Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Livin la vida loca!!

Probably not to the same extent as Ricky Martin, but we definitely did some crazy/chaotic "livin" this past weekend! (By the way, I'm sorry if the song gets stuck in your head).

We had been planning on going to Michigan to visit my family for quite some time now. The plan was to have a birthday party for Sophie in Michigan so we could celebrate with all of my family. As a major bonus, it turned out that my 3 best college friends/roommates were also going to be in Michigan that weekend and were all going to come to the party as well! This was extra special because we do not get to see each other often as they are all amazing girls, living in big cities, studying in Europe, or saving the world somewhere in central America -- they're on the go.

I was really excited for this weekend already and to top it off, we also sold our car....in Michigan. Thursday night before we left for Michigan Bill told me about a fleet sale at work (these are cars that managers at toyota drive for a while and then the employees get a chance to buy them for a discounted rate). There was a Rav4 for sale, and I really like them so I got excited and asked Bill if we could buy it, and he told me (after kind of laughing at me) that if my car sold by Tuesday we could try to get it. Well, we put the car on Craig's list friday night, and decided to post it in the metro Detroit area, and by Saturday evening we had a buyer. Crazy! The craziest part was that the title was in Kentucky, so Sunday morning we had to drive to Kentucky (5 hours), and then I turned around and drove back to Michigan (5 hours) all on Sunday so we could seal the deal on Monday. Thankfully my family watched Sophie on Sunday in Michigan so we didn't have to take her with us for the ridiculous amount of travel. Everything went smoothly and Sophie and I made it back to Kentucky last night.

Here's the best part of all of this: we are not even gauaranteed the Rav4!! Ha...we have to bid for it along with other interested buyers! We were also able to bid on another car too so hopefully something will work out. We should find out more info tomorrow. Even though this seems crazy, we did pray about it when we put the car up for sale, have continued to pray, and trust that everything is in God's control!

Now for some weekend highlights:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Book Review

Bill's first post. Sorry, it's not a great story about my exciting life, or even juicy details about my excellent wife or lovable daughter. It's a book review. Our friend Jessica works at Zondervan and had a give-a-way over on her blog. Enjoying books and reading and being the sucker I am for things that are free, I signed up and below is my review.

Messy Spirituality by Michael Yaconelli (Zondervan 2002, 2007)

The premise of this book is that the spiritual life is messy, cluttered, and inconsistent. The author shows us of biblical characters who were “messy” and had their fair share of flaws. It mentions the people who Jesus hung out with, saying that they were certainly not the “religious” crowd of the day. Although this is true and everyone makes mistakes (the result of sin in our world and in our hearts – reference Ecclesiastes 7:20, Jeremiah 17:9, Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:10-18), the biblical characters mentioned would not be characterized as living “messy” lives, but lives that were spent seeking after God.
Likewise, the people whom Jesus hung out with did not continue in their current state, they were changed by Jesus. Jesus welcomed them as they were – absolutely – but those that were His followers led significantly different lives from then on, especially after His death and resurrection. Readers should be warned that this book minimizes the importance of changing once God reveals Himself to us. The one place where this was discussed properly was in the latter part of Chapter 3, starting with the commentary of the man born blind. But after this, the focus on change is lost.

There are truths in this book. The fact that God loves us is evident throughout. That His grace for us is overwhelming is also clearly presented. But this book is dangerous. Sin is taken very lightly. Grace and our freedom in Christ is abused, as the author introduces us to “spiritual” people who aren’t worried about changing their habits, and keep on going because of “God’s annoying love”. Let us not forget that God has more characteristics than just love. His love is perfect and complete, but there are more references in the Bible to God’s wrath and anger than to His love and tenderness. The author chose to loosely demonstrate God’s love and grace through feel-good stories, instead of taking us to Scripture where we can see the real thing in action. 1 Corinthians 6, Galatians 5, Ephesians 2, 4, 5, Philippians 2, Colossians 2-3, and more and more passages that talk about the grace of God and the result that it produces in our lives.

These Biblical passages speak powerfully of the grace of God, and they speak of us. They tell us what we once were, and what we are now because of Christ in our lives. But this book wanders from the latter part (what we are now), and what a changed life looks like. The author tells us we are free to sin because of our freedom in Christ (in the “unspiritual growth” chapter). Freedom for me to sin thanks to Jesus who died because of my sin? That’s not in my Bible. The author also challenges us in the last chapter to resist God’s love, hide from His love, and run from His love, and God will always be there for us. Why would we ever want to do that? Why would we want to grieve Him who gave His son to redeem us by living in a way that does not honor Him? (Isaiah 63:7-10, Ephesians 4:25-32) Why would we want to excuse “messy” behavior in light of the gospel? Will we sin? Yes. Will God forgive us? Yes. Should we continue in sin so that grace will increase? No. (Romans 6:1-2, 15-23) Is this a good book for someone pursuing spiritual growth? No.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Would it be wrong...

To complain for just one minute...about Sophie's inability to sleep in? I mean, it is Saturday morning, 7am, and I have already been up for an hour and 20 minutes!!! Doesn't she understand that it's the weekend? It's ok to get up early during the week. 6 or 6:30, that is a respectable waking time, and as many have told me -- I will appreciate that when she goes to school. BUT, I don't appreciate it on Saturday morning. How do you get a baby to sleep in? ? ? That's all.

More of this please.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Beach

Part of our East Coast experience included Sophie's first visit to the beach. She did not enjoy herself to my dismay. I thought she would love it because she loves the pool. I think the sand really threw her off though, and the cold water didn't help either. Take a look:

We will most definitely try again in September when we head to Cali. I'm sure by then she'll change her mind :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Back from Bean Town

Just in case you were wondering, I didn't fall off of the blogging wagon. We've been on vacation in Boston visiting Bill's family. We had such a great time and were able to do so many fun things! Bill's parents were gracious hosts and so wonderful to us. Here are some highlights of our trip:
Sophie's first ride on the T

Roaming around Boston, the Freedom Trail & the Harbor

Trying to watch fireworks from the rooftop

On the ferry to Martha's Vineyard

Sophie & Cousin Callie

Sophie's first birthday party in Boston, 1 of 3 to celebrate her first year!