Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Order of Creation

I'm not posting to give an answer to the age of the earth or universe. I can tell you the order of creation, but it would be much easier for you to look up Genesis 1 and read it. See The Economist's review of Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow's new release The Grand Design. Hawking has made several "appearances" on The Simpson's but in real life he's a famous physicist well known for A Brief History of Time. If we had a coffee table I'm sure our illustrated copy of A Brief History of Time would be a fun piece of decoration, but we don't have a coffee table. Nonetheless check out The Economist's unimpressed review.

Their conclusion:

Once upon a time it was the province of philosophy to propose ambitious and outlandish theories in advance of any concrete evidence for them. Perhaps science, as Professor Hawking and Mr Mlodinow practice it in their airier moments, has indeed changed places with philosophy, though probably not quite in the way that they think.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Orphan Care is Spiritual Warfare

Here is an article written by Dr. Russell Moore in Christianity Today. It was written a couple of months ago, but is well worth the read today.

We evangelicals often seem to identify more around corporate brands and political parties than with each other in our local churches. But our adoption in Christ makes us not warring partisans but loving siblings, whom the Spirit has taken from the babble of Babel to the oneness of Pentecost. The church's unity attests to the "manifold wisdom of God" (Eph. 3:10). Would our gospel be more credible if "church family" wasn't just a slogan, if "brothers and sisters" was more than metaphor? What would happen if the world saw fewer "white churches" and "black churches," fewer "blue-collar churches" and "white-collar churches," and fewer baby boomer and emerging churches, and saw more churches whose members have little in common except being saved by the gospel?
Our churches ought to be showing the families therein how love and belonging transcend categories of the flesh. Instead, though, it seems God is using families who adopt to teach the church. In fact, perhaps we so often wonder whether adopted children can really be brothers and sisters because we so rarely see it displayed in our pews. Some—maybe even you—might wonder how an African American family could love a white Ukrainian baby, how a Haitian teenager could call Swedish parents Mom and Dad. The adoption movement is challenging the impoverished hegemony of our carnal sameness, as more and more families in the church are starting to show fellow believers the meaning of unity in diversity.
That's why adoption and orphan care can ultimately make the church a counterculture. The demonic rulers of the age hate orphans because they hate babies—and have from Pharaoh to Moloch to Herod to the divorce culture to malaria to HIV/AIDS. They hate foster care and orphan advocacy because these actions are icons of the gospel's eternal reality. Our enemies would prefer that we find our identity and inheritance in what we can see and verify as ours—the flesh—rather than according to the veiled rhythms of the Spirit. Orphan care isn't charity; it's spiritual warfare.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Gospel of Wealth

Here is an interesting op-ed piece from David Brooks - The Gospel of Wealth. He highlights the American Dream clash with excess and how certain "groups" are reshaping the restraint that was once present in America.

Here are some of his statements:

People bought bulbous vehicles like Hummers and Suburbans. The rule was, The Smaller the Woman, the Bigger the Car — so you would see a 90-pound lady in tennis whites driving a 4-ton truck with enough headroom to allow her to drive with her doubles partner perched atop her shoulders.

In the coming years of slow growth, people are bound to establish new norms and seek noneconomic ways to find meaning. One of the interesting figures in this recalibration effort is David Platt.

Jesus, Platt notes, made it hard on his followers. He created a minichurch, not a mega one. Today, however, building budgets dwarf charitable budgets, and Jesus is portrayed as a genial suburban dude. “When we gather in our church building to sing and lift up our hands in worship, we may not actually be worshipping the Jesus of the Bible. Instead, we may be worshipping ourselves.”

Platt is in the tradition of those who don’t believe these two spheres can be reconciled. The material world is too soul-destroying. “The American dream radically differs from the call of Jesus and the essence of the Gospel,” he argues.

But the Gospel rejects the focus on self: “God actually delights in exalting our inability.” The American dream emphasizes upward mobility, but “success in the kingdom of God involves moving down, not up.”

Saturday, September 04, 2010


I read this blog earlier and have a very hard time categorizing it. When you read it, I'm sure you will find sadness yet peace in God. I can't imagine the sorrow this couple is going through, but I take them at their word when they hoping in the Lord while they suffer. Read it here or below. Please pray for Zach and Jennifer.

The Glory of It All
September 2, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010. Zack and I visited the perinatal clinic for a “just to be sure everything’s o.k.” ultrasound. I had already had two normal ultrasounds and at fourteen weeks thought I was not in danger of losing this baby. From the start of the day, things were off. We got up late, got to the clinic late, there was only one doctor working. And then…Immediately the ultrasound tech knew something was wrong, though she put on a good show for us. She paged the only doctor working at the clinic and he came immediately to let me know in no uncertain terms, that my baby would not live once it was born. He spouted off a lot of medical terms and possibilities, none of which I remembered. I came away from that appointment knowing only that my baby would die and that as the doctor said, “This is much worse than Down Syndrome.”

The doctor left us alone in the room to process the news and as Zack held me while I cried and my heart broke at the thought of carrying this baby for six more months and then losing it, a peace settled over me. I had a sense that this was God’s plan for our lives and we would live it, like we had lived everything else. Like Zack had lived the death of his father when he was only seventeen, or we had lived the two miscarriages prior to the birth of our son John Owen. We’d live it because we wholeheartedly trust that God’s plans are best.

Today we returned to the perinatal clinic so they could try and determine exactly what was wrong with the baby. The answer: anencephaly. I sat staring at the picture of my baby that the ultrasound tech had left up (by mistake probably) as the doctor talked and talked and tried to console us and offer us “early delivery” and reassure us that it wasn’t our fault. I just sat and stared. None of those things he said offered any consolation to me, any hope. For the ten days prior to today, I had believed and known with everything inside of me that God could heal my baby. BUT today as I sat and stared at my baby, something inside of me knew that maybe healing wasn’t God’s best in this situation.

Our desire has been to glorify God in all we do. I fail miserably most days. Especially while we are on this journey though, my heart cries out to glorify God above all else. And maybe God will receive more glory through our suffering than through a miracle. Maybe not. All things are possible with God.

But today…I grieve.

I grieve for my little girl kicking and growing inside of me–Ella Grace.

I grieve for my husband who tries so hard to understand me and wants desperately to make things better.

I grieve for my family, friends, and church family who hurt with us as we travel this road.

At the end of this journey I hope people can say that God received glory.

I hope we suffer well.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The net connecting us all

I'm a big fan of the new developments in gmail. Not only can you chat or video chat with people (not that I chat with people or video chat with people outside of my parents who really just want to see the kids and occasionally with Freddy T.) now you can call cell phones and landlines for free. That's right I said for free.
I'm a big fan of this new development because we use our cell phones for calling and that's it. Now that I have another outlet to use minutes I don't have to sweat at the end of the month and make sure my phone calls end in one minute or calling people after 9 pm.
It's an interesting development in the cell phone world too. It hasn't been a secret that data is the premium sales ticket rather than minutes. Thus, in our Decade of Disconnect we're already avoiding texting and data costs and reaping the benefits of no price calling.
Yes, I identify with Karen's term "Decade of Disconnect". In reality both terms are used lightly, kind of like Made from Scratch Lemonade at O'Charley's which is made with soda water, and lemon flavoring. Yes, we are disconnected without a TV. But we have the internet. No we don't text either, but we have cell phones. As for texting, I'm not opposed to texting in general, but I am opposed to conversational texting. The bottom line is which is most practical - texting or talking?
Nonetheless we're not totally disconnected even if it takes a Newsweek article to let us in on the Jersey Shore phenomenon. Decade is used loosely too since there is no way to know what technology will bring in ten years.
For now, I'll indulge in the latest tech fun with gmail. If you look at your caller id and don't recognize the number go ahead and answer it, it might be me!