Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Neil Postman on the "God of Technology" - 1995

Why Neil Postman thinks it is not too far off to label Technology a GOD in the culture we live in: “. . . in the sense that people believe technology works, that they rely on it, that it makes promises, that they are bereft when denied access to it, that they are delighted when they are in its presence, that for most people it works in mysterious ways, that they condemn people who speak against it, that they stand in awe of it, and that in the born-again ode, they will alter their lifestyles, their schedules, their habits, and their relationships to accommodate it.”

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy birthday, Uncle James!

I'm pretty sure Samuel thinks that Uncle James lives in the video camera, after filming this little clip. Love you, little bro, and hope you had a great day!!

Dr. (Caleb) Proctor, in the house!!

Caleb likes the doctor kit his big brother got from Auntie Carmen for Christmas. There's nothing quite like a blood pressure cuff to bring on the smiles! :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Easter Eggtravaganza - Littleton, CO April 3, 2010

Join us on Saturday April 3rd at 9:30am for the Easter Eggstravaganza at Shaffer Elementary (Kipling & Chatfield) in Littleton. The best Easter Egg Hunt in Denver!

9:30: Free Chick-fil-A Breakfast for first 200 to show up; Other breakfast food provided for other attendees!

10:00: Free Easter Egg Hunt (Bring Your Own Basket)

*Free Pictures with the Easter Bunny

*Great Prizes including Free Sundaes & Ice-Cream from Sonic & Dairy Queen, Kids Meals at Texas Roadhouse; Enstrom's Candies, and much, much more!


Shaffer Elementary
7961 Sangre De Cristo Road
Littleton, CO 80127-3901

Hosted by: - Ambassador Church

Best Quote from Spring Break Reading: Jack Deere

"Wherever the Word is preached or taught in power, it is because the Lord Jesus Christ is there speaking through a human voice and supernaturally revealing himself."

-Jack Deere

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Let not sin overwhelm you . . .

Matt Burden, a Denver Seminary graduate and pastor in Maine, posted some intriguing thoughts today on combating sin in our lives:

My favorite paragraph:

The best answer I've found--from Scripture, from the early church fathers, and from the great traditions of Christian mysticism--is that our motivation can also be founded on a vision of what we could be. More than that, on a vision of what we will be--even here on this earth, in our lifetimes--if only we let God do his work in our hearts. In short, we need to fight sin with a vision of beauty--the beauty of humanity redeemed. It is that beauty of character and divine union that is at stake when we sin. And it must begin with a proper understanding of the atonement--that Jesus came not only to forgive sins, but also to bring holistic healing to the human soul. He came to undo the disease of sin, not just absolve us from the guilt of its symptoms. The redemption wrought through the Cross and the empty tomb has in mind not just a few souls rescued from hell, but an entirely renewed humanity, here and now. We are called to become, through Christ, what we were always meant to be. What might our lives look like if they were rich in holiness and loving union with God? If we get a sense of that potential life--the beauty of it--then we'll know what the stakes are when we sin. We're forfeiting our progress toward a life of tremendous peace and radiance, a life that is our inheritance in Christ.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Long time in coming...

Here is the latest video footage of the boys. Samuel is into singing and counting, as you will see. He sometimes skips "two" and gets stuck on "fourteen", but don't hold that against him! He is very creative and getting to be quite the ham for the camera. Caleb is into peek-a-boo and reaching for anything his big brother in holding. He also loves rolling to get where he wants to go...and he is very resourceful sometimes! Enjoy!

Potty training! (Part two)

Shown here are Samuel's barn theme potty chart (now covered in stickers 2 1/2 weeks later!); the toy bowl for use in distracting the little man to keep him on the potty; sheets on the back of the bathroom door which he colored with each potty success; farm themed bathroom reading (like father, like son); and, of course, the bathroom door decorated to look like a barn door.

As for how it all went, here are my major reflections.

1. Samuel is doing great at this. He peed 4 times in the first day - in the potty! Had a few accidents, too, but that's to be expected. In the days that followed, I expected - mostly because of the book's promises - that there would be very few accidents. Not the case. It really took about a full week for him to consistently hold it until we asked him if he needed to go, or initiate going. At the one week mark, we were down to about an accident every 2nd or 3rd day. That has continued. It took about a week, also, for him to be dry during naps. Now he has been doing naps in his underwear for about a week, accident free! We think he is dry in the mornings about 50% of the time, so he'll stay in a pull-up at night for a while longer.

2. My expectations were too high. The book essentially promised that if you did everything according to her instructions, your kid would be potty trained in that one day. Well, he still doesn't always initiate going - we have to ask him about the time we think he needs to go. And I think that's OK, as long as we don't have to have constant costume changes!

3. Potty training is good for parental character development. It took me to the end of my own patience and forced me to ask the LORD for help. That's a good place to be, if you ask me. Psalm 103 has been my mommy passage over the last few weeks. I am learning to look at my kid the way God looks at me - He sees the reality that I am just dust, I mean, come on, He made me. And yet He has great compassion for me and patience toward me - which is really fabulous news when I consider the depths of my own sin. So that has helped me to look at Samuel as a two year old who can't even put on his own shirt - helpless in so many ways - and learning a totally new developmental skill. When I view it this way, I realize that he needs me to be compassionate and patient with him just as the LORD is with me. Plus, I find that Psalm 103 gives me eternal perspective and helps me dwell not on this passing phase and frustrations associated with it, but on the character of my Father in heaven, whose benefits are literally life-saving and life-giving for the heart.

Potty training! (Part one)

Potty training in the Proctor household - it's a party! I read "Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day" by Teri Crane. She advises having a theme party for the "day" of potty training. So here are some pics from our potty party. Our theme was "On the Farm". Potty training movies from the library; the wagon (inside!!) full of coloring stuff, books, and crafts; my homemade "tractor"; and various other farm puzzles and toys made up the "barnyard". Also pictured here is the all-important treat tray. More in the next post...

Arminians and Calvinists - Who's Right?

A fellow Evangelical Free Church pastor, Jack Brooks, is trying to say there may be a different way to understand the cross and salvation . . .

Click here:

I appreciate this paragraph:

Nothing in the Scripture teaches that God imputes Christ's righteousness to you in increments. Remission of your sin is a one-and-done deal. In fact, that's what I caught about a praise song we sang at church yesterday "I'll never know how much it cost / to see my sin about that cross". It is Scriptural for the word "sin" to be stated in the singular. My sin, in the aggregate, was laid on Christ. If I am faithless at some time in the future, He remains faithful. Even if I deny Him, as Simon Peter did, He cannot deny himself.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Signals of Transcendence - Peter Berger 1969

A Rumor of Angels: Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the Supernatural
In 1969, Peter Berger published a book entitled, Rumors of Angels (a recommended read from my philosophy professor, Doug Groothuis, at Denver Seminary). In the third chapter, he presents five inductive arguments for God's existence. He labels these signals of transcendence:

1. An argument from humanity's propensity to establish order (cf. Gen 1:26-28). The human desire to have order reflect an intimate connection to an Order-er in the Universe. If there is no transcendent Order-er outside this world, Berger writes, “the nightmare of chaos, not the transitory safety of order, would be the final reality of the human situation” (70).
2. An argument from humanity's desire for and manifestation of play (72-75). Even Nietzsche recognized that “All joy wills eternity—wills deep, deep eternity” (73, cf. Ecc. 3:11). Play in the face of an ugly world is our attempt to mock the transient state of depravity via our deep longing for eternal joy.
3. An argument based on an innate move toward hope despite living in a world of despair (75-81). Berger writes, “The profoundest manifestations of hope are to be found in gestures of courage undertaken in defiance of death” (77). Then adds, "In a world where man is surrounded by death on all sides, he continues to be a being who says ‘no!’ to death—and through this ‘no’ is brought to faith in another world, the reality of which would validate his hope as something other than an illusion.”
4. An argument from damnation (81-86). Berger explains, "This refers to experiences in which our sense of what is humanly permissible is so fundamentally outraged that the only adequate response to the offense as well as to the offender seems to be a curse of supernatural dimensions" (81). Sometimes human justice is insufficient for certain crimes. Our embedded sense of morality requires an arbiter whose ability to pronounce judgment allows for sentences beyond the grave. For instance, could there have been an earthly punishment sufficient for the heinous activity of the WWII Nazis? “There are certain deeds that cry out to heaven . . . “these deeds are not only evil, but monstrously evil” (82). “Just as certain gestures can be interpreted as anticipations of redemption, so other gestures can be viewed as anticipations of hell” (84).
5. An argument from humor (86ff) – “By laughing at the imprisonment of the human spirit, humor implies that this imprisonment is not final but will be overcome, and by this implication provides yet another signal of transcendence—in this instance in the form of an intimation of redemption” (88).
I find these compelling; do you?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Denver Seminary Chapel Message - Numbers 20:1-13

The sermon I preached on March 9 in the Denver Seminary Chapel from Numbers 20:1-13, "Honoring God in a Success-Driven World," is now available for download.

Either click HERE for the mp3 or you can go to THIS SITE for live streaming.

I want to acknowledge that a sermon by Dr. Bryan Chapell of Covenant Seminary and the book Liberating Your Ministry from the Success-Syndrome by R. Kent Hughes were two inspiring messages that led to the formation of this sermon. Dr. Chapell's sermon can be downloaded in 3 parts (Part 1; Part 2; Part 3).

For the preachers out there, I am making my manuscript available. Click HERE to download.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Happy birthday, Aunt Jessica!!

Complete with singing and gross mispronunciations!! Happy 23rd, little sister! We love you!

Monday, March 01, 2010

The boys, on a roll

The Sam-man is now doing a partial version of the ABC's on his own, as shown in this video. He is also counting to 14 (but skipping the "2") and is an all-out ham. He put this (clean!) diaper on his head and ran over to me saying, "Mommy, hat!" Poor guy wasn't feeling well for almost 2 weeks so I captured he and Daddy sleeping on the couch one morning. His big news for the week is that while Mommy was at a baby shower on Saturday, he and Daddy made the transition from crib to "big boy bed." He has successfully slept in it every night and nap since Saturday night. Woohoo! On Thursday of this week, we are hoping to do our potty training day - Potty Party, as we call it. I hope to blog on that later, complete with pictures of our home decorated in a farm theme.

Tomorrow will be Caleb's 7 month birthday. He is as fun as ever, now jabbering more and rolling over, and over and over and over! (I'm convinced his favorite time to roll is smack dab in the middle of a diaper change.) He eats anything we put in front of him, giggles with his brother, and is just an all-around joy. He is almost sitting up on his own. I can let go of him for 60 seconds or so - sometimes longer - before he is distracted by something way out of his reach and he topples over while trying to get it.

Honoring God in a Success-Driven World

Tuesday, March 9th I have the privilege of preaching before the Denver Seminary community and public during the weekly chapel service. I am reflecting on Numbers 20:1-13 and the title of the sermon is "Honoring God in a Success-Driven World."

I would love to see my friends and mentors come and share in this special day. The worship team from my local church, Ambassador Church, will be leading the music.

Time: 11AM-12PM, Tuesday March 9, 2010

Location: Denver Seminary

6399 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, CO, USA 80120