Thursday, May 29, 2003

"There [are] two ways to look at [The Matrix franchise] from a Christian perspective. One is that it�s retelling the story of Christ. The other way to look at it is a very violent film filled with garden-variety blasphemy that exploits people�s resonance with the Christian narrative to fool people into a story that is fundamentally atheistic."

�Glenn Yeffeth, editor of TAKING THE RED PILL: SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION IN THE MATRIX

SOURCE: Christian Science Monitor, 5/9/03

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

I totally didn't see this coming.

---------

What was the difference between Judas and Peter?

Judas took his sin and ran away from God ... and killed himself.

Peter took his sin and ran towards God ... Christ built the Church upon him.

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15When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"
"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
16Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"
He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."
17The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." 18
Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." 19Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"
20Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is going to betray you?") 21When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?"
22Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me." 23Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?"
24This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
25Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

John 21:15-25
34"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."
35But Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same."

....


40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. 41"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

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Guard against the flesh -- he will hit you where you least suspect it. *boom*
I've been excessively drowsy for the past couple of days. I can't quite put a finger on it, but its affecting my studies.

I'd just like to study thank you very much. Is that too much to ask? :-D

I have a midterm for a class that I don't understand on Monday (or quiz ... whatever you want to call it), two 10 pg. papers that my TA slaughtered due on Friday, and a program I haven't touched on Friday as well. Then the following Tuesday I have two finals and then my last one on Thursday.

Oh yeah, and we need to get a fridge, washer/dryer, internet connection, phone-line, and move in to our new place.

There is no hope in asking for sufficient grace for the next two and half weeks. There is, however, hope enough to ask for grace for today :)

Monday, May 26, 2003

Signs at the End of the Age - Matthew 24

"Because the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." Matthew 24:12

36"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[6] but only the Father. 37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
45"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is staying away a long time,' 49and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
- Matthew 24

"All over the world cell churches are thriving in Columbia, Korea, Africa, Argentina, India...did you know evangelist Reinhard Bonke has led over 8 million to Christ in the last 6 months in Africa? Did you know over 30,000 new converts are being baptized in in icy cold rivers in China daily? Did you know world wide over 1 million new Christians are coming to faith each week? Did you know all this is happening and none of this is being accredited to a super gifted Pastor, or a fancy church with cool programs and awesome power point? The end time harvest is happening all over the world, the final hour is close at hand and where are we in America? We are still stuck in entertaining christians sitting in pews every Sunday, planning our next program, etc etc..the state of the American church
reminds me more of "movie theaters" rather than NEW TESTAMENT Pentecost." - Jaeson Ma

and I post again:
"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith." Phillippians 3:7-9

Sunday, May 25, 2003

great quote from mellyberri:

y'see, i'm cookie dough. i'm not done baking. i'm not finished becoming whoever i'm gonna turn out to be. maybe i'll turn around one day and realize i'm ready; i'm cookies. and if i want someone to eat..enjoy warm, delicious, cookie me, then that's fine. but that'll be then. when i'm done.


as for me, i'm just a blob of raw, e-coli ridden, squishy, icky, pile of cookie dough at the moment. no touchy.
British preacher Alexander Maclaren once observed, "We are able to have as much of God as we want. Christ puts the key to His treasure chest in our hands and invites us to take all we desire. If someone is allowed into a bank vault, told to help himself to the money, and leaves without one cent, whose fault is it if he remains poor? And whose fault is it that Christians usually have some meager portions of the free riches of God?"

Thursday, May 22, 2003

So I've been thinking that I really need to write ... there are times when my mind fills with so much that it seriously needs an escape valve. God has been awesome no doubt (Never lose the wonder), and I've just be overwhelmed with some of the things that have been on my heart. Not so much a bad-overwhelmed; but it has left me a bit stunned.

I've been reading Rees Howell's book, "Intercessor," during my free time. Let me tell you, this book is absolutely crazy go nuts on a scale of 1 to nuts. And that's all I have to say about the book at the moment. Yes, I do realize that was nothing really. Sorry to leave y'all hanging.

I realized today that writing in pen and paper really drive me crazy. So I've decided to go digital in terms of logging my life ... web-log! In any case, I'm finding that livejournal is probably my best bet as far as managing private and public entries. Blogger can't do private entries .. which is sad ... and xanga's just fubar'ed. I'm considering coding my own ... but I'm just kidding with myself (for reals yo ... I might be a CS major ... but dude...). On a semi-random tangent ... I'm realizing that the commenting system usually only serves to massage my ego about how sorry I am about myself or how wonderful I am ... so yeah. Definitely no commenting system on the next move.

OK I'm done spewing *pfffff*

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field." Matthew 13:44

"What else you got?"
- Money
- Stereo
- TV
- House
- Vacation
- Car
- Girlfriend
- My own person

-->"Price of the field"<--

Are any of these things worth the forfeiting of the greatest treasure?

"You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men." 1 Corinthians 7:23

"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith." Phillippians 3:7-9

This is a demand for all ... do you know what that means?

Friday, May 16, 2003

So yeah ... I think I'll finish off my paper now ... its looking to be a busy weekend. But I'm looking forward to GAP night and just doing work.

Not so stressed out ... considering how much work I have ... 'tis a great thing.

I'm really REALLY tempted to write about some stuff right now .. but I must work on the paper! My roomie is up programming ... ah .. so proud ... =P

Shout outs today include: Jeff S., Chris, Mr. Mobin, future aptmates, Lee, Hugh, and the big G.
A day of answered prayer... God was really really ridiculously good today.

I was planning to paper all night last night so I wouldn't have to do so tonight. Knowing my paper challenges, I prayed that God would make so that I would be able to focus and get as much of the paper done as possible. So I got home totally stoked on the fact that this would work out. Gee, I ended up crashing at around 2 after engorging myself full of food (I hadn't eaten all day). I sent my alarm for 8 AM ... and I woke up with absolutely no problems. I papered for about 3.5 hours and I churned out almost 2 papers. Single space. Now if you know anything about the way I write papers, I've had a horrible history of taking forever to churn these babies out. Suffice to say, 2 pages single space is pretty darn miraculous.

In the middle of this, I was trying to hammer out the final details of our housing situation. The paperwork was due today .. and due to some misunderstandings, some of us didn't have all the information readily available. The owner of the place has been quite the stickler for these kinds of things, so imagine my panic when he suggested that "we wouldn't be able to move on" if the paperwork wasn't in order. I kept on hoping that he would call .. but he just didn't. In any case, we fired off eight emails or so between the both us from 8 AM to like 11 AM. I sent the last correspondence around 10ish ... but I didn't hear back from him. Talking to some of the apartmentmates didn't help, and I started to panic a bit. Thankfully, I caught myself ... and I just prayed that God's will would be done. If things fell through, they would fall through and He would provide something else ... if this deal went through as planned ... it was all Him. Either way, God gets the props on this one.

Went to class around 12:30ish. Still no response from the owner about the paperwork. But, I checked the mailbox before I went to class .. and to my great delight, I found my paperwork for the lease! Yay for mommy's and daddy's that go the extra mile. So yeah ... I tried to smile today when I walked to class. Peopel say that I'm always scowling or something when I walk around ... I guess that's my "I'm thinking really hard ... really too hard for my own good" face. In any case, tried to smile a bit. After all, God's good. :-D

Anyway, I had CSE 100. If you haven't heard yet ... the prof for this class should definitely be outlawed and banned from ever teaching again. Its not like he's a jerk (though he can be ... but so can everybody) ... but he just isn't qualified to be a teacher. I have no doubt in my mind he's a quality researcher. But for a class as critical to CSE majors like CSE 100 .. you really should have your best people on faculty doing this thing. ANYWAY ... last thursday was the simultaneous massacre of both my CSE 100 and 105 grades. I got my 105 grade earlier in the week ... which definitely wasn't as bad as expected (I performed @ the mean). But I was definitely expecting waaaay below class performance for 100. So I was definitely pretty floored and surprised when I found that I had scored about 10 points above the mean. Oh yes, and my partner (JEFF SCHUIL YOU ROCK) and I got perfect for MP2 ... so that was definitely sch-weet.

After class, I had some extended chat time with an old friend. We talked about a lot of stuff ... some happy, some not so much ... but God's sovereignty is so much more than my idiot behavior or freaking moron tendencies. :) We shall see what turns out, but God's timing is definitely better than mine's.

Afterwards, it was time to meet with the owner of our prospective townhouse ... the paperwork was processed oh-so-smoothly ... and we are not the proud renters of a 3 story townhouse that can accomodate 6 guys. Considering that at one point that this guy actually closed the negotiations on us because he didn't want to rent to us, this was definitely a miracle. There were a gazzillion mistakes on both sides of the table, but it worked out in the end. But yeah, I'm glad I decided to trust God to handle this one.

Crusade large group was tonight too ... one of the best speaker's we've had in my opinion. Perhaps I will write about it later .. but a lot of things that have been floating around in my head came together tonight. Its scary how God answers your prayers like .. immediately sometimes.

Another praise: didn't fall asleep in any of my classes. Freaking wide awake. You have no idea what kind of miracle that is. Also, Bill Simmons is freaking THE MAN. Everyone should read The Sports Guy on ESPN.com.

may your wonders never cease ....

Thursday, May 15, 2003

I've found a new 24/7 place to study and do work. *cackles*

I suppose that would be:
a) less weird if it weren't for the fact that its for studying
b) less weird if i wasn't actually studying at that place right now
c) actually be helpful if my studying, hrm ... paid off?
d) better if there was a 24/7 place to get food right next to it
e) better if i wasn't starving right now

Back to work.

Monday, May 12, 2003

I think you're amazing.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Wow. I just watched the Jason Mraz Launch Exclusive and the John Mayer Launch Exclusive.

Dang. I've been inspired or something. Both guys sing with such passion ... w00t. That's my kind of guitarist.

Oooh .. Jimmy Eat World ain't too bad live either.

I'm so hooked.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Ahh .. but there is hope!

"Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, 'My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God'?

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power fo the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint."

--Isaiah 40:26-31
Give Me Passion

Give Me Passion
by Dana Ryan

�Ah cherie,� Jacqueline whispered as she held my face in her soft, wrinkled hands, �ne t�en soucies pas.�

Her gentle French phrase of comfort, meant to alleviate the grief I felt over my lack of passion for Christ, squeezed tears from my eyes instead. I couldn�t simply �not worry,� especially when living beside her intense, convicting zeal. At the end of my student teaching experience I found myself envying my hostess, a 70-year-old, extremely poor, Christian woman named Jacqueline. I envied her for her joy, her overflowing love, and for the way her eyes lit up or filled up when talking about God. She didn�t simply regurgitate biblical stories, facts and Christian lingo. She knew Him.

Returning to the United States, my apathy continued to haunt me, a condition made painfully clear in contrast to the memory of Jacqueline�s fervor. I wanted to love God on more than a purely cerebral and factual basis. I knew who God was, that His Son died for me and that I would spend eternity with Him, but I felt detached. I knew that if someone asked me who God really was, I would only recite dusty Sunday School mantras and prescribed axioms. My heart and mind remained disconnected and I longed to unite them. But how could I ever come to truly know and love someone I couldn�t see? Was it possible?

I never asked Jacqueline how she developed such a close and intimate relationship with Christ, but I figured it was probably like any other relationship: I needed to spend time with God in order to know Him. That made sense, but I still struggled with knowing how to pursue an invisible being. It was so much easier to �hang out� with tangible people who talked back to me when I talked to them or who hugged me when I was discouraged. So I felt quite silly when I first started talking out loud to God, my words echoing off the walls of my apartment before dissolving into the carpet.

My quest continued and each time I read the Bible and prayed, I waited for the stirring, the supernatural zap that would send me into throes of passion for the Lord. Instead, I struggled each day with different excuses to not read my Bible and pray. There were many reasons to forego my time in the Word, though none of them valid. It felt an awful lot like hard work and discipline to develop a relationship. It was. But slowly, eventually, a change came over me.

True, I still could not physically �see� God, but it felt as though previously closed �spiritual eyes� opened. As I read God�s Word and spoke out loud to Him, the Holy Spirit ministered by revealing God�s presence to me. I felt Him in my apartment � not in a tangible way, but in a way that connected to my soul, to the innermost part of me. By fulfilling the desperate longings of my soul, those longings felt when staring into a starry sky, God romanced me into an intimacy I never imagined. It went beyond fickle emotions and feelings, delving to a depth that made my breath catch.

Recently I�ve heard Christians lamenting the fact they don�t have this breathtaking intimacy with Christ. I identify with their angst, but in some cases I�m not concerned by it too. Unfortunately, I see many Christians who bemoan their apathy and then continue to wallow in it. It�s like an overweight person who claims to want to lose weight, but keeps ingesting boxes of Twinkies. Good intentions don�t count for much if we let bad habits and poor decisions rule us.

Some people may wonder why developing a closer relationship with Christ is akin to losing weight, when losing weight can be so difficult. After all, when the flowers of romance freshly bud, it doesn�t feel like hard work to spend time with and get to know the object of your affections (though of course the work part comes along sooner or later). Why would pursuing a relationship with Christ be any different? Precisely because we humans want to be able to touch, to hear, and to see everything we interact with. Anything beyond the scope of our five senses remains abstract, seemingly unreal � or at least less real. It takes a lot of perseverance to pursue a relationship with Someone outside the realm of our five senses � day in, day out, all your life.

The problem with perseverance is that it�s out of date. Society preaches that anything difficult may simply be abandoned for something easier because �you deserve it.� I remember drifting around in my apartment sometimes, attempting to avoid the insistent urging of the Bible still sitting untouched on my couch. I wanted to know God and I knew that meant spending time with Him, but sometimes other activities held more appeal. Too many times I pushed God further down on my agenda, finally cracking open my Bible when I�d already reached that semi-comatose state. By then, blurred words simply flitted past my drooping eyes. On a few occasions, however, I reluctantly turned down offers to hang out with friends since I still hadn�t met with God. Each time I found myself richly rewarded and wondered why my accursed human nature always tried to keep me from the one thing I needed.

I still haven�t arrived at a point where spending time in the Word is always first on my list of desires. It might be first on my list of priorities, but the lists of desires and priorities don�t always match up. Our sin natures and the devil won�t allow us to follow Christ�s footsteps easily. It takes a firm, long-term commitment to put God first and to make time for Him, but it�s a commitment you�ll never regret. When He captivates your heart, you�ll know exactly why.

Friday, May 02, 2003

I think I always mention in a almost cursory way ... that I recognize that I can do nothing on my own,. Not so much in a way which is self-critical ... but an honest assessment of my capabilities. The thing with pride is that its such a tricky thing. You try to be humble, but the minute you recognize that you've been trying, you become prideful of your humility. Moreover, its so easy to justify pride in the immediate sense and difficult to detect in retrospect.

I've always prided myself in being a good listener. Those of you who I talk to on a regular basis know that that's a blatant lie and that I'm really a narcissist and selfish most of the time. :) So yeah, I have no idea why I "always" have "prided" myself in being a good listener, because I'm pretty sure I suck at it. In any case, I've become aware recently that I tend to interrupt quite often, and even more often I've found myself instantly offering advice or help to others. Now interrupting is bad enough as it is, its just plain rude .. and it disrespects the speaker. I am inclined to attribute my problem-solving tendencies to my computer science tendencies ... but we all know that's a load of crap (at least, a lot of it :)) ... but sheesh, I wonder why I am so quick to suggestion a solution to a problem or offer advice. People certainly haven't asked me for it ... more times than not, when I hear someone else's problem .. the last thing they're looking for is advice and quick-fix solution, they just want someone to listen (at least, that's what it seems like everytime I've foolishly attempted to play Dr. I-Know-What's-Wrong-And-Let-Me-Tell-You-Why). Moreover, what makes me think that I know the solution?

There have been times when people have been going through similar situations as I have .. and in light of a resolution which has been working for me, I think it'll automatically work for them. It's definitely not computer science, where modular solutions are called modular for a reason. Solutions to life's problems certainly aren't modular, you'd be hardpressed to find a one-size-fits all solution. Why I think computer science applies to life is completely beyond me. Oh yes, I know why. My pride. :-D

Yeah, to everyone who's gotten irritated at me jumping to conclusions ... I apologize, God's working on it =P I'm learning what it means to keep my mouth shut. I suspect that part of it means that both lips are together in a sealed fashion. :) More seriously though, I think it means focusing on what is being said and not what I want to say ... that is what it means to be a listener right?
Dude ... crazy answer to prayer.

7 pages single spaced. o_0