rick & 1j13
Tuesday, September 30, 2003
Rich posts a blog exam. Here's my "score":Well, I coulda told you that :/
FOXNews.com - Foxlife - SpongeBob HotPants?

Say it ain't so..... [thanks, Robert]
LOTR3: Return Of The King - Here's the trailer of the next film, due in theaters this fall. Hoo ha.
There are a number of "Christian Films" that are out right now. In the past, these movies haven't been able to stand up against the artistic and cinematic ideals of Hollywood, but the gap may be closing. At least, it looks like the stories are more meaningful these days.

* TIME CHANGER - I think we've posted on this one before. It's no longer in theaters, but it's available on VHS and DVD. And with permission from the studio, churches can screen it for their communities. For anyone in Columbia, SC this is your INVITATION to join us at Columbia World Outreach Sunday 10/05 at 5pm - we'll be watching TIME CHANGER, where a man in the late 1800's time-travels into the present 21st century to see how morality has declined in terms of our loosening our dependence on Christ.

* LUTHER - I'm looking forward to seeing this one, perhaps Friday night. It's playing in Columbia at the Columbiana Grande, and I hope it'll still be there for a third week. Anyone else want to go? The reviews I've seen have not been that good - but that's mainly because people have a vision of Martin Luther being more fiery than he's portrayed here. Again, I hope it's decent, and that it shows a man hurting deeply over the convictions that he knows are true.

* THE GOSPEL OF JOHN - I just saw this one for the first time this morning. I don't recognize any of the actors, but Christopher Plummer is narrating - that's got to sound wonderful. Of the four gospels, John is my favorite for just meditating on the interactions with Christ. I really hope this one pulls off something special, that it prepares the way possibly for Mel Gibson's THE PASSION to come out next year.

The screening of TIME CHANGER this week at CWO is open to everyone. There's no charge, but we will be taking up an offering. We'd love to see the house packed out. We're also inviting other churches/groups to participate, not to pull members away, but to spread the word about a film that has really sparked interest and conviction. Let us know if you're coming, how many you plan to bring, etc (email me or phone the church 803.254.1600).
CNN.com - Toddler survives three weeks alone on ketchup, dry pasta - Sep. 30, 2003
Pray for this little girl. She'll either be a basket case, or she'll be stronger than most of us are now.

Pray for this man, because his daughter won't have a choice for either of those destinies.

Wow. How do children survive? So many of us as parents make so many mistakes, not even taking into account the utter stupidity, ignorance and mindlessness of the few like this. How did we make it? How will our children make it? God is so good and merciful, allowing us to survive in spite of our parents "best intentions".
I reached over and turned off the bedside lamp before 11pm last night. I had been reading, but my heart & mind weren't into it. I wanted to forget, to move on, to stop feeling the tension of my cynicism and the evening's stress. So I went to sleep.

I fall asleep pretty fast usually, and last night was like that. I don't remember tossing and turning much before finding a good spot. I like cold sheets, and once I settle in a spot and I'm able to flip the pillow to the cold side - aaaah. Slept okay. I don't remember waking up until about 4:30am to go to the bathroom. I crawled back under the covers and crashed hard for another hour or so. I don't dream much, and when I do it's usually not that earthshaking - worse thing is usually dreaming I'm waking up, going to work and doing a full day, and then finding out it was a dream and I still have to get up and go to work.

Anyway, all that rambling is to say that I did get a good night's sleep, that I didn't dream alot, that I feel fairly good this morning (no coffee yet, but I'll manage). My heart is still heavy with a jumble of thoughts & ideas & criticisms from last night - but that's mainly me, I think. It's my check on my integrity, my check on my conscience, my check on being holy as Christ is holy. I'm looking today for more obedience than understanding, for more faith in the midst of doubt.
Monday, September 29, 2003
I'm looking forward to a busy week - and that's not usually my style. I'm one who likes to kick back and be lazy. I'd work from home every day, never putting on long pants or shoes, if I could. But that's the "old me" - right? Today, I just want to get things done at work, get to class tonight and try to grasp what's going on, and get home to read a little before bed. Tomorrow evening is free, but every other day is full of nighttime activities. And all week, I've either got a meeting or conference call or wrapping up some piece of the project...

And I just want to do a good job. I've read that men tend to get their self-worth from what the do occupationally, where they are in the corporate hierarchy, how they're recognized for their performance on the job. I'm not like that - much. But I do want to do my job well, to bring a return on the investment they're making. But more than that, I really want to reflect positively on Christ in my life. I don't want to be the hypocrite who preaches hellfire and steals office supplies. Instead, I want to do my work, help others with theirs, and be a help around here. Is that so much to ask?

Anyway, I look forward to it this week. And I realize that I've got to sleep better, eat better, and get into the walking regimen I want to initiate. I want to feel good, feel energized, feel up to the task at hand. If anything, maybe I'm looking forward to that the most: just feeling good about what I do.
Sunday, September 28, 2003
I added a few comic strip links to my stuff on the left. I loved Calvin & Hobbes and Bloom County (Breathed's supposed to have a new Opus strip coming soon, if I remember correctly) back in high school and college. And I really enjoy Get Fuzzy and Foxtrot these days... And then there's Dilbert. I work with Dilbert. I know Dilbert. He's my friend.
We finished up the month-long look at the Sermon on the Mount this morning. I've enjoyed it, getting to dig into a passage that most of us "know" fairly well and somehow bringing something new and challenging out of it. In wrapping up Matthew 6, I focused on keeping our eyes on the kingdom, storing our treasure in heaven, letting our eyes focus on the light of the kingdom, letting our worship and service be for God instead of Money. Then, with that focus, we will realize that there's no need to worry about our needs getting met, because we'll "see" God providing. And there's no need to worry about tomorrow, either, since right now probably has enough to keep us busy. If we make God & His righteousness our priority - keeping our treasure secure with Him, focusing on Him, serving/following Him - then "all these things will be added."

In Chapter 7, I made the transition from "don't worry about your needs today or your troubles tomorrow" into "how do you handle the past?" Jesus talked about passing judgment, how we can remove the plank of judgmentalism and actually be able to "judge" and help someone remove their plank of sin. Forgiveness is so huge - we can ask for it, seek it, and knock on its door, and God is faithful to give us what we've asked for. What if we were to give forgiveness so that we'd get it in return, pressed down, shaken together and running over? What if we were to ask the Father to "forgive them for they know not what they do", instead of pointing the finger at folks when they screw up?

Finally, Jesus wraps up the talk by saying to put these things into practice. Practice these things. Run drills and meditate on the goodness of God, the attributes of kingdom-life, the fundamentals of living as citizens of heaven who are ambassadors to this culture. Like I said, good stuff, and I really appreciated people listening and putting these things into practice in their lives, too.
Saturday, September 27, 2003
CNN.com - Judge who blocked do-not-call registry is on list - Sep. 27, 2003

Well, of course it is.
SI.com - (8) Tennessee 23, South Carolina 20 (ot)

Good things in this game: (1) we looked really good; and (2) Clausen is out of eligibility after this season.
Friday, September 26, 2003
Matrix: Revolutions Trailer

"It ends tonight." - Neo

I know there was alot of unrest from the second movie - but I'm really looking forward to this one. Coming 11.05.
The State | 09/26/2003 | Starbucks to open in Five Points (This article contains several news items)

This will be the second Starbucks in Columbia. Looks like we're movin' on up in the world.
This afternoon has been d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g s-o s-l-o-w. I've got enough work to do to keep me busy, but the clock hands are stuck, aren't they? Since lunch, I've been really busy - but time only flies when you're having fun, I reckon.

I'm looking forward to a quiet little movie night at home this evening (HOLES first, then maybe SLEEPY HOLLOW or GODS & GENERALS with my wife afterwards), followed by a restful and relatively uneventful rest of the weekend. USC plays UT on TV tomorrow night, and I'm teaching for Cleansing Streams before that at church. I'll also make time to get a little work-work done at home, probably while watching more football tomorrow afternoon, or during pro games Sunday.

I also plan to start walking this weekend - just in the neighborhood. Not worrying about power-walking or anything yet, just getting active. Just don't make me take the dawg yet, ok? I'm going to shop around for a small MP3 player, too - keep the tunes going on my morning/evening jaunts.

Still dragging slow this afternoon. Time oozes on.....
Got this in my inbox this morning (Daily Dig from Bruderhof): The answer to that last question is of course "no" - and I agree that we have watered down the Gospel into something of a self-help mantra. How many people sitting in pews every Sunday are deceived into thinking they've got hell-fire insurance, when in reality they've only bought into a humanistic form of religion? We've bought into form over substance - doing the right things, looking the right way, having the right attitude, and never really dying to themselves and living to Christ.

God is mercifully patient with us (2 Peter 8-10, where Pastor Mike read last night; Romans 2:4), giving us plenty of time to turn this thing around and repent. But we're the blind leading the blind, and too many of us are falling into the pit (Matt 15:14). Darkness was allowed to stay - light didn't shine somewhere along the line, and we got used to the shadows.Would someone turn on the lights? Would someone be bold enough to play by the rules, to learn from the Master how to really live in the kingdom? There's no room for wishy-washy Christians any more. If it's going to be real, then we'll have to be real.

Practically, what does this mean? We need to BE more, not just DO more, or TRY more. Instead of thinking "I need to pray more" - just pray more. Instead of thinking "I need to study my Bible" - just do it. Instead of asking "why am I not sharing Jesus with folks?" - just talk Him up. For me, living it out is a whole lot more fruitful than thinking about it or having guilt over a lack of it. I want to BE a person who does those things - not someone trying to live up to a standard, but who's living life through the standard...

I'm through preaching now :)
Thursday, September 25, 2003

Pray for me - I need to get in shape. I don't sleep well, and usually wake up sore and stiff. On top of that, I get easily frustrated, which usually points to way too much stress inside, right? This morning was rough, getting the kids ready for school while nursing a really bad sinus headache that never really went away. And just feel that if I start walking, motivated to just feel better, it'll be a good thing.
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
Ever feel like you're living life while walking through water? That's what I feel like today - that the air is stiff. I'm not really in a funk as much as i'm just pensive, thinking too much maybe. But as I move, I feel resistence, like there's not as much give in moving forward today. On top of that, it's getting hot in the sunshine - so I guess it's more like moving through soup. Eeeeww.

I went to the mall today at lunch with a list of CDs I wanted to find. Didn't know if I'd actually buy one or not, but I wanted to see them, see if I'd be interested. Didn't find any of them - nowhere. I did buy HOLES on DVD - T and I loved seeing that last spring, and I bought it "for mommy" 'cause she'll like it, too. But nothing else on my "list". Even went to BestBuy across the street. Nothing. Zilch. Nada.

And it felt like such a wasted trip. I wasn't hungry, but ended up getting a burger and tea - good idea on the tea. And I drove back to work, a little sweaty from being outside in the gorgeous sunshine, and... well, feeling like I was still walking through water. I've got enough to keep me busy this afternoon, and then I'll be playing with my little girl tonight @ home. So I'll be putting headphones back on, listening to the radio, trying to figure out how to do the backstroke and just float...

Today, I want to be Superman.
Same job. Same issues.
Added ability to fly.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003
I just laughed myself silly. Right here at my desk, in my humble little cubicle, working hard on getting this report declaration just right - and trying not to snort too loud or wet my pants. Listening to Jeff Foxworthy on RadioNetscape. I had to take my headphones off, because if he said one more funny thing... let's just say I'd be happy I'm wearing navy dockers today. Too much information.......
What makes a good blog entry?

I posted something pretty much off the cuff yesterday, and someone said it was a "great post" (not that I disagree, of course) - and it made me think: what makes a great post? Because I can spend all day on something, picking and choosing the right phrases and metaphors to get a point across, or I can shuffle something out in ten minutes or less - and it's hit or miss whether either of them will get any feedback at all.

Let me say that I'm not writing to get feedback. I love that people read this space, but I'd write if no one else were paying attention at all. And I don't necessarily write to be read - though in the case of this entry, maybe I am, you know? I do know that this is a private/public entity, so I make sure I know what I'm talking about (yeah right), and that I'm not divulging personal stuff that has no business being flung across the blogosphere, and I try not to stand judgmental or preachy. Other than that, I'm an open book, more or less. So when I write, it's usually deeply personal - whether I nurtured it for hours or kicked it out in minutes. And when I write, I enjoy the process as much as the finished product.

I know some posts work and others don't. Some blurbs on news stories are better than page long dissertations on the meaning of life - I know that, too. I know that I've written meaningful pieces that aren't worth their space on the server, and meaningless pieces that are gold if I could find a publisher ;).

Just thinkin', brainstormin', writin', dabblin'..... - peace.
Monday, September 22, 2003
"What I want instead is your true thanks to God;
I want you to fulfill your vows
to the Most High.
Trust Me in your times of trouble,
and I will rescue you,
and you will give Me glory."
-- Psalm 50:14-15

There's alot of confusion in our world, alot of distraction to keep us from finding our way. As christians, we're often left wondering "why am I here?" or "what's God's will" - and we lose sight of God through the fog. Whether it's our own stress, our own mistakes and failures, or even our own triumphs and successes - most of this stuff serves to keep us from some hidden-but-just-around-the-corner destiny. We know it's there, but we can't see it, can't find it, can't grab onto it.

Then there's a passage like this from Psalm 50. What if we could simplify life to the point of just giving true thanks to God and fulfilling our commitment to His calling on our lives? That's it. And when trouble comes - as if it ever really leaves - you trust Him, and He promises to send in the rescue posse. And in all that, you'll bring glory to Him; you'll reflect His character, bringing Him honor in this place.

What if we could clear away all the stuff in our lives that does not belong, including the church-y things that God did not call us to but that we're strung out on anyway? And what if that cleaning/cleansing process revealed a clarity, a focus, a revelation of who God is and how He wants you to partner with Him?

Mondays are strange days for me, getting back to work, wrestling with the God-thoughts, sermons, music, worship of the weekend. I've written a little before on some of the inner turmoil I feel with things at church, so I won't go there. I will say that I've talked to Pastor about it. My wrestling with the evangelism class is a good thing in his view, and I'm glad. He said that he sees me having a problem with dogmatism, with people who are straight to the point. He's right - that kind of stuff always seems to me like it's got an agenda behind it that's less than sincere, leaves little room for questions without ridicule, etc. He said he's noticed that I feel the same way about Rush Limbaugh - I used to like him, listen to him every day, etc, but that I'm not real big on that kind of thing anymore. Again, he's right - Rush is "right" on alot of issues, but that talking-at-you rather than talking-with-you aspect goes against the grain for me.

For me, I just feel like something around here's taking a step backwards. It's like we've made it seven miles on the interstate, so lets go back three miles to the rest area and see what's going on there. I've printed out an article - don't remember from where, but I think I linked to it from b4G - that mentions needing to be invited into another person's "space" before preaching at/to them. That resonates with me, because I've got a cynical tendency to see most evangelistic efforts as nothing more than propaganda and marketing. Jesus promised to draw people to Himself; we should be beating 'em off with a stick. But that's not happening either, so I want to remain as "open" as I can to whatever's taught in tonight's video session @ class.

Started reading a new book: HOW MOVIES HELPED SAVE MY SOUL, by Gareth Higgins. Haven't made it out of the introduction yet, but I'm really looking forward to it. Still got three or four others on my nightstand, too - but I am finding that I finish more books these days than I did in the past, so it's all good. This is another one of those things I've got that's kinda opposite the views at church. I appreciate finding truth anywhere it pops its head, and I'm not offended by language or violence. I do have a problem with nudity in a film - it's usually unnecessary to the story, uncalled for, only there for $$$ - and it usually gets in the way of whatever story might be told for me. I didn't like the rave scene in MATRIX2 - same thing: unnecessary and distracting. It could've been a shorter scene if they wanted to show something between Neo & Trinity, but the quick cuts were more tantalizing than plot-moving. I can skip it on the DVD though. All that to say: truth is often portrayed in story, and movies are so much our best storytellers today. The best parables are visual for the image-sensitve generation.

But hey, maybe that's just me. I don't want to bash anyone or write off anything. As far as I'm concerned, I'm on the same page with the Pastor and the rest of the staff. Unity is a big thing for me, and my inner wrestling amounts to a stretching, I'm sure. I'm not leaving, not looking to say I'm right and they're wrong, and trying like anything to make sure I'm on focus rather than trying to change anyone else's opinions. And I pray - that my often pigheaded & one-tracked thoughts won't derail the train too soon; that hearts will be softened to truth; that I will not feel split. I want to be wholehearted, but I want to be sincere and maintain integrity, too. There's the rub.
Sunday, September 21, 2003
ESPN.com - NCF - College Football Boxscore: USC vs UAB

Good game tonight - lots of fun.
Saturday, September 20, 2003
Newbie to this one - Saturday Scruples:

1. A good friend confesses he's HIV positive. He's terrified to tell his spouse. Do you?
Hmmmm.... no, not at first anyway. I'd want to find out more from him - been cheating? from before he was married? What if I told his wife, and she's forced to confess that it's from her, that she knew she had it. As a "good friend," I'd encourage them both, and help him bring the news out. I wouldn't compromise, my threaten to tell - and in the end it would be him.

2. You need one number to win the jackpot at BINGO. The stranger beside you also needs one number and its been called. Do you tell her?
Yes. No brainer.

3.The taxi driver you get at 2 a.m. is drunk and driving recklessly. After he gets you home shaken but in one piece, do you report him?
After he gets me home? Puh-lease. I'm insisting he stop the car as soon as I find out, and using cellphone to call the big numbers painted on the trunk as he's pulling away and running into a tree.
CNN.com - Oklahoma highway blocked by 800 baby pigs - Sep. 20, 2003

Can you say "BACON"?
Friday, September 19, 2003
The Kansas City Star - `Explicit' label on `Messiah': APPLE'S ITUNES STORE CORRECTS MISTAKE

I'm going to buy this one. I'm such a rebel.
Ever just blog-surf? I'll click on most of the links in my lefthand sidebar, and if I see a link from that blog to another previously un-visited blog, I'll get a little adventurous and check that one out. Then another, and another, and so on, and so on... Just got connected that way (thru GatorBites, I think) to Robert's blog - Dead Man Blogging - and read through a really long theological breakdown of Matthew 5:13-16. I've been teaching on the Sermon on the Mount in our Sunday morning LifeBASICS time ("Discourse on the Hill" is Willard's title), so I was interested to see what kinds of things he was pulling from these three chapters.

Other than what I'd call steretypical generalizations, I appreciate that he's caught on to the need for obedience in our lives, as it is shown from the overflow of hearts really sold out to Christ. Jesus spends this time talking about what the kingdom looks like and what kingdom citizens are about - and the obedience He's calling for is much more about being holy people than being people who are trying to be holy. I don't agree with Robert's comments on the "intentionality" of relationships - but it's hard to argue with the thought that my keeping a close relationship with someone who's not a citizen of the kingdom has the tendency over time to lead to compromise on my part.

It also appears that he's a little more on the "serious" side of things than I am (as is 99.9% of the homo sapien population of this planet, no doubt). One statement describes a committed christian as being serious, not foolish. I don't think "foolish" is necessarily the opposite of "serious." But that's probably just me and my tendency to pick up semantics. I'd rather say that we need to take life seriously and not haphazardly; or this might be a place to use the word intentional, rather than solely under the heading of relationship. Someone can be serious and still be foolish though - so maybe there's a place for frolicking a little un-seriously, diving into the mystery of stuff without grabbing onto foolishness.

I don't normally point out blogs here in this space. I'm not plugging his blog (though I'll probably add it to the list of rascals on the left), but rather pointing out that God is revealing stuff like this all over the place. Cool, huh?
CNN.com - Robot ship braces for death by Jove - Sep. 19, 2003

Way too cool. The pictures have been phenomenal. In the sixth grade, I got turned on a little to astronomy by a science teacher who had some passion on the subject. I only took the self-paced offering at USC, but still enjoyed going to the observatory every now and then, or the planetarium around the corner. I'll probably dig some old books out as the kids get a little more interested in that stuff, and probably get some new lenses for the telescope in the attic.

Astronomy is one of those sciences, for me anyway, where you can see God coloring outside the lines.
FridayFive with my kids - hoo ha (C is my soon-to-be-6-yr-old daughter, and T is my just-turned-8-yr-old son):

1. Who is your favorite singer/musician? Why?
C - Britney Spears, because she's a great singer (pray for me - it's the only name she knows)
T - Aaron Carter, 'cause I just like him

2. What one singer/musician can you not stand? Why?
C - Aaron Carter, 'cause he can't sing
T - N'sync, sound kinda saddish

3. If your favorite singer wasn't in the music business, do you think you would still like him/her as a person?
T - I guess
C - Yeah, 'cause I've seen her on TV and her sister on TV (Nickelodeon's ALL THAT)

4. Have you been to any concerts? If yes, who put on the best show?
C - Nope
T - I can't remember

5. What are your thoughts on downloading free music online vs. purchasing albums? Do you feel the RIAA is right in its pursuit to stop people from dowloading free music?
C - We don't know
T - What's with this mumbo jumbo?!?
Thursday, September 18, 2003
Here's the latest radar picture from the Weather Channel for Columbia, SC:

Been gorgeous here. Breezy, but bright and cloud-free most of our day home. And with the storm picking up speed, I hope it moves on through fast enough to leave any needed rain and very little damage behind.
Major chillin at home today. Cam's sick, so there's not usually much getting done. Too high maintenance to "work from home" so we're just chillin and watching the hurricane hit the beaches. Nice to have a day like this, but looking forward to tomorrow being busy, getting stuff done.

The "verse of the day" is from Amos 4 - God says, "Seek me and live". With all I've had on my mind and heart the past few weeks, can I settle and just focus on that above all?

Wednesday, September 17, 2003
It is absolutely gorgeous outside. I just finished BLUE LIKE JAZZ. I need a hammock.
After writing way too much yesterday (my wife asked, "did you do anything besides blog?!?"), I'm going to keep today straight, focused and to the point. Maybe. For right now, this will be my only post - an email devotional thought that really stood out to me from the writings of AW Tozer:
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
BBC NEWS | Business | 'Latte tax' vote looms in Seattle

Who cares about the dang recall vote in Cali - this is big.

UPDATE: CNN.com - Espresso tax rejected by voters - Sep. 17, 2003
Good show - now where's my caramel macchiato?

Coaches' decision to kick not clear

Hopefully, this past weekend's loss will be a wake-up call. BCS, here we come.
Knock, Knock.
Who's there?
Piddly who?
heh heh heh - I don't remember, it's just funny hearing somebody say "piddly hoo"!

We don't laugh enough in this world. We don't laugh as Christians, taking ourselves way too seriously. Just an observation, but the people in our churches aren't the happiest looking people on the planet. Who are the happiest looking? Lottery winners - and even then it's only going to be temporary. Before long, relatives and long-lost friends will begin scraping away from the pie, and the burden of being rich will swipe their joyous smiles from their faces.

But children laugh easily. And when an adult laughs, they want to know what's funny so they can join in. Are coming to Jesus like children, ready and willing and yearning to laugh at something truly funny? Or are we already sour-pusses, with all of our innocence replaced by the heaviness of "real life"?

Heh heh heh - piddly hoo.
CNN.com - Study: Sleeping position reveals personality - Sep. 16, 2003

This is me: "Sleeping on one's side with legs outstretched and arms down in what Idzikowski refers to as the log, indicates a social, easy-going personality. But if the arms are outstretched, the person tends to be more suspicious."
My wife, the drama teacher, is starting rehearsal tonight for the fall play. Want to get on her bad side?

"Mrs. S, since I only have four lines, do I really need to come tonight?"

"No, you don't have to come at all. I can give your four lines to one of the twenty people who didn't get a part, right?"
Keeping links here for word study this week:
  • "repent" @ Biblegateway.com - all 76 NAS references
  • "repent" @ Biblegateway.com - all 105 KJV references
    Church Sign:

    This is the message on our church sign this week. I have to ask, who is this for? Is it for the people driving by, to convict them of broken promises, broken commitments, brokem marriages, broken vows? Or is it more for those of us driving in to park our cars, to enter the building where God's promises are true and secure, but where we are also often characterized by unkept promises? Whether intentional or not, I don't think we stand up too tall against our own question...
    After all of the great games in the college and pro football ranks over the weekend, it's time once again to settle in tonight and see what's happening on BigBrother4. There are only three people left in the house, and whoever wins HOH will get to decide who's booted and who's left to be voted on for champion, right? With that formula, Robert better win HOH - if not, and if either girl is smart enough, he'll be out the door. I think he'll carry it if it's him versus either girl. But I don't have a vote.

    There's got to be a way to play the game without being a creep, a liar, a jerk. While he might've had his faults throughout the game, I haven't seen as much of the backstabbing from him the past few weeks. He's played the game well - not staying too far out of site, not making enemies, winning a key times, and able to be sincere, or at least as far as I've seen. But again, I don't vote. We'll see.
    Monday, September 15, 2003

    This week just started, and it's already feeling "long." I know I've got alot to do, but I've got to kick it into high gear on not letting that mentality take root, you know? I didn't sleep well last night - our son couldn't fall asleep until almost midnight, and when he did it was in our bed. So I slept downstairs on the couch - meaning that I didn't fall asleep until almost 1:30am or so. I didn't even get on the PC and surf - just laying there, eventually flipping the TV from the weather channel to espn. Today, I've got class at 6pm - still have to finish homework. Just feels like it's going to be a busy week and that I'm already starting from behind. I hate that.

    Decent weekend. I'm not all warm and fuzzy about my teaching time on the Sermon on the Mount yesterday morning, but the service was ok, and the Cleansing Stream video Saturday evening went well.

    Just a kind of ambivalent feeling, not too positive, not too negative, probably way too cynical.a Just feelin' ........ blahg.
    Dwight asked: Here is one that I get people asking me occasionally. I suspect others in group would like your take on it. How do you recognize God's calling vs Satan's calling vs the world's calling for your life?

    Why do I feel like bacherlorette #3? :)

    My short answer would be that Satan's calling would be way too easy, way too compromising, way to reasonable. The world's calling would usually just be common sense and be bolstered by the latest news media polls. But God's calling would scare you to death - going that way will not be easy, will not make sense, and will most likely cost something, if not everything. For the first two, there's no change required, and the status quo, or at least a progression along a sensible timeline, is all that's expected. But if God's calling, all bets are off. you know that taking this road means that everything changes. And if you turn away from it, you know you've missed it. His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:9) - the first two will match-up too closely to our own personal desires, our own mindsets, make too much sense culturally, etc; while the last one will challenge your whole concept of reality.

    And that follows from my own personal experiences. What has scared me most and has been the hardest to followthrough to completion have been those things that have reaped something wonderful and exciting and life-changing in Christ. And the things that have been natural and easy, these things serve to make me complacent and lazy and not want to move out in faith at all. My call to leave our home church was completely nuts, and I wrestled with it for awhile, but I knew that's where God would have us go. My call to ministry only made sense from God's perspective, I suppose - and since then everything has changed in some way. Even today, I'm challenged to press forward into something unknown, something I can't quite see yet, and I'm not sure what to do about it. Then again, if it's not scary, it's probably me, right?
    Sunday, September 14, 2003
    Wow - two really good questions, definitely more than I wanted to be thinking about on a weekend :). Let's see.......

    From Judy: When God calls you to leave work and go to full-time ministry(not that right now it's not full-time, because a Pastor's job is 24/7). Where do you see yourself going? and Why? I know we don't choose where to go, but is your heart wanting to minister in any particular place?
    You're assuming that I'll leave "the real world" for "full-time ministry," but you answered your own question. I don't see the contradiction there. My calling is more involved in making sure that my job is more fully consumed by my 24/7-ministry, that I be real about it in the office as much as in the sanctuary. I think there will be fewer and fewer "full-time ministry positions" in the coming years. It will probably often be considered unnecessary in new church plants, you know? Anyway, I won't tie God's hands - like I could, right? - but I don't see me ever leaving the work sector for something else. If I were to engage ministry in another location, I can't imagine being anywhere other than my own neighborhood. A church with walls is isolated from alot of things, but starting a fellowship in your front yard - that would be so cool, so much more community-driven, so much more 24/7 then we can fathom right now.... I'm not that involved in my immediate neighborhood right now, something that I really feel is a mistake/shortcoming on my part (next question), and something that I really need to be open to more and more.

    From Ailina: What do you feel was your biggest failure/mistake to-date as a Christian, and how have you overcome it?
    Disobedience. Right off the top of my head, there's the example of me not submitting to authority and having a terrible time internally with the fallout. A couple of Octobers ago, our church had decided to ignore Halloween. Having the fall festival or even handing out information was going to give more validation to the "holiday" than we wanted. Before this decision, however, I'd "decided" that it would be a wonderful idea to meet the parents in the neighborhood (read answer above on connecting with neighbors) where we were having a weekly Bible study/gathering. We could setup cokes and coffee for the moms and dads as the anklebiters walked around the other surrounding houses, have conversations, etc. And we basically did that, against the decision to do nothing. It was much more of a big deal internally then outwardly - no one probably knows the extent of how bad I felt in disobeying Pastor, and on top of that leading others into "rebellion" with me. How have I overcome it? Still working it. Obey. Submit. Remember that God is in charge, and that submission to the Pastor is proper, and that it's easier than Lone Ranger-ing on my own. This isn't a legalistic thing, but an understanding that he's following God, and that I'm submitting to Christ through him. There's lots of room for abuse - but that's not the case, and even then I'd be slower today to advise disrespect for and disobeying a spiritual leader.
    Saturday, September 13, 2003
    Uh-oh - ESPN's Lee Corso just picked the Gamecocks to upset Georgia. Hmmmm... I'll stick to my prediction, and looking forward to 3:30pm kickoff.

    UPDATE: Corso was wrong. USC 7, Georgia 31. Darn.

    And for the past couple of weeks, I've been getting attitude from people about the Gamecocks. After beating a no-name team only 14-7, someone ran their mouth about how bad USC looked. And after beating then-#14 Virginia 31-7, I still got bad-mouthed about how the Gamecocks only beat 'em because their start QB was injured. Well, if they thought I had a bad attitude towards that stuff when we were winning - all I can say is watch out after we lost. Capiche?

    Today is T's birthday. Eight years old. Eight years ago... right now... we were still inducing, still waiting for things to progress further before - aaah - epidural. Always wished they had a home kit for that, or a version for the dad. By lunch time, she was resting, sleeping a little. And by 4pm or so, we were in labor ("we" in the loosest sense of the word). At 6pm, the doctor finally conceded that our firstborn wasn't going to come that way. Emergency C-section - and at 6:30, our little klingon was born. But he's a perfectly good little human now, with just the tiniest little scalpel scar on his cheek from the experience.

    Just trying to be funny. He's eight now, and for me, that's an age where I begin even now to remember more about friends back then, teahers back then, toys and TV shows back then. So I'm excited, and challenged, that we're entering a period of like that he'll actually hold onto for the rest of his life. We're very proud of our son (both of our children actually, but our princess will get her own write-up in a month or so). We are better parents for the interaction with our kids. We're better people for these little friends in our lives.
    Friday, September 12, 2003
    ESPN.com - NCF - Gamecocks win gives hope to porn star

    Do I have to write anything else with a title like that? My prediction, USC 21, UGA 10. Anything closer than that will be a UGA victory.
    Jen is continuing the question meme theme, and here are "my" questions:

    1.) I know that you're a computer geek because you work for the same company as my mommy. In college, why did you choose computer science over any other discipline?
    It was really the only thing that interested me. I'd done pretty well in school - we learned Basic on old Apple IIe machines, and then Pascal in the AP class. I'd also already done some actual programming work for a local tax preparer's company - ironically, preparing their forms for printing tax forms out, long before the success of Quicken and such now. What do I do now? I work on print, forms for insurance companies. Go figure. Anyway, I was fairly balanced, with high SATs in math and in verbal - and CompSci seemed like a way to do both, have opps to write (loved my technical writing classes) and still work through the logic puzzles of real-life programming.

    2.) What is your impression of what I would be like in real life if you were to meet me?
    Is that in invitation? Who's buying the coffee? Meeting you would be different than getting to know you, I'm sure. You're probably very nice and considerate of others, but lots of folks are like that on first impressions. Getting to know you, through the blog at least, has revealed a sense of humor that would probably be more subdued in person. But it also wouldn't take very long to get you into a deep discussion on politics or Christianity. And it wouldn't take me long to figure out your hot button - what was that nickname you dislike so vehemently again?

    3.) Have you been to a liturgical church? If you have, what were your impressions? If you haven't, what do you think the experience would do for your spiritual life?
    No, I haven't - but only because I haven't, not for any other reason of style and taste. Anywhere I go, I sense something deeper - even my old dead baptist church where nobody's changed their minds or their pew seats in decades has a life about it when I go in seeking Jesus and not looking down my nose. I'd like to experience the ritual and tradition without being held back, you know? And I'd like to be able to incorporate various high church into our more laid back style.

    4.) What are your favorite hymns and why?
    "Have Thine Own Way" was always #169 in the old baptist hymnal, and we sang it over and over and over again during invitation time. "Wonderful Cross" by Chris Tomlin combines old and new very well, plus I can play it on the guitar (Isaac Watts' "When I Survey..." is so rich). We do alot of praise choruses mostly, but they can get tired after awhile. New arrangements of old favorites are usually thrown in the break that cycle. The problem so much of the time is that our songs today just don't have the depth of feeling that went into the classics...

    5.) Describe your perfect cup of coffee.
    The one in my hand.
    Friday Five: What's in a name? -

    1. Is the name you have now the same name that's on your birth certificate? If not, what's changed?

    2. If you could change your name (first, middle and/or last), what would it be?
    Naah, I'm good. If I changed it, though, it'd be something ritzy - like Parker, or Frampton or something.

    3. Why were you named what you were? (Is there a story behind it? Who specifically was responsible for naming you?)
    I'm a junior. Think I was named after my dad.

    4. Are there any names you really hate or love? What are they and why?
    Grew up with alot of Jennifer's - creativity sagged in the late 60s, huh? Always liked the name Connor.

    5. Is the analysis of your name at kabalarians.com accurate? How or how isn't it?
    Nope - maybe 50%, but that's not enough to say they pegged me. Mentioned putting people on a pedestal - don't think I do that at all. Also mentioned making hast decisions, needing to exercise control - mostly true, but not as prominent as it seemed. Anyway, feel like they've read my handwriting at the state fair. Same feeling.
  • CNN.com - 'The man in black' Johnny Cash dead at 71 - Sep. 12, 2003

  • CNN.com - Emmy-winning actor John Ritter dead at 54

    Overnight, two men from the entertainment industry - each at fairly high levels of popularity right now, one a legend and the other a friendly primetime personality - pass away. How much will each be missed? How much will their work be inspiring to the next generation? How much will the albums climd in value, or the reruns gain in popularity?

    Not being funny here. My wife and I looked at each other and wondered what'll happen to Clifford on PBSkids. What each man has done in life to effect others will live on; nothing else will matter within a few weeks.
  • Wednesday, September 10, 2003
    Yahoo! News - Former Bond girl to become model for Church

    You kinda get the feeling that lots of things will be shaken, but nothing will be stirred........
    "His nearness is our good." - Psalm 73:28

    It is good for God to be so near, whether it is us pursuing Him and drawing close, or Him pursuing us and drawing close. It's a good thing for us that God likes us, wants to be with us, wants to be close to us. He made us to enjoy us, and He enjoys us most when we're enjoying ourselves in Him.

    And on the flipside - it's bad for us to try to run from God, or from each other for that matter. It's not right for us to seek to shelter ourselves from others, or to hide pieces of ourselves in relationship. God built that in somehow, that need to belong and to feel accepted, and to fight that is probably a huge source of stress and anxiety in people all over the world.

    While divorce always seem to be on the rise, what about all of the marriages that stay together, but where the couple is just miserable? Crime goes through cycles, where people hurt other people or take someone else's stuff. But what about outright comtempt, as we grow more and more cyncial towards each other, uncaring towards each other, hurtful and hateful and spiteful towards each other. We kill others around us every day with our hateful thoughts. We want to be left alone, knowing that truly being alone will kill us for sure. How many people today are going through the motions, just trying to tread water, because they've been hurt and shut out of everyone else's lives, or they've shut everyone else out of their own little world?

    "His nearness is our good."

    I'm finding that one of the ways to get my children out of their bad attitudes is to get really close. If I can get really close... without frowning... without growling in anger... without threatening them to be grounded or to have gamecube time taken away... if I can just get close enough... I can whisper that I love them, that I like them, and that I'm going to tickle them all over. And we'll laugh, lifting each other out of the circumstance of hurt and disobedience and into the freedom of laughter and ticklishness. It's not fool-proof, and I'm often too foolish to make the attempt. But I've found that if Daddy can get close... I can diffuse the situation and release us to be family, to be together, to work it out, to settle the matter and move on.

    Selfishness repels, while selflessness draws near. His nearness is good for us, and I imagine that it's pretty good for Him, too.

    just thinkin'...
    September 11th Media FastI'll possibly be a little more prolific here today - alot on my mind, but don't know if it'll get written out. But I won't be posting anything tomorrow. Feel free to continue thoughts or whatever, but I'm going to participate in a "media fast." Tomorrow is the second anniversary of the events of 09/11/01, and there will be more than enough television and media coverage all over the place. I feel like the risk to romanticize and sentimentalize the tragedies and the hopes is all so much hype and pomp. So I won't be blogging, won't be emailing (past what's needed for work duties), won't be surfing through CNN.com, etc. Tomorrow evening after church, I might turn on the TV and watch college football - I might not. But this fast/boycott of media outlets is something that I need to do to protrect my own sense of things. I appreciate your interaction here - and anyone who wants to take over in the comments (to a point 8^p, ok?), knock yourself out.

    Throw back your thoughts on this today, or I'll catch up again on Friday.
    Tuesday, September 09, 2003
    CNN.com - Slip 'N Slide makers sue 'Dickie Roberts' - Sep. 8, 2003

    "Wham-O also claims the scene violates the product's safety guidelines, which limit the use of Slip 'N Slide to children between the ages of 5 and 12 weighing less than 110 pounds and under 5 feet tall."

    He's a little older, but David Spade is that small, isn't he?
    Monday, September 08, 2003
    For anyone who knows me in "real life" and who might be reading this: please don't take anything personally, and please don't take it any more or less seriously than anything else you might've read here. I'm in preamble mode, and I might never actually type out what I'm feeling, but I'm here and this blog is here and this is what I do.

    Why do I blog? Because I like to write. It's neat that there are people who read it, but if no one ever read it, I'd still do it. I like to write, and I'm a decent typist. And I've got more thoughts in my head than are allowed, so from time to time some of them have to jump ship and land somewhere. If they're worth keeping a while longer, they show up here. Maybe. But I don't write to be read, even though I know others read. I also don't hide anything, at least not consciously, because I know people are reading. Even when I keep a "private" journal, I expect that someone somewhere will read. So my only "editting" is in how I say something so that it best reveals what I'm thinking, so that it inflicts the least amount of physical pain, and that it somehow shows that I'm wrestling with something meaningful and worth the fight. The only times I don't write are times when I'm unsure of what's going on, when I'm not sure that this is really what I think, when I'm more confused than anything else and haven't taken the time to crunch the truth. Other than that, what you see here is what you get. I can be as open and vulnerable as I want, and I can be a hidden and covert as I want. It's my blog. You're welcome to browse, but please remember that this is an exhibition, not a competition. No wagering.

    That is probably one of the longest paragraphs I've ever written in my life. And that was just setup.

    I need to get this out of my system: why am I taking the bible college class I've committed to? "Excellence in Evangelism", mostly a video series with Ray Comfort, with extra additions from Pastor Mike. I told Pastor in passing that I didn't want to take either course being offered this fall semester (the other is "Intercessory Prayer"), and that that probably means I should've signed up for both. But our schedule at home is tight in the evening, so I'm only taking the evangelism course, earlier in the evening.

    Why am I taking this class? [this is where the please don't take this personally/seriously part comes in]... I am so out of touch with what's going on in these videos. I'm really lost - the need to "defend the faith", for me, is all about story, not proofs and arguments and discussion. I'm either going to be the best student in the class, having to study harder to get the stuff that's just not doing anything for me - or I'm going to flunk it royally, unable to process what I can't feel....

    I know that there's a great commission, and that there are people all around us every day who are living life without any clue of the kingdom life available for them in Christ. I know that, I really do - and I pray for a heart burdened for that. But all I'm seeing is another method/formula/marketing ploy, a one-size-fits-all mentality that leaves more holes than it fills.

    But what bugs the bejeebers out me right now, why I'm risking it all baby by writing this right now, is that I'm not as fired up about this as everyone else is. I'm guilty by lack of association. I'm not in on the joke. It's surreal to me, and while I feel like I'm missing the point somewhere, I feel like telling those congregated that they're loony.

    I want to be wrong. I want to be so changed and so challenged and so different because this stuff, or evangelism in general and in particular, takes real deep root in me. I want to get it. And I want it to be real. I don't want my feelble-headedness to get in the way.

    Thanks for playing. Goodnight.
    Blue Like Jazz - Intro

    Really enjoying this book... Once again, I'm in the middle of at least four books at once. But this one is standing out to me right now. I don't know why. "Gritty" is probably overused and under-appreciated. It's just real - grabbing onto spirituality while still grabbing onto Christ. Life is magical, but most of us have made it, or simply believe it to be, only illusion. Got that from this book, and it resonates.
    Seattle throws a tea party to fight java tax

    Fight on, brave warriors! Let freedom percolate throughout yon countryside!

    thanks, jen!
    Sometimes, I'm overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that needs to get done. Other times, I'm overwhelmed by the sheer boredom of it all. And most of the times, those two things intersect - so much to do, overwhelmed to the point of boredom because I don't know where to start, and don't really want to do any of it.

    Why should I ever complain about being bored? Growing up, that was my brother's mantra: "I'm bored. What can I do?" That worked until Dad started giving him chores. Never tell the guy in charge that you're bored; he'll find you something to do, but you won't like it, but you'll have to do it, 'cause you're bored. Anyway, I could always find a book to read or comic or magazine; later on I could find a movie, watch SportsCenter all morning, etc. Right now, I don't really have time to get bored - like I said, too much to do. So what is this I'm feeling that's an awful lot like boredom, just more heavy and burden-like?

    There is a "spirit of heaviness" that's mentioned in the bible, Isaiah 61:3. In the NIV, it's "despair", and God is promising to cover His people who are grieving with a garment of praise for their despair. I don't think it's despair, but that's the only word I can grab onto as I look at this and blog about it. At dictionary.com, despair has as a second definition: "To be overcome by a sense of futility or defeat". Hmmmmmm.... praise turns that around, doesn't it? I mean, if I'm feeling overwhelmed and rundown, maybe I do feel a sense of futility and defeat. Doesn't matter if it's real or not, if I'm right or not - but if that's the burden I'm feeling... We shouldn't be controlled by feelings, but at the same time, my perspective is valid enough from my point of view to attempt to see what God's doing around me, to allow me to partner with Him, and this feeling of despair is probably only a reminder that my eyes are more focused on me and what I've got to do (or think I've got to do), rather than on Christ and Him formed in me. Rather than on God and His purposes in the world. Rather than the Spirit and His outflow from my life... right?

    So I praise God. When I get into the funk, I'd rather have a praise CD in than anything else in my carrier. I'd rather turn things off and listen. I'd rather talk/pray/argue/question/struggle with God... and still praise Him. I don't even know where this came from - I just felt like I needed to post something and didn't know where to begin. But I know where to end - with praise. God is so good, and from His perspective it's so much more amazing and triumphant. My light and momentary stuff - as crowded as life might seem - is nothing compared to His plans, His ways, His purposes in and through my life. Praise You, Lord... and thank You. Amen.
    Sunday, September 07, 2003
    It's been a good weekend. Good time last night speaking at church, and I thought it went well this morning, too, in starting our "sermon on the mount" series. All that and Carolina beat UVA, and I got a primo 2-hour nap this afternoon. Sweet.

    So what stands out to me? The two threads that I'm taking from Dallas Willard as being woven through Matthew 5-7: (1) "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand", and (2) "unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees, forget it." Those two thoughts - that the kingdom is here now and a viable option in God's grace for your life, and that your internal heart-life has got to surpass the external show of religious people - are really working through me. The kingdom of heaven as an outflow, not just and ourward-show - what kind of difference would that make? What kind of impact should we be having?

    Class starts tomorrow in our church's bible college. This'll be my 4th class.... I think?... at CWOBC. I'm only taking one: "Excellence in Evangelism." I don't want to be a skeptic. I don't want to be a skeptic. I don't want to be a skeptic. I think the class will be fun, and I'm really hoping that God will challenge me beyond what I can see with my own eyes and mind right now. I think He can.
    SI.com - NCAA Football - Miami passes OSU for No. 2 in AP poll - Sunday September 7, 2003 3:38PM

    ... and South Carolina re-enters the AP poll at #25. Looks like we're three spots out of the Coach's Poll #25. I just hope none of that goes to anyone's head. I'm not looking forward to playing Georgia on Gamecube this week, much less watching what might happen on national TV next Saturday.
    New film on Jesus to debut - 09/05/03

    This one, based on the Gospel of John, looks good, too. I just hoipe there's room for two movies on Jesus here in the southeastern Bible belt....
    Saturday, September 06, 2003
    USC Over #15 Virginia - Recap

    Pastor Mike and I took our sons to the ballgame today. They did pretty good, but at that age they're not really into football quite yet. We left at halftime, watched a little more on TV as we finished up the tailgating wings and chips and Dasani, and drove off - as Carolina continued to rack up points and put away the Cavaliers - USC 31, UVA 7. Nobody this week is going to talk about how un-motivated we looked last week against U-La-La.
    Friday, September 05, 2003
    SemesterChurch.org :: Equipping Students to Plant Churches

    Cool link passed along at ACOR. Thanks, Rich - I'm going to poke around in there this weekend...
    Jeremy's "new and improved and manly friday five":

    1.) When do you make your woman clean?
    Realizing that only a (1)single guy or (2)soon-to-be single guy would ask this question, or answer this question - I'll pray for you, buddy :)

    2.) What chores does she hate to do so much that it makes you smile everytime you see her doing them?
    Very very kind of her when she does the dishes - but might be because I haven't done it and she's ticked.

    3.) What do you do if she doesnt do her chores in a timely manner?
    ooooohh no - Don't go there.

    4.) How many times do you have to tell her to do her chores until you bust out the whooping stick?
    ooooohh man, you're gonna get it now

    5.) are you a male shauvenist?
    Apparently not :)....... and check your girl's dictionary next time, ok?
    Got alot to do this weekend, so I'll either be absent as a blogger, or I'll use this space to journal my thoughts, prepping for preaching tomorrow night and starting a new teaching series Sunday morning. I mean, I'll probably condense whatever notes I've got after the fact, but I might pop some things here, too - like note cards. Hated those things in high school, getting ready for a major term paper. Eeeww, still gives me the willies.

    Anyway, tomorrow night @ CWO 7pm, I'll be hitting on Overcoming Confusion, part of the Cleansing Streams curriculum. Good stuff from 2 Timothy 2:19-26, partnering with God, realizing that there is activity & obedience needed from us individually as Christians. Sunday morning, we're starting a new study series on the Sermon on the Mount, a follow-up to the videos we've spent watching this summer on the 10 Commandments. All that, and I'm wrestling with coffee issues - no seriously, just keeping my self in check there - a noontime football game tomorrow that's likely to get wet, and trying to find time tonight to just be quiet and peaceful at home - which probably means my wife and I hiding from the children.

    Pray that all will go well, that I'll hear from God, and we'll be able to seek real life-transformation in all this and not just the sharing of information... thanks.
    What is the "Emerging Church"?

    I haven't had time to read the whole article linked above, but I wanted to post something on this. For me, it's a remnant church, getting out of traditionalism and into tradition, moving beyond the bounds we've placed on ourselves and living a kingdom-life in freedom before God. Something like that, where you're open to question and open to build on the answers you find honestly seeking Him. Church is no longer relevant, but the gospel is immensely relevant to our lives today - "repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand." It's an option for living, not withheld from anyone and open to all who receive. And yet, we've muddied the waters so much... the "emerging church" is the group of Christians removing themselves from the baggage of churchiness, lifting up Jesus, proclaiming Him in fellowship with one another.
    FridayFive - hoo ha:

    1. What housekeeping chore(s) do you hate doing the most?
    Vacuuming (it sucks - had to say it), laundry

    2. Are there any that you like or don't mind doing?

    3. Do you have a routine throughout the week or just clean as it's needed?
    pretty much whenever its needed; every two weeks have to clean up before the maids come the next morning (still trying to understand that one)

    4. Do you have any odd cleaning/housekeeping quirks or rules?
    mostly over how things should be placed in dishwasher, and then there's the cleaning-before-the-maids-come thing

    5. What was the last thing you cleaned?
    swished water through the coffeepot this morning - does that count?
    Thursday, September 04, 2003
    SI.com - SI 50th - South Carolina - Palmetto and Pigskin - Wednesday September 03, 2003 01:25 PM

    This is an article on how Coach Lou Holtz was "lured" out of retirement (first person, with a byline of Coach himself). Great story - especially if we win against Virginia this week!!! I'm not having much luck against the Cavaliers on the Gamecube in NCAA 2004 - the games are close and high scoring. Bad feeling is that USC won't be able to score that high, and UVA might run away with it. Still, only a 3.5pt spread in favor of the Top20 visitor - maybe the offense will click and the defense will stay tough...
    Wednesday, September 03, 2003
    Pluralism, Universalism, Inclusivism, Exclusivism

    Hmmmmmm... I hate it when discussion goes places without a common set of reference points. Too often, email discussion groups get away from what I would consider to be solid footing by quoting this or that author or this or that movement or theological discipline. That's just me - I'd rather keep the conversation plain and not have to dive too deeply in the scholarship behind stuff. The pomo in me doesn't care so much about this or that opinion, but whether or not it's impacting life right now.

    Anyhoo, I'll be doing some reading on "inclusivism" and "open theism" so I can pay attention. But I saw the phrase "open inclusivism" somewhere and now I can't find it. Aarrgh - because I don't know if it's included in these definitions or not.
    Props to blogs4God - one year of service, one thousand moderator posts, and many many grateful and enthusiastic members.
    Tuesday, September 02, 2003
    CNN.com - Giant asteroid could hit Earth in 2014 - Sep. 2, 2003

    Wonder if this'll have an impact on 25th anniversary plans. Whoops - no pun intended...
    Back to work. Short week, but still feels like it should be Monday. I woke up this morning feeling like crap. The wimp in me wanted to roll over and stay in bed. But the Daddy-man in me wouldn't let that happen. Daddy-man wanted to get up, help get everyone ready for school, take the kids and drop them off, and then go back home and crawl into bed. The Colossians-3:23-er in me wanted to get everyone dressed, take them to school, and then come home and crawl back into bed as unto the Lord. As I pulled out of the driveway and into the thick soupy fog, I knew I'd go to work, and I was almost resolved to be whiney about it.

    But here I am, at work. Funny how a thirty minute commute puts things into perspective. I stopped for breakfast, and as soon as I got back on the interstate, the thick fog began to lift from the Columbia Metro area and from my own attitude, too. The sky was blue and the sun was bright - doing irreparable damage to my eyes since I left my sunglasses on the kitchen counter, and not helping my multiple headache symptoms at all - but it was very beautiful for a late summer morning. The drive around town was pleasant enough, and I'm feeling better now that the tension headache Excedrin has kicked in and coffee is within reach.
    Monday, September 01, 2003
    I'm doing the American thing and being lazy this morning for "Labor" Day. And I'm doing some reading. In all of my reading - books and catching up on email - I'm struck by how we as Christians interpret Truth based on experience, circumstance and well-meaning but misplaced "authority." Instead of trusting God to reveal Himself, we limit Him to our individualized perspectives. In leaning too heavily towards the Bible being the sole authoirty, we usually fall into a rank idealism and legalism; yet in trusting only experience, we run the risk of leaving the underpinnings that should be supporting kingdom-life. God is the authority; Jesus is Truth. Now, part of my quest is to listen to Him, beyond myself and my limitations, as He leads from eternity.

    Only then can I be holy as He is holy.
    It has been a long day.

    It started out well enough. Oh, it was fine at home, getting the kids ready to eat breakfast so that Vicki could bring them to church after me. I arrived at church, actually running late, but there were very few cars ahead of me. With the holiday weekend, most of the leadership and families are away. I made copies of the morning bulletin, took them to the sanctuary, and took my place behind the laptop and projector in the back of the room.

    For LifeBASICS, our adult Bible study time, we finished our series on the Ten Commandments: "Don't covet." We have so much, and yet crave so much more. Every commercial on TV cries out at what we do not possess - and nothing cries out at how much we waste. I do not need anything outside of the provision of God. That is what God told Israel in the last command. In the beginning, He says that He is the only God, the Lord, who had already set them free. And in the end, we have need of nothing else.

    Worship was good. In "filling in" for the vacationing praise team, Pastor Mike and the others did a fine job. I love the DVD video/tracks from iWorship. Pastor preached on "The Brazen Altar", continuing to describe for us the make-up of the OT Tabernacle. Today, the altar of sacrifice might be better viewed as an altar of commitment - even as Christ gave Himself, we are called in Romans 12:1-2 to give ourselves as living sacrifices. Just got to get past our lack of commitment, and stay on the altar - instead of continuing to hop off of it at our every whim.

    This afternoon was lazy, and that's a good thing most of the time. Then we went to my folks' house for dinner - slow-cooked ribs. I did my part, I promise.

    This evening, the kids are in bed, and my wife and I are finally able to sit and watch a movie: The Emperor's Club. It's good, not as stuffy as I thought it might be, but not as moving and inspiring as I'd hoped. At the same time, the character interactions, especially at the end, are really good.
  • "You never think that what you learn at fifteen will stick with you..."
  • "Great ambition and great conquest without contribution is meaningless."
    ... or something to that nature.

    Bedtime. It's Labor Day already, and I'm ready to sleep in.

  • Powered by Blogger