-over and out-
Thursday, May 31, 2007
-over and out-
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
1. What is your favorite Mexican food dish?
Hands down---Tacos al Pastor made from a trompo (top). It is seasoned pork, layered on a vertical spit slowly grilled all day. It is quite the art form just watching them slice it off and flinging it into a waiting corn tortilla and then topping it off with pineapple (which I take off not being a fan of that particular fruit) and then garnished with Cilantro, onions and salsa---if you like.
O.K. now I'm drooling!!!
2. Which season do you prefer and why?
Hands down...spring!!! I am one of those people who tends to get a little down with the seemingly endlessness, impenetrable darkness of winter months. When I see the first little buds popping out---instant cheerfulness. I see the signs of spring and feel as if, I too, could have a new start and can literally feel the pall lifting.
3. If you were to receive a one week all expense paid vacation right now, where would you go and with who?
Probably anywhere in the United Kingdom with probably (just kidding Edgard) my husband. I think, though, that both Edgard and I feel that we would really like to stay off the beaten track...so can we have some of the expenses from the fancy hotel and just stay at little mom and pop type roadside inns? We don't make a good tourists.
I know....that is a pessimistic attitude. But really, when you think of summer...you think of: bathing suits and shorts and tank tops, none of which look good on me right now. Isn't it sad how much I let my size affect my life. So to not dwell on that...I look forward to the little unplanned weekend trips we will take. Wether it is one or two or ten it is always fun to just jump in the car and go for a couple of days to do who knows what, who knows where.
5. If you could instantly gain one skill or knowledge what would you choose? (i.e. a karate black belt or speak italian fluently or be able to run a marathon)
So I think that this is a great question. It was actually also the subject of a post on another favorite blog of mine. I had a list of five skills in the comment section so I don't want to be redundant. I will choose a new one that I had wanted to list but didn't. I would like to have a better memory. I think that I am so disjointed in my thinking that my brain does not know where to begin to file things, so it is a disorganized mess in there. I feel like a living edition of the movie memento sometimes.
1. Leave me a comment saying “Interview me" with your e-mail address
2. I will respond by emailing you questions. I get to pick the questions
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Oh wait, I also sat and watched I Love Lucy with Irene while she (Irene) said "Lucy cry, Lucy cry" over and over again. I thought that was an astute observation for a 2 year old. She basically explained the entire premise of the show. I listened to her beautiful, if somewhat tone-deaf, singing. I also received a drawing from Anthony, of a red and orange striped car. Quite the fetching color combination, I just have to say! I then watched him teach his sister how to draw with such patience and love. A proud moment for a parent, for sure. Edgard and I then had dinner with the children and we laughed and laughed. I am not sure that I really remember what we were laughing about, but I am almost certain that it wasn't even that funny. Dinner is long since over, but this contented feeling of nerdly oneness is still beautifully overwhelming. Yep...just a regular day.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
These pictures are the before and after of our front yard. When we moved in (April 2005) and the next, Christmas 2006.
We are going to spend this memorial day by cleaning up our front yard... we have already weeded and spread most of the bark but ran out right at the last. Now when I use the term "we" I hope that you all understand that this refers to my husband and my husband, only. I am a dismal failure at the whole helping thing. I usually just wander aimlessly around searching for the right tool for the job and truly hoping that said tool does not exist since then I can be exempt from work and appear as if I actually wanted to help...if only I had found that darn tool!
The thing that we need to do to finish the front yard now, is to finish the bark and gravel the side driveway, which we have never done in the two years that we have lived here. We always mean to do it but unfortunately we are very motivated when it comes to putting things off. The next couple of big projects are the backyard and replacing the fence. I personally am nervous about the fence job since my husband is a city boy who never put one up in his life (in fact he didn't even cross one to come to this country...he came in an airplane) so what does he know about fences...but he has a good helper in me...now let me just go find the right tools for the job.... But seriously, I have been so impressed with Edgard, how he has just waded right into big projects (with help from a book of course). he isn't afraid of a thing. He has done all repairs on our first house (this is our second one we currently live in) such as replace the roof, replace the flooring, and in this house now: a major front yard overhaul, replacing fixtures and so many little things that I couldn't even list them all. I know that we are both slow starters but once we (Edgard) get started there is no stopping us (once again, Edgard).
Just a little side note, I managed to organize my daughter's room. I rearranged the furniture, cleaned over, under and through everything in there. I am very happy with my results. So, see? I am good for something around here even if I try to avoid work like the plague.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
This very apt explanation of the inner workings of driving in Mexico City (author unknown) is worth a read. The author has definitely clocked some driving time in D.F.!
If you ever need to drive on the streets of Mexico City the following rules my help you get to your destination in one piece.
On starting your car, implore your higher power for divine intervention in protection against the perils of the Mexico City streets.
Be careful with the confident reverse driver. This type of driver is famous for backing his/her car with a complete disregard of whatever is on its path. If you encounter one of these drivers then you are just in time to practice the Mexico City driver greeting.
The Mexico City Driver Greeting
When greeting a Mexico City driver, slowly lower your window and be prepared to greet the driver with: "tu madre, pendejo." However if you have already been addressed by a fellow driver, reply with "la tuya, cabron."
On Turn Signals
If a driver in another lane turns on the turn signal, do not let him go into your lane. In fact, press the accelerator and start driving right next to him/her. The fellow driver probably will greet you and you already know what to do.
On Traffic Lights
These amusing artifacts hang from intersections for no apparent reason. Sometimes you will see the drivers stop to watch the colors change on these lights (a fascinating experience). Government officials (specifically police) believe that each color stands for an instruction for drivers to follow. From pure observation I have determined the following instructions for each color:
Yellow light: accelerate your car as much as possible.
Red light: this gives permission to the next five to six cars to go through.
Green light: reduce speed and wait for the five to six cars passing through their respective red lights.
On Changing Lanes
Changing lanes has been elevated to an art form in Mexico City. First of all, no matter what you do, never turn on your turn signal or otherwise you'll stimulate the reaction described above. Second, swerve your car uncontrollably toward the lane you want to change to, preferably so that you end up within inches of a car in that lane. At this point a greeting from the other driver may be in order. To perfect your change of lanes, reduce the speed of your car dramatically in a matter of seconds and you will see an action packed reaction from the car behind you.
These individuals are an annoyance to the Mexico City driver. If you see pedestrians in your way, accelerate your car to let them know who is boss. If you are at intersection, let the pedestrians know you want to proceed by flinging your car at them.
On Social situations
Drivers should reduce speed and stop their cars in the middle of the street and chit chat. what about the other drivers? Well, they can wait.
On Highway Driving
Bottleneck formation: to accomplish this type of driving, cars must block all lanes by driving at the same speed and side by side (to prevent other cars from passing). It is important to dive at a speed at least 20 mph below the speed limit.
The Three-Lane-Change: This movement requires a lot of precision and creativity. It should be done around the highest number of cars possible and in a matter of seconds to create what others may refer to as widespread panic.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
So my goal for this lovely Friday was to totally revamp my desk. I am a clutter bug and as we all know, one of the worst things that contributes to clutter is...PAPER. Another fair contributor to clutter is a house the size of your small pinky. Now, my house isn't that size....it is slightly smaller. My desk is actually in my closet. I think that the thing I like about this arrangement is...door shut, mess gone. The big thing I don't like about it? My husband has less room for his vast collection of shoes. (I bet you think I am kidding...did anyone say Imelda Marcos?) So today my husband graciously accepted to watch the children for the evening and I then set to work. Here is the time line:
6:45 p. m. removed everything from the shelves above my desk and dusted.
7:20 p. m.decided to check my email...
7:35 p. m.shook myself from being lost online and made myself go back to work.
7:45 p. m. aimlessly looked through things from my desk previously buried and forgotten. I laughed, I cried, I stalled.
8:00 p. m. America's funniest home videos (I need to watch it with the family, right?)
9:00 p. m. Vow to attack the desk with purpose but I just need to check my email first....
10:00 p. m. Drag myself off of www.youtube.com (blooper videos). I tell husband "the blooper show is over, I'm getting back to work." He leaves in a trail of snorts, guffaws, and eye rolling as he heads into the living room.
10:30 p. m.sorting desk paraphernalia, organizing it into piles...going o.k. so far
11:40 p. m. I suddenly remember that "friends" started 10 minutes ago and so I proceed to watch it... I can organize and watch tv at the same time right?
12:33 a. m. Friends and Frasier is over...bed is covered with desk stuff...I am tired. Where can I put all this stuff? Oh wait, the desk has some room now... I will just pile it on there until I can have another productive day of sorting and organizing. I think I will just go check my email, really quickly......................
Friday, May 18, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Here is a blog post to really make you roll your eyes. I feel the need to do it though, because I just happen to know a friend who could use a cheesy laugh or two right now (m.b. this is for you).... so here goes:
- A couple of zoologists decided to give a lion a cell phone in order to keep track of his whereabouts. Unfortunately, whenever they tried to call, the lion was busy!
- be nice to your garbage man... he is down in the dumps a lot.
- What's the best way to prevent diseases caused by biting insects?
- Harry: Is it true that the workers in the U.S. Mint have too much work to do?
- Did you hear about the two guys who stole everything out of a house except the soap and towels. They were dirty crooks!
Things To Think About
- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.
- What if there were no hypothetical questions?
- If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?
- Is there another word for synonym?
- If a parsley farmer is sued can they garnish his wages?
- Would a fly without wings be called a walk?
- Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?
- Why do they put Braille on the drive-through bank machines?
- How do they get deer to cross the road only at those yellow road signs?
- Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?
- Whose cruel idea was it for the word "Lisp" to have "S" in it?
- Why is it called tourist season if we can't shoot at them?
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
So we ended up getting a room on the 16th floor of a Hilton hotel. Yes we are flying quite high these days, what with the one income and all. All for less than the price of a motel 6. Thank you Priceline!! The view was simply amazing. I also had my wish of plenty of stairs to climb daily. We usually went to and from our hotel room an average of 4 times daily so I had all the exercise I could handle. Well, maybe a little more than I could handle since by the third day I could barely walk. I was o.k. if I was already going but just let me sit for a moment or sleep all night and it was enough to have me walking like night of the living dead for a minute or two until I limbered up.
So one night, Friday as I recall, I was enjoying a little cable t.v. (it is my hotel treat since I don't subscribe at home) and marveling that for the first night since we came here, the kids had both fallen asleep without a fight. They sleep wonderfully at home, but take them out of their beds at home and stuff them into one crowded room with us and for some reason they have a harder time going to sleep. My big baby was asleep as well, or snoring, rather. So I was settling in for a night of mind numbing television. Suddenly the fire alarm, which looks like the general fire alarm anyone has in their house, went off. Same annoying high pitched screech as well. I sat there for a few seconds trying to comprehend what was occurring and waiting for the situation to disappear. when that didn't happen I did the one thing that I thought seemed sane... I walked over, turned the t.v. off and stared blankly at the fire alarm (keep in mind it is around 1:00 am when all this is going on). Suddenly, Edgard, my hero, wakes and springs into action. I was amazed at how he just took control of the situation, punching every button on the alarm clock. I then tried to calmly explain to him that it was the fire alarm and that we needed to do something. (I was desperately clinging to the hope that I wouldn't have to wake the children who were still dreaming away) My husband then jumped over the bed in an amazing feat of gymnastics, especially considering he was still partially asleep, and attempted to rip the fire alarm off of the wall... I informed him that I was pretty sure that tampering with that was a felony and he seemed to wake up the rest of the way after that. I then had the brilliant idea to call the lobby and I was sure that I was the only one that was smart enough to think of this. I found out later, I wasn't. No one answered of course, and so I decided to check the hallway. Not a soul was out there but the alarm was going off there as well. I came back in and said "what do we do?" two times. I'm pretty sure that Edgard understood me the first time so the second time was just for effect, I guess. I went back into the hall and the lady in the adjoining room was timidly peaking out and that, unlike the fire alarm, decided me. I wasn't crazy after all, so we picked up the children, my purse, and Edgard's wallet and away we went. We went out into the stairwell with the rest of the rats abandoning the ship and we all were a surprisingly chipper in our various states of undress. Hotel evacuations, the great equalizer, melding the rich with the people who use priceline.
For the first time I didn't seem to notice how far sixteen flights were. So as we made our way out of the hotel and across the street, the only thing you could hear was shuffling feet and the occasional cough. I waited tensely as I listened for what I knew I would hear, the inevitable, the forthcoming, the thought that was in every person's mind..... And suddenly it was upon us....the Paris Hilton joke. After that was done, we waited for about fifteen minutes with no news. A Hilton employee then came and let everyone know that it was a false alarm. Back up the stairs, kids back in bed, husband snoring again...and I was too tired to watch t.v. after all. I guess that I shouldn't complain though. I could have been the lady that broke her ankle on the way out of the hotel. Well what the heck, I will complain a little. They didn't issue any explanation or even any room credit to anyone that night for the trouble it all caused. Oh well I guess that the Hilton's need every dollar they get right now for Paris Hilton's appeal. (sorry I couldn't resist)
Monday, May 14, 2007
I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them. ~Mark Twain
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
...well, actually, leaving in a Volkswagen is more like it. And I know when Ill be back again. We are going on a mini vacation. Edgard is going to a concert on Wednesday to a city a couple of hours away and so the kids and I will go up with him and we will stay till Sunday!!!
I am all a flutter. I guess that you can tell we don't get out much.
I really think that 4 days vacation will be good. Especially for my waistline. I generally lose weight on vacation. I think that I will this time too. I intend to walk a lot!! We also are going to be in a hotel that is quite a few floors and so I can go up and down the stairs a few times everyday. We shall see.
I think that the hard part will be total lack of computer. I can't do my daily constitutionals on the net like I love to do. I really hope that I come home to a lot of blog entries from my favorite blogs (hint, hint, hint). I may get time to do one more post before I leave but if not...adios hasta el domingo!!!
p.s. personal note to Susie....remember our "no children allowed, mothers day vacation" last year? I was driving!!
Monday, May 7, 2007
So I have a weight loss goal in mind. Slim down at least 10 pounds by June 16th.... This is the date that I am to attend a potluck dinner at the house that my husband jams at (he is an amazing drummer, by the way! If anyone wants to hire him as a session drummer, they will be far from disappointed, he really knows his stuff. Please excuse my shameless plug) and I have never met the people that he plays with let alone their families. I don't care, so much, what they think of me, but I would like to put the best foot forward, so to speak, for Edgard. So, any advice or encouragement would be greatly appreciated. More on that later.....
written and posted by Rachel at 9:18 PM
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Friday, May 4, 2007
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
I saw this on a blog I frequent on a regular basis and I decided to shamelessly steal it. Maybe this can give you a better idea of me. If you have any questions that this entry brings to mind...ask away. If you would like to answer these yourself and give me a better idea of yourself I will look forward to it.
Are your parents married or divorced?
Divorced 4 years...but you never know...
Do you believe in heaven?
Have you ever come close to dying?
What jewellery do you wear 24/7?
Only my wedding ring...I don't like clutter.
Do you eat the stems of broccoli?
Well yeah!! its the best part!
Do you wear makeup?
well...I should all the time, but no.
Would you ever have plastic surgery?
maybe a little lift...do they do full body lifts???
What do you wear to bed?
Have you ever done anything illegal?
Yes...my husband. (ha ha)
Can you roll your tongue?
Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend?
Husband...my looking days are over!
Do you believe in abortions?
What is your hair color?
Future child’s name, boy and girl?
my future imaginary children's names will be: William Torredad and Elsa somethingorother
Do you smoke?
only when I'm on fire. (hyuck, hyuck, hyuck)
If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
Iran...if only my own ignorance about the country didn't make me such a scaredy cat (but I am learning)
Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
If you won the lottery, what would you do first?
Secure our financial future and with the remainder, give back to my parents what they gave to me.
Gold or Silver?
Hamburger or hot dog?
I have to choose???
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
potatoes (condiments don't count, right?)
City, beach or country?
country...cool breezes, birds singing, hammock and a book....ok, I will be back... I need to go to the country now.
What was the last thing you touched?
my coffee cup
When’s the last time you cried?
wow..I don't remember. Not that I don't cry. Since my first child...crying went into overdrive. I mean, c'mon, how touching can a commercial for a greeting card company be???
What color are your pants?
Black... I need to lose a few lbs, remember?
Ever been involved with the police?
well, not intimately but unfortunately yes...as a victim. Not a story I am likely to tell any time soon.
What’s your favourite shampoo/conditioner and soap?
pantene and irish spring with crystals
Do you talk in your sleep?
oh yes... my husband says I hold conversations. He does as well, in both English and Spanish. It is a sure thing that we had better be faithful to each other because we will blab it at night!!
Ocean or pool?
What’s your favourite song at the moment?
Phil Wickham/"divine romance" or "I will wait for you there"
Have you ever had a cavity?
I have one starting now so reluctantly after boasting to anyone that would listen that I was cavity less, I will admit...finally...yes
Window seat or aisle seats?
Ever met anyone famous?
Do you feel that you’ve had a truly successful life?
Yes, says wise 29
Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?
cut and twirl combo method
Are you self-conscious?
yes I am, but I have finally started to be able to say "here I am in all my chubby glory, get used to it (if thats o.k. with you)" I guess I will still have to work on that one.
Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
Last gift you received?
Two CD's and a notebook from my husband Edgard. A gorgeous necklace from my friend Aimee. Bookends and a book lovers notebook from my always attentive and possibly mind reading best friend Susie. Really great soaps from Michelle (don't worry Michelle, I promise I'll start bathing really soon)
What occasion did you receive your gift?
My 29th Birthday
Last thing you spent lots of money on?
a work car for Edgard
Where do you live?
rainy, rainy Oregon
Last wedding attended?
A friend of the family in Mexico...
Los Ovnis in Distrito Federal, Mexico (Mexico City)
What is your favourite kind of car?
What’s your least favourite chore(s)?
coffee, coffee and oh yeah, coffee
So flitting around, from blog to blog last night, I came upon a blog of an adult who had been raised in church. They never questioned what had been spoon fed to them until they got on their own. This is a huge fear of mine. I do not want my children to unquestionably believe what I tell them and then one day be confused as to why they believed it in the first place. I want them to have such a knowledge of my faith, that they make an informed decision for Christ. I think that quite a few people that grow up in a Christian home are taught what they believe but not ever shown how to really dig deeper into a true understanding of the tenets. My ultimate goal for my kids is to teach them doctrine, not "moralized" bible stories. I want them to be able to give an answer to everyone that asks (including themselves) a reason for the hope that lies within them 1st Peter 3:15. The thing is, though, if I want those things for my children, I must be ready with my answers when they ask . I need to study more diligently and not just the latest popular "Christian" author. There is a lot of garbage floating around cluttering up the mind of some Christians today. They swallow it without question purely on the basis of the "Christian" label.
I will wrap this up with an article by Dave Hunt that I really enjoyed.
In Defense of the Faith
Imagine trying to crowd...the tremendous story of the Man of Calvary, if fiction, into a place in history already fully occupied with real and...inseparably linked happenings....
Irwin H. Linton
A Lawyer Examines the Bible
Jane Fonda was at the height of her popularity when she told an enthusiastically approving audience at Michigan State University on November 22, 1969, "I would think that if you understood what communism is, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that we would someday become communists." Of course, communists don't pray, and have imprisoned or shot those who do.
The Fondas and Ted Turners (along with millions of high school and university teachers, movie writers and directors, entertainers, news commentators, etc.) continue to popularize rebellion against God. Even many so-called biblical scholars support an atheistic view of the Bible. This last Easter the media was filled with scholarly speculation about the "historical Jesus"—speculation denying the basic tenets of Christianity. Tragically, most evangelical churches fail to arm their members against the onslaught of unbelief which they meet at every turn.
How many evangelicals (especially the youth) can convincingly debate and refute atheists, cultists, occultists and liberal theologians? The "faith" of all too many rests in their church or denomination rather than solely in God and His Word. The communist revolution worldwide grew in large part out of resentment against a "Christianity" based upon authoritarianism rather than truth.
Marx was once a professing Christian who turned to atheism. Claiming to be "scientific materialism," communism insisted that nothing existed except the physical world. Like Freud, Lenin believed man was a stimulus-response mechanism without spirit or soul. Behavior was learned from experience and could therefore be reprogrammed through "brainwashing," which psychologists deceptively call "behavior modification" to seduce a gullible public.
As a stimulus-response mechanism, man touches something hot or cold and learns of "hot" and "cold." He is hit by something hard and learns about "hard." All man and his science can know is by stimulus from the physical world. Lenin's theory could be proved by challenging doubters to visualize a new prime color for the rainbow. No one could. Thus nothing could be conceived of that didn't exist, and the material universe was all there was.
There was one embarrassing flaw in the theory: the foolish fantasy about God. Where did that come from? Those despicable clergy invented "God" to deceive the masses. Communism would destroy this opiate of the people! But where did the clergy get this idea if no one can think of anything that doesn't exist? What "stimulus" caused this "God-response"? By Lenin's own theory, God had to exist or no one could ever have dreamed up the idea. Indeed!
No wonder the Bible doesn't waste its time "proving" God's existence. It starts out, "In the beginning, God created," and bluntly declares, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Ps 14:1;53:1). Nobelist Linus Pauling acknowledged, "A single living cell is more complex than New York City." Who then could believe that the unfathomable mystery of life and the incredible complexity of living cells, let alone intelligence and personality, could happen by chance? Yet in public schools this lunacy is official dogma, to which no challenge is allowed!
Atheistic humanism was declared to be a religion in a 1961 U.S. Supreme Court decision (Torcaso v. Watkins). It is the official state religion of the United States just as in communist countries, in spite of the Constitutional prohibition against the state supporting any religion. Humanism is forced upon students in public schools, while Christianity has been banned. It is tragic how many "Christian" youth, being unprepared, succumb to this official brainwashing and "lose their faith" in high school or university.
The Bible's claim to be the Word of God is supported by a vast body of evidence so irrefutable that no one has any excuse for doubting. The major proof which the Bible offers is the fulfillment of hundreds of specific prophecies. We have covered some of these in past newsletters and books so won't repeat them now. Let us consider three clear prophecies which are generally overlooked.
God's declaration that Israel would be without a king, priesthood or sacrifices (Hos 3:4) remains true today. Yet God also said that Israel would keep the passover as "a feast by an ordinance for ever" (Ex 12:14); and Jews, in spite of their unbelief, have done so continuously for 3,500 years. Similar claims made by pagan religions have failed. The sacred fires tended by the Vestal Virgins in the temple of the goddess Vesta in Rome, and the sacred Zoroastrian fires of Persia, were never to go out. They burn no longer, but the passover remains.
Scripture says that the commemoration of Christ's death, burial and resurrection will not cease until His return (1 Cor 11:26); and Christians to this day keep this remembrance with the bread and wine as He commanded. Furthermore, the unbroken continuance of the passover and Lord's Supper offers a unique proof of the validity of the Bible. More than 100 years ago a Christian apologist named Leslie identified certain criteria which, if met by any event recorded in writing, establish it as truly historical: 1) that the original event be visibly witnessed by many and be widely reported at the time; 2) that a commemoration start from the very beginning and continue publicly; and 3) that this commemorative act be performed continuously from that time to the present. Christianity meets all three.
The Gospels, Acts and most of the Epistles were written while multitudes were still alive who would have disproved any account that deviated from the facts as they knew them. Imagine attempting, in the small country of Israel and so soon after the supposed events, to publish a fictitious account of alleged miracles, naming persons and places. Multitudes of people who were still alive from those days and from those regions would have rejected such tales as lies.
Remember, Christianity began in Jerusalem. It was based upon the claim that this Jesus, who was hailed by multitudes as the Christ and whose miracles were spoken of all over Israel and whom the Romans had crucified, had risen from the dead the third day. The very fact that 3,000 converted on the day of Pentecost in the heart of Jerusalem, and that thousands more continued day after day to join this "new faith," is indisputable evidence that these events really happened. The opposition did not deny the facts. Christianity was opposed only because it contradicted the authority and teachings of the rabbis.
Christianity was not a religious movement based upon ideology but upon events which had to have actually happened. The claims could not have been presented right there in Jerusalem and throughout Judea (that Jesus of Nazareth had healed the sick, opened blind eyes, raised the dead and Himself resurrected, leaving behind an empty tomb) unless the events had verifiably occurred. For that reason Jesus told His disciples to begin their preaching in Jerusalem, to establish the church there first of all.
That short walk outside the city wall to verify that the tomb which all Jerusalem well knew had been guarded by Roman soldiers was indeed empty must have been taken by many skeptics. The word quickly spread in confirmation of this greatest of miracles; it had put God's stamp of approval upon the claims of Jesus Christ.
Paul appealed to the knowledge of the facts possessed by the Roman officials whom he faced. Felix, the governor, had "more perfect knowledge of that way" (Acts 24:22). Far from seeing anything contrary to the truth in Paul's testimony, "Felix trembled" as Paul reasoned with him (v 25). And to King Agrippa, Paul declared,
For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner. (Acts 26:26)
The last two criteria Leslie prescribes prevent the fabrication of a fictitious story years after the supposed date of the alleged event. Mark Hopkins (President Garfield's ideal university was a log with a student on one end and Hopkins on the other) applied this logic to the founding of Christianity:
For any man to have invented the New Testament after the time of Christ, and to have attempted to cause it to be received, would have been as if a man had written an account of the Revolution, and of the celebration of this day [July 4, 1776 ]...when [in fact] no revolution was ever heard of, and no one had ever celebrated the Fourth of July. Nor, when such a festival was once established, would it be possible to introduce any account of its origin essentially different from the true one.
But the case of...Christian[ity] is even stronger; because we have several different institutions which must have sprung up at its origin; because baptism and the Lord's Supper have occurred so much more frequently; and because the latter has always been considered the chief rite of a religion to which men have been more attached than to liberty or to life.
There is no refuting these arguments, which secular historical evidence also supports. There is overwhelming corroboration of the New Testament in the non-Christian writings of that period, including even those of Christianity's enemies. Hopkins reminds us,
The Talmud [compilation of oral rabbinic tradition dating to about A.D.200]...speaks of Christ, and of several of the disciples, by name...of His crucifixion...that He performed many and great miracles....
[Flavius] Josephus [Jewish historian c. A.D. 37-100] lived at the time many of these events...happened and was present at the destruction of Jerusalem...[and] he confirms the accuracy of...all that is said [in the New Testament]...of Pharisees, and Sadducees, and Herodians...[and of Christ's death and resurrection].
Tacitus [Roman historian and proconsul of Asia, c. A.D.55-117] tells us that Christ was put to death by Pontius Pilate...under Tiberius, as a malefactor; that the people called Christians derived their name from him; that this superstition arose in Judea, and spread to Rome, where...only about thirty years after the death of Christ, the Christians were very numerous...[and] that the Christians were subjected to contempt and the most dreadful sufferings...some were crucified; while others, being daubed over with combustible materials, were set up as lights in the night-time, and were thus burnt to death. This account is confirmed by Suetonius, and by Martial and Juvenal....
Pliny [the younger] was propraetor of Pontus and Bithynia [A.D.112]....Many [Christians] were brought before him for their faith in Christ...[and] he condemned them to death....
How strong must have been that primitive evidence for Christianity which could induce persons of good sense, in every walk of life, to abandon the religion of their ancestors, and thus, in the face of imperial power, to persist in their adherence to one who had suffered the death of a slave!
We might also refer to Celsus, and Lucian, and Epictetus, and the Emperor Marcus Antoninus, and Porphyry--who all throw light on the early history of Christianity, and all confirm, so far as they go, the accounts in [the New Testament]...as do coins, medals, inscriptions.
One becomes a bit weary of the propaganda which is taught in universities and even in many seminaries and promoted in books and the media by "experts" who declare with an air of indisputable authority that the New Testament wasn't written until centuries later and that no writers of the time confirm it. The account Josephus gives of Christ's death and resurrection, even calling Him "the Christ," has been attacked unsuccessfully by modern skeptics. Far from being refuted by his contemporaries, Josephus was honored with Roman citizenship, a statue was erected to his memory and his writings were admitted into the Imperial Library in Rome.
Fanatics have always been willing to die out of loyalty even to a secular leader or political ideology or in hope of attaining paradise thereby (the case with Muslim suicide bombers today). Even Ingersoll, however, the famous nineteenth-century atheist, admitted that no sane man would die for a lie. Yet the apostles and early Christian martyrs died testifying to facts (the miracles, resurrection, etc.) when they could have saved their lives by denying them.
Miracles? Hasn't science proved that miracles cannot occur? On the contrary, science can only deal with natural phenomena; and miracles, by very definition, are supernatural. In fact, miracles are inevitable if God is to interfere at all in the downward course of human affairs and of nature. Whenever God reaches in from outside to effect anything that is not according to the normal course of events (such as the Incarnation, salvation or raising the dead), it is a miracle.
Christianity isn't embarrassed by the recital of miracles in the Bible. On the contrary, Christianity (unlike Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, et al.) requires miracles and is based upon the greatest miracle of all, the resurrection of Christ. Next to that, feeding the multitude or healing the sick or even walking on water follow easily.
The Resurrection is the very heart of Christianity. Yet according to the latest Barna poll, 30 percent of those who call themselves "born-again Christians" do not believe in the physical resurrection of Christ. Obviously, they lack the essential conviction that the Resurrection is a proven fact. Without that conviction, one is not a Christian!
The arguments above are a small sample from my latest book, In Defense of the Faith: Biblical Answers to Challenging Questions, just coming off the press. Some readers may object that no further proof of Christianity is needed than the witness of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of those who personally know Christ as Savior and Lord. But what about those who do not know Him?The Bible teaches that faith must be founded upon fact, not upon feelings, intuition or emotion—much less upon blind submission to some religious authority. Paul wrote, "Prove all things" (1Thes 5:21). God himself says, "Come now, and let us reason together" (Is 1:18) and has provided abundant factual evidence in the universe around us and in His Word. Jesus, after His resurrection, "shewed himself alive...by many infallible proofs" (Acts 1:3). Surely, then, we must be prepared to use the God-given evidence in answering the honest questions of sincere seekers. Let us meet the challenge of unbelief both within and without today's church! TBC