Showing posts from February, 2007

The Lord's Prayer: Father

PATER is the first Greek word in the prayer, Father. the pronoun, "our/hEMWN" comes after the noun. Father is given prominence in the prayer. the prayer is addressed to Him, not to a cosmic force. Neither is the prayer addressed to "GOD" or "Lord" but to "Father." For Jesus, this was normal, but for his Jewish audience, this was a departure from the scriptures. In the Old Testament, GOD does not really convey his relationship to the Jews as paternal, but rather a master or a king or a husband or as a judge. Jesus adds the dimension he has eternally had with God his Father. And he invites us to address God as he does.
This is unbounded intimacy. I'm invited to call the Creator of the Universe, my maker, my judge, the Holiest One, the first Mover, the one who made me for His Pleasure, the Potter who can crush this pot at any time, i can call Him Father.
If He is my Father then i escape from his wrath but enter under his discipline. If He is my F…

India: Pastor murdered

NEW DELHI, February 27 (Compass Direct News) – The body of a 29-year-old pastor was found with stab wounds on February 20 in a canal in Krishna district of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Pastor Goda Israel was found dead last Tuesday in a canal near his house in Pedapallparru village in the Gudivada area of the district. The slain pastor, who is survived by his wife and small children, was overseeing 15 churches that he established in the region. “Pastor Israel had earlier been threatened by Hindu extremists due to his involvement in the preaching of the gospel in the area, and he had no enmity with anyone,” a leader with Emmanuel Mission International who requested anonymity told Compass.

the Lord's Prayer: another March series

last March i did a series on prayer. just click this link and you'll find them. one of the things i wrote about was prayer while walking the dog and prayer on the bikecommute. it's that time of year, again, when i'm walking the dog in the dark, in the cold, and embracing those moments of solitude while telling the dog to stop pulling on the leash. but in that wealth of time i freeze up mentally. where do i start? its not like i can carry a book of Celtic prayers with me or the daily office. however, i do have Jesus' pattern. one thing i appreciate my NT Greek professor for was getting us to memorize the prayer in Greek. Here it is, i don't know if your browser will support these fonts though.

9. πατερ ημων ο εν τοις ουρανοις αγιασθητω το ονομα σου
10. ελθετω η βασιλεια σου γενηθητω το θελημα σου ως εν ουρανω και επι γης
11. τον αρτον ημων τον επιουσιον δος ημιν σημερον
12. και αφες ημιν τα οφειληματα ημων ως και ημεις αφηκαμεν τοις οφειλεταις ημων
13. και μη εισενεγκης …

winter biking

this website shamed me today for not riding. so did this article. i knew the snow today wasn't sticking but i wimped out. i think i was more dissuaded by the thought of riding in the rain this afternoon. i've also started reading the blog, Sans Auto, of a grad student who lives without a bike in the in one of those states near Canada. he hasn't a car either. then there is this winter biking page. i've tried to commute at least once a week through the winter. and gas prices are rising. i bought myself a new bike but its not ready. i bought a new bike last January too. a Trek hybrid 7300. unfortunately, i have tendonitis in my wrists from lab work and they don't appreciate the ride. so i bought a recumbent on ebay. and the local bike shop is putting it together for me because i'm not a bike mechanic wanna-be.

sigh...the jesus tomb

i haven't been interested in contributing to the publicity of this yawner but the Extreme Theology blog has a in depth post addressing the wild claims called
Archeological Identity Theft : The Lost Tomb of Jesus Fails to Make the Grade

in an abusive church?

a FAQ from Battered Sheep with observations such as:
Abusive fellowships are often the most exciting Christian gatherings around -- filled with dedicated, committed, enthusiastic leaders and members. Do not let enthusiasm and sincerity be the basis for approval. More often than not, abusive fellowships cannot be recognized by mere outward appearance. By discrediting facts, the leaders of such gatherings control information. Leaders may deny these practices -- or marginalize them in some way. It is important to investigate any fellowship thoroughly. Abusive fellowships often change the meaning of words. In these fellowships, "unity" commonly means agreement with the leaders opinions. Members are often told that they are "out of unity" when they disagree with the leaders' opinions. Healthy fellow…

M Blog: 10 commandments of Jesus

fortunately "do not steal" isn't in this list but it is so good that i need to put it all here, but do visit Guy's blog for notes from the mission field.

YOURSELF. The Great Commandment: Matthew 22:37-40, Mark 12:28-31.2) Go therefore
and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded
you. The Great Commission: Matthew 28:19-20.3) one another. The New
Commandment: John 13:34-35, 15:12.4) first His kingdom and His
righteousness... The Priority commandment for every believer: Matthew 6:33.5) this in remembrance of Me... The Lord's Supper: Luke 20:14-20, 1
Corinthians 12:23-26.6) ...wash one another's also should do as I did
to you... The Great Example Commandment: John 13:14-15.7) Ab…

free hugs

i'm always late to these things, but i've finally found this video and am now sharing it with all of you.

my shared links

for my feed readers, you might have interest in articles i "shared" through google reader but did not blog on, here.

"what's wrong with my bride?"

nothing. she is beautiful and radiant. how could someone say they like me but really don't like her? that's the question Rick Warren asks in this report from a conference at Saddleback happening right now...
"When people say I love Jesus but I don't like the church, it is like they are saying to a married guy 'I really like you but I don't like your wife'. This is offensive."
in case no one noticed the church is full of sinners who recognized their need for grace. it's also occupied with actors. but we let Jesus handle them.

internet intermediary for autistic adult

an amazing story about how this adult woman with severe autism is able to blog and interact with the world through the 2nd life game. for all the complaints about internet communication, the simplicity of it enables her to interact with our autistic-hostile world and keeps her from a label of retardation.

Megachurches Desegregate Worship

Christian Post article

Sundays at the evangelical Grace Chapel megachurch look like the American ideal of race relations: African-American, Haitian, white, Chinese and Korean families sing along with a white, guitar-playing pastor...
A study by Thumma and the Leadership Network, a Dallas group that works with pioneering churches, found that minorities make up 20 percent or more of worshippers in nearly one-third of the nation's 1,200 megachurches. More than half of the megachurches say they are intentionally working to attract different ethnic groups, according to the 2005 study, part of a book that Thumma and network executive Dave Travis will publish in July....
Researchers have found that whites and nonwhites join megachurches for the same reasons: great guitar-and-drum worship bands, strong programs for kids and a message of Bible-based self-betterment. For anyone who feels isolated in a sea of white faces, the small communal groups that megachurches form for their members provid…

a blogroll

i'm a technological Lilliputian when it comes to certain facets of blogs. i still haven't figured out how to add those long blogroll things here. i belong to the Pro-life bloggers and i tried to join the Persecuted church bloggers and now i'm listed on Rick Warren's God-bloggers list but i am clueless as to how to put them on the side bar. so here are my links, and if you want to find some other blogs to read, because you just don't have enough to read...

a follow up on kind words

from the Logos blog a link to the Gospel Driven Life on respectful dialog in-house...

One does not have to hang out in the blogosphere for very long to find heated debates and critiques of this and that -- emergent, charismania, reformed, truly reformed, seeker, etc. This is nothing new in church history and I, for one, do not think the church today is any worse or better condition than it ever has been. Redeemed sinners have always been redeemed sinners. And redeemed sinners often treat enemies as friends and friends as enemies. But there is something unusual afoot. One of the amazing works of God in our day is that leaders are uniting across barriers formerly uncrossable. They are uniting around the Gospel. And I think here is the place to define and to determine who is for Christ and who is against him. It was called the "rule of faith" by Tertullian. So I wanted to offer a post that gave some questions that are definitive of the Gospel -- whether the Gospel preache…

polite discourse and 1 Peter 3:15-16

3:15 But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.16 Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you.

i didn't really touch on this issue in my sermon last week. i fail at this. i know i'm not alone at this either, especially among Christian apologists, defenders, etc. one apologist with a radio show and books under his belt introduces his show by quoting this verse. except most of his opponents never seem to feel the courtesy and respect and malign him back. so how does one give an answer, especially when one is convinced it is "the"answer, with courtesy and respect? no matter what, the cross is offensive. Jesus divides. he told us he comes with a sword that will divide families. there is no need to add insult to the injury of the good news....
i need to give others the benefi…

monkey boy history

if i'm monkey boy, then is this my real father? Dr. Zaius from Planet of the Apes? my dear friend, Geoff , thought so.

Christians in India face growing persecution

Christians in India face growing persecution as they are attacked, beaten and killed for believing in Jesus Christ. The Voice of Martyrs recently received information Christian attacks were escalating. On February 10, a 58-year-old Christian, S. Stanley was stabbed and killed by rioting youth in front of his house in Pavaloor, Kerala State, India. VOM contacts report youths assembled in front of Stanley’s house shouting blasphemous abuses against Christians. The attackers later climbed over the locked gate, entered the house and stabbed Stanley several times on his back, neck and stomach. His wife was also assaulted. “Where Stanley was martyred has traditionally been an area of India that has less persecution. The fact that something like this is happening is further evidence of the worsening climate for Christians in India,” VOM contacts working in India said.“The persecution in India has risen at an alarming rate, to the point that it seems we get multiple stories of persecution eac…

emerging...another Xian subculture?

Holly Nelson writes at the Ooze
When I originally encountered the Emerging church movement a while back, my first reactions toward it were positive since other christians shared similar frustrations that I was experiencing in my spiritual journey. I am grateful for having the opportunity to learn from it. At the same time, it has become just another christian subculture. It rejects the old status quo, only to establish a new one: new rules, new preferences, and new jargon.What is the problem? Subcultures exclude. The people within them create expectations based on personal preferences of how people within the group should act and appear. Yet, not everyone will have what it takes to belong. It is sort of like a club. The subculture (human religious system) is then mistaken for the Body of Christ (God's system). Obviously, they are not the same. Does the world really need another christian subculture? That question deserves an entire article of its own. For now, I would rather addres…

Monkey Boy found!

i'm back from vacation to Simmons Homestead Inn. If you like 30 cats running around and a collection of 50 sports cars with a preference to the Lotus and want to visit Hyannis Port on Cape Cod with your dog and 2 nauseous kids and one recovered child, this is your place. And i neededto get groceries today since the larder was bare. i walked to the same convenience store/gas station that I always get my milk at because it is cheap there and they don't sell pornography. and the guys i normally see weren't working. instead an older Indian or Pakistani gentleman was tending the register. I presume he thought striking up conversation with me would be good business so he asked why i didn't have a mustache. i defended myself and he asked why i even have a beard, he didn't have one. i told him it keeps my face warm. its useful for winter cycling. he told, as a brother, i should shave it off, because, he said, i look like a monkey.

my wife assures me that is not true. here i…

BHM: Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall was America's leading radical. He led a civil rights revolution in the 20th century that forever changed the landscape of American society. But he is the least well known of the three leading black figures of this century. Martin Luther King Jr., with his preachings of love and non-violent resistance, and Malcolm X, the fiery street preacher who advocated a bloody overthrow of the system, are both more closely associate in the popular mind and myth with the civil rights struggle. But it was Thurgood Marshall, working through the courts to eradicate the legacy of slavery and destroying the racist segregation system of Jim Crow, who had an even more profound and lasting effect on race relations than either of King or X. [blogger's highlight]
It was Marshall who ended legal segregation in the United States. He won Supreme Court victories breaking the color line in housing, transportation and voting, all of which overturned the 'Separate-but-Equal' aparthe…


we took a little two night excursion out of town with the kids and the dog and almost every trip we end up cleaning up after the kids in the middle of the night from some sort of digestion/stomach issue. the fat cyclist sums up our story with his own parallel world with his 3 kids...
speaking of vacation, i'm trying to read through this biography on Napoleon, and it is interesting, but the author's agenda is a little distracting. he hates Napoleon...

B&C Gaudalcanal history

Books and Culture has a short historical summary of the WW2 battle for Guadalcanal. I'm not as well read on the Pacific Theater of the war but this is pretty good with a couple recommendations for further reading.

Baptize immediately

Guy Muse shares empathetically Neil Cole's thoughts and now i share them, do you?
SIXTH, I would create immediate obedience in baptism. Baptize quickly and publicly and let the one doing the evangelizing do the baptizing. The Bible doesn't command us to be baptized, but to be baptizers. It is absolutely foolish the way we hold the Great Commission over our people and then exclude them from obeying it at the same time. 
this Sunday i will be baptizing 8 people, half of them are under 10 but want to obey Jesus.

NT Scholar Bruce Metzger goes home

93 years old, natural causes. His book A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament is a very important read for students of the New Testament. Thank you Lord for Bruce Metzger.

Verses for Valentine's day

update 2008:
Thanks for coming to the Umblog. Before you proceed, may I suggest you try out the series on Song of Solomon and erotic poetry in the Bible for your marital health?

from the Accordance blog...

For anyone in a relationship: "Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned." (Song of Solomon 8:6-7, NIV).For married couples: Song of Solomon 5 and 7. (Sorry, no quotes. This blog is G-Rated!)For couples facing a major decision: "Do what is in your heart. You choose. I'm right here with you whatever you decide." (1 Samuel 14:7, HCSB). (Sounds a lot better than "Yes, dear" doesn't it?)For the person who is lonely this Valentine's Day: "Wait for the LORD; be cou…

How Jesus trains leaders

some challenging observations...

When Jesus invited four fisherman to go for a walk with him, little did they know their lives would never be the same (Mt. 4:18-22). He promised that he would have a creative and transforming impact on their occupational skills and the way they looked at life: "Come and follow me and I will show you how to fish for people".These early disciples were called to learn under the tutelage of a skilled practitioner. They were called to be apprentices who would learn by practical experience the way of their teacher. Jesus' educational objective is clearly set forth: "It is enough for students to be like their teacher and servants like their Master" (Mt. 10:25). To transform character and to create the heart of a servant demands a space and time not neatly conducive to our Sunday school model or the environment of a collegiate setting. But the components of Jesus' educational model challenges conventional practice and objectives:1. J…

Christian Martyred for Christ in India

INDIA – On Saturday, February 10, a 58-year-old Christian, S. Stanley, was stabbed and killed by rioting youth in front of his house in Pavaloor, Kerala State, India.

According to contacts working with The Voice of The Martyrs, youths assembled in front of Stanley’s house shouting blasphemous abuses against Christians. “Stanley and his wife came out of their home and asked the youths to leave. This angered them further and they began stoning the house and tried violently to force themselves through Stanley’s gate,” VOM contacts said.

The contacts added that while Stanley was inside the house calling the police, the attackers climbed over the locked gate, entered the house and stabbed him several times on his back, neck and stomach. His wife was also assaulted.

“Where Stanley was martyred has traditionally been an area of India that has seen less persecution. The fact that something like this is happening is further evidence of the worsening climate for Christians in India,” VOM contacts…

Valentine's martyrdom

February 14, 270: According to tradition, Valentine, a priest in Rome during the reign of Claudius II, is beheaded along the Flaminian Way. One explanation for Valentine's subsequent relationship to the romantic holiday is this: Claudius, seeking to more easily recruit soldiers, removed family ties by forbidding marriage. Valentine ignored the order and performed secret marriages—an act that led to his arrest and execution.

India: no persecution of Xians here

NEW DELHI, February 13 (Compass Direct News) – The Madhya Pradesh State Minorities Commission claims that reports of Hindu extremists persecuting Christians in the state are “baseless,” angering the small Christian community. The state commission’s claim contradicts a report by the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) in June 2006. The NCM fact-finding team found that Hindu extremists had frequently invoked the state’s anti-conversion law as a means to incite mobs against Christians and have Christians arrested without evidence. “The life of Christians has become miserable at the hands of miscreants in connivance with the police,” the NCM noted in its report. But Anwar Mohammed Khan, chairman of the state minorities commission, told Compass, “We don’t think any special mention should be made about attacks against Christians.”

what are Jim Crow laws?

from answers.comAfter 1877, the Redeemers reversed many of the civil rights gains that black Americans had made during Reconstruction, passing laws that mandated discrimination by both local governments and by private citizens. Since "Jim Crow law" is a blanket term for any of this type of legislation, the exact date of inception for the laws varies by state. The most important laws came in the 1890s and the adoption of legislation segregating railroad cars in New Orleans as the first genuine Jim Crow law. By 1915, every Southern state had effectively destroyed the gains in civil rights and liberties that blacks had enjoyed due to the Reconstructionist efforts.It is thought that the term 'Jim Crow laws' originated from the 1828 popular song Jump Jim Crow, a blackface song which made derogatory references to the character of colored people. As a result of this song, the term 'Jim Crow' became a pejorative or mocking term for colored people, used in the Deep So…

child soldiers

such a sad story of children around the world who are forced to fight and kill. This is a map from CNN.
The journey from boy or girl to killing machine follows a horrifying route of indoctrination, including being forced to execute friends and family, international organizations report. One girl, Angela, 12, told Human Rights Watch she was told to shoot a friend when she joined Colombia's FARC guerrillas.
"I closed my eyes and fired the gun, but I didn't hit her. So I shot again," she said. "I had to bury her and put dirt on top of her. The commander said, 'You'll have to do this many more times, and you'll have to learn not to cry.' "...In Myanmar -- formerly known as Burma -- a boy who was 11 when he was recruited to the national army, had to watch as older soldiers gunned down mothers and then killed their babies. "They swung them by their legs and smashed them against a rock. I saw it," Kim Muang Than told Human Rights Watch.

RNB: Klan Buster still active at 90

Using evidence salvaged from the grand dragon’s waste basket, he enabled the Internal Revenue Service to press for collection of an outstanding $685,000 tax lien from the Klan in 1944 and he helped draft the brief used by the state of Georgia to revoke the Klan’s national corporate charter in 1947.
Kennedy infiltrated the Klan by using the name of his deceased uncle as a way to gain trust and membership. But the Klan did not know that Kennedy was giving its secrets to the outside world, including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Anti-Defamation League and Drew Pearson, a columnist for The Washington Post.
When he learned of a plan by the Klan to take action, he would make sure it was broadcast, thwarting them.
“They were afraid to do anything. They knew somebody was on the inside. They had first-class detectives looking, and I was trying hard not to be caught,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy said he always feared exposure and remains scared — “Nonstop, to date” — mentioning threats, the sh…

BHM: movie review: Boycott

HBO has produced some fantastic movies retelling stories from the Civil Rights era. Boycott is another one. It's the story of Rosa Parks and MLK Jr. and the Montgomery Improvement Association and the Montgomery bus Boycott of 1955-1956, 13 months. Not only is the story compelling but more than those two characters are developed. It's complex, it has depth, it is extremely well acted. Be warned that this is filmed in a less conventional style, almost like a play, almost like a cameraman in their home as the events unfold. sometimes characters look straight to the camera and talk to you. sometimes characters shove the camera out of their space. One wonderful tidbit i appreciated was a scene, before Ms. Parks' introduction, of a teenaged girl (presumably Claudette Colvin) refusing to give up her seat and being arrested. No explanation is given but the NAACP decided not to support her case as she was not as upstanding a citizen and, hence, less likely to result in a trial focu…

History of Religion map

Worship as a way of life

1 Peter 2:20 - 3:15 Worship as a way of life preached Sunday February 11, 2007

After Phil Robart's amazing survey of the Bible and God's intent for marriage, only one kind of person would follow him, a dumb kind. So here I am. Phil went to Yale, just like Jonathan Edwards, hence his erudition and $10 words, and quotes from Rembrandt and Da Vinci. On the other hand, I graduated from UConn, so you may only hear 10 cent words and quotes from basketball players. I don't have much on my preaching resume but I have a text from the Holy Spirit to share.

First the text, from the NIV
2:21To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
22"He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth."
23When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,…

what Mormons don't tell

some brochures to inform potential customers of the boys on their bikes. hey, give them a break, they might not know this stuff either.

India: latest Hindu persecution events of Christians

Chhattisgarh, February 9 (Compass Direct News) – A small group of people allegedly belonging to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on February 8 beat an evangelist of the Friends Missionary Prayer Band and forced him to the police station in Devasari village in Chhattisgarh’s Sarguja district. Anil Khakkar had gone to Devasari to conduct a meeting in a house church when a jeep full of Hindu extremists arrived; they beat him and took him away. The extremists took him to the Kusmi police station and filed a complaint against him for forcibly converting Hindus. Police said Khakkar had been remanded in custody. No complaint was filed against the extremists for attacking the evangelist. The Chhattisgarh Christian Forum today held a rally along with the local Communist Party of India-Marxist in Raipur, the state capital, to protest the increasing number of anti-Christian attacks in the state. They also submitted a memorandum to the state governor, requesting him to ensure protection of t…

battle scarred Marine wedding photo

(2012) all the links are dead now.

A working link with story at Reason

a wedding picture that demonstrates true love.
update: the back story

for my feed readers Feb10 2007

a link to my shared items. these are links i didn't blog on, but thought interesting, and perhaps you will think that way also. since you are on a reader you don't see this stuff on the side bar. so here is a link.

Eric tells us about his generous and kind Father

yes, the Heavenly One, who listens to our petty prayers and big prayers. what prayers aren't petty from His level?

interesting analogy - now i take it too far

Bill Lamorey is a CC pastor in Connecticut who started his church recently. He makes a very astute observation,I am convinced that most Christians in the U.S. get enough spiritual food and rest and not enough exercise (let's be honest, eating is much more fun than exercise -physically and spiritually). The result is we've become morbidly obese (spiritually speaking) and consumption crazy ("feed me, feed me, feed me"). Much of it is the fault of pastors and church leaders when we create cultures of consumerism and do not encourage our church bodies or provide opportunities for them to get spiritual exercise. Shame on us all! I pray that you, me and people in churches all over America will push back from the table, burp, wipe our mouths and say. "We're full, lets' go get some exercise and bring some new people to the table who are starving!"
in the land of plenty (and the land of the obese), the U.S., the lethargy is hard to overcome. unfortunately, t…

Moses's press secretary


quote of the day Feb 7th 2007

on my google homepage today i read
Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
- Peter Drucker

makes me think of the Pharisees and Jesus...

resources on spousal abuse in church families

The website is updated and there are even better resources. has some resources with this kind of input...

The new one

How should a wife deal with her husband's abusive tendencies?

The principles of Love Must Be Tough offer the best response to an abusive husband. They begin with a recognition that behavior does not change when things are going smoothly. If change is to occur, it usually does so in a crisis situation. Thus, a crisis must be created and managed very carefully.

After moving out and making it clear that the woman has no intention of returning, the ball moves to her husband's court. If he never responds, she never returns. If it takes a year, or five years, then so be it. He has to want her badly enough to face his problem and to reach out to her. When (and if) her husband acknowledges that he has an abusive behavior pattern and promises to deal with it, negotiations can begin. A plan can be agreed upon that involves intensive Christian counseling with …