Pensées

Thoughts on the Meaning of Life…..by Todd Helmkamp

Archive for December, 2006

Another Christmas Gone

Posted by Vogeler on December 27, 2006

So Christmas 2006 is finally over.  It was my first Christmas with my wife and son.  That was very cool.

However, even though I broke out the Christmas CDs in August (much to the chagrin of my wife), I had a hard time really getting into the spirit of things.  I mean, usually I’m an absolute FREAK at Christmas time.

I think part of it was that we were so busy.  We had eight different celebrations to attend this year.  And, there was no fireplace to cuddle by.  That might have helped.

I got tons of cool loot, especially books and giftcards for books. I bought a couple that I’m very excited about: Historical Geography of Bible Lands by Howard Vos and Bones of Contention: A Creationist Assessment of Human Fossils by Marvin L. Lubenow.  The first one covers just about everything you’d need to know about any of the lands mentioned in the Bible, from a historical, geographical, economic, military, and religous standpoint.  I’m really excited.  🙂

Did anyone else (besides Carma!) have a hard time getting into the spirit of things this season?  If so, did you fix it?  How?

What was your favorite moment of this holiday season?  Any favorite gifts received?

Posted in Questions for Debate, Ramblings | 6 Comments »

Faith Like A Child

Posted by Vogeler on December 20, 2006

“Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18:2-4)

I have often been taught that becoming “as little children” involved blind acceptance, a blind faith.

I do not believe this.

God gave us minds for a reason. I believe that this passage refers not to ignorance, but to innocence.

I think that willful ignorance is a big problem in the Church today.

Erwin Mcmanus was recently quoted as saying, “Studying the Bible doesn’t change people. Just look at seminaries.”

While I respect Mr. Mcmanus’ work, I would say that this statement is misleading, because studying the Bible and a changed life share a correlational relationship, not a causal relationship.

Let me put it this way: studying the Bible does not change people. I agree with that statement. But, studying the Bible doesn’t not change people. In other words, while Bible study in and of itself doesn’t change people, it is not detrimental, as that statement seems to imply.

I believe that daily, serious study of the Bible is vital to a healthy Christian life, in addition to daily prayer.

Now, I know that not everyone is gonna jump for joy because they just bought an 824-page book called Historical Geography of the Biblical Lands. (which, by the way, is excellent so far!)

Not everyone has a burning desire to know anything and everything they can.

But that does not relieve us of the responsibility to learn, and grow, to expand our knowledge about God (which does not, of course, replace actually knowing God).

Faith like a child involves innocence, not ignorance.

Posted in Questions for Debate, Ramblings | 12 Comments »

Going Organic

Posted by Vogeler on December 16, 2006

I’m into organic stuff. Food, products, you name it. There is a slight problem, however. I can’t afford it. Organic stuff is expensive because of how it’s produced, and there is still (unfortunately) only a limited market for it. However, many people that want to eat organic foods form cooperatives with their friends. These cooperatives allow people to buy in bulk and divide the cost, thus allowing them to purchase organic foods.

I would like to start an organic cooperative. If anyone is interested, let me know and we can set up a meeting to discuss terms and stuff. If you’re not convinced, here are some reasons why you should use organic products.

10 Good Reasons To Go Organic


 

Organic products meet stringent standards

Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs.


Organic food tastes great!

It’s common sense – well-balanced soils produce strong, healthy plants that become nourishing food for people and animals.


Organic production reduces health risks

Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is one way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, earth and water that sustain us.


Organic farms respect our water resources

The elimination of polluting chemicals and nitrogen leaching, done in combination with soil building, protects and conserves water resources.


Organic farmers build healthy soil

Soil is the foundation of the food chain. The primary focus of organic farming is to use practices that build healthy soils.


Organic farmers work in harmony with nature

Organic agricultural respects the balance demanded of a healthy ecosystem: wildlife is encouraged by including forage crops in rotation and by retaining fence rows, wetlands, and other natural areas.


Organic producers are leaders in innovative research

Organic farmers have led the way, largely at their own expense, with innovative on-farm research aimed at reducing pesticide use and minimizing agriculture’s impact on the environment.


Organic producers strive to preserve diversity

The loss of a large variety of species (biodiversity) is one of the most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds, and growing unusual varieties for decades.


Organic farming helps keep rural communities healthy

USDA reported that in 1997, half of U.S. farm production came from only 2% of farms. Organic agriculture can be a lifeline for small farms because it offers an alternative market where sellers can command fair prices for crops.


Organic abundance – Foods and non-foods alike!

Now every food category has an organic alternative. And non-food agricultural products are being grown organically – even cotton, which most experts felt could not be grown this way.

(from www.ota.com, the website of the Organic Trade Association)

If you want more info, you can also go here:

http://www.organicfood.co.uk/topten.html

http://www.checnet.org/healthehouse/education/articles-detail.asp?Main_ID=421

http://www.organic.org/

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/genetic-engineering/go-organic

A word of caution: many of the “big names” in food production are now trying to tap into the growing organic market by producing a limited number of organic foods under new labels. But, they are still producing their regular products at the same time. Do a little research, and don’t support the big names that are still destroying our world with their regular lines of products. Some good companies to look at:

www.diamondorganics.com

www.goldminenaturalfoods.com

www.drweil.com

There are tons of other reputable companies out there, too. And, many states have websites for farms that use sustainable agriculture practices, with links to places to buy fresh local produce.

Sure, it may cost a little bit more, but isn’t it worth skipping that extra cup of Starbuck’s to know that you’re helping yourself and your family to be healthier? Isn’t it worth skipping McDonald’s for lunch to help local family farmers stay in business? Isn’t it worth not buying that one extra Christmas present to help make our world a cleaner and safer place to live?

Posted in Announcements, Ramblings | 6 Comments »

Bye bye Myspace

Posted by Vogeler on December 11, 2006

I am deleting my Myspace account next week.

I am seriously sick and tired of seeing half-naked women every time I log on.

I am sick and tired of the way the world is, and I am going to fight back.  Even if it’s such a minor way as this.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. demonstrated the power of groups of people determined to make things right without using violence.

I strongly encourage any of you who have a saving faith in Jesus Christ, or who are sick of the objectification and sexualization of women, to join me in this boycott.

If you are interested, I will draft a petition to forward to Tom and the rest of the Myspace bunch telling them what we’re doing and why.

It only takes one match to start a wildfire.

“One small step for man…….”

Posted in Announcements, Ramblings | 16 Comments »

Truth in Strange Places

Posted by Vogeler on December 6, 2006

“And finally, one must consider how great the ease of learning
there is in books, how yielding, how trusty !
How safely we reveal, without shyness, in the face of our books
the poverty of our human ignorance !
They are teachers who instruct us without switches or rods,
without slaps or anger, without notice of rags or riches.
If you approach them , they are not asleep;
If you ask a question, they do not hide;
They do not mutter at you if you make a mistake;
When you are ignorant, they do not know how to laugh at you.”

 

Richard de Bury, Philobiblon, I, 9

 


Posted in Ramblings | 1 Comment »

Cogito, Ergo Sum.

Posted by Vogeler on December 6, 2006

Does anyone else desire Truth? Real, solid, unadulterated Truth? Not candy-coated. Not hidden behind a smiling mask, not “politically correct”? Does anyone else desire to share heart and soul, in true open freedom?

Why do we hide?

Posted in Questions for Debate, Ramblings | 3 Comments »

Be Fruitful and Multiply…

Posted by Vogeler on December 4, 2006

“Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28; bold and italics added)

Today’s question deals with……. *drumroll*

The environment!!!

Humans, by nature, produce great changes in any environment they enter.  These changes can be related to food production, industry, housing, etc.  The question is twofold:

1.  Is it possible for humans to live in complete harmony with nature, enjoying  a symbiotic  relationship (one in which both parties benefit)?

2.  If it is possible, do we have a responsibility to do so?

Let me know what you think.

Posted in Questions for Debate | 5 Comments »

Let it snow…..

Posted by Vogeler on December 1, 2006

Ok, so it’s not gonna stick yet (because of the unseasonably warm weather, the ground is still too warm) but I’m still excited about snow! I can’t wait to take my boy sledding for the first time! And, to have a snowball fight with my sweetest. And make a snowman. And….

Even though I usually don’t get very many posts when I ask questions (why?), I’m going to keep trying.

What is your favorite activity in the snow?

Stay home tonight with someone you love.  Friend, family, spouse, etc.  Curl up in front of a fire.  Play a game.  Watch a movie.   Enjoy some quality time. I will.

Posted in Fun Stuff | 8 Comments »