Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shameless Self-Promotion

I don't usually do this. . . . . but all of you should go check out We've released a little Christmas ep, along with some Christmas thoughts from me, artwork, etc. . . Thanks to Stone Crandall for the design, and to Trev for fixing up the website.

The hope is that it will be encouraging to folks, and that some would give it away as a gift for some original Christmas music goodness.



Friday, November 20, 2009

The KU situation

Kansas football coach, Mark Mangino is under investigation for abuse and mistreatment of players in his system. There are some who think this is a witch hunt, driven by KU's poor record this year, and that some are trying to railroad Mr. Mangino out of town.

The facts are not known yet, so I'm not making judgements. But, when you're accused of something by others, this is probably not the way to react:

“I can't do the work of some parents,'' he said, “what they should have done before they got to me. And some of those guys are bitter. And some of that's the problem. And I can't do anything about that.”

Let's just say that response is not dripping with humility. I hope the facts are known soon, and more importantly that God will grant Mr. Mangino humility and a soft heart. How we react when allegations are brought against us says alot about who we are.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Be careful what you ask for. . . .

Here's some great stuff from Jeremiah Burroughs and Tim Keller via Kevin DeYoung today:

Jeremiah Burroughs’ (1599-1646):

Therefore for my part, if I should have a friend or brother or one who was as dear to me as my own soul, whom I saw discontented for the want of such a comfort, I would rather pray, “Lord, keep this thing from them, till you shall be pleased to humble their hearts for their discontent; let not them have the mercy till they come to be humbled for their discontent over the want of it, for if they have it before that time they will have it without any blessing” (The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, 159).

In other words, if people think they can’t live without some thing, they’ll still be miserable even when they get the thing they wanted so badly. Burroughs goes on to suggest:

There are many things which you desire as your lives, and think that you would be happy if you had them, yet when they come you do not find such happiness in then, but they prove to be the greatest crosses and afflictions that you ever had, and on this ground, because your hearts were immoderately set upon them before you had them.

So be careful how you pray. As Tim Keller (or was it that spirit of Jeremiah Burroughs?) has written, “We never imagine that getting our heart’s deepest desires might be the worst thing that can ever happen to us” (Counterfeit Gods, 1).

These are important things to think over as we enter the holiday season. Be careful what you long for this Christmas. . it might be the "worst thing that could happen to you".

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Humility of Thought

Now for something completely different. . . . . .

Our Culture encourages us to be confident, take no prisoners, exclude those who don't agree with us, get done what we need to get done, make sure we're happy, be self-actualized, etc. . . .

There is obviously danger in being timid, indecisive, and depressed. . don't get me wrong. But, I think we've taken it a bit too far to the other extreme where we reject any feelings of timidity, or sadness and try to move on quickly.

I think we need to have a healthy reluctance in our lives. Not timidity or immaturity, but a heart of humility that says, "I may be found to be not right on this, and others have thought this through perhaps more than I have".

This is a good exercise politically,

(tangent: If you're going to let your viewpoint be dominated by the most extreme voices in your camp. . prepare to be marginalized. Republicans are finding this out now. . .if Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, etc are the only voices heard, than your real message is not heard. The same can be said of Democrats with Olbermann, Soros, Franken, etc. . . . If the loudest voice wins, we all lose. Here's hoping for a more measured debate in 2012. I"m not encouraged that it will happen. The candidates pander to their extremes, the message is diluted by it, and worst of all, we stop listening)

spiritually, and especially, relationally. We're not even infallible in the way we remember things. We have to leave room for the fact that others remember it differently. There is a time to present the evidence that shows your correctness, but most of the time these days, we're content to bash or degrade those who disagree with us. And, yes, husbands, wives, and others who love each other do this as well.

Especially those of us who are under 40. . . . we like to be right. We like to find others on the internet whom agree with us. We like to not listen to the 60 year old who has been there. We like to exclude objective truth claims and clasp our dead, cold hands on our open mindedness and flexibility (which is a very objective thing to do, by the way).

Here's to a healthy reluctance that is absolutely sure about our Savior, his cross, and all he has done. And is less sure about our own expertise, our track record, our reputation, and what we deserve. We've been wrong. We will be again. . . many times. We should confess that to other people and humble ourselves. We should give folks the benefit of the doubt on how they remember a situation. We need to be patient.

I'm not arguing for a Descartian post-modern mindset where everything is mush and no one can call anyone out. That's chaos as well, and we experience that in the church all the time.

I"m saying point the thumb, . . . . then later. . . point the finger.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Daves Highway

I stumbled upon this group via YouTube. I"m not sure if it's the cute factor, the flashbacks to my childhood, or the way the little guy clenches his fists. . but I'm a Dave's Highway fan. Enjoy

Here's a little MJ . . . .

P.S. Is the name of this group not the worst stage dad moment in history? If their dad's name is Dave, this is the most unfortunate and tragic name I've heard. :) They are well trained, though. . check out that intro on the MJ song. This kid has been around the block a few times.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sam and Star Wars

Sam has been going through a little Star Wars-obsession phase lately. This makes his uber-nerd dad pretty happy. But, what do you do when you need some Star Wars toys but you don't have room in your toy box and your dad is too cheap to buy them for you? You get creative, that's what. I give you Sam's lego version of the Star Wars characters. ( i had no part in making these, I discovered them tonight in Sam's room and he explained all the characters to me)

Yoda (this one kills me)

Princess Amidala (pretty accurate with the white hair extensions)

Darth Maul (no explanation needed. . he has the double light sabre)
Darth Vader (besides the crooked head, this one works for me)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Get over Yourself

This Sunday is Orphan Sunday, and we're celebrating at Calvary in the morning services, and later on in the day, we'll be showing the live webcast of the Orphan Sunday event in Nashville. Come on out. . it's at 3 pm in Boulder.

This week we've looked at many aspects of adoption, but I think the most important, or helpful, aspect of adoption is how it helps us towards self-forgetfulness.

Whenever you have a child, he/she is a gift from God that helps us get over ourselves and our selfishness. This is something we all need, especially in America. Suddenly "important T.V. appointments", "me time", and "guy's weekends" take their proper place in our life because we have someone to take care of, and someone whom we are responsible for.

With adoption it's doubly helpful because 1) your kids get to join in the self-forgetfulness, and 2) our favorite methods and prideful attitudes towards our parenting have to die if we're to raise the new child in a biblical way.

Every child is different, and I have no idea about Malachi's family, his emotional makeup, what his needs are, etc. . So, I have to lay my preconceived ideas about parenting and my comfortable places down and learn about who he is.

We've come a long way in knowing that . . . but it's still bizarre to not understand where he's coming from sometimes. With my biological kids, I know exactly why they are struggling with something or acting a certain way. That's because I see myself in what they're doing, and all of my flaws are on display. Well, lucky for Malachi, he's got another set of genetics there, and so we have to figure him out. This is a humbling thing, to be sure.

Now, he will grow into our family and follow us in our good things (and bad things) eventually, but that takes a little while.

I've also seen my kids developing more of a servant's heart as they have someone new in the family that they need to love and serve as their brother.

So, it's been a win/win as we die/die to ourselves. I really hope all of you get to participate somehow in an adoption sometime in your life. Sadly, there's plenty of kids to go around (4 million in Ethiopia), and plenty of loving, self-forgetfulness, and humility that we all need.

Happy Orphan Sunday!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Today is the one year anniversary of when we picked up Malachi from the transition home in Ethiopia. Those in the adoption world typically refer to today as "gotcha day", (which I find a bit blunt . . . but whatever).

But, Malachi is home. . . .God ordained it from the foundations of the world that I would be his dad, and Jody would be his mom. That's a sweet truth today. Even 3 years ago, I had no concept of who Malachi was, or why I would want to adopt a child into our family. It's crazy.

One of the most powerful cases for adoption for Christians. . . is the doctrine of adoption of us by God. You see, we were once far away too. . .we were without hope, without a "people", without a spiritual "family". But, God, being rich in mercy, adopted us as sons and daughters of the King. He brought us home.

This truth is so much more powerful for me now that we have adopted Malachi. He really had no hope. He was sick, abandon, without a family, and a ward of the state (a state that happens to have 4 million orphans).

But, now he has a home. . and we, as Christians, have a father in God.

Ephesians 1:3-8

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5hec]">[c] predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

There is a further "adoption" to come for those who believe in Christ,

Romans 8:22-24

22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved.

You also see this through earthly adoption when you visit an orphanage and see the kids, "waiting eagerly" for their adoption.

So, happy "Gotcha Day" everyone. I hope that you know, and believe that God's "got" you today, and I encourage all of you to get involved with adoption and orphan care in some way. It makes all of these truths really come home to you, and it's a tangible way to work out our salvation in this life.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why stateside adoption is important. . .

I can't help but think that many of these kids are foster kids or abandon children. . . yes, in the good 'ol USA.

It's sad to me how much our caring for children's health and safety has gone up over the centuries. . (car seats, medicine, pediatrics, etc. . . which are good things) while at the same time it seems like we do a terrible job caring for children and protecting them, as a society, even today.

Surely we can do better than this. . . .

This week. . . . .

Well, it was one year ago this week that we brought Malachi home. This Sunday is "Orphan Sunday" across the USA, and I wanted to do a series of posts related to adoption. It's hard to find what to say, since I could write about 50 blogs of 1,000 words about adoption. (my wife nearly pulled this off. . . i kid, i kid).

But, I think I'll mainly let other folks speak this week, so as to not be over-bearing. Here's John Piper's wife talking about their journey to adoption. (and a great look at the fact that John Piper has had some not-so-great moments. . . . .for all of you who think I claim that Piper hung the moon). This is a really honest series of posts from Noel that should encourage all of the praying wives out there.

A multi-part blog about adoption