Friday, March 26, 2004

I Wonder What the Iraqis Have Buried Out There?

I agree that we haven't found any evidence that Iraq had WMDs, but I am also confident that given time we will. I believe it is incomprehensible that Iraq didn't have any WMDs. I think they are pretty well hidden. For all of you who believe that Iraq didn't possess any WMDs just because we can't find them right now please look at this. If you can hid a MiG you can hide a biological or chemical weapon lab.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The War On Global Terrorism from Richard Clarke

This is a great article on Fox News regarding the Clinton and Bush Administration's efforts on Al Qaeda prior to Sept 11. Richard Clarke served in both Administrations and should have a consistent viewpoint of what happened. This interview was conducted in August of 2002 and he had different things to say than he does now in his new book. It is amazing what you will say, and change depending on who pays your salary! The article is located here.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Another Trip to Ft Leonard Wood

We drove out to Ft Leonard Wood to visit Amber again yesterday. It was a beautiful day, but is sure a long way to drive. We surprised Amber at the Pentecostal Chapel service and were surprised ourselves. We waited for Amber for 10 minutes or so and then the service started with no Amber in sight. We were a little disappointed that we couldn't find Amber, when after about 2 or 3 minutes into the service Bethany noticed that Amber was playing the keyboard for the Praise and Worship band. She did a great job. When it was time for the offering, she played her guitar and sang a solo for the offeratory! We were probably more surprised at what she was doing than she was that we were there. After the service we had about 10 minutes to chat with her and then it was back to the car for the two and a half hour drive home. It was worth it. We all had a great time and Amber was happy to see us.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Matthew's Big Toe Nail

Yesterday Matthew finally broke down and had part of his toenail removed because of an ingrown toenail infection. The worst part was getting his toe numbed up with an injection. After that it was easy. In fact, he couldn't believe it when the doctor said he was all done. His toe is all bandaged up, but it doesn't hurt too bad, so he is getting along pretty well. It was a lot of carrying on about nothing. He feels so much better right now that it is a relief not to have the toe pain any longer.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

A Great Article on Christian Environmental Values

Susan Power Bratton provides some thought provoking statements in Sojourners regarding our obligation as Christians to help steward God's creation. You can read it here. Over the last 3 or 4 years I have become more of a Christian Environmentalist to where I now believe it is our calling as Christians, particularly as those who believe in God's creation story, to be the ones to speak up for the devestation going on to God's creation.

Christianity and Modernity's Take on Consumption

Jordon Cooper had a great link to a Brian McLaren article on Christianity and Modernity's view of consumption in Sojourners. This is a topic close to my Dissertation topic and is close to my heart. A link to the article is here.

Brian makes some great points, but I disagree with part of the fourth paragraph where he makes the statement that conservative protestants have been guilty of subcontracting the evangelical mind out to right-wing politicians and greedy business interests…putting the gospel of Jesus through the strainer of consumerist-capitalism and retaining only the thin broth that this modern-day Caesar lets pass through...a tendency to be against whatever "liberals" are for. Our culture is guilty of doing that, but not just with the greedy business interests and right-wing politicians. The liberal left has dont the same thing....can you remember the Clinton Whitewater scandal? Or the dam building during the FDR days that were strictly for the interests of the wealthy large-scale farmer?

I like the article, but dislike the right-wing bashing. Both sides are equally guilty!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

What a Long Weekend

It was a real long weekend for us. Friday I completed my Spanish translation test at St Louis University. When I came home at lunch time we took Matthew to the doctor and didn't get home until around 4:00.

Saturday I met with Greg Alexander of the Illinois Baptist State Association and Chris Wright of Peoria in Springfield for lunch. We discussed church planting strategy. Greg bought lunch at the local Mexican restaurant and it was great. I had an awesome time of praise and worship with the Lord on the hour and a half drive to and from Springfield. In fact, when I got to Springfield I was a little bit hoarse! I'm sure that the other drivers thought I must be schizophrenic, but who knows? Maybe I am!

When I got home we had a basketball game for Bethany on Saturday afternoon. Her team did well and beat up on their rivals. Good job Bethany!

Sunday we surprized Marilyn's niece Amber at Ft Leonard Wood in mid- Missouri. She is about half way through Army basic training. We met her at the Pentecostal Chapel service at 8:45. It was a little more than a two and a half hour drive, so we left home at 5:30 in the morning. Amber was so happy to see us and we were pretty excited to see her. I have a couple of pictures here. Church lasted until around 10:00 and then we stopped for lunch on the way home. It was five and a half hours of driving to go to a one hour church service, but was worth it.

Then I came home and led the 7:30 Impact Worship Service at The Gate and didn't get home until 10:00 at night. I'm worn out and need a nice slow work week to mellow out!

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Spanish Translation Test

If you are reading this then please pray for me. Tomorrow I have another wicket to go through in the pursuit of my PhD. The Saint Louis University American Studies department has a foreign language requirement for the PhD program. Tomorrow I will be taking a Spanish language translation test to prove that I can do academic research in another language. I took 5 years of Spanish in Junior High and High School, and have taken several trips to Mexico and Spain, but haven't spoken much Spanish in the last 15 years. So, it will be touch and go on the translation test. I pray that my trusty Spanish dictionary gets me through. To get me prepared for the test I have been translating the Book of Romans. It brings a lot of meaning to what the Bible says when you read it in another language and then have to go through the work of translating each word into English. It is an enlightening project that I enjoy and brings a deeper level of understanding to what we read and take for granted each day. I may push ahead and complete translating the book of Romans just for the understanding it will help me gain.

Hockey, Thugs on Skates

Lets see how many people I can get upset with the title to this post. I enjoy watching hockey because I think the players are amazing athletes. But I hate the violence. Sometimes I think the game should have an "R" rating. What happened the other night in Vancouver will hopefully make the NHL understand that the game has gotten out of control. I grew up in Los Angeles where hockey is just the sport between the Lakers and the Dodgers, so I was never much of a hockey fan growing up. Living in St Louis now I have become more of a hockey fan, but still have never been to a NHL game. I don't want to get blood stains on my clothes. I will continue to boycott hockey games until the game is cleaned up and the athletes, not the bruisers, rule the game.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Passionate, But Not About Mel's Movie!

Interesting article in Christiaity Today on The Passion of the Christ by Brian McLaren. Jordon Cooper had a link to this article and it was pretty good. The article is located here. In some ways I agree with Brian that we tend to look for outreach gimmicks, but in other ways I think these are opportunities to reach unbelievers. There is one positive aspect that we can't refute about The Passion of the Christ, it has people reflecting on their relationship with the Lord.

Monday, March 08, 2004

A Full Wekend

We had a really full weekend the last couple of days. Saturday Bethany competed at the district band solo competition and received a 1st. Both Bethany and Matthew did a great job over the last two weeks of performing when the pressure is on. They both received 1sts and made us proud.

Saturday afternoon Bethany had a Basketball game. You can see pictures on the family fotopage linked off to the right. She did great there.

After the game we went downtown St Louis to look at the St Louis Walk of Fame. We went down there to get Matthew some extra credit points for Black History Month. We walked the Walk of Fame, took some pictures, and later did some research on the African Americans who have start there. We were impressed. We took a picture of the Dred and Harriet Scott Star. It is amazing to think the impact the Dred Scott case had on all of the US, and it started in the St Louis Old Courthouse.

When we were all done we ate dinner at Fitz's Rootbeer Bottling Company. What a great restaurant! They had wonderful food and the best rootbeer I have ever tasted. The floats were wonderful also.

Sunday we went to Morning worship, Sunday School, and Evening worship. We were pretty tired by the time 9:00 rolled around, so we all went to bed early. It was a fun and busy weekend. They are getting to be the norm.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

A Great Bible Reading Day Today

If you follow the Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan like I do then you will note that today's reading is a wonderful selection of chapters. Today is highlighted by Romans 3 and Psalm 51. I don't know of two chapters in the Bible that have made a bigger difference in my life than these two.

Romans 3 Summary: We are all sinners, Jews and Greeks alike. There is none righteous, no one. No one can be justified by works, because God is perfect and we cannot meet his expectation for holiness (perfection). But, through our faith we have been justified (made just as if I'd never sinned) through Jesus Christ because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Christ's saving grace is a gift from God and not something we can earn on our own.

Psalm 51 Summary: This Psalm was written after David had taken Bathsheba and had relations with her. She became pregnant and David had her husband Uriah murdered on the battlefield. Psalm 51 says, Be gracious to me, O God. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know what I have done and it has separated me from my relationship with You. I am a sinner from birth and will continue to be one until the day I go to be with You. But, You desire what is in a person's heart and now what a person does. Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew my spirit. Please give me more of Your Holy Spirit and restore to me the joy of my salvation. Then I can be more effective in my ability to lead others to You. What You really want is a broken spirit and a repentant heart.

These two chapters tell us that we are not alone. We are all sinners, but for some reason that I don't fully understand, God sent Christ to earth to restore our relationship with Him. Jesus was that sacrifice that God took on our behalf. It all comes back to God's wrath being taken out on Christ instead of us. If you have seen The Passion of the Christ, If you are a believer in Christ, you probably have some idea what God's wrath looks like. But as graphic and brutal as some of the scenes in the movie are it can never depict the incredible pain and agony that Christ suffered for both you and I. It wasn't a movie. It wasn't some actor portraying pain, it was the wrath of the Creator of the Universe being poured out on His Son, all for us. It was so bad that before Christ was taken he was sweating blood (Luke 22:44)and have received Him as your personal Lord and Savior then God sees you as justified (pure, innocent, and clean) and can let you enter his presence any time.

Anyhow, it was a great Bible reading day today. Good luck and God be with you.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Band Solo Competitions

Matthew had a band solo competition last Saturday. He was awarded a 1st! He did a great job. He has been playing the French Horn for about 2 years now and continues to get better and better. He is turning into a wonderful musician. After Easter he wants to start playing at the church orchestra, which I think is a great idea.

Bethany has a band solo competition on this coming Saturday. She will be playing the flute. She has only been playing for around 8 months and is doing wonderfully also. My kids are so much more talented than I am. Praise God!

Monday Night Outreach

We had a great outreach night last night. I had an opportunity to pray along with 3 other men for those people who might be visiting our church in the near future. We also prayed for those who had recently visited. We are not doing a very good job of taking advantage of the opportunities that God places before us in witnessing, sharing with others, and simply being good hosts and hostesses for the Lord. When someone visits FBC O'Fallon or the College Church we need to follow up and make contact with that person. Not because we are concerned about the growth of our church, but because the Lord has provided us with this opportunity to talk about Him to someone we have only lknown for a short while. This might be the only opportunity that person will have to hear about Jesus, and our only opportunity to share Christ with that person, and for us not to share is pure selfishness.

The other thing we prayed for was that the Lord will raise up teachers in the church who will pasionately serve Him. We need to have committed leaders who intimately know the Lord who are willing to share their faith with others.

Lord help me to do a better job of presenting you to others.