Sunday, December 31, 2006

December Blogger Awards

December was the BEST MONTH EVER in terms of total hits for The Matthew Never Knew. Over 6000 visits! Here are the posts that caught my eyes in December:

AP & the Ascension
AJ on Racism
Jo's Bizarre Gift Contest
Jo's 'ha ha' video
Kirk's Christmas Tree
Kristie & Crazy Science Kids
Missy the 'Special Speaker'
Sarah & Verizon Math
Steph P & Discussion
Steph I's Questions

Blog of the Month?
Random Wonderings
I'm going to give the December Award to Steph P. Good selection of updates and thought-provoking stuff. Well done Steph!

Monthly Award Archives
January: Elizabeth S
February: Paul T
March: Steph I
April: No Award Given
May: Andrew B
June: Aaron P
July: Heather D
August: Joanna H
September: Kayla H
October: Joanna H
November: Elliott I
December: Steph P

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Knew Awards 06

Best Book

I loved reading the Apostolic Fathers, edited by Michael Holmes. In fact, for me, 2006 was the year of church history. I really enjoyed reading Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius, the Didache, Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, the letter to Diognetus & Papias. I also read Eusebius & Josephus. I look forward to more church history reading in 2007.

Best TV Show

This is really tough. There are numerous candidates. The only ongoing shows that I watch every episode of are Lost & Gilmore Girls. But I am still undecided on how much I like Lost and this hasn't been a great (or even good) season of Gilmore Girls. As far as re-runs go, I've been watching Newsradio a bit. Some Andy Richter controls the Universe. Hmm. This really is tough. The award goes to... Seinfeld reruns.

Best Sport/Team

For me, it's always been a battle between football and hockey. But since the lockout ended, hockey has rocked (I'll admit, it may have something to do with the Sabres being awesome and the Bills being very average). But I absolutely love Hockey. Obviously, my favorite team for 2006 was the Buffalo Sabres. They were the best team in the NHL last season and only lost due to injuries. And this year they have a great shot to win the cup.

Most Influential Person

For the 2nd consecutive year, I give this award to Steve Gregg of I just resonate with his style and am edified by his teaching and testimony. Check him out.

Best Author

This is the first year I was able to really start digging in to NT Wright. I read 4 of his books over the last year or two and found all of them thought provoking.

Favorite Singer/Band

Who did I listen to the most this year? I'm going to have to say it was Iron & Wine. Just ask my sister how many times I was willing to listen to the same song(s) over and over! I don't try a lot of new stuff. Basically, the only people I listend to this year were The Waiting, Caedmon's Call, Derek Webb, Iron & Wine & Weird Al.

Favorite New Hobby

Alright, I really do enjoy riding the bike I bought this year. I'll admit, though, that I'm pretty lazy and didn't ride it as much as I should have. My absolute favorite new hobby is Wednesday Night Basketball. Each Wednesday after prayer meeting I play with 2 friends (teens from our church) and sometimes a 4th. Good exercise. Good fun.

Best BBC Blogger

I like to offend 115 people and give an award to the 1 BBC blog that shined the brightest in 2006. I sorta hate to give the award to the same person as last year, but I feel it is deserved (though I felt like there was greater competition this year!). The award for Best BBC Blog of 2006 goes to Joanna H and her "Taste of Vinegar"

Click HERE for 2005's Knew Awards

Friday, December 29, 2006

Year In Review

New to the Knew?
Catch up with this Review!
Best of The Matthew Never Knew 2006
January: The Binding of Satan
February: Worst Pic Ever
March: Dis-Hastening
April: Matthew (Away) or 'Counting'
May: Top 9 China Pics
June: The 'How To' Story
July: The Apostolic Fathers
August: Alphabet Match-Maker
September: Solomon's Pick-Up Lines
October: Kenosis Theory
November: Why 94?
December: Please Pray for Me

Click HERE for Best of 2005

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Top Right Corner

Blogroller still doesn't seem to be working, but notice a new link in the top right corner of my blog. At that link, you can type in your blog title and address, and get yourself some ***'s. I'll still do it myself if I noticed an updated blog, but I won't look as often. In other words, if you update, and you want stars, you can do it yourself instantly.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

All I Got for Christmas

I received way too much for Christmas. Kind of made me feel bad about giving only 4 gifts (Originally, I was only going to give 3, but I got talked into 1 more over the weekend). Just like last year, people ask me what I got. It's sorta hard to remember and annoying to have to type it so many times, so I'll blog the list and copy/paste for next time I'm asked.

I got an electric car starter, an iPod car-radio tuner for my nano, a bedside table for my room, a basketball, a few movies, a phone, some shirts, a hand-held soduku game, an electric toothbrush, toothpaste, deoderant, some monster cable, a book about the history of monopoly, cookies, 8 beef on weck sandwiches, candy, pencils, scratch-off lottery tickets, boxers, some things that keep your hands warm for 7 hours if you are stuck in the cold, a laser-pointer that was impossible to put batteries in so I threw it out, blank CD's, and cute lil crafts kids made me. I'll probably remember a couple more things later on.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Favorite Christmas Songs

Feel Free to Pick Multiple Answers

What Christmas Hymns do you LOVE?
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
Joy to the World!
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Angels, from the Realms of Glory
Angels we have Heard on High
Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
While Shepherds Watched their Flocks
The First Noel
What Child is This?
Go, Tell it on the Mountain
O Little Town of Bethlehem
O Come, All Ye Faithful
Silent Night! Holy Night!
O Holy Night!
Good Christian Men, Rejoice
Away in a Manger
We Three Kings
Free polls from

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Movies

What's your favorite Christmas Movie?
Here's my top 5 list

It's a Wonderful Life
Home Alone
A Christmas Story
Christmas Vacation
Miracle on 34th Street

Saturday, December 23, 2006


I hope my mother doesn't read this post, but I really enjoy cleaning my room. It's not the kind of cleaning that mom's like anyway, because it involves NOT cleaning for an extended period. You see, I like to let things get really messy and THEN clean. I've always been like this. I wait till my room is a practical disaster and then I do a super awesome job of cleaning and re-arranging the furniture. Anyways, my room is really clean right now.

Also on the topic of cleaning. I love throwing stuff out. I am somewhat of a minimalist. I am good at knowing what things aren't really necessary to keep. I'm not anti-sentimental. I just have limited sentimentality, I dare say the sane amount. Face it, nobody needs more than a couple dozen outfits. Each person should be able to fit all their 'stuff' in 2-3 nice sized bins.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Trial and Error

Trial and Error, starring Jeff Daniels, Michael Richards, and Charlize Theron is what I'd call a 'good, clean comedy.' I've seen this movie about 5 times, the latest being 2 nights ago, and everytime I watch it I laugh.

To reduce the plot to a couple lines, it's your basic 'trading places' storyline. Richards plays a struggling actor that has to pretend to be a lawyer. Daniels plays a soon to be married lawyer forced to pretend he's an actor. The courtroom scenes are classic slapstick. I think this is one of those movies that just clicked with me. Most will probably think it's too goofy.

Rating: 8.3
Status: Must Own

For more Knew Movie Reviews Click HERE

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Legal Christianity

I am looking at a list of all the 'Christian' books that can be legally printed in China. There are about 36 of them by such authors as John Stott, Joni E. Tada, Josh McDowell, James Dobson, Gary Chapman, Hudson Taylor, and Tim LaHaye.

This got me to thinking. If the Chinese government would only allow me to print 11 Christian books (other than the Bible) in their country, what 11 books would I pick? Even better (for blog purposes), what 11 would WE pick. I'll pick the first one, and each commenter can pick ONE additional book. I'll leave my pick as a comment.

This is what we came up with

1. Disciple (Ortiz)
2. Challenge of Jesus (Wright)
3. Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment (Burroughs)
4. What's so amazing about grace (Yancy)
5. Not my Will (Arnold)
6. Velvet Elvis (Rob Bell)
7. Run w/the Horses (Peterson)
8. Lion, Witch & Wardrobe (Lewis)
9. Mere Christianity (Lewis)
10. Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now (Seuss)
11. The Cross Centered Life (Mahaney)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Every year, I try to buy Christmas presents for less people. This year I only made 3 purchases! Can anyone bottom that?

Monday, December 18, 2006


No, I didn't swear. I'm just updating you that blogroller hasn't been working for about a week. I've been doing it somewhat manually if I noticed that you'd updated. But if you visit my blog and feel you deserve some ***'s, just leave me a comment and I'll give you some. In fact, if I give you ***'s it will also show you as updated on any other site that has you in their blogroller.

In other news, here's a rough outline of my sermon from yesterday for anyone who was interested in my 'kenosis' post from a while back.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Wise Men (Pt. 4)

What is their message?

I've been taking a fairly technical look at all the different components of the Wise Men's great journey, but now I want to ask, why should we care? Why did Mary (presumedly) share the account with Matthew? Why did Matthew desire to share the account with others?

First, I think the story of the Magi shows the worldwide scope of this event. This wasn't just for the glory of Israel, but was also a light to the gentiles. It was the kind of story that impacted shepherds a few miles away AND wise men many miles away. Second, I think their visit was prophetic via their gifts. The gold, incense and myrrh predict the baby's kingship, priesthood & suffering. A third application I've made this year comes from our churches 'Chidlren's Christmas Play'. The main song ended with the line, 'Wise men still follow Him today' and made me think of what kind of wisdom I want to possess most. Do I want the wisdom of the world or the wisdom of the Kingdom? Do I want to follow the crowd or journey for Jesus?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Wise Men (Pt. 3)

What was the Star?

The simplest answer to the mystery of the Christmas 'star' is that it was simply the miraculous placement and movement of a glowing orb. In other words, this view says that God didn't use any existing or natural phenomena to get the attention of the wise men. Certain parts of the story make this explanation appealing. For instance, Matthew records that the star "went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was." That seems far from natural to many.

Others, however, argue that God probably used some natural phenomena providentially to accomplish His purpose to bring the wise men to the baby and his mother. There are a few possibilities: First, it could have been a unique planetary alignment. According to Paul Maier, every 805 years Jupiter and Saturn come into extraordinary repeated conjunction. This occured for 10 months in 7BC. Even more interesting, though, is what this conjunction represented to many eastern minds. The giant planet Jupitar was symbolic for great kings and the ringed planet Saturn represented a shield of Palestine. In other words, it's possible the star-watching wise men could have interpreted this event as predicting a King to be born in Palestine.

A Second speculation is that the 'star' was actually a comet (since the greek word for star is broad enough to include any heavenly body). The appeal to this theory is, obviously, the movement of a comment and how that fits with Matthew 2:9. Comet #52 from the Chinese celestial anals appeared for about 70 days in 5BC. Could it have been the Christmas Star?

Some suggest a third theory, namely, a supernova (exploding star). Comet #53 from the Chinese anals was such an explosion (they didn't have a seperate name for supernovas) and occured in 4BC. Perhaps a bit late for the event we're looking for.

So which was it? I don't know. Maybe a combination of any 2 of the above? Whatever the case, more and more people are becoming interested in the Christmas star, as indicated by recent books (1) (2) and articles (1) (2).

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Wise Men (Pt. 2)

How did they know so much?

I've seen some sweet looking stuff in the sky, but nothing that ever convinced me that a worship-deserving baby was being born or that I should set out for Israel. How did this celestial event prompt such a well-informed response? There are, at least, a few possible answers to that question.

First, there's always the possibility that God simply and specially revealed this information to them (in addition to the star), rewarding them for their quest for truth. But it seems more likely to me that they had also figured out this information by some means (they were 'wise men' after all).

A second possibility seems quite reasonable to me and that is that they had access to some ancient Jewish literature. This is far from far fetched (in other words, its likely) since the wise men were either Persian or Babylonians who had formerly possessed Daniel and his friends. Perhaps they knew and studied passages like Numbers 24:17, Isaiah 60:3+14, or Daniel's own 9:24-27. Whatever the case, their gifts suggest they knew quite about about the baby Jesus.

A third option places more emphasis on the Christmas 'star' itself. Ancient wise men were, after all, students of the stars. Is it possible that more details can be learned from the stars than modern evangelicals would like to believe? In their explanation of their arrival, the 'star' is all they mention. We'll save that question/topic for tomorrow.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Wise Men (Pt. 1)

We Three Kings of Orient Are...

We all know that familiar Christmas carol, but we often don't know much about the wise men themselves or the perplexing part they played in the Christmas narrative. For example, according to historian Paul Maier, by the time we've finished the 1st line of the song, we've probably already made 3 mistakes! First, Scripture never says there were 3 of them. We simply guess that there were three because that's how many gifts are mentioned. Some traditions hold that there were 12 in the entourage. We simply can't be sure. Second, they almost certainly weren't kings, but wise men (much like the wise men King Neb turned to in the book of Daniel). Third, they weren't from the Orient, which usually refers to Eastern Asia, but were almost certainly Persian (or perhaps Babylonian). But the rest of the song is great!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Favorite Character

I'm currently teaching through the Christmas Story from various perspectives. Just for fun, I thought it'd be interesting to know who everyone's favorite character is from Scriptures story of the birth of Jesus. Whose role resonates with or fascinates you the most?

Mary? Joseph? The Shepherds? The Wise Men? Zechariah or Elizabeth? Simeon or Anna? Herod? The Angels? The Trinity? Other?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Gilmore Girls 11

So far in Gilmore Girls Survivor you have voted Logan & Dean off the island, so to speak. But this week it's Lorelei's lovers and friends that are in danger. I randomly selected the following Characters. Be sure to vote FOR (+1) a character and AGAINST (-1) a character.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Vote for Rory

No, this isn't another Gilmore Girls post (that's tomorrow!). This is a post regarding Rory Fitzpatrick. Rory is a below average hockey player (0 pts this season), but there is an amusing movement amongst the NHL's fans to vote him into the ALL-STAR game. Amazingly, as a write-in candidate, he is currently in 5th place in the Western Conference all-star defensemen voting! The thing that impresses me most, though, is the effort being put into this campaign. If you're a hockey fan, you may find the following 2 attack ads funny:

Sunday, December 10, 2006

No New Knew News

I've had so many comments lately I was feeling a little pressure to be super interesting, but I have nothing to say tonight. I had a few ideas, but decided I should restrain myself from discussing Michael Richards, secretly writing as Mary, or boring you with book reviews. So I'll just update you on a few things:

The Bills are actually playing well
The Sabres are very exciting
Myspace is better than yourspace
Facebook is better than myspace
Blogger is better than facebook
Thanksgiving is better than X-mas
X-mas is the same as Christmas
Holidays are the same as Holy Days

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Card Wall 2

Previously, I made my bedroom's South wall a football card wall. Well, I can't sleep again, so I just made my room's Northern wall a hockey card wall. I have thousands and thousands of cards left. Who wants me to come decorate?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Sandra Bullock

Ok, this is the last actor/actress that I can think of that qualifies (7 movies I've seen) for my 'favorite actor' contest. With time, more are sure to qualify and I will add them accordingly.


Time to Kill, A
Demolition Man
Forces of Nature
While You were Sleeping
Miss Congeniality
2 Weeks Notice
Net, The

Current Total: 4 pts

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Please Pray for Me

I don't open up very often, but I need to now. This is really hard for me to say, but I can't keep it in anymore. I need to vent what's been going on in my life. Over the past year, I have fallen in love with a girl that lives here in town. I didn't say anything directly to her, but I told my parents because they know her parents and I figured that, together, they could gauge whether or not such a relationship would be feasible. Everyone agreed that it'd be a good match. The girl is only sixteen years old, but she's very mature for her age. I have no doubt that she has a great relationship with God. Even as a twenty-five year old guy, I think I have much to learn from her level of devotion to the Lord.

Anyways, a little while back I finally contacted the girl and it was pretty obvious that things were going to proceed smoothly. She liked me a lot and I really liked her too. Everyone that knew about the two of us was really happy that we were a couple.

Please don't judge me for what you read next. This girl is now pregnant. I know some of you won't believe me, but I promise the baby isn't mine. I was shocked when I found out. I really don't know what to do. People in town are going to talk. My reputation may go down the drain. I still love this girl, but I'm angry, confused and embarrassed. Part of me wants to stay with her despite what she did. We could get married and raise the child together. I think that deep down, she still loves me. On the other extreme, I sometimes think I want to let everyone know what she did to me and let her suffer the consequences of her sin. It's probably best, though, to take the middle position and just end our relationship as quietly as possible.

I know all this must come as a shock to most of you reading this, but I could really use your prayers and advice regarding my situation. Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Mystery Tarts

Almost weekly, I'm given a box of 'toaster tarts' by someone in our congregation. The current box is labeled "Frosted Strawberry," but the last 3 of the 4 packs that I've opened have turned out to be "Brown Sugar" tarts. So today I am going to test everyone's guessing skills. Do you think my pack today will be Strawberry, brown sugar, or other? I'll let you know tonight when I open another mystery pack!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Gilmore Girls 10

Gilmore Girls Survivor
Last weeks results: Paris +5, Jess +1, Logan -6. Thus, Logan was the 1st character kicked out of our contest (which will end on the season finale). Remember to vote FOR (+1) a character and AGAINST (-1) a character. Here are this weeks randomly selected participants:


Vote Away!
And check back later for my review of tonight's episode

Monday, December 04, 2006

Disagree with Drury

I just read Drury's latest article "Sex and the Single Minister" in which he makes the following recommendations:

1. Avoid obvious offenses- prostitutes, porn, etc. Drury recommends accountability (since a single pastor doesn't have 'built-in' accountability and/or an internet program like Covenant Eyes

I'm not big on 'organized' accountability (let's face it, I'm not big on organized anything!). Both BBC and the denomination as a whole think very highly of accountability partners/groups, but I really don't. Now, some of you probably agree with me, others might think that implies I'm hiding secret sins! I suppose I could post more about my rejection of organized accountability in a later post.

2. Use extra care with minors- Drury gives the normal advice to never be alone with a minor.

Again, I think this is an over-reaction. Of course, it's a good thing to keep in mind that such a thing can be dangerous and shouldn't be sought out. But I totally disagree with the mentality that if there's a need to give some kid a ride home once in a while that I can't do it (or have to find another person to ride along). If I get falsely accused of something, I get falsely accused of something. Ok.

3. Don't date people in your church- Drury says this is unethical, comparing it to a therapist dating a client.

I disagree that it is necessarily unethical, though it is often unwise. To compare it to therapists dating their clients implies a gap between the clergy and laity that is, in my opinion, far too large. Of course, the way Drury worded it "single ministers don't date people in their church" reveals such a gap wherein the clergy consider the church 'theirs'. In a laid back country church (or any church) where all the Christians view themselves as fellow ministers, dating each other is hardly out of bounds.

4. Establish high standards for dating- Drury is basically making the point that a single minister should never 'go too far' sexually as it will always get back to the congregation.

I certainly agree with his point here, but I think he should have talked more about having high standards in choosing who 'not' to date instead of simply what 'not' to do with those you are dating. After all, if you handle the first 'not' correctly, the second not will be much easier!

5. Accept singleness but seek marriage if you want- Drury talks about where to find dates (since excluding the local congregation creates a problem given his view). He mentions larger churches, volunteer work, or online dating, but suggests that the most fruitful method of finding a match is by getting back in touch with people from your past.

I agree with all his points on number 5

So what do you think?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Julia Roberts

Oceans Eleven
Pretty Woman
Sleeping with the Enemy
Conspiracy Theory
America's Sweethearts
Oceans Twelve
Runaway Bride
Mona Lisa Smile
Erin Brokovich
Pelican Brief, The
My Best Friend's Wedding
Mexican, The

Current Total: 6 pts

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Meg Ryan

You've Got Mail
Addicted to Love
Sleepless in Seattle
When Harry Met Sally
City of Angels
French Kiss
Joe Versus the Volcano

Current Total: 6 pts

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ben Hur

Last night I tried to fall asleep before 1am, but to no avail. Around 3:00 I decided to put on one of my favorite all-time movies, "Ben Hur". Winner of 11 academy awards, the 1959 flic is ranked 72 on the AMC's all-time best movie's list. I've seen it between 5-10 times.

Some people hate re-making classic movies, but I would LOVE for someone to re-make Ben Hur. Not that this version isn't great (it is!), but I think a new version could create a whole new generation of fans of Wallace's great story. I mean, what's not to like? This story involves politics, religion & sex while showing the story of Christ from a unique vantage point!

They'd probably have to cut at least an hour off the movie (it's currently about 3 and half hours long!) and cast well, but it could be great! I liked the movie now more than ever.

Rating: 9.1
Status: Must tell others

Thursday, November 30, 2006

November Blogger Awards

For the 4th straight month The Matthew Never Knew* had over 2000 unique visitors, but I don't know if that's good or bad. Anyways, it's time for another round of BBC blogger awards. Here are November's Top Posts:**

Feel free to leave a vote for post of the month***

Blog of the Month: Gone Global
Elliott had some fun, some informative & some thought provoking posts in November. Well done, good and faithful blogger!

January: Elizabeth S
February: Paul T
March: Steph I
April: No Award Given
May: Andrew B
June: Aaron P
July: Heather D
August: Joanna H
September: Kayla H
October: Joanna H
November: Elliott I

* Yes, I just linked to myself
** Of course, these are just my opinions. I quite possibly have bad taste
***Disclaimer: I have chosen not to nominate 'birth-posts' even though I love to read about and see pictures of new babies. I'm just afraid I'd miss someone's baby post and I don't want to play favorites!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Each Wednesday, after leading our prayer meeting, I go over to the gym and play basketball for roughly an hour with two of our teens. I was dreadfully out of shape when I first started doing this a few months ago. After 5-10 minutes of our 1st game of '21' I had 2 points and an empty tank. But it's working. Now I can play about 2.5 games without feeling exhausted and I'm competitive, scoring in the teens most games. I predict victory sometime in November. I'll let you know because I'm sure you're all anxious to find out when I accomplish this mission.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Gilmore Girls 9

Gilmore Girls Survivor
On the day of the next 6 'new' episodes, you will find the names of 3 randomly selected characters from the show. Your job is to vote FOR (+1) your favorite AND AGAINST (-1) your least favorite (and explain why). The cast member with the worst result of the trio will be eliminated from the tournament.


Vote away. And check back later for my review of tonight's episode

Monday, November 27, 2006


Somewhere in the midst of reading NT Wright, 'Resident Aliens,' the Gospel according to Luke, certain blogs & fiction in general (and listening to those who have been urging me to read fiction), I am finally starting to grasp the greatness of 'story.' I have nothing further to add at this time, I just want to say thanks to all of the above.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Nicolas Cage

It Could Happen to You
National Treasure
National Treasure 2
Rock, The
Con Air
City of Angels
Family Man, The
Weather Man, The
MatchStick Men

Current Total: 2 pts

I struggled with a lot of Cage's rankings b/c he tends to make a lot of movies that are somewhere between average and good. I don't particularly care for his acting skills, so that broke the tie and placed most of his films in the average category.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Stranger than Fiction

Friday night I saw 'Stranger than Fiction' with Will Ferrell. I'm not a fan of his in general. I thought 'A Night at the Roxbury' was one of the dumbest movies of all time (though, I'll admit, I only endured 8 minutes of it). He wasn't bad in 'Elf', though it's certainly no classic. And despite popular opinion, I believe 'Anchorman' stunk like skunk. Thankfully, his role in 'Wedding Crashers' was kept to a minimum.

All that being said, this movie (and Ferrell's performance) was above average. It's basically about a guy who suddenly begins to hear his life being narrated and comes to find out that he's a character in a struggling author's book. Strange premise, I know, but the movie was actually pretty simple and made a very common point about life. A point worth pondering from time to time.

Rating: 6.8
Status: Worth the Time

For more Knew Movie Reviews click HERE

Friday, November 24, 2006

Family Pic 06

Back (L to R) brother Jordan, me, Dad, brother-in-law Derek, Jill's boyfriend Justin Front (L to R) sister Carrie, sister Lauren, Mom, niece Emma, nephew Ryan, nephew Dominick, sister Jill

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Thanksgiving is, by far, my favorite holiday. Family, Food & Football. Hard to beat that trio. I'm ready for a day off too. I'm pretty exhausted for some reason. I guess I've been doing more pastoral visitation than usual. Plus, I played about an hours worth of basketball tonight after I led the Thanksgiving Eve service. Speaking of that service, I kept my tradition (this was year #3) of reading the 'sermon on the mount' straight through without commentary/interuption. I like this tradition. It takes about 13 minutes. I just switch translations each year (NKJV, NIV, NLT). I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving (or, if you are in Canada, a happy Thursday). God bless.

They... order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Gilmore Girls 8

NEW GAME: Gilmore Girls Survivor
Pick your favorite 2 of the following

Taylor, Michel, Lulu, Zach, Liz, TJ, Jackson, Babette, Miss Patty, Mrs. Kim, Doyle, Anna, Caesar, Other (obscure Write-in candidate)

Once we've selected 2 of the above, 16 characters will be part of a GG playoff bracket. Don't worry about how it'll work. I have it all figured out. Just do your part and vote.
Click HERE for character descriptions

Now on to my review of tonight's episode:
This episode is making me appreciate the new writers. They are very craftily weaving themes into the episode story line (much more like 'Lost' than past seasons of GG). It seems to be there is much more symbolism and foreshadowing.

The episode starts with Chris trying to bring the Gilmore Girl's house up to 'high society' standards. She resists. All of this (and things like it) are done playfully, but do put the viewer on notice that there is some real friction at the foundation of this relationship.

Meanwhile, Rory is surprised by Logan's presence in North America. They both agree that Logan doesn't do anything in a 'boring' manner. We learn that Logan is moving 'next door' (compared to London) to Rory. More on that later.

Next, we are shown Luke and April preparing for supper. Luke tells her the story of when he confronted by a grizzly bear during a camping trip. So how did Luke get away? According to Luke he, "backed away real slow, avoided eye contact, that's how you show you're submissive." He tells April that in such a situation you've gotta try to stay calm, but admits he was anything but! More on that later too.

Later on, back to Rory, this time at one of Logan's 'high society' get-togethers. It's obvious to all viewers that she finds this group of people utterly annoying with the exception of a man who asks Rory to submit an article for his new website (and hints that a column about the party itself would be a good topic). When she writes the piece, however, Logan doesn't approve and they begin to fight. The light-hearted friction we saw earlier b/w Chris & Lorelei we now see bubbling over b/w Logan & Rory. Rory walks out.

Fast-forward to Chris trying to change Rory's room into one for Gigi. Lorelei, once again, is defensive showing that she's not quite certain about the way things are going. Friction intensifying for Chris/Lorelei.

A little while later we watch Lorelei come to see Luke at the hospital (April had appendicitis). She's got her coat over her wedding ring at first. They talk about April. Luke eventually sees her ring just as he's called in to see April. Lorelei then, knowing that he knows, looks at the ring as she turns to leave the hospital.

In the last segment we witness Logan/Rory making up. She apologizes for criticizing 'high society,' but asserts that she needs to get out on her own (not live alone at Logan's apartment while he's in NYC). Then Lorelei arrives at the apartment and her & Rory make-up (Rory was mad about not being at the wedding). But Lorelei also confesses that if she had talked to Rory before the wedding, she would have been talked out of getting married so quickly. Couple this with the fact that Lorelei feels compelled to keep repeating, verbally, the fact that she's happy to be married, and add to that that she didn't take Chris's last name, and we get the impression that she's not so sure. As usual, though, everything seems neat & tidy at the end for Chris/Lorelei. She agrees to Gigi'fy the room.

Now the part of the show I REALLY want to discuss is the ending scene where Luke is flipping channels as April sleeps in her hospital bed. At the risk of reading way too much into this scene, I submit the following: Each channel was significant.

Clip #1
The first one, a weather channel, showed high pressure and low-pressure fronts combating each other over the US of A. This represents the contrasts present in Luke's life. Visibly happy that April is OK. Invisibly devastated by Lorelei's wedding ring. Hating high-pressure situations (like Lorelei's ultimatum), but loving low pressure living (his own personality).

Clip #2
The second clip was a nature/animal show about Grizzly bears. Now remember, earlier in the episode April & Luke had talked about Luke's encounter with just such a bear. In my opinion the bear represents Lorelei's aggressive ultimatum. How did Luke respond? The same way in both cases. He backed away and pretended not to 'care' (so to speak).

Clip #3
Luke then skips 2 channels (not shown) and arrives at an old movie (which, obviously, reminds us of Lorelei). So what movie was it? It's the 1940 flick "Philadelphia Story" which was later remade under the title "High Society." Clearly, this movie was chosen by the writers to symbolize Luke's dilemma. In the movie, a divorced women (whose ex had recently moved next door and, therefore, back into the picture) is on the verge of marrying a stable (yet boring) fellow, but everything falls apart on the wedding day. Luke picks up at the point when the woman is about to tell her guests the wedding is off, but the ex boldly steps in wanting to marry her himself. She smilingly agrees, happy to find such a risk taking and adventurous man. The episode fades with Luke staring at the screen.

Thus, all the story lines are woven together skillfully. Both Lorelei & Rory are struggling with whether they are 'high society' kind of girls. If so, their relationships with Chris & Logan make all the sense in the world. Just like the ex in the movie, those two guys 'moved' closer to their respective girl during this episode. Rory had long since left her stable 'lower society' relationship (Dean) and Lorelei had done so just recently (Luke).

There are two ways to interpret the final scene. Either it is predictive or representative. If predictive, we can expect Lorelei & Chris to stay together, since that was the 'happy ending' in the movie 'High Society.' If representative, the ending simply shows that Luke, emotionally, is coming to terms with what has happened, but doesn't necessarily tell us what he'll do from there.

Personally, I hope the latter interpretation is correct.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Big Dogs

I find it baffling that so many people keep big dogs in their house. Being a pastor, I visit a lot of homes. It's amazing to me how many of those homes are ruled (as far as I can tell) by pets. The noise is overwhelming. Guests are attacked. Rooms are disaster areas. Meals can't be enjoyed in peace. Etc.

On the other hand, I'm greatly impressed when I visit a home with a well-trained dog. But folks, they are few and far between.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Sunday School- We're in week 36 of Luke
Sunday Service- May next sermon is 12/17
Sunday Night- Just finished 'Life of Solomon'
Wednesday Nights- Just finished 'Apostolic Fathers'
Thursday Nights- Covered Joel & Topical stuff

Finished Wright's NT & People of God
Finished Wright's The Last Word
Reading Hauerwas/Willimon's Resident Aliens
Reading Edwards Tale of Three Kings
Reading Zacharias' Deliver us from Evil

About Kenosis Theory
About the Sabbath Day
About Evangelism

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Mel Gibson

OK, Mel is the last guy I know that qualifies right now

Forever Young
Conspiracy Theory
Patriot, The
Man Without a Face, The
What Women Want


Click HERE for all actors on the list

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Robin Williams

Patch Adams
Mrs. Doubtfire
Final Cut
Good Will Hunting
What Dreams May Come
Good Morning, Vietnam
Man of the Year
Cadillac Man
One Hour Photo
August Rush
Night at the Museum
Bicentennial Man


Click HERE for all actors on the list

Friday, November 17, 2006

Kevin Costner

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Field of Dreams
Postman, The
Dances with Wolves
Guardian, The
Bodyguard, The
For Love of the Game
Message in a Bottle
Upside of Anger, The
Tin Cup
Open Range


Click HERE for all Actors on the list

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Time Travel

I don't believe it's possible to travel in time because I believe that only the present currently exists. I do think, however, that it is theoretically possible to view the past 'live', so to speak. For instance, when we see a star explode, or whatnot, we're actually viewing an event that happened in the past. The only reason we see it in the present is because it took a while for the light rays to reach us.

Now imagine we could travel faster than the speed of light. And imagine we had a telescope powerful enough to zoom up on individuals from lightyears away. If we had the technology to travel that far and zoom that much, then we could 'beat' the light rights of, say, the atomic bomb of 1945 to a certain spot in space. Right?

I'm not a scientist by any means, but I'm guessing we'd be limited to major events (like atomic bombs) because the event would have had to produce light powerful enough to escape the pull of the earth and reach beyond its atmosphere. We couldn't, for instance, figure out exactly where the shot that killed JFK came from because the light from a gun isn't powerful enough to escape into space. It'd have to be something that was/is visible from space. Or, perhaps, I have no idea what I'm talking about!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Gilmore Girls 7

Live thoughts as I watched Tuesday's Episode:

I really liked that Marty was in the recap! Is that a sign of things to come? Opening dialogue between Lorelei and Chris was actually well written. Rory looks prettier this season. That Zach thought they were having siamese twins was comical. OK, once again Lorelei/Chris is getting annoying. Rory's new 'friends' add nothing to the show. I like the word 'chicanery.' First 15 minutes = very good. Middle half-hour = very boring. Go Chris. Push. Ruin everything! There's Marty! Weird. Should have seen that coming.

As for the ending, I'm mad. BUT, I think Chris's lack of patience will be his final ruin. This will all come crashing down around him (as the previews projected). Rory's mad. Luke, I'm sure, can kick the crap out of Chris. Etc. It's all downhill from here for Chris.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

21 Questions

It's my brother's birthday. So I asked him questions like I did last year. Who/what is your favorite...


Monday, November 13, 2006

My Favorites

I'm adding a category to my 'get to know me' section (top left) called 'my favorites' and this post will serve as the container of all such lists (I love lists, so it should fill up pretty fast). Also, I will probably keep the lists updated.

My Favorite...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

College Football 15

Most of you will ignore this post, but I'm finding myself more and more interested in College Football. Maybe it's because my favorite NFL team (Buffalo) isn't very good. I really like Notre Dame, Rutgers & West Virginia football! The rankings come out each Monday, so I thought I'd make my own top 15 and see how different my opinion is from the experts and computers. Blue means that I think the team still has a shot at making the national title game.
  1. 11-0 Ohio State
  2. 11-0 Michigan
  3. 09-1 Florida
  4. 08-1 USC
  5. 09-1 Notre Dame
  6. 09-1 Arkansas
  7. 09-0 Rutgers
  8. 08-1 Louisville
  9. 08-1 West Virginia
  10. 09-2 Texas
  11. 09-2 Auburn
  12. 08-2 LSU
  13. 10-1 Wisconson
  14. 08-2 California
  15. 10-0 Boise State

Saturday, November 11, 2006


I hate hair. Especially mine. I like it either really short or really long. But if I have it really short, I have to keep maintaining the shortness! I'm told some guys get their hair cut every 2 weeks! I only want to get a hair cut once or twice a year. So I've tried having long hair. I don't mind that at all except for the fact that you end up needing to wash it like every day. That's just another annoying morning task. There is no happy middle-position b/c my hair sticks up in funny places during the in-between stage. And SO, I want a wig.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Wesleyan Church

I have family who is Wesleyan, and at the risk of making some here angry-I gotta say, it is VERY cult like in it's works based salvation. I don't know if all weslyans are like them-but most of their religion is defined by the way they look ie no hair cuts for women, no facial hair for men, no tv, long dresses for the women-with ugly shoes of course, and no jewelry of any kind except for a watch. They (at least the ones in my family) know nothing of God's love. I'd just stear clear.

the above is a copy of what a poster on a message board posted
after someone asked what the Wesleyan Church was all about

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Country Top 54

This is a list of all the country songs that I really enjoy

Cheap Seats (Alabama)
Remember When (Alan Jackson)
Chattahoochie (Alan Jackson)
Little Bitty (Alan Jackson)
Gone Country (Alan Jackson)
Where I Come From (Alan Jackson)
Where Were You (Alan Jackson)
Boot Scootin Boogie (Brooks & Dunn)
Jesus, Take the Wheel (Carrie Underwood)
Don’t Forget to Remember Me (Carrie Underwood)
Only on Days that End in Y (Clay Walker)
Daddy Never was the Cadillac Kind (Confederate RR)
Earl Had to Die (Dixie Chicks)
Cowboy Take Me Away (Dixie Chicks)
Friends in Low Places (Garth Brooks)
The Dance (Garth Brooks)
If Tomorrow Never Comes (Garth Brooks)
Thunder Rolls (Garth Brooks)
Unanswered Prayers (Garth Brooks)
The River (Garth Brooks)
Standing Outside the Fire (Garth Brooks)
Ocean Front Property (George Straight)
Sold (John Michael Montgomery)
If You’ve Got Love (John Michael Montgomery)
Rope the Moon (John Michael Montgomery)
I Love the Way You Love Me (John Michael Montgomery)
Friends (John Michael Montgomery)
Cowboy Love (John Michael Montgomery)
I Miss You a Little (John Michael Montgomery)
Beer and Bones (John Michael Montgomery)
I Can Love You Like That (John Michael Montgomery)
Be My Baby Tonight (John Michael Montgomery)
I Swear (John Michael Montgomery)
Life’s a Dance (John Michael Montgomery)
The Swin (James Bonamy)
You’ll think of me (Keith Urban)
Making Memories of Us (Keith Urban)
Tonight I Wanna Cry (Keith Urban)
Somebody Like You (Keith Urban)
Concrete Angel (Martina McBride)
Independence Day (Martina McBride)
How Far (Martina McBride)
I Love You (Martina McBride)
Forever and Ever, Amen (Randy Travis)
Three Wooden Crosses (Randy Travis)
King of the Road (Randy Travis)
Too Gone Too Long (Randy Travis)
If I Didn’t Have You (Randy Travis)
Deeper than the Holler (Randy Travis)
Live Like You Were Dying (Tim McGraw)
Don’t Take the Girl (Tim McGraw)
I Like it, I Love it (Tim McGraw)
Time Marches On (Tracy Lawrence)
She’s in Love with the Boy (Trisha Yearwood)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Kevin Spacey

The Life of David Gale
A Time to Kill
Pay it Forward
American Beauty
United States of Leland
The Usual Suspects


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

GG 6 Lost 6

Gilmore Girls- The new writers really have changed this show a lot. It's not horrible. It seems much more relationally themed. I liked that they fit most of the characters into the episode tonight. And there were certainly some clever parts. I really like Luke & April. And Rory is becoming more and more likeable (maybe b/c she's detached from Logan). I still hate the Lorelei/Chris storyline though and it just seems, to me, like she is faking being happy.

Lost- Wednesday night's episode was the last until February 7th (starting then, they'll show 16 consecutive new episodes). This episode was, I thought, one of the strangest so far. It wasn't strange in the normal 'lost' sense (unexplainable). Instead, it was strange in the sense that characters seemed to act differently than themselves.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Local Elections

Tomorrow is voting day. Times have really changed. I imagine that in the not so distant past, most 'little' towns came out and voted for guys they had known throughout their lives. They knew their character and their politics. But now we live in a society where you don't have to leave your living room to buy groceries. We live in a culture where people are more likely to relate with like-minded people on the internet than potentially disagreeable people next door.

So how does one decide who to vote for in local elections? Party-line? Try your hardest to figure out who's who? The guy with the most signs? Whoever knocked on the door? I really don't know. I try a little bit of everything. I tend to vote republican, especially if the candidate has sent me some mail describing his position and/or stopped at my house to talk. I also pay close attention to the nature of their media ads. Are they mostly negative (about the other person) or positive (about their own plan). That's the best I care to do.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Why 94?

Heather commented on the previous post by asking what the deal was with the number 94 on my blog. Instead of just telling everybody, I'll let people guess. Below you'll find 9 theories, only 1 is correct.

1) I was 94 years old when I started this blog
2) I was the world's first blogger in 1994
3) I graduated from middle school in 94'
4) Matthew 1-93 were taken
5) I was saved in 1994
6) The only reached '94 bottles of beer on the wall'
7) I was born on September 4th
8) My favorite nascar Driver was #94
9) It was blogger's 1st suggestion besides 'matthew'

Saturday, November 04, 2006

District Youth Questions

I went to an interesting meeting today. It was a meeting about the WNY District "Wesleyan Youth". Lots of interesting problems. Like most districts, we aren't following "the discipline" when it comes to district youth. Local churches haven't been electing delagates and so they stopped doing annual conferences. Without a conference, it became nearly impossible to form a district youth cabinet. There have been grumblings that something isn't quite right, especially in regards to the disconnect b/w youth groups with staff leaders and groups with volunteer lay leaders. Here are the key questions:

1) Did churches stop participating in "youth government" because it was ineffective or did it become ineffective because churches stopped participating?
2) Is having a district youth cabinet/conference more work than it is worth?
3) What kind of person should the district youth president be? A senior pastor? A youth pastor? A lay leader?
4) Do churches with full-time youth pastors really need district help?
5) Is it realistic to expect full-time & volunteer youth leaders to be on the same wavelength?

I'm sure there are more and better questions to ask. I'm an outsider in that I have almost no involvment with teen ministry. So here's my uneducated opinion. I think the culture has changed too much to practice the disciplines guidelines. I don't think a youth conference (seperate from the general district conference) is necessary in our district. Nor a district cabinet. If it were my decision, I'd have the District Board appoint a District Youth President and put him in charge of just 2 things:

1) Offering training geared toward volunteer youth workers each year
2) Keeping the lines of communication with youth leaders open

Once the District Youth President does those 2 things well for a couple years, we could start adding other neat things like:

1) A leadership devolopment weekend for teen leaders
2) A district camp
3) Etc.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Bad News First?

Do you want the good news or the bad news first? We probably all get asked that from time to time. I always want the bad news first so that the conversation can end on a good note. How bout you? Anyways, here are the bad pieces of news that happened to me today:

1. I woke up a lil late
2. My hair wouldn't stop sticking up
3. I had some problems with Photostory
4. I had a post deleted on a message board
5. I had some technological issues
6. I had to be fancy for a few hours
7. The Sabres fell behind 4-1 to Boston

But alas, there was some corresponding good news!

1. I woke up to donuts!
2. My sister said I looked nice 4 times
3. The Photostory looked good
4. I found out why my post was deleted
5. The technological issues weren't too bad
6. The food was great
7. The Sabres won 5-4 in overtime

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Lost 5

My favorite 5 Characters
(if you're "catching up" you may not want to read this b/c it could include some information you haven't learned yet)

1. Sun- Admittedly, she's probably number 1 b/c I think she's pretty. But I really do enjoy when her and Jin (her husband) are the main storyline. She can be both submissive and strong willed. 2. Sayid- He's very skilled and passionate, yet hasn't made any horrible mistakes (at least not that I can remember, maybe he shot someone or something). I think he's been under-utilized by the powers that be. 3. Juliet- Sure, she's not a regular (and not even one of the survivors), but she's very likeable! I like her facial expressions & line delivery. And I really like her developing storyline, especially from the latest episode. 4. Claire- I love her accent and she's cute. Her storyline is somewhat boring lately, but she has a baby so I'm not upset that she's not running around doing crazy stuff. 5. Jack- It was tough including him in my favorite 5 b/c for a while I was angry that Jack & Locke were making so many decisions for everyone. But he's a pretty interesting character and probably the key character overall.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Crush on Myself

I stumbled upon a site that analyzes faces and tells you what celebrities you look like. Low and behold, one of my top 5 look-alikes is a girl! And not just any girl, Jena Malone. She happens to be a crush of mine. All this time I've secretly had a crush on myself!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

October Blogger Awards

As you can see, on the bottom right of my blog, sometime in the next week The Matthew Never Knew will receive it's 100,000th hit. Maybe I should give a prize to visitor #100,000. But don't bother trying to win because once it gets close I'll just keep hitting refresh. Then I'll give the prize to myself.
Feel free to leave a vote for Post of the Month

Blog of the Month: Just Your Average Jo
Joanna is the first repeat winner for 2006. Notice her effective usage of links & media and the spendid blend of personal updates & theological thoughts.

January: Elizabeth S
February: Paul T
March: Steph I
April: No Award Given
May: Andrew B
June: Aaron P
July: Heather D
August: Joanna H
September: Kayla H
October: Joanna H

Monday, October 30, 2006

Missions Girls

Throughout the past 6 years, I've been interested in quite a number of 'missions girls'. But I was never sure exactly why. I have a passion for the generally lukewarm american church. While I have loved my 3 trips to China, I am un-convinced that I'll ever be a long-term missionary overseas. So here are some theories to explain the interest:
  1. The #1 thing I'm looking for is a solid commitment to Christ. By their very nature, missions girls tend to be solid Christians
  2. I think the adventurous spirit has a lot to do with it. I don't think of myself as adventurous and I am attracted to the contrast
  3. Missions girls tend to be pretty social. They're good at meeting new people and devoloping relationships, another weakness of mine.
  4. Perhaps is simply a coincidence that many of the missions girls I've liked have been likeable
  5. I suppose it's possible that God will call me to overseas missions in the future and He's just trying to get me 'set-up' for such a calling

Friday, October 27, 2006

More Message Board

Here comes another longer post. I really enjoy message board discussion. Perhaps I will do a post contrasting it with verbal dialogue in the near future. But I wanted to blog an example of some message board interaction from this morning.
Originally Posted by AnonymousAtheist View Post
Eventually, I really began to question my faith. It was blind faith after all, and the evidences of "creation" and "conscience" are not enough for absolute belief in the Bible. Those 2 evidences could be applicable to any belief system. A Muslim may have absolute faith in the Quran, and I know some that do, but I know that Christians will say that they are totally wrong. The Muslim will most likely say the same thing in return. Do you see the problem? To the point, I was afraid of losing my faith. That is why I bought numerous books on apologetics, and prayed constantly. Obviously, it was not that effective for me
Hey AA

I wanted to address the 4 underlined phrases

1. I don't think we can say Christianity is a 'blind faith' at all. Blind faith goes 'against' the evidence or, at best, goes in the absence of any evidence. But there is plenty of evidence for Christianity. The fact that there is a world points to a god. The fact that we have a conscience points to a god who holds right & wrong as distinct entities. We have quite a lot of evidence supporting the claim that Jesus rose from the dead verifying His claims (eye-witness accounts, a changed world, extra-biblical sources, etc). It's not a blind faith, serving God is our 'reasonable act of worship' once we've submitted to His rule in our lives.

2. Creation & Conscience certainly aren't enough for absolute belief in the Bible, I agree. They simply get us going in the right direction. And, by the way, a Christians mission isn't to have absolute belief in the Bible. A Christians mission is to have absolute belief in Jesus Christ. One is not a Christian by knowing the Bible cover to cover, one is a Christian by knowing Jesus Christ.

3. No accurate Christian says that Muslims are 'totally wrong'. In fact, Muslims are far more right than most other non-christian religions/worldiews in our time. Muslims are right about monotheism. Muslims are right about the need to submit our lives to that one true God. Etc. Christians and Muslims have much in common, they simply need Jesus.

4. Maybe it just wasn't effective the way you expected. Maybe in your early christian experiences faith was explained to you as a lack of doubt. And you left your faith b/c you couldn't rid yourself of that doubt. But I am telling you, this morning, that faith is not the lack of doubt, faith is obedience. And the opposite of faith is not doubt. The opposite of faith is disobedience. Most disciples experience doubts throughout their lives, but true disciples keep seeking the truth.

By discussing these issues on a message board, and, apparently, being open minded about them, you have shown a high level of interest in the truth. To me, that's a positive indicator that God is still speaking to you and that you haven't hardened your heart yet to Him.

God bless

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Kenosis Theory

Kenosis theory is simply the doctrine that Jesus gave up (or did not utilize) some/all of His divine attributes while He was on earth. It is based, mostly, on Philippians 2:7 which says, 'but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.' I've been involved in an interesting message board dialogue on this issue for the past few days.

Personally, I am not convinced that Jesus, God in the flesh, utilized personal divine attributes at any time between his conception and the cross. Perhaps strangely, though, my main basis for this isn't Philippians 2:7, but the Gospels themselves. To me, Jesus' self-limitations had less to do with emptying himself of divine attributes and more to do with truly taking-on flesh. To truly become human, in my current opinion, implies self-limitation.

That is why Jesus did so many things that God simply cannot do. God can't be born, God can't grow in wisdom, God can't be tempted, God can't grow weary, God can't be ignorant of information, and God can't die. Jesus, however, was born, grew in wisdom, was tempted, got tired, didn't know some things, and died. Why? Because he truly became flesh and flesh experiences those things.

But, you might say, what about all those miraculous things Jesus did? Aren't those evidence of him utilizing his divine powers? I certainly think they are evidence of divine power, but not specifically his divine power. I think everything Jesus did between conception and the cross he did by submission to the Father and empowerment by the Holy Spirit.

We don't have any reliable accounts of Jesus doing miraculous things prior to his baptism. So what happened at Jesus' baptism that changed things? Did he just figure out that he had divine powers? No, the Spirit of God descended on him (Matt 3:16), remained on him (John 1:32), and filled him (Luke 4:1). After that point we have further proof that everything Jesus did was by the power of the Spirt. When he healed sick people (ie. Matt 12:15) it was part of a prophecy that Isaiah had been given in Isaiah 42:1-4. Matthew quotes that prophecy which includes the line, "I will put my Spirit on him." It seems to me Jesus healed the sick, then, by the power of the Holy Spirit. What's more, Jesus himself said, in Matthew 12:28, "But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." So did Jesus drive out demons using his own divine attributes? No. He drove them out by the Spirit of God. It seems to me Jesus did everything in his ministry by the Spirit, even the more mundane things like travelling (Luke 4:1, 14), preaching (Luke 4:18), and praising (Luke 10:21).

Thus, I feel comfortable enough to make the claim that Jesus, between his conception and the cross, never used his divine attributes at all. Not a single time. Instead, he limited himself to the status of a mere human being and became a servant of God. He submitted to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in his life. By the power of the Holy Spirit He preached, praised, prayed, healed the sick, cast out demons, performed various miracles, discerned people's thoughts, had the strength to obey his father, etc.

To me, this is a very exciting realization. Why? It's exciting because I, as someone who wants more than anything to live like Jesus, will never have divine attributes. But I very much can be filled with the Holy Spirit! You know, when the Apostles did miracles, even raising people from the dead, we don't declare that they had 'divine attributes,' we simply recognize that they were Spirit-filled people, just like we can be. Jesus wasn't simply God walking around with skin, he was truly man and, therefore, truly an 'example' (John 13:15, 1 Cor 11:1, Phil 2:5, 1 Pet 4:1, John 14:12, Heb 10:34, etc) of how we can live obedient and Spirit filled life as well.

Feel free to sharpen or annihilate my view via comment :)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

GG 5 & Lost 4

I'm taking over the writing of Gilmore Girls. Lorelei & Chris will go to Paris. Logan will be there on business and Lorelei will catch him cheating on Rory. While she is busy spying on Logan, Chris will fall back in love with that Gigi. The 1st half of the season will end with Lorelei on a plane heading back, alone, to the states.

Who votes for me to be the new writer?

As for Lost, I heard that the writers read the message boards and incorporate the theories of the fans into the storyline! That is quite crazy. Does anyone actually have a legitimate theory on where this show is heading?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sweet Sixteen

How old are you? 16 What's your boyfriend's first name? I dont have a boyfriend What are your favorite foods/drinks? Huh...french fries and red bull but not togethor probobly What do you want to be when you're grown up? Teacher Where do you think you'll live? Michigan Who are your best friends? All of them? Danielle, Will, Brittany, Amanda, Tim, Maranda, Kasey What kind of music do you like? Soft Rock. A little bit of everything except for heavy metal What are your religious beliefs? My religious beliefs are, on myspace it says Christian/other Shows? that 70s show, grounded for life , roseanne , house , psych Bands? Red hot chili peppers, Sum 41, nickleback, sublime, hawthorne heights, blink 182 , starting line , fall out boy , panic! at the disco, taking back sunday Any closing words? "By the way, Danielle, when you laugh, you make the whole bed Jiggle" (that's what Brittany said when she was extremely mad at Danielle and me)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Funny Verses

Often, I'll read a verse in the Bible that will make me chuckle for one reason or another. I've always wanted to compile a list of such verses, but I never got around to it. But, by the power of my blog, I think I can accomplish this task with time. The list will be short at first, but as I re-read/remember funny verses I'll add them to this post:

Genesis 18:15
Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, "I did not laugh." But he said, "Yes, you did laugh."

Luke 11:45
One of the experts in the law answered him, "Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also."

John 8:48
The Jews answered him, "Aren't we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?"

Ecclesiastes 7:28
while I was still searching but not finding— I found one upright man among a thousand, but not one upright woman among them all.

Feel free to leave comments showing verses that you think are funny and why!
*thanks to steph i's blog for motivating me to do this