Monday, July 31, 2006

July Blogger Awards

My best friend Aaron Henderson has created a blog that I'm sure he'll update 1 time each year when he visits me at Houghton camp. This is a clever way to avoid the '1 year policy' (if you don't post for a year, I delete you). It is also a clever way of knocking AP off the top of my link list.

Here are my favorite posts from July. Feel free to vote one of them as the most super-duper

AP's Evangelicalism
Dave's 1% Question
Gwyn's BBC Babies
Heather's Tattoo Talk
Kayla's Collection of Crazy Kid Pics

I have 2 other awards to give away for July. First, the monthly 'Blog of the Month' Award. The winner for July is:

Heather for her "HeAthLuVsInG"

In addition to this, I want to give an award to a great missions blog. Elizabeth did a great job keeping people updated about her time in Japan. Her time there is now over. If you never did, check out the highlights:

Elizabeth's "Journey on the Other Side"

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday @ Camp

Let's see, I fell asleep around 3am Saturday night. Woke up and went to the church. Services were good today and my Sunday school class was fun (at least for me). After church, I had to drive home quickly because I forgot my sandals. I drove to Houghton with a teen from our church (and my friend) Brandon rode along. Took about 2 hours. Registration was funny for a variety of reason. Got my room set up. Aaron Henderson arrived. Had good supper. Pastor John's sermon was very good. All the people I talked to from my church really enjoyed it. Had a love & fun conversation in the student center. Now Aaron & I are gonna watch some Seinfeld! The End.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

District Conference

Yesterday was our district conference. BBC grads in my district include Aaron & Nicole Moore, Ben Last, and Megan Beers (though she wasn't at conference). John Symonds represented Bethany at the conference as he will be our camp speaker at Houghton Sunday-Friday. Dr. Earl had a good message and the rest was business as usual I suppose. I had a fun time transporting our 3 delegates back and forth. Next week I'll be at camp, but I'll almost certainly continue blogging.

Friday, July 28, 2006


The Sabres have reached a 3 year agreement worth $8,700,000 with star forward Tim Connolly. Timmy, along with Derek Roy and Henrik Tallinder, is one of my favorite players. The question is, can Connolly recover from this hit? He missed the rest of the playoffs and isn't yet back to 100% (though the Sabres did say today that they are 100% sure he'll eventually be 100%).

For 2 other CLASSIC youtube hits...
Campbell makes some Umberger soup
Kapenen can't get up

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sabres Updates

About once a week I think about creating a 3rd blog devoted entirely to the Sabres, but I think I'll just post stuff on here once in a while. Today is looking like a pretty interesting day in Sabreland. Last week I posted my arbitration guesses. I was $1,000,000 off on my first guess! Thankfully, our GM Darcy Regier has made long term deals with the next four on the arbitration list.

Today, the Sabres announced they will have a press conference to discuss the new jersey's. I posted some of the potential logo's a while back. Rumor had it that the bottom-right logo on that link was the Sabres future logo. Fans weren't too happy. Over 22,000 signed a petition against it! So we'll see what the announcment is today at 4pm I guess. Below you'll find the logo I'd pick if it were my choice:

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


I'll be finishing up my series through Paul's letter to the Colossians tonight. I'm finally making a bit of progress in teaching through Paul's letters (Galatians, Colossians, Philemon completed).

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Samson & Euthanasia

Somehow, in my preparation for the subject of Euthanasia, I didn't think of (or run across an author thinking of) the case of Samson. Usually people refer to the case of Saul (which doesn't seem like a positive case for euthanasia at all. In fact, to me, it seems like a case against it), but the Samson story is more interesting by a mile in these regards. Thankfully, one of the wise men in our congregation brought Samson into the discussion.
Judges 16
28 Then Samson prayed to the LORD, "O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes." 29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30 Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines!" Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.
Samson was on the brink of death (I'm sure after the Philistines had some fun with him, they were going to eliminate him). In other words, his case was terminal. He prayed for permission to (among other things) commit suicide. And God granted his request. This is what seperates this case from Saul's. When we're told Saul's story, we read nothing of divine approval of his action (in fact, David rebukes the man who says he euthanized Saul), but here God seemingly approves Samson's request to speed his death by giving him the strength to accomplish the task.

So what? Well, I don't think this case supports an individual taking his/her life in their own hands (or even requesting that another human assist them in such), but it does seem to support the idea of praying for a quicker death in a terminal case. Of course, if the revenge is the focus of the passage (and suicide merely an effect), then perhaps no strong case is being made at all.

What do you think?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Social Issues Series

I've finished a short summer series on social issues. We had some pretty good discussions. I'd say, on average, we spent an hour and fifteen minutes on each issue. I may do this again next summer with 5 or 6 more issues.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Fear, Love, Hope

Just doing some prep work for a future sermon (months away, at least). How many of you would say you became a Christian to avoid hell (fear of punishment), how many of you would say you became a Christian because of who Christ is and what He did (love of the Master), and how many of you would say you became a Christian to gain heaven (hope for reward)?

I'm not looking for text-book answers. I'm looking for your experience. If, for you, there was 'moment' when you decided for Christ, what was the context? Fire & Brimstone preaching? A sermon about God's grace? A crisis event in your life? Am I leaving some category out?

Comments appreciated :)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

10 Knews Items

  • Got another 24 miles biking in today
  • The ride home was slower
  • Going to a Bisons baseball game Saturday
  • A Bethany friend is going along
  • The Veggie Tales will be there
  • I need 19 DVD's to have all the one's I want
  • A very special addition to my blog coming soon
  • I ate nothing on Friday except cereal
  • We'll be discussing Euthanasia Sunday night
  • Finishing Colossians on Wednesday

Friday, July 21, 2006

I'm The Arbitrator

The Buffalo Sabres have 10 players heading toward salary arbitration. Below, I will provide their arbitration date, their salary from this past season, my guess regarding the outcome of their arbitration, and finally the result once their 06/07 salary is determined.

D. Briere--------7.20---1.9---4.0---5.0 yikes
A. Kotalik-------
7.25---0.8---1.8---signed 3 year 2.3/year
H. Tallinder-----
7.26---0.7---2.0---signed 4 year 2.56/year
T. Lydman------
7.27---1.9---2.5---signed 4 year 2.88/year
J. Pominville----
7.28---0.5---1.2---signed 3 year 1.03/year
J. Dumont------
T. Connolly-----
P. Gaustad------
M. Afinogenov--
A. Mair----------

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Fall(s) of Satan

There are 4 points in history that many Christians see as a 'fall' of satan:
1. At the beginning of time
2. At the death/resurrection/ascension
3. Prior to the millennium
4. At the end of time

Some Christians doubt each of these falls. Some doubt Fall #1, believing the Satan was created as a God appointed tester. They don't believe the Isaiah or Ezekiel passages are talking about Satan at all. Some doubt Fall #2, believing that Satan is still winning today and won't lose until the 2nd Coming. Some doubt Fall #3, declaring that we are currently in the millennium and that a future 1,000 year period is unnecessary. Even Fall #4 is doubted (by full preterists) declaring that Satan has already been eliminated and we are now in the new creation.

Below you'll find the theories and their supporting passages. Personally, I think Fall #2 is the most significant to my faith. I believe Fall #1 & #4 did and will occur, but since I'm amillennial I don't find #3 necessary.

Lucifer was a beautiful angel, but pride led to his fall. He desired to ascend higher than God, but instead was cast down to the earth.

Isaiah 14:12-17
Ezekiel 28:11-19
Luke 10:18
Revelation 9:1

After the ascension of Jesus Christ, there was war in heaven. Satan’s side was defeated, lost their place in heaven, and Satan was hurled down to the earth. He no longer had the right to accuse God’s people. Additionally, some believe he no longer had the ability to prevent the spread of the Gospel.

Revelation 12:1-12, 20:1-3
John 12:31
Colossians 2:15
Hebrews 2:14
1 John 3:8

After the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ, Satan will be bound and thrown into the Abyss for 1,000 years during which Christ will rule the earth with an iron scepter. After the 1,000 years Satan will be released for 1 final battle prior to Judgment Day.

Revelation 20:1-3

At the end of time, Satan will be thrown into the lake of burning sulfur to be tormented forever and ever.

Revelation 20:7-10
Matthew 25:41

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Batman & Catchick

It wasn't long before Charlie realized that his office had no exterior walls. He peered through his 1 window into 1 large room. Was 1 room enough or did Charlie need to see the world? Years passed before Charlie chose the latter option. By this time he had saved up billions of dollars. He used some of his money to buy a ticket to the other side of the world. Perhaps this would be the truly golden ticket. The other side of the world used an other language. Charlie was given a new name, Bian Fu Xia, which translated to "Bat-man". After some initial successes, however, Charlie returned home to his lone window.

Having been Batman reminded Charlie of what it was like to have a secret. He remembered a wonderful secret he'd had back when his 'Betty Ross' mutation was wearing off (but before she/he became a Stepford Boyfriend). Fortunately, it was the kind of secret that was just outside his office window. Unfortunately, he was paralyzed by circumstances. Charlie had no idea how much of a chance he had with this girl (who we'll call, ummm, Cat Chick). Or when he will find out either way.

So Bat-man waited for Cat-chick. He waited for circumstances to change outside his window. His paralysis didn't stop him from thinking through the ceiling to the heavens. He dreamed of Cat-Chick and the sky. But alas, one cannot wait for ever and some things just will never change.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mail Order Hide

I'm not a fan of mail. Mail has made me mad lately. I want to hide when it comes:
  1. My mom had me send out some of those big yellow envelopes for her, but she didn't stick them shut (she only used the little fasten thingy), so I had to stand in the post office for 5 minutes wetting those things. Seems like a silly thing to be angry about, but I'm a silly guy!
  2. I got pulled over for not wearing a seat belt. Thus, I got a stupid ticket in the mail. $100 just because the insurance companies are powerful enough to legislate to their liking
  3. I keep forgetting to mail out my family camp registration
  4. I got summoned to possible jury duty the same week as camp
  5. I'm sure number 5 is on it's way now

Monday, July 17, 2006


I wrote this song almost exactly 6 years after I wrote the poem "smiles"

The timing was wrong
The feeling was right
Now it’s been so long
Can this tunnel have light
At the end of the way

I took a wrong turn
I made a mistake
If there’s one thing I learned
It’s that I can not shake
This desire to say

If there is a chance
I want to take it
If the dream is alive
I want to make it
Come true for me and you

It’s true to a tee
It works every time
If you’re around me
I can’t stop my mind
From wanting just you

It may be too late
For you things have changed
But I’m wondering if fate
Could still re-arrange
And make this dream come true

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Grocery Noun Rule

RULE: When a wife or mother makes a grocery list and sends a man to the store, the items listed must be solitary nouns. No adjectives. A man can buy pineapples. A man doesn't want to scan for 'crushed' pineapples when only 'chunks' and 'slices' are prevalent. A woman must be satisfied to receive an 'orange' even though she wanted '11 ounces' of 'canned' 'mandarin' oranges. A woman should not complain when she receives an actual coconut instead of a 'bag' of 'shredded' coconut. Men are responsible for bringing home nouns. If a woman wants adjectives, she should take her own trip to the grocery store.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Apostolic Fathers

I have recently (and sacrilegiously) completed 'The Apostolic Fathers' on my toilet. It's a pretty thick book, so it took many sittings to complete it. But alas, I am done. Of course, I had skimmed some of the Apostolic Father's in the past, but this was my first serious and slow reading of the material. My favorite writings were 'Martyrdom of Polycarp', 'Epistle of Barnabas', & the 'Epistle to Diognetus'.

Now that I have completely boreded out 90% of my readership over the past week, I shall try to win them back with more posts about me, the star of 'the matthew never knew'...but first I have to pick my next bathroom book

Friday, July 14, 2006

Fragments of Papias

Papias was a Bishop from the early period. Eusebius was under the impression that Papias had known Polycarp and even John. There is, however, some confusion as to whether he knew John the Apostle or John the Elder. I think it best to take Papias' own word for it that he did not know the Apostle John personally, but knew (and had spoken to) those who did. Papias valued the oral account of Jesus moreso than written accounts.

Eusebius, the early church historian, didn't think much of Papias. Here's an interesting quote from him about Papias: "Among other things he says that there will be a period of a thousand years after the resurrection of the dead when the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this earth. These ideas, I suppose, he got through a misunderstanding of the apostolic accounts, not realizing that the things recorded in figurative language were spoken by them mystically. For he certainly appears to be a man of very little intelligence, as one may say judging from his own words. Yet he was the reason that so many ecclesiastical writers after him held the same opinion, on the grounds that he was a man of the early period - like Irenaeus, for example, and anyone else who has expressed similar ideas."

It is from Papias that we get the following bits of information (whether they be correct or not is another matter):

1) Gospel of Mark is based on Peter's memory
2) Gospel of Mark is not chronological
3) Matthew composed oracles in Hebrew language
4) The 1st fall of satan (pre-man) was spatial (to earth)
5) The 2nd fall of satan (cross) was judgment (to earth)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Epistle to Diognetus

Below are some interesting quotes I found in the early Christian writing down as the Epistle to Diognetus:
Is not one of them (idols) stone, like that which we walk upon, and another bronze, no better than the utensils that have been forged for our use, and another wood, already rotted away, and another silver, which needs a watchman to guard it lest it be stolen, and another iron, corroded by rust, and another pottery, not a bit more attractive than that made for the most unmentionable use? Christians are not distinguished from the rest of humanity by country, language or custom. (They) follow the local customs in dress and food and other aspects of life...they live in their own countries, but only as aliens, they participate in everything as citizens, and endure everything as foreigners. Every foreign country is their fatherland, and every fatherland is foreign In a word, what the soul is to the body, Christians are to the world The soul dwells in the body, but is not of the body; Likewise Christians dwell in the world, but are not of the world...The soul is enclosed in the body, but it holds the body together; and though Christians are detained in the world as if in a prison, they in fact hold the world together But perhaps he (God) sent him (Son) as a man might suppose, to rule by tyranny, fear and terror? Certainly not! On the contrary, he sent him in gentleness and meekness, as a king might send his son who is a king; he sent him as God; he sent him as a man to men. When he did so he did as one who saves by persuasion, no compulsion, for compulsion is no attribute of God O the sweet exchange, O the incomprehensible work of God, O the unexpected blessings, that the sinfulness of many should be hidden in one righteous man, while the righteousness of one should justify many sinners

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Shepherd of Hermas

Below are some interesting quotes I found in the early Christian writing known as the Shepherd of Hermas:
The days of repentance for all the saints are over, although for the heathen there is the possibility of repentance until the last day Bearing a grudge produces death Stop saying all these prayers for your sins. Ask also for righteousness Be useful to God, for you yourself are to be used as one of these stones Can't you see that the tower is still being built? When the tower is finished being built, then the end comes You, therefore, who have more than enough, seek out those who are hungry, until the tower is finished. For after the tower is finished, you may want to do good, but you will not have the chance For the one who has received forgiveness of sins ought never to sin again, but to live in purity For when all these spirits live in one vessel, where the Holy Spirit also lives, the vessel cannot contain them, but overflows. So the sensitive Spirit, which is not used to living with an evil spirit nor with harshness, departs from a person such as this, and seeks to live with gentleness and quiet There are two angels with man, one of righteousness and one of wickedness For when you fear the Lord you will do everything well. This is the fear you must have to be saved. But do not fear the devil, for if you fear the Lord you will rule over the devil, because he has no power Even the smallest things from above falling on the earth have great power; so also the divine Spirit that comes from above is powerful If the evil desire sees you armed with the fear of God and resisting it, it will flee far from you and will no longer be seen by you, because it fears your weapons If you propose to yourself that they (commandments) can be kept, you will keep them easily and they will not be hard. But if the idea that they cannot be kept by man has already entered your heart, you will not keep themInstead of fields buy souls that are in distress Keep a fast to God in this way: Commit no evil in your life The preexistent Holy Spirit, which created the whole creation, God caused to live in the flesh that he wished If they repent quickly, and their home will be within the tower; but if they repent more slowly, they will live within the walls For it is on your account that the work of building has been interrupted. So unless you act quickly to do right, the tower will be completed, and you will be excluded

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Epistle of Barnabas

Below are the most interesting quotes I found in the letter known as the Epistle of Barnabas
Do not continue to pile up your sins while claiming that your covenant is irrevocably yours because in fact those people lost it completely in the following turning to idols they lost it He 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 What, therefore, does 'into the good land, a land flowing with milk and honey' mean? Blessed is our Lord, brothers, who endowed us with wisdom and understanding of his secrets. For the prophet speaks a parable concerning the Lord...we are the one's whom He brought into the good land There are twelve of them (Apostles) as a witness to the tribes, because there are twelve tribes of Israel Moses...spoke in a spiritual sense, but because of their fleshly desires the people accepted them as though they referred to actual food In six thousand years everything will be brought to an end...and after I have set everything at rest (in the millennium?), I will create the beginning of an eight day, which is the beginning of another world.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Below are some of the most interesting quotes I found in the Didache
You shall not abort a child Accept as good the things that happen to you, knowing that nothing transpires apart from God In church you shall confess your transgressions Baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in running water. But if you have no running water, then baptize in some other water; and if you are not able to baptize in cold water, then do so in warm. But if you have neither, then pour water on the head three times...and before the baptism, let the one baptizing and the one who is to be baptized fast Pray like this (the Lord's Prayer) three times each day

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Letters of Ignatius

Below are some of the most interesting quotes I found in the early church writings of Ignatius:
We must regard the bishop as the Lord Himself There is only one physician , who is both flesh and spirit, born and unborn, God in man, true life in death, both from Mary and from God, first subject to suffering and then beyond it, Jesus Christ our Lord Let us be eager to be imitators of the Lord, to see who can be the more wronged, who the more cheated The ancient kingdom was abolished, when God appeared in human form to bring the newness of eternal life; and what had been prepared began to take effect Breaking one bread, which is the medicine of immortality, the antidote we take in order not to die but to live forever in Jesus Christ No longer keeping the Sabbath, but living in accordance with the Lord's day, on which our life also arose through Him and His death By your odor you will be examined Whoever does anything without bishop and presbytery and deacons does not have a clean conscience It is good to be setting from the world to God, in order that I may rise to Him Christianity is greatest when it is hated by the world I do not give you orders ike Peter and Paul, they were Aposltes For I heard some people say, 'If i do not find it in the archives, I do not believe it in the Gospel'... but for me, the 'archives' are Jesus Christ...His cross and death and his resurrection. It is not permissable either to baptize or to hold a love feast without the bishop Understand the times. Wait expectantly for him who is above time: the Eternal, the Invisible, who for our sake became visible; the Intangible, the Unsuffering, who for our sake suffered, who for our sake endured in every way Let your deeds be your deposits in order that you may eventually receive the savings that are due you

Saturday, July 08, 2006


I posted about Polycarp last Fall when I was teaching through Church History, so I'll just link to that post instead of picking out the same quotes again.

Friday, July 07, 2006

1 & 2 Clement

Below are some of the most interesting quotes I found in the early church writings known as 1st & 2nd Clement:
You stretched out your hands to almighty God, imploring Him to be merciful, if inadvertently you had committed any sin Let them demonstrate by their silence the moderation of their tongue The great cannot exist without the small, nor the small without the great. There is a certain blending in everything, and therein lies the advantage We have been considered worthy of greater knowledge, so much the more are we exposed to danger Be contentious and zealous, brothers, but about the things that relate to salvation Many women, being strengthened by the grace of God, have performed many manly deeds We ought to think of Jesus Christ, as we do of God We may be saved by the Lord while we still have time for repentance. For after we have departed from the world, we are no longer able there either to confess or to repent anymore Let none of you say that this flesh is not judged and does not rise again This is the reason why a man is unable to find peace: they instill human apprehensions, preferring the pleasure of the present to the promise of the future We are full of much stupidity and wickedness Flesh is a copy of the Spirit. No one, therefore, who corrupts the copy will share in the original

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Card Wall

If you're a guy (and I imagine 42% of you are) then there is a 21% chance that you have a box or more of sports cards you haven't touched in 5+ years. You'd hate to throw them out. You hate the space they take up. What to do? I could tell you, but most people don't read blog posts that go beyond one paragraph, so I'll show you:

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Don't Go Cheapo

Today I cleaned my office at the church. Churches keep more junk that women. I got rid of an old broken printer, a book of trucker song lyrics, 10 year old water balloons & some clown face paint (just to name a few plus one). I got rid of these things into the garbage can (duh), but taking the bag out to the dumpster proved to be a very difficult process. The bags are so cheap that they practically disintegrate upon contact with trash (which is, you know, not a good trait for trash bags) or human hands. Anyways, I'm sure it was quite humorous if any neighbors were watching out their windows.
Lesson: Buy nice thick garbage bags
What have you learned not to go cheapo on?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Fiction & Feelings

I had a chat with a nameless friend the other day. Well, she's not nameless. She has a name. But she shall remain nameless. Anyways, we'll call her OJ. So OJ and I were chatting about reading fiction and something she said made me realize something else, or at least come up with a theory.

Here is the theory:
The less I read fiction
The less 'emotional' I become

Could be true. I stopped reading fiction, by and large, around the year 2000. From that year forward I had more and more people tell me I was 'unemotional' and/or 'robotic'. In fact, it was either late 99 or 00 that I finished my last 'fiction' book. That same month is the last time I wept uncontrollably.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

A blend between Oceans 11 & Fun with Dick & Jane, this Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie flic was a little better than I anticipated. I suppose the endearing part of the film was that the producers were able to keep the conversation at a regular 'marriage difficulty' level despite the irregular circumstances of a couple of hired assassins. Still, the action scenes always make me roll my eyes. When will bad guys learn to shoot with accuracy? Aside from that, though, pretty enjoyable movie.

Rating: 6.9
Status: Worth the time

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Winners & Losers

Winners & Losers of the NHL Offseason

Boston Bruins- Spent cash, got better
Pavel Kubina- Must have a great agent
D-men in general- All finding pay-day
LA Kings- Great draft trade
Minnesota Wild- Making their run

Dominik Hasek- For some reason unwanted
Colorado Avalanche- Losing lots of guys
Good GM's- Their fans won't understand
Phoenix Coyotes- Always bad decisions
Chris Pronger- Hit FA in the wrong year

Saturday, July 01, 2006

End of the Spear

Thursday my men's group watched the movie "End of the Spear" and I was thoroughly impressed. Still more, I was moved. It is the true story of Nate Saint and his fellow missionaries in their efforts to reach the Waodani tribe. I was moved by this movie. It was made with quality, had some really good quotes, and left me feeling inspired. I would encourage anyone who hasn't seen it yet to watch it.

Rating: 8.3
Status: Must Own