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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Another Grief Observed

The range of emotions and comments that arise when a saint passes from this world to the next has always intrigued me. C. S. Lewis wrote an entire book on his grieving process.

It's an interesting conundrum. Even when taken "before their time", a Christian is in a better place and much better off.

However, we need to mourn for our loss. In most cases, they will be sorely missed. And we need to acknowledge and deal with the hole that is left.

I remember the strange mix of feelings that came when my parents passed on. When Dad went on, I was grateful and relieved that he was no longer trapped in that decaying body. But I felt sharp pangs for my mother, as she would no longer have him at her side after more than 45 years together.

When Mom went on, I felt the same relief that she was shed of that cancer-ridden body AND that she would not be missing Dad anymore. But I was disappointed that my kids would grow up without their Grandma Muriel. And kids deserve a great grandma (like she was) to soften up some of the hard edges of life.

What brought all this to mind is a recent blog by Del Tackett of The Truth Project. Del's dad recently passed on and it is amazing to see the balance between the loss felt by a son and the faith of a Christian that relies on truth rather than emotion for the foundation of their faith.

Del went to pick up his father's ashes and was struck with a wave of emotion and asked for some privacy in the chapel.
I felt so alone. And for a moment, I was a little boy needing the comforting presence of his dad. But all I had was a box of ashes. No hand on my shoulder. No silent nod that said "Don’t worry, son...I’m right here." Could this really be happening to a guy who is already a grandfather himself?

For a brief moment, the emptiness and the emotion gave birth to the question...is this it? Is this all there really is? Is this the end of my dad? A box of ashes?

That’s when I began to smile. Because truth trumps emotion...truth shatters despair and exposes the lie of hopelessness. My smile became a soft chuckle.

No...this is not the end of my dad.


I will deeply miss my dad, and I do not doubt that there are days ahead when I will feel that loss. But something happened yesterday that I am thankful for. Counselors call it "closure". I call it a dose of reality. But not a cold reality...it was a warming reality...a smile in the midst of the tears...a confidence that knows "Where, O death, is your victory?"
Read the whole thing.

And thanks, Del, for sharing this incredibly personal moment.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

John McCain wins Florida.

I wanted to pass on a few quotes about John McCain and his win in Florida and his possible nomination.

Ann Coulter (Human Events) says of John McCain
John McCain is Bob Dole minus the charm, conservatism and youth.

John Hood (NRO) says of a McCain victory:
I’d say we are seeing the return of the Republican party of Teddy Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, and Gerald Ford. The Republican party of Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich will sit on the sidelines for a bit, perhaps to rest up for the next game.

I'd really hate to see the Ronald Reagan wing of the Republican party have to sit out for a while. And I shutter to think what kind of legislation will be passed with McCain in the White House and the Democrats still controlling the house and senate. Anyone remember McCain-Feingold? McCain-Kennedy? Gang of 14 controlling judicial votes?

We were all looking for the next Ronald Reagan and perhaps, to paraphrase Hawkeye from M*A*S*H, we were too choosy, "looking for a custom fit in an off-the-rack world."

Dont' misunderstand. I will still vote for McCain over either Hillary or Obama. But with even less enthusiasm that I voted for Bush in '92 or Dole in '96.

Rush Limbaugh had this to say:
Senator McCain's been able to cobble together enough votes to win in a few states. Fine. He deserves credit for that. But to pretend that Senator McCain is the choice of conservatives when exit poll data from every primary state show just the opposite... He is not the choice of conservatives, as opposed to the choice of the Republican establishment -- and that distinction is key. The Republican establishment, which has long sought to rid the party of conservative influence since Reagan, is feeling a victory today as well as our friends in the media.

But he went on to say:
But both are just farfetched and wrong.

Let's hope that he's right that they are wrong.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"Stimulus Package" quote

On my way into work this morning, I heard a great quote on the economic stimulus package from Steve Czaban, a sports commentator that I listen to in the morning.

Steve said (as best as I can remember it):
If the government can just turn a dial and stimulate the economy, why doesn't it do it all the time?

Why doesn't it just keep cranking quarters into the vibrating bed that is our economy and just keep it going?
Of course we (and he) knows why. They have to get those quarters from us. And by the time we get them back, they seem to be a little lighter than they were when we sent them to DC.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bush Speech Calls for Pull-Out from U.S. Economy

If only...

Bush Speech Calls for Pull-Out from U.S. Economy

Warning. Satire. (gotta love satire)
The nation’s chief executive will reportedly tell the American people that the government got involved in the U.S. economy under false pretenses, has mismanaged the effort from the beginning, and the president believes now that “the only way forward is backward.”
Wow. Some sense out of Washington.
The president will propose immediate reductions in taxes, regulation, government spending and federal bureaucracies.
If only...

Full fake article here.

Thanks to Scott Ott of Scrappleface.