April 30, 2004

Danger lurks at every corner... including the petting zoo. Fortunately, The Childhood Goat Trauma Foundation is here to help.

Posted by Tim at 11:26 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 19, 2004

Una Pregunta para Tym:

Por favor, Tym, could you tell me what constitutes a "date" in the guy code?

Posted by Mary at 03:39 AM | Comments (1)

April 17, 2004

An entertaining MSN conversation. I am "timmy spatulafingers" and my friend Tal is "Talitha Utensil Hands". Together we bemoan the state of the North American Economy, compare Industrial Revolution-era literary figures to 21st century university life and plot violence. Unfunny parts have been deleted for your convenience.

timmy spatulafingers says: and i smell food cooking. brb

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says:k

timmy spatulafingers says: crap i was deceived by my own gnawing hunger

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: lol

timmy spatulafingers says: i'm eating a piece of bread and cheese. i feel like oliver frigging twist.

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: LOL
*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: oh the life of a college student
*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: mmm mmm bread and cheese

timmy spatulafingers says: college student or third world orphan. with me you don't have to choose!

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: lol. hmmm how about a third world orphan college student

timmy spatulafingers says: that is correct. ding ding tell her what she won!
timmy spatulafingers says: you win three pennies. come claim your prize.
timmy spatulafingers says: oh and they are canadian pennies

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: three pennies!
*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: HUZZAH!
*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: think of the things i can buy with three pennies!

timmy spatulafingers says: like three tootsie rolls... 1/100 of a pop at williams...

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: what a deal...1/100 of a pop.
*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: Man i can't believe this i remember the days when 1/100 of a pop only cost me 2 pennies
*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: what is happening to our economy

timmy spatulafingers says: it is technically referred to as 'half an effing drop'. because there are 50 effing drops in a pop.
timmy spatulafingers says: this convo may have to be blogged.
timmy spatulafingers says: inflation is rampant.
timmy spatulafingers says: but i am unafraid.

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: i would be so honoured

timmy spatulafingers says: why, you ask?
timmy spatulafingers says: i have cheese!

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: hmmm...good for you...
*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: i have....1/100 of a cup of pop

timmy spatulafingers says: fine you win.

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: lol...pop always wins over cheese

timmy spatulafingers says: it's true

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: just like i always win

timmy spatulafingers says: cuz the pop is acidic and burns the cheese.

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: well i gotta go get ready for work
*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: Have fun "studying"

timmy spatulafingers says: I "will"
timmy spatulafingers says: have fun at work eh?

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: lol
*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: oh always...sitting on my butt for 6 hours answering phones is always very exciting

timmy spatulafingers says: hehe
timmy spatulafingers says: at least you get paid. here at simon central i get squat.

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: lol. You should bring in a union

timmy spatulafingers says: yes. or i'll just beat him up until he gives me money
timmy spatulafingers says: he abuses me verbally too.
timmy spatulafingers says: yesterday he said i was fat and not funny.

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: that's rough man...You should definately punch him in the kidneys

timmy spatulafingers says: okay. why did i know you were going to say that? it's a mystery

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: that it is...Well i'll talk to you later Timmy Spatulafingers

timmy spatulafingers says: hehe jehan is snoring

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: stick something in his nose
*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: lol

timmy spatulafingers says: i'm scared to go near him cuz when he wakes up he does a scarborough jolt. and he might attack me if frightened

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: well then tie his limbs together
*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: and then punch him in the kidneys!

timmy spatulafingers says: that could be entertaining

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: its my favourite way to spend the afternoon
*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: alright now i really should go.

timmy spatulafingers says: ok bye

*Talitha Utensil Hands* says: bye timmy spatulafingers

Posted by Tim at 02:31 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 15, 2004

I hate it when quizzes are right. (From Jake Belder)
scoot jpeg
You are Scooter.
You are a loyal, hardworking person, better known
as a doormat.

Going for stuff.
"Go For Broke!"

"15 seconds to showtime."

"300 New Ways to Get Your Uncle to Get You a
Better Job "

Coffee, clipboard, and Very Special Guest Stars.

What Muppet are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by Tim at 06:35 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 12, 2004

Baptism. The Bible talks about baptism a lot: water is a recurring image in the New Testament. John baptized Jesus. Pagans and Jews who converted to Christianity were publicly baptized.

Today, most churches (like the Catholics, the Orthodox, the Lutherans, the Methodists and most Calvinists) baptize little babies, not by dunking them under water but by a sprinkle on the forehead. Is this okay? I think so -- and more than that, I think it illustrates some essential truths about the nature of our salvation.

Amyann blogs about the issue here. She refers to Romans 6:

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

Amyann asks,
I fully awknowledge the Doctrine of Original Sin, but does a re-birth not imply a knowing decision to be reborn as a new creature in Christ? Does the Spirit not first convict us of our sin so that we might repent and then be reborn? Spirit directs, we are the ones who must chose to follow.
My answer is, no.

Baptism is not a sign of our choosing God; rather, it shows that God has chosen us and begun to work in us before we accepted him, before we knew about him -- even when we were little babies. Think of the very metaphor of birth. How many of us decided we were ready to leave the womb and popped out? No, we were powerless to decide, and in fact we probably wouldn't have minded staying in a cozy, warm, dark place a little while longer.

Baptism works a lot like circumcision. That was God's chosen sign to the people of Israel. He commanded that every male child be circumcised as an infant to symbolize, not that child's faith in God, but God's covenant with his people. God promised in Genesis 17 that:

I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
So, we say, God promises to be our God, but also the God of our children and their children. We don't find a repudiation of that promise anywhere in Scripture.

An objection my friend Jehan raised is this: "Some children are baptized and raised in the church, but later turn away. Isn't it better to baptize them later, when it can be seen that they are actually choosing God?" This is a valid point, and one that I can't completely refute -- but I think that formulating baptism in this way puts too much emphasis on the act of man and not enough on that of God.

Let me draw from my own experience. I was baptized at my grandma's church, North Park Presbyterian (PC-USA), as an infant. And although I was of course an incredibly brilliant child prodigy, I have to admit that I did not at that point have the ability to decide to follow Christ.

Later, I took profession of faith at my then-church, Madison Square CRC. That's where I stood in front of a whole lot of people and publicly said that I would follow Jesus -- that I was responding to God's call on my life.

Thing is, though, I don't always live up to that ideal. A good deal of the time I'm doing things God doesn't want me to do, or (more often, I imagine) not doing things God does want me to do. Do I always seek justice and love mercy and walk humbly with God? No. Do always love my neighbo(u)r as myself? No.

And my failure extends deeper yet. Sometimes, I am not sure whether I can even believe in that whole Cross deal. What relevance does one death two thousand years ago, even a rather nasty one (and not even the worst possible, either), even one of an innocent man, have to do with me? And what if God is a liar, or not very powerful, or not even there at all?

I suspect that most people who are serious about following Christ ask themselves this. But how can I call myself a person of faith if I do not, at this specific moment or on this particularly bad day, even believe there is a God. What happens if, at a moment of unbelief, I am suddenly run over by a bus?

The answer is, my soul goes to Heaven (temporarily, but that's another post...), because what happens when I die does not depend on my skittish emotions and wavering reason, but in the mighty acts of God in Christ.

I look at my baptism and say, what happened there was not me asking to be rescued, but me beyond all hope being resurrected. On my own I am not merely drowning, but I am already sunken under the water, lungs filled with liquid.

And it is God who pulls me out. And it is God who does not merely perform CPR on my nearly-dead body, but who literally revives me, who literally breathes life into one who is dead and gone.

That is what baptism means to me. Even when I am faithless, the Bible says, He will be faithful.

Another point about infant baptism is the involvement of the community. We promise at every baptism that, God helping us, we will help to raise the child in God's ways. I think we've lost a lot of the Biblical emphasis on community in our individualistic North American culture. (saying this does not make me a socialist, Jake, does it?)

We grow up and live in a community given to us by God. This is especially evident in my life, since I'm an orphan from Calcutta, India, and my life is the story of adoption in more than one way. But all those who are Christians can point to people and places and events that lead them closer to God, and these are all evidences of the grace that God has shown us. Infant baptism makes it clear, I think, that our lives are guided by the hands of one more powerful and loving than we can fathom. And that knowledge, well, it changes everything.

Posted by Tim at 08:14 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

April 09, 2004

Another quiz.

Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

If your mission in life is not already to
preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you!

How grammatically sound are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Yeah, I already knew I was pedantic. But this was a pretty stupid quiz, actually. Some of the questions were far too nitpicky, to the extent that they became minor style issues and that every choice was perfectly fine. Also, one question addressed the problem of the lack of a third person gender-neutral pronoun, giving the options 'they're', there' (both clearly wrong), 'their' (one of two actual correct choices, and the one I chose), 'their own' (which in the context would have been fine too), 'her' (possible if the writer wishes to be perceived as a flaming feminist) but not what I would consider to be the best, and the one I ordinarily use in writing and sometimes in speech, the pronoun 'his'. Grr.

Posted by Tim at 08:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Is there anyone out there who can give me information on the US's current immigration policy? I'm writing a paper on it for my Ethical Issues class. It seems that quite a few people who read this blog are more interested in these issues than I am, and therefore may have some answers! For the professors out there, don't think this is my normal mode of research, please! I am in the middle of reading the fifth of eight books on the subject, but I can't find anything about the current policy.
Also, does anyone know of any good movie clips on immigration that I could use in my presentation? The only movies I can think of involving immigration to the states are Far and Away and one small scene in Men in Black II, which really has less to do with immigration than with aliens (the outer-space kind). Thanks to anyone who has the time to help me out here!

Posted by Mary at 06:13 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Mr. Strauss keeps telling us to make lists of fifty things we love. And who am I to resist the trend, really? It's my 19th birthday, a good day to reflect on who and where I am.

1. A good conversation with close friends at home or Tim Horton's or Crabby Joe's (um, the Dutch might even call it gezelligheid...)

2. Heavy rainstorms to dance in

3. My country and my city

4. Canada

5. A cup of cinnamon spice tea on a cloudy day

6. Spring, its promise and its vibrant colo(u)r

7. Summer, the way the heat seeps into you and makes you tired and happy

8. Fall, the way it's crisp and cozy

9. Winter, the way spontaneous snowball fights start after every snowstorm

10. Standing to receive the benediction at church

11. Wednesday morning chapel

12. Watching someone laugh out loud

13. The feeling you get after you write something that expresses perfectly what you want to say

14. Washing dishes

15. Country music

16. Driving through a city at rush hour

17. Driving on the highway late at night

18. My family

19. C.S. Lewis's and J.R.R. Tolkien's writings

20. The poetry of John Donne

21. Playing with children

22. Thomas vander Zaag

23. Jehan Watson

24. Dorm-mates who make me put them on my list

25. Deep discussions late at night

26. Funny stories

27. Being surprised

28. Naps

29. Rejoicing with those who rejoice

30. Learning something new

31. Playing volleyball

32. Baking

33. When the song you want to hear is on the radio

34. Going to sleep after a hard day's work

35. the Christian Reformed Church

36. Super Smash Brothers for Nintendo 64

37. The Internet

38. Strong, black coffee

39. Being able to call home for 10 cents a minute

40. Poetry in general

41. Following links off Mr. Strauss' & Prof. Koyzis' blogs

42. The scene in Edward Scissorhands where Johnny Depp marches confusedly down the hallway completely wet and vaguely disoriented from having completely destroyed a waterbed with his scissorhands

43. Reading the cartoons at Toothpaste for Dinner... especially this one, when I'm in a philosophical mood...

44. Giving back massages

45. Watching the look on people's face when the realize that the guy they were looking for named Tim van Alstyne is actually a 5' 6" brown person.

46. Making corny theological jokes, or random references to John Calvin

47. Playing devil's advocate

48. Writing with gel pens

49. Blogging

50. Jesus Christ (yeah, the list wouldn't be complete without him, eh?)

Posted by Tim at 03:02 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

April 08, 2004

A quiz.

Gotten from Alaina:

Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4. Write down what it says.

"and vertuous mind, is much more praysd of me.", from William Shakespeare's Sonnet LXXIX.

Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first?

I can't reach anything. & that's saying a lot, cuz my arms are quite long.

What is the last thing you watched on TV?

I think I watched the news the other day. I watched Edward Scissorhands twice last Saturday. Oh yeah, I watched That 70s Show yesterday.

Without Looking, guess what the times is?

Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?
9:57p. Wow, I usually do better than that.

With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
Nothing. For some reason, there is no noise in our dorm right now.

When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
I went to Future Shop to get them to fix my laptop at 7 or so.

Before you came to this website, what did you look at?
I was blog-surfin', yo!

What are you wearing?
Jeans, my new Redeemer long-sleeved t-shirt, a pair of white socks.

Did you dream last night?
'M sure I did. But I don't remember any of it.

When did you last laugh?
Uh, I might have been laughing at Jehan and John cuz they were shocked at my coming out of the shower and, um, you better ask them.

What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Thom's side of Jehan's room. Um, there's a Mary-Kate & Ashley calendar, a Mary-Kate & Ashley poster, 2 smashing pumpkins posters, some random pictures of what must be thom's friends....

Seen anything weird lately?
No but John and Jehan have.

What do you think of this quiz?
It's quite a good one, really.

What is the last film you saw?
Crap, I answered this already. Edward Scissorhands. Though the last movie I saw in theaters was 50 1st Dates. And there's a whole long awkward story about that, too. Heh, my life is rather awkward, eh?

If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy first?
A new computer. Or maybe a pack of skittles, I seem to have a bit of a craving right now.

Tell me something about you that I don't know.
I hate these questions. I... I... my favo(u)rite breakfast food is waffles with butter and applesauce on top, most people probably don't know that.

If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
Is 'the presence of sin' a cop-out? Yup.

Do you like to dance?
Everyone else in my life doesn't....

Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
One of my best friends in high school said it would have to be "Pretty pretty princess" and really it doesn't get better than that, eh?

Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
Kenneth, I think. I really like that name for some reason. I don't know why, I've never met anyone named that. Otoh, I abhor the name Ken so maybe not.

Would you ever consider living abroad?
Um, this is rather obvious. I do live abroad. Unless you only consider Canada semi-foreign. In which case, still yes. I'd love to live in Spain or South Africa or Holland or Israel... now that I think about it, those are all countries which people I know hail from. So probably anywhere that anyone tells me about I'd like to live in. But I think I'd want to live there -- I don't think I'd be a huge fan of globe-trotting or doing the whole backpacking-across-Europe thing. I'd have to be there for at least a year or so, begin to get to know the culture intimately.

Posted by Tim at 10:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 07, 2004

The Unthinkable

Well, it has happened. I am actually contemplating returning to Reformed Bible College in the good old hometown. That is, unless someone could convince me to go to Redeemer... Tym? It has become pointless for me to remain in Colorado, as the classes I need and want will not be offered next year, and all of my professors are leaving. It's unthinkable!

Posted by Mary at 01:57 PM | Comments (2)

April 06, 2004

My friend Jehan once showed me the blog of a friend of his who wrote about students being like Houdini.

Y'see, every semester we climb into our boxes and lock it all up. And just when you think time's running out and we've drowned, we magically escape, alive and unharmed.

Uh, yeah. And my laptop has died at pretty much the worst time possible -- well, it's not dead, but the thinger into which the power cord plugs is messed up, so I can't charge it, and the battery has run out, leaving a good chunk of a paper that is three weeks late and which needs to be written to pass a class in my major on it. But beside that and the three responses I owe Mr. Strauss, I'm scot-free.

And I turn 19 in four days. The best thing about having no short- or long-term memory whatsoever is that you keep forgetting your birthday's coming up. And then every time you see that it's April 5 or whatever, you get happy again.

I'm hoping for a nice, relaxing summer. I look forward to going to work and then leaving my work at work when I come home, as opposed to school where you can never really get away from the stress of doing work. Maybe I'll develop good habits, too, like maybe I'll start blogging every day and stuff.

I've got nothing else. 'Night.

Posted by Tim at 08:38 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack