Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Could He Be any Cuter?

I may be a little biased, but I think he is the man.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Misc. Pictures

I was going through a backlog of pictures that are in RAW format, looking for some that Grandma and Grandpa King would enjoy, because Renee is going down to see them tomorrow. Thought I would post a few, unrelated pictures. I figured I enjoyed them- others might too.
Mom and Katie in AMS...
What do you think- could he get himself into trouble?
I know who these strange women are- Do you?
A very cute little girl!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tomorrow (December 21) the days start getting longer... I am starting to think about summer!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas- Is Mine a Standing Stone?

When Joshua brought the people of God across the flooded Jordan, he had some of the men stop and pickup some rocks from the center of the river bottom. When they got to the other side, they placed those rocks in piles. Those piles were called standing stones. The standing stones were to serve as a reminder of the great things God had done in delivering his children from the bondage of slavery. Joshua had done this for the future generations.

When the children, and children’s children asked the reason for those rocks, they were to be told how God had stopped a raging river so that they could cross into the Promised Land. When the children inquired about the stones, they were to tell them of the great plagues that, eventually convinced Pharaoh to let God’s people go. They were to be told of the parting of the Red Sea. They were to be told about the rebellion the first time they scouted the Promised Land, the 40 years of wandering, the manna, the water from the rock. The standing stones were to serve as reminders of how great God is, how needy people are. They are to remind us of His faithfulness, his anger, his mercies, his provisions. The intent of the standing stones was to turn the hearts of the people from the things of this world, to the things of their God.

The Passover festival was another old testament standing stone. It too was to serve as a reminder of God’s deliverance as well as to foretell of future deliverance. Again the people were to be reminded of all that God is and all that he does, and of our desperate need of him.

The Lord’s Table is a new testament standing stone. It reminds us of our need, and God’s provision. If we look closely at the cross, as the Lord would have us do at the celebration of the Lords table, we will come away with a sober joy. This is because, we will see so much of God’s goodness, and so much of God’s severity. We will see our sin, and we will see his provision.

In the same way, our celebration of Christmas should serve as a standing stone. Our Christmas traditions, or standing stones, should stir our affections for Christ and diminish our affections for the world. They should teach us to put our faith in the things unseen rather than things seen. They should move our hearts to long more for the eternal and less for the temporary.

Our traditions, especially our Christmas traditions, should be encouraging our faith, not making us content with or desirous of this world. IF our traditions are getting this backward, then they are, at best, useless. At worse, they are sin.
I wonder, often, about what our traditions are encouraging- what they are teaching. I wonder what kind of desires our traditions kindle. Do our traditions help us, or do they hurt us?

The Christmas story only starts with a baby. But we have to remember more than that. We have to remember who that baby was, what he left, and what he came to do- die.

JI Packer says it like this-

“The crucial significance of the cradle at Bethlehem lies in its place in the sequence of steps down that led the Son of God to the cross of Calgary, and we do not understand it till we see it in this context. The in the New Testament for interpreting the Incarnation is not, therefore, the bare statement in John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us,” but rather the more comprehensive statement of 2 Corinthians 8:9, “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he become poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” Here is stated not the fact of the Incarnation only, but also its meaning; the taking of manhood by the Son is set before in a way that shows us how we should ever view it-not simply as a marvel of nature, but rather as a wonder of grace.”<a class="sdfootnoteanc" href="" name="sdfootnote1anc">1

He goes on to describe, as best a man can, the glory Jesus left, to be born in a filthy stable and laid in a dirty manger, as he moved toward the cruel, shameful, undeserved treatment at the hands of hateful sinful man to save undeserving people. He was born to endure incredible physical and spiritual anguish while carrying the weight and penalty of sin- my sin. He did so, while I was yet sinning. Packer continues…

“We see now what it meant for the Son of God to empty himself and become poor. It meant laying aside of glory (the real kenosis); a voluntary restraint of power; an acceptance of hardship, isolation, ill treatment, malice and misunderstanding; finally, a death that involved such agony-spiritual even more than physical-that his mind nearly broke under the prospect of it, (See Lk 12:50 and Gethsemane story.) It meant love to the uttermost for unlovely human beings, that they through his poverty might become rich. The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity- hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory- because at the Father’s will Jesus Christ became poor and was born in a sable so that thirty years later he might hang on a cross. It is the most wonderful message that the world has ever heard, or will hear.

We talk glibly of the “Christmas spirit,” rarely meaning more by this than sentimental jollity on a family basis. But what we have said makes it clear that the phrase should in fact carry a tremendous weight of meaning. It ought to mean the reproducing in human lives of the temper of him who for our sakes became poor at the first Christmas. And the Christmas spirit itself ought to the mark of every Christian all the year round.

It is our shame and disgrace today that so many Christians- I will be more specific: so many of the soundest and most orthodox Christians- go through this world in the spirit of the priest and the Levite in our Lord’s parable, seeing human needs all around them, but (after a pious wish, and perhaps a prayer, that God might meet those needs) averting their eyes and passing by on the other side. That is not the Christmas sprit. Nor is it the spirit of those Christians- alas, there are many- whose ambition in life seems limited to building a nice middle class Christian home, and making nice middle class Christian friends, and bringing up their children in nice middle class Christian ways, and who leave the sub-middle class sections of the community, Christian and non-Christian, to get on by themselves.

The Christmas spirit does not shine out in the Christian snob. For the Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor-spending and being spent- to enrich their fellow humans, giving time, trouble, care and concern, to do good to others – and not just their own friends- in whatever way there seems need.

Pray with me and endeavor with me to keep our Christmas traditions authentic standing stones- drawing our families and us closer to Jesus and not into the world.
1 J.I. Packer, Knowing God, page 58.
2 Ibid; page 63

Monday, November 17, 2008

Jesus I Need You

by Amy O'Neal

Jesus I need you
Jesus I want you
Jesus I am open
but Jesus my eyes are closed
Jesus I need to see you

Friday, November 14, 2008

Our Philippine Vacation

Renee and I were blessed to spend a week in the Philippines with Lotis and Renato. What a time we had- we saw an old friend (Mr. Jollie Bee), soared through the Mountain Rain Forest tree tops, sailed across Subic Bay in a 42 foot racing sailboat, and stayed with some of the most gracious people- Renato's Mom and Dad. We had a blessed time. Here are some pictures...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

A Treasure Found at the Work Picnic

The kids found a creek in the park during my work picnic. The picnic was nice, but the creek was the jewel.