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Humble Orthodoxy

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“Humble orthodoxy is a commitment to believing, living, and representing the truth with humility. We believe that God’s truth in Scripture should not be redefined or reinvented to suit our own preferences or culture. Our role is not to change truth but to let truth change us.”

thanks for the inspiration @davemiers.

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March 7th, 2011 at 2:19 pm

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Everyone Worships Something

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February 20th, 2011 at 8:55 pm

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Grudem’s Systematic Theology – Reading Plan

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February 10th, 2011 at 9:26 pm

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Gang-Ups

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Gang ups. Remember the game? It always ends up with a whole lot of people bearing done on one. Not surprisingly, it was banned in my primary school. Teachers recognised it for what it was – an unhealthy, uncool, activity that should be discouraged because it’s not healthy for the kid or the community.

A guy I know recently felt the sting of gang-ups when he was unwitting involved in a “grown-up” version of the game. This version, unfortunately, almost always leads to epic consequences, almost always affecting things negatively. Be it job, relationship, comfort, mental health – you name it – the consequence is significant.

You could argue that there are occasions that warrant the old gang-up technique – one of my all time heroes Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Godly pastor who allegedly took part in a reactionary game of gang-ups against Adolf Hitler during WWII. But clearly he felt the weight of his actions: “when a man takes guilt upon himself in responsibility…He answers for it…Before other men he is justified by dire necessity; before himself he is acquitted by his conscience, but before God he hopes only for grace“. Pretty extreme circumstance. I can think of a handful of similar occasions throughout history.

There’s a massive problem with gang-ups: It’s way too easy to become convinced that your own circumstance is one of the handful, an extreme one, an incredibly serious one, one that is selfless, one that warrants the old gang-up technique. I’m sure that whoever decided to play gang-ups on my previously mentioned friend thought it was justified – but they were wrong. I’ve been a willing (to my shame) and unwilling participant on both sides of the equation. I’m not suggesting people should remain silent in the face of injustice. It’s important to speak up. But there’s a world of difference between speaking up, and playing gang-ups. It’s way too easy to become convinced that your particular circumstance warrants a gang-up, especially when you have a few like-minded people affirming one another’s convictions. It’s way too easy to start a “grown-up” game of gang-ups & the consequences are almost always horrible.

Gang-up’s is a serious business, with pretty heavy consequences. If you’re tempted to kick start a “grown-up” game, or be involved in one, probability would state that your situation isn’t likely to be one of the handful. So don’t play. The teachers at primary school were onto something.

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February 2nd, 2011 at 12:09 pm

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incredible honesty & a reluctant thankyou

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Meet Ghazi Adra. He’s a 68 year-old battler from Mount Druitt. He works in a factory. His dream is to take his wife on an overseas holiday. She’s never left the country.
Last week he found $50,000 in a bag on a train. $50,000. It’s more than the man earns in a year.
I have no idea what went through his head – “keep it? maybe just a bit? i deserve this, don’t i?”.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter.
He returned it to the Mount Druitt police station. Pretty epic I reckon. Shocking, refreshing, awesome honesty.

Here’s the kicker – the owner of the cash refused to say thankyou after getting it back. seriously.
Imagine being given a gift like that and refusing to say thanks.

what a n00b.

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January 26th, 2011 at 1:35 am

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the woman who knows no fear

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There’s an article in today’s paper that talks about a woman in the U.S. who cannot experience fear.
Apparently she suffers from a really rare condition that has destroyed the part of her brain (the amygdala) that is responsible for providing her those experiences.

My initial response was “what a gift!”, but the more i’ve thought about it, the more unsure i’ve become. Being afraid, of anything, can suck pretty hard – but i think it can also be helpful. Fear’s spectrum is big – it can be irrational anxiety, terror that’s totally called for, or healthy respect that should prompt us to action. I think the first one sucks, but the second two rock because they can save your life.

7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom – Prov 1:7

I’m thankful that i get to experience fear.

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December 17th, 2010 at 12:10 pm

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transformers parking

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November 19th, 2010 at 1:49 pm

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nature is badass

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I work in an office most days. Sitting in front of a computer. Doing computery stuff. It’s easy to forget that outside creation is pretty freakin cool. Here’s a reminder about how bad-ass nature can be:

Bears are badass because they can smell your fear, just like any other scary-ass predator. But unlike most predators, they can smell your fear over distances measured in double digits. They can smell from 30 kilometers away. Since bears scare the crap out of every other living thing, being able to smell from that far away is like being a 150kg muscled up kid in year 7 – no one is going to screw with you.

Jumping spiders are bad-ass because they have what is called tetrachromatic vision. In a matter of speaking, their eyesight goes to 11. They have eyes placed around their heads, so they can actually see in 360 degrees. Where we see three primary colors, they see four. The fourth color they see is ultraviolet. This means it’s hunting insects that are blissfully unaware that their evolutionarily awesome camouflage is completely useless against the death machine running or leaping towards them on eight giant legs. No doubt this little fella would come in handy in an episode of Law & Order: SVU, or when you had second thoughts about the linen at that dodgie hotel.

Sharks are already pretty damn bad-ass: they can eat us, they’re the size of a small boat, and they’re teeth are akin to razor blades. But in addition to that bad-assery, Hammerheads have an enhanced ability to detect electric fields. They have the ability to use their wide-set terror-head as a natural minesweeper, detecting the tiniest electrical signal over huge distances, even through mud. They can detect half a billionth of a volt. For some perspective, when you drive around in your car on a dry day, then get out and zap yourself on the door handle, that’s because your body built up about 8,000 to 10,000 volts of static. That is more than a trillion times the voltage needed for a hammerhead to find you, even if you are hiding in an underground bunker at the bottom of the freaking ocean.

adapted from cracked.com

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November 17th, 2010 at 1:49 pm

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ben folds on hope

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Ben Folds is my favorite musician. Last time he came to Sydney I went to both shows. Even got to say ‘hi’ – reyna didn’t ;). I don’t agree with all his ideals, most even, but I think his tunes kick butt & I dig the way the guy can work a piano. His lyrics always cause me to laugh or think, & the latter is true of one of the new songs he wrote with Nick Hornby (of ‘About a Boy’ and ‘High Fidelity’ fame).

It’s called ‘Picture Window’. The scene is set with a kid who is terminal and just checked into hospital. Flowers and pictures of rainbows are completely inappropriate, cruel even, because there’s no hope. He says:

“you know what hope is,
hope is a bastard,
hope is a liar, a cheat and tease,
hope comes near you, kick it’s backside,
got no place in days like these”

I love this song, but it’s perspective is so gut wrenchingly sad that I struggle not to hit ‘>>’. He’s singing about false hope.  False hope can be all the things he describes: a liar, a cheat, a tease. It’s false because it’s not grounded in anything, & because of that, it’s worthy of an ass kicking. He’s not wrong to feel the way he does about false hope – it can be gutting.

Sure hope is different. It’s all the things false hope isn’t: true, trustworthy, reliable. It’s sure because it’s grounded in truth. It doesn’t become inappriopriate or irrelavent when the crap hits the fan, and because of that, it’s worth having.

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November 16th, 2010 at 9:16 am

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happiness vs contentment

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I love my job.
I get to solve techy problems, play with nerdy toys, put the pieces of a proverbial puzzle together, show how someone did something naughty – and I get to do it all with great colleagues. Doing my job, and doing it well, makes me happy. Last week, I resigned.

I’ve been thinking a great deal this year about the pursuit of happiness vs. contentment. I reckon they’re different.

Experience tells me that happiness is transient, it depends on circumstance. When I’m playing with a new toy, eating something amazing, relishing good relationships, enjoying good health, or loving a job – happiness ensues. But when those things cease, happiness goes wanting.

I reckon that’s what differentiates happiness from contentment – happiness needs feeding.

Contentment, on the other hand, brings joy in spite of circumstance – It doesn’t need feeding. What I eat, what toys I have (or don’t have), my relationships, or my job don’t impact it, because it isn’t dependent on those things. It doesn’t need to be fed. Contentment trumps happiness.

Don’t get me wrong – being happy is awesome. But I’m stoked I don’t have to settle for happiness alone. Sometimes things just plain suck, & being ‘happy’ isn’t appropriate let alone possible. But contentment means I can have joy in spite of my circumstances. Who wouldn’t want that?

Are you content?

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November 14th, 2010 at 3:00 pm

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