Showing posts from May, 2007

10C's: no idols, ever, part e!

Exodus 20:5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, responding to the transgression of fathers by dealing with children to the third and fourth generations of those who reject me, 20:6 and showing covenant faithfulness to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. (NET)

i'm sure it's tempting for teachers of Exodus to mumble over the negative results of God's jealousy but articulate well the positive results. "Jealous" seems so petty and the NET Bible offers a clarification on the word, The word “jealous” is the same word often translated “zeal” or “zealous.” The word describes a passionate intensity to protect or defend something that is jeopardized. The word can also have the sense of “envy,” but in that case the object is out of bounds. God’s zeal or jealousy is to protect his people or his institutions or his honor. Yahweh’s honor is bound up with the life of his people.
God isn't…

great runner's tool is my new friend. for week 5 of barefoot running, i wanted to start out the week by not missing Monday's run. so i made a 3 mile loop and set off with the dog, who did remarkably well. also, i happily found out that my supposed 3 mile run at work is actually 4 miles. my plan is to do this 4 mile run for 4 days this week. now that it is warming up around here, i'm running right after my bike ride. 5 mile bike commute followed by a run. the muscles are a little different so it's not that insane. also, the road is a little cooler on the feet. i learned this morning that scraping your big toe on tar is far less damaging than scraping it on cement. my other big toe took 2 weeks to heal from a skin raking scrape on a cement sidewalk.
speaking of bicycle commuting...i have a future recumbent in mind, the cruzbike. if gas gets up to $4 a gallon i'll have my current bike paid for itself sooner and can justify this next one.

book report - Epicenter by Joel Rosenberg

Epicenter is a nonfiction book by Joel Rosenberg. Essentially, it's a Bible study on Ezekiel 38-39, from which he has based his political thrillers, two of which i have reviewed here and here. He makes a case for current headlines aligning with Zeke's prophecies, such as Russia and Iran allying, Israel making peace with neighbors such as Egypt and Jordan, and totalitarianism rising again in Russia. If Ezekiel's record is this good then Rosenberg expects to see a couple more things; a peaceful and economically strong Iraq that will rebuild Babylon, Israel becoming a oil and gas producer for the world, and the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. He doesn't deal with the rapture, as Zeke doesn't but he mentions it a couple times. Some Christians think this reading of Biblical prophecy is a bunch of bunk, but I don't and I think Rosenberg makes a good case. Rosenberg is quite ecumenical in his work. He seeks the positive in all religions and reports on am…

Memorial Day 2007

here's a link to the History Guy with a list of U.S. war casualties through the Republic's existence.

one item of interest is that the current war has a similar amount killed (3391) as the Philippine-American war (3216) at the turn of the last century.

war is tragic, even more so for those who have lost fathers and brothers and sisters and children. i am thankful and grateful to those who have served in our country's military.

10C's: #2 no idols, part d

Exodus 20:4 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. (ESV for all quotes)

idols are a big thorn in the side of the children of Israel. it's a habit they can't kick so God spends a lot of time refreshing their memory. he comes back to it a couple times in Exodus. in fact, before Moses can come down the mountain with these commandments the people have given up on him and ask Aaron to make something for them. the golden calf was this Sunday morning's lesson for my 3rd and 4th grade class. he made it from gold earrings. the thing that strikes me about idols is they are never cheap. why can't an idol be made of dirt? why the investment? perhaps its a frontloading of worship. unlike the living God who requires our entire life and every facet of it idols, perhaps, are satisfied with a glitzy upfront payment with small daily payments therea…

Happy Birthday Karla


10C's: #2 no idols. part c

Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers' sin, to the third and fourth [generations] of those who hate Me, but showing faithful love to a thousand [generations] of those who love Me and keep My commands.(Exodus 20:4-6 - HCSB)

God closes all the loopholes.
1 - don't make it
2 - not of anything
a - above
b - below
c - swims
3 - don't bow down to it (see Daniel 3, when Daniel's buddies get busted for refusing to bend their knees to an idol)
4 - don't worship it

i have an idol experience, yes, in america, in the 21st century, at my job. the leader of a project team i was on had spent time in Japan and liked their kickoff tradition which was signing the good luck head. it was a paper mache head painted one color and it represented good luck if everyo…

why bent bikes are good for the barefoot runner

not only do i run barefoot but i also bicycle commute on a recumbent bike. since barefoot running involves a forefoot strike, the balls of my feet tend to be sore. but since my bent bike places my feet forward from my body instead of under it, they bear much less pressure.

the Proverbs 31 husband

what do we know of the Proverbs 31 husband?
he has full confidence in his wife and lacks nothing of value (v. 11)
he is continually brought good by her (v. 12)
he provides her with servants (v. 15)
he has enough money for her to buy a field (v. 16)
he goes to sleep alone and wakes up alone (v. 15, 18)
he has enough money for her to be generous with (v. 20)
he has enough money for her to clothe the family in nice clothes (v.21)
he is respected among the city leaders (v. 23)
he blesses her and praises her(v. 28)
he gives her the reward she has earned and lets her works be praised publicly (v.31)

week 5 barefoot running

i need to up the mileage this week. i went for three or four miles today. i was very slow but i did it. i'll go back to two miles then another 3 miler. i still plan on running 5 days this week. but some will be longer than others. the weekend off did wonders for my feet. i need to pick my feet up more though. now my right big toe is bleeding.

tips for married guys

when us guys were courting our wives we would make them mix tapes, sing them songs we learned from Bon Jovi, or even attempt our own poetry. and they married us anyway. wouldn't you know it, our wives still appreciate the effort, except we don't know any new songs, we couldn't afford to buy music after all the money went to paying for diapers, plus what does an 18 year old know about love? our voices are not nearly as angelic as we imagined them. and poetry doesn't feel masculine. it's only ok for men trying to woo a girl.
well, she still likes to be wooed. and there is a poetry for older dumb guys. Shakespeare and his sonnets can take a leap. the Japanese invented this form called haiku, and it works. 3 lines. 5 syllables, then 7, then 5 more. it doesn't rhyme. it's easier than a limerick. it impressed my wife enough that she put the ones i wrote for her this Mother's Day on her blog. dudes, it is so easy to impress your wife with your haikus written fo…

10C's: no. 2 no idols, part b

Jesus tells the Samaritan woman in John 4:23 -24 "the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of woshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and truth." (NIV) the first commandment hits the truth aspect. the second commandment hits the spirit aspect. it is impossible to sculpt the non-physical. how do you sculpt wind? wind can be described by words and sensation but not by vision, not by personification.
in the previous chapter of John, Jesus tells the religious leader, Nicodemus, “3:5 I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 3:6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 3:7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must all be born from above.’ 3:8 The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with ever…

10 C's series: busted

this blog by Matt Dabbs notes that Exodus 20 hits 6300 times on a google blog search. i will still finish it though. he points out that tons of passages lack representation, including stuff in the minor prophets.
HT: Jesus Creed

book report- The Peloponnesian War by Bagnall

Nigel Bagnall was a retired British army Chief of Staff when he wrote this book. He died shortly after he wrote it. Most of what we know about the war between the city states comes from Thucydides and Xenophon and Plutarch who Bagnall references frequently, but not slavishly. He freely questions their accounts and contrasts them with other accounts or with the possibilities of reality or the subsequent narrative of the storyteller. For the bible student, hearing about the involvement of Cyrus and Artaxerxes and other Persian kings gives a greater context to understand the world they lived in and the cameos they make in the post-exilic Old Testament stories. For citizens of countries currently at war, the difficulties of democracy, ambition, money, morale, tactics, and their interplay rings a familiar tune.

5 bf runs this week....check

i made a goal for this week to run barefoot every day for 2 miles a day. Monday and Tuesday went well. Wednesday, on the last quarter mile i swept my foot on the ground to rub off something poking into its sole but dragged my big toe on the forward stride. did you know big toe wounds are like head wounds? they bleed alot and are very tender. Wednesday night i wasn't a happy runner, not only did my big toe really hurt but my feet and calves hurt in general. i think they were hurting for the same reason, muscle development. on Thursday i hemmed and hawed. i had many excuses and two band aids on my toe. but my goal was public, to all 11 of you. Guy Muse, the famous M blogger, even commented to encourage me. so i went. the band aid stayed on and the run went really well. i can count on abundant ouchies for the first half mile that disappear within a mile. after a mile and a half my loop is almost done and i usually feel really good. God made endorphins for a reason! today i had a real…

Who is your Creator?

cool creationist site at Who is your Creator?

10 C's: #2 no idols, not even American Idols?

Here are the verses for number 2 from the ESV
You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

this anti-idol statement can be positively stated as, "only the Creator deserves worship." the ancillary statements point out that God can affect your descendants quality of life, unlike the piece of wood or rock you are praying to. what's with the "jealous" aspect of God? is he petty? the NET bible has a helpful note.
"The word “jealous” is the same word often translated “zeal” or “zealous.” The word describes a passionate intensity to protect or defe…

day of oppression -separate but equal

on May 18, 1896: The Supreme Court affirmed racial segregation in Plessy v. Ferguson as "separate but equal."

hybrid solar house - enertia

David Pogue talks about these Enertia houses that are made of solid timbers of yellow pine laid on each other but the house is also double walled on the north and south sides. on the south side its like a two story glass enclosed porch which heats up during the day. the hot air pushes into the attic which pushes down the cooler northern double walls into the basement. it generates a convection loop that keeps the house about 70 degrees year round. the houses don't need vapor barriers or anything. the yellow pine stores and releases heat. it's pretty cool in that it doesn't use insulation. like all cool housing ideas it ain't cheap though.

cinema review: The Rosa Parks Story

The Rosa Parks Story is a well made movie dramatizing the life of Civil Rights hero Rosa Parks. the movie is well made. the story is compelling. the scenes of intimidation by racist whites were right out of an horror movie. the good kind of horror movie where the fright comes from the unknown and the unseen.
one scene that was repeated a few times really shook me. periodically the NAACP office would hang a flag outside their office that read "a black man was lynched today." perhaps the conditioned racist would read that and think, "i'm sure he deserved it." even if he did, no one should be terrorized by vigilante justice, not that the white courts brought justice to the African Americans. another incident showed this of a young black man who was caught in bed with his childhood white girlfriend who defended herself by crying rape. he was executed.
injustices like this happen all over the world. as a blogger who notes injustice against Christians in the world, esp…

Interview with Eldredge Cleaver, 1982

interesting interview with Eldredge Cleaver, former Black Panther, part 1, part 2, part 3

he reflects on being used by Communist agitators, that the FBI was right, that he voted for Reagan, that he was enchanted by Sun Myung Moon, that he designed pants with a satchel to accommodate male genitalia...

i noted another interview in 1986 here and a talk by his ex-wife here

10 C's: #1 No other gods before me

Exodus 20:3(King James Version)
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

why is this? what's this mean?
"thou" is a formal "you all." so this one, like all the others, is addressed to the community.
"shalt" is a future form. this is a command and a promise, like all the others.
"have," a "being" verb.
"gods," this is the word elohim, which refers to God himself, but also competitors.
"before," instead of
"Me." God
because all other things that we worship are not worth it. every thing else worshipped is created, but not creator, they are shadows, instead of the sun. God is unique.

Exodus 15:11 "Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you-- majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? (NIV)
Isaiah 43:10 "But you are my witnesses, O Israel!" says the LORD. "And you are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. Ther…

ten commandments: a series

if you are a Christian blogger who doesn't preach for a living, then when you write something theologically oriented, you'll pick the low-hanging fruit. the stuff within reach. the stuff you can write up in 10-20 minutes. something like the Lord's Prayer. or the ten commandments. i'm i'm running or biking, i'm usually thinking, watch out for that truck/rusty nail/ skunk and occasionally i'll think on spiritual things. today on my run i started thinking about the 10 commandments. i thought on its bifurcation as the upward things and the outward things, how we relate to God and how we relate to each other. but on my run i thought, maybe it's really all about how we relate to God.
but it was enlightening for me. i think God was showing me something. but he wasn't showing me everything, so i'm thinking of blogging through the 10 commandments as a way to pursue these thoughts.

Exodus 20 (NLT)
1 Then God instructed the people as follows: 2 "I a…

the corpse flower

about every 1000 days a corpse flower will bloom. it's from Sumatra though. fortunately, my alma mater, UConn, has one, and it bloomed this weekend. my son and i had a free day together so when i saw it announced in the local paper i thought what more fun can be had then taking my boy to go see a giant flower that smells like rotting flesh at the beautiful campus in Storrs, Ct. we packed a lunch and drove the hour north. there was a line only ten people long. it definitely was giant, taller than me, they provided a stepladder to look down into it, but it didn't stink too much. bummer. it's rotten smell attracts flies in search of carrion to walk around on it in frustration and pick up pollen to bring to another blooming corpse flower.

too bad so many people can't appreciate a creator for this amazing design and instead appreciate the lottery called evolution.

we then toured the campus, watched frogs and bluegills and a turtle in a pond while we ate our lunches and ended …

wk. 4 Barefoot running

some people use blogs as a form of accountability. i don't but it is good to have a goal, and a little gooder to put it in your blog.
i ran every other day last week for 2 miles.
those runs took about 20 minutes
today it took 15.
this week my goal is to run every day for 5 days.
just 2 miles.
if i succeed, i hope to add miles next week.
when i ran shod, i could do 5 a day. i actually ran a nearly-half-marathon a few summers ago. it would be nice to run it barefoot this summer. at some point i'd like to run a marathon, barefoot.

automobile review: 1997 Crown Victoria

if you drove a car that only got 17 miles to the gallon you'd bicycle commute too! fortunately, my commute is only 5 miles, so that's 3 trips to work per gallon, or 3 gallons per week, but that isn't the only driving i need to do. so if i can eliminate driving 50 miles a week for work, like i did this week, then those 3 gallons and $10 can go towards other errands.
there i got that off my chest. my guilt is absolved.

i did buy it used, 3 or 4 years ago, for 6 grand. when i bought it i needed a car that could accommodate 2 car seats, a 3rd child, and my wife. did i mention i make a little rental income from the family who lives in the ginormous trunk? i'm ahead of any Prius owner as far as cash flow for at least a couple more years. it will get 25 mpg on the highway. it has 8 cylinders. the thing only has 100k miles on it and that monster engine could last another 200k.

this isn't my first Ford. after i graduated from UConn, my grandmother downsized and gave me her 198…

3rd visit from the mormons

they came back last Saturday and we chatted for an hour. i spoke more this time. we sat in the backyard so my kids drifted in and out of the conversation. they don't know their church history. i showed them quotes about Joseph Smith's drinking. they never heard of it. i asked them how come Jesus says what goes in our moths doesn't make us sinful, it's what comes out of our hearts, but you claim Jesus now says, well coffee, smokes, and alcohol in your mouth will make you sinful. their answer to all changes is God can do whatever he wants to. it's the same position of the Muslim. i contrasted their theologies, LDS and Muslim, frequently. how can they say one is better if their is no way to determine truth except by feelings or fiat?
i did bring up the polygamy issue. they got upset. i then showed them a printout of contradictions between the book of Mormon and other LDS scripture, completely avoiding the contrast between the Bible and LDS books, and they got really up…

more alternative house construction options

i don't know if i will ever be building my own house but if i did i need my blog to keep track of this interesting technology.
Nascor walls look interesting, basically vertical engineered wood i-beams with 5 inches of polystyrene between them. i'm not too satisfied with their explanation of reduced thermal bridging though. i still like the fiberglass homes of Composite Building Structures, but their website doesn't update too frequently. they periodically answer comments at their blog. i can't find too much about them online that's not their own PR.

another cool thing is shetka stone, countertops or tiles made with recycled post consumer paper.

Church life in India

from Compass Direct...
Recent Incidents of Persecution Maharashtra, May 8 (Compass Direct News) – Members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council or VHP) beat two Christian workers in Shahpur village, Kolhapur district before a television camera and a large crowd on May 7. According to the Christian Legal Association (CLA), the victims, Ramesh Gopargode and Ajit Belavi, were conducting a baptism service for seven local people when the attack took place. A private TV channel, IBN 7, showed a mob led by the VHP beating the evangelists and dragging them to the police station, where they were arrested and booked for fraud and hurting religious sentiments. According to the local superintendent of police, the seven converts had complained that they were not informed about the “conversion ceremony” and felt they were “tricked” by the evangelists. Dr. Abraham Mathai, vice chairman of the Maharashtra State Minorities Commission, told CLA that the attack was “pre-planned” and those bap…

Ezekiel 33, righteousness, and the NPP

if i understand the NPP correctly, and i may not, but, to them, righteousness is more about community standing than about judicial declaration of an individual. righteousness is ecclesiology before soteriology. this doesn't seem possible in light of my reading of Ezekiel 33 this morning, which says, in part,
11 Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?' 12 "Therefore, son of man, say to your countrymen, 'The righteousness of the righteous man will not save him when he disobeys, and the wickedness of the wicked man will not cause him to fall when he turns from it. The righteous man, if he sins, will not be allowed to live because of his former righteousness.' 13 If I tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but then he trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none o…

barefoot running week 3, 2007

i took off a long weekend. 3 days of no running. went out today and did 2 miles with no foot damage. technique and conditioning are the answer to soft foot vs. rocks and prickly macadam. very little grass running today too, but it sure feels nice.

book report: Genghis Khan and the making of the modern world

Maybe Genghis Khan is the worst killer in human history after all. In fact, maybe life wouldn't be the way we know it now if it weren't for the rise of the Mongol Empire in the 1100's AD. This is the argument made by Jack Weatherford in Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World 2005 is a fantastic read on the Mongol empire at the turn of the first millennium AD. He is an admirer of the empire and downplays somewhat the horrors of Mongol warfare and pumps up the politics of free trade and freedom of religion.

The research on Genghis's life consists of research into a document called The Secret History of the Mongols, an authentic Mongolian history, and correlating it with the terrain in Mongolia today. From these sources Genghis's life before becoming Khan is analyzed. Of interest to me is finding out that some neighboring tribes were Christian as well as Buddhist and Muslim. Genghis himself was an animist.

Genghis's first major campaign was against the J…

Turkish martyrdom corrections

the first report was more gruesome than reality. here is an updated report. i'll point the previous post to this one and delete the gross stuff....

Dear partners,
I know that many have been deeply upset by the killings of our brothers in Turkey, and some particularly gruesome accounts have been circulated. Our brothers died bravely for their faith and I trust that we would have been able to do the same. Reports though are circulating about over statements and misinformation as to the extent and nature of the brothers' wounds. I submit this account for your information and for the integrity of the reports, so that we as people who love the truth can be clear about these things and pass on what is true and right .

Please do continue to pray for the families of these brothers and if you would like to give a love gift to the families I am sure that would be appreciated.

Chris Jones
International Facilitator

Network of Azerbaijani Partnerships
4741 Zealand Ave N
New Hope
MN 55428

Cell …

4th barefoot run of 2007

it looks like a habit may be forming. i used the same short route as yesterday so i can focus on conditioning and technique.
my feet started out a little tender. i was glad for a cloudy cool day to keep the ground cool. no excursions on the grass today. no new blisters. my feet are less happy after the run. my left ankle got a little sore but my feet weren't tender after a few minutes.
as i tire, i lose my form. what is the form for barefoot running? it's the forefoot strike. the pose method is another name. when i get tired, i need to focus on marching and bringing my knee up higher and falling forward more so that i have to land on the balls of my feet.

return of the Mormons

if you prayed for me, thank you. they did return. i hope you can pray for them too. the good news is they will come again on Saturday. usually by the 2nd visit they have given up on me. i will share what i tried and what i learned and what i hope for next time.
what i tried...
it's part of my nature to listen to people's stories so i served them some juice and a peanut butter sandwich and let them pray, without me joining, then reported on the homework assignment they gave me. they asked me to read Joseph Smith's introduction to the book of Mormon. i told them Smith's assertion that it is the most perfect book and his church is the church for this age were very strong and somewhat offensive. their response kept coming back to making a leap of faith and asking god to confirm it's truth. i told them i would never ask someone to do that with the Bible. i would encourage people to see if the people and places are real. in contrast, i noted, the geography of the BoM is no…

3rd barefoot run of 2007

another short 20 minute run to focus on conditioning and technique. i chose a different route that had less grass to tempt me.
my lungs and legs are ready for more and the soles of my feet are getting there. no new blisters on the balls of my feet. i did get a new one on a toe but those don't hurt.
i tried to focus on short strides, direct strike and quick release. the better the technique the less the condition of the running surface matters. i did notice the macadam was almost hot. temperature sensitivity is another conditioning aspect for the foot sole.

someone else's conversation with mormon missionary

Keith Walker logged onto an LDS e-chat with a Mormon missionary. Here is a highlight....
Keith: So, do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?

Jason: I do. I pray every day to Heavenly Father in Jesus Christ's name.

Keith: So you don't talk to Jesus?

Jason: Jesus Christ's atonement as stated earlier is the central part of our Heavenly Father's plan. Without the sacrifice Jesus made we would not be able to return with Heavenly Father.

Keith: OK, but do you talk to Jesus?

Jason: Yes.

Keith: So like, you pray, "Dear Jesus thanks for a beautiful day?

Jason: No.

Keith: I'm confused. How do you talk to Jesus then?

Jason: We open in the name of our Heavenly Father and pray to Him. However as stated before we do this in the name of Jesus Christ for he is the bridge of our relationship to God.

Keith: So then you don't really talk to him?

Jason: So I do have a personal relationship with Jesus.

Keith: But, you don't talk to him like the example I gave then, right?

Jason: …