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Yes, I’m still alive….

Shame, I haven’t blogged here since August.  I didn’t realize it was that long.

Basically, I’ve got the blog moved….just need to….you know…. MOVE IT.

But work and everything else has picked up, so I’m a wee bit behind. 🙁

Keep me and my time management in prayer.

KG

The Sovereignty of God and HD Crashes

Day before yesterday, while using the laptop near a hard surface, I’d accidentally knocked it over.  Mind you, my laptop HD had been gradually starting to click since the middle of last year.  I preemptively bought a 630GB internal HD that I’d planned on transferring everything to in late May, but didn’t get around to doing so.

Well, it (my 320GB internal HD in the laptop) finally died, much to my dismay.

I bought a 1TB external for more back ups, but the old 320GB internal isn’t coming up.  And I have (literally) 30-50GB of new things I’ve been doing since my last back up (which was January).  While it was still in the laptop, it WAS coming up as a Firewire drive, but now as USB….nothing.

It’s another one of those “Live Your Theology” moments, as I’ve found myself having to come back to the point of realizing that even a hardware malfunction with the data arm of a hard drive is not outside of the Sovereign control of God. And once again moving back to Romans 8:28, I must remember that all things (including this) are working together for my ultimate good and His highest glory.

I must not form my theology based on my experiences, but allow my theology to dictate how my experiences should be interpreted rightly.  Too many people do it the other way and end up denying that God is God.  They say He is ‘Sovereign but not in control’ and other rubbish.  They say that God didn’t know the future, otherwise He would’ve never allowed a tree to fall and strike someone’s car, killing them instantly or (fill in your calamity here).

Repeatedly in scripture, we’re confronted with God knowing and ordaining things as tiny as a bird falling from a tree (Matthew 10:28-29) to things as large as kingdoms coming into power and specific rulers coming to power (Cyrus in Isaiah 45, Daniel 4:29-37).  It is foolishness to think that God doesn’t know the future or is simply a casual observer to it, fretting all the bad things that happen. It’s insulting to call God a chess player who reacts and ‘always has the upper hand’ after a tragedy of sorts strikes. We cannot speak out of both sides of our mouth and call God Sovereign, yet deny that He is in control of every molecule in the universe.

So while I sit here and pray with my wife, I’ll be putting in a call to MacAuthority in the morning (and a few other places) to see how many hundreds of dollars I’ll be spending to retrieve all the video and audio work I’ve built up since January.  In the meantime, I’m thankful for my wonderful wife who has constantly reminded me to pray first before taking out a hammer to strike things and get them working again. 🙂

CSF – The Fruit of Affliction – One

From John Piper’s book The Hidden Smile of God:

The afflictions of John Bunyan gave us The Pilgrim’s Progress.
The afflictions of William Cowper gave us “ThereIs a Fountain
Filled with Blood” and “God Moves in a Mysterious Way.” And
the afflictions of David Brainerd gave us a published Diarythat
has mobilized more missionaries than any other similar work. The
furnace of suffering brought forth the gold of guidance and inspi-
ration for living the Christian life, worshiping the Christian God,
and spreading the Christian Gospel.

Thereis a certain irony to the fruit of these afflictions.
Bunyan’s confinement taught him the pilgrim path of Christian
freedom. Cowper’smental illness yielded sweet music of the mind
for troubled souls. Brainerd’s smoldering misery of isolation and
disease exploded in global missions beyond all imagination. Irony
and disproportion are all God’s way. He keeps us off balance
with his unpredictable connections. We think we know how to
do something big, and God makes it small. We think that all we
have is weak and small, and God makes it big. Barren Sarah gives
birth to the child of promise. Gideon’s 300 men defeat 100,000
Midianites. A slingshot in the hand of a shepherdboy brings the
giant down. A virgin bears the Son of God. A boy’sfive loaves feed
thousands. A breach of justice, groveling political expediency,and
criminal torture on a gruesome cross become the foundation of
the salvation of the world.

This is God’s way—to take all boasting off of man and put it
on God. “Not many of you were wise according to worldly stan-
dards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth; but
God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God
chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose
what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not,
to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might
boast in the presence of God….‘Let him who boasts, boast of the
Lord’” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29, 31, RSV).

Not surprisingly (1 Peter 4:12), therefore, suffering fits into
God’s design in ways that sometimes baffle us and test us to the
limit. This very baffling and testing is part of the design:
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various
trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be per-
fect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).

(Pages 19 and 20)

How difficult it is to embrace this concept, being all high speed internet, multiple cars in your home, an ACTUAL home, central air, gas heat, air conditioning, enough clothing to last weeks before repeating,  food on your table and a job.

On the flip side, have you ever considered what a scary thought it is to have a God who does NOT control suffering, but simply ‘allows’ it to happen to folks, even though He knows it’s coming to you ?  Thankfully, the Bible doesn’t teach this kind of ‘god’ exists, though he seems to get a lot of press in some Christian pulpits.

Next time through: God designs our suffering ?

God Bless.

K. Joel Gilliard
Theologically Correct dot Com – http://theologicallycorrect.com
Life | Doctrine | Music – http://www.lifedoctrinemusic.com

Happy New Year – So What ?

A little something I wrote three years ago going into 07′.

Thinking Biblically Commentary – January 4, 2007
K. Joel Gilliard

Every year on December 31, great festivals and celebrations around the world are held to ring out the old year and bring in the new year. In fact, starting backwards from December 26th, news broadcasters begin to reflect on past events of the year, who died, who got married and whatever the big news stories of the year that there were.

Many people use this time of year to do their own reflection on the events of the past year in their personal lives. Many make promises to improve themselves in the coming year and as we well know, these things have a tendency not to last.

Many have come to think of New Year’s resolutions as a cliché for ‘Heh. Let’s see how long that lasts.’ People make grandiose claims and promises only to break them before the end of the month (usually within the first 5-15 days of the month).

Now let’s think for a moment. Biblically, if you will.

Is it wrong to reflect over our lives and think on the major events of our lives? Of course not. Is it wrong to make plans for change ? Not at all. Scripture is replete with folks who do these very things – from David in the Psalms to Isaiah in his book.

The problem is our thinking at how to go about accomplishing these ‘resolutions’ that we make. There’s usually two faulty assumptions that go along with most new year’s resolutions-making.

Read the rest here:
Theologically Correct dot Com :: LIVE Your Theology. Blog Archive TBC – 1/06/07- Happy New Year – So What ?

Audio version: http://theologicallycorrect.com/realaudio/tbc-1-06-07.mp3

Why I Won’t Be Signing the Manhattan Declaration

Sproul: http://new.ligonier.org/blog/the-manhattan-declaration/

MacArthur: http://www.shepherdsfellowship.org/pulpit/Posts.aspx?ID=4444

Dan Phillips: http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2009/11/nineteen-questions-for-signers-of.html

Between these three, I believe the issue is pretty clear.

While I understand why Dr. Mohler signed it, I think his choosing to do so was a bit short-sighted….especially since he has stated that his signing it did NOT imply that he believed that Rome’s gospel and the gospel as found in scripture and held to by evangelical protestants was the same:

I cannot and do not sign documents such as Evangelicals and Catholics Together that attempt to establish common ground on vast theological terrain. I could not sign a statement that purports, for example, to bridge the divide between Roman Catholics and evangelicals on the doctrine of justification. The Manhattan Declaration is not a manifesto for united action. It is a statement of urgent concern and common conscience on these three issues — the sanctity of human life, the integrity of marriage, and the defense of religious liberty.

My beliefs concerning the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches have not changed. The Roman Catholic Church teaches doctrines that I find both unbiblical and abhorrent — and these doctrines define nothing less than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But The Manhattan Declaration does not attempt to establish common ground on these doctrines. We remain who we are, and we concede no doctrinal ground.

Even though the document does the very thing he says it does not:

We, as Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians, have gathered, beginning in New York on September 28, 2009, to make the following declaration, which we sign as individuals, not on behalf of our organizations, but speaking to and from our communities.

and especially:

We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right—and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation—to speak and act in defense of these truths. We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence. It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season. May God help us not to fail in that duty.

Which gospel ?

So more than a few folks remain perplexed as to why Mohler, Grudem and a few more solid names have signed the document. We can freely pursue these causes lock-step with Catholics and the Orthodox without claiming to be all ‘Christians’, when in doctrinal practice and affirmation, we can’t claim each other (well…..protestants can’t claim Rome or the Orthodox…. Rome calls protestants ‘separated brethren’). People like Rick Warren, Colson and others, I expect to sign it, since they all tend to be wishy-washy on doctrine (and strangely, on things like THIS important doctrine).

I’ll admit: I was persuaded a bit by Mohler’s argument until I really READ the document. While I agree with its’ aims, there’s too much assumed by it in regard to the gospel. Ultimately, the only thing that will truly change the human condition from a social standpoint is the real gospel. Anything else is simply moralism and religiosity.

While we’re waiting: Old Reading

I’m so thankful to the Internet Archive. I was in the process of looking up some old posts from prior to my converting my blog from b2evolution over to WordPress (which I did back in 07 or so….) and to my dismay, a lot of ‘huge’ posts I’d done were lost. 🙁

Until today. 🙂

I decided, on a hunch, to put in the URL to some of my old blogposts that were cut off at “More::” (as in “click on this link to read more”). Turns out the archive saved a LOT of my old blog back in December of 06. 🙂

I even got back all of “The Bible as the Word of God….for CHRISTIANS….” which I’ve been meaning to get back for ages now.

I also managed to get all of my post back where I talked for a bit on Calvary Chapel and restore the entire post.

I was reading my wife a bit of old blog posts to my wife and noticing that I’ve been a perfectionist a lot longer than I really realized (I even mentioned it in an old post). It’s interesting to look back at old blogposts and see where you’ve grown from.  Strangely, I had a lot more time years ago to blog more consistently.  I blame work and the rest of life.

Well, off to blogging again.  If I know how God operates, something I read recently on my blog will arise in my life as a reminder in the next few days and I’ll be posting on it in hopes of others being edified as a result of it. 🙂

Tethered to my desktop and the Sovereignty of God

Well, it finally happened.

Something went wrong with my MacBook Pro.

Something MAJOR.

But it’s nVida’s fault, not Apple.  Apple is offering replacement repairs for up to 3 years from original purchase date, regardless of if I’m in warranty or not.

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2377?viewlocale=en_US

Meanwhile, I’ve opened up my MBP, pulled the HD, connected it to my tower via a USB external case and I’m backing it up – AGAIN.

It would happen right NOW – grading due, need to get video and pictures to my future brother-in-law for the wedding and a TON of other information on there…..

Somewhere in this, though, God has this happening NOW for my highest good and for His highest glory (Romans 8:28).  Don’t know why NOW, but I do know that I need to learn to respond correctly…..especially if I *claim* to believe that there are no rouge molecules in the universe.

Don’t you love it when God tests your theology in the practical ?

Ahhh, the blender again!

My favorite term for this time in life.

You ever see those scenes where all of the items in the picture get scrambled around blazingly fast, then they stop and settle and the picture looks completely different ?

So…I’m looking for a new church (and no, I’m not getting into the ‘why’ of it just yet….maybe one day, maybe not, but I’m leaving on good terms….).

I’ll be married in 3 months and some change.

I’ll be moving at the end of June – while my fianceé is in Nashville getting stuff ready, I’ll be moving into OUR apartment and staying there by myself for a week and getting acclimated. So I’m starting to throw things out now….

Grad school is on hold until I pay down an old balance.  This also pushes back my potential graduation date to 2010….but I only have three classes left to do. 🙂

I’m a bit perplexed about my job. I have good students, I’ve done my best to try and get them focused, but they just completely BLEW it this past weekend at band festival.  Should I give up on middle school ? I’ve had two successful years (I’s in sight reading and II’s overall) and now two bad years (a III last year and this year in sight reading and overall).

Work is a pain sometimes. Stressed. Feeling overwhelmed with the amount of things they ask us to do…. and then wonder why it’s not done.

I’ve got more speaking engagements and bible studies lined up in the meantime….so more studying to do.

All this and I keep looking into the eyes of this woman wondering why in the world she still wants to marry me. I’m a hot mess…. she’s even seen my apartment…. and she still wants to marry me.

I’m blessed.

In the meantime, I’m trying to keep up with bible reading – even if the only thing I can do is turn on the iPod and listen to Max McClean read to me.  I actually find myself memorizing large portions of scripture that way.

Okay, it’s official…..

I’ve had her father’s blessing since December when I drove her down to Nashville. My church gave us the green light back in early December and we started premarital counseling officially last month. We’ve been planning for a bit for July 11 and things are moving ahead….I just had no idea that it took so much time and effort to PLAN to get ready for marriage. So pray for both of us. Things are good….her family is working overtime on getting things in order for the wedding. I still have to finalize plans for the honeymoon and we still have several other issues to work out before May….all while being band directors (which means we’re starting off with time in the NEGATIVE already. LOL).

My fianceé approves of this post.

Alive, Kicking and Kicking Some More….(updated)

School year’s back in full swing again.  I’ve been busy with stuff for work….. I’m now department chair for music, team leader for creative arts and doing a LOT more this year to set good things in motion for my band program and the school in general….including taking over the school website (which I will be debuting any day now….).

We have a new principal and he’s a pretty cool dude. As always, new administrations always have bumps and bruises as people adjust to new systems, but it looks like things are heading in the right direction for the school overall. Our 8th grade population seems to be stuck on trying to do as they please like they did last year…. and thankfully, discipline is about 80% consistent on behavior issues.  Teachers also have a lot more administrative support this year, provided they do THEIR jobs.

We have a new electronic grading system, so I’m grading more papers, making more phone calls and doing more things this year.

In regard to my album, I’ve been given some advice by two individuals close to me that I should reconsider – one, because of my age (hip hop is still a ‘young man’s game’)  and the time it will take for me to develop a more mature sound may take a while and two, because of TIME…I keep pushing this thing back and being overwhelmed with other issues.

I’m considering it all, seriously. I’m about to do a mailer to a few trusted friends and brethren in Christ for advice on this one and pray on it some more.  Either way, I’m going to probably just release the songs I’ve already recorded as free downloads and call it a day.  I still DJ, I still make good beats, so I’ll be ‘around’.

Besides, while I do feel that doing a hip hop album is simply an extension of my teaching ability (I could honestly care less about selling more units than necessary to break even and will probably give away more than I ever sell), I may just need to concentrate on framing biblical truth in conversation instead of rhyme.

I’ll be off from grad school for a little bit to catch my breath, then go back in and complete the last two classes. I’m working on a budget…and trying to remain consistent with it. I’ve been blessed in other areas that I’ll let in on as certain times draw nearer 🙂 Just keep a brother in prayer so that he can be consistent in all areas of his life.

Out for now. Probably spend part of that 16-18 weeks doing new videos, typing up stuff LONG overdue and so forth.

Oh, and I even got offered (unofficially) an adjunct position at my alma mater. 🙂 God is good.  Let me get ready for the rest of my renaissance…..

Additionally: Check the latest Thinking Biblically Commentary.  I talk about the election and ‘What if ________ loses ?’

Inspired by the great convos on the 5th.

http://theologicallycorrect.com/?p=99

Enjoy and be blessed.

Video podcast of it coming on Friday night along with an audio/mp3 for the feed on my site.