September 30, 2004

A Whine About Life in General

I started to put his at the end of the prrevious (actually, for you all, next post), but it ended up longer than I thought, so I figured it deserved it's own post.

I can't watch the debates tonight -- no TV in the Dungeon! One of these days I'm going to post a picture of what the commuter housing is like here. Of course, it only costs $10 a night, so I'm DEFINATELY not complaining. Not when the alternative is a $375 a month apartment or a $40 a night hotel room (although the Microtel DID have cable ...).

In other news -- finished my first research paper. I'm happy with it -- I just hope that the person who has to read the thing likes it. I was going to post a rough draft, but I didn't totally finish until today, so I'll put a "final copy" up over at my other web site. That one may be closing down pretty soon -- I can't justify spending the money on another year's hosting and domain registration, especially if I'm going to move this off Blogspot (may not happen for a while, so don't get your hopes up). I'm also toying with the idea of setting up a live365 radio feed, but that costs money, too. But it WOULD get some of these MP3s off my hard drive.

Still trying to find a job here -- a LOT harder than I thought it would be, since I'm only available Tuesday through Thursday in the evenings. I gave someone a resume today who told me he might be able to help me out, so I'm optimistic. I'm also keeping busy!

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Presidential Prayer, Day 8

Today's prayer is from the Proverbial Wife.

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Joan Rivers Loves Us!! She REALLY Does!!

Or maybe not. Tip o' the hat to Get Religion

Now for the new. From the Oct. 1 issue of Entertainment Weekly, comedian Joan Rivers continues her work as an ambassador of love:

Resplendent in a silver jacket, luxe fur scarf, black pants, and rhinestone-studded heels, Joan Rivers is angry as ever. As she frenetically paces the stage at the Stardust in Las Vegas, the crowd eats up her barbed mots on this steamy night in June. She tosses out a few zingers about Donatella Versace's face -- punctuating the joke by scrunching up her own famous enhanced visage -- and Rosie O'Donnell's hygiene (not printable in a family magazine) before directing her rage at born-again Christians. "I hate Jesus freaks," she declares. "They're ugly, she seethes, her huge cocktail ring bouncing sparkles around the room with every pointy gesticulation. "'Jesus loves me,' they say. If he loved you so much he would have given you a f----ing chin." If anyone in this blue-hair Vegas audience is offended, their qualms are buried by a room exploding in laughter.



A blue-haired Vegas audience bellowing at cheap-shot humor? Can it be? And if poor beleaguered Brad Stine were to do that last joke, aiming it at any other faith and its adherents and (of course) substituting freaking for Rivers' F-bomb, how long would his next Promise Keepers gig last?

Hey, Joan -- if you have another face lift, your belly button will be in your left nostril!! I agree with one of the commentors over at GR -- someone who's had that much surgery shouldn't EVER mock anyone else's appearance.

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September 29, 2004

You Know you're from 'Lanta

I tried to figure out which one to use -- Atlanta, Ohio, Florida, or Maryland. Atlanta's is funnier, though -- guess I lived there too long!!





You Know You're From Atlanta When...


You give directions starting with, "Go down Peachtree" and include the phrase, "When you see the Waffle House."

You only know their way to work and their way home.

You only drink Coke or Diet Coke - drinking Pepsi is blasphemy.

You know to wear sneakers to the airport.

The 8:00 AM rush hour is from 6:30 to 10:30 AM. The 5:00 PM rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:30 PM. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday afternoon, and lasts through 2:00 AM Saturday.

You use "Sir" and "Ma'am" if there's a remote possibility that person you're talking to is least 30 minutes older than you are.

You can say Ponce De Leon Avenue correctly.

The falling of one rain drop causes all drivers to immediately forget all traffic rules.

If a single snowflake falls, the city is paralyzed for three days, and it's on all the channels as a news flash every 15 minutes for a month. All the grocery stores will be sold out of milk, bread, bottled water, toilet paper, and beer.

If there is a remote chance of snow, and if it does snow, people will be on the corner selling "I survived the blizzard" tee-shirts, not to mention the fact that all schools will close at the slightest possible chance of snow.

If you are standing on a corner and a MARTA Bus stops, you're expected to get on and go somewhere.

Construction on Peachtree Street is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment, especially when a water line is tapped and Atlanta's version of Old Faithful erupts.

Construction crews are not doing their jobs properly unless they close down all major streets during rush hour.

You never go 55 on "The Watermelon 500 or the Georgia 400.

You know you're not allergic to pollen, because if you were - you'd be dead already.

You've never gone around the block and ended up on the street you started on.

You know where 'Butthead' and 'F*ckhead' are, and it's the same part of town.

You haven't been downtown at night in years

You've woken up at 4:30 am on workdays to beat the traffic to work, intending to leave work before 3 pm to compensate.

You know at least five different ways to get to work, none of them ideal

You know what "sunshine slowdown", "auto-flambe'", "topside" mean, and what color a H.E.R.O. is.

You know where PIB, JCB, FIB, MLK, PDK and "Grady curve" are, and you try to never go there during any of the nine hours of rush "hour"

You've thought about getting a blow-up companion for the front passenger seat

You hope you are the one to spot the vehicle that is the subject of the latest "Amber Alert" which has been flashing for ten minutes on the DOT message board exactly 13.5 feet above the hood of your SUV

You've been in traffic on 85, 75, 20 or 400 (choose one) - wondering if your fuel, your cell-phone battery and your bladder will make it to the next exit, just 1/2 mile ahead

It's 4:30 pm Sunday, you're stone-cold sober and you've just finished the last left-over hot dog when you realize that in exactly 12 hours you have to get up and go to work - again

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Atlanta.





Get Your Own "You Know You're From" Meme Here



More cool things for your blog at

Blogthings

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This is What Jesus Meant!!

A book review in the Houston Chronicle really gave me a boost. The book is writen by a screenwriter who made a movie about growing up Fundamentalist. He spent three years with a Baptist congregation in Massachusetts, learning about their faith. He went to Bible studies, played with their kids, attended every service (something many Christians don't even do!).

The guy was a liberal, pure 100% (says so even in the review). Talk about incompatible lifestyles. Did the church go nuts trying to "win him for Jesus"?

Nope. They loved him.

Ault became aware of what he calls "the caring power of the congregation" when both his grant money for the film and his savings ran out and he had to stand in line for unemployment benefits. During this period the Valentis and others insisted that lunch or dinner was their treat, one church member tried to find a job in his insulation company for Ault, and yet another member left work one day with tools to fix Ault's car.
And the result?
to his great surprise he [Ault] found himself "turning more and more toward God" as a result of his years at Shawmut River Baptist Church. While he didn't become a born-again fundamentalist, he did start going to church and became a Christian.
Doesn't say what kind of church, and i'm sure there are some right liberal ones there to choose from, but the point is this:
They made a difference in his life. They cared. And now, if he isn't in an evangelical church, at least he's more receptive to the Gospel than he was when he started. Some sow, some water, some harvest -- and God grants the increase. Seems like I read that somewhere before ...

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They Will Know We Are Christians ..... How, Exactly?

From Alertnet:

JERUSALEM, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Fistfights broke out on Monday at Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre between Christian sects that jealously guard their hold on sections of the shrine built on the traditional site of Jesus's crucifixion.

"There was lots of hitting going on. Police were hit, monks were hit ... there were people with bloodied faces," said Aviad Sar Shalom, an Israeli tour guide who witnessed the fight.

The tussle between Franciscans and Greek and Russian Orthodox clerics erupted during a procession through the church on Holy Cross Day marking the fourth century discovery of the cross which some faithful believe was used in the Crucifixion.

A Greek Orthodox cleric said Franciscans had left open the door to their chapel in what was taken as a show of disrespect.
So, in other words, this whole thing started because someone left the door open.

And we wonder why people don't take us seriously. Forget What Would Jesus Do -- what would He SAY? Or would he stand there, shaking His head in disappointment that, even after almost 2,000 years, we still don't get it.

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Presidential Prayer -- Day 7

Dear Heavenly Father

I thank You that You are sovereign. I thank You that only by Your will can anyone lead any nation.

I pray that You will give our current leader wisdom, as he makes difficult decisions every day, that affect us in ways that we may never know. I pray for all of our elected officials, that they might have Your wisdom in all that they do. I thank you, Father, that many of them seek your wisdom regularly, and I pray that those who do not will come to realize that only in You is there true wisdom.

I pray for the debates, Father. I pray that each candidate will present his message clearly and without equivocation. I pray that the debat will be civil, in spite of the tone of many campaign ads that have been run. I ask for Your wisdom to be poured out upon our nation, so that we can all see clearly who the best candidate is, and that we will all vote wisely.

And I pray for our future leader, whoever You have decided that will be. I pray that he will seek Your will, and that he will lead us wisely.

I ask these things in the name of Jesus, Your Son, our Saviour

Amen

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Carnival Time!!

The Christian Carnival is up at Intolerant Elle. LOTS of great entries this week -- including my Mark 6:1-6 study.
Reflecting on the Carnival this week, it occurrs to me that my own blogging has been a little lax lately -- even after I promised some good stuff on the way. The reason is that I didn't get my paper done NEARLY as early as I should have -- in fact, as soon as I sign off here, I have to finish it! Hopefully I can get a few things ready to go this weekend, so that while I'm writing my next two papers, I'll still have some good stuff up here.

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Presidential Prayer -- Day 6

Didn't get this up yesterday -- it's at Fresh As A Daisy.

My own entry will be up this evening.

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September 28, 2004

Quick Response from Stack On

The company has an announcement on their website, here.

We are pleased to report that all of our gun safes and fire resistant safes are not affected by the developments concerning tubular cylinder locks. Our gun cabinets, however, do use a type of tubular lock and tests we conducted indicate that some of these locks are susceptible to being picked through certain manipulations.
All of our gun safes and gun cabinets comply with accepted industry security standards. While all of our products continue to provide a significant deterrent to theft, we want to provide an option to our gun cabinet customers who would prefer a non-tubular lock. For those customers we are offering, free-of-charge, a replacement non-tubular lock, with instructions for installation.

Nice to see a company respond quickly. I guess if Dan Rather were in charge, they'd still be denying that anything was wrong, and that it was because of "guys in pajamas" that there was any fuss to begin with.

And that is my last Dan Rather reference. Promise.

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Presidential Prayer, Day 5

Prayer for day 5 is over at Certa Veritas.

I really like this idea that Bryan had. I think it's a great way to emphasize that we are praying for the office, and for the leadership of our land, and not really a candidate -- even though I would guess a majority of those who have signed up are backing the President. God teaches us to honor our leaders, whether we agree with them all the time or not.

Sometimes, I think we get the leaders we do because God wants to test our commitment to praying for them, no matter what.

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September 27, 2004

Get The Message Out!!!

Thanks to Bene Diction Blogs On and Matthew 25:40.

It seems that there are some gun cabinets whose locks can be picked just as easily as those Kryptonite bike locks that made the news not long ago. Not hearing much about this in the press -- and it's easilly a bigger story than bike locks. It sounds like the company is going to do something about this, but we need to alert everyone to this potential danger.

Hey, if the blogosphere can take out Dan Rather's forgeries, we should be able to save some lives this way. Get the word out!!!

{edit: This isn't the first problem that Stack-On gun cabinets have had. Check this out, from November, 2000}

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September 26, 2004

Presidential Prayer, Day 4

This one from Songstress over at News From the Great Beyond.

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Symphony Time Again

Classic Movies. That's the theme of this week's Best of Me Symphony. The Symphony is being hosted by Gary at The Owner's Manual. Email him at gcruseATnetscape.com

Pick out your best post that's two months old or older, and submit it. Get some mileage out of those posts!! You worked hard to write that stuff, and people deserve to see them again!!!

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September 25, 2004

Study of Mark: Mark 6:1-6a


He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household."And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.
(Mark 6:1-6 ESV)

Jesus teaches in the synagogue in Nazareth. As usual, people are amazed at His teaching, and wonder at the authority He is showing that He has. But their reaction is different. "Who does he think he is? He's from around here! We saw him grow up!" Some of the older women were probably thinking the ancient Hebrew equivalent of "I changed his diapers, and now HE thinks he's going to teach ME this new stuff?"

And they weren't proud of Him. In fact, they were mad. "Who do you think you are, to tell us this stuff? What do you think you are, God or something?" They wouldn't hear Him.

I think it's interesting that He didn't do any miracles there. Nazareth would have been a perfect place to pull off a water-into-wine, or a feeding of 5,000. But the people there had no faith. They wouldn't have been persuaded even if He had done those things. Their hearts had already been hardened, because they couldn't get past who they thought Jesus was -- the dirty-faced kid who they saw playing in the street. The teenager helping his dad build houses. The young adult, doing his own construction work. They couldn't get past Jesus' humanity, to see the divinity that was there.

People have this problem all the time. The Jesus Seminar has sold a LOT of books catering to people who cannot see the divine Christ because they are too focused on the human Jesus. Of course, the other extreme is just as bad -- sometimes we look at the divine Christ so much that we miss the very human Jesus. The man who grew up with these people in Nazareth. The man who had probably built some of their homes. Who had grown up playing with some of them. These are the people Jesus the man cares about the most, and they totally reject Him and His message. It had to have broken His heart, to see these people reject Him.

Often, the hardest thing for us to do is to witness to unsaved relatives. They know us too well, and they know our faults and shortcomings. They remember the temper tantrums we used to throw when we didn't get our own way. They remember the time we pulled the tablecloth off the picnic table full of food -- and dumped hamburger all over everyone. They see our imperfections -- and they can't get past that to see the message we bring them. And when they don't accept Christ, we feel like we are the ones they are rejecting.

But we cannot stop planting seeds. Some plant, some water, some harvest, and God grants the increase. Never stop planting seeds. Never stop watering other people's seeds. Rejoice when you can harvest what someone else has planted, and rejoice when someone else harvests something that you planted. Because there's no tote-board in heaven, to see who scores the most souls. There's only one who brings people to Christ -- God, who draws all men unto Christ. All we can do is be available for Him to use, and be faithful when we are called.

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Presidential Prayer day 3

This one is back over at Spare Change. Here's the link.

Still looks like Bryan can use some more support for this, so head over there and sign up!

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September 24, 2004

Presidential Prayer, Day 2

I decided to just link to the prayers each day as they are posted (or as I find out they're posted).

Today's prayer is here at What in Tarnation?!?

I'm sure Bryan could use more pray-ers, so if you feel so inclined, head over there and volunteer. I THINK the link I posted the other day was wrong -- I have no idea what it went to.

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September 23, 2004

Where is everyone Coming From?

I decided to wander through my Stat-tracker and see where all the hits are coming from. The list is surprising! {EDIT NOTE -- I'm including a few more -- maybe even a full list. I have more time, now}

Purdue University North Central
The USDA Office of Operations
Southern Seminary (oh, that was me!)
Virginia Tech
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Queensland, Australia
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Orleans, Ontario Canada
Sudbury, Ontario Canada
{good day, eh! Welcome all you folks from the Great White North, eh? Don't you HATE it when Yanks make fun of the accent?}
Garland, Texas
Minnesota
several California hits
One odd one -- I'm pretty sure I know who is getting here through Matt Hall's link on his blog, but the ISP says Georgia.
the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington DC


I've also had hits from nasa.mil servers (!), a few more colleges (including Liberty University), and a whole mess of foreign countries.

Thanks everyone for stopping by, and I hope y'all come back!!

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Presidential Prayer

Bryan over at Spare Change has started something I think we should all participate in -- 40 days of Presidential Prayer (note that "days' isn't capitalized here -- I don't want Rick Warren looking for a copyright lawyer or anything!). He could use a few good bloggers, so if you're interested, head over there and let him know.

Today's prayer is here, by Bryan himself.

Father in heaven, You are not only the author of truth, You are Truth. There is no truth outside of You. As such, I come to you asking for Your Spirit to rest heavily over our nation for this day and the next forty days as we progress toward the election of our next president.
Father, will you please give both candidates a conviction to speak their messages clearly, directly, and truthfully so that Americans will not be deceived or confused as they choose the man who will lead and represent us? Father if any of the candidates are pursuing dishonest endeavors or desiring to win the office using dishonest means, please do not allow this to happen. We ask that you'd reveal all falsehoods in the days to ahead, so that truth may be known and understood.
Lord, I also ask for Your truth to rest heavily upon the people of this country. I ask that You show us where we have fallen short, where we have been selfish, where we have been wrong. I pray this over each person, each family, each municipality, and over our identity in the international community. Where we have been right and correct, I pray that You will affirm us in this and embolden us to continue. Where we have brought glory and honor to you, I pray for your encouragement and strength. But where we have been wrong and have followed our own wisdom to the consequence of our own folly, I pray you would make that known and we would turn from our ways and follow You.
We enter into Your presence with thanksgiving in our hearts for how You have provided for us, protected us, and used us to be world leaders. We dare not take Your blessings for granted, and we confess we are nothing without You. Forgive us of our sins -- individual, congregational, corporate, and national -- so that we may be one nation under God.
We pray today for the candidates for this election, that You will be glorified in them as You see fit. We ask for Your blessing upon them, giving them grace and mercy as they seek to lead this country.
Thank You for the Holy Spirit who births these prayers in us. Thank You for Jesus, who makes intercession on our behalf. And Thank You for receiving them perfectly, despite our imperfections.
Amen.


I'll be doing the Sept. 29th prayer right here, and I'll be posting and linking to the other 39 prayers.

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September 22, 2004

Creeds and Christianity

There's an interesting article here about Christian private schools in Australia, and how many times the religion aspect is forgotten, or downplayed. I was going to write about THAT, and how it is happening in the US as well, until I read this sentence.

"[W]e would sing our way through the limited repertoire of hymns, and recite the incomprehensible Nicene Creed."

Now, this is the Nicene Creed:

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't find that all that difficult to understand -- certainly nnot incomprehensible.

I'm finding more and more, especially among Evangelicals, a resistance to creeds. "No creed but the Bible!" they shout -- not realizing that THAT is, in fact, a creed of sorts. Every Baptist church 've ever been a member of has had a creed -- of course, they called it a Statement of Faith, or their Articles of Faith, or something like that. Never a creed.

Even in the early days of the Baptist church in America, they had "Confessions", not "Creeds". Why?

Maybe the word creed, with it's Latin derivation, reminded too many of the Roman Church that had persecuted them -- though for Baptists, it was more often their fellow Protestant Anglicans who were doing the persecuting. Maybe a general fear of appearing Romish, or Popish, or whatever other -ish they were frightened of.

But maybe it's because they recognized that Christianity isn't just about believing (credo means to believe, after all). Maybe they saw that believing was only part of the equation. Didn't Jesus say that "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. "(Mat 10:32 KJV)? Maybe these early Baptists and Presbyterians and Congregationalists were on to something. Maybe it isn't enough to affirm that we believe something -- maybe we need to make sure we confess it as well.

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