Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Books I Am Giving Away

If you are local, just let me know you are interested so we can save $$ on postage.



Exchange your books at BookMooch.com

Friday, December 24, 2010

Marley's Lament and What Scrooge Really Did on Christmas Day

If Hamlet's father never appeared as a ghost, Shakespeare would have no story (so to speak). Similarly, if Jacob Marley had not appeared to Scrooge, there would have been no story. Sadly, important elements of Scrooge and Marley's conversation and Scrooge's response on Christmas Morning have been lost as interest in the text has diminished.

First, Marley communicated something vitally important to Scrooge that Christmas Eve, and I want to make certain that as many who read this, understand Marley's greatest lament:

"'But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,' faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

'Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. 'Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!'

It held up its chain at arm's length, as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief, and flung it heavily upon the ground again."

This is where most people, screenwriters particularly leave off. Here is the rest of what Marley said:

"'At this time of the rolling year,' the spectre said, 'I suffer most. Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode! Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!'

Scrooge was very much dismayed to hear the spectre going on at this rate, and began to quake exceedingly."

Marley laments that he never raised his eyes to the reason for the star which led the Wise Men to worship. Marley also laments that he failed in the comprehensive ocean of his business, which was to point others to Christ, and Scrooge shook to hear it.

Second, look carefully at what Scrooge did on Christmas morning. He did NOT go straight to his nephew Fred’s house, as movies and plays lead us to believe. Here is what he did:

"He went to church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of houses, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed that any walk--that anything--could give him so much happiness. In the afternoon he turned his steps towards his nephew's house."

Did you see it?  He went to church, then he got among the people and talked to them. What questions was he asking, I wonder? Clearly, it was not the walk alone that gave him pleasure, but what he did while walking among men.

Merry, Merry Christmas. 
And God Bless Us, Every One.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Orange

An orange.  An orange!

C’mon Grandma!  After all, it’s Christmas!  Where’s the fudge?  How ‘bout some bon-bons? I know I saw you icing a cake.  An orange.  Really?

I stood there with my orange.  It made my hand cold.

I said I was hungry but it was Christmas and Christmas is about cakes and apple pie and coffee and brownies and Pfeffern├╝sse and turnovers and petite-fours and gingerbread and Pavlova and icing and cookies and pudding and an occasional candy cane (maybe) and fruitcake and cider and pumpkin pie and eggnog and butter tarts and cider and donuts and Trifle and ├Žbleskiver and rice pudding and those little chocolate Santas wrapped in printed foil and hot chocolate and whipped cream and marshmallows and that funny cake that looked like it was cooked in a jello mold (the one with all the raisins) and marzipan and banana pudding.  Sugar plums!

Nuts. I could have some nuts. Instead of the orange.

Ahk!  Give me a bowl of rocks, why don’t ya!  C’mon Grandma!

Here’s an apple.

An apple?  Can’t you at least bake it first?  You know, chunk it full of brown sugar and let it swim in butter for a while in the oven?

You can have an apple, or some nuts, or the orange.

Aw, man!

Here’ let me cut the orange for you.

No, don’t cut the orange. I want it peeled.

Let’s cut the orange and we’ll put it on a plate.

No, Grandma. C’mon. Don’t cut th . . . I want it peeled . . . here, let me . . . Don’t cut . . .

Here you go. Nice wedge for my Grandson.

Don’t do that, Grandma.

What, honey?

Don’t say that stuff, “for my grandson.” I’m not eight.

That’s right.  You are twelve.  Now sit here at the table . . .

I want to eat it outside.

It’s cold outside.  Just pull up a chair here, honey.  This is your grandfather’s chair.

I want to eat it in the den, by the fire.

Let’s eat it here, so you don’t drip and get sticky.

Aw, c’mon.



Oh, Alright.



You know, I miss my grandmother.

And I missed the fact that she loved me through that orange.

That was the best Christmas treat I ever had.

"The Coming Child" by Richard Crashaw

Welcome!  all Wonders in one sight!
Eternity shut in a span.
Summer in winter, day in night,
Heaven in earth, and God in man.
Great little one! whose all-embracing birth
Lifts earth to heaven, stoops heav'n to earth!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

Happy Birthday to my sweet, darling, beautiful, Godly, wonderful, wife. 

You are always in my heart.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Philip Yancey to Speak at December Commencement

Congratulations to our December Graduates!

Popular Christian author and Columbia International University alumnus Philip Yancey will be the speaker at CIU's December commencement exercises.

Yancey is the author of 20 books that explore the questions faced by most Christians and include "Where Is God When It Hurts," "Disappointment with God," and "Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?" He drew heavily from his CIU background in developing "The Student Bible," a best-selling edition of the Bible with study notes. Yancey's books have won 13 Gold Medallion Awards from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, and have sold more than 15 million copies.

A native of Atlanta, Yancey met his wife, Janet Norwood at CIU, and went on to earn graduate degrees in Communications and English from Wheaton College Graduate School and the University of Chicago. He joined the staff of "Campus Life" Magazine in 1971, and worked there as editor and then publisher.

In 1978, Yancey became a full-time writer, initially working as a journalist for such varied publications as "Reader's Digest," "Publisher's Weekly," "National Wildlife," and "The Christian Century." For many years he wrote a monthly column for "Christianity Today" magazine, which he still serves as editor at large.

When the Yanceys left CIU they planned to serve as missionaries to Europe. Today they travel extensively to other countries, supporting the primary missionary work of Philip's books, which have been translated into 35 languages.

The Yanceys live in Colorado where they enjoy hiking, wildlife, and the Rocky Mountains.

Commencement is scheduled for Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. in Shortess Chapel on the campus of CIU. The public is invited to attend.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Randoms

We finally have the answer to that age-old question, "I wonder what happens when an alligator bites an electric eel?"

This Clip Is Proof That Birds Are Secretly Composers

The Quest for Every Beard Type (I never knew there were so many)!  I am sort of partial to The Federation Standard, but The Klingon is sort of appealing . . .

Ok, last minute Christmas Shopping help right here:

Hey, Stu!  Check out this Steampunk turntable (Just bring it back in two weeks)!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Editing or Bleeding?

With this much red, it might as well be a murder mystery . . . and its everywhere!
(It's not a murder mystery, by the way)



Monday, December 13, 2010

Love Fail

I saw these plaques for sale in a store.  Glad to know God's love for us in Christ Jesus never fails!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Defensive Driving Just Turned "Action/Adventure."

Looks like this is turning into a week of photoblogging.  My friend Dan took this picture in New Mexico:

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Randoms

Dr. Rick Higgins writes on "This One Thing."

"Hey, Ma! You'll never believe what I caught while offshore fishing!"

Definitely some crazy artwork out there. 

They say "weird."  I say "Amazing" cloud formations.  These supercells are incredible.

Ok, one more.  Here are some incredible photos of Earth, as art!

Drifting.  It takes me away:

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Adventures with God, part 1

I saw the following “conversation” (one of three, actually) written by a young man named Lev Novak posted on a website (forgive me if I don’t provide the link):

“God: Noah, all the people of earth are sinners. You alone are righteous.

Noah: Thanks God. Long time fan, first time prophet.

God: So, I have decided to smite the entire world with a flood.

(pause)

Noah: Couldn’t you just teach man goodness?

God: No. I’m thinking “flood.”

Noah: So you’d rather just kill every-

God: What part of “flood” do you not understand?”

The act of God flooding the earth is a noteworthy matter for consideration, but is the conclusion correct?

What we call “Noah’s Flood” was not a stand-alone incident and sudden whim of God.  The young man gave the reason for God’s judgment by flood in the very first sentence, “all the people of the earth are sinners.” The Bible says, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually . . . but Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” (Gen 6:5, 8) The very wickedness of mankind corrupted the earth and God had to carry through on previous promise.  He was spot-on there.

When God created man (Adam) and placed him in the garden, man was perfect and could enjoy God fully. God told Adam that he could enjoy all creation as God’s vice-regent, only do not eat from one tree, for the day that he does, he will die. The tree had no magical properties about it that caused death, it was Adam’s disobedience. When Adam disobeyed, the fellowship with God was broken and sin entered. The paycheck, the reward for sin is death. Fast-forward to Noah’s time: man has not stopped sinning, only increasing his sinful activity. Man cannot enjoy God if sin is in the way.

Mr. Novak makes Noah ask a question, “Couldn’t you just teach man goodness?” Matter of fact, God did.  We know that Noah himself was the “herald of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5) and “he condemned the world” (Hebrews 11:7). In other words, he told people how they had offended God with sin and that they needed to repent and walk in righteousness with God.  So for Mr. Novak to put those words in God’s mouth is doing exactly that, because that’s not what God said.

It has never been God’s desire for anyone to perish, but that all should come to repentance.  Mankind was then and still is telling God, “no, thanks” then gets angry when God must carry through on His promise to punish sin.

I do appreciate Mr. Novak’s final words, “what part of ‘flood’ do you not understand?” because that was closer to God’s warning to sinful mankind and Noah’s preaching than God’s supposed and arbitrary fickleness.

A Day in the Internet

A Day in the Internet
Created by Online Education

Monday, December 06, 2010

Airport Police Car

"If I get arrested, do I have to sit in the basket?" (ht: WNW)

Friday, December 03, 2010

"Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost

"Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice."

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Randoms

What happens if you are "cell-phone only" and you lose your phone?  Use this website to find your phone!

The Science of Shoelaces.  Who knew?

The Incredible Colors of Shorebreak.  And this happened by chance, don't you know (not!).

Calvin and Hobbes Snow Art Gallery.  The first three words say enough, don't they?

Tweety-tweet-tweet tweet-en.  The birthplace of Twitter?

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