Thursday, December 14, 2006

Behold the Lamb of God

Last Saturday, Krisha and I got to attend a great concert that our church sponsored, Behold the Lamb of God composed by Andrew Peterson. In addition to Peterson, Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken, and others were there, truly it was a talented ensemble of musicians.

My favorite song was Deliver Us. It really made me feel like I was Jew waiting for the Messiah. God has been so quiet, is He even able to deliver us? The lyrics are below.

Our enemy, our captor is no pharaoh on the Nile
Our toil is neither mud nor brick nor sand
Our ankles bear no calluses from chains, yet Lord, we're bound
Imprisoned here, we dwell in our own land

Deliver us, deliver us
Oh Yahweh, hear our cry
And gather us beneath your wings tonight

Our sins they are more numerous than all the lambs we slay
These shackles they were made with our own hands
Our toil is our atonement and our freedom yours to give
So Yahweh, break your silence if you can


'Jerusalem, Jerusalem
How often I have longed
To gather you beneath my gentle wings'

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Another Semester Bites the Dust

Exams are over!!! Winter is here...and that means a trip to Virginia to visit some wonderful friends and family. Here is a list of the events. Time in H'burg where I get to meet the newest addition to the Noll family, Noa. I'm definitely excited about that. Over to F'burg to pick up my new wheels, a 1990 Volvo. It is true, the Buick is no longer. Then down to Richmond with my in-laws. They get to meet Zoe for the first time. Then over to the 'Noke, where a big bonanza with some old JMU alumni is planned. To finish it off, it is back to F'burg, where my wonderful sister Jennifer and her equally great fiancee, Tyler will get married. Needless to say it will be a jammed pack time.

Check back in a month or so for some pictures and a recap of the events.

I also hope to bag a few highpeaks (VA, MD, PA, WV possibly) while on the trip. Which also brings up another thing. If you have heard the national news recently, 3 hikers are stuck on Mt Hood, the highpoint in Oregon. Currently, there is a massive search underway. To bring it closer to home, one of the hikers, Kelly James, is the brother of RTS:Orlando seminary professor, Dr. Frank James. Feel free to offer up a prayer for those hikers and their families.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Papers and Exams...

Well, it is that time of the semester...Final Exams. Thankfully, I have finished most of my papers. While, I normally hate the practice of writing papers, I found it to be tolerable this go around. And I was actually very pleased with what I turned out, which is not always the case. Nevertheless, I'm ready for the semester to be over. Virginia, you are only a few weeks away...Are you ready for me?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Test Update

Well, some not so good news. I was right, the systematics test was hard. I got my grade back and it wasn't so hot. But, life goes on. I'm thankful that my significance is not found in a test grade, but solely in Christ. I need to remember that more.

Also, I'm looking forward to the end of the semester and the start of Christmas break. Highlights will include: hiking with my wife, seeing Zoe the Bullie play with my parent's dog (Apollo), and hanging out with a gaggle and I do mean a gaggle (last count was 23) of some great college friends.

Monday, November 06, 2006

One of the Hardest Tests of my Life

On Saturday, I took one of the hardest tests in my life. 101 multiple choice questions covering my professor's own 800+ page book (John Frame, The Doctrine of God). The material is absolutely wonderful and it really gives you a new framework for living out the Christian life. But I just hope, I don't have to take it again.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Playing the Sport I Love

That is me in the yellow, #8. The picture was taken at the Florida Sectionals Ultimate Tourney at Vero Beach in September, 2006. I had a great time. There is nothing like laying out for a disc. It was also good to spend some time with my teammates. We ended up finishing 5th place out of 10 teams. It wasn't good enough to reach regionals, but fun nevertheless.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Celebration of Zoe, the Bullie!

Krisha and I had a fun time celebrating our dog's 1st birthday. I composed a poem about Zoe. Krisha created some Zoe Libs. And Zoe ate some ice cream and wore a birthday cap. See below for more details.
A Theologically Correct Poem:
Concerning Zoe
Her Stance on a Major World Religion

Z oroastrianism,
O bviously
E rroneous

Zoe Libs

Directions: Write down a word for each number below and then fill your words into the story. If you want to post your results under the comments section, our family would love to read them.

1. noun
2. adj
3. adj
4. body part
5. action verb
6. exclamation
7. verb
8. food
9, 10, 11. adj
12. food
13, 14, 15, 16. gerund verbs (-ing ending)
17. noun
18. adj
19, 20, 21. noises
22. number
23. car
24. book of the Bible
25. animal
26. body part
27. dessert

Once upon a __1__ there was a __2__ bully named Zoё. Zoё had big __3__ eyes and a wrinkly wet __4__. Zoё was different that other bullies because her favorite thing to do was __5__. In fact, she did it so loud that her owners, Brian and Krisha would often scream “__6__, Zoё”!

Some other fun facts about Zoё are that she likes to __7__ humans, but she really prefers to stick her nose into __8__. Her ideal date is a walk in a park and her ideal bully is __9__, __10__, and definitely __11__. Her favorite food is __12__; in fact she likes it so much she sticks her whole face in to get a better lick.

Zoё isn’t necessarily the smartest bully, though. Brian and Krisha have caught her __13__ the neighbors, __14__ the flowers, and __15__ small children. Zoё’s biggest fear is __16__ a __17__, but Brian and Krisha are more concerned with her couch-diving and repetitive purging habits. For Halloween, Zoё dressed up as a __18__ pumpkin. Unfortunately, the costume exploded into a million pieces in the washer when Krisha tried to clean it. (Even Cinderella couldn’t resurrect that pumpkin!)

Zoё has many things that make her ears perk: noises such as __19__, __20__, and __21__ keep her busy looking confused. In fact, we aren’t sure if her brain has actually developed to the size of a one year olds. It is possible that Zoё is a __22__ week old puppy stuck in a 1 yr olds’ body. We haven’t determined this as she weighs as much as a large __23__. Zoё is not much of a Bible reader, but if she were her favorite book would be __24__. In fact, she has her own proverb: Don’t let a __25__ put his __26__ in your wrinkles. A good friend is like a __27__.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Happy 1st Birthday, Zoe!!!

So, today is Zoe's first birthday. Details of her birthday party will be posted in the next few days.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Zoe, the Pumpkin

To celebrate the Fall season, Zoe decided to dress up in her pumpkin costume and go to a bullie meetup in Orlando. If you want to check out all the photos of this event, just click here. Zoe had a great time, except for her barfing problem. She threw up over 5 times! Thankfully, none of the pictures actually show her barfing.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Fall Break

It's Fall Break, errr, I mean Reading Week. The time off is just not the same as it used to be at JMU for several reasons. 1) It means I must catch up on the numerous seminary books I haven't gotten too yet. 2) In Virginia, there is an actual Fall, where the leaves change into beautiful colors, where there are corn maizes to get lost in, and where the weather causes you to grab your hoodie.

A Fall is Florida is much different. Most of the leaves never change from their green palmy colors and the ones that do go from green to brown. It is rather depressing. Also no corn maizes. And, worst of all, not as many good friends to admire the above enjoyments.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mt. Whitney

So, I got a hint from a friend that I needed more pictures on blog. Hence, a picture accompanies this blog. And it would probably help if I wrote in the blog more than once a month. No promises, but I'll try. So, what is new. Well, I hiked to the top of the highest mountain in the 48 contiguous states, Mt. Whitney, CA. Matt Chase, if you read this, have you made it up any 14ers. The altitude really got to me. I'm still down for doing some hikes together. Also, while I was over there, I climbed Boundary Peak, NV, the highest peak in that state. Total trip statistics. 3 days, over 32 miles hiked with about 10,000 feet elevation gain. Exciting, but exhausting. Anyways, that brings the state highpointing count to 5 out of 50 (10% complete). Okay, that is enough for now, but I'm sure to have some wifey and Zoe highlights to come.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Hurricane Ernesto

A new semester at RTS has begun and along with it a hurricane is brewing in the a Carribean. Currently, the path of the hurricane is headed straight for Krisha and me. So, the wait begins to see what will happen. Kind of exciting, at least for me. I've always wanted to experience the power of a hurricane. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Singing the Day Away

I found myself singing some hymns today. I've really needed them because work has been long, hot, and tiring.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Assembly of God

I attended an Assembly of God church yesterday for an assignment in my worship class. It was definently a unique experience. The preaching wasn't that bad (a topical sermon on fasting) and the preacher definently had passion, such as five minute long periods where his voice was so loud I thought I needed earplugs. The music was okay. No deep theology, but worship doesn't always need to have that. The strangest moment was the tongues at the end. It was my second time experiencing that and I still can't relate to it. Overall, it was hard for me to engage in worship. Maybe it was my own preconceived notions and disbelief in this genre of Christianity, but I felt more worshipful in the Spanish service I went to a few weeks ago, even though I was not able to understand much of the language.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Worship through Evangelism

My wife and I just finished a conversation with two Jehovah Witnesses. We had met one of the JW's before, but had never gotten into a real deep conversation. It was great to hear my wife preach the gospel. I'm glad we had the opportunity to do so together. Hopefully, we will get more opportunities.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Here's a random way I enjoy worshiping the Lord. It is called geocaching. It brings me into the great outdoors to explore places that I would normally never see. And yet life is so short and there are so many places I will never explore. It makes me think of the new heavens and earth. Part of me hopes that some of the pleasures we enjoy in this life will carry over to the next. I think of CS Lewis' picture in the Last Battle, where the kids die, but upon death, they live and enter into the new renewed Narnia. They start to run through the wonderful paradise consisting of waterfalls, fields, mountains, forests...and during all of this running, they never tire. I hope some of my time in heaven will consist of exploring like Lewis envisioned.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Happy Birthday to my Wife, Krisha

I'm not the most sentimental guy and often have a difficult time encouraging my wife in the ways that would be most encouraging to her. But today on her birthday, I had a good opportunity to go the extra mile. In a real sense, it was a time of worship preparing and carrying out the encouragement.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

My wife made a wonderful comment on the way to work that I wanted to share. We are both working at Wycliffe Bible Translators (she is full time, I'm there for the summer). To bring the story into context, you need to know that some of the employees working at Wycliffe headquarters previously worked out in the jungle translating Scripture. She observed that the jobs these former missionaries have back in the US are often less glorious than their previous status as leaders who brought the Word of God to a culture that had never had it. She was amazed at their humility. Had these people stayed in the US, more opportunities for jobs would likely have come along, more praise and acknowledgement from peers would have come. I appreciated my wife sharing her insight with me and am also thankful to the missionaries that live humble lives for the glory of God...setting an example to younger Christians like me.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Book of Common Prayer

My wife and I have tried using the Book of Common Prayer. I heard and bought it because of another class, but had never really used it. I have likes and dislikes about it. One dislike, which my wife shares, is that it can seem wooden and forced. It can be hard to enter into a heart set fully upon God. However, the language is beautiful and the prayer book helps guide prayer about particular things I would not normally prayer about, such as our government and people traveling.
Prayer with my wife

Recently, my wife and I have had some great time praying before bed. It is a great excercise to pray together and hear the burdens that my wife lifts before the Lord. Often, our prayers are about the same things, but I really enjoy hearing the prayers that I have not thought about.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I got into a great discussion at work today. There is a guy at work who is pretty quiet most of the time, similar to me. I guess our similar personalities encouraged conversation. He started talking with great passion and vigor about the Lord and how good he is. I think we both blessed and were blessed by the conversation. Another worship moment.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Power of a Pastor

Last week, I was greatly encouraged by my home church pastor. I had not been in the best of moods and he called me to see how I was doing. He seemed to cut through the barriers I had set up and was able to encourage me. I'm thankful to God that he has placed certain people in my life (wife, pastor, best friends) that can reach down to my soul and move me towards a more worshipful attitude.
Alabanza al Senor

On Sunday, I attended a Spanish service with my wife. It moved me greatly. I was overcome with emotion during the songs. I don't exactly know why...whether it was seeing the joy and freedom of these people worshiping Christ or whether it was experiencing part of God's heart for the nations. Maybe both. In any case, the service was excellent and I'm thankful for my wife who was able to interpret the service for me and explain everything that occurred.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Today, was the biggest thunderstorm I have seen this year. The lightening was brilliant and the crack of the ensuing thunder was magnificent. And to think, God’s power is infinitely greater. Simply amazing, simply worshipful.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ultimate Worship

I love ultimate frisbee and see it as a great time to worship. God gives different people, different types of talents. I think one of mine is athletics. For me, there are only a few things better than sprinting a full field and seeing a disc fly out in front of you. As the disc slows down and starts to drop, I lay out, fully extended and catch it the moment before it hits the ground. Ok, so not every play is this dramatic, but it sometimes is and I love it. My prayer is that when I play, I would play to the glory of God and be a witness to those who watch. And don't worry, as I write this, my wife tells me that she will keep me in check so that this wonderful sport does not become an idol for me.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Morning Worship

I think the time I love God and my wife the best is the first few moments I'm awake. My mind is clear and my flesh has not yet had any provocations leading me to sin.

Anyone out there in cyberspace have best worship time periods?

Monday, July 03, 2006

This one is geared towards Father John, but everyone is free to read.

Father John, yes we do have a bulldog and here she is.

She is a bundle of energy and joy, but also very mischevious. Since this post is pertaining to worship, I will share how our bulldog Zoe helped us to worship and possibly bring a family to Father John's church. My wife, her parents, Zoe, and I went out for ice cream. Zoe loves people and people love Zoe. My wife and I got into a conversation with a family of pug owners that also love bulldogs. The conversation led into spiritual issues. The family has recently moved into Chuleota and their old catholic church they attended is now far away. I told them of Father John's Episcopal church plant, which will be a lot closer to them. They sounded interested. So who knows. Father John, if for some reason, you do hear of a family like the one I described, attending your church, I would love to know. Posted by Picasa
Worshipping During the Dull Moments

I'm working, what some would consider, a less than glorious job in landscaping this summer. Some people with college degrees would never touch a job like this, but I find them good for the Christian life. There are many times to meditate on the Lord during "simple" tasks. Another aspect of my job is that I am in charge of propagating plants. It is amazing how God has created plants to reproduce and I get paid in helping to foster life and beauty for the enjoyment of those who walk by and see.
Thoughts from Sunday, July 2, 2006

I went to my church, University Presbyterian Church (UPC), on Sunday. We celebrated the Lord's Supper. I really appreciate the way this sacrament is administered. First, the bulletin contains a page describing the elements and their meaning. It is a helpful reminder that brings me into a deeper meaning when partaking of the elements. Also, the table is fenced. I think many people in our quasi-post Christian culture often take the elements without really knowing what they stand for. It is tradition, therefore, we should take, eat and drink. So, often no warning is given and these people who do not know why they are eating, reap judgment by doing so. Therefore, I'm a big fan of fencing the table and grateful for my church in doing so clearly.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Worship class is over. It has been a pretty long week. The class was good, not great. The best part was the discussions in class. There was also an interesting guest speaker, who has a great website with free media for worship powerpoint and video presentations, Since class is now over, I am going to try to make my posts about personal worship experiences from that day. Feel free to comment if you have any compelling worship experiences you would like to share.

Me and my wife Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Bad worship services...Is there such a thing?

It sounds sinful to say yes, but if honest, I think most people would say that they experienced a few bad worship service in their life.

A worship leader is given a certain amount of responsibility and has an obligation to come prepared to lead. I have sat in services, where the drummer wasn't on beat with the guitar player, who wasn't on beat with the vocalists and the result was a very distracting ordeal that made worship to God very difficult. There is a certain amount of excellence that should be given to leading worship. And in the above case, the excellence was not there. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that God calls certain people to certain positions in the church. Those who have been given the God given gifts, should use them to the glory of God and the edification of the saints.

As mentioned the leader has an obligation to lead well. At the same time, those worshiping have an obligation to do so unto God. I have also been in worship services where I, myself, was the biggest hindrance to worshiping God.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I went to an ecumenical healing service last night and had a different, but enjoyable experience. An older saint (in his 80s) gave a short sermon. What impressed me most, was the experience and wisdom that came from his lips. He spoke as one who had walked with the Lord for many years. His faith was genuine and powerful. We knelt during prayers, most of which were liturgical. There was some difficulty praying this way, but there was also some rich insights and prayers that came out of this time.

I was struck by the great number of people that were specifically lifted up in prayer. At first, it made me sad that there were so many people aching in pain. But at the same time, I was comforted and thankful that these people were being lifted up. We celebrated communion. The table was not fenced, which upset me slightly, but it was administered in my favorite way, by actually drinking real wine from the cup. Upon drinking, the wine heats up the chest creating greater awareness of the sacrifice, which Christ made at the cross. Immediately after communion, the priest anointed my forehead with oil (someone said it was rosemary). What a beautiful smell, very comforting. The whole car ride back home, I continually caught whiffs of the sweet fragrance. Overall, the experience was great. I would like to take my wife with me some week and see what she thinks.

Monday, June 26, 2006

This is my entrance into the world of blogging. It was motivated by an assignment for a worship class at seminary. My goal for the next 30 days is to keep a log about worship topics such as personal devotion, corporate worship, and a definition of worship. And who knows, after I finish the class, I may continue to publish thoughts and updates concerning the whole of my life. To anyone who reads this, whether it be friend, family, or an anonymous user, feel free to comment.

With the upfront details out of the way, I will now embark with my first post. During the first few hours of class, I was asked to form a definition of worship. I came up with the following,

"The deepest form of expression a creature can make to the Triune God. This expression, which demonstrates the creature’s utmost love and devotion, can take on a variety of forms including, but not limited to prayer, song, meditation, action, evangelism, reading of Scripture, and sacrifice."

Upon completion of the worship course, I plan on posting any changes my definition might undergo.