Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas according to John

The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
in readiness for God from day one.

Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn't put it out.

John 1:1-5 (The Message)

Friday, December 24, 2010

A new dentist in his crowing glory

I was scheduled to go to my dentist of 10+ years next week. It has made sense to drive the 20 miles to Thornton 2 times a year because I can go to the dentist, then drive to the Park & Ride and catch a bus to downtown.

Last month, however, Qwest moved our office to an area where it made absolutely no sense to try mass transit. I found, however, that my commute is actually shorter if traffic cooperates.

The new dentist had been advertising this cool thing called a waterlase. It sounded high-tech and cool so I called. They had a check up appointment on Wednesday so I canceled my old dentist. Going to visit was quite the experience.
  • Digital X-Rays.
  • A review of the teeth by the dentist
  • Digital pictures
  • The explanation that I need crowns (I've never had them before) -- some sooner than later.
So, off we go... Yesterday, they prepped the teeth for crowns, sent the molds to the back, they "printed" the crown on a 3-D mill and re-filled a tooth. In the afternoon, I walked out with 3 crowns for the new year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

"Why The Daily Audio Bible" on Video

If you've read through some of my previous posts, you would discover that I am a big fan of the Daily Audio Bible podcast. In fact, I've listened to it for the last (nearly) 4 years.

This year, in order to help present the case for the Daily Audio Bible, it was asked that we (I didn't, however) send in videos of what listening to the podcast has done for us.

You can watch the result on YouTube below:

If you'd like to download it for use elsewhere (just don't change the video), go here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jesus Manifesto revisited...

A few months ago, I mentioned the book "The Jesus Manifesto". This month, WBCL's (Indiana, Ohio, etc) "Mid-Morning" show's Char Binkley talked with Gloria Gather about the book.

You can listen to the discussion below...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Christmas Wrapping

The song "Christmas Wrapping" by The Waitresses has to have one of my favorite bass lines in it. This light display puts the icing on the cake for me.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Puzzling logic

Online, I saw this article -- "Does a New Life Form Mean God Is Dead?" -- with the following paragraphs:
The discovery of what is apparently an entirely new form of life -- a bacteria based on toxic arsenic rather than phosphorus, one of the six building blocks of all life on Earth -- has set the scientific world abuzz, prompting White House inquiries to NASA and threatening to upend longstanding beliefs about biology.

But some say the announcement also signals an end to religious faith, or at least the beginning of the end, because it implies that life can spring forth unexpectedly on Earth or even on other planets, and in unexpected forms -- developments that seem to run counter to literal readings of biblical creation accounts.

"The polite thing to say is that discoveries such as this don't really impeach the credibility of established religion, but in truth of course they really do," David Niose, president of the American Humanist Association (AHA), a leading secularist organization, said of this week's revelations about the microbes discovered in Lake Mono in California.

"The fact that life can spring forth in this way from nature, taken in context with what else we've learned in recent centuries about space and time, surely makes it less plausible that the human animal is the specially favored creation of all-powerful, all-knowing divinity," Niose said.
Oddly enough, reading this, I didn't come to the same conclusion of Mr. Niose. What that does mean, however, is that I have a different view of how God can work in the world.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Scala & Candlewyck played on Coverville

Coverville hit another one out of the park with Episode 719.

Brian started off playing 4 selections from Scala / Kolacny Brothers. Scala is a Belgium girls chorale which has recorded popular songs. The Kolacny Brothers are the conductor and pianist for the group. You can watch "With or Without You" below.

My favorite that for that set was a Phil Collins cover of "Solsbury Hill".

The show was finished out with a cover medley of Kansas' "Point of no return" and Rush's "Spirit of the Radio" performed by Candlewyck. Candlewyck is a bluegrass band (or as one music source put it nuGrass). Since I've liked both Kansas and Rush as well as those song in particular, this was a hit with me.

You can listen to the show on the embedded player from the link above.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Do you walk your dog or does your dog walk you?

10/365: Walking humane society dogs at lunchtime.Dog Walk '06
The photo on the left shows the "proper position" for walking dog. The photo on the left, while not extreme like some I've seen, shows the dog walking the owner.

We take our dogs out for a walk nearly every day (at least week days). Let me chronicle our routine.
  1. Before leaving the house, the dogs must sit in the doorway to the laundry while we get ready and wait to have their leashes attached.
  2. We head out the door. The dog must wait for the owner to go out first. It's a pack behavior that we want to instill (we are the "alpha").
  3. We have rituals that the dogs have learned. One such ritual that we do for their safety is to stop and sit on both sides of the street.
  4. Sometimes we let the "play". When we walk by an area which isn't owned by a neighbor, such as a park or an empty lot, we let the dogs explore to the end of the leash.
  5. After a "play" we call them back to "heel". Keva will slow, sometimes imperceptibly to allow me to catch up with him.
  6. Sometimes we work. One of the most difficult things to teach a dog at first is to "down", that is to lay down on the ground. The reason is that down is a submissive action and also, in the outdoors, a dangerous one. We will sometimes do a "down in motion" where we have the dog do a down while we are walking. While the dog is down, we will continue, sometimes to the end of the leash, sometimes much further. At some point, we either return to the dog or call the dog to us.
  7. Walk time is, of course, one of the times the dog can "do their duty". We clean up after them.
One of the most satisfying times is during those walks where the dog is focused on me. Where he senses what I want him to do. I'll look down and see him looking up at me.

I started this post a couple of days ago and have let it age a bit before completing it.

About a year and a half ago, I posted "What my dog teaches me about God". Looking at the list above, I am still learning. Is God "walking me" or am I attempting to "walk God".

Sunday, November 07, 2010


I may have watched the Orphan/Often scene (below) from the Pirates of Penzance too many times.

Others may say I am a bit pedantic at times (definition 2 here).

I flipped on the TV and heard the contestant on "The Amazing Race" yell to his father...
"Run like you've never run before"
I grinned! Why? I knew he meant to have his father running as quickly as possible but the following picture popped into my head...

The picture of a grown man trying run for the first time.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Election Day -- Yea!!!

It's election day! November 2nd!

Why am I excited? It's the last day of calls throughout the evening that I don't want to hear. It's the last evening of advertisements on television and radio that annoy me. I'll get less junk mail as well!

The bad part of the end of the election process? Each one of those things I mentioned above is a shot in the arm for our economy. As much as I dislike the advertisements, the printers will have less to do, the postal carrier will have less to do, the media will also have less income.

Scott McKnight talked about "The Eschatology of Politics" on his Jesus Creed blog today. He wrote:
This was published at Out of Ur blog; it is now edited for a new day.

Somewhere between 6pm and 8pm, Central Time, on November 2d, 2010, the eschatology of American evangelicals will become clear. If a Republican (or a Tea Party candidate) wins and the evangelical becomes delirious or confident that the Golden Days are about to arrive, that evangelical has an eschatology of politics. Or, alternatively, if Democrat wins and the evangelical becomes delirious or confident that the Golden Days are about to arrive, that evangelical too has an eschatology of politics. Or, we could turn each around, if a more Democrat oriented evangelical becomes depressed and hopeless because a Repub wins, or if a Republican oriented evangelical becomes depressed or hopeless because a Dem wins, those evangelicals are caught in an empire-shaped eschatology of politics.

I can’t imagine 1st Century Roman Christians caught up in some kind of hope whether it would be Nero or Britannicus who would succeed Claudius.

Where is our hope? To be sure, I hope our country solves its international conflicts and I hope we resolve poverty and dissolve our educational problems and racism. But where does my hope turn when I think of war or poverty or education or racism? Does it focus on my political party? Does it gain its energy from thinking that if we get the right candidate elected our problems will be dissolved? If so, I submit that our eschatology has become empire-shaped, Constantinian, and political. And it doesn’t matter to me if it is a right-wing evangelical wringing her fingers in hope that a Republican wins, or a left-wing evangelical wringing her fingers in hope that a Democrat wins. Each has a misguided eschatology.

Now before I take another step, it must be emphasized that I participate in the election; and I think it makes a difference which candidate wins; and I think from my own limited perspective one candidate is better than the other.

But before I take the next step I’ll say this: if our candidates lose won’t make one bit of a difference for our obligation to follow Jesus today. Not one bit.

Participation in our election dare not be seen as the lever that turns the eschatological designs God has for this world. Where is our hope? November 2 may tell us.

What I hope it reveals is that:

Our hope is in God. The great South African missiologist, David Bosch, in his book Transforming Mission impressed upon many of us that the church’s mission is not in fact the church’s mission but God’s mission. Our calling is to participate in the missio Dei, the mission of God in this world. So, at election time we can use the season to re-align our mission with the mission of God. Therein lies our hope.

Our hope is in the gospel of God. God’s mission is gospel-shaped. Some today want to reduce gospel to what we find in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, while others want to expand it to bigger proportions, we would do well at election time to re-align ourselves once again with the gospel as God’s good news for our world. Therein lies our hope.

Our hope is in the gospel of God that creates God’s people. God’s gospel-shaped mission creates a new people of God. In fact, the temptation of good Protestants to skip from Genesis 3 (the Fall) to Romans 3 (salvation) must be resisted consciously.

We need to soak up how God’s gospel-shaped work always and forever creates a gospel people. The first thing God does with Abraham is to form a covenant people, Israel, and Jesus’ favorite word was “kingdom” and Paul was a church-obsessed theologian-missionary. Herein lies the challenge at election time.

We are tempted to divide the USA into the good and the bad and to forget that the gospel has folks on both sides of political lines. Even more: we are tempted to think that the winners of the election are those who are blessed by God when the blessing of God is on God’s people. God’s gospel-powered mission creates a new people, the church, where we are to see God’s mission at work. Therein lies our hope.

Our hope is in the gospel of God that creates a kind of people that extends God’s gospel to the world. Chris Wright’s big book, The Mission of God, reminds us that election is missional: God creates the people of God not so the people of God can compare themselves to those who are not God’s people, but so that God’s people will become a priesthood in this world to mediate the mission of God, so that all hear the good news that God’s grace is the way forward.

Our hope is in God’s mission in this world, and that mission transcends what happens November 2d.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Last week, Greg Boyd tweeted:
I admire the courage of some of our political candidates. Most people avoid public debates even when they know what they're talking about.
I love that quote...

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I've been listening to Jeremiah on the Daily Audio Bible for the last couple of weeks. It has been interesting and, as a result, enjoyable. Here is a summary of what I've discovered.
  • Lots of talk of judgement.
  • God "divorced" Israel because of their unfaithfulness to him (idolatry).
  • Both Israel and Judah are referred to as "prostitutes" because of their actions. I found an interesting parallel to the references to the prostitute mentioned in Revelation.
  • There appear to be lots of parallels with Judah and the Church.
  • The deception by false prophets seem similar to some pastors and their congregations.
  • Jeremiah was given the task of wearing linen underwear, then hiding it to let it rot as an illustration to Israel.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Strange bedfellows

I was listening to Frank Pastore on the Drew Marshall show last week. He was a pitcher in for the Cincinnati Reds and is now a Christian and talk show host.

During the interview, he mentioned that he was on Salem Communications stations. Salem bills itself as "Reaching audiences interested in Christian and family content and conservative values on air and in print". The interview was quite good and is worth listening to.

The thing that perplexed me a little is his comment about Glenn Beck being on Salem with him. I've got nothing against Glenn Beck, even though I have some disagreements with some of the things he says on the air.

I was perplexed because, according to several things that came out during his rally in Washington, Glenn is affiliated to some degree with the Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons). That doesn't make him a bad guy (I have friends who are LDS and would treat me better than a lot of other people I know) but it raises some questions in my mind about Salem Communications decision to sign him.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Conference Call

This is way too close

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Let me throw this out. It is not quite fully thought out so take it with a grain of salt... A big grain.

Our churches and religious leaders prompt us toward "perfection" or "sinlessness". Part of my scripture reading today was from Psalm 27. David was, as we know, far from sinless. He was, however, considered "A man after God's heart".

This verse rang out today...
Psalm 27:4 (TNIV)

One thing I ask from the LORD,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
What if, what God really wants from us is not sinlessness (he has that covered -- literally) but for us to desire him.

We often desire or worry about all sorts of things we think are worthwhile or even "holy". We worry about our theology, our "sin" state, our jobs, our homes, our kids, our church. The list goes on. What if our focus was purely on seeking the Lord.

God forgave David's sin. In fact, only the matter with Uriah was counted against him according to scripture. That being the case, if we are truly seeking the Lord, we might be surprised how little God cares about the sin against us.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Let Him Play

Years ago (don't ask how many), I played in a band where one of the songs we played was "Mama Let Him Play" by Jerry Doucette. It's a song I love to this day.

Doing a YouTube search, you find a lot of different videos of the song, a song that, from what I can tell, not too many outside Canada have heard of...

Here is one of the nicer covers of the song from YouTube... Of course, it is Jerry Doucette playing along.

Of course, you can find someone trying to figure the guitar solo out... This guy does pretty well!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I think I'll pass...

Actually, I didn't pass... I pulled into the parking lot and snapped this photo. It has to be one of the worst cases of business signage combinations that I've seen. Of course that makes it rather funny.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Free Audio

I don't know how old he is but it seems like I grew up hearing A.W. Tozers name, although I am almost sure that isn't quite true.

His book (audio), The Pursuit of God is available free on the store this month (July 2010). In order to download it, you need to (if you haven't already) create an account, then add the book to your shopping cart. At checkout, enter the coupon code they give you which will charge you the wonderful $0.00 amount!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Transactional Salvation

Some time back, Michael Spencer, the InternetMonk, posted a piece about being "Out of Business" with God. Since Michael's death earlier this year, it has been reposted here.

He observes that we tend to look at God quite transactionally. In other words, if I do this, God will do that. The extreme case of this is the prosperity gospel but I think we do tend to view our spirituality this way. (my examples not his)
  • If I commit my life to God, he will save me from hell.
  • If I pray more, God will hear me better.
  • If I read the Bible more, God will ....
I've heard this preached for years now... Since I was a kid. There could be lots of reasons for treating the Gospel like this. Michael summarized his question with this...
Let’s summarize what I’ve covered so far.
  • I’m questioning whether Christianity is a religion of transactions with God, particularly transactions where our actions are the primary reason God acts or responds.
  • I believe the Gospel doesn’t proclaim a transactional “contract,” but a new order where the sovereignty of God expressed through the Lordship of Christ is the ultimate reality of the universe.
  • The incarnation and death of Jesus are sacraments in which we see and experience the reconciling forgiveness and mercy of God for a fallen creation, and particularly for sinners. Reality itself is sacramental, as is the focused life and worship of the church. These sacraments proclaim to us the eternal, gracious mediation of Jesus.
Before I talk about some of the helpful applications of this theology, I want to acknowledge the obvious: the Bible is written in covenantal language which is generously transactional. Because the Bible is a historic, temporal narrative written in a mixture of points of view- some divine, some human- transactional language is not surprising.
Michael went on to suggest that we should be looking at salvation sacramentally, rather than transactionally. It would definitely be to your advantage to read the post as my summary doesn't do it justice.

What I found interesting is that, for the last couple of years, I have felt uncomfortable of the "version" of salvation that I was taught and have ascribed to. Whether it is due to the fact that some of the theological baggage preached along side that view which, in my traditions has tended to be, to some degree, more or less Calvinistic, or whether it is because, the version I grew up with leaves a lot of questions open as it is held up to the mirror of the Bible, I am not sure.

I found a link, however, in one of the comments, another view of the Transactional Paradigm (right click and save as to download) that was quite worth reading. I know nothing about the author as there isn't even a name on the paper.

This author contrasts the transactional paradigm with a love paradigm where, rather than making sure both sides of the transaction are satisfied because of the debt owed, but because of the love expressed.

He states that, until Christ, man was under a transaction paradigm (The Law?). After Christ, however, love takes over.

Friday, July 02, 2010

re: The Jesus Manifesto

There are sample chapters of The Jesus Manifesto here. They have also made the first chapter available in audio format here.

Every time I hear it, I am amazed.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Why do we fight it...

This post has been a long time in the making.

When I mean making, it's sort of like a crock pot rather than a microwave.

You see, about a month ago, while listening to the Daily Audio Bible, I heard the story of David prior to his being made king of Israel and with his struggle with the king at the time, Saul (1 Samuel).

Several attempts were made on David's life by Saul, including throwing a spear at him, plotting to kill him, etc.

At the same time, however, David had opportunities to kill Saul and refused to do it. Why? Because he refused to take on the job of killing God's anointed king.

Fast forward to Romans 13 (the Daily Audio Bible hasn't gotten this far yet). The first verse reads.
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (Romans 13:1 TNIV)
Then I hear of the pastor who is praying for President Obamas death (an extreme case but...). I also hear conservatives who call themselves Christians who are also quite outspoken about the president. How is this any different than David's situation. These people believe that somehow, what is in their best interest is in danger so they slander and defame the man in the office. A man that, if I read the passage above correctly, God appointed.

Then I think back to David... I will not kill God's anointed king...


Monday, June 07, 2010

About Books

I just ordered a copy of Jesus Manifesto. You can read a good review/commentary of the book here.

Marj just bought 2 copies of Alter, a book my friend Dave wrote.

Once I get time to read one or the other, I'll review them here.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

What's A Blog?

AOL (America on line) posted this video where they asked people in Times Square....

I wonder how many of their statements define me.

Watch more AOL News videos on AOL Video

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sheep & Shepherds

John 10:14-18 struck me as I heard it yesterday. This is from The Message version
“I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary. You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They’ll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd. This is why the Father loves me: because I freely lay down my life. And so I am free to take it up again. No one takes it from me. I lay it down of my own free will. I have the right to lay it down; I also have the right to take it up again. I received this authority personally from my Father.”
Do we truly know Jesus' voice? Do we really know how to listen to Jesus' voice?

Friday, May 07, 2010

An elephant in the church?

Dallas Willard was interviewed in Conversations Journal in an article called Getting the Elephant out of the Sanctuary.

In this interview, he discusses transformation and views of the atonement.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

God's Love

Since the week after Easter, Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, MN has been teaching a series on God's Scandalous Love, a series I am really enjoying.

So far...
  • Love Is... - It is impossible to fully grasp God's love because it is infinite! The best we can do is humbly recognize our limitations in this way and give ourselves over to the overwhelming love that God extends to us. Focus Scripture – 1 John 4:8
  • God Is Love - The love of God expressed in Christ on the cross was “foolishness to the Gentiles” and “a stumbling block to the Jews”. God’s love is scandalous to us all in different ways. Focus Scripture – 1 John 4:8
  • Covenantal Love - The love of God expressed in Christ on the cross shows the radical lengths God is willing to go to restore us. This healing of our relationship with God takes the form of a covenant, not a contract. Focus Scripture – 2 Corinthians 4:4
  • Victorious Love - God’s love is victorious! But perhaps not in the way that you’d expect. We often associate victory with our ability to control or defeat others but God’s victory encourages our freedom rather than squelches it. (We love discovering art that connects us to God in unique ways. Focus Scripture – 1 Corinthians 1:18,23-24
The take away point from "Victorious Love" is that if your view of God is not scandalous (see 1 Cor 1:18, 23-24), you have the wrong view of God.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Jesus on the Main Line

This was posted on the CoverMe blog (Songs done by someone other than the original performer). Check out the bass singer at the end!

This is Ry Cooder performing the song...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Reading Paul

Some time ago, I subscribed to Paul Young's blog. Paul is the author of "The Shack". It had been quite since 2007 (you think I go a long time between posts?). Suddenly, early this month, he announced 30 days of blogs which he will write on the road. While he recounts his journeys over the last month, it is interesting to watch how God works through him and how the book he wrote has worked through others.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good news came in the mail today!

I got a letter today from a company that wants to make a plaque for me. Why? Because I was awarded Patent Number 7697503 for a Dynamic Speed Dial List. Of course, Qwest actually owns the patent but I am the inventor.

In short, Qwest would provide a service that would track the phone calls placed or received at your home, organizing them into a web accessible speed dial list that could be used easily from your computer...

If you look, the Patent was actually submitted a little over 4 years ago and was rejected once. Fortunately for me, Qwest chose to pursue the application further.

And no, I don't think I want to spend the money on the plaque...

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Degrees of Separation

Exodus 20:18-19
When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.

And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!”

Deuteronomy 5:23-27
“The Lord spoke these words to all of you assembled there at the foot of the mountain. He spoke with a loud voice from the heart of the fire, surrounded by clouds and deep darkness. This was all he said at that time, and he wrote his words on two stone tablets and gave them to me.

“But when you heard the voice from the heart of the darkness, while the mountain was blazing with fire, all your tribal leaders and elders came to me. They said, ‘Look, the Lord our God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we have heard his voice from the heart of the fire. Today we have seen that God can speak to us humans, and yet we live! But now, why should we risk death again? If the Lord our God speaks to us again, we will certainly die and be consumed by this awesome fire. Can any living thing hear the voice of the living God from the heart of the fire as we did and yet survive? Go yourself and listen to what the Lord our God says. Then come and tell us everything he tells you, and we will listen and obey.’
Deuteronomy 18:15:17
Moses continued, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. For this is what you yourselves requested of the Lord your God when you were assembled at Mount Sinai. You said, ‘Don’t let us hear the voice of the Lord our God anymore or see this blazing fire, for we will die.’

Each of these passages describe the people of Israel discovering that God can speak and fellowship with humans. Out of fear, they ask Moses to intercede for them, one "degree of separation". They asked for rules rather than relationship.

Even though we have a new intercessor (Romans 8:26-27), I wonder if we don't often choose a human intercessor rather than relationship (spiritual leaders of all sort). Have we chosen to follow some man-made set of rules rather than to foster a relationship with the triune God.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Tim Hawkins

Tim Hawkins was on the Drew Marshall Show last weekend so I thought I'd share some of the songs I enjoyed...

Good Friday Thoughts

I appreciated Baxter Kruger's thoughts on Good Friday. He writes:
I just read an essay on Jesus “absorbing the wrath of God” on the cross. It almost made me throw up. With such ease and passion and not a little patronizing the writer split Jesus’ Father into two different persons, and then ripped the Father-Son relationship apart, apparently without even knowing it, or caring. What madness. I suppose the Holy Spirit just stood there dazed wondering whose side he was supposed to join. There is something sinister about the need to have the Father vent his rage upon his own Son. And even more so when one then tries to call such an act “glorious grace.” But punishment is not forgiveness, and murder is not grace, and Jesus did not suffer the wrath of his Father, and the Holy Spirit was not torn between two lovers.

“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.” (MT 20:18-19)

It was the human race—not the Father—who condemned his Son. We cursed him. We poured our scorn, our wrath, our rage upon Jesus. We murdered him. And Jesus deliberately submitted himself to us and to our bizarre wrongheadedness. He bore our wrath. He suffered our enmity and died in the arms of our scorn. And he was not alone. His Father and the Holy Spirit were with him. And that is just the point. In the murder of Jesus the life of the Father, Son and Spirit found its way into our greatest sin—and overcame it. The cross is not about Jesus being forsaken by his Father; it is about the Father’s Son incarnate and the One anointed in the Holy Spirit submitting himself to the darkness of the human race, and thereby establishing a relationship with us as gross sinners. In the genius of the blessed Trinity our rejection and murder of Jesus were turned into the ultimate act of acceptance and embrace. In the murder of Jesus the blessed Trinity was “absorbing the wrath of the human race,” thereby forming oneness with us in our sin, and including us in Jesus’ relationship with his Father in the Holy Spirit. That is glorious grace, and forgiveness, and atonement, and real reconciliation, and love, and holiness, and right relationship, and mercy, and judgment.

Thank you Father, Son and Spirit for loving us beyond our wildest dreams.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

To Busy Disorder?

Think you have Too Busy Disorder? Visit

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Irony of our youth

It strikes me that it is ironic that a generation that doesn't seem to want to read would use Facebook and texting as a major form of communication.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Repost: Liberated from Legalism

Scot McKnight has been blogging about "Liberated from Legalism", you can read the series here.

In this series, Scot is exploring 'how Galatians helps us see that we are liberated from "legalism."'

Here is a summary of the posts:
  1. What is Legalism? Post 1 & 2
  2. How does it affect our relationships? Post 2
  3. What is Freedom? Post 3
  4. What has Christ done for us? Post 4, 5 & 6
I liked the way the last post defined legalism:
Legalism is any practice or belief that is added to the gospel that compromises the sufficiency of Christ as Savior and jeopardizes the adequacy of the Spirit in moral guidance.

Legalism then is the charge against you or me, often sensed at the deepest level, that we are not accepted by God in Christ and indwellt by the Holy Spirit.
The question we should be asking ourselves, then, is "What sorts of legalism do I practice? Where do I add to the gospel of Christ?".

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Put down the duckie

Here is a great object lesson...

Monday, March 01, 2010


I am not a huge twitter user but do have an account and several people who think it is worth following me on twitter. I do, however, follow a couple of people who are quite active. Yesterday a name came though on his feed that surprised me... Darlene Zschech

While I do not know her personally, I know of her reputation and her work as a worship leader and song writer.

If you want to follow her on twitter, her feed is at the bottom of the page linked above.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No Love?

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
This is the start of one of the more popular chapters in our Bible. Although it is often read at weddings, the chapter is really more about the love God has for us and we are to have for others. All too often, I have sped through these verses to get to "the good stuff".
My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can't know him if you don't love. 1 John 4:7-8 (The Message)
Love for others is really the measure of our faith and our knowledge of God.

How does this all tie together? All too often, those who claim to be followers of Christ (Christians), appear too unloving. Like many of those around us, we often assume "the end" -- many times we have our favorite cause which we somehow attribute to God's cause -- "justifies the means". Instead we come across as spiritual bullies... As unloving.

As first passage I quoted points out, it doesn't really matter how you talk, how much faith you have or even what you do, if you do not exhibit love, the people who really need to hear are going to hear you as more of an annoyance.

Ultimately, I am bankrupt without love for those around me.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Kyle is officially a TaeKwonDo Black Belt

After lots of years of preparation, Kyle has officially earned his black belt. He was unanimously approved by the other black belts in the school. This is a picture of him with his teacher in his new school uniform and belt (complete with embroidered name) ...

Yes, I am a proud father.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

So Beautiful

As I mentioned here, I've been listening to Leonard Sweet's book "So Beautiful". This book is really resonating with me. In it he talks about the DNA of the Church (not a particular church). He uses the term MRI which stands for Missional, Relational and Incarnational. This has been an interesting book. There is a promotional video below.

So Beautiful, by Leonard Sweet from David C. Cook on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kyle at Black Belt University

Kyle had a big weekend this weekend... His Black Belt University. Last year, most of his friends (you can see quite a few in the background) were promoted to black belt but Kyle didn't make it. We haven't heard yet about this year but have hopes that he will have earned it this year.

We heard a lot of good reports from those that were there more of the time we were. Like the kick to the chest he took from Quanginim and popped back up to continue sparing or his board breaking on the first night.

The following video... This shows Kyle with a 1 inch concrete brick (the kind you get at the garden center for lawn & garden landscaping).


Since the 70's (that would be the 1970's), there has been a lot of concern about "The Mark of the Beast". Is that a chip implanted? Is it a number (666)? Is it this or that? Many people speculating and using this as a cautionary object.

Today, listening to the Daily Audio Bible, I heard about another mark. Exodus 13:14-16 reads:
14 “And in the future, your children will ask you, ‘What does all this mean?’ Then you will tell them, ‘With the power of his mighty hand, the Lord brought us out of Egypt, the place of our slavery. 15 Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, so the Lord killed all the firstborn males throughout the land of Egypt, both people and animals. That is why I now sacrifice all the firstborn males to the Lord—except that the firstborn sons are always bought back.’ 16 This ceremony will be like a mark branded on your hand or your forehead. It is a reminder that the power of the Lord’s mighty hand brought us out of Egypt.”
as well as Deut 6:8-9 which reads
8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Both these passages refer to the Israelites exodus from Egypt when, (reader digest version) the last plague kills the first born of all the Egyptian livestock and children. The nation of Israel was spared the plague by following the commands that became The Passover.

Compare that now to Revelation 13 which reads
16 He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. 17 And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. 18 Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666.
From what I understand, the experts tell us that Revelation is written in an apocalyptic style of writing. John's writing here is supposed to do several things:
  1. For those that are familiar with the books of the law (with Jewish boys of that time, this would have been an understatement -- The Law was their schooling), it is to bring to mind the passages dealing with worshiping God, either through the passover or through the process or knowing the scriptures.
  2. Warn us who the Beast is based upon the number he gives us. There is a lot of speculation but my understanding is one interpretation is this is referring to Nero Caesar.
Ultimately, here is the deal. We don't have to worry about the "mark of the beast" if we have "The Mark of the Christ" instead.

Here is what I would suggest are the marks of Christ. Galatians 5:22-23 reads:
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Clearly we went round and round. ***

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Bill called to tell me about the headlight cover kit he used on his wife"s car. I needed one of these because when we drive in all the chemicals used to keep the ice down on the roads, it gets onto the plastic headlight covers some cars have causing them to cloud up, reducing the amount of light being produced.

On Bill"s recommendation, I put it to the test today... My drill and their kit... sanding (6 disks - 500 grit), more sanding (4 disks - 800 grit), more sanding (1 disk - 3000 grit) and polishing (goo)...

What a difference it made. To totally misuse a quote, Let there be light! or to quote a song "I can see clearly..."

*** I wrote this post last night on my iPod and totally messed it up... I took the basics and started over so no, you are not seeing double.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So Beautiful on disciples

I've been listening to Leonard Sweet's book "So Beautiful" as I can on the bus. In chapter 19, he writes:
Honest disciples gulp rather than gargle at the fountain of knowledge. Life is filled with difficult questions. If disciples are not as wise as Solomon, they are at least honest about not having all the answers.

As Moses found out on the peaks of Mt. Sinai, the closer he journeyed to God the more he was enveloped in mist and unknowing. As Aaron found out at the foot of Mt. Sinai, the farther people journeyed from God the more they became certain of what God looks like and cast the golden calf
Pilgrim people are a learning people, disciple means learner…
Between this quote and the ones I posted here. I am becoming cautious about someone who does seem to "know it all" and am becoming more receptive to those who have a calm uncertainty.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I have a couple of blog/email friends who have helped to introduce me to the term Perichoresis. Theopedia defines it as:
Perichoresis is a Greek term used to describe the triune relationship between each person of the Godhead. It can be defined as co-indwelling, co-inhering, and mutual interpenetration. Alister McGrath writes that it "allows the individuality of the persons to be maintained, while insisting that each person shares in the life of the other two. An image often used to express this idea is that of a 'community of being,' in which each person, while maintaining its distinctive identity, penetrates the others and is penetrated by them."
I have also heard Perichoresis as the intricate dance of the Trinity. Dr. Baxter Kruger has a website called "The Parable of the Dancing God" with a link to a book of the same name.

Let me share an image that can be used to describe the concept.

The Book of Eli

Last weekend, Marj & I went to see "Book of Eli", yesterday, I took Kyle.

I loved this movie but before you go, you need to know a little bit. It is "post-apocalyptic" so is a very grim movie. It is also quite violent. Keeping with the violence is language that you may find offensive.

That said, let me outline the movie. The world as you and I know it was destroyed 30 years ago. Resources are scarce, especially water. Most people in this world can not read as it has been too many years. The main character Eli is on his way "west".

The movie has a message that many of us should hear. Religion is power over people. As you and I both know, however, God does not like religion and the movie has a spiritual twist in it that supports this.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ambient Lighting

How much ambient lighting is nearby?

I grew up in the country where, except for the city lights nearly 2 miles away, there was no significant light?

We found out, however, on Thursday morning when we overslept. The alarm didn't go off, the power did. I didn't realized it until I went to the bathroom and hit the light switch and nothing happened. I am so conditioned that I tried it again, thinking it was just my light bulb. The next thought was the circuit breaker but looking outside, I quickly learned every house nearby was dark with only the street lights on the state highway near our house actually on.

It was dark. I ran downstairs, grabbed a flashlight and showered by flashlight. Marj jumped into the shower after I did so I went downstairs and lit a few candles to eat by. I popped the emergency garage door latch and got the cars out, then was worried that it wouldn't lock and had to read the manual (by flashlight).

We walked the dogs by flashlight as well. That was when it struck me how much ambient light I have become adjusted to. When we returned we were surprised to see Kyle up. He woke up because it was "pitch dark".

We got our power back just before I headed off to work but one of the neighboring developments had to wait for another hour.

Just before I left for work,

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Two Interesting quotes.

I was listening to The God Journey and heard a couple of interesting quotes.

First is from Fr. Richard Rohr, a Catholic theologian, he said:

Ignorance does not result from what we don’t know! Ignorance results from what we think we do know—but don’t! Most ignorant people are, in fact, quite certain. “Holy innocents” just don’t know. And what is so wrong about that?
The second is from Randall Arthur:
Spiritual Maturity is moving from confident arrogance to thoughtful uncertainty.
I have seen a lot of people who are quite certain of what they know or believe. I have found, as I wander down the road of life that the air of certainty starts to make me nervous.

What is your feel when you read these?

Monday, January 11, 2010


The other day, I was listening to the Daily Audio Bible and the events around Lot, Sodom and Gamorrah in Genesis 19. While listening a couple of things struck me.

Classically, this passage has been used as a condemnation of homosexuality. I would argue that should not be the case (I don't believe homosexuality is something God likes either but that is different scripture).

The situation here (there is a similar situation in Judges) is not about 2 men having sex. It is about rape. Rape is not the same as sex. Rape is a form of violence, typically a way of showing who is in power and who is not. It is done out of anger and a desire to humiliate the victims and sometimes lust but not out of love.

Let's look at the passage starting in verse 4:
Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."

Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."

"Get out of our way," they replied. "This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.
Why is this an issue? Later in Ezeikel 16 (49-50), the sin of Sodom is mentioned again.
" 'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen...' "
Their sin was more than just the desire to rape. Why is this important? Because we need to look at things in context (this may not have been a context that was understood a few centuries ago in the same way however).

Rape does not equal sex. That doesn't matter if you are looking at a situation like this one or David & Bathsheba (I believe that the initial encounter was rape as well).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

More Jacob Moon

Marj played Jacob Moon for the filler in church today (she ran sound). I did hear one criticism for this song... His version of Rush's "Subdivisions". I don't think most people noticed.

Jacob Moon

I've been listening to the Drew Marshall show via podcast for a couple of months now, every since I heard some of the interesting guests he has had on.

This last week, he had Jacob Moon on. I really enjoyed his music so searched for him on both iTunes and emusic, my sources for music and found a selection of his work both places. I picked up "The Loop" because of the comments about him using a loop machine to provide his own accompaniment during performances. This is the same device that Phil Keaggy uses so proficiently.

I am really enjoying his music.

The Mis-Understood God

I've been reading an interesting book called "The Misunderstood God: The Lies Religion Tells About God" by Darin Hufford. His premise is that if God is Love (1 John 4:7-8) what does that mean.

As a result he looked at "The Love Chapter", 1 Cor 13 and asked if this is the definition of love what do we believe about God concerning each of these things.

Just as a refresher, 1 Cor 13:4-7 says:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

This has caused me to examine what I have believed about some things. One review I read on Amazon suggested that this will be a book mis-quoted by others who haven't read it... His advise, and mine as well, is to pick it up for yourself and read it.

Monday, January 04, 2010

The $2500 TV

We still do not have an HDTV (digital TV) and are not in a major hurry to get one. Here is an observation, however, as I watch the prices.

Years ago, you could always assume that the computer you really wanted would cost about $2000. It didn't seem to matter what the cost of the low end or the high end computer was, the one you really wanted would cost about $2000. This took into account the compromises in latest gadgets, etc.

I've noticed that in the last 2 years or so, the HDTV I would want always seems to cost about $2500. Originally it was because HD was so new, then it was because of the size, then the technology. Why this time? It's the LEDs.

Samsung has a back-lit LED HDTV which has better blacks, sharper color, faster refresh rates, etc. Tie this together with great technology and... $2500

Next, I suspect, will be OLED (Organic LED) rather than LCD. Or maybe laser...

I think I'll keep my old set until it breaks.

Listen for the new year

I am starting my third or fourth year listening to the Daily Audio Bible. It's not too late to start yourself!

If you are unfamiliar with the Daily Audio Bible, you can use it from the computer or from an mp3 player like an iPod or Zune. Every day you will get a new section of the Bible read to you. Every week, they switch translations.

If you have kids, they have a reading for kids which is just New Testament, if you want to listen in another language, last year they started reading in hindi and spanish. This year they added Japanese.

One reason I like listening is that listening makes it harder to skip past those "boring" parts or the parts you think you remember.

Also, the culture the Bible comes from was largely storytelling so it really makes the Bible come alive in many ways.