Archive for July 2006

Wow….that was weird…..

July 28th, 2006 — 10:52am

I’ve been reading all about the conflicts in the mideast all morning.

I don’t think I was going anywhere with that, it just must be said because it got me to my present state.

I think it’s highly far-fetched to think that my single prayers have reached God and that He acted in my favor, but still….Though Israel has yet to cease fire on Lebanon, the US has at least made some comments to the world that sound as if we do not honor what Israel has been doing to the Lebanese people, and that’s a start. Sometime, either last week or simply last weekend, I found myself praying “God, please speak to your children of Israel. Please, speak to your children of Israel,” because I wholeheartedly disapprove of their actions. Yes, two of their soldiers were taken, and yes, Hamas has been making life more and more difficult for them, yet I still can’t see how Israel has the right to simply start bombing.

The US did the same thing following September 11th, and we were wrong too, but several things must be considered. First and foremost, terrorists, I use the name loosely, had used planes full of civilians to take out a major symbol of US economic growth and overall global power, killing more than three THOUSAND people in the process. For many of us, the wounds are still fresh and I know the thought of those events occurring in my life that Tuesday, never fail to bring a tear to my eye. More than three thousand people loss their lives in one day. Not three thousand soldiers, not three thousand active supporters of an imposing regime, three thousand people who had families and homes and were just living their lives. They were no more guilty of any unbeknownst atrocity committed by the quiet powers that be in the US, than the smallest child who has no knowledge of a world outside of its parents.

Second, the existence of the US has never come into question. Yes, there was a thriving populace of people living on this soil, before the word “America” was first uttered, but how many other countries have developed in the ways of the US? How many other countries were founded by invaders who not only remained, but remained long enough to outnumber and drive off the remaining indigenous peoples living on the land? Few if any, and none have gained the sheer might as the US.

Also, the US is not a secular nation. Granted a vast majority of its citizens are Christians, however, there are also Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Agnostics and numerous members of smaller religions. The US’s War on Terror, is not a war against Muslims, it is not Christians against Muslims, it is one country (our allies notwithstanding) fighting against those who would want to take away the freedom live one’s life as one chooses if only given the chance. The clash between Israel and the rest of the region, comes down to Jews versus Muslims, in its simplest form. You cannot expect to setup a Jewish state in a region where everyone is Muslim and expect complete harmony. It must also be considered that when we (the US) went into the Middle East, it was to a) finish what was left undone in the early 90’s and b) to remove an unjust leader. Yes, the situation in Iraq sucks right now, but it will get better. A civil war in Iraq will most likely take place before it does, but Iraq will be a democracy and the type of place where someone, be they from Ohio, Amsterdam, Ghana or Thailand, could visit and experience the country and its history without fear of being killed due to secular violence.

Now, even with all of this in the US’s stead, if we decided that we were simply going to begin bombing another sovereign nation over two soldiers, that international outcry would be such that all of the world would gather up in unison against us. Economic sanctions would be put on us, the UN would be in Washington trying to help oust our leaders, the list goes on. Two kidnapped soldiers are not worth the hundreds killed and the altered lives of thousands. I don’t care how long this issue has been occurring. It is unjust and a complete exaggeration. Don’t get me wrong: I believe that Israel has a right to exist just as much as I do to vote, but they do not have the right to just start bombing civilians over two soldiers. How many American soldiers….the hell with that, Americans period have been kidnapped by militants in Iraq? Are we bombing that nation off the map for those kidnapped souls? Of course not. Why? Because, as unfortunate as it sounds, the lives of the few who had been kidnapped are not worth the potential loss of life if we began a ridiculous bombing campaign in civilian-populated areas of Iraq.


With all this flowing through my mind, I began to pray that God speak to the children of Israel and stop the carnage. Reading BBC News today got me to Google Hamas and then to Wikipedia and then through a course of clicks that got me reading about the Prophet Muhammed, which of course got me thinking about Jesus and why I follow Christianity. While I believe, that every human being has a right to follow whatever religion they chose and also that Christianity is what is right for me because it has been proven countless times to me, while perhaps it has not for others, I can’t imagine someone who has heard of Jesus’ miracles and then of the Prophet and choose the latter instead. Granted, I don’t know a lot….well anything really about Islam, but that which I do know does not present the greatest picture to me. From what I have about Islam, which granted may be spotty at best, women are not equal to men in any regard, however a woman is the mother of Jesus and she is revered and, from what I understand about Catholicism, which is again very little, she is prayed to and she prays to Jesus on our behalf and He speaks to God. That’s quite a difference in my mind. So while, I sat reading about the much debated biography of Muhammed’s life, I wondered if I were exposed to something else first, say Islam for example, would I have jumped to Christianity upon hearing about it? Of course the answer is yes, and really it’s through knowing even the little that I do about the Bible. I would rather ask for blessings for One who is clearly not of this world. Jesus calmed stormy seas, turned water to wine, raised the dead, made the lame walk and the blind see, healed the sick, and not to mention the whole-dying-on-the-cross-for-the-sins-of-humanity-and-rising-in-three-days-to-ascend-to-heaven-thing. Jesus worked miracles; was a miracle, He came from a virgin mother. I feel confident when I think that the Bible stories alone, would bring me back to Christianity as they always have.

Other things happened this week too. I read an article about this physicist who has created a new mathematical theory that would challenge Einstein’s Relativity and also the idea of dark matter. Dark matter has always made me raise an eyebrow because claiming that celestial bodies moved about the universe due to it, sounds a lot like someone saying that the Earth is flat because one doesn’t feel that he or she walks on a curved surface. It was really an interesting article and it got me thinking about the universe in total. The Big Bang Theory is basically that “once-upon a time” there existed this dense ball if you will, that consisted of all of the matter in the universe. That ball exploded spewing matter across the universe as well as energy. This of course had me wondering the why question to which I can find none but secular answers. I guess that’s good because it keeps me a Christian, but I want to know. Why did that ball of matter burst? What was there before that ball of matter? How did it get where it was? Are there other great balls of matter somewhere that we just can’t see yet? All these questions and no one has answers or will ever answers, at least not in my lifetime, though I do plan on living until at least two hundred….

I’ve learned something interesting recently: class is important, and I think this bit of knowledge will help me be a better student. Just hearing people’s reactions about me missing class makes me rethink how I perceive going to class. It shouldn’t be taken for granted and I can never be at a disadvantage for hearing the material one more time. I think I’ll start to go more, besides it’s time that I stop letting everything else get in the way of what I need to do.

That said, I’ve got packing to do. We’re moving and hopefully life will be great.

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Busy and tired as always

July 23rd, 2006 — 4:32pm

I realized something today when our Pastor did the invitation to the church-thing. Many times people go up to the altar just because they and other members of their family need extra prayer. I understand that times have been bad for me and I am certain that times will get worse, but it just feels like I would never deserve all of the church’s attention no matter how terrible things got. I could never imagine myself feeling that I had the right to ask for an extra prayer or anything just for myself or my family. I am always more than happy to give out extra prayers to any and all who ask for it, but I just can’t see myself as deserving special attention from God and our church.

What got me thinking about this was something I quickly glanced over while reading a verse in my Bible. It’s this special Women’s Bible and it had this little side article about how women often put all others’ needs above their own, and while we like to think of it as being endearing and loving of all, it may really be a type of low self-esteem. I have always considered my self to have the best self-esteem of anyone I know, sometimes….many times, it can be a little too much, but as I sat today thinking about how I could never really deserve a prayer from the church, the idea of my self-esteem’s real nature. I say that I have high self-esteem, but do I actually have it?

Everyone is pressing for me to join the young adult choir and no one will listen when I say that I can’t sing and have nothing to offer the choir. I don’t feel that I have….I don’t want to say “earned”, but it’s the only word that comes to mind…..earned the right to stand in front of our church and sing. I guess I just feel like I’ve got such a long way to go, that I have no business being up there, the fact that I simply don’t want to sing, notwithstanding.

I just don’t see what joining the choir will accomplish. I have nothing to add, and the fact that I’m not exceptionally exuberant during normal church service anyways, makes me feel weary of joining as well. Yelling, loud clapping or singing, or even just standing just feels like I’m being fake, like I’m trying to prove something to all the other members of the church. I don’t see that I have anything to prove especially since I go to be….feel a little closer to God for at least a couple of hours during the week. Being exuberant during the service feels like putting on a show to me, even if people are truly feeling the spirit, or whatever. It was that exuberance that drove me away from the church originally, and the choir is always excited. Every time I see someone dancing and acting as if the Holy Spirit is flowing through them when they are singing in the choir, I wonder if they ever feel it at any other points during the week. I think if you’re in the choir, you should also be coming to Sunday School and afternoon service, which I’ll be going to once I’m done with Anheuser for the summer, but I know not everyone does. The whole idea makes me start arguing with the logical side of my mind and I can feel myself pulling away from my faith again. I guess there’ll be no escape for me and this issue.

Anyways….I’ve got to do some cooking and then get some sleep so I continue with this job of mine….

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Nothing really interesting has happened recently….

July 15th, 2006 — 7:49pm

I guess we got our apartment (woot!) and that’s pretty cool, regardless of the drama that it took to get it. I almost had to go to the rental office with the words “Attorney General” on my mouth, but thankfully everything turned out all right.

I’ve been doing some work on the church website, though my own lack of extreme knowledge about coding makes some things much longer to do. I have so much stuff I want to implement, but it just takes so much time to make it work.

Oh well…time to do work for this class all day and maybe later today I’ll have some time to do some real work on the stuff I want to do.

Also, I’m trying to implement my music just here, so I suppose we’ll see how this goes…

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Still going strong

July 9th, 2006 — 8:48pm

I’m still going strong right now. I’ve got my plans in place and we’ll see how this goes…

I’m still off fast food for the month. I’ve actually gone hungry instead of stopping at a Wendy’s or something, but I know it’s for the best. I caught myself wondering what I would be like at the end of the month. Will I be so accustomed to not eating fast food that I wouldn’t even notice when the end of the month came and perchance I could make it two months without any fast food? Doubtful, but there’s always the hope. I’m pretty sure I’ll be standing at Chipotle’s front door waiting for it to open on August 1st, but there’s still hope.

I’ve been finessing a lot of things lately, especially the code the websites I’m doing. One of the people on Coding Forums, brought up a good point to me as I was attempting to give advice to another. I know CSS and its basics, but I don’t know the theory behind it, so I end up with a lot of redundant information in my code. I get the style, just not the cascading part, but that will soon change.

I’m planning to start another blog, but the new one will be run completely by me since I’ve found the code to make a perfect blog under my own domain. It’ll probably be, but I haven’t decided yet. It’ll be a lot on how the website is going and the “hows” behind a lot of my updates.

I’m taking a web class right now, I try as I might, I can’t resist the temptation to show off a bit. Hopefully, my instructor won’t mind that I used XHTML 1.0 instead of the crap code they suggest in the book. I mean I want to scream just looking at the code they are suggesting for their readers; especially since the book is no more than two years old. In fact….okay, the book was published in 2002, which brings up a whole new set of issues. Why on earth are we using a book that’s this old in the first place, especially when the class is on the internet and standards and such change every few years. I mean, honestly: the book is telling people to use uppercase letters and inline presentational code! For a class like this, all the textbooks should be less than a year old. Otherwise, the information is most likely ridiculously out of date by the time class starts. For that matter, I don’t see why a textbook is needed when the W3C is online all the time and holds free information for anyone who wants it; not to mention something simple like w3schools.

Speaking of being annoyed by this web class: we are forced to create our web project. (basically just a simple web page), using Geocities, which both “sucks and blows.” It is so irritating to go through all the work of creating beautiful code that validates using a Strict doctype and have to throw the whole thing in Geocities, which flays my code into some horrifying monster with its stupid and unvalidating side bar. Speaking of validation, I don’t know why I love, or am obsessed over having my code validate. It’s as if seeing the green “Passed Validation” page gives a bit of validation to my life….

Anyway, I always feel bad when I do work on my own website instead of making more progess on my church’s site. I think it’s just that there’s so much more to do for the church site. I mean I’m practically rebuilding the entire site. I’ve got the layouts already sketched out, but it’s matter of going through the daunting task of making my designs come to life in the code. Some things just are feasible from my inexperience, which means loads of time asking questions on Coding Forums and then waiting for answers, not mention all the new things that I need to create my “vision” for the site. (Sigh) There’s just so much to do, but one step at a time I suppose.

Last week looked like the end of my relationship with my mother. Honestly, it looked like we may never be on good terms again. That is, until I got a good look at what other people have to go through with their parents….It was only then that I realized how lucky I was to be in my situation, but have a clear, defined way out of it and with the support needed to keep me from failing. I’m just glad that Jesus helped me stay calm enough from going off the deep end and saying or doing things that could not be taken back later. I was so emotionally I had to revert back to the “Tweety Book,” my old handwritten journal, mostly because my language was getting slightly out of hand and there were things I need to write down that really are not meant for the internet. That’s something I think a lot of people don’t understand about the internet and blogs. EVERYONE can read them, and even if they’re are private, if someone wanted to, they could get to it still. I’ve never put anything on the internet that I didn’t want to be shown to the world. Pictures I would have problems explaining or truly personal moments don’t belong on the internet.

Anyhoo – It’s time to get ready for Sunday School. I haven’t been to Sunday School, literallly since I was seven years old, so this will be a sort of adventure in itself. We’ll see how it goes…

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I won a piano! Woot!

July 3rd, 2006 — 4:00am

I went to church even though neither of my parents were going and I just stuck my hand up at the opportune time and won a piano. Of course, it will have to stay at my parents house until…well, probably forever, but it’s the principle of the thing. This past Sunday, I don’t think I’d ever felt so loved by so many souls at any point in my life. They did the welcoming and I had to participate since I was still technically new, and it just felt wonder to be welcomed and accepted like that….sigh.

I find myself actively excited about church and Jesus nowadays; it’s kind of weird. Weird in that it does not feel foreign or abhorrent to me, but there’s that still small voice within me that’s says that it should. It’s a bit like that saying that anything that feels this good and positive must be “sinful” or wrong. But it’s not, that’s the thing. I’ve been working on our church’s website: It still needs a lot of work, such as losing the frames and the applets and the deprecated tags….there’s loads to do. I’m working on the new area here:; well, actually, under my own domain until I work out all the bugs with each page:
In my endeavours with the site, I found this Bible verse search website: It’s pretty cool. I love finding new ways of bringing my faith into the 21st century.

Our pastor talked a lot about money yesterday, which is one of those main things that has always driven me away from churches, yet this time, it did seem sincere. The church was just stifling yesterday, mostly because we were packed in there so tight, and he had a point about raising money to cover some our building debts so that we could build a new building if we wanted. The money thing wasn’t his actual sermon, so I didn’t really feel offended for once. He did get me thinking, though, about tithing and its impact on my life. I want to tithe. Honestly, I do, but I just don’t think I can afford to do so. It’s sad, not being able to afford God’s blessings….I know it’s not a complete statement, but that’s just how it feels. Ten percent of my weekly pay is fifty dollars a week and that’s just right now. What about when I’m not working at all? I just see myself in mid-February with no money and not actually destitute, so I would never feel comfortable going to the church for help, but severely poor nonetheless and sorely wishing that I had saved my fifty dollars a week for myself. I don’t want to be angry with my church for my own doings, but at the same time, I feel so utterly guilty that I don’t know if I can do it. A part of me is already upset about it, but then again….A part of me asks, “What ever happened to giving what you could?” while another side of me thinks back to yesterday, when I was only going to give the extra change I had in my wallet, my Coach wallet I’d bought with my own money, and then my extra dollar, and instead gave all that plus the five I was saving for whatever reason. Looking back, I know that if I hadn’t given up that I five, later this week I would be saying to myself, “Dorienne, forget your zeal of refusing to eat any fast food and any french fries from any place for the month of July. Use your five bucks and get you something quick to eat at lunch at work.” Instead, my five dollars went to a better cause in both regards. I will remain on my “diet” for a little while longer, and the church is five dollars closer to being out of debt. I know deep down that no harm would befall me if I chose to give my ten percent, but at the same, I am still in a grey area religion-wise; an area where logic often overrules faith. The trouble is, I don’t know how long I’ll stay there.

Woot! I’m so happy I don’t have to go to work tomorrow. When I realized it on the drive home I perked up a bit after feeling so ridiculously angry and depressed. Angry at people being jerks and depressed that I’d have to deal with people I just can’t stand for yet another week.

Anyway, I’ve been coming with loads of ideas for things to spruce up our church’s website. Like I said earlier, it’s really quite fun.

I’ve started writing again. Woot! If I can just get this part of A Ten Minute Speech done, I can finish the whole thing in just a matter of weeks. It’s just that this hospital “scene” seems to be going on forever. It really isn’t that long….well actually it is right now, but when one looks at the finished product in its entirety, it won’t be that long. But at least at this point, I’ve got a timeline mapped out and I feel comfortable with how it’s going.

I don’t know if it’s the Miles Davis or the euphoria that comes with an extreme lack of sleep, but I feel pretty happy right now. It’s time to talk of other things; of something-something and sealing wax and cabbages and kings. And why the sea is boiling hot and whether fish have wings….

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