Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Flu, of course, is short for "influenza" (I opened the door and in flew Enza) and is not to be confused with gastroenteritis (like the norwalk virus that often shuts down our care centres). There are 3 main types of the flu (A, B, and C), of which A is the most common and problematic. The H1N1 version of influenza A is the same variant that was the Spanish Flu (1918) and the Swine Flu (2009) but, as with all flu viruses, it has morphed a bit. This year's version (which the flu shot does prevent, by the way) is hitting young adults especially hard, with the majority of deaths being people in the 20-40 range, which is unusual since most flu fatalities are the very young or very old.
So, someone might ask "why did God invent viruses in the first place"? That's a great question. However, viruses turn out to be overall beneficial to our planet (and its inhabitants) by helping rain fall (viruses in the air allow water droplets to form around them and turn into rain drops), keep populations of creatures in check, and provide medical research avenues into gene therapy treatments (see reasons.org for more).
So, wash your hands, get your flu shot, and don't lick door knobs.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
At the heart of this whole experience is an attitude that has been drummed in to each member of the staff... that they are there to serve us. Frankly, for us pastors we get a little uncomfortable with all the fuss because, usually, we're the ones doing the serving. Real leadership is serving. That's what Jesus taught us. Each member of the hotel is, in fact, emulating Jesus when they serve us. They may not know it (yet), but they are! And each year we have our socks blessed off by the men and women who serve us. Many of them are young people working in Banff from around the country and around the globe. Many others of "lifers" who have made a career out of serving others. Regardless of their background or rank, their job is to serve.
Now, imagine for a minute if every church member decided to serve others each week? What would Sundays look like? What would the rest of the week look like? I'm pretty sure we'd have socks lying all over the place!
If you want to be great in God's kingdom, learn to be the servant of all.
PS. Bread plate is to the left. Water glass is to the right. Use utensils from the outside in. :)
Thursday, October 24, 2013
On at least three different occasions, Jesus broke down the cultural stereotypes that the much hated Samaritans had for the Jews. The woman at the well, the Good Samaritan, and the healed Samaritan leper. The Good Samaritan was a parable which, no doubt, ruffled some Jewish feathers since the Samaritan was the hero of the story. The other two were real people, and Jesus treated them as...well... real people. And that's the tip off of what's wrong with stereotypes. They can paint someone with a broad brush that has nothing to do with them personally. Jesus dealt with the real people as persons...and individuals... and cool stuff happened.
So, next time you cross paths with someone from "another group" of whatever kind it may be...get to know them as a person and place those stereotypes on the back burner where they belong.
Friday, May 17, 2013
"Can I ask you a question?" - well, you just did and one is all I can handle right now.
"It goes without saying." - but they are going to say it anyway.
"It literally...." - there is a good chance that it actually isn't literal.
"I'm looking forward to ... " - it's in the future....you have no choice but to look forward to it. You could be looking forward to a colonoscopy for that matter.
"Like...." - like we don't get like enough like likes already
"With all due respect." - yes, you are about to hear something that shows they don't respect you or your view on something.
And finally, "For Christ's sake" - You weren't expecting a swear, were you?! But there it is....which usually means that someone thinks that what you just did or just said was stupid or unwelcomed. But, what would actually be "for Christ's sake?" I think if you were actually doing something for Christ's sake, it would be a good thing. So, giving a cup of water, helping the sick and needy, being hospitable to strangers, sharing resources, giving of your time, talents, and income, telling people about Jesus. All of these would be wonderful things to do and, each of them would qualify as being done for Christ's sake.
So, go do something for Christ's sake!
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Yes, we have it tough. The previous tenants of this area of the world were troopers. Hardy. Tough. Hard working.
So, the next time you think you want to complain about the weather, be glad you weren't born 300 years ago...or 2000 years ago... which brings up to Easter... next week.
PS. Happy Birthday to my beloved wife on Friday!!
Thursday, January 17, 2013
The Bible says that we are to seek God, first and foremost, and His right things for our life. Since God created us He actually knows what is the best for us. When we put the pursuit of pleasure (happiness) first in our lives we end up overdosing and causing problems. However, people often get confused at this point and think that God actually doesn't want us to have pleasure at all....which is far from the truth. God is the master of dispensing pleasure in just the right amounts so as to not sully it or cause it to cause us problems. God designed pleasure to be experienced in all areas of life (physical, emotional, sexual, relational) within His boundaries so that we can get the most enjoyment and fulfillment possible out of it.
My mom used to say "don't spoil your appetite" when we'd go for a snack just before a main meal. But simply putting off my desire to snack I am able to anticipate and enjoy my special meal that much more! Michelle and I were heading out to a Christmas party meal and I purposely avoided snacking all that afternoon so that I could enjoy my meal to it's fullest! And it worked. It is a disappointing thing to sit down for a wonderful meal only to discover that you aren't actually hungry for it. Maybe that's why restaurants advertise like crazy around meal times. They are hoping to catch you when you're hungry!
So, learn to trust God with your pleasures and He'll ensure they don't turn into pain!
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Today there are folks who don't believe in the Big Bang and they get called heretics by the scientific establishment all the time... and there isn't a church person in sight.
Getting others to believe what you believe does make you feel better. Ask an Amway salesman. However, if you know the truth, getting others to see the truth is good...regardless of whether it's in line with your beliefs or not. Like... "there is a tidal wave coming"! If it's true then "thanks for sharing". If it's not true then you're a jerk looking for attention. Christ profoundly disagreed with the religious people of his day... even called them names... but never wavered from treating them with love. It's the Christian way... other faiths...not so much.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Thanks for the wonderful investment Mom!
Happy Mother's Day!
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
One of my favourite TV characters is Oscar Leroy of Corner Gas fame. Oscar had a habit of calling, well, pretty much everyone, a jackass. While that particular phrase would be characterized as a "mild" curse word... it still is a curse word and, is so, because it demeans the other person. Pretty much all the words/phrases that society considers taboo are words that either degrade a beautiful thing and/or degrade the person the word is directed at. And a word doesn't have to be an official "swear" to be damaging. Limbaugh used the word "prostitute", which isn't an offensive word by itself; but he was using it in such a way as to demean and belittle a person.
So, here's the rub. The Bible instructs us to watch our mouths and let our speech be seasoned with salt. We need more respectful speech with everyone, including our enemies! Explosive and abusive language has no valid reason to exist in our world today...however, it seems that the media thinks just the opposite! TV shows, movies, and music are all pulling us to the potty mouth instead of the salt mouth. Invectives are now common place on prime time TV, somehow making a show "edgy" or "hip" but, in reality, they are making it like a Jr. High locker room. My mom always said that a mature person can control his/her tongue.
By the way, many people attempt to enforce the "taking the Lord's name in vain" commandment with this stuff... but any biblical scholar will tell you that it doesn't actually apply here. The third commandment is more about swearing an oath than curse words.
Would it be too much to ask to have this whole Limbaugh/Fluke issue result in people respecting others with their words?
Is it too much to ask our Parliament to not hurl insults while others are talking?
Is it too much to ask TV/Movies/Music to tone it down?
Is it too much?
I actually don't think it is!
Saturday, March 10, 2012
You can always tell when a person has a stiff neck because when he needs to turn to look to either side, he turns his entire body instead of just his head. It hurts too much so he turns everything...or, better yet, doesn't turn at all. I can remember driving with a stiff neck and not wanting to do my shoulder check when changing lanes... I just wanted to look forward and not see what was beside me.
If you are leading an ox team, having them be “stiff necked” means you can’t direct them very easily... they just want to go where they want to go.
When the term “stiff necked” is used in the Bible, it’s not actually talking about a stiff neck... but rather stubbornness. The kind of bull (or ox) headedness that prevents someone from paying attention to God. The prophets used the term often in the Old Testament, referring to the stubbornness of the Israelites; and the apostolic martyr Stephen used it in Acts 7:51 saying, ““You stiff-necked people!.....You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!” It’s pretty clear from this usage that being stiff necked isn’t a good thing. When we ignore the Holy Spirit, we are being spiritually stiff necked.
I couldn’t agree more! I hate being stiff necked! Yes, I don’t like the physical kind, but I also don’t like it when I’m stiff necked spiritually. The Holy Spirit is constantly guiding and directing through His Word, prayer, fellowship, and conviction. Here’s hoping I can avoid both kinds in the future!
Monday, June 20, 2011
Being worried about a hockey game is such a trivial thing. I got a wonderful story from the my Mom's cousin (my first cousin once removed for those who are keeping track) of her teenage years living through, and after, WWII as a German speaking person living in Poland. I found myself up past 1am reading the amazing story of her plight, flight, and rescue through those terrible years in Eastern Europe. I hope to have a link to the story soon... but having her share about needing to worry about getting food, water, avoidiing bombs and rapes, losing and trying to find her family... makes any stress that we feel nowadays seems trivial, at best. We really are a blessed people living in a blessed nation at a blessed time! Count them!!
So even if my team loses (not that I'm talking about that)... I'm blessed!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Monday, June 06, 2011
According to my Dad, it is James Haugan's 42nd birthday today. I never knew much about my Uncle Jim, other than that he was hilarious, good-looking, and died in a car accident at the age of 20. I have seen home video's of him making people laugh, and there's a picture burned into my memory of him sitting with Curtis and Dean on a couch with huge manly man-thighs, and golden hair. Looked like a Hollywood Star if I ever saw one. He was dearly loved by all who knew him, a brother, a son, a friend, a fiance, an uncle. My Dad loved his little brother, I know this for many reasons, one of which happened two days ago, which I will explain later. When I visited Uncle Leroy, or Great-uncle Leroy, I was sitting in the basement with him watching some CFL football during this past summer of 2010. We got to talking about life, school, and whatnot, and we ended up on the topic of Uncle Jim. Leroy was living life away from the Lord, and he was sent to live with my Grandpa Miles and was straightened out. He came to know God, repented, and began his life on a new road. Years later, it was his turn to return the favor. Grandpa Miles sent young Jim, 20 years old, or around there, to live with Leroy at Peace River. Uncle Leroy went on to tell me about how wonderful a young man Jim was, how he had a quality about him that could only be described as "angelic", and how he turned his life over to the Lord during his time there in Peace River. There came an evening when they were eating out in Peace River and Jim had his first filet mignon. He, according to Leroy, turned to him and said, "I want to stay 20 forever." Uncle Leroy went on to tell me that he didn't know it at the time, but what he said was prophetic. Jim left shortly thereafter, but stopped in to say goodbye to Leroy and Shirley. Leroy told me that when he came to say goodbye he was glowing. Once again that word came up, angelic. Shortly after that evening, he died in a car crash. I left that conversation feeling that I came to knew my Uncle a little more.
Fast forward to this year, 2011. At a point during my school year I felt the need to see pictures and videos of my Uncle, and to show them to my girlfriend Sheila. I called upon Uncle Joell to hook a nephew up. In a matter of minutes I was in contact of a wealth of photos and a few videos of Jim. I told Sheila about how my Uncle was a movie star, how funny he was and how good he was at hockey. Once again a few blanks were filled.
My father and I watch hockey together. I should clarify, we watch a lot of Canucks together. My dad and his little brother Jim used to watch the Canucks together. It was a point of bonding for them, and it was one of many things that brought them very close. Hockey was one thing, in the very least, that the two had in common. I know for a fact that when my Dad watches the Canucks that he is cheering enough for two people, himself and his little brother.
It all came together during the last game, where the Canucks moved up 2-0 with a Burrows OT winner. The day was June 4th, two days before Jim's birthday. When the puck went in we both let out a holler, one that Richard Phillips would be proud of. We watched Alex Burrows fire an arrow up to the rafters for his late friend Luc Bourdon. I took a peek over to my Dad, normally a stoic Norwegian. His eyes were wet, my old man was getting choked up. Why? It was just game 2, wasn't it? It was much more.
I realized that whenever I watched hockey with my father, over these years, I was taking a spot. This spot was my Uncle Jim's. As brothers they would watch the Canucks, in 82 they lost out in the finals. 22 years after his brothers death, a son turning 20 this year had the privilege of sitting at his father's side finishing something that should have been accomplished a long time ago. When the Canucks score a goal, when they win a game, somehow, in some way, I know that the high-fives exchanged are not only between father and son, but between father and brother. I know that when my dad sees Burrows fire an arrow into the rafters for his late friend, he fires an arrow of his own into heaven for his little brother. Tonight in the Haugan house, as the Canucks attempt to go up 3-0, there will be three Haugan boys watching the game, one from a better seat than the other two.
In the end I can say this to all of those who have been separated from someone they love, from the book of Samuel. In David's own words comes our comfort. "I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." We shall go to him. Jim has left us, but all our family will be back together again, where many high-fives will be exchanged over a good many things, including the Stanley Cup we are all hoping the Canucks win this year.
Here's to you, the Uncle I never knew.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Throughout my life I remember a few very important pens. I got one for being in the wedding party at Ron and Carrie Stare's wedding (I don't know where it is now). I remember that I used a pen to sign my marriage license, but I don't remember what it looked like. I remember the many pens I used to write exams in high school and college. I remember I used a pen when I wrote a cheque for my first car (a yellow Ford Fiesta). I remember I used a pen when I wrote the names of our children on the government forms after their birth.
As many pens as I have... it seems that when I really need one, I can't find one... or, if I do, it refuses to write.
Pens are now commonplace in our world. Even as little as 100 years ago, pens were hard to find, expensive, and delicate. A family would have only one or two pens for the entire household, and they were kept in special places to protect them. Writing letters was the only way to communicate over great distance so people developed their penmanship and used fancy lettering to impart their emotion and feeling into their writing. Today, people use emoticons :) . Pens, like so many things that had great value and importance in the past, are now so commonplace that we don't even value them anymore (unless we can't find one).
There are more Bibles around than at any time in history. In fact, there are probably only a handful of houses in Canada that don't have one or more of them. Is your Bible (paper and/or electronic versions) becoming so commonplace that you don't value it anymore? You see it lying around the house but never use it? Pick it up, crack it open, read the words in ink (or e-ink), and let this everyday book change your life.
Typed... not handwritten... by Joell
Friday, May 27, 2011
Hughson went from Fort St John to Kelowna and then to Vancouver, where he became the understudy of my all-time favourite hockey announcer, and Saskatchewan native, Jim Robson. He eventually replaced Robson as the official CKNW Canucks' announcer 1994, and then went on to work TV games for Sportsnet and now for CBC.
Hughson's "calling card" call is saying "great save (insert goalie's name here)", and he does so with great vigour. And, as a Canucks' fan, it gives great comfort to hear those three words "great save, Luongo" time after time as they now head to the Stanley Cup finals against either Boston or Tampa Bay.
Now, as comforting as it is to hear those three words... I have to admit that inserting another name into that catch phrase actually makes a world of difference. "Great save, Jesus", while sounding a little sacrilegious, actually provides comfort to anyone on the planet who simply decides to join "God's team". Of course, Jesus doesn't stop pucks for us, but rather stops the wages of sin... and saves all of us players on the team...not for just one season, but for eternity.
Oh, and by the way, He'd love to have you join his team. Where else can you join a team that is guaranteed to win?
PS Go Canucks. :)
Thursday, May 19, 2011
And then there's this little verse in the Bible that says "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" (Matthew 24:36). It's not every day that you can drag out one little verse to win a slam dunk on a big theological debate... but this is one of them! Jesus is speaking here, and he unequivocally states that nobody will know the moment of his return... not even himself! Now, does any preacher think he knows more than Jesus? Well, apparently this one does. He has bad theology and he's a bad testimony!
Biblical prophecy is amazingly accurate. The most startling example of recent prophetic predictions coming true was the reformation of Israel as a nation-state. The Bible clearly identified Israel being a nation again in the "end times", which was the source of much mocking and derision prior to 1947. As far as I know... not a single preacher/theologian predicted the way Israel would return (after a 1900 year absence). An amazing resurrection of the nation-state of Israel through the power of the United Nations... and on the heels of the holocaust. Nobody predicted it would happen that way and, yet, it happened....just as the Bible said it would. It's just way easier on the other side of the event. That's the way God designed it.
Today, yes, we can anticipate Christ's return...in whatever form or timeline it takes. I'm still looking for a few more prophesies to become reality (like the temple rebuilt) but I won't be making any predictions...except for that it won't be on Saturday...mostly because I know that God has a sense of humour and keen sense of irony.
I wonder it that guy wouldn't mind donating some of his "soon to be unneeded" cash to our building fund. Hmmm.
Friday, May 06, 2011
Don't get me wrong. I'm very pleased that Osama Bin Laden has been found and killed. I am, however, uneasy with celebrating it. For the most part, the various gatherings around the world have been fairly muted. Thankful people displaying their gratitude that justice has prevailed. Some of the celebrating has been a tad too celebratory, in my humble opinion. We often watch the news of people jumping up and down, chanting slogans, and praising the death of an enemy (or calling for the death of an enemy...often the President of the US). We think to ourselves, "those people are nuts", as we watch them celebrate violence.
For the followers of Jesus, we have two very clear instructions that pertain to this situation. One is to love our enemies. The other is to love justice. There is no denying that OBL was directly involved in terrorist acts that murdered many people around the globe. To state that a just judgment on him would have been the death penalty is accurate. (Some who are not in favour of the death penalty, myself included, may wince at this...but the statement still holds.) In this case, due process and a trial would have been expensive but worth the effort. Nevertheless, we can take comfort in the fact that he has met the end that his lifelong violence deserved. However, it's sad. Very sad. How much better it would have been had he come to his senses and renounced his actions and accepted his due discipline. He would have been better off for it.
We are better off for it when we come to our senses. We also remember that it any of us could have become depraved and murderous. We all have it in us. So, we remember the oft quoted phrase "but for the grace of God, go I", which reminds us to love everyone, even our enemies, because we could, very easily, be them if the table were turned.
God loves it when people come to their senses. We should too.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
There are 30 teams in the NHL... and for every team that doesn't win, there is the label "failure" awaiting. Sure, some of them did better than they did the previous year...and that's an encouraging sign... but for many others, the early season expectations ended up being disappointments. Out of all those teams, only one will end up with the label "winner". I'm sure glad God doesn't work that way!
In God's system, all who take the gift of grace end up being winners. We humans are not in competition with each other but, rather, our adversary is simply trying to keep us from hearing about "the big play". We just celebrated the greatest overtime winning shot that was heard around the world! Christ's death on the cross put the game of life into overtime... and the adversary thought he had the game won but, hallelujah, Christ arose, defeating the power of sin and death forever. It was sudden life for all of us!
So, regardless of which NHL team you cheer for (if any)... remember, that winning in life is possible for everyone when we put our faith in the "the big play" of the resurrection!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Twitter is a wonderful place to watch the homers and the haters go at it. Here's a quick summary of their oft-repeated rants.
- The Canucks will not get past their nemesis - Chicago Blackhawks
- Luongo isn't that good in the playoffs
- The Sedins will disappear
- Manny Malholtra is out
- They feasted on the lesser teams to get so many points
- They have dominated all year ever with the most injuries of any NHL team
- Luongo is having a season year and Schneider is ready to go if needed
- The defence has been vastly improved from last year
- Their penalty kills and power plays have been awesome all year
And so it goes back and forth with even Theoren Fluery getting in to the mix on the haters side and suffering the wrath of Canucks Nation.
Still, Canucks fans were pretty excited last year and, frankly, they had a pretty good team. Had Chicago not knocked them off, they may have gone all the way. However, make no mistake about it, this is a very different team. Here's my list of why they will, at the very least, make the Stanley Cup Finals.
- Defence. The revolving door on the blue line this season has exposed the amazing depth that the Canucks ...and the Manitoba Moose...have developed. The extras in the cast coupled with bona fide stars of Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Bieksa, and Sami Salo (for as long as he lasts) will mean that Vancouver has a solid back end... that can even take an injury, or two... or three.
- Luongo. Last year he was overplayed, overstressed (thanks to being the captain) and undersupported by the defence. This year none of these are the case and, oh, there's that gold medal hanging around his neck which, in my books, gets any monkey off his back...and then some.
- Faceoffs. Granted, a month ago this was a much stronger point but the loss of Manny Malhotra has dampened the impact a tad. Still, last year, especially against Chicago, they couldn't win a faceoff if their playoffs lives depended on it... and it did. Kesler has been schooled by Manny (#2 in the NHL) and is almost dominant with the 7th best percentage in the league. Henrik is now a respectable 38th in the league. Incidentally, Chicago has Jonathan Toews (8th) but nobody else about 50%.
- Ryan Kesler. Perhaps more important than his strong faceoffs, if Ryan's newfound discipline and wrist shot. Both he and Burrows and taken their emotional tirades down by, what I figure, at least 75%. If Kes can retain his cool and his focus... he will provide the Nucks with the solid 2nd line that has brought them much success this season. Oh, and toss Maxim Lapierre into this mix too. Alain Vigneault must have some special sauce to keep him from going off the deep end... and it's helping.
- Special Teams. Again, last year the team was not that special in this department. 1st in PP percentage and 3rd on the PK (yes, some say they would have probably finished in first here too had it not been for the string of no-purpose games at the end). Last season, the PK was 18th and the PP was as respectable 6th. They have obviously learned some good tricks and avoided some bad habits.
- Goals for... and against. Yes, we've all seen high powered offensive teams hit the wall time and time again in the playoffs (Washington, last year being the most recent). Last season, who was right behind the Capitals in goals for? Yes, the Vancouver Canucks. Goals against last year? Canucks 12th. Capitals 16th. This year? You guessed it. Vancouver is #1 in both goals for and goals against. A dynamic 1-2 punch that will allow them to win in a horse race or a marathon. Incidentally, only Boston and San Jose were in the top 10 in both categories.
- Kesler getting hurt. By itself, not enough... but a serious blow.
- Kesler-Burrows-Lapierre losing their cool.
- Chicago getting Dustin Byfuglien back.... :)
- The Sedins get zero goals.
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
The world has always been a safe place for bad information. Wars have been fought over events that never took place (anyone have a WMD lying around?). People have been imprisoned and even killed for saying things that they didn't say ("Let them eat cake"). Boycotts have been organized against companies that were not associated with whom people thought they were (Proctor and Gamble). Bad news has always travelled fast... and now, with the internet and satellite TV, it travels at the speed of light.
Last week, reports on the internet were that the rebels in Libya had taken the town of Sirt which, at that time, was essentially the last town before Tripoli. People were celebrating all over the world that Gadaffi's days were numbered. Turns out, it wasn't true. Today, the Colonel has almost taken back all of the cities and is tightening his grip on the holdouts.
Christians should be the least gullible people on the planet. The Bible tells us to be champions of the truth and to test everything before accepting it. This means that it's even kosher to question our pastors and teachers if we find some disagreement between them and the Bible (by the way, if you meet a pastor/teacher that isn't open to being corrected...or at least hearing a different perspective... run away). The head of the Church is Christ.. not the pastor, bishop, or some committee that meets in secret in New York... or Melville. The Word of God is Jesus as revealed in the Bible... therefore we use it as our "rule of faith and practice". The job of a pastor/teacher is to translate the truth of the Bible into today's language and culture (can you say "hermeneutics"). Not an easy task... I might add.
So, the next time you hear some newfangled idea, regardless of what sphere it happens to come from (health, theology, economics, politics, sociology, technology, etc) decide to take that information "under advisement" and then test it from the truth of the Bible... and your own common sense...before jumping in with both feet.
PS. Thomas Watson may have ended up being right by saying the thing he didn't say. We may end up with just 5 computers in the world.... 1. Facebook. 2. Google. 3-5... to be announced. Just some food for thought.
PPS. The Bible has been burned many times in many places around the world. While, it's a tad sad when it happens, there is no reason to be bothered because the book itself isn't sacred. The Word isn't a book...or 66 books (as in the Bible) rather Jesus is the Word... and the Bible reveals to us what/who that Word is. That Word can't be damaged by fire... or any other means of destruction.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Unrest continues throughout the Arab world today. Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, and Algeria are all dealing with mass demonstrations as we have seen in Tunisia and Egypt. Of course, Libya has ended up in civil war after the demonstrations were attempted to be put down by Gadaffi. Israel is also facing new unrest in Gaza and the West Bank. Do continue to pray that peace and freedom will prevail. However, both peace and freedom come with a cost and with risks.
So, what makes for a good democracy? Here are a few things off the top of my head:
- Regular elections. Yes, we kind of hate them when they come too regularly (like here in Canada over the past decade) but, obviously, we need them. The best way to keep our leaders accountable is a free and fair election every so often.
- Free press. Often criticized by politicians for being biased, the free press is crucial for letting the regular people know what the politicians are doing. Time and time again, a journalist breaks a story that exposes graft and corruption. Time and time again, too, the politicians try to suppress them in order to keep their jobs. The battle over Wikileaks is a prime example of this. Make no mistake about it: having the "truth" exposed may be uncomfortable at times, but it's crucial. Thankfully, most people have video cameras in their hands now (in their phones) which can, and does, expose abuse on a regular basis!
- Strong judiciary. Everybody jokes about lawyers (see the joke below) but, without a well thought out legal system, those who abuse their power may go unchecked. The court doesn't have power to make the rules...but they have the power to enforce the rules (theoretically).
- Honest police. In some places in the US, it's illegal to video record the police! That's a very bad sign! The ability to trust that the police have the country's best interest at their core is crucial in building a strong democracy. Most countries trying to become democratic often find the police subverting the people under the direction of corrupt politicians.
- People who vote. Yes, if nobody actually votes (or very few do), the whole process becomes moot. If you don't vote, you really shouldn't complain about those who end up running the country!
- A constitution. Yes, as boring as it sounds, every country needs a document that outlines the basic rules. And, in my humble opinion, those based on a judeo-Christian foundation are the most fair and stable. The rules have to come from somewhere... might as well get them from the One who made the rules of the universe!
There. Now don't forget to vote!
Monday, November 22, 2010
Let's examine the questionable calls:
1. Illegal contact on an eligible receiver (3 times). Two times the Stamps player practically layed out the receiver. Thrid time he grabbed his jersey. Right calls... all three. Oh, and by the way. In the post game interviews the Stamps players kept saying "pass interference". They were clearly not.
2. Intentional grounding: Wrong call. There was clearly a Stamp receiver nearby... just because the ball didn't cross the line of scrimmage shouldn't matter.
3. Taunting: Good call. If he just does the flex thing as he walks by the Rider DB... then all it good. But he gets right into his face and does it... blatant and correct.
4. Fumble recovery, by the Riders, in the end zone. Correct call. A Stamp player (who should have just jumped on it instead of try to pick it up) kicked the ball into the end zone (the fact that it was kicked inadvertently is the same as if it had been knocked in any other way) . Since they put the ball into goal... there is no points awarded when the Riders recover.
5. Cate's fumble. Overturned and correct. Both his elbow and then his knee were clearly down.
Oh... and a couple more things. Just like the Riders did in the Grey Cup last year, Calgary took their time out early in the 2nd half. Turned out to be a huge factor at the end. And, Calgary missed a chance to challenge the Cate's touch down. I don't think he was in before his knee hit.
6. One call I forgot about. After the TD to Cary Koch, there was an unnecessary roughness penalty as the players rushed to congratulate each other. Dwight Anderson gave Dressler (I think) a wee shove as he ran past... which caused Dressler to slip and wipe out. On a regular field nothing happens and nobody notices. Still, the extra little shot was unnecessary and, actually, unlucky.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Oh, wait a minute! What?
Well, it turns out that, through the discovering and mapping of DNA, you can backtrace who's related to who by the different markers that we all have in our DNA. As they have being doing this, they have come to the conclusion that all of us come from one female ancestor. They call her "mitochondrial Eve". However, as they backtrack the male line... they come up with a noticeably younger date, meaning, the "Adam" that we all descend from came along much later than "Eve". Now, on the surface, this is puzzling unless you read your Bible. It turns out that "Adam" is actually Noah! The Bible clearly states that Noah and his four sons were the only males that survived the flood. However, each of the sons had a wife who each came from different mothers (probably). Therefore, the female lineage would continue back to the real Eve... but the male lineage would "bottleneck" at Noah.
Now, how could the writers of the Bible (in this case Moses) not only know the universe came into existence out of nothing (the Big Bang) but also know that we humans came about from Adam and Eve, bottlenecking through Noah? This information would have been impossible for a writer to make up...and then just happen to be found to be accurate thousands of years later, unless it were coming from God himself.
So very cool. Read more about it here: http://www.reasons.org/blogs/take-two/happy-mothersdna
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I'll get back to here soon...my 8 years of sporadic blogging shall not be in vain!
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Yes, at long last, it is here! This year's edition of the Haugan Christmas/New Years-ish letter for your enjoyment.
First if you want a hard copy mailed to you instead of this newfangled interweb pdf thingy then just email me and we'll mail it off (feel free to include an optional cheque for $500 to cover postage, ink, paper, copying, mocha cappacino's for the next 3 years).
We've got two versions for you to download... the high quality one is 8mb of goodness and the low quality one is 135k of goodness with grainy graphics (for those on dial up).
If you can't get them to open then try right clicking on the link and selecting "save as" or "save target as" and save it to your desktop... then open it from there.
If you still can't get it to work then click here.
If you still can't get it to work then call someone to take your computer away from you and replace it with a fish tank.
If you want to read older ones (and why on earth would you want to do that) then please click here