Crazy Amazing

Just when you think you’ve seen everything…

Amazing Debate

I’m not sure how many of the three of you caught this debate last night on ABC’s Nightline called "Does Satan Exist?".  It was held at Mars Hill Church in Seattle and was between Pastor Mark Driscoll (Mars Hill), Annie Lobert (Hookers for Jesus) and Deepak Chopra (a psycho humanist) and "Bishop" Pearson (see Matt. 7:22). 
It was very well done, and ABC has some clips on their website for those that missed it.  Very worth your time.  There are questions that get raised that are questions that we (followers of Jesus) need to think through, and prepared to answer.

Why “Do Church”?

From the people at Desiring God – John Piper’s organization.

Desiring God Blog

Why "Do Church"?

Posted: 25 Mar 2009 07:47 AM PDT

(Author: David Mathis)

Martyn Lloyd-Jones on what the church is for:

The primary task of the Church is not to educate man, is not to heal him physically or psychologically…. I will go further; it is not even to make him good. These are things that accompany salvation; and when the Church performs her true task she does incidentally educate men and give them knowledge and information…she does make them good and better than they were. But my point is that those are not her primary objectives. Her primary purpose is not any of these; it is rather to put man into the right relationship with God, to reconcile man to God. (Preaching & Preachers, 30)

D-Day + 1

So, we spent today getting settled in.  We’ve managed to clear away the boxes, find places for things, and take an inventory of items that were misplaced or sent to the wrong location.  All in all, it can be said that D-Day was a success.  We were able to move nearly everything out of our house in 1 day.  All that remains is some debris in the garage, miscellaneous tools, and a lot of empty paint cans that need to go to the recycle place. 
I think we held up pretty well too.  I remained pretty focused on the job at hand – trying to keep everyone busy so that they wouldn’t feel like their time was meaningless.  Once the house was emptied and cleaned and vacuumed, Dawn made her way through and came out a bit teary-eyed.  As we talked later on the drive to my mom’s she voiced her frustration with herself – she (like me) is fine with the move in her head, but when we talk about it with others, or see the empy house we start to get all emotional.  I know that’s normal, but it still surprises us.
I also think that once I stop back by the house to get the rest of the remnants out, and have a chance to see the house again, I’m pretty sure it’ll really feel like it’s all actually happening.  If that makes sense.
But, overall, we’re doing well, and we’ve really appreciated all the prayers and support from our many friends.  We’re are extremely blessed.

Dear Diary…

This post is an attempt to vomit my thoughts onto something, so I don’t wind up keeping it in and eventually swallowing it again – because… that’s just gross.
A little background…
Today, after nearly 12 years of living in our little home, we are leaving it.  No, we haven’t sold it.  No, we’re not renting it out.  No, we haven’t been found guilty of tax evasion.  We simply cannot afford our house any longer.  No, we didn’t get one of those Adjustable Rate Mortgages.  Our income has dropped significantly over the past year or so, and rather than fight and scrap to keep our house (which we could have done – we could have restructured our loan for a time until we were able to make our normal payments again), we’ve decided to do what’s callled a "Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure", which means we basically give the house back to the bank rather than them taking it later.  And so, we are moving in with my mom for a time, until we can payoff some of our Medical & Tax debt and get our perverbial feet back under us.
Maybe all three of you that read this already know all this, but now you’ve heard it from the source.
So, for me – I’m still waiting to find out how I feel about all this.  Lately, as we’ve worked to get things organized to make the moving process go as smoothly as we can, I’ve been pretty focused on the job at hand, and haven’t given myself time to think or feel.  The times I have noticed how I feel, are the times when I tell people we’re moving in with my mom.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m EXTREMELY GRATEFUL to my mom for taking us in.  But, there is this prideful, sinful part of me that wants to be approved by others and doesn’t want them to think that I’m "that guy" that’s 31 and lives with is mom.  Why do I care what others think about me?  I’m getting better at not caring, but I still do.
Another time I noticed my feelings getting the best of me, was at the thought of moving from our dear friends that live within walking distance.  Granted, we’re not moving across the country, but there’ll be a considerable drive now.  And, I think that’s good – to be sad over such a distance between friends.  That’s something that us Americans can usually care less about.  We don’t let anyone "in" so that we can be independent and "free" to leave when we want.  I am grateful for my community of friends here, and there is going to be a great void in our lives as we "mourn" losing them.
And, just thinking back on our hopes and dreams for our family.  And, how we’ve just known that we are going to live here for the rest of our lives – in our simple little house, overrun by our big family.  Dreaming of the day when the boys would bring their friends and dates here to meet us, and go to dances and playing basketball in the street, and all that stuff.  But, we submit all our dreams to our God, who is in control of ALL THINGS, even this – and we trust that wherever we wind up, as long as our satisfaction is in Him and not our possessions and our dreams, we will be right where we need to be.
It looks like that’s all the vomiting I have for now.  I think I should stop before I resort to the dry heaves, because no one will be happy with that…. 

Bracket Busters

Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t remember a year when there have been this many big upsets this early in the bracket.  Usually there’s maybe one 12 seed that pulls off the miracle to beat the 5 seed, maybe there’ll be two, but I swear this year we’ve got 13’s beating 4’s, and almost every 12 beating their 5.  10’s are beating 7’s regularly.  And even 2’s are almost geting beaten by 15’s!  It’s ridiculous!  And, what’s even more ridiculous is my bracket. 
It reminds me of my high school tests.  Whenever I’d get them back, I’d get like 73% and as I looked over it, I’d say, "That’s the wrong answer!  Why did I answer that way?  Of course that’s wrong!  What was I thinking?!" and I could hardly remember even taking the test, let alone my rationale for answering the way I did.  And, as I look over my bracket this year, I have the same reaction – "Why did I pick every frickin’ school from Utah?  I never pick the mormons!  In fact, I always pick AGAINST them.  What was I thinking?!" 
But the greatest thing about the entire tournament is watching these incredible comebacks and HUGE last second shots, and trash talking the heck out of my friends and comparing my bracket with theirs.  Sometimes it’s incredibly frustrating and totally exhilerating all at the same time.
One of the best games I’ve watched was last nights game between Siena and Ohio State.  2 overtimes and a last second 3 to win it – you just can’t beat it. 
Long live the Bracket…. and GO UNC!!

Our “Baby” is All Grown Up

Today is our youngest’s birthday.  Micah turns 3 today.  And I hope I don’t forget how his birth day came about. 
We had gone to a scheduled checkup with the Midwife (yes, we’re "those" kind of people – the kind that are totally fine giving birth in a dumpster or in the backseat of a dirty city cab, because we’re just that uneducated that we don’t find it necessary to give birth in the "safe and clean" hospital just because everyone else is doing it…), Dawn was in the room with the midwife, and I was walking with our then three boys outside to keep them entertained.  I had a full day of work, and was already behind schedule due to this appointment.  I came in to see how things were going, and the Midwife looked at me and said, "I think we’re going to have a baby today."  To which I graciously replied, "Today? – I’m working today.  How ’bout tomorrow."  To which the Midwife smiled and said, "Well, I think we’re going to have a baby today."  And I just stood there in shock, and tried to figure out what to do next.   Soon, my mom came to pick up our boys, the necessary people came to help with the birth, and by that evening we had our fourth son.
People always ask when we’re going to stop calling Micah our "Baby".  I don’t know how to answer that question, because to me – he IS our baby.  Everything from his cute little dimples on the backs of his pudgy hands, to his adorable little voice, to his slightly "large" physique give daily evidences of his Baby-ness.  And, honestly, I don’t want to have to stop calling him "Baby Micah".  Because that will mean that he’s growing up, and finds me and Dawn even more unnecessary than he does right now. 
And just the fact that our youngest is three today – that by itself is just plain scary.  I remember when each of our boys were three, and that seems to be the age where they grow out of their baby-ness and start becoming boy-ish.  I’m sure that made complete sense. 
Well, happy birthday to Micah – Daddy and Mommy love you more than we should, and we are SO thankful that God has blessed us with you!
We love you!