What’s Up

This past week and a half has been crazier than usual, revealing one of the disappointing ironies of blogging: the more you have to blog about, the less time you have to blog about it!  Here’s a smattering of what’s been up:

  • At CrossWay we began a new three-week series about the Bible called TXT.  It’s taking more studying and preparation than usual, because it requires more research in addition to Bible study.  The series addresses three questions about the Scriptures: (1) How did we get the Bible? (2) How do we know the Bible is true? (3) How do I study the Bible?
  • A couple Saturdays ago Carolyn and I made a day trip to Pennsylvania.  In one day I was deeply touched with the tremendous generosity of a bunch of people all at once: Julie, the woman who owns the house we rent, let us haul one of her twin beds up to Pennsylvania to store in the house of someone she doesn’t even know.  Our brother-in-law’s parents let us borrow their nice, big pickup to drive the bed up north.  Michael & Kristen let us put the bed in the guest room of their house… AND–they bought us a bed frame with a nice headboard!  Carolyn’s been wanting a headboard ever since we got married, because her pillows would fall behind the bed and we can’t sit up in bed without it scooting out from the wall.  They’re very expensive, and Michael & Kristen bought us one and gave it to us while we were up there with a pickup!  And if all that’s not enough, they took us out for a delicious dinner.  I had some of the best spaghetti & meatballs I’ve ever had, and it followed right after some tasty lobster bisque.
  • When we went to the Amish auction house to pick up the bed frame, I saw my first Amish midget.
  • On Wednesday I got to hang out with my friend Kevin.  We had a lot of catching up to do.  He’s recovering from surgery and is on a strict liquid diet, but fortunately Starbucks coffee is on the OK list.  So we hung out and talked for a couple hours while we put a dent in a big box of Sumatra.  By the way, his dog is a trip–she actually watches TV!  She’ll just sit there and watch and listen, and when she sees an animal on the screen, she jumps up and goes nuts.
  • The husband of one of our preschool teachers, Ms. Pat, passed away a week ago.  He’d been very sick for several years.  She’s one of the saintliest people I’ve ever known.  We’ve missed her around here!  She’ll be back tomorrow, which is good because the staff and children have really missed her.
  • On Saturday I did my first funeral.  I had no idea what I was doing, but if anyone had any complaints, they had the kindness to keep me out of the loop!  It was only the third time in the last five years I’ve worn a tie, and I’ve gotten so fat I had to run to the outlets on Friday to buy some new dress pants.
  • After church on Sunday, ten of us got together for lunch and then met with Jackie, the director of the Eastern Shore Pregnancy Center.  She told us about the ministry there, fielded some questions, and showed us around.  About 25 young women a year receive Christ through their ministry!  I love the way they help women to choose life for their unborn children, but they don’t stop there–they stay involved with the family and help them in very practical ways for a year and a half after the baby is born.  I can’t wait for us to get more involved with this ministry!  Please pray for them, because there is a lot of opposition (unbelievable as that is) to what they’re doing.
  • On Monday Carolyn had three doctor appointments.  First she had to go to a nearby lab, drink a bunch of stuff that was like flat orange soda, then have blood drawn to test for diabetes.  After that she met with her obstetrician, where she now goes every other week until the ninth month of pregnancy, when she’ll have weekly visits.  We met for lunch with her parents, her sister, and my dad, then we all headed over to her ultrasound, which was the third appointment of the day.  Afterward we shopped at Ollie’s, ate very quickly, and headed to a Worship Planning Team meeting.  Long (but enjoyable!) day!
  • Yesterday my mother-in-law, Linda, painted the baby’s room.  It’s a pink color that’s almost white.  I’m sure Laura Marie will love it!  (We tease Linda about having a case of Grandma Nesting.)
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Published in: on March 18, 2009 at 5:22 am  Comments (3)  

TXT: How Did We Get the Bible?

On Sunday at CrossWay Church we began a new series called TXT.  This week’s message: How Did We Get the Bible?

We broke this question down into three more questions:

(1) Where did the Bible come from?

The answer to this question is simple: God.  The Bible came to us from God.  It originated with Him.

(2) Who put all these ancient documents together into one volume?

Again, to summarize: the church put it together under God’s divine guidance.  For both the Old Testament and the New Testament, there were very strict standards (the literal meaning of “canon”) for writing to be included.

(3) How did we get the Bible in English?

It took centuries and several people died to make it happen.  An English translation of the Bible has been legal for less than 500 years.

The podcast is already up, so you can check out the full story there.

Published in: on March 17, 2009 at 1:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

3-D Laura Marie

Yesterday we went for a 3-D sonogram at RMS Sonography in Salisbury.  It was so cool to see the baby again!  Now she’s much bigger and has some fat on her, plus the 3-D shots made it possible to see her much better.  Carolyn says they make her look like a clay baby, and you’ll probably agree.  When we got home last night we watched the DVD of the sonogram they gave us.  It’s so awesome!  On the DVD you can see her yawning, moving her mouth like she’s talking, playing with her toes, punching Carolyn’s guts–even opening and closing her eyes!  Amazing stuff.

Here are a couple of the 3-D photos:

We’ll have one more sonogram (a regular one, not 3-D) before the baby is born.  The doctor orders this one to make sure that the baby is ready to come out into her new world!

Published in: on March 17, 2009 at 12:04 pm  Comments (6)  

Funny Bagpipes

“The Irish gave the bagpipes to the Scots as a joke, but the Scots haven’t seen the joke yet.”
– Oliver Herford, 1863 – 1935

Published in: on March 17, 2009 at 1:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Training Station Art Show 2009

Last night at the Training Station we had the annual art show.  Every kid in the preschool has a piece of artwork that is set up in the sanctuary.  It’s all exhibited like a real museum, complete with titles, jazz music in the background, finger food, and punch.  So opening night was last night, and for a couple hours we had a bunch of the families here while the artists proudly showed off their work.

The place was filled with masterpieces!  All the artists were between the ages of 2 and 4 (maybe a couple 5-year-olds, I’m not sure).  Here are some of my favorites (in quotes are the titles as dictated by the artists):

“Spiders Tickling Each Other”:

“A Mom Playing Outside”:

“Me Sitting On My Horse Thinking of Stuff”:

“My Teddy Bear and an ‘R'”:

“A Monster That Jumped Out of the Theater and is Eating Two People” (look closely and you’ll see that that’s really what this is!):

And my nomination for best title ever, from one of my favorite two-year-olds, is called “I Don’t Know What It Is.  It Looks Like a Bunch of Paint”:

Ahh, I can’t wait ’til next year’s show!

Published in: on March 10, 2009 at 2:03 pm  Comments (3)  

True Worship

At CrossWay yesterday we wrapped up the Fanatic series with a message called “True Worshipers.”  Once again we touched on John 4:23 where Jesus says that “the time is coming–indeed it’s here now–when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.  The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.”

Jesus is talking here about genuine worship as opposed to religious routine.  What does this look like?  We looked at three traits of genuine worship:

(1) True worshipers worship with awe.

(2) True worshipers worship with abandonment.

(3) True worshipers worship with their lives.

Look for the podcast coming soon.

Published in: on March 9, 2009 at 5:54 am  Comments (2)  

Random Thoughts in Alphabetical Order: The Letter C

C is for…

  • Christ. I love the word, the name, the sound, the meaning: Christ.  With those hard consonant sounds, you can’t just roll on by.  It sticks in the mouth, forcing your attention.  And it’s a beautiful name, the name of my Lord and Savior.  No wonder so many of our names today are variations of it, like Christopher and Christine.  Christ is the best C word, because everything is all about Christ.  The Bible says: “For by him all things were created: things on heaven and on earth, visible and invisible… all things were created by him and for him” (Colossians 1:16).
  • Carolyn.  Wow, what can I say?  What an amazing gift God has given me by blessing me with Carolyn for a wife.  When I stop and think about it, I just can’t believe she actually married me.  It’s one of those things that seems too good to be true, like one day I’ll wake up and it will all have been a dream.  She’s the best.  I’m so totally absolutely thrilled that she’s going to be my baby’s mommy!
  • Church.  The letter C is turning out to be some of the most important things in my life.  I love church.  “Church” means many things to many people, but the Bible says it’s the body of Christ, the family of God.  For all the problems with it (it is, after all, made up of people), it’s still God’s plan for this planet.  People knock the church all the time–sometimes it’s constructive criticism, sometimes it’s just whining and complaining.  And we’ve certainly earned a lot of our criticism.  Even so, the church is still where God is at, and it’s His plan for redeeming creation.  For all of the church’s flaws, it’s still the best thing going.  God loves it dearly, and so do I.  It’s a tremendous privilege to be a part of it.
  • CrossWay.  We’re small.  We’ve got our problems.  But there’s no place I’d rather be.  By the way, Carolyn’s been updating our website.  Check it out here.
  • Cheese dip.  This is the one thing I can make and make well.  My Texan mom taught me the recipe when I was 6 years old, and I’ve been making it ever since.  I like to experiment, and I’ve made some seriously delicious batches.  One nice thing about cheese dip is that it’s something I can make for group events.  Whenever we have Mexican food day at church, Steph has the signup sheet printed with “cheese dip” next to my name.  I don’t mind at all… especially since there are usually leftovers.
  • Cell phone. What did we do without them?  It’s hard to remember what life was like before everyone had their own personal phone that was always on them.  I’ve almost forgotten how to ask for someone on the phone because I’m used to the direct connection that cell phones offer.  And thanks to the voice-activated and speed functions, I don’t even know anyone’s phone number anymore–not even my wife’s.  Now that Carolyn is pregnant, I’m very grateful that I can always be accessible whenever she goes into labor, thanks to the cell phone.
  • Chili.  My mother-in-law, Linda, gave me some chili for lunch today.  I’m eating it right now, and it totally rocks my taste buds off.
Published in: on March 5, 2009 at 5:36 am  Comments (5)  

Kickin’ It

Carolyn & Laura Marie had another doctor appointment yesterday.  The doctor got the thingamabob that detects the heartbeat and put it on Carolyn’s tummy.  As soon as she did, Laura Marie kicked it!  It was pretty funny (though Carolyn didn’t tell me about it until later–I couldn’t see it).

From now until week 35 (she’s now at week 26), Carolyn has to go to the doctor twice a month instead of once.  After that it’s every week.  We’re getting closer!

Yesterday we also scheduled a 3-D ultrasound.  It will be on Monday, March 16.  I can’t wait to see the baby again!

Published in: on March 4, 2009 at 2:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

What God Desires Most

We started a new series called Fanatic yesterday at CrossWay.  It’s a two-parter about worship.

Yesterday the message was “What God Desires Most.”  This is a basic starting point: there is something God desires that only you can give Him, and that is your worship.  So we spent some time talking about what worship really is, how we’re all created to worship, how there’s a war for our worship, and how we can keep our worship focus on God instead of other things.

Watch for the podcast coming soon!

Published in: on March 2, 2009 at 5:24 am  Leave a Comment