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Now THIS is cool

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The price tag is kind of prohibitive for most of us (about $97,500 + the cost of the printer), but the Espresso Book Machine is a pretty cool piece of equipment.



I know that you can get a lot of stuff electronically, but, if cost were no object, wouldn't it be cool to print off whatever old book you wanted to print off that you can only find through Google Books.

Also, wouldn't it be nice to be able to print off any book you happen to write in a matter of minutes.

Oh, well. Not gonna happen.

(BTW, this is the first time I have ever embedded a YouTube video on this site, so I am not sure how it will look. Also, please be aware that when you click on an embedded YouTube video you will be taken to the actual spot at YouTube and that YouTube does not police its comments and the comments are therefore often vulgar and offensive.)

Anyway, just my thoughts.

Frank

HT: Lincoln Mullin who also writes (with Paul Matzko) at Religion in America.

Don't you hate it when ...

(Oops, I did not realize that this got buried behind a number of other posts. Also, note it was [mostly] written before the more recent post that I mention.)

Don't you hate it when... you write an anti-Fundy post that seeks to paint a Fundamentalist Bible college as hypocritical only to have commentators show up and point out that in the one small paragraph of your post you have 1) misrepresented the school's involvement in the one conference as well as 2) misrepresented the school's reaction to the other conference.

Then to top it off, you reveal in the comments that you do not even understand why there is and ought to be a different reaction to the two events.

Our internet friend, Ben, over at Paleoevangelical had that happen to him recently (not sure he realizes it, though) :).

Pretty impressive, Ben.

I tend to like Ben. He has some legitimate concerns at times - including some of the questions he raises in his most recent post, but this post is the type of post that HE would attack if a Fundamentalist made such a post regarding one of the current CE "bigwigs."

Notice this post

You Might Be a Fundamentalist If . . .

. . . you think it's a good idea for a fundamentalist college to send students to an Americans for Prosperity "Defending the American Dream Conference" to "share their faith" by singing the "National Anthem" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," but a bad idea for a fundamentalist college to give its students permission to attend Together for the Gospel.


As you read the comments, you find out:

1) He has misrepresented the school's involvement in the first conference.

Thankfully, someone who actually knew the situation being mentioned happened to read Ben's blog as well. Consider these comments from Dave Marriot (who, based on the context of other comments, I assume is the son of the President of Maranatha Baptist Bible College):

Ben, perhaps you have mistakenly twisted what the newsletter says?

I quote:
The Third Annual Defending the American Dream Summit will be March 12-13 at Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells. A men's chorus from Maranatha will open Saturday's session by singing the National Anthem as well as The Battle Hymn of the Republic. This is a unique opportunity for us to share our faith and showcase our college to thousands of politically and economically conservative people who might consider supporting an educational institution that promotes those ideals. Please pray that our men will have a powerful testimony there."

Your article says, "to share their faith by singing the National Anthem..." which makes it sound like the content of the faith is the same as the content of the Anthem or Battle Hymn. The singing of these songs at this event will allow the students an opportunity to be there at all, and thus share their faith with those there and in the organization. I have been to events like this where I was seated next to seemingly powerful people, and have had opportunity to open my mouth boldly and make known the gospel.


As to the charge that Ben misrepresents the school's reaction to the second conference, notice these comments from Jeremy in the same thread.

"It is important to point out that Maranatha has not prohibited attendance at T4G."



As I read through the comments and see Ben's attempt to explain himself, he makes the following statement which seems to be the key to his case:

"Fundamentalists raise the issue of conservative evangelicals and separation and point out that their relationships and alliances can create confusion over the gospel. That knife cuts both ways."


Ben's point is true. Relationship and alliance can create confusion over the gospel - and that applies whether the one with the questionable relationships and alliances is a Fundamentalist or a Conservative Evangelical. All of us ought to be careful in regards to the message that our alliances and relationships. Just having on one label or another does not make us automatically right or automatically wrong in this area.

The problem, however, is that Ben seems to fail to realize that their OUGHT to be a difference in regards to the response to these two types of events. (I am moving out to general principles here rather than necessarily the specific cases.)

The key thing that Ben seems to be missing in this post is that the nature of an alliance makes a huge difference. All of us have various forms of alliances with others - as John Donne wrote, "No man is an island." The issue is not whether every alliance I have is completely void of anyone with whom I have legitimate - and even profound - disagreement with, but what is the nature of that alliance.

If Ben is in a home owner's association with a Catholic Priest and a Muslim Cleric, I don't think anyone would raise an alarm - because the nature of the association is such that it is secular by nature and deals with this specific area of life - their roles as homeowners. The same thing could be said in regards to a membership in AAA, an Eagles Fan Club, or a political party or event - in each case, the area of association is clearly secular in nature. This does not mean that our Christianity is a mute point in those circumstances, but that we are not promoting those things as a Christian or spiritual activity. We are not indicating that the fellow associational members are co-belligerents for the cause of Christ.

However, when one is involved in a conference or activity that is promoted as spiritual or religious in nature, the presence of one who attempts to proclaim the true Gospel alongside of those who reject or twist the true Gospel is a serious concern. In these cases, the one that is right on the Gospel is providing spiritual ground cover for those who corrupt the Gospel. (This is why I have a bigger concern about the more recent conference that Ben has highlighted.)

By the way, this is also why Albert Mohler's recent involvement with the Manhattan Declaration has raised some eyebrows - and not just among Fundamentalists. The religious wording of the Manhattan Declaration makes it clear that this is not just political, but religious.

(BTW, I find it a little odd that apparently Dr. Mohler sometimes "gets it" - at least somewhat - in this area - consider this post, where he states:
I cannot participate in any setting that would confuse the Gospel or the nature of the true Gospel church.

but then he signs The Manhattan Declaration and in doing so violates completely the sentence above.)

Just my thoughts,

Frank

The Final Four - but no final scores

This year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament continued its weird ways over the last few days as little Butler has made it to the Final Four and Michigan State defeated Tennessee in an exciting game.

Duke ends up being the only 1 seed remaining and the championship game is guaranteed to feature a 5 seed (as 5 seed Butler plays 5 seed Michigan State for the right to make the championship game). (The last time a 5 seed made the final was in 2000 when Indiana made the Final game.)

If Michigan State or Butler wins it all, they will be the lowest seed to win the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship since 1988 when Kansas (6th seed) beat Oklahoma.

As far as The Thinking Man's Tourney goes, we have a winner who is guaranteed, but some of the other spots are still up in the air.

Sarah Nething will be a winner.

Don Johnson currently sits in 2nd place, but Andy Rupert could move into second place with a Duke win over WV.

So, here are our current standings.

1. Sarah Nething 190 points - 36 correct
2. Don Johnson 179 points - 36 correct
3. Ron Bean 178 points - 37 correct
4. Andy Rupert 174 points - 36 correct
5. Jon Knisely 169 points - 35 correct
6. Matt Jury 160 points - 35 correct
7. Frank Sansone 139 points - 31 correct
8. Andy Efting 119 points - 25 correct

Just my thoughts,

Frank

We are down to the Elite Eight

Saturday, March 27, 2010

This has been one of the craziest NCAA Basketball Tournaments that I can ever recall, although some things seem to have returned to normal after this latest round. Depending on how the next round of games turn out, we could have a fairly normal looking Final Four (Kentucky, Duke, Kansas Sate, Michigan State) after a tournament that has been anything but normal.

The game last night between Xavier and Kansas State was incredible. I did not start watching the game until the final quarter of regulation, but it was an incredible ending of regulation and the first overtime. I was rooting for Xavier, but it was a great game anyway. I wonder if Xavier's coach would have been better off not calling the timeout that allowed Kelley to get back on the floor, but it was an exciting game.

I would have loved to see more of the Northern Iowa game, but the local channel only showed the last minute or so of it - by the time it was basically over.

Our Thinking Man's Tournament is nearing the end. Sarah Nething has a pretty decent lead after the first three rounds, although she can mathematically still be caught. If I am accurate in my understanding, Mr. Bean needs Kentucky to win it all and Duke and Kansas State to make it to the Final Four in order to win it all. (Doing so would give him at total of 202 points and Sarah a total of 201, wow!) Other than that scenario, Sarah will win it all.

Here is our standings after the Sweet Sixteen.

1. Sarah Nething (190 points, 36 correct games)
2. Don Johnson (174 points, 35 correct games)
3. Ron Bean (173 points, 36 correct games)
4. Jon Knisely (169 points, 35 correct games)
5. Andy Rupert (163 points, 34 correct games)
6. Matt Jury (155 points, 34 correct games)
7. Frank Sansone (134 points, 30 correct games)
8. Andy Efting (119 points, 25 correct games)

Many of the players have four of the final eight teams - mostly the same four (Kentucky, West Virginia, Duke & Kansas State). Don Johnson (the Canadian non-basketball fan) has five of the final eight including two of the lower seeds still alive (Michigan State, Baylor, Kansas State, Duke, and Kentucky)

Poor Andy E. If you looked at his Elite Eight before the tournament started, you would have expected more of them to have survived (Kansas, Ohio State, Syracuse, Pitt, Villanova, New Mexico, Kentucky). His bracket only includes one long-shot in the elite eight (Texas A&M - a 5 seed), yet he only has 1 of his Elite Eight teams remaining.

Anyway, we'll see tomorrow if we have a final winner or not.

Just my thoughts,

Frank

O Love Divine, What Hast Thou Done!

Friday, March 26, 2010

I came across this old hymn by Charles Wesley recently that I don't recall having ever heard or read before. (I found it an online hymn site called HymnSite.com and subsequently found it at the cyberhymnal (it would be nice if they ever get the Cyber Hymnal back up to a good and functioning format again.)

Anyway, take a moment to consider the words:


1. O Love divine, what has thou done!
The immortal God hath died for me!
The Father's coeternal Son
bore all my sins upon the tree.
Th' immortal God for me hath died:
My Lord, my Love, is crucified!

2. Is crucified for me and you,
to bring us rebels back to God.
Believe, believe the record true,
ye all are bought with Jesus' blood.
Pardon for all flows from his side:
My Lord, my Love, is crucified!

3. Behold him, all ye that pass by,
the bleeding Prince of life and peace!
Come, sinners, see your Savior die,
and say, "Was ever grief like his?"
Come, feel with me his blood applied:
My Lord, my Love, is crucified!


I found this additional stanza here:
Then let us sit beneath His cross,
And gladly catch the healing stream:
All things for Him account but loss,
And give up all our hearts to Him:
Of nothing think or speak beside,
My Lord, my Love, is crucified!



The richness of the text is beautiful to me and some of the thoughts are awesome if explored, especially in the first stanza - "the immortal God hath died for me!" "the Father's coeternal Son bore all my sins upon the tree."


However, I was a little underwhelmed with the associated tune. (Of course the only version I have heard of it is the "tinny" midi version of the tune on the sites mentioned above.) I wondered if anyone knows of an alternate tune for this hymn - either an old tune or one that someone like Pinkston, Habegger, Forrest, or the like has applied to these words.

After I found the old Cyber Hymnal site with the tune meter's (which I am putting here - so that I can at least find it again :) ), I tried a number of the 88.88 tunes listed there but there are over 60 tunes listed for that meter and I wasn't coming close to something that I like with these words as I was searching through them. (ST. PETERSBURG seems the one I like best so far out of that search, but not an exact fit.)

If no one knows of an already done alternative tune, maybe Dan Forest or Greg Habegger or Scott Anoil or someone with talent would take up the task. (And while they are at it, perhaps add a stanza regarding the resurrection - or include it in some type of refrain.)

Anyway, just my thoughts,

Frank

I know not the day of my death

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Do you ever have those times when something in the Bible that you have read multiple times strikes you as though you have never seen it before?

I had one of those times yesterday, although I was listening to the Bible rather than reading it. (I was on the road for my job with Peet's Coffee and I have some CDs of the Bible that I received last summer at the FFBC Annual Conference from Pastor Mike Green - thanks, Mike.)

BTW, for a pretty decent audio version of the Bible being read in mp3 format, you can download a free mp3 of the entire Bible from firefighters.org, here. (I don't know anything about this group, but I do know that the download of the mp3 audio version of the Bible is an excellent resources - especially if you do a lot of traveling and have a way to listen to the mp3 while traveling.)

As I listened to Genesis, I came across a saying that I know I have read multiple times - and a statement that gained a little weight as I noticed the details I will mention below.

In Genesis 27, Isaac is about 100 years old and we read a fairly familiar story about Jacob stealing/tricking his father Isaac into giving him the blessing that Isaac was going to give to Esau.
At the beginning of this passage, we read:

Genesis 27:1 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.
2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:


Isaac makes one of those statements that we all kind of know and which the Bible repeats a number of times. "I know not the day of my death."

The reality is that none of us know the day of our death. (With my father's passing a couple of weeks ago, perhaps I have thought of this topic a little more lately than normal.) The Bible reminds us of this fact with verses such as James 4:13-15 and Proverbs 27:1.

James 4:13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

Provebs 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.


Usually when I think of that truth, I do so in the context of you could die at anytime, so be prepared to die. Make sure you have repented of your sins and trusted Christ as your Savior and make sure you are living a life that counts for eternity.

However, as I continued to read and then think about this statement in regards to Isaac, I noticed something that was interesting to me in Genesis 35.

Genesis 35:28 And the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years.
29 And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.


By my short study and calculations (calculations below), I believe that there was about 60 to 80 years between the time when Isaac said "I know not the day of my death" until his actual death.
Wow!

Two things became completely obvious to me regarding this:

1. We really do not know the time of our death - duh!


2. Not knowing the time of our death not only serves as a warning to us to be prepared to die at any moment, but it also ought to be a challenge to us to be prepared to finish strong - even if the race is longer than we thought.

We don't really know a lot of what Isaac did between these two dates - the focus on the passages is on Jacob/Israel instead - but it does give me pause.

If God should give a much longer life than you expect, will you continue to make your life count for him long after you are limited in the "normal" roles of service? Or will you reach an age of "retirement" and shut things down? I am thankful that there are some in our church who are above 80 years old and still serving the Lord - may we follow that pattern.

Just my thoughts,

Frank


Oh, yeah, the calculations:

Isaac is 40 years old when he marries Rebekah (Genesis 25:20)
She is barren for 20 years

Isaac is 60 years old when the twins are born (Genesis 25:26)
The boys grow up, Isaac loves Esau, Rebekah loves Jacob. Esau sells his birthright to Jacob, etc.

Isaac is 100 years old when Esau takes two Hittite women for his wives (Genesis 26:34)

Isaac at birth (60) plus Esau's age at marriage (40) gives us Isaac at 100.

Now the exact time of the incident is not given, but it makes sense that it occurs near the time of Esau's marriage. Notice that there is a concern from both Isaac and Rebekah that Jacob would not do the same thing. Rebekah uses that concern as an excuse to get Jacob out of town before his brother kills him and Esau recognizes that concern and takes different wives (Gen 26:35, 27:41-46, 28:1-9)

Isaac is 180 years old when he dies (Genesis 35:28).

If I am correct that the incident occurs when Isaac is about 100 years old, that gives us 80 years between the events, although the time of the incident is not fixed.

We know that the gap is at least 20 years because of the fact that Jacob served 20 years in Laban's house (7 for each daughter, six for the cattle) (Genesis 31:41) and was a long time back from that before the death of his father.

If we assume a normal amount of time for the other events that are in the narrative, it would make sense if the gap were significantly larger than that due to the fact that a number of other events occur before the death passage is mentioned - the moving back into the land, the raping of Dinah and destruction of the city, the moving away to Bethel, the death of Rachel, etc.

Thank you, Aaron

Monday, March 22, 2010

I know a lot of you have read this already, but in an era where it seems like the only things you hear from "fundamentalists" is how bad "fundamentalists" are, it was nice to read Aaron Blummer's article on SharperIron entitled, "I Learned it from Fundamentalists."

What Aaron describes is very similar in experience to the Fundamentalism that I have known - a Fundamentalism that certain corners within Fundamentalism seem desirous to ignore in their mad rush to rip or ridicule Fundamentalism by highlighting the crazies that use the term.

Among the points Aaron makes, the following stand out in particular in my experience.

1. Fundamentalism taught me expository preaching

No one told me then that the most persuasive and enduringly powerful preaching I was hearing—and had grown to love—was called “exposition” or “expository preaching.” The Fundamentalist college I attended next taught me that this kind of preaching had a name as well as a long and glorious tradition.

Could a young man learn expository preaching outside of Fundamentalism at the time? Absolutely. But I learned it from Fundamentalists.


3. Fundamentalism taught me to be mindful of doctrine

The attitude that doctrine is extremely important and that believers should expect to put their thinking caps on and wade through it somewhat regularly was an attitude I caught from Fundamentalists.


and

6. Fundamentalism taught me the gospel.

Fundamentalists gave me the gospel in its simplicity, but also later taught me its complexity. Fundamentalists taught me what total depravity meant, what imputation meant, what regeneration meant, even what election meant.



No one is claiming that Fundamentalism is perfect. And surely this Fundamentalist is far from perfect, but it is nice to hear/read something positive for a change.

Thanks, Aaron.

Just my thoughts,

Frank

Wow! What a Tournament!

This has been a crazy NCAA Tournament. The number one overall seed, Kansas, went down in the second round to Norther Iowa (who?). Mighty Georgetown falls to Ohio University (not Ohio State - Ohio University is located in little Athens, Ohio - the closest town with a Wal-Mart to where my in-laws live in Ohio). An Ivy League team - Cornell - makes it to the Sweet 16.

I have not been able to watch very much of any game, so far. I was able to listen to the last half of Northern Iowa's shocker over Kansas, however - what a game.

I think my bracket is the worst bracket of my life of picking brackets. I would say it was obvious that I have not seen much college basketball this year, but with the unusual nature of some of these games, I am not sure watching the games would have helped much.

After the first two rounds of The Thinking Man's Tourney Time, we have a new leader and a new person on the bottom - sorry, Andy.

Taking over the lead of The Thinking Man's Tourney is Sarah Nething. Way to go, Sarah. Sarah has Kansas as the winner and has lost another Final Four team, so this is not over yet and Ron Bean (last year's champion) is right behind her. Sarah nailed every one of the 7-10 games in the first round, which is pretty impressive - especially since 3 of them were won by the lower seed. She also nailed Cornell's first round upset of Temple. I figure at least someone else involved knows you, but if you would give us a brief intro in the comments, it would be great to meet you.

Ron Bean is in second place. His most impressive bracket was the West - where he nailed 10 of the 12 games played there over the last four days. He also picked the Cornell upset of Temple.

So, after the first two rounds, here is the standings.

1. Sarah Nething - 170 points, 32 correct
2. Ron Bean - 155 points, 32 correct
3. Jon Knisely - 151 points, 31 correct
4. Don Johnson - 147 points, 30 correct
5. Andy Rupert - 145 points, 30 correct
6. Matt Jury - 137 points, 30 correct
7. Frank Sansone - 121 points, 27 correct
8. Andy Efting - 115 points, 24 correct

I will note that Sarah & Jon (Kansas), Don (Clemson) and myself (Maryland) have all already lost our predicted champions. Randy, Matt, and Andy E. all have Kentucky - who seems to be doing well and Andy Rupert has Ohio State, so there is a chance that someone will still have picked the eventual champion.

Anyway, just an update.

Frank

Free Audio Books

Friday, March 19, 2010

ChristianAudio.com is offering two free Audio Book downloads this month. In the past, I have found the materials from Christian Audio to be very well done with high-quality recordings.

Since my current second job as a Route Sales Representative for Peet's Coffee and Tea requires that I spend a large amount of time in the car each week, I have been encouraged with the availability of materials like this to listen to while I am on the road. (I may make another post soon with a lot of other similar resources - we'll see.)

This months free books are Fifty Reasons Jesus Came to Die by John Piper and The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoffer.

I have never read either one of these books, but I thought they might be interesting - and you can't beat the price. Theopedia's entry on Bonhoeffer may provide some insight that will prove useful and reading/hearing his work - here.

As always, please understand that my link to these materials is not meant to be a blanket endorsement of the materials (which I still have not read or listened to) or of the authors - or of other materials on the site. (In fact, I have found that the site is pretty broad in the works it includes - merging good conservative materials with materials that are from guys like McLaren and Wright.)

The code for the Bonhoeffer book is MAR2010 and for the Piper book is MAR2010B.

Anyway and as always, when reading or listening to stuff like this, treat it like watermelon - eat the good stuff and spit out the seeds. (Unfortunately, sometimes the watermelon is so full of seeds that it may not be worth it to try to dig around the seed to get to the good stuff in the watermelon - since I have not read these before, I do not know if that is the case with these books.)

Just my thoughts,

Frank

Standings after the first night of the NCAA Tournament

Well, that was a rough first day of NCAA Basketball action for my bracket. I am currently in LAST PLACE - UGH!

It was kind of funny as I checked the standing three times during the day. When I checked it the first time, I was in last. When I checked it the second time I had moved up into like third and then when I checked it this morning, I was back in last.

A couple of our returning players have the top two spots - Andy Rupert and Jon Knisely, with Andy having a one-point lead. The next two players are new players this year, Don Johnson and Sarah Nething. Welcome to the tournament! Don is from the land where basketball is just a game for kids who can't skate or handle a hockey stick, but he is doing pretty well, so far. He needs Clemson to make a DEEP Run (he has picked them for the champion) to continue to do well, but he is off to a good start so far - picking a couple of nice upsets with ODU over ND and Washington over Marquette. I don't believe I have met Sarah before, but she has started off well and the only team she has lost going into the next round is Marquette.

The top five after the first day of the tournament:

1. Andy Rupert - 60 points / 11 correct
2. Jon Knisely - 59 points / 11 correct
3. Don Johnson - 55 points / 10 correct
4. Sarah Nething - 50 points / 10 correct
5. Andy Efting - 48 points / 9 correct

Matt Jury and Ron Bean (last year's champion) are just one point ahead of me near the bottom!

Biggest upset correctly picked: I correctly picked 13 seed Murray State over 4 seed Vanderbilt. (None of us picked the University of Ohio over Georgetown - in fact, a number of folks have Georgetown moving on beyond this round.)

Anyway, just a quick update.

Frank

It's Tourney Time

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

* Updated - fixed link and added some instructions!

If anyone reading this is interested in being part of our annual March Madness Bracket Challenge - for fun only, please join us.

You can join us by following this link: http://athinkingmansthoughts.mayhem.cbssports.com/e
The pool password is "tourney"

To those who participated last year, in my attempt to send you all an invitation to join this year, I accidently selected "Remove Selected Players" thinking that the button was for "Invite Selected Players", so most of you have accidently been removed. I am very sorry. To participate again, you will have to go through the above way - unless you are still able to get in via the email link that Andy R. sent out yesterday.

If you have participated before and already have a CBS Sports ID, all you need to do is
1. Follow the link above
2. Login
3. Enter the Pool Password: tourney
4. Make your picks

If you have never participated before and would like to do so, follow these steps:

1. Follow the link above
2. Register for a CBS Sports ID (it's free)
3. After registering, it should ask you for the pool password - enter "tourney"
4. Make your picks

(Note: If you end up somewhere else after registering, just return to this page and follow the link and the instructions above :) ).

If you did not participate last year, we would love for you to join us this year.

A NOTE ABOUT THE RULES:

1. You are allowed to make up two brackets - one for your head and one for your "gut" if you wish.
2. Scoring is a Weight + Seed method of scoring

*In other words, points are awarded based on what round the game is in, plus the seed of the team. If you pick Morgan State to defeat W.V.U. in the first round and get it correct, you will get 16 points for that pick - 1 point for getting it correct in the first round PLUS 15 points for correctly picking that 15th seed to win. So, correctly picking an upset can help you out a lot, but it also means that if the team you pick to lose that game goes deep (and you picked them to go deep), you could be leaving a lot of points on the table. For example, in the previous example, if you chose WVU to beat Morgan State and to make the Final Four - and you are correct - the choice of WVU in that scenariou would actually be worth more than the upset pcik because WVU would earn you ultimately 18 points during the tournament (1st round - 3 [1+2], 2nd round - 4 [2+2], 3rd round - 5 [3+2], and 4th round - 6 [4+2]) (CONFUSED, YET?)

Just my thoughts,

Frank

Classic Commentaries Online

Saturday, March 13, 2010

One of the great features of the internet is the resources that become available.

I recently came across some sites that includes a number of Classic Commentaries that can be used online. Among the commentaries that are available are such classics as Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible (in both Complete and Concise forms), John Gill, Jamieson, Faussett, Brown, John Wesley, John Darby, and the Geneva Study Bible notes. Some of the individual books have additional commentators (such as Lightfoot on Matthew and Charles Spurgeon's classic commentary, The Treasury of David, on the Psalms.)

Now, to be honest, I am the type of person who likes to have my resources on my own computer, rather than out in cyberspace. I know the trend is to keep putting things online and off of your personal computer, however, I am just enough of a curmudgeon to reject that trend. (This is one reason why I may hold on to my Palm Centro well after I qualify for an upgrade. I like my Palm Desktop too much to surrender it to an internet only based system.)

So, because of my desire to have things actually on my computer, I will gladly continue to use PowerBible and E-Sword (until someone gives me a copy of BibleWorks or some similar program), which have many of these same titles. However, having these resources available online is also nice to know. Especially when you are not at your own computer where you have the aformentioned programs installed - or if you are one of these tech gadget guys who have one of the really cool smartphones and want to look up something on one of these passages with your phone.

So, here are some of the sites. (Part of the reason I am making this post is so that I can quicly find these sites myself in the future.)

E-Word

A listing of some other online commentaries

An additional listing of available commentaries

I know there are a ton more, but this is a good list with which to start.

Just my thoughts,

Frank

Friday, March 12, 2010

After about a year-long hiatus, I have decided to tentatively return to the blogosphere. I am not promising much, but the itch has been here to write, my 13-year old son has started a blog himself (and posted more times in the two weeks that he has had his blog than I think I have posted in the last year), and my wife keeps encouraging me to start writing again. (Who'd a thunk it? - just kidding, dear.)

While I don't generally do a lot of "What I am doing now" type of posts, I can imagine that the huge following that I have are probably wondering what has been going on (oh, wait, I don't have a following for my blog anymore, let alone a huge following).

Actually, as many of you know, last year I returned to the world of being a "bi-vocational pastor." In doing so, I began working two additional part-time jobs in addition to serving as Pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church of Salisbury, Maryland.

One of those jobs involved serving as a driver for a company that transported patients to their physical therapy and doctor appointments. This was/is an interesting job with a chance to meet some folks and initially paid pretty well. Unfortunately, the opportunities between runs with this job have been so scarce that it became clear early on that this was not the solution to our need for a second job.

In March, through the wonderful tool of craigslist, I got an interview for and received a job working as an Independent Route Sales Representative for Peet's Coffee and Tea serving the majority of the Delmarva Penninsula - with stops in places such as Smyrna, Dover, and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and Ocean City, Salisbury, Chester and Chestertown, Maryland and points in between. Peet's is a good place to work and they make great coffee - and their famous 90-day freshness guarantee makes sure that when you buy a bag of Peet's Coffee, you are getting the best and freshest coffee available. My job includes making sure the coffee on the shelves in my area meets that exacting standard.

Things have also been pretty busy from a church and ministry stand-point. The Lord has seen fit recently to bless our church with a good influx of some solid families, of which we are glad It has been a blessing getting to know some of these folks over the last few months and I look forward to the opportunity of getting to know them better and being able to serve the Lord with them at Fellowship Baptist Church in the days ahead.

I was also privileged to preach three times for a Junior age (grades 4-8) Winter Weekend at Tri- State Bible Camp in Montague, New Jersey in January. I have had the privilege of preaching some teen weeks and teen weekends at Tri-State in the past and I count it a blessing to be a part of the ministry there at Tri-State. Director Chris Jenkins and his staff are doing a great job with this smaller camp and it is neat to see and hear what God is doing up there. I hope the Lord continues to give me opportunities to serve up there.

Anyway, I just wanted to say "Hi" and dip my toes back in the blogging waters.

Just my thoughts,

Frank