I’m not sure if I was lucky or unlucky today, but I can say that I had fun regardless of my fortune. A few weeks ago my wife had me pickup a work table for her. Well, it was really a solid core that had four 4 X 4 posts attached to it as legs. She really wants to add counter space to our kitchen and felt this was a good way to do it. The only thing was the table was about nine inches too wide.
A wide table is a useless table. It had to be shortened and the only way to do that was to run it through the table saw. Which is not really a difficult thing to do. When your saw is set up. But mine was still in the box it came in. Which meant I got to become Bob the Builder for a time.
The nice thing is that the assembly of this saw was not rocket science. It did take some time, but it wasn’t hard to do. In fact it was easy enough that I was able to set it up almost completely before we had to take a small break and head out for a little while.
See, three of my daughters were performing in a recital. So we had to head to Hayward in the middle of the day so they could awe the throngs of parents (all 10 of us) with their magical fingers and playing prowess. A nice little surprise in the midst of all this was that my daughter Alaynah was on the performance list. I had no idea she would be singing. And it was awesome.
The kids did great, the parents had fun, and after a little bit of snacking and mingling it was time to head home so I could get back to work on the saw. It didn’t take long to get the saw completed. I wish I could say that for cutting the door.
The door, as I said, was a solid core door. It was heavy. And it didn’t want to be cut. At least not by some small little table like the one I have. Don’t get me wrong. My saw is fine for cutting smaller pieces of wood. But for solid core inch and half think doors, making a seven foot long cut is probably too much to ask it to do.
In the end though the saw won. It did what saws do and it cut that door. And I was able to assemble it and give my wife the counter space she has wanted for a long time now. Plus I was able to to play with power tools. Heck, I was able to even build the power tool I used. Throw in the fact that I was able to watch about three minutes of football and I’d say today was a pretty cool day.
And if nothing else I now have even more surface in my kitchen to stack crap that never gets cleaned.
Yesterday was a busy day for my family. Most weekend days are busy days nowadays, but yesterday was one of those days where at 6:00 in the evening you could swear it was 11:00 in the evening and you are wondering why everyone is still awake.
It started out the day before. Yeah, I know that sounds silly, but Sandi had sent me an email late Friday evening asking me if I would be willing to wake up early to go garage saleing with her. How could I say no? So we woke up early on a Saturday, had a quick and light breakfast and headed out the door. We were able to hit a couple of sales before we had to head home to get ready for…
We left the house almost as soon as we got home to head over to Calaveras Skate for my neices birthday party. Well, it was actually just a roller skating time before the party unlike what I was led to believe, or perhaps misunderstood. Regardless, the skating rink portion of the day was just the beginning of what was going to be a much longer part of the day. But I digress. I left the rink a little early with three of my five kids because it was time to …
I hit the barber shop at around 12:30. I desperately needed a haircut. My hair is usually pretty short, so when it starts to grow it looks like it is starting to sprout. I began to look like those little trolls you see on the tops of pencils. You know, the pink headed Don King lookalike troll? Yeah, that was me. Just without the pink. And it needed handling in a serious way. So I hit the barber shop up before …
The real birthday party started at about 2:00. We headed over to my brothers place for the festivities and it wasn’t long until I was at the barbecue handling carne asado with chips and guacamole in one hand and a Heineken in the other. Few things make a sunny and warm day better than having a pair of tongs in one hand and a cold beer in the other while being surrounded by family.
After the cooking and the eating and the drinking and the eating, wait, did I already say eating? Nevermind that, we headed out for a little street football. I shouldn’t have done this because I was still sore from the pillow fight the other night and I had just eaten and I had just drank. But how is a guy supposed to say no to street ball? Seriously?
It didn’t last long.
Yes, I am fat and out of shape. And I was still sore. And after that fiasco, I was exhausted. So I hit the table again and made sure I would not be hungry until next year. Then my family helped clean up some of the mess before heading home.
It was a crazy busy day. It was exhausting. But it was also a blast. And I would not have traded that for the world.
Last night I had the bright idea that I would invite my wife and children to do something that I have not done in a long time. I set the stage with my wife early, letting her know what I had planned but I did not let the kids know until just before the festivities began. This is what I did.
I called my wife just before leaving work and told her I was going to be picking dinner up because I did not want her worrying about cooking dinner. I set up dinner and picked it up, but before going home I hit the store for some ice cream for desert and for extra “motivation” to get things rolling. I got home, fed the kids then told them that once dinner was over I had some sweeties for them to partake of because I needed them to be super hyper in order to get the living room cleared out. They responded well by eating their ice cream then helping me get the living room cleared.
After the living room was cleared I told the kids that there were going to be a few safe zones that they could go into should they need to. Of course, they had no idea why they would need a safe zone or what they would need to be safe from. Nor did they have any idea why they would need to spend time in the penalty box if they did something wrong in the safe zones. Again, they had no idea what this was all about.
Then I told them all to go get one pillow from their room (the older girls needed to bring two) and to set them down in the middle of the living room. Then I had them sit on their pillows. This dispelled any ideas that this was about a sleepover. Then I grabbed one, sat on it myself and told them that they were about to participate in the first Gonzalez family Ultimate Pillow Fighting Championship. The game was afoot and the stage was set.
1-2-3 was counted and we were off. And the carnage came right along with it. Rebekah, Babe Ruth Jr. I like to call her, learned very quickly to tee off on me as though my head were a satellite waiting to be shuttled into outer space. She hit with a purpose and my head was the target. Every time.
Sarah was a tad more restrained, but not by much. Aaron and Alaynah got into the mix pretty deep too. Annah, she was just Annah, all over the place hitting everything. But it was still cool because there were many times that they all attacked me. It was awesome.
In all we battled hard for about 30 minutes. In the end we were all exhausted, warm, breathing heavy and in desperate need of rest. Which worked out good since it was just about bed time. And was it ever a quiet, fight-free bed time.
Now if I could just make my body not hurt so bad that would be top class. Has anyone seen my right ear? Bekah hit it so hard last night I think it ended up in my neighbors yard.
Last night I had the wonderful experiencing of going to RAFT. RAFT is the Resource Area For Teachers and because my wife and I homeschool our kids we get to access the awesomeness that is the RAFT showroom.
I was totally amazed at how cool this place is. They receive lots of teaching, classroom, office and business supplies from all over and sell it at stupidly low prices to teachers. Some of the stuff they sell if brand new stuff (like notepads, pencils, stickers and some books) while other stuff is used (some books, furniture, computer equipment) while other stuff is donated new stuff (company embossed shirts, coffee cups, mouse pads, computer bags). I was blown away at the sheer magnitude of the place, the inventory they had and the brilliant ideas they had for using some of the things there that you would never expect to see or use in education.
Like sport water bottle lids. Did you know you could use one of those, a CD and a balloon to make a hover device? They sell a kit for that for like $1. Everything the sell is typically below $2 though there are a few things that they sell for more (nice corporate apparel can get as high as $5 while computers and servers can go as high as $115). But the ideas they package with old unwanted material is amazing. And the amount of stuff they have there to test your imagination is even more awesome.
I saw CDs, CD cases, CD tube bases (excellent ring toss posts), CD tube bodies, scrap clothing material, scrap wood, butcher paper, binders, tinsel, medical pipette racks, food trays…. the list goes on and on.
So if you are a teach in norther California you really owe it to yourself to get to RAFT. You can get a lot of great ideas, a lot of great stuff and have a great time for just a little bit of money.
For those that subscribe to my blog I wanted to let you know that I am moving my feed from WordPress to FeedBurner. I am doing this so I can allow for better subscription management and stat analytics. This should no have an effect on you at all but if you notice anything screwy please let me know and I will look into it right away.
Someone with whom I communicate on Twitter sent me this video because he knows my position on proposition 8. Anyone who reads this blog knows my position on marriage and if it is not blatantly obvious by this video, my position is contrary to his. He asked that I watch the video being a supporter of proposition 8. So I did, because as much as I believe, strongly, in the marriage covenant being between a man and woman I am interested in other people’s views on the matter, if for no other reason than to dispell some misconceptions about Prop 8, Christianity, religion and bigotry.
Have a look over this video. In it Keith Olbermann speaks rather passionately about his position on proposition 8 and his confusion over the people of California’s decision to protect marriage as being between a man and a woman. He asks some rather poignant questions that I think many people in the Yes on 8 camp have either evaded or turned into some form of personal attack. I hope that I can offer at least a glimpse into some of the reasoning that some of those that support prop 8 base our decision on. Understand that I do not feel in any way that I need to explain myself nor do I feel it my purpose to ensure understanding of my viewpoint. Keith Olbermann asks good questions. I wanted to answer them.
So many people have made their feelings known about marriage and proposition 8 without really addressing why they are for or against it. Some supporters of the proposition say that it is because gay marriage will teach our kids things in school that we have no right to protect them from. I do not agree with this as this measure was not at all about gay marriage but about protecting marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Many opponents to proposition have stated that it eliminates civil rights or discriminates against a certain group of people. I tend to not agree with this. There are plenty of circumstances in which a particular group of people are not entitled to the same eligibility as another group of people, even within the context of the constitution, that saying that this proposition eliminates rights or discriminates is simply rubbish in my opinion.
But even if what I think means nothing to you or if what I write in response seems like senseless dribble, at the very least, you will be treated to a very passionate display of Keith Olbermann’s feelings on the matter of opening marriage to people of the same gender.
Why does this matter to you?
As a Christian man I have to say that it matters because marriage is a covenant given to man and woman ordained by God the father as a gift to his creation. Woman was created from man for man – Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” [Genesis 2:18]. As a result of this creation God established that For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh [Genesis 2:24]. God does not make any provision for man to leave his mother and father and be joined to his husband. Plain and simple, it is not in God’s plan.
But setting aside my spiritual beliefs, there is nothing at all that tells me that a man and a woman should united in marriage the way that my wife and I are. A man uniting with another man in matrimony cannot ever be attained in similitude to the way a man unites with a woman in matrimony. Other than the two being people, similarity of matrimony stops there. If it were an issue of sex then there perhaps might be some similarity between the two, but marriage, and prop 8, are not about sex lest it become about homosexuality, which it isn’t. A man, by his very physical natural attributes, cannot be joined in marriage to another man the way a man can join with a woman in marriage, nor can a woman be joined in marriage with another woman for the same reason.
Lastly, it matters to me because by those same physical attributes men and women were naturally made for one another. Even if you are atheist you have to be able to look at male and female and know they were created to be (or evolved into being, if that is your way of thinking) made for the compliment of one another. Woman was made for man and man, for woman. It is plainly visible and unquestionably obvious.
What if someone passed a law that said that you couldn’t marry?
There are laws that say you can’t marry. You cannot marry your siblings, your parents or other married people. You cannot marry children. What is the point of this question?
While I am on this point, why does everyone insist on making an association of same gender couples with African Americans? How the hell are these two groups of people similar? There isn’t a black person alive today that chose to be black before he or she was born. The struggle that the black community fought was not because of choices they made but because of the color of their skin, a condition they had no say in. Homosexual people, and those people that seek marriage between members of the same gender, cannot be compared to slaves, to minorities or to any other group in which the condition they suffered was outside of their control. If you are homosexual it is because you choose that lifestyle.
If you want to share yourself physically with a member of the same gender so be it. I cannot, nor will I, tell you to do otherwise. I will pray for you because I love you, and though I do not condone that lifestyle it is not my place to tell you do to otherwise. I do things myself that I don’t agree with, and for that I repent. But in all cases it is my choice. People of the same gender that choose to become united in a formalized relationship choose to do so. Why would anyone expect that their choice should receive special privileges and rights?
And lastly on this topic, Keith Olbermann said something that I find to be astonishingly stupid and offensive. He said that marriages between slaves were not recognized just like marriages today in California are not recognized because people are gay. Is he seriously trying to say that homosexual people are on par with the slaves? Seriously? If I was black I would be offended beyond belief. I am Mexican and I am offended by that statement. That was just wrong.
Don’t you as human beings have to embrace that love?
Human beings don’t have to do anything. But in this case I am not one to say that you cannot love someone. I love many men. Not in a sexual or physical way. I will not tell you that you cannot love someone of the same gender as you. And if you choose to love someone of your gender in a sexual or physical way then so be it. Again, I will pray for you because I love you. But I will not at all say that I think a man should be allowed to marry another man because he loves him. Love him if you want to. Marriage is between a man and a woman.
This is what your religion tells you to do?
(This question was following the statement: With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division and people pitted against each other for no good reason,).
This depends entirely on the religion being addressed by this question. I am familiar with two religious theologies: Catholicism and Christianity, so I cannot speak for others, but there is nothing in the Christian bible that tells us to hate. There is nothing in the bible that tells us to pit ourselves against any person. We battle against principalities not people: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds [2 Cor 10:4] and For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places [Eph 6:12].
Make no mistake about it, if you are a Christian you are in this battle. But at the same time if you are a Christian then you are also in a battle to love everyone: You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD [Lev 19:18] while at the same time making sure that we do not fall into the trap of believing everything we see and hear: Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ Says the LORD [Zec 8:17]. Even Christ Himself spoke these words: You shall love your neighbor as yourself [Matt 22:39].
There is really no room to go into the topic of spiritual warfare within the context of this response, but believe you me, there are a number of spiritual wickednesses that Christians must be aware and must fight. Some are within our own Christian family. Some are even within ourselves. None of them are with a person or people though. We love everyone, hate no one and fight like hell for the salvation of all, praying without ceasing for those that we love, which all mankind. There is no place for hate in a Christian’s life. But like I said, I cannot speak for all religions. I do know that I do not hate anyone though, so this question of Keith Oblermann’s gets a resounding NO from me as an answer.
Quote me anything from your religious … book … telling you to stand against this…
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;
12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
1 Timothy 3
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.
1 Corinthians 7:2
Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.
1 Titus 5:20
Christians stand against any concept of marriage that is anything other than man and woman. Marriage is described only between a man and a woman in the bible. Anyone that tries to make marriage anything other than what the bible says it is is sinning and we are to rebuke the sin. Love the sinner not the sin. That is why we stand.
… and how you can believe that and still believe the statement “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”?
The answer is simple. I want to be saved. I want to be righteous. Though I may not always achieve that status I want to attain to it. I want to glorify my God. If it means that someone in the body of Christ must call me out on my sin to the Glory of God so be it. That is what is supposed to happen. Love me enough to save me the way I love you enough to save you.
I would rather you hate me and be saved than have you love me and be lost. I will love you because I want because I want you to love me. I will do unto you what I would have you do unto me. I will love you.
Just remember that love does not equate to approval or agreement. I can love you, and you me, without agreeing with you or approving of your deeds. Such is the case in protecting marriage. I can love you if you are homosexual, I can love you if you are heterosexual, I can love you if you are bisexual and I can love you if you are asexual. But I cannot love the things you do if they are contrary to the Word of God.
I know that there are a lot of people that do not understand my viewpoint on this subject. There are probably a good deal of Christians that are totally at peace with opening up marriage to people of the same gender. I am sure there are atheists or agnostics that are for protecting marriage. Whatever your viewpoint, please understand that Proposition 8 was not about homosexuality or the taking away of rights. It was and continues to be about protecting marriage as being between one man and one woman. The text of the law, the law that was overwhelmingly passed in 2000 and summarily overturned by four of the seven California Supreme Court justices, has not changed and not targeted any one group of people nor has it served to eliminate anybody’s rights. It simply recognizes marriage as being between a man and a woman.
I applaud Keith Olbermann for his video message. While I do not think it takes any guts whatsoever to use the liberal media to agree with the rest of the mainstream liberal agenda, I can say that his passion appeared honest and sincere. That is hard to find nowadays. It is something I wish more people had and something I pray I convey whenever I speak of my feelings. But neither his passion nor the protests nor the lawsuits not the continual comparison of homosexuality to ethnic heritage is enough, in my opinion, to convince the majority of the state of California to change the way we see marriage solely because a small population of people choose to do something outside the boundaries of marriage, as we see it, then expect the state to conform to their lifestyle.
As a Christian man, I try very hard to make sure I do things according to the Word that lives in me. Everything a Christian does is supposed to be done in love to the Glory of the Father. Love is the principle commandment given by Christ.
28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”
29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.
30 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
31 And the second, like it, is this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
It is by this love that I want to see all men and women saved. It is by this love that I confess my faith in the Lord Jesus. And it is by this love that I hold fast the gospel of the Lord. I do not judge you, I do not hate you. To the contrary, I love you very much.
Today is a day earmarked for celebration of those that have served our country as veterans of war and members of our armed forces. This covers men and women from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and reserve units of each of these branches of the military. I pray that today you would be blessed, covered, protected and welcomed without contempt wherever you set your feet.
I cannot even begin to imagine what serving our country in the military is like. My father was a soldier in the US Army. He fought bravely in the Korean war. He saw things, as a 17 year old kid himself, that he would never tell his kids about. He was prepared to give his life for the men he served with and the country he lived for.
To all veterans and service members, I salute you. You have given of yourself to ensure the American way of life both at home and abroad. He continue to place yourself in harms way for all Americans and daily you offer yourself as a sacrifice to this country and to the people who live in it, though some may not appreciate you. You are true patriots, true Americans and I am honored to be able to thank you in an open, public environment, the right of which was given me because of the sacrifice of veterans from long ago.
Praise God for you and for all members of the US armed forces. A few of the men that I know that have served their country deserve a public shout:
Dude, just when I thought we had escaped the swarming mountain of crap that we have acquired over the years (losing all of your credit worthiness has a tendency to that to you you know) my wife discovered Freecycle.org. And has our mountain of acquired junk grown or what?
We have gotten a pair of equestrian riding boots for Rebekah, a table that was born out of a converted door and a 12 inch Calphalon skillet. We have also gotten rid of a microwave cart and a rice maker. So I guess we are not just blindly acquiring things for the sake of acquiring them. Well, I can’t say that. But I can say that we are getting rid of some things along the way. Which is better than when we would go out and buy stuff and never purge.
Now if I could just find a way to purge 98% of my garage I might be able to get into my garage fridge and snag me a Heineken. I wonder if I can list an entire garage on Freecycle?
When is this madness going to end? Why, in a city that voted close to 100% No on 8, are people protesting? Who are they trying to win over? They are blocking traffic which is raising the costs of their city by making police officers work overtime or making their police department work more officers, they are negatively affecting thousands of people and they are throwing a massive tantrum in a city that didn’t even vote for the proposition they are protesting. What sense does this make?
And what sense does it make to protest the LDS church in any city? So they donated money for a cause they believe in (no, I am not a Mormon, I am a Christian). Would you want people coming after you because they are mad that you gave to a cause you believe in? That is just plain stupid. Actually, it is more mob-like than anything, giving the appearance that they are trying to intimidate people for their support of an initiative that the protesters don’t like.
They are a church. The Christian church did the same thing. They stood behind their values and morals and asked their members to do the same thing. No one can make anyone do anything, not even in the church. Targeting the LDS is plain wrong. Targeting anyone is just wrong.
I wonder when will come a day when those that do not agree with someone can actually peacefully coexist with those they do not agree with, without protesting them, without calling them names, without defacing their property, without any of the foolishness that was exhibited in this campaign. I know both side participated in this type of activity. I know many people that had their “No on 8″ signs defaced, stolen or damaged. One of my “Yes on 8″ signs was stolen from my front yard.
This type of behavior is silly, stupid, immature and wrong. We can disagree without becoming mortal enemies. But for crying out loud, if you must speak up on your opinion, can’t you do so without targeting an individual or organization. Speak your mind. That is awesome. Many American’s have fought many battles and lost their lives in many cases so that we can stand on a street corner and speak loudly against those ideals that we think are wrong. But keep it to that. Speak loudly, speak clearly and make your point your point. You don’t need to storm a church to do that.
My sister-in-law, Katie, is a member of the choir at my church, Jubilee Christian Center. Our choir recently competed in, and won, the regional competition for the Verizon Wireless How Sweet the Sound competition, a competition that serves to find the best church choir in America.
In recognition of the Jubilee choir’s win, the entire choir, all 100+ members, were flown to Atlanta Georgia to compete in the national finale. So tonight I took my family to church to watch the finale. And boy was it awesome.
Verizon Wireless is a class act. I have to say this ahead of everything because the came to our church, set up a satellite and broadcast the entire event on a very large screen television that they brought. They also brought coffee, juice, tea, water and a host of appetizers and deserts. They also brought the staff to prepare these treats so that those watching the finale could be about the business of watching the finale rather than serving food and drinks. Way to go Verizon. I am impressed.
Now on to the goods. We got to church just in time to see our church perform first. I thought at first that this was a good thing but the more I think about it the more I realize that a church that performs toward the end of a two and half hour long competition has a much better chance of being remembered than does the church that started the whole thing off.
I thought because our church did not win. The top two churches actually performed in the last three routines. And while I thought both of these church choirs were good, I did not think the runner up had the vocals, the management or the sounds that our choir did. I had our choir squarely in the top four. The runner up was my number five. In the end though it didn’t matter what my list looked like. It was all on the judges. And they cast their votes.
Overall our choir kicked some serious butt. To see that many people of that many varying backgrounds on stage, singing together, with an African American choir director and a Philippine choir leader was amazing. Just the diversity alone was something to behold. Not to mention they sang their butts off. And they did this at the end of the week of Thunder in the Bay. That is truly a testament to their resolve to perform and perform well.
So to my choir I have to tell you congratulations for doing so well and for representing Jubilee Christian Center the way you did. It was awesome. And next year you will knock them out of the park.