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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Coolest Skeleton

Since it is Halloween I thought I would post an appropriate picture. This is the coolest skeleton on the web.

This is a picture made entirely of Craftsman tools. You can see their ad HERE and it will show you which tool is making what part of the skeleton. You can even make it dance. I thought this was a great advertising idea. I bet someone at Craftsman got a bonus for this.

Now, I know as a Christian I should not even know Halloween exists, so if anyone is offended by this, just think of this skeleton as Martin Luther's skeleton and I am posting it in celebration of the day he nailed his 95 Thesis to the Wittenburg door.

Anyway, Craftsman tools...too cool.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Funniest Thing I Heard Today - 10.23.07

Get up off that thing.

My wife, Rhonda, to my daughter, Jessica, at the doctor's office.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

What Else Can You Get For Two Bits?

Last Saturday (Oct. 13) my local Christian bookstore, Born Again Used Books, had an big sidewalk sale. They has 120 boxes full of 25¢ books. I just cannot pass up a 25¢ book so I spend some time meandering through the books to find those books that most will pass over. I think I found some great finds for future use:

Between the Testaments by Charles Pfeiffer, Baker 1963. This looks like a nice book for an overview of the history of the time between Malachi and Matthew. This will be a great tool for research on any New Testament class I may teach. While not related to this book, here is a nice PDF file about the Intertestamental times. Click Here. Price: 25¢.

The Burden of Søren Kierkegaard by Edward John Carnell, Eerdmans 1965. "An inquiry into two major themes in Kierkegaard's theology: "existential living" and "truth is subjectivity" by a conservative theologian." (quote from this bibliography). All I know about Kierkegaard is that his theology is existential in nature and I thought it would be good to read up on him.Price: 25¢.

Rediscovering the Parables by Joachim Jeremias, SCM Press 1966. This seems to be a somewhat influential book in regards to the interpretation of the parables. In fact, this article's abstract seems to indicate most biblical interpreters today have been influenced by this book. Price: 25¢.

Dogmatics in Outline by Karl Barth, Harper & Row 1966. This looks like a good introductory book to understand Barth and his theology. I have been wanting to dig in a little deeper to Barthian theology, so this will be a good start. Here is an article about this book. Price: 25¢.

Christian Excellence: Alternative to Success by Jon Johnston, Baker 1985. This is a topic I believe needs to be revisited over and over again. In our Western culture, the success syndrome has infected the church. Here is an article related to the topic of this book. Price: 25¢.

The diddy says, "Shave and haircut - two bits." Last weekend, I did not get a shave and a haircut but I did purchase some great finds for two bits. Not a bad trade.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Yes, I Am A Geek

With new season of television shows starting, I have noticed that I have been watching mostly the sci-fi shows. Now, I realize that I should be watching less T.V. but with the help of TiVo, I can at least watch when I want and so my schedule is not dictated by the networks. Nevertheless, I was glad when the seasons for Stargate Atlantis and Doctor Who started up again. I am loving Eureka. I have noticed NBC is capitalizing on the sci-fi theme (not surprising since they own the Sci-Fi network). I have been enjoying Heroes, Journeyman, and Bionic Woman (sort of). I am even looking forward to the Battlestar Galatica new season (whether I should or not). My point is, I realize I am a science fiction geek.

That is why I was somewhat intrigued when I heard that George Lucas was coming out with a live-action T.V. series based on Star Wars (read the article here). Since half the sci-fi on t.v. is reworked shows from the 70's (Battlestar, Bionic Woman, Doctor Who) and they seem to be a doing a fairly good job with them, perhaps this Star Wars series has a chance.

I realize that in general science fiction shows do not match with my theology. Almost by definition, science fiction rules out the concept of God, especially as Creator, and holds up science as the answer to all of life's problems. The shows usually say, "If we could just develop the technology, we could solve...." and then enter any of life's problems: crime, death, disease, famine, whatever. As a believer, I realize that this is not the case and the answer to these issues is rooted in the saving work of Jesus Christ.

That being said, there is nothing like watching dogfights in space, time traveling, worm holes, robotic/bionic/cybernetic whozewhatis, firefights with lasers/phasers/ray guns/stun guns, and so on.

So, I am sure when it premieres, the ol' Tivo will be set to the new Star Wars series and I will give it a shot. Even if that does make me a geek.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

There Is A Good Illustration In There Somewhere

Today, while I was in a waiting room, I picked up a USA Today Sports Weekly newspaper. In it was some interesting statistics on Brett Farve, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. Now, I am not a Cheesehead but I do like to watch a good quarterback play. I am also not the most avid sports fan (that is Mark's and/or Tony's area). However, I do recognize the makings of a good sermon illustration when I see one. Here is what I am talking about (These stats are old already but they still paint the picture at which I am getting):

The article told how Brett Farve has just tied Dan Marino for career passing touchdowns. They both have 420. In fact, here is the top ten list:

T1. Dan Marino ------420
T1. Brett Farve-------420
3. Fran Tarkenton ----342
4. John Elway---------300
5. Warren Moon------291
6. Johnny Unitas------290
7. Peyton Manning----280
8. Joe Montana-------273
9. Vinny Testaverde--270
10. Dave Krieg--------261
( USA Today Sports Weekly, Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 2007)

The fact that Farve tied Marino is probably pretty well known as it was publicized when it happened. However, there were a few more statistics that I found interesting and fodder for sermon illustrations.

First, there is another record on which Farve is fast encroaching. He is three interceptions away from having the all time record for career interceptions. Here is the top three list:

1. Geroge Blanda----277
2. Brett Farve-------275
3. John Hadl--------268
( USA Today Sports Weekly, Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 2007)

It seems to me that these records should be seen side-by-side. For almost every two touchdowns Farve threw, he also threw an interception. If someone only heard that Farve is only two interceptions away to tying the record and three away from stealing this inauspicious title, they may be tempted to think Farve a failure as a quarterback. His failures should be interpreted through his successes. Sure, those interceptions were mistakes, and they made him mad (I'm sure), and it probably hurt the team. But his interceptions did not stop him from trying. He kept throwing and throwing and now he is tied for the all-time record for passing touchdowns.

Another statistic impressed me that I think must be interpreted with the passing touchdown record. Brett Farve has had more consecutive starts by a quarterback in regular season than any other quarterback. Here are the top seven:

Brett Farve, Packers (92-07)----240
Peyton Manning, Colts (98-07)--147
Ron Jaworski, Eagles (77-84)----116
Joe Ferguson, Bills (77-84)------107
Tom Brady, Patriots (01-07)----97
Dan Marino, Dolphins (87-93)---95
Roman Gabriel, Rams (65-72)---89
( USA Today Sports Weekly, Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 2007)

It is interesting to note how work ethic and longevity has helped Farve capture the record for passing touchdowns. One wonders if he would have anywhere close to 420 passing touchdowns if he had not started 240 games.

Related to this, the article in USA Today Sports Weekly showed the number of quarterbacks other teams have had since the beginning point of Farve's consecutive starts (beginning in 1992). While I will not tell all of them, Chicago had 20 quarterbacks, Raiders have had 15, Denver has had 13, Indianapolis has had 9. Green Bay has has one. Surely, the cohesiveness of team can be contributed to Farve's longevity and the strength of the team leadership is the reason Farve threw for 420 touchdowns so far in his career.

I am not sure what Scripture passage this could illustrate - Surely verses on a good work ethic and leadership. But I am thinking more about those verses which speak directly to the leaders of the church. Do we stop throwing because we accidentally threw an interception? Or do we keep throwing for the end zone? How can pastors effectively lead the body if they have no longevity? It is these questions that run through my mind when I see these stats.

I am sure there is a good sermon illustration in there somewhere.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Which Jesus Do You Follow?

This video is not for the faint of heart. There are some graphic images in it. But it is powerful and worth watching if you can. I do not know anything about the singer or about the circumstances around the writing of the song. It is somewhat provocative; worth thinking about.

Let me know what you think.