Monday, September 13, 2010

Skydive the Farm

I don't think any of us were expecting the scene that unfolded as we arrived at the Farm. . . a large open hangar with couches facing the field and a lot of people from varying walks of life milling about. Kids running around, and dogs roaming looking for a good behind-the-ear scratch. We were all a little taken aback at how mellow and yet professional the staff and instructors were. It was almost like we had stepped into a surf shop that had been transplanted to the foothills of the Appalachian mountains.
The chill atmosphere turns into a hopping, well-oiled machine as the jumpers land. The truck takes off to pick up the students, instructors and videographers. After they unload, they make their way to the hangar where a myriad of people take the parachutes and begin the most important task of the day: repacking. We are hypnotized by the methodical and seemingly mundane routine of it. The instructors, meanwhile, are picking out their next student and giving their spiel of what to expect, and do's and don'ts to wide-eyed "I'm trying hard to not freak out" students.
After getting harnessed up, we get on the bus for the scariest part of the day.... the ride to the airport! That driver did not observe the speed limit on the winding mountain road. It was then that an unsettling statistic popped in my head: you are more likely to die in a car crash on the way to the airport than parachuting out of the plane! And then once we were in the plane, I was really glad that Travis was hooked to me with a parachute, because, well..... it was no private jet. I knew it was safe simply because I had seen it fly over us four times already that day, but I had no problems jumping out of it! However, when you take into consideration all the gear strapped to the people, gutted and functional is better than pretty and cushy. There is no way you can have real seats and get hooked up to your "exit buddy" much less walk together to the door to jump.
There is no good way to describe the free fall. It is exhilarating, loud and surreal. The canopy ride is peaceful & serene, with an amazing view. After the canopy deploys and you know it is working properly, you breathe a small sigh of relief and can talk to your instructor. They will let you fly on the way down, teaching you how to turn and showing you where to go, but landing is all them. I loved the rush of the free fall, but I enjoyed the canopy ride better simply because I didn't have to worry about the camera and was free to look around. I would go again tomorrow if I had the money and the time.
Here are our videos:


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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Relentless

It has been a while since I was really moved by a book. Truly inspired. Made to look inside and contemplate everything I thought I was and believed.

Here are some words to get you thinking:

Murder (dictionary.com)

–noun

Law. The killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law. In the U.S., special statutory definitions include murder committed with malice aforethought, characterized by deliberation or premeditation or occurring during the commission of another serious crime, as robbery or arson (first-degree murder), and murder by intent but without deliberation or premeditation (second-degree murder).

–verb

to kill or slaughter inhumanly or barbarously.

Kill –verb (dictionary.com)

to deprive of life in any manner; cause the death of; slay

Anger –noun

a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath; ire.

Wrath -noun

1. angry, violent, or stern indignation

2. divine vengeance or retribution

Now some quotes to catch you up:

“Anger is the father of violence, as well I knew, but I had not allowed myself to consider that wrath, when it is the product of pure indignation and untainted by ideology, is the father of justice and a necessary answer to evil.” – Dean Koontz, Relentless pg 178

“The true commandment is ‘Thou shalt not murder.’ It doesn’t say ‘kill’ in the original language, because killing’s a whole different thing from murder. Furthermore, Moses didn’t provide categories of murder, some worse than others.” – Dean Koontz, Relentless pg 341

“Evil itself may be relentless, I will grant you that, but love is relentless, too. Friendship is a relentless force. Family is a relentless force. Faith is a relentless force. The human spirit is relentless, and the human heart outlasts – and can defeat – even the most relentless force of all, which is time.” – Dean Koontz, Relentless pg 428

Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.” (NIV translation) Commandment #6

So.....
What would you do and how far would you go to protect the people you love the most?

As Christians that can be a tricky question.
We know our commandments; number 6 says "You shall not murder" (Ex 20:13 NIV).
We have been taught to "turn the other cheek" (Matt 5:39 NIV).
"Avenge not yourselves.....Vengeance is mine" says the Lord (Romans 12:19 KJV).
We believe that no matter what our God is in control.
But there are also numerous passages in the Bible where the Lord commands His people to exact His vengeance on His enemies.

So what are we supposed to do when Evil comes knocking at our door with no other intent than to steal our joy, kill those we love, and destroy everything we believe in, hope for and want the most in this world? Are we supposed to remain meek, happy in the knowledge that we are going on to a better place? Or do we pick up our .38 and shoot the bastard in the head?

I would not classify myself as a violent person. I don't really like confrontation and would never pick a fight. I'm pretty laid back about most things, but I'm making it public here: this momma's packin' heat, and you enter at your own risk if you even think about hurting one of mine.

Where do you stand?