Friday, January 30, 2004

GeekPunk.com

Just stumbled upon a news brief about this comic--Super Hero Happy Hour . This is brilliant!

Yeah, The Tick had an episode like this, and there've been other brief things along these lines within an established series--but a whole series of this? Brilliant.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Starting the Day with a Laugh

Ann Coulter's latest begins this way: "After the New Hampshire primary, Dennis Kucinich's new slogan is: '.001 Percent of America Can't Be Wrong!' John Edwards' new slogan is: 'Vote for Me or We'll See You in Court.' Joe Lieberman's new slogan is: 'Sixth Place Is Not an Option.' (Bumper sticker version: 'Ask Me About My Delegate.') Al Sharpton's new slogan is 'Hello? Room Service?' Wesley Clark's new slogan is: 'Leading America's War on Fetuses.' Howard Dean's new slogan is: 'I Want to Be Your President ... And So Do I!'

That leaves John Kerry (new slogan: 'Nous Sommes Nombre Un!')"

Read the entire column: Just a gigolo

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Blast from the Past

Doonesbury's Take on John Kerry

Yeah, sure, it's from '71, but still funny.

thanks to worldmagblog for this ...

Monday, January 26, 2004

Anyone have some sedatives to spare?

My kids have found a flood of excess energy the last couple of days. I have no idea where it came from, but I do know that I'm about to be driven insane by it.

It started yesterday on the way to church--Interstate's icy and slick, wife is reading me my sermon notes on the way to help me review, and the 4 and 5 year old are jumping all over the place and babbling at very high volume. (how they're jumping yet strapped into their booster seats I haven't figured out). All in all a fun time.

And they haven't calmed down yet . . . I've begged/commanded them to calm down several million times today and it works for about .5 seconds. Wit's End? That's about 5 yards to my left . . .

Wow . . .

Colleges Noticing Home Schooled Student . . . this is just too strange: mainstream press with a positive story about Homeschooling. Guess the AP didn't get the memo . . .

Friday, January 23, 2004

TV, TV, TV

Few scattered thoughts on my TV obsessions.

Alias--this show . . . man. It gets stranger, and stranger all the time. But even when you're not sure what's going on, it's a blast to watch.

Smallville--guilty pleasure in a way. Too much eye candy. But, man, when they put together a good episode, it's really, really good! And, hey, a Pete Ross story was the focus of this week's episdoe . . .can't go wrong with that.

Ed--looks like the nice, strange ride is ending in Feb. Heck, I didn't figure it would last a whole season, but I'm gonna miss Stuckyville.

Monk--great show from the start, keeps getting better and better. The episode with John Turturro as his brother was one of the best things I've seen in months.

NYPD Blue--please, please, please ABC, bring it back soon!

10 Commandments monument

Okay, there's some controversy in Boise because the City Council voted on Tuesday to move a 10 Commandments monument from a city park. For the heck of it, I'll throw my 2 cents out there.

As I understand it, Fred Phelps (the supposed Christian whose sole purpose in life is to rabble-rouse)* wanted to put some statue in a Boise park. Knowing Phelps (not personally, but I've run into his progeny online), it was offensive to many, many people with a thin veneer of Christianity painted on top of it. Anyway, to justify the fact that they'll don't want him to, the city's removing all such statues/monuments. There's some sort of threatened lawsuit, too, from people out of state (you need to read When Blue States Attack if you haven't yet). Don't know if it's related to Phelps or not. There are probably some other reasons, too, but that's what I've heard.

Now, the radio news today stated that this issue was put on the City Council meeting agenda at 5:30 last Friday (right before a 3 day weekend). Then Tuesday they had the meeting, refused to let any citizens talk about it during the meeting and voted to remove it. Originally it was scheduled to be moved today. As the lawyer for the group trying to keep the monument in place, "What's the urgency?" Why indeed are they rushing this?

Now, from a religious point of view I don't care if they have the statue there or not--the LAW is still binding on everyone whether they know it or not. It does say a great deal about the moral and spiritual state of this nation, however. I fear for my kids. Now when it comes to the legal reasoning behind this trend, let me quote from that above mentioned article (very coincidentally, btw):

"The alleged legal basis for removing all of these Ten Commandments monuments is the establishment clause of the First Amendment. That clause provides: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." The vigilant observer will note instantly that none of the monuments cases involves Congress, a law or an establishment of religion.

Monuments are not "laws," the Plattsmouth, Neb., public park is not "Congress," and the Ten Commandments are not a religion. To the contrary, all three major religions believe in Moses and the Ten Commandments. Liberals might as well say the establishment clause prohibits Republicans from breathing, as that it prohibits a Ten Commandments display. But over the past few years, courts have ordered the removal of dozens and dozens of Ten Commandments displays"

well, maybe that was 4 cents in the end.

* is that spelled right?

Now that's planning ahead

Sci Fi Wire reports that work on Shrek 3 is already underway. Not only is that planning ahead, but that's a lot of confidence in #2!

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Blocked

Robert B. Parker is known for saying he doesn't believe in writer's block--it's his job, you just go in and do it--you never hear of a plumber getting plumber's block. Eh, maybe.

But I cannot seem to write anything this week--sermon, email, article, blog, nuttin'--just empty screen . . . .

bah

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Excuses, thy name is HC Newton

Just received some bad news about a friend. I feel like an utter failure. It's been a couple of months since I've seen him--and I'm about the only friend he has in the area. Now, my presence in his life would not have prevented the problems he's having--but maybe, just maybe it could've lessened it. Yeah, yeah, I have a bazillion reasons for not having made it out to see him, and at least 80% are legitimate.

The fact that I have such a list makes me mad. It shows me that now matter how important I think people are to me, I can find many things that are moreso. And it isn't just him, come to think of it. I have similar reasons for not seeing my grandmother, or aunt, or other grandmother, or some other friends--or for doing something to help out complete and utter strangers at a shelter, or CPC, or . . .

man, I suck.

This is great . . .

Someone obviously has way too much time on their hands, but at least they use it for the betterment of society.

Go check out this flash video to Weird Al's "Angry White Boy Polka". Yeah, it takes awhile, but it can be done fine with dialup. . . .

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Thought for the Lord's Day

from Barne's Notes on Eph. 4:1

To “walk worthy of that calling,” is to live as becomes a Christian, an heir of glory; to live as Christ did. It is:

(1) To bear our religion with us to all places, companies, employments. Not merely to be a Christian on the Sabbath, and at the communion table, and in our own land, but every day, and everywhere, and in any land where we may be placed. We are to live religion, and not merely to profess it. We are to be Christians in the counting-room, as well as in the closet; on the farm as well as at the communion table; among strangers, and in a foreign land, as well as in our own country and in the sanctuary.
(2) It is to do nothing inconsistent with the most elevated Christian character. In temper, feeling, plan, we are to give expression to no emotion, and use no language, and perform no deed, that shall be inconsistent with the most elevated Christian character.
(3) It is to do “right always:” to be just to all; to tell the simple truth; to defraud no one; to maintain a correct standard of morals; to be known to be honest. There is a correct standard of character and conduct; and a Christian should be a man so living, that we may always know “exactly where to find him.” He should so live, that we shall have no doubts that, however others may act, we shall find “him” to be the unflinching advocate of temperance, chastity, honesty, and of every good work - of every plan that is really suited to alleviate human woe, and benefit a dying world.
(4) It is to live as one should who expects soon to be “in heaven.” Such a man will feel that the earth is not his home; that he is a stranger and a pilgrim here; that riches, honors, and pleasures are of comparatively little importance; that he ought to watch and pray, and that he ought to be holy. A man who feels that he may die at any moment, will watch and pray. A man who realizes that “tomorrow” he may be in heaven, will feel that he ought to be holy. He who begins a day on earth, feeling that at its close he may be among the angels of God, and the spirits of just men made perfect; that before its close he may have seen the Saviour glorified, and the burning throne of God, will feel the importance of living a holy life, and of being wholly devoted to the service of God. Pure should be the eyes that are soon to look on the throne of God; pure the hands that are soon to strike the harps of praise in heaven; pure the feet that are to walk the “golden streets above.”

Friday, January 16, 2004

Needing a lesson?

Here's draft one of my exhortation to go along with the reading of the Law this week, this is kind of odd, I tend to make them up on the fly (and as a result, they tend to sound pretty much the same). Need to do this more in the future.

The idea of the law as something to spur us to Christ is something we?re all familiar with, maybe even used to. But how many of us seek out the Law so that it will drive us to Christ? David prays ?Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.? (Ps. 139:23-24). Job as well asks God, ?How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin.? (13:23)

We all know at times that we?ve drifted from Christ, from our first love. We know that our hearts have gotten a little harder, a little colder. And what do we so often do? We try to warm our hearts ourselves, try to beat them a little to soften them up. We pray that God would rekindle the love we had, but so often we ignore the means that God himself gave us to do that. When we go to the Law, ask the Schoolmaster for a lesson, we will discover anew our sin and our great need of mercy?and that will always drive us to Christ, enflaming our faith, our love and devotion toward him.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Poor Lex

Smallville's back (phew! I can breathe again). Fairly satisfying episode. I like the Clark/Lana split--it'll be temporary, I know, which is part of the reason I like it. Reason #2 to like it is Ma Kent's meddling . . . great mom.

The Lex storyline was interesting, a little on the silly side, but I can live with it. Gave Michael Rosenbaum some great stuff to do tho' . . . best actor on the show--hands down.

Best part of all was the Blast-from-the-Past trio (or is that quartet?)...Clark's vanquished foes going for a little revenge. It was great to see them in the opening scene, nice to see that Clark learned enough from his previous exposure leech-boy that he could take care of him in a few minutes . . .

Homeschoolers vs. Big Brother

Michelle Malkin hits the nail right on the head in Homeschoolers vs. Big Brother. The whole thing is gold, particularly the last two paragraphs (here's the final 'graph):

A crackdown on innocent homeschooling families to cure the incompetence of government child-welfare agencies is like a smoker lopping off his ear to treat metastatic lung cancer. It's a bloody wrong cure conceived by a fool who caused his own disease.

saddest thing for me is, my parents would fall on the other side . . .

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Nice article

Just stumbled upon this during a google search for something totally unrelated . . . Boundless-Professors and Puritans

Footnote

Glad to see that Fraiser's not going the Michael Jordan route (see yesterday's "Rocketing Back . . . ") and calling it quits while still fresh--fresher actually than the last couple of years. Smart move from a generally smart show, so I shouldn't be surprised.

Disturbing

Actor-Writer Spalding Gray Reported Missing in NY

I was just looking online the other day for new material from him, and now I read this. He was a big influence in life a few years ago, actually, I should probably dig out his tapes/books again and go through them. Might help my blogging . . .

Monday, January 12, 2004

This is the single greatest piece of news I've read in months

Sci Fi Wire -- Hitchhiker Stars Set

No additional comment is necessary.

Text for the week

Ephesians 4:1-6 :
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (NKJV)

Anyone who has any brilliant insights into this passage that I shouldn't leave out of my exhortation to the congregation next Lord's Day is encouraged to pass them on.

Rocketing Back . . .

Don't know if it was the presence of Andy Petite, competitive drive, or the love of the game. But Roger Clemens announced he's un-retiring. I hope, I hope this isn't a mistake. I'd hate for him to leave before it was time, but even more, I'd hate for him to stick around longer than he should. Like, say a certain basketball player turned baseball player turned basketball player turned owner turned . . . and so on.

Oh, and Jeff Nelson is joining the Rangers.

I may just have to move to Texas......

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Checkin' in

Haven't had much to say in a couple of days. Well, did my exhortation on Eph 3:14-21 today. I'm usually a read the script kind of guy, but I've been loosening up lately. But today (for various reasons) I only used a thorough outline. It went okay, but there were two verses that inexplicably I had little to say, no matter how hard I tried,

"that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith"

There's a lot there, I know it, but as I prepped this week, I just couldn't put anything into words--was kind a counting on inspiration striking while I delivered it this morning. Of course, no inspiration came . . .

Anyhow, other than that, it went pretty well. Glory to God. Quite a few people told me it was beneficial for them--which is a nice change, the last few exhortations were pretty useless I fear.

'Course now we're done with the "indicative" part of the letter, on to the "imperative." I get to spend the next couple of months telling people what to do. Yippee!! **

**=(just a joke, folks)

Friday, January 09, 2004

Ahhhh . . . brilliant

A friend of mine calls Guiness "Chocolate Milk for Grown Ups." Now I wouldn't say that, in fact, I resent the notion that Chocolate Milk is just for kids (in fact, a good Hershey's Creamy Chocolate Milk Shake often hits the spot).

However, when drinking a Guiness, as I am now, one knows that there is a Creator, and he is good . . . .

Welcome Audrey!!!!!

Like to take a moment to welcome little Audrey to this wonder little ball of dirt we call Earth. Hearty congratulations to her Mom and Dad. Praise the Lord for her safe arrival!!

(btw, Al, I expect a really nice cigar next time I see ya)

Note to self: SET THE VCR!

Now don't ask me why Sci Fi Wire covers Alias all the time--loose definition of Sci Fi, I guess (I'm not complaining however), but today they report that this week's episode will answer all the questions we've had about what happened between Seasons 2 and 3--and of course, will totally upend the rest of the season.
This is one of the many reasons I love the show--just when yhou start to get comfortable (even if you don't fully understand what you're comfortable with) they yank the carpet out from under you. Granted, even if they stopped doing that and just kept a straight linear story going, or didn't even do story arcs, just a silly adventure a week thing, I'd watch it just for Victor Garber and Kevin Weisman. But I'm pretty sure I don't have to worry about that for at least 2 more years.

Here's the Sci Fi story:New Alias Answers Alll

Big Step

My 4 year old read today. Not the reading like, "hey I recognize that logo," or "someone told me what this word is" but real, actual, sounding-out reading.

He thinks it's cool and all, and he knows I'm thrilled, but he's not sure he gets the fuss I'm making.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

one day to go . . .

Lord willing, my best friend will be having a baby tomorrow (well, his wife will anyway). I'm more excited for them than I about my own new son's immanent birth.

True Godliness

In another installment of letting other people do my writing for me, here’s a selection from Willem Teellink. So many of the conversations I have where someone is telling me that they don’t try to be godly or obedient or practice righteousness or whatever as they believe in Total Depravity, or that since Christ is the only one who can do good, or whatever. (the number of whatever’s there shows how close I listen to this flummery—it’s all the same). And, of course, they think that because I think that Christian life is about practicing godliness, or that I think “the Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man” (WSC Q1) I must not hold to Total Depravity, etc.

Teellink’s book hits hard with the duty of being obedient—feels at times too hard (that’d be my old man still lurking about). I wish I could think like this when I’m talking to my antinomian friends (whether they’re self-consciously so or otherwise)

First, he notes that “true godliness is a gift of God by which man is made willing and able to serve God.” Get that, a gift of God—not something we dig up from within! (Sounds a whole lot like WSC Q35 to me.)

Later he says (and this is the point the point I’ve been trying to get to):
“We must therefore begin to practice all this [godliness], not in our own strength, which means absolutely nothing, but in the power of our Lord ands Savior Jesus Christ, who is the strength of our life and by whom we can do all things. See how the godly Paul counsels us: “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Eph. 6:10). This was his own practice, as it was of all the godly in his time. He therefore says, “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3). Take not that before we believed we were powerless and totally unable to do good, and after we believe we are not “sufficient [able] of ourselves to think any thin as of ourselves; but our sufficiency [ability] is of God” (2 Cor. 3:5). Therefore, the good that is in us through regeneration serves only to make us more and more inclined to expect and to cultivate the good help and power of God. He strengthens us and works all our works for us, even he who “is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8)
Take careful note of this, for surely many a man begins the practice of godliness and then gives up in discouragement and withdraws from his work, Since he began it in his own strength, he makes a mess of things. It’s exactly the same thing as when a little child, in his own strength, wants to build a big castle. It is a fact that our own strength means nothing in the building up of the Christian life. Unless the power of the Almighty comes upon us, we cannot building anything that will last. That is why we call it godliness; it reminds us that without God and his holy help we would never be able to accomplish this work.”





NASA Cover-up???

From Peter David's blog: For those interested in seeing a Mars photo that NASA is trying to keep under wraps, go here.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Can't Ever Happen--It'd be toooo good

Yesterday someone posted a link to an old Credenda/Agenda article (one that I didn't find terribly helpful, either). But I got to looking through the rest of the issue and was reminded of this great piece. If Doug Wilson was nominated for Secretary of Education . . lol.

"I am opposed to prayer in the government schools for the same reason I am opposed to drinking fountains, lockers, classrooms and children there." AMEN

Safe Love

“It seems to me now that the plain state of being human is dramatic enough for anyone; you don’t need to be a heroin addict or a performance poet to experience extremity. You just have to love someone.”

This is one of the conclusions reached by the protagonist in Nick Hornby’s How to be Good—for some reason it struck me more than many of the others. One reason it may have stood out is that it sounds like a conclusion reached by protagonists in Hornby’s other novels—the fantastic High Fidelity, and the heart-warming About a Boy. Love—romantic or friendship—is about taking a risk. A risk of injury, a risk of nothing ever changing, a risk that you’re missing something better, and so on.

And while I can’t think of any other examples at the moment (to my embarrassment, because this makes my argument harder to make), this is a theme common in recent TV shows, movies, songs, etc. To open up to someone is a dangerous thing, we’re told.

I halfway wonder if the appeal (and it is usually discussed in this way) of Love and Relationships as risky has something to do with the popularity Open Theism’s “God Who Risks” (รก la John Sanders) . . .

But ultimately, I think this shows a problem with our zeitgeist. It’s too individualistic, not covenantal perspective on these things. Now, my Baptist friends, hold on—I think you won’t be offended here. If you covenant to love someone—either as a spouse or a “bosom companion” (to use a Puritan phrase) there’s a safety there that isn’t possible in other instances. Here’s where the courtship-only folks make their strongest case.

My wife and I have made a covenant—there’s no risk there, it’s safe. There’s where the whole richer/poorer, better/worse, disease/health thing comes in. If one of us changes into a “different person” well, that’s covered. Ditto for missing something better (as my wife is), or getting hurt—‘cuz you’ll get over it if you work at it.

Same thing goes for friends—a friend and I had a falling out some time ago—and we pretty much don’t speak for a year, which is made easier by us living 5 hours apart. A couple of years before that, I went through this Promise Keeper-Knock Off phase (about the same time as PK took off, so it was just a competitor then) and I’d made a covenant with him, as I recall lifting Jonathan and David’s language. Anyway, when my friend had gotten some major things straitened out in his life, he knew that he could resume our friendship safely. Within a matter of weeks our relationship was probably as close as it’d been before.

Now when I started thinking about this quotation a couple days ago, the application was pretty clear to me, and I think I haven’t translated my thinking too well to the page. But hopefully you see it. Real love—whatever form it takes—isn’t risky, it isn’t dangerous. Commitment is an integral part of love. And nothing’s safer than commitment.

oh sure . . .

the same day that I finally take the plunge and post one of these "What _______ are you?" tests, my favorite Internet comic does this to me . . .
1/6/04's DORK TOWER

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Today's Breakpoint

I frequently get tired of Colson's reading perspectives (usually can see them coming a mile away), but sometimes he really hits one out of the ball park. This is worth the read just for the picture of the Bushes.
BreakPoint | At the Foot of the Cross

Personality Test (yes, I have a personality!)

Took yet another of those ubiquitous personality tests--this one is almost as fun as "what Batman villain are you?" (I'm the Joker, lost the link, sorry). Anyway, for those who were interested, I'm a:
Hobbit
Hobbit


To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thanks to Julie for the link.

Poor girl

Got a 21 month old princess who won't get off my lap. She's not feeling too good today and demands to stay perched here.

Really, really hard to get anything done this way--and I don't care. :)

Political Truism

"Americans have a tendency to think the problem with politics lies with their candidates and not themselves. The truth is Americans deserve the blame for the state of our politics and the state of our media."

Yeah, yeah, I know--it's been said many times before. But it's true (and continues to be true, which is why people have to keep saying it). Jonah Goldberg was the most recent one to say it, and he said it in one of the more entertaining ways I've seen.

Monday, January 05, 2004

from Earthlink's latest newsletter

The Cover Project . . . this is just cool.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Basic Math Skills Displayed

For those keeping score at home, yes I have now used the word "resolve" in 2 consecutive posts. Well, as of this one, three.

Marking a little more time . . .

Aaack, way too busy to do a real post (have a couple in mind I'd like to make). But to show (myself) that I really have some resolve, thought I'd throw this up.