...thoughts expressed here are not necessarily final.

January 31, 2005 Happy Birthday!

After the UK uggggly win over Arkansas (we'll take it, thought they could NOT have played any worse and still won) ..we went out on a cold, snowy weekend to celebrate a friend's birthday- we won't mention which one (friend nor age), but we found our way to Bahama Breeze in Chesterfield for a taste of the Caribbean and a break from the winter greys.

I had never been there for dinner- we had been twice to the one is Louisville for lunch. the service was OK but the food was excellent, if different- unusual spices are something everyone should try once in a while, just to get out of the rut... Here's the Tilapia in a bag...I had the pork medallions with garlic potatoes, creamed spinach and corn salsa.

There was enough left over for a doggie bag to go for another full meal.

And in other news, look at the tulips Earnie received from a friend! The crocuses are breaking through the ground and the irises are up about 4 inches as well. Can spring be far behind?

We had a small but very engaged class this morning. I taught on Luke 20. Text to follow...


Breathing here in your arms I will find rest
At peace with my Lord I will be blessed
I would find mercy grow in the soil of my soul
I would work out the faith that I have confessed.

The Spirit is living
And breathing and moving in us.
Awaken, arise
See with spiritual eyes
And learn the true meaning of trust.

Turn away turn away from temptation today
And turn now to seek Jesus’ face.
See with eyes of the heart
And be set apart
As a breathtaking vessel of grace.

The Spirit is living
And breathing and moving in us.
Awaken, arise
See with spiritual eyes
And learn the true meaning of trust.

Anthony Foster
January 31, 2005

February 3, 2004-- Gee it's great to be back home.

And it only took an hour to get here. Here's the view from my car window as I am on the onramp. There was a truck just ahead of me but you can't see it.

I saw no less than 18 cars in about 10 different accidents all along I-270 on the way to work. The first two exits I came to were cloggged as was the interstate, even I-255 was impossible to circle around to, so I made it to route 111 and headed back home.

It is amazing to me that the college did not call off classes- the fog was the worst I have seen in years too! I will get caught up here today since we will travel to see Ma Smith this weekend.

I just learned that EPIC church has a new meeting place. See the new website here. Checkitout.

Thoughts on doing church today

We were involved in a couple of emergent churches over the years. I found that I really clicked there and we saw God working in special ways. As I have gotten older, I have now realized that I just cannot engage young people the way I did when I was at SMU. One reason is that I am now 48 I suppose. But another is that I am becoming more and more alienated from the culture. The young people I have encountered here have shied away from one who wants to speak of the majesty of Christ in all things. So do the adults for the most part, so I have to see what God is going to do about this. I have to change if it's me that is the problem.

I was once a great proponent of cultural engagement, indeed I majored on the Christian's responsibiblity to interact in a deep and effective way. I just cannot seem to practice what I used to preach anymore, it all seems so prodigal and off the point of life. I also think my thoughts are becoming more reified. I have a hard time concentrating when someone is expounding on the box scores. I don't seem to be able to turn the conversation to spiritual things as easily as i once did.

I am not interested in being acceptable or liked , qwhixch was a pitfall in my younger days, and do not worry about being "compelling" to others. But in bringing me through this I hope I have not become boring or insipid in a way that will dishonor Jesus. I have a feeling people indwelt by his spirit should cetainly not be inaccessible. :-)

I do want to communicate effectively, but I have found that the preaching of the cross with your life does not gather crowds. Another reason is that my more recent experience with emergent church plants is that they really do not have any less struggle for authenticity than more traditional experiences of the Body of Christ. So I have decided that the formal concerns are just not that important to me anymore- I will bloom where God plants me, and passionately pursue life in whatever context I find myself..

Thoughts on transitions: It is a great temptation to second guess God's sovereign direction of our life at times.

My time this past year at my current church has been a strange and unusual one with unforeseen blessings , especially in the form of a real, honest to god Pastor who will listen and provide encouragement. I never realized how starved a human being, especially one who is seeking to please the Father in all areas of life, can get. I haven't had the numbers of folks flocking to my classes. I haven't seen very many even want to get to know us. I know we are sojourning here for a limited time and given human nature, I expected this to be the case. In spite of the false start on starting a new class, I think our time here has been blessed. I really hope that the relationship with my pastor will move into the future even after we move on to Louisville this Spring.

Yet we would not be looking at the same horizon that beseeches us now if we had not sojourned here for the past year. I am eternally grateful for the time I have spent seeking God's face.

Thoughts on Stewardship

Don't try this at home Kids- unless God impresses upon you to do so...I am thankful that we have not had to deal with untoward scutiny in our circumstances. With the explosion of expenses with my Mother In Law's declining health, a reversal of 15K in my paycheck at the same time, and Earnie not able to work due to family responsibilities, it is miraculous that we have seen the seminary journey begin. We have actually beenable to be MORE generous in our giving in the process. Some peeople preach the risk of "losing rewards" by talking about them, and I understand where they are coming from.

But I want to testify that God is faithful- I hope that now it can be said the right hand does not know what the left is doing. I know that technically the word on this is in regard to alms, but I think the spirit of it goes far deeper to all our stewardship. It is to God that we make account.

My days are energized with the Word of God on my lips wherever I am. I find myself going to sleep and waking up with the Lord on my mind. I have considered asking about being licensed or ordained to preach, but, the process seems rather unnatural. We'll get godly advice on this. I have yet to understand what legitimate part such strictures play in the Kingdom. Taking no heed has set us free, and God is blessing day by day. In the process our load is lighter and we have less to be responsible for. I am blessed with a wife who sees eye to eye with me on this front.

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From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @http://anthonyfoster.com/blog/