Thursday, December 28, 2006

WWJD - Help me understand!

It's a fair question - What Would Jesus Do? I'm not sure that we can answer the question in every situation. Maybe a better question would be - What Did Jesus Do? We are able to answer that question. We have a record of the things he did during his life on earth. It may be better to focus our energy on answering the questions What Has Jesus Done? and What Is Jesus Doing? Nevertheless, the question What Would Jesus Do? has become a fad. (read more at Christian Cheese)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I-Tunes Conundrum

My lovely wife gave me an I-Tunes gift card for Kwanzaa. I don't know what music to purchase. Any ideas? Please let me know what I should purchase and why. The winning commenter will have the satisfaction of knowing that, in a very small way, they have influenced my decision. Thanks.

Happy belated Boxing Day.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Family of Blacks Electronic Christmas

In an effort to minimize the effects of global warming we decided to send out an e-card and e-film. You can view our Christmas picture and a 7 minute film at
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Last Minute Gifts

If you are still looking for that special something for that special someone - LOOK NO FURTHER! The gifts that keep on giving will be found at Christian Cheese. Act now and you too can waste several dollars on cheap Jesus junk!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Healthy States

A recent Time magazine article reveals research from a national study on the healthiest states in America. I am proud to say that our fine state was high atop the list.

1. Minnesota
2. Vermont
3. New Hampshire
4. Hawaii
5. Connecticut
6. Utah
7. Massachusetts
8. North Dakota
9. Maine
10. Wisconsin

45. Alabama
46. Arkansas
47. Tennessee
48. South Carolina
49. Mississippi
50. Louisiana

It seems that most of the healthy states are in the northern part of the country and the least healthy are in the south. What gives?

1 Hour

Tonight there is a one hour Christmas episode of The Office. Maybe this year they won't do "Yankee Swap" and Michael will be loved more than "an oven mits worth."

**The episode starts at 7 PM CST.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 explanation

I don't have an explanation for this.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Worst Christmas Gifts

I am working on a lesson that I will be presenting tonight at a local campus ministry. The students are finishing their fall semester and will be traveling home next week. In light of the upcoming holiday I thought I would share some horrible Christmas gift ideas with these college students. I was amazed to find this amazing gift. It is a contraption to aid in back shaving.

Here is a demonstration in case you didn't understand how to use the item.

From the web site -
“Makes a great & unique gift! …made from the same material as ski helmets. The Razorba was tirelessly developed to allow easy shaving of your back.”

If you have any horrible Christmas gift ideas - let me know.

Free Audio Bunyan

Justin Taylor links to - a site offering downloads of The Pilgrim's Progress free with a discount code.

More information about bunions here.

Monday, December 04, 2006



Thursday, November 30, 2006

Coming Soon

FOB will have a new look soon. I know you are excited. Please contain yourself. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Very Sufjan Christmas

My wife really enjoys Christmas music. Me...not so much. However, Sufjan Stevens recently released a 4-disc box set of Christmas music. It is interesting enough to keep my attention. There are some familiar tunes as well as a few originals. It is definitely worth the listen. It takes a special person to add a banjo to "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" and Sufjan is certainly special.

If you are cheap like me you can go to the web site and stream the songs here for free. In fact I am listening to "Angels We Have Heard on High" as I type.

Holly Phirrups

My sister has her own blog now. She is married to Robert Alvin. She is now a Phillips. So is Robert Alvin. His name hasn't changed. You can learn more about the Phillips Phamily Pharm phere.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

2 necks

The turkey we had for Thanksgiving had 2 necks stuffed inside. Is that normal? Do most turkeys have two necks? I know they have two of some other parts but necks?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Get your own nest!

I read about the cuckoo today. This bird does not build its own nest. It lays its egg in the nest of another bird. That bird is then held responsible for caring for the egg and raising the young bird. The young cuckoo is usually larger than the other baby birds. The cuckoo throws the other babies out of the nest so that she gets all of the food.
I am sure this would make a great illustration for something. What say ye?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A brilliant waste of time

My friend sent me a link to the most brilliant waste of time. It is so much better than PlayStation 3. If you want to try your hand at LineRider click here! Please let me know if you perfect the loopty-loop. If you do - you are the LineRider genious!

(ht - jason s.)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Is that a squid eye?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Future Fax

Finally! NBC's The Office put out a laughable episode in season 3. Jim's prank on Dwight last Thursday was classic. The entire Exclusive Producer's Cut may be seen here in 4 chapters. Jim's prank is in the beginning lines of chapter 1. It is worth the watch.

North Dakota

Last week an acquaintance (one who is a life-long North Dakotan) sent me the following list of ways to know if you live in the great Peace Garden state. The statements are to the tune of Jeff Foxworthy's comedy routine. After living here a little over a year we understand most of these statements.

If "vacation" to you means going shopping for the weekend in Grand Forks, Fargo, Minot or Bismarck, you might live in North Dakota.

If parking your car for the night involves an extension cord, you might live in North Dakota.

If you're proud that your state makes the national news primarily because it houses the coldest spot in the nation, you might live in North Dakota.

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through March, you might live in North Dakota.

If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you mightlive in North Dakota.

If you think that ketchup is a little too spicy, you might live in North Dakota.

If you measure distance in hours, you might live in North Dakota.

If you often switch from "heat" to "A/C"in the same day and back again, you might live in North Dakota.

If you can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching, you might live in North Dakota.

If you see people wearing hunting clothes at social events, youmight live in North Dakota.

If you've installed security lights on your house and garage and than leave both unlocked, you might live in North Dakota.

If the largest traffic jam in your town centers around a highschool basketball game, you might live in North Dakota.

If there are 7 empty cars running in the parking lot at Wal-Mart at any given time, you might live in North Dakota.

If there are more people at work on Christmas Eve Day than on the opening day of deer gun hunting season, you might live in North Dakota.

If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you might live in North Dakota.

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you might live in North Dakota.

If you consider Fargo exotic, you might live in North Dakota.

If your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your cottonwood, you might live in North Dakota.

If the sunbelt to you means Bismarck, you might live in North Dakota.

If you find 0 degrees a little chilly, you might live in NorthDakota.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


We have a running gallery of bedhead pictures on our family web site. I have mentioned before that we would take additions from people outside of our family. Some have taken us up on the offer. Dave, a friend from the other side of the lake, sent this photo. He was not brave enough to show his face but his hair is pretty amazing.

If you would like to enter your photo into the great hall of bedhead fame send me a photo. If you send it to me it may appear on this blog or on our web site. Thanks Dave.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Difficult Lessons

The blogosphere is littered with posts about the Haggard scandal. I have nothing more to say than what has already been said. Challies Dot Com posts a great piece reminding us of our own sin. He closes the article by saying,

If we look to Ted Haggard as a representative of all that is wrong in Evangelicalism, I think we miss the most important lesson. The lesson we need to learn is that we are every bit as sinful and fallible and willful and depraved as Haggard; perhaps more so. It is only the grace of God that, like a spider being held over the flame by a nearly-invisible web, prevents me from giving in to all the sin that is in me and being dragged down by it. Oh, that He would continue to extend this grace! And oh, that I would take heed lest I, too, fall, for what is in Haggard is in me.

Mark Driscoll gives several practical tips to pastors at The Resurgence. Both Driscoll and Challies are great examples of men who use difficult situations as lessons for themselves and not as harmful allegations.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Goulish Gluttony

There are many articles floating around about the Halloween pros and cons. I have posted a few links to such articles as well as some of my own thoughts here and here and here. Mars Hill posted a great article about Halloween here. It is packed full of historical information but the most helpful part of the article is the last paragraph. It says,

Lastly, for parents, don’t forget that gluttony is a sin. Be careful not to force your kids to learn this the hard way: lying on an altar of plastic wrap and tin-foil, holding their bulbous stomachs. If you participate in Halloween, it might be the perfect time to introduce the concept of moderation.

There may be pros and cons about celebrating Halloween but there aren't any pros to the evil of gluttony. This is quite overlooked in our obese nation.

Hey kids, here is a tip from Uncle Vince - don't eat too much candy and get fat. Thanks.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween IS evil

If you need proof that Halloween is, in fact, an evil holiday - here you go.
*Due to the graphic nature of the photographs below, viewer discretion is advised.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Comments on Halloween Article

After reading this I have decided to post my comments about the previously quoted article. Tim Challies says,

"I do not foresee [Halloween] as a time when the people coming to your door are likely to be saved. But I do think it is a time that you can prove to your neighbors that you care about them, that you care about their children, and that you are glad to be in this world and this culture, even if you are not of this world or this culture."

This is an area of failure for many of us. We think "if it does not directly lead to an evangelistic presentation then it is not worthwhile." That's wrong. It may be a time to prove to our neighbors something we should have been proving all year - that we care about them and want to build relationships with them. I wonder how Paul would have treated Halloween. I wonder if he would have turned off his lights and retreated to the local harvest party. What say ye?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Thanks Joel

Dear Dave,
Do you still love me?
Joel Zumaya

I love you Dave!

Why do you say such hurtful things? Dave, are we breaking up?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Here we go again.

Here is an excerpt from an article about Halloween. It is a great article and it would be worth your time to read the entire article at Challies Dot Com.
(To be fair, I made a comment about a section of the quote here on 10.26.2006).

The truth is that I have several convictions regarding Halloween. I despise the pagan aspects of it. I am convicted that my children should not dress as little devils or ghosts or monsters. But I am also convicted that there could be no worse witness to the neighbours than having a dark house, especially in a neighbourhood like ours which is small and where every person and every home is highly-visible. We know that, if we choose not to participate, the neighbors will notice and will smile knowingly, supposing that we feel too good to participate. We have nothing to fear from our neighbours or from their children. So my children will dress up (my son as a police officer and my daughter as a princess) and we will visit each of our neighbours, knocking on their doors and accepting their fistfuls of candy. Either my wife or I will remain at home, greeting people at our door with a smile and a handful of something tasty. If the kids are deemed too old to trick-or-treat, they'll be forced to sing a song to merit any handouts. Our door will be open and the light will be on. And we trust that the Light will shine brightly.

My encouragement to you today is to think and pray about this issue. I do not see Halloween as a great evangelistic occasion. I do not foresee it as a time when the people coming to your door are likely to be saved. But I do think it is a time that you can prove to your neighbors that you care about them, that you care about their children, and that you are glad to be in this world and this culture, even if you are not of this world or this culture. Halloween may serve as a bridge to the hearts of those who live around you who so desperately need a Savior.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Cheesiest!

I've started a new blog. Enter at your own risk but comment if you enter.


"At 7:46 (ET) Tuesday morning, the United States became a nation of 300 million people, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated. Fueled by an estimated net gain of one person every 11 seconds..." (read full story)

If my math is correct that is a "net gain" of 7854.54 persons every day. I wonder if that .54 of a child has a difficult time in Jr. High.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Hitchin'

Last Saturday (October 7th), Holly lost her Black-ness and became a Phillips. It was a beautiful wedding! They will be making their way to Nearly, Canada this week. We look forward to being with them soon.

Rob & Holly Phillips (10.7.2006)

Asher & Aunt Holly

Other Black People

The men of the wedding

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Voddie Baucham

Desiring God posted excerpts from the 2006 National Conference. Here is an audio clip of Voddie Baucham. It is just over 3 minutes in length and well worth those minutes.

The Supremacy of Christ In Education

Wedding Update

Everyone who needed to say "I do" said "I do." More details later.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Phillips/Black - 10.7.2006

Desiring God Conference Audio

Justin Taylor has just posted links to all of the audio from the 2006 Desiring God National Conference here. The "Conversation with the Pastors" and "Speaker Panel Q & A" links are quite helpful. These are well worth the listen and they are FREE.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Saturday, September 30, 2006


Although Driscoll was near the edge of inappropriate language...Piper was the first to cuss during the conference. Thought you might want to know. Challies has been live-blogging the conference. You can read his detailed comments here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

The hap-happiest season of all

Autumn is my favorite season. I am telling my sons that it is their favorite season as well. They will soon understand.

Ezra seems to be taking it a bit better than Asher. Of course we did force him to wear the pumpkin hat. That may not be helping.

Soon it will be Halloween...ur...I mean Reformation Day.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Important post

There are times when other bloggers say things so well that it is pointless to say anything else. This is certainly true of Justin Taylor's blog post today at Between Two Worlds: A Mix of Theology, Philosophy, Politics and Culture. Enough said.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

She's Stupendous

The reasons I love my wife are limitless. This morning I went on an early run through Oak Park. I returned home to find Kirsten greeting me at the front door with a tired, squinty smile. I love that girl.
The image above is one of the many reasons I love my wife. She had an idea several years ago to start posting pictures of her wild bedhead on our web site. It was her idea. She is amazing. Click HERE to veiw all photos and vote for your favorite. If you think you can top her bedhead send us a picture and we will add it to the gallery.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

"Covenant Headship"

In the last two weeks I have listened to the same sermon three separate times. I listened to it in my office. I listened to it with my wife in our car on the way to a nearby, booming metropolis. I listened to it last evening with our small group. If you have a spouse or would like a spouse or if you know anyone who may have had a spouse at some point in their life - I would encourage you to listen to this sermon. In fact, I would encourage those who are married to listen to this sermon with your spouse.
The sermon is by Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church in Seattle. It is an amazing look at the roles of men and women in a marriage. If you just groaned - listen to the sermon. It has changed my view of my relationship with my wife. Listen to it with your spouse and let me know what you think. I will post the link below.

"Covenant Headship" - The sermon is an hour and a half long but well worth the time.

First Sunday School

Ezra is now in the 2-3 year old Sunday School class. Yesterday he re-learned that 1.) God created animals and 2.) God created everything. We talked about this lesson last evening before he went to bed. The letter "G" starts the word "mammot, bopa, mammy, and dott" (grandma, grandpa, mammy, and God).

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Greatest Wife EVER Made

I was sitting in my office today when I glanced out the window and saw my wife pull up in the MarshWiggle-Wagon. She went to a nearby store to purchase this lunchbox for me. Now I have something in which to carry my lunch instead of the plastic bag from said nearby store. She is the greatest wife ever made.

Jesus Junk

Here is an interesting article written by an man who attended the Christian Bookseller's Association convention.

What say ye?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Friday, August 25, 2006