Friday, December 26, 2008

Proud Papa

Every time someone in our family has a birthday, Mrs. Underdog makes a giant banner for that person that is displayed in a prominent place in the house. This grand announcement of the birth of that child is one of the highlights of the day.

I slept in on Christmas Day. Mrs. Underdog did too. It was a great gift to us that would not fit under the Christmas tree. When we finally got downstairs after looking at the story of Jesus' birth, we found a giant banner next to the tree. Yes, the Pups had spend the time when we were sleeping producing a Happy Birthday banner for Jesus.

I have never been prouder.

Maybe a few things are sinking in after all...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

If you are reading this post, I pray that that Baby in the manger will "bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace."

Praise God for Immanuel.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I am guilty of much hatred.

Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller fame):

“I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell, and people could be going to hell, and you think, ‘Well, it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward’…How much do you have to hate somebody not to proselytize?”

Penn is an atheist.

Three things

  1. As me and two of the Pups were out today, we noticed that the prevalence of the word "want" increases exponentially in the month of December. Christmas has become all about "wants." I think that when every need has been fulfilled without much thought to its Source, we lose perspective on what defines a gift.
  2. I managed the worst diaper in the history of mankind yesterday. The Nation Weather Service suspected it could develop into an F5 event and issued a Warning for our particular address*.
  3. I think that last year I stated that I wanted to learn to play the guitar. One year later and everything is still accapella. I really just want to know enough chords to lead our family in worship during evening huddle time. I am afraid learning an instrument may require effort on my part.

*Fortunately it was trash day. But the guy that drives our route smelled the offending underpants and told us to expect an extra charge on this months bill. Okay, not really, but it was pretty awful.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Must be amateur poetry nite.

Once a child named Xavier,
Desperately needed a Savior.
A Lamb died for sin,
And cleansed him within.
Despite his poor behavior.

Dumbest Xmas song ever

By the title, you are probably expecting some tirade on the Spanglish embarrassment known as Feliz Navidad. Close, but no. I actually listened closely to the The Little Drummer Boy tonight. Really listened to the story within the song.

I have been an active observer of six live births. And I can tell you this: If a pre-pubescent boy with a drum kit had decided to play a solo anywhere near Mrs. Underdog and her newborn baby, she would have punted that kid into the next county.

And one other thing, most of the newborns I know only smile when they are passing gas. That would not fit within the theme of the song, but I have to think a little gas is a more probable reason for the smile than some kid beating a drum.

That's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

22-word kid story

Abraham Piper has a challenge on his blog this week that is pretty interesting: This week tell a 22-word kid story on your blog.

So here is my feeble entry:

The boys had completely missed the point and began discussing who would win a fight between Goliath, a bear, and a lion.

Monday, December 15, 2008

This made me laugh

Best t-shirt caption ever

I saw this caption on a t-shirt in a store:

"I am the Wretch the song refers to."

Almost bought it. But this wretch doesn't have $15 for a t-shirt.

Three things

  1. I am confident that God knows what he is doing when He gives children to people. But knowing what I know about my natural parenting abilities, I am not sure that I would have entrusted me with a litter of ferrets to raise. Lord Jesus, help me.
  2. The worship team at my church makes the Sunday song services one of the highlights of my week. I had heard about people just getting lost in worship of the Saviour, but yesterday as we sang to Jesus, I finally understood it through experience. There is a song on the Sovereign Grace Saviour album called "Christ the Lord is Born Today" that is simply beautiful.
  3. Interesting that the theme of "home" is what is dominating my study of the Christmas narrative this year. Jesus, the maker of all things, left his home to take on flesh as an alien and stranger on the planet He created. And when He left this earth, He went to prepare a place for those that belong to Him. I can't wait to go home.

Think about this for a moment.

It is estimated that a week's worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dumber? Absolutely.

"Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like
a guy on a Jet Ski. "

I think that dumbness has been stalking me. And this week, I got confirmation that I have been infected with a increasing level of intellectual dullness. And evidently Google is to blame for this sorry state of affairs. I read this article this week and it has really opened my eyes to my own self-imposed attention deficit disorder. My attention span is losing its already slim shadow.

As an experiment yesterday, I sat down with a book with the goal of reading for thirty minutes. I had easy access to my Blackberry, my cell phone, and my laptop computer. I read for about five minutes and then the gravitational pull of "the need to be current" began:

"I wonder if anyone has emailed me?" "Did I check my fantasy football team?" "How far down are my stocks today?" "What did John Piper preach on last week?" "I should really watch some movie previews." "Blog. I have to blog or Aaron Mayfield can't comment."

And I struggled to concentrate for just five minutes on a book that is important to me.

Every January, our family takes a bread from media. No TV. No movies. No talk radio in the car. In the past, this has been a very painful goodbye. But this year, I find that I am looking forward to the media vacation. I feel like maybe I will listen more and learn more. Perhaps even my relationships with flesh and blood people with grow.

Maybe I will be able to read again for longer than just five minutes.

And recover some of the ground that dumbness has taken by force.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Just plain wrong

I want to interrupt this blog to complain about something for the edification of all three of my readers.

The second most irritating thing in the world is being late to an appointment and watching a school bus zoom past your the midst of a flashing school zone.

Read and be amazed

“The wonder is not that God chooses some and not others (Abel not Cain; Isaac, not Ishmael; Jacob, not Esau). The wonder is that God chooses any. Certainly God does not choose an elite. Israel is a chosen people, but not a choice people. God’s elect have no ground for pride. On the contrary, God chooses not the wise, the mighty, or the noble, but the foolish, the weak, the despised (Paul says, indeed, the ‘zeroes’). No-one may boast before him.”

–Edmund Clowney

Monday, December 8, 2008

Worth a few moments...

Sometimes I questions whether the Gospel and technology are compatible. Then I find a website like this one:

If Brian Welch can be saved by God, then there is hope for everyone.

Sola Deo Gloria.

Cats + Slide = Kitty Treadmill

This made my kids giggle like crazy people:

Friday, December 5, 2008

Three Christmas things

  1. Joseph is one of my favorite people in the Bible. I have so many questions for him. For instance: Joseph, how many times in your parenting did you realize that your wisdom was vastly inferior to your Sons? Did you see crosses along your journey? Were you horrified at the sight or were they so commonplace that you barely noticed?
  2. Cute images of angels make me sad. At one of the big pastor's conferences last year, one of the speakers (I think it was RC Sproul) said that if you saw an angel, you would probably pee your pants. He is probably right.
  3. My newborn daughter just started smiling at us. I bet that, as first time parents, Mary and Joseph were blown away by Jesus' first smile. I am on baby number six and those first smiles still take my breath away. The only thing better is the first laugh. I praise God for laughter.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This quote is absolutely crushing me.

I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusement, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our giving does not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say it is too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot because our commitment to giving excludes them. --- C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bonus blog!

From the archives of my Homeschool Blogger blog:

Dec. 10, 2007 - Questions for Christmas

I love great stories. And most of the time, there are cracks in great stories that allow the hearer to fill in the blanks. I believe that is one of the reasons that God gave us imaginations. As I have read the Christmas story this year, new questions have arisen. The answers are not important to the purpose of the Nativity saga, but for me pondering them adds depth to the narrative and only makes the text more beautiful. Did you ever wonder:

-If Mary and Joseph passed crucified men on the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem and thought, "I hope that never happens to anyone I know"?
-Did Mary and Joseph's parents know they went to Egypt with their new grandson? Did they fear the worst?
-Were the angels that appeared to the shepherds there all along?
-When the angels sang "Glory to God in the Highest", were they surprised to be singing to exalt a human baby in a manger?
-Gold, okay. Frankincense, yep. Myrrh, though? An embalming substance? That must have been confusing. (Try taking that to your next baby shower.)
-What was the first thing that the shepherds said to Mary and Joseph? Did the new parents believe their story at first?
-Why don't we ever refer to the Virgin Joseph in the Christmas story?
-Did Herod feel better after killing all those kids?
-Did Herod's scribes know the prophecy about the Messiah's birthplace off the top of their heads? Did they know the prophecy about "Rachel weeping for her children" when they told Herod?

That's all I have for now. I hope that your Xmas season is leading you back to the Cross.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Three things

  1. I was given the opportunity yesterday to teach a group of elementary school children about Jesus. We walked through the Old Testament and talked about the importance of shepherds - - -Abram, Moses, David. And how those guys were just a foreshadowing of the Good Shepherd that would lay down His life for His sheep. When I teach Sunday School, I feel God's pleasure*.
  2. I guess that the weekend was not that great for retailers. Think we will see the CEOs from the retail industry asking for a bailout from the government?
  3. There are over 1000 versions of Away in the Manger on iTunes. It makes my heart hurt to hear artists sing about sacred things that don't consider them sacred. We allow more levity in songs about the Incarnation than we ever would permit with our National Anthem.

*Yes, I stole this from Chariots of Fire. I can't run very fast, so I have to stick with teaching Sunday School, okay?

Knocking the Props Out From Under Our Lives