Thursday, April 28, 2005


God is so cool.

So Wednesday RFH and I are out looking at apartments. We actually didn't get to look at anything much, because we got the the apartment complex just as the office was closing, and then we set off to check out some rental houses which we never found, although we did get to go up and down the spirals at the airport parking garage.

Then he abducted me to a Bible study. Not that I particularly minded going, it's just that he never offered me an alternative such as dropping me off at my car. I'm an adult. I like options. It's courteous. But he just decided to go and off he drove while I sat there and tried to ignore his uncomfortable prattle. What could I do, demand to be let out? I informed him that he should never date.

Anyway, it was an awesome study. Not that it was ideal, but the people there were generally mature, serious0 about the study, and honestly digging to find out what the passage implied about their lives. I really like discussing the Bible with people who genuinely care what it says; let's say it's a hobby of mine. After the study, we broke up into smaller groups for prayer. I was in a group with two girls, and we engaged in a *real* conversation (about stuff that mattered to us), which ranged all over in fluctuating degrees of seriousness, but had nothing to do with the weather, etc. Then we prayed for each other, after which we mingled with the others in general group conversation.

I was encouraged. I was myself, and that was okay. In fact, people liked it. We enjoyed the Lord. We talked about life. It reminded me of Shallowbrook.

Basically, God reads my blog and he figured I needed a big hug, He stole me away to heaven for an evening.

0 Which is, by the way, not a synonym for stoic.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Today was a fun Monday. I dropped my car off at the Honda service dept. this morning to get the outlet0 fixed (it has never worked). Anyway, they have a shuttle service, so they dropped me off at work (about 5 minutes away). I called in when I was ready to be picked up after work, and they said the driver would leave in five minutes. Over an hour later, and several phone calls, they finally called me a taxi, which didn't show up for another 20 minutes. I felt kinda sorry for the driver. He seemed a bit new to (1) the English language, (2) the operation of an automobile, specifically as it pertains to staying in a lane, (3) the local geography and (4) corporate accounts, in which a third-party business and not the passenger pays the fare (which was eventually returned to me, but only afer I got back from BSF). I was late to BSF, but I caught most of the talk, and I was able to pick up next week's lesson.

And I have a headache.


I fear that I'm a nerd. Well, I know that I'm a nerd, and I'm actually proud of many of my nerdy qualities, but I'm referring to the negative aspects of nerdiness. Specifically, tonight at BSF I heard an expression to describe my experience lately: "spiritual pocket-protector poindexter." It resonated with me because it's something that I've seen in my myself: the inability to relate to others on a social level, paired with the pathetic attempt to compensate by showing off all my vastly 'interesting' knowledge and expertise. I don't think I'm showing off, but I get the feeling that's how a lot of people perceive my attempts to relate. In return, I get pity gestures, but no real attempt at a meaningful rapport.

It feels like I'm that kid who tries to act like a grown-up, and bosses all the other kids around (*ahem* you know who you were ;-D */ahem*), only in the spiritual sense. What am I supposed to do though? Stunt my own growth so as to fit in? I've already learned that lesson, thankyouverymuch. Not that I presume think I'm some spiritual colossus among dwarves: I've seen true spiritual maturity in certain individuals, and it pains me to think that I'm somehow unable to commune in a meaningful way with my peers except in islands and glimpses.

This last conference felt, in some ways1, like getting a big box in the mail, only to find after hours of rummaging that it only contains packing peanuts. In this case, I'm happy to say that at least I came away with two sticky boards.2

Yes, it was a bit depressing. No, I am not depressed.

One nice thing about that and the one after it weekend was that I got to spend some time having fun with kids. I also got to see Dr. Al and apostle Paul.

0 You can't call them cigarette lighters anymore, because they don't have one in it unless you get one installed. It's just a power outlet.
1 Certainly not in all ways, though.
2 You had to be there.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Wandering Thoughts

This thought started here, but it was getting too long for a comment, and it was mostly about me. Beck's blog is not about me.

I think I burned myself out reading Dave Hunt's book. I started reading it again, and realized that the reason I had lost the will to continue reading was that it had gotten inane, and so I cut my losses, returned the book to its owner, and tore through a good Science Fiction novel.

I hate quitting halfway through something, but it had to be done, and I'm not sorry. I'm not sorry that I started reading it, and I'm not sorry that I stopped when I did.

Good books are a great way to get my mind in a thinking mood. I think this is mostly because I like the kind of books that make you think, and so I consider them good. I hope at least that I am not alone in this.

When I read the article that beck linked to, I thought about Ephesians 4:14, where those who do not mature are tossed about by every wind of doctrine. I've actually been thinking a lot about Eph 4:11-16 ever since my trip to Canada, and more recently it came up when we went through Ephesians in BSF, but even further back to a missions conference I went to in San Jose, and a talk that a friend of mine gave at a youth camp.

I've heard a lot of well-meaning teachers say, especially to young people, that they need to be out preaching the gospel to everyone they meet, because that's how you fulfill the "Great Commission" (Matthew 28:18-20). It has led to some good, but for many of those young people I think they were doing it out of guilt, and not love. Guilt is fear. There is no fear in love.

Jesus commands us to go and "make disciples of all the nations," but does that just mean preach at them until they convert? Preaching is good, but if that's all we do, we will have lots of very shallow Christians, who will fall easy prey to the next fad: Gnosticism, Humanism, Yoga, Atkins, Islam, whatever. My point is that that's not all that Jesus said to do, in fact, it's just the beginning, referred to as evangelism or 'planting.' He also said, "teaching them to observe all that I commanded you." Plants need to be watered. Making diciples goes far beyond "fire insurance" salvation. Diciples are Mini-Me's of Christ. Little copies. Exactly like Him in every way: one eighth His size (except for that last part).

We are fulfilling the great commission when we are encouraging one another to increasingly imitate Christ. This is why Ephesians 4 declares emphatically that the spiritual gifts ("Lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age.") are all for the express purpose of building up every single believer to complete maturity and perfect knowledge0 of the Son of God. I'm not trying to minimize the role of evangelists, I am simply reminding us that there are other, equally important, roles that should not be ignored. A growing church is one in which each member is personally growing in their faith. Do not mistake the effect this will have for the other kind of "growing" church, the kind that merely increases in numbers.

There's a Bible conference this weekend, and I've had this issue nagging me for a while now, so I thought I had better formulate my thoughts a little bit before then. I have this sneaking feeling that since my dad couldn't make it, they would make up for it by asking me to speak. Not that they have, mind you. If they were going to do that (and they weren't sadists) they would have warned me by now. However, I wouldn't put it past them to give me a sing talk or the Sunday School lesson. Don't tell them (and you know who I mean by "them," those of you whom I am addressing) I'm preparing anything, but I will be prepared. The last talk I gave I had twenty minutes notice. Thanks, Todd :-Þ

0 "Knowledge" meaning intimate acquaintance: to know someone, rather than something. "I know Joe Blow" vs. "I know about Joe Blow."

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Where Does My Time Go?

I just got a book that I ordered a while ago: Cagebird. It's the third in a trilogy of science fiction novels, and it just came out. When I went to put it in my room I realized that I have a stack of books that I'm planning on reading and it's six inches high. Maybe it's a good thing athena is RAM-less for a week or two.

You may be wondering what you get out of all of this, because, well, you're very selfish. And I support that. Why should you, random person who likely doesn't see me very often (if at all), care that I have a stack of books that I am resolved to spend more time reading?

The answer is that when I read, my mind gets into a more--if you can imagine such a thing--analytical mode; I "think better," if you will. Besides the increase in analiticality0, I also have more material, and more time to process, plus a greater desire to share my ponderings on this my pulpit of pontification.

So: I resolve to read this week. I've been a bit bogged down in Dave Hunt's ramblings, but I think if I get through him, I can get to some Orson Scott Card. I fugure it's a good idea to alternate between theological works and science fiction so as to keep my fantasy bug happy, and get to study intriguing and practical issues concerning the most important matter in the universe.

Speaking of bogging down, I'm going to go to bed now so as not to bog you down and to get a good night's rest before work tomorrow. Maybe I'll even crack open a book afterwards.

0 It's a word if I say it's a word! Seriously. English is delightfully extemsible.

Friday, April 01, 2005

My Forking Blog

It has come to my attention that not everyone who is interested in my personal life is that in to computers, or can for that matter understand half the terms I use when I try to convey such concepts.

So, I've decided to fork my blog!

You may have noticed the nifty new bar with three links in it located above the posts and sidebar. On it, you will find three links, one to burndive (this blog), which will remain my primary blogging outlet, and one to notmeeither, which I still don't intend to use for blogging (just leaving xanga comments), but it looked pretty silly to put a navigation bar up with just two links on it, so I included that one as well.

The design isn't final. I would like to change the color, but that would involve hosting the images for the rounded corners somewhere in that new color. I might do something akin to what Caleb has.

Update: I have changed the design more to my liking. It's still in flux.

The middle link is tuxbox, which is what I've decided to call my new computer,0 and also the blog about that computer. For those of you who may not be familiar with some of this, "tux" refers to the Linux mascot which is a penguin (and therefore looks like he is wearing a tuxedo). "Box" is a way in which hackers refer to computers. So, tuxbox == Linux computer. Plus, it fits with my current blog title in that it is the concatonation of two monosyllabic words.

So why does my new computer warrant its own blog? Simply put, I don't want to bore most of you, and you shouldn't have to put up with a bunch of technical jargon that you don't understand. This way, if you want to read it, you can, and if you don't, you won't. I intend to make tinkering around with this computer a hobby, and it will also help me in my career because it will hone my Linux expertise (think of me as just like a mechanic with a hot rod in his garage).

0 Don't look at me like that! It isn't that strange. Every computer on a network has a name. Seriously. Yours is probably called "oemcomputer" or maybe even "hp2341235." Having a simple name makes it easier to access over the network, which I intend to do frequently.