Survival Guide For The New School Year

You’ve probably noticed the reduction in the amount of arrests on your local news and seen fewer burning couches on your way to the grocery store. You rejoice in your heart because you know this can mean only one thing: Summer is over and your kids are finally going back to school (if they’re not in jail, which in either case you still don’t have to deal with them, so win-win). If you’re one of those concerned parents who feels the need to actually “parent” your child, then this guide has no relevance to you. I’m here for those parents that have better things to do than get their kids ready for the school year. Yeah, that’s right, I’m talking to you. You know who you are.

“We’ll work on your times tables as soon as Daddy picks Mr. Vick to be his fantasy QB.”

It’s nothing to be ashamed of though. It’s not like your kid is going to get into college anyway. And even if he does, you’re never going to be able to afford it. Right now the average cost of a 4 year public school is right around $20,000. If your little munchkin plans on going to a 4 year public school, say, 15 years from now, be prepared to fork over a little over $85,000. That is if the inflation rate stays the same which it won’t. So unless little Timmy is a rocket scientist and gets the rocket scientist scholarship or you’re willing to be in massive debt, don’t bother with the whole college thing. Find a nice trade school and be happy with your life. College really isn’t for everyone. Unless you plan on getting a professional degree (doctor, lawyer, teacher), there really is no reason to go to a four-year school. You can learn all you need to know about wellness, finance, and whatever you need to function highly in society just by going to a 2 year school. Plus you can afford it.

Let’s face it, people go to college to get a $20,000 piece of paper.

That was basically a long way of saying college isn’t everything. I understand you have several people in your life telling you how important college is. They are correct, college education is important. If those same people are telling you that your life won’t be as good or you’re not as desirable as those people who go to college, then they’re just lying to you. Don’t let a college degree define you. As a matter of fact, don’t let anything define you that you’re not willing to die for.

So there you have it, your guide to surviving the school year. What? I didn’t actually give a survival guide? Yes I did.

My goal wasn’t to show you how to survive school. It was to show you how to survive life while being in school.

If you treat people like garbage and are constantly self-absorbed, no one will really care about your shiny degree.

If you love your neighbor as yourself, it won’t matter if you have a degree or not because you’ve already done the most important work of all. The one’s opinion you should be concerned about doesn’t value your degree as much as you but he does value how you treat others.

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Can God Make A Circle, Square?

Believe it or not, that’s a question I think about a lot. Not in the context of doubting God’s sovereignty but more in the context of understanding life. I’m about to blow your mind with this so here it goes: A circle is not a square. A circle can never be a square. A circle is the exact opposite of a square.

And can you believe I thought of that all by myself?

But, of course, who are we kidding? God can certainly make a circle into a square. He can do anything he wants, right? In fact, there’s a verse in the Bible that tells us we can do all things through Christ, the one who gives us our strength. So through Christ, we too can make a circle into a square. All we have to do is believe it will happen and it will. That’s why our prayers aren’t answered, we don’t have enough faith.

Sometimes I go a little overboard on my facetiousness so sorry about that. The crazy thing is I used to believe all that. I’m so thankful that God showed me that it’s by his grace that my prayers are answered and not my faith. I’m also thankful for my limitations and humbled to know everything I do is because of Christ and I can’t do anything apart from him. Things become real to me when I understand the circle/square concept in relation to life. Let me put it a better way:

God is not false. God can never be false. God is the opposite of false.

In other words, everything God says and does is truth. But if that’s the case, why do we ask him to change? We ask him to heal the sick, stop the droughts and generally just make our lives better. We ask him to take away the consequences of our sin, to make our circles into squares so to speak. There’s a reason Jesus instructs us to pray that God’s will be done instead of praying for miracles. However, if you feel led to pray for a miracle, by all means do it. Just remember Jesus did miracles to show people who he was, not necessarily to make our lives better.

It’s good to know that God is always true and never changes. He sets moral laws and laws of nature and grace so that we know how to function. It only hurts us when we try to interject our opinions into his words and make him something that he’s not.

God is sovereign so he can make a circle into a square an octagon or even a rhombus for that matter. But God is also true so he can’t make a circle into a square, and for that I’m thankful.

I’m sorry this post was so serious but it is Sunday, ya know. To make up for it you, can use this post as a coupon if you print it off and show it to your pastor. Deal is below:

For having read such a serious post, the person in possession of this coupon/post is exempt from one (1) sermon on this day, August 14, 2011.

Signed,

TheChiefest

You’re welcome.

Does God Influence Football Games?

Is this a stupid question?

I learned a long time ago in fourth grade that there are no stupid questions…just stupid people. And this stupid person thinks this may be a valid question.

The start of football season is less than a month away and for many of us, it can’t get here soon enough. There’s just something about watching your alma mater or your favorite childhood team that makes Friday nights, Saturdays, or Sunday afternoons a special time. We watch because it’s fun and there’s no better emotional high than seeing your team win against those cheaters from Alabama. But of course, we know that football has no place in spiritual matters. It’s just a game. God doesn’t care who wins a meaningless football game. We watch it for carnal reasons, and nothing else.

But there’s also a flip side to that thinking. God really does care about our lives and the things we do. He doesn’t want to just be with us when we’re at church. He also wants to be with us when we’re screaming our heads off in Section 117, Seat 4. And if those guys on the field are believers, He wants to be with them, too,  even when they’re in the huddle. Not because He wants to give the other team their plays, but because He wants to be involved in every aspect of their lives.

On the night of September 18, 2010, the Auburn Tigers or War Eagles or Plainsmen (or whatever their mascot is) hosted the Clemson Tigers and found themselves trailing 17-0 late in the first half. Auburn came back to tie it up and eventually the game went to overtime. Auburn kicked a field goal on their first possession so all Clemson had to do was score a touchdown to win. Auburn stopped them on the first three downs so Clemson decided to go for a field goal to send it to a second overtime. They missed it. Auburn wins 27-24. Everyone was going crazy and no one could believe the great comeback they just witnessed. The reporters met Head Coach Gene Chizik at midfield and asked him how was Auburn able to win that game.

“That was a God thing. They kept their faith the whole game.”

Did God bless the Auburn team because of their faith? Did God give Cam Newton and Tim Tebow success because of their faith? We can’t prove whether He did or didn’t but we are very quick to dismiss that God doesn’t care about football. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that God is concerned with football-other than the fact He created the heavens and earth. The question is: Does God bless believers by giving them success in football thereby influencing the outcome of the game? If He does, He has every right to do so. If He doesn’t, He still has every right to do so. I’m not going to lie and tell you that I know God doesn’t give believers success. I will tell you that I don’t think God gives material blessings based on faith. Why do I think Cam Newton and Tim Tebow had so much success? Because they are super athletes and hard workers…no matter how much they made in college. #stirringthepot

How about you? Do you think God influences games? I would love to hear your opinion (and not because I may or may not have a little action on the Arkansas/Alabama game September 24). Go Hogs.

5 Books That Would Have Made Your Bible Even Longer

It is common knowledge that 1 out of every 2 of my readers knows all the books of the Bible. And considering my mom is the only other person who reads this besides me, the odds aren’t looking good for me as being the one who knows them all. Nevertheless, I continue on.

It is also common knowledge that remembering every book of the Bible is hard. I once saw a stat that showed over 60% of Americans couldn’t name either half of the ten commandments or the four gospels. I’m being very optimistic when I type this but I would venture to guess 40% of Christians couldn’t do the same. Going out further on a limb, I’d surmise that only 20% of Christians could name every book of the Bible and only half of them could do it while standing on their heads. Now these figures are purely my opinion of some limited observation. I could be talking out of my hind parts, which is the case in most things I do. But the point is that we are a biblically illiterate society and most people can’t tell the difference between “Job”, an Old Testament book of wisdom, or “Job”, that thing they have to get so they won’t waste all their food stamps.

In Math Club they told me that 5/3 of all statistics are made up.

One of my goals here at TheChiefest is to drop some education on your behind, as well as encourage you all the while you laugh at my pitiful attempts at humor. Today is an educational day my friends and it’s all brought to you by the letter U. As in U better read this so that these little nuggets of knowledge can zap into your eyeballs and go straight to your brain.

I’ve always contested that I have the smartest readership out of any site on the eBays so hopefully most of you are familiar enough with the Bible and its contents. But what about books that were almost a part of your Bible? And by almost, I mean that the early Christian church was using many of these books as Scripture until they were determined, and rightfully so,  not to be canonical, or , in simpler terms, not inspired by God.

I’m going to go through 5 books and give you the reasons for its consideration and the reasons for its eventual rejection.

# 5:     The Gospel of Peter

Why it was considered:     Hello? It’s Peter. The guy who was a disciple of Jesus. The guy who temporarily walked on water. The guy who has two books that bear his name already in Scripture. I think you get the idea.

Why it was rejected:     Although it reads almost entirely like the other synoptic gospels, the last few events in the book is where it gets a little fuzzy. First of all, the blame of Jesus’ crucifixion is placed solely on Herod, the Jews and the scribes. Peter takes the blame off of Pilate because he “washed his hands of any blood”. This is different from the other four.  Another head scratcher is after Jesus’ resurrection. Peter describes two angels walking into the tomb after the stone was rolled away. Out of the tomb walks the two angels, whose heads stretch immediately to the heavens, Jesus, and a floating cross that responds to a question from Heaven. Jesus walking out of the tomb is very much believable, but two angels with fifteen mile long heads and a talking cross? I have a feeling Peter didn’t write this and the guys who were copying the other gospels were doing such a great job until their “herbal medicine” kicked in.

# 4:     The Gospel of Thomas

Why it was considered:    Thomas was also a disciple of Jesus. He is best known as the one who doubted Jesus’ resurrection until Jesus showed himself to Thomas. So who better to write about it than Thomas?

Why it was rejected:     This book never really mentions anything about the life of Jesus, which is completely different from the other gospels. It is actually made up of a list of sayings and parables that are attributed to Jesus. There is also nothing about the death, burial, or resurrection of Jesus so that pretty much closes the case on why Thomas shouldn’t be in the Bible.

# 3:     The Apocalypse of Peter

Why it was considered:     Apocalypse literature was common back in the first and second century. Probably the most common one is the Apocalypse of John. Most people now days just call it Revelation. This book would have been the second most popular.

Why it was rejected:     Like Revelation, Peter is given a detailed image of Heaven but unlike Revelation, he is also given a detailed image of Hell. It basically reads like Dante’s Inferno in that each person will be punished in relation to the sins they committed. For example, blasphemers are hung by their tongues. There is also a passage that explains that eventually God will save all sinners from punishment in Hell. I really don’t think Peter was a Universalist but Oprah is so it’s more likely that Oprah wrote this book than Peter.

# 2:     The Book of Noah

Why it was considered:     This book is quoted in several early jewish writings such as 1 Enoch and the Jubilees. Fragments of it were also found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Why it was rejected:     While it is referenced and quoted in many Jewish writings, no one has actually read or even seen a copy of the book. So until some archaeologist makes the greatest discovery in the history of earth, you won’t be seeing this book in your Bible anytime soon.

# 1:     Bel and the Dragon

Why it was considered:     This book is a fun one to read. It deals with Daniel while he is at the court of Cyrus, king of the Persians. In the first story Cyrus brags to Daniel about how much his god, Bel, can eat and drink. Daniel points out that the statue is made of clay and bronze so therefore it can’t eat or drink anything. King Cyrus gets mad at Daniel and orders the 70 prophets of Bel to show him who really consumes the offerings that are given. The priests set the offerings at the table and order the door to the temple be sealed. Daniel cleverly spreads ashes on the temple floor before he leaves. The next morning Daniel points out the footprints on the floor. It turns out the prophets and their families used a secret door to come in at night and eat all the food. Cyrus then has all the prophets and their families put to death. Happy ending as usual.

The next story has Daniel feeding a meal of pitch, fat, and hair to a dragon the Babylonians worshiped. The dragon bursts upon consumption and the Babylonians become infuriated.

This book is in the Eastern and Greek Orthodox Bibles but is combined with the book of Daniel and just becomes the last chapter of the book, Daniel 14. It was also in the 1611 version of the King James Bible.

Why it was rejected:    There is one other story in the book that is kind of fishy. Daniel is again in the lion’s den for an unknown reason.  And again, Daniel is unharmed by the lions. But this time an angel brought the prophet Habakkuk to Daniel to feed him while he was in the den. He feeds him stew.

As you can see, these books, and many others just like them, really have no place in our 66 book Bible. They are more than likely not inspired by God so I more than likely don’t want to read them. Except for the fact I read parts of them to do this but other than that, I don’t want to read them.

This Title Is Not Creative Or Original

Have you noticed there’s never anything original in Christianity today?

The world comes out with eHarmony and Match.com. Christianity comes out with christiansingles.com and christianmingle.com.

The world blesses us with Youtube while Christianity, not to be outdone, launches its own Godtube.

Facebook has its Christian counterpart in God’s Faithbook.

And even though its very entertaining, Jon Acuff’s Stuff Christians Like is basically a rip off of the popular blog Stuff White People Like.

I guess I could start the blog, Stuff White Christians Like, but there would be only one entry: Bill Gaither.

Oh and 42, for some reason they love that game.

As for me, I’m not original either. Most of my stuff comes from an old cedar chest I found out in my backyard while I was digging for oil. I think it was written by some old Indian chief. Either that or by the previous owners of our house, the Whisenhunts. It really doesn’t matter to me, I’m an equal opportunity plagiarizer.

But regarding the lack of originality in Christianity, why do you think that is? It’s not because there aren’t any talented Christians. I mean look at Kirk Cameron for crying out loud. It’s not because Christians aren’t creative.

That’s pretty creative, even for a Christian.

If it’s not a lack of creativity or a lack of talent, then what is it? Why is it that when I tune into my local positive and encouraging radio station, I can’t tell whether or not I’m on the right station because it’s ten minutes before I hear the name “Jesus”.

It all goes back to one thing, we don’t think the gospel is enough for people. We try to draw people into our religion by using something they are familiar with: pop culture. That’s why you see shirts like this:

Except they don’t live in the basement at BestBuy.

How about we take pop culture out of Christianity and replace it with the gospel. It’s original, creative and it won’t go out of style like those skinny jeans you bought last week. What were you thinking?

How Not To Argue Against The Bible…For Dummies

I was “talking” with a man/woman the other day on the Internet about the validity of the Bible. This person was arguing that there are errors in the Bible whereas my disposition was that there aren’t any errors. The argument was going nowhere until this person said he/she had four specific verses that prove the Bible is fallacious.  I knew what was coming next. Talking snakes this, worldwide flood that. It was all so predictable. But the four verses mentioned were not what I was expecting. Matter of fact, they were so off the wall that I started to look around the room for Ashton Kutcher because I thought I was being Punk’d.

Wait, wasn’t this show called Candid Camera when people cared about it?

I would like to share them with you and show you how I responded (and how I wanted to respond). I’d also like to get your opinion on them as well. How would you have explained these verses to someone whose obvious presupposition was that the Bible is inaccurate?

Verse #1:     Leviticus 11:20-23

“All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be regarded as unclean by you.  There are, however, some flying insects that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground.  Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper.  But all other flying insects that have four legs you are to regard as unclean.”

The Problem:     God says that insects have four legs. Insects do not have four legs, they have six. Is God not telling the truth?

What I wanted to say:     You moron. God wasn’t giving a biology lecture. He was informing the Israelites on what they could and couldn’t eat.

What I actually said:     Yes, you’re correct, all insects have six legs. But I think the answer you’re looking for is in the same set of verses you got your question from. Why did God differentiate between insects. Why was it okay to eat the hopping ones instead of ones that couldn’t? Like throughout most of the first five books of the Bible, God was more concerned with function than anatomy. Insects have six legs but two of those legs are for specific functions. Some are for digging, some for climbing and some for hopping. The other four are strictly for walking. It was very nice of God to allow the Israelites to eat hopping insects like grasshoppers instead of climbing insects like cockroaches.

Verse #2:     2 Chronicles 4:2

” He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it.”

The Problem:     He (Hiram) is building a pool that is ten cubits in diameter and thirty cubits in circumference. In order to find π, you divide the circumference by diameter. In the case of this pool, the value of π is 3. Now all you mathematicians reading this know that π is not 3 but rather 3.14 and so on. For the pool to be an actual circle, the circumference would have to be at least 31.4 cubits. If the Bible is not accurate on this, what else is it not being accurate on?

What I wanted to say:     It wasn’t a perfect circle, you mouthbreather.

What I actually said:     It wasn’t a perfect circle. Or maybe he rounded the numbers off because even back then fractions were still stupid.

Verse #3:     Matthew 1:1-16, Luke 3:23-38

The genealogy of Jesus in Matthew and Luke.

The Problem:     The two genealogies of Jesus in the gospels differ. Are either of them correct?

What I wanted to say:     I wish I could stick my hand through this screen and slap you upside your head.

What I actually said:     This one is kind of perplexing because you think that all those guys who transcribed all those copies would have noticed this and tried to go back to the originals to at least check their work. Them being different really validates that the monks who did the transcribing tried to copy them word for word because it would have been real easy to just make them the same.

Both gospels are identical from Abraham to David. After that, they are completely different. A big key in Matthew is that after David it lists Solomon and then goes through a monarchial genealogy. Matthew tries to show Jesus’ lineage through the Jewish line because he was highlighting Jesus’ role as their Messiah. Luke’s genealogy goes all the way back to Adam so he is focusing on Jesus as Savior of the entire world. After David, Luke lists Nathan instead of Solomon so it’s very likely, given the time, that both genealogies could be correct because families were very big and included half brothers and sisters.

The kicker is that Matthew lists Joseph’s father as Jacob and Luke lists it as Heli. It’s not very likely that they are the same person. It is a little more likely that Heli is Joseph’s father-in-law. The most likely scenario is that, according to tradition, if a man dies without bearing sons, his brother could marry his widow and the sons could carry on the dead man’s name. So Joseph’s legal father could be Heli and his biological father could be Jacob. This theory also takes into account that both of Joseph’s grandfathers were brothers and they were married to the same woman, one after the other. But hey, who am I to judge.

Verse #4:     Matthew 13:31-32

” He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.  Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

The Problem:     Jesus said that a mustard seed is the smallest of all the seeds. He also says a mustard seed becomes a tree. Neither of these are true. If Jesus lied about this what else did he lie about?

What I wanted to say:     Look you simpleton, Jesus wasn’t comparing the mustard seed to every seed on earth. He was comparing it to seeds a Middle Eastern farmer would know. Also wrap your tiny brain around this, a mustard bush would grow up to 12 feet in Israel and if that ain’t a tree, I don’t know what one is.

What I actually said:      Look you simpleton, Jesus wasn’t comparing the mustard seed to every seed on earth. He was comparing it to seeds a Middle Eastern farmer would know. Also wrap your tiny brain around this, a mustard bush would grow up to 12 feet in Israel and if that ain’t a tree, I don’t know what one is.

As you can tell I was having anger management problems that day but I felt like I got my point across. Had to ask for forgiveness though. Not from that pea-brain but from God. Oops, did it again.