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Free Books

Sunday, April 29, 2007

EISENBRAUNS, which specializes on ancient Near East and Biblical studies, has been offering a free book to the first 25 people who responded by sending an email to their marketing department.

I read about this over at Jason Button's blog (Theosource), but thought I was probably too late by the time I saw it. However, I visited the site and decided to give it a try - and I received my book in yesterday's mail.

You have no control over the book that you will receive and the material is not always conservative, but I received a book that I am looking forward to reading entitled, The Uttermost Part of the Earth: A Guide to Places in the Bible by Richard R. Losch.

The book came quickly and as advertised and even the shipping was free.

The note that Jason posted that alerted me to this said,

Yes, this is real, not a late April Fools joke. To win your free book, be one of the first 25 to send an e-mail to marketing at with your name and address. These are new, recently published books, we choose from over 25 titles and we pay the freight!"
I looked for the quote on the site and could not find it except in an RSS feed, but when I sent an email, I got a positive response and now I have a free book.

So, stop over at and look around and see if you can get a free book.

Just my thoughts,


Simple Church book review posted on Sharper Iron

Friday, April 27, 2007

As I mentioned two posts ago, my review of the book Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger was soon to be published on Sharper Iron. Well, it has now been published.

You can find the review here.

Feel free to comment there or here.

I will also be publishing it here at a later date.

Just my thoughts,


A Question about a Gospel Presentation

Monday, April 23, 2007

Here is a practical and theological question for you:

If you needed to distill the Gospel down to something that would fit into a 2 x 3.5 inch space on a piece of paper (such as a brochure), what would you include and why? This space would allow you to write "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country" 12 times without any formatting, so we are dealing with a very limited space.

I am the type of person who generally spends at least a half of an hour with explaining the Gospel when I deal with a person who expresses interests in salvation, so this "distilling" is a little difficult for me and I would like to enlist the wisdom of other believers.

What aspects of the Gospel would you include?

What verses would you include?

Would you write the points in your words and include references or would you have less points and quote the verses that you did use instead?

A couple of things to clarify as we begin:

1. If you choose to actually include the whole thing you would place in such a space, please do so - warning, if I like enough, I might steal it.

2. If you want to indicate which elements that you think are essential or at least most important to include in this type of situation, please do so. Feel free to even argue about why you think they are most important or necessary. However, once you have made your point and/or counterpoint, let's not take the thread down long rabbit trails.

3. In your comments - and in your responses to other people's comments - please remember that no one is claiming that things not included are not important, we are trying to work with a limited situation.

I would love to hear your thoughts,


Hello, again

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I know it has been awhile since I last posted, but I plan on doing better.

As most of my regular readers know, I started a new part-time job a few weeks ago. This has made things a little bit busy and it has taken me a little bit of make some adjustments.

With the second job, blogging has been put a little further back on the back burner (okay, it was temporarily taken off the stove). I have actually written some things over the last few weeks, but they are on my notebook and my PDA (I wrote part of what will become a post while on lunch break at WM) and I have not been opening up my notebook where I have internet access as much. I also have generally blogged at night, but since I am at other places at night ... well. You understand.

Anyway, I am planning on adding a couple of posts over the next few days. On one of them, in particular, I would really like to have some input.

I also have finished reading and writing a review of Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger's book entitled Simple Church. This review will be posted on SI soon and then after that I will be posting it here and on The FFBC Blog. I am also in the process of reading and writing two other reviews for SI (This Little Church Stayed Home and When You Pray: Making the Lord's Prayer Your Own) and may be writing a couple of reviews for A Thinking Man's Thoughts on some secular books that I have read lately.

I have also been in the process of researching and trying to develop an additional income stream or two to be able to focus more on the things at the church without working a regular secular job. If anyone actually has some really good ideas, let me know (I hope this is not soliciting a lot of spam :) ).

Anyway, this is just to update things while I had a minute. An actual real post should be coming by Monday night (or maybe Tuesday).

Just my thoughts,


Oops, I never did this officially, yet

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Our 2007 Thinking Man's Tourney Time winner for the 2007 NCAA Men's National Basketball Tournament was Brother Sam Knisely from Pennsylvania.

Second place went to Brother Ron Bean from Virginia.

I finished in third place, with Brian Morris and Andy Rupert rounding out the top five.

Congratulations Sam and Ron for a job well-done.

Just my thoughts,


Fraudulent News by Oliver North

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I know this article is a few weeks old. I read it awhile ago and meant to highlight it, but did not get around to it at the time.

Mr. North has written an excellent piece on the current state of American journalism and argues that "fraudulent news is not only bad for morals, the environment and morale, it can also be disheartening and sometimes downright deadly."

In the article he hits on a number of "hot-button" issues - from global warming to terrorism to Muslim extremism to the "lost tomb of Jesus." It is a short article, but worth the read - even if I am a little late in putting it up here.

So, take a couple of minutes and read "Fraudalent News" by Oliver North.

Just my thoughts,


Maryland Passes Stupid Bill

I don't generally make a lot of posts regarding politics, but this one needs some comments.

Earlier today, the Maryland House of Delegates approved a bill that makes Maryland even more irrelevant in the area of Presidential politics. Our local paper, The Daily Times, writes about the bill in this article - Maryland poised to be first to approve Electoral College change.

Maryland is setting itself up so that the voice of the citizens of Maryland are irrelevant when it comes to the election of the President of the United States. The bill awards Maryland's electoral votes (currently 10) to the winner of the national popular vote. This is just plain STUPID!

Think of some of the effects of this bill.

1. It ignores the choices of Maryland voters. Maryland voters could vote overwhelmingly - even unanimously - for a particular candidate, yet the state's electoral votes would go for that person's opponent if the opponent won the national popular vote.

2. It makes Maryland even more of an afterthought in campaigns. Maryland has 10 electoral votes. This places Maryland in a tie for 18th most electoral votes. Not exactly anything to brag about, but nothing to sneeze at either. This bill tells Presidential candidates that they can skip Maryland except for fundraisers - after all, why worry about the votes in Maryland when you can mine for extra votes in a more populous state? You get twice the bang for your buck - you campaign in an effort to win that states electoral votes and you get Maryland's thrown in with them.

3. It specifically goes against the concepts that the framers of the constitution tried to use when they set up the electoral college in the first place. This was set up as a protection for the "smaller states," but now a smaller state is advocating getting rid of it. Go figure!

Now, Maryland's law still needs to be signed by the Governor - he is expected to sign it - and a number of other states need to pass similar laws before Maryland's law would take effect. Here's hoping that there are not that many other stupid states.

Just my thoughts,


All is lost - oh, not really

Monday, April 02, 2007

If you have been following the posts on The Thinking Man's Tourney Time, you know by now that Sam Knisely has nicely moved in to the lead of our little NCAA Men's Basketball Bracket Challenge for 2007.

With the loss by UCLA (did they even show up or is Florida actually that good?) to the Gators, Brother Knisely moved into first place in our tournament and Brother Ron Bean moved into a second place tie with me. Both of them have chosen Florida to win it all, so Sam will win the overall title, while Ron has a chance to move into second place. Of course, I am rooting for Ohio State tonight, although I don't really care either way.

The good side of having my teams all gone is that I don't find myself like I did on Saturday - wanting to root for Ohio State, but feeling obligated to root for Georgetown because it would help my bracket more (by not giving Sam and Ron the points for an OSU win).

So, without further delay, the current standings going into tonight's NCAA Men's Basketball Championship are as follows.

1. Sam Knisely - 219 points (47 correct)
2. (tie) - Ron Bean - 216 points (46 correct)
2. (tie) - Frank Sansone -216 points (42 correct)
4. Brian Morris - 207 points (41 correct)
5. Andy Rupert - 199 points (43 correct)

Sam, Ron, Brian, Andy, and John Kjaer (who is in 7th place) can all add to their point totals tonight. Sam, Ron & Brian have Florida winning it all and Andy and John have Ohio State University winning it all.

On a related note, a certain blogging Pastor friend of mine is gloating over the alleged fact that he had picked all four Final Four teams and selected the correct two teams to advance to the championship (you can read Chris' comments at

I would make two quick comments regarding this post by Chris:

1. Based on his previous comments on my blog at this post, my calculations would indicate that Chris has at best 43 correct picks with a chance for 44 tonight. While that is nice and it beats my 42 correct picks, it doesn't stack up to our Thinking Man's Tourney Time. Even Andy Rupert (who is in 5th place in our Tournament) has the same amount of wins as Chris - and has also picked OSU, so Chris cannot pass him even if OSU wins. Beyond that, Ron Bean (who is currently tied for second) has 46 wins already and Sam Knisely has 47 wins aleady. Both of them also have OSU vs. Florida in tonight's game, but both have Florida winning over Ohio State.

2. I think Chris needs to re-read, this post - or at least the book upon which the post is based :).

Just my thoughts,