Eureka Video Widget

Monday, July 14, 2008

Michael Brown

Farnsworth: "Good news everyone."

Dr. Michael Brown has a radio show with a blog. Audio of the shows are posted on the blog.

I have not listened to the shows yet, but there are some great topics:

Ten Reasons Why We Must Have Revival
The Error of Dual Covenant Theology
Debate with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

And much, much more.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I've decided regarding my book buying restriction that it does not apply to Bibles. I came across this bargain via TC (whose blog I found through Nick whose blog I came across through Bryan) at CBD, and I could not pass it up. According to TC, the sale goes on through Monday.

So, Bibles are not on my restriction list.


I've always wanted to take a vacation where I mostly stay in town. With the exception of teaching a class, I'm doing it. I'll take a couple of mini trips, but mostly chill out at home and visit some local museums.

That being said, I probably won't be blogging or reading many blogs for a short while. Being on the internet is too unproductive when I am supposed to be working, and too much like working when I'm supposed to be relaxing.

I have yet to decide if I'll be reading much. I'll probably just rent a bunch of movies.

Have a nice week.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Fictitious Life Again

There I the jungles...knee high the grass came to my knee. The enemy stood motionless...within sight. Somehow I knew it sensed me. Somehow I knew he knew I was there. Somehow...he knew I knew he knew I was there. The standoff was underway.

In warfare one must learn to be silent, still, stealth, until the perfect moment. In warfare, the plan often means more than brawn; it means brains. Unfortunately for my opponent, I had the advantage on both.

Compared to me, my opponent was a mere mouse. My intellect far superior. My reflexes fast as a cat. My speed quick and unmatched. My strength overwhelming. My cunning...unspeakable.

Preparing to make my move I thought, "When? Should I wait 'til he turns his head? Should I wait 'til he makes his move? When?"

My instincts took over. When I saw his ear twitch, I darted; he dashed; I dashed; he darted. Through the twists and turns I matched his moves with greater agility and speed until my claws came out, and SWIPE...victory was mine.

Ears for an appetizer, ribs for the main course, and whiskers to use for dental floss. You have not feasted until you have had mouse on a spit. This mouse would be tastiest with A1 Mouse Sauce. I had a feast.

For, I am Pascal the Cat!

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Body Broken

Tonight I finished one of two books I own called The Body Broken. This one is by Robert Benson. I'll be starting the other very soon.

If you only like books that are overtly scholarly, you will not like this book. If you like a book of stories, this book is for you.

Benson weaves stories of his life and finds connections between them. He has a way of writing that is personal, profound, and somewhat Buechner-esque. Chapters begin with quotes from Scripture and/or The Book of Common Prayer. Through his stories, the importance of unity and the pain of our division comes through clearly.

He concludes the book proper with:
The walls that have been built between us--the ones built out of fear or pride or ignorance--can be taken down. and we who sit on this pew must do exactly that. We are the ones who can stop the daily dividing up of th Body of Christ into pieces and, instead, make it more possible for the Christ to be seen in our world.

We must seek out the things that we have in common and at the same time learn to honor the things that make us different. We must learn to take the things that we hold dear--our sense of community, our love for the scriptures, our hunger for prayer, our capacity for worship--and work to make them wide enough and deep enough to include others rather than keep them at a distance.

We must be willing to cultivate humility along with certainty, to practice tolerance along with devotion, to seek patience along with piety.

We must learn to seek the face of the Christ in those who are different as readily as we do in the faces of those who are like us.

We must learn to love one another.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

And So It Goes

I was asked the other night why I like Billy Joel so much. There is something about him and his songs with which I connect. He often writes what I think and feel. Just some of those songs include "I Go to Extremes," "Honesty," "James," "And So It Goes," and "You're Only Human," which came out at a critical time in my life.

Joel seems like a tormented genius to me. He has struggled with alcoholism. When he was younger he attempted suicide by drinking furniture polish because of his affair with the wife of his drummer.

I find him to be a lyrical and musical genius. The depth of his songs is amazing. Here is an example:

Here are the lyrics:
In every heart there is a room
A sanctuary safe and strong
To heal the wounds from lovers past
Until a new one comes along

I spoke to you in cautious tones
You answered me with no pretense
And still I feel I said too much
My silence is my self defense

And every time I've held a rose
It seems I only felt the thorns
And so it goes, and so it goes
And so will you soon I suppose

But if my silence made you leave
Then that would be my worst mistake
So I will share this room with you
And you can have this heart to break

And this is why my eyes are closed
It's just as well for all I've seen
And so it goes, and so it goes
And you're the only one who knows

So I would choose to be with you
That's if the choice were mine to make
But you can make decisions too
And you can have this heart to break

And so it goes, and so it goes
And you're the only one who knows.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Twilight Zone

Yesterday, as I was driving, I was thinking about the phrase "that's like the pot calling the kettle black." Really, I was thinking about how absurd it is since pots are inanimate objects that do not talk. I was also thinking about how pots, pans, and kettles are usually not black. I suppose they were at a time, but not so much now. They come in a vast array of colors.

Today, while reading Mr. Monk in Outer Space, I came across this:
"Have you ever heard the phrase 'the pot calling the kettle black'?" I (Natalie) asked him.

"That makes no sense. Pots are inanimate objects that don't talk, and if they did, why would they talk to a kettle?"
Now isn't that weird?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Fictitious Life

The phone rang, and I picked it up just before the fourth ring when the answering machine goes off. On the other end was the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Joining NASA was not on my list of things to do. But my country needed my services, and when your country calls it is our duty to answer that call.

Being one of three Americans fluent in Martian, I understood the need. Uncle Sam's request was simple: Join the diplomatic envoy trying to secure peace with the Martians.

The war with Mars began early in 2082, when I was in kindergarten. I remember toward the end of fifth grade hearing about the loss of my uncle to a Martian Crostine Flier. The deadliest weapon on this ship of theirs is not actually a weapon. They use their tractor beam to take hold of their enemy's ship, and the tractor beam contracts until the ship is destroyed. It was a devastating time for our family.

Needless to say, I had mixed emotions. Yes, I wanted the three-decade war to end, but I also wanted revenge on these green, one-eyed monster, antennae bearing aliens. I wanted to take out some of the Martians, even if it was only a few.

But this was not my duty. I was going as a translator, and as a diplomat. The Martian language is not difficult to learn. What is difficult is tolerating the spit that spews from the Martian's mouths as they speak.

Upon entering their Hall of Diplomatic Discourse and Communication, we were required to remove socks and shoes. The floor was covered in a green ooze held sacred called Monsolatratum. It reaches the ankles and has a soothing, massage-like effect. It reminded me of those old shows from last century on a TV network called Nickelodeon. They showed us videopodtronics of it in history class.

Negotiations started harmless. We ate a Martian delicacy, Shmuttah. It is like a cross of Hispanic barbacoa and Saturn's chomista. It tasted fine, it was just difficult getting used to purple food that moved. After this, negotiations broke down.

As part of our talks, it became clear that the Martians wanted all of Europe, save France, to be declared their territory. We were only authorized to give up France. Tempers flared as no side could agree on who would get stuck with France. We took a break.

I went to use their indoor plumbing facilities, when I overheard their maniacal plot. Two Martian diplomats were kromunking (a Martian form of tuning) their antennae as they talked of their plans. Their plot to take over Planet Earth was actually to claim France. They were only acting like they did not want it so negotiations appeared fierce. We on the other hand really wanted to unload this tiny country.

They believed they could have us all at their mercy if they could gain control of the highly regarded French Fry. If they obtained a monopoly on French Fries, all the planet would be at their mercy.

This was my conundrum. I could not tell my colleagues of my newly acquired information. A diversion was needed. I did the unthinkable. I started swimming in their Monsolatratum. Outrage overtook the Hall of Diplomatic Discourse and Communication, and a scuffle broke out. We were immediately discharged and told to leave the planet.

As we boarded our spaceship and returned home, I informed my team of the evil plan and the information I acquired. That is how I saved our planet. That is how I saved the French Fries. Pass the ketchup.

Five More

OK, I finally finished another batch of five books. This means that currently I can buy two more books. (I must confess that I bought two Bible study guides, but those were work related. I'm not counting them.)

I've written about a couple of books in this latest batch, but here they are:

On Pascal by Douglas Groothuis
The Joy of Repentance by Kerry Skinner
The Work We Have to Do by Mark Noll
They Like Jesus but Not the Church by Dan Kimball
Everybody's Normal Until You Get to Know Them by John Ortberg

As anticipated, Defending Life by Francis Beckwith is still in progress. The next stack includes:

The Body Broken by Robert Benson
The Body Broken by Jack Reese
Black Bodies and Quantum Cats by Jennifer Ouellette
Religious Experience in Earliest Christianity by Luke Timothy Johnson
Mr. Monk in Outer Space by Lee Goldberg.

My pastor asked me this morning (actually yesterday morning) if I planned on reading any brain candy. I told him a bit about Black Bodies and Quantum Cats, and he said books on physics do not count as brain candy. It sounds like brain candy to me. Oh well. So, I'm including the Monk book. I'll try and read fiction every other stack of five.

Now, down to the nitty gritty. I can buy two books. I'm thinking of The Onion's Our Dumb World. Do you have any ideas?