Archive for May, 2010

“There is nothing in the Gospels more significant than the way in which Jesus deliberately places Himself at the very centre of His message. He does not say with other teachers, ‘The truth is everything, I am nothing’; He declares ‘I am the truth.’ He does not claim, with the founders of certain ethnic religions, to suggest answers to the world’s enigmas; He claims to be the answer — ‘Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.’ He does not offer the guidance of a code or a philosophy to keep men right through the uncertainties of an unknown future; He says, ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’”

– James S. Stewart, A Faith to Proclaim (Vancouver, BC; Regent College Publishing, 2002), 122.

HT: David DoranOf First Importance


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Friday was smokin’ day. Began at 5am and ended at about 10:30pm. Two pork shoulders and a whole brisket.

An 8# Brisket Point Cut

Brisket has become one of our favorite new cuts of beef. It is relatively inexpensive and has great flavor.

The brisket yielded 3+ cups of defatted juices, which were poured back over the sliced meat. Rewarmed on Monday, this will be smoky, moist, tender, and incredible. (It is already unbelievably flavorful. Jill and I snuck a slice. To be sure it was edible, you understand.)

We will enjoy this with family this year. Youngest brother, Tim and his family, are coming from Charlotte. We will all be with our oldest brother’s family in Christiana. If you come ahuntin’ bbq, follow your nose from there!

The pan to the left holds two flat cuts, while to the right are the point cut slices.

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Items will likely be much slimmer for a while as I work away from the computer for extended periods of time. Think of this as an enforced diet. But for what it is worth, here a few meager selections:

Tim Bayly has an important post dealing with the proposed repeal of “don’t ask-don’t tell” and provides a number of helpful links to internet resources.

Once again we have our annual pronouncement of cyclonic doom by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “If this outlook holds true, this season could be one of the more active on record,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “The main uncertainty in this outlook is how much above normal the season will be,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Have we ever not heard about a hurricane season that won’t be disastrous?

Randy Alcorn glories in “The Smell of Old Books.” If you are a bibliophile, you will relish this. If you are not a bibliophile, you should be. By the way, his ministry website, Eternal Perspectives Ministries, has been redesigned and is well worth browsing. There are a wealth of resources scattered throughout its nooks and crannies.

Charlie Johnson wrote a thought-provoking reflection of a book, pondering our desire to make all of our heroes wear white hats when they actually were sinners (gasp, shock, shhhhhhhhh!)

The Harvard Business Review blog has an interesting article about less work = more productivity. How can I effectively incorporate this in the classroom?

Virtually anything Peggy Noonan writes is worth reading at least for the rhetorical delight. She includes her usual dose of substance in writing about the political damage of Obama’s dithering.

The American people have spent at least two years worrying that high government spending would, in the end, undo the republic. They saw the dollars gushing night and day, and worried that while everything looked the same on the surface, our position was eroding. They have worried about a border that is in some places functionally and of course illegally open, that it too is gushing night and day with problems that states, cities and towns there cannot solve. And now we have a videotape metaphor for all the public’s fears: that clip we see every day, on every news show, of the well gushing black oil into the Gulf of Mexico and toward our shore.

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just wondering

Saw this on ESPN.com…

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell cleared Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger Thursday to work out and practice with the team.

In a statement, the league said Goodell made the decision based on reports and recommendations from medical experts. Goodell ordered a behavioral evaluation of Roethlisberger as part of his six-game suspension under the league’s conduct policy.

…and wondered, just how exactly does one perform a reliable “behavioral evaluation” of a man who has exhibited a remarkable lack of self control when it comes to keeping his hands off women young and older?

Junk science + cover yer tuckus = NFL

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In their insatiable pursuit of more dollars, the NFL owners have created another brouhaha by voting the 2014 Super Bowl to the NYC market. Oh the furor. Oh the angst. The poor players may have to play in cold weather. Oh dear. Worse yet, they and the media may have to attend all their parties in cold, slushy conditions. Sniff, sniff.

You know, this is the one game that no average football fan ever attends, unless they happen to win some contest by a big-bucks sponsor. Every normal football fan watches this game in his living room or at a friend’s house. It’s warm. You can control who you sit near. The bathrooms are close and the lines are short. The food is a LOT cheaper. The drive home doesn’t take 2 hours just to get out of the parking lot. And if you have a knucklehead friend who spent last year’s tax return on that gigantic, plasma high-def tv, the view is much better than it would be at the stadium.

The NFL ought to send the Super Bowl overseas, instead of the regular season games that the average fan might have a chance to attend. The people who would attend the SB have the money to fly to some exotic location. The average joe wouldn’t really care as long as he can have his SB party. Find a locale where the game could even be paid in daylight, and it would be so much the better.

Now to figure out a way to convince them that hiring geriatric rockers creates a lengthy and boring halftime.

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A pretty good poke at prima donna, over-acting soccer players. HT: Tim Challies

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Dug Down Deep: Unearthing What I Believe and Why It Matters is an excellent small volume of theology. In this book Josh Harris, pastor of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD, writes of his spiritual journey toward seeing the need to be grounded in doctrine, and then deals with eight key doctrines of Scripture. A final ‘how to’ chapter completes the book. At first glance this may seem to some to be superficial, but it is far from that. Harris, in fact, accomplishes the difficult task of briefly explaining the key points of critical doctrines without being trite, of being succinct and complete at the same time. He must have had a very difficult time figuring out what to leave out of each chapter.

Dug Down Deep is an excellent example of classical instruction. In each chapter Harris teaches the grammar of that particular doctrine, explains how it works and how it fits into the bigger doctrinal puzzle, and then effectively weaves in the ‘so what’, and ‘how should this be lived out.’

Dug Down is not intended to be a thorough explanation of any key doctrine. Rather than being theology-lite, it is a conversational and pastoral introduction to theology-alive. The aim of the book is best summed up by Harris’s dedication: “To Emma Grace, Joshua Quinn, and Mary Kate. Your father loves you very much. One day when you are older I hope you’ll read this book and realize that I wrote it for you. I have no  greater hope for each of you that to see you build your life on Jesus.”

An excellent book and well worth reading.

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