Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blaming God for a dropped ball

By now you probably have heard about Buffalo Bills receiver, Steve Johnson blaming God for his dropped pass in overtime this past Sunday. Here's the play:




Johnson was understandably distraught after the game and tweeted the following:

"I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO..."

The next day he explained his tweet by saying he was just upset and crying out to God. Fair enough. He's a young, passionate, competitor. Still though, his statement blaming God spread rapidly on various news media outlets and various blogs, especially Christian ones.

Here's my take- yes Steve, God did make you drop that pass.

Romans 11:36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever.

Ephesians 1:11 ...we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will...

Daniel 4:35 (in KJV because I like how it sounds) ...And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, `What hast Thou done?'

Now let's all move on.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Scalia on the danger of "living Constitution" interpretation


Antonin Scalia captures the problem with considering the Constitution a living document-

"Government by judges is inevitable when the original meaning of legal language in laws and constitutions is not respected."

This attitude, he said, allows “five out of nine hotshot lawyers to run the country.”

“The Constitution says what it says and it doesn’t say anything more.”

“The way to change the Constitution is through amendments approved by the people, not by judges altering the meaning of its words."



Check out the entire post here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Treasuring and Pondering Christ


I am surely not the only preacher to utilize this verse during Advent-

Luke 2:19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.

The more I have thought about this comment in the midst of the Luke 2 Christmas story, the more I am amazed. Honestly, who cares about what Mary did regarding these events? I don't mean to sound insensitive, but the events of Advent/Christmas are so much bigger than any one person, even Mary. It seems like a superfluous, unnecessary comment, yet my doctrine of Scripture tells me every sentence in God's Word is significant.

What does it mean to "treasure up" something? Simply put, it means to see something as valuable and to put it is a special, safe place. To treasure something up is like clicking "save" on a document you don't want to lose. What does it mean to "ponder something in your heart"? It means to pull that treasured thing out and examine it closer. It means to mull something, to contemplate the meaning of something, to reflect upon it, meditate concerning it, to consider something deeply.

Mary saw all that led up to the moment of the Shepherds visit as events and promises to be treasured and mulled over carefully. Still though, is this necessary information? Why the short pause in the midst of telling such a cosmically profound story? Fine, Mary treasured and pondered, now lets get back to seeing the great plan of God's redemption unfold. Do we get to hear Joseph's personal take next? How about one of the Shepherds being pumped? Come on already.

You know, as I think about this simple statement in verse 19 it strikes me that God really cares about each of His children personally. Yes He was bringing to pass the fulfillment of a centuries old prophecy. It is true that God was working over the course of millennia to weave events and individuals to the very moment of Christ's birth. Indeed the incarnation of Christ is bigger than any of us personally. The reaction of one individual in the midst of this grand culmination of prophetic shadows really isn't that important, is it? God must think so. Why else would the reaction of Mary be noted for us?

I think this verse is for us to appreciate the very personal component of God's bigger, "macro" plan and work of redemption. We should stand back and be in awe concerning what God has orchestrated and continues to do, but we must also consider it's effect on us. Mary had to be in awe concerning the fulfillment of OT promises in the way God was doing it, but she also just gave birth after a total whirlwind of a year complete with angelic visitors, a virgin birth, and the experience of an incomparable emotional spectrum. Mary did the right thing here- she treasured these valuable events. They were valuable to all mankind, and to her. Mary also pondered them in her heart. She considered the meaning of all she had witnessed and experienced, and mulled them over in her heart, to herself.

What is the effect of this treasuring and pondering? When we're talking about God's plan of redemption and the person and work of Christ, the effect is to make these things all the more valuable to us. What effect would a more regular pondering of Christ's willingness to come as a man to bear our sins have? What effect would a very personal consideration about Christ coming to save me have?

I am left to believe this verse is placed as an example for us about being careful to treasure and ponder Christ. Luke's Holy Spirit-guided insertion of this comment is actually not superfluous at all, in fact, it contributes to why Luke 2 is so profound.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Heidelberg Catechism Rap


You have to hear this. The first ever rap about the Heidelberg Catechism (a historic Reformed confession).

To listen, go here. You'll have to look at the post to see where to click and listen. The lyrics are printed on the blog post from C.J. Mahaney. The artist is Curtis Allen, a.k.a "Voice". As a former rapper myself, I can say this brother is a solid lyricist. Check out his album here.

Great stuff.

HT: Jersey Jeff

Another Surprise Performance

I didn't post the Macy's "Random Act of Culture" where a choir of professionals were hidden amongst shoppers at a mall in Philadelphia and suddenly broke out with Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus". It went viral so quickly through Facebook and email that I figured Reep readers would have seen it already. It was an awesome occurrence to say the least.

Well, here's another one from a couple weeks ago in a food court at a mall somewhere in the U.S. Again, it's pretty neat. It gave me the goosebumps.

My sincere hope regarding these events is for people to actually consider what the song means. It comes from the greatest musical composition in history, based on the very words of Scripture.



The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
And of His Christ, and of His Christ;
And He shall reign for ever and ever,
For ever and ever, forever and ever....

Carl Trueman on how churches go liberal


Carl Trueman has a new series of posts on how evangelical churches go down the road to liberalism. So far he is up to three excellent posts.

His posts are called "How the churches lose the plot"

Every church leader should read these posts.

How churches lose the plot (part 1)

How churches lose the plot (part 2)

How churches lose the plot (part 3)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Voyage of the Dawn Treader coming soon

Less then 2 weeks from my favorite of the Narnia books in movie form-



The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is where the warrior mouse, Reepicheep, shines. I hope the producers do a good job with my favorite fictional character and namesake of this blog.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

2010 Thanksgiving


I hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving holiday rest. I might even watch a football game tomorrow. This has been a strange few months for my family and I with my knee issues. Here are some things I am thankful for in light of my current situation:

1. A sovereign God- my situation has been ordained by Someone who is wiser than I and knows exactly what I need.

2. A servant wife and family- this situation causes lots of inconvenience for my family. I can't drive for a month. I can't put weight on this leg at all, so my boys have to fetch lots of stuff for me when I'm home. When I'm home, I'm basically stuck in the recliner, etc. etc.

3. Health Insurance- I wasn't quite prepared to meet this year's deductible within a month. That's a bit of a financial strain on us. I think we'll hit it early again next year which will be more money... However, my insurance covers the vast majority of the huge bills I'm racking up. I'd be destitute without it.

4. Dr. Vincent Key- Though I hardly know him, he spent years and lots of money training to fix injuries like mine. I'm thankful for his expertise as a doctor and surgeon.

5. Faithful and capable co-laborers at RPC- Nathan, Brian, and Jon are solid brothers, but this situation has served to make that more obvious to me. The elders are also strong, stable, leaders who have always given me great support and encouragement-especially over the last 6 weeks.

6. An old buck who decided to take the path that led him to walk in front of me (of course, this has to do with #1) just 2 days before my surgery. He lived a good life. Heck, he was breeding a doe shortly before my arrow passed through both his lungs. That's not a bad way to go out, right? Hey, he'll live forever now- on my wall.

7. Some down time- Usually I'm pretty busy the second half of November through December. A mixture of church and school events coupled with getting out to hunt many mornings, makes this time hectic and not very relaxed. This year, I've spent lots of time in my seat reading, studying, emailing, blogging, talking, and thinking. I think it has been good for me and has actually enhanced my teaching a bit.

8. Friends- On one hand I'm tired of talking about my situation, on the other hand I am overwhelmed with the care that has been expressed. All the attention has been humbling. I am blessed with many people who care about me greatly.

9. My Mac laptop- There, I said it. It's been sweet. Way better than a PC.

10. Health- This knee issue is small potatoes in the greater scheme of things. It's a big deal to me right now, but whenever I get down, I think about the reasonable surety that I will get better. So many dear brothers and sisters in Christ suffer from chronic ailments that seem to have no earthly cure. At this point, my situation is temporary. I am more appreciative of the health God gives because of this situation. I also pray more ardently for those who truly suffer.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fun with a Decoy



Exactly one week before I killed my buck, Nathan and I were set up in the same place and had a fun encounter with a young 8-point.

I saw the buck moving about 100 yards away from our set up, so I grunt called to him. He came toward us immediately, then saw the decoy. The video begins with him noticing the decoy.

The decoy is set up 25 yards ahead of us. We are on the ground. Notice how he circles around the decoy to confront him head on. He is also posturing with his ears back and fir bristled up to make himself look bigger. What is amazing is how he looks at me several times, with bow in hand, and opts to confront the decoy rather than become nervous about what I was. I drew my bow several times to experiment with how powerful the decoy was. The buck is never more than 20 yards from us in this video, at the closest he got to 10 steps!

While this is a young deer, it can work on old deer also. I killed my buck exactly a week after this episode in the same spot again with the decoy. The buck I killed was a 7.5 year old monarch, however. Fun stuff.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Post-Operation Check-up




So today I went in to have my operation dressing removed and some new, fresh ones put on.

That was fun.

You can see the nasty stitches. Lots of them. Doctor Key says I'm healing well, so I'll trust him. I can't put weight on the leg for about 3 more weeks.

Quite a ride!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

MLS Championship: Dallas VS Colorado (UPDATE: Colorado wins!)



Tonight is the night one team will be crowned the champion of MLS. MLS has a long, grueling schedule of 30 league games over 9 months with many other tournament games interspersed. Additionally many players get called to their national teams during an MLS season. So it comes down to tonights game in Toronto- FC Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids.

I got to see three Colorado games this summer in Denver, one was actually between these two teams. Next to the Wizards (I'm still not able to say Sporting KC yet), the Rapids are my next favorite team, but I'm not too passionate about them. Connor Casey is one of my favorite forwards and I like Pablo Mastroeni as a defensive center mid. FC Dallas has been pretty much a joke since they joined MLS. Brian Hough, my friend and our illustrious youth pastor, loves FC Dallas. He loves hundreds of teams (which change month to month), but I will admit FC Dallas is a team he has supported from the beginning. This has been a superb year for FC Dallas (especially if you like ties). Needless to say, Brian is pretty pumped. After church the Hough family will come over so we can view this game together. I want the Rapids to win, but I can't bear to see a grown man cry if FC Dallas loses. Wait a minute...yes I can!

WE ALL BLEED BURGUNDY!!!! OLE- OLE- OLE>>>>>>COLORADO!!!

UPDATE: COLORADO WINS THE MLS CUP, 2-1


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thoughts on Wizards to "Sporting KC"


The president of the KC Wizards ownership group (Ongoal), Rob Heineman, officially announced the change of names for the KC Wizards (See here) that has been rumored for some time. The Kansas City Wizards will now be branded "Sporting KC". The idea of a sports club is a European construct with the clearest example for soccer fans being Sporting Club Portugal. Much like the Dallas Burn changing their name to "FC Dallas", Salt Lake City taking the name "Real Salt Lake", and a Los Angeles based team branding themselves "Chivas USA", Kansas City seems to be taking a cue from foreign soccer influences with this name change.

Rob Heineman announced the name change last night with a tone of friendly defense as he must know most die hards are not happy about the new name. He made several references to his willingness to explain the new name and even walked through the new logo explaining what everything symbolized on the new crest. The crowd was not very responsive regarding the name change and reacted awkwardly when Jimmy Conrad and Omar Bravo came out to model the new jerseys for 2011. Try to find anyone who is excited about the name change outside of Ongoal's payroll. Lots of people know how much I love soccer and the Wizards, so I received no less than 20 emails, texts, tweets, or comments about how dumb the new name sounds. I think many people would have been fine with re-branding, but the name chosen is just so blah.

Changing to Sporting KC seems pointless to me. "The Wizards" isn't the best team name that could be chosen, but it has a history as an original MLS team, a distinctly American flair and an MLS Championship to its credit. The Kansas City Wizards is an American style team name- we include our city name and a mascot that has something to do with our regions image. Who cares what soccer teams in Spain do? What does a bunch of English po-dunk towns uniting to form a team mean to us? "FC"? Who in the U.S. calls soccer football? Americans have a different way of naming our teams, a sensible way in it's own right. Wizard, of course, refers to the classic movie about Kansas and a land called OZ. The original logo had a rainbow in it. "Sporting KC" is not how we name our teams. MLS has progressed nicely over the years establishing it's own identity and style of play. Sure, MLS is not on par with the English, Italian, or Spanish leagues, but it has nothing to be ashamed of. MLS and U.S. soccer is on a good trajectory. Naming U.S. soccer teams in a style reflective of European or Mexican clubs communicates we are not legitimate based on our own soccer merit but have to hearken to these supposed superior soccer countries. Frankly, I think the draw toward European style names might be a kind of bid to be like those sophisticated Europeans instead of us uncultured Yanks. It sure seems like MLS has made an attempt to be as un-American as possible by using European names like KC has now done. MLS has to believe it will make the league more marketable or they wouldn't do it. Seriously, how many Americans know what "sporting club" means? Heineman referred to Sporting KC not only being about soccer but also lacrosse and rugby. Seriously? In Kansas City? Ongoal is way too smart to just be playing a hunch on this. Surely they have solid market research information that indicates a positive long term effect by this name and concept change? The vision of Ongoal seems to include a concept that includes several sports and participants, the soccer team is just one of these components. They are working out a vision, not trying to tick fans off. They firmly believe the name change will contribute to a particular vision they have.

At this point I don't share their vision, I only care about supporting a solid soccer club. I don't care about lacrosse, rugby, or even a strong alliance or promotion of youth leagues. Ongoal will have to work much harder to sell the vision they have, as it's foreign and unclear to most of the people they will need to fill the 19,000 seats being bolted in place right now.

I am convinced that Rob Heineman and Ongoal are the best things that have happened to KC Soccer. They saved the Wizards from moving to a different city when the Hunt family started talking about selling. Rob Heineman and company are responsible for the beautiful new soccer-specific stadium being built up near the Legends. Ongoal's commitment to establishing and strengthening the team is what prompted me to pull the trigger and become a season ticket holder three seasons ago. They signed Claudio Lopez despite having to play in a temporary stadium (Community America Ballpark) that could never hold enough fans to make much of a profit. The players are very accessible and play a good quality of soccer, sometimes very good. MLS soccer in KC has a bright future- no hooligans, a passionate group of die hard supporters (The Cauldron), a growing season ticket holder base, a nice uniform kit, a solid group of young players, and the new stadium.

So why change the name to "Sporting KC"? Listening to Rob Heineman on Wednesday convinces me that he is convinced it is a good change. Ongoal has some kind of vision for how this will be unique, innovative, and of course, successful. Heineman is an incredibly accessible individual who is confident and careful. Again, he has to know most Wizards fans are not keen about this name change, yet he was undaunted throwing the "Big News" party in the P&L district. There wasn't great excitement expressed by the crowd about the name change or the new kits (I felt sorry for Jimmy Conrad and Omar Bravo having to model those drab shirts), but the reaction could have been a lot more hostile. Still, Heineman took the decision and vision of Ongoal right to the fans fully anticipating they will come around to see his vision eventually.

I don't know about the realization of some kind of sporting club culture, but Heineman is right, the fans will come around to it. They will have to. I hate the name. I find it embarrassing, yet, I will renew my season tickets and support the team. I love soccer, MLS, and so do my boys. Changing the name of a team isn't the end of a true fans devotion, but it is annoying and wastes a life line, so to speak.

So, Ongoal has this vision and "Sporting KC" is the name that captures it for them. Ongoal bought and saved the Wizards, they can name the team whatever they want. Period. I really despise the name and the whole need to be European trend in MLS, but Ongoal owns the team, not me. "Sporting KC" inspires absolutely nothing that I can see, but Ongoal sees it differently. Frankly, I feel like Ongoal used the euphoria of a new stadium and player (Omar Bravo) to slip this in on fans. How can we really complain against Ongoal when things look so positive for the organization going forward. Shouldn't KC fans give Ongoal a pass on this?

I think KC Fans should complain about this sorry name for a little while longer, because the name is sorry. KC fans should say it like it is- the jerseys are a step back and the logo, while meaningful to those who took 18 months to design it, is uninspiring and disconnected with KC's soccer history. KC fans should lament the fair amount of local and national mocking the name change has brought. Then, after a time of complaining, pouting, and lamenting- to go no farther than the start of training camp- should lay down the angst and take up the cause for Sporting KC.

This will be my practice heading in to the 2011 season hoping Ongoal spares us of any more such surprises.

We can rebuild him


When I first woke up and looked at my wrapped, braced, and hosed up leg, I thought of the opening to the 70's TV show, "The Six Million Dollar Man" (See it here). In particular the line- "We can rebuild him..."

Anyways, the surgery went well, according to the doctor. My leg is killing me right now. Wow.

Good news though- they did not have to repair my PCL. It is partially torn, but not too bad and it shouldn't hinder future activities. The other good news is my meniscus wasn't damaged- that's the cartilage pad between joints. I'm amazed I had no cartilage damage- praise God!

So, the progress begins...once I get through this stinking pain.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Well...it's go time


So the day is about here, knee reconstruction time tomorrow afternoon.

The diagram above shows the major ligaments in the knee. My MRI showed I have totally ripped my ACL, torn my LCL (a.k.a. "Post Lateral Corner"), torn or ripped apart my PCL, damaged the meniscus (cartilage), and bruised my lower bone. If my PCL is totally detached like my ACL, the doctor will reconstruct. If it's torn, he'll leave it alone. Apparently 60% of NFL lineman have torn PCL's and play with it. I'm not sure if that's encouraging considering the accompanying percentage of knee replacements for these athletes later in life. The recovery/rehab time goes up by two months if my PCL needs a fix. I could have done worse and torn my MCL, so I'm thankful that's intact.

I'm ready to get this thing done and on the way forward instead of in this pathetic hop-along state. God has given me good peace the last 10 days or so. I like my surgeon and his outlook, but I like knowing God gives such individuals knowledge and skill about fixing this kind of stuff. What would I have done 50 years ago? 100 years ago? I would have hobbled until my opposite hip and knee started to give out. What if I had a job where physical labor was required? I'd be in a world of hurt. Praise God I live now and such technology is available.

Also, my wife is awesome, my kids are the best, I serve a great church with some solid brothers, and I killed a good buck yesterday. I can't complain about anything.

Monday, November 15, 2010

2010 Bow Buck



Well, score one for the gimp. With the days ticking down before the end of my bow hunting season (surgery is Wednesday morning), I thought I'd go to one of my favorite spots for rut hunting. It paid off.

I set up my decoy before first light and sat on the edge of a draw facing it with the wind in my face. The draw runs East-West with a smaller draw making a "T" with it. The sit was totally uneventful for most of the morning and it grew warmer by the hour. Warm weather is the worst kind of condition for hunting deer as they just won't move during the day when it's much above 40 degrees. Nevertheless I decided I would sit till noon.

At about 11:50 AM I was readying myself to pick up my gear and make the long trek back to the truck. It's a long trek with a good leg, walking like I am these days takes forever. I no sooner put my bow down than a doe busts up the draw coming right in front of me. She sees my decoy and freaks before crossing my path. She immediately turns and runs up and behind me. I figured something was chasing her, and sure enough, a big old deer was on her trail. If he followed her up I would have no shot. I needed him to see my decoy, get ticked, and keep walking in front of me.

The providence of God smiled upon me.

The buck saw the decoy and started focusing on him, not me. He slowly walked toward the decoy with his hair bristled up to make himself look bigger. His ears laid back and he turned his head to be ready to gore the decoy buck. Just then, when he stepped in to my shooting lane at about 12 steps, I let the arrow fly. It went through both lungs and he busted out the same way the doe went on his final run. I knew he was smoked, but I waited the suggested 30 minutes before taking up the blood trail. The blood trail was no more than 50 yards, and there laid my 2010 buck.

He's a dandy. He's old, probably 5 or 6, maybe older (Update: my taxidermist aged him at 7.5 years!!! That's very old for a free ranging white tail). His antlers are uneven with ten scorable points. He would have had 11, but one was busted off. I don't care much about antler size as I do age. Hunting mature bucks is the ultimate challenge in hunting. This guy is a definite mature buck. He's the biggest buck I have taken with a bow. What a blessing. He's going on my wall for sure.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

KC Wizards to Re-brand?


For months there has been speculation that Ongoal (the KC Wizards ownership group), in conjunction with the new soccer specific stadium being built in Kansas City, KS, will be re-branding the Wizards.

The rumors say Ongoal will announce changing the Wizards name to "Sporting KC" this Wednesday.

The above logo was leaked to local KC Wizards blogger Mike Kuhn, but it could be a fake.

Personally, the decision to re-brand makes little sense to me. The Wizards are one of the original MLS teams and have a championship to their credit. Why change the name? If they do change the name, why something so incredibly lame and uninspiring as "Sporting KC"? Ongoal is a smart organization. Did they do market research on this name and find it to be attractive to folks? Really? It's just absolutely horrible.

I'll remain a season ticket holder regardless of the name of our team, but the constant striving of U.S. soccer to be like Europe is nauseating to me. I can't wait for the new KC soccer stadium, but I won't lie- the alleged name really puts a damper on things for me. I hope all these rumors are untrue.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thoughts on generosity prompted by Philippians and the Macedonians


I'm finishing Philippians tomorrow and have come Paul's thanks to the Philippians for their generous giving.

I think a lot about this issue of giving of our finances. I worry for the church in the U.S. because I think we are largely given over to materialism and really do not know what sacrificial giving is. I think our churches give a lot of money to support ministry, but not a lot of what we actually have. Giving "a lot" is relative to the rest of the church the world over. We give from our excess rather than our main supply...I'm guessing. Really, why does an economic crisis in the U.S. hurt ministries and missionaries? I think it's because people are worried about their net worth and savings, so they tighten up the purse strings starting with their giving to these entities. They don't necessarily take less vacations or cut back in various household expense categories, rather they scale back giving. This is just my opinion based on conversation and watching general giving trends in churches and among missionary friends. What about suspending regular contributions to our retirement accounts in tough times and raising the money we give to ministries? I would think tough times would require ministries to do more work, so they'll need more resources.

I am struck by what Paul says about the Macedonian Christians-

2 Corinthians 8:1-5 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.

The Macedonian Christians gave from their poverty...begging to give to the cause of Christ. Come on now, how many of us give to ministry at the expense of something we normally do or buy? I fear we are slaves to our stuff and "security". I know I struggle to give sacrificially. Do you? Something is amiss in the church today. Is it too simple to say we are given over to materialism?

James Boice suggested something provocative but nevertheless wise-

"From my own observation of the various patterns of Christian giving today I believe one of the best things that could happen to many believers would be for them to be led to give away, all at one time, a substantial part of their savings. Why? Because there is something about giving away a sizable percentage of one's money that is spiritually invigorating. The Christian is thrown back on the Lord and learns that he is more than able to care for the one who trusts him. I have seen this happen in many instances. I have never known true Christians to be sorry for even the most sacrificial giving afterward."

Happy B-Day Jordan!


My baby son Jordan Micah was born 8 years ago today.

Dear Jordan, May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Love, Daddy

New Christmas Album from Nathan Clark George


Great news- Nathan Clark George has produced a new Christmas album and you can get your soon!

Check out this site for info: NathanClarkGeorge.com

Nathan and band will be at Redeemer giving a Christmas concert December 19 at 6pm. Don't miss!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thinking of Veterans today




Whenever I meet someone who has served in one of our branches of the armed forces I thank them for their service and really mean it.

It's a good time to thank a veteran if you have a chance.

I love these pictures of my father from his days in the Korean War.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

A hero of mine...


The concept of heroism for Christians is different than the world. We have one genuine hero- Christ. There has never been a more heroic figure than Christ. Christ, who is God, took on flesh, lived a life of perfect obedience, went to the cross bearing the sins of God's people making perfect payment for them. He died and rose again for our justification. He ascended in to heaven and now sits at God's right hand ruling in total power and will some day return to judge. He is THE hero.

So, can Christians have hero's other than Jesus? I think they can, but they are rightfully relegated to the place of "under hero". They are hero's in so far as they follow and model Christ.

I have a few hero's who are like Christ. At the top of the list is David Calhoun (pictured above with Nathan and I). David Calhoun is the long time Church History teacher at Covenant Seminary. There's so much I could tell you about Dr. Calhoun to justify why he is a hero of mine. He is a gentle, meek, humble man with a wealth of knowledge only a few people have. Beyond his knowledge he is exceedingly wise. He is a peaceful person. He has weathered many divisive issues between various colleagues and churches, yet different sides of a given debate or schism always have high regard for David Calhoun.

Dr. Calhoun has written many excellent histories. He authored a scholarly overview of the history of Princeton Seminary back in her golden era with the esteemed Reformed faculty of the late 1800's and early 1900's. He has a way of telling a story that is very detailed yet easy to listen to and follow. Listening to Dr. Calhoun lecture is almost hypnotic, and not in a thoughtless sleepy way. I mean to say he draws you in and 45 minutes go by in an instant. No matter what part of Christian History he relays, Christ is the hero. When he tells the stories of faithful saints of old, he ends by quoting Hebrews 12- "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith." When he tells stories of unfaithful characters in the history of the Church, he ends the lecture quoting Isaiah-"the grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever."

Dr. Calhoun has battled cancer for the better part of the last 20 years. He has endured repeated periods of radiation and chemotherapy that have rendered him bed-ridden for long periods of time. Most recently he had heart surgery. There's not a day that has gone by since he was 50 without pain or discomfort. He has had 38 colonoscopies at St. John's in St. Louis, the current hospital record. Yet, he complains not a bit. With every ounce of energy and strength he can muster, he goes on teaching and preaching Christ. He teaches Christ from the bible and Church History, weaving the two beautifully in lectures and sermons. Anyone can listen to the whole of Dr. Calhoun's Church History lectures online, for free. I cannot recommend them more highly. The audio you will listen to comes from the very lectures I heard in class in 1997 and 1998. You can find them here.

Health permitting Dr. Calhoun makes the trek from St. Louis to Kansas City via the train to preach and teach at Redeemer every Reformation Sunday. As long as God gives him strength he will return and we will receive him with joy.

My hero is Christ. A very worthy under hero I have also- David Calhoun.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Demplosion

This is spreading pretty quickly. Quite an amazing shift in congressional power after yesterday's midterm elections.





I sincerely hope RED doesn't squander this opportunity, our country cannot afford it.