Friday, February 28, 2014

Buckhead Cinema'N'Drafthouse

Sunday night Matthew is going to the Switchfoot concert at the old Buckhead Cinema where Peachtree, Roswell, and Paces Ferry meet.
In the 80's I used to go there to watch dollar movies when it was called the Buckhead Cinema & Drafthouse. That was before Blockbuster and RedBox got real popular. I remember driving from near Piedmont Park all the way over to Toco Hills shopping center on Clairemont Road to rent videos. There was a dollar movie at Toco Hills and also up in Sandy Springs near North Springs High. Then the video stores drove the dollar movies out of business. One of the few still open is the Picture Show up near me.

When I was a kid we'd go to the movies, but I didn't know how much it cost.

Thursday: Another slow night. Worked until 6 pm last night. Ceil was watching Project Runway, so I caught up on reading and took a nap. Anna was off at her Thursday night youth group.

I need to work on the gutters this weekend. Also laundry and cleaning. M wants to see his girlfriend. 

Monday evening I went to a store in Roswell. Walked in and was looking at the rack of clothes with my head down, working my way to the back of the store. When I reached the halfway point I realized the back half of the store was vacant. Wednesday night I was checking email and saw the store was closing. They had a huge sale Tuesday and Wednesday, but I missed it.

ARK/KY: so many college athletes, especially the underclassmen, are so undisciplined that almost every year even the most dominant teams lose one or two games they are supposed to win. Happens in football as well. Drives me crazy. Tech is the exception. Under Cremins they used to pull a big upset every now and then, but it's hard to remember any since then.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rosenberg's 12 Books

Author Joel C Rosenberg: Here are twelve books that absolutely changed my life:

Fear No Evil by Natan Sharansky – the spell-binding true story a Jewish dissident who spent 9 years in a KGB gulag, a man who became one of my heroes

From Beirut To Jerusalem by Tom Friedman – the riveting account of a New York Times reporter covering the Middle that made me want to spend my whole life understanding the epicenter

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas – the brilliant biography of one of the most courageous pastors in the history of Germany, a man who stood for Christ during the reign of Hitler

Night by Elie Wiesel – the terrifying true account of a Jewish man sent to the Auschwitz death camp but lost his faith in God

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom – the amazing true story of a godly Christian woman who not only survived a Nazi concentration camp but learned to forgive her captors because of Jesus’ love for her

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis – the most penetrating explanation of what it means to be a true follower of Jesus Christ ever written, by a former atheist professor at Oxford and Cambridge at that

Just As I Am by Billy Graham – the inspiring true story of a North Carolina farm boy who grew up to preach the Gospel to more people face to face than anyone in all of human history

Born Again by Chuck Colson – the game-changing true story of President Nixon’s “hatchet man,” arrested during Watergate, sent to prison, but finding utter forgiveness and redemption through Christ and taking that message to prisoners all over the world

God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew – the true story of a man willing to risk his life to bring the Word of God to the enslaved people of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union

The Coming Peace In The Middle East by Tim LaHaye – long out of print but the most fascinating book about Bible prophecy (specifically Ezekiel 38 & 39) I have ever read, bar none
The Testament by John Grisham – the first novel I ever read that was both absolutely thrilling and spiritually inspiring, something I’d never imagined was possible before reading this book

Training The Twelve by A.B. Bruce – the greatest book on how to make disciples by a pastor and theologian no one has ever heard of.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tech / Duke

Enjoyed the Tech/Duke game last week: the company, and the buffet. Enjoyed the buffet a little too much. Fruit was fresh. Turkey wrap stuffed with lots of meat. Meatballs delicious. Mac & cheese very cheesy. Great apple cobbler – my favorite. Shouldn’t have eaten the brownie or cookie but they looked so good. Didn’t eat much breakfast. Called Ceil on the way home last night. She had just gone to bed. Told her about the spread. Need to send her the photo. I posted the photo on Instagram, and Haley Hurt liked it .

Was too full to get right to sleep, so I watched Jimmy Fallon’s second Tonight Show. Hopefully he will continue to not just have guests come out and talk, but also perform. Seinfeld told jokes for a long time, then acted surprised when Fallon motioned him over to the couch. Kristen Wiig impersonated One Direction heart-throb Harry Styles. Jimmy performed with a barbershop quartet and also sang with Wiig. Too bad it comes on so late. Lady Ga Ga sang – that’s when I went to bed.

Couldn’t believe traffic was so bad before the game. My drive was going smoothly until I turned onto Abernathy just north of Perimeter Mall. Had to cut through the mall parking lot, made a U turn, turned right, another U, right across the new bridge over 285, right toward the hospitals, and made another U turn. Waited in the slower right lane to turn south on Peachtree Dunwoody, then gave up at the last minute and turned left. Was going to take 285 east to 85, but that was backed up, so I cut across the road and go on 285 west. 400 was backed up, so I got off at the Buckhead Loop. Everyone was turning left, so I went right and turned around in an office park.

Heard why southbound traffic was backed up on the downtown connector at 11 pm after the game - a traffic fatality. Good thing I didn’t take my usual I-75 route home after dropping you off – I would’ve gotten stuck in it. I hate to get on 400 in Buckhead because of all the traffic lights. Later I learned a friend had car trouble in Buckhead last night.

Wonder if Kennesaw won’t soon pass Georgia State as the third most prominent college in the state. Their sports program could attract better athletes. I think Kennesaw already has more students.

I peel off stamps and stick them in my calendar scrapbook. My 2014 scrapbook hasn’t gotten off to a good start, though I have been posting what’s been going on. Almost filled my 2013 scrapbook, though I do have a little empty space in the back.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Prophesy via Dreams

For years the guys in my East Cobb small group have joked about our families moving off in the wilderness when things in the government gets really bad. As things have been getting worse and worse, its been easier to remember to bring up our plan when we get together.

Monday night I dreamt: Our families had moved in together. In addition to the Earharts, Halls, Falis's, Murphys, and Watkins, Becky Norman was there, and Steve and GiGi Apostel (my old boss and his wife). So out of seven guys, three are named Steve. Families had brought most of their furnishings and possessions. All the sofas were lined up side by side in one room. Steve Apostel looked at me and said "I don't like that painting over there" as if it was my job to tell the owner to take it down. I thought that was hilarious. The "safehouse" looked like a typical rambling house on the inside. Outside it was on old grocery store in a shopping center I recognized.

Later the doorbell rang. I opened the door, and a large black man had lined up all these old, large, dilapidated pieces of furniture in the front yard, trying to sell them to us. As I surveyed the wreck in front of my, co-worker Randy Michalski walked out of the door behind me (evidently Randy was part of our gang as well). Randy immediately told the guy we weren't interested and to go away. Randy went back inside. I knew I should've gone inside, but I let the guy keep talking to me. One large grandfather clock had fallen over, the insides cracked to pieces. The guy was still trying to sell it to us. Finally I had to tell the guy "I said NO! You asked me if I wanted to buy this crap, and now you act like I'm a bad person for not saying yes!" Sometimes in real life I feel that way about people making demands of me.

Back to reality: Randy has now lost 80 pounds and can fit into the Army uniform he wore when he was 18. He credits his weight loss to eating right (no more fast food), exercising, and persistence. He recently ran his first 5K in Kissimmee and averaged 8-1/2 minute miles. Of the 50 runners in his 60-65 year old age group Randy finished FIRST! He tells me this story right when I'm inundated with great coupons for Wendys and Burger King.

Working until almost six Monday evening. Ceil cooked stir fried vegetables and beef tips. Helped Matthew with To Kill a Mockingbird homework and little else, since the TV and computer were occupied. Should've read or worked out. Ceil went to Kroger for coffee and Anna was downtown for a meeting at Grace Church.

As of Sunday the new acting president of Ukraine is a Baptist pastor.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Fox News: Fair & Balanced?

Friday evening I swapped tweets with Todd Starnes of Fox News Radio and another news guy from Charlotte – both Christians. They were quick to blast Andy Stanley for a quote he made in a USA Today editorial. Starnes regularly blows things out of proportion and throws people under the bus to further his side of a story. My tweet got their attention, but didn't change their minds. 

I've never known anyone anywhere as careful with their public words and actions as Andy. As much as he stays away from controversy and the public eye (and keeping to his stated goal of leading others into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ) - if Andy said something to USA Today, he had a reason for doing so. You'd think people in the news business would want to get to the bottom of the story, instead of mindlessly shrilling for page views. Sunday Andy did not preach at North Point.

Sunday Todd Starnes was using his soapbox to blast the Opryland Hotel for offering international dishes like croissants, but not good old Southern food like biscuits. He blasted Delta for not having hot water for coffee on his flight into Nashville. When Delta had coffee and pastries for the flight's passengers as they got off the plane, Starnes had to soften. He must want to storm his way to the top of Fox News, not caring about who he crushes along the way. What a turn-off.

Left work Friday and while driving home realized I had forgotten to do something that was needed at 5 am this morning. Wrote a "V" on my hand to remind myself. Completely forgot about it until my alarm went off this morning at 6 am – then it was the first thing I thought about. Went downstairs, logged onto my laptop, entered today's orders, and called Augusta. On my way upstairs I looked out the front window and saw a fox trotting down the road. At least it wasn't Todd Starnes.

Got home from work Friday and Ceil was worn out from the drive home from SC. I drove her to Trader Joes to get something for supper.

Saturday morning I cleaned upstairs. Packaged two eBay items (Cardinals jersey & 1996 Olympic T-shirt) and took them up to the post office. Stopped by the ATM and Kroger. Later I took Matthew to get new strings for his guitar. While we waited we checked out a thrift store. Later I made a third trip to get something else. Took Barney exploring down at the creek, then Anna took him on a long walk.

Sunday after the morning North Point service I did the laundry and cleaned the kitchen. Watched "as Good as it Gets." Took M to passion and later picked him up. On the way home he goaded me into picking up a PaPa Johns Pizza for dinner. Ceil didn't tell me she had already fixed beans and rice.

Busy Monday morning, fixing problems and such. Did get in a walk to the other building and back - to drop off some paperwork.

I did see the Syracuse/Duke fuss. The twitter-verse went wild.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Joey T: Super Sub

Interesting that Terdo is being worked at catcher. Guess they want to find a way to get him on the field, possibly as a fall back in case Gattis gets hurt or falls flat. Joe will be able to play first and third, catcher, and all three outfield positions. 

Speaking of Gattis, I haven't heard DOB raving about his bat yet this spring (later DOB posted a video). Hopefully the White Bear is just as impressive as last year.

I was thinking about asking DOB if Simmons was still eligible for ROY.

Those new white front caps look better in color photos. To me they look out of place with the tomahawk uniforms. Not crazy about the red jerseys with stars, but two good things: the red jerseys will only be worn 5 times instead of 12, and they will be auctioned off for charity.

Read where the mystery bobblehead will be voted on by fans starting in mid-March. Gattis should beat Justin. Kimbrel and Heyward already had bobble heads. Wonder why Medlen wasn't chosen for the vote.

Might be an interesting year at the beach. It's the same week at the Passion youth camp. Anna wants to go to the beach, but M wants to go to camp. Will might work in a NYC church this summer. Of course C doesn't want him to be gone for so long. If he does it, perhaps we can visit.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

RBs & TV

Everyone talks about Todd Gurley being a Heisman candidate, that he is one of the best backs in the nation. To gain that status he will have to stay healthy and play a greater percentage of the games. Toward the end of the year Gurley began to take over games, which is what he will need to do next year with the inexperienced Hudson Mason at quarterback. Gurley is good, but I’m not sure he was the best back in the SEC last year.

Tre Mason was invited to the Heisman Awards Ceremony. After a slow start, his yards began to pile up late in the season as the Auburn offense really began to click.
I am most impressed with Alabama’s TJ Yeldon. Thought not the fastest or most powerful, he has a knack for picking his way through the line of scrimmage for big gains. Next year he will be pressed for playing time by other backs. Like Georgia, Alabama will be replacing a veteran QB this year.
0903 144 6.3 10 09 Todd Gurley, GA
1621 283 5.7 22 13 Tre Mason, AUB
1163 190 6.1 13 11 TJ Yeldon, AL
1185 175 6.8 14 11 Jeremy Hill, LSU
1134 194 5.8 11 11 Mike Davis, SC
1074 000 6.6 13 13 Henry Josey, MO

Others: Alex Collins (ARK), Ben Malena (A&M), Tavius Mathers (Miss), Rajion Neal, Jerron Satmour (Vandy), Mack Brown (FL).

CBS’ NFL pregame show is replacing Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe with Tony Gonzalez. Excellent move for several reasons. The desk was too crowded to begin with. Marino and Sharpe were the weak links. Though I rarely watch Sunday afternoon NFL pregame shows, I would still rather watch Terry Bradshaw on Fox. Like CBS, having Kurt, Terry, Howie, and Jimmy competing for air time leaves each little time to talk. Perhaps it’s best that way. Fans would quickly grow weary of hearing any of them talk too much. Interesting SI article about Terry and Howie’s relationship. I didn’t realize they were so close.

I do enjoy NBC’s Football Night in America, which is filled with my favorites: Dan Patrick, Bob Costas, Chris Collinsworth, Al Michaels. Tony Dungy adds an air of dignity to the show. Costas seems to have his share of haters, and I’m not sure why. He is the most prepared in his field, giving out the most information with a small bit of humor. He makes a point of keeping the emphasis on the game, as opposed to trying to steal the show like the overbearing Chris Berman, who has become a parody of himself. And ESPN’s College GameDay is great.

When I was a kid, long before the internet and ESPN, there were so few places to get sports news. Sports Illustrated only came once a week. Sport Magazine’s articles delivered little new information. Even the photos were dated. I would watch every second of the NFL Today on CBS, with Brent, Irv, and Phyllis. Also loved NBC’s baseball game of the week on Saturday afternoon, with Vin Skully, Joe Garagiola, and Tony Kubek.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Braves: Good Times

Good to be a Braves fan these past few weeks. Interesting how the dominos fell. The fact that they were willing to lock up as many players as possible shows that most fans have no idea what's going on in the front office. Sounds like the Braves were negotiating with Heyward in the past, but like Francoeur, Heyward and his advisors seemed to want to hit the free agent market. Jason needs to be reminded that as a Yankee he will have to shave his beard. DOB clearly laid out why Freeman was signed and Heyward wasn't. Fans who don't read such details are the very ones who will complain.

Both Freeman and Kimbrel made comments about the front office being committed to winning. All the signings have quelled some discontent amongst the fans. Sometimes when someone makes a dumb comment to DOB on Twitter I will check out the person. Most are young, sometimes having only tweeted a few times. Couldn't believe that social media expert yesterday that made that comment yesterday that everyone went off on. DOB shouldn't even bother with fans who can't spell the players' names right.

One fan did make an accurate statement: we can only hope BJ will stick with his simplier swing when he hits a rough stretch. Same with Uggla, who was "messed up" last year. Like you said, if those two hit .220-.230 it will be a tremendous improvement over past year. Liked your bold statement that caught the Macon writer off guard – that BJ's play might make him a bargain. Uggla was smart to be the first one in camp, though so many fans have written him off. BJ did well to not be one of the last players in camp.

I'm ok with Simmons not reporting extra early, since he gets so beat up over the course of the season.

What do you think of the Braves locking up Teheran? Sounds like a good idea. The new guys from the Indians would always try and lock up his young players.

Just saw the Braves 2014 bobblehead schedule: Aaron, Andrelton, Maddux, Glavine, Cox, and a TBD. I also have to see the Mariners in June – the only MLB team I haven't seen. Missed them a few years ago.

Made a nice profit on this sweet Cardinals jersey last week. Had Stan Musial's number 6 on the back. Not official, but a good-looking Cooperstown Collection replica.

Stayed home all day last Wednesday and Thursday, except for a Kroger run late yesterday. Thursday afternoon Will drove from Athens to Cartersville – MC is home this weekend. Next week the kids have a winter break and will go to SC.  

The Honeymooners were ok. I always really liked the Carol Burnett Show. Was reading something on the Internet about people who were good looking when they were younger - Betty White and others. For Steve Martin they noted that back in the late 70s he was a famous comedian. I guess young people don't know that.

Saturday morning I went to put on my black New Balance 992 running shoes, but only one of the was in its normal place. Then I realized that all day Thursday I wore one navy NB 993 and one black NB 992.

Learned through FB that Anna's old friend Molly, who was dancing in the Atlanta Ballet, seems to have dropped dance cold turkey. Not sure what the reason was. Her older half-brother just landed a job as Kennesaw's assistant director of admissions, after similar jobs at Samford and Georgia State. He was a valuable resource when Will was applying to colleges.

Missed the Saturday night competition between Ernie, Shaq, Kenny, Chris, etc.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Looking for Something Real

The Grammys telecast was not exactly family entertainment. Beyonce danced provocatively and profanely in the opening, wearing the skimpiest of costumes.  The evening went downhill from there. Macklemore’s anti-God lyrics may have reflected his own personal experience, but were not at all theologically accurate. What does a mass wedding have to do with a music awards ceremony? Queen Latifah looked smug as she conducted the wedding. Most of the “artists” seated near the front went out of their way to applaud most of the goings on. I thought it odd that the demure Taylor Swift, who would never ever wear such revealing costumes or sing such primal, primitive songs, went out of her way to show her approval. One Christian artist walked out. Mandisa won a Grammy, but did not attend so she wouldn’t be tempted.

Later one article said that in their effort to spit in God’s face and glorify same sex marriage, the Grammys may have hurt their cause by putting on such a profane show. While Hollywood may think the entire world should think the same way, in fact the vast majority of Americans were turned off by such an offensive display of filth.

Another article pointed out that the phrase “Hate the sin, love the sinner” isn’t ringing so true these days. Today’s world must be all about love. I must love people for who they are. I cannot make them overcome their great anger – anger at God, at the Christians they think are judging them. I can not make them think a certain way. Many think they smarter than those who do not think like them. If they are right, why do they get so angry at those who disagree with them? Why not ignore them?   

There are so many things in the world today like the Grammys that discourage me so. Are we living in the end times? Will the stock market crash? Things could get so much worse. Would I be able to cope? I must rely on God for everything, and not hate or stumble at the destruction around me.

As the operator of a record lapel, Louie Giglio attended the Grammys. Afterwards Louie instagrammed a photo of the theater, saying: Who ever thought that when we said yes to Jesus we’d end up here. Interesting times – gotta be in sync with the flow & know when the tide rises. Everyone is looking for something real. Something that heals, restores, & brings meaning. Great time to be alive IN the world.”

Perhaps the most accurate words of the evening.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Conservative Media Attacks Andy Stanley

Erick Erickson at blasts, misquotes, and takes Andy Stanley’s comments out of context in his column today. Many commenters were not so kind. While it is not my job to defend Andy, this controversy is central to the key point of Jesus’ ministry: loving your neighbor.

The title of the column was changed from the obviously inaccurate “Andy Stanley Seemingly Thinks Jesus Would Turn Water to Wine For a Gay Marriage” to “Andy Stanley’s Quote is Troubling.” Perhaps Andy meant it to be troubling. He certainly does not think Jesus would turn water to wine for a gay marriage. It is apparent that is using Andy’s good name to further their position – truth be damned.

At the end of his column, where a majority of readers rarely venture, Erickson comes clean, admitting the title was “more bombastic than it should have been.” A paragraph was deleted because “it read more harshly than intended and presumed more about Andy’s specific position than is in evidence.” Yet collateral damage remains.

Inaccurate statements in the column include: Stanley did not say anything about Christians not having the right to petition their government to stop this, or even doing so. Andy did not say he thinks its ok for Christian merchants to provide goods and services to a ceremony they think is sinful. He did not say Jesus would provide goods and services to a gay wedding.

Todd Starnes of Fox News was quick to join the Andy ambush. Having followed Starnes on social media the past few months, I have learned he quite often blows things out of proportion and takes things out of context to make his point. Starnes tweeted: “Shocking news from Andy Stanley. Shocking.” and “Andy Stanley opposes law to protect Christian business owners from militant groups.” 

Did he?    

What Andy did say: He finds it “offensive that Christians would leverage faith to support the Kansas law.” He said, “Serving people we don’t see eye to eye with is the essence of Christianity. Jesus died for a world with which he didn’t see eye to eye. If a bakery doesn’t want to sell its products to a gay couple, it’s their business. Literally. But leave Jesus out of it.” This was the quote in Kirsten Powers’ USA Today editorial. Doesn’t sound like the entirety of Andy’s statement, but at this point we’re way past that. To me, the key phrase is “that Christians would LEVERAGE FAITH to support the Kansas law.” Is fighting for this law worth turning people off from God?

Southern Seminary's Denny Burk offered a reasonable response to Powers' diatribe.

Erickson is saying Andy must agree with him and take up the same cause. Andy does not work for or Fox News. Andy’s job, and as a follower of Christ, mine, is to win souls for God’s Kingdom, to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus. To love as Christ loved me. Those who rarely see or hear Andy often misunderstand him.

Wednesday afternoon Andy tweeted what could be considered a response: If your belief permits you to mistreat you are guilty of misbelieving as well as misbehaving. When someone questioned his Christian leadership, Andy retweeted: Me too! I’ll start a petition. He correctly points out that followers should always question whether their leaders are leading in the right direction. No one said God’s Word, and the Christian life, was going to be easy. 

Certainly not me.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Creation: More Q than A

While attending Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church for twenty years I was super involved in many ministries: the College Department, Chapel Choir, Recreation Ministry, Singles Department, Youth Ministry, Children’s Ministry, and Adult Choir. These were filled with many devoted, active Christians seeking to serve God. I felt like a part of a greater whole, literally attending whenever the church doors were open, including most Sunday and Wednesday evening services. In the mid 90’s when babies slowed us down we scaled back our involvement and finally joined an Adult Sunday School class. We didn’t fit in. Though in the same stage of life as us, many of these young professionals only attended on Sunday mornings. In earlier years some had avoided ministries like the Singles Department. Though we worshipped the same God, life in the Adult Department just wasn’t the same.

Back in my single days my SPdL friends and I took great pride in standing of the side of the moderates in the Southern Baptist Convention, often picking fun at our fundamentalist brothers-in-Christ at places like First Baptist Church of Atlanta. So imagine my trepidation in 1999 while walking in the doors of North Point Community Church for the first time to hear the son of past-SBC president Charles Stanley preach. Amazingly, I wasn’t struck down by lightning. Unlike most other churches we had recently visited that left me feeling quite uncomfortable, I actually felt at home at North Point. Instead of sticking to long-outmoded methods of Bible study and worship, here was a church that made sure everything was done with purpose and excellence, singly pointing people toward a growing relationship with Christ. One statement Andy made would continue to ring in my ears years later (though I probably have the quote wrong, and out of context). Simply put: If Jesus believed it, it’s good enough for me.

In addition to worshipping at North Point, for the next decade I became part of the community of my kid’s school. Several families we knew tried Living Science for a year or two and moved on, considering the teaching and involvement to be too demanding and strict. This may be true. The administrators may have asked too much, but when compared to so many schools that demanded far too little, we considered the sacrifice worthwhile. Will grew to love Jesus, learn discipline, and how to lead (and much more). I often wish Anna and Matthew had stuck it out at Living Science like Will had.

Living Science taught students to think critically. To not just accept the words of a teacher blindly, but to document whether the teaching is true and accurate. We learned from the resources of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, which detailed how specific events in nature (like floods or volcanic eruptions) could create in minutes what evolutionists claimed to take millions of years. We studied how Noah took various “kinds” of animals on the ark – not every specific animal, but two of every different kind. Today every living creature can be traced back to one of these kinds. While there have been new breeds, science has observed nothing to indicate mere molecules evolved into a simple creature, then into a more advanced air-breathing animal, then into a human being with a conscience. AIG taught this science and how it dovetailed and confirmed the Bible, with the main objective to make God known.

Many documented scientific studies detail how theories like evolution are based not on concrete evidence but assumptions built on shaky shreds of theory. This means that like Christians having faith that Jesus is the Risen Son of God, likewise evolutionists must have “faith” and “believe” that their theories are true. But unlike most Creationists that approach this disagreement with evolution with respect, most evolutionists angrily demand complete acceptance and belief that every aspect of evolution is documented fact. Anything short of complete adherence is ridiculed and attacked, often with abusive language – as opposed to responding scientifically, with facts. Most evolutionists will not address or even acknowledge specific studies detailing cracks in evolutionist theory. Question: why do these evolutionists so hate and attack those who oppose them? If their opponents are wrong, why even bother with them? Why are they so threatened?

Atheist evolutionists are not the only group that oppose Creationists. There are many in the church that separate themselves as well. Whereas I used to be a moderate, I now find myself on the side of the fundamentalists (I’m not even sure I have my terms right). Why? Is it something they learned in seminary? Are they aware of the science (or lack of science) on each side of the debate? Have they gone through the thought process of what is or isn’t Biblical? Some say the Bible has nothing to do with what is taught in science class. But if God created everything, why would science conflict with the Bible?

After the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate, several Christian leaders took to the media. Ham was labeled a childish literalist by Joseph Phelps, pastor of Highland Baptist Church in Louisville. While Highland appears to be a church I’d like to attend, and Phelps has done much to further God’s kingdom locally and around the world, his opinion piece in the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper called for dialog, not debate – then proceeded to tear Ham apart. The pastor ridiculed his brother in Christ, missing the entire point of why Ham debated Nye. It’s one thing to disagree on theology and how to spread God’s Word, but another to call out a fellow follower of Christ in a public forum. Several Highland parishioners commented supportively in the paper and others via Facebook, including ministers I know. One post caught my attention, calling the account of Noah’s Ark a parable. It may have been one person’s opinion, but no one called him out on the claim.

I was shaken. A wake-up call to how things are in church circles. Though I am far from an expert on any of these topics, be it theology, creation, or evolution, are those with advanced theology degrees more concerned with keeping and furthering their positions in their professional marketplace than taking a more public stand? Should they not educate lay people as to why they take the positions they do? Have they studied these issues and come to the opinion that the Genesis creation story allegory? Or do they not want to make waves that could possibly threaten the secure positions they’ve carved out for themselves? I ask because I do not know.

Like Ham, I realize these issues are far from central. The main thing is to love and follow Jesus, to make Him known. To love others regardless of what they believe or how they treat me. For me that is hard enough.

Monday, February 17, 2014


Did you feel the Friday night earthquake? After Will and MC left I was sitting on the couch watching the rising stars game. Ceil was sitting at the computer with headphones on, watching Passion. M was in the living room watching Psych on Netflix. Anna was in the downstairs bedroom painting. At 10:22 I felt a bump, like Anna had pushed some furniture up against the wall behind me. I listened but felt or heard nothing else, so I went back to watching TV. The thought crossed my mind that an earthquake might be one of the few explanations for what I had felt, but who would believe me? A few minutes later Ceil read on Twitter reports about the earthquake. She asked me, and I said yes, I had felt the earthquake. Then I looked at my phone: reports from Conyers, Augusta, Athens, Woodstock, Clemson, Jefferson, and Greenville. But I was the only one at my house to feel it.

Will and Mary-Clayton had come over for dinner. At the last minute Ceil and Matthew ran out to Trader Joes and picked up salmon, a small pizza, and stir fry for the six of us. Watched some of the NBA celebrity game and rising stars game. That Kevin Hart guy sure is obnoxious, making the celebrity game almost unwatchable. All he could talk about was winning Celebrity Game MVP. Looks like he won his third straight. Last year he was co-MVP. Not sure about this year. Hart argued and complained the entire game. At one point he was above the top of the key dribbling and dribbling and then the shot clock expired. Meanwhile the tall grey haired Secretary of Education quietly dominated: rebounding, running the floor, passing, and scoring inside and outside. Elena Delle Donne also played well: passing, shooting, hustling, all with a pleasant smile on her face.

Late Saturday morning I got a haircut and went to the library. Later I drove Ceil and Matthew to Costco. I had bought a membership on line before the snowstorm, and Ceil spent $135.00 on 15 items. Luckily we had a $20.00 gift card. I’m not sure about that place. On the way home we ate at El Porton. Back home Ceil watched the Passion Conference in Houston, as she had done Friday night and Saturday afternoon. I watched the All-Star Saturday night. Elena Delle Donne also participated in the All Star Saturday night, when an NBA star, a retired player, and WNBA star each make a shot, then must sink a half-court shot as fast as possible. Tim Hardaway Senior and Junior, Stephon Curry and his dad, and Karl Malone all lost to Dominique and Chris Bosh.

Slow Sunday. Drove M to church, packaged five eBay items for shipping, and watched the end of Bubba Watson’s victory at Riviera. Anna spent the night at Brittany’s, but Will spent the night at the house. Ceil cooked one of her favorite meals: roast beef, mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables. Watched more of the Olympics.   
Last year I ordered a left-handed three-fingered baseball mitt on Amazon. The supplier eventually cancelled the order. Last week I ordered the same mitt, but the next day the order was cancelled. The supplier was sorry, but “the popular item was out of stock.” Of course it was out of stock. I’m not sure the mitt was ever made left-handed. The weekend I ordered the mitt from a third supplier, and sure enough the order was cancelled. I complained to Amazon. One other Amazon supplier offers the mitt for sale (no one else has it on the internet). Akadema, the glove manufacturer, stopped selling the mitt several years ago. I’d be happy with a Chinese knockoff.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Snow Days

One of the things I do here at work is fix other people’s mistakes. Some of the mistakes run up to several millions of dollars. While I was working Wednesday I noticed that my order was messed up – a $2.2 million mistake. I tried to fix it but couldn’t. Spent an hour on Friday straightening it out.

Wednesday I figured I would be cold unless I bundled up. Needed to wash my long hair anyway. Put on jeans and a new sweatshirt and warm shoes. Thursday I thought I had to go in to work at noon, so I showered and dressed in warm work clothes. Then just after I got dressed, around 11 am, I found out we didn’t have to go into work after all. Eventually I changed pants and shoes. Later Ceil needed stuff from the grocery, so I finally went out around 5:30. Also mailed some ebay packages. Also took back a redbox movie the kids had rented before the storm. Bought a few Valentines goodies. Thursday afternoon Will drove from Athens to Cartersville. His girlfriend came home for the weekend.

On the way home today I need to stop by the post office, the library, a store having a 50% off sale, and get a haircut.

Saw where Tech won on a buzzer beater – the game I miss. Forecast is supposed to be warm for the Tuesday tech/Duke game. Kids have winter break next week and are going to SC at some point.

Saw Lang’s photo of him with Elena Della Donne. Maybe this year I can go see her play.

Years ago I bought a kids Michael Jordan Bulls jersey at a thrift store. In decent shape. A reservible jersey – white with red numbers on one side and red with white number on the other side. Posted on ebay Wednesday night and it sold an hour later – for a much higher price than I expected.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Love Bug

Cool photo of VW Beetles at the drive-in watching the movie Herbie The Love Bug.

Pretty busy. Getting a lot done but there is still a lot to do. Worked until 6:25 Monday night. Ceil cooked lasagna. Went to Kroger and gassed up both cars. Packaged a couple of eBay items.

EZGo is closed on Wednesday, as are several of our fabricators. On the way in to work this morning I got the idea to deliver all of Wednesday's deliveries to EZGo tonight. That way they have parts even if we can't get more trucks on the road until Friday.

Left work Tuesday at 4:30. Was going by the library on the way home, but it was closed. Instead I picked ups cool REI pullover for three bucks.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Empty Nest

An empty-nester weekend. A and M were off on the church retreat to North Georgia. Ceil dropped them off at PCC at five Friday afternoon, then took things back at Lenox and Phipps. An emergency cropped up late Friday afternoon, and I wound up working until six. Then I stuck around until 7:30 organizing other stuff. Met Ceil down at Jaliscos in Peachtree Battle for a late dinner. It was so crowded that we still had to wait. Didn't get home until after ten. 

Watched a little of the Opening Ceremonies, including the final torchbearers and lighting of the caldron. Maria Sharapova brought the torch into the stadium. Never saw my favorite ex-Hawk Alexander Volkov. All the people carrying the Olympic Flag had lots of V's in their names.

Cleaned up Saturday morning and worked on eBay stuff. Later I mailed off three packages, and currently have another three to mail.

Saturday afternoon I drove Ceil across the river to northern Sandy Springs to pick up at package. The house was on a street overlooking the bend in the river – a tremendous view. Several houses had the same view, high atop a peninsula. Other houses were situated on a quiet cove connected to the river. Now I have a new place I want to live.

The we drove downtown near the water works for Ceil to pick up an item on sale. Even though we'd eaten Mexican the night before we drove past Nuevo Laredo Cantina, but there was a huge crowd waiting outside. Instead we ate at Moxie Burger back in East Cobb. Big crowd there as well. Back home I caught up on some computer work.

Sunday I watched Atlas Shrugged Part Two, the last of eight World Without End episodes, the movie Side Effects, and the Pebble Beach golf tournament. Did some laundry and picked up M down at PCC. No nap, so I went to bed early.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

State of Fear

Do you like Michael Crichton books? Most are real good – mixing in real science into fictional books. Timeline is set in the middle ages, similar to Pillars of the Earth/World Without End. You really need to read State of Fear, about global warming/climate change. Crichton wrote State of Fear, a fictional novel about a guy caught up in a weather change scandal. Real good.

Haven't felt good all week. Minor headaches. The rest of my body doesn't feel too bad. Most days at work I don't have to talk too much, but this week has been busy so I have been talking more. My throat feels fine but is kinda scratchy when I talk. Been popping cough drops.

Another late afternoon Thursday at work, so I didn't get home until 6:30. Ceil cooked grilled chicken and broccoli and salad. Also potatoes that I didn't eat. Later I ran out to the bank, Kroger, and gas station. Watched a tiny bit of the Olympics, but I'm really not into snowboarding.

Empty nesters this weekend – both A and M are off on a church retreat. Anna is teaching herself how to play the guitar.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Bill Nye the Crafty Guy

Wednesday night AIG’s Ken Ham and Georgia Purdom discussed Tuesday night’s creation vs. evolution debate on a live web broadcast, recapping and touching on various aspects. I listened to this recap on my Thursday commute to work. AIG conservatively estimates five million people watched on line. The debate “play” button was clicked 2-1/2 million times. Most did not watch alone, and at least 13,000 schools, churches, and other groups watched the debate in auditoriums of various sizes, from the 93 that watched at Living Science to over five thousand at Liberty University. More people watched the debate on YouTube than watched either the recent State of the Union Address or Super Bowl.

Going back and reviewing the debate makes Nye’s craftiness all the more evident. Nye never mentioned the Creation Museum or the Answers in Genesis organization by name, and portrayed all the Christian/creation scientists as working in house for Ham, when in fact most work out in the real world. While Ham repeatedly mentioned how creation science could accurately predict future results, Nye repeatedly said “Ham’s version” could not do this. Before the debate Nye told Ham that even if Nye were to have a saving experience, he could never accept the young earth theory. During the debate Nye was crafty and prepared to only speak of his side of the argument – never leaving an opening for creation to be possible.

Ham explained that there just wasn’t time during the debate to delve into the detail needed to refute Nye’s arguments. That’s why both he and Nye stuck to comments prepared in advance. It was my own personal expectation that more science detail would be covered that was off base. Throughout the debate Nye refused to accept Noah’s flood as an actual historic event, despite all sedimentary evidence to the contrary. Yet later Nye said he would be open to believing in creationism should evidence be presented.

Instead of using known details, Nye deliberately confused the number of species on the Ark by including ALL species in his total, instead of just the number of KINDS of land animals as mentioned in Genesis. Nye’s total included bacteria and microscopic creatures and sea animals, which greatly add to the total. Ham did refute this during the debate. While Nye said it took millions of years for fossils to be buried, Ham responded with the example of airplanes abandoned on ice that had been deeply buried after a decade or two. During the recap webcast Ham and Purdom reminded the audience that the AIG website has much evidence and science rebutting evolution.
As I expected, spreading the message of Christ was Ken’s main goal. He reiterated that believing in the creation story has nothing to do with an individual’s relationship with God. It does not play a role in whether a person is going to heaven. Only faith in Christ determines that. While the creation vs. evolution debate greatly interests me, I understand that it is not at all central to winning souls to Christ. Loving people and trusting and worshipping God are much more important.

Many Christians separate themselves from the creationists at Answers in Genesis. From the context of their comments it is obvious that they hadn’t deeply researched the topic – that the theory of evolution is built on supposition and shaky science, while time and time again actual, provable science confirms the creation story. Christianity is being attacked on many battlefields in the world today, perhaps more so than any other time in history. Hollywood, Government, media, and Education all seek to keep God out of the national consciousness. Tolerance of Christianity and American tradition is continuously being taken out of schools and replaced with focus on other cultures and religions. Even before the debate was announced evolutions held the position that any mention of creationism detracted from creationism. Many Christians seem blind to the battle waging all around them. Both Nye and Ham agree that how this next generation of students is taught is crucial.

It was apparent to both evolutionists and creationists that the crux of the argument was the differing approaches taken by Nye and Ham. While the Science Guy and other evolutionists proudly lean on human reasoning to build their theory of the world around them, Ham and his brothers and sisters in Christ trust in the Creator God of the Universe. There were many stories in the media about the debate, which was the number one trending topic on Twitter, Facebook, and Yahoo. Many declared Ham the winner (unlike this blog). Ham counted this as great publicity for God and the AIG website, which experienced a record number of hits.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

More Snow Stories

Had dinner at El Porton Monday night with three guys from the small group. We shared our snowjam stories. Guess I didn’t have it too bad after all. Steve left Perimeter Center around noon. Didn’t take him too long to take Abernathy to Johnson Ferry across the river and up the hill (an hour) but then another two hours to get to his home on Murdock. He told his son to walk home and stay off the bus. Steve’s daughter couldn’t get her car up either of the hills leading out of Pope.

Reid left Turner around four and made it to his father’s house near Eastside Baptist around midnight. He had to do some walking as well. Reid spent all day Wednesday at his dad’s house and finally made it home Thursday. Lee left the Cobb Galleria at five and got stuck in Indians Hills. He finally spent the night at a friend’s. Lee did some walking as well. Reid’s son took three hours to take Lee’s daughter home (a hilly subdivision off Murdock) from Pope then a few miles home off Bishop Lake, near us.

Didn’t leave work until 5:20 Tuesday. Traffic was bad, so it took over an hour to get home. Ceil cooked chili and we watched the creation/evolution debate. Nye was polished and in top debate form, but I didn’t think Ken Ham made a very strong case for creation. The president of Southern Seminary sat on the front row and afterwards wrote a detailed article, but it seemed like much of it had been written before the debate.

Didn’t leave work until 5:30 Wednesday. C and A had art class. Took M to Willys, and he found a cheap CD at the store. Back home he watched Modern Family, Psych, and Duck Dynasty. I had been sleepy all day, but didn’t get to bad early. Maybe tonight.

Need to go visit my barber in East Cobb. Maybe Justin Bieber will be there. He was at the ice skating rink near the library I frequent. Right down from Johnson Ferry Baptist. Sounds like he is really messed up these days. I think this is the first time I ever typed the name Justin Bieber.

See the new Braves caps and jerseys? The jerseys kinda look like the red Nationals jersey, but they’ll only wear them five times.

Nice to see the Braves sign Freeman and Heyward. This will hush some of the detractors, but certainly not all of them.  My friend thinks Heyward wants to sign with the Yankees when he becomes a free agent. I was thinking Freeman would bolt for the west coast as well, not making the connection about getting engaged. I made a similar joke to Chipper’s, that Freeman would hire him as a driver. Perhaps we should wish for Heyward to find a Southern girl of his own to keep him in town. Too bad no one has been interested in Matt Diaz. The Braves have gone from three Johnsons to one. Reed signed with Miami and Elliot went with Cleveland.

I can’t believe how unfamiliar I am with the Hawks roster. I had never heard of the guy who made the all-star team, or the vet who won player of the week.

We may be looking around for a place for M to go to school next year. The work load at Veritas is crushing him. With Will moving off campus this fall, I hadn’t planned on paying tuition for M.  

Comedians in Cars - I’ve watched several as well. Even Ceil thinks they are funny. That was a great clip they ran of Jerry and George right when the Super Bowl transitioned into halftime. Of course they would get coffee at their diner.

Kind of old school, but before the Super Bowl I watched Carol Burnett’s Mark Twain Award Show. Amy Phoeler, Rashida Jones, Ellen Degeneres, and Maya Rudolph spoke, along with Julie Andrews, Tim Conway, and Vickie Lawrence. Great clip of Carol singing “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” while trying to get her old Nissan station wagon to start. At one point the horn gets stuck, but she continues to mouth the words until the horn abruptly cuts off. Then Carol immediately picks up the sound in the middle of a word.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

The Debate: Who Won?

Ken Ham seemed satisfied with his performance in Tuesday night’s debate with Bill Nye. While I did not expect Ham to go for the jugular, I did think he would dish out the science I so often read in his daily blog posts and on his Answers In Genesis website. Ken did present a strong initial 30 minute summary of the Creation viewpoint, including information on Noah’s flood, the definitions of animal kinds, information on young earth theory, why and carbon dating is inaccurate. Sometimes he did not go into much detail, like how meteor rock was tested to be millions of years old but terrestrial earth rocks were not. Ham broached the Texas schoolbook battle, touching on how the evolutionary viewpoint is as much of a belief system as creationism even though the powers that be deem otherwise. Like many other areas of the debate, I did not think Ken made enough of a point of this.

With over three million viewers tuned in, Ham seemed content to use the debate as a forum to talk about God. Winning the debate appeared to be secondary. During his long presentation Ham presented the gospel. Several times during the question & answer time Ken said the Bible answered the questions of how the universe was created and why humans are conscious beings. Compared to the more in depth answers Nye was giving, and knowing all the science that debunks evolution and confirms creation, merely holding up the Bible seemed to be not a strong enough response.

While I have never visited the Creation Museum, the AIG website seems professionally put together. AIG hired a national marketing firm to create slick, simple billboards that were placed in New York’s Times Square. A $70 million theme park is being built in Kentucky that will feature a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark. With all these resources, I would’ve thought the many visual devices employed by Ham would have been more professionally produced. One tweet likened them to the work of a Sunday School class. Despite the poor quality, the many visual resources Ken used made his argument all the more clear. Unfortunately, the use of so many visuals by Ham made Bill Nye’s almost visual-free debate seem all the more simple.

Both Nye and Ham arrived fully prepared. During the question & answer time Ham seemed to falter. Instead of in depth answers filled with scientific fact he relied too much on simple Sunday School answers. While this may have been his intent, it was during this part of the debate when Nye pulled far into the lead. People smarter than me will be able to dissect the words of Nye and Ham determine whose answers were most on target, but to the casual observer Nye presented the best argument. While I still agree with Ken, he did not present a winning argument.      
For the most part Nye stuck to debate form, challenging and questioning Ham (though there was no requirement to answer each other’s questions). Nye tried to entertain, cracking a few dry jokes and giving the Seahawks a shoutout. The Science Guy refused to accept Noah’s Ark and flood, saying such a large hand-made boat would be unstable and sink. He said there were too many animals to fit, though Ham explained this in detail (twice). Nye made good points about the distant stars, for which Ham made no reply. He honestly answered “I don’t know” to one question, and Ham helpfully pointed Nye to the Bible for the answer.  The most annoying thing Nye continued to repeat was that it was “Ken Ham’s creation story.” In closing, Nye expressed his enthusiasm for science much more clearly than Ham.

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler had a front row seat and quickly penned a long recap   - hitting on all the theological issues I leave out here. Seems like at least half the blog post might have been written in advance. Mohler states that the real difference is how the two men approach science. Mohler, Ham, and AIG scientist Georgia Purdom were also pleased with the debate. Having heard Dr. Purdom speak at my son’s graduation, I think she would’ve been able to debate Nye on a more scientific level.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Debate: Creation vs Evolution

Tonight at 7 pm Bill “the Science Guy” Nye debates Ken Ham, the CEO of the Creation Museum just outside Cincinnati. The debate will be broadcast on the internet at http://debatelive.orgThe actual debate topic is whether creation is a viable alternative for teaching in schools. In the past few years Nye proclaimed that parents teaching their kids about creation were doing their kids a disservice.

So many people over the years have grown up being indoctrinated by the theory of evolution accepting what is taught without thinking critically whether evolution is actually true, or even how it differs from God’s Word. Because of this polls taken over the years have shown a gradual decline in Americans professing belief in the creation story. Even some Christian organizations accept some tenants of evolution to the point of dismissing parts of Scripture.  

Ham’s museum and Answers In Genesis organization ( provides a wealth of scientific information that substantiates the creation story. Other information describes in specific detail why/how certain evolutionist theory is off-base scientifically – films, papers, books, etc. AIG also has extensive information debunking global warming, extreme climate change, and rising ocean levels.  

My hope is the debate will open people’s eyes to the many flaws in the theory of evolution and how science actually backs up the story of creation. People consider evolution to be fact when actually scientists chasing grant money take incredible leaps of supposition in their theories. Their results are lauded as fact, though the details show mere theories. One small bone fragment is extrapolated into an entire missing link. Historical science is mistaken for observational science.

My fear is that Nye will clog the debate with untruths and wild goose chases. Ham will want to answer and gently discuss each issue Nye brings up, instead of making his own points. After the debate (around 9:30 or 9:45) CNN will broadcast a recap live from the Creation Museum, where the debate is being held. At ten Nye appears on Piers Morgan - without Ham.

Evolutionists and athiests will view the debate with minds already made up. So often these people respond to creationist claims not with facts and intelligent debate but instead with personal attacks and hatred. My prayer is that God will open eyes, minds, and hearts to His truth.

Monday, February 03, 2014

XLVIII: Give Seattle Credit

Watch the Super Bowl? Everyone was saying how bad Peyton Manning was, but no team could’ve done much against that Seattle defense. Football fans who know their Super Bowl history know that a majority of the games have not been “super” – in fact most have been ordinary / dull. In both victory and defeat too much credit/blame is given to the quarterback. Was it AJ McCarron’s fault that Auburn beat Alabama? You can tell by their comments which people only watch one or two football games a year.

Too little credit is being given to how good Seattle played. The Seahawks deserve 90% of the credit and the Broncos 10% of the blame. The Seahawk defense deserves all the credit. Then Russell Wilson and the offense took advantage of the field position their defense gave them. Take away the pick six and kickoff return and give Denver three field goals they passed up, and suddenly it’s an 11 point game.

The media is heaping blame on Manning’s head. Peyton accepted the responsibility and refused to make excuses – he said all the right things. In fact, there was plenty of blame to go around. Center Manny Ramirez caused the opening safety. The Broncos first two possessions started off with terrible field position because the kick returner ran out of the end zone. That didn’t happen again. WR Demarius Thomas may have caught the most passes in Super Bowl history, but he dropped one pass and only made a halfhearted effort two or three other times. Thomas also lost a fumble after carrying the ball in traffic like a loaf of bread. The defense and special teams could not contain Percy Harvin. The Denver defense missed several tackles.

So many “experts” blame Manning, when he actually did all he could do despite the immense pressure the Seattle defense continued to exert throughout the game. It was in the face of this rush that Peyton completed a record number of passes. Both interceptions came when Manning was about to be sacked – one was tipped high into the air. To his credit as much as the offensive line, Peyton was able to avoid being sacked until the fourth quarter. Under this tremendous pressure Manning still completed 70% of his passes.  

If Broncos fans are anything like Braves fans, by halftime they were calling for the firing of head coach John Fox and record-breaking QB Peyton Manning. Manning has led his team into the playoffs 13 seasons. How many QB’s can say that? Only Brady and Farve have played in more playoff games. It wasn’t Peyton’s fault that no one could tackle Percy Harvin. I am glad Russell Wilson is such a fine young man.   

Everyone was saying how the commercials weren’t any good. Not sure what the expectation was. Most years there are only two or three good ads. People had already decreed the ads were average well before the final two minute warning, when Budweiser aired their puppy ad. The ad after that one was also good. Many companies had leaked their ads a day or two before the game to get maximum exposure.

I kept one eye on the game and another on social media. People probably got tired of my constant chattering. I was also trying to get some work done on eBay.