Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bursting Your Bubble

Sometimes we need to have our bubbles burst. Check out this very cool highspeed film, slowed way down and be amazed.

Have a wet one!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Greek Pride- Let's Party

Okay, well I might not throw a full-blown party, but I'm really proud of my students in the Intro to New Testament Greek class. Not only are they mastering the theological concepts brought out by the Greek language in the biblical text, but they're really grasping the Greek language in just three weeks! For every test the students need to know six theological essays (in English--thank God!) out of which I randomly pick two (30 points each). Then they have ten sentences in Greek to translate into English (4 points each). We just had our first exam last week and 3/4 of the class scored 90 and higher. Ex-cell-ent! We're even at the point now of reading some basic verses from the New Testament. And the students aren't geeks. Several jocks are taking the course and some socially cool people. Eight of them are business majors, three math, two biochemistry, two psych, two english, and or course there are some theology majors, namely four, and assorted others.

Bottom line, the vast majority of the class is kicking some serious butt when it comes to learning Greek. I think they're even beginning to appreciate how Greek enables them to think critically about how things relate to one another and the necessity of articulating those relationships clearly and accurately. In English we have one word "the." Greek has eight ways to express the concept "the," and then does so three times over because there are three grammatical genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Imagine memorizing twenty-four different "the's"!

And the students in my other classes are great as well, but ya just gotta love somebody who can say "the" twenty-four different ways and not just say "duh."

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Well I arrived into work a little later today because my daughter made a point of waking up early so she could wish me Happy Valentine's Day and give me my card. I leave at 6:00 AM. Much to her surprise Daddy had already bought a half dozen golden amber roses and placed them at her breakfast seat along with a card. You should have seen the joy in her sleepy little eyes as they came into focus. I have her Valentine's Day card to me here on my desk She and her mummy had gone out shopping for a Valentine's Day card about a week ago and she picked one out all by herself. It's one of a cartoon dog sitting at a computer typing in a long list of Valentine tributes "of all the things I love about you." When opening the card up, out pops a computer print out saying EVERYTHING. I wonder where she gets the idea that I spend a lot of my time sitting at a computer?

So anyhow, today's a day dedicated to love. Lots of people have lots of different ideas about what love means. Its kinda like God, there are a zillion different takes. But in seeing my daughter's reaction this morning (as well as that of my loving wife--I had bought her six long stem white roses which surrounded six long stem royal purple ones), I was reminded of what I have come to know. If there is true love, authentic love, there will always be joy. A test to see if this relationship is really real or not is: Is the relationship life-giving? Does the love endure? Does the joy persist? A true sign of love is joy. Love and joy are companions.

That's not to say authentic love doesn't also encompass pain and sorrow, but there's always enduring joy. Clare and I were expecting twins: a girl and a boy. Our daughter was delivered by C section first (its pretty standard to deliver twins by C section). I can't express the extreme joy I experienced. Then little Daniel was to be delivered. I could see the doctor's expression change and knew something was terribly wrong. Daniel was stillborn. That was five years ago this coming April 17th. The doctors after running subsequent tests still don't know exactly what happened or why, but somehow his internal organs stopped growing during the last few weeks unbeknownst to everyone. The odd thing was, before the C section they always hook up heart monitors and each twin was registering distinctly different heartbeats.

The doctors had been monitoring Clare and the twins for weeks before, and she would wear these little heart monitors attached to her abdomen. When I would come home I would say, "Daddy's home." And then speak to each one by name. When little Daniel would hear my voice and hear me say "Hi Daniel," his heart would race; you could see his heart beat accelerate when I would talk to him. That gave me the greatest joy. Daniel, you're still my "heart-throb." Love ya son. The joy you gave me will never die.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Mediocre Wednesday

Well I've been thinking what to write about. Yesterday was Super Tuesday. This Wednesday morning the final results are still trickling in. I'm not going to get partisan, but thought I'd just give a little commentary, share a perspective. My wife is from London, England and they do things differently there. I was born in Baltimore, MD, and am a US citizen. In fact, my ancestors helped found this nation, fought in the Revolutionary War, held political offices, and an ancestral first cousin of mine signed the Declaration of Independence.

But last night was interesting, if not down-right baffling. I was aware that for Republicans it means winner take all (the delegates) and that Democrats share the delegates proportionally, but what baffled me was that Republicans swap caucus members so as to block another Republican candidate (eg. in WVA Huckabee gained McCain delegates so as to block Romney--Huckabee take all) and that Democrats flood caucuses so as to outnumber an opponent (as appears to have happened in Olathe, KS with young Obama caucus members standing in freezing rain).

I guess I'm just confused about the democratic ideal of representation. I mean the driving force of the American Revolution (against England) was "No taxation without representation." How do the American people get represented who can't attend a caucus (whether Republican or Democratic)? I would think when it comes to national issues it would be more just and democratic at least to provide a fair opportunity for all people to get involved in the (s)election process rather than limiting it to an hour or two etc. (Personally, when it comes to national matters [not local] I believe we should have one uniform standardized format. But that's just me.)

Anyhow, so what does any of this have to do with Rockhurst and what I do? I just wonder how many new young voters got disenchanted last night with the "process." How many now feel what's the use? I believe people should be engaged in civic matters. No matter what the results might be, Shouldn't the process itself be equitable and empowering? At Rockhurst we strive to form the whole person. One facet of that is service to others. Naturally that involves civic duty and political participation. I just hope that the recent Generation X and the current Millennial Generation don't become disillusioned with civic involvement.