Saturday, January 1, 2011

Jesus was adopted!

Matthew 1:21 (NIV)
21 She will give birth to a son, and (Joseph) YOU ARE to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." - emphasis mine!

I have not said much about the finalization of Patrick's adoption.  We have been on a 3 year journey to this point and it has been great to finally see it be completed.  We signed our name to the documents and promised to accept Patrick as if he was our own flesh and blood.  I am proud to give Patrick my name (his middle name is Steven!) and will do all I can to help him grow into the man God has created him to be!

While studying for my Christmas sermons, I came across the verse I quoted above.  I know I have read this before...this is a pretty important scripture in the Christmas story.  But I have never read it from the point of view of Joseph.  God (through an angel) asked Joseph to give Jesus his name.  Very few commentary writers address this point.  I did find a couple who did, but the reality is that God is asking Joseph to give him his name because it was the father's responsibility to give their children a name.  Just like Joseph would do with his biological children, he gave Jesus his name because he was treating him as if he was his own son.  Just like he was not to put Mary out because she was having a baby before she and Joseph had been married, he was not to shun the new born son.  He was to give him his name.  He was to raise Jesus like he was his own flesh and blood.  Joseph didn't stand before a judge and agree to raise this child as his own, but he did stand before God.

So by my understanding of scripture, Jesus was adopted and he was the first adopted son (by Joseph) of many who would follow him and be adopted by our heavenly father.  I understand that there are other big themes in Matthew 1, but I this is pretty cool!
Romans 8:15-17 (NIV)
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship (adoption). And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. - emphasis mine!

If you want to watch a video of our adoption with the Judge, you can watch it below!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Booklist

At the beginning of the year, I wrote a blog about reading more books.  You can read that post here.  So one of my goals this past year was to increase my book reading.  I settled on 25.  I have never kept a list of books I have read so I wasn't sure what to expect.  Below you will find my list.  I finished 20 and have 7 more started by not yet finished.  I will list my books below and finish with my top 10.

Books not yet finished!
On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not
The Naked Anabaptist
Justification: God's Plan & Paul's Vision
The War of the Lamb: The Ethics of Nonviolence and Peacemaking
Surprised by Hope
Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt
The Hobbit

Finished Books
Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are
The Air I Breathe: Worship as a Way of Life
A Brief History of Christian Worship
The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)
Five Secrets Great Dads Know
Reimagining Evangelism: Inviting Friends on a Spiritual Journey
Untamed: Reactivating a Missional Form of Discipleship (Shapevine)
Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile
Fathered by God: Learning What Your Dad Could Never Teach You

So, my top 10 books that I read in 2010

Honorable Mention - Seven: The Deadly Sins - by Jeff Cook
 10 - Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us - by Seth Godin
   9 - The War of Art - by Steven Pressfield
   8 - Samson and the Pirate Monk - by Nate Larkin
   7 - The Tangible Kingdom - by Hugh Halter & Matt Smay
   6 - Food Rules: An Eater's Manual - by Michael Pollan
   5 - The Orthodox Heretic: And Other Impossible Tales - by Peter Rollins
   4 - Angels and Ages - by Adam Gopnik
   3 - A Long Obedience in the Same Direction - Eugene Peterson
   2 - Following Jesus - by N.T. Wright
   1 - The Challenge of Jesus - by N.T. Wright

To keep this from being a super long post, I will refrain from commenting on each of the books, but if you would like a comment on a particular book, ask in the comments and I see what I can do!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Age Gap

Beth likes to bargain shop...especially over the interweb!  She bought me a $50 gift card for $25 to Gap.

Today I went to cash it in and get me a pair of jeans.  After trying on 6 pairs of pants, I realized I am too old to shop at Gap AND guys wear their pants like a bunch of girls these was like trying on spandex. 

Oh...I was able to get 1 whole pair of jeans for $!  Are you kidding me...I am too old!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Northgate's 90th Birthday

I am sure this is a bit of over saturation, but I have just posted a note on our church's Facebook page.

Please go and read it.  we are looking for help to make our celebration more than just a party for ourselves.  Help us continue our efforts at becoming an integral part of our neighborhood.

Here is the link to the page.  Just in case you missed it up top!!/note.php?note_id=133663826677877

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What is 3 months amongst friends?!

It it has been 3 months since I posted anything here...and I am ok with that. 

In honor of time, I want to tell you about our church's up coming milestone.  On September 19th, we will be 90 years old.  I know that it isn't all that old in the grand scheme of things, but to me, that is something to celebrate.  We were a church plant started in one of the fraternal social halls here in town.  Manteca was a small farming community known for its cows and butter...that is how it got its name (la mantequilla is butter in spanish).  After someone misspelled the word on a train ticket, they changed the name to the misspelling...Manteca (which means lard or fat in spanish!!)

Now we are mostly a commuter city.  There are still cows around and rows and rows of Almond trees and wine grapes...but mostly we are a city full of commuters.  My prayer for our church during this time of remembering is that while we remember the past fondly, we use our past as a springboard into the future calling God has for us.  Most of the farmers are gone, but we can make a difference in the lives of the people who spend most of their life in their cars...driving back and forth to the bay area to work.   

We were a risk taken by a handful of men and women on September 19th, 1920.  We can still take those kinds of risks, not knowing if we will be here for our 100th birthday, but knowing that the risk of extinction is worth the gains we can make for the Kingdom of God...if we will only take the and now!

Happy Birthday Northgate

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Compassion

By the time you read this, it will be May 12th.  Beth and I have been married for 9 years today!  Unfortunately, we are separated by 2,413 miles (according to google maps!)  Beth is in Ashland, Ohio learning how to be an awesome "ministry wife" for our "husband and wife ministry team" (HWMT!!)  Since she is not here in California, I must sing her praises!  The last 3 days have reminded me how awesome she is and how good God is to me through her!

There are many things that Beth adds to our family, but one thing has become glaringly obvious over the last 3 days.  She brings compassion to our home.  Let me give you a few examples.

We have a dog.  I forgot!  I made it home on Saturday night.  Maggie opened the back door on Monday and let him in for the first time since I made it home.  He was ok...but I am sure he wished Beth was home!

Today Maggie did not make the cut for her school's talent show...we came home and she was crying about her lunch...naturally I thought she was crazy for crying about a taco...She needed her mom, the compassionate one, who realizes that crying over a taco was really about her disappointment over not making the talent show. 

Patrick was screaming his head off this afternoon...I am sure he needed someone to hold him and rock him...I needed him to stop screaming so I didn't go crazy...

So today, I say "I love you" to Beth.  You are my wife, my love, and my compassion.  You bring a never ending joy to my life and the rest of the family needs you home before I forget to care about the emotional needs!

                                                                     Me & Beth - July 2003

Friday, April 30, 2010

Impersonating a Police Officer

A few months ago Dave Thompson asked me if I would be interested in a chaplaincy program being developed through the Manteca Police Department that would allow the chaplains access to the public schools.  This program works with the school resource officers assigned to the schools as support for them and the students they encounter.  I have access to the school campuses and get to help kids connect with mentors to get them through some of the issues they are facing. 

Yesterday, I was able to go on my first call to Neil Hafley school to speak with a young man who has been missing quite a bit of school.  After waiting a while to see if he was going to show up, Officer Hensley and I went looking for him in the places he is known to hide.  On the way out the door, I was joking around with Officer Hensley about his car and he told me that it didn't matter because I would be driving - not him!  So I was able to drive the police car around the neighborhood and down the bike trail looking for this young man.  When it became clear that he was not where we thought he was, we headed back to the school. 

On our way back, my phone started buzzing.  As I was looking at my phone I asked officer Hensley if I was breaking the law (in California it is against the law to talk or text while driving!)  He told me that since I was on official police business, it was legal!!!  He snapped a couple of pictures of me driving the car and talking on my phone!
The next time you see a police officer, make sure it isn't me...I felt like a brand new driver in that car...I might run over you....and since I am on official police business, it would be legal!