Things Are Falling Into Place

In terms of the adoption process, today has been a great day. The wife and I feel as though we have already accomplished so much in a very short period of time. Today two great things happened: 1) We were officially established as legal clients by our adoption agency CWA (ChristianWorldAdoption), and 2) We officially selected our Home Study agency (Heart To Home) and set up our first meeting, we are now their clients too. These are huge steps and accomplishments in the process! It seems like things are really falling into place.

Did the Pope Baptize A Muslim?

Did the Pope really baptize a Muslim? That's what the news stations and columnists had me believing. However, the man the Pope baptized, while he had a Muslim past, was no longer practicing Islam. Furthermore, he had been writing columns against Islamic extremism and had married a Catholic woman. So, when the Pope baptized the man, He was baptizing him into Christ. He wasn't baptizing a Muslim just for the heck of it. No, the man desired to be a Christian and in doing so, wanted to undergo baptism. This was a conversion, not a mere social event.


Islam At Its Worst

15-minutes long. Will you watch and turn in anger or in peace? Will you react by acting the way they are or will you act as Christ would? Because, for Christians, Jesus is the litmus test.

Fitna the Movie Geert Wilders' film (English)
Uploaded by groepwilders

"...He 'gave' His only begotten Son..." : Thoughts On Adoption, Pt. 1

Throughout time, persons have read John 3.16--arguably the most famous verse in the Bible--in terms of adoption. What I mean is that people have read this as if God were the birth parent relinquishing His son, giving Him to others as a gift (as is often the case with real adoptions). Of course, the Scriptures portray God as the adoptive parent too, but what do you think about this analogy/metaphor of God "relinquishing" or "giving" His son in terms of adoption. Is it helpful? Hurtful? Errant? Any thoughts?


Adoption Research & Resources

At present, I am compiling and working through research on adoption. I am interested in the topic in many ways but especially from a theological and Christian point-of-view. Right now I have about 500+ pages of resources and I am willing to share them. If you are interested, feel free to leave a comment here that contains your email address and I will be happy to send the materials to you.


Is Hillary A Liar?

What do you make of Hillary's recent "mess-up" regarding landing under sniper fire in Bosnia when, in all reality, she and her daughter were welcomed with hugs and flowers?

1st Webinar

We've got our first mandatory adoption "Webinar" this afternoon. We've still got a long way to go in the process and there's a lot to be done but I'm glad we're doing it.


Your 3 Words (Blogger Ed.)

Some people have finally started to show interest in the "Your 3 Words" video (blogger edition) project. So, as videos or pics or slideshows are sent in, I'll add them to the overall video. Come on Brother Tilling, give me something funny. Bryan, how 'bout it? Mr. Brown, I know you got something for me. Dr. McGrath, I'm sure you've got something (r)evolutionary to say :) Cody? Jason? Drew, send some of your creativity this way. All my readers, take a few minutes and turn on the webcams (or whatever) and send me something describing your week in 3 words. Contact me at: halc dot 40dp at mailcity dot com.

Free Audio/Video Program (Today Only)

Want a free, powerful audio/video program? Get Videoraptor for free (today only/while subscriptions last). The normally $25 program can be acquired through the CyberNet website. To the left is a screenshot of the software. Here's a snippet description: "So what is Videoraptor? It’s a tool that you can use to scour the Internet looking for music and videos that have been posted. It reminds me a bit of the music search engine called BeeMP3, except that Videoraptor comes back with an even wider array of results. The real gem is that you can specify a different format that you would like your media in, and Videoraptor will convert it for you once the download has completed." Get it while the gettin' is good.

A Book Recommendation

In spite of Jim West's malformed suggestion to never buy books from IVP, I want to recommend a book which I purchased quite some time ago but just started reading last night. The book is by Kim V. Engelmann and is titled Running in Circles: How False Spirituality Traps Us in Unhealthy Relationships. I sat down and read the first four chapters last night (it's both an easy read and very deep) and was blown away. There is so much truth in this book! I think this work has the ability to be a great asset to anyone who has been hurt in relationships, by the Church or even feels hurt by God. Pastors and counselors will also find this book incredibly valuable. (Click the photo of the book to go to the IVP site to purchase it.)


Bombing Iraq/Iran = Killing Christians

FoxNewsChannel aired an interesting piece yesterday morning which notes that millions of Middle-Eastern persons (mostly Muslims) have been converting to Christianity. These great changes are happening all over Iraq and Iran. In my opinion, this all just shows how evil John Hagee and John McCain really are. As if bombing Muslims isn't bad enough, they don't even consider those who are Christians and who are converting. So, which is better, killing people before than can meet Christ or striving for peace and introducing Christ? Anyone with a shred of Christian credibility and integrity would be able to answer this! Yet, Hagee and McCain ignore it. They are pandering to convservative Christians and advocating their stupid political agendas over the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This just disgusts me. I couldn't help but think, as someone read Mt. 28 (The Great Commission passage) yesterday morning, "Jesus said, 'Go to all nations and baptize, teaching them...' not 'Go to all nations and bomb, slaughtering them...'" I'm just fed up, so fed up, ahhhhhhh I don't even want to type anything else right now I'm so frustrated...


Happy Resurrection Day

Be blessed and be a blessing on this great Easter day!

Congrats to the State Champs

I'm not a big pro-sports fan. I like college sports a little bit. But I must admit, I do love high school sports. I especially love high school sports in KY. Last night, I went to the Boys' basketball state championship. It was a pretty good game, though it was slow at points. As expected, standout Darius Miller (who has committed to play at UK next season), led all scorers and won state MVP. Good stuff!!! Congrats to Mason Co. High School.

We're Adopting!!!!

We have taken the first two major steps in the adoption process!!! We have selected the organization and we have filled out the first application and paid our initial fees. So, out of 11 steps, we have fulfilled the first two.

We have decided to adopt through ChristianWorldAdoption. They are one of six organizations that work with Ethiopa (where we feel led to adopt from). Of the six, they have the best BetterBusinessBureau rating, which is a good thing. They are also Christian and unlike the others, they actually have housing for parents who must travel overseas. As you might imagine, we are soooooo excited about this. I'm glad it's finally underway and that we're not just talking about it any more.


Halcomb On The Mic: The Musical Michael Halcomb, Pt. 3

Last night I had an urge to write and the rap song below is the result. I must admit, I haven't rapped in years, so, this was kind of like walking around in a dark room trying to find a light switch. That said, I don't think it's too bad. Norrelli, if you listen to it, take it easy on me. You too Bryan. Needless to say, I had fun with it and it was good to reflect a bit. I love exploring this realm of music, which is quite different than writing a song to sing with the guitar. Anyway, I didn't take the time to make sure things sounded great but oh well--the whole thing was spur-of-the-moment. If you have a couple of minutes, give it a listen. Enjoy!

Brian McLaren's "Secret Jesus"

I picked up a Brian McLaren book this afternoon at Kroger: The Secret Message of Jesus. Usually, all of the books in Kroger's sale bins are crap (they're almost always filled with Word-Of-Faith books and wacko Dispensationalist propaganda). But I found the McLaren book for $4.99 and thought I'd give it a read. I've not read any of his stuff yet, so, I'm kind of interested in hearing what he has to say.

A One-Line Good Friday Prayer

May God the Spirit continue to pour His love into your hearts so that you may be passion-shaped on this Friday and that you may live a cruciform life on the Fridays to come.


Why Did The Spirit Exorcise Jesus? Studies in Mark, Pt. 48

After coming up out of the Jordan River at His baptism, Mark says that the Holy Spirit “drove” Jesus out into the wilderness. The Greek word for “drove out” here (1.12) is εκβαλλει. This word is interesting because it is used a number of times in Mark’s Gospel. In fact, it is used a few verses later in 1.34. In 1.34 the text reads: “…Jesus healed many who had diseases and ‘drove out’ many demons…” 6.13 says, “They ‘drove out’ many demons…”

The thing that fascinates me is that the same word that is used of exorcisms in Mark’s Gospel, is the same word that is used of Jesus’ trip into the wilderness. In other words, Mark’s Gospel makes it appear as though the Holy Spirit is exorcising Jesus. Too many English translations gloss over this and soften it. For example, the NIV and TNIV both say that the Spirit “sent” Jesus out into the wilderness and the NASB says that the Spirit “impelled” Jesus. The KJV, NRSV and ASV all use the language “drove out”, which is the closest to a literal reading.

One thing that fascinates me is that Mark could have used another word here but he didn’t. For example, he could have used the term “απαγετε” which means “lead”, that he employed in 14.44. Or he could have used the word “αποστελλω” which he uses over and over and has the meaning of “send”. But he doesn’t. No, he uses the same word to describe exorcising evil spirits as he does the Spirit driving Jesus into the wilderness. So, the question I have is twofold: 1) Why does Mark do this (evidently it isn’t accidental)? and 2) What does it mean that the Spirit “drove Jesus out” as one would “drive out” demons in an exorcism?


Your 3 Words (Blogger Edition)

I really enjoy the I-Caught/Good Morning America project "Your Week In 3 Words". I am going to do a Blogger Edition. So, here's the deal: 1) Make a short video that's no longer than 17 seconds (the shorter the better), 2) Find some way, in your video, to describe this week in 3 words, 3) Get as creative as possible, 4) Email your video to me at: halc(d0t)40dp(at)mailcity(dot)com. 5) I will add your clip to the project and 6) I will post the finished project with a link to your site, here on Pisteuomen. I hope we get some good clips. If you're interested, it might be good to leave a comment here or email me so that I know you're going to participate.

BiblicaBloggers On Facebook

If you have a Facebook account, next time you're signed in, search for my name "Michael Halcomb" and add me.


High School Confidential

Last night I accidentally stumbled upon a show that I found quite interesting and that I am going to try to keep up with now. The name of the show is High School Confidential. It is basically a documentary type of thing where filmmakers follow 6 (or 8) girls throughout their 4 years of life while attending Northwest High School in Kansas. I watched the first 1 and 1/2 episodes and at times, I was shocked, and at other times, rather moved. The show gives a very real glimpse into what teens and families are faced with today when a child's high school years roll around. If you're a parent, a youth minister (or any minister for that matter) or someone who works with kids, this show is a "must see" for you. (click picture to play video)

Elderly Woman Leads Mugger To Christ

The brief clip speaks for itself!!!


"Windows Explorer Must Shutdown...Must Restart" Loop

Over the past month or two there has been one section of my computer that I have not been able to access directly (I did find an indirect way to get to the files, though). Eventually, this just got on my nerves in a really bad way. So, I spent so time trying to figure out the problem. Surprisingly, I did (something that even most people on the Microsoft site couldn't do).

So, if you are encountering a problem on Vista that, when you attempt to get into certain folders, you recieve a message box saying, "Windows Explorer Must Shut Down" and a few seconds later another box that says, "Windows Explorer Is Restarting", here are some thoughts on how to fix it:

1. The issue is caused by an audio/video codec. If you've recently downloaded or installed some audio/video program, that is likely the culprit. So, try to uninstall it.

2. For me, the problem was the program "Nero". After I uninstalled it and then removed the Image drive, everything returned to normal. So, while this isn't exactly or strictly an a/v program, it is associated with them. You may try removing this first.

3. Make a list of all the a/v programs on your computer. You can do this by going to the "Start" menu or better yet, the "Control Panel", "Uninstall/Install" tab. Look at the list. Copy the names of all your a/v progs and delete them. After each deletion, try to access the folder that was giving you problems. When you're able to acces it, you know you've won. If you're still unable, keep trying other software; eventually, you'll get it right. (*Note: If you are unable to access these areas directly, do "Ctr + Alt + Delete", "Task Manager", "New Task" (bottom right corner of box or under "File"), type in "C:\", in the corner of the box select "Browse" and then navigate your way to the "Control Panel" and from there, you can uninstall what you need to.)

4. If you have a "System Restore" feature, after you've deleted all the programs and found the culprit, you can "Restore" and then go back and delete the one that was causing all of your headaches.

5. Do not turn off the "System Administrator" function as some have suggested. This opens your computer up to a world of attacks. Keep this turned on.

Bush's Theological Reason For Bombing Iraq

(Said in a conference to religious leaders over the weekend): "We are all made in the image of God."

How's that for theological reasoning?


Sex In The Park - Legalized By Lawmakers

Oh my goodness, you have got to be kidding me!!! I couldn't believe it even after the third time I read it; Dutch lawmakers have legalized a law that allows persons to have sex in public (the place is Amsterdam's highly frequented "Vondelpark"). There are only two rules: it has to be in the evening and you must clean up after yourself. Is this crazy or what? What has this world come to? I have to think that in time, this will become a world hot-spot for public orgies, adult filmmakers and the likes. I just don't get it. It is seriously scary bringing a child into this world at this point in time. I can't even imagine what it's going to be like 60 years from now. God help us!

Eric Wins Translation Contest!!!

Eric pretty much nailed the 2nd Greek translation from yesterday. Good job, Eric! Here's the question and answer (I'll use Eric's):

Statement to translate:

Ῥύγχος ἔχων τοιοῦτον, Ὀλυμπικέ, μήτ᾿ ἐπὶ κρήνην ἔλθῃς, μήτ᾿ ἐνόρα πρός τι διαυγὲς ὕδωρ. καὶ σὺ γάρ, ὡς Νάρκισσος, ἰδὼν τὸ πρόσωπον ἐναργές, τεθνήξῃ, μισῶν σαυτὸν ἕως θανάτου.

Eric's (smooth) answer:

Having such a face, [Olympicus], don't go either to a fountain or water pure enough to act as a mirror. For you, just like Narcissus, when you look at your face you will die, hating yourself so much that you will kill yourself.

More Ammo For Dispensationalists?

Fox aired a new comedy Friday night titled "The Return of Jezebel James". I only caught the first 4 or 5 minutes of it but from what I could tell, the Jezebel James character was actually the main character of a children's book being published. Anyway, I couldn't help but think that all the frenzy-minded-apocalyptic dispensationalists were drooling at the mouth and that somehow, they will take this as another fufilment of Scripture. Actually, people like Jack Van Impe, Perry Stone and the Left Behind guys, will probably take this as a fulfilment of Rev. 2.20. They might even condemn those who watch the show and try to make them feel guilty for "tolerating that woman Jezebel." Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!


Persecutors Are Quite Ecumenical...Why Aren't We?

Glenn Penner made an excellent point about denominationalism in a post he wrote today. He works for "The Persecuted Church" ministry and had recieved some nasty emails from Protestants asking why the organization supported "heretics", that is, Catholics. His reply was: "I do like to remind people, however, of the truth that persecutors care very little for denominational distinctiveness when they go about their evil deeds. They do not pull out catechisms to determine whether they are persecuting "real" Christians. So why should we be more selective than they, in our acts of mercy and compassion?" Amen!

How To Make Fun Of Someone In Greek

Take notes from Lucillius, who once said to/of another man:

Ῥύγχος ἔχων τοιοῦτον, Ὀλυμπικέ, μήτ᾿ ἐπὶ κρήνην ἔλθῃς, μήτ᾿ ἐνόρα πρός τι διαυγὲς ὕδωρ. καὶ σὺ γάρ, ὡς Νάρκισσος, ἰδὼν τὸ πρόσωπον ἐναργές, τεθνήξῃ, μισῶν σαυτὸν ἕως θανάτου.

Who of you out there can translate this? I had no takers on yesterday's joke; maybe it was too easy. If you can, give this one a go!

A Colorful Greek Reading of Mk. 1.1-8: Studies in Mark, Pt. 47

An ongoing project of mine is to perform the entire Gospel of Mark in Greek. I say "perform" because I do not just want to read it. I want it to be lively, colorful, dramatic, etc. I am attempting, in my own way, to mimic how I imagine the Gospel being performed for an audience in antiquity. I do not imagine the performer speaking every word perfectly clear or always stressing things where we'd expect him or her to. I think the performer would have been louder at some points than others, trailed off sometimes, come to pauses in the middle of sentences, etc., much like performers do today. So, lest you be too critical of my reading, please, keep this in mind. I must admit, though, I am having a lot of fun with this. Here's a sample (Mk. 1.1-8):


Body of Kidnapped Iraqi Archbishop Found

The Persecuted Church website sent out a message saying that, "the body of kidnapped Chaldean Catholic archbishop Paulus Faraj Rahho ha[s] been found just outside of Mosul earlier today." This is surely a sad occasion and will, no doubt, spark a lot of controversy. Remember Rahho's family and say a special prayer for our Iraqi brothers and sisters in Christ. While you're at it, you might also pray for those in Iraq who need to experience the love of Jesus Christ.

Hilarious Ancient Greek Joke

Any takers on translating the following Greek joke (it is quite funny and is very basic)?

Γραμματικοῦ θυγάτηρ ἔτεκεν φιλότητι μιγεῖσα παιδίον ἀρσενικόν, θηλυκόν, οὐδέτερον.

Some Good Books

I ordered several books recently and got them in the mail yesterday and today (what would I do without Mark's Gospel?):


The Emotional Jesus: Studies in Mark, Pt. 45

One of the things that I love about Mark’s Gospel is that in it, we find a very emotional Jesus. Indeed, as I have journeyed through the text, I have repeatedly felt like I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster with Him. I have constantly been reminded just how real and human Jesus was. I mean, this is much more than just the occasional citation of “Jesus wept”!!! Jesus is a man full of feeling, full of passion and full of emotion. I take comfort in the fact that the God-man is able to know my emotions because He’s had them too, that He’s able to relate to me and that He’s able to comfort me. Thank God for the Gospel of Mark! Notice the sweep of emotions throughout Mark’s work; I’ve included many but not all of them in the list below. Pray today; go to God with all of your emotions and just rest in His presence. Know that He understands!

Emotion in Mk:

* 1.9-13 – Tempted
* 1.20 – Hungry (Mark seems to portray this as a type of emotion)
* .6 – Rejected
* 3.20-30 – Rejected
* 1.35 – Contemplative
* 1.41 – Indignant (some variants say “compassion”)
* 3.5 – Angry
* 5.33 – Pleased
* 5. 40 - Mocked
* 6.1-6 – Discouraged & Amazed
* 6.14-29 – Sad (Implied by context)
* 7.1-23 – Frustrated
* 9.19 – Upset
* 9.42 - Passionate
* 10.14 – Indignant
* 10.16 – Compassionate
* 10.17-32 – Very angry
* 11.11-7 – Very angry
* 11.12 – Hungry
* 14.9 - Pleased
* 14.33 – Distressed
* 14.34 – Sorrowful
* 14.35 – Fearful
* 14.37-41 – Frustrated/Disappointed
* 15.16-32 – Demeaned/Mocked/Abused
* 16.14 – Frustrated
* Not to mention all of the other implied frustrations, annoyances, etc. that we discern from certain episodes (e.g. 1.21-8; 8.29-33)


Does God Laugh?

Yesterday, I was in the middle of some work when I received a phone call from a friend of mine. It was a great phone call. It was great because the majority of the time we just laughed together. In fact, that’s what we always do when we talk to each other—we laugh. Later in the day, I was sitting with my 8-month old daughter, one of the happiest children I have ever seen in my life—I’m not just exaggerating here. She laughs a lot, a whole lot. To be honest, she laughs more than any other person I know. She’s usually awake twelve hours out of the day. If I were to add up the amount of time she spends laughing, I think it would easily be over an hour and a half. Truthfully, the kid laughs like no other.

Personally, I love laughing and I love when my daughter laughs. Her laughs are more innocent than mine. Sometimes I laugh at the expense of others; sometimes I laugh when I shouldn’t. She laughs when her toys fall over, when I make a funny noise, when her mom plays with her and when she gets tickled. She has laughed more in her first 8-months of life than most adults probably have in the past 8 years of their lives. Isn’t that amazing? When is it exactly, that we lose our propensity to laugh like she does? Is it when we turn 18? 21? Is it when we are told by society that we are adults now and that we need to grow up? Is it when we have to start working and paying bills? Where along the way do we quit laughing so easily and innocently?

Unfortunately, the Scriptures don’t say too much about laughing and when they do, it usually isn’t in a positive sense. The biblical matriarch Sarah laughed but she laughed at God and the way the text reads, it probably was a sarcastic, doubtful laugh. Throughout the Bible, many people mock and scoff at God and His judgment—they laugh Him off. Others laugh at those who are the ousted and outcasts of society. The rich laugh at the poor. My search for a positive image of laughter in the Bible ended up rather bleak. Indeed, each of the three halfway positive mentions of laughter were offset by negative ones. I wonder: When did the people of antiquity, those living during the days spoken of in the Bible, quit their happy laughing? And why were they so down on laughing?

I don’t know the answer to this question. But what about God? I’ve heard people say that God has a sense of humor but the Scriptures hardly back up such statements. Perhaps, though, it is sheer logic or reason that convinces us that God laughs, that He’s happy and that He has a sense of humor. I’d like to think that even God doesn’t take Himself too seriously all of the time. I’d like to think that God laughs with (and at) me sometimes and that I make Him smile. I even wonder if I’ve ever made God have one of those good belly-laughs, you know, the kind where you just can’t stop laughing and when you finally do, you feel worn out and refreshed all at the same time?

I’m not sure that I can prove that God has a sense of humor. But again, I’d like to think He does. I’ve heard people say the platypus is proof—I don’t know, though, the platypus might not like hearing that. All I know is that if we are made in God’s image and if, in turn, He is anything like us, He has to have some sense of humor. Perhaps I’m just consoling myself, though, because the thought of a God who doesn’t laugh would force me to ask the question: God, when and why did you stop laughing? Then again, such questions seem moot when the first thing my daughter does each morning is laugh. What can this be but the gentle, calm and loving Spirit that is shaping her life? I don't know but I sure hope that God has something to do with it!


ExegeTV - Greek Verbs Pt.1 (Episode 8)

The next episode of ExegeTV is up. This one deals with Greek Verbs. Hope it helps! (*Note: If the screen does not seem to fit in your browser, hit the tiny box on the video that is located in the bottom right corner just to the right of the volume control. This will make the screen larger and more viewer-friendly. In fact, I reccomend doing this.)

For the module as interactive stand-alone, click the icon below:

First Play In The Snow

The new photo on my website was taken a few days ago. It is a picture of me and my daughter; it was her first time ever playing in the snow. I love that little gal so so much.


A Midrash/Narrative Sermon On Mk.11

I don't normally post my sermons (in written or audio format) on the net but I thought I'd share one. The following is a type of midrash/narrative sermon I wrote on Mk. 11.1-11. I am certainly a better preacher rather than a long-winded story-teller but I do enjoy writing sermons like this. I think this is a great way to teach when it works. Any and all comments, critiques are appreciated. Enjoy! Click the button to listen:


The Earth Expedition Begins

*Update: The Earth Expedition has begun. My friend Daren Wendell took the first steps of his walk around the world from Dahlonega, GA about 15 minutes ago (11:30 am). I talked to him on the phone last night and he was pretty psyched-up and ready to go. I just found out this week that you can track Daren live, 24/7, via GPS from his website. I tracked him yesterday and saw him sitting in Georgia. Crazy. Anyway, I will probably post an update on this later in the day but in the meantime, visit his site and check out the GPS stuff: Daren Wendell's Earth Expedition.



More than not, I am mostly around--in a traditional sense--conservative Christians. Some of them are fundamentalists and some attempt to be wooden literalists (though, with a few questions, this falls through). One thing I've noticed, though, is that a number of people seem afraid of questions. 1. They are afraid that if they ask them, it makes them seem less pious and faithful, and 2. If they don't ask them, they are not questioning God and the Scriptures and so, again, they look poius and faithful. I have a lot of trouble with this mindset and approach!!! I call it omniquivocance (did I just coin a word?): the avoidance of all tough questions and theological/Scriptural issues.

I really try to encourage people to ask hard questions. I attempt to motivate them to think about and answer questions too. It is my belief that within the gathering of the Church, no question is out-of-bounds. If people can't ask questions in the Church then where can they? It is also my belief that no question is threatening to God. He is big enough for any and all of our questions. So, questioning is a good thing as far as I see it. Just as well, avoiding questions, skirting important Scriptural and theological issues is a bad thing; equivocating is never fruitful.

I do not take the postmodern view that "it is all about the question" but rather, that questions are important. I believe that sound answers are important too. I guess I just wrote this post because it has been on my mind lately. Do you have any thoughts on this subject?

Brief Quiz: The Candidate Most Like You

Take this interesting quiz to see which presidential candidate you share the most similarities with. Here are my results (which I found kind of surprising, well, not too surprising I guess). *Note, the quiz even tells you in what ways you are and are not like them and why, pretty cool: Candidate Most Like You.


Why You Should Get A Page-Reader

The term "page-reader" may be old news to many who frequent this site. However, to those of you who are new to the whole blog thing, this term may also be new. Simply put, a page-reader is like a webage that belongs to you. On this page of yours, you list all of the addresses of the blogs/websites you like to keep up with. Once you've done that, every time the blog/site updates, your page-reader gets that information and brings it to your page. So, if there are 20 updates from 20 different sites since the last time you visited your page, when you return, all 20 updates will be there, ready for your viewing. Yes, it's that easy. So, if you haven't yet done it, here are a few reasons why you should get a page-reader:

1. It is very easy to use.

2. It is free and does all of your web surfing work for you.

3. It gathers all the information you seek in one place.

4. It can save you hours upon hours of web surfing. Instead of going to each of your favorite pages, with the potential that you might skip over a few, you can go to one page and not have to do any more work. It also saves you from wasting time on going to a site that hasn't recently updated.

5. Another benefit is that for each blog post/article, there are links that you can click that allow you to go directly to the site. So, if you want to leave a comment or something, it's that easy.

I would encourage everyone, even those of you who do not have a blog, to get a page-reader. You can do so by clicking the following link, giving your email address, creating a password and adding your sites: Google Page-Reader.

Holy Chinese Cadavers

I recently toured the"Bodies" exhibition that has been making its way around the world. The film that accompanies it was quite incredible and the exhibition itself was astounding. Hundreds, if not thousands of Chinese cadavers have been preserved and set on display. You can see tendons, joints, muscles, all of it...it is bascially the human body without skin. Watch this short video to see some examples:

A New Blog: Lessening

My friend Cody Smith has just started a blog. The title of the blog is "Lessening", which I think is just a sweet title for a website/blog. The rationale for the name? Cody says: "The more my relationship matures with God the more I find myself lessening." Indeed, Cody is a simple fellow, a God-lover and good friend. I hope that as he blogs, you will come to see that. I have added Cody to the "Beginning Blogger" section of this site.

Addicted to Blogging?

I just took the quiz and it looks like I am. Though some might see it as denial, I wouldn't consider myself addicted, instead, I would just say that this is a hobby or even a stress reliever for me. Anyways, here are the results:

82%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

(HT: ST)


A Little Fame For Me

As many of you are aware, storms pounded the KY area yesterday (and there are more on the way). As I was driving down the road, I saw this truck, it had been trying to cross a bridge but in the act was swept away by the waters. I snapped a few photos and then sent one in to the Lexington news stations. They aired my pic three times within an hour and a half. Kind of fun!!! Not that this little bit of fame will do anything for me but hey, I thought it was pretty cool. Here are a couple of really brief snippets from the evening news reports:

**Update: The news station just emailed me and the photos are now being broadcast via the National Weather Service: Link 1, Link 2.


Why I Switched From Militant to Pacifist

*Note: This post is not all that lengthy, however, if you do not read the three short paragraphs, at least scroll down and watch the brief video.

I used to be an advocate of war and therefore, I also used to be an advocate of violence. I used to be okay with the death penalty and lethal force. However, I am proud to say that this is no longer the case. For the first time anywhere, I am sharing here, that I am now non-violent and pacifist. More than anything else, it has been through the constant encounters with Jesus via Mark's Gospel that have changed me. I am certain that one cannot read Mark's Gospel openly and seriously and still believe that violence is okay. I think it is impossible, in fact.

Along the way, I have been moved by people like Dr. King. I have been inspired by the Amish. I have been influenced by things I've seen, heard and read. And to a great degree, I have been scared of myself. What I mean by that last statement is that, there have been times when I've really wanted to carry out an act of violence against someone who has repeatedly hurt a close family member of mine. I have ruminated over how I could hurt that person and get away with it, what I could do to make that individual's pain unbearable, etc. I have harbored horribly violent thoughts. And it is those thoughts, how much they frighten me and show me just how cruel I "could" be, that force me to turn to Jesus. I could indulge the flesh but such is not the way of Christ.

Christ was non-violent. Christ was a peacemaker. Christ forbade weapons. Christ was willing to lay down His own life before taking another's. As a lover of Christ and a professed Christ-follower, I must do the same. In the past few days, I was very inspired by Shane Clairborne's comment about Dietrich Bonhoeffer's plan to assassinate Hitler. Clairborne said (paraphrase), "When Bonhoeffer planned Hitler's assassination, the cross lost." As much as I respect Bonhoeffer, Clairborne is right. But even more recent than Clairborne's comment, I was deeply and profoundly moved by the testimony given by Ron and Loretta Murray. Their son, Matthew, was responsible for the Colorado Church shootings a few months ago. They have been telling of how, when Mr. and Mrs. Works, parents of some of Matthew's victims publicly forgave them, it was as if they were meeting Jesus in person. Indeed, when the Works' did that, the cross won. I would like you to hear the testimony yourself...it is powerful! See it on the video below:

Via CBN News

One-Armed Basketball Star

Got this video in an email link today, check it out. This kid's got one arm and he's a star athlete. *Note: you may need to click the screen right away or the video will disappear; I don't know why it's doing this, maybe it has something to do with the Reuters site.)


Trinity Blogging Summit '08

Nick Norelli has officially started the Trinity blogging summit. He's recieved papers from 7 people and he has written one of his own. Of course, the title of the Summit is self-explanatory; everything has to do with the Trinity. If you've ever had questions about or have experienced the Trinity as confusing, give some of these papers a read as they each come at the topic from different and interesting angles. Here's the link to the Table of Contents of the Papers: TBS : TOC. Here's the link to my paper, which you can also download in PDF: The Trinity & The Nations: Insights From Galatians.

This Speaks For Itself!!!

While you're at it, check out this brief, previous post of mine titled: Putting the "Sin" in "Blessing": Just Can't Cope With the Copelands.


Chaim Quoted

"I go wherever the truth leads me . . Lurie, if the Torah cannot go into your world of scholarship and return stronger, then we are all fools and charlatans. I have faith in the Torah. I am not afraid of truth.." (In The Beginning)


The Earth Expedition

(Video of Daren speaking about his trek and what he hopes it will accomplish.)

In just under a week, Daren Wendell, one of my college classmates and soccer buddies will be taking his first steps on the beginning of his Earth Expedition. He will begin in Georgia where he will be meeting up with my college roomate who is going to start the trip with him. Mostly, Daren will be camping out. But if any of you good Christians out there might be able to give him a night of lodging, please help him out. You can track Daren by live GPS and you can also see his itenerary, which is detailed city-by-city for the next 7 years. To remind my readers, Daren is trying to be the youngest person to ever walk all the way around the world. He is doing this to raise money for the Blood:Water Mission in Africa, which helps AIDS victims and provides cleaner water for persons. I'll post periodically on Daren but whether you live in the States or on the other side of the world, see if you can help him in any tangible way (again, maybe by giving him lodging for an evening). Be safe Daren and God bless.


Questions For Conservatives

Why are conservative Christians praying for war instead of praying for it to end? And why are American conservatives only praying for American soldiers and not the solidiers on the "other side"? They have families and they are human too! Why do conservatives always say "God bless America" but not Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, etc.? Why don't conservative, American Christians love their loved ones AND the "others"?