Friday, December 14, 2007

I Have the Power!

There was no greater toy in childhood than Masters of the Universe. Who could trump He-Man? G.I. Joe, Thundercats, and Transformers had nothing compared to the Master. Those same words and thoughts were the parental controversy that I was somewhat unaware of playing with my action figures. In my mind He-Man was the best, but in conservative minds, He-Man was competing with God's sovereignty.
I realize my previous post about the Golden Compass was similar to the same arguments opponents voiced about He-Man, Harry Potter, and now the Golden Compass. Parents have been encouraged to flee from fictional stories that run opposed to God and His salvation. Magic, Witches, protectors of the universe, jedi force (oh wait, Star Wars gets a pass from Christians since it only promotes Pantheism) To set the record straight, I loved He-Man; I enjoyed Harry Potter; I looked forward to seeing Golden Compass. When I discovered the worldview behind this movie was antitheistic, to the point that a child kills the god-character in the final book, I was disappointed. It is imperative that Christians engage movies like the Golden Compass but that does not mean removing ourselves from the discussion by stating our moral objections. Every storyline has a gospel. Our point of engagement is finding out what makes the story in view a "happy" ending. How can we relate that happy ending to reality and forming a worldview? What makes the wrong worldview a disappointing, happy ending? If we are serious about talking to people that do not have a relationship with the Creator of the Universe, then let's engage people through every means possible. Sometimes we see "bad" movies, hang out in bars, and be friends with people totally different than ourselves. Why? In order to give them the true, fairy tale, the real magic - the grace of Jesus Christ.
I remember my mother telling me He-Man was only a toy, just something to play with. I never asked Mom if He-Man would forgive my sins, never crossed my mind. She did tell me about a man who really is Master of the Universe, and one day His kingdom will crush Snake Mountain totally and finally with one, fatal stomp.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Golden Compass Misdirection

I was excited to see the new release, The Golden Compass. However, after reading about the worldview behind the author's writing, I seriously doubt that I will give any money to this movie. Check it out here and here

Check Out Pastor Coop

Paul Cooper and I attended Southern Seminary together. I can't say enough good things about Paul. Mainly, he is a great preacher, wonderful friend, and godly man. Although, I don't get to hear him preach enough, I'm still waiting for the podcast from his church. Check out his new blog site here since he has moved from Muncie, IN as the Baptist Collegiate Minister to pastoring in Marshall, IL.

Rap Video

I just watched this on Hershael York's blog, and I thought it was worthwhile to post Jim Scott Orrick rapping on my blog. Enjoy! What's your weltenshuang?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tony Dungy's Quiet Strength

My father recently gave me a copy of Tony Dungy's new biography Quiet Strength. I think it's difficult not to like Dungy, Payton Manning, and the Indianapolis Colts. After reading this book, I'm a fan of the Colts.
The book recounts Dungy's childhood, parents, and of course, football. Dungy astounded me with his continual emphasis to put God first. Let's be honest, for Dungy that means putting God first in football coaching. Page after page, though, I realized that he was aware of the low value that football has, but even so, God is the God of all things and demands glory in all things. Dungy exemplifies this truth in the way he leads his life.
In a day that sports presents so much drama, one may question whether or not a ESPN is a soap opera or a news network. This man brings integrity and character to the areana in a much needed way. Many football players and coaches do many great things in their community like purchasing homes for single mothers (Warrick Dunn), the Indianapolis Colts' head coach spearheaded the organization All Pro Dad; "All Pro Dad is Family First's innovative program helping men to be better fathers." His coaching imperatives to his players and coaching staff consist in telling them to spend time with their families.
The striking characteristic that is on every page of the book is Dungy's dependence on God. This dependence was never more needed when his son committed suicide two seasons ago. I can't imagine hearing those words as a father. He asserts that while he'll never move out of the grieving cycle, but he knows that God is working for the good of those that love Him. At the same time, he's not asking why, rather he's asking what does God want Him to learn from this and how can he help others.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading through Dungy's life and am thankful to the Lord for the way that He has used him and will continue to use him. Even so, I'm thankful for my dad who passed this book onto me and who continues to love me and bless me through his words and actions everyday of my adult life.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wedding in Lexington

We got to spend a good deal of time with my family in Lexington this past weekend at my cousin, Caroline's wedding. Here are some fun pictures and videos from the entire day. Enjoy :)
This video is a historic moment. I can't stress enough how awesome it was to see my grandparents on the dance floor!!! Those who know them can appreciate it's significance.

Here is a video that seems to now be a tradition for our family at weddings.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Forever Changed

In John Feinstein's book, The Punch, he takes us back to December 9, 1977. This night marks the most violent moment in the history of sports. Regardless that the L. A. Lakers went on to defeat the Houston Rockets, the memory etched forever into sports history is Kermit Washington's devastating blow to Rudy Tomjanovich.
Feinstein begins with the infamous night then starts over with each man's life growing up in different but still tough circumstances. Both men had a voracious work ethic that brought them into the NBA and one that continued as the impact of the punch played out in their lives.
After reading the book, it is tempting to think that Feinstein skewed a favorable light on Kermit Washington. But testimony after testimony gave creedance to Washington's character. The Punch thrown that night is a horrific sight. The only type of man that would do such a thing is a monster, a man bent towards horrid violence. At least that's what you'd think after watching it.
Washington and Tomjanovich have spent their entire lives getting over the impact of The Punch. Those aren't my words. Those are their lives speaking out on every page of Feinstein's book. Their connection is gripping. More so, it is remarkable as they each disclose to Feinstein how connected they are twenty some years afterwards.
Washington remarked, "I feel like I've been married to him for twenty-four years." In the end, Tomjanovich wished Washington well not because they've been married but "because we're brothers".

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Desperate Cries

My life is easy. Compared to most of the world I am a rich, rich man. Not only do I have a bed, food, and a roof over my head, I have a thermostat, which is quite possibly the world's greatest invention. Mankind has been dreaming of such a device since creation. Imagine every man, woman, and child bundling up in the bed wishing it was just a little warmer. On the other hand, think of those sweating restlessly as they try to sleep. Finally, we can change the weather by a simple stroke of a finger.
My life has been good: college, seminary, and MARRIAGE. God has blessed me with great opportunities that I am very thankful for, but in recent days, there has been great cause for sadness. Both sets of Karen's grandparents have health issues, and my grandmother has heart trouble. Cindy, my sister, has been undergoing radiation treatment for melanoma. The radiation finally began last week, which was a long time coming. First, she underwent surgery to remove as much of the tumor on her vertebrae as possible. This surgery was a huge success. The neurosurgeon removed a great deal of the tumor, more than he had anticipated. Due to the second tumor in her left scapula, the surgeon did not do the more invasive surgery as originally planned. Thus, Cindy is now going through her second week of radiation. After her treatment is complete, she will have a CAT scan to see if all the cancer has been wiped out. If not, she will begin immuno-therapy. This treatment is comparable to chemotherapy, but I don't understand the similarities and differences.
Karen and I are (have) moving to Chicago for her to complete her Doctorate of Psychology at the Cornerstone Counseling Agency through the Chicago Area Christian Training Consortium. We are tremendously excited about this opportunity for a multitude of reasons. Karen is so talented and gifted. Rather than spending her energy battling a naturalistic worldview, she will be fully able to direct children and families to Christ and truth. God answered many prayers with this residency placement. I can't tell you how excited I am for my wife to finish her degree in this way. God has gifted her in many ways, and I long to see the great ways that she will bear fruit for Him.
Nearly two weeks ago another couple along with Karen and I shared a moving truck and moved to Chicago. After unloading two households and a few days of unpacking, Karen drove back to Louisville where she is still serving out the last few days of her job. The plan was for me to stay in Chicago and work for Sprint.
Our blow came last Tuesday when I almost began a job with Sprint. I did not receive the job due to a technicality on the application. The news blindsided us and has left me in a tight spot trying to find employment in a short amount of time.
With all of this being said, I know that God is good and He desires me to long for Him, to depend on Him. People often know this fact, but living it out is difficult. After the news broke of my unemployment, I sat in a parking lot in a foreign land with no clue where I was and no where to go. I called our friends Uche and Melissa, who had moved with us. I stayed with them Tuesday and afterwards called them repeatedly with other needs. I kept thinking that I had to call someone else, but there was no one else. On Thursday my dad drove to Chicago to be with me and help me look for a job. He and I cranked out a few hours of work together, but I can't tell you how much it meant to me having my father with me in my time of need. Not only was his presence a great comfort, but he brought financial help. Here I am, a 29 years old husband who should be providing on his own at this point, but I am still so needy. I have been greatly humbled in these days.
This humbling has been driving me to depend on God. A dependence that is constantly praising God for how powerful and magnificient of a God He is. I truly have to take Him at His Word that He will provide for all of my needs, He will complete the work He began in me, and that He has blessed me with all spiritual blessings in Christ.
It was hard for me to accept my majestic father driving to Chicago to deal with my problems. The reality is that he desired to be with me because he loves me. In the same way God came to this world to take care of all my problems because He loves me. My father is a great man that loves me and loves me and loves me. I am so thankful for Him as he lives out such a biblical picture of fatherly love.
This time in my life has been difficult. I do ask that you pray for my sister to be healed 100% of all her cancer and limited arm mobility. May God be glorified by this miraculous work. Pray for our grandparents to be healed. May God be glorified in the same way. Pray that I will find employment and sooner rather than later. May God be glorified as I seek Him in these times to provide for all of my needs and my family's needs.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


When I moved to Kentucky 5 years & 3 months ago, I did not know one single person. I left the great state of Texas to start graduate school, and heaven only knows how or why I landed in Louisville, Kentucky. I've grown to despise, detest, and utterly loathe my graduate school and everything its philosophical foundations stand for, or rather I loathe the fact that this graduate program doesn't stand for anything other than standing for everything. However, as usual God knew exactly what he was doing when I was rejected from Baylor's Psy.D. program and accepted here in Kentucky. God had my sweet, awesome, hottie man of my dreams waiting for me here in Kentucky. Well, I don't think he was actually waiting for me 5 years ago, but I'm quite certain his heart was longing for me! I met a 4 wonderful friends my first few years in Kentucky, but I did not every really feel at home in Louisville until I met my John Mark.

John Mark & I celebrated our 2 year anniversary last week, and words cannot express how grateful I am for my husband. He's incredible, and his love for me is a wonderful testimony of Jesus' love for his church. My husband put his career goals and probably many opportunities to be in the ministry on hold to wait for me as I finished my doctorate. My husband worked 60 hours a week for several months at several tedious jobs so that I could finish my doctorate. My husband cleaned floors, coffee machines, and bathrooms; he cut down trees, picked up leaves, and ground stumps and sticks....all so that we could move to Chicago, and I could complete my internship/residency.

We moved John Mark to Chicago this weekend, and he is in Chicago, and I am in Louisville for 3 very long weeks. Again, he's graciously and humbling placing his career on hold so that I can finish school and start my career. While we have 2 great friends about 45 minutes away from John Mark in Chicago, he is by himself, and as many of you know this week & the past few months have had plenty of ups & downs within our immediate families. I was only in our place in Chicago for a few days this weekend, but I'm terribly homesick & miss my husband dearly. I do, however, pray & trust God will provide during this seemingly bleak time. Miss you baby...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Preston's Big Birthday

We celebrated Preston's first birthday a little early. The day was grand, and he was THE center of attention. While Preston was digging into his birthday cake, everyone was vying for the best photo. No one went away without a picture of Preston, even the party favor was a picture of the Birthday Boy.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Isn't she lovely?

Karen and I were watching a movie preview that pulled me in. After the preview for No Vacancy finished, I was onboard to see the movie, but I reassured her that I would be willing to watch it alone knowing her position on horror movies.

Throughout our relationship, I have grown and fall deeper in love with Karen as she always handles herself with such dignity, wisdom, and beauty. Right after I voiced my opinion of the Spring Thriller, Karen said, "I'm not saying you're in this category, but I don't understand how people that love Jesus would want to see things that revolve around horror, torture, and evil."

We just laughed after she said commented, and Karen reassured me I wasn't in that camp.

Little moments like these make me so thankful that Karen is my wife. I love her mind and the clarity of thought she has in only a glimpse of a moment. As I spend more time with her the wisest thing I can often do is keep quiet, and allow Karen to reflect on the situation. Then I can simply agree with her, not to be passive. Rather, I want to see Karen's beauty shine.

God has blessed me with a wife that desires holiness, a desire to walk with God, a desire to see her husband walk closely with God. I am thankful for my wife who is there in kindness with oil for my head when I desire to eat of the world's delicacies (Ps. 141:4-5).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Knocked Out

Eye of the Tiger could be my life theme song. I've ran the steps in Philadelphia. I own all of the Rocky movies. But Rocky Balboa could be the worst movie ever made!

There were vast scores of "great" movie reviews that pulled me in for the one-two sucker punch, knock out. Rocky Balboa was awful on so many counts it would be futile to name them all. However, just to name a few - disgusting acting, painstaking slow plot, horrible dialogue, and most notably, Sylvester Stallone! Someone please cut him off from plastic surgery and arrest whoever is still selling him HGH/steriods/whatever.

Part of what makes Rocky movies is the training shows his transformation of being and becoming a fighter. He is a fighter, a warrior. Training follows this revolution. At this point, Stallone knows there is nothing to transform; there is nothing to train.

In the ring, Stallone might as well been fighting Barbara Streisand for the world's worst movie award. At this point in the movie, I was on the edge of my seat, thinking, "Please, oh please, let this end!? Soon!"

Rocky Balboa is a great example to end while people love you. Don't burn out slowly. While he did reel in the money, at what cost did it come?

For anyone who thinks this is a good movie, I have nothing to say.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Buried in Mud & Water under the Earth

Louisville news has been saturated with the story of a cemetery in Madison, IN. Families suffered heartache once again dealing with the death of family members. To their dismay burial plans had not been carried through. Instead of burial in an airtight, vault underground, the deceased were found in water-filled mudholes.

Needless to say, families were shocked and horrified to learn of this present circumstance. Funerals are difficult enough to manage through as families make decisions and undertake the costs of the entire process (if not previously managed). For a husband, mother, son, or daughter to awaken to false handlings of such a delicate situation is disheartening and sorrowful.

The good news is that the grave is not our final resting place. Death is final, but burial is not the end. The local news closed this story by focusing on a tombstone that had etched in Jesus' words, "Come ye all that are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest," Matthew 11:28

Whereever one dies, it is not the end. However death comes it is not the end of the body or soul. We long for a much better place and Jesus promises a much better place, but it is not in an airtight catacomb, luxury suite, or any place. Our Rest is be found in Jesus because He is our Rest. Jesus said, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself that where I am there you may be also."

Friday, March 02, 2007

Check it Out!!!

After quite some time away from the blogging, I would like to highlight a new comer to blogosphere - my sister, Cindy.

There are many wonderful things to say about Cindy. First and foremost, add her to your list of blogs to read. She's relatively new with only a few posts, but her posts are warm and loving that center on her family.

I love hearing Cindy talk about her baby (ies). Listening to this new mother, MY SISTER, is so amazing that one whom I grew up with is now speaking so caringly, so maturely, so lovingly. God is so good and I praise Him for blessing Cindy with a great husband, Ivan and with their son, Preston.

Finally, I want to give Cindy a shout out that reaches all the way back to her senior year of high school. For some extra credit in her government class, Cindy turned in a speech for the VFW contest - Voices of Democracy. Let there be no doubt that her writing skills launched past regional speeches and triumphed over all state competitors that finally elevated her to the national level. Her speech continued to gather attention at the national level that took her on two trips to Washington D. C. and Las Vegas. She had the opportunity to rub elbows with Hershael Walker, Whoopi Goldberg, Harrison Ford, and Francis Ford Coppula. Cindy was excited about possibly meeting Oprah who was rumored to be there but didn't get the opportunity (yet!).

I would like to say that Cindy wrote the nation's best speech that year, but I can't. I knew at such a young age that something was sour about the judges. Recently my suspicions were recently confirmed. The judges have been implicated as Communists selling Human Growth Hormone and other performance inhancing drugs. There is no word yet as to the crown going to the rightful winner.

Nonetheless, enjoy Cindy's blog.