Monday, January 30, 2006

Oil Prices Rant

With Exxon posting record profits it has brought me back to a rant I have had for several years as I have seen several oil companies posting record profits.
Some would argue that we would cheer on a company in a different industry if they made profits like this, even if their product is more expensive. The problem is that we can't choose not to buy gas for the most part. They could charge us anything they wanted to. I pay for the gas not just for my car, but also for the gas of companies that I buy other products and services from, since they are forced to raise their prices when gas prices are up. Unfortunately I don't get to charge my employer a higher rate if gas goes up in price.
The auto companies are being slow to get alternate fuel vehicles to market. The gas-electric cars are such fluff. You are still using gas and not really using that much less of it.
Where is the competition? Where are my choices?
I guess Exxon has more than made back the cost of the clean up of its oil tanker. My guess is that even before gas prices took a spike they made back that cost in the first few weeks after the accident.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


I have thought about the concept of forgiveness for a long time. I have seen people screaming that a person must be punished by the legal system for something they did to them or their family. I have heard them saddened because the punishment was not severe enough. It has made me think about how I would respond to something that was done against me or my family. I really want to be a forgiving person, but how would I act if it happened to me.

Do people really feel better when they have gotten revenge or is it never enough? Does it just leave them bitter inside?

Is the purpose of the legal system to exact revenge on criminals? Is it to only punish them? What good have we done if we just punish people? Do the people that were wronged really feel better after the person has the punishment enacted on them? Does their bitterness go away?

I have been reading about the woman who was hit by a frozen turkey while she was driving and forgave the kid that threw it at her. I then read as people questioned her motivation for forgiving him.

Obviously we can not just let people be unaccountable for their actions, but what good does it do to just punish them and think that is going to enough to make them change their ways? If you have a child do you just punish them without then following up and try to help them understand why what they did was wrong? Would a child that was just punished and had love removed from them grow to want to do better?

Sunday, January 08, 2006


People always want to know WHY. Why did this happen to me? Why would God allow this?

It is for our good. It teaches us things (compassion, patience, and so on). If you were never sick would you appreciate being well? Would you know what warm was if there was not hot and cold? Would we be able to be compassionate if we had never had any trials of our own? What sort of people would we be if all of the adversity was taken from the Earth?


Why is death in our culture such intense sorrow? Is it because it is unexpected? Is it because it is a tradition to be that way? Is it because others around us are being that way? Is it because we don't actually understand death, even though many of us profess to believe in a better life after we die?

What is the difference between someone moving away and someone dieing?
Say my son gets a fantastic job. It pays great. It comes with a beautiful house and he is set for life. The problem is that he is moving somewhere that it will be a long time before I can afford to go visit him and for whatever reason he can’t get back here to me for some time either. Do I fall to my knees and say, “God why have you done this to our family?” I should ask God to share with me his plan for me and show me the good that can come from this experience.

Death is simply a vehicle to another place. A place that we can go someday too. Why do we miss someone so much more when they die than when they move away? In our day of easily transferred text, pictures, and even video does it make moving less painful. In a different age was moving more bitter like death?

I have felt the sting of death that is left with a survivor. I have thought of missing someone who has died grow up and do the things we all have done. I have thought of others that have died and will not see others grow up. Should I be that way? Is not God in control? Has he not designed this mortal existence to be for my good? Will I really have missed out on anything?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Grace vs Works

Over the years I have had many conversations with people about being saved by faith. The conversations have tended to end up at "Are we save by grace or by works?" I don't think it is an either/or situation.
One is saved by grace by accepting Jesus Christ as our savior. We accept that grace doing what he has asked us to do. If we don't keep His commandments, then we don't accept Him.
Some might say that men aren't perfect so we can't keep His commandments. One of the things he has asked us to do is repent. If we do that on a daily basis we can get better at keeping the commandments. He knows our hearts.
In the comments I will include scripture references that talk about grace and works.
People tend to make faith synonymous with grace. Doesn't faith indicate action? When the scriptures talk about faith are they talking about grace? There is one that often gets sited about being saved by grace through faith. It talks about not being saved by works because people boast about their works, but that does not mean that faith does not include continual action. We cannot earn our way into Eternal Life, but we must continually strive (do our best) to do what he has asked (keep his commandments). What ever we fall short on his grace makes up the rest, but only if we are striving to keep the commandments.