Friday, March 23, 2012

Ten Commandments for Atheists

I spied this back in November on USA Today's website.  It's interesting how similar Jillette's Ten Commandments are to God's ...  and offers good food for thought!

Penn Jillette's 10 Commandments for atheists

(RNS) In his new book, "God, No!" atheist magician Penn Jillette tells how he was challenged by conservative radio host Glenn Beck to come up with an atheist's version of The Ten Commandments.

"I wanted to see how many of the ideas that many people think are handed down from (G)od really make sense to someone who says, 'I don't know.'"

Here's his list:

1. The highest ideals are human intelligence, creativity and love. Respect these above all.

2. Do not put things or even ideas above other human beings. (Let's scream at each other about Kindle versus iPad, solar versus nuclear, Republican versus Libertarian, Garth Brooks versus Sun Ra— but when your house is on fire, I'll be there to help.)

3. Say what you mean, even when talking to yourself. (What used to be an oath to (G)od is now quite simply respecting yourself.)

4. Put aside some time to rest and think. (If you're religious, that might be the Sabbath; if you're a Vegas magician, that'll be the day with the lowest grosses.)

5. Be there for your family. Love your parents, your partner, and your children. (Love is deeper than honor, and parents matter, but so do spouse and children.)

6. Respect and protect all human life. (Many believe that "Thou shalt not kill" only refers to people in the same tribe. I say it's all human life.)

7. Keep your promises. (If you can't be sexually exclusive to your spouse, don't make that deal.)

8. Don't steal. (This includes magic tricks and jokes — you know who you are!)

9. Don't lie. (You know, unless you're doing magic tricks and it's part of your job. Does that make it OK for politicians, too?)

10. Don't waste too much time wishing, hoping, and being envious; it'll make you bugnutty.
"Bugnutty."  I like that word! 

The Promise of Spring

Matthew 13:31-32
31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

He sat silently on the pew bench, half listening to the eulogy, half replaying scenes of his father.  This gentle man had 'slipped the bonds of earth' a few days ago after having languished in a long battle with cancer.  This gentle man -- a veteran of three wars: World War II, Korea, and then Vietnam.  He was a man that had served his country for many years -- honorably, faithfully, devotedly.  

Paul's father Frank had taught and modelled these beliefs and behaviors throughout his entire life, bring encouragement and inspiration to his family ... unto the second and third generations.  Frank remained ever active, not only working beyond the normal age of retirement, but being an active member in numerous church and community organizations: The Lions Club, the local VFW post, the Red Cross, Meals On Wheels, the town council, food pantries ... numerous groups, numerous people impacted by his leadership and service.

As his mind wandered back to the eulogy, Paul lifted his face a bit and raised his eyes toward the window.  The church was an old-fashioned one that had clear window panes -- very simple, elegantly beautiful.  Outside Paul could see the trees gently moving their branches in the springtime wind.  His attention was drawn away from the eulogy to the beauty of the trees.  Against the backdrop of some evergreens, some trees were just starting to bud in the surprising warmth of the early spring.  Some trees were in full red bud regalia.  Others were covered in lovely white or light pink blossoms.  Some trees had hints of green, evidence of the coming green blow-out.  Yet, a few were still completely naked -- no evidence of life yet.

The contrast of the trees' differing stages of spring were intriguing.  For Paul, his father Frank, who was a faithful Christian, was like the evergreens that were always alive and vibrant, never dormant in spite of the world's happenings.  Paul knew other people who were in full bloom in their faith lives.  Their lives were beautiful, natural displays of life in Christ.

And he was acquainted with a few whose lives were "bare branches."  Paul included himself in this group, having been in an ongoing struggle with Faith and the Church for many years.  He yearned to have the faith of his father, but just could not seem to ever "bloom." 

"I can still always hope ... maybe I'm like the other trees whose branches are still bare.  Maybe my time is yet to come.  My father planted me with good roots in fertile soil.  Maybe my time is, indeed, yet to come.  Lord, let it be so!"

"Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone but in every leaf in spring-time."  -- Martin Luther

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Foxworthy to host Bible Trivia Game Show

Sounds like fun!  From TV Guide via FoxNews ---

Jeff Foxworthy to host Bible-based trivia game show

Forget 5th graders... how well do you know the Good Book?

GSN has chosen Jeff Foxworthy to host the pilot of its new one-hour game show, "The American Bible Challenge," the network announced Wednesday.

On the trivia show, contestants will pit their knowledge of the Bible against their opponents. And although the competition will be fierce, it's all in the name of goodwill. Teams will play for a worthy faith-based organization, and the contestants will share their compelling backstories with the audience.

"I am excited to be hosting a show about the bestselling book of all time," Foxworthy said in a statement. "It will be interesting to find out what people really know, and an opportunity to present the Bible in a fun and entertaining way."

Foxworthy was also the host of the trivia show, "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" The American Bible Challenge pilot will shoot later this month.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Potato Chips

A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with a bag of potato chips and a six-pack of root beer and started his journey.

When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old man. He was sitting in the park, just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old man looked hungry, so he offered him some chips. He gratefully accepted it and smiled at him.

His smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer.  Again, he smiled at him.  The boy was delighted!

They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

As twilight approached, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave; but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old man, and gave him a hug. He gave him his biggest smile ever.

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face.  She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?"

He replied, "I had lunch with God."  But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what?  He's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!"

Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and he asked, "dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?"
He replied "I ate potato chips in the park with God."  However, before his son responded, he added,  "You know, he's much younger than I expected."

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.  People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime!  Embrace all equally!

Have lunch with God.......bring chips.