Weekly Meanderings, 9 May 2015

Weekly Meanderings, 9 May 2015 May 9, 2015

PepperdineOne of my favorite places to get to teach: Pepperdine Bible lectures. Awesome location and even greater people.

For all the bearded folks, a funny story about beard hygiene:

(NEWSER) – Beard hygiene is important unless you want to have the equivalent of a dirty toilet seat growing out of your face, according to a microbiologist who swabbed a bunch of beards and was shocked by the results. “I’m usually not surprised and I was surprised by this,” Quest Diagnostics expert John Golobic tells KOAT, explaining that some samples yielded the “types of things you’d find in” fecal matter, signaling a “degree of uncleanliness that would be somewhat disturbing” even if the beard matter probably won’t make people sick. Golobic says that similar results in a public water system would close it for disinfecting. He urges the bearded to keep their beards—and hands—clean, and “to keep your hands away from your face, as much as possible.”

[In defense of the bearded ones, be glad they’re not checking shoes.]

Mel Robbins on Tom Brady and the deflated football case:

The Wells Report is wrong because it didn’t go far enough. It should have said: We have irrefutable evidence, detailed in a 68 page scientific exhibit with two appendixes, that proves the Patriots deflated the balls and cheated on purpose. ​

This is no cream puff report, this is a relentless and detailed indictment of the conduct of Patriots locker room attendant Jim McNally, equipment assistant John Jastremski and Brady. McNally refers to himself as the “deflator,” for crying out loud. Jastremski is clearly the fixer — supplying the needles to McNally, as well as shoes, signed game balls and other “big autograph day” items as a reward.

Will Brady come clean or put his A-Rod on?

Neighbor-love in the Spirit:

If you see your neighbor in harm’s way or lacking something you could not bear to lack, what do you do? We show love by offering a kind word, a gift, a service, compassion, empathy, a listening ear. Hillel stated the negative principle, “Don’t do to others what is hateful.” Yeshua stated the positive, “Do for others what you would have them do for you.”

It all sounds so simple, but it is hard to live life this way. In our best moments we human beings give to charity, we take time from our day to serve other people, we spend some of our own money to help others have what they need, we give and perform deeds of kindness. But we are inconsistent.

The same person who volunteers tutoring children in the inner city might ignore his or her own children. The donor who sacrificially supports cancer research might live with broken relationships, hurting and being hurt by others. In moments of inspiration, all of us do something good at various times.

But we know the reality is we also hurt others, ignore them, disrespect them, resent them at times, get revenge, spread gossip, make jokes, avoid people, nurse grudges, and so on. The commandment “love your neighbor” is beautiful. But the commandment has no power to make us keep it.

We need more than a command. We need empowerment and transformation inside. God offers this through the Holy Spirit. The way to have your life changed and filled with love is not something automatic. It is a matter of realizing truth, changing your thinking, and allowing yourself to follow guidance. The truth we realize is that God loves us unconditionally and has made a place for us forever with him.

Thanks Jack!

Andy Rowell on 3DM and Mike Breen:

There has been much upheaval in the last year but 3DM and TOM should continue to clarify (1) their financial accountability, (2) relationship between 3DM and TOM, (3) board of trustees/visitors of both organizations, and (4) partnerships. Then local church boards and pastors can better discern whether to work with these organizations.  

Colbert news:

For nearly a decade, Stephen Colbert sat at a desk to dish out his own brand of “truthiness.” Now, he’s using the money raised from auctioning that desk to help fulfill every grant request made by South Carolina public school teachers on the crowd-funding site DonorsChoose.org.

The donation of $800,000 will fund nearly 1,000 projects in more than 375 schools. More than 800 teachers from the state have projects on the site.

“Enjoy the learnin’, South Carolina!” Colbert said Thursday to teachers and students assembled at Alexander Elementary School in Greenville, S.C. His remarks — made from New York via a live video feed — were captured by the Greenville News.

A most unusual Saturday morning topic: eunuchs.

What is a “eunuch” in the Bible passage? Is Jesus talking literally about castration—or just metaphorically about celibacy? Stephen J. Patterson, the George H. Atkinson Chair of Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University, addresses this question about eunuchs in the Bible in his Biblical Views column “Punch Thy Neighbor” in the May/June 2015 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. He believes that the passage should be taken literally—that Jesus is talking about castration:

Scholars squeamish at the thought of Christian castrati have sometimes insisted that this passage must be referring metaphorically to celibacy. But that is nonsense. If Matthew’s author had meant to speak of celibates (parthenoi), he knew perfectly well how to do that. In a religious context, eunuchhad to mean eunuch, else he would simply have confused his audience. In the Book of Matthew, Jesus advises men (who can) to emasculate themselves!

This interpretation is as controversial and countercultural today as it would have been in the days of Jesus—a time saturated with masculine dominance and power. In the Roman world of “phallo-dominance,” castration would have set anyone apart. Stephen J. Patterson explains that Matthew’s eunuchs “remov[ed] the thing that ancients most associated with male power and dominance. This is how they chose to embody the kingdom of heaven on earth.”

Melissa Rivers on Joan Rivers:

 * Joan, who according to Melissa had 348 plastic surgeries, was never happy with the way she looked, “which fed into her sense of being ‘less than.’ ” She loved fat jokes because she was a fat child.

• Joan was a terrible driver who refused to go over 40 mph, even on the highway. “The five scariest words that ever came out of my mother’s mouth were ‘Melissa, get in the car.’ ”

• She knew how to get her way. “The woman was a professional, grade-A, top-of-the-line, best-of-the-best manipulator.”

Thomas Sowell:

You cannot take any people, of any color, and exempt them from the requirements of civilization — including work, behavioral standards, personal responsibility and all the other basic things that the clever intelligentsia disdain — without ruinous consequences to them and to society at large.

Chris Mooney and dishwashing by hand:

Nonetheless, it is still common practice in many households to — after dinner — wash the dishes by hand to get all the grimy food off of them, and then put them in the dishwasher and run a cycle. For many of us, it just feels cleaner. And that can be a very personal feeling, hard to let go of.

The problem is, a diverse group of experts — including from Consumer Reports, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Program, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy — suggests that in most cases we should just “let the dishwasher do its job,” as Consumer Reports puts it.

The basic line is that from an environmental perspective, these machines have grown so energy- and water-efficient — especially Energy Star-certified models — that it is very hard to beat them through hand-washing (though, of course, you should first scrape off any food before putting dishes in the dishwasher, and you should run only full dishwasher loads).

The reasons for this are multiple, but they include the fact that dishwashers just keep needing less and less water (and energy) because of improving appliance standards, even as they get better and better at using it.

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