Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Baptism: Believe, Complete This Form, and We'll Get Back To You

A couple nights ago I attended a baptism service at a local church.  One of my students was being baptized that evening, as well as my “adopted” cousin, Gary.  I love baptisms – I love the joy on the faces when they come up out of the water, I love to hear their testimonies, I love knowing that the Holy Spirit is present in the room when we are gathered to witness proclaiming publicly their decisions to follow Christ.  It is truly a good thing, a holy thing.  It is the right thing to do.

However (c’mon - you knew there’d be a “however”) …

*FYI - The following rant will most likely offend some of my very good friends.  I apologize if you are offended, but if you really know me, you realize by now that I am utterly incapable of keeping my big mouth shut.  Sooo ... I'm gonna say what I'm gonna say and let the chips fall (and they will fall).  Deal with it.

(begin rant ….)

I just don’t get all the hoops people are forced to jump through on the way to the baptism bathtub?  Many churches (including my own) have a way of making it a major pain in the royal rumpus to get dunked. 

I sort of get that people are afraid of accepting non-believers into membership.  Yeah, OK.  I get that.  I really do.  But we’re talking about baptism, not membership.  It should be simple and immediate. 

In Acts 2:38, Peter says, … “Repent, ye, and be baptized.”

I couldn’t agree more.  Short, simple.  No forms to fill out.  One person, one God, one decision. 

Acts 2:38 DOESN’T say this:

  1. Repent.
  2. Prove your repentance to everyone.
  3. Go to an approved church for several months so they can see that you have repented.
  4. Sign up for the “baptism class.”
  5. Attend said “baptism class” (usually 2 Saturdays)
  6. Upon completion of “baptism class,” complete an “interest card.”
    1. “Interest card” states that you are “interested” in becoming baptized.
  7. When the deacons and elders schedule the next baptism, complete the “baptism application.”
  8. Schedule an interview with the elder/deacon board.
  9. If you are approved, then be baptized at a scheduled time.

I happened to be a member of our elder/deacon board when “Thing 1” and “Thing 2” (my two oldest children) were baptized.  They went through the whole “baptism class” thing, etc…. and I kept my big mouth shut … until it came to the “interview.”

I’ll admit that my being on the board afforded me an advantage that others wouldn’t necessarily enjoy.  I allowed the board to fire two (and ONLY two) questions at my kids:

  1. Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? And
  2. Can you hold your breath under water?

I wasn’t really even keen about asking them question #1, because after all, aside from oneself and God, whose business is it anyway?   
Did Philip insist that the Eunich be interviewed and schooled before he was baptized?  On the contrary, he saw some water and asked to be baptized, and Philip stopped the chariot and baptized him right then and there.

(*GASP!!)  You mean he wasn’t approved by the board first?!!??  Did he at least take the class?  Does he have his baptism certificate on file with a a proper church (you know, the “right kind” of church – not one of those other churches)?!  

You know what?  When the time comes I’m gonna baptize my own kids and I'm not gonna make them fill out any paperwork.  Maybe it'll in the ocean, maybe in the lake, maybe in the bathtub.  Whenever they decide they’re ready, we’ll find some water and just do it.

(…end rant)

… Later.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Just Give Me A Commode and a Laptop

Some people were talking at work today about a most disgusting and unusual subject (figures I would be involved in this discussion).  It was quite a conversation starter that lasted the better part of the morning and took place in several locations throughout the campus.  It all centered on this question:
If you knew without a shadow of doubt that you were going to be stricken with a stomach bug within the next 24 hours, and you were given a choice, would you choose (a) the pukes or (b) the squirts (diarrhea).  You must defend your choice.
While this may seem a no-brainer to most people, I was shocked at the number of people who prefer puke over diarrhea.  I happen to be on the squirt side myself, for several reasons.
  1. I don't like the "try to talk yourself out of it" routine that invariably happens several minutes prior to the big hurl.
  2. When I have the squirts, I can still eat whatever I want, and it will not come back up.
  3. I can take my laptop into the bathroom and sit on the throne for five and a half hours before the battery dies (longer if I remember to bring the charger).
  4. I can definitely live without the chunks that stick around between my throat and sinuses after a good heave-ho. 
There are many other reasons, I'm sure, but these are sufficient for me to make my choice.  What about you?

... Later!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Long Walk

I was angry.  More angry than I've been in a long, long time.

Last night two of my children, while playing, poked a series of small holes in the wall of their bedroom.  A bedroom in a historic, 150 year-old home that we don't own.

No, it wasn't a wall that had original 1864 this or that.
Yes, I can repair the damage.

But it was the straw that broke this camel's back. I was pissed off.


First, let me frame this incident by saying that, since we moved in here six months ago I have laid down a set of rules in this house that have, to date, gone by the wayside.  So much so, that I gave up trying to enforce my silly little rules some time ago.


Fast-forward to last night.  When the children poked holes in a wall, thinking nothing of it, I lost my temper, and lost it good.  I behaved like a lunatic until I decided it was time to remove myself from the situation.

I put on a jacket and walked out the door.  I turned left and walked through the park and kept walking and walking and walking.  I walked for almost a full hour, until I thought about my wife, and how she was back at the house, dealing with the uncontrollable little monsters we call kids.

Then I started to feel a little guilty.  I didn't tell anyone where I was going - I just left.  "My wife must be wondering where I am!  She must be very worried."

I decided it was time to go home.  I made my way through the streets, feeling somewhat uncomfortable and ashamed.  I arrived at the door and opened it.  The house was quiet.  I removed my coat and hung it in the usual place (over my chair).  I walked into the next room where my wife was busy typing on her laptop.

"I'm sorry," I said.

"Are you OK?" she asked.

"Yeah.  I guess I just needed to go for a long walk to cool off."

"You went for a walk???  We thought you were in the bathroom!"

... Yeah. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Announcing A New Blog!!

When I began Tenorboy Journal I had in mind ... well ... nothing in particular, really.  I didn't have a focus, didn't have a direction.  Now I find myself gravitating toward an interest in blogging about marriage topics.  To do this properly, however, I strongly feel the need to develop a new blog earmarked specifically for that purpose.

Therefore I am proud to announce Genuine Husband, a brand new blog for and about husbands and wives. 

Tenorboy Journal will remain online as an outlet for my personal blathering and spewing and other non-essential, non-education, non-sense that decides to excrete from my twisted, disgusting mind.  But for the marriage / husband / wife stuff, check the new blog, and check it often!

... Later! 


Monday, March 5, 2012

Do I Look Stoopit?

A while ago there was a rather heated discussion on a men's forum about Bible translations, and the virtues of one translation over another, etc. 

I have to admit to lurking for quite some time before I became properly annoyed and had to add my two cents to the discussion (argument?).  I posed this question:

"Does anyone know if someone is currently working on a word-for-word translation that is not KJV, but one that is written in language that the average Joe (a.k.a. "me") will understand without the need for an easier-to-read companion translation to help with comprehension?"
Wow, what a hurricane of high falutin garbage came back to me in the form of so-called answers to a yes or no question.  Stuff like this:
"The KJV is the only text that supports Strong's Exhaustive Concordance."
(Thank you, yes.  I know.)

"Ultimately, there is no better source than the original text, and also no replacement for the Holy Spirit."
(Soooo ... does that mean I have to learn Greek and Hebrew before I can really read the Bible? Shyeah, right.) BTW - I agree, there is NO replacement for the Holy Spirit.

"The KJV is written at about the 12th grade reading level. the NIV is written at about the 7th grade level. Other translations vary. This may make a difference in the one you choose as a family translation."
(Duh - I gess I is was am stoopit with my 7th grade reading level.  Thanks for that.) :-p~~~

"Obviously, we value education and scholarly study of the scriptures. But not all believers are as well equipped to read and COMPREHEND the Word of God in it's more challenging translations. There is a reason Paul writes about the difference between milk and solid food." 
(Uh  .... Did you just insult me?)

"If it will help you, pick up a few commentaries. I like Matthew Henry - he uses KJV and explains it well. I also have Young's, Barnes' notes and several others on CD. If you can afford it, get a copy of PC Study Bible, it is great. I've got that and Bibleworks, but use Bibleworks more for Greek/Hebrew studies and my version only has one commentary. PC Study Bible has 5 or 6. I also have several versions of the Bible so I can cross check translations/interpretations. My advice is to use several, but have the KJV as your baseline for comparison. Understand though, that the KJV is not perfect and searching through Greek/Hebrew actually gives you a more full understanding. I also have a Hendricks Parallel Bible which has KVJ, NKJV, NIV and NLT. This allows me to see all of these in a verse by verse comparison side by side. However, it doesn't have notes like a Life Application or Scofield KJV does."
(Thanks.  I have commentaries.  And concordances.  And a LOT of translations and paraphrases.  And e-Sword on my laptop, so I can read 4 different translation side-by-side with original Greek and Hebrew translation for each and every single word and comma.)

Thanks for all your help, guys.  I'll just let you all talk amongst yourselves.  Maybe I'll check back in a couple months to see if anyone read my question. 

In any case, for many years my go-to translation has been the NIV (New International Version).  I like it for it's straightforward language and simple paragraph form.  I realize that it is a "thought-for-thought" translation and not a "word-for-word" translation like KJV (King James Version), but I also believe that God is more concerned with whether I follow the principles He has laid out for me and less concerned with which translation I read.  I don't plan on being a scholar, just a follower who leads my wife and family in the best way I can (*side note - my family reads KJV).  It would just be nice to have a simpler word-for-word translation, if one exists, that's all.

Anyway, if in my lifetime someone completes a word-for-word translation of the Bible from the original text, in plain English that the average Joe can understand, I will be one of the first people in line to buy it.   

... Later!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What I Did On My First Snow Day

It's 7:51 PM and I'm in my jammies.  I should clarify by saying that I'm still in my jammies.

You see, today was a snow day.  That means that the some of the world's finest educators (like me) did not have to go into work.  Hence the jammies.

It's not that I was completely lazy today.  I did manage to accomplish about half of the things my wife asked me to do.
  • sliced sausage and added it to the crock pot for dinner
  • made lunch 
  • put the youngsters in for a nap
  • ordered new glasses for the oldest boy 
  • read with 7 year old son (after I forgot about it all day only to be reminded of it before dinner)
What else did I do today?  I drank coffee and read. A lot.  I watched two movies with the kids.  I took the dog out (in my bathrobe and snow boots, at 6AM).  I played and sang, youtubed and facebooked.

But I did not get dressed.

Ahhh ... snow days.