All posts by oglester

Romans 9:11-13

11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

As I (and many at church) contemplate and struggle with the concept of election by God, there are several facets to this. As the pastor pointed out, a lot of our consternation with this and God’s sovereignty is perspective. He pointed out that we often feel like we choose God, and from a certain perspective (ours) this is true. Also, we feel like we deserve the salvation He has to offer. We don’t, and in so many ways, we run from God. It is Him who grabs us up and saves us from our running from Him, from His point of view. So, we balance God’s sovereignty with our free will, and now my mind gets boggled.

Personally, I resolve this boggling of the mind, whether theologically correct or not, I don’t know, through my thinking that God is indeed powerful and affects change as He wills, but He also chooses to let us make up our own mind and let thinks happen as we will. Ultimately, he is in control in His choosing to yield because He is omniscient and already knows the end of the matter, but we just because he knows the end doesn’t mean He has us by the strings each moment, but rather that He wants us to love Him and worship Him freely and by His merit.

Another thought on these verses is that Jacob and Esau were chosen before they had merit. God can use us in spite of ourselves and our merits. He doesn’t ask for the brightest and best, but rather he asks for obedience. And many times he uses us in spite of our disobedience.

Wow! What deep concepts we have when we think about the complexity of our relationship with God and His relationship with all of creation.

Daddyhood, month 8

Gracie is such a wonderful baby. I enjoy so much watching her grow, she is growing so fast. It amazes me to see how fast she learns something that is truly new to her.  When I go to learn something, I can so easily throw it on the back-burner, but not so with Gracie.  Gracie works and works at whatever it is that she is learning.  With certain things (crawling) she does get frustrated and tires of it for a time, but in general, she keeps trying till she gets it.

We just started her 9th month and she is learning to crawl.  She has the strength and mechanics, now if she can just put them together.  She has started saying word-sounds like ‘ba ba ba ba ba’, ‘ma ma ma ma’, and ‘da da da da’.  When she wants mommy, she starts up the ma ma ma ma, though I don’t thing she directly correlates it just yet. She has started being okay with others holding her. Mamaw (my mother) and aunt Amy are able to spend some one on one time with her, though she hardly ever lets papaw hold her.  Grand momma and Grand daddy have been closer to her, so she’s never had much problem going to them. My folks are accustomed to being the close grandparents as they were with my niece and nephew, so it is a little hard for them. But, as Gracie gets older, she’ll understand better who they are.

At church, we have started (trying) leaving Gracie in the nursery.  The first couple times, she did not really know what was up, and she was okay for half the service at a time.  Now that she is more aware, she will not have it at all.  There is a great lady in the nursery who is willing to work with her.  She took her for a  walk and let her cry it out somewhat a couple weeks ago. Gracie pitched a pretty good fit that day, but she is okay. Many say the way over that hill is to let her cry it out, which in the context of someone comforting her, I think is probably okay. We are still struggling when is she old enough to just cry until she can comfort herself. At times we have to let her cry and it just has to be okay, for sure, but we do not want to let her cry out of neglect on our  part.

Parenting makes us privileged spectators, challenged stewards, and frazzled managers of God’s wonderful creation.

Daddiehood, week 14

Being a daddy is a wonderful challenge.  Gracie has not been wanting much to do with me lately.  She is so close to her mom that she is not comfortable, particularly in the evenings, with anyone else. I understand that it is just a phase, but it is difficult at times.  The real difficulty is that Cassie wants a break, but it is very unpleasant for me to give her one.


Cassie has given me a hard time when I try to explain how to make things in the kitchen. So, here is my recipe for cornbread.


  • Some cornmeal, preferably Three-Rivers (food city brand seems to have replaced it)
  • A little bit of sugar – optional
  • Stir the dry ingredient
  • An egg or two – optional – it makes it cake-y
  • Add milk till it is the consistency of that it should be.
  • Grease cast-iron skillet with shortening and/or oil.
  • Cook it in skillet on about 450F for till done. Best when medium brown and crispy.

Married Life

I am enjoying married life. If I could just get my wife awake in the mornings, everything would be just perfect. No, but seriously, I am enjoying the blessings and challenges that come with living with someone so closely. After almost 7 weeks, I still love and like Cassie. She is a good woman.

Web Hosts

I recently moved form WebHost4Life to DreamHost. Webhost4Life was a Windows host and my ~$5/month account was not worth much in the way of responsiveness or reliability. Even when I had a premium account it was never very fast. So far, Dreamhost has been very good.

“In Christ Alone”

One of my favorite songs, if not it.


In Christ alone my hope is found, he is my light, my strength, my song,
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All, here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! Who took on flesh, fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness, scorned by the ones he came to save;
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied
for every sin on him was laid; here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground his body lay, Light of the World by darkness slain;
then bursting forth in glorious Day, up from the grave he rose again!
And as he stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
for I am his and he is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the pow’r of Christ in me;
from life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from his hand;
‘Til he returns or calls me home, here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand!

© 2001 Kingsway’s Thankyou Music, CCLI #74901