On The Road Again

I’m in Manteca, CA right now. The hotel we checked into last night features free broadband access from each room! I love living in California…

We’re in Manteca because we went to Tahoe yesterday to do an on-site inspection of a potential conference facility for our district winter retreat. It went well, and I think we’ll wind up having it there. We won’t make a firm decision until we get hard prices, however.

We’re currently bound for Pasadena to visit Brian and Courtney Jacobson, friends and alumni from our ministry back in Missouri. We’ll spend the holiday weekend with them, and we’re quite excited about it!

Also, we’re going to get a chance to visit Crave, Saddleback Church‘s college ministry. I’ve been wanting to visit them for a while, and this is my big chance! We’ll actually be there tonight.

Anyway, I’m sure glad that our hotel has net access. At home our connection has been down since last weekend, so I was feeling email deprived.

Funny Photo and a Spiritual Growth Help

Nathaniel recently sent me this photo in an email attachment. I got a chuckle out of it. You can see the full-sized version in our gallery.

In addition, I just stumbled across an article by one of my favorite authors on one of my favorite websites. It’s about doing well in college (spiritually speaking). It’s written to pastors more than to students, but it’s still helpful reading. It talks about twelve reaons college students lose their faith and how to handle each of the twelve! Check out Off To College–Can We Keep Them? by philosophy prof J. Budziszewski.

The Christian Foundations of Western Civilization

The importance of Christianity to the history of Western civilization is being increasingly overlooked, which is why I was so delighted to come across a rather lengthy summary of a new book: For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery by Rodney Stark (Princeton University Press) [see the Amazon page].

Dr. Stark is a solid academic writing within his field, so this book is extremely credible.

Here’s an excerpt from the summary: Stark doesn’t argue so much the virtues of Western civilization as the fact (yes, fact, not theory) that you cannot understand Western civ without reference to Christian theology and the way that it fertilized the soil in which those “extraordinary episodes” grew. The book focuses on four episodes: (1) the efforts at church reform that culminated in the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation, (2) the rise of modern science, (3) the fabled witch-hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries, and (4) the abolition of slavery and the slave trade.

In each case, Stark shows that a belief in a great God who makes moral demands and who rewards and punishes in the afterlife is an essential component of what happened.

This is information Christians on campus desperately need! Read the whole summary (or read a slightly less charitable review, although if you read that you should also read this unrelated review with the last paragraph of the Post review in mind).

Christians and College Athletics

If you’re an incoming freshman, transfer student, or graduate student–welcome!

I just ran across an interesting article talking about the relationship between Christians and college sports, a relationship which can be summed up in the phrase [Recent scandals] may lead the faithful to ask a new question: Should a Christian student think twice before getting involved in high-profile college sports like basketball or football? What kind of values will he or she learn in that setting?

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, this question would have been unthinkable. Why? Because college sports was imbued with an ideal called “muscular Christianity.”

This was the belief that physical activity and sports, especially team sports, developed character, fostered patriotism, and instilled virtues that would serve their participantsand their participants’ Godwell in later life. In other words, team games taught their own high ethic, and that ethic could and should be a Christian one.

Read the whole thing and learn about the origins of the YMCA, basketball and the Olympics.

Some Random News And Comments

If you’re a new student, welcome! We periodically take time to comment on funny things happening in the world and on the web. God likes laughter, and so we try to oblige Him.

1) Have you seen the photos of whale flatulence? I’m not kidding–you’ve got to check this out: Whale Flatulence Stuns Scientists

2) Regarding the blackout in the NE: I expect to find a giant dead squirrel when it’s all over (squirrels are, I am told, the number once cause of power outages in America).

3) If you’re not already a fan, you really should check out the Strong Bad emails.

4) Finally, in case you were wondering, Compaq explains where to find the “Any” key.

We return you to your regularly scheduled web browsing.

Wow–thanks for the love!

I haven’t updated since our last announcement because we were deluged with nearly 150 emails congratulating us on our reproductive prowess (or words to that effect). Thanks for all the love!

People are wondering about names.

So far, we’re thinking of Gray Davis, Mavis Davis, April Fools Davis (say it out loud slowly), Raina Davis (like the last one, only less obvious), and Dave Davis.

Also, we’re thinking about funny initials: it’s not too hard to find names that spell out GOD, DUD, DED, or SAD.

For the humor-impaired, I would like to clearly state that these are, of course, all facetious.

We have no names in mind, nor do we have a gender preference.

If you think of any funny names please do let us know!

Preggers

We got back in from D.C. last night, and Paula visited the doctor today. She received confirmation of what we strongly suspected while on the road–she’s preggers!

Based on what we know now (which isn’t a whole lot), the expected delivery date is April 3, 2004.

Personally, I’m hoping she delivers a little early on April 1st (just so that no one believes me when I call them on my cell phone to deliver the good news)… 🙂