Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cellular insufficiency

I am increasingly frustrated with the insufficiencies of American cellular phone service. Why can I not:
  1. Send SMS (text messages) from my Cellular One mobile phone (Simply Speaking plan) to my children's ACS Alaska Cellular phones? During the years we lived in Sweden, we routinely communicated via SMS with friends visiting in other European countries, China, and even Africa. Why can't an American cell phone send an SMS across the room when a European cell phone can SMS with any other European, Chinese or African cell phone -- even if they are offered by different manufacturers or plan providers and separated by an entire continent?
  2. Routinely receive cell phone calls when I can originate calls from the same spot? It's pretty frustrating to listen to voice mail and find that someone tried to contact me while I was in good cell phone coverage and the phone never rang.
  3. Dial once instead of three times? With my current cell phone, while travelling, I must dial the number, dial the number again, and then dial MY number.
  4. Pay only for calls I originate? Why should I have to pay for people calling me? Especially if I don't want the call, why should I have to pay for it? Our European cell phone account actually was CREDITED a fraction of the call's value when someone called.
I know, this is a bit of a rant. I'm just a bit disgusted with the way the system works. There is no technical reason for any of this; there are only policy reasons; or at least, so it seems to me. This seems like a perfect place for some Federal Communicatioins Commission regulation to me.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


As Linda and I attended Bible School at Word of Life Church in Uppsala during the 2003/2004 study year, I jotted down a number of pearls from our teachers. Here's a sampling, and a few of the revelations that occurred to me as I listened.

We judge others by their actions, but we judge ourselves by our intentions. --We have no right to judge others. That is God's job. Jesus was clear on this point: (Mt 7:1-2) "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (NIV)

The unholy trinity: me, myself & I -- This is pretty countercultural. Man has always been most interested in his own way.

The world today doesnt read the Gospels in the Bible; it reads the Gospels as they are wriiten in us. R. Ekh

Your life is not your dreams and wishes. Your life is your habits. R. Ekh (via R. Høidal)

There should be believers coming behind me. If I fail, they may not enter the kingdom.

Sin is sugar-coated poison. And when we need more, the price is raised. Åke Carlson

Joy is a daily choice. My daily walk in faith depends on the decisions I make at the beginning of and throughout each day.

Prayer is, in part: A time of letting God speak into my to do list and change it and conform it to His purposes.

God make me humble with a head held high.

I don't want to be what I have always been but instead what You have always wanted me to be.

The church is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.

It is our habits that make us holy -- Egmont Mika (cell group leader)

The areas of darkness I hide today will be the future areas of failure and bondage. -- Åke Carlson

Friday, April 14, 2006

"Gospel of Judas" -- I don't think so

The National Geographic Society has made much of the discovery and authentication of the "Gospel of Judas." Here's what the NGS website says: "The Gospel of Judas gives a different view of the relationship between Jesus and Judas, offering new insights into the disciple who betrayed Jesus. Unlike the accounts in the canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, in which Judas is portrayed as a reviled traitor, this newly discovered Gospel portrays Judas as acting at Jesus' request when he hands Jesus over to the authorities."

Well, I'm sure it's cool to have found and authenticated an ancient document, but the real question isn't its authenticity, but its veracity.

The situation is not unlike some organization in the distant future that finds an intact copy of The DaVinci Code and thinks that it says something significant about the mankind-changing events of Jerusalem in the spring of 34 AD.

That a "Gospel of Judas" was found doesn't seem especially surprising. It is especially unsurprising in light of the gnosticism that swirled around the Meditteranean in the first centuries AD. This work was likely a product of a gnostic accolyte. The writing was not totally unknown; it was referenced early on by Irenaeus, an early Bishop of Lyons.

The Church adopted a Biblical canon early on in part to specifically reject a body of writings in circulation. The "Gospel" of Judas was no doubt one of those.

Is it "Gospel?" I don't think so.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Some Thoughts on Marriage

I'm hesitant to glibly say, "the Lord gave me this," but I believe in the case of the "three P's, He did. I woke up with it. I think it's worth reproducing here:

Problems in marriages come in from man and wife. What we do (or fail to do) as husbands are not the only problems in the marriage. However, God has given us the leadership position that can bring the solution.

As a husband, you can’t change your wife. You can only change yourself. But, if you lead in a Godly way, she will follow.

These are the three "P's" that were in my heart when I awoke.

* Protect – we all bring in negatives and positives from our original family. We must protect our wives from the negatives, and encourage with the positives. Society and work is full of negatives that we must protect our wives (and families) from. We must also protect our wives and children from emotional withdrawal.
* Praise – praise your wife 50 times as much as you criticize. Whenever criticism is necessary, pray about what to say and when to say it. Never criticize in front of the children.
* Prayer – pray with her daily. Ask the Lord to bless her. Even if your prayer is only 30 seconds long, God hears you and so does she.

Read Ephesians 5:25

* We are to love our wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
* Christ loved the Church enough to die for Her – like Christ we must die to our own selves for the sake of our wives and our families
* We are to love our wives as ourselves – feeding and caring for her, both physically and emotionally.

If we could look at an account of our verbal transactions with our wives, the amounts might look like this:

* Add 100 credits for every we time praise
* Take away 5,000 credits for every criticism not done prayerfully
* Take away 10,000 credits for every word spoken in a hurtful way

As men, we are built for work. God made us that way. We train, we study, and we apply ourselves to our work. The most important work of our lives, however, goes on within the walls of our homes. When we build up our wives and our children, we are working to give them a secure future, and we are working for our own future happiness. The self image of our wives and of our children will depend in no small measure on how successful we are in this most important of all the work of our lives.

Monday, April 03, 2006

April Fools

One of the fun things about publishing the Delta News Web is the April Fools jokes we have included over the years. Some have been improbable, others impossible, and others just improvised.

One of my favorites is from this year, the buffoose. Here's the cutline that went along with it:

Biologists have been concerned about the potential for interbreeding among moose (Alces alces) and bison (Bison bison). Delta is one of the areas in the world where these two species exist in close geographic proximity. Delta area biologist Steve DuBois captured images of what may be the first known instance of a hybrid between these two species. The body of this animal appears moose-like, but the horns appear to be typical of a male bison. It is not known whether this "bull" is sterile, as hybrids often are. Biologists and lexicophilists are working on names for the new hybridized species. Some that have been proposed are buffoose, moosalo, boose, mison, bioose, bisoose, and mooson. A debate is raging among taxonomists on what Latin name to use: Alces buffaloensis, Bison alces, or something entirely new, Aprilfoolsensis critterus. Photo Courtesy Steve DuBois