Thursday, November 30, 2006


I'm a few inches closer to school rhythm again, so i guess you could say the semester's second wind is here. I miss the girls for sure, and my love for them grows daily with the 1000 miles between us. It's funny how I notice that increasingly while they are's probably that the realization is hightened in solitude and absence. ?
Amber felt the baby move yesterday! Still only mama can feel it at this stage (we're into the 2nd trimester now), but soon we'll be able to feel and even see the kicking and squirming from the outside. I loved hearing the joy in her voice as she brought me the good news over the phone. There's something about truly good news and the heralds that bring it that causes unmatched anticipation and joy; I have this in mind with the season of Advent nearing. Listen to Mark: "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God..." How can I (we) ever prepare for a new baby? A new Kingdom?
Here's to new beginnings and the Word that brings them to life...

off to class...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Amberly had her first official appointment with our midwife today and everything seems to be going well. You can go here (14 weeks) to see what is going on developmentally with our little 3 1/2 inch baby. We got to hear a heartbeat today...that is such a fascinating thing. There are no visible outward signs yet, so when you hear that rapid pulse its like new life is announcing itself loud and clear! To top off an exciting day, some new friends brought dinner over (knowing Amberly has been sick) and we shared a great meal before i went to class. Bryan and Emily just got married about a week ago, and here they were bringing us was humbling and we remain grateful. I'm curious why i'm hesitant to receive gifts (and the simple gift of relationship itself) from people i do not know extremely well. We seem to have a tendency to stay at arms length with people for some reason. I know there are some good boundaries and protective instincts...but i also know that something in us resists sharing life with others. Every time we hang out with Adam & Dru we thoroughly enjoy it (and Morgan is especially excited), yet there is this lingering fear at times that we are burdening people. Do we all feel that to an extent? Maybe it's just that i suck at receiving...I mean, can i really enjoy Chad's gumbo and Meredith's hospitality if i can't simply be grateful? When McCrary offers me renewed friendship and i miss the point, or Fatty initiates a great conversation only for it to drop on my end...are there roots here in failure to "lean?" The list goes on and moves into the walls of my house as i miss the weight of my brother's words, Amber's thoughtful question, or Morgan's "hold you Dada?" I guess it all goes back to being present...truly the Father and to others. Here we learn to listen and receive well, just as we surely learn how to give and to speak. Thanks to all of you who will not let us live alone...but love Christ enough to bring new wine, even where the (my) wineskins haven't been changed in a while.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Church as Polis

Sometimes we figure the way to “change” things is to engage an existing culture (like America), adopt all of its particularities and structures and just hope we can sprinkle a little God (as if He were a consumable good) here and there. This happens as we try to “get our people in office” or superimpose something like the 10 commandments on people who don’t have the context to understand them. Another thing we might do is insulate ourselves from the “evils” of culture and end up building fences to keep things out in the name of holiness. I’ve participated in both of these erring worldviews. The kingdom of God is not passive or content to be relegated to an invocation at the super bowl. Rather, the kingdom of God involves an alternative (if you will) way of living and dying. Rodney Clapp and others have described this as the church being “culture-forming.” This alternative way is nothing fancy or a series of formulas, but a simple liturgy of worship, meals, Scripture, and baptism. Participating in this way of life truly creates something solid that people can see, touch, wonder about, and join in.

One way we are seeking to do this as a seminary by common readings. Each day, everyone has a chance to steep in the same passage of Scripture and ancient reading. This is one way we can move forward as a life-giving community. The reader is online as of today for this particular season, so anyone is welcome to share in this time!

You can find the Asbury Reader here.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

beans for the bachelor

The girls are back home for a few days with all of the family. I got a few pictures from my mom of Morgan...I sure miss listening to her throughout the day. It's funny the other things i miss, like watching her walk around carrying cups and pitchers from the kitchen or hearing the "crunch, crunch" of the latest item that she pirated from the (in a prior day unreachable) table.

Fernando Ortega was a guest at the seminary today as a part of Kingdom Conference (which began today). He played in chapel this morning as well as in a concert this evening. He has written many songs and has something like 14 albums out. He told us this evening that he was from New Mexico...turns out his family farmed in the Las Vegas area. Nice to hear some stories from the "homeland." (this tribute pic is for you, Fatty.)

It's time for me to read a little more now...adios

Sunday, September 03, 2006

It's only fitting...

In this world of blogging (that i had not previously entered), it seems hard to know where to start. I always feel this way with a new journal too. Am I waiting for the "perfect day" to blog about or the perfect setting? Anyways...

I chose today's story to begin my blog because it's funny, you'll appreciate it, and because i had a little time. It's only fitting that my 1st blog involves coffee and Morgan...2 of my great loves, right? As Amberly & i were drinking coffee and sharing the morning together, Morgan began to participate in our conversation (she does this in all sorts of creative ways!) by climbing up on the couch with us and on us while reaching for our coffee cups. We, being the proactive parents that we are, thought "we'll just let her try some and after tasting she won't want it any more." We decided against Amber's cup because she puts sugar and cream in hers and we figured it wouldn't be as "nasty" as mine (black.) After my cup had cooled for a moment longer, we let the trial begin. She grabbed the cup in anticipation, took a sip, then another, then..."ooooh, I like this Dada" was written all over her face! I even caught some "after evidence" on camera. much for the "let her taste it to keep her away from it" theory. I guess this means Morgan and I will be all set for conversations over coffee when she's older.