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Two Book Chapters By Don Carson

The Gospel Coalition have posted pdfs of two chapters by Don Carson from the upcoming anthology ‘These Last Days: A Christian View Of History’, a collection of addresses to the 2010 Philadelphia Conference On Reformed Theology.
Carson’s chapters are on Revelation 12 and Ephesians.
Andy Naselli has posted outlines and links to the pdfs as well as the contents page from the book.
All of the essays look interesting.
Cheaper than going to a conference.


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What Is A Blog? (via Darryl Hart)

mgpcpastor serves as an online reference file of material that has interested me, and which may, in turn, interest you.
Darryl Hart provides his perspective of what a blog is, and what it isn’t

A blog – at least as I read them and participate in several – is somewhere between a Facebook page and an editorial in a magazine. Blogging is almost entirely personal since the author is his own editor in most cases; no editorial staff or marketing department oversees the writing. A blog is also a forum for thinking out loud – “here is something I read or observed, and I thought I’d write about it and see what readers think.” Magazines are in themselves ephemeral. I used to save old copies of magazines but soon gave up after several moves not only owing to sloth (or declining strength as aging happens) but also because highlighted articles were not as pertinent at the time of the move as they were when saved. If magazines lack permanency, blogs do so even more.
In which case readers, readers should not take a blog too seriously.

Read the whole post here.

This doesn’t mean that what is written on a blog doesn’t matter, or that the writer can’t be called to account.
But it is a forum to develop ideas as much as it is to finally record them.
A conversation, even if it seems that sometimes we’re just muttering to ourselves.


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Which King James Version? (via Michael Bird)

The King James Bible is receiving renewed attention to mark the 400th anniversary of its publication.
As anyone who has tried to read a facsimile of an early edition will attest there have been some revisions of the original since its publication.
Michael Bird has a short post which summarises a published article on the path which the King James Bible has taken to arrive at its present form.
The purpose of which is not to denigrate the KJB, but to remember that it was never intended to be treated as a document equal to those texts of which it is a translation.

Now anyone who has been in church circles long enough will have met some very peculiar folks with very strong views about the King James Bible of 1611. What such zealous albeit ignorant chaps don’t know is that the modern KJB is not identical to the 1611 KJB. I’ve always known that this was the case, though I never knew the exact details, but an overview of the diverse KJB editions is conveniently summarized in a short article by Simon Wong, “Which King James Bible Are We Talking About?”
Read the whole post at Euangelion.


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Seven Thoughts On Time Management (via Douglas Wilson)

Some observations about time management from Douglas Wilson</strong>.
Well worth the time for it takes to read them.

1.The point is fruitfulness, not efficiency. You should want to be fruitful like a tree, not efficient like a machine.
But this fruitfulness is a function of God’s blessing, and it is surrendered work that is blessed work. Seek that blessing, and seek it through concrete surrender. Such surrenders are not abstract. Put your Isaacs on the altar. Every interruption is a chance to surrender your work to the only one who can bless your work, particularly when the interruptions come from your kid wanting to play catch.
We can see the principle with the sabbath and the tithe. Less blessed is more than more unblessed. 90% blessed goes farther than 100% unblessed. 6 days blessed are far more fruitful than 7 days unblessed.

2. Build a fence around your life, and keep that fence tended. You should have a life outside your work, and your family should be enjoying that life together with you. Go to work at a reasonable, predictable time, and come home at a reasonable, predictable time. Keep your work on a regular schedule, not an absolute schedule. If the barn catches fire, allow that to interrupt your schedule. But if the barn catches fire three times a week, then perhaps some preventative thinking is in order. When you are driven by the tyranny of the urgent, most of the urgencies aren’t. Let the fence hold.

3. Perfectionism paralyzes. Chesterton once wonderfully observed that anything worth doing is worth doing badly. The sign of a fruitful worker is that he understands the critical difference between “that won’t cut it” and “that is just fine.”

4. Fill in the corners. I typed the outline for this with my thumbs while sitting in a comfy chair at the mall while my wife was being a merchant ship that brings goods from afar. This was far more productive than staring vacantly at a neon Tito Macaroni’s sign would have been. If you have a commute, use the time to listen to books instead of inane DJ chatter. If the books get too serious, or if you do, go back to the DJs.
Do not despise how much can be packed into small corners. I live in a small town, and so my commute is four minutes, more or less. There have been times when I have arrived at the office with the same song playing as when I pulled out of the garage. And yet I listened to David McCullough’s John Adams like that. It was a great steak, and cutting it into little tiny pieces did not diminish the flavor at all.

5. Plod. Keep at it. Slow and steady wins the race. Truisms are true. Work adds up, provided you are doing it.

6. Take in more than you give out. If you give out more than you take in, you will . . . give out. Your lake should have snowmelt streams running into it. Every vocation requires constant learning, constant development.

7. Use and reuse. State and restate. Learn and relearn. Develop what you know. Cultivate what you have. Your garden plot is the same as it always was, so plow deeper. Envying the garden that others have cultivated plows nothing, and brings forth a harvest of nothing.
Strive for deep conviction more than superficial originality, and deep originality will come. Your tomatoes will take the ribbon at the fair, provided you learned how to grow them in your own dirt.


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50 Childhood Fads (via First Things)

The First Things blog recycles a post with a list of 50 childhood fads.
It’s pretty comprehensive.

1. Beanie Babies
What made it the best: You and your friends loved collecting them.
What made it the worst: Old ladies loved collecting them too.

2. Bratz Dolls
What made it the best: 559 different dolls to choose from.
What made it the worst: They all looked like strippers.

3. Cabbage Patch Dolls
What made it the best: You got a birth certificate certifying when you “adopted” them.
What made it the worst: They were just an overpriced stuffed doll.

4. Charm necklaces
What made it the best: You could create them to match your personality.
What made it the worst: For every birthday someone would give you a cheap charm instead of a real gift.

5. Cheap cologne
What made it the best: The girl you had a crush on loved the way you smelled.
What made it the worst: Every other six grade boy smelled like Old Spice/Polo/Drakkar Noir too.

6. Chia Pets
What made it the best: They were easy to grow.
What made it the worst: Not matter what shape they were supposed to be, they always ended up looking like a green afro.

7. Cinnamon Toothpicks
What made it the best: Liquid cinnamon on a stick to make your tongue burn—in a good way.
What made it the worst: Because you couldn’t stop at just one, your tongue blistered—in a bad way.

8. Clackers
What made it the best: You could scare your little brother by clacking them right beside his head.
What made it the worst: You were a little brother.

9. Energy Drinks
What made it the best: After a can of Red Bull you could stay up all night texting.
What made it the worst: After the sugar crash, you felt like you needed to go to rehab.

10. Friendship Bracelets
What made it the best: Getting them from your friends.
What made it the worst: Not getting them from people who you thought were your friends—but obviously not since they gave them to every one but you, even to that ugly girl that they talked about behind her back and that other girl . . .

11. Friendship pins
What made it the best: They were cheap and easy to make, all you needed was colored beads and safety pins.
What made it the worst: Whenever you opened the pins the beads would spill everywhere.

12. Frisbees
What made it the best: Could make anyone feel like a minor athlete.
What made it the worst: Unless you had a frisbee-catching dog, they quickly became boring.

13. Furbies
What made it the best: Your first robot!
What made it the worst: Big-eyed robots are kinda creepy.

14. Garbage Pail Kids
What made it the best: They were disgusting.
What made it the worst: They were disgusting.

15. Gel Pens
What made it the best: Notes to friends looked better in neon orange.
What made it the worst: They always smeared.

16. Hacky Sack
What made it the best: They were easy to carry around; you could start a game anywhere.
What made it the worst: Phish-listening hippies made them uncool

17. Hello Kitty
What made it the best: They’re so cute.
What made it the worst: Good grief, they’re everywhere!

18. Hula Hoops
What made it the best: Having “hooping” contest with friends.
What made it the worst: Trying to find a place to store them.

19. Kewpie Dolls
What made it the best: They’re cute.
What made it the worst: They’re creepy.

20. Koosh Balls
What made it the best: You could throw them around without fear of breaking anything.
What made it the worst: They were only fun for five minutes.

21. Lava Lamps
What made it the best: The calming effect of watching the lava go up and down.
What made it the worst: They turned you into a hippie.

22. Lipsmackers
What made it the best: What could be better than makeup that taste like root beer?
What made it the worst: Realizing that it was just flavored chapstick.

23. Mad Libs
What made it the best: The fun of thinking up strange/funny/naughty words to fill in the blanks.
What made it the worst: After the third one they started to seem all the same.

24. Magic 8-Ball
What made it the best: More fun than flipping a coin.
What made it the worst: Ask again later.

25. Choose Your Own Adventure Novels
What made it the best: You got to be the hero of the story.
What made it the worst: The stories usually weren’t worth the page-flipping effort.

26. Matchbox Cars/Hot Wheels
What made it the best: They were almost as cool as having a real Ferrari/Corevette/Camaro/etc.
What made it the worst: Dad stepping on them in the middle of the night on his way to the bathroom.

27. Mood Rings
What made it the best: People could tell what mood you were in by looking at your finger.
What made it the worst: Unless “hot and sweaty” counts as a mood, they couldn’t detect anything.

28. Nerf Balls
What made it the best: Finally, a ball that you could bean your siblings with and not get in trouble!
What made it the worst: If they came in contact with nature (water, dogs, etc) they’d become a mess.

29. Ouija Boards
What made it the best: They were dangerous and mysterious.
What made it the worst: They were a starter kit to occultism.

30. Paper Footballs
What made it the best: They were easy to make.
What made it the worst: No matter how many you made, the teacher always took them away.

31. Pet Rocks
What made it the best: It’s a rock. . . and a pet! Get it?
What made it the worst: What? I paid how much for a rock?

32. Pez
What made it the best: They were cheap and easy to collect.
What made it the worst: The candy was terrible.

33. Pogs
What made it the best: You could both collect them and win them.
What made it the worst: Your friends would always get them taken away by the teacher.

34. Pokemon
What made it the best: You could collect them all.
What made it the worst: No matter how much money you spent, you could never collect them all.

35. Pop Rocks
What made it the best: The fizz and the pop.
What made it the worst: Didn’t they kill that Mikey kid from the LIFE cereal commercial?

36. Rubik’s Cube
What made it the best: They made you think you were smart enough to solve them.
What made it the worst: They made you realize you weren’t smart enough to solve them.

37. Scratch ’n’ Sniff Stickers
What made it the best: The cherry and banana stickers that smelled like cherry and banana (sort of).
What made it the worst: The licorice one that smelled like the inside of a baby’s diaper.

38. Sea Monkeys
What made it the best: The ad in the back of the comic books made it look like they were people from the lost city of Atlantis.
What made it the worst: Brine shrimp? Seriously?

39. Silly Bandz
What made it the best: They are cheap and easy to collect.
What made it the worst: Realizing that your generation is getting stuck with one of the lamest fads ever.

40. Silly Putty
What made it the best: You could press them on the Sunday comics and make a colored copy of the picture.
What made it the worst: There wasn’t much else you could do with them.

41. Skateboarding
What made it the best: The rush of riding for the first time.
What made it the worst: The first rush to the ER after you fell off and broke your arm.

42. Slime
What made it the best: Sliming your friends, brothers, and sisters.
What made it the worst: Trying to get snot green plastic out of the carpet.

43. Slinky
What made it the best: Those cool television ads that showed it “walking” down the stairs.
What made it the worst: They taught you the meaning of false advertising.

44. Super Balls
What made it the best: Nothing could bounce higher.
What made it the worst: They’d always bounce to a place you couldn’t find them.

45. Swatch Watches
What made it the best: They made you feel sophisticated.
What made it the worst: Your parents wouldn’t buy you an overpriced piece of Swiss plastic.

46. Tamagotchi
What made it the best: Like having a pet that you could carry around in your pocket.
What made it the worst: Like having all the responsibility of having a pet without the loyalty, love, etc.

47. Troll Dolls
What made it the best: They were adorable.
What made it the worst: When you’re not looking, they eat your soul.

48. Yo-Yos
What made it the best: The sense of accomplishment you got from learning to “walk the dog.”
What made it the worst: The stupid string always got tangled and knotted up.

49. Waxed lips candy
What made it the best: You could convince that cute girl/boy to give you “kiss” on your wax lips.
What made it the worst: The heartbreaking let-down of wax lip kisses.

50. Whiffle balls
What made it the best: The bat.
What made it the worst: You could never figure out how to actually play Whiffle ball.


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Clear Glass Bath Tub

Nothing too serious today.
Saw this picture of a clear glass bath tub.
It seems like an elegant design feature, which I’m surprised hasn’t been used more widely.
Probably seems like a better concept than it would be in use, though.
I bet my wife would hate it.


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Two Minute Tour Of The USA

Pastors looking for a cheap holiday on their day off should view this two-minute tour of the USA and then watch an episode of the Love Boat.