Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Bad Blogger?

Here are 3 Signs I thought of that indicate you are a bad blogger

Strike 1: The first thing people look at when they get to your blog is the current google ad
Strike 2: The only post you've made in the past month was an apology for your lack of posts
Strike 3: You're plannning to copy & paste this post to make up for #2

Can anyone else think of some 'signs' of a bad blogger?
Slams against 'The Matthew Never Knew' will not be tolerated

Monday, May 30, 2005

Knocking Out the Devil

Today I read this article about Craig Stanley's mission to have the New Jersey Devils change their nickname. He's a baptist deacon and his name-change resolution will be introduced to the NJ State Assembly next month.

"I've always cringed when people say they're going to see the Devils. The merchandise, the paraphernalia is based on the actual demonic devil. Personally, it causes a little bit of an issue with me."

The team's mascot is a red, cartoonish figure with horns and a goatee

Am I the only one that thinks this guy needs to grow up?

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Hand Shake Theology

One of my least favorite roles in ministry is shaking hands before/after services. That sounds really mean, but there's a reason I don't like it. People ask good questions in the 'hand-shaking' line, but they tend to want a 1 word answer. Not my favorite situation.

For example, today a great guy (one of my favorites) asked this question in line: "Do you think the rapture will occur in our lifetime?" Well for one, I don't believe in a 'rapture' as distinct from the 2nd coming. Secondly, I don't think we'll see the second coming in our lifetime...but I could tell he wanted me to say yes!

My answer? "I'd guess NO. Every generation thinks they'll see the end and they've all been wrong so far, so I'll play the odds. But you never know!" He looked disappointed. Hand Shake theology just doesn't work for me!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Idol VS. Survivor

There are only two candidates for best reality TV girl of all time. We must decide once and for all. Base your vote on any criteria you wish.

Carrie Underwood is the recent winner of American Idol. Her future in music seems bright

Elisabeth Filarskiwas on an early season of Survivor. She can now be seen daily on 'The View'

Friday, May 27, 2005

Super Natural Disasters

After an earthquake, hurricane, or tsunami....the question gets asked...Did God do that?

While I don't think God directly causes each natural disaster, I believe He once judged the entire world through the flood, and the natural consequences of that divine judgment are still felt today in many ways.

I am a young earth creationist. That simply means I believe God built the universe in less than a literal week. It also means I believe the flood was worldwide, not local. I have a friend who's a geologist. He confirmed to me that in a young earth creationist construct, most natural disasters are the lingering effect of Noah's flood.

Maybe instead of trying to figure out whether each individual disaster was a judgment from God, we should consider that idea that most/all disasters are simply a frail creation still trying to recover from God's wrath in Noah's day.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

American Idol

Well, Carrie won American Idol over Bo. Happy? Mad? Indifferent? Personally, I tend to only watch the last 2 minutes of each episode (although I hear them singing while I multi-task). I liked both of them. Bo sounds better to me. Carrie is quite cute. She's pry the cutest Reality TV personality since Elizabeth Filarski. In the end, I think they'll both be more popular than the last 2 winners. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Pocket Guide

I’m currently in the middle of teaching a chapter/chapter study on the book of Revelation. A Pocket Guide to The Apocalypse by Jason Boyett was my half-time entertainment. Boyett’s satire stings like an apocalyptic locust, but this book is worth more than holy laughter. It’s noticeably well researched. I’ve been buried in books on this subject and I could tell that Jason did his homework. There were a few things I would have liked for him to expand on…but it’s a pocket guide, not an encyclopedia.

I’m recommending this book to two groups of people: First, anyone wanting a really light introduction to eschatology would benefit from its information. It contains a glossary, good overviews of the various positions, and a great history lesson on why we shouldn’t be too confident in our end-times chronologies. Second, anyone that already knows the issues well would be best equipped to appreciate all the humor (even the footnotes are funny). This was the funniest Christian book I’ve read since The Mantra of Jabez. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

25,000 Hits

I just noticed that yesterday my blog got hit #25,000. Also...if there are any more BBC bloggers out there, You can be #40 on my link list. It's probably quite an honor cause that's like a special Bible number and stuff.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Greatest Story Never Told

The Roman army approached. They would soon attack Jerusalem. Jews gathered together, confident that their God would deliver them from their enemies as He had so many times before. A new sect, however, was confident in the exact opposite. They believed Jerusalem was about to be destroyed. Their leaders had been given a secret message by the sects' founder, warning them when to escape the doomed city!

Sounds like a good fiction, eh? But it's actually documented history. An amazing piece of history that many Christians are unaware of and/or uninterested in for various reasons.

On Tuesday evening of the passion week Jesus and His disciples were leaving the city for the night. One of the disciples told Him to look at the massive & magnificent temple. But Jesus didn't agree with that beautiful assessment. In fact, He shocked His followers by predicting its impending destruction. This elicited the obvious questions: When will this happen and what sign will precede it?

Jesus answered both questions. He assured them that all this would occur before their own generation passed away*. He predicted many signs that would occur before and after the destruction of the temple. And, most importantly, He told them to flee as soon as they saw the Roman army approaching.

Just less than a generation later Rome surrounded Jerusalem. Civil war at the capital caused their leader, Cestius Gallus, to turn back. The Jews of Jerusalem understood this as God's faithfulness. The new sect, however, heeded the warnings of their founder and understood it as a God-given opportunity to escape.

Eusebius tells us about that time (just prior to the war on Jerusalem for, indeed, the Roman's came back)

But before the war, the people of the Church of Jerusalem were bidden in an oracle given by revelation to men worthy of it to depart from the city and to dwell in a city of Perea called Pella. To it those who believed in Christ migrated from Jerusalem. Once the holy men had completely left the Jews and all Judea, the justice of God at last overtook them, since they had committed such transgressions against Christ and his apostles. Divine justice completely blotted out that impious generation from among men.

Amazing! At the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, God accomplished both judgment on physical Israel (those who rejected His Son) and salvation for spiritual Israel (those who accepted His Son). It is, in my opinion, a sad reality that this truth has been hijacked by the recent use of the entire Olivet Discourse as an 'end of the world' prophecy** and by a general ignorance of the context in which the New Testament was written.

*Even CS Lewis, perhaps exposed to only the futuristic interpretation of such verses, called it the most embarrassing passage in Scripture for Christianity (Essay "The World's Last Night" (1960), found in The Essential C.S. Lewis, p-385.)

HERE for a great cyber commentary on Matthew 24.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Defining Science

Which definition do you think is better?

Science: A human activity of systematically seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us.

Science: A systematic method of continuing investigation that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building, to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena

Do you see the difference? These are the definitions they are debating in Kansas regarding the teaching of creation and/or evolution.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

What is TV Telling Us 2

A while ago I investigated the message TV has for us. Well, to end this 'filler' series on Network TV, I gave each major network a chance to share its message in 1-2 sentences (the first full sentence I hear after turning to their channel)

NBC really did preach! It was one of those heart-warming commercials about being a better person. The message, "Everyone loves a good laugh, but if it’s at someone else’s expense, there’s nothing funny about it." If they think people are laughing too much, maybe they should encourage them to watch their sitcoms. That'll shut people up.

ABC was showing an infomercial about some new piece of exercise equiptment. The first sentence I heard was, "I was fighting with my weight for a year." I doubt this lady was telling the truth. Fighting is great exercise and fighting with yourself is probably twice the workout. There's no way she'd be out of shape after fighting for a year.

CBS was also showing an infomercial. About knives. The salesman promised, "You use this knife and you’ll save yourself money." He was probably talking about cutting food, but if you watch CBS long enough you'll use the knife on yourself and free yourself from that monthly cable bill!

Fox told me that if I "Drink Pepsi" I'll "Go Pro." I hardly ever drink Pepsi anymore. Guess that explains why I got passed over in the NFL draft again this year.

The WB wins the quote contest though. The first line I heard? "It’s time to re-think TV." Amen to that.

Friday, May 20, 2005


There are a couple other channels besides the 4 major networks.

The WB seems to have some decent primetime shows. I have a crush on the mom from Gilmore Girls. A lot of people seem to like 7th Heaven. Blue Collar TV could be worth a watch or two. But I'll probably not watch any of these more than twice. Anyone watch anything on the WB?
Final Grade? B
Total Hours of Viewing Pleasure? 0

UPN doesn't really have a lot of shows I've heard of. Maybe they are good. I don't know. Any of you know?
Final Grade? D
Total Hours of Viewing Pleasure? 0

Any other networks/shows I'm missing?

Thursday, May 19, 2005


FOX is advertising 23 shows for primetime this Fall. I can see myself watching....1 of them. Below is their lineup and my comments:

Animation Encores, King of the Hill, The Simpsons, The War at Home, Family Guy, American Dad:

The Simpsons is one of the few routinely funny shows on television.
Grade? B. Will I watch? YES

Arrested Developtment, Kitchen Confidential, Prison Break

Okay, maybe I'm strange, but I just think there are too many characters in these shows. Stick with 4, 5 tops.
Grade? D. Will I watch? NO

Bones, House
Again, too many characters. The last 5 shows have a combined 35 characters on their promo pic. 7 per show. Geez.
Grade? C. Will I watch? NO

That 70's Show, Stacked, Head Cases

I've laughed at That 70's Show a time or two
Grade? C. Will I watch? NO

The OC, Reunion

Reunion actually sounds kinda interesting to me
Grade B+. Will I watch? NO

Bernie Mac, Malcolm in the Middle, The Gate

Quality stuff, but not worth the time.
Grade? B. Will I watch? NO

Cops, Cops, America's Most Wanted, Mad TV
I hate Cops. I hate 2 cops twice as much.
Grade? B. Will I watch? NO

I'll watch The Simpsons quite a few times, but not every week.

Any of you watching any of this stuff???

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


CBS has 23 shows planned for primetime this Fall. I can see myself watching....1 of them. Below is their lineup and my comments:

Cold Case, CBS Movie:

Again. No dramas for me. And no commercial-full movies
Grade? B. Will I watch? Probably Never

King of Queens, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, Out of Practice, CSI Miami

I'm sure King of Queens is one of the better sitcoms on today...I just never got into it. I am gonna give How I Met Your Mother a shot as my 'new' show for the Fall.
Grade? B+. Will I watch? YES

NCIS, Amazing Race, Close to Home
Everyone raves about the Amazing Race, but I've still never seen it and probably never will.
Grade? B. Will I watch? NO

Still Standing, Yes Dear, Criminal Minds, CSI NY

Decent stuff here, but nothing that grabs my eye.
Grade? B. Will I watch? NO

Survivor, CSI, Without a Trace

I don't watch Survivor anymore, not that there's anything wrong with it. CSI is popular, but I find it boring.
Grade B+. Will I watch? NO

Ghost Whisperer, Threshold, Numb3rs

Sounds like some newish sci-fi kinda stuff. Hmmm...nah.
Grade? B-. Will I watch? NO

Crimetime, 48 Hours Mystery
Not watching for definite sure.
Grade? D-. Will I watch? NO

I'm gonna give 'How I Met Your Mother' a few episodes to impress me.

Any of you watching any of this stuff???

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


ABC also has 21 shows planned for primetime this Fall. I can see myself watching....2 of them. Below is their lineup and my comments:

Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy:

As I've said before. I watch Desperate Housewives Regularly.
Grade? B. Will I watch? YES

Wife Swap, Monday Night Football:

I'll be sure to watch MNF, but I hope I never turn it on early.
Grade? B. Will I watch? YES

According to Jim, Rodney, Commander-In-Chief, Boston Legal
I have no interest in any of these shows.
Grade? C. Will I watch? NO

George Lopez, Freddie, Lost, Invasion

I won't watch any of these, but I'll give em credit for being creative and stuff.
Grade? B. Will I watch? NO

Alias, The Night Stalker, PrimeTime Live

Alias is the worst show ever. Okay, just kidding to get people mad. I've never really watched it, but Jennifer Garner is pretty.
Grade B. Will I watch? NO

Super Nanny, Hope & Faith, Hot Properties, 20/20

Probably ABC's worst day. No interest.
Grade? C. Will I watch? NO

ABC Movie of the week
I like movies, but not with commercials.
Grade? B. Will I watch? Probably never.

I'll watch Monday Night Football and Desperate Housewives most every week.

Any of you watching any of this stuff???

Monday, May 16, 2005


NBC has 21 shows planned for primetime this Fall. I can see myself watching....1 of them. Below is their lineup and my comments:

The West Wing, Law & Order C.I. Crossing Jordan:

These 3 are returning shows so I'm sure they're decent. I have, however, no interest in watching them.
Grade? B. Will I watch? NO

Fathom, Las Vegas, Medium

Fathom is a strange sounding new show about new sea creatures. I've never watched the other 2, but I bet they are super dumb.
Grade? F. Will I watch? NO

The Biggest Loser, My Name is Earl, The Office, Law & Order S.V.U.
I actually watched the 1st Episode of the office, but that was enough for me. All theses shows are stupid.
Grade? C. Will I watch? NO

The Apprentice (Martha Stewart), E-Ring, Law & Order

Even though she's fresh from jail, I think Martha's reality show is a rotten idea. No interest in the other 2 although if I HAD to watch one of the 3 Law & Order's it'd be the original.
Grade? C. Will I watch? NO

Joey, Will & Grace, The Apprentice, ER

Sadly, these 2 sitcoms are two of the best left, it seems. I have no interest in either, but I'm sad there aren't any good sitcoms anymore. I do watch The Apprentice. It's.....pretty good I guess.
Grade B+. Will I watch? YES

Three Wishes, Dateline, Inconceivable

Three Wishes is a reality show with AMY GRANT. Goodness! TV is so strange.
Grade? C+. Will I watch? NO

NBC Movie Night
I like movies, but not with commercials.
Grade? B. Will I watch? Probably never.

I'll probably watch The Apprentice when I get home from Men's Group each Thursday night

Any of you watching any of this stuff???

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Prime Time TV

This series evaluates network television based on their Fall 2005 lineups


And Below I have included an occasional 'special feature' I like to call: What is TV telling us

TV Talks 1
TV Talks 2

Friday, May 13, 2005

Photostory Coming

I got a lot of great China pics now, so keep your eyes and ears open for a narrated photostory sometime tomorrow.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


This article made me laugh a little bit about the shortcomings of human knowledge. It seems some extinct animals are making a Lazarus-like return to existence much to the surprise of contemporary scientists.

You see, we can only guess when something is extinct based on our lack of being able to find them. But sometimes animals are hard to find! I remember last year when part of our house was burning down I went back in to find our little dog, but was unsuccessful. I looked upstairs, but she was downstairs under the couch. The firemen got her and the glory, but my point remains the same.

The article even mentions the most embarressing extinction story for scientists: The Coelacanth, which was thought to be extinct for the last 65 million years only to be found alive in 1938.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Internal Clock

Maybe I've mentioned this before, but I seem to have an incredible internal clock.

I don't normally wear a watch, so when I teach on Wednesday or Sunday night I just aim to be done at the top of the hour. I am within 2 minutes 99% of the time. It's amazing. Sunday's are particularly incredible because I teach for the whole hour, but finish at 7pm on the dot quite often.

And today I was dozing off as I waited for the evening festivities to commence and I wondered to myself (with my eyes closed) what time it was and made a guess of 4:41 and then opened my eyes and looked at the bottom right of my screen to see I had guessed perfectly.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Church Services

I think I've decided something about Sunday morning worship. When I'm pastoring a church on my own, it is my intention to divide the service into 3 generally equal sections. I believe Praise, Prayer & Proclamation are the cornerstones of corporate worship. Why not spend about 20 minutes on each? 20 minutes of singing and testimony; 20 minutes of prayer requests, prayer, and commissioning/alter-time; 20 minutes of preaching God's Word. Not a stiff rule, just a guideline.

And then throughout the week, I envision an hour of each. Maybe Sunday night would be an hour of preaching/teaching. Wednesday night an hour of prayer related things. Friday night an hour of praise music and testimonies. That's my plan.

What do you think?

Monday, May 09, 2005

Teaching Statistics

Just for fun I played with some numbers today. There are 1,189 chapters in the Bible. Since I left Bethany I have taught (and by that I mean I taught the entire chapter, not just cross references or used a few verses) through....

12.4% of the Bible

10.3% of the Old Testament
0.6% of the Pentateuch
7.2% of the Historical Books
22.6% of the Poetical Books
8.8% of the Prophetical Books

19.6% of the New Testament
21.4% of the Gospels/Acts
1.1% of Paul's Letters
44.6% of Other Letters

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day

Thanks for having Mother's Day, your Birthday, and your Anniversary all in May so that I'll go broke every Spring. Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Gods Must Be Crazy

For a couple movies with sometimes annoying voice-overs, kinda cheesy slapstick, and some cheap special effects The Gods Must Be Crazy and The Gods Must Be Crazy II were surprisingly entertaining, funny, and heart-warming.

In the first movie, a coke bottle is dropped from a plane and found by the Bushman of the Kalahari. At first the Bushman are amazed by the bottle, but they eventually decide it is evil and must be thrown off the end of the earth. The movie is basically about that journey.

I figured the sequel would be pretty dumb, but I think I liked it even better. The plot for part II is a couple of lost Kalahari kids. They get stuck on the back of a strange animal (a truck) and driven away from their father. His race to find his children is slowed by the 'civilized' people he meets on the way.

N!xau, a genuine San (Bushman) from the Kalahari is the one that makes these films great. It would have been dumb to have someone 'act' this part. I also find it funny that, while he was only paid a few hundred dollars for his role in part I, he held out for over half a million before agreeing to be in the sequel.

Rating: 8.6
Status: Must Own

Friday, May 06, 2005

Recapture The Wonder

Top 5 Quotes from Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias:

1. Wonder is that possession of the mind that enchants the emotions while never surrendering reason. It sees in the ordinary the extraordinary, and it finds in the extraordinary the reaffirmations for what it already knows. 2. Religion is to true spirituality what an anesthetic is to natural sleep 3. We live in a century in which everything has been said. The challenge today is to learn which statements to deny. 4. Only God is able to humble us without humiliating us and to exalt us without flattering us. That is what His forgiveness accomplishes. 5. God is like the light. Wonder is like the shadow. If you chase the shadow you will never catch up to it. It might even disappear. If you walk toward the light, the shadow will always pursue you.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

I Found My Future Wife

Last night I met my future spouse. I've always been jealous of those 'I knew from the moment I saw her' stories, but now it's happened to me. I met her on the way to a meal. We were in line together. Some stupid guys were being crude and she rolled her eyes at them in a very cute manner. She had dark hair and was dressed just the way I'd want her to be. That should have made me suspicious I guess. Our eyes were level, but only b/c she was wearing high heels. I didn't catch her name, but she was very kind, had a quiet confidence, and smiled a lot. I would have offered to pay for her, but I only had 5 quarters.

The good thing about bad dreams is you wake up at the end of them. The bad thing about good dreams is the same.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Origin of Sin

One issue which has always bothered me is...why did Satan fall? If the traditional view that Satan was created as a beautiful, intelligent, good angel is correct...then why would he make such an ugly, stupid, evil decision?

Mankind fell because of the combination of free will and a tempter. But Satan didn't have a tempter, did he? We are fallen today b/c we now have a sinful nature. But Satan didn't have a sinful nature, right? What drew him to the edge? What pushed him over?

There may be good answers to those questions, but this is part of the reason I find the second theory of Satan's origin (that he was created AS an accusing angel/being) to have interesting explanatory power. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

3 Columns

I played with my html again (still learning). I learned how to add a third column manually. It was kinda fun! Let me know if there are any problems with the new look that I didn't notice.

Monday, May 02, 2005

The Origin of Satan

My view of Satan has been challenged. I have always believed Satan began as a beautiful angel, perhaps even the worship leader in heaven. But I never really bothered to look at the passages responsible for that view in a critical manner until recently. And now, it seems, I don't think those passages have anything to do with Satan.

And to be honest, I find little concrete evidence that Satan was ever a good angel to begin with. It's possible, but not as clear-cut as you might think. I find nothing unscriptural about a second theory of his origin. What if God made Satan as Satan? Maybe God created Satan to be an accuser, a tempter, a seducer...to challenge men to a point of decision. Maybe Satan was designed to accuse, but the cross rendered his job meaningless for those who have been covered by the blood.

Fire away with the verse/verse rebuttals. I'm ready.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Dreams and Visions

In China a young girl shared an interesting testimony. She said last year, right after she became a Christian, God was giving her many visions for her future. Then she joined a church and started reading her Bible more and the visions ceased. Most people would prefer the visions, but not her. She said God had given her visions when she was weak in spirit, but now she was strong in spirit and God's Word was sufficient.

I had an interesting dream the other night. I was trying to expose an injustice that everyone else was trying to cover up. At the end I said, 'I just wanted to tell the truth.' Then I woke up. My first waking thought was...I gotta preach about honesty. And next time I get a Sunday morning that's exactly what I'm gonna do.
The two stories are only loosely connected. I think the more clearly God is revealed to us, the less likely we are to receive a divine vision or dream BUT visions/dreams are still a possibility for all Christians. What do you all think about dreams and visions?