Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Giving Away Our Rights

When I was just a low seniority Annealing Operator at the aluminum foil factory, everything there was done based on seniority--job bidding, vacation bidding, overtime assignment--everything. Since I didn't have any(seniority), I had relatively few options.

There were those that wanted to change how overtime was assigned. They were guys that had no seniority and wanted to work the overtime that the more senior workers kept taking away from them. (Overtime was assigned to the junior qualified person but somebody with more seniority could take it.) Even though I was a new guy and had no seniority, I was unwilling to trade away my future seniority rights for something that I wanted now.

I think of those times when I continue to read and hear the ongoing discussion of an Islamic community center/Mosque being built near Ground Zero. I wonder how the future would play out if the opposition to this building won and the Muslims were not allowed to build their facility there.

What would happen when a Baptist Church wanted to rent a store front and start a church two blocks from a casino? Could the casino owners cite the "Ground Zero Case" and block them from putting a church too close because it would offend their patrons? Or maybe in a city's downtown area where there are a number of bars, pubs and micro-breweries? Could the businesses block the building or limit the hours so as not to interfere or offend their clientèle?

Imagine the uproar then! Fox News would have camera crews on hand. Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh would fill the airwaves with their self righteous drivel. Jay Sekulow and the ACLJ would descend on that community with lawyers and truckloads of money. Politicians would line up on the side that would fill their campaign coffers with the most money. And the religious right would scream that this is the United States and their Constitutional Rights are being violated!

That's right, the same Constitutional Rights that are being challenged right now for a different organization. You can say that the "Ground Zero Case" is different; that the very land is sacred--but it's not.

I have a very hard time believing that good, well meaning, God fearing Americans are taking a stand to oppose religious freedom. I wonder what the Christian believers that meet in secret in the Middle East would say. I wonder what the believers that risk imprisonment in China would say. Would they be for or against a government deciding where followers of any faith can meet?

By fighting to limit another's religious freedom, we fight to limit our own freedom. When we take away their rights, we also lose our rights. Here, in the United States, we aren't compelled to believe what somebody else believes--but neither are they compelled to believe what we believe. I just don't see why this is so hard to grasp.

If all Muslims are guilty of the 9-11 attack, then try them and put them in prison. But they're not. So why are we putting them on trial and punishing them by limiting their religious freedom? Personally, I cherish my religious freedom...and I'm willing to let somebody else keep theirs so that I can keep mine.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Random Thoughts

I'm not sure why I was just thinking about moments of when Hannah was little...but I was. I was remembering that at somewhere between two and three she started talking on the phone. Think back around 15 years ago when most of us still had phones that were tethered to a wall by one of those color coordinated curly cords. Hannah would lift the phone from the cradle and just start jabbering in a one way conversation. I'm sure that it looked exactly like what she saw her mom and dad doing. After we noticed her on the phone, we would tell her to hang up. She always wanted to wait for the man in the phone to tell her...you know, the one that would come on after a while and say, "If you'd like to make a call, please hang up and try your call again."

When the man in the phone would tell her to hang up, she would.

When I would call home, Chris would usually answer the phone. On occasion, Aaron would get to it first. Poor Hannah never got to answer the phone. I remember one time when she did and it caught me off guard. I said, "Hey, buddy." And she said, "It's not buddy. It's baby."

I thought it was funny then and it still makes me smile now. Even today when she calls I answer, "Hey, baby!"


Every Saturday morning, my blogging friend Bilbo posts Cartoon Saturday. This past Saturday had one that caught my attention.
No, it didn't offend me in any way. It actually made me think of all of the things that we are so very willing to tell our friends, family and co-workers about and yet we fail to tell them about the one thing that should be the most important thing that we have to share with them...the Good News about Jesus.

I'm just as guilty as the next person. I'm quick to tell everybody about a new restaurant, a new dessert or recipe. I'll let you know of a new product I've tried or a blog that I read. I'll tell you about a way around highway construction. I'll tell you about all kinds of things that will have little impact on your daily life and no impact at all on your eternal life. And what makes that so sad and me so pathetic is that I truly believe that Jesus really meant it when He said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

So let me ask you this question, "Have you heard the Good News about Jesus?"

The Good News is that God loves you and Jesus died for you!

Jesus paid the price for our sin. That's what the whole crucifixion thing was all about. He took my place, my punishment, my death...and yet HE LIVES!

It's more than Good News...it's GREAT NEWS!

Tell somebody.


Btw, my counter tells me that this is post #500!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cruisin' Along On Autopilot

It's funny what your mind can think of when you're supposed to be engaged in something else.

Relax, this didn't happen at work; it happened at church.

Of course I was supposed to be engaged in the whole worship experience. That is why we go to church, right? I don't remember what songs we sang or what it was that started me on the thought trail that I ended up on, but the thing that I started thinking about was that my spiritual life has sort of been on autopilot.

In some ways, this is not a bad thing. The little things are taken care of and we're able to cruise right along and everything appears to be okay.

In other ways, this can be a very dangerous thing. Without proper monitoring and occasional adjustments, autopilot can take you to places that you don't want to be.

I started thinking about Payne Stewart. Payne Stewart was a Springfield native and his death in 1999 was a big shock to this area. In this chronology of the events that happened on that day, the entry at 10:52am EST says: ''Aircraft jumped to 44,000.'' (Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said the plane was ''porpoising,'' fluctuating between 22,000 and 51,000 feet. This may be because it was on auto pilot.)

If the aircraft was configured to climb, it would keep climbing until somebody or something told it to stop climbing, or until it could no longer generate the lift to keep it climbing. Even though the autopilot should be able to do this, there are adjustments that need to be made. Power for a climb is different than power for cruising. Wing configurations are different. Fuel mix is different. Adjustments are subtle but significant. With nobody conscience to make these adjustments, the Lear jet made it way across most of the country climbing and descending as the forces of nature and engineering battled each other until it ran out of fuel and the Laws of Gravity were no longer offset by the lift being generated as the engines pushed the aircraft through the air.

When the Laws of Gravity take effect on an aircraft ten miles above the Earth's surface and there is little or no resistance to the effect, the inevitable happens very quickly and very forcefully.

Maybe that's how it is with our spiritual lives. We go through the highs and lows and either consciously or sub-consciously fail to make the necessary adjustments to keep on track as life's situations change. We make no course corrections. We make no changes to our attitude. Our altitude fluctuates outside of our control and we will eventually crash and burn in a spiritual heap...

Unless we decide to wake up and begin to make the subtle but necessary changes to our attitude and altitude and to make conscience decisions about our course instead of leaving things to the rigid structure of the autopilot.

I know...it's weird. Even more weird that this whole thought process took place in my head in only a few short moments. It's like waking up from a dream that was a whole day in dream time but only minutes have ticked off the clock in real time.

I guess it's time to be more purposeful about my spiritual life--more purposeful about prayer, more purposeful about study, more purposeful about ... worship.

What about you? Everything okay in your spiritual cockpit? Or is it time to kick the autopilot off and make some adjustments?


Saturday, August 21, 2010

My, How Time Flies

I'm home alone this weekend.

Aaron and Jenny are back in Chicago getting settled in their apartment with the grand haul of gifts from their wedding and getting ready to start classes on Monday. Hannah is getting acclimated to the campus at Columbia College and meeting new friends. Chris and Kathi are returning from Chicago after returning a vehicle to the kids and bringing the gifts that wouldn't fit in the Jeep Liberty.

I've given up on working outside since the temps are in the upper 90's and pushing the 100 degree mark.
I scanned a couple of pictures to post on Facebook and it really got me thinking about how quickly time passes when you examine it against the background of your kids' lives. I've always told Hannah that she will always be my baby. I've told her that even when she has babies of her own, she will still be her daddy's baby--and she will. But clearly, she is no longer a baby. She is a young woman that is striking out on a new adventure that will include quite a bit less of her mom and dad.

I remember the day I took the training wheels off of her bicycle--we didn't see her for the rest of the afternoon. I told Chris then, "Just wait until she gets her driver's license!"

She has always been a free spirit; incredibly independent. While she enjoys going out with friends, she is equally comfortable at home with the company of a good book. She is as talented as she is humble. Hannah had several poems published that we found out about when she filled out her application for the ACT and answered the question about whether she had ever had something published with a "yes". Although writing is her passion, she is also a talented artist. She only took a semester of art in high school, but was able to submit a portfolio worthy of additional scholarship dollars at Columbia College.

Yeah, I'm a proud dad. It'll be quiet around here and I'll miss my coffee drinking buddy...but I guess it's time for one of us to grow up and move on. Good luck with that, Hannah!


Friday, August 20, 2010

I Get It--Sort Of

I ran across this article yesterday and am willing to understand it's meaning--to a point.

I know that technology has seemed to trump relationships in many areas. I know that people are losing the skills and abilities to build relationships--to talk to one another in polite and civil manners. But let's not blame social networks for our lack of social graces.

Through Facebook, I have reconnected with many classmates and been able to share some meaningful conversations through messaging or chatting. I've "talked" with relatives and blogging friends from around the world. We've shared thoughts on faith, politics, family life and a host of other subjects.

Social networking, e-mail, texting, tweets, etc., are supposed to be tools of communication. The six kids in my family live in six different states. We keep in touch through Facebook and e-mails. My own kids (now away at two different colleges) are much more likely to respond to a text message than they are a phone call. Because of poor cell reception at my son's apartment, I often chat with him on Facebook.

I'm a talker--aren't most preachers? I love a good conversation. I love face to face conversation (although some faces are easier to converse with than others!). If technology is getting in the way of you having decent personal relationships with people, then by all means, set it aside and get purposeful about building relationships. As for me, I'm going to pass on the technology fast. I think it's a bogus stunt meant to create publicity for a particular church and the thought crosses my mind to delete this post rather than contribute to the cause--but nah, it's written and just a click away from being posted.

Participate if you like...or send me a Facebook message next Wednesday instead!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Job

This was posted by a fellow air traffic controller. I think that most controllers would agree with most of the expressions found in it. Not all of us work in the pressure cooker environments of a hub facility or busy center sectors. We work in facilities that range from towers that have single engine planes as the primary source of traffic to military bases to the busiest commercial airports. We don't work with a safety net--we are the safety net.

I think that air traffic controllers are the most arrogant group of people that I know...and that's okay. While there may be more than one way to make a sequence or vector an aircraft out of your airspace, each of us believes that our way is the best. If I thought that your way was better, I would do it your way. It's not, that's why I do it my way. We are quick to judge one another and even quicker to help one another. We are the ultimate team. We are responsible for the safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic in the busiest and safest air traffic system in the world.

Enjoy. And remember...these people are my friends...


The job often sucks

Even for those of us who love it

We are not appreciated by anyone outside of our profession

We hold more lives in our hands in one average shift than a medical doctor does in his whole career

Pilots don't understand us

or even listen sometimes

but they rely on us to save their asses when they need us

and will probably never say thank you

Everything we say is recorded

We have to be prepared to defend every word we say in a court of law should the unthinkable happen

We are responsible for knowing more rules than humanly possible

Those rules are subject to daily change

We can't imagine doing any other job

We carry around in our heads the equivalent amount of data as the average metropolitan phone book

We don't have time to look anything up

We aren't allowed to make mistakes

We don't have a God complex

We are Gods

We receive more training than physicians

We can't make our "clients" wait in a waiting room until we're ready for them

We are always in control

We control everything in our environment

This affects our personal life in ways that a non-controller cannot fathom

Our spouses will never understand us

or what we do

We can't bring the job home

But it is always with us

We all have crash dreams

We will control traffic in our sleep

We never have to worry about a foot-high inbox when we come into work

We can't put an airplane back in the inbox to deal with later

We take extreme pride in the quality of our work, no matter how negatively the FAA, the media and some politicians portray us

No, you can not imagine the stress

We aren't able to tolerate a read-back error at a drive thru restaurant

Indecision is unacceptable in any scenario

We didn't invent the "Mooney spike" but we see the effects of it every day

We don't get bathroom breaks whenever we need them

We learn to hold it until we get a break

There is always something that needs to be done right now

We have a lack of tolerance for miscommunication

We get grumpy when we don't have enough airplanes to keep us busy

We get grumpy when we have too many

We are the only ones who know where we draw this invisible line between the two

We love gallows humor

When we retire, we will seek out, socialize with, and keep close friendships with other controllers

They are still the only people who come close to understanding us or are willing to put up with us

We get to retire "early"

But most of us wont live more than ten years after retirement

We expect people to say what they mean and mean what they say

Everything in life is either black or white

there is no gray

We can drink a hotel bar dry in about two hours.

We use anticipated separation when we drive

We can't understand people who don't know how to calculate speed differences to hit gaps on the highway

There is something "off" about ALL of us

We all want children to have "normal" lives and "normal" jobs

But we are so proud when they choose to become controllers themselves

We are not allowed to treat our depression or anxiety with FDA-approved medicine

Or even admit out loud that we suffer from either

We will lose our jobs if we do

But we can drink our weight in Jim Beam

As long as we are at least 8 hours from our next shift

Most of us look 10 yrs older than our age and act 10 yrs younger

We know all the different variations of the word "stress"

We are drawn to extremely dangerous pastimes

We will eventually be on blood pressure medication

We don't know what normal sleep patterns are

We're not allowed to use sleep aids

We work in the middle of the night

and on Christmas

and weekends

and your birthday

We will never have "normal" days off

We will never have a regular social life

We can't participate in our kids' school activities

We know that our worth isn't reflected by our position in the FAA or our rank in the military

A newly-checked out controller who can move metal will always have more of our respect than a member of management or a highly ranked officer who can't separate two flies with a screen door

Our friends won't understand that we can't just leave work

or get off work

or stop thinking about work

We are not "Disney-friendly"

People think that we are the guys on the ramp with the flashlights

and that we get to fly for free

We make more money than you do

But you have the house

and the cars

and the vacation home

and the time with your family

We have the clothes, the watch, the sunglasses and the attitude

We are fluent in three languages: English, Acronyms and Cursing

We speak all three simultaneously and loudly

Controller candy comes in two flavors: TUMS and Ibuprofen.

When a cold or flu strikes we just suck it up 'cause we can't take otc cold medication without being medically disqualified

We are brutally, ridiculously, ruthlessly hard on each other

We have thick skin

We will be the last person a pilot talks to on this earth

We will hear the terror in his voice

We will calmly use every tool we have to bring him down safely

We will hear his screams when we can't

We will never forget it

We will relive it again and again

We will go right back to work the next day and do it again

We aren't allowed to cry

When one of us fails we will laugh at him

When one of us succeeds we won't acknowledge it

We don't have time to pat ourselves or each other on the back

We have vectoring to do

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What if They Are All Wrong?

In the great search for the truth about heaven and hell, right and wrong, good and evil, etc., etc.; there are those that say that all roads lead to heaven.

I suppose that could be true--but what if it isn't?

Obviously, we can't all be right. If Christians say that the only way to heaven is through Jesus and Muslims believe that the only way to heaven is to follow the teachings of Muhammad--well somebody has it wrong. The Jews are God's chosen people. Catholics follow the Papacy along with the Bible. Mormons follow the teachings of Joseph Smith. There are Scientologists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Buddhists, and Zoroastrians. There are monotheists, polytheists, pantheists and atheists.

Isn't it more likely that we have all got it wrong?

What if we were to take a critical look at our own beliefs? What if we were to examine what we believe as if it was on trial? What if we took the stance that what we believed was being challenged as being all wrong and we were in need of proving that it was right? If you were to debate your beliefs against another, how would you do? If the object is to win a debate, would you choose to defend your beliefs or pick another one that you think could win?

The Bible teaches that we should always be prepared to give a defense for what we believe. Whether you are a believer in the teachings of the Bible or not, are you prepared to defend your beliefs?

In the end, nobody wants to be wrong--especially if eternity hangs in the balance.

Are you eternally comfortable with your beliefs?

The other day I posted a quote from Dave Barry on my Facebook status--

"People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them."

That's not the case here. Feel free to share what you believe and why. And feel free to wonder--What if you're wrong?


Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Morning

At some point in the day, I expect to hear from Aaron and Jenny as they are arriving back in the States from their honeymoon. It's been weird not hearing from Aaron in a week. We generally text or talk pretty much every day. It's different from when I moved away from home; first to go to school and then to...well, move away from home.

No texting. No e-mail. No Facebook. No cell phones. And to call was long distance! And if I was calling home, it was going to be long distance COLLECT! And that meant money...so it didn't happen often.

Today it only costs me the monthly fee of adding the kids' phones to my account and I can talk to them as often as they'll answer my call. I've found that they are much more likely (for whatever reason) to respond to a text message than a phone call...and I guess that's okay. Maybe it's because they have a little bit of manners and are in a place where a cell phone conversation might be inappropriate.

My cell phone plan also allows me to contact my parents on a pretty regular basis. I like that. I like keeping in touch with them and I like my kids knowing that I keep in touch with my parents, too. Maybe they'll follow suit and keep in touch with their parents!

Tomorrow is the day that we move our baby into the college dormitory! How does that happen so quickly? Hannah has been doing laundry, shopping, packing, cleaning and getting ready for the day. I know that the first few days will be very busy and full of excitement. I really don't think that Hannah will be the type to get homesick. As long as she has a good book and a quiet place, she'll be just fine. She is incredibly bright, very pretty, and fun to be with.

I do worry that she is a bit too trusting, always giving people the benefit of the doubt (whatever that means) and seeing the good in everybody. While that is true, she is still is difficult to get to know and has a pretty small circle of close friends. In any case, by the end of the week she'll be in a whole new world...and Dad will be a distant outsider. :(

Towards the end of the week, Chris and Kathi (Aaron's new mother-in-law) will be making a trip to Chicago to bring some things to the kids and exchange vehicles. That will leave me at home alone for a couple of days. I'll probably cancel my leave from work for those two days and save them for another time.

A week from today will find Chris and me in our own new world. It's all good. Just a part of growing up, right? I'm very proud of my kids. I am getting to see them grow into great adults and am looking forward to watching them impact their world.

But for now...it's time to get this week started.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Give Me a Break...

Actually, I'm giving myself a break. It's the day of the week that I've been posting my weight loss progress but I've decided that I'm not even going to weigh in today.

Wedding weekend was pretty brutal as far as diet and exercise went. Too much food and too much to do. Rather than get bogged down with a setback, I decided that I'll look at how I'm doing next week and go from there. I have managed to spend time each day this week on the exercise bike, as well as a little bit of time with weights. Eating habits are back to limiting the bad carbs and eating in moderation. I've decided that I'm going to cut back on the caffeine--still drinking my morning coffee but cutting back on the soda and going for more water throughout the day.

I'll let you know how that's going...next week!


And now for a trick break! If you follow me on Facebook, you've already seen this. If not, enjoy!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Répondez s'il vous plaît"

In the United States, we love French fries (in France, are they just fries?). We love French toast, which is not necessarily made from French bread. And we like French pastries.

It would seem that the French know quite a bit about cooking and baking.

There have been great French artists, French composers, and of course, the Father of Modern Magic--Frenchman Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin.

The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France.

It would seem that many of the things that we have received from the French, we often take for granted. "Respondez s'il vous plait" is a French statement that also seems to go unnoticed.

You are more likely to see it as RSVP. The English translation is "Please respond."

The reason that I write about this today is that it seems that few people really understand just what RSVP means and what the associated etiquette is.

It's probably just a case of ignorance--not knowing the proper RSVP etiquette. So consider this as a public service post to educate every reader on the importance of RSVP etiquette.


ps--no response is necessary

Monday, August 09, 2010

Old Bands, Old Times, Old People

There's something about watching old men play music from their younger days that makes me kind of sad. I mean it's great that they are still rockin' and rollin' after four decades; and they still sound great; and I still like the old songs; but when I hear the music on the radio, my mind sees the young men that were performing when the song became a hit. Watching them--seeing them...well, it makes me feel old. It's bad enough that the only place to hear those great songs is on a "Classic Rock" or "Oldies" radio station.

Last night, Chris and I ended "Wedding Weekend" by taking in a concert that was a reunion of sorts. All of the bands had played at the Cowtown Ballroom back in the early 70's. Four groups played from 6:30pm until about 12:30am at the new Blackoak Amphitheater in Lampe, MO.

The pre-concert music was on a small stage outside of the main amphitheater stage and featured Nathan McEuen, son of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's John McEuen. We enjoyed several minutes of this young man's music as he played his guitar and was accompanied by his world famous dad. It was obvious that they were both very proud of the other's accomplishments. Nathan also joined his father on the main stage later in the evening.

Brewer and Shipley started the concert and played for almost an hour. They told this story about one of their hits, One Toke Over the Line. I enjoyed their music which was exactly what I think of when I think of folk music.

Poco was up next and it was a very enjoyable concert. Band founder Rusty Young is still leading the group and sounding great.

It was interesting when Foghat took the stage. None of the current members were a part of the original band. The volume of the music was up quite a bit and I had to laugh as I saw several people using make-shift earplugs of some kind. (side note: there was an awful lot of grey, white, and artificially colored hair in the audience!)

The band that I really wanted to see and hear was The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. They took the stage just before 10:30 and played for two hours (including the 15 min encore)! The newest member of the current band joined them 32 years ago! It must be difficult to choose from four decades of music for a single show. Wikipedia has a great history of the band and the evolution of the group since it first started in 1966 by (still the lead vocalist/guitar) Jeff Hanna.

Although the outdoor venue was hot until well after the sun was down (and humid even then) and the hillbillies and rednecks don't get the whole non-smoking venue (I guess if you're outside it must be okay to smoke), it was a nice evening out with Chris a good wrap up for a pretty busy weekend. We took back tuxedos this morning, mailed in the marriage licence and had a simple lunch. Our son is married and by now should be on the beach in Mexico. Our baby will be off to college in just over a week. Our families have gone back to their homes and soon it will be back to just me and Chris at home--just like when we first got married--no kids and no money!

Well, it was good then and I'm sure that it will be even better now!

Man, I have a good life!


Saturday, August 07, 2010

Wedding Day!

The clock tells me that it is now the early moments of August 7, 2010. Before the day is over, Aaron and Jenny will be married. I am really hoping that all will go well for them--not just for this day, but throughout their marriage.

I think that the rehearsal went well. I tried to keep things simple and hope that we did enough of the walk through that nobody will feel uncomfortable when it's time for the real work later today.

If you've been reading Out of My Hat for very long, you already know that I think that I have a grand family. I am truly humbled that the gang is all here. With the great distances that had to be traveled, the late notification for planning an additional summer outing, the many things that occupy our busy lives--I really wasn't expecting so many to make it. Just two of the 30 (soon to be 31) members of my family (siblings, spouses, kids, and of course--Mom and Dad)were unable to make the trip. The have come from DC, Norfolk VA, Indianapolis, Chicago, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Central Illinois--and some of them traveled these great distances IN CARS WITH KIDS!

I wish that we had more time to spend together and that there wasn't so much to do in the way of wedding stuff. Oh well. I haven't even seen Mom and Dad yet.

In addition to family, we have some great friends that are doing so much to help us. Friends from my church family are the best. I know that in addition to the ones that have been helping with the dinner, decorating, sound, etc., there will be a church full of those that are coming to celebrate with us and witness the wedding in a few short hours.

It is not my intent to slight Chris' family or any of Jenny's relatives. I am just so grateful to my siblings for making the trip to be here for my son's big day. This is the first of my parents 17 grandkids to get married. That means a whole bunch of weddings are in the future of this family. I'm looking forward to them all!

Well, I still have some work to do to get ready for my part of the ceremony and a few hours of sleep would be nice. It's been a great start to the weekend. I hope that you will have a grand weekend, too. If you are in Ozark tomorrow afternoon, swing by Hopedale Baptist Church at 2pm and join us in celebrating Aaron and Jenny's wedding!


Btw, a big shout out to General Manager Jennifer Root of BWW on Battlefield in Springfield. She donated 100 of the 230 wings that we bought for the rehearsal dinner. Thanks, Jennifer! Stop by and let her know that you appreciate her helping us out!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Did you know...

It's been a long time since I posted a trivia Did you know...? kind of post. I'm not sure why--why it's been a while or why I decided to post one now.

Today we all know that vaccines help to prevent many diseases. Or in some cases, help us to recover from exposure to certain diseases. Vaccines work by introducing weak or dead disease causing micro-organisms. The immune system builds antibodies to ward off the invading microbes and is ready to go into mass production of these antibodies should the person be exposed to the actual live microbes at a later date.

The first vaccine was invented when it was observed that milkmaids seemed to be able to resist small pox after exposure to the much weaker disease of cowpox. In an experiment, a young boy was intentionally infected with cowpox. After allowing sufficient time for his body to produce the antibodies, he was infected with smallpox which the boy did not get.

Vacca is the Latin for cow and the root for vaccine.

And here's a bonus Did you know...

Vaca is the Spanish word for cow and vaquero is the Spanish word for cowboy. Our English word buckaroo, is a mispronunciation (or misunderstanding) of the Spanish word vaquero.


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Wedding Week

It's Wednesday of "Wedding Week" and I am enjoying a short rest and cool glass of water after mowing the lawn. It was my intent to mow after a brief nap following the midnight shift so that I could beat the heat. Unfortunately I slept a little longer than I intended and ended up mowing under the midday sun. Temps will be close to 100F again today.

With only a few days until the wedding, naturally I've been thinking about what I might say to Aaron and Jenny during the ceremony. I think that it is so cool that I have the honor of officiating their wedding. I am truly hoping that everything goes well for them this weekend.

I want to share with Aaron from 1 Peter 3:7.

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them (wives) with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life,  that your prayers may not be hindered. (NKJV)

When Peter mentions the weaker vessel, he is not referring to the physical strength of a man verses a woman. I like to think of his use of a weaker vessel as comparing a china teacup to a heavy ceramic coffee mug. While both have the purpose of holding a hot beverage, one is more delicate and more valuable than the other.

You may have a special place to display your fine china--maybe an open or glass front cabinet. You give it a place of honor among drinking vessels and everybody that comes into your home knows that these are "special" vessels. You only use them for special occasions and guests are honored when you allow them to use these fine china teacups.

Coffee mugs, on the other hand, are an everyday item. They may be stacked in a cupboard or stored on the counter. They are both functional and durable. We think nothing of using them daily and they hold no special meaning or value.

We (husbands) are to live with them with understanding (NIV says to be considerate) because we are heirs with them. Our marriage partnership includes the blessings of God's grace. And finally, Peter says that when we don't give honor to our wives, God doesn't hear our prayers.

Sharing with Jenny about being a godly wife is a bit more difficult. I think that Paul understood that it's difficult for a woman to listen to an man tell her how to be a godly woman. In his letter to Titus (2:3-5), he writes:

...the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,  to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. (NKJV)

It is so important for a young Christian woman to have godly Christian women as role models. I will encourage her to seek women of faith that she can confide in and go to for wise counsel. I will remind her that, as a pastor's wife, she will be that "Titus woman" for many girls and young women and must always be aware of how her actions as a wife will be perceived by other women.

I am really looking forward to watching these two young adults as they grow in their relationship with each other and as they continue to mature in their relationship with God.

It's going to be a great weekend!