Friday, February 27, 2009

Samuel's wake-up routine

Samuel is all the entertainment we need at the Proctor household. Just getting him up from his nap is fun. Here's a glimpse into our post-nap routine...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Pope vs. the Politician

Nancy Pelosi probably got a bit more than she was expecting when she sat down with the Pope today. Maybe she thought she'd get a nice prayer and paternal blessing. Instead, the Pope told the pro-abortion Speaker of the House very frankly about the atrocities of abortion and euthanasia. That took guts Benedict . . . thank you for standing up for the unborn.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/18/pope.pelosi/index.html

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Purpose in the Midst of Pain

Since moving to Denver, my family has had the privilege of spending time with a mid-40s man who has cerebral palsy. He has had a very rough few months physically and has been back in the hospital the last couple days due to pain and dizziness. He is struggling with doubts about God, depression in regards to life, and lacks the motivation that he needs to press on in life. Personally, I have no grasp of what it means to have purpose in the midst of pain, especially, the kind of pain that is debilitating. I have no profound words of insight for my friend so I will pray (and I'd like your prayers too!).

I'd like you to pray for him on a number of fronts:
1) That he would give his heart to Jesus and invite God to do an inner transformation of his soul (2 Cor. 5:17).
2) That he would find a purpose for his life. Recently, I listened to the testimony of David Ring. Mr. Ring also has cerebral palsy (C.P.) and through the grace of God has lived an exemplary life. I encourage you to go and listen to or download Mr. Ring's story at http://sermon.net/sermoninfo.php?clientid=71&sermonid=66552 I would like my friend to find the kind of passion for life that David Ring possesses!
3) That a renewed heart and purpose from Jesus would lead to the kind of emotional change necessary to combat his ongoing struggles with a physical disability.
4) That if the Lord wills, that he would experience a miraculous healing.

Thanks for coming alongside him at this time.

Monday, February 09, 2009

What difference are you making today?

Quote of the Day:

In light of Jesus words recorded in Matthew 5:13 calling Christians to be the "salt of the earth," Helyer explains, "Salt served as a preservative in a time before refrigeration was invented. Just as salt is essential for preserving food, especially meat products, so disciples are essential for preserving a just and compassionate society. This is accomplished by upholding the moral and ethical values of the kingdom. Without the goldy influence of kingdom citizens, society tends toward moral anarchy. The story of how Christianity transformed Western civilization does not generally recieve the recognition it deserves." (in The Witness of Jesus, Paul, and John, page, 169, 2008)

The Poverty Line

2 weeks ago I received the statement of earnings for my previous year of employment. I was surprised at the number and asked my dear wife what she guessed my earnings were for 2008. Like me, she guessed a number about $5000 more than I actually made. Praise God!

According to national standards, my income fell below the poverty line and with my wife's part-time jobs we just edged over the line. But here's the joyous news:
1) We did not go into debt in 2008. We still remain debt free.
2) We were able to travel to IA twice (once by train, the other by car) and VA once (this time by plane).
3) We used very little savings.
4) As we look back, we never felt like we were in dire straits.
5) We joyfully followed Biblical principles in regards to tithes and offerings.
6) We refuse to accept state and national aid, knowing that others are in greater need than us.

Some reflections:
1. We had no medical or auto emergencies in 2008. If a family was at the poverty line and hit those types of financial and emotionally draining emergencies, I don't think they could handle the hit without assistance from others.
2. I could not afford Denver Seminary without the scholarship I have.
3. I had a job that was willingly to work around my school and family schedules.
4. I had good health insurance from my employer and I only worked 30 hours per week. Not many jobs provide such a benefit. We were blessed to have this.
5. Without the wisdom and education we received up to this point in regards to finances, I do not think we could have been as fiscally responsible.
6. All along, we have a blanket of financial security. Both of our parents could bail us out in the advent of an emergency.
7. Poverty in America (and especially around the world) is a serious issue. We need to give money to help those in need. We need to offer education related to finances. We need to show compassion over against arrogance. Many people struggle with poverty not because they don't work hard enough, but because of reasons out of their control.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Living in a fallen world . . .

When God's people (the Jews) were invaded and forced into exile to a foreign land during the 6th century B.C., God gave them this counsel:

ESV Jeremiah 29:5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

In other words, people of faith are not to let their heads float in the clouds. People of faith don't ignore the places where God has put them to live, simply longing for heaven and hunkering down until Jesus' return of their death. Rather, let us serve well. Let us seek the welfare and improvement of the society around us. There will be many defeats and hard blows, but the rare and small victories are worth it. Let us seek the welfare of our neighborhoods, communities, cities, country, and the world to the glory of God . . . or as Jesus taught us to pray, "Our Father, who art in heaven . . . Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done!"

See a good write up by Charles Colson on what that means for our country today here.

Monday, February 02, 2009

On Anonymous Words

Here are my positions on anonymous letters, blog, comments, emails:

1. Anonymous thoughts will never be commented upon. Also, only on rare occasions, will anonymous posts/comments not be deleted from this blog. If someone has an opinion and signs their name, I will allow others to see them and then personally, I will attempt to answer their questions and concerns. But if someone is unwilling to take ownership for their beliefs, I feel no responsibility to share mine.

2. If I know something is anonymous (especially letters/emails), I will throw it away without reading it. Usually ungoldy and inappropriate words are in such correspondence, and reading such words are neither helpful nor beneficial to my own growth as a person.

3. I am not insulted by divergent viewpoints so please feel free to openly disagree. I will probably learn something from you and on occasion, you will win me to your belief. You should expect me to respond in grace and humility, and I should expect the same.