Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Gear, New Year

  What would you say if I told you I was starting another picture-a-day for a year blog?

Why would you say that? That's just rude.

  Regardless, I AM starting a new picture-a-day effort, similar to my old "Frame 365" blog. I've since updated all my gear, so the image quality will be even more stellar. This new blog, appropriately titled "Frame 366" (it's a leap year!) will bring you all the joys and heartaches of the original blog, with a whole extra day thrown in for your viewing pleasure. You can find the new blog, which begins posting tomorrow, 1 January 2012, by clicking on the stunning black & white logo in the right hand column of this very page. Please follow, and please feel free to leave comments or feedback on any of the images you see fit. Remember, clicking on any image will show it to you in its full-sized glory.
  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Craziness!

  What a Christmas! It was truly an epic day. After a very early start and presents, it was off to church (after a minor delay with my dead-battery car) then lunch, and then an afternoon of cleaning and cooking before a fantastic Christmas dinner. We had all the usual suspects- turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, stuffing, rolls, an amazing new type of coleslaw, and wine. After dinner, we were joined by a whole apartment full of friends for games, Christmas movies, and the sharing of two delicious pies I baked. One was my traditional apple, and the other was a new pie I had never tried before- French Silk. Both were amazing, if I do say so myself, and I think I do. We finished the day very late, and I went to bed exhausted but very happy. Can't remember a Christmas this good in a long time, and that's saying something, considering that I haven't had any income coming in for about a year and a half now. Just goes to show you, it's not the material things that make Christmas great!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

In defense of Christmas, Christians, and Christ

  I am a Christian.

  Still here? Good. That opening statement has come to be so tainted these days that a good majority of the time, it offends people, or at least gives them pause about the nature of your character. Saying that you are Christian or that you go to church is kinda like saying you liked Michael Jackson (before he became cool again). People are hesitant to mention it aloud.

  What a strange, strange irony.

  Being a Christian doesn't mean I'm a whacko. It doesn't mean I'm no fun. It doesn't mean that I judge you for not being a Christian.
  I swear. A lot. I sometimes lie. I'm not very forgiving. Helping people out is sometimes inconvenient and gets me really irritated. I watch violent movies. I have lived with women outside of marriage. I have gay friends that I love dearly. Basically, I've done a lot of things non-Christians would consider "normal." In that, I've also set myself up to be judged by hardcore fundamentalist Christians who would say I have no right to be in church every Sunday.
  These are the very sort that have given Christianity a bad name. The haters. The judgers. I saw an article the other day, posted on Facebook, about something that some terrible church in the south had done against interracial couples. A commenter on the post wrote, "This is why I don't go to church." That's very sad to me. I get it, but it's sad that the church has been marked like that. That's just not how it's supposed to be. LOVE thy neighbor.
  Last night, I was at the Hallmark store buying some cards, and heard a woman tell her husband, "I want to get a Christmas card, but they're all religious." I literally laughed out loud. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. That's like complaining that you want to get ice cream, but you don't want it to be cold.
  I also saw a video clip this week from Bill Maher's show where he talked about the growing atheist movement. His panelists were cheering and saying "It's about fucking time." I understand that people are going to have different opinions, and that's fine. I just don't understand the hatred for the church. Well, I guess I do. Fundamentalism and radical churches like Westboro are driving a giant stake into the heart of Christianity.
  When I posted a while back about getting baptised in the ocean, I had a couple of people tick the comment box labeled "Toilet." That was really hurtful. You look at those pictures- you see the joy on my face- the pure peace- and you call it shit, basically. I don't know if those comments were from people I knew, or people who just happened upon the blog, but they were incredibly hurtful.
  And this is my point, people. Being a Christian is about being an inherently good person. Nobody's perfect, and the church can't hold anybody to that standard. Why would you hate on people who are just trying to be honest and good? At the core, we are all children of the same father, but don't lump all Christians together. Because some white people or black people or Mexican people or Native American people have robbed, killed, raped- does it mean all of them do? Of course not. Give Christians the same leeway. Not all of us want to bash you over the head with our Bibles. Not all of us are going to call you immoral. Not all of us are trying to recruit you or make you put all your money in the collection pot. Rather, a few of us hope that you would see how wonderful it is, become intrigued, and try it for yourself. You might just find something beautiful to fill that empty space inside you.

  Merry Christmas, everyone. May you have the peace of Christ this holiday season.