Showing posts from April, 2007

barefoot run, 2nd time 2007

i forgot that the biggest pain in BRing is the calf not the blisters. so last week, i needed almost all week for my calves to recover. because of the forefoot strike, the calf receives a much greater workout than shod running. i just got back from a shorter run. i wanted to work on my method and minimize my recovery time. i was only out for 20 minutes. i also incorporated more grass time in the run. grass does not give the feedback you need for correct technique but it allows the other muscles to remember too. no blisters today. calves are feeling tight though.

demonic deliverance

an amazing story of God's victory at Guy Muse's blog... Guy writes
Normally I wouldn't share a family email like this on my blog, but this email deals with an issue encountered in evangelism and church planting that few are willing to openly talk about. While the Gospels are full of Jesus dealing with demonic confrontations, we today, would rather ignore the whole issue and hide our heads in the sand. If the following weren't from my own brother, I admit I would probably be a bit skeptical reading something like this. But it is from someone I know well. I invite you to read what follows and decide for yourself...
it's a power story

book report: Sea of Thunder by Evan Thomas

i volunteered to return my kids' books to the library, without their company which meant i had time to browse through the "new arrivals" section. i just wanted to see if their was anything interesting out. as always there was. i haven't read much lately as my Bible reading plan. entire Bible every 3 months, leaves little time for other books. so why am i writing a book report. i found time. i didn't pick up the 600 page book on the crusades. i made a 360 page choice. Sea of Thunder by Evan Thomas appealed to me as the Pacific Theater in WW2 is not something i'm well read in. The sub-title that increased my interest is Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign 1941-1945. The best represented commander is the American "Bull" Halsey, followed by Matome Ugaki, then Takeo Kurita, then Ernest Evans (no relation to author). In fact Ernest Evans is so inadequately presented that i didn't make the connection with his reappearance at the end of th…

Lifestyle reviews: series for May

i write book reports, occasional cinema reviews, a bicycle review, and even a television show review. it occurred to me that i could write reviews of the various lifestyles i've chosen. i'm thinking i'll write about stuff such as father, husband, bicycle commuter, scientist, church elder, etc. most of those, as you might expect, will be pretty positive, but i have made choices i didn't like. i don't know if they'll get separate reviews or folded into the positive ones as points of contrast.

how will this fit into the theme of the Umblog, which is "My thoughts on the Church and the world and their interaction?" i'm part of the church, i'm part of the world, and they influence my choices.

i needed to blog this intro because i think it's a good idea for a series but by Monday i'll forget it.

PCA assessment of federal vision, NPP, etc.

a couple quotes from this PCA report that looks unfavorably on the Federal Vision concept and NPP and NT Wright....
While the NPP, as represented by N. T. Wright, offers a thorough-going re-reading of the theology of the Apostle Paul, there are several areas of concern for officers who subscribe to the Westminster Standards. Wright’s re-reading of justification and union with Christ in “covenantal” (or ecclesiological) terms leads to different and incompatible understandings of those terms when compared with our Standards. What makes this terribly confusing is that Wright will affirm an individual aspect of justification; and yet, he quickly turns the focus back to the corporate: justification is “about God’s eschatological definition, both future and present, of who was, in fact, a member of his people.” Likewise, while there may be an individual aspect of union with Christ, Wright focuses attention on a corporate or ecclesiological reading of the teaching: it means “‘belonging to the…

LDS boys are back!

a new set of LDS elders have decided to visit us and share another Testament of Jesus Christ with me. too bad i didn't have any yard projects to do. the last pair helped me a bit. i figure these guys get tired of doors slamming on them, and they admit they do tire of that, so i always invite them in.
tonight neither admitted a burning in their bosom, instead they have peace and confidence. i guess this is the allowable party line. i guess the burning bosoms are no longer the exclusive witness of the veracity of the BOM. so i asked them what is the message of the BoM?
repent and believe on Jesus.
that's good, but that's what the Bible already says, why would God give us another book?
they had another appointment. they always do to me when the conversation turns a little conflicted.
so i have a follow-up appointment with these guys Monday night. please pray for us. i no longer try to hit a home run with these guys, but trying to get a bunt or something past their defenses so that…

the gory details of Turkish Muslim persecution of Christians

UPDATE: here. not at gory as originally reported still as offensive though

some of these details are horrifying. use discretion if you are squeamish. this is in the land that denies its own genocide against the Armenians...

A letter to the Global Church from The Protestant Church of Smyrna
Dear friends,This past week has been filled with much sorrow. Many of you have heard by now of our devastating loss here in an event that took place in Malatya, a Turkish province 300 miles northeast of Antioch, the city where believers were first called Christians (Acts 11:26). On Wednesday morning, April 18, 2007, 46 year old German missionary and father of three Tilman Geske prepared to go to his office, kissing his wife goodbye taking a moment to hug his son and give him the priceless memory, “Goodbye, son. I love you.”
Tilman rented an office space from Zirve Publishing where he was preparing notes for the new Turkish Study Bible. Zirve was also the location of the Malatya Evangeli…

first barefoot run on 2007

unlike last year, when it was 52 F out, i waited until we had an April heat wave for 2007. i'm 9 days later than last year. last year was also a running dud for me. i really hope i make the time this year. i had many lunch time meetings then and now, so i need to find another time to run, like this afternoon. i have three new blisters. it's like breaking in new shoes. i need to get my stride right, the forefoot strike and in a few weeks i'll be ready to get some miles in. just 2 and a half or three quarters today without fatigue. i think my recumbent biking has kept my running muscles in shape.

Gutenberg offers 'In your home' support

a video about the perils of technology and the opportunity for the help desk in all transitions.
pretty funny.
HT: Jesus Creed

book report: The Last Days by Joel Rosenberg

The Last Daysby Joel Rosenberg is a sequel to The Last Jihad, see my book report. Overall, i rate it a good thriller. He did bog down pretty bad towards the end. Basically he tried to write out an Israeli/Palestinian peace accord. that's a nice idea, but not something this reader wanted to interrupt in a thriller. i really appreciated the complexity of the White House trying to coordinate press releases with dead lines and orchestrating leaks to the press. the smoky back room stuff was very eye opening to me. the story had plenty of twists and turns and rabbit trails to keep the pages turning.

fun with contonyms

Contonyms are special cases of homographs (two words with the same spelling). Some examples:
anabasis - military advance, military retreatapology - admission of fault in what you think, say, or do; formal defense of what you think, say, or do aught - all, nothingbolt - secure, run away

plenty more. (HT: Challies)

human sacrifice in the OT: Jephthah and Saul

last quarter's reading of the Bible was in Reese's Chronological format. this quarter i'm reading the OT in the Jewish order. in that order Ruth comes near the end and one goes directly from Judges to 1 Samuel. in reading 12 to 15 chapters a day, two guys appeared back to back in my reading who's contrast helped me understand their actions.
Jephthah (Judges 11) was rejected by his brothers for his mother was a prostitute, yet this rejected one was called on to deliver his hometown. He tried diplomacy. Then the Spirit of the Lord came on him (v. 29) and he advanced on the Ammonite army. then he makes a crazy vow to God, who was with him already, that if he's victorious he'll sacrifice to God the first thing that comes out of his door to meet him in his triumph (v. 31). Perhaps this guy was so red neck he normally had cows and sheep coming in and out of his door. Perhaps he had alot of friendly pets. Perhaps he didn't really mean a burnt sacrifice. Or perhaps,…

are we the web?

this anthropology professor makes a case

Thy will be done on earth, in Blacksburg, at Virginia Tech

Walking the dog this morning and praying the Lord's Prayer...thought about asking Father for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven...we ask because His will isn't done on earth...i know i am not in continual submission to His will...the massacre at Virginia Tech is huge for us as Americans because it is abnormal and close and without satisfactory motives...but this happens on a bigger scale daily in Iraq...we need our Father's kingdom to come...we need to bring it to those who mourn by mourning with them (Romans 12:15). in fact we need to respond with alot of Romans 12
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bles…

vacay TV report - 24

what one word could i use to describe the hit network show 24? horrible. two words? absolutely shameful. three words? waste of time.
i don't watch television at my home. we have no cable or satellite dishes or aerials. we watch rented movies. what we watch is what we selected at our convenience. when we are vacationing with others we will join them in watching television. i've seen many believer bloggers extolling the show 24. i had high expectations.
first the camera work is distracting. 2nd the dialog was stilted. 3rd the story was ridiculous. at the end of the show (i had to sit through all of it because no other room was available) i realized i had just watched a soap opera.
i also wondered if the name refers to the length of time it took to write the script. i suggest viewers abstain from the show and read a book, or pray, or play a game with family.

Achan's family's punishment - Joshua 7

16 Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and Judah was taken. 17 The clans of Judah came forward, and he took the Zerahites. He had the clan of the Zerahites come forward by families, and Zimri was taken. 18 Joshua had his family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. 19 Then Joshua said to Achan, "My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and give him the praise. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me." 20 Achan replied, "It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: 21 When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath." 22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and there it was, hidden …


vacation book report: The Last Jihad

i started reading Joel Rosenberg'sblog for his middle east updates. i grabbed his two novels at the public library for some light vacation reading. his first is The Last Jihad. the concept is dated. it was released right before the 2nd invasion of Iraq. Saddam Hussein the bad guy who tries to launch a nuclear missile at Israel, too bad reality showed he didn't have one. the story ends with a couple mushroom clouds. the convolutions of conspiracy of this novel were pretty good. the action was page turning. the writing was somewhat amateur; "locked and loaded" was used to excess. once is bad enough, several times is painful. the Gospel wasn't blatant, but acknowledged. this Christian author used minimal expletives, hell and the condemnation to it. there was no romance, but violence aplenty. the conspiracy was good enough to keep me from figuring it out yet all the clues were there so i didn't feel robbed at the revelations. it was a fine read in a New England A…

video on church planting movements

Guy Muse of the M Blog shares an encouraging video regarding world missions. it's a well produced short movie from the IMB.

Leviticus 21 and the disabled

chugging through 10 to 12 chapters of the Bible every day in order to have the whole thing read in 3 months. slogged through Leviticus last night. it can be really hard and confusing at times. like this in ch. 21
16 Then the Lord said to Moses, 17 “Give the following instructions to Aaron: In all future generations, none of your descendants who has any defect will qualify to offer food to his God. 18 No one who has a defect qualifies, whether he is blind, lame, disfigured, deformed, 19 or has a broken foot or arm, 20 or is hunchbacked or dwarfed, or has a defective eye, or skin sores or scabs, or damaged testicles. 21 No descendant of Aaron who has a defect may approach the altar to present special gifts to the Lord. Since he has a defect, he may not approach the altar to offer food to his God. 22 However, he may eat from the food offered to God, including the holy offerings and the most holy offerings. 23 Yet because of his physical defect, he may not enter the room behind the inner c…

The Rutger's Women's b-ball team

at CNNThe team broke its silence Tuesday on the controversy that has raged since Imus called the players "nappy-headed hos."Several players said they would welcome the chance for a face-to-face meeting with Imus."I would like to speak to him personally and ... ask him, after you've met me personally, do you still feel in this category that I'm still a 'ho' as a woman and as a black, African-American woman at that?" said Kia Vaughn, a sophomore center."I achieve a lot, and unless they have given this name of 'ho' a new definition, then that is not what I am."Carson said, "We haven't personally received an apology. And personally, if someone were to apologize to me, I would feel better if I heard from them themselves. Reading it in a newspaper or watching on television or hearing it on radio doesn't serve any justice to what he said."Coach C. Vivian Stringer praised the accomplishments and character of the team memb…

Hindu hate speech

A group against the defamation of Hindus finds
Bible Study Lessons from Antioch, Ill., The Christian Broadcasting Network,Christian Answers of Gilbert, Ariz., Mission Frontiers of Pasadena, Calif., and many others, however, were identified by the Hindu foundation as Internet "hate" sources. "This is the first of what the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) hopes will be an annual report on anti-Hindu hatred found on the Internet," said the report, which was from a group that provides "a voice for the 2 million strong Hindu American community." "Hate is an ugly thing, and its ugliness is well illustrated in its various manifestations on the Internet, including those detailed in this report," wrote Jeffery Long, of Elizabethtown College, in the forward.
their solution in India is simply to riot against Christians or force reconversions which is much better than criticizing others on web pages, or not.

quote of the day in my defense

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.A. A. Milne
English juvenile author (1882 - 1956)

book report: Schizophrenic

Schizophrenic is written by Tom Miyashiro who started a ministry called Faith 2 Faith Ministires International. Although he was born into a Christian home his teenage years were violent and rebellious resulting in hospitalization and medication which did little to help. But he had a radical conversion. Like Paul on the Damascus Road, Jesus changed him radically. He went back to his public school and immediately started evangelizing and kids were converting to Jesus. Despite a terrible school transcript and in need of a full scholarship, he got into a Bible school paid for by some men in his church and ended up with a Masters in Mysticism & Religious Experience from the University of Kent, Canterbury, Great Britain. This book is his story and its a story of hope for those who have lost it. He consistently points to Jesus. He ponders the God-man. This is a short encouraging read. He has a successful ministry in public school outreach in England and is back to New England to reach th…

Aaron the fallible high priest

been reading Exodus about Moses's brother, Aaron. Moses was the prophet, his brother got the high priest job. while Moses is up on the mountain getting the good word from God himself, Aaron is placating the wandering tribes by making them the golden calf as a worship aid.!? God knows what's going on and tells Moses, "they've already turned from me and have started worshipping an idol. i'm gonna wipe them out." Moses pleads for God's mercy on the people he has redeemed, Jesus is now our mediator, and God sends him down the mountain to straighten them out. Moses asks Aaron, "what's going on?" and Aaron makes one of history's lamest excuses, "the people gave me some gold, i threw it in the furnace, and, what do you know, this idol popped out!" Moses goes nuts and performs some iconoclasm. there isn't much of a record of him chewing Aaron out. the absolute lameness of his excuse pretty much says it all, and its on permanent rec…

Mormon similarities

Bill McKeever notes a similarity between him and a Mormon apostle's son
On November 5, 2005, McConkie spoke at the Joseph Smith Symposium in Palmyra, New York. The title of his talk was “Two Churches,” an expression taken from 1 Nephi 14:10 that reads, “Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil.”Like his father, McConkie makes no pretense that he believes all professing Christian churches outside of the LDS Church fall within the parameters of the church of the devil. It is no secret that McConkie and I rarely agree on doctrinal issues but in this case, I think my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ need to listen carefully to three comments he makes:“Perhaps we need to rethink the idea of seeking common ground with those we desire to teach. Every likeness we identify leaves them with one less reason to join the Church. When we cease to be different we cease to be.”“Truth, however, is more importa…

Easter with the Umlands

a light, personal piece today
The children got out of bed early without much protest or coercion. They had been prepared for the morning by already having picked out clothes, retiring early, and clear understanding of the day's obligations.
The early, 8 AM service, was empty, as many choir members as worshipers. The kids sat with us and listened to the grown up teacher. I fired up the oven as soon as we got home. But first the children got to search for their Easter bags with treats and a present. My dear wife got a gift card to the local coffee chain and a box of fine candy in celebration of her Lenten fast from coffee and chocolate. I started the ham first. The lamb went in after. Then Grandma and Grandpa arrived from New Jersey in a delighted sans-traffic frame of mind. The kids were overjoyed. We visited a house together that we'd like to buy if we sell ours. Now both sets of parents have given their approval, which is important to us. My brother arrived with his wife and t…

dialog vs. shouting

great article.
Why do people yell? Why do Christians stand on street corners and condemn people who are “going to hell in a hand basket?” Why do Christians say STUPID things like…“Get saved or microwaved.”“Get right or get left.”“Eternity, smoking or non-smoking, the choice is yours!”I think they do this for one main reason…It’s Easy! No, seriously, it is easy to yell, scream and condemn people that you do not know…it is much harder to actually develop a relationship with someone who is a heartbeat from hell, be their friend, LISTEN to their story, ANSWER their difficult questions…and wait patiently for years as God draws them to Him.THAT’S HARD! And so Christians have taken the stupid easy way out and just yell at people–and it does not work! Please spare me your e-mails on this! I have never asked someone, “How did you come to Christ,” and they replied, “Some really nice man with a megaphone yelled at me and said that my skin was going to fry like bacon unless I received Jesus.”One …

thoughts on cussing

Eric Pement concluded
Christians are not immune from stumbling themselves or others by loose habits of speaking. It may occur with vulgar words or in other ways. I know of a much-loved minister who cannot resist making sexual or scatalogical innuendos in private conversation, even though “technically” he has never said anything obscene. At some point, he needs to be reminded that “coarse joking” is out of place in the life of the believer (Eph. 5:4, NIV). Not knowing what he’s doing, he loses more esteem by his off-color remarks than he gains from having a new joke to tell.

Our point was summarized long ago in James 1:26: “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.” Swearing does not show “realness” or gutsy emotion. Rather, it betrays a flaw in our ability to communicate sensitively and tastefully, not unlike the woman who dumps four spoonsful of sugar in her coffee and imagines she really likes…

The Bicycle Thief - a cinema review

i don't know how i ended up putting this black and white Italian film from 1948 on my Netflix list. i do like foreign films. The director is Vittorio De Sica and he won many awards. This is not a feel-good movie. It's a tragedy. It's the life of a poor family in post-War Rome. The poor man finally gets a job from the employment office but he needs to get his bike out of hock. So they sell their linens. They will finally make money and get off welfare. But while he is out hanging movie posters his bike is stolen. He chases the adolescent but can't keep up with him and the accomplice who pretends to help sends them down a different street. The next day he and his son and his neighbors go out searching for it. They look for parts assuming it's been chopped up. His obsession results in jeopardy for his son who is approached by a man who keeps trying to buy him bells. After he rescues his son he finds the thief on his bike paying an old man. Once again he can't catc…

birthday of a cult. LDS

from This Day in History
On April 6, 1830 Joseph Smith and five others organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fayette, New York.
did we really need religious books that claim Native Americans are Jewish? that everyone makes it to some level of heaven (unless you convert out of LDS - that's who hell is for - why convert then and increase your risk?)? that your level of heavenly bliss depends on your underwear and coffee abstinence? that God had intercourse with a teenage girl so his Son could be born? that a man needs more than one wife(only for a few years though, until it became politically inconvenient)? that skin color is based on whether your ancestor sinned but it can be changed if you convert (changed for same reason as polygamy)?

also the US also declared war on Germany in WW1 on this day and the Rwandan genocide began...


today's quote of the day points to our need for a perfect Savior...
Try as hard as we may for perfection, the net result of our labors is an amazing variety of imperfectness. We are surprised at our own versatility in being able to fail in so many different ways.Samuel McChord Crothers

Greatest Comeback Victory Ever !!!!!!

The rivalry was ancient. This time the home team looked much stronger. The early rounds were tit for tat with no breakthroughs. Eventually the home crowd began to cheer for the away team. But being the typical crowd their support waxed and waned. In the last inning, the crowd was going nuts for the away team. The team had driven deep into the home teams end zone. Yet the home team made a magnificent defensive stand. The crowd was impressed and resumed cheering for their team again. The defense was drawn into an elaborate and risky offensive draw which they swallowed hook, line and sinker. The April Fool's plan was so unbelievable that some of the teammates, despite being told it ahead of time, were fooled and caved into the defensive pressure. They were exhausted and really wanted to believe the team captain but could not see how such a foolish plan would actually work. The home team sacked the away team's quarterback. His back was on the ropes. The K.O. was coming. The fly ba…

Exxon's exploitation in Chad

such a sad book excerpt in Slate...

What is Maundy Thursday

Traditionally in the Christian Church, this day is known as Maundy Thursday. The term Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum (from which we get our English word mandate), from a verb that means "to give," "to entrust," or "to order." The term is usually translated "commandment," from John's account of this Thursday night. According to the Fourth Gospel, as Jesus and the Disciples were eating their final meal together before Jesus’ arrest, he washed the disciples' feet to illustrate humility and the spirit of servanthood. After they had finished the meal, as they walked into the night toward Gethsemane, Jesus taught his disciples a "new" commandment that was not really new (John 13:34-35):A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, you also ought to love one another. By this everyone will know that you …

The Lord's Prayer: resources

now that i've finished the series i'd like to mention links as i find them or as they find me...
two commenters
Rachel Starr Thompson
Abbey nous
both have authored books on this prayer, that i have not had the pleasure to read.
and some random links starting with this one pointed to from Abbey nous at the Upward Way Press

i have enjoyed not posting on everything i've seen this past month. the linked feeds display and RSS have served that purpose well for me, maybe for you too.

The Lord's Prayer: a summary

The Lord's Prayer: the kingdom and the power and the glory

Bruce Metzger writes on Matthew 6:13 in his Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament:
"'For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit for ever. Amen.' The Same expansion occurs also at the close of the Lord's Prayer in the liturgy that is traditionally ascribed to St. John Chrysostom. The absence of any ascription in early and important representatves of the Alexandrian (aleph B), the Western (D and most of the Old Latin), and the pre-Caesarean (f1) types of text, as well as early patristic commentaries on the Lord's Prayer (those of Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian), suggests that an ascription, usually in a threefold form, was composed (perhaps on the basis of 1 Chr 29.11-13) in order to adapt the Prayer for liturgical use in the early church."
when i was a kid memorizing from the King James Version, i didn't learn the trinitarian end. but i really like it. so is the ending inspired? sure. but…