Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All Science Points To God

In the New York Times today there was an article An Evolutionary Theory of Right and Wrong that is based on the new book "Moral Minds" by Harvard Biologist Marc Hauser.

Dr. Hauser argues that our basic moral code does not come from the world we are nurtured in, but from a more deeply seeded component of the nature of our DNA. I should state that I 100% agree with Dr. Hauser on that point. I differ in the fact that Dr. Hauser believes we evolved that way through a utilitarian need for morality.
I believe we were created through God's process with the ever famous "Imago Dei" or "Image of God." Our development as a species was guided from the dust to be the very likeness of God. In fact it was God's design not nature's that developed in us a universal sense of right and wrong.

Alton Howard Has Gone To The Father

Alton Howard has gone on to be with our Lord. This probably means nothing to most of you, but for those of who are third or fourth generation in the Church of Christ this is the loss of a man who represented much of our heritage since he was the editor of the "official" church of Christ hymnals. Growing up we used "Songs Of The Church" and then later as the times they were a changin, we moved onto "Songs of Faith and Praise" which was also edited by Alton Howard.

I only got the chance to meet Mr. Howard once, but his work certainly had an effect on my life.

Rest In Peace Mr. Howard!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Preaching Past TiVo - LeadershipJournal.net

Preaching Past TiVo - LeadershipJournal.net: "Jesus doesn't meet our needs; he rearranges them. He cares very little about most things that I assume are my needs, and he gives me needs that I would've never had if I hadn't met Jesus. He reorders them."

Love Of The World - Christian Style

When Christ said not love to the world or anything in it, what he meant was to only buy Christianized prostitutions of existing products.

"No money left over to serve the needy of the world this week, I just bought my Saint B MP3" - Joe Christian

Friday, October 27, 2006

Report Cards From Spring Hills

My kindergarten daughter got her first report card yesterday from school. I told my wife we could have filled it out for the teacher. Her analysis was of my daughter's strengths and weaknesses were dead on. She received high marks in language and math and very unacceptable marks in social skills and self sufficiency issues. Gee I bet that's familiar to my parents.

I have been VERY impressed with her teachers, the principal Mrs. Solomon, and the other people I have encountered. Being very against public education from a political perspective (I tend to be mostly libertarian in ideology) I assumed this experience would be a source of constant strife. However it has been quite the contrary.

I am thankful to God to live in a village with such a great elementary school.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Amish and Terror - 4 Questions

Some of you may have read this post, which linked to this article, which was argued against by my brother in this post.

I ask the following 4 questions to my brother here in Open Forum and I will link to his responses before I continue my response.

1. Will Christ wisdoms and teachings only work for a Christian?

2. Is God more powerful than evil?

3. Who is my neighbor?

4. Was Jesus' rhetoric "thoughtless feel-goodism" meant to be irrelevantly pondered in the walls of our cathedrals, or was his language a poignantly social and political praxis illustrated by an intentional counter-cultural lifestyle?

(OK maybe question 4 is baited) My comments after your response:

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Preparing My Daughters For A Sexually Healthy Marriage

I was reading the New York Times article on Women's Halloween Costumes today and was VERY impressed with the counter cultural discernment the author demonstrated.

As a father of two girls I tend to be a true feminist. To clarify I don't mean to have being a feminist confused with being a fem-nazi. Fem-Nazis are plagued with a reactionary philosophy that thinks women should abhor children, be compelled to work, and other misguided conceptions like that. As a feminist instead, I think that women should be valued, no treasured, as the Jewel of their people.

We live in a culture that does not endorse that perception at all. My daughters will grow up being told by the media industry, and their peers, that they are objects of sensuality; that their value is in beauty and their duty is in satisfaction. That idea sickens me, and so I therefore work very hard at showing my daughters another value system.

Jesus was radically counter-cultural to his time because of his feminist views. Last night my oldest daughter and I read John 11. As you read his interactions with Martha and Mary at the death of their brother look at how Jesus values their femininity. Jesus knows what miracle he is about to perform, but he values these sisters as women enough to participate in their mourning, to empathize and share the compassion they were created to desire.

As a father I want to celebrate my daughter's God given femininity, and part of the way I try to do this is in my relationship to their mother. My nature as a man is not to be empathetic or compassionate. I tend to be selfish and unconcerned with others, however when I practice the discipline of compassion I know that demonstrates to my wife the value she has to me. In the same way when I demonstrate my wife's value to me to her through acts of service and compassion, I am demonstrating to my daughters their value as women.

It is very important to never view my wife as a sexual being. What I mean is, to never view her as existing for my sexual pleasure. My wife and I share sexuality because we are deeply emotionally connected. I love talking to my wife. I know that is not true of a lot of men, and I think this stems from their views of their wife as a sexual being. These men loving having sex and see conversation as a necessary component of "foreplay." This is simply not the case with m. This isn't something I have need to work hard at, it is just the reality. I deeply treasure conversation with my wife.

I want my daughter's to have this kind of relationship. I believe the only way to ensure they choose men who will value them and celebrate their femininity is to start now by celebrating my wife's femininity in front of them. I need to deprogram the media-centric idea that a girl needs to wear a size two, look good in a slutty nurse costume, and be available for her mates pleasure. I need to be more of a servant, more compassionate, and more participatory in the household management. To put it concisely, I need to value my wife more.

I have more to say about this... But I am pausing for now.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

State of Politics In America

As you can see from the Peraica signs on the ground and the Stroger signs in nice stacks, the Strogger campaign is pulling up competing signs in this local Cook county race.

Politics has become so dishonorable that candidates are resorting to this... Disgusting!

Jesus The Radical Pastor: Jesus Plays Yahweh's Part in Psalm 23

Jesus This Post: Jesus Plays Yahweh's Part in Psalm 23 literally brought me to tears. The beautiful presentation of Our Lord the Christ was overwhelming!

I will most certainly be ripping this off next time I preach!

Monday, October 16, 2006

CFOUTPUT: Query within A Query

I know that 100% of the people who read this blog regularly have absolutely no interest in this post at all. The reason I am writing is because I think that this needs to be a queryable question in Google since it took me quite a while to figure out how to do it.

So on with the explanation for those who come here one day via Google...

I was using a CFMAIL tag to send a query driven data set to an end user in a report at work. The dataset was a list of requisitions. I had an additional dataset that needed to be in the post as well. I needed to include Notes about the delivery within the email detailing the requisitions.

Coldfusion kept throwing an error because I had a query driven <cfoutput> inside of an existing query driven <cfoutput> since <cfmail> is functionally a query driven <cfoutput> I had used the group function to ensure the data would be output only once, but still the coldfusion server did not like the request.

In order to output my data I would need to use a <cfloop> and output a specific row from a query on each loop through the data. My problem was that documentation for displaying a specific query row was nonexistent in the LiveDocs and negligible on the web. I did find some old posts but their instructions did not work in Coldfusion 7.

So after trial and error using the limited old sources I had, I discovered the correct syntax was #queryname.querycolumn[row]#. I am sure this is not news at all to a more experienced programmer but it was HUGE for me since it was not well documented.

In the end my query driven output within a query driven output looked like this:

<cfif #queryname.recordcount# gt 0>
<cfset currentrecord=" 1">
<cfloop index="currentrecord" from="1" to="#queryname.recordcount#">
<cfset currentrecord= #currentrecord# + 1>

I hope this helps save you the time I spent!

What If The Amish Were In Charge of the War on Terror

Mike Clawson a local Pastor here in Chicago (Gerbmom's Pastor) I have liked a lot each chance I have had to spend time with him linked to an article called What if the Amish were in charge of the war on terror! It is an amazing and humbling read.

Thank you Mike for linking to it!

Friday, October 13, 2006

I Am A Bride Daily

Not exactly the kind of post you would expect to see on a Blog as "masculine" as mine :0! But seriously. I don't actually goto the blogs I read very often since for the most part I read the post through my Bloglines RSS reader. However, I was enjoying a post from Epiphany when it ended and I need to read the rest over on her site.

As I was reading the post I saw this image:

And thought what a wonderful picture it was of what I want my relationship with Christ to be. I want to be the Bride of Christ in everyday sorts of ways! I want to belong to God in each and every casual decision I make. I think this picture perfectly illustrates the concept of living in two worlds as God's people. We must be real (the jeans) and we must be God's Brides in that reality.

I will definitely use this image on Sunday when I speak to the 3rd through 6th graders at our Pre-Teen Youth Rally!

Elder's Letter

I sent the following letter to the Elders at the church I am a member of in response to being asked my thoughts on using a large cash gift that was made to the church at the recent death of a long time member. Cynically speaking I am unsure why I was asked to participate in the suggestion process since I believe the "finance committee" which it seems to me has no ability to dream big will make the decision unilaterally. None the less, I sent my thoughts as what I hope is at least a voice in the wilderness.


Proverbs 14 teaches us that there is a difference between submitting to God's leading and following man's logic. Rarely are the decisions that seem most logical or the actions that make us most comfortable the same as the decisions and actions that God would desire us to take in any given situation. I think we as a church are on the precipice of time where we will be free to be open to following God's leading; or instead be shackled by decisions that make us most comfortable, and the fiscal actions that insure us an institution. As I, like so many others, in this church family look on the potential usage of this gift from God I am reminded of the parable of the talents. This gift enables us as a church to make 5 talent decisions. This gift challenges us to invest into the kingdom of God in ways that will bear greater fruit for our master's kingdom. I dream of a future where this money is poured out into the lives of those scripture clearly teaches are closest to the heart of God. I pray that we will enlist these dollars to greater acts of service rather than bury them as asset lines on our church financial reports. I pray that these dollars will earn fruit for the kingdom rather than interest from a bank. I pray these funds will deliver the dividends of God's redemption in the lives of our neighbors, rather than the dividends of stock certificates and bonds.

I have heard several plans that I want to address directly before I share my vision to how we submit this to the service of Christ.

Building Projects - It has been stated to me that our foundation is crumbling, our a/c is on the fritz, our boilers need to be replaced, and that our roof is in serious need of repair. In the same vein our worship productions guys could make a case for a bigger projector, upgraded cordless microphones, a digital audio encoder, a better computer with better software, and additional spotlights with digital controllers. Our Sunday School teachers desire a more fully stocked and better functioning resource room, technology aides to augment the educational experience, better classroom lighting, and newer classroom paint. On the list could go with these building projects. We all know how the things we own can own us. Although these are all legitimate needs to improve the form and function of our building, I believe that the form and function serve as a distraction for the church rather than as an attraction to the world. Jesus' desire for us to store up treasures in heaven is as valid of a command in our community goal setting as it is in our individual lives. These kinds of priorities will consume this gift because the material things of this world continue to degrade as time passes on.

Interest Bearing Investments - I have heard other considerations of investing these funds into a series of interest bearing accounts. The proponents of this idea claim these accounts would provide a solid future for the congregation as they would bear new funds indefinitely. Although I as well as anyone else can see the logical benefit of a $40,000 a year cash stream. However, I am reminded of story between Jehosphat King of Judah and Ahab King of Israel. Jehosphat knew that Ahab was wicked and yet his own desire for power and pride among the kings caused him to enter in a military alliance with this evil king. The result of the alliance was that Jehosphat was shamed for his trust in the military power of Ahab rather than on the provision of God. In Isaiah 31 the Lord proclaims an curse against Israel for their reliance on Egypt for military protection. God reminds Israel as he reminds us that he is the mighty lion who devours the powers of this world. Our congregation relying on banks and financial planners for it's protection and future is the same reliance as Israel allying itself to be a vassal kingdom of Egypt. Establishing a congregational endowment would place our future in the powers and principalities of the enemy rather than in the sovereign protection of her King.

So then how do we respond when faced with a decision of such gravity. I think we follow the lead of Esther in her dealings with the king. We must invite the Lord into our midst and host a banquet in his honor. I believe we need to host a night of fellowship, surrender, and praise, and prayer. Esther began her request of the King with a meal. I believe we should gather as a body and eat together. It should be a festive meal, holiday like in it's splendor, and we should eat it together as a body. Next we must surrender ourselves to the King's favor. In Esther's case she stated, "If I have found favor with you, O king." In our case I believe we should surrender ourselves to God by having a time of confessional prayer. As we ask God's guidance we must be clean of our hidden sins. I think we should divide into 2 groups based by gender and have a time of true surrendering and confession. This time should be designed to ensure participation by all members from our teens through of most senior members. After we surrender ourselves to God through a period of confessional prayer and repentance I believe we must next gather together for a time of prayerful praise. Finally, after we have fellowshipped, surrendered, and worship then we would inquire as to God's leading for the usage of this gift in the furtherance of his kingdom.

I do not believe it is possible for us as the family to make any decision until we have entered a covenant with him together as a community to follow his Spirit and his power in this time. We can decide to be a 5 talent church, but only if we unite together as one body in surrendering our will, vision, and dreams and following only the clear evident leadings of the Holy Spirit after we have sought that as a Body.

I love each of you, and thank you for your leadership here at Cardinal Drive.

In Christ,
Kevin J. Bowman

Please let me know what you think!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Another Firefox Quick Search

I needed to search for a verse today and it occured to me to make another Firefox quick search link.

Site: http://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=%s&qs_version=31
My Keyword: Bible

An Email Forward

So I got World's Strongest Dad as an email forward. As cheesy as I was determined it would be. I really was moved it. This is an amazing story of a father's commitment to his son.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Firefox - Quick Search Via URL

So I was reading a post on a ColdFusion Usergroup that suggested using a Quicksearch in the Firefox address bar. I continued reading the post and really have to admit this is about the coolest feature in the world.

Firefox Bookmarks allow you to add an Address Bar Keyword. This means when you type in your keyword along with your search terms it automatically sends the terms as a url search parameter. To Make this work you must follow these steps.

1. Navigate to a page using a URL Search Parameter.
2.Bookmark the page.
3. Goto to Manage Bookmarks.
4. Replace your search parameters with %s.
5. Next create a keyword association.
6. Try it out in a New Tab.

I know this will be very useful for me!

Google Maps -
  • Site: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=%S&ie=UTF8&amp;z=16&om=1&iwloc=A
  • My Ketword: Map

Google Images -
  • Site: http://images.google.com/images?&q=%s
  • My Keyword: Image

Blogger Blog Serach -
  • Site: http://search.blogger.com/?q=%s&btnG=Search+Blogs&hl=en&ui=blg
  • My Keyword: Blog

Yahoo Search -
  • Site: http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=%s
  • My Keyword: Yahoo

MySpace Friend Search -
  • Site: Too Long Copy and Paste From Link
  • My Keyword: MySpace

I think you get the idea