Sunday, July 27, 2008

And I Think I'll Go to Boston...

Yesterday I spent the whole day in the heart of Boston and I must say it is a fine city indeed! I started the day out by walking the famous historical Freedom Trail. This trail is a 2.5 mile path marked by red brick and paint. It takes you around to 17 different historical sites throughout the city. For more info about the different sites click here.

Here are some pictures from my walk:

Park Street Church, where William Lloyd Garrison gave his first antislavery address on the Fourth of July 1829.

The Old Granary, right next to Park Street Church where Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and John Hancock are buried. This isn't the only Sam Adams I saw this day :-)

Paul Revere's House

Bunker Hill, where the first battle took place between the Patriots and the Red Coats.

Some other interesting sites I saw include The Old South Meeting House, where on December 16, 1773 Samuel Adams gave his famous nonimportation speech that started the Boston Tea Party. Also, The Old State House, where just outside the Boston Massacre took place.

And to top off this eventful day I retired to a place "where everyone knows your name" - Cheers! Although I am pretty sure no one had a clue who I was :-)

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Friday, July 25, 2008


Well, I finally made it to the Boston area today. The journey consisted of an hour ferry ride, a two hour bus ride, a 30 minute subway ride, and another 15-20 minute bus ride. Nevertheless I finally made it to Arlington (12 miles West of Boston) where I will be staying with a friend.

After resting a bit I set out for Harvard which is just 5 miles from where I am staying. It was interesting, but not nearly as big as I thought it would be. The area has a college town feel but its nothing too special. Honestly, it felt like a cheap imitation of Oxford. It doesn't even come close to Oxford!

Harvard is the most prestigious university in America and a lot of brilliant minds have come from there. Interestingly enough it was started in 1636 by Puritan leaders to educate future generations of clergy. When young Charlestown minister John Harvard died two years later and left his books and half his money to the college, it was renamed Harvard.

John Harvard

As I was heading home this is what I saw in Harvard Square. It blew my mind and I still don't know what to think about it.

This is the most bizarre street evangelism I have ever seen to this day. They are a group from a Menonnite church despite looking like pilgrims fresh off the Mayflower. The Pastor is shown here speaking about how the "Good Lord" hath saved our souls from hell. "Thees" and "Thous" and all the other stuff you would hear a century ago. I couldn't tell if they were putting on a play or if this was the real deal. It was sad to watch them speak about the Lord while young people walked by laughing and mocking them. It made me cringe. Is this really what following Jesus looks like? Funny enough there were two mormon missionaries talking to one of the guys there. They both looked the same except the Mennonite didn't have an elder badge on. Again, I don't know what to make of this experience. All I can say is that God is sovereign and He can defend Himself if He so pleases.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nantucket Adventures

Well, so far it has been a blast on Nantucket Island! I'm here with Ryan and Jen Russell and we are here visiting our friends, Dan and Shellie Dunlap. On the first day we went fishing with some extraordinary people. No one caught anything but seaweed. Nevertheless, it was a good time and I finally got to step foot into the warm Atlantic. The beach was beautiful and the weather has been absolutely gorgeous. Everyone complains about the humidity here, but I definitely prefer it to the 110 degree dry heat :-)

Yesterday we boarded Dan's boat "Journie" and headed out to sea for a little cruise. We went to the Northeastern tip where there is a lighthouse, but it was so foggy we could barely see it. Here is a picture:

Last night we had one of my favorite meals of all time! LOBSTER! And this wasn't something you get a Red Lobster either. This was the real deal and it was the best seafood I have ever had. Words cannot describe how good it was. For lunch I had the best New England clam chowder I have ever had too!

Tomorrow I am heading into Boston for 3 more days before I come home. Can't wait!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Welcoming "The Grey Lady"

Today I will arrive in Boston where I will be taking a bus to the coast and then boarding a ferry to Nantucket Island. I will be there visiting some friends and am extremely excited to have some R & R (rest and relaxation). Nantucket is nicknamed "The Grey Lady" because of occasional intense fog. It is also made famous by the TV show, Wings, which I thoroughly enjoyed in my junior high years. For more info on Nantucket Island click here.

I am looking forward to eating loads of lobster, New England clam chowder, and just hanging out on the beach. The weather is in the 80's so I will be living it up :-) I have never set foot in the Atlantic Ocean so I am looking forward to that as well!

I will try to keep you updated on all my travels and adventures.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Why So Serious?

Last weekend I went and saw the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight, and it was amazing! It was packed with great action and a great story line. But what took this movie over the top for me was Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker. In my opinion he played the part perfectly and was so fun to watch.

It was kind of a weird, eerie feeling to watch him, knowing he is not around anymore. I know there is a lot of talk going around about him being nominated for an Oscar, which I think he totally deserves. I think he should get "best actor." It was simply that good.

So if you haven't seen The Dark Knight then you need to go sometime soon and see it in the theater. It is an experience that is well worth the ridiculous $10 it costs to see a movie these days.


Friday, July 18, 2008


I went to lunch this week with a friend of mine and we headed to Barro's Pizza for the 2-slice lunch special. I don't care what you say; Barro's pizza is one of the best! This day the pizza was indeed great and I was extra happy because one of my slices was huge! You always hope that you don't get stuck with 2 tiny slices. Our conversation over lunch was great too, so it turned out to be a pretty stellar lunch. Until....

We were walking out to my car to head back to work when I hear a voice from behind me. "Excuse me, would you mind sparing me some money for a motel room tonight?" I turn around and there was a kid probably 18 or 19 years old with a cup in his hand. Now he looked hot and sweaty, but he didn't really strike me as the homeless type. I took a few moments to have that internal wrestling match to figure out whether I should continue to my car or stop and hear his story. I opted for the latter not thinking I would regret it later.

I always freeze up in these kinds of situations, not being able to discern how to handle the situation in a Christ-like manner. Nevertheless, I decided to hear the kid out and he told me he got in an argument with his parents and they kicked him out. Right there I should have investigated his story further. Instead I told him I was uncomfortable with giving him money, but that I would buy him a slice of pizza (he also said he hadn't eaten all day).

While we were in line, I asked him why he got kicked out and of course it wasn't his fault at all. His parents were over-reacting and sick of driving him to Glendale to work everyday. Again, I should have made a run for it, but I thought to myself, "what could a little pizza hurt?"

After he got his pizza, he thanked me and we went our separate ways. I returned to my buddy in my car only to hear him utter these depressing words, "I don't want to disappoint you, but I ran into that kid about 2 months ago and he told almost the same exact story." Then it hit...

I just got played. Cheated. Taken advantage of.

The reality is that this kid probably had a place to stay that. He is probably hooked on some drug and is unofficially fundraising to feed his addiction. Who knows what the real truth is. All I know is it is sad that people have to lie and manipulate other people to try to get "aid and assistance."

I learned my lesson this time and I will be more cautious in the future. And all of you who live in Mesa and are reading this: if a 19 year old wants money and he just got kicked out of the house, DON'T BELIEVE HIM!

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Monday, July 14, 2008

God of Wrath

So I definitely waited in line last Friday morning at 6am for the new iPhone and it was well worth it. Along with the amazing GPS tracking and other really cool 3rd party applications, developed a Bible application that gives me 15 different translations at the touch of my fingertips. In the program there are three random chapters selected per day for daily reading. Today as I was waiting for a meeting I decided to read one of them. It was Jeremiah 4 which doesn't happened to be a very positive and uplifting passage. Here is how it starts off:

1 "If you will return, O Israel,
return to me,"
declares the LORD.
"If you put your detestable idols out of my sight
and no longer go astray,

2 and if in a truthful, just and righteous way
you swear, 'As surely as the LORD lives,'
then the nations will be blessed by him
and in him they will glory."

3 This is what the LORD says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem:
"Break up your unplowed ground
and do not sow among thorns.

4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD,
circumcise your hearts,
you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem,
or my wrath will break out and burn like fire
because of the evil you have done—
burn with no one to quench it.

This is a plea to RE-TURN. Return to what is true. Return to what is good. Return to the source of love and joy. "Return to me," says the LORD. God is giving Israel a chance to turn around and leave their idols. He is pleading for them to come back to Him. My favorite part of God's plea is for them to circumcise their hearts. Circumcision was a physical sign that Israel belonged to God. Yet, on the inside these people were completely unfaithful to Him. This just reiterates that God is interested in our hearts not our outward appearance.

It is easy to look at Israel and think they were a bunch of idiots, which they were. Time and time again they were unfaithful to their God despite all His patience and forgiveness. Yet, we are just like Israel whether we will admit it or not. Sure we don't have statues of idols displayed in our living room, but we do have idols - things we chose to value over God at times.

We find out that Jeremiah's warning is not heeded by Israel and that God does indeed bring wrath on His people. In 586 b.c. Israel loses everything. God uses a pagan nation, Babylon, to humble His people greatly. It is the consequence of their actions and their lack of trust in Him.

Many people write-off stories like these because it is soooo "Old Testament." I mean, we are living in the New Covenant now right? Jesus has come and conquered sin and death. The cross has given us forgiveness from our sins, so there is no more wrath of God right!? Somehow I don't think it is quite that simple. Jesus says, "small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." He also says, "If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned." That sort of sounds like what happened to Israel when they didn't trust God and follow Him. Maybe we too are still held accountable for our actions. Maybe we need to try and understand what Proverbs means when it says that we need to have "The fear of the Lord" in us.

Yes Jesus died for us. Yes He has washed our sins away. However, that does not free us from the responsibility of trusting and obeying Him. That is why Philippians urges us to 'continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.' This is not an easy road to travel, but it is well worth it!

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