Bob's Basement

Just a short, simple blog for Bob to share his thoughts.

Forgiveness and Restoration

I stumbled across the following article recently, which briefly discusses an issue that our family has struggled with:

How to Extend Forgiveness and Set a Boundary

Without going into too much detail, someone in our family hurt my children; and by that I mean this person really hurt my children – in life-altering ways. When someone injures your children, you want them to be punished; you want them to suffer for the years of pain your children have had to endure. And yet for reasons I cannot explain, this person has never faced justice. We cut this person out of our lives as you would with any other cancer, but unfortunately that is the most that we can do.

That being said, our family is predominantly populated with Christians who want everyone and everything to be "forgiven," and for all of us to get along as one big, happy family. However, since the person who caused all of this pain and suffering has never changed, any semblance of restoration is probably never going to happen, for reasons which should be obvious to anyone who loves their children. But seeing as how it was only my children who were hurt, my wife and I have received countless comments from other family members asking whether we have "forgiven" the pernicious person who is the source of our family troubles. We have assured everyone that we have, which then leads to the questions about why can't our "lives go back to the way they were before all of this started."

First of all, the way our lives were before "all of this started" does not mean that the guilty party wasn't hurting other people; it was just happening to people outside our immediate family, and being swept under the rug because people chose not to see that it was happening. But that is a different problem for a different day.

The problem which currently faces our family is: what does it mean to forgive someone?

For some of our family members, "forgiveness" means a complete and total restoration. But that is a totally naïve sentiment, and it completely ignores or trivializes the suffering of those whose lives were damaged. My wife and I have tried to explain time and again that we have "forgiven" the person who wounded our family, but we have no desire to rekindle a relationship with the guilty party. To other family members this looks like "unforgiveness," whereas to me this looks like "common sense." One should not willingly subject their loved ones to a harmful person in the name of "forgiveness."

This is why I enjoyed the article which I mentioned earlier; in that piece, Dr. Cloud did a great job of summarizing the different parts of a restoration process, which I will paraphrase and adapt to our family's situation:

Forgiveness: This is letting go of what you believe is your right to punish someone for how they hurt you. My wife and I have done so; it was difficult, but holding onto unforgiveness is more harmful to yourself than it is to others. Or as a popular idiom states, "Holding on to unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."

Reconciliation: This is when the other person apologizes and accepts forgiveness; this has not happened within our family. In fact, the guilty party is still asserting that he or she has never done anything wrong, and recently demanded an apology for the years which he or she was denied access to our family. With this person's attitudes in mind, any hope of reconciliation is currently impossible.

Trust: This is when you allow a person whom you have forgiven back into your life. This may be a long, slow process, because it involves re-establishing your confidence that the person who hurt you will not do so again. In our family's situation, the person responsible for all of the suffering still insists no wrong-doing, so there can be no reasonable assumption that this person will not hurt someone again. Perhaps he or she will not wound someone in the same way as before, but still – I do not trust this person around my spouse or children.

Bringing this discussion to a close, we need to make a clear distinction between "forgiveness" and "reconciliation" in our lives. When we confuse these actions, we may subject ourselves to further injury. We certainly need to forgive those who harm us, but it is up to the other person to reconcile the situation and to re-establish trust. If the other person is unwilling to do so, then you are far better off without them in your life.


By the way, the following book by Jerry Cook is a good resource for anyone who is faced with difficult life situations and questions about forgiveness:

Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness: Being Christian in a Non-Christian World

Posted: Jul 19 2017, 11:22 by bob | Comments (0)
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: Family
Social Bookmarks: E-mail | Kick it! | DZone it! | del.icio.us

Saying Goodbye to an Old, Trusted Friend...

I was going through some boxes recently, where I discovered the following book…

Natural History Book

My parents gave me this book in the early 1970s when I was eight years old, and I carried that book everywhere. Way back then, my life’s ambition was to become a paleontologist, and this book had some excellent chapters on dinosaurs which I read over and over again.

However, my copy of this book was definitely showing its 45 years of age; it’s binding had worn away to nothing, countless pages were torn… even though I didn’t check, I’m pretty sure that some pages were missing. There is no doubt – this was a well-loved volume of knowledge back in its day; but now it was little more than a shadow of its former self, and a sad relic of days gone by.

Natural History Book

Still, though, it’s amazing the history through which this book persisted in my personal (albeit negligent) care… when I received this book as a gift, Richard Nixon was President of the United States, the average price for a gallon of gasoline was 39 cents, the United States was still embroiled in the waning years of the Vietnam War, Pink Floyd released Dark Side of the Moon, and the biggest single of the year was “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” by Tony Orlando and Dawn.

Nevertheless, this compendium of natural history knowledge had outlived its usefulness several years ago, and it was time to say goodbye. So with a heavy heart I unceremoniously dispatched my once-faithful companion to the recycle bin, where I hope that some part of it might wind up as another book which will spark another child’s imagination in decades to come. Or perhaps that’s just what I tell myself in order to feel a little less guilty…

Sad smile

Posted: Jul 14 2017, 10:25 by Bob | Comments (0)
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: Ponderings | History
Social Bookmarks: E-mail | Kick it! | DZone it! | del.icio.us

Ride Notes for June 24th, 2017

During today's 32-mile ride through the deserts on the east side of Tucson, I probably should have called it quits when the temperature hit 120 degrees on my GPS... but then again, I was out in the desert with nowhere to stop, so my choices were: 1) keep riding, or 2) die. Or as Winston Churchill famously remarked, "If you're going through hell, keep going."

2017-06-24 - Pistol Hill Loop Temperature

Originally this was supposed to be my usual 40-mile Saturday ride, but I decided right before my departure to drop the 8-mile loop through Saguaro National Park. (Which in hindsight was undoubtedly a really good idea.) On a positive note, there appeared to be no other cyclists riding today, so I had the roads all to myself.

(PS - I didn't get a photo for when the temperature hit 133 degrees on my GPS because my cell phone shut down due to the excessive heat. Of course, my lack of cell phone meant that I was also unable to abort the ride and call my wife to come find me.)

Posted: Jun 24 2017, 22:55 by bob | Comments (0)
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: Bicycling | Arizona
Social Bookmarks: E-mail | Kick it! | DZone it! | del.icio.us

Apple's Self-Driving Car?

Wait... Apple is working on a self-driving car? Have they even SEEN Apple Maps?

An Apple car would drive you right off a bridge, and as your car settled to the bottom of a river Siri would cheerfully say, "You've arrived at your destination."

Posted: Jun 13 2017, 17:22 by bob | Comments (0)
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: Humor | Technology
Social Bookmarks: E-mail | Kick it! | DZone it! | del.icio.us

If D-Day had happened in 2017...

Given the increasingly-ridiculous levels of political correctness and unnecessary inclinations towards white guilt, here is a bit of alternative history for today, which examines how the contemporary mainstream media might have handled the D-Day invasion if it had happened in the present:

7:30am, Tuesday, June 6, 1944
From various World News Services
:

This just in - American and Allied forces, undoubtedly with imperialist ambitions, are currently attacking hundreds of undermanned and outgunned German soldiers, who are now desperately fighting for their lives amidst an onslaught of unprovoked Anglo-Saxon aggression. Just four years earlier, these same German forces successfully liberated France from centuries of colonial and imperial oppression, and yet they now find their comrades senselessly slaughtered on the beaches of Normandy while trying to defend the innocent people of France from foreign invaders.

American soldiers landing on the coast of France under heavy Nazi machine gun fire.

Joseph Goebbels, the distinguished spokesman for the widely-popular German National Socialist Party, condemned the heinous atrocities of the invaders by stating, "This is a sad day for Europe. German sovereignty has been deliberately and ruthlessly challenged in a cowardly, pre-dawn surprise attack by those who wish to see Europe returned to the Dark Ages. After we have forced these intruders back into the sea from whence they came, history will remember this as a triumph for humanity, and henceforth remember this day as 'Deutschland-Day!'"

General Eisenhower, the duplicitous 'commander' of the invading forces, could not be reached for comment.

Posted: Jun 06 2017, 11:26 by bob | Comments (0)
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: History | Humor
Tags: ,
Social Bookmarks: E-mail | Kick it! | DZone it! | del.icio.us

Double Standards and Hypocrites

Someone close to me (who shall remain nameless) posted the following image to Facebook with the caption that "Double Standards Abound:"

kathy-griffin-is-an-idiot

Now I will not attempt - even for a second - to defend any of the Drumpf's ludicrous statements; he is a never-ending stream of verbal diarrhea. However, I want you to imagine if four years ago some comedian had posed with the severed head of Obama... that guilty party would still be serving a jail sentence for a hate crime, and there's your real double-standard. Or what would have happened if the Drumpf had posed with the severed head of Hillary Clinton during the presidential race? Can you imagine the uproar that would have caused?

Make no mistake - the Drumpf is an idiot, but what Kathy Griffin did exceeds the mere assertion that she "went a little too far." If we take the Bette Davis quote from that image at face value and we assume that Ms. Griffin was just "giving her opinion" by her actions, then think about what that really means.

I'm sorry, but espousing the death of a sitting president is unconscionable, even if that president is hypocritical buffoon and you cannot stand him; you cannot defend the indefensible simply because you happen to loathe the target of their hatred.

Posted: Jun 03 2017, 10:18 by bob | Comments (0)
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: Rants | Politics
Tags: ,
Social Bookmarks: E-mail | Kick it! | DZone it! | del.icio.us

Why I Fail To Understand Women

No woman in her right mind would want to be called a "Cow," and yet so many women shop at a place called the "Dress Barn."

This makes no sense to me... Open-mouthed smile

Posted: May 24 2017, 11:03 by bob | Comments (0)
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: Humor | Ponderings | Marriage
Social Bookmarks: E-mail | Kick it! | DZone it! | del.icio.us

The Windmills of La Mancha

Here is an HDR shot which I took of the windmills in La Mancha, Spain...

La_Mancha_HDR

However, this photo does not do justice to the actual spectacle, nor does it capture the rain and hail which were pelting me as I took the photo. With that in mind, I felt a little more in tune with Don Quixote as I was chasing the impossible amidst an onslaught of oppressive circumstances...

Surprised smile

Posted: May 18 2017, 04:18 by bob | Comments (0)
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: Photography
Social Bookmarks: E-mail | Kick it! | DZone it! | del.icio.us

Verizon versus T-Mobile

For several years I was a loyal T-Mobile customer. I loved their service. I paid one simple price per month, which included unlimited data, unlimited texting, built-in tethering, and a generous amount of voice calling. In addition to that, their service allowed for travelling overseas with your cell phone at no extra cost; carrying your cell phone out of the country was simply covered by your plan.

There was only one fatal problem which I ran into that made me have to change carriers: I had no cell phone coverage in my home office. This was a deal-breaker for me. I have two-factor authentication (2FA) turned on for work and most of the websites where 2FA is available, so having no coverage in my office meant that I had to login initially for work or a website on my computer, then walk outside and stand in my backyard until I received the call or text message to complete the authentication process. This was obviously unacceptable, so I begrudgingly realized that I would have to change carriers; which was really too bad, since T-Mobile worked great for me when I lived in Seattle.

So my wife and I started shopping around between the different carriers; e.g. Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, etc. Eventually we decided to go with Verizon since their coverage seemed to be the best. However, once the honeymoon period of having cell phone coverage in my office had passed, I realized the shocking revelation of just how expensive Verizon could be.

As I mentioned earlier, T-Mobile was a flat fee which was reasonably-priced and provided lots of great features at a low cost which easily beat the competition.

Verizon, on the other hand, wants to charge you for everything. They have found dozens of ways to exceed the airline industry by nickle-and-diming its customers for everything on their phones. You want Caller ID? You'll have to pay for that. You want to use your phone overseas for a few weeks? Prepare to pay hundreds of dollars. You want to use data services on your phone? Prepare to pay through the nose. You want to use tethering with your laptop/tablet? That'll be another $50 or so for two phones. Pretty much any feature on your phone comes at an additional cost.

In addition to the exorbitant fees, for some reason which I have never been able to ascertain, using Verizon for the same data services which I used on T-Mobile required around four times the amount of data. Before I switched carriers, I saw that I was using about 1GB of data per month for the apps that I use; e.g. email, FB, streaming, etc. So when I switched to Verizon, I went with a 2GB plan just to be safe. But I used that up almost immediately, and I quickly upgraded to a 4GB plan. But that was also used up pretty quickly, and I changed to an 8GB plan. Of course, each data service upgrade increased my costs yet again, so cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching... The next thing I know I'm paying Verizon two or three times what I paid for T-Mobile services, with less features.

Oh, and one more thing: on our first-month bill, my wife and I had a huge data usage the first day. This might seem normal because of downloading apps to a new phone and such, but when I looked at the per-hour breakdown on my bill of data usage, the largest part of the data usage happened before I was actually given the phone. After my wife and I had picked out our phones, the sales guy at the Verizon store said that it was going to take a little while to get things set up, so my wife and I agreed to head out to lunch and run some other errands and return to pick up our phones later that afternoon. What I am presuming happened was the sales rep upgraded our phones with new versions of the operating systems after my wife and I left the store, which seems like a good idea in principle, but I didn't think that I should have to pay for hundreds of megabytes of data usage before I actually owned the phone; Verizon should have covered the cost of upgrading the phones with the latest bits just because that's good customer service. And with that in mind, I tried fighting those charges with Verizon, but - of course - I lost that battle.

I have only had Verizon for one year now, but that has been more than enough time for me to come to the following inescapable conclusion: I HATE VERIZON.

Steaming mad

Posted: Apr 21 2017, 20:42 by Bob | Comments (0)
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under:
Tags:
Social Bookmarks: E-mail | Kick it! | DZone it! | del.icio.us

I Love Neil Zaza...

I had this melody line stuck in my head all day... and if you have to have a song lodged in your imagination, this is a pretty good one to go with.

Open-mouthed smile

Posted: Apr 18 2017, 18:24 by bob | Comments (0)
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: Music | Guitar
Tags: ,
Social Bookmarks: E-mail | Kick it! | DZone it! | del.icio.us