A Fear of Whales

A Fear of Whales

Language Learning

posted by rgaffney

I believe that the language a person speaks is one of the most important, if not the very most important factor in determining how they think. If you speak English you think in English, and that comes with all sorts of connotative meanings to English words.

I’ve studied some Spanish, but not nearly enough to begin to think in Spanish. When I speak Spanish, I have to translate what my friend is saying into English in my head, then formulate a response, and then translate my English response back into Spanish.


Eventually through practice I’m told it’s possible to develop enough fluency for me to begin to think in Spanish, and I aspire to do that, not only because it would help me avoid embarrassing mistakes, but also because Spanish has a different feel than English and learing to think in Spanish could hardly help but open my mind.

When I think of what it means to “Know Jesus” I have very little choice but to use that English word “know” in my head. “Know” is related to “Knowledge”. It associates in my head with facts and figures and books. I automatically think of knowing Jesus in terms of what I believe, and whether or not those beliefs correspond to reality sufficiently.


If I spoke Spanish I wouldn’t have that problem because I would find in my bible a variant from the root “conoser” which is related to “ser” meaning “to be” it is a word that refers to familiarity, as in “I know my friend Jessica” while contexts like “I know the formula for the area of a triangle” use a different Spanish word. (“Saber”) it would associate in my mind with the person of Jesus, as an associate of mine, and being familiar with his ways.
And that’s just one word!

Do you know how many words Spanish has?!?!?!

So I’m excited by languages and language learning, I think it’s a force for peace, unity and broad mindedness. Which is why I was so incredibly excited when I found this.


It’s called “Where Are Your Keys?” and it’s an open sourced language learning game put together by some nerds in Portland who are obviously insanely awesome. I’ve not played it, They’re in Portland, but I’ve read up on it and watched some videos, from what I can tell, it’s like Mao, but instead of a soul crushing sensation that you are wasting your life, you get to learn Mandarin.

I think the church should rock this thing. Do any of you readers know anybody in Portland?

PS. If you don’t know what Mao is, e-mail me, we’ll get a game on!


Protecting the Sanctity of Marriage.

posted by rgaffney

Mawwaige!Would somebody please explain to me how having a battle with the federal government in the courts about the interpretation of the constitution is supposed to protect the sanctity of a God ordained institution between men and women.

Seriously, use the comments section and explain it to me, I just don’t get it.
How can we possibly say out of one side of our mouths that marriage is a sacred institution which God alone is in control of, while at the very same time saying that if this or that bill passes it will be ruined?


It seems to be that the only way we can truly interfere with marriage in the church would be to allow ourselves to become convinced that what the government has to say actually has anything whatsoever to do with who is and who is not married in the eyes of God!

So on one side we have the holy institution of marriage, a part of what Lutherans call the “Right Hand Kingdom” a Godly practice undertaken by two people who love each other and form a covenant to death. And then on the other side you have the civil institution of marriage, a part of the “Left Hand Kingdom”, wherein two people decide to file with the state in order to garner certain benefits and hold all assets jointly until they file for divorce.

And these two things, though they often coincide, have absolutely nothing to do with one another. the fact that they are both called “marriage” is an unfortunate circumstance. But considering the word “bow” can mean anything from a decorative knot to a device used to play a violin I should think were more than able to overcome the idea that the same word might have two different meanings.


This is a lesson I really wish we would learn well as a church, it affects more than our theology of same-sex marriage.

Consider the number of young couples, who being sexually tempted, remember the words of their youth pastor, and decide to get married. And so they file with the state and have a left handed ceremony, but fail utterly to comprehend the significance of a lifetime covenant of sacrificial love with one another. I call it “Premarital Marriage” and it is notably more damaging and immoral than premarital sex, what it essentially does is create two problems out of one, where now the couple is not only sexually active prematurely, but also married in the eyes of the state, causing problems with bitterness, divorce, and children.


And speaking of divorce how many couples in the church today have broken their covenant before God to love one another in sickness and in health? How many married couples hate one another? How many supposedly unbroken homes exist where husband in wife sleep in separate beds, separate rooms, or separate houses because they can’t bear to look one another in the eye? Ans what is it that’s gone wrong with a church that tells such couples not to file for divorce, because that would be a sin?

That is the same perverted logic that causes catholic school girls to become pregnant at 15 because they thought using a condom while having premarital sex with their boyfriend would be immoral. At the point where you hate one another, you’re already divorced. The paperwork just makes it easier come tax time.


Now just to be clear: I’m against divorce, and against premarital sex, I think young couples should get married, and older couples should seek reconciliation in their marriages, but I also think that if you are not going to do that then you might as well be honest about it in the eyes of the state and make it easier on yourself.

So in closing consider this:

When you fall in love, and promise one person that you will be theirs and they will be yours as long as you both shall live, and when you have a wedding in Paris at Notre Damme presided over by Billy Graham himself and doves descend into the sanctuary as a sign from heaven above that even The Father God is celebrating your union on this day, remember that even on that great morning there will be couples plotting the murder of their spouses in their heads, teenagers driving to Vegas, to “make it legal”, former strippers marrying 70 year old millionaires for their money, and a whole host of illegal immigrants marrying for citizenship. But none of that will matter. You will be joined in the eyes of God with the person you love and the US government could do nothing to tarnish that in a million years.

And neither can Adam and Steve.


They ‘ re Making Christian WOW

posted by rgaffney

World of Warcraft (WOW) is a massive online game made by blizzard entertainment. It has absolutely revolutionized the genre of Online RPG gaming and perhaps gaming itself. So much so that we Christians decided we needed to get in on the action by creating one of our own!

Yes you heard right. WOW is fun, safe, and not explicitly Christian, and that just won’t do! “The Bible Online: Heroes” however will finally provide Christian nerds with an MMORPG that they can play without having to learn to relate with to all of those pesky…normal nerds.


Am I the only person who is really offended by this?
I feel like:

First they came for our secular books, I stayed silent, because it happened 100 years before I was born,

And then they came for our secular music, and I stayed silent because when I tried to say anything people just told me that I “don’t get it”

Then they came for our secular clothing, and that one really kinda ticked me off but it was like, what was I going to do? Endorse the regular clothing industry?

They’ve come for our bumper stickers, and Our coffee shops and out breath mints (seriously)


And Now they’re here for our awesome computer games that don’t take place in bible times and I fear it’s too late

It’s not okay people!
It was never okay. The entire dichotomy, the whole separation of the sacred and the secular is heresy!
I’m not using sensational language either. The book of Colossians was written to combat the heretical notion of the Gnostics that there was the material, and the spiritual realm, and the Material was bad, while the spiritual was good. The bible says no, Jesus was both, deal with it!
I really do think that’s the problem. I think we have Christians walking around today who are really Gnostics.

Wikipedia defines Gnostics as believing in “esoteric knowledge through which the spiritual elements of humanity are reminded of their true origins within the superior Godhead, being thus permitted to escape materiality” In other words they think they’re better off because they know something the rest of us don’t. And this knowledge of theirs is going to help their spirits fly away from everybody who doesn’t believe forever.

Does that sound like what you believe?

Because it’s in direct opposition to the teachings of Christianity.


I Didn ‘ t Know Any Worse

posted by rgaffney those years ago today, I can remember where I was… I was a sophomore in high school, we got at about 7 in the morning, before breakfast, he said that something terrible had happened, and I should turn on the news.

I think the second tower had just fallen as we turned it on. The news footage that day was almost all of the standing towers, replaying the shots of the crash, of the towers smoking.

I still had to go to school. My first period Geometry Teacher Mr. Duskett had a phrase on the board “September 11th 2001 a day that will live in infamy” quoting FDR’s famous speech about December 7th.

In second period English we didn’t study at all, we just watched the news. My friend Salim sat right behind me and we both watched in awe as details began to pour in about the attacks. By this time it was clear that this was no accident.

“Who would do this?” he asked with tears in his eyes “Who could do this?”


I brought that story up recently in a discussion, when the anti-American sentiment of Islam was brought up, hoping the prove a point.
My mother asked why I’d never mentioned it before, she said when I got home from school that day I had told her we barley talked about it we just sat in stunned silence.

There certainly was a lot of that. I told her “I guess at the time I didn’t think that comment was terribly relevant”

At first I didn’t know why, and then I realized. Why would it be relevant? On 9/11 an American was upset, aghast, and confused about who could do such a thing? Of course he was. So was I!

Salim was my friend, he wasn’t my “Muslim friend” or my “Middle Eastern friend” he was just a guy, I went to Jr. High with him, we talked, I gave him an old laptop once. I was compassionate loving and non judgmental to him, Why? Because at the time, I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to be.


I didn’t know any worse.

Salim’s comment was in second period. It wasn’t until Mrs. Delong’s Social Studies 5th period we learned Osama Bin Ladin was responsible. And it wasn’t until several days after that we high scholars figured out who Al Queda was. (actually we called them the Taliban back then) and it wasn’t until the following months and years that our understanding of the middle east, and of Islam and of Muslim people began to change and sour
So now when you think of the Middle East you think of words like Haamas and Jihad and Hezbollah, you think of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the terrorism in Ireal. That wasn’t the case at 9 in the morning on September 11, 2001.

I thought of Salim… and Omit, and that little guy from wrestling what was his name? …Salmaan. Nice guy.


None of them hate America

None of them want to hurt Christians

It’s become commonplace now for Christians to cite that Islam is a dangerous religion, that they want to take over the United States, that they lie, that their prophet was a murderer, that it’s a theocracy over there in the middle east. It’s usually backed up by some half remembered verse in the Koran about what you should do to infidels…

I dunno what the Koran says, I can’t read Arabic, and translation is considered theologically problematic. But if it says you should hurt people then these guys don’t believe it, and there are others like them. As a matter of fact, they’re ALL like them, nice guys and gals who love America and were shocked at the 911 attacks.

Of all the Muslims I’ve ever met in the US, Not one of them was cheering that day

And a great many were crying.
They must have known what was coming.

Previous Posts

Politically Correct “Holiday Bible” Makes No Mention Of Christmas
The other day as I was perusing the small Bible section of my large Christian Books and (Especially) Gifts Store I happened upon a tome that arrested my attention. It was plain and unadorned. A simple red book with the title and nothing ...

posted 8:03:52pm Nov. 08, 2015 | read full post »

I Was Wrong: Ahmad Did Not “Make” His Clock
I have made a lot of posts on this blog over the years about transparency, and the importance of integrity and admitting when you are wrong. I need to model that this morning, because I accidently discovered that Ahmed’s clock is manufactured. ...

posted 1:50:19am Sep. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Bus Odyssey Again
You may be wondering why, after my last experience with Greyhound Inc, I would ever consider patronizing their services again. Well it’s a long and a sad story, but basically I keep putting myself in positions where I believe they might be the ...

posted 7:23:13pm Apr. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Voy A Mexico
Today I am leaving for Monterrey, Mexico. People keep asking me if it’s a mission trip or a vacation. I like that they have to ask. It’s mostly a vacation. I have a friend down there, and I live nearby, and I like tacos. But the more I ...

posted 9:59:45am Mar. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Theologically Correct
Lord I lift your name on High Lord I long to sing your praises I'm so glad you're in my life I’m so glad you came to save us You came from heaven to earth to show the way from the earth to the cross my debt to pay from the cross to the ...

posted 12:17:00am Mar. 04, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.