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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Oh the web we weave...

What is the number one thing that almost every United States president has said is vitally important to export to other countries? Answer, democracy. Democracy has long been heralded as the only acceptable form of government. All else fails short of what democracy can bring to the people of a country. Fast forward to an article in today’s New York Times.

”The United States and Israel are discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government so that newly elected Hamas officials will fail and elections will be called again, according to Israeli officials and Western diplomats.”

So, Hamas is democratically elected as the new authority, but the U.S. and Israel don’t like who was elected, so that election isn’t supposed to count. What is really interesting is that the whole idea is to destabilize the government so the people will be upset with Hamas and elect someone else. It seems that many people will realize why things are so difficult and be angry with the U.S. and not Hamas.

Why would they want Hamas out? Well, many people aren’t happy with their terrorist activities, and I’m not a big fan of terrorism myself. However, we don’t want to forget that before Israel was recognized as its own nation, they were pretty active in terrorism themselves. How do you think England felt about the Colonies’ actions before the U.S. won the revolution? It’s important to distinguish between an organization engaging in terrorist activities to advance an ideology alone and one that is trying to win political independence. That was the case with the U.S. and Israel, after winning what they wanted, the terrorism ceased. Back to Hamas, because this organization was democratically elected, shouldn’t we at least wait to see if their terrorist activities continue or if they will now begin engaging in diplomacy to advance their desires?

I leave you with this; what country has been the frontrunner in acknowledging Hamas as a legit government? Russia. Yeah that’s right, Russia, our former “Cold War enemy” is leading the way in accepting a democratically elected government. I find that very interesting. It seems that the U.S. should change its pro-democracy stance to pro-democracy-if-you-elect-who-we-want-elected.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Blessings of Friends

I was reminded this weekend about how nice it is to have great friends. Not only did Tina Marie and I have a great time at the movies with Chad, but we also had a great time Sunday night watching the Super Bowl at the Starling house. It was nice to just hang out and catch up a little bit. The time we spent with them reminded me of other friends that I have throughout the States that I miss dearly.

For anyone reading this that is still in college, take advantage of the times you have to build a solid community that you can maintain once you leave school. It wasn't until after I graduated from SAGU that I realized the difference between graduating from college and graduating from high school. When you finish high school, you still think there is a chance you'll see your friends back home again. Most of the time that is an illusion, but there's still hope. When you finish college, most of your friends move to different parts of the country or the world. What's great though is that I was lucky to develop solid relationships with most of them and still are close. I hope you do can do the same.

Lord, I pray that those reading this will continue to understand the value of having a community that will be there to encourage, strengthen, and challenge them in their life's journey as a follower of your way. Be with them and lead them to new relationships or just help them to renew old relationships that haven't been appropriately attended to. Thank you. Amen.

Friday, February 03, 2006

My conversion story

Many of you know this about me already, but after emailing a friend the other day I decided to publish a story about my conversion experience. To set the stage, it began approximately 8-9 months ago, but has really taken hold of my life in the past 2-3 months. I know, I thought that I was 'converted' several years ago, back in high school. Well, this is a conversion of a different kind. What follows is the email I sent my friend Steve (who, you will see, is a former graduate of Miami University), I hope it explains a bit more about who I am.
How's it going man? Things are going well out here in OK, but I have a confession to make. Most of my life I have pulled for OSU (but never really wanted OU to lose, unless they were playing OSU). After a lot of soul searching, I decided that I have more reasons to be an OU fan than I do to be an OSU fan. I've been wooed. I know I know, this is unthinkable for you, but remember I was never a 'die-hard' OSU fan in the same way you are a die-hard Miami fan. If I liked OSU as much as you like Miami, I would probably wear a "THE SOONERS SUCK" shirt everyday, but I'm not. I thought, they're paying for my school, they're paying me a yearly stipend to go to school, and my wife is a full time employee as's hard to not start pulling for them. We spend more of our time on the OU campus than we do off campus, and let me tell you, Sooner Magic isn't just alive when OU's trailing a game. There's something about being on campus, I'm sure if I attended OSU, I would have much different feelings. In reality, the only reason I started pulling for OSU was to piss off my brother.

So, there you, ream, and make fun all you want. I feel like I've 'come out of the closet', but now have a clean conscience.

So, this may be shocking to you, but it does feel nice to get it off my chest. Well, now you all know that I am a University of Oklahoma fan. It's still hard to call myself a Sooner, for now I'll just stick with being an OU fan. The 'Sooner' will come someday, just not today.