Here is a rather biting little bit from John Piper's Don't Waste Your Life:
"I will tell you what a real tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider this story from the February 1998 Reader's Digest: A couple 'took early retirement from their jobs int he Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, wher they cruise on their 30-foot trawler, play softball and collect shells'. Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: 'Look, Lord. See my shells.' That is a tragedy."
This is a cite that I was directed to. It surveys your views on key issues, including how important they are to you, and gives points to candidates that agree with you. The outcome ranks candidates by their compatibility with your survey. The survey is quick and easy, and the results can be surprising.
Yesterday I got to take in the glory of the Buffalo Bills training camp at St. John Fischer College. All of the 'stars' where there: Rian Lindell, Brian Moorman, J.P. Lossman, Marshawn Lynch, and Paul Posluzny (all pictured below). Notice how Moorman is seemingly kicking a teamate right in the head. Price of admission ended up being $1 for the shuttle (the same price as the Bully Hill wine tasting -- call this the summer of value).
We just got back from our Second Annual Taylor Reunion Camping Trip. This year featured Keuka Lake State Park and a trip to Bully Hill Vineyards for a wine tasting.
Other than some rain the first evening it was perfect weather. Karis and Thomas did well, though they were exhausted by the end of the weekend (Karis slept 13 hours last night and then had a 3 hour nap today).
We have returned from South Carolina after enduring a week where the heat index was constantly above 115 and there were 2 shark attacks within 2 blocks of the beach house. As you can see, the plane trip was not nearly as bad as we thought, and Karis enjoyed the ocean view . . . though not the ocean itself.
I am part of a group that has been trying to figure out how our church can get involved in the AIDS crisis, particularly regarding Africa.
Here are some startling statistics regarding Africa: * Africa has 10% of the world’s population but bears 64% of the burden of AIDS * 9 out of 10 children infected with AIDS live in Africa * Over 24.5 million people are infected in sub-Saharan Africa * Over 2 million people have already died from AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa
We have been reading The AIDS Crisis: What we Can Do by Deborah Dortzbach and Meredith Long. This book is well worth the read and tackles a number of the hard questions regarding this issue. Particularly biting was a quote from an African pastor who was asked if he thought that Africa had such serious problems regarding AIDS due to the lax attitude toward sexual sin. He replied, "Every culture has sins it is more accepting of. Fortunately for America, materialism doesn't give you AIDS."
Our groups first event will be a 5K Run/Walk to raise money for the Bongolo Evangelical Hospital's construction of an AIDS clinic in Gabon, Africa. This is a quick video.
So I was visited last week by the Jehovah's Witnesses and turned the questions around on them for a change. In particular I was defending the claim that Jesus is God. After a lengthy discussion of the first chapter of John, 'proof' that Jesus was created was brought to my attention.
Collosians 1:15 states of Jesus, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."
So, forget the first part of that verse that seems to help out my side. The claim was Jesus is the firstborn of creation, so he is created.
Hmmm. Interestingly Paul clarifies in the next verse what he means by "the firstborn over all creation".
Collosians 1:16, "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him."
I stated that the phrase 'firstborn over creation' may be confusing, but luckily Paul tells us exactly what he means, and what he means is *not* that Jesus is created. This led to a long debate over how the word 'for' was being used and I then was accused of twisting the words of the text (I was actually using the JW translation).
After the encounter I checked out Grudem's Systematic Theology to see all the references to the deity of Jesus that I had forgotten. One passage that I thought would be particularly useful in future conversations is John 20:28-30.
In this passage Thomas confronts the wounds of Jesus and reacts, "My Lord and my God." This is a clear claim that Jesus is God. So, if you accept that the Bible is a source of truth and that Jesus was sinless (both claims accepted by JWs) then this is strong evidence that Jesus is God. For Jesus to be sinless he would have to correct such an attribution when made to him if it were false; but far from this Jesus responds, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." So, on the shared assumptions that the Bible is true and Jesus is sinless there is in this passage direct evidence that he is God.