So where am I? I've made it to Monday night. I'm taking the family to dinner at one of our fave restaurants in a little while, and tomorrow is helping sis with the prep for the big party. Both my parents and some good friends of theirs will both celebrate their 30th anniversary tomorrow, so the kids/grandkids (none grand on our side) are apparently sending them off for the day while we prepare some big event for tomorrow evening. I'm not entirely sure. But it should be great. I hope.

Then Wednesday is a day all up in the air, literally. Clean the joint Wednesday, work Thursday, welcome the Texas delegation that evening, commence wild weekend. I'm not really sure what they've planned at this point. But it should be great. I hope.

Friday night my plane got in with 17 minutes before my next was due to take off. Not a problem at most airports, but I was in Dallas. At quite the far end of the double horse shoe from where I needed to be. Hustled to the train to find that the station I was at was closed. I was at the head of the pack of charging Christmas eve commuters, so I had a fighting chance. You feel like a running back with an endless supply of line-backers and free safeties in front of you. And you have a back-pack on. Good times. Made the flight, somehow.

Saturday was the Christmas regular, that night lil bro and I stayed at grandma and grandpa's place in the mountains, and on Sunday morning I had my second favorite day of the year. Rode Volkl's new Armada, a pretty light ski (even lighter than my enduring fave, Salomon's 1080) that could still hold the slope, even at high speeds (60-65 mph). I have a feeling I would have liked it a lot better (and let it ride a little faster) at 170cm, maybe even 175cm, due to its light construction, but all they had was the 165cm, so I had to deal. They had a wide-angle C-rail that I couldn't seem to get the hang of, but not for lack of trying. Some pretty significant sore spots to show for that, but nothing that I won't be over in a week.

Shot back to the city in time for evening service, keeping the rent's pacified, as usual. Little bro is having some of the same problems with them that I did at that age, so he had a good long day of venting on the lifts, which I think he needed. He's definitely handling it better than I ever did.

And I've been sleeping, which I think is my body's general response to not sleeping very much in a long while. Last night I cleaned up on leftovers and was out cold in front of a movie before 10. I'm not getting nearly as much reading/writing done as I had hoped, but I'm ok with that. I'm happy to eat and sleep and little else, at least for another 24 or so.

You may have read the comment attached to my Christmas morning post (In Hoc Anno Domini) and thought "???"...I was doing a little blog surfing on Friday and leaving comments hither and yon, and found this post by Julie. Go ahead, read it, I'll wait right here.

Says Julie:
...what I take the teachings of Jesus to be are: LOVE, TOLERANCE, FORGIVENESS, COMPASSION...

Respondeth I:

I have to disagree just a tiny bit with "what (you) take the teachings of Jesus to be..."

Tolerance doesn't belong in that list. Jesus wasn't tolerant. He didn't tolerate the young rich man who wouldn't forsake his riches and follow him. He didn't tolerate Peter when he mouthed off about Christ's coming death ("Get thee behind me, Satan"). He certainly didn't tolerate the moneychangers in the temple. Many times in the gospels, the Greek words describing Jesus' anger were incredibly strong ("bellows," "snorting," etc.). He saw the wrong things for what they were, and He wasn't happy about them.

But thankfully, God is a just *and* forgiving God, not a tolerant one. He didn't tolerate the sins of humanity, instead, he came to die for them. Toleration wouldn't need to come and die for our sins, it could just sit back and tolerate.

You see, forgiveness requires more than that - it requires that you take on the burden that someone else would have been required to carry. If my brother wronged me, he has that burden. I can choose to let him carry it, or forgive him, and I accept the burden of his wrong.

That's what Jesus did for us on the cross. He didn't look at our sin and say "that's ok, no sweat, we're cool." He looked at us and said "I love you so much that I would die to make right the burden of your wrongs."

If that's not love and compassion, I don't know what is.

Hopefully that gives you some insight on her seemingly randomly placed comment. I'm not really sure how I conveyed that "Jesus and God [are] about damnation and judgement (SIC)," but there you have it. I'm not really sure why she wouldn't have responded in the comments section of her own blog, as most people would have, but then again, maybe I am. Regardless, I now have a blog quandary that I haven't had before - comments I don't like.

If everyone's going to be saved, why did Jesus have to come and die in the first place? Or why is there even a Hell?

Hope to check in again by Wednesday and get back to regular blogging by then. Working on some good stuff, check back soon.

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