I have completed my M.S. thesis and turned it in to the university. The document is available here [1.2 MB].

It no doubt contains errors, but I'm not sure that I want to know about them... =) Enjoy the reading! Or at least have a look and be impressed. hahaha!

My thesis defense presentation [650 kB] is also available.

23 May 2006

Pride vs. Weakness

Submitted by Paul Brown

Who can disappoint us more than our own selves? Nonetheless, count on grace!

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Cor. 12:9

We have this treasure [of salvation] in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Cor. 4:7

22 May 2006

Word of the day: PATIENCE

Submitted by Paul Brown

The word of the day today is "PATIENCE". Some things take time to develop, and when we try to run through them in a hurry, they just get all mucked up and confused. The well-known passage from Ecclesiastes says the following:
There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot...

The process of going from acquaintance to friend to good friend to best friend to boyfriend/girlfriend to engagement to husband/wife to lovers takes time and shouldn't be hurried! Let each step move naturally to the next without worrying about what might or might not be.

One of my books has this to say:
Just because a couple is at a place in their lives where they can seriously consider marriage doesn't mean that they should proceed recklessly. I call a relationship like [this] "mishmash romance". It makes me think of going out to a fine restaurant with someone who doesn't have the patience to wait for each course of the meal to be served. The master chef has a wonderful plan that takes time to appreciate fully. But instead of enjoying each course individually, your date insists that all the courses-- the drinks, the soup, the salad, the entrée, the dessert -- be blended together into one bowl of mishmash. Yuck!

Imagine sucking that slop through a straw, and you've got a good picture of what many relationships are like today. Instead of savoring the "courses" of an unfolding love story -- acquaintance, friendship, courtship, engagement, marriage -- impatient couples mash the sequence together. Before they've built a friendship, they start playing at love. Before they've even thought about commitment, they're acting as if they own each other. Mishmash romance, like mishmash food, is an unappetizing mess.

Wisdom calls us to slow down. We can be patient because we know that God is sovereign and that He is faithful. "I wait for you, O Lord; you will answer, O Lord my God" (Psalm 38:15). Patience is an expression of trust that God, the Master Chef, can serve up an exquisite relationship. This lets us enjoy each part of our love story. We can be faithful and content right where we are -- whether it's in friendship or courtship or engagement -- and not try to steal the privileges God has reserved for a later season.

My dad likes to say that time is God's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. If you're not ready to get married, don't grab at a relationship. Patiently wait for the right time to start one that can eventually lead to marriage. If you are ready for marriage and you're in a relationship, don't let impatience cause you to rush. Take your time. Enjoy where God has the two of you right now. Savor each course. Don't settle for mishmash. -- -- Joshua Harris in Boy Meets Girl, p. 52-53

9 May 2006

Movies in CHURCH?!?!

Submitted by Paul Brown

I guess I'm kind of a punk.... Last week the young adults group was responsible for the morning church service, which means I was the one who organized things. I like to do things differently and break out of the mold so people perk up their ears and give attention to the message. May is the "Month of the Family" in my church, and since it was the first Sunday, the pastor was going to preach about building a strong family -- even before marriage.

So my brilliant idea:

Present a few scenes from fairly tails as "easy steps to find TRUE LOVE". I borrowed a few DVDs and selected Sleeping Beauty as the winner for the short video. In English, the movie text is:
"STEP 1: MEET" (then scene 1)
"STEP 2: THE KISS" (scene 2)

Pretty easy huh?? =)


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