Thursday, December 29, 2005

A little taste of home

So the wife and I were out and about tonight and decided to step into the brand new World Market that just opened up. We wandered around the store looking at furniture and drapes and tea-balls enjoying ourselves. Then we came to the imported food section . . . we found treasures beyond our dreams. There was a whole section of Oregon Chai and we couldn't resist picking up a box. Then, turning the corner we found Tim's Cascade potato chips.


Now to some these may not seem that great, but these are delicacies that have been absent from our lives during our sojourn in the land of the South. We rejoiced in our bounty, and upon the discovery of more income we shall rejoice further. Sometimes it's just the little things . . .

The Seahawks are the best team in Football (continued)

I just ran across this article and wanted to share it with the masses of my blog-readers (all 3).

"For a couple of weeks -- I'd say those consecutive wins over the Eagles and Niners by a combined score of 83-3 to begin this month probably did it for most people -- the Seahawks have been widely regarded as the best team in the NFC. I'm not so sure about that anymore. No, Seattle's the best team in the NFL."

"Maybe it's because they're the Seahawks or because they have a history of failure (no playoff wins since 1984) or because their 13 wins equal the combined victory total of the other three teams in the NFC West, but I keep coming across football folk who don't believe in Seattle. I'm not one of them. They're the most complete team in football, with no glaring weaknesses other than the level of their competition. As good as Chicago's defense is, it would be an upset if the Seahawks don't emerge from the NFC.
Should Seattle meet the Colts again, it'll be interesting, for sure. If I had to make a prediction today, I'd pick the better team to win it all.
Right now, that team is the Seahawks."


Read the full article for a more detailed breakdown. Now I just hope he didn't jinx it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Homesick




I have to say that I'm really jonesin' for Portland right now. A couple days ago I met someone new and we were swaping 5-minute-life-stories, and I just kept going on about how cool Portland is. Earlier the same day I met a nice older lady and she found out I was from Portland and she told me how much she loved visiting. Even reading about the freezing rain lately has made me miss the winter weather that comes out of the gorge, because there's a gorge and mountains and an ocean. Needless to say I miss all my Portland friends (even if they've left Portland). The city wouldn't hold such magic if it weren't for the people that helped me to make it my home. You all know who you are. Thanks.

That being said, I'm going to make a list of things (not people) that I miss about Portland:

  • I miss bumpy ground. It's too flat here.
  • I miss the MAX. There is no mass transit here and the busses are worse than horrible.
  • I miss Saturday Market. Where else can you buy a hemp iPod cover?
  • I miss Coffee. Yes they have it here, but people just don't know.
  • I miss driving the Old Scenic Highway to Crown Point and Multnomah Falls (no falls or scenic outlooks in flatsville).
  • I miss Carl's Jr., Red Robin, Fred Meyer, Safeway, PTCU, Winco, etc.
  • I miss having recycling bins everywhere.
  • I miss having every place be non-smoking.
  • I miss parks all over the place.
  • I miss racial diversity and tollerance.
  • I miss McMenamins.

Ok, I think that's about enough for now. It didn't really cheer me up to think about all the things I miss. It did, however, strenghthen my resolve to get back to Portland as soon as possible (currently shooting for August of 2007).

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Seahawks are the Best Team in Football

I know that's a bold claim, but I think it's true. They outscored their last two opponents by 80 points (the Colts did exactly half that). Until they rested their startes for three of their last 8 quarters they had the top offence in the NFL (they are still second). Their defense has the most sacks and the number 2 redzone defense (after Chicago who doesn't have the offense to back it up *cough*Pittsburgh*cough*).

They have the number one rusher in the league (Shaun Alexander).










And they just got their top receiver back (Darrell Jackson)





They have too many weapons to stop on offense and their defense is playing out of their mind right now. The Seahawks have just about wrapped up homefield advantage through the playoffs (a homefield advantage that caused the Giants to commit 11 false starts).

So, here's my prediction: the Seahawks will easily beat Tennessee and will beat the second string of Indianapolis (Dungee will rest his starters), and then Seattle will lose to Green Bay on New Years day (because they will have wrapped up home field and Holmgren will rest the boys after their night of partying).

In the playoffs the Seattle crowd will disrupt the incomming offenses and Seattle will win close games (which they've proved they can do against Dallas and New York).

Superbowl XL: Seattle: 38 Indianapolis: 30

Update: So far so good. Seattle wins and the Colts lose on Sunday. Only time will tell, but I'm feeling like it finally here. Being a Seahawks fan has been a hard road - no titles, and no playoff wins since 1984 (I was 5 years old).

Update (again): Merry Christmas to Seattle! Home field advantage through the playoffs, and a chance to rest and get healthy in the three weeks between now and their first playoff game. The predictions are still intact.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

School's out for winter

Ok, so I'm not the only one who has been lax about posting this month. I'm done with finals and papers and now I'm free (. . . to start reading for next semester *sigh*).

I've had to force myself to limit my blog time so that I wouldn't just spend all my time in the blogosphere instead of writing papers. During that time I've had numerous thoughts that I wanted to blog, so I will try to get some of the more interesting and entertaining ones out into cyberspace soon.

I've been really engaged in this conversation that is going on among several of the grad students here about what might be done to bring the Restoration Movement (Church of Christ and Christian Churches) into the future. It's thought provoking if you want to join in (*Disclaimer* these are grad students so there is no shortage of "bible-nerd-ese" being spoken. You have been warned).

I've also been thinking about Christmas letters lately (since I've been getting them in the mail). Now, I know that I will very likely offend everyone in the world with what I'm about to say, but that's why it needs to be said. I do need to say that I love to hear from friends and family. Christmas letters are a great way to let everyone know what's going on in your life. Great idea . . . but like so many great ideas, they have gone awry somewhere.

So, here are my rules for Christmas letters:
  • Any font smaller than 12 point is not allowed.
  • They must be no longer than one page.
  • Paragraphs are an important indication of thought groupings, don't be affraid to use them.
  • I'm a child of MTV and the internet, so please use short, colorful sentences; my attention . . .
  • Remeber in history class, which did you like better: a dry recitation of the facts, or a few illustrative stories? Can you guess what I like better?
  • Money enclosed will encourage me to read it.

Thanks for playing nice (i.e. not getting too mad at me if I was talking about you). I'm not trying to be mean, just sharing my preferences.

More to come soon . . .

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Game Runner



"Worst . . . [gasp] . . . controler . . . [wheeze] . . . ever!" ~Jeff Albertson

Ok, would you actually use this thing? I think I would if you could actually jump and back up and sidestep with your feet. As it is you just keep walking to move and press buttons to change your direction.

Well, one step closer to Virtual Reality.

Oh, check this one out:

For the next time you lose your hand in a lighsaber duel, you can just pick up one of these cyborg hands that actually move and feel using wireless "nerves" and 6 micro motors.

Ok, we have virtual reality and cyborgs, I want my flying car!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Fry up a turkey . . .

Welcome to Thanksgiving in Memphis. Elvis pioneered the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. At the fair they sell fried twinkies and fried snickers bars. It didn't take too long for someone to attempt to fry a turkey.

The problem with frying a turkey is that the most thankful of fowl tend to be a mite large for most fryers. So, after many failed attempts at cramming a 15 pound bird into a 2 quart pot someone thought about getting a huge barrel of a pot and filling it with oil. The turkey fits! Awesome . . . but now the pot won't fit on the stove. Ok, that's not a problem, we'll just hook up a propane burner to the bottom of the pot and the deep fried joy will commence.


MacGuyvered turkey fryer? Check.
Large, dead bird? Check.
Comedy of errors? Will ensue.

Oh the potential for disaster when one attempts to fry a turkey.

"It's cold outside, lets move the fryer into the garage (or the house). Ah, that's much better. Hey, do you feel sleepy?"

"Ok, make sure you fill the pot up with oil and get it nice and hot before we put the turkey in." (Archimedes would want to remind us all that liquid is displaced by the immersion of a solid. The displaced liquid in a full pot must go somewhere, and the closest place is over the edge of the pot which is sitting atop an open flame, oh and by the way, oil burns very vigorously)

So we didn't have either of those problems yesterday, so we thought things were going well. We went over to a friend's house and they had their half filled pot outside and over the flame heating. We waited patiently for the oil to approach the critical temperature of 325 degrees. We waited for over 2 and a half hours watching the temperature crawl ever so slowly upward until it stalled at about 250 degrees. It would not get any hotter. Meanwhile, in the house they had started to heat up some ham so that the meal could still go on since it appeared that a cooked turkey of any sort was hours (or days) away.

I sat outside with my friend as we both tried to think of possible ways to rectify the situation. We tested the thermometer to see if it was accurate. We made sure the valves on the tank were wide open. We tried to move the flame closer to the pot. Then, in desperation we started to turn off the valves . . . the flame turned from yellow to bright blue. We both stopped. We looked at each other. A little fiddling adjusted the flame to be big and blue and the thermometer began to jump up.

We couldn't help but laugh. We had waited for hours and hours for the oil to heat up, and it was all about a twist of the knob. In our defense the knob had the helpful directions of "ON -->" and "OFF-->" with no mention of some magical place in the middle where the oil would actually get hotter than bathwater.

So we placed the turkey into the oil and immediately the heavenly smell of a fowl drowning in boiling oil wafted toward us. All was right with the world. 45 minutes later we strode triumphantly toward the kettle platter and utensils in hand to retrieve our prize from the golden depths. This bird would be tender and juicy and flavorful, like none other.

It was tender indeed. So tender that as we attempted to draw it forth from it's bubbling abode it fell apart. What had once been a majestic bird was now fried turkey bits. We could hardly contain our laughter when we were walking into the house. We hurried to carve the turkey and hide the evidence of the mangled beast that we were going to serve.

It tasted good though.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

My Christmas List

Ok, it's getting to that time of year . . .

Here are some things that I would really like for Christmas (if you happen to have some extra $$ to blow on a poor grad student).

1. Handheld Laser Gun: for to "melt most materials" 'cause sometimes "things" just need a good meltin'.








2. Translation Goggles: I don't really want to learn new languages. I would just like to have some subtitles for my life.








3. The World's Most Powerful Subwoofer: I don't even have surround sound, but who needs it when your entire living room is the sub's resonating box?













If I get even one of these in my stocking I'll be a happy dude.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Take Control

Ok, so I've been thinking a lot latey about letting the Holy Spirit take control of me.

Wha? What is he talking about? Is he a crazy, holy-rolling, charismatic?

Well, no I'm not. Let me explain. If you flip over to 1 Corinthians 14 we'll start there.

In verse 14 Paul says, "For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful."

Um, ok . . . ?

The point is that Paul is not consciously in control of his tounge speaking. It's a spirit (or the Spirit) thing. The NIV has chosen to translate this as my spirit, but it could just as easily be the Spirit. The Spirit can be in control of the body without the mind knowing what's going on.

Sure . . . I guess.

Ok, so later Paul says:
26What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of
these must be done for the strengthening of the church. 27If anyone speaks in a
tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must
interpret. 28If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the
church and speak to himself and God.

If someone is speaking in a tounge (Spirit in control of the body), the tounge speaker can choose to be quiet.

Good for you, you can choose when to be quiet. Why should I care now?

I'm glad you asked (does it make me crazy . . . nevermind I don't want to know).

The body can be under the control of the Spirit, but only if the mind allows it. The Spirit will not take over without permission and will release control on demand.

So, if you can tell the Spirit to stop controling you, you can ask the Spirit to take control of you.

Yay, just what I've always wanted: to be a mindless automaton!

Not quite. Asking the Spirit to take control of you is basically what Paul is talking about in Romans 6.

20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
21What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?
Those things result in death! 22But now that you have been set free from sin and
have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the
result is eternal life.

Go ahead and read it again. Yup, it says "the control of righteousness" and "slaves to God." What are you going to do with that?

Ok, so I have been under the control of the Holy Spirit. I wish I would do it more. The first time I really noticed it was when I would pray for God's words before preaching a sermon. Then words would come out of my mouth that I hadn't prepared or thought of before. It's a surreal experience.

I left things at that for a while, just letting the Spirit take control when it came time to preach/teach, but then it occured to me that the Spirit could control me at any time. Now when I'm tempted, I pray: "Holy Spirit take control." It's amazing. When I tried to resist on my own in the past I had spotty success at best, but when I'm not the one resisting the results are much better. God is a lot better at resisting sin than I am.

The more I think about being under the control of the Spirit the more it makes sense to me. Jesus lived as the image of God and conquered sin so that we could recover our purpose to be God's image bearers. We can only be the image of God if God is calling the shots.

So what do you think? Am I crazy?

Yup!

Not you . . . oh, forget it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Ig Nobel Prizes

The 2005 Ig Nobel prizes were awarded Thursday night.

It's hard to pick a favorite, but here are the ones that made me laugh:

MEDICINE: Gregg A. Miller of Oak Grove, Missouri, for inventing Neuticles -- artificial replacement testicles for dogs, which are available in three sizes, and three degrees of firmness.

LITERATURE: The Internet entrepreneurs of Nigeria, for creating and then using e-mail to distribute a bold series of short stories, thus introducing millions of readers to a cast of rich characters -- General Sani Abacha, Mrs. Mariam Sanni Abacha, Barrister Jon A Mbeki Esq., and others -- each of whom requires just a small amount of expense money so as to obtain access to the great wealth to which they are entitled and which they would like to share with the kind person who assists them.

ECONOMICS: Gauri Nanda of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for inventing an alarm clock that runs away and hides, repeatedly, thus ensuring that people DO get out of bed, and thus theoretically adding many productive hours to the workday.

And the best ever . . .

FLUID DYNAMICS: Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow of International University Bremen, Germany and the University of Oulu , Finland; and Jozsef Gal of Loránd Eötvös University, Hungary, for using basic principles of physics to calculate the pressure that builds up inside a penguin, as detailed in their report "Pressures Produced When Penguins Pooh -- Calculations on Avian Defaecation."

So if your research is too lame to win a Nobel prize, never fear. You may win an Ig Nobel prize!

Friday, October 07, 2005

I just had to share this, it's gr8

I can't say it any better than the original article:



"The SMS Bible: 4 God so luvd da world

From word-of-mouth, to papyrus scrawl, to Gutenberg press… we now bring you da Bible, in SMS 4m. No we’re not kidding. A member of the Bible Society in Australia has translated all 32,173 verses in just “four weeks” (!) into SMS-style text. They even provide a free download from their site so you can send God nuggets like “In da Bginnin God cre8d da heavens & da earth” to those in need of a little churchin’ up. [Warning: link may invoke choir singing and potential wrath of The Maker]"

Ah, progress continues unabated.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Theology, History, and Hebrew

Just in case you were wondering what has been keeping me from posting here, it's Theology, History, and Hebrew. Those are the classes I'm taking now and that's what's taking up a lot of my limited brain power. So here's something that I think is interesting from each of my classes:

Theology - You can't have theology without philosophy, but no philosophy is wholly adequate to describe that which is wholly other. Go figure.

History - In the early church new converts were trained in the teaching of the church for three years before being baptized and made Christians. A big reason for this is that persecution was so common that they wanted to make sure that people knew what they were getting themselves into.

Hebrew - Ok, so I've learned the alphabet and a few words, not a whole lot that's profound here. The one thing that made me say, "huh," was that Hebrew has only two genders (he & she) versus the three genders of English (he, she, & it). That means that all words have to be expressed as either masculine or feminine regardless of any inherent maleness or femaleness. So the fact that God is a masculine word in Hebrew means about as much as Jerusalem being a feminine word. Any notion of God being a male from the Hebrew text is completely a fabrication of men who want to interpret it that way. God is without gender, neither male nor female. God is wholly other and created things cannot completely picture the divine.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Blood (or oil) from a stone

Shell has figured out how to get oil from shale at comercially feasable prices:


"Drill shafts into the oil-bearing rock. Drop heaters down the shaft. Cook the
rock until the hydrocarbons boil off, the lightest and most desirable first.
Collect them.
Please note, you don't have to go looking for oil fields when
you're brewing your own.
On one small test plot about 20 feet by 35 feet, on
land Shell owns, they started heating the rock in early 2004. "Product" - about
one-third natural gas, two-thirds light crude - began to appear in September
2004. They turned the heaters off about a month ago, after harvesting about
1,500 barrels of oil.
While we were trying to do the math, O'Connor told us
the answers. Upwards of a million barrels an acre, a billion barrels a square
mile. And the oil shale formation in the Green River Basin, most of which is in
Colorado, covers more than a thousand square miles - the largest fossil fuel
deposits in the world.
Wow."

Source

One-freaking-trillion barrels. Go Shell, go.

I still want a hybrid though . . .

Thursday, September 01, 2005

"My ears had heard of you, now my eyes have seen you."

I feel the need to justify myself before I even begin - my blog is about me and my feelings.

That being said:

I feel overwhelmed with the tragedy of Katrina, but until yesterday it was a distant emotion. Those people down there have it bad. I wonder how we can help them down there.

Last night our church hosted a dinner for people - refugees - of Katrina staying in hotels in Memphis. 200 people came to our gym and at hamburgers and hot dogs and got free t-shirts.

These people, here in Memphis are suffering. They are running out of money and hope. How can we help the people here.

I couldn't sleep last night.

I feel overwhelmed.

Holy God, it is not by my strength, nor by my power, buy by your Spirit.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Here's how I would explain Postmodernism to a Modern Christian

Here's fair warning: This is a really long post. If you don't care to read it I won't be mad (I don't read some of your really long posts). My list of songs (as it were) is below so scroll-scroll-scroll to see the fun that is blogsongtagyou'reitnowtagsomeoneelse.

If you do care to read it, please offer some critique. I'm trying to refine this to be as brief and complete as possible.


There are a few fundamental questions that all cultures have sought to at least address:

How did the world/universe come to be?
What is the meaning of life?/Is there
meaning to life?
What is the meaning of pain?/Is there meaning to pain?

Philosophies are built around human attempts to answer these questions. These philosophies then grow to encompass more and more of human existence until they shape nearly everything within a culture. Shortly after that time they are found to be lacking; they cannot fully answer the fundamental questions. That lack leads people to critique and attack the dominant philosophy until it inevitably collapses. Out of the collapse of one philosophy is another one born.

In or around the 1500’s AD people began to question the dominant philosophy of their culture. They began to reject the assertion that all truth proceeded from the clergy and nobility. Martin Luther began to tear down the authority of the Church and replace it with the authority of Scripture. Copernicus risked his life to show that the earth was not the center of the universe, though this contradicted the “truth” handed down from the church. What he had seen contradicted what he had been taught.

The Enlightenment was the intellectual revolution that placed human observation and reason above all other means of achieving knowledge. Francis Bacon and John Locke codified their scientific method of observation and experimentation. The world was fresh and new, for now anyone could, by their own reason and observation, reshape the frontiers of science, politics, and even religion. The Enlightenment philosophy gave rise to the industrial revolution, democracy, and the concept of individual freedom. The United States was founded based on this Modern thought.

At roughly the same time Alexander Campbell began to apply Modern thinking to the church and rejected the assertion that theology was the realm of only the clergy. Every person could, by their own reason and observation, form their own theology. The creeds of the ancient church were nothing but the constructs of the clergy. He sought to restore the forms and practices of the first century church through the application of logic and the observation of Scripture. The Churches of Christ (among other groups) were born of this restoration movement.

Just as the medieval philosophy was found lacking and was replaced by the Enlightenment/Modern philosophy, so now the Modern philosophy is being found lacking. Science has moved beyond what is observable and rational. Quarks and String Theories and the Uncertainty Principle are hypothetical constructs that cannot be observed or experimented with. The Modern emphasis on the ability of the individual has led to a culture that is largely devoid of community and relationship. The politics that claim that all people have a need for individual freedom and democracy are withering in the desert heat.

The rejection of nearly all of Christian history has left believers adrift with no anchor or safe harbor. Christianity has been run like a democracy, which is an adversarial process. The individual Christians have been epistemologically cut off from their community of faith. One then wonders how it is possible to restore the practice of first century Christianity without acknowledging anything that has happened between now and then.

The Enlightenment promised to answer the fundamental questions through the exercise of observation, reason and logic; it failed. The philosophy of Modernity has been found lacking; a new philosophy has been born. There is no name yet for this new philosophy, it’s still too new. It is only know by what it is not; it is not Modern. It is currently called Postmodernity, though I expect that to change with time. Just like Modernity and the Medieval philosophy before (and on back through history), Postmodernity cannot answer the fundamental questions. It is a philosophy of human beings and therefore incapable of answering those questions.

I cannot hope to simply define a philosophy that is both so new and so voluminously documented. I can point to good resources (A Primer on Postmodernism by Stanley J. Grenz, Things Unseen: Churches of Christ In (and After) the Modern Age by C. Leonard Allen, A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren, etc.). And I can, I hope, sum up the Postmodern philosophy under two very broad categories. Postmodernism is communal and experiential. This is, I believe, an antithetical position to the individual and rational nature of Modernity.

Postmodernity is communal in several different ways. It focuses on the way that truth is expressed within the context of a community. A communal focus sees the web of relationships between all people that cause us to be who we are. No one is an objective individual, but an essential part of the whole community. The community creates its own language that is unique to itself; the stories of each person in the community merge to create a context that can only be understood by its members. They are also a part of the community of all humanity and so they are affected by the joy and suffering of all people, in fact they are in community with the whole world and are responsible for the earth and all its inhabitants.

Postmodernity is experiential. There are phenomena for which there is no rational explanation, yet they still exist. This causes the Postmodern to reject reason and focus on the way that one can experience knowledge more than how one comes to know. Reason and logic are not completely rejected, but they are only one means by which knowledge can be attained. Intuition, experience, spiritual experience, and relationship all stand next to reason as means of attaining knowledge.

Though it lacks the ability to answer the fundamental questions, Postmodernity is, more and more, the language of the American culture. Secular Postmoderns pursue this philosophy because they think that it will succeed where Modernity failed. Christians cannot fall into the same trap. Modernity failed to answer the fundamental questions, so too will Postmodernity. Christianity, however, speaking the language of Modernity was able to offer answers; Christianity, speaking the language of Postmodernity will be able to offer answers in the future.

Modernity failed with its plea for individual reason as the fount of truth. Postmodernity will fail with its plea for communal experience, but it is through the language of community and experience that Christians need to reach the Postmodern world. Insofar as the Postmodern philosophy is in line with biblical teaching Christians should embrace it. But we must reject any philosophy of this world (Colossians 2:8) that does not align with the Bible.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Tag I'm It . . .

So I've been double tagged by Breanna and Ron. I'm supposed to tell you my top 10 songs right now (or something).

This is kind-of like a resurrection of the chain e-mails that condemned you to eternal bad luck if you didn't forward it on to 7,320 people in the next 4 minutes and 33 seconds, which were a resurrection of the chain letters that condemned you to bad luck if you didn't write (with a pen) some stuff at the end of a letter (on paper) and send it to someone else (by afixing a stamp and giving the letter to the US postal service). *sigh* Well at least this one has less of a threat involved.

1. The themesong to Oddesy on NPR (I listen to a lot of talk radio).

2. My Tournaquet - Evanessence (great lyrics)

3. Free - Ginny Owens (also very good lyrics)

4. Dr. Zaeus, Dr. Zaeus - Planet of the Apes Musical

5. Also sprach Zarathustra - Strauss

6. . . .

Ok, that's about all I have. I haven't been listening to music very much lately. You know NPR is really good.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Back . . .

We're home in beautiful, muggy, buggy Memphis. It was nice to sleep in our own bed and see our dog again.

Such a short trip only makes me more homesick for Portland.

Until I have time to post some of my own thoughts why don't you check out Elvis the robo-kitty.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Vacation


Tonight we are off for a week of fun on the Westside (rumor has it that it is also the best-side). I am so excited to see friends and family and a place with very little humidity.

Don't expect too much in the blog-realm from me for a while - I'm on VACATION!






(Note: when I googled "summer vacation"
this picture came up . . . I have no idea why.)

Monday, August 01, 2005

Montage (not "The Montage" a montage)

Do you remember all the movie montages you've seen? Some scrawny kid works out for 3 minutes to a butt-rock 80's band and then is totally ripped and can beat up the guy that took his girlfriend.

I want that!

I want to just be able to play some crappy song and have difficult tasks be accomplished by the time the song is over.

What would you montage for yourself?

I would montage the paper that I forgot is due on Friday, a six-pack (the abs-kind, not the cold-ones-kind), learning to play the guitar, and learning to speak Spanish.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Third Places - Part 5 - Low Key, Playful, Home Away from Home

Low Key
A third place is typically not an attractive place. It's the "hole in the wall" that you have to hear about from your friends. There is usually no big sign; no advertising campaign. I think of the Blind Onion in Portland. We would have never gone there if friends hadn't told us about it. Another part of the Low Key atmosphere is that you don't have to dress up, you come as you are. The decor reflects this by being simple. All of this acts as a repellant to people who might not want a third place.

The Mood is Playful
Not that all conversations are always joking, but the overall mood is playful and lighthearted. Joke and wit and fun are the fabric from which the play is formed. "The magic of playgrounds is seductive." When we play, we cease to be ourselves, we are no longer constrained by common rules, we visit "temporary worlds within the ordinary world."

A Home Away from Home
What is home? What gives a feeling of being at home? I don't think there is a definitive answer, but Oldenburg suggests five:
  1. Roots - home is where we know we will be regularly.
  2. Possession - it is our home. I can do what I want to in my home.
  3. Regeneration - my body and spirit are refreshed at home.
  4. Freedom - I can be myself and express my feelings.
  5. Warmth - "emerges out of friendliness, support, and mutual concern . . . and enhances the sense of being alive."

Third places meet many or all of the qualities of home.

This concludes the chapter: Character of a Third Place. You now know what a third place is - so do you want one? Do you have one? What would you be willing to give up to have a third place?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Chucky Lives

Amazing Amanda
The new doll can recognize its belongings and "mommy's" voice and respond with "emotion" and speech. This is the beginning of the end for humanity. The machines will rise with Amazing Amanda as their leader. Bow before her "poopy recognition" skills or feel the wrath of her tantrum.

The Paradox of Christian Community

I was having a conversation yesterday that I thought you would all like to join. We were talking about really good times in home groups where there is deep sharing and accountability. One person mentioned that it would ruin that to have visitors because the regulars would feel less comfortable sharing with new-comers in the group. But this deep community and sharing is the very thing that un-churched people can't get anywhere else. Sunday morning service can be deep but more often it is a time that can be easily ignored (that is to say that if you want to it can be deep and meaningful time, but if you don't know/care then it is just another production).

There is a paradox: Christian community functions best without un-churched people, but it is that very community that un-churched people need/crave.

Sorry, no answers today, just questions.

Monday, July 25, 2005

DiSC Profile

So I just took the DiSC profile as a part of our young married class at church. We had our preacher (Curt Sparks) come in and lead our class through the profile and interpreting the results. I found out that I am a DC. That means that I like to take charge and be in control at the same time as I like to research and analyze things before I make any decision. My "classic personality type" is Creative - I like to bring things into being. I like to solve problems that might get in the way. I am often my own worst enemy as I like to take charge of a situation and make snap decisions at the same time as I like to know what's expected of me and analyze every possible solution.

or

I'm an INTJ according the the Myers/Briggs personality type.

That means I'm:
Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging

They call it a Mastermind (sounds so diabolical - mwahahahahaha)

[Issac Newton][Fredriche Nietsche][Niels Bohr][Peter the Great][Stephen Hawking][John Maynard Keynes][Lise Meitner][Dwight D. Eisenhower][Ayn Rand]

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

If google maps isn't enough for you . . .

I can't for the life of me think why anyone would need this . . . but here you go. Just remember, "We like tha moon!"

Portland here we come?

So we are going to make a visit to our beloved West Coast next month and we would like to get down to Portland to see all the people we like there. We just don't want to make the trip if no one can hang out with us.

UPDATED INFORMATION So, we will be in Portland on Wednesday August 10th from 9am to 6pm.

We are willing to come visit you at work or meet for lunch or take a stroll in the park or whatever. Let me know. jtw78-at-hotmail-dot-com (or post yourself a comment).

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Aforementioned Aniversary Present


Ok, I just couldn't wait until Saturday. I had to give Andrea her present last night.

I comissioned a friend of ours to do an impressionist "portrait" of us (and our dog). But I wanted it to be more art than portrait. We both love it. I'm so excited to start a collection of art from all our artistic friends (hint-hint).

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Happy Aniversary To Us

My beautiful wife and I are, today, celebrating our 2nd aniversary. Ok, we're not celebrating today, exactly, we're too busy. We're going out to dinner (Outback is soooo good) on Saturday.

Just so you know - I really love my wife. She gets better every day. We keep getting better at fighting, laughing, playing, talking, dating, and just being married.

Andrea=Awesome(not mostly, all-ly).

Saturday, July 09, 2005

You all ruined it for me

I just got back from watching Batman Begins - and I have to say that I was disapointed. Don't get me wrong, it was a good movie. I don't regret plunking down my cash to see it. But the hype of reviews in the blogmunity got me really excited about this movie and it just couldn't live up to the hype.

Bale is the best Batman since Keaton, and this movie was at least as good as the Tim Burton version. Every other movie in between has SUCKED (that means a lot). So, they have brought Batman out of movie hell.

I just wish I could have lowered my expectations to the realm of mere mortals.

Friday, July 01, 2005

What the huh?

This thing is weird, but strangely cool and compelling.

It's a cloud harp. That's right, a cloud harp. It shoots infrared beams at the clouds to measure their density and presence and then translates that information into sound similar to the way that CD players translate laser reflections from an aluminum disk into sound.

All I have to say is, "Neat?"

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Third Places - Part 4 - Accessibility, Accommodation, and The Regulars

Third places need to be accessible to people both geographically and temporally. If you have to drive 30 minutes to get there then you won't do it very often. If it's only open when you're at work then you can't go there. Pretty simple stuff.

One quote stuck out to me, "the activity that goes on in third places is largely unplanned, unscheduled, unorganized, and unstructured. Here, however, is the charm. It is just these deviations from the middle-class penchant for organization that give the third place much of its character and allure . . ."

Does that appeal to you? How can the church take part in this? Isn't all the unplanned stuff antithetical to ministry (joke intended)?

The main product that makes a third place a third place cannot be purchased. It is the regulars that make or break an establishment. The regulars are the people who make up the community of a third place. They are the people that converse and play and help one another. But how does one become a regular? Trust must be established through regular attendance and "fair play". Oldenburg uses the analogy of sandlot baseball: the players that show up consistantly and play a decent game are accepted. I love the way he boils it down, "Mainly, one simply keeps reappearing and tries not to be obnoxious."

Isn't that hard, though. I want to just show up and be accepted right away. I don't want to take all the work of showing up for a long time so that I can be accepted. I guess good things take work.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

In class

I'm feverishly studying the Pentateuch (the first five books of the bible) this week. I'm in class 8 hours a day this week so I don't have a lot of time for the ol' blog-munity-o-sphere-ville-erton-burg. I will resume the addiction later.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

What's your theological worldview?

I got this from Big Mike. You should check it out.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan

93%

Emergent/Postmodern

75%

Classical Liberal

54%

Charismatic/Pentecostal

54%

Neo orthodox

54%

Reformed Evangelical

39%

Fundamentalist

32%

Modern Liberal

25%

Roman Catholic

18%

What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Third Places - Part 3 - Conversation

"Neutral ground provides the place, and leveling sets the stage for the cardinal and sustaining activity of third places everywhere. That activity is conversation."

The primary activity in the third place is conversation. The conversation is lively and filled with wit and humor and passion. People are free to express themselves democratically; that is, no one's words are valued more highly because of their rank or position.

The unwritten rules of the art of conversation (ironically written down) are:
1. Remain silent your share of the time (more rather than less).
2. Be attentive while others are talking.
3. Say what you think but be careful not to hurt other's feelings.
4. Avoid topics not of general interest.
5. Say little or nothing about yourself personally, but talk about others there assembled.
6. Avoid trying to instruct.
7. Speak in as low a voice as will allow others to hear.

To me this is the first of the characteristics of a third place that cannot be fulfilled (completely) online. The internet offers an odd hybrid of corespondence and conversation (converspondence? coresation? - but I digress). E-mails and blogging and instant messaging cannot replace conversation. They cannot be as dramatic or humorous or engrosing, nor can they be as boring and tedious. Researchers say that 93% of communication is non-verbal.

"There's no emoticon for what I'm feeling." ~Comicbook Guy (from the Simpsons)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Third Places - Part 2 - Leveling

A Third Place is a Leveling place.

"A place that is a leveler is, by its nature, an inclusive place. It is accessible to the general public and does not set formal criteria of membership and exlusion."

A third place is not a country club. It is not a church. It is not the PTA. A third place is free for all. At the third no one is greater than anyone else. A third place is inherently democratic (in fact the coffee houses of Europe were the womb of democracy in the Western world). Your boss has no say over you in a third place, nor do you over anyone else.

This leveling brings a joy that is not available in any other way. Because "worldy status is not the only aspect of the individual that must not intrude into third place association. Personal problems and moodiness must be set aside as well." If only for an hour or two the problems of work and home are irrelevant. One's purpose is to have fun and enjoy the company of others.

So maybe it's not a bad thing to go from work to a pub before going home. Rather than moving from one set of problems and hierarchies to another, one can have a respite. Ok, so I'm not advocating people spending hours and hours away from home and family, nor am I saying that it is good to drink to avoid problems. I'm just trying to re-examine the vilification of 'going out'.

How do you find leveling in your life? Do you find it at all? Is it all it's cracked up to be?

Random fun online

Some dude has way too much time on their hands.

I really dig these pictures. They are just freaky enough to still be cool.

Good ol' fashoned time wasting goes high tech.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Third Places - Part 1 - Neutral Ground

Ray Oldenburg wrote The Great Good Place, a book detailing the dearth of and need for what he calls "Third Places". The first place is home (where you are most comfortable and spend the majority of your time), the second place is work (where you spend the next largest portion of your time), the third place is where you go when you aren't at home or work. Third places are almost non-existant in the suburbanized city. Zoning laws prevent any local communal gathering place. One must get in their car and travel to such a spot, and that very fact removes that spot from the community and prevents it from having 'regulars' who get to know one another.

The first charecteristic of a Third Place is that it is Neutral Ground. No one is in charge, no one is the host, no one is the guest. The most important aspect of neutral ground is that it affords friends a way to spend time together without becomming "uncomfortably tangled in one another's lives." Having a neutral ground allows friends to come together and leave each other with ease. You don't have to invite people over for dinner just to talk to them. Oldenburg says, "we need a good deal of immunity from those whose company we like best."

This makes a lot of sense to me. I was puzzled why my friendships seemed to dwindle after moving off of my college campus - now I know. On campus I could just see someone in the Student Center or the dorm loby and hanging out would ensue (I remember the nightly Simpsons viewing - always a different crew, always regulars). But moving off campus meant that friends now have to either come over (a commitment to being on my turf) or they have to invite me over (a commitment to be a host). The number of people who are willing to do that is much smaller than the number willing to engage in light conversation durring the comercials of a Simpsons episode or to play a game of pool while we wait for dinner.

Do you have a third place? Where? What's it like?
Do you want a third place? Why? Where would you go?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Post Secret

I'm captivated by the secrets that people will share. I'm amazed by the poetry and art of pain and shame. I'm heart-wrenched by the depth of hurt and dispair. You have to see Post Secret: a website where people can send a postcard with their deepest secrets.

News and Note

Ok, this is just stuff that I find interesting:

Slashdot reports that blogging can be a paying gig.

I want transparent film speakers! Dude, can you imagine having this transparent film over pictures on your wall - and they're speakers! I like the idea of having the film over a laptop screen. Gimme!

No more carpal tunnel with this fun toy.

I know someone who's birthday is coming up . . . a little mind-control-transparent-film-paid-blogging would be a nice present . . .

I forgot to mention the free donuts on Friday.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Sunset Symphony


Last night we had the joy of attending the final Memphis in May event: the Sunset Symphony. The Memphis Symphony Orchestra joined with America to give a concert down by the Mississippi river at Tom Lee park (not Tommy Lee . . . geez, c'mon). It was a beautiful night and the music was fun and they ended the evening with the 1812 overture and a spectacular fireworks display. We had a bunch of friends there with us and had a great time. I highly recommend it.

Friday, May 27, 2005

It's True

There is now evidence to back up my long-standing claim: Washington and Oregon have the best drivers and California drivers suck.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

I am an entrepreneur

I started another blog to try to generate a little cash to help with the whole poverty situation. So my thought is this: PowerPoint images on the web are either over-edited (ala Heartlight) or way too expensive. I want to offer something that is high quality, but not too spendy.

I will be uploading new pictures as soon as they are done. Tell me what you think (or better yet drive some trafic to my new business venture).

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Thoughts on Postmodernity

What follows may be turned into a thesis for my Masters Degree:

I have been challenged in my thinking about postmodernity. When I first started learning about postmodernity and emerging worship I drank it in. It thrilled me that I was not the only one thinking that there must be a different way to do things and that the reasoning behind it isn’t just marketing to a new generation but adapting to a new culture. But recently I have been challenged by learned people to rethink my view of postmodernity. Fads have come and gone and many of them, at their zenith, were considered to be the next epoch shift – then 20 years later they were a faded figment of a previous generation. What then sets postmodernity apart from the myriad of fads that have come and gone before?

Nothing. Postmodernity is a fad. It is a passing craze that will be remembered along with bell-bottoms and stove pipe hats. There are postmodern styles in art and architecture, drama and literature. Christian worship is no different. The so called ‘emerging church’ is a faddish attempt to engage a younger generation. It is 90’s youth ministry applied to twenty-something’s now. Dim lights and candles, art and stained glass are the stuff of emerging worship and they are passing fads. Postmodernity defines itself by what it is not: it is not modern, it is not rational, it is not linear. It is a fad.

What sets postmodernity apart from the myriad of fads that have come and gone before?

Everything. Postmodernity, as it has been called, is indicative of a radical shift in the way that people think and communicate. The term ‘postmodernity’ is not particularly helpful in describing the concepts in question. But there is an epistemological change in progress that must be addressed. How can I make the claim that the very nature of knowledge and thought are changing?

Human thought is expressed in language and language is defined by the thoughts of the people that use it. Language is subjective and ever changing due to its intertwining with the thoughts of people. Historically there have been four major types of language use: oral, script, print, and electronic. During the eras when each of these types of language has been prevalent there has been a very different epistemological perspective. As each new type of language use has been added to the repertoire of humanity the others have changed their roles to fit into the new structures.

Oral societies were very focused on the story. The elders kept the stories and related them to the rest of the society. Wisdom and knowledge were only able to be passed on to a limited group and were dependant on their continued use to survive. Stories are treasured repositories of the collected knowledge of a society.

The invention and proliferation of written language gave rise to the script society. Knowledge became available to a wider audience and it did not require the survival of people to remain intact. This change allowed for great advances in knowledge for those that could afford the expensive scrolls and books. I believe this increased the gap between the rich and the poor by concentrating the knowledge in the hands of the rich. Books are the rare property of wealthy.

Gutenberg changed the world. Books became less expensive to produce and obtain. More people had access to the collected knowledge of the world and more people had an opportunity to add to the knowledge of the world. The knowledge of the world began to change and grow more quickly as more people had more access to more knowledge.

The invention of electronic media is no less important to the epistemological history of humanity than that of the printing press. Words became at once cheaper to produce and more ubiquitous. Radio, Movies, Television, and the Internet have radically reshaped the nature of words and communication. Therefore, they have also reshaped the nature of thought.

Thought has become a network of ideas rather than linear and reasoned. Our knowledge has become ‘hyperlinked’ in that one concept need not logically flow out of another. Images are as important to communication as the words. Through the internet everyone has the ability to add to the sum total of human knowledge.

This is the epochal shift that is sweeping over the world. If people choose to call it ‘postmodernity’ that’s fine, but it is important to note that philosophies come and go. Huge changes in the way the world thinks, however, only happen a few times in history.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Sonics Lost

It's over. They're out. Done. Fine.

I'm sad. But it's bitter sweet. No one (not even me) hoped that the Sonics would make the playoffs this year (they won their division). People didn't think they would win in the playoffs (I hoped they would) and they beat the Kings in the first round. People thought they would be swept by the Spurs (I was holding out for one game) and they took them to 6 games. Especially after last season, it's been a good year to be a Sonics fan.

I'm still bummed that they lost though.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Starwars Episode III

I stayed up until 3:00 this morning to watch Revenge of the Sith and it was so worth it. I won't reveal anything about the movie (did you know that Darth Vader is Luke's father?), but I just had to say that it wowed me. There was a ton of action and most of the loose ends were tied up. Just great!

Starwars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

So What's the Point?

I've been thinking lately about why I blog. It seems like my blog has become a place for me to share things that I think are neat with the world (or the 5 people that read my blog). I haven't posted any deep thoughts for a while (it could be because all of my deep thoughts have been given over to school).

I hesitated when it came time to post about the Sonics (they tied their series with San Antonio, by the way) because I know that not too many people care. I posted because I care and it's my blog. But then I get to feeling some pressure to post things that other people will find interesting. So is my blog a personal journal or entertainment for the "masses"?

I've just started reading Ray Oldenburg's The Great Good Place (the book that discusses the idea of the "third place"). In the preface he talks about some of the benefits of "third places" such as a place to share your ideas in a forum where not everyone will agree and a place that people keep frequenting because it is fun (I will comment more on the book later). In a way the blog-world and online forums fullfill the same communal functions as Oldenburg's "third place."

I'm still not sure what the point is, but I'm getting a better idea all the time. Right now I blog for the chance to share my thoughts with a wider audience and a forum in which to share thoughts that might not come out as frequently elsewhere. I blog for the community that I can share with my friends (both new and old).

So why do you blog? What's the point?

Friday, May 13, 2005

Free Frosty Weekend!!!

I don't care who you are; stop what you are doing and go to Wendy's for a FREE Frosty. Do it now!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Darth Blog

This is amazing writing. I can't say much more. I'm enthralled by the depth of character and feeling. I'm engaged by the humor. The metaphor gets a litttle thick, but other than that this is a great read (especially to get you ready for Episode III 8 days left).

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Jesus Christ . . . businessman?

Aparently Jesus is having trouble securing himself a driver's license. I guess somebody can, in fact, 'mess' with the Jesus.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Woot

So this is a cool site: woot.com sell only one product at a time once per day, but it's usually a wicked awesome deal. And every once in a while they will have a woot-off where they sell an item until it sells out and then sell another item until it sells out and on and on and on.

Woot for me one more time.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Sonics Win First Playoff Series in 7 Years

Sorry, Tim. At least this is the game that we've all expected from this series: Bibby-35, Stojakovic-38; Allen-30, Lewis-24.
Rashard Lewis

Monday, May 02, 2005

Family Guy is back

Judge me as you will I am stoked that Family Guy is back with new episodes. The one on Sunday was hilarious - especially the opening. They started with Peter saying, "Bad news, we've been canceled." Then Lois said, "Oh, no" and then Peter says, "Yeah, well they just didn't have any room in their schedule because of . . ." he then lists every show that Fox has produced and then canceled since Family Guy was canceled going on for a solid minute ". . . I guess if all those shows flop we'll have a chance." Hahahahahahaha!

Basically I enjoy great satire and irony, that means I also love the Simpsons. If you can't get past the crude and offensive humor to see the satire then you won't like Family Guy or the Simposons. But if you can, laugh with me! What's your favorite quote from either of these shows?

Mine is from the Simpsons: After being frustrated by Ned Flanders, Homer looks up and cries out, "O, Lord why do you mock me." Marge says, "Homer, that's not God; it's just a waffle Bart threw up there." Marge knocks the waffle down with a broom and it falls into Homers hands . . . he looks at it and says, "I know I shouldn't eat thee . . . [gulp] . . . mmmmm, sacralicous."

Friday, April 29, 2005

DONE!

I have completed 3 papers (aproximately 55 pages worth)! Now I just have finals with which to contend. By Thursday I will be done with school for this semester. Let the good times roll.

Oh, and I guess I'm Kip . . . (now that I have time to take quizzes online).
Kip
You are Kip Dynamite and you love technology.


Which Napoleon Dynamite character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Go Sonics

The Sonics now lead the Kings 2-1 in their first round NBA playoff series.

What the, Bibby! Stop that! No 'going off' for you.

Someone should tell Rashard Lewis to show up for the games . . . isn' he supposed to be an all star?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Anakin Dynamite

Ok, I found this on a study break and it is SWEET! I laughed a whole-freaking-lot. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Busy time

If you pray, pray for me now (if you don't you should really try it, you'll like it).

This is the home stretch of the semester - between now and May 6th I will have to complete three papers (and other various small projects) and take three finals and not alienate my wife. In the midst of all of this I am doing some job hunting/application. So, I may not post too much of interest here in the next few weeks. Don't give up on me, just maps.google some more neat stuff to keep you occupied (Tim had a good suggestion of looking at national monuments - can you pick out the noses on Mt. Rushmore?)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

New Blog Alert

Just so you all know, my beautiful wife has her own blog now so go and visit and make fun of . . . I mean encourage her.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Google rocks the free world

I know I'm a nerd. You don't need to remind me. But I can't help but think that google's new map tool (linked above) is so awesome. You can type in any address or business name or location and it will map it for you and then . . . you can click on the link to get a satelite picture! It is so cool! I've spent half an hour just looking at places from space. You have to check it out - find your house, find your work, find your mom's house.

So I said all that to say - I really miss Portland. We (my wife and I) just looked at Portland from space - we looked at our old appartment, our alma matter, our honeymoon hotel, etc. Portland is a sweet city (hippies and all - Andrea just said, "Crazy hippies are a whole lot better than crazy rednecks."), and we miss it a whole freaking lot. So if you are in or arround P-town enjoy yourselves because it could be worse . . . much worse.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Ha ha

April Fools! We don't want to stay here any longer than it take for me to get through school. We love the West coast and want to get back as soon as possible.

So what was your favorite April Fools joke? Blizzard had a good one, as always. So what else did you guys do or have done to you?

Friday, April 01, 2005

Home Sweet Home

Well, after much thought and prayer . . . Andrea and I have decided to make Memphis our home. We have been won over by the church and the southern hospitality. I have been offered a job as a youth minister at a church of 2,000 and the money is just too good to pass up. We will try to visit the West coast, but Memphis is now our home, y'all.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

cacophoty






I have been doing some research on the use of PowerPoint (specifically in sermons since that's my field). Ok, more to the point - I have seen some pretty bad PowerPoint presentations and been prompted to not be "that guy." So I think I've come up with a new word (or neologism for all you nerds out there).

My new word is: cacophoty n. (ka-KA-foe-tee)An image, moving or still, that is jarring and discordant; visual dissonance. As in: That PowerPoint slide was filled with clip art and bright, conflicting colors - it is a cacophoty.

So it's pretty much a rip off of the pre-existing word: cacophony. I applied my stupendous Greek skills and broke down the work into it's parts: caca (evil, bad) and phony (sound, voice). Then I just replaced 'phony' with 'photy' (light). I know, I know, you are amazed at the breadth and depth of my linguistic knowledge.

So go and use this new word - spread it around the globe. I don't really care if I get credit for it, I just think it would be cool to be watching the news in a couple years and hear them use my word.

Oh, and don't have cacophotous PowerPoints they make me want to scoop out my eyeballs with a soupspoon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Save Toby

I think I have discovered a new low for humankind. Save Toby is horible. People will do absolutely anything for money and take any loophole they can find.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Faith of Christ

I am writing a paper for my Galatians and Romans class over spring break (woohoo - let the good times roll). I am exploring phrases in Rom 3:22, 26; Gal 2:16, 20; 3:22 where most translations say "faith in Christ" but the original Greek literally says "faith of Christ" or "Christ's faith/faithfulness."

I won't get too deep into the linguistic issues here, but the theological issues really intrigue me. What if we are "made righteous" by the "faithfulness of Christ" rather than by our faith in Christ. Not that we don't need faith, but the power and working by which God declares us to be righteous is due to Christ's faithful death on the cross. We are made righteous by his faithfulness to us in dying obeidently to God when we adopt a similar faithfulness toward God through the Spirit.

so "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Gal. 2:20 (NIV) becomes: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

I live, not only because of Christ's faithfulness in being crucified, but because of his continued faithfulness to speak to the Father in my defense. That faithfulness is the model which I need to follow.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Kingdom Come

I know this thought is not new to me, but it really hit me hard last night as we were reading through the end of Deuteronomy. The people of God are to be a community that reflects a picture of his perfect Kingdom. Not only are each of us to be reflections of Christ who dwells in us through the Spirit, but our community is to reflect the divine community and the perfect Kingdom. This will be our most effective evangelism - when people see us doing our best to live the perfect community in the midst of our broken world they will be won over. "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Time flies . . .

It's weird. It's not like I haven't had any thoughts in the last two weeks, but I just haven't had the drive to post anything. I'm at a point now where I have more questions than answers and more desire to listen than to comment. I know it will change, but right now that's where I am.

I heard a statment on Monday that has been rolling around in my head: "Never ask a fish what water is like." The point being that if someone is completely immersed and surrounded they can't really describe that in which they are immersed. So how do I address my own culture as I try to "become all things to all men?" How do I allow my culture to inform my ministry without making my ministry dependant on my culture? How much of the Bible story is "lost in translation" to our culture?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

HIV the cure to cancer?

Taking the lead from Tim I thought I would write about this little article that I saw. They have modified the HIV virus and mixed it with another virus to attack cancer. In order to make sure they can track it they added a dash of firefly genes so that it glows. This is freaky stuff.

Wouldn't it just be weird if of the two great diseases of our day one cures the other?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Is Postmodernism a fad?

This morning in chapel Dr. Richard Oster shared some of the philosophical/cultural fads that beset the church when he was a 20-something in the 70's. Secular Utopianism (utopia can be achieved when religion is removed from the cities), God is Dead, and Situation Ethics (basically a way to justify sin that is pleasurable). His point was that these were philosophies that the church had to deal with - some capitulated, some resisted - and that postmodernity is no different.

My gut reaction was to disagree. I have read and experienced a lot about postmodern Christianity and I think that it is a good and valid expression of the Christian faith. However, I don't want to be rash in coming to my conclusion. Am I, like those in the church before me, attempting to make a cultural molehill into a mountian? Do I proclaim that postmodernity is an epoch when it is nothing more than a fad? I hope I am not so shortsighted.

After consideration here is my (tenative) conclusion: That which we call postmodernity may well be a passing fad. The superficial expressions that are popular will be unpopular in a matter of time. But there has been an epoch shift that is irrevocable: the age of information is upon us. The advent of the internet is as earthshaking as the invention of Gutenberg. People are now learning to think "hyperlinked," that is we perceive of the world as interconnected and comunal rather than linear. The ubiquity of information and relationship available through the internet has begun to fundamentally shift the way the world thinks.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Get 'em started young

This child decided that it was time to start driving. Sometimes parents just aren't in tune with the needs of their child. As they start pushing for independence it's important to allow them to experience the world in a controled way to build their comfort with being independant . . .


. . . except when you let your 4 year old kid drive the car in the middle of the night!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Back in the saddle

It's been a long time since I've opened up my blog to share myself with the world. We made it through Christmas. God is good.

I am so impatient to be done with school and plant a church. Stan Granberg was here yesterday meeting with people in Memphis to discuss church planting. He met with our church to encourage them to plant a daughter church and to answer questions they have about that process. Then he came to a meeting for Harding Grad students interested in church planting.

I described it to other people that it was like I was hearing William Wallace's speach before the battle at Stirling (Braveheart reference).
"Aye, fight and you may die, run, and you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade all of that from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take away our lives, but they'll never take our freeeedoooomm."
And I just want to shout and bang my sword on my shield and run into battle!

Ok, ok; I'm a nerd. I admit it. Fine.