Archive for April, 2008


It sounds better when HE says it

   Posted by: Mark    in Whatsit Bucket

Phil Johnson says it so well. And he’s right. Here’s his opening sentence:

Nothing in the past half century has done more damage to the evangelical cause than the notion that the best way for Christians to influence society is by wielding our collective political clout



First climb of 2008

   Posted by: Mark    in General

Saturday was my first climb of 2008. Brother-in-law Paul and I met up with John B. and family and headed east into the Gorge to climb Dog Mountain. The elevation gain at Dog Mountain is about 2800 feet in just over two miles, though based on the condition of my muscles yesterday and today I would have pegged it at about 7500 feet! I’m very sore, and my legs don’t seem to obey my commands as quickly as they did Friday before the hike.

But despite the soreness, the climb was more than worth it. Being in the woods and breathing that fresh, clean air was invigorating, and wondering at the incredible beauty of even a fallen creation was awe-inspiring. The flowers were not yet in bloom, but I expect that in the next three or four weeks the mountainside will be completely covered with the balsam root flowers, which make this great hike even more compelling.







Seven Sayings: Introduction

   Posted by: Mark    in The Church

A number of weeks ago, Tim Challies identified the third Reading Classics Together book that he would be reading: “The Seven Sayings of the Savior on the Cross” by A. W. Pink. Tim will be posting comments on a new chapter each week until he completes the book, and invites anyone reading along to contribute their comments. Today was Tim’s first post on the book, and he addressed the introduction. It is not my intention to write full reviews or summaries of each chapter. Rather, I expect to point out a few things that impacted me from the readings.

This is the first book by Pink that I have read, and I can already tell that it will not be the last. He handles the Bible carefully, understanding that each word has genuine meaning, and he extracts thoughts that seem obvious in retrospect, but are often missed or ignored in casual or careless reading. This dedicated approach to understanding Scripture has already been an encouragement to me.

In the introduction to the book, Pink devotes significant space to pointing out evidences that Christ willingly gave his life as opposed to having it taken from him. Three of these seven distinct evidences are Christ’s words “I thirst,” Christ bowing his head and giving up the ghost, and the breaking of the legs of the two other crucified with him.

From John 19:28 (“After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst.'”) Pink asserts that Christ was in full control of himself on the cross, not powerless, exhausted, or otherwise reduced in mental capacity. As Pink explains, after Christ had hung on the cross for six hours, he reviewed in his mind the prophecies related to his passion and found one yet unfulfilled: Psalm 69:21, which says “They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.” So Jesus, recognizing that he had fulfilled everything to this point, said “I thirst.” This points to “our Lord’s complete self-possession” during the crucifixion, and supports the premise that his life was not being taken, but was being given.

The second of these seven evidences that struck me was based on John 19:30: “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” Pink states that from this, we know that prior to this point, Christ’s head was held erect. “It was no impotent sufferer that hung there in a swoon.” Additionally, the scripture states that Christ “bowed” his head, indicating a conscious act, as opposed to a helpless, weak dropping of his head. Christ’s head did not fall, he bowed it, showing again his complete self-possession. “How sublime was his carriage even on the Tree! What superb composure did He evidence.”

Finally, in the breaking of the legs of the two thieves, we see a third evidence that Christ willingly gave his life. All three of these men had been on the cross for the same amount of time. Pink explains that crucifixion is a slow death, with victims often living for two or three days. Yet six hours after it began, with the two thieves still very much alive, Christ was dead. This is yet another proof that Christ’s life was given, not taken from him.

These three evidences help verify that Christ did indeed lay down his life, and support the point that Christ’s death was very different from any other death.

I’ve already started into the first chapter, and am anxious to post about it. But in keeping with Tim’s schedule, I will wait until next week.



Yoof toose no more

   Posted by: Mark    in Our children, Uncategorized

The kids really had a good laugh at a video posted of their friend Joshua singing “I have a yoof toose, yoof toose…” They’ve been singing it around the house in honor of Timothy’s newly-loose tooth for the past month or so. Well tonight, when Timothy found out that cousin Ben also had a loose tooth that was about to come out, he started timidly wiggling it a bit to try to beat Ben at getting it out. He was whining a bit, and finally, when he had a good grasp of it with a bloody kleenex, I smacked his elbow. Pop! It came out before he even knew what happened, and we started doing the “first tooth out” jig.

It’s under his pillow now in the hopes it might turn into devalued American dollars overnight.


Nope, it ain’t broke

   Posted by: Mark    in General

This is just a little fun participation in CSS Naked Day! A full 48 hours of sans-CSS bliss — it just gives me shivers!


Touring Portland

   Posted by: Mark    in General, Our children

This past weekend our family met my sister’s family in downtown Portland for some fun wandering. The trip had started as a planned visit to Voodoo Donuts just off Burnside, but the presence of “adult” donuts on their web site resulted in a change to Finnegan’s toy store and Pioneer Place.

The kids had a blast at Finnegan’s, and we waited out a rather severe deluge of snow, sleet, and rain before heading a block away to a store we saw coming out of the parking garage: Authentic Models. I had never heard of this store before, but the old bi-plane models hanging from the ceiling and the huge sailboats in the windows made it necessary to stop in. It was a nerve-wracking few minutes, trying to manage six busy kids who just left a store in which nothing was off-limits for their exploring fingers. But they did great, and we were awed by the beautiful displays and by avid curiosity as to who would spend $4600 for a mini Bugatti with no motor (!!). Here are some pictures from this place:




One of the first things I saw when we walked in was a bright red miniature ride-in Bugatti that I initially thought was pedal-powered. They also had a powder-blue version in the showroom that was just as beautiful. I discovered later that these are individually hand-made, and come ready for an electric motor that the customer has to install. The brakes are actually inside each of the four wheel hubs and linked together with a thin cable tied to a brake lever on the side of the cockpit. The seat is leather. The wheels are inflated rubber tires on custom aluminum hubs. In short, I was awed by them.




Add the hot air balloons, airplanes, dirigibles, sailing ships, and vintage-looking globes, looking glasses, miniature wooden model kits for kids, and carved “glider” rocking horse, and I was enthralled.

From there we headed down to Pioneer Place to walk around and, presumably, grab some yogurt or ice cream to mollify the kids, who originally expected donuts with cocoa puffs on them. It ends up we just enjoyed the sky bridge between the mall and Saks, got some smoothies at the food court, raced elevator travel against escalator travel, browsed the Mac store while waiting for Lindsey and Tori at Claire’s, and rode Max back to the parking garage.

And, with Lindsey’s purchase of some magnetic earrings at Claire’s, our parking in the Smart Park ($2.50 for four hours with validation) was, this time, smarter than Paul’s $5/day smash-my-window-and-steal-my-loot parking lot.

Amy wrote about this trip, too, and has some great pictures.