The Warren Dunes

17 06 2008

Gull’s Delight, 2008

A family outing, A sea gull, Twizzlers, Lake Michigan and 70 degrees…doesn’t get much better than that.

From Psalm 112

 1 Praise the LORD!
         Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
         Who delights greatly in His commandments.
 2 His descendants will be mighty on earth;
         The generation of the upright will be blessed.
 3 Wealth and riches will be in his house,
         And his righteousness endures forever.


The Video Crew Farming System

15 06 2008

Certification Day, 2008

Today was “Technical Crew Certification.”  We are preparing to leave as a family for a video interviewing roadtrip (with some site-seeing along the way) so I trained the kids on the basics of our video and lighting equipment this afternoon. 

These basics include:

1. The difference between a “Key Light” and a “Back Light”
2. The difference between a BNC and a XLR connector
3. The difference between a Lowell ProLite, DP Light and Rifa Light
4. The ability to say “gobo” without laughing

After the training session, they all took an exam and passed with flying colors!  So we held a little ceremony where they recieved their Technical Crew certificate–a business card sized ID with their name and today’s date that allows them to get “grip credits”.  In the weeks and months ahead, they will hopefully receive their Lighting Certification, Camera Certification, Audio Certification and Editing Certification.    

It’s fun to grow a crew, but it makes me wish for about 3 more kids…


Happy Father’s Day

14 06 2008

Dad at Krispy Kreme
Contemplating another, 2006


The older I get, the more I enjoy hearing people say: “You’re so much like your father.”  May God have his way in our hearts, making it more and more true… 

From Deuteronomy 10

15 The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day. 16 Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. 17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. 18 He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. 19 Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 20 You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. 21 He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen. 22 Your fathers went down to Egypt with seventy persons, and now the LORD your God has made you as the stars of heaven in multitude.

Te Amo

7 06 2008

Paul and Pamela at the Lake
Keen Say on Yoce

From Proverbs 18

22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the LORD.


3 06 2008

WPA Calendar, Library of Congress

With the change in careers that is scheduled for July 1st, there are many things I was going to try and accomplish this summer that I am now going to try and do during the month of June; including trying to conduct nearly 20 interviews for a video project I have been working on for the last few years.  This is going to mean a lot of days on the road or in the air.

So, if I don’t update this site very often the next few weeks, you’ll know why.

From Exodus 15:

The LORD is my strength and song,And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.

Prince Caspian

20 05 2008

Baccus, Greek god of wine

In light of the Narnia fever surrounding the release of Prince Caspian last weekend, I decided to pick up the book last night and read it again.  Before yesterday, if anyone would have asked me what Prince Caspian was about, I don’t think I could have told them anything about it beyond: “its has something to do with a Lion…and a prince.”  I believe the last time I read the book was more than 20 years ago–though I’m sure I only skimmed it then so I could get on to the Voyage of the Dawn Treader (easily my favorite of the series). 

We have many friends who are avid fans of the Narnia series (the books) who have often spoken very fondly of the times spent as a family reading the books aloud, or listening to the Focus on the Family Radio Theatre production.  When asked how our kids like Narnia, there is usually a suprised response when we confess that we don’t read the books to our kids.  We are not often asked for our reasons why. 

After reading Prince Caspian last night I have to admit that I am even less enthusiastic about Narnia than I was before.  I know that C.S. Lewis is highly revered and loved in most evangelical circles and is the poster child for many who want to see more serious Christian thinkers in positions of influence in our culture.  However, in the case of Narnia, I have to take exception.

My problem with the Narnia stories is Lewis’ seeming facination with Greek and Roman gods and the magical creatures of the Norseman, Celtic and Britons.  For example, in Prince Caspian, Baccus (the Greek god of wine, agriculture and pleasure) is seen dancing with and serving Aslan.  River gods, tree gods, nymphs, dryads and many other mythical creatures have a part to play in the Narnia stories–mostly positive parts.  I don’t have a problem with talking animals, trees that come to life and even a God-like lion, but the attempt at redeeming the pantheon, magic and pagan mythology troubles me. 

So I find myself conflicted as I read these stories.  There are so many times that Lewis frames spritual truths in such meaningful ways as to move me deeply–he makes me see some important truths in fresh ways.  On the other hand, he includes elements and characters that come right out of pagan worship systems (like the licentious Baccus) as well as Islamic and Jewish mythology (the White Witch is supposedly the offspring of Adam and “his first wife” Lilith–who was cast out of the garden and turned into a demon-like creature). 

I think that we need to much more seriously consider the value of these stories.  Like the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Narnia is full of beautiful symbolism and deep theological truths, but there is a danger of accepting everything in these stories as worthwhile, merely because a Christian man wrote it.  Taken on their own, the merits of these characters and elements would be almost universally rejected by most Christians, and I think that this should be pointed out more often when speaking about Lewis–instead of blindly praising him and the Chronicles of Narnia.  

From Deuteronomy 18

9 “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. 14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.

Transistors and Transitions

18 05 2008

Listening to the Radio
Listening to the Radio, courtesy of the Library of Congress

Saturday was graduation–my last graduation as a full-time faculty member of the Moody Bible Institute.  Earlier this month I handed in my resignation to the Dean of the Faculty in order to return to Moody Radio.  Beginning July 1st, I will be a full-time piece producer for Prime Time America. 

Over the last 18 months I have produced 1 or 2 pieces a month (many of these pieces have been featured here) and have come to realize how much I enjoy this type of work.  However, the main difference between what I have been doing and this new position is that I am supposed to be doing a piece everyday instead of a few “when I have time.”  That is a tall order.  However, I am looking forward to the challenge.

One of the frustrations for me as a professor of radio studies has been that many of the things that God has been doing in our life as a family were not easily brought into the classroom–importance of family worship, the benefits of following God’s plan for the family, etc.  One of the benefits of this new position is the opportunity to bring these ideas to my work–I’m going to be paid to tell others about these issues (and a whole lot more). 

While we are nervous about some of the realities of making this transition (no more “summer vacation”), we are also very excited about the possibilities that it will afford in reaching a broader audience with topics that are significant for families in the Moody Radio audience.

Please pray with us as we begin this new adventure as a family.

From Psalm 78

 1 Give ear, O my people, to my law;
         Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
 2 I will open my mouth in a parable;
         I will utter dark sayings of old,
 3 Which we have heard and known,
         And our fathers have told us.
 4 We will not hide them from their children,
         Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD,
         And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.
 5 For He established a testimony in Jacob,
         And appointed a law in Israel,
         Which He commanded our fathers,
         That they should make them known to their children;
 6 That the generation to come might know them,
         The children who would be born,
         That they may arise and declare them to their children,
 7 That they may set their hope in God,
         And not forget the works of God,
         But keep His commandments;
 8 And may not be like their fathers,
         A stubborn and rebellious generation,
         A generation that did not set its heart aright,
         And whose spirit was not faithful to God.