Monday, March 30, 2009

Wii Bowling Scores

Here are the results from our first annual Wii Bowling Night

Gold: Chase (high game: 267)
Silver: Jamie (high game: 246)
Bronze: Bryan R (high game: 175)
Honorable Mention: Scott (hg: 176)

Top 5 high games
267 Chase
248 Chase
246 Jamie
225 Jamie
225 Matthew

Overall Statistics
Jim 135, 140
Katie 123
Tracy 136
Noelle 178, 168, 147
Matthew 158, 225, 147
Dave 111, 182, 119
Garrett 166, 142, 130
Chase 219, 199, 267, 248
Hannah 119
Donna 161, 159, 109
Brandon 161, 146, 124
Jakin 113, 100
Becky 122, 144, 168
Josh 185, 147, 155, 147
Jamie 199, 203, 246, 225
Scott 176, 175, 161, 150
Joe 173, 164
Evelyn 157
Robbin 169, 113
Fred 143, 153, 151
Nancy 129, 132
Bryan R 155, 175, 152, 172
Brian P 167, 139
Phil 116
Emerald 119

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Street Observations

I was noticing today just how many people have a basketball hoop set up in their driveway or attached to their garage/barn. I also noticed how many of them are obviously never used. In the last 5 minutes before Katie & I got home today we saw dozens of them. Very few of them were level. Only about half had nets. One or two didn't even have rims anymore. There was even one knocked over, but half hidden behind a shed! I almost never see anyone actually playing basketball outside (it's fairly useless in our very windy area anyways). And many of these homes are otherwise very nice, so I wonder why they let these hoops get so far gone and fail to take them down.

Bonus Observations:
1. It's AMAZING how much money this country must have invested in fire hydrants. 2. Telephone poles and electric/cable lines are SO ugly. I think it is really surprising that it's not all underground already.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Idol #10

So this was my first look at this season of American Idol. I grade the players by their overall performance (interview/song-selection, performance) and consider the judges comments as well. This results in a rating out of 30 points. Here are the scores:

25 Adam Lambert
24 Allison Irahela
24 Kris Allen
23 Danny Gokey
22 Lil Rounds
21 Anoop Desai
20 Matt Giraud
18 Michael Sarver
18 Megan Joy
18 Scott Macintyre

blue= bottom 3
green = gone

Those bottom 3 should be in danger of being kicked off.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Now that Katie graciously ordered a DVR for us (and it arrived yesterday), I am able to record the few shows that actually are worth watching. Is it too late for me to jump into the American Idol season? I say no. So I will start my evaluations with the final 10. Is that this week or next? My judgments will be fresh and as unbiased as possible since I have had no interaction with the contenders up to this point.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

OT Israel

I've attempted to summarize Israel's OT history onto a half-page/front-back handout. This is what I came up with:

An Overview of Israel’s OT History:

2100-1410 B.C.
Abram was called into covenant with the Lord. His grandson, Israel/Jacob, had 12 sons (Tribes of Israel). One son, Joseph, saved Israel from famine by bringing them to Egypt. But when the Israelites became numerous, the Egyptians turned them into slaves. The Lord chose Moses to deliver his people from Egypt and re-established his covenant with Israel.
World Events: Egyptians Libraries, Stonehenge, Pyramids

1410-1050 B.C.
The conquest of Canaan began in the late 1400’s BC and Joshua remained Israel’s leader throughout his lifetime. But after his death the Israelites forgot about the Lord. God raised up Judges to lead Israel (Deborah, Gideon, Samson, etc). But without allegiance to a king, the Israelites were in disarray.
World Events: King Tut, Chinese Dictionary, Trojan War

United Kingdom
1050-930 B.C.
Israel cried out for a king and God gives them Saul, but his disobedience and jealousy taint his reign. David arose as God’s newly anointed leader for Israel and established Israel as a political power. His son, Solomon, builds a temple in Jerusalem for the Lord.
World Events: Phoenician alphabet

Divided Kingdom
930-586 B.C.

Northern Tribes (Israel)
After Solomon’s death, the northern tribes revolted and formed a separate kingdom, but each of their 19 kings were wicked (especially Ahab) despite God having sent prophets to direct them (Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Amos, Hosea, etc). God allowed the Assyrians to destroy the Northern Kingdom in 722. They went into exile.

Southern Tribes (Judah)
The southern tribes had a line of 19 kings and 1 queen. There were some good kings (Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Josiah), but some really bad kings as well (Manasseh) despite God having sent prophets to direct them (Obadiah, Joel, Micah, Isaiah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, etc). God allowed the Babylonians to destroy the Southern Kingdom in 586. They went into exile.

No Kingdom
586-430 B.C.
Jeremiah & Habakkuk had predicted the Fall of Jerusalem and now Babylon’s aggression had begun. Daniel, Ezekiel & others were exiled and, later, the city fell to Nebuchadnezzar. When Babylon fell to Medo-Persia, Cyrus began to allow Jews to return to Jerusalem. Ezra-Nehemiah recorded these returns. Prophets (Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, etc) spoke to this post-exilic community.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Why No Idol?

You may be wondering why I'm not posting about American Idol, especially since I hinted at doing so once we got into the Top 12. My excuse is that it's hard to post about something I haven't seen! I am hardly ever home at the correct time and we (by which I mean KATIE) keep forgetting to order the DVR (which, Katie, will cost us $0 dollars).

Katie & I haven't even been watching our favorite show "The Office" for much the same reason, except in that case we agreed to just wait till it comes out on DVD (we hate commercials). I do watch Lost, but in chunks with my mom (she has a DVR). So when Katie & I actually do watch television at our place it is almost exclusively through Netflix and is currently a combination of Hogan's Heroes and I Dream of Jeannie, haha!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pastor-Spouse Retreat

Highlights from the Mon-Tue Pastor-Spouse Retreat

1. This was my 1st year attending the WNY retreat (Though I was invited previously, I felt odd going to a pastor-spouse retreat as a single pastor). The retreat was held at the Millennium Hotel in Buffalo. The guest speaker was Steve Deneff.

2. This was my first 'live' hearing of Steve. I had heard him online and am reading his book 'More than Forgiveness.' He's a good, engaging speaker and shared some good tidbits.

3. Katie & I were glad to get away from the routine for a couple of days.

4. I got paid $3 to taste test some water at the mall while I was waiting for Katie to come out of a girly store. They asked me if I'd take part in a V8 test too, but I was afraid Katie might come out and think I was kidnapped.

5. We went and saw the movie "He's just not that into you." I was actually impressed. It was good, realistic, funny, clean, etc. Very strong cast. Not too sugar-coated.

6. We are almost out of Wedding present 'gift-certificates.' Either we will have to start spending our own money soon or we'll have to throw another wedding.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Elephant Sermon

Today I preached on "The Elephant in the Room"

The sermon was based on John 21:15-19. Despite the joy of resurrection, Peter still had the issue of his denials to deal with. They were the 'elephant in the room' of Peter's life. Jesus confronted Peter with gentleness in asking him, three times, if he loved him. Peter, it seems to me, dialogued with Jesus with honesty and humility and was, therefore, restored to the twin tasks of serving and following Jesus. His past failures had been brought out into the open and dealt with. The elephant had left the building.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Spoiler

I may as well be nicknamed 'The Spoiler.' Last year, for my birthday, Katie was upset b/c my present was slow in coming via mail. One day I tried to trick her by saying it had for some reason come to my address instead of hers and I had gotten it. I didn't think this trick would work, but she blurted out, "The Buffalo Chips (a local vocal group I like) CD's went to YOU???" I felt sorta bad that I had tricked her, but low and behold the CD's just never showed up.

Skip forward about a year. I am about to go over to lead prayer meeting when I decide to be a good husband and take out the garbage. I dumped the 4 little garbage bags into the 1 big bag. As I am about to take the bag out of the apartment, I notice an envelope that says "Buffalo Chips" on it. Without thinking I blurt out "What did you get from the Buffalo Chips" while simultaneously realizing that the CD's had finally come and Katie had certainly wanted to give them to me for this year's birthday. Once again I felt bad.

But what are the chances of that trick working AND that envelope being right on top of the garbage I was taking out? I find this series of unfortunate events very amusing!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I have to admit, I just don't get modern 'fashion.' French designers are really weird people. When I look for clothes, I look for 3 things. First, the clothing must look comfortable to wear. Second, it should not draw attention. Third, it should be affordable. There is no way the clothing from these fashion shows is comfortable. They make the models look ridiculous. And they cost a fortune. I just don't get it.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


The Buffalo Bills just made their first unpredictable move in 10 years. They signed the notorious T.O. (T. Owens) to a 1 year contract just days after he was cut by the Cowboys. Most would expect me to frown upon such a signing because T.O. is a selfish troublemaker. When you haven't made the playoffs in this century, however, you have to take a risk and go crazy. My official position on this signing is "Cool"

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Trade Deadline

Today is the NHL Trade Deadline
Which, for major hockey fans, is pretty exciting

The Sabres are in a tough position. They are just out of a playoff spot and their 2 best players are injured (Vanek is supposedly coming back tomorrow, Miller is unknown). Should they buy or sell? They have 4 guys who will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season (Connolly, Afinogenov, Kotalik, Spacek). Here's a list of guys I wouldn't mind them trading:

And I'd like them to get a big-tough center (1st or 2nd line type). We'll see what happens. If they trade for a goalie, that may mean Ryan Miller is out for longer than I hope.

Monday, March 02, 2009

4 Responses

Anyone who reads the Bible soon becomes aware that sometimes one statement or theme seems to be contrary to another statement or theme found in Scripture. I attended a discussion about the Trinity last night and the presenter was describing 4 ways that Christians respond when confronted with apparent contradictions

1. Redirection- We just try to change the subject
2. Resist pressure to answer- Leave it to mystery
3. Restraint- Refuse to commit to a position
4. Resolution- Attempt to solve the 'problem'

The presenter was most interested in #4 in regards to the Trinity, but in the question/answer period a lot of the people in the audience wanted to leave more room for #2. I think all 4 responses have their time and place on that subject. If I Muslim, for instance, wanted to talk about the Trinity just to complain about Christianity, it'd be appropriate to change the subject to the essential Gospel (#1). If one studies various theories (#4), but remains undecided (#3), that's OK. And, ultimately, there is a point where we have to admit that it's impossible to fully understand an infinite Being (#2).

But I think these 4 responses apply to many issues. And that's why I wanted to post this. I want to throw out my notes from last night, but may want to find these 4 responses later on my blog :)

Sunday, March 01, 2009


I'm currently teaching through Matthew, 1 John, the Life of Saul & the Life of Peter. Recently, I finished teaching through Judges. Here are the notes. Of course, you can find pretty much all my notes on the 'The Knew Kingdom' Blog (link on left)