It is said that St. Thomas Aquinas' brothers were a tad bit tired of their brothers continuous study. They could not understand why he didn't indulge himself in the world. Brilliant, honorable men that they were, Aquinas' brothers decided to spice things up and sent up a prostitute to his room. Just so he could lighten up a bit. G.K. Chesterton records the following:
"When he saw her [the prostitute] he sprang from his seat & snatched a brand out of the fire, and stood brandishing it like a flaming sword." G.K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas, 44.
Aquinas didn't hurt the lady but let's just say there was no interaction between the two. Aquinas ravings like a mad man worked and she ran screaming out of the room. Not exactly a subtle tactic but it seemed to do the trick.
I did not get much sleep last night. In fact I was up till about 5 AM this morning. It is not fun to sleep on the couch, especially when no one put you there. Why was in my living room, in my boxers, trying to sleep? Because once again my bunny rabbit neighbors were enjoying one another's company a little to much. I woke to crashing and banging at 3 AM and, for a second, thought someone was getting beat up, again; not this time. I sat there amazed at the audio spectacle that was coming through my walls and thought about banging on the wall to make them realize it's 3 in the morning, could they keep it down. Then the screaming started and I realized it wouldn't do me any good so I went to sleep.
I woke up this morning with a raging headache, very frustrated, and a tad bit annoyed that once again I was put out by my neighbors escapade. Yet, as I sat here I couldn't help think of that story of Aquinas and then of another person who had his world interrupted by the opposite sex, King David. If I was meant to learn anything last night, it was this; no matter where we are, no matter what situation we are in, we face temptations at every turn. Some of it undeserved (3 AM and unlike King David I was were I was supposed to be) some of it we put ourselves into (King David again) The question is, what do we do about it?
Aquinas' story reminds me of this situation because men of God are going to go out of there way to protect there integrity. It is not a natural reaction for a man to turn a women away. Most men can not stand the sight of a woman rejected, crying, or any other thing which seems to melt away our defenses. However, some women know that and still bring the apple of temptation our way. We have two opposite stories which show opposite results and it leaves us the question of which is the more "manly" thing to do. David fed his lust and sinned with Bathsheba. Aquinas acted like a mad man and drove the women away. Manliness now a days is defined by the David story but it seems that when presented with temptation, Aquinas was the more manly.
I believe this is the case because a real man is not going to steal moments that are not his. A real man does not look at sex as something which I can get but something which I can give. A real man is going to react violently when presented with something which violates that. A real man does not put a price on his integrity because if there is a price, the devil is going to buy it.
Malcolm Muggeridge once told the story of a business man who was on his way to some country on an airplane. As he sat down he couldn't help but notice the beautiful, young, 20 year old, brunette who took up the seat next to him. As the plane took off they struck up a conversation. The Business man decided to see something and very boldly asked the woman if he would have sex with her for a million dollars when they landed. The woman looked shocked but you could see the million dollar figure quickly breaking down her defenses. She finally agreed. As the plane was about to land the man then turned to her and asked if they could drop the price down to 100 dollars. The woman became angry, looked at him harshly, and stated: "What kind of girl do you think I am." The man smiled at her, "Honey, we already know what kind of girl you are, now we are just negotiating the price."
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Posted by Brother Bell at 11:13 AM
Friday, April 25, 2008
A complete list of things caused by global warming
Acne, agricultural land increase, Afghan poppies destroyed, Africa devastated, African aid threatened, Africa in conflict, aggressive weeds, air pressure changes, Alaska reshaped, allergies increase, Alps melting, Amazon a desert, American dream end, amphibians breeding earlier (or not), anaphylactic reactions to bee stings, ancient forests dramatically changed, animals head for the hills, Antarctic grass flourishes, Antarctic ice grows, Antarctic ice shrinks, Antarctic sea life at risk, anxiety treatment, algal blooms, archaeological sites threatened, Arctic bogs melt, Arctic in bloom, Arctic ice free, Arctic lakes disappear, Arctic tundra to burn, Atlantic less salty, Atlantic more salty, atmospheric circulation modified, attack of the killer jellyfish, avalanches reduced, avalanches increased, Baghdad snow, Bahrain under water, bananas grow, beer shortage, beetle infestation, bet for $10,000, better beer, big melt faster, billion dollar research projects, billions face risk, billions of deaths, bird distributions change, bird visitors drop, birds confused, birds return early, birds driven north, bittern boom ends, blackbirds stop singing, blizzards, blue mussels return, bluetongue, brains shrink, bridge collapse (Minneapolis), Britain Siberian, British gardens change, brothels struggle, brown Ireland, bubonic plague, budget increases, Buddhist temple threatened, building collapse, building season extension, bushfires, business opportunities, business risks, butterflies move north, camel deaths, cancer deaths in England, cannibalism, cataracts, caterpillar biomass shift, cave paintings threatened, childhood insomnia, Cholera, circumcision in decline, cirrus disappearance, civil unrest, cloud increase, cloud stripping, cockroach migration, coffee threatened, cold climate creatures survive, cold spells (Australia), cold wave (India), computer models, conferences, conflict, conflict with Russia, consumers foot the bill, coral bleaching, coral reefs dying, coral reefs grow, coral reefs shrink , cost of trillions, cougar attacks, cradle of civilisation threatened, crime increase, crocodile sex, crops devastated, crumbling roads, buildings and sewage systems, curriculum change, cyclones (Australia), danger to kid's health, Darfur, Dartford Warbler plague, death rate increase (US), Dengue hemorrhagic fever, depression, desert advance, desert retreat, destruction of the environment, disappearance of coastal cities, diseases move north, Dolomites collapse, drought, ducks and geese decline, dust bowl in the corn belt, early marriages, early spring, earlier pollen season, Earth biodiversity crisis, Earth dying, Earth even hotter, Earth light dimming, Earth lopsided, Earth melting, Earth morbid fever, Earth on fast track, Earth past point of no return, Earth slowing down, Earth spins faster, Earth to explode, earth upside down, Earth wobbling, earthquakes, El Niño intensification, end of the world as we know it, erosion, emerging infections, encephalitis, English villages lost, equality threatened, Europe simultaneously baking and freezing, eutrophication, evolution accelerating, expansion of university climate groups, extinctions (human, civilisation, logic, Inuit, smallest butterfly, cod, ladybirds, pikas, polar bears, gorillas, walrus, whales, frogs, toads, plants, salmon, trout, wild flowers, woodlice, penguins, a million species, half of all animal and plant species, mountain species, not polar bears, barrier reef, leaches), experts muzzled, extreme changes to California, fading fall foliage, fainting, famine, farmers go under, fashion disaster, fever,figurehead sacked, fir cone bonanza, fish catches drop, fish downsize, fish catches rise, fish deaf, fish get lost, fish stocks at risk, fish stocks decline, five million illnesses, flesh eating disease, flood patterns change, floods, floods of beaches and cities, flood of migrants, flood preparation for crisis, Florida economic decline, flowers in peril, food poisoning, food prices rise, food prices soar, food security threat (SA), footpath erosion, forest decline, forest expansion, frog with extra heads, frostbite, frost damage increased, frosts, fungi fruitful, fungi invasion, games change, Garden of Eden wilts, genetic diversity decline, gene pools slashed, giant oysters invade, giant pythons invade, giant squid migrate, gingerbread houses collapse, glacial earthquakes, glacial retreat, glacial growth, glacier wrapped, global cooling, global dimming, glowing clouds, god melts, golf Masters wrecked, Gore omnipresence, grandstanding, grasslands wetter, Great Barrier Reef 95% dead, Great Lakes drop, greening of the North, Grey whales lose weight, Gulf Stream failure, habitat loss, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, harmful algae, harvest increase, harvest shrinkage, hay fever epidemic, health affected, health of children harmed, heart disease, heart attacks and strokes (Australia), heat waves, hibernation affected, hibernation ends too soon, hibernation ends too late, homeless 50 million, hornets, high court debates, human development faces unprecedented reversal, human fertility reduced, human health improvement, human health risk, human race oblivion, hurricanes, hurricane reduction, hydropower problems, hyperthermia deaths, ice sheet growth, ice sheet shrinkage, ice shelf collapse, illness and death, inclement weather, India drowning, infrastructure failure (Canada), industry threatened, infectious diseases, inflation in China, insect explosion, insurance premium rises, Inuit displacement, Inuit poisoned, Inuit suing, invasion of cats, invasion of herons, invasion of jellyfish, invasion of midges, island disappears, islands sinking, itchier poison ivy, jellyfish explosion, jets fall from sky, Kew Gardens taxed, killing us, kitten boom, krill decline, lake and stream productivity decline, lake empties, lake shrinking and growing, landslides, landslides of ice at 140 mph, lawsuits increase, lawsuit successful, lawyers' income increased (surprise surprise!), lives saved, Loch Ness monster dead, lush growth in rain forests, Malaria, mammoth dung melt, Maple production advanced, Maple syrup shortage, marine diseases, marine food chain decimated, Meaching (end of the world), Mediterranean rises, megacryometeors, Melanoma, methane emissions from plants, methane burps, methane runaway, melting permafrost, Middle Kingdom convulses, migration, migration difficult (birds), migratory birds huge losses, microbes to decompose soil carbon more rapidly, minorities hit, monkeys on the move, Mont Blanc grows, monuments imperiled, moose dying, more bad air days, more research needed, mortality increased, mountain (Everest) shrinking, mountains break up, mountains melting, mountains taller, mortality lower, National security implications, natural disasters quadruple, new islands, next ice age, NFL threatened, Nile delta damaged, noctilucent clouds, no effect in India, Northwest Passage opened, nuclear plants bloom, oaks dying, oaks move north, ocean acidification, ocean deserts expand, ocean waves speed up, opera house to be destroyed, outdoor hockey threatened, ozone repair slowed, ozone rise, Pacific dead zone, personal carbon rationing, pest outbreaks, pests increase, phenology shifts, plankton blooms, plankton destabilised, plankton loss, plant viruses, plants march north, polar bears aggressive, polar bears cannibalistic, polar bears drowning, polar bears starve, polar tours scrapped, popcorn rise, porpoise astray, profits collapse, psychiatric illness, puffin decline, railroad tracks deformed, rainfall increase, rape wave, refugees, release of ancient frozen viruses, resorts disappear, rice threatened, rice yields crash, rift on Capitol Hill, rioting and nuclear war, river flow impacted, rivers raised, roads wear out, robins rampant, rocky peaks crack apart, roof of the world a desert, rooftop bars, Ross river disease, ruins ruined, salinity reduction, salinity increase, Salmonella, satellites accelerate, school closures, sea level rise, sea level rise faster, seals mating more, sewer bills rise, severe thunderstorms, sex change, sharks booming, sharks moving north, sheep shrink, shop closures, short-nosed dogs endangered, shrinking ponds, shrinking shrine, ski resorts threatened, skin cancer, slow death, smaller brains, smog, snowfall increase, snowfall heavy, snowfall reduction, soaring food prices, societal collapse, songbirds change eating habits, sour grapes, space problem, spectacular orchids, spiders invade Scotland, squid population explosion, squirrels reproduce earlier, storms wetter, stormwater drains stressed, street crime to increase, subsidence, suicide, swordfish in the Baltic, Tabasco tragedy, taxes, tectonic plate movement, teenage drinking, terrorism, threat to peace, ticks move northward (Sweden), tides rise, tornado outbreak, tourism increase, trade barriers, trade winds weakened, transportation threatened, tree foliage increase (UK), tree growth slowed,, trees could return to Antarctic, trees in trouble, trees less colourful, trees more colourful, trees lush, tropics expansion, tropopause raised, truffle shortage, turtles crash, turtles lay earlier, UK coastal impact, UK Katrina, Vampire moths, Venice flooded, volcanic eruptions, walrus pups orphaned, war, wars over water, wars sparked, wars threaten billions, water bills double, water supply unreliability, water scarcity (20% of increase), water stress, weather out of its mind, weather patterns awry, weeds, Western aid cancelled out, West Nile fever, whales move north, wheat yields crushed in Australia, wildfires, wind shift, wind reduced, wine - harm to Australian industry, wine industry damage (California), wine industry disaster (US), wine - more English, wine -German boon, wine - no more French , wine passé (Napa), winters in Britain colder, winter in Britain dead, witchcraft executions, wolves eat more moose, wolves eat less, workers laid off, World at war, World bankruptcy, World in crisis, World in flames, Yellow fever.
and all on 0.006 deg C per year!
Advice of any omissions (with sources) or broken links is welcome at email@example.com
Note: All links were live at time of posting. Inevitably some will disappear, particularly from Yahoo News.
Thanks to correspondents for additional entries; especially, as always, Our Man in Puerto Rico. Also, thanks to "Scraperguy" for the script to form the following:
The dead link collection
Africa hit hardest, anxiety, asthma, atmospheric defiance, bananas destroyed, boredom, cardiac arrest, challenges and opportunities, cod go south, cold spells, cremation to end, damages equivalent to $200 billion, dermatitis, desert life threatened, diarrhoea, drowning people, Earth spinning out of control, extinctions (bats, pandas, pigmy possums, koalas, turtles, orang-utan, elephants, tigers,) god melts, hazardous waste sites breached, human health improvement, lightning related insurance claims, little response in the atmosphere, Lyme disease, malnutrition, marine dead zone, mental illness (Alberta), mudslides, oblivion, oyster diseases, ozone loss, plankton loss, plant viruses, psychosocial disturbances, rainfall reduction, reindeer larger, riches, rivers dry up, rockfalls, salmon stronger, shrimp sex problems, tree beetle attacks, tree growth increased, tsunamis, walrus displaced, walrus stampede, white Christmas dream ends.
Posted by Brother Bell at 8:05 PM
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Not many things are. In fact I cannot think of anything that is limitless? A lot of places have "endless" cups of coffee or soda but that can be a little deceptive because while the coffee may always be there our body can only take so much. Basically, in the end there is a limit to the limitless. Even if we could continuously drink, the place would eventually close. Again, big let down.
In Ephesians 3.20 the Message Bible states, "God can do anything you know-far more then you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!" I read this verse tonight and had to laugh.
"I don't know God, I can think of some pretty wild things."
Yeah, not exactly what you would call the most spiritual of moments but this verse kind of stuck with me in my readings tonight and I'm beginning to understand why. Interesting that the first thing that I think of are "things". I mean we all would! If we had God's credit card, which seems to be how many view this verse, what things we could be capable of! Yet, this isn't the point, no matter how much we may want it to be!
Anything that I dare think of is going to have limits. It is going to have an end. It will have an expiration date. It will eventually fade and start to miss the shiny exterior. No matter what it is, it isn't limitless. These are things that I can think of NOW, it does not include the things I may need LATER. I can't really know what I need in the future cause I'm never guaranteed to have the future. I can still ask but God is the one who knows. I like how I read this passage in a commentary. It goes something like this:
Now to the One who is able to do beyond all things, superabundantly beyond and over and above those things that we are asking for ourselves and considering,
The catch then? Simply put, it is this: "He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us." (vs.20) This does not mean God gives us His credit card to put anything on it, we have responsibility in it! God can do anything, we just have to do something! His Spirit works in us deeply and gently, leading us into the right direction, the way which He thinks will give us this superabundance. The life that we could never naturally find outselves because we could only chose things with limits. God offers more. The limitless.
Posted by Brother Bell at 8:21 PM
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I recently had a very good conversation with a friend from school about my adamant stance against abortion. I hope to represent what he stated because his challenge to me is extremely important to all of us and vitally important to the issue at hand. Looking at the landscape of America right now, it does seem very possible that abortion will not be ending soon. According to my friend, if abortion were to be ended tomorrow, what would America do with all of those children? I kind of gawked at the question (which he quickly pointed out) because this doesn't work. If the child is truly a child in the womb then we are killing a person, a soul, a possible human being. Does that mean that we are going to start killing off everyone else because they cause a burden on society? Does that justify even partially accepting the 1 million babies who are aborted each year?
I think my friends argument is seriously flawed, and hopefully he will see that, however he does bring up a legitimate point and in many ways its one worth considering. It goes like this. The Democrat party has made it a platform, for the most part, to push for a "less-abortion" society. No Democrat would state flat out that abortions are "good" for society (a serious flaw in the logic of their argument) but they will state that the greater good is the woman's right to chose. Many Republicans gleefully declare that they are for an "abortion-less" society, with provisions for certain cases, and that abortion on demand should be eliminated all together. The question I posed to my friend then is which is better?
If abortion is truly the killing of a person, the most innocent of persons, then it truly is worse then slavery. However, many injustices happen all over the world, all of the time. Which should be the center of our focus more? I encourage you to read Jim Wallis' interview with ChristianityToday to get the full context of his answers to the abortion question because I do agree with him on some parts. However, I do not agree and utterly reject the following:
"I don't think that abortion is the moral equivalent issue to slavery that Wilberforce dealt with.I think that poverty is the new slavery. Poverty and global inequality are the fundamental moral issues of our time. That's my judgment."Wallis' answer here is drastically unrealistic and sadly seems to be the view of many who are tired of the false promises of politicians promising to "end abortion". Slavery/poverty/etc. are devastating issues that affect the "sanctity of life" there is no doubt. Wallis rightly points out later in the interview that something like 30,000 children die from starvation a day. That is frankly unacceptable and should be combated. However, I would argue that abortion is truly a grave and utter crime that is worse then slavery, as horrendous as poverty and slavery were and are, if the child is truly a child. If the "fetus" is a child then the abortion is a policy of death which is the law of the United States. We fight slavery and poverty, we promote and fund abortion? Which is worse?
Therefore, the question still remains. Which is a better society? Wallis uses the illustration of Wilberforce and I find that interesting given that many echoed Wallis' arguments AGAINST Wilberforce's fight to defeat slavery. Wilberforce, however, realized as I do, that while slavery was truly a stain on national integrity, he had to continue to convince and fight for it. Many around us today are telling us to knock it off, there are other issues, don't be a one issue voter. I commend them for their apparent ability to ignore the death cries of almost an entire generation. I, however, will agree with them that I am working for a "less-abortion" society and that extends from beyond the womb into all manners of life. However, I dream of the day when there will be an "abortion-less" society and fight on to see that in my time. To state that it will never happen is a travesty. Therefore, I am a one issue voter because a person who does not have that as his/her goal will not get my vote; period.
Posted by Brother Bell at 11:30 PM
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Jimmy Carter, diagnosed with Stockholm syndrome, leaves a wreath at Yasser Arafat's grave:
Posted by Brother Bell at 8:32 AM
I admit it; I am now a disciple of Al Gore. I completely buy that the car I am driving is one of the reasons for the current turmoil in the world. I completely believe that global warming will cause famines, death, destruction, and poor children starving. I believe global warming is causing this not because of the climate, not because of Co2, not because of my carbon foot print, but because all of those things are now beginning to happen. Here's proof.
The picture that is to the left is of a protester in Port-au-Prince. He is eating grass. Why exactly is he eating grass? Because he is on the negative side of the continuous rise in prices for food. I'm sure you've faced it to. Milk is more, soda is more, it seems like everything is more. The question then is why?
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama recently did a "compassion forum" and it was the usual, "we are going to win the 60 year old war on poverty" mantra but there was not one substantial policy discussed; as seems to be the case this election year. We have three candidates who are experts at saying nothing. If they were to be honest, they would let you see the following facts.
"U.S. food prices rose 4 percent in 2007, compared with an average 2.5 percent annual rise for the last 15 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And the agency says 2008 could be worse, with a rise of as much as 4.5 percent." Basically this is the highest inflation of food prices in 17 years. And this isn't an America problem.
"The reality is that people are dying already," said Jacques Diouf, of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). "Naturally people won't be sitting dying of starvation, they will react," he said." The natural reaction to the above statement is to think that there are multiple reasons for this to be happening. The forum the other night was proof of that. However, there are two articles which (suprisingly) gives a couple of the main reasons and those of you who buy the man made global warming myth should really consider what it is you are being sold.
"We drive, they starve. The mass diversion of the North American grain harvest into ethanol plants for fuel is reaching its political and moral limits."Last year congress approved a massive increase in bio-fuels in order to supposedly cut down on our dependence of foreign oil. This is the result of this policy:
"The UN says it takes 232kg of corn to fill a 50-litre car tank with ethanol. That is enough to feed a child for a year. Last week, the UN predicted "massacres" unless the biofuel policy is halted."Many people say that using "ethanol" is going to help the planet. The fact of the matter is that is just simply not true. Burning corn is more destructive and burns off more energy and that is on top of the fact that now prices for food which are corn based (which is pretty much every food) have spiked the highest we've seen in recent years. This has led to many leaders of Africa up in arms against America. There is no doubt that recent "meat" price spikes (tied to corn based products being fed to the meat going up?) has also had a major effect however Jim McGovern (D-MA) said the following:
Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts, said he had come to realize that Congress made a mistake in backing biofuels, not anticipating the impact on food costs.The moral of the story is this. When we buy a false premise there are still going to true outcomes. When you plant a bad seed, you are still going to get something. Wither it is desirable or not. The question then is, which is more "moral" in many people's mind. The supposed destruction of the planet because of oil, which is produced by the planet, or the increase in prices that is now jacking up the prices not only in America but in many countries of the world. Places where there really is "poor and desolate". But I guess this would make some of the global warming people happy. If you don't believe me, check out this web site:
"Phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth's biosphere to return to good health."Guess we reap what we sow?
Posted by Brother Bell at 7:42 AM
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
On Saturday I sat in Kaldi's putting the finishing touch on a paper when a girl walked in with a wicked tall guy. They both were noticeable since he almost hit his dead on the door and she was fairly attractive. I wasn't the only one to turn my head. That was really the last thought I gave to them as I delved back into my studies at least until I saw this guy's head rise from the bench in front of me like a giraffe searching for more food. As he turned to walk out, his girlfriend (I'm assuming) got up behind him and grabbed unto him and he playfully pulled away and walked out the door. She obviously was expecting the door to stay open, any man is taught from a young age to do such a thing, but this guy must have missed that lesson because it nailed her. Hard. She didn't look to happy. He didn't even notice. Strike one for chivalry.
A lot of times chivalry is basically looked at as something that is NOT DONE. It is something that is noticeable, like a door hitting a girl in the face, when it is neglected but when actions that may be deemed as chivalrous are regularly practiced it is mocked or made fun of. Statements like: "That will wear off after five years with that girl" or other negative, verbal assaults on the idea of chivalry are constantly catapulted against its walls. Leaving any practitioner of a lifestyle of chivalry feeling rather frustrated with his situation. What then IS this idea? Is it simply just holding a door? Or is so much more then that?
Chivalry is defined as: "the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms." This is the first problem with "chivalry" as a concept because it is first viewed as (1) archaic (2) dark ages and (3) women suppressing. The latter one is probably dwelt on the most today as many would argue that suppressing women was the hallmark of chivalry. However, it seems that these men did not really seem to grasp the concept of what it meant to be chivalrous. If these men could even be labeled chivalrous to begin with. So then what is chivalry in the modern era?
It is recorded in the legend of King Arthur that a fellow knight stated the following at Lancelot's funeral:
"Thou were the meekest man that ever ate in hall among ladies; and thou were the sternest knight to thy mortal foe that ever put spear in the rest."These two ideals. These two extremeties. Both seemed to be balanced in the legendary figure of Lancelot. C.S. Lewis made the point like this:
Lewis states rather emphatically that a chivalrous man is one who attempts to balance out these extremities and also has the ability to call on them when needed. When the balance is tilted in one direction or another then civilization begins to fall apart and then some other "barbarian" sweeps in. Only to have the same thing happen again. And again. And again.
"If we cannot produce Launcelots, humanity falls into two sections--those who can deal in blood and iron but cannot be "meek in hall", and those who are "meek in hall" but useless in battle--for the third class, who are both brutal in peace and cowardly in war, need not here be discussed. When this disassociation of the two halves of Launcelot occurs, history becomes a horribly simple affair. The ancient history of the Near East is like that. Hardy barbarians swarm down from their highlands and obliterate a civilization. Then they become civilized themselves and go soft. Then a new wave of barbarians comes down and obliterates them."
History has a nasty way of repeating itself.
So we have attempted to define chivalry as something that is not archaic, not anti-women, and definitely not narrowed to specific actions but the question still remains; now what? Sine Qua Non in Latin means necessity. C.S. Lewis' article title was the Necessity of Chivalry and in many ways these two synonyms capture why it is so vitally important for any male to engross themselves in this concept. Many times chivalry is looked at as being muscular and buff but that is so grossly misguided it's disturbing. I know a lot of "macho men" who you can definitely drop the macho out of. Chivalry is not a physical appearance but a way of living. It is interesting that the definitions for chivalry are mostly nouns. However, it seems from what Lewis and myself are saying, it is a verb. It is not just something to be thought about. It is something to practice. It is something to BE. It is something that Jesus' personified and it is something that ANY and ALL godly men should attempt to be. Chivalry is in essence Christ-likeness because it is a complete dependence on God to balance out two opposing qualities and the discernment to know when to use them. Chivalry knows how to treat the ladies right and to not act like a barbarian to them by only thinking of them in physical terms. It is the purest gentlemen. If a man is truly chivalrous then I believe a lady can be truly a lady. It is when men fail at this when we get nasty side effects. Take the following as an example
A video was released today of a couple of girls (8 in total) assaulting this girl for a comment she made on myspace. Now, I could go into detail about what I think about these girls, but my concentration will focus on these two pathetic BOYS who apparently watched as this happened. In fact one cheered it on and the other stood guard to make sure no one was coming. This is exactly what happens when men do not stand up for their innate sense of protecting women. Barbarism. When men without chests, men without emotions, men with depraved passions, allow this to happen we all suffer because the downfall of society echoes through crashing halls. The barbarians are coming.
In closing then it is very easy to focus on what chivalry is not. It seems to be something that we all can easily identify yet can never really pin down what it truly is. Except in passing dreams or maybe even an occasional person we meet. My hope and something I hope can be said of me at my grave was exactly what was said at Lancelots. Not out of some vain glory or fame but out of the desire to be a man who represented what it meant to be a man. A man who stood up when he had to but knew when it was right to sit back down. A man after God's own heart. For that in essence is what it truly means to be a chivalrous man.
Sine Qua Non.
Posted by Brother Bell at 10:43 PM
Well, MSN has a very good list they put together of things that you should never say to a man. This list basically is in response to all these lists the Jane Austen book club types state should never be said to a lady. Well...fine...these are things to never say to a Gentlemen. Mr. Darcy:
(1)"That looks cute."
(2)"We need to talk."
*Ok, I have said this and have had it said to me. I think when you are alone that this should never be stated. Especially in light of the next one.
(3) "It's just a game."
*Why are 2 and 3 intertwined? Why?
(4) "Nothing's wrong."
*Ok, so you KNOW Eve had to have totally said this to God in the Garden of Eden. We men have been cursed with it ever since. God truly does know our pain.
(5) "I sound like my mom."
*I don't get this one...anyone care to explain?
(6) "I just want to be friends."
* I have said this (sorry if you are reading this) but it is pretty tuff to swallow. It almost seems like guys are like Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber when we are told this: "More like one in a million." Jim Carrey: "So you're saying I have a chance." Just tell us...no games...just tell us.
(7) "Size doesn't matter."
*A lot of times this one is taken to be a little perverted and obviously it is easy to do. That said, I think there are some ligitimate things in this statement. When a girl insults the way a guy looks or heaven forbid COMPARES him to some other guy, not cool!
(8) "What are you wearing?"
*Just be grateful it's clothes. The boxers are just as comfortable
(9) "Do you think she's pretty?"
*This is the road to hell. Gosh is this the road to hell. Also intertwined with 7.
(10) "Which outfit do you like better?"
*What standard are you using to judge that outfit? What mood are you in? Will I get slapped for answering? And who are we kidding you will pick the opposite of what I say anyway so what does it matter.
Posted by Brother Bell at 12:09 AM
Saturday, April 5, 2008
This was from a radio talk show host last week talking about America. He simply entitled it: What are you proud of? In many ways, the past 7 years have caused many of us to become extreme pessimists and apathetic to the American experiment. If you believe in the "goodness" of America you are laughed at, called idealistic or oblivious. If you are a Christian, your told you hate all of the other countries and neglecting there "image of God" for your own idolatrous America-lust.
When did love of country become equated with idolatry? When did we lose our appreciation? Why?
"As Americans, what, today, are you proud of in your country? Are you proud of our insurance industry? I bet not. It's been demonized. People hate insurance agents, hate insurance companies, and think they're a bunch of crooks.
How about our financial institutions -- Wall Street, your bank, your savings and loan, your credit union -- are you proud of that? No. It has been demonized, too. They're just a bumbling of crooks. They don't care about you. How about our automobile industry? Are you proud of the automobile industry? No, you're not proud of it. They're getting skunked by the Japanese. Besides, they make products that use oil! And they make products that are destroying the world! "Hell no, we hate the auto industry." Are you proud of your pharmaceutical industry? Hell no! You're not proud of the people that rape you at the drugstores with these exorbitant drug prices when you think you can get 'em cheaper from
. You know they're running ads on TV for all these different drugs. They're just trying to get you to go to the doctor and get some. They don't care about curing you. They don't care about making you better. They just want to soak you. Let's see, are you proud of the US Military? Canada
No, you're not proud of the
military. The military kills babies and innocent civilians! The US USmilitary tortures people at Abu Ghraib and . (I know because John McCain tells us so, along with the liberal Democrats.) Uh, let's see. Are you proud of anything? Are you proud of the home building industry? No. You hate the home industry, because they build cheap stuff and they overcharge you for it, and it doesn't work, and you can't end up paying for it. No! You're not proud of it. Are you proud of the airline industry? Hell no! You're not proud of the airline industry. Hell, you hate flying. No peanuts anymore. You're sardined in the seats and the planes are always late, they're never on time, you can't get where you're going comfortably when you want to get there. Let's see. Do you like government? "Oh, yes! Oh, yes! Government cares for me. Government loves me. Government wants me to have health care, that they don't have to pay for, and government wants me to be safe from storms, and government wants me to not have to pay taxes. Guantanamo Bay
"Government only wants the rich to pay taxes. Oh, we love government. We are really proud of our government in
." Let's see. Are you proud of the retailing industry? "No! We hate Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart why, they're mean to unions. We love unions. We are really proud of our unions in America . But we hate Wal-Mart, and we hate Kmart, and we hate the malls." Let's see... Are you proud of our schools? "Well, we're proud of the public education system." Are you proud your kids aren't learning anything? "Well, we're trying, but we need more money for our public schools. If we just had more money, then we could be proud of our public school system." Let's see. Are you proud of the shipping industry, FedEx, UPS, oceangoing vessels? "No! They pollute. They don't get my packages here on time, and they're just out to shaft me. They're just a bunch of crooks just like the people on Wall Street, just like the people at the banks. But we love our government." America
Now, this is an illustration. I just asked you: What in this country are you proud of, versus 30, 40 years ago what we were proud of? We were proud of all of this. We were puffed up with pride about all of this! We were proud of our achievements. We were proud of our accomplishments. We were appreciative of our freedom. But now look at what they've made us hate. Look at what they've made us detest. Look at the absolute BS that they have more and more educated people believing -- that, oil is just a conspiracy, that there is a replacement. "There's alternative fuels out there, but they don't want to release 'em because Big Oil and big Republicans and Halliburton, Cheney, Bush. They're all in a conspiracy to keep it from threatening their own investments in oil." Is it not shocking, ladies and gentlemen, to realize just how few educated Americans understand how the world works? More than that, isn't it scary to understand how few educated Americans understand how their own country works?"
Posted by Brother Bell at 5:11 PM
In Mark 1:21 we are treated to a typical Mark "drive-by" story of the miraculous event involving Jesus pwning an evil spirit. Jesus has just arrived at Capernaum and goes to the synagogue to participate in the sabbath. As seemed to be the case with many early synagogues the guest was allowed to expound on the Scriptures and Jesus, in typical Jesus style, takes the crowd for a loop. We don't know if he had powerpoints, a three point sermon, or some type of flashy-Rob Bell approach but we do know that His sermon struck a chord because the people were blown away.
It strikes me here, for a couple of different reasons, that this story leads us to this shady man in the corner. Well, we don't know if he was in the corner, he could have been there with his family. His little daughter could have been sitting next to him. All we do know is that this demon felt the need to let itself be known. It cried out: "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!"
I read this tonight and started thinking of the current political climate and how every day there seems to be some new "endorsement" for candidate X and then there are also the other types of endorsements. The ones the candidates get but back themselves away from. They don't want these people carrying their banner. They don't want them carrying their message. They don't want them carrying their name. It's an endorsement they wish didn't happen. Sort of like a demon, in a religious house, on a holy day, revealing who He really was. In a "Luke, I am your father" sort of way. These people are shocked at His message, there about to be shocked at His healing, the last thing Jesus wants is the truth of His Gospel getting the endorsement of hell.
Have you ever wondered if Jesus knew that this spirit was there? What went through His head as this spirit spoke out these things? I started thinking of this and I almost picture Jesus devastated. Almost like Clark Kent watching helplessly as Lex Luthor reveals to Lois Lane that he really is Superman. Jesus watched as His arch-nemesis, the kryptonite He came to destroy, the serpent who tempted so long ago, began to preach the Gospel. Jesus watched as His beloved did not hear those sweet words from His lips but from the lips of the deceiver. He watched as His enemy revealed His identity, His secret, and the truth. It is then Jesus' response really carries weight: ""Be quiet!" said Jesus sternly."
He was the one who would show His beloved the truth. Not some half-wit, low life pit of hell material. Not some pitiful demon, who ends up screaming like a chicken at just Jesus words: "Come out". The Gospel message would be spoken by the King of all King. His beloved would hear His promise from His lips. It is His desire to speak them over us. His desire to let us know; His desire to let us know who He is. Many try to tell us...many endorsements come and go...but He promises to whisper them to us and shout down those who try and outspeak Him. If we would just simply listen; we would hear and see Him.
Posted by Brother Bell at 1:42 AM
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
SENATOR OBAMA: "I've got two daughters, 9 years old and 6 years old. I'm going to teach them first of all about values and morals but if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby. I don't want them punished with an STD at the age of 16, you know. So it doesn't make sense."
So...let me get this straight? There is an equation with "babies" and "STD"? I actually am continuing to try and go get the disease? People are actually unable to get diseases and so they want to keep trying until they do? You and me are punishments to our parents? Obama doesn't want HIS children inflicted with children? Of course, he'll say he misspoke, or that he meant rape, or that not all babies are punishments because some parents WANT THEM, yada, yada, yada but I have to say...unacceptable Mr. President. Glenn Beck said it best:
You know what? A baby is a natural consequence of your actions of having sex. It is a natural consequence. It is why your sex organs were created -- I'm sorry -- evolved from an extra foot, and it evolved into a sex organ. It wasn't there for your pleasure. Maybe that's what you should teach your kids. That our sex organs are not for pleasure. Oh, sure, that's part of it. There's a drive in you that says, yeah, that feels good. But the reason why you feel good is so -- it was God's insurance of making sure you do it and have more babies! Not so God could punish you but he could bless you and he could bless the Earth with having more children. It's a natural consequence. But see, the part of this that people like Obama don't understand is consequence.
Posted by Brother Bell at 3:21 PM