Saturday, December 29, 2007

Gambling Pastor Given Second Chance

The Des Moines Register details the fall, restoration, and new opportunity for a young Iowa pastor. This pastor actually pastored the United Methodist Church in which I was raised. I had joined the Evangelical Free Church before his arrival to Indianola, but I grew up attending this church. I was confirmed and participated in this church from age 9-17. I'm interested in your thoughts . . .


And then please comment:
1) Was the Indianola church in the right to remove him from leadership?
2) Was the United Methodist denomination in the right for removing his credentials?
3) Was the Disciples of Christ Church wise in ordaining him for ministry?
4) Is this small Ankeny church going to be blessed being led by someone with these past (?) struggles?
5) Should pastors gamble at all? Casinos? March Madness pick-ums? Poker nights with friends?

Remind me to share my thoughts in a week or so.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Great Roll-Over!

Samuel's first time to roll over was December 20th. By now he's an old pro. Today we got a good video of it and wanted to share it with all our friends and family. He's a little bit of a show-off!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

An Interview with N.T. Wright

Good interview recently done by the Wittenburg Door with the Biblical scholar N.T. Wright.

I love the title: "Heavy Theological Dude Mistakenly Talks to Us"

Here is the best quote in the article. Wright is talking about the dangers of evil, and then makes these pithy remarks, "But justice without forgiveness is revenge. And forgiveness without justice is appeasement." I'm personally trying to understand the proper "christian" view of justice, war, etc., and this was a very interesting remark to assist in helping me form a better worldview.

Another recent Wright interview was conducted while he was lecturing at Asbury Seminary:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Baking Christmas Cookies - 2007

Let the Christmas traditions begin!!

Huckabee keeps things interesting

I'm still not sure where my vote will go come November '08 . . . but I've been enjoying the uniqueness of Governor Huckabee.

Click here to see an interesting blog article.

Also a few other interesting reads:

"Huckabee is a body of work" from the Denver Post

On the issues from his own website

My favorite quote from him so far: "I think I've probably been asked far more questions about my faith than Mitt Romney's been asked about his. . . Maybe I ought to be doing the 'God speech' out there. I might even include an alter call and an offering with mine."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

a little break . . . and what does that mean? SAMUEL!!

Samuel is growing, and he loves Christmas. He also likes the University of Tennessee and the sleeper Aunt Jessica bought him!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ah . . . a little break and a little book

I finsihed my first semester of seminary work yesterday 12/14. I took my Greek Exegesis final (from my class with NT scholar Bill Klein) at 7:15AM yesterday; it was killer! All in all it was a good semester for developing skills in my Greek New Testament.

Similarly, my Gospel and Acts class (taught by Craig Blomberg) was enjoyable (though his final on Thursday was also quite challenging). In class and in his book, Blomberg does a nice job interpreting the Biblical text without any outside systematic theology (Calvinism, Ariminianism, Dispensationalism, etc.) determining the final outcomes. He does have a strong Baptist-bent, but this used to be a Baptist seminary so one shouldn't be surprised.

My remaining classes were a class on Teaching and Learning, an introduction to biblical interpretation, and a 1-credit class on spritual formation. It's been a rich blessing to be at Denver Seminary these last four months. I have met good friends, and I have been blessed by gifted intructors.

To celebrate, I read (that is by my own choosing!!) a small book called, "A Little Exercise for Young Theologians," by Helmut Thielecke. This book came from a lecture he gave to young theologians over 40 years ago in the thick of German theological education. He makes a number of key points. First, a first year theology student is like a first year choral student at a music conservatory. The gifted singer goes off to the conservatory to become a more mature performer. In that first year, the new exercises,acquired skills and knowledge seem to have a negative effect. The singer may not "sound" as gifted as when they begun, but it is only because the training is not complete. Similarly, a young theolgian is pushed intellectually and unfortunately, we young theolgians understand far more than what we are actually practicing in our own lives.

Thielecke puts this succinctly, "There is a hiatus between the arena of the young theologian's own spiritual growth and what he already knows intellectuarlly about this arena."

Likewise, a geologist knows rocks well. They study all the intricacies, perform experiments, and memorize scienific theories. But until they climb a mountain and smell the beautiful air, they knowledge is severly stunted. Young theologians (like geologists) must experience the world and the church before they can ever think their intellect on theological matters has substance.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Miracles among us . . . Joe Keller

The Des Moines Register had a recent article depicting God at work. This story is about two friends of mine Joe and Justin Keller who graduated a year behind me from Indianola High School. These are men of faith. Many of you have followed this story and know this is just one of dozens of miracles God has done through Joe's life over the last 12 months. Keep praying for Joe and Jaime (his wife) and the whole family. Keep believing in the God who makes the impossible possible!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Gunman posted plan online . . .

See also:

From these writings, we can see he had seriously been hurt in his past. His response was tragic.

Christians die in Colorado

When someone chooses to follow Jesus Christ, they have understood the foolishness of going their own way. We begin to understand that when we pray in the Lord's prayer, "Thy kingdom come," that also means that we are saying our kingdoms must go. Also, when we experience true salvation in Christ, we die. We die to our old way of life. We die to our sin. We mystically share in the death of Jesus Christ that we might cling to the hope of our future resurrection. This is Christianity; this is our calling. We become "dead men (and women) walking." We are crucified ones . . . yet, we also live a new life through the power of Christ.

4 Christ-followers lost their lives in Colorado this past Saturday evening and Sunday morning at the hands of the same gunman. (

We mourn their loss. We mourn with their families. But for those who have died to their old lives and shared in Christ's crucifixion, God's word promises that they are in his presence at death.

O Lord, may their deaths lead others to you. O Lord be close to their families. Also Lord, be close to the family of the gunman. They must be asking very hard questions right now, but we ask for your grace in their lives. I pray also for the security guard who took the gunman's life. Help her to appropriately deal with her own issues as well.

How might we respond personally?

People come to Jesus for a myriad of reasons: to receive forgiveness of sins, to experience life, to heal a broken heart, to follow a the only true God, to respond accurately to the truth claims of Jesus Christ, etc. etc. The end result is always the same: our old lives must go and we begin to receive true life, new, rich and eternal life. "For anyone who is in Christ they are a new creation, the old things pass away, new things come" (2 Cor. 5:17).

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Good discussion occuring about Intelligent Design

I've joined in a conversation on the denial of tenure of a professor from my alma mater Iowa State University. If you are behind on this matter, you can catch up by looking at a fellow Denver Seminary student's blog (also an Iowa State graduate) here:

We've also been having a mini dialog on one of our professor's blogs here:

Feel free to join in the conversation.

More info:
Intelligent Design Was the Issue After All
Background to the Guillermo Gonzalez Story
Q & A about the Guillermo Gonzalez Story
Biosketch of Dr. Gonzalez
List of Dr. Gonzalez's Refereed Science Publications
Statement of Dr. Gonzalez on Academic Persecution From 2005
List of Publications
Key facts and timeline

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The run down . . .

Tonight: the small group that I attend via Ambassador Church is having a Christmas party.

I have finished all the major assignments for this semester and am gearing up for finals.

Next week: 3 major finals (Monday in my "Teaching and Learning" class, Thursday in my "Gospels and Acts" class, and Friday in my "Greek Exegesis" class on the book of Romans)

Dec. 14-Jan. 14 - I get some time away from Denver Seminary (we'll be back in IA Jan. 5-12), and I will pick up some extra hours at my T-Mobile job the others weeks we're in Colorado.

Jan. 14-25 - 2 week winter intercession course

Jan 28 - Spring semester starts

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Quote of the Day - Parker Palmer

"If what we know is an abstract, impersonal, and apart from us, it cannot be truth, for truth involves a vulnerability, faithful and risk-filled interpenetration of the knower and the known." - Parker Palmer

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Quotes of the Day - John Piper

"The reason for this (laying down your life to make people eternally happy in God) is that any good-hearted goal, without the desire to give people eternal joy in God, is condemnation with a kind face."

Personal Reflection: If we fail to make Jesus known by both word and deed, then we may appear polite, but in reality we are extremely uncaring. If I know the truth of a Savior who shed his blood for me and others but keep it to myself, am I really being a friend? Woe to us if we do not share Jesus and his beautiful gospel.

"Love always wants what is best for the needy, and what's best is enjoying God forever. Similarly, any effort to honor Christ that does not aim to make him the all satisfying Treasure of God's treasonous subjects is complicity in the revolt . . . This single passion--to see that Christ be glorified as perishing people become eternally satisfied in him--drives the great global enterprise we call world missions."

--John Piper in Don't Waste Your Life

Friday, November 23, 2007

Have you missed seeing Samuel???

Thanks to Grandma Carol for the new gift. Samuel likes to bounce. We had a nice family visit in SD for Thanksgiving so we included a few photos. One has cousin Regan Odegaard holding Samuel and then the two oldest boys Tyler and Aaron Odegaard get to be privileged to share a photo opp with precious Samuel as well. There's a photo of cousin Bailey from a few weeks back too when Carrie made her mad dash back to Iowa to pick up our new car. (we forgive her for wearing Iowa Hawkeyes' apparel).

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Two spaces? One space?

So, I grew up ALWAYS putting two spaces after a period. But now I have been told new writing guides say only one. so what do you think?

Anybody have any insight especially on exactly what Turabian form requires??? Or APA? Or MLA? Are those even the right abbreviations?


Good to be home . . .

This past weekend I joined the 7-12 grade students of South Suburban EFC for a weekend retreat at the Eagle Bluff Learning Center in Lansboro, MN. Bruce Bentley, friend and student pastor of South Suburban EFC, invited me to share God's Word with the students over four sessions. We looked at four key passages in Matthew 9. Here were the session topics:

Session 1: "A New Table: Sinners Party and Leap for Joy" Matthew 9:1-13
Session 2: "New Wine: I'll Drink to That!" Matthew 9:14-16
Session 3: "New Life: Hope for the Hopeless" Matthew 9:17-34
Session 4: "A New Calling" Matthew 9:35ff

O how sweet it was to worship with these students. They have hearts for the Lord and a growing heart to serve people!! May they be a generation who gives up everything to meet the needs of hurting people and to make the message of Jesus known to our needy world!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I married my sister, a divorced woman, and two of my buddies

Okay . . . probably by the title you might already be tracking with where I am going, but it is interesting that in the English language one can mean one thing whereas others can read it a totally different way.
Two weeks ago in my NT class with Craig Blomberg as the professor we were were discussing the statements Jesus made about marriage and divorce. I just so happened to engage in the conversation by saying that I had married a divorced woman and thus my opinion was X. Well, it took a week for me to understand that the majority of the class believed my dear wife Carrie had been married previously (not true). The verbiage I had chosen actually meant I had performed the wedding ceremony for a divorced woman. Needless to say, my wife was not the most thrilled to think that the class of 50+ students and the professor all thought my wife was married previously (which would have been quite a short marriage since I married her when she was 20).
This past Tuesday in class, with tail between legs, I publicly exonerated my dear wife. I also apologized for not being as clear as I should have been. Now the class knows . . . and now via the great world wide web the world knows of my silly mistake!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I have felt called to preach God's Word for quite some time. The last few months have not provided very many teaching opportunities, but things are about to change. I fly out Friday for a retreat speaking engagement in Minnesota. I get to spend 3 wonderful days with about 100 people from the Twin Cities. I'm pumped. Throw up a prayer my way as I finish up my preparation.

Gotta run . . . I need to read my Romans' commentary to prepare for tomorrow's theology's quiz!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Popular Story - Rick Hoyt

Today in seminary I watched a video about this story.

We watched it while listening to the song "My Redeemer Lives" and meditating on how our heavenly Father cares for us. When we are weak, He is strong.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I miss my family!

About two weeks ago now, we took our trusty 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue in for some simple repairs. Sadly, a near $2,000 repair estimate came back. We ran around in circles for two days, but in the end decided to purchase a newer car. God provided, but the car-to-be needed to be picked up in our home state of Iowa.

So, my amazing mother-in-law took the train out to CO. Then about one day later, Carrie, Samuel, and Peg (she's the fabulous mother-in-law) took off for IA to trade-in our old vehicle for the new. That was Saturday morning, and I am still alone in CO.

Today I got an email from my father-in-law. His wife has taken a lot of pictures since this is the first time Samuel has got to be in that grandparent home. I teared up looking at those pictures. My precious family 500+ miles away!

They get back Friday, and I can't wait!

For those who may be wondering what in the world I have been doing . . . I've been writing my paper for Dr. Blomberg's "Gospels and Acts" class, working, and staying on top of the normal seminary duties.

Isn't my family cute??

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Little Leprechauns!

Last Tuesday (October 2), my wife and I were sitting in our home minding our own business. It was 10PMish and we were getting close to our normal routine of preparing for bed. All of a sudden, we heard this freakish noise coming from our front door (which just so happens to be near our living room where we were seated). The noise was our screen door opening and shutting; needless to say, we were a bit freaked out. There was no knock and no other noises. The most scary part was that I realize our front door was unlocked! I slipped over very carefully and locked the door (ahh . . . now were safe, right?). About 2 minutes after I locked the door, there was a loud knocking on the door; I pictured a 6'5'' man with a mask on other side of the door. Carrie slipped upstairs with our infant, and I went to open the door to the very big intruder . . .

There was no one there. This at first scared me and made me very angry. I took a few steps outside to see a car pealing away. We used to call this behavior in high school the "ding dong ditch." But when I turned around to go inside I notice a traditional white envelope on the ground with "Proctors" written on the outside. I opened to find a few things. First a note that read, "Proctors: Rejoice in God's provision. He brought you here for a reason, and will provide for all your needs. Love in Christ. Friends." Also, inside were $150 in gift certificates to a grocery store and Target. They say it's hard to catch a leprechaun, but if they are going to leave envelopes like that on your doorstep, why would you ever want to catch them?

To be honest the last 2 months have been a bit hard for us. I've tracked down numerous job opportunities, but sadly several have fallen through. We've been getting the very nice bills from the hospital and doctors who participated in Samuel's birth, and spent quite a bit just making the necessary transitions to a new state. We were blown away by this gift from the Lord. Father in heaven, thank you for using your people to display Your glory!

I don't have time to share with you the dozens of other ways God has provided for us over the past 2 months, but let's just say, it's been very cool! I have my first scheduled shift at my new job this Tuesday at 1:30PM. Praise the Lord for His great provision

Monday, October 08, 2007

employment update

Thanks to all who have been in prayer. I signed all the paper work and took my drug test to work at Phone Zone today. Phone Zone is a nationwide company that sells T-Mobile cellular service and all the best brands of cellular technology. I start training tomorrow. If anyone has any cellular needs that I could work on for you, please don't hesitate to ask. Phone Zone carries all the best PDAs, cell phones, Bluetooth accessories, and other valuable products.

Now I need to get back to the books, but here are some upcoming posts:
1. I performed my sister's wedding on Oct. 5.
2. Carrie and I visited our home state of Iowa Oct. 3-7 to visit friends and be a part of my sister's big day.
3. Midterms are next week for two of my Denver Seminary classes. I'm looking forward to my Biblical Exegesis midterm (taught by Dr. Klein) and my Gospels midterm (taught by Dr. Craig Blomberg).

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Takes after his father...

So, as his little shirt says (handsome!), Samuel takes after his father. He's been smiling for us, so here's a photo of him laughing today. Also a shot of him with his Grandma Peggy, one of him wide awake (so you can see his pretty blues!), and one of him conked out after church. He is growing like a weed and starting to sleep better, for which we are grateful! And when he gets enough sleep, he is so fun and smiley during wake time. Our little "handsome" is quite the flirt!

Also, you can download a new video of Samuel looking awfully handsome . . .

Piper and Wright Clash - it's finally among us

On October 23rd John Piper's book attacking N.T. Wright's views on justification will hit the shelves. You can preorder it today if you'd like . . .

If you are interested, you can read a 7-part interview with Dr. Piper on this upcoming book.

Wright and Piper are two the most followed and prolific writers among the evangelical world. Many Piper-fans often follow Wright as well. It seems a line is being draw in the sand. Who will you trust for your theological guidance?

If you want to buy this book for me for Christmas, that would be great. I doubt I'll read it until my semester ends. But who knows, I do have a week break for Thanksgiving!!

job update - keep praying

I was offered a job yesterday at Target. The pay is minimal, and I doubt it could meet our needs. Yet, it's a job. Pray that God meets our needs. I have a few other job applications "out there" so there's still a chance I might land a higher paying job.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Job Insecurity

Prayer request:

I found out today the part-time job that was promised to me is no longer available due to a couple of issues within the grocery store. I was supposed to start last week, but now I am on the job hunt once again.

If you could, pray that a door would be opened that I could start working ASAP. I haven't worked since I finished up my youth ministry job August 1. God has met all our needs . . . glory to Christ!

spiritual constipation . . .

so, I am at seminary, falsely thought to be "devotions on steroids" for future pastors. It's rigorous academic work that takes time, effort and thought. At the same time, I am learning a lot about God, His word, ministry etc. When I was serving as a youth pastor, I'd teach regularly 2-3 times a week. So, I was constantly digesting things of God and then offering them to other audiences.

At this stage in my life, I am not teaching on a regular basis. My soul, brain and heart are being filled with all kinds of things concerning God, but instead of allowing these things to flow out, they are just being crammed into the "to be used later" section of my brain. This cramming or stuffing of information has created a feeling that I have labeled "spiritual constipation." The way God has wired me makes me love to give out information. I am a teacher and a preacher. When this is not happening on regular basis, I feel a little off.

but God is faithful. I have 2 big ministry opportunities ahead:

On October 5th I have the privilege of performing the wedding ceremony for my sister Heather and her fiance Jase. It's going to be fun to tell my older sister everything she needs to do to have a great marriage. (don't worry I'm not going to talk down on her like that)

November 16-18 I have the privilege of teaching at a jr. high/high school retreat for South Suburban EFC in Minnesota. I loves students and miss youth work big time. We'll have tons of fun that weekend!

I can feel the pressure of "spiritual constipation" lessening as we speak. Feels good!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Quote of the Day - Thomas a Kempis

"If thou dost more rely upon thine own reason or industry, than upon that power which brings thee under the obedience of Jesus Christ, it will be long before thou become enlightened; for God will have us perfectly subject unto him, that being inflamed with his love, we may transcend the narrow limits of human reason." - in The Imitation of Christ

Friday, September 14, 2007

My take on Romans 1:16-32

In my Greek exegesis course this fall at Denver Seminary, we are translating several passages from Romans 1-8. The first two passages included vs. 16-32 of chapter 1. This is a very convicting passage and theologically rich. It involves humans sinning and God actively responding by handing (giving) them over toward greater sin and destruction.

Here are a few key exegetical details I picked up on:

(Confession: a little knowledge of Greek is a dangerous thing, thus I confess these are only my understandings as of today and I admit they are elementary at best):

vs. 16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
- The gospel is God's power!

vs. 17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
- God's righteousness is revealed (made known, appears, arrives) in the gospel

vs. 18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
- God's wrath is revealed (same Greek word, tense, etc.) against all the godlessness and wickedness of humans (unlike many English translations the Greek word anthropon is usually , and definitely in this usage, an all inclusive term for both genders).

vs. 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
- Knowledge of God is not just knowable, but known to all men. That is God himself makes it known to them. Plainly!

vs. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
- This knowledge makes all humans accountable to God.

vs.21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
- The proper response to God is worship and thanks. To not respond appropriately leads to God (the active agent) darkening the minds of humans (passive, receiving agent).

vs.22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
- Professing wisdom falls very short of the real thing . . . again humans are receiving action upon them from God . . . God makes humans fools.

vs 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
- This is the first of several uses of the expression that one party "exchanges" something valuable and true for something dishonorable, wicked and foolish

24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

- God's first response to humans exchanging His glory for earthly idols is him actively giving them over to impurity, a dishonoring of their earthly bodies. Makes sense doesn't it. If we fail to use earthly objects correctly (make them the object of our worship), they will become a snare for us. Who wouldn't agree that must of the Western world in the 21st Century made the human body an idol, and subsequently, we have brought degradation to the use of the body?

25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

- The second exchange: give up God's truth for lies!

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.

- God responds again by actively handing humans over toward shameful living! *Key issue: almost every well-respected English translation fails to fully express some of the following words. For the remainder of this passage, when Paul speaks of men/women, the better English translation is male/female. Vs. 26 should read, "Both their females exchanged . . ." Paul is using the same words the LXX used to translated Gen. 1:27, "God created them male and female." Paul is talking about the difference between anatomies in regards to gender!

27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

- "In the same way the males abandoned natural relations with females . . . " Again Paul is stressing that gender confusion has occurred; gender lines have seriously been crossed. This IS a passage about homosexual sin/perversion.

28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

- This exchange involves humans not thinking it fitting to have knowledge in God; thus, God gives them "unfit" minds. There's a play on words with the English equivalents "worthwhile" and "depraved" having common word stems in the Greek language.

29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

- This sentence (actually verses 28-31 is all one sentence in the Greek) relates back to humans not approving knowledge about God; they have been people marked by such vices. Many conservatives skip right past this verse thinking it's a description of homosexuals. NO! This verse condemns every human of sin. We are all slanderers, insolent, arrogant, heartless . . . we did not see it fitting to cling to our knowledge of God! Guilty.

32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

- Humans do such practices, even though they know better. Most honest people will admit that they accept that fact that evil actions are worthy of punishment. Very few people in the world remain relativistic when you steal their car.

Translation used from New International Version.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Me as a Simpsons' character


I don't know how close I look to this but here you go . . . how I would look if I made it onto an episode on the 2nd greatest cartoon ever (no one beats Bugs Bunny)!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Meandering Thoughts from "the Wife"

Enter Mrs. Proctor. I hope no one minds that I'll be doing the family posts from here on out. Matt says he's retired from posting pics of the babe now that seminary has begun. So I'm taking over! Here are a few for your viewing pleasure. You'll see one of our new little Proctor family, one of the Odegaards from their visit over Labor Day weekend, one of three generations of Odegaards, and one of Samuel's sleeping smile. The most exciting news lately is that he is now giving out social smiles. Unfortunately we haven't been able to capture that on film yet.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Go Broncos!

So, I grew up in Iowa. It's a college sport state. We don't have an elite professional sports, unless the triple-A I-Cubs count.

Also, I grew up in a household with a father who cared nothing for professional sports. So, as I got older, I realized all of my peers had favorite teams and I did not. I never could decide on a team, and any time I got ready to choose a team, I recognized I was just a front-runner (the worst name-calling of all on 4th grade playgrounds)!

But all is different. When I was in the process of choosing graduate schools, I committed to become a loyal sports' enthusiast of whatever city (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago or Denver) I ended up in. Oh, some of you will say that's just silly . . . but who really knows why an individual chooses one team over another. There's no science or structured rules (unlike calling for "shotgun" in high school) to choosing your teams. So, here I am in Denver, Colorado, proud that MY FOOTBALL TEAM is 1-0 after Week 1!! Their victory was beautiful and in stellar fashion. Yeah Baby! Go Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets, Avalanche, and the Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League, and the Crush of the Arena Football League. Hear that? We even got a professional lacrosse team!

Yeah, baby . . . no more fair-weather fan! I bleed Denver sports :)

On a sad note, my alma mater, Iowa State University, is 0-2 in their football season and it could be 0-12 in a few more weeks. Luckily, there's hope in their new coach!!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Dewey's decimals don't add up . . .

" is the the office of the school environment to balance the various elements in the social environment, and to see to it that each individual gets an opportunity to escape from the limitations of the social group in which he was born, and to come into living contact with a broader environment." Democracy and Education, John Dewey, 1916, page 24

John Dewey, the famed educator and atheist, went a little too far for me at the beginning of this classic work. For Dewey neither the home nor the church are the key places for an individual to flesh out their beliefs, ideas, goals, etc. Instead, Dewey places the final authority for "balance" and freedom from "limitations" in the hands of the school. It's no wonder that teachers and schools have been thought to push agendas for years; the father of modern education espoused this view and in fact, asked teachers to make it happen. It's also no wonder that parents have allowed this practice to occur (for they were indoctrinated by it through their own educational upbringing), and the home has lost its sacred place in the lives of students. Now it's the "balancing" environment of the school that teaches our children about values, sex, vocation, etc. The school--an institution free from the control of any church or belief system--is the source of our nation's morality/values/etc. That does not seem to make much sense unless one is a total utilitarian.

I pray that today we recognize that 100 years of reliance upon the public education system for the salvation of our country has not worked. I will send my kids to public school, support the school board (and offer my 2 cents), and encourage educators. BUT, I will not let the school provide the "values" and "standards" that will guide my child through life. Parents, train a child in the way they should go . . . then when they are older they will not stray from it. (see Proverbs 22:6 and Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I woulda been . . .

In light of my class "Understanding the Gospels and Acts" taught by Craig Blomberg, I've decided hands down I would have been a Pharisee at the time of Jesus. These faithful Jews did everything in their power to honor God's laws to the point of sometimes snubbing some of their friends and neighbors. They were vigorous readers who would often get stuck on insignificant tangents and religious discussions that had limited value for the "people of the land". They made rules to go with their beliefs to "put up a fence" around their sacred Scriptures. They believed in God's power to bring about his predestined plan, but they felt it was necessary for them to help God's plan along by their own actions. Like these Phariees, I am given to a truncated theology and unloving practice all for the sake of being "right" or "orthodox". I don't want to admit it, but I think a Jesus-type figure would have been threatening to me too. I just maybe would have labeled him a heretic (or even worse a liberal!) I don't know if I would have asked for his life, but I probably wouldn't have minded if he was silenced. A life led by the Spirit instead of a life without rules can't be monitored by religious elite (thus, danger!).

Jesus free from this pattern of living and believing and invite me into your plan of redemption, love for others, and your new way of being.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Syllabus Shock . . . fitting term

A few different professors warned that the arrival of the slate of syllabuses creates a gut reaction (similar to the feeling of butterflies in the tummy) called "syllabus shock." I can attest to this feeling as I kept counting the number of books I'm expected to read, papers I'll write, and oral presentations I'll prepare and deliver. Yet, I'm a nerd, in that, I'm super excited for it all.

Any recommendations from those of you who've traveled the road of seminary or grad school. Are there things for which I need to watch out? Any tips on getting through all the material and papers?

Personal side of things: my mother-in-law showed up today to hold her new grandson. We've had a nice, peaceful day. We enjoyed a lunch in downtown Denver and a little sight-seeing to boot.

Tomorrow we visit an EFCA church plant. Pray that God would give us discernment as we seek a church home.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Genitive this . . . aorist participle that . . .

yahoo!! I passed my Greek pass-out exam today. I took Classical Greek like 5 years ago in undergrad and then for the last 5 years I've tried to pick-up Biblical New Teastment (Koine) Greek through personal study. They gave me 6 free (well, $50 for the test) credits and now I get to start in New Testament exegesis classes this semester. Also, these 6 credits put me up to 18 total, 12 of which I've taken the last 3 years in ministry. This means I don't have to kill myself to finish school in the three years my scholarship is good for. I just need to average about 4 classes per semester and then one extra class each year either during the summer or winter session. Praise God!!

Here's my fall schedule: (to my pals out there in school, I'd love to hear what you're taking)

NT 611 - Using Greek in New Testament Exegesis - We will study an intermediate grammar textbook, translate the first 8 chapters of Paul's epistle to the Romans, and read Doug Moo's Romans' commentary to supplement our personal study.

EM501 - Foundations of Teaching and Learning - We will use a standard textbook to look at the history and development of Christian Education. Then we will read an additional 1000 pages from a number of different options to investigate the roles of teaching and learning. We will have one set teaching time of 30 min. or more to wow our audience and show that we have embraced some solid teaching principles.

NT 511 - Understanding the Gospels and Acts - We will read through the Gospels in a NT parallel Bible and also the Acts of the Apostles. We are reading 2 books by the professor (Blomberg), a few others, and also Jesus Creed by Scot McKnight.

BI501 - Effective Biblical Interpretation - This is the prerequisite to all classes basically. I guess if you don't know how to study the Bible "correctly," it would be tough to go much further in seminary.

T/M 500 - Intro to Christian Formation and Training & Mentoring - One of the coolest things about Denver Seminary is that I am required each semester to focus not just on textbooks, but my own walk with Jesus and over whom I influence. This intro class involves personality tests, personal assessment, and early encouragement in seminary to keep the heart loving God just as much as the mind.

I start Monday and I am pumped!!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Samuel just 8 days old

so the family keeps asking for more pics and until I'm smack dab in the middle of seminary, I'll try and keep up.

Friday, August 17, 2007

pics for the grandparents

What the grandparents want, the grandparents get! (or so they think!)

My mom showed up today to behold and enjoy the little one. She took the Amtrak from Iowa to Denver and will be with us the next few days.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Obsessive parent alert . . . first bath at home

So I love the little guy . . . what can I say? Here's some pics of Samuel's first bath at home. Mom and Dad worked hard together. He came out looking pretty good if I do say so myself.

We had a nice day today. Carrie's uncle Kevin, wife and kiddos came to play. We ate together, played some games, and just enjoyed life together.