Thermoplastic vs. Kindness

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(This post first appeared at Theological Matters)

My truck this morning is carrying a large box filled with countless pieces of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, commonly known as Legos. Yes, every Lego my four children own—and I do mean every little brick, special piece, and Lego people part—is in a large box encompassing half the back seat of my truck. Wow, we have a lot of Legos! My retirement fund is secured not in gold bricks but in Lego bricks.

I confiscated all the Legos this morning after the children were arguing at DEFCON 1 over a particular Lego piece. They were not embodying the derivation of the word Lego, namely “play well.”[1] Altercations have periodically been going on over several weeks, each time a different piece of thermoplastic the focus of the argument. So, I informed the children that the Legos were going into “time out” until they have a chance to reflect on Ephesians 4:32, “be kind to one another.” We are not going to sacrifice brotherly love for a piece of plastic. Continue reading

Are You DSL Error Code 631?

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(This post first appeared at Theological Matters)

Recently my DSL modem died. Two hours of on-the-phone tech support with “Margie” could not revive it. Interestingly, the DSL error code for a nonfunctioning modem is 666. The house was disconnected from the world for three days until a new modem arrived. No Internet connection for three days meant no email, no Amazon Prime, no Facebook, no in-the-house Wi-Fi communication and printing, no voice-over-Internet phone, and no Netflix and Apple TV. It was three days of sheer … bliss. Continue reading

What Does A Planetary Selfie Tell Us About God?

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For the past few weeks we have been enthralled with New Horizon’s images of the dwarf planet named Pluto. New Horizons was launched in January 2006 with a full payload of multi-spectral imaging and sample analysis equipment. It has taken approximately nine and half years to reach Pluto. And you thought it took you a long time to get the family organized for a family photo! With the images of Pluto history has been made as the U.S. is the first nation to complete the initial reconnaissance of our solar system.

Pluto is roughly three billion miles away and it takes approximately 4.5 hours for New Horizons to send an image of Pluto to Earth. Click – Snap – Wait 4.5 hours. The wait has been worth it! The images have been spectacular and they fill the mind with wonderment and create an almost visceral Star Trekian response to begin proclaiming, “Space: the final frontier…to explore strange new worlds…to boldly go where no man has gone before.” NASA’s science mission statement for New Horizons is: “a close-up look at these worlds from a spacecraft promises to tell an incredible story about the origins and outskirts of our solar system.” So, what incredible story do the images of Pluto tell us? Continue reading

Modern Day Molech

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This post is a rendition of a previous post published at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

With the release of an undercover video this week, the world learned, I hope, that a modern day Molech exists. Molech, as described in the Old Testament of the Bible, was an Ammonite god who required propitiatory child sacrifice. A couple sacrificed their firstborn by burning the child on a metal idol of Molech, believing that Molech would ensure financial prosperity for the family and future children. The Israelites were strictly forbidden to practice this form of worship (Leviticus 18:21, 20:2-5; 2 Kings 223:10; and Jeremiah 32:35) as it is in stark contradiction to the sanctity of life espoused throughout the Bible. Today’s Molech is the abortion industry, sacrificing babies for the idol of financial greed, veiled in the hopes of the development of new cures through biomedical research. Continue reading

The Journey That Is Cancer

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“You have stage 4 breast cancer.” Those were the words my wife, Monica, received 938,880 minutes ago in August 2013. Those of you who have experienced a cancer journey understand why I use “minutes” as the time unit – you fast are reminded that every minute with your spouse is precious. For the inexperienced, 938,880 minutes is 652 days, or a little over 1 year, 9 months ago. Since August 2013 our journey has involved: Continue reading

Prisoners, Yet Free

Chain BreakingMay 9, 2015, the day I went to prison.

Clang, clang, clang, clang – the series of four gates closed separating me from the free world as I was searched and ushered into the maximum security prison. The contrast was instantly striking. The blue sky and slight breeze outside was replaced with the dark, humid, and warm prison. A ringing bell that sounds seven times a day to signal the counting of the inmates replaced chirping birds and the background noise of life. Individualism was immediately replaced by conformity. There I stood on the cold concrete floor, under the ever-watchful eye of guards and the sometimes curious and most of the time stoic eyes of inmates. I was no longer “me,” but was a last name and an eight-digit number. It was palpable that I was no longer in the free world. Continue reading

A Man of God: God’s Army Knife

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My father gifted me a Victorinox Swiss Army knife, complete with a Zermatt brown leather pouch/sheath, when I was a teenager. Recently my four children asked to see my Swiss Army knife. They sat mesmerized as I exhibited the various tools housed in the compact, red, polished Cellidor housing. They wanted to try all fourteen stainless steel implements and know the purpose for each tool. Amazingly, we managed to complete the exhibition without lacerations despite eight hands and 40 fingers flying around the Swiss Army knife.

The Victorinox Swiss Army knife is an iconic and useful knife with distinctive characteristics, or marks: compact and sturdy, many functions in one device – literally a toolbox in a pocket, precision, and the classic red Cellidor housing with the famous emblem – a cross on a shield. One day, I too will give my three boys a Swiss Army knife as they begin to transition from boyhood to manhood. The oldest boy is already six years old, approximately halfway to the transition time. Like a Swiss Army knife, I want my boys to possess distinctive marks, the marks of a man of God. I want each one to be God’s Army Knife. Continue reading