Category Archives: Other Posts

My latest “#art” attempt 

I washed the canvas with Crimson red. The blue, cadmium I think, is mixed with a heavy gloss paste. It is acrylic paint. 

I like oil but acrylic allows me to paint fast and to do more abstract stuff. It’s great for a quick brain dump at the end of the day.





upcoming sequel to MineCraft – UnderMineCraft

did you all hear about the sequel to minecraft?

under-minecraft

It’s called UnderMineCraft.

You join a leadership team that as a team is supposed to build a kingdom, grow that kingdom, and then protect that whole world from evil entities bent on destroying anything good.

You will have the same enemies.

You’ll have cave spiders,
creepers,
blazes,
magna cubes,
skeletons in the closet,
slime,
wolves (although they will often times where sheepskin)
and iron golems…

They are all out to get you, carve up your kingdom, and take away your subjects to dark dungeons in the middle of the earth.

church minecraftBut, instead of actually fighting these enemies, your real goal is to make sure your team doesn’t succeed unless you get all the credit. The intrigue comes in how to form alliances within the team against team leaders, each other, and parts of your world.

You work, mostly individually, trying to destroy the team from the inside out! You know you have won when the world is destroyed, your teammates are dead, but you get credit for trying really to be the leader! It’s like king of the mountain. If you aren’t the leader, no one else is safe.

You will build walls around yourself, around others, and make sure no one can get past them. You can construct hospitals too! Yup, in the sequel you will be able to construct real working hospitals to take care of the wounded escaping other UnderMineCraft worlds, but unfortunately, due to a glitch in the system, you automatically make the wounds worse. This becomes a benefit, really, because you get to know their weaknesses and use it against them!

While there are rules, you really get to write them yourself. I mean, there was a book, but it is outdated and honestly, you learn so much playing the game yourself, you can rewrite the code of the game’s maker.

I can’t wait to see this game hit the iOS.

How a florist showed us a good way…and was penalized for it.

Her name is Baronelle Stutzman who was 70 at the time that these events took place. She is a florist in Washington State who refused to do the floral arrangements for a same sex couple who was about to marry. For just a moment try and put whatever reaction you have to that information, whether it be outrage that she would discriminate or pride that she stood up for her beliefs aside, and consider what occurred in the actual case.

Robert Ingersoll was the man who was to marry and had been a customer for nearly a decade. In the court documents, he affirmed that the florist held “held no animus toward homosexuals”. Miss Stutzman recommended other florists that would be able to help whose quality she believed on par with, or better than, hers. As the case gained national attention, the two men even got offers of free flowers for their wedding. At the end of all of this, the two things that they were looking for, their wedding, and the flowers desired for it, were provided, and all was well. I am not trying to minimize any hurt feelings they may have had, simply pointing out that the desired end result occurred.

There were numerous lawsuits filed, including by the state attorney general which not only would normally cost thousands of dollars to defend against, but would also cause her to either decide to continue on as a florist and provide flowers to all, or to pay her fine and shut down. In fairness, the state did send letters to her asking her to comply with state law that guarantees no one is discriminated against because o sexual orientation. Miss Stutzman refused based upon her freedom to practice and live out her faith.  A summary ruling went against her. It will allow the gentlemen in question (represented by the ACLU) and the state could collect fees and damages not only from her business, but from her personally. She could end up losing home, savings, her livelihood etc.

Here is the problem…the two gentlemen who were married have suffered no damage. Their right to marry and to have flowers at the wedding were not infringed upon. The one ordering the flowers admitted that Miss Stutzman had not shown any animus toward him or to homosexuals in general. To her credit, and to the best of my knowledge Miss Stutzman has not said anything disparaging about the individuals, but has simply maintained that this is a sincere faith for her and she will not violate it. (Her legal team has had some harsh words for the judge and the state, but I suspect that is fairly normal in cases such as this) That should be commended. Faced with the potential of incredible loss, she is willing to stand for her belief. A belief that I might point out, has not actually done any lasting harm.  She managed to not show any negative feelings, she recommended others that could perform the requested service, she did it the right way. She said, in essence, I can not do this because of what I believe, but here are others who perform quality work that can. No damage was done here. No rights were violated. The two men are, to the best of my knowledge, still happily married…well almost no harm. A 70 year old grandmother who runs a small florist shop was harmed. She was harmed for politely and civilly standing by a sincere belief.  She was harmed for trying to help others find the service that she could not provide. She was harmed because she followed her beliefs and managed to do so in a way that even the one who was “harmed” said she had shown no animus toward him personally or toward homosexuals in general.

So to us. In the hot button questions of homosexuality, abortion, gun control, Rob Bell, etc. how many of us can say that we have not shown animus to someone? How many of us can say that we have treated those whom we disagree with dignity and respect so that even in our disagreement those whom we disagreed with could not point to an incident that we showed them anything but dignity and respect? For that matter, how many of us have spoken about the SBC in a way that we showed no animus? For all of the jokes about their faith, their backward thinking, etc. they did produce a 70 year old grandmother who did it right (yes, she is a southern baptist in Washington State, who knew that could happen?) and showed us the way to do it as well…and is getting punished for it. How many of us would be willing to lose business and home and livelihood for what we believed? Even more so how many of us would be able to do it in such away that even the party who was (apparently) aggrieved would not be able to make an accusation against us regarding our treatment of them?

Help Alan Hooker Finish Hir PhD!

Alan is a great person and has helped me in immeasurable ways. Please consider donating.

Hello! My name’s Alan Hooker and I’m a Theology and Religious Studies PhD candidate at the University of Exeter who’s (hopefully) in their final year of study.

My PhD research, in case you’re wondering, is about God’s gender and sexuality in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (read more about this here!)

As you can imagine, a PhD is hard and stressful work, and while I’m starting a part-time job at my university next week, my hours are restricted on account of my being a postgraduate student and the amount of hours the university expects me to put into research and writing.

Though I received a scholarship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council in 2011, this funding ended in 2014, and as a full-time student I am, so I’m told by the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, ineligible for housing benefits.

So I’m looking to raise some money to see me over the next few months of my degree (to principally cover some of my rent, but also bills) so I can stay housed and be a little less worried and stressed out on that front while I’m finishing up my research, having already exhausted my overdraft trying to keep myself fed and under a roof.

I’m also currently looking for other part-time work opportunities during the summer, at which point I hope to be on the final editing and submission stage of the PhD.

Any help is appreciated! (And all supporters will be acknowledgded in my thesis!) ♥

via Help Alan Hooker Finish Hir PhD! | Education & Schools – YouCaring.

Thomas Aquinas on the Fast of #Lent

On the second head it is to be noted, that this “day of salvation” exhorts and invites us by eight ways to holiness…

…The ordination of the Church invites us all to confession, and fasting, and frequenting of the church; whence he who does not do these things breaks the precepts of Mother Church: Prov. 1:8, “Forsake not the law of thy Mother.” (Thomas Aquinas, vol. 3, Ninety-Nine Homilies of S. Thomas Aquinas Upon the Epistles and Gospels for Forty-Nine Sundays of the Christian Year ( trans. John M. Ashley;London: Church Press Company, 1867), 4.)

Thomas Merton on Ash Wednesday #lent

English: Ashes imposed on the forehead of a Ch...
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“Ash Wednesday is for people who know that it means for their soul to be logged with these icy waters: all of us are such people, if only we can realize it.

There is confidence everywhere in Ash Wednesday, yet that does not mean unmixed and untroubled security. The confidence of the Christian is always a confidence in spite of darkness and risk, in the presence of peril, with every evidence of possible disaster…

Once again, Lent is not just a time for squaring conscious accounts: but for realizing what we had perhaps not seen before. The light of Lent is given us to help us with this realization.

Nevertheless, the liturgy of Ash Wednesday is not focussed on the sinfulness of the penitent but on the mercy of God. The question of sinfulness is raised precisely because this is a day of mercy, and the just do not need a savior.” – Thomas Merton HT.

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