General Life Update 1.11.22

2021 was a heavy year, with plenty of good and bad. COVID restrictions had their effect on many. I had several friends and acquaintances pass away which added to the general heaviness of the year. Some were older some were young. I can't help but shake the feeling that I am on borrowed time. Life is so short, which brings to mind this Samuel Davies sermon you definitely should read. Elena at 7 months Apart from me continuing to work from home, my immediate family has been healthy and growing--largely unaffected by COVID. Praise God! Maybe we have been too healthy! Parenthood has been more difficult than I had anticipated, and these boys are making Montana and me work! My family has grown from 4 to 5 members, with the particular birthing event of Elena Rae being the highlight of my year. Having a daughter has been an overwhelming blessing. Hudson (age 4) and Brooks (age 2) are so full of masculine energy and violence it has been nice to meet someone who is pure sweetness and smile

Going Local

Twitter is useful for many things. I love the resource sharing, seeing the books or the podcasts people are enjoying. I follow several brilliant people who have great ideas which in turn give me plenty of good things to think about. Twitter also gives me a pulse on the outside world. What is going on? What are the questions people are asking? But despite all that, like other technology, social media tends to break forth from the bounds we set for it. Instead of quickly scanning some books or ideas, I am left reading the comments of a real political slugfest, liking and cheering on my team. Instead of going in and getting out with what I came for, I find myself scrolling and scrolling, while my flesh and blood offspring are in front of me requiring my undivided attention.  In a COVID-19 world, Twitter offers the community and the human interaction we crave. There are people online who have the same interests and viewpoints as me! Imagine that! Who else do I know enjoys reading Napoleoni

Favorite Reads in 2021

Every year I try to read a healthy mixture of books: fiction, history, Christian living, and Christian Theology. While all of us should read books that are challenging and stretch our minds to new heights, I think it is almost equally important to read books for no other reason than they are very enjoyable.  Here are my top ten books I read in 2021: 10. Dune – Frank Herbert I hardly ever read sci-fi so this was largely out of my comfort zone. After reading some good reviews of the Dune film, I thought I would go all in and read the book before seeing the movie. Herbert creates a very detailed world rife with factions struggling to gain an edge in a touchy interplanetary political game of intrigue. From a world building perspective, the creative imagination is something to appreciate. The dialogue and general prose, however, left a lot to be desired, and I felt that the story revolved too much around the central pseudo-religious movement (the Bene Gesserit). Still, plenty of fun for th

Rate of Return

My pastor preached this Sunday on the parable of the talents (Luke 19:12-27). It has long been one of my favorite parables, and it is oh so very convicting! Throughout my life I have felt this weight on my shoulders, a responsibility to be faithful with the immensity of all I have been given: Life, breath, health, time. I have been born in the west, under conditions historically and globally affluent. My upbringing is particularly precious to me as I have been raised by two godly parents in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. They both taught and modeled to me what it means to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. I have been immersed in Christian teaching from day one, and truly few have what I have received. I have been given much and much will be required of me.   The parable of the talents, however, goes beyond visible externals and early childhood experiences. When Jesus mentions talents he is including all the resources the master has entrusted to his earthly servants. This i

Proper Motives in Study

Every Christmas my Puritan collection grows. It is a great time for acquiring new books to plumb the depths of the riches of theology and the Christian tradition. I just ordered a Louis Berkhof systematic theology to join the fray with the others on the shelf, and actually it may be time to add another Ikea bookshelf to my office while I am at it! Reading and thinking about the Word of God is one of the most fascinating things anyone can do. There is no bottom to the depth of what is contained in the Scriptures and it is exciting for me to jump into something so wonderfully over my head. Yet I have cause to remind myself from time to time what the point of it all is. The study of God and His Word is a most worthwhile experience, but it cannot be divorced from its ends. And its ends are not intellectual, entertaining, or self-advancing--but very spiritually practical. Some Negative Examples It is not surprising that the Bible has examples of many unbelievers who were fascinated in knowl

Newton and the Dangers of Disputation

We live in an age of innumerable errors. There are false religions, false views of man, false views of God, false views of salvation, false views of the nature of truth itself. There are false views of justice, false views of morality, false views of sexuality, false views of the end and telos of man. And that is not even opening the can of worms that is politics where we observe countless examples of governmental overreach and failures of magistrates to do their divinely appointed jobs. Human life is trodden over in the name of personal choice, evil is called good, and what some have termed a “soft totalitarianism” seems to be on the rise.  Suffice it to say, a lot of people are wrong about a lot of things. In such an environment it is tempting for sound minded Christians to take hold of the battle standard and begin berating everything and anything that is in opposition to the truth. Social media and other online tools make such crusading easier than ever, gifting everyone a virtual

Inter-Generational Church

I recently talked with an older man at my church and we shared some of the challenges we were facing in our different seasons of life: me with my 3 kids and my job, and him with some career decisions he is facing. I confessed some of my stoical tendencies with regard to my family, my tendencies to “suffer through the difficulties” and just get through it, and he gave me a perspective I am very much thankful for. He told me that his now grown children are not walking with the Lord and he regrets not spending more time investing in his kids when they were young. He said the time goes by so fast and that he wishes he could go back and do things differently. The child rearing season is such a short moment and before you know it, it’s gone and there’s no getting it back. Implicit in his self-reflection I sensed a challenge to me: “Don’t squander this precious moment, Daniel! To me, a young dad in the thick of things, this is exactly the perspective I needed to hear. My friend could not go