Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It has arrived!

I have finally left the blogspot realm and have ventured into the wide world of wordpress! Please check out my new blog at:



My original blog was called mathetes, which is the Greek word for disciple. I really never intended to be "that guy" who like a "super-spiritual cheesy Christian" uses Greek or Hebrew or Aramaic words to be creative and overly spiritual. I realize that I have done this to some extent, but that was not my intention, so you just have to take my word for it. Or not. Either is okay with me, but allow me to explain my reasoning for using the biblical languages.

I am a pretty sentimental guy. I have an imagination that finds real life, historical events very special and significant. I'm the type of guy that loves re-visiting the neighborhood where I grew up and just sitting and remembering what life was like back then. Weird as it may sound, I love closing my eyes and imagining being there in the moment once again.

I also love spending time imagining what it would have been like living in the past. What would my life have looked like during Israel's trek through the desert? During the reign of King David? During the life and times of Jesus? During Medieval Europe? During the founding of America?

The biggest imagination I have is what it would be like to be in the presence of Jesus while he was here on the earth. What would I think about him? Would I be one that could drop everything and follow him? Would I dismiss him as a religious lunatic? What choice would I make if he looked at me and invited me to follow him?

This is where the desire for the Greek word came. I wanted the exact word Jesus would have spoken with this invitation. That's the sentimental side of me for ya! Ironically, when I created my blog over 5 years ago I failed to realize that although the New Testament was originally written in Greek, Jesus did not speak Greek. Jesus spoke Aramaic, so the word would not have been mathetes. Hence, with a new look, a new blog platform (wordpress), and a new URL comes a new name for my blog - talmida. Below is the description you will find in the about section my my blog.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Blogger Stinks

Well, things obviously look a little different here. I blame Blogger. I went into my blogger template and tried to change one little thing on my blog layout and my whole blog was ruined. Even undoing what I changed did not help. So my current blog layout is gone forever thanks to Blogger. Unfortunately, I think my time with Blogger has finally come to an end. I am currently in the processing of transferring my blog over to Wordpress, which I hear has way more options.

Stay tuned....


Monday, April 5, 2010


I hope everyone had a happy Easter! I am just recovering from the seven services this past weekend that we had on the Gilbert campus at Central. What a long weekend it was!

In the Easter spirit, I stumbled across a video that Rob Bell just released on the resurrection. It is thoughtful, inspiring and free to download.

Check it out (click the lower right icon to make it full screen):

Resurrection: Rob Bell from The Work of Rob Bell on Vimeo.

more info at:

"everybody believes something
everybody believes somebody
Jesus invites us to trust resurrection"

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Something Beautiful

This past weekend we played the song "Something Beautiful" by NeedToBreath as a special. I love this song and it has easily become one of my favorites. The lyrics are great and the melody is too! Below is the band playing an acoustic version of it. Enjoy!!! Oh, and just ignore the whole "Cosmo Girl" promo at the beginning and end :-)

What a great prayer:


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Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Kingdom Nugget

"We now live in a time when consumer Christianity has become the accepted norm, and all-out engagement with and in Jesus' kingdom among us is regarded as just one option people may take if it suits them -- but probably 'overdoing it.'"

- Dallas Willard

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Get Ready!

Tonight will be the beginning of the end for the GREATEST show on television - LOST! It is a bittersweet feeling to know that we will finally get closure and answers to this amazing story. At the same time I really don't want it to end. If you don't watch it then I highly recommend renting or even buying season 1, carving out about 6 hours on a Friday night, and by Sunday you'll be ready for season 2 and beyond. It's that good!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Divine Patience

In the last few weeks I have had to read through the books of Joshua and Judges for my Hebrew Prophets class. I must say that there are some crazy things that happen in theses books. To be honest, if I didn't know any better I would not think this stuff would be found in the Bible. Have you read these books lately? War, genocide, scandals, apostasy, etc... It is phenomenal just how raw and uncut the Bible really is.

The difficulty that I wrestle with is that some of what I read seems to contradict the words and teachings of Jesus. It is hard to make sense of the stories we read and the journey that God has the early Israelites on. In the end I guess we just have to realize that God's ways are beyond our understanding.

Another thing that just completely baffles me is how unfaithful the Israelites are. Time after time God gives them second chance after second chance, yet they still turn aside and worship "Baal" and "Asherah" who were gods of the Canaanites. Why? Why does God remain so faithful despite Israel's prostitution?

For class I am also reading a book called Deuteronomic History by Terence Fretheim. In it he shares some great insights into God's judgment of Israel and what Fretheim calls the divine patience of God. Here are some quotes:

"It becomes apparent quickly in this text [Judges] that God's purposes are not annihilation, but that on the far side of the experience of judgment there might be restoration of relationship which God intended."

"...what comes through is the divine patience: God continues to save them from the hands of their enemies in spite of continued apostasy."

"This makes it very clear that the divine judgment is not considered to be an end in itself, as if God had no concerns beyond judgment. Judgment there must be; evil must not be allowed to go unchecked in the world. But judgment is not the end of things for God. Once that judgment has been experienced, and indeed in the midst of the very experience of judgment, God is working graciously for deliverance. Deliverance is what God truly desires for the people. But, finally, it is only in and through the experience of oppression and death, that the experience of deliverance is possible. There can be no direct move from apostasy to deliverance, except through judgment. And so the judging activity og God is finally motivated by gracious purposes. And the degree to which one discerns repetition in these texts with regard to the sin-judgment-deliverance cycle is finally a witness to the incredible mercy of God in desiring life, and not death, for the people."

"God's people, again and again, exhibit patterns of life which threaten their existence. God's response is remarkable in its variety and flexibility, in order to accomplish salutary purposes. A highly personal divine response is revealed, which values mercy above retribution; we see a God who chooses to experience suffering rather than visit the people with the finality of death; we are surprised by a God who finds ways of working in, with, and under very compromising situations in which people have placed themselves in order to bring about good. In the midst of unfaithfulness, the faithfulness of God is revealed, a God who never breaks covenant. Only in such a God is hope to be found."

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