Well, the contest is over. The contest, of course, being between me and the bushes out front: which of us would get a badly-needed trim first... And the winner is:
Yay! Nothing livens up a boring blog like pictures of shrubbery! A "before and after" picture, no less! Wow, such an impressive display of my graphic artistry! Note the bold, daring black arrow with the soft, golden outline! Notice, in the bottom shot, the haphazard hose, and the red cord from the cheap electric hedge trimmer (complete with the "Purchased at a Local Target" vibe) which seems to subtly mimic the haphazard nature of the hose.... ahh... I smell a possible Pulitzer for this shot...
Or it could be the after-effects of this afternoon's pizza lunch I'm smelling...
I better segue out of this before it gets gross...
I guess my haircut will have to wait.
I bet you're dying to know if I summoned the discipline and the intestinal fortitude necessary to turn in early last night, as I threatened in my last post. I bet it nagged at you all day, like a tooth ache...
The answer is: Nope. In fact, I was up until almost 4. In my defense, I finished editing and formatting a 40 page interview for a client, which is always tedious work. But I finished it, though it was well after midnight by that time. Then I took a quick tour of my favorite forums, and read my book (The Blade Itself) on the couch. It's impossible to keep adequate track of time when you fall into a good book...
Gotta go take Chris to work right now. I shall return and pick up where I left off, in approximately 30 minutes! Then I'll edit this part, and you'll never know it happened! MUAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
Aaaand, I'm back. And I'm armed with a ridiculously large plate of left-over spaghetti... Nothing says "long night ahead" like overloading on carbs at 9 pm... I gotta get up at 5:30 am so I can go get Chris from work. She's working a graveyard "floor set" shift at the mall. Which means she won't be attending church tomorrow morning with us. That's OK, I'll tell Jesus she said "hello", so it's all good...
I think I'm gonna start something new. I'm going to start posting some of my favorite movie scenes here. Hey, why not sponge some entertainment benefit from other people's hard work, so my blog will be a little more interesting, eh?
I'm going to call this "These Are A Few of My Favorite Scenes", with all due respect to Julie Andrews..
The thing is, I'm not going to try and track them down from YouTube - I'm going to rip them and edit them myself - that way I can be sure they are *exactly* what I want. The first scene here is actually from the TV show 24, the second season, I believe. You know, before the show got borderline ridiculous. Anyway, I thought this scene was very strongly acted.
I'll try and post clips each day, if I can. You know, for fun, that sort of thing.
I figured out how to do little animations in Photoshop, too... that could be fun also. I have an old copy of Macromedia Flash that also does animations - I may have to dust that off and see if I can't get all creative on y'all.
Warning: I'm gonna get all theological on you for a minute here.
I watched a video sermon by David Wilkerson last night. It was given to me by a long-time attender of our church, who has a long-standing beef with our Pastor over his position on righteousness. It's a classic Calvin/Arminian debate at heart, but with a twist. Pastor believes once you "get saved", you're supposed to live right, and wrestle with your sins, in the power of the Holy Spirit, until you overcome them. This other person believes it's all grace, start to finish, and all we have to do is accept salvation, and rest in it, forever, since there is nothing good that ever comes out of our "flesh" and out of the efforts of our will power.
Of course, that's what Wilkerson preached in this sermon as well, which is why copies of it were being passed out to the elders of our church (myself included), so we can watch the sermon and be "set free" from the erroneous belief that God expects righteous behavior out of His people.
I don't know why the distinction is so hard for people to discern. Yes, without God, we are nowhere. He is responsible for initiating the plan of salvation, and it is through His guidance and patient hand that we move from dark to light, so to speak (wow, that was a lot of "christianese" langauge there, sorry... hey, I did warn you!).
No, we can't "save ourselves" and no one is saying we can, especially not the Pastor. But what he is saying is that with God, we can overcome sin - and that by definition, that is what salvation is! What's the point of taking a miserable sinner into a nice new place (Heaven) if he/she isn't changed? You gonna mope around heaven, depressed, selfish, drunk, gossiping, lusting, whining? That all comes from inside you, not from your environment! Salvation is about changing what you are, as a person, so that wherever you are, you are alive and free from the habits and personality idiosynchrasies and "sins" that keep us bound and miserable.
Salvation is about change. We can't do it on our own. But with God, we can. Some people just can't see that. They think that means we are "saving ourselves" without reference to God. Misses the boat completely.
OK, end of theological rant.
To make up for it, I will post this cute picture I found online:
Until tomorrow, live long and perspire.