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Things I'd Like To Leave Behind In 2011
Written by Rex M. Rogers   
Tuesday, 27 December 2011 21:27

Wow, there are some things I’d just like to walk away from, leave them behind in 2011 when the New Year dawns.

During the last week of the year it’s become something of a tradition, at least for me, to ponder what I’d like to jettison for good. I mean, think about it, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could ditch certain troublesome, annoying, hurtful, or unpleasant things? Frankly, it’d be wonderful to ditch certain people, too, but no doubt others could say the same for me.

I know it’s a fantasy, but it’s a fun fantasy. Here’s my list of things I’d leave behind in 2011, if I could:

EU (and I’m afraid some US) Citizens Who Want Others To Pay For Their Lifestyle. Who, really, do the Greeks, Spaniards, Italians, or others want to pay for their very early retirement, extensive benefits, and upside down economics? There ain’t no free lunch, and eventually, you have to pay the piper.

GOP Presidential Candidates Focusing On Each Other. If any given Republican presidential candidate wants to win the White House, he or she should forget the rest and focus like a laser on the national debt and budget deficit, jobs, and the economy. For once I agree with James Carville, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Middle East Dictatorships. Historically, Arab world dictators only leave office in a box. Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak broke the mold, even if reluctantly. Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi reverted to type and paid for it with his life. At this writing several other leaders are so far imitating Gaddafi. Here’s hoping they’ll catch a different vision.

Look-At-Me Pro Athletes. The NFL is the worst, and I like professional football best of all major sports. It’s happening in a lot of professional sports in different ways. But for me, I’m big-time weary of self-indulgent, immature athletes delaying games, dashing into the camera after plays, and doing signature moves to call attention to themselves. Hey, give it a rest. You’re being paid millions to perform well, so perform, and let that be your statement.

Earthquakes, Tsumanis, Tornadoes. Need I say more? But I will, add to the list Nuclear Crisis and continue to pray for the people of Japan and Joplin, Missouri.

Charlie Sheen—Duh, Winning? I don’t think so. I’m not making fun of him. The man’s an addict, his own worst enemy. He needs help. But that doesn’t mean we need to put up with his public meltdowns.

Disappointing Leaders. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Ohio State University football coach Jim Tressel, former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain. What do they have in common? Perceived cover-up and “former.”

Love Wins. Sorry, I can’t support this book or Rev. Rob Bell's theological perspective expressed within it. I think this is one of the more spiritually threatening things to come from within the evangelical community in some time, for it confuses and undermines the deity of Christ and the Way of salvation. This point of view says what liberals have always believed and want to hear, which is why the book enjoyed so much play in mainstream media. But the view herein leads people down the broad road, not the narrow one.

Tebow Haters. Tim Tebow, football’s Denver Broncos quarterback may not ultimately make it as a starter in the NFL. But the level of vitriol aimed at this guy, at least in part because he’s confident in his Christian faith, is way overdone. I’d rather root for a guy with character than some of the gifted athletes who otherwise behave like thugs—can you say, Ndamukong Suh?

Osama bin Laden. Well, I guess we are leaving him behind in 2011, and justly so. I invite other political conservatives to join me in giving credit to President Barack Obama where it’s due. The Man got his man, and for the sake of those who lost their lives in 9/11, for the sake of their families and friends, and for the sake of the soldiers lost or wounded in resultant conflicts, and their families, I’m glad we’re leaving bin Laden behind. And I’m more than happy to salute the President and the Navy Seals for a necessary job well done.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

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Christmas Video From SAT-7
Written by Rex M. Rogers   
Monday, 19 December 2011 00:00
Here's a new Christmas video from the SAT-7 international office in Cyprus. I like it. Merry Christmas to you all. Add a comment
 
Halloween, Again
Written by Rex M. Rogers   
Monday, 31 October 2011 15:09

 

I’ve written about this day: “Halloween, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” It’s difficult to ignore.

There’s so much about the holiday that’s fun, kids-oriented, playful, and interesting even in terms of Christian history. But a lot has changed in the past thirty or so years, such that Halloween has also become a time for celebrating the grotesque, blood, gore, and the occult. Not much in the ugly parts of Halloween that commends it to anyone, much less children.

Frankly, though I love the fall season and both one of son’s and my birthday fall near Halloween, I’m generally glad when Halloween is over. This is the case primarily because television changes so dramatically in the three-week run-up to October 31. Every gross and gory film ever made is trotted out for reruns. Other than for sports, I try to stay away from television even more than usual during this time.

Halloween for kids? If that means candy, costumes, and a fun night in the dark for a couple of hours, I’m all in. Celebrate the innocence of children. It’s harmless.

I go a different direction when the twisted, demonic, and insane killer costumes emerge. I guess I never liked so-called scary movies, horror—I’ve never read a Stephen King novel—and certainly didn’t get into slasher films. Classic film noir, Yes. Bloodfests, No.

It's an interesting though meaningless coincidence that the world's population hit 7 billion today, on Halloween.

But I’m not against Halloween.

Last Friday, we hosted our maybe 15th or so annual pumpkin carving party. Kids, grandkids, friends, food. Great fun and some rather creative and artsy Jack-o-lanterns.

I flew to Phoenix today. Several airline staff members were dressed in Halloween costumes. It lightened the day.

Tonight, I intend to walk a Mesa neighborhood with Lebanese American parents and their two little guys. Looking forward to it. I've walked many a street in earlier years with kids and grandkids and hope to walk many more. Much fun.

In the end, Halloween is like most other things we can experience. We can choose to lift it up by our values and behavior or we can tear it down by the same. It’s a human thing, which is perhaps the scariest thing of all.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

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My Mother
Ruth, interesting. I assume Mom's closets on the farm are a wonder. I generally think closets can take care of themselves. Add a comment
 
My Mother
My Mother taught me to be a planner -- plan your meals, plan your day, don't waste time. She forgot to give me those genes that would make me enjoy cleaning out closets, however. Add a comment
 
Mother's Day Musings: A Few Things I Learned From My Mother
Written by Rex M. Rogers   
Friday, 06 May 2011 00:00

Mother’s Day is soon upon us. It comes but once a year. But Mothers, blessedly good ones and unfortunately not-so-good ones as well, stay with us every day for the rest of our lives, whether or not we always recognize the influence.

There’s the obvious: our DNA and some measure of our looks and stature and all else physical. There’re the subtle but far-reaching influences: our personalities, attitudes, likes and dislikes and preferences, tastes in food and clothes and music, and maybe the sound and style of our laugh, generally a combination of the physical and the experiential. There are often the most profound influences: our values, faith, and worldview, i.e., our philosophy of life.

As I said, Mothers good and not-so-good make an impact upon us. Mine was, and is, without question or fear of exaggeration the former, a good Mother in every sense of the term. She introduced me to the world (birth) and later introduced me to Christ (rebirth). She yet walks the earth and influences me, if from afar. Here are a few ways she imprinted my life:

--I don’t eat with my free arm lying across the table. I can’t, though I’ve tried at times, but each time I can hear her say, “Don’t lay on the table when you eat. Sit up.” So I do.

--I read and when appropriate try to lead. I don’t know that she necessarily gave me the taste for reading. I think I came by that some other way. But she did repeatedly say to me, “Readers make leaders,” thus generally affirming my inclination to spend hours with my nose in a book.

--I try to stay faithful to “right doctrine” in terms of historic orthodox Christianity. In fact, I used to joke with the university Board where I served as a longtime president that the Board didn’t ever need to worry about me leading the school in a wrong direction theologically, because if I did I’d have to answer to my Mother first.

--I learned, and have tried to live out, appreciation for the day God’s given us. This stems from my Mother regularly reciting “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it,” from the King James Version, of course, because that’s the version we all used in that day.

--I don’t mind putting on “dress up” clothes. My Mother wanted us to dress well when we went to church or town, so we did. I got used to it then, so it was easy later to adopt professional standards appropriate to my positions. Meanwhile, I’ve met a lot of men who apparently never learned and can’t seem to grasp why it might be worthwhile for them to dress well when the occasion calls for it. And worse, when they do, they complain about it throughout the evening. I would likely have done this too but was groomed otherwise.

There are many more things my Mother taught me. Some more important, perhaps, than these few illustrations listed here. But the moral of the story is that I have a good reason to celebrate Mother’s Day because I was and am blessed with a good Mother. This is something I had nothing to do with crafting, an outright blessing from God. So, praise the Lord and thanks to a good Mom.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

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Dr. Rex M. Rogers

Dr. Rex M. Rogers

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