Sunday, March 20, 2011

Japan, Libya, and Who Knows What Else?

Boy!  Things are happening.  The world can change quickly some times.  Other times it seems to drag on and on.  The quickly part is Japan, of course.  First a major earthquake.  That was bad enough but the tsumani afterward was worse yet.  The numbers of displaced persons is staggering.  Last I heard it was well over 400,000.  The town I live in isn't anywhere as large.  The devastation was shocking.  The media reports here whined about a few boats getting bashed around in a marina.  What is the matter with them?!!  Thousands of people died in a moment and they act as if a boat matters more. 

The rebuilding cannot start for a large area until the nuclear plants are safe again and an alternate source of power has been established.  That has got to a major ordeal.  Hopefully, they will relocate some of the nuclear generation to another area when they begin to recover.  Have to wonder what sort of long term planning that entails.

Could you imagine that happening here?  I'm not sure the population would be as calm as the Japanese have been this far.  Look at all the finger pointing and blame around a cleanup after a hurricane or an oil spill.  Not helpful in any respect.  Just foments hostility and divisiveness.  Pretty scary to think about really.

Then there's the latest "engagement" with yet another Arab nation.  Not sure what I think of that.  The relief came very, very late if the idea was to support the rebellion.  Meanwhile the current leader consolidated and pushed back.  Beginning to think there might be a concerted effort to drain the West's reserves in these actions.  A weakened bunch of nations that are tired of engaging in this sort of stuff would be easy turf to "convert".  Not sure at all that this isn't another front in that war.  Europe was getting a bit hostile to all the political pluralism and reacting against it.  Yeah, it's probably not some grand conspiracy, but it's sure would not beyond the machinations of a very patient group of people.

Yes, the world is not the same place it was a couple of weeks ago.  In another way of thinking though, it's exactly the same place.  Wars, rumors of war, earthquake, famine, disease...sounding normal for some and apocalyptic for others.  Take your pick.  

Another change has occurred.  Spring is about to officially begin.  Of course, that means there's snow in the forecast, lest you get too happy dancing around and chanting to the whomever, but the crocus are blooming here, the robins have returned, and the raptors are soaring over head now. Trees have begun to bud and the maples in the warmer spots have early leaves.  The winter is nearly over and none to soon for me.  Glad to see it go.

How's my education coming along, you ask?  Fine.  Completed hermeneutics and on to the next course.  Haven't gotten any reports from paper or final, but the course is done no matter what.  Sure, I'd like a nice pretty A, but pass is the name of the game.  Started a survey of the New Testament that has turned out to be better than I'd anticipated.  A bunch of the material is not new but the approach is, so I'm enjoying it so far.  

Did I mention I put some of the texts for the new course on Kindle?  I do like Kindle to read from.  Doesn't burn out the eyes like a computer screen or the sun on a white page.  Download is nearly instant and a real temptation for me.  Acquiring a new book is a simple key stroke and poof! another $10-$20 spent.  That's about my biggest complaint against it.  I like that you can hi-lite and note the texts almost as easily as paper.  Guess I'm an ebook junkie now.  We all have our vices. 


Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: Deeper into the Word, Keri Wyatt Kent

Review: Deeper into the Word: Reflections on 100 Words from the New Testament.
Keri Wyatt Kent
Bethany House

Deeper into the Word is a compilation of word studies, but is definitely not a lifeless dictionary. In fact, once I picked it up I found myself grazing through several entries at a time. So don’t ignore this little gem. It could be used for private study or as an aid in lesson preparation for those that teach. She includes endnotes for her references. Most of works she cites are not beyond the most modest budget, and several of them can be accessed online. A list of some of those sites is included near the end of the book.

For those that lean toward the more studious side she also includes the Greek derivation for the words studied. That helps us English only types see some additional shades of meanings that just aren’t as obvious in English or highlights the differences more vividly. Her entry for “friend” is an example of the latter.

Don’t skip the introduction the author provides for this book. She's got some very important points covered there. She says that this book is meant to be used with the Bible and uses an illustration of using the book like a shovel to help you dig deeper into the Word. It’s a tool to help you. She also suggests three ways that she sees the book can be used, a point of departure for your own study, an example of how to do your own word study, or a devotional study giving thought and reflection to a word, maybe over several days.

This book was provided by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for this review.