Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween? Reformation Day? What to celebrate today?

Contrary to what I may have told you before, I am pleased to report that Halloween is NOT #2 on the holiday spending charts. (read article for sources)

How should we think about Halloween? Albert Mohler offers parents many helpful thoughts here.

Did you know that on October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenburg church? That was the day before "All Saints Day", also known as "All Hallow's Eve".

And let's not forget that many of our Roman Catholic friends still celebrate All Saints Day. (don't miss the cute photo below...)

Still other groups of Christians have a tradition of hosting "Reformation Day" parties on October 31st. This guy is dressed up as the guy you were supposed to avoid in Luther's day: John Tetzel. He went around selling "indulgences" which were pieces of paper that said your sins were forgiven. Yep, you could pay your hard earned coins to BUY God's forgiveness. Sound kind of twisted to you? Good! Martin Luther thought so too and this was one of the things he spoke against in his 95 theses. Of course you can't BUY God's forgiveness, but many people in Luther's time thought they could and spent a lot of money buying "indulgences" from sleezy dudes like John Tetzel.

But even I have to admit, hosting a Reformation Day party might be a bit geeky and be misunderstood in our culture.

While reading Revelation 19 this morning, I noticed that even Jesus wears a costume:

"11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in [4] blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords." (Revelation 19:11-16, ESV)

Rather than celebrate the darkness tonight, let's celebrate the Bible's vision of Jesus. He's certainly not the effiminate, marginalized Gallilean peasant that many often imagine him to be. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

And if we find ourselves fighting dark thoughts and temptations tonight, let's remember these words from Martin Luther: "The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him for he cannot bear scorn."

Ha-Ha, Devil! Our Jesus is Lord!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What exactly is Jimmie Hendrix saying at that one spot in "Purple Haze"?
Click here to find out.

I'm groggy this morning after doing laundry until midnight and getting up with Drew for a 4:30am feeding. To wake myself up, I've been chuckling over some of my favorite misheard song lyrics, such as:

1) Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bad Moon Rising

There's a bathroom on the right

Click here to see the real lyric

2) R.E.M., Losing My Religion

Let's pee in the corner, let's pee in the spotlight

Click here to see the real lyric

3) Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody

Scallaboosh, Scallaboosh, will you do the banned tango...

Click here to see the real lyric

4) Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit

Here we are now in containers

Click Here to see the real lyric

5) Billy Joel, You May Be Right

You made the rice, I made the gravy, but it just may be some tuna fish your looking for

Click Here to see the real lyric

Be forewarned...this site is rated PG-13 in some places, rated R in others. But there is a kids site too.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My favorite house

While doing research for an upcoming sermon, I rememberd that my favorite house is the Nathaniel Russell House in Charleston, South Carolina. Check out this staircase. No nails were used. Would you want to live here?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lost and Found

Ed Stetzer got up early to talk with me and some friends last Tuesday, so today I am posting the promo video for one of his soon-to-be-published books. Pretty creative. I'm looking more and more like this cartoon pastor everyday.

This Election is Becoming Too Divisive!

The following story is from

FORT COLLINS - A married couple has agreed to disagree about who should be the next president of the United States - but that's not stopping them from having a little fun with it.

The couple, who asked to remain anonymous, put political signs in their yard: the husband in support of the McCain-Palin ticket, the wife backing the Obama-Biden ticket. They then took a photo and posted it on But the fun didn't stop there.

The couple lives in a co-housing neighborhood called Greyrock Commons, where the computers of 30 households are all connected through a local area network (LAN).

The wife sent out the photo to her neighbors, along with the message:

"It's election season; time to put the political yard signs barack in the yards. Although my husband and I were unable to come to consensus on this issue, we are simply biden our time until Election Day."

The email drew this response from her husband:

"My wife certainly is the com-mcc, ain't she? My response can only palin comparison."

The couple says they've received numerous e-mails from their neighbors about the dueling political signs, including ones that said, "you should take your stellar comedy show on the road," "true love conquers all," and their favorite, "Que sarah, sarah."

The couple says they plan to vote via mail-in ballot for the Nov. 4 election.

The wife says she's reminded her husband to be sure to return his ballot by Nov. 8.

(Copyright KUSA*TV, All Rights Reserved.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

"My Baby Brother" by Anna Kelly

The following is a memoir that Anna recently wrote for an assignment in Mrs. Sciscione's 5th Grade Class:

My Baby Brother

by Anna Kelly

The wait was almost too much for me. I had waited nine months for this and I was out of patience. Finally after fidgeting for far too long, the classroom phone rang. I darted for the phone knowing it was the office calling to check me out. At last I could go. I dashed to my desk and packed up my things. I bolted up to the office. The day had finally come. I was going to have a little brother.

I sat in the office waiting for my dad to get my sister Sophie. As I sat I started to wonder what was going to happen. Thoughts whizzed through my mind during those few minutes. I thought about my mom and how she felt during her contractions, Dad and Sophie coming up here, and my dog wondering where we were. At last those few minutes were oer and I was rescued from my sea of thoughts. Dad and Sophie were my rescuers and we walked to the car. Each step seemed longer than the last step until finally we hopped into our silver minivan. I plopped my backpack on to the warm, grey carpet of the car. I sat down in my seat. Soon I will not be in my seat because I will have moved to the back. The car seat would occupy my current seat. Our car, which had been faithful to us on all of our trips, drove us to the hospital. Sophie and I chatted away like birds on a spring morning. We turned into the parking lot. We drove past a sign telling us where we were at: Avista Hospital. For the second time we pulled into the hospital parking lot. The first time, we had come to see a tour, so I knew what to expect.

I bounced out of the car as soon as it had stopped. The excitement was welling up inside me like the wick of a dynamite stick getting closer and closer to exploding. We tried to hide our excitement when we walked over to the door. I pushed the door and walked into the light blue light pouring out of the window and into the lobby like a waterfall. We climbed the tile steps to the entrance of the “Labor and Delivery” wing. We walked to the intercom and asked if we could see my mom. They said yes and we found our way to my mom’s room. We tiptoed into the room and saw that my mom was reading a book in bed. The sight I saw caught me off guard because half of the bed was at a slanted angle (which did not surprise me) and my mom hand monitors all over her body. I expected to see a few but not so many! There was a big, black, monitor on her stomach. A tube went through her arm, putting medicine into her body. I saw many more but I won’t describe them.

I dropped my bag of stuff to do and my backpack in a corner by a blue-green couch. I sat down on a swivel stool, then slid over to my mom. I told her about the mile run earlier in the day. Soon I asked her questions about her day. When we caught up with each other I rolled over to my bag and got out some paper dolls. I set up a town on the couch and started to play. A nurse came in a couple minutes later and checked the monitors She said they were doing great. Dad showed Sophie and I how to tell when bad contractions were going on. Then he told us that sometimes we would have to go into the bathroom, so we did a practice. We went into the HUGE bathroom for a few minutes then came out again. Soon we got hungry, so we went to the cafeteria. Mom couldn’t come because of the monitors. We picked our path to the cafeteria like skiers picking their path through moguls. After weaving through the lunch line, we sat down our trays and dug in. Our food was delicious. It was so good I thought it would get a 5-star rating from food critics. After a good meal, we hiked back up to the room Mom was in. Once we got up there, I camped out on the couch watching T.V. on the computer. Soon Mom wanted her epidural.

The doctor came in and shooed us into the bathroom again. By now I was so tired, I sat down and waited for it to be over. I wasn’t as excited as before, so when I got out of the bathroom I just plopped down back on the couch.

About an hour later Mom decided to start pushing. I got all my energy back and bounded to the bed for a quick hug then I rushed to the family dining area. Our dinner came and as I ate my mind went blank from all the excitement. I tried to keep my mind blank by telling Sophie a story. I tried to focus but I couldn’t keep my mind blank. All I could do was sit there like a helpless puppy. The wait was driving me crazy and 1 minute felt like an hour. I managed to keep myself from squirming until my dad came in and said, “Come meet your baby brother!” I tried to contain my excitement but it exploded out of me like fireworks! I walked into the room hearing the pitiful cries of the baby but being unable to go farther than the doorway. I stood helplessly in the doorway waiting to go in. Finally I was able to walk over to the side of the bed to see a handsome little boy with bright, sapphire blue eyes and white stuff all over him that looked like powdered sugar. Here and there you could see blood stains. His head was WAY too big for his body so he rested it on Mom’s chest. All he had on was a blanket wrapped neatly around him. Mom looked back to normal and she was cooing to him. This seemed to sooth him until he wasn’t crying anymore. He was about as tall as a globe and as wide as a DVD case. He looked more overwhelmed than the people at DisneyWorld. In the summer. His face was so cute it could soften anyone’s heart. His cry was so sad it could make the Devil cry. This was my little brother. This was the moment I had waited for, for 9 months, and now I was the oldest of three!

Soon the nurse had to peel the baby off my mom. She carried him over to a small tub with blankets at the bottom. A warm lamp was above this tub to keep him warm while he was washed and checked. He looked like a bug under a microscope. As the nurse rubbed him with a wash cloth, his hand wrapped around my finger like a boa constrictor. The nurse told me to let go so she could put some goop in his eyes. I slid my finger away. As soon as the room was cleaned up, our family got to spend time with the little guy alone. I held him for a couple minutes. His bright blue eyes stared up at mine. His tiny body reminded me of a Bitty Baby doll. During those few minutes I relaxed. All the thoughts and worries disappeared. I could finally relax and not worry about him. He was safe in my arms and he would always be my little brother.

After taking turns holding him Lexie and her mom came. They admired him and I caught up with Lexie. It had been a long day. The baby didn’t stay awake for much longer. So soon I had to leave with Lexie. I sadly said goodbye and chattered away with Lexie. We probably sounded like chipmunks. I was wiped out and ready for a brother.

Now I have been a sister for at least a week. I have grown to love my brother more and more. We have named him Andrew Seamus Isaac Kelly. Drew has been very alert now and is very fond of music. I love him so much. I can’t wait to get to know him as he grows up. My life has changed forever and I’m fine with it. I love my brother.

What happens when pumpkins get drunk...

"You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart." - Psalm 104:14-15 (ESV)

"And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit." - Ephesians 5:18 (ESV)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Psychedelia at The Spot

Anna completed 13 problems this afternoon and scored a total of 10,900 points!

Friday, October 24, 2008

"I'm not voting for a man..."

"...or a woman, for that matter."

There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood… (Proverbs 6:16-19)

From Randy Alcorn's blog:

"I am not excited about John McCain in every area. But when I compare him to Barack Obama in the overriding issue of our day, the right of preborn children to live, there is a stark and radical difference. In America right now, the rights of Jews to live and slaves to be free are not on the table. The right of unborn children to live is on the table. The killing of the unborn is the holocaust of our day. Where do you want to have stood on this issue? Where do you want the man you vote for to have stood on it? If your grandchildren ask you one day whether you voted for or against the right of children to live, what will you say?"

More of Randy Alcorn's thoughts:

"I sympathize with wanting to send a message to the Republican Party. I have done this both in state elections and once on the presidential level. One year I wrote in a third party candidate Alan
Keyes, an African American who has boldly stood up for unborn children. There is a time to do this.

But is this the time, when failing to vote for McCain could ultimately remove hundreds of laws limiting abortion at the statewide level—informed consent and parental consent and late term abortion measures? As a physician commenting on my last blog said, prolife physicians and nurses and hospitals could find themselves with a federal mandate to perform abortions, and lose their licenses if they refuse. The Freedom of Choice Act, which Obama promised Planned Parenthood he will sign if elected president (my previous blog has this on video), could ultimately do all this and more. It may also make life very difficult for Pregnancy Resource Centers.

Would John McCain be a great president? I don't know. Maybe he wouldn't even be a good president. There are so many claims by both candidates that their words seem like wind to me. I don't feel like I know a lot. But I do know for certain that one candidate defends the right of the unborn to live, and the other is utterly committed to be sure that it remains legal to kill them. And on THAT issue I know what God says is right and wrong.

Yes, I realize Obama is cool. As I said two blogs ago, I really wanted to vote for him, so I could be cool too. John McCain is not so cool. And he's a Republican at a time where being a Republican definitely isn't cool. The question isn't whether I'd rather have dinner or play golf with Obama or McCain. (I'd choose Obama.) The question isn't whether I'd like the Republican Party to change. (I would.) I'm not voting for the Republican Party. In one sense I'm not voting mainly for John McCain. I am voting for McCain because it's my only way in this election to vote for the right of unborn children to live rather than die.

Now, if you think that's an overstatement, that the difference between the candidates isn't that great, or they will not influence the future of abortion in this country, I challenge you to look at Obama's dogged commitment to the legalized killing of unborn children, backed up by his 100% proabortion voting record. And look at McCain's repeatedly stated commitment, also demonstrated by his voting record, to oppose the legalized killing of children. If you think your presidential vote is not for or against unborn children, you don't understand the significance of the Freedom of Choice Act or the significance of the balance of power of the Supreme Court with the Obama judges who are certain to be pro-legal-abortion and the McCain judges who are virtually certain to be anti-legal-abortion.

My conversations with fellow Christians who are prolife but are voting for Obama have common themes these days. They always emphasize "Obama is prochoice, not proabortion." To which I respond, "actually he is pro-legalized-abortion." This is emphatically true, based on his own words and 100% consistent voting record. It shouldn't be considered a matter for debate. What politician in the country is more strongly committed to legalized abortion than Obama is? Every radical proabortion group knows this, and everyone of them have been working tirelessly to get him elected.

Believing what I do that the unborn are human beings in the fullest sense, to be pro-legalized-abortion is exactly equivalent to being pro-legalized-killing-of-three-year-olds. Or pro-legalized-killing-of-teenagers. Or pro-legalized-killing-of-women. Or pro-legalized-killing-of-Jews.

What would you think if a politician said "I'm not pro-rape, I'm simply prochoice about rape. And though I would not choose to rape a woman, I believe that every man should be free to rape a woman if that is his personal choice." And what would you do if that politician promised the rape lobby that if he is elected president, the "first thing I would do" is to sign legislation that would invalidate all the state laws that restrict rape in any way?

Well, I think I would say that man is pro-rape, wouldn't you? But technically, no, he is simply prochoice about rape. Well, okay. Be prochoice about whether someone should eat Mexican food or Chinese food, or cheer for the Phillies or the Rays. But don't be prochoice about whether men rape women or kill children. Because that is to be pro-rape and pro-killing.

Now, no doubt Obama supporters will think this is an outrageous analogy. And those who don't believe unborn children are really human beings would understandably feel that way. (Though, both scientifically and biblically, they are absolutely wrong.) But what about all the people who keep insisting they are prolife, that they really DO believe the unborn children are precious human beings created in God's image? If that's what you really believe, then you must accept the analogy as valid. (On what basis is it invalid unless it's because the unborn aren't really human and therefore don't have human rights?)

Is rape, despicable as it is, really worse than overpowering and tearing apart an innocent child in his mother's womb? If you are REALLY prolife, not just if you say the words "I am prolife, but there are many other issues," but I mean if you REALLY believe these are children, then the analogy to rape, kidnapping, or killing teenagers or women or Jews or African Americans is perfectly legitimate. How could it not be? Don't skim over this—seriously, I want to hear your answer.

So, feel free to go against the clear evidence about who the unborn really are. Then just admit that you are not prolife. Sure, it's irrational, but at least it's a good explanation of why you would support the strongest pro-legal-abortion candidate for the presidency in the history of our nation.

But PLEASE don't just mindlessly say "I'm pro-life" then contradict that statement by saying you are supporting a candidate for president who is utterly committed to not only maintain legalized abortion through policy and appointment of judges, but who also HAS PROMISED (through the Freedom of Choice Act) to try to reverse all pro-life state legislation passed by vote of U. S. citizens in the last thirty years.

I've heard other prolife people say "I don't like either candidate, so I'm not voting at all." Well, ask yourself who you're willing to punish by not voting. If it's political parties who will pay, fine, I really don't care about them. Sure, it would be better not to vote than to vote against God's children's right to live. But if instead of abstaining you have a chance to vote for God's children's right to live, why would you not do that? (Don't vote for the man, vote for generations of children who will have a chance to live if he's elected, even if he's just a mediocre president in other areas.)"

"On Tuesday November 4, don't think you are merely expressing a preference between two men, choosing who you like, who you'd enjoy hanging out with. You're not voting for a friend, a dinner companion, a dance partner, someone to sit next to at a ball game or to be seen with at a party. Don't allow yourself to vote as if this were American Idol. In the arena of an unborn child's right to live, these candidates stand for things far bigger than themselves. And when it comes to the right to life of coming generations of unborn children, they stand for two polar opposites.

If you claim you're prolife in its historic sense (which concerns unborn children), please don't violate the sacred meaning of that term by voting for the legalized killing of unborn children. Instead, vote for their right to live. If it helps, substitute the pictures of the men with those of babies, then vote for the baby's right to live.

If none of this makes sense to you, please reread the Scripture at the beginning of this blog. Then ask God what makes sense to Him.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Thabiti on the Election #4

The Presidential Election That Almost Was... Or Why It's Difficult for Me to Vote, 4

"It's the economy, stupid."

That sentence--despite the rather impolite use of the final word--won a presidential election a few years back. And it's resurfaced from time to time in this election as well.

In fact, the last few elections have seemingly focused on this issue. Politicians spin out their tax proposals, health insurance plans, and bicker about who best serves the ever-present "middle class."

But for all their talk about the economy, do you ever really feel as if they are talking about you?

I don't. And if there was ever any doubts, the "bailout" plan should dispel them. Count the last several financial and corporation catastrophes. How many of them featured a bailout for the consumer or the citizen? There's this year's plan. Score one for the banks and executives. There's the Enron fiasco and the tech bubble that burst. Going back a little ways there is S&L, and so on. It seems the dominant economic philosophy isn't quite Republican or Democrat; as a brother at the church put it to me yesterday: it's "privatized profits and socialized debt." Which is another way of saying "the American people" (another oft-heard phrase too general to communicate) who end up holding the bag for economic greed and scandal.

This year Sen. Obama actually offered something of a definition of "rich". Turns out that if you make over $250,000 per year, you're probably rich. No one has yet offered a satisfactory definition of "poor." Kinda gives us a clue as to who is really protected and cared for in the economy. There is a preferential option for the rich, whether that's defined vaguely as "middle class" or "earners above $250,000."

As far as I can tell, fewer and fewer institutions and political types give any attention to the poor among us. And by "institutions," I'm including churches."

Read the entire article here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Artwork of John Taft

My main present to our family this Christmas is going to be a sketch portrait of our family of 5, by artist, friend and fellow-Christchurcher, John Taft.


John's landscape oil paintings are available at the Breckenridge Gallery, Pinon Fine Art in Littleton, and by commission. Here's one of my favorites.
Hum the tune from the Bare Naked Ladies: "If I had a million dollars...If I had a million dollars...I'd buy me an oil painting...a nice John Taft oil painting..."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Colorado Physicians on Amendment 48

October 21, 2008 - Denver, Colorado - Amendment 48, the "Personhood" Amendment, has garnered the support of a multitude of physicians, throughout Colorado and the nation. Many of these doctors have been upset to learn that they are counted in the "7,000 physicians" purported to oppose Amendment 48. These claims by opposition to Amendment 48 are false, as individual physicians, independent of the medical associations they are linked to, overwhelmingly support Amendment 48.

Speaking of the Colorado Medical Society's endorsement of Amendment 48, physician Peter W. Zimmer spoke his thoughts on the matter. "...So many CMS members are pro-life and wish to protect life... I certainly do not believe that CMS represents a majority of physicians on this issue..."

"I fully support Amendment 48 and want you to know that the Colorado Medical Society does not reflect my beliefs in this matter," added Kathleen Klotz Puls, M.D.

"At the time of fertilization, a single-cell embryo (zygote) contains all of the genetic information and biologic capacity to proceed through sequential developmental stages to a fetus, newborn, adolescent, and adult human being... The fact that a zygote is a person may be an "inconvenient truth", but we can't establish truths based upon what consequences we desire. We must establish truth first, then establish policies based upon that truth," stated Dr. Sam Alexander.

"Although many of the doctors who have contacted us are part of these medical associations, they do not agree with the associations speaking for them as a whole," explained Kristi Burton, sponsor of Amendment 48. "It is time for Colorado citizens to realize that many, many physicians are on the side of science and technology - and as such, they support Amendment 48."

For more information, visit or contact Kristi Burton at 719-661-8827.

Colorado For Equal Rights, Po Box 298, Peyton, CO 80831, USA

First Democrats, Then Republicans and Now Publicans

Nebraska man runs for president on the B.E.E.R. party ticket. Get the whole story here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thabiti Anyabwile on the US Presidential Election

"I’ve never seen an election like this one. We could do race, age, gender and a host of other really meaningful and interesting conversations. Yet, we’re content with the same old nonsense—childish name-calling and mud throwing.

The past two weeks have been a rather sobering time for many people in Grand Cayman. A
brutal murder of a promising young woman has many in the country asking questions about safety for women and the role of women in society. The woman was a women’s advocate, a counselor helping women escape battering and abuse. Her murder has helped blow the lid off a silent epidemic.

This election could have helped to blow the lid off the very same kinds of issues in the U.S. Alongside the positive advancement of a biblical vision for womanhood, there could also have been strong repudiation of any attitudes, comments, and actions that denigrate women. We need to champion our sisters on both fronts--positive encouragements to godly femininity and big-chested defense of their dignity and worth.

Christians could have advanced a public apologetic for the high calling of wives and mothers. And inside the Christian fold, there could have been a robust discussion about gender distinctions and roles in the family and church, about the abuses and misuses of pseudo-complementarian ideas, and about the wide opportunities for women to be genuinely submitted to male leadership in the home and church and still significantly engaged in the work of the kingdom (see Duncan and Hunt, Women’s Ministry in the Local Church). Where was the Christian conversation about marriage as a form of protection for women, about accountability for husbands who fail to lead and nourish, about discipline for abandonment and abuse, about discipling young girls and women, young boys and men for the callings of singleness, marriage, and parenthood?

And where was the concern for domestic violence? Equal opportunity and pay for women? Child support enforcement as an aide to abandoned women?

Our girls and boys, men and women, and our churches need help on this issue—desperate help. The misinformation is plentiful. And the loudest “positive” voices—those like Clinton and to a lesser extent Palin—happen to suggest a certain feminist orientation.

The single best predictor for well-being of children and adults is stable, healthy marriage. Pick your indicator and the social science data is clear—build a strong marriage and educational, income, asset ownership go up and teen pregnancy, delinquency, stress and a host of other negatives go down.

The prospect of a woman president or vice-president could have put these things on the public radar in a new and fresh way. But we’ve missed the opportunity. Clinton is a non-factor; Palin is all but ridiculed by the left and an embarrassment to many on the right. And we all lose—at least for a time.

I’m really quite hopeful that something like the True Woman conference will bear lasting fruit. The True Woman Manifesto advances some much needed food for thought and use among those who want to see growth and fruit in this area."

Read the entire post here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Roy Fish & Ed Stetzer

I heard the gospel again tonight.

Roy Fish proclaimed how "...wonderfully attractive" it is "to preach Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit."

Ed Stetzer, who had just returned from a visit to the Vatican in Rome, proclaimed that whether Catholic or Baptist, we are prone to teach our people to be religious people who follow rules. Preaching from 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Stetzer made 4 points:
1) we need a new perspective
2) sent on a mission of reconciliation
3) representing Jesus and his kingdom
4) because of the work of Jesus on the cross.

Praise God for the gospel.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sophie's Dragon-Themed Birthday Party

Dragon cake. Dragon games. Dragon gifts.

Good times. Good times.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Joseph of Nazareth was a Single-Issue Evangelical

Joseph leads Mary and Jesus to safety in Egypt to escape from Herod (see Matthew 2:13-15), as depicted by Lorenzo Monaco (1405).

The following is a copy of a post by Jim Hamilton on October 16, 2008

Courageous. Inspiring. Prophetic. On point. Go listen here.

Dr. Moore knocked it out of the park today for the glory of God.

The abortion thing is about much more than American politics, so if you don’t want to be confronted with the spiritual realities and worldview issues at stake, don’t bother with this sermon.

If you don’t want to see a beautiful example of how to interpret narrative and apply it to the contemporary mind and heart while showing how the narrative fits in the broader redemptive historical story line, don’t bother with this sermon.

If you don’t want to understand how Matthew is using the Old Testament in his early chapters, and if you don’t want to be taught these things with a passion that will move you to action, don’t bother with this sermon.

If you don’t want to be inspired to love your children and your wife, or, if you don’t have kids and don’t want to be inspired to be a parent, don’t bother with this sermon.

If you’re not interested in what the gospel has to say to those who have suffered from having had or performed or counseled others to have abortions, don’t bother with this sermon.

Otherwise, go listen.

May the Lord bring renewal in our day.

The obsessive skier listened to this message this morning and he agrees with all that Jim Hamilton has written above. If you listen to it, I would love to hear what you think.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What is it?

What Is It? from Personhood USA on Vimeo.

I'd like one of those loans...

A-Basin, Loveland open with big turnouts

By Bob Berwyn

Pete Drummond, front in blue, of Breckenridge, jumped out to an early lead when the rope dropped and made first chair at Arapahoe Basin Wednesday morning as the 2008-2009 ski season got underway.  Joining Drummond on first chair were Tony Marzelli, right, and Jeremy Parsons, center, in white jacket. Keystone residents John Pohlmann and Jacob Krank, far left, were in line starting at 6 a.m. and ended up with third chair.
Pete Drummond, front in blue, of Breckenridge, jumped out to an early lead when the rope dropped and made first chair at Arapahoe Basin Wednesday morning as the 2008-2009 ski season got underway. Joining Drummond on first chair were Tony Marzelli, right, and Jeremy Parsons, center, in white jacket. Keystone residents John Pohlmann and Jacob Krank, far left, were in line starting at 6 a.m. and ended up with third chair.
Summit Daily/Mark Fox
Opening the 2008-2009 ski season in the country on first chair at Loveland Ski Area Wednesday morning is Jeff Meyer, Brent Meyer and Nate Dogggg. The trio marked the 13th anniversary of grabbing first chair of the season  arriving around 5 PM Tuesday night and sleeping in a truck to earn the first turn honors. Arapahoe Basin also opened Wednesday kicking off the new season.
Opening the 2008-2009 ski season in the country on first chair at Loveland Ski Area Wednesday morning is Jeff Meyer, Brent Meyer and Nate Dogggg. The trio marked the 13th anniversary of grabbing first chair of the season arriving around 5 PM Tuesday night and sleeping in a truck to earn the first turn honors. Arapahoe Basin also opened Wednesday kicking off the new season.

ARAPAHOE BASIN — Edna Dercum had to be smiling somewhere, looking down on the happy crowd of skiers and snowboarders thronging the maze at Arapahoe Basin ski area on opening day.

The matriarch of The Legend, who passed away recently, would have enjoyed the buzz of energy, watching the snowboarder in a green knit hat with metallic headphones bop his head to an unseen beat and the crisp scrape of metal edges on hardpack, sending glittery streamers of snow into the sunny sky.

Times may change, but the feeling of getting out on the hill for the first time stay the same, said telemarker Guinn Volkers.

“This is the best day of the season,” Volkers said, washing down an energy bar with a swig of coffee. “It’s the first day, a brand new season … I’m aiming for 100 days this year.”

The current economy won’t change his plans to ski at least three or four days a week, he said.

“Gas just went back down, and my buddies helped pay for the tank,” Volkers said, waving at two friends buckling their boots nearby.

As many as 3,000 snow-starved skiers and riders may have showed up to enjoy the sunny day, said Tim Finnigan, head of mountain operations at A-Basin.

The intermediate High Noon run is covered with a solid 12- to 18-inch base, after snowmaking crews blasted the run with 12.8 acre-feet of water, converted to snow during optimal weather conditions.

That’s the best-ever base for opening day, Finnigan said.

Finnigan, the area’s former ski-patrol director, urged riders to go slow and respect the space of others on the single narrow slope now open for skiing.

Across the pass at Loveland ski area, the scene was similar — a busy parking lot, Frisbees swirling through the air.

“It’s a good day, mate,” said Wendell Averson, an Aussie ski bum headed for Jackson Hole.

Cracking the top off a bottle, Averson said he was aiming to make it to Steamboat, but couldn’t resist the lure of opening day, plunking down some cash for a day ticket.
Colorado skiers hit a daily double this year, as both areas opened the same day, after A-Basin won the derby in a friendly rivalry the past two seasons.

Finnigan said the double opening probably helped ease crowds at both mountains.
There’s no major storm in the outlook, but both areas will continue to make snow and open more terrain as they are able.

“I’m always excited to see the season start,” said U.S. Forest Service snow ranger Joe Foreman, who was also up at A-Basin to sample the snow. “Sometimes it comes as a shock when it’s so early, but that’s the advantage of the high elevation in Summit County.”

After several seasons when skier visits at A-Basin soared to record levels, the county’s oldest ski area has expanding parking and nearly finished a pedestrian underpass beneath Highway 6.

The ski area is two to three weeks away from finishing the project.

The addition last season of the new terrain in Montezuma Bowl was the prime attraction at A-Basin.

For the next few years, the area will consider replacing the aging Exhibition chair, Foreman said.

The 20-minute wait for the chair led some A-Basin loyalists to fire up their grills in the parking lot for the first time.

“It’s pretty good, all things considered,” said George Marcek, a native of the Czech Republic.

Marcek originally comes from Zatec, near Prague — hops-growing and sausage country, he said, popping the top off a cold can of beer and pushing mirrored sunglasses onto his forehead.

“It’s pretty relaxed,” Marcek said, as he lays a half-dozen chicken-jalapeno sausages onto his grill. “And who says you can’t get a good sausage around here?”

Nearby, Marcek’s friend, Premysl Ducek, tilted toward the sun to catch some autumn rays.

“We’ve been waiting all summer … It’s a great feeling to be out in the sun,” he said.

On the lift, Jeremy and Lisa Miller of Arvada said they were exited to be at A-Basin. The couple purchased a five-mountain Vail Resorts pass this season after two years when they had a Copper Mountain/Winter Park pass.

Competition between Intrawest resorts and the Vail-owned ski areas remains fierce, and Vail’s new Epic Pass — giving access to A-Basin, Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail and Beaver Creek — has proved popular with Front Rangers.

The Millers cited a couple of reasons for the switch.

“My mother-in-law likes the shops at Breck, so she’ll probably be coming up with us this winter,” said Lisa Miller. “But we’ll miss Winter Park. That’s where I grew up skiing, and all the runs are named after Alice in Wonderland.”

Jeremy Miller said it was nice to make a change.

“It’s so great to have so many areas to choose from. We’ll probably go back to a Winter Park pass in the next few seasons,” he said.

Snowmaking is also under way at Keystone, Breckenridge and Copper, with those resorts eying opening days in mid-to late-November.

Check and for ticket prices and trail information.

Bob Berwyn can be reached at (970) 331-5996, or at

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Resources for Voters

Tonight's final Presidential Debate is another opportunity for voters to learn about Barack Obama and John McCain. Watch. Think. Discuss. And then vote.

Who would Jesus vote for? Sometimes we struggle to answer this question. Here are some resources that I've found helpful:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm a Very Happy Apple Customer

My first Apple Computer product was a Macintosh II desktop. The year was 1989. I was 19 years old. The user-friendly Macintosh operating system helped our family home-building business make the transition into the age of computing. And that first mouse was really cool.

While an undergraduate at the John M. Olin School of Business, I chose to be an early-adapter and bought a PowerBook 140. This laptop served me well for the next 4 years. I remained a faithful mac guy in the midst of a herd of PC-users. "Pilgrims in an unholy land," as Henry Jones, Sr. (Sean Connery) said in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

And then a sad day came.

I gave in to "the man" and became a PC user in 1996. It was a fast and cheap Gateway 2000 desktop PC that tempted me to leave the macworld. I sold my soul to Microsoft and a few days later a silly cow-themed computer arrived via mail order. My redemption and return to the world of Macintosh would take 11 long years.

The seeds of that redemption were sown during the 2005 Christmas season when my father-in-law gave me a 30 gigabyte video iPod. Soon, podcasts would become my favorite media choice. Music, news, sermons, even videos - all in my pocket and available at the touch of a finger.

Yet sadly, I remained a PC-user for another 2 years. Yes, an iPod/iTunes using PC-user. A confused and conflicted man. A PC user who knew there was a bigger, more beautiful world out there, but who remained stuck in the unstimulating world of windows.

In the late Spring of 2007, I was set free from my employment by "the man". And a few months after that, in the providence of God, my hand-me-down Toshiba Satellite with the broken screen began taking 15 minutes to boot and started making some very strange noises. One fine fall day about a year ago, it stopped working altogether!

I'll never forget walking out of the Apple store with my MacBook that day. "Congratulations, Sir!" "Congratulations!" "Welcome to the Apple family!" The roaming Apple associates were so very encouraging. There and back again. The long journey was over. I had made it home.

Things in MacWorld have improved a LOT since 1989. Pages. iTunes. iPhoto. iMovie. iDVD. Office for the Mac. Time Machine. Boot Camp (so I can run BibleWorks 7.0 on a Windows partition on my MacBook hardrive). Widgets. Simpler email. No more viruses. The fast and beautiful OS-X Leopard. And more stuff that I'm still learning how to use. All in a stylish laptop package.

And to top it all off, today I received EXCELLENT customer service at the Apple Store on the 29th Street Mall in Boulder. They quickly solved my problem of a failing battery on my 3-year-old iPod...for FREE!

I'm saving my money for an iPhone. I'll be back to the Apple Store as soon as possible.

I am a very happy Apple customer.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pray for Matt

While I was volunteering in Sophie's class this morning, Sophie's friend Audra told me that her daddy had been in a motorcycle accident yesterday. Her daddy, Matt, is a friend of mine. Audra sat by me & Sophie at Christchurch yesterday while Matt was on a weekend getaway in Moab, Utah. I spoke with Audra's mommy this afternoon. Matt is in ICU right now, and he is most likely facing some permanent paralysis. Please pray for Matt and ask God to heal his body. "...for I am the Lord, your healer.”- Exodus 15:26 (ESV)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Why To Wear a Ski Helmet

This afternoon, I got a new ski helmet for my birthday. In most high speed accidents, helmets can't do much to keep you safe. At high speeds, it's the blunt force trauma that can kill you. But the most common skiing accidents are not the high speed accidents, they are the on-slope collision accidents. Like driving down the highway, the greatest danger in skiing comes not from your own errors but from the mistakes of other people on the slope, as this video shows.

That's why the obsessive skier wears a helmet.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Having a Baby Brother

While waiting at the hospital for baby brother to be born, Sophie passed the time by typing her thoughts.

This is a scanned image of "Having a Baby Brother", by Sophia Kelly (click on the image of her typed page for a more readable version, or read the transcription that follows):

Having a Baby Brother
By: Sophia Kelly

If your going to have a baby brother, they are very hard to name! So be prepared. Our family just so happened to come up with the names: Andrew and Zander. Our baby hasn't XXX XXXX yet but it's very exciting. XXXXXX Actually xxxxx we're in the xxx hospital right now! And your baby might come late so don't get to excited. In the x hospital it's smells very clean. And maybe if your lucky there will prabobly bex a snack bar. Make real sure that you have a lot of stuff tox do before you go to the hospital. But if your Mom is not far into her pregnancy then you don't half to worry at all.And if you don't xknow this read on... it takes a really long time! You might just want to have a snack at the food court. your mom lays down in almost a HUGE bed with a lot ofxxxxxx wires and stuff like that. Theres also a little shelf that you can put stuff on. like a big glass of water, her phone, car keys, and any other random things like that. and if your baby comes it is LOUD! For the next few days your baby will stay at the hospital with your Mom. Your baby WILL make funny faces at you. Your baby will be cute,cry,and last but not least; eat and poop for the next few days. Your baby brother will also eat milk and that is basically all babys eat.after a while, you will probobly get xxused to the whole baby ting. Your baby brother will NOT be that heavy at all. you will pretty much cary him once a day. But don't get scared, baby boys are FUN! If you are xxxxxxxnerveos don't be! becausebaby boys are the best I don't know why but xxthey are. They are cute, funny, and they have very good facial emocions. You are going to love your baby brother.

Here are Granna (Paula), Anna, Kit Kittredge, Sophia and Buddy (Gene). Kit is Sophie's typing inspiration. Read the American Girl books (or just visit the website) and you'll understand. Before she went to Kindergarten, Sophie kept asking for the Kit doll, and I kept telling her to read the Kit book first, and then I would buy the doll for her. She started reading a bit sooner than I (and my wallet!) expected. So, we got her the Kit doll for her 5th birthday. The Underwood manual typewriter and portable case were a gift from the estate of Sophie's great-grandparents, Bernard & Pauline Ray (Granna's parents). It was used for many years by "Pappaw" in his work at the Bernard Ray Insurance Agency in Cabot, Arkansas.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward." - Psalm 127:3 (ESV)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Snow Falling at A-Basin

Okay, so it's man-made...but it is snow! I predict Arapahoe Basin will beat Loveland again this year and that their opening day will be tomorrow. Good thing I'm on my paternity leave these weekend...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

When All Earthly Promises & Hopes Fail

When All Earthly Promises & Hopes Fail—Malcolm Muggeridge (1903 - 1990)

Having begun his professional life believing in the promise of communism, British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge abandoned this utopian dream in the 1930s. Coming to Christ in 1969, he emerged as a cultural critic who saw groundless vanity in suggestions that human achievement or human error could save or ruin everything. Lord Jesus was the glorious, redemptive constant, a truth often recognized only when all else failed.

In the inaugural address of The Pascal Lectures on Christianity and the University, given at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, in October 1978,1 Muggeridge argued that people must not put their hope in earthly institutions, including Christendom (the predominance of the Church in territorial terms). Rather, believers must understand that Christ’s kingdom is not of this world; He reigns today in the hearts of those who have turned to Him in repentance and faith, a reign untouched by the ebb and flow of temporal fortunes.

Christendom, like other civilizations before it, is subject to decay and must sometime decompose and disappear. The world’s way of responding to intimations of decay is to engage equally in idiot hopes and idiot despair. On the one hand some new policy or discovery is confidently expected to put everything to rights: a new fuel, a new drug, d├ętente, world government. On the other, some disaster is as confidently expected to prove our undoing. Capitalism will break down. Fuel will run out. Plutonium will lay us low. Atomic waste will kill us off. Overpopulation will suffocate us, or alternatively, a declining birth rate will put us more surely at the mercy of our enemies.

In Christian terms, such hopes and fears are equally beside the point. As Christians we know that here we have no continuing city, that crowns roll in the dust and every earthly kingdom must sometime flounder, whereas we acknowledge a king men did not crown and cannot dethrone, as we are citizens of a city of God they did not build and cannot destroy. Thus the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, living in a society as depraved and dissolute as ours. Their games, like our television, specialized in spectacles of violence and eroticism. Paul exhorted them to be stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in God’s work, to concern themselves with the things that are unseen, for the things which are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal [1 Cor. 15:58; 2 Cor. 4:18]. It was in the breakdown of Rome that Christendom was born. Now in the breakdown of Christendom there are the same requirements and the same possibilities to eschew the fantasy of a disintegrating world and seek the reality of what is not seen and eternal, the reality of Christ . . .2

[I]t is precisely when every earthly hope has been explored and found wanting, when every possibility of help from earthly sources has been sought and is not forthcoming, when every recourse this world offers, moral as well as material, has been explored to no effect, when in the shivering cold the last faggot [a piece of wood] has been thrown on the fire and in the gathering darkness every glimmer of light has finally flickered out, it’s then that Christ’s hand reaches out sure and firm. Then Christ’s words bring their inexpressible comfort, then his light shines brightest, abolishing the darkness forever.3

Thanks to Kairos Journal for the content of this post.


Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), vii.


Ibid., 52-53.


Ibid., 56.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Baby Boy Arrived Today

What a great day! Baby boy was born at 6:38pm. 6lbs, 13oz; 19.5 inches long; 13.25 head circumference; Apgar score 8.9

To see more pictures, visit and login and ask to be my friend.

Who would Jesus vote for?

Sometimes we struggle to answer that question.

For help, visit

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Questions for the Candidates Tonight

"Serious questions about serious issues are often among the first casualties of a presidential campaign." - R. Albert Mohler

Tonight's town-meeting-style debate between Barack Obama and John McCain is another great opportunity for American voters. Here are some questions that I'd like to hear asked tonight:

For Barack Obama: Democrats have long argued for greater reproductive freedom. Do you think that should include the right to choose the sex of your child? The same genetic tests that screen for terrible diseases could in theory target many other predispositions. What if prospective parents could screen for short or shy or gay or blond? This is a largely unregulated universe of treatment; should it be?

For John McCain: About 8,000 people may die this year waiting for organ transplants. Do you think the free market should include kidneys? You've said human rights begin at conception. But fertility clinics create excess embryos that are frozen and often discarded, which you've favored using for research. So are some embryos more equal than others?

And for both: Would you forcibly quarantine people during a pandemic? Should police at a crime scene be allowed to ask everyone in the area for a DNA sample? Scientists around the world are building robots with real brain tissue; inserting a fish gene for cold tolerance into tomatoes; breeding bacteria that can eat oil spills. Should we be worried that we often learn what is happening in the labs only when the results come out of them?

What questions would you like to hear asked of the candidates tonight?

SOURCE OF THESE QUESTIONS: Nancy Gibbs, "Life and Death," TIME, posted September 18, 2008.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Lion-Like Lamb

This afternoon, while reading Revelation chapter 17, I came across this verse:

"They will make war on the lamb, and the lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful." (Rev. 17:14, ESV)

I think this quote from John Piper explains this verse very well:

"So this is no ordinary Lamb. He is a Lion-like Lamb. Look at [Revelation] 6:16 where men call to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.' And look at 17:14 where the final enemies of God fight against Christ: 'they will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings.'

In other words, he is a Lion-like Lamb.

So I conclude by stressing the main point: since Jesus is not merely a simple thing like a lion or like a lamb, but is a Lion-like Lamb and a Lamb-like Lion, therefore he is admirable and excellent and worthy to take the scroll and open its seals and bring this world to an end for the glory of his name and the good of his ransomed people.

And you can be among that number if you trust him as your Lamb, and submit to him as your Lion, and join the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders and the millions of angels to worship the King of kings with all your heart."

My prayer today is that everyone who reads this blog post will be among that number. Make it so, Holy Spirit, by taking this proclamation of the Word of God and making it effective in all of our lives. In Jesus' name believing, Amen.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Universal Language of Johnny Cash

You may have been thinking that something else was the universal language, but it's actually the music of Johnny Cash as this video from Afghanistan makes clear.

For the whole story, visit WNYC's Radiolab and scroll to the bottom of the page.