Friday, June 30, 2006

June Blogger Awards

First, some "knew" news. Once again this was the best month ever for "The Matthew Never Knew" with a record 2000+ unique visits and 5000+ total hits. I added one of those cool cluster maps too (bottom left). I'm hoping to hit 100,000 hits by my blogs birthday 10/13

BBC blogging was much improved this month in my always-factual opinion. I had to nominate 10 posts insted of the usual 7.

Robin's Engrish Pics
Sarah's Unfortunate Event
Andrew's Mega-Church-Chat
Damien Provokes Patriotism
AP's Hidden Christ
Liz's Language Lesson
Sasha's Idol Experience
Paul's Poor Punctuation;
AP's View of Joseph
Kristi's Vulgar Child

As for a BBC poster of the month, I'm going to give it to my 'hao peng you' Aaron P for his thought provoking and versatile posts during the month (I mean, he had everything from mustard bombs to $1000 hamburgers!).

Keep posting! I'm pretty sure in 'The Message' Bible there is a verse that mentions the importance of consistent blogging. God Bless and good day!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Mystery of Israel

For many years and from many teachers I'd been told that the phrase in Romans 11:26a "And so all Israel will be saved" meant that prior to the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ remaining national Israelites will be converted to Christianity. In light of the context, what was Paul communicating with this phrase?

I think of Romans 9-11 as a unified argument against anti-semitism in the Church at Rome. Paul's passion for his biological brothers is impossible to ignore. He wants them to be saved, but he recognizes that being 'in Israel' is meaningless unless one is 'in' the true 'Israelite', namely, Jesus Christ. And so he re-defines Israel. He says not everyone from one of the 12 tribes is an Israelite (9:6). He says it's not by natural means that we are considered God's children (9:8). In other words, it's not about genetics. Now, then, Paul is working with 2 definitions for the term 'Israel' (national Israel & spiritual Israel).

He uses these definitions side by side throughout the argument. For instance, in 9:27 he says not all the Israelites will be saved, but only the remnant. The first group must be national Israel since part of it is saved and part of it is unsaved. The latter 'remnant' must refer to spiritual Israel since it is a completely saved entity.

Paul builds on his argument, arguing that there is really no difference between Jew and Gentile when it comes to salvation (10:12). Not all Israelites (must be national) accepted the good news, just like not all gentiles accepted the good news (10:16). Paul's hope is that, by his ministry to the gentiles, he will arouse national Israel to envy and see 'some' of them be saved (11:14). The 'some' of course, would be spiritual Israel. His point is that any national Israelite can become a spiritual Israelite 'if they do not persist in unbelief' (11:23).

That brings us to Romans 11:25-26a and the great 'mystery' of history:
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved
Paul is dealing, it seems, with arrogant (or, at least, potentially arrogant) believers. The arrogance is directed against the Jews (anti-semitism). So what is the mystery that will keep them from being arrogant? I am persuaded that we should read Israel as 'national Israel'. Part of national Israel was hardened against the Gospel (the other part, ie Paul (11:1), believed). National Israel will be partly hardened all throughout the time that gentiles are being saved.

So what of 'so all Israel' in 11:26a? Each word is important.

First, the word 'so' is not the same as the word 'then'. Paul isn't saying that after the fulness of the gentiles comes in, all national Israelites will finally believe in Christ. He's saying that the 'part' of national Israel that is un-hardened and all the gentiles who believe, together, make up spiritual Israel. The 'result' of the remnant Jews and the believing Gentiles is the collective people of God. Second, the word 'all' means just that. It can't refer to national Israel because Paul just quoted Isaiah in order to echo his prophecy that only the remnant of national Israel would be saved. Whoever 'Israel' is in verse 26a, it can't be national Israel. Third, the word 'Israel' is key and should be read as 'spiritual Israel'. If Paul is not talking about national Israel here, he must be talking about his new definition of the term, spiritual Israel. Can 'all' of spiritual Israel be saved? Yes, by definition they are all saved.

How does this teaching mesh with the other passages in Scripture that discuss the 'mystery' of the Gospel? Perfectly! In Ephesians Paul describes the 'mystery' as being that which brings all things together under one head, Christ (1:10). He says bluntly that 'this mystery is that through the Gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus' (Eph. 3:6). The only difference between Paul's description of the mystery in Romans and Ephesians is that in the former letter he's speaking against conceited believers and in the latter letter he's speaking to discouraged believers. The former needed to hear that Jews were still welcome in, the latter needed to hear that they, themselves, were full members along with believing Jews!

In other words, there are no second class citizens of the kingdom. There are not 2 groups in the people of God. God's purpose was to take believing Jews and belieiving gentiles and not only make them loving brothers, but to actually make them 1 new man (Eph. 1:15)!

The 'Mystery of Israel', then, is the beautiful truth that salvation knows nothing of geography or race. We don't need to travel to Jerusalem to be saved or be circumcised. Likewise, being in Jerusalem and being circumcised won't prevent us from being saved. The mystery of the gospel, most deeply communicated by Paul in Colossians, is that Christ (the true Israelite) lives in us! That is our hope of glory (Col. 1:27). And anyone who is 'in Christ' (notice, not 'in Israel') can take part in this wonderful hope and all the wonderful promises (Gal. 3:29).

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Sabres Logos

If you were a Sabres fan,
which Logo would Prefer?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

What's Gambling?

Assuming a negative definition of gambling (gambling = sinful), which of the following practices would you consider 'gambling':
  1. Crossing the street
  2. Being a farmer
  3. Buying insurance
  4. Using the stock market
  5. Raffles
  6. Office pools
  7. Bingo (church or non-church)
  8. Slot machines (and the like)
  9. Poker
  10. Betting on sports

Monday, June 26, 2006

Staring at the Sun

Did you ever, as a group of kids, have contests to see who could stare directly into the sun the longest? If so, it was a pretty stupid thing to do and you should have been a smart kid like me. The sun is too bright to stare at.

Last night I was reading the 'Epistle of Barnabas' and there was an interesting line that jumped out to me, "He (Jesus) revealed himself to be God's Son. For if he had not come in the flesh, men could in no way have been saved by looking at him. For when they look at merely the sun they are not able to gaze at its rays."

It made me think of all the times in my life that I wanted God to just show Himself to me directly so it would be easier to have faith. I'm starting to realize that if God answered me the way I wanted, I likely wouldn't survive such an encounter. It seems the incarnation was not just an awesome opportunity for us to 'see' God, but also an answer to the reality that in these bodies we 'cannot see' God.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

10 Consecutive Thoughts

  1. Our DS was visiting today, he's nice
  2. Oddly enough, I didn't get drafted into the NHL
  3. Tonight I'm 'thinking about drinking'
  4. It's a 1 hour study on Alcohol
  5. I prefer pencils to pens
  6. The Bible has plenty good to say about wine
  7. I get a headache every Sunday night at 7:30pm
  8. Our DS has a brain tumor, so I won't complain
  9. I will attempt to send Chinese $ tomorrow
  10. I'll procrastinate later

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Shows that Start with O

Here are all the shows that start with O that I have watched more than twice. Why? Who knows

The O'Reilly Factor It's pretty entertaining The Office Definitely one of the few good commendies of the mid 00's The Outer Limits I like sci-fi shows like this

Friday, June 23, 2006

Shows that Start with H

Here are all the shows that start with H that I have watched more than twice. Why? Who knows

Hangin' with Mr. Cooper I don't really remember if it was funny or not, so prolly not Hannity & Colmes For a while I really liked it, but my interest in politics has all but died Happy Days I actually dislike this show, not sure why I watched it a few times Highway to Heaven I remember watching this every day after school one year, not bad Hogan's Heroes A classic Comedy Home Improvement Decent, but not really funny enough

Best of the H's = Highway to Heaven

Thursday, June 22, 2006

What I Call Girls

I sometimes get myself into trouble because people don't understand my definitions for words such as cute/pretty/beautiful/hot. To avoid as many future problems as possible, I want to post my definitions of these terms so that I can quickly copy/paste in the future. Please don't be offended by my honesty.

Cute- If I call a girl 'cute' it tends to mean that I enjoy their personality AND find them somewhat attractive. Of course, there are many girls with good personalities that I do not find attractive. I don't call them 'cute' because I'm afraid they'll think I think they're attractive.

Pretty- If I call a girl 'pretty' it tends to mean that I find them somewhat attractive AND I enjoy their personality. "But that's the same exact thing you idiot!" No. The order is very important. If I say 'cute' more often to a particular girl, it means I like her personality better than her looks. If I say 'pretty' more often to her, it means I like her looks better than her personality. If I say both frequently, I'm probably quite enamored with her.

Beautiful- If I call a girl 'beautiful' I've probably become so convinced of both her cuteness and prettiness that I've asked her out and she said yes. And since I am lazy, I merge the two terms into one.

Hot- I almost never use this term except in the following way, "guys tend to think she's hot." Thus, 'hot' simply means a girl (usually a very famous or popular girl) that most guys get all excited about. I tend not to think such girls are 'pretty' and I have no idea if they are 'cute'.

Though I do not consider myself super superficial, I am willing to say I can't imagine dating/courting/marrying a girl I had no physical attraction toward. That being said, I have observed in my life that if someone has an awesome personality, my opinion of their 'looks' tends to increase with time. The reverse, though, is not true at all. If someone has awesome looks, I'm naturally skeptical about their personality.

One exception to the 'beautiful' definition: I said I only call girls beautiful if I already know them well and am in relationship with them. For some reason, the opposite extreme also allows for use of the term 'beautiful'. If I don't know a girl at all and someone asks me about her, I might say "she's a beautiful girl". But that use of 'beautiful' is more a matter of "she's beautiful because God created her" than anything else.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

24 Miles Later

OK. Plans changed a little. I decided to drive to work yesterday, ride home, and ride back this morning. So yesterday around 6:20pm I began my trek toward physical health. I fired up the 1st hour of Steve Gregg's discussion of the 3 views of hell on my Nano and took off. The first mile was the hardest only because I knew there were about 11 after that. I felt tired right away. But once I turned off of Hess Road, I got my 2nd wind.

The trip took almost exactly an hour. My legs were a bit sore, but not as bad as I'd anticipated. The biggest result of this exercise was that I fell asleep at 10:10pm. Now, any of you that have me on your MSN list know that this is very odd to say the least.

This morning I woke up at 5am. ESPN was replaying game 6 of the NBA finals so I watched the 4th quarter in bed. Then I ate breakfast and got back on the bike. My bottom reacted negatively to its forced reunion with the seat. But I pressed on while listening to the 2nd hour of 'hell' which seemed to be an appropriate topic for miles 20-23.

The last mile, though, was no problem. Steve Gregg finished so I sang my 2 chinese songs a few times through until I turned into the church parking lot. All in all, I am quite pleased with my experience in exercise. Can't wait till next year when I consider doing it again!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My Last Post?

I am dreadfully out of shape. It's not very apparent to casual observers, but I know it's true because I get super tired super quickly whenever I use even a little bit of energy. Instead of being smart and gradually becoming a person of exercise, I will attempt to ride my bike to and from work tomorrow. It's not too drastic. 12 miles each way. But I may not survive.

My new bike is ready. My iPod is ready. I just hope I'm ready. No post tomorrow means it went very badly.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Contemporary Issues

Last night I gave attenders a list of 15 'contemporary issues' and told them to vote for which 6 they wanted to cover this summer, 1 hour each. Below are the results for any interested:
11% Alcohol
10% Divorce & Remarriage
10% Gambling
10% Homosexuality
08% Church & State
08% Euthanasia
08% Entertainment
06% Abortion
06% Creation/Evolution
06% Public/Private Educ.
05% Pornography
04% Racism
03% Capital Punishment
03% Environmentalism
02% War

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Comment of the Year

In Response to my 'Pin the Tail on the Antichrist' Series...

Anonymous said...

reading all your post thus far on this topic, i've come to the concustion that your thoughts for this are a bit far fetched let me explain. lets start with

BARNEY- I dont him more then the next person but i'm not going to make up some stupid thing as to say hes a Antichrist! thats stupid, so hwat he has 6 toes, so what he's a dino, its just some guy in a suit reading his lines and trying to make a living, and the end of the day the suit is just a suit.

CLINTON- yeah he's a dirt bag and no one really likes the guy, the mag. cover is a flook, yea i'm sure they ment to do that, plese give me a brake. so what his name comes out to be 666 if you use the Hebrew & Greek values, so what? I had a friend and if you put her anitals together and added "A" inbetween then you'd get SaTaN, so what does taht mean shes the next antichrist too? i dont think so.

BILL GATES- please he may be walthy and smart to no end, but taht doesnt make him evil. your barcode part makes a bit of sence but its been in use sence as you said 1966, so what, its a bar code. get over it, it doesnt mean anything. everything has it, no one questions why its there.everyone hears talk about getting "the mark" so you can buy stuff, the mark aka the bar code is on the items not our bodies. i mean whos really going to ask to have something implated into the head. i'm sure someones out there that would, but tahts not enough edivdance to clam him as an Antichrist.

ARNELD- Nice guy, ever met him? didnt think so. the actor now governor, is a family man he's not his charctures he plays in movies. did he write the movies? he just acted in them, big deal, so what? there are worst movies out there and he didnt act in them. get over it.
again so what is name comes out to be 666 if you add everything together in CAPS but if you do it not in caps its 333 if i'm not mistaken is is a representation of the New Covenant Church of God, so then where doent that fit into your theory?

NICOLAE- now i have no clue who this guy is and i really dont care, you baseing his antichirst stuff on his movies and the fact that you couldnt find the guys name. who cares that he guy was born 1965, ohh one number off, wouldnt aht mean any person who played in a "bad" movie and you cant find their name on line is the next antichrist? I didnt think so.

who are you to say any of theres people dont believe in Christ,

Antichrist meaning
1.An enemy of Christ.
2.Antichrist The epithet of the great antagonist who was expected by the early Church to set himself up against Christ in the last days before the Second Coming.
3.A false Christ.

none of your canidates ever clamed to be chirst, or an ememy of Christ

Saturday, June 17, 2006

99 100

There are currently 99 people on the BBC blogroll (although I guess I should take off 2 or 3 that have been deleted). So who should be #100? If you are a former bbc'er or know a blogging bbc alumnist that you'd like to see on my list, let me know. I know of a few myspaces that I could add, but I wanted to give someone a chance to be #100 because there's probably a big prize involved or something.

Friday, June 16, 2006

3 Views of Hell

Though the vast majority of evangelicals believe the wicked face eternal torment, I am undecided on this issue. Throughout church history, there have been three strong views of what happens to the wicked after Judgment Day:

Eternal Torment
Universal Reconciliation
Conditional Immortality

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Bathroom Song

This is completely out of character for me. I, unlike many boys, very much dislike talking about bodily functions. Even so, I like to write lyrics and play with words. The bathroom song was inspired by BBC couples who just hated to be apart for any amount of time. It's about a hypothetical couple that breaks up because one of them has to the bathroom.

I want to be with you
Morning, noon, and night
I never want to leave your sight
I want to be with you
Any kind of weather
Rain, sleet, or snow
I never want to go

Sometimes I have to
Sometimes it must be done
It’s not what I want
And it’s not very fun

I want to be with you
I’ll do all that I can
But the can sometimes calls
And the enemy falls

I can’t stand being away
So I sit for the long one’s
I’d walk a million miles for you
But now I’ve got the runs

I can’t stand being apart
But it starts with a fart
And then I know
Gotta go, gotta go

I don’t understand your letter
The Dear John that broke my heart
If only you knew it was dear John
That tore us all apart

I’ll beg you on my knees
After I use the facilities
Please don’t go
While I go
Please don’t go
While I go

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Chinese Songs

Okay, I finally got around to recording myself singing the 2 Chinese songs that I learned. This first song is about Friendship. We Americans performed this at our farewell ceremony.

And this second song is a love song the students taught me. I sang this alone in front of almost 3000 Chinese people, haha!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Conditional Immortality

God alone is immortal (1 Tim. 6:16). I think most Christians agree with that statement. Fewer Christians recognize that the eternal torment view, then, involves God actually keeping people alive so as to punish them eternally. Many Christians throughout history, however, have taken another approach. They believe that, on Judgment Day, the wicked are annihilated.

The term 'annihilated' is actually too strong. According to this view, men simply aren't expected to exist beyond death. Men must seek immortality (Romans 2:7). It can only be found in Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Eternal life is the gift of God for believers (Romans 6:23), but the words used to describe the fate of the wicked are death, destruction, consumed & perish (Matt. 10:28/ Rom.2:12). Can you find any verse in Scripture that boldly asserts that the wicked live forever?

Could it be that the Greek philosophy of mankind's immortality creeped into some branches of early Christianity and was utilized by the Institutional church in history to keep people in line?

This view doesn't deny the existence of a place of suffering. It simply denies that the wicked continue to suffer beyond Judgment Day. At that point, according to Annihilationists, the wicked simply lose their God given gift of life and our left with their human mortality.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Universal Reconciliation

Most modern evangelicals cringe at the thought of 'all people' being saved (although I'm not sure why this would make us cringe). But many Bible believing Christians of the past believed this view. Why? Instead of stating their reasons, I'll post the Scriptures they tend to bring up:
1 John 2:2
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 Timothy 4:10
(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

Romans 5:18
Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.

Colossians 1:20
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Isaiah 45:23
Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear

Additionally, it is argued that of the six main Christian schools known to exist in the first four centuries, four taught universalism (Alexandria, Edessa, Antioch and Caesarea); while only one taught annihilationism (Ephesus); and one taught eternal torment (Rome).

Those who take this view often believe that dead unbelievers suffer for their sins until judgment day, at which point they confess Jesus as Lord and enter paradise.

What are your thoughts regarding universal Reconciliation?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Eternal Torment

It seems a vast majority of evangelicals believe that those who are unsaved when they die will face an eternity of torment. In other words, they will suffer for their sins forever. Where evangelicals debate is what hell will be like. Will there be a literal fire? Will there be literal darkness? How can there be a literal fire and literal darkness at the same time? And so on.

But, in history, this is not where the debate was at. In the early centuries of Christianity, there were 3 strongly supported views regarding the future (or lack thereof) for the unsaved: Universalism, Annihilationism, & the Eternal Torment view. Since the latter is so firmly established in most minds, it's probably necessary to point out some of the problems with this view before expecting people to seriously consider any alternatives.

Problems with the 'Eternal Torment' View
It's based on a few passages in symbolic parts of Scripture
God didn't warn Adam & Eve of eternal torment
The Bible nowhere claims that unsaved people live forever
Many feel this view doesn't match with God's love
For some, the punishment seems to outweigh the crime

Feel free to defend the eternal torment view or debate the above 5 points. I am undecided on this issue (though I have my leanings). Over the next 2 days I will describe some of the key arguments for universalism & annihilationism.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Winner Gets a Date

Recently, I had someone who's known me for only a very short time put Gary Chapman's 5 love languages in the perfect order of my preference. I want to see how easy of a task this is. So leave a comment ranking the 5 languages with the first being the language of love I most desire. They are listed in alphabetical order below:

Acts of Service
Physical Touch
Time Spent Together
Words of Affirmation

* The following commenters can guess, but cannot win the date: Ex-girlfriends, people I've talked to about the 5 love languages in the past 72 hours, men, people already in relationships, world's strongest woman competitors, typing cats & blood relatives

Thursday, June 08, 2006

China Bans Da Vinci

Interesting news out of China today, the country has banned The Da Vinci Code. The government, of course, did not give their reasons.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Chinese Dictionary

The following are words/phrases that I know or am learning in Chinese and, hopefully, will be added to regularly. Readers can ignore this post since it is solely for my own purposes.

HELLO---ni hao
GOOD MORNING---zao shang hao
GOOD EVENING---wan shang hao
GOODNIGHT---wan an
GOODBYE---zai jian

HOW ARE YOU?---ni hao ma
I’M FINE---wo hen hao
I’M HAPPY---wo hen kuai le
WHAT’S WRONG?---you shen me wen ti
I FEEL SAD---wo jue de nan guo
I FEEL TIRED---wo jue de lei
LONG TIME NO SEE---hao jiu bu jian

YOUR FAMILY NAME?...Nin gui xing
WHAT’S YOUR NAME? jiao shen me ming zi
MY NAME IS…wo jiao
WHERE ARE YOU FROM? cong na lai de
WHAT’S YOUR HOBBY? you shen me ai hao

YES...shi de
THANK YOU...xie xie
DON’T MENTION IT...bu ke qi
I’M SORRY...dui bu qi
IT’S NO PROBLEM...mei wen ti
DON’T WORRY...bu yong dan xin

WE...wo men
THEY...ta men
AMERICAN...mei guo ren
I AM AMERICAN...wo shi mei guo ren
FOREIGNER...lao wei OR wei guo ren
CHINESE...zhong guo ren
MY CHINESE IS POOR...wo de zhong wen bu hao
JUST SO SO...mamahuhu
I UNDERSTAND....wo ming bai OR wo dong
I DON’T UNDERSTAND....wo bu ming bai le OR wo bu dong le

FOOD...chi de
ENOUGH?...gou le ma
I’VE HAD ENOUGH...wo chi bao le
EAT SOME MORE...duo chi dian er
THIS IS DELICIOUS...zhe ge hen hao chi
CHEERS...gan bei

TO BE...shi
TO WANT...yao
TO LIKE...xi huan

HOW MUCH?...duo shou qian
TOO EXPENSIVE...tai gui le
VERY CHEAP...hen pian yi
ARE YOU CRAZY? feng le ma

GOD...Shang Di
GOD BLESS YOU...Shang Di bao you ni OR Shang Di zhu fu ni
BIBLE...Sheng Jing
CHURCH...Jiao Tang
WHAT’S YOUR RELIGION?...Ni xin shen me jiao
CHRISTIAN...Ji du jiao

TEACHER...lao shi
STUDENT...xue sheng
LAZY PERSON...lan chong
MATCHMAKER...mei po ai
PRETTY...piao liang
BEAUTIFUL...mei li
HANDSOME GUY...shuai ge
VERY KIND...hen san liang
VERY MEAN...hen xiong
UN-EMOTIONAL...zi bi zheng

I LIKE YOU...wo xi huan ni
I LOVE YOU...wo ai ni
I’M CRAZY ABOUT YOU...wo wei ni feng kuang
I MISS YOU...wo xiang ni
WIFE...tai tai (qi zi)
HUSBAND...zhang fu (lao gong)



WHAT?...shen me
WHERE? li/na er/zai na er
WHEN?...shen me shi hou
WHY?...wei shen me
HOW?...zen me yang

PHONE...dian hua
I AM LOST...wo mi lu le qu
THIS...zhe ge ge

I HAVE AN IDEA...wo you ban fa
GOOD IDEA...hao zhu yi
I AGREE WITH YOU...wo tong yi
WE AGREE ON THIS...wo men de xiang
VERY GOOD...hen hao

I BELIEVE IT...wo xiang xin
I DON’T BELIEVE IT...wo bu xiang xin
REALLY?...zhen de ma
THAT’S A LIE! shi huang hua OR na shi sha huang
TELL THE TRUTH!...shuo zhen de OR shuo shi hua

qing ren yan li chu xi shi a
beauty is in the eyes of the beholder

wan shi kan tou nan
The hardest part is getting started

Monday, June 05, 2006

Shows that Start with P

Here are all the shows that start with P that I've watched more than twice. Why? Who knows

Perfect Strangers I remember watching this regularly Pimp My Ride Only watched it a few times Pinky and the Brain Good cartoon Politically Incorrect Really got the 'debate' genre going Popeye Decent cartoon Providence I tried watching this for a while, but it got boring Psyche A lil cheesy, but fun nevertheless Punk'd Some of them are funny

Best of the P's = Punk'd

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Parable Series

Here are links to my handouts from a 17+ hour series I just finished on the Parables
Introduction (wise guy, new wine, treasures)
The Kingdom Comes (4 soils, wheat & weeds)
The Kingdom's Growth (mustard seed & leaven)
The Kingdom's Worth (net, treasure, pearl)
Forgiveness (2 debtors, unforgiving servant)
Compassion (good samaritan)
Possessions (rich fool, shrewd manager)
Prayer (friend at midnight, unjust judge)
Humility (place of honor, slaves duty, 2 prayers)
Passion (lost sheep, lost coin)
Fruitfulness (the talents, the minas)
Invitation (great feast, wedding banquet)
Generosity (workers paid equally)
Reconciliation (the prodigal son)
Revelation (rich man & lazarus)
Judgment (wicked tenants)
Ready for Return (ten bridesmaids)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Humor of God

Tomorrow I am preaching about ANGER. Tonight I wanted to print out my notes. First, I realized that my newish laptop is not yet hooked up to wireless printer network, so I couldn't print from it. Second, I sent my files to the desktop via my hotmail account, but for some reason it wouldn't open them. Third, I tried to put my files on the share network so I could access them from the desktop computer, but I don't think I even came close to making that work. Fourth, I sent my files via my g-mail. This worked. But then I realized that the desktop doesn't currently have a word processer on it, so I couldn't print from there after all. Next I accessed the files from my mom's laptop, but the Microsoft word changed my 2 lists of 7 into 1 list of 14. Finally (seventh?), I had my mom push print and the printer ran out of paper.

Friday, June 02, 2006

'How To'

I've been commanded to blog this story from my high school years

I think I was in 9th or 10th grade at Barker Central School. I was in Mr. Olsen's "oral communications" class. He gave us an assignment: Choose a partner and, next week, you will give a "how to..." presentation before your classmates. That week my friend Carl & I had a difficult time deciding what we wanted to teach the class how to do. We were both big sports fans, though, so we ended up teaching them how to make a poster or something using football cards. It was really dumb. And we knew it. And we failed.

But Mr. Olsen gave us a 2nd chance. For some reason, we felt like being jerks and so for our next attempt we taught the class how to count page numbers in a book. Seriously. I turned 50 pages (orally declaring each page number along the way) and then Carl counted 50 more. Actually, if I remember right, Mr. Olsen stopped us about about 68. We had failed a second time. But he was a gracious man (and I'm pretty sure he found us amusing) so he gave us a 3rd and final chance.

Carl and I tried to think of something we were experts in. But what would that be? Then it became obvious. We were experts in "how to give a horrible 'how to' oral presentation". And so for our 3rd presentation, as our fellow students watched with anticipation (and Mr. Olsen with fear), we began to share our expertise. First, we communicated to the class (as we made another football card poster) that a 'how to' presentation should never involve poster making. Second, we told the class to never, under any circumstances teach the class how to read the page numbers of a book. To illustrate this horrible idea, we counted again (I think we only made it to page 18), until Mr. Olsen shouted out something like "Alright, I can't take it anymore". And he gave us a B- under the condition that we never count page numbers in his class again.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

"Freak Infection"

Un. Freaking. Believable.

The Sabres will be without star defensemen Jay McKee tonight for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Why? He has a 'freak infection' in his leg. What in the world is going on? The Sabres have lost 4 of their top 5 defensemen! Henrik Tallinder- Broken arm. Dmitri Kalinin- Broken anke. Teppo Numminen- Injured hip. Now McKee! (not to mention our best playmaker, Tim Connolly, is out with a concussion).

If the Sabres win this game, it will be a