Sharing with you things that are on my mind...Maybe yours too. Come back to Wrights Lane for a visit anytime!

26 March, 2016

PREPARING A SPECIAL UKRAINIAN EASTER MEAL FOR ROSANNE AND I

The makings for our special Easter treat.
I went grocery shopping for our Easter dinner Friday afternoon.  Some of the items on my list included lean Kolbassa sausage, sauaerkraut, havarti cheese, cabbage, onions, egg bread, horse raddish, beets and eggs,

"...Not ingredients for your traditional Easter dinner," you might well exclaim with a degree of shock.

Well, I've got news for you!  Those items are very traditional if you are of Ukrainian or Polish heritage as is my wife Rosanne.

Because she is not well and as a special treat for her this Easter, in a weak moment I promised to prepare a full Ukrainian Easter meal, duplicating as much as possible the menu she remembers sitting down to as a child.  It will be no small undertaking for a Canadian kid who grew up on baked ham and scalloped potatoes for Easter, but I like to live dangerously and I'm always up for a challenge.

To better prepare myself for this culinary adventure, I determined that it was in the best interests of the two of us to do a little research and what better source for information than good old Ukrainian cook books, one in particular having been published by ladies from St. Demetrius parish in Toronto.

Ukrainians approach the celebration of their religious feast days with spiritual devotion as well as traditional rituals.  Present day Ukrainian Easter traditions are a rich blend of ancient pagan rituals and Christian idealogy and practises.

Much to my interest, I found that with the arrival of Christianity to Kyivan Rus in 988, many of the pagan spring rituals were incorporated into the Christian celebration of Easter.  The Christian church added a new perspective to these seasonal celebrations.  In addition to physical preparation, the six-week period of "Pyist" (Lent) became a time for spiritual renewal, fasting, forgiveness and meditation.  It was also a time for the writing of "pysansky".  In pagan times pysansky were considered magical talismans.  Today's pysansky in the form of Easter eggs, incorporate not only ancient geometrical designs and colours, but also Christian symbols in beautiful vibrant colours, and are given as tokens of love and affection.

As with the traditions of Christmas Eve and the food associated with them, the Easter foods, especially those placed in baskets for blessing by a priest at Easter worship services, have special meaning.

Paska, the Easter bread, symbolizes the joy of new life through Christ.

Eggs are symbolic of Christ's death and resurrection.

Salt is essential to our bodies as Christ is to our souls.

Horseradish is blessed as a reminder that even though there is bitterness in life, all pain and suffering can be overcome through Christ.

Dairy and meat products (butter, cheese, ham and kolbassa) are a reminder of the goodness of God's creation.

A candle is always present as a reminder that Christ is the light of the world.

Taking all of the forgoing into consideration, the meal that I will be preparing for Rosanne will consist of "favourite" foods that stand out in her memory of family Easter dinners when she was a little girl i.e. paska (egg bread), hard-boiled eggs, kolbassa, ham, horseradish/beets combination as a garnish, Havarti cheese, kapusta (a boiled side dish consisting of cabbage, sauerkraut and onions with thyme seasoning) and potato salad.  Of course desert will consist of nothing else but cherry cheesecake.

All in all, a pretty simple meal to put together, but wish me luck anyway.  I can always use it!

"Smacnoho!" as they say in the Ukraine, or "Bon appetit!" in French.

24 March, 2016

KIDS TODAY WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH...TELL THEM ABOUT IT

The following is a sermon I prepared several years ago when I was still an active lay preacher and before experiencing a spiritual turnaround, maybe I should say “a downturn”.  I never got to deliver the message.  It has been gathering dust in a computer file, but as a life-long youth leader and coach I continue to believe strongly in its premise.

Make no assumptions about biblical literacy. Kids today are very open spiritually, but religion does not imply Christianity. Even church kids are adopting the notion that there are many valid expressions of faith and roads to God. As parents and youth leaders today it is imperative that we know what we believe, and through relationships and open ears, earn the right to challenge the thinking of young minds.

Trust me, teens want to know who God is and what He says about himself.

Technological advances, geopolitical changes and shifting relationships have caused young people to expect change -- even to become comfortable with it. As a result, leaders have more freedom than ever to make immediate, effective changes in programs and processes to discover what works with their group. The drawback is an unusually high standard of what is worth their attention, so programs must keep moving with little dead space or predictability.

Today’s student, very literal and visually oriented, responds well to plain talk about personal, practical issues and experiences, especially when learning is hands-on and incorporates contemporary media and technologies. Although the speed and accessibility of information has conditioned students to make decisions with less thought and reflection

This means that teens are often intolerant of anyone who draws a line in opposition to anything culturally acceptable. While God’s unchanging truth is always relevant, it’s vital that approaches to students be blended and balanced with grace. Since they want to reach out to a broader spectrum of people, they will be more likely to embrace ministry that demonstrates real, active compassion. This must mark an unwavering stance on biblical principle, or even sincerely searching students will tune out.

Immorality at least acknowledges a standard of deviant behavior -- amorality often concedes no standards at all. Over 60% believe that you cannot know absolute truth. One third say that something is morally/ethically right if it works and is perceived as good. Different people, in the same situation, can define truth in totally conflicting ways—and both still be considered right.

The principles behind the precepts, with God’s loving care and unchanging character as the basis of right and wrong, need to be emphasized along with reasoned discussions on choices, consequences, and spiritual cures. Dare to ask the tough questions the world will confront them with, and help them develop a faith that is not deterred by deviant standards. Training that equips young people to share absolutes in a morally and spiritually pluralistic society is essential.

Think about it -- we (families and churches) have been given the awesome privilege of leading, training, and equipping what may be the final generation. That is the responsibility that lies before us now that we are well into a new millennium. It is most certainly a disciple-making challenge to be taken very seriously.

Young people do not learn through the process of osmosis…It takes strong, committed and principled adults to knowingly mold their minds and to lead them to the truth that they are more than receptive to. 

Surely I am not talking to myself, as I so often do!?

With more faith in the youth of today than I confess to having in most fellow adults, I remain guardedly optimistic.

13 March, 2016

I LITERALLY GET LOST IN MY DREAMS

I regularly have a number of recurring dreams, some take place on the baseball diamond or a golf course while others involve struggling to meet a newspaper press deadline. More often than not, however, my nocturnal wanderings are the result of being hopelessly lost and never finding my way to a destination. Sometimes too, I lose my car in a parking lot and the fact that I cannot find the parking lot only serves to compound the problem.

I generally wake up in the morning feeling very much like I have been dragged through a knot hole. I have the “getting lost” dreams so often, and vividly, that I recently took it upon myself to do some research on the subject.
No, I'm not dead, just lost in one of my dreams.


To a degree, I have been somewhat relieved to learn that lost dreams and dreams about searching for lost objects or not being able to find your way back, are common in all age groups. These dreams have much to do with insecurities, frustrations or losses in your waking life. Dream therapists say that this type of dream may also be an indication that you are fearful of being unable to attain set goals for the future. It could also mean that you do not have any defined goals and have been procrastinating on them. Feelings of anxiety about a new situation, a move to another location and fitting in socially or an impending deadline set either by someone else or yourself may trigger these dreams.

Dreaming of lost objects, I find, usually is an indication that there is something in an individual’s waking life that has in fact been lost. It may even represent a part of oneself that has disappeared due to unwanted concessions in personal or business affairs.

So far so good…Most of the forgoing certainly can, and does apply to me.

Some psychologists equate these types of dreams with new beginnings and change, and the fear of letting go of the familiar in certain areas of your life.

When evaluating these dreams, it is suggested that the dreamer determine any losses that may be felt or experienced in waking life. From those situations, you may discover that you have some buried feelings that have resurfaced. This might be the time to face them, and if you do, these dreams will ideally begin to fade.

So does this all mean that at my advanced age I should start setting goals again, when in fact I ran out of defined goals about 15 years ago? My biggest goal nowadays is waking up in the morning.

What can I do about feelings of insecurity, frustration and losses in my life that I long ago put behind me? I try to suppress such negative feelings whenever they resurface to haunt me.  Could be that certain negative experience lingers in the back of my mind in spite of my best efforts to dispense with it.

Admittedly, I am a procrastinator…Have been most of my life. In fact I have become pretty efficient at putting things off.

On that note, I think I will give this subject more thought after a good(?) night’s sleep. Maybe, just for once, I will find out where I am going -- and actually get there.

Once a dreamer, always a dreamer!

10 March, 2016

Bruce Power continues to make improvements to emergency preparedness

From time to time I pass on information about the Bruce Power Nuclear Site (located on Lake Huron at Tiverton, between Kincarden and Saugeen Shores) because of its massiveness and importance to the economy and safety of the community in which I live.

Today, March 11th (2016) marks the fifth anniversary of the unprecedented earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan and damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility.  Although the facility withstood the 9.0 magnitude earthquake as per its design, a tsunami washed out the back-up generators at the facility, challenging the facility and leading to a nuclear event that was widely publicized.

It is estimated that 20,000 people died as a result of this natural disaster while the nuclear event, to this day, has not resulted in a single death due to radiation exposure. The world’s nuclear industry took this event extremely seriously, however, consistent with the industry’s commitment to Safety First through continuous improvement.

Though the CANDU reactors used on the Bruce site are a fundamentally different design than those in Japan, the Canadian nuclear industry immediately began reviewing its emergency protocols, availability and robustness of equipment back-ups and abilities of its emergency services organizations.  Canada’s nuclear operators recognized the importance of building on lessons from this event, despite the significant differences within the Canadian context to make nuclear facilities safer and strong.

In addition, it was important to reassure the public about the high levels of safety at Canada’s nuclear plants.  In the five years since Fukushima, Bruce Power has made continuous improvements on its site, making it safer and stronger in the process. A few of the improvements include:
  • Acquiring five new fire trucks that are stored off site and on high, dry ground. They’re specially designed to pump cooling water directly from Lake Huron into our reactors and fuel bays in the unlikely event we lose all emergency back-up generators and cooling systems.
  • Purchasing nine back-up generators that are stored off site, on high, dry ground. They can be deployed to either station and can be operational within 30 minutes, in the unlikely situation that the two layers of safety systems built into the station design were to fail.
  • Building a state-of-the-art Emergency Management Centre at the Bruce Power Visitors’ Centre. This facility will act as the control room for any emergency situation and allows for a clear and efficient chain of command. We have also implemented the Incident Management System for emergency response, bringing us in line with emergency response organizations.
  • Increasing off-site radiological monitoring equipment so it now provides real-time data.
  • Providing potassium iodine tablets to all residents within a 10 km radius in the unlikely event of a nuclear emergency.
  • Receiving Canada’s first emergency test broadcasting license for portable AM units, which will make communicating during an emergency more effective than ever before. We have also collaborated with the Municipality of Kincardine to deploy ALERT FM radios in all homes within a 10 kilometre radius of the site. The ALERT FM receiver is linked to the Emergency Alert Ready System and will broadcast all Threat to Life Alerts with an audible alert and text message within seconds.
  • Continuously training to ensure our emergency response organization is prepared for a crisis caused by a natural disaster or nuclear emergency. This includes training on payloaders and tractors, which may be required to move debris from roads or deploy back-up generators across site.


For more information on Bruce Power’s emergency response improvements since the nuclear event at Fukushima, watch the video above.

More About Bruce Power

Bruce Power operates the world’s largest operating nuclear generating facility and is the source of roughly 30 per cent of Ontario’s electricity. The company's site in Tiverton, Ontario is home to eight CANDU reactors, each one capable of generating enough low-cost, reliable, safe and clean electricity to meet the annual needs of a city the size of Hamilton. 

Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is an all-Canadian partnership among Borealis Infrastructure Trust Management (a division of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System), TransCanada, the Power Workers’ Union and the Society of Energy Professionals. A majority of Bruce Power's employees are also owners in the business. 

07 March, 2016

NO ENERGY?...WHAT'S THE MATTER?

We have been conditioned to think of energy as a force that either exists or does not exist...As humans, we think that we either have it or we lack it.

The new science, however, accepts that the universe (including we ourselves) is made up of energy, not matter. This is not actually anything new -- it was posited by Socrates in Europe way back when, and by the ancient rishis in India thousands of years before that.  Socrates said that energy, or soul, is separate from matter, and that the universe is made of energy, pure energy which was there before man and other material things like the earth came along.

However at the end of the 17th century Newtonian physics became the corner-stone of science, and it was based on the theory that there is only matter and nothing else -- the whole universe is a machine, made of matter, and so are we. Medical science is still stuck in the Newtonian concept, even though the rest of science has now moved on to quantum physics.

Interestingly, Quantum physics says that as you go deeper and deeper into the workings of the atom, you see that there is nothing there, just energy waves. It says an atom is actually an invisible force field, a kind of miniature tornado, which emits waves of electrical energy.  Those energy waves can be measured and their effects seen, but they are not a material reality, they have no substance because they are...well, just electricity. So science now embraces the idea that the universe is made of energy.

It should be stated here that Quantum mechanics allows for a type of divine action that does not violate the laws of physics and yet accords with scriptural accounts of God’s providence and miracles. It is our belief that God operates within the laws of nature, or, as Robert Russell refers to it, “noninterventionist divine action." This piece does not seek to prove definitively that such action occurs or that it is the only way in which God operates; rather, scientifically speaking, the door is open for its possibility. In our previous Wrights Lane post we addressed a "divine energy" that is at our disposal and how we can become a conduit for that energy by sharing it with others.

We are of course made up of atoms. And atoms are continuously giving off, and absorbing, light and energy, all the time. It doesn’t stop even when we sleep. Every cell in the body has its atoms lined up in such a way that it has a negative and a positive voltage, inside and outside. So every cell in our body is a miniature battery. Each cell has 1.4 volts of energy – not much, but when you multiply by the number of cells in your body (50 trillion) you get a total voltage of 700 trillion volts of electricity in your body. Pretty strong stuff! This is what the Chinese call ‘chi’, and is also the energy used in hands on healing. It can even be measured outside the body for a certain radius, depending on the sophistication of the instrument. And guess which has the stronger electro-magnetic energy field – your head or your heart?

Now here is another interesting fact which relates to our lives:  Each atom has its own distinct frequency, or vibration. And quantum physicists study the energetic effect when atoms collide, not their ‘matter’. What they see is that when two atomic waves meet, they either meet in sync, creating a constructive or harmonious effect, or they meet out of sync, creating a destructive effect in which they annul each other.

Dr. Bruce Lipton, a former professor of medicine at Harvard University and author of the best-selling "Your mind is greater than your genes", explains that if you drop two equal pebbles at exactly the same time into water, from the same height, they will both produce the same wave ripples, i.e. their waves will be in harmony with each other, and when their ripples meet the combined effect will be an amplification of the wavelength.  In other words the merged waves become more powerful. But if you drop the pebbles from different heights or a millisecond apart, then when the resultant waves meet they will not be in harmony and will cancel each other out.

Exactly the same thing happens when atomic energy waves meet – they either have a constructive effect (become more powerful) or a destructive effect. Because we are all created of atomic energy waves, and because it is impossible to separate waves, the new science says what Osho was saying over 40 years ago: we are all connected - our waves are always meeting and getting entangled in each other. Dr Lipton says the result of such invisible meetings we call ‘good vibes’ and ‘bad vibes’, depending on whether the other waves we meet are in sync with us or out of sync. No wonder so many people were ‘magnetically attracted’ to Osho and felt peaceful and harmonious in his presence.

This means it is important to be aware of whether you are in an environment where you are getting entangled in destructive energy waves or constructive energy waves. The cells that make up our bodies know instinctively what is nourishing and what is toxic (Lipton demonstrates this with cells in petri dishes which move away from toxic stuff and towards nourishing stuff). And in fact all animals and plants communicate through vibrations, i.e. by sensing whether the energy is good for them or not. But we have been taught not to listen to our feelings but instead to what people say, and have said over the centuries. So we are not trained to use our ability to sense energy, even though we have it just as all plants and animals have it.

Because I am of simple mind, I used to rigidly contend that I did not want to entertain anything that confused or complicated "the faith (teachings) of our fathers", but today I find myself increasingly fascinated with new age science and philosophy -- in fact, I find it mind-broadening.

Only problem is, I'm not sure what to believe...Know what I mean?

04 March, 2016

LORIE BROUGHT HER DIVINE ENERGY INTO ROSANNE'S LIFE



The following is a rather involved story with multiple aspects to it.  It will take a few paragraphs for me to zero in on the ultimate moral behind it all but stay with me, I will get to it -- I promise.

Rosanne and I had been through a very tiring and trying day yesterday at the London Region Cancer Centre.  Coupled with everything else going on in our life at present time, we remained physically exhausted and emotionally drained this morning.  Things did not auger well for the balance of our day.

For the first time since her Mantel Cell Lymphoma diagnosis back in November, Rosanne was uncharacteristically distraught.  Completely overwhelmed and giving in to debilitating fatigue, she cried out of frustration in admitting to uncertainty about her ability to cope much further with the rigors and challenges of life in general. With a lump in my throat, I empathized and knew exactly where she was coming from...I shared much of those same feelings.  But I'm getting slightly ahead of myself.

Habitually, before preparing breakfast and getting Rosanne ready for her day in ways known only to primary caregivers, I retire to my study for a quick check of emails and any interesting overnight social media activity.  This morning in firing up my trusty "ThinkPad" I accidentally disturbed a pile of papers on my desk, exposing notes I had made some time ago.  (I am always jotting down notes for future reference, and more often than not end up forgetting about them.)

I cannot readily recall what motivated me at the time but in bold letters at the top of this piece of wrinkled copy paper I had highlighted the words "There is a Divine energy at our disposal, Christians call it God."  My notes went on to ask a question: "How do we use that energy?" which I seemed to answer with the notation: "Share it with others, become a conduit with the energy flowing through you.  Do unto others..."

Those random notes would prove to have particular relevance for me as the day progressed and it took the form of an out-of-the-blue telephone call.  By means of backgrounding, it is pertinent to explain that in December, Rosanne was experiencing problems reading print of any kind and distinguishing faces on TV.  We subsequently scheduled an eye examination for her that resulted in a prescription for reading glasses. Nothing immediate could be done for her distance vision because she had cataracts removed several years ago and lenses implanted.

Optician Lorie Carey, who with her husband co-owns Carey Optical of Port Elgin, is a very professional young woman with a special infectious demeanor about her.  She took great pains to advise Rosanne and to measure her for a suitable style of frames taking into consideration her concern about affordability.

Using a selfie stick, Lorie Cary (right) has a little
 fun with a favorite customer.
Worried not only about the cost implications but also concerned over the potential for her eyesight to change even more drastically with ongoing chemotherapy treatments, Rosanne reluctantly re-considered and apologetically cancelled the glasses order by telephone the following day.  Since then, Rosanne expressed on several occasions how badly she felt about cancelling the order because she had been so taken by the care and attention afforded her by Lorie.

Now, back to this morning and the aforementioned surprise telephone call.

"Hello Dick...This is Lorie Carey from Carey Optical," announced the clear, cheerful voice on the other end of the telephone line.  "You were in to see us a few months ago and I felt immediate affinity for Rosanne and something touched me about the way in which the two of you struggled to get her wheelchair through our front door.  I was impressed by Rosanne's cheerfulness in spite of what she was going through but in the end I understood her reservations about new glasses."

Then came a shocking revelation..."I went ahead and had glasses made up for her anyway, because I knew she needed them.  I want Rosanne to have the the glasses at no charge."

Completely taking the wind out of my sails, Lorie explained that she intended to deliver the glasses to Rosanne as a special long-overdue Christmas gift but that she had been so busy and shorthanded at the store that she did not get around to it.  The purpose of the call was to say that after her next appointment she would be on her way to "turn the glasses over (to me)" at our front door.  In spite of my gratitude and appreciative counter offer, she refused any form of reimbursement.

Still stunned, I hung up the phone and announced to Rosanne that I had news that I thought would brighten her day.  How right I was!

Unfortunately, I was out on an errand when Lorie delivered the glasses. Rosanne heard her at the front door and with a loud yell from her lift chair in the living room invited her to come on in.  What ensued was an exchange of "divine energy" between two kindred spirits -- one a conduit and the other a grateful  receiver, both opening their hearts to each other in a rare display of raw affection and energy.

Rosanne is of a soft, sensitive nature and wears her heart on her sleeve. She is an extremely open, expressive woman who demonstrates an unusual compassion for everyone and every thing.  She dispenses the word "love" frequently and freely.  She is demonstrative and highly emotional with the least provocation. To some, I know, she is almost too good to be true with the result she is often not taken as seriously as she deserves to be.  This morning, however, when she told Lorie with tears flowing down her cheeks that she "loved" her and that God would bless her for what she had done, Rosanne truly meant it and I am sure that her heartfelt reaction was taken as intended.

As we discussed the day's events in retrospect, I told Rosanne about the coincidence of notes that I accidentally uncovered earlier that morning and we marveled at how much our dear Lorie had epitomized the "Divine energy" words that I had highlighted.  "She took the ache out of my heart and replaced it with a calm, peaceful feeling," Rosanne added with a palpable renewed energy.

Thank God for the Lorie Careys that present themselves in our lives at times of great need!

POST NOTE: "Divine energy" is described by new age theological thinkers as a healing force that can be developed in all of us. It has been my experience that people like Lorie Carey come by it quite naturally and unknowingly to the benefit of those of us fortunate enough to be blessed by them.  My belief in earthly angels has been substantiated!

02 March, 2016

SPORTS VS. CHURCH IN BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER

When I was a young fellow I found myself in a real bind. I had started to play organized baseball and games were played on virtually every Sunday, May to September. The problem was that in those days recreational activities of any kind on The Lord's Day were very much frowned on, in fact if you were a practicing Christian it was considered a sin.

The Lord's Day Alliance, formed by Presbyterians, Methodists, and Congregationalists in 1888 to protect the sacredness of Sunday in Canada, was still a force to be reckoned with in the 1940s and '50s. I well remember that there was a 12-midnight curfew for Saturday dances and that in some communities no inning of a baseball game could start 10 minutes before the bewitching hour of 12:00 a.m.

My mother and father were staunch Presbyterians and it was only because of illness that I would miss attending Sunday School and the worship services that followed. At 16 years of age I even became a Sunday School teacher, so my formative years were firmly entrenched in Church and Christian beliefs and practices.

So it was without the blessing of my mother (my father had passed away) and struggling with pangs of guilt on one hand and a burning passion for the game of baseball on the other, that I began to venture onto the playing field with mixed emotions on Sabbath afternoons. Looking back, I always felt that I did not play my best on Sundays and if I had a bad game, or committed an error, I was convinced that God was penalizing me for playing baseball on His day of rest.

Boy, have times changed in the intervening 60 years. What pained and compromised me as a young athlete, families do not give a second thought today.  When you think of Sunday today, one of two things likely come to mind. Perhaps you think of going to church with your family, like you may do every Sunday. However, there are other activities that take place approximately five months out of the year that captivate a huge percentage of North Americans -- golf, football, fishing and baseball, to name only a few of the weekend distractions. In fact, there is a real argument to be made that sports in general are better at bringing people together than church ever was.


It is really not surprising people feel this way. When you go to a football or baseball game, for instance, suddenly you are best friends with tens of thousands of other people in the stadium. These people don’t care about your gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion. All they care about is that you are supporting the same team. It is a bond that can last for life. It sounds silly, but it’s amazing the extent to which mutual support for a team can draw people together.

Today, more people than ever before are choosing not to attend church. Maybe they simply don’t enjoy it, or maybe they haven’t been accepted into a church because of their lifestyle. There are a lot of different lifestyles that certain denominations have trouble with. One of the most common is the refusal to accept members of the Gay community or views on contraception and abortion. Many religions teach that homosexuality, condoms, and abortions are sins, and that can be ostracizing to some. Thankfully, there are plenty of churches who accept people for who they are.

Watching and playing games on Sunday afternoons can be a great escape. Whether you are watching from home, physically at the game or participating in a recreational activity, it is a wonderful way to forget about the everyday stresses of life, including work, health, and personal relationships. Going to church does not necessarily do that for people. While some might find comfort in going to church and having people pray over them, it can also be a great source of anxiety.
One of the most widely watched television events is the Super Bowl. Even those who do not care about sports attend Super Bowl parties, even if it’s just an excuse to get together with friends. Companies spend millions of dollars just to get a 30 second commercial that will air during the Super Bowl. In fact, it is now expected that the commercials you see during the game will be the best you see all year. Why do advertisers put so much money and energy into these commercials? Because they know they have a larger audience now than they will at any other point in the year. The Super Bowl and Grey Cup bring the American and Canadian people together for one Sunday every year – it is a massive cultural event comparable only to the World Cup in terms of popularity.

While I can take or leave football, some people really do enjoy the game that much. However, some may do it because it is a distraction from everything else they are dealing with. They might feel the most accepted when they are supporting their team on Sunday afternoons, so they have thrown themselves into it completely. In the past, this was a central function of church services. In some ways, sports have supplanted that.

Even though churches are left competing with sports for attention on Sundays, church still does have its place. There are many people who are committed to their faith and those who will put their beloved sport on hold to attend a church service. Still, it’s interesting to think about how much more accepted people might feel watching or playing a game.

Personally, I do not attend church services anymore, but it has nothing to do with acceptance or a preference for sports...It goes much deeper than that and I might write about it some day, when I'm ready.

In retrospect, I am still in that moral bind of my youth.  It has just taken on a different perspective.