Sunday, January 24, 2016

Washington D.C.

Hello family and friends! We are writing from our nation’s capital in Washington DC. Lauren has safely arrived and we are getting settled into our place. We live near an area called Eastern Market and are about an eight-minute walk from our church. God has blessed us with an amazing place with a great landlady. We also went through our first snowstorm as you can see below and even got to go sledding down the actual Capitol Hill.  

(This is Anthony sledding on Capitol Hill)

As most of you know by now, I have been accepted into the five-month pastoral internship program at Capitol Hill Baptist Church and am interning full-time until May 31st. The internship is under Dr. Mark Dever who wrote a popular book called Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. He received his PH D in Ecclesiastical History from Cambridge University. You can read more about him from wikipedia here. I have a passion for the study of the church (ecclesiology) so learning under Dever is a great opportunity. This internship will include lots of reading and writing on the nature of what the church is, how it should function, and the role of pastors. I will be writing up to 80 papers. If you want to see what I am reading you can take a look from my Goodreads account by clicking here.

As much as we miss you all in Miami, we are grateful that God has brought us to this place. I believe this training and experience will make me a better pastor. Please continue to pray for us as we decide what to do in the summer and fall. Lauren has already been accepted to a couple graduate programs and we are praying for her to get a scholarship.

(Caleb, one of the other interns, helping us shovel snow to get to our car)

If you want to come and visit please let us know! We don’t have a big place but we have a queen size blow up mattress and great location. Please don’t forget our friends Shephathiah (and Natalie Leonard w/baby Malachi) as Sheph leads Christ Fellowship Miami Beach.

We personally want to say thank you to everyone who has supported and prayed for us. We love you all very much and are grateful that you believe in the calling on our lives for the sake of the church and the glory of God.


Anthony and Lauren

711 North Carolina Ave SE
Washington DC 20003

Line of the week: Me: "Why do you support so many past interns and members?" Mark Dever: "We want God's Kingdom to win Anthony. It's not about Capitol Hill Baptist Church. We could cease to exist tomorrow & that would be okay. It's about what God is doing in the world."

Friday, March 27, 2015

Cinderella needs to be more like Batman

 Did you ever notice that Batman and Cinderella had similar beginnings? Both became orphans at a young age but their lives went in two very different directions. Batman traveled the world, learned martial arts, and returned to his city to fight the crime that killed his parents. Cinderella did nothing and became a slave in her own home until a near stranger acquired her for her pretty face. If Cinderella had a little more “Batman” in her, the story would have gone very different.  
So, I fixed it. (You're welcome Disney) She can keep the ball and pretty dresses and marriage to a prince, just give us MORE.

Here is the story, along with the way I think it should have gone.

Disney Cinderella: My parents are dead! The grief is crippling.
Better Cinderella: My parents are dead! I’ll have to stand on my own two feet now.

Disney Cinderella: I think I'll do nothing and let myself be psychologically abused until I lose all self-respect.
Better Cinderella: Stepmother tries to dominate me. I don't put up with it. This is my house she came into.

Disney Cinderella: I let the abuse turn me into some kind of slave. Now I clean stuff all day.
Better Cinderella: Inheritance law gives Stepmother the house. I move out and earn my own way, possibly as a governess in a manor house, or maybe a dressmaker for the upper class. After all, knowing how to make a dress is much cooler than only knowing how to wear one.

Disney Cinderella: Years pass. Still cleaning. The only friends I feel worthy of having are literal vermin.
Better Cinderella: I get acquainted with all the secrets of the ruling class and start to use them to my advantage. I use my influence to get involved politically behind the scenes. I aim to have a hand in stopping the dangerous conditions that killed my father.

Disney Cinderella: Since I have no real dreams, my greatest ambition is to go to a party I don't think I'm good enough to attend.
Better Cinderella: I decide to attend a ball on secret mission to deliver poison antidotes to lady in waiting who is afraid for her life.

Disney Cinderella: Magic has to intervene because I can't do anything for myself.
Better Cinderella: I wear a dress of my own design with secret pockets for weapons.

Disney Cinderella: I make it to the ball and people think I’m pretty, but would prefer me to smile like a doll and keep my mouth shut. I don’t have anything interesting to say anyway. Rich guy decides to acquire me based solely on my appearance.
Better Cinderella: Arriving at the ball, I run into the prince. I avoid him because he draws too much attention. While making my escape, I am narrowly caught by a guard who has a vendetta against me. I end up dancing with the Prince until the guard is gone. While we dance, I take advantage of the situation to voice my opinions on the kingdom’s policies. The prince surprisingly agrees with me.

Disney Cinderella: Time to leave. I run away because I don’t have the self-worth or dignity to be straightforward with the prince. My dress returns to rags because I don’t even have control over my own clothes. One of my absurdly impractical slippers gets left behind. I’m lucky it didn’t shatter and cripple me for life.
Better Cinderella: I tell him exactly who I am because I’m not intimidated by people with royal blood. If he wants to see me, he knows where to find me. I leave, slipping off into the shadows and climbing down the stone wall to avoid the guards. Luckily, I wore pretty but practical boots because my life involves more than tottering around a dance floor.

Disney Cinderella: He said he loved me, but he couldn’t even remember what I looked like. I did nothing to seek him out. After making his way through every last girl in the kingdom, he hunted me down and carried me off.  I marry him after knowing him for about three days. Since I am emotionally crippled and don't have much to offer, it's clear I'll be his little pet like I was my stepmother’s.
Better Cinderella: He comes to see me. After a long and cautious courtship in which we slowly earn each other’s trust, we marry.

Disney Cinderella: Nothing else interesting happens ever. I sit in the castle and try desperately to hold on to my beauty since it’s the only thing I have.
Better Cinderella: I actually have something to offer my husband besides a pretty face. We ride across our kingdom having adventures and ruling wisely and justly hand in hand for many years. 

Be pretty on the outside and Batman on the inside.