Okay, this is going to be a post of a few topics:
Item 1: Battles, B.C. on the History Channel
I'm really enjoying this show. It's a mix of historians talking about the particular subject, and visuals, done in the style of 300. They've done Hannibal, David, and Joshua, and next weeks episode is on Caesar. It's both fun and educational. For instance, Hannibal's attack on Rome actually failed - he never made it that far. He decimated the troops, yes, changed warfare forever, and actually instigated the expansionist view of the Roman Empire, but he never made it to Rome, which was his goal. David, for all of being the greatest king of the Jewish empire, was typical for the day and age, but really just a brilliant tactician. One of the historians likened him to a Mafia Don, in that he had his consigliere, in Joab, who would remove problems for him. All the deaths that made it possible for him to wipe out, effectively, Saul's bloodline and claim the throne, he was never blamed for any of them. Sort of a, 'who will rid me of this troublesome priest', thing. Sometimes, it seems as though Joab would act, against David's orders, when he thought it was for the best. See his killing of Absalom, when David had told everyone not to kill him. Funnily enough, Solomon had Joab killed when he ascended to the throne. It's all about the consolidation of power.
The part that I found most interesting about the episode on Joshua though, was Jericho. I'm going from memory, so I'm not quoting any numbers, but when the Israelite army went to Jericho, they outnumbered the populace, and *far* outnumbered the defenders of Jericho. What they historians put forth was that, the red cord that Rahab tied out her window was a signal, but not just that the household was not to be killed. After all, the killing would be done once the army was *inside* the walls, so what good would a sign that couldn't be seen from inside do? Rather, the cord was a signal for the place where the Israelite army could sneak some of their men in. So, each day for the six days that the army was marching around Jericho, when they blew their horns, say, ten, fifteen men climbed up and hid in Rahab's house or on her roof. On the seventh day, you've got at least 60, possibly more well trained men *inside* Jericho. They could easily take down enough of the defenders on a section of the wall, to allow the army to overwhelm that section, and, from that point, take the city. So, the walls fell, metaphorically, not literally.
Item 2: Exercise and Weight
I screwed around the last little while with the weight loss. I was bad, and I gained a little of it back. However, the past week I really went back to the grind stone. Rather than sit and play with the dogs, I'm taking them around and around our yard until they tire out. It's better for them, better for me. I'm doing a solid half-hour on the tread mill, and then a half-hour of other exercise every day, at least. I'm watching what I eat, very closely. Alana posted, a while back, two good posts with quotes from the church fathers and the Bible on gluttony, and how one should conduct oneself at table. I printed them out and taped them to my bathroom mirror, as a reminder.
I lost five pounds in a week.
Now, I don't expect the loss to continue at that rate, it's somewhat insane, really. But I think it's an excellent sign.
I'm up to 3 mph on the treadmill, for the whole half hour, which is a *huge* improvement from where I started, and, you know what? I have a bruise on one wrist. It's from *letting go of the treadmill arms and swinging my arms*! I couldn't have done that at this speed a few weeks ago!
I'm going to do more though. I've given up alcohol, I poured everything in the house down the drain. I'm quitting soda entirely, so I'm going to be cranky as it works its way out of my system, I'm a total caffine addict. Pasta and bread are also going to go.
Item 3: Parents
They've left their church. Not for theological reasons, but because they didn't like the way the worship team and some other things were being run. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I asked them what they were going to be now, since the church they were going to was Mennonite, and my mother said 'Christian', dad said, 'Jehovah's Witnesses!' (he was joking).