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Showing posts from April, 2014

Tornado alley housing

I wrote about jumbo straw bale houses in 2013 as possible upgrades in housing after massive tornado destruction. I think straw bale housing is a great idea in the Midwest where straw is an abundant resource. For the homes destroyed further south, cement housing is possible, but it is an intensive carbon-emitting construction material. However, as I've written about before, gabions, stones in wire mesh, would be a great natural material with strength. You can look at Pinterest to see many beautiful applications of gabions in home construction. I've pondered ideas on insulating them before.

There has to be a better way to build in tornado country that is as affordable as stick construction, but much safer.


Numbers 5: Literally bizarre, metaphorically clear

I read through Numbers 5 the other morning and was not bothered this time by the bizarre adultery ritual. I'm not bothered by it, because I see it as metaphor for the ancient people of Israel. I put the entire section at the bottom of the post for reference.

The prophet Jeremiah, among other prophets, uses the metaphor of the adulterous wife to describe Israel's relationship with God, who calls himself her husband. The curse is not unlike the curses Israel threatens itself with in the subsequent book of Deuteronomy. The swollen abdomen aspect of the curse in verses 21 and 22 is a picture of starvation that Jerusalem did encounter several times when under siege due to God's judgment for their idoloatry (infidelity to God, adultery). The biggest clue of allegory to me is in verse 23, where the curses are written down then scraped off the scroll into the cup of bitter water. Jeremiah and John's Apocalypse both refer to the cup of God's wrath. One other aspect is that …

Flies in the ointment

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Snippets of a letter to a younger church leader...

I facilitate a Bible study at work and I really enjoy it. Today, we studied Ecclesiastes, and 10:1 speaks to why [insert famous Christian televangelist]'s good deeds are overlooked by his strident anti-gay legislation posturing, One dead fly makes the perfumer’s ointment give off a rancid stench, so a little folly can outweigh much wisdom.
I used to think that if I learned the original languages I could get a better understanding of the things that were highly valued in our fundamentalism yet contrary to popular opinion, science, and research. I took 2 years of NT Greek and a year of Hebrew. I can still read the Greek but not the Hebrew anymore. But that knowledge, although good, showed me that the original language is not the end zone. Context is huge. See my brief study on a verse of Paul's. Historical studies are huge. Genre is huge. Text critical studies are huge as well. So I keep reading and learning. But the more I learn,…

Fear not.

I had a tough time sleeping when I was a kid. I wasn't afraid of the dark, but I did not like the quiet of night. My issues were more than being a light sleeper, one easily disturbed. No, I found it hard to rest because I was always vigilant. I feared burglars.

I grew up in a two bedroom apartment on the 1st floor of a two story, 4 unit building off the state highway between a school bus station across the street and a forest that surrounded the town's reservoir. I lived there until we moved to another part of town when I was 13. The woods were such a great place to play and explore. However, when I was small, I heard adults talking about burglars, in our apartment complex. Somehow, I learned about rapists too, maybe from that episode of Little House on the Prairie. My dad worked swing shifts so for a week or two every month he was not home at night. Maybe when he was home I felt more secure and slept better. I don't remember. I do remember many little noises. Before I kne…