Monday, August 29, 2005

Not the worst movie I've ever seen, but it's close

Okay, okay, okay. I should've listened to centuri0n and Gary (who claims to never read this, but I know he checks the RSS feed to this at least thrice daily) and avoided Napoleon Dynamite. But I'd heard so many good things about it, and I'm always game for a quirky, independent comedy, so I went for it.

It was just so pointless. There were a couple of funny moments, true, but that's about all I can say for it. Oh, wait, one more positive note: LaFawnduh didn't turn out to be a guy in drag. That's it.

The movie made me yearn for the tight plot of Linklater's classic Slacker (and its comparatively well-rounded and well-developed characters). I couldn't force myself to care for the main character one wit...nor any of his less sympathetic family. Pedro was a nice guy, I could've spent a little more time with him. Deb was, um, well, she was there and had a nice smile.

I am seriously considering launching recall efforts against every single one of the Idaho legislators that voted for the resolution commending the film/filmmakers.

At this point about 95% of America has watched this film, but if you're one of the few that haven't...skip it. No, run from it.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


So a couple months ago we have a power outage, not a big one, but lasted a few minutes. A day or so later, I realize that our stereo is dead. I think back, and realize that the last time the display flashed at me was before the outage. So I chalk it up to a faulty surge protector, lament that the fairly new stereo was gone, but shrug it off. Fully intending on getting around to pulling it apart to rescue the CDs trapped inside. On the whole, not a biggie, 95% of the music I listened to was over my computer speakers anyway--sounded as good as the stereo, too.

Fast-forward to today, another power outage while I'm at work. I come home and my stereo is blinking at me. Naturally, the first thing I do is rescue my CDs, just in case.

So here's my question for those more familiar with such things (which has gotta be pretty much anyone)--How strange is that? What happened there? Do I trust this thing again?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

School days, school days, Dear old golden rule days.

Am excited and a little nervous today. Both classes start tomorrow. Incidentally, I now have the 3rd best argument against distance education: a 9:30 am class there (a decent time to get underway) equals a 7:30 am class here. Especially bearing in mind that I usually get off around 2 am. Bah.

The last of my textbooks arrived today, A Preparatory Grammar to New Testament Greek by Sid Dyer. Scanned through the first few chapters and found the following under "Accent Marks."

Some grammarians emphasize the rules of accentuation. The student's time, however, is better spent on more important matters.
Wonderful. Glorious. Never saw the points of accent marks once I was taught that they were added to the NT texts, and therefore couldn't get myself to learn them last time I took at shot at Greek.

Am very excited this term to be digging into more, um, seminarial type of work. Not that I had anything against the stuff I did last you, but Philosophy and Logic don't do as much to remind me about the nature of the work as these classes do, y'know? As a reminder for the old tymers/plug for the newbies, over there under "my sem blog" is where I'm supposedly trackign my progress through Greenville Seminary for those who don't want to read all the blather about my kids, TV shows I'm addicted to (btw, am now very hooked on Battlestar Galactica), etc. Usually the posts here and there aren't variations on each other like the last few there have been. I aim to do a better job of logging stuff over there this year.

Sometimes Spam can be a good thing

Aeons ago, I signed up for an e-newsletter for Sixpence None The Richer. Well, I guess I did, I don't really recall doing so, but it makes sense. Ever since I heard their cover of "Bouquet" on I Predict A Clone and started harassing my local Christian Knick-Knack store for their album (which, naturally wouldn't be released for months), I've been a semi-rabid 6p fan. Taylor's right, they did get the song better than he did/could've. The Fatherless and the Widow was overplayed in my CD player. This Beautiful Mess broke my heart and made me want to dance (I limited that to the privacy of my own dorm room). I'll stop the meander there, suffice it to say that Leigh Nash probably has the most beautiful female voice I've ever heard, and I could probably listen to her sing anything with near-rapturous joy (up to, and including, sermons by Charles Finney).

ANYway, today I get this piece of Spam from that list telling me about Nash's new website and a place to listen to some demos from her upcoming solo work. Great stuff. Just spent some nice, calm minutes listening to these demos, sipping a near perfect cup of coffee (been awhile since I managed one of those). Time stopped, my blood pressure lowered to a healthy level, I relaxed, and all was well with the world. Then the four tracks were over, coffee cup empty, and whatever had captured the attention of all the kids ended too, and the Real WorldTM resumed. Sigh. Still, those few minutes probably enabled me to make it through the next day or two.

And for the record, I wasn't ignoring the kids...they were all intent on something that would probably only make sense to them.

P. S. This trip down amnesia lane caused me to stumble on this nice interview with Steve Taylor, which led me to the site for his new movie. Despite Smitty on the soundtrack and in the film, could be good, and my nigh-unto-dying allegiance to Taylor will get my butt in a theater seat. Check out the trailer.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

New little button

Added a button for the ESV over to the right there. Not just because it's my default translation (and this blog's, for that matter), but figured I owed them a click or two. Last week I sent them a pesky little question, and when I send such questions to big companies (or little ones), I figure hearing back from them in an day is good customer service--by the end of that business day is great. Well, they got back to me in less than 30 minutes. It was a lengthy, detailed answer, and open for follow ups. Tip of my cap to them. Click on through there, folks. If you haven't tried the ESV yet, it's worth your time.

Post-Late Shift Meanderings Inspired by a Couple of Mystery Writers

Don't know how many of you have ever looked over to the right under "Noteworthy Blogs" and clicked on "A Writer's Life." If you have, it's taken you to the blog of Lee Goldberg--a writer of detective fiction and TV shows (some of which I wouldn't watch if you paid me, but he's also worked on some of my favorites--including two of the best episodes of A&E's Nero Wolfe--as show that never should've been cancelled becau--but I digress). Reading blogs by writers takes me back to the time when my major hope was being a professional writer, when I could--and would--spend hours talking about technique and characters, not for the purpose of analyzing, but for the purpose of learning how to do the same thing. For a variety of reasons--some good, some showing a deficiency in my character--that hope has gone the way of the dodo--for example, using a phrase like that. But reading Goldberg's blog (and others) takes me back to that. Give him a read sometime, he's clever, he's incisive, and he has some interesting perspective on writing/publishing/TV.

If you do start reading Goldberg, it'll take you no time at all to realize two of his biggest pet peeves are fanfic (see here for an example) and Publishing on Demand Services portraying themselves as legitimate means of being a published author (see here for a great example). The fanfic thing doesn't do much for me, but the POD stuff resonates with me for reasons I won't bother going into.

Wow. That's a long introduction to what I wanted to blog about (too much fluff, another reason I've given up on being published). Goldberg today linked to an email exchange that writer Joe Konrath posted on his site between a POD company and himself after he'd signed a book deal with an actual publisher. Not only is the cluelessness of the POD employee hilarious, but the content of Konrath's proposals is laugh inducing. Best yet, it's educational--great look at how POD's work.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Bible Trivia

Well, not really, but it felt like it.

Just took my Old Testament Survey Entrance Exam. (again) Last year I just barely failed, so they wanted me to take it again, rather than go through all the hassle of having a distance student take this class. Pretty sure I did better--left 2 questions unanswered and there were about 6 questions I guessed at, but the rest I felt pretty confident about (if not downright cocky--"name the prophet swallowed by the great fish").

Sure hope I pass this time, I feel more confident about it than my NT test--and I passed it. Surely that counts for something, right?

Still, not entirely sure how knowing the name of David's last surviving son off the top of my head will serve me in a future pastorate, y'know? A lot of it was useful information, stuff that seems relevant, but much of it was "Daily Double" level of Jeopardy kind of info.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Hey Kelly!

Tried to respond to your email from a couple days ago, but was having some trouble with your address. Sent several versions...not sure if the last one went through. If you didn't get a reply, send me another email, will ya?

I'm lovin' it

The Associated Press is running a story about people losing weight at McDonald's.

Inspired by the documentary "Super Size Me," Merab Morgan decided to give a fast-food-only diet a try. The construction worker and mother of two ate only at McDonald's for 90 days _ [sic] and dropped 37 pounds in the process.
Later, the story reads:
Morgan, from Raleigh, thought the documentary had unfairly targeted the world's largest restaurant company, implying that the obese were victims of a careless corporate giant. People are responsible for what they eat, she said, not restaurants. The problem with a McDonald's-only diet isn't what's on the menu, but the choices made from it, she said.

"I thought it's two birds with one stone _ [sic] to lose weight and to prove a point for the little fat people," Morgan said. "Just because they accidentally put an apple pie in my bag instead of my apple dippers doesn't mean I'm going to say, 'Oh, I can eat the apple pie.'"
Read the whole thing for more, including someone else losing weight and making a documentary about it...

Note the words I threw into bold there...personal responsibility? What is this gal thinking? This is America! It's somebody else's fault!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Footnote to the á Brakel posts

  1. So why did I post all that stuff from The Christians Reasonable Service? Few reasons...Was looking for something totally different when I stumbled on it, and I really liked that chapter. Said some stuff I think needs to be focused on more.
  2. I like when the old Reformed systematicians, don't sound at all like the stereotypes projected on them (either by critics or devotees)
  3. Figured/hoped someone would appreciate it (thanks, rozie!)
  4. Was/am pretty busy and wanted to find a quick and easy way to keep the posting going 8-)

Exhortation to Stir up Love Toward Jesus

from The Christians Reasonable Service by Wilhelmus á Brakel

It can be deduced from the foregoing what it is that stirs up love, and what is to be observed to that end.

(1) You must believe that He loves you and acknowledge every true grace to be evidence of His love toward you.

(2) You must continually separate yourself from everything and only find delight and satisfaction in love toward Jesus.

(3) You must surrender your all to Jesus, without holding anything back, and offer yourself and all that you have to Jesus, declaring a willingness to do without it for His sake.

(4) You must declare Jesus' beauty and preciousness to others, to the end that they also would begin to love Jesus—and that He thus shall be loved by many.

(5) You must joyfully wear His livery, being desirous for everyone to know that you have Jesus as your Lord. Furthermore, if anyone were to do anything toward Jesus which would be disadvantageous, he will have us with soul and body as his opponent, and we shall defend His honor with all that we have.

(6) With tender carefulness you must be on guard against that which displeases Him and endeavor to please Him, to be conformed to Him, and to resemble Him in His nature.

(7) You must take time to delight yourself in mutual love, and if some estrangement has occurred and darkness has come, you must endeavor to restore familiarity.

(8) You must yearn, and stir up this yearning time and again—to depart and be with Christ—doing so by continually reflecting upon what will be above and how sweet it will be to always be with the Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Guards Against all that Impedes the Exercise of Love Toward Jesus

from The Christians Reasonable Service by Wilhelmus á Brakel

Henceforth be diligent in maintaining, increasing, and frequently stirring up this love. To that end you must be on guard for some matters, and despise others.

First of all, be on guard against ignorance. Knowledge begets love, and one must therefore strive to increase in the knowledge of Jesus. Those who have but little knowledge are generally very deficient and unstable in love. If the Lord comes to them in an extraordinary manner, it goes well, but if that ceases, their love immediately becomes more faint. However, those who by the Word have become more acquainted with Jesus in all that pertains to Him, are more able to view Him from nearby and to become enamored with Him. Their love is more steadfast—also when such sweet encounters are not experienced so sensibly.

Secondly, be on guard against partial love. If the world and all that is in it is still desirable and attractive to the eye and the heart, and if you are still so set upon your own will, honor, and delight, the love for Jesus cannot be very strong. Jesus wants to have the heart for Himself. If the enemy gains entrance, Jesus departs; and if He departs, your love will become weaker. Therefore, do not halt between two opinions. If you wish to love the world and to be loved by her, then love it in its entirety and let go of Jesus. If, however, you wish to love Jesus and be loved by Jesus, then love Him and Him alone and let go of the world. Pay no attention to it any longer.

Thirdly, be on guard against a lack of fellowship. Love wants to be maintained. If we are too far from the fire, we shall become cold. The very closest of friends will become estranged due to lack of fellowship. Such is also the case here. Jesus wants to be sought for and perceive that His friendship is of great value to us. Jesus wants to be waited on and to have time made available for mutual manifestations of love. You must therefore frequently endeavor to speak to Him and to tell Him again what your heart's disposition toward Him is, while in an intimate manner expressing your desire toward Him, and your grief that you cannot love Him more. That stirs up love.

Fourthly, be on guard against unbelief. If we readily doubt our portion in Jesus, if we have no confidence that He loves us, if we are actively contradicting all arguments that He has manifested love toward us, readily acquiescing in arguments to the contrary—yes, searching them out as if it were a masterpiece to conclude that Jesus does not love me and that I do not love Jesus—then, you will be incapable of exercising love and receiving love in return. Be on guard therefore neither to quarrel against love, to hold Jesus' love suspect, nor to deny the graces which are evidences of Jesus' love, for that is the direct way to cause Jesus to depart.

Fifthly, be on guard against willful sins. Jesus is holy, delights in holiness but hates ungodliness. He has compassion with daily weaknesses and improprieties, and will not withhold the manifestation of His love for that reason. However, willful sins are committed against love—and then Jesus will withhold His love and His Spirit will be grieved. And when Jesus withholds His love, you will also not be able to love Him. Willful sins will render you incapable of exercising love. The conscience will be troubled, you will lose your freedom, and you will not dare to approach in prayer. You have ruined too much and there has come too great a separation. At times it will take much effort before a loving disposition will be restored.

Sixthly, be on guard against fearfulness, that is, to be in some measure ashamed to confess Him. You wish to exercise love in secret, but do not wish this to be known by others. One is ashamed of Him for fear of harm or shame, and thus withdraws himself. If you enter into situations requiring that love toward Jesus, His honor, and His cause be manifested, you then hide and dare not say, “This is my Beloved, yea, this is my friend.” Jesus readily perceives this and it displeases Him. It is the cause that Jesus will hide Himself from you and it is evidence that you have but little love—love which is very much diminished by such conduct.

Monday, August 08, 2005

A Different Jesus?, pt. 5

Chapter 3: Why a Restoration?, continued

Well, it's been awhile (long while, actually) since I blogged on this book, so if you want to review where we've been:

Should also remind everyone that this isn't a formal review, D.V., that's to come, this is just what occurs to me as I read through this...thing.

So we're working through Chapter 3, and he's detailing the apostasy that happened following the death of the apostles, the "loss or corruption of divine authority and true doctrine."

Millet recounts this "interfaith dialogue" that he was involved in, during which he kept hearing the phrase "traditional Christianity." This was describing Protestant and Catholic beliefs in contrast to LDS beliefs. As the thought about that phrase, he began to think that the theological differences over which Evangelicals debate in-house are pretty similar in importance to the differences between LDS and Evangelicals. Amongst these "not exactly insignificant issues" that can be found "under the evangelical umbrella" are: Open Theism; Arminianism vs. Calvinism (shows up on his list under various forms several times); Days of Creation; Eschatology; Charismatic Gifts; Gender Roles in the Church; Annhilationism vs. Hell; that sort of thing. First of all, not sure that all of those really are in-house debates (e.g., Open Theism). Secondly, many of these really are secondary issues that don't even come close to the level of importance as the issue that is the core difference between Christianity and LDS belief: Who is Jesus?

He does offer this great quotation, which seems to stab at the heart of this whole "we're all Christians, after all" idea that this book seems to be driving at. From Ensign magazine:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a remodeled version of another church. It is not an adjustment or a correction or a protest against any other church.
Thaaat's right, Millet. It's not the same church. It's either the Church which "has been from the beginning of the world, and will be to the end thereof...and this holy Church is preserved or supported by God against the rage of the whole world; though it sometimes for a while appears very small, and in the eyes of men to be reduced to nothing" (Belgic Confession XXVII) or it's the Church that Christ couldn't preserve following the deaths of the apostles which had to be started again from scratch--like an Etch-a-Sketch drawing.

Okay, that's all for this time. In the next installment (not going to say "tomorrow"--obviously can't necessarily keep that promise), we'll get into his definition of the idea that the LDS church is "the only true and living church."

Weekend Wrap-Up

This weekend, my lovely Mrs. and I flew up to Colville, WA for a day and a half. What? Never heard of Colville? Not surprised. We were brought up there by Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, a nice little church ministering in this nice little town. I had been asked by their pastor to come up in June, but that's when I got uber-sick, so we had to scratch that trip.

Turns out that this particular weekend was the big community festival, and the local pastor's association was apparently putting a lot of pressure on all the churches in town to cancel their services, so everyone could attend the big worship service type-thing at the festival. Emmanuel, was one of the few churches in town that didn't buckle to the ecumenical/municipal spirit. Which put me in the enviable spot as being one of the main competitors to the mush-fest's "Keynote Speaker" (not preacher, not minister, but Keynote Speaker), Frank Peretti. Not that he was quaking in his boots, if anything, he was probably a little glad that he didn't have to face the hard stare of the frozen chosen as he entertained the gathered masses. :)

But that's not important, just somewhat amusing. The service went well, SDG. Despite having me as a song leader (those poor, poor people), and me giving my first exhortation since April (so I was a bit rusty), I think it was an edifying and encouraging time for everyone. I know it was very encouraging to me, it's one thing to fill in for a minister with people who really have no choice, they're stuck with you; it's quite another to be asked to come. Had the chance to spend time with a few of the families afterward, which made for a very pleasant Lord's Day. Pretty near everyone in the congregation thanked me for coming, and more than one said they'd hoped I could come back. I hope I can.

The area around Colville was just gorgeous, it was nice to be in awe of the sheer number of trees and deer everywhere rather than the sheer number of Chevron stations like I am here. But the best I could do was a 24.0 kpbs dial-up connection while I was there, so y'know, it's a trade-off.

All in all, between the people and the environment (little better, IMHO, of small towns in the PNW) of the more refreshing weekends I've had in awhile.

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Blessedness of Those who Love Jesus

oops...this one should've been first.

from The Christians Reasonable Service by Wilhelmus á Brakel

How blessed are you who love Jesus, for God loves you! “He that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father” (John 14:21); “For the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me” (John 16:27). The Lord Jesus loves you: “He that loveth Me...I will love him” (John 14:21). If you are loved by God and the Lord Jesus, They will accomplish in you all that proceeds from eternal love. Would God then not behold the beloved of His soul, deliver them from all that would harm them, and provide for them in all their necessities? “Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and Thy glory above all the earth; that Thy beloved may be delivered: save with Thy right hand” (Ps. 108:5–6); “For so He giveth His beloved sleep” (Ps. 127:2). The rendering of the Statenvertaling differs significantly from the KJV. It reads as follows: “Het is alzo, dat Hij het zijnen beminde als in de slaap geeft.” Literally translated this reads, “He gives it to His beloved as during their sleep.”

Oh, how great is that good which the Lord will give to His beloved! “I...will manifest myself to him” (John 14:21); “We will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23); “That I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance” (Prov. 8:21). God's heart is inclined toward you, God's eye is upon you, God's hand is for you, and all discomforts come upon you in love (Rev. 3:19)—all things must work together for you for good (Rom. 8:28). All that is subservient to your salvation and can satisfy you is intended for you (1 Cor. 2:9). Of you it may be said, “Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy
help, and who is the sword of thy excellency!” (Deut. 33:29). The very zenith of your felicity is love itself and the privilege to love eternally—without end to remain satisfied with the immediate manifestations of love, and the mutual enjoyment of love with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Exhortations to Increase in Love Toward Jesus

from The Christians Reasonable Service by Wilhelmus á Brakel

Love is imperfect here, and we are therefore continually in need of exhortations. Therefore you who desire to become more abundant in your love toward the Lord Jesus, consider these matters:

First, consider Jesus in His preciousness. After the bride had described Him from His head to His feet, she concludes, “His mouth is most sweet: yea, He is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem” (Song 5:16). According to His divine nature He is the brightness of His Father's glory and the express image of His person. He possesses all divine perfections to an infinite degree. According to His human nature He is perfectly holy. He who delights in holiness must find delight in Him. As Mediator He is crowned with honor and glory, and He is most benevolent, friendly, compassionate, and loving. Grace and love are poured out upon His lips, and He is full of grace, truth, righteousness, and benevolence, so that He is simultaneously majestic and lovely. If there is therefore anything that will beget and stir up love within you, it must be the Lord Jesus—that is, if He would but reveal Himself to you and you could but behold the King in His beauty.

Secondly, love begets love. Jesus, however, loves you with the greatest love imaginable. Since He is love, He can therefore love those that are not loveable, and delight Himself in blessing His beloved ones. His love toward you is an eternal love, and thus without beginning and without end; it is a most intimate and vehement love. Meditate for a moment upon all in which he manifests His love toward you.

(1) He came into the world for your sake, assumed your nature, and became like unto you in all things, sin excepted. He even took upon Himself the form of a servant. He thus put Himself in your place, became your Surety, took your sins away from you, took them upon Himself as if He had committed them, and bore the punishment due upon your sins. “Even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it” (Eph. 5:25).

(2) How He has been despised and what griefs He has borne! Everything was against Him; God was angry toward Him, and poured upon Him His righteous wrath against your sin. Go to the manger and follow Him to the cross. Behold Him there in His utmost distress and anxiety, and imagine that in His deepest sorrow He were to address you as follows: “Look at Me, My elect, My beloved. Love to you brought Me into this condition. My love is so great that I would be willing to suffer a thousand times more before I would allow you to perish.” In love He paid your ransom, accomplished eternal redemption for you, reconciled you with God and established peace between Him and you, and led you to Him as a reconciled Father.

(3) You are still bound upon His heart. He continually thinks upon you, prays for you, is your Advocate with the Father, and His eye is upon you to preserve you.

(4) Consider in what a lovely manner He has drawn you to Himself. For your sake He sent the gospel to the locality where you were to be born, and when your time came He called you, allured you, and, while knocking, stood before your heart waiting for you to open to Him. When you were averse to His way and disobedient, He bore you with longsuffering, He regenerated you, illuminated you, gave you a heart that fell in love with Him so that you yourself sought Him and ran after Him.

(5) How frequently He has spoken to your heart! How many kisses of love has He given you! How frequently has He comforted you in your sorrow, delivered you in your perplexities, and encouraged you in your discouragements! With how much longsuffering has He borne with your weaknesses! Time and again He has manifested His goodness to you, as if you had not sinned against Him at all!

(6) He will at last bring you unto Himself into heaven in order that you may be eternally with Him. There He will glorify you; there He will cause you to rejoice; there He will cause you to be perfect in love. He will thus be with you eternally and you with Him, to eternally satiate you with love. Meditate upon this, and believe this, for if this cannot stir up your heart to love in return, you are indeed void of love. Therefore stir up your love.

Thirdly, there is joy in love, and the heart of man is inclined toward joy. There is no joy in the world for you. That which is most delightful grieves you when Jesus has departed. You will have to acquiesce in a song I once made about the month of May:

How sweet is the time of songs and flowers,
in which animal and man rejoice!
Yet it is nothing but sorrow to me
as long as I miss the love of Jesus.
But if He would but speak to my soul,
“Thou art Mine and I am Thine eternally,”
And cause my sinful life to disappear—
then it is for me the time of songs and flowers!

If the soul may sit in the shadow of the love of Jesus, and if her love sweetly issues forth to her Beloved, she has a heaven full of joy, and only then is she in her element. Then she wishes that this love would never be disturbed—just as the bride expressed it, “I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till He please” (Song 2:7). Jesus rejoices in the expressions of His love to you. “As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee” (Isa. 62:5). Likewise a loving soul also rejoices in the expressions of her love to Jesus, and in the sensible enjoyment of Jesus' love toward her. “The King hath brought me into His chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in Thee...the upright love Thee” (Song 1:4).

Fourthly, consider attentively how Jesus is the object of the love of the Father, the angels, and believers.

(1) The love of the Father goes forth to Jesus; God loves Him. “For the Father loveth the Son” (John 5:20); “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 17:5).

(2) The holy angels love Him, rejoice in beholding Him, worship Him reverently (Heb. 1:6), and are ready to serve Him (Matthew 4:11)—as seen at His birth, in His suffering, and at His resurrection. At His coming unto judgment they will accompany Him with joyful willingness and love.

(3) Believers on earth love Him, their hearts go out after Him, and He is the focal point of the passions of their love. “Therefore do the virgins love Thee” (Song 1:3). The bride continually has the word Beloved in her mouth. Just consider how each believer mourns when Jesus is absent; how they long for His coming to them; and how delighted they are when they may sweetly enjoy His fellowship. All their asking, crying, and weeping is for Jesus. In Jesus only do they find all their satisfaction. What beautiful expressions we find in the meditations of believers! “It is much better for me to die for Jesus than to rule over the world—My love is crucified—If you were to cut my heart in a thousand pieces, on each piece you would find the name Jesus written with golden letters—Lord Jesus, I love Thee more than my possessions, than my loved ones, and than myself—Money must perish (with all those who love possessions more than fellowship with Jesus for one day),” etc. Shall the heart of each believer bring forth a flame of love, and shall your heart then also not be set aflame? Come, join yourself to all who love Jesus, and say with them, Jesus, sweet Jesus—Jesus is the most eminent of all who I can find delight in. Jesus, if Thou dost desire to have me, I desire to have Thee and desire none other than Thee. To all creatures I say, “No!” If Jesus were to ask you, “Lovest thou Me?” would you then not answer, “Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee”? Therefore hold fast to this and continually immerse yourself in this love. Let it give you wings to render you fit to run your course with joy. Let the love of Jesus compel you to live a life pleasing to Him, in order to glorify Him here, and patiently wait until He takes you to be eternally with Himself.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A little perspective here, pal?

Okay, I'm not crazy about the new Daily Show set. But this guy...uhh...buddy? Take a pill. Get some fresh air. Talk to a girl. Something. Anything. Before long, it'll be too late and you'll turn into someone pathetic like...




okay. Can't think of anyone else right're officially at the bottom of the ladder.

H/T: Blogger Buzz

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Medical Update

Well, figured I'd file an update on those medical terms I've learned this summer. Got some test results yesterday that eliminated Transient Ischemic Attacks and Atypical Migrane. In their place I got a shrug. Whatever it was that made the doc think about those was, and I quote, "scary but not dangerous." He can tell me many things it wasn't (including a brain tumor--BRAIN TUMOR?!?! I didn't know that was on the table!!!), but no idea what it is. If it happens again, he'd like me to get to an ER pronto so they can run some tests on me.

Great. Just great. Answers would've been nice. This is where my physician friend reminds me "It's called the practice of medicine." grrrr

The whole Plantar Fasciitis thing...ugh. Still a factor. Even with chemical intervention by my podiatrist, feet still hurt. Wonder if I can use a stool in the pulpit this week....

Monday, August 01, 2005

Suddenly, I have a weekend free

I'm standing at the kitchen counter, minding my own business, spreading peanut butter onto bread and Frodo comes up to me. "Daddy, I know who's going to win the debate."

"What debate?" I have no idea what he's talking about, what debate could a six year old be thinking of? Leo and Donny debating pizza topping?

"'Is the Bible true?'" As if I had asked the world's dumbest question. How'd he know about that? Probably reading over my shoulder way too often...I wonder what else he reads that I don't know about. "I know who's going to win!"

"Okay, who's going to win?"

Confidently, he shouts, "The Dividing Line!" Which I take as a reference to Dr. White.

"Okay," I say with a smile, "Why do you say that?"

"Because. 'Is the Bible True?'" He pauses here for a moment, as if to say "Hel-LOOO!" and then he continues, "Yes. So they win. So you don't need to go to the debate."

With that settled, he marches out of the kitchen.