Sunday, December 16, 2007

Petra, Petra, read all about it.

Today, we traveled across the boarder into Jordan. We went to see Petra, which is believed to be a refuge for the Jews during the second half of the tribulation. What I don't understand is how they are going to hide there if we all already know where it is. It has been built up as a tourist attraction and they have carts and horses and camels and donkeys that you can ride down or up the ravine. I rode a donkey. Ben rode a horse. The horses could only go down about half a mile, then you would have to walk another half mile through the ravine until you came to the facade used in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. From there, you can ride a donkey or a camel to the bottom, which was about another mile and a half. We had a teaching in the restaurant and sang some worship songs. The workers took pictures of us as we sang... I didn't sing because I was still eating.

The process of getting into Jordan was easier than getting back into Israel. I had to go through a metal detector and have my backpack x-rayed. The security people asked me lots of questions, but they finally let me back in.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Morning in Eilat, Israel

This morning, I saw the sun rise over the Jordan Mountains. The rooms have a Thai theme and mine has an outdoor jacuzzi... my room, not the hotel. We are going to the Petra Valley this morning in Jordan. We're really exited.
Yesterday, we went up to Ein Geti and Pastor Matt Dragoun did a teaching on David's life. We were at the base of a tall, but skinny waterfall in an oasis in the desert. It's amazing, because there is also a spring here. Everywhere, we go in Israel from the fertle valleys in the north to the desert springs in the south, I am reminded of God's provision. I've just seen water coming out from the rock.
We got into the hotel late because we were waiting for the Holyde family to catch up to us. I suppose I have time now to talk about it. The day before, when we were traveling from Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee down to the Dead Sea, we stopped for lunch, Chante hopped off the bus first, and was hit by golf cart. I was off the bus before I knew what happened and I saw her on the ground. They were pushing the cart off her and the emts on our trip were getting to work. I went to talk to Hannah, who saw the whole thing, and everybody started praying. Without going into the scary details, the end of that chapter is that Chante is fine and suffered no broken bones. She had a mild concussion and stayed overnight in the hospital for observation. We only missed seeing the caves where the dead sea scrolls were found and we've all seen holes in rock before. The scrolls aren't there anymore. I gotta go now. I'll try again later.

Hello dear internet,

It's been a while. I never got a chance to get back on the computers in Tiberius. So, here I am, in the resort town of Eilat, staying in a Thai village hotel... I don't know what's it's called, but it starts with an "o". I'm tired. I've been really tired all trip. I don't know if it's because I'm not used to the time change. (I'm waking up early evryday, about 6, but that's because they make us.) We've been to for seas so far, the Medittereanian Sea (We are going to pretend that I can spell.) the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, and the Red Sea. We've stayed in four different hotels, visited countless historical sites and sat through many teachings. We've done a lot of touristy things, but I did get a chance to share Jesus with someone named Sarr in Tel Aviv. He didn't accept Jesus, but I'm praying for him and he now knows the gospel.

I've been learning a lot. I've seen a lot, and it's hard to regurgitate it here and now. We've had a spot of drama including a trip the the hospital, but we're okay. I would like to get into more detail, but I'm tired and there is a long line of people who want to use the computer behind me. I'll try and get on again tomorrow.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

I made it and I found internet

I am waiting to get onto the boat on the sea of Galilee. I don't have a lot of time, but I just wanted to let you know I'm here. I'll say more later.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Israel 2007

I'm leaving for Israel in a matter of hours. I'm really excited. I'll post here when I have internet access. Leave messages for me by commenting on this blog. I made a special page for this trip too. Check out JonathanDow.com

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Call For Prayer

My father has the unique opportunity to turn his life around. He was hospitalized to rid his dependency on alcohol. This is the chance that he needs to start living life again. Please
pray that he takes it.

I drove 200 miles to see him and was disappointed. He wasn't alert enough for me to talk to him like I wanted. I told him that I hate alcohol because of what it did to him, and I told him that I didn't want him to die yet because I don't know if he's going to heaven. He said he doesn't know either. He also said he'll take his chances. I told him, you can only get in through Jesus. I could tell that he didn't want to listen to me. His eyes never looked at me when I talked and half his answers were the unintelligible grumbling that he does when someone is trying to correct him. I am very discouraged in my visit. I hope it did him some good just knowing I made the trip.

I need prayer too. I need to remember that I'm not being rejected, but Christ is... although that doesn't make me feel better about my dad's situation. I would rather he reject me and accept Christ. I called the local Pastor and asked for prayer. He is praying and ready and willing to visit him when my dad wants to talk... if he wants to talk.

On a brighter note, God taught me something in the car ride home that I've been wondering for a while. What is the Kingdom of God? Jesus tells a bunch of parables of what it is like, but I haven't (until now) understood what it is. It is not heaven. I know this because a lot of the parables include weeds and birds and tares and other bad things. Also, it's not eternal because all of the farming parables only last until harvest. The Kingdom of God is the body of the Church. Just as a King is head over his loyal subjects, so is Jesus over us. There are people within the church who have been planted by the evil one, or have nested in the branches, but the true believers are attached to the vine and the evil weeds and tares will be thrown into the fire at harvest time. The Kingdom of Heaven is now, and the theocratic government
of the entire Church body... basically everyone who calls himself a Christian. I just thought that was cool.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I think I'm becoming a snob

I answer email all day long. I make mistakes in my spelling and grammar. Even with a degree in English, I still make mistakes and I don't always catch them. But lately I have found myself frustrated and unwilling to give complete answers to people who type in all caps and/or leave all punctuation out of their query. I understand mis-spelled words and mis-typings, but is there not a simple standard that I can expect the average person to live up to? You are asking for professional help for free. The least you can do is make your question reasonable. Maybe I'm asking too much.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

JonathanDow.com/wantstochangetheworld

My newest idea is to make a webpage about how I want to change the world. I could start with a section that is about changing yourself (through the renewing of your mind with the Gospel of Jesus Christ) and a whole section on why change is important. I also want to have ideas on changing the political system, naming problems with it and possible solutions. If I was smarter, I would make this a discussion board... Maybe I still can... I could talk about democracy and why we vote. I could talk about the founding of the US and why it's important. I can compare capitalism with evolution and use that to talk about hypocrisy and hiding the truth. I don't know how I want the layout. I should look into seeing how much it costs to hire a programmer. I could learn it myself, but the learning process of something I don't like discourages my creative process because I get too tired from learning to create.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Scientists are really stupid

I think scientists are really stupid people who have fooled the world by making up stupid things and telling us we are not smart enough to understand them.

Sure, I admit it's possible that I am really not smart enough to understand these things, but if someone who knew them could explain them to me, I would listen. They would have to do a good job, or I'd make fun of them.

I was "learning" about the magnitudes of brightness for stars and other heavenly objects. (Heaven as in the sky, not the Heaven I get to go to when I die. (Or get raptured.)) The sun is a -27, and the moon is a -12. Some comet that I looked at tonight went from a 7 to a 2.5 within the last couple of weeks. The system counts down. How stupid is that? Ask anyone on the street, what star is brighter, one with a magnitude of 5 or one with magnitude of 2. Everyone would say and everyone would be wrong. That's because scientists want to feel smart so you have to go to school for years to learn what they made up. They don't want to change it because they already went to school to study to be smart and they have to keep it going so no one knows how gypped they really are. Why not have a simple magnitude system. Instead of saying a mag 1 star is 1000 times brighter than a mag 6 (which is the current system) say that anything you can see with the naked eye is 1. Anything that causes damage to your eye is a 10, and go from there. If you need a +10 telescope, it can be a .5 and a +100 can be a .25. We can approach 0 (which would be a black hole, where there is no brightness).

Another example of stupid science is negative decimals. On the receiver in my living room, I adjust the volume in negative decimals. What's the point of that? Why can't silence be 0?

Also, I've heard the argument before that Jesus can't know everything because he called the whale that swallowed Jonah a fish, and everyone knows that whales are mammals. But that's stupid because God calls everything He created to live in the water a fish. We are the ones who classified the Animal Kingdom. And I think it's completely useless. What's the point in classifying every species of life on this planet? I think the only reason is to have classes so other people can learn the system and feel smart because they know the latin names for everything.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I'm selling stuff now

I've started a store on CafePress.com. You can find it here:

http://www.cafepress.com/jonathandow

If I start making over $10 a month, I'll upgrade to a better looking store. I don't know I'll make that much, if any money from this store. I should talk to my brother about making the stuff look better. I also need to promote the site somehow.

This makes me want to organize my website better, along with this blog and the store.

Perhaps, I'll start to make a little money to motivate me to work on it. maybe not... I'm not sure. We'll see.

While you're reading this, check out the site and see if you like anything.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

No car... again

I am again without a car. This time, I didn't crash it. It didn't even break down on me... almost. What really happened was that the oil light came on and a friend of mine checked the oil and it was empty. We put in a quart and couldn't see a difference. We put in a second quart and... well... we checked under the car to make sure it wasn't just going through. We eventually found it with the anti-freeze. Oil and anti-freeze apparently don't mix.

I just bought the car an have only been driving it for a couple of months. It had a wrecking yard engine put in before I got it, but the warranty was only 45 days. (That seems kinda short to me... especially for an engine.) This is the same problem the original engine had. Brian just caught it before the car stopped working for me.

As for now, I don't know what I'm going to do. I am told by multiple parties (the guy who "fixed" it and friends alike) that the car isn't really worth saving. It would make a good electric car, but it will cost four or five thousand and 1000 man hours to convert. (Of course I don't want to embark on such a project, but I wouldn't mind having the finished product.

I was a bit grumpy over this situation for the past couple of days. It happened on a Wednesday and until yesterday, I was feeling down. Guess what happened yesterday... nothing. I just slept in, woke up, felt more down because it was raining and my plan to walk the dog was canceled. So I brought her inside, dried her off and took a nap. All the sleep put me in a good mood this morning. That and prayer. I've been praying a lot over the last few days. I don't particularly like feeling down. Especially when people can tell in my voice and treat me different.

I had a dream last night, where I got into a gun fight and killed someone. We were on separate teams, so it was expected that one of us would kill the other. I was hiding in a corridor where time slowed down. He and this girl walked through and I hoped that he didn't see me, but he popped back around the corner with his gun raised and fired.

Since time slows down in this corridor, I dodged the bullet and fired back. he smacked my bullet away. We fired back and forth at one another dodging bullets until I got the bright idea to stop aiming at his head. I hit him the next three times in the chest. I walked over to him and kicked his gun away. Then I sat down and watched him die. It felt wrong to let him die alone. I recognized him from a college class. He told me that I won fair and square, and I said I was hoping he didn't see me. I didn't want to fight. He asked me to tell him a movie idea. He always wanted to make a movie but he didn't know what about. I told him to make it about a kid who sleeps and dreams of commanding an army and leading them into battle, but wakes up and does nothing in his life. He dreams of flying a space ship faster than anyone has ever flown before, but wakes up, works at a fast food joint, eats, and goes back to sleep. He dreams of trekking through thick jungles, jumping from treetop to treetop, discovering evil robots and battling them, saving the world time and time again, and he wakes up to nothing. the point of the film is to discover what would be real. Are dreams worth living for?

He died sometime during my pitch. The girl walked through again, looked at us, disgusted. She kept walking. I didn't follow. I picked up his gun, stowed it away, and went to find another place to hide.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Changing the World

I want to change the world. I don't know how to do it. I want to come up with ideas. I want to find creative solutions to problems. I want to organize and collect abilities of smarter people than I and put them into action. Basically, I want to find out what people can do, and use their abilities to solve world problems.

I am convinced that the US government has the power to fix a lot of the main problems we face today. They just don't. Mostly because they would have to spend money and they wouldn't get it back. But lives would be saved. I am convinced that we grow enough food to feed a lot of Africa, if not all. We can run our cars on corn and we have the ability to create and use electric cars. We just don't. We can make things easier, better, faster, more profitable, but that means a lot of money up front and some people, who are earning a lot now, won't be earning so much. It also means lives get saved and the poor aren't so poor anymore.

We can do it, but we won't.

Perhaps if I hire a programmer and a personal Assistant in India, I can start on some of my ideas. I can't afford that now. We'll see what happens later. If through those two people, I can start to generate pull and get people's attention, perhaps they would be willing to donate a few dollars to a cause of their choice and things would happen. Maybe... It's late and I'm tired. It's just that... well... I better start a new paragraph.

I like my job. I have no complaints about the people I work for or work with. It's not difficult and I feel appreciated. The thing is that I feel like I can do more. I feel like I can use what God has given me; an overactive imagination, an ability to grasp ideas quickly, and the ability to think of (and sometimes confuse) many different things at once, to do something that means more than earning money to live on. I don't want to be in anything for the money. If I have to rent the rest of my life, fine. I just want what I do to matter.

I have a problem, though. I'm scatter brained. I think I need someone to help me stay focused and to put my plans into action. I can figure out how things should work, but I start to make them work and I get distracted by something else a few minutes after I start. The problem is, once my brain switches from creative problem solving mode to work mode, the warranty expires.

I can't do this alone.

If anyone reading this wants to change the world, has a skill or a knowledge and is hard working, email me. me@jonathandow.com

I can come up with a plan that will get you going to make it happen. I can organize. I just don't have the discipline to carry it out. My brain doesn't seem to function that way.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Don't Hide. Stand Up.

The internet showed me a thread (discussion) that people have been having about the existence of God. It was started by this guy who said that God didn't exist. This is his argument:
The concept of god in Christianity, which is derived from the bible in a selective approach, is containing stuff as:

• All mighty
• Faultless
• Pure goodness
• Love for people

With some investigation one can easily detect that this god, as described in the old and new testament, is no good at all, according the ethical standards of today.

That means that god is according our criteria unethical and that he isn’t answering the principle of being faultless. In spite of this, Christians still insist that god is perfect. So he doesn’t exist.

Some will say that he’s formatted according what the early Christians defined as being good. But then the same would be valid for Tezcatlipoca of the Aztecs, the Shiva from Vishnu and with even more reasons for Amithaba Buddha. So why should one select Yahweh as premium choice?

Every attempt to immunise voices inside Christianity against rational critique will fail on the conclusion that these immunisation techniques are equal usable to defend the voices of other religions and sects, including the most absurd ones.

Or one has a definition to give the bible and Christianity a privileged statue but then one must be able to present that definition or one does not have that definition. In the last case, all religions and sects and their revelations have in the field of speaking the truth equal worth.


Now as faulty as it is, and people have been more than generous in pointing that out to him (I don't know that this person is a guy), Not one person in the first 5 pages or so said that they were a Christian. There were Christian viewpoints being shared, but no one said that they were a Christian. Now, I've spoken to people, friends of friends of friends, who didn't know I was Christian when they started talking and they started saying stuff like this or that anyone who believes that stuff is crazy. My favorite times to open my mouth and start to speak are these times. "I believe it, do you believe that I'm crazy?" I always get a no and I'm sorry, like they were making fun of cancer or something but they always lead to fruitful conversations.
It seems that they just never talked to someone before who actually believes and they never knew what simple faith can do.

If you are ever in a situation where God is being mocked or ridiculed or preached against, and you call yourself a Christian, don't hide. Speak up. Even if they make fun of you and even if they hurt you, don't hide. Speak up. God will give you the words to say. They won't be treats or insults, but they will be the truth, and that will threaten their comfort and insult their evil more than anything you or I could come up with. Read Matthew 10:32. How can you afford not to?

As for this guy (girl?), I sent a personal message with the Gospel and said I was willing to discuss his (her) post without the crazy insults and loosely based and badly spelled comments on the original discussion. Please pray for me. My goal is to show him (her) Jesus, not to just prove him (her) wrong.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Political Game

I had an idea just now. what if we made a political game like Nation States, but better, where you can write your own legislation and arguments and where people can vote... perhaps not everyone has their own nation, but you can move to a new nation... hmm... Perhaps you start out in a nation, and you have to move through ranks to lead it. Once you have a certain amount of influential power, you can convince a population to move with you and create separate nation. Of course, the governing bodies don't like this because they lose some of their population. Let's say, the guy with the most power has 50 million people, the next guy has 25 million people. If these were the only two guys in the nation, the top guy leads 75 million people, even though 50 million are loyal to him. If the other guy goes and starts a nation of his own, then the top guy loses the voting clout of 25 million on international issues. He wants to keep the 25 million happy. The 25 million guy may not want to start his own country, or if he did, he might choose because of the benefits of being in a 75 million person country. Perhaps bandits attack smaller countries and resources are more abundant (as well as workload) so people are happier working together. Maybe... It's an interesting idea. I wonder if there are any programmers and political scientists out there who would be willing to work on this with me.

Friday, October 12, 2007

So last night, I went to Los Osos and lead a Bible Study. It was a lot of fun and a lot of good things were said. I just hope and pray that they go beyond being said and are put into action. James says that faith without works are dead.

I also got a chance to practice the songs for children's ministry. The teacher that I teach with (who plays guitar and leads the worship music) is leaving to start another Children's Ministry in Cambria. That's great for him, but it leaves a gap in my abilities. Praise the Lord that Heidi is helping every week. Together, we're going to tackle the music part of Sunday School, an area I've always been uncomfortable with and felt inadequate to lead. Having Heidi helping with that has made it less scary and I'm actually excited to see how it works out.

I didn't get home until after midnight. A friend was over to work on something wit my roommate, but he had a personal problem and my roommate and I spent a good amount of time listening, encouraging, and praying for him. Of course I can't go into details on the internet, but I do want to say that times like that, where people pull together to help someone, brings out the joy of the Lord in me. I love to feel like I'm being useful and doing something good, and if I have a friend who is having a hard time, I have more enjoyment lending a hand than avoiding the situation and doing something "fun." Of course I don't want bad things to happen in order for me to do stuff like that, but I appreciate that they are not hidden from me.

Today, I voted on a couple of issues in my fake country, Jeisra. It was difficult in the fact that I couldn't form my own opinion about it. I had to agree with one side or the other, and the way the arguments were constructed, I didn't agree with either. My thoughts on the issue coincided with one side, and I ended up voting that way, but I would rather have been able to write why I thought that way instead of letting one side win. I wonder if real politicians feel that way.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New House

I started my house last night. I built the outside and the mailbox. They are currently empty, but I will fill them in as time goes on. I have lots of ideas for the house, but they are not all quite solid yet. Let me know what you would like to see. I should start a house blog so I don't fill this one up with house stuff. Keep your eyes open for that coming soon. I've started a list on what I want to put in the house so far:
- Outside [+] [ ]
- MailBox [+] [ ]
- Link to Blog (in what form?) [ ] [ ]
- House Improvements (invoices) [ ] [ ]
- Outgoing Mail [ ] [ ]
- Other more personal letters (faked) [ ] [ ]
- Front Door [ ] [ ]
- Front Foyer [ ] [ ]
- Living Room [ ] [ ]
- Half Bath [ ] [ ]
- Window [ ] [ ]
- Dining Room [ ] [ ]
- Window [ ] [ ]
- Closet [ ] [ ]
- Rear Foyer [ ] [ ]
- Backyard [ ] [ ]
- Kitchen [ ] [ ]
- Dining Room [ ] [ ]
- Stairs [ ] [ ]
- Landing [ ] [ ]
- Study [ ] [ ]
- Bookshelf [ ] [ ]
- Master Bedroom [ ] [ ]
- Master Bath [ ] [ ]
- Entertainment Room [ ] [ ]
- Tv [ ] [ ]

Let me know if you have any ideas.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wednesday Night Brain Storms

I've had a lot of ideas running through my head recently... I'm going to have to go through them backwards... I'm hungry, but I'm going to try and ignore that one until I get some of these out.

On the way back from Bible Study (I kicked a soccer ball around with some of the high schoolers afterwards) I thought of a way to present the Gospel using hacky sacks. I ask people to pretend they are eggs. Every time I kick one, it's a good deed. Small easy kicks are easy good deeds, the hard ones are big good deeds. I could list of some examples like doing dishes for my roommates or driving to LA to rescue a friend whose car has broken down. I play until it falls. Once the egg hits the ground, it's broken. I made a mistake. That's what God calls sin. What do I do? Get another egg. More good deeds. Mention that I can't get good at this unless I've dropped a lot of eggs in the past. After a while, that one falls too. What should I do? Get another one.

Now after a while, I'm standing around with a lot of broken eggs at my feet. I've run out of eggs and what happens now? Look at all these broken eggs? Someone gave me these eggs. What do I do if He comes back and asks for them. I'm just standing here with the evidence at my feet. And by now it would start to smell. I could run, but He'll find the eggs and then He'll know what I did because He knows He gave them to me. Every good think God gave me in order to do god deeds, I have turned into sin. I'm going to have to face facts. I'm going to have to apologize and ask for forgiveness. This is the decision I've made. I've realized that running is pointless and lying is stupid. The damage is done and I can't do anything about it. The many good deeds I did do are in the past, and I've lost count. I can see all my mistakes right here before me.

But what Jesus does, is He fixes all my mistakes. I would then kick up each hacky sack back into my hand. He did this by dying on the cross, because in real life, our sins are bad enough that we deserve to die. And every egg that He mends, and every mistake that He fixes becomes a trophy of His Mercy and Grace. And all of a sudden, I have more trophies than I can hold.

Someone said something good to me tonight in Bible Study. Proverbs 14:17

On the way to Bible Study, I thought about my Website and wanted to make it a house again. I thin I can do this better with iWeb. I know that you are not supposed to mess with navigation, but I don't care. I DON'T CARE.

I'm not going to write anymore because I'm going to go get some food. Hungry. Check out JonathanDow.com later once I get the website up.

::Ask me later to talk about today's teens and why I feel old about the way they shock me.::

I've been bad

I realize that it's been over a year since I posted. I'm sorry. I have no excuse.

Now, I'm living in Atascadero. I live where I work. I have a dog. Her name is Snaps. I'll try and get a picture up later. She's a year old (six months when I got her in January from the local humane society) and very well behaved. She's a mix of some sort. I don't really know. I'm guessing Border Collie and something else... I don't know what. I've heard people guess from greyhound to terrier to McNabb. I don't even know what a McNabb is.

I have moved to salary since I live at work and work at any time, not just between 9 and 5. I like that schedule, but since I answer phones between 9 and 5, I have to stay home all day.

I've been busy with a lot of things lately, but I won't list them all now. I found this fun game that has 30 levels. It took me a long time to beat it. I suppose that it keeps me humble.
http://www.onemorelevel.com/games.php?game=328

This entry is a bit spastic, but I hope to get into the groove and type more. the more I do it, the better it will become.