Monday, October 18, 2010

Modern Voter?

I HATE Octobers nowadays... The election propaganda has ruined Octobers! Don't the polls and the consultants that make millions KNOW that I don't listen to their ads? "[So and so politician] has wasted you money for years..." "[So and so politician] is bad for our state..." "[So and so politician] will steal your children and eat them" "[So and so politician] is actually an alien from the planet Mars, disguised as a wealthy lawyer with a degree from a prestigious university" Ok, so maybe I over exaggerated, but you get the picture. I DON'T care about what anyone running for office has to say about their competition. I don't trust any of them, so why would I listen to them rant about their competition? I wold love to hear a politician come out and say something to the effect, "I think the people of the state of [choose your state] are actually very intelligent and can figure out who is worthy of this elected position and who isn't, if you were only given that chance. I care about this state and our future as a community. I understand that some of you may not agree with my politics, but I want to give you a chance to see for yourselves. Go to my website where I have listed exactly where I stand on every issue pertinent to this elected position. No bashing of the competition, just honest facts about me. I want the chance to represent you." I would be tempted to vote for a candidate who did this, JUST FOR DOING THIS! But, alas, this will not happen. So, we will have to continue to endure the mud slinging and trash that is campaign TV.

Monday, February 22, 2010

...Proud Grandson

…Proud Grandson

So, as you may have read in my previous blog, my last grandfather, Gordon “Papa” Matheny died on Wednesday morning, Feb. 17, 2010. Tonight (Sunday, February 21, 2010) was the funeral at Bethel Church (formerly Bethel Temple) in Tampa, FL. My last blog highlighted a bit of who he was, at least to me. Tonight confirmed that he was all that I stated, and more, to many, many others. There were approximately 500 people at the funeral tonight, with an additional few hundred more who came before to the viewing. It was a celebration of his life and ministry. There were many laughs and many truths. But at one point I saw something that really typified who Papa was to many thousands who were not in attendance.

First, I must precede my point by recounting something my father stated on the cover of Papa’s book (My Life With God) and again tonight; Papa was a rock… just like one that is tossed into a lake or pond, sending ripples thoughout the entire body of water. Papa’s life did just that; he impacted everyone he ever came into contact with for the Kingdom of God (and many times those who he directly affected, touched many others and so on).

Immediately after my father stated this analogy from the pulpit at the funeral, I looked around the sanctuary and noticed (for the first time) the six huge banners hanging to the right and left of the stage, with photos of differing ethnic peoples from around the world. They each were smiling warmly and in that very instance seemed to be smiling at Papa, oh so thankful for the impact he had had on them. It was powerfully symbolic of the tens of thousands (no exageration at all) of people around the world whom he preached to, prayed for, and gave the message of salvation through Jesus Christ to. He never went somewhere to just vacation or visit. He ALWAYS booked at least one service to preach while on vacation. And the far majority of the time preaching the Gospel was the ONLY reason he would go someplace. One of the numerous men who spoke at the funeral stated that Papa loved to preach so much that he would preach at the drop of a hat… and he would knock the hat out of your hand, if needed.

What an amazing man. At this point, there are only two men whom I’ve known that I will spend the rest of my life trying to gain approval from in the way I live my life. One is the late George Tyree. The other is my own “Papa.” I’m very proud to have been his grandson.

I was asked to create a memorial slideshow for the funeral. The following link is to the YouTube presentation of that slideshow. The music is Papa singing a few of his favorite hymns. Please enjoy and honor him.

Friday, February 19, 2010

...Greiving Grandson

…Greiving Grandson

So, at 7 in the morning on the day before yesterday (2-17-10), just before boarding a plane from Raleigh/Durham to LAX, I was notified my last grandparent had passed away. Gordon H. “Papa” Matheny was 87 years old. He died of cancer, but when you’re 87, a person partially (at least) dies of old age. He was a legend. He is the spiritual patriarch of our family. He has known Christ as his Lord and savior for more than 70 years! He has preached the Gospel for most, if not all, of those 70+ years. He’s been to more countries preaching and teaching the Word than I could ever dream of visiting in my life. I would be willing to bet many people haven’t even heard of some of the countries he’s visited to spread the Gospel. He lived a life of service to the Kingdom of God, unashamed to teach, preach and sacrifice for his Savior. Our family owes so much to Papa. Thank you Papa, for a life lived with passion and service. Thank you for the heritage you left us. We miss you, but also celebrate you and all that God has done through you.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

...Failed Blogger

So, it's been nearly a year since my last blog. And as I am realizing that I must become better connected to my emotions and be able to express those emotions on a more frequent basis with those I love and cherish, I think picking up the blogging again may be helpful.

So, today I read about a man in Europe who grew up in a poor family, ended up a self-made multi-millionaire, and now is giving ALL of his money away to charities ( I was astonished at some of the amazingly selfish comments on this article. I chose to comment, myself. Here is what I stated:
Skepticism, cynicism, defensiveness, etc... all problems that observers have, and are not this man's problem. This man has the right and choice to pursue what he believes is right, righteous and/or honorable... IN HIS OPINION (subject to universal laws, of course). If there is/are additional motives (tax shelter, etc.) or if you don't agree with HOW he is sacrificing for the good of others and his own peace, who cares? I see very, very little of this level of selflessness (my own selfish life included). Nothing is perfect in this world, but acts of generosity like this should serve as a spark of light in a world darkened by consumerism, greed, and selfishness. I don't know this man, but we should all be convicted of our own selfishness from this one act of his.

Do you have any thoughts or FEELINGS?

Saturday, May 30, 2009 tired of threats

So, it's been a long time since I've blogged, but now that my EMT class is finished and I'm needing a break from studying for the NREMT Exam.  I've been reading a lot of articles about North Korea and their military posturing and provocation toward South Korea, Japan, China and the ole' US of A and I'm tired of Kim Jung Il's insanity and the seeming impending doom of the North Korean People.

I feel sorry for those people.  In the event of a war with South Korea/USA, etc., Kim Jung Il will not be the one who suffers (although he should be).  Those PEOPLE will suffer in inhuman ways because militarily the USA and South Korea will absolutely obliterate North Korea... all because a crazy man has decided to develop nuclear technology for the use of weapons to use against countries he feels are a threat to communism.  Sure, North Korea has millions of soldiers and the world's 4th largest military, but the fact is that their weapons are largely antiquated and dilapidated.  God help the people of North Korea.

Then there are the people of South Korea, who are staring down the barrel of a gun in the hands of a madman.  Seoul is a stone's throw from the DMZ, in easy range of North Korea's short-range missiles.  Ten's of millions of people with nowhere to run.  God help the people of South Korea.

So, how should I look at this, as a man of God?  Last night I was at a small group bible study where we were looking into Romans chapter 12.  Verse 18 states the following, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."  This echoes something my momma told me when I was in high school and a jerk had threatened me.  She said, "Don't you go and start a fight, but if someone else starts something physical, do what you have to do to defend yourself."  Basically, don't ever go looking for a fight, but feel free to finish what someone else starts.  In context with current world events, I fear this, but am so fed up with Kim Jung Il's threats, it's time to act, preemptively, if possible.  Take out their military stations and nuclear manufacturing sites now, to save the lives of potentially millions of innocent people later.  

I'm not a war-monger, but I fear what may happen if we sit on our hands and wait it out.  Just my opinion.  God help us.  What about you?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

... Manly Man, "Ugh, ugh, ugh!"

So I was having this discussion this evening with a couple of guys.  Any time you get some guys together these discussions are always a potential.  One of the fellas observed something very interesting and very true about what words men use and what words we do not.  

For instance, the words "top" and "bottom," when referencing clothes.  You will never hear a man say (especially to another man) "Wow, that's a really nice top you have on today." or "Those bottoms match that top nicely."  NEVER.  Instead, a man would say something like this, "Dude, I like that shirt." or maybe, "Bro, that shirt looks good with those pants."  Of course, when complimenting another man, saying "dude" or "bro" either before or after the body of the sentence legitimizes the compliment behind the mask of masculinity.  It's kind of like telling another man you love him (close friends, church buddies, college buddies, etc.).  It's always OK if you follow it up with "bro" or "man."  Using these add-ons is, of course, optional.  But it definitely adds to the manliness.

Other words you will never hear a man use in normal use: "Accessories."  For instance, "You always have such nice accessories."  Again, NEVER.  From the mouth of a man... "Dude, nice watch." or "I really dig those shoes, bro."   "Accessorize."  For instance, "You could accessorize that outfit with those shoes."  Instead... you might hear, "Dude, you could wear those shoes with that."  

Of course, there are other words out there that fall into this category, but I will discuss those at another time.  If you have similar words to these, let me hear about them... dudes!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

... (an) Adventurer

So, I have been blogging on some fairly serious/heavy issues as of late and the whole election thing is getting to me a bit.  So, I want to put out something more on the lighter side...

Knowing that everyone's different in how they deal with the every-day stresses of life, I recently figured out a key to how I function best.  I realized I am a vacation goal setter.  I can't remember hearing of any demographic that this places me into, but It's a very real part of my coping mechanisms of doing life.  

In order for me to function with hope, a positive attitude, and looking forward to each day, I have to have a vacation project looming on the horizon.  For instance, Steph and I had plans to use a free gift vacation to Vegas (one of those give-aways you get if you show up to a time-share sales pitch).  We failed to return a registration form in the alloted time to take the trip when we wanted (there are about 5 hoops you must jump through to actually go on the trip, I'm sure meant to deter people from actually following through and using the "free" vacation).  When I found out we weren't going on our trip in about two months, I felt this feeling of despair and hopelessness sweep over me like a wave.  I was not expecting this, but it all made sense.  

For as long as I can remember I have always had something I was working on and toward to look forward to.  College graduation, youth group events when serving as a Youth Pastor, wilderness expeditions when serving as a wilderness guide, my wedding, hikes and trips and day-trips with Steph, the birth of Madeline, a trip to Yosemite with a friend (cancelled just before the incident described above, adding to my feeling of hopelessness), etc.  When I found myself without an event to look forward to in the following couple of months, it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel of everyday stresses.  

When we were able to reschedule the freebee trip for February 2009 it got a little better, but it was still too far away to really feel any anticipation.  Then Steph, the genius and loving wife that she is, booked four days and three nights at one of our time-share properties.  The monotony of dealing with every-day stresses had just been lifted.  I had an adventure to look forward to.  There's something from John Eldregde's Wild at Heart there.

That's what it is... the lure of an adventure on the horizon...

Anyone else have this same or similar personality trait?