So I totally forgot about my tumblr! Topic of this post… motorcycles!

So.. this summer, I’ve been the epitome of sloth.

I’ve been slacking off and sleeping maybe, on average, 10 hours a day.  I told myself I’d cook and exercise and eat right and get healthy.  I told myself I’d wake up at 8 am every day and run a mile, then work out in the afternoon.  I told myself I’d spend this summer improving myself and getting into shape, mentally and physically.  That all kind of went out the window when I picked up SWtOR… but I digress.

I hope it’s not too late to start?

I did manage to get a job.  It’s in Shanghai… but it’s a pretty good job in an American company.  Lately, I’ve been scrambling to get my diploma (stupid CPR/First Aid courses), get my visa, get a new tenant to cover my lease…

Oh, and I got a motorcycle.  It’s a small bike, a Kawasaki Ninja 250. It was an arduous process, getting the bike, insurance, and license.  But it is so much fun.  I read somewhere online that: “If motorcycles were around in Jesus’ time, Jesus would have ridden one.”

Motorcycles have this bad-boy image.  It’s usually reserved for rebels and people who live life on the edge.  Granted, it is pretty risky riding a motorcycle, but so is flying, driving, riding a bicycle, etc.  I learned in my MSF course that statistically, regardless of fault, around 90% of motorcycle accidents could be avoided by better riding skill.  Even if a car runs a red light, if you’re attentive and skillful enough, you can avoid an accident, either by braking or swerving.

I bought into this bad-boy image when I first got my bike.  I thought it was cool and fun.  I thought it’d make me cool.  I don’t feel any more cool now than I did before I got the bike.  But you know what I do feel on the bike?  Euphoria.

Not only is the technical side of riding a bike satisfying due to its difficulty (maneuvering, shifting, etc.), but the experience is exhilarating.  You can feel the wind and the temperature on your skin.  You can smell the foods as you drive by restaurants, the rain, the nasty unidentifiable pollution around the city, the grass and trees in more rural areas, and you can see everything.  The asphalt is mere inches below your feet.  It’s the next best thing to flying.

A lot of people said that this feeling is something only a rider could understand.  I understand what that means now.  You can describe it and write poems and songs about it, but words cannot describe the joy and release that riding brings.

It’s kinda like faith in Jesus.  Words really don’t do the peace He provides justice.

I’m kinda rambling and just jotting things down, so this is in no particular order.  But a man also has a very intimate relationship with his bike.  Especially if it’s old, as mine is a 1997.  The reason is that a bike is minimalist; a car does a lot of things for you that a bike won’t.  Each bike is also a little different.  Where the clutch slips, the amount of pressure needed to change gears, the best RPM to switch gears, the power band… all these little things affect how smooth and comfortable your ride is.  And you want to treat your bike right.  You don’t want to jerk it around and force it into gear when it doesn’t need to be in gear, because it’s your pal.

Motorcycles are a gift from God.

Highway riding, by the way, is terrifying.  Because of the wind.

People say riding a bike is fuel efficient.  Technically, yes, but in my car, I go for the shortest and most efficient route.  On my bike, I don’t mind taking detours.  I probably spend as much gas on my bike as I do in my car on a trip to Walmart.

Things God said to me

In the aftermath of my breakup with Grace, I had a lot of questions for God.

"Were we really mean to be together?"

"Is this really what you want?"

"Why?"

So on and so forth.  God answered none of those questions.  However, as I pleaded with Him on my knees to comfort me, He sent me His Comforter.  What did God say to me?

"Michael, you have no girlfriend.  You have no dreams or aspirations of being a doctor or lawyer or astronaut.  Your only home or family is your mother in Shanghai, whom I am taking good care of.  You have nothing here in America that belongs to you or ties you down.  You now have absolutely nothing holding you back from giving your entire life to me."

And God is right.  God is good and I give praise and glory to God for the world that He has placed me in.  I am blessed by God, not just by His grace, but by His sovereignty and his providence.  For God has taken away from me those things which made me hesitate about my future.

I give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, and He is faithful, and He will always provide.  I give thanks to the LORD for Grace, my temporary Moredecai, who was sent by Him to challenge me and rudely shake me awake in a way that nobody has ever done so before in my life.

I can go anywhere.  Do anything.  For God.

I kept telling myself that I wasn’t putting my relationship with Grace before my relationship with God.  What a lie that was.  I planned my next two or three years around Grace.  God was just an afterthought; a rationalization.

But God is not an afterthought.  He is the first, and sometimes only, thought.

God demands my all.  He demands radical sacrifice. Not of my relationship, not of my family, not of my money, but of my everything.

Which brings me to a book Grace got me from Urbana: Radical.  What a good book.  How many lies do we American Christians tell ourselves?

"That’s not really my calling."

God has called all of us to a global missions.  He doesn’t necessarily call us all to displace ourselves and move, but to simply sit in our jobs and donate money to other missionaries is to sin against the LORD.  We need to actively participate in a global mission.  We can and are called by God to impact the world, no matter where we are.

——-

I’ve learned that it’s silly to commit to things far far in the future that we can never be sure God called us to it.  We may commit to a marriage and be sure of it, but God may have other plans.  We may commit to singlehood and be sure of it, but God may have other plans.  We may commit to a life of campus ministry, but God may have other plans.  I won’t say that I will commit to global missions overseas, or campus ministry, or whatever.  I do not know what God has planned for me.  I will simply knock on every single door that is available to me and go through the one that the LORD opens for me.  I will obey and go wherever God sends me, be it Brazil, Iran, Canada, Las Vegas, or Cleveland.  Tomorrow will worry for itself; today, I will praise and serve the Lord.

Community

…is a really funny show.  One of the funniest I’ve seen lately.  There’s this one guy in the show, however, that can get annoying.  He’s a racist, really dumb, and arrogant.  His name is Pierce.  But Community has those moments when each character reveals his vulnerable side and says something profound.  This latest episode was when Pierce said:

"That thing some men call failure.  I call living.  Breakfast.  And I’m not leaving until I clean out the buffet." - Pierce

"Good luck, Pierce!" - Jeff

"Don’t need it, never had it!" - Pierce

Now, I’m no Pierce.  At least, I’d like to think I’m not.  But I’ve had my fair share of failures; probably more than other people.  There is an innumerable amount of things I’m not good at.  But we all know that the good Lord is good at everything.  He is good.  I will not let my failures bog me down and paralyze me.  I have to soldier on, and trust in the Lord.

Trusting in the Lord.  What does that mean?  The question has been asked, answered, re-asked, re-answered, and so on and so forth for thousands of years.  Does it mean doing nothing and trusting that God will give us everything we want?  No.  Does it mean not worrying or caring about anything because we know that God is in control?  Well, maybe, but find me one Christian (Jesus included) that never worried or cared about certain situations.  I don’t know what it means.  I don’t know what it looks like.

Incredibly Encouraged

Context:  I was looking up this article where a guy is criticizing Christians for participating in Chick-Fil-A appreciation day.  He gives 5 reasons why the church “failed”:

1.) Was not a loving action

2.) Gays felt hated

3.) Christians are putting issue above people

4.) No surprise

5.) Doesn’t disprove “I don’t hate gays!”

Full article here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2914358/posts

——-

Something I’ve realized is that the LGBT community (plus asexual, whatever, perhaps in the future bestiality and pedophilia even) is saying:

"You Christians should love us, right?  Well, if you don’t allow gay marriage, then you’re not loving us.

If you don’t vote for gay marriage, then you hate us.

If you don’t do what we say, then you are a hypocrite because you’re not loving us.”

Now, brothers and sisters, should we abandon Truth to “love” people?

Is doing whatever someone wants you to do really “loving” them?

Should we put gays’ feelings over God?

What did Jesus do when he saw people in sin?

I’m going to quote a few of the people who responded to the post that really encouraged me:

"Wednesday proved that the recent tactics to back Christians into a corner and cow us into silence have worn out. We are no longer chicken of offending those who are perpetually offended; we are more interested in following God’s Word and protecting our freedom from the bullies on the far left than we used to be. Wednesday proved that the [Politically Correct] movement’s claims of victimization have lost their power to force decent people to submit to frivolous and unjustified demands."

——-

"Err, actually, the existence or not of hate is exactly the point. You can’t convict people of theft because alleged victims "felt" robbed. You have to prove they were actually relieved of goods or money. You can’t fine people for libel because alleged victims "felt" upset about things written about them. You have to prove the scurrilous statement is actually untrue.

I’m very sorry that the LGBT community felt “hate”, but as it wasn’t there, that’s their problem, not mine. You can’t expect people to modify their behavior, especially when it concerns the highest moral values of their lives, just because someone else might get upset. That’s a route to being a doormat at best, and an absolute slave at worst.”

——-

"The scriptures condemn homosexuality, in the most strongest of terms. Liberals say Christ never spoke about homosexuality. He didn’t have to! Christ said He came not to change one jot or tittle of the Law. In His own Law, Christ condemns homosexuality. Christ also spoke more about Hell than about Heaven. He warned humanity that sin’s wages are eternal punishment. He has His arms wide open even now for all sinners! Yet these people refuse to come to Him, and they mock Him and His sacrifice.”

Is being universally tolerant necessary to love all people?  Read Matthew 23:13-33.  We know Jesus loved all people.  But here He is clearly not universally tolerant.

Should Christians strive for a Christian nation?

This question is my response to the whole gay marriage debacle (with the Chick-fil-a business at it’s precipice).

It’s pretty clear in scripture what God thinks about marriage and what God thinks about homosexuality.  I’m not discussing or even contemplating whether homosexuality is a sin and whether homosexual marriage, according to truth, should or shouldn’t exist.

However, we have a problem here.

America was originally founded for religious freedom.  It was founded by people who wanted to be Christian.

Ivy league schools were founded initially as seminaries.  Seminary was “higher education”.

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written with Christian values in mind.  Massachusetts was founded to be a “city upon a hill”, which was inspired by scripture.

The founding fathers of the United States of America intended for this country to be a Christian country.  It was meant to be a country where Christians are free to be Christian.

This is no longer the case.

And this is Biblical.

Jesus promised us that as long as we are alive, we will be persecuted.  We will be the minority.  The world will hate us.  The idea that a country under God could last is contrary to what Scripture says.

I believe that today, right now, America is not a country under God.

In the near future it’s very likely that Christians will again be persecuted.  This might not happen next year, or in ten years, but I’m pretty sure in my lifetime, it will be “politically incorrect” and intolerable to be Christian in America.  This is the way of the world.  This is the Kingdom of the Air.  Christians will be called terrorists, anarchists, fanatics, and lunatics.  We might be locked up, beaten, spat upon, and ridiculed.

——————————

Now to the big question: Should Christians strive to have the nation retain its Christian values?

Sub-question: Should we keep the institution of marriage Biblical (as it was originally intended to be)?

What does God want us to do in regard to politics?

Gotta keep reminding myself…

The stronger and more belligerent the atheist, the stronger a Christian he/she will become if someone (perhaps myself?) ministers to them and prays for them properly.

Tim Be Told

Daddy look at me, look at all that I achieved in my life
I tried to do my best you ask ‘where is the rest of it son?’
am I never good enough?


Father and Creator
do you look with favor on me?
I hear you understand
that it’s hard to be a man
Jesus hold me in your hand

Americans being Americans

So some guy designed some weird looking sneakers.  What’s different was that each sneaker had a cuff that was chained to the shoe.  The idea behind this design was that “these shoes are so cool that you’ll have to chain them to yourself to prevent them from being stolen!”  Are these shoes ugly?  I think so.  But I’m not fashion expert.

Link here: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/354027/20120619/adidas-shackle-shoes-photo-racist-controversy.htm

So here’s the problem.  Everybody is complaining that these shoes are racist and are trying to capitalize on slavery.  Few things:

- I can not think of a dumber accusation than somebody trying to “capitalize on slavery.”  That just sounds stupidSay it to yourself.  Even if you are a racist, who is stupid enough to believe that racism sells or is profitable?

- The shackles are bound to the shoe.  Not to each other.

- Africans are not the only people to have been enslaved.  If you were genuinely concerned about slavery-related undertones, you wouldn’t only refer to the controversy that everybody knows about (referring to popular controversy in an attempt to draw attention to oneself is a common strategy of Americans).

- Some guy went so far as to talk about the fact that since orange is a predominant color, and that prison jump suits are orange, that the shoes are being racist towards African Americans, who occupy 2/3 of prisons.  The LSAT minded side of me cannot help but scream: SCOPE SHIFT!  BORDERLINE CIRCULAR REASONING!  So what, if I have black and white shoes, I’m making fun of black prisoners because some jumpsuits have black and white stripes?

So why the great controversy?  Simple.  Americans like to stir up controversy and argue/complain/protest loudly about something because they want attention and they want to be right.  People argue not for the sake of arguing, but for the sake of asserting dominance and inflating their own ego.  They want to think their opinion matters, even if their opinion is blatantly wrong.

Just to emphasize how Godless America is, here’s a quote from a movie about pop-culture:

——————————-

Frank: Oh, I get, and I am offended. Not because I’ve got a problem with bitter, predictable, whiny, millionaire disk jockeys complaining about celebrities or how tough their life is, while I live in an apartment with paper-thin walls next to a couple of Neanderthals who, instead of a baby, decided to give birth to some kind of nocturnal civil defense air-raid siren that goes off every fuckin’ night like it’s Pearl Harbor. I’m not offended that they act like it’s my responsibility to protect their rights to pick on the weak like pack animals, or that we’re supposed to support their freedom of speech when they don’t give a fuck about yours or mine.

Office Worker: So, you’re against free speech now? That’s in the Bill of Rights, man.

Frank: I would defend their freedom of speech if I thought it was in jeopardy. I would defend their freedom of speech to tell uninspired, bigoted, blowjob, gay-bashing, racist and rape jokes all under the guise of being edgy, but that’s not the edge. That’s what sells. They couldn’t possibly pander any harder or be more commercially mainstream, because this is the “Oh no, you didn’t say that!” generation, where a shocking comment has more weight than the truth. No one has any shame anymore, and we’re supposed to celebrate it. I saw a woman throw a used tampon at another woman last night on network television, a network that bills itself as “Today’s Woman’s Channel”. Kids beat each other blind and post it on Youtube. I mean, do you remember when eating rats and maggots on Survivor was shocking? It all seems so quaint now. I’m sure the girls from “2 Girls 1 Cup” are gonna have their own dating show on VH-1 any day now. I mean, why have a civilization anymore if we no longer are interested in being civilized?

——————————-

In my opinion, America needs missionaries just as much as any third world country.  Perhaps more so.  At its conception, America was all about Christ (religious freedom, IVY league schools were all seminaries, everybody was Christian, etc.).  Now, it’s probably not too different from Israel abandoning God, who has blessed this country so much, and turns away towards golden calves and Baal.


How angry, how furious the LORD was with Israel!  Israel’s sin was, according to God, far greater than Sodom or Edom or Gomorrorah, for Israel had known the LORD and rebelled against Him.

Minivan Mode

Problems in Genesis *put this here for record purposes*

So I’m chillin here at work and I decide to browse the internet for some arguments against Christianity. It’s always nice to be prepared. Anyway, one thing leads to another and I inevitably end up on the issues relating to unrecorded history (outside of Scripture). These are just my musings based off of internet research, so read with a grain of salt. I would love input or anybody pointing out flaws.

Early Humans

So we have these fossils of everything from Homo Habilis to Homo Sapiens. As Christians, we believe that there is one human race that is descended from Adam and Eve. However, we are confronted with these species that are clearly different from each other. I searched around the internet for a bit and I’m currently trying to compile explanations. The first thing that should be addressed is what is in scripture.

Genesis 6:1-8 (NIV)

"When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord."

There are difficult passages in the Bible. I think this is one of them.

I skipped the observation (sorry Joyce), and went straight to questions:

Who are the “sons of God” and the “daughters of humans”, and why does it seem they are different?

What did God mean when he said “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever,”?

Who are the Nephilim?

If God knew what was going to happen, and He regrets making the world, why did he make the world in the first place?

If God said people lived 120 years, how come Noah (and some of his descendents) lived much more than that?

I believe most of the questions are answered in this website if anybody is curious:

http://bible.org/seriespage/sons-god-and-daughters-men-genesis-61-8

In short, View 1 states that the sons are the godly Sethites who mated with ungodly Cannites, View 2 states that the “sons of God” is archaic language for powerful political leaders, and View 3 states that “sons of God” are fallen angels (there is much scriptural basis for this if you look on the website).

Trying to answer one question led to many others. However, I will stay focused and try to address my first question: What happened to all the other human-like species?

The following will be my unorganized thoughts.

Before Noah, who lived 950 years, people lived anywhere between 700-1000 years (Genesis 5). After Noah, all the people had “one language and a common speech.” After Noah, everybody lived <500 years.

Apparently, most Creationists concluded that Neanderthals were humans, descended from Adam. Archaeological records have shown that they are more sophisticated and intelligent than we assumed (records such as dyed shells for cosmetics, complex tools, musical instruments, etc.). Basically, without going through all that lollygagging through hard science, it seems that it’s very possible early fossils of humanoids which were now extinct are a combination of humans, Nephilim, “sons of God”, and all others that could have resulted from allopatric speciation. The fact that early humans lived a super long time further reinforces the notion that perhaps they were physiologically quite different from us.

Interesting thing about the Nephilim. If they truly were descendents of fallen angels (basically demons) and humans, and they were “heroes of old and men of renown”, they could very well have been demi-god like beings (well, still weak enough to be killed by volcanoes and lots of water and earthquakes and such).

If we go along with the idea that the great flood was what separated Pangaea, then that explains why there are fossils of prehistoric humans on random islands.

After the flood, everybody was obviously whatever species Noah was. I don’t know if that was modern human or not. It’s likely that, along with all the other animals, humans underwent a long period of de-evolution after the fall.

Essentially, my idea is that perhaps all the different species of humans co-existed in the same time periods, and extreme stress from the great flood causes discrepancies in radioactive dating (source:http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v20/n1/dating).

I feel like I haven’t answered any of my own questions. Guess that’s Corinthians 1 for ya.