Saturday, October 27, 2007

Yet Another Quotable Quote

"I want to affirm the fundamentals of the faith and stand in the tradition of historic orthodoxy and the Rule of Faith. But I'd rather be stripped naked, tarred, feathered, and paraded around Tenessee Temple University while wearing a sign saying "I am Bill Clinton's love child, so make me governor of Tenessee" before I became a Fundamentalist."

-Mike Bird, speaking on Fundamentalism - and based on the context, the kind I grew up in :-)

p.s. The CT article he was referencing links to Baylor's blog. Schmoozing...the real reason he went to TEDS :-)

For all you Covey Haters

The Franklin Covey planners have some quotable quotes. Granted there a mix and more or less hit or miss. Nevertheless, this is the best one I've come across:

"Imagination continually frustrates traditions; that is its function."

- John Pfeiffer

I don't know who Pfeiffer is, but if that's not a missional quote, I'm not sure what is :-)

Keller on Contextualization

This is hands down the best thing I've heard on contextualization so far. Tim Keller audio from Covenant Seminary: Part 1 and Part 2. These two are must listen to's.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oh What a Night...

While I had every intention of continuing my thoughts on childhood tonight, I'm too wiped. I just got home from work and spent from 6-10pm teaching, non-stop on credit cards, how they work and how to collect on them. That's not even including the rest of the teaching I did this afternoon before dinner. While four hours of non-stop teaching may not seem like alot to those of you who do it for a living, remember: credit cards aren't nearly as exciting as world history, bible or even literature. It ranks right up there with teaching 4 hours of math or grammar. I never cease to marvel at how much credit card junk and gibberish I've amassed into my head over the last 2 years. I used the phrase, "Fee non-assesment to prevent negative amortization as per FDCPA guidelines" on more than one occaision tonight. The scary part is that I actually know what that means and how to use it in a sentence. Even scarier is the fact that several of you reading this do to. Goodnight!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Some Thoughts on Being a Dad

Don't let the title fool you; I'm no pro, but rather a newbie myself. However, since several people I know who read this blog are recent Dad's, will be someday, or will be soon (and there are several of you in this category so don't worry, I'm not destroying anyone's anonymity or secret), I was thinking through what it felt like to be a new Dad and an "expecting Dad" and thought I'd throw some thoughts out there for whatever they're worth.

1) From when my wife was roughly 6 months pregnant till Noah was about 4 months old, I was freaking out about how having a kid would affect our lives and particularly our financial "stability" if you could call it that. Up until she was six months pregnant, it was all fun and exciting. When that belly started to grow, reality set in and I started thinking about budget, discipline, dating, college, etc... Have no fear on this one. In many ways, it's not a big deal. And in the ways it is a big deal...many of them are wonderful changes. Of course, it took me almost 4 months to figure out that diapers are affordable and baby food can be squeezed into a tight budget (especially with some help from the fam and the state :-). And the bottom line - God provides. Sure it affected our lives in other ways, but those are ENTIRELY for the better. I love being a Dad and I love my son more than I could ever have imagined I would. My only regret is definately that we did not start sooner.

2) The first 3 months aren't necessarily a microcosm of what the rest of parenting will be like. Noah's first night home I only slept about 2 hours and Dawn only slept about 1. I remember being scared to death that I wouldn't be able to survive the next six months at this pace. While sleeping patterns do differ for every child and even the same child will change at different stages, my experience has been that routine and predicability are a bit more frequent after 3 months. Plus, you're pretty used to the idea of being parents by then (the learning curve is steep here - you go from 0-60 in the first few weeks alone) and above all, your kid starts responding and developing personality around this time (in other words, ALL of those smiles can't be gas, some of them must really be smiles).

3) Your life WILL change and every child is different. I group these two together because, they're common fallacies for expecting/new parents. You hear people say dumb stuff like the child will adapt to their schedule/lifestyle, because theirs won't be a child-centered home or frowning on a type of discipline method that doesn't include spanking. Maybe these two are overly specific, but I bring them up because that's how I thought. Mea culpa. Whether your home is child centered or not, your lifestyle and schedule will and should adapt to a new family member. Likewise, not all children are alike; thus, different forms of discipline may be effective on different children at different stages. Example - when Noah fussed between 6 or 7 months to 1yr (that is between when he learned no, but still couldn't walk) we knew we couldn't spank him for attitudinal issues because he wouldn't understand why he was being punished. Time outs, on the other hand, were extremely effective, because he loved to be with us so much and he couldn't get around on his own. Though I swore I would never use them, they turned out to be the most efficient and effective way to break his will without breaking his spirit. Live and learn.

There's more I could and may say, but this is long enough as it is. I may do a part two later this week.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Marveling at the Lord's Working

I had a great phone call on the way home from work tonight that made my day. I was talking to a couple that housed Dawn and I for several months when we first moved down here to VA Beach for seminary. There was no apartment availability in our price range for the first few months, so they graciously opened there home to us. Sure, it's always a little weird living with total strangers, but they were very hospitable.

I found out later that we were sort of a test case. They had volunteered to house seminary students on a trial basis and we were the guinea pigs. They were new to the church and not very involved or plugged in. Our stay with them went very well and they went on to have many more seminarians in to their home over the next 4 years. It was fascinating to see their involvement in the local assembly grow during that time as well. Last year the Lord took them to another state via a job transfer. During our discussion tonight, I discovered that they are doing very well, plugged into and active in their local church. They shared with me of how the Lord is deepening their trust in Him and strengthening their prayer lifes. They are attending a small church with an older pastor with a BA from a christian college. They have been actively encouraging him to seek out a seminarian for a summer intern to help with his workload and to work with the teens. They even took the initiative to contact the seminary and put in a request for such a seminarian and assured their pastor that they would house him for the summer.

As we wrapped up the call, I was just so how amazed at how God works. He caused them to step out in faith initially to open their home and through their willing ministry He deepened their involvement with His body.

For just as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body – though many – are one body, so too is Christ.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gathercole and Williams on the NPP

If you haven't seen it yet, the latest 9 Marks Interview is with Simon Gathercole and Pete Williams, both Cambridge boys now, formerly of Aberdeen. The topic? The New Perspective on Paul. Both of these guys a great scholars and typically handle the issues in a balanced and fair way, and you can count on the fact that they've done there homework. Gathercole did his PhD under Dunn and dealt with the topic too, which always heightens the interest.

Eberhard Busch Lecturing at Princeton

I'm finally breaking my silence in the blogosphere after almost a week out (I've been on sabbatical - at work, doing a manager relief assignment, and occaisionally seeing my family, sleeping only if there was time left over). When I pulled up my google reader account there were over 400 posts to follow up on, though I barely skimmed more than 100 of them. This one caught my interest though - Eberhard Busch will be lecturing on Barth at Princeton Theological Seminary next month. Sure for those of you sweet guys that are in Chicago, that's a bit of a trek, but not for us on the East Coast. Of course I doubt I'll make it with work and all, but I could if I wanted to :-) Anyway the post itself gave some interesting info to. Though I knew Busch was a first class Barth scholar, I never realized he was Barth's last research assistant. That's pretty cool stuff.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

7 Habits Update

I've completed day 2 (out of 3) of my 7 Habits of Highly Effective People class at work. God obviously want me to learn this stuff, because in the last 10 years this is the 3rd time I've been through the material at no cost to self (in fact twice I was paid to go through it). I've finally matured enough to see the value of it. It also helps to have heard Driscoll endorse it (he's cooler than Fressle :-) Anyway, it really does have a lot of common sense wisdom to it and it is one good way (though there are certainly others) to maximize your effectivness and productivity in life. Ironically, based on my own perception as well as feedback from several of my peers in the form of a survey, I already operate by quite a few of the principles intuitively. Nevertheless, I still have plenty of room to improve. Some of the areas on my feedback from the survey were: 1) Learning to delegate 2) Stop procratinating and 3) Planning ahead to avoid crises. Hands down my greatest strength is Habit 5 - seek first to understand and then to be understood. This is so much a part of who I am it's not even funny. I think it was Socrates that said "The unexamined life is not worth living" and i'm starting to agree more and more; particularly in view of the fact that one day it WILL be examined, like it or not. Anyway, good stuff and I hope tools that will help me become a more effective church planter someday soon as well as putting feet to the concept of glorifying God by enjoying Him forever.

Two Caveats: 1) I'm still no "covey-ite" though the man is a tremendous speaker. 2) I still have not repented about Maxwell :-)