Saturday, July 30, 2005

You know you live in Phoenix adjust your speed and lane position in order to drive in the shade of a semi.

I'm praying for Sierra and Danny. I think they were saved tonight on the street before my eyes. Glory to God!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Weddings (July 17, 2005)

KITTERY, Maine - Rebekah Shippy and Timothy Bogert, both of Fall River, Mass., were joined in marriage at Faith Baptist Church by the Rev. Daniel Moore. A reception followed at the Lions Club.

The bride, daughter of Dennis and Kathy Shippy of Kittery, was given in marriage by her father, to the son of Rich and Pat Bogert of Yarmouthport.

Tiffani Shippy was the bride's maid of honor. The bridesmaids were Kouri Hastings, Rachel Starkey and Jen Byron. The junior bridesmaid was Téa Shippy, and the flower girl was Tatyanna Shippy.

Peter Raymond served as his nephew's best man. The ushers were John Bergman, John LaMontagne and Chris Terrell. The ring bearer was Timothy Paul Shippy.

The bridegroom graduated from Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School in 1994, from Cape Cod Community College in 1999 and from the New England Tractor Trailer Training School in 1996. He is employed by Brockton Hospital as a certified nurse's aide.

Mr. and Mrs. Bogert honeymooned in San Francisco. They are residing in Fall River.

(from, emphasis added)


No, it wasn't me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

"By a narrow 5 to 4 vote, the Supreme Court struck down this portion of the Violence Against Women Act and second-guessed the judgment of Congress on this remedial cause of action...Sadly, it was not enough to save this important aspect of our legislative program from a declaration of unconstitutionality by an activist Supreme Court." --Senator Patrick Leahy

I just love it when liberals twist things around. The pejorative term "activist Supreme Court" is commonly used to criticize the court's tendency to create new laws by substituting their own judgment or the judgment of the "international community" for the rule of law. But in this statement, the honorable Senator accuses the conservative side of the court of being "activist."

The case was United States v. Morrison (2000) . The law under consideration was the Violence Against Women Act, in which Congress attempted to impose harsh penalties for gender-based crimes under the interstate commerce clause. Congress argued that since women affected commerce, they could regulate violent crimes against them. The conservative/moderate side of the court (Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, O’Connor, Kennedy) struck down the law and denied Congress's ability to regulate whatever it wants. The law was clearly unconstitutional and by striking it down, the Court made a small step toward affirming the principles of federalism laid down by the founders.  Thank you Supreme Court. And thank you President Bush for appointing an "activist" judge yesterday who probably would have joined the majority in limiting the power of the federal government in Morrison. I hope the Court continues to be "activist" in limiting federal power, if "activist" means upholding the Constitution as written.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The End Can Justify the Means

The ends justify the means. This statement causes shivers down the spine of most thinking Christians. Why? Because it is often used to validate deplorable actions. The end of eradicating poverty does not justify the means of communist totalitarianism. The end of perfectly healthy and wanted children does not justify the means of abortion. And the end of conquering the world for Allah does not justify the means of terrorism. But there a sense in which the statement, "the ends justify the means," is true. It all depends on what kind of means you mean.

If the means are evil, wrong, and/or sinful, then they can never be justified. But if the means look foolish, sound crazy, seem insane, involve pain, bring suffering, or even cause death, they can sometimes be justified by the ends. This is because ends reveal the motive for means. In order to be morally good, action must be done for the right reason. If the ends are wrong, the means, no matter what, are wrong. But if the ends are right, the means, however bizarre, can be justified by them.

Let me provide an obvious example. A man pushes his way, almost violently, through a crowd. This action on the surface, seems, well, pushy and may even hurt the people the man is bumping into. Without knowing the end for which the action is taken, it is impossible to discern whether the means are justified. If, for example, the man is a sports fan trying to push to the head of a crowd to catch a glimpse of his favorite player, the violent pushing is probably not justified. But if the man is a doctor rushing to save the life of an accident victim, the violent pushing is very justified.

Another example is actually a real life situation that in some ways prompted this writing. My sister and I spent the evening last night practicing an evangelism technique on a public sidewalk in our city. Yesterday afternoon, we took a crash course through a ministry called The Way of the Master led by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. The technique was to show people how they have violated God’s law and deserve to go to hell before sharing the grace of the cross with them, and I am convinced that it is a Biblical and effective method. More specifically, we were taught by example to use Gospel tracts as a way to attract attention and start meaningful conversations. The primary tract we used was the "million dollar bill." It is printed in the shape, color, and features of a real bill but is actually a tract with the gospel printed on the back. As we stood on the street corner, we would go up to pedestrians and say, "Would you like a million dollar bill?" or "Did you get a million dollars yet?" and proceed to hand them the tract. Then we would say, "and here’s the million dollar question," and hand them another tract with the words, "Are you good enough to go to heaven?" printed on the front. This was meant to spark their interest and if we were quick and persuasive enough, we could start a conversation with them. We had a great time and some very powerful, maybe even life-altering conversations. But as I was thinking about this afterwards, I was wondering whether the trickery and deception involved in handing out fake million dollar bills was OK.

I thought about whether our questions and tracts were, in fact, lies. They were certainly deceptive, as we had no intention of actually increasing each person’s net worth by one million dollars. But were they lies? I decided that in order to be a lie, a falsehood has to be presented with the intention of deceiving. While we did mean to attract attention, we did not mean to deceive. It was obvious to everyone on the street that we were not really passing out million dollar bills. While people may have perked up their ears when they heard us and saw the tracts, no rational person would actually believe that the pieces of paper were really that valuable. And when people would ask us what the "million dollar bill" really was, we would gladly admit that it was a gospel tract. After all, our entire reason for handing them out was to open the door to preach the law and share the gospel. Let me be clear. I’m not saying that the end of sharing the gospel justifies the means of lying. Lying is always wrong. The reason that the questions were not lies had nothing to do with our motives. The questions and tracts were not sinful and then justified by the end of sharing the gospel. That would be good ends justifying bad means. But were they lies? No, they were a clever trick meant to divert attention. Is it wrong to use this kind of deception as Christians? I don’t think so. The question goes beyond my purpose in this writing, but I would point to passages like Matthew 21:23-27, Acts 23:6-10, and Luke 16:1-9 to show that the Apostle Paul and Jesus Himself both used and recommended using shrewd means that involve deception and diversion. I could very well be wrong on this, and am open to further discussion. But assuming I am right, using the tracts in this way is not wrong inherently. At the same time, going out on the street and handing out tracts like this may seem foolish or confusing, and the actions would be wrong if the motive was not right. But since our motive was to plant seeds of the gospel of Christ, our actions were right. In that sense, the end justified the means. While right ends can never justify wrong means, right ends can justify strange means.

The ultimate example of this is the cross. God allowed His perfect Son to endure unfathomable pain and suffering even to the point of death. That seems strange. More than strange, it is awful. Scripture even speaks of the cross as "foolishness" in 1 Corinthians 1. But no matter how strange, awful, or foolish it may be, the means of the cross is justified by the end of our salvation. To justify is to prove right. The cross seems wrong but is proved right when we know why it had to be. The incredible pain and suffering Christ experienced was worth it because of the incredible joy and blessing it brought to us whom He loved.

In following Christ, we must be ready to endure tribulation, trials, and temptations on the path to gaining Him. Paul said that he "suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that [he] may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:8). The actions of a faithful Christian may sometimes look foolish, silly, or even insane, but they are made right by right motives. And the pain and suffering involved in the Christian life is utter foolishness to the world but the power and wisdom of God to us. Why? Because it will all be worth it in the end.

"If the burden seems too much to bear
the end will justify the pain it took to get us there."
--Relient K

Monday, July 11, 2005

Call me crazy. I'm learning Python. It's a high-level interpreted programming language named after Monty Python. Why? AOP is building yet another author tool, and the Python guys are putting it together. Since I built the last two author tools (and I'm not very busy) I volunteered to help with the project. I'm excited. This is really the first time I've jumped into the open-source non-MS world. It's scary, but there are some pretty cool features to the language and according to the homepage, Google uses it. It seems to me that whatever Google does is cool, so it must be cool. So it's going to be a mix of VB.NET Windows Forms (I'm still on the SOS 2.0 team) AND Python for the next month.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Awana camp was GREAT! I was very blessed by the opportunity to serve as a counselor and encouraged by the constant focus on the gospel. Here are the (VICTORIOUS) Red Team counselors:

More pictures here

Monday, June 20, 2005

New Yorker - New York,NY,USA
In the last days before the 2004 Presidential election, Patrick Henry College, in Purcellville, Virginia, excused all its students from classes, because so ...

The longest and most in-depth article on Patrick Henry College has just been published. Highlighting the lives of Elisa Muench and Matthew and Christy du Mée (wow, it's cool to say that now), the piece is interesting, mostly accurate, and pretty positive. There was one thing though: I had no idea that Lake Bob is now called "the fishbowl." :)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Two different people on two seperate nights this week have pointed me to two sections of James 4 for instruction. I'm thinking I need to meditate on that chapter for a while. The first was James 4:13-15.

"Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit'— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'"

This tells me that it's ok to make plans, as long as I'm trusting God and not the plans. It also means that plans are to be held somewhat loosely. The second was James 4:1-2.

"What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel."

This gives me insight on a struggle I've had with my attitude. When I expect certain things and then they don't happen, I can get frustrated. It really is like a war within me. I hope that God will continue to use His Word to convict and change my heart.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Are you tired of the ads on the top of Xanga? Paste this code into your "Website Stats" area. Note: This only works if you are using Internet Explorer.

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  var coll = document.getElementsByTagName('div');
  if (coll!=null) {
   for (i=0; i<coll.length; i++) {
    if (coll[i].style.height == "79px") {
    coll[i].style.display = "none";
window.onload = dostuff;
function dostuff() {
 if (document.all) {
  var coll = document.getElementsByTagName('table');
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   for (i=0; i<coll.length; i++) {
    if (coll[i].width == 614) {
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If you use this, I recommend removing your AIM screenname from being displayed on Xanga because the online/offline icon often hangs the page preventing the code from working quickly.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

What is my singular passion?

What has the power to affect my mood? In what do I seek the fulfillment of my needs? Where do I go for intimacy, acceptance, love, joy, peace, hope, and the feeling of satisfaction? What do I place my trust in? Is it a thought, an idea, a plan, or a dream? Is it myself? Is it someone else?

What should be my singular passion?

There is only one that ought to have power over my mood. One person that fulfills my needs. One obsession. One hope. One aim. It's not me. It's not any plans, dreams, or ideas. It's not any mere mortal. It is the one person who is worthy of my trust. The one whose steadfast love can sustain my joy. The one who is greater and higher than anything else and with me personally whenever I need him. When do I need him? Always. Now. What else do I need? Nothing. Who else can fulfill my needs? No one.

Friday, May 27, 2005

I took my sister Naomi to the prom on Wednesday night. It was a fun experience. I felt a little old because most of the people there were high school juniors and seniors. It was also a bit strange that even though it was a homeschool prom put on by Christians, they had a secular DJ who played pop/hip hop/rap stuff. You know, the kind that it's hard to imagine a Christian way to dance to? Anyway, Naomi and I swing danced to most of the songs we didn't know how to dance to, and thankfully they played some other styles including a few swing songs, and some contra dancing ones too. The atmosphere was very elegant, and the food was very good. Naomi, thank you for coming with me. You were beautiful.


Monday, May 23, 2005

Recent events in my life:

5/11/05 1:23pm – I sent in my final Latin paper, completing my fourth semester at Patrick Henry College.

5/14/05 6:00pm – After waiting seven hours at the airport with Sherri (hours that included watching 24, listening to a Bob Donahue sermon, swing dancing, and having a smoothie J), we found out that our flight was cancelled so we had to leave Sunday morning.

5/15/05 1:30pm – We finally made it to Sky Harbor Airport after sitting apart on a bumpy entertainment-less flight from Detroit to Phoenix. Our luggage had already arrived on an earlier flight. Sherri met her family and went home. Dad picked me up and took me straight to my niece’s birthday party that afternoon.

5/16/05 8:30am – I started work back at and began fixing bugs in their school version of SOS2.0.

5/16/05 7:00pm – My family volunteered for CAP dinner with John Ashcroft. I got to meet him and hear him speak. He is funny!

5/19/05 6:30am – Naomi and I drove to Yuma and picked up Sherri. We drove straight to Santa Clarita, CA to visit Daniel and see Revenge of the Sith.

5/19/05 4:15pm – We arrived late, so we had to go straight to the movie theatre. We walked in just as the Lucasfilm logo came on the screen!

5/19/05 6:45pm – The end. Wow! Aside from the bad dialogue and Buddhist theology, that was a great show! Being a light-saber fight fan, I enjoyed it probably more than any of the others. Nice finish Lucas.

5/19/05 10:30pm – We decided that one day wasn’t enough for the length of the drive, so we called home and got permission to stay until Saturday.

5/20/05 6:00pm – After a day at the mall with Daniel and Gina, Sherri, Naomi and I went with Brandon to the college group at his church for the evening while Daniel took his parents to Star Wars. The night turned out to be spiritually encouraging, and Brandon’s driving was fearfully exhilarating. J

5/21/05 5:30pm – After Naomi and I dropped off Sherri and said our goodbyes, we came home and joined a big party with my dad’s extended family.

5/23/05 9:00pm – 24 Season Four is now over – the two-hour season finale was great.


There. I posted. Back to living…

Monday, April 18, 2005

Presidential Debate at Patrick Henry College.

As you can see on, I am running for president. The primary is this afternoon, so don't forget to vote Shippy/Asbenson!

Liberty Ball 2005

May I introduce my close friend, Sherri Marlatt. Now do you understand why I haven't blogged much lately? :) The picture above is from last weekend at the school's annual Liberty Ball dance. Isn't she lovely?

Monday, March 14, 2005

Want to know what I've been up to? I just uploaded a lo-quality version of episode 1 of Hitman: Season 3 to . You can find lo-quality versions of Seasons 1 and 2 there as well. Enjoy!

By the way, I am doing well - God is continually faithful and full of blessings!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Here are some pictures of how I spent my Thursday this week.