Archive for July, 2006

Paul David Tripp on the importance of getting help from another when examining our hearts and ways…

“My self-perception is as accurate as a carnival mirror.  If I am going to see myself clearly, I need you to hold the mirror of God’s Word in front of me.”

Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, p. 54

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Dana and Andrew

I am the oldest of 5 siblings.  When I was seven, a little girl named Dana came intruding into my life…cramping my seven-year-old style.  She smelled funny.  Then she walked funny.  Then I went away.  Then I came back.  Then we became friends. 

On Friday night, Dana got married.  My Dad was unexpectedly unavailable to walk her down the aisle and so the privilege was mine.

I’m happy for Dana and Andrew and am excited to see what God will do with His yielded servants as they begin their life together.

I’m feeling old today.

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This past Saturday morning.  Quiet morning.  I was doing my humdrum. 

Two year old Haddon comes in the room and asks, “Papa, do you know what luff means?”

I reply, “Um…I sure don’t Had.  What does it mean?”

“It means happy!”

I reply, “Wow!  That’s a great word, Haddon!”

Pause.  And then loudly as he bounds out to his next adventure, “I’m a luff boy!”

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This comes as an excerpt from a book I just finished (see recommendation).  Sinclair Ferguson says of examining our hearts…

“[The tongue] is the hinge on which the door into our souls swings open in order to reveal our spirit.  In effect, our words are like so many media people rushing to file their reports on the condition of our soul.”

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Isaac and Ishmael are at it again, and it’s fierce and bloody and it’s real. I don’t have a clue what’s really going on in the Middle East today…and probably neither do a good portion of TBAP readers. I do though think we should try to understand so we can better pray for the peace and restoration of Israel.

Missionary Edgar Feghaly has written a short readeable, point-by-point summary of the Lebanese Crisis. It would be worth a few moments to consider.


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Paul David Tripp…

“Biblical personal ministry must not be reduced to a set of principles to live by.  Its central focus is the Redeemer who rescues people from the power of sin and progressively eradicates its presence from their lives.  We are simply agents of this grace.  Our goal is to help people understand it and follow where it leads while they wait for their Redeemer’s return.”

Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, p. 100

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On taxes…

If this seems like one of those banal email forwards you get so often that clog your email, well…admittedly…it is.  Gulp!

I’ve included it because it made me laugh today.  I especially like the last paragraph.  I’m not a tax evader, but I do recognize waste and misappropriation when I see it (i.e. the $879 million dollars FEMA spent to buy 25,000 manufactured homes for the Katrina refugees that it later realized they were not allowed to put in the New Orlean flood plain).

Tax his land, tax his wage,
Tax his bed in which he lays.
Tax his tractor, tax his mule,
Teach him taxes is the rule.


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“This site is a blast!” — Vice President Cheney

“I was predetermined to enjoy your writings.” — John Calvin

“It’s GGGrrrrreeaaatt!” — Tony the Tiger

“Post once and I’ll read it in the morning; post twice and I’ll read it at night.”  — Paul Revere

“My name is Rafael Palmeiro and I am a professional baseball player. I’ll be brief in my remarks today. Let me start by telling you this: I have never not read TBAP. Period. I don’t know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never. The reference to me in Mr. Canseco’s book is absolutely false.  I am against not reading TBAP. I don’t think athletes should not read TBAP and I don’t think our kids should not read TBAP. That point of view is one, unfortunately, that is not shared by our former colleague, Jose Canseco. Mr. Canseco is an unashamed advocate for decreased TBAP reading.”  — Rafael Palmeiro

“It’s easy to swallow everything you say.  Thanks for making it palatable.”  — Takeru Kobayashi

“It is so non-taxing to read your site, Ryan.” — Kent Hovind

In the interest of fair reporting, I did receive this one negative feedback recently…

“I have never, nor do I ever wish to possess a knowledge of your blog.” — Kim Jong-il

Read more about what people are saying.

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WordPress Pictures

If anyone could use small words and help me address my problems with pictures on WordPress, I would appreciate it.  This is my only real beef with WP, I just want some flexibility to make my pics bigger.  When I drag them in the editor, they just distort and and reduce quality.

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Make like Templeton

As we are going through the process of reaquiring life insurance this week, Chrissy and I have had to face hard questions…especially as we decided to add a rider for life insurance on the boys.  Determining to purchase life insurance for 3 little boys must needs make you sober.  As I was making some of the decisions from my office, it made me ache to want to go home to squeeze little boys in big hugs.  Chrissy and I had to speak frankly about what our responses would have to be in such a case, and it is truly great that we are on the same page.  Further could be said but these hard things made us not be able to wait to make some memories with our boys, and I know full well that memories can be made by sitting at the dinner table and playing in the yard, but we had been wanting to go to the fair.

 FairThe boys at the fair

Last year we had a terrific time at the Centerville Fair, but that’s not until August or September and we instead drove 1 1/2 hours to the Ionia Free Fair on Friday.  It’s the largest free fair in America…which means it’s the largest fair in America that lets you get in the gates before it stiffs you and your wallet.


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Ann Coulter…

“Even Islamic terrorists don’t hate America like liberals do.  They don’t have the energy.  If they had that much energy, they’d have indoor plumbing by now.”

Slander, p. 6

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J. Gresham Machen…

The field of Christianity is the world. The Christian cannot be satisfied so long as any human activity is either opposed to Christianity or out of all connection with Christianity.

Christianity must pervade not merely all nations, but also all human thought. The Christian, therefore, cannot be indifferent to any branch of earnest human endeavor.

It must all be brought into some relation to the gospel. It must be studied either in order to be demonstrated as false, or else in order to be made useful in advancing the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom must be advanced not merely extensively, but also intensively. The Church must seek to conquer not merely every man for Christ, but also the whole of man.”

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Why I Blog

I don’t love blogging, but I think it’s important.  I don’t think it’s important because of the family updates…though that is what a portion of you are seeking.  I think it’s important because,

1) It teaches me more about technology and using it rightly and for my King.  While this might not be the high end, staying in the loop about how it works will help as I discover what technology can do to further Christ’s Kingdom.  Ours is a world quickly becoming dependent upon the internet.  This is good in a way because it is taking us back to a word-oriented society, which reminds me of a book I’m supposed to be reading soon (sorry TS).

2) It teaches me to think.  I have a journal that has remained nearly blank for a long time.  Journaling/blogging is a way of processing thoughts and putting them into real words.  Sifting, sorting and organizing words into concise sentences is a habit of a healthy mind.  The act of regurgitating thoughts into palpable and coherent sentences is a healthy process.  Teachers never learn more about their subject than when they teach it.  It’s one thing to receive information, but to give information is a whole separate level.

3)  It holds me accountable.  i added the “What I’m Reading” tab for me…not for you.  Not reading is a sign of stagnation.  God gave me the ability to read and the ability to process what I read, I should use His gifts…not let them sit idle.  Having those books sitting there in list form is a great motivation to me.

4) It keeps me sharp.  When I am looking for blogging material as I go about my day, it helps me to consider what I see past just the surface event.  There needs to be digging.  There needs to be an expanding.

5) It is a history of me.  We today are horrible historians.  We have a vision of the here and now and have no regard for the biblical multi-generational approach.  I want my sons to know who I am.  They can learn by  talking to me, and they can learn by reading who I am.  The things that I post, the topics that I address, the books that I read will help them in this.  This would be especially effective motivation to make my postings more well-rounded.  As I intend to perish before I could ever speak all the things I want them to know, herein is a separate record of me.  How enjoyable and profitable it would be to pore over the journals of the previous generations…to learn their names and histories and thinkings.

6) It is an encouragement.  All of the previous (except #3) could be true if I just typed this into a word processor and left it on my own harddrive for my boys to find someday, but the act of sharing these things has been an encouragement to many.  I say this because you have told me so.  Some of the regular readers tell me you are regular readers.  Some of you thank me for ideas for rearing children and appreciate references to current events.  Though I post sporadically, you tell me you like the well-roundedness of the postings.

One thing I would ask is that you please 1) continue to give input.  Feel free to leave comments to my postings and 2) Consider blogging yourself…at least consider it.  The personal advantages are many.

Yesterday, I found this quotation on Sharper Iron.  It speaks to some of these things.  The author doesn’t publish his name so I won’t ask him if I can credit him, but I will link you to the full text of his “In Praise of Blogging.”  I won’t necessarily commend you away from this posting or commend the whole posting to you, but here’s the gist to which I want to point…

“Blogging is an opportunity to think. As one of my favorite writers said, “language is the technology of thought”. I further believe thinking and writing are not coincidental acts, they are the same act. To blog is to think in public, sometimes in a more gratifying way because you have readers, sometimes in a more embarrassing way because you have contradictors. But I believe thinking is important enough to risk it.

Blogging might not make you a great thinker, but then reading the Bible won’t make you a great Christian either. Both are a move in the right direction.

Posting regularly to a blog changes how you live. Everything you see, you now see as grist. Even if for only the duration of the red light, you reflect to some degree on the value of what you just heard on the radio. Is it true, is it meaningful, is it significant, does it justify my ventilation of it? It is the start of a life of reflection.

It’s not that many of us didn’t already do this, but I suggest that what we did between our ears should not have made its way into publication. We might never have found out how much pure junk was rattling around up there because we never sorted through it properly.

Blogging is not the remedy for all our corrupt institutions, obviously. We got rid of Dan Rather but there are still thousands more. I don’t mean to make this thing bigger than it is. But neither do I want us to suppose that it is less than it might be.”

[content of this post edited 11/08]

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It’s been a while since my last posting.  It’s been a sort of whirlwind as I finished my Master’s Degree with a final exam on Friday morning and then we drove straight home complicated by Haddon throwing up most of the way home…ergh! (we threw away his car seat after the first incident).  Saturday was a yard sale day (for which Chrissy had well-prepared before we left for SC).

Since then, it has been the process of getting our feet back under us.  I spent most of Monday and Tuesday making lists of things I need to do in the school.  Today I took a short day so I could spend some time with the boys and so Chrissy can get out.

The last weekend in SC, we went to the world-famous Beacon.  I hadn’t been before, and we found it well worth the drive to Spartanburg.  I had a chili-cheese-a-plenty.  They heap it on there.  The atmosphere is unique, with its own lingo.  No one serves more ice tea in the United States.

I haven’t had a lot of time to read in the past few days but today I did read a good little biography of George Washington I bought at Mount Vernon in April; it was written by DK for teenagers.  As much as a biography, it was a good review of the events surrounding the birth of our country.  Here is my mini-review.

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I’ve added a new tab above listing some of the books I’m reading.

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Greg Mazak on humility…

“Humility is having a low opinion of your own opinion.”

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This is probably my favorite quotation all-time.  Jonathan Edwards said,

“The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams. But God is the ocean.”

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FireworksIt was hyped as the biggest fireworks display in SC history.  I was hoping it lasted more than 2 minutes.  We sat and waited for a very long time.  We got to our spot about 7:00p, and had a picnic.  It was good that we did too, because the whole time we were there, people were streaming into Reedy River’s Falls Park.  Downtown Greenville is very beautiful.  God covered the face of the sun with clouds and gave us a little breeze and threat of sprinkles while we waited.  That cooled off the 96 degree day.

The fireworks were well worth the wait…think 3 grand finales and you’re getting close.  Chrissy and I can’t remember seeing a better display.  The boys loved it!  At first Lincoln was pretty put off by it.  He wanted to hide his face, but he really wanted to see what he was hiding from at the same time.

This class is off to a good start.  It promises to be very helpful.  My primary oral project is Friday.  It’s a 30 minute book report on a book that I’ve only slightly started reading (right now it’s almost 1a on Wed.).  If I have time, I’ll build a PowerPoint presentation for it. 

It was the quietest day I’ve ever had on BJ campus.  All the offices, snack shop, bookstore, library (part of the day) were closed.  Only the classes met, and lunch was served to the students and teachers.  I think they had to grab-n-go supper at lunch.  The construction workers were not there.  It was weird.

I’m babbling and need to go to bed.

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