Sunday, December 31, 2006

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

From Fall to Chris...

2007 -- now that's a cool year. It just sounds good. Good things are bound to happen this year. Like the birth of our baby boy, and the marriage of my brother Gary, who just got engaged last night!

I've uploaded our Fall to Christmas pictures, and one video of Christmas morning, at You can even view a slideshow. Check them out!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Oh Boy!

It's a boy!!! We are very excited to find out what it's like to parent a boy. Barry is glad the balance in the house is now even again. He was afraid of being overrun by a house full of girls. I am happy, too, and can't wait to meet our first son, Ruben Ellis Bishop (Ruben in Biblical Hebrew means "Look, a son!" and was the name of Jacob and Leah's first son; Ellis was the name of Barry's much-beloved maternal grandfather; REB were the initials of Barry's father, who went to be with the Lord just over a year ago).

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Great Expectation

Abigail is going to be a big sister!!! That's right -- we're expecting a little addition to the Bishop family. Above is a picture of the pregnancy test I took on September 30th. I am now 15 weeks along. It's wonderful being out of the first trimester. I feel great now -- no more morning sickness and lots more energy. I'm just starting to be able to feel the baby move, too.

The baby is due in early to mid June. Abigail will be 2 years and a month at that time. We still can't believe it sometimes -- it is an unexpected blessing! Praise God! He also stopped what seemed like an impending miscarriage at one point -- I'm convinced that God intervened somehow. Let's thank Him for that, too. And pray for a continued healthy pregnancy, without gestational diabetes or anything else, an easy enough labor, and for a smooth adjustment for everyone involved.

My doctor is a little sonogram happy, so I got to have another one at my appointment on Thursday. And guess what? They can already tell the sex of the baby! And it's a ...
(to be continued in the next blog entry... )

In the mean time, go ahead and post your guess.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

More Movie Madness

Ok, well, I guess "madness" is not really the right word, but I wanted to alliterate. Here's a review of the movies I've gotten to see recently:

  1. One Night with the King -- YES, I finally got to see this movie after months of anticipation. And NO, it did not live up to my expectations. I did really enjoy the costumes and the sets, and even the actors were pretty good. My main beef with it is that it deviated from the Bible. I realize that there is artistic license, but in my opinion, they went too far with changing some of the facts. And it doesn't make sense to me because the story as it is written in the Bible is exciting and beautiful. I knew going into it that romance would be added in, but it seems to me that it became the main point of the story. We are left glorying in the love between two people, rather than glorying in the God of the universe who's hand was behind all the "coincidences," and who saved His people from annihilation, thereby preserving the line of the Messiah (Jesus). The book is always better than the movie, so read the book of Esther for yourself, in lieu of or before seeing the movie.
  2. The Nativity Story -- Go see this movie right away and be reminded of the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Plus, I heard this movie has had low turn-out at the box office and might be pulled from major theaters. Let us Christians show Hollywood that we'd rather see a movie about the real Christmas rather than "Santa Claus III" or "Unaccompanied Minors" (aka, Home Alone 2 Rip Off). The Nativity Story is a well-done, moving, and awe-inspiring film. I think the major facts are correct, and it's very close to the Bible story. The only part it deviates is that the three kings were likely not to have been there the night Jesus was born. But this is necessary in order to achieve the dramatic effect of the full nativity.
  3. The Village -- We just saw this one on DVD last night, and it was really good. There's nothing "Christian" about this movie, but it did have an intriguing plot and a point that fits in with a Christian world-view. It showed that it's impossible to have a true utopia, "heaven on earth" if you will, because there is pain and suffering and evil everywhere. Now here's where I go beyond the movie: You can't get away from pain, but you can give it to the Man of Sorrows, who took upon the sins of the world and suffered and died for them. And He is coming back, at an unknown hour, and will establish a new heaven and a new earth, where there will be no pain, suffering, death, or unrighteousness. But for those who do not know Christ, there will be judgment and eternal separation from God in Hell, because it is only through the blood of Christ (who lived the perfect life we could never live and is "God in the flesh") that our sins could be atoned for before a holy God. So please, 1) confess that you are a sinner, that you need Christ's sacrifice to pay the penalty you deserve, and 2) repent (turn from sin and follow God), and 3) trust in Christ alone for salvation (Rom. 10:9-10, Eph. 2:8-9). Ok, sorry to get preachy on you, but you never know who could be reading this and making that life-changing decision right now.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Stood-up at the Theater

My MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group was supposed to have a movie night tonight. We were to meet at the ticket window at 7:15 pm to see "One Night with the King," a movie about the biblical book of Esther. Esther is my absolute favorite Old Testament book. I've always thought the plot is so riveting that it could be a great movie. I saw the trailer for "One Night with the King" in March, and ever since then I've been excitedly anticipating it's release. As soon as I knew it was in theaters, I started to think of ways I could go see it. You see, when you have a child, you can't just skip off and go see a movie with your husband whenever you want to, especially if you can't afford to hire a babysitter and are too new in town to have friends you could ask to watch your child. When I found out about the MOPS movie night I thought, "This is perfect! An answer to prayer!"

So I got dressed up tonight, or what I now consider dressed up. As a mom, my normal wardrobe is pretty casual: T-shirts and shorts/sweat pants. But tonight I wore jeans and a nice black shirt, my best blue jean jacket, and black dangling earrings. I even put on a dab of perfume!

So here I am lookin' good and feelin' good, about to see a movie I'm most excited about. I really don't want to be late for this one, so I arrived shortly before 7:00 pm. I wasn't too surprised to not see anyone from MOPS there yet. I know how people, especially moms, are about time (it's so hard to get out the door sometimes), so I bought my ticket, leaned against the wall near the ticket booth, and patiently waited. 7:15 rolled around, still no familiar faces. "That's kind of odd, but people tend to be late," I thought. "There's at least 50 ladies in my MOPS group; surely someone will show up soon." So I waited, and waited, and waited. I was getting nervous now. I started praying, "Please God, let at least one person show up." I started pacing and looking at my watch every few seconds. All this time I'm watching people come up to the booth. Happy people. People with friends or family. No one looking my way. 7:30. "This is ridiculous. No one is coming. I've been stood-up!" I was sad and depressed, then angry and indignant, then sad again. I returned my ticket and got a refund. So disappointed! I know it's only a movie, but you understand the build-up and the complete let-down. And what a waste of my time and Barry's time. He even has a major research paper due next week, and he took time out to watch Abigail. All for nothing! Well, not just nothing; rather, a disappointing, humiliating experience.

And now I'm writing this as therapy. I do feel kind of better now. You know what else made me feel better? Barry's profuse expressions of sympathy when I got home, and some chocolate chip cookies a neighbor had dropped off while I was gone. How did God know I needed some cookies? Oh yeah, that's right—He knows everything! I'll end on that positive note.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Reformation Day from Our Little Flower

Isn't Abigail's flower costume the cutest thing you've ever seen? (Thank you, Martha, for lending it to us). That picture was taken before Southwestern's fall festival last Friday night. She didn't play any of the games really; mainly, she just meandered around and we chased after her. We got tons of candy, so if you know anyone who is suffering from a candy deficiency, please let us know.

Well on this day in 1517, Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses and sparked the Protestant Reformation. In honor of this day, I have two suggestions:

  1. Listen to Southwestern's chapel sermon from today. Go to and click on the chapel video for Dr. Blasing. (Other interesting chapel sermons include those by William Dembski and Kirk Cameron). You may want to fast forward through the music section.

  2. Watch the movie "Luther" (2003). It's out on DVD. We own a copy, so we can even lend it to you.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Road Blocks

We had to cancel our trip to Austin this weekend due to the bad weather. We are very sad to miss out on Kaeta's party and on hanging out with friends. But, we are hoping to come for a visit this coming weekend or the next weekend to make up for it.

In addition to the bad weather being a hindrance, our car needs the fender repaired. That's right; I got into a fender-bender. It was my fault, too. I just didn't see the other car until it was too late. Thankfully, it was very low impact and the other lady and I were both unharmed. Every time I'm tempted to be mad at God for letting this happen, I'm reminded that He protected us and it could have been a lot worse. Plus, I'm sure this fits into God's plan for my life somehow. Like maybe He's teaching me to be more careful when I drive ;)

Please pray that our car insurance won't go up too much, and that the weather permits a road trip later this month.

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Whut I've Done Learnt

So, you haven't heard from me in a while--sorry. I've either been in class, or reading, writing, and studying for my classes here at SWBTS. I really enjoy them but they are tough work! Weds. night I stayed up the whole night writing a paper that was due Thurs. morning. It really came down to the wire writing that paper because earlier in the week I had a Greek test and another paper due that took up a lot of my time.

I tell you this to give you a slice of my life, but I am not complaining. I may feel tired but not bitter. More than that the Lord has been really good to me. So far my time at seminary has been a time of spiritual renewal and growth and I am very excited to be here. Oh yeah, and I have also been learning some amazing things in classes. So let me tell you about my classes and I'll also throw in a few comments here and there about my comments.

CHURCH HISTORY I (destruction of Jerusalem to Pre-Reformation)
This class is taught by a really smart professor. I am afraid to say something in class because I might sound stupid. But I am so extraverted that I just can't contain myself so I go ahead and answer questions in class and sound stupid anyway. Every week we research and write a brief paper over a different Early Church Father. It is pretty cool to read the original writings of the early Christians. They (shockingly) defended the scriptures, the deity of Jesus, the Trinity and stood against heretics such as the Gnostics. Oh yeah, and let's not forget they willingly died as martyrs for their faith. Unlike the "martyrs" of Islam who kill themselves and others, all these martyrs had to do was renounce Christ and the Christian name and sacrifice to the emperor and they would be spared. Instead, they refused and were tortued to death or fed to lions and gored by bulls.

BIBLICAL HERMENEUTICS (Bible Interpretation)
I like this class a lot! It is an essential issue for a pastor to study since pastors should properly interpret what the Bible says before teaching it. All Christians should study this though, so that they actually get some real meaning from the Bible and not some sort of mystical drop your finger on a random page sort of thing. A lot of the rules for good interpretation are common sense. For example, if you were looking at a Bible verse and trying to understand it then ask what genre it is (poetry, narrative, gospel, etc.). Also, look at the context of the verses around it for the meaning. Two common errors in interpreting the Bible are proof-texting and reader-response. Proof-texting is when you take a verse out of its context to prove a thought you have. Such as when an atheist says, "the Bible says, 'There is no God.'" However, if you read the whole verse, it says, "The fool in his heart says, 'There is no God.'" Unfortunately, not just atheists but Christians take verses out of context to prove all sorts of things the author was not trying to say. Reader-response is an error when you say, "what does this scripture mean to you?" In other words, whatever the reader thinks it means suddenly becomes the real meaning rather than what the author intended. By the way, every passage of scripture in the Bible has two authors, a human one and God.

I have learned that a noun in the genitive case can not only function as description but apposition to another noun. Huh? Ok, ok, this is a tough and sometimes not fun class. It is your typical, memorize-paradigms, language class. But I will say this about it--I opened up my Greek NT last night to the book of John and I could read some of the simpler sentences! This is really invaluable because people are all the time trying to argue about what the original Greek says to justify some sort of doctrinal stance. So it will be helpful to me to know what it actually says (although most modern Bible translations have good scholarship.)

We have a young professor for this class who has strong opinions about things in the OT that I have never even heard or considered. But I like this class a lot. The more I read and learn about the OT, the more I like it. I am convinced that all the OT points to Jesus Christ--that's right--you heard me fellow Christian, so don't be scared of it. Jesus even said that it pointed to him (Luke 24:27, 44). Here's a shocker, the Bible... is about... JESUS!

For one of my classes, I go to chapel 3 times a week on campus and we sing songs, read scripture, and a guest speaker preaches. I have enjoyed it. Most of the speakers are really good. The good speakers teach us seminary students about life in the real world of ministry or encourage us to be true to God through hardships. Two speakers, so far, have not been good. If you ever get the chance to speak on a prominent platform do not use it to advance your own agenda on an in-house issue. Use it to build up the listeners or commmunicate truth.

I hope you have found this post interesting.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Bath Buds

"Splish splash, I was taking a bath
Long about a [Sunday] night
A rub dub, just relaxing in the tub
Thinking everything was alright"

Kaeta (left) and Abigail (right) took a bath together when the Kurths came to visit over Labor Day weekend. Too Cute! We had a great visit, and are really looking forward to seeing them, and hopefully you other Austinites, too, when we come to town on October 15th. We plan to attend Kaeta's first birthday party.

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Karen's Korner: Life in Cow Town

Here's a picture of us before our "Keep Austin Weird" going away party. Good times.

Anyway, what I really want to talk about is, well, me! Some of you out there are wondering how I am doing in Cow Town (Fort Worth), and since my last post was all about Abigail, I'll make this post more personal.

Let's see... I feel at home in my townhouse; it's cozy and comfortable and convenient. We have less space now, but all our furniture still fits, and it's made life simpler. Time is a precious commodity for us right now, so we really like that there is less to clean and maintain. I also think it's better arranged than our old house. And the yard is the best part! There's grassy areas and sidewalks where kids leave out toys that everyone shares. Abigail LOVES it. All our neighbors are seminary students, of course, and most have kids. The only drawback is the train that's 20 ft away, but we got used to that pretty quick.

I'm getting to know the area pretty well. We are right across the street from the Southwestern campus, which is beautiful. I go to the recreation center a lot for exercise, and for free food on Tuesdays. The rest of the Fort Worth landscape is, well... I'll just say it ain't Austin. I'm bummed that there are no HEB's here. I go to Kroger a lot, which always reminds me of the Kroger I worked at in Myrtle Beach, SC (LT '99 and 2000).

In some ways I feel like I'm at another LT. (For those of you who don't know, LT stands for Leadership Training and is a summer Christian program run by Great Commission Ministries.) We are learning and growing a lot, but it's intensive and difficult. Only thing is, LT was only ten weeks long. It was a sprint. We're at the beginning of what feels like a 100 mile race. You probably thought I was going to say marathon, but that wouldn't do. I'm thinking more along the lines of the kind of races Dalton Pulsipher would run. We started out thinking this would last 3 years, but it might take longer; who knows how much longer. Classes are very demanding, so Barry may not be able to take a full load and work at the same time. This semester he has 13 hours and is maxed out.

So, the bad news is we'll be here for a while. But, the good news is that we'll be here for a while. That's right. God has been showing me that being in seminary is not such a bad place to be. I want to just jump on ahead into the next phase of our life (full-time ministry), but God is saying "Wait, you're not ready. Let me prepare you. Let me teach you how to persevere." And I say, "But God, what if we have another child, or two! And what if our budget gets too tight, and what if we run through all our savings, and what if I'm too tired, and what if Barry is overloaded ... what if?" And He says, "Trust in me with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." (Prov. 3:5) I have to keep reminding myself that God has called us here, and though I am weak, He is strong.

And I know he has blessings in store for us along the way. The townhouse is a big blessing. Both of us being able to work from home is wonderful, too. I'm working 15 hours a week now, and Barry's doing 25. I try to do 3 hours per day 5 days a week. That's tough sometimes. I don't get as much sleep as I'd like. The last sermon I heard Mark Hagen preach has stuck with me -- the one about Jacob working so hard that his body hurt. Indeed, my whole back is hurting.

God has also provided friends and kind neighbors for us. I've seen God's hand in bringing certain people in my path over and over again; it's really kind of weird, and cool. The only hard part is that there is not much time for hanging out and really getting to know people. Also, we haven't joined a church yet. Please pray that God will make it clear which one we belong.

I think the hardest thing of all about being here is having almost no free time. I mean, I'm writing this at midnight on Saturday. I miss watching a movie once in a while, and reading a good book. I read so many books last year while I was nursing. Abigail is weaned now, and the only reading I'm doing is during my quiet time with the Lord, and I confess, I've been falling asleep lately before I finish.

To sum it up, I'm anxious, exhausted, maxed out, frazzled; and yet, happy we're here following this dream, and becoming more and more passionate about serving God and spreading the Good News.

So enough about me. What do you think about me? Just kidding. Barry loves that joke. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Calling all Christians...

...And non-Christians as well. You must go to the website for This ministry practices and stresses effective evangelism that is modeled after the style Jesus used and will show you how to do it too. If you are a Christian, the videos there will change the way you present the gospel. If you are NOT a Christian, then you can find out very easily on the website what happens after you die, and if you are good enough to go to heaven. Simply click on the link above, then watch or skip the intro and then click on #3 "Hell's Best Kept Secret" if you are a Christian and #1 if not.

I found out about this ministry from Kirk Cameron of all people. That's right, the actor that played Mike Seever on the tv show "Growing Pains." He was the guest speaker during our chapel service at Southwestern Baptist seminary today and believe it or not, he is a genuine, committed Christian.

I must warn you, if you watch the videos on the website it may change your life and mind (for the better of course.)

I don't have much time to elaborate how Karen, Abigail, and I are doing. I've got a test and homework due tomorrow so I will have to be brief.

Karen has joined MOPS (mothers of pre-schoolers) here in Ft. Worth. She is meeting some great women through that program as well as some others that live in our neighborhood.

Abigail is obsessed with babies. She plays with baby dolls, points at pictures of babies, and says "baby" only slightly fewer times than she says, "da-da" or "juice".

As far as how I am doing, my mind is changing rapidly. This seminary is a mental boot camp. The course load is heavy. However, it is really good for me and I am happy to be here. I can't imagine what the future holds since I have already learned so much in the short time I have been here at seminary. I will try to keep you updated as often as I can. Now, go check out this link!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Snack Time or Nap Time?

Here's a picture of our sweet girl, Abigail, asleep in her high chair! She was so tired at lunch, and her eating got slower and slower until she just gave up and let sleep overtake her. I gently lifted her out of the chair and carried her up to her crib so she could continue her nap in a more comfy position. This is actually not the first time this has happened -- it's maybe the 4th or 5th.

Well, this is my (Karen's) first post to Barry's blog. I'm sure all my posts will start with "Abigail did the cutest thing!" It's only natural. Let me go ahead and share some of the other cute things she's been doing before I burst with maternal pride: she hugs baby dolls and can say "ba-by"; she points to the train out the window and says "chu chu"; she tries to put on her own shoes and can say "shu"; she wakes up sometimes asking for "juice"; she likes to point to balloons and balls in books; she picks out her own books off the shelf and brings them to us to read; she moos like a cow; she is obsessed with belly buttons; she prances and runs, especially outside which is her favorite place to be. What an amazing little toddler! We love her to pieces, and can't thank God enough for putting her in our lives.

--Karen Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Week that Was

This past week was exciting and exhausting! The Bishop family was very busy with work, orientation, school, and chasing Abigail. I'll review these things for you from how I experienced it.

I am thankful that I am able to keep working for the same company as I did in Austin. In fact, my morning commute is turning on the computer at the kitchen table. I've met a lot of seminary students so far and I have ascertained that everyone is broke. People are working side jobs, scrapping for scholarships and jumping on any free stuff. Things are a little tight for us too but I'm so glad that God has provided for us the way He has. However, I am still working 40 hours a week though and I'm taking a full load of classes so I don't have a lot of time and won't for a while. My free time will be spent studying or working.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, I went to orientation here at the seminary since I am a new student. The administrators pumped us full of information about schools, callings, rules, free stuff, how to write a paper, etc. However, they did serve desserts on Tuesday night to sort of kick things off while all us new students wandered among these booths they had set up for different programs and clubs we could join. By the time I got to the booth that had the dean of my school my hands were embarrasingly sticky from eating sweets so I couldn't shake his hand. The chocalate truffle I had to eat there was totally worth it though. Ask Karen to tell you about it sometime. She has a real discerning palate and she gave it two (sticky) thumbs up!

It's official--I am a seminary student. My first day of class was on Thursday. For months we have been busy and there has been so much to do that I thought this day would never, ever come. By God's grace though, I am here and I am excited! The campus is beautiful, the classes are interesting, and the people are super nice. We were promised during Orientation that school would be "a BOOTCAMP but a lot of fun". I chuckled a weird, nervous, little sound when I heard this. Now that I have been to classes and have gotten the assignments and the the syllabus-es (yes, I know it is 'sposed to be "syllabi" but this is the way I talk (like saying "'sposed" instead of "supposed")) I know that seminary will be difficult. That's ok though, because God is going to get the glory for bringing me through this since I CANnot do this in my own strength. I am hoping to come out of seminary smaller, purer, and shinier than the big dull lump of ore that I currently am. Of course this involves fire to get there. For those of you who are thinking, "what in the world is Barry trying to say through convoluted metaphors?" I will put it more directly:
  • I want to be changed by the Holy Spirit to be more like Jesus
  • I want to grow in wisdom and character to be used by God to reach a lost and hurting world with His love and Truth.
We are so blessed to have an adorable 16 month old daughter named Abigail. I titled this section "Chasing Abigail" because we do a lot of that. She has a large bag of tricks. She can run and climb up stairs lickety-split. For a parent this is a little disconcerting because it means that your child can get away from you quickly and in a dangerous position easily. Of course we allow her to play a lot but I feel like I could use a third eye and a few more arms (with extra hands attached, of course). Sometimes we leave the bathroom door open by accident and the toilet lid up (uh-hum, that would be me) and then we hear "splish-splash splish-splash" and Abigail is gleefully playing in the toilet water. Another trick of hers is to climb on top of anything she can--even something as thin as a book lying on the floor and then she will stand on top of it beaming like she is the queen of the world. She is fascinated with belly-buttons; hers and ours. She will lift up our shirt if she can reach to see our belly button. She stopped saying "Mama" some time ago but she says "button" all the time and points to our belly buttons. However, "button" in her language sounds like "Bauww". We love her so much and we thank God for sending her to us. He teaches us so much about His love and our sinfulness through her which are both great reminders.

To close, I want to say that I am a mix of emotions. There is so much more I could write but it will have to wait for another day. The emotions come from being excited about the future, anxious about juggling priorities, sad about missing friends, happy about God's blessings. As you can see, it's a good idea for me to write more when things settle a little bit. Thanks for reading, I'll leave you with a verse. It is popular for people, even those who come from a Christian backgrounds (like Willie Nelson) to say that all religions lead to the same place. Acts 4:11-12 in the Bible says,
"This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Books, Books, Books

Well, I bought my textbooks for my seminary classes today (note: all good Texans start stories with "Well"). With my student discount applied, the total came out to just over 200 bucks. Two of the books I needed were not on the shelf though, so I have to return to the LifeWay store on campus in a few days when the shipment comes in and throw down some more cashola. Actually, the price wasn't as high as I thought it would be and the Lord has provided us with some extra dough lately so I am really pleased. Also, all these books look interesting and look like real keepers--unlike some of my textbooks I had while going to UT in Austin.

In case you're curious, I have a list below of the books I'll be using this semester. I plan to publish a booklist like this each semester so that you can read along with me at home, if you like. Seriously, a lot of the books I saw in the store for the classes were really good, Christian living/application stuff. Most, I think can be bought on Amazon for not much moola. By the way, Mark Hagen, I saw that Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology and Bible Doctrine are used for a lot of the classes. I also saw Church History In Plain Language by Bruce Shelley.

I want to...
  1. Look at the booklist, because I like books and don't find this post the least bit boring
    Look below
  2. Forget it, because books are for squares!
    Look above and count the number of slang words I used for money. Bonus points are given if you can think of other slang words for money that I didn't use. For those who are competitive, post your list in the comments and see who can think of the most.
Ye Olde Bookliste
So, it looks like I have 4 months to read 11 books.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Austin in the Rearview Mirror

We did it! We are now in Ft. Worth, Texas. Actually, we moved here on Saturday but it took until now (Monday night) to open enough boxes to find the things I needed and make space to set up the Internet. I know, I know, most people in this day and age would have set it up first but, believe me, there was not room enough to sit down unless you wanted to sit on a box. Let me catch you up on how the move went. However, I will spoil the surprise by telling you that God is wonderful and he really blessed us.

I reserved a 17-foot U-Haul truck for our move on Saturday but due to some sort of mix up we ended up getting a 24-foot truck, which is really huge! The funny thing is that Karen had to drive it to our house in Round Rock and she was nervous and going 10 mph. When I saw the truck I thought it was way bigger than we needed to move all our stuff, but at least we would have plenty of room.

I jumped in the truck that night and tried to back it into our driveway so that we could easily load things from the garage the next morning. Several things went wrong. First, I had to circle the block a few times to get the angle right. Then, when I got the angle right, I couldn't back into the driveway without tearing up the concrete. The back of the truck was so long it couldn't go up the gentle slope of my driveway. As I was driving around the block I kept hitting tree branches that hung into the road and rolled over a curb when I didn't take a wide enough turn. This thing really was a beast! And I had to drive it 200 miles the next day. But God relieved me because my Mom happened to be staying with us so that she could help us move. For those of you who don't know, my Mom is a retired teacher who also happens to be an active bus-driver. In fact, she's been driving buses almost as long as I've been alive. So I let her drive the U-haul the next day and she was happy and I was happy. Karen was also happy that I wouldn't be using the insurance on the truck.

Saturday morning arrived and some friends that I had worked with and some friends from church arrived at my house. All of them were strong men. And it turns out that we needed every foot of that huge truck to move our stuff--I'm so glad we got a bigger truck--but where in the world did we get all that stuff? Halfway through loading the truck David, one of the guys helping me, says, "Do you have anybody to help you move on the other end in Ft. Worth?" I tell him that maybe one other person or a neighbor might help. Then he tells me that he and his family are thinking about taking a spontaneous trip to Ft. Worth, and that he can help me unload. I was really taken aback by his generosity. However, it was a win-win situation though because David's brother lives in the same building we were moving to and David had been planning to visit him soon. So of course I thanked David and told him I would like his help.

After we loaded up the truck, Mom, Karen and I cleaned up the house and locked it up. David and his family drove ahead to Fort Worth to visit his brother. I locked the front door for the final time and we left in a caravan made up of the U-Haul, my mom's car, and our Toyota Corolla driven by Karen and carrying the precious cargo of our 15 month old daughter. The drive to Ft Worth was smooth. When we got close there were storm clouds and rain seemed imminent. However, it never rained that night. The storm clouds only shielded us from the blazing sun while we moved.

When I drove up to our new apartment I saw David and his brother outside. They had also also recruited neighbors to help us move in. Not only did they help us move in but they asked that they move the stuff while we direct where it goes. You're probably thinking that this story doesn't get any better. WRONG! I was starving after a long tiring day, but before I said anything, Daniel, David's brother announces that he's ordering pizza for everyone. We ended up having an impromptu party at his apartment. Some old friends we knew even came over to join us. Not only would they let us not pay our share of the pizza but at the end of the night they insisted that we take some extra pizza home. To say the least, I was blown away--blown away by the generosity of friends but mostly blown away by the goodness of God.

If you would have asked me how I thought our move would have went I would have predicted something pretty dismal, even though I prayed that it would go well (and so did others for us.) This shows me how much I need to grow in my trust in God. He is awesome!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Barry Bishop, spider-slayer, poop-elf

Life gets better all the time. I used to dream about being a hero and people counting on me to come through for them. Now, with marriage and parenthood my call to duty has come.

For instance, tonight there was a menacing spider in the house. Karen called my name from the other room and something in her voice immediately told me it was spider, the only question in my mind was how big. I sprinted to the other room, sized up the spider, grabbed a paper towel and smote it. And just like that I was an instant hero. I felt good about myself. Maybe I deserve an extra nap on the couch while my wife cleans up the kitchen (although I usually do this anyway--thanks sweetie).

But some responsibilities I have now are just funny. I have a 15-month-old daughter named Abigail. She is a cute bundle of energy and noise. Most of the day is spent chasing her and keeping her away from electrical outlets and toilets so a lot of things don't get done until she is asleep in her crib. As soon as she is down for the night, the magic happens. Karen and I quickly do as many things as we can and so we are like elves that work all night and in the morning everything is magically different. I fancy myself as some sort of poop-elf that sneaks into the toddler's room, ever so quiet as to not wake her and gently, so gently take the bag of poopy diapers from the trashcan to dispose of them. Then voila! Abigail wakes up to a less stinky room and a full diaper pail she can fill for the day. (If you're not a parent, I want to apologize at this point. I realize that poop is gross and crude to talk about but after you have a child and change diapers it suddenly becomes very interesting and funny.)

My life is funny and enjoyable in a way I never expected. I'm growing into the role of father and husband because there are certain things to be done and they are obviously my responsibility but I am having to learn as I go. Pretty much every day I think, "I don't know what I am doing?". I've found this is a good thing, though. God stretches me, molds me, tries me, disciplines me and then I realize how weak I really am and turn to him. Thanks God, I need you.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Honored, Embarrassed

Well, you know that you are getting close to moving when people throw you a going-away party. Some friends of ours (the Kurths and the Lopez-is-iz-is) gave us a party last Saturday. I was surprised how many people showed up to the party. I was also delightfully surprised at the abundance of tasty delictables there so I pretended I wasn't on a diet that night. (Yes, I am on a diet. Yes, this is embarrassing. I admit that I can no longer eat as much of whatever the heck I want because I've been gaining about 5 pounds a year so I am on track to weigh 265 pounds in 20 years if I don't diet. Back to the party.)

Most of the people there were friends from church and work. They talked with us, said good things about us and even prayed outloud and individually for us. I felt honored and embarrassed. Only embarrassed because it was such a royal treatment for me and my wife. I hope to treat others the same in the future and love them in this way. As a Christian, for me to hear others thank God for me and my wife and ask Him to help us on our journey to seminary, it is pretty humbling. I think to myself, "really? you actually care about us?"

It is easy for me to pray for myself. Having others pray for me is awesome though, and a good reminder that I should do the same for them.

Anyways, I would like to give a big thanks to whoever might be reading this because most likely you are someone who cares for us. And if our upcoming move to Ft. Worth takes us farther away from you then know that you will be missed.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Have You Read Adam's Autobiography?

I just read an interesting article about the tablet theory of Genesis authorship. I had heard of this theory before but never heard it explained in such detail. I have encountered ideas before that have changed my perspective or paradigm but usually it is a gradual process and not an immediate "Wow". This one was a "wow".

Has that ever occurred to you? You have a notion about something--a belief or opinion--and then one day you see evidence that shows that you were mistaken? There is a feeling that follows of bewilderment. As if you suddenly discovered that water isn't wet or you let go of something from your hand and it doesn't fall. With this particular incident I feel like something in my mind has been set free, like I can dream about scenarios and possibilities that I hadn't thought of before. It's like discovering a new room in your house that you have lived in for years--only this room has other secret rooms.

The amazing thing is that this has happened to me more and more as I have read the Bible.

Friday, May 12, 2006


So to catch you up on what's going on in my life, I am attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas in the Fall. My application and acceptance to the seminary are answered prayers. In fact, they are a dream come true.

You see, 6 years ago I laid face down in the sand one night by the ocean and asked God what I should do with my life. It was the summer before my senior year in college and I was living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as part of a Christian summer program. I was at a real crossroads since I was facing graduation and didn't know what the future held. The one thing I did know was that I wanted Jesus to be the leader of my life. Too many times I had done what I wanted to do in life and then just hoped God would bless it. That summer I prayed many times for God to give me direction in life. I don't know how or when He spoke to me. I didn't hear an audible voice or anything like that but by the end of the summer I definitely knew He wanted me to be a pastor.

Since then, there have been many wonderful things and trying events in my life. Of the good things that have happened, I think of marrying my wife, and having a baby. Of the difficult things, I think about the death of my father, and the growing up I have had to do. Who would have known that the daily grind and responsibilities that come with being an adult would be so testing of your character and emotions? But I am thankful for both the trials and blessings that have shaped me thus far.

I have had several jobs since graduating college and although each of them were good in their own way, I didn't really see how they brought me closer to being a pastor. So I asked the Lord again what I should do. I planned to be a pastor when I retired someday but there wasn't any certain plan that I could make that transition since I haven't been saving for retirement and my future income would probably be modest as well.

Then I realized (or God opened my eyes) that "if I know the Lord wants me to be a pastor then what am I waiting for?" There is no guarantee that I will live to be retirement age.

So going to seminary seemed like a good idea. I know that God can grow me in the character I need to be a pastor but I also need knowledge and application, such as how to study the Bible for all it's worth, how to preach faithfully from the Bible, how to disciple others and apply the Bible to our lives, etc. Going to seminary seems like it would give a good foundation for me to preach for the rest of my life which is what I want to do and how God has shaped me.

So I decided to step out in faith and apply to a seminary. If I was accepted, it would involve moving, selling my house, taking a pay cut, and working and studying hard for 3 years. But I trusted God with the details and applied anyway.

Now, as you already know, I have been accepted to SWBTS and I am so excited! Indeed, this blog will probably become a series of updates on what's happening with me and Karen while I am studying in seminary.

Well, there is so much more I could say but attention spans of readers are only so long. So I will say that God is good. He knows what He is doing. Already our house has sold for our asking price, after only being on the market for 2 days, and we get to stay in it until the end of the summer until we transition to Fort Worth. I didn't know how the situation with our house was going to work out but we prayed and BAM! God answered our prayers. Wow.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My Last Name

Tonight I was reading the Bible and I happened to be in the little book of 1 Peter which is tucked in the back of the New Testament. Now, I am not surprised when I see the word "bishop" in the Bible, since there were leaders in the early church that filled that role. Since, my last name is "Bishop" I also happened to know that the word in the Bible is sometimes translated as "overseer". I was surprised to read in the following verse that the word can refer to God himself.

1 Peter 2:25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

How do you like that? That sort of blows away the modern image of guys in robes in the Anglican and Roman Catholic church!


[Middle English, from Old English bisceope, from Vulgar Latin *ebiscopus, from Late Latin episcopus, from Late Greek episkopos, from Greek, overseer : epi-, epi- + skopos, watcher.]

The etymology of the word bishop comes from the Greek word episkopos (επισκοπος), which can be generally translated as bishop, overseer, superintendent, supervisor, or foreman. From the word episkopos are derived the English words episcopacy, episcopate and episcopal.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Dis and Dat

I wonder if all blogs devolve into a hodge-podge of personal thoughts, recipes, links, photos, and who-knows-what-else? I say this because my goal for this blog was to share anecdotes from me (a hick) but I find that it has become just random stuff. So tonight, I thought I would talk about theology.
As a Christian I am very concerned with what the Bible says because I believe it's the truth and I want to live my life accordingly. However, from time to time the question comes up whether or not Christians like me follow all of the commands of the Bible. For example, the vast majority of Christians do not follow the dietary laws or Sabbath laws found in the first five books of the Bible. I have thought about this for many years and additionally it's a common question that people ask me. Especially troubling is a verse from Matthew 5:17 and following:
"Do not think that I [Jesus] have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven..."

Since I bounced this question off of Karen she emailed Probe ministries a few years ago and got a response from a guy named Michael Gleghorn. Of course the only real authority on this matter is the Bible, but I thought Gleghorn addressed the question very well from the Bible. So below is a link to an interesting article followed by the email he sent to Karen. Both of them deal with this question.

What is the Value of the Old Testament for New Testament Christians?
Hello Karen,
Thank you for writing Probe Ministries. You ask a very good question about a controversial and emotionally charged issue. Here's my own view:

1. The Mosaic Law of the Old Covenant (Old Testament) is obsolete. Indeed, the writer to the Hebrews says this very thing (see Heb. 8:7-13). Today, it is the New Covenant which is in effect, not the Old. This does not mean that believers are without rules, or moral principles, to live by. It's very important to understand this. But whatever principles we are to conform ourselves to are given under the terms of the New Covenant in the New Testament. For example, nine of the original Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament. The only one that's not repeated is the Sabbath commandment (see Rom. 14 and Colossians 2, etc.) Additionally, New Covenant believers have the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit to help them fulfill God's righteous requirements (Rom. 8, 2 Cor. 3, Galatians 5, etc.). Indeed, in many of his epistles (e.g. Romans and Galatians in particular), Paul is concerned to drive this home repeatedly. It seems to me that Paul discouraged believers from putting themselves under the law of Moses (carefully read Rom. 7; Gal. 3; etc.). Besides all this, the law was never given to Gentiles in the first place. It was given only to Israel, and it was only in effect for a limited time. Finally, we must consider the purpose of the Law. Paul writes very clearly about this in Gal. 3:19-25 (as well as other places). In verses 24-25 he concludes that "the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor."

2. Some good verses to share with your friend include those mentioned above. I would especially encourage him to read passages like Rom. 7, Galatians 3, Colossians 2 and Hebrews 8. However, reading these entire books carefully would be even better.

3. Matthew 5:17-20 = I take it that Jesus did fulfill the requirements of the Law through perfect obedience to it. Through His perfect obedience to it, substitutionary atonement and resurrection, He has provided a way for sinners who trust in Him to be made just before God (Rom. 3:21-26). This ties in with what Paul says in Galatians 3:19-25. The Law reveals our sin, but is powerless to make righteous. By revealing to us our sin, however, it performs a valuable service. It helps us understand God's holy standards and the fact that we fall short of these standards. Thus, by making us aware of our sin and helplessness to please God through our works, the Law should cause us to turn to Christ that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, our relationship with God is no longer governed by law; it is governed by grace (John 1:17; Romans 6:14; etc.). As the New Covenant believer faithfully relies on the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, he will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, but will manifest the fruit of God's Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25). In this way, "the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" (Romans 8:4).


Michael Gleghorn
Probe Ministries

Friday, April 07, 2006

Patriotic Baby

Lady Liberty herself couldn't do better. Posted by Picasa

Remember the Alamo

Here's our little Texan, reflecting on the men who gave their lives to make this the best state! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Year, New Apologies

A lot has happened since I last posted to this blog. The year changed on the calendar, Christmas, my Dad died, and I fell off the wagon on my diet. I guess a lot things happen between postings when you only update your blog on a semi-annual basis. So like the title says I would like to apologize to all the people who checked daily for the last 2 months for a word from me.

I don't have much to say about a new calendar year. I never planned to live this long. I am only 27 but somehow when I was growing up I couldn't imagine beyond the year 2000 (which of course, I pictured would have flying cars like the end of Back to the Future.) So now I feel like I am out in no-man's land in the middle of this decade. Will I live to see 2020? I don't know. Will Jesus come back soon? Well, we are certainly closer than we have ever been before to the end of the world (and tomorrow we will be even closer and the day after that...)

This Christmas was the first year with our baby. Technically, Karen was pregnant with our daughter, Abigail, last Christmas but she was probably the size of a pear at the time and really only cared about hanging out in the womb. Now that she is 7 months old, Abigail is cuter than ever. Everybody fawned over her and bought her a truckload of presents. Abigail enjoyed playing with the paper and bows though and she also seemed to enjoy tipping a bowl of fruit.

MY DAD (Dec. 14, 1946--Dec. 14, 2005)
One of my worst fears came true. One morning the phone rang and I answered it. "Barry..." my mom said in a voice that I could hardly understand. "Yes?" I said urgently.
"Your dad... is dead."
"NO!" I cried in a voice that didn't sound like mine, "NO!" and I sobbed uncontrollable.
"I found him in bed... just now, " my Mom managed to say.
"Are you sure?" I asked, but I knew it was true if she was calling me. At that point my mom couldn't continue the conversation she was so broken up and she tried to hand the phone to my uncle (her brother) but he just hung up on me.
Sometime between 5 and 7 am on his 59th birthday my Dad, who had already gotten up and made some tea and turned off the alarm, laid back down and died.

Dad had had heart trouble 5 years ago and had a quadruple bypass and nearly died then. But then he made an amazing recovery and a year later his Dr. told him that the x-ray of his heart didn't even look like that same heart from a year before. The last 5 years have been worry free for him. So his passing away was a complete shock. I think it even surprised Dad who had a look of serenity on his face when my mom found him.

There is so much I could write about my Dad: that he was spontaneous, funny, fun, kind, humble, a good Samaritan--but most important of all, he was a Christian. He had a simple faith in Jesus Christ to save him from his sins and he let Jesus lead his life while he lived. The only thing that has given me comfort during this time is to know what the Bible says about death and it's antidote. And I know that my dad is alive and with Jesus now and one day I will join him.

With my father's death, I have once again realized that I should eat healthier so I can avoid things I am probably predisposed to like heart disease and diabetes. However, I pigged out on chocolate over Christmas which is something I had given up. Well, I guess the New Year is a good time to get back on a diet. Now where did I put that bag of chocolate? What? you're still here? I am going to give this bag away...