Friday, May 20, 2011

There Is No Other Stream

Evangel's favorite Narnia passage and one of mine too....

Jill, a young girl, has been transported to another world, and nears a stream to satisfy her thirst—but sees a lion, a lion that frightens her. And then, the lion speaks: “If you’re thirsty, you may drink.”
Anyway, she had seen its lips move this time, and the voice was not like a man’s. It was deeper, wilder, and stronger; a sort of heavy, golden voice. It did not make her any less frightened than she had been before, but it made her frightened in rather a different way.
“Are you not thirsty?” said the lion.
“I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill.
“Then drink,” said the lion.
“May I—could I—would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.
The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
“Will you promise not to—do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.
“I make no promise,” said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
“Do you eat girls?” she said.
“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.
“Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.
“Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”
“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.
—C. S. Lewis, The Silver Chair

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"...Just Start Admitting That We Do Actually Want To Indoctrinate Kids"

Refreshing in its honesty if nothing else... this article from Queerty. H/T Bulldog and Ronin

"...Why would we push anti-bullying programs or social studies classes thatteach kids about the historical contributions of famous queers unless we wanted to deliberately educate children to accept queer sexuality as normal?

... I for one certainly want tons of school children to learn that it’s OK to be gay, that people of the same sex should be allowed to legally marry each other, and that anyone can kiss a person of the same sex without feeling like a freak. And I would very much like for many of these young boys to grow up and start fucking men. I want lots of young ladies to develop into young women who voraciously munch box. I want this just as badly as many parents want their own kids to grow up and rub urinary tracts together to trade proteins and forcefully excrete a baby.
I and a lot of other people want to indoctrinate, recruit, teach, and expose children to queer sexuality AND THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. ..."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He Is Risen

Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.
It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.
The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that–pierced–died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.
Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.
The stone is rolled back, not papier-mâché,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.
And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.
Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.
—John Updike, Seven Stanzas At Easter, 1964

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cause and Effect and Global Warming Hysteria

When scientists confuse cause and effect aka "that's my story and I'm sticking to it."
H/T to Secondhand Smoke for picking up on the article from the WSJ

For  years we have heard that we humans have caused CO2 to rise–and hence it is “physics,” to  use Al Gore’s terminology–that we are causing warming.  Proof was in the ice core pudding.  But then, we found that the earth warmed before the CO2 level rose in the past.  But why let that interfere with an easy to sell government/GWH complex story line? More here

Defend It If You Can- Esolen on the Sexual Revolution

Anthony Esolen over at Public Discourse takes on the Sexual Revolution from the view of the common good...
and Magister Christianus has some great comment (as usual) over at Bedlam and Parnassus..

"...let the sexual revolution be justified on grounds of the common good. I believe it fails that test miserably, with evidence that is weighty, obvious, manifold, logically and anthropologically deducible, and clearly predictable by wisdom both pagan and Christian. Let them make their case, rather than asserting a principle that, in reality, would destroy the very idea of the common good. For if we cannot appeal to the common good in a matter so fundamental, I do not see how we can appeal to it in any other." 
Read the whole thing

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Creed

First Things presents its first video, The Creed: What Christians Profess, and Why It Ought to Matter. Produced by actor, director, and writer, Tim Kelleher,The Creed is a remarkable film about why the radical claims made in the Nicene Creed are so important to all of us.

Whether you are a student or a teacher; one struggling with questions of faith or a believer,
The Creed will be a challenging and rewarding experience.

A good Youtube video too:

Friday, April 1, 2011

Maybe nothing we do matters at all.........but....... what if everything does?

This is a must read, and I do not say that lightly. Baron Batch played football for Texas Tech and graduated last year. He authored a column in the Lubbock paper his senior year.
The day after the bowl game on January 1, he jumped on a plane for Haiti with Operation Hope. Class act, indeed.

Diary 25 (when ripples collide)

Let me start by saying I’m not sure how to convey this story in words. Words don’t do it justice but I’ll try.

Have you ever watched rain fall on a lake? Each raindrop creates its own ripple. When you combine the millions of raindrops and the millions of ripples that each singularly creates, you have a countless number of overlapping ripples that all have an effect on one another. The cool thing about this is that each raindrops ripple has an effect on the other ripples in the lake, even if it’s just in a small way. This is how people operate on a daily basis. We are individual raindrops in a huge lake. Of course each of us has our own ripple, but our lives are primarily made up of other peoples ripples crashing into our own. Many people like to think that our ripples crash randomly into each other without purpose or reason. Maybe that’s true, but then again maybe it’s not true at all. Perhaps I can help you decide. Maybe this story is the result of many ripples just coincidentally crashing into each other. Or maybe each ripple was ordered, measured, weighed, named, and timed perfectly to synchronize with the others to save a life.

The story I am about to tell shows what happens when ripples collide perfectly.

Ripple 1.)

Just about every day someone approaches me and tells me how much they enjoy my writing, this is always humbling because I was never a good writer while I was in school. It’s strange to now be a published writer and have zero writing experience or background. It’s even more insane to get a request to speak to a high school creative writing class! What do I say? “Hi, my name is Baron. I failed English, let me show you my writing skills?"  I’m not really sure how things got to this point where writing is such a huge part of who I am. Maybe it’s all a coincidence. Maybe everything is just random, and this is another one of my crazy hobbies that I have picked up; just like the time I watched the Karate Kid marathon and then researched bonsai trees and decided I needed one. Or maybe there is a reason, maybe there is an order, maybe there could possibly be a plan.

Maybe someone, somewhere, at some time, needed to read something that I would at some point write. 
Would it be far-fetched to say that there is a reason you are standing where you are standing at this exact moment and reading these words at this exact time? Would it be far fetched to say that a small decision that you see as pointless or routine could save a life? Perhaps we are all far more connected than anyone can see or comprehend. Maybe one day you will save my life. It’s not as far-fetched as you may think.  Maybe everything is just a coincidence, but maybe its not.
Get on board, buckle up, and lets take a trip.

Ripple 2.)

Back in August I approached the Midland Reporter Telegram and the Lubbock Avalanche Journal about possibly writing a weekly column chronicling my senior year at Texas Tech. After talking with both papers I came to the decision that my column would run every Wednesday. Maybe the fact that we agreed on Wednesday was simply random. What if we would have decided on a Thursday? No biggie right? Would if be far-fetched to say that this would be a life or death decision?

Ripple 3.)

As the season progressed I continued to write every week. However, it became increasingly difficult to write my column especially after a loss. People said that I wasn’t focused and it was hurting the team. There were weeks I told myself that I was just going to quit writing. I rationalized my thinking by telling myself that I should probably just focus all my attention on football, and that writing was distracting me.  It probably wouldn’t have been a big deal if I had missed a week right? Every part of me wanted to quit writing my column. After the Oklahoma State loss I decided I was going to discontinue my column. A friend talked me into continuing my writing by saying “maybe someone needs to hear something you have to say Baron.”  I decided not to stop. I’m glad I didn’t. 
This is where ripples collide.

Ripple 4.)

Last Monday I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed. It’s not as bad as everyone makes it out to be, so the next day I decided that I wanted to have a steak.  As I was strolling through the meat section of the supermarket directly violating the dentists orders to eat only soft foods, something happened that changed the way I will use the word random.

As I was checking out the price on ribeye steaks an older man came up to me with his hand extended and said, “Your Baron Batch and I just want to shake your hand and say thank you”.
I could tell by the look in his eyes that the handshake meant much more than I imagined. The look in his eyes was different than if he was just a regular Texas Tech fan. The man just continued to shake my hand while staring at me; it started to get awkward the amount of time his hand clung to mine. I thought to myself “gees this guy is acting like I saved his life or something.” Finally he let go of my hand but still didn’t speak a word. Of all the awkward Texas Tech fan moments I have experienced this one had been the most awkward for sure. I got nervous when he prefaced his conversation with “I don’t expect you to respond to what I’m about to tell you”

Ripple 5.)

Finally he released  his grasp and spoke words that I will never forget. This is what he said:
You saved my life. Five months ago I had given up, I was going to end it all.  It was a Wednesday (ripple 2). I felt like I had nothing else to live for. I had my pistol in my lap while I sat at my desk. I had set newspaper out around the floor so I wouldn’t make a mess for whoever found me. I was about to do it. Right before I pulled the trigger I looked down and saw a piece of newspaper that said, “The easiest thing in the world to do is quit.” I put the gun down and started to read more. It was a column that you had written. Your column saved me. Thank you.

I’m glad that he told me that he didn’t expect me to respond because I was speechless. I was in awe. I was stunned. Before I could even think of anything to say back to him he said, “I’m doing much better now. I feel like you just needed to know that you’re making a huge difference.” Then he walked away.

I’m not an emotional person at all but I almost cried in the meat section of the United Supermarket. At that exact moment all of those random coincidences swirled into one beautiful event that made perfect sense. 

What if I had chose to have my column run on a Thursday instead of a Wednesday? It would have been a day late. What if I had given up writing my column simply because the season wasn’t going as I wanted? There are hundreds of ripples that if any had been changed would have NOT resulted in the perfect situation for that man to sit the gun down. What if my column had been printed on another page of the newspaper? I was in complete awe, and still am.

I was curious to find out what the exact column the man had read by what he described it said.

Ripple 6.)

This is why I am even more in awe. I went back and found out what column he had read and this is the paragraph he saw.

 “The easiest thing in the world to do is quit on something. Quitting takes zero effort. Quitting can even be justified with excuses and legitimate reasons at times. When someone quits at something they can even lie to themselves by saying that what they quit on wasn’t that important. To those people with that mentality this is what I have to say. If it was important enough to start, it is important enough to finish. Don’t quit. Hold on, cling to what is yours until your fingers cramp; and once your fingers cramp switch hands.”

Ripple 7.)

I wrote that column on October 18th after a loss to Oklahoma State in mid October. There are a few reasons why I find it mind blowing that was the column that the man had read.

Ripple 8.)

 I wasn’t going to write a column that week. After the Oklahoma State loss I had decided I wasn’t going to write anymore. The reason I wrote about not quitting in my column that week was because I really wanted to quit and never write again. Good thing I didn’t quit.

Ripple 9.)

The other is reason that its mind blowing that was the column that the man read is because of the date it was actually written. When I went back and looked on my blog history, the date I posted that was October 18th. So why is that date important?

 Let me tell you why, and I’m getting chills as I write this. October 18th was the date I broke my ankle my freshman year. The reason this date is important to me is because if I wouldn’t have been injured I would have never redshirted and in result would have only played at Texas Tech for 4 years instead of 5; meaning that this past season for me wouldn’t have existed, and neither would the column I wrote.

Ripple 10.)

In all reality the only reason any of you are reading this right now is simply because I was at the wrong place at the wrong time on October 18th 2006 around 3:30pm  and broke my ankle my freshman year. Or maybe the reason you are reading this is because I was at the perfect place at the perfect time and broke my ankle so that our ripples would collide.

This will be my 25th column and I never would have imagined that it would have morphed into what it has. I never thought I would be known as a writer or be approached to write books. I mean seriously, I was the kid who hated English class and still don't really enjoy reading.

I had to share that story with everyone simply because its blown my mind for the past few days. Maybe that’s all just one humongous coincidence and series of random events that I somehow constructed into a story. Maybe its all luck and chance, maybe you stumbled on this article randomly surfing the web. Maybe nothing we do matters at all.........but....... what if everything does? 

God Bless.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Egyptian Armed Forces Fire At Christian Monasteries, 19 Injured

(AINA) -- For the second time in as many days, Egyptian armed force stormed the 5th century old St. Bishoy monastery in Wadi el-Natroun, 110 kilometers from Cairo. Live ammunition was fired, wounding two monks and six Coptic monastery workers. Several sources confirmed the army's use of RPG ammunition. Four people have been arrested including three monks and a Coptic lawyer who was at the monastery investigating yesterday's army attack.
Monk Aksios Ava Bishoy told activist Nader Shoukry of Freecopts the armed forces stormed the main entrance gate to the monastery in the morning using five tanks, armored vehicles and a bulldozer to demolish the fence built by the monastery last month to protect themselves and the monastery from the lawlessness which prevailed in Egypt during the January 25 Uprising... More

Friday, February 18, 2011

‘Death panels’: Canadian court rules baby’s life support removed against parents’ wishes

LONDON, Ontario, February 17, 2011 ( - One-year-old Joseph Maraachli of Windsor, Ontario will have his life support removed Monday at 10 am. after the Ontario Superior Court today rejected an appeal by the parents to bring him home where he can die under their care....

...“I asked them: why not send him to Windsor and let him die at home?” he continued.  “They said they will give him injection, but I don’t want to.”...