Tuesday, December 21, 2004


We watched The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Extended Edition last night with friends Omar and Kate Ortiz. Excellent. Absolutely brilliant. I think this is my favorite movie bar none -- though the meaning is certainly obscured or clouded without the first two movies. I cannot say the book is better. The book is different, certainly not worse, but it is a different medium. Hard to compare the two, I think. They compliment each other well. One major drawback -- Jackson omitted the scourging of the Shire. I think this was an important part of the book, and helps to complete the picture of our Shire here, now. Our war is over, victory won, but there are still some skirmishes to be fought. Onward and upward.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Tired and Lonely

We've been in Miami for 3 months today. Miami is great! The weather during the dry months that are not summer is amazing. I've never seen sunsets and sunrises like this -- everyday. It seems that God is doing some new things in Miami in the PCA. Christiano, José and I met together on Sunday and were very encouraged. I'm excited that God is using us and may use us greatly in the future. Great opportunities abound.

But I'm tired and lonely. It is hard to move to a new city. Katherine and I moved to Texas together, then to Missouri, now to Florida. I'm working a lot, and I don't get to see her much. The excitement of newness has worn off and I'm ready to quit, or take a vacation, or something. Unfortunately, I'm working through the holidays. Our house is a mess and needs great attention, but I'm rarely there, and exhausted when I am. Nobody in Miami really knows us -- though we do have people who really care. But relationships take time, and it is happening, but, as I said, relationships take time. There's hope, but I'm tired, and lonely.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Swimming during Advent

Yesterday was the 2nd Sunday of Advent. Katherine and I went with friends José and Laura Figueroa and others to the beach on Key Biscayne. We played Ultimate Frisbee, and went in the ocean. It was a little chilly, but not too bad. Several other people were swimming, many people were "laying out" in the sun, working on their tan. It was real warm in the sun. We cooked hot dogs and played dominoes. It was a bunch of fun.

It sure doesn't feel like Advent season, it is still so warm. I love it. I'm not complaining a bit. It's great. In fact, I think this is probably closer to the weather of the original Christmas season than I am used to.

Later we had friends Omar and Kate for dinner, laughing, eating, Idiot letters, and such. Those of you who know about our Sunday night gatherings will know what it was.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Mixing Denominations

Katherine and I have been going to St. Luke the Physician Episcopal Church just around the corner from our home on Thursday nights. They have a small Eucharistic and healing service there. Usually, there are about 8 people, or so. Father Bob is a real down-to-earth kind of guy and the others are pretty folksy too. We really like it. Why is a presbyerian minister and his wife going to an Episcopal church for services?

1. We love the liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer. The PCA churches in Miami have very low liturgy. Many of the services we've attended (we've been to all the PCA churches here) have had horribly planned liturgy. I almost get the impression the service was thrown together with things added or taken away more on the basis of time constraints than any flow to the service. The Book of Common Prayer contains beautiful liturgy, and it is easy to use. We love it.

2. We love the Lord's Supper. None of the PCA churches offer the Lord's Supper weekly. In fact, we've been to church every week, and have only had communion once in the 10 weeks we've been here. What's that about? Do we believe in the grace of God or not? Do we believe in our Confessions or not? The benefits of redemption are communicated to us in the "Word [preaching], sacraments and prayer."

3. We love to be with non-presbyterian Christians. It is good to associate with, and to love, and to learn from people who are different from us. The theology is a little different at the Episcopal church, and that is good for us, and our presence is probably good for them, too. It's good to mix things up. If we stay with people who are just like us, they will probably keep affirming our worldview, and we'll never be able to see where we should change to become more like Christ. So, for those of us who are sure that we are still sinners, we should associate with people who are not like us. Not always fun, but always rewarding.