Monday, April 24, 2006

Tragedy at the White House

My bud LJ sent this video to me. Put down the glass of milk

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Morning

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 1:3

The verse written above was scripted by Peter, one of two apostles with whom I can identify (just for the record, Thomas is the second). He was a simple fisherman. He was without means, a name, wealth or political clout. He was one of Jesus’ closest disciples. He walked on water to Jesus. He identified Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of God.”

Peter had lived and worked beside his friend Jesus for three years, witnessing miracle upon miracle. But he still did not understand that Jesus was God’s sacrificial lamb. He did not grasp that Christ had not come to live on earth, but rather, to die. He did not understand that when Christ said he would rebuild the temple in three days that he was literally speaking of his resurrected body. And so, when Jesus was arrested, tried and executed, he was understandably scared and confused. It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. When questioned, Peter denied he even knew his friend.

But something transformed Peter and gave him a “lively hope.” So much so, that he too was crucified for preaching Christ. That something was the Easter Story. Peter was the first disciple to enter the tomb and discover that, as the women had reported, it was empty. He encountered the resurrected Christ and discovered that He was alive.

And that is the message of Easter. At the age of fourteen, I accepted Christ as my Savior, which is to say that I acknowledge that I am born of Adam and have inherited his disobedience. I acknowledge that this inheritance has separated me from the one who created me. No matter how good I am, no matter how hard I try to do good things, no matter what kind of citizen I am, there is absolutely nothing that I can do to change what I have inherited. I realized what the nature of holiness means, and that God turns his eyes away from me. I learned that as much as I wanted God to be a loving Grandfather, he was still a Holy God. And my inheritance would eternally separate me from Him. I had always known about Jesus, but I did not realize that Jesus was the Kinsman Redeemer who would pay for the thing that I had inherited. That I could trust this redemption, because the Tomb was empty on Easter Morning, and Peter encountered the resurrected Lord.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Bad Business

Saturday. Stuck nicely between Friday and Sunday. But not just any Friday, or any Sunday, but this is the day between my Lord’s death and his triumphant resurrection. This must have been a dark day for the 11 remaining disciples. John had just witnessed the whole execution. Jesus had spoken directly to him while he hung dying: “Behold thy Mother!” Mary and Martha had seen their brother Lazarus raised up from the dead by Jesus. Why did he not save himself? He did not even try. He didn’t struggle. He just…gave up. Joseph and Nicodemus had to work quickly the day before, the day of the execution. After seeking permission from Pilate to take Jesus’ body, they had prepared him for the grave. Did his blood still stain their hands? It was bad business all together.

Friday, April 14, 2006

School House Rocks

Do you remember School House Rocks? Of course you do! How many of us knew how a Bill became a Law before we even got to High School? But what about those topics that never made it past the bullpen sessions?

  1. Subjunctive Clauses

  2. Lobbyist: The Oil that Greases the Wheels

  3. Noises our Bodies Make

  4. It’s, its, who’s whose, your, you’re…

  5. Free Trade Coffee

Review: V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta is not the film that everyone is going to enjoy, but I did. The problem, in general, with science fiction, fantasy and superhero films is that the target audience is very narrow. And as such, the industry generally does not know how to make good films in this genre. Yes, Hollywood does make good sci-fi, fantasy and superhero films, but it is always a hit and miss affair.

That is why I was my expectation level was set so low for V.

The source material for the movie is based on Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s works from the eighties, and adapted by the Wachowski brothers. The film is set in a fascist Britain, sometime in the near future. In this world, we are introduced to Evey, played by Natalie Portman and the titular character, V (Hugo Weaving). V masks himself behind the visage of Guy Fawkes, and has set his mind on the single purpose of overthrowing the new government. Anarchy and terrorist attacks are his weapons.

Given the current state of affairs, I found this an interesting theme. There will be instant comparisons, of course, between the fictional government and our own, but I am not that thin skinned. Oppressive rulers have been a common theme in Science Fiction, and that a government was chosen instead of an emperor makes no difference. The instrument that ultimately overthrows the government is the people oppressed by that government.

I like the film. Hugo Weaving never shows his face, and anyone could have played this role, but he has one of those incredible voices. This is possibly my favorite role that I have seen Natalie Portman in. Bear in mind that, beyond Star Wars and The Professional, this is the only other role that I have seen her in. V for Vendetta is not for everyone, but, I think if you are a fan of Science Fiction, you will enjoy this film.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Mid-Week Happenings

I was hoping that by Thursday, the Crud would have left my system. Unfortunately, I can not report that to be the case. In fact, the congestion has now entered into my chest, and I can breathe easier, but, I am coughing now.

Got the pool pump running and vacuumed out. Threw some shock in and will take a water sample over to "Polynesian Pools" to see what else needs to happen. Apparently, I can not get the automated pool vacuum hooked into the side of the pool. I am not sure if there was a connector that was removed when the "Pool Guyz" closed the pool in december.

Last night, our small group had a cook out over at Pete’s house. Pete is a great guy and a really deep thinker. He has encouraged me greatly in spending more time reading God’s word. Getting together is a lot of fun, and I am looking to our retreat in two weeks. The fellowship was tainted by the thoughts that Cindy and I had to leave early to make orchestra rehearsal. We had seven trombones and one trumpet. It seems like we have feast or famine (and yes, we have woodwinds and strings). Seven trombones was an unusual turnout. There was one guest and six members were in attendance. There will be more trumpets at the service than at the rehearsal.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Diving In

Ok, I can’t wait any longer! Last October, we had a pool installed. For a brief time, it was this shell that was in the ground, soon to be surrounded by cement. The backyard was completely wrecked, but Mr. Harris and his Sons (and a tractor) got it looking great in no time. Then, we had to winterize and cover up the pool. Before you knew it, Spring had arrived. The grass seeds planted last year are growing like wild. I have over seeded some more just for good measure, but I’ve been eyeing the pool cover. When to take it off? Yesterday, I could stand it no longer, and off it came. Let the summer come quickly!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Define: Star Trek V Effect.

Star Trek V Effect: When a bad movie is made up of cool scenes strung together by a bad script. The movie is rendered far more enjoyable when it is viewed in segments rather than the intended linear progression.

Time Change Week Blues

This past week, my body’s internal alarm clock did not agree with the time change. Mix in to that the additional daylight and I had a recipe for getting worn out. By Thursday, I was drifting in and out during work. I couldn’t wait to get home. That joy evaporated when the door knob going into the house from the garage decided to die. It just turned and turned, but no door ever opened. This is a testimony to how tired I was: my first reaction to Cindy was “call a locksmith.” Sure I was going to pay for the service, but I did not want to deal with it.

Also, this past week, we had a guest staying at our house, Paul Geishan. When I was stationed at Kadena AB, Okinawa, Cindy taught at Okinawa Christian Schools. Paul was a missionary in Okinawa, and the superintendent of the schools. Now, he and his family are based in Atlanta and serves with the Association of Christian Schools International. As part of that ACSI, he visits member schools, and this week, he was visiting schools here in Hampton Roads. He graciously accepted our invitation to spend the week with us. So much fun re-connecting with a precious part of our past! It really is a testament to God how he will continue to weave people in and out of your life for the purposes of his Kingdom.

By Friday, I was already dressed and ready to go into work. I was still tired, my head and eyes were already hurting. Add on that dinner at Red Robin included a free “tower of onion rings,” which was quite tasty, but I paid for it later. I went back and forth with Cindy about going into to work. In the end, I called in: our release had hit code freeze on Wednesday and the QA environment had already been configured. Team Members were branching source safe and getting the next release development environment configured, so we were in a good position. I logged into the VPN and talked to the developers and the project co-coordinator in New Jersey (I love my IM). All that was left to do was wait for the locksmith.

Katie had fallen off her horse at riding lessons, and came home with a limp. According her trainer, eighteen more falls and she is a true horse-woman. I really do admire Katie’s attitude about the whole affair. She told me how there was wind, birds and jet noises and that was what must have spooked Domino. The rest of the day, she took it easy. Together, Katie, Megan and I made progress on Kameo.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Buck Rodgers vs. Captain Kirk

I am currently watching Buck Rodgers on DVD: Pure 70's Cheese. After 4 discs, however, it has become pure brain candy. I notice that Buck has some similarities with my childhood hero Captain James T. Kirk.

1) Both fly cool looking space ships - The Enterprise will always be the best capital ship ever, but, the Earth Defense Force starfighter ranks up there next to the X-Wing and the Colonial Viper.

2) Inevitably, clothing gets torn - The writers seem to go out of their way to get Buck and Kirk into a situation where their torso is shown. Which leads to...

3) Both men are always, inexplicably, "oiled up." Its obviously supposed to be sweat, so, maybe they just have oily skin.

4) They surround themselves with capable friends: Kirk has Spock and McCoy; Buck has Wilma Deering and Dr. Huer. In addition, Buck has a robot name Twiki who says cool things like "Bidi Bidi Bidi"

5) Whether its the 23rd Century, or the 25th Century, there's a lady at every starport. Both Buck and Kirk are quite the ladies man.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Science Study Proves that God Does not Answer Prayer

The John Templeton Foundation will be publishing an article in the American Heart Journal that that intercessory prayer has "no effect."

Ok, does anyone else think this has to be some kind of joke? They actually spent 2.5 million dollars for this? Who provided the funding is what I would like to know. When I read that the same prayer was recited for two weeks by several groups, I immediately thought of Matthew 6:7

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

As Stan the Man would say, "Nuff Said"

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt
Jan. 3, 1919

Too Much Love

Just reviewing some of my last few posts and have noticed that I overuse the word Love. Not that too much love is a bad thing. According to Webster (1828), love is "in a general sense to be pleased with; to regard with affection, on account of some qualities which excite pleasing sensations or desire of gratification."

"I Love Fridays"
"I love.. Tivo."
"I do love this [Tivo]."
"Don’t you love... a good week at work?"
"I love parody songs."

Webster continues, "we love whatever gives us pleasure and delight, whether animal or intellectual." So, it is true, I find pleasure in Fridays, because my family has scheduled date night. Tivo delights me because I can remove Ryan Seacreast.

A lawyer once asked a Jesus, "which is the great commandment in the law?" I have a commentary on this verse that explains how the Jews had divided the law up into "greater" and "lesser" laws, but I like to keep it simple. Why? Because Christ's answer was simple: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" and "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." The lawyer was thinking about this complex system of sacrifices, offerings, circumcisions, washings etc. But Christ was thinking of the ten commandments. If you love the Lord with all thy heart, the first five commandments will be covered. If you love your neighbor as yourself, the bottom five come naturally.

So, all of this to say that I will try and vary the words that I use.