Saturday, March 31, 2007

Growing Christian Shrinks

I ran across this the other day: the WSJ reports on how Christians came to embrace psychology. Interesting read.

Broder: Why Hillary, Not Barak, Will Be the Democratic Nominee

I think veteran political reporter David Broder (Washington Post) puts his finger here on why Hillary Clinton, not Barak Obama, will be the next Democratic Presidential Nominee. Obama's speeches are initially impressive, but the more you listen, the more you realize how little is being said. I think Hillary continues to be underestimated in her campaigning skills and the size and skill of her political machinery that will be so pivotal in actually winning the primaries. As to who will win the Republican nomination, it is much harder to tell. Guiliani will fade. If I had to put my Las Vegas money on anyone today, it would still be McCain.

Though I believe that Christians are called to be good citizens and participate fully in the political process with thoughtfulness and care, I also love the words of Chuck Colson: "The Kingdom of God will not arrive on Air Force One." Thank God that His Redemptive purposes in this world will not be thwarted or altered based on who is elected. God is sovereign still. I continue to sense that Christians look too much to getting the right people elected to solve the world's problems, rather than seeking for the church to be the church and for God's people to truly be God's people in every sphere of life and with all our mind, heart, and strength. What we need is God-centered, Christ-exalting, Spirit-empowered reformation and revival. An election - or even a good administration - just won't do it.

Anderson Cooper: What is a Christian?

This week on Wednesday evening on Anderson Cooper 360, he is going is explore the question "What is a Christian?" On CNN 9pm CST.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tom Ascol on Family Worship

An interview with a good Baptist pastor, Tom Ascol, on family worship:

Pics of the Journey Home

Christopher is now a proud big brother to 2 sisters:

Our sweet baby girl

One happy mommy and one tired baby

With eyes wide open...

Look at my new big sister!

Here we go out the door!

Okay, off we go to your new home, Hannah!

"This new home is nice and everything, but I'm very tired."

Some thoughts on family worship...

Justin Taylor has a link today to a blog with some brief and practical thoughts on family worship, a topic near and dear to our hearts.

Home from the Hospital

We walked in the door at home at about 1:15 this afternoon. Everything is going great. I (John) just fed lunch to the kids and Mindy is feeding Hannah. Life with 3 kids begins! More pics later today. Thank you for all your prayers, love, notes and calls. Don't be shy now about posting comment on our blog - we love them!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

more pics...

What a day!

Well, since Mindy is feeding and I can't sleep, let me give a quick summary of our day. Mindy had her 39th week appointment this morning at 10:00. We packed bags and took them with us just in case she were to be induced. Upon arriving, Dr. Fogwell began by listening to the fetal heartbeat. A concerned look came over his face as his watched the second hand on his watch. Cool as a cumcumber, he looked at Mindy and said, "Well, you're going to Labor and Delivery right now. I don't like the way this heart beat sounds, so let's go downstairs and check it out. Go straight there and do not stop at the admissions desk and I'll meet you in a L&D room." So we booked it downstairs and by the time Mindy was hooked up to the fetal HR monitor, the baby's HR had come back up to a normal level. Dr. Fogwell said that it was distressingly low when he first listened to it. So he monitored Mindy for several hours, but she was 4cm and 80% effaced by this point (10:15ish).

We had another fetal HR scare around 2:30. The nurse and the whole calvary came rushing in the room and got the HR back up within a few minutes. That of course was a little disconcerting. But things stablizied for the rest of the day/evening after that. Around 3pm Mindy got an epidural and at 6:15, Dr. Fogwell broke her water.

By 10pm she was ready to have a baby. She pushed for 13 minutes and at 10:43, Hannah Elizabeth was born. 6 pounds 11 ounces and 18 3/4 inches long. We were sooo thankful for a short labor, since Mindy was in L&D for almost 30 hours and pushed for 2.5 hours with Sarah. This was a huge blessing for us. The Lord brought us not only safely through the day, but gave us extra mercy tonight to be done by a reasonable hour.

Hannah has been eating tonight like a horse. This child has a McCracken appetite, no doubt!
Alright, I'm going to try to get some sleep now. Mindy is dozing hard on her bed and I'm about to dive into my cot. More tomorrow...

What you've been waiting for... pictures!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hannah Elizabeth McCracken

was born at 10:43 pm. she is six pounds 11 ounces and
aboslutely beautiful! mindy is doing great and hannah
is eating away as I type on my phone. thanks be to God
for this precious gift!

in labor

just a note to say that Mindy was admitted to labor &
delivery at 10 am this morning. things are progressing
slowly but all is fine so far, tbough we had a few
scares with the babys HR dropping a few times today.
more later...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Any day now...

Any day now, baby #3 will be born. Mindy is about in the middle of her 39th week of pregnancy. We took this picture last night. Doesn't she look great!? I definitely married up! There is a chance that she will be induced tomorrow as well. We don't know the sex, but if it is a boy, it will be Samuel David and if it is a girl it will likely be Hannah Elizabeth. We'll keep you posted!

Using the "Jesus Storybook Bible" in family worship

For quite awhile now Mindy and I have been happily using David Helm's The Big Picture Story Bible. We've read it cover to cover with Christopher and Sarah so many times we can't count and we have loved it. (When Christopher was younger, we read the same story every night for a week, which really helped him stay engaged. As he grew older, we began to pick up the pace.) It is sensitive to the heart of biblical theology, avoids moralisms, contains beautiful artwork, and is simple enough for a 2 year old. But we've exhausted it.

We recently received in the mail a new one and have been using it for about a week now and we can highly recommend it now to you. It is Sally Lloyd-Jones' The Jesus Storybook Bible. The reading grade level of the text is a nice middle ground between Helm's book and Catherine Vos' fine Child's Story Bible. Like Helm, the theology is rich. For example, in describing Jesus' temptation in the wilderness, Lloyd-Jones does a masterful job connecting Jesus as the Second Adam to the first Adam, contrasting Adam's disobedience to Jesus's obedience and the desert to the garden. The emphasis throughout is on God's sovereign plan of salvation through Christ and she does a terrific job tying every story to that central theme. And like Helm's Big Picture Story Bible, the artwork is superb, perhaps even a little better. If you have kids, Mindy and I highly recommend it for your evening times of family worship! (It is also a great, easy introduction to Christianity for any new believer or curious unbeliever.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

My leisure reading these days...

I'm reading "Leadership on the Line" by two JFK School of Govt profs at Harvard. It's been recommended to me by a reliable source as one of the top books on leadership written, with a very practical twist. Perhaps I'll share my thoughts on it at some point.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

More on Herman Ridderbos

I just ran across another blog ( that has an excellent post regarding the life and ministry of Herman Ridderbos. I particularly enjoyed the collection of quotations. Click here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dr. Herman Ridderbos (1909-2007)

Ridderbos was a true great in our own time. He ranks up there among the top 3 or 4 most influential authors in my own life. His book "Paul: An Outline of His Theology" is a powerhouse. He took Gerhaard Vos' redemptive-historical approach to the Scriptures and caused his readers to marvel at the richness of the Scriptures anew.

Sean Lucas writes:

Rev. Dr. Herman Ridderbos, one of the foremost developers of the redemptive-historical approach to Biblical theology, a hallmark of Westminster Theological Seminary, died 8 March, having celebrated his 98th birthday on 13 March. Among his more widely distributed writings were “Redemptive History and the New Testament Scriptures,” “Paul and Jesus,” and “Paul: An Outline of His Theology.” Reportedly Ned Stonehouse once said this of Ridderbos: “Wherever the Dutch language is read Professor Herman Ridderbos is recognized as an outstanding New Testament scholar and theologian . . .”

How to Hide From Your Wife

Since baby #3 is going to be coming in the next 0-3 weeks, the time to change poopy diapers is upon me again. Here is my new strategy to avoid diaper duty...