Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Help Yeti Decide

This should be the pic for Yeti's blog (Yeti is a term of endearment, mandated for use by her own mother):
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Vote yea, or nay.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Of the Pitiful Afflicted

How many are in woeful straits and bodily extremities? How many, in their estates, lack bread, lack clothes, lack housing, lack heat, lack all the necessities that can be? Their bodies are diseased, full of pains, their bodies are deformed. Their very parts of nature are exceedingly loathsome and unfit for service in every way. By all outward appearances, their estates are extremely miserable. Yet, with all this, they are extremely wicked also, extremely sinful.

Go into their houses. There is nothing but poverty and misery there, and there is as much wickedness and iniquity as poverty and misery. It may be that these poor creatures who are this miserable have hearts full of atheism. They live without God in the world; they do not know God. They do not know Christ. They know nothing of their immortal souls. They know nothing of another life. They live just like brute beasts in all filthy uncleanness. It may be that they suffer for their wickedness before men and are whipped, put into the stocks or a cage, lie in dark dungeons in cold, nakedness, and hunger, and all for their sin and wickedness.
~~Jeremiah Burroughs, THE EVIL OF EVILS, ch. 66.

Burroughs speaks of poor souls who are afflicted in this life, who are to be pitied, and yet it is far more pitiful knowing that some may live a life of affliction here, only to be afflicted in hellfire forever for sin.

Today I met a man with Cerebral Palsy. His right arm wasn't all that useful, and his speech was highly impaired. He had been having thoughts of killing himself for about three weeks. His wrist showed evidence of his thoughts, if you catch my meaning. He sobbed, uncontrollably at times, while he spoke of these things to me. He broke my heart. He has trouble getting a job, because people think he's incompetent. He's not incompetent, but the poor man appears that way to some. Strange, I meet enough people throughout any given week who claim some disability that makes them unable (rather, unwilling) to work, who do not have the true disabilities that this man had, and yet here is a fella hitting the streets looking for a job, while many others far more able sit on their lazy behinds, content to collect a free check. Anyway, this poor man... his outward and temporal estate was to be pitied. But to be pitied even more was the fact that though he did believe "there was someone up there," yet he had no particular religious profession. Now, suppose he had succeeded in self-murder. What a sad case this would have been! Outward and temporal afflictions all his life, pressing him to the point of despair, taking his own life, and only to find more and greater afflictions awaiting him! A sad case indeed.

Also sad, this story out of rual Ohio, which immediately reminded me of the Ballad of Hollis Brown.

Do you have something to be thankful for today, dear readers?

Legendary Keyboard Players

Jon Lord, of Deep Purple:
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Rick Wakeman, of Yes:
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Jesse, of the Waybrights:
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Keith Emerson, of E.L.P.:
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Not content to learn only one instrument, Jesse has also set out to master the jaw harp:
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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Luther on the Remission of Sins

"Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father" (Galatians 1:4).

How may we obtain remission of our sins? Paul answers: "The man who is named Jesus Christ and the Son of God gave himself for our sins." The heavy artillery of these words explodes papacy, works, merits, superstitions. For if our sins could be removed by our own efforts, what need was there for the Son of God to be given for them?

Since Christ was given for our sins it stands to reason that they cannot be put away by our own efforts. This sentence also defines our sins as great, so great, in fact, that the whole world could not make amends for a single sin. The greatness of the ransom, Christ, the Son of God, indicates this. The vicious character of sin is brought out by the words "who gave himself for our sins." So vicious is sin that only the sacrifice of Christ could atone for sin. When we reflect that the one little word "sin" embraces the whole kingdom of Satan, and that it includes everything that is horrible, we have reason to tremble. But we are careless. We make light of sin. We think that by some little work or merit we can dismiss sin.

This passage, then, bears out the fact that all men are sold under sin. Sin is an exacting despot who can be vanquished by no created power, but by the sovereign power of Jesus Christ alone.

All this is of wonderful comfort to a conscience troubled by the enormity of sin. Sin cannot harm those who believe in Christ, because He has overcome sin by His death. Armed with this conviction, we are enlightened and may pass judgment upon the papists, monks, nuns, priests, Mohammedans, Anabaptists, and all who trust in their own merits, as wicked and destructive sects that rob God and Christ of the honor that belongs to them alone.
~~Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 1:4.

Ok, everybody plays.

Cool, or not cool.

The Crab Spider:
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Cool, or not cool?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Boy, this one nailed it!

I'm not into numerology, but man this is scary accurate.

Your Birthdate: February 20
Your birth on the 20th day of the month adds a degree of emotion, sensitivity, and intuition to your reading, and yet you're very much disliked anyway.

The 2 energy provided here is very social, allowing you to make friends easily and quickly, and you trust them enough to let them stab you in the back with a cold hard knife.

You are apt to have a rather nervous air in the company of a large group, and that's because you suck eggs and know it.

You are a loser who is despised by even your own mother. Despite being of a warmhearted nature and emotional understanding that constantly seeks affection, it seems people must be very intoxicated to even tolerate your presence, and they feel they must push you to the brink of insane rage, just to see how long it takes for you to crack.

You are very prone to become depressed and moody, like unto a girly girl, as emotions can turn inward and cause anxiety and mental turmoil.

It can be hard for you to bounce back to reality when depression sets in, especially when you can't shake the feeling like you've lost something you can't get back.

When things are going well, you await the impending doom. And when people say they love you, you know they don't mean it.

You're ugly and you dress funny. Your feet stink and you don't love God as much as you should. Try as you might, you will not amount to much more than a clown. But hey, we can't all be cowboys.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Speaking of Positively 4th Street...

"Do you take me for such a fool
To think I'd make contact
With the one who tries to hide
What he don't know to begin with?"

Well, do you?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Cool opening lines

Prolly a bunch of other cats have already posted something like this on their blogs, so I'm making no claim of originality here... but...

Call me Ishmael. Actually, don't call me that, call me Jerry. "Call me Ishmael" is of course the opening line of MOBY DICK. And next to "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," and maybe "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," it might be the most recognizable opening line to a book. At work, I was listening to Bob Dylan, and as I heard the first line of "Like a Rolling Stone" ("Once upon a time you dressed so fine. You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?"), I was reminded of how effective an opening line to a song can be. It got me to thinking about cool opening lines to popular songs. Here's five I thought of:

1. "You've got a lot of nerve to say you are my friend. When I was down, you just stood there grinning." -- Positively 4th Street, by Bob Dylan.

2. "I pulled into Nazareth, was feeling 'bout half past dead." -- The Weight, by the Band.

3. "I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand, walking through the streets of Soho in the rain." -– Werewolves in London, by Warren Zevon.

4. "Hey Joe, where you goin' with that gun in your hand?" -- Hey Joe, by Jimi Hendrix.

5. "Gimme back that wig I bought you, black woman. Let your doggone head go bald." -- Wig Wearin' Woman, by Lightnin' Hopkins.

Oh, I thought of some more, but I'd like to hear some from you guys.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Power Donuts on a Migraine Morning

I knew I had it before I even woke up... that dern migraine. That means breakfast, at least phase one, shall consist of Maxalt and coffee. Phase 2 of breakfast is mini chocolate donuts! That's right, mini chocolate donuts. The breakfast of champions. Out of nowhere, little Daniel, a.k.a. Turd Ferguson, a.k.a. Carl, walks up to me and says, "These are POWER donuts!" Excellent, little Daniel, you are learning what it means to be a Waybright.

Half the blog I used to be.

I know I haven't blogged much lately, but get off my back! I'm not the only one. I've been busy and burnt out, sleepless, sore and sad. I've been lifting weights lately on my karate-off days, which means I'm pretty much constantly sore -- just for different reasons on different days. It must be working though, because I've been getting several comments at work like, "Hey, you're still losing weight!" "You look very nice," and "You sure do look gay in that turtle neck!" Thanks, ladies. Oh, hold up. What? Why I oughta...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Luther on Christ-Centered Theology

It is a principle of the Bible that we are not to inquire curiously into the nature of God. "There shall no man see me, and live," Exodus 33:20. All who trust in their own merits to save them disregard this principle and lose sight of the Mediator, Jesus Christ. True Christian theology does not inquire into the nature of God, but into God's purpose and will in Christ, whom God incorporated in our flesh to live and to die for our sins. There is nothing more dangerous than to speculate about the incomprehensible power, wisdom, and majesty of God when the conscience is in turmoil over sin. To do so is to lose God altogether because God becomes intolerable when we seek to measure and to comprehend His infinite majesty.

We are to seek God as Paul tells us in I Corinthians 1:23, 24: We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." Begin with Christ. He came down to earth, lived among men, suffered, was crucified, and then He died, standing clearly before us, so that our hearts and eyes may fasten upon Him. Thus we shall be kept from climbing into heaven in a curious and futile search after the nature of God. If you ask how God may be found, who justifies sinners, know that there is no other God besides this man Christ
Jesus. Embrace Him, and forget about the nature of God. But these fanatics who exclude our Mediator in their dealings with God, do not believe me. Did not Christ Himself say: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me"? Without Christ there is no access to the Father, but futile rambling; no truth, but hypocrisy; no life, but eternal death.

When you argue about the nature of God apart from the question of justification, you may be as profound as you like. But when you deal with conscience and with righteousness over against the law, sin, death, and the devil, you must close your mind to all inquiries into the nature of God, and concentrate upon Jesus Christ, who says, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Doing this, you will recognize the power, and majesty condescending to your condition according to Paul's statement to the Colossians, "In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," and, "In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Paul in wishing grace and peace not alone from God the Father, but also from Jesus Christ, wants to warn us against the curious incursions into the nature of God. We are to hear Christ, who has been appointed by the Father as our divine Teacher.
~Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 1:3.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

6-Point Calvinist

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For Michael, whooper of 8 year olds.

From a Seinfeld script:

[There's a knock at Jerry's door.]

Joey: Come on, Kramer!

Kramer: Hey there.

Joey: Come on. Mom's down in the car.

Kramer: Okay, Joey.

[Joey exits.]

Jerry: You guys both have class at the same time?

Kramer: No, we're in the same class.

Jerry: What do you mean you're in the same class?

Kramer: He almost beat me.

Jerry: Kramer, you're fighting children?!

Kramer: We're all at the same skill level, Jerry.

Jerry: He's nine years old! You don't need karate, you can just wring his neck!

[Car horn honks.]

Kramer: I got carpool. (exits)

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Friday, May 13, 2005

Luther on Peace of Conscience

The world advances free will, the rational and natural approach of good works, as the means of obtaining the forgiveness of sin. But it is impossible to gain peace of conscience by the methods and means of the world. Experience proves this. Various holy orders have been launched for the purpose of securing peace of conscience through religious exercises, but they proved failures because such devices only increase doubt and despair. We find no rest for our weary bones unless we cling to the word of grace.
~Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 1:3.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Ground Work

Today was a busy busy day at work. Ugh, it can be stressful at times. I came home and took a quick nap, then went to karate class. We worked on knife defenses. The thing about defending yourself against a knife attack is... your chances are pretty slim. Even if you do have time to pull off a good, well executed technique, you are likely to be cut on the hands or arms anyway. But the alternative is far worse, so we work on knife defenses. Tonights instructor made it interesting for us, as he required 10 pushups for each time our opponent was able to cut us with the knife. Ok, so I had to do some pushups, but I didn't do as bad as I thought I might. Next, we worked on some ground work. Allow me to explain something for a moment. Since I've been out of karate, something happened in the martial arts scene. That thing that happened was a moderately sized man named Royce Gracie demonstrated to the world that, in a contest against just about anyone with just about any background in martial arts, he could whoop men twice, even three times his size, by purposefully taking the contest to the floor, where he was able to apply a variety of joint locks and chokes to make even the biggest monsters "tap out" in submission.
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Don't get me wrong. Gracie didn't invent anything new (it's basically the way good old Judo is supposed to be done).
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Nor is Gracie unbeatable. But what he did was make everyone rush out to find someone, anyone, who could teach them Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This being the case, there are bunch of guys out there who think they can take out anyone by simply "taking the fight to the ground." So, our karate school wisely started teaching more ground techniques... not because we agree with the idea of taking a fight to the ground (in Isshinryu, it is deemed much better to put the attacker on the ground, while you remain on your feet -- much better to escape that way. And why would you even consider rolling around on the asphalt, on broken glass, on the rocks, ON PURPOSE???), rather we work on ground moves because you just very well may find yourself someday laying on your back with a bad guy on top of you... now what? Well, a well rounded defense system has to consider ground fighting. So, it was alot of fun getting to roll a bit, get stabbed, do pushups, and all that. But the best part was when I came home and my wife had me some Chicken in Basil Sauce and butter fried asparagus, and for dessert... cheesecake with strawberries and chocolate chips on top! Yow, and mmm.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Answers, and more info than you wanted.

Oddly enough, those who commented on which fella was NOT performing Sanchin Kata, everyone picked pic #1, the guy with a Canadian flag showing in the background. The actual answer is pic #3. This pic is cropped from a larger picture which I find even more strange than the Sanchin pics. The pic is of a guy named Joseph Lee. He seems like a nice enough fella. He sends lots of prayer requests to the Covenanted Reformation Club. I end up rejecting most of the posts... not because I don't want myself or others to pray for people in Korea, but because the prayer requests always seem kind of odd to me. For example: "Please pray that the people in the United States will help the people in South Korea a lot more. They can help the people in South Korea by buying more Korean made products." Wha? In the past he's also sent in posts asking for prayer about the big screen flat panel t.v. he wants to purchase for an unsaved family. I don't know. They just don't seem to be the kinds of posts I intended for the Covenanted Reformation Club. I emailed Mr. Lee in response to his posts of this nature, but he continues to send them, and I continue to be somewhat amused by them, and by his Star Trek get up. If you're out there Mr. Lee, here's a shout out to my Korean American friend!

Now, my readers, go out and purchase a Daewoo or a Samsung!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Since it was mother's day....

I thought I'd share that my mother not only offered to return the autographed copy of the famous author Susan Wilkinson's book that she had been borrowing from us, but she also kindly offered to shove it up into a very secure location for us. Thanks Mom!
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Saturday, May 07, 2005

A Doubley Special Spring Day

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Today is a nice spring day, a nice day for a stroll in the park. But it's going to be a busy day at our place. It's our double-birthday day today. Calle and Conner are seven years old today. We're having a party which we're not really ready for. Some of the kids neighborhood friends are coming over for cake and games and that thing where you beat the fake animal with a stick until candy comes out (it was Cinco De Mayo a couple days ago, I forget the exact date though). Then, we're gonna go to a baseball game and see some fireworks. To sum it all up, more kids, yelling and screaming, making a mess, drive to a game, fireworks. Now, I ask you....


Thursday, May 05, 2005

Should I have to say it?

Today my wife had to say, "Cole, stop playing in the barbecue sauce." This caused us to look at each other and laugh about some of the things we have to say in our house. Another one: "Elisabeth, where is your diaper?" So, let's have 'em. Give us some funny things you've had to say in your house.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Spotted on a car in the parking lot...

On the one side of the rear windshield, "Jesus Christ is the Answer." On the other side of the same window, "I LOVE BINGO."

I thought to myself, "hmm...".

Monday, May 02, 2005

Sea Creatures

"Thou, even thou, art Jehovah alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee, (Nehemiah 9:6).

"Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down? Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?" (Job 41:1,2).

Our family was considering heading over to Philly to see if we can spot the whale that's been swimming up the Delaware and Schulkill rivers there, but it looks like Hélis has moved on.

Now, if we lived close enough to the Caspian Sea, I would consider heading over there for a shot at seeing the "amphibious human." I wonder what that's going to turn out to be, if anything.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

A Quote to Consider

"You would be better Christians if you were better acquainted with all that unsoundness and wretchedness of heart that is in you." ~ Christopher Love, A Treatise on Effectual Calling and Election, Sermon 3.