Saturday, December 27, 2003

The Low Down on Christmas

Well Christmas was a fruitful one. I did get a PS2 and plan on using some Christmas cash to buy a couple controllers and Simpson's road rage. I also got the LOTR two towers special edition. One of the coolest gifts was the Johnny Cash box set of unreleased material. In all over 5 disks of new (to the public) Cash songs.

Yesterday we went to San Diego. We went to Tijuana (a typical mexican border town) and though I was tempted to get my picture taken with a painted donkey I brought home nothing besides a belly full of tacos.

We had to wait in quite a long line to cross back into America. A number of times we'd see someone just walk right up and cut in line. There is something in all of us that brings us back to third grade that cries "injustice" whenever we see someone cut in line in front of us. We inherently know that it is wrong to cut in line. I found myself getting more outraged the more people cut. What's funny is that Tijuana is a very impoverished town and in all I was more angry about the 17 people that cut in line in front of us than about the thousands of starving kids. Upsetting isn't it. Oh well, just another evidence for our need of a savior.

Hope you all have a great day! I am off to eat at my favorite drive through mexican joint.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas to all

Well, try as I might, I couldn't sleep in this morning. No, I am not awake in anticipation of Christmas goodies. At first it was kind of frustrating because I love sleep so much. Instead of making my self more aggravated by staying in bed I decided to get up and have some time of reflection on the true reason for Christmas...Jesus.

As I read the passages I am sickenly aware of how ho-hum Jesus' birth has become to me. I am ashamed to admit that I have to work on seeing the wonder and joy of God becoming man. Christ's advent is the point in history in which we were shown the greatness and mercy of a God who cares enough of mankind to humble himself. I am reminded of the passage in Philippians 2 that talks about Jesus taking the form of a servant. What a lowly creature we are that God would take our form. Many humans can find fault in their own bodies and they have never experienced another, heavenly body. Christ, on the other hand, knew what it was like to have a magnificent glory-filled body and he dumped his fullness into a man shaped case. It is hard to imagine, but I am thankful that He did. Our fallen and sick world cries desperately for the grace and truth that only Jesus can bring. Thank you my Lord!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

I'm Home

Well, I am home in Cali. I leave sunny Texas to come to cold, rainy Southern California. Well, I will write more later.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Final Christmas Party

Last night our young marrieds couples class had a pig-out glut fest. As always I made my world famous Chinese dumplings. By the looks of the empty plate I brought home I assume they were a hit.

We had some interesting conversations, including afterbirth and fecal matter. We all laughed a ton. What I noticed was that the group really had a good time together. We shared embarrassing moments and developed some camaraderie. My hope for our group is that we make some more strides for personal intimacy. So that we may encourage on another and truly know how to pray for one another, not just for decisions to make or relationships to be built. I would like to be able to know what frustrates people enough to pray for those things. I don't know how much intimacy is possible, but I know that is what God wants for His people.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Return of the King

I loved this movie! even though it was over three hours long, I felt the time was well spent. The fight scenes are awesome, but more important is the message of hope, love and friendship. Sam's devotion to Frodo is an example to me about how crucial loyalty is in friendship. I'll be honest. There aren't a whole lot of people to whom I have given my undying loyalty to.

God, grant me strength to serve others with selflessness and devotion. I consider my life to be of little importance compared to your will and the benefit of others. Now that I have told you, let it be true in my heart, in my actions and in my relationships. May I live for you and you alone.

Thank you for Christ's devotion to your will. His devotion set us free from the darkness of sin and ushered us into your family to be your adopted children. Praise be to the Lord Jesus, King of endless glory.


Stephen Sawyer: Painter of Lite...Christianity

Well this guy has got to be the cheesiest Christian artist ever. I especially like the paintings entitled "Undefeated", "Lover of my soul", and "No Appointment necessary".

Jesus as Rocky, Jesus in a tuxedo and Jesus as Lorenzo Llamas. It can't get any worse than this. What about a mighty king? What about a king who shoots swords from his mouth? What about the king who rides a white horse into battle? The indescribable king. The glorious king. That's my king. That's my Jesus!

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Movie Time
As posted on LoneAggie's blog "Fellow Jamalians, let's try the 7 o'clock showing tomorrow at Fossil Creek. You will probably want to get tickets from Fandango. Someone let me know if it is already sold out."

I am really ready for this one

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I am done!

Just got home. I did well on my final. The cool thing about seminary is that you get to grade your own test and find out what you got right there. I am amazed how much I remembered. I am thankful that it is all over. Yay!


So, I have a final exam today. It's my only one and I am not real motivated to study for it. Last night I actually chose Christmas shopping at the Gap over studying for the test. If any of you don't know I loathe going into the Gap. The only reason I have actually purchased clothes there is that I came to seminary and needed some more upscale pantalones than the ones I had (jeans and shorts mostly). The final won't be that hard and I'd really have to bomb it or ace it to make a difference in my grade. Plus I have taken this habit from college that I don't like to study on the day for a test. I'll look over the notes, but I always laugh at the scores of people sitting in the exam room franticly pouring over their notes, rehashing their memory devices. I actually tried making a song this morning over key chapters in 1 Corinthians. Yes I give permission for you to raise your right hand to your forehead, extending your index finger and thumb to a 90 degree angle thus communicating the customary "Loser" sign through your computer screen. I am sure I will get the message. All this is for a grade, not for learning. I care more that I know the material than that I can recite facts back to a multiple choice test.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Christmas gift ideas
When I thought Christian consumerism couldn't get any worse. Take a look at these. I especially like the evangelism frisbee.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Well, I finished my classes yesterday. One final on tuesday and I will be completely done for the semester. One of my prof's challenged us to remain faithful yesterday. We were studying 2 Timothy. He said, "If you ever feel like you want to quit Christian ministry in any capacity, call me up. I want to encourage you. I want to cheer you on." Then he started to cry, then I got some tears in my eyes. It was really moving. This prof has been really amazing this year. I definitely under appreciated him. He wasn't the best speaker, but was so humble and affirming. He knew my name even before I said anything to him. I realized just how much the heart of a man is vital and crucial to his effectiveness. Dr. C doesn't have it all together, but he loves Jesus with all his heart.

I remember one day in class we were talking about him having a different philosophy on women in the leadership of the church than the elders of his church. He said that he still lets his wishes and desires submit to his authorities. This is a profound scholar of the New Testament. If anyone has authority and knowledge on this subject, he does. Yet, he chooses to submit in humility because God has placed those leaders above him.

Another time in chapel he shared about how he had put his work over his wife. He was honest enough to say that he had screwed up and given in to the wrong priorities. He is 65 years old and going strong. Man, if I become like the Jesus living in that man my life will be well spent.

Thanks Dr. C for showing me how to love our heavenly Father more.

Who is impacting your life right now? How are they doing it?

Monday, December 08, 2003

I came across this sermon from Dr. SM Lockridge called "My King" It reminds me of the majesty and splendor of the King I serve.

Extreme Elimination
We got a copy of twelve episodes of Extreme Elimination Challenge. Much props to Jacob for taping it and for letting me borrow it. It is one of the funniest TV shows ever. It is a Japanese game show that has been hilariously dubbed in English. These people do the most painful things you could ever imagine and I am pretty sure they don't get anything in return. My favorite event is one where the contestants try to run across these rolling logs. Last night I actually saw someone bend in half the wrong way! So cool!

This weekend
This weekend was fun. I made pork dumplings for a Christmas party which were quite tasty if I may say so myself. We also played Trivial Pursuit. My wife, her friend, and I were on the winning team.

Question: What was the first commercial satellite?
If you can answer that without searching on the Internet I will give you a cookie.

Yesterday we had our first middle school video team meeting. I am so proud of our team! These seven middle school students made a 2 minute movie in 2 hours (with no prior knowledge of the video editing process). I am excited to see how God is going to use these students' passions and abilities to minister to others.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Concert Night

Tonight I get to see Lost And Found doing a Christmas concert. If you've never heard them before they are a cross between Simon and Garfunkel and Violent Femmes. They are really intelligent and have a great message. I saw them a few years ago at the National Youth Workers Convention. This summer we played their CD for our students during our mission trip. They loved it. I am so excited! Slinky!

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

God of my end, it is my greatest, noblest pleasure to be acquainted with Thee and with my rational, immortal soul; it is sweet and entertaining to look into my being when all my powers and passions are united and engaged in pursuit of Thee, when my soul longs and passionately breathes after conformity to Thee and the full enjoyment of Thee; no hours pass away with so much pleasure as those spent in communion with Thee and with my heart.

O how desirable, how profitable to the Christian life is a spirit of holy watchfulness and godly jealousy over myself when my soul is afraid of nothing except grieving and offending Thee, the blessed God, my Father and friend, whom I then love and long to please, rather than be happy in myself! Knowing, as I do, that this is the pious temper, worthy of the highest ambition, and closest pursuit of intelligent creatures and holy Christians, may my joy derive from glorifying and delighting Thee. I long to fill all my time for Thee, whether at home or in the way; to place all my concerns in Thy hands; to be entirely at Thy disposal, having no will or interest of my own. Help me to live to Thee for ever, to make Thee my last and only end, so that I may never more in one instance love my sinful self.

From an online collection of puritan prayers

Monday, December 01, 2003

Get out of the Boat

Last week I was reading in John 21 the other day and I read something I haven't been able to shake from my mind. The setting is after the resurrection. Peter, James, John, and the gang decided to go fishing. They hadn't caught anything all night. They see this man on the shore who tells them to throw on the other side of the boat (they don't recognize that this is Jesus). They then catch tons of fish. All of the sudden John sees that this is Jesus and shouts to Peter, "It's the Lord!" This is what sticks in my head. Peter immediately wraps his clothes around him and jumps in the water, swimming for Jesus.

I am amazed how much Peter wants to be with Jesus, not be like Him or rule with Him, but WITH Him. I ask myself how little I desire to be with Jesus. I don't get so excited that I'll do just about anything to be with Him. Last night we saw "Elf" with Will Ferrel. What makes this movie funny is Will's enthusiasm for Christmas. My wife and I remarked how we do not have that same childlike wonder and excitement for Jesus.

Jesus, may my love, passion and zeal for you grow each day. May my heart be so tied to you that more than anything I want to be with you. Just to sit on your lap and rest in your presence.