Monday, February 17, 2014

This Crazy Life of Ours

The Queen had the audacity to ask me the other night, " you think we're signing on to a life of never-ending craziness?"

"Of course we are."

Our adoption this time has taken 25% of the time it took with Peanut.  25% of the time.  That's crazy. The mountains we have seen God move have been Himalayan, and that's crazy - but He never got tired, thankfully.  We are flying out in a few days (we even got reasonable airfare).  That's crazy.  We'll come back to a slew of medical appointments, which will open up a whole new can of craziness.

But through it all, I can absolutely say this:  we never would've seen God move in the ways He has if we had stayed comfortable.

May that be a lesson we continually live - and may you risk something and find it to be true too.

P.S.  Happy Anniversary to Heritage Park.  Thanks for putting up with me for 7 years.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sermon Notes from Sunday, 2.16.14 on Galatians 1.10-2.6

Here are the sermon notes from Sunday, 2.16.14, on Galatians 1.10-2.6.  You can get these notes in PDF and the sermon audio at  You can also download the audio via our podcast on iTunes.

Part 3 – The Importance of your Story
Galatians 1.10-2.6

Paul’s argument:
·      You say that I dilute the Gospel by not including circumcision as a necessary part of following Jesus
·      I say that you are distorting the Gospel by making it solely for Jews or those willing to become Jews
·      You say that the Gospel starts in Jerusalem (and is thus Jewish)
·      I say the that Gospel starts in Jesus (and is for the world)

You have a story
·      Key Words – History, Revelation, Commission

Your story overcomes objections and answers questions
·      Your story carries authority because Christ carries authority
·      Challenges to our story are not answered with argument but with ethos
·      It is inherently invitational:  inviting people into your story and God’s story

Pastoral thoughts:
·      Relationships are bridges for truth
·      Relationships don’t get built without time
·      People can reject the truth but cannot refute your story

·      Tell your story in such a way that the right person gets the glory

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Prayer Update on the Adoption

I'm reposting this from my wife's blog because this is where our family is right now:

Before I ask you to pray for a miracle, I want to tell you that it has been done before.

When we were waiting on Peanut, we received our TA in record time.  You can read about that HERE.

Now we need a TA so we can go get Maggie.  We have been told that it takes generally 2-4 weeks and they have seen it come in 1 week only 1 time before.  If we could get our TA in one week (by this Friday) we could travel next Thursday to get our Maggie.  There is a chance we could still travel if it comes on Monday or Tuesday but tickets go up in price as you get that close to travel and we would have a little more trouble getting a consulate appointment so this Friday would be ideal.  

Would you pray with us that we could travel to get our baby girl next week?  Pray that China would look at her condition and be motivated to move quickly on her behalf.  Then if you are feeling motivated to pray some more, some inexpensive plane tickets would be AWESOME!

Thank you from this momma's heart

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I have found a new prayer for my kids...

I have found a new prayer for my kids in an unlikely place.  The biblical book of Job.

And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great. [Job 8.7]

Bildad, Job's unfriendly friend, says this to Job in the midst of his suffering.  It's in the context of God's justice in the world and, essentially, a call to repentance.  We know how the story goes:  Job wasn't particularly guilty of anything except loving God so much, so Satan was allowed to test him with disaster, disease, and dumb friends.

Terrible friends though they were, they didn't necessarily lie.  God is just.  God does rouse Himself on behalf of those who see Him (8.4-6).  Those things are true.  They just weren't particularly helpful to Job - and for the record, not particularly helpful in the hospital room either.

That is all digression to come back around to this point.  I like the prayer that leapt in my heart when I read 8.7 this week as part of my McCheyne reading plan.  

I like it because all four of my kids have faced hardships in their lives in the earliest of stages.  The Bear has a hereditary issue that is degenerative which we discovered at 4.  The Ninja had emergency surgery at 6 weeks, had significant food allergies until he was 2, and almost had his liver shut down at 18 months.  The Peanut started life in a different country and has physical challenges of her own.  And the latest addition (who isn't in our possession yet) may very well top them all with her situation.  

Though the beginning was small, may their latter days be great.  And not just great.  Very great.  Influentially great.  Powerfully great.  Love-soaked great.  Loyalty-stained great.  Much-fruit great.  Very great.

A new prayer birthed in a dad's heart.  You're welcome to join in for your own kids in the same way.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sadness for Philip Seymour Hoffman

I have one primary thought about the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman's passing.  I have other thoughts, secondary ones about the media coverage surrounding him and his circumstances.  Those I will save for another post.

The primary thought I have had as I reflect on him is the terrible hole in his heart that created the need to feed heroin into his veins.

We all have the same issue.  It's a vacuum in there, something like a black hole that keeps consuming and consuming and consuming.  Some need affection, so they feed the vacuum with relationship after relationship.  Some need significance, so they throw status symbol after status symbol into the hole to see if it will fill.  Some need purpose, so they go running from cause to cause and often wear themselves out.

On and on we could go.

The secret of this pursuit is its vanity.  It's as ridiculous as you individually throwing one grain of sand into the Grand Canyon at a time, claiming you're going to fill it.  The Bible says it's like that because eternity as been placed in our hearts and, therefore, nothing temporal can fill it.  Nothing.

Not a new job.  Not a new relationship.  Not a new possession.  Not anything.

Certainly not heroin.  It may numb us - anything can sate for a moment.  But it can't satisfy.

I'm sad for PSH because of the hole in his heart that caused him to put heroin in his veins.  And I know that's a human epidemic.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sermon Notes from Sunday, 2.9.14, on Galatians 1.1-9

Here are the sermon notes from Sunday, 2.9.14, on Galatians 1.1-9.  You can find the sermon audio and these notes in PDF at  You can also download the audio via our podcast on iTunes.

2 – When Another Gospel is not Another Gospel 
Galatians 1.1-9

The Facts: Jesus died for our sin – Jesus delivers us – God designed His rescue plan

  • We have a deep-rooted proclivity to self-justify (which leads to condemnation)
  • There are people who want to distort the Gospel for their gain

  • By rejecting it – “I’m not guilty”
  • By replacing Him in it – “the church = Christ” instead of “church = body of
  • By denying parts of it – more liberal theology (no deity -> no atonement ->
    just a teacher -> moral revolution)
  • By denying implications of it – HWP vs. Acts 14
  • Be adding to it – the problem of the Galatians

    Why is this a big deal?
  • There is a curse for those who do
  • The exclusivity of Christ demands the exclusivity of the message about Christ
  • Distorting the Gospel is Deserting God