May 22, 2009

Things that make you go, "hmmm."

I'm borrowing this post from my friend over at Living in Fairyland. I did check at snopes, just like she did. I think it's reasonable to note that snopes did have a few qualifiers about energy use and such. However, the researchers at snopes do agree that for the most part the following information is accurate.

Tale of Two Houses

House #1
A 20 room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house, all heated by gas. In one month this residence consumes more energy than the average American household does in a year. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2400 per month. In natural gas alone, this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not situated in a Northern or Midwestern 'snow belt' area. It's in the South.

House #2
Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university. This house incorporates every 'green' feature current home construction can provide. The house is 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on a high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat-pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground.

The water (usually 67 degrees F) heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas and it consumes one-quarter electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Surrounding flowers and shrubs native to the area enable the property to blend into the surrounding rural landscape.

HOUSE #1 is outside of Nashville , Tennessee ;
It is the abode of the
'Environmentalist' Al Gore.

HOUSE #2 is on a ranch near Crawford , Texas ;
It is the residence of the Ex-President of the United States , George W. Bush.

An 'inconvenient truth.'

I sure hope this gets passed to everyone!
And, yes ... I DID check Snopes prior to forwarding it.

You can verify it at:

May 18, 2009

Working it out in my head

Yesterday marked six years of marriage. Usually, we do not get along on our anniversary. I don't know why. This year, we got along just fine. Unfortunately, while we were at church, our apartment was broken into, the television removed, and several video games stolen. I need to make it clear that while I am upset about the stuff (it was our stuff), it isn't that big a deal. It's just stuff and it is insured. My pets were unharmed. That is a big deal. God is very good to us. In case you're wondering why my dog doesn't prevent events like this, it isn't his fault. I lock him in his kennel when I leave the apartment. Then he doesn't eat my stuff. Then he isn't in as much danger of being hurt or running away if someone breaks in. Moving on.

So we came home to a broken (but closed, and so my cat did not leave) door. A missing TV. The knowledge that someone had been inside the apartment and violated our space. I called the police. I cried. Not over the stuff, but over the paralyzing fear that hit me when the cat didn't come to my call and I was too afraid to walk through the apartment looking even though reason made it perfectly clear that no one was there but me. I called the insurance company. Bryan began cataloging his games to make a list of the missing. Bryan called his mother. We couldn't meet her to have her take Sean so we could go out for our anniversary. The broken lock had us securely bound to our home. She came to us, fetched lunch, helped Bryan set up a spare TV, bought new cables for it since all of the cables had been damaged when the TV was ripped away from them. She is a rock, thank God. Maintenance came and repaired the door, installed a new lock. We could go. We sent Sean with his Lala. We stayed home. Neither one of us had much appetite, and I saw no point in paying extra for food we wouldn't enjoy. Maybe we'll try it again another night. Maintenance also gave me a gerry bar. It's a 2x4 cut and notched to jam up under the door knob to keep intruders out while I am home. On the slippery linoleum, it doesnt do much, but it will give me a second to grab Bryan's rapier from the high shelf by the door while I send Sean to his room with the dog. I learned this about myself: if the need arises, I will not hesitate to stab someone to defend my son and our home. I'll feel really bad about it later, but I will still stand in the door, cell phone in one hand dialing 911, sword in the other, waiting for an opportunity.

Today I had to go get Sean. Leaving was hard. What if...I refused to finish the thought. I was not made to live in fear. I am keeping my mind steadfast with every ounce of determination I can muster. I will be kept in perfect peace. I had to pick Sean up, shop for food, go to the apartment office to request politely that I be given a different, higher, less isolated apartment with no transfer fee. The manager is out for training for three days. I was assured that my requrest will probably be granted upon her return, because it is reasonable. And because the police officer suggested that I move because now the thieves have seen our electronic wealth. They will probably be back. I will call again later in the week. It's a slow week, so I won't be going out much. I can stay home, near the rapier and the door.

I stayed in the office for too long, chatting with the receptionist. Fear had crept in while I was grocery shopping. In between prayers praising God for his faithfulness, thanking Him for the Good that will come out of this, asking for His favor as I handle police reports, insurance claims, and moving, fear had slipped back into my head. So I chatted with the receptionist to avoid going home. Nothing in my life experience has prepared me to be afraid of coming home.

So I came home. The groceries had to put away. The pets need me. I live here. I marched up to the building, arms full of food, praying my confidence out loud. I am not afraid. I have not been given a spirit of timidity. And I stopped to examine the door anyway. It appeared untouched, so I turned the knob and pushed. Still locked. So I unlocked the door, and while I spoke fearlessness, my hand shook. I put the food on the table, walked through the apartment. All clear. Back to the car for the rest, and Sean had to go with me. I don't know what I think will happen while my back is turned for two minutes. I don't want to know. We took the dog out. I called Bryan to let him know I'm home and safe, even though I still don't feel safe.

I'm working it out in my head. Jesus will work it out in my heart. He is sovereign, and will keep me in perfect peace because my thoughts are steadfast. With His hand on me, I will overcome the fear that I know does not belong to me. I just wanted to write it all down, so I'll have a clear testimony of my deliverance. And because now that I've said it, now that I've identified it in words, it's easier to keep moving past it. It is fear, and it doesn't belong to me. Better, I do NOT belong to it. I belong to the King of Everything. God is for me, who can stand against me?