Sunday, January 25, 2009

Is there a preacher in here?

We watched this video in our Faculty Meeting on Friday. This video is rather long (about 8 minutes), but is worth watching. It is of a 5th grader, Dalton Sherman, who is addressing an assembly of 20,000 from the Dallas (Texas) Independent School District. Enjoy!

Friday, January 23, 2009

2 Bibles and 2 (or was it 3?) Presidential Inaugurations

I originally planned to write this short piece a couple days ago. When I saw the video done by that I posted yesterday, this post got 'poned (if you don't understand, insert another post at the point of the apostrophe).

This month we have seen two African presidents installed (though "African American" is the proper description of one of them): President Barack Obama of the United States of America, and President John Atta Mills of Ghana. Both of them took a presidential oath with a Bible. The fact that President Obama took a do-over oath (almost secretly--citing an abundance of caution) is really an afterthought to this post. I really wanted to talk about the Bibles used.
Obama took his oath, not on the Quran, but on the same Bible that was used in the first inaugural of Abraham Lincoln. John Atta Mills also used a Bible, but when I saw the photo (click on the link just to the left to see a larger image of the photo above), I was taken back. It is an English Standard Version, which is a relatively new entry (2001) into the world of English Bible Translations. The ESV site, linked above describes their translation philosophy in these terms: we have sought to be “as literal as possible” while maintaining clarity of expression and literary excellence. The more I use the ESV, the more I like it. In fact, I am reading through the Bible devotionally this year from the ESV. If you do not have an ESV, you also can read it online at the ESV site. It was earlier this year, when reading in Genesis from the ESV, that I noted a play on two Hebrew words in the same verse that I had never noted by reading any other English Bible. I checked the Hebrew text, a sure enough, two consecutive words, built off the same root. The ESV is the only English Bible I have ever read of that text that allowed me to make the mental connection between the words in the original. Try it, you just might like it!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Life--Imagine the Potential

President Obama has championed a woman's right to choose for years. Since taking office, he has been loading his agenda onto the office White House website, on which he reaffirms his commitment:

Under the heading of Reproductive Choice, the website says:

Supports a Woman's Right to Choose: President Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority in his Adminstration. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in that case. has produced a stunning video called Life--Imagine the Potential. What do you think of it?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Just for Play on Inauguration Day

Today, January 20, 2009, with incredible fanfare, the 44th President of the United States, Barack H. Obama, will assume office. After my second-year Greek class takes their weekly vocabulary quiz, they will translate this:

λέγει αὐτῷ γυνή· οἶδα ὅτι Μεσσίας ἔρχεται καὶ ἀναγγελεῖ ἡμῖν ἅπαντα. ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ τοῦ Μαθθαῖου εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτήν· Ἰδοὺ σήμερον Μεσσίας ἔρχεται μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν, καὶ ὄψεται αὐτὸν πᾶς ὀφθαλμὸς, καὶ ἄρξονται κράζειν· χαῖρε, βασιλεῦ Ὠβάμα.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Cardinal for whom I can Cheer

Kurt Warner is the man! His story was a Cinderella-story turned Phoenix-story, recounting his rise from obscurity to prominence, his fall back to obscurity, and finally, to the rebirth of his career with the Arizona Cardinals.

He played college football at the University of Northern Iowa (not really a powerhouse), was sent packing by the Green Bay Packers, and ended up throwing paper towels down the aisles of a Hy-Vee grocery store.

From there he had a shot at the Arena Football league, where he starred, which catapulted him to another shot at the NFL, making the St. Louis Rams team. When he got his shot, he made good on it, leading the Greatest Show on Turf to the Super Bowl championship. It was a feel-good story. The fact that he openly professed allegiance to Jesus Christ made it even better.

Now he's been around a long time, and is 37 years old. When the Arizona Cardinals drafted hot prospect Matt Leinart in 2006, the talking heads thought Warner's career was ebbing. In the end, it was Warner, not Leinart, who kept the QB job. Now Warner and the Arizona Cardinals are going back to the Super Bowl. Go Cardinals!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Harry S Truman and the "Get a Dog" Quote

An interesting quote is frequently attributed to one of our former presidents, Missourian Harry S Truman (I understand that the initial S is not supposed to have a period after it): "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." I don't know if Truman said it or not. According Ralph Keyes' book Quote Verifier (2006), there is no hard evidence that Truman ever said it. Lots of famous quotation sites will have that quote attributed to him, for example, here, or here, or here.

Regardless, it seems that most recent presidents get a dog. I just recently received an e-mail with a link to the upcoming issue of World magazine. In it I found this Gary Varvel cartoon (Indianapolis Star) of President-elect Ob
ama's dog:

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sports Potpourri

OCC College Football Pool. The faculty and staff at OCC participate in a college football pool each year, which is run by Terry Bowland. I usually try to make my picks, and come out a respectable distance from the leaders. Going into the bowl games (can you believe how many bowl games there are?), I was right smack-dab in the middle of the upper division. However, at this writing, I am under .500 on my bowl picks. I don't remember ever doing this poorly.

Chicago Cubs. The team that plays at the corner of Clark and Addison in
Chicago (Wrigley Field) has a habit of breaking my heart. 2008 was worse than normal. I really believed the Cubs would make it to the World Series. When they were swept by the Dodgers in the playoffs, I even mentioned giving up on them. In my heart of hearts, I knew that come 2009, the Cub juices would be flowing. Right now I'm thinking (a la Ernie Banks) that The Cubbies will Shine in 2009!! Aaron Worshek, the student assistant in the OCC Learning Center(also a Cub fan), mentioned to me almost a year ago that his father travels frequently to Seoul, Korea, where Cub jerseys are sold considerably cheaper than in the U.S., and offered to try to get me some jerseys on a trip. I told Aaron that I would love to have a chance at getting some jerseys. His dad made a trip in November, and I got jerseys for the family (not for the married kids, sorry) for Christmas. You can see Rose, Kim and me with our Cubs jerseys on. Kim and I got 1984 Cooperstown Hall of Fame Collection Ryne Sandberg home jerseys (mine is larger than hers), and Rose got a current Alfonso Soriano home jersey. Thanks, Aaron.

Roger Powell Jr. In the past, I have written about Roger Powell Jr., called "The Rev" by his teammates at the University of Illinois. Roger played in the NCAA Championship game in 2004, losing to the University of North Carolina. The following year he played for a CBA team in Rockford, Illinois, winning the CBA Rookie of the Year award, which got him enough notoriety to make the Utah
Jazz roster at the start of the next season. He was waived by the Jazz in January 2006, and landed in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he played for the Arkansas Rim-Rockers, leading the NBA Developmental League in scoring. The following year he played professional basketball in the Italian League, in Teramo, Italy. This season, he was on the pre-season roster of the Chicago Bulls, but was released shortly before the regular season started. He has been playing in Israel, with Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem, an Israeli pro team that competes both in an Israeli pro league, and in the European pro league. In the photo you can see the Hebrew letters spelling Migdal, which means tower. Go, Roger! Play well, and may Yeshua Ha Mashiach be seen in you, as you play in the land where he walked.