Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kyle at Black Belt University

Kyle had a big weekend this weekend... His Black Belt University. Last year, most of his friends (you can see quite a few in the background) were promoted to black belt but Kyle didn't make it. We haven't heard yet about this year but have hopes that he will have earned it this year.

We heard a lot of good reports from those that were there more of the time we were. Like the kick to the chest he took from Quanginim and popped back up to continue sparing or his board breaking on the first night.

The following video... This shows Kyle with a 1 inch concrete brick (the kind you get at the garden center for lawn & garden landscaping).


Since the 70's (that would be the 1970's), there has been a lot of concern about "The Mark of the Beast". Is that a chip implanted? Is it a number (666)? Is it this or that? Many people speculating and using this as a cautionary object.

Today, listening to the Daily Audio Bible, I heard about another mark. Exodus 13:14-16 reads:
14 “And in the future, your children will ask you, ‘What does all this mean?’ Then you will tell them, ‘With the power of his mighty hand, the Lord brought us out of Egypt, the place of our slavery. 15 Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, so the Lord killed all the firstborn males throughout the land of Egypt, both people and animals. That is why I now sacrifice all the firstborn males to the Lord—except that the firstborn sons are always bought back.’ 16 This ceremony will be like a mark branded on your hand or your forehead. It is a reminder that the power of the Lord’s mighty hand brought us out of Egypt.”
as well as Deut 6:8-9 which reads
8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Both these passages refer to the Israelites exodus from Egypt when, (reader digest version) the last plague kills the first born of all the Egyptian livestock and children. The nation of Israel was spared the plague by following the commands that became The Passover.

Compare that now to Revelation 13 which reads
16 He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. 17 And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. 18 Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666.
From what I understand, the experts tell us that Revelation is written in an apocalyptic style of writing. John's writing here is supposed to do several things:
  1. For those that are familiar with the books of the law (with Jewish boys of that time, this would have been an understatement -- The Law was their schooling), it is to bring to mind the passages dealing with worshiping God, either through the passover or through the process or knowing the scriptures.
  2. Warn us who the Beast is based upon the number he gives us. There is a lot of speculation but my understanding is one interpretation is this is referring to Nero Caesar.
Ultimately, here is the deal. We don't have to worry about the "mark of the beast" if we have "The Mark of the Christ" instead.

Here is what I would suggest are the marks of Christ. Galatians 5:22-23 reads:
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Clearly we went round and round. ***

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Bill called to tell me about the headlight cover kit he used on his wife"s car. I needed one of these because when we drive in all the chemicals used to keep the ice down on the roads, it gets onto the plastic headlight covers some cars have causing them to cloud up, reducing the amount of light being produced.

On Bill"s recommendation, I put it to the test today... My drill and their kit... sanding (6 disks - 500 grit), more sanding (4 disks - 800 grit), more sanding (1 disk - 3000 grit) and polishing (goo)...

What a difference it made. To totally misuse a quote, Let there be light! or to quote a song "I can see clearly..."

*** I wrote this post last night on my iPod and totally messed it up... I took the basics and started over so no, you are not seeing double.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So Beautiful on disciples

I've been listening to Leonard Sweet's book "So Beautiful" as I can on the bus. In chapter 19, he writes:
Honest disciples gulp rather than gargle at the fountain of knowledge. Life is filled with difficult questions. If disciples are not as wise as Solomon, they are at least honest about not having all the answers.

As Moses found out on the peaks of Mt. Sinai, the closer he journeyed to God the more he was enveloped in mist and unknowing. As Aaron found out at the foot of Mt. Sinai, the farther people journeyed from God the more they became certain of what God looks like and cast the golden calf
Pilgrim people are a learning people, disciple means learner…
Between this quote and the ones I posted here. I am becoming cautious about someone who does seem to "know it all" and am becoming more receptive to those who have a calm uncertainty.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I have a couple of blog/email friends who have helped to introduce me to the term Perichoresis. Theopedia defines it as:
Perichoresis is a Greek term used to describe the triune relationship between each person of the Godhead. It can be defined as co-indwelling, co-inhering, and mutual interpenetration. Alister McGrath writes that it "allows the individuality of the persons to be maintained, while insisting that each person shares in the life of the other two. An image often used to express this idea is that of a 'community of being,' in which each person, while maintaining its distinctive identity, penetrates the others and is penetrated by them."
I have also heard Perichoresis as the intricate dance of the Trinity. Dr. Baxter Kruger has a website called "The Parable of the Dancing God" with a link to a book of the same name.

Let me share an image that can be used to describe the concept.

The Book of Eli

Last weekend, Marj & I went to see "Book of Eli", yesterday, I took Kyle.

I loved this movie but before you go, you need to know a little bit. It is "post-apocalyptic" so is a very grim movie. It is also quite violent. Keeping with the violence is language that you may find offensive.

That said, let me outline the movie. The world as you and I know it was destroyed 30 years ago. Resources are scarce, especially water. Most people in this world can not read as it has been too many years. The main character Eli is on his way "west".

The movie has a message that many of us should hear. Religion is power over people. As you and I both know, however, God does not like religion and the movie has a spiritual twist in it that supports this.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ambient Lighting

How much ambient lighting is nearby?

I grew up in the country where, except for the city lights nearly 2 miles away, there was no significant light?

We found out, however, on Thursday morning when we overslept. The alarm didn't go off, the power did. I didn't realized it until I went to the bathroom and hit the light switch and nothing happened. I am so conditioned that I tried it again, thinking it was just my light bulb. The next thought was the circuit breaker but looking outside, I quickly learned every house nearby was dark with only the street lights on the state highway near our house actually on.

It was dark. I ran downstairs, grabbed a flashlight and showered by flashlight. Marj jumped into the shower after I did so I went downstairs and lit a few candles to eat by. I popped the emergency garage door latch and got the cars out, then was worried that it wouldn't lock and had to read the manual (by flashlight).

We walked the dogs by flashlight as well. That was when it struck me how much ambient light I have become adjusted to. When we returned we were surprised to see Kyle up. He woke up because it was "pitch dark".

We got our power back just before I headed off to work but one of the neighboring developments had to wait for another hour.

Just before I left for work,

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Two Interesting quotes.

I was listening to The God Journey and heard a couple of interesting quotes.

First is from Fr. Richard Rohr, a Catholic theologian, he said:

Ignorance does not result from what we don’t know! Ignorance results from what we think we do know—but don’t! Most ignorant people are, in fact, quite certain. “Holy innocents” just don’t know. And what is so wrong about that?
The second is from Randall Arthur:
Spiritual Maturity is moving from confident arrogance to thoughtful uncertainty.
I have seen a lot of people who are quite certain of what they know or believe. I have found, as I wander down the road of life that the air of certainty starts to make me nervous.

What is your feel when you read these?

Monday, January 11, 2010


The other day, I was listening to the Daily Audio Bible and the events around Lot, Sodom and Gamorrah in Genesis 19. While listening a couple of things struck me.

Classically, this passage has been used as a condemnation of homosexuality. I would argue that should not be the case (I don't believe homosexuality is something God likes either but that is different scripture).

The situation here (there is a similar situation in Judges) is not about 2 men having sex. It is about rape. Rape is not the same as sex. Rape is a form of violence, typically a way of showing who is in power and who is not. It is done out of anger and a desire to humiliate the victims and sometimes lust but not out of love.

Let's look at the passage starting in verse 4:
Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."

Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."

"Get out of our way," they replied. "This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.
Why is this an issue? Later in Ezeikel 16 (49-50), the sin of Sodom is mentioned again.
" 'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen...' "
Their sin was more than just the desire to rape. Why is this important? Because we need to look at things in context (this may not have been a context that was understood a few centuries ago in the same way however).

Rape does not equal sex. That doesn't matter if you are looking at a situation like this one or David & Bathsheba (I believe that the initial encounter was rape as well).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

More Jacob Moon

Marj played Jacob Moon for the filler in church today (she ran sound). I did hear one criticism for this song... His version of Rush's "Subdivisions". I don't think most people noticed.

Jacob Moon

I've been listening to the Drew Marshall show via podcast for a couple of months now, every since I heard some of the interesting guests he has had on.

This last week, he had Jacob Moon on. I really enjoyed his music so searched for him on both iTunes and emusic, my sources for music and found a selection of his work both places. I picked up "The Loop" because of the comments about him using a loop machine to provide his own accompaniment during performances. This is the same device that Phil Keaggy uses so proficiently.

I am really enjoying his music.

The Mis-Understood God

I've been reading an interesting book called "The Misunderstood God: The Lies Religion Tells About God" by Darin Hufford. His premise is that if God is Love (1 John 4:7-8) what does that mean.

As a result he looked at "The Love Chapter", 1 Cor 13 and asked if this is the definition of love what do we believe about God concerning each of these things.

Just as a refresher, 1 Cor 13:4-7 says:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

This has caused me to examine what I have believed about some things. One review I read on Amazon suggested that this will be a book mis-quoted by others who haven't read it... His advise, and mine as well, is to pick it up for yourself and read it.

Monday, January 04, 2010

The $2500 TV

We still do not have an HDTV (digital TV) and are not in a major hurry to get one. Here is an observation, however, as I watch the prices.

Years ago, you could always assume that the computer you really wanted would cost about $2000. It didn't seem to matter what the cost of the low end or the high end computer was, the one you really wanted would cost about $2000. This took into account the compromises in latest gadgets, etc.

I've noticed that in the last 2 years or so, the HDTV I would want always seems to cost about $2500. Originally it was because HD was so new, then it was because of the size, then the technology. Why this time? It's the LEDs.

Samsung has a back-lit LED HDTV which has better blacks, sharper color, faster refresh rates, etc. Tie this together with great technology and... $2500

Next, I suspect, will be OLED (Organic LED) rather than LCD. Or maybe laser...

I think I'll keep my old set until it breaks.

Listen for the new year

I am starting my third or fourth year listening to the Daily Audio Bible. It's not too late to start yourself!

If you are unfamiliar with the Daily Audio Bible, you can use it from the computer or from an mp3 player like an iPod or Zune. Every day you will get a new section of the Bible read to you. Every week, they switch translations.

If you have kids, they have a reading for kids which is just New Testament, if you want to listen in another language, last year they started reading in hindi and spanish. This year they added Japanese.

One reason I like listening is that listening makes it harder to skip past those "boring" parts or the parts you think you remember.

Also, the culture the Bible comes from was largely storytelling so it really makes the Bible come alive in many ways.