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Showing posts from January, 2010

A Weather Surprise, sort of

We do not get much snow here. We should get more than we do, but the mountains tend to shield us from the snow from the northwest (Nashville gets it) and Southwest (skirts by to our south.) But today, the reports came true, and we got alternatively beautiful fat snowflakes, pelting pellets of ice, and freezing rain. It started before lunch and is still going on.

I was at work and the snow rescued me from a training meeting. It took me oer an hour to get home, and on top of that I had to stop at the grocery store--not bright, but I got out with the bags I needed and inched my way home. One side of the interstate (I went over it, not on it) was a parking lot.

Once I got home, I couldn't resist it. I got out our never-used sled and acted like a big dumb overgrown kid sliding down the street and then the yard. In between I went for a good long walk around the subdivision and observed the snowmen-makers and children enjoying their first snow playable snow in several years. It…

Pirate Church

If someone said, "we do not want black people at our church," they would, rightly so, be judged as racist, unChristian, unbiblical, ungodly, and uninterested in true evangelism. Then why has it become common for churches to segregate by age, that is, to be designed only for teens and twenty-somethings? Or only for a certain niche? Here in North Georgia we have cowboy churches. I know some people who attend them. From what I understand there are also biker churches in some parts of the country.

Christianity Today has a good article on age segregation at its website http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/january/27.62.html Whose idea was it not to have a cross-generation body of Christ? I guess the same people who thought only cowboys can worship with other cowboys.

I can't help thinking about a former boss of my son's take on this subject. My son did an internship with a local newspaper, and the editor was sort of Ringgold's answer to Dave Barry, the hu…

News Flashes

There was an article on Fox News this morning about how humans might eventually be able to run 40 miles an hour (and that the fastest human now runs 28 miles per hour). That falls into the category of "and what good would that be?"

We live in a society of great obesity because people aren't exercising period, so reaching the limits of human endurance seems kind of silly when most people won't get off the couch and go for a walk (this is one area where I can be self-righteous, as I walk 2-3 miles a day; that's really not enough but it's something). Until we can get people to live healthy lifestyles, health care reform is missing the point.

The Republicans might be overreaching about the Scott Brown victory. They can't bank on a sweep in November. By them the mood might be calmed down, especially if health care reform goes in a different direction and the job market improves. I want to feel sorry for President Obama but have to remember he himself wild…

Update

Well, my post of two days ago is now history. Someone on facebook referred to the ignert b--- in Massachusetts that ruined health care reform for the rest of the states. Ha! Based on the polls, they saved us from health care reform. Ah, we'll never know, I suppose. But it's an interesting development.

I just finished judging a speech contest at my son's old high school. It is remodeled and I wouldn't have recognized it.

I start taking cholesterol medicine tonight, along with lots of omega-3-type pills, garlic, diet, and exercise. Now I'm old.

Massachusetts

I have to shake my head in wonder that a Republican may very well win Teddy Kennedy's seat. I also have to wonder if this is an unexpected answer to the prayers of all of us who were appalled by the debacle of health care reform and cap and trade. That is self-righteous, though.

The Democrats in Washington are experiencing the consequences of political hubris. They thought they could slam through too much, too fast, and the American people just said no, we're not ready to change that quickly, we don't want the government to have that much control over our lives (as if it didn't already).

As I've written before, if we do not take advantage of our liberty to live responsible, frugal, proactively healthy lives, we will live under tyranny.

Pro-life

I teach a small Bible study class and, in order to have a plan, I use the Lifeway material. I study it but then go off in the direction that the text is sending me. This week the lesson (as always on the third Sunday of January) was about being "pro-life."

My thesis to the class was that to be pro-life is to be pro-people; that you really aren't pro-life if you aren't pro-people, as the book of Mark shows Christ to be. It is easy to say, "I'm against abortion," or "I'm against Roe v. Wade" and to vote that way and talk against more liberal/progressive/secularist politicians who support abortion on demand. It is something else to be totally and truly pro-life.

Translating faith into real, wise, effective, loving action is the great challenge for the Christian today, at least for those with a good theological background. (of course, the majority of professing Christians have minimal Biblical knowledge, nonexistent theological knowledge, …

Excellent Literary Analysis of "The Shack"

I have written about The Shack elsewhere on this blog. http://partsofspeaking.blogspot.com/2009/07/shack-revisited.html

Here is a far better critique from Books and Culture.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2010/janfeb/iamnotwhoyouthinkiam.html

I wish

Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson would keep their mouths shut for just one day. The earthquake in Haiti is no time to make political points, for heaven's sake. They do not speak for me.

Romance

When I teach Humanities I look forward to getting to the Romantic period. Now here’s a period you can sink your teeth into. You can name its characteristics and point them out easily in the art and definitely the literature. I always use Wordsworth’s poem “The World is Too Much with us” to start it off.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; (1)
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, (2)
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus (3) rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton (4) blow his wreathed horn.

I will not bore one with my lecture, but the characteristics of Romantici…

Haiti

I hope everyone who reads this goes to the Red Cross, World Vision, or Salvation Army site and gives some money to help Haiti. I sit in my comfortable, warm bedroom clicking away on a computer and watching bad television while millions are wandering in the chaos on that poor, benighted island. I hope you will give of your/our abundance.

I can't help saying that it is hard/imossible to understand why God allows that pain and deprivation. Even if good eventually comes out of it, a better life in Haiti, it is cold comfort to the people there now. I sometimes think it would be best to just move everybody out of there and start from scratch.

Here We Go Again

One of the reports on Sarah Palin is that she said something like her being nominated to VP position was "It is God's plan." I'm not getting that exactly right, but that's the gist. Of course, the news media would act like, "what a ridiculous thing for her to say." I beg to differ.

If she had lived 200 years ago, of course, it would not have been seen as an odd statement. It is simply a statement of her faith that God controls her life, not that she is more special than everyone else. The media doesn't understand that when a Christian talks about herself being in God's plan, the statement is about God's sovereignty and plans for everybody, not about her. It's the same thing when a Christian says she hears God's voice; it's not because God is talking to her, but because God is speaking to everybody but most aren't listening.

But of course secularists think we are all nuts and psychotic to think this way and worse to say …

Am I the Only One?

I am reading a book with vignettes about Christian martyrs throughout history. The ones from recent history have something in common: Islam is the culprit. While there are some instances right now where repressive, Marxist, or Hindu-inspired governments are behind the persecution, for the most part it is done by Muslims--either governments or individuals.

It seems to me that the western, and some of the nonwestern world, is in a codependent relationship with Islam. We are like a wife of an alcoholic--excusing, enabling, and allowing the behavior of the drinker even while he makes our own situation miserable. Why do we have to be treated like criminals just to fly on a plane? Because of Islamic terrorists. Why are anti-blasphemy laws being passed in Europe? Because of Islamic terrorists. Why is the press afraid to treat Islam the same way it belittles Christianity? Because of Islamic terrorists. Why is religion presented by the clueless news media as a corrupting and violent …

Feeding the Five and Four Thousands

There are three narrative accounts that appear in all four gospels: John the Baptist, the feeding of the five thousand, and the passion and resurrection. Passion Week usually, and rightly so, gets the most attention of these three, but the other two probably don’t get enough. Of all the characters in the Bible, we probably have the most trouble figuring out John the Baptist, and of all the miracles in the New Testament, we probably overlook or underrate the feeding of the five thousand the most. Yet even in Mark, the narrative arc that concerns it goes on for more than three chapters, 6-8.

You can’t read the account in Mark, Matthew, or Luke without making reference to John 6, because it is there that Jesus expounds on the feeding. We also see that the miracle is central to Jesus’ Jewishness (the connection to Messiah), to spiritual understanding, to Psalm 23 and to David and to himself as shepherd-king, to evangelism beyond Judaism into the Gentile community, and legalism of th…

When God is Silent

Before I get into the title, a few observations. One, I am using this blog as a kind of memoir as well as a traditional blog; that's why I get off the original topics of communication theory at time (although this post is a theological look at communication). Two, it was 15 degrees this morning in Ringgold and a wane sun is shining through my windows and I don't see how I can leave the house but would really like to get some exercise. Three, Alabama won! but it was rather sad about Texas' qb. However, that's football--any given Sunday, anybody can get injured at any time, all that stuff. It could have been Mark Ingram and then Alabama would have lost. Four, I would like for my son to go back to school, as much as I love him. Three weeks at home is too long. Five, I've been reading Calvin and it's amazing how deep and specific and analytic he is. Six, I am fasting from Facebook for a while. Seven, someone wrote a comment on my blog a while back that w…

Much Ado About Nothing

Corny title about the weather. We have had an inch of snow and you would think it was an avalanche. It didn't really affect my schedule, except I got to come home early rather than sit in my office waiting for non-existent late registrants, since the college closed at 4:45. It was kind of pretty outside. But I wasn't feeling well; the week of cold has gotten to me, I guess, I'm not used to it, so I took a nap. Now I feel rambunctious.

One week into 2010, and I have been able to celebrate my sister-in-law's birthday with her for the first time, visit a friend home from the mission field, get in good shape, almost finish a newsletter, teach the word, watch the nursery, read, work a week at school, advise several students, spend time with my son before he returns to college, help the BCM, exercise (but missed three days!), and walk with God. I am slowing down but that's still a good week.

Watched a bizarre movie last night, The Scarlett Empress. I took it at fa…

Thought for Any Day

What we consider an interruption God considers an opportunity.