Archive for June, 2007

1 Timothy 2:8

June 30, 2007

Perhaps I should be putting this on the dead man blog, and perhaps I will after I verify my citations. I will be quoting a pastor regarding a subject about which I have not heard him speak in a number of years and I have recently received rebuke for misquoting people. So there may be some revisions

This little part of my blog is about the application of this verse here:

I Timothy 2:8
I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. (NIV)

Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension. (NASB)

Although there are many ways in which to worship God, to worship God in a way other than the way which He has established as acceptable is not necessarily recommended.

To “worship” God in a way contrary to the way which He has established has been condemned and is still dangerous. E.g. Leviticus 10

In the application of the scriptural text which is above, these two ways of worship are mutually exclusive (although I suppose that worship of God that is an afront to God may not really be worship of Him at all, but only something else, i.e. an afront to God)

  1. Acceptable: Raising your hands in worship to Jesus while trusting God to restore all things and also bring His judgment with speed and finality
  2. Condemned: Raising your hands in “worship” to Jesus while dissatisfied because of His foreign and/or domestic policy (think about Jonah)

This was pointed out to me by Pastor Dale Swanson of Reaching Men Ministries and other such things who was once an interim pastor at Sky Valley Bible Church which I attended immediately prior to moving myself to Pullman Washington. I remember that on more than one occasion he indicated from the pulpit that during worship services some of us acted even more uptightly than a bunch of baptists [in a bar]. There were a number of people there who likely would have been members of the frozen chosen society had there been a local chapter. But in pointing out an application of the above passage, he asserted that the reason that so few people in that congregation raised their hands during worship services was that the majority of the people there were angry with other people and didn’t want God’s mercy for those other people.

When I heard this, I thought to myself, “that sounds about right.” Because of this warning (coupled with my anger towards some people) and the fact that I had grown up in that particular church, I never raised my hands during a worship service before December 6th of 2005.

I find the above scripture to be inconvenient because there is much aggravation to be had in the church and I have noticed that I have to do spiritual discipline if I am going to be able to get along with the people with whom I minister. So I have found that I can go to church and waste my time by not worshiping Jesus appropriately because of my anger, or I can trust God to take care of the things that I am angry about.

This can be difficult because I have a tendency to invent things to be angry about when there is nothing to make me angry. I forget that God is more interested in changing me to become more like Him than He is changing the whole rest of the world so that I will like it (–Danielle Deniet). On the other hand, this has nothing to do with failing to resist evil in its various forms.

Competition and Community Group

June 28, 2007

Well Crystal finally put up her new blog. It is much more interesting than I thought that it would be because it is not primarily about the thing that I thought that it would primarily be about. I thought she was just going to use it to make fun of my blog, but she quickly became bored with that and started blogging about herself and about Jesus, both of whom are more interesting than making fun of my blog. You can read about all of those things at http://thisgirlspointofview.blogspot.com/

I had community group at my house for the first time last night. Four people besides myself came. The people who attended had all sorts of questions to ask me like, Why is your apartment not furnished? and Why are only two of the light bulbs in your chandelier shining? I don’t really have a good answer concerning my chandelier except that it keeps the energy consumption and heat down and I have not been lacking light, but I was able to win somebody over concerning the lack of sufficient furnishings in my apartment.

We did get around to re-reading the texts from which the sermon had been preached and to asking ourselves questions about how the different parts fit together and we all seemed to be able to bring ourselves into agreement with what we understood God to be saying. One major point was that we should not waste time on trying to figure out how the end times are going to work because no matter how they work, they will be disastrous for many people without Jesus, whose death and resurrection are the primary points of the gospel. These two extremes (wasting time on times and dates and the primary points of the gospel) are assigned values in 1 Cor 15 (note verse three and verse 35).

Then prayer time came and went and then everybody left. Oh yes, someone brought cake too. Oh, and I felt strange when one attendee thanked me for my hospitality because he is an active part of the United States military, without which my hospitality would not be possible. It was kind of funny, almost like when we give God the money and other things which He gave to us previously.

My mistake

June 26, 2007

I received some negative comments about my blog on Sunday. Crystal told me that she really didn’t say that my empty bun was a veggie burger. Crystal was really trying to inform me that I could fill my empty bun with something called a veggie burger. I neglected her kind message to me and missed out on the veggie burger as well as the pleasure of quoting her correctly the first time on my blog.

Crystal has threatened to start her own blog at http://ibloginspiteofjoshua.blogspot.com, but it has yet to appear. If it does appear, I will have my first real opposition and I am sure that my site traffic will increase a lot. Perhaps I should make more mistakes. But if there are mistakes that I should make, are those really mistakes at all?

Father’s Day 2007 (or visiting SVBC) part 2

June 22, 2007

Right, so I played Age of Empires 2 with my little brother. We lost the first game, but we made things easy on ourselves and won the second game. My mother built mashed potatoes for me and I ate them at the dinning room table with mom and dad and little brother and other little brother. We ate late so that my brothers were made to prepare for sleeping immediately following the meal.

Dad and I watched a movie on VHS. This movie was called John Q. about a man who put up a violent front to save his son’s life after his company sold his insurance out from under him. The movie made me realize that I have no idea what being a father is like. I went to sleep after that and managed to wake up in time to ride with my father to church.

I even woke up in time to load my father’s recording equipment into the little car which my mother had kindly emptied the night before. I have included a picture of my father with his recording equipment.

This was to be the first time that I attended Sky Valley Bible Church in six months, but I knew that a fair amount of the format there had changed. Sky Valley Bible Church meets in a high school and has been in the habit of using the seats which are at multiple elevations (those at the back are higher than those at the front), but Sky Valley Bible Church leadership really likes to talk about and think about being a family and they also like to make themselves feel like they are a family, so they decided to use an electric motor to move the elevated seats on one end of the room to make room to set up a multitude of seats at the finished floor elevation instead. This seems to make everyone feel more like a family than did the former format. I noticed that the music sounds substantially better within this new format than it did within the previous format. This may be because of the new electric piano and the increased skill of some musicians.

The sermon was about Father’s day and the text was from Psalm 86. I have no idea what the pastor was trying to say because I wasn’t listening at all, but was wondering how long his sermon would last. It wasn’t even that long, but I began to wonder even before the service began. Oh yes, he quoted a bit of secular research regarding the importance of fathers and said something like, If you haven’t been a father to your children, start now. I am sure that there was something more biblically based in there somewhere, but again, I wasn’t listening.

I spent the rest of the afternoon by taking a nap and visiting my brother’s new horse and by eating a piece of dutch apple pie from Burger King because that is where my dad likes to go to eat food away from home.

I left my parent’s house at about 2130 because a late dinner and arrived at my own home before midnight. I didn’t even wreck the Illuminate 2.

I wish that I had a more grateful heart regarding my father because he has been an enormous blessing to me. Actually, I could stand to have a fair amount of who I am reconfigured entirely. Maybe I will get around to typing how I came about this little bit of information about myself later.

Community Group 1

June 21, 2007

One of the meetings of my Missional Community Group took place last night.

I have included the picture of an instant of this meeting on the left there not because it makes me look good (clearly), but because it is the only picture that I was able to have taken last night; my batteries only had enough energy for one picture and my backups had been sitting around for far too long to be worth anything.

The beer in the blue cup was the first beer from a can which I had ever consumed, and I did not find it positively impressive, but it was a gift which was offered to me by a military man directly after he learned that I had finished with my engineering exam. I felt very uncultured after I had begun to pour the can of beer into the blue cup which I had been using for dihydrogen monoxide because Crystal decided to tell me that there was too much foam on the top of the beer which I had poured into the blue cup and that I was supposed to tip the blue cup while pouring. I was later informed that I was not supposed to pour the beer into the blue glass at all. Isn’t it convenient that people in the beer drinking community are so pleased to share the correct cultural protocols?

My whole community group seemed to be on a mission to rejoice with me, even though I wasn’t bent upon rejoicing.

Hostess: When you found out that you passed, did you jump up and down?
Me (not wanting to think long enough to remember that I did jump up and down): I don’t remember.
Hostess: I would have jumped up and down.

I got to eat oreos and potato chips and a hot dog bun. Crystal told me that the hot dog bun is called a veggie bun or something like that when it is empty. I can’t imagine why it is called that.

Please note that Real Deal Mark Keel (pictured) is not the military man whom I mentioned above.

Father’s Day 2007 (or visiting SVBC) part 1

June 20, 2007

I went to visit my dad on the day before father’s day. I arrived at 1500 because I had been busy listening to pastor Dale Swanson preach about relating to women for four hours in a little tiny baptist church in Bremerton which took me forever to find. Listening to him was most interesting because most of it was stuff that I have heard from the Acts 29 Network, but with different illustrations. There is to be another such event in August, and I think that I know of some other people who would benefit from it.

Upon my arrival at my father’s house, my father and my little brother continued building an additional sling for their trebuchet and took it out to the lawn for testing. They now have two slings: one for golf balls and one for tennis balls. The trebuchet seems to work well. I caught the tennis ball which was hurled by the trebuchet as a result of my first attempt.

After testing the trebuchet, I went inside and prepared to play Age of Empires II with said brother while my mother and other brother returned home. So of course I had to postpone the game a few minutes to unload my mother’s car and to make sure that my mother knew that I had noticed her and regarded her presence because no one likes to be ignored.

This reminds me of the only time that I went to a Bible Quiz meet in Cranbrook British Columbia because upon the somewhat late arrival of myself and my teammates, those hosting the meet met us all (~30 quizzers and coaches) and gave us a welcome and told us exactly where to put our stuff, how we could help them to get the meet started quickly, and passed around the please spend money here type gifts from the mayor of the city (that letter has got to be one of the only letter that I have ever received from a politician that doesn’t say vote for me).

All of that is to say, if you live with someone whom you love, you may be able to show it by deferring whatever you have been doing to the unloading of his/her vessel or the lightening of his/her load as he/she enters your residence. Similar ideas can be used in other places on people who are not living with you.

FE/EIT

June 15, 2007

I passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, which is also called the Engineer In Training Exam!

I had to take this exam twice. I do not particularly think that I did any better the second time than I did the first time, but during my second examination, I did manage to accurately indicate which module of the exam I was going to take in the afternoon so that my exam key was graded correctly.

Now that I have finished with this exam, I won’t have to explain the last paragraph to any employers ever again! Isn’t this nice? Praise Jesus!

I am not completely helpless

June 2, 2007

I am taking a little break from blogging about spiritual things. I may never cease to be amazed (from time to time) at how much aggravation there is to be had inside of Jesus’ church, just among those who are committed to the one mission. I must remember what Pastor Dale Swanson once said, which was to the effect of, “If you knew that tomorrow morning, one of your Christian brothers or sisters was going to be found dead, hanging on a streetlight downtown, you wouldn’t care which church you went to. You wouldn’t care if they spoke in tongues or not, you wouldn’t care if they baptized their babies… you would just be glad to be with a brother who loved Jesus and believed the Bible. I don’t think that having the ability to be choosy and seemingly independent means that I should be so. But I am taking a break from that (now where’s that seat belt?).

The reason that I can say that I am not completely helpless is:

You guessed it! Yesterday, I sewed my own button onto my own pants with my own needle and my own thread all by myself after I realized that the original thread was failing. I even used thread that matched the pants. My employer’s wife informed me that I should have done it her way, and not just the way that I was instructed to do it by the internet, but it seems to be working.

Civil Engineering

June 1, 2007

I have been working as a civil engineer for more than a year now and I have decided to share with you some of the things that I have learned during that time.

  1. Always use some sort of interface between your body and a manhole cover when moving the manhole cover. I am sure that you all remember reading about how I got my finger stuck directly beneath a manhole cover.
  2. When topographical maps created from data gathered by your company’s survey team conflicts with the opinion of a property owner who says “your survey doesn’t show how the land really is,” believe the survey. One property owner entered the office of my company because he claimed that my design assumed that water would flow uphill. He dragged myself and my boss out to his property where he had to apologize for his ignorance which he had forced upon us in arrogance. He brought us flowers later that day. Job 38:2
  3. Sometimes people invent problems. Like Professor Hill in The Music Man musical, people call engineers to tell them things like, “Oh we’ve got trouble, yes, we’re in terrible, terrible trouble. We’ve got trouble and that starts with T and stands for Tank. The tank you designed is full of water! I visited the site along with a county inspector and a county engineer who immediately determined with me that the tank would begin to drain immediately following the installation of a tank outlet (which was included in my design). My boss’s wife said that it was a good thing that they sent pokerface (that’s me) for the site visit because my boss would have died laughing if he had been there.
  4. Don’t change your analysis just to please a client. I recently analyzed an existing detention system to determine whether or not it would be sufficient to mitigate the increased runoff that would be expected to flow from a newly planned development. I determined that one part of that system needed to be expanded. Because this expansion would cost money, I had multiple people calling me and telling me that I was wrong and that I had missed something and that this would have to be discussed with my boss and so on. Just last week, the most persistent of those people admitted that he wrong and all but apologized for questioning my work.
  5. When a man and a woman disagree regarding the location of a property corner, the woman is right. I don’t know how this works and it has never been shown to me, but my boss tells me that women remember these things best.
  6. Never back the company truck off of the stabilized construction entrance.