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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

That's my mommy

My mom called me this morning and told me that she was on the front page of the Bakersfield newspaper. Here's the link http://www.bakersfield.com/102/story/430080.html. She's the bell ringer, dean, teacher, and yard duty of a little red school house in good ol' Woody, CA. She is really enjoying her time there.

Nice flamingo apron.

Thankfully she has a great aide that helps in the class.

Monday, April 28, 2008

At War

A friend asked me a very out of the blue question a few weeks ago. “What would you do if the draft was reinstated and you were called in?”

After a shake of my head to help process the random question, the first thought that came to mind was a line from the movie Gladiator with Russell Crow. “Sometimes you do what you want. The rest of the time you do what you have to.” And this was my response.

He said that it sounded like something I’d say. Laugh, whatever that means. I asked him why the question and if he was starting to believe this pacifist, antiwar theology from our school.

He explained that it has just been on his mind. He said that he just couldn’t kill another human being and said that killing is basically what you’re committing to do if you join the armed forces unless you get a position away from the action.

The founders of the Military Counseling Network came to our school prior to the big Mennonite Central Committee Sale. You can take a look at their website if you’d like. http://www.mc-network.de/ They are based in Germany and serve the US military by educating them on how to get out of their commitment to protect our country.

On one hand I get it. I can’t even imagine what they and their families go through knowing that they are in the line of fire and how agonizing that must be. Persoanlly I wouldn’t voluntarily put myself in that position. However, if it was required of me then I’d go and pay my dues. On the other hand I don’t get it. You signed a contract to do one thing and now you want to break that contract? Isn’t this MCN just a front for organized mutiny?

Is the Bible against war? What stance should Christians take concerning this war or any war for that matter? Please share your thoughts.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Finals are next week

I remember when I was trying to finish up at Bakersfield College, Brian Busby asking me how school was going. Poor Brian didn't know what was coming but I erupted into a steaming hot vent of frustration and irritation about deadlines, lack of sleep, and whatever else I could throw in there. Later that night I looked down and Brian and walked by and put a post-it note on my notebook. It read: I hate school too. It sucks. Hang in there. I took that post-it home and put it on my mirror. It was encouraging to know that I wasn't alone.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Current debate on the message board at school: If the Bible says that we are to be Christ-like and Christ is God then does that mean that we will become gods?

Apparently this guy visited an LDS temple and talked to a bishop who said that a common misconception of them by Protestant Christians is that the Mormons believe that they will become gods.

He is thus out to see what other Christians think about Mormons, if they believe this "lie" about Mormon theology. I am flabbergasted.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mental Detox Week, April 21-27

Tasha and I have never had cable television and we've been married for over three years now. We do have basic cable in our apartment but only so we can have an internet connection. There's so much trash on tv and really it is a waste of time in our eyes.

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports "American children and adolescents spend 22 to 28 hours per week viewing television, more than any other activity except sleeping. By the age of 70 they will have spent 7 to 10 years of their lives watching TV".

I was searching for culture jamming. Culture jamming is defined by wikipedia as a movement of public activism that is in opposition to consumerism. It seeks to inform society of its own ills that it no longer senses due to desensitization. Adbusters is one such group of activists. They have a current campaign which begins Monday that I'd like to share with you.

I love this picture.

"The idea is simple: take your TV, your DVD player, your video iPod, your XBOX 360, your laptop, your PSP, and say goodbye to them all for seven days. Simple, but not at all easy. Like millions of others before you, you’ll be shocked at just how difficult - yet also how life-changing - a week spent unplugged can really be."

I dare you to try this. Then please return and share your experience by leaving a comment on this post.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

God's Paintbrush

A friend in Bakersfield sent this to me and he said I could share it on the blog.

Good morning everybody:
My wife & I along with another couple headed west on our motorcycles on Highway 58 out of Bakersfield last Friday and came across fields and fields of wildflowers just west of McKittrick and through out the Carrizo Plains into Santa Margarita. Attached is a picture of God’s Paint brush at work in the hills. It was like riding through a florist shop with all the sweet smells of all these wildflowers in bloom. These will all be gone in the next 2 weeks, so if you have the opportunity take the drive and enjoy do so!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Last week I was all stressed out to get a paper done that when I went to turn it in I was told that the deadline had actually been pushed out to the next class meeting. Sure, it was good to have it done. However, putting 24 hours into over a period of 4 days was not the most fun I've ever had.

Next week I have another paper due for a different class. I picked up yet another book today from the library. I was very fond of libraries as a child because we'd escape the heat of our un-airconditioned house in Oildale by going to the Beale Library for the afternoon. Once I got into junior high and high school, I became not so fond of them because looking at them made me feel small and the more I read the more I learned that I did not know. Here in college though I am shifting back to having a fondness of the library. I love to walk through the isles and just see what topics I stumble across.

I have just three weeks left and then I am done with this school year. I really need a break so I won't be attending summer school. This fall will be full of major classes which I am really looking forward to; classes in Bible, theology, and ministry.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Poverty: part 1

The Gospels record Jesus saying, “The poor you will always have with you. But you will not always have me” (Matthew 26:11, Mark 14:7, and John 12:8). The report in John adds the phrase “and you can help them any time you want”.

Shane Claiborne believes that Jesus spoke these words knowing the hardness of hearts which would not show the compassion necessary to meet the needs of the poor. Others say that poverty is not the focus here. Jesus is expressing the limited time He had remaining on earth prior to the crucifixion.

Deuteronomy 15:11 says “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”

Proverbs 29:7 says “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”

What are we doing, as the body of Christ, to meet the needs of those around us?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Computers, Bread, and Powertools

Our computer at home is having some issues. The list of events that has led up to its present condition is extensive. My friend Blake is a computer guru and came over last night to take a look at it.

Has anyone heard of Amish Friendship Bread? This bread comes to you in a large ziplock bag. It is just 1 cup of liquid mush. You are not suposed to refrigerate it or have anything metal come in contact with it (spoons or bowls). While in the bag it ferments, so each day you are to mash the goo around and let the accumulated air out. Then on day 6 you add milk, sugar, and flour. Mush it some more each day until it is ready on day 10. Last night was day 10 so Tasha was in the other room working on it.

This is where the friendship part comes in - you add some more milk, sugar, and flour then mix it up and then put 1 cup of the goo into four new ziplocks to pass on. Once this is done you add the rest of the ingredients and bake the bread.

Blake brought over his oldest son Ethan, who is about to turn four. I quickly realized that our house doesn't really have stuff for kids to do. So while Blake was being the computer guru I was trying to entertain Ethan.

Activity 1: coloring with washable markers. Ethan loves monster trucks and Jesus. Tasha and I work in the children's department once a month and Ethan used to be in our room. His parents came up to us awhile back and asked what we were teaching their son. They explained that they had asked Ethan what he learned in Sunday school and he said, "Jesus and trucks!" So we drew trucks, castles, birds, a fish, and even traced our hands. Check it out...

(scans of our artwork will soon be uploaded for your viewing pleasure)

Activity 2: help Tasha in the kitchen. The batter for the bread gets really tough to stir but you aren't supposed to use a mixer because the blades are metal. My bright idea - put a plastic spoon in my cordless drill. Check it out...

Ethan is very independant. I had to hold the buttom on the drill so he only got to move my hand around. However, when it came to the spoon, he wanted it all to himself.