Saturday, December 20, 2008

Toilets and Whatever

As I reposed in the WC this morning, I got to thinking.

A common occurrence--both the thinking and the reposing.

How often do we think about "doing our business" and should we? I don't mean in a should we spend more time thinking about bowel movements? kind of way. Instead, I realized that it would be possible to argue, from Scripture, that we should not think about sitting on the pot.

How many times have you heard Philippians 4:8 quoted? I mean, the Bible clearly says that we should think about whatever is lovely and pure... and potty stuff isn't that. This mentality has been used to demonize all sorts of "less than holy" topics.

But then I got to thinking about the pot upon which I squat: Someone, who was not Thomas Crapper, had finally been fed up with his chamber pot (or whatever) and thought about how to make a better waste trap.

And I am grateful for that.

Furthermore, as I think back on the majority of Scripture, the Bible contains far more examples of things that are not true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and worthy of praise. There is a ton of rather graphic sex and violence in the Bible.


Because we live here. We must learn to interact with a world that is far from God's perfect plan. We must learn from the past. We must remember and meditate on what others have been through in the past to make wise and godly choices in the present.

And, yes, it is good to think on whatever is perfect... but that does not mean that we should not/must not think on whatever is not.

I guess this all goes back to the Intent, Content, and Response mechanism: What is your intention behind your thoughts because that means far more than the content of them. And even more than that, what kind of response does what you are thinking about engender in you? Your motivation and the outcome matters far more than the thought itself.

So, yes, be careful what you dwell upon...

...but, please, feel free to think about toilets or whatever.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

Friday, November 14, 2008



We got our I171H today!


So, now we get to send 18 documents to Washington, and after that we have the option of going to Kyrgyzstan to meet the kids. Unfortunately, in Washington you pay by the document, so, if my mental math is correct, we need to sign a couple dozen checks for a grand total of $2,164.

Yep, that's for the "processing" and courier fees to send 18 pieces of paper--well, okay, to be fair some of the documents are many more than a single sheet--back to the government that just sent them to us.

It's a streamlined process going on here.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fingerprints and Signatures

We were able to get fingerprinted by the FBI and turn in our i600A on Friday. You can read more about that particular adventure over on my Sonlight Blog.

So, things are moving forward.

Well, sort of.

They've also moved a step or two back. See, we were able to get our medical reports notarized and everything, but then the papers were sent back stating that because the notary had not included her middle initial on the forms they were not acceptable.


You've got to be kidding me. The whole point of a notary is so "they" can identify the person who said that, yes, this paper really was signed. how can they be so mucked up by a missing initial?

Oh sure, I realize that it would be more proper to have every T crossed and every i dotted, but... seriously? So, now we have to find a time to go back to the doctor, have her re-fill out the form and get it notarized again... meaning we have to drag someone along for that too. <ugh>


But now that the 10th has passed, there's no longer any pressure. So, stress levels are down. But there's also less hope and direction too, so things feel more apathetic.

I would have posted a sweet picture of my thumbprint, but I couldn't get the scanner to pick it up as well as the FBI's sweet new digital print scanners, and we couldn't find any ink. Sorry team.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

Friday, September 05, 2008

2 Weeks of "Processing"

I'm frustrated.

No, I'm more than that. But we'll leave it at that.

I realize that adopting costs a lot of money. I'm mentally prepared for $20K a kid (or more). That number is so huge I just let it go over me.

It's the little things that really get to me. Like the $20 check that I just wrote for the California Secretary of State so they will stamp my marriage license... again. Also, since we want to move this process along, we dropped the license, cover letter, and check off with FedEx on Wednesday. We paid over $30 for them to get it there by Thursday morning. We also included a return envelope which will cost another $20-$30.

So, seventy to eighty dollars for someone in the government to stamp our already officially stamped marriage license.

We'd been praying that it would get back into our hands today, or perhaps tomorrow.

I called to check up on it today and see if I could inspire a little nudge.

The girl on the phone was courteous, but assured me there was nothing she could do. And it would take two weeks for "processing."

So, I just shelled out $50-$60 to try to speed along a "process" that takes two weeks, for some reason... it must be hard for them to find a rubber stamp and ink.

I'm irate.

I tend to have less than positive thoughts and feelings toward our government as it is. This isn't helping.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

Saturday, August 30, 2008

From the Land Down Under

"He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich."

Men at Work: Land Down Under

After commenting on a string of posts by Mrs. C about her family's latest venture down Vegemite Lane, she offered to mail me some.

I, naturally, accepted. And it arrived today.

So, once we get some wheat-free bread made, we'll give this a "go" and see just how much I dislike it (all on video!). Definitely does not sound like something I would enjoy... but someone's gotta do the dirty work around here.


~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

Thursday, August 21, 2008


The new Costco opened by our house today.

So we went over.

They have Wiis.

So we bought one.

Total splurge item.


But Brittany is a gamer and has wanted one for a long, long time.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

Monday, August 18, 2008

Medical Papers

We has them.

Medical Papers

Yep. We have finally submitted all of our papers for the homestudy... of course, over the couple of months it took to get everything together, we may have to resubmit a few papers with new information on them.

We knew we would need our medical papers notarized, but when we asked at Kaiser they informed us that our branch didn't have a notary.

Stuck again.

So while at morning prayer, I mentioned that I needed a notary for some paperwork. It turns out that one of my co-workers is a notary! We worked it out, and decided that Wednesday evening would work for everyone.

While Brittany and I were driving over, I realized that we hadn't discussed a meeting place. I quickly shot a prayer to heaven and said, "Please let us connect quickly and easily."

As we pulled into the parking lot, my co-worker pulled into the empty space one over from mine. The timing couldn't have been better.

We were able to drop off the papers the next day. Praise God!

And now the agency is pushing us to get our dossier done. Which is great. Perhaps by the end of the week we will be mostly done with the paperwork before us.

It would be great if we could do that!

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Antidotal Anecdotes

One of my friends just got married.

Well, he's not really my friend in the traditional sense (he doesn't even know who I am), but I've been following his blog for a while now and feel like I know him. I respect him quite a bit, and I would hope that if we traveled in the same circles he would be willing to call me a friend as well.

I doubt we'd ever really be buddies, but I digress.



As he himself wrote: "It’s been a very long engagement." But now he's hitched and "just trying to get used to the ring on my finger. And saying husband."

I've never really considered this question before: But will he be a better husband than I? Will he treat his spouse better than I? Will they have better sex than I?

Those aren't normal questions--or maybe they are, I guess I don't really know--but I'm asking them this time. Not because I'm really curious about the intimate affairs of my friend, or how those reflect on me, except for one very important detail:

His husband.

See, I'm not a perfect husband. In fact, I'd be willing to reveal that I'm not even a particularly good one. So what can I say to my homosexual friend and his husband?

If they're a better couple than Brittany and I, what does that say about the transforming power of Christ? Where does that put me in the eternal perspective? And what of other Christians, those myriad of others who, as is stated in the comments to his blog, "use marriage as a crutch to keep their relationship going", or worse, divorce?

What can I say to him?

What can I say to my homosexual uncle?

Thus far I've figured out: "Hi." And then I give him a hug.

Sure, Focus on the Family has some good arguments against same-sex unions (especially the argument of love), but I really don't think that's going to help anything here. I certainly don't think my friend would buy it.

So what would Jesus say to my friend?

I honestly don't know. And that's a tad bit frustrating.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

Monday, June 30, 2008

A Farwell to Arms

I canceled my WoW subscription today.

''bout time,' some of you may be thinking. ...actually, my guess is that you don't think about that at all. And that's okay. But I do.

Due to our need for Health Insurance, I took a new job. The job is pretty cool, but now I devote twice as much time to it than I was working before. That's a pretty big change in lifestyle. My income has also changed. But I didn't know by how much, so I was little excite/apprehensive when I opened my check today.

I was elated.

'Wow,' I thought, 'I'm making about $200 a week more now! Sweet, I'll be able to pay for the kids to have food when they come.'

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks dropped from the Empire State Building with spikes laden with poison from a brown recluse:

I get paid every two weeks now.

Yep, I just took a $320 a month pay cut.

I cried.

I was so happy for a minute. Life was great.

I'm tearing up again just writing this.

Elation to despair in less than half a second.

My wife is right: This will all work out. We'll find a way to slash our already tight budget. We'll make it.

And we will. As someone recently read: Don't confuse your Provider with your employer. How true. How painfully, horribly true.

I guess it was time to update my certification in trust.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

Monday, June 16, 2008

Firefox 3

This was too important to pass up:

Firefox 3 is going to be released tomorrow. Download it June 17, 2008 and help set a world record.

Do it!

Download Firefox 3 here.

~Luke Holzmann

Friday, June 13, 2008

Shades of Awesome

Yesterday was a roller coaster.

And I don't like roller coasters. All of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, we potentially had three kids, at least one of them schooling age. The number was perfect, the gender was perfect, the ethnicity was perfect. And yet we feared to hope. It was exciting, no, thrilling, but also terrifying. And sobering. We could be the parents of a four year old in a couple of months. Whoa. Talk about a reality check.

Brittany said to me, "Wouldn't it be awesome if we got the pictures of them tonight instead of tomorrow morning?" It would be unlikely, but pretty cool.

At about 8pm Brittany asked me, as I was about to go watch another episode of Firefly with Jason, "Do you want to see some pictures of the kids?"

I would post pictures here, but I don't think I'm allowed to. Sorry. Wish I could.

We've been praying that our kids will be healthy and beautiful in all ways. The kids look really healthy. The older girl is probably 4-5, and the boy is 5-6ish. Much older than we've been thinking. The younger girl is adorable.

I've often worried, over the course of my life, that I wouldn't think my children were beautiful. I've seen some ugly kids. And what do their parents think of them, especially since everyone tells you, "You'll find your children adorable because they're yours"? I'm not sure how the logic follows. It sounds like a twisted version of "love is blind", but I digress. The point is: They lied to me.

[NB: RvB is not suitable to those who are bothered by language and inappropriate verbal content, and the above link has some language directly following the quote.]

The kids look like Russian Bouncers. It's time for brutal honesty because, as Brittany pointed out, if we don't talk about it now it will come back to "bite us in the butt" later. It's hard to tell what they really look like. The poor photography, pudgy sullen faces, the hideous short haircuts (probably to reduce lice), and ill-fitting clothes don't inspire cries of, "You are so sweet!"

And so I'm torn.

Are these our kids? Some families recognize their children right away. Others don't. And I don't really know.

There are some major pros to adopting slightly older children, but we hadn't really been considering it. And jumping into being the parents of three children, homeschooling, and dealing with kids who will very much remember their life in Kyrgyzstan and have who knows what kinds of feelings about that, having to learn a new language, and dealing with whatever got them to be available to join our family are rather daunting thoughts.

Time for a Confession of an Expecting Father: My fantasy was that my little girls would be gorgeous, adorable, more on the lithe Swedish/Iceland than stocky Russian side. And these girls may be just that, or become that way once they shed their baby fat. With hair and a smile the girls may be adorable, but I can't tell. The boy will certainly grow up to be a heartthrob.

But will I be disappointed if they aren't gorgeous? Will the girls pick up on that and develop a complex? Will I gravitate to one of the kids and so neglect the others? It sounds so shallow to say, but "I wanted pretty girls!" ...but who wants ugly kids?

Brittany has been saying frequently about how it would be "so many shades of awesome" if this or that happened. And "shades of awesome" is how I feel: This could be great, but there are some shadows that have me worried.

Sorry for the rambling thoughts and disjointed ideas. My mind doesn't feel completely sane at the moment, and my thoughts don't seem to be making a lot of sense.

I think I'm feeling a tad overwhelmed.

I wish I was more collected; writing with a point, a purpose and a lesson. But for the following days I'm afraid this blog will be more of a journal to record my thoughts for future reference than for potentially brilliant insights.


~Luke Holzmann

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The News

Brittany called me at about 8:50 this morning at work.

"Guess what."

She got a call from the adoption agency.

"How many were you looking to adopt?"

Brittany replied, "We're looking at up to three."

"You're not going to believe this..."

Turns out that a sibling group of three just became available. They are a little older than we have been thinking, but if these are our kids, then great! What's more: There are two girls and a boy. And they look "very Russian". In a country that is 80% Asian, the 3-5 year-old girl has blue eyes.

We're supposed to get pictures tomorrow.

Thrilled and Terrified

And I was supposed to work after that.

What's crazy is that we are getting a referral, of sorts, and we haven't even completed the paperwork for the US yet. So there are still a ton of things that need to come together. I need to get hired at a company that will give me health insurance (have to have that before we can move forward), we need to complete the Dossier, and then we're really moving.

Over the past two weeks, I've been really stressed out, frustrated, and even a little depressed because I've been stuck at health insurance. We were flying through the process right into a brick wall.

Health Insurance

So yesterday I felt like I couldn't do anything, like I was completely stuck until the health insurance worked out.

Today proved that wrong. I could do something. I could get excited.

~Luke Holzmann

Monday, April 21, 2008

Alfie, Marriage, and Hope

I watched "Alfie" not that long ago. It's an interesting, off-beat dark comedy that is sort of about the pitfalls of womanizing, but also sort of about how womanizing, while leading to pain, leads to about the same amount of pain that life already dishes out, so what's the big deal? Or, as the movie concludes, "So, what's the answer? That's what I keep asking myself. What's it all about? You know what I mean?"


So, far more than a morality play, this is a film that takes a look at morality and concludes: I don't get it, but I think there's something there.

If is any indication, about 48% have the same query. And I, unfortunately, sort of side with the minority. I do kinda know what he means.

It was the line "whenever you meet a beautiful woman ...just remember, somewhere there's a bloke who's sick of shagging her" that really got me. It's reminiscent of the paragraph from (I think) "Every Young Man's Battle" that goes something like: Satan will do everything he can to get you to sleep with your girlfriend before marriage, and then everything he can to stop you from sleeping with your wife after you're married.

Am I sick of "shagging" my wife? No. But it's certainly not as fun or as common to "mess around" as it was back in college. I've already written about this in the book, so this isn't anything new or surprising. But I'm feeling the implications of this idea play out more forcefully of late.

Jason, my co-author, has moved out from Oregon. It's really cool that he's here. We sit and chat, watch movies and TV shows on DVD, and generally hang out. I hope that we can really get moving on the book once he's settled. But his outside perspective allows him to see the... lack... that is in my interactions with Brittany. It's the same lack (or whatever word makes more sense there) that I can see in the relationships of the kids I mentor.

It's easy to look at a situation and say, "You really handled that poorly," or, "You really need to talk with her about that." But I find myself holding back, wary. Why? Because I know what it's like to not feel like talking, to just want to be left alone, to feel that someone is being clingy, stand-offish, whiny, bossy, nosy, annoying, or whatnot. I know how past experience influences current conduct.

But I also know how easy it is to look at another girl (one to whom you are not bound forever by "the Ring", or otherwise) and think, 'Man, he really doesn't see what he's got. If he'd just notice how much she loves him, how cute she is, and how much she just wants to be close to him, he'd want to hold her as much as I do.'

"So, what's the answer? ...What's it all about? You know what I mean?"

This is something that, even though a few people write about it, no one has yet to come to any conclusion or even good solid advice. This is a very clear example of what Jason so aptly points out: We've got this idea that if we could just get them to the altar virgins everything will be okay. But there's so much more....

He's right. He's right and he's not even married.

I know this whole "marriage thing" works, is great, and all that. I know there's hope. It would just be nice to have someone, somewhere, actually point to it in a viable, livable, sensible, reasonable way. Hopefully our book will include such insights by the end of the next draft, but until then, I feel like I'm fighting this ideological battle alone.

It's hard to be hopeful there.

~Luke Holzmann

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Taco Bell, V-Day, and Flash

For those of you who went to some less romantic locale for dinner on V-Day, you probably missed out on their purple sauce packs.

When we got home, my wife and I decided to check out this website and see what it was all about. Visiting the site gave me flashbacks to Carl's Jr's stunt with SI a while back. (I am not a Paris Hilton fan at all. Though she looked good in an interview I saw in a burger joint in Florence.)

Paris in Shanghai

Where was I?

Oh, right.

If you haven't linked over to the site already, it is a very cleaver use of Flash. They shot footage of one of the swimsuit models (Daniella), placed that within a website that allowed you to "take pictures" within the cheesy storyline's confined timeline, and then let you save these images (in theory, I haven't gotten it to work, hence none of my "work" posted here).

All in all, it's pretty fun. Nothing to "write home about", but obviously enough to blog about.

But this post is about more than just the fast food industry's latest attempt to use sex to sell their greasy grub (which I love, by the by). This is about the trend to use Flash as the foundation for all sorts of new creative applications online. I've now created an editing tutorial over at using the power of JumpCut, which is built on Flash. This is not to mention YouTube, Homestarrunner, and many other sites that are built on Adobe's acquired technology.

Cool stuff.

~Luke Holzmann

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Honk if You're Perfect

The following came from the Sonlight Curriculum Forums:

I recently heard this on the local Christian radio station.

They have a "Call-in Confessional" show. One man called in and said that he was driving his wife's car to work. All of the sudden, a car behind him started laying on the horn. He looked back, and the guy just kept honking. The guy kept getting angrier and angrier. He knew it wasn't a Christian thing to do, but as the guy passed him, he gave the other driver the finger.

Still upset, the guy got home and parked his car. As he turned around to make sure he locked it, he saw his wife had a bumper sticker that said, "Honk if you love Jesus!"

That's how I feel right now. Can't really explain it any better than that.

~Luke Holzmann

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Nature Abhors

Guess what Brittany and I spent two hours today doing?

Yep. Wandering Sears looking at vacuums. The sales people push the Dyson, Brittany loved the Halo, and I didn't like any of them. So, we bought a $50 Dirt Devil until the Halo has been proven and we've ended up in a bit more money to warrant a $500 carpet sucker.

But, yes: Two hours. And we spent a couple of hours back in December when we first went to try to purchase a vacuum. So, in all, we spent about four hours in Sears discussing vacuums. It was ridiculous, but it wasn't until we were driving home that the comedic nature of our adventure really hit us.

Ah, the amazingly romantic and exciting life of marriage.

I guess all that to say: If you don't like wandering around Home Depot with your significant other, perhaps it's not time for marriage. As one of the speakers in Chapel so aptly pointed out: You'll spend more time waiting in line in the grocery store than you will having sex.

That, or in Sears discussing vacuums.

~Luke Holzmann

Monday, January 28, 2008

Lego Love (Part 2)

Just giving a little "shout out" to Lego with a: Happy 50th Birthday!

Even Google thinks that's cool.

~Luke Holzmann

Friday, January 25, 2008

MySpace Blogs (huh?)

So, browsing through some of my friends' MySpace pages I came across the following while trying to read their interesting titled blog posts:

"This specific blog entry is currently set to be private, and only the blog owner can see it."

I've seen this before. Granted, I can see why people may decide it was better to lock up a blog post titled "Why I'm so mad at my girlfriend" or "I think your granny is hot" or "I wish I were dead"... but, why keep it as a blog post? Are people really incapable of keeping a journal somewhere that isn't plastered all over the internet with nothing more than a "Umm, yeah, the author thought better of posting this to the world"?


~Luke Holzmann

Lego Love

I have loved Legos since I can remember. My very first, to my recollection, Lego set was of a spacecraft. It was awesome.

Well, my wife and I decided on a Christmas tradition where we ask for a Lego set every year (Star Wars themed, naturally).

We got a way cool set, but one of the pieces came defective. I had heard from my sister how great Lego was with Customer Service, so I decided to test it out myself. I filled out a form on and requested a replacement.

The package arrived yesterday (but I didn't have my camera, hence the post today).

"Time Sensitive Material"? Hardly, but that's one way to make me feel special.

Not only did we get the piece, but we also got a great cover letter.

In short: I love Lego even more now!

Businesses everywhere should emulate this level of customer service. Stellar!

~Luke Holzmann

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sanctity of Life... or Not

So, it's officially "Sanctity of Human Life Week" and people are naturally talking, ranting, raving, and trying to get people to become Pro-Choice: Choose Life.

Now, to make sure that everyone reading knows where I come from: I am Pro-Life, against abortion, and am convinced that abortion is murder. However, to argue against abortion from the standpoint of the "sanctity of life" is absurd.

The following is the argumentation for the sanctity of life presented by Charles Swindoll and his book Sanctity of Life: The Inescapable Issue. Since Chuck is a well respected speaker/thinker of modern Christianity (and I respect him and his work a lot), I'm pretty sure he's got it worked out as well as anyone.
  • First: God sets apart human life as unique and valuable since it bears His image.
  • Second: Because this is true, God commands that all human life be preserved and protected.
  • Third: Human life begins within the womb, where God personally and sovereignly superintends the development and maturation of the fetus before birth.
  • Fourth: Therefore, since it is God's will that every child's life be protected after birth, it is certainly His will that such protection apply to the child in his or her prenatal state.

  • All of those statements are good and true. This is certainly solid examples of the importance and precious nature of human life. This is also a very solid argument against abortion for anyone who believes the Bible to be at least a good standard for morality.

    However, this is not argument enough for me to believe that there is a sanctity to life that makes life to the most important thing. There are far too many examples in Scripture where God tells people to kill (totally annihilate; read: genocide) other peoples, or merely knocks off someone Himself, to hold to a view that "God thinks human life is so sacred that is must not be killed". Does this mean that murder is okay? Clearly not. Does this mean that I think it is good to kill off people? Absolutely not! But there is reason for rejecting murder that is much better than claiming life is too holy to kill because God, the expert on holiness, doesn't even buy that.

    So what is the argument that should stand?


    We are called to love people, even our enemies, and killing them would go against that. This is oddly appropriate for the subject of abortion since the stats I see say that roughly 93% of abortions are due to reasons that the baby is "unwanted or inconvenient". Guess what? Even if your baby is an "enemy" to your lifestyle, tough. You're supposed to love this child enough to get over that.

    But what's interesting about that statistic site is that 18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as "Born-again/Evangelical". Why is that? My guess: A lack of love.

    I can easily see how "Good Christian girls" who get pregnant will not feel the support they need to carry the baby to term. Perhaps they get strong vibes against their pregnancy and their baby. Perhaps they are just too ashamed to show that they sinful. Perhaps they are scared that the Christians around them will judge them, or worse (a very likely scenario).

    So, what does this world need now? "Love, sweet love." If Christians were more loving, we would likely see a substantial number of abortions from our community drop off. Our love would also get into the rest of our communities which would inspire expecting mothers to love their yet to be born children as well.

    So, let's stop talking non-sense and trying to use some kind of "moral highway" or "principle" to sway people to choose life. Instead, let us love one another, call others to such a way of life as well. Because, without love (or law) it will be impossible to convince people that life is sacred.

    ~Luke Holzmann

    Ps. It may be argued that since "sanctity" could be defined as "set apart for God" that He could do what He wants with life, but we must not touch it. This is a decent etymological argument, but not enough to convince me of the sanctity of life.

    Pps. What of those wondering how a loving God could kill people? That is an issue that is too big to deal with at this moment, so I leave it to your study and perhaps a later post.

    Friday, January 18, 2008

    Fortune Cookies Are Right

    ...sort of.

    I was in a meeting last night with some very smart people who also happen to make a lot of money. Because I would love to become smarter and make more money so I can do cool things, I was very disappointed when the leader spouted off several statements that were little better, if not worse, than some of the things we had read in our fortune cookies over dinner.

    First, allow me to touch on a point that I think very much is true and came to mind during the meeting: "Stewardship" has allowed Christians to tip very poorly. If you, or anyone you know, has ever worked waiting tables, you know that Christians--especially in large "fellowshipping" groups on Sunday--leave terrible tips... if that much. This has long been a misery and mystery to the people serving food on Sundays. I've wondered about it as well, knowing that I too would tend to not tip. "Stewardship" (taking care of what one has) is a likely culprit (and the fact that we are greedy and don't trust God to provide but consider that's okay because at least we aren't sleeping around). Since we are told over and over to be good stewards of our resources, we have justified our stinginess. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if some people didn't tithe because they were trying to be a "better steward" of their money. But now I'm way off topic.

    Fortune cookies.

    It is quite possible to make a statement or prediction almost universally true if it is generic enough. For instance:

    You have a strong need to take your thoughts in your own direction and may find it difficult to compromise. Originality is favored here, but dealing with routine activities can be a bit of a challenge. This is a dynamic period in which nothing seems to be standing still, especially you. Even if you are calm on the outside, it is likely that your insides will be jumping around. This restlessness can lead to hasty actions but may also motivate you to make some changes in your daily life.

    I just pulled that off the first horoscope page I found. Wow! That's me... almost. I love all the wishy-washy phrases: "may find" "can be" "it is likely" "can lead" "but may also". Obviously tailored to my exact experience. Most of the time these kinds of statements are true because you make them true.

    So, what do you think about the following, given that you have belief structure that assumes God created everything and saved your soul:

    Which of the following is the question we should answer:
  • 1. What should I do with my money?
  • 2. What should I do with God's money?
  • 3. What does God want me to do with His money?

  • Obviously, we were told, it is 3, but "sadly" we all act like it is 2. Sounds good, right? Yes, but it's about as true as my horoscope.

    Granted, God is in control of everything and everything is His. However, the reason we ask question 2 instead of 3 is not because we feel like we'd do a better job than God, but because we do not have a "prime directive" of what we are supposed to do with God's money. Thus, we ask: What should I do with it? Let us not become confused.

    At the end of the meeting I asked what I should do if I felt like I knew what I was supposed to be doing, but that it didn't make any money. I was told that if I had talent, passion, and God's purpose behind me it would make money. When I challenged this idea, I was told that perhaps it "wasn't time yet" and God was still working on me before He'd pour out the floodgates of Heaven.


    Perhaps not. How would we know? It's a fortune cookie statement. I could make it true, or I could reject it like the half-butted comment that it is. There's not truth in that statement, just what truth I impart to it. Since I'm hardly the standard for what is true, let's not trust me.

    How many good things, with talent, passion, and God's purpose behind them struggle? Many. Most? I'm not sure, but it certainly isn't only a handful. Too many ministries are constantly scraping by and calling for more funds for the advice I was given to be true.

    Which leads to the last untruth: God has blessed our family with much wealth because He looked into our lives and saw that we could do great things for His Kingdom.

    It's true as long as you only look at the self-serving bits. Do my parents do great things for God's Kingdom? Definitely. Did God give them their wealth that has allowed them to do this? Certainly. Does that mean that God gives money (and remember that He owns everything, so has everything to give) to certain individuals because He saw what a great impact that could have on people if He did? No. There are far too many rich jerks in the world for that to be "the reason" God blesses some people with wealth.

    The world isn't as simple as we'd like it to be. Does that mean I'm against reading my fortune cookies? No. But it does mean that when I read them I smile because the wisdom therein is imputed from me.

    Well, I've got to go shower quickly because I'll be a little late for work.

    ~Luke Holzmann