NRH+

Scot McKnight talks infant baptism and the New Testament. Solid.

🍿 Finally saw Bumblebee yesterday afternoon with Amber and really enjoyed it. As far as Transformers movies go it is certainly the best so far—it manages to add genuine heart and solid pacing to the franchise’s trademark robot action. Plus, you know I loved that 80’s nostalgia.

Sermon inspiration.

Just deleted Reddit from my phone 😱

EDIT: replaced with Pocket.

“The Cross has the final word!!” Loving this song. Will be a great Lenten reflection.

This is Edit.

A simple piece of paper to write on as needed. It opens instantly, ready to capture whatever you’ve got on your mind.

It includes a word counter, light and dark themes, the ability to quickly select all text, and sharing via the iOS share sheet. Everything you need in a mobile writing app and nothing you don’t.

Many of my emails, blog posts, lists, have been drafted first in Edit. It’s my favorite space on my phone to start writing.

Reminders

PLAN THE WORK WORK THE PLAN

⌨ Writing. Soundtrack: David Baloche.

Nana’s Pie from Isa’s is one of my favorite slices in Phoenix

Martin Smith of Delirious? fame is at the height of his vintage Bono/U2 channeling ability on his project from 2017, Army of Bones.

I flipping love it.

A little bit of Sutliff Christmas Spice during the downtime before tonight’s Epiphany Party at church.

My wife, Amber, has flown to Texas to be with her family as they grieve the loss of her Nana and celebrate the beautiful life she lived.

I enjoyed helping Amber pack (I am a bit obsessed with packing) and was especially pleased that she opted to borrow one of my light backpacks and go carry-on only instead of checking a heavy bag. I like to feel like I’m helping her in this difficult process in some way.

I’ll miss her tomorrow at church; it’s never the same without her. I know she was so looking forward to the Epiphany party we have planned. That won’t be the same without her either.

The kids really miss her already. I let them all stay sleep in the same room since they asked and it seemed liked a comforting idea to them. Jensen gladly made a comfy pallet on the floor to sleep in between his sisters’ beds.

I taped a list of stuff to the door not to forget in the morning rush to church: bakery-bought cakes (they will be great, but I will miss Amber’s French-style King’s Cakes…plus I know she loves to make them) my guitar (helping with the music tomorrow), my backpack (with the music I need) and laptop (just in case).

And the kids, of course.

Book: Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas by Chris Marchand » It happened: the book is funded! — Kickstarter

GREAT news. I am excited to be a part of this project.

Great morning out on the mountain today for my first Grand Canyon trip training hike. I’ve done this hike many times before, but a 10 lbs pack (plus a liter and a half of water/coffee) definitely made a difference. Overall it went really well, and this seems like a good starting level…will do this hike one more time next week before upping the distance.

Google Photos album including GPS maps and fitness data

May her memory be eternal

Ann (I called her Nana as if she was one of my own grandparents) was one of the kindest, most caring, patient and loving people I have met. When I married her granddaughter Amber, she welcomed me into the family in the most beautiful way. I always felt at home and loved and accepted with her. We had many lovely conversations about Jesus. I will miss her.

Here we are on our wedding day with Nana and Papa Joe.

Obituary for Patricia “Ann” Morris

Funeral services for Patricia “Ann” Morris, 77, of Edgewood, are scheduled for 11:00 AM, Monday, January 7, 2019, at First Baptist Church in Edgewood. Burial will be held at 2:30 PM, after services at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas. Services are under the direction of Hiett’s LyBrand Funeral Home.

Patricia Ann Thompson was born June 17, 1941, in Dallas, TX, to Wesley Bert and Bessie Loraine Davis Thompson. She was raised in Dallas and graduated from Samuel High School. Ann married Roy D. “Joe” Morris on May 4, 1996, in Dallas and they made their home in the Edgewood community in 1999. She loved Jesus with all her heart, she was a wonderful homemaker, and was also employed as a receptionist for Perot Systems and Edgewood High School. Ann was a member of the First Baptist Church in Edgewood and also taught Sunday school classes and Awanas. She was a fabulous cook and loved spending time with her family and friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Wesley and Bessie Thompson

Ann is survived by her husband, Roy D. “Joe” Morris of Kaufman; daughter, Kristy Falk and husband Duane of Paris; son, Chuck Smith and wife DeeAnna of Dallas; daughter, Susan Dunham and husband Jeff of Edgewood; step-son, Russell Morris of Kaufman; sister, Geraldine Gardner and husband Gerry of Gainesville; six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren; one niece and one nephew.

Visitation will be held from 3:00-5:00 PM, Sunday, January 6, 2019, at Hiett’s LyBrand Funeral Home in Wills Point.

Memorials may be made to: Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for the International Mission Board. www.imb.org/lottie-mo…

Does blogging count as journaling? 🤔

My favorite part of today was sitting down at my home desk with coffee, Bible, and prayer book…and then having my six year old daughter ask to join me for devotions.

We did all of Morning Prayer from the Daily Office together, me reading the minister parts and Selah reading the parts for the people.

We both loved reading the Scriptures and praying together, I think.

Couldn’t ask for a better start to the day.

📧 Published the first edition of my new newsletter. I don’t know what I’m doing.

To a healthy 2019

My word for 2019 is health.

I want to be healthy in mind, body, spirit. I intend to get a doctor and dentist this year.

I want a healthier marriage than ever with my lovely Amber. I intend to facilitate more dates.

I want to have healthy relationships with my children. I intend to take care to be especially present with each of them.

I want to be a healthy priest and church leader. I intend read more deeply and take my limits more seriously.

I want be a healthy, well-rounded musician. I intend to learn some blues scales.

I want to be a healthy, consistent writer. I intend to write daily.

Choosing a new email app in Windows 10

I finally got fed up with syncing errors, freezes, and no Google Calendar support in Outlook 2016 today, which caused me to launch a quest for a replacement. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

Features I really wanted:

  • Quick and reliable sync
  • Easy archiving
  • Easily send to contact groups
  • Quick lookup of contact history
  • Ability to use snippets or templates

I downloaded eM Client, and Mailspring, and Mailbird.

eM Client

I loved almost everything about eM Client. It has some really neat features, including excellent Google Calendar support, templates, quick and easy creation of contact groups, task management, and a rich context panel for contacts. Additionally, the design looks so Windows. It fits in the great with the OS and was easy to use. It’s really an excellent app. At $50 for single-device license, the price seemed a little steep, but worth it…until I realized that there’s no single-key archive feature.

I’m managing 4 email accounts, each with their own archive folder, so this is essential to processing email efficiently and quickly. Despite the many things going for it, no archive button or shortcut (except for Gmail accounts) is a deal breaker for me. I had to move on.

Mailspring

Mailspring offers a lot, including insights into your email like how many messages you receive, which messages have been read your most effective subject lines, and more. It also give you the ability to snooze messages for later (not super useful for me, personally) and translate messages after you’ve written them. Cool, but not something I’d use every day, or even more than a couple of time a year at most. The interface felt a little busy to me with a cluttered left sidebar, and there wasn’t any group or calendar support. Since the cool analytics and rich contact profiles cost $8/mo, I decided to pass on Mailspring.

Mailbird

While not exactly as aesthetically Windows, Mailbird’s interface is certainly super clean, thought I did have to make some adjustments in the settings for the fonts to render smoothly on my system. In the end, this is the one that ticked most of my boxes. Hassle-free sync? Check. Simple and easy archive that works across accounts? Check. Groups and contact history? Check and check. Google Cal integration? Yep. No templates, but I’ll figure out a work around. $32 on sale for a lifetime license seemed fair, so I guess I’m a Mailbird user now.

This took me the better part of the day–I really hope this works out!

Why is it so hard to to find a usable Windows 10 email client?????? Taking suggestions.

A little liturgical New Year humor. Source.

A reflection on the meaning of Christmas

The time has come! It’s Christmas! Yes, I know you may have already celebrated Christmas Day (if you celebrate Christmas), yet, the season continues!

Finally all this anticipation has come to some kind of fruition, our entrance into the story of Christ’s first coming has brought us to a 12 day party called the season of Christmas. We know the story: Prophesied of Old, a Savior finally comes to the world in the form of a vulnerable baby. Angelic visitations and visions, miracles and more all mark his birth, yet there is a quietness to it all the same. There’s no earthly fanfare, no immediate liberation, and no definitive defeat of injustice on the night of our Messiah’s birth 2,000 years ago.

What does it mean? Why would the savior come in this extravagant, yet still so-ordinary way? Sure he was born from a royal lineage, but we know he would soon be raised as a refugee, become an outcast to his own people, and be crucified as a criminal. This hardly seems to be the victorious savior our ancient forebearers were expecting. In all our Advent preparations, is this who we are expecting? A baby that cries and nurses and poops, a young man that made a practice of challenging his religious superiors, a political trouble maker that died in disgrace? Why would God send a savior like this?

The answer, which St. John gives us so incredibly beautifully in his Gospel, is simple for me to state to here today. It’s simply a matter of repeating the Evangelists own words. Yet it is also so deep that entire books have been written about it. Lives have been given to studying it. Entire systematic theologies are built around it. The reason “the Word became flesh” (v. 14) was so he could “dwell among us”, so that we (you and I!) could see his glory, receive his grace, and live in his truth.

The answer to the question of why God would send a savior this way is that God knew the only way to save us from ourselves—our own inclination toward selfishness and destruction—was to deal with our sin at the source. God knew that to deal with our sin at the source, he needed to be in relationship with us. God knew that to be relationship with us, had to reveal himself to us. God knew that to reveal himself to us, he had to become one of us.

So that’s what he did. In Greek the word logos is translated in English as the capital-W “Word.” It was the idea of the internal logic of the universe, the intent and creative purposes of God that necessarily pours out of him because of who he is. And John gives us this remarkable concept of this Word of God as not just an attribute, action, or power, but truly a divine person. Distinct from the Father, to be sure (he was “with God”) yet, so closely identified with him that St John writes he “was God” (John 1:1). It was this second person of the Holy Trinity, the eternal Son, that became flesh and dwelt among us.

God came to be with us as one of us so he could rescue us. And we needed—currently need!—rescue. Sin has so saturated this world and our hearts that we are powerless on our own to do it. We can’t fix our mistakes, our own pride, our own issues, much less our neighbor’s. The fact is that we are doomed to certain death if we continue on the course we are each set on from birth. We all need an intervention and that’s what God accomplished in Jesus. Incredibly, miraculously, and mysteriously, God claimed us as part of himself permanently by taking on human flesh. Since Jesus was both God and a human being, he did what no human being could ever do: he took the entire curse of sin on himself on the cross the single most selfless act in history. But it didn’t stop there. Jesus was raised from the dead, so we witness to a living Jesus, who even now is applying his redeeming work to the world through the Holy Spirit who lives inside every baptized believer!

So you see that God is always with us now, in us and with us through each other. He has revealed to us the truth of our need for him and his ability and action to meet that need as pure grace…a pure gift of himself. And he has revealed so much about himself to us in how he accomplished it: by becoming a vulnerable baby…by telling the truth…with a sacrificial love…a refusal to use violence…the formation of a called-out people.

As the Incarnate Word, everything about Jesus embodies the intentions and character of the Father perfectly. If you and I want to know how each of us was created to live, we can know! If you and I want to know how God would save the world we can know! We can look to Jesus! We can receive his way of thinking, his way of life, and even his willingness to die, knowing that if we have received him, we will be with him forever no matter what.

At the end of the day, the eternal value of everything we do and are as individuals and as a church hinges on whether we receive what Jesus has already done—in his life, death, resurrection, and ascension as Lord over all—and allow his life to shape ours. How do we receive it? By believing it. By accepting his gifts of grace offered to us at the altar. By allowing the Holy Spirit to conform our attitudes, actions and affections to the heart, mind, and will of God in Christ.

Yes, this is the meaning of Christmas. That Jesus is God come to us in the flesh, giving grace and revealing truth—the grace of sharing in his life and the truth of who God is so that…“… to all who…receive him, who…[believe]…in his name…[have the] right to become children of God…” (John 1:12 ESV)

This is grace and truth and the Good News to you today. Jesus has come. He is here. You can receive him. And if you do, you are a child of God, now and forever.

Super stoked to start using these beautiful Scripture journals that I got for Christmas, but I must confess I have some decision paralysis! Should I use them for sermon prep, general devotional reading, focused book study??? The possibilities are endless!!!