Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back at it

I have just survived my first week back at work. Yes, I know that today is only Thursday--I don't have any classes on Friday!!!!! So I get three day weekends every week!!! Except for this week when I get a four day weekend!!!

I am trying something this semester that I tried once before but didn't succeed very well at. I am holding my Tuesday/Thursday afternoon office hours at the Recreation Center. I figure that if I tell students that they can find me on a treadmill between x time and y time, then I'd better be there. We'll see how long that lasts.

Yesterday I heard the best excuse for why a student arrived to class late. He told me that he had an appointment with his pillow and it ran long.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Class Reunion

I attended my twenty year high school reunion this weekend. Actually, I attended part of it, the football game on Friday night. I looked at some pictures of the Saturday night event, and I'm really glad I didn't go to that because it looks like everyone was intoxicated to some degree.

After attending the game--which I did not watch--I can say that if I had not gone I would not have missed much. However, I'm glad I went because my suspicions were confirmed: I look much younger than the rest of my graduating class.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Fair

Husband and I braved the crowds this weekend and attended the Wilson County Fair. I heard on the news Sunday that 90-something-thousand people attended on Saturday, and I believe it. They were all on the midway at the same time that I was. I've told you before that I avoid going to Walmart on the weekends because I hate crowds. The midway was Walmart to the hundredth power, and by the time we got back to our vehicle, my nerves were shot.

The good thing about it was that we spent most of our time at the arena watching the tractor pull, which was fun even though there were no tractors with jet engines. The stands were crowded, but unlike the midway, everyone was sitting and not trying to go in a million directions all at once. We're going back again tonight to watch the off road trucks, which should be even better than the tractors.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Standing in Hot Water

This morning at 5:30 I awoke to the sound of rushing water. I thought Husband was in the bathroom washing his hands, so I didn't bother to try bringing myself to full consciousness. But when the sound kept on well beyond the amount of time it takes to wash one's hands, I decided I should probably wake up the rest of the way. I pried my eyes open to find that the bathroom was dark and that Husband was outside letting the dogs out. So I dragged myself out of bed and stumbled into the bathroom where I stepped into a puddle of water. I woke up pretty fast at that point because the water I was standing in was quite hot.

Husband got the water turned off, and we found that the hot water supply line had somehow come off its fitting underneath the sink. Husband had to leave for work, and I spent the next couple of hours sopping water up off the floor with towels that were already half soaked because I keep them underneath the same sink where the leak occurred.

It's been a fun morning. In a few minutes I'll finally get my morning coffee.

Monday, August 11, 2008

God of Mercy?

Philippians 2.9-11 says, "Therefore, God also has highly exalted him [Jesus] and given him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father."

The popular view in Christianity is that when those people who resisted Jesus during their lifetimes finally do confess Jesus as Lord after the resurrection, it will be too late. By this time, God's wrath is burning hot, and it is now time to send the unrepentant to their final punishment.

The popular argument is that not everyone who will confess Jesus as Lord will be sincere about it. Using Jesus's words from Matthew 7.21, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven," it can be argued that some who call Jesus "Lord" will be doing it from improper motives, saying the correct words just to get out of being punished. However, according to 1 Corinthians 12.3, "[ . . . ] no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit." Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the "Spirit of truth" (John 14.17, 15.26). Are we to believe that the Holy Spirit will compel some people to confess Jesus as Lord falsely? Merely saying words and confessing something are two different things. To confess something implies that the confessor believes that what he or she says is true. The Greek word translated as "confess" is exomologeo, meaning to say something out of agreement. When the entire world confesses that Jesus is Lord, they will mean what they say. Some will argue that yes, they will mean it, but at that point it will be too late. Their fate was sealed by their lack of confession of Jesus during their lifetimes.

Do you remember that old childhood game called "Mercy"? Two kids would stand facing each other with their fingers interlocked and try to bend each other's hands backwards at the wrists. The stronger kid would inevitably bend the weaker kid's wrists back to the point of pain and would not let up until the weaker kid said "Mercy." The majority view in Christianity paints God as similar to the stronger kid in the mercy game. Those who didn't confess Jesus until it was too late are the ones with their wrists bent back in pain. God will force them to say mercy before sending them off to their final punishment.

The Philippians passage quoted above says that when everyone confesses Jesus as Lord, this will bring glory to God the father. The Greek word doxa, from which the word "glory" is translated, is also translated as "praise," "worship," and "honor" in the New Testament. Is extracting a forced confession from the unwilling an honorable action on God's part? How are we to praise a God who resorts to extortion? This type of God is no better than Nebuchadnezzar who forced his subjects, under penalty of death in a fire if they would not comply, to worship a golden statue of himself. In fact, this God should be esteemed less than Nebuchadnezzar because even when people confess Jesus as Lord, God is still going to throw some of them into the fire. The metaphorical cry for mercy, "Jesus is Lord," will go unheeded. How does this balance with the church's teaching that God is infinitely merciful?

The predominant view in Christianity has made God into a tyrant, someone who coerces allegiance. Can we truly say that we love and honor someone like that? Again, something is wrong with the way that Christianity presents God.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I hate election time.

Is it just my county, or have people everywhere who are running for elected office ramped up the automated phone call strategy? Every day I can count on at least three or four phone calls which consist of a recorded message from a political candidate. Some of them have called every day for the past week. I wish I could call and annoy them as much as they are annoying me.

Does the federal "do not call" list not apply to people running for office?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Redneck Summer Fashion

Today in my email, I found this photo of a great new summer look for women: