The week between the conference champion- ships and the big game. The first foretaste of the next many months that will painfully football-less. I don't know if the fact that my team is in the superbowl makes the weekend more or less stressful.

Friday was the relatively new routine - work, basketball practice with the punk kids, gym, crash. Saturday I watched more of the first season of the Sopranos (March 12th is approaching swiftly) while getting the laundry done and cleaning the room and whatnot. More gym, then poker that evening at Ko's - Matt, Rob, Ko, and myself.

Crap cards. Gave away my first buy in by folding the blinds on all but ONE hand. One. And I split that pot on a straight. Bought in again and kept the second buy in when I finally caught a hand or two playing straight up against Matt.

Sunday was ushering with the kids - Jared got there early again and gave out a bunch of evening service programs - so when church started 100 or so people didn't have the right programs. Other than that things went fine, then we caught a Chinese buffet with the high schoolers - got some more fresh blood - its really encouraging to see how the group is growing over the past couple years.


Would you have one person killed if it meant saving 100? What if it meant saving 50? 10? What if killing one person would save 2?

I honestly don't know what the right answer is. But its a fascinating question. There are plenty of great illustrations, many in the cinema. Master and Commander comes to mind. Flight 93 - a real-life illustration.

Reading things like this and especially this have had me thinking about this in new ways lately.


Whoever pretends to face death without fear is a liar.
- Jean Jacques Rousseau

No rational person can die withou uneasy apprehension.
- Samuel Johnson

O mighty death! Those whom none other could convince, thou hast persuaded! Those whom all other flattered thou hast despised! Thous has fetched all greatness, all the pride, all the cruelty, power, and ambition of humanity, and covered it all over with these two litte words: Hic Jacet [Here lies].
- Walter Scott

Death used to be an executioner, but the gospel just makes him a gardener.
- George Herbert

Death is the supreme festival on the road to freedom.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
- St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:55


Once upon a time, I had time to surf the net on occasion, and find cool stuff. Sometimes, lots of cool stuff. So much that I never linked to it all - the only stuff I gave out on my blog was the best of the best.

Those days are over now.

Phrases that originated in the Bible.

How it should have ended - I haven't even watched one yet. They're probably crap.

Only in a great country like America could someone come up with a way to make money off of the ridiculous waits we have for airport security. This rubs me wrong. But I'd still pay for it.

Well Josh seems like a nice guy. But he forgets where they say the devil is...

Holy whale puke - I'll never walk down the beach the same way again.

What to do when they ask for your SSN.

What to do when they're grieving.

What to do when you can't get a decent wifi signal.

What to do when you want to write better. And when you're lacking creativity.

What I'll be doing in the not too distant future.

Stupid picture post for Blogger is broken again.


Its response Wednesday (see here if you're wondering why), and once again I've been working far too much to find time to read much of value. We're getting a slow start on the 2 books-per-month goal for '06 (which, yes, I know, is a weak goal).

So, instead, you get shameless self-linking. I've been noticing lately that I've been finding less and less time to sit and write out a quality mid-length post - lately all I've had is low-quality shorties. So in an attempt to begin reversing that trend, we're going to have a flash-back episode of sorts here (you know, the one where everyone sits around remembering previous episodes)...

Way back when I was starting this blog, I was making plans, complaining about a job I hated, and speculating on being single. I remember how I used to write posts even about the undulations on the sidewalks here in Hoboken, that was around the same time I actually still took pictures and put them up.

Between speculating on whether homosexuality is a choice (or not), and blogging my sermon notes on the topic of Anger, there was a good deal of Theological content in my first 6 months or so of blogging.

2004 was a year that ended with me doing a fair bit more reading than I'm doing nowadays, as evidenced in my introspection on not taking pride in my work. (Or perhaps my linking the topics of lust and Santa Claus).

So that was the second half of 2004...leaves me room to pull another one of these together next week if I don't get around to actually reading. Convenient.


It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable...
-- 1 Thes. 4:3-4

The topic of sexual purity has been on my mind, lately - and when something is on your mind, you notice it a lot more - it seems to come up in conversation more, you read more about it, etc.. One thing in particular that struck me (right between the eyes) recently is the whole "how far is too far" question.

Of course, that's the wrong question, and as one great book on the topic of dating puts it, "asking the wrong question will always get you the wrong answer." But still we are tempted to ask this question because it gets us a little closer to where we want to be. We want to think the Bible isn't clear about such things so that, at the very least, if we stumble in this area, its not clearly wrong.

The term that Paul used in his letter to the Thessalonians - a term for sexual immorality is porneia. It appears fifty-five times in the New Testament - so perhaps its relatively important. It describes, in its various usages, all types of lust-driven acts of immorality - not simply that of intercourse - but any act - physical or not - that pollutes sexual purity.

Fact is, if you have even a basic scriptural understanding of what sex really is - you know that its much more than just a physical act. And I do not mean just sex in the context of marriage - sex in the form it was created for. All sex is more than a physical act - it is by its nature mental, psychological, spiritual. The brokenness you see in relationships, in marriages, in families, and throughout the world that can be attributed to sexual weakness proves this to be true. By "all sex" I refer not just to "going all the way" but to anything that takes away from purity. By the very nature of sex, we can indulge in sexual sins without doing anything physical at all.

And, so, I would say that the through-and-through "virgins" in the world can be counted on one hand, with no fingers.

Well, that's quite depressing. Yes, it is. Especially to those who have saved themselves from certain sexual acts (but not others). The typical line drawn here is a physical one - because as I've mentioned, we have the wrong starting point. And to have that "saving yourself" feeling of self-righteousness knocked down a notch or two when you begin to change your definition and realize that really no amount of physical chastity could "save yourself" from sexual impurity...well, its not fun.

But it helps you appreciate the joy of the fact that there was one thought-word-and-deed virgin in history, and when it comes time to stand in front of God, his people will share in that ultimate virginity - a purity that was never marred.

Hitting home: you may never have had sexual intercourse. By the olden-times definition of the word, this would classify one as a virgin. But apply a nuanced understanding of what God, in His word, was really after - not simply an abstinence from a single act, but a changed heart that seeks to be holy and honorable...and suddenly you're not quite as pure as the title would normally imply.

That is not an easy thing to admit to people - that you've screwed up. Repeatedly.

But its all taken care of. And that's something so great, you want to tell other people about it. It takes this kind of inspiration to help you truly bring under control something that your spirit may desire to control, when your flesh is so weak. Not following a rule out of fear of punishment for breaking it, but doing the right thing out of love for the one who loves us completely.

Sometimes every day feels like square one.


Every once in a while you have one of those drastic moments of clarity. Each one is different - you get them at different times and for different reasons. I wish I could think of a better word than zen.

Things just click.

Here's one I had. Every single thought and more, all in that one moment.

Commute home, late. Hit the grocery store for a bottle of jack because a day like today deserves a familiar ending. Stroll home. Check the mail. Climb the stairs.

Turn on the lights, drop the mail, drop the bag, toss the coat. Empty the pockets.

Cell phone. Pen. Keys. Wallet. Cash.


The cash is always last. Folded over, no clip, it sits in front of the thin leather wallet nicely when stuffed in a pocket, and there's no fumbling with a small piece of medal when you need some of it. But this means it usually comes out last at the end of the day.

Tonight the cash hit the clutter of the desk and I just stared at it.

I'm that guy.

When you were a kid your dad was that guy, if you had one. End of the day, he comes home, he does his unloading routine. Different things back then, maybe fewer things, maybe more, depending on what your dad did during the day. But after so many days, so many cosmically similar 12 hour periods, a very usual routine. One where dad's brain just shut off as the necessities were walked through.

When you were a teen it was your older brother, or maybe that guy in the movies. The aloof, pessimistic detective, who had a toothpick in the front pocket as part of his routine. Or the jetset Wall Street trader who threw down a wad of cash 9 times the size of dad's. The down-on-his-luck factory worker trying to get one last shot as a boxer.

Then one day you wake up and its you. Your cash. Your routine. Your life.

My cash.

I grew up.


Its Friday night at 12:40am. I'm in Vermont. Rainy, mainly snow-less Vermont. 40% of the runs open tomorrow, with rain starting in the afternoon. And this is the best snow opportunity I've seen so far this season, including my time home at Christmas - it was even warmer there.

Argh. At least the drive up went fairly fast for a Friday-head-north-to-ski weekend. Of course now I know why the traffic was light. Along the way there was a lot of laughing about my continued insistence that Beyonce is my sister, as well as the fact that the job never ends for those guys who have to paint the Golden Gate bridge.

No idea what tomorrow will be like, but we're going to have to come up with something. As for now, I've got an hour or two of work ahead of me, as does Tim, our gracious host. Tim is a friend of Bo - they know each other through work - Bo is a friend of mine, we were in the same orientation class when I started at Accenture. Tim and I were just talking about how pitiful this is that we're both up doing work at this point in the week. I am now thinking that may be the first time I actually mentioned my new employer's name here since I started there. Perhaps not. Can't remember.

Anyway, regardless of what happens tomorrow, we have to get on the road early on Sunday so we can get back into the city in enough time for me to catch the Steelers game.

That's all I've got. The normal blah. But I have come up with a bit of actually creative stuff lately. Not sure if any of it will be deemed good enough to blog at some point, but you never know. Monday might be more interesting than normal. But you never know.


Ok hang on, this one is going to be fast.

This year's idiotarod is already sneaking up on us (in a grocery cart). Didn't make it last year and at this rate I likely won't make it this year.

Great guide to stock images if you're a professional .ppt creator like myself.

Minor Tweaks is the funniest thing I have read in a long time. Careful you don't get sucked in.

I'm a guest blogger on Fabulous Females. For the time being. Smile.

Super awesome Google link-of-the-week is another Gmaps hack, this one helps people share WiFi signals. Simply awesome.

My pastor kind of not-so-much but maybe-a-little-bit-yeah looks like the 2nd one down on the left.

Stuff I'm not sure if I linked to already or not:

Woot! rocks.

You are beautiful.

If you haven't seen this already, check it out. I know it looks like one of those stupid emails people usually forward, but if you take it seriously, I promise you will be shocked by the results.


Wednesdays are supposed to be response day, per last week, but I didn't get around to reading the complete second page of The Edge's question of the year responses - I'm only about halfway through. I have been reading some other stuff though, so here's some pre-linkery to the normal Friday stuff.

Dave Barry's latest book is out, Money Secrets. I have a signed copy, as I was able to make it to a reading he did at the Union Square B&N earlier this week. He remembered me as the guy who he had beers with at the Republican convention. And I FINALLY have a picture of me and Dave Barry.

Speaking of money, today's WSJ points out some good tips for people my age who's baby boomer parents are nearing retirement. Now...my parents were slightly behind the boomers, its more like my dad's older brother's age, but all the same, good stuff. You need a WSJ account to see the article, but I'll recap - basically its an article on how children who work with their parents creatively can help maintain the parent's financial security throughout retirement and (as a natural by-product) help them leave a better estate behind. The five key points were 1) delaying tactics (e.g. delaying taking Social Security until later), 2) trimming taxes (e.g. consider converting retirement accounts into Roth IRAs), 3) sharing the load (e.g. children helping with payments for expenses such as long-term care insurance), 4) taking credit (this one I didn't quite get but it basically involved mortgaging a house with some combination of #3 - having the kids pay a certain amount of the monthly payback), and 5) giving back (e.g. grandparents investing in 529 college-savings plans for the grandchildren if they are counting on their own children to be helping them through retirement).

History of the Post-It Note.

Grabbed a copy of New York Press on my way home, just to reconnect with NYC's alternative media. There's a lot of crap in there (and questionable ads on their website, too), but there are some diamonds in the rough. I enjoyed The Dogs of Gowanus in their current Brooklyn edition.

Interesting new budgeting technique - sounds like one that might work for people like myself. (PDF File, btw)


For I know my trans- gression, and my sin is always before me...

...Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done what is evil in Your sight...
- Psalm 51

Ever screw up? I mean do something bad. I mean real bad. Maybe not something that hurt anyone - nothing that's left a debt of justice in society. Just something that made me you feel like you had really, really let yourself down. But still worse, that made you feel as though you had let God down.

I have.

I think the worst part is that while I feel bad about what I've done, I don't feel nearly so bad about what I perceive to be "lesser" bad things that I've done. I sent an email a couple weeks ago that could have been kinder. I don't feel nearly as bad about that as I do the more terrible (in my limited view) thing I did.

But sin is sin.

Perhaps worse still is the fact that I hardly find time to feel bad at all about the sins of "omission" I walk around with every day. The things that I continuously fail to do that I should be doing (as opposed to the obvious things I shouldn't be doing that I so often do).

And even the righteous things I can do...well we know how those can be classified.

I think when you really begin to get your head around the relatively complete existence of sin in your being, you begin, and let me stress - begin to realize how great your need for an equally complete grace really is. Only when you truly begin to internalize the ways you have grieved God that you see what it would take to stem that grief. And its at this moment that you realize such an effort is beyond your ability.

God had to let Christ down in the ultimate fashion - let Him completely down - on the cross, to cover such a great debt as ours. As mine. What wondrous love is this...

The only response can be a life of daily repentance.
All of the sins that man could do, or even conceive of doing, is like one live coal tossed in the ocean of God's grace. - Madeleine L'’Engle


Weekend schmeek- end. The Steelers have won their division and are headed for a conference game next Sunday. EVERYONE said it couldn't be done. Everyone was wrong. And what a game - it never should have been as close as it was, and now even the NFL is admitting it. Dave and I watched it at our regular joint - Mercury Bar in Hell's Kitchen, which strangely enough was filled with Steelers fans and one table of meek Colts fans. The game left every fan in that place emotionally drained, we were no exception.

Commutes were light today thanks to the holiday. That is all. Its a good day to let better men do the talking.
You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may won ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there fire two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the Brat to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all"

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distort the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I- it" relationship for an "I-thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and awful. Paul Tillich said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression 'of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.

Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal.

Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state's segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?

Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.

I hope you are able to ace the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.

We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's anti religious laws... - Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail


You ever see a girl and your first reaction is "I would gladly cut off a finger just to talk to her for 5 minutes?" Yeah, you have. Your next thought is usually "Let's see, that means 10 fingers would get me almost an hour...I wonder what a toe would get me...". Every guy has been there.

Girls, don't even act like you've never had a similar reaction to a man. How do I know? Because I'm a guy. And every guy has had that sickening experience of being with some girl in a "friends" context when she pulls one of those "look...at... him..." things. The difference is, with girls, they're allowed to do it, within reason - I mean not in front of a boyfriend, or something, but otherwise its pretty fair game. Not so much with guys. It gets a little more sticky for us.

But que sera - that isn't where I was going with this anyway.

The other night I was running (6 miles, I'm back in the saddle - go me! Woot!) and I got to thinking. I don't have a huge ego - I'm fairly realistic about the fact that I'm probably pretty average. I'm not exceptionally tall or well built, neither do I have genius level IQ; I'm not exceptionally ugly or overweight, and I think I've proved in at least a few ways to the world that I'm no dummy either. I'm average. That's cool. I do have a great sense of humor and those that know me well know that I feign having a HUGE ego quite well, but its all a matter of keeping a sense of humor and always being confident about who you are. I'm plenty confident about being decently average.

But that's not exactly where I'm going with this either. The other night, running, thinking...and it hit me. Some girl, somewhere, once upon a time, may have had one of those "HELLO what have we here?" experiences about ME once. Little old me. And chances are I never had any idea that she was having the moment while looking at me. I mean I have those moments when I see a girl that fits my particular fancies, is it so unbelievable that it could have happened to some girl where I was the object of interest? I don't think its too ridiculous to say that it is likely that it has happened, at least once. I particularly think this is a reasonable proposition because while I have these "hello" experiences infrequently, I certainly have them every once in a while. So if I have had multiple ones, do the math...and you come to the very reasonable conclusion that I've turned at least one head at one point in my life.

And that's a great feeling. Not so much in stroking the ego - like "Oh yeah, I'm bad..." - its just good to know. Helps you remember that its OK not to be the tallest or the fastest or the richest or the smartest. You can do what you do best, the best you can, and that's enough to please someone, somewhere.

The trick is finding the person that has that reaction to you, and being blessed enough to have it back to them at the same time. If that ever happens.

(Of course, I do realize that love at first sight is pretty pointless without love at second sight, and third, and fourth, and so on...)


The menu is sparse tonight. No internet at the client I'm working at now means no getting ANYTHING done during the day when it comes to the necessary personal stuff - paying the bills, checking the location of the doctor's office or the time of a train, finding a place to meet up with friends after work, you name it. And therefore it necessarily also precludes any surfing for the normal absurdities / useful items. So here's my pittance.

sounds potentially cool but of course I haven't had any time to play with it yet.

All 3 episodes of the David Sutherland film Country Boys are now available to watch (for free) on PBS's site.

The prejudice map.

Bill O'Reilly on Letterman. Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with Letterman 100%, but its still pretty cool that he broke his normal pandering-to-the-guest character for once.

Would have made a great Dr. Seuss title.

You've probably seen this one already, but just in case you haven't...Mr. Pibb and Red Vines equals crazy delicious.

So wrong.


The Edge has published its 2006 edition of its annual question. They've been doing it for a number of years now. I found last year's question to be particularly fascinating - "What do you believe is true even though you can not prove it?"

I've started reading through this year's question, "What is your dangerous idea?" And, conveniently, its given me a theme for Wednesdays, at least for the short term. Wednesdays are now response day. I'm going to try to take something I've read somewhere else and offer some reasonable editorial. Or unreasonable. Either way. What follows are my opinions on the first page of 12 full pages of the 120-some responses to the Edge's 2006 question.

I've decided to pick a few of these as must-reads, which I'm going to try to limit to 2 out of every 10 or so, and they're clearly marked. You will, however, have to click on the question above and scroll down to find the author / submission in question (on the first page, in particular, you need to scroll about halfway down to get past all the news blurbs). Enjoy.

Psychologist, Harvard University; Author, Changing Minds

Following Sisyphus, not Pandora

Interesting - I liked the Albert Camus paraphrase: "...in his portrayal of another mythic figure endlessly attempting to push a rock up a hill: one should imagine Sisyphus happy."

Psychologist, University of Pennsylvania, Author, Authentic Happiness


MUST READ. Finally someone realizes that maybe relativism might just be a bad idea. "But it might and it is just possible that the great minds of the twenty-first century will absolutize the relative."

Social and cognitive scientist, CNRS, Paris; author, Explaining Culture

Culture is natural

Um, yeah. And? Raised one good point (but didn't really do much else): "Dangerous ideas are potentially important. Braving insults and misrepresentations in defending these ideas is noble."

Professor of Astrophysics, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

A radical reevaluation of the character of time

As one who loves debating the existence of time, I had a hard time not labeling this a "must read." It just didn't have enough infrastructure to support the fascinating base that it definitely has. Still, this is fascinating: "What if a future scientific understanding of time would show all previous pictures to be wrong, and demonstrate that past and future and even the present do not exist? That stories woven around our individual personal history and future are all just wrong? Now that would be a dangerous idea."

Psychologist; Founder of Gottman Institute; Author, The Mathematics of Marriage.

Emotional intelligence

Points for brevity.

Founder & Director, Ontological-Hysteric Theater

Radicalized relativity

And we're right back to the uber-intellectual that can't see the forest for the trees when it comes to relativism. That didn't take too long now, did it? I mean, honestly: "the most dangerous idea (and the one under who's influence I have operated throughout my artistic life) is the complete relativity of all positions and styles of procedure. The notion that there are no "absolutes"..."

Is he the only one who can't see that he just created an absolute in his own statement?

Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Stanford University; Author: Shyness

The banality of evil is matched by the banality of heroism

Relatively interesting (hah, get the joke?). Helps to have a basic understanding of human depravity to interpret this one.

Absolutely did not agree with this: "The heroic action of Rosa Parks in a Southern bus, of Joe Darby in exposing the Abu Ghraib tortures, of NYC firefighters at the World Trade Center's disaster are acts of bravery at that time and place." Those firefighters were heroes when they went to bed the night before 9/11, every bit as much as when they went up the stairs the next morning. Firefighters all over the region were racing towards that disaster, I heard no tell of even one who cringed away.

Classicist; Cultural Historian; Provost, Georgetown University; Author, Avatars of the Word

Marx was right: the "state" will evaporate and cease to have useful meaning as a form of human organization

. Fascinating to think about. Right on some points but hardly seems plausible as a complete idea.

Professor of Mathematics, Temple University, Philadelphia; Author, A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market

The self is a conceptual chimera

Brief argument for Buddhism. "(Or so this assemblage of beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes sometimes thinks.)"

Author, Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves

We are all virtual

Not quite a must read but fascinating. I'm still trying to figure out what he meant by the last paragraph, but for the most part I agree with the concept - this could (and probably will, in some form) happen. But we need to be aware of the dangers of it. Sounds like it could easily turn into something straight out of a movie.


You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

In your good pleasure make Zion prosper;
build up the walls of Jerusalem.

Then there will be righteous sacrifices,
whole burnt offerings to delight you;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.
-- Ps. 51

David here realizes one of the most interesting paradoxes of the life Christian.

On the one hand, he realizes that God doesn't care about the outward acts that signify religious obedience. He knows that these are the very mandates that God gave the Israelites, yet he realizes that these sacrifices are not the heart of the matter. The heart of the matter is the state of his heart.

By the end of the Psalm, he is talking again about the same sacrifices and offerings he was decrying just a few verses earlier, but now he speaks of how they will delight God. What changed? His heart: broken and contrite. A changed heart drives him to make these sacrifices and offerings despite the fact that he's already ascertained that they are not what God is really looking for.

David realized that the act of sacrifice is one done out of love - either love of self or love of God. The original sacrifices he spoke of were being made to please God, but not out of love for Him - instead they were being made out of love for self - sacrifices made in order to get something back from God. But a contrite heart is one that's in a state to truly sacrifice in love - to give while expecting and hoping for nothing in return. That's how true, selfless love gives.

In the end, sacrifice in David's day was a true means of grace. In our day, it is still something God seeks from us. But He will never be pleased in sacrifice made with selfish motives. He wants nothing less than the whole heart, broken though it may be.


I had a weekend, but more importantly the Steelers had a win. We are no longer a wild-card team, but a full-fledged playoff contender. Yeah, Indy is going to be a tough game - probably the toughest team left alive right now, and one of the few (only?) teams to beat us really soundly this year. So it will be tough.

I'm watching this special on PBS called Country Boys. Its a David Sutherland piece and it is a depressing show, I'll say that much. I mean these kids in rural Kentucky have it rough. And my big problem is that I can't figure out how to budget a 2-week sailing trip to Belize.

Its not that I'm a communist. I certainly don't feel guilty about the nice things I have. I'm doing ok and that's fine - I fully intend to keep doing well and if I'm blessed I'll do better. Pay the bills, get a house, go on vacations, do the stuff people do. Drink the liquor off the higher shelf and buy the quilted paper towels. But the more I make the more I hope to be able to do for those who have not.

And its not because I'm a good person, either. I don't feel like I need to give to get into heaven, or feel good about myself, or because I want other people to think I'm great. I just do not understand how people can see other humans living in such incredible need and not respond to it. Especially considering the resources we have. It boils down to this: we bring nothing into this world and we're not taking anything with us when we leave.

Kid just asked out this girl and she turned him down. This kid has a drunk for a dad, he gets a social security check at 16 years old, and he's failing high school. And now he gets turned down for a date. I guess there's some problems that you just can't give enough to help out with.

Freakin depressing show. I hate watching television.


“Well, isn’t it fortunate for you that you just happened to be a member of this ‘unique instrument’ of salvation — the Christian church! I suppose you realize that if you had been raised among Muslims, you would make similar claims for Islam?”

Yes…I conceded that if I had been born in Cairo or Mecca that very likely I should be a devout Muslim. But what is supposed to follow from this observation?....A multitude of political options also faces the citizens of any modern nation. Tell Marxists or liberals or Burkean conservatives that if they had been raised in Nazi Germany they would have been fascists. They will answer that they are aware of that fact and what is your point? The undoubted fact that one’s adherence to a system of political thought is conditioned by one’s upbringing is no reason for doubting that some or one of these systems is clearly and markedly superior to its available rivals. And yet any argument to show that the Church’s belief in her own uniqueness was arrogant would apply a fortiori to this almost universally held belief about politics.

[And we should add this]…the members of the Church can take no pride in their unique relation to God, for that relation is His doing and not theirs. But the superiority of one’s political party to the others must be due to the superiority of the knowledge, intelligence, wisdom, courage, and goodness of one and one’s colleagues in the party… – Peter van Inwagen, Non Est Hick


Fast and furious links. I have a hot date with my pillow, and we're getting started early tonight. I've been up til at least 1am every night for like 2 weeks and probably averaged a down-time of 3am. So, I. Am. Tired. But never too tired for links...

World Jump Day

10 Web Trends That Should Die in 2006

Random Chuck Norris Fact: Top Thirty Facts

Anna, one of the DC Grover crew, recently had a book review published in the Washington Times. She also came to spend a couple days in NYC with a buddy of hers, and they made the mistake of deciding to crash at my place and not get the spare keys before heading out for the evening. This was the night of the same day I flew back red-eye, so this was one of the closer-to-1am bedtimes for me. I passed out cold with the phone in the other room, and our buzzer is broken, so they never were able to get in that night. I'm a good friend. But this link is really about Anna's article.

Click Here You Idiot

50 Best Firefox Extensions for Power Surfing (I've been meaning to write my own version of this)

The other night I spent a good deal of time reviewing the topic of English mnemonics. I have no idea why. But if I'm ever on Jeopardy and the topic comes up...boy...

The best blonde joke ever (on the internet).

7 habits of highly effective people


Late night math:




tired guy I am. Congrats to Pauly and his Hookem Horns - looks like going to the game worked, superfan.


Ooooo K... the holiday break is officially over and we are back to normal blogging schedule, which, if you're not aware, is usually Mon-Fri, Lord willin and the creek don't rise.

This is a non-normal Tuesday post because I just don't have it in me this week - which I realize is not a good thing. 2006 is off to a slow start, coming off a slow finish in 05, on the Tuesday front, and that area of my life in general. I need to take some serious time to sit and think this whole situation through and make some changes. You've done well if you're still with me on this...

As of tonight, the Mustard Seed School Rebels are 0-1 in their first season under coaches Kinder and Knowles (assistant coach). We stayed in it through the first half but they pulled away slowly in the second as it was clear they had a deeper bench than we did - not to mention that one of our key starters fouled out in the 4th.

I'm back at Macy's and unable to get net access during the day, which continues to be a painful experience. I need to struggle through to at least mid-February at this point.

Long story short I had a very good New Years weekend. Margy was in town with her buddy Mike, who is a cool dude for partying as late as he did with us (we didn't get home til well after 6am).

That's all for now. Tonight I have lots of other stuff to write, namely a couple articles that I'm working on - one I'm not really sure where I'd submit it, and one that I'm working with the guys at Thrillist on.

Happy Belated New Years, all.