Wednesday, January 30, 2008

of tax returns and bad policy

I was excited (initially) when I heard that the congress came together to give each taxpayer back 'x' amount of money to stimulate the econony. With spouse and kids that will be a pretty good chunk of change. I thought, "Hey, if they got that much of our money left over - they oughta give it back!"

But then I heard "how" this was going to be accomplished. It seems that the United States is going to borrow the monies from China and distibute it to US Citizens who can spend it as they wish.

Okay. hmmmm.

This seems soooo messed up in soooo many ways. Here's some of them:

1. We are borrowing from China.
2. We have to pay this back in interest.
3. Consumers are going to use the money to by products made in (you guessed it) China!
4. We send billions of US Taxpayer dollars all over the world for foreign aid and then we do not get reimbursed and we "forgive debt". So we "give" our money away and we "borrow" money from China???? anyone else think this weird?
5. People who don't pay taxes also get a rebate. Louis Gohmert, Congressman from Texas, asked President Bush at the State of the Union Address a relevant question: "how do you give a rebate to people who didn't put bate in to start with?"

Call me crazy but this just seems wrong in so many ways. And its all to stimulate an economy created by the Adjustable Rate Mortgage fiasco that people got themselves into. Okay, so we are doing all this to bail out people who weren't smart enough to avoid an ARM? Are we going to start doing this for people who get screwed by a car salesman and get over their heads in payments "cause they were stupid?".


I thought about just refusing the money on principle. but then again.... :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

well it felt like an affair

Today I went to another church service. A new church that meets in a movie theater. It is just getting started. A young energetic fellow is at the helm. He has a sense of humor and doesn't take himself too seriously. Its full of energy and hope and dreams.
Mine, as you know, has gotten stuck on itself and is more about building campaigns than building the kingdom. I have become a thorn in their side. I can see their demise as clearly as the moon out tonight.
But my passion is teaching. I have a great group there and we hang together. It is alive, passionate, dare say threatening to the pastorate. But we all know, and agree, that if it wasn't for this groups dynamics, most would leave and go elsewhere.
Today, I didn't have to teach. Someone else is teaching this week and next.
I snuck over with my family to this new church. It was good. I enjoyed myself. My family liked it. I felt like I was having an affair on my old church, or at least my little group. I'm supposed to "belong" somewhere else, but my heart isn't in it. I wnat to give it away to another. I know. Cheater.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Between this world and that one

Today a high school friend of mine was laid to rest. Even typing these words seems odd to me. Brain cancer. 40 years young. Two young daughters and a spouse I have never met.

We are too young to die. This girl and I. Not moments ago we were in the halls of our high school, setting in the lunch room, me cracking jokes and she pretending to be offended. Now she is but a memory. Her children a legacy of all that she was, and passed on to them. A friend who is lost to her spouse.

I thought about her today. 2pm. The time of the funeral. I haven't seen her since high school but we are a small community, and everyone knows everyone and their families as well. It is a small part of you, your past, your being that is being buried with her. We are connected in that respect.

I could not be there. Instead, I found myself at a business expo, with booths and polished professionals and freebies and drinks and ... people going on with life and commerce and superficialness. While 90 miles away a solemn service was being held. A life being honored. An opportunity for grieving and supporting.

Two worlds at the same moment. This world and that one.

And I was caught between them somehow, contemplating the strangeness of it all.
I remember riding in the big black funeral home suburban following the vehicle that was carrying my mother to her grave and watching all of the traffic and people at the convenience stores and kids in their yards with balls and bicycles and I wanted to scream at them "Don't you know that the world has stopped!!!"
But they couldn't hear my inner thoughts - as their world had not. Mine had.

Two worlds at the same moment. This world and that one.

and I think, and I remember, and I smile, as somehow my memory of her still lingers, bridging the divide - between this world, and that one.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Promise Keepers Gone Bad

As you may remember from an earlier post, I am a member of the Wards Boys. This group started out as a Promise Keepers group, but over the last decade, I have renamed it "Promise Keepers Gone Bad". It is also referred to as Wards Boys. That's another story and I will only tell it while with close friends who have had a couple of beers and I swear them to secrecy.
Tonight, the Wards Boys are getting together at one of the member's little ranch, where we will crank up a good fire, cook some Brauts and Sausages, have some cold beer and smoke some good cigars. I have a Monte Cristo with my name on it.
But that ain't the good part. The good part is being under the Texas skies, with the stars hanging above us, and just relaxing. Fellowship.
It is these moments that comprise the essence of my life.
Friday. It took all week to get here... ~npp

Monday, January 7, 2008

lesson from a golf ball

I have no idea why I was thinking about this last night as I lie awake, my mind refusing to surrender itself to sleep. My daughter is on the golf team at her high school and so I am having to learn this and that about the game. I found out that there are approximately 336 dimples (those little indentions on the golf ball covering) on each ball. The reason for this is "Dimples on a golf ball reduce drag by creating turbulence as the ball flies through the air." Source:

Okay, stay with me.

My mind was thinking in the middle of the night how each of these little "dimples" represented a hurt, disappointment, failure, rejection, set back in the golf ball we call our life. (No, I'm not smoking anything). And each of these, by the definition above "create turbulence" in our lives. Now turbulence isn't fun by most accounts, but what you learn and how you react determines alot. It is the dimples in our golf ball life that increase our faith and reliance on God and, as the definition above states, "reduce drag" in our life so we can move on to be better people. When we are hit with a 5 iron or just putted about on the green of life for someone elses amusement, this shapes and molds us and at times determines the direction our lives take. As I once read somewhere, golf can best be defined as an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle... how true of life.

Just like the dimples on the golf ball causes it to perform better, so we too are launched down the fairway of life, meeting resistance and creating turbulance, finding ourselves in the rough or a sand trap, all the while swinging away - dimples and all.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Punctuation Grammer

Okay, if you have been reading my posts for any amount of time... PLEASE DO NOT JUDGE ME BY MY SPELLING GRAMMER PUNCTUATION!!! No one has by the way but I'm aware of it when i go back and proof it after posting. Aggravating. But I type this as fast as I can before a thought escapes me and I am not so concerned with the details at times. sue me. I am a detail oriented person for the most part, but here in the blogosphere... i don't really care about it so much. I have Dyslexia of the fingers when i type, for some reason letters get rearranged and whatever my brain is thinking at that moment gets typed. wierd. later.... ~npp