stories, lessons, and a lot of nonsense

Archive for October, 2008

interracial marriage


Did you know that you can find a verse in the Bible to support almost any insane belief you want to believe in. One such crazy belief is that interracial marriage is wrong. There are a variety of verses that are ripped out of context to support the belief, but none of it makes sense. I never really experienced much bias towards this issue until I lived in the south. Interestingly enough, MOST people do not have a huge problem with all interracial relationships. They just don’t like blacks and whites being together. But being married to an Asian does have its own set of bias viewpoints that come along with it.

Here are some things I’ve learned about Sarah and I through others’ wisdom:

  1. Sarah must speak Korean and know karate.
  2. I must have been in the Navy, stationed in Okinawa.
  3. I moved her whole family here from Asia to live with us. That must be a normal dowry.
  4. Sarah is a mail ordered bride. It only happened once, but I was seriously asked one time if that was how I met her. If I were ordering a bride from a catalogue, and she were in there, I would pick her. I think this is a clear indication that the person asking knew Sarah was way out of my league, and the only way to nab her would have been to order her.
  5. And, of course, she is Japanese. We thought for the longest time she was Korean, but there is video evidence to the contrary. Our wedding tape clearly shows that she is Japanese.

when God makes you uncomfortable


Our dog, Jaysian, is funny. She looks more like Master Splinter than a dog, but she’s our dog, and we do love her. Like most dogs, she loves running around outside. I have been dedicating ten minutes or more every morning lately to walking her before I go to work. She loves to run around a little before she stops for a bathroom break. That’s not how it happened on Thursday, though. I opened the back door to let her outside, and as she hit the grass, she stopped. The ground was cold, wet, and perhaps even frost covered. It looked like frost, but I didn’t venture out to feel if it was. She is from Florida and has never experienced anything like this. After shaking for a few seconds, she decided not to sniff out a good place to go. After she peed, she walked three or four steps, and she stopped to finish with the rest of her business. Again, she did not feel the need to sniff out a good spot. As soon as she finished, she turned and darted for the door. We were done with our morning walk in less than two minutes. I commented to Sarah as I walked back in that she was ready to go as soon as she felt the grass, cause she didn’t like how it felt. And then it hit me…

Our dog decided to go, because she was uncomfortable. She did not enjoy where she was, and she wanted to get out of there ASAP. Sometimes God has to make us uncomfortable in order to get us to go, too. If I were completely comfortable in my last position, I suppose I wouldn’t be at New Hope. If everything were sunshine and roses for me, I would have been content to stay. Things were not so sunny for me a lot of times, and I began to get mad at God. I couldn’t understand how He could allow so much agony when I was trying to do right by Him. I guess He just needed to shake me up a bit, so He could change my views. I basically had to get ticked off before I could make a decision to go in a whole new direction. Mission accomplished.

No great revolution has ever been started by a group of content people. Are you willing to be revolutionary, or would you rather be comfortable the rest of your life?

for young men only…


Okay, so the title says “for young men only,” but I understand that most of my readers do not fall into that category. Do I have any young men that read my blog? I’m suddenly curious. Well, feel free to keep reading, if you are a slightly outdated man or a woman of any age. Now I’m pretty sure that all the women that read my blog are young women. Right? Right. Hey, stupid, what are you getting at? Oh, thanks for bringing me back on track. I was distracted. for young men only is the title of a book I’m reviewing today. It said it was “a guy’s guide to the alien gender,” so I figured it had to be worthwhile. I thought I had a chance to learn something, but alas, these guys don’t know anything that another married guy doesn’t already know. Shoot! But if I had had this book when I was a teenager, I would have known just enough to be dangerous.

These two guys (Jeff Feldhahn and Eric Rice) set out to learn what goes on inside a woman’s head. It is a worthy venture, but I like my chances of finding Noah’s ark a little better. In their quest, they asked over 1,000 girls some very deep questions. They didn’t just ask homemade jumper wearing church girls, either. I get the impression they asked good girls, bad girls, and even girls who wore pants instead of skirts and dresses. Say it ain’t so! Now, they couldn’t ask all the questions, become some of them pertained to sex. I am not a dad, but I’m 99.9% sure that if a strange man started interviewing my pretend daughter, and the questions included sexually driven questions, his book would never be written. His eulogy, however, would be lovely. So they enlisted the help of their wives.

Throughout the book, they give wisdom to young men that is contrary to what they are taught. The world often portrays life and relationships in a way that is very different than the norm. Women do not want what TV says they want (or should I say that ladies don’t…). They teach young men about themselves, about girls, about treating them right (which seems to be a lost art), about a proper perspective of sex, and what a real take home to the parents guy is like. I loved that last chapter. I felt like I was reading a short biography about myselph.

In the end, I would recommend reading the book if you have a son, are single, or your wife can’t stand you. Ladies, you shouldn’t read the book, because it is for young men only. Sorry, those are the rules. You can get the book at Family Christian if you are interested, or even better, just bug Leslie at the New Hope bookstore, and she can order it for you. I’d give you my copy, but I already gave it to Tom.

hey, my friend…

Anyone that has ever watched America’s Funniest Home Videos knows what the funniest thing in the world is. Every episode involves some unsuspecting dad taking it right to the junk. Every young boy instinctively knows that it is hilarious to hit someone there. You don’t even have to teach it. Dan and I were no different. We knew it was funny. But there was someone in our family who failed to get the joke: Steve.

One day (actually several days of our lives leading up to this day), Dan and I decided to go at Steve, taking turns punching and kicking him in the nuts. He always warned us that we had better stop or else. We were never really sure what or else was, but given the extreme humor attached to his red faced bending at the waste and cussing, we decided it was a risk worth taking. Well, he had finally had enough. He beat the tar out of us on this fateful day.

I don’t remember much of what went down, but here’s what I do remember (what my mind has blocked out has been filled in by Steve). He threw us both on the ground. He would hit one of us while the other laid there waiting for his beating. He alternated back and forth, letting out years of frustration on us. Hitting, yelling, spit flying (death by drowning must have been part of the plan), and I believe there were even a few mobster kicks in there. He was very precise, as most big brothers are, making sure to hit us just so there were no marks (evidence) left for Mom to see. I pretty much remember the first couple of hits, and then I retreated to my happy place. I don’t know where that was, but my mind was gone.

Steve stormed off, leaving us crying on the floor, and went downstairs to his bedroom. After his rage subsided, he started to feel bad. He came upstairs to apologize and see how we were, and he was surprised by what he saw. There we were, still lying on opposite sides of the living room, crying. As he approached, we began to shake, fearing there was more to come. I believe there are few times in his life that he felt guiltier than he did at that moment…and he deserved it. He should have been able to take the joke. If only we had set up a video camera and handled it this way, it probably would have turned out much better…

life isn’t fair

“That’s not fair!” How many times have you heard that in a whiny voice? It’s so annoying. I never wanted to be a school teacher, but working at a small church that had a school, I really didn’t have a choice. I did enjoy the time I got to spend with the kids, so it wasn’t all bad. I think my favorite moment was when one of my kids quoted me to another teacher. The teacher said that something wasn’t fair, and one of my 5th grade students raised her hand and said, “Ms. Cardenas, if life were fair, we’d all go to Hell. That’s what Bro. Jeff says.” You can imagine that got back to me quickly. Fortunately, she liked the quote and wrote it on the board, so I didn’t get taken to the principal’s office. I came across this cartoon, and I realize there are other things that really prove that life isn’t fair. Enjoy.