Saturday, June 28, 2008

Justin Martyr

I read the book, "The Four Witnesses" about a year ago and in this book there was a great philosopher and Christian, Justin Martyr. I was thinking about him just now as I was reading an article from that Matt G sent me to and Justin was mentioned there. His name keeps popping up in my life time and time again and I really feel drawn to this man's words and I am looking for some additional books with some of his writings and more information about whom he is?

Can anyone suggest any?

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Massive Question - Pulling no Punches on this One.

This is a big question. This is the one that sits on my shoulder the most.

When I was in the 4th grade, a week before Thanksgiving, my grandmother was killed by a drunk driver. When Thanksgiving rolled around, we did not really feel like having a dinner... but we did. We also set an empty place for her at the table.

In my entire childhood, communion was a symbolic gesture of us getting together to remember who has gone past us before.

When the wife became Catholic I learned the Catholic views on the wine and bread and how the bread and wine transubstantiate into the body and blood of Christ.

This made and currently still makes no sense to me... the wife and I have gone around and around on a tilt-a-whirl on this one.

I cannot logically understand or wrap my mind around it enough to just accept it on faith. What is the philosophy behind this? The tradition behind this? And for the love of all that is good... is there any proof?

Many traditions have customs to remember their dead. For instance the Japanese set up an altar to remember them... so how do we know that he simply wished for us to gather together and simply remember him?

This one question will probably produce the most responses out of me yet. While my other questions were answered in ways that I could fully appreciate, this one... I go round and round on with people. It is not that I am trying to be difficult, but my brain needs a kind of re-wiring on this.

Because the answers I have received have been so good so far, I am hoping someone will just knock me off of my feet with something that helps me come to terms with this.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Question About Terminology... but A Story First

The Kelly clan had an Exodus from their native lands in the north to the lands of Hy Many due to the Danish incursion in the north. Upon reaching the region the locals, the Fir Bolgs, had begun to prepare an attack. A local priest working with the locals, named Grellan, whom studied under St Patrick, heard about the impending attack and worked to bring about a peace between the two sides.

The Kelly clan, which incidentally did not use Kelly as a hereditary name yet, and the Fir Bolgs exchanged hostages. Cian, of the Fir Bolgs, sent some of his people to live with the Kelly Clan and in return Main More of the Kelly clan sent one of his sons and some of his people to live among the Fir Bolgs.

Main More's son went to live with the Law Bringer of the Fir Bolgs and his wife. They fell in love... thus angering the Law Bringer who convinved Cian to kill the Kelly's living amongst them. Cian killed them and then realizing his mistake sent messengers to Main More and invited him and the rest of the clan chieftains to a party and that they should leave their weapons home.

The night of the party arrived and not knowing the ambush that lie ahead Main More and his chieftains headed to the Fir Bolgs unarmed.

The Fir Bolgs awaited in a marsh along the path.

Grellan, the priest, found out about the impending ambush and stepped in front of his church and called upon the Lord and the ground beneath the Fir Bolgs became a quagmire and they were sucked into the ground.

From this point on Grellan became the Patron Saint of Clan Kelly.

What exactly is a Patron Saint? What does that mean?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Weekend

We were pretty exhausted from the events of the last few weeks and like my knee, our spirits, our minds and hearts were simply battered and bruised.

Friday night the wife and I went out to eat. We hit Logan's Steakhouse and ate copious amounts of steak, ribs and shrimp and even though the place was packed... our table felt secluded in the sea of people and we just talked about everything. The wife obviously had a lot she had wanted to say as I was half done with my food while hers sat there and she was working on her salad.

I had to smile at one point and point at her food and suggest she try some, it was delicious.

She needed to talk however and that was really good.

We then took a stroll through the Avenue, which is the new shopping area in Murfreesboro. She wanted to look at a few things and we eventually ended up at Yankee Candle. We were just going to look, but we found some great smelling candles and I ended up having to go outside and sit on a bench. My knee was at this point absolutely screaming at me.

She was left alone... with my wallet.

Duh Duh Duhhhhhhh

lol it was not bad, she found some great smelling candles and generally while I love oils and incense more, these really made the place smell great.

We walked to Barnes and Noble for a few minutes and while I wanted to stay longer, I was exhausted. Well I should say my knee was, I was starting to drag my leg around at this point... ha ha

Our final stop at the night was a candy run at Wal-Mart. We had plans for Saturday to do something for our kids. We were going to surprise them with a movie, something we generally only do on NetFlix, but a nice Saturday matinee with my brood would be nice.

I really wanted to see Kung Fu Panda, however we were going to let the kids decide.

So Saturday rolls around, we don't tell the kids what we are doing and we arrive at the movie theater... they are jumping around acting nuts.

I tell them what movies are playing... and an almost unanimous response is.... cue Drum Roll...

Kung Fu Panda.


What a really great movie and my kids were sooooo good in this packed movie theater. Sure it is a kid's movie, but it also is not a playground. But they laughed and cheered with all of the other kids and they ate huge amounts of candy and popcorn.

The troubles and the pain of the last few weeks melted away, if not all the way... then a good portion. The wife enjoyed herself as well.

This was a gift to them... and a good friend of the family helped us do this. So to her, and she knows who she is... thank you. Your gift to us was a help to the kids and the wife and myself. There was sooo many smiles and laughter during this dark time in our life. The words I write simply cannot express the gratitude I feel for what you helped accomplish.

Currently Reading

Due to suggestions I am reading "The Confessions of St. Augustine". If anyone out there wants to read it while I do, Google Books has a full view copy of the edition that now exists in the Public Domain.

Here is the link if anyone is interested

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Response to the Comments - Natural States

I am not sure what I expected when I posted my first question, however I simply was not expecting the very verbose and detailed answers I received. I expected fluff answers I suppose, however the responses left were exactly what I was looking for.

Well thought out answers to what I was seeking.

I am rather floored at the answers too, here I am looking for logic and truth and I am slammed heavily with it.

This is a very good thing I say and is in no way a complaint.

You see, I am a web nerd and I spend a lot of time on various news sites and one of the sites I hit the most is While the stories continue to be funny and interesting over there, there is a massive anti-Christian community over there and it is tiring to hear that over and over again. Some people delight in taking hope from others and it really was sucking away my will power.

So to see this very opposite attitude on the Intertron of the web really gives me some strength.

@nightfly - I am glad I received your response first. This really got my appetite going. Thank you.

@flexo - Your first words "Death of our current physical body IS a natural state." hit me like a steam roller for some reason. It was as if you drew a line in the sand and showed me the two sides. So thank you for your response, the length of your reply was beautiful and I appreciate you taking the time to respond. Benedict's words moved me to tears as it was what I needed. So many loud vocal atheists are out there with these horrific attitudes, I simply thought there were no more smart Christians left to defend their faith. I am glad this is not the case, I simply did not know where to look.

@gail f - You said "I don't think anyone does think that death (physical death) is not natural." I fully believe that I just fully misunderstood when I have had conversations in the past with people. I tend to be a bit shy or I tend to take a longer time to think things through before I begin to question more in depth. Using this blog as a medium has really allowed me to formulate my questions and responses by taking time to consider everything.

As to this part, "Proof? No. The truth that death really isn't natural to us comes from revelation." I am fully acceptable of revelation, most of the proof and truth I seek is the intellectual kind, the thoughtful argument for and against things. All my life I happily put the truths in my life to the test and I was never afraid of change. If something made sense and it applied well to my life and it was not a lie then I was able to "bend like a reed in the wind".

Thank you for taking the time.

@scott j - I had in my life ever heard of anything that resembled your argument before. I am talking about the state of man before the fall as you mentioned. It seems that not many Protestant churches really talk much about that and up until 14 years ago I was very involved in my church. What you say makes sense to me though, while I was looking for an answer on "how can death be unnatural" and instead I get answers on creation, nature and grace like you mentioned at the end of your comment. So thank you.

@capital-g-geek: Your answer was perfectly condensed. Thank you. You basically took what everyone said and showed the verses. So thank you for taking the time for that.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hulk Buy Pony

This is a test of posting via cellphone.

Prayer Request

I woke up this morning with this tremendous feeling of vertigo and I have two super massive things I absolutely have to do today... otherwise I would call out of work and stay home in bed.

I have to launch a new program, which is not so important that it could not wait.

The second is that the wife and I have a date tonight...which is SUPER important to me.

Space Truckin'

A Little Something to Go With Today's Post

Natural States

For my first question I am going to ask something that simply "bugs" me as it makes absolutely no sense to me every single time I hear it.

The question is...

Why do people think that death is not a natural state for mankind?

I hear this from time to time and even from me own wife that death is not a natural state for us.

Everything breaks down in our universe from cars, trees, buildings, candy bars, wombats, breakfast cereals to suns and now theorizing on time itself, it appears that the natural state of everything is to eventually break down. So how is death not a natural state when the entire universe itself appears to break down and die?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Faygo and the Wine

I am a computer programmer and my diet consists of junk food. Couple that with a stagnant moving position and you have DAMIEN THE GIANT and I don't mean that in a good way. I used to drink sugary substances and partake of many fine products from the hallowed halls of Mars, Inc. Now, as I am older and needing to be DAMIEN THE NOT SO GIANT AND NOT SO TINY JUST RIGHT SIZED... I stay away from the junk food.

In the evenings, I tend to drink wine these days. A nice merlot hits the spot just right with my dinner to help that digestion and to help lower my Moon High Cholesterol levels. Just in the right amounts it does the body good right right?

Well, isn't that like religion in my life?

I mean, my early formative years was me being dragged around a Church of Christ Environment and the Church of Christ are a very solemn lot. Dancing is bad, music is mostly bad, don't make the deacons mad because they can fire the pastor or they can set you on fire with their eye lasers. Mostly rather a frumpy lot and I have direct experience to this fact. Sorry if any of you are Church of Christ members... no, I am not apologizing for my words either. I was one of you, I am really sorry.

Later, I ended up Baptist. Whhooooo I was a long haired metal freak in highschool trying to make it in a Baptist church, a televised one at that too. Those experiences were fun, but lacked any real substance. The same stories over and over again, all sugary and happy and anything else was frowned upon. You could not challenge ideas with new ideas, you could not sate your own appetite with logic, because the printed answer was always "You have to have faith".

Well, I had faith, I mean I had faith every time I sat in the pew right? I mean the pew isn't going to collapse and drop me to the floor right? But I also understood the reason why the pew did not just fall apart. I understood that screws, nails, glue, the positioning and angle of the legs, all of that held the pew upright so I did not have to worry about anything and I could practice faith. If I saw a rickety chair, poorly constructed I am not going to have much faith that it will hold aloft my fat butt.

So, my approach to religion is the same way, thanks to Georges Lemaitre who constructed the first theory of the Big Bang, who just so happened to be a Catholic priest I was able to begin in my own life rationalizing and finding common ground between the existance of God and the perpetual motion clock of our universe.

However there is a major pitfall and I did not avoid it and I fell into the train of throught that suddenly God was more distant. I began to believe that perhaps God has limited or no involvement in our lives. Sure he wants us to live morally, however I understood with reason and logic that to live a moral life was for the good of myself, my family and society as a whole and not necessarily that of God or religious texts installing in me.

My wife, bless her, loves me and has not smothered me in my sleep yet. She is incredibly too good for the likes of me, but I am so incredibly gifted with her by my side. I see time and time again the good that she draws to her and her heart. In the recent tragedy in our lives I am beginning to see things that stir my heart. I don't know if it is actually God doing anything, but those who believe he is directly working in their lives have been showing that love to us. I have been touched by that love.

So I am searching for truth and some questions I will be posting simply do not have any answer too, but you can thank my grandfather for those genes. I am an inquisitive type and I will even toss out those "Devil's Advocate" questions, not to be mean spirited and not to be all angry. I ask those kinds of questions because I look for truth and honest answers.

I am looking for something finer to my mental and spiritual self than a big bottle of Faygo, I am looking for a smooth merlot or a nice shiraz.

Oh and what does Faygo taste like? Sugar Water ...reminds one of Jolt really. Lots and lots of sugar, the kind of sugary high that makes your teeth chatter and it opens up wormholes in space. Which could be really cool if you want to pull a Dr. Dave Bowman.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Crushing Day - Satriani

Some Satriani to get your day going right.

A co-worker sent this to me... ahhh yes... happy music

I Sing Whenever I Sing Whenever I Sing

Hikeeba everyone!

Damien here, welcome to my religious blog.
You see, when I was a young boy (queue blues harmonica) I was very involved in my church. I had close friends there and I really wanted to live my life serving others. I wanted to help people and religion played a huge role in my life.

Things went kind of down hill over the years, much my own fault and some blame I point a finger at.... ahhh... you... right there, the 2nd guy on the right in the blue blazer and the pink socks. I am staring right at you buddy.

Lately things have been changing in my life, through a tragedy and the kindness of those around us I have been expressing some interest in my wife's church.

I was raised Faygo....err.... Protestant and me own wee wife is Catholic. Ooooh Ahhhhh.... Duh Duh Duhhhhhh... Yeah as a Faygo, I mean Protestant I had been taught to hate Catholics.

Welp, these days I am a Deist. I don't know where I am going to end up... but it sure is going to be a wacky ride. I need some answers blast it, I have questions and you people are being dragged along on the back of my pickup truck while we blast early Kenny Rogers songs. Ok, I am just kidding about the dragging you part and the pickup truck and the Kenny Rogers.

Well mostly kidding anyways.