Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

John Piper and Adoption

A written version of John Piper's message on the similarities between God's adoption of us and our adoption of children:

You can also listen to the audio version on their website.

More questionable advertsing....

These are courtesy of my friend Steve. I am an no way advocating the use of any of these products. Well, maybe the lard and the tapeworms.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Harry Potter and God

From the latest issue of Time...

"Rowling's work is so familiar that we've forgotten how radical it really is. Look at her literary forebears. In The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien fused his ardent Catholicism with a deep, nostalgic love for the unspoiled English landscape. C.S. Lewis was a devout Anglican whose Chronicles of Narnia forms an extended argument for Christian faith. Now look at Rowling's books. What's missing? If you want to know who dies in Harry Potter, the answer is easy: God."

Happy Birthday, Ellie!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I Appreciate His Honesty...

I really like Pope Benedict XVI as a person. I especially appreciate his intellectual honesty. Whereas most evangelicals and Roman Catholics minimize disagreements between their communities of faith, Benedict honestly acknowledges that the differences which exist are real and profound...a matter of life and death! Recently, he issued a statement affirming the supremacy of the Roman Catholic Church. Newsweek has this to say(

LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy - Pope Benedict XVI has reasserted the universal primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says Orthodox churches were defective and that other Christian denominations were not true churches.

Benedict approved a document from his old offices at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that restates church teaching on relations with other Christians. It was the second time in a week the pope has corrected what he says are erroneous interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 meetings that modernized the church.

Benedict, who attended Vatican II as a young theologian, has long complained about what he considers the erroneous interpretation of the council by liberals, saying it was not a break from the past but rather a renewal of church tradition.

In the latest document — formulated as five questions and answers — the Vatican seeks to set the record straight on Vatican II’s ecumenical intent, saying some contemporary theological interpretation had been “erroneous or ambiguous” and had prompted confusion and doubt.
It restates key sections of a 2000 document the pope wrote when he was prefect of the congregation, “Dominus Iesus,” which set off a firestorm of criticism among Protestant and other Christian denominations because it said they were not true churches but merely ecclesial communities and therefore did not have the “means of salvation.”

In the new document and an accompanying commentary, which were released as the pope vacations here in Italy’s Dolomite mountains, the Vatican repeated that position.

“Christ ‘established here on earth’ only one church,” the document said. The other communities “cannot be called ‘churches’ in the proper sense” because they do not have apostolic succession — the ability to trace their bishops back to Christ’s original apostles.

Obviously, he and I come down on different sides of these issues, but I believe he has correctly identified some key sticking points. For example, how is salvation obtained? Is Benedict correct that it is the RCC that has the "means of salvation"? Or are we correct when we argue that the sacraments do not bring about salvation but rather it is grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone that brings about salvation?

Another example would be the question concerning the locus of authority. Wherein lies the authority for the believer? Is Benedict correct in arguing that it lies within the church and more specifically the papal office or is the Protestant correct in arguing that authority resides within Scripture?

These are crucial issues and until Roman Catholics and Protestants admit this, there is no hope for constructive dialogue. While the conclusions he reaches sadden me, I greatly appreciate Pope Benedict XVI's honesty.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Hannah and the Tooth Fairy

Hannah lost her tooth last week. Naturally, she had lots of questions about the tooth fairy. After she had been tucked in her bed for a few minutes, there was a very special visit...

Monday, July 2, 2007

Another Update from Our Friend!

We got another update from our new friend at Eagle's Nest:

"I thought I'd give you the latest on Ellie over the past few days. It has become my morning ritual to seek her out in the morning. I have to tell you she is in the "high rent district" of the orphanage because her crib is next to a window and the view from this place is gorgeous! I'm sure you will enjoy it when you arrive. Yesterday I spent the afternoon with some people who have been coming up to the orphanage to volunteer three days a week. One of the girls asked if I knew which one Vanessa was. I said yes...and I actually know who her adoptive parents are. She was so excited that she was spoken for because Vanessa (Ellie) is her favorite here at Eagle's Nest. She also said that she will start to call her Ellie so that she can get used to it. She definitely responds to Vanessa or Vane (pronounced Bah-nay) as many of the mamas call her. It's also cool when I hold her and the older kids (los mayores) come up to me and hold Ellie's hand and say "Hola Vanessa!" She is definitely well liked.

"The last few days I've played pattycake with her and that brings out a huge smile and I noticed yesterday two little dimples that are precious. I tried to capture them in a picture but it kind of turned out fuzzy. She really likes the "roll it" part of the song and she'll start laughing. She loves to just sit on your lap and look at you and look around at the other kids playing. The other thing I noticed today were her amazing eyelashes. I tried to capture those in a picture too as she was looking down. They are the longest I've ever seen! I hope you enjoy these little glimpses of Ellie. I'm glad that you don't have to wait that much longer to see her! "

Below is the picture Ashley is referring to regarding Ellie's eyelashes. Austin has incredibly long eyelashes. But when we saw this picture, I looked over at him and said, "Sorry, no longer have the longest eyelashes in the family."

The Lord's Gracious Provision for Ellie

It is sometimes tempting to think that we need to get Ellie home so that we can "take care of her." But we must constantly remind ourselves that God was sovereign over choosing Ellie to be a part of our family and it is He who is caring for her now and it is He who will be the one who cares for her in the future.

There was an exciting reminder of God's provision for Ellie this past week when a friend from church called. She told me that she had just discovered that a family friend was working at the children's home where Ellie was at. I emailed her friend and received the following email and picture from her:


What a small world! I have met Ellie. But now its good to put a face with a name. I know the older kids' names because they can tell me but I don't want to bug the mamacitas by asking them who is who all the time. I will make a special effort to spend some time with her. A group from North Carolina has been here this past week and today they cleaned the whole orphanage from top to bottom. So all the babies were moved to another facility...quite an undertaking. I've attached a picture of their temporary housing! :) They are back now as I can hear them right above me. It's awesome you guys are going to parents to one of these "preciosos" I've only been here since Monday night and have had quite an experience. Monday was tough...but I've gotten control over my emotions! :) I'm glad to spend some time here for sure. I'll try to send you a new pic of Ellie soon as well. Blessings! And if there is anything you want to know before your trip...let me know!


The next day she sent me this wonderful email:

Hey Daniel -

I wanted to get this off to you quick as I thought you might appreciate it. This morning I went up and found Ellie the first thing. She was crawling around this morning. I held her for awhile and prayed over her. For protection and health as she is here and for the blessing of being adopted into your family. Then I held her as I read to a couple of the older kids. The book was one of the those feeling books that has different textures on different pages and she was super interested in touching each of the pages. When I picked her up and held her in the air she would get a big smile on her face. She is precious indeed! Just thought you might want to know! See the pic of her and me this morning actually taken by of the older girls here at Nido.



It is hard to describe how excited I was when I received this email. I was overwhelmed at how Ellie was being cared for even when I am powerless to provide for her. It was a great reminder than even when we bring her home, it is ultimately God who provides for her and my other children and not me.
Be sure to check out for Whitney's perspective on this.....