Archive for March, 2006


March 31st, 2006 5 comments

Tonight I went to UBC’s presentation of George Handel’s Messiah with some friends from Regent. Both the University Singers and the UBC Choral Union performed wonderfully! I had never heard the full oratorio so this was quite a treat. I would not like to hear it professionally with a full orchestra. Just to hear a full chior sing out the Gospel was great. The baratone’s “Behold I Tell You” and “The Trumpet Shall Sound” were two of my favorites that led wonderfully into the conclusion of “Worthy is the Lamb” and of course the moving “Amen”. The ever popular “For Unto Us” and “Hallelujah” brought me chills to hear in full chior, I can only imagine the impact of professional chior and orchestra. As with King George, the audience rose, it would be impossible not to in hearing “Hallelujah”.

During the performance I wondered if those in the chior truly grasped what they were singing. How could you sing it and remain ignorant?

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.

Wikipedia: Messiah - Handel Messiah Messiah Libretto (the Words)

Also, the comments and discussion in Birth Control is for Wimps? has been pretty interesting and I invite you to continue dialoguing there.

Categories: Meaningful Song, Regent College Tags:

Birth Control is for Wimps?

March 28th, 2006 44 comments

I was reading Andrea‘s blog the other day and she pointed to a Christian fundie blog that had her, and now myself, perplexed. Now, I am pretty conservative in numerous ways theologically, but many fundamentalist views I just cannot understand. (As an example, this blog had a discussion on whether or not women should go to college [the blog is written by a woman]… right.)

There are two things that I want to point out at this blog. Firstly, is that I commented on her post Deny Christ or Die about a former muslim who was being forced to renounce Christianity or to be put to death. Generally, her comments were fine as becoming a Christian martyr for your faith can be honorable. But I offered this comment:

On the other hand, ponder this: couldn’t your work for Christ be spread easier if you were alive? Being a martyr for Christ is a glorious thing, but so is spreading His Gospel (yes, the argument can be made that his death because of faith will speak loudly, I don’t deny that). I think of many international Christians (like many in China) who have to consistently deny Christ (publicly that is) in order to keep their missions / ministries working under ground.

This was answered quite politely with:

Hi, Matt! Interesting question. I think that one’s view of this would probably lie in whether or not they believe the end justifies the means.

I personally believe that we can trust God, obey Him, and leave the results to Him. I don’t see where there is ever an exception in Scripture where it is okay to lie or to deny Christ.

Mt 10:33 - But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

2Ti 2:12 - If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us

I think this somewhat neglects my questions. It is easy to say “I personally believe that we can trust God, obey Him, and leave the results to Him.” But to actually delve into what it means to trust and obey should be really looked at. This also neglects our responsibility all together. I followed up with a second comment (which has conveniently not appeared on her site…):

But, for many, I don’t think the issue is “do I have enough faith to die for Christ?” but “do I have enough faith to deny Him to those around me to further His work?” I know many of the Chinese Christians in the churches there would die for Christ but they recognize that their context is different. I think Christ can handle some of his followers denying him to stay alive because he knows their hearts. I would also like to say that we deny Christ every day. Every time we sin against another, we are denying Him. And this is often done in front of man. We are all the more guilty because we deny Christ in the every day, under no persecution.

Apparently she didn’t feel the discussion was important enough to continue (although I must say, the comments of her supporters seemed to keep coming in…). Would anyone else like to add anything to this discussion? Anyone agree? Completely disagree?

My second issue (and this is with a very brief look over her blog) was with the post For Wimps Only that pointed to this tee shirt for sale. Not only is this shirt offensive to non-Christians (and therefore isn’t exactly a good witnessing tool), but it should also be offensive to Christians to routinely use birth control. The fundie mentality that we should only be “natural” with such things is not only ridiculous, it is completely inconsistent.

So, the Bible doesn’t have anyone using birth control, therefore we shouldn’t… oh wait, there are plenty of things the Bible doesn’t talk about that we do. Or how about this: [from the comments of that post] “even the Bible is considered offensive. So the shirt is in good company.” Right, the Bible is considered offensive and so is pornography, but that’s ok it’s in good company. Oh wait… Or maybe this: [again from her comments] “Birth control is just that….YOU controlling something that God should be controlling.” Right, God doesn’t allow us to have a say in anything! Oh wait, He actually does in NUMEROUS areas [medical science is just ONE of these areas]. It amazes me that people, who would quickly denounce birth control, would be perfectly fine having surgery or an MRI or… or … What amazes me even more is that there are people who aren’t even fine with those things [Hi, I'm a scientologist]. I didn’t even bother commenting on this post because I doubt it would have been published…


Ok, I didn’t write this on thursday, but I am going to include it in Laura’s Open Trackback Thursday. Thanks Laura!

Categories: Religion, Social Commentary Tags:

Pale Pacific at the Crocodile

March 27th, 2006 3 comments

The Pale Pacific played last night at The Crocodile Cafe and put on a freaking amazing show! The four guys play really well together and have a great stage presence. The music was dynamic and powerful. Everything you could want in a good show!

Pics (clickable for larger versions) are below. Some turned out better than others… as is usually the case. Thanks to Gabe, Cameron, Greg, and Justin for a kickin’ show!

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Categories: Meaningful Song Tags:

Preaching Psalm 124

March 24th, 2006 6 comments

Busy week over! One of the things that kept me busy was preparing a sermon on Psalm 124 (one of the songs of the ascent) that I preached in Darrell Johnson’s Preaching and Worship class. (I also preached on Philippians 1:12-20)I was honestly not sure how it would turn out but the feedback I got was pretty positive and the suggestions and criticism were quite helpful. I think with some tweaking and working on this for a few more hours and it would be ready (?) to preach in a church. Please let me know what you think.. if you read it that is! Reproduced below is the manuscript of what I preached. I recorded myself and I will post that when I get back from Seattle. Have a great weekend!

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Categories: Regent College, Religion, Theology, Writings Tags:

A Western Graduation

March 21st, 2006 4 comments

My sister Erin graduated from Western Washington University this past weekend! It was a fun weekend to hang out with some family and enjoy this great day for Erin. Now she actually has to find a job and enter the “real world” (whatever that means…). Pictures are below. There are a few of the family that I still need to get from Bob that I will post when they arrive.

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Categories: Daily Life Tags:

Space Saturday XVII

March 19th, 2006 6 comments

Once again, Space Saturday comes a day late. My sister’s graduation is a pretty good excuse I think! Today’s Space Saturday brings to you M45: The Pleiades.

The Pleiades
Credit: Chuck’s Astrophotography (source)

The Pleides, or Seven Sisters (also called Subaru in Japan - ever notice the car logo?), is an open star cluster in the constellation Taurus and is one of the more recognizable clusters in the northern night sky. The grouping of stars sits at a distance of about 440 light years from us, is 13 light years across, and contains around 500 stars. One of the things that makes this cluster so beautiful is its reflection nebula. The reflection nebula is formed by the white/blue light from the hot, young stars reflecting of dust particles.

Check out my Space Saturday Archive for other astronomy photographs.

Gorgeous NASA photograph of M45
APOD: The Pleiades Star Cluster
Wikipedia: The Pleiades Star Cluster
Chuck’s Astrophotography: The Pleiades in Taurus
SEDS: M 45
Wikipedia Image: Reflection nebula near Merope (one of the stars in the Pleiades)

Categories: Science Tags: