It's a straw-colored, clear liquid that is 90 percent water, and it is an absolutely essential ingredient for human survival (1).

Plasma is a fluid-based substance that makes up about 55% of our total blood volume and acts as a vital transport system of nutrients, protein, water, and nourishment to our bodies.  Without plasma, human life would be impossible.  (Read more about plasma here)

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Normally when we hear the phrase "he is such a tool," it is used in a very derogatory sense.

The Urban Dictionary defines a "tool" as: "One who lacks the mental capacity to know he is being used. A fool. A cretin. Characterized by low intelligence and/or self-steem."

Today I want to redeem this term and encourage every one of you to be a "tool."

Be used.

Be used by God.

For what greater goal could we have in life than to become an instrument in God's grand purpose as he furthers his kingdom?
It's been too long since we've done a "Resource Roundup," so here are a few interesting posts that I've read recently that I think you might enjoy as well:

What Are the Odds?
This is a great post about the logic of playing the lottery, despite the fact that the math of his final conclusion is incorrect.

Trail 401. Taken during our trip to Colorado.
This past August I had a chance to take a week-long vacation to Colorado with my wife and a few of our friends. I basically spent all week mountain biking, camping, eating, and hanging out with people that I love.

I don't know when the last time you pried yourself away from the computer screen, TV, and iPod was (I know that I spend most of my waking moments staring at a screen), but the world outside is glorious!

I am constantly amazed by the vastness and complexity of the universe.  

As a university student, each day I have the pleasure of learning about different aspects of the world that we live in - societies, culture, communication, environments, organisms, and so many other facets of life. 

For instance, I was simply fascinated to learn the following information through my first lecture in a basic biology class.  By no means is this an advanced or difficult course (the reason that I am taking it is to fulfill a prerequisite for a future class),  but nevertheless, one can learn a great deal from the material presented!
I found out that my philosophy proffessor, George Wrisley, Ph.D., has a philosophy blog. Being a blogger myself, I was pretty excited! He's written some very interesting essays, so I encourage you to check his site out.

I decided to respond in length to one of the posts that I've read so far (entitled "A Difficult Dilemma: Deny that Humanity is Fallen, or Deny Evolution?"), and I thought I'd republish my comment here for you all to read:

Personal Preparation
1. Be Sure That You Are a Christian
2. Have No Unconfessed Sin in Your Life

3. Be Filled With the Holy Spirit

Be Prepared to Communicate Your Faith in Christ

Taking the Initiative
1. Pray
2. Go

Along with personal preparation, 'taking the initiative' to share your faith can also be broken down into several 'steps' in order to make it a more tangible and practical concept. The first of these steps is prayer - An absolutely essential element when involved in evangelism!  The second step on initiative involves taking the time and performing the actions to directly share your faith with others. 

So many people that call themselves "Christian" are anything but the radical type of Christians that Jesus told to "take up your cross and follow me."

I know that personally I'm not nearly as radical of a Christian as I should be. For some reason, there sometimes is a disconnect between how I actually live my life and what I read in the Bible about how I should be living it. It might not be that I'm sinning outright, but more that I'm just not obeying some of the commands that I read to the fullest.

I'm writing today to share with you an experience I had that gave me a glimpse of how radically we should live the Christian life.

The following post is an exegesis (critical interpretation and explanation) of a section of scripture in Daniel chapter 1. 

Bryce Zeigle authored this as a paper in 2010 for his Old Testament class at Wheaton College in Illinois and he has now offered to have it posted here for others to read and reflect upon. Selections have been edited and formatted with his permission to improve readability and overall quality.

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The following is a post that I wrote a week ago for my Rhetorical Theory class. It wasn't intended to fully address the question of "Does language create reality?" but it does touch on that topic:

"I think that Gorgias was right on when he said that "the effect of speech upon the condition of the soul is comparable to the power of drugs over the nature of bodies. For just as different drugs dispel different secretions from the body, and some bring an end to disease and others to life, so also in the case of speeches, some distress, others delight, some cause fear, others make the hearers bold, and some drug and bewitch the soul with a kind of evil persuasion." I don't think this was exceedingly dramatic, but I do think that most of the time, language is just a communicator of a greater reality. IE, I don't think it is reasonable to believe that language creates reality.

Let me use an example to clarify:

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So why do people sing in the shower?  It's a really interesting question to ask actually. 

Undoubtedly, it is certainly notable that the number of people who are likely to sing in the shower and/or in the bathroom is curiously high....  But have you ever stopped to ask what the scientific reason behind the phenomenon is?

The following is a short assignment that I wrote for my "Rhetorical Theory" class:

"I agree with Isocrates' claim that education does not directly result in moral improvement.