Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Don't Waste Your Life

I will tell you what tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider this story from the February 1998 Reader's Digest: A couple 'took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30-foot trawler, play softball and collect shells . . ." Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgement: 'Look, Lord. See my shells.' That is a tragedy.

God created us to live with a single passion: to joyfully display his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. The wasted life is the life without this passion. God calls us to pray and think and dream and plan and work not to be made much of, but to make much of him in every part of our lives.

from Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper

Monday, August 29, 2005


I'm not really a father. My children call me, "Chaplain" instead of, "Dad" or more likely, "Papi" since they are all Hispanic. So I'm "Chaplain." Most of them didn't know what that word meant. For some, I could explain with "capellan."

My oldest ran away this weekend. We don't know where he is. The police are looking for him. I think we've lost him for good. I hardly knew him. So now, we have Robert, Miguel, Julio, Julio and Mikel. I'm working on some pictures, perhaps. We had a rough week, I think, but things seem to be settling down and we're getting into a routine, learning what to expect from each other.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Miniature Earth

Friday, August 19, 2005

New Father

I've become a father. Sort of. We took in 3 boys last night. One is leaving this morning, already. 2 will stay. Julio and Miguel. We'll get 3 more tomorrow, and more on Sunday. Busy, busy, and I forgot to get the cigars.

Monday, August 15, 2005

New Book

I got an idea for a book I want to write. This happens a bunch, but this time, my wife thought it was a great idea. I can't find a good title, but I'm working with . . . How to Change your Spouse, Sibling, Child, Parent, Friend, Boss and Pastor.

Basically, a book for laypeople on sanctification. For those who know me, you'll know that the movement of the book will be like this . . .

1. You can only change people by loving them unconditionally, that is, by loving them without them needing to change . . . ever.
2. You cannot love people like that without divine intervention. Since you are not divine.
3. Your only hope is Jesus, he loved you without your needing to change, so he is changing you by his love, not by force. He is changing you into a loving person, who can love unconditionally.
4. By loving unconditionally in the power of Jesus, you can bring your spouse, sibling, child, parent, friend, boss and pastor closer to holiness.

Or, to sum up: You can't. He did. Now, you can. You must. You will.

Any thoughts? It's just an idea now, and I could use some feedback.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

"Breathe Deep" from the Lost Dogs

Politicians, morticians,
Philistines, homophobes
Skinheads, Dead heads,
tax evaders, street kids
Alcoholics, workaholics,
wise guys, dim wits
Blue collars, white collars,
war mongers, peace nicks

Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God
Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God

Suicidals, rock idols,
shut-ins, drop outs
Friendless, homeless,
penniless and depressed
Presidents, residents,
foreigners and aliens
Dissidents, feminists,
xenophobes and chauvinists

Evolutionists, creationists,
perverts, slum lords
Dead-beats, athletes,
Protestants and Catholics
Housewives, neophytes,
pro-choice, pro-life
Misogynists, monogamists,
blacks and whites

Police, obese,
lawyers, and government
Sex offenders, tax collectors,
war vets, rejects
Atheists, Scientists,
racists, sadists
Biographers, photographers,
artists, pornographers

Gays and lesbians,
demagogues and thesbians
The disabled, preachers,
doctors and teachers
Meat eaters, wife beaters,
judges and jurys
Long hair, no hair,
everybody everywhere!

Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God
Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Miami Traffic

I left the new home this morning at 6:40am. I wanted to get in to work earlier than my scheduled start time of 8am. The rain last night caused the overnight construction to continue into the rush-hour. There were 5 disabled vehicles on the highway. I got to work at 9:05, just under 2 and half hours.

Cities are great because there is so much to do, but with all the people, sometimes you have to wait and wait and wait. Then again, in rural areas, there's lots of waiting, too, I think.

Why does this waiting bother me? I think it is because I feel like my time is worth more than other people's time. I should not have to waste my time on mundane tasks such as traffic, becuase I am special. Am I the only one here? Lord help us all.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Obsessed with Personal Salvation

Doesn't the very importance of my personal salvation pose a kind of temptation -- to want heaven more than I want good; to want escape from hell more than I want true reconciliation to God or my neighbors? An overweight man was concerned about his weight, so he had a stomach bypass surgery, after which he continued to eat unhealthy foods. In the end he died sooner from a heart attack than he would have died from obesity. Couldn't this apporach to salvation tempt us to be like this man? By wanting thinness more than he wanted health, he ended up with neighter -- this is the danger of wanting personal salvation above all.

No wonder many people feel that "accepting Jesus as a personal Savior" could make them a worse person -- more self-centered and less concerned about justice on earth because of a preoccupation with forgiveness in heaven. Again, although I believe in Jesus as my personal savior, I am not a Christian for that reason. I am a Christian because I believe that Jesus is the Savior of the whole world.

from A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian D. McLaren, page 100.

Monday, August 08, 2005

New Home

Well, Katherine and I moved into our new home this weekend. It around 10,000 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 2 baths, it is huge! In a short time we should welcome 6 or 7 abused, neglected and abandoned teenage boys into our home. We're looking forward to it. But in the meantime, we still have only one key between us. This is our 11th move in the last 10 years. We love to move! Well, not really. Moving is . . . not fun, but each move has been a good one and it gives us plenty of opportunity to give away all the stuff we don't need. That's a good thing. Simplify, simplify, simplify!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I Got Mad

I got mad at our pet rabbit, Luther.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Addicted to Coffee

Well, I'm addicted to coffee. If I drink less than 16 oz. of coffee in a morning, I'll have a huge headache in the afternoon and evening. I didn't want this to happen, but coffee is great! I'm trying to cut back -- but I really hate the headaches. There's always an excuse. For example, this week, I'm on-call at the hospital all week. Every night, I could get called in, so . . . of course I can't have a monster headache this week, right?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Harry Potter is a Christian

I've been reading a bunch of John Granger's stuff on Harry Potter. Amazing! Take a look at a post from a few weeks ago, here.

Well, Katherine and I own the first two books in paperback, but they're falling apart (more from improper handling than much good use). So, we ordered all 6 in hardback form, the first 5 from used book dealers over the internet, good prices! They just started coming in. I just started re-reading book 4 last night. Got through about 140 pages of Goblet of Fire. Wow! I'm seeing stuff I never saw before. I am absolutely convinced that Rowling is writing for the purpose of advancing the gospel of Christ. It is what C. S. Lewis talked about when he described the task of good novels -- preparing the soul to hear the gospel, plowing the hard dry ground so that when the seed is sown, it will take root.

And -- it's a great story with tons of fun, really stirs the imagination!

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Death of Meaning and the Meaning of Death

I preached yesterday morning at Key Biscayne Presbyterian Church, "The death of meaning and the meaning of death." I never really makea good text for it, so I have nothing to post here, but I think it was a pretty good sermon, so I'll try to get it up here somehow. I'm trying to figure out how to make it available here on audio. There are some other audio files I'd like to post, too. Any help would be welcome.