Sunday, August 16, 2009

Aloha!

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I am sorry for not having posted lately. I have been both busy and without internet access. The hotels my company has set me up in while nice enough do not have free Wi-Fi and access is on the order of twelve bucks a day. I am finally in Honolulu and in a hotel with free internet so I will be posting when I can.

The picture above is of a place called Huggos on the Rocks. My co workers and I went on a bit of a pub crawl in Kona and this was one of the places we ended up in. I watched a Luau at the King Kamehameha hotel and swam in the Hawaiian end of the Pacific for the first time. I also found some excellent live blues.

This trip was my first time flying over the ocean and it was also the largest jet I have ever been on. I love to fly and every time I do I am impressed with the ability of this little tube with wings to hold itself aloft. Intellectually I understand it very well but I am still awestruck. I find that I do have the capacity for faith. When I fly I never worry that the plane will crash or that something will not work. I have complete faith in the technology and its implementation. Not that I think it can not fail, just that knowing how it works and seeing it work fills me with confidence. Were I ignorant of physics or engineering I could see myself being afraid of flying. Were I from a primitive culture that had never seen such things I could see myself cowering in fear of this terrible thing and the mysterious magic that made it fly. It seems that I can easily put faith in something I can see and describe. It is only those things that can not be seen or described that defy my ability to have faith.

After leaving the big island we travelled to Mauii. We did a few days work and then had a few days off. Yesterday a group of co-workers and I went out seeking adventure and adventure is what we found. First we took a snorkeling cruise to the Molokini crater. It was insanely fun. The seas were calm and the weather amazing. The crew provided us with an excellent lunch and an open bar making it a happy sail in and of itself, but the best part was the snorkeling. The reef was full of brightly colored fish yellow tang, parrot fish and many others. I was chasing a parrot fish about when a large shape caught my eye. I turned and saw a large knifelike fish swimming back and forth about ten feet down. I looked closer and realized I was swimming with a shark. A whitetip, they are not known to be aggressive towards humans but I was still impressed with its appearence of grace and power. After snorkeling we returned to Mauii and on the way we saw a gian sea turtle off the bow of the ship. I was too slow to get a picture, sadly.

Then we went to big beach right at high tide. At first we just played in the surf getting tossed around but after a time we got more seriouse. One of my team has done some surfing and she taught us how to paddle in to the crest of the wave and body surf in. THAT WAS AMAZING. Sooon we were perfecting our skills and riding high. One wave a very big one caught me up and I was right on the crest. Having taken a beating on a few other big waves I thought I would protect my limbs and tuck into a ball. DON"T EVER DO THIS! The wave sent me spinning exactly as if I were a beach ball and tossed me shoulder first into the beach very hard. I got up holding my bruised ribs and saw some perfectly stereotypical Japanese tourists pointing at me and taking pictures.

We decided that now we wanted some nightlife. After returning to the hotel for changes and showers the ladies decided they wanted to Kareoke. We asked the lady at the hotel and got directions to what was supposed to be a good place but when we arrived they had a band that evening. We set out exploring to find another. Shortly after we saw a little bar in an overpark with a big sign advertising Kareoke night. "Yeah!" we thought and went in. It took me all of two seconds to realize we had found ourselves in a hostess bar, and not a discrete gentelmans club either but basically a house of prostitution. My co workers being all in their early twenties were not so astute. The girls figured it out first after noticing all of the unattached women who were not pleased to see them. The guys were obliviouse until the girls explained it to them. I bought our girls some drinks because they weren't allowed to stay if they weren't drinking and then put my very limited Japanese language skills to work explaining that we really just wanted to sing. This was not very welcome news to the hostesses and one made it very clear that for twenty dollars I could have oral sex in the back room. I politely declined but that made us even less welcome and we were starting to think we should leave. Fortunately our songs cued up. I won us some goodwill and applause with a pretty decent and over the top rendition of heartbreak hotel. When I was finished we had gone from unwelcome to tolerated. The rest of the team took their turns and we were having a good time but the clincher, that made friends of our hostesses was when one of the women on my team took the mike. She had the voice of a goddesss. It was as if the simple little kareoke tune sprang to life and grew wings. The whole club including the other patrons were struck dumb and enraptured. When the song ended the applause was overwhelming and we were no longer ignorant gaijin intruders but welcome guests.

Yesterday was one of the best days of my life. adventure, friendship, beauty and comedy all in one wonderful day. Each island has brought new sorts of experiences and I still have two weeks and two islands to go. I can't wait to see what else awaits me.

10 comments:

Tracy Wagman said...

Ryk,

Yes, you do have the capacity for faith.
The bible is something that you can see and describe. It shows you in the way to go.

Planes crash.

As a Christian in the "crashes" of life...
Jesus always catches us. He always helps us through.

Couldn't resist.

Enjoy your stay in Hawaii.

Ryk said...

Hi Tracy

I do have faith in the Bible. You are correct that I can see and describe it. I have faith that when I open one each version will say roughly the same thing. I have faith that if the cover is is english the rest will be also. I have faith that the letters will all be black or red. These are things have faith in without opening it up to check. That is what I am trying to say. I haave faith in things like Bibles and airplanes that can be seen and described. I have no faith in gods, magic, or any other thing that can't.

As to god always helping Christians through life, I find that hard to have faith in. Surely faith in something has helped some people but that is about all I can see. In my experience believers in Yahwheh are no happier, healthier, wealthier, or more secure than believers in other gods or atheists. In what way is god helping Christians through life? I don't believe in gods or ask for or even willingly accept help from it, yet I am doing better in all ways than many Christians I know. I am in better health, have more financial security, a happier marriage. If a god is helping them how would I or they know about it?

Ryk said...

Thanks for the good wishes. I am enjoying my stay. This week has been work heavy but I only have two more work days then two days off, then one work day and two days off. I should be out having fun soon.

rhiggs said...

Hey Ryk,

Hope you're enjoying your trip.

When you get back or have some spare time check this out. Sye has finally admitted that an omnipotent omniscient being could be fooling him to believe that his 'revelation' is certain.

LOL!

This effectively refutes everything he has ever said about his revelation and about certainty. It reduces his position to religion.

rhiggs said...

Hmmm,

That didn't seem to work

Here's the link in full:

http://fourdollarsalmostfive.blogspot.com/2009/08/open-invitation-to-scmike.html?showComment=1250699861493#c1069013041097341483

Tracy Wagman said...

If you can have faith in the Bible then you can have faith in Jesus. The Word IS God. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." John 1:1

I know that you have a wonderful life without God, Ryk. You have mustered up the strength to pull yourself out of a pit of wild living when you were younger. (As you have shared with me.)

I am very careful not to present some wonderful, hearts and flowers gospel. Because God never promised us a wonderful life once you convert to Chritianity. He did, however, promise to be with us and help us endure.

If you're life appears to be better according to some Christians you know, perhaps it is in some ways. Christians aren't perfect. Only God is. We still have sin issues. Getting saved is the easy part. Working out the issues of life is the tough part. Maybe their walk with God isn't right, who knows?

I can't speak for others and how they know whether God is helping them or not. But I can say for myself that I was completely unaware of God's provision of help for me in the worst times of my life because I was blinded with bitterness toward God because He permitted awful things to happen to me. It was only till I worked through that stuff that I was able to clearly see those that He put in my path to help me, to truly care for me and love me. It was a demonstration of His true characteristics towards me through other people. God was/is good. It wasn't life's blows dictating who God was anymore b/c I saw Him for who He truly was.

I can clearly see God's help in my life now. I am not the same person I was because He changed me. I know God is my one help that I can faithfully count on. He never lets me down, not even accidentally. I know Jesus personally helps and considers me. That means a lot to me.

You have completely beleived and depended upon yourself to survive through this life. You really don't know anything different and it works for you. You don't see your need for God in your own personal life. You must carry some heavy burdens at times. Burdens that God never intended for you to carry.

Pride doesn't let God help nor does it want God's help. And in your case it makes God nonexistant. Ask God to show you your need for Him. Humble yourself on your nice vacation.

Ryk said...

Tracy

Since I have no need of Gods help assuming he existed, then why would I want it. The price is awfully high for something I have no use for. A being demands that I adore and worship it and overlook its many crimes and in exchange it offers me nothing that I want or need but promises torture if I don't. It sounds like a not very nice being. They put spouses in jail for that sort of behavior.

As to believing in the Bible being the same as believing in god. I just can't see it. Bibles are real tangible things that can be examined. Not hard to believe in. Gods are invisible, intangible and unfalsifiable, very difficult to believe in. I don't see the comparison.

I do agree that this trip has been humbling. My attempts to pit myself against nature here have not gone well, fun though they have been. Today I am off to Pearl Harbor which should be humbling in an entirely different way.

Tracy Wagman said...

If you saw your need for God's help then you would want it.

God's punishment for sin is incredibly awful because sin is unimaginably awful. That doesn't make God awful though.

Think of this. God is not capable of loving Satan because there is absolutely nothing good about him. Nothing. Not one iota of love, nothing even redeemable. Satan is altogether evil,and altogether sin. SAtan is never going to be anything other than the completely wicked thing that it is. That's why God's punishment is sooooo extreme with Satan and the demons and sin. God cannot operate in the characteristic of His love and goodness toward sin because sin is dealt with according to His wrath and justice. It's sin that He hates, not people.

Yet in His goodness He provided a way of escape from the horrible place called hell for all mankind because God never intended anyone but Satan and his demon friends to be punished there in that place.

Tracy Wagman said...

I wish that I were on vacation!
We have been renovating our kitchen and family room since May. We had to deal with our son's health which slowed things a bit.
I start homeschooling full time on Monday.
I am almost jealous that you're in Hawaii and I'm here. :(
But I'm sure I'll hit the beach a couple more times.

Ryk said...

@Tracy

Yes itis lovely here and I am having a fine time,but I am also getting homesick. I want my wife and kids with me. This is the longest I have been away from them and it is starting to wear on me. Also my co workers although interesting and fun people are not family, when we travel we behave like family, we have our bonds, and conflicts, we spend much of our time together, but in the end we are not. This extended trip has been like dealing with all of the difficulties and hostilities of a large family gathering, without the love that makes it worthwhile.

I will be glad to get home and be with the family I do love.