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Showing posts from April, 2007

Time - Scripture

In my last post, Time - What is it really? , I shared about a Sunday School lesson from childhood that greatly impacted my perspective on God's relationship with time. In this post I would like to summarize some key scriptures related to time. When studying Christian theology, a good study starts with prayer (a focus on the object of our faith - God) and Scripture.

Lord, God Almighty, You are the creator of the heavens and the earth and all that exists. Please guide me as I seek to better understand who you are and how time affects or doesn't affect how you interact with us humans. Through this study, please help me to grow to know you and to love you more. And Father, if it is thy will, please use this site and these thoughts to bring about honest and loving discussions among Christians and unbelievers. If the thoughts recorded here do not honor you and will bring about unnecessary discussion in the church, please keep these pages concealed from all but those who need to read …

Time - What is it really?

When I was in middle school, my Sunday School teacher did a lesson on time and God's existence apart from it's constraints. We talked about Einstein and other philosophers and read a lot of Scripture. That lesson made a big impact on me. I learned that as a Christian I could think about my faith intellectually. I also began to grasp (as much as a human, let alone a middle schooler can) the greatness of God.

Several years later, I was back at that church and asked that Sunday School teacher if she remembered the lesson. She did and from what I understand she teaches it every 3 - 4 years. I asked her for a copy, which she was pleased to give me.

So, now, a few years separated from our conversation, I sit down to read the curriculum again. This time as an adult who has completed Bible college and is preparing for the adventure of seminary.

To give just one more tidbit of background knowledge as to why this study has recently peeked my image, I'd like to share the theological imp…

Reverent Accountability

In Joshua 22 is recorded the story of the eastern tribes return home to their allotted territory after helping the western tribes of Israel capture their land in the promised land. In this story, the western tribes are concerned that the eastern tribes had quickly forgotten and turned away from God. So, they set out to attack the eastern tribes and cleanse themselves of their evil before God had a chance. The western tribes reference those who sinned among them during their wanderings in the dessert and preparation to take over the promised land. They recognize that the punishment of one person's sin affected the whole community. Luckily, the eastern tribes had a defense and explained that they had set up an alter to remind them to not forget the Lord and that they were still fully committed to following the living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

What interests me about this story is the reverent seriousness of the level of accountability that Israel expects of one another. Their…

Book: Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America

Title: Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America
Author: Stephen G. Bloom
Published: A Harvest Book of Harcourt, Inc. 2000

Reasons for Reading: A hobby of mine is learning more about different cultures. I enjoy anthropology and sociology. While wandering the shelves of the nearest Barnes and Noble I came across this book. I have really enjoyed reading it. I am originally from Iowa, but moved to a larger city, so I appreciate Bloom's commentary from the perspective of one who grew up in a city and then moved to Iowa. I am also in ministry and fascinated with how religion and culture intermix and interrelate.

If I were to re-title the book, I'd name it: The current title does a good job of representing the content of the book. If I had to re-title the book, I'd name it "Finding myself in the midst of the Postville Cultural Clash."

Quotes I would like a response to:
"Small towns don't take kindly to outsiders coming in and passing judgment. But during m…

Weaknesses and Faults

Over the past year and a half or so, I have had moments where I have been overwhelmed by my weaknesses and faults. These times stand in stark contrast to the moments of pride and over-inflated ego that I had when I was in high school. I've decided to list some of these weaknesses and faults. I've found that at times to write things down makes them less overwhelming and helps my thoughts to become more organized and for me to regain clarity. (please keep in mind while reading these, that I have high expectations for myself, so what I define as laziness, for example, someone else might call "normal.")

1. Today, I've been overwhelmed by my laziness when it comes to physical labor.

2. I make too many friendships too easily at too great of depth to maintain them all. (Don't they often say that our greatest strength is also our greatest weakness?)

3. When I get upset with someone I love, my being upset with that person makes me more upset with myself, which makes me …

God orders our days

I love the way that God orders our days. My grandfather really wanted someone to go with him to an uncle's funeral today. I just happen to have my morning free and because I lost my calendar did not scedule anything until 2 today. I really believe that God orders our days.

Amen!

Last few pages - Volume 1: Youth

Another page was turned last night of the final chapter of the first volume of my life. I'm not sure there are many pages left to turn before starting the next volume. It is a strange place to be, on the last few pages. First it was my stepping down as the area director of our youth ministry outreach to hurting teens, then it was my submitting my resignation letter for my church job, and last night a final prayer answered that brought together the long hoped for emotional finality to an already finalized "romance."

As I sit with the cover of the first volume resting in my arms, my fingers lightly dance on the edge of the few pages remaining on the left side, I feel as though the conclusion has already been read and my eyes are just wandering through the peacefulness of the restful aftermath of a lengthy but adventurous story. The end of volume one somewhat draws my curiosity to volume two, but does not leave any great hints as to what will be in store when if I firs…

Materialized Evolution, a.k.a. Guiltless sin

Evolution now justifies being a shop-aholic and lusting after new items.

Check out the following article to learn more:

Why are we slaves to fashion?
Posted Mar 31st 2007 3:01PM by Jonathon Morgan
Filed under: Style in the media

Check out this link:
styledash.com

If you're worried that all this obsessing over what other people wear means you're unoriginal, you're probably right. But according to a recent study, that's ok -- it's part of human nature.

Research published in the latest journal Evolution and Human Behavior says imitating others is a basic human characteristic...Plus, just because we grow to like something after we've seen it multiple times or it's become popular, we shouldn't feel shallow -- in evolutionary terms, this makes sense...


So the next time you've spent all your money on clothes, after spending hours reading about the latest trends on your favorite style blogs, just remember: it's evolution, it's your nature, and it's beyo…

Easter

We are to receive, He is the One to give.

An Uncommon Name

Periodically, I must write random thoughts that show know great brain power. I must interrupt the deep thoughts with a hiccup of goofiness. At other times, I must stop the irrationality of randomness and must return to using lengthy sentences to make myself believe I am a great writer, intelligent thinker, and worthy of some scholarly honor. Today, I join a friend's blog in randomness.

There are 1,508 people in the United States with my first name, making it the 4019th most popular first name.

Oddly enough, there are 633 people in the United States with my last name. Considering the fact that my father is one of 12 children, I am surprised by the small quantity of people with that surname. Statistically, according to the website, HowManyOfMe.com, my last name is ranked as # 41,520 in popularity. I would have thought my last name was more popular than my first.

There is only one of me in the United States. Who would have thought? LOL

Now, oddly, since there is only one of me, there are…

Another Bonhoeffer thought.

I really liked Bonhoeffer's thoughts regarding the fruit of the spirit occurring naturally and not being something that can be produced by our own deliberate efforts. Bonhoeffer wrote:

"Works are done by human hands, fruit thrusts upward and grows all unbeknown to the tree which bears it. Works are dead, fruit is alive, and bears the seed which will bring forth more fruit. Works can subsist on their own, fruit cannot exist apart from the tree. Fruit is always the miraculous, the created; it is never the result of willing, but always a growth. The fruit of the Spirit is a gift of God, and only he can produce it. They who bear it know as little about it as the tree knows of its fruit. They know only the power of him on whom their life depends. There is no room for boasting here, but only for an ever more intimate union with him. The saints are unconscious of the fruit they bear."

Works are not something we create; works naturally occur as the result of our faith. As James wr…