Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Its always the little things

Many of you may know that I have a daughter that has Autism. It has been a long road and there seems to be many occasions where I feel as though it will never end. 

Lately, however, it seems as though there is light starting to shine at the end of this long, dark tunnel we have been in. Usually change in our daughter comes so slowly that we never notice it. It usually takes someone that has not seen her in 6-12 months saying how much she has grown since the last time they saw her. 

Well, in the last couple of months I have begun to see a change in my daughter. She is more vocal and using words to try and communicate. She is starting to tell us hi and bye, I love you, and call us by name. She is also starting to use full sentences when asking a question or telling us what she is doing.

The big thing right now is she wants to dance. So she is always asking me or her brother to dance with her to the Christmas music that is playing. It has been very special to see, for the first time, some glimpses of the person within begin to emerge. 

I have a lot! More than I deserve. I am truly blessed! But there is nothing more satisfying to me than to see the many 'family memory moments' created by my children. With all the things that are on my Christmas list this year, I am finding the ones that bring me joy cannot be purchased in any store.

Why do we get lost in the temporal things? Why is it so easy? Sometimes I wish I was not such a sucker. Sometimes I wish I could remember...

It's always the little things!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sorry I've been out for a while!

you know, since my discovery of facebook i have done a very poor job of keeping up with my blog.
sorry about that.

life certainly has a way of getting away from you when you are not looking.

something wonderful happened to our family over halloween. Delaney went trick-or-treating with us and did really great!! she stayed with us the whole time and didn't wander off. she did not try and go her own way and kept up with her brother at getting candy. there were no meltdowns and she did not throw herself down on the ground and pitch a fit. she was all smiles and said, 'thank you' to those who gave her candy.

it was the most 'normal' Jennifer and I have ever felt as a family in public. that seems strange to say but unless you have a child with special needs you would not understand if I explained it to you. not that your stupid or anything, it's just that I would rather explain to a woman what it is like to give birth than to explain what I mean by feeling 'normal'.

how about you? what is your fondest Halloween memory?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Importance of Being Certain

You know... it seems to me that the acceptable thing with 'spirituality' these days is to be in process, still searching out and trying to discover what is truth. It is good to be investigating what truth is out there. To be a seeker is to be part of a large and even distinguished group of people who are finding truths to be all over the place. To be a seeker is to be a tolerant and open person who is willing to accept whatever truth may be out there.

The taboo of our day is to claim that you have finally discovered it.

For reasons that go beyond my understanding... once you claim to have found the truth you immediately go from being 'open and tolerant' to being 'narrow-minded and ignorant'. You are scoffed at by the tolerant who label you arrogant. It is as if there were no way truth could be found - and how presumptuous of you to claim the contrary.

Yet God calls us to be certain of truth. Hebrews 11:1 tells us, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." On the surface this certainty may seem empty and shallow. After all how can we be certain of what is hoped for and unseen? With out doubt this is a stumbling block to those intellectuals who need something tangible and testable in order to know truth.

But for those who believe, we have experienced some immeasurable things that are unseen - nor are they see-able. We have the inner working of the Holy Spirit who is the deposit which guarantees our inheritance. We have had our conscience cleansed by Him, our soul washed clean and our spirit regenerated. The Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit that we have been redeemed; adopted as sons and daughters of the living God. We can feel His presence and hear His voice. There is no method available to the world to record and observe this work of the Spirit. Nothing testable or verifiable to say to the skeptic this is how I know I have found the truth. Nothing that says, "This is a picture of my soul before the Holy Spirit and this is my soul after the Holy Spirit does His work."

Yet, once you have experienced this work of the Spirit in your life you cannot help but say, "I have found the truth!" Our proof is in the transformation of our lives. Without living a transformed life the world will always doubt our truth claims. Holy living, love for the world, grace, mercy and justice become our tangible proof of the certain truth of the Gospel. There is nothing left for them to deny when they see Christ in us.

So do not be afraid to be certain of the work God has done in your life. Moreover, do not be afraid to live out that work in your life with certainty!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Book Review

I am currently reading a very cool book titled "The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions" by David Berlinski. Dr. Berlinski is an agnostic and a scientist/ philosopher. In his book he challenges his peers to their own objections to issues of faith. His main thrust is that no conclusion can be drawn from current scientific evidence that says "God does not exist." There are too many questions that are not only unanswered by science but that also are unanswerable by science. Berlinski's affinity with the idea of God is mild contempt at best. Nonetheless, he comes to the defense of those who have faith in God and gives his apologetic as to why faith is not simply the plight of the ignorant but rather a force that needs more than name calling to prove it made-up-nonsense. He uses wit and scientific knowledge to challenge, if not completely debunk, his scientific brethren. Very well written and delivered. I highly recommend it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Biology Without Ideology

The following is the next installment of Dinesh's blog. I have picked this one to examine how atheism is using the authority of science to make metaphysical claims; i.e. 'There is no God who made the universe. It is just a natural phenomenon.'


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More on the Science & Atheism Question.

Sorry it has been a while. I will be keeping up from now on. My goal is at least one post per week. We'll see how it goes.

I want to pick up where I left off in my series by Dinesh D'souza on the issue of science, atheism and faith. Part 3 is titled "Atheism Masquerading As Science". Just click the link below.

Special thanks to Alan Moore for his comments on the issue. It has not only given me food for thought but has given me some point/ counter-points with some people I am presently in dialogue with. Keep it coming bro.!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


May day! May day!

Someone wake this punk up!!! 

He's falling asleep at the wheel!!

Sorry I have not posted in a while. I will get back on track very soon!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Real Problem With Darwinism

I am attaching a link to another post by Dinesh D'souza. This is part 2 of a series of 5. He is discussing the issue of Darwinism in the public school. Interesting thoughts to say the least. I have not looked at the issue from the perspective he offers. Click below to check it out. Trust is worth the read.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Any Way Is Better Than This

I am posting some unsolicited advice on how NOT to deal with your kids/ family/ friends if they come home one day and tell you they no longer believe in God.

Believe me, any way is better than this.

P.S. I have to rate this video is "R" for language...not that you will be able to hear it over the sound of your own laughter! It is 46 sec. long.

Monday, April 14, 2008

An Honest Look at a Position I Believe In

I enjoy reading other people's blogs. One of my favorites is by a man named Dinesh D'souza. He is a believer in both God and evolution. He is a Christian apologeticist and one of the best in the world. Below is a link to his thoughts on the problem with Intelligent Design and the fight creationists are engaging in for equal representation in the classroom.

F.Y.I. - while I am certain I am an "Intelligent Design" guy - a view that says God created the heavens and the earth - I do not know if I am a "Creationist" - a belief that says God did it in 6/24hr days. I am certainly open to it as I have clearly stated in an earlier post, however, as I am examining what Scripture's actual claim is and how Gen. 1 & 2 can be legitimately interpreted, I am becoming more open to the idea of an old earth.

I will comment more on this in another post. In the meantime, enjoy some of Dinesh's thoughts!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My Hermeneutical Approach

I took this test the shows my attitude toward scripture. It seemed to be quite accurate in my score though I would object to the explanation of the results.

You should take it too just to see where you end up. Go ahead I dare you.

to take it for yourself.

I scored a 46 which means I am a Conservative on the Hermeneutic Scale.

The conservative hermeneutic group scores 52 or lower. The strength of this view is its emphasis on the authority, ongoing and normative authority, of all of Scripture. It tends to operate with the line many of us learned in Sunday school: "If the Bible says it, that settles it." Such persons let the Bible challenge them with full force. Literal readings lead to rather literal applications. Most of the time.

The problem, of course, is that very few people are completely consistent here. At times one suspects something other than strict interpretation is going on when the conservative is willing to appeal to history to suspend the commandment to observe a Saturday Sabbath, but does not to appeal to history on other issues (e.g., capital punishment or homosexuality).

Monday, March 3, 2008

Easter is When?

Here is something my pastor posted last week about Easter. I thought it was interesting. It has to do with how early Easter is this year. Enjoy!

Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20 this year).
This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.

Here's the interesting info.
This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see the rest of our lives!
And only the most elderly of our population have ever seen it this early (95 years old or above!).
And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier!
Here's the facts:
1) The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now).
The last time it was this early was 1913 ,( if you're 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for that!).
2) The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22 ,and will be in the year 2285 , (277 years from now).
The last time it was on March 22 was 1818.
So, no one alive today will ever see it any earlier than this year!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Thoughts on Church and Other Related Matters

As I have stated in an earlier post, I am taking a church history class. I find that I am surprised by the pleasure I am getting from it. The perspective that has been gained from taking this class has challenged my worldview of the church a great deal. Let me explain:

One insight I have gained from this class is how much luxury we live in as the western church today. By luxury I do not mean wealth, though we certainly are affluent beyond our willingness to steward that affluence in a godly way. No, what I mean is that we (the church) are living in such luxury that we get to decide what kinds of Christians we will have fellowship with and what kind of church we will go to.

Just stop and think about that for a moment. The western church has the unique privilege of saying, "I do not want to have fellowship with this person or that person, thank you just the same. We do not get along particularly well. Our personalities simply do not mesh well together. No big deal really. That is just how God made us."

We also have the luxury of saying, "You know I think I'll be going to a different church. This one no longer 'does it' for me. I'll go find one that better fits who I am as a person and what my needs are during this season in my life."

Living in such luxury has only fed the 'consumer mentality' western Christianity is going through. We think the church is there for us to meet our selfish wants and desires. This is, in absolute terms, unbiblical and ungodly.
The church is to be in giver-ship not receiver-ship. The work of the church that people need to recieve is the training for works of service (giving). So even when we are receiving, it is for the purpose of giving.
There seem to be two kinds of Christians in the west; those who come to give to the church and the community it lives in and those who receive from the church until it can no longer satisfy their immediate needs and they move on to find another church to 'receive' from.

Which one are you?

Just some random thoughts on church and other related matters.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

If I Were President

Which Great US President Are You Most Like?
created with
You scored as Dwight Eisenhower

34th President, in office from 1953-1961
Born: 1890 Died: 1969

Dwight Eisenhower


Ronald Reagan


Theodore Roosevelt


George Washington


Abraham Lincoln


Lyndon Johnson


Franklin Roosevelt


Harry Truman


Woodrow Wilson


John Kennedy


Thomas Jefferson


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

To Shut Up Or Speak Up? That Is The Question.

There is a believer I know who is divorcing her husband. She is walking in rebellion, no longer wanting to walk with Christ but still recieve all the benefits of doing so. Her husband is powerless to change her mind/ heart and devestated by her course of action. He has been getting counseling from the church. The elders and counselor all agree that she has no biblical grounds for divorce. While, at first, they were going to confront her in her sin they are no longer going to do so for fear this may drive her further away from God. Had she maintained her volunteer status with the church they would have stepped in but since she has stepped down from the ministries she was serving in they are not going to approach her about her sin and treat her as an unbeliever.

The husband asked me what I thought about all this and below was my reply (with the names removed to protect both the innocent and the guilty).

"Well, it seems to me that they are referring to Matt. 18. This is a three step process where after the third step, if the person will not repent, then you treat them as an unbeliever (which in bible times dealt with the excommunication of the person from the fellowship of the believers). The reason for this was because they would not have fellowship with people who claimed to be in Christ yet refused to live as Christ.

While I think this is a biblically valid means of discipline I would also contend (based solely upon what you have told us) that they are bypassing all three steps and skipping right to the end; except in this case they are still willing to have her fellowship with them. This is not the biblically identified way of addressing sin in the life of a believer; especially one who is still claiming to be a Christ follower
(as she is doing). By skipping to the end they are cowardly avoiding the difficult task of confrontation and restoring a fallen brother. In doing so they are neglecting to love her as Christ calls the church to love one another."

As someone who is going into the ministry fulltime let me say that I in no way look forward to having to do this in the life of someone I have fellowship with. Still, the process is clear and it is for the sake of restoration that it must be done. As scripture tells us, "Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins" James 5:20. This must also be done with gentleness and respect and after a period of self-examination lest we be found guilt of 'plank-eye' syndrome.

Restoration is the goal of Matthew 18. When we think that our efforts in this area will be ingnored or possibly make the situation worse we are allowing fear and not hope to dictate our response. What if the opposite happens? What if the person actually says, 'hey you know what? You are right. Forgive me! I have been living in sin and need to turn back to living in righteousness.' This is a rosey and over-simplified picture I have just painted I know but... would not a response of repentance be worth the risk?

To be sure the heart and tone of the confrontation need to be saturated with love, truth and grace but confrontation must happen if we are going to love one another well.

Just some thoughts on whether to shut up or speak up.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Earth: Young or Old

You know there is a great deal of debate on how old the earth really is. The issue at hand for Christians and skeptics alike seems to be the "tension" between what science says the age of the Earth is and what the Bible says it is.

Let me throw my two cents into the pot just to keep things stirred up!

My first thought is this - We read in Gen. 1:1-2 the following:

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."

Now my first question is raise because of verse 2. Namely, how long was the earth in this condition before verse three?

Answer: We do not know. It could be billions of years for all we know. The point is the time that lapses durring verses 1 & 2 does not effect verses 3-31. Also we do not know how much time went by before the fall.

So there is one biblical explanation for an old earth/universe. But let me throw out another explanation that I am finding to be more probable.

What if God made the earth and, in fact, the whole universe fully mature? Here is what I mean.

For example, when God made man He made them fully grown people. He did not take an egg in one hand and a sperm in another and mash them together, holding them in His hands until 40 weeks had gone by, nurtured a child, help him grow from baby to boy and from boy to man. No, He created Adam (and Eve) already fully mature creatures, past puberty and capable of producing offspring right from the start. So, even though they had the appearance of, say, a 30 year old man and woman, they in fact were actually only 1 day old as far as actual time is concerned. The same is true of the vegetation, the birds of the air, beasts of the land and the creatures of the sea.

Does it not stand to reason that when God created everything else that he did so as a fully mature Earth ready and capable of handling what God was about to put on it? That the sun was made fully mature and ready to provide the life sustaining energy the Earth would need to sustain what God was going to put on it? That the Universe itself was made fully mature and ready to handle the earth that God made and put in it?

Here is my point: While science may in fact accurately observe an old Earth, it does so based upon appearance not actual time. Meaning - while the Earth may seem old given it's mature state, in fact only about 10,000 years of actual time has elapsed. Thus, when we do carbon dating and measure the universe in light years or whatever, what we are measuring is actually the 'maturity' of the universe and not the actual amount of 'time' that has lapsed.

If we think that time and maturity are the same then we are making a huge assumtion and run the possibility of misleading our selves into thinking that the earth and the universe took billions of years to get to the point it is at now. If your view is that the two are the same, I can understand the difficulty in reconciling science with scripture.

Just some food for thought when considering Earth: young or old.

Getting Inside My Head

To the right are the results of two tests that I took. They are to determine which theologian I most line up with. I was surprised by the results of this one. The second one shows the theological worldview I look at life from. The results for this did not surprise me.

Here are the links to these two sites if you too would like to take this test.

It looks like the percentages for my worldview got cut off when they posted in my blog.

They should read as follows 89% - 75% - 64% - 57% - 57% - 57% - 46% - 39% - 32%


Friday, January 18, 2008

The View From Back To Front

I am taking a church history class for my masters. We are getting into some events that have shaped the church into what it is today; namely Luther and the Reformation. I sit and read with awe at the Popes response to Luther's claims (his 95 points). Luther was labeled a heretic by the church simply because he went against the established church tradition. when asked to recant his statements, salvation by faith alone being one of them, Luther replied simply by asking the pope and church authorities to show him his error biblically. If there was no biblical proof for his error then he was not going to recant.

I understand where the church was coming from though...and it is a warning to us all. The church had become an elite group with power over the masses. There influence and power was something they held on to tightly. It was also absolute. In this the church became corrupt selling indulgences; a practice Luther adamantly opposed. Luther challenged not only the power of the church but the relevance of the established hierarchy itself. Like the Pharisees before them, the bishops and the Pope resisted with all their might. They refused to return to the scriptures to refute Luther's claims and consequently split the church in two.

What a lesson for us today. It is important to know why we believe what we believe, why we do what we do. It is also important that these beliefs and practices are supported by Scripture. Above all else, the lesson I take away from this is that it is better to admit error and walk away having embraced the truth than to win an argument in stubborn denial of truth.

These are just a few lessons I have learned looking at the view from back to front.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Discover the Meaning of Worship

I wanted to share some thoughts I had regarding worship, our ministry context and the issues we need to be addressing as the church in western culture.

For what it is worth here are some thoughts:

Given the whole…I think our understanding of worship is wrong when we come together on a Sunday morning. I am so guilty of this myself but, I am finding that when I come on Sunday I am ready to receive from God a word or encouragement or something that will carry me through from one week to the next. I find myself saying things like "Wow the singing really blessed me this morning" or "I got a lot out of the sermon this week" or "I was really challenged/ encouraged by this or that". It is all about what I get out of our corporate time.

This is the complete opposite of what worshiping God is. Worship is what we give to God to celebrate Him. It is what we offer to Him for His glory and purpose; to declare His greatness and goodness. What I get out of it is inconsequential and entirely irrelevant. What matters is whether or not I have made an offering to the Lord that attributes His worth and that He finds pleasing and acceptable.

What would happen if, one Sunday morning, we told people that they had to come to church prepared to give something to God and the focus of that offering was the glory of God Himself. Not how much better off I am and how good my life is or what I get out of being in a relationship with God but rather a praise, declaration and celebration of who God is what He has done, how He is mighty and good, etc. What would happen if we said there was going to be no “planned” singing, sermon or church program at all but rather each person had to come Sunday morning to present to God an “offering” of some kind where He was the sole focus; i.e. a song, poem, praise/ testimony, prayer, tithe… you get the idea. As I read in God’s Word that He inhabits the praises of his people, I can not help but think this is more of what He has in mind rather than the “church” we do/ have each Sunday. I know this sounds radical but I think there is something to all this.

I am going to stop now before I run the risk of ranting.

I would absolutely love to get your reaction to this perspective and how it would change not only our worship but our relationship with the living God Himself as we discover the meaning of worship!!