Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fundamental Principles

It's time we Christians come up with a statement on Fundamental Principles of Behavior and Service. This thought is prompted by reading and contemplating the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. There are seven principles. They are Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity, and Universality. You can read them in their entirety at the Red Cross website.

The Christian churches that I've been a part of (Baptist, Evangelical, and Bible) have doctrinal statements, which explain what we think, but they don't explain how we should behave. It's time we changed that. Churches need doctrinal statements. They are the anchors that keep us from drifting. We also need statements on how to act and how we go about our service, so that our behavior matches up with our doctrine. How about these for a start? Remember, it's just a start and it is highly plagiarized from the Red Cross statement.

Fundamental Principle of Behavior and Service

Humanity: Christians, born of the desire to emulate Jesus endeavour "to preach good news to the poor", "proclaim freedom for the prisoners", "recovery of sight for the blind", "release the oppressed", and "proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" without discrimination to all peoples wherever they may be found. Our service is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. We promote mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace among all peoples.

Impartiality: In service to our fellow man, we make no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. We endeavour to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.

Neutrality: In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, we may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.

Independence: We are independent. While subject to the laws of our respective countries, we must always maintain our autonomy so that we may be able, at all times, to act in accordance with the principles of the Jesus Christ.

Voluntary: Christianity is a voluntary movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.

Unity: There is only one Church. It must be open to all. It must carry on its Christian service throughout its territory.

Universality: Christianity, in which all Christians have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Skipped church - is that a sin?

I got a call Sunday morning from the Greater Houston Red Cross. They were looking for help to follow up with a couple of fires. You see, earlier this year I volunteered to be on the Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT). I've been attending the monthly meetings since the beginning of 2008. Last weekend I spent in Red Cross training classes, four hours Thursday, eight hours Friday, and eight hours Saturday for a total of four courses. Well, Sunday I got to practice what I learned.

The first call was a single apartment fire. The ladies name was Latanisha. She was a single mom. The vacant apartment above her caught fire. Her's was pretty much destroyed because of water damage. She still can't get in to get any of her stuff and the longer it stays wet, the less likely it can be salvaged. She's left with nothing. She had the a sweet little nine month old boy. She's lucky in that she's able to stay at her mother's until she can find a place.

The second place was a small wood frame house that was burned. The back half of the house was burned to the ground. An older, single guy, Paul, was living there. It was his parents house, but they are no longer alive. All Paul had left was the clothes on his back. He's staying with his sister. There was insurance on the house, so he may be ok.

We weren't able to do much. We gave Latanisha and Paul some money. It was enough buy some cloths, a little bit of food, and a few other things. They were both very thankful. I felt glad to be able to help, but man, it was so little.

I think it's good to worship God in service to others. Helping Latanisha and Paul was my Sunday Service.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It's so nice to be loved.

Here's what my wife emailed me about my upcoming trip.

"I look super forward to you coming and so do my friends. I think one wants to meet this guy who asked me to read the Irresistible Revolution book. It's a big deal with her and she's passed her book onto another friend. My other friends want to meet the guy who cooks because I don't. They want to meet the guy I miss and think is terrific. Ahh, you'll probably disappoint them so don't get so prideful."

Women, always keeps us in our place.

Costa Rica

I'm going to Costa Rica,
Costa Rica here I come
I'm going to Costa Rica,
Costa Rica here I come
They go a crazy way of loving there
And I'm gonna get me some.
. . .
Yep, I'm going to see my baby doll, sweety pie, lovey dovey, . . .

I strongly dislike airlines. Last night they tell me they can't honor a price that was on their website. This morning, magically, they can! Funny thing, last night it was a woman customer service rep that refused to honor the price. This morning it was a man customer service rep that honored the price. Continental women are mean!

I've been cheated,
been mistreated
When will I be loved?
I've been put down.
I've been pushed 'round
When will I be loved?

That's how it felt.

U-Haul shooting victim

Monday, July 7, 2008

Shoot out at the U-Haul

There was a road rage shootout near the house Sunday morning. How close was it? There are only seven houses between my house and the U-Haul place. It's about a three minute walk. It happed around 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning. A couple of cars had a minor accident that escalated into gun fire. One of the trucks at the U-Haul place had five bullet holes in it. Crazy no? It doesn't appear as though anyone was hurt.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

She's still gone, gone, gone, gone

Well, Brenda has been gone for a week now, only three more weeks to go. I got to talk to her last night. She's had a bit of a tender tummy. No nausea, but she said it feels like someone puncher her in the stomach. On Saturday, her and a couple of other students went to help out with a local children's ministry. Sorry, I don't know the name. They had a party, complete with pinatas. Afterwards they gave away Christmas shoe boxes. I guess they were having Christmas in July. She said there were about 100 kids.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Gone fishing

Turns out that my brother-of-another-mother's, (aka: brother-in-law, aka: uncle Max) wife, Rachel, is also out of town, so . . . Max and I "went a fish'n."

We went out on the Cavalier, which is a 30 foot catamaran. It took us out to the end of Galveston's east jetty. We caught some fish, but nothing worth keeping. It was mostly small hard heads and baby sharks that were caught. I did catch two whitings that were good enough to keep, but I didn't keep them.

The water was a little rough and several people on the boat got sea sick. I've been there and done that, but this time I had the "patch" and it worked great. No sea sickness for me. Yippee. Next time, I want to go out on one of the 12 hour trips. Maybe then I'll catch something worth "keep'n and eat'n".

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My new "charges" BUGS

Just before my lovely wife headed off to Costa Rica, she got some walking sticks (the bugs, not a cane). Now I'm the bug caretaker. In the morning I give the little critters a good spritzing and in the evening I throw in a couple of fresh leaves. Walking sticks are vegetarians. My vegetarian son, Abram, should be happy about that.

These guys are boring. They pretty much just sit there. But, they are pretty cool to look at. One of the internet sites where I read up about these guys, said that when they are agitated they sway like they are being blown by a breeze. My guys are as steady as a rock, no swaying. Maybe tonight I'll see if I can agitate them!

Don't worry honey, the "kids" are fine.