Net Neutrality and You

Seven things the new Net Neutrality rules won't do ...
  1. They won't make your home broadband connection faster.
  2. They won't eliminate your wireless data cap.
  3. They won't stop your wireless carrier from throttling your service
    when you've reached your data cap.
  4. They won't create competition.
  5. They won't improve your Friday night Netflix viewing.
  6. They won't stop the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger.
  7. Nothing will change as a result of these new rules.
Read more at c|net [here] and tell me what you think.

The Mystery of Suffering

"The Bible repeatedly repels the idea that all suffering is based on what we deserve."

"I am convinced that without the clear revelation of God, we should be very careful of concluding in any particular case that suffering is discipline. Now God can use suffering in the life of believers to make them stronger."

"I suspect that one of the points of suffering is that we do not understand. If we understood, we would not be forced to trust God. Also, with all suffering there is a choice. We can trust God through it, or we can reject God because of it."

Mike Erich, The Mad Theologian [read more here]

4/6 of my Oscar guesses came true ...

Here were my guesses that I logged on Facebook yesterday morning ...

    •  Movie: Selma
    •  Director: Richard Linklater
    •  Lead Actor: Eddie Redmayne
    •  Lead Actress: JulianneMoore
    •  Supp Actor: JK Simmons
    •  Supp Actress: Patricia Arquette

I blanked on the movie and director categories but got the four acting Oscars right. Not bad considering that I had only seen one of the nominated movies and none of the actors/actresses in their nominated roles. Did you watch? If so, did you make any predictions?

Loving our Opinions

People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. -Marcus Aurelius

The fewer the facts, the stronger the opinion. -Arnold H. Glasow

A baby is God's opinion that life should go on. -Carl Sandburg

Stubborn and ardent clinging to one's opinion is the best proof of stupidity. -Michel de Montaigne

Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes. -Voltaire

Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion. -Democritus

My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you're ugly too. -Rodney Dangerfield

Drive Thru Ashes

As I wrote a few years ago (read here), I have never received ashes on Ash Wednesday. That said, I do understand that it is a meaningful observance for others as they begin Lent.

Yet I wonder why churches would offer a fast food version of this observance. Seems strange to me that the bestowing of ashes would be reduced to the level of ordering a Big Mac and fries.

At the risk of sounding crass or profane, I wonder if drive thru baptisms might be the next service that churches will be offering? The sprinkling of water seems no more of a stretch than ashes.

Stop Caring About the Wrong Things

Responded to a FB friend's post this morning by saying: "I sometimes thing of resting as not caring about things outside of my control. Which is pretty much everything." Got me to thinking how I often care too much about things that I have no control over. In a real sense that is what worry is all about. It is not about caring but about caring about the wrong things. In truth we have no control over many things. People sometimes act stupid. Sickness and disease blindside us. Floods and tornadoes happen. Better to not care about things that we have no control over.

Happy Valentines Day

For all of the gals in my life. Especially my wife, daughter, granddaughter and sister. I love each of you so much.

Thanks for the many ways that you have enriched my life with your love.
I am a better husband, father, grandfather and brother because of you.

And I am so blessed to have a wife like Ann. She inspires and encourages me every day with her love, discipline and perseverance.

I wish my blogging friends a great day. May love catch you by surprise.

Sympathy ≠ Empathy

I shared a thoughtful video this morning about the difference between empathy and sympathy. In sharing it I said: "Nobody wants sympathy but everyone needs empathy." Here is the text that accompanied the video.
Empathy and sympathy are not just two different approaches to confronting the emotional challenges of others; they are diametrically opposite responses in many important ways. Sympathy places another's problems at a distance from us, places us in a position of superiority, and "drives separation", says the film's narrator, Dr. Brené Brown. Empathy, on the other hand, requires that one internalize the feelings of another. That shared experience drives interpersonal connection, she says. "What makes things better is connection."
The video is less than three minutes. Watch it here and let me know what you think. Do you resonate with it?

Most people never listen.

One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say. -Bryant H. McGill

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen. -Ernest Hemingway

Of all human activities, man's listening to God is the supreme act of his reasoning and will. -Pope Paul VI

Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk. -Doug Larson

Being president is like running a cemetery: you've got a lot of people under you and nobody's listening. -Bill Clinton

I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I'm going to learn,
I must do it by listening. -Larry King

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. -Karl A. Menninger

1/2 Truths

Adam Hamilton, our pastor, just finished a great 5 week series titled 1/2 Truths.
Here are the titles of the messages with my short take on them.
  • Everything Happens for a Reason:
    Some things do happen for a reason.
  • God Helps Those Who Help Themselves:
    God helps those who cannot help themselves.
  • God Won't Give You More Than You Can Handle:
    Sometimes we need others to help us handle life.
  • God Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It:
    Simplistic readings of the scriptures are not helpful.
  • Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin:
    Love your neighbor. Hate your own sin.
I liked the series and felt it brought balance to these religious cliches. If you are interested you can view the videos here.

Happy Groundhog Day

This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather.

This is pitiful. A thousand people freezing their butts off waiting to worship a rat. What a hype. Groundhog Day used to mean something in this town.

When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.

... quotes from Weatherman Phil Connors in the Groundhog Day movie.

Will Shields elected to the NFL Hall of Fame

"Everyday I count the blessings that have been bestowed upon my family and me. Each day I am thankful that I was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs and think of all the people who have supported the team, our family’s foundation, and me. This community is like no other when it comes to support. Fourteen years sure fly by when you get to do what you love. The love for the game never decreased but, as the years passed, the physical requirements of the game became harder to fulfill each and every day. If it was up to me I would play football forever but, as we all know, that is unrealistic." -Will Shields

In 14 seasons Will never missed a game. Will, an outstanding lineman, appeared a record 12 consecutive time is the Pro Bowl. He was a great player and more importantly a great person. Will, along with his wife, Senia, created the “Will To Succeed” Foundation in 1993 for the purpose of inspiring, guiding, and improving the lives of abused, battered and neglected women and children. The Chiefs will sorely miss Will but Kansas City will still benefit from his presence.

Originally posted when Will retired in 2007.