Saturday, July 23, 2005


I have been rather swamped/distracted/tired this past week. Work was a bit stressful, though I finally started making tangible progress on Friday. I wish I had Lassen to look forward to, but it doesn't look like I'll be getting out of state again until Thanksgiving, or possibly late October.

It was an awesome week at Shallowbrook this year (they seldom aren't). Sid presented us with the clearest outline of Revelation 6-22 that I have ever heard of or even thought possible to do in a week's time. Tom went through 1st and 2nd Timothy, spilling gems all over the place. I think I'm going to go back through in my personal reading and gather some of them up. I also intend to do the same with Revelation. I didn't take too many notes0, but what I did glean was an overall picture; a framework that my mind can more easily hold while I search the scriptures. Al had us studying several of the names and titles of God in groups, then he tied it together by using what we had observed to illuminate a passage in Joel. Out of the three, I would say Al's subject was the most abstract. Tom's turned out to be the least, which was unusual, though not unwelcome.

For those of you who don't know, Sid is in commercial real estate in Orange County, Al is from Illinios and (I think) teaches medical school, and Tom is a doctor of some sort from Texas/Canada. Anyway, once a year for the past several years, they all converge on a farmhouse called Shallowbrook outside of the tiny town of Bradford, Ill for one week with about 50 young people (and we must never forget the cooks), for 30 hours of intense Bible teaching. The schedule is roughly: 8:00 breakfast, 3 50-min lectures, 12:00 lunch, 3 50-min lectures, 5:00 dinner, free time until midnight. There is a 10 minute or so break between the lectures, which is just about right for a boisterous game of Round Robbin. Evenings are good for swimming, volleyball, tennis, basketball, singing, ultimate frisbee, football, long conversations with new and old freinds, and all sorts of mischeif. On the last night, there is a talent show, of which I will say that this year there weren't any acts that deserve the quote marks (except perhaps the Canadian skit--although saying "eut and abeut in a beut"1 with 12 marshmellows in your mouth is quite impressive. Props to Caleb and Max.)

Tom's talks this year were, as I mentioned, quite practical (relatively speaking). I don't think you can study 1st and 2nd Timothy and not get a sense of what God values and how He expects one to behave among His Church. Sid's were less so, but again, I belive this follows from the subject matter. "When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." -Is 26:9 I think this verse has applications to us today who read about God's judgments, whether in Revelation, Matthew, the Psalms, prophets, or the Pentateuch. We can see, for example, the corruption that the Bible calls "fornication" in religious systems and the political systems with which they exchange power. Peter says of false prophets, "their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep." If I can see through the eyes of faith that God's judgment is barrelling like a freight train towards those who do evil, I think it begins to have practical consequences in my actions. My point is2, just because something might be higher up on the stack, or not be about or even to us, it is certainly for us, and has direct bearing on our 'conversation.' Al's talks were equally aethereal, and with just the same, although a different kind of, practicality. He provided us with a tool for interpreting scripture. It seemed to some like a lot of time was wasted flipping through concordance pages, but in that flipping and scribbling and discussing, several key patterns were uncovered that enabled us to confidently apply a passage later on that we would have, without the preceeding research, been hesitant to confidently apply. Al wasn't feeding us fish, he was giving us all rods and line and showing us how to cast and reel and stoke a fire.

Reminds me of a couple of Slashdot sigs I've seen:

Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish. Teach a man to fish, you give up your monopoly on fisheries. ~
Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he's warm for the rest of his life.

Oh, and I finished reading Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince. I look forward to the term "snogging" becoming popular among fifth-graders.

0 but then again when did I ever take notes in school?
1 "out and about in a boat"
2 Oh, no! It's happening! Give me two more minutes, I'll finish up this post.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Inside Joke



So, ladies...

Shallowbrook 2005 Photos

I still need to digest a bit more before I write anything substantial about Shallowbrook. I'm still recovering: both sleep-wise and friend withdrawals.

These pictures were taken on my camera, most of them by me. I have a large repository of photos on my computer from my camera and others' which I will try to make available as soon as I can. Caleb has offered to donate some web space to the effort.


Naqash and Danny

Joanna and Meaghan



Tim and Elise



Me and Elise

Almost Everybody

Caleb and Joanna (who aren't in the group shot)

Liz and her amazing recorder

Todd, Amy Jo and Laura

Bethany and Meaghan

Seth and Tim

Becky and Julie

Gordie and Elise


Amber and Tim







Matt and Vernon

Peter and Camille


Amy Jo and Danny




Tim, Joanne, and Naomi look at photos, Wills in background

Friday, July 01, 2005

Mooching WiFi

Mwa hwa hwa! (maniacal laughter)

I am currently at home mooching WiFi off some hapless neighbor. This'll have to do until we can get the cable hooked up, which RFH tells me will be the 7th.

Among the things I intended to blog, but couldn't, here is a poem that I wrote on Sunday:

Music plays around me
as I glide through green pillars
with fingers stretching up to almost touch
and strong arms that reach down,
embracing the windy road.
And I sing along.

Okay, more of a run-on sentence, but I like it. It communicates what I was feeling.

The problem with my WiFi was indeed my PC Card, with which I've had trouble in the past. Thankfully, CompUSA is having one of their "midnight madness" sales, which is more accurately described as 'rebate madness.' Basically, I bought an 802.11B Linksys PC Card, PCI Card, and Router for $4.99 each (plus tax on the full price), after rebates. There were two rebates on each item, so I had to fill out 6 rebate forms, make six copies of the receipt, and one copy of each UPC, and I'm out $145.00 until the rebate checks arrive.

But Linksys makes good hardware, and I'm planning to drop the PCI card into Athena.