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Posts Made By: Russ Carroll

April 11, 2011 08:25 AM Forum: My Favorite WIMP.COM or YOUTUBE.COM

What about Bob?

Posted By Russ Carroll

This was my favorite class assignment from an After Effects class I took. We had to make a movie trailer from scratch.

April 15, 2011 07:40 AM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

One of the great tragedies of warfare

Posted By Russ Carroll

The cost to combat veterans and there families of war is so very high. Here is a tragic ending to a great man. I reluctantly put this up, but I only post this because this man's life should be honored.

April 17, 2011 08:37 AM Forum: Religion

Why are we here?

Posted By Russ Carroll

...and I don't mean that in the larger scheme of things, but here on these forums discussing spiritual things. I'm going into a 12-week cardio rehab and lifestyle change program and I really hope to use this time to re-connect with God and try and understand what activities I should be doing. This is a good time to step back and look at things like my participation here, which I enjoy for the most part.

One thing this is not is a ministry, which I had hoped it would be when I first entered this forum. I wanted to represent evangelical Christianity here in the hopes of softening some of the hard edges I saw in these forums. For the most part, I would say that I developed some hard edges along the way and didn't soften much of anything, This is no fault of my own or others, it's just human nature.

When you look at the pattern of human interactions that Jesus had with people for lessons learned, they fall into two categories: The first is responses to people that really didn't want His wisdom but asked cynical questions of Him to try and tear Him down. He ignored their actual questions and revealed deeper truths about man and God because He knew their hearts. I would have to say that most, if not all, of the debate here, at least from my perspective, fall into this category in the broadest of definition possible. When Clyde asks me questions, he is not really looking for knowledge as opposed to trying to impart knowledge. There is nothing wrong with that, but the fact is, his questions fall into this first category.

The second interaction that Jesus had with people were from people who genuinely wanted to be touched by the Master and sought Him out. Normally, this was motivated by a great need like having an incurable disease or a dying child. Jesus did not turn them away and met their immediate need; however, this was always accompanied by turning the focus back onto their greatest need, which is spiritual and specific to Jesus Himself as the Messiah. Only once in the entire time I've posted here have I sensed, again in the broadest possible definition, any real inquiry or sincere curiosity as it pertains to my own faith. I do the same thing, so I am not on my high-horse, but I would be deceiving myself if I characterized this forum differently. Interactions that matter, where true spiritual seeds can be planted, can only be arranged by God and happen without notice or coercion and can even go completely unnoticed. Helping meet another's need can be a great starting point for such an encounter.

In looking back to my pagan upbringing, one of the deepest seeds that I thing God put in my heart came from a cartoon. I remember feeling awe when I heard it and really didn't assess it at all. I am so grateful that Charles Shultz put himself out to have Linus explain the true meaning of Christmas to me as a child:

Twenty or so years later, that seed grew to maturity and I became a Christian.

I realized the nature of this forum pretty early on but stayed anyway, in spite of leaving a few times. Why? For one thing, it's an important topic to me and I enjoy mental stimulation. I also like to understand the thinking of others on the topic. But aside from personal interest, I have and continue to get something extremely important here, and that is the training of what is and is not important in my own faith in regards to science. I have to coexist in both worlds, and my thinking has actually significantly changed here over time, not on substance but on essentials. Yo may not believe it, Clyde, but you have taught me many valuable lessons here that will be useful in God's ability to use me to advance His Kingdom if He sees fit to do so, so I thank you. I only wish it would be to your benefit.

When I was a fairly new Christian, I hired someone who was down on their luck and poured myself into him for months in the belief that he would see the light one day. I had to try and somewhat isolate him from his wife as she was an extremely immoral person and would hinder my work. After about 6 months, SHE was the one that became a Christian in spite of my best efforts to quarantine her. My best thinking still gets me into trouble.

May 6, 2011 08:02 AM Forum: No Holds Barred

Wow, this is a very sad and troubling story

Posted By Russ Carroll

Enabling someone to do this is basically assisted suicide. I'm very surprised the Catholic church would see this as compassionate.

May 15, 2011 02:20 PM Forum: Religion

Proverbs 15

Posted By Russ Carroll

I've been opening each day (at least trying) with a reading of proverbs based on the date and meditating. Today being the 15th, I was staring at:

"A gentle answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable,
But the mouth of fools spouts folly...
A soothing tongue is a tree of life,
But perversion in it crushes the spirit. "

Words are powerful things, especially to those closest to us. How many confrontations could I have avoided by being gentle instead of confrontational? How many spirits could I have uplifted instead of crushed?

There is incredible wisdom in proverbs, whether you are a Christian or not.

May 17, 2011 05:36 AM Forum: Politics

Gov. Brown and why you can't trust Dems

Posted By Russ Carroll

Last business to leave California, please turn the lights out. From NC Times:

"Despite a $6.6 billion windfall in state revenue, Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday continued to push for a slate of tax extensions and proposed a 5 percent larger budget package than he delivered to the Legislature in January.

Brown initially proposed trimming spending in the fiscal year that begins July 1 by a little less than $2 billion. Now he is proposing to increase spending year over year by more than $2 billion, from $86.5 billion in the budget period that ends June 30 to $88.8 billion, with the help of $8.3 billion in proposed tax extensions."

This "windfall" they are referring to is an uptick in revenue as businesses here try and claw their way out of a very deep recession. Thanks for the help, Gov. I really thought at your age you would honor your word and do better....right.

May 18, 2011 08:11 AM Forum: Religion

A Prayer I will NEVER Pray Again

Posted By Russ Carroll

I had complex open heart surgery about 16 months ago. My heart was pulled out of my body and re-tooled with 5 arterial bypasses. It's basically like getting a heart transplant with your own rebuilt heart, which lasted just over 8 hours.

Needless to say, there are a lot of painful parts of the recovery process at the hospital. They tell you when something is about to be done that will cause discomfort ahead of time. Medical people, particularly nurses, have a very difficult job, and I wanted to be a good patient for them. Before any treatment, I would silently pray "Lord, please help this to be pain free and tolerate this. Most of all, let me be a good patient and a blessing to . If that isn't possible, please let the pain be used to help me appreciate a little of what Jesus went through for us."

Procedure after procedure went without a hitch and very little discomfort. I even got a "That didn't hurt? Really??" on one occasion.

Then one night, I had a dream/hallucination/vision (your choice) of being dead in my room. Above myself, I could see the entire room and me, and all of the noise had gone. I was in complete and total silence. I was also completely alone, and realized that not even God was there. There was weird graffiti on the walls left by "baddies" in a language I could not read, but I knew it was declaring God as a fraud and mocking those that had followed Him. God was not there to comfort me, and I really felt that this was my eternity. That night seemed like an eternity.

It's not possible for me to describe the incredible anguish I felt that night, but I pray I NEVER experience anything like that again.

May 24, 2011 07:29 PM Forum: Politics

Hollywood loses Big-Time Lib

Posted By Russ Carroll

Welcome, David.

May 25, 2011 11:39 AM Forum: Investment Discussions

Mark Haines Dead at 65

Posted By Russ Carroll

I used to watch him every day. He was a very good journalist and will be missed.

May 31, 2011 08:33 AM Forum: Politics

A democrat who doesn't

Posted By Russ Carroll

I find it incredibly revealing that our new Commerce Secretary is the former head of a regulated Utility. I think that speaks volumes for the contempt this administration has for free enterprise.