Archive for September, 2010

You go girl…

This is an absolutely incredible speech given by Gianna Jessen, late term abortion survivor, as she addresses members of the Australian Parliament a couple of years ago.  What jaw dropping boldness combined with a sweet gentile spirit this gal has.


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Interesting video clip by David Platt (below), author of “Radical”, a book I read recently. Loved the book, but not sure I agree with David on what he lists as the “most glorious reason we exist”, which he says is “to take the gospel to the ends of the earth”. I would argue that the most glorious reason we exist is to love God and be loved by Him (the first commandment). We need to get the proverbial “horse before the cart”. Radical obedience not born from a place of intimate knowledge and love of God quickly becomes a humanistic effort whose flame will eventually burn out, or worse, turn into a modern version of the crusades.

True story, I used to work for a missionary organization that took huge groups of Christian athletes around the world to compete and share the gospel. The name of our team? “The Crusaders”. I still cringe at that one. Someone up in the corporate offices at the mission obviously missed the day they did the cultural sensitivity training… : )

But back to the topic, its true that when we love God and become intimate with Him, we will give up all our possessions and serve the purposes of God in the earth. I do agree with David on the following statement (assuming when he says “heaven” he means the restored “New Heavens and New Earth” of the bible, not the ethereal, floaty-cloud heaven born of Greek philosophy):

Though you and I live in the United States of America now, we must fix our attention on “a better country–a heavenly one.”  though you and I find ourselves surrounded by the lure of temporary pleasure, we must fasten our affections on the one who promises eternal treasure that will never spoil or fade.  If your life or my life is going to count on earth, we must start by concentrating on heaven.  For then, and only then, will you and I be free to take radical risks, knowing that what awaits us is radical reward.

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Classic Homeschooling

Flashing the "peace sign" outside of the tabernacle. What a humorous photographic memento of a strange and wonderful childhood that will make.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas may have it’s giant Jesus and Nashville, Tennesse boasts a 12′ bronze Billy Graham, but Hudson, Wisconsin has a scale model of the Old Testament tabernacle! Try suggesting that for a public school field trip at your next PTA meeting and see what type of lawsuit you end up with!

One of the perks of homeschooling is the ability to vacation whenever works for you, and to field trip wherever you please. Who could find a better bible class lesson than to visit the tabernacle itself!? Too hokey, and too fun! Fitting the homeschooling stereotype if we ever did…

If my memory is correct concerning the rituals and punishments surrounding God’s instructions on tabernacle etiquette, then my children would have been put to death about 40 times over in their “full contact” tour. My photo essay documents the various violations possibly requiring death sentences.

Desecration of the bronze laver

Since a number of friends asked for a report of what the place was like I thought I would just make this little post.

The tour, while somewhat hokey and a little surreal, was certainly educational. Struck me as something out of an installment of Garrison Keillor’s tales of Lake Wobegon. Maybe I should drop him an email…

The simple fact that the model is to the biblical scale makes an impression. For someone who is a visual learner, I found that walking through the exhibit really brought to life the imagery and daily tasks accomplished in the space. I can much easier envision what type of working quarters the dozens of priests would have had and what it might have been like to slaughter thousands of animals in such a space. Yeeesh.

Reading through the biblical accounts is livelier when you have actually walked around and touched replicas of the various elements; the bronze altar, the menorah, the dimensions of the gold covered Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant therein. Pretty interesting.

Desecration of the Altar of Incense

It also helps to have a great guide. Ours was a wealth of knowledge and factoids. A truly quirky Old Testament nerd. He was actually a retired seminarian trained in Hebrew. So it made for great commentary and insight. Seemed like he was pretty likely to have an answer for any question you could devise.

The tour starts with a video that, while educational, is a little bit slow and plodding to keep the attention of the little ones. Fortunately it’s done in the large meeting room of the ministry (Teens For Christ) so there’s lots of room to putz around.

One of the best aspects of the tour is that all proceeds from the tour’s suggested donation goes 100% to purchase malaria vaccines for AIDS orphans in Africa. Good stuff!

The Abomination of Desolation. Flashing gang symbols at the Ark of The Covenant

All in all it was a really fun outing and I think we all learned something! I know I picked up a couple of tidbits and really valued the insights from the

guide and visual lessons added to my own bible reading. I give it a “thumbs up”! The tabernacle will be gone in mid-October, so check it out while you can! More info at the Teens For Christ website.

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The Birthday Boy with his "birthday cereal"

We woke up to a power outage this morning, but our festive spirits were not dimmed! Jude still thoroughly enjoyed the birthday tradition at the Willcock household – the permission to choose a box of total garbage cereal to enjoy on your special day. At Wal-Mart Jude wisely selected one of the worst offenders, “Cookie Crisp”. His sisters also greatly appreciated this opportunity to indulge themselves.

My little guy is 5 years old! My, how the years fly…

He already has plans to save the universe from evil with the help of his trusty light-sabre. He’s got “the moves” to back up the talk too! You should definitely swing by for a demonstration of his inter-galactic crime fighting prowess. The show is worth the trip.

Little man – big ambitions.

It’s Tacos for dinner. At our place, you pretty much get to choose the entire menu on your birthday, no holds barred. I’m guessing there will be line-ups for the lavatory tonight…

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Below is a video of a conversation between Josh Harris, Mark Driscoll, and Francis Chan. Mark and Josh ask Francis some tough questions about his recent decisions to significantly downsize his lifestyle, give away most of his income, and resign as pastor of his church in order to spend  time working in the third world and eventually starting a new ministry working with the poor in L.A.

I appreciate Francis’ comments about his motivations for doing what he is doing, particularly the work that the Lord has done in his heart to birth a desire to live a radically generous and sacrificial life. Personally, I have recently been profoundly impacted in my own heart with a new sense of the fear of the Lord. The greed and pride that permeates our lives in the west has made me fearful of the judgment of God we’ve invited upon ourselves. It moves my heart to seek the Lord for mercy and a “sober-mindedness” in order to live righteously and generously in a culture that wars at every step against it.

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw– each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. 1Cor 3:11-15

Francis reminds me in his comments that the love of God for humanity is the greatest of all motivators. Sometimes I find it hard to balance the two sides of the coin of God; he is both the bridegroom and the judge. On one side he loves me (and all of mankind) with unconditional and passionate love, and on the other, he commands us to live righteously and tells us that there will be a Day of reckoning in which even believers may “suffer loss” if we have lived foolishly and unwisely. At times I find myself driven by God’s kindness and mercy to me that I want to, in turn, give to others. Other times, I find myself in a holy reverence of our God, the “consuming fire” that makes me fearful of the gross sin and dark motivations of my heart that displease Him. Both are needed, but fear of the Lord separated from love leads to a joyless life. I appreciate the reminder from Francis.

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