Is your couch comfortable?

Last night, my wife and I purchased our first couch. Ever.

When we got married, we used her furniture because it was nicer and cleaner than the stuff I had. At some point, we inherited a couch and love seat from the in-laws. The green couch in the basement was purchased from some friends. We have never had a new couch. So, after 15 years of marriage, we decided that we were ready to get our own couch. It looks something like this:

couch

It was pretty cool because the whole order was 25% off. We are thrifty like that. So then I started thinking about a couch and why we have one. All you really do is sit down on it. Sure, there can be a nap or two but the primary reason for a couch is so a person has a place to sit. Sitting down. You know that feeling when you have a long day at work and you know that your favorite show is calling your name. After dinner and the dishes, after the kids go to sleep, after you pull weeds in the garden, after you check your email, after a quick, refreshing shower, you can finally sit down. Flick on the TV and enjoy your show while you sit on your nice comfy couch. Sounds pretty good, right?

At some point in the past, there was a famous person who sat down. The work was complete. The task finished. To-do list? Yep, checked off every box.

All that was left was to sit down. After all, isn’t that what you do when you are done working?


 

So who is this famous person? And why did they sit down? As I like do in almost every post, let’s let the bible answer these questions for us.

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” NIV

 

These verses are some of my favorite. This is how the book of Hebrews begins. When I quote scripture in my posts I will almost always use the New International Version or NIV. For those of you who are literature fans, I have included the same three verses but from the Kings James Version, KJV. I think I like it even better than the NIV.

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” KJV

 

There is a lot of theology in those words but this post is focused on just one of those words. Sat. Think about Jesus for a minute. He knows that his life is almost over. He has been hanging on that cross for hours now. The physical limits of the human body have been pushed way beyond their maximum levels.  It is my guess that the physical pain probably does not even begin to compare to the emotional and mental strain of having to take on the sins of the entire human race upon your shoulders. But Jesus knew that this was the way. And he stuck with it.

He loved us too much to call the angels for help.

He loved us too much to rip himself from that cross.

He loved us too much to call down lighting on his executioners.

He loved us too much to give in and quit early.

The text says that “after he had provided…he sat down”. God gave Jesus a job to do. Jesus completed that job and so know he gets to sit down right next to his father.

Do you think they have couches in heaven? Who knows? I wonder if they have the Ottomans that have storage as well as being a footstool?


 

Let me hit this home. So what are you and I doing about what Jesus did? Are we sitting on the couch waiting for God to miraculously move in the hearts of men and women? Do we sit around waiting for the Holy Spirit to motivate us into action?

As a follower of Christ, I must share the truth with you. I am compelled. If you have not placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, contact me and I will show you in the Word what needs to be done. But if you are a fellow follower, than get up and get going.

P.S. I think there are couches upon which we can sit when we get to heaven. =-)

 

 

 

 

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Biology and the Bible: Can they be friends?

I have two college degrees. Bible and Biology. Some people might think that those two topics are like oil and water, i.e. they do not mix. I wholeheartedly disagree. Not only can they go together but they even support each other. Keep reading and see if you agree with me.

Let’s start with Biology. biology-blackboard

You and I are living things. The plants, trees, and flowers are living as well. Bugs, birds, and all other animals are living creatures. But is a rock a living thing? How does one determine what is living and what is not living? After doing some research, there are characteristics that an object must possess to be considered living. Some sources might say there are 7 things and others say 6. For my purpose here, I will adhere to this rule:

For an object to be considered living, it must demonstrate the following 6 characteristics.

 

Here is a list of each category and a short description:

1. Cells – Living things are composed of cells

2. Organization – Living things are organized at the molecular and cellular level

3. Metabolism – Living things use energy

4. Homeostasis – Living things maintain stable internal conditions

5. Growth – Living things grow as a result of cell division and cell enlargement

6. Reproduction – Living things have the ability to produce

There it is. The filter of questions that can be asked of literally anything. If the “thing” in question has a positive response for all 6 categories, it is living. To make this more easily understood, ask these questions of yourself.


 

Do I have cells? Yes.

Are those cells organized in some way? Yes.

Do I use energy? Yes.

Do I maintain a stable internal condition? Yes.

Do I grow? Yes.

Can I reproduce? Yes.


 

Congratulations! You are alive! As if there was any doubt! =-)

Now let’s take a look at the Bible.bible 2

Please read I Peter 1:3, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,.” For the whole chapter, click I Peter 1.

Let me focus on two words, living hope. Hope is a great thing. In fact, you can read some of my earlier writings about Hope. But we can be born into a living hope. That seems to be better than just regular hope, right?

Let’s mash things up and see what we get.


 

Does my Hope have cells? Yes. I can read about my hope in every book of the Bible. I can talk to other Christ-followers. I can pray and worship.

Are those cells organized in some way? Yes. Church is organized. My Bible is organized. Even my prayers can be organized.

Do my Hope use energy? Yes. Following Christ is work but that Hope keeps me motivated!

Does my Hope maintain a stable internal condition? Yes. Regardless of what is happening outside, my hope remains stable on the inside.

Does my Hope grow? Yes. Certainly! My maturity level goes up which in turn allows my hope to increase as well.

Can my Hope reproduce? Yes. When I share my hope with others, I am, in essence, reproducing what God has done in me.


And there you have it. You have just successfully blended the Bible and Biology.

Now go and enjoy the living hope into which your were born!

Settlers of Catan

One small island full of various resources but not enough room for settlers. You are one of those settlers. To be victorious, you must utilize these resources to build roads, settlements, and cities. Gathering and managing resource cards, trading with other players, and trusting the luck of the dice roll could possibly lead to victory in Settlers of Catan! This link will lead to the manufacturer’s website.

catan title

Settlers of Catan has been around since 1995. It makes a great gate-way game in that new gamers can learn it quickly but the variety and unknown factors can make even seasoned gamers enjoy a round.

As this is not a tutorial, I won’t delve into the details on gameplay. I will simply rate and review the game.


 

Here is my rating system:

There are 10 points distributed in 5 categories.

Learning – Can players teach/learn in a short amount of time? Is the rule book clear and concise?

Components – Are the pieces good quality? Do they make the game better or are they distracting?

Interaction – Do players need to work together? Is there actions that can be spiteful or helpful?

Complexity – How deep is this game? Are there lots of ways to earn points and win?

Replayability – Will this game get boring? Is it the same for every play?

Each category will earn 0, 1, or 2 points.

Score of 0 – game does a poor job or does not display any beneficial or useable substance

Score of 1 – passable quality and fair mechanics but will still lack superior form 

Score of 2 – excellent craftsmanship and function, brings enhancement to overall game play

I said I would rate and review. Here are my thoughts on Settlers of Catan.

Rate – 7 out of 10 

Learning – This game is good to learn or teach because it is fairly easy to grasp. The gameplay is not confusing either. Score of 1

Components – The wooden pieces are sturdy as well as the tiles. It’s easy to distinguish different cards/colors. I like the art work as well. Score of 2

Interaction – Players can trade with others but this is not absolutely vital for a well-balanced player. Players can also block other players. Score of 1

Complexity – Once you learn Catan, there are only a couple of ways to win. The luck of the dice keep this game from being too complex. Score of 1

Replayability – There are dice and tiles that change every game. These two reasons give it a feel each time you play. Score of 2

catan pic

 

There you have it. Even though I scored this a 7, it still deserves to be in your collection. Did I mention the fact that there are about a dozen expansions for the base game?!?! This will drive my score up. Things get more complex. Player interaction increases…and so does the tension! And it is that tension that drives any gamer to want to win. It’s fun to play board games!

If you are not a gamer, this would be a great place to start. Settlers of Catan is a classic in my book and will always have a place on my shelf.

 

 

Board Games: Welcome to my world.

One of my favorite things to do is to play board games. It all started with many Monopoly nights with my sisters. As a family, we would play Compulsion or Acquire. As a junior high kid, I remember my cousins teaching me how to play poker the summers I spent in North Dakota. My kids (ages 7 and 10) like to play games as well. We will play Memory or other simple games and enjoy doing so. Just so you know, the picture of all the games is not my collection. Can’t say that I wouldn’t mind it though. =-)

games on a shelf

But my favorites are more in-depth than Memory, Checkers, or Monopoly. Here are some titles in my collection:

Settlers of Catan

Power Grid

Istanbul

Dungeon Lords

7 Wonders


In these posts, I am going to give you my thoughts about particular games. My reviews will not necessarily teach you how to play the game but it will give you an idea of the overall mechanics and why I like/don’t like it. I am just exposing you to this whole world of tabletop gaming.

If you enjoy games, then I hope this will give more understanding to some games that are unknown to you. Maybe you dislike board games. That is okay. They are not for everyone.

Now that I have your given you a glimpse into my geekiness, I am done writing for now. Coming soon will be my first review. This game is a gateway game. I will explain more next time. Here is a picture of it, can you guess which game?

catan pic

 

Fireworks in heaven?

Hi Friends,

I trust your summer is off to a smashing start. For me, I am camping again this weekend. My family of four will fit nicely into our camper. We don’t really fish or hunt. We shoot for more relaxed activities. Throwing a game of Bean Bag Toss is on the docket. Overall, pretty low-key. And then there are fireworks.

fireworks

I love fireworks. Actually, I love shooting off the fireworks. There is an adrenaline rush. The explosion. Even the smell is pleasant to me.


I wonder if there are fireworks in heaven.

When Christ returns for His church, will there be fireworks to celebrate? Or when a soul surrenders to God, do the angels light of some boomers?

For me, I think so. God is a creative God and so why not. Fireworks in heaven. Sounds cool to me.

Either way, I know I will be there someday, will you?