I Sometimes Forget…

…how much faster cable internet is than DSL.

But then I try to download 150MB worth of software updates at work and it takes




Resigning Our Commission

General George Washington Resigning His Commission (1824), by John Trumbull

Two TV shows I always enjoyed watching were Horatio Hornblower on A&E and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

These two shows didn’t exactly have a whole lot in common since one was set in 1790s Europe, while the other was set in 24th century outer space, but there was one similarity in that the main characters of both shows were basically naval officers who served on ships—a similar occupation, just separated by 600 years or so.

In the course of both shows, events occasionally transpired which led to certain characters, in dramatic fashion, offering to resign their commissions. Usually this occurred if the character felt he had performed in an unacceptable manner, or if some action had taken place or was about to take place which he didn’t approve of and wanted nothing to do with.

In the TV shows, the characters rarely went through with their resignations, but if they did, they were no longer a part of the group which had issued them the commission in the first place (whether it was the Royal Navy or Star Fleet).

Christians talk quite a bit about a commission which Jesus issued to His disciples in Matthew 28.18-20. We actually refer to it as “The Great Commission.”
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…”
Although we may never consciously resign the commission which Jesus bestowed upon us, all too often, we do so by our actions.

When George Washington (pictured above) resigned his commission as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, he was no longer a member of it.

If we resign our commission, where does that leave us?


Maybe He Just Forgot? I Do Sometimes…

For the past several days, ESPN has been making a big deal about revealing Miguel Tejada’s “secret past.” What, is he a former drug runner? Did he used to be a pirate? Did he used to date Paris Hilton?


Apparently, Tejada is actually 33 instead of 31, and this is the earth-shattering news that ESPN is breaking.

Certainly in an industry where you sign long-term contracts for a great deal of money based on expected future performance (and age plays a large part in that), you’d like to know how old a guy is.

But really, who is surprised by this? Aside from the fact that Tejada has already lied about his past HGH usage, he’s also from the Dominican Republic, where players are notoriously bad about claiming to be younger than they actually are:

  • Remember Danny Almonte, the 12-year old Little League phenom who was the media darling in 2001 until it was revealed that he was actually 14?
  • Remember Rafael Furcal, who at one point set the Major League record for most stolen bases by an 18-year old, but then he turned out to be 21?
  • Remember Julio Franco, who everyone thought was the oldest player in the Major Leagues and then turned out to actually be the oldest human being on the planet?
The point is, this happens all the time, so the Astros shouldn’t be too surprised or too upset.

It’s kind of like with my cousin Will, who used to severely exaggerate his intramural basketball statistics. It didn’t make me mad, I just realized eventually that if I wanted accurate numbers, I just needed to take whatever numbers he told me and divide them by three.

It’s the same way in Major League Baseball—when a ballplayer from the Dominican Republic tells you how old he is, you automatically add a couple years to it because you don’t expect him to actually give you his correct age.

As for Tejada, well he was mentioned in the Mitchell Report and has apparently lied to a Federal Grand Jury about using HGH, so has enough legitimate baggage already without trying to make a big deal about this age thing.

The picture above is from the cover of the 2005 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide. I’m sure that putting Tejada, Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa on the cover seemed like a great idea at the time.


The Ministry Of Fear

Several months ago, I started making the effort to spend more time reading and less time watching television, and then at the beginning of January, I even made it a resolution.

Since I’ve been reading more and thinking about what I’ve been reading, I decided to start blogging short reviews of some of the stuff I like. These will probably not be too detailed, and will mainly be an excuse to share some of my favorite lines.

A couple of weeks ago, I finished The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene. Greene divided his works into “entertainments” and “novels” to distinguish between the level of literary importance he placed on them, but even his entertainments (of which The Ministry of Fear is one) tended to touch on deep themes, often of a religious nature.

The Ministry of Fear is set in the blitz of London during World War II, and centers on a guilt-plagued man named Arthur Rowe who unwittingly becomes entangled with a group of spies after he guesses the correct weight of a cake at a charity carnival.

Rowe is a sensitive man who can’t stand to see pain in others, a characteristic directly responsible for the overwhelming sense of guilt he constantly feels:
“He was filled with horror at the thought of what a child becomes, and what the dead must feel watching the change from innocence to guilt and powerless to stop it.”

“It wasn’t only evil men who did these things. Courage smashes a cathedral, endurance lets a city starve, pity kills…we are trapped and betrayed by out virtues.”

The Ministry of Fear is also a love story, as Rowe’s chance at redemption comes through a woman who knows about his past and doesn’t blame him for it.
“He listened to her with dumb astonishment. No one had ever talked to him openly about it. It was painful, but it was the sort of pain you feel when iodine is splashed on a wound—the sort of pain you can bear.”

“Like a boy, he was driven relentlessly towards inevitable suffering, loss, and despair and called it happiness.”

It’s around this part of the book that I have my only real criticism, as the sudden appearance of a love interest is unexpected and somewhat unbelievable. However, if you can manage to suspend your disbelief to accept that plot device, The Ministry of Fear is a quirky and entertaining spy thriller that will encourage you to think about deeper issues.


Parking Spots Are Hard To Come By

Over the weekend, we headed down to Harding so Caroline could take comprehensive exams for her Master’s Degree. While I was dropping her off at the education building, I took this picture with my cell phone.

Since there’s no way the operator of this particular piece of machinery would have parked around the car, he must have gotten to the spot first. Later on, the car’s driver must have seen this semi-vacant spot and thought to herself (we’re on the female side of campus, next to the education building, so I’m making a gender assumption here), “Yeah, I can park there, no problem.”

I think that’s nuts, but I’m impressed too. I wouldn’t have had the nerve to try it with Jeeves.



This morning, on the fifteenth of April in the southern state of Arkansas, I had to scrape frost off the back windshield of my car.

In the words of James, “brethren, these things ought not to be this way.”


The Last Days

I’ve recently developed the habit of listening to a local Razorback talk show on radio while I drive home from work.

This means that in the morning, my radio is still tuned into the talk radio station from the previous afternoon, and since I’m usually too asleep or indifferent to change it, I generally just listen to whatever is on.

This morning, Glenn Beck had Joel C. Rosenberg on, and the two were talking about how closely the “last days” prophecies of the Bible were lining up with current political happenings.

I think Beck makes some good points from time to time (although I think he’s a jerk), but it makes me really nervous when people mix eschatology and politics.

This may come as somewhat of a surprise since I personally mix my theological and political views all the time, but frankly, people believe some pretty crazy things about the end of the world.

Without refuting the specific prophetic interpretations that Rosenberg and Beck were espousing, I just want to point out a couple of basic (and common) fallacies that were mentioned.

First, Rosenberg talked a lot about the Antichrist, and made a big deal about how in the Bible, there is a distinction made between “big a Antichrist” and “little a antichrist.”

The problem with this point is that in most of the “major” translations (NIV, NAS, KJV, ESV) there is no distinction at all. All five occurrences of the word antichrist in the Bible are in either 1 or 2 John, and all are of the lower-case variety.

Well, who is this antichrist that we hear so much about? According to John, an antichrist is one who denies the Father and the Son, and in the historical context of John’s letters, this is a clear denunciation of the heresy of gnosticism rather than a prediction about the personality traits of some world leader from thousands of years in the future.

Secondly, Rosenberg backs up his claims by saying that Jesus himself clearly explains the signs of the end of the world when asked in Matthew 24.3. Unfortunately, Rosenberg fails to realize that in Matthew 24 Jesus is asked two separate questions and gives different answers to them.

“Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.
And He said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.’
As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’
And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘See to it that no one misleads you…’”

Matthew 24.1-4

Upon seeing some of the temple buildings, Jesus informs his disciples that a day is coming when the temple will be destroyed. His disciples ask Jesus when this will happen and when He will return and the world will end. Although they probably assume that all of these events will happen at the same time, Jesus’ answer reveals that they will not.

From Matthew 24.4-34, Jesus answers the first part of His disciples question, and gives them many signs that will happen before the temple is destroyed. He then concludes his answer in verse 34 by saying,
“Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”
And sure enough, the temple is destroyed in AD 70, approximately 40 years after Jesus speaks these words and when many of the people who heard them would still be alive. Based on this verse, it’s remarkable to me that so many people think that the preceding verses describe something that hasn’t already happened, because as far as I know, no one from the generation that Jesus was speaking to is still alive today.

At this point in the text in verse 35-36, Jesus transitions and answers the second part of the question, which was about His coming and the end of the world:
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” [emphasis added]
Jesus then goes on to describe about how when He returns, many people will be caught off guard and unprepared, because there will be no sign or warning in advance.

And if the angels in heaven nor Jesus Himself knew when it would happen, there’s no way that Joel Rosenberg or Glenn Beck or Luke Dockery knows either.

Like I said earlier, I’m really not interested in going into specific signs and prophecies that Mr. Rosenberg thinks he’s interpreting. Instead, my point is this: if a guy can’t understand what’s written in the Bible in black and white, why would you trust him to interpret difficult metaphor, whether it’s in the book of Daniel, Matthew or Revelation?

A lot of people have political opinions, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but when you start basing your views on faulty Biblical interpretation, you have a real problem.

Cool Feature: Scheduled Post Publishing

There are some things about Blogger that I don’t like very much, but one thing I do like is that they are always trying to improve their services (which are entirely free by the way, which is another thing I like).

With Blogger in Draft, Blogger users have the option of trying out new features before they are released to the public. The newest Blogger in Draft feature: Scheduled Post Publishing.

Scheduled Post Publishing enables you to write a post and set it to publish at a specific time in the future. For example, although I’m writing this post Tuesday morning, it won’t actually show up on my blog until around 8:00 AM on Wednesday morning.

For sporadic bloggers like myself, this is a neat feature. Sometimes, I’ll go an entire week without posting, and then have three posts in two days. In this relative flurry of activity, some posts hardly get noticed because they show up as the most recent post for only a short period of time.

With Scheduled Post Publishing I should be able to spread out my posts to where new content appears on a more regular basis. Or at least, that’s the hope.


Rock Chalk

Well, after a dismal start, I ended up doing fairly well in the pools I joined thanks in large part to the Kansas Jayhawks winning the National Championship over the Memphis Tigers 75-68 in overtime.

Of course, depending on how you look at it, maybe it’s Memphis who I should be thanking. The Tigers led by nine with just over two minutes to play, but missed four of their last five free throw attempts which ultimately gave Mario Chalmers the opportunity to tie up the game with a dramatic three pointer as time expired.

I feel particularly vindicated because I picked Kansas to win the National Championship back in January, and (along with a lot of other people) thought Memphis’ poor free throw shooting would eventually catch up with them and prevent them from winning it all.

Incidentally, I can’t stand Memphis head coach John Calipari, and it has annoyed me all season the way he has brushed off the Tigers’ free throw shooting woes as a non-issue. I wonder if he’s changed his mind now.

It was a fun college basketball season, and it was topped off by a great Championship Game.

Now comes my least favorite part of the college season—when a bunch of foolish underclassmen leave school early for the NBA and are never heard from again. Scotty Thurman, anyone?


Who Is This Guy?

That would be 22 year-old Alexander Ovechkin, in whom the National Hockey League hopes it has found its next superstar.

Ovechkin has drawn comparisons to all-time great Mario Lemieux, and may already be the best player in the NHL. Last night, he broke the all-time record for goals in a season by a left wing with 65. This is especially impressive considering that the NHL is currently dominated by defense and outstanding goalies (I don’t actually know anything about this; it’s just what Barry Melrose said this morning on ESPN).

Furthermore, it seems that—oh, what? You don’t actually care about hockey?

Ya, me neither.

I finally found some spare time to day to work on the functionality (or lack thereof) of my sidebar.

I managed to get the RSS button and e-mail links operational again, and also tried (to the best of my knowledge) to restore my blogroll. If I have neglected to add you back to the list, or if I’ve never linked to you before but you would like me to, please let me know.

I’ll probably be fixing a few more things here and there, but for the most part, The Doc File is back to how it’s supposed to be.


The Worst(ish) Day Of The Year

I am an incredibly gullible person. When I was in elementary school, I was the kid who would look outside when someone said, “It’s snowing!” in the middle of May. Since I’ve gotten older, things haven’t gotten any better.

Being gullible is bad enough on a regular day, but on April 1, when tons of people are focusing their energies on preying on the gullibility of others, it really really stinks.

And living in the 21st century, when millions of people have potential access to millions of other people via the internet, it just gets worse and worse.

Last year, I got duped by one of my friends who sent me an email saying that he and his wife were pregnant. Later I got really excited when I read on an Atlanta Braves blog that the Braves, who were desperate for a left fielder at the time, had managed to get Carl Crawford in a trade for practically nothing.

This year, April Fools’ Day caught me unawares yet again. This morning I was reading an Arkansas Razorbacks Message Board and was halfway convinced that Darren McFadden had re-enrolled in school at the University of Arkansas and was coming back for his senior season. Since then, I’ve twice clicked on a link that I thought looked interesting only to end up on YouTube watching a video of Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up (apparently this is a fairly popular prank).

April Fools’ Day will end for me in a little under nine hours. I can’t wait.

Ultimate In Cebu City

I came across this poster advertising an ultimate frisbee tournament the other day and thought it was pretty cool.

I’m doubting that I’ll be in the Philippines this month, but if my plans change, at least I’ll have something to do why I’m there…

The Doc File © 2006-2012 by Luke Dockery

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