Bible Conference ‘06: Dr. Bob – “Guess Who’s not showing up for church?”

This is the first of what I hope will be a summary of all the Bible Conference messages here at BJU. For those who don’t already know, Bible conference is special time of the semester that the school sets aside for spiritual refreshment. They bring in excellent preachers to give us, the students, and visiting graduates the opportunity to hear and learn from these men of God.  A recording of each of these messages (mp3, audio CD, tape cassette) is available from the BJU campus store.

The first message Sunday morning was by Dr. Bob, chancellor of the university. His topic was lukewarmness, using the illustration of the Laodicean church (Rev. 3:13-20). As he was reading this passage, the thought struck him that later became the title for his message – Jesus wouldn’t have attended the Laodicean church!

The letter to the Laodicean church was addressed to the messenger (trans. “angel” in the KJV) or pastor of the church. The letter came from One who refers to Himself as the Amen, the Faithful One, the True One, and the source of all things. And His certain, faithful,and true judgment had revealed the Laodicean church to be lukewarm, neither cold and hard to spiritual things or hot and on fire spiritually. How do we know when we are lukewarm, what are the warning signs? It can be hard to know when we are lukewarm, because part of being lukewarm is not being aware that there has been a change in our spirituality.

  1. We boast in ourselves, not Christ. (v. 17) We says things like, “We have a great church / school / etc,” instead of, “We have a great God and Savior!” The only thing/one worth boasting in or about is Jesus Christ.
  2. We have an absence of a sense of need for cleansing (v. 18)

He gave this quote:

To our grandfathers, Christianity was an experience; to our fathers, a heritage; to us, a convenience; and to our children, a nuisance.

But despite our lukewarmness, Jesus is still compassionate to us, and wants us to open to His knocking (v. 20).

Disclaimer: This is my unofficial summary of the message; it may or may not be entirely accurate as to what the speaker actually said. Any errors are almost certainly the fault of my summary, not what the speaker said.


getting it going…

This post is pretty much a reply to previous one. I was able to get a lot of the remaining issues I had with Linux fixed last night.

Boot XP from grub – check.
Had to add the following line to the /boot/grub/menu.lst under Windows XP before “chainloader +1”
map (hd1) (hd0)
I also changed root (hd1,0) to rootnoverify (hd1,0) but I’m not sure if that makes a difference or not…

Get programs from universe and multiverse – check.
Not too difficult, but had to enable the correct repositories and then set up the proxy. I was then able to get Mozilla Thunderbird installed, however I’ll probably manually install the newer version, 1.5 later.

Install fonts, particularly Verdana – check.
With the universe and multiverse enabled, I was then able to download msttfonts, which includes Verdana, Arial, Times New Roman, etc. All the standard windows fonts that I’m used to. Getting this done was a bit more tricky though. I had to configure the proxy, not only in Synaptic Package Manager, but also in a the wget file. I also needed the cabinstall package to get the fonts to work.

So that’s all good for now, I’ll see what I learn next…


Free from dependence on Window$

Finally! I was able to get ubuntu installed on my new external hard drive. It wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be due to two problems. (Problems on my end, not w/ ubuntu)

First, I had a problem w/ my screen, which i mentioned before. Turns out it was just a loose connection between my screen and motherboard. So that's been fixed. (Free service is really nice.)

Now for problem two… Getting Linux (grub specifically) to play nice w/ a USB hard drive. Thankfully, these problems were easily resolved with a step-by-step guide at It took about an hour to get it installed. And then another hour to figure out few tweaks (get the middle button on my Thinkpad trackpoint to work, install Firefox and Thunderbird 1.5). And in the process of doing that I began learning about using the command line and Linux permissions. Good stuff. So everything is up and running just great.

There are still a few things on the Linux to-do list… Be able to boot Win XP from grub, get some programs from the universe and multiverse, add some fonts (I wonder if Verdana works in Linux…), and a few other miscellaneous things. But that gives me something fun to work on in between school. (Not that school's not fun, but you know…) ;)


Here we go again…

The time as come once again to head back to school. To continue the tradition i started last semester, here are the classes I'm taking.

  • ALG 202: Intermediate Greek II, we will be studying verb tense uses as well as translating portions of Mark and Thessalonians
  • RPA 303: Pulpit Speech II, we will preach three times in class, using both deductive and inductive structures
  • PR 302: Ministerial Class (ie. Preacher Boys), the topics this semester will be Stewardship and Prayer
  • NT 450: Old and New Testament Prophecy
  • CpS 225: Advanced programing with several simple languages (HTML, Javascript, and VBA) D
  • GT 215: Project Management, not entirely sure what all will be involved with this class, but my unofficial adviser recommended it
  • CmN 430: Christian Masterworks, we will be studying 2 works by Bunyan, 3 by C.S. Lewis and portions of several by Tozer

Well, that's it for now.


Firefox extensions

One of my favorite Firefox extensions, Web Developer just came out with a 1.0 version. I guess that means it's out beta now. If you do any kind of webdesign, or are curious about creating web pages, this extension is a must have. Some key features include…

  • Live editing of CSS and (x)HTML
  • CSS, RSS, and (x)HTML validation
  • Resizing and hiding images
  • Displaying element information (CSS attributes, parameters, topography, containers, etc.
  • And tons more…

And since I'm talking about Firefox extensions, I might as well mention a few other of my favorites…

  • IEtab – Never click on the "blue e" again! Keep Internet Exploiter, Exploder hidden on your system and for those few site that need it (Micro$oft Update, pages w/ activeX controls) view IE inside of Firefox. (Note: use this extension with care as it still has all the security problems IE does)
  • Adblock or Adblock Plus – Get rid of popups, in-page ads, undesireable images, flash animation, iframes, and just about any other type of embeded media. Make sure you use this in conjunction with Adblock Filterset.G Updater. This other handy extension imports a whole list of filters (including several using regular expressions) to automatically block most unwanted ads.
  • Remove it Permanently – this extension removes ads and media like Adblock, but it does a whole more. It can also remove text! Just select something, right-click, selete RIP and never see it again. This comes in handy when site are content w/ just displaying an ad, but they have to put ADVERTISEMENT surrounding it.
  • A mouse gestures extension – there are serveral out there, but get one, because it speeds up browsing a whole lot!

Do you have any extensions you can't live without? Leave a comment and let me know about them. I used to browse through the whole list periodically, but its gotten too big now, and there are more sites that have them than just


Christmas present

Sweet and sleek. And silent. That about sums up my favorite Christmas present – a Western Digital 80GB external hard drive. I used some money from my parents and grandparents to purchase it on As this is my first experience with them, I was pleased to find the service as good as I had anticipated from hearing about from friends. (ordered 12/27 around 10pm, had it by noon 12/29).

I was able to get it formatted this morning using Windows Disk Manager for lack of anything better. So I now have a ~10 GB unformatted partition for Linux (more on that in a moment), a ~30 GB FAT32 partition for Linux and M$ Windows to share, and a ~40GB NTFS partition for M$ Windows backup purposes.

So now I'm ready to install Linux… sort of. I got the Ubuntu CDs from a guy at school (livecd and install cd) but I'm having a problem with, I'm guessing, x-server configuration. I put the livecd in, went through the all the configuration stuff, and everything looks great until it done and goes into GNOME. Then the screen just flashes like crazy, and it's mostly black. I can't see enough to click anything and Ctrl+Alt+Delete doesn't seem to do anything (not sure if that's even used in linux), so I do a hard power-off (hold power button of my laptop in for 5+ secs).

I did some googling and also some searching at the ubuntu forums, and came up with a couple ideas. I tried the livecd again, and instead of just hitting Enter at the boot promt, I typed in "live-expert" (minus the quotes) and then hit enter. I select the defaults for everything until i get to the x-server configuration. Then instead of the default selected "vesa" driver, i selected "ati" (I have a ATI Radeon 7500 graphics card – it came w/ my laptop), I also changed the default screen resolution from something like 1500×1400 to 1024×768 instead. I select everything else default and this time everything behaves fine… at least at first. The screen doesn't flash and I can see the desktop and everything (why brown?? ugh!!). But then the screen starts acting up, and gets progressively worse. First there's just litte horizontal black and white lines around the edge of the cursor or any open windows, but then it got worse, and the screen started flashing again. I quickly logged out while i could still see enough to do stuff.

So that's where I'm stuck right now. If any of you linux gurus out there have any ideas, leave a comment and let me know. At least for now anyway, I'm stuck with Window$ as my sole OS. I've had similar problems with the Knoppix CD, too.

My system specs if this helps any…

    Thinkpad R40 2723-6XU
    Intel Centrino 1.3 MHz processor
    Windows XP Pro SP2 w/ all the latest drivers and updates (as far as I know)
    256MB RAM
    ATI Radeon 7500 graphics card


The Roaring Lion

I try to keep up with the news while I’m here at school, and it was with sadness and disgust I read the story of David Ludwig and the double murder of the parents of his girlfriend Kara Borden. Then this story hit a little closer to home, when I found out that I had met David 3 years ago. Since then a particular verse from the Bible has taken on a whole new meaning. I Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (ESV). Why this verse basically whacked me upside the head this week, is because of the story of what happened to someone else who knows this verse, David Ludwig, now under arrest for a double murder committed last week. How do I know he knows this verse? Read on…

I know he knows this verse, because of where I met him. Yes, I’ve met an alleged double murderer. We met at a Bible quiz between about 5 churches in our area. The Bible quiz was over the book of I Peter. In order to effectively compete in this competition, you basically had to have the entire book memorized, and be able to quote word-perfect any verse in it. He and I were on two of the top 5 teams that year, so I that’s how I know he had that verse memorized.

So how does a bible quizzer become a murderer? It’s really not as difficult as you might think. To quote our former school president, “Anyone is capable of committing any sin, given the proper provocation.” “Who me,” you ask? “I’ll never murder anyone!” I didn’t say you would, I just said we were capable of it. I pray that no one that’s reading this will do such a thing, but it’s not impossible.

Although David professed to be saved, he was devoured by Satan. So what’s the lesson for us? How can we keep from being devoured – chewed up and spit out – like David was? Ironically enough, or maybe not so, it comes from I Peter 5:8-9, some of the very verses David memorized for that quiz. If you know Jesus Christ, these verses give four things you should do in order to avoid being devoured.

  1. “Be sober-minded” – Be serious minded. Have the right attitude toward sin. Sin is not a joke. Sin is not something to play around with. Sin is serious business, and God hates it. That should be our attitude too.
  2. “Be watchful” – Be alert. Don’t let down your guard just because you’re in an insulated Christian environment. Satan knows where your weak points are, and he knows how to attack them in order to get you to fall. Don’t let him!
  3. “Resist him” – Don’t let him have an avenue into your life. Don’t just keep away from sin, keep away from temptation. Don’t even give Satan a chance to destroy your life. Use the “Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” That’s the only weapon we have – learn how to use it!
  4. “Firm in your faith” – Know God’s Word. This goes along with the previous point. Be steadfast, or firm, or sure in your faith – know what God’s Word says. This is the only way we are going to have consistent victory over Satan.

But you know what, if you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Savior, if there has never been a point in time when you acknowledged your sin before Him, and trusted Him to be your Savior, then you don’t have to worry about being devoured by Satan.

“I don’t?!” you ask.

Nope, because Satan already has you right where he wants, you – on the way to hell. Why does Satan want you to go to hell? Because he knows that’s where he’s going to be for all eternity, and he wants to bring as many as he can with him. Satan hates your guts. He doesn’t want you to be in heaven forever, enjoying the presence of God. He wants you miserable, like he is. And there’s nothing we have to do in order to be condemned to hell, other than to be born on this earth. That’s our natural destination from birth.

But even if hell weren’t our natural destination we’d all be condemned there anyway because we have all sinned. Romans 3:10 says, “None is righteous, no, not one.” and Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned.”

So is there anyway we can change our destination? I don’t know about you, but I have no desire to go to hell, a place the Bible describes as a place of eternal fire and darkness and torment (Luke 16). Thankfully, God has provided a way for us to go to heaven. That way is through His Son, Jesus Christ. Nothing good that we do can get us to heaven, for the Bible says that our good deeds are no better than filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Only through Jesus Christ can we get to heaven. He Himself says in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

But what has Jesus done that allows me to go to heaven? He paid the penalty for your sin through one of the most gruesome forms of death known to mankind, Roman crucifixion. He was nailed to a cross, and there died in order save us. The Bible says in Romans 6:23, “The wages [or payment] of sin is death.” Someone had to die for our sin, so Christ sacrificed Himself for us, that we might escape that penalty.

But the good news, as you may know, it that Christ didn’t stay dead. After being a tomb for 3 days, he arose from the dead, and was seen by over 500 witnesses. The most extreme situations in a court of law require only 7 witnesses in order for something to be certified, yet there were over 70 times that many witnesses of Christ’s resurrection. His resurrection – His coming back to life – defeated death, and because of that He can give us eternal life. And that life is with Him forever in heaven.

That’s how you can know for sure that you are on your way to heaven and not hell. If there has never been a specific time in your life when you have trusted Christ to save you from your sin, and have entered into a personal relationship with Him, you can pray right now and place your trust in Him. If you would like more information on how you can know for sure that you are on your way to heaven, leave a comment, and be sure to fill in your email address (only I will see it, so don’t worry about spam bots harvesting it).

Don’t let Satan devour you.


100,000,000 Firefox downloads!

100,000,000 Firefox Downloads!

Yeah, Firefox! The official time was was Oct 19 2005 1:13:40pm EST. Join the celebration at the newly restored!


The Proper Role of Judges on the Bench

We at BJU
had the priviledge of hearing Judge Billy Wilkins Chief Judge of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals at a special convocation tonight. He has been on the short list for Supreme Court justices multiple times. He spoke on the Proper Role of Judges on the Bench.
He stated that he had spent much time in preparing what he was going to say, but he had difficulty in how he wanted to present his remarks. He finally decided on a question and answer session, in which he gave both the answers and the questions. These were his questions.

Q 1: What exactly do judges do?
A: He first addressed what judges do not do. The judiciary branch was not designed to run society, it was designed to prevent society from getting out of control. Ultimately, “the judge’s role is that of an interpreter.” He presented a story about Oliver Wendell Holmes’s reply to the remark of a friend, “Do justice, sir.” Holmes’s reply was that his job was not to “do justice,” but to enforce the rules of law, whether he liked them or not.

Q 2: Why give judges life tenure?
A: Life tenure insulates them from the pressure of public opinion. However, they still should benefit from informed criticism.

Q 3: Do I have any role as a citizen in shaping the federal judiciary?
A: Yes! Public opinion leads to the election of presidents who then appoint judges as they retire from their terms. Although the system is not perfect, it has worked for well over 200 years.

Q 4: With all this lawyer bashing, what kind of profession is the legal profession anyway?
A: He answered this question by listing many famous statesmen, all of whom were lawyers, and their contributions to our great nation. Men like John Adams, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Marshall, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt. Every major political advance in our country be it abolition of slavery, suffrage for women, etc. has been spearheaded by a lawyer.

He closed his remarks with a poem about an old country preacher’s prayer for the leaders of our country. The poem stated that more prayers for judges were not what was necessary. Then the poem and Judge Wilkins’s remarks ended with this line
More praying judges is what we need.


School is in session

Well, back in the daily grind of academia here at BJ of U. Classes started on Wednesday, and everything is in full swing as evidenced by a full load of homework this weekend. To copy a friend of mine, here is a list of the classes I'm taking this semester in no particular order.

  • NT 460 ~ Gospels and Acts
  • ALG 201 ~ Intermediate New Testament Greek
  • Pr 301 ~ Junior Preacher Boys class: Ministry and Law / Church Education
  • En 202 ~ Early British Literature
  • RPA 302 ~ Pulpit Speech
  • CpS 109 ~ Introduction to Programming: VB.NET
  • OT 320 ~ Historical Books: Joshua – Esther

All in all… 18 credits. Add to that 15 hours of work on stage crew per week, it makes for a pretty busy schedule.

For those that don't know, I'm a Junior Bible major, (and as of this semester) with a minor in Information Technology (IT). (The major/minor combo explains the Bible and CpS classes, the fact that Bob Jones University is a liberal arts school explains the literature.)

Well, got to get back to that homework… Mmmm, Beowulf…