Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Thanksgiving Photos

The family


My parents' house, well at least the top story

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Mmm... Popcorny Cancer


This is unusual for me to do, but today I'm going to blog about a random news story because I think you should read it. I remember at Dan Spence's funeral his kids mentioning how much their dad loved to eat popcorn. I'm not sure if it was microwave popcorn and I have no idea about a lot of the circumstances, but it's worth a look.

Here's the link: http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/esthag-w/2005/nov/science/rr_popcorn.html

This is far from conclusive, but remember kids, the plural of 'anecdote' is 'data.'

Friday, November 18, 2005

I'm No Superman

I can't sleep.

Maybe it's because I stay up late and get up late compared to most responsible adults. Maybe it's because whenever I drink alcohol I always stay up late. Maybe it's because I forgot to eat dinner.

Today was the last day of our volleyball season. There was a tournament today and Rob, our team captain was unaware that we were supposed to be there at 5:45 in stead of 7:30 (our usual time) for the last set of games before the tourney. I guess we forfeited those games. Our team record was dismal anyway; I don't think we could have pulled ourselves up much in the standings. Most of the team are pretty good players, we just always screw up. We made it to the semi-final round, and lost when we shouldn’t have. My first serve went straight into the net that game.

Anyway, after the game, four of us went to a bar and split a pitcher of Alaskan, hence the alcohol consumption. It was 9:00 at the time, so by the time I got home and showered off I had forgotten about dinner, and my stomach was full of liquid bread and water, so I didn't feel hungry.

I just lay on the couch watching Scrubs episodes for a while. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure my insomnia isn't due to my sleep schedule: this past week I don't think I've gotten more than 8 hours a night, although maybe couch-potatoing until past midnight isn't exactly the sort of aerobic exercise my body feels the need to rest from.

I haven't done a real blog entry in a while, unless you count that last one, which wasn't very detailed and was more of a random brain dump. One reason I haven't been blogging that for the past few weeks I've had relationships on my mind. You know, the kind were a guy meets a girl and they get married and have a family. Relax, at this point, it's all mostly theoretical. It's not the kind of thing I just put on the Internet for all to see. It might have been Texas conference that started me thinking this way, and subsequently hanging out and talking with friends late into the night over roast beef, marshmellows, or fondue has probably fueled the fire.

But enough on that.

Another thing that might keep me up is guilt. Guilt that RFH gave me an "are you bleeding in a gutter?" call at 12:30 on Tuesday night, and it's almost 2:30 now, he's not home, and I have no idea if he had plans to take off for the weekend tonight or if he's dead.

Really I don't think that's it, though.

Last Sunday I was playing Prince of Persia: Sands of Time on my GameCube. I hadn't played video games in forever, but I had just ordered it on eBay on a whim because I remembered a former roommate of mine had had it on his PC and it looked fun.

Anyway, so Sunday afternoon I get home, check the mail, and there it is. (Apparently it had arrived Saturday.) So after playing for a few hours (it is indeed a fun game) I hear a knock at the door. I hit pause, get up, and open the door. "Hi," I said. "Do you want me to continue the story?" said the prince's voice from the speakers. The game is told as a first-person narrative: when you die, he says "No no, that didn't happen." or something to that effect. I gave the guys at the door a sheepish smile, and the one in front proceeded to give me his spiel.

They were "from the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints" and they were "here to tell me about the book of Mormon, which is another gospel of Jesus Christ that tells about events that took place about the same time as the New Testament, but here, in America."

I looked at him, told him I didn't believe what they had just told me, and went back to playing my video game.

I can't believe I did that. How incredibly selfish of me! I should have told them to come in and sit down, and then opened my Bible and told them about the book of Hebrews: how it's written to Jews in the first century who had become Christians, but wanted to go back to some of the old practices from the Law of Moses. The author is explaining how what they have in Christ is better than what they had in Judaism. There is a better High Priest, who enters into a better Tabernacle to offer a better sacrifice on a better altar. This new, better thing is in fact the basis of the old: the old things merely foreshadowed it, and were of themselves powerless to atone for sin. I should have told them what Jesus said to Nicodemus about divine Life, and the simple offer God makes so that we can become His children: we must accept the offering His Son made, because God will accept nothing less, and offering of our own labor is an insult to His love.

And then I would have asked them. what in this book of Mormon is better than that which I already have? How is the New Testament a mere foreshadowing that points to this book? I am His sheep, and I know His voice. Where is the Jesus I know in this book of Mormon? Or perhaps, this is "another Jesus whom [the Apostles] have not preached"? (2 Cor 11)

But I didn't. I didn't love them the way God loves them. He gave His Son to die for me, and I wasn't even willing to leave my game on pause. The two guys looked like born-and-raised Mormon stalk. I think it's entirely possible that they've never really heard the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Never again.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


God wants to bless me.

But he doesn't want to let me trick myself into thinking it was my own doing. That would, in the long run, be a curse, because it would increase my pride and sense of self-accomplishment, which is idolatry.

And so I notice this pattern in my life, wherein God blesses me, and I gradually (or at times rather rapidly) grow confident in myself and my accomplishments. Just when I think I've arrived, I fall flat on my face. I squirm and wriggle and sometimes complain, but I've hit an impenetrable wall and nothing I can do in my own rite can save me from myself.

And so I finally come to my senses, thank God for the reality check, acknowledge my total and complete lack of ability to help myself, and ask for the strength and wisdom to stand.

Then not only do I stand, but I run and leap and bound; you see God is showing off his ability to resurrect my dead dry bones in style.

I can soar like an eagle, and walk on water.

Until I look at the waves and I forget that I'm not the one holding me up, and I cry "Lord, save me!"

And then He does. You see, He loves me.

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." -Romans 8:28