More [Old] Lessons From Matthew 14

Doing some house cleaning and found this near complete post that never got published from about a year ago. It should have been posted then.
There were two other things that came to light during last Sunday’s class on Matthew 14.
Dave brought along a video that reenacted the scene (of Jesus walking on the water). The portrayal of Jesus plucking Peter out of the water after he began to sink was like a light bulb going on.
I had always imagined Jesus frowning at Peter and rebuking him for his failure. In the video, however, we see a laughing Jesus, teasing Peter rather than rebuking him.
Imagine 2 good friends out mountain biking. One is an experienced rider, the other not. The experienced rider heads down a particularly challenging hill, jumping a fallen log, swerving through a series of large rocks and traversing a creek at the bottom. On the other side, he stops and wait for his friend.
There’s another way down, easier, but that trip looked so fun, the amateur decides to try it. He makes the jump over the logs, but half way through the rocks he wipes out. His friend rushes to help him up, laughing. “Dude, that was awesome, but why didn’t you go right after the big one?”
Jesus in the movie was laughing with Peter, rejoicing with him in his triumph, but teasing him as well. “Awesome dude! But why’d you doubt, you faithless knucklehead?”
I need to see this Jesus more, the Jesus laughing with his buddies, egging them on, rather than the serious Jesus, scowling at our lack of faith.

Mark 11 – Triumphal Entry and a Cursed Tree

Over a month since my last QT entry. Sigh.
Mark 11:1-10 – Notice – A colt that had never been sat on, they laid their cloaks on the colt so Jesus wouldn’t have to touch it and they even covered the road so the Colt wouldn’t touch that. I get the sense of holiness, being set apart. Clean and undefiled. There’s an elevated level of respect and honor. You deserve not only a fresh colt, but to be isolated from the colt and the colt isolated from the earth.
Mark 11:11 – I never caught this verse before. Jesus comes in in honor, goes to the temple, looks around and then heads back out. “And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.” That’s a bit odd to me.
Mark 11:13-14 – One could get the idea from these passages that Jesus is a little crazy. First a big shindig parade just to turn around and go back out and now he curses a fig tree for not having figs when it’s not the season for figs. I admit it, I’m a bit confused.
Mark 11:19 – I wonder why they weren’t staying in the city, since every day they go in and every night they go out? Was it simply that there was no room or that the rooms were cheaper in Bethany? Maybe that’s where the kind soul who offered to put them up lived. Honestly, that seems most likely. Of course, their staying outside explains the march in only to leave again. The march, if I recall right, was to fulfil a specific prophesy about arriving on a donkey.
Mark 11:20-23\5 – The fig tree not only withered, but withered to it’s roots. That’s quite a transformation in 24 hours. Peter’s shocked. Jesus isn’t. This is some challenging stuff, and I’m not just talking about throwing a mountain into the sea. I kinda think folks read right on past that, I mean it was just an example, right? No, the challenging thing for our evidence focused minds is verse 24: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received [3] it, and it will be yours.
Plenty has been said, foolishly, claiming that Jesus can pay your mortgage or get you a new car if you believe hard enough. It’s heresy, plain and simple. But … What about freedom from addiction, hatred, anger or violence? What about forgiveness or the ability to forgive? What about transformation? These things happened over and over to the people Jesus came in contact with and he promises us that if we believe that we have already received …
But we’re “I’ll believe it when I see it” kind of people, so I wonder how much we are missing? Jesus says believe first and receive second. We’ve got it backwards.

I Once Had a Lot To Say

Not so much anymore. Well, I actually think of stuff, but when the time comes to sit down at the ol’ laptop, well …
It’s just so much easier to veg and loose myself in my RSS reader, reading all the good posts from everyone else. Searching the web for the perfect string trimmer, browsing for cars that I’m not going to buy anytime soon or visiting my Squarebirds or pop up camper forums.
But a writer needs to write or else, well, he’s not really a writer, right?
I hope there will be more to come, I’d like to say that I have ideas that will be blogged. But I’ve said that before.
Sigh.

To the Guy Who Picked My Old Trimmer Out of the Trash

I know you’re not likely to find this post, but if you picked my old Craftsman 32cc trimmer from along the curb, congrats. It was free to me about 7 years ago but recently wouldn’t stay running. My wife said 7 years out of a free tool is a pretty good return on investment (she’s an accountant, she should know), so I ought to jsut go get a new one. So I picked up a Husqvarna 125L at Lowe’s and chucked the Craftsman.
I got the Husqvarna – you gotta love a word with a ‘q’ in the middle that’s not followed by a u’. Fun to say too, say it with me … Husqvarna. See?
So, I got the Husqvarna set up and lo and behold it wouldn’t stay running either. Hmmm. What’s the only common denominator?
The gas.
I had filled the new one with the same gas, left over from last season, that I had used on the old. I drained and disposed of the old gas and got fresh gas and 2 cycle oil. Tada! It now runs fine, which means that old Craftsman you picked up will likely run fine too, once you give it fresh gas. So, you get a nice free trimmer and I’m $200 poorer.
Lucky you.
(Of course, you’ll still have to deal with the maddening bump head on that thing that has a tendency to jam up and actually pop off the shaft like those crazy cars in old movies where the hood poops up and the wheels and doors pop off when they break down. And I get to say Husqvarna. Oh, and mine’s orange, which is cool.)

Search Engine Fun

Today I get my report from Google Analytics and it shows a huge spike in traffic, 116% increase in page views. Naturally, I dug deeper to see what was up. The spike was nearly all on June 9th, which I still don’t understand exactly.
Turns out the traffic was all going to one page, my post from December of ’04 on Jay Leno’s Toronado. That post has always gotten a lot of hits, at one time it was the top result on Google for ‘Jay Leno’s Toronado‘, even higher than Jay’s own site. Not any more, however, but still the page views to that post were up 3,375%.
Google analytics told me that it was a result form search engine hits on ‘Jay Leno’. Odd, certainly there were far more relevant posts on Jay than my little post on one of hit lesser known cars. I tried Google, A9, Ask.com and Yahoo! and salguod.net was nowhere on the first page of any of them.

Then I tried MS Live. Lo and behold, there’s the picture of Jay’s Toronado from my post as picture #1 in the search of ‘Jay Leno‘. Why would that pic rank as #1 for all pictures for ‘Jay Leno’? Weird.
Makes me wish I had a Google AdSense account.

I’m back …

Just a note to let you know I’m back from my trip(s). Actually had a vacation camping trip after the business trip to CA. Both were adventures.
First, there was 13 hours of brake work on the camper before leaving for CA. My red-eye trip home from CA was canceled, so I basically lost a day of vacation since I didn’t get home until 5 PM instead of 7AM. Then there was the emergency repair to the camper before heading out. Oh, and did I mention that we camped in west central IN the 5th-10th? Yeah, when it flooded, shutting down nearby Brazil IN, Turkey Run state park and 70 miles of I-70. 7″ of rain on the first night. Woo-hoo.
We survived, managed to have a little fun too. Came thisclose to selling the camper afterwards, but we’re keeping it … for now. 😀

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