It costs how much??

Thursday, March 22, 2007

With the prospect of buying a new home, I wanted to do some research on ways to saving a couple of dollars on bills and such (aka be a cheap skate...but hey...we need the money!) Me and Carrie were discussing the difference of her moving in when we're married on the electric bill and how we can offset some of that.

Did you know that in electric it costs the following?

Aquarium 30 gallon $3.67 / month (We have a 55 gallon!!!! Ouch!)
Computer w/Monitor, Printer 77.6¢ / week
Hair Dryer (hand held) 9.9¢ / hour
Television (color, solid state) 22.9¢ / 10 hours (I used to sleep with the TV on till I read this. Emphasis on "used to")
Clothes Dryer 41¢ / load (going out and buying clothes pins this weekend!)
Refrigerator (frost-free, 21.5 cu. ft.) 2003 $3.76 / month
Heater (portable) 1500 watt 12.3¢ / hour
Heating System (blower) $7.32 / month
Air Conditioner (36,000 BTU, central) 10 SEER $58.61 / month

Makes you rethink your electric use

Here is the full list

Monday, March 19, 2007

Corniest Thing we ever did...
If you've ever been on the ET ride at Universal Studios, they take your name as you enter because at the end of the ride, ET says thank you and your name.

That being said, when we were seniors in High School, Ken, Justin and myself took Troy to Orlando for a weekend to celebrate Troy's 18th birthday. We decided that none of us had been to Universal STudios in a long time and we should go there and the Orland City Walk to celebrate.

We were pretty disappointed. Universal Studios just isn't as cool when you've aged a little.

So we get onto the ET ride and one of us, being the bright ones and thinking we're funny (I think it was Troy's idea) get the idea that each of us should pick a Gospel name for ET to say. I was Mark. Ken I think was Luke.

So we get to the end of the ride and ET says...."Thank you Matthew. Thank you Mark. Thank you Luke. Thank you John." and we're cracking up thinking this is the funniest thing ever. Looking back at it now I think...Wow...we were lame.

And I've just wasted 5 minutes of your life with that story. Enjoy

Monday, March 05, 2007

Lost Tomb of Jesus thoughts
So...unless you live under a rock you've heard I'm sure that last night they aired the "Lost Tomb of Jesus" on the Discovery Channel. The Christian blogging community has been going nuts over this thing. Some people condemning it as blasphemy (and rightly so) and others seeing it as an opportunity to talk about Jesus more in the open light (also plausible).

I watched the 2 hour docu-drama and the 1 hour critical look show after it. I must say that I LOVED the Ted Koppel debate that followed, but more on that later.

In case you didn't get to see the special, what this documentary asserted was: "In the feature documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus a case is made that the 2,000-year-old "Tomb of the Ten Ossuaries" belonged to the family of Jesus of Nazareth."

So Jesus, Mary mother of Jesus, James brother of Jesus, Matthew Brother of Jesus, Mary Magdalen wife of Jesus and Judah, son of Jesus.

The documentary was very well put together and very convincing if you didn't approach it from a skeptics point of view. Here is my take on a couple of points:

1) I have a problem with how it was handled. The filmmaker said several times that "I'm just trying to report on these findings and present it as a possibility" (paraphrased) when in all actuality, the conclusion seems to be drawn from the very beginning. In other words, 'we think that because these boxes have the names of several people that we know from the NT, these must be the family of Jesus, lets do some tests to prove that and only that' and not giving any degree of another possibility. That bothers me.

2) The assertion that Mary Magdalen was the "woman caught in adultery". Well, first of all, her being a major Biblical character during the end of Jesus' ministry would of made sure that she was named the first time. Why no name when she is first recorded? That would make no sense. Also, there are many scholars that believe that this section of scripture is not consistent and shouldn't be in the Gospel record. It is a spurious passage.

3) Shocking part. The fact that Jesus could of been married and had a son does not bother me. I've heard many people say "Blasphemy!" when it was brought up in the Da Vinci code. Why? What is the big deal? Honestly, I think the big deal is that centuries long message of "sex is evil" by the catholic church is still sending shock waves today, and the thought that Jesus could of had sex with his wife to father a child seems blasphemy to many. Do we honestly believe that sex between a man and a woman in marriage is holy or do we just give it lip service? If we honestly believe that Jesus was tempted in all the ways that we were tempted, wouldn't that include adultery?

Jesus being married doesn't challenge his divinity, but increases his humanity. In fact, if I believe correctly, you had to be married to be a respected teacher and teach in synagogues, but I'll have to get back on that one when I have a reference for it. It was the Jewish custom to be married, why would Jesus, growing up in a Jewish culture ignore that or be an exception?

4) The best piece of evidence against this documentary is the fact that there were martyrs. Tradition holds that the brothers of Jesus died for their faith in the resurrected Christ.

Would you die for your faith if you knew that Jesus hadn't really resurrected? Would you subject yourself to the pain and torture of a cross or stones if you knew that all you preached about was false? Of course not. Now, one would say "Well, we've seen many delusional followers of religion before." Well yes, that is true. But if your faith was grounded in the belief in a physical resurrection of your Savior, wouldn't that be shaken a bit if you were the brother or husband of Jesus and you had to bury his bones in a ceremony yourself?

That just doesn't hold water.

5) The assertion that the "disciple whom Jesus loved" was actually Judah, Jesus' son. Sorry. That doesn't stand up to the test of scripture. There are too numerous of passages that suggest otherwise, not to mention that it is consistent with the writing style of John himself.

All in all it was entertaining and interesting to watch, it was neat to see the Talbiot tomb and the Jewish practices of those day. But the assertions made just don't add up. Obviously I am NOT an expert, and what I have posted were just my thoughts. I am not an archeologist, epigrapher, or historian. But I am someone who can put common sense into practice. Later I will link here to someone who is a lot more "learnt" them I am in this area if you're interested in reading a more scholarly reading.

But my final thought is this: I am glad they included the "A Critical Look" by Ted Koppel afterwards. He had 5 intelligent and capable scholars/clergy that did not care for the docu-drama. First he had 2 archeologists that attacked the processes taken by the film maker, and the lack of 'hoop jumping' they did to come to their conclusions. The 2nd set to debate with the filmmaker and Professor Tabor were 3 Christian scholars. They were intelligent! I say this because several nights ago on CNN they had some Christian leaders on there to debate this and they had no idea what they were talking about.

In the end, this debate shed a lot more light on this subject and how it is being ridiculed by scholars, both believers and non-believers. The documentary came out, by the end of this debate, to look ridiculous and full of holes.

So, I think this is going to be one of those things that we don't even hear about in another month. What was the Da Vinci code again? point exactly.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Over the past several months I've found myself reading tons and tons of different books on "church movements". If you look back on the past couple of decades you can see the "Seeker" movements and today you have the "Emergent" and others such as that.

At first I was really impressed with the emerging church, I thought that it might possibly be the future of the church, but now I'm not so sure. It was actually Don Miller that started my doubts, something he said in a "sermon" one time that seemed to indicate that he didn't think too much of the emerging church either. He said "The Emerging church isn't doing anything different then what the church has done the past 1500 years...they are just using culture to meet the culture..." and then compared how the middle ages church fashioned their churches to look like castles, and how the age of the corporation made their churches look and act like corporations. Miller was among my favorite authors at the time, so this made me think. He had a good point. It certainly wasn't a 'revolutionary' movement.

The church as a whole just seems to have this trend of having several different movements going on at one time, each of them claiming to be the best way to be relevant or the best way to 'know God'. Whether it's starting churches in night clubs, or inspiring a congregation to engage in lectio divina, I honestly believe that these things are just another chapter in American church movements and in 10 years, people won't remember them.

So I propose a new "movement". A new way to be relevant in a pagan world: Be authentic. Instead of trying to find new ways to reach people, or new schemes or the evil and dreaded 'sales pitch', being authentic brings us to a place where people can see a genuine change in a person. The desire to know and love God and the desire to know and love people.

It's not programs.
It's not hiring more staff.
It's not buildings.
It's not an ancient Benedictine tradition.
It's not anything new.
It's not "purpose driven".

It IS being authentic and not just going thru the motions. It's going outside of that comfort zone to actually help the physical needs of people. Going outside of our own personal "bubbles".

There is a world of hurting people out there, and we can't even muster enough LOVE for our Savior to get out of bed on Sunday morning. That is being inauthentic.

So I don't know, maybe someone can take this and get the ball rolling with it. I'm going to try to be authentic. It's not an easy task, but it is necessary if we want to reach and make disciples.