Sunday, August 31, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
One weekend Steph's mom, grandma, and cousin Amy came down and hung out with us for a few days. We showed them a good time in central KY. They got a tour of Lexington, Nicholasville, High Bridge, and of course Wilmore.
We discoverd the YMCA pool,. I thought was going to be a slab of cement with a diving board. Instead it's actually a nice little park with multiple slides and sections for kids and adults alike.
We pulled a prank on our new neighbors (here).
We've been getting up at 5:30 or 6:00am to go running and we've been getting to know the neighborhoods. It's really cool to see the morning routine of a place.
We also were able to see friends. Steph went to Indy to hang out with her friends from High School. They stayed at her friend Rachel's apartment (in downtown) and hung out in the city. They went to a baseball game, layed out by the pool, and had a few nice dinners together. We also were able to drive up to Cincinnati and spend a Sunday afternoon with my friend Dilly (aka Luke Delong) and his fiancie Leticia. We went to the Findley Farmer's Market (located in the stunning downtown of Cinci), then hung out at IKEA and Wendy's. Nothing beats hanging out with friends!
The Political conventions always leave us with some amazing (sarcastic) clips (here). Skip ahead to 1 minute 25 seconds to see political speeches are their best. Who thinks stuff like this is clever or funny? That's what I want to know...
It has been a good month, hopefully a sign of the season that is to come. I think it'll be fun. Shane and Shane are coming in 10 days or so. Shane Claiborne will be here on Election Day. Steph is running a marathon right after she turns 25! And who could forget our 1 year anniversary! HOLY COW it's already been one year!!!!! Time sure if flying!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
I read this quote today in a book called Jesus for President, from a conversation between Origen, an early church father, and Celsus who is writing against the Christians. (The bracketed material is from the authors: Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw).
[Origen, quoting Celsus:] “If everyone were to act the same as you Christians, the national government would soon be left utterly deserted and without any help, and affairs on earth would soon pass into the hands of the most savage and wretched barbarians.”
[Origen:] Celsus exhorts us to help the Emperor and be his fellow soldiers. To this we reply, “You cannot demand military service of Christians any more than you can of priests.” We cannot go forth as soldiers with the Emperor even if he demands this. [Origen goes on to say that if the Romans followed the teachings of Jesus, there would be no barbarians]
We should note that Christians were rejecting the emperor because to fight for the Emperor was to place first allegiance to him. Christians do not pledge their allegiance to anyone other than Jesus.
Now read the quote again and instead of barbarians insert terrorist or extremist or Muslim. And instead of the emperor put something like President or King and instead of Romans put Americans.
Once you do that maybe we’ll begin to see why these early Christians were killed.
(and maybe why governments today seem pretty cozy with Christians around)
Friday, August 22, 2008
As I look at the grade that I received, it is really easy to say, “Man I could have done better.” or, “Man I should have worked just a little bit harder!” (Both of which I could have or maybe should have done.) The problem is that I can’t go back and redo that experience in my life. It is in the past and that’s all there is to it. I need to accept the fact that I received a B. It does not make me less of a person.
I’ve been thinking about this over the past few days, as I prepare for my final. I messed up. I was not prepared and missed the first day of class. I got distracted and only did a portion of one piece of homework and received a really bad grade on it. There were nights, when I didn’t study like I should have. I made some mistakes. I could have done better. That’s the honest truth.
BUT!!! I can’t continually beat myself down.
If I am continually looking over my shoulder second-guessing myself, I can never move forward towards becoming a better person. This is not to say that looking back at all isn’t a good thing, but there needs to come a time when I move forward. On the other side I need to look back and realize what mistakes I made so I can improve myself. I can look at mistakes and see them as failures or I can see them as formational opportunities. This means that I use the past to help shape the future!
The problem is that too many people either spend all their time beating themselves up over mistakes. This results in a person becoming completely insecure and always wondering what if. The other side of the problem is some people never learn from their mistakes. This results in a person who is completely insecure, wondering why they’re always screwing up. Neither person is getting better at what they’re doing.
Personally, I want to become a better student. So here is my formation plan.
To do this, I need to look at where I made my mistakes, understand the nature of these mistakes, make a plan to move forward, and finally give myself some measurable action steps to start implementing that plan. Here’s an example:
Mistake: I didn’t double check the date of the beginning of the class.
Nature: I am not organized.
Plan: Get organized.
Action Step: Put my class schedule on Google Calendar & link it to my email.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Have you seen the Botox commercial? Its tag line is “freedom of expression.”
No seriously! It’s actually the message that Botox is using to advertise its product (A product that actually kills nerve endings in the skin not allowing it to move).
Like I said ironic.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Barack Obama in a speech in April of 2007 made this quote, "I still believe that America is the last, best hope of Earth" in a speech at the Chicago Council of Global Affairs.
Monday, August 11, 2008
I also recommend you check out the video posted in the "Fun, Sarcastic, and Trivial" box on the right, or here, for a funny sarcastic look at the election!
Friday, August 08, 2008
I work at the seminary answering the phone in the evenings and perform sercurity rounds where I lock and secure the academic buildings on campus. The part of my job that I hate the most is I'm responsible to ask the skateboarders to leave the campus.
Now last fall we had some kids break into some buildings and stole some stuff. That and the fact that skateboarding can damage the sidewalks and if they get hurt the school could be sued help me to understand that yes there is a reason for their removal.
But I still feel like a jerk...
p.s. to show i'm cool check out this link!
Before I get into Matthew, I'd like to quickly make one point: meaning is found in context. A sentence gives meaning to it's parts by their relationships. A paragraph gives a sentence meaning by relating it to other sentences. And so on and so forth. This is important in Biblical Studies as we look at verses. They must not be isolated from their context. So as we read a verse or a chapter we must be sure to attach it on the overarching context that it is located in. It is for this reason that we begin with a quick look at Matthew's structure. With that said let's look at the over arching context of Matthew.
The book of Matthew can be split into two major sections. The first major section going from Chapter 4 to the middle of 16. The second major section going from chapter 16 to the end of the book. A good way to summarize the first major section is found in 4:23. Here Jesus is said to begin to teach the good news of the kingdom to the whole region of Galilee. Likewise the second major section can be seen to follow verse 16:21. In this verse, Jesus begins to explain to his disciples that he is going to Jerusalem to be killed.
The First Half of Matthew:
So the first half of the book can be broken apart like this: He preaches the Sermon on the Mount (5-7). After that there is a two chapter section (8-9) where he goes around performing 10 great signs. He then sends out his disciples to spread this message farther (10). When the disciple return, Israel rejects Jesus teachings (11-12) which causes Jesus rejects Israel (13-15). The beginning of chapter 16 we find Jesus with only his disciples still following him and in a foreign country.
The Second Half of Matthew:
It is at this point that Matthew begins his second section. It begins with Jesus moving towards Jerusalem (17-21). This section climaxes with Jesus actually entering the temple. As he enters into the city he begins a series of teachings against the city and against the religious leaders there (21-25). These teachings lead to the conspiracy by the priests to kill Jesus which is carried out and Jesus is crucified after a scandalous "trial" (26-27). On the first day of the week, Jesus is raised from the dead! He then instructs his disciples that all authority has been given to him and they should go and teach what he has taught them!
This is the book of Matthew in a very brief nutshell: A proclamation (and subsequent rejection) of the Kingdom of Heaven. Then a climatic journey to Jerusalem (and the cross).
One big question I have as I look at this raw data: 'Are the two parts related?" For this sake of this series I am going to assume so. Which means we should ask another question, 'What does this mean about the Cross and the Kingdom of Heaven?'
This is where I will pick up next time.
What are your thoughts?