A Sidekick's Blog

I Won’t Force My Kids To Go To Church

January 30, 2016
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My parents forced me to eat three times a day growing up. No joke. Three times. Every. Single. Day. And it wasn’t always stuff I liked, either. Matter of fact, I complained a lot about what my mom made. ‘Ewww, gross! Meatloaf? Seriously? Mom you know we hate this stuff!’ So as I approached adulthood I made an important decision. Since my parents forced me to eat while I was growing up, I decided I was done with meals. Oh, here and there I’ll eat out of obligation. I mean, family traditions like Thanksgiving and Christmas, yeah, I’m there. But daily eating? No way. I’m done.

Set in any other context, excuses people make for not going to church sound completely ridiculous. But set in the context of Christianity, people say these things in all seriousness while others nod sagely in somber agreement.

My son told me a few…

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Morals and Money

December 22, 2015

Again I have to moral issue to deal with. My car blew up, my son has to have a car (he was using mine) to get to and from work, and I have to have one to get to and from work. My wife has payments on her car too.

I thought the answer to prayer had come Saturday, but it’s not God’s answer. Of the three of us, only my credit was good enough to qualify for a car loan. The dealer promised to be “creative” in helping my son and I both get cars.

“APPROVED!” they said… and now I know why. I went in today to sign the final papers and here is how the dealership got “creative” to get me approved:

They lied.

After I waded through the stack of papers, the salesman explained that two separate banks had approved me for a car loan. They were able to get both approved because they did them simultaneously, so that one wouldn’t know how thinly stretched I was until it’s too late. He then advised me what to tell them when they call to confirm the information on my application. “Just tell them you’ve been there for 3 years and 8 months, and that you make $3800/month,” he said.

I told him I’m not cool with this, and he’s like, “It’s a bank, dude. You know they’re crooks anyway.”

“It looks to me like you’re the one being crooked right now,” I said.

My wife is scared. We can’t manage with just one car between three of us, all of whom work in different towns around here. She offered to do the dirty deed for me so I wouldn’t have to lie. Gee, thanks. But it’s my name on that credit application and I won’t lie. If the deal goes bad and we lose both cars that we’ve been driving since Saturday, so be it. God is my provider, and this “answer to prayer” wasn’t from Him.

I can’t afford two more car payments anyhow. I was counting on my son to make the payments on his car so I would only have to manage one payment, but it still requires me to lie to the banks.

So I’ll drive my car until that fateful phone call, since the dealer pushed me out the door and told me not to decide too hastily. But after that phone call comes, I’m back to bumming rides and hoping my son can do the same. And when this is all over, I’ll publish the name of the dealer who puts people in such a position.

Frenetic Friday Night

November 7, 2015
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Well I’ll be super amalgamated it is Frenetic Friday Night!

Well in the dark tea time of our soul it is time to take a look at the shift in the cultural norm to see what is the latest developments.

The current ruling by the federal government says that a high school in Chicago must open the girls locker room and showers to a biological male that thinks he is a girl.  So fourteen year old girls are forced to have a male watch them undress and shower and even have to watch him undress and join them in the shower.  Breibart news summed it up with this little list:

  • If you’re a boy who shows a picture of your penis to a girl in your class, you have likely violated both federal child pornography laws as well as local sexual harassment laws. If this happens consistently in your school…

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The Rule of Law

September 5, 2015
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The hypocrisy of our federal government is stretched beyond credibility now. Ms. Davis is jailed supposedly for “not enforcing the law.”

What law?

The law in the state of Kentucky is “one man and one woman.” Applicable federal law is the Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by none other than Bill Clinton! These are LAWS. A court order is not a law. The Supreme Court does not make law, that is the job of the Legislative Branch, not the Judiciary. Ms. Davis is following the law!

She is jailed for not following a court order which defies the applicable laws!

So why not throw the right people in jail for “not following the law?” Like for example our glorious leader and his Attorney General who openly refuse to carry out the law of the land? The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is such a law. But our Vacationer in Chief and his Cabinet officers simply refuse to follow it, enforce it, or obey it. They make such statements openly, defiantly, and apparently without consequence.

Take the traitor away. And release Ms. Davis, who is a political prisoner rather than a criminal.

Frenetic Friday

August 22, 2015
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I type this in the smoke saturated air of the Pacific Northwest. Where wind blown ash exasperates the efforts of the volunteers to contain this firestorm. Pray that God has mercy on this area and on the firefighters who facing exhaustion still battle to stop the fires. Pray also for the families that have lost their homes and the firefighters who lost their lives battling the fires

That’s it today folks thank you for your prayers.

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Reflections on the Collapse of the American Republic

July 6, 2015
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fireworks So now that the fireworks are over…

As I told my people yesterday morning, I endeavor to never do two things in our church: preach the newspaper and preach the secular calendar. Nevertheless, I did both in one sermon, noting the passage of the republic’s birthday with a sermon addressing its recent demise.

And why do I say that the Republic has collapsed?

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Lessons From Isolation

July 1, 2015

I wasn’t supposed to be home already, but my company could not find another load for me to haul that would get me back home in time to say goodbye to my little girl before she heads off to Papua, New Guinea as a part of New Tribes Mission‘s team. And since that was of top importance, they’ve got me home early.

I spent all day yesterday looking for local work in my home town and not surprisingly, there are still no jobs that pay much better than part-time minimum wage. So it looks like I’ll be back in the truck again on Monday, out for two weeks. It’s awful, but profitable both financially and spiritually – at least for me, at least for now. It’s kinda funny how some things can be good for one person and tragically devastating for another. Truck driving turns some guys into nasty, dirty, profane animals, while other drivers can take pride in their work and live above the moral grime even out here, living in a box for weeks at a time.

This is the box I’ll be living in again starting Monday:

She’s a beauty, ain’t she? A 2012 Freightliner with a 10-speed transmission, and auxiliary power (so I don’t have to idle the engine to run the air conditioner or heat when I’m not driving, and providing AC electrical power too). This is the first time I’ve enjoyed such luxury in a truck. The last time I tried this was horrible. Idling was forbidden, no auxiliary power was available, so you got your “rest” lying in a pool of your own sweat when it was hot, or shivering where it was cold. When I wake up after a rest break in this truck, I’m refreshed and truly rested. What a difference!

Oh, and it’s not red like I expected. It’s green… like in the original Boy Wonder’s uniform. But that dark green color is my favorite color, so I don’t object. Look for that 474 on the side and if you see me on the road, give a wave! When I’m home someone else uses that truck, so um, maybe you shouldn’t wave after all… unless you see a handsome sidekick in the driver’s seat, singing at the top of his lungs while cruising down the road. I do that a lot. Oh, y’wanna see the inside? Lookie here:

I’ve got lots of storage space, a cozy comfy bunk, stereo speakers, lights, desk space, counter space, padded walls (my first thought was “padded cell“), and a refrigerator that supposedly works (I see lights on, but it hasn’t cooled yet, so to me it’s more like an icebox).

When I get a little money for something other than bills, I’ll add a 12-volt coffeemaker, a throw rug, and maybe a CB radio because some places insist on using CB to inform the drivers that a door is ready for loading or unloading (other than that I have no use for a stupid CB radio). A signal booster for my cell phone too, since several places I’ve gone so far have no cell service (Sprint). And maybe a wifi antenna. I refuse to pay for wifi service, so I really only use it when it’s free. I have no need for a TV or any of that stuff. But I am gonna collect CDs of sermons I miss at church so I can listen in the truck, since decent Christian radio is increasingly rare. There are usually some of those “Christian” bubble-gum stations, but good stuff like Moody radio is hard to find on the road. I could try one of those satellite radio things I suppose, when money isn’t so darn tight.

Okay so much for the physical / material stuff. The important stuff is how my Father and Hero are using these circumstances for God’s glory and my good! It has been so amazing. To sum up in a single word, I would choose the word TRIUMPH! Here is how:

I am winning my battles in the same way that my Lord Jesus Christ won His own victory: Surrender! Stay with me now, I know that doesn’t sound very much like victory and triumph, but hang in there and I’ll explain.

The Enemy is sin and death. Not Satan, not evil, but sin and it’s effects. If the enemies of Christ had understood what He was up to, they would not have crucified Him (1st Corinthians 2:8)! Yet “He has now reconciled us in His body through death (Colossians 2:22),” paying the penalty for our sin and liberating His followers from the terrible justice of God for our guilt. His surrender is our victory! But He was not ultimately defeated. The Father resurrected Him following His atoning sacrifice, and in Him we too will inherit resurrection! Ultimate victory! His surrender is more than just victory over the PENALTY of our sin, but also over its POWER over us. And one fine day, over it’s very PRESENCE which interferes at times with our relationship with Him, now that we are sinners are reconciled to holy God.

“If You wish me to live in a truck until You return for me, I’ll do it,” I said, finally, after two days of random, uncontrollable crying jags at the so-called hardship of trucking. I have been reading Peter’s epistles lately in my quiet time, and following Peter back to the Old Testament scriptures he frequently quotes in his letters. In those passages I continually find that rebels get away with nothing in the end; that God always rescues a faithful remnant that serves Him; that even death itself is no victory over His own. In such surrender to Him, I continually win victory after victory over the “after-effects” of my forgiven sin.
The Surprising Effects of Victorious Surrender

It gives me immunity from road rage. There are a lot of really stupid idiots on the roads these days. My victory keeps me from cursing them and allows me to do the opposite! “Lord bless that poor idiot so that he doesn’t kill himself or anyone else” comes out of my mouth instead of the “normal” calls for damnation. As a forgiven sinner, I am certainly in no position to condemn anyone else!

The isolation I have surrendered to gives me victory over my old carnal thought life. “Taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2nd Corinthians 10:5)” is something I never truly acknowledged as even being possible for me until now. I can recite His word, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs at the top of my lungs all day long (impossible in most jobs, but easy in a big rig), and pray literally all day long! Prayer in which I actually do more listening than speaking, which is awesome. Idle time is a huge threat to most people. In fact being idle has usually been very dangerous – spiritually speaking – for me! But now I am never bored. And never really idle, since I fill my time behind the wheel with worship and prayer.

I’m losing weight! I worried that I’d get fat and disgusting sitting on my well-fed butt for a living, but I rarely ever get hungry even when I’m not driving. I don’t snack out of boredom like I used to. And I drink more water now than before. I feel healthier and happier surrendered to a Master who cares more for me than anyone.

You benefit from my victorious surrender as well. Because I pray all day long for you. My prayers are guided by His word and Spirit, by the names in my church directory; family, missionaries, churches, leaders both spiritual and civil, members of the military, prayer for God-breathed revival instead of this manufactured fake stuff that we see so far. With a prayer warrior on your side who is free to battle in prayer all day long, you too, dear reader, directly benefit from my surrender. I think it’s the least I can do, since I owe such a vast debt of love not only to my heavenly Father, but to all those who have battled in prayer for me for many years! I am happy for a chance to replay the kindness, knowing that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16).”

My church is studying the book of Romans on Sunday mornings. We may be there for years, the way our pastor handles it, expositing a single book at a time. I can hardly wait ’til we get to chapters 7 and 8 where it tells more about this wonderful surrender! It’s okay to look ahead… to know more of what I’m writing about here, please refer to Paul’s epistle to the Romans.

Back on the road soon,

The Document No Man Can Shred

June 30, 2015
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So relevant among those of us (including me) who have mistakenly placed far too much faith in the Constitution!


When my daughter sets her mind to something, she’s always devastated when she doesn’t get it. I try to tell her that she should not invest so much hope in the object, but she inevitably sets herself up for disappointment. If we adults are honest, we do it too. I would argue that many of us have done so in recent years. We have placed our hope in men’s words, when really we should be putting our hope in the word of our God in heaven.

The Shredded Constitution

Nothing new to your ears, I’m sure, but the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) handed down a major decision yesterday. SCOTUS essentially broke contract with the states by interpreting the United States Constitution in such a way that gave them permission to override the sovereignty of the states and the voice of the people who had voted in those…

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Another Adventure Begins!

June 18, 2015
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This is my last selfie from the Batmobile. Our heavenly Father has seen fit to send me on another new adventure, but not as a sidekick this time. After a failed attempt to make it in the insurance business, which was basically door-to-door sales to businesses, I have been forced to seek out a “regular” job. But in this economy, jobs are scarce. Part-time, minimum wage, you get the picture. Thank you, Democrats and RINOs. May none of you pretenders ever influence public policy again. Anyway:

The Robinmobile is red (naturally), diesel, 10-speed, and weighs 40 tons fully loaded. Yessir, back in a big rig again. It breaks my heart to have to do it. But believe it or not, I’m the youngest driver there. Almost all of these guys are on Medicare and Social Security but they have to keep working, thanks again to Democrats and RINOs. I swore I’d never do this again after the last time just about killed me emotionally, being alone and lonely for so long, with no practical “life” outside of the truck. But it pays the equivalent of $18/hour approximately. That’s enough for us to climb out of this fiscal hole we find ourselves in again, thank you Democrats and RINOs – and one Boy Wonder for letting it get this bad before dumping the Aflac business for something that depends on my own time and effort rather than waiting for someone else to finally say “we’re ready, let’s do this.”

Remind me to swap that W for my Robin logo

It’s been many years since I did this over-the-road thing. I thought I was all done with that life. I very nearly gave up my CDL for a regular license just because it’s a lot cheaper (and tickets have far less impact on a regular driver’s license than on a CDL). I’m deeply sad about it. I cried for an hour yesterday and couldn’t turn off the tears. Again today in the pastor’s office talking about it. Actually, it’s very good that I can weep openly about the loss of my “normal” lifestyle, while at the same time rejoicing in God’s provision and feeling excited about what He’s going to do next!

I wouldn’t dare compare what I’m feeling to what my daughter must be feeling, but I think it might be similar. She and her husband are flying across the planet in a little over two weeks to begin the missionary work they have been preparing for for years. Giving away most of their stuff, all their worldly possessions fit in a couple of suitcases and carry-on bags now. Off to Papua, New Guinea! Please have a look at their blog (www.ntm.org/Josh_Verdonck) and send up some prayers for them! You might even join me in partnering with them financially. It’s an honor and privilege to do so! I don’t know if she’ll have a crying jag like I did, but Erin, if you’re reading this, it’s okay if you do or don’t – but I sure needed it. I’m thinking she already has. And I don’t even know if mine is really finished yet. :D Anyway, I think I can kinda sorta relate a little to how Josh and Erin must feel, and I hope my own divided heart somehow brings us closer “in spirit.”

Anyway, I’m gonna make this fun. Audio sermons to ponder while driving, lots of time to sing at the top of my lungs without anyone telling me not to, seeing different places all over the country. No matter how old I get, I’m still the Boy Wonder. Just ask my wife. So I’ll post pictures and stuff, and thoughts while on the road. It’s likely to be sporadic, both here and on Keachfan’s Theology Thursdays column, but I love to write and communication is very important to me – as I’m sure it is to every missionary who may feel forgotten by those back home when they don’t hear from them often! So if you get nothing else from this post, at least get that: Communicate with those you love! Especially to those who are far away (geographically).

Heavy-hearted and excited all at once,

Naturalism and Education

June 16, 2015
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Why those “fluffy” Humanities, History, and Philosophy college courses really matter.


In this blog series, I have been examining the effect of sin on the quality of higher education. In particular, I have been examining how worldview changes (and their subsequent effects of society) have led to a change in the quality of higher education as well as the mission of higher education. Most of these changes can be described by examining how the presence of sin in our hearts negatively affects and undermines the human mind and intellect (otherwise known as noetic effects of sin). In previous blogs, I addressed general problems with higher education, but in this blog I want to focus my critique on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. In my view, the fourth major issue associated with contemporary education is the growing neglect of philosophical self-reflection and training in the STEM fields. One important aspect of contemporary education which needs to be recovered is the…

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