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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Let me share my heart

Psalm 97:10-12
Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.

Most people would say that we are not supposed to hate. However, Christians should hate evil. Evil is the enemy of God and therefore is also our enemy. I am struggling with what I see in the lives of professing Christians, including myself. This is not about pointing out specks in others while there are planks in our own eyes. This is about realizing that we all need help seeing. If we do not confront one another then we are just a horde of blind leading blind with the inevitable ditch before us. We are supposed to be representatives of Christ. What kind of representation are we as a collective and as individuals? What specks and planks should we be confronting?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jellyfish

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Double Take

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

What is an art piece of a nude woman in a bath tub doing in a screensaver on a library of a “Christian” university?
Why is the same library selling a dvd of American Pie Unrated?

Leonard Ravenhill preached about Jesus saying, "And there's no room for Him in the inn. He got a bit older, there was no room in His family, His family turned on Him. He went to the temple, no room in the temple, the temple turned on Him. And when He died there was no room to bury Him, He died outside of the city. Well why in God's Name do you expect to be accepted everywhere? How is it that the world couldn't get on with the holiest Man that ever lived and can get on with you and me? Are we compromised? Are we compromised? Have we no spiritual stature? Have we no righteousness that reflects on their corruption?"

I am no Ravenhill but I echo his frustration with the gap between what we say we believe and how we live our lives. There is a line and that line is either being blatantly ignore and covered up or it has been forgotten and needs to be exposed due to a lack of sensitivity to the ways of this world. Do you not see what I see or do you not care?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Nice Rack

Today I walked into Hiebert Library to find a last minute article for a class presentation. On my way past the magazines racks I noticed a Sports Illustrated magazine which had a bikini bottom wearing woman on it with what looked like beads partially covering her breasts. I had to find the article so I went and completed that task. On my way out however I stopped at the front desk and spoke with a librarian who was conversing with a student employee. I asked them if the library had any guidelines about what magazines came into the library or their content. I got two confused looks. I then asked more specifically if there was anything that kept magazines with inappropriate material off the racks, again confusion. So I said, “For example, the current Sports Illustrated magazine that’s on the rack.” The librarian said that since it was February Sports Illustrated puts out a sales pitch for regular edition subscribers to check out the swimsuit edition. The librarian explained that if the library was a public library which had children walking about then a different location might be found for the issue. However, if a person did not care for the cover then they could turn the magazine over so the cover was against the rack instead of facing outward. The final comment given to me was that “we are all adults here”.

As I was driving home I reran the day’s events. I remembered the conversation in the library and reran through it a few times. When I got to the last part about us being adults, I became quite irritated. Does that mean that setting up boundaries is not a good idea? If so, how about we see if our school library can get some issues of Playboy on the racks? Or what about adding a campus pub next to Charlottes’ Corner? Yes, these may be extremes but where is the line? Right next door to our school is the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary. Students at the seminary consist of pastors, ministry leaders, counselors, biblical scholars and leaders in the marketplace which all can make use of our library. What a great way for the enemy to sow seeds of temptation into their minds through such a harmless little thing as a magazine cover of a woman using beads to covering her breasts. Never mind the fact that seductive women in swimsuits have nothing to do with sports.

I am not trying to push for book burning or a morality police force. However, I do think this is an issue. This is my second semester at FPU. I came here to earn a degree in Biblical Studies. I had hoped to avoid some of the distractions that I’ve experienced on other campuses. I am discouraged with the fuzziness of lines that I believe should be given a harder edge. Please respond with support, a different angle, or even snide remarks. All are welcome.

Simply Great

German puts out cigarette with fire extinguisher

BERLIN (Reuters) - A virulent anti-smoker in Germany was so angry when his girlfriend lit up he emptied a fire extinguisher to put out the cigarette, caking her and their apartment in powder.

"My colleagues said it looked like a bomb had gone off in there," said a spokesman for police in the western city of Bielefeld. "He managed to put the cigarette out though."

After the woman ignored his request not to smoke, the 42-year-old sprayed the contents of the extinguisher all around the flat shouting abuse, police said.

"He said he wasn't bothered by the damage it caused," the spokesman said. "And that he's through with his girlfriend."

Monday, February 18, 2008

Counting








Hint: We live in a base-10 country. That means we have 10 single digits (0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9) that comprise our bank of numbers to use. Binary is base-2.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Four bad days

Tuesday
See previous post.

Wednesday
My truck's battery died on the way to school from work at 230. I was able to get a jump start at the gas station from a man in a three piece business suit. I made it to school, late for a meeting with Holly to prep for our presentation about African American Christianity. After class I went to the parking lot to find my truck's battery dead once more at 530. I was able to get another jump. I drove straight to PepBoys in Clovis, by my house. I went in to buy a new battery and they only had one that would fit my truck. So I used their tools and replaced the battery at 615ish. My battery light was still on so they talked to me about the problem and we decided that my alternator needed to be checked. Either I could wait for their shop (approx 1 hr to get to me) or pull it out myself. I tried using their tools but this was too involved. I called Tasha and she brought me food and my own tools. I was under my truck until 9pm when I was able to get the new alternator in. I started it up and the battery light had gone off. I did a little dance in the parking lot. I drove home and when I was pulling into the parking lot noticed other check engine lights come on. Ah! However, I went inside, got cleaned up, drank some hot tea, and went to bed.

Thursday
My work computer is full of viruses that they believe came from my jumpdrive. I was instructed to unplug the machine from the system and the wall because it held a high potential of infecting the rest of the company. I spent about 10 minutes getting another pc hooked up at my desk. Then I found out that it did not have autocad on it. I switched to a pc that does have autocad. Tomorrow they come to take my machine down to Bakersfield to reimage it.

Friday
I go to work to find that a tech from Bakersfield had brought me a new pc. Our techs are incredibly busy. I spent two hours trying to get our network to communicate correctly with the new pc's autocad program and getting it ready to use with our company customizations. Then I worked for 2 hours before another issue appeared. A tech was able to get this issue fixed after about an hour. Then I worked for 1 more hour. I went to print a drawing to find that our copier decided to act as though it was jammed when it actually wasn't. We tried multiple trouble shooting things and even did a hard reboot but to no fixed outcome. I decided to leave the office early because if one more thing broke I was going to flip.

I've heard that a folk myth is that bad things happen in threes. Therefore, since four bad things have happened I think that two more are on their way. We'll have to wait and see.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

First Time Donor

After class I walked over to the SCC building on campus because there was a blood drive. I had to fill out an extra form because I had never donated blood before. They gave me a big neon green sticker that read FIRST TIME DONOR. I got through the forms and the interview. Then I got a shirt that read I GIVE BLOOD, WHAT DO YOU DO? I met a girl named April while I was waiting for the station. I asked if she had donated before and asked what her experience was. She was called and then shortly after I was called.

I sat down and a nurse prepped my arm, asked me some questions about school, explained what he was doing, and all the rigmarole. I rested my head back. I counted to five seconds and gently tighten my grip on the foam roll, repeat. Next my fingers start to tingle. Then my feet start to tingle. I try to raise my right arm, since my left arm has the needle in it, and...

I try to open my eyes and faintly see that 6-7 nurses are rushing around above me. "Kyle, open your eyes", "Kyle, look at me", and "Kyle, you are okay". I am thinking, "Okay from what?" and "What are you doing?" and "Wow, you are all so bossy". As I gather more and more of my ability to focus and keep my head up, I notice that I have icepacks up my pantlegs, under my shirt, two on my chest, two under my neck, and one being held on my forehead. I also have passerbys stopping to see what the action is and very nervous people watching while their own blood is being drawn.

Appearently when you pass out its because your blood rushes away from your head. When this happenes your body thinks you are going to die so it gets really hot to keep your organs nice and toasty. Two very nice lady nurses took care of me after that. One poured applejuice into my mouth. Another periodically took my blood pressure. Then once my chair was returned to the full upright position after my blood pressure was back to normal, she went and brought me a chocolate zinger.

I was able to walk on my own to the recovery station where I had free reign of twinkies, chocolate zingers, peanutbutter and cheese crackers, raisens, applejuice, and water. What a great experience. When can we do this again?

Now I know why the first timer's get the big neon sticker. Geez.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Deck of Cards

It was quiet that day, the guns and the mortars, and land mines for some reason hadn't been heard.

The young soldier knew it was Sunday, the holiest day of the week.

As he was sitting there, he got out an old deck of cards and laid them out across his bunk.

Just then an army sergeant came in and said, "Why aren't you with the rest of the platoon?"

The soldier replied, "I thought I would stay behind and spend some time with the Lord"

The sergeant said, "Looks to me like you're going to play cards."

The soldier said, "No, sir. You see, since we are not allowed to have Bibles or other spiritual books in this country, I've decided to talk to the Lord by studying this deck of cards."

The sergeant asked in disbelief, "How will you do that?"

"You see the Ace, Sergeant? It reminds me that there is only one God.
The Two represents the two parts of the Bible, Old and New Testaments.
The Three represents the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost.
The Four stands for the Four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The Five is for the five virgins there were ten but only five of them were glorified.
The Six is for the six days it took God to create the Heavens and Earth.
The Seven is for the day God rested after making His Creation.
The Eight is for the family of Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives -- the eight people God spared from the flood that destroyed the Earth.
The Nine is for the lepers that Jesus cleansed of leprosy. He cleansed ten, but nine never thanked Him.
The Ten represents the Ten Commandments that God handed down to Moses on tablets made of stone.
The Jack is a reminder of Satan, one of God's first angels, but he got kicked out of heaven for his sly and wicked ways and is now the joker of eternal hell.
The Queen stands for the Virgin Mary.
The King stands for Jesus, for he is the King of all kings.

When I count the dots on all the cards, I come up with 365 total, one for every day of the year. There are a total of 52 cards in a deck; each is a week - 52 weeks in a year. The four suits represent the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Each suit has thirteen cards -- there are exactly thirteen weeks in a quarter. So when I want to talk to God and thank Him, I just pull out this old deck of cards and they remind me of all that I have to be thankful for."

The sergeant just stood there. After a minute, with tears in his eyes and pain in his heart, he said, "Soldier, can I borrow that deck of cards?"

Monday, February 4, 2008

Insight

Galatians 5:6 says, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."

Last week the thought came to me -Merit earned love isn’t really love.

In addition - The focus on right theology has overshadowed the need for right orthopraxy. Many Christians today can explain passages of scripture very intelligently but few can explain how it should be lived. What good is right theology if our lives do not reflect its content?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Jorge Rodriguez Gerada

Jorge Rodriguez Gerada
I am becoming very curious about art styles. Mister Gerada's work is very inspiring. He works with chalk. He uses it to develop a snap shot of individuals. It is quite literally only a snap shot because the chalk fades as it weathers. It is a very interesting approach to art - creating a piece knowing that it will exist just briefly. Perhaps that is why it inspires me the most. Its brief existence parallels our very own brief existence.

Friday, February 1, 2008

ORTHOPRAXY - engage the world

scripture

Psalm 34:14
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

quote

A stone thrown into a pond creates waves which are practically imperceptible before they reach the shore. A shout thrown into the air re-echoes for a few moments, then dies away forever. But the life of Jesus, sacrificially thrown into the lives of His disciples, kindled there a new life that has never died away.
Walter Horton

thoughts

Christians have a message. That message is that Jesus is the remedy for the ills of this earthly life. This is the greatest news ever to be shared and we need to share it! People are dying, fading away in the abuse of this life. Hopelessness, fear, worry, and hate are digging deeper because we lack the “whatever” to speak up. I must, you must, we must speak the truth into this decaying, dying world. The question therefore is how to engage the world and then for those ideas to become action. Let’s focus on developing a real orthopraxy.

question

What are some creative ways to engage the world? What are some ways to bring about positive change?