Wednesday, October 26, 2005


This morning I dropped my car off at the shop. Let's hope we can get the minor things repaired for under $400.
Speaking at St. Luke's and St. John's went pretty well Sunday. The guy wasn't lying when he said to expect 5-6 people. I'm not kidding. I brought Micah and John, and then there were six of them. But still, it was a neat little prayer service. They actually use the evening prayer service at 1 in the afternoon, if the priest can't be there. There really is something comforting about taking that time to entrust our souls to God for the night ahead and say a prayer for everyone we can think of or can find a collect for. And I promise you we did. We must have said every collect in the Prayer Book and invented some.
But, seriously.
I downloaded David Crowder Band's new CD on Napster yesterday (yes I bought it.). It is great. Last night I had to house to myself for about 3 hours, so I listened to that, lit some candles, did some laundry, and read for Social Philosophy class. What an evening. I should have taken a hot bath to top it off.
The gas prices are supposed to soar this winter. We are nervous, because our electric is on a Budget plan, so we pay the same every month. If our gas bill is high and we pay the same medium-high electric bill, it could be a problem. So, we have our thermostat set at 60-62 during the day. Woohoo. Then we picked up a couple of space heaters. We bought the kind that have plastic housings, so they don't burn the kids. That's a plus. It seems like the little one we bought for their room is stronger than the big oscillating one we bought for our room. Who would have thought?
This weekend JY and I are going to St John in Memphis. You know, sometimes I call that church St. John and sometimes St. John's. If anyone from St. John('s) reads this blog, please correct me and set me straight for the future. I'm excited, anyways, to get to visit there again. I don't know if Amy and the kids are coming along this time. She really liked it last time, but she doesn't feel like taking the 3-hour roundtrip on a lazy Sunday. I guess we'll see.

Thanks for reading. Leave comments. Make me feel loved.

Friday, October 21, 2005


Yesterday I was invited to fill in speaking at our local Episcopal church as their acting priest will be out of town. I'm pretty excited.
I had the lay leader who asked me send over the lessons for the day, so I could speak to them.
The funny thing is, since this parish is really small, they don't have a priest and the have their service at 1 on sunday afternoons. So, we'll be going to Tucker Street in the morning, then leaving right after service to get over here and speak at St Luke's & St. John's. (They either have two saint or they are a combined parish of two even smaller defunct parishes-- I'm not sure which.)

Well, now I'm sitting in SEMO's own fancy new computer bar. I'm currently sitting on a nice leather couch that hasn't been at on much. I've never seen more than a couple of students in this place, but then it's only a few weeks old. It smells really new.

This morning my Envir. Bio. class took an interesting tour of the local wastewater treatment plant. It smelled horrible. Lucky for me, the odor didn't cling to me.
When I left my house this morning it wasn't very cold, but it feels dang cold up here. Didn't I complain about the hot weather in my last post. Apparently God answered my prayer. The problem is, I didn't bring a jacket. I didn't expect it to be much colder up here than home.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


It's unseasonably warm today. This is particularly annoying, because we have already had some really great fall weather.
I have never liked the summers in this part of country, so I spend the whole summer praying and waiting for fall. Now it's supposed to be here, we've even had some teases, but it's back into stinky hot summer. IN OCTOBER!
Well, we're really scrambling now to figure out ways to make our life in Caruthersville financially viable while I attend college over an hour away. We are trying to stay there because we feel like God has placed us there to reach those high school students.
Now, with finances getting harder, it's hard to see how we'll be able to stay. I know that God has confirmed the rightness of our plan to go ahead with my education. I feel like we're headed in the right direction. Will we have to move? We're trying to avoid moving out of our little town, because we know the results to our little Young Life could be fatal.
Of course, I know God will continue faithfully calling those young people to Himself. My leaving there won't end God's mission to the people of the bootheel.
I don't know what we'll do. We're trying to avoid having Amy work outside of the home. We know our kids need her more now than ever. She might end up having to work even if we move to Cape or wherever.
Who knows.
This is what has been weighing on me lately. I've spent lots of time praying about it.

Dear readers, please pray to the Lord to provide for our needs, and to give us wisdom to know what to do, and boldness to do it.

Monday, October 17, 2005


To my readers who suggested that I read Matthew Gallatin's book, I have. It was recommended to me on my first visit to St. John. I think Dn. James recommended it.
It was my favorite Orthodox convert story I've read/come across so far.
I decided to give The Way a try after I saw a few people carrying it at St. John.
By the way, I have passed on my copy of Becoming Orthodox to a friend, and passed on my copy of Seeking God in a Land of Shallow Wells to my pastor. That is, my protestant Evangelical pastor. He and I are pretty tight, since I used to work there. We'll so how this goes. As busy as he is, he might not get to that book for a while. On the other hand, I think I have caused a minor stir by telling some church members that I am considering converting or that I would convert if I didn't live so far away.

I don't know if I talked about this in a post before, but Carlton talks about a time when he realized he had to stop choosing the church and start letting the church have him. Or something like that. I guess I'm convinced rationally for why the Orthodox faith is true and the historic faith of the Apostles. I know they're right. I'm not sure I'm ready to be that right.
I have ikons in my home, I pray the morning prayers from my little Orthodox Prayer Book, I pray the Jesus Prayer in my car on the way to work. Heck, I even kiss an icon now and then, and cross myself quite a bit (for a Protestant). The thing is, I still approach it like a WalMart Protestant. (Oh, this works for me- I'll take it.) I'd rather relieve myself of the duty of controlling this life, and give myself over to the Church in Her fullness.
Anyways, that's kind of what I've been thinking about Orthodoxy lately.
I'll probably go visit St. John again in a week or two.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Way

On my journey with/in Eastern Orthodoxy- I am currently reading The Way: What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church by Clark Carlton. It's an interesting read so far. It is a bit more Protestant-bashing in tone that any of the other books I've read Orthodoxy-wise. Carlton does, however, make good arguments against sola


In the midst of my crazy life I received an invitation to fill the pulpit at First Baptist Cville this past weekend.
I have to confess that it was probably the most nervous I've ever been to preach. First, I only knew like 4 of these people, so it was a crowd of strangers. Second, I didn't want to say something clearly unBaptist, and get booed down off the platform.
I'm glad that's over.
It was a lot of fun, really. The people were very nice, and even seemed to like what I had to say.
It was especially fun to ge there as a guest preacher. Since I don't work there, I got to say whatever I felt like God wanted me to say.
I preached two sermons that challenged the church to be more inclusive/others focused. I'm having lunch with one of their deacons tomorrow and I plan to loan him my copy of Missional Church. He emailed me and wants to have lunch to talk about ways to draw young people into their church. I'm going to recommend a service-oriented youth ministry. Be careful: what you win them with might be what you win them to.
God's peace on all of you.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Last night I noticed that I had two nearly identical posts on my blog, one after the other. I thought I had lost the first one, so I made an attempt to re-create it. I'll leave them both up, so let me know which one you like better.

I was describing blogging the other day, and kind of described it (unoriginally, I suppose) as a democratization of voice. One of the most positive things about blogging is how a person can post their thoughts online and hear back nearly instant feedback from readers. It's a twist on the old scientific journal system. Newbigin talks about how science works in The Gospel In a Pluralist Society. If I believe something is true, I am believing it with universal implications. That means I can publish/announce it, and allow my friends, colleagues, or detractors to knock it down. That's how truth is fought out. Wait, you mean truth is based on consensus in science? It would seem so.

I will go to Logic class now. Blessings on anyone who takes the time to read this.
Please leave lots of comments and we'll start a blogversation.
Make sure to check out the blogs on my sidebar.
Ben, yes I was listening to Haste the Day the other day. And it was the CD you passed my way. Now I'm sitting in the library listening to Ancient Faith Radio.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I'm at home today...

Tuesdays and Thursday I stay in Caruthersville. It is kind of weird being totally out of town three days a week. Before I commuted to Dyerburg three or four days a week, but if I had to, I could come back across the river to do something here in Cville in the afternoon or whatever. Now it's like I am totally gone. I really couldn't come back to Caruthersville for just anything during the middle of the day, unless it was an emergency. And that makes me feel distant.
I did a paper on population growth for biology. I turned it in yesterday. I'm wondering how much of a problem population growth is or could be for the environment, and particularly for our future as a species. I think we've well been fruitful and multiplied. Maybe it's time to take care of the earth a little. *gasp* some of my readers just called me a liberal. I heard you.
Anyways, it seems to me like maybe it is a more ethical/humane thing to do to encourage contraceptive use in countries where many children grow up to die anyway. I mean, we should do our part to ease the suffering of the poor. But would it be wrong to encourage people to have few children?
"Capitalism is the best contraceptive" or so goes the common wisdom. So, when the people of the world's developing nations really get a hold of the ideals of our society (commercialism, greed, envy), they will willingly choose to have fewer kids to improve their lifestyle.
Wait, so it's a good thing if the developing nations become greedy and wasteful like us? Because I don't think that would solve anything. When the world's poorest become the world's newest middle class capitalists, there will be some 4 billion SUVs hogging the roads and polluting the air of the world. What would that solve? Maybe as a nation we should (join our developing nation partners) and begin to set an example for fuel-efficiency, environmentalism, leisure, and values that would actually be positive for the developing nations to adopt. Then we can feel as if we are leaving a better world around for our children and theirs.
God forbid that the whole world should become greedy Americans!
God's blessings on my readers.

Monday, October 03, 2005

This morning

I just finished writing my paper on population growth and whether or not it is a problem for the environment. I guess it is.
The other day one of my classmates said the problem was that we haven't had a world war in too many years. I was shocked. He said a few good nukes would lower the population and avert the coming global death. Uh, not exactly. Not if it means that an entire continent is unhabitable for thousands of years. Not if it means that we become less human by giving our implicit agreement to an idea that obscene.
And what would we gain? Lower grain prices. Less smog in the ozone. Fewer people to feed. Less traffic congestion and immigration.
And all that for the measly price of our souls? What a bargain!

That's how I feel thinking about the population growth problem.
Some say the solution is capitalism: "Capitalism is the ultimate contraceptive." But, wouldn't that make things even worse. For, when the developing world begins to lower their rate of population growth, they will be seeking those ideals and values that have made our society less human. They'll have greed in their eyes as they build their own inhumane capitalist societies.
And capitalists consume way more than communists or people living under authoritarian regimes. Not just 'they consume more because they finally can', but they'll go beyond need as we have. They'll be throwing food way, driving four blocks to work. Their capitalistic excess will go beyond what we have known, because, heck, there's 5 billion of them.
Is the problem overpopulation? Not really. The problem is we sold our soul to capitalism. And now the only way we can think of to make it better is to help other people sell theirs too.

If I could, I would sell my car, and ride my bike to class. Only thing is, I'd have to leave my huse the night before. Our society is built around the automobile to such a degree that weaning oneself from it can be nearly impossible.
The automobile is only the beginning of our notions of necessity applied to luxuries.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Here's a sweet picture of our kids hanging around in our living room in their pajamas after Young Life this past week. Thursday was our first regular club for the school year. There's nothing our kids like more than having YL at their house. Posted by Picasa