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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas everyone!  I will be taking a blog break through the New Year.  I will be following (and responding to comments), so feel free to engage, but no new posts for a little while.

Enjoy some time this holiday season with family and friends!

And I pray that you will find the joy of Jesus this Christmastide!

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  –– Isaiah 9:6

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Posted by on December 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

DADT Thoughts

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Today, President Barack Obama signed into the law the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, clearing the way for gays and lesbians to serve their country openly in the military for the first time in our nation’s history.  Pretty historical and remarkable stuff!

Part of what this means is that — as soon as implementation begins (probably several months away) — the military will be stronger and will be able to start re-enlisting those who have already been trained and served well but were discharged because they were gay or lesbian.  The military will also be stronger because it is creating an environment where integrity and honesty can thrive.

This is a win-win issue both in that it furthers and important civil rights cause as well as strengthens our military — already the best in the world.

This also represents the end of official discrimination against gays and lesbians in one of the few places where it is still allowed.  

Let me make a couple of predictions:

  1. DADT repeal will be implemented quickly (within 3-6 months), easily and without incident.  Ten years from now, it will seem odd to people that this was ever an issue in the military.
  2. Within ten years, gay marriage will be universally legally recognized in the United States.
  3. Within ten years, a significant portion of traditionalist anti-gay churches — especially larger, growing, evangelical churches — will come to see the treatment of LGBT folks as a justice issue, recognize how politics and cultural issues have produced flawed theology, and will be open to fully including gay and lesbians in the ministry and life of the church.  It will be controversial — and not universal — but significant.  

In many ways, these changes are inevitable…

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

AM I OVERLY OPTIMISTIC?

THOUGHTS?

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Joy, Joy, When there is no Joy

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Last Sunday I preached a message at a local church entitled “Joy, Joy, When there is no Joy”.

It is a message about how to find joy when joy eludes us.  I focus on the example of Mary and The Magnificat in this Advent/Christmas message.

In this message I also share about my own journey and why joy has been difficult the past 18 months — really the first time I have spoken about everything that happened in a public setting.  I have written much on the blog, but spoken little about it.

I felt like God really used the sermon to connect with folks and I hope you will take the time to listen to it sometime this week as you prepare for Christmas.  And when you do, let me know what you think.

Merry Christmas!

 

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

A $500 Event

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I have been sick with bronchitis the last few days.  It came on quick and nasty.  I am beginning to feel human again today for the first time, now that I am on a pretty strong anti-biotic and a steroid.

I have missed three days of work and barely been able to leave my bed or couch for three days.

Now that I am feeling better, I can reflect on some realities of the situation as this relates to our national healthcare debate and economic realities.

One current proposal in the CT state legislature would require providing paid sick leave for hourly employees.  The argument against this, of course, is that it adds one more cost to the cost-of-doing-business in the state.  One of the arguments for it is that unless you provide paid sick leave, people will work sick — which ultimately can cost much more to businesses and the state as more people get sick, miss work, etc. (and some who get sick are uninsured).  These are particularly tricky issues in the restaurant/foodservice industry, when, frankly, working-while-sick endangers customers (the policy at the restaurant I work at is that if sick, you are not to work).

So… besides being miserable for three days (including my birthday), I estimate that these three days of sickness cost me approximately $500 out of pocket.

Doctor’s Visit – $30 copay

Two prescriptions – 2 x $15 copay = $30

OTC Cold & Cough, etc – $30

Lost income – $375

Misc Expenses – $100

The miscellaneous expenses include ordering in soup from every Asian restaurant around that will deliver (wonton, hot and sour, pho, miso, etc), gallons of Gatorade, etc.

Roughly $500.

Now here are a few things to remember: (1) I have medical insurance (without it, my doctor’s visit would have cost $100 and the medicine almost $150); (2) I am single and no one else relies on me financially; and (3) a part from student loans, I am debt-free and also have a 6-month cash emergency fund (thanks to following the Dave Ramsey Financial Freedom Plan).

So all-in-all, apart from three days of misery, this is a minor inconveinence, not a financial disaster.

BUT… if I was supporting a family and living on a tight paycheck-to-paycheck budget, this would be a serious financial stress,

AND… if I didn’t have health insurance, was carrying lots of debt and living paycheck-to-paycheck, had others relying on me financially, etc, this could have been a financial disaster — especially during the holidays and winter months (when heating bills, gas prices, etc, all go up).

SO… all-in-all, a reminder of (1) how blessed I am (and thankful for that!); and (2) the realities that many people live with every day; and (3) why the issues we debate (like healthcare, sick leave, etc, etc) and the work we do at places like MACC with at-risk families, are so critical; and (4) why everyone should get on the Dave Ramsey plan!

THOUGHTS?

 

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Prayers for North & South Korea (via JesusCreed.org)

We are hoping that we will our turn our minds toward God tonight and pray for peace between North and South Korea.

The news today is that North Korea threatens retaliation if South Korea does have live-fire shooting exercises.

South Korea’s exercises are scheduled to begin in hours.

Lord have mercy.

(Thanks Scot for posting this… joining you in prayer!)

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Birthday Reflections

Today, I turn 36 — and my niece turns 3 (much more significant!)

I am home sick (called out to work — something I rarely do) so I have some time to reflect upon the past year.

Last year, I posted this reflection about my birthday… and said this:

Truth be told, I have low expectations for 35.  My goals are simple: finish culinary school, don’t go broke, make some friends, find a church community that will take me and fit with a restaurant/cooking schedule (easier said than done), and figure out the next step after that.

The good news is that, while my goals were modest, I met them all!  I graduated culinary school, didn’t go broke, made some good new friends, found a church and have taken some good and practical steps in the “what’s next” area.

Along the way I also got to preach, officiate two wonderful weddings for wonderful couples. officiated a funeral, and have finally received forgiveness from both the church and congregant involved at my previous church.

So 35 was much better than 34.  But I have higher expectations for 36… no specific goals, except to continue to follow Jesus with passion, commitment, purpose and faithfulness.  If I do that, it will have been a good year.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Seth Walsh 1997-2010

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This is a powerful video; please watch.

 

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

 
 
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