Why you Little…Doh!

I was reading Dizzy Ninja’s Blog today and was facinated by something he posted here last month. 

Is it an insult to refer to someone as a nonchristian now?

Republican Elizabeth Dole attempts to tie Democrat Kay Hagan to a group called Godless Americans PAC.  The ad in question was rife with misleading clips and attempts to imply that Kay Hagan was, herself, one of those evil, horrible, morally depraved ‘godless’ folk.  Kay Hagan’s response?  “How dare you insult me by implying that I’m not a Christian! I am too!”

He went on to discuss how Barack Obama had a similar thing happen.  Many people assumed, and many others bought into that assumption, that because his father was Muslim and his mother was an Atheist, Mr. Obama couldn’t possibly be a Christian.  I;m glad that the President elect fought the urge to lash out.  It would ahve made him look really foolish, and been extremely divisive if he portrayed the same sentiment that Kay Hagan had.

I would only be offended in that I work hard at living a life that I reflects what I believe.  What I believe are Biblical, Christian princicples, and I want the people that see me each day to think somewhere in their mind that I reflect the character of Jesus Christ.

So, I don’t think I would be offended as much as I would be frustrated with myself for not fully living what I claim to believe.  Which then resulted in people thinkning I was not a Christian.

What a great question Mr. Dizzy poses.  Should a person be offended if they are labeled a non-Christian?

His questions are much better put this way:

So I ask again: is it an insult to be thought of as outside of the majority? Is it wrong to be black, hispanic or asian? Is it a shameful thing to be a Muslim or a Hindu or a Buddhist? Should one be embarrassed of one’s Atheism?

Thanks for the thoughts Dizzy Ninja.

Please share your thoughts on this.

Livin’ Out Loud,

Al

What if it Was Your Child?

Having children certainly changes your life.  More specifically, it changes the way you live your life.  At least it should.  When I got married I was already in a pursuit to let God change me.  I knew there were areas, and there still continues to be areas, that I God wanted me to change and ways He wanted me to grow.  I became more conscious of time, a little more organized, tried to manage my finances a bit vetter too.  And although getting married changed me greatly, it wasn’t until I had children that I really noticed the changes.

My mother in-law said to me recently that she is impressed with how much I have changed.  She  noticed that I see something that needs to be done, and instead of waiting till it really needs to be done, I get a move on and get ‘er done.  I appreciated to compliment, and appreciated the fact that she was watching even more. 

“So…what of it?  What’s the point here Al?  How does this have anything to do with Every Monday Matters?”

Glad you asked…

As I said, having children can really change you.  So, this week’s challenge, which is actually the challenge from 2 weeks ago, was to sign up to have AMBER alerts sent to you.  I chose to have them sent as a text to my cell phone.  I figure, it’s on all day every day as it is, so it’s probably the most reliable way to get an alert to me.  This challenge really struck home. 

“What if it was your child?”  Whoa!  What if it were my child?  It’s scary to even think about, but it is a reality. 

Since my mother in-law advised me that I was a “man of action”, I couldn’t be lax or forget about this challenge.  I signed up and will get text each time there is an AMBER alert in my area.  I have to tell you, I was really burdened by this challenge though.  I can’t seem to get it out of my head.  It’s not like a constant fear or anxiety that my children will be abducted.  It reminded me of how important it is to teach your chiildren these lessons, and also some of the things my parents did in preparing me and brother and sister for dealing with strangers.

I grew up in the era of Adam Walsh and McGruff the Crime Dog.  I remember learning about Adam, and how scary that was.  I also remember my mom getting me a set of books that taught a bunch of lessons on how to deal with strangers, and going over them with me to make sure I understood everything.  I remember one really cool thing that we implimented…the “code word.” 

Did you have one?  Well, it was a word or phrase that only me and my mom and dad would know, unless they gave it to somone.  The rule was that I would never leave with someone, stranger or not, that didn’t have this code word.  It was kind of cool.  Like I was some sort of kid spy, and knew that people were on my team if they had the code.

I think mine was the name of our first dog, “Pepper.”   It’s amazing the things you remember from so long ago, but it was a valuable lesson.  I remember my mom saying something like, “Even if your aunt comes to your school to pick you up.  Unless your dad or I tell you ahead of time, or she has the code word, you do not go with her.  No matter what!  Even if she says I was in a bad accident or something like that, you never go.”

Erica and I talked about this for a while last night, and decided that 3 1/2 years old is not too young to start these lessons.  Wyatt, our oldest, is a really out going boy, which could be dangerous.  I mean, I’m pretty confident that he wouldn’t just get in a strangers car, but hey you never know. 

So, she and I are formulating our plan, and we’ll probably enlist McGRuff to help us.   But I want my children prepared for the dangers in life.  I want them to know that there is so much beauty in life, but there is also danger.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

If you haven’t signed up for AMBER alerts…McGruff says to do it!  Besides, what if it was your child?

How are you making Monday’s matter?

Livin’ Out Loud,

Al

Ch…Ch…Changes and Additions

So, many of you know that we recently had an addition to our family, my daughter Charlotte was born last week.  This has, of course, been a huge change.  About 4 hours of sleep at night, an additonal butt to change…Well, you get the picture.  Not all of it is difficult.  In fact most of it is awesomely wonderful. 

With this change, there has been some changes here at my Blog.  I have changed the look, just in time for WordPress to impliment their new dashboard, which is pretty cool.  I have also added a few blogs to my Blogroll lately.  So, I have decided, mainly because my Blog mentor posted this similar topic on his site – Thanks Marty! – to list them here:

Garrett Walker – This is more of a procrastination on my part, as I have meant to add him for a while.  I have been reading his blog for some time, and I always walk away with some cool insight into life…or at least his life.

1000 Awesome Things – Great site.  Hillarious and insightful on basic life stuff.  This is a must read.

Little-People – This site is amazing.  An artist that hand paints little figurines and places them in scenes using natural elements.  Think Anne Geddes on crack!  Note- I didn’t say Anne Geddes is on crack, but you may infer that too.

Livin’ Out Loud…A lot lately

Al

Twittering Out Loud

In my pursuit for things 2.0 tools that are cool, inventive, and user friendly, I have found LoudTwitter.  LoudTwitter allows you to follow a single Twitter name and have the entries posted automatically to your blog each day.  Pretty sweet eh?

So, I signed up and will be waiting to see how things go.  I’ll keep you posted and let you know what I think.  Could be awesome, or just down right sucky!

What new technology do you use and/or want to share?

Livin’ Out Loud,

Al

Need More Views on Your Blog?

Do you need more views on your blog? Have you ever wondered how to get them?  Well, here’s the answer, Alphainventions.  Alphainventions is an amazing, FREE blogging tool that allows you to submit your blog, along with  others’ who have done the same, and shows them all in a sort of slide show.  I’m not sure how my Blog was  submitted to their site, but it certainly has increased my traffic. 
Your blog stays in the rotation until another blogger submits his blog and yours gets kicked out.  Don’t worry though, because you can just resubmit your blog as many times as you like.  The more times you submit it during the day, the more hits your Blog you will get.

You can also donate money to Alphainventions and they will send you a code which gives priority to your blog so it will stay in the rotation, quote, ‘100x longer’.

Head over to Alphainventions.com to get more hits on your Blog today!

How do you…Pull your hair out without going bald?

What style of music do you have?  What’s your worship like?  Why do you play so loud?  Why don’t you…Why are you…What about…

Have you ever run into these questions?  Better yet, have you asked these questions?  If you are part of the latter group, which I of course am, have you asked it directly to the leader that presides over what you are questioning.  Have you done that or are you the type that asks everyone else about it?

“Hey Andrew! What do you think about the new…” “Hey Nici, how have you been liking the…I think they should just…” You fill in the blanks here, as I’m sure you get my drift.  All of us at times are amateurs with a professional opinion of something.  This is especially true when things have changed.

I have a few suggestions though:

1.  If it’s about me- Say it to me.  No need to ask someone else, tell someone else, especially if they aren’t even involved with the area you have an issue with.  I’m easy going, so if you have a thought, suggestion, or criticism, please bring ’em on!

2.  Remember: It’s not about you or me- Since it’s not about us, then who is it about.  let’s first keep it about bringing glory to God.  Second, let’s remember that it is usually being done for a purpose. 

3.  Please say it- Remember when your teacher would say there are no stupid questions.  You may not be the only one with a question, or especially with that question.  Get yourself an answer.

Let’s get some guts, grow a pair, and talk about things.  My moto for many things: I’d rather let it out and feel the shame, than hold it in and feel the pain.

Livin’ Out Loud,

Al

Head Start on New Year’s Goals

Every new year, my wife and I escape for a part of a day together and set some goals together.  we set personal goals, family goals, financial goals, spiritual goals, etc.  We do this together, because it maitains unity between us, brings us a little closer in our thinking and planning, and it’s pretty fun too.

I was thinking that I would get a head start…not like this is a competition, but I’ll probably have mine done before her.  Heh, heh, heh!

I like goals, but I don’t love them.  I’m a very fly by the seat of my pants, spontaneous, live life in the now kind of guy.  I’m artsy, not extremely self-motivated, and self-describe myself as “chill.”  Ya know – nothing gets me too excited or bothered, and things can easily roll off my back.  No worries right!?!?

Since I am so, goals are very important.  I don’t love them, but I do like them.  I like looking giving the impression that I am responsible, prepared, and attentitive.  None of these could be accomplished if I did not set goals, which is why I like them.  I also like a challenge, and think that goals should be realistic, but should still drive and stretch you a bit further than last time.  So, I present to you my personal reading goal for 2009.

I’m not sure I have ever read this many books before, but Iwill try.  I really like antique books.  The broken in hardcover, cracked bindings, thoughts that wonder where this book has been before it was in my hands.  I have decided to attempt to read 20 of the “Classics.”  I found this list from a fellow blogger.

1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin by Mark Twain 

2. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque 

3. The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle 

4. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky 

5. Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

6. Uncle Toms Cabin by Harriet Beacher Stowe 

7. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

8. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

9. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

10. Jane Eyre 1984 by Charlotte Bronte 

11. My Antonia by Willa Cather 

12. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

13. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane 

14. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

15. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

16. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens 

17. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

18. The Sound and the Furry by William Faulkner 

19. Tess of the D’urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

20. A Separate Peace by John Knowles  

This should be exciting.

How many of these have you read?

Livin’ Out Loud,

Al