Beginnings and Endings: Contextualizing a Year

As I hear the TV downstairs blasting Dick Clark’s Rockin’  Eve 2012 special, I’m reminded of all that could be done to bring in the new year.  Back home in the Los Angeles area people are preparing  to attend their various parties at homes, clubs, concerts, or other venues of indulgent celebrations–even here in the Austin area people find joy similarly.  There are many ways to celebrate, and New Year’s Eve tends to find the most elaborate, meaningful, emotional, and joyous.  Just a little while ago even, as the New Year transitions depict one’s growth throughout, our own son Isaiah, as little as he is at two-years old, said his first complete prayer tonight–he couldn’t quite make the late night party.  We couldn’t understand half of it, really, but what I did comprehend it was filled with thanks for the day and for Mommy, Daddy, and “Ammi” (what he calls his grandmother).  This coming from someone whose prayers previously consisted of “Thank you Jesus for this rice.  Amen!”

Yet, there is much more to consider as we transition into a new year, even if just the thought of what that may actually mean.   Continue reading


See You in 2012!

So, today’s my birthday, along with the late Frank Sinatra and Bob Barker.  My family and I are going to Sri Lanka, and I know what you’re thinking, “Who needs a present when you can see the world?”  My thoughts exactly!  Pictures to be posted when we get back!  

Happy Christmas and Merry New Years!




Christ’s “Greater” Works

 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? he words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that he Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.  (John 14:8-14 NASB)

I notice many people attaching the idea of having “great” faith with the result of “great” works or acts.  People tend to do the “if, then” formulaic statements when it relates to our understanding of Jesus’ explanation of faith with “If you ask Me anything in My name, [then] I will do it” (v.14).  When it doesn’t happen at all, or even perhaps just in the manner expected, we tend to explain that away as either lacking faith or God’s will coming in direct conflict with that which is being asked.  Perhaps what’s simply happening, though, is a misunderstanding of the “anything” Jesus is talking about.  Perhaps our wants and desires are misguided and misappropriated. Continue reading

Appreciating the Intricately Extraordinary

Thanks to Nephele Tempest for posting a link, I just saw a blog that shows a woman who took an incredible amount of time to express her thanks for the local Libraries in her home of Scotland. She is known as the Library Phantom for her anonymity in presenting different locations with her innovative sculptures. This definitely deserves a look.

It’s simply amazing the creativity that may ensue from an individual, especially given her passion for reading and vivid imagination. It’s simply amazing how the human mind behaves and functions, and how the deep affections of some cause even the smallest detail of a thing to be noticed and valued. What is particularly telling of these sculptures is how they relate to her appreciations of the existent libraries.

Upon looking at them, I was reminded of the influence my grandmother had on me growing up, in regard to fine arts and the imagination. Everything at her home drew upon some artsy inspiration or Continue reading

From “Daddy” Adam to “Grandpa” Noah

So, my son has a Toddler Bible that amazingly summarizes Bible stories in extremely short paragraphs within only a couple short pages per story.  My wife and I see much benefit in reading him these stories.  He calms down from the day to read a book (of course Dr. Seuss gets his time), he becomes familiarized with the background narratives that form Scripture, he learns repetition from reading the same few stories over again, and he also learns relational titles such as “Daddy” or “Grandpa”.  Since Adam is seen as a younger adult, along with the notion that he is God’s first actual human (the topic of humanoids [e.g. homo-erectus] is a separate study altogether), Adam gets the tag “Daddy” when we read to him about God’s creation of humanity.  Well, since characters such as Noah and Abraham are illustrated as older (i.e. white hair and staffs) they are deemed “Grandpa”.

But, in reading to him I am again reminded of the Genesis narratives.  I know it’s been popular with many Young-Earth creationists to analyze and presume human age-lengths when reading the Old Testament genealogies for the purpose of dating Earth to an approximate date of 6,000 to 10,000 years ago; however, that unnecessary presumption always leads away from the more important questions.  On a side note, I’m not so certain the genealogies are precise Continue reading