Forty Hours of Fun!

Well, my arrived back home last night safe and sound after having spent Forty Hours of Funâ„¢ with her crazy blond girlfriends.

They had a blast.

Happy birthday babe. I love you!

The weekend

I’ve been home this weekend with three of our four kids, while my better half has been off with her best girlfriends, top-down to Galveston for Forty Hours of Fun. They all took off wearing Thelma and Louise scarfs and white sunglasses. Heh.

I miss her! She is theoretically getting back home tonight, unless she’s just having too much fun!

My oldest daughter is on a mission trip to Seattle to help out with the church plant called The Journey. Pray for them – it’s going to be a busy week but I’m praying God will really work through them up there.

Daughter number two is sitting at her computer singing along with Eisley. It sounds good 🙂 Yesterday she and my youngest son and I went to Mountasia to play putt-putt. It was fabulous and fun.

Speaking of my youngest son, I’m about to take him to soccer practice. He rocks at that game!

And I’m sitting here listening to my oldest son play my venerable old Guild guitar (it is 24 years old, from before the Fender buy-out – excellent) and realizing, with a pleasure only a dad can know, that he is now officially better than me.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine has been good!

God scares me

This may seem like a strange title for a post.

But it’s true. I said this to the GAP class last week as we were reading through Joel 2, because it contains a hair-raising description of the Day of the Lord. And now I’m reading through Joel 3.

Multitudes, multitudes,
in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near
in the valley of decision.
The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
The Lord roars from Zion,
and utters his voice from Jerusalem,
and the heavens and the earth quake.
But the Lord is a refuge to his people,
a stronghold to the people of Israel.

– Joel 3:14-16 (ESV)

Now, when I say “scares”, I don’t mean that I love him less (in as far as I’m capable, wretch that I am, of loving him at all). Humanly speaking, fear is too often mixed with hatred. But not this fear. God possesses the ferocity of a mighty warrior, protecting his city, and he is the mightiest One of all. No one can stand before him. He scares me, but I’m so thankful to be standing behind him, under his protection.

I have often in the past explained away the word “fear” in the Bible as “awe”. “We’re not to be afraid of God,” I’d state, “rather, it is a reverential awe.” I think I was woefully mistaken. I honestly don’t know, but I’m beginning to think that maybe “fear” is the right translation after all! And it’s a good fear – it drives me to love him more, because it makes his grace that much more amazing.

Our God is mighty, and scary, and powerful, and he is very, very able to save us to the uttermost. Our Lord roars from Zion! And I’m just barely grasping all of this.

Praise him forever!

You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!

– Psalm 22:23 (ESV)

Psalm 18

I read Psalm 18 this morning. It is the Psalm of the joyful and delivered warrior-king.

I am impacted by the description of how zealous God is for His children. This is the pre-Bathsheba, pre-Psalm 51 David; I wonder if David yet realized how much the Lord would still fight for him when David was in sin as He did when David was righteous. David wrote this Psalm with a young strong hand. In the weakness of old age and the fading of his kingdom David would still be able to praise the God of his salvation.

God battles for us. We can’t see it, necessarily, but I believe it to be true. Because it is His nature, and because He loves us, and because He will be glorified in us. And though His enemies (and our enemies) may deign to stand in the day of His wrath, they will lose. Completely. Because who on earth, or under the earth, or in the heavens, be they a king, a principality or power, can stand against Him?

Take a moment to meditate on the greatness of our Warrior Savior:

I love you, O Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,

my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,

my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,

and I am saved from my enemies.

The cords of death encompassed me;

the torrents of destruction assailed me;

the cords of Sheol entangled me;

the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called upon the Lord;

to my God I cried for help.

From his temple he heard my voice,

and my cry to him reached his ears.

Then the earth reeled and rocked;

the foundations also of the mountains trembled

and quaked, because he was angry.

Smoke went up from his nostrils,

and devouring fire from his mouth;

glowing coals flamed forth from him.

He bowed the heavens and came down;

thick darkness was under his feet.

He rode on a cherub and flew;

he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.

He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,

thick clouds dark with water.

Out of the brightness before him

hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.

The Lord also thundered in the heavens,

and the Most High uttered his voice,

hailstones and coals of fire.

And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;

he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.

Then the channels of the sea were seen,

and the foundations of the world were laid bare

at your rebuke, O Lord,

at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

He sent from on high, he took me;

he drew me out of many waters.

He rescued me from my strong enemy

and from those who hated me,

for they were too mighty for me.

They confronted me in the day of my calamity,

but the Lord was my support.

He brought me out into a broad place;

he rescued me, because he delighted in me.

The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness;

according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.

For I have kept the ways of the Lord,

and have not wickedly departed from my God.

For all his rules were before me,

and his statutes I did not put away from me.

I was blameless before him,

and I kept myself from my guilt.

So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,

according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

With the merciful you show yourself merciful;

with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;

with the purified you show yourself pure;

and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.

For you save a humble people,

but the haughty eyes you bring down.

For it is you who light my lamp;

the Lord my God lightens my darkness.

For by you I can run against a troop,

and by my God I can leap over a wall.

This God–his way is perfect;

the word of the Lord proves true;

he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

For who is God, but the Lord?

And who is a rock, except our God?–

the God who equipped me with strength

and made my way blameless.

He made my feet like the feet of a deer

and set me secure on the heights.

He trains my hands for war,

so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You have given me the shield of your salvation,

and your right hand supported me,

and your gentleness made me great.

You gave a wide place for my steps under me,

and my feet did not slip.

I pursued my enemies and overtook them,

and did not turn back till they were consumed.

I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;

they fell under my feet.

For you equipped me with strength for the battle;

you made those who rise against me sink under me.

You made my enemies turn their backs to me,

and those who hated me I destroyed.

They cried for help, but there was none to save;

they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.

I beat them fine as dust before the wind;

I cast them out like the mire of the streets.

You delivered me from strife with the people;

you made me the head of the nations;

people whom I had not known served me.

As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;

foreigners came cringing to me.

Foreigners lost heart

and came trembling out of their fortresses.

The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock,

and exalted be the God of my salvation–

the God who gave me vengeance

and subdued peoples under me,

who delivered me from my enemies;

yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;

you rescued me from the man of violence.

For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations,

and sing to your name.

Great salvation he brings to his king,

and shows steadfast love to his anointed,

to David and his offspring forever.

– Psalm 18 (ESV)

Churches and giving

Do you ever wonder if churches are doing any good in this world? There is so much cynicism these days, even in the God-blogosphere.

So take a moment to read this article from the New Yorker written by Malcolm Gladwell. The article is about Rick Warren, and is an interesting read, but this paragraph really caught my eye:

Ram Cnaan, a professor of social work at the University of Pennsylvania, recently estimated the replacement value of the charitable work done by the average American church–that is, the amount of money it would take to equal the time, money, and resources donated to the community by a typical congregation–and found that it came to about a hundred and forty thousand dollars a year. In the city of Philadelphia, for example, that works out to an annual total of two hundred and fifty million dollars’ worth of community “good”; on a national scale, the contribution of religious groups to the public welfare is, as Cnaan puts it, “staggering.” In the past twenty years, as the enthusiasm for publicly supported welfare has waned, churches have quietly and steadily stepped in to fill the gaps.

This is not something you hear every day.

The Bride is beautiful.

[hat tip: Theology of the Body]

Oh yeah, I have a blog

I have been so busy reading the Bloogroll posts on this blog that I forgot I’m supposed to be writing posts too.

Oh well, inspiration will come soon, I hope. In the meantime, you can read my review of Lady in the Water here.

In addition, Bloo version 9 is done, finally. I’ll be posting the release notes on the Bloo Development Blog soon. The next release of this thing will be Beta. I’m giddy.

Have a great day!

I can’t believe I’m doing this . . .

I just activated a new SnapOn I’ve written – it’s the Smilies SnapOn.

I’m doing it for Jen.

I’m only going to leave it on for a day. And I know it’s spelled wrong (should be “smileys”) but I’m leaving it the way it is out of pique. Because cute smileys make me want to do this:


Just kidding . . . (sort of)


More news from Nerdvana

I now have a spellchecker for comments. Based on the excellent GoogieSpell.

This will be a standard SnapOn delivered with Bloo alpha build 9 and later. Build 9 is coming out in a few days.

Also added recently is a Scripturizer, which converts all Bible references in posts into links to the ESV bible website. This was based on a handy javascript found here.

Here’s an example: John 3:16

Bloogroll Posts!

As you may already know, there are some excellent blogs represented in my bloogroll.

And, now that I’ve upgraded Bloo to alpha build 9, it’s easier than ever for you to check them out. Just click on the “View Bloogroll Posts” in the sidebar and you’ll see the latest 30 posts from bloggers in my bloogroll. Which is a lot cooler than reading what I write! And who knows? You might see something you just wrote.

I’m seriously pumped about this enhancement. It took awhile to get it the way I wanted it. But I’m finally there.

Go ahead and click that link. C’mon, you know you want to!

(to my alpha testers – I’ll be rolling this release out in the next few days, after I’ve kicked the tires a bit. We’re about to go beta!)