My birthday’s coming up. It’s quite funny how people measure their age as they get older. No, I’m not talking about the number of years per se. I’m talking about how they relate their age to some other numbered everyday object. I’ve heard people going into their thirtieth year saying, “At least I’m still in
the calendar.” (Thirtieth birthday, thirty-or-so days in a month. Get it?) People who reach forty are happy that they’re still “in the thermometer” (Celsius, not Fahrenheit.) I wonder what people reaching their fifties and sixties say? Key in Hawaii-Five-O theme music.
I say to myself: I’m not as young (and naive) as I used to be but I’m not as old as I could be. I have the best of both worlds. To those celebrating their birthday, welcome the first day of the rest of your life.
(Filed under: YOLO.)
My wife and I last Saturday took a break from our housecleaning to visit a mall-based chiropractor clinic. The cost of getting basic treatment was a bit out of our budget so we didn’t push through. I did so want to get my joints “cracked.” The folks at the clinic were kind enough to inform us that they do basic “cracking” but I would need to have a medical certificate from a certified practitioner for the more complicated stuff. For the record, “cracking” is the term I use for chiropractic adjustment, as seen in this video.
(Filed under: I’m Willing to Try Something New.)
I got some new books, or rather, I’m staring at some books which I either purchased or received as gifts from within the last six months. While I look forward to reading them—I’ve been looking forward for six months, with at least one of the book—my main concern right now is where to put them!
A partial list of the books:
- The World of the New Testament by Green and McDonald (editors). This one I’ve had longer than the other books I’ve been talking about. I’ve speed-read through most of it and now the time has come for me to sit down and
seriously engage the authors. Quick note for my readers: If you want to sound intelligent (if you aren’t already), do not say, “I’ve read this-and-that by so-and so.” Instead say: “In my latest conversation with so-and-so…” even if you never really had an actual conversation. On a serious note, it is expected that one should actively read a book by asking critical questions while reading. It takes some getting used to but it is definitely worth it. Of course some books make up the exception…
- Systematic Theology, Volumes I & II, by Douglas Kelley. I’m still waiting for Volume III but seeing as I have barely touched beyond twelve pages of Volume I, I’m glad III’s not out yet.
- Neighboring Faiths: A Christian Introduction to World Religions (2nd ed.) by Winfried Corduan. I rarely get to visit Dr. Corduan’s website but when I do, I always find his writings interesting and satisfying to read. (Here’s an example.) I had the old version of Neighboring Faiths but convinced myself to get the second volume.
- The Westminster Collection of Christian Meditations by Ward and Wild.
- Biblical Counseling and the Church by Kelleman and Carson. I’m way too behind on this particular volume. Sad.
- Classical Islam by G.E. von Grunebaum.
- 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About World War II by Frank E. Vandiver. A non-theology book. I like history and I enjoy war history. Like I enjoy a good horror story or two.
(Filed under: So Many Books, So Little Time.)
If you haven’t seen Disney’s The Lion King, go watch it. Here’s a preview.
A lot has happened since I last updated the information on this website. I’ve also gotten some comments that I haven’t been “home” for the past, well….months. The answer is simple: I’ve been busy. Busy with a lot of what’s been happening since I last updated… You know what I mean.
I am writing this in the middle of the afternoon on a very typical Thursday. Here is a rundown of what’s been happening (and yes, that’s the last time I use those particular words in this post):
Work: I still work at the same place. I teach theology courses at an esteemed Bible college and while the work load didn’t actually get bigger, I find myself struggling more and more to be as happy as I was in my first year here. Please don’t
get me wrong. The problem is with me and not with the institution. We know that no institution is perfect but the reason behind my increasing doldrums is that I have not elevated myself on a professional level. Perhaps teaching the same thing over and over may make you so used to the subject that there is little reason to level up. One temptation for teachers, in a general sense, is knowing that they will always be more knowledgeable than their students. It is so easy to give in to that temptation and not want to improve. (My beloved M continues to remind me, ever so lovingly, to finally take my PhD studies. I think it’s time I started listening more intently.)
Ministry: I have been ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the church where I minister. I will be forever thankful for the vote of confidence from the leaders and members of that small congregation. The church work comes with its share of challenges, like any ministry, and I can say that I don’t feel any doldrums with ministry as I do (even a little) with work.
Personal: I have just recently come from a vacation-cruise, supported by the kindness of my in-laws. The cruise had a lot of hits and misses but for the most part was satisfactory. If the reasoning for a vacation was just to “get away from it all,” then the cruise did help me get away from it all. One particular miss is related to the on-board food. My beloved M would agree that, while we enjoyed a particular dish here and there, we never had a meal on the ship wherein we enjoyed the meal itself.
Another miss would be the lack of anything much to do on board. Or maybe that is the purpose of a cruise–you ride the ship to get somewhere where activities abound. Even the library was a bit disappointing.
The two stopovers were pretty good. The one at the Land of the Rising Sun beats the one at the Land…with no nicknames according to this website. But overall, the stops were enjoyable. Visiting a new culture or country is always an eye-opening adventure. And always a chance for a little shopping.
To go full circle, perhaps I really do need to level up. Stay tuned.
(Featured images are not mine.)
- Well, almost. As I type this we still have about a few days to go, and several activities to finish, before we officially close the academic year.
- I’m trying my best to edit this blog but…see below.
- I’ve been away from this blog so long, I’ve forgotten how to add a new post. I’ve also forgotten how to add images, edit and reset widgets, etc.
- Reformation conference. Go there. https://reformation500ph.wordpress.com/
This site is currently under active maintenance, for the nth time.
PS. Doc Brown will arrive tonight. that’s right. Fans of the blockbuster movie series, Back to the Future, have been eagerly awaiting this day. If all goes well, Doc Brown and Marty McFly will be arriving in a few hours’ time.
Ooh-la-la! (Only fans of the movie will get that last exclamation.)
In other news, the conundrum of the title comes from my beloved M’s “discovery” of Serenitea diaries for 2016. (I originally called them “planners.”) They look good on the inside but my preference for all things ebony makes me think twice when I consider the outside. (Not bad looking but not black, either.)
And my wife has such lovely hands.
So, should we or should we not? That is the question.
Meanwhile, you can visit Serenitea by clicking here.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life-the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us-that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1)
I’ve been hearing and reading a lot about the so-called Pastor Appreciation Day (elsewhere called Clergy Appreciation Day) and I have this to say on the subject. It relates happiness with joy and I believe is appropriate when we consider those who the Father gave us to be our ministers and little shepherds. It is good that congregations show appreciation for their pastor.
I have always maintained that it is easy to make your pastor happy. Do not criticize him unnecessarily, do not make him do things he is not called to do, do not treat him like one of the hired help. Come to church regularly, attend the prayer meetings and other activities religiously, raise his salary (he will love that!).
What is a lot harder (and what will really make your Pastor Appreciation Day shine) is to complete his joy by growing in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. The passage above (Paul writes something uncannily similar in his epistle to the Philippians) shows the relation between what a person professes with how that person walks–having fellowship with the Father, walking in the light, confession of sin and hatred thereof, etc.–a connection that, while known, is sadly missing in many people’s lives.
As a pastor, I would be very happy to be treated to a dinner or to have my birthday remembered. But happiness is fickle, and if the church is hardheaded and shows unwillingness to grow in Christ, all the birthday parties in the world will never compensate for the feeling of failure the pastor will surely get.