TW Peck's Weblog

random thoughts & perceptions on just about whatever strikes me fancy

Archive for the ‘Random babbling’ Category

Control

Posted by twpeck on March 12, 2010

Amazing how one day feeling so ill, the next back to normal…or almost normal.

We rise and fall on so many things – our physical health, our emotional state, the environment and circumstances.  It is really a massive state of denial to believe that we are in control, yet that is what we struggle over.

Jill nagged (in an un-Florence Nightingale way): “if you had gotten a flu shot…” yet there was no guarantee it would have been for this strain, but we cling to anything that even appears as control.

I saw an outrageous sign on a news program.  It said something like 47,000 people in the US die each year because of no health care.

First, how do they know that these people wouldn’t have died anyway.  No treatment has a 100% cure rate. People die from the complications of a splinter.

Secondly, those 47,000 people will die anyway.  We all will die some day.  It is out of our control.

We can maybe avoid death for a while but sooner or later it will find you.  (not the we should encourage it, but let’s be realistic, it is out of our control).

While I was laying in bed all day yesterday I learned something.  There are times to just lay back and let God do as He will.  No, make that all times are to step back and let God do as He will.  He will anyway.  We can go along and have a share in it or we can fight it kicking and screaming.  I prefer the latter.

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Mistakes I made in ’08

Posted by twpeck on January 10, 2009

The end of the year is a time of retrospect and looking forward and blah, blah, blah.

Let’s face it.  No one really wants to think about their mistakes, errors, failures, and “on-purposes”.  We like to believe, and maybe some of think, that we are good people.

Ask most people and they will say something like – “I’m a good person even though I…” 

I think that comes from our inherent desire to be balanced.  Experts always talk about how good it is to be balanced – in our investments, in our work-home time, in our rest-activity.  It is a logical step to put that in our moral life and to start to look at this as a scale.

OK – I watched a little porn but then I shoveled the neighbors driveway.  I lied to my wife about why I was late (it wasn’t a train or traffic or an accident, I was just thoughtless) but I played with the kids.  I stole some pads from work but I put a dollar in the Salvation Army pot at Walmart.

We have a local case here in Saginaw where a woman who was convicted of drug-dealing and escaped from prison, was captured a number of years later out on the coast where she was now a middle-class wife/mother and doing no harm.  She might have even been doing some good like being active in the PTA .  The watercooler discussion is “should she go back to prision”?  

My daughter has moved out of her Hannah Montana phase, but there was a song she played that had this recurring line “Everyone makes mistakes”.  That is true, but it does not exonerate or excuse.  My mom used to say “if everyone were jumping off a cliff, would you jump too?”

I never told her this but at times I have jumped off that cliff, and on the way down I yelled “but everyone else…”

So, I am trying not to yell “but everyone else” because doing what we are supposed to do does not make up for doing what we failed to do. Recognizing that we did wrong and what flaw in our character allowed for that, and then resolving to address that character flaw, will help.

So here’s my list of what “mistakes” I made in ’08

  1. I did not trust God enough
  2. I did not repent enough
  3. I did not love others more than myself enough.

You really didn’t think I would be tranparent enough to give the specifics?

Hmmm – guess I’ll have transparency to next year’s list.

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Why I write

Posted by twpeck on December 6, 2008

I was checking out the site and noticed that I had 17 comments.  

Well this got me a little excited because, well, 17 people had actually read this blog and commented.

Then came the disappointment – they were all spam, mostly for stuff my wife wouldn’t appreciate though the guy from “cellphones-r-us” said he looked forward to reading more and I had a nice style.  Think that was sincere?

Anyway, I have this fantasy (was going to say secret but it is about to no longer be secret except no on reads this blog so it WILL be secret, ok, maybe unbroadly known) that I am the next great undiscovered writer whose work is “discovered” after I die.  It is kind of a romantic fantasy, since I don’t write fiction – have about 10 books with great first lines – and my prose is, well, pretty topical and more sermonatic (my kids would probably say “lecturematic”) so my living on in the minds of men past my grandchildren (when I have some) is probably not going to happen.

Another fantasy is that I could live off my writing.  I have looked into this and used to have a pretty impressive pile of rejections (was saving them as part of the first fantasy but got tired of carting them around and needed space to store the Christmas lights).  My son is trying to do that, and I have every belief that he will succeed.  I give up too easily, which is why I only write this blog once in a while and probably whey it is only read by spammers (or at least commented on by spammers).

So, if not for greatness, for posterity or for income why do I write?

Don’t really know except for two reasons: first, just in case my fantasies do come true and second is that writing makes me think more than television and watching television helped me get fat.  I rarely get the urge to eat while I am writing but always get the urge to much when some show is on.  

It also gets me out of housework.  This is because we honor writing as not as inert as listening to music. What sounds better – “Honey, I’m in the middle of writing something” or “Honey,  just as soon as this song is over”. 

I do wonder, though, how long will a blog page last and if that will interfere with my fanatsy?  Will never know that either.

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Don’t Worry, Be Joyful

Posted by twpeck on October 10, 2008

I say “be joyful”, because joy is a much deeper sense than happiness.

Happiness fleets, like losing a pound on a diet only to regain it back again when you drink that pint of water, then lose it again the next time you use the bathroom.

Joy comes form within.  It is a gift from God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is the “something” that Christians should exhibit – if they really consider that He is in control.  It should not have an effect on our psyche, those of us who claim Christ as Lord and Savior, who wins the next election, what the Dow is at the end of the day, or our pay at work.

All is from God and all is God’s and He can do as He sees fit and everything, even that which we deem as “bad” is from God – so we should be joyful no matter what.

Now, to the world, this reaction would have them sending us to the local Mental Health center.  But to God, this is the response He wants from us and He has His Hand on us.

So, why worry, be joyful.  It is a more pleasant way to be and a much more fun than fretting.

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“good men not only fall into sin, but have their relapses”

Posted by twpeck on October 8, 2008

Was reading Gen 20 where Abraham comes to the King Abimelech and gives his wife Sarah to Abimelech, telling him she is his (Abraham’s) sister. Abraham did this because he was afraid that Abimelech would kill him to take Sarah.

Gill’s commentary has this quote “good men not only fall into sin, but have their relapses”. Gill was commenting on Abraham’s equivocation and deception. Abraham did not lie, but he certainly did not tell all the truth relevant to the issue – Sarah was his half-sister (the gene pool was a lot cleaner back then so it was an acceptable practice to marry that close a relative).

It is interesting to me, both in Scripture and in my life, that we can know, see, feel, be touched, witness, and experience the power of God but run from it when we would be best to trust it.

We don’t conquer sin when we are saved. Sin has been conquered in us. We still have great propensity to fall into sin and not even see it coming until we are in the middle of it. Some never see it at all.

And we are terrible lesson learners. That is the relape part.

There is a growing approach to addiction and mental illness – the recovery model. The point of the recovery model is that your condition does not own you or control you. You recover yourself, no longer defined by what you are diagnosed with but by the person you are.

Christians are recovered sinners. We are no longer defined by our sins, but defined by Christ.

The recovery model also recognizes the concept of relapse. That you will probably will struggle with that control and sometimes you will lose, but you can also recover from that loss.

If THAT does not define the Christian life, than what else does. We become “good men” through Christ, but still have our sin struggle: “not only fall into sin, but have their relapses”

The great advantage we Christians have is that our recovery is under the control of God and not ourselves. We submit to Him, He does His Will in us and He is glorified and we are recovered.

That is the light at the end of the tunnel for me and I cling to it – often.

Verse to ponder:

Gen 20:11 Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.

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How Can He Do That ?

Posted by twpeck on August 25, 2008

I run into this question a lot when I am reading or hearing about people doing things that they disagree with or stand in opposition to. Sometimes I can understand, like the army conscript or done under duress (like torture).

No, not those case scenarios but the times when done consciously or purposefully.

Two recent examples of this came close to home recently.

The first was the revelation of writings by the head of the Anglican (Episcopalian) Church that he clearly did not agree that homosexual behavior was a sin, but that he would teach it was because this was what the tenets of the church say and he is obligated, as the head of the church, to teach that.

On a more local level, I just read where a couple I know who are baptist in doctrine agreed to be the god-parents of a baby being baptized by another denomination, fully knowing that this church teaches baptism as an element of salvation.

In the case of the Archbishop it was to keep his job. In the case of the couple it was not to offend some friends.

One has to ask where has the backbone of people gone? Where is the strength of conviction?

We live in such PC times that we are becoming so wishy-washy that the fear of offending others is more important than the Truth of the Gospel.

The saddest part is that people are going to an eternity without God because we are too afraid of losing our relationship with them now. One wonders what is the worse sin – their offense against God or our offense against them.

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Olympicmania strikes me

Posted by twpeck on August 21, 2008

I just realized that I have caught Olympicmania.

I thought I was immune but as I was sitting here I realized that I have been staying up later and later each night watching the “games”, following the results, checking the results the next morning, and wondering what will be on tonight.

The clue that I caught it should have been when Sunday afternoon when I went to the cell phone store and didn’t want the clerk to hurry up because there was a badminton game between China and Japan on the TV in the waiting area.  I may have even told the clerk to “take your time” or “just a minute”.  Jill made me leave before the results, saying something about my head and a racket if we didn’t get out of there.

One thing nice about Olympicmania is that a lot of cares get set aside for the moment (as well as a lot of household chores).  Entertainment can be a great pacifier.

Anyway,

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Family Reunion

Posted by twpeck on August 13, 2008

Jill’s family reunion was Saturday and it was a nice time, but it seems to diminish year after year as the family members grow up (and old) and spread out over the country (and the world). The concern among many were that this event was a dying occasion.

Turns out this reunion was the 50th one held because an old record book was found that had been given to record signatures. When looking back through it there is an ebb and flow of attendance. Some years many, some few.

While there is no real good analysis, it seems there is an element of the prodigal here. People go away from family for a while and then return, even to the point of scheduling a vacation around the event.

Also, there needs to be a couple of people who grasp the importance of this event and pull it together, taking care of the details, organizing, leading.

Families provided us with part of the sense of who we are. We can see our face in the face of others. We can hold onto the good parts of our history and laugh at the bad ones (once they get far enough back).

My side has talked about having an annual reunion, but no one has really stepped forward and take the helm on putting one on, but I suspect it will come.

Our familiy is something that is deeply imbedded in us. We cling to our past because it is known, it already happened, we survived it, and we shared it with others. That is most comforting.

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Things We Should Not See

Posted by twpeck on July 30, 2008

Amy and Jill (and a friend) witnessed a horrible truck-dog accident yesterday afternoon. I won’t repeat what they saw but the truck was going full speed and the dog was not.

They were in our van driving towards the truck.  Needless to say I took the van and had it given a good wash.

Unfortunately, this does not wash it out of the memory.

“It was something like in movie” Jill told me, meaning it was unreal but full of stark reality.    Amy said that she kept seeing it everytime she closed her eyes. 

There are some things we should not see or experience, but we really have limited control over that.  We live comfortably in the mid-west but violence and terror are really just around the corner.  I think of that everytime she rides her bike down to her friends house, or when Jill goes to work, or when I take a walk.  Every moment could be the last moment, and one day it will be the last moment.

So I try to enjoy each moment and not let the worries of the day interfere.  Don’t always succeed, but it is better than waiting around to see things we should not see.

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My big mouth

Posted by twpeck on July 19, 2008

As I approach my 55th year of life I have learned many things.

Like Solomon, I have often prayed for wisdom. Sometimes I got it, sometimes God has said, “well, not yet” and I had one of these “not yet” last night when Jill came home from work.

Now, Jill is NOT a night person (unless you call going to bed at 9 PM and sleeping until 9 AM a “night” person). She likes her sleep like some people like a good steak (stole that line from Bill Cosby, but it applies). I think it is her favorite leisure activity (and you can’t get more leisure than being asleep).

Anyway, during the summer she will work evenings because Amy is home. That way we do not have to send her to a sitter or child care.

Jill hates this. She often works until midnight and I appreciate that she does, but midnight is not the time to bring up a heady discussion – such as finances, child rearing, politics, religion (it is ok to pray if it is a short prayer).

Last night I forgot that rule and started to discuss some concerns about Amy. Won’t go into details, but my mouth opened and my foot walked in and she walked away.

Now, in my foolishness, I went to bed angry because she went to be angry.

I have a feeling this is going to have a cost to it – probably a new purse and my humbling myself before her.

Not sure which is harder, but both seem the right thing to do.

Bible verse to think about, no, make that to do: (Colossians 4:6) Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

While salt is, well, salty, it tastes much better than crow.

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