Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Search for Truth

As I journey along a path of life I have come to the conclusion that Truth spoken in kindness and compassion is called Wisdom. Additionally, when someone says they tell the cold, hard truth no matter what, they are simply brutally stating the truthful facts. Truth is always permeated with wisdom for with wisdom, a man or woman can speak the truth. So now I begin my search for wisdom and its core elements.

"Make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding"
Proverbs 2:2

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Live Like You Were Dying - Tim McGraw

I had a Tim McGraw moment in his song "Live like you were Dying". Chest X-Ray showed something on my lung. Met yesterday with the doctor and am now awaiting a CAT Scan hopefully on Thursday or Friday, with the reading of that CAT next week. "Its probably something else that is causing the cough, but we want to be sure it is not cancer" says the doc. The "C-word" was used 3 times in the doctor's visit. She's probably right but as I was leaving and still now, it (the idea of cancer in one's lung) has a "stop you on a dime" profundity and complexity that searches one's thoughts. So for a week I will wait the results with a quiet desperation. Like the doctor said "its probably something else" however until confirmed it is something to me.

So what have I learned? Stress kills, stress destroys, and stress removes you from life. For me I quit the stressed lifestyle of success, of winning, of got-to-have, of what-about-this promotion, of whatever that separates me from my family. There are people and adventures with those that I love that are more important than getting that report out on time. Time - what a deep philosophical and theological reality to one who may be short on it. As The Guess Who's famous song says, "I got no time, no time..."

I wear two hats now - one in public of calm and one in private of concern.

So here is the song that seems to be playing quite regularly in my mind:

video

"Love deeper, speak sweeter"

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

21st Century Man

I had the opportunity to browse the blogs and came across a entry that gave tribute to a friend and the author said he was a "21st Century Man". So I began to thing what is a 21st century man? Through my search I found this amazing video from RSA Animate titled 21st Century Enlightenment. Very interesting stuff and I had to pause it many time to read what he put on the White Board. This is very creative and simplifies so much philosophy.

video

The part I liked most was his statement of:

"To Resist our tendencies to make Right or True that which is merely Familiar and Wrong or False that which is only Strange."

So maybe a charasteristic of the 21st Century Man or Woman is to question the ancestor worship of the generation in control and to resist internalizing the tendencies of that generation. To look beyond the automatic judgments.


C'ya
Eagle Driver
check six

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Interesting Answer

As I continue my search to answer Pontius Pilate's fundamental question of: "What is Truth?", I found an interesting idea about the here and now. Over at the blog of "Skeptic, Heretic, Believer" the author on his first entry had a very interesting thought:

"What if this life is like pregnancy? What if these pains we go through are like labor pains of being born into the next life? Some labors are worse than others you know. Some labors are short, some are long, some are dangerous and terrible, while others are ‘easy’ and less painful."


Somehow this explains so much. I think he is on to something. Amazing what you find when you put yourself on a journey to find answers.

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Friday, November 26, 2010

Distraction

Distraction is defined according to The World Book Dictionary as: "the act of drawing away the attention, confusion of the mind, disturbance of thought"(emphasis added). In aviation this distraction, this "disturbance of thought" has caused many accidents and an entire field of study on this subject is called Crew Resource Management (CRM). I have researched this field of study and have produced numerous presentations on distractions in the cockpit. Much of it centers around the pilot losing focus on the larger problem by fixating on the relatively minor fault. This fixation on the minor causes the pilot to "forget to fly the jet". As you can imagine, typically a crash follows. A tragic example that I have witnessed was on a practice bombing mission while flying fighters in the Philippines, the crew of a Navy A-6 was so fixated on the target to put "bombs on target" that the pilot flew the fighter into the ground trying to correct for a perfect bomb drop.

Target fixation = Forget to fly the Jet

Jesus Christ speaks to this distraction in Mark 4:19:

"Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless." (Amplified Bible)

Neil Postman, in his book Technopoly - The Surrender of Culture to Technology, writes on page 179 about how our culture is driven by technology to the detriment of society and family cohesiveness:

"Into this void comes the Technopoly story, with its emphasis on progress without limits, rights without responsibilities, and technology without cost. The Technopoly story is without a moral center. it puts in its place efficiency, interest, and economic advance. It promises heaven on earth through the conveniences of technological progress. It cast aside all traditional narratives and symbols that suggest stability and orderliness, and tells, instead, of a life of skills, technical expertise, and the ecstasy of consumption." (Emphasis mine - Vintage Books, New York 1993)

It takes an enormous amount of discipline not to become "target fixated" and thereby crash the jet. People and relationships are what matter, typically you realize this when you are old - not trophies, not stuff, and not technology (and sometimes tragically you are too old to realize this). Caution: target fixation can result in lost relationships.

The following video clip is found on YouTube and is one of the latest commercials promoting the new "Windows App" on a cell phone. I find this commercial interesting because is shows tragically the children left behind (relationships lost) and is about the newest technology to, again, takes us away from relationships. I see this a Pee Wee Football games or Little League Baseball games - watching the parents texting while their child (relationships lost) is playing the sport: "Are You Kidding" and "Come On Man!" Technology will save the day.


video

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to endorse any product nor does its author receive compensation for displaying this commercial. This blog neither endorses nor criticizes the product on the tagged YouTube video.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Beginnings

The deficit that our government faces is quite overwhelming, but not an excuse to throw our hands up and surrender. Hopefully with the new beginning of Congress there will be a sober heads and realistic elected officials who will for once in a very long time chose for America instead of for their re-electability. Here is a start, the New York Times has a Deficit Calculator called the Budget Puzzle. Here is an interactive look at decisions you could make to reduce our deficit if you were in charge of Congress. Very interesting and you have to make tough choices to balance the budget. Enlightening to say the least.

Is there a deficit of Truth? As Luke Skywalker is given his father's Lightsaber by Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars movie (Episode IV), a decision, a way of life must be made by Luke constantly: Use the Lightsaber for Good or use it for Evil. If Luke fights for Good his Lightsaber will be identified as such. Drawing from this symbolism, we must fight for Good while acknowledging that the Dark Side will always be enticing us to convert. We must not give into the apparent pleasures of the power provided by the Dark Side.

Truth requires a lifestyle of decisions for Good and a discipline to battle the Dark Side that attempts to creep into one's life.

Ephesians 6:10-17 describes the fortress of Truth and the use of the Lightsaber of Truth - Scripture:

10 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What is Truth - Johnny Cash

As I begin my "mythical journey" as a modern-day Luke Skywalker searching for what is "the" Truth, I found an old clip from the Johnny Cash Show back in the 1970s. As I listened to the message, I was struck at it's current relevancy. Our generation that are the CEOs, Pastors, Athletes, Politicians, and other leaders of our country and community have not produced perpetual examples of ethical leaders who welcome new ideas. We rise to power, forgetting that we had new ideas, and fall into the "ancestor worship" mode of "this is the way it is done" style of running a business, a church, a sport's team, a political party, etc. "New" ideas are not welcome and seen as a threat to one's power (perfect example is General Motors management and the demise of the company). Honesty must be crouched by "sugar-coating" and "spinning" to the point where it is so compromised that honesty is minimized. Those who stand for truth and utter the famous statement of the character Col. Nathan R. Jessep (played by Jack Nicholson) in the movie, A Few Good Men - "You can't handle the Truth!", are removed from committees and relegated to a serf's role in the kingdom. Who as a leader has a youth to remind them that they were young and mortal? Without the youth:

Churches become museums of saints instead of hospitals for sinners.

Today the youth are asking the same questions of adults and adult leadership, and sadly they are receiving the same morally bankrupted hypocritical answers that we received in the 1970s when we were the youth. If you don't believe me watch and listen to Johnny Cash from 1970. What happened to us? Johnny Cash's song is convicting, please watch and receive the lesson.

Here's to the youth and their questions!


video

Johnny Cash on YouTube

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hope - Where can we find it?

Now that the dust is settling on the mid-term elections, I have been reflecting on what has transpired since the contrast of the two Presidential candidates themes. Many in the nation felt the message of "Hope" and "Change" resonated with their personal themes. Now two years later many believe that the President did not deliver on these basic themes of Hope and Change. So much of the country has changed the "non-change" of the President. This is evident by the significant number of state's governments changing for the first time to the Republican majority since the 1800s. So I guess we can accurately say that the President brought change - just not the change I think he wanted or thought.

As I reflected on our nation's "change", I began to look at the "church" within the Christian "nation". What change needs to happen? This is where I remembered the other part of the campaign message - Hope! So much of teaching I have been listening to from many pulpits is what we are doing wrong. So much of what I'm hearing from young Christians is confusion and lack of direction. So much of what I read on Christian blogs is argument, some of it quite aggressive.

So much yelling, confusion, egos, and complete lack of mercy. The system is broke and need fixing. Where are the leaders that (to bring up an old axiom) "think outside the box"? It is time for us to listen to the young generation and give them Hope, give them an example, give them the truth, give them ethical behavior, give them a real answer not simply theory.

In John 8:32 is recorded a famous quote of Jesus Christ:

"and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (NASB).

I find it interesting that John records this as "the" truth and again "the" truth. What is "the" truth? Ah a quest for me to discover the answer and the direction of this blog for the future. Suffice it to say as an initial thought, I would say that:

"the" truth is the Prerequisite of Freedom.

So as the mythical Luke Skywalker of the movie series Star Wars sets off on a quest to "learn the ways of the Force", I too am beginning my search for the Truth.

Image found at: http://descasa.i.ph/blogs/descasa/index.php?tag=shallow

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Why? - To Mature

For reasons other than "lashing out" for the pain one has felt as being caused by God, why do people hate Christianity?

I believe I understand why people characterize some Christians as 'jerks", but here in America why is Christianity so despised by so many?

Why do those who despise Christianity spend so much effort (especially in the academic field) "proving" Christianity as false?

Why is there a war between those who are Christians and those who are not?

Providence - God provides everything - creator of all
Necessity - There is no arbitrary (i.e., fate) then there must be an order (the best possible way)
Freedom - The best possible world means to be free means to be free to choose the wrong thing
Negativity - Choosing the wrong thing has harmful effects on us and those around
Maturity - Choosing to do the right response in the mist of negative stuff

Providence - 1 Cor. 4:7
Necessity - Eph. 2:8-9
Freedom - Gen. 3:21
Negativity - Matt. 8:5-13
Maturity - Phil. 4:6-8

Thoughts from afar!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Freedom of Thought


I am so thankful that we live in an age where so many ideas can be brought out through the internet. I am so thankful that I can read these ideas and then investigate the validity of the thought provoking concepts. I find this especially relevant in the discussion of Theology as I am quite interested in the subject - from The Gospel Coalition Blog to an atheistic blog of Unequally Yoked and everything in between. I find their philosophical and the Biblical questions fascinating and causes me to perform that all important activity, lost in much of our culture, that being to THINK. Much of what I read concerning the Bible falls into 4 categories:

1. Water Skiing approach - simple surface reading and then drawing life conclusions from the surface.

2. Snorkeling approach - searching just beyond the initial reading and then drawing life conclusions from the surface.

3. Scuba Diving approach - searching deeper into what we have read and beginning to ask the infamous "why" questions with a general comparison of Philosophical concepts and then drawing life conclusions from the surface.

4. Deep Sea Exploration approach - the result of unanswered questions from the Scuba Method and as the character of Morpheus in the first Matrix movie describes it as the "splinter of the mind". The questions drive us deeper and in this search we find the Answer of Life.

I am so thankful, and as the character Trinity of the movie Matrix says, "Be honest".

The scene that describes this quest for truth is where Trinity takes Neo to meet Morpheus:


The Matrix Scene from YouTube

video

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader

The Pew Research Center has a basic questionnaire on Religion. Interesting to see how you do.

http://features.pewforum.org/quiz/us-religious-knowledge

Good Luck

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ideology

My son, attending college as a freshman this year, is reading Ideology of Death - Why the Holocaust Happened in Germany. He began asking me philosophical questions, so I purchased the book to assist me to enlighten him in his understanding. As I read the back cover I was taken aback:

"Only in Germany did racist stereotypes evolve into a popular ideology of such lethal force that it ended in the horror of the death camps."

This disturbed me as I began to think of the aggressive "popular" ideologies present today:

Universal Tolerance argument - intolerant of opposing their "proper" view
Religious Tolerance argument - intolerant of Christianity
Anti-Islam fever - intolerant of U.S. Constitution
White Supremacist movements - intolerant of other Americans not of their race

So much hate from the liberals directed at the conservatives and visa versa found everyday now in the press agencies. Where is the common thread of the Red, White, & Blue that ran through the towns of American? Who tore down the love that American stood for and replace it with hate that can only destroy? Why must we become violently disagreeable if we disagree on some issue? How did we stray from the movie To Kill A Mockingbird to the television program of Jersey Shore?

Someone help me to understand. Have we forgotten the horrors of the Ideology of Hate?

A wise man wrote:

"Moreover, man does not know his time: like fish caught in a treacherous net, and birds trapped in a snare, so the sons of men are ensnared at an evil time when it suddenly falls on them."



video

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Issues of Morality

Over at The Thinking Christian blog, there is a discussion on issues of morality. As I read it and the multiple feeds concerning the blog, I was struck at the similarities between some of today's Christian leadership and those of the Pharisee and Sadducee leadership during Jesus Christ's time. History has demonstrated untold brutality from the "Church", from the Inquisitions, to the Northern Ireland war between Catholics and Protestants, etc. So much of the frustrations and disgust of the common man, then as today, has been on the hypocrisy of ideology of Christian leadership. The Christian Worldview is high on Ideology but seems to lack ideas. Jesus Christ attracted multitudes of people with His ideas and lightness of His yoke (ideology). The Pharisaical Leadership worshiped the Law instead of the Lawgiver. Maybe we can learn from their dysfunctional, non-leadership taskmaster-style and return to the message of hope, love, joy, caring, compassionate, humility and thankfulness of Jesus Christ's actions.

Maybe we need to learn from the Centurion in Luke where Jesus says:

"I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith."
(Luke 7:9)

So here we have a heathen, an idolater whom Jesus says has greater faith than anyone in the nation. Maybe we should listen to Jesus' words and recognize there are those who do not follow the Law, but the Lawgiver - they do not say "the Christian mantra" yet have more faith/morality than us or our so-called Christian Leaders. Maybe humility is more powerful than selling books that make the best-seller lists.

Maybe we should stop judging and present ideas of humility, compassion, mercy, hope and thankfulness. Maybe we need to use the current language of today to articulate the ideas to the common people instead of the ideology of condemning opposing worldviews. Last time I checked, the only condemnation Jesus had was for the Religious Elitism (the leadership of the Mega-Church so prevelant today or politicians) not for the common man. In fact the common man was drawn not repelled by Jesus Christ, and who was repelled?

There are religions of the world who justify their deadly violence because of their god. There are religions of the world who justify their ownership of government because of their god. There are those religions of the world who justify their physical abuse of women and children because of their god. What do we use our God to justify our ends?

Morality is to be demonstrated as an attractive idea that we enjoy as an action of our soul. It is not an oppressive ideology to be crammed down the peoples throat. Morality is good and not the sole property of a religion. Remember the Centurion, remember the Lawgiver not the Law? If we are practicing Christians then people should see us as a home rather than a house. Are people drawn to us because they want what we have in our hearts, our soul; or are they repulsed because they see our oppressive ideology of the Law?

Food for Thought, If you are Hungry

Eagle Driver
check 6

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Maturity

I found this anonymous quote on maturity to be quite fitting:

"Maturity is that time when the mirrors in our mind turn to windows and instead of seeing the reflection of ourselves we see others."

Samuel Ullman (1840-1924), who was popularized by Gen. Douglas MacArthur publicly enjoying his poem on Youth, wrote:

"Maturity is the ability to think, speak and act your feelings within the bounds of dignity. The measure of your maturity is how spiritually you become during the midst of your frustrations."

When we acknowledge that our thoughts, words, and actions are the windows which people view us, we begin the mature activity of recognizing the heritage we will leave behind. Dignity is what? Synonyms of dignity are: nobleness, honorableness, worthiness, respectability, reputability, etc. Proverbs 20:11 says:

"It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself if his conduct is pure and right."

While Proverbs 21:2 says:

"Every man's way is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts."


Food for Thought, if We are Hungry,

Eagle Driver
check 6

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Virtue as Habit

Aristotle (384-322 BC), in his book Nicomachean Ethics, describes the "Virtue of Character" as:

"Rather, we are by nature able to acquire them, and we are completed through habit" (pg. 18).

"To sum it up in a single account: a state [of character] results from [the repetition of] similar activities. That is why we much perform the right activities" (pg. 19)

James Allen (1864-1912) says in his book, As a Man Thinketh, on page 24:

"Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results. Bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results. This is but saying that nothing can come from corn but corn, nothing from nettles but nettles. Men understand this law in the natural world, and work with it. But few understand it in the mental and moral world (though its operation there is just as simple and undeviating), and they, therefore, do not cooperate with it."

So the question must be asked: What "virtuous character" and "good actions" habits have our nation's leaders acquired? The fruit they have produced, by any stretch of the rational mind, cannot be determined as good. The habits of Washington D.C. politicians are simply not in keeping with the definition of good character - be it of antiquity nor of modern times.

The change must begin with ourselves to change America.

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ideology

As I continue to read my new find, Ideology and Utopia by Karl Mannheim, I am amazed at his awareness and applicability to today's world. On page 36 he states:

"Political discussion possesses a character fundamentally different from academic discussion. It seeks not only to be in the right but also to demolish the basis of its opponent's social and intellectual existence... Political conflict, since it is from the very beginning a rationalized form of the struggle for social predominance, attacks the social status of the opponent, his public prestige, and his self-confidence" (emphasis mine).

Hmm, demolish existence, sounds like both the Republicans and the Democrats have forgotten the Constitution as well as the Declaration of Independence. And to think this book was written in the 1940's.

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Responsibility - Are you Smarter than a 7th Grader?

Catching up on some of my favorite blogs, I was recently taken aback on the aggressive support of promiscuity. The blog author vehemently defends the danger of such selfish activity. Following my response I thought about doing a simple Google search on "responsibility". On the first page, 5th entry I found this web site:


Immediately in front of the reader is a simple "Are You a Responsible Person?" checklist. 6 questions for self-evaluation with the last question being the most incredible in my opinion:


The site (goodcharacter.com) goes on to give discussion questions and writing assignments for the students. I found this concept of good character being defined by self-control reminiscent of Aristotle's posit that happiness requires virtuous thought and action which lead to a virtuous character. By the way Aristotle wrote this some 300 years before the birth of Jesus Christ and the development of Christianity.

Self-control is the antithesis of promiscuity.

Promiscuity is the bane of good Character.

It is time to stop the childish, temper-tantrum irresponsible behavior of "blaming" Christianity for not getting what you want, and demonstrate some self-control, some good character to do the right thing. "When I was a child, I spoke [and did] as a child."

Here is an Aesop Fable (again hundreds of years before Christianity) that seems quite applicable to promiscuity which simply is the lack of self-control, lack of good character, lack of responsibility:

The Flies and the Honey Pot

A jar of honey chanced to spill
Its contents on the windowsill
In many a viscous pool and rill.

The flies, attracted by the sweet,
Began so greedily to eat,
they smeared their fragile wings and feet.

With many a twitch and pull in vain
They grasped to get away again,
And died in aromatic pain.

Moral

O foolish creatures that destroy
Themselves for transitory joy. *


Food for Thought, if You are Hungry

Do not be found wanting as we are all without excuse.

Eagle Driver
check 6

*The Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett (New York: Simon & Schuster 1993, page 48), emphasis mine.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Human Being or Human Doing?

Over the weekend I picked up an old book whose title caught my eye: Ideology and Utopia by Karl Mannheim (printed by Harcourt, Brace, and Company in London, 1949). Although I have very limited knowledge of sociology, I have enjoyed the opening section on "Preliminary Approach to the Problem". On page 17 I highlighted a couple of insightful statements:

"Just as the most exact theory of cause and function does not answer the question as to who I actually am, what I actually am, or what it means to be a human being..."

"The mechanistic and functionalistic theory is highly valuable as a current in psychological research. It fails, however, when it is placed in the total context of life-experience because it says nothing concerning the meaningful goal of conduct..."

"The most important role of thought in life consists, however, in providing guidance for conduct when decisions must be made. Every real decision (such as one's evaluation of other persons or how society should be organized) implies a judgment concerning good and evil, concerning the meaning of life and mind."

Our emphasis on a modern mechanistically computer-controlled life cannot articulate to us and the generation to follow what Dr. Mannheim prophetically wrote in the 1940s, "what it means to be a human being". Corporations see employees as "unit costs", "human doings", "liabilities", etc. So how do we value the "life-experience" and define "the meaningful goal of conduct"?

Dr. Mannheim gives the reader a clue to the question of conduct - the role of Thought. What and how we think determines the value of life and the meaning of our conduct. What do we think? I know that thoughts are like planting a crop in the field of life. If you plant corn, it doesn't matter how much you wish, pray, hope, argue, fight, and curse you will not receive a crop of carrots. You plant corn you get corn. So what are we planting, what are we thinking?

I became aware of my thought life upon being forced to go to a radical movie showing at an independent movie theater years ago. The movie is What the Bleep do we Know? Although I may not agree with everything presented, I was intrigued with the responsibility of our thoughts. The following movie clip is from the movie and presents some of the data from Dr. Masaru Emoto's phenomenal work with water and words (from his book The Hidden Messages in Water):

video

Additional videos on Messages in Water can be found at:


We are not mechanical human doings! We are human beings responsible for our thoughts! Read and Think! The Eagle is Thinking.....

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Virtue or Celebrity-hood

I am almost through the 1st volume of Winston Churchill’s “A History of the English Speaking Peoples.” It seems to be an endless cycle of one good King followed by 4-5 bad kings, finally a good King, then bad, etc. (amazingly similar to the historical books on the kings of Judah and Israel in the Old Testament). What is up with this 1 good and multiple bad? On page 399 of Churchill’s volume 1 says:

Thus the life and reign of King Henry IV exhibit to us another instance of the vanities of ambition and the harsh guerdon [old English word for "repayment"] which rewards its success.

I like the “another instance of the vanities of ambition” part. In order to run for office one must be Narcissistic and yet the subtitle to Christopher Lasch’s late 1970s work “The Culture of Narcissism” succinctly describes the consequence of such "necessary" narcissism:

“American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations”

Do we elect “non-leaders”, “non-statesmen” because we have diminishing expectations? Or is it because we as a collective people (oh there is a new concept: collective people) have eliminated the value of “work ethic”, “individual initiative”, “discipline”, “moderation”, etc. from our standard in search of prosperity? Virtue has been replaced with Celebrity-hood.

What is, or better yet - what should our standard be? Mr. Lasch accurately describes the current standard written back in the late 1970s on page 53:

"In an age of diminishing expectations, the Protestant virtues no longer excite enthusiasm. Inflation erodes investments and savings. Advertising undermines the horror of indebtedness, exhorting the consumer to buy now and pay later. As the future becomes menacing and uncertain, only fools put off until tomorrow the fun they can have today. A profound shift in our sense of time has transformed work habits, values, and the definition of success. Self-preservation has replaced self-improvement as the goal of earthly existence."

What is the goal of our earthly existence? Are we as a people becoming the valley of Dry Bones found in Ezekiel chapter 37? Have we lost our eternal perspective in worshiping the Golden Calf of Celebrity-hood?

Again the realization must come to us now, not later (better to have learned this at 52 instead of 62) of we OUGHT to do regardless of the current, popular cultural norm. Where is the idea of maturity (virtue) over selfishness (Celebrity-hood)?

C'ya

Eagle Driver

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Alamo

As I am located at the lay over hotel in San Antonio, I am cognizant of what happened in this city back in 1836. Men and women stood against tyranny with the knowledge that General Santa Anna would give "no quarter" (no mercy, no clemency in effect all would be killed). So how does one make the decision to stay knowing death arrives tomorrow? Where is the "instinct" to self-preserve?

According to the Bible, man is created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis chapter 1). This includes an important distinction from the other animal life - intelligence. We are intelligent of the eternal. When we look up at the stars at night we wonder, whereas a cow looks up and simply continues cud chewing.

Intelligent of the eternal - there is something more and this is not the final destination. The eternal facilitates our sacrifice. The Alamo where a few gave their life to save the many. The cross where one died to save all.

Intelligent of the the eternal - do what we ought, not simply what we want.

Food for Thought, If you are Hungry
Eagle Driver
check 6

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Principles or Politics - Your Call

Over at the blog of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen I read and responded to an excellent discourse on this mosque issue near Ground Zero gripping the politics of the pundits. The article was written by Rick Ungar and titled "To Mosque or Not to Mosque". In my reply I likened today's political Congressmen as playing a football game ignoring the rules. Our government is based on a set of rules titled The Constitution of The United States of America. On page 12 of the .pdf document link you can read Amendment 1 that was ratified on Dec. 15, 1791:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

What caught my eye on Rick's discussion was his observation that there are porn shops and other non-hallowed shops located around the site. So obviously this issue of a mosque at Ground Zero is simply a political football by non-leaders and non-statesmen (called congressmen, analyst for Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, candidates, etc.) whose only intent is to swoop down on the emotions of citizens to stir them into a frenzied mob for the sole purpose of getting elected or ratings. Notice that:

There is no call to principle only the yelling of politics.

As Americans we have principles to govern our nation by and it is called The Constitution of The United States of America and we must require our representatives to follow. Although I find the location disagreeable, I recognize the rights of the Constitution as an overriding principle. If I do not stand and follow the principle I will fall for whatever passion or politics comes along. Principle removes the passion to maintain the rational.

"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things." (Philippians 4:8)

Let our minds dwell on these things - principles not politics must rule.

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Reality TV

Christine Rosen (writer at Big Questions Online) wrote an excellent article on Reality TV and the destructiveness that is plaguing our culture, our youth. Her accurate discussion of this phenomenon is exemplary. Thank you Christine.

http://www.bigquestionsonline.com/columns/christine-rosen/what-is-reality-tv-doing-to-us


C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Friday, August 13, 2010

Character fixes our Destiny

Louis L'Amour, a famous western cowboy author (1908-1988) is quoted:

"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.''

Our words, deeds, actions, continue for generations to come. What narrative we leave?

Tyron Edwards minister of the Second Congregational Church in Connecticut from 1845-1857 said,

"Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions for habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny."

Over 150 years ago, and this truth has not changed. That is a key component to truth - it does not change regardless of the "tolerance of the day".

Character fixes our destiny,
Eagle Driver
check 6

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

One's Heart is set on What?

I recently finished two books on the Spartans and the Battle of Thermopylae as I had recently watched the movie 300 again. Being a military man I was impressed with the tactics to further the strategy that King Leonidas demonstrated in holding off the Persian hordes, reminiscent of the Battle of the Alamo. King Leonidas, along with James Bowie and William B. Travis had set their mind on defending the greater good of their nation. These men did what they had to do to protect the freedom for others. We have heard it spoken in terms of: "Duty, Honor, Country".

The time-line of the Battle of Thermopylae got me into the Old Testament book of Ezra and I was taken aback by what I read in chapter Ezra 7:10

"For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel."

Wow, what an incredible statement that reflects the questions I have posed on my previous posts:
What have we set our heart on?
What do we practice?
What are we teaching the generation that follows us?


Profound questions requiring honest answers.

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Legacy - what will we leave?

Continuing with my previous post on leadership and Winston Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples (Vol. 1, "The Birth of Britain", Dodd, Mead & Company, New York 1956, pg. 242-243), Sir Churchill writes a chapter on the birth of the famous Magna Carta. He begins this chapter with King Richard the Lionheart and the next heir King John of England.

"Richard had embodied the virtues which men admire in the lion, but there is no animal in nature that combines the contradictory qualities of John... Moreover, when the long tally is added it will be seen that the British nation and the English-speaking world owe far more to the vices of John than to the labours of virtuous sovereigns; for it was through the union of many forces against him that the most famous milestone of our rights and freedom [the Magna Carta] was in fact set up."

As I read this chapter I began to reflect back on my 50+ years. What will be my legacy, my "long tally is added it will be seen that..."? Will I be remembered as King Richard who "embodied the virtues which men admire" or as King John who is remembered for the vices of his reign? These are terribly difficult questions that one asks of oneself demanding an answer! If only I knew this when I was in my 20s.

I have learned to ask myself these profound questions and whether I have the ability to change. Change is a good thing, but one must change for the better. So the obvious next daunting question is, "What is the better?"

A life lived in selfishness is not "the better" as evidenced by King John of England and the remembrance of his life. Selfishness is characterized by such synonyms as egotistic, greedy, piggish, covetous, hording, mean, uncharitable, etc. Throughout history and numerous books written on selfish people, the recurring theme is a life ending in misery.

If misery and being remembered for one's vice is the result of selfishness, then the opposite must be "the better". What lifestyle, what worldview, what standard for one's life has been recorded time-and-time again as honorable? Well the word "honorable" says it all. The only lifestyle, worldview, standard that is consistently honorable and recorded over time is one based on the New Testament (notice I did not name a specific religion). Only the teachings of the New Testament decry the excesses of selfishness and extol the virtue of self-less-ness.

A life based on honor "is the better". Now I must change and do the right thing regardless of the situation. I am learning to become more honorable by spending time in the Word of God and attempting to live it out in my remaining years.

"All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify." - 1 Corinthians 10:23

What will be your Legacy?

Better to have learned this at 52 instead of 62.
C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Leadership verses Today

Winston Churchill writes in Volume 1 of The History of the English Speaking Peoples (Dodd, Mead & Co., New York 1956) on page 141 speaking of King Canute around 1027 AD:

"These remarkable achievements, under the blessing of God and the smiles of fortune, were in large measure due to his own personal qualities. He again we see the poser of a great man to bring order out of ceaseless broils and command harmony and unity to be his servants, and how the lack of such men has to be paid for by the inestimable suffering of the many."

My, how nothing has changed, for without vision the people die. Somehow I cannot see the popular candidates and our society's focus on rock-star popularity contests as someone who can bring order out of ceaseless broils and command harmony. Earlier Sir Churchill wrote of the death of King Edmund Ironside and the lack of follow-on leaders:

"... but in 1016, at twenty-two years of age, Edmund Ironside died, and the whole realm abandoned itself to despair."

Our actions have long lasting, generational effect. The question we must ask ourselves is:

Am I bringing order out of ceaseless broils and commanding harmony?
or
Am I causing my people to abandon themselves to despair?

What legacy do we want to leave?

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Friday, August 6, 2010

Got to have a Plan!

Pilots have been taught from the early stages of flight school to have a plan to arrive safely at the destination, and to be ready when (not if but when) something goes wrong. Major plans are during takeoff, at cruise, and when landing. Simulators are outstanding planning resource where the pilot can hone his/her skills at reacting to mechanical failures. One of the nice options when I was flying fighters was the ejection seat. This feature always gave you an out as the flying was very irregular to say the least. The following photos clearly show the advantage of the ultimate option - a Canadian CF-18 pilot ejects at a recent airshow.


Ah, only if life itself was as easy as pulling up on the ejection handles and squeezing the triggers and have the parachute deploy allowing you to safely land back on earth. No life is more akin to the airliner in that you do not have an ejection seat and where you have to solve the problem in the air and then safely recover the airplane on the runway. Why, am I bringing this up? In the fighter jet it is just simply you, while in the airliner it encompasses much more: you, your crew, and your passengers. That is life - it is not just about you!

This flight experience has transferred to my life in general. The studying of history, philosophy, and theology have given me a learning perspective that I had lacked in my younger days. This perspective is now long-term as opposed to that of my youth with a devotion to the "now." The long-term has trained me not to panic but to persevere for I know there is a reward for working through the present hardship.

My plan is to continually ask these questions, of which sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail:

How are my actions today going to affect those around me and the generations to follow? In other words are my actions honorable, ethical, praiseworthy - furthering good? If so continue developing, if not change it as I don't have much time.

What have I learned (good and bad) that I may pass on to those around me and the generations that follow? In other words have I the nobility of character that friends and family feel at home with and can they learn without being ridiculed? If so continue developing, if not change it as I don't have much time.

Where is my heart and mind? In other words are my thoughts and actions reflective of the standard or am I like so many - a hypocrite? If so continue developing, if not change it as I don't have much time.

Who do I serve - me or God? In other words are my actions reflective of a lifestyle that knows that earth is not the final destination? If so continue developing, if not change it as I don't have much time.

Why am I here? In other words do I believe in something/someone higher than me - Is Jesus Christ real and is the Bible real? (Many who attack the Bible have never read it from cover-to-cover they just grab a verse out of context or grab the Cliff Notes). If so continue developing, if not change it as I don't have much time.

My plan includes the study of the Bible itself, theology, philosophy, etc. so that I have the knowledge to successfully handle the next abnormal systems failure in the airliner of life. Additionally I will actively practice life and not sit back as a passenger and say "woe is me." The treasure of one's character must be invested in the future, by acting appropriately today. That is my plan, do you have a Plan?

"For our citizenship is in heaven..." (Phil. 3:20) and "... for they [the Pharisees] loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God" (John 12:43).

Food for Thought if You are Hungry
Eagle Driver
check 6

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hate Sells

Half the year is over and we are that much closer to 2012, where the world will end as we know it (I know because I saw the movie). I find it very interesting how many people really hate this or that. Those who are of the "tolerant" camp hate those who are intolerant and are not like them - intolerant of the intolerant (as Mr. Spock of Star Trek would say, "Illogical."). There are those who are intolerant of the tolerant (again Mr. Spock, "Fascinating."). Seems to me everyone is simply intolerant and employing their view as the "Only Correct" position (again by definition - intolerant).

So I propose that everyone stop with the "tolerant/intolerant" facade and acknowledge the hate that is spewed. Will someone explain to me how the current rants of hate (from the tolerant and intolerant camps) solve anything? Has it ever solved anything in history? This current rant of "tolerance" is simply disguised Hate! Once again we are guilty of not learning from the past and now we are destined to repeat it with the Hatfields and McCoys, the North and the South of our past Civil War.

We are (or use to be) a nation of ideas not ideologies. I guess Hate Sells - wasn't it a simpler time when it advertisers said that sex sells? Disagreeing without being disagreeable is a mark of civilized behavior within a society. Spewing hate from the Right to the Left and from the Left to the Right accomplishes the Hatfields and McCoys ideology.

I am free to believe; however, I am not free to harm. Freedom is not free and carries significant responsibility. The question we must ask ourselves (as opposed to demand from others) should be something to the effect of, "Are my actions generated from my beliefs physically harming others or the society at large?" The key words are My Actions and Harmful.

Hate, disguised in any form, is unequivocally harmful! Are our actions/words spewed with hate?

On page 246 of Power vs Force - The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior (Carlsbad, Calif., Bay House, Inc., 2002), Dr. David R. Hawkins writes:

"Frequently, the only way one can reach this willingness to change [from hate] is when one "hits bottom," that is, by running out a course of action to its end in the defeat of a futile belief system. Light can't enter a closed box; the upside of catastrophe can be an opening to a higher level of awareness."

If the pen is mightier than the sword (along with our words) and actions speak louder than words, then where does our hate-filled language take us? Or as Mr. Spock said in the TV series Star Trek from the episode titled "Errand of Mercy":

"It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want."

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Temptation of "If..."

My dad pointed out an interesting Biblical fact as we were engaged in a deep theological and philosophical discussion. Temptation is activated by the word "If". His source for this proposal was the temptations of Jesus Christ in the desert as found in Matthew 4:1-11

Verse 3: "If You are the Son of God command..."
Verse 6: "If You are the Son of God throw..."
Verse 9: "... if You fall down and worship me [Satan]."

This "If" of temptation continued at the crucifixion in Matthew 27:40 where leaders as they passed by Jesus nailed to the cross, hurled abuses at Him saying:

"If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross."

I imagine the temptation on the cross was incomprehensibly robust. Immediate relief verses Eternal satisfying joy - The Nobility of Character.

How many times have we received the "If" suggestion. It is oh so tempting when the suggestion is presented to you as, "Hey this is an proven, easy to get ..." When properly translated the tempting suggestion actually says, "If you do to this less than honorable thing you will become very wealthy, happy, powerful, etc. right now, but you will have to pay for it much later at an extremely towering cost to your reputation and the generations that follow." It is significantly more easy to agree with the "if"; however, it takes incredible courage to resist and say no to the "if" of temptation. "If" carries quick gratification with long-term harm, whereas honor carries some sacrifice followed by long-term peace and fulfillment.

The answers to these "if" temptations can be found in maintaining a long-term perspective. How will this effect my reputation and those around me 5 years from now, 10 years from now, 50 years from now, 150 years from now, etc. Eternity is .... Respect is worth it and lasts for eternity, shame is burdensome and lasts for eternity (unless one is forgiven - see Rom. 1:16-17).

Contrast the man who wrote the legendary hymn "Amazing Grace" to the CEOs of the recent banking meltdown. How must the city manager of the city of Bell in Los Angles county, California justify his actions? What is the status of his reputation and of his generations to follow? Somehow I do not see a long-term vision of respect, honor, duty, etc. from these disgraced "leaders".

The "morals" of a self-love do not produce a virtuous society of citizens. It is time for our leaders, both locally and nationally, to return to a "Nobility of Character" and actively teach (in words and deeds) this to the generations to come. Without the "Nobility of Character" we are seduced "by the Dark Side" of the Temptation of If.

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Nobility of Character

Virtue (present character trait of moral excellence) means that we not only accept the rules of morality, but that we understand the reasons for them. As we contemplate our life, we must search (as Aristotle has written) the activity of our soul to find that we are in accordance with a virtuous character, for without we can only become less than noble. To do the right thing regardless of the situation or persons present is virtuous and as such a noble character.

Why present our life in nobility of character? As we develop the habit of a noble character we gain the intellectual "bigger picture" of events and people around us - in short we mature. We put away the itch, the desire, the longing for stuff and search our souls to see beyond ourselves. For it is in our decision to pursue what "ought" to be and not accept what "is" that we gain in maturity. Parents understand this as they raise their children - rules of behavior are required or the home deteriorates into anarchy.

Nobility of Character develops the insight into our purpose by defining our choices - what we "ought" to do becomes what we actually do. This insight into the nobility of character further develops within us a sense of reflection on the activities of soul - we discriminate between proper and improper. Lastly, reflecting on our nobility of character requires us to apply principles of truth, joy, and love into our being - for if we do not procure application we are simply academic.

Without nobility of character a person's soul takes on the loss of ethical behavior - of which we read daily of the embarrassment (a continued reduction of a stable, civilized nation). We need to stop the "spin" (nice word for deception) and start the honor. It has been said that a coward dies a thousand deaths, but a honorable man dies once. As there is always an accounting, we must reflect on our character and activate the nobility.

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6

2 Corinthians 5:10

Friday, July 23, 2010

What would you do?

If you lived during the fall of the Roman Empire and you knew that the Dark Ages was going to begin in your lifetime, what would you do? If you knew the next 1,000 years (the Dark Ages) were the result of the total abject corruption of the then current Church hierarchy and ancient Roman Empire, what would you do?


I was remembering the blockbuster move “The Book of Eli” starring Danzel Washington released in Jan. 2010. The main character walks across the U.S. with a book as his treasure destined for Alcatraz. His treasure was the Bible in Braille format.


Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:34 NASB).


So what would be your treasure if you knew the Neo-Dark Age (economic catastrophe, nuclear winter, etc.) was rapidly approaching?


C'ya

Eagle Driver

check 6

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Revolt against Rationality"

As I am getting ready to fly a late night trip, I watched HLN to get up to speed on what is happening in the US. I was taken aback by the small icon in the lower right corner listing the number of days Lindsey Lohan has been in jail. Then I see the continuing news on Mel Gibson’s troubled meltdown.


What is going on that I need to know the number of days Lindsey is in jail? What is going on that someone on top of the world from the financial to the professional ranks has lost control of themselves? What is the example that is being set for American’s to view?


Back in the 1970s Christopher Lasch wrote a bestseller titled The Culture of Narcissism – American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations. In his section on The Eclipse of Achievement, Lasch writes:


“Self-approval depends on public recognition and acclaim, and the quality of this approval has undergone important changes in its own right. The good opinion of friends of friends and neighbors, which formerly informed a man that he had lived a useful life, rested on appreciation of his accomplishments. Today men seek the kind of approval that applauds not their actions but their personal attributes. They wish to be not so much esteemed as admired. They crave not fame but the glamour and excitement of celebrity. They want to be envied rather than respected.” (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1979, pg. 59)


This is the spiritual and moral condition of many in our American society. As James Allen wrote about in his famous treatise on “As A Man Thinketh”, thoughts crystallize into habits which solidify into circumstances. Noble thoughts cannot produce bad fruit.


Or better put: “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matt. 7:17 NASB).


Mel Gibson’s road must not to be traveled by us or by our children and our road of life can/must be guarded with noble thoughts. Lindsay Lahan’s road is not to be traveled by us or by our children and our road of life can/must be guarded with proper actions not personal popularity. Why? Actions speak loudly. Jesus Christ spoke of the proper actions (not a concept well received today with the new religion of “tolerance”) in John 13:17, “If you know these things [those from prior verses 5-16], you are blessed if you do them” (NASB).


These things: server others, bear good fruit, etc. are mandatory to maintain a civilized society. Lasch concludes with the indictment of, “More than anything else, it is this coexistence of hyper-rationality and a widespread revolt against rationality that justifies the characterization of our twentieth-century way of life as a culture of narcissism” (pg. 248).


The time is now to study and regain a rational lifestyle.


C'ya

Eagle Driver

check 6

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Truth: I got mine, go get yours!

Exciting news today on the truth front: from Shirley Sherrod the ousted USDA official to the “photoshopped “ picture of BP’s Command center, we are inundated with “facts” that have been taken “out of context”. One of “Deception’s” greatest tools is the employment of plausibility, which has inherent the minimizing of truth.

Truth requires first that we know. Knowledge requires study and is NOT gained by being “spoon fed” from the “talking heads” on the TV. Study requires reading varying sources and developing rational thought to understand the issue. Politics is about manipulation of opinions and we must be aware of the barrage of deceptions.

Our English word “truth” comes from the Greek word aletheia: “what is not concealed, but open and known; thence true.” I like that – not concealed. If it is open and known then truth must be an external reality. I like that – external reality, non-subjective.

Employing a rational mind that God has equipped human beings necessitates the realization that there are those who wish to conceal information to propagate their agenda – whether it is “Universal Tolerance” or BP’s current Public Relations gaffe. This “negative of the truth” was written about in Hegel’s Philosophy of Spirit. Glenn W. Campbell wrote an exposition on Hegel in his pamphlet: Ethics – Modern and Contemporary (1996). Glenn writes on page 41:

“If the mind is truly free to choose, it must be truly free to choose wrongly; that is, the negative of the truth… the experience of the negative by the mind leads it to the final presupposition: Maturity. We do really learn from our mistakes. A free mature mind is superior to a free naïve mind.”

Truth is objective, constant, and rational. Truth is knowable and discoverable. We are free to choose to remain in a free naïve mind or develop a mature mind that aggressively seeks the rational, constant truth (non-subjective). BTW Aristotle asked “What is Truth?” Asking the right questions some 300 years before Pontius Pilate asked the same question.


Painting by Antonio Ciserie titled "Ecce Homo" - translated: Behold the Man

Food for Thought
If you are Hungry

C'ya
Eagle Driver
check 6