boon-dog-gle: (noun) work of little or no value done merely to keep or look busy.
free: (adjective) provided without, or not subject to, a charge or payment.


The Lord is risen...

He is risen indeed!

I hope that in the coming year you all know the power of Christ's resurrection. Though the world and all our lives are full of brokenness, Jesus has promised that He will overcome the world and restore our lives. If sin and death could not defeat Him, we can know that He will certainly return to fulfill His promise.


Top 5...

Well, yesterday I missed my first day of posting since starting this blog. It had to happen sooner or later. And, it will happen again--sooner than later.

I swear I'm not stealing the idea for this post from the movie "High Fidelity". But, I did resonate with John Cusack's character in that movie because I too love making lists. So, from now on Saturday is going to be the day to offer my Top 5 lists on various topics. My entries will take into account both "objective" quality and my personal preference. I hope they create some enthusiastic discussion.

This week: Top 5 "sports movies"
1. The Natural
2. Rocky
3. Hoosiers
4. Remember the Titans
5. Bull Durham

Honorable mention (in no particular order): Field of Dreams, Rocky IV, The Sandlot, The Program, Raging Bull


That sucks...

I received my letter from Notre Dame today saying that I was denied admittance to their grad program in Early Christian Studies. I was rather sad at first, but I was surprised how quickly I got over it. I mean, I still feel kind of crappy--as anyone does when they're rejected. But, I don't feel the consuming disappointment that I thought I would. I don't know why that is.

Sometimes, I get mad at people who try to cheer me or others up after bad news with the reminder that God is sovereign and He works all things for the good of His people. (In reality, I've been guilty in the past of using this tactic. But, I try not to do it anymore.) It is really infuriating when people do that because, I already know it. People in pain don't need the advice or "wisdom" of others, they just need comfort. Reminding people about God's sovereignty is often a not-so-subtle way of actually telling them that they shouldn't feel bad. But that's rubbish! Consider: when Jesus approached the tomb of His friend Lazarus who had recently died, He knew full well (more than any of us) the reality of God's sovereignty. Yet, His response was to weep. There is nothing wrong, unspiritual, or unfaithful about feeling sad in response to disappointment or the brokenness of the world.

All that said, I do thank God that He is helping me in this time to accept this sucky news without severe heartache. And, if it does hit me later, I will still know that He is sovereign and working all things for my good.


Surprise random link of the week...

Each Wednesday I will post an unidentified link that I have chosen for no good reason. (Hence: "surprise random link of the week") Don't worry, it will never be x-rated. But, it may not necessarily be edifying or even interesting. You be the judge.

Here is this week's link: Have Fun!


Million $ idea...

Some guy is on David Letterman right now trying to explain "string theory". Don't ask me why. Jessica Alba was on just before him promoting her new movie "Sin City". That seemed a lot more in context. I think the dude wrote a book and is trying to sell it to more than just science geeks.

Anyway, one of the aspects of string theory is apparently the claim that there is a smaller component to matter than quarks, which make up protons & electrons, which in turn make atoms, etc. Those smaller components are called "strings".

So, my idea is to stake my claim to the particle that is smaller than "strings". I hereby patent the "blip". Sure, I haven't discoved the blip particle, yet. Nobody has. But, surely it is only a matter of time. I mean, a few hundred years ago people thought the world was just made up of earth, wind, and fire (not the band) and water. Now, we keep discovering new levels of smallness in the universe. Therefore, I am officially announcing my ownership of the idea of the "blip" particle and I'll just sit back while some dude in a labcoat discovers it and I'll wait for my dollars to roll in!


What's so special...

Earlier tonight, I watched the Oscar-winning movie "The Incredibles" with my wife and a bunch of friends. For my wife and I, it was our second time--we went to see it in the theater as well. It is a wonderfully fun movie because it is beautifully made, well "acted" (i.e. voiced), and has an interesting story. Why can't all movies meet this kind of standard?

One of the best lines in the movie is said by the kid, Dash (and sort of repeated later by the villian). He is complaining that his mom won't let him use his super-powers even though they are what make him special. His mom replies that, "everyone's special". To which Dash in turn replies, "...which is another way of saying nobody is." What are we to think of this statement?

In some ways, I agree with Dash. If we believe that we aren't allowed to view people as different who have a disability, extraordinary ability, particular ethnic or cultural background, or any personal peculiarity, then we have made the mistake of confusing equality with sameness. Of course people are different! If we force everyone into a particular box in order to view them as "the same", then we aren't living in the real world. While we shouldn't treat people as worth more or less based on what is special about them, we ought not deny that some people are special. And, while everybody is unique and an individual, I think we would be fooling ourselves if we didn't admit that some people are rather ordinary.

So, how do we deal with "special" people? How can we acknowledge their specialness and yet still value them no differently than "ordinary" people? Well, let me suggest that a Christian worldview is the place to start. For, people must not be valued according to their abilities or inabilities, their intellect, their beauty, or even their morality. All of these things are fleeting and unstable. Instead, the value of every person is rooted in the reality that he or she is a creature of God made by Him in His image. We are valuable because there is a reality beyond human existence. We are valuable because God values us and has told us we are valuable. Abilities may wane, intellect may dim, beauty may fade, and morality may waver, but God, His Word, and His love for us in Jesus Christ will never falter.


Palm Sunday...

Luke 19:28, 41 And when he [Jesus] had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem...And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it...

Christian theologian Harvie Conn--among others--has pointed out that Christians are afraid of "the city" and therefore we hate it. We may not admit this, but our actions and lifestyles speak more truly. Our real attitude is proclaimed from the rooftops of our suburban homes and the campuses of our suburban churches. But, when we abandon the city, we are working against the inevitable course of history that God is bringing to pass (see Revelation 21-22).

If Christians (including myself) could capture the same vision for the city that Jesus had (and has), then we too would love the city. And, we might then begin to submit to the authority of Jesus, our King of Grace, whose rule we celebrate on Palm Sunday.


Hi all (i.e., Suzanne & myself). I'm testing something out here. If it shows up on the blog, then it worked. If it doesn't, then cyber-limbo will have one more addition. Talk at ya later.


According to the prophet Chris Farley...

Ted: "But why do they put a guarantee on the box then?"

Tommy: "Because they know all they sold ya was a guaranteed piece of @&%#. That's all it is. Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time."

This preceding exchange is, of course, from the classic movie "Tommy Boy". Tommy is trying to sell his company's well-made (but not "guaranteed") brake pads to an incredulous garage manager who prefers to use the ones from the other company (which does offer a "guarantee").

This conversation was playing in my mind this morning as I was trying to buy tires at Sam's Club. They offer the "59 minute" guarantee. That is, if they don't get you your car back within 59 minutes from the time they take your keys, you get a refund for their installation and service package ($9 per tire). My question is: why do they have such a guarantee? Today was the second set of tires in a row that I've purchased at Sam's and received my money back. They don't even try! I looked in one time and even though they had my car up on the lift, all three mechanics were standing around drinking a pop. And this was about 5 minutes before my 59 minutes were up! What's the point?!

At least it wasn't as bad as last time. When I asked for my refund, the guy tried to make me feel guilty by saying they were really busy. Then, he made a very thinly veiled accusation that I was greedy. Excuse me, but I think $36 means more to me (groceries for a few days) than to the multi-billion dollar international empire of Sam Walton!

Here is my friendly suggestion for Sam's Club: get rid of the guarantee! If they hadn't mentioned it first in all the signs they have posted in their tire center, I wouldn't have thought twice if they had taken 2, 3, 4 hours, or whatever, to finish. How do I know how long it takes to change tires? But, I suppose I ought to just shut up and accept my money back.


The very first time...

Well...I'm guessing that no one will see this--at least for a while. I don't have time to work on it right now. And, I don't plan on telling anyone that this blog exists. So, unless you're me, I don't know why (or how) you came to this site. Have a good day! (Especially if you're me.)

G.K. Chesterton...

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people."