Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Praying for an earthquake

The past two weeks in our Sunday morning Bible study emphasized having confidence in God through tough times. I agree and teach that we will be supplied with strength through dangerous times, but when I look at my life I don't have dangerous times. Paul and Silas were beaten . . . BEATEN WITH RODS ON THEIR BODIES AND FACE. They were thrown in jail . . . in a cold, dark place with hard floors. So, Paul and Silas sang . . . How Great Thou Art, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, well, songs of joy.
How does that translate today? When your teacher gives you a lower grade than you expected - sing. When the bills are more than the paycheck - sing. When you're diagnosed with cancer - sing. When you feel like Jeremiah in the days of Billy Graham - sing.
My days aren't harsh like Paul's, but oh, the moans I want groan. Let's sing, and let's sing joyfully. We know that we can . . . WE ARE BLESSED to count it all joy when we encounter trials and tribulations for we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. And let this perseverance have its full effect, that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
The best part about suffering is the earthquake that comes at the end. Paul and Silas saw the jailor and his whole family put their faith in Christ.
Where's my earthquake? Who's the jailor I get to lead out of darkness and into light?

Da Vinci Code Breakers

There is trouble in the making for author Dan Brown. Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, authors of the 1982 nonfiction book “The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail,” are suing publisher Random House, Inc. claiming that Brown developed much of his plot line from their research and final theory regarding Jesus' crucifixion and life.
The New York Times reports
The three authors spent five years, from 1976 to 1981, researching the book, they say, before arriving at what they call the "central architecture" of their argument. It is this architecture — the trajectory of the case they make in "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" — that they say Mr. Brown appropriated, rather than individual words or passages.

"It is not as though Brown has simply lifted a discrete series of raw facts from 'The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail,' " the plaintiffs argue in court papers. "He has lifted the connections that join the points up." They continue: "There is no other credible explanation as to how the architecture from "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" could be in "The Da Vinci Code."

In addition, the plaintiffs say, their book is not "a historical account of facts and it does not purport to be such," but is, rather, "a book of historical conjecture setting out the authors' hypotheses" — and thus protected by copyright.

Most notably are Brown's comments negating his alleged theft as msnbc.msn.com reports, “This is not an idea that I would ever have found appealing. Being raised a Christian and having sung in my Church choir for 15 years, I’m well aware that Christ’s crucifixion is the very core of the Christian faith.”

More from Brown, “Suggesting a married Jesus is one thing, but questioning the Resurrection undermines the very heart of Christian belief.”

The most striking feature of these pleas of innocence based on Brown's faith is that his writing is a direct attack against the Christian faith.

While the Da Vinci Code has captivated readers everywhere, it is nothing less than a heretical claim against Jesus deity and the authority of Scripture. Attacking Jesus deity is attacking the resurrection. Afterall, who cares if Jesus was crucified or resurrected if He isn't God.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Husbands - a must read

Last week I read C. J. Mahaney's Sex, Romance And The Glory Of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs To Know.

It was a great read. Husbands across the board need to read it. I can't wait until I'm married for five or six years so I can tell all those pitiful husbands who woefully me know that the first year is just about the length of a "good" marriage.
This book is all about keeping your marriage as wonderful as God intended it to be.

Be lucky, Be blessed, or Be perturbed

I remember my first taste of the internet as a senior in high school. It was fascinating: email, chat rooms, and crazy information at the tip of my fingers. After years of internet surfing, I still love the internet. After years of email, situating contacts, inbox clutter, and junk mail, I still am a fan of the internet. Most notably, I love the recent phenomonan of the blogosphere.
Here's one of the problems with the internet and email - Forwards and daily emails. This may seem as a surprise to many of you since you receive a new weekly mass email I started - "Question of the Week." I have always loved surveys, but my aunt Tanya suggested this as a fun and quick alternative to the long surveys. Needless to say, I like it. I hope you enjoy the interaction you have with friends and family through this email.
There are overwhelming amounts of forwards that promise luck or the spiritualized version promising a blessing. Things like these waste everyone's time including the people that type in the subject line, "This is great! Read this!" Superficial and shallow emails waste time.
The bottom line is that people are turning to para-church alternatives for spiritual nourishment. These alternatives often differ in doctrine and are simply weak. Rather than driving ourselves to such measures, let's turn to our local church. The church is responsible to build up the saints to maturity. Ask your church for opportunities to study the Bible and hear what history has to say about doctrine, controversy, and the Kingdom of God. Let's dig into some biographies of great missionaries, preachers, and others that gave their life to the advancement of the Kingdom.
We have to study to show ourselves approved. Even as John Calvin said on his death bed when others urged him to stop working, "Should my Lord return and find my hands idle?"
For now I'll continue to delete junk emails and weak forwards. And this disembodied voice will carry on . . . blogging.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The bald beauty

It wasn't too long ago, just a few months behind me that I looked in the mirror and saw different eyes looking at me. Instead of seeing youthful, vibrant, wide open eyes, I saw baggy, tired, old eyes. Now don't get me wrong, I know that 27 is not ancient, but it is slipping off the peak of Young Man to Middle Aged Man. Overall, my tired looking eyes didn't bother me too much, but let me tell you what has.
Every man has a faint cry from the bottom of his desires, "I sure hope I don't go bald." I am no different. Contrary to that hope, my curly, wild hair is not what it used to be. Teenagers from church often pointed this out to me, but I didn't think anything about it because they were teenagers; they don't want anybody looking at them so let's call the youth minister bald.
The truth came screaming to my saggy eyes one night when I saw myself (from the back) in a gas station's security camera. I knew what had been true for some time - a little light on top.
The interesting part is that I realize the desparation that every person has in life. We get old and die. I get old. I will die. The invincibility phase of my life is being phased out. The question, "is this an unnecessary risk?" is part of my reasoning at times to brave physical feats. Needless to say, I ain't what I used to be.
The reality of aging and inevitable death has been an intersting peak in my life. I am now officially in the market to keep myself from aging. I could easily pick up some Rogaine or check out other hair growth options, which are quite captivating, but the truth is no matter what I do to my outer appearance, I am going to decay, and my body is going to rot.
The visual world that people of all ages live in push images of certain values like weight, hair color, and skin texture. All shapes, sizes, and ages are encouraged to look slim, young, and colorful because no one wants to be the wrong shape, wrinkled skin, bald headed.
I write about balding to encourage you. When you look into the mirror and you don't see what you wished you could see. Rather than a vibrant reflection of life, you see . . . you. Remember that this world is not a clear picture of beauty. We are not at home in this foreign land. All those in Christ are pilgrims taking the Gospel to a lost and ugly world. Take comfort that we all long for something better and in Christ we will one day be perfect like Him for we shall see Him as He is. Until then every time I see my head getting even bigger, my hope in Him will grow much more than Rogaine could ever do.