Saturday, March 10, 2007

On the Road (I Mean, In the Air) Again

I'm writing these words from the Kansas City Int'l Airport. I took the 6:00 AM flight from Joplin (more like the 6:35 AM flight), and am waiting the next flight. From here I will go to Dallas, then to Miami, and finally on to Santiago, CHILE. By the time I arrive there, I will have been traveling about 24 hours. I will preach Sunday morning at the Libertad church (I hope I don't put myself to sleep). I will have the remainder of Sunday (nap time, I imagine), and Monday & Tuesday to visit as many friends as I can. On Wednesday, I will fly to Temuco, then travel about an hour north to Lautaro, where I will teach an intensive course in Principles of (Bible) Interpretation.

My colleague, Larry Pechawer, will start teaching a course on Psalms at the Santiago Institute this morning. I will look forward to seeing him there. I think he will be teaching mainly at night, so maybe I can show him around Santiago during the daytime.

I'm thankful that the Kansas City airport decided to provide free wi-fi. I have already responded to a student blog, and now am working on this entry. The trip from Joplin to Kansas City was pleasa
nt, despite the small plane. John Mouton (from CIY) was on the same flight, ready to meet up with a group of Ozark students already in Kansas City. They will be going to New York City to work with a new church plant this week. I tried to check my baggage from Joplin all the way to Santiago. The Joplin-Kansas city portion was on US Airways Express/Mesa Air Group/operated by Air Midwest. Their routing paperwork only had enough spots for 3 destinations. I told them that if it would be easier, they could check it to Kansas City, and I would pick it up and re-check it. That wasn't a problem. Here you can see a photo of the plane from Joplin. The pickup truck was off-loading the luggage. From the time the pickup truck left the side of the plane until the time my bags rolled off the carousel was only about 2 minutes. I didn't have any trouble identifying my two bags. They were the only two that were sent to U.S. Airways Baggage Claim (all the other bags on my flight were connecting to other U.S. Airways destinations). I got my bags, took the red bus to Terminal C, checked them in at American, had a bite of breakfast, and decided to post this.

Hope that you all are well. I'll be back in Joplin (Lord willing) on Tuesday the 20th in the afternoon, after another marathon trip.

See you later!


Thursday, March 08, 2007

On Combining '60's Pop Culture and New Testament Greek

One of the joys of my life is the privilege of teaching New Testament Greek. My Greek class is kind of like a small discipleship group. After class this morning, one of the students asked me what the Greek word for believer was. I had never thought much about it. We don't have a Greek vocabulary word for that. I thought about it a while, and responded that it must be the participle formed from the verb: ὁ πιστεύων (literally "the one who believes").

My daughter, Kimberly, has John 3:16 in the Greek memorized. Though in an earlier post I diagrammed John 3:16 in the Greek, I must confess that I don't have it memorized in Greek. In order to test my theory, I went to John 3:16 in the Greek, and found this:

οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλʼ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.

Thus, I confirmed my suspicion. The present participle of πιστεύω is used 115 times in the New Testament in that manner.

Where does the '60's Pop Culture come into the equation? Well, the student, armed with the Greek rendering of "believer" made up a Greek sentence:

ἔβλεψα δὲ τὸ προσωπὸν αὐτῆς, νῦν εἰμὶ ὁ πιστεύων.

You may remember the lyrics like this:

And I saw her face, now I'm a believer.

Hope you all have a great day!


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Honor to Whom Honor is Due

I've just come back to my office from College Hts. Christian Church, and decided to write some thoughts about what I saw there. I will write about two separate events that took place in the building simultaneously. I would like to give honor to two people, that showed me what a life of service is all about.

MOPS program. I have never been tempted to volunteer as a MOPS babysitter, and after seeing what I did this morning, I may be less inclined to do such a strange thing. My wife, Rose, though, works in the afternoons, which has freed up her time in the morning. Twice a month, she works with the MOPS program our church sponsors. Since our daughter-in-law, Emily, is in town, I knew that our grandsons were going to be at the MOPS program today. I canceled a class late this morning, to attend the second event of this post. I was told to arrive early, and swing by where Rose would be watching the MOPS kids, so I could see our two grandsons (we have a 3rd one, but he is a 3-month old baby, so he wasn't there). I made it on time, found the room where the kids were. It seemed like there were forty-leven (that's a huge number!) of kids there, and only
2 volunteers. There was a cacophony of toddlers screaming and crying (because they missed their mothers) as well as a malodorous aroma rising from the breeches of several of the toddlers. The other volunteer was a retired man, so guess who got the job of changing the diapers? Rose looked at me, with one of those "I'm so glad you're here" looks, and told me to take off my suit coat and help. My grandsons were behaving. If one of them had been crying bloody murder, I could have handled it better, but to bring comfort to a toddler who is screaming for no apparent reason? I felt very ill-equipped. The one who was screaming the loudest was a boy named Cory--I don't know his last name. I picked him up and sat down on a rocking chair and tried to console him. I would much rather parse Greek participles. After a while, a toy musical instrument seemed to settle him down. Rose was working away at what seemed to be a conveyor belt process of changing dirty diapers. I take my hat off to her, as that labor of love probably provides some mothers of pre-schoolers some much needed relief from their toddlers. It kind of makes me proud to have such a servant as a spouse.

Jon Lantz Funeral. The reason I canceled my class was to attend the funeral of Jon Lantz. You can read his obituary here or here. You can read what area journalists have written about him here, or here, or here. I first heard about Jon shortly after coming
to Joplin, that the head football coach of the state university
in town was not only a member of the church, but was a Bible school teacher. I enjoyed knowing him. After he left his coaching position, he worked for Ozark Christian College for three years as the director of student development. His wife, Charlene, started working part-time in our bookstore at that time, a position she has held until the present. Recently, he has worked in the administration of North Eastern Oklahoma A & M (in Miami, OK), where he made an indelible impression as a man of character. He has graduated into the presence of God Himself. The inspired words of the Apostle Paul can truly be his:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Tim. 4:7-8)

So long, dear brother. See you again some day in glory!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Giveaway of the Day

My esteemed colleague, Terry Chaney, introduced me to Giveaway of the Day, a site that gives software away, one package each day of the month. These are full programs that can be registered for free, provided that they are downloaded and installed/activated during the day that they are offered. I have downloaded several of their programs over the past couple months. Today's offering has a registration fee of $119, and is a Mind-mapping program, for creating charts & diagrams.

It looks pretty nice. You might give it a try:
Giveaway of the Day

Monday, March 05, 2007

Skiing is Easier than Snowboarding . . . When You're Past 50!

It wasn't Colorado, and the snow wasn't really even white, but we skied on Friday, at Snow Creek Ski Resort near Weston, MO, just north of the Kansas City airport. My daughter Charissa and I went there last year, and Greg planned to go skiing on his vacation trip back to Missouri. On Thursday and Friday (last week and this week) adults ski for child prices. Griff covered my OT History class for me (thanks, Griff!), so I could do this family thing.

The five of us, Rose, I, Charissa, Greg, and Kimberly started this ski trip thing together probably about 19 years ago. We did it again on Friday, not in the majestic Andes mountains, not on any mountain, on artificial snow, but it was still fun. Snow Creek allows one exchange on rental equipment, from skis to snowboards, or vice versa, so late in the afternoon, we switched our skis for snowboards (that is, all except Rose). Somehow, Greg and Kim made it up the chair lift. Charissa and I were more sane, and ventured up a rope pull lift, not making it very far up, but stayed safer. Charissa and I were struggling, and a woman gave us some advice, but seemed astonished that we had never been on one before, nor had taken a class. God takes care of fools and children, they say. Our snowboard experience only lasted a short time, but we expended quite a bit of energy. Skiing is safe, I think, compared to snowboarding. I'm told that a snowboarder can become a good snowboarder in a shorter time than a skier can become a good skier. If I were younger, I might give it a try. For now, I like the skis. I can make them do what I want them to do!