Browsing articles from "February, 2011"
Feb 28, 2011


Today’s Reading is the Epistle of Jude.
An unknown author who calls himself Jude talks a lot about judgment. One thing that is oftentimes overlooked is the context in which he puts it:
Verse 4b – “Long ago the Scriptures predicted the condemnation they have received.”
Judgment is a thing of the past not a threat in the future.

Jude’s letter is a relatively young piece of literature that almost did not make it into the Biblical canon. It even includes motifs the Bible otherwise does not know: a dispute between the archangel Michael and the devil about the corpse of Moses (verse 9) and a prophecy of Enoch, the seventh direct descendant from Adam (verses 14-15), based on the deuterocanonical Book of Enoch.

Feb 27, 2011

3 John

Today’s Reading is 3 John.
Again – just one chapter and you’ve read an entire biblical book!

The “Elder” writes to Gaius and praises him for being cooperative. That is to be in an active relationship with the rest of the body of Christ, to be in covenant with other church as part of the Church. Every congregation, and every Christian for that matter, need to answer for themselves one simple question: How do you relate to the early church?
Christian Denominations
Every Christian, like Gaius, is called into the fellowship of a congregation and every congregation is called into the fellowship of a denomination.

The “Elder” complains: “Diotrephes, who likes to be their leader, will not pay any attention to what I say.” There have always been non-denominational churches – a very sad concept. A strong personality pulls his own flock together and calls it church. They then are told they do not need to relate to traditional churches. No communication wanted. No extended family wanted. No Christian unity wanted. Just me, myself and I.

In my denomination “each expression of the church is called to honor and respect the work and ministry of each other part. Each expression of the church listens, hears, and carefully considers the advice, counsel, and requests of others.” Now, that is Christian respect and love!

Feb 27, 2011

Publish a Podcast through Posterous

The preaching category of this blog is also available as a podcast in the itunes store.
It is done through posterous.
Here is how:

First you need a device to record your audio. I use an iPod touch with ILUV Earphones, Remote and Microphone

Second you need to transfer your recording to your computer for a couple of reasons:
a) You want to edit it before publication.
b) An iPod touch only allows you to email very short voice memos.

Third you need to edit your audio file by cutting off what is not needed at the beginning or ending, enhancing volumes, add an intro and a few other things. That can easily be done with Audacity which is free and super easy to use.

Fourth you upload your file to your posterous. They pretty much guide you through everything. I use the autopost function to have my sermons sent here and to my congregation.

Fifth you run your feed through feedburner to make sure you keep track of your success.

Sixth you take your burned feed, go to iTunes and click the Advanced Menu and choose Subscribe to Podcast. Paste the URL and click OK. You’re subscribed. That means the latest episode is downloaded and iTunes will periodically check for new episodes. If there’s a new one, it will download it.

via posterous

Feb 27, 2011

Sermon Podcast: Don’t worry!

Listen to a sermon by the Rev. Daniel Haas titled “Don’t worry!” based on Matthew 6:24-34.

It was delivered at Provo Community United Church of Christ on February 27th 2011.

Download now or listen on posterous

Don’t_worry_2011-02-27.m4a (12009 KB)

Feb 26, 2011

2 John

Today’s Reading is 2 John.
Yeah, really an entire biblical book! Granted it’s a letter of only 13 verses but still. After reading it you can claim: Today I read an entire book of the Bible!

The Elder, whoever that is, makes sure that the Lady, whoever that is, does not fall for docetism:
Verse 7 – “Many deceivers have gone out over the world, people who do not acknowledge that Jesus Christ came as a human being. Such a person is a deceiver and the Enemy of Christ.”

Docetism is a gnostic believe that matter was evil, and as a result God would not take on a material body. This statement is rooted in the idea that a divine spark is imprisoned within the material body, and that the material body is in itself an obstacle, deliberately created by an evil, lesser god (the demiurge) to prevent man from seeing his divine origin.

The problem with that is, that it does not regard life as we know it as precious. Just imagine physical life wouldn’t matter to God: The food on the table, love and sex, a hug, going to visit someone in person, a pat on the back. Just imagine none of this were real: Your grandma dying, a pregnant women being morning-sick, a football player damaging his brain. All of this “only physical”! That is not in line what most of the Bible says about God and the Elder makes sure the Lady does not forget that.

Feb 25, 2011

Skype makes international calls easier and cheaper

Calling any phone in the world through skype is pretty affordable anyway. Now you can do that for up to nine numbers straight from your phone without voice prompts.

Feb 25, 2011

1 John 5:1-21

Today’s Reading is 1 John 5:1-21.

Earlier I asked: What’s wrong in John’s congregation?
Today the author of John’s letter answers directly by wrapping up his letter with a handful of pleas:

Verse 14 “We have courage in God’s presence!”
Boy, are discouraged but may God help us to find courage!

Verse 15 “He hears us whenever we ask him!”
Nobody listens, let’s hope at least God does!

Verse 18 “We know that no children of God keep on sinning!”
That’s at least what we keep telling ourselves – wishful thinking works, right?

Verse 19 “We know that we belong to God!”
Even though it doesn’t feel like it most of the time!

Verse 20 “We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding!”
This whole thing about love, light and sins surely is hard to understand.
Hopefully God gives me understanding I cannot develop myself!

Feb 25, 2011

Learn German and keep your brain healthy

According to the guardian “research suggests that bilingual people can hold Alzheimer’s disease at bay for longer, and that bilingual children are better at prioritising tasks and multitasking.”

Here are some benefits for our family:
– Bilingual kids learn multitasking a lot easier.
– Alzheimer symptoms will begin 5 years later.

One downside they don’t mention:
– Having to switch between languages causes headache, at least in the first few months of bilingualism!

One question remains unanswered:
The most-widely used, non-English language in American households is Spanish. How came that the Educational Attainment of Spanish native-speakers is lower than that of white monoglots?

Feb 25, 2011

socialize vs twitterfeed

Looking over my posts of the last week I notice that twitterfeed processed some immediately, most of them delayed and others not at all. Since my facebook wall gets its posts from twitter, my friends there miss out on some stuff that I write. Since the feed runs through feedburner anyway, it is time to give socialize a try. So this is the first post burned through socialize.

Feb 24, 2011

Congress needs to act on DOMA

Obama has flip-flopped on LGBT rights from the very beginning.
Adam Winkler has got it right:
“While DOMA is a discriminatory law and should be repealed,
Obama’s decision not to defend it should be condemned.”
As Chief Executive Officer of the government you are in charge of defending the law, not backstabbing it. The intention of doing away with DOMA is perfectly good. But let legislature make laws, not courts!