Tuesday, December 18, 2012


With the deaths of twenty children and eight adults we are confronted with ourselves. Is the sin in us so different from the sin in the one who killed these children? Yes and no.

Yes it is different. It is one thing to hate someone and another to lash out in violence. It is one thing to lack self control but quite another to go on a killing spree.  How can sins like anger, irritability, hate, and rebellion be compared to these murders? 

These are categorically different things right?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Loving Our Enemies and The Snowball Effect

Review Luke 6:27-38 and Ephesians 3

My thoughts on sermons at Andover Baptist.

Loving Our Enemies
Who do we love? Most of us love many people. Friends and family. But if we carefully think about who we love, we may realize that we don't love many people that don't give us some advantage.  Think about it - who do you love with no advantage to yourself? It is a tough question because it is unpleasant to admit that mixed in with our good and sincere feelings of love are usually selfish motives as well.

For instance, maybe the love we have for our parents is tinged with a selfish emphasis on what we can get from them. Or maybe our love for our children is mixed with a sinful pride in how they positively reflect on us. We would be naive not to admit that our hearts are filled with these sorts of mixed feelings.

But how does God love us?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Rich Veins: Isaiah 30

I'm hoping to begin a series of posts on encouraging passages of scripture which are less familiar. I'm calling these posts "rich veins," because I think of stumbling across these encouraging and interesting passages as being analogous to a miner uncovering a rich vein of copper, iron, or gold. 

Please comment with some of your own.

I will just share this encouraging passage of scripture and dispense with further comments:

  "Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you,
      and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
 For the LORD is a God of justice;
      blessed are all those who wait for him.

  For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, “Be gone!”

 And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. In that day your livestock will graze in large pastures, and the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. And on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the LORD binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow."

(Isaiah 30:18-26 ESV)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Preview - Ephesians 3

I am not sure what to expect regarding a sermon on this text (Ephesians 3:14-21) and all of the great truths regarding the "love of Christ which surpasses knowledge." This reminds me of Jeremy Walker's comments regarding our failure to understand the lovingkindness of God here. 

But it will be exciting to be sure. 

Every "family" in heaven and on earth is named after God the Father.  Does that mean every family in the sense of those who follow God's will and love Him, or is it more of a broad meaning speaking to God being the author of all creation?

"The riches of His glory" is a frequently used phrase in Ephesians.  This could be a preamble to any benefit that the Christian receives - for it is all from the incredible riches of God's grace and to the praise of His glory (or glorious grace).

Paul is praying that we would know the unknowable.  This is a paradoxical tension, but one that Christ can increasingly reconcile. Perhaps in reference to our sanctification it can be said that we know more of the infinitely unknowable riches of God's grace now than we did when we first believed.  And in this way we may be always approaching full knowledge.  And yet only in heaven can we hope to have this unknowable knowledge in full.

I am still mulling over the concept of infinite desires from last week's sermon. Our infinite desires can only be satiatied by an infinite God.  And in the context of Ephesians 3, it stands to reason that the intellectual desires of those made in God's image are also infinite.  We want to know all things. We want deep and profound knowledge. And yet the noetic effects of the fall, our weaknesses, our simplicity, and our sin all conspire to prevent the satisfaction of these desires. But in Christ we can begin to understand the deepest and most profound knowledge of all time.  While we can't understand the love of Christ completely, we can know the mystery - thank God the Gentiles are fellow heirs! This will be one of the many things to keep our minds bursting at the seams with activity through eternity - to understand and know the deep love of Jesus.

Harlan Photos - Winter 2012

Before we cut - with Daddy
This year we decided to go to a tree farm to cut down our Christmas tree.  The kids were extremely excited about this! I must begrudgingly admit that this was better than visiting the people who came up from North Carolina to sell pre-cut trees out of a trailer.  Thanks to Martin Luther for Christmas trees.

"Legend has it that Martin Luther began the tradition of decorating trees to celebrate Christmas. One crisp Christmas Eve, about the year 1500, he was walking through snow-covered woods and was struck by the beauty of a group of small evergreens. Their branches, dusted with snow, shimmered in the moonlight. When he got home, he set up a little fir tree indoors so he could share this story with his children. He decorated it with candles, which he lighted in honor of Christ's birth."

James White in Treasure Island?

As Long John Silver in Treasure Island (check out the ink!)

Is that James White?

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Root of All Sin

Our book study is currently reading Respectable Sins: Confronting The Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges.  This has been a very helpful book and has dealt with some very interesting, mostly practical, questions about Christian living.

The chapter we discussed was dealing with the sin of "ungodliness."  Before reading this book I would never have thought there was such a sin, but essentially it is the sin of not loving God above all else.  It is simply not having God in our thoughts in our every day life and not living for His glory or in dependence on Him.

Luke 5 & 6 Selections: Teachings of Jesus

Luke 5:33 - 6:26

My thoughts on sermons at Andover Baptist.

Regarding Jesus' parable of the wineskins, I had previously asked the question in previewing this passage, "Is this simply a statement regarding a practice not being fitting or appropriate? I have never researched this one and perhaps the question will be explored tomorrow, but that is what this passage seems to be saying."

No! There is much more going on in this parable than simply stating that it is not fitting for the disciples to fast.

Tips from Mark: Real Human

Ethan: AHH there's a stinkbug!
Mark: When you see a stinkbug you have to pretend that you're a statue. That way the stink bug won't know you are a real human.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review - Luke 5

Review of Lord’s Day: November 18th 2012
Pastor Shane Walker
Luke 5

My take on Sunday's morning sermon at Andover Baptist and other thoughts.

Jesus did not come to conquer physical death but spiritual death.  The power He shows over death and disease shows His power to make men spiritually alive.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lookng Forward to It

Many times when I am struggling with difficult circumstances in life, I find it very helpful to look forward to good things on the horizon.  Right now I'm taking advantage of some vacation time that I've been looking forward to.  But when our life seems to be swirling out of control it becomes obvious that there is nothing else to look forward to in this empty life. These difficult times afford us the opportunity to turn our minds to things above where we can find true hope of a better life.  In Christ we have already begun this better life but when we think of heaven we are looking forward to the fulfillment of what has begun in seed form now. 

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Romans 8:23-25

I've written a list of the specific things I hope to experience in heaven after the resurrection.  I was reminded of this list when my brother-in-law sent me a link to a choir singing the Hymn "Praise My Soul the King of Heaven." I hope to explore each entry on this list individually in future posts.  The thing hoped for is first and the counterfeit or opposite is in parentheses.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

An Election 2012 / Abortion Conversation

A reply to Brad's post regarding abortion and the 2012 election here.

Brad -

You said, "What I do not agree is that someone who thinks it might be alright to vote for someone who is pro-choice, on the basis of other reasons besides abortion, holds to an untenable premise."

I wanted to first say that my comments apply to America.  Let us now put aside hypothetical Americas and other nations, because that is what the American voter had to do.  It won't do to reference the U.K. or Australia just now.  We're Americans voting for the President of our country. We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief because our analysis is much clearer now.

Let us also now put aside all pretenses to the supposed urgency of other issues.  We would be profoundly foolish to ignore other issues it is true.  But the reason there are so many one-issue voters such as myself who will only vote based on the abortion question is not, as you seem to think, that our facility for moral reasoning has shriveled.  Indeed, the success of moral reasoning depends not on its complexity, relevance to great philosophers, reference to current moral thinking and norms, or warm encouragement of non-believers or dissenting believers to mutual understanding.  No, successful moral reasoning results in a decision that is righteous.  The urgency of our time is to stand for the righteous cause of the unborn.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Preview Luke 5

My preliminary thoughts on the passage to be preached this Sunday.

Luke has established the divine origin of Jesus, recounted His temptation in the wilderness, and discussed the beginning of Jesus' ministry.  One final note on Chapter 4: Jesus fulfilled the prophecy in Deuteronomy 18:15 which says, "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers - it is to him you shall listen." And just as Moses fasted forty days on the mountain, Jesus fasted forty days in the wilderness. 

This is just another interesting pointer to fulfilled prophecy, the unity of scripture, and the beauty of God's plan of redemption!

Friday, November 16, 2012

For the Joy Set Before Us

How Long O Lord?
Reflections on Suffering and Evil
D.A. Carson
Ch 8 - From the Vantage of the End

Thoughts on the monthly book study with members of Andover Baptist and Severna Park Evangelical Presbyterian.

It is absurd to suffer for Christ if we do not have a clear view of what we are hoping for in the future.  The quintessential example for us is Christ Jesus Himself: "looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

Carson: "Without that prospect [of "vindication and resurrection"] ... Christianity does not make much sense..."

"if only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all others." First Letter to the Corinthians 15:19. 

The Unconcerned Traveler

There were two men sitting on a plane in the coach section. One of the men simply sat in his seat enjoying the ride. From time to time he would listen to updates of the estimated time of arrival. Once or twice this man even looked at his ticket to make sure he was on time and on the right flight.

The other man kept looking around and pushing the button to get a flight attendant. After pushing the button a few times he had a pillow, a blanket, two bags of chips, and a can of soda. He even stuffed the plane magazines into his carry-on. Eventually he got up, trying to look as un-suspicious as possible, and walked to first-class and sat down in an empty seat.

The first man was so surprised at this behavior he could hardly believe it. He went over to the other man’s seat and noticed that all of the magazines were gone and there were crumbs everywhere. He looked in the magazine rack and saw that the man had left his ticket in it. He grabbed it and walked it up to the fellow in first class.  As he walked through the plane and looked at the ticket, he noticed that the man was not even on the right flight! He handed the tickets to him and said, “did you know you are on the wrong plane?”

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday Night Bible Study - Psalm 27

Bible Study on Wednesdays at Andover Baptist and other thoughts

  You have said, “Seek my face.”
 My heart says to you,
  “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
  Hide not your face from me.
 Turn not your servant away in anger,
  O you who have been my help.
 Cast me not off; forsake me not,
  O God of my salvation!
 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
  but the LORD will take me in.
  Teach me your way, O LORD,
  and lead me on a level path
  because of my enemies.
(Psalm 27:8-11 ESV)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Football Roundup - ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC!

I usually am not terribly intrigued by the national soccer competitions this time of year.  There's not much going on.  It isn't close enough to the World Cup for qualification matches to mean much.  But it is games like the Sweden 4 - 2 England match today which make national soccer truly the highest level of entertainment.  Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the hero of the match, plays for PSG in France.  Yes a Swedish footballer of Bosnian descent playing in France - a very strange situation indeed. But Zlatan is not just strange, he is preternatural.

Zlatan: From another planet?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Exelon - Time to Buy?

What is going on with Exelon stock lately?  It has dropped from almost $40 per share to about $30 per share over the past few months.  I find it surprising to see such a dramatic drop simply because the company honestly may have to cut the dividend.  This is a well run company with a great balance sheet and a tight cost structure.  There is a solid basis for the value of the shares in the high book value and there is every expectation that things will turn around for the company as power prices rise. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Mark: I hope a spider bites me so that I can turn into Spiderman!

Friend of my Mom's: you have to watch out with that sugar free stuff - it has acetaminophen in it!
Mom: that is Tylenol
Friend: Oh.. you know what I mean! (aspartame)

Mark: Dad I want the pizza cutter
Me: No Mark that is dangerous please sit in your seat.
Mark (smacking head): uggh.. Dad.. you don't.. it doesn't have the sharp, it isn't even the sharp... Dad you don't under.. Daddy you didn't understanded me! I just wanted the piece of pizza.

Review - Sunday November 11th

Review of Lord’s Day: November 11th 2012
Pastor Shane Walker
Luke 4

My take on Sunday's Sermons at Andover Baptist and other thoughts

Recent events in the word of cycling have resulted in many cyclists being convicted of cheating.  The most notable of these has been Lance Armstrong who has had all seven of his consecutive Tour de France titles removed.  One approach for dealing with the rampant cheating in cycling was to offer a period of amnesty so that the vast network of cheaters and their methods could finally become unravelled.  The problem with this approach is that one of the sport's main governing bodies would only offer amnesty if the amnesty covered the ruling body as well.  The implication is that the network of deception extended all the way to the governing body itself!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Preview Luke 4

Preview – Luke 4

My preliminary thoughts on the passage to be preached this Sunday

Lord willing we have another exciting day in God's house tomorrow.  This week we're studying Luke four.  In Luke chapter four Jesus is tempted in the wilderness.  How is it that God could be tempted?  If it is impossible for God to sin, then would it stand to reason that He could also not be tempted?  This is certainly a mystery but I think we find a helpful solution to this question when we consider Jesus' humanity.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Review - Sunday November 4th: Relationships

Review of Lord’s Day: November 4th 2012
Pastor Shane Walker
Luke 3

My take on Sunday's Sermons at Andover Baptist and other thoughts

What is responsible for the moral consciousness of modern society? It is Jesus Christ and the Christian religion.  Even godless philosophers recognize this. The genealogy of morals begins with Jesus.

Election 2012

Thoughts from a member of the Constitution Party:

First of all, I voted for Mitt Romney today for one reason: his stance on abortion.  I'm a one-issue voter and I think everyone in this country should be.  I'm quite confused as to why everyone is not a one- issue voter on this issue and am flummoxed at anyone who would vote for a candidate, such as Barack Hussein Obama, who does not want to protect life and liberty for certain classes of people, namely infants.  Sadly, Mitt Romney had previously not been strong on this issue but has thankfully "changed his mind." If someone would like to explain why I'm off-base on this, please leave a comment.

Now that we've got that out of the way I wanted to share a couple thoughts.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Preview - Luke 3

Preview – Luke 3
Pastor Shane Walker

My preliminary thoughts on the passage to be preached this Sunday
John the Baptist is a prophet who is the subject of previous prophecy himself: Isaiah 40:3-5! Jesus was also the subject of much prophecy.  Both John and Jesus were announced by angels and were prophesied in the Old Testament.  

Friday, November 2, 2012


According to the purpose of Him
Who works all things according
To the counsel of His will

We were predestined as sons
Before the foundation of the world
That we should be Holy and blameless
Before Him

Holy and blameless
We will be like stars in the heaven
Burning bright forever in the night
What shall we be? You and I?
Accelerating light forever - infinitely?
The sound of our music echoes
Off the universe: Eternal Cathedral

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Mineral Water

He took the calf that they had made and burned it with fire and ground it to powder and scattered it on the water and made the people of Israel drink it.
Exodus 32:20 ESV

Have you ever had a negative consequence from your sin?  I have.  I often wonder at how much easier my life would be if I would just obey God’s word. When I read this passage recently it stuck with me.  Every time I think of negative things in my life that are my own fault, I remember this passage and realize that thousands of years later I’m still tasting the ground up gold from my own sinful idols.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review - Sunday October 28th: Grow and Take Heed

Review of Lord’s Day: October 28th 2012
Pastor Shane Walker and Pastor Neil Jackson
Luke 2:39-52, Revelation 6

My take on Sunday's Sermons at Andover Baptist and other thoughts

What happens to a stalk of corn grown indoors when you plant it outside in the elements? It doesn't have the strong fibers which enable corn to withstand the wind and the rain so it falls over and dies.  Jesus was faced with difficult life circumstances which enabled Him to grown strong and increase in wisdom.  And we need to seek to grow strength of character and increase in spiritual wisdom as well.  

Fernando Torres Red Card

Fernando Torres is a massive disappointment - that is true.  If you pull up the last picture I posted of Juan Mata on his way to another incredible goal you will see Fernando Torres in the background sitting with his feet propped up and a cup of tea in one hand and a newspaper in the other.  He's lost his hunger for goals.  Hunger for goals is what fuels a striker.  It is not enough to hold up play, be a creator, terrorize defenses, throw the other team "off balance," or any other such vague objective.  A striker must score goals and create goals.  Neither of which has Torres been able to do (although Mata has; scoring one and creating the other in this game).  This often requires a striker to play through fouls.  Football is a rough sport Fernando and you need to buck up, take the hits, stay on your feet, and then bury the ball in the back of the net.  This is the Premier League so save the tumbles for Serie A where you'll invariably end up if you want to play with guile rather than skill and power. 

Torres needs to be stronger - but not worthy of a Yellow!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shakhtar Donetsk 2 - 1 Chelsea FC

Group E

1FC Shakhtar Donetsk FC Shakhtar Donetsk32000102105237
2Chelsea FC Chelsea FC30101011117434
3Juventus Juventus30100200304403
4FC Nordsjælland FC Nordsjælland301100101217-61

Group E is shaping up to be quite interesting.  We've got two absolute football powerhouses in a group with two, how shall we say it? non-powerhouse teams.  Of course, one can always argue that any team in the Champions League is a top team - by definition a team has to finish in the top of their league or win the Europa to even qualify.  Teams like Tottenham Hotspur did not even qualify for the competition.  We're talking about the very best of the best.  And yet teams out of Belgium, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, Denmark, and the Netherlands never seem to have as much success as teams out of Germany, England, Spain, and Italy. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hawaii Notes - Maui

Here is the view looking up from a volcano in Maui.  My parents are on a trip to Hawaii and then off to a cruise.  Since I won't be able to do trips like this for a few years, it is great to be able to follow along with them through pictures my dad has been texting me.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Jesus Lover of My Soul

Additional ending verses to “Jesus Lover of My Soul” written by Charles Wesley, 1740
By: Jesse Harlan
To the tune: ABERYSTWYTH D.

Jesus may I look to you! Set my mind on things above.
Even now my heart renew, wake in me my one true love.
Kill in me desire for sin - strengthen faith when it may fail.
For with you the war I’ll win! You who calmed the stormy gale.

Jesus lover of my soul raise me up on that great day!
You dear presence is my goal. There forever I will stay.                                                        
Brother shall I be an heir with you of all things from God?
How can such a thing be fair? I will trust the word of God.

Review - Sunday October 21st: Joy to the World!

Review of Lord’s Day: October 21st 2012
Pastor Shane Walker
Luke 2:1-38

My take on Sunday's Sermon at Andover Baptist and other thoughts

There are many ways to wait for something.  We find ourselves waiting in boredom or anticipation depending on what we're waiting for.  There are two ways to wait; in idleness or in anticipation.


We arrived home this afternoon and realized that our back door lock was acting up again.  For some reason it gets stuck in place if you apply too much pressure to it.  My father-in-law has already helped us with this issue a couple times.

Here's what happened...

Preview - Luke 2

Preview – Luke 2
Pastor Shane Walker

My preliminary thoughts on the passage to be preached this Sunday
The incarnation
When we looked at Mary's song we saw a clear link to the Psalms of David as well as the appropriateness of Mary using similar language as her forefather to praise God regarding the coming of Jesus.  And the coming of Jesus was a fulfillment of the promise to David that he would always have a descendant sitting on the throne.  And so we see in the beginning of Luke 2 the family is returning to Bethlehem the city of David due to Joseph's lineage, for a census.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Tottenham 2 - 4 Chelsea: What's the Mata Villas Boas?

Thank you Senor Mata!

Roman Abramovich must surely feel that his decision to sack Andres Villas Boas was vindicated.  The game billed as a chance for Boas to show that he belongs as a manager of a Champions League caliber team became merely a showcase to expose his and his side's weaknesses.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

Worse Than Death?

What could be worse than death? I think for most of us, death is one of the worst things that we can ponder.  That is partly due to what is called the "self preservation instinct" that humans are born with. Also, the fear we have of the pain involved in death and the unknown are both good reasons to dread it.  But are there things that are worse than death?

Happy 5th Birthday Mark

Mark just turned 5 years old! Here are a few pictures of the big man.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Review - Sunday October 14th 2012

Review of Lord’s Day: October 14th 2012
Pastor Shane Walker & Pastor Neil Jackson
2 Corinthians 4 and Revelation 5

My take on Sunday's Sermons and other thoughts

Dr. John Byl took the Sunday School and dealt with problems which arise from "Old Earth" and theistic evolution.  I was unable to attend but heard it was a very helpful session.  Read some of Byl's excellent points here.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Preview - 2 Corinthians 4

Preview – 2 Corinthians 4
Pastor Shane Walker

My thoughts on the passage to be preached this Sunday
Although this passage applies to all believers, it particularly applies to those who are ministers of the Gospel.  But the embedded distinction between "all believers" and "ministers of the Gospel" in the previous sentence may be shown to be unclear due to the fact that, in a limited way, all christians show to others the beauty of the Gospel.  Many of us also speak the Gospel in informal ways as well.  "'I believed, and so I spoke' we believe and so we also speak."

Review - Sunday Morning October 7th 2012

Review of Lord’s Day Morning: October 7th 2012
Pastor Shane Walker
Luke 1:46-80

My take on Sunday's Sermon and other thoughts

The sermon begins with an introduction to the theme of "Enemies" using the example of baseball fans who cheer for their home team and also whatever team is playing against the New York Yankees.  Perfect! I feel a sudden urge to yell, "Let's GO O's!" but refrain and quickly return my attention to our text.

Spiritual Mindedness

John Owen
Below is a link to some very helpful notes on Spiritual Mindedness by John Owen. This is over at the Faith Seeking Understanding blog of Shane Walker.  

John Owen requires a good deal of time and effort to understand. These notes distill many of the helpful directives and gleanings from his book. If you can't read the book get the notes here:


End of the Road: Yankees 3 - Orioles 1

Thank you Baltimore Orioles for a great 2012 season and we hope to see you back in the postseason next year.  Although it would have been nice to pay the Yankees back for 1996 it just wasn't our year.  I don't think anyone even thought the Orioles would make the postseason much less force a fifth game in the ALDS on the road against the Yankees. 

It's great to see the Orioles turning around as an organization and they have made next season something for me and my family to look forward to.  I can't wait to take my sons to their first game next summer at Camden Yards!

Who would have thought baseball could be this exciting?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Yankees 3 - 2 Orioles ALDS Game 3 - Loss

Who is Raul Ibanez?  Right now he is my least favorite player.  We had our closer in to finish off the game, just as he has done so many times before, and here comes this no-name pinch hitter.  I thought this would be great. The Yankees are shaken and now we can finish them off.  They took out A-Rod and put in this guy?  Please - this is it, we're on to Game 4 and a chance to pay back the Yankees. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Helpful Post by Jeremy Walker

Thanks for your helpful post Pastor Walker.

Check it out here:

Orioles 3 - 2 Yankees ALDS Game 2 - WINNERS

The Oriole Bird was rosin up the bow in the 7th inning stretch.  As we sang a tune from John Denver raucously we wondered how long the dream could last.  I've never understood exactly what being a country boy had to do with Baltimore or baseball - but at that moment none of us cared.  We were just hoping our wonderful game two dream would end well and how it did!

Thanks to some great hitting at the right times and a base running error by Mr. Derek Jeter (sorry his name has to be included here - henceforth it will be the dreaded DJ) we were able to prevail.  I was particularly pleased when the dreaded DJ failed to tag up on a line drive and was called out at second while he stood at third.  Awkward.  I don't think the crowd was louder than that point.  With one exception.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Orioles - Remember 1996!

We've almost clinched the wild card spot (with only a +7 run differential??) but the dreaded Yankees have won the division.  Could the Yankees be any more detestable?  They disgust me and all Orioles fans for many reasons.  I don't have the time or the energy to go into this long and storied rivalry.  But lets at least remember one incident that, even as a non-baseball fan, I will never forget.  The memory has been seared upon my mind and emotions ever since it happened.

or Fishing

Mark: Daddy what is this?

Me: That is a paper to help people think about God.

Mark: Hmm or maybe they can think about fishing right?

Me: uhh... yes Mark or about fishing.

Thanks to Church of The Open Door in Westminster, MD for sending some folks over to our house to invite us to church.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Christianity, Math, and Science - Lectures

How do recent breakthroughs in Math and Science relate to our faith in God?  Have Math and Science completely debunked all that we've previously learned about God?  Click on the Link below to find out more about an upcoming conference by a noted scholar - I hope to attend and hope to see you there.


Chelsea v FC Nordsjaelland - A key win

Well my prediction was a bit off I must say.  I was quite sure that Chelsea would not be able to run away with a 4-0 win, but it is always nice to be wrong in this way.  There were a couple good things about the results from today's group stage matches. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Chelsea v FC Nordsjaelland

Tomorrow Chelsea is playing a UEFA Champions League game against some Danish team that no one has heard of.  But don't worry, these types of group games can be very exciting. 

Preview - Luke 1:45-80

Preview – Luke 1:45-80
Pastor Shane Walker

My thoughts on the passage to be preached this Sunday
Luke chapter 1 is extremely long – it is the longest chapter in the New Testament.  No wonder we’ve broken it into two sermons at our church.  Last week we learned about the response of Mary and Zechariah when they were in the presence of Gabriel.  This week we see a more full response from both Mary and Zechariah and both of them are beautiful.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Review - Sunday Evening September 30th 2012

Review of Lord’s Day Evening: September 30th 2012
Pastor Neil Jackson
Revelation 3:19-22

My take on the sermon
Someone yelling out "wrong way!" when you are driving down a one-way street is a very helpful and loving thing to do.  What kind of person would say, "who are they to tell me this is the wrong way?"  Most would simply be thankful and turn around.  This is much like the passage under consideration as the harsh rebuke to the church in Laodicea is a warning to turn from a dangerous path.

Review - Sunday Morning September 30th 2012

Review of Lord's Day Morning: September 30th 2012
Pastor Shane Walker
Luke 1:1-45

My take on the sermon

Friends on Facebook are of a much different sort than other types of friends. You can rack up friends on Facebook and it merely means you are interested in seeing posts by that person some of the time.  It doesn't necessarily denote a deep and abiding affinity.  In ancient times it was likely a much more serious (in a good way) thing to call someone your friend.  Luke was likely a good friend of Paul and we know they were traveling companions.  Luke was likely a physician and we know that he was well taught by the skill exhibited in his Greek.  He writes in classical historic terms using the word translated "inasmuch" which is nowhere else found in the New Testament but is found in other Greek historians of the time.  This is just one example of his use of the Greek language, the entire "Preamble" to the book is very well done.  Also, when Luke refers to Old Testament passages and ideas he uses the same words that are used in the Septuagint.  The one addressed in this book as Theophilus may well have been a person or could also refer to all Christians.  The name means "friend of God" and forms one of the themes of the sermon: Friends of God.


Mark:  Daddy why does hair grow in your nose instead?
Me:  What do you mean "instead?"
Mark:  Why does hair grown in your nose?
Me:  It just does... but why did you say "instead?"
Mark:  uhh Daddy... your hair doesn't grow on your head anymore but it grows in your nose right?
Mark:  Daddy I think God wants your hair to grow in your nose instead of on your head... maybe.

Mark:  (wearing shin guards on his arms) Daddy! if a robot hitted me really hard on my arm when I am wearing these... he will break apart!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Review - Sunday Evening September 23rd

Review of Lord’s Day Evening: September 23rd 2012
Pastor Neil Jackson
Revelation 3:14-18

My take on the sermon
The Church in Laodicea has grown fat and kicked like Jeshurun in Deuteronomy 32:15 – KJV “But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.” Fatties; not physically but spiritually.  They have become self-reliant because of their wealth and strength.

Review - Sunday Morning September 23rd

Review of Lord’s Day Morning: September 23rd 2012
Pastor Shane Walker
Deuteronomy 32:48 – 34
My take on the sermon

One of the key themes in Deuteronomy involves Moses teaching Israel to know God as He really is.  This is an important objective in all epochs, but in Deuteronomy Moses teaches especially against the worship of the false gods of the surrounding nations and against the propensity to “forget God.” In Chapter 33 the concept of Jeshurun, the beloved upright One (Israel), is explored and linked with the Beloved referenced in the New Testament.

Friday, September 28, 2012

"What seems to a man, is to him"

"What seems to a man, is to him".  So says Protagoras.  Basically, truth is whatever it seems to be to that individual.  Certainly nothing has changed under the sun as this seems to be espoused by many today.  There are many corollaries such as, "live and let live" or, "to each his own" and so on. 

But these are simply the mantra of those who refuse to stand for truth.  It is much easier to be a relativist than to espouse objective truths and defend them.  Perhaps the only "good" thing about relativism is the ease and comfort it affords those who espouse it. 

However, it is an incoherent and illogical system.

"If you say there are no universally valid truths including the claim that there are no universally valid truths, then you have contradicted yourself. You have said the claim both is and is not universally valid."
- John Searle "Refutation of Relativism"

Saturday, September 22, 2012


This is my personal blog.  It will be a bunch of thoughts on various topics; a place to put some writing that no one else would publish. A college professor once told me, “writing is thinking,” and I hope this blog will be a place where careful thinking occurs.  Please comment with your thoughts.
A note about the title, “Adopted Son.”  This is a reference to an ancient letter written to a group of Christians living in Rome, Italy. This letter, found in the New Testament of the Christian Bible, is quite long and broken down into chapters and verses.  In chapter 8 verse 15 we read, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”“ To be an adopted son, what does that mean? It is to be accepted by God as a son because of what Jesus has done.  My great joy at being adopted into the family of God is my driving motivation in life and will certainly be one of many topics addressed on this blog.
Other things you may find here are posts dealing with literature, theology, books I am reading, current events, my family, humor, business, sports, poetry, church, people of note, and other interesting things.  In short, this is my personal blog.  Thank you all (or should I be more realistically say, "my wife"?) for reading.