Well, it's been over a year since my last post, and I've felt a need to get this thing going again. Although I've generally shied away from making this blog about big events in my life, there is just too much going on not to put something about it up here. Really, if any year has been blog worthy for me, 2012 has been it. What has made it so?
First and most important is the birth of my son Braxton. Before he was born, I had little to no idea what parenting would entail. Let me say the experience on the whole can be best described and two words–joyful and sanctifying.
Being a dad, outside of being a husband, has been one of the largest pleasure and privileges of my life. To see my son grow more and more each day is a daily blessing. Another side of that blessing is how God uses Braxton to reveal areas in my life where I am in great need to be further conformed to Jesus. As if the fun of being a dad wasn't enough...
|Braxton is at this time just over 8 months old. Just watching him grow stronger and learn more each day is fascinating.|
|Braxton at 8 months|
Although in the past I've generally not wanted to this blog to be primarily about details of my personal life, there are some details that are just too big to not blog on, especially after being away for one year!
Of course, what would this post be without tying it into some reflection on current issues, theology, ministry, philosophy, or any given combination of these? As I think about the challenges of ministry, especially now that I have seen them firsthand, I wonder more and more the kind of environment Braxton will grow up in. I always want church to be fun and exciting for him...to rise above petty issues of style and opinion. Yet more than this, I want him to be in a church that is known for being full of the Holy Spirit and its love for God, being robustly committed to sound doctrine and having a healthy structure.
Along with the challenges of ministry within the church come the ever growing tests of doing ministry to the world, particularly in U.S.A. and the ever-polarizing directions of its citizens. Following Barack Obama's reelection, I have come across a few articles from Christian sources such as Trevin Wax and Al Mohler as well as secular ones such as NPR, discussing how the results were in many ways a figurative body-blow to many Christian views. Viewing some of the comments on the NPR article, I was disgusted by the overt hate and mockery of Christian views that littered the discussion board underneath the article. Nevertheless, I can't say I'm surprised. In fact, I'm reassured of the truths of Scriptural passages like John 15:18-21, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 3:12-13, and 4:3-4. At the same time though, there is definitely a part of me that wants Braxton to not have to experience such mistreatment from the world at large. Yet more than this, I want him to grow into a man of God who chooses the acceptance of God over the acceptance of the world at the expense of being rejected by many in the world.
Who knows what challenges the changing cultural landscape will bring in the coming years...Either way, I know in reality it is an opportunity for believers to really stand out by being willing to go against a cultural tide that is increasingly more overtly opposed to Christianity and its values.
On a more lighthearted topic, I'm excited to see what football matchups this years BCS selections will result in. The mighty Crimson Tide were dethroned from the top ranking last Saturday. Barring an unforeseen failure on the parts of Oregon, Kansas State, and Notre Dame, this should prevent any SEC school from having a chance to extend their already too long run of championships. In all honesty, the only thing I'm disappointed with is that the SEC won't be truly ousted as a non-SEC team won't actually beat them. Yet, whichever BCS bowl the SEC champs get will pit them against a non-SEC opponent, and regardless of who that opponent is, they already have a fan in me. Overall, I'd love to see the Irish make it to the big game, hopefully playing Oregon. Although I'm doubtful about my favorite team's chances against the "mighty" Ducks of Oregon, I think a Notre Dame vs. Oregon matchup will make for a much better game than Kansas State vs. Oregon. Plus, who knows...Notre Dame might just bring some luck o' the Irish with them into the game and surprise the nation by beating them. At this point though, one can only dream.
One last minor detail is my excitement about finally getting an iPhone. I just got it on Monday. You can read about my enthusiasm for Apple devices a couple of posts below. Let me just say it's great to finally have a device in every major category that Apple manufactures.
It's good to be back.