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