Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Back On-Line

Okay, connected to the internet again, although not without it's own issues. Full use won't happen for a couple more days, but blogging capability is now back. I should post something shortly.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Temporary Blog Interruption

I'm in the middle of a blog-out, as living arrangements have changed and I won't have internet at home until Tuesday. So, if I blog, it will be from a remote location, like a friend's house or cafe. Until then, have a few good days.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Night Potpourri

Hyper extended thoughts on steroids this week:

  • I was rear ended yesterday in a low speed parking lot incident, leaving me half way into a traffic lane. There was only license plate paint transfer as damage. But the excuse the other driver gave was drug induced to be sure. "When I step on the brakes, the car just doesn't stop! And these Toyotas and all their brake problems recently." Yeah, uh-huh.
  • The tree pollen count has been very high the last few weeks. Our cars are yellow with pollen dust.
  • While exiting the park with my kids the other day, I saw a very nice restored 1969 Camaro at a stoplight where we were going to cross the road. The driver of the car next to him was spinning his fingers as a suggestion. The Camaro driver did close to a power stand and put a significant amount of rubber down. We were about ten feet away. My kids got to see something rare that used to be common place when I was young.
  • My dad took his pickup to the gas station. The tanker truck was there filling the underground tanks. One problem. It was the driver's first day on the job and he accidentally filled the unleaded tank with diesel. My dad's tank was full of diesel. Six cars were immediately towed away by the gas station to a place to purge them of diesel fuel. One poor guy started his car and started to drive away. He only made it about 20 yards. I'm sure there's a job opening for a tanker truck driver.
  • I love Indian food. The spices in the curry are wonderful.
  • All the Harold Camping talk this week. The Mayan calendar coming to an end. Other eschatology talk. Please turn in your hymnals to #666.

Another iMonk Update; Dying And Knowing It

Michael Spencer, aka the Internet Monk, is discontinuing his chemotherapy and is now receiving help from a hospice. The family asks for prayer for Michael to pass with minimal pain and in peace.

We read or hear so often today about people who fight until the end, but not as often about people who accept death willingly, or even embracing it. Of course, there's nothing wrong with fighting for one's life and hoping for a miracle. But I have a good deal of respect - and even admiration - for the person who knows it's coming - soon - prepares for it, expects it, and can receive it. God bless you, Michael Spencer.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Friday Night Potpourri

Items of thought this week:

  • Not the national news story to brag to your friends about. We've known for years the aunt, uncle and cousins of the high school pitcher in a coma after being hit with a line drive. Hoping for a quick and complete recovery.
  • How much stress do you have? Take the Life Stress Test and determine how likely you will be to getting a stress related illness. This test rates the amount of stress certain life events places upon somebody. A score of 300 means highly susceptible. I scored 704 with only one box to fill in for each. Adjusting for multiple occurrences for the same thing, I tally 1025. I'm still alive.
  • We've secured a new place to live. We should be moving here shortly.
  • Spring weather was in the air this week, with temps reaching the 70's and even 80 today. But that just means lots of bugs and other insects. I jogged without my sweat jacket for the first time this winter.
  • I'm teaching our two year old all the auto maker symbols on the backs of cars. He loves cars. "That's a Chebby, daddy!"
  • Life's been so hectic this week we've had to put off our St. Patrick's Day dinner until Saturday. Mmmm. Corned beef and cabbage, with Guinness. Of course, the rest of you are probably sick of leftovers by now.
  • From The Godfather.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I'm part Irish, I'm wearing green, my favorite beer is Guinness Stout and I am a Christian. With St. Patrick using the shamrock, according to tradition, to explain the Trinity to the king of Ireland, all these things go together for a good holiday to celebrate. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Is Forgiveness Based On Repentance?

I've been thinking over something for a while on the relationship between forgiveness and repentance. I'm going to write this here off the top of my head, using general but not specific references to Scripture. We often hear about forgiving others, and how it is a Christian virtue. But do we forgive others for wronging us as if nothing ever happened? Do we completely overlook a transgression? What role does repentance play in forgiveness?

In Jesus' story about the servant who was forgiven a great debt, then went out and strangled another servant who owed him a smaller amount, I remember that each debtor begged for mercy and asked for time to repay his debt. Each was asking his creditor for a chance to repent of his unpaid debt. Also, does God forgive us our sins without requiring repentance? Does this forgiveness extend to a complete lack of regard for owning up to our sin? Didn't Zaccheus offer to pay back fourfold any amount he took unrighteously? In Jesus' story about the tower of Siloam, doesn't he say, "unless you repent, you will likewise perish?"

Then again, in Matthew 18 on "church discipline," a sinning brother is to be confronted. If he refuses to listen to one, then two or three are brought to witness as to his sin. If he refuses to listen to them, it is told to the church. If then he refuses to listen, he is to be treated as a heathen. Where is forgiveness here? Is it not in his repentance? Isn't this what happened to the man in 1 Corinthians 5 who slept with his father's wife? He was put out of the church, but when he repented, Paul instructed the church in 2 Corinthians to forgive him and receive him.

Any thoughts on the relationship of forgiveness and repentance? Is forgiveness supposed to stand on its own?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

iMonk Update

Michael Spencer, aka the Internet Monk has been given six months to a year to live, according to his wife, Denise, in a recent post. His cancer is too advanced and aggressive to expect a remission. He hasn't posted on his blog in a few months now, and I wonder whether he will again.

I must admit that I am fairly speechless about this revelation. I simply don't know what to say. I've never met Michael Spencer, but I have read his blog for several years, and commented there as I got to understand his message. We've had several email exchanges which surrounded a completely unexpected occasion. One day, there was a personal email in my inbox from Michael announcing that he had been reading my blog for a while and was a fan of my writing. He invited me to be a guest blogger at Internet Monk, posting something once a month or so. I was excited and deeply humbled at the same time.

I've only made one post there, as my own situation over this last year just hadn't seemed to allow that certain "groove" necessary for me to be in to write a second one. I started a few things, but never finished. So it is with a bitter reality - a shocking one - that I received the news. It's like I was on the cusp of entering somebody else's world, yet never making it quite in, then having that world close. Of course, my stake in the matter isn't what's the most important, it's just the only part of it that I've experienced.

I hope nothing but the best for the Spencer family, and short of "that miracle" that probably won't come, I know that he has family and friends that will be able to help him through to the end. Michael's writings have had a pronounced effect on my views of the evangelical church and its people, and I hope to highlight some of that here in the near future.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Night Potpourri

Brain waves for this last week:

  • We think we found a house to move into. It's larger than our old house, and we think it should take care of our needs for the next year, and hopefully beyond.
  • One of my school textbooks warns to not point power tools at other people. I wonder why?
  • Next week is St. Patrick's Day. Of course, this means corned beef and cabbage and Guinness Stout. Hey, I'm part Irish. I forget which part, but I'm pretty sure the Irish part married the Lithuanian part. Don't know what Lithuanians do.
  • Speaking of being part something, I'm part German Swiss, English, Irish, German, Swedish and Lithuanian. That's all I'm aware of. Typical Euro mutt.
  • Denied! This was the funniest part of the movie. Anybody familiar with the rock scene and music stores knows that this is the song every guitarist wants to play in the store. I was with three other people who knew it was funny, but the whole theater was filled with twelve year olds and their parents who didn't get it. We were the only ones busting up, and everybody else thought we were goofing off and turned around to scorn us. Kids those days.
  • Washing your two year old's security blanket is a challenge. About 1am is the only time he is asleep enough to not notice it's missing.
  • Sometimes another song on the album is better than the radio hits.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Friday Night Potpourri

A week in mental exercise:

  • We've been looking for a home to rent for a few weeks now. Quite a varying group of places from which to choose. Some are old and rundown, badly in need of repair. Some are bright and cheery. Where's the one for us?
  • All the rain this winter has made the early blooming tree pollen quite bad. Achoo!
  • A recently scheduled "date night" between Mrs. Scott and me was ditched an hour before the babysitter showed up as a result of a 104 fever in one of our kids. As a Plan B, we each did takeout from one of each our favorite restaurants. Italian for her, Mexican for me. It wasn't quite the same as eating out because there was no refill on chips or jalapeno salsa. But we still ate together, which was good.
  • Our eight year old is slated to have a photo shoot in one of his favorite places, our local open space preserve.
  • Ad free cars: For some reason, I've never had a bumper sticker, advertisement or even a license plate ring on any car I've ever driven. For some reason.
  • "For best results, squeeze tube from the bottom and flatten as you go up." Best results? You mean fewer cavities are the result from the way I squeeze the tube?
  • Note to the US Congress and the President: You can no more reform the laws of economics via legislation than you can reform the law of gravity. So quit trying. You look like morons. Not to mention you are morons.
  • Yet another song from my youth in the 70's. This one was easy to like.

Martin Luther Plus Semper Reformanda Equals More Martin Luthers

Martin Luther was a hero of the Protestant faith. His beliefs that the church was engaged in theology and practice that was not biblical led to its reforming; hence the Protestant Reformation. One of the rallying cries of the Reformation was "Semper Reformanda," or "always reforming."

Today in "Reformed" circles, this slogan is not given near the weight that the five solas are. Sola Gratia (grace alone), Sola Fide (faith alone), Solus Christus (Christ alone), Sola Scriptura (scripture alone) and Soli Deo Gloria (to the glory of God alone) are champions of the day. In my opinion there seems to be a line of thinking in Reformed circles that the Reformation was a one-time thing that solidified everything to be believed for all time. All reformation stopped at The Reformation.

Of course, reforming for the sake of reforming isn't in mind, as Michael Horton points out in this piece about the real meaning of the slogan. The original phrase was, “The church is reformed and always [in need of] being reformed according to the Word of God,” indicating that the reformation in view is passive; the Holy Spirit working in reforming the church. Horton also points out:

As Calvin argued in his treatise “The Necessity of Reforming the Church,” the Reformers were charged with innovation when in fact it was the medieval church’s
innovative distortions of Christian faith and worship that required a recovery of apostolic Christianity. Rome pretended to be “always the same,” but it had accumulated a host of doctrines and practices that were unknown to the ancient church, much less to the New Testament.

Now for some questions. Could the same thing be said, at least in some things, about the Reformed church? Did the Reformation deal with every single problem with Rome? And if Martin Luther led the way for the church to be reformed, couldn't we say that along with the slogan of Semper Reformanda there should arise even more Martin Luthers?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Baseball Is On The Radio!

As many of you know, I am an avid baseball fan, which is probably an understatement. Six minutes ago, the first radio broadcast of a Spring Training baseball game (my Giants vs. the Seattle Mariners) started. Newly elected Hall of Fame baseball announcer Jon Miller called the first pitch. The first baseball game of the year to be on radio is one of my favorite days of the year.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

It's My Birthday And I'll Cry If I Want To

I'm 46 today. Yay. As my post title states, it's my birthday. Well, I don't anticipate crying, but I can certainly fall asleep on the couch, wake up, and post this at 4:11am on my way to bed. Dang the toys in the hallway and the burnt out nightlight in the bathroom. Good morning.