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