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Monday, March 31, 2008

What do these have in common?

Pretty obvious isn't it? They are both just soooooo wrong.
What WERE they thinking?

My "Reverend Jeremiah Wright" moment

Yes, I actually said this (with all the emotion and indignation I could muster!) in my sermon on Romans 2:1-5 yesterday:
In chapter 1 we felt like we were walking through the gutters, the sewers of life. We feel like we need a shower after all those terrible unnatural perversions and unmentionables. Such abominable sins, those folks ought to get blasted right off the face of the earth along with all the terrorists and socialists and scientologists and divorced people and bar-hoppers and bikers and people who play that rock music too loud on their car stereos and body-piercers and illegal immigrants and latte-drinking, cat-loving, NPR listening, Volvo-driving Marin Co. new age liberals and folks who don’t even tithe!
Of course I was being totally facetious, satirical and mocking of the self-righteous attitude exhibited by such remarks, in line with Paul's argument in Romans 2 where he moves from "pagan sinners" (chapter 1) to dealing with "good moral religious folk" in order to show them that, as Billy Graham used to say, "I don't care who you are- you need Jesus!"

"No event is worth losing body parts"

What a wussie!

(just kidding)

Play ball!

The otter is amazing and amusing, the bipeds even more so:

Sunday, March 30, 2008

This Actually Happened to Me...

... in St. Ives, England last summer. A few minutes later the same thing happened to my friend Ed. They're sneaky, vigilant, numerous and strike fast out of nowhere!

Who says Christians have no fashion sense?

Friday, March 28, 2008

More laughing and crying...

...but it's all good!

As some of you know, my blog-friend Scotte Hodel has had a rather eventful 2008. I highly recommend you go over to his blog and read all of his posts about his "adventure". You'll laugh and cry; you'll learn about life and death and God; you'll learn about how to be a good friend in times of need. Little stuff like that. Start with the most recent posts here and here and then go here- this post links you to the rest of the story in chronological order, which is how you should read it. It doesn't take long and it pays well.

Thurs morning Scotte was laying on his recliner staring out the window listening to the birds. He had watched all of our extensive movie collection (repeatedly), so he stared out the window and listened to the birds outside - motionless. After Scotte laid there for awhile not moving, Adam told him he was watching him and thinking he was going to have to call me and say "Mom! Dad is dead! What do I do now?" Adam says he wanted something funny to say so that we he got to heaven later he and Scotte could meet and laugh about it. We've told Scotte he needs to move something every now and then just so we can see him move.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

We laughed until we cried...

... you will too: Improv Everywhere (times 2)-

Diet Questions Answered

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger.
You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

(excerpted from an email I received)

Big belly, slow mind

If you have a big belly in your 40s, you increase your risk of dementia in your 70s.
Researchers don't yet understand why visceral fat is particularly dangerous, but the fat is metabolically active and doctors think it may release toxins associated with atherosclerosis or plaque build-up in the brain that is apparent in people with Alzheimer's disease...
The nice thing about visceral (belly) fat is that it responds well to treatment; i.e., exercise.

So, unless you are already way too smart for your own good- get moving!
Run, bike, swim, move! Sitting is bad for your brain.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What song is this?

I figured it out (tentatively but correctly) about half-way through the first half. This is either very impressive or else it's another sign that the apocalypse is nigh.

What will life be like in 2008?

Here's one man's prediction from 1968. Sample:
Computers also handle travel reservations, relay telephone messages, keep track of birthdays and anniversaries, compute taxes and even figure the monthly bills for electricity, water, telephone and other utilities.

Money has all but disappeared. Employers deposit salary checks directly into their employees’ accounts. Credit cards are used for paying all bills. Each time you buy something, the card’s number is fed into the store’s computer station. A master computer then deducts the charge from your bank balance.

Computers not only keep track of money, they make spending it easier...

TV screens cover an entire wall in most homes...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Drat: My secret is out.

Fox News spills the beans:
The best marriages are those where women marry men who are less attractive than themselves, research has found.

Psychologists who studied newlyweds found men who were better-looking than their wives were more likely to be unhappy and have negative feelings about their marriage.

In couples where the wife is more attractive, both partners tended to be very content.

Must be something wrong with me.

Otherwise I wouldn't find this so funny.

The Bottom Line

Been thinkin'.

Been thinkin' 'bout internalization.

The key to discipleship is internalization. There are people I know who have internalized the faith. Their motivation comes from within. All I have to do is help them with a little teaching, a little encouragement.

Others haven't internalized discipleship. They do what they have to to get by (as an acceptable middle-class evangelical in today's church culture). Pastors and leaders are always looking for ways to get these folks motivated.

The key to a successful church and ministry is moving more people from the latter class to the former. Here's an idea for starters. We should put up a sign in our church building that asks:
Are you a "cultural Christian" or a follower of Jesus Christ?
Some people wouldn't even know what that means. That's OK. We can educate them! (It boils down to "Are you externally motivated- by the prevailing watered-down standards of 21st century American middle-class evangelical churchianity or are you internally motivated by the grace, call and demands of the Lord Jesus Christ?").

Which kind of "Christian" are you?

If you are a disciple: be encouraged. His grace is sufficient for your shortcomings and, however imperfectly, you are fighting the right fight, you are on the right path.

If you've been content with just getting by, Repent! (Revelation 3:14-22).

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Can sitting make you sick?

The team asked active men who average 10,000 steps a day to use vehicles and elevators at every chance for two weeks. Then the scientists measured the levels of glucose and fat in their blood. They found that the less active volunteers cleared out these substances from their bloodstream less quickly, a risk factor for diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Says one of the authors, University of Missouri researcher Frank Booth: “Previously, we thought that not exercising just wasn’t healthy, but we didn’t think that a lack of activity could cause disease. That assumption was wrong.” Link
Application: Take the stairs, park your car at the far end of the parking lot, and anything else you can think of to get a move on - err, with the possible exception of going for a run with moi (see below).

Ignore this advice if you don't share my distaste for "chronic diseases".

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Don't Runalong w/ Pastor Mark...

... if you know what's good for you.

Monday Steve ran with me. His back hurt the whole way and then the heat messed up his stomach. He toughed it out but didn't have any fun.

Tuesday Mrs Runalong ran with me. Her hips hurt and she kept stumbling over roots and rocks and things. She doesn't usually do that and we were on a smoother path than usual. Then she fell.

For a moment she looked like Superwoman but she forgot to put her landing gear down and scraped and bruised and cut herself from her thigh to her shoulder. Her right hand is swollen and more or less non-functional today though it appears there is no serious damage.

Wednesday. Time to go for a run. Anyone want to come along?

Hey, where'd everyone go?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Whiskeytown Falls...

... has gotten all the publicity since it was "rediscovered" a few years ago but I think that nearby Boulder Creek Falls is much prettier.

Steve and I got dropped off at the W. Falls parking lot this morning and went by both falls on our 33 mile run home. We started in snow near the falls and were almost done in by the heat near Sundial Bridge.

Now I can look out my window at the spot on the NW side of Shasta Bally where Whiskeytown Falls is and think: "Wow, that's a long way away!" as I pour myself another cup of ibuprofen.

I forgot my camera so these shots are from the web; WF on top, then BCF.

I still haven't made it to Brandy Creek Falls. If you want to go, check out this page.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

One more reason...

... to cancel your cable TV service.

We got cable because they used to be our only option for high-speed internet service. Now that we have more options we're cancelling Charter. For as little TV as we watch, the iTunes store and this new site are more than enough.

Another mystery explained.

from Scientific American:
The answer lies at the back of the brain in an area called the cerebellum, which is involved in monitoring movements. Our studies at University College London have shown that the cerebellum can predict sensations when your own movement causes them but not when someone else does. When you try to tickle yourself, the cerebellum predicts the sensation and this prediction is used to cancel the response of other brain areas to the tickle.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

God gave them over...

In Romans 1 we learn that God judges our sins (sometimes) by allowing us to experience the consequences of disobedience. Today's news reports that 1 in 4 teen age girls (USA) have STD's; that's half of all sexually active teens (the rate for celibate girls and guys remains 0%). And it isn't a minor matter- just take a pill and get better:
STDs can cause infertility and cervical cancer in women...
A virus that causes cervical cancer is by far the most common sexually transmitted infection in teen girls...
God judges in order to save. Maybe, just maybe, these statistics represent 3 million girls who will now be more willing to take God's Word to heart.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

More on Vitamin D

Not everyone is convinced that D is a miracle pill; but there's no harm in taking 1000 IU a day while we wait for the evidence to get sorted out. I'll print a couple excerpts, but I encourage you to read the whole thing.

But the benefits of vitamin D are no longer restricted to cancer prevention: Studies have linked a shortage of the compound to such serious, chronic ailments as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, heart disease, influenza and schizophrenia.

Vitamin D's most profound gene-influenced activity appears to be in keeping healthy the broad category of cells known as epithelium, which line the outsides of our organs and the surfaces of the structures in our body.

Even though these lining tissues amount to only about 2 per cent of the weight of our bodies, they are the source of about 85 per cent of cancers, those known as carcinomas.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

When I'm 101...

... I want to be able to fight off muggers, look half my age, show up for work everyday and train for a marathon, just like Buster:

March 4th!

This is, I've just learned, the only day out of the year that is also a command.

March 4th!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Greg Ogden @ NPC

"Christians don't retire...
they redeploy!"

Phyllis Tickle @ NPC

"Never belong to a religion that is socially acceptable -
it's bad for your soul."

Tired all the time?

I hear that when doctors interview patients they don't ask them if they've been feeling fatigued or tired all the time because everyone says "yes" anyway. There is a very simple cure for this (for most people) and I can testify to its effectiveness in my own life.