Wednesday, November 30, 2005

QOTD: Science is facts; just as houses are made of stones, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house and a collection of facts is not necessarily science. -- Henri Poincare, French mathematician & physicist

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

TOPIC: Pride - Take Two
Yesterday's QOTD was: "Pride is a spiritual cancer: It eats up the very possibilty of love, or contentment, or even common sense." This is so true. When I find myself tooling around in my BMW 3, wearing my Polo baseball cap, Polo shirt, Ralph Lauren jacket and thinking I'm a cool dude (aka a "playa") -- I am reminded that my pride is taking contro of my attitudel. It's at those times when I don't think kindly of those folks driving the "junker" 1980s Cavalier; smoking up my finely tuned German engineered automobile. It's those times that I want to add an AC Schnitzer kit to my already nice looking Bimmer; to heck with the cost and what I could be doing for mankind with five-thousand dollars. It's at those times that I start to loose my common sense. If you don't understand, re-read the last two sentences and REALLY THINK about them.
Yes, pride is a spiritual cancer... and I don't want cancer. So, I'm continually working on changing my diet -- by taking healthy doses of humility and self-evaluation. Love, contentment and even common sense are very important to fight off the cancer of pride. Are YOU eaten up with "cancer"?

Monday, November 28, 2005

QOTD: Pride is a spiritual Cancer: It eats up the very possibilty of love, or contentment, or even common sense. -- C.S. Lewis, First Things First

Friday, November 25, 2005

TOPIC: Thanksgiving... and giving thanks
As I look back on another Thanksgiving, I don't think of it as "Turkey Day" or just another day off or even a great day to eat more than I should and snooze while the football games blare in the background. Nope! For me, Thanksgiving has meaning.
It is a day of remembering to give thanks -- to my God, to those who put their lives on the line, to those who have helped make me the man I am today. Thanksgiving is a special day, indeed.
Getting up on my soapbox...
I thank God for being a merciful and patient God (whew, I am *really* thankful for this one). I thank God for His Son, Jesus, without whom I would get what I deserve as I pass from this life into eternal life. I thank the men and women of law enforcement, the military, the rubbish retrieval services, the postal service and others like them for putting their lives on the line every day. I thank my parents, my teachers, my pastors, my wife, my children and all those folks I don't even know about who prayed for me over the past 42 years.
For whom are YOU thankful?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

QOTD: The very idea of freedom presupposes some objective moral law which overarches rulers and ruled alike. -- C.S. Lewis, The Poison of Subjectivism (from Christian Reflections)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

TOPIC: Fibromyalgia
If you don't know what fibromyalgia is, please allow me to explain -- then offer you a couple of websites to help further explain.
In my own everyday life, fibromyalgia is like the day before you actually come down with the flu (or a severe cold). It's that all-over-your-body achy feeling that won't go away. It can't be satisfied and you can't get away from the pain. Do you know how you feel on that day -- the day before the bad cold or flu really comes on?
Well, for many FMS (fibromyalgia syndrome) sufferers, EVERY DAY is like "that day". Thankfully, I am not severely affected by fibromyalgia this badly every day. However, it is something I deal with constantly. One depressing statistic is that a slight majority of FMS victims are considered disabled within ten years of the onset of the syndrome. Rather than whine, please allow me to point you to some Internet resources that might help you understand your friend or loved one who is suffering from FMS.
Keep in mind that FMS is NOT arthritis! FMS is quite different from arthritis or rhuematism.

Friday, November 18, 2005

QOTD: You know that children are growing up when they start asking questions that have answers. -- John J. Plomp
TOPIC: Weight loss and healthy gains...
Like most 42 year old men, I need to loose weight. However, loosing weight seems to be a problem I do not resolve -- even though I know the problem is with me ALL the time. I love this quote from Totie Fields, "I've been on a diet for two weeks and all I've lost is two weeks." Yea, I've been on that diet, too.
The bad news: My doctor says I will not live to see my youngest child graduate from high school unless I lower my cholesterol and loose some weight. The good news: I can do something about both of those problems IF I put my mind to it. So, here's to loosing 25 pounds, at least 50 cholesterol points... and gaining the joy of ushering my children into adulthood!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

QOTD: Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. -- C.S. Lewis

Monday, November 14, 2005

TOPIC: Is the iPod really iPoop?
In an effort to educate myself on the benefits and features of portable MP3 players, I have read several reviews on the Apple iPod. It seems that the iPod is really not as great as the advertising touts it to be. Yes, most of the ZDNet-owned websites say it's the best thing since slice bread. And yes, most of the epinions of the world (and all other sites that get bucks for advertising) say the iPod *is* the deal if you want to listen to MP3. However, there are dozens of websites offering reviews from folks who are NOT deriving income from Apple's advertising. Many consumer reviewers say the iPod is really iPoop(c). In their words, the iPod is overly expensive, unreliable and only mediocre when it comes to sound quality and capacity. In fact, several companies' products rate higher than Apple's offering, including the originator of the portable MP3 player, Creative Labs.
Thinking towards Christmas and gift-giving, I think I'll forego the iPod and all of its expensive accessories. OUCH, have you seen what they're asking for a silly armband?!? Looks like the Creative Labs MuVo N200 1Gb or Zen Nano Plus 1Gb will be the gift of choice for 2005 -- at least on the Sope-Bocks' Present List. BTW, the MuVo N200 comes with cables, a clear "skin", armband and middle-of-the-line earbuds. Not bad for $125.00, huh?

Friday, November 11, 2005

QOTD: A great many of those who 'debunk' traditional values have in the background values of their own which they believe to be immune from the debunking process. -- C.S. Lewis, from The Abolition of Man

[This QOTD goes well with yesterday's post about evolutionists, dontcha think? BTW, Lewis was once an atheist and (somewhat) an evolutionist himself.]
TOPIC: Evolution is a lie
I stated this in a previous Sope-Bocks post. Here are some interesting tidbits about the reasons why evolutionists hold so tightly to the theory:
Let’s use leading evolutionists’ own words in this debate: Thomas Huxley was known as Darwin’s Bulldog and the primary propogandist of evolution in 19th Century Great Britain. His grandsons were Sir Julian Huxley, a leading evolutionist of the twentieth century, and first director general of UNESCO; and Aldous Huxley, atheist philosopher, author of Brave New World, and patriarch of the modern drug culture.
Evolutionist Sir Julian Huxley once agreeably noted, "Darwinism removed the whole idea of God as the Creator of organisms from the sphere of rational discussion." Julian Huxley also wrote, "A religion is essentially an attitude toward the world as a whole. Thus evolution (will) prove as powerful a principle to coordinate man’s beliefs and hopes as God was in the past." Thus, evolution replaced the Bible with another philosophy for many people in our culture. This philosophy ushered in groups like the ACLU – and their slant on what the Constitution says about our country.
Folks, here is what the debate really boils down to – MORALS (or lack thereof). Again, in the words of a Huxley, "I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning; consequently assumed it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption …. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics; he is also concerned to prove there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do …. For myself, as no doubt for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation.The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom." —Aldous Huxley

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

QOTD: God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. -- C.S. Lewis

[Found this quote to post as a follow-up to the topic from yesterday.]

Monday, November 07, 2005

TOPIC: I have to laugh...
You know, I have to laugh at people who refuse to believe in God, His sovereignty and the fact that we will all one day be judged. How can one gaze at the sun setting over the ocean and think it happens for no reason? How can anyone see, hear and touch a newborn baby and think that life is meaningless and hopeless? How can anyone look at the complexity of the world around us and tell themselves it all happened out of chaos and random chance? I laugh, though inside I cry.
I do not feel sympathy for people who refuse to believe. And, I don't feel contempt. I feel empathy and wonder how some, who are otherwise extremely intelligent, would hold so tightly to ideals that they must know deep, down inside are lies. Evolution is a lie. Situational ethics are lies. Freedom without responsibility is a lie.
I believe that the Newsboys' song is correct -- There is a "God-shaped hole" in all of us. We may try and fill it up with other things (sex, drugs, sports, business, entertainment, etc.), but NOTHING will fill the hole in our soul. Nothing, that is, except our Creator.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

QOTD: It is hard to have patience with people who say "There is no death" or "Death doesn't matter." There is death. And whatever it is matters. And whatever happens has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible. You might as well say that birth doesn't matter. -- C.S. Lewis

Thursday, November 03, 2005

TOPIC: PayPal Warning!
If you have a PayPal account, be warned. They can and will steal your money. That may sound outlandish, but it is true. It happened to me AND my wife. I won't go into the sorted details here, but PayPal has basically stolen more than $2,500.00 from us over the past year. I don't want to use the Sope-Bocks for airing my dirty laundry, but I believe Sope-Bocks should know that PayPal is NOT the fine, upstanding company so many people think it to be. For that matter, neither is eBay -- when it comes to how it manages PayPal.
There are HUNDREDS of stories like mine documented at and Yes, both sites have some idiots, liars and theives on them. However, many of the stories are true -- backed by documentation and evidence (some of it introduced in courts of law).
My Warning: Before you quit your day job in hopes of making a living by selling things on eBay using PayPal, DON'T! You're likely to end up like me and hundreds of others -- out thousands of dollars with little or no explanation from PayPal. FWIW, I'm not a fly-by-night eBayer. I was a member since 1997 (when eBay was AuctionWeb). I was also a Silver PowerSeller on eBay -- with more than 3,300 positive feedback and a 98+ positive rating. At the time, I was having severe recurring lower back problems (and dealing with fibromyalgia). My fault -- I shipped several items late (as much as 2-3 weeks late). Rather than ask me what was going on or warn me, PayPal killed my account. eBay killed my account. PayPal took my money (for items shipped) and never gave it back!
When my wife opened an account in order to sell some of the remaining stock that had been purchased to resell on eBay, PayPal grabbed her account, but said they would allow access to her funds once she proved $600+ worth of items was shipped. She provided proof, but PayPal denied her access to the money -- which caused an additional $1,100.00 loss (cost of goods, eBay/PayPal fees, customers' payments for goods, postage fees). THINK about that! PayPal accepted payments sent to my wife for products she sold. They demanded proof of shipping the items. Positive and verifiable proof was sent to PayPal. They kept the money! No matter how you add it up, that is STEALING!
Folks, my story is NOT unusual. You can read MANY similar stories on the aforementioned websites! Oh, and don't count on the Attorneys General of Nebraska or California to come to your aid when PayPal decides to "limit" your account (that's what they call it, so they can retain access to your checking account or credit card). Nebraska's & California's coffers are full of eBay's and PayPal's tax dollars, so they are not going to bite the hand that feeds them. You've been forewarned!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

QOTD: A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell. -- C.S. Lewis