Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Different Perspective

I was checking a friend's blog when I noticed he had run into circumstances similar to what I had run into a week or two ago. We both faced what seemed to be insurmountable problems with the structure of our homes. In his case he lost electricity because, to generalize the problem, the breaker box was fried,. In my case our bathroom flooded because the main drainage pipe out of our house was clogged with a tree root. Two major problems that happen to two guys unexpectedly. Both problems presumably come with a high price to resolve.

I would like to say that we both reacted the same way, but I can't lie even on the internet. As I read his story I saw grace and patience in abundance. I read has he put his money where his mouth is and had faith that God would take care of him and his family. I marveled as he saw God's hand working through the whole problem, even when I'm sure he was getting frustrated. Then I wondered why I didn't have that same faith and insight.

It isn't as though I couldn't have had it. I'm getting ahead of myself though. Journey back to last Labor Day. My sister-in-law and her family were coming to town to visit and stay with us. Not an hour after they got here we started having problems with water in the bathroom floor. My wife had taken a shower and when she got out there was two inches of water in the floor. We didn't think anything of it until we ran the load of towels we used to clean up that mess and another one appeared. Our plumbing wasn't at a total loss, we could still use sinks and the toilet. However the shower and laundry were out. My sister-in-law's family checked into a hotel and we made due for the weekend. We were fortunate to find a plumber to come out on Labor Day and take a look at the problem. He ran a snake down our drain vent and cleared the line. We thought it might have been a tree root, but we weren't sure where the line ran through the yard and the plumber was confident we wouldn't have any problems for awhile. Two weeks ago it happened again. So I called the plumber and worked from home while he ran the snake through the line again. Three days later it happened again. The plumber was pretty sure the line would have to be replaced, but he had me call MSD(Metropolitan Sewer District) to make sure the problem was not on their end of the line. They came out, marked the line as being under our driveway, and told me the problem was around 35 feet in, but they only handle the first 25 feet. So I called the plumber, he came out and cut through the driveway. That was Monday.

Tuesday the plumber returned with a Bobcat and an assistant and started digging straight down. Turns out the line that was there was our water line. So the plumber called to have the rest of the utilities marked in our yard. Wednesday he came out and started digging across the front of our yard parallel to the public sidewalk until he found the line, then he dug back down the line, and replaced the clay pipe with PVC. Twice after that we had some additional issues that cause out bathroom to flood both times. The problem has been fixed on a long term yet temporary basis for now.

Two years ago, maybe even as recent as a year ago this would have been devastating. There would have been much stress and many arguments throughout the week this was happening. There was still stress and still arguments, but not as many. The point is despite the fact I can work from home during these emergencies and despite that I knew God was in control of the situation, I didn't rely on Him as much as I could have. I had so much to be grateful for in this trial. I have a house, someone was there to help us with the bill, and there is no extensive damage as a result of the flooding. If I would've prayed more and focused on the blessings I had, much like my friend is doing, the arguments and stress could have been avoided.

Having said that I'm not trying to beat myself up over the situation. It's reading stories like this that inspire me. It gives me hope that as I continually walk with God, He will change my heart so that in the future I will stop and know that He is Lord.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thoughts on Roe vs. Wade

35 years have passed since the crucial case of Roe vs. Wade was decided by Supreme Court. I listened to the radio news report of the many groups of Pro-Life advocates that marched in D.C. against legalized abortion. It made me stop and think about that decision and how I do or should react to it. I realized my brain tried so hard to make the issue black and white in the same way the most ardent proponents on both sides of the issue try to make it black and white. I think as Christians we especially polarize the issue as if to say it is the lynch pin to our salvation. It is something I think about a lot and I have my conclusions, but those conclusions don't gel with generally accepted conclusions.

I am Pro-Life and so is my wife. We will not have an abortion. I know the arguments against and the ramifications of that statement. It is something I've prayed about, it is something I have faith about, and if we don't share that faith, I may not be able to explain it to you to your satisfaction. That is just the way it is. The sticking point is where my belief intersects with the rest of the world.

I don't feel comfortable imposing my choice in the matter on every other person on the planet. I don't see this as an issue that the court should have ever decided one way or the other. I feel that if abortions were made illegal, it won't stop them from happening. I realize it will slow down the rate at which they will happen. I realize it will cause a lot of women to think twice about what they are doing. I also realize that many more women will be harmed because the choose to have the abortion anyway in an unsafe environment. I think that Planned Parenthood and other Pro-Choice organizations are bending the truth when they argue for the woman's right to abort, especially when they reportedly won't allow an eleventh hour change of heart. I think that many Christian organizations are over-the-top in their zeal to stop abortion and condemn those who perform or have abortions.

I find the dark irony that many Pro-Life advocates want to save the baby, but have no problem ending the life of the criminal. I find the sad irony that so much energy, money, and time is spent trying to save the unborn at the expense of those who are already born and are starving in third world countries. It is my belief that the Church, while certainly working under good intentions, has dropped the ball in so many ways.

I think that for every Pro-Choice counseling center there should be a Pro-Life counseling center to offer an alternative. I feel that if a woman changes her mind at the last minute, she should be allowed to walk away and have the baby. I feel like a woman's choice isn't limited to the time period after sex has happened and a baby can just as easily be avoided by abstaining or at least using birth control. I get tired of hearing about the medical cases and the rape victims, not because I don't believe they exist, but because they form such a small percentage of the argument. Most of all I get tired of hearing about the woman's right to choose when eight times out of ten that right is clearly reflective of our selfish society.

I think that as the Church we need to have more faith in God to change the heart of people. I think we need to quit using the government as a mechanism to enforce our morality on everyone else. It doesn't work. Its our job to go out and love the world. It is our job to care for the sick, the poor, and the hurting. When we depend on the government to do that job, we get lazy.

We need to look at our motivations and ask ourselves if this is truly furthering the kingdom of God.

Monday, January 21, 2008

What would you do?

So I was looking at my server today trying to salvage a couple of sites I had setup. I recently replaced my router with one that is a bit faster and easier to secure, but it uses a totally different IP scheme and I lost all of my router mappings. I think I have everything re-mapped correctly, but I'm still having issues getting the domain name to resolve to the server. Should I keep trying to has this out or should I scrap the current server, upgrade to the latest version of Ubuntu, and rebuild everything?

On the one hand I don't really feel like doing all of the legwork to get the problems resolved, on the other hand I don't really feel like reloading everything either.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

This is the end, the end, the end of our story

Well, maybe not so much the end as of yet, but it is nearing. With all endings there must be new beginnings. Sometime in the next few months I will stop blogging here and setup my own wordpress blog on my own server so I can maintain control of my own content.

Maybe I'll be switching careers this year, although this seems less certain. I'm really burned out with working in the computer industry professionally. At least I am burned out with the parts I have been working with. I'm thinking of switching to web design as one of my options. However, I also think this might be a time to look for something completely different. I just don't know what yet.

Welcome to 2008, here is to new beginnings and brighter days.