On Faith and Feeling

I awoke to the following post, and it genuinely sparked my curiosity, as I am one of those people that worships only because I prefer to receive reward rather than punishment in the event that there is, in fact, an afterlife.

“If we worship God because we are afraid of punishment and Hell, then we are not worshipping God at all. If we worship God because we hope to receive a reward now and in the future an entry to Heaven, then we are not worshipping God at all.”

Where does that leave those of us who, for biologically complex reasons, have brains incapable of “feeling” and emotion? Are we then doomed as a result of having been created incapable of having a real relationship with an intangible force as we possess only logic and reason, with no satisfactory spiritual-emotional abilities? For me, I worship only because it is what my father pounded into me. I neither see nor feel anything spiritually. But I do it to honour my father, and because I was taught that it is right. Due to the way the Divine saw fit to create me, I am incapable of truly believing in the unseen. The emotions that I do feel are 1. content, and 2. malcontent. I see in black and white with no shades of grey. I follow logic and emotion.

I am unencumbered by the emotional slavery that leads so many to clam to be of faith and yet follow their own whims while attempting to justify it with the holy book whose rules they are breaking. I do exactly what the faith I follow requires of me. Always. Without any deviation. But I don’t feel, and I don’t truly believe. I act only because following the rules makes me a better person, and because if it turns out that there is an afterlife (and I say if because I have in fact, died before, and there was nothing. I simply ceased to exist until I was revived. Similar to going to sleep without any dreams, and awaking.), I don’t want to suffer in it as well.

Where does that leave me?

Xubuntu to Debian

One of my daughters is running Xubuntu on her laptop. Since the latest release of Debian (9.0 “Stretch”) should, in theory, have packages and kernel which are updated and superior to her 17.04 install of Xubuntu, I’m going to try a direct update from Xubuntu to Debian using dist-upgrade.

First, I will do a complete backup of her Minecraft worlds, music and any documents. Then I will edit her /etc/apt/sources.list to comment out all the Xubuntu/Ubuntu repositories and add entries for the new Debian “Stretch” repositories.

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

And comment out the current Xubuntu/Ubuntu repositories, and add the following:

deb http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ stretch main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ stretch main contrib non-free

deb http://security.debian.org/ stretch/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ stretch/updates main contrib non-free

# stretch-updates, previously known as ‘volatile’
deb http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ stretch-updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ stretch-updates main contrib non-free

deb ftp://ftp.deb-multimedia.org stretch main non-free

Then I’ll update the package list:

sudo aptitude update

Finally, I’ll check compatibility of the more… “important” packages, and at last run:

sudo aptitude upgrade -y
sudo aptitude dist-upgrade

It’s likely that this won’t work, but it will still be a fun little experiment, since she wants the latest Debian anyway. Worst case scenario, I wipe the drive and do a fresh install. The only customization that her install really has anyway, is Oracle Java JRE 9 and MultiMC for Minecraft. The rest is standard OpenSource.

I’ll be sure and let you know how it worked out!!! If, by chance, it does work well, I’ll do some testing of essential functions to ensure that everything still works smoothly.

Memorial Day 2017

Winfield Kansas remembers.

With a replica of the Washington DC monument, the Winfield, Kansas Vietnam War Memorial lists all Kansas residents lost in Vietnam. Plans for the Vietnam War Memorial in Winfield began in 1987 when friends who had gathered for a class reunion wanted to find a way to honor their fallen classmates.  The project quickly grew from honoring only Cowley County servicemen to representing all 777 servicemen and nurses from Kansas who lost their lives or are missing in action from the Vietnam War. It was also created as a tribute to servicemen and nurses who served in any world war, and the central obelisk memorializes wars from the revolutionary war, to the World War, as well as POW’s and those Missing in action.

Many gathered today at the memorial, some placing flowers, others making rubbings of the wall, and still others just pausing with loved ones to take photos. It was a very moving display. The author opted not to take photos which would include those grieving. The city placed the flags as a memorial.

Beautician In Training?

Gwendelynne decided that she was going to do Madelyne’s makeup, and Madelyne allowed it. What followed was a super cute photo opportunity, and a hilarious result. I hope you enjoy the images as much as I enjoyed watching the “beauty parlor” session.

 

The Lie of the Modern Age

We live in a world where it is preferable to be something that you are not. Where false pretence and misdirection are status quo. We are being taught that it’s required to accept people not for what they are, but for what they view themselves as. Television, magazines and ads bombard you with the message that sex before marriage is fine, if you think you’re in love. Self seeking, self pleasuring, self gratifying and chasing after carnal desire rather than being the men and women that we were created to be, in communion with the Divine, are what takes precedence. No one is what they seem. The person that you see on Facebook, so happy… are they really? The relationship that seems to be perfect online… is it?
 
The paedophile is now merely experiencing a mental disorder. The murderer isn’t to blame because his father beat him. The rapist was drunk, it’s not his fault. The protesters looted, because they got caught up in the heat of the moment. No one is to blame for their own behaviour. The evil inclination has fooled us. It has taken root and it is in control of our world. We are told that up is down, left is right, evil is good. The very moral fabric of the world is being turned on its head.
 
So what is my message to my beloved religious education students? Just this: In a world where it is not acceptable to be men and women of G-d, where being yourself is not O.K., where standing for right gets you labelled archaic and fanatical, in this world where it is no longer acceptable to be what you were created to be, I dare you to be you. Be the person that your parents have striven to help you become.
 
Follow the conscience that the world is trying to silence. Pray. Believe. Listen to the inner voice. Reject evil, no matter how many others are telling you that it is good. Be men and women of G-d. Reject the world, and embrace all that will ensure your place in the world that is to come. In a world where being FAKE is preferred, be real. In a world where G-d is dead, show them that He is alive. In a world where being who you were created to be is labelled bigotry, be the best you that you can be anyway.
 
“Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.” ― Leo Tolstoy
 
“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
 
“More evil gets done in the name of righteousness than any other way.” ― Glen Cook
 
“Perhaps it is better to be irresponsible and right, than to be responsible and wrong.” ― Winston S. Churchill
 
“Errors do not cease to be errors simply because they’re ratified into law.” ― E.A. Bucchianeri
 
“The fact that good people can be forced to do wrong doesn’t make them less good. But it also doesn’t make the wrong less wrong.” ― Ovadya ben Malkaa

Fun in the rain

My two youngers bundled up (not sure why) to go get soaked, playing in a rain puddle in our driveway. General hilarity ensued, particularly due to the oversize purple coat selected by the youngest. 💜

All the while, my cat relaxed and observed them with little more than a passive curiosity… She appeared both comfortable, and unimpressed by their antics.

Five Years

Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of the passing of my father, עליו השלום. He is sorely missed. Even more so since I visited my mother this year in Arizona. She’s having a rough time, and at one point she mentioned that she couldn’t go into her room because Jim was in there sleeping, and she didn’t want to bother him. It was very sad indeed to hear her speak like that. She’s 85 now. He would have been 89 this August.

My father was preceded in death by his parents Theodore and Olive (Taylor) Floyd, and his Sister Barbara Parsons-Smith. He is survived by his Wife of 33 years, one Sister, his five Children (of whom I am the only son), his four Step-Children, 31 Grandchildren, 52 Great-Grandchildren, three Nieces and numerous Cousins.

Jim was born on August 25, 1928 at Midian, Kansas. He grew up in Rock, Kansas, graduating from Douglas high school in 1946. He joined the Army soon afterward. He is a World War II veteran spending over four years in Germany as a forward observer prior to being honorably discharged in 1952. He retired from Cessna Aircraft with 45 years of service. He passed away May, 9th 2012.

 

Today I received a very nice email from Chabad.

Yahrtzeit Reminder

Dear Mr. Floyd,

Here is your reminder for the following upcoming yahrtzeit:

James Floyd
Shabbat, May 13, 2017 – Iyar 17, 5777
Passed away, Tucson, AZ May 9, 2012 / 17 Iyyar, 5772

The yahrtzeit begins with sunset the night before, when the yahrtzeit candle should be lit. (See below for details on when to light if the day before is Shabbat or a holiday).

A Note Regarding When to Light Your Yahrtzeit Candle

The yahrtzeit candle is customarily lit at sunset the night before the yahrtzeit. However, Jewish law forbids the kindling of a flame on Shabbat, and there are some restrictions regarding fire on major Jewish holidays. Therefore:

If the yahrtzeit is on Shabbat, be sure light the yahrtzeit candle before the Shabbat candles are lit on Friday afternoon. If the yahrtzeit is on Sunday, light the candle after the conclusion of Shabbat.

If yahrtzeit is on a Jewish holiday, light before the onset of the holiday (using a 48-hour candle for yahrtzeits on the second day of the holiday) or make sure to light it from a preexisting flame that was kindled prior to the start of the holiday.

How to observe a yahrtzeit

It’s the little things that people do that make a big difference. Even if this was an automated message, it was still very heartwarming to receive. May my father’s soul have an aliyah!