Random Thoughts 8-31-2008

When I first saw the list of tropical storms names for this year, I thought Gustav and Josephine would be the
most likely ones to become major storms.  It’s looking like I was right about Gustav.  As I write this on August 29th, it is expected to become a major hurricane.

An interesting post on another blog about the Sun of Righteousness

Some interesting new photos on Roger Weld’s Photo blog, including some from a recent Native American ceremony.

Weird World of Crime & Criminals:

Remember that guy in Austria who kept his daughter and the children he fathered by her locked in the basement for 24 years?  He had the audacity to complain to jail officials last month that he needed daily exercise outside because he couldn’t stand to be cooped up all day.

In July, a man tried to rob a coffee shop in Louisiana.  To get the clerk to open the cash registered, her ordered two donuts and gave her $5 to pay for them.  When she open the register, he pulled out a gun and ordered her to give him the money.  The clerk started screaming hysterically which frightened the crook so bad he ran off without the money or the donuts.

More Fun with Guns:

A woman in California shot herself in the knee while trying to shoot a mouse in her trailer.

Another shot herself in the foot while chasing a woodchuck in her garden.

And a man shot himself in the hand while trying to shoot bees!

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Scripture: Leviticus 23:24

Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts.’

Labor Day originated in 1882 in New York as a day off for workers.  It became a federal holiday in 1894 and is celebrated on the first Monday in September.  It’s interesting that the above Bible quote shows the idea isn’t a new one.  Many other countries celebrate a worker’s day or labor day on May first.  Enjoy the weekend.

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A Society of Fear

    Have we become a society based on fear?  I would like to say no, but the evidence says otherwise.  
    Travel, especially air travel, has become a major annoyance rather than an enjoyable experience because of our fear or terrorists.  Cruise ships and trains are catching up.
    Look at the advertising industry.  Fifty years ago you rarely, if ever, say an ad based on fear.  Now, they are so common people don’t even notice.  The first one I remember was the very successful Michelin ad that showed a baby sitting in a Michelin tire.  The message of that image was very clear:  buy some other tires and your taking chances with the life of your baby.  Now we have many ads that play on many fears.  Take our supplement and you won’t get some dreaded disease.  Take our diet pill or you will get fat.  You’ll never quit smoking if you don’t join our program.  You need to get new jeans because the ones you bought for $400 last year are, well, last year’s hot designer, not this year’s.
    Politics is even worse.  campaigns used to be almost entirely “Vote for me because I will …”.  Now, it seems like at least sixty percent of the campaigning is negative, fear driven ads.  “Vote for me because the other guy will start a war”, “Vote for me because the other guy will raise taxes”,  “Vote for me or you will loose your job”.
    Look at the way so many people try to avoid reality by spending all their time in the fantasy worlds of video games, movies, drugs or booze.
    So what is wrong with a fear based society?  It means that rather than doing what we want to do, or what we know we should do, we do what is safest out of fear.  That is like hiding under the bed until the problem goes away.  And when you do that, it never goes away.

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Big Bob’s Banquet

    Big Bob had done very well in business.  Now that he was retired, he decided to have a banquet and invite all the people in the small town where he lived.  Over 500 were invited.  Big bob hired two of the best caterers in the area to supply the food and a respected string quartet to provide music.  Bob thought the banquet would be a big hit.
    The night of the party arrived and Bob was pleased that all the preparations had gone smoothly.  Soon, however, the problems started.  Not many people were arriving for the party.  And protesters were making a commotion outside.  
    The vegans were complaining that Bob had meat on the menu (although vegetarian dishes were available).  Dieters complained that Bob was encouraging people to overeat.  Some were complaining that Bob should have given the money to charity instead of having a party.  Some just felt they didn’t have time to be bothered.  And on it went.  Essentially, complaining that the free banquet they were offered was not what they wanted.
    Bob was a little disappointed, but he didn’t despair.  There was plenty of food and fun for the folks who did accept his invitation.  Bob enjoyed meeting many of them and talking to them.  To him, it was a success.  Not an overwhelming success, but a success none the less.
    As for the protesters and scoffers, they missed a great party, and didn’t get what they wanted.

God invites us all to join his banquet, the greatest of all where the reward is eternal life in Heaven.  Many don’t accept the invitation.  Too busy.  And anyway, they would rather have a new car.

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