Wednesday, December 13, 2006
In other news, I finished my last final today. I'm out of school for a month, so that should be relaxing. I'd like to do some leisure reading during the break, but I'm not sure how much I'll get done. I took Amy to see Handel's Messiah last night, and it was pretty good. Blake is rolling over, and Will continues to do well at potty training.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Well, it's been quite some time since our last conversation. Sorry. In that time, we went to the Texas State Fair. We ate fried oreos and fried snickers, and the oreos won out. I even got the recipe online to make them at home, and they're awesome. I missed out on the fried cheescake, but I think it will just give me a reason to go again next year. Overall, we had a good time.
At school, I've had mid-terms and 2 research papers (thus the absence of blogs). Amy and the boys have been wonderful as I've had to be studying a lot. I finished my last research paper this week, and now I'm in the home stretch towards finals. Praise God for Thanksgiving break!!!
If you want to see an amazing story of hope, you need to go to www.swbts.edu/events/chapel_schedule.cfm and go to Wednesday, Nov. 15 to view the chapel video. You can watch the music and announcements if you'd like, but the main thing is the pastor who spoke. Just move the video to about 25 minutes into the chapel service. It will change your life.
Lastly, I hope you like this pick of Will. It makes daddy proud that he loves to wear my Dolphins hat. He's pretty good at form tackling, so we're thinking a scholarship is in order...but then again, basketball season is upon us also.
Friday, October 20, 2006
The semester is half over. I had 3 mid-terms this week, and I'm glad they're over. Now it's time to get to work on some research papers.
By the way, this is not Will, but I thought it was a funny picture. We're headed to the Texas State Fair tomorrow!!! Woo Hoo! There's nothing like spending too much money on food and walking around looking at cheap crafts while taking in the wonderful stench of livestock. But, hey, it only comes around once a year! My oldest brother and his family are coming up, so it will be great...not to mention the perfect mid-70-degree weather we'll be enjoying. One other highlight of the fair is that you can get practically anything fried...from oreos to snickers to ice cream to Coke! I'll try to get a few bites and let you know which ones are worth trying. Of the ones I've heard about, fried cheesecake sounds the most tempting.
Life in Cowtown is good. The weather is cooling down. Will continues to master the art of using the potty and continues to be an information sponge. New favorites for him include Buzz Lightyear and Woody. He likes to play cowboy...of which he refers to as Giddy'up, and he likes running through the house yelling "Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue!" Blake celebrated his 3-month birthday yesterday. He's smiling and starting to giggle these days. God has truly blessed us by giving us a child who sleeps really well at night. Thank you, Lord, I know it may not be much on the scale of eternity, but it lets me know that you care about the little details of my life.
God has also blessed us with good friendships. There's a guy named Barry who is in every single one of my classes, and we've become pretty good friends. I call it a divine coincidence. We're able to talk about school, life, family, and ministry. His wife, Karen, and Amy have become friends as well, and they have a little girl, Abigail, who Will loves to play with. Thank you, Lord, for giving us meaningful friendships on this journey.
That's all for now. Maybe I'll post some picks of the fair in my next blog.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
On another note, in the midst of my cave experience this week, God has hightened my interest in Church Planting again. It was Church Planters Week at Seminary, and I'm keeping my heart open to what God has in store for us. Some people (like our moms) my get petrified after reading these statements assuming that I'm saying that I am absolutely going into church planting. Rest assured moms, God hasn't said to go yet, but I do warn you that He's done it before and I'll say yes again if He does it again.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Well, I just got back from a 4 day trip for work in Washington, DC. It was a lot of fun, but I didn't get to do as much sight seeing as I'd hoped. I did learn how to use the metro subway system, which is huge for someone who's never had to use a lot of mass transit. The one main place I went in my "free" time was to the WWII Memorial. It's between the Lincoln & Washington Memorials. My grandfather fought in WWII, and as I was there, I just started thanking God for sparing his life during the war so that I could be here today. I saw people there who were mourning and weeping, but for me, it was rather joyful. God, in his sovereign mercy, allowed my grandfather to live through war, which has at it's center people trying to kill other people.
Also on my trip, through the sessions I attended at Sylvan's Annual Conference, God has begun working on me personally. I've always known many of these things, but I'm seeing more of God's changing power in my life through His grace in them. I have a tendancy to be focused on my ideas of what should and shouldn't be done in life, work, circumstances, etc. This tendency helps me be a quick decision maker and a staunch defender of what I see as right and wrong...which are good things. The flip-side of this personality is one of self-righteousness, arrogance, rigidness, and emotional detachment. This permeates the way I manage people at work, the way I treat family and friends, and how I've "ministered" to others. God's bringing back the balance of mercy, compassion, love and admitting that my way isn't always right. Many of you who know me are probably saying, "Duh!", and so am I. I'm not surprised by these personality traits. We all have tendencies which lead to both positive and negative behaviors. We need to daily submit our weaknesses to our great and glorious God, who through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit made possible by the justification through Jesus Christ, transforms our lives and makes us more like Jesus. God describes himself as a gracious and loving God, slow to anger and abounding in love. My heart is to reflect that in my life as well. Please pray for me.
Monday, September 04, 2006
Now it's time for Theological thoughts with Keith...the part of the blog where Keith comes out and shares a theological thought (this opening line is much funnier if you've ever seen Veggie Tales). I'm starting to see through my classes that the American church is completely dumbed down spiritually and doesn't even know it. The average church attender sees theology as something pastors and academics debate about but having little relevance to their day-to-day lives. If you're one of these people, Satan has duped you just like the rest of us. As I've been sitting in my classes, I'm realizing more and more..."I wish every Christian knew these things." It's not even like American Christians need to attend seminary to get the things I'm getting. My classes are giving information that's publicly available to anyone who wants to look for it. Things like Church History and Introduction to the Old Testament are all over the web (just be careful where you get your information) and yet 90% of Christians don't even feel like it would be beneficial.
My one quick theological encouragement is something that I've known but don't think about regularly. The bible is one book and should be read as such. You may be thinking, "Duh!" but do you view it this way? When you're reading Philippians, are you thinking about it's implications in light of the Old Testament and it's place in God's progressive revelation of Himself? The bible is not a collection of books. It is a book about God's salvation plan in His son Jesus Christ. Every book points to Jesus. Read the first couple chapters of Genesis and you'll see the foreshadowing of Jesus. Read Malachi and see it pointing to Jesus. Read Leviticus, and in the midst of the laws, see Jesus fulfilling and gaining authority over them. The Old Testament is about Jesus. The New Testament is about Jesus. Are you about Jesus?
Tune in next time to hear Keith say..."Is there anyone out there actually reading my ponderings?"
Sunday, August 27, 2006
The title of this blog is the best way to describe my first two days of seminary. The amount of work required (primarily reading) is becoming more of a reality. Yes, I knew it would be hard work and a lot of reading, but now I have to actually do it. Although it's intimidating, I am very excited about what God is going to reveal to me in the process. I don't want to just complete assignments to get a grade to get a degree. I want these assignments to be corridors that open my eyes to see God more fully in the face of Jesus Christ. I'm taking Church History, Biblical Hermeneutics (Interpreting Scripture), Elementary Greek, and Old Testament 1 (Genesis-Esther). This gives me a large sampling of areas where I can be open to God's revelation of Himself. I ask for your continuous prayers on my behalf that I may manage my time well between school, work, family, and personal devotions. And for those who just want to see pictures...here's some of our family. :)
Saturday, August 12, 2006
2 Corinthians 1:5 "For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."
Saturday, July 29, 2006
I got a new CD recently by Matt Redman entitled "Facedown". He also has written a book by the same name, and I read the introduction to it. The premise of the book is grounded in three biblical examples—Ezekiel 1, Daniel 10 and Revelation 7—which all reveal that the worship going on before the heavenly throne is facedown. I've always been a believer that one's physical expression in worship (i.e. standing, hands raised, kneeling, laying face down, closing eyes, clapping hands, dancing, etc) should mirror the posture of one's heart. I try to incorporate this personally, despite the fact that I was brought up in a tradition where physical expression in corporate worship was rare, if not forbidden. Matt Redman makes a good point that most worship services today tend to be good about celebration (clapping, dancing, etc.) but the modern church has a tendency to avoid calling people to true, face-down awe and wonder. When's the last time you saw a congregation bowed low before the Lord crying for Him to pour out his Spirit on the church and the community? We're looking for a church home right now, and this is something I'm looking for...a church who is willing to strip off the facade and get real before God.
On another note, please be in prayer for me, when you have time. I'm battling some gun-shyness with my faith. For some reason, I'm hesitant to talk about my faith with others. I'm not sure if it's from my experience in a spiritually cold place like Denver or if it's a symptom of a greater spiritual ailment. I appreciate you lifting me up when you're facedown before your Friend and King.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Well, our newest addition -- Blake Allen Collier -- arrived today. Amy went in for a regular doctor's visit. She was scheduled for a C-section this Friday, but she was starting to leak some amniotic (not sure if I spelled this right) fluid, so they decided to do it today! This was music to Amy's ears. Blake weighed 8 lbs. 15 oz. and is 19 inches long. Here's a couple of pics.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
No, I didn't get this stretch limo in the form of the General Lee for my birthday, although that would be cool. I'm not sure it would actually fit in any of the parking spaces in our apartment, nor would it go over too well with some people...especially if the horn plays "Dixie". This pic is another gift from my brother Jay.
Well, We had a false alarm on the baby front the other night. Amy was having contractions several minutes apart, so we went to the hospital. The contractions subsided, so they sent us home. Earlier this week, we did get our C-section due date moved up, so unless Amy goes into labor, we're set to bring Blake into the world on Friday, July 21...which coincidentally falls exactly between my birthday and Will's birthday (both 6 days apart). I promise to post pictures when it happens.
Today is my birthday, and I have to say I think I might actually be getting more mature. According to Amy, this is the first birthday that I haven't had about 10 things that I wanted as a present. I feel like God's changing my priorities and showing me that I don't really need all those things that our culture says I need. He's showing me that He himself should be what I value more than anything on this planet, including some very good things such as health, family, and friendships. That's not to say I don't value these things, but I'm being made more and more aware of my self-centeredness and how I make gods out of God's gifts and worship them instead of the Giver. I always wondered why my dad never really seemed to want things for his birthday or Christmas or Father's Day. I guess he figured out the same thing...the only thing that offers us true, everlasting joy is Jesus, so other "gifts" just pale in comparison. I do admit, that I love getting gifts, and I hope to receive more in the future, but I have a new outlook on them. First of all, they're not expected, and secondly, I don't see them as something I wouldn't be happy without.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Sunday, July 09, 2006
This is my first ever blog entry. Many questions swirl in my mind such as "Am I wasting my time doing this?" and "Will anyone care about what I'm writing?" I guess we'll just see...if you read this, please add a comment to the blog so I know I'm not rambling for nothing.
Well, I've come a long way over the past 29 years. My 29th birthday is coming up in a week, and I don't know if it's the birthday or our recent move back to Texas from Colorado that has me reminiscing these days. I've thought about my high school and college years and about the people I've crossed paths with. Some of those friends have recrossed my path since coming back to Texas, and it has been great to reconnect with them. My analytical brain takes me off on weird tangents sometimes, and as I was running back through memories, I thought, "I wonder if anyone I'm remembering ever thinks of me anymore." Kind of a weird thought, but a more veiled form of "Have I made a true, positive impact on people with the nearly 3 decades I've been given with so far?" Some of the people I recollected were people I had a chance to share my faith with who "prayed the prayer" but I didn't see a lot of fruit after that. I wonder if they really became a Christian or just went through the motions. Is there a way for us ever to know if they truly have a relationship with Christ or did they think that saying the prayer was like getting a golden ticket to heaven and they didn't have to do anything else? My prayer for them has been that the Holy Spirit would woo them back to God and either fan the embers of their faith back into flame or light their faith for the very first time through whatever means He sees best.
Hope you're still with me. That got pretty deep, pretty fast. Life has changed a lot in the past month and only looks to change more in the next month or so. Amy will give birth to our 2nd child (Blake Allen Collier) sometime this month, and I will start seminary in August. Our firstborn, Will, turns 2 this month as well. We're trying to get settled into our new home and find a church. I'm sure there will be a lot to blog about, so I'll try to make some time to keep people up to date.