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    30th April 2007

    Spurs 96, Nuggets 89

    I’m not going to lie to you all, and I’m a little steamed about the result of this game. And I’m not sure whether the Nuggs have done something to turn the refs against them, or if they’re just afraid that David Stern will sack them if they mess with Timmy Duncan and his buddies, but whatever the case may be, the whistle changed the direction of the game dramatically in the last 12 minutes. I might be wrong, but it looked to me like even Big Tim might have been a little ashamed when he “drew” Nene’s 5th “foul”… If not, he certainly should have been – him and all his San Antonie cronies. And their mothers.

    Alright, I’m done. Go Nuggets.

    1 comment

    29th April 2007

    God bless you National Geographic!

    I thought this picture and accompanying short article were heart-warming, but then I am a Stephen Hawking fan.

    Also, check out my older bro’s latest big project; maybe you could be The Next Internet Millionaire!

    27th April 2007

    open mic at Everyday Joe’s tomorrow

    Even though my good guitar is still evidence for the po-po I’m going to try and play at Everyday Joe’s open mic tomorrow night. Here’s the schedule:

    7-7:05 = Welcome
    7:05-7:15= Daryl Holmlund
    7:20-7:30= Jimmy Roller
    7:35-7:45= Seth Daire
    7:50-8:00= Paul Brewer
    8:05-8:35= Ruminate Magazine Featured Artist Katie Jenkins (photo & visual art)
    8:40-9:10= Everyday Joe’s Featured Musician NoaLyn
    9:15-9:25= Liz Kramer

    So, I’m at the beginning, which is going to be in the middle of the Nuggets’ game, I think, which is a little disappointing on a couple of counts (1, I enjoy watching the Nuggets, and 2, other people who enjoy listening to me also enjoy watching the Nuggets). Oh well… What can you do?

    1 comment

    19th April 2007

    A few words about Samson, but first…

    …today was my birthday. I have finished 22 years now (that means that I’m 22!). To check out why April 19 is an interesting day to have a birthday on, see my post from last April 19.

    All in all a good day. I just got back from eating dinner with some family and friends out at Biaggi’s, which was good. The drive back from school was decent – traffic wasn’t too bad and there was a lovely sunset. Before I left campus I met my friend Emily’s mom, and got an unofficial invite to Emily’s wedding in June. I went to class for a couple hours this afternoon and this morning and did some reading in between. I ate custard for lunch and creme brulee after dinner – and my sister and brother-in-law got me Lego fruitsnacks!

    But it all started out with waking up and finishing a paper on Judges 15:1-8 that I had been working on for my Hebrew class. A few notes on this paper: 1) It was actually due last Friday. I asked for an extension until Monday, and finally turned it in today. Nice work, me! 2) Judges 15:1-8 is a part of the story of Samson, of Samson and Delilah fame (and for all you out there who aren’t sure who I’m talking about here, Delilah was famous as a biblical character long before the Plain White T’s made their rather catchy song, “Hey there Delilah”). However, this particular passage comes before Delilah enters the scene.

    Samson is one of my favorite characters in the Bible. He always has been. As children, we XY carriers (that is, little boys) like his story because he’s the biblical superhero, like Hercules or Superman tearing down the Temple of Dagon. When I got a bit older, I started to see him as the big dumb oaf character, like Kronk in The Emperor’s New Groove. He was also kind of like the worst judge/Nazirite ever. As a Nazirite he would have made vows against drinking alcohol, cutting his hair, and touching dead bodies, all of which he probably did. As a judge he was supposed to deliver the Israelites from their oppressors, but Samson was always caught up in getting personal revenge – or getting a little action (if you don’t know what I mean by this, ask your parents and they’ll lie to you so I don’t have to). He was an intriguing character.

    This passage in particular has always killed me. It begins like this (I’m quoting the NIV translation because I like it better than my own):

    Later on, at the time of wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat and went to visit his wife. He said, “I’m going to my wife’s room.” But her father would not let him go in.

    Ok, Samson has to say that he’s going to his wife’s room. That’s awesome. And then his father-in-law doesn’t let him. All I can say is, I hope that is NOT my situation on MY wedding night. The father-in-law explains:

    “I was so sure you thoroughly hated her,” he said, “that I gave her to your friend. Isn’t her younger sister more attractive? Take her instead.”

    Now things are really getting ugly. The friend here was actually Samson’s best man from his wedding feast in the chapter before. I mean, on the one hand, if the younger sister really is more attractive this might be a good deal; but chances are, Samson went for the hot sister in the first place – I mean, come on, he’s a big dumb lummox afterall… And now he’s kind of upset about this:

    Samson said to them, “This time I have a right to get even with the Philistines; I will really harm them.” So he went out and caught three hundred foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs. He then fastened a torch to every pair of tails, lit the torches and let the foxes loose in the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the shocks and standing grain, together with the vineyards and olive groves.

    And so Samson goes for an absolutely outrageous revenge. How long would it have taken to catch 300 foxes? Probably a good long while, and so Samson probably felt pretty satisfied with himself, until…

    When the Philistines asked, “Who did this?” they were told, “Samson, the Timnite’s son-in-law, because his wife was given to his friend.” So the Philistines went up and burned her and her father to death.

    Of course, the Philistines had to of known at this point that Samson wasn’t going to sit back and take this. In Judges 14 he killed 30 men because the Philistines answered his riddle, and just a moment ago he burned up all their crops because his Philistine father-in-law dishonored him. And just in case the Philistines were figuring that Samson no longer cared about his estranged wife and said father-in-law,

    Samson said to them, “Since you’ve acted like this, I won’t stop until I get my revenge on you.” He attacked them viciously and slaughtered many of them.

    After this revenge, Samson did stop – or at least he tried to for a little while – or maybe he was just tired:

    Then he went down and stayed in a cave in the rock of Etam.

    The body of my paper on this passage was primarily technical notes on the parsing of Hebrew verbs and word studies on key vocabulary – all of which I will spare you (if you really want it, drop me a message and I’ll email it to you…), but there were a few key insights that might be useful to someone out there – and if not, perhaps someone will at least find them interesting. The first bit explains some of the dynamics surrounding the situation at the beginning Judges 15:

    The word that the father-in-law uses to express his belief that Samson hated his wife is also used in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 which details a situation very much like this one: If a woman who has been divorced remarries and is hated by the second man, she cannot go back to be the first man’s wife.
    This explains the father’s ungovernable rage. He has performed an irreparable act in giving his daughter to another man, and she cannot return to Samson under any conditions (Deut. 24:1-4). His only hope of salvaging anything from the situation is to offer ‘her younger sister.’ But Samson wants the elder one, and to deny that he had divorced her would only compound the hopelessness of the situation by making her an adulteress (quote from Robert G. Boling, Judges (Anchor Bible) (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975), 235).

    This next section is how I set the context of the passage:

    The Samson story begins in Judges 13 with his birth narrative and progresses in chapter 14 through his “courtship” and wedding feast – which ended disastrously after his wife gave up the answer to his riddle. The story continues in Judges 15 with the aftermath of the wedding-gone-bad, as Samson tries to visit his wife at her father’s house. Samson’s Timnite father-in-law denies him, explaining that after Samson ran away from his own wedding feast, his wife was given to the best man. Though the Timnite offers his younger daughter in place of the older, Samson makes revenge by burning the Philistines crops and oliveyards. The Philistines in turn kill Samson’s wife and father-in-law for causing all this trouble, a favor which Samson returns by slaughtering them leg on thigh and then escaping to the cleft in the cliff of Etam.

    The book of Judges is characterized by two opposing themes. The first is that of the corruption and cultural assimilation of the Israelites. This is represented by the Israelites worship of foreign Gods (2:11-15), marrying of foreign women (3:6), submission to foreign rulers (15:11-13), and all the people doing what was right in their own eyes (21:25). This is balanced by the theme of God choosing and using persons to deliver his people from oppression and redirect them toward their God, Yahweh. Each of these undercurrents are clearly present within this passage: Samson has trouble because he marries a foreigner – who seemed to be right in his eyes (14:3); and then his trouble is compounded because he seeks vengeance on his own terms (15:3,7). But we also know that this marriage is from the Lord as a pretext to act against the Philistines (14:4) – and he does act against the Philistines in this passage, though here it is not an action that liberates the community as is his final action (16:28-31).

    And finally, this was the application section of my paper:

    Samson is very often treated as the whipping boy of the judges. Every Sunday school attending child knows the story of Samson and Delilah, and the moral that we learn is that Samson thought his strength came from his hair, but then he realizes that his strength really comes from God and is thus able to bring the temple down. As adults we know Samson as the goon with a womanizing problem – all bronze and testosterone, no brains. And in scholastics, “Samson is considered an anti-hero, the ’embodiment of all that was wrong with the judges’… Unable to see beyond his obvious struggles with the flesh, commentators relegate Samson to the role of negative paradigm – a model of ‘how not to judge Israel.'” (quote from Robert Boling again)

    I love this passage because of the humor in Samson’s words and his father-in-law’s response in v.1, but I find now that the picture of Samson as God’s goon/buffoon/big-dumb-lummox is certainly incomplete, if not entirely off-center. In his article “Samson – The Last Judge,” Robert Starke encourages us to look at Samson as one who was set aside by God – from birth and for a purpose. Commentators often point out how Samson did not fulfill all of his Nazirite vows: He spent time at drinking parties, got his hair cut, and kills all sorts of people. Rarely do they point out that he stood out from the Israelites who had become accepting of their Philistine rulers, choosing to give Samson up rather than support him in his battle against the Philistines (15:11-13). Rarely do we remember that Samson makes his way into the beloved “heroes of the faith” of Hebrews 11 – and we have to believe that it is for more than killing a lion with his bare hands.

    There are riches to be mined from this narrative concerning assimilating to culture, living with purpose, and God’s ultimate role in working deliverance for his people – God chose Samson before birth and used Samson for his purposes in spite of Samson’s shortcomings. However, it is hard to see these themes in this passage. We either see a man with disdain for human life – including his own wife – and using his troubled marriage as a pretext to pursue the Lord’s purposes; or we see a man who suffered great loss – the life of his wife and father-in-law – because he pursued vengeance on his own terms. In the slaughter stories that precede and follow theses verses, the Spirit of the Lord comes on Samson before he fights the Philistines (14:19;15:14) – here there is no such mention, and instead the language Samson uses is “I” driven. We must be very careful in discerning what the will of our God is, and patient in waiting for vengeance. Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord, and we may suffer greatly if we pursue it at our own prerogative.

    If this little foray into biblical studies has piqued your interest, I highly recommend reading Robert Starke’s “Samson – The Last Judge”; it argues that Samson, as the last judge, is a prefigure to Christ. Very interesting. It was recommended to me by my cousin Dave Holmlund (thanks Dave!).

    6 comments

    14th April 2007

    Life and Death and Everything In Between…

    Sounds like a good title for an album of music or a book full of musings.

    Since my Spring Break a couple weeks ago I have written and turned in an even 60 pages of double-spaced academic writing. Eight pages were just a sermon manuscript, and a couple of those pages were bibliographies and/or title pages, but even if you don’t count those, it was still probably 50 pages of solid writing. I have six more pages to turn in on Monday, but six doesn’t seem like that much right now. In these couple weeks where I have been mostly focused on schoolwork, a number of noteworthy things have happened:

    My cousin Elizabeth birthed her second son. Dave and Elizabeth already had little Zechariah Augustine Kao Holmlund (only little in number of years lived – one), and now ZAKH has a baby brother, whose name is Ezra Witsias Kao Holmlund. Herman Witsias is one of the key players in Dave’s PhD dissertation.

    Kurt Vonnegut, Jr died. Vonnegut was the author of Slaughterhouse Five, Cat’s Cradle, and God Bless you Dr. Kevorkian, among other fine works – and he was also one of the most influential author’s in my intellectual development.

    I had re-evaluation appointments at Craig Hospital, just to make sure everything was going well and to prevent anything from going wrong in the future.

    I visited a couple of friends in hospitals (Poudre and Craig hospitals, respectively) and then caught a respiratory infection of some sort – that I think I got from Poudre. This made paper writing significantly less enjoyable last weekend as I had a headache and fever for three or four days.

    My little bro got a state-qualifying time for swimming as part of the 200 meter IM relay (he swims the breast-stroke leg).

    I played at Blue Sky Church open mic – tonight actually – I just got back. It was a good time with a bunch of talented musicians playing.

    Well, I’m tired and going to sleep. Sleep well all my friends out there.

    3 comments

    9th April 2007

    Just so you know…

    …I’m putting off writing anything significant for this site until I’m done with my papers this week. Peace and love to you all – peace and love of both the Christian and the hippy varieties…

    1 comment

    1st April 2007

    I got married this weekend!

    Yeah, so, I kind of eloped and went to Vegas this weekend. Most of you out there probably didn’t even realize that I had a girlfriend – and now I’m married. See, the wifey and I figured that it would be easy to remember anniversaries if it was on April Fool’s Day… Speaking of which, I guess I didn’t really get married this weekend – and I really don’t have a girlfriend… And I really don’t expect many of you to fall for the headline on this posting. But for the few that might be a little confused at first: Ha! I got you good.

    I have seen pictures of my stolen guitar. It is still in existence. Because of the in-progress nature of this case, I would rather not discuss all of the details openly on the net. Long story short – I think that I will be getting my guitar back without too much serious wear or damage. And whatever wear there is will be worth the added character of it having been stolen. That guitar was in the backseat of Carson’s car on November 24, 2004 when we all almost died (though I was the closest to actually dying). And now that guitar has been stolen. That’s pretty cool, right?

    The other things going on in my life are 1) homework, 2) handcycling, 3) eating, 4) playing guitar, and 5) sleeping. The order listed there is probably the order that I am allotting time to those items, also -which is amazing because I have actually been working on my schoolwork. Not as much as I should be, mind you, but I’m doing it.

    Like, right now. I’m doing my schoolwork right now, as you read this, wherever you are.

    7 comments

    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.