Thursday, December 30, 2004

A Long December, and other rants.

"A long december and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last"

~~ A. Duritz.

I just haven't figured out what the reason is, I guess. There are many reasons why I hate this time of year. It's dark, which makes me feel lonely. It's cold, and I hate being cold. I hate Christmas and New Years even from my childhood. Drunkenness and lechery, disappointments and fighting, stupid people and tiny lights (both give me headaches). Oh, how I hate this time of year. As the years go by, it just seems like I have more and more memories and feelings and thoughts provoked by these long Decembers that make me feel sick. I'm tired and worn out from picking up extra shifts throughout this past month to cover for all the Christmass keepers, and I'm sure that's not helping how I feel. Man, I can't stand my kitchen floor (don't ask!). I've been thinking about moving, just so I never have to see it again. Oh, and my dreams. Don't get me started on the dreams I've been having. If my cat keeps peeing on stuff I'm gonna shoot him. You know what really hurts my back? My chair at work, that's what. It's been broke for like a year now, and I've asked for a replacement, noting that it would be cheaper for my employer to pay for a new chair than it would be to pay for back surgery, but... same chair, same sore back.

Okay, enough of that now. Let's end this post on a positive note:

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

We should be crying more

"The death toll in the tsunami disaster soared past 100,000 today - and is set to climb higher." -- This is London.

Somehow this tragedy doesn't seem tragic enough for Americans. I bet if Hollywood would make a movie about this event, it would make more Americans cry than the actual catastrophe does.

Don't my eyes have some tears left for these poor people?

It's a cold grey morning...

Cold grey morning without sunlight
Ghostly mist on the horizon
Empty visions of a world gone mad
Paints a picture so revealing
Through my window dark tomorrow
I can hear the sirens wailing
For the future we are holding on
as the ship of fools is sailing

Such a long time
Such a long time
We are waiting for a peace that's lasting
Reaching upward, sliding downward
Looks like just another
Cold grey morning

Hardly breathing, hope is fading
It's the end of the beginning
Children playing in the empty streets
It's a cold grey morning

~~Kerry Livgren.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

An Article


This is the name of the day on which is wont to be celebrated the idolatrous Romish sacrifice of the mass, in honor of the birth of Christ. As nearly as can be now ascertained, the day was first set apart for this purpose by the authority of the bishop at Rome, toward the close of the fourth century, or early in the fifth.
The following reasons may be assigned for its not being religiously observed by Protestants:

1. We do not acknowledge the authority of its appointment. If the religious observance of Christmas was divinely enjoined upon us, or if we had evidence in the writings of the apostles, that they observed it, or that they taught the churches which they established to do so, then we should feel ourselves obliged to observe the day. But as Protestants, we long ago abjured the authority of the Pope of Rome, and we still utterly repudiate his right to legislate for us, either over our consciences or our conduct.

It was an essential principle of the Reformation, which we hold to have been sound, and the only principle which could have been safe, to reject every thing which appeared manifestly to be of human contrivance, and thus to carry the church back, both in its doctrines and its practices, to the incorrupt simplicity of the apostolic times. But it is sometimes asked, What possible objection can there be to the religious observance of Christmas? That most salutary principle of the Reformation, which has been named, is a sufficient objection. If we once begin to burden the church with observances not divinely appointed, we open a door to universal license, and no man can tell what the end will be. But it is still urged, with a show of more than ordinary piety, "It seems so very proper to celebrate the birth of our bless Saviour." Yes, indeed—but it will not do for us to multiply observances merely because they seem proper. In a less degree, it would seem proper to celebrate the births of Moses, and Peter, and Paul, and many other worthies. If our judgment of propriety is to be the rule, rather than the Scriptures, there is no safety. We must adhere to the principle of the Reformation, and stand by the word of God, or we get at once in the old highway of Romish corruption. That is a dangerous path to travel in, and the true wisdom is to keep out of it altogether.

2. A second reason is, it is not known that Christ was born on the 25th of December. We have seen a very labored and arrogantly learned effort to prove that Christmas is the veritable day of his birth. But the truth is, that no one knows, and no honest man pretends to know on what day that event transpired. In the Greek church it is celebrated on the 6th day of January, and we see no reason for supposing that this is no as near the mark as the 25th of December. Although, therefore, if the precise day was known, we might assent perhaps to the propriety of bestowing some special notice upon it, we cannot now see the propriety even of celebrating our Lord’s birth on one day more than on another. And this, we suspect, leads to the true doctrine on this subject—that Christians ought to celebrate the unspeakable gift of God every day in the year.

If it had been God's design that the especial event of the birth of his Son should be memorialized in the church by an annual holyday, he would have taken care by his providence that the day should not be lost. It was his design that the day on which Jesus rose from the dead, should be observed as the Christian Sabbath, and we are therefore particularly informed that that event transpired on the first day of the week. But the inspired historian, in introducing the account of our Lord’s birth, approaches no nearer to a designation of the time than this—"And it came to pass in those days," &c. Luke 2:1.

3. We object to the observance of Christmas by the church, because we believe that its original appointment as a Christian festival was not only unauthorized but wicked.

It was foisted in among the observances of religion, along with many other things, for which there can be imagined no reason but a willingness to make a compromise with heathenism. The facts were simply these. The sagacity of the Romish church was not long in making the discovery that the chief obstacle in the way of an easy and universal embrace of Christianity, was the world’s natural dislike of the simplicity and purity of its doctrines and practices. The old heathens of the Empire were very loath to abandon their voluptuous and flesh-pleasing system for one which offered so little in return to gratify their appetite for display and self-indulgence. To the ecclesiastical Solomons of that time the idea occurred, that the work of conversion might be facilitated by rendering Christianity more attractive in its form, and more agreeable to the popular tastes. In a word, by compromising the matter, and carrying the gospel at least half-way in the work of conformation, to meet the reluctant idolaters. They had been accustomed to gorgeous temples, pompous ceremonials, a splendidly attired priesthood, and numerous holiday and festival occasions. Reasoning, therefore, as many reason now, for Christmas, that it is proper, and not in the least objectionable, the authorities of the Romish church thought that it was highly proper, and not in the least objectionable, to alter and amend the Christian system so as to render it more palatable to the people. We do not charge them with intentional wickedness, but with a gross error of judgment, into which they could not have fallen if they had had a proper reverence for the word of God, and just ideas of the spirituality of true religion. Unhappily, the doctrine had already obtained among them that the Scriptures were not the only rule of faith and practice, and the spirituality of religion was already entirely lost by the great body of its professors. Under such auspices the work of emendation advanced rapidly. Christian churches swelled into vast and magnificent temples. In the place of the few and simple rites of the apostolic times, august and imposing ceremonies were multiplied. The unpretending garb of the first preachers was laid aside for splendid priestly robes, and every imaginable occasion was seized upon for pomps, processions and festivals. To make the transition yet easier for the people, many of the principal festivals were appointed for the very days on which they had been accustomed to celebrate the festivals of the old religion, and were directed to be kept with the same observances. So it was with Christmas. The old Romans, at the end of their Saturnalia, which began on the 19th of December, had been in the habit of celebrating on the 25th of that month, their feast in honor of the birth of Sol. On that occasion they brought garlands and branches of evergreen from the woods, to deck the temple and altars of their god, and came together tumultuously to conclude the Saturnalian orgies with greater excess of riot. This was the day fixed upon for the Christian feast in honor of the birth of Christ; and that the change might not appear material, the practice was retained of adorning the churches with boughs of evergreen, and of making Christmas, in connection with religious worship, a day of special hilarity; and so it has come down to the present time—fun, folic, evergreens and all!


Friday, December 24, 2004

X-mas and Stockings

Boy is it slow at work so far today... whew. Funny how even "mental illness" seems to take a break on the holidays. We're working with a skeleton staff, which always includes me since I could not care less if I have off this time of year, and there is still nothing to do. Wouldn't it be nice if Lord's Days were like this? Everybody stays home from work, everybody taking a timeout from the noise of this crazy world, everybody (though mostly lipservice) thinking about, talking about, worshipping, JESUS -- yes, that would be nice. Oh, but no. This nation, along with the rest of the world, has chosen their HOLY DAY, and the Lord's Day lost that election.

In other news: Sometimes I feel empty, unloved, ugly, worthless, like a total screw-up... but then I have to chuckle when I realize... I'm wearing my wife's socks.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Old Fashioned X-mas

So I went to work yesterday to find that someone had decorated the office, including the area around and above my desk, with a string of lights. I responed by posting the notice above, originally posted in New England circa 1660. Yep, that's right. The Waybrights are celebrating Christmas the old fashioned way that the Puritans did in Colonial times. "Oh, that's sounds wonderful! Tell me what you're doing."


Monday, December 20, 2004

Fathers and Daughters

Fathers be good to your daughters;
Daughters will love like you do.
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers,
So mothers be good to your daughters, too.

~ John Mayer

I meet some interesting people at work. Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they break my heart. This time I sat down with an 18 year old girl. She was weeping, saying that she felt dirty and ruined, and that no one would ever marry her, and that she would never be able to have children. "I have genital warts, and I don’t know where I got them from." Well, turns out that this girl has been involved sexually with so many partners that she could not count them, since the age of 13. Somewhere along the way she contracted this nasty, and incurable, disease. What can I say? It’s certainly not impossible that someone will someday want to marry her. I’ve known of women with similar backgrounds who’ve married, having plenty of children, but she’s certainly chosen a hard road. I guess what hit me the hardest was her tearfully telling me that she never remembers her father telling her that he loves her, and never recalls him holding or hugging her. When I asked her if this lack of affection from dad had anything to do with her "looking for love in all the wrong places," she just bawled and slobbered while she nodded her head. It would be wrong for me to make an attempt to remove her own guilt, but with this kind of stuff starting at age 13, one must wonder where dad was in her life.

Fathers, be good to your daughters.

Hard Decision

Well, I guess I'll go to work... but MAN IT'S COLD!!!

In the meantime....

You are Confederate General Robert E. Lee, perhaps AmericaƂ’s most beloved general in history.  Your brilliant strategies and victories became legend.  You still lost the war though.
Robert E. Lee

What Civil War General Are You?
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Saturday, December 18, 2004


"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."

~Sun Tzu.

Shocking Development

I've not been blogging faithfully lately, and I apologize to those who faithfully check my blog. I've been busy dealing with family, work, and my own personal problems, and while much of that stuff makes interesting material for blogging, I just don't have the time that I would like.

Isn't that strange? We live in the age of microwaves and cell phones and computers... we can do things in 5 minutes that it once took nearly all day to do in ages past, and yet WE STILL DON'T HAVE TIME!

Anyway, I've been getting electrical shocks sent through my head by the phone I use at work. I'll be talking, yada yada yada, then ZAP!!! OUCH! "What was that?" Oh, nothing, just mild to moderate electrocution. I'll be ok. So my supervisor asks me if I want a new phone, but I declined. I thrive on danger, you see. It's thrilling to know that every time I pick up the phone, I could require defibrillation or some other form of medical attention. That's right, folks. I'm living on the edge. And nobody's gonna stop me.

Well, off I go to the post office. We sold a large item on Ebay, and I now have a totally different perspective on shipping and handling charges. Man, I should have charged $100 or something. Oh well, we'll get 'em next time.

OUCH! I'm alright... I'm ok... What are you staring at?

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


You have the Vermeer girl look. A Vermeer girl
appealed mostly to the old masters of the Dutch
school, who painted pictures of everyday life
as they knew it. With her fine, fair skin, she
suited a light, natural, dewy make-up. The
Vermeer Girl loved homely things, such as
homemade soaps and candles. The following
artists would have liked to paint you; Pieter
de Hooch and Jan Vermeer.

'Pretty As A Picture' - Which Artist Would Paint You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, December 12, 2004

The Prayer of Christopher Love

On The Scaffold Immediately Before his Execution on 22nd August 1651:

"Most Glorious and eternal Majesty, Thou art righteous and holy in all thou dost to the sons of men, though thou hast suffered men to condemn Thy servant, Thy servant will not condemn Thee. He justifies Thee though Thou cuttest him off in the midst of his days and in the midst of his ministry, blessing thy glorious name, that though he be taken away from the land of the living, yet he is not blotted out of the Book of the Living. Father, mine hour is come. This Thy poor creature can say without vanity and falsehood. He hath desired to glorify Thee on earth; glorify Thou now him in heaven. He hath desired to bing the souls of other men to heaven; let his soul be brought to heaven.

"O Thou blessed God, whom thy creature hath served, who hath made thee his hope and his confidence from his youth, forsake him not now while he is drawing near to Thee. Now he is in the valley of the shadow of death, Lord, be Thou life to him. Smile Thou upon him while men frown upon him. Lord, Thou hast settled this persuasion in his heart that as soon as ever the blow is given to divide his head from his body he shall be united to his Head in heaven. Blessed be God that Thy servant dies in these hopes. Blessed be God that Thou hast filled the soul of Thy servant with joy and peace in believing.

"O Lord, think upon that poor brother of mine, who is a companion in tribulation with me, who is this day to lose his life as well as I. O fill him full with the Holy Ghost when he is to give up the ghost! Lord, strengthen our hearts that we may give up the ghost with joy and not with grief.

"We entreat Thee, O Lord, think upon Thy poor churches. O that England might live in Thy sight! And O that London might be a faithful city to Thee! That righteousness might be among them, that peace and plenty might be within her walls and prosperity within their habitations. Lord, heal the breaches of these nations; make England and Scotland as one staff in the Lord's hand, that Ephraim may not envy Judah, nor Judah vex Ephraim, but that both may fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines. O that men of the Protestant religion, engaged in the same cause and covenant, might not delight to spill each other's blood, but might engage against the common adversaries of our religion and liberty! God, show mercy to all that fear Thee. The Lord think upon our covenant-keeping brethren of the Kingdom of Scotland; keep them faithful to Thee, and let not them that have invaded them overspread their whole land. Prevent the shedding of more Christian blood if it seems good in Thine eyes.

"God show mercy to Thy poor servant who is now giving up the ghost. O blessed Jesus, apply Thy blood not only for my justification unto life, but also for my comfort, for the quieting of my soul so I may be in the joys of heaven before I come to the possesion of heaven! Hear the prayers of all Thy people that have been made for Thy servant, and though Thou hast denied prayer as to that particular request concerning my life, yet let herein the fruit of prayer be seen, that Thou wilt bear up my heart against the fear of death. God show mercy to all that fear Him, and show mercy to all who have engaged for the life of Thy servant. Let them have mercy at the day of their appearing before Jesus Christ. Preserve Thou a godly ministry in this nation, and restore a goodly magistracy, and cause yet good days to be the heritage of Thy people for the Lord's sake.

"Now, Lord, into Thy hands Thy servant commits his spirit; and though he may not with Stephen see the heavens open, yet let him have the heavens open. And though he may not see upon a scaffold the Son of God standing at the right hand of God, yet let him come to the glorious body of Jesus Christ and this hour have an intellectual sight of the glorious body of his Saviour. Lord Jesus, receive my spirit and, Lord Jesus, stand by me, Thy dying servant who hath endeavoured in his lifetime to stand for Thee. Lord, hear, pardon all infirmities, wash away his iniquities by the blood of Christ, wipe off reproaches from his name, wipe off guilt from his person and receive him pure and spotless and blameless before Thee in love. And all this we beg for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen."

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Now playing...

Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven (as performed by Albert King)

Ev'rybody wants to laugh
Ah, but nobody wants to cry
I say ev'rybody wants to laugh
But nobody wants to cry

Ev'rybody wants to go to heaven
But nobody wants to die

Ev'rybody wanna hear the truth
But yet, ev'rybody wants to tell a lie
I say ev'rybody wants to hear the truth
But still they all wanna tell a lie

Oh ev'rybody wants to go to heaven
But nobody wants to die

Ev'rybody wanna know the reason
Without even askin' why
Oh, ev'rybody wanna know the reason
Oh, without even askin' why

You know ev'rybody wanna go to heaven
But nobody wants to die

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Know what I'm doing right now?

Making some country fried pork chops and gravy. Mmm... sometimes (sometimes, I say), it's good to be me.

Smell that? It's just about done. So I gots to get going.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Some kids.

Daniel and Cole with great hair.

Beautiful girl.

A Catechism Moment

ME: What is adoption?

COLE: Adoption is... adoption is....

ME: Adoption is what I'm going to put you people up for if you don't learn your catechism!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Yeah, I'm a bard alright.

You're as literary minded as the Bard himself!
You are a complete literary geek, from knowing the
classics (even the not-so-well-known classics
and tidbits about them) to knowing devices used
in writing, when someone has a question about
literature, they can bring it to you and rest
assured; you know the answers.

How much of a literary geek are you?
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You wanna know how many books I read in High School? I can remember finishing TWO. TWO BOOKS. One of them was the Bible. Never mind the other one. YES! I am a literary MASTER, so step off all you literary pretenders. Don't even speak to me, unless you wish to ask me a question about literature.


Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Oh, the lessons we learn...

Tonight I learned of the death of a man I knew from my childhood... a man who was kind to me at a time when not many people were being kind to me. I'm told by my mother that this man loved me very much, though I did not hear much about him for many many years... until tonight. The initial report on the news was that he was shot while driving his truck, and crashed into a garage. But the details I'm hearing are even more disturbing. "Butch," as we called him, is alleged to have been involved with another man's wife. Let us learn from Butch's folly. I'm being told that his head was blown nearly completely off, and next to his body lay a bouquet of flowers with a "Hope you get well soon, Butch" card attached. I have to admit, this certainly scores style points with that strict, dark, vengeful part of me. But what a tragic story about the end of a fool. A fool purported to have loved me. I'm quite disturbed and a bit conflicted about this whole thing -- I mean, you can't say the guy didn't get what he had coming, but grace and mercy and pity and sorrow should have a place in this story too.

Men, our Bible lesson for the night here at Confessions of a Raging Calvinist is:

"... whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away. For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gift." -- Proverbs 6:32-35.

Learn this lesson, men. Don't be this special kind of wicked fool.