August 2016

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Church-house: third day of precast going up...

As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” (Mark 13:1)

With its counterweights, the crane weighs 235,000 pounds. Since this particular panel it's putting in place has no windows, it weighs the full 38,800 pounds. When it's set down on the footer about one foot below ground level, it will rest on two piles of shims about the side of a small paperback. Those shims will allow the slurry to slither underneath the panel, filling in every square inch with a liquid cement much stronger than the footer or panel. The slurry won't be pumped under the panels to surround the shims for a couple days, yet.

Ain't it all beautiful? Our Architectural Prosthetics Committee has a tight budget. So hearing they wouldn't cost anything, they added the clouds.

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The good father: work with the grain...

As soon as your first son or daughter is born, you'll be faced with work you don't like and don't really want to do. Diapers aren't real bad at first. A milk-only diet makes a newborn's diapers just a mild nuisance. But once your baby starts solids, dirty diapers get nasty. My brother Nathan always used a World War I gas mask. This isn't Nathan—my granddaughter Bayly standing next to me says it's her uncle Ben with his daughter Clementine. It does look just like Nathan. I'd watch him and wonder why none of his kids died of fright.

Not all the work of fatherhood is bad, though. The past couple of weeks I've been reminded what a joy it is to give hugs and kisses to your children when you...

The loss of a precious child...

Fr. Bill Mouser is one of my heroes. He's an odd bird, no doubt. God has shown me that sanctification always produces greater oddities in saints. Never greater conformity. Barbara loves her husband and it would be hard to find a Priscilla/Aquila married couple today who have done better work strengthening the church against the greatest heresy of our day, the repudiation and denial of the Fatherhood of God.

Some years back, Fr. Bill and his dear Barbara suffered the loss of their little daughter, Francesca. I've heard snippets through the years about their loss. Recently I asked Fr. Bill to write a little bit more for us. Here it is from the kindness and generosity of his heart. I trust you will be strengthened reading it, as I was.

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When my eight-year old daughter Francesca (hereafter "Cheska") was diagnosed with an inoperable brainstem tumor on January 9, 1996, we knew two things...

Church-house: second day of precast tilting up...

Without windows, these panels weight 38,800 pounds. The crane operator has a chart indicating what each configuration of precast panel weighs, and the rigging for each panel is set accordingly when they go to hoist it. Each panel is set on shims set on the footer. They help with levelling and provide a gap between the precast and footer so the caulk/grout can fill in under each panel.

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Construction begins, again: no, we're not Roman Catholic sacramentalists...

“If you want to compare with our Protestant brethren, probably Catholic churches are, on average, more expensive,” said architect Duncan Stroik, a member of the faculty at University of Notre Dame and a leading expert on Catholic architecture. “They should be, since we believe they are sacramental architecture and houses of God. Buildings are catechism in bricks, mortar and glass.” - Why Church Construction Costs More For Catholics Than Protestants

We're adding 60,000 square feet to our church-house and the precast walls started arriving today, semi after semi after semi after semi. The semis backed up inside the shell of the building and then these wall pieces were lifted off the semi and set in place by a crane, after which they were anchored by the work_ _ _.1

Some pastors want monuments that will pander to the egos of their rich and proud congregations. Some want precast concrete at less than $50 per square foot completed. This was the cost of our first phase.

Compare this with the average cost of $167 per square foot for church buildings back in 2013. We're not sure yet what our figures will be when this second phase is completed, but we expect it won't be much more than...

Pro-Life Podcast on Daddy Tried...

You may want to give a listen to this podcast by Allen County/Indiana Right to Life. It's a help when the interviewer has read the book before the interview, which Abigail Eschelbach had done—and I thank her. Pass the podcast on to others and tell them to buy the book. Each day I hear of others who have been helped by reading Daddy Tried, both men and women. Abigail's response is typical. At the end of the interview, she starts to say "I really enjoyed the book," but stops to correct herself—"well, I'm not sure 'enjoy' is the right word."

She's right. I've enjoyed C. S. Forester, and to a lesser degree, Patrick O'Brian. I enjoyed all the books on shepherding, sheep, and sheepdogs I read the past couple of years. But I loved... 

A good two-kingdom argument for Trump...

This is a very helpful response by Alex Guggenheim to my response to his response to my post. As I said under this comment where it originally appeared, I don't have time to respond to Mr. Guggenheim's latest just yet, but I didn't want readers to miss it. Many thanks to Mr. Guggenheim for his careful and thorough disagreement.

* * *

Tim,

Thank you for the time you took in formulating a post...

Firstly, I completely sympathize and agree with the observation regarding the obliteration of the PCA. Its leadership has been slowly filled with men possessing the skill of rationalization and relevancy and not those of fidelity to sound exegesis and its application. It appears many cannot bear the social consequences of where God’s Word takes us. But I am not responding to that portion, rather to the civic principle being addressed.

We have a theological difference which I believe structures our arguments separately, categorically speaking. Thus, I do not believe that working with separate frameworks will result in effective debate or dialog and this is what I mean, so that you may understand where or how my position originates.

I come from a Lutheranized structure with respect to the church and state...

When faith-talk wounds instead of healing...

Over on his FB page, Graham Roberts posted this short piece by Dad Bayly, and I repost it here for our readers. There are a couple problems with the view that Christians should squeeze every last bit of faith for healing we can marshal from ourselves until the moment our loved one's heart actually stops beating and he is pronounced dead.

First, God often shows us that in this particular case He is not going to heal our loved one. Are we not to listen to Him and submit to His will? Is it godly to demand otherwise?

Second, if we refuse to stop "believing" or "having faith" for our loved one's healing until he's dead, how do we ever begin to do the work of preparing for death? For that matter, how does he himself do the work of preparing for death when all his loved ones surrounding him are...

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What to do when Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump is your president...

The sons of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and they took their daughters for themselves as wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods. The sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.

Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, so that He sold them into the hands of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia; and the sons of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years. When the sons of Israel cried to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the sons of Israel to deliver them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. (Judges 3:5-9)

Under the post "Wayne Grudem's ethical casuistry," Mr. Alex Guggenheim commented: "You are going to get either Trump or Clinton. It's time to grow up and take responsibility for delivering one or the other to us."

Here's my response:

Dear Mr. Guggenheim,

You're avoiding the long game. I understand why you're doing so, but don't accuse those who think about history and judgement or blessing in more than four-year increments of being immature and irresponsible. I would say it's precisely the opposite—that those incapable of thinking and choosing anything other than short-term goods are the ones who are immature and irresponsible. Contrary to what all Donald Trump's supporters are telling the church right now, this election cycle...

Daddy Tried: fathers and abortion...

Since the release of Daddy Tried, I've been doing interviews and this weekend one of them will air on a few stations here in Hoosierland. The interview dealt with how fathers contribute to a culture of death or life. We spoke particularly about fathers and abortion and euthanasia.

The interview was done by Abigail Eschelbach, communications director of the Ft. Wayne area's Allen County Right to Life. Here's a list of the stations and times of broadcast. Most of the stations are in the Ft. Wayne area, but there are also stations in Bryan OH, South Bend, Noblesville, Indy, and Bloomington. Give a listen.

Gen Con 2016: dinner with Mike Carr and Paul Cote.....

Last night I had dinner with my dear brother, Paul Cote (left), out from the Boston suburbs to attend Gen Con 2016 which has taken over Indy at 60,000 gamers strong this year. Paul is here kindness of Mike Carr (center), the only man who has attended every Gen Con since the first one back in 1968 hosted by Gary Gygax of Dungeons and Dragons fame. Paul introduced me to Mike last night and we had dinner together. Interesting conversation made for a good evening, and much of the conversation had to do with Dungeons and Dragons, TSR, and their friend, the late Gary Gygax.

Back in 1968, Gary invited forty or so of his friends to come to Lake Geneva and play games for a couple days. Two of those friends were Paul Cote and Mike Carr, who have kept up their friendship ever since. Paul and Mike told me at the first Gen Con Gary's wife served them hot dogs. The convention was named for...

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