Monthly Archives: October 2013

Halloween 2013

Hope you all had a great Halloween season, we did!

This is the last post of this season starting off with Wednesday’s Trunk or Treat at Springfield High School. The students of SHS decorated their cars and handed out candy and manned some booths with games for all the kids of the community. The Fire Department, Police, SWAT, EMS and other city groups showed up and let the kids see their equipment and handed out candy.

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One of the coolest costumes we saw this season has got to be the transformer at Trunk or Treat.

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But I think the best part of the whole night was being able to see Kylee and Macey again. Its been so long since we’ve been to library but they are both in school so they wouldn’t be there anyways.

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On Thursday, 10/31, we made our way to Little Country School House for their Halloween party. Chelsie, April, and Crystal dressed up as Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather (respectively) but they didn’t get a picture! Can you believe it.

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This was so much fun. Seeing kids from those who can’t walk all the way up to the Pre-K dressed up in their costumes was a treat. As part of the fun each class went to every other class to sing songs and show off their costumes. The songs were cute; Five Little Pumpkins, Ghosts and Goblins, I’m a Jack-O-Lantern, etc.

20131031-153621.jpgThe Pre-K classes made our way to the School-Age room and got ready for the food! While we set up the food Ms. Chelsie got the kids dancing to Just Dance on the Wii to pass the time. The food was pretty good and most of the kids ate up the PB&J sandwiches, the mummies (pigs in a blanket), pizza rolls, and the fruits and veggies too.

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Thursday night we made our way to the Clarksville Mall for their trick-or-treating event.

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I don’t think I need to say this but it was CROWDED! We showed up about 530, it started at 500 and the candy at some/most of the places was gone already. Sariah was having fun so we stayed and I wanted to see the Halloween magic show. A guy from Halloween Express showed the kids the length of the average small intestine, the magic of dry ice, and confused a few with the open/closed circuit experiment. Below is a picture of his dry ice being dumped into a pan of boiling water.

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The very best part about the mall that made up for the crowd was seeing so many different costumes. one of my favorite is pictured below. The girl is Abbey Bominable from Monster High and her mom and dad were both Yetis, so cute.

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I had to work on Friday, Sariah and Crystal got to go to Ben and Bella’s house to trick or treat around their neighborhood. Sariah was Bride Rapunzel, Ben was Darth Maul, and Bella was Ambassador Amidala. From the reports they had a great time and even better time with the sleep over that night.

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Alright last but not least. I must wish my sister a big Happy 27th Birthday. She spent it dressed as a Princess Buzz Lightyear? apparently, good on ya!

20131102-164106.jpg Oh, one more thing….we’re not twins.

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I am going to end this post with a list of some of the costumes we saw this year, there were of course multiples of so many of these but I tried to get the gist of them:

Gypsie, Astronaut, Female captain America, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Snow White, Crocodile, Dragon, Bat man and Batgirl and robin, Hula girl, Sub zero, Scooby Doo, NASCAR driver, Doctor, Tiger, Clawdine, Frankie, and Abbey from monsters high, A couple of Witches, Orange m&m, red power rangers, Pink ranger, Wolverine, Cruella deville, Wonder Woman, Peterpan, Superman, Ironman, mermaids, Firefighter Spider, Ghost, Spider-Man, Cleopatra, Sully and mike wazowski, Cheerleader, Raggedy Ann, Cat in the hat, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Leia, Darth Vader, Doc McStuffins, Dog, sheep, Dinosaur, Sock monkey Pirate, Cardinals baseball player, GI joe, Woody, Flora fauna and merriweather, Minecraft Steve, Plankton, Fixit Felix, Katniss everdeen, lalaloopsie, Red angry bird, Green screen man, Rainbowdash, Cindyloo who, Flapper, Ice girl from monster high, Tinkerbell, Flex, Sally from nightmare before Christmas, Minions upon minions, Piglet eyeore Winnie the Pooh, Uncle Si, Sponge bob, Jake never land pirate, Red riding hood, Geo and Milli in a wagon decorated as oomi car, and princess buzz lightyear…. there were so many more but I was taking notes on my phone so I’m sure I missed a few.

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You Aren’t Going To Read This Post…

Ha, I knew you would read this post, the title was just a joke.

Been thinking and discussing free will lately and I’ll apologize now, I just love memes.

One acquaintance of mine, I like to call her Handy Helper (HH), has been attempting to explain her god and his power and awe to me for quite a while and was the spark of my inquiry. She is quite literally the thickest headed person I have ever talked to as she will not hear or conceded any points I make. She even goes so far as to say that we needn’t worry about the lives of any other person in the world, or at least in the third world countries. More about her later.

As luck would have it, a call came in to a podcast show I listen to and the topic turned to free will. Below is a questionnaire-like response that was given to the caller. Courtesy of Matt Dilahunty of the ACA, I present to you an argument against the idea of free will. I didn’t conceive of the questions but I have changed them slightly because I couldn’t recall them exactly but i have captured the essence of them.

I offer them to you to ponder.

Answer each question honestly and then continue to the next. I do not expect this to change everyone’s mind nor do I expect everyone to have the same beliefs about free will and god, but it is at least something to think about.

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Do you believe god created everything?

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Yes-this universe and our lives are a direct result of that creation

No-why praise him, he is not then the all powerful creator god

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Do you believe god had decisions about what kind of universe to make or is this the only possible outcome?

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Yes-he chose this one, everything in it was created purposefully

No-is he not all powerful?

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Do you believe god has knowledge of the future; is he eternal, knows the future, knows the outcome of decisions and actions?

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Yes-god is eternal and all powerful, he created time and space and knows the past, present,and future.

No-god’s power has limits

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If you answered yes to all of these questions, like most people do, you should rethink your understanding or thoughts on free will.

These three circumstances preclude the option of free will.

A god that created this universe over other options with a knowledge of the future has already decided everything that has and WILL happen. He chose this universe in which this specific set of decisions has already been made; there is NO free will.

Many people believe that the god that created the universe knows the decisions that have/will be made, but the series of question addresses the fact that a god would have known the result of the decisions that would be made in the billions of different options and that god chose this very sequence of decisions. This logically means that the person would sense that they have the ability to choose between two or more options but that god has decided which decision will be made and knows what future decision will be made as a result of this one. Free will could only exist with a creator god if that god did not have knowledge of the future and had very little control over the universe that was created.

Back to HH, her stance is the most firm ‘just believe‘ stance that I have ever encountered. She believes in free will but also believes in ‘god’s plan’ (see the diagram below, the bottom question has so many options that I have presented her with but the loop continues). I have attempted to explain to her that free will doesn’t exist but I have been unsuccessful so far. She is the polar opposite of myself; she completely and admittedly refuses to think about anything she believes. I plan to continue because it is fun to see her try to explain something but then go back to the ‘mysterious ways’ claim. My arguments have never been as concise as the one presented above but also I understand now that my claim must change. I can’t argue against free will because I think free will does actually exist.

I will not try to explain that free will doesn’t exist anymore. I understand that my stance is, now, that free will does exist, just not in connection with the creator god claim, most especially the god of the bible, of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob.

The atheistic stance is the penultimate free will claim.

I do not accept the claim that a god is in charge and I make my decisions myself; the decisions I make affect myself, my friends and family, my community, and even my world.

That sentence can easily be continued to the conversation about morality, but I’ll save that for another post.

A Cool Field Trip…literally

 

 

 

 

Another field trip with Little Country School House, this time to an actual field!

Just kidding but only slightly. This time, Ms. Chelsea, Ms. Elizabeth, and myself took the Shining Stars to Honeysuckle Hill Farm. I had a great time helping out and I’m pretty sure the kids had fun even if they froze their little fingers off. It was a pretty chilly day but when the sun came out it was quite nice.

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The farm is a great place to take the kids around this time of the year. We were able to make our way through a corn maze following along with the story of Spookley the Square Pumpkin (or Squarely as one of the kids kept calling him). Spookley tells the tale of a pumpkin that didn’t fit in with the other pumpkins because he was square and they were round. Through a series of events his differences became a strength and help to save the other pumpkins leading to the farmer planting more of the seeds that produced Spookley. The story ends with the farm containing pumpkins in a myriad of shapes and colors. This story is a great one for the younger kids to teach a lesson about bullying and fitting in. In the picture below Ms. Chelsea reads one of the story blocks to the kids.

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After the Spookley Corn Maze we made our way to the animal pens and were able to see chickens, goats, rabbits, cows, and pigs. In the picture below I captured the parents lining the kids up to take pictures of them. I like pictures like this, those that look behind the scenes. The pictures we take of these kids will be wonderful but I wanted to show what the kids see. Sometimes we don’t think about it but we as parents can be overwhelming especially in groups like this. We had probably 10 parents who, understandably, wanted to get a picture of their kid, but this can be a bit to much sometimes for the kids.

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After the animal pens we made our way to the Learning Barn. A nice lady talked to the kids to teach them a little bit about pumpkins; where they come from, how the farmers grow them, and how the bees help with the pollination. After talking about the pumpkins she made her way to talking about the bees. Explaining that amazingly one bee only produces about 1/20th of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime and 1 pound of honey is produced from over 2 million flowers’ nectar! From the learning barn we made our way to the long awaited lunch time.

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After lunch we finally got to get on the hay ride and journey over to the pumpkin patch!

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I have no memory of ever going to a pumpkin patch so I was in the same frame of mind as some of the kids. I must admit that the sight when we turned the corner and exited the wooded trail to the patch was a bit underwhelming but it was fun to see the kids light up and to see all the little pumpkins scattered on the ground. Everyone made their way around the field to find their very own pumpkin. I will admit one more thing. Even though the group was only supposed to make their way out of the farm with one pumpkin each, I was handed a few pumpkins by kids who come to find out also handed a pumpkin to some of the other parents. So, I got home with 4 pumpkins but I don’t think Honeysuckle Hill will mind because I have no doubt that we’ll be going back again in the coming years.

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A Ghastly Night with my Family and Friends

Another first for me this Halloween season, the family and I made our way to Ghouls at Grassmere, the Halloween event for the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere.

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This was pretty fun even though I do wish we had been able to get there a bit earlier we did miss the majority of the crowd. This event is centered around the under 12 crowd of children and Sariah had a great time.

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On the signs some of the locations or events were labeled with a ghost-meter for the level of scare, but I found out that it really was nothing to think about as even the highest level of 3 ghosts didn’t phase even the youngest of the children who went through.

We were able to meet up with some friends from work and their children; including Nick, Lauren, Addison, Shannon, Chad, and Harper.

Our favorite part of the night was the hay ride. It was very difficult to get a good picture while on the ride with the dark and the constant movement so no picture here. After the hay ride we made our way to the carousel. The workers attempted to put some fun-scaring in the ride by playing some Halloween music and flickering the lights but again the only screams I heard (save those from Harper, sorry Shannon) were screams of enjoyment as the lights turned out. Below I have added a video of the ride, hopefully it is watchable.

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Just down the path from the Carousel was the Monster Mash. The lively music was great to listen to and the sight of all of those kids having so much fun dancing their hearts away was awesome. It was a blast watching Shannon attempt to get Harper to dance in the Monster Mash.

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After the dance party the group split up because Addison and Harper had already gone through the trick-or-treating part and were ready to go home to get warm and snuggle in bed. We made our way down to the trick-or-treating area. Although many people agree that its a good idea to not make every treat actually candy some of the non-potable treats weren’t as fun. The booths were set up around the paths by volunteers who seemed genuinely happy to be there for the kids.

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The trick-or-treating path wound its way through the Jungle Loop, from the meerkats down to the Bamboo Trail and over to Flamingo Lagoon and back . Very few of the animals were visible which in itself was a bit spooky. Think about it, as I did while walking down there, tigers are somewhere over there in the dark and because they are felines they are most likely nocturnal and are most likely awake right now watching us… spooky. We were able to see the new kangaroo exhibit, though we were not able to walk through it, and the flamingos were out and picking at each other.

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Just past the flamingos, nearing the end of the trick-or-treating, a troll stood guard asking us to leave. Well, he was supposed to be standing guard but he was actually asleep for most of the time but awoke just enough to tell us goodbye. Click the picture to see the video of his goodbye message.

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On the way back to the exit through Zoo Central above the Unseen New World was a small museum of oddities, people and things. Along the trail inside was a collector of oddities including shrunken brains, an eye ball from a cyclops, and the invisible man’s brain. Next we came to Dracula’s neice who explained about vampires and asked us to tell her uncle that she had his hat if we saw him around the Zoo. Past her was a jungle explorer who explained about the many creepy crawlies that lie in wait in the darkness of the rain forests.

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After the explorer we came upon a mad scientist who showed us her rat/snake hybrid she had created and the potion she was brewing. Around the corner was a doctor performing an autopsy on an alien corpse that had crash landed nearby. Strangely enough the innards of the alien were made up of worms.

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The next station was a lady showing her cooking skills with her face pizza with insect toppings and a side of eyeballs.

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Overall I had a great time with Sariah and Crystal at the Zoo for Ghouls at Grassmere. If I must have at least one critical remark I will say with all of the sponsors that seemed to be included in this event the price could be better. As members of the Zoo we still paid $12 each to get in. We came out with happy memories, a cold and tired child, a bit of candy, and maybe best of all a cool glow-in-the-dark cup! I’ll leave you with the message that greeted everyone on their way out.

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Exodus 1

Exodus 1 – Israelites Multiply and are Enslaved

The story of the life of Joseph and his brothers is wrapped up pretty quickly in v.6.

We are told that the generations of the children of Israel become more numerable than the people of Egypt. The timeline of BibleHub gives about 100 years span between the death of Joseph (1800 BCE) and the enslavement (1700 BCE). Think about that in a mere 100 years the Israelites go from about 70 people (v.5) to outnumbering the Egyptians (v.9).

v.8 talks of a new king coming to power in Egypt who doesn’t know Joseph. It doesn’t say how many kings have taken the throne since the famine only that this is the king who didn’t know of Joseph. Two things must be questioned:

1-Similar to Jacob/Israel, why is this king called king and not Pharaoh? The most likely answer is that the word Pharaoh is an anachronism. It is the title that WAS used for the ruler of the Egypt but we must look at the fact that the title wasn’t in use until about 1400 BCE.

2-How does this ‘king’ not know of Joseph? Joseph saved the country from a seven year famine with a dream interpretation and was placed in power over all the land. Even if the king hadn’t met Joseph in person, he would be familiar with the story of that person, its only been about 100 years after all.

The new king warns his people that if the Israelites continue to multiply and they side with an enemy that Egypt would fall. As a result the Egyptians enslaved the children of Israel. Is it correct to think now that the ratio of slaves per capita is greater than 1:1? The population of slaves is greater than the population of the country of Egypt? That would definitely be something that would be recorded in history in more than this single source, but in fact it can’t be found in any of the records of the Egyptians.

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The lives of the children of Israel were made rough, it says everything they were made to do they had to do with rigour. In this instance the bible speaks of the harsh parts of servitude that were never covered when it was the Hebrews that had the slaves.

The king tells the midwives (only two midwives for all of them) that when they birth a baby they are to kill the boys. But the midwives feared god above the king and did not obey him. The king brings the midwives back to ask why they have not listened to him. They responded with little jab at the Egyptians saying that the Hebrew women weren’t like the Egyptians, they give birth to their children before the midwife gets there. Because the king couldn’t get the midwives to kill the sons he commands all of the people to kill the sons and save the daughters.

It seems that he was trying to keep this little bit of infanticide under cover if possible but the midwives wouldn’t listen to him so he had to make it public. Perhaps this is why he didn’t punish the midwives more than talking to them as we would expect him to.

 

The Bright Side

Today has been a day of ups and downs and I feel inspired to be a little more personal on my blogging. Depression and bad moods affect us all at some point in one form or another. These are ramblings of the Med Tech Matthew.

******Before I begin I would like to say that I am sorry for the writing. I went back and read what I had written and instead of editing everything I’ll just say I’m sorry. I tried my best to get my thoughts on the page but that comes with run-on sentences and rambling. Just try to make it through and I hope the heart of the post reaches you. TLDR: Don’t let depression take over your life, face it and get past it.

My wife can attest to the fact that I just woke up in a worse mood than usual. I have routinely woken up in bad moods and my best treatment is audio. This morning the medicine I chose was my Disney Radio station on Pandora. Not only was I woken up in a bad mood but I got a small glimpse of our family’s possible probable future; a mother/daughter spat. I’d like to apologize to them both even though they share partial blame for the mood I didn’t mean for my mood to affect our morning. I’m sorry ladies.

Most days I can put on Pandora and listen to a couple tunes from our favorite Disney princess movies and have a great day. Mulan, Belle, and of course Rapunzel have some of the greatest Disney songs. I’ve linked to the video clips of their songs for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.

My day at work hasn’t really made the mood any better with malfunctions in important parts of our computer system and coworkers fighting with each other. I think the majority of the problems between the coworkers have been aired and some of the passive aggressive crap will stop but I’m sure there is still at least a bit of unresolved issues lingering beneath the  surface. I needn’t say much more on this matter because it doesn’t directly affect me and you really wouldn’t understand the tensions anyways; mostly just that nit-picky stuff that happens when you work 12 hours with someone who’s personality isn’t a good match with yours or the crew’s.

Another bit that is making be depressive lately has been thinking about death. I know it sucks to bring it up and I hope I don’t cause anyone else grief by making you think about it but it’s a fact of our existences. This past week, I was watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and, though it is strange to say this, two episodes really touched me. Both of them dealt with death; ‘Who Watches the Watchers’ explaining that there is no supernatural way around it, and ‘The Bonding’ explaining the feelings associated with facing death.

Are you sure this is what he wants? That’s the problem with believing in a supreme being: trying to determine what he wants.

-Counselor Deanna Troi

Who Watches the Watchers is about the native residents of Mintaka III who mistakenly deify Captain Jean-Luc Picard. The civilization had accepted that not a god but the natural laws governed their world and lives. Liko hopes that ‘The Picard’ would be able to bring his wife and others back to life after their tragic deaths the year prior. Capt. Picard decides to break the Prime Directive and inform the leader of the native group that he was no god only a more advanced civilization. Even though Nuria accepts that the crew of the Enterprise and humans were simply an advanced civilization it was harder for Picard to make her understand that he didn’t have the powers of a god. In the end Liko shot Picard with an arrow and the blood of ‘The Picard’ was enough to convince them of his mortality.

Horrifying… Dr. Barron, your report describes how rational these people are. Millennia ago, they abandoned their belief in the supernatural. Now you are asking me to sabotage that achievement, to send them back into the dark ages of superstition and ignorance and fear? No!

-Captain Jean-Luc Picard

This civilization had abandoned the faith and belief in gods but at the mere thought of the possibility of overcoming death they regressed. I like to think that my mind has evolved beyond the thoughts and hopes of god claims but I fear what I will encounter when I inevitably interact with death myself. I have never put much thought into the finality of death until I was understanding or investigating my lack of belief. I can remember the first time I faced it; the phone call; the emotions; the tears that were shed, and that person wasn’t a member of my family.

“No, I wasn’t prepared at all. How can anyone be prepared to hear that a parent is never coming home again”

-Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher

The second episode that I want to talk about is The Bonding. The episode begins with an away team that is befallen with a tragedy and ends in the death of one of the crew of the Enterprise. Lieutenant Aster was killed in an accident in the caves of the planet while the team were exploring the abandoned war-riddled world. Her son, Jeremy, was left with no living parents as his father had been in an accident years before. Although the crew thought the world to be uninhabited, since the historic wars, through a series of events they learn of a race of beings that still lived there. One of the beings took the form of Lieutenant Aster in the hopes of keeping Jeremy from feeling the pain of losing his mother because of the senseless violence of their world.

“We are mortal, our time in this universe is finite. That is one of the truths all humans must learn.”

-Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Though their intentions were good they didn’t understand the value of coping with loss. As long-living, if not immortal, beings they do not have to face death and deal with the feelings associated with it. Captain Picard tries to explain that humans must face death and deal with the feelings associated with the loss because it is going to happen; we are not immortal. As good as the intentions were of the alien species for Jeremy a fictitious life is no way to live. We as humans must learn to accept death and learn to deal with it because it is going to happen.

Thank you Star Trek writers.

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Remembering back as a younger person going to funerals and facing death was much less depressing than it is now. I was completely aware that even though this person was no longer going to be around we would all be reunited in Heaven. I know that children don’t fully understand death but my those thoughts continued well into my teen years and after. The first time that the gravity of death hit me after my faith faltered I remember quite vividly.

My wife and I were at the Cool Springs Mall when my mom called to inform me that a friend of the family, David McCroy, had passed away. The finality hit me so hard that I broke down into tears and it took quite a while for me to accept the news. This is quite a sight to see; I am a big guy and I was crying like a baby. I don’t make comedy to take away from the seriousness of the subject but to lighten the mood just a bit. I will also explain that because I didn’t know David very well I wasn’t crying because I had lost him; I was crying because I knew Denise, Laura, and Paige, his wife and daughters respectively, had lost their husband and father.

Before the situation above, the thought of death and loss weren’t nearly as bad for me. I was easily able to explain that I would see that person again in Heaven and didn’t actually feel any loss nor did I have any doubt in my faith because of this I could never explain to myself why everyone at the funerals were so upset.

I have accepted that Heaven likely doesn’t exist and that death is real, finite, and lasting. I am grateful that I have not had to deal with the loss of an extremely close relative but I have had many times that simply thinking about the loss has nearly put me in tears but I am able to pull through and deal with those feelings. I am not stating that I am ready for a death but I am confident that I can cope with the situation when it comes. Facing these feelings is extremely important for all of us; it would be quite easy to allow them to take over and go into a deep depression but it is more important to be strong, face it, accept it, and carry on.

Like the Mintakans I would rather stay in my state of mind than regress to safety of ignorance. We are human, we are mortal, we die, our friends die, our family members die. We must learn to deal with it to be able to live our lives to the fullest. Depression is a serious topic and affects many people and while medication is routinely used to help people we can’t rely on chemical effects to last forever. Understanding and facing the reason for the depression will always come with a better result than medication.

Please, I do not wish to insult anyone, I use the actual definition of the word ignorant; lacking knowledge or information. This is not intended to be an atheistic rant/blog; I also want to explain what lightens my mood when I am down and thinking about such heavy topics as death or if I’m just in a bad mood.

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Laughter is the best medicine. I know you’ve heard it before but I want to testify to its potential. I attempt to make someone laugh or at lest smile everyday. A neighbor, a coworker, or even a family member; you never know who needs it. Sometimes it even helps me to see them smiling and knowing that it was me who caused it. I am obviously not the first person in the world to have thought of this; there are comedy troupes the world round whose shows and songs brighten the world. My favorite at the moment is the legendary Monty Python.

Monty Python has been brightening the world with their comedy since the 60’s. I doubt very much that you’ve never heard of them but if you haven’t you should look them up. The old black and white British comedy skits to the feature length films. Some of their skits and songs can have much deeper meaning if you examine the lyrics. I end this post with the lyrics to Always Look on the Bright Side of Life from ‘The Life of Brian’. Today I have sang, and whistled, it many times and it helps, it really does. Some of the lyrics are for a laugh obviously but the idea is profound, when something bad is happening or has happened simply think of the good parts of your life.

We are constantly surrounded by events, some good, some bad. How we come out on the other side of them is determined by our ability to cope with them. It is very easy to be overwhelmed by the bad; it happens everyday, but the good is more lasting. Family, friends, a job, a house, food, living. There is always something that can bring you down but there is also something to bring you up. Just give a whistle or maybe watch some Star Trek.

Click Here for the Video

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The Bright Side of Life

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best…
And…

…always look on the bright side
of life…
(Whistle)

Always look on the light side
of life…
(Whistle)

If life seems jolly rotten
There’s something you’ve forgotten
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing
When you’re feeling in the dumps
Don’t be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle
– that’s the thing.
And…always look on the bright
side of life…
(Whistle)

Come on.

Always look on the right side
of life…
(Whistle)

For life is quite absurd
And death’s the final word
You must always face the curtain
with a bow
Forget about your sin – give the
audience a grin
Enjoy it – it’s your last chance
anyhow.

So always look on the bright side
of death…
(Whistle)

a-Just before you draw your terminal breath…
(Whistle)

Life’s a piece of shit, when you look at it
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true
You’ll see its all a show, keep ’em laughin as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you

And…
Always look on the bright side
of life…
(Whistle)

Always look on the right side
of life…

C’mon Brian, cheer up

Always look on the bright side
of life…

Always look on the bright side
of life…

Worse things happen at sea you know.

I mean – what have you got to lose?
You know, you come from nothing
– you’re going back to nothing.
What have you lost? Nothing.

Always look on the right side
(I mean) of life…

what have you got to lose?
You know, you come from nothing
– you’re going back to nothing.
What have you lost?

Always look on the right side of life…

Nothing will come from nothing ya know what they say?
Cheer up ya old bugga c’mon give us a grin!
There ya go, see!

Always look on the right side of life…

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Genesis 50

Genesis 50 – The Death of Joseph

Jacob has died, Joseph weeps and then commands that his father be embalmed which took 40 days back then. It even says the Egyptians mourned for him.

Joseph goes to Pharaoh to tell him of the oath he made with his father to bury him in the land of his fathers. Pharaoh accepted and told Joseph to go and to do as he had sworn.

Joseph didn’t go alone though. He took with him everyone from his father’s house, everyone from his house, his brothers (and likely their families), the elders of the land of Egypt and all the servants of Pharaoh.

It says they left only the herds, flocks, and the little ones in Goshen. Undoubtedly they also left the women but they just aren’t notable enough to the authors of the bible.

v.9, It was a very great company. No doubt, with all of those people the group was likely no less than 100 people.

On the journey Joseph had the group stop for seven days to mourn again, but the group and the sons of Jacob fulfilled their obligation and buried him in the cave.

After returning from the burial Joseph’s brothers were afraid that Joseph would change. They feared that since their father was gone Joseph do them like they had done him. Because of their fear they sent a message to Joseph containing a message that Jacob had supposedly wanted Joseph to receive before his death.

The message was for Joseph to forgive his brothers for the evil they had committed against him.

The brothers came to Joseph and bowed before him and said they were his servants but Joseph responded by telling them that he is no god. He explained that the evil they committed against him was god’s plan for good to save the people from the famine. He reassured them that he would take care of them and their families.

Joseph stayed in Egypt and lived long enough to see the third generation born. Joseph tells his family that even though he was to die god would bring them out of the land to the land that he had promised to Abraham and then to Isaac and then to Jacob and then to himself.

Four generations of promises that THEY and their children would control that land and they have yet to. How many promises can be made and not followed through and still be believed?

Joseph dies at 110, he is embalmed and laid to rest in a coffin in EGYPT.

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So, not only the promises about the land but also about getting out of Egypt. Jacob was promised just like Joseph that god would deliver them from the land but now both have died in Egypt. Jacob’s body was at least taken out and buried with his fathers’ but Joseph was laid to rest in Egypt.

Genesis 49

Genesis 49 – Jacob Blesses his Sons

Jacob’s death is really being prolonged.

Jacob calls his sons to him to explain what will come to be and bless them.

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Reuben – Firstborn, mighty, dignity, power, but also unstable and will not excel because of his affair with Bilhah.

Simeon/Levi – brothers of cruelty

Judah – his brothers will bow to him and praise him, a lion among prey, king among the people until Shiloh comes. Jacob explains him as the ruler and lawgiver with the scepter and also the details about his clothing being dyed purple. A strange detail about his eyes being red with wine but I think it was less about the color of his eyes and more about being wealthy enough to have lots of wine; something like ‘I’ve drank so much my eyes are swimming’.

Zebulun – will live by the sea bordering Zidon.

Issachar – strong and stubborn. And something I don’t understand in v.15

Dan – the judge

Gad – will be overtaken but will come back

Asher – will be rich with bread and will yield ‘royal dainties’

Naphtali – a smooth talker

Joseph – fruitful, hated by the archers because of his skill and strength, blessed of the air, the sea, the breast, and children.

Benjamin – will share his spoils.

These are described as the twelve tribes of Israel. The sons of Jacob whose descendants would populate the country of Israel. Along with the blessings he gave them he tells them to bury him in the cave with Leah and Isaac/Rebekah and Abraham/Sarah.

These blessings weren’t very good. A blessing should be used to make people better, to increase the good in the world. He just told his sons about the future and some of them weren’t something to look forward to, except for his favorites Jacob and Benjamin of course.

Immediately after having this conversation with his sons he died.

 

Genesis 48

Genesis 48 – Jacob Blesses Joseph and his Sons

Even though the end of Gen. 47 seemed to end with the death of Jacob, the beginning of Gen. 48 Joseph learns that his father is ill.

Joseph took his two sons to Jacob on his deathbed and Jacob blesses them. Jacob tells Joseph of the promise god had made to him about the land belonging to his descendants and the death of Rachel.

The blessing is pretty basic with one change in the ritual. Joseph tried to move his father’s hand when he was placing his hands on the boy’s heads. The right hand was for the first born but Jacob was placing that hand on Ephraim, not Manasseh. Joseph tried to correct this but Jacob said he knew what he was doing and the younger would be greater than the older one.

Jacob tells Joseph that he himself is going to die but god would be with Joseph and bring him out of Egypt to the land of his fathers. This is much like the promise god made to Jacob to have him return out of Egypt but he is dying now there so what happened to that one?

Jacob also reiterates that Joseph was his favorite son saying that he had given him a portion above his brothers which he took by force from the Amorites.

Genesis 47

Genesis 47 – Jacob Blesses Pharaoh

Joseph brings five of his brothers to Pharaoh to present them and let him know that they had gotten there and settled in. Whats the first question Pharaoh asks of them? What they do for a living. They answer with the truth even though Joseph had told them directly to lie. They tell the Pharaoh that they are shepherds.

They explain that they have brought their herds to stay in the land because of the famine. Pharaoh tells Joseph that they can live in the land of Goshen in the best part of the land. He even offers that if any of them are good with cattle they should be placed in charge of the Pharaoh’s herds.

Joseph then brings his father to Pharaoh and Jacob blesses him. This verse is usually cited as a problem because it says Jacob blessed Pharaoh in v.7 and also again in v.10. I can easily explain this because of the many times the bible repeats and repeats itself with single verses used to unnecessarily sum up something that will be explained just after. But in this case the two verses are actually nearly the same thing and don’t actually explain the blessing at all.

jacob blesses pharaoh

Pharaoh inquires about Jacob and his age. Jacob responds that he is 130 and that he hadn’t yet reached the age of his fathers.

Joseph gets the land for his father and brothers and gives them bread to settle them in.

When the bread runs out because of the famine the people of the country come to Joseph because he had collected all the money that had been given to buy corn. The people ask for bread but Joseph tells them they must sell their cattle in exchange for the bread. Thank goodness god placed someone in charge of the food so people wouldn’t die from the famine, someone less worthy may have used this as an opportunity to get rich.

The year after this the people return but tell Joseph that he has their money from buying corn and their herds from buying bread. They explain that they have nothing left but their land and their bodies.

The people ask for bread and seeds in exchange for their land and their servitude. Joseph takes the land of all the people for the Pharaoh. He did not take the land of the priests because the land and their stuff was already Pharaoh’s.

Joseph moved all of the people whom he had bought to cities around the land of Egypt and gave them seeds to sow. They are made to work the land and anything they get from the crops is theirs less one fifth that they must give to Pharaoh.

Jacob lived 17 years after moving to Goshen when he died at 147. What happened to that promise god made that said he would get him out of Egypt? Unless you count Joseph taking Jacob’s body back.

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