Sunday, January 30, 2005

Exception for a special occasion

I wasn't planning on posting today, but I have two important things to point out:

1 - Schmenke has started blogging! Korndogs have more fun! Check it out...

2 - I took some cool photos of Baghdad this afternoon. Check them out too...

Friday, January 28, 2005

366

To commemorate day 366 here in Baghdad, I think I'll endulge in a short photoblogging session...

Jennyjo on one of her many trips downtown with a boy named Muhammud (of course)

Dan, myself, Jennyjo, and Don getting into the Christmas spirit in the Al-Faw palace...finding a 17ft tree is rather difficult in Baghdad.

The first photo of the band...

Jennyjo on another trip...the Baghdad chapter of Young Life!

Our first trip out of country - a C-130 to Qatar back in August. Every seat is first-class if you're headed out!

Jj doing a little recon in Abu Nuwas...the site for some exciting underwater demolition!

Yeah, that thermometer is pretty accurate...

A glimpse into the center of my blogosphere...if I never see another cubicle I'll be a happy man.

Our crazy Bible study group...never a dull moment.
Jj modeling the latest in Arab fashion in Qatar.

Jj's little room...she did a bit more decorating than I ever attempted!

Sunset in Qatar...good times.
366 is a lot, but not quite enough...I should be rolling out of here in the middle of February, with Jj about a month behind me. We can't wait to see you all, and please keep up the prayers!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Striking similarity

I believe I remember a Kornegay family story somewhat similar to this.

Does anyone else remember that one?

Walking the area

A friend send me these photos, bringing back warm memories (ok, maybe not warm, but definitely memories) of my days in grey.


For those unfamiliar with the above scene, the poor souls walking in the snow are serving area tours - punishment for all their horrible offenses, such as growing their sideburns too long, or sleeping through class (both of which I am rather familiar with).
Tours are normally walked in full dress grey, under arms - 5 hours on Saturday, and 5 more on Sunday. However, these cadets are walking in BDUs due to the snowstorm.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Now, for the real issue

Wes Roth points out this USA Today article: "'Rolling Stone' reverses, will accept Bible ad."

The ad, which will run unchanged in mid-February, doesn't mention God. But it describes the Bible as "real truth" and carries the new translation's slogan: "Timeless truth: Today's language."

Later, this quotation from Zondervan's president of Bible publishing:

"We believe that the Bible is relevant for Rolling Stone readers," Caminiti said. "We've always believed they were a cornerstone in our campaign to squarely market to spiritually intrigued 18- to 34-year-old young people, many of whom live outside the embrace of the church."

Good call by Rolling Stone to run the ad.

On the more important issue: Caminiti just pointed out the real problem - no one should ever be "outside the embrace of the church."

The key to turning 18 to 34 year olds on to the gospel is building relationships that show them just how radical Jesus is - not by dumbing down and sterilizing His message, as many people claim the TNIV does.

I think the TNIV folks are going about this the wrong way. I want to be challenged, not pandered to with a politically correct, pansy version of the Bible. I'm more interested in learning to read the Bible in its original language and understanding the context in which it was written than in relying on some PhDs to put it in "Today's language" for easier consumption.

Jesus' words are already easy to understand, and they should be the first thing new believers are reading anyway. As Caedmon's Call so eloquently put it in their song Beautiful Mystery, "The truth is a river where the strong can swim down deep; the weak and the broken can walk across so easily."

Monday, January 24, 2005

Up to the neck

Hugh Hewett points out an excellent post at Allthings2all, which includes this quotation from Pascal:

"Our soul is cast into a body, where it finds number, time, dimension. Thereupon it reasons, and calls this nature necessity, and can believe nothing else. Unity joined to infinity adds nothing to it, no more than one foot to an infinite measure. The finite is annihilated in the presence of the infinite, and becomes a pure nothing. So our spirit before God, so our justice before divine justice."

That helps keep things in perspective.

Now on to the OYBP update: Today's reading is from Isaiah 7-8 and Mark 3.

Of the King of Assyria:
He will pass through Judah,
He will overflow and pass over,
He will reach up to the neck


However, Israel is not to be afraid:
The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow;
Let Him be your fear,
And let Him be your dread.

The Lord will not forsake His people:
I will wait on the LORD,
Who hides His face from the house of Jacob;
And I will hope in Him.


Having a river rushing "up to the neck" is not a comfortable feeling. In fact, it's almost too much to bear. God's people are often pushed to the limits of their endurance, and often God will stretch us past what we thought we could bear. However, history proves that he is faithful, and as Pascal points out, God's infinite measure and divine justice leave nothing to be desired.

Celebratory fire

Here in Iraq, the custom on occasions of celebration is to fire automatic weapons into the air.


Far be it from me to break with local tradition. Here, Don, Dewitt, Jennyjo, and I are celebrating lunch - you might not think that lunch is a big deal, but your mess hall doesn't serve fruit smoothies!

BTW, you might notice that I am taller than Jj, even when standing on a lower step...(click the image to enlarge)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Because of Me

According to Rolling Stone, the Ad for a Bible doesn't fit.

The magazine rejected Zondervan's Bible ad just weeks before its scheduled run date, citing an unwritten policy against accepting ads containing religious messages.

Rolling Stone is perfectly justified to ban any ads they don't want, but I think it's important for Christians to realize the prevalence of anti-Christian prejudice in America.

We should not allow this prejudice to make us bitter or jaded, but we must recognize it's existence if we are to have a realistic worldview.

Such demonstrations of anti-Christian behavior should strengthen our faith; in Matthew 10:22 Jesus said, "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."

Update: We finished both Genesis and Romans today. Romans 16:19 - "I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil." It feels like we're making progress...that's two major books done!

Update II: Powerline picked up on this topic, and has posted several versions of alternative lyrics to the great song "Cover of the Rolling Stone."

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

George, the solid rock?

While skimming the headlines, I noticed the following headline:

George Clooney is Brad's rock

Apparently, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston have separated; the article reports:

Brad has been seeking emotional support from his "Ocean's Twelve" co-star.

I would just like to say that I'm glad that my Rock is a better foundation than George Clooney.

By the way, the OYBP is going well: Joseph has saved Egypt (and his family) from famine, and Israel has moved his family to be with Joseph. (we're through Genesis 48).

In Romans, Paul teaches us how to treat others (we're through chapter 15):

Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I hope you're all doing well with your plans.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Which character are you?

After hearing many good reviews of Napoleon Dynamite, I finally saw it. Katie sure liked it, and there's been some discussion of the film at Ham always wins! (though ham does not always win - it's beef.)

Anyway, I thought you'd all like to take this quiz to determine which character you are.

Here are my quiz results:

You are Napoleon Dynamite, sweeeet! You have excellent bowhunting skills, quick reflexes, killer dance moves, and know secret ninja moves from the government. You are a force to be reckoned with.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

How're y'all doin?

Charleston, South Carolina is one of my favorite cities, and even the AP agrees with me:

For the 10th straight year, Charleston tops the unofficial list of the nation's best-mannered cities.

"People who live here are, for whatever reason, polite. Whether it's breeding or in the water, it's hard to say,'' he said.

I can't wait to get back there - we'll be there this summer for sure!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Real theology

Storming Norman sent me this in an email:

1. Dear God, please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter. There is nothing good in there now. Amanda

2. Dear God, Thank you for the baby brother, but what I asked for was a puppy. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up. Joyce

3. Dear Mr. God, I wish you would not make it so easy for people to come apart. I had to have 3 stitches and a shot. Janet

4. God, I read the Bible. What does beget mean? Nobody will tell me. Love, Alison

5. Dear God, how did you know you were God? Who told you? Charlene

6. Dear God, is it true my father won't get in Heaven if he uses his golf words in the house? Anita

7. Dear God, I bet it's very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I cannever do it. Nancy

8. Dear God, I like the story about Noah the best of all of them. You really made up some good ones. I like walking on water, too. Glenn

9. Dear God, my Grandpa says you were around when he was a little boy. How far back do you go? Love, Dennis

10. Dear God, do you draw the lines around the countries? If you don't, who does? Nathan

11. Dear God, did you mean for giraffes to look like that or was it an accident? Norma

12. Dear God, in Bible times, did they really talk that fancy?Jennifer

13. Dear God, how come you did all those miracles in the old days and don't do any now? Billy

14. Dear God, please send Dennis Clark to a different summer camp this year. Peter

15. Dear God, maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they each had their own rooms. It works out OK with me and my brother. Larry

16. Dear God, I keep waiting for spring, but it never did come yet. What's up? Don't forget. Mark

17. Dear God, my brother told me about how you are born but it just doesn't sound right. What do you say? Marsha

18. Dear God, if you watch in church on Sunday I will show you my new shoes. Barbara

19. Dear God, is Reverend Coe a friend of yours, or do you just know him through the business? Donny

20. Dear God, I do not think anybody could be a better God than you. Well, I just want you to know that. I am not just saying that because you are already God. Charles

21. Dear God, it is great the way you always get the stars in the right place. Why can't you do that with the moon? Jeff

22. Dear God, I am doing the best I can. Really. Frank

23. Dear God, I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday night. That was really cool. Thomas

I like it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHARLESTONGAL!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Tea time

I know at least one of my readers knows how to appreciate a nice cup of tea and a sit down.

OYBP Update and Megachurch madness

Today's reading is Genesis 27-28 and Romans 9:16-33, and Jennyjo and I are still on track (Jj actually confessed to reading ahead the other day!)

I'm impressed how the readings have correlated - reading the OT and NT together is an excellent plan.

On another note, check out Revival.com, where you can take a quiz, lip-sync the sinner's prayer, and be registered to win a Hummer H2. The quiz is especially disturbing to me. Here are the questions and my answers:

Have you seen Mel Gibson's new film "The Passion of the Christ"? no

Have you heard controversial statements made regarding this film? Yes

Do you realize that Jesus died on the cross for you? Yes

If today were your last day here on earth, do you know for sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt that you would go to Heaven? Yes

Have you ever heard that the Holy Bible reads, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." And "For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." And "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved?" yes

Did you know that you are a "whosoever"? yes

[instructions on how to pray, aloud, the sinner's prayer] Did you say the above prayer? No

GOOD NEWS!

When you asked Jesus to come into your heart and to forgive you, He heard you and did so. All of your sins are now forgiven. Always run to God & not from God because He loves you.

Fill in your information to complete the survey and be entered to win an H2 Hummer:

Apparently, the negative answer on the last question makes no difference. The least they could do is provide a link or email address for someone who can answer questions or provide some relational ministry.

Megachurches have sunk to a new low. I'm not sure that such a place deserves the title of 'church.' I was too disappointed to even provide my email address in case I win the H2.

Jesus didn't offer fabulous prizes to his followers. In fact, he and his disciples lived a simple life. Here is a bit of what Jesus says on the subject of wealth:

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

I'm not sure that Revival.com is too interested in what Jesus says though; a search of their front page showed only one reference to Jesus, and that was in a "special offer" for a 3 DVD set (for only $45) featuring a live recording of their last "crusade." (click here to order)

Perhaps I'm just cynical, and I'm sure some megachurches do bring about real relationships with Jesus, but if I wanted fads and quizzes I'd get on the South Beach Diet and subscribe to Cosmo.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Coffee, anyone?

Today, a friend forwarded this email to me:

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.


Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity ... boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat?
Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with astiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level?

On my own, I'm probably an egg. By following Paul's teaching in Romans 8:5, I can become a coffee bean.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Today Was a Cool Day!

Today was a cool day! At about 1:30 pm, I called MC and PPP and left a message on their answering machine (they weren’t home). The message went like this: “Well you’ll absolutely, never guess who I sat beside at church today!”

The morning started early. Much like any weekday morning. My alarm went off at approximately 6:30 am. At about 6:45, I forced myself out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen to turn on the coffee. As usual, lights were already on in the kitchen. Grace was up too. The fish in the aquarium were hungry, so I fed them. Then I “jumped” in the shower. Grace and I left for church a little earlier than usual. We had a little bit longer trip this morning. Grace, as a member of The Cantabile Singers, was again performing. On this Sunday morning, at Duke University Chapel!

The Cantabile Singers are the most accomplished and advanced division of the Greensboro Youth Chorus. This group is comprised of older middle and high school youth, under the direction of Ann Doyle. GYC has participated in local, regional and international choral events including festivals in England, Germany, British Columbia and the US. Their summer tour will include prestigious performances in London, Paris and Canterbury Cathedral. Needless to say, I am proud of my Grace!

At Duke Chapel this morning, the group was the “guest choir.” They opened the service with “Ave Maria” and “There is No Rose.” The Offertory was “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need.” Finally, the Anthem, “Behold a Rose Now Springing.” The Cantabile Singers were truly wonderful, helping to make the entire experience a very worshipful one.

Anyway, as I was seated, prior to the service, I was contemplating those who had gone before -- those, especially in our family, who had, in times past, worshipped in this magnificent place. My thoughts were on Pa’s children and grandchildren. I looked up and in walked MC's cousin, Libby and her husband, Harry Whitaker! After quick hellos and hugs, I told Libby why I was there. As I was about to point my sweet Gracie out to her, she said “Oh I see her, she looks just like Chachi!”

Saturday, January 08, 2005

QOTD

PalmTree Pundit is always a good read, and her Quote of the Day series of posts is unfailingly link-worthy. Here's one of them, but you'll have to link for more...(it's worth it!)

"God's wisdom exalts what the cross stands for, and human wisdom is offended by what the cross stands for." - John Piper

It's like a fever!

Everyday my blogroll expandeth. The Kornegay family has blog fever...check these new sites:

Joy Ridge, Crazy Beautiful, Ham Always Wins! (actually, that can't be true...), and I don't know.

Welcome all, and happy blogging!

Friday, January 07, 2005

Welcome to the blogosphere!

I was unable to get to Yagenrok or Southernbelle4eva in time to be the first comment, but perhaps I'll be the first to establish a link and blogroll them!

I've also added some other links to the sidebar, so czech them out.

For any family members that aren't feeling quite froggy enough to start your own blog, I'll be more than happy for you to join the crew here. Please let me know if you'd like to be able to post, and I'll send you an invitation. The set up is quick and easy...Just ask UJohn...if he can handle the technicalities, anyone can!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

One year bible plan update

Through the first 6 days of 2005 Jennyjo and I have stayed on track with our reading plan...today the readings were Genesis 16-17 and Romans 6.

It's taken a couple of late nights and early mornings, but so far, so good.

Genesis is amazing history, and it moves superfast. God's faithfulness and patience are infinite.

Romans is very logical, and I get the feeling I'd enjoy a conversation with Paul. His style is hard-hitting and logical. No time to mess around--let's get to the point!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Christmas Moose sighting

I just received this photo from an undisclosed source...

This float's sign is undeniable proof that not only does the Christmas Moose exist, but he has a family of Christmas Meese, and they participated in the Pleasant Garden Christmas parade. Barring further evidence, I consider this case closed.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

What's your plan?

Anne, over at PalmTreePundit, links to John Piper's article "A New Year's Plea: Plan!"

Teaser:

Very specifically my plea to you this new year is that you take time to plan the most important things in your life. Plan how you are going to spend time with your spouse to deepen and strengthen the relationship. Plan how you are going to spend time playing with and teaching the children. Plan how you are going to get the amount of exercise you need to stay healthy. Plan how you are going to get enough sleep. Plan how much you should eat and how you are going to limit yourself. Plan your vacation so that it really gives rest and spiritual renewal.

And most important, plan how prayer and meditation on the Word are going to be significant parts of your life. Without a plan these most important things always get pushed aside by urgent pressures.

I'll add that just planning isn't enough; you have to stick to it, and that's easier to do with other people holding you accountable.

Christian Culture

Bunnie Diehl points out "They will know us by our T-shirts," a blog by a seminary student working at a Christian book (and junk) store. He discusses Christian culture, and while I haven't explored his blog beyond the Livestrong post, I definitely like his point of view.

Teaser:

A woman recently asked me if we had any “Christian knock-offs” of the Lance Armstrong Live Strong bracelets. When I informed her we did not, she said, “That’s funny, we [Christians] usually have some cheap knock-off on the streets in a matter of weeks. I wonder what’s taking so long?”

What was perplexing was how this lack of creativity seemed to affect her. While she readily admitted most of the “Jesus Junk” was nothing more than a cheap knock-off, she was more than willing to buy it.

He concludes:

The church is not meant to be a reflection of culture with a God twist. The church is meant to be a reflection of God in a world drowning in sin. We don’t offer that anymore. We sold the high ground in the name of “evangelism,” and it will kill us yet.