Category Archives: Personal

Obamacare and me

I’m not prone to political rants, especially online. To say this, however, obviously means that a political rant is forthcoming.

It is a sign of a deeply broken system that a relatively tech-savvy person could inadvertently enroll his family in public assistance. I created an Obamacare account last year to check prices for health insurance. Our family was among those who liked its coverage, but couldn’t keep it. Because of the requirements of the new law, our monthly premium was going up about $150, which was beyond what we could swing. Thus, the visit to (which remains broken; when I log in, I invariably am greeted with “Error ID:500.000888,” which allows me to do nothing else).

All things considered, we opted to go without coverage this year. In nearly every scenario, we would come out ahead financially. This remained true even with the birth of our third child, who was delivered (quite expertly, with the aid of a midwife) at home.

Here’s my complaint: apparently, the process of creating a account (with financial information, etc.) is also counted as an application for public assistance, if you qualify. And I created my account in the early days of Obamacare, when you were required to enter your information even to be able to see the prices. So my wife and children are now enrolled in Medicaid.

This was never my intent. I’m not debating the merits of these programs themselves, but simply asserting that, by the kindness of God, our family is not in position to need this help, even if we meet the qualifications. It simply shouldn’t happen that a person can acquire a DHS case worker for his family by accident. That is a bad system.

It further occurs to me that we are likely among the statistics of those who have been helped to get insurance because of Obamacare, despite the facts that 1) we had workable insurance prior to that law and 2) I didn’t even realize that we had been enrolled in Medicaid and 3) that I never wanted to be enrolled in Medicaid.

OK, just wanted to get that off my chest.

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Posted by on December 12, 2014 in Personal, Society


Now adjunct at Northland

Just a quick announcement: I will be teaching an online hermeneutics course for Northland International University’s Graduate School this summer. Here’s a link to my faculty profile.

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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Personal


Way off topic: bad fantasy basketball league

You are warned: this post will be of interest to very few readers. I’m looking for the overlap between three groups: people who like the NBA, people who like fantasy sports, and people who have a slightly odd sense of humor.

If this describes you, please continue reading.

I have started an NBA fantasy league in which the scoring is inverted: instead of getting points for having the best players on your team, your goal is to play those players who provide the least production during their time on the court.

In this league, your players get points for starting games and for every minute they’re on the court. They get points for taking shots (but lose points if they make the shots). The get points for turning the ball over, but lose them for assists and rebounds. They also get points for fouls, including flagrants and technicals.

The result of this is that the top ten players in this league in the NBA last season were

  1. Travis Outlaw
  2. Stephen Jackson
  3. Jason Richardson
  4. Dorell Wright
  5. Wesley Matthews
  6. Trevor Ariza
  7. Metta World Peace (!)
  8. Gilbert Arenas
  9. Marco Belinelli
  10. Wesley Johnson

If this whole concept sounds amusing to you, add a comment below and I’ll send you an invitation to the league. We’re drafting on Monday night, and trust me: you want to be able to draft live for this one. The autodraft will just kill your team.

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Posted by on December 14, 2011 in Personal


Moving West to Central

In a few minutes, I’ll be loading up the car and heading west. My destination for the evening: Rockford, IL. And then I will rise early tomorrow morning to drive the remainder of the way to Plymouth, MN, home of Central Baptist Theological Seminary, where I will begin my first week as Assistant to the President, serving under my friend and mentor, Kevin Bauder.

The timing of the move creates some complications: I will be commuting to Minneapolis for the next month or so. Following Christmas, I will work for the Seminary from here in Michigan, as Alicia and I eagerly wait together for the arrival of our firstborn (due January 14). We’ll then look to be moving to Minnesota sometime in late January or early February.


Posted by on November 28, 2010 in Personal


An article about me

I thought it was odd to find an article about myself on First Things this morning.


Posted by on October 28, 2010 in Personal, Random links


A growing Riley

I was able to go with Alicia for her ultrasound last week. So far, all seems to be well with our little one. One highlight, captured here: we got to see the baby sucking its thumb. It was quite amazing to see its little jaw moving.

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Posted by on August 31, 2010 in Personal


A good deal on music

I think I’ve previously mentioned eMusic on this blog; at the very least, I know that in some of my posts on various music issues, I’ve linked to some of their track samples. I was introduced to eMusic by Ryan Martin, who directed me to this great (read: cheap), relentlessly addicting music store.

Anyway, the point of this blog post is simple: eMusic is currently running a really good offer on music, and I thought I’d pass word along for those interested in building their collections. The Annual Basic plan is now $99.99, which gets you 24 credits per month, plus 100 bonus credits for choosing an annual plan.

And now I have to explain credits. eMusic used to be a “one credit equals one track” store, so that 24 credits meant you could download 24 songs. I’m an album guy; I hardly ever (read: never) download individual tracks from CDs; this means that I used to hunt eMusic for things like long symphonies (for instance, Beethoven’s 9th), so that I could download a whole CD for only 4 credits.

However, in recent years, eMusic has made two significant changes: they’ve added some of the major music labels (Sony, etc.), and they’ve switched most CDs to a flat 12-credit-per-disk price (regardless of the number of tracks).

Bottom line: at 24 credits per month, plus the 100 bonus, you get 388 credits for the year. That’s just over 32 CDs, and because some labels (like Telarc) still function on the old plan (one credit per track), you can actually get that number up higher with a little digging. For $99.99, you’re looking at just over $3 per CD, which is hard to beat for really good CDs.

And now for the full disclosure: if you’re reading this, and it sounds like something you’d be interested in, shoot me an email ( If I send you an invitation to eMusic and you join, I get 50 free credits. Quite frankly, however, it’s just a good deal, and even if you don’t email me and you just go to eMusic directly to take advantage of this, you’ll have a good way to get music for a great rate.

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Posted by on July 19, 2010 in Music, Personal, Random links