start dealing with things like this more viciously in society. If someone takes a gun out in public, do not negotiate. Shoot them in the head. If someone takes a hostage, they should die instantly. These senseless acts need to stop happening. What can we do to stop these things? Do we have any power left at all? I know these things happen all over the world, but how come they are so frequent in Colorado? I am having a hard time gathering my thoughts on this one. Maybe someone can help me see more clearly.

Here is a copy of the email I received from my friends wife

many of you have probably seen the news or heard of the shootings that took place in Arvada CO late Saturday night. The shootings happened at Youth With a Mission Denver which is where ****** and I work. First off, we are safe. We are in Washington on a sabbatical. We return to Denver the 20th of December. ****** and I know the two people who were killed. The girl who was killed was a good friend of mine. We talked on the phone hours before she as shot. One of the others who was wounded went with us to Bosnia. We are in shock. This happened a block from our home, at a place where we are every day. We don't know what to ask for other then prayers, and encouraging words for us and the families and friends of those who were in this tragedy. Thank you for being there for us. Watch the news for any other details. We only know as much as the news people know.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A new year’s resolution

What are you going to do for the New Years? Get Drunk? No, I mean to better yourself. New Years is the time in the year when everyone decides what they are going to do different for the rest of the year. It is the time of the year when people will make a decision to give up vices, stop drinking, stop sleeping around so much, workout more, eat healthier. The problem is that there is three more weeks until New Years day is here and there is a lot of damage to be had by your body in the meantime.

I don’t know if it is just me but the whole concept of waiting until a certain day to accomplish an objective such as this seems a little archaic. Something so silly can only be rooted in the deep traditional values that religion tends to instill into human societies.

I mean seriously, why do I have to wait until Valentine’s Day to give my lover some chocolates and tell her that I love her and was thinking about her? Why does our whole country have one day every year where we feel compelled to eat tons of turkey? Why do we all wait until December to rush off and buy gifts for our loved ones that show them how much we care. Why do we wait until Veterans Day to honor war heroes and mother’s day to honor our mothers? Why don’t we just consistently love, honor and think of these people every day? Are we really this mindless?

I say let’s eat turkey in February. Let’s tell our lovers that we love them every day. Let’s always honor our war heroes. Let’s pretend like every day is Christmas and treat people with the respect we bring out in the holidays the whole year! I say if we are going to make healthy decisions, start making them right now! Don’t wait for new years. Don’t allow your life to be run by a corporate clock. Let’s take back control. Let’s run our lives the way we want to. Is anybody with me? Will any one stand up and cease to be slaves to tradition with me?