Friday, June 30, 2006

Much Bummer on Blogger but Much Excitement

Well the post I was writing seems to have disappeared. I don't know if something happened to my connection to blogger or what, but it froze up on me and I don't have time to figure out what went wrong. The really short version is that I'm heading up to Rochester, Minnesota, in a couple of minutes to visit the awesome family Kluth for the weekend. There was also a discussion of the chapter from C.J. Mahaney's book The Cross Centered Life, that we discussed last night at the church college group. Maybe I'll try to recover it when I get back from Minnesota. In the meantime, everybody have a great weekend and I'll blog to you later.

Verse of the day:

"And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:11 (NIV)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thr3e Nights and 2 Standings

So three nights have passed since I blogged last. I hope no one was harmed by the deprivation. Monday night was LifeGroup and a study of Psalm 100. We also worked with Aaron to write and sing our own psalm, based on number 115. Aaron had a chorus and then had people fill in the sentence "Praise God for ___ and ___," where one person filled in one of the blanks. Then we shared what we had written so everyone would have the full psalm and then sang it. It was good. I think this one worked a little better than the first time we tried it a few months ago. Tuesday was our Voyager upgrade at work. Voyager is our library software. Tuesday night was youth group where we talked about Job and praising God in pain. In my group we also talked a little about farting since someone kept doing it. Wednesday was recovering from the Voyager upgrade and getting stood up. My Mormons didn't show on Wednesday night nor was a phone call from the Nashville area forthcoming. So I read Thr3e, by Ted Dekker. It's a thriller about a seminary student who gets a call from someone telling him there's a bomb in his car. He has three minutes to call the newspaper and confess something or the car will blow up. It was a pretty exciting book. I started reading around 6:30 p.m. and finished it around 12:30 taking breaks for laundry and a pleasant phone conversation. The story has a number of red herrings to keep you guessing as to the identity of the killer and also serves as an interesting meditation on the nature of sin and fallenness. I was somewhat disappointed with the resolution as I didn't preferred one of the earlier implied twists instead of the one that it came down to but overall I liked the book.

Verse of the Day:
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!" Psalm 115:1 (ESV)
The first line of the psalm in Latin (more or less) is "Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomine tuo da gloria," and is sung beautifully after the battle of Agincourt in the Kenneth Branagh version of Henry V. It's one of the reasons that's my favorite movie adaptation of one of Shakespeare's plays.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Isaiah's Good News

This morning John M. preached again. I really enjoy John's preaching. A friend's sister says he's a little to excited but I enjoy his animation. The text this morning was Isaiah 61:1-3 which is Jesus' text for his sermon in Nazareth in Luke 4. People tried to kill Jesus for what he said. The focus was on what is the good news. In this passage the Spirit anoints the prophet to bind up the broken hearted. For a picture of the broken heartedness envisioned by Isaiah look at Psalm 137. Jesus comes to heal the brokenness of people who have been torn from the only life and dreams they ever knew and who are cast out from their homes. The Spirit anoints the prophet to release the captives. Jesus comes to those bound in a prison they don't even perceive and says, "You can be free." and releases them from their sin, no matter how ingrained. The Spirit anoints the prophet to comfort those who are mourning. Again there is the image of Psalm 137. He takes their ashes and mourning weeds and replaces them with fragrant oil and festival garments. He turns their mourning into dancing. He makes those who are rootless and wandering into mighty oaks. Our response is to receive his mercy, spend time with the one who changed us and to take on his mission by introducing others to Jesus. It was an inspiring sermon followed by communion and a good time of worship.

We also had a good time with the college guys this morning praying for each other and discussing the question, "What is your life centered on?" My life is clearly centered too much on myself rather than on Christ. It's his mind and life I claim to want, but on my terms. I don't want a cross. At worst I want a sharp scolding after which I can go back to whatever I wanted to do in the first place. I don't want any form of self denial more strenuous than not eating the bag of M&M's in my fridge after I've already had a bowl of ice cream. Denying myself and taking up a cross is way off my actual radar. I might talk about doing it, but I think about making myself happier by the easiest route possible. That's most of the time and it's something I pray he'll change. Talking with C. after church we discussed wanting God for himself and not for anything he can give. We often come wanting forgiveness so we'll not feel guilty when God wants to forgive so we can come closer to him and receive what he wants to give. "But there is forgiveness with you that you might be feared." (Psalm 130:4 NAS).

After church we went to lunch at Chili's and then Steve, Sarah, Anthony, Greg, and I played a couple of games of disc golf at Adler Park. Then we went back to Sarah's sans Greg where we watched Sixteen Blocks and ate pizza.

Verse of the day:
"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion--
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified" Isaiah 61:1-3 (ESV)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

It's a Winner!

ATLA has come and gone. Despite my best efforts I managed to meet some new people and even talked to them. I think blogging impressions of the conference is something that is better done on a more immediate basis. I imagine that it's easier to remember stuff the day you've experienced it. It's even better if you've been awake. I enjoyed the conference. I'll just mention some highlights now.
1. Wednesday night Cindee and I attended the opening reception that was held in some law offices on the 37th floor of building downtown. It was a great view and good shrimp and beef kabobs.
2. Thursday morning we heard Martin Marty deliver a plenary address on religion in Chicago. Marty is a church historian at the University of Chicago and an old Lutheran. He was, as a matter of fact, a regent at St. Olaf and spoke at the college's opening convocation my sophomore year. I didn't get anything out of it. This time he was very interesting and entertaining as he talked about the importance of Chicago for religion in America. It was interesting to see the contrast in the city's roles in the development of modernist liberal theology and urban evangelicalism and revivalism that is probably embodied in The University of Chicago Divinity School and the
combination of Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College.
3. That afternoon I attended a session on the papers of John Warwick Montgomery led by an archivist from Southeastern Baptist Seminary. Montgomery is an apologist, theologian, and lawyer currently based in France who was the librarian for Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in the 60's. I've often heard that he could be an acerbic fellow and that was confirmed by some of the readings we heard from his papers. The speaker was also a bit of a character.
4. If these were listed in order of importance, this one would be number one. Since they're chronological it's number four. Friday afternoon I attended a session led by Lauren Winner on the spirituality of reading and writing. Winner is an author, essayist, historian, and speaker who is about my age. She published a memoir about her conversion to Christianity when she was 24 called Girl Meets God. I've not read it, though I did skim it a bit when I cataloged it. A number of my friends have read it and loved it. She also wrote a book called Mudhouse Sabbath on the differences between Christianity and Judaism and the value of ritual. I read her book Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity last spring when my friend Elisabeth and I prepared a Bible study on sexuality for our LIFE group. It's a great book. The session on Friday was too short but it was very interesting. She talked about the development of reading as a spiritual discipline and mentioned frequent scriptural command to eat the word. She also mentioned a passage from the Talmud that says that you don't really own something until you've changed it and compared that to the idea of owning your faith by writing about it. When you narrate what you belief and how you came to believe it you gain a better understanding of where you are in your journey with God and perhaps where you're going.
5. Saturday morning I attended the 6th Catholic mass of my life. The morning worship session was held at the Church of the Assumption which was a few blocks from the conference site. We got there about 20 minutes early and decided to go in, not realizing there was a morning mass going on. After the mass ended the priest warned one of the few parishioners to be careful not to be run over by librarians on her way out of the church. The highlight was during the ATLA worship service. It was presided over by Cardinal George, the archbishop of the Chicago diocese. I had never seen a Cardinal in person before so I thought that was cool. He gave a short reflection on the word that I don't remember much of but I remember thinking it was good at the time. I had a crisis of Protestant conscience after the service as he was greeting people as they left but I shook his hand and thanked him for presiding over the service. Later I attended a session on theological librarianship and ordained ministry that was interesting in that many of the people involved were from denominations with a more formal and broader understanding of ordination than I am used to. I also attended sessions on the future of RDA (forthcoming cataloging rules), and Ranganathan's 4th law of library science, "Save the time of the reader."

Cindee and Rebekah ran out of steam before the last session and headed home so I got to ride the train back by myself. That was a fun trip. I got to read a chapter of Why Study the Past, a new book by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. In the second chapter he discusses the need for the early church to define itself as aliens within the Roman Empire and citizens of a kingdom not of this world and how that related to the early church's emphasis on martyrdom and virginity and also how that need as well as liturgical considerations affected the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries that led to the developments of the Councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, and Chalcedon. When I got home I ransacked Steve's movie collection and watched The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and I liked it.

Verse of the Day:
"I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
the ground was covered with nettles,
and its stone wall was broken down.
Then I saw and considered it;
I looked and received instruction.
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man". Proverbs 24:30-34 (ESV)

Quote of the Day
"I don't write what I think. I write to figure out what I think." Lauren Winner

Gratuitous song lyric of the day:
"Oh well, that's life. Or it was. It's nothing to me." It's Nothing to Me by The Sadies (Song about a bartender warning a guy not to sit down by a woman with a jealous boyfriend and his reflection after the guy ignores his advice and gets killed by the boyfriend. I've had this song stuck in my head for the better part of the weekend.)

See I can blog from home. I just don't, ususally.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Verse of the Day and Possible Absence

I'll be spending Thursday-Saturday in Chicago at the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) conference so I may not get a chance to post again until Tuesday (you know how I do with blogging on Mondays). Hopefully I'll be able to post from home but I'm just warning you now, I may not be available. Also, Mom, if y'all want to call tomorrow night try around 8:30 your time.

Verse of the Day:
"So Joseph said to his brothers, "Come near to me, please." And they came near. And he said, "I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors." Genesis 45:4-7 (ESV)

In the youth group we're doing a series on Old Testament characters. Last night I spoke to the group about Joseph and trusting God through hard times. Because he trusted God throughout his challenges Joseph was able to see God's hand at work in what was happening and so he was able to forgive his brothers when he had them in his power even though they had sold him into slavery and plotted his death.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Where's My Poster Boy?

I don't know what it is. I guess everybody has some trouble with Mondays, though around here you know what might happen if you mention "a case of the Mondays." If you don't know, consider watching Office Space. Anyway for some reason I have trouble blogging on Mondays. This in turn leads to a days worth of extra calls for me to blog and may in some cases lead to an outbreak of knock knock jokes. I have contacted the CDC about the jokes since some strains can be highly virulent. I had a good weekend. Saturday morning Steve and I had a couple of students from the church high school group over to help us clean and rearrange our apartment. They are trying to work to raise money to go to DCLA, a huge youth evangelism conference hosted by Youth for Christ. So we worked for a little over two hours and redid our living room and cleaned the kitchen while Steve labored mightily in the bathroom. If he ever buys a house the bathtub will not have grout. According to Steve's friend Stephanie the apartment smells cleaner (smells like cleaner to me). Saturday night Dianne and I went to Ravinia for a live broadcast of Prairie Home Companion. We got a spot in the shade so it was nice. We agree that our church needs an occasional fiddle hoedown in worship. We also got to hear a mandolin orchestra. Sunday was a good sermon from John M. on Psalm 2 and Christ as King. We have three preachers John at our church and this summer we're getting a series on Portraits of Christ in the Old Testament from Johns M. and S. while R. is on sabbatical. After church we had pizza and projectiles at Pizzeria Uno's before retiring to Sarah, Dani, and Mary's for social paper reading and dominoes. Dianne killed Aaron and I at Dominoes but at least I came in second. Last night after a long day of not blogging Eric led our LIFE group in a study of prayer and the temple based on II Chronicles 7:11-22 focused on 11-16. The idea was that God has chosen a place for his name to dwell where his eyes and heart will be forever. That place was first a physical place but later become personified in Jesus and then through the pouring out of the Holy Spirit distributed through the Church. Because we are now the temple and dwelling place of God we can have confidence that He hears our prayers and look forward to the day when we will dwell in His unmediated temple when the only temple will be the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb. So our verse for the day is:

"For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time." 2 Chron. 7:16 (ESV)

Quote of the Day (actually a joke but an honorary quote):
Knock Knock
Who's there?
Interrupting cow.
Interrupting c-

Yep, looks like a virulent strain.

Friday, June 16, 2006

FRBRizing and Ranganathan pins

FRBR (usually pronounced "furbur") is a conceptual model for relationships between the stuff you find in a library catalog. It stands for Functional Requirements of Bibliographic records. The FRBR model was developed in the 1990's based on research into the nature of the relationships between works. A work is an intellectual or artistic creation, and is purely abstract. In a sense, a work is like a geometric figure. Works come into existence in expressions, which are also abstract. We encounter an expression in when it is embodied, or manifested in a physical or digital medium. This is called a manifestation. Any given embodiment of a manifestation is an item. So, for instance, the Lord of the Rings is a work. My paperback copy published by Ballentine Books and my hardback published by Houghton Mifflin are two specific items of two manifestations of one expression, the 1966 2nd edition of LotR. My paperback copy of Return of the King is an item of a manifestation of a different expression because it is an arguably pirated version of the original edition. My hardback edition published by Houghton Mifflin and illustrated by Alan Lee (did I mention that I collect editions of LotR) contains the second edition text but is possibly a different expression because of the addition of significant artistic content manifested in Lee's illustrations. My cd dramatization by Mindspring is again a different expression of the original work because it is abridged and dramatized. By the time you get to Peter Jackson's movies you have probably moved out of the hierarchical relationship of work to expression and into a lateral relationship between works (certainly the opinion of many fans of the books and generally the opinion of theorists on the nature of a work). As you might gather from the name FRBR is concerned with how bibliographic records work and what it is we need them to do. Usually you want a record to be detailed enough to tell you whether or not it is what you are looking for. However the information needs to be presented in such a way that one search can access all the expressions of a given work available in the catalog so that you can choose the one that best meets your needs or interests. The FRBR model tries to systematize what is involved on the cataloging end so that can be accomplished. In regard to the comment that brought this up, "FRBRizing" something is describing it in a way that shows its relationships within the FRBR hierarchy. I FRBRized Bored of the Rings for a contest on the FRBR blog, I came in second (out of 4) and won a book and a Ranganathan pin. The pin is a very small orange pin with a picture of S.R. Ranganathan on it. He was an Indian mathematician and library scientist whom I understand to be the Melvil Dewey of India. Here's a link to the Wikipedia entry: . I believe I've got a better bookmarked on my computer at Trinity but I'm not there. Here's a link to the pin: . My pin is currently being proudly worn by Mr. Peabody who hangs from my backpack.

Verse of the Day

"It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy." Psalm 92:1-4 (ESV)

I also really like the last few verses of this Psalm, but it is good to give thanks to LORD. His love is steadfast and He is faithful and I'll proclaim it all day long.

Mormons on Wednesdays

So I said yesterday morning and eventually posted yesterday afternoon that I would have more to say about Wednesday night's visitors. Then I completely lost of track of time last night between work and the start of our college group and didn't get a chance to post or look for carpet and I almost didn't call Daddy. A couple of "elders" came by last Friday wanting to talk about what Jesus is doing today. As I was watching a movie and about to call my parents I told them it wasn't a good time. They said that was fine and asked if there would be a better time. I told them Wednesday night at 6. They said that was good. So on Wednesday I made sure to get to work a little earlier so I could leave in time to meet them. My 20 min. drive home took 50. They were at the door when I drove up. So I let them in and they told me about the restoration. It appears that after the apostles all the churches turned away from the true faith so God decided to bide his time until everything was copacetic and restore the true faith through Joseph Smith. They challenged me to study things for myself and to ask for wisdom to discern the truth. He will show me whether Joseph Smith is a genuine prophet or not. I asked a few questions but didn't press things very hard. I am intrigued that the elders' arguments for the authenticity of the Book of Mormon based on how a mere man of Joseph Smith's time and station in life could not have produced something like that and how it has stood the test of time sound so similar to Muslim arguements for the truth of the Quran. Eventually they had to leave as they had an appointment with someone else and they asked if they could come back sometime. I've got a lot going on in the next couple of weeks so I suggested Wednesday the 28th. We'll see. In the meantime I've read the pamphlet they left me and I've checked out a copy of the Book of Mormon from my library along with a couple of books about Mormonism by evangelical scholars. I don't initially find their assertions about church history convincing nor the history suggested by the Book of Mormon plausible but I would like to no more. It is one of those times when it would be handy to be Catholic because then we could have a magisterial arm wrestling match, my pope and tradition against their prophet and contemporary council of apostles. Oh well. Instead I've got to rely on the revealed word of God and His Holy Spirit.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Verse of the Day

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust." Psalm 91:1-2 (ESV)

For those wondering about Mormons I'll try to post later today when I have a little more time. We met last night and talked for about an hour. I mostly listened. They may come back in a couple of weeks.

Sorry, I thought I posted this but apparently I saved it as a draft. I'll still try to give more news later.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Verse and Quote of the Day

Verse of the Day:
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days." Psalm 90:14 (ESV)

Quote of the Day:
"That was one disturbed atheist." John Ferguson, director of the St. Olaf Cantorei, regarding a composer, I believe Ralph Vaughn Williams, who had written a setting of Psalm 90 and claimed to be an atheist.

It's my prayer for myself, the guys in my LIFE Group, and I guess everybody else I know that we will find our satisfaction wholly in God, that each day we'll soak in His presence and feast on His word. I want to find the place where I live the whole day in God's presence, in coram deo, no matter where I am.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I'm Not Dead

Not that this is definitive proof of that since someone could be posting under my name but they're not. I always said that one of the challenges of blogging for me would be actually doing it, especially making/finding the time. The time's there but there are so many demands on it from things that need to be done to things that are easier to do.

It was another good weekend. Friday was a movie night wherein I watched The Brothers Grimm and Dark City while doing some laundry and talking on the phone to Mom and Dad. Also some Mormons came to the door. I wanted to watch my movie and make a phone call so I told them it was a bad time. They asked when would be a good time. I told them to come back on Wednesday at 6 p.m. They said they would. Please pray about my meeting with the Mormons tomorrow night.

Saturday morning was our church's water giveaway at the Libertyville Days Parade. The predicted high for Saturday was 59 with rain in the morning. It was cold at 9:15. The parade was to start at 10. It stopped raining around 9:30. There was still a good turnout for the parade, not of course like last year when it was 90 degrees and sunny but a good turnout. By 10:30 the clouds had broken up and the temperature had reached the 60's. We set up our water station and sent teams up and down the route with giant trashcans full of bottled water and ice. My roommate Steve and I gave out 5 trashcans worth of water. Each bottle had a sticker saying it was free like God's love with no strings attached and with the name of the church and the website. Something we did this year that I've not done in the past was go through the park in downtown Libertyville where people set up tents to sell things and give bottles to all the peddlers and sales people including the psychic. We probably only gave out 1/2 the water that we had but it was a good time. After that I went and looked at new carpet for our living room and then went home to do more laundry. All told I did 6 loads this weekend. While I was doing laundry on Saturday I watched the Matrix trilogy. Saturday night I went to see the movie A Prairie Home Companion and was joined by my friend Dianne who is a PHC fan. It is a very good movie, funny with good music and Garrison Keiller.

Sunday morning we heard a great sermon from Matt Buerhle. Matt is a former intern at our church who leads a couple of our small groups. He's also very funny. He got to preach the final sermon in our series on How to Grow Spiritually. Just as John had started the series by reminding us that spiritual growth begins in God's grace, Matt reminds us that that is where it must continue. We know that we will fail in spiritual disciplines so why bother? 1. Because the goal of spiritual growth is a relationship with the God of the universe and not a task. 2. Because we are not our own but were bought with a price, the blood of Jesus and wasn't some impulse buy because we were on sale but because God loved us and chose us in Jesus from before the beginning of time. How do we grow? Not by ordering our time to be able to have a quiet time but by ordering our hearts around Jesus' values and doing everything in the name of the Lord Jesus. Matt gave us three questions to take away and think about: 1. When and how will I pray? 2. How can I approach work in such a that will help Christ be formed in me? 3. How can I fill my daily tasks with a sense of the presence of God? The rest of Sunday involved lunch at the mall, bourbon chicken, mmmm good, more laundry, and three games of Settlers of Cataan with Steve and our friends Jason and Bonny. So six movies, three games, a few thousand bottles of water given away, and one good sermon = one good weekend.

Verse of the day:

"For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men." 1 Cor. 7:22-23 (ESV)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

New 6th Graders Meet mosquitoes

Tuesday night was our barbecue welcoming next year's 6th graders to 3-D (Death Defying Discipleship, our jr. high ministry). We had a great turnout of 20 kids. There were several of the incoming students plus a few older visitors as well. We had hamburgers and hot dogs cooked by Brian as well as numerous chips and lemonade. We played a fun game where 7 kids had to get inside a bike innertube and walk a course of cones while the leaders threw water balloons at them. We also played Squirrels in the Trees and beach ball volleyball. After volleyball we came back to the picnic shelter where Nate talked a little about Luke 9 and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. We broke up into small groups to talk about it a little more. During all this time the Adler Park mosquitoes were also treated to a fabulous feast. It is beyond my ministry skill to engage 6th graders on the question of what it means to deny yourself while they are being eaten, though we tried and the guys got some of it. We did have a good time. I'm still dealing with the shock that Levi Molson is a 6th grader. He was a cute toddler whose mom was in the housegroup I first went to when I came to the Vineyard. Theresa Schwaar's also a 6th grader this year and I still remember how she always wanted me to carry her on my shoulders when my group met at her house 5 years ago. Somehow since I've been in contact with the Schwaar's over that time I wasn't too surprised that we were getting Theresa. The Schwaars that'll rock my world are Ryan and Christopher if I'm still going this in 5 years. Them I remember being born. Anyway Levi was a shock. His family's been around the church but we've not run in the same circles. I didn't realize he'd aged beyond 5, but there he was Tuesday night. Oh well. We'll hit the stage soon where we've got students born after I started with 3-D. For those who are curious I counted 38 mosquito bites on my legs and am aware of several others on my upper body.

Verse of the Day

"And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?" Luke 9:23-25 (ESV)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Long Fun Weekend

Actually it was the same size weekend as usual, Friday night-Sunday, but it seemed long. Friday night I went to Dave's for fun game of Risk with Dave, John, and Aaron. Aaron and I managed to hold on for a long time before being ignominiously wiped out by Dave at around the 4 hour mark. This was more miraculous on Aaron's part since he spent most of the game hanging on by a thread while I spent most of it in power. Nevertheless his thread was slightly stronger. Dave then conceded the game to John, but it was an open question who would in time, if they had another few hours to seesaw.

After sleeping in most of Saturday morning I dropped into the office in the afternoon before being invited by Jason to see X-Men III. I saw it the previous Saturday but it was worth seeing again with a friend, especially for a matinee. This time I understood the bit after the credits and I had fun hanging out with Jason. Then it was home to watch the Animatrix. I had planned to do this with some pizza and line's Red on Friday before accepting the challenge of world domination. The Animatrix is a collection of animated shorts based in the world of the Matrix trilogy, some of which were prequels to Reloaded, some of which were independent. They were very interesting. Some of the animation was beautiful and a couple of the stories were very good and even touching. A lot of it was weird. While I was watching I got a call from another friend who was getting together a group to watch a midnight showing of The Godfather in Antioch. In the middle of the night it takes about 35-40 min. to get to Antioch. I went and we sat in the balcony. I don't remember actually being in a movie theatre with a balcony before, though the Highland Park theatre has a couple of smaller theatres on the second floor. Anyway it was a good time watching the movie and funny when Dani shouted at somebody who was worrying in an annoying manner whether a character was dead, that she'd find out in about two minutes. The movie ended around 3 a.m.

Sunday we had a good sermon on II Cor. 1:8-11 on why we pray. The three reasons John gave were because prayer acknowledges our dependence on God, prayer leads to a release of God's power, and when we pray and God responds He is glorified. After the service we put stickers on a few thousand bottles of water that we will give away at the Libertyville Days parade this Saturday morning. The stickers have the name of the church and the website and say that they are a free gift, no strings attached, just like God's love. We'll set up a few stations with buckets of ice and bottles of water and we'll also send people through the crowd up and down the parade route with wheeled trash cans full of ice water giving them away to anybody who wants one. Last year we offered a bottle to a police woman doing security on a street corner and she told me we were here favorite float in the parade. Just a rolling trash can of ice water on the side walk and a bunch of cheerful people. I'm looking forward to Saturday. After that it was over to Aaron's with a big crowd to cook out, play badminton, ping pong, Scategories, and/or sit and talk. That evening those of us who were still straggling around ended up heading up to Kenosha to go to Fazoli's for supper. Then since we were up there anyway we went to Steve's family's cottage which was torn down and rebuilt over the fall, winter, and spring. That place is nice. Steve's really looking forward to having a bunch of us up there for jet skiing and games. You could tell he was proud as he showed it to us. When we got back it was straight to bed. I was definitely wiped out after the weekend.

Monday was back to work and then to the housegroup last night. We studied Psalm 76, particularly focusing on God's sovereignty and mercy and on fulfilling our vows to the Lord, doing what we've said we'd do. Andrew led us in some hymns for worship and then we had a good prayer time. It was a good night.

Quote from the weekend:
"What's a film strip?" One of the consequences of hanging out with people several years younger than you is that they occasionally make you feel old. A book came up in conversation on Sunday afternoon and I mentioned seeing a filmstrip of it in elementary school and a college graduate asked the foregoing question. I was stunned, but he was serious.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Verse of the Day

"You are resplendent with light,
more majestic than mountains rich with game." Psalm 76:4 (NIV)

For Interim break, i.e. the week between the end of our January term and the start of the second semester, my junior year at St. Olaf, I went with a group of friends to EJ's parents' ranch in the Shoshone Valley southwest of Cody, Wyoming. The valley has mountains about 8,000 feet high on the east and about 10,000 feet high on the west. It was a great week that involved a lot of hiking and hanging around and also a little falling off a horse and getting knocked out. Because of the mountains on the east there wasn't a proper sunrise in the valley. Instead there was a morning sundown where the light of the rising sun would work its way down the western mountain. I discovered this phenomenon one morning when I got up early to watch the sunrise and read my Bible. As it happens that morning I decided to read a Psalm and Psalm 76 was the one I picked. I don't know why. I don't think I was trying any systematic read through the Bible plan, or even a systematic read through the Psalms plan. I think I opened my Bible to a Psalm and 76 was the one I got. So I'll give God the credit for the choice. Anyway, as I watched the sun bathe the mountain in light I read that God was resplendent with light and more majestic than mountains filled with game. I worshipped.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Verse of the Day

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
"It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones." Prov. 3:5-8 (ESV)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Verse and Potential Quote of the Day

Yikes! Y'all are getting spoiled it wasn't that long ago that I was only posting once every couple of weeks and only a few days before that I had no blog.

"Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion." Psalm 84:5-7

I discovered this Psalm during my first year at seminary. I don't remember what it was exactly that made it stand out at first but the image that captivated was of the pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem and passing through a dry and dusty valley (a possible translation of Baca). As they passed through the valley was changed to a place of springs and covered with blessings because of the joy of the Lord and of pilgrimage in their hearts. Finally there is the image in verse 7 of them passing from strength to strength instead of to weariness until at last they are able to stand before the Lord in Zion, until they reach their destination. I think it is a marvelous vision of what our life can be like as we follow the Lord. The rest of the Psalm is pretty good too.

From the sublime to the ridiculous. When I was waking up this morning, maybe after the 2nd or 3rd snooze alarm I discovered that part of my scalp was asleep. I don't remember that ever happening before and was thinking about asking Cindee or somebody else at work:
"Have you ever woken up and discovered that your head was asleep?".