Wednesday, December 26, 2012


A recent article form The Telegraph (UK) cites something pretty interesting regarding the role of "dad" most men are absent from these days. The article states:

"When it comes to Christmas, it might be safe to assume children will ask Santa for an extensive list of toys, games and treats.

But a survey of their typical lists for Father Christmas has shown many have more serious concerns, requesting "a dad" instead.

A study of 2,000 British parents found most children will put a new baby brother or sister at the top of their Christmas list, closely followed by a request for a real-life reindeer.

A "pet horse" was the third most popular choice, with a "car" making a bizarre entry at number four.

Despite their material requests, the tenth most popular Christmas wish on the list was a 'Dad'" (Furness, 2012).

Now, my initial reaction to this is that of the classic line from Ace Ventura, "Leh hoo ze herr". How in the world could things have gotten so bad that children, in the UK at least, would put a DAD near the top of their list for Santa Claus?

Seriously, stop and think about this for a moment. If you grew up with a father I bet you could think of 100 things to ask Santa for, and when you ran out of ideas of the things you would like to have, a dad wouldn't have even been a flashing thought in your mind. Perhaps "spending more time with dad" would make a distant spot in your top 50, but just simply "DAD" as an average top 10 placement -- that points to a serious problem. My wife said that she remembered her father (a business man) telling her something to the effect of "All you have to do is just show up on time and do your job...that will make you stand out!"


Perhaps there were several participants who had lost their fathers prematurely to an illness or accident? Perhaps this points to the "collateral damage" of gay marriage? Perhaps this gets at a deeper issue, one that some might simply write off as an "unintended consequence" of science interfering in biology?

We could inductively seek the answer, and that's just what our society does these days. We (at least the media) search for the cause behind the effect. Just like the shooters in Connecticut, Colorado, Fort Hood, and Columbine, we seek out every possible missing variable to solve the equation. And while that might be good, I can't help but think that sometimes we just simply don't want to deal with the reality of the situation. Our society today is going into a moral decline.

Granted this study was conducted in England, but can Americans really vouch for the men in their own country as being much better; on average? Ethics, manners, hard work, and taking responsibility seem to be missing from the equation today. It almost sounds antiquated and sad to suggest that our schools need to teach etiquette, but it used to be taught in school. I can assure you that such subjects are being taught to our kids. Call us old fashioned. It is pathetic to even think that children need to be taught how to earn their lot in life, but our society seems bent on breeding a nation of people knocking on their neighbor's door with an empty plate in their hands expecting it to be filled, not a rake or shovel in hand asking if they need any help.

Are these sentiments really just too old fashioned? Am I barking up a tree that was planted in the 1800's, or am I on the cusp of tomorrow's great awakening? Men in general need to get with it. Grab a shovel when you get home tonight, walk next door, (if you have kids take them with you!) and clear off your neighbor's driveway. Not because you think the widow inside will give you $20 so you can go buy lottery tickets, do it because you want to model hard work - or God forbid a little charity - to tomorrow's generation. Do it because you are young enough to still do it. Do it because you are out of shape and need some exercise. I don't care what the reason or motivation is that you find, just do it!

Do you remember the PSA/commercials that said, "Take time and be a dad"? I can do them one better. How about "Take time and learn to be a man" first? How about that, America?

Furness, H. (2012). Retrieved December 26, 2012 from site;

Friday, December 21, 2012

Snow, wind, ice, Walmart hell, spilled milk: but most of all thanks

Last evening was the first of what I hope to be many wonderful years of Christmas time memories. We decorated Christmas cookies. I know, I know, that's so cliché to say. Isn't decorating cookies as a family a requirement - at least once - while your kids are young?

There's something so magical about the build-up to the moment. If you're family is like ours, you go to the store to buy the ingredients because you don't have them in the cupboard like most. One person takes the kids (in this case it was me) while the other stays at home making last minute preparations, and the one doing the shopping calls the one at home to ask what ingredients are needed, only to have to wait for the person at home to get on Recipe Czar and find out.

Once you get to the store, in our case it was Walmart, you walk the aisles of the grocery section finding the perfect ingredients. Passing the baking powder, you spend five minutes looking for vanilla, you forget about the sprinkles and various colorful toppings, you go to the back of the store to get the butter, come back to the front to find candy, and eventually you have it all...once you go back through the middle of the grocery and find the baking powder. Then, after you find all of these ingredients, you realize - just in time - that you don't have cookie cutters. So you walk nearly every square inch of Walmart looking for cutters only to find that they placed an entire aisle of Christmas cookie decorating supplies, complete with cookie cutters (and baking powder), in an aisle next to the linens. Of course! Towels, picture frames, cookie supplies.

After you fight through the throngs of the other 2,000 last-minute gift and supplies shoppers, pay for your goods, get the kids' coats back on, and dredge the cart through the slushy wintery mix that blasted your town during the past hour of Walmart hell, you can finally head home to begin your homemade Rockwell Christmas.

Inside, Tony Bennett, Harry Connick, Jr. and Barry Manilow adorn your Spotify playlist. You find your rolling pin that was thrown in the back of the cabinet after regretfully doing this last year; you clear off the counter top and the magic begins. Batch after batch of crispy golden Christmas delight comes out of the oven. The kids are hopped-up on cream cheese icing by now, the tops of the sugar sprinkle canisters are clogged with icing because your youngest - if he's like mine - can't quit doing sugar shots with them, and momma is already dreading 4 more batches that daddy is preparing to pull out of the oven.

Then it happens. The final cookie is frosted, sprinkled, and topped with a non-traditional Hershey's Kiss. The kids are shuffled down the hallway to the bathroom to have their faces, hands, forearms, foreheads, hair, ears, necks, elbows, and bellies, wiped off before going to bed. They crash from the massive sugar high they have been riding, the house quiets and mom and dad get some time to clean up and have a couple of cookies in peace.

But there was something about this year that made me pause over and over, whether I was in Walmart jockeying for those Hershey's Kisses or pulling the icing spoon from my youngest child's clasp again and again. It was a thought that caused me to continuously give thanks to God for the blessings and memories we were enjoying before our eyes, and not get hung up on a messy kitchen or frosting-stained children and clothes.

It was the thought of all of those who don't get the opportunity to spend Christmas with their children this year. While I warm my bones from fighting the slushy parking lot at Walmart to go home and decorate cookies with my family, many families on the east coast have no home at all. While I dig my cart of kids and groceries through the snow, 28 graves are being dug in Connecticut. The list of analogies could go on and on, but I wanted to take a moment and ask you all to be thankful during the busyness of the holidays.

Be thankful if you are able to watch your kids open presents around your tree on Christmas morning. Be thankful if you have those 4 or 5 basic ingredients for a batch of cookies, as well as the basic ingredients that make a complete family. We can go crazy and flip out over the proverbial spilled milk, or we can be glad that we have little ones after which to clean up. We can go crazy and flip out over the long lines at Walmart, or we can be glad that we have the funds and resources to go shopping. We can be filled with anger and a little bit of rage while we drive 20mph below the speed limit on our way home in windy and icy conditions, or we can be thankful that we still have a house to walk into and call home.

Take a few minutes after you read this to pause and give thanks.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sow it, and it will grow

"These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matt. 10:5-6)

I have read right over this and never given it any thought. Why does Jesus instruct them to go not into any city of the "non Jew" (being that of the Samaritans), but instead specifically to only the Jews? At least, that is what I infer from this.

Theologian John Gill offers this:

"he commanded them, as their Lord and Master; he gave them strict orders, which he expected them to comply with, and closely enjoined them, as they must answer it to him again, saying, go not into the way of the Gentiles; meaning, not the customs' and manners of the Heathens, they were to avoid; but that they were not to steer their course, or take their journey towards them: they were not, as yet, to go among them, and preach the Gospel to them; the calling of the Gentiles was not a matter, as yet, so clearly revealed and known, nor was the time of their calling come: besides it was the will of God, that the Gospel should be first preached to the Jews, to take off all excuse from them, and that their obstinacy and perverseness in rejecting Jesus as the Messiah, might manifestly appear; and since Christ himself was the minister of the circumcision, he would have his apostles, for the present, whilst he was on earth, act agreeably to the character he bore, that there might be an entire harmony in their conduct."

We can take from this a spiritual maturity and growth process that the Lord will reveal and provide in all of us. It is not necessarily our place to go and preach, or in some cases nag and annoy others "in the name of Jesus" until we truly know the power and deliverance to which we are preaching, or until our ultimate and true calling has been given to us from above.

I have been looking for a message of Christian maturity for some time now, but the right verse seemed to elude me; yes, despite all of the incredible messages from Paul.

Have you been saved and felt God's commission on your life to "go to the ends of the earth" and testify, but you feel as though once you get there you'll be silenced by your critics? You feel as though you are prepared to preach the message of salvation to all who may, or may not, want to listen, but once you get that out, ask yourself "How will I ever explain this beyond that moment?"

Maybe God is urging you to be cautious and not run before you can walk, really, really well? Maybe God is urging you be steadfast in His Word, and allow it to seep into and fill the cracks and voids you yourself know to be empty? Maybe, just maybe, He has a plan that if you wait patiently for, will be fulfilled 100x's over. Maybe, just maybe, once Christ initially commissions the Twelve, His disciples, it is then that He unveils the parable of the sower (ch. 13) to explain how the seed sown on good soil, nurtured, watered, and properly cared for, yields a harvest better than any other.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

AUTHORITY (Matt. 7-9)


"for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes" (Mt. 7:29).

"For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, 'Go!' and he goes, and to another, 'Come!' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this!' and he does it" (Mt. 8:9).

"But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" (Mt. 9:6).

"But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men" (Mt. 9:8).

"Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority" (Mt. 10:1)

As I read through Matthew 7-9 this evening, the word "authority" stood out to me like never before. Jesus had authority, but it was not in the sense of the religious leaders of the Jewish faith were accustomed to. His authority was not considered an earthly authority, let alone one of a divine nature, yet He spoke, taught, healed, and rebuked evil with authority. What is in the word Matthew uses in his Gospel account that will give us some insight into the authority of Jesus?

In Mt. 7:29, authority is "eksousía" ("delegated power") which refers to the authority God gives to His saints – authorizing them to act to the extent they are guided by faith (His revealed word). Matthew uses the word "authority" a total of ten times throughout his Gospel account (according to the NASB translation), and one-half of those uses occur within just 3.5 of the total 28 chapters, all of which occuring once Jesus' ministry begins. What is Matthew trying to stress to his Jewish readers?

Greek To Me

This Greek work "eksousía" is derived from two words. "Ek" that has a two-layered meaning (out from and to) which makes it out-come oriented (out of the depths of the source and extending to its impact on the object), and "eimí" meaning "I am, exist." Therefore, it should become easier to comprehend how Jesus' eksousía is a delegated power given of the heavenly Father that simply "is" in Him.

Biblos offers this: "eimí ("is, am") – in the present tense, indicative mood – can be time-inclusive ("omnitemporal," like the Hebrew imperfect tense). Only the context indicates whether the present tense also has "timeless" implications. For example, eimí is aptly used in Christ's great "I am" that also include His eternality (self-existent life) as our life, bread, light," etc. See Jn 7:34, 8:58. (1)

In comparison to the authority of the earthly leaders, that of the Pharisees and teachers of the Law, Jesus' authority was sourced by the Spirit, not that of a proxy or council, and was clearly being exhibited in His early teachings

Why didn't I see this before?

Leaning on the Word is vital to Christians, but we must not be afraid to dig into the text and discover the treasures of its context. Here, even though I extend the assignment by one verse (SUE ME!), Matthew is bringing the authority of the Messiah to a Jewish audience that had known nothing beyond that of their synagogue leaders. Let's keep reading and see how Jesus' authority is used and tested.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fareed Zakaria: Plagiarism 101

Credit: CNN
By now folks, I hope you are not under the impression that I have "lifted" or "used" another person's work when it comes to my written material. Who else has a sick, bordering on psychotic infatuation with Whales crackers, after all? (BTW: my suggestion for a limited time offering of Whales 'with bacon' to Stauffer's has still not received a response - I'll keep you posted)

That said, in light of the recent accusations of plagiarism leveled against CNN host, The Washington Post, and Time Magazine, Fareed Zakaria, I can say nothing more than I am simply stunned that this sort of thing happens at the highest level of journalism. Are you?

When news of Mr. Zakaria's alleged activity broke days ago, my first reaction was not only surprise to the idea that someone at the top of the journalist and multimedia world would actually stoop to the level of simply cheating, but shocked at the idea that a mere suspension was given. At least, thus far.

I have attended college (online) for the past three years. Every single paper...EVERY SINGLE PAPER...I submit is required to be constructed in precise APA format with a cover page. Moreover, EVERY SINGLE PAPER I submit is to have a statement of academic honesty affixed at the bottom of said cover page. It reads:
I have read and understand the plagiarism policy as outlined in the syllabus and the sections in the Student Bulletin relating to the IWU Honesty/Cheating Policy. By affixing this statement to the title page of my paper, I certify that I have not cheated or plagiarized in the process of completing this assignment.  If it is found that cheating and/or plagiarism did take place in the writing of this paper, I understand the possible consequences of the act/s, which could include expulsion from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Plagiarism is defined by as "An act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author's work as one's own, as by not crediting the original author."

Should Mr. Zakaria be fired? Is a fine sufficient? As a writer, frankly, I'm appalled.

What are we to infer from all of this? Is it that in today's political environment there is nothing new worthy of reporting or commenting on, therefore, it is necessary to go back and recycle stories from 2009 as your own? Talk about lame.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

They Say, I Say

They Say, I Say
A guide to developing good content

They say, I say -- huh? Who says what, I say what? That's almost as confusing as the whole "who's on first" bit from Abbot & Costello!

This book title was a bit confusing to me at first, too. But after about two pages it made perfect sense. This is a book about the infamous "they" and all the things they say that always seem ambiguous, are usually anonymous, and typically as absurd as any arguments get.

You know...

THEY say it's likely going to rain...this week.
THEY say there's a good chance the Reds will win the pennant this season.
THEY say the economy is getting stronger.

What's the point?

Glad you asked. This book is based on making use of templates for arguing or creating dialogue in one's writing. Rather than expecting authors to just sit down and pull great topics from their mind (though I contend many can) accompanied with techniques for supporting the claim of your premise or thesis, this book gives numerous options for creating meaningful, engaging content while not relegating you to that of a writer only capable of creating ten or twenty new topics.

For example

The first exercise I encountered was this:
"If ever there was an idea custom-made for a Jay Leno monologue, this was it: (__________). Isn’t that like (__________)?

Whatever happened to (__________).

I happen to sympathize with (__________), perhaps (__________).

My response:

If ever there was an idea custom-made for a Jay Leno monologue, this was it: Congress can spend America out of its debt. Isn’t that like telling yourself "I make less than what I spend, and I owe more than what I'm worth, but by taking on more credit cards I'll eventually become debt free!"

Whatever happened to living within our means and not our egregious desires?

I happen to sympathize with politicians though, perhaps because I too might be tempted to promise everything to everybody if I were about to lose my job.

Think about it. How would you fill-in the blanks? Let me know.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

'Whales' from the dad side

I love my family. I love to write. I love to learn. But deep inside, I have a deep affection.

Some might call it an addiction while others might say it's a mere infatuation.

It rules my thoughts - typically late into the evening - and controls my actions in Walmart.

I get frustrated, irritated, and downright infuriated when they're sold out.

If I get home and there are none in the cabinet, well, let's just say you don't want to see that happen.

I'm talking about Whales. No, not Goldfish; not some other knockoff brand that may be out there.  Dads: you know what I mean...don't act like you don't!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Look out, LaSorda!

Day two of this crash course weight loss "diet" - things are going well. Of course I didn't think I was going to hear the response from my wife when I divulged my perfectly devised strategy to health.

Me: Okay, here it is. I have a bunch of protein powder leftover from my last go at running and physical fitness. Rather than depleting my body of calories (a.k.a. fasting) I'm going to do a protein milkshake for breakfast, another for lunch, and we'll eat a healthy portion-controlled dinner. No late night snacking. No added coffee. No snacks or sugar. I will do this for ONE week and I'm sure to lose weight.

Wife: Oh, so you're doing Slim Fast! That works for a lot of people.

Me: What? Slim Fast? It's not Slim!

Wife: Hahahaha, yes it is.

Me: You're right. Now that I think about it, I remember those famous Tommy LaSorda commercials back in the 80's-90's.
"I had a delicious shake for breakfast, one for lunch, and then a sensible dinner."

Hey, if he lost weight, so can I!


Can't park....can't park....can't park as close as me!

I vow to not make this a political ranting have my word on that.

Recently, while visiting a newly constructed building, as I approached the fresh blacktop - stop noticeable by its distinct smell from nearly a mile away - I saw about a dozen or so signs erected in the front row of the parking lanes.

As I approached I noticed that several were blue, obviously painted as such for the handicapped. But what about these other spots that were painted orange?

  • Reserved for staff?
  • Expectant mothers like at Baby's-R-Us?
  • Visitor parking?
  • Employee of the month?
  • Senior citizens?
  • Vans with side or rear ramps?
Credit: Ben Douglas

Answer: none of the above! These spaces were reserved for "FUEL EFFICIENT PARKING." I guess that's different than fuel efficient cars, or fuel efficient mopeds? Somehow "PARKING" now gets its own spot, too?

Why does a fuel efficient vehicle get preferential treatment? Wouldn't it make more sense from an environmental standpoint to have the less efficient vehicles park closer to the building, thus reducing their distance and carbon emissions as they drive circles around the lot looking for the closest possible spot?

What is the real objective here? Is it to make me want to buy a fuel efficient something so I can park closer than you? Is it a university's way of wagging their finger in my face if I still choose to drive about town in a hooptie or, God forbid, an SUV? Did the university find a loophole in governmental funding and by claiming "GREEN" parking were able to access government money to fund this project?

I often wonder why fuel efficiency, compact and electric cars, today, are getting such privileged treatment. If this parking spot were painted the exact same, in the same location but the sign read "RESERVED: Muslim Parking Only," or "RESERVED: Christian Parking Only," or "RESERVED: Whites Only," could you image how fast the ACLU and NAACP (amongst others) would be protesting? I doubt the construction worker would even be able to install all of the signs before hearing the chants of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. And perhaps rightfully so - our country has made huge strides towards equality of human and civil rights. Some would argue we're close to equal while others would say we're nowhere near.

Still, what about equal car rights? Why does fuel efficient parking - I mean, cars - get special privileged treatment? This happens to be on a college campus. They're kids! They can walk a few extra feet! GEESH!!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

It's GO time

Here it is. Day one.

I am done with the sugary-filled late night snacking. I am writing off, for good (this time), the 'seconds' trip to the stove after dinner round one. I am forever changing my ways as an apathetic couch potato by replacing them with goals and aspirations of health and endurance.

I am officially entering the world of dieting.

My brilliant strategy in the past has been to simply not eat as much. I suppose years and years of training my stomach to rely on mass quantities of glutinous proportions on a daily basis has brought this concept to a screeching halt.

The last time I attempted to lose weight I reduced my daily caloric intake by significant proportions. Why? Simply because I had an appointment and physical screening seven days from submitting my application for a life insurance policy and I knew the forty(+) extra pounds I was carrying would put me in a higher rate class.

Result: I did ok on the exam, my weight was higher than expected, and I never completed the application process.
Failure. (p.s. I know that scale weighed at least four pounds higher than ours.)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Dad Life (yeah, I live it)

Couldn't help but simply share this funny clip posted by pastor Tim Minks from his Facebook page.

Titled "Dad Life Rap".....yeah, I suppose I relate to some of this -- you know you do too!

Friday, August 3, 2012


I now have a new title in life. I am a stay-at-work-dad.

I love to work when I leave and I love to be dad when I'm home. So what exactly do I mean?

Let's look at a day in the life of our family's stay-at-home-mom:  

She takes care of the kids and house from rise to rest. Let me be more specific.

  • Up all night worrying about sleeping kids
  • Up all night taking care of said kids that should be resting but have to pee
  • Up all night trying to find something she can leave muted on t.v. to help her go back to sleep before other said resting kid loses Pooh Bear or wants a drink
  • Awakened around 6:30AM by at least on kid saying: "Drink please, mommy.......oatmeal too!"
  • Brew a pot of coffee
  • Segue from breakfast to the youngest child stating, "Need to go pee!"
  • Segue into oldest child, now awake and alert, demanding to do dishes in order to save money so he can buy some desperately needed game
  • Due to a lack of sleep, suddenly surprised to learn the clock on the oven is accurate and her sense of time is skewed - camp for oldest kid actually started 5 minutes ago, not in coming 55 minutes
  • Put animals in their place, strap on shoes, grab essentials and leave in 3 minutes
  • Hang out with youngest child before picking up oldest (on time this time)
  • Drive home to "eat" lunch, knowing in reality she'll be the chef, server and kitchen manager, and of course the last to eat (if at all)
  • Argue, again, why they will take a nap
  • Lay down and several minutes later wake to the doorbell
  • Lay back down and minutes later the phone rings
  • Lay back down and minutes later have a door-to-door salesman ring her doorbell: "Um, yes, I'm offering to remodel your home for $1,000..."

  • Decide to stay up and plan the afternoon, then realize there's an emergency outside, like the mulch bed is on fire!
  • Play fireman with her neighbor and go back inside
  • Turn coffee pot back on to reheat original pot
  • Realize the 2hr nap is over as she hears both children say, "Drink please, mommy!"
  • Wishes she could put on Curious George reruns all afternoon, followed by Dinosaur Train, followed by Word World, then turn on Netflix, but realizes she has to go to the store for ingredients for dinner
  • Plan a menu, feed the cat, water the dog, issue a spanking or two, resolve another argument, and reach for coffee cup. No creamer in the fridge
  • Come home from the grocery store and begin prepping dinner
  • Fix a boo-boo from outside
  • Fix a broken ( ____ ) that can't wait
  • Go to the bathroom for the first time that day
  • Re-reheat original pot of coffee (still haven't had her first cup)
  • Start dinner, clean remaining dishes and pick up clothes, shoes and toys throughout house
  • Husband comes home and takes off shoes
  • Actually leave the house by herself for a 1hr Zumba class, then find her spot has been hijacked
  • Come home to eat cold dinner she prepared 2hrs ago
  • Fight off kids for bites of her food because they are again hungry
  • Help husband help kids brush teeth
  • Help husband find PJ's that fit, then help husband dress kids
  • Help husband put kids to bed
  • Put kids back in bed for next hour while trying to talk to husband who is already "losing his mind"
  • Go to the bedroom and put clothes away she picked up 3hrs ago
  • Turn on t.v., turn off lamp, start to fall asleep
  • Wake to husband's snoring and bed bullying tactics
  • Move to the couch and wake up at least one child when the door closes
  • Repeat...
 Let's look at a day in the life of our family's stay-at-work-dad:
  • Gets up at 6:00AM and quietly get ready
  • Wake up at least one child, accidentally, while looking for keys or as first phone call rings throughout the house
  • Go to work and brew coffee
  • Spend 30 minutes checking online news and Facebook from previous night
  • Talk to adults
  • Go to nice lunch with a salesman
  • Relax in private office as needed throughout the day
  • Leave work at 4:00PM
  • Turn on Netflix when wife goes to Zumba (a.k.a. hang out with kids)
  • Eat dinner when timer goes off
  • Expel a huge sigh of relief when wife comes home from Zumba
  • Ask wife for help with brushing kids' teeth
  • Ask wife for help with finding PJ's that fit
  • Ask wife for help putting kids to bed
  • After kids go to bed tell wife EVERYTHING that happened that day; in detail
  • Go to bed and sleep through the night
  • Wake up surprised to have bed all to himself
  • Repeat...

Our stay-at-home-mommy is a rockstar. Let me rephrase that: ALL stay-at-home-moms are rockstars. Ron Burgundy once said, "Hey, leave the mothers out of this!" But they deserve respect and honor owed them.

I have trouble expressing myself verbally to her, and I feel I rarely give her the kudos, praise, love and real respect she both deserves and earns each and every day.

My life would be a mess without her.

I have managed our house for a entire day by myself and I wouldn't take that job if you paid me. I love our kids....but seriously!

I will remain, therefore, a part of the workforce and stay-at-work-dad, committed to my family and my sanity.

(dedicated to my wife, best friend, and partner Kylie)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I want to be an ( _________ )...

As life passes by and another day is spent in a job I really love - a job that not only pays the bills but affords me ample time to think, meditate, and potentially chart the coming course I so desperately seek to navigate - I find myself sitting and trying to devise an actual meaningful post. If for no other reason than my own amusement.

1. What do people want to discuss?

I don't want to discuss politics anymore. I am tired of beating the political horse of "Your guy said this, and even though my guy said that it's still okay because..." to death. In the end I'm going to go to the polls in November and vote.

However, it seems like these days people aren't interested in creating their own topics and drawing upon their personal experiences and thoughts.

People want to sit back and merely criticize original thought.
People want to observe and simply correct.
People want to inexplicably judge and cite others' flaws.

I know I'm guilty of this. I'm also tired of being as such.

2.  What do people want to do?

All of you reading this post right now, are you 'doing' what you want to do in life? I am working with a great non-profit in my city (SPPRAK) on a project and they have exposed me to Jon Acuff's book Quitter. As a result, I am falling passionately in love with this aspect of my life and wishing I had more time each day to devote to it.

The truth of the matter is: I do, I just spend much of my valuable time arguing with people on Facebook about something that will not affect my decision - or theirs - come November.


As I near the end of my college courses I am reminded of how I actually got started on this site and how I first learned I love to write. It was in a basic writing class.

I began the process of applying a simple script with no ending and being told to finish it up. I was assigned to read a story about electrical insulators and one man's crazy desire to collect them, then come up with a story idea of my own that would pass the facilitator's standards and score well against the grading rubric.

I soon found myself thinking a one page reflection each week was nothing when the expected weekly response would soon become a 4-5 page analysis of a single word from a language that no longer exists.

Given the time I spend on social networking sites devising ways to advertise my disdain for another person's opinion I have not once met - or shared a cup of coffee - with clever character inflections, I have quickly gleaned that this blog can offer me so much more.

I don't know truly how I will use this gift and if it will ever be for a full-time opportunity; or if it will even bring in a "real" paycheck. I do know that in the thirty minutes my wife and I allow each other to sit next to each other discussion-free and unfettered computer usage, I find myself lost and piling up ideas about which to expound.

Tozer Reflection

Is there a relationship between our attitude toward God and how he receives us when we come to Him?

This is another one of those perplexing questions: the answer seems easy enough from to answer, yet my abilities to relay what is in my mind seem not sufficient given the analysis I am asked to provide.

I believe Tozer addresses this* where he discusses how Christ walked the earth: as a means of expressing the Father’s love for those who seek Him.

As I see it...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Paul's Portrait of Justification

Justification, as presented by the apostle Paul, was perhaps best stated in Romans 3:23-24, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (NIV). Here, as the apostle describes, the justified is, simply put, one who is declared righteous or just. The believer is made righteous, or justified, by the Lord and cleared of all charges (punishment) related to their sins. This verb, used fourteen times by the apostle through this particular letter to the Romans, is described as the act of the Lord declaring, with authority as in a judicial sense, the repentant heart justified or cleared of all sin.

We, as faithful believers, continue to be justified by God’s grace as we permit our faith to work in love and as we walk in the light of God. This is done in by two means: trust and obedience. We must first trust in the Lord and His holy Word in our lives, and we must second obediently respond to the grace offered to us, in faith.

How does this justification come to us, then?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Practicing Freedom in Christ

Paul urges all brothers and sisters to “carry each other’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2), or troubles. As a Body of believers, we should help our members when one is weak. We can experience this through fellowshipping with one another and developing knowledge of one another; developing a knowledge of our gifts, strengths and weaknesses. The point of Paul’s remarks here is that while we are individual parts comprising one larger entity (the Church), no one person can be totally independent. Paul is remarking on their ignorance that they can accomplish salvation or righteousness by themselves.

As members of the adopted Body, they must learn to work together – carrying their own load as purposed, but helping one another for the growth of the Church.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Another Milestone!

Since May 2009 I have been diligently plugging away at the completion of my undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies via Indiana Wesleyan. I just completed my final analysis paper: a thirteen page reflection on Philemon and the virtues of Christian living it offers. The shortest book in the Bible proved - to me - to be the greatest challenge thus far. However, I have just seven more electives before I cross the finish line. Until then I plan to devote more time here and hopefully build our base. Help spread the Word (get it?!?) and share Holy Hoosier with your friends! Let's get our readership up and reach more people!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Galatians: Paul's Position

Paul’s theological position on the relationship of believers to the law is of key importance in his epistle to the Galatian believers. It was through revelatory experience that Paul, a once esteemed Pharisee and persecutor of the Church (1:15, 16), received the Gospel through Jesus Christ (1:12c) as is evidenced in the opening four verses of this epistle. Paul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Ac. 9) and inferred revelation from Him in the three years leading to his ministry were perhaps an intense time of study and spiritual growth in his life.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Poll of Americans: Better a Mormon than a Muslim in White House

If there's one thing we are sure to see in this year's upcoming race for the White House it is that religion will come into play at some point. Is Mitt Romney's faith sufficient for Christians? A recent poll published by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life states 12% of those polled (out of 2,973 adults) are uncomfortable with the President's religion -- half the level of discomfort as Romney. But what gets me in this article -- a statistic that is worth noting -- is that only 6% say Obama's religion is irrelevant. That doesn't mean only 6% think his religion is of little importance, that could infer the other 94% think is religion is extremely relevant.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

John Wesley's Calling to America

Here are some facts of Wesley:

•    Born in Epworth, England in the year 1703
•    He was a prolific evangelist in both Europe as well as America
•    He was an Anglican priest and founder of the Methodist movement
•    His teachings, known as Wesleyanism, provided the seeds for: the modern Methodist movement, the Holiness movement, Pentecostalism, the Charismatic Movement, and Neo-charismatic churches, which encompass numerous denominations across the world.
•    In addition, he refined Arminianism (the teachings of theologian Jacobus Arminius) with a strong evangelical emphasis on the Reformed doctrine of justification by faith; consistent with the Gentile teachings of the apostle Paul. 

Wesley, however, was not called outright by God; not called, that is, by a divine, booming voice from the heavens. 

I recently came across an old book on Wesley’s ministry and missionary journey to America:

In 1735, the trustees of the colony of Georgia – in America – had been looking about for proper persons to send to the colony, to preach to the settlers and to the Indiana, and had fixed their eyes on him. 

Attached, as Wesley was, to Oxford, the proposition to GO on the mission to America, did not, at first, strike him favorably. In fact (it says) he raised several objections. 

Instead of accepting the proposition, at first, Wesley returned to Epworth to consult his mother; he supposed it would deeply grieve her to be left. He consulted with his sister, Emily, who – just as his mother did – urged him, “GO, my brother!” as did one of his brothers, Samuel. 

He consulted several able and distinguished men, and the all advised him to GO. It is clear from this that Wesley would never decide on any matter, till he had what he conceived a good reason for it.

Wesley believed the LORD had three modes if guiding men in the way He would have them GO: 

1.    To some, the LORD gives a divine impression.

2.    To others, in a more spiritual accordance with His Word, He gives an apt and convincing Scripture.
3.    To others, He gives a clear reason for that particular line of duty which they should adopt. This might be called “Providence” in a person’s life 

Wesley had been considered the poor man’s friend and his heart ached for the poor, desolate, dregs of English society. He felt the desire, upon further investigation and analysis of America, to bring the Gospel to the Indians. It says in this book that his, “Heart yearned to preach the Gospel to him; to kneel with him, in his rude wigwam, and offer up the prayer of faith to the great Being who ‘made of one blood all nations of men!’” 

Through many days of discussion and no doubt deep prayerful thought, Wesley gave the trustees of Georgia his consent to GO on the mission. 

Though, not ALL of his acquaintances approved his decision.
One reminded him of his position at Oxford; that he had provision for life and was in line for a promotion. This individual said to him, “And yet, you are leaving?” 

Wesley responds in a manner that surely was of a divine, godly state:
“Sir, if the Bible be NOT true, I am as very a fool and madman as you can conceive. BUT, if that book be of God, I am sober-minded; for it declares, “There is no man that hath left house, or friends, or brethren, for the kingdom of God’s sake, who shall NOT receive manifold more in the present time, and in the world to come everlasting life!” (Luke 18:29) 

On October 14, 1735, John Wesley, in accompaniment with one of his brothers, Charles, and other men, boarded a merchant ship – AGAINST THE ADVICE OF MEN WHOM HE CONFERRED, though in the will of the Lord – to America. 

Sometimes those closest to us – in our midst; our inner circle – are not there because of God. The ultimate conclusion about where God wants to lead us and why God has credited us with the gifts He has endowed upon us, will always be found in the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hugo Chavez weeps for God's mercy: what about you?

Easter is often a time spent reflecting on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and the miraculous Resurrection three days later from the empty tomb (Luke 24:1-8).

Sent into this world to be the savior for all mankind, Jesus was crucified following the incessant demands of the Jewish leaders (Mark 15:13-14) at the washed hands of the Roman Procurator, Pontius Pilate.

As Jesus was on hanging on the cross, there were two men hanging with him (Luke 23:32-34). We know from Roman history that the penalty of crucifixion was for the worst of criminals, therefore we can infer the two men hanging next to him were as such. Continuing in Luke's Gospel, as one man hurls insults at Jesus (v. 39) the other asks to walk in the eternal Kingdom with Him (v. 42). The remarkable thing is that Jesus' love for mankind was so strong that His immediate response was not not deep thought or rebuke, rather it was simply "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise" (v. 43).