Can U SCee it? Part 5

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4/25/13 Buffalo, NY

Buddy Nix, the Bills GM, and Doug Marrone, the Bills head coach, held their breath for the gazillionth time, in anticipation of disappointment. HUGE disappointment.

“The Carolina Panthers have traded the fourteenth pick in the 2013 NFL draft to the Cardinals…” the commissioner looked up to the right. “And with that pick…” the commissioner looked up to the right. “The Cardinals select…” he looked to the left as a group of fans shouted, “Who?”

4/26/13 Buffalo, NY, J and J’s

Tom passed the hot sauce to his buddy Rob, as they shared a meal at J and J’s–the best breakfast restaurant in the world. The steaming home-fries were soon drenched in Frank’s Red Hot, as well as the eggs–over hard–and the toast, too.

“So, as I was saying, when the Cardinals traded up, I was like, “Oh, God! They’re gonna take Barkley!’ ”

“Ah hah! There you are!” Tom was interrupted. He glanced up to see the happy, brown face of the India-born owner. “I just come to see how you doing. Is everything good?”

His choppy english was replied to with many “Yes!”s. He made a small joke, which was completely un-understandable, and then the sayer of the joke laughed so hard that the hearers laughed along. He ambled away from their table, humming a little tune.

“Go on,” said Rob, still chuckling.

“Okay, so, I was flipping out when they moved up. I’m trying to think what the Bills will do if Barley ain’t there, and I can’t think of a dang thing! So then what do the Cardinals do?”

“They go and draft Barkley,” finished Rob, chuckling at his friend’s excitement. “I saw.”

“Exactly! I can’t even imagine Buddy Nix’s face, let alone what my own looks like. I’m half-dead on the couch, all slouched over, and my wife is looking at me like I’m insane. She already thinks I’m crazy for watching the draft in the first place!”

They broke into a short round of laughter, and the Indian owner yelled something about too many jokes–even though the comment itself was another joke.

“But then I look up, and see the Saints pick whoever they picked, and I’m thinking I’m probably gonna need some depression pills. Then the Bills are up, and they pick E.J. Manuel! I just stood there. I swear I didn’t move until the Steelers had picked. I was too stunned. But, when I woke up this morning, I couldn’t help but be excited. I was thinking about training camp, and preseason, all that. I still can’t wait for opening day. This is gonna be another good year, Rob, I feel it.”

“Yeah, just like you felt it last year,” smiled Rob. “But, that’s the Bills’ niche. They make their fans happy enough to buy season tickets, and then they flop.”

“To a winning season!” said Tom, raising glass.

“To a Super Bowl!” said Rob, raising his.

They clinked glasses, and their hopes were just as high as ever.

I’d like to say a little word of clarification here, as I don’t want anyone to be confused. THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION, THIS DIDN’T REALLY HAPPEN! The part in which the Bills traded with the Rams was true, and the part where the Bills drafted Manuel was true. This was a dramatization, and it was supposed to be finished before all of the guys got drafted, but it wasn’t 🙂 Who’s fault is that? Mine.

I would also like to say that I had already written the St. Louis-Buffalo trade before it happened, and I would like due kudos. I would then like to bow my head in shame, and say that I didn’t think that E.J. Manuel was the quarterback that the Bills were going to draft, but they ended up doing it anyway–without consulting me, thank you very much! 

This whole thing (the fictional tale) was planned so Matt Barkley would walk onto the stage and hold up the Bill colors, but I guess it weren’t to be, so it weren’t. E.J. Manuel got to have that emotional moment, and he certainly deserved it. His mom fought breast cancer while Manuel was still in college. Definitely not an easy thing to have going on, especially not when you’re trying to focus on playing football.

Go Bills! Who drafted the quarterback E.J. Manuel, 16th overall, in the 2013 NFL Draft.

P(ost).B(log). I would have called the series something other than “Can U SCee it,” but I honestly thought the Bills would draft the USC Trojan, Matt Barkley. I was thinking of changing it, but “Can FSU see it?” is too confusing. Why does FSU care anyway?)

Can U SCee it? Part 4

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4/25/13

Hundreds of miles apart, bonded by incredible anxiety, both the Buffalo Bills war room, and the St. Louis Rams war room, let out a collective sigh. The combined wind of exhalation would have filled a sailboat sail, and probably moved the boat a couple yards. The feelings were selfish, but in the NFL draft, you’ve got to fight for your rights, before you don’t have any.

The Jaguars had decided to forgo a wide-reciever in the first round, and instead selected Chance Warmack, a beast of guard, who was 6 feet, 2 inches, 317 pounds. He was expected to make an instant impact, and he did. At least on the Rams and the Bills.

Five minutes later the Cardinals picked up Luke Joeckel out of Texas A&M. He was a 6’6″, 307 pound tackle that would start from the start. The Bills knew that now was the time for action.

The phone rang.

Buddy Nix reached a wrinkled hand out, picked up the phone, and he said hello.

“Hey, Buddy, Jeff here, I gotta counter proposal for you.”

Buddy held his breath, as did all of the Buffalo war room occupants.

“I want to do everything you said, with our next year’s first round pick, and Fred Jackson.”

Buddy exhaled for what seemed like an interminably long time. He looked at Marrone. Marrone read Nix’s lips, and grimaced. Then he held up his hands as if to say, Why not?

“Jeff, gimme a second.”

Buddy hurriedly dialed another number, and the phone rang elsewhere in Buffalo.

“Hello, Fred? Yeah, it’s Buddy. How’d you feel about going to St. Louis?”

On the other side of the phone Fred Jackson had a bit of a dizzy spell. He sat on his couch, and found that there were tears rolling down his cheeks. He looked up at the ceiling and whispered a small prayer.

“Do what you want, Buddy,” he replied shakily. “I understand.”

Buddy heard him sobbing, and promised they would only do it if they had to. He contacted Fisher, trying to offer him the same deal.

“We don’t want that,” said Fisher. “We want Austin, but we don’t think he’s worth the amount your making us give.”

“I’m gonna take Austin if you don’t trade. I want him, but not as bad as I need those picks!”

Buddy looked at Marrone who had his fingers crossed. The offensive minded coach was crossing his fingers, though he couldn’t honestly say which version of the trade he would enjoy more.

“I’ll do it,” said Fisher. “Both first round picks. No Jackson.”

Nix pumped his fist, and nodded to Marrone, they both smiled huge smiles. After the technicalities had been worked out, they gave each other bear-hugs, and called Jackson.

“You’re stayin’ here,” drawled Buddy, loving the sound of Jackson’s enthusiastic “thank you’s”.

The Rams quickly selected Tavon Austin, and the draft continued according to schedule. Suddenly there was a rumor that Rich Eisen reported. He said it was possible that the Cardinals had just traded with the Panthers.

The Bills war room exploded into action, with Nix and Marrone demanding information on the rumored trade. Nix’s face had paled significantly, and his smile faded instantly.

“Let’s hope they don’t want him,” he said to Marrone.

Can U SCee it? Part 3

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1 Bills Drive, Orchard Park, NY

Buddy Nix was scribbling on a sheet of paper, trying to calculate the nearly incalculable values of each part of his trade. The trade he was proposing looked like this.

Get: 16th pick, 22nd pick

Give: 8th pick.

Not very complicated, but he had trust his gut on this one. He couldn’t be wrong, as his job was in jeopardy already.

That’s not how I’m picking, though, he thought. I’m picking for a brighter future, and we’re gonna have one!

He examined the trade again, and then turned his attention to the big screen. The Browns had apparently traded a few picks to the Jaguars for their first round pick. The Browns consequently selected the top rated quarterback, Geno Smith.

“One down,” muttered Nix, picking up his phone.

“Jeff,” he said after a pause. “This is Buddy, how about this?” he offered the trade.

There was an unbearably long pause on the other side, and Buddy crossed his fingers. Jeff blew out his breath, and it created a static-like sound.

“I can’t do that yet. Let’s wait until you guys are on the clock. Even then, I’d be under a heckuva a lot of heat if this doesn’t work out.”

Buddy sighed. “I understand Jeff, call me back.”

The Radio City Music Hall, NYC, NY

Roger Goodell stood at the podium once again, for the third selection in the draft.

“With the third selection in the 2013 NFL draft… The Oakland Raiders select… Jarvis Jones, linebacker, out of Georgia”

The pack of Raider’s fans erupted in cheers expecting a possible run at the playoffs! Though most of them were sensible, and were only excited because they were supposed to be.

Deion Sanders interviewed the 6′ 2″, 245 pound linebacker, and Jones posed for his pictures, holding up the Raider’s black and silver jersey, with the number one on it. His draft cap on backwards Jones walked back behind the black curtains to his family. They all hugged him, and celebrated with him. Behind them sat a very calm Matt Barkley, making light jokes with his family, seemingly oblivious to the celebration. But as Jones sat down, Barkley winked at him.

“Good job, man. You made it!”

Jones flashed him a bright smile, and a thumbs up.

The picks continued, the Eagles selected Dion Jordan, the lanky (6’6″ 248 lbs.) linebacker, who was an edge rusher. Jordan was elated to be holding the Eagle’s jersey, because his Eagles coach, Chip Kelly, coached him at college (Oregon). They’d be learning together.

1 Bills Drive, Orchard Park, NY

Buddy Nix exhaled sharply as he saw the Lions picked Tennessee wide-receiver, Cordarrelle Patterson, an unexpected pick. The pick moved Tavon Austin to the top of the board for receivers, and the Bills still had the Jaguars, and the Cardinals ahead of them. And the Jaguars were looking at receivers.

In five minutes, Buddy knew he’d know if his deal was going to work.

“Five minutes,” he breathed

Can U SCee it? Part 2

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4/25/13 20:04 hours, NY

“I know you want him,” drawled the white-haired man. “But you can’t have him unless we get this deal done, and you ain’t helpin’ it along very well.” The old man had tired eyes, and a tired mouth–tired of saying the same exact thing over and over.

In the Buffalo Bills war room, the Bills general manager, Buddy Nix, sat back down in his chair, which his excitement had removed him from. He sighed as he listened to Jeff Fisher’s deal again. He said the same thing: the Rams wanted the Bill’s first round pick, for the their first and second round picks. The only difference from the last half a dozen times Fisher had reiterated his deal, was that Nix stopped him mid-sentence.

“Jeff,” he said. “Hold up. Wait a bit, I’ll have my team work out a counter proposal, and we’ll see if we can’t make our selves a little deal.”

“Sounds good, Buddy,” said Fisher, and he hung up.

Nix rubbed his temples, and looked over to Doug Marrone, the Bills head coach. The look was a pointed one, and it was accompanied with a twinkle in the southern-bread man’s eyes. He spoke words to make it even clearer.

“We got ’em right where we want ’em.”

The Radio City Music Hall, NYC, NY

Many NFL fans decked out in their favorite team’s gear screamed with delight as the commissioner, Roger Goodell, walked out, and in his soft, somewhat scratchy, voice, announced the first pick.

“With the first pick in the NFL draft… The Kansas City Chiefs select… Eric Fisher, tackle, from Central Michigan!”

The commissioner smiled broadly as the 6 foot, 7 inch, 306 pound man came out and pound-hugged him. Many fans thought the commissioner coughing, but wrote it off to excitement. The large man wore the newest New Era hat: the 2013 Draft Cap. Held up a bright red Chiefs jersey, with the number 1 one the front.

He posed by himself, he posed with the commissioner, and he posed with Deion Sanders who then asked for an interview.

“So just how does this feel,” asked Deion, bouncing each word significantly, like he was rapping them.

“It feels good, man,” said Fisher, grinning uncontrollably. “It feels so good.”

“What do you think of your new team? What was your impression of their organization?”

“Honestly? I think the Chief’s are gonna be a threat in AFC West. We’re gone a work our butts off, and we’re gonna do it week in and week out. With our effort, the talent of Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles, and Dwayne Bowe, not to mention our defense, and well,” he smiled, “me, we’re going make things interesting, I think.”

“Confident words,” Sanders said to the camera. “From a man big enough to back them up.”

Sanders smiled as the camera man backed away, and he pound-hugged Fisher. The five minute clock had already started and showed 4:01.

“We’ve got four minutes before the Jaguars pick,” said the NFL Network anchorman. “Will they be the first to pick a QB? Find out when we come back, with live, full draft coverage.”

Can U SCee it?

barkley

I’m going to illustrate this little fantasy of mine, so that you can University-of-Southern-C it.

It’s gonna be a series, and I honestly wish I’d thought of it earlier. I’ll publish a bit of it today, then I’ll see if I’ll continue, or if I’ll just summarize. Please, feel free to enjoy thoroughly 🙂

PROLOGUE

4/25/13, New York

In a room–curtained off by black drapes, lightly lit by soft incandescent bulbs–sat thirty or forty collegiate athletes, soon to get paychecks they’d only dreamt of. Their faces betrayed their feelings; anxiety permeating everyone’s facial features. Because their lives were about to change, their faces, inevitably, were laced with excitement. Millions of dollars were soon to be theirs. The college athletes–soon to be professional athletes–sat around, and held their phones, squeezed mothers’, fathers’, and girlfriends’ hands, trying to keep some of the emotion down. Trying, but failing. This was the NFL draft! This doesn’t happen every other Thursday. They had a right to their excitement, and they were enjoying it. At least some of them were.

Some where praying, others just laughing. Still others cracked their knuckles, and more picked at their fingernails. Some leaned back in their chairs, like children (minus the dreadlocks some had, the incredible muscles all had, and the custom tailored designer suits again, that everyone was wearing) they fidgeted, and leaned their chairs onto only two legs. Some were stoic, too afraid to show emotion. They stared at the ceiling.

One stood out, though. It and it didn’t have anything to do with his hair. The flaxen blonde hair was neatly cropped, though it hinted at a certain unruliness. He had a face that alluded to wisdom; slight creases starting at the bridge of his nose, and slanted under his eyes, along with a mouth, drawn in a line, but relaxed.

Overall he looked calm, intelligent, and commanding. Which, in fact, Matt Barkley was.

It was quarter of eight, and Barkley sat, hands folded, at one of the middle tables in the room. With him, he had his family, and they were all silent, observing his every move, in a loving, supportive way. He fought the anxiety with a certain amount of certainty and apathy. There were two teams, back-to-back, that said they’d try to get him in the first round. He didn’t have ties to either, so he had the luxury of apathy.

The two teams were Arizona and Buffalo. Arizona had the 7th overall pick, followed by Buffalo in possession of the 8th pick overall.

Barkley showed his first sign of life when he sighed.

“This is it,” he breathed. “The draft.”

Who’s in Charge Here? Part 2

The kick is in the air, and Mark is returning the kick. God is down one, but he’s got quite a few victories under his belt, so he’s been in this situation before.

In Mark chapter 7, we find Jesus replying to the “your-disciples-didn’t-wash-their-hands” comment made by a group of Pharisees and teachers of religious law. He says:

“You hypocrites! Isaiah was prophesying about you when he said: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. Their worship is a farce, for they replace God’s commands with their own man-made teachings.’ For you ignore God’s specific laws and substitute, your own traditions.”

(Emphasis mine) The emphasis is intended to show that Jesus is setting man’s teaching apart from God’s.

This is Jesus, the son of God (and God as well), saying that God’s laws are superior. That’s pretty straightforward. God’s laws > man’s laws. (For you Fraction Freaks that breaks down to God > man)

It’s all knotted; 3-3

Then we see in Matthew 5, Jesus talking about the law. (5:17-20)

“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to fulfill them. I assure you, until heaven and earth disappear, even the smallest detail of God’s law will remain until its purpose is achieved. So if you break the smallest commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

The bible put a paragraph break right here, so I thought now would be a good time to point out something. Notice the last two sentences? Read them again. waiting I find that interesting. It doesn’t say that if you break the tiniest commandment you’ll be damned to hell. (excuse my potty-mouth, but this is bible-speak, so it’s acceptable 😉 ) It says that you will be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. Read the following, and I’ll comment more.

“But I warn you–unless you obey God better than the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees do, you can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven at all!”

The second part says you won’t make it into the Kingdom of Heaven at all if you “follow” the commandments like the Pharisees. I think this means that it’s a heart issue.

Where is your heart at when you are following the commandments?

Are you following the letter of the law, unwillingly. Or are you actually following the spirit of the law, in order to follow God, who you trust to work things out, even if they (the things) don’t look good when your in the thick of it.

Now, let’s look at an entirely new perspective. Your gonna have to read this on your own, but I’ll paraphrase for you. It is a letter that is from King Artaxerxes, to Ezra the priest. It is in Ezra chapter 7, verse 11, to whenever you want to stop 🙂

Basically, King Artaxerxes, who introduces himself “king of kings”, is bossing around God’s priest. He isn’t mean, but he is definitely the authority in his realm, and he wants everyone to know it. (When I say “bossing” that’s a bit strong. He’s really just setting some boundaries for the priest.) The letter is pretty much a “King-Artaxerxes-said-so” letter, and it lays out what Ezra is allowed to be/must be given.

He instructs his people to “…[B]e careful to provide whatever the God of heaven demands for his Temple, for why should we risk bringing God’s anger against the realm of the king and his sons.”

Artaxerxes is not a full on believer in God, and that we should follow him, but he does fear the Lord, and his power. So he isn’t stupid.

Artaxerxes ends his letter, “Anyone who refuses to obey the law of your God and the law of the king will be punished immediately by death, banishment, confiscation of goods, or imprisonment.”

He definitely realizes which side is the winning side, and he’s no idiot when it comes to allies.

Point being, this king, a man in authority, realizes that God is in charge. (This is a trait of early U.S. presidents. They were typically firm believers in God the Father, and they said so.)

So even when they’re in authority, kings, presidents, and prime ministers all agree that God is in charge.

God > man = 4-3 God.

A man I respect answered my questioning of his opinion as follows:

“We obey human authority because we love God.

“Jesus said if we love God, we obey His commands.

“Paul said one of God’s commands is to obey governing authorities (Rom 13)
and parental authorities (Eph 6) and congregational authority (Heb 13, and
I’m not sure Paul wrote Hebrews, but Jim Walker thinks he did!).

“So, we choose to voluntarily submit ourselves to others, out of our
obedience to God.

“However, when human authorities (be they government officials, church
leaders, or parents) instruct us to disobey God, we can’t, because first and
foremost, we love God (Acts 3/4 as well as your Acts 5 passage).”

I agree with this, and I think it pretty much sums it up.

Put simple: God made the world. God makes the final decision. God > man.

BUT  I have come to the conclusion, that when God and man don’t contradict, the man in charge on earth is to be listened to. We are supposed to respect everyone, God said so.

And considering that “We obey human authority because we love God,” I think that:

God > man. Man should follow God. If man doesn’t, God is always trump.

 

The Wisdom of Emma

Emma's Eyes

Last night was an OK Night with Emma (“One Kid Night”). Those are always a source of fantastic verbal “gems”. Here are a couple for your enjoyment:

The Funnest Words

After sharing a bit of her wisdom with me, I said to Emma, “Emma, you are so clever!” In response, almost to herself, with a happy, satisfied giggle, she said, “I get the funnest words.”

Good At Rhyming

At Emma’s request we found some music on the radio, and turned it up as to play as loudly as our ears could stand. Billy Joel’s “It’s Still Rock ‘n Roll To Me” was playing when from the back, in a loud, confident, quite sincere voice, Emma asserts, “This boy is good at rhyming!!”

🙂

Who’s in Charge Here? Part 1

My extensive thoughts are as follows. Thanks for taking the time. Enjoy.

Acts 5:29 reads: “…Peter and the apostles replied, ‘We must obey God rather than human authority.’ ”

That’s what started this little research project. Peter’s statement that God > Man. To put it in context, Peter and the apostles have just been arrested, and are being told not to tell people about God. Peter replies, as shown above, and it ticks the people in authority off.

There is a fine balance between prudent resistance, and full-blown violent rebellion. The difference is clear. Prudently resisting authority is when the people in charge (at least the ones on earth) tell you to do something you know is wrong, or at least believe is wrong. If you have good grounds upon which to base your resistance, then you have your little resistance.

But, when you disagree with the government, leaders of the church, your parents (that applies to me :-), you can’t just barge into their room/house, guns blazing, and mow them down because you disagree. That’s only allowed in the movies. (Not so much the parents part, but…)

Authority is there for a reason. Whenever a collection of people gets together, wether it be voluntary, in the case of a church, or hereditary, in the case of a nation, or a family, there needs to be leaders.

In our country we get to choose our leader every four years. His name is usually Mr. President, and he serves his country by leading it into battle, around the block, or through tough times.

In the body of Christ there is a pastor, and other elders, that lead the church. In the modern age, where the church has become a building, they may do various tasks from organize the schedule, pay the bills, invent small money making schemes to balance out the winter heating bill, and also guide their brothers and sisters in Christ along their walk with Him.

In the family the Dad is on top of the pyramid, with the Mom coming in a close second. Then you have the kids. The Dad’s job, just typically, is to provide money for the family to eat, be clothed, and drink (water, of course). The Mom’s job (again, typically), is to raise the children. Not to say that the Dad can’t help, far from it, but while the Dad is working the Mom’s in charge.

The Kids’ jobs? Do what the parents say. (I don’t care if it’s unfair! Look it up! It’s in the Bible!) 🙂

With all of this in mind, what should we do when it comes down to God v. Human Authority?

I decided to try and find out.

Let’s figure out who we’re dealing with first. In the right corner!… Standing infinite feet tall, and 12 inches more!…Weighing a whopping infinite number of pounds, plus 16 ounces!… the master of all creation!… The creator of all creation for Pete’s sake!… the infinite!… the master of the universe!… GOD!

(Applause, please.)

And in the left corner! Standing anywhere from 4 feet, to 7 feet, tall!… Weighing anywhere from 100 pounds to 600 pounds!… the created!… the finite!… the very short life spanned!… the appointed by God!… man!

Not much comparison, is there? God > man.

In John (19:11), after Pilate tells Jesus he has the power to release him or crucify him, Jesus says to Pilate:

“You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above…”

That’s a big hint that God is in charge. The fact that people are only in charge if he allows it tells me he runs the show. Score one for God. 1-0

Then, right out of the gates in Galatians (1:1) Paul says:

“This is a letter from Paul and apostle. I was not appointed by any group or by human authority. My call is from Jesus Christ himself, and from God the Father who raised Jesus from the dead.”

Paul is saying his authority to write this letter is real. When Jesus calls and says, “Yo, Paul, I need you to write something for me,” Paul, and everyone else, knows that it’s important.

Because God’s in charge. Score another one for the Big Man. 2-0

Now, let’s check out 1 Peter. If you look up 1 Peter, chapter two, in your bible (or someone else’s bible) then you can see that there is actually a section on Respecting People in Authority. Here’s the section (1 Peter 2:13-17):

“For the Lord’s sake, accept all authority–the king as head of state, and the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish all who do wrong, and to honor those who do right.”

(Emphasis mine)

That last part is similar to what I was pointing out earlier. When any group of people congregates, it needs order. Cities have policemen. Countries have their military. The family has a large man with lots of PSE (Potential Spanking Energy) known as “dad”. So, someone has to be in charge, otherwise there isn’t anything to be in charge of. But, I digress.                It continues:

“It is God’s will that your good lives should silence those who make foolish accusations against you. You are not slaves; you are free. But your freedom is not an excuse to do evil [rebel violently, etc.]. You are free to live as God’s slaves. Show respect for everyone. Love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God. Show respect for the king.”

First, I would like to point out the part where it says, “You are free to live as God’s slaves. Show respect for everyone.”

Just to put a little bit of practicality in the mix, let’s play suppose.

Suppose you were God’s butler/maid. Your job is to please him, keep him comfortable, and agree with him. Suppose God has friends over (from what I here, God has a lot of friends), don’t you think he would want you to be nice to them? Don’t you think you would automatically respect them anyway? They’re God’s friends after all. So then, since God made, and loves, everyone, then shouldn’t we respect everyone as our superior?

Just something to think about, as we digress again 🙂

Another thing I wanted to point out was the part where it says, “It’s God’s will that you live good lives to silence those who make foolish accusations against you.”

Let’s play suppose again, shall we?

Suppose the government of your country is accusing you of praying. You have been praying, but it isn’t against the law. “Oh, yes it is. We made that law just last night, believe it or not. What a coincidence. I’ll be darned if I don’t have to haul you away to jail right now.”

First, you’d probably laugh in their faces. 🙂 “That’s ridiculous!” you’d protest. “You can’t do that!”

I think Paul’s point here is that regardless of what the other side does, our godly lives will save us. It’s a little packet of Freeze-Dried Goodness. Just add faith, and everything works out okay.

I’d say that just about evens up the score. A two pointer for man makes it 2-2.

While we’re talking about going to jail for God, I looked that up too: (Col. 1:24)

“I am glad when I suffer for you [Jesus] in my body, for I am completing what remains of Christ’s sufferings for his body, the church.”

That sounds like a pretty noble thing to do, doesn’t it? Suffer for somebody else. That is the single-most greatest thing a man can do. And in this case you’d be suffering for God!

So then why would we fight the government if they throw us in jail. We would then be acting as martyrs, would we not? (I know not technically, but in the case of Paul, and many others, eventually. This is a good place to put a plug in for Randy Alcorn’s Safely Home. It’s a good book. Go; read it.)

I think that if you found yourself in this situation, it would be wise to have a little faith. I’m am not saying that I would be able to have that faith, but I think it would be better than struggling.

God works all things for the better. (Psst. It’s me the scoreboard. I think that’s 2-3 man.)

And that’s the half! 2-3 man leading God. Don’t go away! Second half, coming up next.

Shame on Shame!

“A broken ankle gives one a lot of time for reflection,” reflected Ian.

Anyway, Ian’s reflections are being published. Yikes!

Shame. Shame is an interesting thing. I am by no means an expert, but I have opinions, and I am going to boldly share them.

From my experience/observance, shame is a result of sin. Sin is a result of us turning from God, and turning from God is a result of needing love. (Isn’t it ironic that God is Love? And yet we turn from him when in need of love. People aren’t very smart. Even our Ph. D.’s are typically atheistic. Harvard grads, etcetera. Some one with an IQ that high turns from what they’re searching for? Yep.)

Shame is the worst part of sin. It causes depression, self-righteousness, suicidal behaviors, all that stuff that is generally credited to amoral video games, movies, our whole amoral culture for Pete’s sake!

But it seems that it’s deeper. It starts with the conscience. I believe we’ve had one since the “Incident in Eden”. We took what wasn’t ours, and immediately knew it was wrong. When that happened each person has a little Giminy Cricket type spark in their mind. It alerts us when something is wrong, and tells us when we did a good job. It is what makes sinning a conscious thing. We decide to sin, rather than just do it accidentally.

As it is Easter, and I am currently munching on an chocolate Easter egg, I’ll use the chocolate egg analogy.

Let’s say (all great Analogists agree, those words are the key to a good analogy.), that you happen upon a chocolate egg. Not seeing any identification, and realizing this egg isn’t of great monetary significance, (or any other significance, for that matter,) you unwrap it and start eating.

Then you find that it was your friend’s egg. Thus you “stole” it from him. Unwittingly, and unmaliciously. I believe that because you didn’t know that it was wrong, it wasn’t wrong.

I completely understand that this conclusion from that is a dangerous rope to dangle from. But, if the  Egg-eater ate the egg, and then was told it wasn’t his, he wouldn’t be guilty of stealing, would he? He would most likely have to replace the object in question, but the effects of shame wouldn’t be the same.

Thusly, I think that shame is a qualifier for sin.

Let’s say, that the man had the intentions of stealing a chocolate egg. He went to his friends house, where his friend was fondly cradling his chocolate egg. He rips it out of his friends hand, and his friend trips and falls trying to grab the egg. He maniacally cackles as he munches the marvelous morsel, in his malicious manor.

Then, later, the shame kicks in. Did I hurt him bad. I didn’t ask if he was okay when he tripped. I shouldn’t have done that! God hates me. My friend hates me. Everyone in the whole stinking universe hates me, and I am never going to be worthy of God’s love!!!!

That last line conveniently sets up this next part.

God’s love is what fixes it all! So when we do something like stealing, the shame tells us, “You aren’t worth your weight in saltine crackers! You are a lousy failure! You couldn’t do a good deed if a good deed did you!” (If you said, “What the heck is that supposed to mean!?” so did the author.)

When that happens, I think the deed causing it (shame) should be classified a sin. Sin is what drives us from God, and when the shame tells us we’re not wanted, that ain’t exactly an invitation to God’s throne.

So then you get to the part where shame is basically controlled by your mind! (Or at least I do. And since I’m the author, so do you! Isn’t this fun 🙂 ) What I mean is, if I don’t think it’s wrong to kill someone, it isn’t a sin. I think that when you’re at that point, the rules of shame don’t apply.

When you can kill, you have buried conscience. Or you have a dead conscience. Thus, the rules of shame have no where to be applied, because there’s no shame to apply them to.

Let’s go back to the list of what happens:

Shame is a result of sin. Sin is a result of us turning from God, and turning from God is a result of needing love. Now, let’s go the other way. Shame results in inferiority complexes, and that results in more sin, because you still don’t have the love you needed, and it keeps going.

With an exception. If you can get past the shame, and admit to God you were wrong, then, it’s all good. God will forgive anything.

My dad has said that, “Almost nothing we do is bad.” He means that the only bad thing is the shame that is caused by us knowing something is bad, and then still doing it.

Shame kills relationships all the time. It’s what creates lies, and it’s what creates hate. Shame is overall not a very good thing.

Shame on Shame.