"How many more gay people does God have to create before we ask ourselves whether or not God actually wants them around?" Rep. Steve Simon of Minnesota asked.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The Girls are just too cute!
Aren't they cute? Problem is: they have been laying there licking each other! Incestuous lesbianism! Oh the humanity! (or would that be catity?)
Here, things have been pretty difficult. Trying to make sense of life,God, everything. It gets frustrating.
I was raised with the whole "believe in God and always trust and good things will happen to you" mentality. My parents were BIG into the whole "just trust and pray." Well, when you trust and pray and things still seem to go down the tubes, it doesn't give you much to fall back on.
I finished Nick's Valentine's Day gift. Not the best work I have done, but I needed to finish something. There was a need to be able to complete something. I also wanted to get the thing to Nick. The way I was feeling, I didn't know if I would be here too long, so I wanted to make sure if something "happened" to me, Nick would know that I loved him. I wanted to make sure that I created it so that when you hung it, the hand would be left-handed. I cannot sign a "Y" with my right hand. I am left handed and sign with my left hand. The dimensions are about 15" by 12".
I have to go back and reattach the hanging loop. It didn't stay as well as I had hoped. At least it the heart didn't fall far so it didn't break. Putting hanging loops on is one of the most risky parts of the process.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Wake Up Call For Christians?
When we are known more for what we are against than what we are for what other
outcome can we expect?
This comment was made by National youth leader Greg Stier of Dare 2 Share Ministries who believes one of the worst enemies of Christians are Christians.
Criticism from people outside of Christianity toward the Church doesn't surprise many. But when negative viewpoints are being expressed by believers, it raises a red flag for churches across the country.
In the latest research report by Sam S. Rainer III, who heads Rainer Research, only 39 percent of people who dropped out of the church perceived their church as "caring." Meanwhile, 51 percent of them called their church "judgmental."
Among other unfavorable views from those who quit their church, 41 percent of them said their church was "insincere." Only 20 percent felt their church was "inspirational;" 30 percent said their church was "authentic;" and 36 percent said their church was "welcoming."
The survey was conducted on 18- to 22-year-olds and is featured in Rainer's upcoming book, Essential Church?.
"The churches that do not demonstrate these biblical qualities and rather become insincere and judgmental lose this generation," Rainer, a young Baptist pastor, commented. "They return to the culture that claims churches are not living up to their calling. Link
You know, when I am embarrassed by the actions of "Christians," (scare quotes intended) things really need to change. I do not easily get embarrassed by the actions of others, but when I see what some are doing in the name of Christ, I cringe. And especially being a "Professional Christian," it makes me angry, sad, and concerned.
What also worries me is when certain behavior is attributed to Christians but no one stands up and says anything.
Please! Post this image (or if you are good at graphics, design you own) on your blog! LET PEOPLE KNOW! We need to let the world know that we people of faith do not condone the actions of these people and others like them.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
334 Days 'til...
Nick's Comin' Home!
Yeah! Nick is coming home from Florida! From the 60 degree weather to the teens. He told me that I better bring his coat to the airport or he will be stealing my coat!
Thursday, January 24, 2008
I've Been Thinking
What I find somewhat upsetting is the unequalness in the whole employer/employee relationship.
When I interviewed for the Starbucks job, I was asked about what I expected to give to the company and what I expected from the company. I stated that I expected to give a notice of two weeks if and when I would leave the job. But I also said that I expected the same courtesy from the company.
Why is it that we have to give advanced warning but they can summarily dismiss us? Can I claim two weeks severance? They obviously did not consider me a threat as I had worked over 20 hours after the event happened. If I had been a threat, shouldn't I have been put on leave?
It just rails me that if we don't give two-weeks, we are looked badly upon. They can just can us and it is business as usual.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I don't want to start any blasphemous rumors
But I think that God has a sick sense of humor
And when I die
I expect to find him laughing
I just want the whole thing to stop. I am tired of being positive and upbeat. I am tired of "just trust[ing] in God." I am tired of it seeming as if nothing is going to ever work out. I get afraid of when things do work that suddenly something is going to go wrong.
Nick says that I will have a lot of sermon illustrations. I know he is trying to cheer me up, but I am sick of being a sermon illustration.
Why can't something go right for a change?
The former senior pastor called. He still has a job. I try to get over the whole thing but I just get so pissed off at times.
I wish Nick were here.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Heath Ledger Dead at 28
Some sad news today: Heath Ledger was found dead in his apartment today possibly from an overdose. Yes, he did make Brokeback Mountain, but I will always have a soft spot in my heart for him in 10 Things I Hate About You.
And here is that great scene!
Monday, January 21, 2008
Downstairs Update Part 2
Well, I met with the property manager and the maintenance person. We walked around the apartment. We stomped around the apartment. We tried to make as much noise as we could. And low and behold... It makes a bunch of noise the neighbors' apartment! There is something about the neighbors' apartment that seems to magnify the sound. Even when we were doing nothing but walking around, it was very noisy downstairs. So, I am sorry that doubted the integrity of the
The manager said that she has a "chat" with him on how to appropriately let people know that there is a problem. She said that she hoped it helped. She also told me that I have not been the only person to complain about the behavior and attitude of the neighbor. I guess at least I was not singled out for his "kindness."
Nick's Gone and Other Things
Well, Nick is in Florida for the week. I am here at home in the cold. It has been cold, as in the teens, but I also will miss having Nick keep me warm at night. I have the dog and the cats, but they are a cheap substitute.
He is going to a class there. (How unfortunate!) The class is for interim pastors. So since Nick has taken a part-time position in a church, he is taking the class. He will be luxuriating in the warmth while I am freezing in Michigan. I am happy for him!
This leaves me alone for the week.
I finally have a couple of days off. I think Freud would say that I am trying to get myself fired. I went to work the other day not wearing the customary black shirt. So I had to buy one. I rung myself up and then had to worry that security was not going to get upset. (It didn't even dawn on me that security may frown on people ringing up their own purchases!) Then the next day, I was jumping into the shower at 1:05 pm only to realize that I had to be to work at 1:30 pm. I made it there with a minute to spare! A couple of days off will be appreciated!
The photo is the latest creation. I am not so sure I like it or not. I wanted to make it look like the bears were getting lifted like the picture in this post. I don't think it worked. Oh well, live and learn.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
No big surprise here.
79% Barack Obama
77% John Edwards
77% Hillary Clinton
76% Chris Dodd
74% Dennis Kucinich
74% Mike Gravel
73% Bill Richardson
71% Joe Biden
42% Rudy Giuliani
35% John McCain
26% Mitt Romney
25% Mike Huckabee
21% Tom Tancredo
20% Ron Paul
15% Fred Thompson
2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz
Friday, January 18, 2008
Got a call from the management. Mr. Downstairs was at the office. I don't know if he finally went, voluntarily, or if the management threatened him to come. At least he was there. We made an appointment for us to be moving around up here while the management listens downstairs. If there is a problem, LET'S GET IT FIXED! But I am not going to not walk in my own apartment just because the idiot downstairs has a chip on his shoulder or whatever. And as for the baby with bionic ears...
The ??? Downstairs
Ok, I just about totally lost it yesterday.
I was walking upstairs when I heard THE NEIGHBOR pounding, again. Now granted, I probably was not walking as lightly as possible (I had just gotten back from work) but I was not purposely stomping to anger the
Well, that pounding did it. I was tired from work and I was tired of trying to not disturb the folks downstairs. But since we can NEVER be quiet enough for them, it was time to again bring the management into the situation.
I told the management that either the harassment stops or we WILL be released from our lease. Having to constantly be afraid we are making too much noise is not conducive of relaxing. I also said that from our point of view, it appears the management is doing nothing to address the situation, just telling us something will be done and then ignoring the situation.
Well, I had had it. I told them that was it. Something was going to change.
I later got a call from the property manager. Kind of cryptic. She said, "Can you tip-toe until Monday afternoon? I think I have something that will make us all happy. I am not at liberty to say right now, but I will have more information on Monday."
So it will be interesting to see what is going to happen. More information as it becomes available.
Happy Eartha Day (+1)
She will always be a diva! Her version of "Santa Baby" will never be topped!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Found this over at Spo Reflections and since I haven't posted anything in a while, I decided to do it.
1. What is in the back seat of your car right now? I have a pick-up with a small area behind the seat, but back there I have a communion set, a kite, papers, string, a Leprechaun hat, folders, silverware…
2. When was the last time you threw up? I don’t really know. It has been a while though. (THANK GOD!)
3. What’s your favorite curse word? Shit.
4. Name 3 people who made you smile today? Nick, Ur-Spo with his “cocktail waitress” comment, otherwise, it is too early. I have not been out of the apartment yet.
5. What were you doing at 8 a.m. this morning? Drinking coffee and doing the Sudoku puzzle.
6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Reading blogs
7. Where were you born? Dubuque, Iowa
8. Have you ever been to a strip club? Yes. However, it was a straight club. I tried to act interested.
9. What is the last thing you said aloud? Love you! (Said to Nick)
10. What is the best ice cream flavor? Cake Batter from Cold Stone Creamery
11. What was the last thing you had to drink? Coffee.
12. What are you wearing right now? Bath robe and slippers.
13. What was the last thing you ate? Generic Honey-Nut Cheereos
14. Have you bought any new clothes this week? Nope.
15. Where were you last? In the kitchen
16. What’s the last sporting event you watched? Michigan State basketball game a couple of years ago.
17. Who won? Ohio State.
18. Who is the last person you sent a comment/message while blogging? Ur-Spo
19. Ever go camping? Yep! I was a camp counselor for five years and Nick and I just went last September
20. Where do you live? In the KKK capital of Michigan.
21. What song are you listening to? Nothing. The TV is on.
22. Do you tan? I usually burn. I may visit a tanning booth around this time of year just to get a dose of light.
23. Do you drink your soda from a straw? Not unless I am at a drive through.
24. What did your last text message say? B home in 15. (Or something like that.)
25. Who’s your best friends? Nick, Anna, Doug, Beth
26. What are you doing tomorrow? Opening the store. Making coffee.
27. Where is your mom right now? Probably in the Hy-Vee in Dubuque.
28. Look to your right, what do you see? A pillow, a Santa hat, a sweater, Mardi Gras beads, a floor lamp.
29. What color is your watch? Silver, black, orange, and yellow. It has LCD flames on it. My friend gave it to me and called it my “Fire and Brimstone” watch.
30. What do you think of when you think of where you live? How can a town this small be so hard to navigate?
31. Ever ridden on a roller coaster? Yes, and have traveled great distances to do so.
32. What is your birthstone? Opal. I was born in October.
33. Do you go in at a fast-food place or just hit the drive through? Depends on how busy the drive-through is.
34. What is your favorite number? 7, I know, rather boring.
35. Do you have a dog? Yes, a toy poodle. (I know, stereotype alert! Two gay guys with a toy poodle!)
36. Last person you talked to on the phone? A telephone surveyor who I told that we do not do phone surveys.
37. Have you met anyone famous? Hakim Olajuwon from the Houston Rockets. I met him at a conference on Islam and Christianity. I also checked out next to Eric Clapton at the Virgin Megastore in Columbus, OH.
38. Any plans today? Going to work at 12:30 pm. I have to close tonight. Nick should be getting home about the same time I do. I am sure we will both be beat by tonight.
39. How many states have you lived in? Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Washington, Texas, Michigan.
40. Ever go to college? Three for over 10 years.
41. Where are you right now? In the TV/Computer room watching two lesbians make out on LOGO. (Ewwww!)
42. Biggest annoyance in your life right now? Church red tape and minimum-wage jobs.
43. Are you struggling to forgive someone right now? I probably should be but I am not. Out of sight, out of mind.
44. Are you allergic to anything? Violence, I break out in blood.
45. Favorite pair of shoes? My Birkenstocks. They are sandals but I think they qualify. I have had them for over 11 years.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Six Years of National Shame
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Discussion with Kirby
Although some, including Nick, have warned me against this endeavor, I have decided to continue. Even if the whole thing is futile, at least it keeps me up to "fighting speed." But so far the exchange has been civil so I have no problem continuing.
I also need to restate a disclaimer: I am sorry if I keep bringing up the age of Kirby. I think there is a great difference in how one sees the world at 18 and at 43. I am not disregarding the experience of the 18 year-old and not disregarding the idealism, we all need idealism. I am, though, saying that there is also something to be noted about experience.
That being said, let's look at what Kirby has to say:
First of all, I do not want you to think that because I do not agree with you, that I am throwing all that you have to say out the window as baseless and useless. I have examined all you have had to say and read the article you suggested. If I was not interested in the conversation we are having, I would not be using precious study time to indulge in this argument.But we do blur the words of St. Paul. Again, I would bring up the situation of women teaching in the church. The rector I am working with is a woman. I have worked with pastors who are women. Granted, the Roman Catholic church does not allow women to be priests, and this is one of the areas that I differed with the Catholic church. It is also one of the reasons I left the Catholic church.
The article did have many clarifications and was very informative for me, and I am sure you and your partner Nick have a loving relationship, yet the article does not have any proof or bass for some of the assumptions it makes. In Romans it condemns homosexual activity as a whole, and although there does exist loving same sex relationships in today's world, the relativistic society we live in cannot blur the words of St. Paul.
Now it seems that where we differ for the most part in our debate in views
on interpretation. I claim that I have the true and ultimate interpretation in
that of the Catholic Church, you claim that there is no perfect interpretation
and we merely must do our best with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. (if I am
off base on your belief, please correct me) please do not think that I am a
Catholic who accepts the doctrine of the Church blindly and never questions the
word. I never hesitate to challenge an interpretation of the Church which I feel
odd about, yet to this day, I have been proven wrong on every doctrine. I was
raised Methodist and sent to a Catholic school because the public school I would
have attended is the number one meth school in the nation. So as a protestant in
a Catholic school, I questioned every aspect of their faith hoping to prove them
wrong. Most of the time I succeeded, but only because the majority of the
students do not know their faith very well, because when I came across one
teacher in particular, I was taken step by step logically to an answer. Every
question I had, he had an answer. But although I have left the Methodist Church,
I feel no bitterness towards it, and I even often go to Church with my Mother on
What I was getting at in that small tangent was that you should keep your
mind open to at least hear the defense of the Catholic Church and not be ready
to end the conversation with every minute Catholic teaching that is thrown in. I
feel the only way I can get what I am trying to say across to you is to attempt
to get the true message of the Catholic Church across; so that whatever corrupt
view you have of the Catholic Faith may be corrected. So now I would like to
know the doctrinal differences, other than views of homosexuality, which you
left the Catholic Church because of.
If you are willing to share those with me I feel we could make some
progress in our conversation, otherwise we will continue to but heads on every
Yes, it does come down to interpretation. (Concerning your comment that I should "keep [my] mind open:" please realize that I have been at this process for longer than you have been alive. If anyone should be pleading for someone to keep their mind open, I should be making that request of you.) I have been preaching on the scripture for over seven years. Every time I approach the scripture, I find something new. If it weren't a matter of interpretation, all we would have to do is have one sermon or homily and just repeat it every three years. But life changes and our understanding of scripture changes. This change in understanding is Biblical. Peter was challenged to change his understanding of what was clean and what was unclean. (Acts 10)
We too have are challenged to change our understanding. Our understanding of the place of women in the church has changed. Our understanding of slavery has changed. Our understanding of divorce has changed. Perhaps our understanding of homosexuality needs to change too.
My theological understanding is that the Holy Spirit is still at work in the world. The Holy Spirit is still expanding our knowledge and understanding of the scriptures. Just as Peter's understanding of what was clean and unclean was changed, our understanding also must change. The world is not static, our understanding of scripture must not be static either.
Ok, why I left the Catholic church.
One, I could not stomach the separation of clergy and laity, especially the priests. They were people, just like me. They may have been singled out for a specific calling in life, but that calling did not suddenly make them superhuman and above question.
Two, I stated my feeling about women in leadership positions. How can be deny people whom God has called? You may say that they can become nuns, but that is a cop out answer. We are telling them that because of their gender (and gender alone) they are less fit to lead. That does not make sense.
Three, praying to saints. Saints are people like you and I. We do not need a mediator, we have one. He is named Jesus.
Four, the ever-virginity, immaculateness of Mary. This is just an excuse to not be about the work of God in the world. We can say that we have not been endowed with the "special gifts" that have been given to Mary (or the saints for that matter) so we could not possibly do what they did. So therefore, we are off the hook. But if we realize that God works in this world through, to paraphrase Joan Osborn, "slobs like us," then we see that God can use us to do incredible things.
Five, closed communion. How dare we have the hubris to turn someone away from God's table!! Would Jesus, who ate with sinners, turn anyone away? Jesus even fed Judas before Judas went off to betray him. If that is not table hospitality, then I do not know what is! And the Catholic church would turn people away? That does not strike me as very Christian.
I will continue to keep you in my prayers Dr. Benton Quest!
I would like to inform you that my name is Kirby Longo, that may clarify all the confusing issues with the Kirb and Longo 15 names, I keep having to create new screen names for the blogger
Kirby, again thank you for the prayers, we all need them. But be aware of what you are praying for: if it is that I receive insight, maybe the prayers have been answered. There is the possibility that I actually have received insight and this conversation is a product of the Holy Spirit to spread this insight to you and to others. I cannot know this, but it is a possibility. Perhaps I am to receive insight from you? Who knows? But again, I will repeat your entreaty back to you, "keep your mind open."
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Saturday, January 05, 2008
A Frightening Trend
This is a photo of our neighbor's door. This is not THE NEIGHBOR, but one down the hall. This seems to be the new thing in the building: we don't take the garbage out, we just set it outside of the door. This bag of garbage was sitting outside the door at 9 this morning and this picture was taken around 4 in the afternoon. If finally was gone by 9 in the evening. I was feeling passive-aggressive so I put a bow on the bag. When the bag was finally thrown out, the bow was left on the floor.
This is just a continuation of things in this apartment complex. People do not clean up after their dogs. Dogs are left to run loose. People leave their garbage sit outside of their apartments. The parking lot is almost impassable after the snow. The management does nothing about the situation with THE NEIGHBOR. It is just a bunch of little things that get so annoying. We really try to be good neighbors and clean up after ourselves and our dog. It is just annoying when no one else seems to do the same. I hate stepping in dog dew while taking Amber out to do her thing.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Response to Kirb or longo15 or Whoever!
I received this response from longo15 a while back but with Christmas, New Year, and all, I haven't had the opportunity to respond. So here is a response. I will be interspersing my responses into longo15's comment.
I have to wonder what you consider "chaste?" If you are going to limit "chaste" to marriage, then we need to agree on which definition of marriage we will accept. Do we accept Adam and Eve who were not married? Do we accept Jacob who was married to the sisters Leah and Rachael? Do we limit marriage to David who had many wives but was also a "really good" friend (good enough to strip in front of: 1 Samuel 18:4) with Jonathan? (Aside: I have had many friends, but there is only one that I took off my clothes in front of other than being at the gym or the pool. And that one happens to be my partner.) Or Solomon and his hundreds of wives and concubines? Or Peter who appears to leave his family to fend for themselves? These are all Biblical, so which one should be choose?
First of all, I have to clarify that I am Kirb, Kirb and longo 15 are the same
person, I am sorry for switching screen names on you. Yes I am only 18. Its a
shame you have bills and socks older than me.
As for your belief on the few universal truths in existence, how can you say
that the call for chastity is not one? It is clear the call to chastity is not a
person to person situation, there are no special dispensations, there are no
Joseph Smiths in the Christian Religion.
I apologize if you felt that I was condemning you as a person, for I am not. I
am, however, judging your actions. There is an absolute right and wrong, it is
not up for Interpretation. You say that because I sin I cannot judge your sin.
The difference between our situations is, I do not justify my sin as correct! It
seems now according to what you have said that we have established the correct
interpretation of Romans one, that homosexuality is included among the eternally
No, we have not established the correct interpretation of Romans 1. Unless we can go back to Paul himself, we cannot know the CORRECT interpretation. That is the point! We can make stabs at an interpretation, but we cannot KNOW this side of the eschaton. Besides, sin is sin. If you are going to buy into the venial and mortal sins classification, then this conversation comes to a halt. Sin is sin. And the wages of sin is death. ALL SIN. We all have fallen short.
I could care less how often you masturbate or have lusty thoughts. Welcome to the human race! I am not going to judge you. It is not my place. Did you read Romans 2:1? I will post it for you: "1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things." By saying what I do is wrong, you are passing judgement. You have shown that you are of the assumption that you have the definitive interpretation of the Bible and can then pass judgement on others. Instead of being of the assumption that you have an understanding that works for this point in your life. When I was your age, I thought homosexuality was acceptable in others but not in me. Even thought I wanted to be held by my buddy, I would not let it happen. I also decided it would be wrong to have gay sex so I would have no sex at all. But my understanding of God and of the Bible changed. God is loving. God is not looking through my bedroom ceiling taking notes.
Let’s make a deal, I will list my sins and you can judge them accordingly. But
although you are judging my sins, I know you are not condemning me as a person,
which I agree is wrong!
1) I masturbated 2 weeks ago
2) I struggle with my lusty thoughts,(although the high school girls don’t help me out)
3) I lied to my parents
4) I took the Lord’s name in vain.
5) I used to be addicted to chewing tobacco, and still chew occasionally
6) I am often controlled by material possessions
This is what I can think of off the top of my head, although I am sure there many more. I do sin, just as all human beings, yet I do not attempt to justify my sin as correct. I feel grief for my sins, and I then attend confession and do penance. If I do not attend confession soon after sins such as lust, the grief is overwhelming.
You say you do not throw parts of the Bible out and then you proceed to justify not paying attention to Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Since Some say that Paul's words were not meant for us, by your logic we can totally disregard Romans and other writings. Do you pay attention to women who teach in church?
I throw parts of the Bible out? This amazes me because I do not remember ever
catching myself throwing parts of the Bible out to justify sins. The laws you
accuse me of throwing out were written for specific situations. Leviticus was
written after the Golden calf incident and were the laws of the Jews "probation"
which they were to observe during the 40 years in the desert. Deuteronomy, or as
you probably know is the "second law" was written in the fields of Moab after
the Jewish men were seduced by the prostitutes. They were then made by God to
walk the desert 40 more years.... no they weren't! God made compromises with
them. He met them where they were at during that moment in time. This is the
reason Deuteronomy was full of compromises and laws we might not follow. Laws
formed from the Jews "hardness of heart."
You might know all these things, but the point I am trying to make is that these laws were made for those specific periods in time and we are in no way throwing them out, because they never applied to our current time! They were not meant for us, so there is no need to throw them out.
I will not elaborate why the Catholic Church, which I assure you there are many! [I have no idea what longo15 means here.] But if you can truthfully say to yourself that all human beings who are allowed to interpret the Bible for themselves with no outside guidance would interpret it correctly, there is nothing which can convince you. The Bible has other things to say on the subject though "Consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you. Speaking of these things as he does in all his letters. In them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction just as they do the other scriptures" -2Peter 3:15-16 The saints and I continue in fervent prayer for you Benton
Well, thanks for the prayers. As far as interpretation without outside help, have you read the article I suggested? This is not just me pulling ideas out of my hat. These are scholars who have done much research and have come to learned conclusions. Besides, I do not consider my opinion on these matters to be without merit. My seminary degree was earned at Trinity seminary in Columbus OH. You could not know that, but to assume that an opinion that does not mesh with your own or that which you have been told is "gospel truth" is without foundation is hubris.
I have a feeling this discussion is going nowhere. Most of the arguments you bring up are ones that I have already contemplated and found wanting. The arguments about the Catholic church are also ones that I have left behind. (I was raised Roman Catholic.)
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Madeline's New Look For A New Year
My cats each have their own ornament. Today, Madeline was lying under the tree and just happened to be lined up with the ornament. I thought it looked funny.