26 September 2012

Galatians 5:14-15

"For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!"

24 September 2012

UFC 152

I was introduced to the world of Mixed Martial Arts the other night when I was invited over to a friend's house to watch UFC 152. I have briefly seen people on TV fighting in this style, but I really had never watched anything start to finish, so I wasn't sure what it was going to be like.

The first full fight that I watched was actually pretty gory. One of the fighters got struck on the forehead and had blood all over his face. As the fight wore on, the blood was all over his chest, his head, his shorts, the other fighter's face, body, and shorts, as well as in various places on the mat. For as many 'fight' scenes that I have seen in movies over the years, they all pale in comparison to seeing someone get their head split open in a real fight. (It also exposes the ridiculous performances in the WWE as complete fakes.) In the second fight, one fighter was completely knocked out cold. After you see someone's legs buckle underneath them from losing consciousness, you really can not un-see it.

By the time the main event started, I was getting the picture that most of the participants go into the matches trying not only to hurt the other person as much as possible, but also to literally try and break limbs. It seemed that most of the wrestlers would take any opportunity to do that.

The last fight featured the reigning champ, Jon 'Bones' Jones and the challenger, Vitor Belfort. While Belfort held his own for a few rounds (and nearly broke Jones' arm at one point), Jones prevailed by twisting Belfort's arm backwards into such a shape that Vitor could not do anything except plead for mercy by tapping out. Jones had repeatedly hit Belfort in the face with his elbows causing an immense amount of damage and bleeding to Vitor's face.

After all was said and done, it was one o'clock in the morning, and I was pretty tired. But I woke up the next day thinking about what I had seen. There was no question that I felt very uncomfortable with the level of violence in the fights. (...Making me wonder about what exactly I have been de-sensitized to when seeing violence in movies.) During the program, I was trying to evaluate what I was supposed to be thinking and feeling as a Christian, and I never did feel good about it. It was disturbing to watch two human beings trying to debase and damage each other in order to make one submit to the other out of force.

My initial gut reaction was that there was nothing about this that could glorify God or enhance the human experience outside of general competition. About the time that I thought that, I saw that Jones had Philippians 4:13 tattooed on his right pectoral muscle (I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength). Before entering the ring, he bowed down and prayed. The announcer said that he was the son of a preacher. I wondered, "how is he going to treat his opponent? Will he treat them with the same lack of dignity that the other fighters had shown, or somehow, in Christ, will he be able to fight while giving dignity to Belfort?"

I realize that this is my own private interpretation, but I thought that while they fought somewhat evenly at first, Jones essentially mauled Belfort. He continued to elbow him in the face so many times that blood was freely flowing all over. Even though there is no need to feel sorry for Vitor (he freely signed up for this), it was easy to see that he was dejected, damaged, and debased as a result of his fight with Jones. As a Christian, I thought, is this the way we are supposed to treat others? Could I ever see Jesus in a situation where he would treat someone like this? Part of my disappointment was watching Jon Jones' father jumping up and down with excitement at his son's victory. It disturbed me to see a pastor so excited at the debasement of another human being.

I am sure that someone will say that the Scriptures tell us that in all we do, we should do everything to the glory of God... and maybe that is what Jones attempts to do with his tattoo and by praying before entering the ring. I guess that despite that, it would take a lot to convince me that God's glory can be reflected while damaging, debasing, and discouraging another human being.

21 September 2012

Mark and the big trucks!

Before Mark and Seda left for Cambodia, we went to see some big trucks that were on display...

It was a really hot day, so we stayed long enough to get sweaty, and that was about it...

Getting the scoop...

In the back of a police SUV cruiser

19 September 2012

Fun quotes from 'Scoop' (2006)

Sid Waterman: I just want to say, from the bottom of my heart, I mean this sincerely... you may be deceased but you should not be discouraged. Because, you know, uh, d-d-don't think of b-being dead as a handicap, you know what - when as I child I stuttered, but with stick-to-it-tiveness and perseverence, you know, you can never tell what can happen.
Sid Waterman: Listen to me! I'll go get coffee, you get a cramp. Go into the water, flounder around, you know...
Sondra Pransky: [sighs] Ahh...
Sid Waterman: Yes! Go ahead, sweetheart. That's, that's a great idea. He'll oblige to save you that way and if he doesn't, you know, then I'll notify your parents.

Sid Waterman: I don't need to work out. My anxiety acts as aerobics.

Sondra Pransky: You are a cynical crapehanger who always see the glass half-empty!
Sid Waterman: No, you're wrong. I see the glass half full... but of poison.

Sid Waterman: The man is a liar and a murderer, and I say that with all due respect.

Joe Strombel: This'll be the biggest story to hit London since Jack the Ripper.
Sondra Pransky: Jack the Ripper. Is that capitalized?

Sid Waterman: We need to put our heads together.
Sondra Pransky: If we put OUR heads together, it would make a hollow sound.

Sid Waterman: I was in the lounge, I heard you drowning, I finished my tea and scones and came immediately!

Sid Waterman: Not everything in this world is sinister... just practically everything.
Sondra Pransky: Ugh... the Indian food made me sick.
Sid Waterman: What? You barely touched your cobra salad, how can you be sick?

Sid Waterman: Oh yes, she can't swim. She sinks like a stone! It's a family trait, actually, lack of buoyancy. Her siblings suffer from it too.

Man: So what do you do, Mr. Spence?
Sid Waterman: Real estate.
Sid Waterman: Uh, I mean, oil. I WAS in real estate, but now I'm in oil. I mean, now land is getting hard to come by... especially... outdoors.

Sondra Pransky: [to Sid] Stop telling people I sprang from your loins!

Sid Waterman: Actually, I bought my first Reubens with my poker winnings.
Garden Party Guest: You bought a Rubens painting?
Sid Waterman: Oh, oh, no. Not a painting. A reuben sandwich.

Sid Waterman: This guy must be some lover if you're ready to drop the whole investigation! I must find out what breakfast cereal he eats...

Peter Lyman: What's wrong? Are you crying?
Sondra Pransky: No, I'm too tough to cry. My nasal passages do get congested when I'm sad, though.

Sid Waterman: You're alone up there with a very, very dangerous man! That's two "very's"!

Sondra Pransky: I wouldn't be surprised if he asked me to marry him someday.
Sid Waterman: You come from an orthodox family, would they accept a serial killer?

Sondra Pransky: Why would Peter kill a prostitute?
Sid Waterman: Because it looks bad on his resume!

Sondra Pransky: Why don't you think about this as adding some excitement to your life?
Sid Waterman: Sweeheart, excitement in my life is dinner without heartburn after it.

Peter Lyman: I just can't get the vision of you in your swimsuit out of my head.
Sondra Pransky: Oh I'm glad you liked it! It was marked down!

Sid Waterman: What about Indian food, do you like spicy food?
Sondra Pransky: No, no, it's OK, I don't have that much of an appetite.
Sid Waterman: But you will, when they bring out the prawns in hydrochloric acid...

Sondra Pransky: Do you have a family?

Sid Waterman: I had a wife but sh... she dumped me if you can believe that.... She thought I was immature and that I never grew up... I had a great rebuttal for her, I coulda nailed her, you know, but uh... (when) I raised my hand, she would *not* call on me.

Sondra Pransky: [Speaking of the ghost] Look, the spirit appeared next to me. at first I thought he was one of your stooges.
Sid Waterman: I don't work with stooges. You know, because you gotta pay them health benefits.

Sid Waterman: I was born into the Hebrew persuasion, but when I got older I converted to narcissism 

10 September 2012

08 September 2012

2 Corinthians 1:8-11

For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.