Sunday, March 16, 2014

A New Look and Questioning More than Ever

Keith and Joe came through with the pieces and labor necessary to assemble the four sections of new railing for our main level. Keith did such a nice job of assembling the posts and building the rail sections. We're really happy with it. That's not to say that it didn't take a little getting used to because it's quite a departure from what we used to have. But it looks nice. Here's a before and after view. The posts actually fit over the old posts.

We intend to have the windows in the family room (the room just beyond the railing in the photo to the left) painted white to match the windows in the sunroom and that should help to tie the railing in with its surroundings a little better. The dark posts match the mantel over the fireplace in the sunroom to the right in the photo although they look a little darker than the mantel in this photo because of the lighting.

The 10th birthday of my blog came and went last October but I never realized it until recently. I'm glad I've kept at it. What will I be writing about in the next 10 years I wonder? My retirement...a wedding...grandkids? Hopefully in that order.  :)

I look at my blog as both a time capsule and a therapist. I can record memories of my life here to look back on years from now and reminisce about days gone by; in this case, five years ago this week! It serves as a therapist because writing here causes me to pause and reflect on what's going on in my life. I find I do a lot of this same sort of thinking when I'm on my bike but it tends to be more focused when I'm at my keyboard.

My blog has helped me navigate the many twists and turns along the way from being quite conservative in my thinking to totally abandon those thoughts and allowing myself to see this world from an entirely different perspective. I was commenting to Steve in the studio the other day how I'm not at all the person I was just 5 or 7 years ago. He smiled and said something along the lines of 'that's a beautiful thing', and it is. I'm a seeker at heart but I'm also pretty loyal to my beliefs. Sometimes those two components within me clash and when they do I come here and try to make sense of them. Lately, it's my seeking side that is pushing forward and leaving some long-held beliefs behind.

Most of those long-held beliefs I'm shedding of late have to do with the church. I've been questioning so much about not only my participation in the church but also some of my most basic fundamental beliefs. Are Jesus and God one in the same or is Jesus a lesser God? Did Emperor Constantine so corrupt Christianity with his influence for political motives early in the 4th century that it hasn't since reflected what Jesus intended for his followers to exemplify?

One example of this new and troubling mindset I'm exploring is the Arian controversy (teachings by Arius) early in Constantine's reign. Arianism taught that Jesus, the Son of God was subordinate to God the Father, that they weren't/aren't one in the same. Jehovah's Witnesses subscribe to this belief today but it's discounted by mainstream Christianity which believes that they are one. It was one of the more important issues for Constantine. So significant was it that in 325 the Council of Nicaea was convened to settle church disputes with this being chief among them. Out of the two-month-long meeting of more than 300 Bishops with Emperor Constantine presiding over them came what Christians today know as the Nicene Creed. So determined was Constantine to squash any Arian beliefs to the contrary that he would eventually decree the following:

"This, therefore, I decree, that if anyone shall be detected in concealing a book compiled by Arius, and shall not instantly bring it forward and burn it, the penalty for this offense shall be death; for immediately after conviction the criminal shall suffer capital punishment. May God preserve you!"

This is really disturbing to me. The marrying of church and government in the name of Jesus with death being the penalty for those subscribing to a different belief. And this was the guy who helped chart a course that the church has pretty much been on ever since? So much for the passive movement of Jesus. Prior to Constantine Christians were being persecuted and dying for their faith. Yes, the fine Emperor stopped all that but then he turned the tables and Christians were the ones doing the killing.

I'm sort of feeling the way I did when I came to the realization that I'd been accepting of a lot of propaganda over the years from right-wing media and that I'd been hoodwinked. I promised myself then that I'd be more astute in the future with whom I placed my trust in. My eyes are wide open as I press on.

My quest for truth will continue. Where it leads me I can't say.

On a lighter note; it's St Urho's Day today. I stopped off at Mom's on the way to work this afternoon and dropped off a small gift-bag Tammy put together for her in honor of the day. She was so surprised and lit up as she looked at the gifts Tammy bought for her. Sometimes those little things in life can mean so much.

I've been in a Ray LaMontagne kind of mood today...


jackie said...

Looks so beautiful, Kevin. Pays to take your time and really get a feel for what you want. You have both done a fine job.

Kevin Gilmore said...

Thanks, Jackie! So much has changed here in the last year for us. We've still got the kitchen project to figure out. We'd like to take that one on next year at this time. I'm going through design magazines as I write this, trying to get ideas. There's lots to consider.