Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bored boys

What happens when 4 boys get a hold of a digital camera with no female supervision:





Thursday, November 27, 2008

Slacker Thankgiving post

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Three things

Three things I am thankful for:
  1. Jesus' steadfast love for ungrateful losers like me
  2. Dessert
  3. Family
  4. Cars that drive even though the 'Check Engine' light is on
  5. Football games
  6. Small groups at great churches
  7. The gift of reading
  8. The gift of peaceful sleep
  9. Second chances
  10. Wrestling with toddlers
  11. Icepacks (after wrestling with toddlers)
  12. Hardships
  13. Comfy Denim's consistent comments on this blog
  14. iPod that I received completely without merit from one of my favorite people
  15. Laughter
  16. Windex
  17. Third chances
  18. God's Sovereignty
  19. Cold breakfast cereal
  20. Sunsets behind mountains
  21. Andrew Peterson
  22. Kleenex
  23. Running
  24. Eyesight
  25. A super cold beverage at the end of the day
  26. The great crew at my local Starbucks
  27. The jukebox in my head that plays only songs that I like
  28. The anticipation of an infant's first smile
  29. Tennis shoes
  30. The promise of life with God after death

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Three things

  1. So many people from our church have brought us food over the past couple of weeks. It has been great, but I have gained four pounds. What do you do about returning the dishes to people? Do you think it would be wrong to drop them in the mail with an old Newsweek magazine and try to get the Media Mail rate? Just thinking....

  2. I am looking forward to a much more quiet Christmas this year. I hope to accomplish this simply by complaining less.

  3. They are starting to advertise all of the Christmas TV specials. There is only one worth watching in my opinion: The Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Linus' speech makes my eyes misty every year.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Most important post ever?

Probably.

James Grant:
We are facing a cultural crisis if President-elect Obama brings into legislation the Freedom of Choice Act. This law, if enacted, would wipe away every restriction on abortion nationwide.

The Fight FOCA Website explains, This would eradicate state and federal laws that the majority of Americans support, such as:
-Bans on Partial Birth Abortion
-Requirements that women be given information about the risks of getting an abortion
-Only licensed physicians can perform abortions
-Parents must be informed and give consent to their minor daughter’s abortion

FOCA would erase these laws and prevent states from enacting similar protective measures in the future.

There are also other things you need to be aware of about FOCA. It will allow taxpayer funding of abortion, and it will also force faith-based hospitals and health facilities to perform abortions or go our of business. It doesn’t matter what your political leanings are or who you voted for, if you are a Christian, it is your moral duty to oppose this. Go to the Fight FOCA Website to read more, and click on the link to sign the petition.

We live in amazing times...

A small dose of perspective on the amazing times we live in. Mrs. Underdog approved this message. Note: One bleeped word.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Being revealed

The past few weeks, Mrs. Underdog has been either on bedrest or recovering from a rather difficult birth. This dire scenario left me in charge of the Pups for two weeks. This was not without its challenges. A couple of observations from the battlefront:
  • Evidently my wife works hard during the day when I am gone. Who knew?

  • The requirements for managing our brood: the wisdom of Solomon, the patience of Job, and the grace of a loving God.

  • An active two-year-old male child is like a terrible tornado: leaving nothing but mass destruction and broken crayons and sand and food remnants in its wake.

  • Speaking of food, we eat a lot of fa-foo. There is breakfast, first snack, pre-lunch complaining about hunger, lunch, second snack, griping about the time between second snack and dinner, dinner, and questions about what is for breakfast tomorrow.

  • Mrs. Underdog does the grocery shopping in just over two hours. I clocked in a just under four.

  • My children average ten questions per hour. Multiple that times five children. If I hear the question "Where are my shoes?" ever again, it will be to soon.

  • Children under the age of four host a permanent odor that defies description.
Finally, trying to do my day job, care for Mrs. Underdog, and shepherd the Pups revealed something very ugly. It was revealed that I am a very, very self-centered person. Here I had this great opportunity to selflessly give myself to my family and all I could do was anticipate my next break from the action. I simply couldn't free myself from the bonds of self focus. Oh, I did a lot of the right thing. But I rarely did them with the right attitude.


The fact is that under durress, it became apparent what I really am: a naturally self-centered man in desparate need of grace and mercy. Under that woolly disguise, I am just a scrawny sheep.

Thank God He saves us.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Three things

  1. I have been reminded this week of how small and fragile we are at the start of life. And maybe our smallness and fragility never ends.
  2. Question of the week from the Pups shortly after our baby was born: "Dad, how come God didn't make people be born in eggs?". Dad's answer: "God knew Mom wouldn't like to lay eggs."
  3. I learned this week that I too often think of others when I read the Scriptures. When I read "hypocrite", that verse is about me. When I read a commandment, it is for me to obey. The Bible is so much more damaging to my pride when I insert my name into verses.

BONUS:

Random Penguin Picture!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Life is good.



Happy Birthday, littlest girl.

I am glad you are here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Three things

Baby Ashley's due date is today. In just a few hours, she will be officially late. Three things:
  1. I am amazed at the 3-D images that we can see of a baby in the womb. I saw today that they can also make a sculpture of the baby in the womb using a 3-dimensional printer. Very cool. But little Ashley has never been hidden from the eyes of God. Even more amazing is that God has carefully knit her together.
  2. Long before her parents even met, He knew that Ashley would need a Saviour. God sent His Son to die for Ashley. I love that fact.
  3. Becoming the parent of my sixth will be no more difficult than becoming the parent of my first child. It is not about the number or personalities of children that makes parenting the hardest. It is my self-centeredness.

The reminder of the stars

I am on the ambitious mission to read through the Bible in a year. I am currently reading a lot about Abraham and the wild, "soap opera like" story of his life. And although there were moments of tremendous excitement, I have found that there is one theme that is a consistent thread in Abraham's narrative.

Waiting.

When we first meet Abraham, he is seventy five years old and childless. And God promises Abraham offspring. If Abraham is like me, he starts thinking about a nine month timeframe. Pregnancies last nine months, right? But nine months come and go. And then nine years. Eleven years later, his wife offers him a young Egyptian woman and they try to fulfill God's promise without God involved. Finally, after twenty-five years, a son is born to Abraham and Sarah. Twenty-five years.

I have wondered: what kept Abraham believing? When Sarah cried over her childlessness. When servants bore son after son after son. When their poorly planned plans failed. When God did not appear for years at a time.

I think that it was the ever present visual reminder of the promise that God made represented in the night sky. And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 15:5) I think that every time Abraham's mind began to question if he had heard God right, the night sky served to remind him of the promise. If God could fill the darkness with a million points of light, surely he create a son for Abraham.

All of creation serves as visual proof of God's power and his nature. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. (Romans 1:20)

That's all I have to say about that.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Humble hatred

Fighting sin requires hatred and humility. Last night we discussed hating our sin and humbly asking for God’s help to fight. Only by God's grace can we “abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.”

God grant us eyes to see and the will to fight.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mental lint

-I posted about three months ago that I was starting my own company. By God's grace, we are still solvent and even a little profitable. The best part has been the flexible work hours.

-Is it just me or does the media seem a little confused now that the Election is over? One of the lead stories around here is the effect of the economy on pet shelters. We've gone from bickering bureaucrats to homeless cats in just 24 hours.

-It is strangely comforting to me to see just how messed up some many of the Biblical patriarchs were. Adam, Noah, Abraham...all have problems. Grace abounded in the OT.

-Pup #6 is due anytime now. Supposed to be a girl. I think I need a budget envelope labeled "Cute Stuff".

-Paid $2.01 for a gallon of gas today. I should be happy about that, but it still seems high to me.

-Christmas has started for the retailers. It really bothers me that Silent Night is blaring over the speakers in the Men's Room at a local Mart in early November. This year I am renewing my pledge to never enter the doors of any mall for the remaining two months of 2008.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Joy on display

This is easily one of the greatest videos I have ever viewed. My admiration for Nick Vujicic is beyond words. Nick's situation is an avenue for true Greatness to be displayed. Watch:



His website: http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/

Three things

Post election thoughts...
  1. I am so happy that the campaigns are over. Didn't it get to the point where it felt like democracy was a punishment? If our new President really wants to earn some brownie points, limit the campaigns to six months.
  2. Listening to the media this morning, there is a lot of excitement about the historic nature of yesterday's vote. It is amazing that we have an African-American in the highest office in the land. But let's tap the brakes a little on making him out to be a great leader before he has done anything at all. After all, Saul looked pretty good in front of a crowd and we all know what kind of leader he turned out to be. (See I Samuel for more information)
  3. The sun rose this morning. God's mercies were new once again. There were prayers to be prayed, diapers to be changed, and coffee to be consumed. Somehow, after all of the drama of last evening, God still reigns over all things.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Life begins....

This article from Dr. Robert George is very important. An excerpt:

Treating the question as some sort of grand mystery, or expressing or feigning uncertainty about it, may be politically expedient, but it is intellectually indefensible. Modern science long ago resolved the question. We actually know when the life of a new human individual begins.

A recently published white paper, “When does human life begin? A scientific perspective,” offers a thorough discussion of the facts of human embryogenesis and early development, and its conclusion is inescapable: From a purely biological perspective, scientists can identify the point at which a human life begins. The relevant studies are legion. The biological facts are uncontested. The method of analysis applied to the data is universally accepted.

Your life began, as did the life of every other human being, when the fusion of egg and sperm produced a new, complete, living organism — an embryonic human being....

Why, then, do we seem so far from a consensus on questions of abortion and embryo-destructive research?
Perhaps because the debate over when human life begins has never been about the biological facts. It has been about the value we ascribe to human beings at the dawn of their lives. When we debate questions of abortion, assisted reproductive technologies, human embryonic stem cell research and human cloning, we are not really disagreeing about whether human embryos are human beings. The scientific evidence is simply too overwhelming for there to be any real debate on this point. What is at issue in these debates is the question of whether we ought to respect and defend human beings in the earliest stages of their lives. In other words, the question is not about scientific facts; it is about the nature of human dignity and the equality of human beings....




A prayer for today

Father,

Grant me the wisdom to accept Your discipline as love. And give me humility to learn quickly what you desire for me. Provide joy so that I am not a grouch in the midst of your molding me.

Sigh.

Amen.