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About bryan

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  1. bryan

    Learning Python...

    Python is an excellent choice and a skill that's very much in demand now.
  2. bryan

    A House Divided.

    I agree. Discussions of doctrine and how to interpret specific verses that consider related verses, context, and meaning of words in the original language can be very beneficial. They can bring clarification to ideas and concepts that may not have been completely understood. Sometimes aspects about the meaning of a single word in a verse can provide significant clarity and meaning. Playing 'devil's advocate' can be a good way to investigate things. Deliberately take the opposite position of how you interpret a verse or concept, then try to prove it to yourself. One may find it easily disproved and your initial position reinforced. At times, though, you may find aspects and meaning you didn't notice before that expand how a verse is considered or perhaps narrow the focus to which it should be applied. Critical in the process is keeping the discussion separate from the people involved with different positions, of course. Once any discussion claims of "You're wrong" or "You're not understanding this", the dialogue is essentially over and any value has likely been lost.
  3. bryan

    About Fasting

    The Greeks talked about fasting for mental clarity. Basically, getting your body off the roller coaster of using glucose (sugar / carb) for energy can lead to more constant overall energy levels. When your body switches from glucose to ketones as a primary energy source, the brain can frequently function better. There are studies with lots of microbiology explaining all that. If we define fasting as eating no food and no drinks with calories like juice, different lengths of fasting can yield different benefits. Fasting for under three days likely keeps a person's body in glucose mode, so you don't get the mental clarity benefit. If you don't watch your electrolyte levels carefully, the process of switching from glucose to ketones can be unpleasant and is even coined 'keto flu'. If your electrolytes are good and you make it past three days, your body is likely switching to ketones for energy. That means glucose reserves are used up and your body is burning fat for energy. At that point, one will likely stop being hungry as much and the mental clarity starts being apparent. Note for some people this can take a couple extra days. Cravings for sweets and carbs typically takes about three weeks to go away. A four day fast has been noted to cause one's body to start rebuilding the immune system. If one does a fast beyond 21 days, the body may have time to rebuild much of the digestive system. I've done fasts up to 28 days in the past and my experience matched these predictions. Everyone is different. Some people can easily fast for long times, with others it's more complicated. Do your research and be careful if you decide to trying fasting beyond skipping a meal or two.
  4. It definitely pays to shop around for auto parts. For some parts only available at the Honda dealer, there are some Honda forums that recommend dealers and other part sources that provide good prices. In my case, it's frequently cheaper overall to buy parts from a dealer a few states away than to buy from the local dealer.
  5. bryan

    Seeking help and advise for Youth Group

    I'll second this recommendation. Any effort by teenagers to earn money can be a great example for people in the community. Their effort and initiative makes a good impression. This could involve groups visiting home offering help raking leaves, shoveling snow, washing cars, etc. Once your group gains a reputation for helping the community, that can open doors for donations and other opportunities.
  6. Excellent news. The next time I hear complaints about the US military, I'll remind them of this story and what they did.
  7. bryan

    A House Divided.

    From many situations I've witnessed personally, rejection was always based on a dispute involving interpretation of scripture. Both people may be mature Christians. One believes something, another believes something else, both use scripture to support their belief, and a simple dialogue turns into an angry dispute that divides people.
  8. bryan

    Is there a better way to 'do Church'?

    Christians don't treat gays as if they are inhuman? What if Christians treated gluttons, liars, adulterers, and other sinners the same way?
  9. There's a lot of 'it depends' in both how people approach atheists and others, how they communicate, and whether it's a real dialogue. In my case, after growing up in a church with many practices and beliefs far different from those in the bible, I didn't become an atheist. I knew there was 'a God', but I decided that whatever god that church worshiped with all the evil things they did, I didn't want anything to do with them. That drove me away from Christian churches for many years. In fact, I'd do anything I could to convince others to avoid them as well so they could avoid going through those same evil practices. My point here isn't to condemn any church, but to help people realize many 'atheists' may not be as one might assume. In fact, assuming things about atheists instead of taking a few minutes to ask questions and actually listen is frequently a problem. In the years that I was against Christianity, I personally encountered many of the things stillseeking describes. What did that do? I convinced me other Christian churches were likely just as evil as the first one, so I should stay away from them and keep trying to 'fight evil' as I had been.
  10. These points are brilliantly stated and summarized. They're well worth keeping and reviewing frequently. Thank you.
  11. My family tried out several churches last year. Below are a few characteristics encountered, each from a separate church. One sermon was a 'life lesson' from the pastor that made sense but had no basis in the bible. Repeat each Sunday. One service was 90 minutes long but included only a few minutes of reading bible verses. There was no discussion or lesson. Most of the service was singing or asking for tithes. One church explained a complicated process to join and that screened out many people that weren't married, were divorced, had 'inappropriate' histories, etc. The service was very ritualistic and the message was difficult to understand in all the rituals. One service involved a detailed scripture discussion with a classroom style question and answer part, but the discussion and answers involved much added content and interpretation beyond the bible One service was very friendly, charismatic, and as loud as many rock concerts. The message was very emotional and bible based, but the volume was too painful. We did find a bible based church eventually, but it took some searching.
  12. Interesting how a discussion from a couple needing help led to pedophiles, bank robbers, and gossipers. As a Christian, the first question before judging them is likely to figure out what would be best for them to get out of their situation. That might involve moving to a Christian homeless shelter to start a program to get on their feet again, or it could mean they move in with you for a short time until they can become independent. You'll have to choose what you think it best for them, but I'd encourage you to talk to some pastors and counselors at Christian homeless shelters to see what they think before deciding. The reason they are homeless may involve other issues that greatly affect the best options going forward. I'd encourage you to pray and see what guidance you receive on if and how you are directed to help.
  13. bryan

    Christianity in the Matrix?

    There are quite a few comparisons online. Here's a sample: First, let's review some of the obvious Christian symbols that appear in the film. The main character, played by Keanu Reeves, is named Thomas Anderson: the first name Thomas may be an allusion to the Doubting Thomas of the gospels, while etymologically Anderson means "son of man," a title used by Jesus in reference to himself. Another character, Choi, says to him "Hallelujah. You're my savior, man. My own personal Jesus Christ." A plate in Morpheus's ship Nebuchadnezzar bears the inscription "Mark III No. 11," a probable allusion to the Bible: Mark 3:11 reads, "Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, 'You are the Son of God!'" Anderson's hacker alias Neo is an anagram for the One, a title which is used in the film to refer to Keanu Reeves' character. He is The One who is prophesied to liberate humanity from the chains that imprison them in their computer-generated illusion. First, however, he has to die - and he is killed in room 303. But, after 72 seconds (analogous to 3 days), Neo rises again (or is resurrected). Soon after that, he also ascends into the heavens. The first movie itself happened to be released on Easter weekend, 1999.
  14. Interesting challenge. In the past I've asked supporters of specific evolutionary stances to explain their positions and support them with specific studies and scientific papers. The Biotic Message by Walter J. Remine covers the topic broadly and would be a good starting point by summarizing several positions. Nobody has ever been willing to discuss, much less debate, things at a level of comparing views and positions based on verifiable data and studies.
  15. Deep Work by Cal Newport changed my perspective in how time is spent on for work and other projects. It's one of few books I'll likely read through completely again soon.