Archive for January, 2008

There is an article on Church Discipline in the Wall Street Journal of all places.  What is really about is about the abuse of church discipline, but it doesn’t quite make that distinction.  A few thoughts:

1. Church discipline should not ban a person from church- only the sacraments.  The exception would be if someone physically threatens leadership or other members (estranged spouse, for instance).  To treat someone as an tax collector is to treat them as one in need of the gospel the church is supposed to offer.  It is not to “shun” them.

2. Church discipline is not appropriate for merely questioning church leadership.  Insecure people can’t tolerate disagreement and may abuse church discipline to get rid of people.  This is not the same as rejecting a core doctrine of the church.  How the person expresses their disagreement or questions may be a matter of church discipline, but that isn’t the same thing as saying something you don’t want to hear.

3. Church members should not be disciplined for asking to see church financial records.  That these people sued to see them is a result of church leaders who were unreasonable or wanting to hide something.  Godly leaders are above board and don’t have to hide financial records.  There is a bigger problem at work when churches refuse to let MEMBERS see financial records.

4. Pastors should generally not discipline a person who confesses unless that sin is heinious, or the offender an officer.  Confessing a sin is an indication that the person in question is repenting and attempting to deal with the sin.  In some matters you may want to suspend someone from office or from the sacraments, but since they are repentant you are not removing them from the church.  You are showing them the severity of their offense with a consequence which is temporary.

While some churches practice church discipline improperly, this does not mean that church discipline is improper or outdated (which is pretty much what the WSJ article is saying).  Pastors need to avail themselves of the few good resources that exist out there, like:

Peacemaker by Ken Sande

The Peacemaking Pastor by Albert Poirier

The Transforming Community: The Practice of the Gospel in Church Discipline by Mark Lauterbach

The Handbook of Church Discipline by Jay Adams

(HT: Between Two Worlds)

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Home At Last


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Oh, the wonder of the internet.  Now you can check flight status on line.  The flight from Guangzhou left a few minutes late, but arrived in Tokyo a few minutes early.  They most likely made their connection to Detriot, which left right on time with the new ETA of 11:43 am.  According the flight tracker, the strong tail winds keep pushing the ETA up, now 11:39.  They are over British Columbia at the moment and all is going well.

She hopes to get on an earlier flight, standby, rather than “enjoy” the 7+ hour standby.  Eli would be able to get some ants out of his pants, but that’s overboard.  However, with NW’s odd scheduling, there may be nothing else.

I’ll update as I learn more.  I imagine I’ll get a phone call from Detroit, or 2 or more.

Update:  NWA amazed me, they have a flight departing at 1:45.  They are on standby (3rd in line), so they might make it in time for me to drive through Tampa’s rush hour traffic.  If I don’t hear from her by 2 pm, I’ve got to hit the road shortly thereafter.

She said that he did “great” on the trip thus far.  A huge answer to prayer.

Update #2– She made it on the flight.  The bags may be a different matter.

Update #3  Somehow the bags showed up.  We were able to get home in time for dinner.  This is the exact opposite of her trip to China.  He did okay his first time in the car seat- but that could have been the exhaustion.  CavDaughter was SO excited, she was jumping up and down in the driveway.  CavSon was very overwhelmed, and was particularly uncomfortable when Huck was around.  He went to bed around 7 pm after a quick bath, and is still sleeping at 9 am.  That’s one tired little boy.

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Yes! No Santana!

The Globe is reporting that Johan Santana is being traded to the Mets, pending a contract extension.  They gave up 4 prospects to get him. 

We keep Jacoby who is one exciting player to watch and can change a game in numerous ways.

We keep Lester who may be fully recovered from his chemo and showed great poise in Game 4 of the World Series after having not started in some time.

We keep Lowrie, who may never play for us, but may get us someone who will.

We don’t have to deal with the problem of having a $20 million ace when we have other pitchers wanting new contracts who by then may be better than Santana.

Best yet, he’s going to the National League, not the Yankees (they are thinking the same thing).

The Twins lost out by waiting too long.  As they waited for the Sox and Yankees’ offers to get better, they ended up losing both teams.  The Yankees never really countered the Mets offer, and Buster Olney says the Sox’ counter-offer was not as strong as the one they made in December.  I’m not sure who they took off the table, though I’d guess Ellsbury.  Either way, the Twins settled for a subpar offer from the Mets.  They got a great pitcher w/out giving them the farm.

So, what do we do with Coco?

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Considering My Vote

Today was the FL primary.  I nearly forgot due to brain fog.  I am feeling somewhat better though.  Some friends and I were talking about this Sunday.  It was difficult to decide for whom to cast my vote.  It was far easier to decide who I definitely wasn’t voting for than who I was.  Pragmatism entered the picture as well.  All things being equal, I would have voted Huckabee.  Some TRs think you shouldn’t vote for him because of theological differences.  Ah, he’s running for President of the U.S. not a denominational seminary or pastor of a congregation.  I care about his political views, and he seems to affirm the things I affirm.  I think he’s the most likeable and the best communicator of the bunch.

But he is going the way of Guliani, Thompson, Paul and Hunter.  He’s irrelevant.  I once voted strictly by conscience and Bill Clinton won because I, and many other conservatives, just couldn’t get behind Dole.  I learned that politics can often be the lesser of 2 evils.

So, McCain and Romney are the  guys with a legitimate shot for the nomination.  I have to vote for one of them, and there is no way I’m voting for McCain in the primary, which left… Romney.  I nearly want to cry.  I voted for a guy who can’t seem to win my confidence aside from the fact that he’s not John McCain.  Pathetic.  And I may still have to vote McCain again in November because the Democratic frontrunners have no idea how much their proposals will foul up the economy for generations to come, and I don’t even want to image the international nightmares they pose. 

Jesus, saves us from our political systems and politicians (I won’t talk about how my Republican governor and the state legislature just nearly doubled my homeowner’s insurance by trying to protect my homeowner’s insurance).  I’d better go play with my little girl or I’ll get depressed……

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I thought I’d already written this post, but it got lost in my cold/adoption haze.  While on vacation I re-read Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis.  It is the second book in his Chronicles of Narnia series.  The four kids are mysteriously recalled to Narnia.  They discover that hundreds of years have passed and they are needed to help a young prince, Caspian, claim his throne from a usurper who has sought to destroy all that is good in Narnia.

There is not as much action in this story as in The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe.  It will be interesting to see how they adapt it for the big screen.  I don’t want to give away too much.  In the middle of the book Lucy asks another question, this time of Aslan himself.

“Aslan, you’re bigger.”

“That is because you are older, little one,” answered he.

“Not because you are?”

“I am not.  But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”

An apt way to put maturing in Christ.  The more we know know Him, the bigger He becomes in our view.  Just like John the Baptist, we must decrease so He may increase. 

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CavWife was worn out.  It had been a day filled with whining.  He hadn’t slept well either.  Here’s hoping the travel day is better or it will be one looooonnggg day.  They went to the consulate, swore the records were true and got the visa & passport.  She is more than ready to be home, sleep in her own bed, and see CavDaughter (I might figure into that somewhere too). 

Preparations have begun for her arrival.  The back porch is being cleaned.  Dusting, vacuuming, grooming the dog, final prep for the crib …. If all goes well, Wednesday night after CavDaughter goes to bed I’ll head off to the airport to meet my wife and new son.

Update:  If all went according to schedule- they should have just taken off from Guangzhou.  It is hard for me to conceive of all this- the reality of it all probably won’t sink in until I hold this little boy.  CavWife has a headstart on me.  It is actually scary …. what changes will this require of each of us.  I know God’s grace will be sufficient, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy or painless.

I’m feeling better … not as much coughing today, no noticable fever.  I did have sinus and teeth pain.  I also did some weeding, and the knee did well too.  This has been a big drag on my spirits, so hopefully I’ll be more like me when Eli arrives.

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Pierced for Our Transgressions:Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution by Jeffery, Ovey & Sach is a book that seeks to defend the doctrine of penal substitutionary from contemporary challenges.  This is a much needed book, and I’m glad it was finally published here in the States.  Our British brothers got a head start on us since the authors are Brits.  This book is necessary because challenges old and new have moved out of academia and into more mainstream & popular books by church leaders.  This is not a book for the “choir”, it goes beyond stating what it is, but defends this doctrine from specific challenges and attacks.  It is, therefore, a polemical work.

So far I have read about 200 of the approximately 340 pages.  It has two things going for it immediately.  First, it is well footnoted (yes, not end notes which drive me crazy).  You can quickly see the original reference or any other comments they make that may be pertinent.  Second, there is a good index of biblical references to make this helpful when you are doing research on a topic or text.

I’ll assess the material I have read.  Their introduction summarizes why they felt the great need to write this book, and what they hope to accomplish.  They trace some of the history of academic challenges to this doctrine in the last 100 years or so.  They mention those conservative scholars like Leon Morris and Roger Nicole whose responses to those challenges have largely been ignored, most likely because their critiques of those challenges are so devastating.  Now that these challenges are taking popular form, a popular response is necessary.  This book attempts to be accessible to non-scholars.  I’m not sure if it succeeds in that regard, since I’m more intellectually inclined anyway.  It was accessible to me, but some lay leaders may still be intimidated.


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I was prepping for Family Group last night, where I was teaching on 1 Peter 2:1-3.  Peter uses the phrase “the pure milk of the word”, which we who have tasted God’s goodness should crave.  We don’t want to get spiritual rickets because we aren’t being nourished by Jesus through the Word.  By the way, rickets (a disease of impoverished nations) is making a big comeback in the U.S. since we give our kids soda instead of milk and keep them out of the sun.  But I digress….

From Edmund Clowney’s commentary The Message of First Peter:

“Peter commends a milk product that is free from additives.  The word of God abides without preservatives.  Consumers in the ancient world were well aware that mild or wine could be watered down; when Paul says that he was not a huckster of the word of God, he alludes to the common practice of selling diluted wine.  Peter uses a word that was employed by merchants to describe pure, unadulterated products.  The term contrasts with the ‘deceit’ that Christians have renounced (2:1).   … But the gospel is unique in richness as well as simplicity.  The mild that Peter recommends is ‘the while will of God’.”

Peddlers of the gospel dilute or water-down the message.  They may also add things that don’t belong.  But what happens is that you get contaminated milk, which may stunt your growth (at best) or poison you (at worst). 

I hear lots of gospel dilution going on, as pastors and teachers move away from “Christ and him crucified” to apply more and more of the spiritual benefits of Christ to our lives, to preaching of steps to fulfilling your felt need, or prosperity.  You see this when the gospel is minimized to conversion/justification.  You see this when it is reduced to making a decision.  You see this when you are to ‘try harder’ instead of deepening your faith and repentance.  You see this when the focus is on how evil non-Christians are instead of how we need to delight in Christ.  You see it in so many ways which distract us from living by faith in Christ crucified, resurrected, ascended and seated upon the throne of grace.  And so our churches are filled with people suffering from spiritual rickets- unable to grow up in their salvation.  They are blown to and fro by all kinds of lousy, unbiblical teaching because they have not been nurtured on the pure milk of the word.

One of my friends was preaching from 1 Corinthians 3 yesterday.  Each ministry will be measured some day, and that will be the measure.  Did that pastor, SS teacher, elder etc. nurture with the pure milk of the word?  Or did they dilute it with moralism, self-righteousness, ethocentricity, racism etc.?  Only that which is built on that pure milk will withstand the test.

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Today was a significant day in the adoption process.  Today was the appointment at the U.S. Consulate.  As I mentioned, you don’t actually show up for the appointment, only your paperwork does.  We had concerns in two areas, that our financial stuff would be understandable, and that our updated fingerprint records would have been transmitted in time.

The first was not a problem, apparently.  But the second was a problem.  They didn’t care that we had proof that we were reprinted on 1/15.  CavWife was in a quandry.  She couldn’t call me, and even if she could it was midnight.  Not like I could call Homeland Security and have them transmitted to China you know.  “Hey, what do you mean I’m not someone important?  Depends who you talk to?”

She tried to pray, but couldn’t concentrate.  So she opened her Bible and “stumbled” upon Psalm 146:  “The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the wido, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.”  So, she asked him to watch over her as a stranger in that country, and sustain Eli.

We aren’t sure what happened (humanly speaking) since the guide is a woman of few words, but it all worked out and the adoption was approved (yes!).  Tomorrow they will have the sworn ceremony, and receive the visa and passport for the trip back.

Now, that trip could be tricky.  This huge storm continues to affect travel in China.  Apparently there are still some groups with our agency that haven’t made it to Guangzhou.  They missed their appointments today (other folks who had Wednesday appointments took their place and may be able to trave home sooner).  She’s heard that 600,000 people are “stuck” in Guangzhou.  The Chinese New Year is approaching, and people want to go home.  But planes and trains are not able to get to some parts of the country.  Snow and ice are causing quite the problems.

This storm is heading east, and may impact travel through Tokyo Wednesday.  CavWife is worried about missing the connection there, and it seems a realistic concern based on how damaging this storm has been and how there have been plenty of obstacles.

A few people asked me yesterday about the guy who was in the hospital.  I forgot to ask if she had additional information.  That wasn’t in the frontal lobe of my brain when I woke up and called.

Here at home we have gotten off to a frustrating start.  The girl is 3, so there have been a few power struggles.  We want her to have a heart that longs to obey, so that “it will go well with her” in her relationship with God and human authorities.  She just knows she wants what she wants, and I’m the guy standing in her way.  Even in the midst of it, though, she often wants a hug.  I’m not sure if that’s a tactic to manipulate, or she needs to be reaffirmed of my love for her.  I have a hard time showing affection when I’m angry, but know she may need that so she gets a hug, but not her way.

Update: The pattern of whining, complaining and demanding continued.  Amazing what a bandaid can cure though.  Thankfully I was feeling somewhat better.  My doctor wrote a script for antibiotics to deal with the sinus infection.  Based on the amount of money our “plan” saved us, that was one expensive antibiotic.  Only 1 a day, which is different.  I also paid bills, went to the library, faxed insurance update forms, made important phone calls and squeezed in little reading.  In the evening I watched Punch Drunk Love.  I’d been wanting to see it for some time, and CavWife was not interested.  This was my chance.  It wasn’t worth the wait.  I understood what was going on, but didn’t get the point.  I felt like I was missing something important.  Oh, well.

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We figured this day would come, and it has.  Today Eli may have figured out he is not going back to the orphanage and his nanny.  It was a very long afternoon as he spent most of it crying.  First he was sad, and then it was an angry cry.  CavWife would appreciate prayer that the travel day would not be filled with crying- that would make a monstrously long day even longer.

There have been lots of storms north of them (one family’s flight took off just before the airport closed), and it has been unseasonably cold.  She did not prepare for this when packing clothes for him.  So they haven’t been going to all the local sights or shopping trips.  Tomorrow they don’t have to actually go to the consulate, just be available if there are questions.  The guides will bring the paperwork.  At least they won’t have to sit in an office forever.

Update:  It was a pretty quiet day on the home front.  I took a big nap while the Celtics lost on national TV.  No KG, and the Magic barely beat them.  I can take that.  The little girl got out the hair cutting kit and told me Mema had to cut my hair.  I told her to wait until her mom came home.  Then she wanted hers cut.  I told her I had a feeling that she’d be going to get it cut soon.

She has a mild peanut allergy (hives) and we aren’t sure about other nuts.  So after I realized she had almond bread, I was not sure what to think.  I went off to Family Group, teaching on 1 Peter 2:1-3.  When I got home she was still up.  Her lower lip was bigger than usual.  My in-laws couldn’t find the Benedryl (surely CavWife didn’t bring it all to China.  Yes, she had).  They weren’t sure if she accidently got hit by one of the neighborhood kids, but I couldn’t see any teeth marks on the inside of the lip.  But she seemed fine and we got her off to bed.  Meanwhile, my fever hit with a vengeance and I could feel the sinus pressure under one eye and my teeth hurt on that side.  So I lay on the couch under the covers and watched SuperBowl 38 (Patriots-Panthers).  Why did they put the World Broadcast on there????  Surely most of the fans will be Americans and not be able to calculate from kilograms to pounds on the fly.  That and all the annoying little explanations of the game.  I guess that may help when the CavKids watch it when they are younger. 

Then I finished up the Vince Flynn novel.  Great read … but I found it tapped into that part of me that wants vengeance here and now instead of remember that it is the Lord’s to repay- and He will in due time (Rom. 12).  Of course, Mitch Rapp is the “sword” of the government in the story, so … (obviously he has personal motives in addition to executing justice on the part of the government).  What I do like is how justice is not lost in politics and legal rules, in the end.  I’d better stop here, it is a discussion for a different forum.

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Operation Eli- Day Ten

They are sick of hotel living.  They are ready to come home.  Unfortunately there are still lots of things to be done before they are cleared to come home.

Some items for prayer concerning Monday’s appointment (Sunday night for us):

– That they updated fingerprint info from Homeland Security would be forwarded to the Consulate in time.  Our appointment was on the 15th.  It normally takes a week, but nothing about this has been normal.

– That CavWife would be able to fill out the forms correctly and properly communicate our income.  Since I’m a pastor, part of my income is in the form of a housing allowance, which shows up in the tax form, but on a different schedule.  I’m not sure this will fit in the form’s grid.  I think with a decent percentage of adopters being pastors they have encountered this before, but CavWife is concerned.

It was a not so good day for Eli.  He was a bit cranky.  Could be 2-year molars.  Could be having to stay in offices half the day.  It took him awhile to get to sleep.  CavWife gave him his first dose of Motrin, half of which came out of his nose (due to the cleft palate).  Oh, well.  He should have been upright, not laying down.

Sorry it isn’t more exciting.  But life is kinda like that- lots of mundane stuff with moments of excitement.  When we expect all excitement, we have to start medicating ourselves.

Update:  My in-laws gave me a great today.  I was able to get away to a local coffee shop to have a Chai and read.  I thought of going to a movie (Cloverfield) but wanted to make sure I got a nap in and slept until the start time.  So I read my novel and watched my SuperBowl DVD from the Patriots’ first victory.

CavDaughter received a gift of orange ballet-like slippers from on of her aunts.  They came down with my in-laws and have been on her feet nearly every waking moment since.  She had resisted wearing a Patriots sweatsuit for some time.  The other day she agreed to try the pants since she had wet her jeans.  Oh, they were so cozy.  She wore them to sleep, and all the next day.  She wanted to put them back on after her bath to wear back to bed.  Kids can be so funny about this stuff.

All of us ended up at Ruby Tuesday’s for dinner.  The little girl used every stalling technique in her arsenal last night, but once in her crib she was pretty quiet and went to sleep quickly.

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Among the various things scrolling one the news scenes in I am Legend was that the Patriots beat the Giants for the second time that season 23-7.  Hmmmm.  Of course the movie takes place in 2009, and I doubt the Knicks will be even remotely good then, or gas prices over $6.

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Operation Eli- Day Nine

If you haven’t noticed, less has been actually happening so I’ve had to get a big creative.  CavWife is past ready to be home.  But there is much more paperwork to do, and it really wouldn’t be fair to have a young child be in an office all day.

Today was a quiet day.  Many of the other families who went to other provinces were supposed to travel to where CavWife & Eli are.  Unfortunately, poor weather created many delays and cancellations.  This postponed the pictures for the visas until tomorrow.  CavWife had the opportunity to travel to the orphanage where Eli has spent his life thus far.  Since it was so far away (about 4 hours’ drive) she took a pass.  The other 2 families took advantage since their orphanages were much closer.  The little girl having the difficult adjustment actually did well, and is doing better.  The other little girl, who was older, really had a hard day.  It is hard to know which path to take.

One benefit was that CavWife FINALLY found her way onto the 4th Floor- the Exercise Room.  For those who know her, she’s been in withdrawl from exercise.  It felt great for her to get some while Eli napped (Wendy stayed in the room).

The weather has been lousy, and chilly.  The clothes that she brought for him are all way too big.  He probably looks like a ragamuffin- a well-dressed one.

When I mentioned that she had copies of my passport photos taken just before she left the response was something like this: “Those aren’t good pictures of you- you looked like a drug addict.”  I’m feeling like a drug addict with pills for my knee and my cold.  The beard I’ve been growing hasn’t helped.  I had to assure CavWife it is temporary.  I figured between vacation and her trip I had a month+ when I didn’t have to shave.  I’m not preaching anywhere, nor interviewing, so this is a good time for a change of pace.   CavDaughter doesn’t like it either, and she said I needed mommy to trim my hair. 

Update: It was a long, weird day which included a 15 minute Battle Royal with my daughter as I tried to get her dressed this morning.  I was so exasperated, and she was balling her eyes out as I refused to be distracted by her numerous wiles.  My in-laws took off for the day- the wrong day, as I felt horrible.  I took a longer nap than my daughter.  This was after our stroll through the neighborhood in the blustery wind.  My fever cranked up early today- perhaps since I didn’t take my meds for my knee.  I think it has been masking the fever.  Now I’m taking Tylenol Cold to cope with the symptoms of this illness which just won’t let me be.  Due to this illness, I have squandered 1+ week of prime cigar time.  I can’t enjoy any of the cigars I got for Christmas, nor the ale I have in the frig.  😦   Stinkin’ cold/flu extravaganza.

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The title of the 22nd Bond movie was announced.  It will be …….. Quantum of Solace

Are you scratching your head too?  Not quite the catchy title is it.  Sounds like some boring art film about an intellectual who takes solace in physics or something.  It doesn’t sound like an action film about a spy seeking vengeance on the man who blackmailed his true love into betraying him, resulting in her own death.

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Operation Eli- Day Eight

Today was a quiet, unspectacular day.  They did go to the local zoo, where the main attraction is the panda.  The overgrown cousin of the racoon didn’t show.  It may have been too cold (good thing he’s not playing in the NFL).  Or maybe he was shy.  Perhaps he was on strike like the Writers.  Perhaps he was just protesting the absence of his favorite food.  We don’t know, but all who wanted to see the cute guy were greatly disappointed.

The zoo was full of birds, lots and lots of birds.  I asked if there were any other big attractions.  There were elephants, but she says they looked odd- very tall and thin.  Perhaps they are cousins of Manute Bol, whom one NBA analyst years ago before the Draft said Red Auerbach would feed and elephant and turn him into an All-Star.

Anyway, all the more reason for us to bring the kids to the zoo soon.

While Wendy went to the pearl market, they stayed at the hotel.  So far he is doing very well.  He’s sleeping well.  It takes him a little while fall asleep, but he’s quiet in the process.  He recognizes there is something significant about the word “Eli”.  He still likes to walk with her, holding her hand. He is trying to mimic some of her speech.  He gets to see the picture of Jay-Jay, but forgot to bring one of Ba-Ba.  Great… I’ll be the great, big scary guy.

Update: It was a mostly good day here on the homefront.  Mostly cloudy much of the day.  I trimmed back our beach sunflowers.  They are quite the aggressive plant.  I also made a CD of sermons for a pulpit search committee.  And I began work on taxes.  CavDaughter helped her Mema bake.  I got some reading in: both Pierced for Our Transgressions, and Vince Flynn’s new book, Protect & Defend.  My fever returned around dinner time so after CavDaughter went to sleep I watched a very lousy Thai action movie.  The Protector it was not.  During the day I remembered that CavWife has some passport pictures of me for the U.S. Consulate.  She can use those to introduce me to Eli.

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Operation Eli- Day Seven

img_08931.jpgThe news on Eli’s adjustment has been great so far.  He’s been sleeping well, definitely recognizes CavWife and wants to walk with her, holding her hand.  He’s not much for being carried.

The big appointment today was the passport office.  They had appointments with the other 2 families.  Eli did not need a new photo, but the girls did.  One of them was having a very difficult transition and it took forever to get a usable photo of her.  They left for the appointment at 2:30 and got back after 5, spending only 10 minutes in the office so that was one long photo session!

He wasn’t happy when CavWife took away the toothbrush, and when she wouldn’t let him push the buttons on the safe when she was getting something.  Normal behavior.  He’s still getting used to having his teeth brushed.  Hopefully he won’t have cavities, he doesn’t need more operations associated with coming here.  CavDaughter is learning to brush her own teeth, and showing improvement.

They had the laundry done by a local business (the hotel laundry expense is quite high).  The bill?  $40.  Yeah, must be done with bottled water and utilizing automechanic-like labor costs.  But, her pjs have never been folded better.

CavWife is still not sleeping well.  Oh, and I put another photo on day 6’s post.  This being 13 hours ahead means there are often updates to be done.  What I find interesting about the photos is that the beds aren’t made.  At home, CavWife almost can’t wait for me to get my lazy butt out of bed to make the bed.  In fact, she’s highly disappointed that I’m not making the bed while I’m gone.  Yet, when she stays in a hotel that all seems to go out the window.  One of those things that makes me go “Hmmmmm”.  When will the “oppression” of Cavman end?  🙂

Update: It was a beautiful day in Florida, as I had the car battery replaced.  I was finally able to get my Christmas Eve sermon on CD and on-line.  Hit CavSermons on the sidebar if you are interested.  Still coughing, but my nose has cleared up.  CavDaughter spent much of the day with her grandparents, including a trip to Wal-Mart.  I grilled some steaks for dinner.  All in all, a very good day.

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I was listening to the local ESPN affiliate, which has some sad local programming in the afternoon.  The host is superstitious.  He notes that you should bet on the Giants because they are 7-0 in their white uniforms this season. 

Apparently he doesn’t realize that Patriots are 18-0 regardless of the uniform they are wearing.

I’m increasingly weary of the LT is soft garbage.  A certain former-NFL player who now does analysis for ESPN thinks you should play unless you need surgery.  That’s a very strange criteria.

I had/have an MCL strain incurred on 12/29.  It is not completely healed, but I’m getting around okay.  To think that I would have been able to play football, as a running back, one week after straining it is NUTS.  The MCL provides the stability to needed to make cuts, change directions, etc. that are so important to being a good running back.  If you have a strain you just can’t do it.  Surgery is not necessary to correct the problem- it takes time to heal.  Some serious injuries are not repaired by surgery, this is one.  If this guy can miss 6 games with turf toe, he has no room to talk.

The problem here is really the chess game played by teams to gain a competitive advantage.  They don’t want you to know the facts of the injury.  This affects game planning.  LT did try to play, and found it impossible.  People need to get off his back.  If you want to get on it, jump on for his lack of support for his teammates.  That was pathetic.

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Operation Eli- Day Six

img_08961.jpgWould Eli arrive today?  Yes, he did.  CavWife says he cried for about 10 minutes, got very quiet for awhile and then kind of went with the flow while she filled out paperwork and answered questions from the judge (who didn’t speak English very well).  He wanted to know where I was, and if our daughter was biological or adopted.

Eli seems to have a sweet disposition, a very happy child.  He is all boy- into everything and on the move- and very tactile/mechanical.  He likes to take things apart, open and close things etc.  He’s already had a few baths (CavWife has a super-sniffer).  It only took him about 10 minutes to go to sleep for his nap and he slept 2+ hours.  He follows CavWife around like Mary’s little lamb- which is great for the transition.  Seems like he’s able to attach.

The nanny provided additional information about his disposition, what he likes etc.  She is a westerner, and may be a believer.  The orphanage is called House of Grace, and she called him Daniel because she knew he’d face many obstacles.  If we knew that, we would have kept the name for him (it actually was one of the few we talked about).  It sounds like many of our prayers were answered, and he was in a nurturing environment where they may have actually prayed for him regularly.  Apparently the Chinese word for sister sounds like Jay-Jay, and we sometimes call CavDaughter Jay for short.  CavWife showed him a picture and said “Jay-Jay”.  And dad is like “Ba-Ba”- great, I’m a sheep.  🙂

He is short, but built solid, or sturdy as CavDaughter’s book about Baby Moses says.  He has big hands and feet, but short legs.  He walks well.  And you can see that he still has a cleft palate.

The days to come will be filled with more meetings and paperwork.

Update:  It was a long day here on the homefront.  CavDaughter may have had a little bug, and I was clearly under the weather with a fever in the afternoon/evening.  She didn’t nap, but my nap wasn’t long enough.  But it was a beautiful day outside.  I enjoyed some reading out there.  We recharged the car battery though I will probably buy a new one.  It is old, and Florida is brutal on batteries.  I can’t be assured of as much warning as I got this time- being able to get home and all.  So might as well be able to drive worry free to the store and get it replaced now than be stuck somewhere and have to get towed.

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I’ve been wanting to read Graeme Goldsworthy’s According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible for about 18 months.  A number of people I knew were reading it, so many that I thought it  was new, not written in 1991 as it was.

I began it while on vacation, but got bogged down with adoption stuff.  It was well worth the wait.  This is an excellent book, with summaries, simple charts, suggested reading and a study guide to each chapter.  As such, it lends itself toward use in a Sunday School setting or other discipleship setting.  And this is important because there are many things he lays out in this introduction to Biblical Theology that would benefit most American/Western Christians.  In fact, the first 7 chapters alone were worth the price of this book.

He begins by setting out the need for Biblical Theology.  “When Christians agree that the Bible is the highest authority, then the differences tend to emerge at the level of questioning what the text of the Bible actually says and how it should be interpreted.”  He then presents some examples that have been the source of disagreement for hundreds of years.  What often gets lost in the exegetical shuffle is that the Bible presents one message, everything is a part of that one message.  When we lose sight of that, we begin to misinterpret and misapply the individual texts.  “Biblical theology is a means of looking at one particular event in relation to the total picture.”   He summarizes it this way: “Biblical theology shows the relationship of all parts of the Old Testament to the person and work of Jesus Christ, and therefore, to the Christian.”  Goldsworthy is taking a redemptive-historical approach to understanding Scripture.  This means that the Bible is primarily about Jesus, and secondarily about us and the rest of creation.  You examine texts within their place in the history of redemption, see their fulfillment in Christ and their application to us.  This methodology is sorely lacking today, supplanted by any number of Bible-distorting approaches.

That is a pretty bold statement, I agree.  But Scripture teaches us how to interpret the Bible by how newer portions interpret older portions.  I read one blog that said you should never interpret Scripture like the Apostles did.  Huh?  The Apostles were teaching us how to understand the Old Testament.  Problem is, it didn’t fit this guy’s dispensational viewpoint.  If I have to choose between my theological assumptions and how Scripture interprets Scripture… I’m going with the latter!


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