Thursday, July 31, 2008

away from my blog

I will be taking a break from my blog from August 4-12. I am refreshing myself with the mountain breezes of Felton, California and the ocean sounds of Santa Cruz.

I will share the highlights when I return...

Monday, July 28, 2008

a grandparent's lament

A cruise with fifty-two family members on any account is a cruise to remember. We had a great time, highlighted by quality and quantity time with eight of our grandchildren, including four month old, Brady, who we have seen just a few times before.

Here are my conclusions following our family outing...
1, We live too far away from all of our grandchildren.
2. At our "ripening" age grandchildren are critically important to our life.
3. We have to make some changes in our schedule to see them more often.

The challenge is that I have a very demanding fulltime job and my eleven grandchidlren are scattered from here to Texas!

JJ, our grandson from Texas, will be joing us this week for a nine day stay. He will be nine in September so this is an adventure for him and a thrill for us to have him all to ourselves. We have all kinds of things planned, including a few days camping near Santa Cruz.

But, alas...

We will have to say good-bye until the next time we get together--it could be 3-6 months--and that is much too long.

Grandkids are a top priority in our lives and we continue to look for ways to have quality and quantity time together with--Sage, Eden, Zeke, Haaken, Kyle, Julianne, Nate, Brady, JJ, Milla and Owen.

We can't always plan on mom arranging a cruise for the whole family!

Thanks, mom!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

family reunion

For a part of this next week Beverly and I will be doing something probably unheard of, or at least highly unusual--meeting on a cruise ship with every member of her mother's family, that is 52 of us. That includes all of her mother's children, spouses, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Everyone is coming...a gift of Bev's eighty-four year old mother!

We are sailing to Cabo San Lucas and will be gone for five days and four nights and stopping only there. I can't iamgine what it will be like for us all to eat together and keep track of one another, but it should be exciting and entertaining. And it will be such a thrill for Henrietta--Bev's mom--to be surrounded by all of us who love here.

Anyway, I will be away from my blog until after July 22nd.

Wish me "happy sailing!"!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I am a Tim Keller fan anyway. A member of our church family suscribed several years for us to his weekly sermon tapes. It was a wonderful gift and Beverly and I grew to respect Keller's unrelenting commitment to preaching the truth and communciating with intellectual New Yorkers checking out Christianity.

Keller's recently-released book, The Reason for God, is addressed to people with doubts...doubts about subjects we are often reluctant to discuss. Keller addreses them with his typical insightfulness and from a rational perspective that does not preclude faith, but encourages it. He deals with subjects such as suffering in the world, hell, the exclusivity of Christianity, and other topics that cause the juices of doubt to flow deeply...sometimes even in the veins of believers.

I like Keller because he makes me think. His "take" is usually a little different than mine might be, and I find that refreshing. His immersion in the inner city makes him a sensitive spokesman for the masses out there on the streets searching. Hopefully, in Keller's book they are challenged to look carefully at the God revealed in the Word.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

What's negotiable?

When it comes to marriage with my wife, some things are negotiable, and some are not. We can negotiate about who waters the plants on the deck, whose turn it is to wash the dishes, and, even, whether or not a new plasma television for watching sports is in the budget.

What is not negotiable is whether I brush my teeth and bathe daily...and who I make love to. Those things we have agreed are non-negotiable.

In my faith there are some things that are negotiable as well. We can debate about what the Bible says about the chronology of events in the "last days" (we could even debate about whether or not these are the "last days"). We can argue about whether or not all the gifts of the Spirit are for this day and age, or, whether or not some of them ended with the apostolic age.

But, again, some things are not negotiable...and at the top of that list is the authority of the Word of God.

We are living in times where everything is considered negotiable and everything has to be accepted in the name of tolerance. What some describe as the postmodern age of the church is often characterized by the words, "Let's talk. Let's dialogue about our faith. There is nothing that is not potentially negotiable..." It may not be couched in those words, but when hard-pressed some of today's emergent church spokesmen suggest it is arrogant to assume that any theological position we hold to is non-negotiable.

If the authority of God's Word is up for grabs, what truth is there that we can utlimately come to to test the validity of our faith?

My wife is unwilling to negotiate who I am intimate with...and I am counting on the same commitment from her. It's what keeps our trust of one another firmly in place, even during the rocky times of life.

My faith is built on an unserving commitment to the authority of God's Word...and that's what holds me steady whenever everything else seems uncertain. It's not negotiable.