Monday, November 22, 2010


"Now I believe that somewhere in God Almighty's workshop there is a vegetable growth with geometrically parallel fibres suitable to our use. Look for it. Paper is man made and not good for filaments."
-Thomas A. Edison

Saturday, November 20, 2010

From Pensees by Blaise Pascal

"502. Abraham took nothing for himself, but only for his servants. So the righteous man takes for himself nothing of the world, nor of the applause of the world, but only for his passions, which he uses as their master, saying to the one, "Go," and to another, "Come." ... The passions thus subdued are virtues. Even God attributes to Himself avarice, jealousy, anger; and these are virtues as well as kindness, pity, constancy, which are also passions. We must employ them as slaves, and, leaving them to their food, prevent the soul from taking any of it. For, when the passions become masters, they are vices, and they give their nutriment to the soul, and the soul nourishes itself upon it and is poisoned."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

God's art gallery

The Children's Garden in Greenville, South Carolina, USA

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Jesus' careers

Jesus achieved a great deal
in his 33 years on earth

He was a great counselor
(A wise and just lawyer)

He healed many people
He remains the great Physician

Of course he was a great Teacher
And the single best ever Preacher

And his Dad was the Almighty One
who engineered the earth.

Jesus, Jesus, precious savior
Thank you beyond words alone...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hurry up and start forsaking already

I've written before about my latest journey as a stay-at-home dad. It's been over 2 years that I have been the primary caregiver for my preschool children and almost 3 years that I have not had a traditional job. While this role is not for everyone, I truly believe there are some reasons for me and for everyone to rethink the traditional job roles and traditional motivations of our American society.

First, let me start with scripture. From the Book of Matthew Chapter 19:27:

"Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first."

Our society's norms lead most Americans down the path of "more is better" and "rich over poor". Some Christian leaders even echo this when they talk about people "getting blessed" with a great job or a coveted position that will make them wealthy, as if this is what Christ was telling us to do. I am afraid he simply was not. Even I have tried to keep both ideals and justify them against each other. That the LOVE of money is the root of all evil, not money itself and that Christ did tell the parable of the talents and how investing (and therefore making money) was a great thing and to be pursued.

Not exactly. He also lost it when they starting selling wares inside the temple. You know, turning the place into a "den of thieves." I must admit it is difficult sometimes to resolve some of the ideas against one another, but of all the things Christ asked us to do, he never asked us to get rich and have the biggest house in the richest neighborhood. What part of "the first shall be last and the last shall be first" do we not understand?

He goes on in other scripture to tell us not to worry about what we eat and what we wear. That a lily is prettier than any human could ever be and that a bird has it's 100% RDA of calories just from stuff in the trees and on the ground. Yet, our American fashion industry and our food industry is spending billions trying to optimize our looks, our tastebuds and waistlines.

The stay-at-home dad phenomena that I am personally a part of right now is coming about as more families and dads value their families above the almighty paycheck. Stay at home moms have also realized a resurgence in the past decade as more families stop turning their kids over to daycares and pre-schools to do their child-rearing and take the responsibility personally.

Did Mary drop Jesus off at the best daycare in town on the way to her high-paying job? No, I don't read that in the Bible. I know there are people who have circumstances that keep them from doing their parenting personally. I am not here to judge, but nudge. If you are reading this and have an interest in being a stay-at-home dad or stay-at-home mom, what do you think? Are there subtle voices telling you that pursuing wealth to the detriment of your family might be a SIN? Hmm, maybe it is. Maybe not. Of course every situation is different, and that also supports the argument that some dads probably SHOULD be stay-at-home dads. There are probably a good number of dads that SHOULD be at home with their kids, but the family members are just too addicted to stuff and debt and the upper class lifestyle to really make a commitment to their families.


On a different note, I am reading "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan as part of a bible study class at my local church. Francis' writing and his videos on his website are refreshing and are opening me up to a new vision of who God is and how to talk to him. It's been a great week thinking about God is this new way and how I can be more thankful and mindful of my role in this vast universe he has created. The vastness of the universe does NOT contradict God, it reinforces his colossal power and unattainable genius.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I am Mr. Mom every day

Think it's a sin to quit a job? Conventional wisdom is "never quit your job, unless you have another one." Plus, the Bible tells us that "those who will not work, should not eat." Yet, there is also scripture about quitting one's vocation and taking up another. 2 years ago, I began a new journey as a stay-at-home dad. At first, my daughters were in a pre-school, but 6 months later, I brought them home for several reasons. Now I am their primary caregiver and my wife works.

Who in the Bible quit their job? No less than the closest human beings to Jesus, his disciples. "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. " - The Book of Matthew Chapter 4. These two disciples didn't even work a 2 week notice or train their replacements. They just dropped the nets and followed.

We must challenge ourselves to think of work roles and home roles in new ways in this ever-changing society. As the corporate world strives to balance the scales of gender and racial diversity, so long tipped in favor of Caucasian males (like me), more and more men are joining the ranks of stay-at-home dads. Why should we fight this trend? If it is better for one's family to let the wife continue her career, may God bless that home. I cherish the extra time I am getting with my kids. But there are some who struggle with the idea of a stay-at-home dad.

Last week, the man who bagged my groceries commented "playing Mr. Mom today?" I replied, "I am Mr. Mom every day". I could see by the look on his face, this rocked his world. He finally let loose "Oh, you are unemployed." So, even though I told him I did this by choice and that it was mostly fun, his expression showed his doubt. I thanked him for his efforts and we went about our business. People can get locked into thinking one way, until they read some words like "They just dropped their nets and followed."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

How many 18 wheeler truck trailers would have fit into Noah's ark?

By my approximation, 298 trailers could have fit into Noah's ark. This line of trucks would stretch 4.2 miles on a highway if placed end-to-end. The line would be much longer if you allowed normal spacing for transport.

I was inspired to calculate some of this as I am reading Kevin's Roose's excellent book, "The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University." Kevin writes about one of the Liberty University professors making a point that Noah's ark was 475 feet long and was akin to "a floating skyscraper." I think some people have their doubts about this. First, how could one man and his small family (three sons, wife) build this? My faith answers me: Time. Noah was 600 years old when the floods came. Now how many houses could you build if you have 600 years to live? A LOT.

And you would probably get pretty efficient and smart about it after the first few years.

Some people may doubt that the Bible is right about Noah's age, but there is some evidence that is pointing to the long lives of our ancestors. Genetic mutations often create negative consequences. Over a long period of time, those mutations can add up and cause people to be less resistant to disease. Some ancient fossils show that ancient man may have looked different because man simply lived longer and the facial appearance and stature (think stooped) would reflect these long lives.

Here are a few of the calculations and I have made the entire spreadsheet public on Google docs. Enjoy admiring God's idea and Noah's work.

Noah's Ark
Calculate the square footage and volume of the ark.

Ge 6:15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.

Assuming a shape approaching a solid box… (for now)
Length 300
Breadth (width) 50
height 30
Cubit = 1.5 feet (length from elbow tip to fingertips)
Convert cubits to feet
Length 450
Breadth (width) 75
Height 45

Volume equals L x W x H
1,518,750.00 cubic feet
1.5 million cubic feet
Volume of a standard 18 wheeler truck trailer
length 60
width 8.5
height 10
Volume 5,100.00 cubic feet

How many fully loaded 18 wheeler trailers could fit in Noah's Ark?
How many miles would a line of 298 trucks stretch?

Free spreadsheet with all the formulas and data

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