Friday, March 27, 2009

Always check first

For a couple of months up until last week, my piano's "F" key (the one in the octave beneath middle "C") often stuck, and sometimes even the key or keys adjacent to it would stick also.
Someone told me that their piano had had keys that stuck, but the person working on it simply cleaned off the keys and it worked fine after that. Well, my mom asked me to go try to do something to fix it around last week, so I removed all the books and other things from the top of the piano and opened the top. I looked inside, found the stuck "F" key, and I found--
a pencil, stuck in the piano. Pretty sad to think that all that time, the stuck key was caused by a pencil. So, always remember to check things yourself before calling a professional to repair a problem.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Veritas series book review part 1

Several days ago I read book #1 & #2 of the Veritas series, Hangman's Curse and Nightmare Academy. Although I had heard of Hangman's Curse before, I had only briefly considered reading it. However, since I was currently out of interesting novels in the action/adventure/thriller genre to read, my library had them on the shelf, and I had read some of Peretti's novels before, I decided to give them a try and see if they were as interesting as their covers indicated. Here's my take on the first.

Hangman's Curse begins the series of adventures with twins Elijah and Elisha who are about 16 years old (Elisha is a girl, and her name is pronounced "el-ee-sha") and their parents.
They are the Veritas team, investigators commissioned by the President to find the facts about various occurrences, many which appear to be supernatural in nature. This first book has the Veritas Project team delving into the mystery of a high school that has already had several victims. All of the stricken students show the same symptoms: loss of coordination, paranoia, and constant repeating of the words, "Abel Frye." There are rumors running around at the school of a ghost named Abel Frye, because of a student who was supposed to have hanged himself in a hallway in the school in the '30s.
Well, I won't spoil the story for you, so go and read it yourself. It's very good.
The point is elaborated on a bit more in the second book, but a theme that runs through the first book also is that there is definitive Truth, and truth isn't defined by the individual (i.e. "there's your truth and my truth; there's no right or wrong, just what feels right to the person doing something"). This is an important point, because as stated in the second book, if there's no right or wrong, and"might is right," he who is the strongest wins. And since the strongest often only have their own interests at heart, that way of looking at things is very, very dangerous. You can see another example of what happens when there isn't anybody to say what's right or what's wrong and where people just do what they feel like in William Goldman's novel, Lord of the Flies.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Saving Sarah Cain movie review

Recently, I watched Saving Sarah Cain (or most of it, anyway). Here's what I have to say about the movie; I'll try not to spoil any surprises.

Saving Sarah Cain tells the story of a single woman working as a writer for a newspaper who receives news that her Amish sister has just died, leaving her kids, but without a will.

[to be continued...] 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Silencing all those who oppose them

Slowly but surely, our free speech rights are being undermined.
I found the following, thought-provoking essay on Ted Dekker's website or blog, or somewhere else (but it doesn't really matter). Today I found (rediscovered?) where you can download the PDF.

Click here to download it.

Alternatively, you can go here (the website the essay is located at) to download the essay and/or other free stuff related to Ted Dekker's book, Sinner, such as wallpapers, banners, and a podcast discussion about the book. Simply click on either the "FREE STUFF" link at the top of the main page, or the "more here" button on the bottom right of the page under "Free Stuff."

Here's another essay that talks about free speech - college mobs not allowing it, that is: 

Any thoughts on either essay?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My church

Now, considering the fact that many don't share the same views as me and/or don't attend the same kind of church, I am not trying to bash churches that differ from mine.

I attend Heritage Bible Fellowship in Hope Mills, a family-integrated church.
In case "family-integrated" is a new term to you, it means the whole family worships together (i.e. there aren't classes for different ages).
Our church is unique in several ways (being a family-integrated church might be considered unique, but there are many others). To give an example, there is only one service per week - on 3:00 pm on Sunday afternoon. There are a variety of things I like about our current church (compared to previous, Independent, Fundamental, Baptist churches).
For instance, our pastor doesn't preach about modesty, but he doesn't have to; all the girls at our church dress right.

our old church would probably be against girls wearing pants/jeans, etc. in any situation, whereas at my church now (Heritage), nothing is said about that, but everyone dresses well at my church as opposed to my previous church, where there was sometimes an issue with modesty.
And yet another difference is this: our church doesn't condemn contemporary Christian music, although we sing traditional hymns during the our worship services.
Furthermore, partly because of the lack of age segregation at our church, there is more of the "family" feel. And whereas previously, going to church felt like a necessity (you were pressured to attend basically whenever the doors were opened), one service a week (and in the afternoon) allows for a more relaxed Sunday-the day of rest.
Finally, we partake of communion (the Lord's Supper) once a week, as opposed to all our previous churches where communion was observed very rarely. At first I thought this strange, but I've come to see it as a good thing as long as it doesn't become ritualistic and lose its significance. The advantage of observing the Lord's supper every week is twofold: first, you'll have confront your sins at least once a week in case you didn't confess them earlier.
Also, Luke 22:19 and 1 Corinthians 11:24 & 25 say "this do in remembrance of me."
If we are to remember what Christ has done for us on the Cross, isn't it better to remember more than a few times a year?
I hope I have shown just a little bit why my church is different and why we do things differently and maybe I've gotten you to think about why you do things the way you do at your church.