Showing posts from June, 2007

10 C's: #4 Sabbath part a

Exodus 20:8-11 Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days and do everything you need to do.
But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God. Don't do any work - not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your maid, nor your animals, not even the foreign guest visiting in your town.
For in six days God made Heaven, Earth, and sea, and everything in them; he rested on the seventh day. Therefore God blessed the Sabbath day; he set it apart as a holy day. (Message)

God sets the example in the creation. He makes the whole word in 6 days and then stops. I read this morning...

Genesis 2:3 God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it he ceased all the work that he had been doing in creation. (NET)

I like that the NET uses ceased instead of rested. it's not that God stopped because he was tired. The word has more than the idea of rest. in their note on Exodus 20:8 they inform us, "The word “Sabbath” is clearly connected to the verb …

drunken, naked, passed out Noah Genesis 9

There's this curious story after the Noah's flood story in Genesis 9.
20 Noah, a farmer, was the first to plant a vineyard. 21 He drank from its wine, got drunk and passed out, naked in his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and told his two brothers who were outside the tent. 23 Shem and Japheth took a cloak, held it between them from their shoulders, walked backwards and covered their father's nakedness, keeping their faces turned away so they did not see their father's exposed body.24 When Noah woke up with his hangover, he learned what his youngest son had done. 25 He said, Cursed be Canaan! A slave of slaves, a slave to his brothers! 26 Blessed be God, the God of Shem, but Canaan shall be his slave. 27 God prosper Japheth, living spaciously in the tents of Shem. But Canaan shall be his slave. (MSG)
It is so curious that there are too many interpretations of it. I'm sure the insight lightbulb for me this afternoon isn…


i was on vacation at home all week with my son. i thought i'd be blogging all week but the boy kept me busy. i still need to work on the 10 commandments, resuming with number 4, Sabbath. i've been turning it over and over in my mind and when i think i can write a post i realize i'd need a hundred posts. it's a big theme in the Bible. tomorrow, i'll be done with my 2nd 90 day read through the good book. i have a new order of books to try for the next 3 months. i read the first 3 Harry Potter books all week. i'm getting ready for the Deathly Hallows. Sabbath is good.

Is Snape Judas Iscariot in the Half-blood Prince?

update July 2009. Since the Half Blood Prince came to the theater, I've been getting several hits to this post. Understand this, he isn't. That's what makes Rowling such a great writer.
Original post....
There is a great discussion on whether Snape is actually good or bad at the Hogwarts Professor. Said Professor, John Granger, wrote an essay last year suggesting that Snape's murder of Dumbledore in the Half-blood Prince is an elaborate deception and that they were still in partnership. His latest post is about his reconsideration. I made a suggestion on the story trajectory modeled after the gospels. My comments are waiting moderation approval so they may never appear, hence I'm copying them here...

I don’t claim to be the sharpest tool in the shed, and I also acknowledge that I am out of my league. However, since no one knows the right answer until the DH appears I want to offer a cent or two. These theories on Snape have been very stimulating. In fact, I have treas…

the Gospel

great stuff at the Gospel Driven Life

The Gospel is glorious because it is not about what we do. It is not even a message that tells us to “ask Jesus to be your savior and you will be forgiven.” That is not the Gospel, it is a response to the Gospel. The Gospel is news about what Jesus has done. We subtly distort the Gospel when we make it about us. The Gospel is more than “God loves you as you are.” It is God saves you as you are.

The Gospel is news about Him not about us. It is the description of what he has done. We are the beneficiaries, but God is the One who has acted to save us. We should dwell often on his person and work and less on ourselves...
When this truth – the life and death of Jesus the Messiah – is no longer at the center of our lives and preaching and counseling, I am likely to create a caricature of God. I like to think of Gospel centrality as the Sun in the middle of the solar system – it is over 98% of the mass of the entire solar system, and its mass keeps all t…

book report: Treasure of Khan by Clive Cussler

This is not the genre of reading I look for when I visit the local library. However, at a picnic I mentioned my reading about dictators, conquerors, and war, specifically, Genghis Khan. The host of the picnic had his memory stirred and recommended an adventure writer he greatly enjoyed, Clive Cussler. Subsequently I left the picnic with his copy of Treasure of Khan, which I dutifully read.

To what can I compare this novel? An Indiana Jones screenplay perhaps. It's not that I'm averse to the occasional thriller, but Clancy and Grisham are a notch or three above this work. There are interesting occupational details of pilots and divers that add an authentic feel, but this work is the equivalent of a cartoon, not even a soap opera and far short of literature. As far as cartoons go, though, this is one that exceeds. Literary cartoons occupy an important niche, light reading, better than television, time filler. As long as the reader adjusts expectations accordingly, this novel won…

10C's #3: don't diminish God's name

Exodus 20:7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. (NASB)

i've had a real hard time wrapping my brain around this one, and as i'll show, i'm not much worse off than the commentators. i consider my opinion no better or worse than theirs. a couple immediate observations.

1-the Lord's Prayer begins with the positive response to this commandment, "hallowed be your name"

2-the punishment is not pronounced on subsequent generations but on the offender. i think there is a rich vein to mine here on why the idolaters are punished to 3rd and 4th generations but the vanitizer/diminisher/devaluer is punished solely. but i'm not smart enough for that one. can someone compare and contrast this for me? i do think it negates arguments of God did things one way then changed later on. it seems he had restraint in the verse after the one He seems in our modern perspective less restr…

religion vs. gospel

great stuff from Mark Driscoll who writes...
Religion says, if I obey, God will love me. Gospel says, because God loves me, I can obey.

Religion has good people & bad people. Gospel has only repentant and unrepentant people.

Religion values a birth family. Gospel values a new birth.

Religion depends on what I do. Gospel depends on what Jesus has done.

Religion claims that sanctification justifies me. Gospel claims that justification enables sanctification.

Religion has the goal to get from God. Gospel has the goal to get God.

Religion sees hardships as punishment for sin. Gospel sees hardship as sanctified affliction.

Religion is about me. Gospel is about Jesus.

Religion believes appearing as a good person is the key. Gospel believes that being honest is the key.

Religion has an uncertainty of standing before God. Gospel has certainty based upon Jesus' work.

Religion sees Jesus as the means. Gospel sees Jesus as the end.

Religion ends in pride or despair. Gospel ends in humble joy.

Armenian Genocide dot org

here's more info on the Armenian genocide committed by the Turks in WW1

some of the faqs include...

Who was responsible for the Armenian Genocide?
The decision to carry out a genocide against the Armenian people was made by the political party in power in the Ottoman Empire. This was the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) (or Ittihad ve Terakki Jemiyeti), popularly known as the Young Turks. Three figures from the CUP controlled the government; Mehmet Talaat, Minister of the Interior in 1915 and Grand Vizier (Prime Minister) in 1917; Ismail Enver, Minister of War; Ahmed Jemal, Minister of the Marine and Military Governor of Syria. This Young Turk triumvirate relied on other members of the CUP appointed to high government posts and assigned to military commands to carry out the Armenian Genocide. In addition to the Ministry of War and the Ministry of the Interior, the Young Turks also relied on a newly-created secret outfit which they manned with convicts and irregular troops, calle…

in the world but not of it?

i've been a believer in Jesus since i was 5 years old. some things i thought were scripture quotes aren't. the principle is there, but not the proof text. i thought the Bible had a verse telling us in 7 words to be "in the world but not of it." but the reality is the principle is explained in a chapter, John 17 and a couple other places. Here's a link to see all those passages that bear this concept.

here's a nugget from John 17
6I have revealed Your name to the men You gave Me from the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.7Now they know that all things You have given to Me are from You,8because the words that You gave to Me, I have given to them. They have received them and have known for certain that I came from You. They have believed that You sent Me.9I pray for them. I am not praying for the world but for those You have given Me, because they are Yours.10All My things are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I have been glori…

D-Day 1944 june 6

D‐Day Landing
(1944)Operation Overlord was the greatest amphibious attack in history. Nearly 175,000 American, Canadian, and British troops landed in Normandy on D‐Day, 6 June 1944, supported by 6,000 aircraft and 6,000 naval vessels ranging in size from battleships to 32‐foot landing craft. The object of the attack was to win a beachhead in France in order to open a second front against Hitler's armies and to use the beachhead as a springboard for the liberation of France and Belgium, and the eventual conquest of Nazi Germany.

Planning began in earnest early in 1943. The critical need for the Allies was to gain surprise, because they would be taking the offensive with nine divisions, none armored, against an enemy with fifty‐five divisions in France, nine of them armored. Gen. Gerd von Rundstedt, commanding the German forces in the west, and Gen. Erwin Rommel, commanding the forces in France, assumed that the Allies would have to gain a major port in the initial assault, so they st…

anniversary of Israel's 6 day war, 1967

The BBC has day by day war maps on the anniversary of the 6 day war.

10C's; number 2, no idols, big blessings, part f

Exodus 20:6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (NASB)

now this is a promise to enjoy! this is in contrast to the punishment of the 3rd and 4th generation of idol worshipers. so now God contrasts the reward/privilege of those who obey him and worship him alone, lovingkindness/covenant faithfulness/steadfast love/mercy to thousands of generations. The NET Bible notes this "mercy" phrase, Literally “doing loyal love” (עֹשֶׂה חֶסֶד, ’oseh khesed). The noun refers to God’s covenant loyalty, his faithful love to those who belong to him. These are members of the covenant, recipients of grace, the people of God, whom God will preserve and protect from evil and its effects.I'm cruising through John's gospel right now and chapter 6 is a good place for knowing what God's will is so that this blessing can flow.

40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal li…

book report - The Genius of Alexander the Great by Hammond

after reading about Ghengis Khan and Thermopylae where the Greek Spartans faced the Persian army and held them in check despite being outnumbered for several days and reading about the battles afterwards between Athens and Sparta I had to read about Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia and King of Asia. The biography by NGL Hammond, The Genius of Alexander the Great seemed to do the job. Obviously, from the title, we can guess that Hammond is a fan of AtG. He is as much a fan of AtG as Weatherford was of Ghengis. In the same way, this author made me wish AtG was my king. If your city surrendered to him, he didn't kill you. If your city resisted, he'd kill all the men and sell all the women and children into slavery, as the Greeks typically did. But that was only if he wanted to make an example in a new region. One abused city convinced the other cities to surrender. He had no tolerance for traitorous Greeks, even if their treachery was decades old. One city had caved in to t…

top 10 home construction technologies 2007

PATH is the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing and is a neat source for what's new in building green and building smarter. here are their top 10 for 2007
1. Mold Resistant Gypsum-- No Mold--Come Hell or High Water
Imagine the worst. Now imagine walls that can survive the flood. Treated gypsum wallboard products resist mold because they won't absorb moisture as easily as typical gypsum board. The paperless surface does not support mold growth.

2. Solar Water Heating-- Solar Power for Your Shower
We allow that harnessing energy from the sun to heat water is not new. Solar water heaters have been commercially available since the 1800s. But now more than ever, they're an environmentally sound way to reduce energy bills.

3. Recycled Concrete Substitutes and Aggregates-- Grey Concrete Goes Green
Byproducts of the industrialized world have found a better final resting place in alternative concrete aggregate. Recycled materials such as granulated coal ash, blast furnac…

Lifestyle reviews: Barefoot running

why am i barefoot running?
i was born this way :-)
that excuse carries so many people's choices that i figured it could carry mine. i first described my choice in 2005 when i hoped to run a marathon and run 50 miles a week. i never hit 50 miles a week. i still want to run a marathon, maybe this year. and i want to run it barefoot. the NYT has an article about low impact marathon training that is encouraging. maybe i don't need to run 50 miles a week. this week i've run a 3 miler, three 4's, and a fast 2. i want to run five 5's a week, a marathon a week, as my baseline, which if i were shod, i probably would be doing now. but i don't want to rush my feet. running barefoot builds foot muscle more than anything and just like an intensive bicep workout everyday would make arms sore, running barefoot 5 days a week make my feet sore, but not calloused or blistered. they are still soft, so i felt if very well when i stepped on a sliver of glass and i stopped right away …