There are a couple of books in the Bible that it is ok to skip right over. The minor prophets? Eh...who needs them. Revelations? Too confusing! And anybody who has ever tried to read the Bible from start to finish has certainly faltered to some degree -- unless you have much greater tenacity than I -- when reading Leviticus, Numbers, or Deuteronomy.

But wait! Should we be so flippant about these books? Why are they in the Bible anyways? Why are they ignored in Bible class and sermons for the most part? While reading the great book, Younger Evangelicals, I read about a church who spent an entire year on the book of Leviticus and experienced radical growth. So I decided to give this book a second chance and see what was in it. Here's what I found:

"...If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord's commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter they are guilty. When they become aware of the sin they committed, the assembly must bring a young bull as a sin offering..." (Lev 4:13-14)

"...If a person sins and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord's commands, even though he does not know it, he is guilty and will be held responsible. He is to bring to the priest as a guilt offering a ram from the flock, one withouth defect and of the proper value." (Lev 5:17-18)

"...If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the Lord by deceiving his neighbor about something entrusted to him or left in his care or stolen, or if he cheats him, or if he finds lost property and lies about it, or if he swears falsely, or if he commits any such sin that people may do -- when he thus sins and becomes guilty, he must return what he has stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to him or the lost property he found, or whatever it was he swore falsely about. He must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day he presents his guilt offering." (Lev 6:2-5)

And that's just some snippets I found in the first 6 chapters. My initial reaction, bad as it may sound was, "Well no wonder the Israelites tried to find a way out and followed other false gods who let them live a little." My second reaction was, "Well thank goodness we're not under the old law!" But I think both thoughts seriously miss the point, and I think overlooking this as "old law" also loses some value as well. Don't get me wrong, I know its in the past but...

...but think of the extreme high standards God set out. A heavy sin offering was needed to pardon even the unintentional, unknown sin of a man. Can you imagine having to offer the modern-day equivalent of a ram for something you did unintentionally? Imagine having to repay your neighbor a fifth over what you had lost or stolen from him or her? Wow!

What gets me though is that these difficult rules make you think twice. Sometimes I think my attitude is "Oh well, what does it matter if I sin? I can pray, God will forgive me, and on I go with life." If however I sinned and knew I was going to have to sacrifice a ram, or for more practical sakes an equal equivalency of money, I would probably think twice. Perhaps what we've lost in the New Testament is that reverence for committing sin since we can seeming "get away" with it so easily.

So go read Leviticus. And if you really want to have some fun all you wild girls out there go read Numbers 5 and see what you think!


The Fear of the Lord

This is a work in progress, simply some thoughts running through my head as I fall asleep each night that I have put together.

I am afraid

...of knowing God

I am afraid
to truly follow Him
to truly give
to truly love others like myself
to truly take up my cross

So I will hide

I will read about Him
I will study the Bible
alone, in study groups, in church
I will sing praises
I will give of my time,
my posessions
I will talk to my friends about Him
I will even pray

Still I will hide.

I will hide
behind the television,
behind my books,
my magazines
behind time with friends,
behind movies,
and mindless activity

because I am scared,
of truly knowing Him
of not being in control
of turning my back on sin


I am more afraid...
of not knowing God.


Move Over IE, the Fox has Arrived

Since I'm always posing as a theologian, psychologist, or philosopher I figure today it's time to hold true to my roots and talk about something I truly understand: computers. So today I am going to inform my reading base of the new browsing tool known as Firefox. This handy-dandy browser is a great replacement for IE (Internet Explorer). In fact, some people love it so much that they're writing break up letters to Microsoft. These are the kind of people I hang out with at work. :)

So what are the benefits of this new browser? Here is a quick run-down:
  • Tabbed browsing (you can now have two or more web pages open in one browser Window. Wonderful!)
  • RSS reader (this is way cool, this keeps you updated with sites when they change. For example, once you've downloaded Firefox and returned to this site you will see an orange button on the bottom right of your browser. Select this and then in your bookmarks you will automatically know when I've had a new post. Very cool!)
  • Pop-up blocker (oh sure, I'm sure you have one from Google by now, but now its integrated and you don't need a third-party add-in)
  • Tight integration with Google (search from the toolbar)
  • Download manager
  • It's not Microsoft! Oh don't get me wrong, I love Bill Gates, but every other day Microsoft has a new patch for its product or their is a new bug that hackers can tap into your computer with through Internet Explorer. Firefox, partially because it holds so small of a share of the market, does not have this problem.
So try it out and then, if you feel emotional enough about it, go ahead and write that break-up letter to Microsoft. You won't be the first...

Other Articles:
CNET's Review
Forbe's Review
FireFox Homepage



If Gabe can do it, I can to is typically my motto. With that in mind I filled out an eHarmony profile to find out more about myself and my view of relationships. Now mind you there is a hefty fee for actually getting paired up with a "compatible" match, so I won't be getting into an online relationship anytime soon, but I've got to admit it was quite interesting. So, although my original intent of this site was just to blab on about random musings I have, here are some insights into my soul provided by the eHarmony. The first list is the 10 "must-haves" if I'm to be in a relationship. It's quite sad that they limited me to 10, because the first time I chose the list I had 31! The second list is the 10 "can't stand" things that I could certainly not live with in a relationship. So enjoy this random insight into my idea of relationships...

10 Must Haves:
I must have a partner who is gentle and kind.


I must have someone who is good at talking and listening.


I must have someone who isn't afraid to take a risk and who see s life as an adventure.


I must have someone who can handle life's frustrations or momentary setbacks with a patient, steady demeanor.


I must have a partner who is bright and can share my understanding of the world as well as enjoy discussing important issues.

I must have someone I can count on to always support me.

Family Life:
I must have a partner who is committed to marriage, home, and family.

I must have someone with a similar deep commitment to spirituality, who shares my beliefs.

I must have a partner who is able to forget about money and focus on the important parts of life.

I must have a spouse who has saved herself sexually for marriage.

10 Can't Stands:
I can't stand someone who bases their happiness on me.

I can't stand someone who takes advantage of people.

I can't stand someone whose main topic of conversation is herself.

I can't stand someone who is belittling, impatient or hateful to people in any situation.

I can't stand someone who sees material items as a measure of success.

I can't stand someone who treats everything in life as secondary to their job.

I can't stand someone who is not emotionally mature.

I can't stand someone who holds a double standard for their actions and those of other people.

I can't stand someone who fails to come through and is unreliable.

I can't stand someone who is obnoxiously cocky.

The thing I like about these lists is that it gets past the superficial issues we so often discuss when talking about our dream someone. As my good friend Mark Barnache said, you want to find someone with the "qwan." Hopefully I spelled that word right but basically the "qwan" is the female version of the Renaissance man. And according to him, she is out there, you just have to be patient and wait on God. He should know; he's getting married January 23rd to a very special lady himself.


And So It Goes

Kurt Vonnegut's absolutely bizarre book, Slaughterhouse Five, officially coined this phrase "So it goes". In the context of the book it references death. Another interesting phrase "So be it" is used by none other than Jason Bourne. The movies fail to pick up on this phrase, but in Robert Ludlum's masterful books you hear it repeated over and over. Both of these phrases tend to lead the reader on to believe that there is no hope. This is how it ends, or this is how it is, and there is nothing else.

My blog has a slightly down tone tonight, mainly cause I'm having one of those sleepless nights. There are challenges in life that are dreadfully difficult to face, and I seem to be in the midst of one of those tonight. My surgery! No, just kidding, although I'm not looking forward to that either.

For the sake of maturity I really won't delve into the matter of the problem. However, like the psalmist David, I will praise God for the work He is doing in my life. The beauty of David's psalms are astounding and I love the layout of many of these psalms. David obviously had a rough life but even in the most depressing of psalms he had something good to praise God about at the end.

So I'd like to praise God for the challenges He has put before me in the last 5 and a half years. Since starting college at OC I've grown tremendously, and on a night like tonight I doubt the truth of that statement, but I know I've come a long way. I'd also like to praise God for the gift of our Christian community. I tremendously love my brothers and sisters in Christ and am thankful for their loving spirits. But most importantly I'd like to thank God for who He is. His example of love, sacrifice and mercy can never be surpassed and while it is often incomprehensible that there is a being who loves us that much, I am extremely grateful.


The Principle of Vulnerability

Why are we afraid to be real? Or am I the only one to have this fear? Vulnerability in my life shapes itself in two divergent areas: fear of not being perfect and fear of being real. Perhaps the two are intertwined, but I'll probably figure that out by the end of the post since I think best when writing.

Lets approach the first fear of not being perfect. The disadvantage of being told your intelligent, or being an A student in high school and college is that you suddenly are afraid to be wrong on anything. To maintain your air of intellectual superiority you have to stick to your guns at every turn and defend rather than explore possibilities. I realize that this fear has been one that has grown tremendously in my life after graduating college with a good GPA. I am now afraid to speak my mind or heart in fear of being looked down upon for not knowing the truth, not knowing the real issue, or perhaps even being narrow-minded (for those of you shocked by this statement, just know that I often hold back!).

This fear is not near as pervasive as the fear of being real. I have long struggled with the idea that we must continually be infallible within the church. When you go to worship you hardly ever see someone suffering, and if someone is failing to be "joyful" they are avoided like the plague. Why is this? My theory is that this superficial surface-level image that is brought to church is a reaction to the legalism we experienced in the church growing up. The modern church (correct me if I'm wrong oh wise Reformation scholar) taught Christians that the one true way to heaven was to be morally and spiritually perfect, a standard which was impossible to uphold. So instead of admitting that we are fallen we tried to portray that we are perfect and free from sin.

The interesting thing is that vulnerability is extremely healthy! My good friend Ann and I used to discuss this principle and how it often brought people closer together even though it seems antithetical to conventional wisdom. I have secretly hated James 5:16 for much of my life. To quote the New King James (boy I'm old school!): "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed." What a thought!

Ok, so I didn't figure it out whether these fears are intertwined, but then again, maybe I'm not supposed to...


Post-modernism continued...

Please go to Gabe's blog to see a continued discussion on this subject matter. His address is: http://gabepeterson.blogspot.com.