5/31/2004

Memorial Day

Interesting that in England we have Remembrance Day on November 11, which is the day to remember fallen veterans, particularly those of the first World War. In the US Nov 11 is also a minor holiday of note, but renamed Veteran's Day. The bigger deal though, is Memorial Day, which ends up being a much bigger deal and just a tad short of July 4th. I mean, who wants to remember those Veterans on a dreary day in the middle of November when the weather is terrible? Americans love their holidays in the sun. Never mind that Nov 11 is when WW1 ended, and that conditions in that war were miserable for most of the time, and it would seem appropriate to remember it, and war in general, that way.

I saw a news article that said the WW2 memorial in Washington DC was officially opened now because WW2 veterans are dying at the rate of 1000 a day (I'm assuming US veterans, as the US media couldn't give a rip about foreigners...) While it's not likely we'll run out of WW2 vets any time soon, it is a sobering thought. That was the generation that, as cliched as it may seem, fought the battles that made the freedom to bitch about stuff today possible. Still, it's also the generation that brought us Cold War paranoia (the survivors, anyway), so it's not like it was all peachy.

No matter how stupid war may be, I'm always reminded of the Jesus quote on the matter of giving up one's life...

John 15
12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command.

Now I don't necessarily believe that laying one's life down on the battlefield is quite as noble as Jesus giving his life for the world, but it's close.

I think every generation has to ask itself, "Exactly what are we willing to sacrifice for our faith?"







5/30/2004

Baptism of fire

Today at church was really a lot of fun. Being Pentecost we had the whole red vibe going (representing the tongues of flame...) Strangely enough I had a dream last night in which I realized that flame isn't red - it's yellow and maybe orange. Red is for embers and such. In past years we've had a balloon arch across the altar held up with red and white helium ballons. I walked in this morning and there they were - except that they were red, orange and yellow. How curious is that? Pentecost is also one of the major days for baptism in church and we had three today. A friend of ours had their few month old baby baptized, there was a young boy from another family and the husband from another family. So five months, about 7 and about 40-ish. Given the wars that have been fought in the church over the years about when people should or should not be baptized I was thrilled that the answer in my church is "whenever the time is right".

I also got to lead the little kids (K-2nd grade) in a song at the offertory. They don't get to do much in church, so it was great to have them up front. They rocked, even. I looked across at one kid and he was just standing there with a deer in the headlights look. Fortunately the rest of them were OK... In fact the parish loves the little kids to bits, so they could do anything up there and people would love it. Sometimes I think maybe that's how God views us - no matter what we do, however minimal or unimpressive, God still loves us and thinks we're cute and lovable. Well at least when we're trying to be good.






5/29/2004

Welcome to Disaster Area

First let me say this isn't a blog about earthquakes, forest fires or airplane crashes. It's just about life which can, but usually does not, include those things. Well, sure some weeks it may seem like it, but there you go.

No, the name is a tribute to Douglas Adams, inventor of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy universe. Disaster Area is the name of the rock band and it's notable because every couple of years my wife and I try to remember the name of the band and invariably can't. So we have to thumb through the books to find it again. I figure this way I'll be one step ahead of her next time...

For those of you unfamiliar with the book and/or band, here's a nice summary, courtesy of http://www.realhhg.3rdrock.co.uk/realhhg/hhgdisas.php

DISASTER AREA
from the work of Douglas Adams
Disaster Area, a plutonium rock band from the Gagrakacka Mind Zones, are generally held to be not only the loudest rock band in the history of the Galaxy, but the loudest noise of any kind at all.

Regular concert-goers judge that the best sound balance is usually to be heard from within large concrete bunkers some thirty-seven miles from the stage, whilst the musicians themselves play their instruments by remote control from within a heavily insulated spaceship which stays in orbit around the planet - or more frequently around a completely different planet.

Many worlds have now banned their act altogether, sometimes for artistic reasons, but most commonly because the band's PA system contravenes local strategic arms limitation treaties.

This has not stopped their earnings from pushing back the boundaries of pure hypermathematics, and their chief research accountant has recently been appointed Professor of Mathematics at the University of Maximegalon, in recognition of both his General and Special Theories of Disaster Area Tax Returns, in which he proves that the whole fabric of the space-time continuum is not merely curved, but is in fact totally bent.

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