Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I think this is what I look like to God...

I took these pics of Toddler Houdini. She's standing in front of the Grizzly River Run at Disney's California Adventure. There's a huge grizzly bear in front of the ride, probably 50 feet tall. TH is tiny, so the contrast between her and the bear is striking. (On her right is the bear's canoe paddle.)

As I looked at the pics last night, it struck me: this is what I look like when I'm mad at God, when I don't see the point of what He's doing. Maybe instead of complaining, I need to spend more time with God doing what TH is doing with the bear in the pic: look up and be amazed at how big He is...

Daddy/daughter day at Disneyland...

One of the reasons I've been scarce here at the Frontier the last couple of weeks is that we've been getting our house in shape. You see, we decided to renew our foster care license, just in case we we jump back into the adoption thing again. In order to have a foster care license, your house needs to be in pretty good shape, and certain safety requirements have to be met. So it took time to get that all together.

We had the licensing inspection yesterday, and we passed. The Mighty Mrs. J took the 2 oldest kids with her to work so they'd be out of the way during the inspection. After the inspector left, Toddler Houdini and I were all alone. So we hopped in the J-mobile, and went to Disneyland!

TH is a lot of fun on outings like this. She's very sociable, so she loves being around groups of people. We started out at California Adventure. She loves this ride where you spin around high in the air. She usually sits next to me, but she decided this time to sit across from me, by herself:

You can't see her hands in this pic because she got scared when the ride started. So I'm holding on to her hands to ease her fears.

She's actually too short to go on most of the rides. So we ended up just walking around DCA for a while.

She loves to pose for pictures, so here are a few. First is her in the doorway on the Main
street of DCA. Next, TH in front of an airplane.

When DCA closed , we went over to the original Disneyland. We had to ride the carousel, because TH can't go there without seeing the horses.

We also had to ride the train and go to the Tiki Room. She has such a great personality. Taking her places is a real pleasure (even if she is 2).

I'm at the end here, and there's no real point to this post. (Unlike most of my posts, which have a laser-like focus.) But 1 thing we can all agree on: she sure is cute!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dispelling the ugly rumors...

Today some of the sordid details came out about an affair steroid-addled pitcher Roger Clemens had with Mindy McCready, a country music singer. I think this is the right time for me to address some rumors that have been floating around the internet about my long relationship with another country music star.

I just want to say right now that we did know each other a long time. I considered her a close personal friend. But don't believe any news reports or pictures you might see in the next few days. I never had any romantic involvement with this woman.

I request that everyone respects my family's need for privacy during this difficult time...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Little MacGyver goes golfing...

My friend Cap likes to write things about my lack of golfing skills. But he's really not being honest with everybody. I'm actually much worse than he says. But I do enjoy getting out occasionally to chase those little white balls around a course.

Yesterday, I got the privilege of taking my boy out to the course for the first time. We played at the luxurious South Gate Park golf course, a par 3 course about 10 minutes from our house. He was so excited he could hardly sit still in the car.

He was ready to go when we got there. The starter was kind enough to let us play, even though Little M is too young to play, according to course rules. Here he is just before we walk to the first tee...

In case you're wondering, the sign above his left shoulder says, "Supervise Your Children," which I did. He was actually very well-behaved, especially considering how excited he was. (He only chased squirrels into the fairway twice.) We had a great time.

He seemed to enjoy himself quite a bit, although he started getting tired by the end. He got the basics of hitting the ball, and he mostly hit it in the right direction (something I still have trouble with.)

Here he is out on the course...

I have no idea where the ball is in this picture, but he's ready to hit it when he finds it.

I'm glad he had so much fun. Golf is something he can enjoy his whole life, even if he's as bad as I am.

Of course, if he gets really good, maybe he'll turn pro some day. And then the Mighty Mrs. J and I can live off of the allowance he gives us. Can anyone say Tiger MacGyver?

(By the way, the pic at the top of this post? It's the World's Greatest Boy, and his very proud daddy...)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I just want to apologize... the entire planet. Some of my Christian brothers are, well, not the brightest folks around. Case in point:

Yes, if you are wondering, he misspelled "Hmmm."

(H/T: Hot Air)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Angry prayers...

Sorry for the lack of recent posting. I know many of you spend your day by the computer, waiting, hoping for a new post from the Final Frontier. Unfortunately, sometimes I need to take care of less important things, like taking care of family and making money. But soon all your prayers will be answered and your dreams will all come true.

Until then, here's a web site that you might want to explore. It's called the Angry Prayers Project. The object seems to be to get people to look at the prayers of people in the Bible who were angry with God. The point being, I think, that it's OK to be angry with God, and even to express that anger.

I think the site is just starting, so I'm sure there will be more added to it. But it looks like a great idea. I think sometimes Christians are afraid to express, or even feel, those "negative" emotions toward God. But the psalms are full of anger and disappointment.

And I've had a few disagreements with God myself. But I'll have more on this later...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Quick note to Emily...

Just want you to know, I loved the greedy missionary post. I'm not a missionary, but I've heard those stories a million times, mostly told by other missionaries. And it does hurt our witness, no doubt. Don't expect it to be a popular message, though. Just respond with the truth in love.

One thing though. You really need to come out of your shell a little bit. You know, let us know what you think. You seem really reluctant to express an opinion...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

How revolutions become institutions...

For those of you who don't know, Lark News is one of the best things in the Christian universe. It is a satirical newsletter that pokes fun at the craziness of American Christianity.

I'm not sure how I missed this article before, but it's great. It underscores something that I see more and more in the church: we want to jump on a new move of God, and break off the shackles of "traditional" Christianity. Then we create an institution around what we believe is God is doing. If you want examples, look at all the "new" ways people are doing church: purpose-driven, seeker-sensitive, emergent, house church. Each group is convinced they've got a corner on God, and the other groups are missing the boat. And each group is busy building a kingdom for God.

Lord, have mercy on us all!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Something I hadn't thought of before...

Luke 22:31-34

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

But he replied, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death."

Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me."

What does this say about the love of Jesus for His people? He could look into the eyes of a guy who was soon going to deny Him 3 times, and pray that Peter wouldn't lose faith as a result of what he was about to do. And, Jesus was already setting the stage for Peter's restoration. Before Peter even sinned!

That really is amazing love...

Friday, April 4, 2008

With or without God? That IS the question...[Update!]

(See the update at the end...)

About a week ago, I mentioned this article about a church in Toronto that is taking God and Jesus out of the life of the church. Instead, they are committed to re-forming God into something more palatable to their way of thinking. And the focus is going to be more on doing good deeds than believing the right things. In fact, the pastor recently had a book published, called With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe.

I mentioned before that news like this makes me more sad than angry. I mean, I agree with my brother Tim that once you strip Christianity of God, the Bible, sin, salvation, and any of the essentials of the faith, you really don't have Christianity any more. And this pastor has reduced the faith to one thing: Love one another.

Abd that's what makes me sad. This pastor and her followers want to do something good; namely, they want to spread love, beauty, and justice in the world. But they've made two critical mistakes. One, by throwing out Scripture and God, they've cut themselves off from any objective source for what is moral or immoral behavior. "Good" is whatever they decide it to be. Groups that create their own morality sometimes end up doing great evil. (If you want proof of that, look at the 'isms that flourished in the last century, nazism, fascism, communism...)

The second thing is even more sad from my perspective. They've replaced what God wants, a living relationship with us, with what they want, a moral code. God is not impressed with our good behavior. The only righteousness that God wants is the righteousness He gives us when we come to faith. And these folks, like a lot of people, are trying to do holy things without actually having any holiness. That doesn't work.

It reminds me of the verse from Jeremiah 2,

My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

Living a good life apart from God is doubly sad, because you have no standard to judge good from, and God requires more than holy living. He requires holy being, and that only comes through Jesus...

[Update--Apparently, the article I mentioned at the beginning is only available now if you pay for it. Don't bother. You'll get a good idea what it's about by reading here and here...]

Zero tolerance, or zero sense?

Randy Castro may look like a cute little 7 year-old boy. But really, he's a dangerous sexual predator who must be stopped. At least that's what his school thinks. Watch this report from GMA.

You heard right. Schools are labeling 4, 5, and 6 year-olds as "sexual harassers" for behavior they used to call "being a kid." I thought part of growing up was learning what is appropriate, and what isn't. I guess the school district is saying that the best way to teach a kid right and wrong is to have them busted by the cops.

Here's my "big picture" take on this: when you have kids in a herd, like a school, it's hard to treat them as individuals. That's why zero tolerance makes sense to some people--everyone gets equal treatment, and no judgment is required. The problem, of course, is that most situations require some judgment. With zero tolerance, you don't see the difference between a first grader smacking someone on the butt, and some kid acting out sexually against a schoolmate.

Zero tolerance is a result of schools being unable, or unwilling, to judge behavior on a case-by-case basis. It really is craziness.

(Note to homeschooling readers: Part of the recent California court decision that banned most homeschooling read that "A primary purpose of the public education system is to train school children in good a means of promoting the public welfare." I think you'll all agree that having cops drag away 6 year-olds is an important part of training children in good citizenship. I know we have Little MacGyver arrested a couple of times a month, just so he'll be a GREAT citizen...)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

We went to the zoo, zoo, zoo (another one)...

Last week the Mighty Mrs. J was off for Easter Spring break. (Of course, the college she teaches at can't call it Easter break anymore, because Easter is very offensive.) So we spent one of the days at a favorite place for us: the San Diego zoo. It's about a 2 hour drive, but the kids love to go there. OK, I love it too, but let's say we went for the kids' sake.

Here are Little Macgyver and DisneyGirl trying to figure out where the snakes are:

Little MacGyver did some crazy dancing:

Toddler Houdini likes animals--when they keep their distance:

Here are DisneyGirl and Toddler Houdini dancing in the aviary:

And here are my 4 precious blessings, all together:

We had a great time. And the best part is the kids slept almost the entire way home! Oh, blessed peace!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I'm not sure there's a cure...

I found out tonight that Little MacGyver has an illness that I'm not sure can be cured. We were driving home from the Lynch house, talking about the planet Saturn (he's really interested in the planets right now). He asked me, "Where is Saturn?"

I explained that Saturn is a long way from earth, that it goes around the sun, just like the earth does. He said, the earth goes around the sun? Yes, it does.

He's quiet for a minute. Then he says, "Dada, I'm dizzy."

"Why are you dizzy, son?"

"From the earth spinning around."

Does anyone know how much Dramamine is recommended for motion sickness caused by the earth's rotation?