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Welcome to the Antrim Church of Christ Web Site
Too Big for Our Britches PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Saturday, 03 December 2011 10:34

Although having newer Nissans (under warranty) means Michelle and I generally take our cars to the dealer for service, I have a mechanic friend, Paul, who I trust completely when it comes to what should or shouldn't be done with our vehicles. If Paul were ever to suggest something that didn't make sense to me, I might ask him to explain, but I would do so as a student asking a teacher—and I would accept there are some areas where my existing knowledge comes up so short Paul might not be able to put it in lay enough terms for me. Of course, given enough time to grasp the foundations, I actually could understand anything Paul does.

If Paul were instead a theoretical physicist, it would be even more likely he'd have to tell me, "Hmmm...Alan...I don't think there is a way I can explain it so you can understand." And although scientists like Stephen Hawking have written some tremendous books to translate what is in their heads into words that we (the masses) can digest, the reality is that most of us get dumbfounded as soon as we see an equation with an unrecognizable symbol in it.

But again, given enough time to grasp the foundations, I could understand anything Hawking does.

In both cases, however, I am not egotistical enough to tell the real mechanic Paul, or the hypothetical theoretical physicist Paul, they are wrong on their subject matter unless I am sure I have competence in the topic we are discussing. I won't tell real Paul how he should fix a 1995 Subaru Outback, and I won't tell hypothetical Paul string theory is only good for hanging pixie-dust evolution fairies.

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Disappointment PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 21:23

(Thoughts from Friday, October 7, 2011.)

I'm not a very emotional person. If anything, sometimes I feel guilty because I don't have the same strong reaction to negative occurrences as many in the same (or similar) situations. While others can be devastated by an event, I can seem emotionally oblivious. This works out well in stressful work situations, but can appear odd in personal ones. It can look like I don't care (or at least care enough). Pragmatism doesn't communicate concern.

Now, that doesn't mean I never cry or that I am stoic, but as a whole things can be pretty bad and day-to-day I can "suck it up" (or at least keep my mind off it). There are a couple areas where I can't quite turn off my emotions...and one of them is disappointment. I suspect even there my reactions are muted compared to the average population, but when my expectations aren't met I can get disappointed...and that disappointment can lead to depression. Nothing terrible...but it can sap all ambition for a period of time.

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Atheist Elementary School PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Monday, 03 October 2011 21:38

One of the RSS feeds I follow is for a web site called Religion Dispatches. I will admit that I generally just read the short blurbs in the feed instead of going to the site—as a whole their pieces are on the liberal end of the spectrum and my traditional Christian hairline doesn't have much to spare. :-)

And it did seem like the article, "Richard Dawkins' Atheist Academy of Unguided Truth" was going to be standard fare for Religion Dispatches. The title was enticing enough that I clicked through, and although I didn't want to try to read the whole thing on my iPhone I did run into this:

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Giving God What He Needs PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Monday, 12 September 2011 12:00

Do you enjoy movies that involve angels? Although I do, I worry that secular films with biblical themes can cause us to confuse that which is actually in Scripture with what is just in the imagination of a Hollywood writer. Regardless, a while back Michelle, Mikey, and I watched Legion, whose overall plot is that God lost patience and is sending His angels to wipe us out.

With our world's rampant, abhorrent sin it's hard to argue that we wouldn't deserve it, but it is disturbing to see with what relish the "good" angels carry out their duties (and there is nothing that distinguishes their control of humans from popular perceptions of demon possession).

One angel, an archangel to be exact, decides we are worth saving and helps a group trapped in a diner in the middle of the desert. If you aren't one for violence in movies, you'll want to avoid the film, but you might find the final conversation between the good archangel, Michael, and the "bad" one, Gabriel, interesting. Michael gave his life to save a special baby...and it looked like Gabriel was going to be able to finish off the child (and the young couple that was protecting the infant). Just when all was lost, Michael returns and saves the day.

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Nowhere to Go and Nothing to Do PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Sunday, 11 September 2011 12:00

A couple weeks back I snuck out to the Hillsborough Circle K on my motorcycle to grab lunch. Although, as seems constant with any food I really enjoy, they've since stopped carrying the cheeseburger rolls I was trekking for...those midday runs are a nice break in a work-from-home day even if all I am rewarded with is ordinary hotdogs (minus the buns, thanks to my low carb diet).

Well, rewarded with hotdogs and the beautiful surroundings our gracious Lord has provided (something you experience far more directly on two wheels and with no vehicular enclosure).

Either way, as I was getting close to my target I passed a gentleman walking the other way on the side of the road. I really can't tell you much about him (I am no Sherlock Holmes), but the way he was strolling made me think, "Here is a guy who has..."

Nowhere to go and nothing to do.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 October 2011 19:41
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Somebody Misses You PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Thursday, 11 August 2011 14:01

This article was written for the next edition of the local Antrim, New Hampshire paper, The Limrik.

Although the pews have a habit of filling up just before church starts, summer activities definitely have meant it's less crowded during the Sunday services here at the Antrim Church of Christ. Luckily, e-mail, Facebook, and various other social media outlets mean that even though one family might be visiting Alaska, another member vacationing in Puerto Rico, and others camping in the great outdoors...the distance is only physical.

But, I think everyone who wouldn't be labeled "antisocial" agrees that nothing beats seeing somebody in person. We can try to enter the cyber-universe and escape reality, but reality is that whether God or evolution produced humans we are part of the physical cosmos, not just a bunch of zeros and ones instructing a CPU how to behave. Ask yourself, do you prefer an e-mail or a letter? A book you hold in your hands or one you read on the computer? Someone who posts "I'll pray for you" in your Google+ stream or a friend who sits down and petitions the Lord with you?

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Last Updated on Thursday, 11 August 2011 14:08
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When the Lights Go Down on the City PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Thursday, 04 August 2011 12:00

This week I had the opportunity to spend a couple days in downtown San Francisco. It's not that I've never been to that city before—I've just never had an interest in walking its streets. So, my visits have always been limited to quick stops at its airport or meeting with the San Francisco Giants (a long-term client of the company I used to work for).

Why didn't I have any desire to experience what San Francisco had to offer? With it's convenient BART train system I could have easily spent many nights in it while visiting Concord, California (where that same company used to have an office)...and I had an employee who would do just that. He felt the tug of the "city by the bay," whereas I always wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible.

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Last Updated on Monday, 03 October 2011 21:55
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