25Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold. 28He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Now that I know who I am, the Scripture goes into how I need to live. It’s not accidental that this passage comes after three chapters describing who I am in Christ, and half a chapter calling for unity in the church. This is not just a list of rules, but a call to let my identity be reflected in my behavior toward others, and especially toward my brothers and sisters in Christ.
There are a lot of individual points in this list, but I think it can be summed up as; live in love. If the Spirit of God lives in me, than living in love is nothing more than living the truth. This is who I am; who God intended before the world was created that I would be. How amazing that I do not automatically and unthinkingly behave this way, but that God wants me to actively choose it moment by moment! I’m not going to get into the Calvinism/Arminianism debate, but it’s certainly not debatable that I do not always live the way this passage commands. But when I don’t, I am living a lie. And when I do, I cooperate with the Holy Spirit; not as a machine, but rather a partner and coworker with God.
“When puzzled, it never hurts to read the primary documents – a rather simple and self-evident principle that has, nonetheless, completely disappeared from large sectors of the American experience” – Stephen J. Gould.
I’m very impressed that the creators did such a good job resurrecting the USS Enterprise (CV-6). The planes (Grumman F4F Wildcats) still have the insignia with the red dot, which sets the time depicted as spring 1942 – no later than the beginning of May. The only errors I spotted are first, that aircraft no. 15 shows up in just about every shot that has planes at all, and then some of the aircraft are sporting too many kill markings to have been earned during the Marshall/Gilbert Island and Marcus Island raids; the only combat actions Enterprise fighters participated in prior to Midway. (What? Yes, of course I was looking at the planes! Not everybody has a dirty mind.)
In the aftermath of the horrific murders in Uvalde, Texas, it’s normal to ask what could have been done differently. In considering that question, I think it would be helpful to also look at a mass shooting in West Virginia that didn’t happen, because one woman responded in time to stop it. Setting the two incidents side by side clearly illustrates a principle I’ve heard law enforcers say many times: when you are faced with an active shooter, it is critical to engage them as quickly as possible. If you are nearby when somebody begins a shooting spree, you should immediately get to some place where you can return fire. Yes, it’s dangerous, but it appears to be the only way to stop the carnage while there are still people who can be saved. And if you don’t currently carry a gun, then, unless there’s some specific reason you can’t, it’s long past time to go get trained and licensed to carry a concealed firearm.
I know some of you are thinking right now that you don’t want to live in a world where you have to be prepared to kill people. I don’t want to live in that kind of world either. But the universe doesn’t care what either of us wants. The bald fact is that you do live in that world. Conduct yourself accordingly. Work to change the situation, but until it changes, be prepared to deal with the world as it is now, not as you want it to someday be. If going armed gives you the ability to save the life of just one child, isn’t that worth some personal discomfort? Save a life; carry a gun.
In the movie Conan the Barbarian (the original one, with Arnold Schwarzenegger), there is a scene right at the beginning where young Conan’s village is attacked by raiders. The village is destroyed, the adults are all killed, and as the children are being led off into slavery the narrator says, “no one would ever know my lord’s people had lived at all.”
That quote, in a word, is why I am drawn to archaeology. There’s something in me that resists the idea that people should live and die with nobody to remember them. It’s not just that I’m curious about the past, although I am that. It’s that fundamentally, I think that people matter, and they should not simply be forgotten.
Fifteen years ago today I married the most wonderful woman I’d ever known. We celebrated this morning with a delicious sausage and egg breakfast, followed a little later by a scenic drive around Lake Tahoe, accompanied by our dog Sally. This evening we have dinner reservations at one of our favorite restaurants.
Catherine, when we got married, I believed that I couldn’t possibly love anybody more than I loved you that day. Time has proven me wrong, for I love you today even more than I did back them. Happy anniversary my love. Thank you for being with me for the past fifteen years, and may we have many more together.
Wow! Look at all the cobwebs in here. I haven’t posted anything since, what, November 2017? A lot has happened since them. Things like…
When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the master. (I completed my MA in anthropology at UNR.)
I went to Promontory Summit, Utah, for the 150th anniversary of the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad.
I started going to church again after far too long being lazy.
I switched from a Mac to a Windows laptop, mostly because I don’t like Apple’s behavior as a company. But it also gave me faster render times for my 3D art. Roughly 50 times faster, which I still find amazing.
I got my certificate in Basic Life Saving (CPR and AED).
However, my model railroad still hasn’t gotten past the planning stage.
I’m going to try to get this blog going again, with at least one new post a week. We’ll see how long I keep it up.
Here’s a useful rule of thumb: If I can replace the group identifier you use with “Jewish” and the result reads like something Joseph Goebbels might have written, you do not have the moral high ground.