Saturday, December 09, 2006

Colson Video

check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alKEkOD_-nA

This is for the grandparents.

As if One is Not Enough

The idea was all his own.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Quotable Scout

She seemed glad to see me when I appeared in the kitchen, and by watching her I began to think there was some skill involved in being a girl. -Chapter 12

It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived. -Chapter 11

"It's not time to worry yet"

It took reading the first pharagraph to know that I would love this book.

Here's a sound-bite sample:

"First of all," he said, if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.--"
"Sir?"
"--until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

Thursday, November 30, 2006

ok, i'm obsessed!





From collegiate athletics to bird-watching

A Great Blue Heron's like this shows up for my viewing pleasure almost daily. We have a wonderful view of open wetland habitat and I've found myself being quite taken with the birds... especially now that the snow has come and the colors of the birds against the white has made it a very enjoyable experience. The Blue Heron is very graceful, slow in movement, strong in the chest, and very stately. At the local feed store, mixed grain for the pheasants and wild game is distributed for free once the snow flies. This has brought an abundance of pheasants into view as they are constantly eating up the scratch. Their color is stricking, and I find myself having to pull away from the window in order to get household chores complete. Thanks to my dad for encouraging me to get them some winter snacks. It has become highly entertaining to me.
For those that don't know, bird watching is considered a sport.
P.S. There are other birds that have attached themselves to the feed as well. I'll keep you posted when I can figure out what they are, but take my word for it: they are very cute.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Snow Has Come!

Colson enjoying the snow. He can't get enough of it. 12 degrees or not, he wants out of the house and into the snow!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving

Ok, Ok, we've been horrible bloggers. There are no excuses.

Now that that's out of the way, we had a wonderful thanksgiving here in Moscow. The food was fantastic, the fellowship was heart-warming, and snow was sticking to the ground when we departed.

In fact, more snow is expected, 1-2 inches this evening. I am so excited. Does my excitement still make me an Oregonian?

Cheers!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

comfort

Paul, in his second letter to the Corinthians, was seeking to encourage the Corinthians in Christ, so that they would be ready and willing to give the gift they had previously promised to the church at Jerusalem.

How did Paul do this? He begins by proclaiming that the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ is the “God of all comfort”, and he comforts us in “all” our afflictions. Often we think of comfort as having peace and rest, having everything taken care of so we don’t have to do anything - we can simply sit back and enjoy the ride, and as soon as we break from this pristine state our comfort is gone. But Paul tells us, that God comforts us in our afflictions, not for us to simply sit around and enjoy ourselves, but for the purpose of making us affective for the kingdom. Paul was seeking to encourage the saints in Corinth to give abundantly to the other churches that the kingdom may be built up.

God is not only the God of all comfort but of all afflictions as well. By being joined to Christ Paul teaches that the sufferings of Christ overflow abundantly to us by the grace of God. God afflicts us by allowing us to go through various trials and tribulations for the comfort and salvation of the world. Many of you may wonder from time to time why you have to suffer, and whether or not God is in control of those circumstances, and how they can possibly work out for the good. The fruit of sanctification though, is being able to see everything in light of God’s sovereign grace and believing that He is working everything out for the good. We need to be like Paul, who when utterly burdened beyond strength and felt the sentence of death upon him, knew that this was to teach him not to rely upon himself, but upon the God who raises the dead. Paul also knew that he would be faced with similar trials and that God would raise him again and again. This kind of attitude and behavior is impossible outside of a saving faith in the risen Lord. When man is afflicted with various trials and tribulations his capacity for life is taken from him, he wastes away not only outwardly day by day, but also inwardly. But for those who are in Christ and who are experiencing His death, their capacity for life increases. Like Paul we are wasting away outwardly but we are being renewed inwardly daily. Paul was teaching the Corinthians that those who sow bountifully will reap bountifully, that death precedes resurrection.

The churches at Macedonia were a perfect example of this. Paul explains that it’s God’s grace that has brought about a severe test of affliction upon these churches. For they were poor in comparison to the church at Corinth, but seeing that there was a need they rejoiced abundantly. Why would a poor, needy people, rejoice for the opportunity to give of themselves when clearly they are the ones in need? So often we sit back thinking that we have nothing to offer forgetting about the treasure which resides within jars of clay. But the impoverished churches in Macedonia begged Paul for the opportunity and honor to give their lives away for the relief of the saints. It brought them comfort knowing that they could give up their comfort for the sake of the kingdom.
What is brining you comfort today? Is it your job, house, is it your bank account, is it your health, your health plan, your education? Or is it the honor of knowing that you have been called this day to give your life away to God and knowing that it is pleasing to him because of Jesus Christ?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Thoughts on the Church

Calvin - "The Communion of saints" is added...This clause though generally omitted by the ancients, ought not to be overlooked, for it very well expresses what the church is. It is as if one said that the saints are gathered into the society of Christ on the principle that whatever benefits God confers upon them, they in turn should share with one another...a community is affirmed, in which the heart and soul of the multitude of believers are one...if truly convinced that God is the common Father of all and Christ the common Head, being united in brotherly love, they cannot but share their benefits with one another.

Dr. Leithart - Christ's body and His Spirit are "public goods", the "common property" of every member. This basic level of koinonia in the Son and Spirit takes various visible forms in the life of the Church. Having a "share" in the Spirit, each member is obligated to "share" whatever gifts he receives for the good of the body. What the Spirit gives is, as Augustine would say, only rightly possessed insofar as it is given away. Every gift is a seed, which produces a harvest only if sown.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Fall. Half-naked trees emerging forth from pools of orange and red. Scarves. Candle flames aiding the aromas of cinnamon apples and wild currant. Jack-o-Lanterns. Hot spiced cider.
Rich, frothy maple lattes. Feelings of something new. Something exciting. Birthdays, laughter. Scarves, tights and hats. Warm hearts and homes. Gatherings around a table. Spiced tea and pumpkin flavored pastries. Chilled noses, dry lips and hands. Squash soups. Socks. Layers.
The anticipation of celebration. The anticipation of white.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Liturgy teaches us who we are.

Paul, in Romans, makes it very clear that we are no longer slaves to unrighteousness and sin, which leads to death. Rather, he teaches us that in our Baptism, and by faith, we have been joined to Christ by the Spirit, this means we have died with Christ, but also that we have been raised with Him and now live to God in Christ Jesus. Paul goes on to teach that since this is the case we are to no longer allow sin to reign in us, but rather we are to offer up ourselves to God as instruments of righteousness. He goes on to say that this leads to eternal life!
So much of what Paul is talking about throughout Romans has to do with our identity in Christ. He wants us to understand the change that has taken place through our baptism in Christ. We need to understand who we are as the called out ones of God. We are called to be saints, in other words, holy. This is what your baptism says to you.
Many of you may be thinking that you have failed at this miserably. Many of you may be saying to yourselves, “I haven’t turned from sin and temptation the way that I ought, am I truly saved?” And to that, I say to you trust in God and not in yourselves! You have been baptized, you no longer live, but Christ lives in you by His Spirit, “but”, no “buts”!, You are here today amongst God’s people, in Christ, presenting yourselves to Him as instruments of righteousness, as living sacrifices, this is our calling, this is our duty before God, this is life!
For there is no Condemnation In Christ, death no longer affects him, for he has already died and if you are in him then you have died to sin as well! Put to death the deeds of the flesh, do not walk in them any longer, set your mind on things above, set your mind on the things of the Spirit that you may live!
For many of us our minds are far too often set upon ourselves. And what I mean by this is our old selves, who we are outside of Christ. This is a very difficult challenge that we face, for us to discover who we truly are we need to refrain from looking inside and look outside to our baptism, to the cross, to Christ who sits at the right hand of God the Father. He is our Brother who has passed through the heavens in our flesh and has entered into the holy of holies.
So then, if you have been buried with Christ in baptism, you have also been raised with Him. So do not subject yourselves any longer to the spirits of this world, for your life is in the Spirit of Christ. And you have come this day in that Spirit to the things that are above, where our life is in Christ who is seated at the right hand of God, where every spiritual blessing is ours.
Throughout this morning, like every Lords Day, we are reminded of these things. This is what the liturgy teaches us. It teaches us who we are. We begin with a call to worship. We are the called out ones, God has called you out of this world to come into his presence to worship Him. For this we praise Him. Yet, we are quickly reminded that we are sinners, throughout the week we have not perfectly obeyed God, we don’t deserve to be in the presence of the Holy. So, we confess our sins believing in the promise of God that when we do confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us. And as a minister of Christ I remind you of who you are in Christ, because of His death for you, you have been forgiven. So we praise Him. One of the greatest blessings of being saints, righteous ones, is that God hears our prayers. We stand before God in Christ, therefore in the right, and so with boldness we speak to Him, praising him, petitioning him, and asking him to change us through this time of meeting with Him. The means by which he seeks to change us with is his word, the whole word, we hear parts of the grand narrative, particularly the promise and then the fulfillment. The word is applied to us through the preaching and we are through that once again reminded of who we are.
And now we have been led to this place and because you have been washed and because the Spirit of God lives in you, our God and Savior Jesus Christ says, come take and eat do this in remembrance of me.

Communion Meditation

Adam’s first full day was with God in the garden on the Sabbath. The climax of creation was not only man, but man enjoying God’s rest and worshipping Him, this is what he was created to do. His life was to flow to God and from God out into the garden, to Eden, and the rest of the world where he would reflect God in all that he did. His whole life from beginning to end was to be shaped by the Sabbath, this is where creation led him.

When God was reestablishing his garden in the midst of Israel; by establishing His presence with them in the tabernacle, and later in the temple, He was showing us what it truly meant to be human, worshipers of Yahweh. This is where the Exodus led them.

In the book of Leviticus one would be tempted to divide the laws into two categories, ones having to do with the tabernacle and others having to do with life outside the tabernacle. But, if you were to do this without understanding that these laws are inseparable you would be making a grave mistake. Everything that went on inside the tabernacle had to do with the lives of the saints outside of it, and all that they did outside needed to be governed by the daunting presence of the tabernacle set up in the center of the camp. For, the Holy of Holies is where the law was leading them.

“When Christ came into the world, he said, Sacrifice and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.” And by doing the will of His father Jesus our Lord laid down his life, and sanctified us through the offering of His Body once and for all. This is where His incarnation led him.

When God called us to worship Him this day we praised Him for it. We confessed our sins and were forgiven, and we praised him for it. We confessed our faith together, and we praised him for it. We were taught His word and exhorted by it, and we praised him for it. We heard his word in faith, we have sung his word in faith, we confessed our faith, and now we have come to his table to commune with Christ, and with each other, by eating His flesh and drinking His blood. This is true food, and apart from eating it there is no life in us. This is where the Spirit has led us in truth, to the holy of holies that we may be renewed in Christ this day.

Monday, October 02, 2006




Ok, the child is a little rediculous sporting his too-big shoes as well as his first tie this last Lord's Day.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Gospel Liturgy

Many of you know Matthew, Mark, and Luke have a lot in common. This is why the three are referred to as the synoptic Gospels because they generally follow the same literary outline. But, even the Gospel of John, very different as it stands in comparison to the other three, places John the Baptist’s ministry at the beginning as fundamental to the whole glorious story of Jesus the Messiah coming to save his people. We cannot possibly begin to understand Jesus Christ and His mission for the world, and what He has accomplished for the world through His life, death, and resurrection until we begin to wrap our minds around John and what he was doing out in the desert next to the Jordan.

John the Baptist no doubt was a radical in first century Judea, and his ministry was challenging all the different strands of Judaism of his day. Without any authorization from the authorities of his day, other than God the one who proclaimed that one would go before Him to prepare the way for His coming, John was beginning a New Exodus by leading the way for many to pass through water so that they may be forgiven of their sins and prepared for the one who would come after him.

All four gospels begin with John, and all four gospels end with Jesus. All four end with the Resurrected Lord of the universe surrounded by His disciples adoring him. We have come this day to surround the Lord’s Table and feast on Him that we may receive His life and be changed. But, we cannot possibly understand that meal and receive its blessing unless we begin at the beginning with the message John brought forth. Repent! For the kingdom of Heaven is at hand! The one who was to come after me has come and died and he lives forever more. Turn from your wicked ways, confess your sins, and receive the Holy Spirit!

Let us confess our sins together.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Lord of the flies

At work we have two large doors, like garage doors. We slide them open to let sunlight and fresh air in. It’s another thing to be thankful for.

Burning silicone smells like dead fish, and the stench that can be generated by seven men working in one place is enough reason to be thankful for the fresh air. And there’s something about the sun illuminating the path before you, and a cool breeze on your back, to make you feel like a kid again: carelessly enjoying the play God has created you for.

Moments later I look over at one of my co-workers spinning around like my son discovering the wonder of dizzy. This is not because he is enjoying his time. Rather, little specks of darkness have floated in with the light, sunny breeze. I would laugh at my round, fuzzy, frustrated friend, but all the while I am smacking my wrist, swinging at the air in front of me, and attempting a 180-degree elbow-punch hoping to send one of twenty different flies to its grave.

As I go back to my work with one eye on the fly to my right and my heal kicking back into the air hoping it will somehow let the flies on my calf know that, “This is your last warning, damn it!” I begin to wonder why God has created flies. They annoy everyone. But they don’t annoy God. He created them and called them good. I imagine from God’s perspective, watching us bat at the air with unheard of karate moves is paralleled with the humor of watching Napoleon Dynamite’s Kip learn Rex-Kwon-Do.

I am reminded that God is hilarious. He has the greatest sense of humor. It must make him laugh watching the pinnacle of His creation get in touch with the lower parts and become more like Him.

After a long week of work (and according to my calculations) the most fly kills at MEI (that’s where I work), I am ready for the Sabbath. As I sit, stand, stand and sit to hear the Word, pray the Word, sing the Word, and eat the Word, I am ushered into the presence of the living God with His angels and saints before Him doing what we have been created and redeemed to do: worship the Triune God. While I am basking in the glory of it all, my one-year-old son sleeps across my lap, but his sleep is haunted by the presence of nothing else but a plump, juicy fly who’s decided to use my son’s forehead as a launching pad. My arms are pinned by all 22 pounds of my son, but with my fingers I do my best to swipe them away. Soon after I notice one come back with two others to puke upon my head and pant leg! At this point I had to free one of my arms out from under my son’s little head. “It’s on, you bastards!” I start swinging, with my one free hand while mindful of the reverent worshipers behind me and my sleeping son upon me. While I was swatting the flies away from me I began to notice the young lady to my left and I were playing ping-pong with 3 or 4 flies. I stopped and put my arm-like pillow back under my son’s head figuring the flies are there because of my aroma and not the women’s.

As I begin to feel better because of the self-sacrificial act I committed I noticed that two flies had conjugated on the top of my knee so close that the four little feelers before them were swapping spit as I was attempting to sing the 34th Psalm.

Instead of thinking about the application of imprecatory prayers (believe me that would come later) I was asking myself, “Why is God making me go through this right now?” As I stand in His presence in the Holy of Holies I’m swatting flies, and missing.

Then I was reminded that a table was set before me and a meal was about to be served. Flies love our food and this day was no exception. The meal I was about to eat with all the other saints around the world had flies wanting to get a piece of the action as well. This meal is like no other meal. As long as we eat it we confess the Lord’s death until he comes.

I was also reminded that flies love sweat and blood. Christ could have killed all the flies that landed upon him while on the cross but that means he would’ve had to come down. With that in mind I thanked God for the Great High Priest before Him, who is able to sympathize with all my trials and temptations, even flies.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Effeminate Fall '06

No need to spend $500 dollars on these outfits. Prance into fall by ransacking your 12 yr. old sister's jean drawer! Any top will do...heck, while your in your sister's closet, find something there.

Prov.4:18

"The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
which shines brighter and brighter
until full day."

What a beautiful picture of the path Christ has set His disciples on. He has sent forth His Spirit into our lives joning us to Himself, giving us all his righteousness, and continually making that righteousness a reality in our everyday lives until the day there will be no sun, but only the light of the glory of God filling the new heavens and new earth.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Micah 5, The Total Christ

But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, Who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, Whose origin is from of old, From ancient of days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; Then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth.
And he shall be their peace...Then the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the Lord, like showers on the grass, which delay not for a man nor wait for the children of man. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among the flocks of sheep, which, when it goes through, treads down and tears in pieces, and there is none to deliver.
Your hand shall be lifted up over your adversaries, and all your enemies shall be cut off.

This chapter is such a wonderful example of how God works to further His kingdom. The Church at this time was obviously in a very prideful and therefore sinful state (see ch.1). And we all know what God does when the Church is acting like this; she gets smacked across the face by a rod.
He brings forth judgment to purge her from sin (v.1, 10-15) and discipline to make her more beautiful for the sake of world (v.4, 7-9).
The nations which rage against God are here used by God to humble His people (ch.4:11-13, 5:1), a slap across the face! Certainly in times like these, when the Church is seen to be a mockery in the midst of the people, our reaction is far too often bewilderment and hopelessness. But the prophet shows that the faithful ought never to be in such circumstances.
God always works through death and resurrection. The prophet reminds them of the humble circumstance from where God has brought forth for them the promise of salvation, His eternal kingdom in which they will be a part of.
His people were at the brink of disaster with the Philistine army before them and a faithless king leading them (I Sam.). Yet, out of this seemingly hopeless state God brought forth a man, a king in fact who was a Shepard boy (v.2, 4). Not only was he from the most humble of places, Bethlehem (v.2), but David was in the humblest of circumstances. He was the youngest brother left out in the fields to tend to the sheep while the nation was at war. Man had not asked him to lead them in fight but rather to serve them bread. Does this sound familiar? David came to feed his brothers but he ended up fighting for his brothers, laying down his life (true bread), which resulted in conquering the enemies of God and him becoming king (death and resurrection).
By saying that a ruler will come from Bethlehem (v.2), God is reminding the people of His promise of salvation through the line of David (origin from old, ancient). We are also told here that this is God’s eternal plan. Therefore, we know that He is speaking of His Son, Jesus Christ the Son of David (the eternal word, who is also the son of David).
Like David, Jesus is from Bethlehem, the city of David, and he will come forth to rule over them "in the majesty of the name of the LORD". But unlike any other king, Jesus like David, is a gentle Shepard who brings forth peace and security for His sheep by conquering all the beasts so that he may lead them to still waters (v.4-5).
A very important point we must take note of is found in verses 5-9. Yes, the king has come and therefore his kingdom with him, but this kingdom is surrounded by beasts and enemies which need to be conquered. When Jesus’ ministry began his kingdom was at hand, and through his death and resurrection (and ascension) it was inaugurated, but it’s still yet to come in its fullness.
In these verses we see how this is to be done. Christ crushes the head of the serpent under the foot of the Church (v.3 His brothers coming forth, v.5 seven Shepard’s with him, v.7-8 the remnant of Jacob). In doing this God spreads his grace through the Church like dew over the grass of the fields, like rain on a dry and weary land replenishing it, that it may bear good fruit (amazing peace through destruction of evil). We also see the Church is like a roaring lion conquering all the beasts throughout the land.
As God’s people we will go through many difficult times. But, we must remember that this is a part of God’s work in bringing forth His kingdom. We share with Christ the responsibility of bringing the kingdom of God to bear on earth as in heaven. Wow, what an exciting mission! The trials, as we must remember, are for the purpose of making the faithful more like the Shepard King, more like the one from Bethlehem, the one who was born in a manger, the one who took on our flesh, the one who became a servant, the one who died on a cross and now reigns over all. We are called to bring forth the glory of the King like dew and rain on the grass of all nations, in the midst of many people. Our message through our lives needs to be a breath of fresh air. When people see the Church, (first step being we need to be seen) our families, and all that comes from us, they need to be refreshed by our fruit. This comes from the preaching and the living out of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When this is done faithfully the Church will stand in the midst of the entire world like a mighty lion that has conquered all!

Friday, September 15, 2006



I'm wondering what combination of ingredients could be as good together as white flour, butter, sugar, and chocolate? I'm welcoming ideas.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Exhortation

God in creation, in His Word and Gospel, presents Himself as something to be desired. Everything about Him is beautiful, maybe too beautiful. Maybe this is the reason why we turn from Him because we cannot handle the beauty he presents to us in His creation and gospel. But the truth is we cannot see this beauty and we don’t worship in the beauty of His holiness because of our lack of faith. We hear these wonderful promises given to us that we would live forever in the presence of the creator God in His New and Perfect Creation but we don’t believe it. We don’t believe that such a wonderful gift would be given to us sinful rebels and that we can begin to experience this eternal life today. If we did believe we would see His beauty in new and fresh ways daily, and our lives and worship would be greatly affected by this beauty, and the world would be changed. He is the infinite God who spoke all things into existence and is recreating all things through that same Word. He possesses so much goodness, beauty, life, and truth and these things have been poured out into His Son Jesus our Lord in whom he calls us to believe in. Through faith all that is Christ’s becomes ours. This includes the grace, beauty, life, and truth of God. God raises his voice and cries out to us daily saying, “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? If you would just turn at my reproof I would pour out my Spirit upon you I would adorn your head with a graceful garland and pendants for your neck”.
So now as we seek to enter into his presence and worship Him in the beauty of His holiness, let us turn to Him and pray that He would forgive us for our lack of faith in His precious Son in whom He loves, and that he would open up our hearts, by the power of His spirit, to receive His wisdom, so that we may go forth this day seeking after it like a treasure, and that we may give this treasure to the world that she may be redeemed and beautified in the holiness of God.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

coffee shop

The older man – deaf and dumb,
Hat pulled down low, slightly and awkwardly
It covers his face.
He sits in his chair – low and limp.
His eyes break from the frothy-filled in-house cup as he glances at the man sharing his table.

He doesn’t notice my gaze.

The coffee shop filled with treats has become stuffy with students marching in and out of it.
They eat and drink,
And talk about everything,
From the 15 different things they are planning on doing this weekend to how they wish they had read this or that book,
Yet, it remains quiet enough to hear the old man bark and see his friend give him a hand.
Handing out words with symbols.
Handing out love with words.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Receive the Word

God has spoken this day into existence like every other day, and He has called you into this place, where you are surrounded by those who have been created in His image to hear his Word spoken again. This is the same Word that was heard by all of creation when he spoke it into existence and called it good. This is the same Word that called down the rain from the heavens to flood the earth so that it may be destroyed and turned into something new and good. This is the same Word that called Abram out from the land of Ur of the Chaldeens that he may be given a new name, Abraham, a father of many nations, the father of the faithful. This Word was spoken and written down at the top of Mount Sinai so that the people of God may have a light to lead them in this dark and fallen world and that they may be a light for the nations. This is the same Word that brought the curses of the covenant upon that nation for not loving God, trusting God, and ultimately for not believing God’s Word to them: that he was their Father, a mighty warrior, a faithful husband who loved them with all of His heart, soul, strength and mind. This is the same Word which promised his people that he would send forth a king to crush their enemies, vindicate them over the beasts, and establish them as a kingdom which would last for an eternity. This Word was with God in the beginning, and this Word is God! This is the same Word at the beginning of time which went forth from the mouth of God declaring, “Let there be Light,” and darkness fled. This Word was spoken again after darkness had crept back into God’s glorious creation and the hearts of man, “Let there be Light”. This Word and Light is not some abstract principle of logic and reason, rather it is a person, the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, who became flesh to live, die, and rise again for the salvation of the world. This is the very same Word which is spoken to you today to bring forth salvation and fresh blessings to your life, that you may be shaped by it and renewed. Jesus Christ is not waiting for you to figure him out and follow him. Today is the day of salvation, believe in him, submit to Him, and follow him today!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

On The Way to Work

Even from the freeway,
Quick and windy,
You can see the freshly red painted barn,
Where playful work and
Long days under the crisp golden hills
Were enjoyed with the dancing pines
And soft blue sky.


We caught Colson drinking water from my cup like a big boy. As you can see, he was so proud of himself. We were proud of him too. He proceeded to think he was big until he poured almost the entire contents right onto his chest. haha. We had to go change his pagamas.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Beard

One has never been as happy as I
When stroking my beard,
Smoking my pipe,
And drinking my beer.
But my bride despises going through the briers
before getting to the picnic,
and so I shave my beard,
Kiss my bride,
Smoke my pipe,
and lift my glass to the sky.
And say cheers to all the years
I won't have a beard.

Friday, August 25, 2006

A Sum of our Moscow Story

Life is so raw, so organic, never ending up exactly how one would expect. Kind of like a great story or a great poem, or both. The story of our lives is authored by the Great Storyteller himself: for God alone could come up with the story of creation. Being himself the Creator, how could our lives be mundane-nothing-new-never-exciting-everything-happens-exactly-as-we-had- expected, kind of life? Oh I have to laugh, and cry, and rejoice and even sometimes curse. This story is exciting, frustrating, hysterical. It’s challenging, it’s beautiful, and it’s even ugly and messy. But this is even beautiful, for it brings a sinner like me before my Father’s throne, with adoration, trust, and humility.

KC and I started a new chapter of our story. If I could possibly title this chapter of our life in Moscow so far, I would call it something to the effect of “Trust and Tribulation.” We’ve had a number of unfortunate mishaps since moving. God has been so gracious through it, and has provided more than we need as he takes away and gives us something better: death and resurrection. Life is always better after resurrection. That’s the great part of all stories. The messy part that becomes beautiful, like the cross is the death that we must undergo. God, it seems, is continually showing the Rumreys what it means to die with Christ so that we may also, more gloriously, live with Christ. And this is why we have everything to look forward to as our story unfolds.

Although the story twists and turns and dips and jumps, we’re called to trust in the Storyteller, for in Him all things hold together, even those small details in our lives. Though small tribulations have visited our lives these past weeks, I’m thoroughly thrilled to be a part of a community where only 3 miles distances us from one end of town to the other, where you can’t go anywhere that you won’t have eyes from Christ’s Church watching you (what accountability), where the culmination of the week leads us into worshipping “THE TRIUNE GOD” as pastor Wilson proclaims weekly. I am thrilled to enter the local Christian-owned cafĂ© & pub house, sit down to some wonderful music, wine, and fellowship. There is so much to swallow, so much beauty, so much art, life, joy, community!

So, all this to say, we’re doing great. God has blessed us. We’re going to Calvary constantly, and God is lifting us once more from the death that we must undergo to live and move and have our being in the One True God.

KA

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Authority?

When Peter made his proclamation that Jesus was the Christ the Son of the living God he was told, by that same Jesus, that this was not revealed to him by flesh and blood but rather by His father in heaven. Certainly this is an authoritative word that Peter brings forth, yet all that he was doing was recognizing what was already there. Peter was not making anything happen and he certainly was not making Jesus the Christ. But we are told by Jesus that someone outside of Peter had revealed this to Peter, does this mean that he was inspired? Was the same Spirit who made Jesus the Christ the One at work in Peter to recognize that Jesus was the Son of God? We are told in the WCF that man is ultimately in need of the Spirit of God to illuminate him to see that the scriptures are the word of God. Is this the relationship the Church had with the Word of God in the canonization of Scriptures? Because of the work of the Spirit of God in the Church she has eyes to see the self-authenticating Word of God and therefore make an authoritative acknowledgment of that which already is. I was told today that the Church has authority around sacred things, in other words, to acknowledge the Word of God, proclaim, protect, and teach the word of God. But, she does not have authority in sacred things. The Church does not make the Word of God, rather she is created by the Word of God to be the people of the Word.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Take me to you, imprison me, for I
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

John Donne, from "Batter my heart, three-personed God"

Glorifying God or defending the dignity of ones theological understanding?

In my favorite chapter in "Mere Christianity", The Great Sin, CS Lewis speaks about why God is concerned about Man's pride. He says, "We must not think Pride is something God fordibs because he is offended at it, or that Humility is something He demands as due to His own dignity-as if God himself was proud. He is not in the least worried about his dignity. The point is, He wants you to know Him; wants to give you Himself. And he and you are two things of such a kind that if you really get into any kind of touch with Him you will, in fact, be humble-delightedly humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all that silly nonsense about your own dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life."

So often we Reformed folks are so concerned about God's dignity and believe that we must defend it against those simpiltians who simply seek to love Him. We are offended by their lack of systematic and confessional sophistication when it comes to theology. For, don't they understand what the Westminster says, "The Chief end of man is to Glorify God!" This means knowing your catechism in and out and being able to explain the difference between one who is Truly Reformed and one who Thinks they're a Christian.

Far too often we forget the last part of the catechism answer, "and enjoy him forever!" Lewis makes a great point when he states that God is not concerned about His own dignity as if He were proud. This is not why he mourns over our sinful pride, rather, its because it keeps us from enjoying Him, it seperates us from the life of the Trinity and the beauty of his holiness.

Lewis makes another great point when he explains that when we are redeemed by Christ and the power of the spirit joins us to the divine life, we come home. Pride within a home is like a cancer that destroys the love between the husband and wife and spreads to the very ends of each childs soul. Joy only flourishes within the home when the principle of my life for yours is applied in every room.

The Father, Son, and Spirit are not concerned about their own honor or glory. They sacrifice their own glory, offering up their life for the other. This love is poured out into creation and then most profoundly in the redemption of God's people. We are told within Scriptures that God is Love. The very thing that reveals God most clearly, the Cross of Christ, is the greatest manifestation of love, and this is the pinnacle of history. When God became man and walked this earth He said that the most important thing to remember was to love God and neighbor.

If we are not loving God and neighbor we cannot possibly be enjoying him, if we are not loving and enjoying him we cannot glorify him.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Oh, the sacrifices of being a paper boy!

I awoke this day, like the past fifteen or so, confounded by the sheer ridiculousness of getting up at 2:50 am to deliver newspapers in Pullman. Early on I was driven by nerves and adrenaline from the newness and challenge of my "new life" in Moscow. But now I'm not quite sure what is driving me to this madness. Once I get myself out the door and into the car I begin to drink one of those energy drinks you see in gas station markets that you promise yourself you would never drink unless you had to get up at 2:50 in the morning, this one happens to be called "RockStar" (another reason never to buy one).
For the first week or so I listened to the most modern/contemporary pop-rock station on the dial. I found that the shallow upbeat music went well with the mindless task of hurrying through the neighborhood delivering papers. I had a few profound thoughts about the music like, "who listens to this crap", and "this is the epitome of life without the walls of God's Covenant." Once I began to realize my mind going to mush from all the teeny-bopping I could handle, I have switched back to something a little more sophisticated. Too bad all the classical music is on NPR, are there any good Christian stations out there?
My mind races from thoughts about God's beautiful creation in the solitude of the early morning, to why I'm up before three.
The last couple of days I have found myself reciting in my mind, "don't worry little trooper it will get better, this will not last forever." Yet, ultimatley this reminds me of one of my greatest weaknesses. I keep thinking I have grown out of this, but I find myself still struggling with always wanting it to be easy, comfortable, painless, fun, etc. And God continues to teach me that this is not the way its going to be. I was just reminded recently that Christ did not die so that we may live, but rather that He died so that we may die.
The path that leads to life is getting up at 2:50 in the morning, coming home and going to your second job for another eight hours, and then coming home to the ones you do it all for and rejoicing with them over a meal for another long and beautiful day that the Lord has made.

Paper Boys and Girls in Training!

working

Learning something new is like being a child all over again,
yet its not as exciting and fun;
rather it's painful.
Your pride is stripped bare naked for all to see
through the little beads of sweat covering your brow,
and the obscenities are racing through your mind
while one slips out to everyone's surprise.

a little picture of early life in Moscow

I am a paper boy,
flying through the neighborhood
while she sleeps under shooting stars
and a pale moonlight,
faithfully delivering the tightly rolled,
rubber band enclosed message,
which they believe and recieve unthankfully,
as they unroll the paper and throw away the rubber band.