Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
42 Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
43 Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
So, I was reading this passage today and was struck by the crazy faith of the second thief. Remember that this conversation is happening as Jesus is hanging on the cross, humiliated, beaten, and almost dead. If there was ever a time for someone to doubt who Jesus was and what power He had, this would be the time.
Some probably see Faith in what the first thief said. But, by the reaction of the second thief we learn that those comments ("save yourself and us") were not out of a heart that feared God. It was an anxious heart (understandably) looking for a quick answer.
I wonder how many times my faith is like the first thief who wants God to do a certain thing, and wants it now.
I'm amazed at the quiet confidence of the second thief, who could see through the madness and chaos and put his only hope and faith in Jesus. Its crazy! How did the thief even see and know that Jesus would have a "kingdom"? The King was on the cross next to him!
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.
Lord, help us to develop a quiet confidence in You and in the ultimate outcome of your plans, which will always be for our good.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
So, last night a hoard of angry wasps attacked my daughter, Eden, and son, Sam around 7:30 at night. In the wasps defense, Sam and Eden ruthlessly barged into their territory and invaded their personal, wasp space.
But, it was crazy, Sam was stung 4 times under one arm, and Eden, 3 times on the hand. There were a few hours of screaming and wailing at the Britton house.
Hello? This is why I moved to the suburbs! What's with the aggressive, Africanized devil-wasps? (disclaimer, those last two sentences were jokes)
Needless to say, this kind of animal aggression will not stand at the Britton house. There is a food chain, there is a life cycle, there is dominion, and it must be respected. (apologies, Ellen Stokes)
So, Jody went to Wal-Mart and bought some "liquid wasp death" to do the job right. (I still smell it on my shoes. . . I think there's some illegal stuff in there. . . . I don't care)
I went out this morning, early, as the wasps slept and executed a perfect sneak attack with "liquid wasp death".
Oh, the glory of it all. Wasps were falling out of their hives on the ground. One, in its "not yet dead" state tried to use its remaining energy to "fly" to me and attack. The wasp made it about 3 feet and fell harmlessly out of the sky.
One wasp was still struggling from the 1/16 bottle of "liquid wasp death" that was poured into its home last night. I felt bad about that. Then I sprayed him some more.
I killed roughly 14 wasps (aaron did not realize we had such a wasp problem until today, he won't be caught unprepared again).
"Liquid wasp death" has an 8 foot spray range (roughly) and so you actually get some kick and some power in your spray as you attack. Needless to say, I felt like this:
Good times, (not for the wasps)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
in sickness and in health
for richer or for poorer
for better or worse
in sadness and joy
forsaking all others
keeping yourself only
unto her as long as you both shall live. . . "
Those are the traditional marriage vows that are spoken thousands of times across our country every summer. Some folks change them a bit, some read them verbatim, but all vows are fairly close to this in theme, tone, and content.
I wonder, sometimes, as I interact with couples at many places along the road of dating/engagement/marriage/separation/divorce; how many of us mean these vows with no qualifications and no strings attached.
I wouldn't want to make weddings a somber affair with no joy, and stern-faced seriousness (although some pre-marital meetings should look like that :) ) . I also don't mean to scare some to the point where they delay marriage unnecessarily and are afraid of commitment. But, I'm not sure that many of us understand those vows, and marriage, correctly.
When you get married, you are giving yourself to the other person with no qualifications. Its not "I promise you all of these things. . . . . .if you hold down a good job" or "I promise you all of these things. . . . if we get to live in a certain place" or even "I promise you these things as long as you don't do ______"
No, marriage is a covenant that we are promising "as long as we both shall live".
I think many today are involved in a "marriage of convenience" where they never really gave themselves totally to the other person. Their marriage is coasting along, because their life circumstances are coasting along. And so all seems well, as long as all keeps going well in their place in life.
As soon as something happens, something like this is probably said "you promised that after 5 years we would be ______________" or "you knew from when we were dating that what I wanted was _____________".
These statements, and others like them, show a heart that isn't totally committed to another person. Its a qualified commitment,. . . . . a "50/50" commitment (oh, how I wish we could eliminate that statement from marriage resource materials).
So, "what are you saying Aaron. . .are you saying someone just has to shut up and take it and be quietly miserable for their whole life if things are going in a different direction than they thought??"
Well, No, hopefully not. Here's a nutshell of what I'm saying:
1) Before marriage, expectations need to be made known on a) where you want to live b) when and how many kids you want to have c) who wants/needs to work and for how long d) how do we do our finances. . .etc. .
2) All "plans" are subject to change and you aren't making a commitment to the person based on a-d above. You are making a commitment based on your love for that person and your mutual commitment to Christ.
3) During marriage, if things "change" and someone quits following the "plan". There needs to be open dialogue and perhaps outside help through counseling and friendships to help figure out if/why/when the plan is changing.
You see, when we married someone, we said "this is my life". . . ."this person is my spouse". . ."this is what I'm committing to". God honors a commitment like that, and gives us a pattern to follow in His Word, in pursuit/forgiveness/faithfulness to our covenant. Read Hosea. . . his wife was a prostitute and God continually told Hosea to take her back.
If only more of us would be patient with our spouse until we get somewhere close to a "Hosea level" of faithfulness and commitment.
So, if you're dating or engaged to someone. Make sure that your "love" for them is not based on anything circumstantial. Make sure they would look just as good with no money, no job, and both of you living in the Sudan (God could call you there, read Isaiah 6). Make sure that your commitments are based on your faith in God (none of us can keep marriage vows by ourself) and on your love for that person, not who you wish they would be or on things they have promised you.
If you are married, it might be time to renew the vows (I really like this). If you started down a path of convenience that has turned upside down,. . . and your love has turned with it. . . . . than perhaps its time to hit the "reset" button on this whole thing and renew your commitment to that person.
If you're the person who is changing the plans and jerking around your spouse. Remember, that the best thing for you and for your joy is to stay married. If you are doing things to endanger that reality, cut it out. Love your wife/husband by being considerate to them and putting your own new plans on hold and bringing them along slowly. It has been said, "A leader with no followers is just a guy taking a walk". Amen. . .
For both spouses. . . if you are so concerned about your joy and about "getting what you want", remember that what will bring you the most joy is a happy/adventurous/committed/loving marriage, and not some "wilderness man" or "white picket fence home" fantasy. Cut it out, love your wife/husband and move from there.
Let's all pursue what Christ has for us, pursue our joy in the joy of our spouse and have a loving, awesome Marriage of Inconvenience.
(after all, it wasn't very convenient of Jesus to die on the cross for us. . . He did that to secure His covenant)
Monday, July 21, 2008
"To be sure, food keeps us alive, but that is only its smallest and most temporary work. Its eternal purpose is to furnish our sensibilities against the day when we shall sit down at the heavenly banquet and see how gracious the Lord is. Nourishment is necessary only for a while; what we shall need forever is taste" (Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb, p. 40).
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
In other news. . the sun rose this morning and taxes are due on April 15th.
Politics are awesome.
(not that Mr. Obama isn't impressive. . . . or a fellow. . . . .(he is both) .its just so predictable)
So, enjoy these articles if you're a mom or pass them on to a mom that you know!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
--This is dumb. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,379842,00.html
-- I was shocked by the revelation today that the Ramsey's have been officially cleared of all possible charges in the death of their daughter, Jon Benet. Its really interesting, they used DNA evidence to officially exonerate every member of the Ramsey family. The perpetrator was an unknown male, who's time is getting short. . . as they say. I must say, that until yesterday, I always thought it was Patsy Ramsey in the back of my head. But, it just proves that you never know, and it was a tragedy that she lived under this cloud until her death in 2006 from cancer. Good job, Boulder P.D.. . I've been critical in the past.
-- Jesse Jackson is irrelevant. Barack Obama actually proves that.
--I must say, I'd love to go to Invesco to hear Obama's acceptance speech. What a brilliant move on the part of Obama's campaign. He'll be delivering his acceptance speech on the anniversary of MLK's "I have a dream" speech. This is like a 1,000 on the hype/momentum scale.
Barack Obama has the distinction of being one of the few candidates, ever, for whom people WANT to win, even if they won't vote for him and disagree with his policies. His candidacy stands for so much, and he's a brilliant public speaker. That's a pretty tall mountain to climb for McCain. Even some of McCain's supporters would celebrate an Obama win because of all that it stands for.
--I'm excited about Team USA basketball. I think we're finally going to get the gold medal back this year. That's a whole 'nother blog, which will come during the Olympics.
--The new cd is going well. It has a much more raw, real, emotive vibe than our last album. We're three songs in. We're shooting for a Christmas release.
--Heavenfest is July 26th. 519 is playing, and we're very excited. We're on the worship stage (there are 7 stages) at 1 pm. Come check it out! www.heavenfest.com
--Most importantly. . . today is Jody's and my 9th wedding anniversary. It has, without question been and amazing and unbelievable 9 years. I really have trouble remembering what life was like, pre-Jody. At the same time, it seems like we got married last week. . . I remember the day very well. So, when folks ask, "does it seem that long?" I say, "no, . . longer, and shorter". I'm weird that way.
But, I wouldn't be the person I am today without her. . .she's helped me through so much, and she makes me a better man than I would be without her, that's for sure. Plus, life was really boring before I met her.
I was really good at a) random sports knowledge b) getting traffic tickets c) thinking I was a good basketball player d) eating fast food e) saying stupid things (still working on that one) f)filing everything on the floor and under my bed g) listening to bad Christian music h) being a triva nerd (yes, I was on quiz bowl team). . . the terrible list goes on. Needless to say, life has become much, much better.
So, happy anniversary Jody!
Thanks for letting me be your husband!
Monday, July 7, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
I guess I'm the only one who cares. But, China should not be given a free pass on their human rights/religious abuses (among many others). Even the Dalai Lama (you know, the leader of Tibet, who must lead in exile because of the communist Chinese goverment) says that he wants to attend as well.
I know that boycotting the Opening ceremonies and other presentational methods of dissent are rarely effective. But, in this case, the world's eyes are concentrated on Beijing for two weeks, so why not make a statement? Why not at least express your displeasure with the government and yet support your athletes?
I'm sure that we can find some video of human rights abuses by the Chinese Government that we could "release" at the appropriate time.
Beyond being wimps and pandering for financial advantage, someone needs to tell me why no one is standing up and calling a spade a spade in this case. President Bush is supposed to be the uber-conservative, christian, against the grain president, right??
We need a little of that right now.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Israel wrote this song, and he gets to guest with the Passion worship band. It is epic!
For those of you who would like to know how to sing. . . . just listen to Israel. He's my favorite male vocalist (sorry, Bono), and brings the rock on this one!
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
To me, this show and others like it demean children and advance harmful attitudes towards them. There's a cottage industry of shows like this now. . . ."Nanny 911, Super Nanny, Wife Swap, etc. . . " While the individual shows have different angles and points to make; they almost always have a warped and negative view of children.
The Nanny shows are designed to help parents with their "out of control" children. Parental help and strategic assistance are good things, and the shows work when you can see parents actually beginning to care for their children. (although, it appears it sometimes takes the work of a "professional" to help achieve this :) )
Those shows rub me the wrong way a bit, though, because they're systematizing the children and "processing" them through behavior modification. Again, some of these things are helpful, but there's a real sense, at times, that they are trying to get the children controlled and sedated so that the parents can get on with their personal interests.
"Baby Borrowers" actually has the tagline "its Birth control!" in the commercials. Like "after seeing all the struggles these teenagers have with a newborn, hopefully you'll think twice about having a baby!" Now, teenage pregnancy is a big problem, and parenting of any kind should be entered into soberly. But, do these "warnings" have to come at the expense of our view of children?
My problems are these:
1) Children are not a problem to be solved.
2) The early childhood years are not to be "survived".
3) The reason that teenagers shouldn't have children out of wedlock has nothing to do with the color of vomit at 4 a.m. or how a dirty diaper smells.
There are bigger problems in life than lack of sleep, barf, crying babies, and busyness
Have I had days where parenting wears me out? Do I become exasperated at my kids? Is it hard looking after little ones? Would I do it all again, and 10 thousand more times if God blesses us?
The answer to all of these questions is "YES" and we are (see the wife's adoption blog).
BUT. . .
Children are a gift from the Lord and are to be celebrated, enjoyed, disciplined, nurtured, and cherished. Teenagers, if they're married, supported, and able,. . . . should be celebrated if they are blessed with a child. There's some famous successful teenage mothers. . like. . .umm oh yeah MARY.
Out of control children need parents that will correct, discipline and nurture them. . . not a set of "techniques" to keep them under control.
I know that this is "unspoken and assumed" in all of these shows, but let's go ahead and "speak" it sometimes. . . . . . .
3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one's youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate.
off of my soapbox,