June 6, 2007 at 4:03 am (Uncategorized)

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.


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moved again..

May 23, 2007 at 5:56 am (Uncategorized)

Now at which should mean “the whole” in german..

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2 lives..

May 17, 2007 at 4:00 am (Uncategorized)

Broken this morning, the same topic I’ve known hit again: Luke 7:40-50 & Luke 18:9-14.
1) as one who does not know what his sin is, and so does not know what forgiveness is. paranoid of sin, and clueless of redemption.

I’m afraid american churches, under the lineage of puritanism are so paranoid of sin. Kids are raised to be ‘good’ in an over-authoritarian home, without the option to be involved in sin. And surely parents never mess up to ever ask forgiveness of their kids.

I swear I see these kids in these hostels here. I think I met one. No clue about living without sin. No fear of sin. Only heard about redemption, but without fear of sin, what is redemption worth?

2) as one who knows his sin, who has become his sin- his identity bound up in it and finds nothing there.. knows the depth he has gone and knows how far Redemption had to go to find him. One who has stood at the edge of life-in-shambles and admitted it as his own doing.

One who has slid down the cliff and though is being pulled out, still needs to fight to stay in the harness.. but it’s so tight.. it hurts.. it restricts. Where is the vision? He once was down, looking down, then he was down looking up, is he now halfway up looking down again? That’s life.

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Day 1..ish in Deutschland

May 10, 2007 at 7:46 am (2007, Germany, travel)

Things I’ve learned:
1) 5 hrs of “sleep” over 48 hours isn’t enough.
2) Flying British Airways at night is a good idea: there were 3-4 seats per person on the flight! Time to stretch!
3) London from 1000m is ‘close enough’ to see stuff
4) There *is* such a thing as too much turbulence (re: heathrow->frankfurt)
5) There are mexicans here too
6) Frankfurt’s FFM bahnhof reminded me of atlanta’s
7) the trip on the bahn from FFM to Frankfurt Hbf was a lot like Cleveland’s train ride from the airport to tower city: lots of trees.
8) Frankfurt’s hauptbahnhof is movie-esque.
9) Walking out of the Hbf felt kinda like walking out of NYC’s Madison Sq. Garden
10) Germans have better beds/sheets
11) All my google/blogger pages are “automagically” in german. This is good- maybe I’ll learn the language faster!

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Gospel in "24" s6e20

May 4, 2007 at 1:29 am (gospel, identity, psychology, soul)

Storyline: 8 years ago I dropped my engineering major because I realized in the second semester of calculus class that I was more than just a brain. I didn’t know what that entailed but at that time I did not need any external pressure on my being, on my life which would hole myself up into my own brain. While 8 years ago (almost to the day!) I fixed my external situation, it took the next 6 years to grow into the fullness of life which I am now able to understand, experience, feel, and communicate.

8 years ago, my soul was Audrey Raines.

After just finishing watching episode 20 of season six of the Fox TV show “24,” I’m walking away with poetry. Words are given to the mind to process with precision, imprecision is given for the mind to know it is not in control, for the rest of your being to react and understand.

According to the storyline of “24,” Audrey Raines has been held captive by the Chinese for an undisclosed period of time, presumably years. As the past two week’s episodes reveal, she has been tortured and is able to only say, “please Jack, help me” –the line her captors needed her to say on the phone. Her full capacity for personal expression is limited to huddling in a corner with darting-eyes. This is fear.

There’s something in me that identifies with Audrey these past two weeks (“hours” in “24”-speak). I have never been physically tortured or abused in any fashion. I have never been told what to do, I have never had to release control of my own being. There is no concrete reason for me to identify with Audrey apart from sheer compassion for a fellow human who is presumed to be hurting.

And this is where analogy beings. While my body has not been abused, my soul has been tortured. I have an enemy; one who demands I do his absolute bidding. If I rise up, he forces me down. If I speak, he will slice my throat, if I move, he will beat me. Confined and controlled is his goal. Oh yes, there has been a sadistic dictator over my soul.

This sounds like fluff-speak. This sounds to the Modernist empty words. No meaning to the word “soul,” the rationalist robot dismisses my speech. That’s fine. It’s not for him then. I’ll speak words of foolishness; I know this to be the only truth in life I have.

I understand what Audrey Raines has experienced and does currently experience on the show. So when she is freed and required to tell where her captors reside, what response can we expect but silence? After sustained daily torture for self-expression and incompliance, how easy does self-expression come? If even when asked to speak, I am beaten for it, how can I open my mouth? How can I not expect repayment of evil for any action at all, whether compliant or not? There’s a point when you cross over the line of hope. And when you lose self-direction, you lose identity.

How then does life return? How can green grass grow on charred volcanic ash? We love that picture: the green of ubiquitous plant life and the blue of sustaining water are icons of life for our minds. Natural, inherent, pervasive, consistent. The ability of life to overcome is patterned for us all around- even the weeds breaking through concrete city street sidewalks. We see these icons and we adore them. We prise them in the same quality (thankfully not quantity) with which we prise the life of our children, or even a day off from work.

Jack Bauer frees Audrey Raines for the ransom of her captors. Her external environment has changed; she is free. Why then does she not live as though she is free? Why does she not respond like she used to? We know this, I lived this. Changing your situation does not change your soul. The world will spout, “It’ll just take time.” Time is not enough! Time does not direct me anywhere! Time does not come to me where I am offering a hand. The world does no better. Circumstance is cold.

Audrey’s hope is the one who has been where she has been. One who not simply identifies himself with her pain as I can through the television. She is in need of one who has learned wisdom – the way out of her cave of inability. And it pains us to see others who have not been there try. The psychiatrist on the show threatens to shock-treat her into responding. The theory is simple: break her deeper than her captives have; become her new master. That is the hope-offer of this world. On the surface it’s, “Had a bad day at work? Self-medicate with friends, alcohol, tv, sports, sex.” Your master at work becomes one who masters you in all other areas of life. The addict requires more each time to get the same buzz. We say to ourselves, “RESPOND!!” and we cannot make ourselves.

But the one who knows the way out is different. He does not come to beat or master. Jack comes gently- gentle as the grass which he intends to grow. Audrey cannot respond immediately. She cannot trust immediately. Jack brings to her her identity. He says something amazing, “I know you’re trying.” Unable to move, unable to speak, she is still 10 steps off. Before you open your mouth, your brain must choose words. For your brain to choose words, your will must decide. But her will is stopped. This is deeper than most will understand. “What do you mean? I think, I act. That’s it!” No. That is not it. And if you are satisfied with that understanding of your self, you will miss this analogy and the lesson of it.

Audrey has been freed, she is cognitively aware of being free. Call it scar material of her own psychology. My master is the one I listen to. The only one I hear has been the one who seeks my control for his own sake, for my own demise. He speaks at the level of my will, deeper than my rational, analytic, introspective brain is able to check against. And when my actions are for my demise, my soul is filled with scarring. This is what sin is: that which is against life in my soul.

Life in my inner being is not for me to decide. This is not existentialism. The car cannot decide to drive across the Atlantic. It is functionally unable to do so. And it’s function is in accordance with it’s design. Whether the human soul is designed by God or ‘natural forces’ isn’t my concern here. Simply, my soul is deeper than my will, deeper than my choice, deeper than my brain. I am situated. I have my raw material here in this life, and I can only do as I am designed to.

What is water to my soul? What is green grass for my life? Who is Jack Bauer who frees me? These questions must be answered by us all. Sure our characters will be different, our sub-plots distinct. But surely our souls have a common theme, common to humanity, with only one type of common cure. Types speak; types point to that which is common. I suggest that a type of the cure is found in Jack Bauer. I have found that Jack, along with other types, point to the one common cure: Jesus.

Immediately all the lies surrounding Jesus are now in your mind. That is what has bound your soul. That is the source of all that you fear and deny. Deny your denial. Fess up. Admit there’s more life than you know or have been told, more than your master tells you. And follow life unto death.

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Child-like fallacies..

May 1, 2007 at 3:32 pm (life, logic)

“We like Johnny cuz he can make a home-run!”
“I can make a homerun too!”
“You just don’t get it do you?”

Yup. How many children have attempted fame to “be like Mike” and dunk a basketball, as if that were the only requirement for the NBA draft?

Oddly enough, this exemplifies a common formal logical fallacy (Excluded Middle):
A = B
C = B
therefore, A = C

Nope. Sorry. Not allowed. This one is though:
A = B
B = C
therefore, A = C

So, the children should try this one:
“We like people who make homeruns!”
“I’m a person who can make homeruns!”
“Yea! We like you!”

See the difference? They just like Johnny, not because of the tid-bit of info they gave you.

And yes, this *is* how I’ll raise my children to explain life to them 😉

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Do your job!

May 1, 2007 at 3:03 pm (bible, lies-damn-lies, missions)

I’ve heard some Christian missions guys use Romans 11.25 to say that Jesus isn’t coming back until “we do our job” and “every people group hear the Gospel.” Further, they proceed to say that “If we do our job” then Jesus will come back, so we need to get the Gospel out to the 1.8 billion still “unreached.”

Personal note: this is ridiculous.

Now, it’s not that the argument is invalid; it’s just unsound! What if there’s 1000 people here and now alive who need to hear and repent, but there’s one dude 1000 years from now? Too bad, Jesus ain’t comin’ back until that one dude is born 1000 years from now! Ain’t no rushin’ to that one! Can’t mess with that timeline! We’re waiting.

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Lemme muddy the water for ya..

May 1, 2007 at 2:50 pm (lies-damn-lies, no news is good news)

So I’m trying to find 5 logical falllacies for a paper of mine.. Instead, I’ve found out how perspectives are presented to the populus:

-“Authoritative Statement”: Scofield, the news: the perspective is assumed, not mentioned how or why.

-“Hope”: “if/when this fibberding is up to speed/figured out, why, it could save the lives of millions!” This is just plain over-optimism. We all have it though. Our boss asks us, “can I have that by Friday, and you say, “No problem” knowing full well you’ll need the weekend.

-“Alternative Perspective”: to which people will respond, “I don’t like it. I don’t know why, I just don’t like it.” Non-fallacious, just ‘different’ ( Involves the use (couching) of statements like, “they argue” and “some say” with a mix of labelling what’s normal.. a mix of ‘hope’ and ‘authority’.

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Aaahhh!! What happened to my pretty little world?

April 30, 2007 at 1:43 pm (no news is good news)

[hint] is a dandy site for bursting people’s bubbles.. IVF, neuroethics, neurotheology, abortion, addiction, politics and power, they’ve got it all!

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April 29, 2007 at 2:53 pm (brain, discipline, hate homework, mind, slacker, to-do list)

So I fight to get my paper written, and I think I noticed why.

It’s said that men are able to compartmentalize their lives and emotions, whereas women, due to differing hormones that affect brain development, are prone to having “one big pile” of everything that is going on. Surely both genders feel both at various times, but that being the larger theme.

So I start my day in one type of mindset (functional): waking, moving, shaving, showering, eating. And I move to another mindset once those operations are off the check-list, usually the question of, “Ok, what’s going on today? my soul and in my life?” And I startup the conversation with God. But that is a change of mindset. And there’s some inertia there, inside my own brain. Then I have to start my day, go to class, start working on work or schoolwork. If it’s reading or listening, that’s not terribly hard, but still, I do feel a change must occur in my head. I understand my brain to be set in a certain direction, and that I need to say, “stop. turn over here.” but the ‘turn over here’ doesn’t work unless I keep telling myself that for awhile until it’s now rolling on that new track. And when it comes to paper-writing, if I’m already started, it’s easier to get myself back on that track.

update: apparently there’s more truth to this than i knew..

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