Archive for July, 2009

July 31, 2009

A Chronology of Cars

Life markers are a wonderful tool to map out our personal journeys. Things such as a weddings, birth dates, graduation dates, and even Hurricane Katrina. We also have a chronology of cars. Our chronology is much like the Jews’ chronology in that God says “Remember!” such as “Remember when you were slaves in the Land of Egypt and I delivered you.” Unfortunately human nature, especially as it relates to God, is one of amnesia. It is hard to remember the blessings of bygone days as today’s worries crowd and vie for your attention. This is part of our family’s effort to remember.

Being burden to attend seminary, we acted in faith starting in 1999-2000 despite our pockets being empty. Since then and because of our incredible lack of monetary funds, it has pleased God to provide us five vehicles in a row to meet our needs (Matthew 6:25-34). All five vehicles given to us. Our disclaimer is that God does not owe it to us to provide our vehicles. This idea would be disingenuous to all those believers who are starving throughout the world today and in centuries past. We recognize it as God’s pure mercy and grace and it amazes us as a family as much today as in days past.

All my statisticians out there do the math for me of the likelihood of one family being given five vehicles in a row – all running well. I think your equation will point to a supernatural agent.
Here is our chronology:

1. 1998 Mazda 626 – Date Given: August 2000; died in car crash .Given by a family leaving to do missionary work in Romania for a year. Even though they were coming back to the states they gave this car to me after hearing about my need of a vehicle in order to move to N’awlins to begin Seminary. I received the vehicle a few days before I had to leave.

2. 1988 Ford Escort – Date Given: 2002; given to charity. While in seminary, someone ran a red light and slammed into the Mazda leaving me without a car. After our marriage, Rachelle and I survived with one car for a while. However, being a pastor intern began to pose problems to our schedule of school and work along side ministry. I asked a wonderful couple at our church about the possibility of buying their Ford Escort. The following Sunday they gave it to us knowing we really didn’t have the money to purchase it.
3. 1999 Pontiac Montana – Date Given: 2004; still with us! A few years and two children later we discovered a real problem as the Escort formed an oil leak. Our problem? Packing our children (with car seats) and other items every weekend to go an hour and half a way to do ministry in a small rural church in Louisiana. Some of our wonderful friends parted with this wonderful van; although, they had real use of it too with seven kids! This van continues to be an amazing blessing to us to this day. We’re praying for another ten years from it.

4. 1990 Toyota Camry – Date Given: September 2005; going to a charity soon. After Katrina we thought we had lost our Cavalier (which Rachelle bought before we got married – it is the last car we bought and that was over a decade ago!). A wonderful family in Richmond heard about this and gave us their son’s car (he got another one).

5. 1998 Honda Accord – Date Given: July 2009; still breaking in this speedster. Pray I won’t get a ticket. 🙂 I admit that I’ve always wanted a Honda. We had our brothers and sisters advocating for us before God’s throne room. A very dear family to us had an interesting conversation recently. One said she thought she would just donate her car this year instead of using it as a trade-in for a new car. Here we are driving in a car that provides more than we need. Thank you God!

6. HA! HA! You thought I was done! WRONG! 1998 Chevy S10 – Date Given: March 2009; returned in July 2009 to its joyful and gracious owners. This last time we were in desperate need for a vehicle as the Toyota finally conked out on us. With a penance to our name, and a job that requires a presentable, drivable vehicle a couple loaned us their practically brand new S10 for almost five months (it had less than 13,000 miles on it when we borrowed it). Did I mention I had a hit-n-run while driving this truck. Well – it was like new. 😦

Here is our chronology, meant to encourage and embolden you in your walk with the Lord. We look to it as a reminder as we walk in faith into a future where there are many questions concerning from where our provisions will come. God has already told you – the world is his and all that is in it. Like you, we stand on the edge of eternity looking forward. Little tastes such as this, while completely incomparable to the infinite joy we will experience and grow in days eternal, still give us a view to that which we exult in and desire.

July 29, 2009

Worldview Links – Day Six

Today is the finale! Just like fireworks, I saved a bunch of the best for last (not that what we have already looked at isn’t the best too). Take a look, get overwhelmed and enjoy in abundance. Remember, if you are faithful to make a favorites file with these sites you will have great tools for future study and development ready at your fingertips.

http://www.apologetics.com/: Set more like a blog, but an apologetic website that is put together well.

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/ A cult oriented apologetic website.

http://www.apologetique.org/en/: a European apologetic site that focuses on Catholics.

http://www.bethinking.org/: a great apologetic website for covers the gamut of topics and life situations.

http://www.carm.org/: Christian Apologetic Research & Ministry’s website. Just check it out.

http://www.cslewisinstitute.org/: This site is a “nice to know they exist” type of site. “Founded in 1976 in the legacy of C. S. Lewis, the Institute endeavors to develop disciples who can articulate, defend, and live faith in Christ through personal and public living.”

http://www.damaris.org/: An apologetic resource center more than an information hub.

http://www.epsociety.org/: Check it out.

http://www.impactapologetics.com/: Frank Turek’s website that is a good portal into exposing you to a variety of apologetic books.

http://www.labri.org/: This site is a “nice to know they exist” type of site. The site’s explanation on who they are: “L’Abri is a French word that means shelter. The first L’Abri community was founded in Switzerland in 1955 by Dr. Francis Schaeffer and his wife, Edith. Dr. Schaeffer was a Christian theologian and philosopher who also authored a number of books on theology, philosophy, general culture and the arts.”

http://www.leaderu.com/: apologetic website dedicated to college students

http://www.licc.org.uk/: Since my parents are now in London, I figured we needed to get one London apologetic website on the list. Take a look at how it is done across the “bay.”

http://www.scp-inc.org/: apologetic website that focuses on Christian responses to eastern religions.

http://www.str.org/site/PageServer: Stand to Reason’s website, which deals primarily with science and theology in an apologetic manner.

http://www.theocca.org/: The Oxford Center for Christian apologetics. An apologetic organization that is committed to bridging the gap between the historical truths of Christianity and current culture.

July 28, 2009

Worldview Links – Day Five

http://www.christianworldview.net/: A useful collection of links and commentary by Israel Wayne’s itinerant ministry.

http://www.josh.org/: Josh McDowell’s ministry website. Check out his “Watch and Listen” link under resources.

http://www.allaboutworldview.org/: A ground swell in Rick Warren’s church from the laypeople started this website.

http://www.infidels.org/: A website dedicated to promoting a naturalistic worldview that attempts to do this primarily by attacking the truth-claims of Christianity. An example of what not to believe, but useful in considering an atheistic perspective.

July 27, 2009

Worldview Links – Day Four

Missed yesterday since it was Sunday.

http://wilberforceproject.com/: Chuck Colson’s ministry center. He has a worldview center scheduled to launch on August 3rd so this is perfect timing.

http://www.worldview.org: The website for Worldview Academy, which our very own Jacob Douvier attended and taught at for a number of years.

http://www.edge.org: This website is the first offered not as a Christian resource, but an example of non-Christian resources which espouse a different worldview. It is good to know what others are saying, thinking and writing. While I expect most of us won’t get overly saturated in this website read the two following articles and consider the worldviews being espoused and implications of these worldviews. http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/harris06/harris06_index.html: Sam Harris’ article on atheism and http://www.edge.org/q2006/q06_9.html – Richard Dawkins’ interesting article. I’m very interested in hearing your feedback Wednesday night on these articles.

July 25, 2009

Worldview Links Day Three

The three following links are for apologetic ministries that are useful in helping develop and then defend a coherent Christian worldview.

http://www.rzim.org/USA/home.aspx: Ravi Zacharias’ Itinerant ministry is a very helpful resource. I would tell you about him, but his “about us” link on his website is a great summary and you should read it for yourself.

http://www.equip.org: Hank Hanegraaff’s Christian Research Institute typically focuses on heretical issues emerging in the Christian community through syncretism from both cults and other religions.

http://www.watchman.org/: While their website is a little outdated, the material here is quite useful when having exposure to cults specifically. They also have done some excellent work in regards to Oprah Winfrey’s pop religion, Scientology and other hot topics of our day.

Enjoy!

July 24, 2009

Worldview Links Day Two

Okay, Okay – there are just too many resources and too few days for our little week-long voyage through these intraspatial waters. So I am giving in to the tidal wave of resources. The dam can only take so much pressure. Therefore, we will have multiple links each day for you to peruse. Remember to add these sites to your favorites. Make a folder entitled “Navigating Pop Culture” or something similar for future reference.

http://thechristianworldview.com/tcwblog/: Home of David Wheaton’s Radio Show and blog as he seeks to interact with contemporary issues from a Christian perspective.

www.aomin.org: James White’s ministry. While I certainly would not say that James’ emphasized focus is worldviews per Se he still interacts with them since he is apologists. His insights are useful, though I admit he can be a bit polemic for my taste at times. I find his research and pit bull ability to focus in on the issue uncanny. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNFCTSfm1cs: Here is James White discussing President Obama’s election. Note how he is considering worldviews in this blog.

http://michaelmedved.townhall.com/: While Michael Medved is not a Christian, he is morally & ethically conservative and his insights on current cultural issues are razor sharp. His movie reviews are some of my favorites. His books are also easy to read while raising interesting issues. One of my favorite books on raising children in contemporary society is by him.

http://www.cpyu.org/default.aspx: Walt Mueller founded this ministry in 1990. CPYU is known for its piercing insights on the issues that impact teens the most. In my earlier years when I was a bit richer (think pre-marriage & children) I received their quarterly journal. It is worth the purchase to support such a ministry. I first came in contact with them when Jessica Simpson first came on the music scene and was embraced as much by Christians as well as the main stream music scene. Their handling of that situation as it was going is still the best I’ve encountered.

Have Fun!!

July 23, 2009

Worldview Link

As a part of our Mass Lobotomy: A Primer on Pop Culture Wednesday night class we are currently considering worldviews. Each day for the next week I will list some virtual resources that play both positively and negatively into the conversation in order to both equip you and help you think critically.

http://www.probe.org – Our first link is to Probe Ministries, a ministry founded in 1973 by James F. Williams Jr. and Jon Buell, includes this rich resource of a website. You will find yourself lost in many of its wonderful pages for some time. You may need a map to find your way out….

July 10, 2009

Happy Birthday JC!


No, not Jesus Christ, but John Calvin. John turns a whopping 500 years old today. Bet he feels better than ever now. I can’t wait to put on my 500 year old body (hint: glorification).

Poor Calvin posthumously lives with the dreaded pejorative “Calvinism,” which has become a by-word for reformed theology (of course, which is also biblical theology). I feel like I should also be wishing his straw man a happy birthday too, since that is what most people are attacking when they breech the subject of “Calvinism.” Or a red herring maybe.

Either way, Happy Birthday to a man who left us with the indelible impact of the art of biblical hermeneutics – we, all who are in the Christian faith, truly are eternally grateful. God continues to be glorified by your life and works.

July 9, 2009

Troubling

As Christians, we should be mindful that the Gospel call includes justice against the wickedness. We are to defend the defenseless. Our main weapon against such wickedness as portrayed below is prayer, but political awareness and appropriate involvement is key as well.