Friday, September 30, 2005

Something on what it's like to be me.

Today I asked a co-worker to bring me some coffee from the cafeteria. A rather mundane event, sure. But whenever I send a co-worker for coffee, and he or she hands it to me, I have this thing run through my head where I think it would be funny if I took a sip of the coffee, forcefully spit it out so it sprays everywhere, throw the cup across the room, and yell, "YOU FOOL! YOU CALL THIS COFFEE??!!" So far, I've not done this, but I am tempted.

How Silly Traditions Begin

OF THE TIMES OF THE BIRTH AND PASSION OF CHRIST.

THE times of the Birth and Passion of Christ, with such like niceties, being not material to religion, were little regarded by the Christians of the first age. They who began first to celebrate them, placed them in the cardinal periods of the year; as the annunciation of the Virgin Mary, on the 25th of March, which when Julius Caesar corrected the Calendar was the vernal Equinox; the feast of John Baptist on the 24th of June, which was the summer Solstice; the feast of St. Michael on Sept. 29, which was the autumnal Equinox; and the birth of Christ on the winter Solstice, Decemb. 25, which the feasts of St. Stephen, St. John and the Innocents, as near it as they could place them. And because the Solstice in time removed from the 25th of December to the 24th, the 23d, the 22d, and so on backwards, hence some in the following centuries placed the birth of Christ on Decemb. 23, and at length on Decemb. 20: and for the same reason they seem to have set the feast of St. Thomas on Decemb. 21, and that of St. Matthew on Sept 21. So also at the entrance of the Sun into all the signs in the Julian Calendar, they placed the days of other Saints; as the conversion of Paul on Jan. 25, when the Sun entered Aquarius; St. Matthias on Feb. 25, when he entered Pisces; St. Mark on Apr. 25, when he entered Taurus; Corpus Christi on May 26, when he entered Gemini; St. James on July 25, when he entered Cancer; St. Bartholomew on Aug. 24, when he entered Virgo; Simon and Jude on Octob. 28, when he entered Scorpius: and if there were any other remarkable days in the Julian Calendar, they placed the Saints upon them, as St. Barnabas on June 1, where Ovid seems to place the feast of Vesta and Fortuna, and the goddess Matuta; and St. Philip and James on the first of May, a day dedicated both to the Bona Dea, or Magna Mater, and to the goddess Flora, and still celebrated with her rites. All which shows that these days were fixed in the first Christian Calendars by Mathematicians at pleasure, without any ground in tradition; and that the Christians afterwards took up with what they found in the Calendars.

~Sir Isaac Newton, Observations on Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John, Ch. 11.

Some Dylan for My Loved One

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all come down and did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain't no good
You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain't it hard when you discover that
He really wasn't where it's at
After he took from you everything he could steal.

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Awful Quote of the Day

When she told me, "We never wanted to have kids. Then we made the big mistake of having a child, and we don't want any more children. I told [my child] to never, ever, ever, have children, you will regret it," I briefly considered the concept of parental abortion -- a child's right to choose, ya know. But after I chased that idea from my head, I just felt sad for a kid to have to hear such horrible and monstrous nonsense.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Ghosts

Ghosts in Scotland.

I guess I didn't realize that those dust particles that reflect the light back from your camera flash are ghosts. They're supposedly called "orbs."

There was an awful lot of such "ghosts" at the Covenanter Meeting House:
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Monday, September 26, 2005

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Stubborn Defense of the Gospel.

And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Now the true Gospel has it that we are justified by faith alone, without the deeds of the Law. The false gospel has it that we are justified by faith, but not without the deeds of the Law. The false apostles preached a conditional gospel. So do the papists. They admit that faith is the foundation of salvation. But they add the conditional clause that faith can save only when it is furnished with good works. This is wrong. The true Gospel declares that good works are the embellishment of faith, but that faith itself is the gift and work of God in our hearts. Faith is able to justify, because it apprehends Christ, the Redeemer.

Human reason can think only in terms of the Law. It mumbles: "This I have done, this I have not done." But faith looks to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, given into death for the sins of the whole world. To turn one's eyes away from Jesus means to turn them to the Law.

True faith lays hold of Christ and leans on Him alone. Our opponents cannot understand this. In their blindness they cast away the precious pearl, Christ, and hang onto their stubborn works. They have no idea what faith is. How can they teach faith to others?

Not satisfied with teaching an untrue gospel, the false apostles tried to entangle Paul. "They went about," says Paul, "to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage." When Paul saw through their scheme, he attacked the false apostles. He says, "We did not let go of the liberty which we have in Christ Jesus. We routed them by the judgment of the apostles, and we would not give in to them, no, not an inch."

We too were willing to make all kinds of concessions to the papists. Yes, we are willing to offer them more than we should. But we will not give up the liberty of conscience which we have in Christ Jesus. We refuse to have our conscience bound by any work or law, so that by doing this or that we should be righteous, or leaving this or that undone we should be damned.

Since our opponents will not let it stand that only faith in Christ justifies, we will not yield to them. On the question of justification we must remain adamant, or else we shall lose the truth of the Gospel. It is a matter of life and death. It involves the death of the Son of God, who died for the sins of the world. If we surrender faith in Christ, as the only thing that can justify us, the death and resurrection of Jesus are without meaning; that Christ is the Savior of the world would be a myth. God would be a liar, because He would not have fulfilled His promises. Our stubbornness is right, because we want to preserve the liberty which we have in Christ. Only by preserving our liberty shall we be able to retain the truth of the Gospel inviolate.

Some will object that the Law is divine and holy. Let it be divine and holy. The Law has no right to tell me that I must be justified by it. The Law has the right to tell me that I should love God and my neighbor, that I should live in chastity, temperance, patience, etc. The Law has no right to tell me how I may be delivered from sin, death, and hell. It is the Gospel's business to tell me that. I must listen to the Gospel. It tells me, not what I must do, but what Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has done for me.
~Dr. Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 2:4,5.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Lay Down Your Weary Tune

This Bob Dylan song's been running thru my head:

Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

The ocean wild like an organ played,
The seaweed's wove its strands.
The crashin' waves like cymbals clashed
Against the rocks and sands.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

I stood unwound beneath the skies
And clouds unbound by laws.
The cryin' rain like a trumpet sang
And asked for no applause.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

The last of leaves fell from the trees
And clung to a new love's breast.
The branches bare like a banjo played
To the winds that listened best.

I gazed down in the river's mirror
And watched its winding strum.
The water smooth ran like a hymn
And like a harp did hum.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.


Copyright © 1964; renewed 1992 Special Rider Music

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Failure

Ok, I thought this was kinda funny. Go to Google, type the word "failure" in the search box, and hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button. Chuckle to yourself, and then get on with your life.

In other news: I got my head rattled. I mentioned earlier that I had a cold with some stiffness/soreness in my muscles. Well, the cold part went away, but the stiffness is hanging around. Yesterday I woke up with an awfully stiff neck. It hurt all day. After a heating pad and a good night's sleep, it loosened up significantly, though not perfectly. So here I am at Karate class, holding a bag for my partner, who happens to be one of the instructors, very strong, very fast. And I do believe he kicked that bag I was holding so hard, that I got whiplash... twice over. I felt like I might pass out. But I didn't. Later in the class... sparring, during which I promptly took a shot right in the kisser. I feel like I got clocked. I feel a little slow, and like I lost some IQ points tonight. I was wondering if I was concussed at one point, but I feel a little better now. I know it's Tuesday, and my name is Jerry. So that's a plus.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Devil's Kind of Christian.

I crucified Christ daily in my cloistered life, and blasphemed God by my wrong faith. Outwardly I kept myself chaste, poor, and obedient. I was much given to fasting, watching, praying, saying of masses, and the like. Yet under the cloak of my outward respectability I continually mistrusted, doubted, feared, hated, and blasphemed God. My righteousness was a filthy puddle. Satan loves such saints. They are his darlings, for they quickly destroy their body and soul by depriving them of the blessings of God's generous gifts. I tell you I stood in awe of the pope's authority. To dissent from him I considered a crime worthy of eternal death. I thought of John Huss as a cursed heretic. I counted it a sin even to think of him. I would gladly have furnished the wood to burn him. I would have felt I had done God a real service.

In comparison with these sanctimonious hypocrites of the papacy, publicans and harlots are not bad. They at least feel remorse. They at least do not try to justify their wicked deeds. But these pretended saints, so far from acknowledging their errors, justify them and regard them as acceptable sacrifices unto God.
~Dr. Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 1:15,16, 17.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Haircut

He's "the super fastest Storm-runner," and he has a new haircut:
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Oh, yeah... he has the typical Waybright face rug-burn too.

In other news: I got a cold or something. Missed Karate class tonight. Feel like a wimp. I debated going anyway, to see if I can just work out the kinks in my muscles (which are really sore and achey), but I think it was the last class that helped exacerbate my condition. So, I'm sitting at home thinking about the big "Operation Extract Drunken Loved One from the Crack House" excursion that me and my brother are planning for this weekend. Fun! Hopefully there won't be a hitch, but there is potential for some bad things, so some prayer for our safety would be nice.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Floods

Speaking of floods, Pennsylvania has had a couple of memorable ones. The Johnstown Flood, up until recent events, was maybe the worst flood disaster in U.S. history, and a kind of strange tale. The rich folks in the hills built a dam, thus making a nice lake for their resort town. The dam broke, and the water flooded down into Johnstown, a working class steel town in western Pennsylvania. The account of that flood is too familiar to stuff on the news today. There's a video documentary of it if you're into that sort of thing.

And then of course there was Agnus. Agnus hit in 1972, and unpredictably just sat over the northeastern states in a holding pattern, dumping something like 12 inches of water all over Pennyslvania in a 24 hour period. My hometown was flooded, everything around the Susquehanna River were flooded, camping grounds in the mountains were flooded. Agnus was "the big one" in Pennsylvania.

Anyway, I was just thinking about this flood stuff while I was eating dinner.

When the Levee Breaks
If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break,
If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break,
When the levee breaks I’ll have no place to stay.
Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan,
Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan,
Got what it takes to make a mountain man leave his home,
Oh, well, oh, well, oh, well.
....
All last night sat on the levee and moaned,
All last night sat on the levee and moaned,
Thinkin’ ’bout me baby and my happy home.

Conspiracy?

I think the government had prior knowledge of the hurricane.

3D Ultrasound

Looks like his dad, ain't?



"Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews." -- Job 10:10, 11.


Psalm 139

12 Yea, darkness hideth not from thee,
but night doth shine as day:
To thee the darkness and the light
are both alike alway.

13 For thou possessed hast my reins,
and thou hast covered me,
When I within my mother's womb
enclos├Ęd was by thee.

14 Thee will I praise; for fearfully
and strangely made I am;
Thy works are marv'llous, and right well
my soul doth know the same.

15 My substance was not hid from thee,
when as in secret I
Was made; and in earth's lowest parts
was wrought most curiously.

16 Thine eyes my substance did behold,
yet being unperfect;
And in the volume of thy book
my members all were writ;

Which after in continuance
were fashioned ev'ry one,
When as they yet all shapeless were,
and of them there was none.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Hmmm...

I'm sipping my Vermouth and Bourbon, wondering why everyone's going with "Hmmm" as the title of their blog entry today. As I mentioned, we took a little trip over the weekend. We went down to see my dad again, who lives in a cool house in the mountains in Virginia. Daniel calls him "Happy Pappy Mountain Man." On Saturday, we drove along part of Skyline Drive, which was really cool. Pictures don't really do it justice, but here's the boys overlooking the Shenandoah Valley:
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And the girls:
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We stopped in at the visitors' center, where they had some stuff to buy, a short film about the Valley, and an exhibit about the wildlife in the area.

"Lookit dat cute bear, dad!"
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There were some places to go hiking off of Skyline Drive, some places had waterfalls and stuff. Next time we go, we may plan to do some hiking. This time we were just scoping the place out.
We spent the Lord's Day with my dad, which was kinda nice. I guess that's about it for the trip. I mean, there's other stuff, but I don't wanna bore anyone or anything. Oh, one more thing. These same four deer came by my dad's place, every day, looking up towards the porch asking us to throw apples at them, so we did:
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In other news: This refridgerator we just got, it keeps breaking. I mean everything about it keeps breaking. The ice-maker, dead. Water was shooting out the front spontaneously, so we shut off the water. The control panel in the front shorted out. Not cold enough in the fridge. Today I noticed the door handle got cracked somehow. I hate this fridge and it makes me angry. Not as angry as my kitchen floor makes me (I TOLD YOU NOT TO ASK).

Tonight we ate grilled pizza, made with the recipe Mrs. K gave us, and while I was eating it I was reminded that I love my Christian friends and should be around them more.

Before we at grilled pizza, I went to karate class where a large man named Glenn beat me up good. Glenn's a physician, but all he did was cause me pain tonight. It was fun though, and what hurts today will be stronger tomorrow.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Sweet Vermouth

We just got back from a weekend trip. I plan on posting about it later, but for now, as I sip my sweet vermouth, I want everyone to know that extra-dry vermouth is a hundred times better.