Undergroundchurch Blog

Preparing the Church for the future

Archive for April, 2010

Computer Parts of the Spirit

Posted by undergroundchurch on April 30, 2010

Hopefully, you’ve heard of the fruits of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit and the body of Christ; well being in IT for a very long time, I see things through a binary lens. You are aware that there are 10 kinds of people in the world, those that understand binary and those that don’t.

The computer is a fascinating contraption that has boggled my mind for years.  In understand its basic principles enough to be dangerous (many a computer have felt death’s blow under my heavy hand), so I thought I’d take my understanding of 9 basic computer parts and relate them to the life of the believer.  I will outline them here and write a series of short articles explaining each in a more applicable manner.

Hard drive: This component stores all the information from the operating system to applications to the data created from using those applications.  The hard drive is the bread and butter of the computer system.  The bigger the hard drive, the more information you can store; it’s like the kitchen cabinets.

RAM: Stands for Random Access Memory and is the kitchen counter on which everything is laid out that is currently in use by the computer.  You only want to have on the counter things you use a lot for quick access (e.g. salt, pepper, sugar, toasters, etc.)

CD ROM: Yes, most of today’s CD ROMs are really CD/DVD writers, but in its truest form, the CD ROM was and is a read only storage disk that holds information that can be retrieved from the desk drawer.  It is like the cook book in the kitchen.  You use it to get what you want and then you put it away.

Firmware: This is embedded coding for hardware pieces to perform dedicated functions. It’s like the blender, toaster or stove.  Each computer chip contains its own firmware code so that it can be used for a specific function and not much else.  A toaster makes a lousy poached egg.

Temporary media: USB flash drives, floppy disks that you can use to transfer data physically to another computer. This is like those times when your grandma hands down that recipe to you because her mom gave it to her.  It doesn’t change, it just keeps going and going… kinda like fruitcake.

Machine language: the core of computing that translates a disk full of ones and zeros into meaningful actions. When you read a recipe, unless you know what “T”, “t”, “pinch”, “dab” and the dreaded “to taste” are, you will have some interesting concoctions coming from your kitchen.

OS: Or “Operating System” orchestrates the hardware into a harmonious unity so that every part can comunicate with every other part allowing users to interface with the computer.  In a professional kitchen you have expediters, sous-chefs, butchers, bakers, candle stick makers (just checking to see if you are paying attention), waiters, hosts, dishwashers and others.  They all work in perfect unison to bring you a wonderful meal complete with garnish because a head chef is directing the seemingly chaotic restaurant.

Application: The software created for a unique purpose.  This would be you serving up the meal.

Network: A system providing a sense of community between fellow computers. This is your cooking club; you know, its where you got that bag of “Friendship Bread” starter.

Processor: Central crossroad in the computer that assembles information. Think of it like a…. kitchen processor.  It takes your ingredients and makes something out of them.

Case: The computer case doesn’t just provide ascetics, but it gives form to everything in the computer.  It is your kitchen giving you access to everything in one place.


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Making the Unexplainable – Undeniable

Posted by undergroundchurch on April 17, 2010

One of the problems when sharing Jesus with someone seems to be in convincing them of the truth.  It ‘s a very frustrating prospect, but it doesn’t have to be so if we adjust the approach from trying to prove the unexplainable to establishing the undeniable.

Adults don’t typically come to Christ because they understand salvation completely or have all their questions answered.  They usually come to Christ because they encountered him in some fashion that made the unexplainable, undeniable.

The questions don’t really matter when the experience has proven that Jesus is undeniable.  It’s not that they got their questions answered yet, it’s just that Jesus became personal to them. Answering questions come later.

We always opt for the undeniable over the unexplainable when given the choice.  You might get on a plane and fly across the country knowing without a doubt that the plane can fly, but you can’t explain how it does it.

You use a phone, text your friend, drive your car, browse the internet on a computer.  It is undeniable that these things are real, and you use them even if you can’t explain them or how they might work. If you want to go deeper, then you may learn more about them after you start using them, but you might just be content with the fact that it is an undeniable fact that computers, internet, TV are real, and I don’t have to know how it all works.

Let’s take a 90 MPH pitch in baseball.  A recent study showed that the 90 MPH pitch takes 400 milliseconds (ms) to travel the 60.5 feet from the pitcher’s hand to home plate.

The batter goes through a process which takes 200 ms to find the ball once it leaves the pitcher’s hand, another 150 ms to determine where to swing the bat (high, low, fast, slow, etc.), and 100 ms to actually swing the bat.

If you are keeping track, it takes a batter 450 ms to hit a pitch that takes 400 ms to get to home plate.  The researcher concluded that it is impossible for a batter to hit a 90 MPH pitch.

Now, if you have ever watched a professional baseball game, you have seen batter after batter hit a 90, 95 or even 100 MPH pitch.  Yet scientific studies prove that it is not possible.  The unexplainable becomes undeniable and you accept the fact that a 90 MPH pitch can indeed be hit… and hit well.

Don’t spend all your time trying to prove God exists, prove the crucifixion happened, prove Noah’s flood, prove the virgin birth.  From a faith point of view, these are all critical, but from an introduction to Christ point of view, they don’t actually “introduce” anybody to Christ.

People need an encounter with Jesus so that he becomes undeniably real to them.  Once they latch on to the undeniable truth that Jesus is real to them, then the importance of having their questions answered become smaller and smaller and the reality of God in their life becomes bigger and bigger.

You cannot answer all their questions; you can only introduce them to Jesus who can do a much better job answering the questions that need to be answered.

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Happy Good Thursday!

Posted by undergroundchurch on April 2, 2010

When was Jesus crucified?

The question has been asked for centuries.  Like many questions of this type, I don’t believe the day of the week or time really matters that much.  What does matter is that He was crucified on a cross for the sin of the world.  But I do want to throw in my two cents just because.

A Long Time Ago

To be honest, technically speaking, He was actually crucified when the foundations of the world were laid (Revelation 13:8Hebrews 9:26).  The crucifixion was not a last minute idea, but was planned by God even before Adam sinned. Even though this might be the spiritual answer, there was an actual day when Jesus was nailed to a tree, and I believe that it is not the day that we call “Good Friday”.

Good Thursday

I might be in the minority with this idea, but I am not convinced that Friday is the day Jesus was Crucified.  We do know that Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week (John 20:1, Luke 24:1, Mark 16:9).  We also are pretty clear that it is first day of the week after passover like this year’s is.

Author’s Note: The way the move Easter around has always bugged me. It should not something based on our calendar but based on the Jewish calendar, and it should be the first Sunday after the 14th of Nisan.

The Jewish day started at sunset and ended at sunset the next day.  When the Jewish leaders wanted to get Jesus off the cross before sunset because that day was a “special sabbath” (John 19:31) , it is easy to jump to the conclusion that this meant that He was crucified on Friday since the Sabbath is Saturday.  However, there are two pieces of the puzzle that makes this case not so open and closed.

Jesus Testimony

Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:40

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth

If you run the numbers from Friday to Sunday morning, the best you can do is 2 days and 2 nights that Jesus would be in the ground.  Either Jesus was wrong, or we got it wrong.

OK, you say, “Jesus was being figurative. ”

God thought you might say this and placed a couple of guys in the Bible that tell us how long it was from Jesus death to the first day of the week.

On the day he was resurrected, Jesus is on a walking trip down the road to Emmaus in Luke 24, Cleopas tells Jesus that it has been three days (vs 21)  since the death.

John 19:31 alluded to the Day of Preparation which was part of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and was regarded as a special Sabbath even though it didn’t have to occur on a “Saturday”, so using that idea to make it Friday is not necessary.

I suppose, in short, I believe Jesus’ words.

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