Wednesday, October 31, 2007

24 reasons to celebrate

There is a lot to celebrate on October 31. It's Halloween. It is also Reformation day, celebrating the start of the Reformation with Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Church door. But even better, it is Jessica's birthday!

So in honor of Jessica's twenty-fourth birthday, here are twenty-four things I like about her:

1. She has a big smile.
2. She smiles a lot when she thinks about traveling around the world, and even more when she actually travels.
3. She likes to camp. We even went camping for our honey-moon.
4. She likes many of the foods I like.
5. She is willing to try many kinds of food that she doesn't yet like, such as Greek salad on our first date.
6. She likes salad now.
7. She likes to cook.
8. Even better, the stuff she cooks is good.
9. She regularly looks for new recipes that I will like.
10. She is also thrifty, playing the coupon game and saving us a lot of money.
11. She is willing to put up with a low income while I work through school.
12. She helps me to dress better.
13. She likes to plan things way in advance.
14. She has put up with my excentric tendencies over the years.
15. She taught me how to do laundy (but still does most of it.)
16. She can think of how to say things to I don't know how to say, and a lot of times is more direct than I am, especially in person.
17. She will tell me when she thinks I am wrong.
18. She enjoys talking with me, and I with her.
19. She's really funny.
20. When she really sets her mind to something, she accomplishes it, such as quiting smoking, losing weight, and so on.
21. She is really creative.
22. She's my best friend.
23. She loves me.
24. She loves Jesus.

What things do you like about her?

30 by 30

In honor of my 24th birthday, I thought I'd be ambitious and post 30 things I'd like to do, or places I'd like to go by my 30th birthday. Here goes:

  1. Wherever K and J and Rx3 go, I want to visit them there
  2. Visit the Grand Canyon, and if we drive, Window Rock as well
  3. Big Bend, I love it there, and want to share it with Tommy
  4. Oklahoma, it’s so close, there no sense in not going (I have been before, many years ago)
  5. California, crossing my finger to help Katie and Joseph move out there, but if not, I hope we can visit them before they take off across the world
  6. Creation Science Museum
  7. Palo Duro Canyon
  8. Santa Fe, and general region
  9. Hospital, to have a baby!
  10. FW Bureau of Printing and Engraving
  11. A car show, never been, but sounds like it could be fun
  12. Bass Hall, can I include with this buying a nice outfit so I look pretty when we go?
  13. Opera, always wanted to go to one, preferably not an English one
  14. Stage Play
  15. Caedmon’s Call Concert, they’re all I listen to anyway, might as well go to a concert and complete the experience
  16. in view of a call with my husband, I’m probably overly curious to see where and what God has in store
  17. have thanksgiving dinner at my home
  18. have a fruit and/or vegetable garden
  19. finish my t-shirt quilt
  20. run a 5 mile race
  21. learn how to make bread, even if it means just getting a bread maker for Christmas sometime
  22. make a wedding scrapbook
  23. be a size 8 (or smaller), hopefully both before, and after number 9
  24. graduate from UTA graduate, get it done with so I can move on to number 9
  25. take a sewing class
  26. catalog all my Christmas treasures so I know where they came from and the meaning behind them
  27. read one book a year of Tommy’s choosing
  28. develop a rich and intense prayer life
  29. try one new recipe a month (that's 72!)
  30. live in a home where I can paint the walls

Friday, October 19, 2007

"Creative" Teaching

Wednesday night I remembered how greatly I enjoy teaching.

I had the opportunity to teach the youth class at church, and will get to teach again next week. The youth pastor Aaron Wills and I were chatting about Creationism one night a few weeks back, he had asked me to come and teach about on the subject in his stead while he is out of town.

It was tough for me to decide what exactly to teach. Not because I have so little to teach on, but because there is too much to choose from. The subject matter of Creation, especially in contrast with Naturalism, encompasses every subject there is. From geology, biology, philosophy, and physics, to dinosaurs, world-views, political systems, and ethics, Naturalism is an all encompassing world-view. A big word I learned recently which describes the naturalistic world-view of evolution is "meta-narrative." A meta-narrative is a story to explain all other stories. Naturalism is philosophically committed to trying to explain everything there is in terms of natural causes, completely excluding the possibility of an outside cause such as God. The Evolution model and the Big Bang model are the stories that underpin and try to explain how Naturalism would work. (I say model, because theories can be tested and observed. Evolution and the Big Bang cannot be tested or observed. They are not theories, but models with predictions about how the world should look.)

The Bible is also a meta-narrative in that Scripture can explains all other stories, or to say it another way, can explain how everything came to be, why things exist the way they are now, and where everything is headed in history. I believe the Bible better answers these questions than any other world view, and does so accurately, meaningfully, and without contradiction. Now that is a lot to talk about, a lot more than can fit in a couple hours!

But I gave it my best shot with the time allowed. I finally decided a good place to start is on the Bible's claims about the age of the earth as compared with the Naturalistic/Evolutionary view of billions of years, and various ways you can show that the earth is no more than six to ten thousand years old. I also talked about some of the consequences of the two differing views of the world. The credibility of Jesus, and the entire rest of the Bible, are at stake since Jesus claims that man was made in the beginning, on the sixth day of creation. But as things go, I ran out of time before I could talk about some of my favorite issues. So, I issued a challenge for when the group returns next Wednesday night. The challenge for them is to bring the top 'proofs' offered in their science textbooks for Evolution and/or questions they may have about the Bible's claims for us to discuss. I’m fairly certain my favorite topics will come up from that, but I also want to try and answer what most challenges them. It should prove to be even more exciting than this class was.

What do I hope for them to gain out of all of this? Primarily I want the students’ faith in God’s word to increase and I want them to always be prepared to give an answer for the faith which they have. I also want them to have the same wonder and amazement that I have when I look at the world, to see that the creation proclaims the glory of its Maker.

For your reading and viewing pleasure, here are some recommended websites:
--has great articles on a large array of subjects.
--has a free online book which is especially strong in its explanations of geology and the physical sciences, written be an engineer. The book is also available for purchase in a hard back version (which I have), suitable for middle school and up.
Free videos on a wide variety of subjects

Some good books to read:
Scientific Creationism Edited by Henry M. Morris, 1974 .Creation-Life Publishers. ISBN 0-89051-003-2
In The Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood - by Dr. Walt Brown
Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution by Michael J. Behe. 1998. Touchstone Books (Simon & Schuster), 320 pages. ISBN # 0-684-82754-9
Bones of Contention: A Creationist Assessment of Human Fossils - Marvin L. Lubenow: 1992 Baker Books. ISBN 0-8010-5677-2
Darwin on Trial - Phillip E. Johnson. 1993 InterVarsity Press, 195 pages.
Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? - by Jonathan Wells. 2002. Regnery Publishing. 338 pages.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

iPod, uPod, we all pod for iPod

Columbus day is rapidly approaching, and it seems that on the eve of celebrating the discovery of the New World, I have discovered my own new world: Podcasts and the iPod. Though I'm not the first to reach this land, it is still exciting to get in on the experience.

Take for example "iTunes U" which is supported by the Reformed Theological Seminary. They have recorded entire semester courses on church history, apologetics, a three part systematic theology, Old Testament and New Testament surveys, and on and on...for free! I was just talking with someone the other day about wishing I had recorded all of my seminary classes at SWBTS for future reference. Well, in lieu of such offerings from SWBTS the courses from RTS will certainly do. With professors such as J. I. Packer, Derek Thomas, and John Frame, it is a real winner in my book. It's refreshing to see Christians working to build the kingdom without worrying too much about building their own castle.

Other great finds I would recommend to you are Podcasts from "Let My People Think" with Ravi Zacharias, "Grace to You" with John MacArthur, and "Renewing Your Mind" with R. C. Sproul. With iTunes you have the options of subscribing to Podcasts which will automatically download new content each day, and if you select to have those Podcasts on your iPod, they automatically transfer to the iPod when you connect it to the computer. Podcasts you have already listened to are removed from the iPod, and new Podcasts are added. Very simple, very easy, and I've been learning a lot. Since moving to Ft. Worth I haven't been able to listen to good teaching on the radio, and so this is a great way to listen to it anywhere, at any time.


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