Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why have a book of rules ??

I spent 23 years in the military. From the very first day you were trained that there was a regulation that covers everything you do. While it may not have been true that everything was covered, it sure seemed like it to this basic trainee at the time.

If you did not follow the rules, well lets just say that there were specific corrective measures that were spelled out. However, in basic training, individual punishments were not normally meted out, they were usually applied collectively. So you learned that what you did affected the rest of the guys in the unit. This was a lesson in unit cohesiveness, that was very effective, as some in the unit found out when they didn't want to follow the rules.

Those who were in the military know what usually happens is called a blanket party. In its mildest form, the offender is wrapped up in his sheets and blanket (hence the term) and is given a 'party' to try to make him see the error of his ways, usually being left outside the dorm, in a very embarrassing manner, often without a stitch of clothing !!

In its worst form, the guy is beaten black and blue, or fragged. The worst form is usually reserved for battlefield violators who, through their offense, managed to have someone other then themselves maimed or killed. This is the sort of thing that was the basis for the movie A Few Good Men, where they labeled it a Code Red.

In my case, there was one guy who didn't want to shower, and found out how rough those toilet brushes really were. The DI (drill instructor) 'happened' to be staying at home that night. We wrapped him up, dragged him into the shower, turned on the water, poured on the liquid floor soap, scrubbed him down with toilet brushes. He showered daily from then on.

So, why am I bringing this up. Well, much is made of how the PC(USA) is a connected denomination. What one presbytery does, it does in the name of all presbyteries, and following that logic, in the name of all individual members of the PC(USA).

Well, John Knox Presbytery just did something that Bob Davis over at PresbyBlog calls a Constitutional Crisis. There is a link to the Presbyterian Outlook story in this post that can give you more background.

He continues that original post with a follow up talking about what to do about it. I fully expect that those Presbyterians who follow what is going on in the PC(USA) will be either up in arms, or clapping hands.

I'm firmly in the 'up in arms' camp, and wondering when the blanket party will finally happen, if ever.

And so it goes .....

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Presbyterian Humor

For those of the Frozen Chosen who can chuckle ta themselves, Joseph at A Higher Orthodoxy blog has posted You Might Be A Presbyterian if ....

Some of these have been around before, but some are new, and all are funny, but they do tend to hit close to home!

A Tip of the Hat to Steve Salyards at the Ga Junkie.

Friday, February 19, 2010

My kitty has cancer.

Back in 1997/98 we had to put our cat Niniane to sleep. It was a painful time for me, I was a 'dog' person you see, and would never grow close to a cat. That was until I married SWMBO, who had two. Ninny adopted me, made sure I understood cat routine, as well as cat hierarchy, which is "Feline first, human second". I willingly adapted to that paradigm, which made it all the harder when we had to put her down. I said at that time, never again.

Until I saw Delenn at a local adopt-a-cat weekend in Tampa. She was part Russian Blue, like Ninny, and she sat on my shoulder without batting an eyelash. As she grew older, she never tired of trying to sit on my shoulder, although as she grew older, it was harder to fit her on my shoulder. She was my 'little girl' with a fuzzy face.

Today we found out that she probably has lymphoma. The vet was all prepared for us to start chemo immediately, but was somewhat stunned when we asked what was the prognosis. The average was six months, which to us, did not make any sense. That time was more for us, then for her, as we really have no idea what her quality of life would be during that time. Nausea and diarrhea were just some of the side-effects mentioned, although they do not treat pets as aggressively as humans. That said, why put her through that, just for us to selfishly have her around for a few more months, avoiding the pain and the loss.

Its not right ... so we'll get her home tomorrow, make her as comfortable as we can, and when it looks like its time, we'll put her to sleep.

And I'll bawl my eyes out, just as I did 12 years ago.

And so it goes ... !

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Another year of membership losses!!

Julia Duin of the Washington Times was linked to by Church and (the old Presbyweb) on Saturday. On her Belief Blog she talks about the 2010 yearbook from the National Council of Churches. In it, the NCC lists all the different denominations in the US and Canada, and their membership totals for 2009.

Its no surprise that the PCUSA again dropped 3.28% of its members, however we also dropped to last place in the top 10 denominations in the yearbook, we were passed by the Assemblies of God, who also gained 1.27%. I fully expect that next year we may drop out of the top 10, joining the UCC which is also down by 2.93% and who went from 22 to 23 on the list, and the Episcopal Church, down 2.81% but maintaining its status as 15th.

So who's gaining?? Of the top 25* on the list, the Catholic Church (not sure if this covers only the Roman Catholic, or all Catholic churches who recognize the Pope), number 1 on the list and up 1.49%. Well, I expected that, with 68 million members, the birth rate would allow for that growth. The Mormons (#4), Jehovah's Witnesses (#22), the Church of God (based in Cleveland TN) #24.

So who shows growth?? Two denominations that affirm the Apostles Creed (I believe the Church of God does), and two that affirm no Trinitarian creeds and could be labeled 'cults' by some. However, in all cases, those showing growth take a traditional view of the hot topics of the day.

And who are losing members?? Denominations that are willing to redefine the Bible in ways to fit the mores of society, rather than trying to teach society that it should redefine its mores to fit what is taught in the Bible.

... and so it goes !!

* these are denominations with over 1 million listed members.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cardiac Cath

When you get to a certain age, it seems like your warranty expires and everything starts to go south.

I've already talked about my thumb joint problems (which is better BTW), but then something else decided to cause an issue. I have these pains that feel like someone is clamping on my esophagus. The pain sometimes radiates to my jaw, and that triggered a response by my GP to get a stress test.

Got the test, the cardiologist didn't like what he saw, so I had to go in for a cardiac cath test. Turns out the pipes are fairly clear, just need to watch my cholesterol and such. Great, but I can't do anything like lift 10 lbs, or push anything for three days.

Comes the snow ... weather reports said about 6 to 10 inches, looks a heck of a lot deeper than that.

So, I guess SWMBO will have to learn how to use the snow blower today.