Saturday, August 27, 2005

The past few days have been everything I love about campus ministry.

On Wednesday and Thursday night, we hosted 2 new grad students from China. Both of them were impressed by my slight knowledge of their language, and both are open to the notion of Christianity. One of them, Shu Ping, appears to be actively seeking God. He told me that he knows many people who have accepted Christ in China... looks like the rumors are true (and yes, Jon, you will like this article even though it is in the 'Torygraph'.

I also spent quite a while listening to a student pour out his heart before me. Trying to help folks like him in the middle of life's storms is a major reason I love this.

As I mentioned earlier, we had a late night on Tuesday with around 40 students at our house. Last night, we hosted a 'Napoleon Dynamite' party at the student center which was a hit.

But the important events began today. This morning we had our annual 'Great Giveaway' where we give furniture and household items away to international students. All of these items were donated by local Christians (beds, couches, TVs, computers, dishes, etc.) and I know that these people, many from Asia and Africa, needed these things more than most of us did. How much useful stuff do we keep in our attics and basements collecting dust when someone in need could use them?

Tonight we have our big RFC Family Reunion where we reunite and lay out our plans for the semester. Alot of what we will be able to accomplish this semester will depend on what we plan and pray for tonight.

Tomorrow is a big student day at church... full of stuff.

And then classes start on Monday and 23,000 students will light on this place. More on that later...

If you want to read an informative, well-written, and troubling article in the Smithsonian Magazine on the current slave trade in Niger, click here (pdf document).

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

We love our new house. It's as big as 3 of the homes we've already had... combined. The house is around 2200 s.f.. Our trailer in Auburn was 50 x 10 or 500 s.f., and our house in Moulton was about 900 s.f.. Add that to the <700 s.f. of our house in England and you get 2200. Of course, we'd like to have 4 kids and that 2200 s.f. will seem much smaller then.

We've got around and acre lot at the end of a cul de sac. A cotton farm makes up the scenery behind us, which means that it is nice and quiet. Couple this with the fact that I'm about 12 minutes from my office and you see why we picked the place.

But the absolute best part of the house is the big bonus room upstairs. The folks who owned it before had it decked out in a Tennessee Titans theme and it was obvious from the big flat-screen TV and the bar that they entertained quite a bit. Of course, I'm way too cheap to buy an expensive TV, so I figured out how to get a big screen TV for free.

It turns out that an old-old-old school big screen TV had been waiting at the Christian Student Center for a home. They had been trying to give it away for years. The catch is that it is front-projection (making it stick out about 4 feet) and it weighs a ton. Undaunted by these things, two weeks ago I rounded up 3 guys and we loaded the behemoth in my $500 truck and took it to my house. Words cannot convey the pain and toil we endured getting it up the stairs, but 20 steps and 2 large holes in the wall later, it was in its new home. I'll try to post pics of the TV and the house soon.

Last night we had a blast with around 40 college kids at our house. The girls stayed downstairs and played games, which Helen loved, and the guys went upstairs and watched "The Gods Must Be Crazy"... always a hit. We scarfed down every bit of 10 pizzas and lots of cookies. The last students left just before midnight. Welcome back to campus ministry, Michael!

Friday night is our first major event... a Napoleon Dynamite party at the Christian Student Center. Vote for Pedro. Classes start on Monday. More later...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

SEC Schools occupy 4 of the top 20 spots.

Nope, not in the pre-season football rankings, but by Princeton Review's list of Top Party Schools. The SEC schools are Mississippi at #7, Georgia at #12, Tennessee at #16, and Florida at #18. This kind of list is funny to alot of people, but there aren't many parents of 18 year olds that want to see their soon-to-be college freshman's university here. UT administrators must be elated though because the Vols were #1 two years ago. No laughing matter when binge-drinking is on the rise among college students and, as a result, tragedies like this.

Monday, August 22, 2005

I don't have much time to post today, so I'll just leave leave 2 links here. The first, is an example of how a conservative biblical scholar's position on the synoptic problem has gotten him into hot water with his denomination (Daniel Wallace and the Baptists). The second is an article in The Master's Seminary Journal that sets out to so much of what I will do in my dissertation, though I will do a better job than the article! FWIW, most of the article is a rehash of David Laird Dungan's arguments in A History of the Synoptic Problem: The Canon, the Text, the Composition,
and the Interpretation of the Gospels
(New York: Doubleday, 1999). I hope to meet with Dungan soon about his research.

And I don't know why BK complains about the heat in Gainesville. A quick check at shows that the all-tim highs in June, July, and August are higher in Moulton, Alabama (101, 106, 103), Murfreesboro, Tennessee (103, 108, 109) than they are in Gainesville, Florida (102, 99, 99). Tick the "record high" box on the chart to see them.