LAHS 20th Reunion

I actually did enjoy my 20th high school reunion last night.  I made my wife come because I was too insecure to go by myself.  (Yes, I know, a painful truth.)  It was really fun to see many old friends.  Once we got passed the basic info—job, married/single, kids?, geography—conversation was often shallow and occasionally strained.  If I had gone to my 10th reunion, maybe I could have gone a bit deeper.  I did meet a former classmate who is now a pastor, so that was encouraging.  Once finding out I teach at Los Altos, many wanted to know what teachers are still there, how the school has changed, etc.  I also found out that a few classmates still live in town!  It was a lot of fun to hang out with my old Production Choir friends as well as be reconnected with one of my very oldest friends.

But coming home, I am just thankful for my wonderful wife, my great girls, and the loving community of family and friends I am surrounded with.  I wouldn’t trade with anyone.  Thanks God!  =)


Film “Wanted”

I have not and will not see Wanted.  I don’t have the time, nor can I afford the emotional callousing that goes with movies like it. (I don’t believe we can fill up our minds with images and stories of brutality, and remain as sensitive to others as we would otherwise be, but it could just be me.)  But but I do read reviews.  I was shocked to read that the movie ends with the lead character eliminating his enemy with a head shot, and then actually turning to the camera and saying, “”Six weeks ago, I was ordinary and pathetic, just like you. This is me taking back control of my life. What have you done lately?”

I nearly dropped the magazine.  Our culture is sick.  One movie does not a culture make, but it seems that this movie just makes plain what many other movies say with subtlety.  There is so much to say, I almost don’t know where to start.

  • How long before someone commits a violent act in response to this challenge?  Will the movie bear any legal liability?  I have scoffed at people attempting to sue the entertainment industry in the past for actions supposedly “inspired” by a song or movie, but this movie contains a direct call to action.  Is that protected free speech?
  • Darwinist evolution is clearly the underlying worldview.  I gain significance by destroying others. Survival of the fittest and domination of others (e.g. Nietzsche’s will to power) are the only values in Darwinism.  In a world that embraces evolutionary theory, we should expect more of this.
  • The lead character feels he is taking back control of his life.  No he isn’t.  He is giving in to bondage to his own lusts, and, in the process, losing control.  When we give in to our temptations toward evil, from killing people to even over-eating, we (by “we” I mean the core of who we are, the center of our mind, emotions and will, called the “heart” by the Greeks and the scriptures) lose control and hand control over to our “flesh,” which, biblically speaking, is the part of our person where the sinful appetites reside.
  • Real significance is gained by partnering with the creator of the universe to extend his love and reign into the hearts of others to see their lives changed.  This brings hope, peace, love and all the other blessings of God to broken and hurting people.  Fame is not significance.  Anyone’s own heart will tell them that.


My wife and I are at the California Home Educators Convention in Long Beach.  Some cool stuff happened today!

First, we found lots of good stuff to use with our daughters for the coming year and beyond.  And at good prices.  =)  We got the whole Focus on the Family dramatized Chronicles of Narnia (all 7 books on CD) for only $25.  We bought the entire collection of YWAM Christian Heroes for about $4/book.   We love those.

It’s funny how God works.  A few days ago the only thing really keeping us from bailing out on the convention was the fact that we had paid for it.  Els felt she had a good plan for the coming year, and we were tired.  But we came and God has blessed.  God enabled us to get an extra night of childcare at the last minute, and we thought we might have a free hotel room that one of the other homeschool mom’s wasn’t going to use.  But in the morning we ran in to her (that was an answer to prayer in itself), and she had canceled the room.  I immediately begin to pray for a hotel room, and I believe it was the Lord who brought to mind the story that John Eldredge tells about running out of gas on a dirt road while on a fishing trip when he was 19 (wow, that was a lot of prepositional phrases!).  God told him, “I will bring you gas.”  So Eldredge went fishing, and God brought gas.  So I had this sense that something would work out, and that gave me some peace.  I didn’t spend all day worrying about it, just a few times throughout the day.  =)

Well, at the very end of the evening while we were shopping at the YWAM booth, we met a really key contact who actually was the editor of the Christian Heroes series.  We immediately connected, and exchanged stories for about 15 minutes.  Els and I both had the sense that the Lord was going to do something with us and this man.  Well, as I was winding up our purchase, I said something like “well, now to find a hotel room…”  He perked up and asked, so I told him the story about the free room that wasn’t.  He said, “come back in a 1/2 hour and I’ll see what I can do.”  Well, 1/2 hour later we had a free room at the Marriott.  I couldn’t believe it!  Although, I kind of could because the Eldredge story coming to mind in the morning.  Thanks Lord!  And thank you YWAM editor who shall remain nameless because I don’t have permission to use it!

Then by the end of the day, the Lord had totally revised our homeschool plan that we thought we had all worked out.  We are more excited than ever for the coming year.  Thank you God!  And thank you for the blessing that is my wife.

Church-going married couples happier…

Read this!

Let’s just say that Elizabeth and I are very happy! =)

Friend of God

Eldredge, The Way of the Wild Heart, p. 255

Eldredge is answering the question, How to cultivate relational intimacy with God?

Part of the answer is orientation.  Most men charge through their day to get things done.  That’s their orientation—tackle the problems, seize the opportunities, make hay while the sun shines.  A friend of mine, a gray-haired King [Eldredge breaks up a man’s life into stages, with “King” being the fifth of six stages] working in ministry, confided in me just a few days ago, “I’ve lived the past thirty-five years of my life scrambling.”  If you would become the friend of God [Eldredge is suggesting that being a friend of God is the most important qualification for the King stage (1 John 1:12-14, John 15)], your orientation needs to be to walk with God through the day.  It’s a posture, where you are aware of God and asking, “What are you up to here, God?” And, “What is this all about?  How do you want me to handle this?”

With this orientation, this posture, I would add an open heart.  This is also why most men don’t know God in the way John is referring to.  They are about as in tune with their hearts as they are the lunar cycle at the moment.  Their inner lives are jungles, because they’ve never ventured in to live there.  And without a heart alive, awake, and somewhat free, you cannot know God.

Finally, and pardon the obvious, you must actually want it.  Because unless you really do, you will not be able to fight for the time required to cultivate friendship with God.  I mean, something’s gotta give.  God doesn’t offer friendship to men who don’t care enough to make room for it.  I’m troubled to think how often I have shied away from time with God.  I’m not quite sure why.  But I have noticed this: there is in men an irritation at having our agendas tampered with.  God is the ultimate disruption.  A godly man just confessed to me, “I don’t want to ask because I don’t want to hear ‘No’.”  We don’t want our agendas messed with.

Father, help me to want it more!  Lord, I confess my divided heart.  I am in constant violation of the necessity of being present in the moment with you.  I am frequently worried about the future, or upset over the past.  When my mental energy is spent this way, I crowd you out and cannot hear your voice.  As Jim Elliot said, “Wherever you are, be all there.”  Lord, you died for the past, and you hold the future in your hands.  Help me to walk in this moment with you, and to get all out of it that you intend.  Carpe diem!  Father, may I think your thoughts all day long.  Lord, may you be with me as I wash the car, clean up my messes, teach my girls, and go to the dentist.  I invite you in.  Help me to keep inviting you in the rest of this day.

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