Wednesday, January 31, 2007

From Phil Ryken on Reformation21 blog...

From Charles Spurgeon, "The First Cry from the Cross":

"These places of worship are not built that you may sit here comfortably, and hear something that shall make you pass away your Sundays with pleasure. A church in London which does not exist to do good in the slums, and dens, and kennels of the city, is a church that has no reason to justify its longer existing. A church that does not exist to reclaim heathenism, to fight with evil, to destroy error, to put down falsehood, a church that does not exist to take the side of the poor, to denounce injustice and to hold up righteousness, is a church that has not right to be. Not for thyself, O church, dost thou exist, any more than Christ existed for himself. His glory was that he laid aside his glory. . . . . To rescue souls from hell and lead to God, to hope, to heaven, this is [the church's] heavenly occupation. O that the church would always feel this!"

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New Pics

Someone's blocking the TV.....

Our little rocker... :-)

Sugar Bear!! How cute!?

man this baby is cute!
I marvel.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

not enough baby

This was taken a couple weeks ago. It was an attempt to catch her at play.. but all she really did was watch me... thats what usually happens when the cameras come out... its tough to get a natural candid shot of her.. she is elusive like the magical pipskwack bird. (extra points if you got that reference)

Standing Up

This was taken last week... abby found out she had feet and she could stand on them... and she wasn't at all that night unless she was standing on them.. it was a lot of fun. This came directly on the heels of her sitting up and pulling herself to the sitting position...

gotta love you-tube

she's becoming more and more vocal... before we know it she'll be formulating incoherent sentences! can't wait!!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

New Baby Video

Here's a new video of the baby from this evening. More to come soon, enjoy!

More on Ms. Abigail

A friend of ours let us borrow this Bumbo seat to see if we like it. She's still a bit small maybe...

but still finding joy in sitting up

I want to eat that face!!! YUUMMMM

Believe it or not, she is actually watching TV in this picture from the new vantage point that this seat allows... who knew that the TV could entrap a little baby too.. but it does.. we try to avert her eyes or shut it off whenever possible these days..

the binki was taken away, but her attention was not!

off to the doctors... no matching hat for this outfit... how could there be?

don't look to close... daddy shaved his beard.. but it's only temporary.

and now for the close-ups!

holy cow how cute are these last two?!?

She's smiling at mommy in this one -- you can see it in her eyes.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Intersection of Sports, Faith, Culture and Politics

Today on, Micheal Smith write a penetrating article about the character of the two men who have led their respective NFL teams to the Superbowl this year. In his article, Smith basically ends up repeating Dr. Kings call to judge men on the content of their character and not the color of their skin. And he does this because the two aforementioned coaches happen to be black - and that has been the focus of much of the media coverage, instead of who these men are and how they live their lives.

As I read this article, it resonated with me because it reflects an idea that has long been treading the deep waters of my mind, and continues to come up for air, even though the 'stuff' of life often pushes it down to lower depths. It's an idea that, I think, for a couple of decades, was the goal of many in all aspects of our lives, but in recent years has been turned on its head.

That idea is Dr. Martin Luther King's exhortation that I mention above. That men be judged by the content of their character - regardless of the color of their skin. And while his name has been tossed about almost carelessly this month, attributed to so many things that I'm not sure anyone really knows who he was or what he was about anymore. It seems that in our society at large, the people who Dr. King was trying so disparately to help, have turned away from many of the things that he longed to see.

And what I am talking about more than anything else is the cultivation of distinction. I see it in Sports (as noted in the above article), I see it in Politics more than anywhere else, but more recently I see it in ever increasing measure within the church. And while there is certainly a place for celebrating diversity and understanding differences among people groups in all these areas of our life, it seems that we have moved past celebration, and have collectively been carried into cultivation. Now this may not be an issue in Sports (it is), it may not be an issue in politics (it is), but I certainly do feel that it is a bigger issue in the Church.

At what point does cultivating distinction become an obstacle to the Unity of the church and an obstacle to the gospel? To use Smith's argument, when will a True understanding of the gospel be good enough, without it needing to be recognized as a black understanding or an Anglo understanding? When will Truth be recognized again as Truth, regardless of the skin color of the author, or the preacher, or the ears of the hearer? Application of Truth is always going to be different for different people, both within the same culture group and without - but Truth remains and while application is subjective to circumstance, history and other context; Divine Principle is not.

Truth is not malleable, but people are. And above all other people, those who should be most malleable are Christians - but only as they are conformed more and more to the likeness of Christ. And that conformation, no matter how different we are to begin with, should not only draw us to look more and more like Christ, but as an immediate consequence, should cause us to look more and more like one another. That is the Unity of the Church, and that is what we are called to. We need to do more to embrace more fully the areas where we are ALIKE, and be more open and teachable in the areas where we are different, using Divine Principle (i.e. the Word of God) as our starting point, our standard, our Source and our Norm.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

New Baby Pic Extravaganza

She's changed so much so fast... just scroll down to the older pics if you don't believe me!

my pre-thug-life baby

thug transition...

i will buss a cap in yo baba...

Representin' Hackettspatch! West Side!

ugh - HOW CUTE!?!

hehe, i just love the faces she makes... so surprised by everything

sitting up and even beginning to balance herself...

but sometimes she needs help...

and sometimes there is no help to be had... :-)

mamma to the rescue!

There's nothing better than when she is happy and playful... nothing in the world.

Smiling for daddy!

Natalie's good friend from back home is having a birthday and Abby insisted on sending pictures...

She is an absolute blast! No concept of what life was like before we had her...