Friday, January 4, 2013

Year in Review (2012)

I know it's a bit late but I'd like to review my favorite posts and the posts with the most pageviews from 2012, technically my first year of blogging, though I really only (re)started in June.

#1 My favorite topic was well two, Grammar and Language Change
#2 The most read (by far, mainly due to my attempt at sharing it on Blog Carnival) was
Morality of Drone Strikes Response. Second place for most read was Plato's Republic Books 1-3.
#3 I've had several guest posts and responses: Eric Flynn, Will Haas, Steven Specht, Sam Ronicker (my dad), and Charles Philip Smith.  Also, I responded to Steven Specht's entry here.  I also wrote a guest entry on Will Haas' blog.  Overall, I liked the coordination and I'd like to continue the trend in 2013.
#4 Not really about blogging but about notable things that happened in my life in general (not in any particular order): I assisted Steven Specht in editing (attempting publishing early this year) his book Notes from Afghanistan.  I started working on my dad's next work Sermons from a Tiny Pulpit, hopefully we can finish it this year and get it published.  I started blogging in Korean.  I moved from Omaha, NE to Okinawa Japan for work; it's the most beautiful place I've EVER lived and I look forward to spending the next few years *there (*writing this while in Afghanistan).  As I just mentioned I spent a little over 3 1/2 months in Afghanistan, not a pleasant time but not too bad, definitely better than 2011 and 2010 when I spent over 6 months in southwest Asia each year.  One funny note I just realized the other day... I've had a total of 6,356 pageviews, HOWEVER, most of those (probably) were me viewing it for editing purposes, and I just found out I can turn off my views so that it doesn't count when I go to the blog for editing!  So, I hope you (if there's anyone reading this) have enjoyed my last year of entries and I look forward to continuing my writing this next year as well.

Looking ahead I mentioned this at the end of this post, but my goals/plans/resolutions for the new year:

Read through the Bible cover-to-cover and post about it on Facebook
Read 50 books throughout the year
Train for and complete at least a half ironman triathlon

Cocoa the Travel Dog Went with Me Everywhere!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I'm NOT Completely Convinced, but it's Interesting

I'm by no means convinced, as evidenced in the statements I made on my previous entry, that Genesis is a NON-literal description of the creation of the universe. However, I do like what Francis Collins says in the Book Language of God about how accepting Genesis as non-literal does NOT mean that the rest of the Bible is untrue. He uses the term "slippery slope" and I like to combine that with "line in the sand." So, IF he's right and God used evolutionary processes to create life on earth, I'd say to stop the slippery slope of the argument one can draw the line in the sand at the ending Genesis ch 1 as the end of the non-literal story of creation.

Genesis 2, is the details of God making mankind and his first interactions with them. Eden was a real place God setup for mankind to flourish in; the trees mentioned were real things that God setup to keep mankind flourishing and to give him the option to obey. Ch 3, mankind disobeys. All completely literal, story of mankind's first choice to disobey God's one rule. Ch 4, Cain & Abel, again literal story, now the question of "where did Cain get his wife?" comes up. Here's where creation via evolution can give an answer (again, not really saying I believe this, just that it makes sense), Cain married some lower form of humanoid. The, as Collins calls it, "BioLogos" view offers a similar explanation for the 'Nephilim' mentioned in ch 6. They're some other form of humanoid.

From Genesis 2 onward is the more detailed accounting of God's interaction and caring for His very special creation, mankind. One thing I disagree with from Collins is his brushing aside of the central concept that mankind is created in God's image. It is written several times throughout the Bible that mankind is in God's image, perhaps, if BioLogos is true (again I'm not totally convinced), the idea that mankind is created in God's image is that we are the first (and only, at least on earth) creation of God that can think and has a spirit. That's why God made us, to be different, and on a higher level than animals, to think and interact with Him.

IF we draw the line in the sand at Genesis chapter one it still leaves faith and God's special interaction and love for mankind intact. IF we keep going down the slippery slope and say ALL of Genesis is non-literal it makes sin a non-issue, because it's just a story, it didn't really happen. I'm not saying Collins isn't saved or any crazy thing like that. In fact I really like his testimony in the text, it's quite stirring. And, I'm not making the mistake that he mentions that I also DETEST about religions (Christianity included), how *we (*I don't like to call myself religious because of this fact) often ostracize anyone who doesn't believe exactly as we believe. I'm not saying that all roads lead to God/salvation, I'm saying we need to stop the hate and start loving and accepting people as Christ taught.

Francis Collins, the author of Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Genesis 1 Fact or Allegory?

I've been reading The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief and I started my reading through the Bible as a New Year's resolution, I'm on page 197, fairly near the end and I like the book in general, but I have a few reservations.

First of all he started with several references from C.S. Lewis, my favorite apologist.  So, right away I really liked what he had to say and pretty much agreed with everything in the first couple chapters.  Then he went into a deep (deeper than my understanding) analysis of genetic coding and how genetics has very strong evidence for Darwinian evolution.  It was interesting to me that he brought up my primary counter to this evidence.  The way my roommate and best friend put it when he and I were discussing it was well put, the evidence wasn't for a common ancestor but rather a common Creator.  The way he puts it in the book is something like, (Young Earth or literal interpretation) creationist/scientists say the reason we have so much in common genetically with other mammals is God reused similar methods to make multiple creatures.  Collins' response to that was that IF God literally created the earth in seven (six not counting the rest day) days then he must have been trying to trick us or play games with scientific study, because in genetics, life obviously resulted from evolution.

After the first couple chapters of offering evidence and logical proofs for God (using Lewis and others' arguments), and setting up how genetics offers strong evidence for evolution, he starts tearing apart other beliefs concerning creation; first, he tears apart atheism (some more) and shows how it's science trumping faith, then Creationism, how it's faith trumping science, then Intelligent Design, when science needs divine help.  The last chapter in this section, which I haven't read yet is BioLogos, faith and science in harmony.  In the chapter about Creationism he brushes aside all the typical objections, microevolution not macroevolution (which he dismisses as a fallacy, that there's no actual difference between micro/macroevolution), he denies that the flood could cause the stratification and fossilization of animals as we find today, and the lack of "missing links."  He claims that several so called "missing links" have been discovered in fossil records in the "past few years."

My disagreements...  I'm not going to try to challenge Collins' knowledge of genetics, that'd be stupid, he's a world-class genetic researcher in charge of the Human Genome Project, of course I can't compete with his knowledge.  Most of my objections are from my study of the scriptures.  First off, on Genesis being an allegorical story about evolution and how Moses perceived evolution and wrote about the different stages and types of evolution.  This doesn't fit with the text at all.  One of the methods of Bible study I've learned about over the years starts out with figuring out if a text is allegorical (parables), factual (genealogies), predictive (prophesies), or some combination thereof.

Let's look at the text. Yes, it uses (Strong's Dictionary # h3117) the Hebrew word "יוֹם" [yom] for the word 'day,' which could also be translated as 'age' 'period,' etc. To be honest, after rereading it (again) and considering that the sun/moon/stars weren't created until day four, which begs the question how long is a day if there isn't any sun/moon, I'm more comfortable with a less literal understanding of the first chapter and that it might not have been exactly a twenty-four hour day as we understand days. However, given that plant life was made on day three before the sun, it's obvious God was providing some kind of light source for plants. IF we assume some allegorical reading of the text, why would he (Moses) write it completely out of order? The point was to record how God showed him the creation of the universe, it'd be important to at least get logical organization correct. That lends to a more literal reading of that particular part.

Then on to chapter 2, is this also allegorical? If it is then there's no reason to have grace, law, forgiveness even the basic foundational idea of sin is described in Genesis 2. So, what Bible do you believe? Jesus quoted from Genesis 2 many other New Testament writers referenced Genesis, including these first few chapters. If they treat this as fact why would we assume otherwise? One of Collins' points to say this is allegorical comes from chapter 2 verse 5 "Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground." (NASB) He says that the fact that chapter 2 seems to regress when chapter 1 has already told us that plants were created, indicates that this is an allegorical story to illustrate God's creative work through evolution. The problem with that idea is that it's not looking deep enough into the text. It's not saying there were no plants, it's saying there was no agriculture, that no man had yet plowed or planted a field. The word field is taken from Hebrew, (Str. Dic. # h7704) "שָׂדֶה" [sadeh] translated as: 'field, land, agricultural etc.'

One other major point this reading of Genesis 1, 2 misses completely, is that one of the ways to determine if a text is allegorical or not is the use of proper names. Look at Jesus' teaching using parables, most of them have no names. However, in the story of Lazarus, He specifically uses his name, and of course it's true, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Genesis 2, proper names: Gihon, Cush, Tigris, Assyria, Euphrates, Eden, and of course Adam and Eve. Why/how could Moses write with such specific detail using names that still are used to refer to these places and expect it to be taken any other way but literal?

Last but not least, no matter how one reads Genesis 1, 2, it's obvious that mankind is special.  Genesis 1 mentions that mankind is made on day 6, but then Genesis 2 goes into specific details about how and why man and woman were different than all the other animals.  IF mankind is just a higher evolutionary level of chimp or other primate, why would God, through Moses, put so much effort into detailing our creation and offering us a chance to disobey and then offering grace and salvation when we fail?  We're just higher on the evolutionary chain so there's nothing special about mankind, but God seems to think so, he makes Adam special and separate, and Eve even more so.  She's the only created being that comes from another created being.  Also, chapter 3 gives specific details on the fall and first sin, this doesn't fit with the idea that Mankind had been around for hundreds maybe thousands of years evolving before this very specific story takes place.

I know I already said "last," but I actually have a couple other things to say about this...  Genesis is an extremely important foundation on which the rest of the Bible is built upon, if we can't trust these accounts of creation, then we cannot trust the rest of the Bible.  One who says so, is deceiving his or herself.  Sorry for the non sequitur but Job mentions Leviathan, and it's described as only a dinosaur could be described, how does that fit with an evolution theory/Genesis interpretation?  It seems that Collins is putting his faith in his own understanding rather than God's power.  Do I understand how Genesis fits with scientific observation and testing?  No.  Do I think I, or anyone else, ever will?  Probably not.  Do I trust that God meant it to be written as it is and understood as a mostly literal description of His power in creating the whole universe ex nihilo?  Yes.  If God can do that, he could easily make things appear old or with characteristics that appear consistent with evolutionary theory, that doesn't mean He used the evolutionary process to create life.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Nearing the End

As I approach the end of my time here I wanted to give you an idea of what I've been doing during my time away from home in southwest Asia...

My typical day:

Wake up---getting to work, lately I've been on the night shift so I wake up around 5:00p (all times are local time).  Depending on when my shift starts, either early 7:30p or late 10:30p, I'll go to dinner.  If I'm on the later shift I'll also try to sleep in a little.  If I'm on the earlier shift I'll go to "dinner" which for me is breakfast, and then to work.  It recently snowed about 4 inches so the walk to work is treacherous.  If I'm on the later shift I'll generally forgo dinner and get the midnight meal that is brought to the office.  The food kinda overall sucks here and getting it fresh is not really a priority, so I don't mind getting the slightly-cooled-off delivered food as opposed to the sitting-under-the-hotlamp food in the chow hall.

Work, obviously I can't tell you all about what I do for work (security reasons), but the basic idea is this: I get to the office and after signing in and waiting around about half an hour we brief about what kind of mission we're going to do.  Then, after another 30min-hr (during which time I'm prepping for whatever mission we're going to do) we go out to the plane.  We fly the mission, which can take anywhere between 4-7hrs.  It totally depends on what's going on, the weather, and the type of mission as to how long it takes.  Sometimes, I'm completely bored out of my mind.  Other times, I'm constantly busy and don't have time to eat/drink/pee/whatever.  Then of course there are in-between missions that are neither busy nor boring.  After returning and landing we debrief what happened and how the mission went.  Of course, if the mission was complicated and busy, the debrief could take a while as we talk about all the things that happened.  If it was gouge-my-eyes-out boring, we just meet up, fill out the paperwork, and say, "thanks for flying" or something similar.

At that point, I'm technically done with work.  I can (and sometimes have to) stay later and do work-related stuff.  However, most of the time I'm done, and I spend time (at the unit compound) hanging out with my coworkers.  We play spades, smoke cigars, play video games, and just in general hang out.  If there are lots of people hanging out and playing, I'll stay and be social, if not, I'll generally head back to my room.  I've paid a fairly exorbitant price to get WiFi access in my room so I always have something to keep me busy.  Also, my roommate is one of my best friends that has worked with me almost my entire career.  We agree on so much of life.  It's been a pleasure spending this time together; I'm actually going to miss him when we have to leave (we're leaving the same time though so that'll be fun).  Also, since I moved to Japan (about 8 months ago), and he's planning on getting out of the Air Force, we probably won't be able to see each other again.  We'll keep in touch and we'll always be friends, but it's a bit sad to go through transitions in life where you know things will probably never be the same.  Especially when it comes to friendships, it's hard to think that we might NEVER see each other again.

In my room I've been keeping myself busy with a free class online, editing a friend's new book Notes from Afghanistan by Steven Specht, putting together my dad's next book Sermons from a Tiny Pulpit, reading, praying, and watching movies/TV (of course only downloaded TV shows as I don't have regular TV access in my room).

Overall, I felt I've kept myself productive enough, though I'm looking forward to returning home to Japan and being with my family.  Some of my plans for when I get home...  First off, I'm going to eat real, homemade, good food!  The food here isn't bad (as I've said), but it's certainly not good either.  We're going to open some late Christmas presents (this is the first time I've completely missed Christmas with my family), and have a mini, late Christmas party.  I also can't wait to go to the beach!  Living in a sub-tropical paradise certainly has its perks.  Those are the big things I'm excited about, some of the little things include: sleeping in a regular sized bed, NOT having to wear a uniform all the time, NOT having to wear flip-flops to the bathroom, NOT having to wait 4 days for laundry, NOT having to walk a mile or so to work regardless of the weather, and NOT having to walk past a sleeping roommate to go to the bathroom or leave the room among other things.  All those minor inconviences add up after a while and I'll be glad to be rid of them.

A couple other plans for the new year and returning home...  I want to read through the whole Bible cover-to-cover (I plan on writing about it on Facebook but I'll probably discuss my reading here also).  I also plan on reading 50 books over the course of the next year; I don't have any particular preference on what books, but the first one is The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis S. Collins.  One last plan, I want to start training for a triathlon. My goal, right now, is to train for a half ironman (1.2-mile [1.9 km] swim, 56-mile [90 km] bike ride, and 13.1-mile [21.1 km] run, also known as 70.3 because it's a total of 70.3 miles).  I'll discuss my training plans in a later post.

Sorry this was so long, I've been thinking about a lot of stuff lately.  I'm going to separate what I originally wrote into two separate entries and I'll definitely be writing more soon.

Long Time no Write

Well, I'm sorry... Again...  Obviously my time deployed has not been spent sharing with you in this blog!  I've been thinking about canceling my blog altogether but I've enjoyed it before so I think I just need to get back into it.  I think one of the biggest hindrances was my attempts at translating my blog into Korean.  Every time I thought about writing something, I thought about how I would translate it, and many times I was at a loss.  My skills in Korean are just not high enough to express what I'm thinking on a variety of topics.

Therefore, I've decided NOT to cancel my blog, however, I will NOT be translating every single entry.  I just don't have the time.  I know, I'd get faster over time if I continued practicing but just to put it into perspective for you; I spend anywhere from 30min-1hour on each English entry (sometimes more of course, but that's probably my average).  Then to take that and translate it, even using Google translate to help with spelling, it takes me about DOUBLE the time to translate as it took for the original post.  So, what would have taken me an hour now takes three!  I've considered waiting a day to write the translated piece, but that doesn't really relieve the problem.  It's still going to turn a 1hr project into 3hrs, just not all on the same day.  I'm not canceling my Korean blog just going to minimize it and only translate stuff that I really want to or stuff that'll be easily transferred.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Meditation Education

I recently read an interesting article in the magazine, Scientific American Mind called "The Education of Character" by Ingrid Wikelgren, and the concepts intrigued me because it reminded me of the book I read entitled, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human StrengthSince I cannot find the article online (without a paid subscription, though there is a related blog here), I'll summarize some of what it says.

There are several places, and it was apparently it started by a variety of people, including some actors, where an interesting concept has been used alongside traditional education.  Students in these programs practice a variety of meditation-like breathing exercises and other concentration and "mindfulness" practices.  These practices, along with emotional self-regulation are growing among elementary educators.  According to the article the MindUP program and the similar program PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) have both been producing great results throughout the students' lives.  Though the article concludes with a couple notes about how tweaking children's thinking can be difficult to understand in general and sometimes has mixed results.

It was quite interesting to me that I found this article after reading the book about Willpower because the article (and the following article about increasing brain power) confirmed quite a bit of the book.  Now, I'm not the type of person that reads a single article and totally believes every word, but with this well researched article and that book confirming each other, I'm pretty convinced that one of the most important thing a person can learn, especially at a young age, is patience and self-control.  I'm excited about working on some of these patience-teaching techniques with my boys when I get home, and maybe working on some of it myself.  I'm fairly sure that everyone agrees they could use more self-control.

When I was young, I distinctly remember not being permitted to learn martial art because of the link to east Asian mysticism/religion and meditation.  Now, while I don't regret my parent's decision, I think they did what they felt was right in shielding me from negative influences, I think meditation would be good for me.  The difference between what my parents were afraid of and what I would like to practice is the reason for meditating.  Meditation for the purpose of reaching some mystical higher plane of existence and some out-of-body religious experience would be contrary to what I believe.  However, meditation to focus on self-control or breath control would be healthy.  Also, part of meditation is concentration, it'd be good for my mind to spend some time each day meditating on God.  I guess you could just say "prayer," but I kind of see it as slightly different.  Basically, I only want to concentrate on one aspect of God during meditation.  Though sometimes I'd also like to try to just concentrate on nothing.  Though, technically thinking about nothing doesn't really seem possible to me--we'll see.

Gosh I miss home

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012 선거일

Or as my Korean friends would say "erection day."  I don't really want an answer to this, and I've already made my preference clear (Third Party), but who or what are you going to vote for?  I'm sad to say that I officially missed the deadline and my vote won't count, but YOUR'S can!  So, rather than pushing one party or ideal, I'd just like to take this chance to encourage you to voice your opinion.  God has blessed (those of my readers that are US citizens) us with the chance to choose the type of governance and lawmakers we want.  Also, we have decided, as a country, to have a popular vote for the position of President/Vice President (though more on that here), sort of.  Either way, and no matter how you feel about the electoral college, go out and vote today.

On a totally different subject, in order to practice writing in Korean, and to appeal to my (possible) Korean readers, I'm going to start writing a blog in Korean.  It may be full of grammatical and spelling errors, but I'm going to try.  I'm also going to try to make it parallel this blog.  Not necessarily a direct translation of this on but at least the same topic.

Our political system

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Intellectual Property Rights

This is an interesting topic I once discussed with a cigar buddy at the Havana Garage in Omaha.  I had sent out an invitation to my church to meet up for cigars and scotch at a cigar bar, unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, only one person was able to attend.  We held an interesting conversation for hours about intelectual property and copyright law (he's a copyright lawyer for a firm there in downtown Omaha).  One of the more interesting tidbits I learned is that one does NOT have to have a copyright to sue for intellectual property rights (in the US).  If you write a poem, song, business plan, or anything that requires (virtually) any amount of creative effort on a napkin at a restaurant and someone overhears you talking about it and steals your idea, EVEN if they have a copyright, and you can PROVE that it's your idea that that person stole, you can win in a copyright case.  Though granted it's much easier to prove something is one's intellectual property with a copyright, but it's not necessary.  That's what copyrights are supposed to do, protect or give legitimacy to the claim to one's intellectual property.  A copyright in and of itself is not proof, just good evidence.

Anyways, another thing I talked about at that time was how I thought it kind of silly that large companies sometimes sue little mom-and-pop businesses that make a small amount of money off selling copyrighted material.  (My lawyer friend replied that large companies often overlook small organizations so long as they don't make too much money, because it's not worth the cost of a lawsuit to pursue every single copyright infringement.)  If you look on there are any number of copyright questionable sellers that run the risk of drawing the attention of some big company that decides to crack down on these small-time sellers.  To me, for some reason the 'big guy' picking on these tiny establishments is completely unfair.

I know it's a double standard but it bothers me just as much that there's a person on Etsy that has copyrighted a silly simple technique for making a fabric baby toy called a taggy, and that person is (or was, I see multiple taggy makers now) constantly hunting down fellow makers and forcing them to remove their goods from Etsy based on copyright infringement.  Then I came across this from a English language teaching program I'm interested in getting involved in:

This is about the future of creativity and innovation, a David v Goliath flashpoint that we hope to rally your support around.
We are a tiny company called Languages Out There (LOT) and publish the world's first social media English course called English Out There (EOT).

EOT works with Facebook and Skype and can transform the English speaking ability of long-term frustrated learners. It is inexpensive for the students but can help teachers to start their own businesses.

We have developed our content over 11 years and have only made a tiny profit in the last two years. It has not been at all easy.

Over ALMOST THREE YEARS we provided privileged and confidential information about our unique content to Oxford University Press (OUP) because they said they were interested in our content.

In March of this year they wrote to us,

"we do not feel that LOT offers the type of materials that we could bring within our catalogue, whether in relation to the current offering or our future plans."

JUST FIVE MONTHS LATER they launched a new five level English course book series with the words,

"Network is the first course to use social networking to help students succeed in English."

The first three English teachers we sent the OUP product link (just the link, nothing else), said this:

Link here.

This is even worse!  I can understand the "little guy" making a tiny bit of money off innovating or recreating a copyrighted item but when a large corporation steals copyrighted material from a tiny company that's just despicable.  As I said, I know it's a double standard and no one should get away with stealing someone else's hard work, but hopefully English Out There can win this one and stop Oxford University Press from stealing their material.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Questioning the consistency of the Bible

Recently I (kind of) got suckered into a discussion of the consistency of the Bible.  Namely, someone said that the Bible has two different dates for when Jesus was born and one of them couldn't have happened because it would have been before he was born.  References given were Matt 2:1 and Luke 2:2.  I found an interesting response to this idea here.  To save you the time of reading that (rather lengthy and well formed) response, I'll sum it up: No one knows exactly when Jesus was born and the dating system is based on tradition and conjecture and is subject to men's opinion.

I responded to the person that pointed out this inconsistency and his response remained that those two events (mentioned in those verses) were not at the same time.  Though he did point out that at the most they are only different by about 10 years which is pretty close given the extreme length of time that has passed since.

Well, all this discussion, by the way my counterpart in this discussion has challenged me to find an extra-biblical account of Jesus even existing, led me to do some research into what people perceive as biblical contradictions.  I found a rather lengthy list and started going through them.  Now, to be fair the introduction to the list does state that some of the "contradictions" listed are explainable by a variety of translations.  So, I started going through the list reading as much of each example given as I could.  It was an interesting exposition of the Bible and led me to reading quite a bit.  I didn't make it through the whole list, but of all the supposed contradictions I did read through only one or two made me scratch my head and didn't have an immediate and obvious explanation.  I didn't notate which ones... but I'll be going through the list in more detail in the future.  What I would like to mention about that list is that all but a couple were so easily explained.  It was like the person who compiled the list didn't really read what was written in the verses listed as "contradictory."

Prime example:

Gen 7:7 Noah and his clan enter the Ark.  (KJV)

7 And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.

Gen 7:13 They enter the Ark (again?) (KJV)

13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;

No one claims the the historical accounts in the Bible are in exact chronological order every time.  Obviously verse thirteen is NOT saying they went into the ark AGAIN after they had already entered.  It's simply a restatement about their activities during that time when they were entering the ark, also, who says they didn't go in and out of the window on the deck or some other explanation.  It's not a contradiction at all.  Many of the contradictions listed on that site follow a very similar pattern to this example.  Many mis-translate the word day to an exact 24-hour period of time when often times it's obviously used as just a 'period of time' or similar meaning.

Anyways, all this to say none of this is making me question my faith, but (ironically) it is making me get into the Word more and study a variety of Biblical passages that I may not have studied before.  I wonder if this (obviously anti-Christian) site ever expected that kind of reaction to their post?

Gosh I miss home

Friday, November 2, 2012

Vacation Plans

I don't know much about my readers, but I'm always curious who reads my blog.  I sometimes review my viewership stats and the vast majority of my readers are out of the U.S. (which makes sense), but unfortunately, whenever I look through my blog to edit it, that also counts as a view so my stats are artificially larger because of my views.  But that's all beside the point...

I'm trying to make some vacation plans for when I get home from this deployment.  I have ample vacation time saved up and I'd like to go someplace fun and interesting.  Unfortunately Michelle (my wife) thinks we should postpone any such plans.  However, we've been talking and making plans to possibly have more children.  I'd like to have a little girl.  Michelle wants either no more or two more to make a round 4 total.  I'm content with 2-3.  My issue is that if we don't take this time to travel there won't be a better time.  Traveling with young children is tough, but if we're traveling with a baby it will be much more difficult.  What I'm wondering, is do you have children?  And if so, do you go on vacation?  Or maybe mini-vacations where you don't really go anywhere?  I don't remember much from my childhood but I do seem to remember going on vacation even when I was very young and my brother much younger.  There was a big difference though, my family NEVER flew anywhere for vacation.  Even when we went to Colorado, we drove all the way!

My options are open for vacation.  It is much more expensive, but we could try to go home to Ohio.  Honestly, I don't think that's worth the expense.  It would be nice to see family again but it would be over $1000/person for plane tickets.  I'd like to take my family to visit Korea.  Since I speak Korean I could be their personal guide.  There's tons of great places to ski and it would be fun to teach the boys skiing.  And of course I'd get to practice all the Korean I wanted.  Then of course we could go pretty much ANYWHERE in the S Pacific.  The options are endless, we even discussed going to New Zealand  or Australia.  It's a bit tough choosing to leave the island because we live in a vacation paradise and every weekend is like a mini-vacation.  But, I'd like to go out and explore the world around the tiny island and I think it'd be a great experience for our family.

The boys enjoying dinner on the beach