Category Archives: Dance

I’m Better Than You

Human Dignity.

I have to admit, that I am at times very confused about this.

The trouble is, it all sounds so nice on paper. We claim that every person has the same innate human dignity because we all were made in the image and likeness of God. We say that there is some equality between every person that has ever been born, and then we choose this odd word to describe it, dignity.

Dignity –

1.The state of equality of being worthy of honor or respect

2. A composed or serious manner or style

Now we are obviously talking about the first definition of dignity here, we are not saying that every human person has a serious manner, that would just be silly. So when we say that every person is equally worthy of honor or respect, do we really mean that? Am I really called to honor and respect everyone equally?

This all sound nice and fluffy, but when I actually try to put it into practice, this is a really hard teaching. Am I really supposed to have the same honor and respect for Stalin that I would have for Mother Theresa? Seriously? I mean, this is simply beyond my comprehension. How can I possibly put the Holy Father and the druggie Meth head who just got out of prison on the same level? It’s no challenge to imagine my bishop as having dignity, not so easy for the wife beater down the street.

But here is the real rub. That’s exactly what Jesus did. Spot on. He didn’t even flinch when talking with the prostitute. Poverty and sickness? Didn’t bug Him one bit. The only thing that really seemed to get His goat was religious hypocrisy, and guess what? I am most assuredly not a prostitute, but I have certainly been hypocritical about my beliefs. I’m not sure Jesus would have liked me all that much. That’s pretty darn scary. So since Jesus was clearly tied in to this idea of human dignity, even though it doesn’t make real sense to me, I have to accept it as true. That doesn’t make it any easier.

“Mrs. Turpin occupied herself at night naming the classes of people. On the bottom of the heap were most colored people, not the kind that she would have been if she had been one, but most of them; then next to them- not above, just away from- were the white trash; then above them were the home owners, and above them the home and land owners, to which she and Claud belonged. Above she and Claud were people with a lot of money and much bigger houses and much more land. But here the complexity of it would begin to bear in on her, for some of the people with a lot of money were common and ought to be below she and Claud and some of the people who had good blood had lost their money and had to rent and then there were colored people who owned their own homes and land as well.” -“Revelation” Flannery O’Conner

This is me. Maybe the tools I use to judge everyone are different than Mrs, Turpin, I’m pretty blind to race for example, but I still have a clear strata in my subconscious. That homeless guy is somehow beneath me and that guy at the country club is above me. Where the heck did I get the idea that I could possibly be better than someone else? How did this nonsense get into my brain?

Where do we get this need to place ourselves from? How did I get this way? Why is it so automatic for me to look down on the dirty hippy asking for money, and so easy for me to defer to someone just because they have loads of cash? And like Mrs, Turpin, it only gets more confusing the deeper you get into this mess.

More importantly, how do we break out of this evil cycle? How can we get to the point where we truly see every human person as having the same, true, innate dignity that they were given at their conception. I’m not saying we have to love sin or anything crazy like that, but how can we learn to love every person equally? Jesus pulled it off, and brought it into the realm of perfect possibility, how can we change what is so deeply ingrained in us?

I am certain that we can’t. I think it has to be done TO us. I think only the grace of God can possibly cure me of this evil, and I pray he does just that.

“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendant, heirs according to the promise.” -Galatians 3:27-9

A Night Without Kids

My youngest daughter’s best friend had a birthday party last night, and being the prepubecent bundle of hormones that they are, they decided the best thing to do would be have a sleepover. So both my daughters were gone all night.

We were alone.

Party Time! Bust out the drinks and the dancing, it’s time to hit the clubs!

Well, at least that is what I was thinking in my head, but here’s how it actually played out.

First I picked up honey at work for lunch and took her to her favorite (but inexpensive) Chinese restaurant. While we had a great time, it was hardly romantic as the second we walked in, we saw some other folks she knows from work. As one of them was sitting alone, we invited him to sit with us and I got to sit there and listen to them talk about work.

Okay, I’m cool with that, I’ve got all night.

So later that evening she gets home, and after the hour long download of her day, I am finally allowed to speak, and suggest my Wild Disco Clubbing idea.

Shot down immediately, but I’m not phased.

So I suggest an evening stroll on the beach with a few suggestive hints as to where that could end. Hmm, that’s not happening either it seems.

She suggests the mall to look at stuff for the house we currently in escrow for.

The mall. How romantic. Okay, sure honey.

So off to the mall, she gets nachos, I get Subway, and away we go. Now I have a plan here. I’m going to make the best of this, so I spend the whole time teasing her and making rude suggestive comments. (What can I say, I’m a man, and my wife is beautiful) Now I’m not getting slapped, so I figure I’ll just keep going.

We went into this fancy bohemian furniture store, and this place is just awful. There is nothing in here that even remotly pleases me. It’s like some cross between a gypsy camp, an eighties nightclub, and a wicker revival. So I am naturally not all that interested. Then it happens. I hear Disco. Oh man, I love me some Disco.

So I’m walking around the store sporting all my best Disco moves while singing along to her across the aisles. The folks who work there are just snickering, but I don’t really care, I want to snicker at them for not shaking their tush a little. My wife of course is embarrassed and beginning to turn a lovely shade of beets. With disdain, she decided to remove me from the Disco. Sadness follows.

More shopping follows as my wife keeps asking me questions about what kind of style furniture I like. At some point she has an epiphany, I really don’t like any of her choices. I try to explain to her that it isn’t true, I really do like them, they just aren’t my favorite, but this is not getting me any points. Then in a typical moment of brilliance, I come up with the 1-10 scale. I let her know her stuff is an 8, and an 8 is a great compromise. She seems fine, but this will preoccupy the rest of the evenings conversation.

Off to home, and here’s where things get really sexy. (Children might want to cover their eyes!)

She goes off to the living room to work on her cross-stitch, and I head back to my office to finish up some extra work. We spend the next four or five hours doing just this. Every now and then one of us wants a snack, or has to get up to go to the bathroom, but here we are finally alone, and we are both in separate rooms, doing our own thing. I would have allowed the kids to see this, but I would hate for them to realize we are so boring.

(Okay kids, you can uncover your eyes now)

And there was our big night on the town. To be honest, I had the time of my life. Nothing beats just being with my wife, it’s pretty dang awesome.

(The night of course got far more awesome, but I don’t kiss and tell…)

A side note, I really do love Disco, and we lost one of the greats this week. God speed Donna Summer, I pray the Lord has Disco in heaven, and that we can shake our fannys with joy together when we get there.

Why Do You Visit My Blog?

I have a rather silly little hobby. Whenever I remember to sit down and write a post, I take a look at who visited my site, and I try to figure out why they came. I think it’s really rather funny.

So I thought for today, I’d share with you the information I gleaned from yesterday.

Yesterday was a good day volume-wise. I had 237 folks take a look. They promptly realized that I am a terrible writer, so 75% of them said “Forget this, I’m off to other things.” Well, I can’t hold the attention of my daughters for 2 minutes, so I can hardly expect to hold anyone else’s for that long.

Here is where the fun starts. Where did they come from?

Well, most of my traffic yesterday came from the support of other great bloggers throwing my links and posts up, but there is always a ton from the good old search engines, especially Google. So what did they search for that brought them here?

Well, ten folks were just interested in “four leaf clovers”. I guess that just makes me lucky.

I have one here who was interested in “methods for washing feet”. Phew, glad I don’t have that problem, hope I helped.

“How to decorate a dead tree” I have always wanted to get into exterior design, maybe I missed my calling.

“4 Yaprakli Yonca” I have no idea what this is, but it brought them here. I bet they were just thrilled to land on my blog.

I think I am using my Nazi = Abortion metaphor too much, as someone looking for “Nazis killing Jews” found their way here. I’m sure to be entered into some white supremacy blacklist soon.

“Love Handshake” I’m not sure this site really has what you are looking for…..

“Should Not.” Really? That brought you here? How?

Now I just love that the internet thinks of me when it thinks of “Boys in the mud.”

Now here I have to be careful. I really don’t want people to get the wrong idea when they “Put kids in the closet.”

“You’re such a deacon” Makes it sound like a really nasty thing doesn’t it?

“Gift idea for someone who is ordained as a deacon in the catholic church” Oh man, I should put in some recommendations for this one. I’m thinking they would just love a years supply of pizza.

“How to make a blanket mattress fort” I didn’t even realize anyone knew about my secret childhood passion.

“How to bi locate” Don’t worry my friend, I will be giving lessons at some point for the low, low price of $99.95. Results not guaranteed.

Mr Know it All, My Hero

And my personal favorite, because they finally found who they were looking for, “Know it all person.”

 

Lord, What Shirt Should I Wear Today?

You might think I’m being humorous, but I really do ask that question. I know it’s not a big deal, but it’s an easy question to ask. I’ll tell you why it’s so easy, I get dressed right after my morning prayer.

Yup, I don’t even get out of bed, I just wake up and start talking. God must think I’m worse then a pack of thirteen year old girls with how much I blabber. I don’t really have anything formal, I just decided a long time ago that the first person I should address each morning should be God, and so I’ve made a habit of it. At first it did not come easy though, it was a serious struggle. You see, there is a fundamental problem we face when we begin to learn to pray.

To really begin praying, you have to pretend like you are praying.

I swear, I’m not making this up, I’m just telling you how it worked for me. At first, you really don’t know what praying is, and you just feel silly. I felt like I was just talking to myself, like one of those nuts who walks around the grocery store with their Bluetooth in. I tried reading the bible, but in honesty, I got bored. I tried reading rote morning prayers, but that was no better. You see, I just didn’t feel like anything was really going on. I remember being asked when I first came into the Church by a buddy of mine,

“What does it feel like to pray? Do you hear God or anything?”

To which I replied, “Well, as best I can tell so far, I just sit there feeling like an idiot.”

You see, I was trying so dang hard to talk to this God I didn’t really know, but He just wouldn’t talk back. I might as well have been talking to a wall. All the fancy words in the bible and in these rote prayers just made it harder for me because I was so distracted by the readings themselves. I just didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. I still feel this way at times.

It was Brother Lawrence that fixed me up. If you have never read “The Practice of the Presence of God”, I totally recommend that you do. It is so short that you could read the whole thing while waiting for the doctor to call you at your next visit, by which I mean about an hour and a half.

Brother Lawrence taught me to pretend. He taught me to just chat with God as if He were there, paying attention to every moment in my life. At first, I still felt silly, but at least I wasn’t distracted. I could just focus on the pretending, and that was enough to do the trick.

This is why kids are awesome at praying. They don’t really try to over think it, they just go for it and see what happens. They are great at pretending, and therefore learn to pray super easy.

Now I won’t lie, I have never been able to keep this up for more than fifteen minutes without losing my train of thought, but it broke the barrier for me. After a while, I really began to know that there was something going on that was more than I was putting in. I can’t really quantify it in any way, but in the pretending, I learned some shadow of the real thing, and it has made all the difference.

Here is the kicker. At some point, I really knew this presence was, well, present. I learned what it felt like, and then I was able to access that feeling during other prayers, even those really complicated ones like bible reading. Whenever I start getting lost, I just pause, and focus on that presence that is always there. He still doesn’t chat back with me, but instead of the echo I used to get from the wall, I hear silence. I can’t really explain it, but it is very different then what I heard and felt before. It’s bigger, stronger, and quieter.

If you have ever had trouble with prayer, and I think we all have, I really recommend you look into this. I’m not really all that smart a guy, so I really like simple ideas and short words. Brother Lawrence is my man. And guess what! You can have it FREE! Click here, pick your format, and read it now or print it out later for while you are waiting for the kids to get out of baseball practice.

So yes, every morning I discuss my wardrobe for the day with the Lord. I’m there, I’m paying attention, and thank goodness he has never picked out that pink sweater my grandmother bought me that I should just throw away. Well, he never actually seems to have an opinion, but I suspect that’s because I have such great taste.

Satan Shaved His Beard

Of course he did. That’s what evil does. It takes the goodness that God has created, and twists and perverts it.

Okay, now this theory might just be my silliness going crazy, but then, I might just be right. So take this with a grain of salt, or maybe a jar of salt, take it as humor, or take it as self glorification. Or maybe I’m really on to something here…

For a man, to have a beard is his natural state. Leave him alone in the woods for just a few days, and it is nearly magical how God will transform him. God just loves beards on men. (It was His idea, after all!)

Modern culture doesn’t like beards so much, have you ever wondered why? Personally, I think it’s a plot of Satan himself.

Now I’m not going to put this plot on the same level as his desire to keep you in sin, or his desire to damn all humanity, but I do think it’s part of his bigger plan. It doesn’t end with beards either, it’s way bigger than that. But I have to start somewhere to really explain this, and beards are just so handsome that it seemed the proper place.

In “The Screwtape Letters”, a brilliant book describing the methods and mentalities of devils and tempters written by C.S.Lewis, there is a short idea he throws in for a moment that has always set me on edge, made me just a bit more than leery of fashion in general. The basic idea is this: Satan uses his “best” tempters to work on the minds of the few who are in control of art, music and fashion. Why would he do such a thing? Why not work on politicians who can do more harm? To create dissatisfaction.

This is where the intellect of Lewis just shines. Satan, by focusing his energy on creating a physical ideal that is unreachable by most, makes everyone feel ugly, and see uglyness in everyone else. No one is happy and satisfied with the way God made them. Everyone is too fat, everyone is too short, women should look like they are still seventeen, and men should look like Atlas. Of course, having a beautiful, natural beard is simply out of the question.

If you think I am exaggerating, turn on your TV and count the beards. How many newscasters for example have you seen with a full beard? How many romantic heroes in film resemble ZZ Top? I’ve even heard it said of men who wear their facial hair natural are men who are sinister, or have something to hide. Bearded men are more likely to be associated with the unabomber than with Saint Peter. The Devil is one tricky fellow if he has so completely fooled humanity.

See how Satan did that? He took a good thing that God created, and made it unfashionable. To put it another way, God gave most women big hips, not just because they are feminine and sexy, but because they help to facilitate the bearing of children. Fashion however wants you to be thin as a rail. Another example, most women should be a little heavy, where do you think the calories that build little babies comes from? Fifteen pounds overweight should be sexy, I mean after all, what could be sexier than being ready to have a baby? But fashion says that’s ugly. So here you are, really into a man, and you naturally gain fifteen pounds because your body is naturally getting you ready, and instead of your fiance becoming more into you, he becomes less. Satan may be evil, but he is brilliant. (By the way, you’ll notice that I just said that getting ready to have a baby defines sexy. One of these days, I’ll prove it to you!)

Never forget that the prime man Himself, the Son of Man, Our Lord sported a beard. I cannot even imagine a clean shaved Jesus, the very thought is insulting. Manliness in perfection clearly had a beard. All the apostles too had beards, down to the very last one.  The persecuting Romans? Clean shaven.

Now I must take a step backwards. I know you are probably really excited to start growing that baby out, but you might want to hold on for just a second. Realize that this mental dislike of beards runs deep. If you are married, you might just feel that your lovely wife should just like you with a beard, but you have to remember that she has been deceived for so long, that it’s in her blood to not like them. Try it out by all means, but if she’s not down with it, well, I prefer to cuddle at night than sleep on the front door mat, if you catch my drift. I know this is shocking, but somethings are simply more important than having a beard.

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