An Attitude of Gratitude

I have something to admit. I’m a sucker for list-based articles. If an article has a number in it, I’m often sucked into it, sometimes even if I don’t care about the subject. (“5 Greatest Moments in Superhero History”, anyone?) Among other things, this means I spend some amount of time on I recently came across an article of this type on HuffPost:

I’m happy to say I think Ashlea and I are doing pretty well on these counts. Item #1 struck me, though, as it’s something I deal with daily, though not so much at home as at work. Consider the following phrases coming from your boss, and what your immediate, instinctual responses would be:

“Do you have those numbers ready yet?” (They’re due tomorrow and are not ready, but are on schedule.)

“I saw what you did with the conference room. It looks good! Thank you!”

I’ve been on the receiving end of both, so I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of your response. To the first, I’ll bet your gut reaction is stress and anxiety. To the second, you feel pleasure, and added energy of being productive and constructive. The first is subtly negative; the second is positive. One is a comment of one who is in power and knows it; the other is the attitude of a servant to those under him.

Approach me with an attitude of gratitude, respect who I am as a human being, and you can pay me minimum wage. (And I’ll thank you for it.) Be demanding, inconsiderate, and full of stress and anxiety, and eventually I’ll say “You know what, it doesn’t matter what the pay is. I’ve been better treated elsewhere.”

Managers of the world, it’s your choice. You can treat those under you with respect or despise them. It’s one or the other. You can choose to thank those under you when they do a good job (and in doing so, also show that you are observant), or you can let the pressures of higher-ups dictate your attitude.

And the funny thing is, when a manager has an attitude of gratitude, the workers gain a desire to work for him. Productivity is increased, relationships are improved, and in turn, the workers respect the manager. So respect those in service under you– it’s what you would want to see if you were in their place.


Solution to Albert Einstein’s Riddle

Have you tried solving the riddle yet?














1. Emma lives in the first house. (#9) Emma lives next to the blue house. (#14) House #2 is blue.
2. The child in house #3 drinks milk. (#8) The child in the green house drinks lemonade. (#5) House #3 is not green.
3. The green house immediately preceeds the white house. (#4) House #1 cannot be green. If house #1 were green, then house #2 would be white. However, house #2 is blue. House #2 cannot be green. It is already listed as blue. House #3 is already listed as not green. Therefore, house #4 must be green and house #5 must be white.
4. Peter lives in the red house. (#1) Houses #2, #4, and #5, respectively, have been established as blue, green, and white, so he does not live there. House #1 is established as Emma’s. The only one left is house #3.
5. Houses #2, #3, #4, #5, have been established as blue, red, green, and white. Therefore, house #1 is yellow.
6. The child in the yellow house likes chocolate. Therefore, Emma in house #1 likes chocolate.
7. The child who has a horse lives next to the child who likes chocolate. Emma, who likes chocolate, has only one neighbor. Therefore, the horse goes with house #2.
8. Mary has a dog. The occupants of houses #1 and #3 have been established. House #2 already has a pet. Therefore, Mary lives in #4 or #5.
9. Linus drinks tea. The occupants of houses #1 and #3 have been established. The drinks of houses #3 and #4 have been established. Therefore, Linus lives in #2 or #5.
10. Anna likes cake. The occupants of houses #1 and #3 have been established. Therefore, Anna lives in #2, #4, or #5.
11. The child who likes cookies has birds. Neither food nor pet has been established for #3, #4, or #5.
12. The child who likes sweets lives next to the child who drinks water. Possible houses are #2, #3 or #4.
13. The child who likes gum drinks juice. Possible houses are #2 or #5.
14. The child who likes gum drinks juice. Anna and Emma’s food have been established. Linus and Peter’s drink have been established. Therefore, Mary likes gum and drinks juice. Juice and gum can go in #2 or #5. Mary can go in #4 or #5.#5 is the only common number. Therefore, Mary lives in house #5.
15. House #2 is the only house for which child AND drink have not been established. Therefore, Linus lives in house #2.
16. Emma is the only child for whom drink has not been established. The only drink left is water.
17. Anna is the only child for whom housing has not been established. The only house open is #4.
18. Cookies and birds go together. Peter, in house #3, is the only one for whom neither has been established.
19. Sweets is the only food left. The only open slot for food is at house #2.
20. The child who likes sweets (House #2) has a neighbor with a cat. (#10) House #1 is the only neighbor with an open pet slot.
21. Anna has fish.

Einstein’s Riddle (“kid friendly” version)

Suppose there are five houses of different colors next to each other on the same street. There are also five children who each live in one of these houses (with each child not living with the other four). Every child has a single favorite drink, a single favorite food, and also has one pet.

The street is straight. The houses are numbered left to right.

1. Peter lives in the red house.
2. Mary has a dog.
3. Linus drinks tea.
4. The green house is just to the left of the white one.
5. The child in the green house drinks lemonade.
6. The child who likes cookies has birds.
7. The child in the yellow house likes chocolate.
8. The child in the middle house drinks milk.
9. Emma lives in the first house.
10. The child who likes sweets has a neighbor with a cat.
11. The child who likes chewing-gum drinks apple juice.
12. The child who has a horse lives next to the child who likes chocolate.
13. Anna likes cake.
14. Emma lives next to the blue house.
15. The child who likes sweets lives next to the child who drinks water.

QUESTION: Who has fish?

Bonus: Determine everything you can about each person and their favorite things.I will publish the answer I got in another note. Try to answer it yourself first!

Hint: it really helps if you create a spreadsheet or a grid like so:

House Child Color Drink Food Pet

An Ode to Alpha

The following is an ode to the Grace College dining commons I wrote on August 31, 2009. In all seriousness, I did like Alpha’s food, but so many of my friends enjoyed riffing on the dining commons that I wrote this.

Alpha, O Alpha!
Far and wide are your everlasting fragrances known!
How great your reknown that in many nations are told stories of your scent.

I cannot get you out of my head.
Every time I wash my hair, your smell runs over me, like many bison trampling freshly grown, fragrant, endangered flowers.

Thy olifactory tingling overwhelms me
And I grow faint for a whiff of Alpha.

O Alpha! It is not long before we meet again.
Tears wet my cheeks yet again as I ponder your presence.


Alpha is my eating place,
In all-you-can-eat I should not want.
I am lead by wilted green lettuce;
I am served chilled water.
Shortly after leaving, my hunger is restored.
You lead me through paths of greasiness
For your profit’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no Alpha, for fruit is with me.
Your noodles and sauce nauseate me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my peers.
You anoint my food with oil and my plate overflows.
Surely your scent and odor shall follow me all the days of my life,
For I have dwelt in the dining commons of Alpha forever.

The Tyranny of Privacy

Something I’ve noticed, and I really struggle with this election year (2012), is the tyranny of “privacy”. It’s the concept that what I believe is applicable to me only. The tyranny of privacy says it’s okay for me to have one set of rules to live by, but when it comes to how I vote publicly, I had best operate by a different set of principles.

It’s really hitting home as I’m watching people debate the NC no gay marriage amendment. I’m seeing people argue both sides of the issue with strong Scriptural support. On one side are all the people who say “God has said ‘no’ to homosexuality; why should we say ‘yes’? Shall we contradict God?” On the other side are those who argue we cannot force Christianity on others. Furthermore, they argue, to do so would repel people from Christianity, whereas we are called to make disciples.

As I wrestle with this issue, I feel like in the end, I’m left with just a question and no answer:

How far do our religious beliefs extend into our participation in government? We cannot allow the tyranny of “privacy” to tell us that there is no place in government or society for our beliefs. However, we also cannot force others to violate their beliefs.

John MacArthur writes:

To me it is unthinkable that we become enemies of the very people we seek to win to Christ, our potential brothers and sisters in the Lord.


By means of faithful preaching and godly living, believers are to be the conscience of whatever nation they reside in. You can confront the culture not with the political and social activism of man’s wisdom, but with the spiritual power of God’s Word. Using temporal methods to promote legislative and judicial change, and resorting to external efforts of lobbying and intimidation to achieve some sort of “Christian morality” in society is not our calling—and has no eternal value. Only the gospel rescues sinners from sin, death, and hell.


I’m going to make my second post an actual introduction.

Hello, I’m Kaleb Marshall. I’m (nearly) 28, married to Ashlea for 2 years, and a follower of Christ. I love philosophy, music, computer programming, building computer hardware, Linux, and hanging out with friends. I also put my punctuation on the outside of quotes, unless I’m quoting the punctuation.

I’ve been thinking over various topics recently and due to the encouragement of my wife, I’m putting my thoughts to writing and making it public. There’s nothing I love more than a good conversation. In large part, though, I hope you will see what I’m trying to do in the light of my first post– as I try to “work out [my] salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). I have a lot of questions about my faith, my life, and the interaction between the two, and I want a place where I can put my thoughts on paper out there.

I’ll be continuing to introduce myself in various ways over the coming posts. You’ll see several posts from me quickly after this; I’m just copying several Facebook notes over here.

Catch you on the other side!

Fundamentals of Faith

For some time now, I’ve been thinking about certain things regarding the fundamentals of the Christian faith: what beliefs must one hold to be Christian? This post is an attempt to work out some of those things.

To this end, this post is not definitive, but should rather be seen as a “working copy”.Here’s what I have so far:

  • Jesus, the one true God, took on human form, died for our sins, and rose again, providing a path from condemnation, to fellowship with God, all as the Scriptures say.
  • Anyone who rests his being, his essence, his identity, his belief in the above is saved from his sin and has fellowship with God.

Any suggestions? Any corrections?

Some questions I’ve come up with myself (and do not intend on answering them all) are:

  • What about the virgin birth? My gut instinct is telling me it’s not absolutely critical, but the major early church creeds include it.
  • What about Scriptural infallibility? This is something I have always been taught, and I still completely accept that the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are infallible. (Note: given is that any translation is not infallible– we’re only talking about the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.) How directly critical is scriptural infallibility to salvation?
  • What about other doctrines which teach us certain things about the end times?