the man explains

here is a wonderful video from Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose series expaining beautifully why the free market system is the best at maximizing economic outcomes for everyone.

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Cultural Freedom

Courtesy of Instapundit, this is a fun video showcasing a true American entrepreneur. The key moments come when he talks about the “food revolution” and when he says that here in America we have political freedom, religious freedom, economic freedom, but also what he likes to call “cultural freedom. In Italy they eat Italian food. In America, we eat anything.” I love this stuff.

he says at the beginning that here in America, we have the best beer in the world, “no question about it.” I think he is right and it precisely because our creativity exists in a climate of freedom. Capitalism works. One man with one small brewery brewing his ale the way he likes it and the way that will maximize sales. One man making a profit and filling a market niche. Multiply by millions and you have the most dynamic economic system in the history of the world.

Just saying. Don’t let the top down planners who think they are smarter than you and care more about things than you do stay in charge.

Remember and vote this NOvember. your beer depends on it.

your worms too.

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two longer reads

Here are two longer reads for you for this long holiday weekend. We are about to head to the river to try to catch some fish and maybe shoot some doves.

First is the first part of a four part series on the church from Edmund P. Clowney. This is some seriously scholarly Biblical goodness right here.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the Biblical doctrine of the church is directly related to God’s revelation of himself. As we trace the history of redemption recorded in the Word of God, we find that the church comes into view as the people of God, the disciples of Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Yet these views of the redee med do not simply succeed one another; far less do they exclude one another. The Apostle Peter, writing to Gentile Christians in Asia Minor, calls them ‘a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God’ (1 Pet. 2:9). To be sure, they were once ‘not a people’, but now they are ‘the people of God’ (v. 10). The language that described the calling of Israel in the Old Testament Peter applies to the New Testament people of God. On the other hand, Christ is central for the Old Testament as well as for the New, and Paul, reflecting on the experience of Israel in the wilderness, affirms that ‘the Rock that followed them was Christ’ (1 Cor. 10:4). That same leading of Israel through the desert is ascribed by the prophet Isaiah to the Holy Spirit (Is. 63:9-14).

To gain the richness of biblical revelation, we do well to trace the unfolding of the theme of the church through the history of God’s saving work. In doing so we are instructed by the transformations of that theme as well as by the underlying unity of the purpose and work of God. To focus our consideration, we may reflect on the calling of the church. The church is called to God, called to be his people. By that relation to God the being of the church is defined. The church is also called, by that very relation, to a bond of life together. It ministers not only to God, but also to those who make up its company. The church is also called in the midst of the world. Its ministry is therefore threefold: it ministers to God in worship, to the saints in nurture, and to the world in witness.

and here is a very interesting look at the necessity for, difficulty of and some examples of succession plans in the church.

“A true test of gospel application is seen in succession—in the health of what we leave behind,” Harvey says. “It’s a biblical way to measure success. If we simply build a church that fragments upon transfer, how does that glorify God or really serve the next generation? It doesn’t. Transfer isn’t about merely protecting programs or salvaging a legacy. It’s about preserving the gospel and passing it on to others.”

And yet few pastors seem to view succession this way. Human nature makes succession plans like those plotted by Keller and Harvey difficult to pull off. Senior leaders don’t want to let go. They realize too late that they’re slowing down, a process that begins in many cases around age 60. Various aspects of the church’s vision become neglected, and the church stagnates. The senior leader’s gifting and experience mask underlying structural weaknesses, as in the case of Spurgeon. Meanwhile, younger leaders don’t want to wait around to take charge. Many capable young leaders know the long odds of a successful succession. So they prefer to plant their own churches or invest in smaller ones they can grow by God’s grace.

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I love this song

and this video.

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photos are for phridai

I bought a used AF-S 80-200mm f2.8 from ebay and these are the first shots from testing it out.

A snapshot of some lantana from my truck (while stopped). Bokeh looks nice and smooth.
new lens

Does anybody know what this fruit is?
new lens

and of course the reason to have the AF-S version of this lens is for sports. Football has begun and here is my nephew making a tackle in the backfield last night. (one of the few bright spots for Midway against the McNeil Mavericks)
midway v. mcneil (JV)

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interesting take

Here is an interesting take on the rapture from Tullian TchividJian. Talking about Matthew 24 he says:

But a closer look at the context reveals that in those pictures Jesus gave of men in the field and women at the mill, those “left behind” are the righteous rather than the unrighteous. Like the people in Noah’s day who were “swept away,” leaving behind Noah and his family to rebuild the world, so the unrighteous are “taken,” while the righteous are left behind. Why? Because this world belongs to God, and he’s in the process of gaining it all back, not giving it all up.

When it comes to this world’s future, God will follow the same pattern he engineered in Noah’s day, when he washed away everything that was perverse and wicked but did not obliterate everything. God will not annihilate the cosmos; he’ll renew, redeem, and resurrect it. As Randy Alcorn writes, “We will be the same people made new and we will live on the same Earth made new.”

Cool. Makes me want to do some studying of Matthew 24. how about you?

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Two quick hits

Here is an interesting post from C. Michael Patton regarding the need to beware of professional “weaker brethren.”

When grace and liberty clash with “scruples,” more often than not, unfortunately, the scruples win. Why? Because we are so quick to sacrifice our liberty for the sake of the “weaker brethren.” Yes, this “weaker brethren” card is often pulled and legalists love it. In fact, it is used most often by those who are legalist wearing the disguise of those who are free. It is not that this card is illegitimate—it is not as if there are not true weaker brethren—but it is abused and the result is slavery.

I remember Chuck Swindoll talking about this saying: “Be careful, there are some people out there who are ‘professional weaker brethren.’”

“Kristie, I have scruples with this make-up thing. Maybe I cannot find a verse or a solid principle upon which to rest my theological head, but you need to be sensitive andunderstanding to my hang-ups for the sake of my spirituality. One more year and my scruples will be gone.”

I highlighted some key words that legalists will use to manipulate the situation. “Sensitive,” “understanding,” “hang-ups,” “sake,” and most importantly, “my.”

From the other side, liberty is so often sacrificed.

and here is one about the news business circling the drain due to its own ideology and the choices made in accordance therewith.

The problem with the American media is that it doesn’t speak to Americans. That’s why FOX News is successful, and CNN is in the basement. Network news exists underwritten by medication and mutual fund commercials, and even so it’s losing money. ABC News is making severe cutbacks even while cutting Amanpoura 2 million dollar paycheck for a show hardly anyone watches anymore. And despite investing in a splashy media rollout for the Amanpour branded This Week, she finished a distant third, well behind Meet the Press. While viewers normally tune in to see a new host, the addition of Amanpour couldn’t even compete with CBS or NBC’s own similarly decaying programs on the day of her own debut.

The left is furiously blasting Washington Post TV Critic Tom Shales for stating what was obvious to everyone, that Amanpour is out of place, completely clueless about US politics and insists on internationalizing domestic issues. But shooting the messenger won’t save Amanpour. Her hiring is only the latest manifestation of a media that is too radicalized to save itself. Bringing in a personality from the sinking ship that is CNN was obviously a bad idea on commercial grounds alone. Amanpour left CNN, for the same reason that Campbell Brown did. And ABC News taking Amanpour in, demonstrates that they share CNN’s bad judgment.

Unlike ABC producers, Americans are not interested in an “outsider’s perspective” on American politics. They can get that from the White House.

check them out and tell me what you think.

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we are wired to want the anwer to the “why?” question whenever things happen that we don’t like or enjoy. We seldom care about “why?” when we are doing well and everything is going the way we like. I often think that we should reverse these two.

Anyway, Challies took on this question yesterday out of John 9 using Matthew Henry’s commentary on the matter. Excellent post that should be read in full. a tease:

God uses all situations, including suffering, to allow us to glimpse his attributes. In this blind man we see the justice of God in allowing sinful men to become subject to pain and calamity; we see the goodness of God in taking mercy on him; and we see the sovereign power of God in restoring him. According to Henry, all suffering comes down to this—God intends to show himself, to declare his glory, to make us take notice of him. So this is the key to suffering: God uses it to show us himself!

After reading it, what do you think?

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here is a fascinating conversation between Sky Jethani, Mark Dever and Jim Wallis. There are five parts to the conversation, but it is well worth watching.

part 1

part 2

part 3
part 4
and part 5

what do you think? While you are watching the videos keep this little episode in mind as you evaluate the positions and language of the participants.

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wickard v. filburn

If I ever have the chance to get asked in any context what Supreme Court case was wrongly decided, my first response will be Griswold v. Connecticut. Millions of babies have paid the ultimate price for married couples in Connecticut to enjoy the thrill of a condom purchased in state.

A very close second is Wickard v. Filburn.

here is a great video from ReasonTV explaining this ruling and its pernicious effects.

ht to wizbang

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fotos on fridae

the capitol is “getting a little work done” to help it keep its looks as time marches on.
getting a little work done

getting a little work done

mansfield dam in the early morning while we were waiting for the hot air balloons
mansfield dam

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college time

this is a chilling article from Dr. Mohler.

Even as most professors see themselves as stewards of the teaching profession and fellow learners with their students, others see their role in very different terms — as agents of ideological indoctrination. All teaching involves ideology and intellectual commitments. There is no position of authentic objectivity. Every teacher, as well as every student, comes into the classroom with certain intellectual commitments. Some professors set as their aim the indoctrination of students into their own worldview, and many of these worldviews are both noxious and deeply troubling. A professor who acts as such an agent of indoctrination abuses the stewardship of teaching and the professorial calling, but this abuse is more widespread and dangerous than many students and their parents understand.

We can’t keep our kids from going away to get an education, but we can do the best job possible in grounding them in the Bible. Not just memorizing scripture, but teaching them a Biblical worldview and how to think Biblically. Moreover, it is essential that we teach our kids how to think and analyze before they go off to school. They have to be able to weigh competing claims, to discern truth, and to compare new material to the truth of scripture.

Once we have given our kids the tools, we pray for the Holy Spirit to empower them to use the tools as they learn what they need to learn to succeed in their degree plan.

What else can we do?

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what the Bible is about

Collin Hansen has posted a great video as he says:

To whet your appetite for the 2011 national conference—They Testify About Me: Preaching Jesus and the Gospel from the Old Testament—I wanted to share this clip from Tim Keller’s address at the inaugural 2007 conferenceHeath McPherson, a gifted artist himself, mixed Keller’s words with music and paired it with drawings by Gustave Dore. All together the video tells a powerful story of what the Bible is basically about.

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hipster Christianity?

here is my post from a week ago about how the church changes forms over time.

but what about the argument made by Brett McCracken here about the perils of Hipster Christianity?

If the evangelical Christian leadership thinks that “cool Christianity” is a sustainable path forward, they are severely mistaken. As a twentysomething, I can say with confidence that when it comes to church, we don’t want cool as much as we want real.

If we are interested in Christianity in any sort of serious way, it is not because it’s easy or trendy or popular. It’s because Jesus himself is appealing, and what he says rings true. It’s because the world we inhabit is utterly phony, ephemeral, narcissistic, image-obsessed and sex-drenched—and we want an alternative. It’s not because we want more of the same.

I don’t know if I agree with Brett’s argument or not. I am not entirely sure what the problem is that he feels he is addressing.

What do you think?

How do the arguments and evidence from Scot McKnight in this article affect your view, if at all?

here is a bit:

Second, big tent evangelicalism tended toward the reductionistic when it came to theology because it sought to cooperate for the good of evangelism and evangelicalism. The more reductionistic it became, the less robust it could be. Eventually, in my limited viewing of the last forty years, the minimalism became too minimal.

I point now to one dramatic element of big tent evangelicalism: the megachurch phenomenon. And here I speak not simply of all big churches but of those big churches that did not develop a robust theological infrastructure. What I mean is this: megachurch evangelicalism tended, at times, toward a theology that was not much bigger than: God loves you, Jesus died for you, accept him, and get busy. Anything that smacked of theological robustness or finesse, anything that demanded theological sophistication, and anything that required serious study was seen as “extra” or “non-essential” or “for the elite.”

I’m not participating here in the all-too-popular megachurch bashing that I see among some. Instead, I’m contending that megachurches rode the wave of the coalition and part of that wave was a developing lack of interest in theological vision. This thin theological foundation, which began in the neo-evangelical spirit of coalition but which developed into even thinner ways among some evangelical pastors and leaders, could not handle the challenges of evangelicalism as it shifted from a genuinely Christian culture into a postmodern non-Christian pluralism.

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God’s exaltation of God

I have mentioned before the message John Piper gave at Passion 2010.

I was reading it again this morning to finish a lesson and it struck me again how wonderful it is. Go take a look.

God’s Radical Devotion to Himself

Reading the Bible with these eyes, I began to see what Erik Reece and C.S. Lewis and Michael Prowse and Oprah were seeing. God really is radically devoted to seeing himself exalted. God is radically committed to seeing that his glory is esteemed as the supreme value of the universe.

Here is a sampling of what I saw.

God creates for his glory.

Isaiah 43:6-7: Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory.

God elects Israel for his glory.

Jeremiah 13:11: I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory.

God saves them from Egypt for his glory.

Psalm 106:7-8:  Our fathers rebelled against the Most High at the Red Sea. Yet he saved them for his name’s sake that he might make known his power.

God restrains his anger in exile for his glory.

Isaiah 48:9-11For my names sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you . . . . For my own sake, for my own sake I do it, forhow should my name be  profaned?  My glory I will not give to another.

God sends his Son at the end of the age for his glory.

2 Thessalonians 1:9-10: He comes on that day to be glorified in his saints and to be marveled at in all who have believed.

In all of redemptive history, from beginning to ending, God has this one ultimate goal: that his name be glorified. The aim of God in all that he does is most ultimately the praise of his glory.

All of redemptive history is bookended by this amazing purpose in God the Father and God the Son. And in the middle of that redemptive history stands the greatest event in the history of the world, the death of Jesus Christ.

And just at these points—the beginning and the ending and the middle (predestining of our salvation at the beginning, and the consummation of our salvation at the end, and the purchase of our salvation at the middle)—just at these points the problem of God’s apparent egomania finds its amazing solution.

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Old Testament preaching

interesting questions and answers over at the Gospel Coalition with Collin Hansen talking to Mike Bullmore about the challenges and opportunity involved in preaching from the Old Testament. here is one, but go check out the rest.

What are the primary challenges for preaching expository messages from the Old Testament?

The challenges are many. The size of the cultural gap between us can make the Old Testament feel remote and foreign. The pure amount of material in the Old Testament can be daunting, i.e. how should you best cover the long narratives and long prophetic writings in a week-by-week Sunday morning preaching setting. The variety of literary genres can present a challenge, i.e. what does one do with the numbering of generations? How should the sections of civil and ceremonial law be preached?

But the greatest challenge (and the greatest privilege) in preaching the Old Testament is finding the way that it points to Christ and bringing that to the congregation in a way that clearly honors the Old Testament passage and makes much of Christ. This is not a call for importing some artificial connection to Jesus whenever we preach. Just the opposite. This calls for understanding and expositing the specific ways in which Old Testament passages point to Christ. But it does presuppose, based on Jesus’ own words in John 5 and Luke 24, that every passage of the Old Testament does indeed point to him.

HT to the z man

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phriday and photos

I went to a hands off Texas rally a week ago, mainly to see my next state representative, Larry Gonzales, speak, but also to take some pictures. There were quite a few folks gathered in the extreme heat on the south steps of the Capitol.

This fellow here had to be very hot indeed
Hands off Texas Rally

Here is Larry Gonzales fighting to win back state house district 52.
Hands off Texas Rally

here are a couple of ilford pan F 50 shots
hands off Texas rally

hands off Texas rally

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here is an interesting post on marriage; its characteristics and its purposes. what do you think?

here is a bit to get you started:

The call for same-sex marriage involves a similar misdefinition. Marriage is often characterized today as follows: 1) two people 2) who love each other 3) want to perform sexual acts together, so 4) they consent to combine their lives sexually, materially, economically 5) with the endorsement of the community. Since same-sex couples can meet the first four criteria, how can society refuse the fifth?

It is easy to see why this would be a cause of aggravation, not only for same-sex couples who wish community endorsement of their relationships, but for millions of others. If the criteria stated above actually define marriage—and in contemporary Western society, many have come to view marriage as no more than this—then refusal to acknowledge and endorse same-sex relationships is a rank injustice, nothing but an exercise in bigotry or stupidity.

now read this piece by Ken Herman and tell him why he’s wrong, if you can.

again a tease to get you over there:

I’m sure I’m wrong on this but I’m not sure why.

Resolved: If a homosexual legally can marry the same-sex love of his or her life, then a polygamist should be able to legally marry the any-sex loves of his or her life.

It’s a notion posited by slippery-slopers who fear legalized same-sex marriage leads to legalized polygamy. I think they might be on to something, but I’m still sure I’m wrong.

Now think a minute. if marriage is only supposed to be the highest and best expression of romantic love, then why can’t any two or more adults who love each other get married? adult siblings? adult nieces and nephews with their aunt or uncle? adult child with their parent? why not?

as Ken Herman says:

But, legalities aside, if you believe same-sex marriage is OK, that everybody should be allowed to marry whomever they want, then what’s your argument against polygamy?

And please be careful not to use anything, such as religion or creepiness, that sounds like arguments used against same-sex marriage. This might be a bit trickier than you’d think.

so legalities aside and without invoking religion or creepiness, why is the “slippery slope” argument a bad argument in the defense of traditional marriage?

Here is a liberal anthropologist’s answer from my blog a couple of years ago. And here is my post a year ago about polyamory being on the way.

what do you think? how does that compare to the answer given by Stephen Heaney in the first article excerpted above?

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50 year war

the 50 year war for Biblical inerrancy continues. Dr. Mohler is in the fight.

Here is a bit on the claims and the stakes, but go read the whole thing.

Sparks, however, takes the argument further. He understands that the incarnational model implicates Jesus. He does not resist this. Jesus, he suggests, “was a finite person who grew up in Palestine.” While asserting that he affirms the historic Christian creeds and “traditional Christian orthodoxy,” Sparks proposes that Jesus made routine errors of fact.

His conclusion: “If Jesus as a finite human being erred from time to time, there is no reason at all to suppose that Moses, Paul, [and/or] John wrote Scripture without error.”

That is a breath-taking assumption, to say the very least. But, even in its shocking audacity, it serves to reveal the clear logic of the new battle-lines over biblical inerrancy. We now confront open calls to accept and affirm that there are indeed errors in the Bible. It is demanded that we accept the fact that the human authors of the Bible often erred because of their limited knowledge and erroneous assumptions about reality. We must, it is argued, abandon the claim that the Bible is a consistent whole. Rather, we are told to accept the claims that the human authors of Scripture were just plain wrong in some texts — even in texts that define God and his ways. We are told that some texts are just “down-right sinister or evil.”

And, note clearly, we are told that we must do this in order to save Evangelicalism from an intellectual disaster.

Of course, accepting this demand amounts to a theological disaster of incalculable magnitude. Rarely has this been more apparent and undeniable. The rejection of the Bible’s inerrancy will please the evangelical revisionists, but it will rob the church of its secure knowledge that the Bible is indeed true, trustworthy and fully authoritative.

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changing church

Details has an interesting story about the changing church in America today. The story is a detailed look at Reality LA church in Los Angeles. It is clear that the author, Anna David is having a hard time fitting the church into the preexisting categories in her mind.

Go check it out. Here is a bit to tease you over, but it is all well worth reading.

Chaddick’s church is the antithesis of mass-produced middle-American neo-Protestantism. While Joel Osteen’s brand of cul-de-sac Christianity suggests that you can get a perfect, prosperous life and a six-bedroom mansion through faith and regular church attendance, Reality LA, which doesn’t advertise itself, is at once much more reactionary and much hipper, the small-batch alternative to the Walmart-esque megachurch. Reality’s teachings are distinctly antimaterialistic, instructing followers to screw the six bedrooms and forget about the house—the church encourages members who would donate money out of obligation not to give at all and rents a high school for worship rather than owning a building. Chaddick also preaches that being born-again isn’t a magic bullet that will suddenly absolve you of sin or torment. “Our lives are ones of continual repentance, and to repent just means to turn away,” he says. “Perfection is not required, but progress is possible.”

This would seem like a tough doctrinal pill to swallow, especially to a crowd of young, fashion-forward Angelenos who look as perfect as the cast of any CW show. But Reality’s traditional dogmas are balanced with frank discussions of the modern pressures faced by its flock.

Read More

What do you think? I think that God preserves his church by changing its form as necessary.

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Holiness of God

Do we understand and/or appreciate the holiness of God? Here is Isaiah’s account of his personal encounter with God and his reaction:

[6:1] In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. [2] Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. [3] And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

[4] And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. [5] And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
[6] Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. [7] And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
(Isaiah 6:1-7 ESV)

and here is what R.C. Sproul says about this encounter in his book The Holiness of God as quoted by Challies

If ever there was a man of integrity, it was Isaiah ben Amoz. He was a whole man, a together type of a fellow. He was considered by his contemporaries as the most righteous man in the nation. He was respected as a paragon of virtue. Then he caught one sudden glimpse of a holy God. In that single moment, all of his self-esteem was shattered. In a brief second he was exposed, made naked beneath the gaze of the absolute standard of holiness. As long as Isaiah could compare himself to other mortals, he was able to sustain a lofty opinion of his own character. The instant he measured himself by the ultimate standard, he was destroyed—morally and spiritually annihilated. He was undone. He came apart. His sense of integrity collapsed.

what would our reaction be? compare Job’s, Daniel’s, and Peter’s to Isaiah’s.

Do we really grasp the holiness of God? Do we even want to do so?

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Caffeine is a wonderful thing and I enjoy copious amounts of it every day. Have you ever wondered what it is, how it works, why its addictive and how to tame it? neither have I really, but this article is interesting anyway. Go check it out.

Effectiveness, Tolerance, and Headaches

Why do so many patients coming out of anesthesia after major surgery feel a headache? It’s because, in most cases, they’re not used to going so long without coffee. The good news? If they wait a few more days, they can start saving coffee again for when they really need it.

The effectiveness of caffeine varies significantly from person to person, due to genetics and other factors in play. The average half-life of caffeine—that is, how long it takes for half of an ingested dose to wear off—is about five to six hours in a human body. Women taking oral birth control require about twice as long to process caffeine. Women between the ovulation and beginning of menstruation see a similar, if less severe, extended half-life. For regular smokers, caffeine takes half as long to process—which, in some ways, explains why smokers often drink more coffee and feel more agitated and anxious, because they’re unaware of how their bodies work without cigarettes.

and a video with MRI evidence of caffeine’s effect on the brain.

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fotos are for friday

I got up early last Saturday to go watch and photograph the 20th Annual Lake Travis Flight of the Central Texas Ballooning Association. It was pretty cool. I haven’t ever seen hot air balloons get unpacked, filled and floated before.

20th Annual Lake Travis Flight

20th Annual Lake Travis Flight

and these are from a roll of 50 ISO Ilford Pan F that I shot in the Nikon F4e.
cactus flower
cactus flower

and coneflowers

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True love

here is a picture of real love. The kind of love described in Ephesians 5 that exemplifies Christ and the church.

here is a bit to get you started, but please go read it all. There is a counter example given as well.

A neighbor of mine works as a therapist for Alzheimer’s patients, both high-functioning and low. She recently described one sixty-ish daily visitor. “He is a saint. Every day he brings his lunch and eats with his wife. She doesn’t recognize him, so every day she is meeting a new friend. When we told him he needn’t come so often he said, ‘But she is my bride; if I did not see her, I would miss her.’”

The man’s wife had changed, but if she was no longer capable of seeing her groom, he still beheld and adored his bride. Their marriage, then, is the microcosmic reflection of the macro-love of God for his people and the love of Christ for his church. Love without limit, love without fear, love without desertion; love in joy and in pain, love in the shallows and the depths, love without end.

We cannot see God except as he is made manifest through us, and in the covenant of marriage his faithfulness is beautifully reflected. We look to this manifestation—in all its turbulent courses—to get an inkling of him. When we cannot see the great love of God reflected so near to us, we are diminished.

does that remind you of this?

[28] In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. [29] For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, [30] because we are members of his body.
(Ephesians 5:28-30 ESV)

HT to Kathryn Jean Lopez

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Bible Study Assumptions

we make some assumptions as we approach the Bible for study.  Graeme Goldsworthy in his book, Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics, calls these assumptions gospel presuppositions.  He lists them as follows:

* The God who is there is the God of the Bible, who is (among other things) Creator, Savior, and Communicator
* Human beings were created in his image, which involves us as those with whom God communicates
* The truth of God is evident in all creation
* Sin means the human declaration of independence from God, and the suppression of his truth
* Grace means that God mercifully provides special revelation that informs, redeems and makes God present to us
* This redemptive revelation, the word of God, is focused on Jesus Christ

Timmy Brister points out that these presuppositions mean that the gospel “is not only the message that transforms sinners into saints but also the medium through which we rightly understand all human experience.”

What do you think? Please go read the rest of Timmy’s post to see Mr. Goldsworthy’s list of alternative presuppositions of the world apart from the gospel. fascinating.

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