Archive for category Passions

I won my first game in the HSU vs. CSU Long Beach chess tournament

It has been a very long time since I last wrote. Life has been pretty busy, but I had such a great time in this game that I just wanted to post a note about it. It was a sort of online correspondence chess, 3 days per move. It really drew out the excitement. The game can be viewed online here.

He played a good game. He eventually blundered a bishop as he tried to win a pawn and a rook for a rook. I then forced the trade of both queens and he chose to trade the remaining rooks to lead us into the endgame with me a bishop and pawn ahead. I think the position was essentially won at that point. It dragged on for another 20 moves before he resigned. I came close to blundering it myself by moving to centralize my king in the endgame when I should have gone straight for his passed pawn. I caught the error in time to capture the passed pawn before it was too late.

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Earl Paulk, Mona Brewer & Tabernacle of the Holy Spirit

earlpaulk.jpgI am Jack’s raging bile duct.

I love God.

I love people.

So does He.

This is why I get utterly furious when I learn about pastoral sex scandals and folks using God as a tool to take advantage of the unsuspecting.

So, as the world now knows, Earl Paulk, the so-called “Archbishop,” the great founder of the “Tabernacle of the Holy Spirit,” is the unholy father of his nephew by his own brother’s wife. Also, it seems he manipulated another woman into sleeping with him many times over the course of more than a decade by convincing her it was her only path to salvation. What does he make of the warning of scripture that those who become teachers face a stricter judgment? What of the words of our Lord who warned/promised that what is whispered in secret will soon be proclaimed from the housetops? Has he no fear? Read the rest of this entry »

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The thin line separating genius from insanity

I just stumbled upon this article from the UK’s Daily Mail from my buddy’s Facebook, and it’s really stunning. I almost wonder if it can be real. Apparently this old gentleman in Italy dug a massive complex of beautifully sculpted temples beneath his hillside home. The complex spans 300,000 cubic feet, or 20 times the volume of London’s Big Ben clocktower. The artistry of the complex is simply stunning. There is no other word for it. Apparently Italy is calling it the eighth wonder of the world.

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Sermon: Why should we worship Jesus?

So here’s my latest. I was set the question, ‘Why should we worship Jesus?’

I think I learned more from preparing this sermon than I’ve learned from preparing any other of my sermons. I learned not just about my material, most of it I’ve already been learning, but I learned a lot about me and how I must lead and preach. It was the most worshipful and enjoyable time I’ve had preparing a sermon.

Here it is.


Or, you can download it here.

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A note from my alter-ego the economics student

So, I research the North Coast regional economy as writer/assistant editor of the Humboldt Economic Index. This is a bit from my real estate economics hack alter-ego.

I just had a thought. Foreclosures are at the highest level our nation has seen since the Depression. Estimates are that barring Federal intervention (and perhaps in spite of it) a couple million more ARM’s will reset before the smoke clears and a solid chunk of these resets will result in foreclosures. Already in some areas it is not uncommon to see families in front yards full of furniture after a forcible eviction has been served. This amounts to a comparable, perhaps larger, refugee crisis than Katrina, just one that is not focused in such a narrow region as a single city.

The thought is just that a lot of folks need our prayers during this time. Many of them will be discovering that they have little else.

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Another thought on ‘Reviving the Tribe’

A follow up on my last post, ‘Reviving the Tribe

Here’s another thought. Eric Rofes is saying that becoming infected with HIV is a decision that we must respect. People must decide for themselves whether receiving body fluids from potentially HIV positive partners is more valuable to them as a sexual or spiritual part of their life than remaining alive is. The question arises whether the larger society is then responsible to provide treatment for men who seroconvert as a result of this decision.

Put another way, having unprotected sex of the sort Rofes is discussing risks health and life and also a great deal of money. Is the community responsible to subsidize that risk? Can someone demand that their community pay whatever it costs for them to have the sex acts the person feels they need to be fulfilled?

In the end, I think the answer is that a community owes sick people treatment. We can’t watch folks suffer without mercy. We must provide treatment to people suffering from AIDS. If we as a community take responsibility to provide treatment for these HIV positive men, then even if their decision to risk infection is educated, it is not a decision that affects only them. Unless they are able and willing to take responsibility to provide their own medical care, then they are only taking partial responsibility for their decision.

If they expect their community to join them in assuming responsibility for the risks of their personal decisions, can the community not express a degree of risk it is willing to accept and a degree it is not willing to accept?

The personal is political.

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Eric Rofes: Reviving the Tribe

reviving tribeSo I’ve been reading Reviving the Tribe by Eric Rofes. He was an HSU professor who passed away last year. He’s a long time gay activist and thinker who used to head the Shanti Project, an organization responding to the AIDS crisis centered at the time in the Castro in San Francisco. Before that he headed a leading AIDS-response organization in L.A. These were some of the most turbulent years in the gay community and he discusses the community’s response to AIDS during this time, drawing parallels to the Holocaust and the Atomic bombing in Hiroshima.

He helped me understand how AIDS felt to members of the gay community in a way I never did before. He tells the story of that culture from the early ’70s through the outbreak of the epidemic and the early fallout; the initial response and then the evolution of response as it became clear that AIDS wasn’t going away, in fact was going strong through the ’90s. He discusses what it felt like when he first heard of ‘gay cancer’ and then GRID, he discusses the impact of Stonewall and so forth.

Finally, he tries to reconceive a means of addressing the epidemic. I’m really startled by his view of AIDS prevention. He is critical of an approach to prevention that emphasizes safe as opposed to unsafe behaviors. For example characterizing unprotected sex with an HIV positive partner as an ‘unsafe behavior’ is problematic for Rofes. That’s startling. I was startled by that anyhow.

He argues that exchanging body fluid is an act with more value for some gay men than staying alive. Read the rest of this entry »


My Most Recent Sermon

Well, the audio software crashed 20 minute into my sermon, so all we have is the first third. I hope y’all enjoy it. I sound much more confident, although I was much more nervous about this sermon than any of my others. Money is always difficult to talk about.

The passage that fell to me was 1 Corinthians 9:1-18. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jesus Didn’t Quit His Day Job

I was recently blown away by Hebrews 1.

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

There are a ton of amazing things in that passage. Two in particular jumped out. It said Jesus upholds the universe Read the rest of this entry »


35 Reasons Not to Sin

I read this the other day and it blessed me.

35 Reasons Not To Sin

1. Because a little sin leads to more sin.
2. Because my sin invites the discipline of God.
3. Because the time spent in sin is forever wasted.
4. Because my sin never pleases but always grieves God who loves me.
5. Because my sin places a greater burden on my spiritual leaders.
6. Because in time my sin always brings heaviness to my heart. Read the rest of this entry »

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