Friday, August 14, 2009
this poem is really short, so i think that in order to save some dignity, it should have a really long title...or the Definition of Sucktacular
I tried real hard
To be unique
But everything sounds the same
Take this wisdom to heart:
Short poems are born,
When poets have run out of words to say
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
17) "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
18) "Which ones?" the man inquired.
Jesus replied, "Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony,19) honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself."
20) "All of these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"
21) Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
22) When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
In 2000 the US had an average CPI of $34,100 compared to the world average of $7410. 56% of the world population lives on only $730 (or $2 a day), and 28% live on $1 a day. This means that the average American earns from 46 to 92 times more than over half the world.
May God change our hearts,
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I would venture to say that the majority people have either seen 300 or heard the story of the three hundred Spartan’s last stand. Well if you haven’t seen 300, this is by no means an endorsement of that movie. I have seen it, and I greatly regret that I did so. So if you haven’t seen the movie, I suggest that you continue to refrain from watching it… Anyway that is merely my disclaimer for this note.
The story of the three hundred Spartans that stood up against hundreds of thousands of Persians is a story full of heroics and glory. Today we look back on these valiant warriors with great admiration for their extraordinary deeds. In spite of the overwhelming odds, these warriors stood their ground and fought to the death along side their king. For these reasons we tend to think of the Spartans as some of the greatest warriors that ever lived (and certainly they are). But I cannot help being at least slightly disappointed that another group of warriors in history that were just as valiant often go completely unnoticed, while the Spartans get all of the glory.
These thoughts came into my mind a few days ago when I was reading in the Bible about David’s mighty men (2 Samuel 23:8-39; 1 Chronicles 11:10-47). In these few verses of scripture we get to see some of the exploits of David’s mighty men.
If you find yourself wondering who exactly the mighty men were, fear not because that is exactly what you are about to find out.
David’s mighty men were the men that David almost constantly kept around him during his reign. They were great fighters, and they were fiercely loyal to their king. When I read these verses, I couldn’t help but think that David’s warriors were just as awesome, if not more awesome, than the Spartans. Here are a few of their exploits to prove my point, paraphrased, of course:
A warrior named Josheb-Basshebeth (how would you like to have that name?) killed eight hundred men with a spear, while Jashobeam stood beside him and killed three hundred with a spear. Okay, killing eight hundred or three hundred men is insane right from the start, but to do it using only a spear. There is a reason that the sword was so popular back in the day. It allowed for a great deal of maneuverability… much more so that the spear. Also with a sword you can hack and slash and stab, but when using a spear, you have two options: stab them or hit them with a stick (which essentially is what the majority of a spear is).
Eleazar stood with David against some Philistine warriors, while all of the other Israeli men fled. That, in itself, is pretty awesome but this next part is what makes this guy completely insane. Eleazar fought so long that his hand froze to his sword. It doesn’t tell us how many people he killed, but he killed so many that by the time he was done, he couldn’t take his hand off of his sword. So I will let you do the math to find out how many men you have to kill before you can’t let go of your sword.
Benaiah killed two of Moab’s best men (Moab was a country that wasn’t very nice back then). He also slew a seven and a half foot tall Egyptian warrior with his own spear, and killed a lion. That sounds like a pretty fierce line up from a gladiator movie.
One time when the Philistine’s controlled Bethlehem, David said that he longed a drink from the well near Bethlehem’s gates. Upon hearing this three of David’s thirty chiefs broke into Bethlehem through the Philistines lines, got the water from the well, and brought it back to David. These three guys broke into the enemies camp and fought back all of the guards and soldiers that came to stop them… all for a drink of water. David must have been really thirsty.
At first glance some of these may not seem quite as great as 300 Spartans fighting hundreds of thousands of Persians, but it is. The Spartans were great, valiant warriors; I will give them that. But what we tend to forget about is that the events of the 300 Spartans were not like that of the movie 300. The Spartans did not fight out in the open against the Persians; instead, they fought the Persians at the gap of Thermopylae, which very narrow and the Persians could only charge strait at the Spartans, were all they had to do was maintain their phalanx and stab with their spears. That was basically the only thing they did for the majority of the battle: the Persians would charge the Spartans, and the Spartans would stab. Pretty boring fight if you ask me.
Also there were other warriors fighting beside the 300 Spartans… around 2700 others. So the total forces were actually not just 300, but ten times that.
Now what about David’s men? Let’s imagine Josheb-Bassebeth and Jashobeam for a minute. They were in the same battle together, which means that they could be standing right next to each other or a relatively long ways away. But let’s assume that they are indeed standing side-by-side. Israel has fairly open land, so I would assume that they were not in a narrow pass but rather in a field. In this field they are fighting, presumably, over 1100 men because I would assume that at least a few men would have fled and survived. But the point is that these two men killed a total of eleven hundred men.
These are only a few of the mighty men’s feats. David chose them all because they were great and well accomplished warriors. These are the men that David knew would fight to the death if he commanded them to do so. He also knew that when all other warriors fled that these men would stand and fight even if they stood alone (apparently they did on a few occasions).
All of those attributes were great and necessary, but the most important aspect of these men was their loyalty to David (and their loyalty to God through being loyal to David). The Bible says that they gave David the support he needed to extend his kingdom all over the land. In short these men were David’s friends that supported him and helped him to carry out God’s will for all of Israel.
Now it would be very easy for me to draw some sort of sermon-esque message out of these stories about how as Christians we need good, loyal friends beside us or that we need to be willing to stand and fight for something we believe in even if we stand alone or something like that…
But I won’t because I think that it would be just a tad bit cheesy, and that is not this note’s purpose.
And to be honest I don’t really know what the purpose of this note is. All I know is that I like the story of David’s mighty men, and I felt like writing about it. Maybe it is to show you that there were some really awesome people in history that haven’t had movies made about them (and probably never will). Or maybe this will help you see that the Bible can be pretty entertaining at times, and that it is not just a bunch of commandments.
Or maybe I just like interesting stories and telling others about those stories.
Whatever the case may be, I hope that you take something from my random scribbles.
God loves you.
To God alone be the glory,
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Friday, March 6, 2009
So here is how my day began last Wednesday: I woke up at 7:45 and immediately go take a shower. I get dressed and go to the Student Union at eight. I get a cup of coffee then go sit on one of the chairs in the lobby and read a little bit from the Green Eggs and Hamlet books that are sitting on the tables. Tiffany shows up at about 8:10, and we sit and talk while she is eating her breakfast. She then goes to her class at 8:30, and I go to my dorm to grab my notebook. I went back the Student Union, went up on the second floor, sat down, and told my self that I was going to study for the test that I had at ten.
But guess what.
I didn’t study.
I just sat there.
I sat there until 9:45.
I know that it sounds incredibly boring, but please let me explain myself before you call me a freak and go on with your life.
I have gotten in the habit recently of just being quiet. It may be in the Student Union or on a bench outside of Morrison Hall or in the amphitheater; it doesn’t matter where. But what happens is that I will go wherever and become overwhelmed with the solitude, with the stillness. I guess that a good word for it is meditation. Yeah, let’s call it meditation because that sounds deep.
But that day in particular, I just sat there and thought about God. Slowly these wonderful realizations began to wash over me. I had a particularly interesting thought that I just couldn’t seem to hold in, so I grabbed my notebook and began writing.
So I started to write and these others thoughts just began to flow out along with the first one. Before long I had wrote a "poem".
Finally I set my pencil down and read what was sitting in front of me. I simply felt completely overwhelmed by what God was showing me.
But it all started with one simple thought: Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.”
But what hit me so hard about this verse is that God said to be still and know that He is God. But before I tell you why, I need to tell you this:
I like astronomy. It endlessly fascinates me.
Go watch Louie Giglio. He is a pastor that travels a lot with Chris Tomlin. One video, in particular, is from Tomlin’s Indescribable Tour. In this video Giglio, talks about astronomy to show just how big God is, and it is astounding. It is absolutely awesome to think that the heavens are, quite literally, showing God’s glory 24-7.
It is the paradox that results from the collision of the verse in Psalms with this realization of God’s power. Or perhaps to word it better: if God made all of these wonderful and glorious things that are so amazing, how are we supposed to be still before Him? I mean some of the things that God has created, both here and out in space, almost force you to say, “Wow!” If we are looking at things this amazing and thinking about how big God would have to be in order for Him to effortlessly create something that we haven’t even begun to understand, how can we be quiet before God!
I think that the answer is that God wants us to be completely blown away by His glory and His creations (after all they reflect His glory), but He wants to reveal something else to us in the still silence: His Love.
I recall the story in 1 Kings 19, when the Lord appears to Elijah, not through an earthquake or a mighty wind or a great fire but through a still small voice. God has given us all of these wonderful things that hint at just how great our God really is, but when all of the noise fades and we find ourselves a quiet spot, He wants to show each of us His Love.
But what kind of a God could love something as insignificant as we are?
The God that opened His mouth and trillions of stars, each caught in a perfect balance of controlled chaos (a sermon possibility… hmmm?).
The God that opened His mouth and the whole universe spewed out.
The God that opened His mouth and light burst forth at 186,000 miles per second to drive away the darkness.
This is the same God that desperately wants to be with you.
I think it’s funny because it is almost like God is saying, “Yeah. I created that, but it’s not about how cool that is. It’s all about how much I love you.”
I find it so amazing that our God is so big and so awesome that He could appear to us in any form that would simply blow our minds, but instead He wants us to find Him in the silence. He could scream His Love for us in an infinite number of ways that would leave us breathless, but instead He chooses to whispers in our ears.
Our God is great!
Our God loves us!
Find Him in the silence.
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10
Friday, February 6, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Chosen One/Savior/Dragon-Rider/Elijah Wood
And I live in a mystical land where…
Magic/Wizards/Dragons/Common Decency & Integrity
Haven’t been seen for hundreds of years
Currently I am a simple…
But soon I will learn of my destiny to defeat the…
Dark Lord/ (huh…)
Who threatens to destroy the whole world
At first I will be…
Fearful/Hesitant/Defiant/Nervous about working with Peter Jackson
But soon a wise and mighty…
Will convince me to pursue my destiny
I will set out for my…
With only my…
Best Friend/Lovable but fierce pet/Crazy uncle/Inhaler
By my side
But soon I will be joined by a…
Then we will face many perils, like the deadly…
But most of us will make it out alive
One character will seem to die, but he will…
Come back stronger in the second book/Come back evil in the second book/Be reincarnated in the second book/Stay dead…dude, Rick, the camera guy, had a heart attack… that’s not funny, he died…
Eventually I will…
Return magic to the world/Defeat the Dark Lord/Turn into a zombie, ushering in the zombie apocalypse/Become a real celebrity
But it will take no less than three incredibly long books to do so.