Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Need to Belong

I've been thinking about this for awhile; just haven't got to the place where my thoughts are organized enough to really put it into words. I still haven't, but decided that maybe I should just start writing and see what happens.

I know some really incredible people; people that are so willing to go beyond what most people do in order to help those that are so much less fortunate than most--especially when it comes to kids.  At my church there is a family that is in the final stages of adopting their fourth child from China. You can read about their story here.

Another woman is opening her life to a young boy from China and so looking forward to the day when he will be here in his new home with his "forever" family.

I spent part of yesterday with a family that has a young boy that they adopted from Guatemala.

As I observe these stories unfolding and note the impact that these adults (and others like them) are having on the lives of these kids, I can't help but wonder what their young lives would be like without the intervention of such loving parents.  I wonder how their adult lives as children of adoption will differ from what their adult lives as orphans would have been.  I know that some of these kids are in orphanages in China because they are girls and families are limited to the number of children they can have. Or because they have physical defects or health issues and are left behind so that couples can pursue a healthy baby boy. Often children are victims of poverty and parents give them up in hopes that they will have a better life -- or in hopes that they will just have life beyond the few years before poverty and disease claim them as another child statistic.

I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like not to have a family; not to have a mom and dad that love and protect you. I can't imagine not having siblings to play with; to fight with; to plan with; to share life with.  I can't imagine the feeling of being alone in the world with no one to share a bond that is beyond friendship; a bond that can only be described as family.

In the United States, family heritage seems to have less importance than it once did.  In many cultures, you still are judged by your family name.  It is often a disgrace or matter of great shame not to have a family or a father. To be given the gift of a name--a family name--is a gift that is invaluable. It is a gift that can't be purchased, only received.

When I see these stories, I can't help think that this is the picture of our own adoption into the family of God.
I know that there is a great cost when it comes to adoptions of any kind and tons of red tape to get through (especially with international adoptions).  It takes more than desire to bring about a successful adoption -- it takes a willingness to give up a part of yourself and a willingness to change your life and how you are defined by the people close to you.  It takes pouring yourself into a young life and making that life more important than your own.

As children in the family of God, our adoption has been purchased with a great price. We share an inheritance with our Lord and Savior, Jesus. We have been granted status as sons and daughters of the Living God.

And just as a child in an earthly family can tarnish the reputation of a family by bad behavior, so we are able to give Christianity a bad name by our bad behavior and by our fighting with one another.  If we would just stop long enough to remember what our lives would be like without God; without hope; would we continue to act the way we do?  We have the opportunity to invite others to share in our fortune; to become brothers and sisters that have been adopted into the family of God.  When they see us, is there any incentive for them to want what we have? Are we full of the love of God? Do we have great joy in bragging about our "family" as we share our story with others?

To all of my friends that have given this great gift to a child in need, I thank you for reminding me of the great gift that I have been given and for the encouragement to live up to the reputation of my Father and His family.

John <><

The words to this song really tell the story.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Little Humor in a Bad Time

Twenty-four hours later and not a single nomination for "The Last Remaining Honorable Politician."

Either nobody read my post (likely) or nobody knows of an honorable politician (equally as likely). In either case, I offer a humorous respite from the political madness that is going on in the capitol of our economically troubled nation.  This was posted to my Facebook wall by my cousin from Down Under:

A cannibal was walking through the jungle and came upon a restaurant operated by a fellow cannibal.

Feeling somewhat hungry, he sat down and looked over the menu....

+Tourist: $5.00

+Broiled Missionary: $10.00

+Fried Explorer: $15..00

+Baked Democrat or Grilled Republican:

The cannibal called the waiter over and asked, "Why such a high price for the Politicians?"

The cook replied, "Have you ever tried to clean one? They're so full of crap, it takes all morning."

Thanks, Etcha!

John <><

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Rare Political Rant

You know that I try to avoid political posts, but lately I've found myself being drawn into the political cesspool surrounding the issue of raising the national debt ceiling ... and I hate it.

I hate it because it takes a relatively simple issue and creates a hugely polarizing debate. Why wasn't it an issue the seven times a Republican dominated Congress voted to raise it during the Bush Administration? For the same reasons that it shouldn't be now.

The problem is that Congress continues to approve spending money that it doesn't have. In every Administration, the President has a certain ability to drive the budget.  But the reality is that Congress--and only Congress--has the ability to spend the monies of our nation.  All spending bills (and tax bills) originate in the House of Representatives. And although the President has veto authority over any bills that make it to his desk (including budgetary bills), he doesn't get to discuss bills in committee nor debate them on the floor of the House or Senate. Taking in revenue (taxes) and spending money fall under the sole domain of Congress...and they are obviously not very good at it.  Individual Senators and Representatives are too easily swayed by party leadership or corporations that are more interested in control of the purse strings for their benefit and agendas rather than the benefit of the nation.

Are there any truly honorable politicians left?  I'd be interested to know if you have a nomination for "The Last Remaining Honorable Politician."  (International readers feel free to nominate politicians from your country -- if you have any worthy of the honor!)


Friday, July 22, 2011

Cheat Daze

It's been 17 days since I started my latest weight loss quest.  I was at 261.4 pounds (how did lbs. get to be the abbreviation for for pounds?), the heaviest I've ever been.  I am a little bit behind my set goals, but not too bad.  I am really considering skipping the scheduled "cheat days" each week.  I realize that there is a benefit to having these days, but for right now they seem to be more of an anchor than a help.

I suppose that I could be less indulgent on cheat days, but what's the point in having a day to indulge if you don't really ... indulge?  The past two Sundays (cheat day) have seemed to undo most of what I accomplished during the week.  This week, I plan on skipping the weekend cheat day.  I was at 250.0 this morning and would like to be at 246.4 by Tuesday morning (15 lbs. in three weeks).  I do expect the weight loss to slow down and I also plan on adding some exercise to the process.  Maybe the "cheat day" will be back in the future, but this Sunday will be just another diet day.

I'm adopting the attitude that this is only about losing the weight and the fat.  It is not about a lifestyle change (not yet), nor is it about making it easy. It's just about losing the weight and learning a little bit more about the physiology of the human machine and what fuels it.  It doesn't have to be fun; it just has to work.

There are too many maladies that are associated with being overweight. I have managed to avoid them to this point but it's way past time to quit playing Russian roulette with weight related health issues.  The end goal is 210. At two and a half weeks, I'm at about 23% of that goal.

Becoming less of a man,
John <><

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Morning: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

As always, I love being at Hopedale Baptist Church on any given Sunday. Today was no different.  I want to share a few observations from this morning.

First of all, I slept in a little later than normal on a Sunday morning with the plan that I was going to skip the early service and only go for Bible Study and the later service (I'm usually at both services).

The Good

Arriving at church for Sunday School, I was pleased to see that there were some new faces in the youth group.  This small group continues to grow in both number and spiritual maturity.  They have been very active this year in showing the love of God by participating in a variety of ministry events.

We have been to St. Louis on a neighborhood clean-up project.
They have fixed an evening meal at the Ronald McDonald House in Springfield.
They packaged food for Kids Against Hunger.
They just completed a week of VBS at an area church that needed help.
This week they will be going to the Baptist Student Union at Missouri State University to get it cleaned up and ready for the fall semester.
Then they'll be working at Hopedale's VBS at the end of the month.
...and they're having fun and inviting friends!

They have really been a great group of young believers to work with.  It's difficult to express just how proud I am of them.  It's important to say that Ryan, our Minister of Youth and Education, is also doing a great job of providing the opportunities for them to grow and serve.  It's not supposed to work out that the youth of a church set an example of service for the adults--it's supposed be the other way around. But if the adults will take notice of work that the kids are doing and just try to keep up with them, we'll be one big community lovin' and serving kind of church!

The Bad

I love Hopedale. And I think that it's a very friendly church ... but I also know that I have become very familiar with our church.  I know a lot of people and a lot of people know me.  I really want to believe that everybody that comes to visit is greeted warmly and made to feel comfortable on their very first experience at my home church. This morning a co-worker came to visit (finally!) along with his girlfriend.  I was happy to see them as it's been a few weeks that they have been planning to come but have been hindered by one thing or another.

During that meet and greet, handshaking, hugging time that most churches seem to have, I kept glancing over to where they were and noticed them ... well, being unnoticed.  There were a few people that were sitting close to me that I didn't know and I introduced myself to them as I made my way closer to my friends to say hello (again) and introduce them to Chris.

I'm sure that there were several  that said hi and welcomed them to Hopedale -- I just didn't see anybody do that and I did see several people pass by them to say hi to people they knew.  I have to say that this made me kind of sad and a little bit embarrassed.  Let's spend that time to make sure that our guests are made to feel welcome and we can talk to each other before or after church.

The Ugly

For the ugly, we have to go back to Sunday School and one of the hardest verses of scripture in the entire Bible.  God tells Ezekiel, "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.  When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself."

If this still hold true today (and I believe that it does), then we are accountable for the people that we don't warn about God's judgment and share His plan of reconciliation through His Son, Jesus.

So, for whom are you accountable?  Which of your friends and family will die without knowing the truth of God's judgment and God's grace?  Will you one day stand before God and have to answer for not sharing His grand story with somebody that is now eternally separated from Him?

If you're wondering if God would condemn somebody because of our failure, the answer is no. They are condemned because of their sins. But the scripture tells us that we bear some responsibility in having kept the warning a secret.

Have you been living your life apart from God? Have you ignored God in favor of something else (an idol of our own making)? Is your life wrapped up in kids activities, sports, hobbies, tv, social networks, even church activities?  Consider this to be your warning!

Remember: As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. -- Ezekiel 33:11

Turn to God. Seek His grace. Live.

John <><

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Not Too Radical, But I Like It!

I was extremely proud of our youth kids this past week as they took time from their summer evenings to go help a small church with Vacation Bible School (VBS).  Because of work and teaching a class at church on Wednesday night, I was only able to go Monday and Thursday nights.  I think that there was 15 or more youth kids every night.

It would have been pretty easy to make excuses after the first night ... there were more of our youth kids than there were VBS kids!  In fact, that was the case every night!  Our kids did pretty much everything from teaching classes, leading music, doing activities and crafts, like I said -- everything.

Helping a church in crisis isn't really a banner waving event, but these kids did a great job and showed lots of enthusiasm even though it was a little disappointing because of the very low attendance.

Kudos to Ryan for setting this up and to all of the kids that participated!
You all rock!

John <><

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Unsung Heroes

In his sermon this morning, Pastor Terry was talking about the people that had been with Paul and supported him throughout his ministry. Paul names some of them at the end of his Letter to the Colossians. Pastor Terry mentioned some of the people that have been there to encourage and support him throughout his ministry and went on to describe the ways that the people mentioned in this chapter supported Paul.

Even before he came to the part where he asked us to reflect on the people that are our "unsung heroes" and have quietly encouraged, inspired and supported us,  I was already thinking about a few of them.  Pastor Terry didn't name anybody from our church because he knew that there wasn't time to name everybody and forgetting anybody might hurt some feelings.  I guess the same could be said for writing about people and I don't know that prefacing a post by saying that these are just a few of the many people that have given me encouragement along the way will help. It's not not that I discount the contributions of others (yours included if not mentioned here), it just that these are a some unlikely ones. There is a pretty good chance that these people have no idea that they have influenced or inspired me in my spiritual growth.

I guess I should start at the beginning. I grew up in a very Catholic home. I went to a Catholic grade school.  I  knew that my parents were very devoted to "the Church" but didn't know just how involved they were until much later in my adult life.  I guess I thought that the bishop stopped at everybody's house for an occasional dinner and didn't know that my parents were involved at a level beyond the local parish.  Today, I recognize that their devotion is not to "the Church", but to their Lord and Savior Jesus.  My son calls them the most un-catholic Catholics that he knows as they read their Bible daily, pray together daily, and look forward to the reports on God's answers to prayer so that they can offer their thanks. In spite of the fact that I missed most of what was being taught in that Catholic school or at home and pretty much quit going to church at the earliest opportunity, I came away with a foundational knowledge of God and a little bit of an understanding of the fallen nature of man.

The next spiritual guide that entered into my life was my wife, Chris.  It was Chris that insisted that we start going to church and it was Chris that did the work in looking for a church that we would both be comfortable in worshiping God.  At the time, I was working a lot of Sundays and she often went to church by herself and reported back on the churches that she visited.  Even after I surrendered to follow Jesus, there were still many Sundays when I was working and she was always faithful to attend, even when it meant getting one, and then two, little ones up and ready by herself.

I've written about my friend, Gene Rainwater, before.  Rather than telling the story again, I'll just encourage you to read my previous post. It's a little long but it is one of my favorites to reread ... except for the part about having to get up and grab a box of Kleenexes!

There have been others. Some young men that have answered God's call and made hard decisions about following him to other countries or taken risks in leaving the security of a bigger church to plant a new one. Three young men that come to mind (all friends): David Stone that has endured the harsh side of church politics but continues faithfully in his calling to pastor, plant and grow churches for the glory of God.  Brad Daily that followed God's call to Canada to work on reaching Canada with the saving Gospel of Jesus. (Brad was rewarded for his faithfulness by finding a great girl to marry and is now back in the Midwest.) And Dale Campbell that moved all the way to New Zealand and continues serving in the ministry.  Wait a minute ... Dale has also found a girl to marry.  I guess faithfully following God's call has some pretty cool rewards on earth as well in the life to come! These young men have inspired me just by being faithful to the call.

There is a young man that I met once on an airplane on a short flight from SGF to ORD.  That's not a lot of time to impact a life.  Michael Mosely was a young Marine that had been at Ft. Wood on a short assignment as was heading back to his duty station in Washington D.C.  We talked about his Christianity, some of the struggles he was facing, and his questions how God was working and wanted to work through his life and through his music. Michael has gone on to answer God's call and complete his degree work in Biblical Studies at Washington Bible College.  ...And his studies also led him to a young lady that is now his wife.

Maybe that's just the way of young men and young women. Maybe if these guys read this (and that's a BIG maybe) they'll weigh in on whether or not they feel their wives are God's blessing for their faithfulness.

There have been encouraging conversations with guys that I've worked with. One guy I only saw at shift change, but we would often talk for quite awhile and I always enjoyed those thought provoking conversations (TB).  Another  now retired controller (FK) had me invited to his church on a couple of occasions early in my ministry and was another one of those guys that God let in on His plans to call me into ministry before I recognized it.

There have been others; many of them professional ministers in some way--pastors, evangelists, denominational leaders, etc.

But I wanted to mention these because their influence has been largely unintentional.  They have inspired and encouraged me just by loving God and serving Him.

The next question that Pastor Terry asked was a lot more difficult to answer ... and I'll share it with you:

Are you on anybody's unsung hero list? Have you been a quiet encourager or an inspiration to somebody as they struggle in their Christian walk?

Something to think about, eh?

John <><

Friday, July 08, 2011

Accountability: Does our physical condition say anything about our relationship with God?

Okay, so that's an incredibly long title for a post.  So what?

Along with a couple of other guys from church, I've been putting off getting started with a small accountability group. You know how it is ... summer is busy for all of us and trying to find a time for four guys to meet on a regular basis is difficult (especially when one of them works the crazy hours that I do!).

One of the first things that we'll have to do is set some guidelines.  The main thing has to be confidentiality. Everybody is going to have to trust one another if we are going to be free to discuss things about our family life, spiritual life, work life, etc.  Our little group is pretty diverse. I come in at the oldest and my kids are grown.  A couple of the guys have small children and one is married but has no children (yet). We are certainly in different stages of our careers, marriages, and spiritual growth. I suspect that we have some pretty different political preferences and a variety of other personal likes and dislikes.

We'll need to decide if there is anything that is "off the table" or if every area of our life is open for this accountability group.  I suspect that there will be areas that are uncomfortable at first. It's pretty easy to say that we trust one another;  less easy to demonstrate that until there has been some type of proving ground.

In thinking about the discussions that are ahead of us, I began wondering if it is fair to say that our physical condition is a reflection of our relationship with God.  We can easily judge those that smoke, drink to excess or use harmful drugs as committing sins against their own bodies. We refrain from being judgmental about over-eating or eating unhealthy foods.  We choose to rant and rave against the evils of alcohol (even in moderation) but say nothing of gluttony which is listed as one of the seven deadly sins.  Is it because gluttony is our sin of choice?  If you Google "overweight pastors," you get 1,720,000 results and find study after study to show that obesity among preachers is far above the rate for the rest of the population. I guess that alone would make it difficult to talk about; never mind that it would offend many of the money giving members of the congregation.

The only reason that this comes to mind is because of the ongoing battle that I have with poor eating habits, limited activity, weight gain and all of the associated maladies that go with being 50 pounds (22.7 kg) overweight.  After my recent physical, I joked that I'm the healthiest fat guy that I know.  My blood pressure is okay. My cholesterol is good. My blood sugar is toward the high end of acceptable, but still within normal parameters.

But I look and feel like crap.

My knee bothers me on and off. My clothes are too tight. I get out of breath easily and an hour of (you pick the exercise) would probably kill me.  And I hate that I look like a typical overweight preacher when I stand before a group of kids or a congregation of adults.  It certainly doesn't say anything positive about the stewardship of healthful living and just plain taking care of the body that God has given us.

Even if the other guys don't want to address healthy habits in their lives, I think I'm going to ask them to keep me on track in my life.  After returning home from a Fourth of July weekend in Central Illinois, I stepped on the scale Tuesday (the 5th) morning and weighed in at a whopping 261.4 lbs. (118.6 kg).  That's pretty much my top weight -- ever!

And so, once again, I start to make some lifestyle changes that will bring the weight down and begin to correct the weight related maladies.  Obviously, the place to start is in assessing the foods I'm eating and the quantities of food that I'm eating.  I really believe that some pretty simple changes can make a big difference in this area. I'm really going to try to eliminate most processed foods immediately and then decide what I want to add back in and how much is acceptable.  So breads, pastas, and cereals are out.  Veggies and greens are good and I'll try to keep those to the fresh or frozen items (although the convenience of canned beans or other veggies is probably better than not getting enough of them).  I love milk and cheese, but will probably limit cheese to small amounts of sharp cheddar and eliminate milk except for the occasional half and half in my coffee.  I'm probably going to cut down on red meats and increase protein sources like legumes and nuts (including peanut butter!).

There are lots of mixed articles on the effects of aspartame on weight gain, so I'll also cut down on the diet sodas and drink more water and tea.  I'm going to give myself a cheat day every now and then so that I don't have to feel deprived of the goodies like Nutter Butter Extreme Cream (with a glass of milk) or an occasional bowl of ice cream -- but cheat days will be at least a week apart and only for a day.

When I think about it, I'll post my latest morning weight below my sign-off on days that I blog.  If it's missing, feel free to ask and bust my chops if it's climbing upwards.  I'm thinking that I'm not going to weigh on the day following a cheat day. I'll take a day off from the scale on those days.

And I need to get more active ... but I'll save that for another post.

John <><

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Friends and Family

If you've been reading Out of My Hat since its beginning, you've read more than one post about how much I love my family.  In spite of the miles that now separate us, the differences in religious beliefs, the extreme political differences, the healthful life practices and the not so healthful ones, we are family!

I've always felt that we have been unusually blessed in this area. I can't explain why God has favored us, but I definitely believe that he has.  I know of far too many families that don't get along and have heard many more stories of hurt and hatred between siblings or in parent/child relationships.  At kids' camps, I hear from kids that don't know where one of their parents are and kids that stress about family issues that 9-year olds shouldn't have to deal with.

So maybe it's understandable that I get excited when I hear stories about awesome families.

This past weekend, I've discovered another such family.  Actually, it's an extension of MY family; a side of my family that I have never met. With my mom having moved here (the USA) from the Philippines, there is a side of my family that I've had little to no contact with.  When I was very young, I met my grandparents and my mother's youngest brother. One of her two sisters lived in the States and I met her, her husband and her two sons (it's been many years and I have not kept in contact with my cousins). My mother's oldest sister had her 80th birthday this past week.  She (and all of her family) lives in Australia. They have spread out in their country as we have spread out in ours.  Last weekend they had a huge family reunion to celebrate my aunt's birthday.  As a special gift to their mom (mum for my family and friends Down Under), they flew her baby sister (my mom) to Australia to join in the celebration.  My oldest sister made the trip with Mom and they are having a grand time.

From the pics and the comments, I'd say that they had a wonderful day and a gathering similar to the kind that we have when we get together.  I'm looking forward to my trip to the land Down Under.

I spent the weekend with some of my cousins from Dad's side of the family, ones that I haven't seen in many years. Having moved away from Central Illinois more than thirty years ago, I have missed the many changes that take place in family growth. My cousins have kids and grandkids that I have never met.  I enjoyed catching up with their lives and had a few moments surrounded by kids that I didn't know that just wanted to see another magic trick!

I love a good family get together!

 Mom (on the right) and my Aunt Elsa (on the left)

John <><

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Quiet Sunday Morning

It's a quiet Sunday morning and I'm enjoying a cup of coffee while Hannah and Chris continue sleeping.  I've been reading a few blogs, FB posts, managed a short chat with my cousin Down Under (as she was ending the Sunday that I'm just beginning!), and made a decision that I want to share.

One of the blogs I read is Billions of Versions of Normal. Mike blogs daily and always has something interesting to share.  This morning's post shared a letter to the editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  I found it online and was going to share it on Facebook. But then I started thinking ...

If I put this on Facebook, I'm going to have to subject myself to all of the anti-Obama crap that is sure to come from the far right conservative corp (that is pretty much what the letter is about to begin with); along with the equally distasteful responses to the aforementioned crap -- and I just hate it when a post or status of mine becomes a forum for ideological whack-jobs and an online political debate.

Another FB friend recently lamented the thought that compromise is no longer a reality in our world. We see it in politics, sports, labor, and in personal relationships, too.  It seems that today's mindset is that I'm right and you're wrong -- period! Compromise adds wrong thinking to my otherwise perfect way and gives you the false idea that you have even the slightest clue about the realities of life.

So I said to myself, "Self, is it really so important to post this and sow seeds of hatred?"
(I really don't think that it's sowing hatred when I share my opinion, but it is plowing the soil for others to cast their seeds.)

I decided that I wasn't going to post it on Facebook via the normal status/share method.  It will still be shared via the blog/share method but only because I wanted to tell you why it wasn't being shared in the more traditional open-up-the-discussion-for-all-dissenting-viewpoints method.

I really don't mind differences of opinion and welcome your comments, both here, at Out of My Hat, and on Facebook. But I wish that you would direct your comments to me and not to somebody else that has shared their opinion. If they share a comment with me, then that's between us and your interruption into our discussion is unwelcome.  I'm more than able to defend my opinions, change my mind, call them names and make fun of their ridiculous views or just plain "let it go" and move on.  Feel free to agree with me, disagree with me, unfriend me or share my post/link/status/blog with others.  But if you want to get into a conversation (good or bad) with one of my friends, do it on your own space.

Even though I decided not to post the link on Facebook, maybe it's not going to be such a Quiet Sunday Morning after all ...

John <><

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Happy Birthday!

I wanted to take a few minutes this morning to write a short post since we'll be doing the Holiday thing with family over the weekend.  My family has two birthdays to celebrate on the Fourth of July: my dad's, and our country's.  (The latter is a little older than the former.)

So before anything else is said -- Happy Birthday, Dad!

As for celebrating the Independence Day part of the Fourth ...

I enjoy watching a good professional fireworks display. I also enjoy an evening with friends or family and watching the fireworks that people have purchased at a roadside stand (where that's legal).  But that part of the 4th means a little less each year.

And just as shooting off a few fireworks means a little less, appreciation for my awesome country means a little more.  I know that we have our share of problems. We are far from a perfect country.  I think that it is ironic that the document that declares our independence from England has its own imperfections.  It's funny -- about two thirds of the way down the page, and towards the center, there is a word added by using this symbol (^) and writing 'only' between the words 'answered' and 'by',  Other than adding a little bit of emphasis, the word 'only' doesn't really change anything. I guess I think it's odd that the writer would go back and make this small correction.

I can certainly understand not wanting to start over in order to have a perfect document.  But was it really necessary to have the word 'only' inserted into the sentence?  Perhaps it was just too much trouble to leave it out. I mean -- that was the language that was voted on and approved. To change it would require another meeting and more debate.  Some would want to keep it citing that the wording of the Declaration far exceeds the appearance of the document.  Others might have had the foresight to realize that this document would be cherished throughout our history and wanted it clean.

Maybe it just wasn't that important so the writer just inserted the missing word and nobody cared.  I just think that the idea of our imperfect country having an imperfect document that declares our independence is interesting.

Happy Birthday, US of A.


"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness..."

Friday, July 01, 2011

Blog Ads

I'm not talking about ads for my blog, I'm talking about ads on my blog.

I get solicitations for running ads weekly when I get my updates from Lijit and ads are also available through Google.  These ads would run on the sides of the normal blog body and be generated based on a number of factors that I have only limited control over.  It's like having a bill board on the side of my blog. Bloggers get paid for this service based on the number of times readers "click" on the ads displayed on their pages.

I know that a number of blogs that I read run ads. In fact, some of you blog in order to run the ad space. I can't ever remember actually "clicking on an ad from a blog. I have clicked on ads on Facebook and it's pretty much the same kind of thing.

I'm not really concerned about the income this might generate as much as I'm wondering if there is any negative impact.  Don't get me wrong here -- the only reason I'm thinking about it is that I'm curious about the potential income. It's not like I'm in need; just curious about an unused but available resource.

So how about a little feedback?

Try it.
Don't do it.
No opinion.
Something else.

Leave a comment. I'm interested in what you think.