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Thursday, December 31, 2009

What questions are we asking?

Thought this was interesting. What questions are we asking? What questions are we neglecting?

The Gospel Provides the Questions : Kingdom People

Posted using ShareThis

Are blogs booming or busting?

Justin Taylor posted a summary of Trevin Wax's idea of the current state of the "blogosphere." You can read Justin's summary here. You can read Trevin's post here. Some of his thoughts are right on.

The new waves of technology and the fast access we have to information on the internet can be overwhelming, but at the end of the day an individual remains limited by his or her capacity for intake regardless of what browsers or social platforms they use. I for one can be a glutton for information so I must be intentional to push my "information plate" away when I am full.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Preparing to Prepare (for the New Year)

The New Year isn't here just yet, but I am preparing for it.  I'm downstairs in my office cleaning out old files; reorganizing boxes of things I want to keep; updating my mac to Snow Leopard; ongoing reflection of the past year as I think forward to the upcoming one. 

(Also playing a little Super Nintendo; that's right-I am playing Super Mario World, which I haven't played in over 10 years.  It is amazing how much you remember as if it was yesterday.)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Incarnation Day (part 3)

The following are some excerpts from the first two chapters of On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius.

Creation and the Fall (some excerpts)

"Now in dealing with these matters it is necessary first to recall what has already been said. You must understand why it is that the Word of the Father, so great and so high, has been made manifest in bodily form. He has not assumed a body as proper to His own nature, far from it, for as the Word He is without body. He has been manifested in a human body for this reason only, out of the love and goodness of His Father, for the salvation of us men. We will begin, then, with the creation of the world and with God its Maker, for the first fact that you must grasp is this: the renewal of creation has been wrought by the Self-same Word Who made it in the beginning. There is thus no inconsistency between creation and salvation for the One Father has employed the same Agent for both works, effecting the salvation of the world through the same Word Who made it in the beginning."

"You may be wondering why we are discussing the origin of men when we set out to talk about the Word’s becoming Man. The former subject is relevant to the latter for this reason: it was our sorry case that caused the Word to come down, our transgression that called out His love for us, so that He made haste to help us and to appear among us. It is we who were the cause of His taking human form, and for our salvation that in His great love He was both born and manifested in a human body. For God had made man thus (that is, as an embodied spirit), and had willed that he should remain in incorruption. But men, having turned from the contemplation of God to evil of their own devising, had come inevitably under the law of death. Instead of remaining in the state in which God had created them, they were in process of becoming corrupted entirely, and death had them completely under its dominion. For the transgression of the commandment was making them turn back again according to their nature; and as they had at the beginning come into being out of non-existence, so were they now on the way to returning, through corruption, to non-existence again."

The Divine Dilemma and its Solution in the Incarnation (some excerpts)

"As, then, the creatures whom He had created reasonable, like the Word, were in fact perishing, and such noble works were on the road to ruin, what then was God, being Good, to do? Was He to let corruption and death have their way with them? In that case, what was the use of having made them in the beginning? Surely it would have been better never to have been created at all than, having been created, to be neglected and perish; and, besides that, such indifference to the ruin of His own work before His very eyes would argue not goodness in God but limitation, and that far more than if He had never created men at all. It was impossible, therefore, that God should leave man to be carried off by corruption, because it would be unfitting and unworthy of Himself."

"For naturally, since the Word of God was above all, when He offered His own temple and bodily instrument as a substitute for the life of all, He fulfilled in death all that was required. Naturally also, through this union of the immortal Son of God with our human nature, all men were clothed with incorruption in the promise of the resurrection. For the solidarity of mankind is such that, by virtue of the Word’s indwelling in a single human body, the corruption which goes with death has lost its power over all."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Incarnation Day (part 2)

Happy Incarnation Day (part 2)

This week I have been reading On the Incarnation of Christ by Athanasius.  It is public domain so I recommend that you read it, skim it, meditate on his meditations, and wonder in the fact that Christmas celebrates Jesus' incarnation!  At least look at the first five chapters, which are as follows:

Chapter 1: Creation and the Fall
Chapter 2: The Divine Dilemma and its Solution in the Incarnation
Chapter 3: The Divine Dilemma and its Solution in the Incarnation contin.
Chapter 4: The Death of Christ
Chapter 5: The Resurrection

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Incarnation Day!

No, I don't mean the Jack Black song from Nacho Libre.  I am on vacation in Georgia and loving it!  The next couple of days I will have several posts on reflections leading up to Christmas Day.

We went to my wife's home church this past Sunday.  The morning sermon was about Simeon from from Luke 2.  The pastor incorporated an interesting technique, one I have learned is common for him during Christmas.  He talked from Simeon's perspective in the first person.  It was semi-speculative narrative (for effect) that was rooted in what was described in the text.  It was engaging and was thought-provoking.  If only I can have an ounce of anticipation that Simeon had for the coming Messiah!

The Sunday evening surface was from John 1.  The sermon's main point: desperation.  In light of this advent season and as Christmas approaches I was convicted because I often lack both forward anticipation and my present desperation.  May I know my desperate need and look forward in hopeful anticipation for his salvation!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fail Proof Plan

Tonight I was reminded of two things.  The first is a bottom-up, fail proof plan to end world hunger (joking, but slightly serious).  The second is a personal reflection.

  1. Strategically planned pot-luck dinners.  My wife and I went to a dinner at our church tonight.  It culminated the fall season's small groups and was the children's Christmas program.  By each person/family bringing one dish that can feed 10-12 people, close to 250 people had their fill of some good eats.  Pot-lucks meals feed large groups of people quickly, efficiently, and effectively.  There should be no reason why people go hungry.  It invites people into the community to be embraced and loved on; it encourages individual responsibility and contribution to the whole.
  2. On a personal note–cold fried chicken straight out of the refrigerator tastes so good (breakfast, lunch, or dinner)!
[picture was taken from internet]

    Friday, December 11, 2009


    New Poll: should I use twitter?

    Gotta love 80's music!

    I woke up this morning with this song in my was released in 1989 (I was 8 yrs old).

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009

    Counseling Situations......and Marriage

    This article posted by JT highlights an email written by D.A. Carson to a young church planter. The church planter contacted Dr. Carson asking for advice on some pastoral concerns in his church: situations in which couples were living together/some had kids prior to conversion, and then one or both have since become Christians. Read the article here.

    The article is insightful and a wonderful case study for pastoral ministry. Reading it made me think of a couple of questions to throw out to you. Think about a comment......maybe we can get a discussion going.

    Saturday, December 5, 2009

    Mark Driscoll interviews R.C. Sproul

    This is really interesting. I have had several conversations with a pastor who draws the line of heresy at "christology," not "soteriology." One can be in error (though not necessarily heresy) with wrong, ill-informed soteriology; however, it is grave heresy if one is wrong about the person and work of Jesus Christ. It makes me think of 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 12:1-2; and the Nicene Creed. Click the link below to see the video.

    Sproul: What Is the Biggest Upcoming Theological Battle?: "Before you click through to hear his answer, it’d be worth pausing to offer your own answer. Here is Sproul’s:" [link and quote comes from JT's blog @ gospelcoalition]

    Any thoughts from you?

    Reading together

    We should read out loud more.
    We should read with other people out loud more.
    We should listen to people read out loud more.

    A couple of recommendations:
    1. read large chunks of Scripture together. I have not read this yet, but it is on my mental wish list for the year. I have heard some good things about it: Unleashing the Word
    2. read other books together. Lately, my wife and I have read Dr. Seuss' Fox on Socks. It is a wonderful tongue twister. The video below is the whole story; we do not read it this fast nor this well.

    Read something about "reading"

    Reading is something most of America takes for granted everyday. But, we should not automatically assume people 1) know how to read; 2) know how to read well; and/or 3) actually read.

    Tim Challie has a couple of posts about reading. Check them out!
    "How to Read and Why"
    "Rapid Reading"
    "Misconceptions About Reading"

    Sunday, November 22, 2009

    Google Wave Invites!!

    I just received some google wave invites. If you are interested, please contact me.

    Make a Lighted Christmas Ball

    I know, I know. It is not even Thanksgiving and I am already talking about Christmas. It is breaking one of my personal rules (I don't have many of them, so I am so disappointed)!! My wife has been wondering when we are going to get our Christmas tree, and this afternoon she is starting to get out some of decorations.

    So here is a random collection geared towards the upcoming celebrations of Jesus' Incarnation:
    1. Make a Lighted Christmas Ball [Holidays]:Lifehacker featured this story. It's kind of a warm story of a community's Christmas tradition. Check out the link because there is a short video telling the story.
    2. check out their blog @
    3. check out this post from July
    In order to justify myself, I still vow not to listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. Of course that is going to be hard because the radio and a McDonald's I sometimes visit have been playing Christmas tunes for a couple of weeks now.

    Cheers...drink some eggnog!

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    Yep, there is an app for that!

    Drive a Car with Your iPhone [DIY]: "

    A lot of people have been impressed with how you can find an app for everything. What about driving your car? With this (very) ambitious DIY project you can drive a car with your iPhone.

    Why use your iPhone as merely an accessory to your car? You can flat out control it with this crazy DIY modification. Check out the video below to see how the mad scientists at Waterloo Labs modified a car—definitely not their daily mode of transport—to be controlled by an iPhone.

    Check out their web site at the link below to see additional videos, as well as all the schematics and part lists you need to complete your iphone-remote controlled car—and, of course, if you build one, we definitely want some pics and video. Assuming you're not in the car while you're shooting them.


    Wednesday, November 4, 2009

    40 yrs!!

    Considering one of today's class discussions about generations, the linked article below (please click to see the video) is really interesting. Sesame Street is about to celebrate their 40th anniversary–wow! That is a wide spectrum of people having been influenced by this television program at some level.

    P.S. I don't understand their title choice. P.S.S. I was Big Bird at my kindergarten class graduation back in 1986-87 (I think those are the years).

    A la peanut butter sandwiches!: "Google doodles celebrate events and anniversaries around the world, while reflecting the personality, interests and quirkiness of Google employees. Today, you likely noticed a pair of familiar feet on the Google homepage. Leading up to Sesame Street's 40th anniversary on November 10th, we're excited to be featuring some of our favorite characters over the next seven days. Today: Big Bird!

    Many Googlers grew up on Sesame Street, watching the colorful, seamless blend of education and entertainment. We're delighted to have partnered with Sesame Street to create this special series of doodles, particularly since we share the same values of education, diversity and accessibility. And here's a fun find from the crew at Sesame; they found a little known video clip of Cookie Monster singing about Google (rhyming it with bugle) way back in 1982 — 16 years before our company even existed."

    The article briefly continues and has links to other sites talking about this same topic.

    Question of the Day

    What has your attention? What thoughts are shaping you as a person?

    One suggestion to think about today is that you bear and reflect the living God's image.

    Monday, November 2, 2009

    Talking about speed reading!

    Recently I came across Tim Challies.  I don't know much about him, but apparently he is a blog-poster/reader/writer-fiend.  His new project is called 10 Million Words.  He is going to take a year to read all of the Times Best Seller List and write short reviews. 

    This is amazing to me.  I have no category in my brain for three or more books in a single week!

    I finally got what?!!

    I finally received my invite to Google Wave.  Sorry, I don't have any invites yet.  It will be interesting to see how this google collaborative platform actually works or if it is beneficial to use.  I'll keep you posted.

    Does anyone out there have a wave profile?  What do you think about it?  What do you use it for?

    Sunday, November 1, 2009


    If you want to read more about Semper Reformanda check this out:

    "In the latest issue of Tabletalk Michael Horton looks at the origin and meaning of an often misused slogan."

    A Case in point

    In keeping with Reformation Day (yesterday), two errors have come to my attention.

    Thursday, October 29, 2009

    No-shave November!

    Well, it is almost that time of year again and I don't mean Halloween! Nor do I particularly mean Reformation Day, although both of those are fast approaching.

    I know it's early, but I cannot help myself. In a few days it will be "NO-SHAVE NOVEMBER!!" Come participate in the festivities.

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    Community for the sake of community?

    Last thursday I wrote about community with a purpose. I think the word "community" and the idea of "community" and the desire to have "community" and the need for "community" is part and parcel with the human condition;

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Community with a purpose

    Below is an excerpt from a blog I occasionally read called Life Together. I don't know anything about Soma Communities (where the quote comes from), but as far as their definition goes, I'm intrigued. If anyone knows more about Soma, I'd be interested in learning.

    What is a Missional Community?:
    "A Missional Community consists of a committed core of believers (FAMILY) who live out the mission of God together (MISSIONARIES) in a specific area or to a particular people group by demonstrating the gospel in tangible forms (SERVANTS) and declaring the gospel to others—both those who believe it and those who are being exposed to it (LEARNERS)."

    Step up to the challenge

    The link below takes you to (a huge resource of articles/mp3's/links).

    "A Challenge from Roger Olson for Calvinists":

    Read the challenge directly from Roger Olsen's blog here: Check out the links below too.

    I don't know Roger Olsen, but you quickly see where he stands.

    Honestly, I think it is a great challenge. We need to be able to articulate (in our speech and writing) all of what Scripture has to say. Communication is hard work; our intent should never be from the prideful ambition of merely "winning" the argument. However, Roger Olsen does have a point in his question. We must be writing stories that reflect the gospel's redemptive grace? Let's get crackin'.

    This caught my eye in the first place because I will be reading two books for one of my courses during the next couple of weeks: Why I am not an Calvinist and its companion book Why I am not an Arminian. The latter book was written by two of my professors.

    Use PayPal for international missions?

    I got an email today from PayPal.  If you don't know what PayPal is, it is an internet platform for transferring money electronically (probably not its technical definition).  It can be used to transfer money for goods bought or sold from web-based companies; ebay immediately comes to mind when thinking about PayPal.

    You can also use it like a Western Union where you "wire" money to someone else (except of course here it is "wire-less"). 

    Which brings me back to the email I got today from them.

    I wish I had this in college

    Below is an article from a website I feed into my google reader. Click the link and check out the video. It would be a complete waste of time to actually put this on my door, but it would still be pretty slick.

    DIY Key-Fob Front Door Opener [DIY]: "

    Ever wished you could use the same technology that remotely unlocks your car with your front door? One clever college student did, and this DIY key-fob remote door opener accomplishes just that.

    We're talking about some pretty heavy hardware hacking here, so this guide isn't for the faint of heart, but it is a fun idea. After all, who wouldn't want to perform some wireless-remote front-door unlocking? The results, as you can see in the video, aren't bad (if he weren't doing it to a dorm room, the author says he could have integrated the system a bit more seamlessly with the door and lock), but if you're really looking to impress, the previously mentioned guide to setting up RFID access to your front door won't disappoint.

    Wednesday, October 7, 2009

    I am still here...wanting to write more

    Hello. It almost feels like my very first post––what to write when you have no one reading? what to write when you maybe don't have anything to say?

    It has been a few weeks (in the blogosphere that means that I probably have lost all momentum and starting from scratch) since I last wrote. Trust me, I want to write more. I have some ideas on what I want to do in order to develop this blog. Ultimately, I desire to be challenged in my thinking, clarify my communication; likewise, the past few months wrestling through what (and how) to contribute.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    More doxology (theology and action together)

    I am musically challenged. So much of me wants to learn how to play an instrument, but alas, I can only beat box and whistle. Learning an instrument is still on my life's list.

    Despite my apparent inability to read music, change key, or control my pitch (but I have some mean vibrato), I love to listen to the music. And I love to stop and just listen to people sing the words.

    As a tangent, I seem to follow a hymn or praise song's flow of thought better when it is written in prose format rather than with the musical staff. Probably speaks towards how my brain functions logically and analytically instead of musically.

    I wanted to share the first and fourth verses of a song we sang this morning in chapel. The words were written by Horatius Bonar in 1866.

    Fill Thou my life, O Lord my God, in ev'ry part with praise.
    That my whole being may proclaim Thy being and Thy ways.
    Not for the lip of praise alone, nor e'en the praising heart
    I ask but for a life made up of praise in ev'ry part!

    So shall each fear, each fret, each care be turned into a song,
    And ev'ry winding of the way the echo shall prolong;
    So shall no part of day or night from sacredness be free;
    But all my life, in ev'ry step be fellowship with Thee.

    CHORUS: Praise, all my life, all of my days. [repeat]

    Related Post: From Wonder to Praise to Action

    Monday, September 14, 2009


    Today I took a mid-afternoon break from my studies and watched a movie called The Visitor. It has a very touching story of friendship and the transforming power of love...and how often we are the ones changed when we least expect it.

    The content of the movie deals with issues of immigration and cultural diversity in our 21st century global context. It naturally has political undertones but they never take center stage. The barriers are broken down through friendship and communication; relating through common language and in this movie the music carries the beat of the story.

    It is a slow, developing movie. Often what was not said narrates the plot and develops the characters. It was powerful to watch the transformation of a man, impacted by people because of unexpected circumstances. It entered into his life, his very soul and gave him new life.

    Thursday, September 10, 2009

    And all that Jazz

    I am chewing on a lot of thoughts these days but don't have too much time for spittin' 'em out. But I do have a pithy post today.

    I was in a McDonald's this morning (by the way, the nicest McD's I've ever been in my whole life) and heard a good jazz song in the bathroom (also one of the cleaner McD's bathrooms I've been in too).

    No profound depth, no hidden meaning, no cute spin...I think I would like to listen to jazz more often. I don't know a whole lot about it, but I think (or perhaps feel is a better word) it has something to say.

    I could not find the video of Cliff Huxtable teaching Olivia jazz via Pop Goes the Weasel. The video below is Cliff, Theo, and the Blues.

    Thursday, September 3, 2009

    From wonder to praise to action (theology to doxology to praxis)

    A new semester has begun. I have enjoyed posting this summer but will probably slow down somewhat due to my course load. I hope to still post something once a week.

    After sitting in the library reading for an hour an half from Berkhof's Systematic Theology, I closed the book overwhelmed with the amount of beautiful information and slightly exhausted from the the theological reflection.

    I was reminded of a quote I had stashed away on a desktop sticky from J.I. Packer. I don't remember the source where I got it but I did jot that it came from A Quest for Godliness (p. 15).

    If our theology does not quicken the conscience and soften the heart,
    it actually hardens both;

    if it does not encourage the commitment of faith,
    it reinforces the detachment of unbelief;

    if it fails to promote humility,
    it inevitably feeds pride.
    It is a beautiful journey to grow in the knowledge, fear, awe, wonder, renown, wisdom, understanding, and praise of God. He is good, wise...and so gracious! As long as it is called today, let us encourage each other so not to be hardened. How can we be when he turns the heart of stone into a living one!

    Monday, August 24, 2009


    There is something enchanting about traveling.  Going to new places, seeing new sites, experiencing new things.  Ever since I was a little boy I wanted to fly in a plane.  It is still in the back of my mind as a life goal to learn how to fly. 

    I never grow tired of boarding the plane, taking my seat, and looking out the window as the plane revs its engine.  I love sitting near the wings to watch the mechanics of the flaps or the tilt of the wings that guide our flight.  I am always amazed that people managed to build something that could fly.  I am even more amazed that people can travel, in mere hours, what would could take weeks or months in past centuries.

    But....I easily grow tired of waiting in lines, going through security, and flight delays.  Don't get me wrong, I understand that security is necessary and the weather can really put a damper on your well-scheduled itinerary. 

    Two quick scenarios regarding our flights to and from New York City this past week:
    1. As I was going through security, putting my shoes, wallet, cell phone, belt in one bin and then my computer by itself in another, I witnessed a girl with crutches go through the medal detector.  She was allowed to walked through the detector with the crutches (as she had a full leg brace), but then a security attendant had to put the crutches back on the conveyor belt to be scanned.  Then, another security attendant noticed the girl was still wearing her flip flops.  The attendant and two others left their positions to go grab her flip flops so they could be scanned as well.  I found the whole sequence amusing.  I felt extra safe knowing that three security attendants left their posts in order to make sure the girl did not have a bomb implanted in the foam of her flip flops.
    2. Weather delays in NYC really knock out the flight schedules for most of the country.  Due to the weather we would have missed our connecting flight.  So we were redirected to another airline and to another connecting airport.  Several more delays and a night spent in the ATL airport later, we finally arrived back home.  Despite these inconveniences, we still flew in the freakin' air!  Can you believe that!  A large metal vessel, carrying 100+ people still managed to leave the ground for a period of time and touch back down in another location with no problems except weather delays!


    We are back from our vacation in New York City. It was a blast. Here are some observations:
    • a lot of people live and work in the city; then add tourists to the mix (no-brainer #1)
    • I quickly noticed how many people were engaged in conversations with other people. People were walking and talking, talking on park benches, standing at street corners talking. My initial, stereo-typed picture of New Yorkers with their heads down and ears plugged with an ipod was crushed. Granted, further south towards mid-town and the financial district you get more of the isolated individual swimming amongst the other thousands of people, but the neighborhoods are really unique and charming.
    • Public transit was easy and convenient
    • There were so many cool places to eat
    • the buildings are really tall (no-brainer #2)
    • Living in NYC is expensive (no-brainer #3)
    • NYorkers adopt a minimalist lifestyle in order to live in the city; I want to strive for this more and more
    • If I lived in NYC, I would visit the NY Public Library, the Met, and/or somekind of museum once a week
    • And yes, The Lion King was brilliant!
    A vacation is NYC is awesome. A vacation in NYC while seeing friends makes it even better.

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    Mere the City

    My wife and I are on vacation right now enjoying some rest and relaxation from work and summer class. The timing of our trip was perfect as we prepare for the upcoming months.

    A very normal, southern vacation is to spend time at the beach, lake, or mountains (all of which we love and miss). However, for this vacation we are spending a week in New York City!

    This city is electric. We are to be sure getting rest, but it is a different kind of rest. We walk all day, sweat in the heat, rushed to get on a bus or subway, and stay up late eating dinner on street side cafes.

    I plan on writing more about our stay in New York City, but for now we are embarking on another the city.

    Monday, August 10, 2009

    The Death of Common Sense and the Quest for Ad Fontis

    Last week my wife sent me a forward. I generally delete forwards, buts since it was from my wife I entertained the possibility. Below is the email as I received it:

    Obituary printed in the London Times - Interesting and sadly rather true.

    Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has
    been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since
    his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be
    remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
    - Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
    - Why the early bird gets the worm;
    - Life isn't always fair;
    - and maybe it was my fault.

    Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more
    than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in
    His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but
    overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy
    charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended
    from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for
    reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

    Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job
    that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly

    It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent
    to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform
    parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

    Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses and
    criminals received better treatment than their victims.

    Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a
    burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

    Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to
    realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her
    lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

    Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his
    wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

    He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
    I Know My Rights
    I Want It Now
    Someone Else Is To Blame
    I'm A Victim

    Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you
    still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

    I think this is quite clever. Nevertheless, it was a forward and I kept to my philosophy of email forwards, which can be summarized succinctly:
    1. Read subject line and then delete
    2. On rare occasion, skim the forward, and then delete.
    3. Never forward such emails to your friends, family, or co-workers. If you send it to 10 people you never prove how much you love Jesus and you will never receive a check in the mail for your effort. Save the next person the trouble...just go ahead and delete the bugger.
    Now back to the point of this post. The claim of the obituary is that it was printed in the London Times. I could never find any supporting evidence for this. Of course, countless hits showcase its reprinting on other websites. After another 5 minutes of searching for the source, two things popped up. One came from Anne Whitfield's blog (I have no idea who she is). She shares the same obituary as I did, but includes an updated note referring to the original author. She writes (taken directly from her blog):
    2009 update: At the orginal time fo posting this article I didn't know who wrote it and simply found it online. Since then I have found the writer. She deseves the kudos for writing it.
    Note from Lori Borgman: This piece was first published March 15, 1998 in the Indianapolis Star. It has been "modified" and "edited" by others and circulated on the Internet, even sent to me several times. Imagine my surprise to see it attributed to some guy named Anonymous. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I take having my work circulated on the web as a compliment.

    The other came from a message thread on No, I didn't search through threads from this website--many thanks goes to google search for locating the page! One post on the thread included a link directly to Lori Borgman's blog with the original post!

    The quest for Ad Fontis proved fruitful and enlightening. If anything, please take away two things from this humorous exericse.
    • Always seek to hear directly from the source.
    • Delete email forwards (if they are from your spouse or your mom, read them first...then trash them.)

    Wednesday, August 5, 2009

    On this day...well on the day of my birth

    As of this morning I am an uncle. My middle sister gave birth to a boy! I am pretty pumped. In honor of birth dates, I typed my birth date into Wolfram Alpha and got some of these results:
    From the time of this post in reference to my birth date...
    • I am 27 yrs, 9 monts, 13 days (10148 days old)
    • share the same birth date as Johnny Carson (which I already knew), Weird Al Yankovic (which I didn't), Doug Flutie, Dwight Yoakam to name a few
    • the sun rose at 7:19 am (as of St. Louis...I was born in Kansas so it was close to that)
    • it was a Friday
    I just share this because I thought it was kind of cool. Wolfram Alpha is a "computational knowledge engine." I have only played around on it a couple of times. The most extensive use of it was the other day when I was looking for rhyming words for a little poem I wrote to my wife.

    Check it out and enjoy perusing all the possibilities of time-wasting, useless information...exactly the kind I like. I'm sure some of it is wife loved the poem!

    Monday, August 3, 2009

    Participate Actively

    Next time you participate in a ceremony of some kind, take the mental note of:
    1. who are the parties involved?
    2. what is happening?
    3. what is being said?
    4. where are people standing?
    5. what sounds do you hear?
    6. where is your attention drawn?
    7. what is the focus? Or rather, what is the focal point?
    8. if vows are taken: please, please, please listen and take to heart what is being asked of you
    I am of the opinion that my generation lacks a real understanding of vows. Too often they are merely words spoken as a technicality--just one obstacle in the way or a hoop to jump through. Rarely do we prayerfully consider them, boldly proclaim them, and resolutely perform them.

    That last part is the toughest--"resolutely perform them." Thankfully, when thinking of the vows taken, let's say, at our wedding or baptism or ordination, we must remember that it is by our Lord's grace and power that enables us to perform them. We must rely on Him to sustain us. I find great comfort in that He remains forever faithful in the vows he takes.

    Those Considered Worthy of Double Honor

    I generally enjoy ceremonies (of all kinds)...weddings, baptisms, graduations (even though they are long), recitals (though they can be unbearable), the Lord's Supper, etc.

    One reason I like ceremonies is that they involve so many different senses. Sounds: voices, singing, music, prayers, tears, claps, cheers. Visuals: people standing and sitting; people moving around; objects are being picked up, handled; and human interaction and communicative exchange through the various media present. Another reason is the shared history of the people present intersecting with the events of the past and the possibilities of the future.

    Such exchange occurs on various levels: those administering the ceremony; the active participants within the ceremony; and the observers/witnesses (the role I most frequently partake) of the ceremony. Everyone participates.

    My friend Penny's ordination into the ministry of Jesus Christ's gospel was no different. It was a beautiful and weighty experience to witness his vows for Gospel ministry.

    The following link is of the audio of the ordination at Covenant Presbyterian Church on Aug. 2, 2009. Once at the site, click on the evening service. They recorded the whole thing, so you are welcome to listen to its entirety, but Andy Lewis' sermon begins at minute 20:16. The text was Proverbs 4:23; "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life."

    Penny and all those who are gospel servants are worthy of double honor. However, the Apostle Peter writes some sobering reminders for those considering pastoral ministry (1 Peter 5:1-4).

    Although worthy of honor, Lord, let not Penny nor anyone seek honor as the motivation for service in your kingdom. May you be our ambition.

    Saturday, August 1, 2009

    Super Note Card

    I am a full-time student. Over the past year I have tried various methods at writing papers, and I have looked for the perfect application that holds all my research together: references, notes, thoughts, outline, sorting, and exporting to name a few. I use the Zotero plugin in Firefox, which helps tremendously with online research. It even has some syncing functions that help in exporting bibliographic information. But for me, it is lacking in note taking.

    Also, these days at least, I have been doing more: writing, thinking about writing, and reading stuff about writing. Time will only tell if it is only a phase.

    Well, I think I have found the product that I will use for research and developing papers. It also appears great for both fiction writing and screenplays. Here is the link to their website so you can do your own research. The application has a free trial download. The full version costs $29. Of course, there are plenty of other great writing applications out there, but I have found them to be semi-expensive and not what I need at the moment.

    I am still testing the functions and features. The real test will come as the upcoming semester begins...and all sorts of projects await me. Maybe this product will help you in developing and organizing your writing projects.

    Friday, July 31, 2009

    Hurry, Hurry...Time's almost up!

    Since it is the last day in July, I thought I would remind everyone to get busy thinking about Christmas.  July comes around only once, and you may have already missed your chance at getting the good deals for the Christmas season.  Remember to save and plan ahead; it is not a good idea in these tough economic times to rely on Christmas bonuses (like our friend Clark Griswald) as your money source for family presents!

    On a serious note though....

    I am reading God in the Dock by C.S. Lewis.  It is a collection of essays.  Two essays that I have read recently are entitled "What Christmas Means to Me" and "Xmas and Christmas."  If you choose to click these links (please do), you might think that they are current commentary on the American, Christmas experience.  But no, they were written in the mid-1950's!  (And for the simple fact that I already told you that Lewis penned them).

    They are pithy and poignant--two of the many characteristics I love about Lewis.  These essays are also culturally indicting--even 55+ years later!

    Man, I love eggnog!

    Some Related Posts:
    Ever thought of a song and later that day heard it
    Who would you like to eat lunch with?

    Tuesday, July 28, 2009

    Who knows?

    One confession and a couple of thoughts:

    I confess that memorizing scripture is one of my least favorite and least practiced disciplines. In the past, I have been active to etch the words of scripture onto my mind and into my heart. Not so much of late, and sadly, I have forgotten so many wonderful passages that I had memorized. Such active work requires ol' fashioned, time-on-task. Simply put, it requires diligence.

    Memorization is not just putting it in your head and locking it away. It is active meditation--desiring to understand and seeking to appropriate its meaning to our lives. By the Word, through the Spirit, we are transformed in our character and conduct. This active meditation is a means by which we entrust our lives to God's will (surrender) and walk forward (action) in light of such transformation.

    A couple of thoughts together put this post to mind. One, I am studying for a bible content exam. Part of the exam entails memorizing a plethora (such an underused word!) of verses. So I am putting them to memory. Second, this morning I spent some time in 1 Peter, specifically 1 Peter 1:13-17. A lot of my thoughts were focused around the idea of "preparing your mind for action."

    This line of thinking was in conjunction with today's verse that I was memorizing.
    [Esther 4:14] "For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
    Of course understanding the context of the surrounding verses and the context of the book of Esther is important to understand this verse in light of scripture's redemptive story, but this verse really challenged me today.

    The phrase "who knows" jumped out. I am not Esther and I am not an exiled Jew in Persia, but I do know relief and deliverance comes from the hand of the LORD. I am not privied to know the circumstances, nuances, and ways in which he will carry out such relief. Ultimately, I know such deliverance culminates in Jesus, the Christ. But day-to-day situations, I do not.

    It comes from His hand, AND he asks us to "go and do likewise." Who knows why stuff happens the way it does? Sometimes we are not meant to know the why's (more often, we should not attempt to know). We are to trust that his ways are sure and his paths are straight...and walk forward (and actively prepare to do so).

    Saturday, July 25, 2009

    Who influences you?

    This Saturday morning I was doing a pretty normal, morning routine, which entails a quick email check and blog skim in my google reader.  It is quick, mindless task that tidies up and establishes the flow of the day for me.

    I enjoy reading Seth Godin's blog.  He is a marketer, speaker, and writer.  Apparently very successful, but I only know him via his blogged thoughts.  He is succinct, clear, and honest.  I like him...straightforward and commonsensical.  I have already mentioned and linked to his blog from here.

    Well, my apparently mindless morning task got me thinking.  I am a big proponent of Ad Fontis, which is a latin phrase meaning "to the source."  I read blogs everyday; I have my favorite books and authors; I have favorite movies that have inspired me....these in many respects are my influences.  Of course I have people in my life, who are intimately aware and keenly influencing me.  However, other outside people influence me that have no idea who I am.  Seth Godin writes in a way that makes you think and see things from a different perspective.....enter ad fontis....I wonder who has influenced him.  What people?  What books?  What experiences? 

    Seth Godin (he is unaware) has a platform in my life.  So does C.S. Lewis and Led Zepplin and John Piper and Johann Sebastian Bach and the Apostle Paul and Jay Sklar and (more than anyone) my wife.  Not only am I shaped by these people, but I also want to learn from their teachers. 

    Thursday, July 23, 2009

    Who would you like to eat lunch with?

    This is a favorite ice-breaker question: dead or alive, who would you like to eat lunch with?  My all time favorite probably would be C.S. Lewis. 

    Over at Between Two Worlds, this link was posted.  It has some audio clips of C.S. Lewis talking.  I love all things British--afternoon tea, English accents, even Mr. Bean, but I was not expecting Lewis to sound the way he did.  Perhaps his books are more powerful than his voice (which reminds me that delivery is important, but content is crucial).

    FYI...not all the links on the page worked for me.  The BBC radio address was enjoyable. 

    Wednesday, July 22, 2009

    A Remarkable Story

    Some stories are beautifully written. Some movies have stunning cinematography. And then there are some stories that simply tell themselves.

    Today I finished watching Defiance. It truly is a remarkable story; it is not the most amazing movie ever but the story is captivating.

    It has a couple amazing sequences that shine glorious light and hope in the midst of such darkness and depravity. Two quotes stick out for me:
    "Our revenge is to live. We may be hunted like animals but we will not become animals. We have all chosen this - to live free, like human beings, for as long as we can. Each day of freedom is a victory. And if we die trying to live, at least we die like human beings."
    [paraphrase: in the midst of such suffering] The main character something to effect: "do you see it?.....the's beautiful"
    O' how I want to cultivate a mindset to see beauty...the broken never lose hope.

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Just a suggestion...

    In one of my posts I used the phrase "here I stand."  It is a famous phrase that Martin Luther used.  It occasionally gets employed for emphasis.  Mostly when I see the phrase, the one using it is intentionally alluding to Martin Luther's use to help emphasize the point.

    So I am guilty of over exaggeration.  It is probably a good idea in life to reserve such phrases as "here I stand" for really really really important occasions.  My post probably wasn't one of them.

    Accordance v. the Competition?

    Yes. This is a plug. If you ever read anything by Seth Godin or are involved with any sort of social networking sites (e.g. facebook, twitter, blogs, etc) than you are increasingly aware of the infinite amount of information to process (which can be simultaneously exciting and overwhelming). Such networking involvement only creates a multiplying affect (and effect) that the consumer possesses in making or breaking a product. So much power is in the hand of the buyer; or rather, so much power is in their fingers. A twitter message or a comment on a blog can be the rallying cry for allegiance or the mob's boisterous chants of displeasure for a product/service.

    Here I stand and recommend Accordance Bible Software. The point of this post is not to compare Accordance with its competitors or give the pro's and con's. Honestly, if you are interested in using bible software, than you cannot go terribly wrong with any of them. You are going to have do your own research to see which program is the best fit for you.

    However, I use Accordance and absolutely love it! It is perfect for basic reading, bible study, or serious research. It can be customized to fit your needs. Deciding to use Accordance was the very reason why I switched to a Mac.

    Friday, July 17, 2009

    What do girls do in this situation?

    I lack the relevant experience of such situations but have heard that it happens. Please excuse any broad generalizations and type-casting. However, I have an idea that girls are not typically friendly to the idea of showing up to the prom in a dress that is being worn by another girl.

    A blog that I follow mentioned another blog's post. It caught my eye so I clicked the link. Well, lo and behold, I showed up to the prom with the same, tux...I mean, template as this guy. What is the proper course of action? I could care less about wearing identical clothes, but I confess, I immediately wanted to strip my blog down bare to its skivvies and return with some new digs.

    I think for now I will just stick to this template for now. I chose to wear it; I think I will stick around and enjoy the party without being overly concerned with fashion.

    Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Wikipedia has everything

    After finishing the previous post I wikied the term "bulverism." Man, they've got everything. Check out the wiki article if you like.

    Ever thought of a song and then later that day heard it?

    I just had a similar moment. This morning my wife and I went on a walk. Our conversations took us to the topic of people's various prejudices and/or predispositions, rather more specifically the tendency for people to label other people's predispositions. These labels often become the main source of ammunition to debate an opponent (or your friend). The root issues of the relevant conversation are discarded and the labels are thrown like grenades.

    These thoughts I have been having were nicely summed up later that day when I read an essay entitled "Bulverism" by C.S. Lewis. He writes,
    "[Y]ou must show that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong. The modern method is to assume without discussion that he is wrong and then distract his attention from this (the only real issue) by busily explaining how he became so silly."
    He goes on to write of a fictional character that he named Ezekiel Bulver:
    "Assume that your opponent is wrong, and then explain his error, and the world will be at your feet. Attempt to prove that he is wrong or (worse still) try to find out whether he is wrong or right, and the national dynamism of our age will thrust you to the wall."
    It never fails. Whether you and a friend are comparing Harry Potter vs. Lord of the Rings; The Daily Show vs. Fox News; or more politically charged discussions of abortion, Supreme Court nominees, etc., someone will inevitably accuse the other for being silly or ridiculous. At which point they have become "bulverized."
    Next time you are discussing or witnessing a discussion, take note when it switches from the actual topic to "bulverizing" each other.

    Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    Very First Post

    First things first--greetings to friends, family, and all who happen upon this blog. As it is my first post to my first blog, everything you see is a work in progress...everything from the title to the layout and even to its purpose. I suppose that is the thing I am exploring most of all--what is the purpose to a blog? What does it contribute? Is it worth my time writing? Probably, more importantly, is it worth your time reading?

    I am not ashamed to admit it--I am a blog reader. I use google reader. I have a love/hate relationship with google. They are so dang awesome, creative, ingenius, and innovative...they are just so google; but it also scares me how much information they possess. But as "they" say, "information is power"... or is it "knowledge is power" or is it knowing is half the battle? Sorry. Back to my blog confessions. As I said I am a blog reader, but I have yet to jump on the blogging-wagon. There is definitely some ironic truth to the embedded picture. And yet, so many millions of people still strive to have their voice heard...well, let's be honest--some desire to be heard while others merely enjoy the projection of their voice with no mind to content or volume level.

    I am still figuring out the content of this blog. I am still figuring out a lot about life in general. I suppose that is why the working title is "Mere Pilgrims." We are all on a journey. Yes, I realize the metaphor is overly lampooned, but it works. I also like the word "mere/merely" quite a bit.

    Welcome aboard as I start this blogging journey. I merely hope that I am not adding to the noise. Please, take the poll located at the top of the page. Perhaps some of you veterans can give me some pointers as I sharpen a vision for this blog.