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Why are boys such idiots and so self centered?

February 28th, 2005 5 comments

DISCLAIMER: I don’t usually write blogs of such a personal nature but for some reason I have felt the need to get this off my chest. For my friends and family who know me, and probably the person of whom I will be writing, I am really wearing my heart on my sleave for this one, so please keep the mocking to a minimum ;) Please feel free to skip this entry and/or go read some Get Fuzzy. END DISCLAIMER

I have lately been reflecting on my life and relationships and really do realize that I am an idiot. (Said with the best Napoleon Dynamite voice) I seem to have relationships that are just not meant to me. My last one was good, but she was just in a very different place than I was / am and needed to take care of other things first, that is fine and healthy, but not the best for me! The one previous was just never supposed to be as we were so different and it would have been very hard to make that work, ended poorly, and her version of reality is hard to understand. So be it, I can learn from it and move on. But now, here is the odd part, why is it I start to “have a thing for” (whatever that means) someone who is not even available? What is wrong with my brain that sees it fit to want to start someone who is perfectly happy with another person and why am I so selfish to actually want it to fail? That is such a horrible thing to want (that I would never REALLY want, but it IS something that keeps creeping into my mind) that I should NEVER wish on a good friend who is very happy.

I have always enjoyed Marcie’s company and we have always gotten along really well. I have always found her attractive but for whatever reason, I have been with others (hummm, see at this point I should be thinking “maybe that is because she has never been interested!”). I hadn’t seen her in a long time until a friend’s wedding, it was really good to see her and we both suggested (I think) that she come up and visit me in Vancouver. Well she did and it was such a wonderful weekend (that I have some pictures from that I still need to post) and I came to realize more and more that she is exactly what I have been looking for (I know it seems that people always think that when they want to date someone…). I saw her again this past weekend when she went shopping with me for supplies for a weekend get away with some friends (more pictures again) and it really seems to me that we just “click”… but of course she may see it a completely different way and she has a boyfriend.

As I reflect over the weekend so many stupid-ass questions keep popping into my brain that I should not even be asking: would she date me? what if her relationship doesn’t last? how long should I wait to even think about anything? should I be dating after it only being about three months since my last relationship ended? am I “over” Khristine? what would dating Marcie be like? All of these questions in this context are completely stupid and selfish and I continue to ask for forgiveness for thinking them. I should be praying for her and her boyfriend that they would be growing in God and seeking to glorify Him in their relationship. I guess I would ask that you, whoever you may be, to pray for me and give me discrenment and wisdom to know how to handle this. Most likely that will just look like letting time take its course. Pray that I will be as selfless as God has called me to be and as I know I can be.

I feel like such a middle schooler for writing this entry, it really is just so I can get it out there for me, but others’ wisdom is always appreciated if it is out there to be had. I write this because I don’t think Marcie has been to my blog, if I am incorrect and she is reading this, well I guess all I can say is “welcome” and “I apologize”. I really do want the best for her and this is why I am struggling with my thoughts, they are contrary to what I know I should be thinking. So as the title offers: why am I such an idiot and so self centered??

Shalom

Categories: Daily Life Tags:

Exegetical Insight - The Greek Perfect Indicative

February 24th, 2005 4 comments

This is our “reading week” at Regent and it has been a mix of studying lots of Greek, reading, hanging out with friends in Seattle, and visiting with family in south Washington, oh and of course moving a bunch of my boxes from Seattle to my parents’ house in Bonney Lake. And its only Wednesday! Still lots more to come. This is why I haven’t updated and may not again until early (?) next week. Sorry!

I have been meaning to post this for quite a while and figured I might as well do it now as I have been going over a bunch of Greek for a midterm. This “Exegetical Insight” is largely from William Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek (Second Edition from Zondervan Publishing, 2003).

Greek is a difficult language. I am learning Koine (which means “common”) Greek, which isn’t even the most difficult Greek, but hard enough for me. (I am hoping for a B in the class!) There are 6 different tenses in Koine as opposed to our three in English (past, present, and future). One of the tenses that is very difficult to directly translate is the “Perfect” tense. The perfect tense

describes an action that was brought to completion and whose effects are felt in the present. (225)

One thing to note here, “present” means for the writer of the text and not necessarily for the reader (although could be). Mounce has a very nice insight in his text that I would like to quote (224):

It is often the very first and the very last thing we say that is the most important, or the statement that is the most memorable. First impressions and last impressions are the lasting impressions. The same is true for Jesus. The first statement we hear him say is that he should be in his Father’s house (Luke 2.49). Even at the age of twelve, he was aware of his divine lineage.

And as he hung on the cross, having lived a sinless life, having paid the penalty for your sins and mine, Jesus uttered his last words before dying. Τετέλεσται (tetelestai) “It is finished” (John 19.30). This one word summary of Jesus’ life and death is perhaps the single most important statement in all of Scripture. The word means “to complete,” “to bring to perfection.” Jesus had fully done the work God the Father sent him to do. Paul spends Romans 5 discussing this very fact, that our salvation is sure because Christ’s death totally defeated the effects of Adam’s sin, completely.

But the tense of the verb, the “perfect” tense, brings out even more of what Jesus was saying. The perfect describes an action that was fully completed and has consequences at the time of speaking. Jesus could have used the aorist, ετελέσθη (etelestha), and simply said, “The work is done.” But there is more, there is hope for you and for me. Because Jesus fully completed his task, the ongoing effects are that you are I are offered the free gift of salvation so that we can be with him forever. Praise the Lord. Τετέλεσται

How cool is that? Something is really lost just reading the English.

Romans 5:1-11 (NRSV)

(5.1) Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (2) through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. (3) And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, (4) and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, (5) and hope does not disappoint us, because Gods love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

(6) For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous personthough perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. (8) But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. (9) Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. (10) For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. (11) But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Now go read the rest of Romans 5, its all good stuff. Sit and meditate of this stuff.

Christ’s work truly was completed. It wasn’t simply a statement that Jesus thought he was about to die and his life was over, it was so much more than that. That completion has brought us into something very large. God has called us into something that we could never do on our own. He died for us, was battered for us, was a servant to us. It makes sense that we should live our lives for him.

(5.3) And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, (4) and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, (5) and hope does not disappoint us, because Gods love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Can I boast in my sufferings? I fail at this miserably. I am too self-centered to see the larger story that Christ has called us into. 1 Peter 2.24,25 says this:

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

That is very comforting and challenging and convicting. Because it has been completed in Christ, we have returned to the Guardian of our souls. His wounds saved us, not anything we could ever hope to do. We own him our lives and our daily walk and actions should reflect that.

God bless, and remember,
Τετέλεσται

[UPDATE: The original post and comments are no longer available. :( Sorry!]

Categories: Theology Tags:

Christmas Pics

February 17th, 2005 No comments

Marcie, a good friend of mine, has been visiting the past few days which has been a lot of fun. She came to classes and we explored the city. We went up Grouse Mountain which overlooks the city and it was gorgeous. I will probably post some pictures of that shortly. But before that, I found the pics that were taken at Christmas that I thought were pretty cute. :)


Two simultaneous pictures, one taken by me and one by my first cousin once removed… heh, my cousin’s son, Nathan.

Nathan loves to use the camera and see himself in the viewfinder. Good times had by all. :)

Shalom

Categories: Photoblog Tags:

Valentine’s Day Ruined?

February 14th, 2005 No comments

When will Osama just leave us alone?

WASHINGTON, DCA new videotape of Osama bin Laden broadcast on the Arab satellite news channel Al-Jazeera Monday beseeched Allah to grant all Americans a “crappy Valentine’s Day.”

“This Feb. 14th on the Western infidels’ calendar, may all Americans receive no valentines from their beloved ones,” bin Laden said. “May the homemade construction-paper mailboxes taped to the desks of the American schoolchildren remain empty, as well. May whomever you ask to ‘bee yours’ tell you to ‘buzz off.’”

Bin Laden called for “romantic humiliation for all Americans of courting and betrothal age.”

“Allah willing, embarrassment and tearful rejection shall rule this day,” bin Laden said. “Paper hearts shall be rent and trod upon, and dreams of love delivered stillborn. Body language shall be misinterpreted, crushes unrequited, and sincere expressions of affection mocked. Invitations to dinner will be rejected, just as Americans have rejected Allah, the one true God.”

President Bush instantly spoke out against the new tape saying,

He [Osama] directs rage at even our youngest and most innocent citizens, asking God to quash children’s joy by making them receive, and I quote, ‘only unwanted valentines bearing the laughable likenesses of out-of-favor pop-culture icons from the recent past, such as the Backstreet Boys and the creatures from Monsters, Inc.’ Bin Laden’s depravity knows no bounds.

Bin Laden surely hates the West! Read the entire story here.

I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine’s Day, in spite of Osama. ;)
Shalom

Categories: Daily Life Tags:

1 Peter 2.18-25 Sentence Flow

February 12th, 2005 No comments

This probably isn’t going to mean much to most (if any) who read my blog. I am in Biblical Interpretation at Regent right now and the current assignment is to do sentence flows of 1 Peter 2.18-25. My background being in the sciences, I have never done anything remotely like this. So if you happen to read this and know Greek and/or English very well, would you take a look at the assignment and let me know how I could better it? Both files are in PDF format, you should either be able to click and it will open up in your browser or do a “right click” and save it to your hard drive.

1 Peter 2.18-25 Interlinear. I made this up to help me using the UBS4.
1 Peter 2.18-25 Sentence Flow Here is what I have done so far.

Thanks for your help, feel free to comment in this post of email me at matt at mattjonesblog dot com

I am sure everyone loves Napoleon Dynamite, because how can you not? So here is a treat for you!
Top ten signs you’re not the most popular guy in your high school - as read by Mr. Dynamite himself on The Late Show with David Letterman. (in Windows Media Video format, right click the link and save it to your hard drive) [UPDATE: for space reasons I have taken this off my server, email me if you want to see it.]
Napoleon Gives the Top Ten List (2.3MB) Enjoy!

Shalom

Categories: Regent College, Theology, Writings Tags:

Ash on the forehead, beads around the neck

February 9th, 2005 No comments

There has been an odd split, once again, in society when it comes to the religious (Christian) calendar. The connection between fat Tuesday and lent seems to have diminished beyond all recognition. I also feel this has helped in reducing the importance of lent itself.

Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras) was intended to prepare yourself for the season of fasting in Lent. The Lenten season was a time of fasting so Shrove Tuesday was a day to eat lots of food with the idea of storing up fat for Lent (as well as fellowship with other believers). Also (from Wikipedia),

The origin of the name Shrove lies in the archaic English verb “to shrive” which means to absolve people of their sins. It was common in the Middle Ages for “shriveners” (priests) to hear people’s confessions at this time, to prepare them for Lent.

I am sure there could be numerous discussions about how this traditional feast has become the massive party that it is today. Most likely those discussions will boil down to people like to party.My thoughts are more focused on this disassociation of Fat Tuesday with Ash Wednesday.

The Lent season, which has its roots in the church back about 1000 years or so, is started off on Ash Wednesday, today. Traditionally, the ashes from the burned palm leaves of the previous years Easter Sunday are placed on the forehead in the form of a cross symbolizing purification and repentance:

the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified (Hebrews 9.13, NRSV)

The 40 days (not counting Sundays) of Lent are marked by solidarity with Christ, often symbolically by renouncing something that is of importance to us. Time should also be spent in meditation on our sin as well as on the sacrifice made by Christ. That sacrifice also makes Lent a season of hope leading to Easter and the paradox of the Cross. Christ was without blemish, but became the suffering servant, an ironic fulfillment of OT Prophesy.

I have read some bad Biblical translations, but I am pretty sure I have never read about Jesus getting smashed. Fat Tuesday is to prepare us for the Lent season and Ash Wednesday is the beginning of that season. Why has popular culture taken over the former, but not the latter? It seems so silly to clam the first half the tradition, but not the second. If people want to party and get trashed, that is their prerogative, but don’t pretend it is somehow related to Lent. I know it is possible, but I doubt too many of the girls in the Girls Gone Wild videos will be attending Ash Wednesday services tonight.

I titled this post ash on the forehead, beads around the neck because popular culture would have us believe, even if it isn’t voiced, that it is perfectly logical to show up at our Ash Wednesday services while still wearing the beads from the previous night (if you don’t understand the reference, consider yourself lucky). This is a bad view to hold. I wish Christians could reclaim the true meaning of Fat Tuesday and its connection to the season of Lent. I know that isn’t going to happen though and that’s too bad. This is just another sign of the depravity of man. I hope that today Christians around the world will enter into this season with a heart of repentance and will use Lent to grow closer to God and His son who died for us. Use this time to better yourself and your understanding of Gods word.

This Lent seasons I will be giving up something that has been distracting me from growing closer to God. I watch too much television. So this year I am going to give up TV for lent. I am going to allow myself to a break on Thursday (CSI) and Sunday (Simpsons and Arrested Development) nights, but other than that, I am taking a TV fast. The time I spend watching TV could be better spent praying, studying, reading, and numerous things. I know it is going to be difficult, but it is something I have really felt called to do (I could NEVER come up with this on my own!). I am also giving up Coke (and the like) which is more of a health issue but seems to be Lenten tradition. You can pray that God will give me strength to do both and that he will use this time to build me up and teach me.

God Bless and Shalom as you enter this Lent season,
Matt


“From ashes you have come, to ashes you shall return.”

Original Post with comments [UPDATE: The original post and comments are no longer available. :( Sorry!]

Categories: Social Commentary, Theology Tags: