3.26.2008

Staying Busy

Here's a number of things going on with our family:

New Home: Well, we're on the move again. Thankfully we're only moving across town. We will be closing on our home on Friday and moving on Saturday. Currently, we have most of our current home boxed up and ready to go. I think Amy and the girls are starting to go crazy because the only things left to play with are...well...boxes. I believe that this is the 8th time that Amy and I have moved as a family so far, but I'm starting to lose count. Pray for us as we move.

Pregnancy: Amy is about 5 months along in her pregancy. She and the baby are doing well. Of course, Amy is often tired while trying to take care of the girls as well as trying to take care of herself and the baby. Please pray that she will be given good rest at night. Also, in case anyone would like to know, the new baby's name will be Ann-Marie Joy. Ann was Amy's Grandmother's name, and Marie is Amy's middle name.

Coming Under Care: Please remember me as I go before the Canidate's Committee tomorrow night. This is one of the early steps in the ordination process. I'll be sharing about my relationship with Jesus and my call to ministry. I've been looking forward to this for a while.

Seminary: I got my grades back from the various tests and papers that were due before Spring break, and I was very pleased. Thanks to all who prayed for me, especially in regard to Greek.

Puppies: All nine puppies are alive and thriving. The girls have really enjoyed having the puppies around the house.

3.23.2008

"He is not here, but has risen."

Luke 24: 1-12 - But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

3.21.2008

Way Too Many

About a year ago Amy and I adopted a dog. The dog belonged to one of our neighbors who didn't want the her anymore...so we took her in. We have a habit of taking in animals. (The last animal we took in, a cat named Petie, died about a two months ago after being attacked by a dog.) Over the last year, we've enjoyed having Spicy around the house. Well, after today, we're going to have a lot more dog enjoyment. Early this morning Spicy gave birth to NINE puppies! Yes, NINE puppies! That's a whole lot of dogs. Granted, we never wanted this many animals, but she got pregnant before we could have her "fixed." So, we're going to have a lot of dogs until they're old enough to be adopted (which is eight weeks). Anyone interested in a new puppy? I'll post pictures soon. They're adorable.

50 Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die


1 To Absorb the Wrath of God
2 To Please His Heavenly Father
3 To Learn Obedience and Be Perfected
4 To Achieve His Own Resurrection from the Dead
5 To Show the Wealth of God’s Love and Grace for Sinners
6 To Show His Own Love for U
7 To Cancel the Legal Demands of the Law Against Us
8 To Become a Ransom for Many
9 For the Forgiveness of Our Sins
10 To Provide the Basis for Our Justification
11 To Complete the Obedience That Becomes Our Righteousness
12 To Take Away Our Condemnation
13 To Abolish Circumcision and All Rituals as the Basis of Salvation
14 To Bring Us to Faith and Keep Us Faithful
15 To Make Us Holy, Blameless, and Perfect
16 To Give Us a Clear Conscience
17 To Obtain for Us All Things That Are Good for Us
18 To Heal Us from Moral and Physical Sickness
19 To Give Eternal Life to All Who Believe on Him
20 To Deliver Us from the Present Evil Age
21 To Reconcile Us to God
22 To Bring Us to God
23 So That We Might Belong to Him
24 To Give Us Confident Access to the Holiest Place
25 To Become for Us the Place Where We Meet God
26 To Bring the Old Testament Priesthood to an End and Become the Eternal High Priest
27 To Become a Sympathetic and Helpful Priest
28 To Free Us from the Futility of Our Ancestry
29 To Free Us from the Slavery of Sin
30 That We Might Die to Sin and Live to Righteousness
31 So That We Would Die to the Law and Bear Fruit for God
32 To Enable Us to Live for Christ and Not Ourselves
33 To Make His Cross the Ground of All Our Boasting
34 To Enable Us to Live by Faith in Him
35 To Give Marriage Its Deepest Meaning
36 To Create a People Passionate for Good Works
37 To Call Us to Follow His Example of Lowliness and Costly Love
38 To Create a Band of Crucified Followers
39 To Free Us from Bondage to the Fear of Death
40 So That We Would Be with Him Immediately After Death
41 To Secure Our Resurrection from the Dead
42 To Disarm the Rulers and Authorities
43 To Unleash the Power of God in the Gospel
44 To Destroy the Hostility Between Races
45 To Ransom People from Every Tribe and Language and People and Nation
46 To Gather All His Sheep from Around the World
47 To Rescue Us from Final Judgment
48 To Gain His Joy and Ours
49 So That He Would Be Crowned with Glory and Honor
50 To Show That the Worst Evil Is Meant by God for Good

3.19.2008

Greek and Humility

At the end of C.J. Mahaney's book Humility: True Greatness he list a number of ways that we can cultivate humility. I'd like to add another suggestion to his list: study Greek. Let me explain why.

Over the last few days I have been preparing for a test in Greek II. During the first semester I had very little trouble memorizing and understanding the material. Yet, this second semester has been much more taxing. Last night I told my wife that I was stressed out because I felt like my mind was jumbled up with numerous verb, noun, and participle paradigms. I couldn't seem to keep everything straight. In response to my frantic ramblings Amy simply said: "Well, that's a good reminder that you're not God." In other words, Amy wanted to remind me that I am just a man who is limited in comparison to the God of the universe. My knowledge is so small when compared to the One who created the world out of nothing. What a humbling thought! While these thoughts will not necessarily help me translate Greek sentences, it certainly does help me to keep everything into perspective.

3.18.2008

Dead iPod Song

Is this what I have to look forward to with my new iPod? I hope not. (HT: Bethany L.)

3.17.2008

The Son of Man Must...

Mark 8:31-33 - And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

3.13.2008

Death, Funerals, and the Life to Come

Today, during a funeral service, I looked around and noticed that most of those in attendance were older. This can be expected when the one who has died was almost 103. As I sat among those people I thought about how the older a person gets, the more that death becomes a common reality. While death can come even to the young, it is certainly less common. Most of my friends (from high school and college) are still alive. Many of them are marrying and beginning new stages in life. Yet, for the aging, they live in a time in which their friends and family are not beginning new stages of life; rather, they are finishing life in this world. Yet, even in death, there is hope for those who are in Christ Jesus. The end of this life takes us to life unending. Oh, what joy awaits those who will see Him face to face!

**1 Corinthians 15:54-57
- "
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

**Romans 8:38-39 - For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


3.12.2008

Unexpected Prize


Today, I attended an open house for EDEN (Erskine Distance Education Network). In addition to learning about the various class offerings and eating good food, I won a 4GB IPOD Nano! That's a $149 value! I am really thankful that the Lord blessed me with this unexpected prize.

3.11.2008

Biblical Greek Resources

I came across a great website a few days ago for The Institute of Biblical Greek. The website is filled with helpful resources for studying and learning Greek.

Father-Hunger

In a recent post, Father-Hunger and Pastoral Ministry, Tim Bayly writes:
God cares about the bonding of fathers and children and his servants ought to share this commitment. The recovery of fatherhood in the church, home, and society should not simply be ceded to social scientists or Dr. James Dobson; rather, it must be central to the strategic agenda of the Church as she witnesses to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

What is fatherhood and why does it matter? The subject is inexhaustible, but let’s focus on two aspects of fatherhood—the fatherhood of God over all creation and that of pastors and elders in the Church, the household of faith.

Continue reading here.

As We Awake to the Day, Let Our...

Father, as we awake to the day You have made:

Let our thoughts be thoughts of You.
Let our words be words of praise to You.
Let our hearts be stirred to beat for You.
Let our actions be done to the glory of You.
Let our steps be guided in service of You.
Let our eyes be focused on seeing You.
Let our ears be opened to hear from You.
Let our feet be guided to follow You.
Let our lives be lived in devotion to You.

Amen.

3.10.2008

All At Once

I wonder if professors coordinate their classes so that all major tests and assignments are due on the same day? I'm sure it's not some kind of conspiracy, but things usually do work out that way. Tomorrow I have two tests and a book review due. So, I'm going to retreat into a cave now.

3.09.2008

Homeschooling in California

In case you haven't heard a California appeals report recently made a decision that would prohibit parents from homeschooling their children. Dr. Al Mohler writes:
Like a bolt from the blue, a California appeals court has ruled that the state's parents have no constitutional right to homeschool their own children. In a flash, a child welfare case that no one had noticed has become a flash point of controversy in the nation. Will homeschooling be ruled illegal in California?
Continue reading here.

3.08.2008

Dad, Who Made You?

Today, while I was studying for one of my classes and Alora was drawing, we had the following conversation:

Alora: Dad, who made you?
Me: What did you ask me?
Alora: Who made you?
Me: God.
Alora: What else did him make?
Me: God made all things.

At this point of the conversation, I realized that Alora was asking me the questions from the First Catechism. I waited for her to ask me the next question, but she started drawing again. So, I continued:

Me: Did I answer the questions correctly?
Alora: Yes, you did (she laughs).
Me: Why did God make you and all things?
Alora: For his glory.
Me: How can you glorify God?
Alora: By loving him and doing what he commands.
Me: You did a great job Alora.
Alora: Thanks my dad.

Rejecting the Commands of Scripture

In a recent CBMW blog post, "We Reject the Commands of Scripture" David Kotter cites a disturbing quote from Luke Timothy Johnson:
I think it is important to state clearly that we do, in fact, reject the straightforward commands of scripture, and appeal instead to another authority when we declare that same-sex unions can be holy and good. And what exactly is that authority? We appeal explicitly to the weight of our own experience and the experience thousands of others have witnessed to, which tells us that to claim our own sexual orientation is in fact to accept the way in which God has created us.
To say that this quote is disturbing is really just the tip of the iceburg. After reading Dr. Johnson's full article I became even more saddened. Dr. Johnson is supposed to be training people for ministry work. Yet, he and the institution in which he teaches are undermining the Church that they should be serving.

3.06.2008

Vows and the Framework of Gender

A few days ago, I mentioned that we have began a new sermon series, The Genesis of Gender. If case you missed the first two sermons, they are available here . (The second one should be up shortly). Although you really should take the time to listen to both sermons...if you don't have time to listen to the sermons yet... let me summarize them briefly. First, men and women are the same in that they are both equally created in the image of God. Men and women have equal worth and value. Second, men and women are different in that God has given them different roles as they both pursue the same purpose of glorifying God. Along the same thought lines of those discussions, I'd like to point your attention to an Old Testament text that is very insightful in relation to gender issues.

In Numbers 30 we find an interesting discussion in which the issue of vows is discussed within the framework of gender. Let's go to the text so that I can explain what I mean. First, the discussion begins by addressing the men:
If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth (v.2).
According to this, text if a man makes a vow then he is obligated to keep the vow no matter what. The vow is final. Why? Because in the hierarchy of the family he is the leader. He is under the authority of God, and he speaks for himself and his family. Yet, in the next few verses as Moses discusses the issue of women and vows, we find a different scenario:
If a woman vows a vow to the Lord and binds herself by a pledge, while within her father's house in her youth, and her father hears of her vow and of her pledge by which she has bound herself and says nothing to her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if her father opposes her on the day that he hears of it, no vow of hers, no pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand. And the Lord will forgive her, because her father opposed her (v.3-5).
Isn't it interesting to note that the vow of a woman, who is in this case within her father's house, stands or falls based on whether or not her father agrees or disagrees with the vow? Why is this the case? It is because her father is her authority, her head. He has been given the responsibility for watching and caring for his daughter's well-being. If he is silent, then the vow stands. If he opposes it, the vow is void. Yet, the discussion does not end with the authority of father's. Next, Moses demonstrates that headship isn't just a matter between father's and daughters but also between husbands and wives:
“If she marries a husband, while under her vows or any thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she has bound herself, 7 and her husband hears of it and says nothing to her on the day that he hears, then her vows shall stand, and her pledges by which she has bound herself shall stand. 8 But if, on the day that her husband comes to hear of it, he opposes her, then he makes void her vow that was on her, and the thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she bound herself. And the Lord will forgive her (v.6-8).
Once again we see that the woman's vow stands or falls based on the authority of her head, who in this case is her husband. If he hears of the vow and says nothing, then his silence becomes the mark of his approval. Yet, if he opposes the vow, it become null and void.

So, why does this matter? The world (and even a number of Christians) would like for us to believe that male authority and headship is a bad thing. Of course, some men do abuse there God-established authority. They fail to love as Christ loved the Church. Yet, as we see in Exodus 30, headship should serve to protect and serve women. A loving father only wants what is best for his daughter. And a loving husband only wants what is best for his wife. So, father's and husbands: love the women that the Lord has called you lead. Realize that God has called you to look out for the interest of the ladies in your life. Daughters and wives: realize that your father or husband's authority has been put in place by God, in order to show His care for you.

3.01.2008

Four to One

As many of you know, Amy is pregnant again. Yesterday, we went for an ultra sound, and I found out that I'm going to be the father of another beautiful girl! It looks like my future is going to be filled with even more dolls, tea parties, nail painting, cooking, and other "girly"activities. I know that some men believe that having a son is the pinnacle of fatherhood. I disagree. I've had people ask me if we're going to keep "trying" until we have a boy. My response is this: While I would have been happy to have a son, I do not feel that I'm missing out on anything. I believe that I am blessed because the Lord has called me to father three wonderful girls. Amy often tells me that she thinks that I was made to be a father of girls, and I believe that she's right. In the future, when some fathers take their sons to football practice, I'll go with my girls to practice ballet or gymnastics...and that's just fine with me.