Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chasing the End of the World

Rode the motorcycle this morning on the nice straightaway at Shelby Farms. Clouds were shrouding the sun and cast a nice, calm glow through my shield and glasses. One of my favorite things to do since college is to ride west and look at the horizon and the shifting colors and mazes of the sky. This morning as I was riding eastward I glanced in the side views as the west was darkened but beginning to wake up. I whispered to myself, "There's something about moving westward; it's like chasing the end of the world." Let me begin there.

I have felt for several years that I'm in a pursuit of something meaningful, powerful and noble. Though I would love to slay a dragon I realize it is not that. Anyway, I have felt for a while that God was slowly and methodically calibrating and recalibrating my heart, mind and values toward something that I would spend the rest of my life cultivating. Through job searches, job changes, massive transitions from university, to seminary, to working multiple jobs, to moving across country to perplexing disappointment - it has felt like I was moving westward; chasing the end of the world. Life is a mystery, no?

Well, I have begun the process of pursuing ordination in the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America). After almost a year of deliberation and conferring with those who know me well and books, books, books I decided that as far as theology goes, the PCA is the better fit. Specifically covenant + reformed theology and church governance (elders and deacons). I could possibly write a lot on each one of those, but for brevity's sake I won't.

Next step is licensure, which means I take 3-4 exams on a wide swath of topics. This will then give me the clearance to preach in the PCA and then pursue ordination. I'm very happy about this decision; it's been a very tough road, venturing out into the winding and disorienting wilderness of parts unknown. And after 5 years of thinking, studying, talking, praying and occassional fasting God has been generous to open up a wide vista in front of me. And there I am able to see the goodness that is to be enjoyed.

We have found a great PCA Church, Redeemer that's about 5 minutes from our house. Violet loves it and Barb and I are thrilled to be a part of what God is doing there. Years ago if you were to have asked me, "What do you hope for?" I would've given you an answer that is very similar to what Redeemer is - theologically conservative and missionally motivated. There's a lot more to it than that, and I hope to add more later on, but what God is doing in Redeemer is wonderful and exciting.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Tomatoes, Cake and Happy Birthday

Yesterday we celebrated my Mom's birthday. She's well above the speed limit on rural roads. She's still probably a harder worker than me. Is sweeter than ice tea. We stopped and got her some flowers and a card, which I subsequently forgot. Btw, for those of you who will be attending my funeral, please make sure I remember to bring my shoes. If anyone would forget it would be me. Anywho, Barb made a stellar chocolate cake - recipe from America's Test Kitchen; we don't cook from any other cookbook.

Violet loves her Mammaw. She giggles as we come down the driveway. We are inevitably greeted by at least 3 of the neighbors 5 dogs with howls. My sister, Lori, comes out immediately and Mammaw gets the 30.8 pounds of crisp, bubbling, joy. It's wonderful seeing Violet interact with Mom like that. Moreover, to see how my Mom treated me whilst I was a youngin.

Violet loves her cousins. At one point the shrills from the kids running, yelling and playing hard was a bit more than my old dad ears can take. I'm seriously turning into the old man now. When I sit down a majority of the times I make the old man, "Ooohhhwahhh" sound. Kind of like when 18 wheelers release the hydraulics.

We enjoyed the 90 minute drive home. We listened, as usual, to an episode of the White Horse Inn. The topic was justification, which I've been studying about lately. It has opened my eyes to the grace of God and the reality of ongoing sin in the life of a Christian. I hope to follow this topic in the upcoming days.

About to sit down with Barb and watch an episode or three of Scrubs. We need to laugh and laugh a lot. Gotta post some pictures of my 2 tomatoe plants that are taller than me. Less handsome.