Saturday, December 27, 2008

Books, books and more books

How many of you have out-read the sitting president this year or previous years?

Check it out: http://sec.online.wsj.com/article/SB123025595706634689.html

Friday, December 26, 2008

God works in mysterious ways

There was a neat story in the Colorado Springs Gazette recently on NFL kicker Jason Elam helping a fellow player Matt Lepsis begin a relationship with Jesus. I hope to be a friend like Elam as often as possible in my short life.

Check it out, it's encouraging: http://www.gazette.com/articles/lepsis_45326___article.html/drugs_season.html

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas and Things

It's nearly 8:30AM on Christmas day and my musings have already begun:

1. Watching my son eat breakfast is such a delight. What a gift . . . Christmas couldn't get better. (The smell of ribs cooking in the slowcooker also warms the Christmas spirit.)

2. My wife is still in bed. Why? Well, she's carrying a very important Christmas gift (on lay-away until August). She's carrying our second child and still traversing the difficult journey of the first trimester. Pray for her health and strength. Pray that God knits this baby perfectly in her womb.

3. The incarnated Son of God changes people's lives. Some wonder how this can occur, others scoff, others feel guilty when they spend time with Jesus-touched people. NFL quarterback Kurt Warner recently had a unique piece done on him by ESPN. This is someone who has met the Christ child: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?page=hotread17/kurtwarner

4. I have a great core of family and friends. I am so thankful for each of you. Also, I am so thankful for the church family we have here in CO. We left such a special family in Boone and we are beginning to feel at home in CO too.

(be on the lookout for Xmas pics)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thanks Grandma Carol

Samuel opened his first round of Christmas gifts today. He is very thankful!

video

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dark Territory: The Gay Marriage Debate

The world is thinking, talking, debating, and considering a major topic in American society. On December 6, 2008 Newsweek had a cover story on gay marriage (http://www.newsweek.com/id/172653). In it, author Lisa Miller makes the case that the Bible says nothing negative about gay marriage and a homosexual lifestyle, summarizing her thoughts on those who oppose gay marriage, "Religious objections to gay marriage are rooted not in the Bible at all, then, but in custom and tradition (and, to talk turkey for a minute, a personal discomfort with gay sex that transcends theological argument)."

Newsweek has since provided a follow-up story with two authors of contrasting views engaging in a debate (http://www.newsweek.com/id/175223/page/1).

Bloggers around the world have also engaged in the issue: (e.g. http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2008/12/newsweek-on-gay-marriage.php).

I am no expert so I will not weigh in today, but instead, I choose to offer up a prayer for our country:

Father in heaven,

You created every person and even though we rebelled and sinned against you, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins and offer salvation to Your children. Father, help us to sacrificially love those around us with the same love you have shown us. Teach us to debate, dialog, and discuss sensitive issues with healing grace. Help us to obey and trust You more each day.

In Christ's holy name, Amen.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

On spending - quote of the Day

"If something is a wasteful expenditure in bad times, it is probably also a wasteful expenditure in good times. Good times do not make wasteful expenditures less wasteful. There are no times for wasteful expenditures."

Read entire article: http://www.whatsbestnext.com/2008/12/on-layoffs/

Monday, December 08, 2008

Are you culturally aware?

If you think you have a good sense of what's going on in the world, read this article and compare notes. The article is long, but worth you time.

http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_2_cultural_jihadists.html

Here's a small portion of the article "An Anatomy of Surrender" by Bruce Bawer:

Mainstream outlets have also served up anodyne portraits of fundamentalist Muslim life. Witness Andrea Elliott’s affectionate three-part profile of a Brooklyn imam, which appeared in the New York Times in March 2006. Elliott and the Times sought to portray Reda Shata as a heroic bridge builder between two cultures, leaving readers with the comforting belief that the growth of Islam in America was not only harmless but positive, even beautiful. Though it emerged in passing that Shata didn’t speak English, refused to shake women’s hands, wanted to forbid music, and supported Hamas and suicide bombing, Elliott did her best to downplay such unpleasant details; instead, she focused on sympathetic personal particulars. “Islam came to him softly, in the rhythms of his grandmother’s voice”; “Mr. Shata discovered love 15 years ago. . . . ‘She entered my heart,‘ said the imam.” Elliott’s saccharine piece won a Pulitzer Prize. When Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes pointed out that Shata was obviously an Islamist, a writer for the Columbia Journalism Review dismissed Pipes as “right-wing” and insisted that Shata was “very moderate.”

Monday, December 01, 2008

Post-flood Apartment Pics







While driving back home in the middle of Wyoming from our Thanksgiving festivities in Rapid City, SD, I got a call on Saturday afternoon 11/29 informing me that a serious water leak had occurred in the apartment directly above us. Sadly, they too had been on vacation for several days so the leak created a small lake in the 1st floor apartment (that being ours). Here's some of the pics after we got home. Dozens of neighbors spent hours pulling up our carpet and moving our stuff to safety before we ever got back to Denver Seminary. Thanks to all of you who served so selflessly. The grace of Christ was evidenced in your life.

Monday, November 24, 2008

By popular request...

Here's the latest footage of Samuel. First up is our first snow in Denver from a few weeks ago. He's doing a taste-test apparently. Second is the Proctor family just playing around. Third is Samuel making some music with his little friend, Kate. Unfortunately, you can hardly see her cute little face around his crazy hair!!
video

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A Halloween montage





Here are some tidbits of our fall celebrations! Notice the irony of Samuel dressed as a cow, drinking milk, and wearing leather shoes. The pictures include Samuel with his little friend, Kate, who is dressed as a fairy, as well as some "process" pictures of his pumpkin painting adventure! video

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A tribute to a gracious politician . . .

Go read: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,447625,00.html

This is how it starts:

He was classy.

Magnanimous.

A gentleman.

Ripped for being out of touch, he chose just the right touch.

A man who critics say only mangled his words.

Conjured just the right ones.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Whoever wins this election

Whether we find out tonight or tomorrow morning, I hope that every person commits to pray and honor the next President of the United States of America (and other elected officials). Christians are called to pray for civil authorities, to submit to them, and to honor them. To this end we must labor.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thank you for the chuckle Fox News . . .

Heated Debate

The British Parliament passed a massive piece of global warming legislation Wednesday. The Register newspaper reports the House of Commons spent six hours debating a bill to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent over the next four decades.

But this debate over the need for immediate action to deal with the rapidly developing dangers of global warming occurred as Londoners experienced their first October snowfall since 1922. A blanket of snow covered the Parliament as the bill passed on its third reading 463 votes to three.

But, The Register states that recent polling indicates 60 percent of the British public now doubts man's influence on global warming.


From: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,445846,00.html

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What's the greatest moral issue of our day?

Read this whole article (http://www.boundless.org/aprint/aprint2003.cfm?url=http://www.boundless.org/regulars/office_hours/a0000958.html)

Here's one nugget:

"But something might be worse than abortion," said Theresa, "couldn't it?"

"Like what?" I asked.

Theresa thought for a moment. "Like an unjust war? There's a war going on right now."

"Do you think the war is unjust?" I asked.

"I don't think it's unjust, but some of our friends do. Besides, some wars really are unjust."

I nodded. "Through history, I'd say most wars have been unjust."

"Do you think this one is?"

"No," I said. "I think it's just."

"Just for purposes of argument," she persisted, "suppose candidate X supported abortion, and candidate Y opposed abortion but supported a war that was unjust. Like some of our friends think this one is."

"Okay," I said, "I'm supposing."

"Don't unjust wars also deliberately take innocent human life?"

"They do."

"So an unjust war would be a sanctity-of-life issue too, wouldn't it?" she asked. "Just like abortion."

"It would," I said, "and an unjust war certainly could be even worse than abortion. But let's think a little further. To be even worse than abortion, just how bad would the unjust war have to be?"

"Well," said Don, "since the main evil is the same in both cases — the slaughter of innocents — I guess there would have to be even an even greater rate of slaughter in the unjust war than there is through legalized abortion."

"Right," I said. "Do you happen to know how many innocent lives are lost each year through legalized abortion?"

"A lot."

"Do you know exactly?"

Don looked inquiringly at Theresa. "You remember things like that, Reesi. Do you know?"

"Just through surgical abortions? We're running at about 1.2 million a year," she said. "More than 44 million babies have been killed since abortion was legalized."

"A third of your generation," I said.

She nodded grimly.

"So to be worse than abortion," I asked, "wouldn't an unjust war have to kill even more than 1.2 million innocent people each year?"

"Hey, that's right," said Don.

"What's the death rate in the present war?"

"Not even close," he said. "Thanks! That'll help you talk with your friends, won't it, Reesi?"

Friday, October 10, 2008

You won't read this in your Sunday paper

A major conference is being held in Chicago this weekend called True Woman. As a conference, women from around the country, astute Bible teachers, and cultural experts are standing up for the dignity of femininity. They are not asking women to become men to be praised and accepted in society; they are recognizing woman have amazing gifts and unique callings that deserve great respect.

They recently released a manifesto on their view of being a true woman:

http://www.truewoman.com/assets/files/TW08_Manifesto.pdf

I thought this was a very powerful line in their manifesto: We believe that the creation of humanity as male and female was a purposeful and magnificent part of God’s wise plan, and that men and women were designed to reflect the image of God in complementary and distinct ways.


HT: JT

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Recent adventures

Here are Samuel's latest adventures, including animal sounds in the bathtub (this one's for you, Aunt JJ), Mommy's birthday hike, the first haircut, and today's wild hair and some kisses for you.
video

Quote of the Day - James MacDonald

Bottom line: at Harvest Bible Chapel we now have almost 20 years invested in the notion that church should not, better, must not be an audience-centered effort. NO MORE AUDIENCE-CENTERED CHURCH, unless of course we return to the biblical priority of God Himself being the audience. My thesis is that God simply does not attend most churches in America. He won’t work or manifest His presence in places where His Word is apologized for, His Son is polished and marketed, and His power is not sought in prayer or even anticipated. God does not attend churches where the gospel is watered down to a self-help pep talk about felt needs. God does not attend churches where Jesus’ crucified life is not proclaimed as the only hope for a fallen humanity. God does not attend churches where Bibles are not brought, and the gospel is reduced to a formula that a person can recite in 60 seconds. God does not attend churches where words, biblical words, like holiness, repentance, and Lordship are scrubbed from the vocabulary in an effort to . . . ? You may be able to get people to attend churches like that but God doesn’t show up much at all.

-
Pastor James MacDoand, Harvest Bible Church

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Thoughts on women in ministry:

I am currently in class that is studying the Pastoral Epistles. Often in this class we discuss the various teachings that Paul had on church roles for men and women. This can be a very emotionally charged subject, but I think it is an important dialog.

I read something today from a respected New Testament Greek Professor, Dr. Daniel Wallace, that speaks similarly to how I feel most days on this topic:

"I must confess: attitudinally, I am an egalitarian. I find what scripture says on these matters very difficult to swallow at times. However, I am positionally a complementarian because I can't go against my conscience. For me at least, to read these passages in an egalitarian way is to do some exegetical gymnastics in which one twists and turns the text to conform it to their views . . . By the way, I think that Doug Moo's articles on 1 Tim 2:.11-15, posted at bible.org, should be a great summary of the exegetical reasons for a complementarian view of that passage. He has done perhaps the best exegesis of this passage in print."

Read the whole thing by Dr. Wallace: http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=6133

Read Dr. Moo's article: http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=2829

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Carrie's birthday and Samuel's first haircut




This morning we went on a hike to celebrate Carrie's birthday. We enjoyed seeing the fall colors at Lair of the Bear park.

Then this afternoon we went ahead and gave Samuel his first haircut. You get both the before and after pics.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Billions to pray about

In the past few minutes the $700,000,000,000 economic bailout passed the U.S. House of Representatives. This gives a vast amount of power and potential to the U.S. Treasury Department. Please pray for Henry Paulsen (U.S. Treasurer) and his staff as they will be making historic decisions in the coming days.

Also, pray that our nation becomes a nation at peace. We do not need to worry about our needs (Mt 6:25ff), but we have an obligation to focus our spending on those things that bring about God's kingdom (Mt 6:33). We have ceased to rest in God's provision and pursued our own peace through the accumulation of worldly possessions. This pursuit of the world has eroded the soul of American ingenuity and hard-work. It has probably costs the spiritual souls of many as well.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Pastor's Pulpit and Political Agendas

Many pastors across the country (31 pastors in 22 states) officially endorsed a candidate for president this past Sunday from their church pulpits. They are attempting to overthrow current IRS regulations. I'm personally unsettled by this and think it is not the best, and I think Christianity Today Editor Mark Galli should be commended on his recent thoughts (read his thoughts below).

In fact, I will no longer be addressing personalities in the political contest. Issues will still be discussed on this site and principles for proper government. But this will not be a pro-whoever website pandering to relevance at the cost of the centrality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/septemberweb-only/140-41.0.html?start=1

A few quotes I liked:

Both have said — sincerely, I believe — that their highest priority is serving and proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ. But given the insidious nature of politics (it aims to co-opt everything and everyone into its service), ministers' Christian identity gets swallowed up by their political views. They were ordained to be heralds of the Great King. Instead they end up, like it or not, being seen as marketers for a partisan agenda. What a waste of an ordination.

Do you want to be politically relevant? Then gather your people together each Sunday and lead them to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Remind your people through hymns and prayers and proclamation that there is a Leader who can do something more significant for the nation than protecting their investments or providing cheap health insurance.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Emotions and Politics

This political race has reminded me of my humanness. In the midst of the watching of debates and speeches, the reading of platforms on various party's websites, and the various conversations regarding various political arenas, I have experienced the full gamut of emotions. Why? And is this appropriate?

1. Why? We get emotional because we take things seriously. There are serious issues at stake: e.g. health care, poverty, abortion, terrorism.

2. Appropriate? Yes and no. Yes, we need to let our whole being (emotions included) affect our voting on November 4th. No, God is in control. A Democrat or Republican President or controlled-Congress will NOT solve the problems in our fallen world. When our emotions become out of control, it shows that we have forgotten to trust in God and instead have put our hopes in a people to solve our issues and we fear if the wrong people are put in place the sky will begin to fall.

Today I am praying for the major political parties (both of them!). Both of the major presidential candidates. And for people groups who stand on opposite sides of important issues to me. This is my commitment to my nation today. And since it is the Lord's Day, I am going to rest in the Sabbath that Jesus chrsit has offered from His cross and resurrection (see Hebrew 4).

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ride 'em, cowboy!

Samuel is seen here riding an elephant, which he loves, and singing just a little bit. He's mostly just hamming it up for the camera!
video

Mega-churches work?

I have been known to be bit critical of megachurches at times, but this article offers some interesting sociological and theological benefits of the megachurch culture.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/18/AR2008091801703.html?hpid=topnews


"Researchers at the Institute for Studies of Religion, who defined megachurches as those with more than 1,000 worshipers, found that their members were twice as likely to have friends in the congregation than members of small churches. They also displayed a higher level of personal commitment to the church -- attending services and tithing more often than small-church members."

For an opposing opinion, you can read this satire from Professor Doug Groothuis of Denver Seminary: http://theconstructivecurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2008/09/why-not-start-megachurch.html

The Emerging Church's Death - Read Up

It is not surprising that a movement that violently opposed labeling and definition is slowly fading into blogosphere history.

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/outofur/archives/2008/09/rip_emerging_ch.html

Some of the most interesting points in the article:

Dan Kimball's (author of several emergent books): "I can't defend or even explain theologically what is now known broadly as "the emerging church" anymore, because it has developed into so many significantly different theological strands. Some I strongly would disagree with."

The article concludes: "As the emerging church rides off into the sunset, where does that leave things? Well, news has been leaking about a new network being formed by Dan Kimball, Erwin McManus, Scot McKnight, and Bob Roberts among others. I understand further meetings will be happening this week to help solidify the group. The still unnamed network has agreed to start with the inclusive but orthodox theological foundation of the Lausanne Covenant, and they intend to emphasize mission and evangelism. They appear to have learned from the emerging church’s mistake—define purpose and doctrine early so your identity doesn’t get hijacked. If they do their work carefully, perhaps the new network can avoid getting "wacked" in every sense of the word."

Airline financial crisis leads to establishment of new airline:

LUTHERAN AIRLINES

The preferred airline of Ole and Lena.

One of the best advertisements for flying with Lutheran Airlines your next trip.

---WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE LUTHERAN AIRLINES IS NOW OPERATING IN MINNYSOTA! ALSO SERVING VISCONSIN, NORDERN MITCHIGEN, AND NORT AND SOUT DAKOTA.


If you are travelin soon, consider Lutran Air, the no-frills airline. You're all in da same boat on Lutran Air; here flyin is a upliftin experience. Dere is no first class on any Lutran Air flight. Meals are potluck. Rows one tru six, bring rolls; seven tru fifteen, bring a salad; sixteen tru twenty-von, a hot dish, and twenty-two tru tirty, a dessert.

Basses and tenors, please sit in da rear of da aircraft.

Everyone is responsible for his or her own baggage. All fares are by free will offering, and da plane will not land til da budget is met.

Pay attention to your flight attendant, who vill acquaint you wit da safety system aboard dis Lutran Air flight. Okay, den, listen up; I'm only gonna say dis vonce: In da event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, I am frankly gonna be real surprised, and so vill Captain Olson, because ve fly right around two tousand feet, so loss of cabin pressure would probably mean da Second Coming or someting of dat nature, and I wouldn't bodder with dose liddle masks on da rubber tubes--you're gonna have bigger tings to worry about den dat. Just stuff doze back up in dair liddle holes. Probably da masks fell out because of turbulence, which, to be honest wit you, we're gonna have quite a bit at two tousand feet..sorta like driving across a plowed field, but after a while you get used to it.

In da event of a water landing, I'd say forget it. Start saying da Lord's Prayer and just hope you get to da part about “forgive us our sins as we fo rgive dose who sin against us,” which some people say “trespass against us,” which isn't right, but what can you do?

Da use of cell phones on da plane is strictly forbidden, not because dey may confuse da plane's navigation system, which is by da pants all da way. No, it's because cell phones are a pain in da wazoo, and if God had meant you to use a cell phone, He wudda put your mout on da side of your head.

We start lunch right about noon and it's buffet style wit da coffeepot up front. Den we'll have da hymn sing; hymnals are in da seat pockets in front of you. Don't take yours wit you when you go or I am gonna be real upset, and I am not kiddin!

Right now I'll say Grace:

Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest,
and let deze gifts to us be blessed.
Fader, Son, and Holy Ghost,
may we land in Dulut or pretty close.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Intriguing piece on the role of faith and politics in America today . . .

"There are those who call us "Christianists" and claim we are attempting to "impose a theocracy" because name-calling and scaremongering are easier than engaging us in debate. But there are also those who makes such claims out of honest ignorance. For example, many of the people who use the term "theocracy" are probably unaware that the largest Protestant denomination in America, Southern Baptists, cannot even tolerate a centralized church government much less a central government controlled by the church. Thinking that a nation full of Southern Baptists wants to establish a theocratic regime is about as absurd as believing anarchists want to create a centralized government. Keep in mind, though, that we live in a country where 34 percent of the population believes in UFOs and ghosts; we shouldn't be surprised to find that Americans will believe just about anything."

Joe Carter in "An Open Letter to the Religious Right"
http://culture11.com/node/32162?page_view=1

If you're happy and you know it....

Nuff said.
video

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Trip to the ocean

Here's Samuel's first dip in the ocean while we were visiting family in Norfolk, VA. Cousin Stacy and her kids Ethan and Addy make appearances in the video. Also along on the day trip were Aunt Paula and 2 friends of the family. We loved it!!
video

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A call to thoughtful democracy

Please go and watch the speeches of both candidates and then check the facts. I was able to take in the same amount of speeches from the both the GOP and the DNC. I was recommitted to my selection of president. Are you voting through research and information? Or are you voting for something else? We need a president with a moral compass. We need a president with global abilities. We need a president with leadership and governance acumen.

Whoever you might vote for, I think Rudy Giuliani offered some sage wisdom, "Change is not a destination, and hope is not a strategy." Voting is about something more than gut feelings! Read the Scriptures, pray for the country, pray for your own vote, compare party platforms and the agendas of each candidate and then go vote for the candidate you believe best aligns with the principles of the kingdom of God.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The latest stats...



Samuel went for his 12 month check-up today and here are the latest numbers: 30 1/2 inches in height (74th %ile), 20 lbs. 14 oz. (24th %ile), and his head is 18 1/4 inches around (50th %ile). The doc says he's doing well with his 7 teeth and his walking, and that he is growing as is to be expected. Here are some of mommy's favorite pictures of Samuel's birthday party. In the first, Samuel has finally gotten the hang of eating his cupcake. In the second, you see Samuel with 2 of his little friends, Kate and Emily.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Samuel's First Birthday










Today Samuel celebrated his first birthday. This morning at our church (Ambassador Church), we had a service where we dedicated Sameul to the Lord Jesus Christ. Then this afternoon we had a little party. One of my seminary friends, Luke Gleaves, celebrated his 24th birthday on August 10th as well. Samuel and Luke had a combined party and we had a number of fun guests. Samuel got to take a train ride, visit a petting zoo, and do a little walk through a creek.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

How To Install A Home Security System In The South

1. Go to a second-hand store and buy a pair of men's used size 14-16 work boots.
2. Place them on your front porch, along with a copy of Guns and Ammo Magazine.With Windows Live for mobile, your contacts travel with you.
3. Put a few giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.
4. Leave a note on your door that reads: "Hey Bubba, Me, Big Jim, Duke and Slim went for more ammunition. Back in an hour. Don't mess with the pit bulls - they attacked the mailman this morning and messed him up real bad. I don't think Killer took part in it but it was hard to tell from all the blood. Anyway, I locked all four of 'em in the house.Better wait outside.'Cooter'"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The new Proctor pad

Hello, family and friends! Greetings to you from our new home on the Denver Seminary campus. We like our new place quite a bit so we wanted to share it with you! For this adventure, Samuel will be your tour guide. Notice the teeth, the walking, and even getting up from sitting on the ground without having to pull up on anything. This is a bit long, but we hope you enjoy it anyway!
video

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Good read up on government, poverty, and welfare

Most interesting point made in the article by far: "By comparison, Browning has noted elsewhere that the first five years of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars cost $473 billion, less than half what the war on poverty spent in one year."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,387262,00.html

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Good write up on the E.F.C.A.

My denomination, the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA), is getting good press from Christianity Today.

Feel free to read up: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/julyweb-only/129-11.0.html?start=1

My favorite line was this: "EFCA leaders often cite as their unofficial motto, "In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, charity. In all things, Jesus Christ." If that's the case, they must see substitutionary Atonement and justification by faith alone as gospel essentials."

I say AMEN to that last line!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Home Sweet Home


This morning (Sunday July 13, 2008) a building collapsed in my hometown of Indianola, IA. The address was 112 W. Ashland Ave, but here's the scary tidbit. My wife and I lived next door at 110 1/2 West Ashland for 3 months right after getting married. If you look at the picture, it's the 2nd story windows you see in the adjacent building to the right!! My dad's financial planning business is on the ground floor and he's not allowed to enter the building (or the new tenants who live above) for fear of heavy rains causing a chain reaction of buildings falling down.

You can read about it via a local news station: http://www.kcci.com/news/16868526/detail.html

It talks about my dad in the section I have italicized. It's so cool to have such celebrities in the family.

"Moore and other people who live and work in that adjoining building are not being allowed back until a structural engineer can examine it."

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Major Discovery

Maybe you have already read about this fascinating archaeological discovery: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,378523,00.html

Basically, archaelogists have determined the authenticity of an ancient relic. The discovered relic is a first century B.C. (100 years before the time of jesus Christ) stone with writing upon it. The writing is in Hebrew and has now been called the "Revelation of Gabriel." In it, the writer describes the death of a Messiah and his resurrection 3 days later.

Let me tell you just how this discovery will be interpreted:

1. If you are an atheist or liberal scholar who does not like Christianity: First you will argue that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is furthered explained away with even more certainty as a fabricated tale. His resurrection was simply extrapolated by a number of myths and expectations that were apparent in all f0rms of Jewish thought. The disciples had to think of something to explain Jesus' martyrdom and sacrifice and some guy said, "Hey, I read something somewhere, about an angel Gabriel or what not, that said the Messiah could resurrect from the grave 3 days after dying. Let's quit hiding and fleeing for our lives, and go out and proclaim that Jesus is back from the dead. Who cares that the Jews will hate us, and the Romans will probably kill us if we declare there is a King other than Caesar? But it's a really cute story and we should tell everyone about it."

2. If you are a good student of history and religion: You will recognize that the connection between Jewish beliefs before and around the time of Christ line up perfectly with the Gospel accounts of Jesus and His life, death, and resurrection. It will show that an understanding of the Old Testament prophecies pointing to a killed and resurrected Messiah was already dawning before it came to be in the person of Jesus Christ.

Which story do you think the Associated Press and the like will run with?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Zimbabwe Update - A Call to Pray

Here are the words of President George Bush in light of recent Zimbabwean events: "I care deeply about the people of Zimbabwe, I am extremely disappointed in the elections which I labelled a sham election."

A reminder of the past 4 months of events:

March 29: Zimbabweans vote peacefully in presidential, parliamentary and local council elections.

April 2: Opposition Movement for Democratic Change says its own tallies show Tsvangirai won presidential elections outright with 50.3 percent of vote.

April 4: Ruling ZANU-PF party says there will be a runoff and endorses President Robert Mugabe as its candidate. Opposition goes to court to try to force release of all election results; court rejects demand.

May 2: Electoral Commission releases presidential results, saying Tsvangirai won most votes, but not enough to avoid runoff with Mugabe, the second-place finisher.

May 10: Tsvangirai, who left Zimbabwe after the election, announces in South Africa that he will participate in presidential runoff.

May 13: United Nations warns that postelection violence is nearing crisis levels, with several people killed, hundreds hospitalized and many more displaced by violence.

May 16: Electoral Commission sets runoff date as June 27, after moving the deadline to 90 days after official election results are released -- beyond the legally required 21 days.

May 17: Tsvangirai postpones return to Zimbabwe after his party said he learned about a planned assassination attempt.

May 24: Tsvangirai returns to Zimbabwe.

May 27: Tsvangirai says politically motivated violence has killed 50 of his supporters since the election.

June 3: Government orders international aid groups to suspend operations, after accusing them of campaigning for the opposition.

June 4: Tsvangirai detained for nine hours north of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city.

June 5: A mob believed loyal to Mugabe assaults a convoy of U.S. and British diplomats, beating a local staffer. The government orders aid groups to halt operations indefinitely.

June 6: Tsvangirai detained briefly while campaigning near Bulawayo.

June 12: Zimbabwe's No. 2 opposition official, MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti, arrested at Harare airport upon returning from South Africa. Tsvangirai detained by police twice briefly while campaigning in the south.

June 19: Biti formally charged with treason, which can carry the death penalty.

June 20: Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights says it has recorded 85 deaths in political violence since the first round of voting.

June 22: Tsvangirai announces he is pulling out of the runoff, after thousands of ruling party militants blockade the site of the opposition's main election rally.


And the most recent affairs:

Violence rages up till June 27th election! Troops forced Zim civilians to vote for Mugabe and Mugabe wins by a landslide. That is what Bush has called sham election.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Postmodernism One Big Fat Hairy MYTH

"The idea that we live in a postmodern culture is a myth. In fact, a postmodern culture is an impossibility; it would be utterly unlivable. People are not relativistic when it comes to matters of science, engineering, and technology; rather, they are relativistic and pluralistic in matters of religion and ethics. But, of course, that's not postmodernism; that's modernism! That's just old-line verificationism, which held that anything you can't prove with your five senses is a matter of personal taste. We live in a culture that remains deeply modernist."
- Philosopher William Lane Craig

Read the whole Christianity Today article, "God is Not Dead Yet," by clicking HERE.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Confessing Anglicans Respond

For the past week (June 21-29, 2008) over 1,000 Anglican leaders converged in Jerusalem to discuss the future of the Anglican Church (A.K.A. The Church of England and the American Episcopal Church). The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) met to dicuss the state of the existing international church, in particular the unbiblical behavior and expressed beliefs of many Anglican churches (particularly in the U.S.A. and Canada).

A summation of their meeting is a 4 page document that deserves reading (courtesy of the BBC): http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/29_06_08_anglican_statement.pdf

I love their willingness to stand on the Scriptures, their clear teaching on what Biblical marriage is, and also on the "false gospels" that are being preached in the name of Christianity. I also appreciate their humility in confessing the sins of people who embrace heterosexual marriage, but fail to honor it as we should.


Here are a few of the statements in their Jerusalem Declaration that I believe every Christian should also be willing to confess:

"We joyfully embrace his command to proclaim the reality of his kingdom which he first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all. In light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world . . . "

1. We rejoice in the gospel of God through which we have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because God first loved us, we love him and as believers bring forth fruits of love, ongoing repentance, lively hope and thanksgiving to God in all things.

2. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading.

3. We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

5. We gladly proclaim and submit to the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity’s only Saviour from sin, judgement and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve. By his atoning death and glorious resurrection, he secured the redemption of all who come to him in repentance and faith.

8. We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.

9. We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptise, teach and bring new believers to maturity.

10. We are mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation, to uphold and advocate justice in society, and to seek relief and empowerment of the poor and needy.

12. We celebrate the God-given diversity among us which enriches our global fellowship, and we
acknowledge freedom in secondary matters. We pledge to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.

13. We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.

14. We rejoice at the prospect of Jesus’ coming again in glory, and while we await this final event of history, we praise him for the way he builds up his church through his Spirit by miraculously changing lives.

It has begun

Genetic engineering used to send shivers up the spines all around the world (does anyone else remember Hitler's attempt at Aryan supremancy??).

But now, it becomes commonplace news (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,373441,00.html).

A woman in the U.K. had 11 eggs fertilized to make human babies. Then six were killed and rejected because they carried a "potential" gene that might have led to breast cancer later in life. Not only was in-vitro fertilization used to ward off this "dangerous gene", but in-vitro was not even necessary because the couple had shown no complications to impede natural conception.

Some people marvel that in-vitro fertilization allows for parents to pick the gender and greater ensure the healthiness of their child. But do we ever pause and think of the millions of lives that are not given a chance at breath because they carry "potentially" harmful deficiencies. I have the joy of knowing children with physical and mental handicaps. I know many men and women who have struggled through cancer and other vicious diseases. But all of them deserved a chance at life, and so do these babies who are being denied their inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Not to mention that many of the "rejected embryos" are then subject to scientific testing, as if these human lives are lab rats.

Please take a moment and silently think of the life that is being denied because of the "progress" of human scientific evolution.

Friday, June 27, 2008

E.F.C.A. Statement of Faith Revision Passes




For the first time in 58 years after the creation of the Evangelical Free Church of America, the denomination voted to revise its statement of faith. Unlike so many revisions across the history of U.S. churches, this revision has NOT moved in any direction toward theological liberalism. In fact, the E.F.C.A. further clarifies its strong belief in the inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures. It takes a firm stand on the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ and His premillennial return.. It raises a banner on the importance of the biblical commands to feed the hungry and care for the disenfranchised! It expresses belief in the supernatural forces that wage war against believers and the world around us and our need to combat these forces through the Holy Spirit's power. It also challenges every believer and church to be active in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Though I was unable to attend the national convention, I commend the people who put forward this statement (now nearly five years ago) and those who voted in favor of it on June 26, 2008! I pray this statement guides our young denomination for another 50 years as well as the original statement of faith. I am honored to be ordained into such a Christ-honoring fellowship.

To read the document check out the E.F.C.A. website: http://efca.org/about/doctrine/

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Watch out world...

...here he comes!! We apologize for the background noise at the swimming pool, but had to share this video because he just loved being in the water so much. As for the other video - hope you all enjoy it half as much as we did!!
video

Thursday, June 19, 2008

2 Quotes that Require Thought:

"I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it." --Voltaire

"Democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." --Winston Churchill

He'll be walking soon!!

Samuel is chatting away, standing for a few seconds, and has even taken a couple of steps on his own (until he realizes he's not holding onto anything!). Hardcore babyproofing, here we come! He is also teething like crazy. His gums look like they're ready to burst, so we sure hope some teeth come through soon.
video

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Words are not enough . . .

My home state of Iowa is in shambles due to an unprecedented amoung of rain. My wife's home town of Cedar Rapids has nearly 1 billion dollars in damage. Luckily her family's home is safe. But her dad's corporate downtown office is flooded, approximately 6 feet of water in his office (nearly 3 blocks from the river).

Praise the Lord this catastrophe has only caused the loss of one life across the area. Pray for continued protection for those suffering. Pray for the broken hearts that are being experienced by many as their homes, memories and lives have been ransacked by the flooding.

If you are interested in pictures or articles, the Des Moines Register (dmregister.com) has more than most can handle.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Giggles

Here is some footage of Samuel's giggly personality as of the last few weeks. Also, a little story to give you a glimpse into our world. Yesterday afternoon, the 3 of us went to a nearby park to swing. As Samuel was happily swinging, Mommy and Daddy were sitting by watching. Samuel laid his head down on the side of the swing and had a far-off look in his eyes. Mommy said to Daddy, "What do you suppose he's thinking about?" Daddy said, "I don't know." Then Mommy and Daddy proceeded to watching the pee trickle down his leg, drip off his toes, and fall to the wood chips below. We had our answer.
video

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Daily life with Samuel

Here are just a few clips of eating, playing and talking with our little guy. Right now he is teething, so he's not quite as light-hearted and giggly as usual. But he is still learning and exploring, which is very fun to watch. He can carry on a "conversation" with the best of them and he's got lots of energy (takes after his daddy)!!
video

Monday, June 02, 2008

Can we believe in God? Is Christianity intelligible?

Those who read this blog know that I am a convinced believer in Jesus Christ, but there are some of you who still have lingering doubts. First, I'd like to say that there is always a bit of doubt mixed with authentic faith in Jesus Christ, but secondly, I want to offer two recent articles that have been written by one of my professors at Denver Seminary. Dr. Doug Groothuis addresses two big issues that you might like some wisdom on yourself.

Click either one or both of these articles and enjoy these short explanations that help to clear up some confusion and false ideas that have been promoted lately in books and the mainstream press.

Article 1: Talks about why arguments again believing in God lack credibility.

Article 2: Talks about why we can trust the truth and historical accuracy of the Bible.

Fundamentalists are Okay for Piper

John Piper has written up 20 reasons he refuses to take potshots at Christians who identify themselves as conservative fundamentalists (click here to read them all).

Here are my favorites:

1. They are humble and respectful and courteous and even funny (the ones I've met).

4. They believe that the Bible is true, all of it.

8. They believe in hell and are loving enough to warn people about it.

12. They resist trendiness.

15. They still sing hymns.

16. They are not breathless about being accepted in the scholarly guild. (my favorite)

20. Everybody to my left thinks I am one. And there are a lot of people to my left. (I too have this going on)

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pray for Zim

In a recent BBC article, it was noted that one of
the top generals of the Zimbabwean army has
mandated that all soldiers must either vote for
the incumbent president Robert Mugabe in the
upcoming run-off election or they should
immediately give up their uniform and leave the
army.

Mugabe has been a totalitarian dictator of this
nation for almost 30 years. In the general
election on March 29, 2008, Mugabe lost the
election. But the opposition candidate, according
to the election commission, did not receive the
required 50% plus one votes to seal the election
(though the opposition claims they won the
election outright). Now in one month the two
candidates who received the most votes in the
general election (Mugabe and Tsvangarai) will
run-off on June 27th.

Since the initial election, Mugabe has threatened
those who oppose his re-election, has physically
abused many, and several have been killed. The
already spiraling economy has plummeted even
further.

O Lord, save these people. Show mercy to those in
need. Help people to vote for wise leaders
despite the risk that is involved in such a
decision. Protect them Lord, in Jesus name!


Friday, May 30, 2008

Toddling away!

Samuel is like a new kid since we returned from our trip to IA. He is crawling, pulling himself up, cruising around on furniture, and walking with only one hand of assistance. He also hams it up for the camera some...check it out! video

Good quotes to ponder from the great President Ronald Reagon

'Here's my strategy on the Cold War:
We win, they lose.'- Ronald Reagan

"The most terrifying words in the English
language are: I'm from the government
and I'm here to help." - Ronald Reagan

'The trouble with our liberal friends is
not that they're ignorant; it's just that
they know so much that isn't so.' - Ronald Reagan

'Of the four wars in my lifetime, none
came about because the U.S. was too strong.'
- Ronald Reagan

'I have wondered at times about what
the Ten Commandments would have
looked like if Moses had run them
through the U.S. Congress.' - Ronald Reagan

'The taxpayer: That's someone who
works for the federal government
but doesn't have to take the civil
service examination.'
- Ronald Reagan

'Government is like a baby: An alimentary
canal with a big appetite at one end and
no sense of responsibility at the other.'
- Ronald Reagan

'The nearest thing to eternal life we will
ever see on this earth is a government
program.' - Ronald Reagan

'It has been said that politics is the
second oldest profession. I have learned
that it bears a striking resemblance
to the first.' - Ronald Reagan

'Government's view of the economy
could be summed up in a few short
phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps
moving, regulate it. And if it stops
moving, subsidize it.' - Ronald Reagan

'Politics is not a bad profession. If you
succeed, there are many rewards; if
you disgrace yourself, you can always
write a book.' - Ronald Reagan

'No arsenal, or no weapon in the
arsenals of the world, is as formidable
as the will and moral courage of free
men and women.'- Ronald Reagan

'If we ever forget that we're one nation
under God, then we will be a nation gone under.'

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A call for preachers to know the Word!

"No second hand knowledge (e.g. commentaries) of the revelation of God for the salvation of a ruined world can suffice the needs of a ministry whose function it is to convey this revelation to men, commend it to their acceptance and apply it in detail to their needs--to all their needs, from the moment they are called into participation with in the grace of God, until the moment when they stand perfect in God's sight, built up by the Spirit into new men . . . Nothing will suffice for it but to know; to know the book; to know it at first hand; and to know it through and through. and what is required first of all for training such a ministry is that the book be given in its very words [Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek] as it has come from God's hand and in the fullness of meaning, as that meaning has been ascertained by the labors of generations of men of God who have brought to bear upon all the resources of sanctified scholarship and consecrated thought."

This from the great Dr. B.B. Warfield (19th Century Professor of Princeton Seminary). My Hebrew textbook thought this would be encouraging; and it was!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

a few more days of vacation

Last Wednesday my wife and I headed back to our home state of IA. WE have visited both of Carrie's parents. We also spent our first night together away from Samuel to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. Today we head over to the central part of the state to visit my family. It's been refreshing.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Einstein found the Bible "childish"

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,355323,00.html

Fox News reports on a recently discovered letter written by Einstein in the latter part of his life. He believed Biblical Judaism or Christianity smelled of childish superstitions. I thought it was interesting that he remarked that the only "chosenness" of the Jewish people was seen in this: "They are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them." Einstein saw that power was a great evil. I had never thought of the chosen people in this light. He may be onto something. Maybe the experience of the Jewish people in the Old Testament and throughout history reflects the testimony of the apostle Paul that God's grace is manifested in human weakness. Though in our flesh we want power, maybe the testimony of God's greatness is made more evident in using and loving humbled humans. That doesn't seem like a childish idea to me, Albert.

Monday, May 12, 2008

He finally did it!!

On the day of his 9 month check-up, Samuel finally decided it was time to crawl! Here we have it captured on video...though the end is a little anti-climactic. (Don't worry, no Samuels were seriously harmed in the making of this video.) We hope you all enjoy it despite the mishap with the table. video

It shall all end soon

Well, I just took my last final of the spring semester of my first year at Denver Seminary. All I have left now is preach one last sermon in my Homiletics (a fancy word for "preaching") class. Then I get a wopping two weeks off and then I will be taking 2 Biblical Hebrew Classes throughout the summer.

Here's some things I want to make clear about seminary that I have learned thus far:

1. Seminary is not a "cemetery." This joke goes back a long time and it suggests that seminary is a dead place where no life happens. The thousands of pages of reading, tests, new languages, and variety of theological opinions make seminary a confusing place, but if someone is spiritually dead because of seminary, then the problem lies elsewhere than in their classes and studies. Sadly, many seminary students disengage in ministry or become spectators and critics of their churches. Rather than finding their own Christian community and ministry opportunities, they place a false expectation on their professors to feed them spiritual food. Who goes to law school thinking it's going to be like time with the guidance counselor in kindergarten? Who goes to med school thinking their teachers are going to hold their hand and make smiley faces on their medical dissertations? You have to find your life outside of your seminary studies.

2. Seminary is a cemetery. Most people come to seminary soon after college. They have just been a part of biblical sound and vibrant ministries. They may have come to know the Lord in college, attended their first mission trip, and many people make some serious faith-solidifying decisions. Seminary is a cemetery in this: we must let our opinions die. We may hold convictions up the wazoo, but seminary will either humble us or harden us. We will embrace our beliefs with a humble orthodoxy. Or we will be come hardened in our beliefs, unwilling to see other biblical interpretations and practices do hold at least some merit.

3. Seminary is not a waste. Too many churches have given up on theological education. They think that it does not connect to real life and ministry. They think it puts pastors' heads in the clouds rather than in the lives of their people. Well, I just spent 5 years in full-time ministry before coming to seminary (which I recommend to many before coming to seminary, BTW). I wish I would have had the biblical insight and depth that seminary offers. I wish I could have heard about the highs and lows of church history in order that I might not repeat endeavors already attempted and failed throughout history. I wish my teaching had the humility that recognizes I am just one seeker in the history of a great movement. My thoughts are carried on the backs and lives of many who have gone before me. I am not a spiritual giant, but one beggar who has been handed some bread by those who have gone before me. That is what seminary offers and that is not a waste.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Late Night Thoughts from the "bachelor"

A long time ago I realized that only about 3 people read this blog, but for some reason that does not keep me from posting away. But I realized one thing. Something that is a very good thing for ALL of my loyal readers. I realized this in light of my wife and son being off in Michigan this weekend. I am home alone attempting to study (I watched the movie "3:10 to Yuma" tonight in lieu of an entire night of the books). Well, this is what I recognized . . . (drum roll) . . . (yet more pausing for the sake of audience tension/frustration) . . . I would blog a lot more if I was a true bachelor. There's something powerful about the silence of one's own thoughts that moves them to be more expressive. Just sitting here in my living room alone creates all kinds of deep thoughts. Now a lot of "deep thoughts" can be just more reasons to keep from studying. Also, there's something relationally satisfying to know that even though I am alone right now typing by myself in an empty room, someone will read this (someONE will read this) later. As humans, we were created for community. We long to be connected to other beings. We long to share our hopes and dreams. It's sad to think that many people do all of their sharing via the world wide web. Luckily for me, I share my life most days with a woman that I love deeply and a son I adore. I don't need this fairy-tale imaginative dreamworld of the web. I still see the internet, blogs, social networks and the like as beneficial in some regard, but deep down these moments of stillness, remind me that I have been created to know and share my life with human beings. The deepest relationship available is with my Lord, but I think it is paramount that the Lord established local churches for humans to share their lives and dreams with. I am already longing for the joy of Sunday morning fellowship and worship, and I desperately long for eternity when all my loneliness and soulsearching finds its end in eternal fellowship with Christ Jesus and His family.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

An Evangelical Manifesto

Today, an important document was put on display for all the world to see. It is written and signed by a number of leading Christian evangelical pastors, thinkers, and leaders. I believe that it represents an important contribution to the way evangelicals should live, believe, and interact with the world in which we live.

I encourage you to read the 20 page document, and if you feel so inclined, you might choose to sign this document as a commitment to the ethics described in the document.

Links:

Read the document: http://www.anevangelicalmanifesto.com/docs/Evangelical_Manifesto.pdf

Sign the document: http://www.anevangelicalmanifesto.com/sign.php

Official website: http://www.anevangelicalmanifesto.com/index.php

EvangelicalManifesto.com

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Samuel in April

This video montage, if we may call it that, includes everything from bath time to "walking" with our little man. He still isn't crawling - can't seem to figure out to move the arms. But he absolutely loves to walk (assisted, of course) and tries to pull up on various pieces of furniture. This is such an exciting time to explore and learn new things! video