Friday, November 28, 2008

Bible Trivia - 11/28/2008

Question: Which one of other disciples of Jesus came from the same town as Peter and Andrew?

Answer: Philip. (John 1:44)

Comments: The Gospel of John records that the disciple Philip, like brothers and fellow disciples Andrew and Peter, was originally from Bethsaida. Bethsaida was a city of Galilee whose name means "house of fishing."

Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. (John 1:44, NASB)

John is the only canonical gospel which presents Philip as anything more than a name in a list of disciples. (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14) John actually denotes Philip's hometown twice. (John 1:44, 12:21)

Word of the Day - 11/28/2008


To vouchsafe is to grant or give, as by favor, graciousness, or condescension.

King Ahasuerus (aka Xerxes), king of Persia, vouchsafed up to half of his kingdom to his wife Esther.

Then the king said to her, "What is troubling you, Queen Esther? And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be given to you." (Esther 5:3, NASB)

Note: This oil on canvas, Esther before Ahasuerus by Sebastiano Ricci (1659-1734), hangs in the National Gallery in London.

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 11/28/2008

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Mine was spent in West Knoxville with my paternal family at the home of my uncle JHV and aunt LAMV. My increasingly shrinking maternal family opted to spend the day in Pigeon Forge.

The day started on an ominous note. My mother had prepared several side dishes to take to the gathering. As my father was transporting them to the car, my mother’s bacon wrapped green beans spilled juice all over him. He had to change clothes. On this happy note, we set out for a day with the family. (I must note that this dish did get rave reviews from the family.)

We met the family at 12:30. The Tennessee basketball game in Orlando tipped off at noon. Who scheduled lunch at the same time as a UT basketball game? We were able to watch most of the game on ESPN2. The fact that we had such an interesting diversion was one of the things I was most thankful for on this day. Plus, we won, beating a quality Sienna team 78-64. The other sporting event we watched was the Titans-Lions football game. The team with the best record in the NFL (Tennessee) trounced the team with the worst, 47-10.

Oh, lest I forget, we also ate and fellowshipped as a family. We had nineteen people in attendance. In addition to the family, my cousin’s dear friend JS was there. I should not count him separately as he is family.

We also had an international flavor to the festivities. My aunt and uncle frequently go on mission trips to China and four Chinese were present to celebrate with us. A couple, Yao and Nancy, brought their baby Ryan and Yao’s mother Shulan. Yao maybe related to Yao Ming as the baby weighed over ten pounds when he was born fifty days ago! My uncle conversed with them in Chinese. I was impressed.

The guests brought Chinese dumplings (aka pot stickers) to the affair. LAMV tried to make them feel at home by preparing rice, Chinese desserts, etc. Chopsticks were at each place setting. My mother’s experimentation with them would supply some entertainment though I do not believe that was their primary purpose. My aunt also served hot water as a beverage. Evidently iced tea seems just as crazy to the Chinese as drinking hot water seems to me.

Though we had more food than ever before, my aunt MCDV’s dressing was the highlight as always. To me, Thanksgiving is all about the dressing. I would get the recipe but there is none, not that I could replicate the dish anyway. My aunt provided me my own pan to take home. I love my aunt!

I thought it would be slightly odd that I no longer eat desserts or sodas, save for Sundays. My cousin is now a vegetarian so my new lifestyle went unnoticed. Another thing to be thankful for...

My cousin’s 2½ year old son Weston slept through the majority of the event. When he awoke, my mother gave him his Christmas present, as has become the custom. Weston now has a mullet. I reluctantly informed the family of Kidz Fun Cutz where KJW received her first haircut. The younger demographic in attendance all concurred that he should definitely keep the mullet.

Now for the most important detail in all Vinson family events, my father was the first to fall asleep. My cousin JEV had placed his bet on my uncle ECD while I had gone with the traditional favorite of my grandfather, WCV Jr. The dark horse candidate won. My father was highly offended as his slumber lasted only a few seconds. I am sorry, Dad, but this counts. JEV could not have accounted for my uncle having two new toys: a laptop and a cell phone. I have no explanation for how my grandfather outlasted my dad. That is why the games aren’t played on paper...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Church Sign - 11/27/2008

Church: Rocky Hill Baptist Church (7409 S Northshore Dr; Knoxville, TN 37919)

Sign: “In everything give thanks!”

Commentary: As one might suspect, many church signs have appropriately catered to the Thanksgving holiday this week. This sign, a direct quotation from the letters of Paul, reminds its readers that it is God's will that we be thankful for all things, perceived blessings and curses alike.

in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thessalnoians 5:18, NASB)

Bible Trivia - 11/27/2008

Question: How many stones did David take to fight Goliath?

Answer: 5. (I Samuel 17:40)

Comments: David carried five smooth stones with him into battle against Goliath. There was an excess of four as David needed only one to defeat the Phistine giant. No reason is given in Scripture for the spare rocks though many have conjectured. Some claim Goliath had four brothers (based upon II Samuel 21:19-22) and that David was preparing for retribution. Others find symbolic meaning in the number with five representing the five books of the Torah. By this rationale, David fell his enemy with no less than the word of God. Some Rabbinic literature claims the stones actually spoke to David saying, "By us you will kill the giant." Some have equated this with Jesus' claim that if Israel had not acknowledged Him, stones would (Luke 19:40).

He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd's bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine. (I Samuel 17:40, NASB)

Regardless of how many stones David toted into battle, to any spectator David appeared defenseless and overmatched in this contest.

Word of the Day - 11/27/2008


To interpolate is to introduce (something additional or extraneous) between other things or parts; interject; interpose; intercalate.

Many scholars report interpolations in the Biblical text. For example, many scholars find Mark 16:9-20, I Corinthians 14:34-35, II Thessalonians 2:13-16, and James 2:18 to be New Testament interpolations.

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 11/27/2008

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

On Wednesday night, JTH and I got to hang out with our good friend JDM for the first time in quite awhile. He has been consumed by engineering projects at UT. Naturally, we met at Applebees.

JDM still has a great deal of work left this semester, but is otherwise well. He has been teaching his niece the ramifications of being on Santa’s naughty list. She became so concerned with which list she was on (naughty or nice), that she had her mother e-mail Santa. JDM would make a great Southern Baptist.

In response to this harassment, JDM’s brother-in-law, JAH, told his daughter not to worry as JDM had secured a place on the all-time Naughty list.

In an update on yesterday’s appearance of The Movie Man, there was no word on whether or not he returned to MoFoS on Thursday. The store manager agreed to call JTH in the event that The Movie Man returned. No such call was made.

In other store news, does anyone have any hockey sticks? JTH has found a new use for the VHS tape...

The best news of Wednesday was that I learned that my seminary pal BKW is in town thru Sunday. That is the best Thanksgiving present ever. Well, since we don't give Thanksgiving presents that is not as big a deal as it could be... In any event, I am thrilled to see BKW.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Associated Baptist Press - 11/26/2008

Associated Baptist Press
November 26, 2008 · (08-116)

David Wilkinson, Executive Director
Robert Marus, Acting Managing Editor/Washington Bureau Chief
Bob Allen, Senior Writer

In this issue
Economy putting pressure on Thanksgiving food ministries (528 words)
Documentary on Christians and porn to have TV premiere (679 words)

Economy putting pressure on Thanksgiving food ministries
By Bob Allen

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (ABP) -- Economic hard times are putting pressure on charities scrambling to meet rising need this Thanksgiving.

"I wouldn't call it a pinch. I would call it Jaws of Life," Dan Shorter, who co-directs a "Feed the Hungry" program at The Village Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, Fla., described the impact of lagging donations, rising costs and increased demand.

"We've been doing this for 21 years and we've never had harder times," Shorter said in a telephone interview. "We've never seen such widespread need."

Shorter said the ministry fed an average of 850 families a month from January through October but expects to feed more than 3,000 for Thanksgiving. He said he has had to pay five times as much for food compared to last year.

"We're basically broke," he said. "We may have to cancel Christmas this year."

Mission Arlington, a ministry of First Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, says demand for food assistance has jumped 9 percent in the last couple of months. Last year Mission Arlington provided food for about 17,000 people on Thanksgiving Day. This year, because of economic troubles affecting everyone, the ministry is expecting the need for help to increase.

"We'll be feeding probably 20,000 people," Mission Arlington Executive Director Tillie Burgin said. It takes about 4,500 turkeys to feed that many people, and as of Wednesday Burgin said it looked like there would be enough food for Thanksgiving Day.

"We are doing great," she said of food donations. "We're just blessed."

Burgin said she didn't want people to stop giving, however. "We've got Christmas and lot's more to do," she said. "We won't have any left over, that's for sure."

Steve Poole, minister of music and worship at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Bel Air, Md., said his congregation has been feeling the effects of economic struggles, including an increase in its food ministries.

Poole said mission groups typically prepare Thanksgiving baskets of food for families in need. Last year the congregation set a goal to provide 75 baskets to families to commemorate the church's 75th anniversary.

"It was actually a little difficult to find that many families within our church that needed the help," Poole said. "This year we had to start turning families away after we reached one hundred requests."

Poole said the church's benevolence committee has more requests each week than they can handle. "People are feeling the pain of the economic downturn, but God continues to bless our church with the provisions to fulfill His calling for our church," he said.

Shorter said it "will take an act of God" for his Florida congregation to meet its goal of helping 4,000 families and giving toys to 3,000 needy kids at Christmas. Economic forces of the first 11 months of the year "haven't pinched us," he said. "They have crushed us."

In an effort to stretch resources, he said the ministry -- unlike previous years -- is not handing out turkeys this Thanksgiving, but rather giving families chicken and pork patties.

"No one's happy about it," Shorter said, but he can feed three families chicken or pork for the cost of one turkey.

Bob Allen is senior writer for Associated Baptist Press.

Documentary on Christians and porn to have TV premiere
By Bob Allen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (ABP) -- A television documentary that shines a light on the problem of pornography addiction among Christians premieres Sunday, Nov. 30, and airs again Dec. 7 on the ION Television Network, formerly PAX TV.

"Somebody's Daughter: A Journey to Freedom from Pornography" features three men and one married couple active in Christian ministry who describe struggling with and overcoming addiction to pornography.

The program was produced by Music for the Soul, a ministry that promotes healing through music, as a DVD-CD multimedia compilation to promote healing for people struggling with pornography addiction. In addition to the 62-minute television documentary, the DVD-CD package includes 18 music and spoken word tracks and four music videos.

The project takes its title from a song written by Christian recording artist John Mandeville and Steve Siler, founder and director of Music for the Soul, after Mandeville revealed to Siler his struggles with pornography. After attending a meeting for sex addicts, the two men wrote the song to illustrate that women should be viewed not as objects but as somebody's daughter, a starting point for Mandeville's healing.

Siler says he hopes the project will "turn on a bright light" to the destructive power of pornography on individuals and marriages and open awareness and dialogue in churches.

According to recent surveys, nearly 60 percent of Christian men and 37 percent of pastors admit to struggling with pornography. And the problem is not limited to men -- 35 percent of women also admit to the addiction.

The producers say "Somebody's Daughter" is an attempt "to shine the light on how the $13.3 billion pornography industry is plaguing those who profess Christianity, and to promote healing and deliverance from the growing epidemic."

People in the documentary say they used to rationalize their pornography habit by arguing that it didn't hurt anyone, but over time it became something that came between them and God. Separation from God was followed by separation from their spouse, children and other loved ones.

"Pornography erodes the ability to maintain healthy intimacy," Siler says.

Siler says pastors are vulnerable, because men are most susceptible when they are physically and emotionally drained, and spiritual leaders work under high levels of emotional and physical strain.

Compounding the problem, Siler says, is the "shoot our own" response often seen in churches.

"Instead, we need to be giving our leaders the support and help they need to overcome this problem so that they can return to offer guidance to the men in the pews."

"I'm not saying we shouldn't hold them accountable," Siler says. "I'm just saying we shouldn't automatically treat this sin as somehow worse than all others and drive good men out of the church because they have struggled with this issue."

Siler says he knows several ministerial leaders "who have been restored from this problem who are serving the church with tremendous energy, courage and vision."

Siler says churches should partner with Christian counselors to offer members a safe place to get help with pornography addiction and sponsor accountability groups or one-on-one partners to help them on the road to recovery.

"Members should know that forgiveness and healing are possible, and that as long as they acknowledge their sin and commit to the work of recovery, they will have a place in the community," Siler says.

Siler says the church has been slow to respond to viewership of pornography by Christian leaders and laypeople because sex is an uncomfortable topic for the church.

"God made our bodies but there is still a lot of theology out there that says the body is bad," he says. "As a result, it makes a lot of us uncomfortable to talk about it."

"What's strange about this to me is that we profess to believe that God sees what we do in secret already. We might as well talk about what God already knows is happening."

"Somebody's Daughter" also is slated to air on INSP, the Daystar Television Network, Faith TV and "It's Time for Herman & Sharron" show this winter. Check local listings for air times.

Bob Allen is senior writer for Associated Baptist Press.

Prayer Blog - 11/26/2008

As you likely know, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. For most of us it is a time to overeat and fellowship with family. For others, a great void will be felt. Keep all of those who have lost a loved one this year in your prayers as the holidays are a very trying time. Also remember to say a prayer of thanksgiving to God, the author of all gifts.

Bible Trivia - 11/26/2008

Question: What is the middle verse of the New Testament?

Answer: Acts 17:17.

Comments: There are 7,959 verses in the New Testament. The middle of these verses is Acts 17:17. It reads:

So he [Paul] was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present. (Acts 17:17, NASB)

Word of the Day - 11/26/2008


Dilatory means tending to delay or procrastinate; slow; tardy.

II Peter reminds its readers that the Lord is not dilatory regarding divine promises. The author specifically had the the second coming of Christ in mind.

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (II Peter 3:9, NASB)

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 11/26/2008, Part 3

After finally compelling The Movie Man to leave MoFoS, EA, JTH, TK, and I headed to Applebees for a late dinner. Soon after we arrived, we had the unexpected pleasure of a fifth. Amy, one of our favorite waitresses, joined us. She was off duty and fleeing from her sister’s home. She had endured a minor medical procedure early in the day and was staying with her sister so that her children would not aggravate her injuries. Unfortunately, her sister got into a heated argument with her boyfriend so Amy got out of the house. She noted that every time she needs a friend, one of our group always shows up at Applebees. This did not particularly surprise me and not just because I believe that the Lord provides in such situations. One of us is always at Applebees. (Note: This is Amy (in white) with our other beloved waitress AFH. The height disparity was amusing.)

Unfortunately, all of Amy’s circumstances led to a discussion of the stupidity of men. Both Amy and EA noted that men are stupid unless they are gay. EA stated, “Gay takes away the stupid.”

EA had a recent incident at Applebees involving JTH to support her claim. A girl came up to JTH and had an extended conversation in the presence of a group of people including his girlfriend ALK. JTH did not introduce her to anyone at the table. He then informed the girl that she smelled good. Amy’s response, “Are you just an idiot?” I would have defended him if I could. Instead I texted ALK who joined in the laughter.

Amy often got up to talk to her co-workers. She had taken her sister’s car and left the keys, complete with mace, on the table. We resisted the urge to take the car and run through the camera enforced intersection repeatedly.

The other noteworthy thing about this night was that EA’s artwork was posted in Applebees’ back room. She is a genuinely great artist (an art major no less) and began drawing images of super heroes inspired by The Movie Man on napkins. This disseminated into drawings of Michael Jackson (I have no explanation) and then into scantily clad women. Naturally it was one of these latter drawings that was posted in the office. (Note: This image was drawn in the store on receipt tape. It may be valuable as this was her first sketch of the super hero incarnation of The Movie Man.)

What I’m telling you is that The Movie Man is quite an inspiration...

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 11/26/2008, Part 2

The Return of the Movie Man

On Tuesday night I received an urgent phone call from JTH at 9:25 pm. He was working a shift at MoFoS. I had assumed I was in for the night and it would have taken a great deal to get me out again. That great deal came in the form of the notorious The Movie Man being in the store. I quickly got dressed and hit the road. The Movie Man would not disappoint.

The Movie Man is the reason everyone should work retail at least once (and preferably no more than once) and the reason I have a blog (to document such encounters). He is a one-time regular customer who purchases only VHS tapes. His real name is Rick though he gave himself the designation of The Movie Man. He often asks other customers how many movies they think he owns. He then has his wife tell them 23000 before informing his audience that he is indeed The Movie Man. His collection is comprised entirely of VHS tapes (read: worthless), many of which are kept in a storage facility. He is surreal. He is like a caricature that we could not have made up if we tried. And yes, this guy has a wife and I don’t! (This image is of his wife sitting in the store’s floor and holding her husband’s selections while he shopped.)

The Movie Man wears the same clothes each time he frequents the store and usually reeks of alcohol. EA and TK were also in the store and had never encountered The Movie Man before. They concurred with JTH, who equated his looks to Mickey Rourke’s character “Marv” in Sin City. I added that this comparison is only valid if you take out any cool aspects of Marv's persona. When I asked TK how he would describe The Movie Man’s accent (keeping in mind he talks continuously), he replied,“Red neck mixed with stupid.” Dare I say, that was Keene observation.

When last seen, The Movie Man was being beaten outside of Halls store. Evidently, he was a drug dealer and as such carrying a lot of cash. (Two Halls employees were subpoenaed to testify at a trial in conjunction with this incident.) A far more svelte version of The Movie Man appeared at the store on Tuesday night. He noted that he was on a fixed income and could not come in as much as he used to. He instructed JTH to “Do me good.” This was not a proposition or the title of a rap song. The Movie Man had begun asking for a discount upon walking in the door. (I especially love this photo as the bar which concealed by surveillance is visible.)

The Movie Man's re-emergence was big news at the store. NHH also got a call informing of The Movie Man’s return. (JTH would not have wanted him to feel cheated.) Unfortunately, there was a great failure to communicate. NHH thought JTH said, “We have the movie, man” in reference to Hancock, which had been released earlier in the day on DVD. Obviously what JTH had said was, "We have The Movie Man." When NHH realized the mistake, he snuck out of the store quickly. The Movie Man had a strange habit of attempting to hug NHH while in a drunken stupor. I can't blame NHH for leaving as quickly as possible. To add insult to injury, we did not have Hancock.

When I learned of The Movie Man’s presence, I asked the crew to stall him. I need not have worried. He kept the store open late, not leaving until 10:21. The store was slated to close at 10 pm. He selected 79 items, including two different copies of The Karate Kid. Evidently they had slightly different covers. After JTH had significantly discounted his bill down to $247.17, including no less than ten freebies, the Movie Man was still not pleased. It seems JTH had not done him good.

Negotiations proceeded for minutes. The Movie Man asked if managers Casey or Jason could give him a better discount. Unfortunately, no one by those names has ever worked at the store. After much debate, The Movie Man decided to have his selections boxed and come back when a manager was there the following morning. (Yes, the Movie Man came behind the counter during the checkout process.)

Shortly after he left, TK placed all of the tapes back on the shelves. TK’s girlfriend was more relieved than the rest of us when he left. She thought he might pull a gun on us.

The kicker is that at one point while shopping, The Movie Man left the store. What was he doing? He actually urinated by his car in the parking lot! Who does that? Answer: The Movie Man. On the plus side, he did not do so in the store. There was a puddle in the parking lot when we left. Seriously.

Sadly, my writing does not do The Movie Man justice. Suffice it to say, it was well worth the trip to the store.

In more positive store news, the place has been decorated for Christmas. In addition to looking festive, left over ornaments have already served as fodder for destruction.

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 11/26/2008, Part 1

Tuesday was a day of meetings. I spent the majority of the day driving from one locale to another as I had appointments at the Hope Resource Center (HRC), my church, and UT.

My meeting at HRC was with Jodi Nakamura (JLCN). This meeting was quite short. There would be no appointments on this day as the facility was being re-carpeted. We conferred on my December availability. I was also asked to come in Monday at 9 am for an appointment. I document this so that there is a better chance that I will remember it.

My meeting at church was with TWC. As per GWS’s request, I submitted my proposed job description. TWC will then review it before we present it to LWF for further consideration. From that point, we would meet with the Administrative Staff should LWF deem the proposal worthy of further consideration. TWC informed me that both he and LWF would be out of town frequently during the holidays so to expect some delays. As Obi-Wan Kenobi says in each Star Wars film: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”...

My final appointment was at 2 o'clock with RGB in his office in room 520 of the Bailey Education Complex. We discussed three topics: my standing in the program, my final paper, and his suggestions for educating adults in the church. I will be registered for two classes next semester. Tentatively I plan on taking Ethical Issues in Adult Education (EP 527 which meets on Tuesday nights from 5:05-7:35) and Adult Learning (EP 525, which meets on various weekends). Both classes are taught by RGB. I am considering subsituting the ethics course with Program Development and Operation in Adult Education (EP 521, Wednesday, 5:05-7:45), taught by MHZ. The latter would be of more immediate use and give me an opportunity to study under MHZ. I need to check the Tennessee basketball schedule and see which course conflicts less with there schedule. I am kidding. Sort of...

RGB also went over a book review I had submitted. Unfortunately, I could not especially remember having written it. This negated the positive effects of his feedback considerably.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Associated Baptist Press - 11/25/2008

Associated Baptist Press
November 25, 2008 · (08-115)

David Wilkinson, Executive Director
Robert Marus, Acting Managing Editor/Washington Bureau Chief
Bob Allen, Senior Writer

In this issue
Global downturn necessitates redoubling of U.S. anti-poverty efforts, report says (807 words)
Central Seminary launches capital campaign (515 words)
Christian children's service groups unite to expand ministry reach (451 words)
Historical Anabaptist writings to be available online (438 words)
Opinion: Discipline as a form of care (850 words)

Global downturn necessitates redoubling of U.S. anti-poverty efforts, report says
By Robert Marus

WASHINGTON (ABP) -- The global financial crisis makes it even more urgent that the United States not only take care of its own economy, but also redouble efforts to aid the world's poorest, according to a new report and several development experts.

The 2009 edition of the Christian anti-poverty group Bread for the World's annual hunger report was released at a Nov. 24 press conference in Washington. It calls for the government to streamline international development efforts through renewed focus and a series of reforms -- despite, and because of, the international economic downturn.

"At a time like this, we ought to use our foreign assistance effectively, and we ought to distribute more of our aid to struggling families around the world who are trying to overcome hunger and poverty," said Bread for the World President David Beckmann. "This crisis has been a huge setback in the world's progress against hunger, poverty and disease."

Beckmann said massive increases in the cost of basic food items in many places around the globe have driven approximately 100 million more people into extreme poverty in the last two years. The report estimates 75 million more people are malnourished than two years ago.

Beckmann said the U.S. should not use its own economic woes as a reason to cut back on foreign aid.

"As Americans gather around their Thanksgiving tables this year, we still have a lot to be thankful for," Beckmann told reporters. "And it would just be wrong for us to be so preoccupied with our own problems that we forget the nearly billion people in the world who do not get enough to eat."

The report calls for several reforms in the way U.S. development and aid work is conducted, including:

-- Elevating development and poverty reduction "as specific goals in U.S. foreign policy, distinguished from political, military and security goals, with distinct and secure funding."

-- Coordinating development assistance with recipient nations "to meet their long-term development goals and focus on outcomes with measurable goals and objectives."

-- Maintaining civilian leadership in U.S. development-assistance efforts, with the U.S. military's role "limited to its operational strengths in logistics and stabilization."

-- Creating one "effective, streamlined agency" to channel all U.S. development assistance, now spread across 12 Cabinet departments and dozens of federal agencies and offices.

"We need to have a consolidated agency that is separate from AID," said Peter McPherson, president of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, referring to the U.S. Agency for International Development. McPherson was the agency's administrator during the Reagan administration.

"President-elect Obama seems to be receptive to these ideas, and a number of people on the Hill seem to be receptive as well," McPherson added. "But our community, broadly speaking, has to be engaged or otherwise this will slip off the table."

The speakers expressed optimism that Obama's likely choices for foreign-aid-related Cabinet positions -- including former rival Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) as secretary of state -- would be positive for international development.

Beckmann noted that Obama was the lead sponsor of the Global Poverty Act in the Senate, and that Clinton and other high-level Obama lieutenants -- including Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner and Vice-President-elect Joe Biden -- have track records of support for global development assistance.

Other experts agreed cautioned that it is important not only to increase assistance funding -- the U.S. spends a far smaller percentage of its gross domestic product on aid than other industrialized nations -- but also to make aid better targeted and more efficient.

"The Bush administration has increased assistance to Africa and foreign assistance in general, but I think what we want to talk about is the effectiveness of our foreign assistance in terms of development and growth," said Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services.

Beckmann said polls show that the majority of voters want to increase the aid the U.S. provides to the world's poor.

"Their main motive is humanitarian," he said. "People know that people on the other side of the world are desperately poor, and so that if Americans think that they can really help they are willing to help."

Beckmann said another motive is national security, because American know after 9/11 that misery in far-off places can breed terrorism at home.

Beckmann said the food and economic crises will only increase instability in the world if not addressed properly. "We've seen economic progress in many poor countries -- and then suddenly a disappointment," he said. "That's an explosive situation."

Several Baptist organizations -- the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and Baptist World Aid -- co-sponsored the report along with several other Christian denominational and parachurch groups. The report includes a Bible study guide for church groups to use in exploring what Scripture has to say about hunger and caring for the poor.

Robert Marus is acting managing editor and Washington bureau chief of Associated Baptist Press.

Central Seminary launches capital campaign
By Bob Allen

SHAWNEE, Kan. (ABP) -- Directors of Central Baptist Theological Seminary have signed off on an $8 million capital campaign to upgrade the school's new campus and build its endowment.

Meeting Nov. 13-14, Central's board of directors gave official approval to a campaign titled "Cultivating Excellence" and a site plan for 10 acres of property in Shawnee, Kan., purchased by the seminary in July 2006.

The seminary sold its previous 84-year-old campus in 2005 to reduce maintenance costs that were eating into endowment funds. That year also saw a workforce reduction in faculty and staff prompted by longstanding financial concerns.

The board lifted its declaration of financial exigency in November 2007. At their November meeting this year, board members indicated that they glimpsed brighter days ahead for the seminary.

"This is the most exciting new horizon at Central that I have experienced," board chairperson Phil Love said. "We sensed God's presence as we identified shared values for the design planning process. Now, we are moving forward prayerfully as we seek to match the development of the campus to the seminary's mission."

A recent property analysis estimated that the value of the seminary's property had increased 35 percent in a little more than two years, from $3.1 million to $4.2 million. The site offers opportunities for future development, both for the seminary and economic and commercial development, further brightening prospects for long-term asset growth.

In July Central received its largest gift in history -- $2.2 million from a St. Louis area church that disbanded and sold its property to a developer and desired to donate a portion of the proceeds toward the preparation of ministers through Central Seminary.

About half of the goal of the capital campaign -- $4.1 million -- has already been donated or pledged.

The fund-raising campaign focuses on three areas. The first is renovation of the current building to upgrade classroom space and offices and to create a state-of-the-art theological library with resources related to congregational health and an area focused on global Christianity.

The second includes a new stand-alone chapel to be used for worship both by the seminary community and a new church plant, The Journey Church, which meets on campus. Wallace Smith, former associate minister at First Baptist Church in Indianapolis for more than 10 years, moved with his family to Shawnee earlier this year to start the church, which is supported by both American Baptist Churches of the Central Region and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Finally, the campaign seeks to build the seminary's endowment.

"We sense the presence and leadership of the Spirit of God as we move towards these new horizons," said Molly Marshall, who took over as president of Central Seminary Jan. 1, 2005. "The board recognizes the renewal Central is experiencing and commended faculty, staff and students for their investment of commitment and energy."

Along with its main campus in the Kansas City area, Central also has centers in Milwaukee and in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Founded in 1901, the seminary is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches, U.S.A., and in full support of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Bob Allen is senior writer for Associated Baptist Press

Christian children's service groups unite to expand ministry reach
By Bob Allen

DALLAS (ABP) -- Dallas-based Buckner Children and Family Services announced Nov. 21 it will affiliate starting Jan. 1 with Dillon International, Inc., a Christian non-profit agency in Tulsa, Okla., that specializes in international adoption services.

Leaders said the arrangement, which gives Dillon International responsibility for managing adoption programs for both organizations, will expand the ministry reach of both groups.

"This immediately doubles our capacity for placing children and offers the potential of exponential expansion and growth," Buckner Children & Family Services President Albert Reyes said.

The affiliation opens five new countries to Buckner, which has placed more than 4,000 children in homes since its first adoption in 1884 and began international adoptions in 1995. It also expands the reach of Dillon International, which currently has adoption and humanitarian ministries in South Korea, China, India, Haiti and Vietnam into Ethiopia and Russia.

"Jerry and I have had close ties to this wonderful Christian organization for many years, and their global ministry is very compatible with ours," said Deniese Dillon, who co-founded Dillon International with her husband in 1972. Originally started to meet the needs of homeless Korean orphans, Dillon has placed more than 5,500 children from developing countries with families in the United States.

Ken Hall, president and CEO of Buckner International, said joining forces "marries Dillon's outstanding reputation in the international adoption field with Bucker International's global reputation for humanitarian aid work among orphans and at-risk children."

"Together, we will be able to serve children and families in so many ways," Hall said.

The agreement, approved unanimously Friday by Buckner trustees after an earlier unanimous vote by the Dillon board, places all Buckner Adoption and Maternity Services international and domestic adoption programs under the Dillon brand. It is not a merger, however. Buckner will continue to oversee adoptions by Dillon. Buckner's other ministries are not affected, and no change is anticipated in the size of Buckner's staff.

An FAQ section on the Dillon website said adoption services will operate under the Dillon name, because the organization operates in seven states and has widespread brand recognition nationally in the field of international adoptions. Buckner will be the parent organization, but Dillon will be the primary name for adoption services starting Jan. 1.

Dillon will continue to be headquartered in Tulsa and maintain its regional offices in Arkansas, California, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

Reyes said he is "thrilled" about the affiliation. "There is no more respected name among Christian adoption agencies than Dillon International," he said. "They are internationally known for their ability to serve families and the heart with which they do it. By working together, we will now be able to help more Christian families to build their family through the miracle of adoption."

Buckner spokesperson Russ Dilday called it "a major move in the Christian adoption world."

Bob Allen is senior writer for Associated Baptist Press.

Historic Anabaptist writings to be available online
By Bob Allen

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (ABP) -- Writings of Balthasar Hubmaier, one of the most well known and respected Anabaptist theologians of the Reformation, will soon be available for online research, thanks to a project of European Baptist scholars.

The Institute of Baptist and Anabaptist Studies at International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague, Czech Republic, and the German Baptist Seminary in Berlin recently announced that photographic reproductions of all of Hubmaier's surviving works would be scanned into digital images and made available on the Internet.

IBTS Rector Keith Jones called it a long-term project likely to take six months to a year to digitize the more than 30 short and long pamphlets that together amount to about 800 images.

The only Anabaptist theologian to complete theological studies leading to a doctor's degree, Hubmaier is credited with winning many converts to the movement through his preaching and writing.

Original 16th-century prints of his writings are scattered throughout libraries all over Europe. Few copies survived 500 years of history that included systematic suppression of the Anabaptist movement during the 16th and 17th centuries and the destruction of World War II. Photographic images of the originals were produced in the 1930s by an initiative of the Baptist World Alliance.

The scholars expect the digital edition to generate enthusiasm among Anabaptist and Baptist historians and hope it will give new impetus to research on Hubmaier and early Anabaptists.

Born about 1480 near Augsburg, Germany, Hubmaier became a Protestant influenced by writings of Martin Luther. He is best known for a public debate with Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli over infant baptism in 1525.

He was baptized on Easter in 1525 as an adherent of a movement nicknamed "Anabaptists" -- or rebaptizers -- by its opponents. Attempts to suppress the movement by persecution -- which included death by drowning in a cruel parody of its beliefs -- backfired, as those killed were considered martyrs by their followers.

Imprisoned and tortured in Zurich, Hubmaier fled to Moravia, where he founded an influential Anabaptist congregation in Nikolsburg in 1526.

He produced more tracts -- 18 in one year --- than any other Anabaptist theologian. Most dealt with believer's baptism.

Arrested by Roman Catholic authorities, tortured and tried for heresy, he was burned at the stake in Vienna March 10, 1528. Three days later his wife was drowned in the Danube.

Hubmaier is not considered a major influence on modern Anabaptist heirs like the Mennonites, in large part because he was not an absolute pacifist, but he is held in high esteem among many Baptists for his views on baptism, free will and the separation of church and state.

Bob Allen is senior writer for Associated Baptist Press.

Opinion: Discipline as a form of care
By Beth Newman

(ABP) -- Not too long ago, someone shared with me an instance of attempted church discipline. A pastor, on his own initiative, had approached a church member who had left her family to pursue a relationship with her "soulmate." The pastor was informed in no uncertain terms that this private matter was no business of his or of the church.

I must admit to admiring the pastor's sense of his duty, but the story left me wondering whether church discipline has any place within the lives of the people called Baptists. It seems to fly in the face of much that we hold dear, such as the freedom of the individual conscience, not to mention the "priesthood of all believers."

More generally, most of us are instinctively hesitant to stand in judgment over one another. At least one Bible verse that is quoted by Christian and non-believer alike is "Judge not, that you be not judged," (Matt. 7:1). Furthermore, if "church discipline" conjures any sort of picture for a lot of us, it would be that of Hawthorne's Hester Prynne, the scarlet letter "A" emblazoned across her bosom, shunned by all around her.

From this perspective, church discipline seems to go hand-in-hand with self-righteousness. "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" (Matt. 7:2)

Many of our Baptist ancestors, however, appeared to have no such qualms. Rather, they saw church discipline as ultimately redemptive. A Summary of Church Discipline, adopted in 1773 by the Charleston (S.C.) Baptist Association (later published in Wilmington, N.C. and Richmond, Va.), provides a particularly vivid example.

A pertinent section of the summary is titled, "Of Church Censures," and discusses three levels of church discipline: rebuke, suspension and excommunication. The rebuke is for a lesser offense: for example, when someone "exposes to others the infirmities of a brother." An example of an action calling for suspension would be when a congregant is a busy "tattler and backbiter," or "when he broaches unsound, heretical principles." And excommunication (done in phases) is reserved for "notorious and atrocious crimes."

The point of excommunication is restoration. All censures "must be administered in love and tenderness." If an offender, "even of the highest rank," gives clear evidence of evangelical repentance, then he or she should "by no means be excommunicated."

Such discipline no doubt sounds harsh to us, but this is due to the contemporary tendency to see discipline primarily as negative. Such a perspective blinds us to the fact that we are being disciplined every day of our lives. My children, for example -- especially when they watch TV -- are being trained to want the latest video games or to desire to look like the actresses on their favorite shows. This is not only true of children. Adults are trained to avoid "wasting time," or to see politics as essentially what the government does.

The question is not whether we are being disciplined, but how.

For this reason, I find it fascinating that A Summary of Church Discipline begins with the discipline of worship. The authors make the obvious (but, today, often-forgotten) claim that we do not gather ourselves. Rather, "Christ gathers to himself a people from among all nations." The church is not a voluntary organization, but a called people.

Further, the authors state a gospel church is "not national, but congregational." What separates church discipline from state discipline is, first of all, the determination to worship Christ in all things. The failure to separate church from state stems from idolatry. This is why A Summary can claim that the church is wider than the state, since worship joins the congregation with "the catholic or universal church, [which] considered collectively, forms one complete and glorious body...."

According to A Summary, the discipline of worship begins before members gather, with fasting (we are not told for how long). Worship proper opens with prayer, followed by a sermon, a time of testimony and inquiry (into the work of grace in the congregants' lives, their "soundness of doctrine," the "goodness of their lives"). The worshipers then subscribe to a written covenant "consistent to the Word of God." The service culminates with participation in the Lord's Supper.

James Leo Garrett Jr., in his introduction to a modern reprint of this treatise, relates the desire for a committed, disciplined Baptist church to other renewal movements within the church universal: Roman Catholic monastic communities, and (more recently) the Iona Community in the United Kingdom, the Taizé Community in France and the Church of the Savior in Washington, D.C.

Discipline presupposes a community that is both caring and committed. One might, for example, consider a so-called "intervention" where it is an act of love to confront someone with the consequences of his behavior. This is done not merely to "save" the individual from himself, but to ensure the well-being of the family. The absence of discipline does not speak of a broad-mindedness or generosity of the spirit. It is about an abandonment of responsibility and the failure of love.


-- Beth Newman is professor of theology and ethics at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond.

Church Sign - 11/25/2008

Church: Heartsway Baptist Church (2810 Middlebrook Pike; Knoxville, TN 37921 )

Sign: “Sorrow looks back. Worry looks around. Faith looks up.”

Commentary: This quote can be found in God’s little Instruction Book and other such inspirational devotionals. The sign presents three common reactions to trials and reminds its reader in times of trial to look to God. Scripture informs us that we can cast our anxiety on God because he cares for us.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (I Peter 5:6-7, NASB)

Bible Trivia - 11/25/2008

Question: Which king’s life did God extend by 15 years?

Answer: Hezekiah. (II Kings 20:6)

Comments: King Hezekiah was the 13th king of Judah (II Kings 18-20; II Chronicles 29-32; Isaiah 36-39). During his reign, he became gravely ill and pleaded for his death to be averted. His prayer was answered and he lived fifteen years longer.

"I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake and for My servant David's sake." (II Kings 20:6, NASB)

As a sign that Hezekiah's life would be prolonged, God famously had the sun's shadow move backward ten degrees on a sun dial. (II Kings 20:8-11)

Note: This image, "The Sign to Hezekiah", was created by Christopher B. Rode.

Word of the Day - 11/25/2008


Horary means pertaining to an hour; indicating the hours.

In Matthew 20, Jesus tells a parable about vineyard workers who scoff at not being paid via a horary wage. (Matthew 20:1-16)

saying, 'These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.' (Matthew 20:12, NASB)

Note: This painting of the parable of the workers in the vineyard by Andrea del Sarto (1486–1531) resides in the Louvre.

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 11/25/2008

I spent Monday night where I have spent countless nights in my life, in a gymnasium watching basketball. On this night, I was at Bearden High School where I watched the Bearden girls’ team defeat the Powell High School Lady Panthers, 49-34. I was there to watch MST, an old friend play for the Lady Bulldogs. Admission was $5. Can you say "Inflation"?

The Bearden High School gym has undergone renovations since I was there for this summer’s Rocky Top Basketball League. There were some remarkable improvements: 1. The bleachers were new and there was actually room to move. 2. There was no sweltering heat. 3. Best of all, there was no BT on the public address system.

Making up for BT’s absence was the fact I sat directly in front of the loudest fan in the gym. The most annoying fan will invariably sit directly behind me. I think it is karma. I was that fan in high school. I left the gym with a headache. I am not sure if it was from the atmosphere or the fact that I had not eaten all day.

MST plays behind senior Rikki Sanders, an All-KIL selection and a college prospect who is seldom on the bench. When MST played, she played well. She checked into the game with 5:58 remaining in the second quarter and stayed until 3:30 was left in the half. BHS was winning 17-16 when she entered and had extended the lead to 19-16 when she checked out. Yes, they shut out the opponent when MST was in the game.

My high school coach CDL was also in the gym. His 14-year old daughter Canaan plays for Powell’s junor varsity team. I was around when she was born. I am so old.

On a more positive note, two players on the Bearden boys team wore box top haircuts. I now have more hope for the future of America.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Prayer Blog - 11/24/2008

Tomorrow at 2 pm, I have an appointment scheduled with RGB. Among the topics to be discussed are my future at the university. Please keep this meeting and my future in your prayers.

Bible Trivia - 11/24/2008

Question: Of whom did Jesus say, “Here is a true Israelite in whom there is no guile”?

Answer: Nathanael. (John 1:47)

Comments: In the Gospel of John, Nathanael is one of the first disciples to join Jesus. He was a believer from Cana in Galilee (John 21:2) who professed Jesus as the Son of God (John 1:49) after Jesus acknowledged seeing him under the fig tree (a place of private prayer).

Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!" (John 1:47, NASB)

Nathanael appears only in the fourth gospel though tradition identifies him with the disciple Bartholomew from the synoptic gospels (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14).

Note: This opaque watercolour over graphite of Nathanael under the fig tree was painted by James Tissot (1836-1902).

Word of the Day - 11/24/2008


To welter is to roll, toss, or heave, as waves or the sea.

While rebuking evil leaders, Isaiah wrote that the wicked welter.

But the wicked are like the tossing sea,
For it cannot be quiet,
And its waters toss up refuse and mud. (Isaiah 57:20, NASB)

Note: This rendering of Isaiah is from the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo (1475-1564).

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 11/24/2008, Part 5

My Sunday night was spent with JTH and ALK. As is usually the case on Sundays, we juggled our schedule between ALK’s two handbell practices.

On Sunday evening, we picked up at ALK from her first practice at Bearden United Methodist Church. We had little time between this practice and her 7:30 practice at St. Mark United Methodist Church. In the meantime, we shopped at K-Mart, Borders, Target and Weigel’s. The last stop was especially significant as they were the first place we had been that carried Chewy Gobstoppers. JTH had been raving about these items for weeks though we had been unable to find them. After eating them, I honestly felt that they tasted like Skittles. JTH was not pleased with this comparison.

After dropping ALK off for handbells, we drove to the new super Kroger in Farragut. Having completed our mission of finding the ChewyGobstoppers, we were feeling lucky. We decided to try for the holy grail of snack foods, Mallomars. After weeks of searching, well, we struck out again. We did find that the store carries Pinwheels, another Nabisco product that looked nearly identical. Why would they do this?

Well, at least we got to catch up with JDM who was working in Guest Services.

We then attempted to find a book for JTH’s mother for Christmas at Books-A-Million. Once again, we came up empty. They were hocking Frozen Hot Chocolate at the place. Does that not defeat the purpose? After picking up food at McAlister’s Deli (for ALK) and Papa John’s (for us), we picked up ALK and returned to my house.

We then watched Say Anything. None of us had seen it, though it is an iconic film from 1989 starring John Cusack. I had seen an interview with Cusack earlier and the week and felt compelled to watch the film. We all enjoyed the romantic comedy. JTH and I did our best to explain artifacts from the 1980s to ALK including cassette tapes, boomboxes, etc.

It was a good day.

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 11/24/2008, Part 4

On Sunday afternoon, JTH, ALK, and I went to a private baptismal service at my church at 3:30 pm. The event was informal and I even munched on Everlasting Gobstoppers (as I often do on Sundays) throughout.

JTH’s father CEH (aka “Homer”) and our longtime friend RWW were baptized by the church’s senior pastor, LWF. The baptisms were part of an outreach program implemented by the church. Letters were sent to long-term visitors who had never been baptized informing them that they could be baptized in a private ceremony. The church is using the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40) as the model for this practice.

There were many supporters who attended the service. We all sat on the stage to get a good view of the proceedings. CEH’s family was well represented with his wife, both of his sons, his daughter-in-law, his mother-in-law, a sister-in-law and brother-in-law, and a niece in attendance in addition to myself and ALK. His mother-in-law told him that she could die now. Hopefully, that will not happen any time soon.

RWW also had quite a support group. His parents were there, though they did not know about the 3:30 event until 2:45! This was not especially surprising. His dear friends the Cole and Roberts families were also in attendance. MLM and the Simpson family, who supervise baptisms at the church, were also present.

The preparation for the service took far longer than the event itself. LWF spoke briefly beforehand, acknowledging the two great church families involved. LWF noted that recent health concerns allowed for CEH to get a waiver on the actual baptism but that he wished to be baptized. I taped CEH’s baptism. It took thirty seconds which was fortunate as that was how long my cell phone allows me to record. That also may have been the maximum amount of attention Homer could have stood.

Afterwards, JTH’s family convened at Bravo Italian Restaurant while I returned to my house to lift weights before catching up with JTH and ALK later in the night.

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 11/24/2008, Part 3

I spent Sunday with JTH. Unfortunately, the Lady Vols’ volleyball team was playing at Auburn meaning there was no volleyball game to attend. Still, JTH and I had an event to be at on Sunday: a baptism.

JTH arrived at my house in the early afternoon and we ate and did some Christmas shopping prior to attending the aforementioned baptism. We began at TJ Maxx. I had not been there since 2003. Once every five years seems about right to me. I will say that if you need a nutcracker, this is the place to shop. Then again, why would anyone need a nutcracker? Note: A woman has to be responsible for naming this item.

We then ate. Since O’Charley’s was in the same shopping center as TJ Maxx we decided to eat there. That was until we found out that there was a wait. So we drove around until I made the executive decision to eat at the O’Charley’s in Turkey Creek. Of course, by the time we arrived there we could have been seated at the first restaurant.

It worked out well. Our waitress was JAS, an old friend of JTH’s from Farragut High School and Kroger. I had not eaten at an O’Charley’s in some time and had the prime rib and a slice of caramel pie. Neither were as good as I remembered. They have done some cost cutting as evidenced by the triangular bowls our soups were served in.

With time left to kill we shopped at a nearby Wal-Mart. I have a complaint against both Wal-Mart and ABC Family. As seen in this photo, Wal-Mart stocks many of the network’s Christmas movies for the holiday season. Why have they not yet distributed Christmas in Boston? Am I the only one with mad props for Marla Sokoloff? I feel the need to reiterate the fact that I am a heterosexual at this point...

The most disturbing thing that occurred at Wal-Mart was that I found JTH reading a copy of Hip Hop Weekly. I am not certain what was more troubling: the publication’s existence or the fact that JTH was reading it.

After these stops (and not purchasing anything I might add), we picked up ALK and headed to my church to witness a rare Sunday baptismal service.

As an aside, on Sunday morning, I watched a portion of the History Channel’s presentation of The States. It was great. They even made Delaware seem interesting, a feat that not even in Wayne’s World could pull off.

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 11/24/2008, Part 2

As we always do, regardless of how futile the season has been, Dad and I watched Tennessee football game together on Saturday. On Saturday, the team played at Vanderbilt and for the first time since 1984, the Commodores were favored. Thankfully, Vanderbilt is still Vanderbilt and the Vols won 20-10. As you can tell from Dad’s response, the game was as exciting as always.

As has been the case virtually all season, an Eric Berry interception was the highlight of the game. I must also note that “cousin” Brent Vinson also had an interception. All of Tennessee’s points came in the first half and the Vols led 20-0 at the break.

Shortly after Berry’s interception, ALK, a diehard Vol fan, texted me. Here is a rare glimpse into my texting life:

ALK: Now why couldn’t we do this all season?
Chan: Well we can’t play Vanderbilt every game.
AlK: Yeah true.

The remainder of my Saturday was spent on projects less interesting than usual so I will not bore you with the details.

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 11/24/2008, Part 1

On Friday night, I had planned on watching a UT sporting event. I inadvertently watched two.

MPW and I had planned on watching the Tennessee basketball team play at MTSU on CSS. We had actually contemplated driving to Murfreesboro for the game but on Monday the cheapest seats online to the sold out contest were being scalped for $73. We opted to watch at home.

So I picked up a pizza from Little Caesars and headed to MPW’s condo to watch the game. I arrived early and CSS was airing the Lady Vols narrow 66-63 victory over Chattanooga. Unfortunately the game went along. Instead of switching over to the men’s game, the station aired the women’s contest in its entirety. This may be the biggest sports programming error since the infamous Heidi Bowl.

The game seemed to never end, especially the final minute. It was 8:50 pm when the game ended. The men’s game tipped off at 8:30 pm. By the time the telecast began, Tennessee was leading MTSU 13-12 with 13:54 remaining in the first half.

Tennessee eventually defeated the Blue Raiders 76-66 to improve to 3-0. It was the Vols’ first road game of the season. Tyler Smith led the Vols in points (18), rebounds (10), assists (4), and steals (1). MPW noted that advantage of not going to the game was that we did not have to sit through the halftime "entertainment".

Due to the late game, I did not go to Applebees with the crew on Friday night. It was unfortunate as JTH committed an unintentional faux pas. Amy was the waitress and she is going through a divorce. She lamented that there was no hope for a divorcee with children. JTH agreed! He misunderstood her. He thought she claimed there was hope. She exercised her right to refuse JTH service and he felt horrible about the incident for days.

Finally, on Friday, for the first time ever I was first on the waiting list to get shots at the Allergy, Asthma, & Sinus Center. It was good to be first at something.