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What can I say? I’m reading it again (this time to my kids) and I found more.

Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned From The Fellowship Of The Rings – Book 1

Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again. *** What a wizard guesses is always difficult to tell. *** I pity snails and all that carry their homes on their backs. *** We all like walking in the dark. *** I don’t keep water in my pockets. ***The road goes on forever, but I can’t without a rest. *** Now far ahead the Road has gone and I must follow if I can, pursuing it with weary feet, until it joins some larger way, where many paths and errands meet. And whither then, I cannot say. *** Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both ‘no’ and ‘yes’. *** If you demand advice, I will for friendship’s sake give it. *** Courage is found in unlikely places. *** I don’t want to answer a string of questions while I am eating. I want to think. *** I don’t rightly know what I want: but I have something to do before the end. I must see it through. *** It’s no good our starting to go in zigzags. That won’t mend matters. *** Rain may fall and wind may blow, and many miles be still to go. But under a tall tree I will lie and let the clouds go sailing by. *** All’s well that ends well, though perhaps we should not say that until we reach our own doors. I’ll not deny that I’ll be glad now when I do.

This is a part of the Halloween Friday Challenge  story writing contest.

Warning: For many of my regular readers, this may be seen as containing fairly dark. Please feel free to skip it.

Comment: My thought is that this is a Halloween story that Bane might have liked, except that it isn’t dark enough.


Local Haunted Yard Decorating Man Has Heart Attack, Dies In Front of Chuckling Onlookers

As horrific Halloween lawn decorator Derrick Nooly experienced an acute myocardial infarction for nearly twenty minutes last Friday in his own yard, roughly twenty visitors watched amused and did nothing, apparently thinking that he was acting the part of a zombie or deranged murderer.

“We thought his staggering and moaning was his attempt at playing an undead homeowner,” recollected witness Joanie Mortor, who arrived on the scene, along with several others, in a Limo as a part of a “Really Frightening Yards” tour of several homes in the metro area, “and we all thought he was doing a great job, managing to keep his balance while walking so off kilter.”

Reconstructing the scene, investigators have determined that setting up twenty gravestones, nearly a dozen orange flashing light strings, and distributing the severed heads, skeletons, giant spiders, mutant aliens and other terrifying items around his yard put too much stress on his system. They believe this is what started the infarction.

“We’ve lost a legend” stated Vince Vincent, President of the Association of Creepy House Decorators Of America (ACHDA). “No one knew how to create bloodcurdling visions of apocalyptic dread like Derrick. He has caused untold nightmares for hundreds who happened to drive past his home in late October for the past fifteen years.  And home prices in the neighborhood have never been cheaper!”

Nooly was pronounced dead in the ambulance on the way to Veteran’s Hospital.


No, I don’t like those yards.

Alright, if this is too dark for you, consider this Coda to the story:

Correction:  Derrick Nooly recovered and did not die in the Ambulance, as was recorded in Tuesday’s Metro Section, but actually is doing fairly well at Veteran’s Hospital. He is expecting to make a full recovery. Our Editors regret any sorrow caused by our error.

Don’t assume that people laughing with/at you actually think you’re funny. They may just be aware that you are attempting humor and are politely acknowledging it.

Think about this the next time you hear someone defending a divorce*:

Any married person has enough information about his/her spouse to make you think they were crazy or evil.

* But yes, sometimes a divorce is rightly defensible.

I regularly meet with a large group of men at our church. The last time I met with them we all went around the room and mentioned something they would like from God. I wrote them down.

Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned From A Men’s Prayer Group

Grant me repentance and give me a heart of flesh. *** Grant me love for you. *** Help me not to fear man. *** Grant me a hunger for your word. *** Grant me a deeper prayer life. *** Unemcumber me. *** Hold me a higher standard; I am not adequate. *** Change me as a man. *** Make me a Godly father. *** Help me not to be derailed by Satan. *** Help me to live out the gospel in my family. *** Help me to keep seeking you; pour out your spirit on me. *** Give me clarity of mind; help me to know when to proclaim the gospel. ***Take away my pride. *** Take away my cynicism and anger. *** Help me to take responsibility. *** Help me to walk and not faint. *** Don’t let Satan have me. *** Change my routine; take away my idols. *** Help me to see my sin as sin. *** Take away my self-righteousness.

I just thought I’d let you know that over at my other blog, I posted a children’s song that I wrote with a Both Ways (i.e. espousing the responsibilities of human will and the sovereignty of God in one song) slant.

Although, looking at it, I don’t think I have the “God ordains all things” highlighted enough.

By the way – I wrote it for kindergarteners, so it’s pretty basic.

Song 1.

 Okay, so I’m just leaving the Grocery store on the way home from work and I turn on the radio – “Hey, this sounds pretty good. Actually it sounds like Michael Buble.”

It’s a fairly common occurance.  I hear the end of a song I really like and I listen for enough words to remember so I can Youtube Google it. In this case I heard “Love, love, love, love, I just haven’t met you yet.”

Warning #1. There is much joy but also a little sadness in the video.

Warning #2. It’s Pop. I like Pop! Don’t listen to it if you don’t like Pop!

Favorite Line: You’ll make me work so we can work to work it out.

Song 2.

Warning #1. Nonsensical words.

Warning #2. Also Pop.

Favorite Line:

as soon
 as you start
To make room
 for the parts
That aren’t you
 it gets hard-
er to bloom
 in a gard-
en of Love love love love …

Um, what?

To the best of my understanding (but certainly the documentation is not really clear on this, Converge Worldwide is the new name of the Baptist General Conference. If this is the case, let me just go on record as saying that I think it’s a bad idea.

Really, is there anyone who thinks this was a wise choice?

. . . Here.

(Plus an opportunity for a good deal)

Abraham Piper put up a post asking people what version of the Bible they use.

I have what some might call a penchant (and others might call a neurosis) for summarizing data. (Some say “That way lies madness”  Not me!)

So when I see uncalculated and perfectly calculatable data, well, I want to make like a database programmer and calculate it. So I asked Abraham and he said ‘go for it’.

So here’s what I got – the list of Versions is below (*** Updated – And now a Pie Graph!) . See the original post for further details – some of the comments are quite interesting.

22 Word Version Poll Results – By The Numbers

Respondent Count:: Just Over 200*      
Different versions listed:: 25     
Percentage of respondents using ESV:: 75        
Average number of versions used:: 1.88
Respondents using only 1 version:: 85    
(Of these, 65 were ESV)
(And there were only 2 “King James Only” respondents**)
Most versions used by any one reader:: 7          
Winner – Longest Version Usage Explanation:: Loyal Responsible Puppet/Father Reader Chris    
Number of Versions I had never heard of before:: 16     
Margin Of Error:: Plus Or Minus 30       

Want more data? Let me know – I might be able to figure it out.  


* As of 11:29, after nearly 27 hours of being posted        

** I mean Literally, not Necessarily Philosophically, Obviously ****

*** This includes neither my, nor (apparently) Abraham’s preferences. But I’m generally an ESV guy.     

**** I’m pretty sure this is Good Grammar under one of Abraham’s definitions.

Ver Total
ESV 156
NAS 53
NIV 44
NLT 23
KJV 22
Mes 10
GreekNT 4
NA27 2
Word 1
Voice 1


Andy Asks For It, Andy Gets It.

Andy Asks For It, Andy Gets It.

Be aware of this: Difficulty in one area of your life tends to make you more sensitive (and more easily bothered and thus reactive) in other areas. In such a situation, work to counter this. Pray for Grace.

Young Piper Made me laugh today.

 His comment on the verse that begins with “Greater love hath no man than this. . . “:

 I’d guess that sentence has never been naturally uttered by anyone in modern (or close to modern) English. It would be like saying, “Greater deal has no business than this, that a restaurant give free chips and salsa to customers.”

True enough. But note that he puts the onus on the translator to get it right. Maybe it’s our responsibility as English communicators to continue using these phrase structures. I mean, we make extreme judgments all the time, we just need to say it right.

So as a service to my readers, I’ve provided ten suggestions that you could use in everyday language to keep this stylism alive. It’s up to us!

  • Greater taste has no potato salad than this, that a potato salad is made with onions that are mild and has no sweet relish.
  • Greater skill has no programmer than this, that his programs do exactly what the specifications say or even more.
  • Greater ease has no bike trail than this, that a bike trail is mostly level and with no inclines.
  • Greater coolness has no Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back scene than this, that the Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back scene is the one with all the asteroids.
  • Greater regret has no Minnesota voter than this, that the voter voted for Jesse ‘The Mind’ Ventura.
  • Greater dorkiness has no awkward teenager than this, that the teenager has his shirt buttoned all the way to the top and crooked glasses.
  • Greater popularity has no dad than this, that the dad surprises everyone in the car with the statement, “Let’s go to Culvers!”
  • Greater popularity has no congress than this, that the congress surprises everyone in the country with the statement, “Let’s give free money to people who buy cars!”
  • Greater awesomeness has no Bible verse memorization tool than this, that the memorization tool is an accapella song.
  • Greater annoyingness has no blogger than this,  that the blogger piggybacks on a funny statement made by a much more widely read other blogger and uses it for his own post in hopes to get more readers.

 Do you have suggestions for how we could help out the NIV in this way?  It’s for a good cause.

In college, I started a habit where after finals week was done, I would go through all of the notes from the semester and for each class write a one page list of statements summarizing the main points of the class. It’s a practice I recommend. In any case, here are some results. They are from 5 classes, can you guess what classes they were?


Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned In My Classes At Bethel


Philosophy is the love of wisdom: naturalism, idealism, realism, pragmatism and existentialism. *** A pairwise disjoin group of sets is enough to cover all of the larger set without overlapping. *** We start with some assumptions (postulates) which give us a groundwork for making proofs. As we choose more and more postulates, we are restricted as to the kinds of possible geometric systems, more and more. *** Repeat important things and have students repeat them for you. *** 4 Kinds of sub-programs: Intrinsic functions, statement functions, function subprograms and subroutines. *** Liking kids is not enough to be a good teacher. *** Euler circuits are connected graphs where all the vertices have an even degree. *** It is not wise to let students know that you like some of them more than others. *** If two points A,B are in a convex set S, then all of AB is in S – Definition of a convex set. *** Discipline is not just reinforcing the good and ignoring that bad (behaviorism) but that is a big part of it. *** Top-down design in computing is finding an algorithm first, testing it, and then implementing it. *** In a sequential circuit, what comes out depends of the state of a circuit as well as the input. *** Mainstreaming is putting special education students at the most normal, least restrictive type of education possible. *** Tests should be evaluated for objectivity, cheatability, speed, and taxonomy levels reached. *** The love of God is for all nations and all history, not just Israel. *** Nation conquering nation is sometimes a form of God’s punishment. *** The Old Testament individuals were saved by grace, just as we are. *** A subspace is a vector space if it is closed under addition and multiplication. *** Components of the computer: Central processing unit, internal memory, Auxiliary memory, input devices, output devices. *** Christ did not come to start a new religion or a new nation, but to be a suffering servant and to bring all nations into his fold. *** The binary search is good and the bubble sort is bad.

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October 2009