Archive for August, 2016

I’m Glad That Job Is Over

Friday, August 19th, 2016

Last weekend, I decided to replace the two toilets in our house.  As a person ages, it gets harder and harder to get up off the throne, especially when the seat is lower than sitting in a chair. So, I did my research extensively, trying to find the best toilet for our budget, and for our bu…..  oh, never mind with that comment.  We will, after all, be spending a lot of time sitting on those seats in the coming years.

I did not realize that Lowes lists hundreds of models, with many in the $500-$900 price range! Who knew there are self-cleaning, heated, powered, fashion toilets? So, after a couple of days of spreadsheet comparisons, looking at seat height, GPF (gallons per flush), flush valve sizes, rough-in measurements, and of course, customer ratings, I chose the model I most wanted. Fortunately, our local Lowes reported 6 in stock. So last Friday, we went to pick them up, one for each bathroom.

I knew that the bathroom off the master bedroom would be an issue, as I had worked on a leak once before. The flange was well below the level of the floor. Rather than putting in two wax rings (they really do break down over time), I decided to put in a “flange extender kit”.  The instructions make it look pretty easy. Just set this on top of the existing flange, with the seal provided, drill some masonry screws in, and mount the toilet. Little did I know that the existing flange was installed before the concrete was poured for the house! I had to chip out enough concrete to be able to insert the flange extender into the space where it needed to go.

My “one hour – tops!” estimate was grossly insufficient. The first toilet took 6 hours to install, almost all of that being preparatory work.  The second installation gave me two advantages: I knew what I was doing, and I had more room to do it in!  It only took a mere four hours to install!  Trying to chip away about 1 1/2 inches of concrete in a near perfect circle, and with a flat level bottom surface – is not at all easy.

But the result is spectacular! I know that these toilets will give us no problems for many, many years to come!  They only use a fraction of the water we used to use, and yes – it is much easier to stand up!


Compassion or tolerance?

Friday, August 5th, 2016

I woke up this morning with the thought that there is a big difference between compassion and tolerance.

When I talk with my liberal friends (yes, I have several), they point out that conservatives are not very compassionate, whereas liberals are very compassionate. That conservatives are judgmental at best, and bigots at worst. They claim we are not very tolerant of other’s lifestyles. By and large, liberals equate “conservatives” with “evangelical Christians.” While I agree that many evangelical Christians are more judgmental than compassionate (to our shame), I would also argue that to be a true Christian requires one to be less tolerant of other lifestyles. Let me explain:

Being judgmental is to hold yourself above the person you are judging. The thinking goes like this: “I hold to a standard of behavior, and you have not met that standard.” In other words, “I am better than you.” There is a lot of confusion over a Christian’s responsibility to judge. The Bible tells us in some places not to judge, and other places to judge. Here is the difference: We are not to judge those outside the faith – that is for the Lord to do. We are to judge those who claim to be Christian, but continue to live in sin. Most people do not understand or practice this distinction.

Being compassionate is to be understanding in a way that offers comfort and relief. Jesus was the picture of compassion. We can all do better at this.

Being tolerant is to look the other way when someone does wrong. Think about it: what is it that we “tolerate”? “Tolerate” implies wrong behavior! This is the word the liberals have redefined: their “tolerance” means to accept someone’s lifestyle when it is different from your own. That definition ignores the Christian’s responsibility to call out sin for what it is.  By changing “wrong” to mean “different”, they are trying to remove the guilt factor from their consciences. They are asking Christians to go along with that, and we cannot. Our Lord was and is very intolerant of sin.

So when the liberals want us to be more tolerant, they are asking us to look the other way when they are doing wrong. They make it sound like tolerance is a good thing, a necessary thing for us all to get along. The problem is, a Christian cannot be tolerant of sin. We can be compassionate toward sinners; we can and should be less judgmental (See Philippians 2: 1-5); but we should not condone sin (aka be tolerant toward sin).

In truth, it is the liberals who are very intolerant of Christians. They are guilty of the very thing they charge us with. Our liberal courts are already intolerant of Christians by ruling against Christian businesses who refuse to serve homosexuals, or refusing to allow challenges to evolution, or throwing all mention of God out of public places.

So the next time you hear claims of “intolerance”, consider which definition they are using…



Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

This election year certainly highlights how far we have strayed from the standards of conduct established by our founding fathers. On one side, we have someone who is a pathological liar with no grip whatsoever on the realities facing our nation. On the other, we have a pathological bully who cannot pass up an opportunity to spew insults toward anyone who crosses his path.

If you can persevere beyond the lies and insults, the differences are like night and day.

One wants to let all refugees in to include terrorists, the other wants to shut down our borders until we can sort out who the terrorists are (a seemingly impossible task).

One says the country is doing wonderfully, the other points to crises in our national defense, economy, education, and balance of trade.

One wants to promote dependency on the government at the expense of those who work, and the other wants to bring jobs back from overseas so everyone can work.

One is the poster child for “politically correct”, the other is the antithesis of “politically correct”.

One wields the media like an arsenal, the other takes the beating from that arsenal.

One is backed by everyone who believes they are entitled to a comfortable life, the other is backed by those who are tired of paying for those so-called entitlements.

Both want to run a campaign based largely on discrediting the other.  While this strategy is nothing new, these two have taken it to a new extreme.

A nationally syndicated columnist recently wrote “The election is Trump’s to lose.” And he is doing a fine job of it, from what I can tell. Message to Trump: Stop insulting everyone, concentrate on the national issues, and you’ll win.  Message to Clinton: Go to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.