Monthly Archives: August 2007

Memories

tabitha-playing-1st-2000.jpgTabitha at First

danielle0054.jpgDanielle Allstars

britneys-2003-world-series-059.jpgBritney World Series

world-series-2005-8-8-05-018.jpgBrandon World Series

Thanks to Cecil’s last post I’m all teary-eyed and flooding with memories.  I just hugged my four children as they went off the school.  We still have a morning ritual of holding hands and praying together before they leave. 

I don’t know what it is, but seeing my children grow up is both a tremendous blessing and a heart-wrenching sadness.  Seeing them begin to “go out” (I put that in quotes because the two youngest can’t “go out” yet) with others and interact with their friends in a more “adult looking way” is really getting to me.

I know that life has not ended and that things will be fine, Lord willing, but just let me take a walk down memory lane. 

I remembe their first steps and first words.  Some of our greatest memories from their childhood are from times spent on trips with the youth groups that we were a part of.  I still blame many of those teens for things like burping at the table and playing in their food.

Most of our childrens’ childhood times were spent on the softball and baseball fields.  All four of them played ball at some level.  Tabitha was nick-named “scoop” because of her skills at first base.  She could also hit the ball hard.  Danielle played short, second, and pitched.  She wasn’t the fastest in the leagues, but we could always depend on strikes from her.  She showed her stamina when she continued to play after she started having siezures.  Britney was a power hitter and still could play if she decided to and might do that this year.  She played second based and had a great arm.  She is the only one of our girls to play in a Dixie Youth World Series.  Brandon was a natural from the beginning.  He was always the youngest of all of the boys in his league because of his birthday.  He was known, and still is, for his glove ability in the infield and speed.  We’re still working on the hitting for more power, but that will come if he will work.  Like Britney, he was priviledged to play in the Dixie Youth World Series, but he got to be there twice.  The first time was a disaster for the team, but he got two of the four hits that our team got in the two games we played.  The next year we nearly one the thing.  We lost in the championship game to Arkansas who didn’t lose in the series.

Those are not just a bunch of stats and scores–those are memories that I will take to my grave.  We are now heavily into band at the high school and there’s not enough blog space in this post for me to beging to tell you of those memories. Maybe another time.

Thanks for letting me pour all of this out today.  God bless you all. 

Those times are some of the hardest to let go.  I wonder how many buckets of balls I have thrown in both softball and baseball.  Learning the fundamentals of the game and teaching not only my children, but many others–some of which still call me “coach.”  Watching them in moments when the game was on the line and seeing them get the game winning hit or striking out and learning to deal with disappointment are moments that are priceless.

Advertisements

Interpretation 6: The Problem of Consistency

Many moons ago, I posted several blogs concerning biblical interpretation.  Those posts, though not verbatim, were taken from Fee and Stuart’s book, “How to Read The Bible For All It’s Worth.”  After many weeks off from this, I hope to resume some posts about this.  For those of you who have read the book, please excuse me for using so much of their material.  This book has opened up a whole new world for me in the realm of interpreting the Bible.  That’s why I’m sharing this material.   for those of you who have not read the book, I suggest you buy a copy.  It’s life changing information that I shelved for many years.  Don’t make that mistake.

Last post I brought to our attention the idea of inconsistency.  Some of this material may be a repeat, but that’s OK for us to review.  I hope you enjoy this. 

The Problem of Consistency

Hermeneutical problems concerning culture and meaning of biblical texts are numerous. However, all problems concerning hermeneutics stem from on thing–our lack of consistency.

Without meaning to, we all bring things to the table of interpretation like theological heritage, church traditions, and our own cultural norms. When we come to texts of the Bible with all of this baggage, we tend to try and get around harder to understand texts.

We skirt the real meanings of texts in order to simply try and make them fit into our way of thinking. This causes a great amount of inconsistency. Here are a few inconsistencies worth noting.

1.  In the 60’s when the hippie movement was strong, churches said that men were a disgrace for wearing long hair based on 1 Corinthians 11:14. Yet, at the same time, allowed women to cut their hair completely ignoring verse 15.

2. In some churches, women have been forbidden to speak based upon 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, yet all other things in that chapter are dismissed as being cultural and limited only to the first century, i.e. tongues speaking and prophesying.

3. While 1 Timothy teaches that there was a plurality of leaders, many churches do not follow this rule.

4. Very few churches enroll widows as instructed by Paul in 1 Timothy 5:3-15

5. Some churches find support for infant baptism in passages like 1 Corinthians 1:16, 7:14 or Colossians 2:11-12.

Fee and Stuart make the following statement that explains much of the reason for these inconsistencies. “Indeed our experience as teachers is that Students from these traditions seldom ask what these texts mean; they want to know ‘how to answer’ these texts.” (Fee and Stuart 60)

How true this is! We come to a text, know that it can’t mean what makes me uncomfortable, therefore we give an explanation on how to answer the text rather than letting the text teach us.

Maybe you know of other things where interpretation has left folks looking less than consistent.  In the next post I want to give some of Fee and Stuart’s principles for being more consistent.


God: A Mystery?

William Jennings Bryan said, “I have observed the power of the watermelon seed. It has the power of drawing from the ground and through itself 200,000 times its weight. When you can tell me how it takes this material and out of it colors an outside surface beyond the imitation of art, and then forms inside of it a white rind and within that again a red heart, thickly inlaid with black seeds, each one of which in turn is capable of drawing through itself 200,000 times its weight–when you can explain to me the mystery of a watermelon, you can ask me to explain the mystery of God.”

When I read this I thought about the awesome mysteries surrounding God and I agree that there is a magnificence and mystery that is truly amazing and hard to grasp. Yet, we can understand that God has made Himself known to us.

In the most wonderful loving act of God we see that he desires more than we can know to have a relationship with us. Jesus is that expression of love and the very key to unlock all the mystery surrounding God. Jesus once told the disciples, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” So the next time you want to discover a “mystery” about God, look to Jesus and see what God is like.


Great News From Birmingham!!

We are giving God all of the glory for all that He’s done through Ellen’s mom in the past three weeks.  What started as a broken ankle left her on a ventilator for 8 days and nearly dead because of an ER nurse’s decision to give her too much morphine.  It is awesome what has taken place in the past couple of days.

When Ann came out of the sedation from the ventilator, she was extremely confused.  She didn’t know where she was nor why she was there, yet she remembered Ellen’s birthday on August 2nd, which was the day she came off of the vent.  Strange hallucinations were also taking place.  As it turned out, this was the effects o the sedation.  She has gradually begun to be her old self and doesn’t remember most of that eight day turmoil.

As I said before, what started as a broken ankle and a terrible mess, has turned out to be a wonderful blessing.  Had she not done this, she would probably have never met the throat specialist in Birmingham.  After her surgery today, the doctor was nearly giddy about it.  He said things went great.  He was able to make her breathing passage 2 to 3 times larger than it’s been in 42 years.  He said that this procedure was just the beginning.  He feels confident that after maybe as much as 3 more procedures, he may be able to not only help her breathe even better, but improve her voice.  Double blessing!!  Praise God!!

Ellen has never heard her mother speak in a normal voice.  She has spoken in a raspy type voice her entire life.  To hear her mother speak and possibly even sing will be a huge blessing.  Again we praise God!

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and please continue.


Blogging From UAB

We are in UAB Hosptial in Birmingham tonight with Ellen’s mom.  Ann is doing well and in good spirits for a procedure she is having early in the morning.  They are going in to repair her throat to give her a better breathing passage.  There is even a possibility for a better voice, but we’re not sure about that.  We are very optimistic about this so just pray that God blesses these doctors.  Pray for healing as well.  Our God is awesome. 

We had a great time together this morning at Creekside.  I love my Creekside family.  We have been inundated lately with lots of guests from families and the community.  God is good all the time!!  I’m on dial-up here so I’m going to sign off before I get cut off.  I will give a report tomorrow, Lord willing.  God bless you my blog family.


Life’s Changes–TOUGH!!

Life is hard enough when we know what’s coming.  I mean there are some things that are decently predictable.  We know what to expect from our work.  Most know what’s coming when it comes to education.  We can even, because of the routine of the day predict breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a high degree of probability.

However, when it comes to the life changes with family, some things that come our way are just not the “story book ending” that we expected.   Right now I’m having some real personal struggles in hanlding the growing up of our children.  In fact Ellen and I both are.  She knows that I struggle with getting older, but she expressed that getting older doesn’t bother her as much as our children getting older.  I’me finding that to be true for me too.

Our oldest is trying to spread wings and fly on her own.  Our middle one is trying to grow through a very tough physical ailment–epilepsy.  The twins have turned 15 and I can feel the transitioning in them.  They too are beginning to feel independence. 

I guess there are two things that are the most difficult for me at this time–closeness and control.  I say closeness because we are such a close family.  With all of this transition, I can feel that kind of slipping away.  I know that sounds silly because closeness can continue even after they’ve all gone, but it’s just not the same. 

As far as control is concerend, I’m not talking about the kind of control in the negative sense, but in the protective sense.   I know that the world is a cruel place and the possibilties out there are tremendous both positivily and negativly.  I just hope that all we’ve taught them will stick.

To me this is the toughest kind of faith.  Not that I don’t believe that God can keep them, but it’s just letting go that’s so hard.  I’ve always believed that God has been with us and I believe that He will always be with us.  I just have to believe it now stronger than ever.

I hope that’s not weakness of faith, but just a concern for the future, which is something I can’t see, but He can.

____________________________________

Update on Ann.  Ellen’s mom got to get out of the ICU and is in a regular room now.  She is experiencing some confusion and is even hallucinating some.  We think this is from some of the meds they have had her on, but they did a brain scan today just to make sure all is OK there.  We don’t know those results yet.  We are awaiting a possible trip to Birmingham for some futer work on her breathing.  Thanks for your prayers.


The Ventilator Is Out

Just a short update on Ann.  They removed the ventilator and she is doing great.  They are still concerned about her Co2 levels.  She has a high reading because of not being able exhale as good as someone with a normal trachea. 

The plans at this point are to go to Birmingham for a procedure to dilate the trachea in order to give her more room to breathe.  They hope to keep her at the hospital in Florence until that happens.

Right now the news is good and everything looks like a full recovery can happen.  That’s a far better situation than a couple of days ago.

Ellen and I can’t say enough “thank yous” for your continued prayer support.  We love you all.