Welcome to My Brain

These are my thoughts on a variety of subjects. So welcome to my brain!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Linkin Park's "Numb" and a spiritual application


"Numb"


I'm tired of being what you want me to be
Feeling so faithless lost under the surface
Don't know what you're expecting of me
Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)

[Chorus]
I've become so numb I can't feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

Can't you see that you're smothering me
Holding too tightly afraid to lose control
Cause everything that you thought I would be
Has fallen apart right in front of you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
And every second I waste is more than I can take

[Chorus]
I've become so numb I can't feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

And I know
I may end up failing too
But I know
You were just like me with someone disappointed in you

[Chorus]
I've become so numb I can't feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

[Chorus]
I've become so numb I can't feel you there
I'm tired of being what you want me to be
I've become so numb I can't feel you there
I'm tired of being what you want me to be

The spiritual application I found in this is not only how sometimes in friendships, we have older, wiser friends who we look up to, but then something happens, and we start to question that person about everything. But see life is not perfect, people are not perfect. If we were perfect, then Jesus would not have needed to come to the earth to die for us.

But the hope is that things can be resolved and not fall apart.

The other spiritual application, and this is important, sometimes in conflicts we want to run away and hide, not just from the conflict, but from God as well. An important lesson that is getting reiterated for me right now is that God pursues His children.

So, the objective at that point is to accept God's love and to not become so numb-to Him or to the person who you may have a struggle with. Because if we become numb, we may miss the opportunity for restoration.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics

Before I continue with any further blog posts, I want to add the text of the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. As a member of the SPJ, I promise that when I write a post on this blog, that I will strive to write with honesty, whether it is just my opinion or a comment on what is happening elsewhere in the world, or even if it is my own personal thoughts.

This is a copy of the SPJ Code of Ethics from http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

PREAMBLE
Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility. Members of the Society share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the Society’s principles and standards of practice.

Seek Truth and Report It
Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
Journalists should:
  1. Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
  2. Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
  3. Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.
  4. Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.
  5. Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
  6. Never distort the content of news photos or video Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.
  7. Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events. If re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it.
  8. Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story.
  9. Never plagiarize.
  10. Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.
  11. Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.
  12. Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
  13. Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
  14. Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
  15. Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.
  16. Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.
  17. Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.
Minimize Harm
Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect. Journalists should:
  1. Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
  2. Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief:
  3. Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
  4. Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
  5. Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
  6. Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.
  7. Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.
  8. Balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed.
Act Independently
Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know. Journalists should:
  1. Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
  2. Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
  3. Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
  4. Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
  5. Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
  6. Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
  7. Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.
Be Accountable
Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.
Journalists should:
  1. Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.
  2. Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
  3. Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
  4. Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.
  5. Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.
The SPJ Code of Ethics is voluntarily embraced by thousands of journalists, regardless of place or platform, and is widely used in newsrooms and classrooms as a guide for ethical behavior. The code is intended not as a set of “rules” but as a resource for ethical decision-making. It is not — nor can it be under the First Amendment — legally enforceable.

The present version of the code was adopted by the 1996 SPJ National Convention, after months of study and debate among the Society’s members. Sigma Delta Chi’s first Code of Ethics was borrowed from the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1926. In 1973, Sigma Delta Chi wrote its own code, which was revised in 1984, 1987 and 1996.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What's on Your iPod?

I have a collection of over 500 items, ranging from songs, news reports, videos, and sermons on the iPod I have access to.

Of those the first ten songs that pop up (I have it on random shuffle) are:
  1. "A Cradle Prayer" from Christmas by Rebecca St. James
  2. "What Hurts the Most" from Me and My Gang by Rascal Flatts
  3. "Over It" from Radio Disney Jams, Volume 7 by Anneliese Van Der Pol
  4. "Happy Christmas" from Christmas by Rebeccas St. James
  5. "Supermodels" from Jordan's Sister by Kendall Payne
  6. "Last One Standing" from Radio Disney Jams, Volume 6 by Triple Image
  7. "Don't Say You Love Me" from Radio Disney Jams, Volume 3 by M2M
  8. "What's Your Name?" from Radio Disney Jams 8 by Jesse McCartney
  9. "Juliet" from Radio Disney Ultimate Jams by LMNT
  10. "Stayin' Alive" from Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel by The Chipmunks
Part two of this blog post will have the first verse/chorus of the first ten songs on the iPod on that day.

But I write this to say that the Nick Jonas video post I have speaks a lot about how I feel right now.

I want someone to love me
For who I am
I want someone to need me
Is that so bad?
I want to break all the madness
But it's all I have
I want someone to love me
For who I am

Nothing makes sense, nothing makes sense anymore
Nothing is right, nothing is right when your gone.
I want someone to love me
For who I am
I want someone to need me
Is that so bad?
I want to break all the madness
But it's all I have
I want someone to love me
For who I am

Nothing makes sense, nothing makes sense anymore
Nothing is right, nothing is right when you're gone
I'm losing my breath, I'm losing my right to be wrong
I'm frightened to death, I'm frightened that I won't be strong

I want someone to love me
For who I am
I want someone to need me
Is that so bad?
I wanna break all the madness
But it's all I have
I want someone to love me
For who I am

I'm shaking it off, I'm shaking off all of the pain.
Breaking my heart, breaking my heart once again

I want someone to love me
For who I am
I want someone to need me
Is that so bad?
I wanna break all the madness
But it's all I have
I want someone to love me
For who I am

I want someone to love me
For who I am
I want someone to need me
Is that so bad?
I wanna break all the madness
But it's all I have
I want someone to love me
For who I am

Yeah, who I am.



I’m in the Nick Jonas video! Add yourself (www.hdgreetings.com/Nick)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Today's Big Surprise Package

I got my package today! I remembered ordering it, but I wasn't expecting it today. Well, I didn't know when to expect it, but boy was it a happy and exciting moment. It was like Christmas in the house because both my mother and I got some things in it. Who-haw! See, I joined IDF Common Ground and IDF Friends for patients with immune deficiencies and through the message boards learned that there were some free resources available, including some wellness notebooks and binders. So, I went on the website to order my kits. I ordered like everything they would send me. I order the kit for myself and for my mother, who is basically a caregiver. I am now ordering some posters for awareness for some places I frequent in order to help them out.

But here is what I got: a backpack thing with an IGIV bear, play therapy kit and IGIV starter kit; a wellness binder with folders and three hole punch to organize all my important doctor and insurance papers; a wellness notebook for the year that helps me with appointments, medications, how I feel that day, pain level, etc. and includes an order form for next year's kit; a brochure about GammaGard Liquid IGIV; Celina's Story about a patient with a similar story; The ABCs of Kids Like Me and a pack of crayons; My IVIG Book Kit; IGIV's Medical Records booklet; a poster with the warning signs of Primary Immune Deficiency; and there was even a second wellness binder with folders and three hole punch and wellness notebook for my mother to use as well!

Well, needless to say, that was ONE heavy box with some SUPER SWEET stuff!

But, I'm really excited to start using my wellness kit this week and to start helping others understand my condition better. But I'm also really excited to learn how to live with it and how to fight it and how things are going to be and how they'll go these next few weeks and months. Strange as that bear looks, there's something oddly comforting about him and needless to say, the next time I have labs drawn, he's going to be right there beside me! I may be 31, but I still need a comfort object too apparently. I already do dance and music for my therapy and books for my therapy and my blogs are my therapy, so now I have another thing to look forward to.

By the way, I want to put in a plug. I am wanting to look into the possibility of seeing about an allergy dog for my really bad peanut allergy through Angel Service Dogs, but in order to even consider this, I would need sponsorship, so please consider praying over this if you are reading this. My peanut allergy has gotten to the point where if I'm in the same room as someone else who is eating something that contains peanuts or peanut butter, it will trigger an asthma attack. I am also asthmatic to wheat and mushrooms. Thanks.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Deep Thought in Response to Some Questionable Stuff

From Pastor Bob Flayhart’s blog at www.bobflayhart.com:

The scariest and most evil principle Machiavelli puts forth in The Prince is that “the whole idea of being good…is rather naive,” and that what is important is not “being good, but appearing good.” Another principle is that you can get away with anything if you are able to “appear religious.” Machiavelli asserts that if you can “appear” religious then people are more likely to trust you and think you are moral and good and it is then easier to deceive them so you can get what you want.

Machiavelli rejects the Christian world view and despises it by saying that Christians will think of heaven and it makes people ineffective in working in the world. He also wrote that Christianity “ties our hands” by limiting what we want to do with all kinds of rules.

There’s the summary…but here’s the scary part…how do Machiavellian principles dwell within my own heart? First, how often am I more concerned about appearances than the actual condition of my soul? How often do I set up my posing self in oder to appear moral or good or righteous before others? How am I often one person in public and another completely different person when no one else is around? How often do I put forth the appearance of “loving God” when my heart is cold? How often do I walk into Church on Sunday mornings as nothing but a poser?

How often am I a complete pragmatist? How often am I thinking about how I can control my life, my circumstances, even people in my life to “get what I want” in the most effective and necessary way and fail to consider the way of the Gospel which is loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and loving my neighbor as myself? Let’s be honest…love is not often very pragmatic…and it’s never easy.

The saddest thing of all, perhaps, is that Machiavelli completely missed the point of the Christian life…we’re not to be so heavenly-minded that we’re no earthly good! The hope and vision of heaven is to be in our sites so that we work toward bringing the Kingdom of God into reality on this planet NOW! Certainly many, many Christ-followers miss this, but the Christian is not only concerned about the eternal destiny of the souls of people. We are concerned primarily about the glory of God…and God is glorified as suffering is alleviated, evil oppression is eradicated, people are educated, widows and orphans are taken care of, and yes, even nature is cared for…in addition to being concerned that all the nations hear the Gospel!

The Christ-follower who truly knows Christ and His word knows that the end NEVER justifies the means, that love must always win over pragmatism and that we are to work with all our strength to bring the reality of the Kingdom of God, in all it’s beauty and goodness, to bear upon this planet in our every sphere of influence, including all our vocations and all our relationships.

My thoughts are this:
“The scariest and most evil principle Machiavelli puts forth in The Prince is that “the whole idea of being good…is rather naive,” and that what is important is not “being good, but appearing good.” Another principle is that you can get away with anything if you are able to “appear religious.” Machiavelli asserts that if you can “appear” religious then people are more likely to trust you and think you are moral and good and it is then easier to deceive them so you can get what you want.”

I would agree with Machiavelli’s assertion though….

“There’s the summary…but here’s the scary part…how do Machiavellian principles dwell within my own heart? First, how often am I more concerned about appearances than the actual condition of my soul? How often do I set up my posing self in oder [sic] to appear moral or good or righteous before others? How am I often one person in public and another completely different person when no one else is around? How often do I put forth the appearance of “loving God” when my heart is cold? How often do I walk into Church on Sunday mornings as nothing but a poser? “

These may be good questions, but should not then actions be taken to make sure these things are not happening? Strive to be perfect like God, yes, but if in one’s pursuit of perfection, one fails to show love and grace and mercy and forgiveness and compassion to everyone, then it seems the questioning is moot.

“How often am I a complete pragmatist? How often am I thinking about how I can control my life, my circumstances, even people in my life to “get what I want” in the most effective and necessary way and fail to consider the way of the Gospel which is loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and loving my neighbor as myself? Let’s be honest…love is not often very pragmatic…and it’s never easy.”

Okay, so what’s so hard about it? If a person is a Christian, love SHOULD come easy, easier than it often does. But honestly, think about it. If God is a God of love, and a person really is walking with God, then every part of him/herself will begin to be peeled away (like that onion of reference) and it should become THAT much easier to love!

And by the way, love may not be easy, but what about it would be unpractical? Christians are supposed to be like God. God is a God of love. It seems to me that by the very nature of God alone, love would be the most practical thing of all. If everyone would just start being loving toward everyone else they encounter, then oh how sweet and easy so many things would be for everyone around.

“This is why we need to flee to Christ continually…only the power of His death and resurrection and the sin-defeating might of His amazing grace can rid my own heart of Machiavellian leanings. “

A heart of duplicity? Perish the thought. But people are duplistic in nature. But this I can probably agree whole-heartedly on.

“The saddest thing of all, perhaps, is that Machiavelli completely missed the point of the Christian life…we’re not to be so heavenly-minded that we’re no earthly good! The hope and vision of heaven is to be in our sites so that we work toward bringing the Kingdom of God into reality on this planet NOW! Certainly many, many Christ-followers miss this, but the Christian is not only concerned about the eternal destiny of the souls of people. We are concerned primarily about the glory of God…and God is glorified as suffering is alleviated, evil oppression is eradicated, people are educated, widows and orphans are taken care of, and yes, even nature is cared for…in addition to being concerned that all the nations hear the Gospel! “

That last part pertaining to God being glorified…seems even the best of the so-called Christian population tend to forget this overall. It’s one thing to be concerned about all these things, but the best way to show that concern? DO SOMETHING! Words alone won’t do in many of these cases, and actions speak a whole louder when it comes to this whole glorifying God thing. But first start in your (generic) own heart, then reach out to family and friends and the neighbor down the street. Then and only then, is one really and truly ready and able to show concern for the world around them.

As to the tidbit about nature being cared for? Why is this an afterthought? If Christians (and everyone else for that matter) are being good stewards like they are called to be, caring for nature should NOT be a second thought. It should be something that comes naturally and seamlessly-like recycling and not letting anything potentially harmful leech out in the environment? Corrupt environment oftentimes yields corrupt people.

“The Christ-follower who truly knows Christ and His word knows that the end NEVER justifies the means, that love must always win over pragmatism and that we are to work with all our strength to bring the reality of the Kingdom of God, in all it’s beauty and goodness, to bear upon this planet in our every sphere of influence, including all our vocations and all our relationships.”

Agree in part. “Love must always win over pragmatism…” Maybe, but maybe not BECAUSE in the Christian life love should ALWAYS be practical.

So, my question: What’s so hard about loving everyone when we are commanded to so? Seems like there is not a good enough reason to do anything but.

_________________________________________________________________________

By the way, I did have to look up some definitions and synonyms and stuff…http://www.merriam-webster.com/ is what I used although I normally use dictionary.com, but either way….

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Of Bobs and Jasons (Or My Life As a New Christian at OMPC-Part I) copied from Facebook Notes

I was invited to church by a Bob. After the pastor returned from a mission trip to Ireland, I met him. Turned out his name was also Bob. The tone of the worship service is established by this somewhat "eccentric" but really cool music minister named Jason. After a couple of weeks, Bob number one's wife took me to the new members' inquiry class led by, you guessed it, another Jason. So, how do I keep all these awesome people in my life straight? At first, my relationship with Bob number one was hard to explain, but now we are just friends. I use the proper Southern Miss with his wife. Jason, the music minister, is just Jason. The other is Mr. Jason. Bob number one is now Mr. Bob and Bob, the pastor, has now respectfully become Pastor. I had to come up with a system because being a young Christian presents enough challenges without also dealing with "what do I call you?"

*
In retrospect, I'm not so sure "eccentric" was quite the word I was looking for?!?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

U Can't Top This!

Reflections on Disney's "A Christmas Carol"-Did the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present Read the Bible? copied from Facebook Notes

I hesitated on seeing YET another version of the same old tale. They're all the same. Boy, was I wrong! Disney did such a great job on the special effects, and that was just the 2D! But I dare not venture the 3D. I wish I could remember the exact lines, I was too enraptured by the special effects, but I plan to revisit the old classic book version at the end of the semester at any rate, but there were some lines spoken by the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present that speak to the nature of mankind as sinners. I mean, you take the transformation of Scrooge. It correlates with the transformation of the believer. Perhaps the Ghosts in the Dickens' tale represent in some part that act of questioning, revelation, belief, faith, acceptance, repentance, and transformation which seem to pretty much describe the steps the new believer takes to get to the point of accepting Jesus. Or at least, it does me. Of course, the challenge is finding other believers who can help keep us steady. But it is an interesting thought.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlk63UeRfCs&feature=related

"You Never Let Go" copied from Facebook Notes

"I will fear no evil." I wonder if this too applies to sickness, financial hardship, or any other trial or tribulation that may rear it's ugly head?

"If my God is with me whom then shall I fear?" Isn't God supposed to be the almighty protector? After all, if this God who loved me, all of us, so much that He sent His Son to die on a cross for my sins, past, present, and future, then would He not love me not enough to protect me from anything that might try to harm me, even if it is my own immune system?

Admittedly, how quickly and easily I can forget this and instead become paralyzed with fear of the unknown. I haven't had my appointment yet. That's not until Monday, February 8. At this point, I can only sit and wait and pray and hope for the best. Because I do not have a complete diagnosis and the stuff on the Internet does not help my natural tendency to worry any.

Worry leads to fear.

I am making a promise this week to anyone that knows me personally. I will not be researching anything further pertaining to what might be wrong or pertaining to what the immunologist might decide to do as far as a treatment plan. I will take the words of Mr. Redmond's song to heart, and strive to remember that God IS with me and therefore, no matter what, I really don't have anything to fear. And most of all, for my prayer warriors reading this post, I will post an update here and on my larger blog at ses31.wordpress.com.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76ifTTuL4XI&feature=related

Thoughts on Learning to Cook

Actually, this is hilarious.

It happened on my birthday one year, but I was trying to cook on a stovetop and the stove caught fire. Not knowing really what to do, I called for fire services, and then I reached over the flames and turned the stove off. Of course, by the time the fire truck and fire chief arrived, the fire was gone, but they still checked around to make sure there wasn't faulty wiring.

Anyway, ever since then I've been kind of scared of cooking on the stove. I can bake like there's no tomorrow, just not cook, unless you count microwave cooking.

But, recently, I have developed a really bad wheat allergy that is now so bad that I get asthma attacks if I eat anything that has wheat in it. It used to only affect my gut.

In light of the wheat allergy, I have been shifting into the gluten free diet.

It turns out my first meal that I cooked, and by the way, most of it requires boiling water, which I apparently am not good at, is gluten free spaghetti made from Quinoa noodles.

But, I'm a big spaghetti person. I eat mostly Meditteranean and flexatarian diets.

Thoughts on Life

Welcome to my second blog. This one will also contain my thoughts on various subjects, and it will probably also, with time, include my favorite quotations. This blog may also feature movie, book and CD/DVD reviews.

I will, as with my other blogsite at www.ses31.wordpress.com, try to update daily.

Anyway, that's all I have to say for now.
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