Thursday, April 26, 2012

Another Thankful, Condemnation-Free Day

Yesterday was my birthday. The day began with a meeting with a Redeemer friend. Then, Linda and I drove to Ann Arbor where we ate breakfast at Afternoon Delight. She had their cinnamon french toast; I had the smoked nova salmon eggs benedict served on a toasted whole wheat English muffin with cream cheese, capers, red onions, poached eggs and topped with béarnaise sauce. yum!

When we stepped onto Liberty Street after eating it was sunny and approaching 60 degrees - beautiful! We held hands and walked uphill to Starbuck's. I got a dark roast coffee to go, then we walked back towards where the car was parked. We passed a store called Adorn Me. We went in and looked at the women's clothing, jewelry, and handbags. I love looking in stores like this with Linda. She tried on a pair of red-framed sunglasses. I said, "Very glamorous!" And bought them for her.

The sunglasses I bought Linda are in row 3, far left.

We went to Whole Foods and picked up some things for our Home Group meeting. When we got back to Monroe Linda dropped me off at MCCC where I gave some final oral exams for my Philosophy of Religion classes. Many students sat before me, one-on-one, and answered the following questions: 1) explain Nietzsche's "parable of the madman"; 2) explain Russell's "A Free Man's Worship"; 3) explain Plantinga's idea of God-belief as properly basic; and 4) tell me about Stephen Jay Gould "Non-overlapping Majisteria" (NOMA). A few of them tried to explain Plantinga's modal version of the ontological argument for extra credit.

The day ended with our Home Group meeting at our house. We discussed Romans 8:1-5. I'll be preaching on these verses this coming Sunday at Redeemer. "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..." Wow! This chapter has been referred to as "the inner sanctuary within the Cathedral of the Christian faith." It is so rich and helpful to me to hear our Home Group share about these verses while I am in the middle of studying them and meditating on them. This coming Sunday many people will be set free from inner voices of rejection.

Linda had prepared a variety of my favorite foods for after the meeting, to include fresh-baked strawberry rhubarb pie and peach pie, accompanied by Breyer's vanilla ice cream. At this point I felt like the birthday boy in Katroo. Delicious!

After all were gone Linda and I watched the replay of last night's "American Idol." There are some amazing young singers this year. Twenty-year-old Joshua Ledet is...  simply...  stunning... and humble and gracious. I'll probably watch the replay of his performance last night of India Arie's "Ready for Love."

I took a bag of birthday garbage outside, deposited it in the garbage can, and walked the can to the roadside to be picked up today. Then I did something I do a lot, and have done for years and years, over and over. I stopped, looked at the skies, and thanked God. Thank you God for rescuing me years ago. Thank you God for giving me Linda. Thank you God for my sons. Thank you God for my friends. Thank You...    for life... and meaning... and purpose.

It was 12:30 AM when I went to bed. My life could have turned out differently. It didn't. I realize this, and have a thankful heart.