How about lunch?


Wanna do lunch?
If you see your city, or one nearby, on the map at right, you could come visit me for $20 round trip. Seriously.
Of course, you’ll have to pay to check your bags or to have a beverage or snack (you can even pay $10 to board before the commoners!), but pack light and eat before you board and you’re good.
Skybus is a new Columbus based airline with at least 10 seats on every flight for $10 each way. Other tickets are $20-$30, still a good deal. Brand new planes and all non-stop flights too (as long as you’re either coming to or leaving Columbus).
It’s a good time to live in Columbus.

Goodbye Wixom

Today marks the final day of the factory in which my T’bird was born. Ford’s Wixom MI assembly plant will close today after more than 50 years of assembling some of Ford’s finest cars including Thunderbirds, Lincoln Continentals, Lincoln Mark IV’s and Lincoln Town Cars.
Some facts:

  • Groundbreaking in 1955.
  • 4.7 million square feet of space
  • 15 miles of conveyor
  • Peak employment was 1973 with over 5,400 workers
  • Peak output was in 1988 with over 280,000 Lincoln Town Cars and Continentals

The Thunderbird was built at Wixom from 1958 (the first Squarebird style, like mine, and the first 4 seat Thunderbird) until 1976.
92,798 Thunderbirds began life at Wixom for the 1960 model year. According to the data plate, my car rolled off the line on July 26th, 1960.

Re-runs

I’m a big fan of late night TV, David Letterman in particular.
Tonight Letterman was a re-run, something I suspected following the Indy 500. (Dave owns part of a Indy Car team.) So I flipped over to NBC to watch Leno.
Turns out that Leno’s a re-run too. Keep in mind, I only watch Leno when Dave’s a re-run.
I’d seen this Leno too.
What are the odds of that? 🙁

Changes

The eagle eyed among you may have noticed a slight change in the little paragraph about me in the upper left. The word ‘Deacon’ is now conspicuously absent.

Earlier this month, my wife and I stepped down from the leadership of our family group and I stepped down from my role as Deacon in the church. The primary reason was that we felt that we needed to make our family our primary, and nearly exclusive, ministry right now. Maria noticed it first, it was her maternal instincts that became more and more alarmed at how isolated the 5 of us were becoming. Maria and I had our activities, the girls theirs, and we were operating too much as individuals rather than a family unit. We talked about it and agreed, we had no business leading a ‘family group’ if we didn’t feel good about where our family was. Moreover, at 8, 10 and 12, our girls need our complete attention to get through the challenging years ahead. We need not be distracted by obligations to the church, no matter how honorable or even needed. Of course, if I feel can’t serve as a family group leader, a man made position, how could I stay on as Deacon?

A few weeks ago, I had lunch with Codepoke and he said something that stuck with me. It was his conviction that no man should serve as an elder until his kids were grown and on a good path. The demands of eldership and father hood were each too great. Either the church, or worse, his family or both would suffer as a result. While I was not an elder, I still had responsibilities to my church that drew me away form my family. While certainly not the root of the things brewing in our family, this division of responsibility wasn’t helping. I still had things I wanted to accomplish in both roles, but as we talked things through, Codepoke’s words echoed in my head and really made it clear what needed to be done. Thanks, Kevin.

So, now the real work begins. We’ve made some good decisions and changes already.

  • We’ve decided that Sundays, as much as possible, will be family time. Playing games, seeing a movie and just being together.
  • We’ll have more time in the Bible as a family. We’ve never been good at family devos, so we’re turning dinner time into a devo. Maria a couple of years ago had a ‘verse of the day’ that she used at breakfast before school. With Jessica going to the bus at 6:45 AM now, that doesn’t work as well so they haven’t been doing it this year. We’ve still got the printouts, so we’re dusting off all those printed verses and using them at dinner time. We go through each verse word by word, dissecting it and learning what it means.
  • As many nights as possible, we’ll gather on Mom and Dad’s bed for family prayer time. Everyone gets a turn. That way they get to see how we pray, at least a little. We try to incorporate a theme, or maybe pray to incorporate the verse of the day in our own lives.

It’s a start, but it feels good to make changes, to re-adjust your thinking to God. Metanoia, repentance. There is much more to do. I don’t see myself taking on a leadership position for some time. My girls, and wife, need me now.

Ezekiel – Chapter 25

Thanks to Pinakidion and my friend Bill for the reminder to get back to Ezekiel. 😀
Ezekiel 25:1-7 – It wasn’t just Israel and Judah that he was to prophesy against. It seemed a little surprising that God would hold another nation to account for mocking His temple. At first I was thinking it spoke of God’s passion for His own house, and I guess it does. But I’ve learned the Ammonites were not just neighbors across the Jordon, but close relative of Israel, being descendants of Lot. So they should have know of the Lord and had some respect for Him, and they did not. So Go is calling them to account.
I guess one lesson to be learned is to be careful in rejoicing when another tribe gets disciplined.
Ezekiel 25:8-17 – More rebukes for other nations. Three of them, Moab, Seir and Edom, like Ammon, are distant relatives of Israel. One, Philistia, has no relation other than proximity to Israel.
Over and over in this, the statement is made that because of their being disciplined, they will know that God is Lord. It’s interesting to think about. Now, thousand of years later, do the people of Israel and the descendants of those nations know that God is Lord? Perhaps this understanding was only meant for that generation. What about us, though? Do we read about this with separation and fail to get that God is Lord, He can an has stuck nations down for failing to honor Him.
Earlier in Ezekiel, God implied that this discipline of an entire nation was something that would not happen again. Perhaps I’m reading into the text there, however, I wonder if we haven’t missed the lesson of Bible history. That God is the Lord and He will call us to account for our actions toward Him.

Anyone home?

Well, actually, no. He’s at work. Work has ramped up a bunch here lately. That means OT and that posts will (continue to) be a little sporadic for a bit.
I know you folks won’t know what to do with all the time in your schedule that frees up. Don’t worry, you’ll think of something.

Trust

In the middle of a much longer and thoughtful post on trust, Jared at the Thinklings wrote this:

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
This conviction of things not seen isn’t just about trusting God to use our mess for glory; it’s also about trusting He’s in control of that mess and that there really is a higher order in place to which the mess is subject.

That one made me, and still makes me, go hmmm ….
The first part – that faith is more than trusting God to use our mess – and the last part – that there is a higher order at work than we can see – I’m completely on board with. The idea that God is bigger than our mess and that He knows what’s happening and can see much farther and wider than we can is absolutely key to making it through the tough times with one’s faith intact.
It’s the middle part – that God is in control of my mess – that makes me scratch my head. Jared’s a Calvinist and believes, I think, that God is in direct control over everything. If I understand that right, that includes his writing his post, it’s exact wording and my writing my response (does that make God responsible from my typos?). Jared and I have been ’round and ’round on this a couple of times before and he’s even won me over a bit.
His quote here takes me back to that age old question, how much control over the world does God really execute? I will not disagree with Jared that God is ultimately in control. Where I have disagreed is that it seems to me that God has allowed us some freedom, some sovereignty, over our own lives and destinies. We wield that sovereignty to our own peril as we are not equipped to direct our own affairs in this world saturated in sin. Nonetheless, God has afforded us that opportunity. Given us enough rope to hang ourselves, if you will.
Yet every time I come back to this question, I find both answers lacking. A God that is directing and determining every action seems uncaring and distant. Yet so does a God who’s sitting back and watching, waiting for us to ‘get it’. Is there a middle ground, or perhaps some other off-to-the-side ground where God operates?
What do you have to say about this?

Good and Evil

For her 10th birthday this month, my middle daughter received this cool book from her Aunt Jenny. It’s called Good and Evil, and it’s a retelling of the Bible story in comic book form. Not a Bible in comic book form, this is a comic book telling the Bible story as written by Michael Pearl.

Before there was a beginning; before the first man was created; before the earth, the sun, the stars, even before light and time were created, there was God. He alone existed without beginning, but he was not lonely. He communed with himself in a perfect trinity of love. But God wanted to share his life. He wanted friends and neighbors. The Bible tells us in eternity past God created numerous kinds of angelic beings to offer praise around his throne but this is not their story.
This is the story of God working with mankind.(From the back cover.)

It’s true to the form of a comic book and has beautiful (if sometimes graphic) art drawn by a former Marvel Comics artist. Why Bible comic book? Well, the comic book format is popular around the world and especially in areas of the world with little knowledge of the Bible. As a comic book, rather than a religious text, it has access to markets that a Bible can’t get to.

We have created a product that will sell itself on an roadside stand in Thailand or India. It will find acceptance in countries otherwise closed to Christians. A box of them can be given to a Moslem or Hindu vendor, and he will put them on his stand for sale. They will go where no Bible is allowed, but will carry the same message. (From the Introduction.)

It’s not the Bible, it’s one man’s retelling of the Bible story. As such, there will be embellishments and disagreements on the content (I wish he hadn’t omitted the David and Goliath story and the disconnection of baptism and forgiveness is unfortunate in my view). I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but it comes across as a cool book that portrays God’s story in a unique and attractive way. I really appreciate the passion both for the comic cook genre and for getting the Bible story into hands that may not otherwise have the chance to read it.
What’s more, in the first 3 days Emily had already read 20 pages. That’s good enough for me.

Ezekiel – Chapter 24

Hard to think that this marks the halfway point through Ezekiel’s 48 chapters. It seems like I’ve been reading Ezekiel for a long time and should be almost done. 😛
Ezekiel 24:1 – OK, more dates. We started in Ezekiel 1:1 in “the thirteenth year”, in Ezekiel 20:1 it was “the seventh year” now it’s “the ninth year”.
Ezekiel 24:14 – “I will not go back; I will not spare; I will not relent” God pushed over the edge. Of course, not like we are, loosing our temper when we’ve had enough. This is God, patiently waiting for them to return (see Ezekiel 24:14), but time has run out.
Isn’t it the same today? He gives us our whole lives to come to him. Some folks have decades and the seek only their own pleasures. Once our lives aer over, there is no going back.
Ezekiel 24:15-18 – Can you imagine? Your wife, “the delight of your eyes”, is taken (not lost, taken) from you, and you can show nothing. No sadness, no mourning, no tears. Why? As a prophesy of what Israel will do at the death of their sons and daughters. That’s a hard spot to be in.
What sort of man was Ezekiel that the Lord could put him through this kind of pain and he was still not only faithful to God, but faithful to what God had for him to do (and I know that there is more pain to come)?
Ezekiel 24:27 – Was Ezekiel mute?

Ezekiel – Chapter 23

Ezekiel 23:1-21 – I can’t help but be surprised by the somewhat graphic language used here. Nothing X rated, more R or PG-13, but certainly language that I would have never heard ‘good respectable Christians’ use.
Some Christians get criticised for using graphic, shocking language to make their point. They’re called sensational and their words are criticised as sinful. Had one of these men written a story like this to illustrate a point, they’d have been taken to the woodshed, so to speak. Yet here is God, deliberately using graphic, shocking terms to make His point. I’m not saying folks should let their words run free, certainly the book of James has something to say about that. I am saying we shouldn’t toss out a man’s words because we think the language chosen is inappropriate. I think many evangelicals would have brushed Ezekiel aside as irrelevant because of the words (from God) he used.

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