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Archive for February, 2011

So…I work at a music store, and it’s a pretty neat place to work; you learn many new things and meet all kinds of interesting people. Most people are harmless, friendly, or just odd, but occasionally you’ll get a creeper. I think I need to write a blog and call it “Creeper Count .com” to keep track of all my creepy encounters.

Today: Man walks in with a bright-yellow tom tom, and I have to write him a pass so we know it’s his when he tries to leave with it. There is a little box on the slip I fill out that says “reason for carry in:” and I check one of several reasons, or create one in the blank space. I asked him why he was bringing the tom in and he said he needed to get a head for it. Then he asked, “can I get a little head?” >:O I was so flabbergasted I didn’t know what to say. I eventually said something to the effect of “No you may not.” He asked where to go and I told him where the drum room was and that a police officer would be waiting to escourt him out afterward. I didn’t say much to him when he finally left, but if he had made any more inappropriate remarks I would have said something that I probably shouldn’t.

This is probably the worst, or second worst, thing that’s ever been said directly to me in that store. More to come later.

Should I make a blog about my creeper count? Comments please!

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Pa. teacher strikes nerve with ‘lazy whiners’ blog – Yahoo! News.

I thought this was an interesting article; a teacher called students out on her blog by calling them “lazy whiners” and saying other similar things: “students want everything handed to them” and such similar things. While she did use some profanity (I did not see this portion of the blog), calling students things like that is completely acceptable. Students are really lazy and should be help accountable, but in this age they are not, and teachers who try to keep them in their place are threatened with loss of their job. Tell me what you think about this article.

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In our fast-paced society today people fill their lives with things to make life more convenient. Americans have created a drive-through for food, banking, medication, coffee, and even grocery shopping. Unfortunately, this “I want it now” attitude has lead people to look for  “McAnswers,” those quick-convenient answers that can be found by searching Google, polling the internet, asking a friend, or reading a few sentences. Oddly enough, people do this with the most important aspect of their lives, their belief systems. Americans frequently base their opinions and “knowledge” on the information at their fingertips rather than investigating the linguistic and cultural context of the passages they found their beliefs on–we have become so closed-minded a culture that some even refuse to do their own research, claiming that there are many paths to choose from, or that we can never truly know what is right.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary there are two definitions for the word context; the term may be used to describe to the parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning. Context may also refer to the interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs, such as the environment or setting (ex: historical or cultural context). It seems often today, particularly in Biblical interpretation that passages are taken out of context in both ways.

One of the more common misinterpretations of context occur when a person reads an isolated verse (or two) in the Bible and neglects to read the verses preceding and following their selection. I’ve seen this in multiple hot-button issues, but a simple example is when people wear what I call the “If-then blinders.” This simply refers to passages in the Bible that give an if statement: “If you do this…” which is then followed by the consequences of that “if”: “then you…” A frequent occurrence of this troublesome blindness occurs when someone memorizes a verse and either forgets the rest of it, or neglects to memorize the preceding portion. A common example is the phrase, “The truth will set you free.” Did you know that there is more to this verse? The full verse from John 8:31-32 reads: “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” The qualifying statement that allows the truth to set a person free is to know it. In order to know this truth you must hold to Jesus’ teachings. Ergo, IF you hold to Jesus’ teachings à THEN you are really his disciples. IF you are really Jesus’ disciples THEN you will know the truth and THEN it will set you free.

Another common mistake that Americans today make is to view Biblical and historical passages through modern glasses. The Bible was not written in English, it was not written today, and was not written by a single person. To understand the context of a chapter of scripture (or any historical writing) one must first understand the linguistic connotations. Hebrew is a very rich language, and often a word may have more than one direct meaning; a word may denote one thing by connote another thing in addition to the English translation. When the Bible says in Isaiah that “all our righteous acts are like filthy ragsthe word filthy literally refers to a garment stained from a woman’s menstrual cycle. This brings me to a second key to interpretation, historical context. While the translation of the word filthy is gross to us today, in Biblical times it would have had a far greater impact. In the book of Leviticus we see that a woman would be considered “unclean” for a week during her period, along with anything she sits on or anyone who touches her during this time. To be unclean, depending upon the context, would require a person to avoid contact if they were unclean, vessels to be burned, meat to be discarded, etc. Seeing the linguistic and historical context of this verse gives new meaning to “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.”

One other aspect of interpretation is the person who is speaking, who they are, and when they were writing. We must discover whether the speaker is writing during the time the events occurred, long after that time, or if they are hearing the information second-hand. It is also important to know a little about the person who is telling the story. For example, Luke was a doctor while Matthew was a tax collector; both would view the events of Jesus’ life through their own personal experiences and would notate things that they saw in light of what they found important. Luke may be detailed in some descriptions, while Matthew may have a propensity for including numeric values of things.

I hope and pray that you will continue to seek out the true meanings behind common verses and catchphrases so that your faith may be made firm, secure in the knowledge that you have researched so that you may “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). Do not fall into the trap of saying that there are “many ways” or that we cannot ever know the correct way. There are many interpretations, this is true; however, one may be sure to find the correct answer by accurately studying the contexts of a passage and finding all the information before making a judgment call on something—you cannot hold a belief and be firm in it if you do not understand why you believe it. Think about it.

2 Timothy 2:15-26 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”

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