Have I mentioned yet today how much I like this guy...?
Funny, humorous, and yet... all-too-often painfully true.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
This podcast is not from the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil Calvary Chapel cabal who meanly dislike a certain Purposefully Driven Pastor and other such things... it's not even from Chucky Missler, Roger Oakland, or any of the other individuals many love to... not love so much. It's from (drum roll, please) the Chalcedon Foundation, a group of stark raving pinko-Commie Calvinists who very much believe in "engaging culture" (just not in the way that the ECM likes to think of "cultural engagement").
Being a Calvary Chapel dude, I don't have a lot of sympathy for Chalcedon's positions (primarily their ecclesiology, soteriology, or eschatology); but I like listening to this podcast. It's good to listen to those you don't agree with - keeps you sharp and helps prevent you from ossifying in an intellectual cul-de-sac. So I subscribe to the Chalcedon podcast (as well as some others I don't agree with on much - like Driscoll, some Bell, etc.).
So I found it reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally fascinating to hear Chalcedon's take on these things...
...I wonder how long it's going to be before the ones who got down on Ken Graves for his off-the-cuff, not-very-charitable, yet-not-really-that-far-off-base-it-turns-out verbal backslap upside Reverend "Syria's A Great Nation!" 40-Days Dude's head two Murrieta Conferences ago start lighting into Chalcedon...?
Let me make a prediction: They won't. Chalcedon's not as easy a target as Calvary Chapel because - let's be honest - they're not that interesting..
Monday, September 03, 2007
Okay, so I've been a bit slack on the blog for the last few weeks.
I wanted to let all my readers (both of you) know why.
Early this year, a thirteen-year-old girl on the other side of the state made a series of less-than-wise decisions... and nine months later, she gave birth to a healthy - a screamin' healthy - baby boy.
Back up a few months.
My lovely and gracious wife and I have had a heart for adoption since before we were married. We've gone through the process of adoption seven times for eleven children, but each time the doors had been closed, for a wide variety of reasons.
Early this year, my lovely and gracious wife was sharing at a ladies' retreat for a Calvary Chapel from the other side of the state. She has a great relationship with several of the ladies from that fellowship, and after her session, she was sitting with two ladies in particular; one of them shared that her grand-daughter, whom she had legal custody over and whom she had been raising since she was an infant, was pregnant. She (the girl) could not raise her child, and she (the grandmother) could not raise her great-grand-daughter. Long story short, my lovely and gracious wife was asked to pray about adopting the boy (by this time, I think, they already knew his gender).
I had just accepted a new position with a new company as a contract "adjunct faculty" educator, which created a substantial fiscal hiccup - plus now needing to obtain my own health insurance, withhold my own taxes, etc. So we were not in a financial position to adopt.
I say that, because about that time I read an ECMmer's blog whini---er, I mean, "complaining" about how "hypocritical" it was that us eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil evangelicals are so against infanticide, yet weren't so big on adoption (as if the lack of the latter justifies the horrific prevalence of the former). Which is a calumny, regardless; major, culturally insensitive, un-hip, we-don't-care-about-the-poor-and-yet-care-waaaaay-too-much-about-individual-salvation-in-spite-of-what-Pope-N.T.-Wright-Hath-Decreed-yea-verily evangelical organizations like Focus on the Family (an organization in very low esteem among many in the ECM) are strong champions of adoption - darn that confusing-the-issue-with-facts thing that us non-ECMmers meanly like to do, darn us to heck...
Turns out, it's a rather expensive proposition to adopt a child.
And no, in situations like ours, there are precious little resources which are available to help offset that.
Which is patently ridiculous; when going through the process of adoption, everybody's got to get their pound of flesh. And by "pound of flesh" I of course mean "several thousand unnecessary dollars".
The organization that we wound up doing our homestudy with, which is one of the most respected, gave us a huge break at only $2600.
For a homestudy.
For the uninitiated, that's when some lady who's got a social studies degree comes in to your house, asks you two or three dozen questions, looks around for a few seconds, goes back to her office, and writes up a mostly accurate report which is then sent to your lawyer.
All for the low-low price of $2600.
I am a pastor. A bivocational pastor. If you do the pastor thing right, you pro'lly don't have $2600 lying around just waiting to be spent. ;D
Then the lawyers need to get their chunk of pie. Turns out, that for a lawyer to stand around at court all day, chit-chat with other lawyers about various cases, golf courses, the weather, and the latest smack RE: Dancing With The Stars - anything but actually go into court and do something - is quite taxing on a man's system - but nothing that $200/hour can't help ameliorate (BTW, it turns out that that price is a huge break on our lawyer's normal charge, too).
But that's just the beginning.
I am wondering, more and more as each day passes, why on God's green earth this has to be so expensive?
Especially since all the liberals cry and wail at how big meanie conservatives want to bring us back to the seventeen hundreds and not let women kill their children, and then won't take care of the unwanted little products of conception that subsequently have the temerity to be born and wreck our previously idyllic lives. And what with how many "I'm-not-really-a-liberal" liberals, who love a Marxist - er, that is, an über-powerful, centralized, Messianic State, who spare no verbage whacking us iggnit' konsurvetivz for standing against abortion, waste no effort in trying to make adoption a more accessible option.
Regardless of the extremely high cost, my lovely and gracious wife didn't have to pray long to hear the prompting of the Spirit and step out in faith to see what the Lord might want to do.
The story of what God then did still blows my mind. Long story short, through the amazing generosity of our church family (local and extended), we were able to get together the funds for the homestudy. I'll post my lovely and gracious wife's synopsis of what the Lord did at a later date.
So, fast forward to last week, August 23rd. Baby Masen Elijah was born, just after eight in the evening. Poor lad was born with a club foot - his foot bends inward and up at a greater than 90-degree angle, so for the first two months of his life he's going to get a new cast every week (I keep telling people that he's had a skiing accident - you should see the looks I get... tee hee hee...). But he's such a blessing, such a cute little guy... we just got him a little bitty Red Wings outfit... next week, I'm going to see if we can't find tiny little skates for him...
...but what all that means is that what little disposable time I've had... is now gone. Gloriously, wondrously gone.
In fact, my little alarm clock is resting quiescently next to me on our loveseat while I plunk out this here blogpost.
Soooooo, that's why I haven't posted anything for some time. Even though there's lots to post on:
- A pastor that I've respected for some time has been almost completely seduced by the Dark Side and embraced evolution and the "True Myth" hypothesis of the opening chapters of Genesis...
- My increasing suspicion that the Calvinist and Arminian views of salvation aren't quite as antithetical as the "Me, Smart Calvinist, you, stupid semi-pelagian" would like for us to believe...
- What the ECM actually gets right...
- Taking a cue from Steve McCoy's recent spate of blogposts RE: his own Southern Baptist Convention, detailing "Why I Hate Us" and "Why I Love Us" (sort of a "here's what I really don't like about the SBC" and a "here's what I really love about the SBC" kind of blogpost series), something along those lines about Calvary Chapel (even though Dan Fusco has sort of trumped me on that one, I have a somewhat/slightly different take on the issues at hand)...
- Some insights RE: the Seven Letters of Revelation, since that's what we're going through on Sundays at Calvary Chapel on the Lakeshore...
Now, by the way, for both my readers... on the subject of my boy, my beautiful baby boy... couple of prayer requests:
- There's still some rather substantial legal hurdles that we have to clear before Masen becomes a Macon. Irritating, unnecessary drama-type hurdles.
- Masen's contracted conjunctivitis over the weekend - probably getting it at church this last Sunday (his first at CC Lakeshore).
- ...and of course, pray that his foot heals completely.
Thanks, y'all... now I need to stand Masen Watch tonight so that my lovely and gracious wife can get some sleep.