Sunday, December 9, 2012

Nico's first buck

Nico dropped the double forearm shiver with his .243 on his first buck.

He did so with 40 minutes left in the 2012 rifle season, and 90 minutes before he had to be playing bells in the Church Christmas pageant.  His old man had to gut this deer in record time to pull off an on time arrival to the pageant.

Great father/son memories!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

2012 Bow Buck

After many sits, I finally arrowed a good buck.  He's not a giant, but he's definitely mature.  He easily makes Pope and Young (the bow hunting trophy standard of at least 125 inches of antler).

What makes this buck special is being able to harvest him well in to the rifle season, that's why you see me wearing orange.  Once the boom sticks start cracking, it's hard to get bow close to a mature whitetail.

Days like these are probably when I miss my Dad the most. I would usually drive over to his house and show him my deer. He'd want pictures to send to his buddies...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Adoption means a new name

God's gift of Adoption is not a fringe doctrine in Scripture.  Adoption is pervasive, especially in Pauline theology addressing it explicitly in Galatians, Romans, and Ephesians.  One of my favorite statements on adoption comes from John-

1 John 3:1-2  See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

Adoption means we have a new identity.  One of the key indicators of our new identity is a new name. The Westminster Divines offer the most thorough statement on the biblical doctrine of adoption that can be found in the first 1600 years of the church, pay special attention to the bold-

"All those that are justified, God vouchsafes, in and for His only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption,by which they are: taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God, have His name put upon them,receive the spirit of adoption,have access to the throne of grace with boldness,are enabled to cry, Abba, Father, are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by Him as by a Father:yet never cast off,but sealed to the day of redemption; and inherit the promises, as heirs of everlasting salvation."

Adoption is to have God's name put upon us!

Last week our newly adopted daughter had to get a few stitches in the back of her head after falling.  My wife went ahead to the emergency room as I took our other children home.  Later, after my mother came over to watch the boys at home, I went to meet Shari at the hospital.  When I got to the front desk I told the nurse I was there to see my daughter and I gave her name.  The nurse said, "sorry sir, there is no one with that name here".  I insisted that my daughter and wife were indeed there, and that my wife just texted to say the doctor was putting stitches in as we spoke.  Again the lady insisted my daughter wasn't there.  Admittedly I was a bit frustrated and couldn't immediately figure out why she wasn't coming up in the system.  Then it dawned on me. My daughter had been to that hospital a few times before we adopted her, under her old name.  I went back to the desk and gave the nurse my daughter's old name and sure enough, she came up.  I retorted at once- "that's not her name any more". I further said- "that person doesn't need to change her name in your system right now."  "Sorry sir, that kind of thing has to happen with the registration department", replied the nurse politely.  "Well, I want to be clear- if you send me a bill with that name on it, I won't pay it!", I said with some level of passion.  "My daughter has a new name and a new identity- the old name and identity no longer exist, period."

That's how it is for us who are now "in Christ".  We have a new identity.  We have a new name.  Just as the Westminster Divines captured biblical teaching- we now have His name put upon us!

Galatians 4:4-7 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Never been prouder to have married in to Redneckery

My cousin by marriage proved how easily a deer can be skinned by using a tractor and a truck. I have never been prouder to have married in to such redneckery.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Close call for a good buck

I had a crack at a good 10 point the other day. See my miss here: Now, I said "10 point", but as you may have noticed, the buck had three broken tines off his left side!! I'm not glad I missed, in one sense, but in another, I would like a deer with more head gear. So, I hunt on. Great filming by Nathan Currey!

Strange happening at our Thanksgiving meal!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! I'll bet your Thanksgiving meal wasn't as eventful as ours!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fun Rut hunt today

I'm off this week hunting with Nathan. He's filming.

We had a great day with lots of action today.  Saw several good bucks, but none quite old enough to shoot, by my standards.  Check out some highlights.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

PETA is entertaining

Despite their total lack of rational thought and reasonable thinking (not to mention their ignorance of the biblical explanation of the relationship between humans and animals), the folks at PETA can come up with some funny advertisements to promote their cause.

As for the question they pose, how would you respond?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

God will still be on His throne after the second week of November

I am thankful to live in a country where citizens have the right and responsibility to vote for their legislators. From the smallest local election to the presidential race, Americans have an opportunity not too many others have had in world history. We even vote to approve judges in our court system and on certain city taxes.

In the next couple of weeks there will be a sizable turnover in all sorts of offices across the country.

Every Christian should make a careful choice about votes they are casting. In my opinion, the general question each believer should ask is- How will this vote help the advance of the Church and its work in the world? Please don't construe this to mean the government should promote Christianity or the Church, I just mean it should stay out of the way.  The government should stick to it's primary role of restraining evil (Romans 13 style) and not meddle in all sorts of other places.  I vote for candidates who offer the most assurance they will help preserve the freedoms of God’s Church to do it’s work of preaching the gospel and ministering in the name of Christ to all people. Yes, I know there are complex issues involved with races for political or judicial offices and the candidates involved can be difficult to interpret. Still, voting is a critical part of our country’s life, culture, and future. There is no excuse for Christians not participating thoughtfully and responsibly. Believers do their country a service, whether it is appreciated or not, by diligently participating in the political process.

Having said all that, important perspective is needed. What is absolutely certain in these turbulent, transitional times? Unless Christ returns first, in thirty days God will still be ruling from His throne with the Lord Jesus Christ sitting at His right hand and His Spirit working in and through the Church on earth to carry out His will, irrespective of those who win their race for judge, sheriff, commissioner, governor, senator, representative, or president.

May God guide the imminent election process and bless every elected official with a sense of God’s righteous standards and compassion. May God grant the Church great boldness and effectiveness in preaching and living the gospel among our countrymen, no matter who takes office.

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding”. - Daniel 2:20-21

Monday, October 22, 2012

No Communion for Biden in Colorado Springs

I am often critical of the lack of discipline exerted by the Roman Catholic church on it's members who advocate for abortion.

Credit must be given for the consistent leadership of Bishop (of Colorado Springs) Michael Sheridan who, in a recent interview with columnist Daniel Cole, expressed his opposition to pro-abortion Vice President Biden, a member of the Roman Catholic Church. Here's a snippet-

Cole asked Bishop Sheridan: “If Vice President Joe Biden, who is Catholic, were to swing through Colorado Springs on a campaign tour and attend your Mass, would you deny him Communion?” 

Replied Sheridan, “He should know, and I would do everything I could do to make sure that he knows, he ought not to be receiving Communion.”

Sheridan has been a strong, consistent, Bishop on the matter of life.  A few years back he wrote publicly in his diocese-

Any Catholic politicians who advocate for abortion, for illicit stem cell research or for any form of euthanasia ipso facto place themselves outside full communion with the Church and so jeopardize their salvation. Any Catholics who vote for candidates who stand for abortion, illicit stem cell research or euthanasia suffer the same fateful consequences. It is for this reason that these Catholics, whether candidates for office or those who would vote for them, may not receive Holy Communion until they have recanted their positions and been reconciled with God and the Church in the Sacrament of Penance.

See the New American post that details Sheridan's actions here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Clark, Van Til, and their common Savior

Portrait of Gordon H. Clark at Sangre De Cristo Seminary

This won't likely intrigue my usual readers, but for those acquainted with the Gordon Clark-Cornelius Van Til controversy, a recent discovery I made might be a blessing to them.

I was required to read several works by Gordon Clark for my doctoral program. I had not been previously exposed to Clark, but knew he caused quite a bit of controversy in the American Reformed world in the 1940’s and 50’s. I also learned somewhere that he and the much celebrated Westminster Seminary icon, Cornelius Van Til, were at odds during their respective lives and ministries. One has only to do a web search on “The Clark-Van Til Controversy” to witness the sharp lines drawn between the modern followers of these two reformed theologians of the last century.  Some of the dialogue between modern “Clarkians” and “Van Tillians”, especially in this blog era,  proves embarrassing for the reformed church.  I urge teachers of the Word to ignore characterizations of Clark (from modern followers or detractors alike) and read Dr. Clark for themselves.  I sincerely hope Clark's writings can be recirculated and considered as his view of Scripture and revelation are immediately relevant and important for the modern evangelical church, to say nothing of the reformed community also.

The reason for this post isn't to re-hash the controversy, but rather to share something I found very interesting and even exciting.

I serve on the board of Horn Creek Conference Center in Westcliffe, Colorado. While not officially related, the Sangre De Cristo Seminary is located right next to Horn Creek. Dr. Andrew Zeller is the current president of the seminary and the grandson of Gordon Clark.  I was at a Horn Creek board meeting this past Saturday and ventured down with Dr. Zeller to see the Gordon Clark Library. The library has Clark’s actual books on the shelf. I looked for some Van Til books, and sure enough, there were several. Given the high tension between those who label themselves Clarkian and Van Tillian today, I wondered what these two men thought of each other. To hear some of their respective modern followers, you’d think they had a strong dislike (or worse) toward each other.

Dr. Zeller mentioned he was sure Clark and Van Til met at Wheaton College in the early 1980’s and had a discussion that revealed clear reconciliation between them. With Dr. Zeller's statement in mind I took a few of the Van Til books off the shelf and looked at the insider covers. Low and behold, I found two hand written notes from Van Til to Clark. See them below-

Inside covers of Clark's copies of Van Til's books.

It sure seemed that Van Til viewed Clark in a positive, Christian brotherhood light, despite their deep theological differences.

Before I left the board meeting, Dr. Zeller and I drove down to a small cemetery where the earthly remains of Dr. Clark are interred. I am thankful for men like Gordon Clark and Cornelius Van Til. Their value can be found not primarily in the particular ideas they championed, but the way in which they both sought to point people to Christ. As Dr. Van Til simply, but profoundly, wrote to Clark- they were brothers because of their common savior.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Crossroads Conference Champions- Heritage Christian Academy

This is our first year as a full-fledged member of the Kansas State High School Athletic Association (KSHSAA). As such, we joined a conference of teams (some from the Missouri side) with similar sized schools.  We are the smallest possible designation, which is "1A".

In our first year as a member of the Crossroads Conference, we won the conference title tonight finishing a sweep of all the teams in our conference, without allowing a goal against in all four games.

Heritage Christian Academy 2   Barstow  0
Heritage Christian Academy 1   Summit Christian Academy 0
Heritage Christian Academy 10  Maranantha 0
Heritage Christian Academy 6    Van Horn 0

Congrats Chargers!!

We still have six games left in our regular season, then playoffs, which encompasses all the Kanas teams in classifications 1-4A.  1A schools, like us, have less than 100 students in 10th-12th grade.  A 4A team has over 700.  Our goal is to make a solid run at the state title.  Why dream small?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Night picture of Redeemer

Nathan has a knack for good pictures of the RPC sanctuary. Check the one he snapped tonight-

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Caroline Kennedy, Catholic woman

Caroline Kennedy delivered a very audacious speech at the recent Democratic National Convention.  In this clip she invokes her Roman Catholicism to criticize a recent string of states enacting legislation that puts waiting periods before women can get abortions.  She actually uses her Catholicism as the basis for advocating abortion rights.  Unreal.  I hope Cardinal Dolan had a word with her...but I doubt it.  Rome talks a good talk, but it doesn't seem they do much to discipline the likes of Kennedy, Pelosi, Biden, Sebelius, and many other pro-abortion Roman Catholics.  Where's the Papal Bull of excommunication when it's actually needed?

Kudos to O'Reilly for noting the outlandish nature of Kennedy's connection.

Dennis Miller had the best response to the Democrats propensity to promote abortion-

"Dems believe in cradle to the grave assistance, it's just making it to the cradle that's tricky"

Friday, September 7, 2012

Cardinal Dolan's Prayer at the DNC

I don't watch party conventions, but I did watch the replay of Cardinal Dolan's prayer to close the Democratic National Convention.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Good summary Charlie!

I recently made a comment on Facebook about not watching any of the ongoing Republican National Convention.  Frankly, I think the rhetoric of political conventions amounts to an "in house" pep rally.  I have never wasted a moment watching a convention speech, that I can least not on purpose.

To be clear, I think Christians should be involved in the political process.  They should be learned and careful about the positions of various candidates, rally behind those who support righteous causes, and some should run for office.  I just think party conventions are lame and amount to preaching to the choir.

I received a negative comment or two about my less than enthusiastic consideration of convention speeches.  I was accused of possibly causing parishioners to become disengaged in the political process because of my dissing convention speeches.  I do admit a touch of cynicism during "silly season".  Anyways, one of my parishioners was watching the exchange and put in to words exactly how I feel about politics and elections. Check out how Charlie captured my thoughts, using words in a far more articulate way than I could ever muster-

Disengagement from the mechanations of pop politics is not the same thing as disengagement from the process of changing a culture. You could only equate the two if you believed that society can only be changed by pop political maneuvering. In other words, Tony (in all his disengaged cynicism) is only rejecting the savior of our society IF the savior of our society is the reindeer game we know as "Election Cycle Silliness." 

 But politics is not our savior. Government is not our savior. The world hangs in the balance of no man's whim. The savior of our culture, if it is to be saved, is Christ -- because He is the King of all creation. And if our culture is to be saved, it will be saved only through repentance and concession. If this is true (and it is), then that means Tony is more engaged in the salvation of Western Civilization than most people who know him. He and men like him are the point of the spear. By preaching repentance and submission to Christ, Tony is leading us into the breach. He just likes to take pot shots at false saviors as he passes by their mangled carcasses.

What resonates most with what Charlie says is the point about repentance and submission to Christ.  This is what our society needs, nothing less.  Sure, I'll hold my nose and vote for Romney this November, but it's with no allusions about things getting much better.  "Better" will only happen when God grants His church wide scale repentance, which, in turn, I pray will lead to blessing our nation with holiness.   I do think God can do this, by the way.

And yes...I do like to take pot shots at false saviors.  

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


This is my seventh year coaching school soccer.

I started when we had only junior high students and have been moving them up as we have added grades. When our school merged with another two years ago, it was our first crack at an actual varsity program. This year will be our first year as full members of the Kansas State athletic sanctioning body with a chance to compete in the state playoffs. We have a super tough schedule with lots of big public schools as opponents.

Every team is special to me, but this team has several seniors I have coached since they were in 6th grade. They have put up with me for seven seasons. I don't like to brag (much), but check out the soccer t-shirt mascot I helped design for this year-

Monday, August 20, 2012


There are many excellent websites out there.  I want to alert you to a new one my good friend Pastor Brian Albert has spearheaded.

The new site is called "Gospel Crier" and it features contributions from several Kansas City area pastors, including yours truly.

It is our prayer the site serves as a helpful resource and genuine encouragement to our readership.

Check it out here.

Gospel Crier

A bumper sticker I might consider...

Got this from one of the Schaeffer boys today-

It replaces this one-

But here's a good one too-

Obama will be tough to beat in November

I sincerely hope President Obama doesn't get re-elected in November.

It's not that I think Romney-Ryan would be much better, although Ryan gives me some hope about influencing Romney. Have I mentioned Ryan is a bow hunter?

Niall Ferguson just wrote a post that lays out some solid reasons another four years of Obama would be bad.

Read his post here-

Why Barack Obama Needs to Go by Niall Ferguson

In his post, Ferguson notes the following-

"Nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return—almost exactly the same proportion that lives in a household where at least one member receives some type of government benefit. We are becoming the 50–50 nation—half of us paying the taxes, the other half receiving the benefits."

If Ferguson's ratio is correct, it seems to be a distinct advantage for the more pro-government candidate. With half the population in some way on the government take, I can't help thinking many of them will almost automatically vote for Obama.  You can't bet a more "big government" President/candidate than Obama.

It's going to be a close one in November, that much seems sure.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

B.B. Warfield on "The emotional life of our Lord"

One of the great Princeton theologians, B.B. Warfield, wrote on the emotional life of Jesus. Commenting on Jesus' emotional agony in the Garden of Eden where we are told he was "greatly troubled", the former president of the once great Princeton Seminary wrote-

“The primary idea of ‘troubled’ is loathing aversion, perhaps not unmixed with despondency. While Jesus’ self-description as overwhelmed with sorrow expresses a sorrow, or perhaps we would be better to say a mental pain, a distress which hems Him in on every side, from which there is therefore no escape.”

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Who Am I?

This short video is the brain child of my good friend and fellow pastor, Brian Albert.  It includes a few of us KC area pastors.  Check it out.

I fully admit, by the way, that my face is best suited for radio.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Church should be boring (so to speak)

A seminary classmate of mine (from way back) posted this on his Facebook page. I thought it was worth sharing-

Church should be boring and it is only the boring church that changes you. What changes you more? Fifty years of marriage or an exciting six month affair? The exciting church is simply silly because it is church based on what you want and like. Nothing could be further from the faith. The exciting church is spiritual pornography, a spiritual blockbuster, a spiritual video game, a spiritual rock concert. You can’t live in any of those places. They are not real. Church needs to be real. If there is a spectrum with "exciting" on one end and "boring" on the other end, then to which end of the spectrum would these activities be closer: working a nine to five job? caring for a spouse after being married 30 years? raising several children? learning? practicing? serving someone extremely needy? cleaning? exercising? There is no doubt these activities are closer to the boring end of things. Yet they are all very important and profound activities. They are all things God wants us to be faithful in through the boredom and difficulty. So why have we fallen for the lie that the Church's worship (hymnody, liturgy, preaching, sacraments) should be exciting and if it is not then the church is "dead" and we should divorce it or quit it?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Stay Awake this Fall!

I recently preached the whole thirteenth chapter of Mark in one sermon.  I did so to avoid missing the bottom line.  I keyed on this passage-

"Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning- lest he come suddenly and find you asleep.  And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.” Mark 13:35-36 

The bottom line of the Olivet sermon by Christ and recorded in the gospels is for believers to recognize the importance of standing firm in Him, even as opposition comes. In this way, we have to be alert spiritually. Jesus exact exhortation- "stay awake". We have to be ever mindful of our need for Christ. To “stand” in Christ means to trust in Him, rely upon Him, and rest in Him. Standing in Christ is a way of depicting someone who does not trust his or her own ability, but rather wholly believes on Jesus and His righteousness.

In the above passage from Mark 13, Jesus warns his beloved disciples of the terrible persecution they and other believers would endure. They’ll need to be awake and ready for the opposition they’ll receive. We can’t just let life happen, too much is at stake. As summer quickly draws to a close, it is a great time to exhort my brethren to stay awake spiritually. Staying awake is aided greatly by availing ourselves of God’s means of grace and the encouraging benefits of His covenant community. Staying awake means the power of His Word, the encouragement of His people, and engaging in His joyful service.  Don’t let your Fall schedule just happen or it will control you. Find ways to make your time commitments with spiritual priorities in mind.

My recent whitewater rafting trip in Colorado accents the urgency of Christ when He bids his disciples to stay awake. We had a young lady in our raft who didn’t realize how much would be expected of her to row and follow the precise directions of our guide. As we set off she couldn’t follow his commands well and we almost got in to trouble. He pulled our boat aside and looked right at her and said- “do you understand how serious this is that you follow my instructions?” As we embarked again, she continued to have trouble following the guide’s directions and he pulled us over a second time. This time he said- “Are you able to follow my instructions”? Now she was crying and unhappy with the guide. We took off again, but once more found ourselves in some trouble, now lodged between two big rocks with the water crashing around us. The guide shook us free, but in so doing, dumped the struggling young lady in the Arkansas River. Her father grabbed her life preserver, so she was safe, but two of her well-manicured nails did not survive and she had a bloody knee. I expected some compassion from the guide, but due to the serious nature of such a raft trip, he once again confronted her, saying, “You will need to be able to follow all my instructions going forward, can you commit to this? If not, we’ll have to drop you off at a spot up the river where our driver can come and get you.” The stakes were too high for her to not be ready and able to do her part. She struggled to the end and the guide had to lead us to less exciting water at times, but she did improve and we all lived. Jesus tells us Christians- “This is serious, stay awake!” Now, Jesus would never throw us out of the boat, nor is He saying we are God’s children because of our devotion to Him. He is saying to his beloved children- things are going to get rough, you must be spiritually alert. Children of God, you are owned by God through Christ and His work. Don’t be lulled in to spiritual lethargy but rather use this exhortation as an occasion to seek God’s grace and guidance in ordering your life and priorities heading in to the Fall. Let’s stay awake together!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Why does Paul Ryan tip the scales for me?

I am reasonably certain President Obama will edge out Mitt Romney in the upcoming presidential election.  I understand most readers of my blog are social and fiscal conservatives, so it seems utterly illogical that anyone would vote for the tax and spend, anti-traditional morals, incumbent.  I understand that disbelief, however I have come to believe the number of people on the government take is so huge, it skews people's thinking about what is actually best for the country.  In other words, there is a massive group of people somehow dependent on the government for a large portion of their livelihood, and when push comes to shove, they don't want to move a guy like Obama out in favor of a potential cost-cutter, like Romney.

Now, I'm not at all excited about Romney. If I vote for him, it's solely because I think four more years of Obama would be much worse.

To be totally honest, I have toyed with the idea of not voting at all.  I think President Obama has been very bad for our country on several levels.  I think Mitt Romney promises to be only slightly better. I'm just sick of it all.

Well, no more toying with that!  I'm voting. And here's the reason-

Romney's new running mate, Paul Ryan, is a bow hunter!!!!

That settles it!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

"You're Wrong" is not equal to "I hate you"

Dan Guinn, a friend and parishioner at Redeemer, not to mention director of the Francis Schaeffer Studies site, provided a very helpful graphic in these wacky days of name calling as soon as one person disagrees with another.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Henry on the central preaching theme of God's salvation

My last post was about a masterful goal by Thierry Henry (pronounced "on-ree"). This post is a masterful quote from Carl F.H. Henry (pronounced "Hen-ree"). The two are not related... 

This may seem like an overstatement, but Carl Henry's "God, Revelation, and Authority" is quickly taking it's place in my top five Christian works list. Henry's monumental six-volume work on the subject of Scripture and Authority is one of the most encouraging, enlightening, and reassuring theological works I have ever read. I have finished reading and writing on five of the volumes. Volume four is remarkably good. As Henry talked about the life-transforming power of the Holy Spirit, He made a bold statement that hit me between the eyes-

"The Gospel was ordained for universal availability and participation. Only a wickedly apostate pseudo church, or a theologically ignorant church can and would neglect as a central preaching theme God’s life-transforming plan of salvation. God's purpose in redemption is to deliver otherwise doomed sinners from the penalty and guilt and power- and ultimately from the very presence-of sin, and to restore the penitent to vital fellowship with himself and to righteousness. God's revelation and redemption have in view a people of God, a transformed humanity that some have called "the company of the committed."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Henry...the best in MLS

Chris Wondoloski is having an incredible goal scoring year for San Jose, but he's still not the most talented striker in MLS.

That honor goes to the ageless wonder, Thierry Henry.  Check out his latest-

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


My deepest apologies are extended to the faithful readership of REEPICHEEP.

I have been too busy to post much, primarily because of our current move to a new house.

Shortly after my father died a year ago this May, we decided rather than have my mother live in their big house alone, she should come live with us.   Our current house isn't big enough for her to have her own private living space, so we set out to find a house that would provide such a thing.  After taking nine months to sell her house, we were able to find a house closer to church and with the potential to build her a "mother in law" type apartment.  The house is a touch smaller than our current house, but the yard is a whole acre.

All this to say, I have been swamped with moving details. We are moving over the next few days, so I fully expect to be back in to blogging swing very soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Learning the new "buzz" words at General Assembly

Attending some of the the pre-Assembly seminars exposes me to the various buzz words circulating in the church. I'm not necessarily knocking the concepts being spoken about, but the buzz words get tiring to me. I know...I'm a dinosaur and totally un-hip.

Here's some buzz words and phrases Nathan and I have heard quite a bit in the last 48 hours:

"The Gospel is a're life is a story...these stories intersect...and Jesus is the hero of the story" 

"Story, story, story..." 

"gospel-coaching is learning people's story..." 

" this context...."

"..enter the conversation..." 


"love on each other..." 

"missionally....missional...etc. etc"

"love on people to break down the walls so we can build relationships...for multicultural, multiethnic, and multi sector ministry." 

"relationships are everything..." 

I am entirely appreciative of the pastoral need to constantly be talking through discipleship approaches.  At base level, genuine pastoral discipleship strategizing is what produces most of these buzz words.  Certain words or phrases become "buzz" words when a particular influential pastor or pastors use them.  Other pastors study such guys obsessively and repeat their words and phrases over and over.

If I had a dime for every time I have heard "Keller says....", I'd have a whole bunch of dimes.  Tim Keller is the current reigning originator of buzz words in the PCA.

While not personally compelled to integrate these words too much in my own discussions and teaching, I'm fine with buzz words, so long as they are used in an attempt to improve our pastoral ability.  If they help to assist people in their walk with Christ and growth in grace, fine, buzz away.

Sometimes, however, the buzz words are sloppy or hard to understand exactly and can foster imprecise doctrine (which, in turn, always leads to peril).  It's not entirely accurate to describe the gospel as a story.   Yes, there is a story to be told concerning the gospel (God's saving Man through Christ), but it's more than just a story.  Further, the high value placed on relationships and "loving on each other" sometimes obscures the need for doctrine to govern and define our relationships. We can forget that "loving on each other" means telling the truth to one another, even when it hurts.  These buzz words and concepts are usually, well, just too sloppy for me.

Nevertheless, I am entirely willing to admit it might just be that I'm too un-hip and a touch anti-pop anything.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Enjoying Louisville, Kentucky (PCA General Assembly)

Nathan and I are representing the Heartland Presbytery at the PCA General Assembly in Louisville, Kentucky. We got here this morning as Nathan had a committee meeting this afternoon. My first meeting is Tuesday morning.

Whenever we travel to General Assembly, we search out and try some of the local cuisine. We met a brother who knew the various eating spots in Louisville and graciously took us to an Irish pub called "Rovers". This apetizer is a Scotch Egg and it was delicious. It's a hard-boiled egg, wrapped in sausage, dipped in Guinness-batter, and deep fried. You can top it off with a touch of Goldman's mustard. Of course, a pint of "snake bite" washes it all down (snake bite is a shandy made with equal parts of lager and cider).

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sunday, June 3, 2012

2012 KATY Trail adventure with Brian (and the wives)

Here's a typical scene from the Katy Trail. I took this last Wednesday at the beginning of our ride from Pilot Grove, Missouri to Jefferson City.  Brian and I had a great time.  This year our wives joined us in Augusta, Missouri and drove the final 57 miles with us.  They did very well.

Here's Brian's chronicle of our 2012 Katy adventure.

I will post an Animoto overview of the trip later this week.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The central pillar in biblical religion

As I slog through the final books and writing assignments left in my doctoral studies...I find myself deep in to Carl F.H. Henry's six-volume masterpiece, "God, Revelation and Authority".  He spends all of the first volume building a case for the necessity of Scripture in order to know God.  Check out how he ends the volume-

Revelation is, in truth, the central pillar of biblical religion.  Around the living God's disclosure of his own reality, purpose, and activity range all the special affirmations of Judeo-Christian theology.  Biblical assertions of the creation of the cosmos, of the future judgment and the future life, of the divine salvation of sinners, of the meaning and worth of human existence in the days of our years, turn ultimately on the self-unveiling of God who confronts his fallen creatures as their Creator, Redeemer and Judge. 

That God is the eternal sovereign Creator to whom mankind is morally accountable is the central content of universal divine revelation addressed to the reason and conscience of every human through nature and history.  The scripturally given special revelation restates the will of God and clarifies it for humans in the sorry state of sin.  Redemptive revelation offers fallen humanity a renewal of the spiritual prerogatives which belonged to man on the basis of creation and the Image of God.  It does not stop there, however.  Redemptive revelation expands the knowledge of God's moral purposes beyond what Adam and Eve knew even before the fall.  Special biblical revelation is restorative and redemptive.  The un-obliterated Image of God has its ineradicable point of connection with the living God who reveals himself objectively and universally in nature and mankind, and also objectively but particularly in Judeo-Christian revelation. Published and written in Scripture, that transcendent revelation heralds good news worldwide to a famished and fainting race.  

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mariano Rivera- The greatest can sometimes be humble...

Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer Major League Baseball has ever seen.  Whether you are a Yankee fan or not, you must respect this humble master of his craft.  Mariano Rivera is a follower of Christ and has a deep peace about God's will. I have seen him display confidence in God's will in many interviews over the years.

This week, while shagging balls before a game (something he has done his whole career in order to stay in shape and sharp), he twisted his knee and tore his ACL.  Such an injury requires surgery and carries a six month recovery minimum.  By most estimates of Rivera's intentions, he was going to retire after this season. It is probable this season is now done.  Will he retire?  Will this be the way the most prolific closer in baseball history goes out?

Mariano said he will take time to pray and consider what is next.  Here is the interview with Rivera in Kansas City, after his injury was diagnosed.  Again, you have to love Mariano Rivera.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Day of Rejoicing in the Felich Household

Monday was one of the greatest days of my family's life.  We officially adopted our daughter, Willow.  Below is a video clip of our lawyer asking us the pertinent questions and the judge officially decreeing the adoption.  We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and kindness from our loved ones (church and biological family).

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Jordy and I on the pitch

I've been a Sporting KC season ticket holder for four years.  This year the team let season ticket holders get a picture  before a game.  Pretty cool.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Barrels of Fun!

I am so glad I didn't see this when I was a teenager...I'd surely be dead trying this.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Trueman drops the gloves on new Roman Catholic book


When people find I was raised Roman Catholic they often ask why I left "The Church" (if they are Roman Catholic) or "Romanism" (if they are an astute Protestant).  It's not an easy question to answer in simple fashion, but it came down to wanting to know God's will.  Where could I find God's will, especially about being right with Him?  The Roman Church said it was to be found with the Church, specifically the Papacy.  Papal authority is the "buck" for Romanism.  I understood that assertion very clearly and did my very best to appreciate it and be a good son of the Church, so to speak. I had several kind, learned priests and nuns instruct me during my time in CCD class.  But what about the Bible?  Through attending a vacation Bible school ministry at a Protestant church in the Reformed tradition, I was introduced to a different paradigm for finding God's will-the Bible.  I didn't read the Bible much in my Roman Catholic experience, including the CCD classes I attended faithfully.  There were a few short readings during Mass, and a very brief homily by the priest that would touch on some simple scriptural theme, but that was it. Bible reading was not encouraged much, at least in the 1980's. To this day, the only Roman Catholics I know who are biblically literate are converts from evangelical churches. There was a definite sense of enigma about the Bible and you were made to feel you could not really understand it on your own (as a side- one of the most liberating things I witnessed in my father was his discovery of Scripture- reading and studying the bible when he left the Roman Church to go to a Protestant bible-teaching church at age 70 and then joined our church at the age of 74. He almost never missed Mass for seven decades, yet knew very little about the content of Scripture). Given their view of authority, I understand why the Bible isn't emphasized too much in Romanism, at least not among the laity. Through the aforementioned Reformed Church I began reading the Bible and then about guys like Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and others.  These men wrote profoundly and prolifically about Scripture being THE authority in all matters of life and faith.

So, for me, it was a matter of authority- the Pope or the Bible.  Admittedly, there are challenges with either because on the one hand, the doctrine of the Papacy is racked with problems biblically, historically, morally, etc.  On the other hand, when you say the Bible is the authority, which interpretation is the right one? Any time I post something that criticizes Romanism, long debates break out that ALWAYS come down to the matter of authority mentioned. It's tiring...and not my point in drawing attention to Trueman's post.  

A new book just came out where the author tries to blame Protestantism for a host of things (a favorite approach by be fair...Protestants do it to).  Carl Trueman, a learned professor and exceptional writer, takes the author to task by addressing some of the tired Roman Catholic attacks on the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.  Trueman will use the more technical doctrinal designation- "Perspicuity of Scripture", but he is practically referring to the way Protestants say the Bible is the final authority on all matters. I won't re-state his line of argument, because he says it way better than I can.  At the same time, he does cover various problems with Romanism- particularly the ignoring of many glaring issues that strike at the heart of the doctrine of the Papacy- that I have been noting for years.

I don't expect any one committed to Romanism to agree with me or Trueman, so save the usual debate points.  Instead, I think Trueman's post will give Protestants sick of the tired Roman attacks on Sola Scriptura some confidence in their trust in Scripture over the Papacy.  I like how Trueman ramps up his argument-

I wonder if I am alone in finding the more stridently confident comments of some Roman Catholics over the issue of perspicuity to be somewhat tiresome and rather overblown. Perspicuity was, after all, a response to a position that had proved to be a failure: the Papacy. 

Thus, to criticize it while proposing nothing better than a return to that which had proved so inadequate is scarcely a compelling argument. Yes, it is true that Protestant interpretive diversity is an empirical fact; but when it comes to selectivity in historical reading as a means of creating a false impression of stability, Roman Catholic approaches to the Papacy provide some excellent examples of such fallacious method. The ability to ignore or simply dismiss as irrelevant the empirical facts of papal history is quite an impressive feat of historical and theological selectivity.

I highly recommend Trueman's post:  

Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain! Roman Catholic History and the Emerald City Protocol By Carl Trueman

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Resurrection = PAYMENT ACCEPTED

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is proof of God's acceptance of the Son's sacrifice on our behalf.  The Father was pleased with the Son's offering and raised Him to life.

So much commerce is conducted on the internet these days. I'll bet anyone reading this blog has purchased something off Ebay, Amazon, or some other online store.  You know how it works.  You select your item, add to your cart, then check out.  When you check out, you have to submit a payment, usually through Paypal or with your credit card straight up.  You plug in all your info, then hit the "PAYMENT" button.  In many cases there is a short delay as your credit card is being processed. Perhaps the little hour glass turns while the payment is processing.  The little rainbow circle thing spins on my Macbook screen while the site checks my payment info.  Then, after a few seconds (and maybe a touch of anxiety), "PAYMENT ACCEPTED" appears on the screen.  Now I know the item is mine and it will come to me soon, within a few days or so.

As I think about the death and resurrection of Christ, it's sort of like what I just described.  Christ makes payment for our sins on the cross. He hits the "PAYMENT" button, as it where.  Then a pause occurs, the three days His body stayed in the tomb.  On the third day God raised Him as if to say "PAYMENT ACCEPTED".  Because of God raising Jesus from the dead, we know salvation belongs to us.  Now we are waiting for the final consummation to that glorious work of God through Christ, when we take possession in full.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why people do not believe, despite evidence of the Truth

Jesus rose again from the dead! How can people not believe?

Postmodern man, Americans especially, pride themselves on being open-minded.  A large number of people will claim they are teachable and ready to be persuaded of something if evidence is there.

Scripture teaches the minds of people are blinded (2 Corinthians 4:3-6, John 1:5) unless God gives spiritual sight, so no amount of "evidence" will ever convince natural man of the truth.  God must grant sight (faith) to see the truth.

Putting it another way- every person has a set of pre-suppositions about life.  One professor of mine called these pre-suppositions "pre-commitments".  People have a view of the world formed over time by many influences.  Only God can change a person's view of things.  This is why you can present all the evidence in the world for the fact of Jesus' miracles and resurrection, and still have a person deny the truth.  They have pre-suppositions that will not allow them to believe.  Giving more evidence will not make a person believe. Only God can change a person's presuppositions so he or she might see the truth.

Dr. Rayburn put it this way-

"If a person holds unsound presuppositions with sufficient tenacity, facts will make no difference at all.  They will be able to create a reality of their own, separate and untouched by, the truth."

God, and God alone, by His Holy Spirit, must convince a person of sound presuppositions for them to believe the truth.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The voting prowess of the state of Florida on (not so) brilliant display

I am posting this not to make a comment on the Trayvon Martin case, because I do not know the facts. It's a tragedy that a young man was killed, that much is for sure.

I am posting this because the CNN reporter does a great job with a bizarre interview.  It is also worth a look so you can fully understand the quality of the representatives being elected by some of our states.

You really do have to watch the whole thing to appreciate.

Wow Florida. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Timothy Cardinal Dolan on Religious freedom

Timothy Cardinal Dolan is the best thing to happen to the Roman Catholic Church in America in a long time. He is a stellar spokesperson for his church. Notice how "in touch" he is with his church and her relationship with the cultural trends and connected politics.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pelosi: Obamacare is "entrepreneurial".

Wow. So, quit your job and do "whatever"'ll still have health care (whatever that means any more). Desperate times in the good ole' U.S.A.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Carl F.H. Henry on Divine Revelation

I have just begun the last of my reading and writing assignments for my Doctor of Arts in Religion degree.  It is Carl Henry's six-volume magnum opus- God, Revelation, and Authority.  I have just started volume 1 and it's excellent.

A summary of Henry's basic thesis is found in this quotation from the late scholar-

"That if we humans say anything authentic about God, we can do so only on the basis of divine self-revelation; all other God-talk is conjectural."

HUGE Supreme Court Ruling today or tomorrow

Today the Supreme Court of the United States will be discussing and deciding how much power the federal government has in forcing Americans to purchase a product or enroll in a government program.

It has to do with President Obama's health care overhaul from two years ago and it will be one of the most important rulings the Supreme Court has ever made.

As a pastor-lawyer friend of mine just said, "This case has far greater implications than merely the expense, or even the hassle. If we can be forced to buy something by the government, it will never end. If you think that is a stretch, remember this: the case law that is purported to require 310 million Americans to purchase health insurance (likely 10% of their income per year), started with a farmer and a couple of chickens in the 1930s."

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ambrose of Milan on Gold

The story of Ambrose is quite fascinating.  He was serving as governor of the region that included the city of Milan. At that time, in the mid fourth century, Milan was about as culturally important as Rome.  He was a brilliant, well-spoken, statesman.  Arianism (an anti-Trinitarian heresy that teaches Jesus is not God which undercuts the effect of Christ's substitutionary atonement among other things) was still plaguing parts of the church, particularly in Milan.  The death of the Bishop of Milan, who was given over to Arianism, prompted a huge argument about his replacement.  Ambrose went to Milan as a peacemaker and before he knew it, despite not having been baptized or recognized as a Christian officially, was petitioned to be the new bishop!!  After some time Ambrose agreed.  He was baptized and made Bishop of Milan.  Ambrose was already an skilled orator and within a relatively short time became an effective preacher of the Word and pastor of he people.  Augustine famously credits Ambrose with contributing to his own conversion to Christianity.

According to one account, shortly after Ambrose’s installation as bishop, the nearby region was ravaged by a band of Goths. Refugees flocked to Milan, and there was news of many captives for whom the Goths were demanding ransom. Ambrose’s response was to order that funds be raised for the refugees and for ransoming the captives by melting some of the golden vessels and other ornaments the church possessed. As you might guess, this created a storm of criticism. Note Ambrose’s response to his critics:

 “It is better to preserve for the Lord souls rather than gold. He who sent the apostles without gold also gathered the churches without gold. The church has gold, not to store it, but to give it up, to use it for those who are in need...It is better to keep the living vessels, than the golden ones.”

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up?

I haven't posted on anything related to politics lately.  The whole situation is just so depressing.  Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination and earn the right to run against President Obama next November.

If gas prices keep going up and unemployment goes over 9% right around election time, he can beat Obama. Otherwise, I think Obama will win quite easily. My gut is saying Obama will win again.

Frankly, Romney would only be a slight improvement over Obama...I think.

Here's a pretty funny parody.  Some of the material is off color and not for kids, but it's the kind of satire that I think makes a solid point worth noting.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Moody's new vision statement from Dr. Nyquist

I went to a relatively small college, compared to the state schools so many in our church have gone.  With March Madness upon us, the enthusiasm people have for their favorite colleges is at a fever pitch.  Personally, I've never gotten in to going crazy for a college, especially with the worldview condition of most state colleges today.  I know people are gung ho about their  Alma mater, mostly because it helps them professionally for their school to be prestigious I suppose?  For me, I'm as proud of Moody as any major university booster club president, but unfortunately for Moody, most of her alums don't go on to make lots of money to send back.  Despite turning out relatively poor (monetarily) alumni (the majority of Moody's graduates go in to some kind of vocational Christian services), they are largely donor based and offer a very affordable education for ministry students. People that are in some way touched by Moody's ministry, know her value and give.  In addition to the college and seminary, Moody also has a publishing house and huge radio ministry.

The big state schools and the prestigious ivy league colleges may boast of all sorts of worldly accolades, success, academic scholarship, and famous graduates, but when the scales of eternal significance are weighed, everyone will see the true value of a place like the school D.L. Moody founded.

For me, I'm proud to have gone to Moody Bible Institute and have never regretted going there for a second.  Frankly, I would be ecstatic if any of my children decided to go to Moody.  Moody is a great place for learning God's Word in relationship to God's world with a view to equip the church for reaching the globe for Jesus.  Of course, I like that Moody has a great soccer program also, they won the NCCAA II national title this year under my beloved coach, Joe Harding.

Moody is not Reformed, as such.  They are from the uniquely American brand of evangelicalism known as dispensationalism.  At the same time, regarding the doctrine of salvation, they are pretty Reformed.  There is some diversity on the faculty regarding the whole of Calvinism, but there are several Calvinists on faculty.  In my time there I got very little resistance to my Reformed views (after all, Reformed = Biblical...and Moody is a BIBLE institute)...from teachers anyways.  A Reformed Christian can navigate at Moody well enough and come out equipped with a strong knowledge of Scripture and a good introduction to theology. Additionally, and very importantly, Moody requires and encourages student involvement in local churches while they are students.  I taught Sunday School in an inner city, Hispanic church for one year, then helped start and lead a youth group for another three years at that same place.  Moody is in the heart of Chicago, so it's a shocker for rural or suburban students who come there, but a good shock.

Moody has lacked stability at the president position since Dr. Stowell left six or seven years ago.  Joe Stowell was a superb president and served for 20 years.  Michael Easley took his place, but health issues forced his resignation after just three years as president.  In 2009 Paul Nyquist was called to be he new president and he's been going after it hard for these last three years.  The video clip below is Dr. Nyquist's recent unveiling Moody's revamped mission and vision statement.  As an alum of Moody, I'm excited for where the school is going.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Jonathan Hill comparing Calvin and Luther

I am reading Jonathan's fine book "The History of Christian Thought" where he offers this apt comparison of John Calvin and Martin Luther-

In almost every way Calvin was wildly different from Luther, a man he admired but never met.  Where Luther was passionate, charismatic and prone to exaggeration, Calvin was quiet and thoughtful, with a far more stable character.  His writings give no hint of profound personal struggles of the kind that plagued Luther.  He was also a generation younger than the German Reformer, and he inherited the central tenets of Protestantism rather than helping forge them.  

Where Luther was a fiery prophet, Calvin was a logical systematizer.  His great work, the Institutes of the Christian Religion, remains the most important and influential work of Protestant dogmatics ever written.  

Calvin's theology was, in essence, the same as Luther's, especially in his insistence on Scripture alone as the basis of theology and practice.  But in systematizing and restating the Protestant faith, he gave it quite different emphases.  He believed more or less the same things as Luther, but not in quite the same way.  These different emphases would mean that Calvinism-the Reformed Church-would be quite distinct from Lutheranism.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Masterpiece Theater by Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi, at age 24, continues to out do himself.

Yesterday, in a Champion's League game, he scored five goals and added an assist. This has never been done in the history of Champion's League play. I think we are watching the greatest footballer to ever play, with all due respect to Pele and Maradona. Again, Messi is only 24. He has not hit prime.

<a href='' target='_new' title='Lionel Messi&#39;s record five-goal day' >Video: Lionel Messi&#39;s record five-goal day</a>

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Kirk Cameron Kerfuffle

I have never seen a Kirk Cameron TV show or movie.  I don't suppose that will change despite a recent dust up over comments he made on the Piers Morgan show.

As a Christian, I really hate that we've become known as "anti-abortion" and "anti-gay" people.  All people have things they oppose or are against. It seems like only Christians are primarily labeled with the "anti" moniker.  I know it's because abortion and the gay issue are hot cultural topics and any bible-believing Christian will have a pretty strong view on these issues.  So Kirk Cameron does an interview to promote his new film-which has nothing to do with either of these issues- and the interviewer goes right to his position on homosexual practice.  How fair is that?  When Morgan interviews celebrities who have no problem being promiscuous and fathering all sorts of children out of wedlock, does he drill them with questions on that?

I grant there are some prominent Christian voices who disproportionately beat the anti-gay drum, but regarding Cameron's honest answer to an irrelevant question, why all the outrage?  Since when did speaking peacefully and politely about an ethical issue not fall under free speech?  Labeling a person "homophobic" because they happen to disagree with homosexual practice is a cheap tactic to end a legitimate, rational, discussion.  See my take on that here.

Anyways, Kirk Cameron released a statement (that I am sure he had help constructing) on Facebook worth reading-

I recently was asked to join Piers Morgan on CNN for an interview about my new film “Monumental.” During that discussion, I was asked to express my views about homosexuality, gay marriage, and abortion. While that was not the agreed-upon purpose of the interview, I was pleased to answer Piers’ questions as honestly as I could. 

In some people’s eyes, my responses were not sufficiently "loving" toward those in the gay community. I can only say that it is my life's mission to love all people, and that I expressed the same views that are expressed clearly and emphatically throughout the Judeo-Christian scriptures. As a Bible believing Christian, I could not have answered any other way. I’ve been encouraged by the support of many friends (including gay friends, incidentally) in the wake of condemnation by some political advocacy groups. 

In the case of one of my gay friends, we regularly talk and have healthy and respectful debate. We learn from each other, and serve others alongside one another. I thank God for all of my friends...even when they hold very different views on issues of faith and morality. I do not, however, believe that the right way to advance our views is to resort to name-calling and personal attacks, as some have done to me. 

I also believe that freedom of speech and freedom of religion go hand-in-hand in America. I should be able to express moral views on social issues--especially those that have been the underpinning of Western civilization for 2,000 years--without being slandered, accused of hate speech, and told from those who preach "tolerance" that I need to either bend my beliefs to their moral standards or be silent when I’m in the public square. 

I hope more than a few people could see the large volume of secularist morality being imposed on me. In any society that is governed by the rule of law, some form of morality is always imposed. It's inescapable. But it is also a complicated subject, and that is why I believe we need to learn how to debate these things with greater love and respect. To the thousands of you who have written me letters of encouragement... thank you! And to those who would like know how to further your support, please gather your friends and family, and join me as I seek to show you our true “National Treasure,” at the live, nationwide viewing of “Monumental” on Tuesday, March 27th ( Sincerely, Kirk

Monday, March 5, 2012

Happy Birthday A.J.!

Today is my eldest son's birthday. He turns 13. Wow, I am old. 

Dear A.J., 

The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but God’s mercy and kindness will not depart from you. 
Neither will the covenant of His peace be removed from you. 
May God supply all your needs according to His riches in Glory. 

 Love, Dad