My wife and I have four children. We're Cajuns and Live in SW Louisiana. We're conservative Christians and hold to the Reformed Faith. -- I'm a first generation Protestant, and my wife is second generation protestant.
Today is Mardi Gras. Lisa and I aren't taking the little boys to any of the parades this year. I really enjoy taking them to the parades, but this year I just can't keep up with them with my ribs like they are. I don't want to take them into a crowd when I am not able to hold or carry them as needed. I also will not let them go with anyone else when I am not there. I don't trust anyone enough to let them take my little boys to Mardi Gras parade without me. Christian is going to the parade with his buddy Paul, and Morgan is in New Orleans with my niece and sister.
Lisa and I are planning on going to out to with Karen and Harry K. We are supposed to eat at Outback Steakhouse. Karen and Harry are nice people. I met them through Lisa, and she met Karen at work.
Last night was a very typical evening here at our house. Starting at about 5:30 PM the little boys began doing some math homework and I helped them with their worksheets (mostly I just made sure they did their work). Then my seven year old and I went over some subtraction flashcards. At the same time Christians helped by doing addition flashcards with my six year old.
After math the boys took turns reading to their mom. While one read the other played computer games with Christian. When reading was complete the boys took their baths, and then I read a book to them. Then it was prayer time and bed time for the little boys.
I next watched a lecture (#17) by Doctor Roochnik in his series An Introduction to Greek Philosophy. This is a good series that I can, and do recommend to others. Lectures 1 through 16 go from the Pre-Socratics to Plato and then in lecture 17 Prof. Roochnik takes up Aristotle until the end of the series.
Lisa and I did some work in the Little boys' room today and that has made my ribs a little sore, so I plan to read or watch philosophy lectures for the time I have left before supper.
I know that sounds exciting!!
Remember we are to live every moment of every day -- Coram Deo
I thought it would be good to give Lisa a break for her birthday, so on Saturday evening Lisa and I brought the little boys to her sister's to spend the night. Then she and I went on the Beaumont. We checked into a hotel. We then went and sat in the hot tub for a while, for the sake of our injured parts (her pulled muscle and my ribs). After that we got cleaned and went out to eat.
A friend recommended Carrabba's Italian Grill, which we had never eaten at before. We followed Karen's K's advice and found the food and drinks to be very good. We had about a twenty minute wait so we took a seat at the bar. Lisa got a Margarita and I got a Long Island Tea.
We got and order of muscles (clams) as an appetizer. We had never had clams before and they were very good. Without going into further detail, let me say that every thing (both food and service) was very good. We left there and drove around a while before returning to the hotel.
It was a good, relaxing trip. We returned home yesterday afternoon. After we got home the little boys and I played frisbee for a while. They did all the running and fetching, while I stood around and through the frisbee for them to chase. We then played for a while on their game cube.
Last night MK came over. He and I drank a Kendall-Jackson Merlot while we chatted about whats been going on in our lives and beyond. MK is listening to a series of sermons on 1 Peter by Greg Bahnsen and he can't speak more highly of it than he already is. I too am listening to some tapes, but I'm listening to a book on tape. The book is Robert K. Massie's Peter the Great: His Life and World. It has been enjoyable to listen to this series as I drive to work, etc. It's forty-eight hours of tapes so it will take me a while to get through it. I've listened to countless hours of books, sermons and lectures on tape, so it won't be hard.
After some good wine and good conversation, we went for our customary walk and prayer time. We had a good season of prayer, though a soft rain began to fall while we were walking. Praying aloud with a good friend is always encouraging and uplifting. After a good time of prayer, Mike left for home and I came in and spoke with Christian for a while before going on to bed.
It was a good weekend, but as you may have gathered the little boys and I didn't get to go fishing.
Mitch and Angie T. have a new baby boy!! -- Garrett Mitchel t.-- Mother and baby are doing well. I have not had a chance to see young Garrett yet, but hope to soon.
My fishing trip with the little boys did not happen today. Instead I am taking Lisa to Beaumont for her birthday. It is her birthday tomorrow so we are going to to spend the evening and the night in Beaumont and the little boys will stay with Lisa's sister. Morgan, our daughter, has gone to New Orleans with my sister and niece. They will return after Mardi Gras.
My sister and I did a lot of our growing up in Destrahan, which is just up river from the city and Sandy (my sister) has a number of friends and family connections there. She returns often and nearly every Mardi Gras. I don't have a special love for New Orleans. There are things that I love about New Orleans but unlike my sister I am not close to any of my family or old friends from that area.
Christian, our oldest son, will stay at home tonight or he may stay with a friend or cousin.
Lisa and I did make it to Café Margaux last night for the wine tasting. We did not stay long because she pulled a leg muscle, actually it's her Gluteus Maximus (i.e. her butt muscle) and she is very sore.
We were quite the couple. She was limping and leaning on me for support. I have my two broken ribs and was unable to give her much help. We looked like the walking wounded last night. We cut the wine tasting short for that reason. Anyway Lisa doesn't drink wine; I am the one who likes wine. We did have lots of friends from work and church there and we had a good time, but we just could not stay for very long in our current conditions.
I will be working off shift in the morning and will be starting my days off. I won’t have to come back to work until next Thursday. When I leave work in the morning I plan to go by Gary J’s house. If time allows I may be able a beer or glass of wine before heading out. My main reasons for going to Gary’s is to pick up Cigars for Mitch T. Mitch and his wife are having a baby to day, their first, and Gary has Mitch’s cigars in his humidor. The hospital is on my way home, so I can drop off the cigars on the way to the house.
I bought Lisa some roses yesterday before coming to work and they should deliver them to her sometime before noon. Sunday is Lisa’s birthday and the roses are her first gift. We are hoping to go out of town Sunday, but she was not feeling good this afternoon. She seems to have pulled a muscle or pinched a nerve. I hope she is feeling much better after a good nights sleep.
There is another wine tasting event at Café Margaux this evening. I hope to go if Lisa is feeling good. Several of our friends will be there and they do serve good wine along with cheese and fruit.
My options for doing things with the kids this weekend are pretty limited do my broken ribs. I may try and take the little boys fishing this weekend at my sisters pond. The pond is loaded with bluegill and largemouth bass. They would have a great time fishing and I’m ready for some fried fish.
I worked off at 5:30 this morning, went home, crawled in the bed and snuggled with Lisa for a few minutes. I then fell fast asleep. At 7:30 Lisa woke me because my boss was on the phone. They had the refinery doctor come into medical to see me, but I was home asleep. I got up, got dressed, drove the twenty minutes to the plant, saw the doctor and then came home and went back to bed.
I got up at about 1:30 this afternoon. My task for this afternoon was to get my eldest son his driver licenses. We failed to do that because we were lacking one piece of paper work. We rushed home got the paper went back to the DMV but found that hey had closed for the day. We will have to try again tomorrow.
This afternoon I read a very good article from Foreign Affairs Magazine. This candid, informative and even frightening article is titled The Saudi Paradox . I think it should be a must read for anyone interested in the Middle East, Islam and the Arab world.
In the morning I have to hold over here at work to meet with the refinery “big wigs” about my fall in the rain and subsequent broken ribs. I am not looking forward to the meeting. I like to stay under the radar screen here at work. I like to come to work, do my job and go home to my family. It may be boring but I love it.
I was supposed to start graveyard shift last night, but we had a little minor family crisis so I took the night off. Our little crisis was resolved quickly and I was able to spend the night at home. Tonight I will be able to return to work.
I missed the liturgy at church Sunday. It will be good to get back there and worship there. I love to recite the Creed and participate in the worship in other ways as we do with our liturgy.
This weekend I did finish the article The Grace of Justification by Norman Shepherd. The article was written in 1979 and I thought it to be pretty run of the mill stuff and not the least bit controversial. I plan to read more critical stuff on Shepherd, but I do want to know what Shepherd actual said before I read what his critics say that he said.
I have found that my own words and views have been contorted and twisted by people, so I try always give the accused his say before reading his critics. Thus far I have read a recent book by Shepherd ( Call of Grace ), this article and I have listened to four hours of his lectures on the subject, so I think I am ready to read his critics.
There are several critics. One is E. Calvin Beisner of Knox Theological Seminary. I hope to read his criticisms in the next few days.
Last night MK came over with a bottle of wine. We sat at the bar in the kitchen and consumed a Wildhorse Pinot Noir (2000). It was a refreshing wine. It was not spectacular but good.
After consuming a couple of glasses each (which emptied the bottle) MK and I went for a walk. We continued of conversation for a little while, then we spent a fair amount of time in prayer while walking around the neighbourhood.
Now on to other matters: I ordered a new book this weekend. It is titled The Creed. It is a study of the Nicene Creed.
I spent this Lord's Day in Longville with my parents. The little boys and I went up there and we attended worship services at FBC of Longville. I was greatly disappointed to learn that they had a guest preacher and Bro. Stuart would not be delivering the morning message. Our older children went to Bethel PCA (our regular church) and Lisa had an "ox in the ditch" Lord's Day.
Today was the first day that we've seen the sun down here in a good while. The sky cloudless and beautiful. It was a truly gorgeous day. It was nice to sit outside on my parents property and just enjoy the day. It is quiet up there. I was able to watch the birds and listen to the breeze as it slowly drifted through the trees.
I was nice to sit around on a cool clear day in the country, drink some strong, dark roasted Community Coffee and visit with my parents, brother and sister.
The little boys were able to play with one of their cousins. And that is like a heaven sent gift to them.
We made it back to town at about 6 PM. It was a good Lord's Day.
Lisa and Kim made it back from the Houston airport with their passengers. She worked hard all day long getting things ready for a hair show her shop is sponsoring.
I took the little boys grocery shopping today. They're a little harder to handle in a store when you have broken ribs, but we got through it ok. I love taking them to the store. They're always fun, but they're more fun when I don't have broken ribs.
The cough medicine MK prescribed has helped a lot. I am not coughing near as much as I was and this is a great relief. It hurts so much when I cough, but without the coughing I feel much less sore and am getting around pretty good. I was leaning to my right, but I am now able to stand straight when I walk.
I hope to go up and visit my parents tomorrow. If this happens it means that we will worship at First Baptist Church. I really like the pastor of my parents church. He is a fine man and a good preacher and a very personable man. I think he is a good honorable man and my family has well under his teaching and preaching.
There are a good number of theological differences between the pastor at my parents church and myself. But they are the typical old differences that divide Baptists Christians from Reformed Christians. We certainly have far more in common theologically than we have differences and I would love to spend some time discussing theology with him in detail but we have not had an opportunity to do so.
When I finish my blogging I plan to read a paper titled The Grace of Justification by Dr. Norman Shepherd. I am reading Shepherd because there's a big controversy swirling around him, and I am trying to get a handle on the controversy. I've read a fair amount about it and so far I don't see why there is so much hoopla. There are good scholarly Reformed Christians on both sides in this controversy. Some of Shepherds defenders are first rate Reformed theologians and the same is true of many of his detractors.
I am still struggling with this stuff. I'm trying to read all the Shepherd stuff I can find and I plan to read as many of his critics as I can also. I have already done some of both but need to do more.
I need to get to my reading, so I will close this blog and get to work
Today is the umpteenth day of cold steady rain here in SW Louisiana. Lisa and here friend Kim left for Houston this morning to pick some (work related) people at Houston International Airport. She called when they got there and said that it rained the whole way. I had looked at the radar before she left and knew it looked bad. I hope they have better weather on the return trip (which should begin shortly).
My ribs are still hurting. I won't mention that every time because it will likely be true for a long time yet. Worse yet, I still have a cold and it is accompanied by a cough. Coughing is murder. MK has given me a prescription for cough medicine. I have been putting that off, but I am now more than ready to stop coughing.
I'm hoping to get out of the house today. I have to go by MK's house and then run a few errands. I plan to take the little boys with me. That should be interesting. They're a lot to handle when all my bones are in good shape. I will have to keep a tight reign on them.
I visited MrWonder's Bible Chat long enough to post the four part article by Keith Mathison. It was received in the way I expected it to be received. MrWonder is a Baptist with strong anti-alcohol views. I made a few comments and then bowed out.
I was once an active participant on the site, but when Gerry was sick I started slacking off. When Gerry died I tried to keep up with it but my heart wasn't into it and I quit. Today I visit the site now and then, but seldom join in any of the discussions, and when I do post, it is only one or two comments, and then I back out again. I don't plan to ever get real active again.
Let me start doing the things I need to do. Gotta go.
Yesterday was the worse day of pain from my ribs (As the old Cajuns say "I ye yie"). I think it was for two reasons, I did way too much the day before and because I have a cold and coughed a lot. Coughing is very bad news. I had planned on going to our prayer meeting at church but I was not up to it.
Today I am doing mostly nothing that takes effort. I am going to sleep, read, type out bog and email stuff, watch some DVD lectures on Greek Philosophy that I found at the library and that's about it. In other words I am going to rest my fractured rib bones.
I have recently started emailing a long but important article by Keith Mathison. The article is in four parts and is titled Protestant Transubstantiation. This first section is subtitled "Biblical Witness." The second part part deals with Historical Testimony from the early Church to the Reformation. Part three is on the original understanding of the Reformed & Baptist churches. The last part is perhaps the most important. It is on the Origins of and Reasons for the Rejection of Wine by modern American protestants. I hope others find Mathisons article as informative and interesting as I did.
Today, I am plenty sore because of my broken ribs. I also have a bit of a cold and it kills me to cough. I am off work until Monday night, so I do have a little bit of time to recover some.
After work yesterday I went by Gary's house for a few minutes before coming on home. MK came over about 9:30 with a couple of bottles of wine. We opened and drank a Ravenswood Zinfandel (2000). It was a deep red wine that was smooth. I really like this zinfandel. This is not a "white" or "café" type, but a true full bodied dark red zinfandel.
After two enjoyable glasses of wine and friendly conversation, MK and I went for a walk to pray. We had a good season of prayer. We also had further conversation and another glass of wine.
MK and I have been walking and praying for a good fifteen years now. These evenats have always been time well spent. Years ago we drank a beer when we walked, then we moved to Scotch and now, while we usually have wine with our prayer times, we still switch back to Scotch now and then.
Today is my last day on daylight shift. I am not actually working my job because I got injured yesterday.
The weather here has been miserable. It has been raining constantly for a several days. Of course with this job we can’t but things off until after it stops raining so we have to work in the rain.
We had an important job to do so the crew and I went out to do the work. I climbed up a couple flights of stairs to check something out. The steps were slick and on the way down I loss my footing and fell. I had a 10” pipe wrench in a holster on my belt. The pipe wrench wedged into the grating and I landed on it. The wrench jammed into my side and broke my lower two ribs (ouch).
I am back at work again after some good days off. Nothing special happened on my days off. We did have lots of rain proceeding a cold front. It was 34 deg. this morning and it is supposed to be 29 deg. tomorrow morning. That’s a pretty normal low for just after a front this time of year.
Last night I did make it to Café Margaux for a wine tasting event. Jennifer F. is the one who told me about it, and she was the only one that I knew there. Lisa was supposed to go with me, but she was tired and didn't make it. I had also told MK (Seep) about it and Gary J. but neither one of them could go either.
There were eight different wines that we got to taste and every one of them was good, but there were a few that I really liked. The Rombauer Carneros Chardonney was excellent. It had unique flavour that really appealed to me and I think it was Jennifer’s favourite as well.
Another wine that I really liked was the Marietta Cellars Old Vine Lot 32. The Marietta Cellars is an old favourite of mine. Susan V. of Lake Street Liquor Store first turned me on to Old Vine Lot wines several years ago. They're always very good.
I am at work and I’m feeling a bit under the weather so I will close for now.
I was born to bilingual (French/English) Louisiana Cajun parents. We were Roman Catholic, as were almost all the Cajun familys back then. I was baptised and then raised Catholic until just before I was to make my first communion. We were living in Eunice, deep in the heart of Cajun Country, and a baptist preacher came to our house and invited my dad to a Revival Meeting hosted by the First Baptist Church.
My dad attended the revival and had a dramatic conversion experience. The next night he took us all to here Rev. Angel Martinez preach. It is then that we left the Catholic Church for the Baptist. From that point on I grew up Baptist, but since all my kin people were Catholic, I still attended Roman Catholic services occasionally, either at weddings, funerals, or attending Sunday mass when I stayed with cousins.
During my service in the Navy, I developed a desire to know and understand the Christian faith better. This came about because of a spiritual and intellectual crisis that I went through at that time. I left the Navy a confirmed Baptist, but realised that there were good Christians in many different churches.
My first break with traditional Baptist teachings came shortly after I had been married. My parents, while strongly Baptists, were never part of the hyper anti-alcohol types, and I did drink a beer now and then. One Sunday the pastor at the church Lisa and I were attending preached a very strong anti-alcohol sermon. I remember he said "I can tell whether some one is a true Christian by looking and seeing if there was beer in the refrigerator." This was on a rare day when I just happened to have a few beers in our icebox.
I commented to Lisa that by the preachers statement he would consider us non-Christians. I had been reading the Scriptures a lot and saw that wine was a very common and good thing according to the Bible. Something was not right; either the preacher was wrong, or I was mis-reading the word of God. I determined to do an in depth word study on wine in the Bible. After much study, I was convinced that the traditional Baptist position on the issue of beer and wine was not Biblical.
This conclusion, while it validated my practice, bothered me greatly because I had acquired the desire to be a minister of the Gospel. Now I would not in good faith, be able to preach the Gospel because I disagreed with a strongly held Baptist position.
Not long after I finished my study there was a controversy involving the pastor at our church. I went to the pastor to discuss the issue with him (it involved abortion). While he maintained that abortion was wrong, he justified it in this case because of an individuals nearness to him. While our conversation was congenial it was clear to me that we would have to move on.
Before Lisa and I met she was attending and Presbyterian Church, and her brother-in-law, Ron, was nearing ordination in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Since our marriage, Ron had been ordained and had become the pastor of Lisa's former church.
When I first meet Ron I was greatly surprised. All I knew about Presbyterians was that they were theologically liberal. Ron loved the Lord, knew the Scriptures better than anyone I had ever meet and was theologically conservative as was the PCA (The PCUSA is the liberal denomination). Lisa and I decided to start attending the Prebyterian Church. I thought the Reformed (Presbyterian) view of baptism and and predestination were mistaken, but Ron was a great teacher and these things while held by him were not pushed.
Ron and I had become close friends, our families were very close and we visited regularly. Ron and I debated the Scriptures often. He contiually incouraged me to study the Scriptures, doctrine and history. He challenged many of my views; we were involved in a running debate on predestination. I studied the issue continuesly so I could point out his error, but he kept answering my objections. After two years I reluctantly admitted that the Scriptures did teach God sovereignty even on the point of predestinating those who would be saved.
In the next two years we would debate baptism and there too I came to understand the Reformed understanding of baptism to be correct.
My theological jourrney has been fun and exciting (for me). I love to study the Scriptures, biblical doctrine and Church history. I read theologians from most all Christian views and love to do so. Still, today I am Reformed in my theology.
I am still awake at this time in the morning because I have been awake all night for the previous five nights at work.
Craig C. and I left work this morning at about 5:45. We went to visit with Gary J. He had three glasses of wine waiting and we each enjoyed his pinot noir. It was smooth and had good body. I was impressed.
After a second glass of wine I came home; Lisa and the little boys were already up. Lisa greeted me with her beautiful smile and a kiss. Even after twenty years of marriage my heart still melts every time she smiles at me.
I slept until after 2PM. Not long after I got up the little boys came home and I had time to spend with them. We played their Game Cube for a while. Then we ate supper and I had to get ready to leave the house.
Lisa and I started dance lessons this evening. We are taking a class on a dance called "West Coast Swing." Lisa knows how to do it already, so I am the one actually taking the class and she is assisting me.
After the class I brought Lisa home, went and picked Christian (our 17 year old) from his cousins house. We got home; I said prayers with the little boys. Lisa had said them already but they wanted to pray with me (I love that!). Then Lisa went to bed.
Morgan, Christian and I then watched a movie on DVD titled Ever After. It was a cute movie.
Before the movie started, I poured myself a class of home made Stout beer that my friend Fred S. had made and given to me. I later poured myself and second glass of beer. A good movie at home with my older children with a couple of good home brews makes for an evening worth living.
Now to the sad news. We got an email from the pastor of our church to tell us that a good friend and member of our church has been diagnosed with some sort of cancer. This breaks my heart. I don't know what kind of cancer it is, but I will close this blog now and use the rest of my time awake in prayer for my friend Jimmy S. and his family.
The Super Bowl is over and I didn't watch it. I'm at work for my last (#5) night on this set of graveyards. I might have watched it had I been off, but only if I had gone to a Super Bowl party that Lisa and I were invited to. I don’t tend to watch pro-football.
Our Red Beans and Rice with deer sausage and cornbread were very good last night. Tonight had chilidogs with all the trimmings. After we all feasted on hotdogs we had a little time to sit around and chat. I found out that several of the guys had made a bet last night regarding one of my common sayings that I did not realise I say. The thing that they were waiting for me to say was (this sounds pretty goofy) "awh shucks, that's too funny." Well I said it, while laughing, after a story told by Danny N. All the guys broke into a big laugh and Danny said "I won." That is when I realised that I was the butt of some kind of joke. It is good to work and be able to enjoy yourself too and we do get to do that here sometimes.
In the morning when I work off (about 5:45-6:00) I am supposed to run by Gary J’s place. He said for me to come by and he would let me try the Pinot Noir which is his latest wine that he made. A glass or two of wine in the morning should be just right and help me drift off to sleep when I get home.
Well I have work to do so I have to sign off for now.