Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Jeremy Janz

Several years ago I attended Northland Baptist Bible College. Even though I only attended Northland for one school year, it was always one of my favorite years of college life. I met several great people while I was there, friends that I will never forget, and one of them was, a guy named Jeremy Janz.

Jeremy would come by our room every night on his rounds, making sure the lights were out and such, and he would end up staying in our room way too long. It usually started with the telling of a story or two, Jeremy always had the best stories, and then before you knew it, he had been in there for over an hour.

After I left Northland, I think it was the summer of '94, I heard through the grapevine that Jeremy had been in an accident. All that I knew was that he was in a coma. As the years went by I would hear about him from time to time. And then the other day, mostly in relation to the Terry Schiavo situation, a friend e-mailed me this link, A Letter to Jeremy.

Even if you don't know who Jeremy Janz is, I think that you will find this article very interesting.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Numa Numa

How do these kids find these things?

Numa Numa Dance

I heard some of my South Carolina students talking about this video, and then I found it mentioned on a blog from one of my former students from Indiana. How do they find these things?

Way too much free time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Mr. Harmless goes to Washington

That is right ladies and gentlemen, I am going to Washington D.C. I was asked to be one of the chaperones for the Junior trip at our school. At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to go, but when they told me that my wife could come along, I was all for it.

Here is what we are going to see:
The Capital Building
The Smithsonian Museum
The Monuments
The Marine Corp Monument (at night)
The Holocaust Museum
Arlington Cemetary
Mt. Vernon
And The Naval Academy

I have been to Washington one other time. It was during my freshman year at Cedarville (in Ohio). I skipped school to drive out there with two of my best friends. We didn't know where we were going and we didn't know where we were going to stay once we got there. We ended up bunking in one of the dorms at George Washington University with some people that we just met.

Hopefully this trip will go better than that one.

the cline

Who is this guy?

What is he doing?

Is there something wrong with him?

Does he always look like this?

If you have seen this guy, or know of his whereabouts, please contact the authorities.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005


by Tree63

Before Your people worshipped You
You said that something had to die
And as they brought their sacrifice You heard their cries

Before Your children could come home
You said that something had to die
And as You brought Your sacrifice
We heard You cry

You know what it's like to give it up
You know how it feels to let go
You know what it's like to take it forget forsake it
To raise Your head and cry

It's all for You
(Father) It's all for You
I live for You
(Father) I die for You

I know that You can hear my voice
Because Your servant paid the price
But there is silence in my mouth and I can't cry

So as I come to worship You
I know that something has to die
And as I bring my sacrifice just let it die

You know what it's like against Your skin
You know how it feels beneath Your hands
You know how it is to carry so rough and heavy
And underneath to cry

It's all for You
(Father) It's all for You
I live for You
(Father) I die for You

Friday, March 4, 2005

on the surface of...

This rock-strewn surface is on Titan, one of the many moons of Saturn. In January, the Huygens probe landed on Titan. It was an amazing accomplishment. I can remember when I heard in the news that this was going to be taking place, I thought, "Wow! Another Alien surface!"

After seeing some of the pictures, I was a little disappointed. Mostly because the pictures seemed somewhat familiar. Sandy ground, rocks all over the place, completely lifeless hostile looking world. Hmm... where have I seen this before?

Oh yeah!


I don't know about the rest of you, but when the initial photos of Mars came out, I thought that it was really cool. We had landed some kind of robotic rover on the surface of another planet. What an amazing accomplishment!

For me, I have been reminded by all of this space exploration that this planet is in the perfect place at the perfect time, and it is the perfect size to create a beautiful world.

And all of these rock-strewn surfaces remind me that those planets were placed there to give us something to look at at night. There just isn't anything there for us.

Some would say that we might find the origins of life if we go to these other worlds. I say that we can marvel at the originator of life, from the surface of another planet or right in my own backyard.

"The heavens declare the glory of God."

The Play

A few moments after this picture was taken, Sarah (the one in the green uniform) ran up the player standing in front of her, hopped over to the head of the other player, and then lept from the top of her head to slam the ball through the hoop.

This was all accomplished in the last few seconds of the game to score the final two points, giving Shannon Forest the victory that eventually led them to a state championship.
At least, that is what she told me. (I, of course, think that she was pounded by these two goliaths.)

my motto

Ever since I learned that the mathematician, Karl Fredreich Gauss had a motto, I have also wanted to have a motto. Gauss' motto was:

Few, but ripe.

His motto had to do with the discovery of new mathematical theorems. In other words, "I may only have a few theorems that I have proved, but they are really good." Even though I am a mathematician, I will probably not claim this motto, because the likelihood of me discovering some new "ripe" mathematical thought is highly improbable, if not impossible. I am still trying get a grip on the less complex mathematical stuff.

The motto that I have come up with probably isn't as good as Gauss', but it is a phrase that I have been saying to myself and to some of my students for a couple of years now. It started as a form of advice for certain students who didn't know what to do in questionable situations; situations where knowing the exact right thing to do seemed elusive. This phrase would also prove to be quite useful in my own life when the times were difficult. I would find myself saying, "I just don't know what to do God!" and somewhere in the back of my mind, that still small voice would say this phrase:

Do what you know.

It is short, it is to the point, and I think that if lived it can have tremendous impact on your daily life. Most Christians know alot more about how to live than they actually put into practice.

We want to discuss hymns vs. modern worship, but we fill our minds with trash the rest of the week. We want to discuss the sovreignty of God and the Love of God, but then we don't love our own enemies, knowing that when we were the enemies of God, He first loved us!

In the words of Christ, "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices - mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law - justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel."

The Bible says not to lie. So don't lie, put it off! Get rid of that! And start putting on the telling of truth. The Bible says to be kind. So be kind! Let your life be known for its kindness. Forget yourself, lose yourself! It is OK to dig in deep to the word of God to discern those weighty matters, but that should not be done to the neglect of what you already know. Many of us have been taught these truths since we were small children, and we still aren't doing it! I can remember as a kid, everytime that I fought with one of my siblings, my mom would make us quote this verse, "Be ye kind, one to another." So it isn't like I don't know to be kind, I know it, so I should do it. When we focus on what we don't know and neglect what we do know, that is an atrocity. So I add to my motto:

Do what you know, and do it as much as you can.

May you be able to say with Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith." And really, that is the evidence of our partaking in Christ. Hebrews 3:14 says, "We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence that we had at first." What a great salvation we have.

"How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?"

Do what you know.

Thursday, March 3, 2005

home alone

I just found a really interesting interview at National Review Online, with the Mary Eberstadt, the author of a new book called Home-Alone America. It is a very interesting topic that will probably never hit the main stream media.

If you have the time, go and check it out.

Here is a tid-bit of the interview:

The stressful lives of parents in America have, as common sense would dictate, a direct impact on their children. In her new book, Home-Alone America, Mary Eberstadt effectively gets beyond the "mommy wars" of the women's glossies and instead focuses on what is happening to kids in the rat race of U.S. lives. Day care, latchkeyism, excessive TV watching, the list goes on — they all have serious drawbacks that children have to live with.

Mary Eberstadt is a mother and a fellow at the Hoover Insitution.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

music quote

I found this C.S. Lewis quote the other day, and I thought that I would share it with you.

"The first and most solid conclusion which (for me) emerges is that both musical parties, the High Brows and the Low, assume far too easily the spiritual value of the music they want."

— Christian Reflections, "On Church Music," paragraph 8
Daily Quote by C.S. Lewis

It seems that the music debate has been around for quite some time.

Personally, I am so glad to finally be at a church that it isn't an issue anymore. I haven't debated with anyone about music for almost a year. And I have to say that it is refreshing. Mostly because of what Mr. Lewis noticed in his day, people assume far too easily the spiritual value of the music they want.

I have definitely noticed that myself. It doesn't matter which side of the fence the person you are talking to is on, they assume that their music has more spiritual value. Even if they never actually say those words, they show it by their disdain for people who listen to the other style of music.

Before I close this post, I do want to mention one thing about music. I have noticed that most people who really want to debate about music really have no moral music standards to begin with. Some of the most destructive music that exists comes across the radio waves in the form of love songs. No, I am not talking about all love songs. But there are so many out there teaching us about life, love and romance, and they are teaching a completely unbiblical and unrealistic view of those things.

We allow it to pour into our minds on a daily basis, claiming it doesn't affect us. But years later we struggle with how we view life and love, because of what we have been taught.

What do you fill your mind with? Is it harmless? Is there any such thing as harmless thoughts?

Tuesday, March 1, 2005


Children are an infinite resource of time wasting options.

As if I don't waste enough time in my life already, I have to be surrounded with people who want nothing more than to waste more time. Some days I stand strong, but every once in awhile, during a study hall or a computer class, I cave in to the requests of one of my dearly beloved students, and check out a new game that they have found.

It is really quite amazing some of the stuff that they find.

Here are my three favorite free game sites:

1) Addicting Games
2) Coffee Break Arcade
3) One More Level (my current favorite)

When I am with my own children, and we have time to get on the internet to look at stuff, here is where we usually go:

1) PBS Kids
2) Thomas and Friends
3) Playhouse Disney

I know that as a professional teacher, I probably shouldn't give in, but the kids just love it when I do. Besides, if you take into consideration that I bring work home with me almost everyday, I get up really early so I can get some work done in the morning, and I work through every morning break and lunch all year long... I don't feel too bad if I take 5 to 10 minutes of a study hall to play a game.


Check out some of these free games. And tell me about your favorite web distraction.