Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I've been tagged!

Man! This is like a chain email.
7 Things

...I plan (hope) to do before I die:
- Get my inventions patented
- Learn to floss with my toes in case my hands get cut off
- Learn to walk on my hands in case my toes get cut off
- Swim across the Atlantic
- Stop setting unattainable goals
- Count to seven

...I can do
- Play the guitar
- Be a friend
- Find the best places in any town to go out to eat
- Procrastinate and make good grades
- Have fun with almost anybody in the world
- Bore people to death with a blog post about myself
- Correctly spell the word "definitely" (most people spell it "definately")
- Count to eight

...I cannot do
- Hackey Sack
- Hold a grudge
- Hear a tree falling in the forest if no one's there to hear it
- Listen to Micheal Jackson
- Always be taken seriously
- Tie my shoes
- find a girl at Georgia tech's campus *(j/k, Becca)*

...that attract me to the opposite sex
- A kind heart & love for Christ and the Church
- Musical/Artistic abilities (including scrapbooking)
- Southern culture/raised in the south
- Likes college football (especially UGA)
- Long hair & nice fingernails
- A good sense of humor
- An understanding of reformed theology

...that I say most often
- "Why doesn't anyone believe me?"
- "I will never say the same thing twice"
- "Please don't tag me on your blog"
- "Bradley, stop breaking things"
- "60% of the time, it works every time"
- "What just happened?"

...celebrity crushes
- Kate Beckinsdale
- Heather Locklear
- Rachel McAdams
- Reese Witherspoon
- Charlize Theron (Sometimes- i.e. in "Italian Job" but NOT "monster")
- Jennifer Garner (I just wish I had time to watch Alias -Sara, can I borrow your dvds?)
- I had to strain to think of those...

I don't want anyone else to waste their time doing this.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Girls (or lack thereof) on Campus

HA HA... This goes with my last post. My brother describes the situation on our campuses (mostly male students) best when he writes:

"I thought I saw a female the other day on Georgia Tech's campus (a very rare occurence), but it was probably an optical illusion, like a mirage or something. still, I told all of my friends, and we sounded the alarms, they're probably still searching the campus. Right now, I'm relying on God taking one of my ribs and creating a woman for me...cause that'd probably be easier for Him than finding a girl on georgia tech's campus."
- See Comment posting (by Jeff) on this blog, article "Attn: Young Singles"

Yes, Jeff, it's a strange dilemma indeed. As the old saying goes, "Nice guys always finish last." But the bottom line is that they finish in God's time (see Matthew 19:30). The picture is not seminary guys, it's Navy guys.

Boys and Learnin'

Apparently guys don't like to study as much as girls. Or could it be that girls are more ambitious? I never would have guessed that there are that many more guys in schools than there are girls (I knew there was a slight difference), because I go to a school where guys are all I see. I would guess that there's about a 99% male ratio in my degree program. In fact, in my first two years here, there were only about 12 girls in all of my classes combined. So I forget how the real world works.

Currently, 135 women receive bachelor's degrees for every 100 men. That gender imbalance will widen in the coming years, according to a new report by the U.S. Dept Of Education...Nearly as many men are behind bars or on probation and parole (5 million) as are in college (7.3 million).

Why are there more women than men?

And then you have a disgusting thing happening on the "music scene"...

The "Cancer Dance" - We are soon going to be able to listen to a person's body being attacked by nature. Why would anyone want to enjoy the sound of degeneration and decay of human life? I would say that it's sick that people may find themselves in dance clubs celebrating the sound of an approaching death, but then that would be overlooking the fact that if they are in a dance club dancing, the chances are good that there are much worse things that they're "celebrating" such as adultery/cheating, drug use, murder, physical abuse, and the list of disgusting things could go on all day. Check it out...

British electronic music whizz Matthew Herbert is hoping to become the first musician ever to use the sound of cancer in a dance track..."My new record is going to be a disco record. So people might be out having a good time on a Saturday night but they might be dancing to a disco record and the beats are made from cancer," he smiles.

He Smiles. I cringe.

Where I am

All right, the seminary is giving us a fall break, so I'm taking it. I'm in West Palm Beach, FL. And yes, I brought my homework, because there's always down time, even on beach vacations. I don't know how often I'll be online this week, but hopefully a lot, so I'm going to try to post pictures of my week when I get home, but for now it's serious bloggin time.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Work at Hollister?

When I was in college, I was really kind of oblivious to what goes on at Abercrombie & Fitch's headquarters (the objectification of women and men through their quarterlies and posters), so I went to work there. Yes, with a lot of my friends. I walked in the store, and they said, wanna work here? So I figured why not? I mean, I got a ton of clothes for less than everyone else who shopped there got them.

Then I got to grad school, and I realized that the Christian community had a BIG problem with them.

A week ago I went into Hollister (owned by Abercrombie) and was approached about the "manager trainee" program. I told the sweet girl (and she was really sweet) that I'll be moving back to Georgia soon (Lord willing), but I might consider working part time, as a "brand rep." I went in for an interview today, and it seems promising. I don't need the money, I just thought it'd be fun since I have a friend who works at AE and he gets to meet a lot of people, it's a great social network.

My dilemma: As a seminary student, would it be unethical for me to work for a company that my school is so violently opposed to?

I won't respond to your comments, unless to ask a question in response, because I just want everyone else's thoughts. And this photo is from A&F's site.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A Beautiful Heart

The Goat: not one of the zoo's most beautiful animals, though it is one of the most docile and friendly animals on exhibit. You can actually go pet them. But which animal is deemed "beautiful?" Many would say the Tiger, or the Lion, or maybe even the "Liger," and yet you can't go near them; they're too dangerous.

Now I'd like to consider "reality makeover shows". Women are told that they are physically unacceptable, and the process of mechanically altering their appearance begins, with the end goal of manufacturing a sense of self-worth. SHAME ON US. How have we come to this point?

LOS ANGELES -- A woman is suing ABC's reality show "Extreme Makeover" for unspecified damages, alleging its decision to cancel her appearance contributed to her sister's suicide

God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart -1 Samuel 16:7

We have forgotten (or just flat out don't believe) that God has created us in His image, and so we tell people that they need to have that image altered in order to be lovable, teaching them that their hearts are worthless. Now I think this lawsuit is a weak case, but barring the pending lawsuit, look at the bottom line of what happened: A woman is taken and made to have all of the pain of her heart exposed to the camera crews, then she blindly believes that it is because of her physical appearance that she was abused, and finally, she is sent home. Talk about traumatizing. Still, the worst of all of these shows was probably The Swan, whose marketing slogan was "which one of these ugly ducklings will become....the swan?" Not people, not living, breathing human beings, but "ugly ducklings."

People who love someone only because of their physical appearance do not love the person at all. If you know someone who is giving away their body before they are demanding that their heart be loved, please sit down with them and help them to reconsider what their doing. To quote the Counting Crows, "we all want someone beautiful. Man I wish I was beautiful." But what is beauty? We see with our eyes and make quick judgments, and attribute beauty to a spiteful, wicked heart, but deem "worthless" those people whose hearts God treasures and loves so dearly.

"The Max"

Java (Louisville) - it's like "the Max" from saved by the bell, except without the awesome magician whose tie spins and makes funny noises. I fell in love with coffee shops when I was in middle school (in Georgia) and I went to visit my sister who'd just gone away to Liberty University (in Virginia). She took me to this place called "the Drowsy Poet" which she later told me wasn't even really the best coffee shop in town, but it was in walking distance. I had a coffee, listened to live music, and hung out with college students (I was an early developer, so I fit in okay) and it was the time of my life. I loved coffee already, but the atmosphere and the company were incomparable to anything I'd ever experienced. I learned what it meant to be a student.

There were no coffee shops in my "one horse town" growing up, so as soon as I got to Mercer University (in Macon, Ga) I looked for a good one, and even then they were very scarce. So I got to Seminary (Louisville, KY), and found this awesome coffee shop called Java. Finally, a place to go since "Jittery Joe's" and "Java Rocket" in Athens, where I would go hang with UGA friends. Oh by the way, if you're ever in Athens, I don't know if it's still in business but there's this place on Barnett Shoals called "the Cup" coffee, and they're amazing. Best Carrot cake ever, and they make a great frozen drink called the "frio".

Anyway, this place has rapidly become the most overpopulated seminary student hangout in the city. It's like, if you get some white lights and hang 'em from trees, then put a fireplace in the vicinity, you will never have competition for business again. Why are we drawn to white lights? Why does it feel so comfortable? My guess is that the intimacy of soft lighting always contrasts heavily against the normal lights of classrooms, offices, and other buildings where we work, and it makes us think of home.

Attn: Young Singles

We've all been there before. You sit in front of an open window on an overcast day, listening to rain approaching. You drive through a mountain pass and see the most inspiring sunset over the valley. You stay up till the wee hours of the night blogging or journaling or... well, just staying up! And in the end, you crawl into your empty bed and wonder why you have no one to put your arms around.

Even grocery stores are always reminding us that we were meant to be part of a couple, in a lifelong relationship (Genesis 2:18). Just consider that you can never buy groceries for one, you have to buy enough to cook for at least two people.

I watched my little sister(best friend) get married this past summer. It was a beautiful wedding. It's really tough seeing the world move on around you and wondering if perhaps there was someone out there you missed. But in all honesty, when people would ask if it was hard for the 3 older siblings in my family to watch our younger sister get married, at least for me I could honestly say no, because being there, you get so caught up in the fun of friends and family gathering for a joyous occasion that you temporarily become numb to the pain of the single life. It's actually harder to go to weddings of people you're only semi-close to because those are the ones where you find yourself alone amidst a happy crowd focused on a happy couple, and in your mind you stand out more like a sore thumb than ever before.

It's in those alone times, though, that you want to get on a world-wide megaphone and say "where are you?!" and just know that you're going to hear a gentle voice through a screaming silence say, "I'm here" and the stress of wondering will all be over. But it doesnt happen that way. Rather, our heart cries out "where are you?!" and no one hears... no one but God. And who else wants our hearts more than God? No one. (Exodus 20:5) But believe me, I know what it feels like to sit and ask, will He reward my patience? Is He going to bring someone into my life? I'm 25, and I have several friends who've been married for years already.

My future wife is somewhere out there, I know she is. But I also know that as much as I long to be with her, our Creator longs to be with us so much more. Now to all of you married people, please appreciate what you have, know that you are SO blessed, and even when the "magic" seems to be gone from time to time, or even most of the time, just remember the days when you were alone, and be glad you're not there now. Appreciate the fact that if you get to go to an exotic island, tour Europe, ski in Colorado, or just stay up late and be silly, you don't have to do it alone.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Bible: Textbook travesty?

Probably not... but here's why I even wonder:
Can you really teach the Bible from absolutely no religious angle? That's what they're trying to bring into the public schools now. Everyone's gotta tiptoe around offending everyone else, so now, in order to "circumvent culture war," the Bible Literacy Project has invented a textbook to teach the Bible. How will it be taught? As simply a literary source, a writing that has "influenced" culture, no different than Shakespeare or J.K. Rowlings. What they're trying to create is a politically correct juxtaposition of the Bible and secular curriculum, and we all know how that'll end up. What will happen is that it will be closely and microscopically monitored by people who want to make sure that there is no Christianity being taught, and eventually they will deplete the entire meaning intended in the Bible.

I now draw your attention to quotes from a websites concerning this book:

It was written to respect, but not promote various faith perspectives. -

The book... was designed to... teach about the Bible in public schools while not endorsing one religion's view and not offending people of faith... the book must not endorse any religious perspective. For example, it can't say that the story of Adam and Eve represents mankind's fall from grace. That's a Christian view. -

Yes, I'm a firm believer in the effectiveness of God's Word, but I question if we shouldn't keep this out of the school system, because there is a good possibility that it will make people lose the last little bit of respect they do have for the Bible. You can't teach that it's the infallible word of God if you are teaching it as simply a "non-religious literary work." The Bible unavoidably sets the standard of all Judeo-Christian religion. How then are you going to teach the Bible without teaching that there is a proper religious understanding? The answer is to teach it as indefinite in meaning, but God gave it to us so that we would be able to know Him better. Ultimately, however, this book must teach that the Bible is a work of humanity, not the word of God.

On the other hand, this book may usher in a huge revival among teenagers, who wouldn't have normally even glanced at the Bible a second time, and possibly parents, who might not even have a Bible in their home, who may see the textbook laying around. What do you think? Good or bad?

When did we grow up?

Life really is like a passing vapor. We were kids just yesterday, sneaking notes to each other on the pews at church, or getting mad at those who were doing so because they weren't including us. I went to the wedding of some dear friends of mine this past summer, and there were two children there who just seemed oblivious to everything going on around them. How do you get back to that state of mind?

This picture was taken at Jiri and Cassey's wedding. I have seen several weddings this year, so you will inevitably see some more pictures from them. Jiri grew up in the Czek Republic and Cassey in the Southern part of the U.S. How weird that at one moment in time, Cassey was standing before God somewhere in Texas or Louisiana asking Him to save her, and Jiri at another point in time in a land far far away was asking God the same thing for himself, and their worlds connected in the "midwestern" U.S. last year. I had the privelege of being Jiri's friend as the two of them fell deeper in love and eventually got engaged, so I got to see the whole thing develop. Also, he helped me through one of the hardest heartbreaks of my life. Then I had the honor of being one of his groomsmen, and I got to go to Louisiana and meet Cassey's family, who are so easy to fall in love with. There's nothing like family.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Postmodernism isn't Postmodern

I am currently being mentored by a doctoral (well, 2nd time post-graduate) student here who is teaching me the "defense against the dark arts" (for those of you who've read Harry Potter) - he's teaching me to defend Christianity, and to learn. Possibly the smartest guy I know.

AMENDMENT: after speaking with David, he has humbly requested that I downplay him because he does not feel that he should receive so much credit... what a humble guy! The most humble AND the smartest! Just kidding... seriously, he wanted me to remind everyone that he is a man just like every other Christian man, no more or less special. And that's important, that we remember we're all special. And if you ever have a chance to meet him, you'll see that he is the farthest from being one of these people that thinks they know everything, so don't let me give you that impression. Notice I said that he's teaching me to learn just as he is an example himself of someone who wants to learn.

I feel that I should take a minute to intellectually challenge my liberal friends. This afternoon, as David and I were discussing postmodernism, I realized that your postmodern leanings are neither post nor modern. Doesn't postmodernism pride itself on being "original" and not bound to any set standards? Yet, if we examine some ancient Greek writings we can see that this idea of "no absolute truths" is not new at all. In fact, there is Nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiates 1:9). Don't believe me? Consider 2000 years ago, that's TWO MILLENIUMS AGO. A man named Pilate asked Jesus himself, "what is truth?" (John 18:38 ESV). What is truth! That is the VERY question that I've been asked by many postmodernists.

Postmodern "thinkers" have this idea that their thoughts are new and cutting edge, but they've simply reverted back to a self-defeating way of thinking (consider: the only truth is that there are no truths; intolerance towards intolerance) that will collapse upon itself, and we can figure what will be the next big thing. Years ago, you had pluralism (jews, greeks, etc) and there was the Greek mythology and nobody knew what to believe. Then Jesus came along to the postmodern world. Paul addressed the Areopagus, where there were so many different "gods" that they even had a shrine to "an unknown god!" Talk about a people with no absolute truths! However, after the truth was brought by Christ and shared by Paul, there was a time of great tribulation for the Christians (consider the early church martyrs).

Okay this is kind of a vague posting, because the seminary internet is all running through a 28K modem I think, and I've already spent over 2 hours on this. Please leave a comment! Speaking of which, ninjas are cool, so you should check out this funny website: it is an interesting look into what it means to be a ninja.

Coffee Freak

"Adums" - one day he's going to be a lumberjack. A lumberjack with a bad coffee addiction. And he'll probably be cutting down trees so that they can build more Starbucks businesses. He said he's going to die from Coffee. He's currently working on chemically engineering a way to carry around an I.V. pouch full of black coffee.

The nickname? Sometimes the Asian students call him that, but his name's really Jerry. I mean Adam. Oh yeah, and don't ever, under any circumstances, EVER, EVER, EVER interrupt him.

Shortly after this picture was taken, he fell asleep.

Starbucks and "the Agenda"

"Let your yeses be yes and your nose be absurd" -Adam. He told me that he's afraid that he will meet a girl with a really absurd nose, and it will distract him from really getting to know her. He still lives in the glory days of being a "bariste" at Starbucks. Back then he could throw a football 200 yards.

Starbucks is all right, but why do people still go there when there are so many other better coffee shops in a city? I mean, it's like Britney Spears in a cd case with ... nevermind, I'm not even going to finish that one. It's like putting Parachutes by Coldplay in the cd player, and always leaving it on repeat on "Yellow."

By the way, there's an interesting article on Starbucks and the "gay agenda" at the Baptist Press website (picture borrowed from), and I'm not calling for a boycott, but I do think you should be aware of what you're supporting and celebrating. Read the article from yourself, in case you don't have time I'm including a photo of it. The adult language is censored out.

What do you think?

My Roommate

Beatboxing. It's a sort of "forgotten art form," and my roommate's really good at it. For those of you who don't know what beatboxing is, it is when you simulate drum sounds using only your mouth. Bradley (my roommate) could be a competitive beatboxer, if it was still 1987. The only side effect of this talent is that it makes you spit in your sleep a lot. At least you spit in rhythm though.

I'm posting a picture of Bradley and his newest church suit. He's proud of it. He traded in the money he was saving for rims to get this suit, and he's worn it to every interview he's been to for the past month. Keep up the good work Bradley, someone will hire you.

In The Beginning...

That's right, creation fell apart. Sent into a spiraling disharmony, no longer perfect but slowly degenerating, like my lower back. I fell down the stairs yesterday... why? Because nature is trying to hurt me. Ever been stung by a wasp, bitten by a snake, stepped in something wet with your socks on? That's nature, reminding you that it's not in harmony with itself like it used to be. Look at the demolished city that was once our Cajun paradise...New Orleans is one of many tragic acts of nature, and will not be the last.

An article on MSNBC last night was titled, "'We think we're totally safe and we're not:' Like Aceh, Haiti, Sri Lanka, America learns power of a restless planet". I advise you to look at this article It's a good reminder that we are in a world that is crying out for restoration. Another example that helps me prove this point is that as I tried to find a name for my blog, I tried almost EVERY word in the thesaurus relating to "disquiet, discord, mayhem, chaos, and restlessness" and ALL of them are taken by bloggers. Everyone's having their own pity party about their lives. It's all part of their own nature, crying out for restoration. Before the fall of man, we didn't have to die, but now we're all approaching death. We're degenerating, decaying, subject to the bondage of aging and decomposing, just like nature. Just look at the picture... a sudden raging storm sends a picnic crowd here at my school into a panic.