Boy Cubed




Fingers in mouth

Originally uploaded by bheathr.

It is official. Our youngest son(still in utero) son proudly displayed his stuff for us today.

He looks healthy, and is quite handsome if I do say so myself.

It will be one testosterone filled house in about in about 15 years.

Guilt and New Mini-van

New Minivan

Praise God, we are out of the Jimmy. We have been only moderately satisfied with the small SUV for quite some time. The truck-like suspension and poor build quality have about driven Courtney crazy. In addition, our new arrival in Feb. will necessitate more room.

 

We looked around at SUVs, the Mazda 5, and mini-vans for a suitable replacement. We found it in a Honda Odyssey. We picked it up tonight. It is so comfortable and convenient. Courtney was afraid a mini-van might damage her image, but you really just can't get more room for the money. The gas mileage also make a difference. We will probably save $20/month in gas. As usual, though, our payment went up.

I am somewhat ambivalent about the money. On one hand, we could have spent less money by purchase a used vehicle or a less expensive model. On the other hand, we intend to keep this for a long time, and we wanted good quality to start with. Whatever the case, to God be the glory, I'll take credit for the sin. He knows it is there, and he will show it to me in time. Whatever the case, we have more seats now, so if you need a ride, just call. :-)

Glory

John 12:42 "for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God"

This verse speaks for itself. It is not only the Pharisees that get caught up in the myriad of ways to seek the glory that comes from man. Religion is one of the primary ways. Christianity is no different in this respect. Depending on the denomination it will manifest itself differently:

Pentecostal - How loud you yell or how many "gifts" you display
Reformed - How much you know or how much you can quote Calvin or Luther
Fundamentalist - How morally righteous you are or How orthodox you are
Liberal Protestant - How much you care about the poor
Evangelical - How current you are with the latest books or active you are in church or how much you practice the spiritual disciplines

You create your on list. This one is my spiritual history. In reality God couldn't give a flyin' flip about your list or how well you live up to it. You have to be as righteous as he is or you are toast. He provided a way for those whom he humbled. Give up and trust Christ for your glory. Let go of all other ploys.

Confessions of a coveter

At St. Paul's Church (www.stpaulpca.org) we would confess our sins out loud during church. Following our confession, the pastor would encourage us with a reminder of the boundless grace of Christ. Sometimes, we used the Ten Commandments as a framework for this confession. I could not always find the sin in my life for each commandment, and I particularly despised the idea of finding covetousness in my heart. I prided (alarm bells go off) myself on being content.

Lately I have realized and been able to admit to a greater depth of covetousness in my own heart. I find myself looking enviously at my friends houses or careers. I can also reflect back on my time in seminary where I envied the lifestyles of those who did not have to work and who had the confidence to spend time with professors. I even remember a specific occasion of envying a guys pants in church while I was in college. LOL.

I could no longer ignore the fact of my discontent heart when I found myself thinking, "Well, he is 6 years older than I am so it is OK. Now, how am I going to get where he is." Aha. The idol is revealed. I have swallowed the lie that it is these external things that determine my worth and satisfaction. What a lie. Many of those people whose things I might covet are merely coveting things of those those who I can yet see.

Loving Glory

For they loved the glory that comes from man rather than than the glory that comes from God.

Finally cool, what now?

One night at UC as I prepared to go down for dinner, I thought of the fun I was having and the relative ease with which I managed social situations. Now, some, like my friend Rusty, might consider my ease a restriction, but for me, a social outcast in the 10th grade, it was ease.

Because of my moral scruples, sheltered life, and fear of God and man, I went from being one of the most popular boys in the 8th grade to walking across a lonely field every day to get lunch in the 10th grade. A combination of both good and bad separated me from my peers, and once friends came to deride me with the nick-name "Sadam". I was a lonely, tortured teenager. A move to another town helped remedy the situation somewhat in that I found a crowed with similar scruples. I was popular with the girls, but that was only until they met me. I was still somewhat of a dud.

I'll save you the intervening steps that are the story of my life, but in my hotel room, I somewhat legitimately thought of myself as cool. I am respected among my colleagues, God has freed me from complete fear of man and him through Christ, and so I have loosened up a bit. For better and worse, Courtney helped open my eyes to culture, so that I am not quite so sheltered. I can be relatively cool.

To an idolatrous man, this is in some ways is the pinnacle of existence. I pondered the situation where my moral scruples would again endanger my coolness. How would I get out of going to a sketchy club that the group went to? How would I remain faithful to my wife if I was pushed into a situation to dance with a young female customer?

The results, I survived. I might possibly have improved my coolness with the story of being spanked at Coyote Ugly, but God saved me from the temptation. My somewhat intentional (or at least I like to think) lack of charm shielded me from available women. I suppose God held true to his word and did not push me beyond that for which he prepared me.

Thanks be to God. And Glory be to him.

Hurricane Katrina

I can't write another entry without mentioning Hurricane Katrina. The power of the created world is awsome. Sometimes, it seems like man has taken control of the whole world, and others it seems that chaos reigns. Sometimes, these coexist.

Much has been written and said about the subject. I will offer this one thought. I have heard comments referring to the truly moronic behavior of some of the residents of the Gulf Coast to the effect of why didn't we just let them die. Because of my culture, I am amazed that anyone would say this. My culture might secretly think similar thoughts and express them more subtly, but it is difficult to not think that you are certainly better than looters carrying plasma TVs to flooded apartments.

After thinking a while, I realized the arrogance of both kinds of people. We really think that we deserve what we have. Be it our education, our hard work, our religious righteousness, our citizenship, some law, we believe has justified the inequity that exists in this world. It is our theodicy, our answer to the problem of evil. While we look down on televangelists saying that God is punishing that Sodom of a place, we are effectively saying, if only you had lived like me you would not be suffering.

This is pure evil. There is no good explanation for the inequity that exists in this world. God did not create this world for such a condition, and he gave his son to restore it and even surpass this original paradise. We must merely believe what he has done to be included in that process. Truth be told, it is more difficult to explain the good in this world than it is the evil. There is no reason besides God's love I can see for why we are not all hopelessly condemned. We were helpless looting fighting flood victims when he pulled us onto his lifeboat. We had only contempt to offer when he offered us new life.

Those looking for information on the relief effort in Bell County see:

http://www.ci.temple.tx.us/
http://www.templebiblechurch.org (follow link to bulletin board)

http://www.katrinashetler.com

More Alcohol Than Usual

Hopefully I don't get myself in trouble with this one...but I guess I could say that with many posts...

I must say that I ingested more alcohol than normal at UC but still managed to stay completely sober the entire time. That is more than I can say for my collegues. I say this tongue in cheek. Having not grown up around alcohol, and having discovered it in the safe environment of conservative, reformed presbyterianism, I have not experienced much of its darker side.

It is painful for me to see people that I love turning to such a cheap relief for their pain. This is not to say that alcohol can't help relax the shoulders, but a constant use of the drug to escape reality is damaging to the body and the soul. Like any comfort, even Christ, suffering is inevitable. The difference is that with Christ, the suffering is temporary and the relief is permanent.

Certainly, I know draw of escape, and I have first hand experience with the flesh seeking this kind of relief. The problem is in believing that this is lasting relief or that the temporary relief is best. It is an affront to Christ and his claim that he has accomplished the healing of all things. Our faith in his claims is what gives us hope until we experience the fullness of that healing.

User's Conference 2005

August 28-31 was the PDI\Users Conference otherwise known as The Industry Event. This is what has consumed my life for the last month or so. It was a fun experience, but I am glad it is over. I have written copious emails to my supervisor and those in charge of the conference about ideas and thoughts on the event. I will spare you the details.

Nevertheless, UC, as it is affectionately called, afforded me more time with people in unusual circumstances and some time for reflection. Posts for the next week or so will come from these thoughts.

Funny Brother(in-law)

If you want to see something funny, look at Cameron's post about his new amp.  It is probably funny even if you don't know him.