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Archive for September, 2007

MMLOLM*

September 17th, 2007 Comments off

brought to you by the letter H, and the number 6.

ihatethisplace

*Monday Morning Laugh Out Loud Moment

Categories: /dev/null, Comics Tags:

There is no condemnation – the gospel in 6 minutes

September 17th, 2007 1 comment

John Piper, explains it…

[googlevideo]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1831433419283575110[/googlevideo]

[h/t: The Evangelical Outpost]

Its simple, really.

I love the ‘never, never … never, never, never outgrow your need for it’ part…

Categories: Faith Tags:

My S.H.A.P.E. is round…

September 17th, 2007 Comments off

Yesterday, our pastor invited me up to the pulpit/cafe table to have a little discussion.  It was preplanned, so it wasn’t like I didn’t know about it, but the only thing I knew I’d say that morning was my opening line of humor. It went a little something like this:

image Pastor, I’ve been thinking about what I was going to say when you asked me to join you.  I’ve been studying S.H.A.P.E. and spiritual gifts for a while, and so I’ve been investigating what exactly is my SHAPE, and then this morning while I was shaving, it came to me.  My S.H.A.P.E. is round.

It got the good laugh I was hoping for, so the rest of the time I just spouted off what came to mind, and I hope it made some sort of sense.  The morning was enjoyable, with encouragement from my Sunday School classmates, and later from my wife.  I borrowed a bit from the skit that was performed during our worship selections, as I told a semi-biography and not knowing what my spiritual gift was until I started being a real-live grown up church member, and then my gifting became apparent. 

A mix of teaching (which is really a love of studying) with a bit of prophesy (truth telling) is where I feel the Holy Spirit using me the most.  I pray that it edifies and builds up the body when I open my mouth, and words come out.  Because sometimes, before that mouth opens, I have no idea what I’m about to say.

Same thing happened at small group last night, when the DVD stopped playing, and I jumped up (not literally, didn’t want to shake the foundations of the house) and started expounding on Spiritual Gifts… but that is another post.

Categories: Faith, Life Tags:

Da Bunny… Redux

September 14th, 2007 2 comments

Out of the desert of the Middle East, is rising a new Chocolate Bunny… take it away Yahoo:

image The Burj Dubai tower is now 555 metres (1,831.5 feet) tall and has surpassed the 553-metre- (1,824.9-feet) CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, which held the record for the world’s tallest free-standing structure since 1976, developers Emaar Properties said in a statement.

The statement did not reveal the tower’s final projected height or its final number of storeys, which Emaar has kept secret since launching the project in January 2004.

The developer announced in July that Burj Dubai, Arabic for Dubai Tower, had exceeded Taiwan‘s Taipei 101 which is 508 metres (1,676.4 feet) tall, to become the tallest building in the world.

and for your information, the Burj Dubai Tower can now be seen from a distance of 57 miles (49 nm). No news on any planned gold plating.

Categories: Headliners, Life Tags:

YouTube is Accepted…

September 14th, 2007 1 comment

The other night, I watched the movie Accepted.  Its a teenage centered flick about a bunch of kids that couldn’t get accepted at mainstream colleges so they fake a college acceptance letter from a fake school, then in order to keep from being discovered build a school (South Hampton Institute of Technology … *smirk*).

image They end up having a big white board installed where the students can write what they’d like to learn this semester.  And it up having a high old time doing what every other college seems to do (i.e. party, drink, dance, play loud music…) and find out they learn something in the end. 

Quoting the movie’s climatic speech by Bartleby (Justin Long, aka I’m a Mac) during the fake schools accreditation hearing:

…But out of that desperation, something happened that was so amazing. Life was full of possibilities. A – and isn’t that what you ultimately want for us? As parents, I mean, is – is that, is possibilities. Well, we came here today to ask for your approval, and something just occurred to me. I don’t give a s#!t. Who cares about your approval? We don’t need your approval to tell us that what we did was real. ‘Cause there are so few truths in this world, that when you see one, you just know it. And I know that it is a truth that real learning took place at South Harmon. Whether you like it or not, it did. …

Pure dreck.. but in a fun and entertaining kinda way.

In a truth-is-stranger than fiction story, Yahoo News has this article:

Pitzer College this fall began offering what may be the first course about the video-sharing site. About 35 students meet in a classroom but work mostly online, where they view YouTube content and post their comments.

Class lessons also are posted and students are encouraged to post videos. One class member, for instance, posted a 1:36-minute video of himself juggling.

Jeez, where was this course, when I had to learn FORTRAN from Mech E?

Categories: Learning, Life, Movies Tags:

Happy Julian Date 28

September 13th, 2007 Comments off
Categories: /dev/null Tags:

Nebby’s Giant Bunny…

September 13th, 2007 3 comments

In Sunday School we’ve been studying the book of Daniel. Which is a really rocking book. I’ve enjoyed digging into the scriptures, the commentaries and cross-references in preparing for class. This week we’re in Daniel chapter 3 which talks about the fiery furnace.

The genus of tossing Rack, Shack and Benny (or Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah who were renamed to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) into the smelter was Nebby (aka Nebuchadnezzar) erecting a 90 ft (or as King James would say, threescore cubits) golden statue.

The commentaries reject the notion that the whole statue was gold, accepting that the statue was probably overlaid in gold. The commentaries also state that the statue could be seen from a radius of 15 miles.

Well the old navigator in me decided to test that number, and so thanks to a height of eye calculator, I ran the numbers and found that the horizon (as seen from the top of the statue would be ~12.7 miles so I guess the commentator’s round the number up. They do state that it was erected in the center of the plain of Dura, and state that there is evidence of a large mound that could have been where the statue was placed. Which is an interesting rabbit trail to follow, but not right now.

image To get an idea of how tall such a statue would be (and the commentators state that it was probably more of a stylistic monolith, as the ratio of height to width suggests) in a plain barren of other tall buildings. While thinking of this, I recalled a road trip we had taken, and on the way home, we drove through Amarillo, TX, and noticed a huge cross (that is actually in Groom, TX). This cross is 190′ tall, and is eclipsed by two other crosses in the northern hemisphere (one in Effingham, Ill was built after the Groom cross is 196 feet tall, and the other in Valle de los Caídos, Spain which is 154 m. above ground (meters!) which probably accounts for the hill, whose crest it is built upon ) To appreciate the size of these crosses, both can be veiwed on Goggle* Google Maps. (GroomValle de los Caidos)

I remember driving quite a while trying to see what that was, then realizing it was a cross, then stopping to see what was all about. The Groom cross is built using tin siding, and has the bronze stations of the cross surrounding its base. While Nebby’s Bunny (a reference to Veggie Tales, where they replace the gold monolithic statue with a giant chocolate bunny to entertain the kids, and create a great catchy tune…) was half the size of the Groom cross, I’m sure it would still catch the eye of people for miles around.

*Edit, thanks for mocking my typo Deboobily… paybacks.. yadda yadda. 😉

Categories: Faith Tags:

Five is right out!

September 12th, 2007 1 comment

Each morning, as part of my ritual, I begin my blog reading. I have several that I frequent regularly, and a few that I read waaaaay too much. But there are three that I look forward to each morning, because I know that there will always be something edifying, convicting or uplifting in what I read.

One –Pyromaniacs is a group blog of Phil Johnson, Dan Phillips and Frank Turk (aka Centurion) (technically they list Pecadillo as a member, but I’ve never seen an actual post of his) write many post on many edifying topics. Their zeal for truth is evident. They always have sharp wit, with kicking graphics that put a flavor to their blog branding that others should emulate.

Two – Gospel Driven Church is the blog of Jared Wilson, a great writer, with great insights. His posting of late have challenged me to find way I can proclaim the gospel in how I write and how I teach. Convicting often, but humble always Jared’s writing is a welcome stop during my morning coffee.

FiveEvangelical Outpost is Joe Carter’s daily dose of just about everything. Sometimes geeky (see Yak-Shaving and 33 Things) sometimes thoughtful, always worthwhile, EO will be moving to my Daily Reads blogroll (soon as I figure out how I want to sort em out).

What are your favorite blogs to read each day? (and yeah, I’m not counting Angie, Matt or Debily in my three favorite, cuz, well they’re family. )

Categories: Blaaawg, Faith Tags:

S.H.A.P.E.

September 11th, 2007 Comments off

My church is in the beginning stages of a study on S.H.A.P.E.

S.H.A.P.E. comes from Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life, and talks about how God has made each believer uniquely made for ministry.  As were in one of our church’s small groups I’ll be studying this series and will most likely have a post or two about the content as we go.

To help a bit in introduction, the acronym stands for this:

S – Spiritual gifts
H – Heart
A – Abilities
P – Personality
E – Experiences

While I agree that each believer possesses each of those attributes, and God will use those things in a believer’s life to expand His kingdom, I think that there are some points along this subject that might be distracting to the larger role where believer’s fit in God’s greater plan.  So I’m taking this first post to talk about some of my reservations, before I really start to study the content of the lesson.

I blogged through 40 Days of Purpose in my old blogs, and since that time I’ve read some critiques of the PDL and all things Purpose Driven.  Admittedly, those critique may have colored my thinkings on how I perceive the content we’re going through.

What I don’t think S.H.A.P.E. should focus on is the individual alone, but more how the individual using his shape becomes part of God’s church, and allows for a better understanding of how the body of Christ works in the world.  The body of Christ is a mystery, and can’t fully be understood, but I think the most real understanding can be seen in the behavior of the local body of believers that is normally called the church (primarily but not limited to the people in the same building on a Sunday morning).

I think we, as Christ followers, are called into a church for it to be a central part of how we live.  It is a family and a place where we can belong, learn, grow, fail, continue, worship, fellowship, minster and serve.

On the face S.H.A.P.E. seems fairly self-centered, and I think might be totally misunderstood that this is a self-help program, where we can learn to be better people,  get our lives under control, or be inspired to do something different, under the guise of doing that which God intends.

That is wrong thinking.  For with Christ we can do all things, yet apart from Him we can do nothing.  If we think S.H.A.P.E. is a way to make us better believers, then we are failing to think big picture.  If the think knowing our S.H.A.P.E will make us better people, then we are failing to serve others.  S.H.A.P.E. cannot be a singular focus, it must be a community focus.  We should better understand how our S.H.A.P.E. fits into the larger body, how our weaknesses are often countered by others’ strengths, and our strengths improved by sometimes opposite strengths.

In 1 Corinthians Paul has a large discourse about how the body of Christ is made up of different people possessing different gifts, and he makes a wonderful analogy about how the physical body could be compared to the spiritual body of Christ.  We are better together than we are alone.  That must be the focus of understanding our personal S.H.A.P.E., is how it is used within the larger shape of the church.

Categories: Faith Tags:

The Long View

September 11th, 2007 Comments off

Back in grad school one of the texts I was assigned to read was, The Art of the Long View by Peter Schwartz.  The opening chapter contains this paragraph:

 To act with confidence, one must be willing to look ahead and consider uncertainties: “What challenges could the world present me?  How might others respond to my actions?”  Rather than asking such questions, too many people react to uncertainty with denial.  They take an unconsciously deterministic view of events.  They take it for granted that somethings just won’t happen; for example, “oil prices won’t collapse,” or “the Cold War can’t ever end.”  Not having tried to forsee surprising events, they are at a loss for ways to act when upheaval continues.  They create blind spots for themselves.

I recall this text often, because the title is catchy, taking the long view means to look beyond the immediate circumstances and project what the long term effects of an action might be.  I’m not the best at taking the long view on things, but I can appreciate the wisdom of acting today with tomorrow in mind.

I recalled this text again this morning when I read Dan Phillips latest post at Pyromaniacs, titled Temptation: a key element is… I encourage you to read the whole post, however here is an excerpt:

More specifically, this made me think of something I’ve noticed throughout Proverbs. Again and again, Solomon takes something initially appealing, and says, “Now wait, don’t look away just yet, Bunky. I want you to see what this leads to.” And then he ruthlessly and relentlessly tears the misty, gauzy mask off of the tempting path. As it were, he grabs us by the scruff of the neck, and says, “Now you look. Keep looking! Now, do you see what happens?”

The point Dan is making in how we live our life today is the same that Peter makes in making business decisions.  Count the cost.  Create a scenario and see what this ultimately leads to.  Too often, at least for me, I take too short of a view.  The scenario I create in my mind is too short sighted, or too rose colored.  Some instances require taking a worst case scenario, or at least a poor case scenario, in mind.

The wisdom of Dan’s post is also grounded in the wisdom of the book of Proverbs.  We need to keep our eyes and ears on scripture to be able to rightly understand the consequences of our actions.  The consequences of what we do (and too often, don’t do) today will rise up tomorrow.  It is our duty and in our best interest to take a long view in everything we do.

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