Sunday, April 27, 2008

Reading through the entire Bible

I've been a Christ-follower since March 29, 1999. I read a lot. And I also spend quite a bit of time studying and reading the Bible. But admittedly, until this year, there were parts of the Bible that I had never read. So last July, I set out to read the entire Bible cover to cover.

You may remember that my father died last June. I took the opportunity to bring back a bunch of his study materials, including an unused Notemaker's Bible (NLT). Last July, I decided to use that Bible to read through the entire thing. The NLT makes for an easy read, and the Notemaker's Bible has plenty of room for writing.

I didn't actually start in Genesis and read through to the end, nor did I use an suggested one-year Bible reading plan. I sort of had my own system for the read-through.

  1. I started reading at Exodus 19 and worked my way through Deuteronomy.

  2. Then I picked up in Luke and read through Revelation, skipping John.

  3. I simultaneously read through the Poetry books while reading the rest of the Bible, because, for me, the Poetry books are the least interesting. Though I do now have greater appreciation for them and there were definitely a few Psalms that really stood out to me.

  4. Having completed most of the New Testament, I went back and read Joshua through Esther.

  5. I then went back and read Matthew and Mark.

  6. Then I read Isaiah through Lamentations.

  7. Then I read John.

  8. I read Hosea through Malachi, quickly realizing that I had never read some of these books.

  9. I saved Ezekiel and Daniel for almost last because of their oft-maligned End-Times content.

  10. Lastly, I finished with Genesis and the first half of Exodus

You may not see it, but there was a method to my madness.

  • I read through the Book of the Law first because I felt that it was the foundation needed to comprehend everything after it. I skipped Genesis and Exodus 1-18 because I felt that I was too familiar with the narrative and I needed to start in more unfamiliar ground.

  • I started in Luke because it is my favorite gospel and it flows right into Acts and the Epistles. (When asked, I always suggest that people start in Luke. It is an easier read than John. Do you really expect a new or non-believer to understand the first paragraph of John?)

  • Reading the History Books is easy and even easier if you've got a timeline handy (its even better if you are able to place the Prophets within that timeline as well.) The History Books have some awesome stories worthy of being made into Rated-R movies that could compete with the likes of Pulp Fiction and The Departed. Seriously folks, there are some intriguing stories in there.

  • Isaiah through Lamentations was good reading, but not easy. I love it when I see Jesus in the Old Testament, though, I get really excited about it.

  • I had actually forgotten that I had skipped John, so it was a breath of fresh air when I realized it. (It was easy to see what I had covered based on the scribbling along the margins and the notes at the bottom of the pages.)

  • Hosea through Malachi was awesome - I know a lot of people who need to read these books. I think that they really speak to our generation. Its all about empty worship - a generation of people that "go through the motions."

  • Ezekiel and Daniel weren't as bad as I'd thought they'd be. Talk about a contrast though, Daniel is continually blessed in an earthly sense, and Ezekiel just gets crapped on over and over again. Literally, at one point God has Ezekiel cooking his food with poop. And that's before he kills his wife as a sermon illustration.

  • I believe that it was fitting to end my reading with the Beginning - Genesis. Genesis is well-trod, easy reading. I didn't want to just read the "easy stuff" first, so I saved Genesis for last.

Where do I go from here? Glad you asked. There were plenty of question marks scribbled throughout the margins; places that I struggled to understand, but I didn't want to get bogged down by beating my head against a wall. Maybe now, I will go back and delve deeper into those question marks. If you are one of my mentors or peers, expect some emails to come your way.

Obviously, one never stops reading and meditating on the Bible, but having been a Christian for almost a decade, it was starting to weigh on me that I had never systematically read through the entire Book. It took me about ten months to read through about 1500 pages. That's about 5 pages a day. Not too bad.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Golden Era of Sci-Fi Cinema

The Golden Era of Sci-Fi Cinema, according to me and my wife:


Dragonslayer - 1981

Excalibur - 1981

Time Bandits - 1981

Clash of the Titans - 1981

Beastmaster - 1982

Wrath of Kahn - 1982

Conan - 1982

The Dark Crystal - 1982

Return of the Jedi - 1983

Krull - 1983

Conan the Destroyer - 1984

Dune - 1984

Ice Pirates - 1984

Gremlins - 1984

Neverending Story - 1984

And for Honorable mention from the television miniseries division:

V - 1984


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Pictures - Winter/Spring 08

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Death Penalty

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments this week about whether or not the death penalty can be imposed for child rape, taking up for the first time in 30 years whether a crime other than murder can be punished by execution.

While reading through Exodus and Leviticus, I was taken aback by how many offenses where deserving of the death penalty, according to God.

Here are some actions listed in the Mosaic Law that carry the death penalty:

  • hitting your mom or dad

  • kidnapping

  • dishonoring your parents

  • an owner knowingly keeping a dangerous animal that kills a person (hello, pit bull owners)

  • bestiality

  • sacrificing children

  • both parties who commit adultery (nowadays, this would mean a lot of dead people)

  • incest

  • mediums, sorcerers, and practicers of the occult

  • blaspheming the Name of God

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Getting harassed by the man....

Anybody remember Ryan the Aimless hitchhiker that I picked up last summer in Naples? This video shows what happened to him before I came along and brought him over to Ft. Lauderdale.

Ryan took the winter off, and spent it at home with his parents in Columbus. Now he's out gallivanting around the country again. Last I checked, he was hopping a train bound for Nashville.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Its Hockeytime in Hockeytown

I am a native of Hockeytown. Detroit may have a good basketball team. They may also have a great baseball team. But the Detroit Red Wings are dominant. This whole season, they have been whomping on the other teams, so it should be a pleasure to see them burn through the playoff series to another Stanley Cup. As a matter of fact, we're so used to seeing the Red Wings in the playoffs, that we usually don't even bother to watch the regular season games. (With the exception of the Detroit - Colorado series.)

My wife and I are not big sports buffs. Golf - boring. Baseball - boring. Basketball - meh. College football - I like to hear the marching bands in the background, but that's about it. Nascar - decent if you can actually stay awake for the entire race.

In the fall, we're pretty hyped to watch and root for the Miami Dolphins, but our enthusiasm usually fades as it becomes apparent that the Dolphins just never seem to make it happen.

The only other time of year that we turn our attention to sports is in late April and May - when the Red Wings enter the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Its only too bad that we live in South Florida and therefore, don't have any friends who truly appreciate hockey.

Red Wings Facts:

  • They are one of the original six teams in the NHL.

  • They have the most championships in the NHL.

  • They have been in the playoffs 23 of the last 25 seasons.

  • They are the most dominant team in all of professional sports.

  • Fans throw octopi onto the ice during playoff games.

  • Steve Yzerman was the team captain for 20 years (1986-2006). Wow.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Shepherd???? What happened to 'Jesus'?

Did anyone catch American Idol Gives Back last night? (I know, this will cost me a man-card.)

Did anyone catch the finale which involved all of the Idol contestants singing the much over-played "Shout to the Lord". (Well, its overplayed if you've been to church at all in the past decade.)

Did anyone catch what was missing from the song?

They sang:

"My shepherd"

It should have been:

"My Jesus"

Now you all know me well enough to know why I have a problem with that, right?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Walken Family Reunion

Friday, April 4, 2008

Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Or a stadium? Or a racing series? What is in a name these days? Simply dollars and cents?

What names do we hold dear? How about Wrigley Field, the home of the Cubs, in Chicago. My wife and I used to head over Chi-town a couple times a year and Wrigley was one of the highlights of that city.

I am still trying to accustom myself to calling the Winston Cup Series, that's Nascar for you non-rednecks, by it's new name: The Nextel Cup Series. Oh, wait. I mean the Sprint Cup series. Well, if you mess with the big names like the Winston Cup Series, then, surely it isn't a big deal to follow it up by changing the Busch Series to the Nationwide Series. Maybe its just me, but didn't Busch beer serve as a much better representation of the typical Nascar fan than Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company? But it really isn't about representation, or history, or tradition, or value. It is about money, and how much of it can be made off of so-called naming rights.

How much value do we still hold for Lord Frederick Stanley, the namesake for the Stanley Cup - the National Hockey League's highest prize? Will we soon be calling it the Reese's Pieces Cup or the Comcast Cup? Perhaps Lord Stanley is already rolling in his grave at the thought.

Maybe I'm not a big enough fan of Nascar, but it's name changes didn't really bother me that much. Living so close to the Bank Atlantic Center (home of the Florida Panthers and previously known as National Car Rental Center, Broward County Civic Arena, and Office Depot Center) has made me a little more aware and also annoyed at the impact of a simple name change for the sake of a buck.

But for some reason, the possibility of a name change for Wrigley Field really rankles me. Wrigley is more than a ballpark. It is an institution, a destination, and a proven source for fond memories held by many Midwesterners. What a shame, if they sell it's name.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Cremation or Burial?

Upon your death, would you like to be cremated or buried?

And do you have a theological/cultural/practical reason for your answer?

My wife and I are on opposite sides of the coin, and we joke that whoever dies first loses, because then the other will have their way.

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