Friday, January 29, 2010

Introducing...the Hunsicker Family!

So, one thing I realized that might be cool...I know a lot of you don't know my family...and well...I love my family...even though they may be a little crazy...I love them...and I want to introduce them to you. I will also tell you a little bit about them.

First of all my Dad (Carl David Hunsicker):


My dad is a one legged 57 year old, and is completely crazy. He was born in Abington, Pennsylvania, and pretty much lived his whole life there until his family moved to Florida around High School age. He went to Bob Jone University for two years, then went to some community college that I can't remember, before finally ending up at Baptist Bible College in Springfield MO. He says he got right with God and attended a Baptist College...haha! Gotta love my dad's sense of humor! He graduated from BBC with a bachelors in music, and moved to Ashtabula, Ohio where he started directing music at Bible Baptist Church. This was where he met my mom, and they eventually married in 1980.

Now I'll introduce you to my mom (Kim Patricia Barnes-Hunsicker):



I'm not going to tell you how old my mom is because she would kill me. She is actually 7 younger than my dad, but she actually looks older than my dad...she makes my dad grow facial hair because his facial hair is his grayest hair. She would even kill me for saying that much...but she doesn't read my blog so I think I'm safe. Anyways...my mom had a rough childhood filled with abuse and neglect. She started going to church through a bus ministry at a local church...and I think got saved at around the age of 16 if I remember correctly. Like I said she met my dad at the church she was going to. They were married when she was 21, and my dad was 28.

Next I'll introduce my eldest brother (Caleb David Hunsicker):


My brother was born March 26th, 1981, in Ashtabula, Ohio. Caleb has had his struggles, but has been doing better within the last couple of years. One of my favorite memories with Caleb was when we were little, and were sharing a room. We had this "Adventures in Odyssey" cassette that we used to listen to all the time. Well...Caleb memorized my favorite adventure...when I say memorize...he knew it word for word. Anyways...whenever I couldn't sleep, I would ask Caleb to tell me the story...I can't remember a single time that he didn't do it either. It was so special that he took the time to do it. I think many times I would fall asleep while he was telling it. As you would know from reading my blog...Caleb's girlfriend recently had a baby boy...can't wait to meet that little guy! Oh, and Caleb lives in Telford, PA...back near where my family used to live.

Next is my eldest sister (Rachel Elisabeth Hunsicker):


Alright, so I had an extremely hard time finding a picture of Rachel. I had to snag this one off of one of my sister's friends Facebook. I actually really like this picture of her. Rachel was born June 25th, 1982, in Philadelphia, PA. Rachel has always been kind of like that 2nd mom. She's always taken care of me, and I don't know where I would be without her. She listens to me better than most...I can honestly say that Rachel is my sister, and my friend. She graduated last year from Pensacola Christian College with a masters degree in Elementary Administration. She currently works at a Christian school in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Finally is my next eldest sister (Sara Ruth Hunsicker):



Sara was born April 19th, 1984, in Philadelphia, PA. She is my crazy sister. A friend who I can cut loose with and be strange. She keeps me laughing at times when I feel down, and I thank the Lord for her. Probably some of my favorite memories with her were when we used to get into huge fights, and afterwards just laugh about it and make up. I don't think it would even be possible for me to ever not get along with Sara.

And finally in my family...there's me. If you want to know all the details about me, just read my "About Me" block on the side...or you can read even more in my "About Me" blog that I did back when I started this blog. I think it was actually my first blog.

Okay so I'm going to end with posting a few random family pics...


Rachel and I raking leaves at my grandma's house...oh, and that's my cousin Brandon in the red coat and blue hat.


The four of us at Disney with Eeyore...way back in the day.


Again the four of us...way back in the day.


I had to throw this one in...this is Sara at Disney. She was mad that they were taking the picture of her.


Boot camp graduation weekend, Great Lakes IL, September of '07. This picture was actually taken right before they had to leave. I wouldn't see them again for another 3 months. Caleb and Rachel couldn't make it because of the distance.


Thanksgiving Day...again...way back in the day.

Well, I think that's it...I hope you enjoyed this post. I know I was kind of sentimental...but living so far away from your family...tends to make you act like that.

Anyways...I hope you all take the time to thank the Lord for your family today!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Survey...

So, I got this in an email from Hannah...and I thought it was cool. So I'm posting it to my blog. Fill it out and post it on your blog if you want to.

1. What color are your socks right now? Black and White. They are the military ones with the white sole, and black upper part. People think that you are wearing black socks because that's all they see...but when you take your boots off...BAM...white...it's awesome...
2. What are you listening to right now? The hum of electrical equipment.
3. What was the last thing you ate? A brownie...
4. Can you drive a stick shift? No!
5. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My Chief...about a minute ago.
6. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yeah...she's pretty cool!
7. How old are you today? 22...sorry Hannah, don't really feel like trying to figure out how many months and days...my brain hurts when I try to use math.
8. What's your favorite sport to watch on TV? Basketball.
9. What is your favorite drink? Orange Juice.
10. Have you ever dyed your hair? Sadly yes...it was back in high school...a friend of my sisters had some blonde left over after dying my sisters...and she thought she could rub some into my hair and give it kind of a streak effect...it turned into a cow affect if you know what I mean...
11. Favorite food? Mac and Cheese. Yummmm...
12. What is the last movie you watched? "Annie Get Your Gun." Just got it in the mail the other day.
13. Favorite day of the year? Christmas.
14. How do you vent anger? Cleaning.
15. What was your favorite toy as a child? My George Armstrong Custard action figure. I was so mad when our dog chewed it up.
16. What is your favorite season? Fall.
17. Cherries or blueberries? Blueberries.
18. Living situation? Barracks room shared with two other people.
19. When was the last time you cried? Back in December.
20. What is on the floor of your closet right now? A pile of dirty clothes and shoes.
21. What did you do last night? Hung out in my room...
22. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? Cheese!
23. Favorite dog breed? Dachshunds
24. Favorite day of the week? Friday.
25. How many states have you lived in? 3
26. Diamonds or pearls? I actually don't really have a preference.
27. What is your favorite flower? Daisies.

Connor David Hunsicker

My new nephew was finally born on January 24th, at 8:14 AM, Eastern United States time zone. They ended up having to do an emergency c-section, so he was born healthy at 7lbs 13oz. I can't wait to meet this guy...not so sure how long it will be till we finally meet...but I am waiting for it with great anticipation.

Alright...so I had to pull these pictures from Facebook...so for now this is all I have. Sorry that the quality isn't so great. They were taken on my brother's cell phone. I should be posting more pics when Caleb sends some that are better quality.

Alright...so this is the whole group. Jamie, Connor, Joanna and Caleb.


Joanna with her new baby brother Connor.


Caleb looking tired after a long night up with Jamie...but happy at his new baby boy.


Connor David Hunsicker

To be honest...I'm very much a guy about all this. I am scared to death of babies. So I think that even if I were back in PA, as all this is going on...I'm not even sure that I would want to hold Connor. I have this tremendous fear that I will hurt the baby, or I don't know...that it will start crying and that I won't know what to do. I have however been told that I probably won't get over that feeling till I have my own kid. That will probably be a long way down the road though. Anyways...I'm very happy for my brother...and even though I'm nervous to meet this little guy...I can't wait to see him in person.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"...but the greatest of these is Love."

This morning for the first time I went to the Chapel services on base. I've been afraid to, because I thought it was going to be a very "wishy-washy" ecumenical type service...but I was surprised at how good it was. Chaplain Stewart spoke on I Corinthians 12:31 - 13:13. Now he spoke out of the NIV, which uses the word love. Now I personally am not a KJV only person...but out of respect for many of my followers I will use the KJV. In the KJV it uses the word "Charity"...now I looked up the definition for charity to make sure I got it right. The definition I found was this: "The theological virtue defined as love directed first toward God but also toward oneself and one's neighbors as objects of God's love." So basically...charity means love.

So here's the passage of scripture written out. I will attempt to go more in depth after this.

But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have no charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it propheteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinking not evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
I Corinthians 12:31-13:13

I want to focus on the last verse. One thing that Chaplain brought up that really hit me, was when he broke down that last verse. He was talking about how faith and hope by themselves can be dangerous by themselves. When he said that...I was taken aback..."What? Faith and hope dangerous?"...to be honest...I was almost ready to walk out because I thought Chaplain was just off his rocker...but he broke it down for us. He said basically that lots of people can faith and hope in what they believe. Muslim terrorists have faith, and hope in their religion. They believe very strongly in what hey do, and they will die...killing thousands of people in the process. They have a deep ceded faith in what has been taught to them. As tough as it may sound...the men who flew planes into the World Trade Center, had a deep ceded faith, and a hope in that faith that if they did what they had been taught they would be saved through it. You see the point he was trying to make?

Faith and hope by themselves can be dangerous. It's the third most important ingredient that we often forget about. Charity...or love...it is the greatest command to us...to love one another. I think this is something that we often neglect as Christians. We get so caught up in what we are supposed to be "doing"...because we believe that it is important in our faith, that we neglect the love part. We do what we do in the faith because we love God, and we in turn want to love others, as Christ loved us.

I encourage you all to examine your lives...deeply...to see where you are on this one. I know I myself really need some help in this area. I know this message was exactly what I needed this morning...and I thank the Lord for revealing it to me.

I pray that this was an encouragement to you all.

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Nephew is almost here...

So, as you can probably tell from the title...there's something that I have mistakenly forgotten to mention. My brother's fiance became pregnant 9 months ago. Following the family tradition they named him, as the first son of his family with the initials CDH. His name will be Connor David Hunsicker (My dad's name is Carl David Hunsicker, and my brother's name is Caleb David Hunsicker). He was due this last Wednesday, but he appears to be taking his time in arriving. So if he's not here by next Wednesday they are going to induce labor. I can't wait! I have two other nieces, but this will be my first nephew.

Of course seeing as how I am so far away from home, and even farther away from my brother in PA, it will probably be a while before I see him, but I still look forward to hearing the news when he arrives. And of course can't wait to see him eventually.

Anyways...please be praying for my brother Caleb, his fiance Jamie, and of course Connor David. Also all of the family that we would have the patience to wait for his arrival.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Was Jesus Lord?

I cannot personally conclude that Jesus was a liar or a lunatic. The only other alternative is that he was--and is--the Christ, the Son of God, as he claimed. But in spite of the logic and evidence, many people cannot seem to bring themselves to this conclusion.

In "The Da Vinci Code" Dan Brown claims, "By officially endorsing Jesus as the Son of God, Constantine turned Jesus into a deity who existed beyond the scope of the human world, an entity whose power was unchangeable." Novelist Brown wants people to believe the idea that Christ's deity was invented at the Council of Nicea. Although discussed prominently in popular culture, the "fact" has been rejected by well over 99.9 percent of biblical scholars who study documented history. Here's why.

The New Testament itself provides the earliest evidence for the belief that Jesus is divine. Since these these documents were composed in the first century just decades after the events surrounding Jesus, they predate the Council of Nicea by more than two centuries. While they were written by different people for a variety of purposes, once unmistakable theme they share is that Christ is God.

The ante-Nicene fathers provide additional support that Jesus was considered divine long before the council of Nicea. The ante-Nicene fathers were early Christian thinkers who lived after the close of the New Testament period (c. 100), yet before the council of Nicea (325). The ante-Nicene fathers included men such as Justin Martyr, Ignatius, and Irenaeus. There is no doubt that they understood Jesus to be divine. Consider some quotes from their ancient works:
-Ignatius of Antioch (AD 110): "God incarnate...God Himself appearing in the form of Man."
-Justin of Martyr (AD 100-165): "...being the First-begotten Word of God, is even God."
-Irenaeus (AD 177): "...the Father is God and the Son is God; for He who is born of God is God."
-Melito of Saris (circa AD 177): "He was man, yet He is God."

Probably the most convincing evidence that Jesus was considered divine before Nicea comes from non-Christian writers. The Greek satirist Lucian of Samosata (c. AD 170), the Roman philosopher Celsus (c. 177), and the Roman governor Pliny the Younger (c. 112) make it clear that early Christian understood Jesus as divine. Pliny persecuted Christians because of their belief that Jesus was divine. Pliny acknowledged. "They had met regularly before dawn on a fixed day to chant verses alternately among themselves in honour of Christ as if to a god."

Given these facts, in addition to many more, the authors of "Reinventing Jesus" conclude: "To Suggest that Constantine has the ability--or even the inclination--to manipulate the council into believing what it did not already embrace is, at best, a silly notion." The evidence is clear: Jesus was believed to be divine long before the council of Nicea.

When I discuss the material in this chapter with most Jewish or Muslim people, their response is quite interesting. I share with them the claims Jesus made about himself and then put to them the options: Was he contained in the trilemma (liar, lunatic, or Lord)? When I ask if they believe Jesus was a liar, they give me a sharp "No!" Then I ask, "Do you believe he was a lunatic?" Their reply is, "Of course not." "Do you believe he is God?" Before I can get a word in edgewise, I hear a resounding "Absolutely not!" Yet one has no more choices.

The issue with these three alternatives is not which is possible, for obviously all three are possible. Rather, the question is, "Which is most probable?" You cannot put him on the shelf merely as a great moral teacher or a prophet. That is not a valid option. He is either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord and God. You must make a choice. Your decision about Jesus must be more than an idle intellectual exercise. As the apostle John wrote, "These are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and"--more important--"that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name" (John 20:31).

The evidence is clearly in favor of Jesus as Lord.

from: More Than a Carpenter
by: Josh and Sean McDowell

Friday, January 15, 2010

Was Jesus a Lunatic?

If we find it inconceivable that Jesus was a liar, then couldn't he actually have mistakenly thought himself to be God? After all, it's possible to be both sincere and wrong. But we must remember that for someone to mistakenly think himself God, especially in the context of a fiercely monotheistic culture, and then to tell others that their eternal destiny depended on believing in him, is no small flight of fancy but the delusions and ravings of an outright lunatic. Is it possible that Jesus Christ was deranged?

Today we would treat someone who believes himself to be God the same way we would treat someone who believes he is Napoleon. We would see him as deluded and self-deceived. We would lock him up so he wouldn't hurt himself or anyone else. Yet in Jesus we don't observe the abnormalities and imbalance that go along with such derangement. If he was insane, his poise and composure was nothing short of amazing.

Eminent psychiatric pioneers Arthur Noyes and Lawrence Kolb, in their Modern "Clinical Psychiatry" text, describe the schizophrenic as a person who is more autistic than realistic. The schizophrenic desires to escape from the world of reality. Let's face it--for a mere man to claim to be God would certainly be a retreat from reality.

In light of other things we know about Jesus, it's hard to imagine that he was mentally disturbed. Here is a man who spoke some of the most profound words ever recorded. His instructions have liberated many people in mental bondage. Clark H. Pinnock professor emeritus of systematic theology at McMaster Divinity College, asks: "Was he deluded about his greatness, a paranoid, an unintentional deceiver, a schizophrenic? Again, the skill and depth of his teaching support the case only for his total mental soundness. If only we were as sane as he!" A student at a California university told me that his psychology professor has said in class that "all he had to do is pick up the Bible and read portions of Christ's teaching to many of his patients. That's all the counseling they need."

Psychologist Gary R. Collins explains that Jesus was loving but didn't let his compassion immobilize him; he didn't have a bloated ego, even though he was often surrounded by adoring crowds; he maintained balance despite an often demanding lifestyle; he always knew what he was doing and where he was going; he cared deeply about people, including women and children, who weren't seen as important back then; he was able to accept people while not merely winking at their sin; he responded to individuals based on where they were at and what they uniquely needed. All in all, I just don't see signs that Jesus was suffering from any known mental illness...He was much healthier than anyone else I know--including me!

Psychiatrist J. T. Fisher felt that Jesus' teachings were profound. He states: "If you were to take the sum total of all the authoritative articles ever written by the most qualified of psychologists and psychiatrists on the subject of mental hygiene--if you were to combine them and refine them and cleave out the excess verbiage--if you were to take the whole of the meat and none of the parsley, and if you were to have these unadulterated bits of pure scientific knowledge concisely expressed by the most capable of living poets, you would have and awkward and incomplete summation of the Sermon on the Mount. And it would suffer immeasurably through comparison. For nearly two thousand years the Christian world has been holding in its hands the complete answer to its restless and fruitless yearnings. Here...rests the blueprint for successful human life with optimism, mental healthy, and contentment."

C. S. Lewis writes: "The historical difficulty of giving for the life, sayings and influence of Jesus any explanation that is not harder than the Christian explanation is very great. The discrepancy between depth and sanity...of His moral teachings and the rampant megalomania which must lie behind His theological teaching unless He is indeed God has never been satisfactorily explained. Hence the non-Christian hypotheses succeed one another with the restless fertility of bewilderment."

Philip Schaff reasons: "Is such an intellect--clear as the sky bracing as the mountain air, sharp and penetrating as a sword, thoroughly healthy and vigorous, always reading and always self-possessed--liable to a radical and most serious delusion concerning his own character and mission? Preposterous imagination!"

from: More Than a Carpenter
by: Josh and Sean McDowell

Pics from my deployment...

So...I thought I'd randomly take a break from my More Than a Carpenter series and throw in some pictures from this past fall deployment. Realize way back that I posted the Facebook links for my pictures...but I ended up closing out that account so now those are no longer available. So I figured you all might appreciate seeing them. So I'll start from the beginning of the deployment to the last port. Throwing in some facts about each port...I hope you enjoy the pics...


Our first port visit was Guam. I was able to meet up with people from Harvest Baptist Church on Guam, and they had me over to their house between the services. I had an awesome time. Two of the girls who are teachers at the Academy attached to the church, took me on a tour of the island between the services. So I have a few pictures below from that.


So this picture is of the "Normandy of Guam." Back in WW2 the Island of Guam was invaded by the Japanese, and this is the beach where the Allied forces landed so that they could take back the island. Oh, and another random fact...did you know that on December 8th, 1941, military bases on Guam were bombed, just like Pearl Harbor...but because of the time difference...it was actually the next day in Guam...so there wasn't as much focus on it. And of course it was not as big of a strike as they had in Hawaii.


Guam coastline...


Just like Iwo Jima...the Japanese had a lot of time to prepare for the Allied forces to invade...so they had filled this hillside with tunnels. And as the Allied forces invaded Guam...the Japanese just kept coming out of holes in the ground. Needless to the say the Allied forces suffered great losses durring the battle for Guam.


Helo...more specifically I think it's and SH-60 Seahawk. This picture I actually think was taken from another deployment...but I figured I would post it for you all to see.


My ship...


We had a "steel beach picnic" one of our days underway...and I took a bunch of pictures of the water...


The area that we had the Steel Beach Picnic is known as the "doldrums" because the water is so still. It's beautiful isn't it?


Remote Pacific Island...


When we got to New Caledonia I went on a tour to this island of the coast of the main island...as as you can see...they had a lighthouse. It was so beautiful!


New Caledonia is a beautiful little island...very picturesque.


Me attempting to play the didgeridoo...lets just say I wasn't exactly awesome at playing it...


Canyon near the Blue Mountains near Sydney...


Standing for a picture by the Canyon. Durring the tour I went on I met a very nice Christian lady from Orlando Florida who was on vacation in Sydney...and she took this picture for me. We had an awesome time together.


Sunset on the River...


Sydney Opera House...


Horseback riding in Cairns. This was actually my first time Horback riding...it was pretty fun!


Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef.


Supreme Court Building in Singapore.


Merlion...the symbol of Singapore.


Our next port was Da Nang, Vietnam. This is the "My Son" (pronounced "Me Son") Temple.


We found a random formation that looked like a throne. So my friends and I took some random pics with it. Of course I doctored this picture a little...


"China Beach" Da Nang, Vietnam.


We didn't stop here...so I had to take a random picture out the window. This is an old abandoned U.S. Air Force Base from back in the Vietnam War. Vietnam is a very poor country...and I think they just can't afford to pay for it to be torn down. So it just sits here...crumbling into ruins.


One of the Marble Mountains in Da Nang. Pretty cool looking isn't it?


Picture taken at the top of one of the Marble Mountains.


I was trying to be all "artsy" by taking a picture of a flower...and I decided to take this candid picture of our tour guide. She was really funny...and really nice.

So...that's all the pictures I'll be posting. I hope you enjoyed them. I would have to say that for having fun...Cairns was my favorite port...but for just all around interesting...Vietnam would win that one. It was just such an intriguing country. It's a communist country as you all probably already know...and it's just so poor. I've never seen a country quite like it...

Anyways...my deployment was a blast. And like I said...I hope you all enjoyed the pictures.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Was Jesus a Liar?

If, when Jesus mad his claims, he knew that he was not God, then he was lying and deliberately deceiving his followers. But if he was a liar, then he was also a hypocrite because he taught others to be honest whatever the cost. Worse than that, if he was lying, he was a demon because he told others to trust him with their eternal destiny. If he couldn't back up his claims and knew it, then he was unspeakably evil for deceiving his followers with such a false hope. Last, he would also be a fool because his claims to being God led to his crucifixion--claims he could have backed away from to save himself even at the last minute.

It amazes me to hear so many people say that Jesus was simply a good moral teacher. Let's be realistic. How could he be a great moral teacher and knowingly mislead people at the most important point of his teaching--his own identity?

To conclude that Jesus was a deliberate liar doesn't coincide with what we know either of him or of the results of his life and teachings. Wherever Jesus has been proclaimed, we see lives change for the good, nations change for the better, thieves become honest, alcoholics become sober, hateful individuals become channels of love, unjust persons embrace justice.

William Lecky, one of Great Britain's most noted historians and a fierce opponent of organized Christianity, saw the effect of true Christianity on the world. He writes: "It was reserved for Christianity to present to the world and ideal which through all the changes of eighteen centuries has inspired the hearts of men with an impassioned love; has shown itself capable of acting on all ages, nations, temperaments, and conditions; has been not only the highest pattern of virtue, but the strongest incentive to its practice...The simple record of these three short years of active life has done more to regenerate and soften mankind than all the disquisitions of philosophers and all the exhortations of moralists."

Historian Philip Schaff says: "This testimony [that Jesus was God], if not true, must be downright blasphemy or madness...Self-deception in a matter so momentous, and with an intellect in all respects so clear and sound, is equally out of the question. How could he be and enthusiast or a madman who never lost the even balance of his mind, who sailed serenely over all the troubles and persecutions, as the sun above the clouds, who always returned to the wisest answer to tempting questions, who calmly and deliberately predicted his own death on the cross, his resurrection on the third day, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the founding of his Church, the destruction of Jerusalem--predictions which have been literally fulfilled? A character so original, so complete, so uniformly consistent, so perfect, so human and yet so high above all human greatness, can be neither a fraud nor fiction. The poet, as has been well said, would in this case be greater than the hero. It would take more than a Jesus to invent a Jesus."

Elsewhere Schaff gives convincing argument against Christ being a liar: "How in the name of logic, common sense, and experience, could an impostor--that is a deceitful, selfish, depraved man--have invented, and consistently maintained from the beginning to end, the purest and noblest character known in history with the most perfect air of truth and reality? How could he have conceived and carried out a plan of unparalleled beneficence, moral magnitude, and sublimity, and sacrifice his own life for it, in the face of the strongest prejudice of his people and age?"

If Jesus wanted to get people to follow him and believe in him as God, why did he go to the Jewish nation? Why go as a common carpenter in an undistinguished village in a country so small in size and population? Why go to a country that so thoroughly adhered to the concept of one God? Why didn't he go to Egypt, or even to Greece, where they already believed in various gods and various manifestations of them?

Someone who lived as Jesus lived, taught as Jesus taught, and died as Jesus died could not have been a liar.


from: More Than a Carpenter
by: Josh and Sean McDowell

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lord, Liar, or Lunatic?

If you were to google the name Jesus today, you'd instantly get about 181 million hits. Search for Jesus on Amazon.com and you'll find 261,474 books about him. Given the smorgasbord of competing views, can we still have confidence in the historical Jesus? Many people want to regard Jesus not as God but as a good, moral man or as an exceptionally wise prophet who spoke many profound truths. Scholars often pass of that conclusion as the only acceptable one that people can reach by the intellectual process. Many people simply nod their heads in agreement and never trouble themselves to see the fallacy of such reasoning.

Jesus claimed to be God, and to him it was of fundamental importance that men and women believe him to be who he was. Either we believe him, or we don't. He didn't leave us any wiggle room for in-between, watered-down alternatives. One who claimed what Jesus claimed about himself couldn't be a good moral man or a prophet. That opinion isn't left open to us, and Jesus never intended it to be.

C. S. Lewis, former professor at Cambridge University and once an agnostic, understood this issue clearly. He writes: "I am trying here to prevent anyone say the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God.' That is one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on level with a man who says he is a poached egg--or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse." Then Lewis adds: "You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon, or you can fall at his feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

Cambridge University professor F. J. A. Hort, who spent twenty-eight years in critical study of the New Testament text writes: "[Christ's] words were so completely parts and utterances of Himself, that they had no meaning as abstract statements of truth uttered by Him as a Divine oracle or prophet. Take away Himself as the primary (though not the ultimate) subject of every statement and they all fall to pieces."

In the words of Kenneth Scott Latourette, historian of Christianity at Yale University: "It is not his teachings which make Jesus so remarkable, although these would be enough to give him distinction. It is a combination of the teachings with the man himself. The two cannot be separated." Latourette concludes, "It must be obvious to any thoughtful reader of the Gospel records that Jesus regarded himself and his message as inseparable. He was a great teacher, but he was more. His teachings about the kingdom of God about human conduct and about God were important, but they could not be divorced from him without, from his standpoint, being vitiated."

Jesus claimed to be God. His claim must be either true or false, and everyone should give it the same kind of consideration he expected of his disciples when he put the question to them: "Who do you say I am?" (Matthew 16:15). There are several alternatives.


From: More than a Carpenter
by: Josh and Sean Mcdowell

Friday, January 8, 2010

You have been tagged...

Alright…so I normally don’t do tags…but Rebekah tagged me, and I don’t feel right about just ignoring her.

Here are the rules:
1. Do a quick post about the person that tagged you saying thanks(Thanks Rebekah!)
2. Answer the 10 questions
3. Follow 3 new blogs and list them.
4. Tag 6 people
5. Challenge one person to do something fun or crazy

Here are the 10 questions:
1: Have you ever been to a rodeo? No, sadly. I’ve watched on TV though. I think it might be cool to go to one though.

2: Have you ever tried to ride a cow? Ummmmm, no…

3: Have you ever milked a cow or goat? No…I’ve watched cows get milked though! Thank you again Ring Family!

4: Have you ever been to a Demolition Derby? No, they have one at the Ashtabula County Fair, but I’ve never been.

5: What is your favorite Country song? Oh wow…I don’t know if I could pick just one, so I’ll list a bunch of them. “Grown Men Don’t Cry,” “Me and God,” “When I get where I’m going,” and “Three Wooden Crosses” …just to name a few.

b: Who's the artist? Tim McGraw, Josh Turner, Brad Paisley, and Randy Travis.

6: Do you like to hunt? No, I’ve honestly never been. I honestly am scared to death of using a gun. I know that’s surprising considering I’m in the Navy. I have no problem with people using guns, or hunting…I’m not one of those people who believes in gun control or is against hunting because it’s cruelty to animals…I just personally don’t like, or want to do it. Make sense?

7: Have you ever cooked your breakfast over an open fire in your backyard? No, that could be fun though…

8: Have you ever thought that the muck was shallow and when you stepped in it, you sank knee deep? I don’t think I’ve ever gone knee deep it muck…but I’ve stepped in it badly enough that it sucked my shoes off. Fun times…

9: What is the hardest thing you have ever done? Breaking up with Hannah. It hurt so much to have to do it! I can’t even begin to explain it all…

10: (The question is optional) What's one of your most embarrassing moments? Good, I’m glad this is optional…because the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to me, I really don’t want to share. Sorry!

I Tag:
Katie (Sorry, I don’t know your last name…but I think you know who you are.)
Megan Greenfield
Sara (My sister)
Kyle Shearer (You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to…)
Amanda Anderson
Ashley Greenfield
I challenge: Sara (My sister) to make up some crazy story about the cats on her blog again. It was really funny last time you did it!

I follow: Well, I really wanted to add three new blogs…but for some reason my internet is giving me trouble right now. So I think I’ll try to do that later.
Okay…now it’s your turn!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Our God is a God of Mercy

Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again to the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, and though he heard them not. So then they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said to them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said to her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
John 8:1-11

I was reading this passage of scripture while doing some online bible study and the lesson broke this passage down in a way that I had never heard before, and I wanted to be able to share it with you. I've heard this story time over time in my last 22 years on this earth, but never have I understood it better than I do now.

The scene is set with Jesus in the temple teaching the people. As we read in much of the scriptures, Jesus did this quite often. I'm sure it was an awesome time for many of Jesus' followers to hear him speak. How awesome it would be to be able to go back in time and be able to sit at the feet of Jesus to hear him speak...I can only imagine!

I picture this scene being a very peaceful one...it says he was sitting and preaching, so it seems like a pretty casual environment...but the peacefulness is about to be broken. The scribes and Pharisees come bursting in on the scene with a woman who they had caught in the act of adultery. You can almost imagine that the Pharisees enjoyed doing things like this...there was probably even a side to them that was jealous for the attention that the people showed Jesus. There was a time when the people would sit and listen to them teach, but now they sat at Jesus feet instead. This is all of course speculation.

Anyways...they bring this adulterer in and ask Jesus what should be done with her...and of course they feel the need to point out to him that the law says she must be stoned...as if Jesus did not already know the law. Can you picture this scene in your mind? I can picture the woman hunched over...probably with her eyes looking at the ground in shame. Jesus is sitting there possibly looking at her; meanwhile the Pharisees stand around smugly waiting for an answer. Can you imagine what might have been going through the woman’s mind at this point? Her life hangs in the balance waiting for Jesus' response to the question. How terrified she must have been!

But Jesus knew their motivation for their question. He knew that it was a trap they were trying to lay for him. But Jesus does not take the bate...he merely stoops down to write in the sand. What does he write in the sand you wonder? Well, no one really knows...I heard one account that said that Jesus may have written the Pharisees sins out in the dirt. But like I said, no one really knows for sure.

So the Pharisees continue to hound him...I can only imagine that they were quite indignant at Jesus' response...they were asking him a question....and all he was doing was writing in the sand?! Eventually Jesus stands up, and makes a statement..."He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." Jesus did not deny that what they said was true...Jesus knew it to be true. But I believe here is a picture of what was to come. The transition from being under the law to being under grace.

Jesus does not watch them and wait for their response...he speaks his peace, and goes back go writing in the sand. I can imagine at this point that there was a deep silence as the Pharisees stood there thinking about what he said. They realized that they were sinners, and could do nothing...so one by one they left. After they all departed Jesus stands and asks the woman if there are any who still condemn her. She responds by saying no. Here I find Jesus response so amazing. "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." I think the very order of what He says is so important. Notice that it is not conditional. He does not say, "Go and sin no more, and I will not condemn thee." He says he does not condemn her and tells her to go and sin no more. He was not going to condemn her...there were no strings attached. Here we see a picture of the grace that God has shown us. Just like this adulterer we are all sinful people deserving of going to hell, but Christ was merciful, and saw us in our need, and forgave us of that sin.

I hope and pray that this passage being broken down and explained in more detail was a blessing to you...I know it was to me!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Poll Results

So, as you all know I did a poll on whether you all liked my new blog background, and it was a landslide victory on the side of the "Yeahs." So, I will be keeping this current blog background.

You should be getting a longer blog from me fairly soon. Hope your new year is awesome so far!