Archive for the ‘God’ Category

Love Actually IS All Around Us

December 7, 2013


It’s that time again. The time of year when we dust off the old classic Christmas films and view them again as if for the first time. There is a reason for the season of classic Christmas movie watching, it makes us feel festive, it harkens (Harkens! Like in “Hark, the herald tribune rings, advertising wonderous things!) to an earlier time of Christmas joy and good cheer; peace on Earth, goodwill to bargain shoppers. They remind us of a time when Christmas made a special memory in our lives… or not. But still, Christmas movies are not about reality, they are about a FEELING. And what better feeling is there than love? Love your neighbor, love your family, love your church, love your political party (wait! separation of church and state nullifies that last one, sorry). So imagine my surprise when I got this message:

Now, you know, we are not talking rocket surgery here. Movies, especially Christmas movies, suspend belief in anything tangible and real as we know it. Christmas movies are meant to make us FEEL GOOD, not make us feel depressed. If we want to be depressed, we’ll watch the news or glance inside our checkbooks. Reality does not need to be part of our Christmas movie watching because, well, let’s face it, Christmas is not about reality. Christmas is about the hope of something better though not yet realized. It is no different than the hope of some political figure making the world a better place with no actual ways or means to go about it. But still we hope and continue to do so each time we vote. Hope sells us on an idea and as long as we never run out of hope, people like Rob Ford will lead us. But let’s get back to the non-reality of the movie, Love Actually.

Love Actually is not a movie that promises to do anything but make us believe that love actually is all around us. How we find it varies from person to person and each situation is different, but it is love and only love that holds the human race together. Christmas reminds us of that, even though it has been diluted to mean nothing more than finding bargains on Black Friday after giving thanks for what we have the day before. That doesn’t diminish the impact that the Christmas message has if a person cares to take a look. Love Actually takes several different accounts and ties them all together under one theme and that is, No matter who you are or where you end up, love makes the difference and circumstances being what they are it is best not to fight it, analyze it or try to explain it. When you have love, give love or are IN love, the world is a better place. No one will argue with the fact that we need more love in the world.

So I defend the movie, Love Actually AS a romantic, Christmas comedy. The movie I saw said that in spite of all the sadness in the world, the mishaps, disappointments and unpredictability of life… Love Actually is all around us. Granted there are things in this movie that are not put in there to cheer for, in the end the lesson is All You Need is Love. It isn’t a reality flick, though the situations can be very real. It is a message for all of us, admonishing us to have faith, hope and to endure. Love Actually is a Frank Capra film for the new millennium… It’s a Wonderful Life retold and reaffirmed.

Enjoy it!

Hey! It’s 2011! Scroll Back, Ya Varmints!

January 2, 2011

2011.  A new me and a new you.  WordPress was kind enough to summarize the previous years posting for AMRFP… check it out!


The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,200 times in 2010. That’s about 15 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 51 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 408 posts. There were 162 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was October 12th with 56 views. The most popular post that day was John Lennon Sat Here….

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and WordPress Dashboard.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for socially unacceptable behavior, 27 club conspiracy, 49 bye byes, how to succeed in amway, and advantages of respect.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


John Lennon Sat Here… September 2010


rude, crude, lewd and socially unacceptable behavior October 2007


The illegal immigration solution, conclusion… a.k.a Illegal Immigrant for President! (he’ll do the work George Bush won’t) June 2007


songs to play at your funeral April 2008


How to Succeed in Business Without Really Lying April 2008


I’d like to thank WordPress for hosting such a cool site which in turn enables a writer’s whimsy to see daylight on the Internet and finds audiences such as you whom I otherwise might not have met!  (Hey! a little rhyme there!)

So from the bottom of my heart to the top of the apple cart…(I can’t help it)  thanks for reading!  I look forward to adding future posts in 2011 here at Advantages of Mutual Respect and Fair Play. 

There really are… you know.


Social Insecurity (or How I Stopped Worrying and Love Being Less Self-Assured)

September 17, 2010

I guess it is no big news that the economy is in the crapper.  Just look at me, home on a work day.  Oh, it’s nobody’s fault, really.  Sometimes things just work out that way when you work construction.  You either have too much work or not enough.  It’s hard having it come in just as you need it.

I’ve reached an age where I can just about picture myself retiring.  Now that’s scary.  Because when you think about it, no one is conscientiously  going to grow old, are they?  We all are going to go on and on until we reach middle age, somewhere way in the future.  But grow old?  Never!

So imagine my disheartenment when I read this on the Internet yesterday…

I know how to fix social security.  It is very simple.  End it.  Baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 still get it.  The rest forge ahead with a new program.  It will be called Social Assurance.  Families that take care of their own will benefit the greatest.  They will see reduced taxes if not eliminated all together.  Oh, there will be other means for the government to collect taxes, don’t worry about that.  But these families will not pay taxes on their wages.  Imagine that.  Keeping Grandma might be a better financial arrangement than shipping her to an old folks home. 

Medication and health care for those over 65?  Free.  F-R-E-E.  How can we afford this?  Simple.  Health care will become non-profit.  It seems a crime to me to make money on someone else’s illness.  Doesn’t that seem to be a conflict of interest?  If you make them well, they no longer need your services.  So just keep them coming back, stretch it out.  Suck them dry.  Nope, not anymore. 

In 2009 America’s #1 export was military equipment.  Our #2 export was pharmaceuticals.  If we don’t kill them we strive to make them well.  Remove the profiteers from these two “commodities” and we might be able to do away with a lot of things.

Did you know that there are a record number of Americans living in poverty?

This is happening while we claim to have a better way for the world.  Democracy.  This despite a 12 trillion dollar annual Gross National Product.  So how do we reverse the trend of more  people living in poverty?   Simple.  Stop giving jobs away.  We were at our greatest when we took care of ourselves first.  The Bible says, “Remove the rafter from your own eye, then you can better see how to remove the splinter from your brothers eye.”  Luke 6:42  If we don’t work, we don’t make money.

Did you know illegal substance abuse is higher now?

I guess it is because of the pressure of day-to-day living.  People need to escape.  Alcohol consumption is up, too.    Here’s a thought.  Decriminalize marijuana.  

I’m not saying everyone should smoke a fatty.  Everyone shouldn’t.  I don’t.  But you know, we spend billions on the war against drugs, why not divert our attention to national security instead?  We have not gained anything in making pot illegal, except making our citizens criminals.  More people die because of alcohol related abuse than any other single cause.  Think about it.  Crimes of violence.  Automobile deaths.  Health related deaths.  Work related injuries and deaths.  Throw tobacco in there and the cost is staggering.  Nobody ever knocked over a convenience store because they were high on pot.  

I say educate the public and let them decide.  You can legally brew your own beer, why not grow your own pot?  Curtail the selling of marijuana, yes.  Sell it as you do tobacco and alcohol, yes.  And of course, tax it.  Limit it’s use as we already limit alcohol and tobacco.  I don’t think we would become a nation of pot-heads.  Millions have tried it and left it behind.  Some have used it all their lives and functioned normally.  We can’t predict how society will respond, so why are we trying to protect us from ourselves, especially when it is an unpopular and costly effort that has not garnished any positive gains?  The definition of insanity?  Trying the same solution to a problem and expecting different results.  We need a broader mind, not a closed one.

And another thing.  This insurance business.

It comes down to profit again.  I don’t think the U.S. government should be in the insurance business.  In fact, I don’t think anybody should.  If it is broken, lets fix it.  If you are sick, let’s make you better.  If you have lost it, let’s replace it.  It is that simple. 

Our society should operate like a family.  We take care of our own.  There is no enrichment at another’s expense, there is no profiting off another’s calamity.  The old ways are gone.

Okay.  How are we going to PAY for all this progress?  Simple.

Social Assurance means faith in ourselves.  That we will be treated honestly and fairly.  That we will be cared for and looked out after.  This is a pact we make unto ourselves, this is a creed we will live by that as long as we are treated fairly, we will treat others the same way.  There is no greed because of an un-certain future.  There is no theft for lack of necessity.  There is no animosity or suspicion of motive.

What do we all want?  To live and let live.  To go our way, to be clothed and fed and sheltered from the elements.  To see our loved ones prosper, not just financially but morally, physically and spiritually.

Social Assurance means trust in each other.

Most dreams seem far-fetched… but the reality is, our set course is not our desired destination.


Our Father Who Art in Heaven, how’d ja know my name?

September 11, 2010

oh boy, I mean… Oh non-gender reference!  Yet another attempt to take the masculine out of the scriptures.  And, agree with it or not, you gotta wonder… why?  Why this feeling that God should not be a male figure?  And does that now include Jesus as not being God’s Son?

Rather than alienate us, doesn’t a father figure tend to draw us closer to the Almighty?  This is a term that we as humans can relate to.  A father guides and protects us.  A father provides for his family.  A father sets the example.  God as a person means He has characteristics; feelings, ideas, morals, empathy, etc.  Viewed as merely a Being it makes Him seem alien and distant.  He becomes just a force, similar to electricity.  If we are to have a relationship with someone, don’t we want to understand that person?  and be confident that He understands us?  For us to draw close to God would require us to have trust in Him, devotion to Him and faith in Him.  We could only do this if God has a personality.  Otherwise, it might be His power that holds us in awe (which it does) and makes us fear Him. 

God doesn’t want us to fear Him in the sense that He might smite us.  Rather, He wants us to love Him and trust Him like a child does his father, having a fear of dis-pleasing Him.  You know and love your father, not because of his strength, but because of his approachability and understanding of your weakness.  And that comes from having a grasp of him as a person, knowing how he will react to your affections, knowing he will return them in kind.  He will not view them as petty.
This does not diminish the fact that He IS the Supreme Being, as we are all human beings, He is a spiritual one.  By studying God’s word you learn who God is.  Not just the nuts and bolts of His laws, but the love He has that tempers everything He does.  You learn faith, not as blind obedience to a God that is distant and emotionally detached, but faith in the person you have built a relationship with.  You develop a relationship that is as close as the thing most dear to your heart, knowing He is one that you can trust with your inner most thoughts, fears, hopes and dreams. 

Imagine trying to love a father whom you have never met.  He sired you and left you on your own to grow up.  Could you love this man simply because he caused your birth?  Wouldn’t he become this “being”, this insemination machine who caused you to be born but didn’t take an interest in your development?  In that sense he would lose his masculinity and become an object, much the way taking the masculine out of the Bible will do.  But our Heavenly Father is not such a being.  He is a provider, a wise leader with a caring and nuturing character.  He communicates with us and informs us which is the best course for us as his children. 

There are times when God says we must be like Him.  Hating what is bad.  Slow to anger.  Being long-suffering and exercising self-control among other qualities.  We would not view these as being unattainable for us.  God wouldn’t put things before us and tell us to strive to reach these goals if they were not within our grasp, that would be cruel.  We are created in God’s image and can display the qualities of God, and God has given us free will, the ability to choose our life’s course.  All other creatures of earth have instinct, a programming of character.  God allows us the choice to be who we are at our own reckoning. 

The Bible mentions the nation of Israel as being God’s wife and He being her husband.  What better way to show that God wants to be involved with the nurturing and development of His people?  The Bible also talks about how God takes special consideration of the “fatherless boy”.  If the masculine is taken away from the Bible, how would this passage be rendered as relevant and still convey God’s compassion?

It seems religion attempts to be all things to everyone no matter how their lifestyle contradicts the Bible.  As we re-write history and God’s holy word, does it really make us better Christians?  Or does it soothe our desire to direct ourselves first thus enabling us to provide token service to some emotionally detached, all powerful Being? 

A creator that is so distant we regard Him as an afterthought?

The Bible says we are created in the image of God, male and female He made us.  It is reasonable to conclude that God has the attributes of both genders in His personality. 

But as the Father He planted the seed of creation.  Try as we might, we cannot change that.


backyard miracle/discovery?

August 22, 2010

“Nothing ever happens  here!”  Do you sometimes feel that way?  Believe it or not, miracles do happen… they may take place in our own backyard.  Take this story for example…  (sent to me by an alert and faithful reader!)

Recently (1-16-2010) I wrote a piece entitled Dark Matter of a Light Nudge Theory.  In it I compared the dark matter of the universe to the dark matter found in the human brain.

Is it possible that we are all inter-connected by some massive divine spider web?

I’m not a real religious person, though I have had my moments, but could this discovery coincide with the Bible passage at Psalms 8:4?

When the Bible says God keeps us in mind, does it mean that we are literally in His mind?  And if that is a possible reality, could God simply change His mind if what we are doing doesn’t suit Him?

We go along thinking that what we do doesn’t matter.  People tell us that things just happen, there is no creative process in the design of the human race.  But when we have an idea, isn’t that a creative spark?  Couldn’t there be a supreme being whose creative thought patterns spawned life as we know it?

It makes you wonder…


Space?  or the space between His ears…  and ours?



Somewhere O’er the Volcano

August 1, 2010

How little we know…


What You Need…

July 17, 2010

Surprise!  Your momma was right!  Better eat your vegetables… ?gt1=43001  but oops!  somebody forgot to put the nutrients in!

Doesn’t that just beat all?  The good ol’ days were really good…

and good for us, too.  Seems like today we just are not getting what we need.

So this morning as I contemplate my second cup of tea, I wonder about what other things were better for us when we should have eaten our veggies…

1)  Music was better.  But don’t take my word for it, ask the recording industry.  Record sales have plummeted  recently and plug my ears with nostalgia but I gotta think it has to do with content.  Better music means more satisfied ears.  I keep telling RIAA executives this, but they don’t listen.  They are not giving us what we need.

2)  Automobiles were more interesting and friendlier, too.  It used to be you could tell a Ford from a Chevy at a glance.  Cars seemed to be made stronger, too.  I remember jumping up and down on the hood of our car when I was a kid and nobody thought a thing of it.  Backing into another car meant merely a “kiss” of the bumpers, you could lay down in the back seat and the trunk was large enough to rival a wading pool.  In fact, I think we filled ours on occasionally hot summer days in order to cool off.

  Simple transportation is what we need.

3)  Fashion.  Well, fashion is a funny thing.  Get some fool to wear a visor backwards and upside down then the world follows like he’s the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

One artist claims another is a copycat whilst archive footage reveals THAT artist ripping off another previous to her.


 I use the term artist loosely… (see #1 above)

But fashion is one of those things that never go out of style.  Old is new and vintage is hip.  I remember when you had to wear out your jeans in order to have them faded, ripped and thread bare… now you can buy them that way.  It is almost as if fashion can’t wait.  I saw some knee-high lace up boots advertised for fall this morning, ugh! can you imagine? 

 The things we do to look good but is it really what we need?

4)  Money.  Remember when money was really something?  I mean, win a million dollars and you were set for life.


Nowadays millions are not enough.  8lotteryWinnersWhoLostTheirMillions.aspx  Money can tear families apart.108590 or turn friends into enemies. crime  Still you gotta think, what’s wrong with money?

A devalued currency in the U.S. has made the Canadian dollar stronger while China blossoms into a financial juggernaut.  Remember the good ol’ days when our greenbacks were backed by gold and silver?  Substantial backing meant strong consumer confidence.  This Federal Reserve note business is a jinx.  It does not give us what we need. 

5)  Health.  There is an old saying that “health is wealth” and the key to happiness is longevity but it seems we are less healthy now than any time in our history.  Though our average life span has risen substantially, health issues are a multi-billion dollar industry. 

Some people blame the food we eat.  So are we living longer, unhealthier lives?  See the advertisements on T.V.?  Ask your doctor then get a second opinion?  Can we really buy better health? ?Do-We-Really-Need-to-Take-Vitamins-for-Our-Health?&id=1066888  Seems like a “pair of docs” to me. articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100260381>1=31036 

6)  Politics.  Do we all agree that our political system sucks? (see the post, un-American activities )  I have advocated a strong 3rd party on this blog for a while now. (see the post, Have a little cake with your Tea Party? )  I think it is past due.  When our society has to choose between the “best of the worst” it is no wonder that people get fed up.  Our political system has sunk into such a quagmire that our faith in our politicians has been shaken down to the roots.  Are we doomed to be lost in a vacuum that continues to draw out the worst in us?  When citizens view their representatives with contempt, that form of government is clearly not giving them what they need.

7)  Religion.  They say two things you cannot discuss with people are politics and religion.  I think that is wrong.  Politics and religion are the bond that holds a society together.  When either falter, the people suffer.  We can have our own views, ideas, beliefs and faith as long as they don’t interfere with the rights of another having their freedom of choice in kind.  You may have your moral convictions, but others have the same path they must travel to come by those beliefs.  If there is a God, we should all try to immolate His qualities of Love, Patience and Tolerance.  Because, as the Bible says, if God looked for perfection, who of us could stand before Him? (see the post, Does God Hate Haiti? )  If a religion divides us, that congregation does not have the teachings that we need.

So what is it that we really need besides better vegetables?

Maybe we need to laugh more and not take ourselves too seriously.  Let things roll off our backs and be satisfied with what we need rather than dwell on the things we want.  Have a little more faith in our fellow man.  Try some kindness and treat people the way we would want to be treated.   

This old world can be like a used car salesman telling you this and selling you that to the point that we are never happy with having just what we need.

  Ultimately, walking is safer and better for you.


New Horizons

May 22, 2010

The birds wake me every morning.  Early.  Early every morning now that spring has arrived.  Before the sunrise.  Well before the sun rises.  But it is hard to be angry with creation on mornings like this as I sip my second cup of tea and open the windows.

There is so much to hope for, wish upon and dream about.  If I am not careful, I’ll find myself getting caught up in things that I cannot change, worrying about things I have no control over and doing things that simply rob me of my time.  Things that are frivolous and empty.  And then I forget to be thankful.

How good it is to wake each morning and greet the day.  A fresh start!  I can calmly look back on yesterday and let it pass, convincing myself that I did the best I could.  Each day, each moment,  is like a breath of fresh, clean air.

My uncle died two weeks ago.  Russell was 72.  His passing marks the end of a generation.  His parents and siblings, my mother included, have all preceded him in death.    Russell was married to the same woman for over 50 years and raised a large family.  I guess the note-worthiness of this for me is, it is the end of an era.  All the family gatherings consisting of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins have now passed.  Uncle Russell was one who wanted to preserve the reunion of our family in the traditional sense and my memories owe a great deal to him for insisting upon it.

My sister became a grandparent again in this same short span.  A grandson.  Aaron.  The name means “enlightened one”.  For her family the gathering has just begun.  It is hard to think of my little sister as a grandparent.  I remember my grandparents while I was growing up, they were elderly.  My sister is many years younger than I am…

In this same period of time; my son, also named Aaron, lost his good friend, Sean.  Sean was killed by a neighbor who mistook him for a burglar.  Sean had no wife and kids,  never knew his real father.  Sean’s potential died when a bullet pierced his chest, leaving him to expire on the hood of a car.  Alone.  Far away from his family and friends.

I’ve been thinking about life and death a lot these past few days.  How it comes in with such potential and joy, then goes out; sometimes violently unexpected, sometimes peacefully welcomed. 

I have dreamed of perfect surroundings.  I have longed for better days.

 I have been to Disney World…

But this is where I’d like to be…

though I would temporarily settle for this…… it is not a high priority.

Still I do cast my gaze towards new horizons…

But each day has the hope of a better tomorrow, whether it be in this life or the next.  Who really knows for sure what the beginnings of life will achieve or its waning moments will reveal?

Until the end comes, live each day as though it may be your last. 

At least give pause and be thankful for the wonders of life.  I intend to do the same, thanks to the early morning sounds of creation.


the wonder of it all

April 25, 2010


40 years of the Hubble telescope…  enjoy the music, the pictures and the wonder of it all.

Sometimes we need to pause and think about how small we really are.


Does God Hate Haiti?

January 17, 2010

Of course, by now the world is aware of one of the worst natural disasters in history affecting the island nation of Haiti.  Less than a week later estimates  list the death toll at between 45-50,000 people.  Photos of anguish and suffering abound in newspapers, television and the Internet.  Cries for help have been heard and a worldwide outpouring of support has responded.  It always seems that at a time of natural disaster we set up a united front no matter our politics to come to the aid of those who suffer such tragedy.  And that is a good thing.  Compassion is what sets us apart from the cold, cruel and calloused world of indifference.


So I wonder at some reasoning out there.  There are those that have said that Haitians some how deserved to suffer calamity.   A natural disaster such as the earthquake at Port-au-Prince is none other than the hand of God exacting punishment on the heathenish, devil worshiping inhabitants according to Pat Robertson. 


So I did a little research… (you knew I would, didn’t you?) 

Does Pat Robertson know that 80% of Haitians profess a Catholic faith and another 16% Protestant?  This is confusing to me because if their religion is similar to ours, why would God punish them for the “sins” of 200 years ago?  Pat seems to think that God causes this poor country to suffer from a history of corrupt government, mis-managed social programs and poverty because of a “pact with the Devil.”   What kind of godly man makes such a claim?  And do such sayings draw people closer to God or push them further away?

Another bully pulpit is under the watchful eye of Rush Limbaugh.  He says that we pay enough taxes that go towards foreign aid and because our country is in such sorry shape now a more concentrated effort at relieving Haiti is not necessary.  Do we put a price tag on our sense of humanity?  When Rush was suffering from those chest pains a short time ago and was uncertain as to whether  his time had come… did he say a prayer to the God of Pat Robertson?  I’m not a big fan of Keith Olbermann, but his comments here are interesting…


I like to think of God as a god of compassion, one that doesn’t hold past sins against us if we are truly sorry for them and try to do better.  Isn’t that what the Bible teaches?  If the Haitian people of old did such a despicable thing as make a “pact with the Devil”, how long will passing generations since have to pay for that abomination?    Would it go on indefinitely?  Are innocent people forever cursed as Pat Robertson has indicated the Haitians are?  And in our time of need; do we gather unto ourselves, turn our backs to the downtrodden and say,” We have given enough in the past and cannot help you now” as Rush Limbaugh has indicated?  

We claim to be a Christian nation.  Our charity should not come as a matter of convenience but as a matter of pride, because now and always…  it is the right thing to do.