TGIF RedStaters! (and how in the world are you!?)
First, an apology for leaving a void over the last month after a solid five months of showing up on Fridays to make sure we all had a place to hang out and shoot the breeze. I have been away for 4 of the last 5 weeks, and 3 of those out of the country. It sure is good to be home!!!
Fun for WingNuts
On one of those trips, offsetting outbound and inbound flight segments (Dubai -San Francisco) were supposed to go near the North Pole. I am of course a WingNut, so I look these things up.
If you want to know what is the shortest path between any two airports you can use a tool such as Great Circle Mapper to show the shortest (great circle) distance between airports. Entering “DXB-SFO”, this is what it shows.
Now the pilot being all jaded and having responsibility to keep costs down and deliver his passengers alive if possible has other things to consider. Winds aloft matter, and sometimes the pilot will be so good as to avoid an active war zone or two – so actual mileage (and route) may vary. Hoping for the best, I paid attention during the flights. The outbound flight was a bust. We ended up way south of the pole, on the lower end of Greenland at our northernmost. The pilot’s priorities obviously did not include a direct sighting of Santa’s Workshop.
The return trip however, was evidently captained by someone no longer working for the airline, who was bound and determined to cross the pole NO MATTER WHAT. Initially, instead of heading straight north, we headed significantly east as well. A pole crossing was not looking good. But EVENTUALLY the pilot realized how important the North Pole might be to some passengers, threw caution to the wind, and tacked back west to make sure that we would cross the pole. Bless his heart!
Here is that segment, courtesy of my personal seatback screen enroute. I would tell you I flipped it to match the gcmap view, but I didn’t and can’t figure out how to fix it. But we’ll pretend that I did this for effect:
We ended up crossing the North Pole, and I searched diligently for signs of life at Santa’s Home, but I think they must move the operation in the off season.
Hell – NO?
While I was traveling, I saw a report that Pope Francis “appeared to deny the existence of Hell”. The Vatican disputes this. I was not there, and can’t vouch for what was said. But what I can do is conclude that a statement that a non-believer’s soul ceases to exist after death, while more comforting, is not what I’ve read in the bible. I am not a bible scholar (nor do I play one on TV), but I have been through the bible a few times. If you missed my plugs for the Daily Audio Bible, you can find them (here and here). I attend and enjoy church every week, and consider DAB my second home church (albeit virtual).
Try this google search, “hell doctrine”. Looking through the first few, they appear to cover the “eternal” and “torment” parts I remember. The search tells me that most of the Bible’s references to Hell are by Jesus. Hard to take the Son and reject the Hell. A relevant similar search was also recommended: “annihilationism vs eternal torment”
May the Easter spirit remain with you this week and always, as you contemplate and remember that Jesus’ sacrifice has paid it all for all those who will turn to and follow him. May you take up Jesus on his offer of salvation if you have not already, and may you rest in His Peace, and His Joy. Now and Always. Amen!