There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

Archive for 20plusdoings

the fruit of the Spirit and its implications for marriage

They are now Mr. and Mrs. Brian Black (and, at their request, I presented them as Mr. and Mrs. Married-Filing-Jointly in a nod to their common profession of corporate tax), and they married last weekend.  They picked the text. I tried to link its implications to marriage.  The English Puritan, John Owen, said that no sermon (or wedding homily, for that matter) is fit for others until it has been preached to the preacher, himself.  I’m reading it again for my sake this morning.


22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self control, against such things there is no law.  24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh in its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

If you happened to be at the base of Mt Rainier or somewhere in the Himalayas, and you saw a man preparing to climb to the summit of either, outfitted only with a single rope and a granola bar, you might think for a moment that this man was brave and tenacious.

But it’s more likely that the outcome of his attempt to climb with only those items will reveal he was neither brave nor tenacious, but merely foolish.  The climb before him would be magnificent and worthy of the ascent, but it’s treacherousness would require a kind of preparedness he did not account for.

You’re stepping into something this day that is both magnificent and treacherous. Read the rest of this entry »

slightly early arrival

Kathryn Aldas has just been induced for labor. A few days short of her due-date, but it’s time for their daughter to meet the world. Would you pray? Will keep you all informed.

Update (10/17, 9:22am): baby still refusing to disembark, but all are well.

Update (10/18, 9:06am): Kyrie Grace Aldas saw fit to enter the world around an hour ago. Mother and child are doing well. Pictures forthcoming.  If you’d like to send them a congratulatory email, click here.

Come together

Hey, three things, all mentioned last Sunday in class, but which might’ve eluded your memory due to the high volume of announcements:

help me write this sermon

preach.jpgNo, I’m not trying to outsource my responsibility, but I thought it would be…different, if not intriguing, to bring those with whom I identify the most into a dialogue about a particular passage and how it speaks to their condition.  Sermons are explanations of how a text of God’s word speaks to our condition–in what we think, feel, or do, and usually all three.

It is not a complicated text in terms of its meaning. I think it focuses on two themes, but I won’t share what I think they are so that I don’t prejudice your reading and reflecting. Read the rest of this entry »

His Will and our work, part 1 of many…

As alluded to on the July calendar, in October (yes, an announcement in July about an October thing), we’ll devote some time in October (perhaps on retreat, perhaps here at home–still deciding) to a discussion of faith and work–i.e. profession. Chuck Garriott will be here. Letters are going out within the week to several PCPC members in various professions to see if they might join us and corral those of you in the same or similar professions into a discussion of faithfulness in the marketplace. Even if you’re still in training for your profession, aspiring to that profession, or still not sure on what profession you might one day land, our time together will speak broadly enough to how to live and work for the glory of God, a la Colossians 3:15. Read the rest of this entry »

this just in from China….

Here’s an update from Erika in China….makes you glad there are diapers in the world

Daily Schedule:


Our days start at 7am with breakfast in the cafeteria.  I usually make a cup of coffee in our community kitchen in the dorm, then walk across campus to breakfast (a very American thing…walking with coffee that is).  I usually eat an egg mcmuffin type sandwich, but they also offer a rice porridge with vegetables.  After breakfast we head to a large room in the library that is reserved for the program.  We have training on various topics from 8-12.  We are being trained by year-long teachers who have decided to stay after and support the program, most will return home this week.

  Read the rest of this entry »

praying for Erika

Pray for Us

 I will be planning and executing lessons, working with people I’ve never met before, and seeking out  opportunities to share the truth.  I ask that you pray for me, our team, and our students who, perhaps, have yet to hear or receive the good news. I’ve used the analogy of you all “holding the rope” for us as we serve overseas.  Please, hold that rope.


What joy, peace, and comfort to know the love of the Lord.  Thank you so much for your financial and prayer support.  You all have blessed and encouraged me in so many ways.


Specific Requests:


1.  Health and safety.

2.  Unity for our team.

3.  Excellence in our teaching.

4.  Clarity when sharing our testimonies.

5.  That we would preach the WORD!

6.  That we would adjust to the culture, and use wisdom and discernment in all our  interactions with those we meet.

The next time you hear from me I’ll be in CHINA!


(Click on the below for description of the work)

TIP Program Highlights/Overview 


Chang Ping Campus Tour: