Archive for January, 2009

Knock, Knock!

Posted by Doug White under Personal, Spiritual

Funny enough, I would actually be classified as one of these door-knocking religion pushers, although if you’d have asked me if I would be one many years ago, I would have scoffed at you.

My faith is Baptist and I think (but am not sure) that we and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are really the only ones who still door knock now-a-days. However, even though I’ve been a Baptist for 16 years, I only recently began door-knocking about 3 years ago.

When we moved to South Dakota, we joined a local Baptist church and I was doing a bible study with a gentleman in the church one Thursday and when we left I noticed a group of people at the church getting ready to go knock on doors. I was asked if I wanted to go and hesitantly, I agreed. After all, I know that many people are turned off by this process and wasn’t all that sure I wanted to be on the receiving end of that.

I was very pleasantly surprised. We actually probably approach it somewhat different than many faiths, we don’t try to really cram anything down anyone’s throat and I know that some do. What I found out when I went, is that we usually went to people’s homes that had attended our services as a guest in previous weeks (they fill out a guest card). These individuals are usually pretty receptive to a visit (after all they came to us first so they were seeking faith out in some context).

From time to time, if there had not been a large number of visitors in the previous weeks, we would do some random door knocking. I would say that nearly 95% of people are considerate and even pleased to have you visit. Many might be of another faith and if they were, we usually would say that is awesome. We do ask people if they are interested in any literature on our church and if they are we give it to them. The pamphlets we give them do have some information on salvation as well as that is fundamental to what we believe.

For the most part, we usually just try to approach it from a friendly non-confrontational point of view. If an individual is not interested, we move on. But I rarely found anyone to be unfriendly in the time I have done this. So I have found door-knocking to be a relatively positive experience.

Now, on to the question on how to politely get rid of them (or me!). I have actually thought about this myself as I have wondered how I would feel if a Jehovah’s Witness person stopped at my door. If I was busy at the time, I would be up front with them and tell them I just don’t have the time. If I wasn’t, I would have no issue hearing what they have to say, but I would condition that with the idea that they need to be willing to hear what I have to say as well. I am not turned off by other faiths, while I do feel my faith to be true and correct, I think open and honest communicaton with others – even those who disagree – can only strengthen my own beliefs as it makes me think and study harder on what I do believe.

For those who have no spiritual faith to discuss with the individual, it could still be interesting to have the same type of discussion with them on what you do believe. In fact, it could either strengthen what you believe or it may actually make you consider other alternatives. If you are actually up to or interested in that type of discussion, that is!

Ultimately though, it’s your house, and your choice. Someone who is truly interested in helping you (instead of shoving a belief down your throat) will respect a polite, “Thank you but I’m not interested.” Those who aren’t respectful are most likely not interested in helping you spirtually anyways and politeness would pretty much just be lost on them.

NOTE: This was originally published by myself on my old HubPages account on 1/30/2009.

Is Abe Lincoln’s Work Completed?

Posted by Doug White under Political

I know many people are saying this, and as such, it may sound trite, but today is truly a monumental time in our country’s history. As I’ve mentioned before, I am not a supporter of Barack Obama. I probably disagree on every stand he takes on moral issues as well as many other political issues. But, I truly believe that the fact that he is President today says so much for us as a people.

Learning about Abraham Lincoln as a young boy, I came to admire him quite a bit. It was mind-boggling to me as a child to think that we made people property and used them to do work we were too lazy to do ourselves. The way slaves were treated was so offensive and to read about this man who presided over one of the worst times in our country’s history and what he did to help these people was inspiring to me. Even today, reading his history is so incredible and I always hate to get to the end when his life was cut down by an evil man. I always wish there was some way I could go back in time to prevent John Wilkes Booth from killing him.

And yet, despite all he did, there was so much still to do. I won’t go into a history that many of us know, other than to comment that for me it shows a side to our country that I wish wasn’t there. So many lives have been lost or hurt or impacted by people’s narrow views or racist ideas.

But today marks an overwhelming step in a different direction. Today we have put a man in charge of our country who 100 years ago would have been looked at as only 3/5th of a person. My hope is that we put President Obama in charge our future not because of his race, but regardless of it. If that is true, then that step I mentioned above has truly been taken.

I watched the inauguration today. I thought the poem that was read was a little boring, and the prayer done by Reverend Lowery was an attempt for him to be a little wittier than he actually may be. But despite the little mixup in the oath of office by the judge, I felt such an incredible sense of pride in watching Barack Obama take office. I may not like where he plans to go with his policies and plans, but I just had this feeling today that the President I do admire – Abe Lincoln – would feel like his work has been completed today, or at the very least taken a significant step forward.

NOTE: This was originally published by myself on my old HubPages account on 1/20/2009.

I have always loved comic books. I was a big fan of them most of my life, my favorite being Superman, but I read many others as well, Batman, The Hulk, Spiderman, etc. When I met my wife 16 years ago, I had nearly 15 boxes of them and I remember when Superman #75 came out (where he was killed by Doomsday), she even bought me a sympathy card. Yes, I am a geek of the highest order! (don’t even get me started on Star Trek!)

So, while I am not a Barack Obama fan, I read with great interest about the issue of Spiderman #583. This issue was very hyped up by the news media – they basically told us the story about how Barack Obama is a Spiderman fan and so the people who put out the Spiderman comic were doing an “inaugural edition” of the comic where Obama would be on the cover and inside Spiderman would save him from a Super-Villian.

Now, I am no dummy (at least not always) and I read between the lines here. They of course did this because they knew with the cult-like popularity that Obama has in this country, that they would make a mint off this comic. And being just as greedy as the next person, I wanted a little piece of the pie myself.

I called around to the stores in my home town in South Dakota and they were all sold out (this was 4 days BEFORE the edition came out). So I called Brookings, SD and the comic book store there said they could sell me an issue, as long as none of their regulars bought it. Just to be safe, I called a place in Lincoln, Nebraska and was told I could buy one from them too. Both stores told me they would mail me the copies of this comic.

The day the comic came out, I started watching Ebay. Sure enough, the comic was selling for $150 a pop! On the first day!! This was unbelievable! I started rubbing my hands evilly as I thought of the fact that I had not one but TWO copies of this issue! Boy, Mom would be sorry now that she scoffed at me when I said that I would get rich some day from selling my comics!

I got home that night and called the Lincoln, Nebraska store and got my first set of bad news. The guy who I talked to said that they did not get as many copies of the comic as they were told they would get and therefore I would not be able to get one. (A friend later told me that more than likely some of the issues were “set aside” for personal use.) In a bit of irony though, I found out from family members in Nebraska, that less than 2 hours after I called them, that store was robbed at gun-point!

I got a hold of the Brookings store the next day and was told that I did get a copy of the comic from them and it would be in the mail that day. I had left town the next day for an overnight trip and my wife called me and told me that I did get the comic book in the mail.

When I came home that day, I was excited to see the comic. But what was interesting is that the guy at the Lincoln store must have not known what he was talking about because I got a comic from them as well. (could he have been the robber and was just trying to get me off the line? hmmm…) I was all excited to see these comics…

Until I opened them up. See, every news article in the known universe on this story had talked about the issue as if the cover would have Barack Obama on it. Neither of the copies I had recieved did. Mine looked like the first picture below with Peter Parker on it. Apparently, the Obama version had to be pre-ordered nearly a month prior and that was not mentioned in any article anywhere!

On top of that, the story on Obama was about 5 pages in this comic. The hype that was done on this story was way above what the actual product produced (there is a political irony there that ties back to the “product” that was sold to us in November but I’ll refrain from commenting…)

So, while I know that Barack Obama had nothing to do with this, I find it somewhat ironic that my first attempt to put my faith in something Obama, the only change I got was short-changed! Ah well, I can still sell the ones I got I suppose – currently they are selling for about $15 on Ebay…maybe in a few years they’ll be worth enough to take my wife out to dinner. Or maybe not…

Comic Book Covers

The cover of the comic I received.                                       The cover of the comic that was advertised in every news article.
The first comic is what the comic looked like that I got, the second comic was the one they advertisted.
 
NOTE: This was originally published by myself on my old HubPages account on 1/19/2009.