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Archive for October, 2008

photo phresh: a good look at Beth

October 31, 2008 Leave a comment

No more delays, it is time to post some photographs of Beth at 6 months pregnant.

These photos are not a joke, they are not taken of Beth a month ago, she really is at the 6 month mark (hard to believe, I know).

Here we go:

Beth's sweet mom surprised us with this shirt earlier this week.

"see...I haven't lost my sense of balance (yet)"

So, let’s all give an extra special round of applause for an extra special “thank you” to Mama K for the “It’s a Girl” shirt (notice that the “a” is a “female” sign – clever).

Teaser: not only did Beth receive a special gift from Mama K, but so did the little one.  

Not to be out done by Beth, Lee will soon be making a special appearance on the blog (sometime this weekend) to model the little one’s gift.

Stay tuned…

6 months in: what you’ve all been waiting for

October 30, 2008 5 comments

Beth and I got together with a well respected videographer and producer to film a special video for all our friends and family.

There has been an outcry for “BELLY PICTURES, BELLY PICTURES!” and, finally, we have obliged your demands.

Enjoy!

A special thanks from us to Michael Scott for taking the time to edit and produce this sweet little gem of a film.

Look for “6 Months Pregnant: The Full Length Version” coming to film festivals in early 2009.

In all seriousness, we hope you enjoyed the video and you can be looking forward to our posting some photographs of Beth in the next day or two.

Stay tuned.

death by love: and it begins

October 28, 2008 Leave a comment

Earlier this month my great friend (and brand new father) Matt Pitts surprised me with a package containing what is, for me, the most highly anticipated book of the year – no other book even comes close.

Pittsy knows me well, not only did he hook me up with Mark Driscoll’s Death by Love: Letters from the Cross, but he also went above and beyond to write a note inside the front cover (which is tremendously meaningful to me).

When I called him to tell him how much I appreciated the gift, I told Pittsy that my plan was to blog my way through the book as I read it.

My goal in posting the “death by love” blogs to come is not to provide a boring summary of the book (I would much rather leave that to some other blogger out there); rather, my goal is to whet your appetite to pick this book up and read it for yourself.

Translation = there won’t be any chapter outlines, long summations, or massive block quotes. I want to point you to the book and encourage to pick it up and read it for yourself.

Let’s get started:

I think this book may be the most theologically and pastorally significant book of the year (I am tempted to say “the decade”)

Why?

Death by Love is all about the gospel – the multifaceted beauty of the gospel as it applies to dirty, gritty, angst-filled, painful reality.

What does the gospel mean when you have been raped? When your father abused you?

What does believing in Christ’s death by love mean for a child molester? If your mother has terminal cancer?

How does the gospel bring salvation to the demon oppressed? to men and women trapped in the world of (viewing and participating in) pornography?

What does the gospel mean to you?

As Mark Driscoll says at the close of the preface, my “prayer is that this book (or series of posts) will be intensely practical in nature, pastoral in tone, theological in depth, biblical in content, and worshipful in consequence.”

And, as Pittsy said in the front cover of my copy of Death by Love, “May you grow in your love for Christ and the church for which he died as you read.”

in the news: Schuller split

October 27, 2008 3 comments
Robert H & son, Robert A.

the Schullers: Robert H & son, Robert A.

In my daily review of the news I stumbled across an interesting story.

Evidently, this weekend Robert H. Schuller, well known pastor of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, announced that his son, Robert A.Schuller, was being removed from leadership of CC’s “Hour of Power” television ministry.

In making the announcement, the elder Schuller cited “different ideas as to the direction and the vision for this ministry (‘Hour of Power’) as we move into the future”.

This statement, not surprisingly, grabbed my attention.  It is one of those statements that manages to leave you feeling that you know what’s going on when, in fact, you don’t.

So I did a little more digging and found and article in the Los Angeles Times that gets a bit closer to the meaning of “different ideas” for ‘Hour of Power’ – the entire article is worth reading, but here is the part I found most insightful:

Schuller built his worldwide ministry over a half century on the psychology of positive thinking and appealing to people turned off by the formality of traditional faiths. In contrast, his son’s sermons have been full of direct references to the Bible.

“I was called to start a mission, not a church,” Schuller told his audience Sunday. “There is a difference. . . . You don’t try to preach . . . what is sin and what isn’t sin. A mission is a place where you ask nonbelievers to come and find faith and hope and feel love. We’re a mission first, a church second.”

Now, I am in no position to speak with any authority when it comes to the differences between the two Schullers, not having heard either of them preach more than once or twice in passing.  

I cannot speak to the faithfulness of either man when it comes to their adherence to the biblical gospel, but I find it intriguing that the elder Schuller seems desirous that his “mission” be a place “where you ask nonbelievers to come and find faith and hope and feel love”, yet – according the this journalist’s  interpretation  – preaching from the scriptures does not line up with the elder Schuller’s understanding of “faith”, “hope”, or “love”.

If this article is right and the difference between the two men is preaching from the scripture, I got to ask myself, “what’s the point?”

What’s the point of gathering a group of people together in a massive marvel of church architecture to gush intangible feelings of faith, hope, and love that have no clearly defined meaning?  What is the benefit? Why even waste the time? 

If that is the kind of faith, hope, and love coming out of the Crystal Cathedral, then that place is nothing more than a Crystal Tomb, adorned in whitewash.

We need faith, hope, and love that are rooted in Jesus Christ’s death in our place.  

We need faith in his sacrifice.

We need the hope that comes from his glorious resurrection from death.

We need love that is inseparable from 1 John 4: 9-11: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

 

***Editorial Addition: Tuesday morning my Google Reader delivered an outstanding article on the Schuller Split with additional helpful research and insight, so if you want to know more check out Al Mohler’s article “So Much for Possibility Thinking” at his blog, www.albertmohler.com.

***Editorial Note:  Let me be clear that this article has several holes in it, that it provides helpful insight into the nature of the “differences” between the two Schullers, but it is far from conclusive.  

Unfortunately, the language of the Christian subculture is not clearly defined and it is especially prone to misuse by media outlets.  Having recognized this, I want to be clear that my thoughts above are made conditionally, and should not be read as an outright and definite condemnation of the Crystal Cathedral.

re:source updated

October 27, 2008 Leave a comment

Just in case you were wondering, I figured out how to convert the audio of my sermon on Discipleship recorded at my church, City Fellowship Church, here in Jackson.

It is available now on the re:source page. 

I still don’t have the right software to edit the file, so the sermon portion of the recording picks up at the 16:30 mark.

I welcome your feedback, so if you give it a listen, I would love to hear what you have to say – so leave a comment, send an email, or tell me about it next time you see me.

Enjoy!

spotlight: Grace Elisabeth Pitts

October 27, 2008 Leave a comment

Matt and Sarah Pitts posted the first shots of their beautiful daughter over at their blog.

Here is the teaser photograph to get you to go check out their blog and get a close up shot of little Gracie (who really is a beautiful little baby):

Sarah, Matt, and little Gracie

Sarah, Matt, and little Gracie

happy birthday Gracie! happy birth day Sarah!

October 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Mark your calendars! Grace Elisabeth Pitts has arrived!

At a little after 6pm this evening, Sarah and Matt Pitts – our best of friends – welcomed their daughter into this world.

She was a tiny little baby, only 21 inches and merely 8 pounds, 15 ounces, born with dark brown hair.

We are really excited for the Pitts, especially for Sarah – she was ready to have her little one in her arms and out of her body.

And, as excited as we are about the birth, we are even more excited that our daughter’s best friend for life was born today! Take good notes Gracie, you are going to have to give our daughter the heads up on a lot of things.