Thursday, May 31, 2007

Buried Treasure

I've found that only reading my Greek New Testament every day isn't getting it done for my daily drink of the Living Water. I do more or less understand what I'm reading, but it's very slow going. I'm more concerned with translation than feasting. I decided to take a leisurely stroll through Proverbs. I find that when I read Proverbs as part of a reading plan I go way too fast. There are so many great nuggets in there that deserve some meditation time. For example,

Proverbs 2:1-5 ESV
(1) My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you,
(2) making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;
(3) yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding,
(4) if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,
(5) then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.

Lately I've prayed that I would have more conviction as I read Scripture. Well, I certainly get it from this verse. I've read through the Bible several times. I know more or less what is in there. If someone mentions a story I rarely feel like it's something I've never heard. I've taken two semesters of Systematic Theology. I've done small group studies in several books.

However, I don't think I've spent much time going through the Bible seeking wisdom like seeking for hidden treasures. Just using the center-column reference in my study Bible would be a good start for this. I realize just how lazy I am despite all the time I spend in Scripture.

The problem now is deciding what to do about it. Conviction is only the first step...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Restless in Raleigh

I haven't been sleeping much lately. I was up until 11:30 Sunday night because of watching the Cavs and Indians games, but I woke up at 5:30 anyway. I went to be around my normal time on Monday night, but woke up a few times during the night. I stayed up kind of late last night because I wanted to see if the Indians would come back (they didn't) and still woke up a couple of times during the night. I'm not sure what's going on, but it's not good.

The "good" news is that we are having a general Blackberry outage in our building because the repeater we have appears not to be working. I got to go on the roof in search of the repeater, which was a fun adventure. We didn't find it, but our facilities guy remembered where it was. Now I'm fighting with Verizon support in an attempt to get this problem resolved.

BTW, note the new link in the sidebar. I learned about that here. I've got to get some Greeky momentum going...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Finding the Balance

Yesterday ended up being an outstanding day for a variety of reasons. We finished up a good visit with my mom. The weather was nice, though warm. I finished my morning run in under 8 minutes/mile. I made my first batch of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. We had a nice dinner, though Lily put up quite a fuss (more on that here). I ended the evening with some video gaming time.

The problem is that I feel like my gumption got sucked away. I realize the need for recreation (thanks Nath!). I just worry about falling too far off the other side. One of the reasons for my persistence in discipline is so that I don't get out of my groove. There's nothing wrong with taking a break, but I find that it's very easy for me to get out of it and not get back in.

I'm really struggling with making time for my Greek like I intended to do. Hopefully putting it on my daily task list will help. Time will tell.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Now I Know

I had wondered what Barry Zito was doing with all his millions. Now I see that he is doing this. Pretty cool stuff.

Being a Clevelander

Last night was a good night for Cleveland sports fans. My mom and I went to a local family-friendly restaurant/sports bar to see Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals as well as Game 3 of the Indians series at Detroit. The Indians managed to pull off a 3 game sweep of the Tigers and the Cavs restored a bit of hope by winning to make the series 2-1 in favor of Detroit. If they had lost things would have looked really bleak.

What's funny is to see the effects of Cleveland on both my mom and me. My mom doesn't really have the mentality to handle watching NBA Basketball. The lead changes kill her. Missed shots late in the fourth quarter send her blood pressure skyrocketing. I have the same problem with the Indians. They won 5-3, but they also managed to let the Tigers get men on the corners in the 8th before getting out of the inning. It was a bit nerve-wracking, but fun overall.

The point is that Clevelanders are self-defeating. The city hasn't seen a major sports championship since 1964 (otherwise known as 9 years pre-me). The Browns got close to the Super Bowl in 1986 and 1987, but didn't quite make it. I'm pretty sure the Cavs have never been to the Eastern Conference Finals before. The Indians were one out away from winning the World Series in 1997, but ended up losing. This is what we've grown to expect.

In other words, even if the Indians do keep playing well enough to get into the playoffs I'll be a bit incredulous. I'll be incredulous until they squeeze the last out of winning the World Series. Even then I might have dreams that the ball was dropped and that the game kept going. The city so badly wants a major sports championship, but it hasn't happened in my generation. This could be the year.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

End of the Beginning

I finished my second book for my Missions and Evangelism class, Let the Nations be Glad. There are a ton of profound truths brought out in this book. As with my Missiology texbook, I finish the book with the sense that I am not doing nearly enough to further the command of the Great Commission. Yet, of course, I know that I do serve. It is just good to get challenged by these books and see if there is something else I can do. I certainly can pray with more fervor.

Piper of course very much identifies with the Puritans and has been very much shaped by Jonathan Edwards in the development of his own theology. The more I read about the Puritans the more I like them. One thing that I read in this book is that the Puritans kept their churches very simple and just called them "Meeting Houses" because they wanted the focus to be on the Lord and not on the building. This is of course in stark contrast to some of the incredible cathedrals that you can find in the world, both Catholic and Protestant.

For them it seems to come down to enjoying God for being God. They didn't make God into some kind of cosmic genie beholden to them because of their faithfulness. This is the kind of thinking that gets you through trials and tribulations. We may call God sovereign, but if we expect rewards for our faithfulness then we can't really handle His sovereignty in the midst of serious trials.

Piper had a great quote from C.S. Lewis in his final chapter. The premise of this book is that Missions are a result of our worship. Piper defines worship as delighting in God, which is the cornerstone of his ministry. Where does praise fit in? The quote I liked says that praise is the ultimate consummation of enjoyment. In other words, it's not enough just to enjoy something, but we also must praise it. We have no problems with doing this when it comes to food, art, vacations, children, etc. I can think of times when I see something enjoyable at a sporting event and have to share the experience with someone. Somehow talking about it closes the loop on the event.

Praising God is the same way. We need to praise Him if we really delight in Him. I can think of times when I got back from various conferences and just been bursting at the seams to tell my wife about the experience. Frankly, I miss having that feeling. This tells me that I need to increase my delight in God. How can I not delight in Him?

Friday, May 25, 2007

How Big is the Box?

We discussed 1 Corinthians 15 last night in my small group. We had a great discussion over this statement:
1 Corinthians 15:3 ESV
(3) For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,

We discussed what "first importance" means and got back to the centrality of the cross. This lead to a great discussion about denominations. One member comes from a Southern Baptist background, but he doesn't like being identified as a Baptist. He'd rather be identified as a Christian. I agree with him there. Another member bemoaned all the denominations. He has a point.

The problem is in how big we draw our "box". The "box" includes what we consider to be orthodox Christianity. An Independent Baptist would have a very tiny box. A Southern Baptist would probably have a larger one. Many Episcopalians would likely have a very large one. And so on.

My struggle is with doctrine. I'm all for sound doctrine. I believe it is incumbent upon every believer to form opinions about what Scripture means. Obviously Scripture can only mean one thing, though it can have many applications. However, as I've written before, I'd rather have an unsaved friend attend a Methodist church than no church at all. That wouldn't be my first choice, but as long as the gospel gets preached I don't really care if it is a lesbian preaching it. I trust the power of God's Word and, if someone reads it, he will realize that a lesbian couple really shouldn't be pastoring a church.

I guess what I've learned is that I need to form my opinions about doctrine. Systematic Theology is all about that and I really appreciate what I learned there (though it wasn't as fun as I'd hoped it would be). As a small group leader and eventual pastor or professor I need to teach what I believe the Bible says and means. However, I also need to respect differing opinions in areas that aren't clear. We talked a little bit about eschatology last night and someone asked me what I believe and I honesty answered that I don't know. I don't have a strong opinion on the matter. Frankly, this is out of laziness in not wrestling with the text on my own.

My church tends to err on the side of grace. My impression is that the church with which my seminary is affiliated tends to err on the side of legalism. I guess the trick is to walk the line.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I have my small group meeting tonight. We'll gather at a house less than a mile from my house, enjoy an informal meal and dessert, share what is going on in our lives, and spend some time studying 1 Corinthians 15. I've grown to the point where I really enjoy having these meetings, although there are many Thursdays when I don't feel like doing it. Sometimes it feels like just one more thing to do when I could be studying, resting, playing, etc. I'm finally learning that God was serious when He established the local body of believers. Just about every week I leave with something of a rush from connecting with these guys.

What's really cool is when we see someone being changed by the Word. I'm a big one for talking about how the Word shapes us, but it's really powerful when we see it in action. We have a variety of crises going on in the group at any one time and it is wonderful to see men helping each other deal with life in a biblical way.

One of the problems of attending what I call a "Big Ten Church" is that it is easy to remain anonymous. You can slip in the back on Sunday and slip out again with only the greeters noticing your presence. This is not the ideal for a church, so we encourage the small groups. Fortunately, we also train the small group leaders and ask them to report on their groups after each meeting so that the leaders have some sense of what is going on.

I cannot recommend small groups highly enough. My life is just better because of my small group. Unfortunately, it looks like I'm going to have a conundrum this fall as I will have a class on Thursday nights.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Special Kind of Torture

We had a team meeting today to discuss the time tracking system we use. Frankly, the system is terrible. It is a website with too much flexibility so that it is nearly impossible to get any kind of consistent reporting. I had to listen to my team kvetch about the demands that this application puts on us. I offered my opinion that if we all spent five minutes each day we could do this without any problems. Unfortunately, few are willing to do that.

I don't think that this blog can really capture how much this meeting drained me. It sort of sucked the life out of me. I think part of the problem was guilt. My manager made the point that no one works only 40 hours each week. I thought about how I typically report 40-42 hours each week, so I kept quiet about this. Basically, I have this sense that my mixed apathy and inactivity are going to be found out. Days like today make me wonder how much longer I can hang on with this company. I still want to milk it until I finish my degree, but I don't know if it will happen. I just hope that I get my rating of a 3 out of 5.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I am currently sitting in a training class for a system that I am going to have to support. The problem is that the training class has more to do with using the application rather than supporting it. This leads me to comment on a recently-discovered element of my personality. Forgive me if I wrote on this before.

I often had "solitary confinement" when I was in elementary school. I know that I certainly was isolated from the class in 1st and 4th grades. I think that likely happened in other grades too. The problem was that I was bored with the material, checked out mentally, and would while away the time by chatting with people.

Fast-forward to today. Here I am 25 years later with some of the same problems. If I'm in a meeting and I am not engaged in the discussion I tend to check-out. Normally this results in a consciousness challenge. I'm glad that I now have access to my PC at my desk, but I still feel like I'm wasting time. And, as any reader of my blog knows, I'd rather waste time my way than the way the Bank wants me to.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Studying with Purpose

I have to admit that there are times when I get a little down about my studies. I look at how much time I have left (probably 4-5 years) and it seems like it will be forever before I graduate. Of course, it comes back to that whole steady plodding thing. If I keep taking my classes as I'm able I will get there eventually.

The key is to stay motivated. Greek is starting to come a bit easier now that I'm making daily time for it. I've really enjoyed my time reading the New Testament in the original language. I'm looking forward to my second year of it as well as my Old Testament survey classes. I'm even looking forward to my missions class this summer, though I don't necessarily feel like I have the heart for overseas missions. Just learning more about God and His Word certainly keeps me motivated.

However, I've found that I sometimes need a variety of motivations to keep me going through trials. I suspect that it's just human nature to get desensitized to some things over time. A conversation with a coworker this morning helped me tremendously. Gene has been with the Bank for 27 years. In other words, he started when I was 6. I asked him if he stayed because he was really happy or if it was just because he never felt compelled to leave. He said it was the latter.

Now there isn't necessarily anything wrong with being at a job for 27 years. I have an uncle who is going to retire from a place after working there most of his life and I can see much value in that. The thing is that I know that I will never leave unless I have a good reason. As I've documented in this blog, I have a longing for something more in life. I think that vocational ministry is part of that. I'm pretty sure it's not doing IT work forever. It's one thing to say that I want to change careers, but I'm just blowing smoke unless I'm actively doing something about it. Hearing Gene's story helps to motivate me to keep working at the change.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I Finally Saw It

Amanda and I went out to see SpiderMan 3 yesterday. Perhaps it was a mistake, but I read some reviews of it before going to see it. There weren't any spoilers, but at least I knew what to expect. I always enjoy stories about redemption and this one was no different. It was fun with lots of dizzying special effects. It was also great that there was no nudity or even partial nudity such as in the heavy rain scene in the first one.

I think that making a Bible study from this movie is a bit of a stretch, but I also think that it could be used as a vehicle to speak about the gospel. The thing I didn't like was that it looked like Peter got rid of the black goo by just fighting as hard as he could. Then again, it appeared that he was in a Catholic Church, so that would stand to reason.

Amanda made a great point about special effects. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you have to do it. I also was reminded of a review I read about "The Passion of the Christ" where it was described as a "pornography of violence". One thing I do remember from my porn days is that we become desensitized as we take all this stuff in. What is initially exciting becomes kind of tedious. Solomon was way head of me on this:

Proverbs 27:20 ESV
(20) Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man.

At any rate, the movie was fun, but a bit overwhelming. It also felt like it tried to do too much. There were a lot of things that could have been explored more deeply, but there wasn't time. Did SpiderMan really need to fight 3 different things? One thing I did find interesting was that the black goo was the first villain in the series that was not basically a decent person who had been changed by some experience. I find the flaws in the heroes and villains of the SpiderMan world to be interesting. The black goo was just mean.

Anyhow, in my opinion it was worth seeing. I'm soon going to run out of movies to see in the theater since the only movies I've gone to see in the past 5 or so years are:

  • Lord of the Rings
  • Harry Potter
  • Narnia
  • SpiderMan
We did see the Johnny Depp version of Charlie and the Chocolate factory at the local IMAX, which was fun. Now I look forward to seeing how they do the "Order of the Phoenix". I'm particularly interested to see if they'll do the part where Fred and George make a swamp in Hogwarts and none of the professors will clean it up.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Running Light

I've been working on increasing my distance on my Saturday runs. I was content to do just a little under 3.5 miles for my "long" run and did that for a long time. Then one night on the way home from class I wondered how long it was to downtown Cary from my house. Turns out that it's almost exactly 2.5 miles. I thought it would be good to have a little variety from the 3 runs that I do, so I decided to work up to that. It took me a few weeks, but I did it 2 weeks ago. Last week I did 4.6 miles because I knew the extra work I'd have carrying Lily around the airshow.

Today I did 5.1 again, but with much more hills. I was excited to see that I did it in 8:08 miles. This was no small feat for me. The last mile is brutal as it is almost all uphill. There is one long break after the first climb, but then only a very short break after another long climb. It ends with a short, steep climb, 0.1 miles of slight downhill, and finally 0.1 miles of slight uphill. It definitely gets the heart and lungs going!

The key I've found through all of this is that I need to give God all the glory and praise for being able to run. I posted a photo of my old self at the height of my gluttony. Not a pretty sight. Only God could take that tub of goo and turn it into something that can run up and down hills. I want to make sure that I keep the focus in the right place.

While going up that marathon last mile I tend to think of songs in my head. "It is You," "Blessed be Your Name," "Not to Us," and "Heart of Worship" all got me through today. It was not a lot of fun, but it sure feels good to have finished!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Coming out of the Cage

I would say that I've aligned myself with reformed theology for about 4 years now. In other words, it roughly coincides with my time at Setting Captives Free. What does that mean? It means that I embrace the 5 solas of the Reformation, for example. It also means that I embrace the Doctrines of Grace or "TULIP" if you like acronyms. The good news is that it is considered hip in some circles to be young and reformed thanks to the internet. We used to have to sit quietly while we listened to preaching about God's sovereignty in one breath, but then about how God has nothing to do with a Katrina or a 9/11. There are ways to reconcile these things in the context of a good God, but I won't get into that here. Go here if you're interested in reading a great treatment of this from a Biblical mindset.

Few people really embrace the Doctrines of Grace when they first become believers. After all, chances are that they didn't hear anything about them when they were evangelized. They probably heard something like the 4 Spiritual Laws, which I think fail a little bit because they are man-centered rather than God-centered. We come to Christ patting ourselves on the back for being smart enough to purchase some eternal fire insurance. Or we hope that we can find out what God's plan is for our life so that we can escape the misery we find ourselves in.

However, if we spend some time in Scripture we often find that the focus changes. This is especially true if we read any of the Puritans or someone like John Piper. We begin to see that at least the first sentence of The Purpose-Driven Life is accurate -- it's not about us. It's about God and His glory. Then we come across a passage like Ephesians 1 and our prideful socks get knocked off. As we continually reread the Bible we begin to see God's glory in places like Psalm 23 where we see that He guides us in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. We begin to realize that it's all about God's sovereign plan. We hopefully guard ourselves against hyper-Calvinism and as we gain knowledge we become excited about sharing what we've learned.

The problem is that we often turn into obnoxious heretic-hunters. I can remember listening to messages at my church straining to hear any traces of what I would consider wrong teaching. Of course, we are to be like the Berean church that tested everything according to the Scriptures. I rejoice that my pastor encourages us to do so. However, I'm finding that life is better since I learned to relax a little bit. I know a person in Atlanta who used to be a good friend. Unfortunately, I alienated him with my doctrine, though I was trying to help him and share the gospel with him. His wife grew up in a Methodist church. Since he grew up in a Mormon church and hates religion, I figure that the best chance he has for hearing the gospel is to attend that Methodist church. I had to come to the conclusion that, despite my zeal for the Doctrines of Grace, I'd rather he attend a Methodist church than no church at all, assuming that there is some presentation of the gospel there.

In other words, I think I'm ready to be let out of my cage. I'd appreciate any feedback from those of you who interact with me regularly. How obnoxious am I about my faith? Do you know what I believe? If you disagree with me I hope that you are at least challenged by my convictions. If you choose to disagree that is between you and God. I want to share the truth in a loving way and not get in the way of the gospel being presented.

I also hope that anyone reading this from a Reformed perspective will consider whether or not they need to be kept in a cage for a while. Don't feel badly if you do -- most of us go through this and it becomes something over which we must repent.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I've nearly finished my textbook on Missiology and here is what I'm learning:

  • Missions is every Christian's business
  • We should take church-planting very seriously
  • We need to be flexible to culture, though not compromising of the gospel
  • I'm not doing nearly enough
As I read this book I keep thinking of the bravery of our friends Mark and Laura who moved their family to Hungary. I think of our friend Shanelle who moved from Southern California to New Zealand.

What am I doing? I'm studying Greek and listening to baseball. I'm trying to get through work from home days without looking at anything I shouldn't online. I'm trying to get through each day at work so that I can go home and get back to the same routine. I realize that much foundational work needs to happen before missions, but I just wonder if I'm on the right track?

I also know that I tend to get focused on what I'm studying. When I took my 1 Corinthians class I was excited about becoming a seminary professor. As I read this book I feel like we should be raising money to move to South America. I guess I need to just settle down and see what God has in store for me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

One More Time Through

I finally finished a chronological reading of the Bible. I started this last year and was doing pretty much one reading/day as I was in no rush. I stepped it up since my semester ended so I could use my devotional time for reading my Greek New Testament. I'm behind on my Greek studies that I planned to do this summer, so I thought I'd better find a way to spend some time with Greek that way. I intend to start with books I know well like Philippians, Ephesians, James, and the Peters. We'll see how that goes. The key thing will be keeping up.

I'm not sure if I'd do the chronological plan again. It was great to see the history of Israel intertwined with the Psalms and the prophets. However, I went a long time without being in the New Testament. When I go back to general reading I think I'll go with the Discipleship Journal plan again. I liked being in 4 places in Scripture every day.

One problem I'm seeing is that I don't know as that I got a ton out of this time through. I did get a better sense for how the history of Israel all tied together, so I'm glad to have a "gray area" filled in a little bit better. But I still feel as if I was reading more for the head than the heart. We'll see how it goes when I go through the Greek NT.

We're down to about 60 days before Sweet Pea comes into the world. There is much to do before then!

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Lily and I went to the airshow yesterday. The weather forecast did not look good as it predicted a 70% chance of rain in the afternoon. It rained pretty hard here in the morning, but I decided to follow-through with our plan of going anyway.

We got there around 12:30 or so and we had lunch. As a special treat for Lily I put her carseat in the Civic hatchback since she doesn't get to ride in "the black car" too often. The show was behind our car, so I opened up the hatch and set her down in the trunk to eat. We arrived to hear the distinctive sound of biplanes doing stunts. Lily enjoyed this and it wasn't too loud for her. However, I also heard the whine of a jet idling nearby. Lily was about 3/4 through her sandwich when the F-22 started its show. This was Lily's introduction to the noise produced by a twin-engine fighter aircraft. She wasn't real excited by it, though I loved it.

We got into the show and walked through a C-5A, though there wasn't much to see besides a lot of people looking for an escape from the sun. We then got into a KC-135, but as I was going up the ramp I heard a PA announcer talk about the F-15 Strike Eagle. We got into the tanker, but then I realized that the show was starting, so we hurried out. I felt badly because as we reached the bottom of the stairs I handed Lily her sunglasses and said, "Put these on and cover..." as the words "cover your ears" got completely destroyed by the sound of the F-15. I, of course, thoroughly enjoyed watching my favorite airplane do its thing. I asked one of the nearby pilots if he ever gets tired of watching it accelerate while climbing and he told me, "Never."

Next came Lily's favorite part of the show. Patty Wagstaff flies this small propeller plane and does amazing things with it. Lily thoroughly enjoyed the show and particularly liked it when I showed her a picture of the "girl" who flew the plane. As she told people stories of the show she really emphasized this part of it.

We looked at some more stuff, though Lily was afraid to get close to the airplanes and helicopters. She didn't want to talk to the pilots as she got shy. I tried to get her to use the port-a-potty, but the big seat and the pit of blue water and toilet paper scared her. We walked back toward the car before the Blue Angels' show began. We found a nice grassy spot on a small hill and sat down for the show. Here we were watching one of the best examples of aerobatic precision in the world and Lily wanted to find interesting rocks. I enjoyed it either way.

Overall, I'd say that the day was a success. It was certainly hot, but we survived. Lily wants to go back next year. Hopefully she'll be more interested in the airplanes next time. Of course, I seem to remember being pretty scared of the loud noise when I was little too.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Greeky Update

I got my Greek final back. I got a 95 on it, which I feel pretty good about (I got an A in the class). What I don't feel so good about is how I've neglected keeping up on my Greek this summer. I haven't done much since Charleston and I know that's got to change if I'm going to stay proficient over the summer. The good news is that I'm way ahead of schedule in getting through my missiology book. I hope to have that finished next week.

It feels good to put some posts up. I apologize for anyone who actually does read this. Don't give up on me!

What's the Point?

I've meant to write about a conversation I had with Bob a couple of weeks ago. Bob is a devout Lutheran and a good guy. He works hard and doesn't slack off nearly as much as some of us. His life is a settled routine and he likes it that way. He does the same lifting workout every time he lifts. He doesn't vary the weight or the reps, but he's OK with that. He's built like a little fireplug and I wouldn't want to tangle with him.

I stopped into his cube one day after my lunchtime nap for a quick chat. I'm not sure how we got on the topic, but he told me about a conflict he had in a bible study one time about salvation. Someone in his study got quite upset when Bob proposed his idea that good, devout people from any religion are saved. I tried to handle this graciously and point out the logical conclusion to this line of thinking.

I said, "Bob, if you want to believe that, that's up to you. You do realize that is not at all supported by the Bible, right?"

He was OK with that.

Then I said, "You realize that, if what you believe is true, then the 911 hijackers must be in heaven."

He seemed a bit confused, so I expounded on that point. I explained that they were extremely devout in their faith and did what they believed to be right. He saw my point, but I'm not sure if it changed his thinking at all. I need to follow-up with him.

This also makes me think of the death and resurrection of Jesus. If we believe in the resurrection (which is hard to deny) then we have to see that as a strong argument for the exclusivity of Christianity. To believe otherwise would be to make God the worst child-abuser in history. Why bother sending Christ to die if it wasn't necessary for salvation?

I don't think we can put Jesus in a test tube and prove His existence or validity, but we can sure present a lot of evidence to get someone thinking. In the end I need to trust that the Holy Spirit has the job of conversion. That helps me to sleep better at night.

Feeding the Blog

I apologize for being so spotty in postings again. Apparently I need a regular "to-do" task to blog. Our normal team of 5 is down to 2 this week and I've been getting stretched in supporting something I don't usually support. However, I have learned a lot and had a chance to shine a little bit. I don't think I'm going to get Associate of the Month, but I do think I've done an admirable job.

We just had a new guy start this week. He is from Boston and hates the Yankees, so that is admirable. He also uses the name "Jesus" as a synonym for "wow." I've already made one little comment about that which I think he got, but we'll see if I need to get more overt.

My team is going through an internal audit. This short-staffed week was planned long ago, but I didn't sign up for an internal audit. I got to spend an hour of my Tuesday listening to my ultra-tense coworker fidget while he spoke for almost the whole meeting. I wanted to tell the auditors that he really is telling the truth, but that's he's just that nervous. The audit is a little frustrating because the auditors keep asking for information whether they understand what they need or not. Another of my coworkers is extremely verbose and was giving an auditor all the information he wanted about something and more. I asked my manager if that was intentional and he said that he "could neither confirm nor deny that." Of course, he said that tongue firmly in cheek. I think I'm going to like working for Jamey.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Sad Story of Jaret Wright

The Indians hit Jaret Wright pretty hard on Sunday. Tom Hamilton and Mike Hegan were waxing nostalgic about the 1997 season and the magical run that the Indians had. As you see if you follow the link for Jaret, he was 21 years old in 1997. He was something of a postseason hero and even started Game 7 of the World Series. Mike Hargrove rode him pretty hard that year. He also pitched well in 1998, but eventually developed shoulder problems. You can see that he bounced around quite a bit after that.

I guess it's hard to feel too sorry for someone who made nearly $24M in 10 years, but you just have to wonder what he could have been if he wasn't abused. This also sets up an ethical question that has no clear answer. Is it worth it to ride a young pitcher hard for a season or two if it will get you into the postseason? Here's a guy who is still relatively young and describes his shoulder as being basically OK because "it only hurts when I pitch." He has had to endure some surgeries and a lot of pain. He did make it back to the big stage with the Yankees last year, but didn't pitch that well in the playoffs.

He just seems like a story of wasted potential. Kind of like tapping a major oil well, but never capping it. You just occasionally come and collect a barrel or two of crude from the petroleum rain, but never make full use of it.