Friday, November 30, 2012

Say it isn't so Pat!

I really hate it when Pat Robertson agrees with me on a subject, it makes me think I MUST be wrong!  Pat has it right here though, Earth is far older than 6,000 years.  :-)

Pat Robertson: “If you fight science, you are going to lose your children” | Science | an SFGate.com blog

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Holidays are here! Yay?

Dear World,

Someone asked "What does Thanksgiving mean to you?" and I answered:

"It means the season of endless socializing events I can't get out of is starting up. Dinners and parties and constant chatter. It means trying to think about gifts for people. It is the start of the hated holiday season, season of overwhelming confusion and stress... I can't wait until it is over! New Years day though, marks the return to calm and normalcy, where I can avoid people and not be seen as a jerk, that is my holiday, when it's over anyway."

I could have gone on with comments about the endless commercialized pressure to DO-BUY-SPEND etc. but it's mostly the forced nature of the thing that gets to me.  I can't opt out no matter how much I really want to, not without being called a Grinch or a Scrooge or just a jerk.  So I suffer through it all and try to be nice about it.  Even though by the end of December I'm ready to explode, or maybe melt down.  I really do hate this time of year. 

Sincerely yours, Ebeneezer.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Returning to Roots

Over the last year plus I have wandered far and wide in my mind and spirit.  I have gone from Lutheran to "Atheist" to Roman Catholic to wanting to be a "Generic Christian" and finally back to Lutheran again, back to where I began my life and where I intend to end it. 

I can't go into all of the details of my thinking because it was not very logical at any point in the journey.  I did not actually go through a reasoned examination of my faith and make each of these rapid moves.  Instead what happened was that I got confused by the issues of creation and the first few chapters of Genesis.  In my confusion I first "felt" that I couldn't be a Christian if I found the first part of the Bible to be scientifically irrelevant.  So, following that feeling I sought rational reasons to reject theism.  Of course, if you start with the conclusion it's easy to find the supporting "evidence" you are looking for.

God did not abandon me to this though.  I "felt" Him pulling me back, I couldn't deny what I know so deeply in my heart to be true.  But what could I do?  I still knew that I did not find the creation account to be plausible as science.  I searched for alternative explanations and when I found that the Roman church is just fine with evolution I decided to figure out a way of getting around all of the crud that I knew (and know) obscured the real pure gospel in that church.  Again, starting with the conclusion I wanted I reasoned backwards until I convinced myself of what I wanted to be convinced of, that the Roman church is the one real true church established by Jesus Christ.  I joined up.  The Romans have the best franchise system, they are literally everywhere and you can go to mass every day if you want to, and I did.  Yet I found myself praying more to Mary and the other saints than to Jesus Christ the Son of God.  This felt odd, and wrong.  Which it is.  The gospel was obscured by the idea that my salvation depended on my making a "good" or "perfect" confession of all of my sins, and it depended on my following the magesterium of the Roman church, it insisted there was no salvation outside of the Roman church.  I limped along with this for some months.  Finding it less and less satisfying.  I think God was working on me in all of this still.

Things came to a head when Lora insisted that Max be baptized by Pastor Ledic at Messiah Lutheran Church in Danville.  I had tried with no success to just take him to the local Roman Catholic church for this, but she was firm and refused.  I didn't want to go.  But it was my grandson's baptism and I didn't want to seem to be a jerk.  Even though I was being one.  So I went.  What happened then?  Well, I heard the pure gospel preached clearly by Pastor Ledic.  Inside I said "Oh my God!  I had forgotten what it was like to hear the Real, Pure Gospel."  Instantly I was finished with the Romans.  I searched around for some church where I could hear the gospel and have the sacraments and still not have the conflict with interpretations of creation.  I didn't find it anywhere I looked, and I did look for some other place than a Lutheran church.

I finally recalled, or perhaps the Holy Spirit reminded me, that a pastor I knew was nearby here in the valley, Kevin DeHope in Oakville.  I wanted to talk to Pastor Ledic about all of this but Danville is a long drive and he eventually suggested I just talk to Pastor DeHope.  We had a long talk, Pastor DeHope and I.  

 In spite of what some seem to think, that without a literalistic interpretation of Genesis 1-12 the gospel is lost, I see around me sufficient evidence of the fallen nature of man, of sin and evil, especially within my own heart, to convince me of the need for Jesus to save me and the world.  But I allowed the issue of how God created the heavens and earth to obscure the essential heart of the Gospel.  That I am a sinner who desperately needs salvation that can only come through Christ.

We discussed my take on creation, that God used evolution, guided by His hand, to bring about what he wanted to create.  That he used the big bang to bring everything into existence.  I didn't convince him that I was right of course.  But he did admit that I was not denying that "God the Father Almighty created the heavens and the earth."  He asked if I had any problem with anything in Luther's Small Catechism and I was able to say, having just reread it in advance of our meeting, that I don't have any hesitation on any aspect of that little book.

Since then I've been going to the Oakville church as often as I can, for bible study and for the Eucharist as well.  I am home once again. 

I do find it sad that so many in the Missouri Synod are so very adamant about "Young Earth Creationism."  This is nearly as bad as the Romans with all of their crud obscuring the gospel.  To make acceptance of YEC a prerequisite for salvation is just plain wrong.  All we need to know is that we are sinners in desperate need of salvation.  That Jesus Christ's perfect life, death and resurrection has brought us that salvation.  That the forgiveness of sins won for us through Christ is delivered in baptism and given to us in the body and blood of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.   It is terrible when people are turned away from Christ because they are told they must believe the earth is 6,000 years old, in spite of all of the vast evidence to the contrary.  I don't mind if you want to believe that, but please don't make it a part of the gospel because it's not.  That God created the heavens and the earth is a basic foundation of the gospel, the time frame and methods aren't.  There are many ways to read the first chapters of Genesis, the fact that I don't read them as attempting to provide a scientific explanation for creation doesn't mean they are not still true.

Well, that's enough for now, I've begun to wander and babble again.  I hope this explains how and why I'm right back where I started again though :-)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

ldevich shared an Instagram photo with you

Hi there,

ldevich just shared an Instagram photo with you:


view full image

"That's Serenity out by the buoy. "

Thanks,
The Instagram Team

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Voter turnout?

I'm listening to a SciFri NPR discussion about the upcoming election. One of the sub-topics is how to increase voter turnout. What I thought about almost instantly was "What makes them think having even more uninformed gullible twits voting would be a Good Thing?" I say we actively DISCOURAGE voting so only people who really care would do it ;-)

DON'T VOTE it doesn't matter.

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tiny homes hit the big city - CNN.com

It's getting big exposure now, I still would rather live in a tiny simple space than a big house.  Of course with 6 people a dog and two cats, this IS a tiny space :-)

Tiny homes hit the big city - CNN.com

Downsizing from a 1,500-square-foot house to a tiny 168-square-foot dwelling in Floyd, Virginia, Hari Berzins says she loves the freedom when it comes to tiny living. "We live larger on our 3-acre hillside," she said. "We have more time to enjoy each other, tend to our large garden and cultivate a supportive community."<br/><br/><br/><br/><a href='http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-817695' target='_blank'>See more photos of their charming home on Hari Berzin's iReport</a>.

Blue now.

Just saying yes :-)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

This Perfect Hell by Ralph Raico

This Perfect Hell by Ralph Raico 

This is the book I'll be reading in my free time for the next few days.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Our Yellowstone Journey

   We are back from our trip to Yellowstone so I have a moment or two to post here.  On our first day, Wednesday 22 August, we traveled from Ceres to Oregon City and visited with Dan, Connie, Nicole and Travis.  Dan cooked up a big batch to meat on his new grill, yum!  On Friday the 24th we drove to Athol Idaho to Donnie and Louise's place out in the woods.  We went on a brunch cruise with Mom's friends Patricia and Todd and Serenity and I spent another day at the beach in Sandpoint and a day just hanging out with Donnie and Louise.  We played a lot of 10,000 there :-)
   On Tuesday the 28th we drove to West Yellowstone and then spent the next two full days exploring there.  I'd like to go back and do some real hiking some day.  The weather was perfect the whole time, upper 70's and low 80's for the most part, except early in the morning when it was pretty cold.
   On Friday the 31st we left for Elko Nevada on our way home.  South of Twin Falls and just north of Jackpot Nevada we encountered a thick dust storm that reduced visibility to almost zero, I slowed down to a crawl and put on my four way flashers and hoped for the best.  The truck I was following vanished from sight.  After a few miles of that it cleared up.  Then a hundred miles or so down the road we ran into a huge thunderstorm, lightening flashing all around and then a heavy downpour.  I'm glad all that weather was on our way home and not while we were in the park!
  Finally we drove home on Saturday, stopping off for the best burgers I've had in a long time at a little place called the Country Sunflower Cafe in Yerrington, Nevada.

So, if you want to see my pictures from the trip just click here and you can see them:

http://www.flickr.com//photos/devich/sets/72157631388713834/show/

Monday, August 20, 2012

Updated Vacation Info

A couple of changes to our vacation.  I've altered our route to go through the Grand Tetons and also to avoid Reno and Sacramento on our way home by going over Sonora Pass on highway 108 that drops us down into the valley at Sonora and home through Oakdale.  The other change is that we are going to leave Max at home with his mom and dad.  All involved agree that a 2500 mile + car trip with a 7 month old teething baby was probably not our brightest idea :-)

 
--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Standing up to bullies

Standing up to bullies is a good thing.  Go Ecuador.  :-)  WikiLeaks exposed the utter moral bankruptcy of the American Empire and it's vassal states in Europe, therefore he must be punished, well I'm glad at least a few states have the cojones to stand up the Empire.  Not that they are without faults of their own I'm sure, but for sheer gigantic evilness they can't come up to the standards of the corrupt and murderous American Empire. 

"Ecuador will not kneel," says president
* Regional bodies meet over Assange saga
By Eduardo Garcia
QUITO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Ecuador cast its dispute with Britain over asylum for WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange as a struggle against colonialism on Saturday, drawing growing support from its neighbors in the international diplomatic saga.
  Incensed by London's threat to break into the Ecuadorean Embassy where the former hacker is taking refuge, President Rafael Correa's government has accused Britain of bullying and has formally granted Assange asylum.
  Britain says it will not allow the anti-secrecy campaigner from Australia to travel to South America because it is obliged to extradite him to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations.
  "They're out of touch. Who do they think they're dealing with? Can't they see that this is a dignified and sovereign government which will not kneel down before anyone?" Correa said in his weekly address on Saturday.

Full Story is here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Reconsidering that whole Catholic thing after one too many "Mary saved me from Zombies" stories

Last year in September, about eleven months ago actually, I declared that I no longer believed in God. I followed that up rather quickly with a declaration that I was going to convert to Catholicism. I did that and entered into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church last Easter.

At first I was concerned over a few things like Mary and the Saints. It seemed that Catholics treated Mary as a Goddess almost on a par with the Trinity and the Saints as more minor gods. I found out that this is not really the teaching though. They emphasize the "Communion of Saints" which is said to include everyone, all of the Christians in heaven and those still on earth. The idea is that in the same way that you ask your pastor or a friend in church to pray for you when you have a need you can ask those in heaven to pray as well. I thought that sounded pretty reasonable.

But now, I'm reconsidering that whole Catholic thing after one to many "Mary saved me from Zombies" stories. I really want to go to church and worship with my family and they are not ever going to be on board with the Catholics I don't think, especially since I'm not all that sold on them myself. So I'm doing that "Church Shopping" thing I hate so much, looking for non-Sunday services we might all go to and enjoy together. I'll keep y'all posted as to the outcome. I'm prayerfully considering a couple of options, one in Turlock called the New Life Christian Center and the Seventh Day Adventists here in Ceres, though the Adventists have nearly as much strange baggage as the Papists in my opinion.  Heh, I said Papist.

I'm also bringing back my blog posting, I like the control I have over the posts, the ability to edit them after the fact if I screw up especially :-) So, I'll be posting here a lot more and putting links to what I write on Facebook, then, if you so desire, you can click on that link and read my full posts. Or not as the case may be.

Vacation Next Week!

Woo Hoo! Next week we're taking off on a 2500+ mile loop to visit family, friends, slot machines and bears. "We" being mom, Serenity and me.


View Dan, Louise and Yellowstone in a larger map

Friday, July 6, 2012

Reading at Lauds today

Ephesians 4:29-32

Guard against foul talk; let your words be for the improvement of others, as occasion offers, and do good to your listeners, otherwise you will only be grieving the Holy Spirit of God who has marked you with his seal for you to be set free when the day comes. Never have grudges against others, or lose your temper, or raise your voice to anybody, or call each other names, or allow any sort of spitefulness. Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.

May the Lord help me to recall these words today, and every day.

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Thursday, June 28, 2012

St Irenaeus (130 - 202)

One of my favorite saints is honored in the church today. I loved reading "Against Heresies" long before I became a Catholic. In fact reading Irenaeus and other very early Christian writers is what convinced me the Church has ALWAYS been Catholic. Irenaeus was taught by Polycarp, who was taught by the Apostle John, so he is very close to the first generation of Christians.

From Universalis today:

Irenaeus was born in Smyrna, in Asia Minor (now Izmir in Turkey) and emigrated to Lyons, in France, where he eventually became the bishop. It is not known for certain whether he was martyred or died a natural death.
Whenever we take up a Bible we touch Irenaeus's work, for he played a decisive role in fixing the canon of the New Testament. It is easy for us, now, to think of Scripture – and the New Testament in particular – as the basis of the Church, and harder to remember that it was the Church that had to decide, early on, what was scriptural and what was not.
Before Irenaeus, there was vague general agreement on what scripture was, but a system based on this kind of common consent was too weak. As people meditated on the intolerable event of the Redemption, dissensions and heresies inevitably arose, and reference to scripture was the obvious way of trying to settle what the truth really was. But in the absence of an agreed canon of scripture it was all to easy to attack one's opponent's arguments by saying that his texts were corrupt or unscriptural; and easy, too, to do a little fine-tuning of texts on one's own behalf.
So Irenaeus went through all the books of the New Testament, and all the candidates (such as the magical pseudo-Gospels, and the entertaining and uplifting novel the Shepherd of Hermas). He did not simply accept or reject each book, because his enemies could have said that he was doing it to bolster his own arguments: he gave reasons for and against the canonicity of each book. Irenaeus's canon of scripture is very nearly the modern one (he does not quote from three of the short universal epistles), but more important is the fact that he started the tradition of biblical scholarship.
Irenaeus had to fight against the Gnostics, who believed that the world was irredeemably wicked, and against the Valentinians, who claimed to be possessors of a secret tradition that had never been written down but passed from master to disciple through the ages. This pessimism and this arcane élitism remain with us even today, and each generation must renew the fight against them. Let us pray for the inspiration of St Irenaeus in our battle.




--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Thursday, May 3, 2012

BBC E-mail: Nuns in West Bank barrier battle

I saw this story on the BBC News iPad App and thought you should see it.

It is very sad that so many American Evangelicals side with non-believing Jews over their actual brothers and sisters in Christ in Palestine. :-(


** Nuns in West Bank barrier battle **
Nuns in the Cremisan valley, west of Bethlehem, are joining local Christians to fight the proposed route of the West Bank barrier.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16656978 >


** Disclaimer **
The BBC is not responsible for the content of this e-mail, and anything written in this e-mail does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the e-mail address nor name of the sender have been verified.


--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

BBC E-mail: Wavii rivals Facebook's news feed

I saw this story on the BBC News iPad App and thought you should see it. But the reason I'm posting about it is that Wavii is really pretty useless. :-) There is a huge campaign to hype this thing and it's only a feed for corporate crap. Real interesting stuff about science for example is impossible to get. Just nerdy tech crap, lame political and celebrity fluff, which they claim to be getting rid of, fluff that is. I tried to set up a feed for seismology and paleoanthropology and even just earthquakes or a generic "science" feed and all I got was links to movies! WTF? But if celebrity gossip and politics and Wall Street is your thing then go for it, I'm sure it's wonderful :-p~

** Wavii rivals Facebook's news feed **
A Seattle-based start-up aims to create personalised news streams by scouring the internet for information.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17684406 >


** Disclaimer **
The BBC is not responsible for the content of this e-mail, and anything written in this e-mail does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the e-mail address nor name of the sender have been verified.


--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Sunday, April 8, 2012

HE IS RISEN!

He is Risen Indeed! AMEN.

Last night we all attended Easter Vigil at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Livermore. Lora, JD, Serenity and Max all went and witnessed my entry into full communion with the Holy Catholic Church through confirmation and first communion. Afterwards there was a pot-luck dinner and treats in the hall. There was even a cake with the names of all of us who were baptized and/or confirmed. Joining me on the cake were Mary, Maria, Lucas, Alex and Marissa. ;-) Over all it was a very long but glorious night. The mass itself lasted 3 hours, but of course we had to get there early, and we came from Ceres which meant we left the house at 6:30pm and didn't get home until 1:30am this morning. Thanks for coming with me guys, it meant a lot. :-)

Happy Easter to all of my family and friends!

I'm going to take a nap today for sure ;-)
--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Monday, April 2, 2012

World Autism Awareness Day

WAAD?

 I have a lot to say, but I seldom manage to say it.  I guess I should say it mostly goes without saying.  In normal day to day conversations I am stymied by the lack of openings into which I can insert my commentary.  By the time an opening large enough for me to get my words into it arrives my words have become irrelevant to the current stream of conversation.  I want to shout out "Wait!  I have something to add to the stream from twenty minutes ago."  And I've actually done it, but it gets odd looks and there is the sad shaking of heads and there is the ignoring of the words spoken.

Then again, when I do get into the conversation it tends to simply end, my monolog drives others into sullen silence or sends them dashing off on suddenly discovered vital errands.  

What's my point?  I don't really have one other than this is World Autism Awareness Day so I'm trying to be more aware of my own autistic quirks today. 

Oh Happy Day.  :-)'

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

RCIA Class with the Bishop of Oakland

Here I am in the midst of the RCIA class from St. Charles in Livermore, along with the kids who are in their own class and Salvatore Cordileone
Bishop of Oakland. I've since shaved the beard, and am now regrowing it. Fickle is my middle name :-)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Very cool

Dang, I forgot where I got this. I know it's in California but the photographer's name has escaped me :(

Monday, March 12, 2012

Language

I'm attempting to refrain from sarcasm, combative language, angry outbursts and so so forth.  So far my record this morning is about 5 minutes. :-)  I'm hoping to lengthen the time I can manage not to speak in those various improper ways.  

I'm trying to put into effect the words of Ephesians 5:29-32  "No foul word should ever cross your lips; let your words be for the improvement of others, as occasion offers, and do good to your listeners; do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God who has marked you with his seal, ready for the day when we shall be set free.  Any bitterness or bad tempter or anger or shouting or abuse must be far removed from you--as must every other kind of malice.  Be generous to one another, sympathetic, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ."  

I've gone so far as to start a stop watch a few minutes ago. 

(Later)  I have now gone some time without being sarcastic or nasty or negative in my speech.  I first went 5 minutes.  Then I made it 10 minutes.  Then a whole hour and just now I went 2 hours!  I celebrated by berating the security guard next door, Ellard, for leaving his post too often.  I don't know that I want to do this sort of thing for really long periods, it could cause brain damage or something.  

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Sunday, March 11, 2012

To Work or Stay Home?

Most of the time I don't think it really makes sense for a mom to go to work. This story tends to confirm that idea. I'm convinced virtually any kid would rather have mom (or dad, or both!) at home with them rather than have slightly more and slightly cooler toys.

http://www.unschooler.com/2012/03/questioning-second-parent-income/

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Stupid Government Stuff AKA: Daylight Saving Time

Oh goody! It's time to give up an hour of sleep just because some jerk 19th century bureaucrat decided Ben Franklin was right. Well he wasn't! Studies have shown the habit of moving clocks his way actually costs extra energy and KILLS people due to increases accidents caused by tiredness. But hey, we are all just slaves so whatever Master says, we do it without question, right? We are all idiots.

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Friday, March 9, 2012

For Julie ;-)

I rest my case

It is now official and scientifically verified, letting people vote is a stupid idea because 50% of the population is below average and stupid people make stupid decisions, in other words, democracy sucks.

http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2012/03/09/scientists-say-america-is-too-dumb-for-democracy-to-thrive/?tsp=1

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I'm still contented

Really, does recognizing reality prevent one from being contented? I don't think so. Our dystopian disaster of a country can't change the fact I love my family. Nor does it alter God's love and provision for us. I still have food and shelter and entertainment. Life as a slave really isn't all that horrible these days. :-)

--
Yrral Hcived
We are living in a badly written mash up of A Clockwork Orange and Idiocracy. I wonder who the producers are?

Whatever

We are living in a badly written mash up of A Clockwork Orange and Idiocracy. I wonder who the producers are?

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

America is Dead

Drug testing, background checks, searches and seizures everywhere and anytime. Extra-judicial execution of citizens on the word of the President with no appeal possible. Religious freedom mocked by the press and government alike.

America died long ago but now the corpse is really starting to stink, bad. I hate America. I loved the free republic it once was but this vile murderous empire it has become, I hate.

Of course I recognize I am powerless to change it. Only armed revolt could turn back this tide of putrid totalitarian oppression. But the chances of that just making things worse are nearly 100%. Voting is pointless, the Supreme Court and the entrenched bureaucracy rules this empire, along with a congress with guaranteed seats 99% of the time and Emperors (presidents) Appointed by the rich and powerful. It's very depressing and sad. Especially watching as people struggle to fight it through things like the Tea Party, only to be deceived and subverted by the mainstream rulers or marginalized into irrelevance by powerful media conglomerates that still control what most people know. Also sad was the still-born Occupy movement that tried the same thing from the left. No, the movement never caught on at all. Both want similar things but both suffered under the delusion that most subjects of the empire want to be free. Turns out they don't actually want that. Freedom was killed by many things but public schools are one of the primary perpetrators of its murder.

What brings on this lament you ask? Being forced to piss in a cup for my corporate owners and forced to submit to a background check to keep a job I've had twenty years because "everybody has to do it" these days.

I hate America, and don't anybody even try telling me it's better than anywhere else because I don't care about anywhere else. I was born in what seemed to be a republic, though I suppose that was merely an illusion, but now I live in a hateful anti-life and anti-freedom global empire run exclusively for the benefit and entertainment of the Bankster Class and their friends.

I pray that America collapses in impotent bankruptcy very soon because the longer it last the worse its fall will be.

America, land of the complacent slaves, proof that rule by the mob, democracy, is a stupid idea.

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Friday, March 2, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The new Devich-Mayfield-Sletten House

Woo Hoo! No more 5 people a dog a cat and a rat in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment. We are moving to Ceres into this 5 bedroom house and my mom will be moving in with us too! We are all very excited! Thus the excessive use of exclamation marks. ;-)

Yuck

Even though we really need it I still don't LIKE it :-)

He saved me because he loved me.

Psalm 18:17-20

From on high he reached down and seized me;
he drew me forth from the mighty waters.
He snatched me from my powerful foe,
from my enemies whose strength I could not match.

They assailed me in the day of my misfortune,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me forth into freedom,
he saved me because he loved me.


(From Matins this morning)

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Monday, February 27, 2012

Max and Nicole


Max and Nicole, originally uploaded by ldevich.

Cousin Nicole meets Max

Space Elevator!

For those who play Civilization or are Science Fiction fans this is familiar.  I'm pretty sure they are delusional about actually getting it built by 2050 but it would certainly be cool if they did :-)

Obayashi's Space Elevator to Be Operational by 2050

February 27, 2012 by Range

Space

obayashi-space-elevator

The holy grail of getting into orbit has always been the ultimate development of space elevators, long, thin strands that could ferry passengers and cargo into orbit at minimal expenditure. Now a Japanese company, Obayashi Corp, specializing in engineering and construction, announced that it aims to complete a space elevator by 2050.

concept-drawing-space-elevator

overall-concept-space-elevatorObayashi Corp is building the Tokyo Sky Tree, an observation tower under construction in Sumida, Tokyo, Japan, and has been the tallest artificial structure in Japan since 2010, and their plan calls for a 96,000 kilometers of carbon nanotube cables extending from an anchor point planted deep in the sea, into space, where it would be secured by a spaceport, which also serves as a counterweight. There would also be a terminal station midway, at 36,000 km, which would house laboratories and accommodations since the trip to orbit could take about 7.5 days.

The JSEA (Japan Space Elevator Association) estimates that building such an elevator would cost ¥1 trillion ($12.5 billion), which isn't bad considering how much is invested into defense in the US.

The elevator will allow 30 passengers at a time to travel upwards at 200 kph (125 mph). It makes sense to use carbon nanotubes, but skeptics aren't convinced that this will actually be feasible. All in all, at least the goal is ambitious.

[via Obayashi]

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Testing


Testin, originally uploaded by ldevich.

So, supposedly this should have automatically posted to my blog, but I didn't see it there, so I'm trying this instead. That is going to Flickr, where I should have all of my photos anyway, and uploading it from there.

Test post

So, everything I put on the blog is supposed to go to Facebook but it seems it doesn't always STAY there.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Meditation on Matthew 2:7-12

What first strikes me as I read this passage today is the idea of the star guiding the wise men to Jesus so they can worship him. It tells me that God can use unexpected methods to bring us to the place he wants us to be. I have heard all sorts of explanations for the star of Bethlehem. Super Novas or conjunctions of planets or whatever. All I know is that the star was what God was using to guide these gentiles to the place where Jesus was to be found. Today God does the same thing, drawing us to the church, where we find Jesus present in the mass, body and blood, soul and divinity. He uses whatever means he needs to use in order to move us in the right direction. Always gently and lovingly guiding us forward so we will be with Him forever. The star can be a person who speaks to you of Christ, or a book you read, the Word of God in the bible or a work of art that makes you think about God or even just a beautiful church or a sunset or a flower. God can and does use anything and everything to guide His children home.

Lord, guide me home to you and let me be as a star to others, showing them where Jesus is to be found. Amen.

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

From last summer

Our brutal winter continues

Matthew 1:18-25, again :-)

4:25am Today I am meditating once again on Matthew 1:18-25. Once more the name Emmanuel leaps out at me and brings me joy. God is with us! What could be better than that? God is with us, and we call him Father! Yes, that is even better I think. And we don't just call him Father, we call him Abba, Papa, Daddy! As a little child to a father are we to our God. He cares for us, loves us and protects us and we just sit back and look at him with love and say, "Daddy!" when we see him.

He is with us everywhere and always, but in a very special way in the church, in His bride, our mother, the church. And in the church He is with us most importantly in the sacraments, in Baptism and in the Eucharist where we eat His very body and drink His very blood. I jokingly say sometimes "You are what you eat." This is so very true in the case of communion with the Lord. We become closer to Him in communion, he draws us in to him and we are His very body, as are our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are the bride of Christ and the body of Christ. We eat the body of Christ and drink His blood. The same blood is in all Christians. We are actually far closer to one another than mere brothers and sisters, we are the same body! The body of Christ. We are as close as adjoining cells in a heart, since yesterday was Valentines day I have hearts on my mind I guess. Or in my case I'm probably a toenail on a little toe. It doesn't do much but it is a nuisance and causes problems if you bump it too hard and you sort of wonder why it's there at all. But no matter what part we are we are under the head, which is Christ.

We are all one Body. Christ is the head. All Christians are closer to us than brothers and sisters. But Christ came for all people and desires all humanity to have this same communion with Him, so we must act in love toward all men and seek to draw them to Christ. Not with threats and anger and condemnation, but with love. Jesus said "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35.

My commitment today is, of course, to act out and show the love of Christ to all I encounter during this day. Amen.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Further meditation on Matthew 1:18-25

4:20am

In reading over this passage for a second morning, and talking to Jesus about His coming to save us, I thought for while about my utter dependence on God. How everything I have, everything I am and everything I can have and can be, comes from the gracious hand of God. It seemed to me, as I pondered, that this dependence is so complete that if ever God stopped thinking about me I would cease to exist in that moment. But no, that can't be quite right. I think that the Lord has given us a truly independent existence. That we have true free will to choose Love, that is to to choose God. Of course without the grace of God even that is impossible to us, after all, faith itself is a gift of God. I'm not sure I can explain what I'm getting at here. While we are dependent on God for everything, our very existence even, we have still been created as eternal beings. Designed to live forever in communion with God, and only in communion with God can we find true fulfillment and peace and joy. But having free will we can turn away from God, the most foolish thing any creature could possibly do! Having turned away from God we are no longer receiving life from Him, and so we are no longer truly alive, yet still we exist. Without God we still exist, we can think and function in the world but compared to the life we are meant to have with God, we are dead. Jesus, whose name means "God Saves", was born of a human mother, God in human flesh, in order to restore us to life and to communion with God.

As was pointed out in a commentary I read on this passage, this coming of Jesus, of God in human flesh to save us means that we need to be saved. That we are utterly without hope without Him. So our religion, our relationship with Christ, our knowing of God, these are not peripheral things for us. These are the central realities of our lives! You can't say simply, 'Oh yes I believe in God' and leave it at that. We need Jesus in every corner of our lives, because He IS our life. Claiming we love God and never talking to Him, never spending any time with Him, shows I don't really mean what I said. To live in this way is to be a "practical atheist" who, while claiming to believe in God, acts as if He did not exist.

The fact that I have, several times in my life, been a declared atheist, may be due to the fact that I find it very hard to proclaim something that is not true to me, a known Aspie trait. I cannot for long say "I am a Christian" if it is not my very identity, if it is not my center. This is because Christ demands that we die, that we take up our cross and follow Him. So when I look around me and realize that Christ is not central to all I do, that God is somewhere "out there" and not here with me, that is when it becomes possible to say, "well, probably there is really nothing out there after all, perhaps we are alone and there is no God." No God means I can do what I like, be free of all restraints, or so it would seem to the one lost in that lie. But God won't leave me out there in the darkness and constantly calls me back to Him.

To wrap up and figure out where my commit comes from this morning I just want to say that having God in my life is not something I add on to the edge of life. It is not just another item on my weekly "To Do" list. No, it is utterly central to all that I am, or it is nothing at all. Christianity is not something you can take on as a hobby, it is life itself. As Paul said in Galatians, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." I no longer have any life outside of Christ. My day starts and ends with God, God is with me every moment of the day, even when I forget about Him for a moment or two He is still there. As St. Patrick is said to have prayed:

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

AMEN.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Meditation on Matthew 1:18-25

In this passage what jumped out at me as I read was the faith of Joseph, and the obedience of Joseph. It seems to me that most of the time we hear about the faith and the obedience of Mary, and surely she is the most amazing example of faith in the bible, but I don't think we should neglect to think about and honor Joseph for his faith. Joseph found that Mary was pregnant, even though they had not had relations. He came to the obvious conclusion but was trying to figure out some way of quietly ending things, without disgracing Mary. This passage doesn't say if Mary tried to explain to him what happened or not. I'm sure if she did he found it impossible to believe.

Then an angel of the Lord came to him in a dream. I wonder how often God speaks in dreams today? I know I have had a few dreams that seemed to give a vague sort of indication of what the solution to a problem might be, or a direction I should take was pointed out. But I have never had a dream like Joseph had, where an angel of the Lord appeared and gave me a command. I think I'm glad that hasn't happened, that would be truly frightening. Most often God speaks to us through His Word, that is where we find His direction and His commands to us; love the Lord with your whole heart, love your neighbor as yourself.

So Joseph sees the angel of the Lord in a dream, and the angel explains to him what has happened and who this child that Mary is so unexpectedly carrying will be. He will be the one who saves the people from their sins, He is to be the savior! He is Emmanuel, God with us! Can this be any easier to believe than that Mary has conceived by the Holy Spirit? I don't imagine it was that easy to grasp, I'm certain I would have been baffled and angry and upset by the whole scenario. What does Joseph do? He obeys. He takes Mary into his home and he raises Jesus as his own son.

What do I take away from this meditation this morning? What commitment do I make as a result of reading this passage? Christ came to save us from our sins, but this was not an easy thing for Joseph and might not be easy for us. There may be times when it is confusing or frightening to obey the Lord and follow Him. But I need to do what Joseph did and trust in God and obey Him. That is my commitment for today, trust and obey. Amen.

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Meditation on Mark 1:40-45

Gospel
Mark 1:40-45
The leprosy left him, and he was made clean.

A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, "If you wish, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made clean." The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
He said to him, "See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them."
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This passage from the gospel of Mark is today's gospel reading for the mass. I heard a sermon on it last night at St. Charles and was moved to use if for today's meditation. I think it is one of the most amazing passages in the bible.

Leprosy is like sin, disgusting and deadly. Like leprosy sin deadens our feelings over time so we are not even aware of the horrific damage it is doing to our souls. Like leprosy sin makes us unfit for communion with others, with our fellow man and with God. Sin is also contagious, being around those engaging in deliberate and grievous sin makes us susceptible to sin as well. All very grim stuff isn't it? But then there is Jesus who says, moved with pity, "Be made clean." Jesus then touches the leper! He reaches out and takes on our sin and in the end he dies for it. Such amazing love is incomprehensible to me. Jesus, while we are spitting on him and beating him and crucifying him reaches out and touches us and heals us of the disease of sin. More than that even, he reaches out to us who are already dead in sins, are nothing but a rotting corpse, and restores life and health to our spirits. Thanks be to God!

And so I kneel before Christ and pray, "Lord make me clean. Amen."

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bacon and Love

I think that being God's Love in the world means reacting to life in a spirit of sacrifice, in a spirit of Love to neighbor, which in my case is my family mostly. When I see needs I should work to meet those needs, when I see sin I should forgive it and heal it. When I am frustrated I ought to recall Jesus on the cross giving His all for me and strive to respond in that same spirit.

Here is a mundane example of how I have failed to do this up until now. I have a refrigerator in my bedroom in which I store my food, separate from the rest of the family's food. This is because I want to eat a certain diet and felt that I could better control what I ate by keeping my supplies apart the rest. However, I bought a large supply of bacon, and then did not cook it frequently enough to consume it before it went bad. Why did I do this? Because I was afraid the smell would let them know I was eating yummy bacon, and that would cause them to beg for some of my bacon. Yet because I didn't eat it, out of fear someone would want some, it has started to go bad, now no one can eat it. Well, not quite, actually it smells like it's almost turning so I'm cooking the whole pile into very crispy strips to sprinkle on salads or use in other things, I'll store it in the freezer, but still... This was wrong! It was not loving but selfish. Now, does that mean I must give over all of my food to be consumed by the rest of the family? Actually, yes it does. It is not an act of love to hoard food in my room, I'm pretty sure. Out of fear that I would be deprived of the food that I wanted (needed?) to eat in the future I held back from eating it myself even when I wanted it! Not only is that selfish it is foolish as well, self defeating to say the least.

FEAR vs. LOVE

That is what it's all about isn't it? Fear of hunger, fear of being taken advantage of, fear of humiliation, fear of poverty. But the Bible says that perfect love casts out fear! (1 John 4:18)

What then prevents me from living in love? Lack of trust for one. I have not trusted God to actually take care of me if I give all to Him. If I share my goods, my bacon, I fear that I will simply be deprived of them for no good purpose, I thought that it was my job to hold onto these things for the future, that future that, in the case of my bacon, never came!

So no, it is not my job to hoard things for future use, it is my job to act in love to my neighbor and trust to God to provide for my needs. A simple lesson provided by the smell of slightly spoiled bacon. Amen.

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

A second meditation on Matthew 1:1-17

This morning I meditated again on Matthew 1:1-17. A thought came to me during my meditation this morning that God, being infinite in wisdom, knowledge, power and love, knew when he created the cosmos everything that would ever happen in it. I realized that He chose to create knowing full well the cost to Him that would be incurred by the rebellion of humanity against Him. That from the very beginning of His creative act he knew that He would take on human flesh and redeem the world. Somehow all of the pain and horrors of the world are outshone in eternity by the love between man and God and man and man and within God in the Trinity as well, I suppose. Since God is this infinite being of Love we can be assured that everything does work out for the very best. This thought doesn't really relate directly to the passage but it came to me as I sat and pondered it and talked with Jesus so I'm going with it as my thought of the day. My commitment today is to show forth that Love of God in my relationships with those around me, to be Christ's Love to the world.

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Meditation on Matthew 1

The Angry Gnome is turning over a new leaf. Or so I hope. Instead of political rants and self absorbed pouts I'm planning on sharing my morning meditations here instead. What do you think of that idea? I'm using Fr. John Bartunek's book "The Better Part." (http://www.amazon.com/Better-Part-Christ-Centered-Resource-Personal/dp/1933271108) as my starting point, using the method of mediation he presents, Concentrate, Consider, Converse and Commit. Concentrate on the Lord in prayer, then consider carefully and prayerfully a gospel passage, converse with the Lord about it and finally make a commitment to really do something with what I've read. Below is the result of todays effort.

This morning I read Matthew 1:1-17, that is the genealogy of Jesus.

I considered this, as it relates how Jesus comes into the world, the real world of sin and death. The real world of history, the world of lust and hate and sweat and tears and hunger and pain. Not a floating spirit in the sky but a tiny baby, a young boy, a man, a human being born of a real mother at a particular point in history, in a real town in Palestine.

I thanked Him for coming for me and confessed my myriad sins to Him right then and there. It was a moving moment for me. I am grateful that on this day my Lord granted me an experience of His love in this way, that I was given the joy of feeling His love in an emotional manner, that this day was not hollow and dry, as some days are, but that He granted me this boon to strengthen my faith and my will to continue on in my journey of faith and of prayer. I conversed back and forth some with Jesus, recalling how He entered into history not through a special line of Holy Saints but through a long line of both sinners and saints, kings and prostitutes, murderers and adulterers, gentiles and Hebrews. Normal, average, everyday people were His ancestors and He used them to bring about salvation for the world. He will use each and every one of us to change the world as well, He will use me.

At the end of my prayer time I made a commitment to recall throughout the day the reality of Christ, the physicality of Jesus, that He is not only a figure in history and God in heaven, but that He is here on earth in His very flesh and blood each and every day in the Holy Eucharist, He is present on altars all over the world at this very moment. He is in His people as real food and real drink. (John 6:52-59) He is not "up there somewhere" but here with us. My commitment today is to recall that wonderful truth all through the day and to act as though it is true, to behave as if I were truly in the presence of my Lord each moment of my day.

Lord help me to do this. Amen.

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Thursday, February 9, 2012

New Toy... er tool

I just picked up a keyboard for my iPad that doubles as a protective case. It's from Logitech and so far I'm loving it. Right now I'm sitting across from Best Buy at a Starbucks having a cup of coffee while I kill time waiting for the next Rapid Bus back to Livermore. It took me about 30 seconds to hook it up and apparently it has enough of a charge to work for now. Which brings up the one thing I'm not all that thrilled about, charging. It turns out that you need to plug it into a computer to charge it! There is no dedicated plug to use, you charge it on a computer via USB and micro USB. That is really annoying because part of my logic and justification for getting this keyboard was the desire to get rid of my computer so I would not be tempted to play Civilization all day long anymore! <sigh> Ah well, I suppose I'll just have to keep it and use it for charging my keyboard and playing Civilization. The fates have spoken.

--
Larry Devich
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11b

Friday, February 3, 2012

Dry

I'm out for another walk on a nice sunny day and there is no water in Arroyo Mocho, which is just plain wrong for February. :-(. Come on Oregon, send us some of that rain you are hogging!

Monday, January 23, 2012

American Politics

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"
~ Isaac Asimov

--
Larry Devich
http://larry-devich.blogspot.com/
----------------------------------
"It's not denial. I'm just very selective about what I accept as reality." Calvin ("Calvin and Hobbes")

American Politics

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"
~ Isaac Asimov

--
Larry Devich
http://larry-devich.blogspot.com/
----------------------------------
"It's not denial. I'm just very selective about what I accept as reality." Calvin ("Calvin and Hobbes")

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Babies

BBC E-mail: Schoolgirl sailor triumphs after battle with authorities

More stupid govco employees determined to suck the joy out of life, nice she got away from them finally :-)


** Schoolgirl sailor triumphs after battle with authorities **
Sixteen-year-old Laura Dekker becomes the youngest person to sail round the world solo.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16656270 >


** Disclaimer **
The BBC is not responsible for the content of this e-mail, and anything written in this e-mail does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the e-mail address nor name of the sender have been verified.


--
Larry Devich
http://larry-devich.blogspot.com/
----------------------------------
"It's not denial. I'm just very selective about what I accept as reality." Calvin ("Calvin and Hobbes")

Max and Topanga

Truth

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Blocked!


Don’t take it from me, though. You can read more about the details of SOPA and PIPA here: