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March 28, 2010

Easter Like Toast

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So it says the guy lived a peculiar life. He was killed gruesomely for the claims he made and for what he did. He somehow got out of his grave, despite much effort to ensure that nothing fishy would happen. Nobody knows how he got out, but many saw him up and around, talking about leaving and coming back again.

We Christians justifiably judge other faiths and worldviews with a critical eye. But lets turn our thoughts to the sensational claim that is the center of our faith. Don't forget that the story is pretty ridiculous if you haven't experienced living in the story; if you haven't much of a reason to believe it; and especially if some person or people gave you a good reason to disbelieve.

My problem is that I've never seen a ghost or angel or UFO or piece of toast baring the image of any intelligent life, much less Mother Theresa. Plenty of "no b.s." type people in my life claim to have witnessed those kinds of things. And I'm watching. Constantly. Jesus, a burning bush would be nice for a seeking, trying to be faithful and open person of The Way. Is a well timed butterfly landing gently on my shoulder too much to ask?

I have mountains of faith in ground reaction forces and other invisible aspects of Newtonian physics. I believe, though with raised eyebrow, in gravity, magnetism, radio waves, carbon monoxide gas, the dual nature of light, and many other things I can't sense.

But those are different...?

Sometimes I suspect that my eyes are wide open in the wrong direction. It's just that after 33 years full of nothing supernatural, I doubt that traditional type miracles should be my focus.

Yes, He is risen! And the rest of us, well...
I gasp and hold my breath at the miracles of faithful living demonstrated all around me.
There is the reality of tremendous sacrifice that people offer in secret to a Father who is unseen. Not "I practiced guitar for hours to play that before the church," but genuine acts of sustained, "absolutely nothing to gain from this" service. Like middle class couples who literally go to the ends of the earth (or to their neighborhood) to adopt a child with known disability.

I roll on the floor, babbling in tongues at the words of my (and other) children in my life. My knees buckle under the weight of their pure love and simplicity. I write it down to remember, lest I forget the kind of faith that flings open the gates of heaven, forever wandering the earth searching for what children bring to the table. Now I found it, praise the Lord, hallelujah.

I've listened and watched quietly as friends respect and honor their wives without them knowing; sometimes in actions and other times in words. Sometimes it happens with forethought and intent; other times while in the cross hairs of conflict and challenges hard to miss. It's like the perfect demonstration of whatever is the opposite of this thing we call "instinct." Call that a miracle.

A pastor who lives what he speaks is better than a miracle, especially when he's truly able to keep it real, having experienced what it's like to be hard hearted and full of skepticism, sarcasm, and good old tomfoolery.

I got lost this morning listening to Amy read to our Sunday School class. It became obvious:

"[Jesus said] Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Jesus prayed during the biggest, insulting, unjustified "no fair" imaginable. The heathen nonbelievers who had their share of opportunity are over on the side, gambling for free clothes. Just a few days earlier Jesus told a large gathering that instead of loving their neighbor and hating their enemy, we should love our enemy and pray for those who persecute us.

This sliced through my head until Luke snapped me out of it, yelling at Judah to stop hitting him with the miniature Passion of Christ whip.

"Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing" is a state of mind that continually rattles my perception of everything. It's a challenge to let go the currency of this world. It's a lesson in the love and grace I need to give and to receive.

That prayer under those circumstances is absolutely the stuff of the supernatural. There's really no other reasonable explanation for it. It's the kind of miracle that I can identify with and helps me choose to live faithfully when my faith is tapped out. It's the kind of miracle that I might miss by waiting for God to suspend the physical laws of the universe and serve up some Mother Theresa toast.

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March 21, 2010

~1000 Kid Words

So being that Luke and Buggs b-day party was rescheduled all the way back to Ducks birthday, we decided to have everyone in on it. Why leave Maggs out? Yes, there was no snow today! The MyGym people actually put the Happy Birthday song on four times. Gifts? I'm not sure. The date and plan kept changing. People brought between one and four gifts. Yipes. One is clearly enough; my bad.

Pictures are not worth a thousand words. They speak the truth, and you can reckon some things, for sure. But they don't tell you about what Ben recently said after praying with him: "I don't want to be wise, I want to be Batman." They don't tell you about the Ninja Turtle fever contagious in this house. They don't tell you about Maggy's love for blueberries or the bond we see being forged between Luke and Owen.

Here are some words about the kids, on record. Yeah, it's time for that one. I haven't done anything like that in a long time. 250 words for each kid sounds about right.

Now of course all of my children are advanced, with each one being exactly equally advanced as much as all three others. Like, there's advanced, then there's fer-real advanced, like top 10 at Harvard before going pro, all the while maintaining a perfect moral standing between God and their fellow men. As ridiculous as this sounds, why is it still hard for a parent to admit that each of them show clear preferences, strengths, and weaknesses?

So here is my absolutely skewed interpretation of what I see in them.

Trout has my energy. He will get up early and go all night, for as long as you give to him to go. He will be snotty in the middle of the day and not admit it. In him I see his moms gentle, easy going and quiet side, and the side of me that loves nature. Like, he's -literally- way out in left field regarding anything to do with the outdoors. Basketball and video games don't hold a candle to wandering around outside in the cold wind.

How can you be concerned with learning to catch ground balls when there are worms all along the lip of the garage? Did you not see this dad? Why did they do this? Where did they come from? What for? Trout found a deer skull in the woods today and com-puh-letely laid an egg. So far he's been an excellent student when his siblings allow him to concentrate.

Ducks loves to go outside when it's sunny with a high of 75 and the relative humidity is within reason and, most importantly, he's with his friend(s). We often use hot chocolate as a bribe for him to go out with Luke for a while. In Ducks I clearly see his moms sensitivity and his dad (wannabee) artistic side. You rarely, ever, need raise your voice at Ducks. Raising your voice is equal to a pop on the bottom or a trip to the dreaded puppy's room.

Ducks shares in this house like nobody else, including mom and dad. He holds his own food and toys with a very loose grip. If you want to taste or borrow or "borrow" something, ask Ducks. He regularly throws himself from high places like Trout and has the upper body strength to do monkey bars. But he will sit and play "drums" in rhythm for as long as you let him. You can tell he catches melody.

"That's not how it goes...say it right." Ducks is the only one who responds to my purposeful off key, off tune testing. Ducks is an entertainer too, often putting on a show as the others quietly stand by when we're out and crack up at him when we're home.

Buggs is pretty easy going; not at all needy. That's about all you can tell of his personality so far. He's the kind of kid you get out of a crying fit by saying "help me fix the chair." What not to say to Buggs when he's in a crying fit:

"It's okay honey. We'll get you another hot dog."
"Oh. It hurts to cook your head on the table, let me hold you."
"Here, let's play with this other toy instead."

But give him a "hey Buggs help me feed the dogs," and it's suddenly like "oh yes sire right away." No crying. Servants heart! And do not put him in his car seat while he's perfectly capable of climbing up in there like Luke. He will cry until you arrive at your destination and allow him to climb down and back up into his car seat, for third brothers in a family want no patronizing or sympathy.

While all the kids have shown interest in sports, Buggs had definitely taken it up a level. Today when all the others were jumping and playing and eating pizza at MyGym, he was shooting a soccer ball into a kid hoop. He consistently does 3 dribbles before shooting, often with a true form jumper. Later that same night, Buggs spent an hour hitting a blow up baseball off a T, running to fetch it, then hitting it again. His gait and movement are exactly like his grandad, by far the best Gorinski athlete so far. It's kind of like he's built out of denser material.

Maggs is also definitely a helper. She will cry to let you "help" you clean up during a diaper change, and soon there is crap everywhere. It's difficult to tell many personality traits and preferences at her age. I can say that, compared to the brothers, she takes much more notice of Amy's girly things like fashion accessories and hair products. She hates baby dolls and points out every "ball ball, and "birdy," real and fictitous, within five miles from here. She loves to be in the thick of things when it's time to rough house, and has not yet learned to patiently wait her turn to be tossed at the couch.

Maggs has walked and talked more and sooner than all three of her brothers. She looks kind of funny, being so small and motoring around so well on two legs. Every little thing she says in her sweet little mousy voice causes my head to explode and condense back into a steaming puddle of goo.

Now they all sleep, recharging for tomorrow. Which reminds me that it's time to be done.

We'll see...

March 15, 2010

People Are Strange, When...

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video effort for LBC [click]

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March 09, 2010

Therapeutic Rap


Administratin' punks is what she's all about
Gonna type that note and fax it on out.
No soft sucker; yet no chip on her shoulder
Cuz, she's movin' ever bolder - to the Intradocs folder.

Terrorize the suckers at insurance companies
And if you've got beef - you'll get capped in the knees
If that qualifies as an injury of sorts,
Gonna write it on out with the incident reports.

A most chillin-est b-day - wishing all the best,
To Debbie V, our own girl at front desk.

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Snatching co pays - twentys, fives, and tens
She got the money and the honey and the flyest pens.
Bringing daily schedules and monthly reports
And a Tide Stick for the jelly you drop on your shirts.

One for all - and all for one
Chasing out solicitors with a big shotgun
All for one and one for all
Because the Bowmansdale three have gone A.W.O.L.

Mack'n on faxes and the ringing phones.
Droppin' medical codes 'bout them joints and bones.
She got scripts on hips and the laundry put away.
Chills with Lucas and Macey at the end of her day.

A most illinest b-day, wishing all the best
To Debbie V, our own girl at front desk.

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K.X. modifier for the MC's,
K.X. modifier for the MC's,
K.X. modifier for the MC's,
KX modifier FOR THE MC'S,
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Fax'n and print'n and addressin' and sealing,
Mailin' dope letters; fix the light in the ceiling.
Yo ho ho and a pint of black cherry,
'Cause when Debbie orders Brusters, it doesn't much vary.

A.R. blazin', Blue Cross chasin', authorizations,
Prerogative against cheesey radio stations.

A most villainous b-day - with all the best,
Out to Debbie V, our own girl at front desk.

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Now I been drinking her coffee - in my drug rep cup,
I fell asleep, then I woke up.
With the achy low back, and the knees on the tick
She'll gladly get up from where she sits.

Come snow or shine - and kid kicks to the groin.
Delivers inter-office info to Jeannette at Lemoyne.
Workin' and laughin' in a reliable way.
Still holdin' out for a decent 401K.

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OH happy day, Debbie. Thanks for the work!

March 07, 2010

On Second (Chromosome) Thought

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I know God will forgive me if I'm wrong about this. But it sure does appear that the universe and the earth and people are old. Ancient. And it's not just a matter of debate over radiocarbon dating. The "of old" that the Bible speaks of is old beyond my comprehension. I'm not pushing my own view of Genesis, but oh good Jesus do I think hard on it. That's why I'm typing this.

My view of evolution cracked one night last month while reviewing what Frances Collins has to say about your very own second chromosome. Collins has serious street cred as a devout Christian. He's also a molecular biologist and head honcho of the human genome project. Why strain to really understand what the theistic evolutionists (like Collins) and the atheistic evolutionists (like Stephen Hawking) and the Young Earth Creationists (like Ken Ham) have to say on the second chromosome?

Our "closest" living ancestor (by evolutionary thought) is the chimpanzee. Keep in mind that humans and chimps of today supposedly have over 4 million years of divergent evolution since that common ancestor walked or crawled or whatever it did. Anyway, the point is that Chimps and other monkey type things have 24 chromosomes (tightly wound and organized DNA). Humans have 23 of these X looking things (except males have one Y looking thing).

Here's the image of 23 chromosome pairs lined up like we usually see them. Chromosomes of every living thing have many markers that biologists trace and study. The most consistent and obvious of these markers are the centromere at the middle and the telomere, which is kind of a "cap" at the ends of chromosomes.

When you look at the 2nd chromosome of chimps, the telomere caps are placed where they are expected to be, like every other living thing. But when you look at the second human chromosome, there is a pair of these end caps right in the middle of it, like, way out of place.

Being that every other chromosome of chimp and human DNA is a 99% match, how do you make sense of the fact that humans have exactly one less chromosome AND our "missing" chromosome happens to be right beside the only one of either species that has end caps fused into the middle of it?

The obvious answer is that there had to be a huge copying error (genetic mutation) where two separate chromosomes were combined into one bigger one, which we now see as our second chromosome. Rather than being inconsequential or horribly detrimental to the animal, as zillions and zillions of mutations typically are, this one was a major, drastic, advantageous leap out of the trees.

And so we paved a way into the city, car horns, corners, and the gritty. If you buy into that story, that is. I'm still not buying all of it. Minds brighter than mine point out the weak arguments for completely atheistic evolution.

Was that one monumental mutation completely accidental or somehow directed? It still doesn't make sense that a huge mutation for human like pelvic bones would work at all if the rest of the entire system of foot, spinal, and cardiovascular dynamics weren't already in place to support upright locomotion. It gets far more complex when considering something like language. Reading the strictly scientific word circles about how that could, maybe, sorta, possibly happen through processes like genetic recombination sounds a lot like faith to me.

There is no good explanation for the tiny machines that read and process the two-dimensional language of DNA, translating it into infinitely complex three dimensional structures. Evolution without God still has nothing worthwhile to say on such fine-tuning at the sub-cellular level, much less the origin of space and time, the origin of life, why we exist, why we have music, Moral Law, and many other fascinating things that make humanity special.

According to many Bible scholars, Genesis simply does not carry the clear marks of an eyewitness, historical account. But IF the earth, the universe, and our species are indeed ancient, and the book of Genesis is Hebrew poetry describing the why of creation, don't imagine that science is the only way of knowing truth. No single discipline or group has arrived a completely cohesive set of answers.

Where science or philosophy or atheists or Christians can provide a decent set of explanations in one area, they often look kind of silly over elsewhere. It really is a compromise. Ask an atheist why and how altruism has evolved. Try asking a literal creationist what crocodiles ate before the fall of Adam. Are there satisfying answers?

That's why, for right now, I can say this about our second chromosome:

The mutation of our second chromosome seems more probable than vegetarian dinosaurs peacefully coexisting alongside humans. It seems more reasonable than the quirky mathematics (and theology) you have to come up with to explain away starlight that took millions of years to travel to your eye. Why in the world would God have given "the appearance" of vast distances in space?

The evolution of our second chromosome seems more probable than my own ability to conceive geological time. Different scientific disciplines concur that the earth is over 4 billion years old. What person with a lifespan of less than one hundred years can fathom 4 thousand years, much less 4 billion? Isn't the stones crying out "four billion years" the realm of the supernatural?

If oceans swing open like doors and mountains form and vanish like clouds in the sky, my existence is faster and no more material than a spark of static electricity. Woe is me, for I am a man incapable of appreciating the time involved that God may be doing his work.

Yes, creation ongoing, with a built in system that allows for adaptation and survival. According to Collins, our DNA is the very language of God and His imprint on all living things. He has brought us here, now, uniquely human, in His image.

"You have been born again, not of perishable seeds, but of the imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." -the apostle Paul

Do you now hear the depth of the ring of truth in these words?

At any rate, there is something majestic at work here, well beyond science, older than old, from beginning to end. If our second chromosome gives a pretty clean picture of evolution from some shared ancestor, then fine. I posit God on the front end of evolution, with much of "let there be man" written on my second chromosome.

"To know the mighty works of God, to comprehend his wisdom and majesty and power, to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful working of his ways, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance cannot be more grateful than knowledge." - Copernicus

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March 06, 2010

1. Buggs going 'big'

2. Maggs never liked a binky, so we gave her one before she gets too big.

3. Not my kid, but if you know Judah, you know that this is one of the best kid pics ever.

4. Maggs being a big girl at the table.

5. Cushion and snow sessions...

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To the Patriot

The posts I've written here have come from only a few reasons:

-Sharing reflections and pictures of our crew that simply have to do with what's happening here.

-Sharing my thoughts on something fascinating (to me, obviously) that I've read or come across. Much of that I do consider like a prayer, not that it's a substitute for (traditional?) quiet prayer and meditation.

-Sharing professional work, some of which has gone into First Choice or GoWags newsletters or even a few PT magazines.

In all instances, beyond the pictures for family and friends to see, I've really, honestly blogged for me. I enjoy it; it's like rejuvenating to me. By the time I've hashed out and typed out a certain subject, I know it a lot better. Not just the facts. I'm actually changed, and that's good for me. It's like I get to sit back and highlight or simply make sense of what's happening.

I'm glad for anyone to read it, for sure. But it's mostly been for me, and I never took it too seriously.

Then came the decision to work on a collection of work related stuff - on a new blog. I've give that more attention as of late, for a reason. After a few exchanges, the Patriot News has asked me to do a 6 to 8 months series of contributions for their Mind and Body section.

The first one is at the other blog right now. You'll see some material recycled and pasted around from this blog. That's kind of the point, again, for me...

March 05, 2010

over at the other one

Efforts over at the other blog lately.

Revised my very own sports supplement: STRENGTHOGEN

Real writing attempt on sports supplements. Performance enhancers, if you will.

Something else maybe good in the works...

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