Saturday, November 30, 2013


The last almost 2 years have been...interesting. In February of 2012 I lost the job I had for nearly 5 years, and was unemployed for 8 months. The same week I found out that my first round of unemployment benefits had run out I found out I was pregnant. Since having my daughter we've basically lived paycheck-to-paycheck. There was even a month where we had to rely on the charity of family in order to keep food on the table.

In spite of the roller coaster ride life has taken us on lately, I'm very thankful for so many things. I am thankful that we have a roof over our heads still. I am thankful that we have paid off, reliable transportation. I am thankful that we've never had to go hungry, or be too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer. I am thankful for having a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy, a healthy, uncomplicated labor & delivery and a happy, healthy baby girl. I am thankful that even though things have been tight, and we don't have money for the things we want, we have always had the things we NEED. I am thankful for having the best, most wonderful bunch of family and friends a person could wish for.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

50 Years

This Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of one of my favorite bits of Sci-Fi. For those not as geeky as I, it's the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. And because of Comcast taking away my BBC America On Demand and booking a photo shoot on Monday, I can't watch the 50th Anniversary special. :(

A few weeks ago I saw a post on Google+ that had a Doctor Who alphabet. I liked the idea, but the presentation left something to be desired. All the letters were associated with words that came from the newer series, and it was just words. So, after spending probably WAY too much time on it, I made my own and made a PDF booklet of it. :D

So for those who are interested, here it is! Google Drive does mad posterization to the images, unfortunately, but you can get the idea of what I was going for, without having to download the nearly 1 GB file that I originally created.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

"Those People"

I haven't posted in a while. For a couple reasons.

1) Life happened. I got busy doing other things, and neglected to write posts or ideas for posts down.

2) I had this post typed up, but since I know it's got stuff in here that will make some people I know mad, I let it sit, so I could look back over it and make sure that what I typed 2 months ago is really, truly what (and how) I wanted to say. I'm pretty sure it is, goes.

There is something that drives me crazy. Every group of people, no matter the ideology, always seem to have another group that they love to hate. “Those people” who follow the wrong religion, believe in creation, believe in evolution, listen to the wrong music, drive the wrong brand of car, love the wrong type of person.

People having an opinion on a subject is not what bothers me. It is the human tendency to reduce groups with different ideologies into an amorphous blob of “those people.” Turning other living, breathing, hoping, dreaming, struggling human beings into a faceless entity that hate can be lobbed at. It is this tendency of the human race to de-humanize others that has helped lead to so many conflicts and so much bloodshed in the world. (the other tendency, of course, being greed)

I come from a conservative, Protestant Christian background. A group that has very vocal members saying that the “liberal media” is trying to demonize us. Meanwhile, those very vocal members turn around and demonize (roughly in this order) 1) Gays 2) Muslims 3) Liberals and Liberal media 4) Other Christian denominations 5) Other religions e.g. Sikhs, Buddhists, Spiritualists.

The first group, gays, are demonized because they are “sinners and destroying the sanctity of marriage.” First off, if you believe your Bible enough to believe that a homosexual lifestyle is not God's ideal, then you should realize that you, yourself are also most likely not living up to God's ideal and that it's not your job to point fingers and condemn. In God's eyes, all sin is sin. Gossiping and slander is as big a sin in God's eyes as gunning someone down for the thrill of it. Leave the judging to God and follow the example of Jesus. Love. Without prejudice, without ulterior motive. You'd be surprised at the change it makes in your life and the lives around you.

Second, the “sanctity” of marriage was pretty much destroyed well before there was a movement to allow men to marry men and women to marry women. Even in “Christian” circles, the divorce rate in industrialized countries hovers around 50%. According to a recent study by the Barna Group, 29% of Baptist marriages end in divorce. That is the highest rate among all religious groups. The biggest irony of the “sanctity of Marriage” debate is that the loudest, most powerful voices bemoaning the the destruction of the sanctity of marriage are politicians who have married, cheated, divorced, re-married, cheated, divorced ad nauseum.

The second group that evangelicals love to hate are Muslims. Based on fear-mongering news sources and unsubstantiated Facebook and e-mail forwards, too many people believe that all Muslims want to kill all non-Muslims and basically watch the world burn. An equivalent example for Protestant Christians would be to have all the rest of the world believe that we all believe like the Westboro Baptist Church hate mongers. It's a ridiculous over-generalization! Every group has a loud-mouthed nut-job minority that makes normal majority in the group look bad. It is absolutely no different for Muslims.

The third group, Liberals and the media, only talks bad about so-called Christians because we have a tendency to make ourselves easy targets through being thoughtless, hypocritical and overall poor examples of the Man who's name we use to describe ourselves. If we all lived an above-board life, modeled after the life of Christ, the media wouldn't have gripes about us. Some Liberal causes would be completely unnecessary if God's people had, through the ages, done exactly as He instructed. If we had been good stewards of this planet, there wouldn't be a need for a Green initiative, nor fear of global warming. If we had been good citizens and neighbors, there would be no need for welfare or health care reform.

The fourth group, other Christian denominations, is counterintuitive to what Christianity should be. Instead of actually following Jesus, we like to sit back and say “They're doing it wrong. They're believing wrong. We've got it right, but we'll just sit here and point fingers instead of doing the work Jesus tasked us with.” It's lazy, petty, and turns people away from Christianity. How can we expect non-Christians to accord us any respect, if we can't even respect our brothers and sisters in Christ?

The last group, other religious groups, is the saddest. Christians are commanded to tell the world what we believe and why. But we tend to be so wrapped up in having it “right” that we look down on other religious groups for having it “wrong”, neglecting the things we have in common, the things that they're getting right, and the things we're getting wrong.

I read another blog post recently that boiled all of what I said down to this. Too many Christians are “unless” Christians. The type of Christian who, through either words or actions, says to the rest of the world; “I'm a Christian, unless you dress in a way I deem wrong, believe in a way I deem wrong, live or love in a way I deem wrong.” As Christians, the way we live our lives shouldn't come with the clause of “unless.” Like Jesus, we should love the saints AND the sinners. The house-wives AND the prostitutes. The preachers AND the convicts. The gays, the Muslims, the Liberals, the hippies, the addicts, the tree-huggers, the victims, the winners, the losers, the happy, the sad, the apathetic, and the just pathetic. Every. Single. Person. on this planet is LOVED, beyond comprehension, by God. So maybe we should try a little harder to love everyone, not just the people who are like us.