Of GPS and Preaching

Dad gave us a GPS for Christmas this year, and we immediately put it to good use.  I had a opportunity to preach this morning at Enterprise Baptist Church near Lake Gaston, so we let the GPS guide us there and back.  Worked like a charm.  Thanks, Dad!

Fishing the James River

Thursday evening Dad took Josh and I fishing under the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel at the mouth of the James River.  It was a perfect night to fish.  When the tide started coming in, the stripers and shad were everywhere.  For a couple hours there we averaged catching a fish every third cast.  I stopped counting after I had caught 20, but I must have caught somewhere between 60 and 75 fish.  The shad we weren't allowed to keep, so they were all thrown back.  The stripers had to be 18 inches to keep.  Dad caught 2 keepers and Josh 1, but all the rest were thrown back.  Fun, fun, fun.

Red Killer Bunnies

We've been playing the Killer Bunnies card game for several years, but last week we finally got a chance to use it with the red expansion set. Much fun! A couple observations: 1) More powerful bunnies keep more bunnies on the table, giving reason to bring out bigger weapons. At one point we had the cyber bunny, the ebola virus, and the cruise missile all going. 2) Some cards reset the carrots, effectively resetting the game, making it much longer. We played with 3 people, and it took 2 hours. Over all it was lots of fun, and we're looking forward to playing with the other expansions.

Photos: Climbing Around Southeastern

The kids and I went to campus the other day to drop off some papers I was grading.  While there the kids went climbing all around.  I've added some photos of their climbing to our Flickr page, so enjoy.

Commentary on Ephesians

As I mentioned earlier, I've been studying Ephesians in my quiet time for the last several months.  I've now finished publishing my notes on chapter one, and I've posted them as a PDF file the New Testament section of the website.  It's around 50 pages of material, designed primarily for small group teachers, though it has a bit of original language material in it for a seminary student or seminary-trained pastor to use.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

Photos: Graduation

Graduation was today, so I officially have an MDiv now.  I've posted a few pictures on our Flickr site.

Christmas newsletter for 2007

Dear Family and Friends,

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."  Proverbs 3:5-6. We started out the year with this as our key verse; God has used this verse throughout the year to show us we really have to trust in Him in every area of our lives.

We began the year with James working some with his old company, MITRE. We were also able to take a family skiing trip to West Va. with some friends. This was Emilee’s first time to ski, and she loved it. James and Jacen also had a great time skiing, but I spent my time scrap-booking in the nice warm lodge with my hot coffee. We then started the spring semester with James taking a full load in seminary, which required him to travel back to campus one day a week. He also continued his internship with Calvary Baptist Church, where he learned much from the pastoral staff and taught an ABF class. I continued to home-school the kids—Jacen in 3rd grade and Emilee in 1st—where they both enjoyed reading so much. Some days I have to take their reading books away from them so that we can get other work done.

We finished the semester in late May and then took a trip to Texas and Illinois to visit with family. During the summer James continued working at Calvary several days a week and also working again for MITRE. We were also able to take several day trips to state parks in the area, including Pilot Mountain (Or Mt Pilot for you Mayberry fans) and Stone Mountain. At Stone Mountain, Emilee split open her chin, giving us a chance to learn about the wonders of Dermabond. We were also visited several historical sites, learned how to mine for gold and gem stones and how to shoot a flint-lock musket, and learned how the railroad influenced our nation at a transportation museum.

In August we packed up our things and moved back to Wake Forest for one more semester and graduation. James took classes three days a week and also worked as a grader and substitute teacher for his preaching professor. Jacen started 4th grade, and James continued teaching him Greek. We have discovered that he knows Greek sentence structure better than English structure; it’s fun watching him transfer his knowledge from Greek to his English language book. Emilee started 2nd grade and has enjoyed improving her reading skills and math skills. I also worked at our church as the MOPPETS coordinator, where I helped write the curriculum and get supplies ready for the children of the mothers who came to MOPS.

This will be the end of our seminary time with James’ graduation December 14th. We are looking forward to Christmas, but most of all we are trusting in God to show us what we are to do next. We plan on staying in Wake Forest for now, waiting to see what God is going to do next.

Software for your personal library

One of the keys to being an effective pastor and preacher is having a strong theological library.  Dr. Akin has even put together a list of over 1,000 books that would be useful to any pastor, including his recommended commentaries for each book of the Bible.  So what would you do if you actually had a library that big?  How you keep track of what you owned?  Here's the results of one couple's journey for software to help them with their personal library.  If you've tried any of these, I'd love to read your thoughts in the comments.

Finals are over

Ok, I took my last final this morning.  That's it!  I'm done with my MDiv.  Nothing left to do but walk the isle on Fri.  Wow, these last 3.5 years have really flown by.

Online tests

Online tests are a growing phenomenon at Southeastern.  For the first time ever, all of my finals are online, and I love it that way!  Why do I love it?  One, because teachers are more flexible.  One teacher gave us 24 hours to the take his exam, another 48, and another a whole week.  This allows me to spread them out so they're not right on top of each other.  Two, because I can take the exam the moment I'm ready.  I'm really more of a morning person, so I can get up, do a final review, and then take the exam by 10am while I'm still fresh.  Kudos to Dr. Akin for moving us into the information age!

Two finals down, one to go.  Woohoo!

Homeschooling info

Ann's been homeschooling our kids for several years now, so she's frequently asked how she does it.  To simplify things, Ann's compiled a bunch of useful info, which we've added to our family website.  Look here.

Photos: Emmy's new haircut

Ann cut Emmy's hair short again, so here's the new look.  Personally, I think it makes her look somewhat like Lucy Pevensie.  I guess you can be the judge of that.

Stick Figures Fighting

Have you ever seen those movies on YouTube of stick figures fighting and skateboarding and stuff?  I found the software they use to make it:  Pivot Stickfigure Animator.  It's simple to install and simple to use, and in a matter of minutes you can have your own animated GIF of stick figures doing whatever you want.  Here's my first (and probably last) attempt, which took about 15 minutes.

No iMac for me

I've decided it's time to switch back to using Macs.  I was a Mac user during and just after college.  I switched to PCs as Windows got more stable and because I could build my own computers, getting better parts for the money.  But it's time to go back.  Why?  Two main reasons:  Vista and multimedia.  First, I'm not doing Vista; everything I read says it's busted junk.  Second, we live a multimedia world.  We've got pictures, videos, DVDs, and so on; the Mac world does that better right now.

So I went to the Apple Store in Crabtree Mall to buy an iMac with the newest version of OS X, called Leopard.  Wow, the sales guy was pushy.  Gotta get the warranty, gotta got .mac, gotta get training.  I resisted it all, and the look on his face implied I was a moron.  I wish they wouldn't train people to be like that. 

After I bought it, I asked him to help me fire it, just to make sure I didn't get a lemon.  As we were unpacking, the sales guy casually pointed out my Leopard upgrade disc.  They hadn't sold me an iMac with Leopard, they had sold me an iMac with Tiger (previous version of OS X) and an upgrade disc.  Obviously that didn't work for me; if I'm buying Leopard, I should get an original Leopard disc.  Upgrading operating systems is always a pain.  But they couldn't (or wouldn't).  It appears that they had old inventory to get rid of, so I was out of luck.  Well, I promptly returned the iMac and got a refund.


When I don't know a word, I look it up in a dictionary.  But not a paper dictionary:  how's 90's is that!  I've been using dictionary.com, but I've recently found a better site:  definr.com.  It's fast, and the interface is clean and simple.  I love it.

Commentary on Ephesians

I've been studying Ephesians in my quiet time for the last several months.  I'm in the process of taking the results of my study and publishing them online as a sort of mini-commentary.  Check it out in the NT section.  Use it freely if you find it helpful.

Photos: Gift Wrapping

With Ann out of town, the kids bought her a Christmas present and wrapped it themselves.