A Free and Christian Nation?

May 22nd, 2015

I’ve been wondering this….

From NCH's report 2014

From NCH’s report 2014

Could you see it? Jesus walks into a public park and finds there are five thousand men (not counting women and children) just hoping to see him. Without a permit, mind you. He sees them and heals their sick (without a license) and hangs out for the entire day doing so. Sunset starts to approach and he’s reminded that those he healed and who are here to see him and listen to him are probably going to get hungry. Jesus is concerned and snags up the snacks that he and his best buds brought with them. He tells all those five thousand people to cop a squat and get cozy….at sunset, in a public park, with no permit for a public gathering, and certainly no food permits. He hands those snacks out to his buds and tells them to pass them around. And, he manages to feed everyone at the park. And then gets fined for public meeting without a permit, practicing medicine without a license and feeding the homeless (as surely some in the crowd were vagabonds given the sheer number; and, certainly most of them were far from home without a current roof over their heads).

Now, admittedly, the “Feeding of the Five Thousand” took place in a “solitary place” instead of the city streets; however, the fact of the matter is – he fed those people. He healed those people. He didn’t sit there and come up reasons for the people to feed themselves – as the disciples were wont to do (Matthew 14:15). Instead, he told them not to be making people move on, instead feed them (Matthew 14:16). They tried to find reasons why that would be impossible (vs 17) and Jesus kicked them in their butts and told them to not be so stingy and make it happen (vs 18-21).

5-22-2015 9-25-52 AMIf Jesus could do that for the five thousand men and who knows how many women and children out of the pocket scraps of the men with him….why is it that we are not encouraging each person in this “Christian country” to go out and share what little we can (or what largest we can) with those who are in need? Instead, we are behaving more of a country of Sadducees and Pharisees….or of disciples that can’t seem to remember the words – and, even more importantly actions – of the man a “CHRISTian” country should be emulating.

I don’t once see anywhere in the Bible where Christ looked down on the homeless, downtrodden or poor. Instead, I see action after action of him lifting them up. Of him providing a hand where needed without guile, without demand for recompense, without anything other than genuine compassion and from a place of love.

Go to Sleep in Public - Go to Jail

Go to Sleep in Public – Go to Jail

Consider this…Jesus himself, according to Matthew and Luke “had nowhere to lay his head”. Yes, there’s bickering back and forth about what that means; but, think on this…with all the wandering he did, with his passing from town to town constantly on the move…it is more than likely he was being literal when he said, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but, the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20 // Luke 9:58) Imagine, then – Jesus being in your town and on your streets.

Would you treat that man sitting with his dog any different if you knew it was Jesus sitting there? Would you treat that 90+ year old man handing out food to the indigent the same way if you knew he was Jesus? Would you tell him to drop the plate he was holding and demand to see his information so you can write up a citation for passing out food to the homeless? Would you make him face up to sixty days in jail or make him pay a fine for feeding the crowd gathered?

There are many places that are going farther than saying that individuals cannot hand out food. Many are placing serious restrictions on food banks/pantries that are tying their hands more and more as the years go by. All to “keep people safe”. Every choice they make that tightens regulations down more and more on the homeless (this does not necessarily relate to street people – anyone without a home is technically homeless) is always tagged with a “safety concern”. I cry shenanigans. I cry foul.

It really is sad to me that a country that is having so many trying desperately to say it is “Christian” is so epic in its failure in following its supposed role model. A country that is supposedly so free has so many restrictions on so many things that other “less free” countries take for granted.

I dare you to try and tell a Mexican that they cannot give a bit of food to a homeless person because it’s against the law. They’d stare at you like you’d lost your mind and then bust out laughing and do it anyway. Same thing in Italy (saw it many times where people would walk down the street handing out food to those who needed it).

Boy, would Jesus be spending an awful lot of time in jail if he were here today.

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And Change Happens Again

May 24th, 2014

Well, back in July of last year, I went to a company that was going to challenge me.  The technology they worked with, while still being networking, was significantly different than what I’ve work with in the past.  They utilized servers and software to have their network, rather than hardware.  Soft-firewalls, soft-switches….don’t get me wrong – I worked on one of the first ever soft-switches; but, it’s not been something I’ve dealt with in over a decade.

This is getting to be a regular occurrence.

Ironically, I tried to talk them out of hiring me.  At least, I’m sure that’s how it seemed.  Regardless, I got the job and then just about wished I hadn’t.  To say things were a mess would be an understatement.  I’ve spent the last several months cleaning it up, rebuilding it and fighting every step of the way.  Just as I’m in the final stages of actually getting the network stable and supportable…..they sell the company.

Yup.

You read that correctly. Once again, a company I work for is being sold.  The current rumor is that I will be transitioned with the company; however, given my past experience, I’m not banking on that until I have the offer signed and sealed.  I knew it was coming.  But, you know how these things are.  They often fall through, etc.

Am I stressing over it?  Probably, a little.  But, not as much as one might expect.  Worst case scenario – we go live with my parents for a couple of months.  Alternative scenario – we sell everything and go stay in Mazatlán. Better scenario – I do get transitioned but have to go into the office instead of being able to work remotely.  Best scenario – I get transitioned and after a few months of “getting to know yah” get to go back to working remotely 95% of the time.

Yeah.  I’m not horribly concerned about the state of my employment.  It will be whatever it winds up being and I’ll roll with that.  No, what has me stressing a bit is the state of limbo I’m currently in while they get their act together.  I don’t do uncertainty well.  Not well at all.  Once I know which direction the decision has gone, I can get rolling with what I need to do; but, until then, I’m in limbo…….Limbo sucks, no matter what the situation.  Relationships, work, health, you name it.

Yeah…..so – let’s see what my employment status is a couple weeks from now……..until then…..pass me another drink would you?

 

 

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Forever and an Age

October 24th, 2013

It’s been quite some time since I posted to this blog.  Life has a way of just really going crazy.

We have been settling in to our new place in Gtown and loving it.  Our neighborhood has to be one of the most friendly and welcoming there is.  We have a discussion group email list that makes it possible for all the neighbors to stay in touch and communicate pertinent – and sometimes inane – things with each other.  I feel like that really helps the place feel like a community, not just a bunch of houses in relatively close proximity.  Everyone here looks out for their neighbor and they all actually know each others names, and truly care.  I wish more neighborhoods were like this one.

My son is working toward his degree in computer programming, and the CEO of my sister company has said he’d be more than welcome to intern with them when he gets to that point.  I’m thrilled about it – now to pitch it to my son so /he/ is thrilled about it. **laughs**

My oldest daughter-in-law is coming to visit the same weekend as my parents.  My folks are looking forward to meeting her.  Me…I’m hoping for the best and anticipating the worst.  My last encounter with the gal is not one I’d care to repeat at any point in my life. It has made me wary and uncomfortable when thinking of having her in my home.  But, I am hopeful that this time will be genial rather than hostile.  Hey, what can I say – I ever live in hope.

My job is kinda getting to me.  Not because of the work so much as because of some of the people there.  Don’t get me wrong.  They are awesome people.  I love laughing with them and all.  The issue comes in with a few of the ones who seem to just not understand that what they do (or don’t do) matters.  They can literally cause us to lose thousands in revenue a day just by ignoring something, avoiding something or just slacking off.  And, when you have a small company like ours – you can’t afford to lose that kind of revenue.  It’s an uphill battle that is wearing and exhausting.  On the other hand, my direct reports are awesome and I do enjoy the job itself.

All things being equal, though, the long hours are really starting to wear on me.  Something’s gotta give.  :(

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