Monday, May 31, 2004

Marathon Training Commences

I got the word from on high. Today is the start of my Marathon training for the Edmonton Marathon in August.

No, not that far on high, just from Neal. We start our first training run of 4 miles tonight. He will be celebrating the event with some new shoes. If you want to check on our progress, I will be setting up a countdown clock here. I doubt that I will be posting training comments or anything else there, so no need to bookmark that page.

Our training program is 12 weeks and Larry, Neal and I all have a pretty good base. Larry is running 24 Miles a week and Neal and I are running 27 miles. Our longest run will be 23 miles! Yikes.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Word Fails Me

Ron Shank and I are making progress of sorts. We have taken our discussion about things religious off the public stage into email and chat.

Ron and I are surprisingly similar. There are, however, things that we strongly believe that differ. Here is a brief summary.

Bible is InfallibleYesNo
Bible is ValuableYesYes
homosexuality is an AbominationYesNo†
There's more to Christianity than being a Good PersonYesYes
Promiscuous behavior can be physically harmfulYes‡Yes
Promiscuous behavior is a Mortal SinYesYes
Homosexuals should be allowed to MarryNoYes*
Marriage would 'Save' HomosexualsNoYes


I haven't passed this table before Ron yet, but I think I have captured his intentions in the table. If he disagrees, or wants other qualifiers, I will update this post.
†  God and the Bible would seem to disagree with me on this point.
‡  perhaps Ron would say that unrepentant promiscuity is always dangerous to your salvation
*  I do not think marriage must be supported by churches; I would be satisfied by a secular service that had some legal weight. If they wish to profess their commitment to God, that is up to them, naturally.

Ron and I have yet to discuss Salvation. I suspect that my beliefs as listed above preclude me from Salvation. Then again, it has been pointed out that I am an idolater, thief, adulterer, liar and a murder.

I probably wasn't going to Heaven anyway.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Intolerant Reply

Note: Look here for the entire spectrum of belief in this issue.

No, Ron, you have it wrong. I wasn't saying that you were intolerant. I was implying that your interpretation of God and the messages you take from the Bible as being intolerant.

I looked at the links you suggested in your post. I particularly liked the flash presentation. The concepts in that presentation have been laid out by you in your blog again and again. This presentation sums up your position quite well.

Here are some highlights:

He will punish all liars, the lustful, adulterers, idolaters, and blasphemers (Revelations 21:8). The place of eternal punishment is Hell.

This comes after some explanation of what God considers a lie, lustful, adultery, and idolatry, which, of course includes nearly every action we, as human beings, take. It then goes on to say that:

God does not want you to perish. He is rich in Mercy and compassion, and has provided a way for you to be forgiven.

God expects an almost impossibly high standard (well, god-like, actually) and then gives you an easy out. Sounds a lot like a used car salesman to me. ("Just $19.95 three times a week buys you all this!"). The presentation goes on to say that if you simply say the magic words (and to its credit, it says the intention behind the words is more important than the words themselves) that all will be right again. Oh and read the bible. That's important too.

So God is willing to pay your bail as long as you admit that you are worthless and useless.

God is offering it to you as proof of His love for you.

This portrait of God, to me, implies that God has very little respect for his creation. He knows that we are filthy as hell and expects us to be darling little angels and promises to throw us into the fiery furnace for eternity if we don't relent and become his puppets.

If Ron and the people of his faith are right, then many of us are in mortal danger because:

No one comes to the Father except through me.

All must come to God through Ron's faith. God has no tolerance for slackers. God does not take gays. God does not take Muslims. God certainly doesn't take Jews (because they don't except Jesus). God is so intolerant that He is only willing to give you a chance if you dangle on His strings. But if not, it's the rubbish tip for you.

I am not at either extreme in my stance. I have no solid answers. I don't know if homosexuality is biological or not. I don't know if sexual orientation can be changed. It, like handedness, can probably be changed if your 'treatments' are extreme enough (with questionable humanity, I might add). I just don't believe that homosexuals are any more evil than heterosexuals.

I am sorry Ron. I just can't buy that. It is your interpretation of how God works that I find intolerant.

Ron 'knows' he has solid answers because he believes that the bible is THE TRUTH. Even if that is the case, the bible is still open to interpretation. Those who choose to interpret it one way and deny all other interpretations have solid answers. But they do come off sounding intolerant.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Love Each Other

Intolerance (n-tlr-ns)

\In*tol"er*ance\, n. ...

  • The quality of being intolerant; refusal to allow to others the enjoyment of their opinions, chosen modes of worship, and the like; want of patience and forbearance; illiberality; bigotry; as, intolerance shown toward a religious sect.

In response to Ron Shank's post on Same Sex marriges in the State of Massachusetts.

In another post, Ron accuses this nice couple (and I say couple because that is what I believe they are) of calling the wrath of God down on the entire USA.

I don't believe this man needs any help at all from them in accomplishing that.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Past, Present, Future

Nothing is gained by dwelling in the past; who knows what the future holds; I think I can deal with the present. So 'Happy Birthday' to me.

Seattle Marathon Picture

I am experimenting with a new picture posting product called Hello. I think I will be able to start sprucing up my blog with some small graphics. The only trouble might be the automatic sizing that happens when you upload a picture. I hope I can work this out. Until then, here is a picture you may or may not have seen before:

Me in the 2003 Seattle Marathon Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Inspiration by TNT18

For the runners (new and old) in the crowd, join Phillip Martin in his preparations for:
Fall 2004 Marathon Season. I've Rejoined the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training and hope to raise $2000 and complete my 3rd Chicago Marathon.

on his new blog TNT18

I encourage others to take fitness into their own hands and dare to dream big. Don't kid yourself, every marathon is a struggle. But it is the challenge that makes all the effort worthwhile.

I have completed three now and I am about to gear up for the Edmonton Marathon in August.

Now all I have to do is find money for new shoes and the entry fee.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Senseless Death

I have been reading Nikki P's journal for some time now. She is a spirited lady who always tells it, if not how it really is, exactly the way she sees it. With Passion. While I don't always agree with her outlook, I always respect her ability to cut to the heart of any issue.

She gives a long list of personal aquaintances, in the link above, who have been killed senselessly by gun-toting 'morons'. In my opinion these people have no business owning guns. In fact, the number of people with guns is at the heart of the problem. But I digress...

Nikki goes on to say that what we need is more prayer and "more time [dedicated] to Jehovah". Amen.

But what strikes me as ironic is this part:

In 2001, a co-worker of mine was shot and killed....because someone didn't like the way he drove.


I wish people didn't care about the things that didn't matter. I wish that people would think more and act less. I wish that people would learn to rely on and trust in God more than material things and pride.

I respect her stance on this, but Nikki is also quick tempered and often posts rants about bad drivers and other blatant acts of 'stupidity'.

If she is going to preach lessons of tolerance, perhaps she should re-read her own journal and grab a little tolerance herself.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Note To Self

What every mother wants (well, the mother in this household, anyway). Chocolate, Bar None.

From the article:

And it's not enough to just drop subtle hints ... we must provide our children (and our mates) with all the information they'll need to properly show their appreciation for the wonderful job we mothers do: We must give them recipes. Chocolate ones. With this in mind, I feel it is my public duty to share with you some of my personal favourites - all eminently suitable for Mother's Day, and all easy enough for even a dad [emphasis added] to help make.

Well, I for one know my way around the kitchen. And I have also received some not-so-subtle hints from Mo too.

Chocolate, must buy chocolate!

Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death

The internet is a weird and amazing place. I was just listening to a CD I picked up at the local Folk Festival many years ago. There is a song about "The Movie With The World's Worst Title".
Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death  (also known as Piranha Women of the Avocado Jungle of Death  as popularized by song writer, Christine Lavin

I thought Christine's version of the story (see second link) was funny, but apparently the actual movie (yes, there IS an actual movie with this name) is even funnier. I haven't actually seen the movie, but all the accounts of it I found say it is hilarious. The first link above has some snapshots, audio clips and one video clip. Enjoy.