Saturday, August 25, 2007
. . . is 600 less than the number 666, and I guess that's good.
. . . is the number of a famous U.S. Highway that ran through my home town (Joliet, IL) and the town where I currently live (Joplin, MO).
. . . is the number of wins that the Chicago Cubs had on the way to a last place finish in 2006.
. . . is the number of wins that the Chicago Cubs currently have as they are in 1st place in the National League Central (and they still have 35 more games to play!).
. . . and that makes me smile!
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
I was going through a bunch of old stuff while working in my basement, and ran across some old baseball cards. To my astonishment, I found a Barry Bonds rookie card, mint condition. I really think that at some point in the future Bonds will be exonerated of most all steroid charges and will go in to the Hall of Fame distinguished as the best hitter of all time. If you, or anybody you know, might have an interest in buying this card, let me know ASAP. I'm giving it 2 weeks and then putting it on Ebay and taking whatever I can get for it. I've included a scanned copy of the card to show it's condition - as you'll see it is in MINT condition.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
A colleague sent me an e-mail with a link to a song on You Tube about eschatology. I thought you might enjoy watching it as well. Here is the link:
The Rapture Song, by Randy Bonifield.
The Cubbies are in a free fall right now. I sure hope they decide to play ball and win a game today. The 4-day series against the hated Cardinals is crucial.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Julio Carreño, adopted son of Bertrand Smith, the pioneer Restoration Movement missionary to Chile, organized the event. Julio is doing a tremendous job of serving God in his homeland, and promotes unity on diverse levels. He had invited me to share with the members. I got to teach somewhere between 4 or 5 hours, and found the group very receptive to my teaching. The title of the study was The Christian Worker and Personal Transparency: a Theological, Cultural and Generational Perspective. The main question I was asking was this. To what degree should the Christian worker be transparent, willing to show his or her own personal weaknesses? My thoughts were influenced by the following works, in addition to the Scriptures:
- Mayers, Marvin K. (1974). Christianity Confronts Culture. Zondervan.
- Howard, J. Grant (1979). The Trauma of Transparency. Multnomah
- Lingenfelter, Sherwood & Mayers, Marvin (1986). Ministering Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Personal Relationships. Baker Book House.
- Scott, Mark R. (2006). The Self-Disclosure of the Preacher in the Sermon: Teaching Undergraduate Bible College Student Ministers to Disclose with Discretion, doctoral dissertation, Denver Seminary.
I had not taught on that theme before, but enjoyed the preparation and the teaching itself.
I managed to catch myself a cold. I understand that the Joplin area is facing an incredible heat wave. Here, Chile is experiencing a winter with record cold temperatures. I had to wait until this afternoon to shower, as the pipes of the house where I am staying froze quite a bit last night.
I returned to Santiago on Sunday evening, and spent Sunday evening, and all day Monday and Tuesday visiting friends. I am now in Lautaro, Chile, and will return to Santiago on Sunday night. I will meet with Doug Kallestad, Director of the Iberoamerican Institute on Monday morning, then have lunch with my long-time friend, Jack Mitchell, whose mother, Lola, served as our forwarding agent for many years. Lastly, I will meet another pastor friend, Lito Farías, at a hospital to visit Victor Garcia, another long-time friend, who was assault on March 30, shot twice, and left paraplegic as a result. Despite his situation, his brother-in-law (another friend I had not seen for many years until last Tuesday) tells me that he testifies about God's goodness on a daily basis.
Below I will include some photos taken from the Pastor's Retreat in Villa Alemana:
I taught the introductory session to an OT Survey course last night. The course will continue tonight (Thursday), Friday, then all day long on Saturday. I'll preach at the church here in Lautaro on Sunday morning, then return to Santiago late Sunday night, before leaving Chile on Monday night.
I managed to catch quite a cold, so I don't feel particulary well, but trust that I will make it through. I found a cough remedy called Paltomiel, that is interesting, a mixture of extracts from avocado, eucalyptus, honey, which has been used quite a bit here. I guess I'll have to wait and see if I recommend it whole-heartedly.
I've been able to visit lots of friends from the past. God has been good. I'll write more later.
Blessings to you all!
Thursday, August 02, 2007
On Monday I saw a first. I assumed that I was going to a friend's house to clean up his virus-laden computer. He has helped me in the past with several mechanical type issues. His computer was ill, and I may not be a very good mechanic (I DID manage to fix my motor scooter last week without anybody else touching it), but I can mess with computers pretty well. What I found, however, was a computer very mildly affected by viruses, but infested to the core with malware (some call it spyware, or adware). When he spoke to my about poor performance, I suspected viruses. He told me that he started his trek through the DSL-connected Internet world without good antivirus software (something I would never consider doing). He had downloaded some free antivirus software, and it had worked well during the trial period. The software was called Windows Antivirus Pro 2007. I recommend and use an excellent free antivirus program (I have been a paying customer of both of the big ones in the past), but I had not heard of the program he was using. His program was the problem! Rather than being an antivirus program, it is malware! He had properly decided to uninstall it (through the Control Panel), but it refuses to go away. I joked that "this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." It had taken over his computer, giving a pop-up window of detection of a virus about every 10 seconds, making it near impossible to do anything. The pop-up window gave him an opportunity to "register" the antivirus program (remember that trial period was over) for payment (I never did find out how much the registration was. At any rate, the files allegedly infected with viruses were false positives, just to get the unsuspecting sort to pay them money. What crooks! Along the way, I found an excellent tool for debugging problems on Windows-based computers. It is called the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows. It is based on the Bart PE platform, but has additional tools built in. If you are technologically savvy, you may want to add it to your arsenal.
The Cubbies are in first place. I heard last night that the last time they were in first place on August 1 was back in 2001. I'm leaving the U.S. tonight, and hope that they are still in first place by the time I leave (they could fall out of first, since they are playing an afternoon game today). I sure hope they will still be in first place when I return to the U.S. on August 14.
I went to Chile in March, and flew straight from Joplin. I did it again today. I'm writing these lines from the Kansas City Airport, waiting my connecting Delta flight to Atlanta, and then on to Chile. The Joplin-Kansas City flight is $98 round trip, which makes it much cheaper than driving to another major airport. The fare from Kansas City to Santiago was cheaper than other airports near Joplin, making the Fly Joplin trip cheaper. When I was on a shuttle bus between terminals at Kansas City, I saw that airport garage parking is $18/day. The long-term parking at Kansas City is $5.50. Parking for this trip would be over $70, without taking the cost of driving to Kansas City into the equation. According to Mapquest, it is 190 miles from my house to the Kansas City Airport. At the IRS-approved rate for mileage reimbursement, the "cost" of driving round trip is $184.30. I'm happy to fly from Joplin! Rose even got up this morning to drop me off at the airport. The day I arrive back, she will leave me car for me at the Joplin airport (free parking). Thanks, honey! I love you!
I will arrive in Santiago Friday morning (about 6:30 in the U.S. Central Time Zone). If you want to call me, dial 011-569-8-975-7136. In March, the family I stayed with had a cell phone that they were no longer using. I bought a SIM card for a Chilean cellular phone company (actually, it's a multinational company based in Europe). Since I bought the SIM card, I returned the loaned phone, and kept the card for use on future trips. I unblocked my U.S. cell phone (I have service with Cingular, or what they now call the New AT&T). Once I get in the air over Atlanta (when you have to turn cell phones off), I will put the Chilean SIM card in my phone. The next morning when I land in Santiago, I will turn on my phone, and it will connect to a Chilean cell phone service. I won't be able to make any calls (on Friday morning I will need purchase pre-paid minutes before I can make any phone calls), but I will be able to receive calls (as incoming calls on free on any Chilean cell phone).
I will speak at a Pastors' Retreat this weekend in Villa Alemana, Chile (located just up the valley from Viña del Mar (see map). I'll return to Santiago Sunday afternoon. Sunday evening, there will be a large group (I suppose) of people from the old San Joaquin church. I'll be staying with long-time pastor friend Alejandro Castro from Sunday night through Tuesday night. On Wednesday, I'll fly to Temuco (see highlighted map), to start a 5-day intensive course in nearby Lautaro. The course will end on Sunday evening. I'll return to Santiago on Monday, leaving Monday night to come home.
Blessings to you all!