Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Evangelist!

Then Christian fell down at his feet as dead, crying, Woe is me, for I am undone! At the sight of which Evangelist caught him by the right hand, saying, “All manner of sin and blasphemies shall be forgiven unto men.” (Matt. 12.31) “Be not faithless, but believing.”bunyan (John 20.27) Then did Christian again a little revive, and stood up trembling, as at first, before Evangelist. Then Evangelist proceeded, saying, Give more earnest heed to the things that I shall tell thee of. I will now show thee who it was that deluded thee, and who it was also to whom he sent thee. The man that met thee is one Worldly Wiseman, and rightly is he so called; partly because he savoreth only the doctrine of this world (1 John 4.5), (therefore he always goes to the town of Morality to church;) and partly because he loveth that doctrine best, for it saveth him best from the cross (Gal. 6.12): and because he is of this carnal temper, therefore he seeketh to pervert my ways, though right. Now there are three things in this man’s counsel that thou must utterly abhor.

  1. His turning thee out of the way.
  2. His laboring to render the cross odious to thee.
  3. And his setting thy feet in that way that leadeth unto the administration of death.

"The Pilgrim's Progress" by John Bunyan

Rejoice, ron

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas songs!


Click on the little blue arrows that appear when you scroll over the song titles, and you are given the option to play, get a web link, or download.  So just click on the option you want.  Listen and...

enjoy,

ron

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christian Reindeer?

reindeerA red light for the Red-nosed Reindeer was the latest target of the war on Christmas, Raleigh's WRAL-TV reports from Wilmington, N.C.:

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" caused a stir at a New Hanover County school.  A parent complained about the song's religious reference and got it pulled from her child's kindergarten Christmas show at Murrayville Elementary School.

The song was pulled "because it had the word Christmas in it," said Rick Holliday, assistant school superintendent.

A Jewish mother, who didn't want her name published, objected to what she called "religious overtones" in the song. So the principal agreed to pull it from the program.

After other parents complained, "school board members, administrators and attorneys listened closely to the song's lyrics and decided the song was secular."  Ironically, most folks believe Christmas to be a secular holiday without consulting a lawyer.

Interested? Read article here.

Merry Christmas (Matthew 1.18)!

 

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Profession & Vocation!

Work

What does a person do if they have no profession? Or, more candidly, what does it mean to be human when someone has no profession?

While studying theology and Christian ministry at Princeton Seminary it dawned on me that I had to make a living. Yet it irritated me to think that preaching the gospel could be considered a profession. I thought that preaching was a calling not a profession. I had consciously chosen to pursue Christ not a career. To put it in Pauline terms, I died to the idea of career and even profession. Admittedly, my knowledge of worldly success was inconsequential and making a living took second fiddle to a deep desire to know Christ and the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3.10). Trusting that God would supply all my need in Christ Jesus was merely a characteristic of my conversion to the gospel.

I believed then, as I do now, that I am called in the Word of God to glorify and enjoy God. That’s my purpose and my vocation. Within the scope of my calling to be fully dependent on Jesus Christ, any work, including that of any profession, can be seen as working out that calling (vocation) with fear and trembling. In other words, no profession, discipline or employment, as such, defines me. What I do is important only in light of who I am. But who I am is my calling or vocation.

Enjoy, ron

Friday, December 05, 2008

Os Guinness




Os Guinness loves the truth!  A prolific author and an ardent social critic, he is in demand around the world as a speaker on issues of faith, society, and public policy. Guinness provides us with prudent and tenacious arguments against moral and cultural relativism. His latest book is titled The Case for Civility: And Why Our Future Depends On It. (see below)

The Truth will set you free (John 8.32),

ron



Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sympathy for the Devil! (The King singing)



Note: Roll mouse over Scripture reference (pop-up)!


Greetings (1 Peter 5.8),

Zechariah 3.2
Matthew 4.10
Matthew 12.26
Luke 10.18
Acts 26.18
Romans 16.20
2 Corinthians 11.14
Revelation 12.9
Revelation 20.2-10

In Christ (Matthew 25.41)!


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Kant Song

THE TRANSCENDENTAL DEDUCTION
of the Pure Concepts of Understanding

by Immanuel Kant

Translation by Roderick T. Long

Music and vocals by Paul L. Fine

© 1984, 1999 Paul L. Fine and Roderick T. Long

Click below link and enjoy,
ron




Friday, October 24, 2008

Life: A Human Right!

What is the greatest human rights question of our time?

Simple?

Should it be permissible to kill human beings because of their location, dependency, stage of development, or burdensomeness to others?

Christian, your answer please!

Christians today are hedging and trimming and tying themselves into intellectual and moral knots in order to hide their embarrassment about being out of step with the so called progressive spirit of the time (culture of death).

In order to oppose political candidates (including a presidential candidate) who explicitly and adamantly support an unlimited legal license to kill the unborn you will need to distinguish yourself from the surrounding pagan society

How embarrassing!

Be of good cheer, Ron
(1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The discipline of difficulty!

“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
An average view of the Christian life is that it means deliverance from trouble. It is deliverance in trouble, which is very different. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High. . . there shall no evil befall thee” - no plague can come nigh the place where you are at one with God.
If you are a child of God, there certainly will be troubles to meet, but Jesus says do not be surprised when they come. “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world, there is nothing for you to fear.” Men who before they were saved would scorn to talk about troubles, often become ‘fushionless’ after being born again because they have a wrong idea of a saint.
God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome. The strain is the strength. If there is no strain, there is no strength. Are you asking God to give you life and liberty and joy? He cannot, unless you will accept the strain. Immediately you face the strain, you will get the strength. Overcome your own timidity and take the step, and God will give you to eat of the tree of life and you will get nourishment. If you spend yourself out physically, you become exhausted; but spend yourself spiritually, and you get more strength. God never gives strength for tomorrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the minute. The temptation is to face difficulties from a commonsense standpoint. The saint is hilarious when he is crushed with difficulties because the thing is so ludicrously impossible to anyone but God.
Chambers, O. (1993, c1935). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year (August 2). Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.
rejoice!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Father Barron on Bob Dylan



"The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3.8, ESV)

BTW: How does it feel?

rejoice, ron

Saturday, June 07, 2008

God's Will!

The disciple who abides in Jesus is the will of God, and his apparently free choices are God’s fore-ordained decrees. Mysterious? Logically contradictory and absurd? Yes, but a glorious truth to a saint.” - Chambers, O. (1993, c1935). My utmost for his highest : Selections for the year (June 7). Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.

You are God’s will!

enjoy, ron

Louis Armstrong - Danny Kaye



rejoice, ron

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Cave Dwelling!

Image converted using ifftoany

Click here to listen to a short mp3 recording (under 14 min) by philosopher Simon Blackburn on Plato's Cave. What is the nature of reality? Is the world as it appears, or is there something timeless behind the world of appearances?

In the above mp3 recording, the philosopher Simon Blackburn discusses one of the most famous images in Philosophy: Plato's cave.

Unfortunately, both philosophers (Plato & Blackburn) "suppress the truth in unrighteousness ... they became futile in they speculations..." (Romans 1.18ff).

"What really happened was God’s free positing of this world-reality. The unique thing about the “generation” of the heaven and of the earth is that it cannot be comprehended with the aid of natural analogies, but it can be described only by the word 'creation'”. - Karl Barth

"All created reality is inherently revelational of the nature and will of God." - Cornelius Van Til

enjoy, ron

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

TreeChair!

In the picture below a man is standing by what looks like a chair-tree. Now, you know nothing else about the tree other than what you can infer from a visual inspection.

treechair

Multiple Choice:

  1. The tree probably obtained this shape through chance.
  2. The tree probably obtained this shape through mechanical necessity.
  3. The tree probably obtained this shape through a combination of chance and mechanical necessity.
  4. The tree probably obtained this shape as the result of the purposeful efforts of an intelligent agent.
  5. Other.

Select your answer and give supporting reasons.

PS. Kudos to Uncommon Descent blog for this one!

PSS. Romans 1.20ff

Enjoy, ron

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Flying Man!


I own a lithograph of Mihail Chemiakin’s “The fall of Icarus” (the largest lithograph he has ever produced). Icarus, son of Daedalus, attempted to escape Crete by flight, but fell to his death. I'd wager that long before Daedalus fashioned a pair of wax wings for himself and his son, we've been trying to find some means to fly, with more than a few casualties along the way.

Well, several weeks ago (May 14), a Swiss man named Yves Rossy (a.k.a., "Fusion Man") made headlines when he strapped on an 8-foot jet-powered wing and leaped from an airplane, soaring over the Alps. Rossy spent years developing his device, and successfully flew the first jet-powered wing in November 2006. There's been a smattering of R&D on jet packs to propel human beings dating as far back as World War II; Rossy's invention is the first to combine a jet pack with actual wings (See more videos at his website).

Now, when I was a small child, I would have this recurring dream about flying. Inevitably I would be falling or jumping from some great height. At first a tinge of fear would come over me. But almost immediately I would begin to fly. Gliding effortlessly. Moving from side to side and up and down with the greatest of ease. It was pure ecstasy, interrupted only by awakening from my slumber.

enjoy, ron

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Philanthropy & Humiliation!

Luke 16.19-31 & 1 John 4.16b-21

It is a frightful thing to say, but … there is indeed a love which is mere philanthropy, a sympathetic and benevolent concern and assistance which we can exercise with zeal and devotion without taking even a single step away from the safe stronghold of being without our fellow-man, but in a deeper withdrawal into our shell. There is a form of love - mere charity (the mere crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table)* - in which we do not love at all; in which we do not see or have in mind the other man to whom it is directed; in which we do not and will not notice his weal or woe; in which we merely imagine him as the object of the love which we have to exercise, and in this way master and use him. Our only desire is to practise and unfold our own love, to demonstrate it to him and to others and to God and above all to ourselves, to find ourselves self-expression in this sublime form.

There is thus a form of love in which, however sacrificially it is practised, the other is not seized by a human hand but by a cold instrument, or even by a paw with sheathed talons, and therefore genuinely isolated and frozen and estranged and oppressed and humiliated, so that he feels that he is trampled under the feet of the one who is supposed to love him, and cannot react with gratitude. The great tragedy is that it is perhaps in the sphere of the neighbourly love established and shaped by Christianity, in Christian families and houses and societies and institutions, that we seem to have more frequent and shattering examples of this than in that of the worldly love, courtesy, affability and fellowship which are so much more shallow and discriminating, and therefore so much the less exacting. - Barth, K., Bromiley, G. W., & Torrance, T. F. (2004). Church dogmatics, Volume IV : The doctrine of reconciliation, Part 2. (p. 440). Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark.

Doing all things in love begins with the realization that we owe everything to Jesus Christ, His Person & Work (the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us). God demonstrates God’s love in that Christ died for us; out of God’s great love God made us alive in Christ; and in that love we live, by it we conquer, and from it nothing shall separate us. “The love of Christ controls us” (2 Cor. 15.14). Indeed, our love merely reflects the love God first “poured into our hearts”. This love is directed toward Christ and toward others, whom we love for Christ’s sake!

Enjoy, ron

PS. I included the Luke 16 quote (parenthetical*) in Barth’s comments above

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The test of self-interest!

If thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left. Genesis 13:9.

As soon as you begin to live the life of faith in God, fascinating and luxurious prospects will open up before you, and these things are yours by right; but if you are living the life of faith you will exercise your right to waive your rights, and let God choose for you. God sometimes allows you to get into a place of testing where your own welfare would be the right and proper thing to consider if you were not living a life of faith; but if you are, you will joyfully waive your right and leave God to choose for you. This is the discipline by means of which the natural is transformed into the spiritual by obedience to the voice of God.

Whenever right is made the guidance in the life, it will blunt the spiritual insight. The great enemy of the life of faith in God is not sin, but the good which is not good enough. The good is always the enemy of the best. It would seem the wisest thing in the world for Abraham to choose, it was his right, and the people around would consider him a fool for not choosing. Many of us do not go on spiritually because we prefer to choose what is right instead of relying on God to choose for us. We have to learn to walk according to the standard which has its eye on God. “Walk before Me.”

Chambers, O. (1993, c1935). My utmost for his highest : Selections for the year (May 25). Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.

Enjoy, ron

Friday, May 09, 2008

Looky-Loo or Seeker?

And there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small of stature. (Luke 19:2-3 ESV)

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; (John 6.44 NASB)

For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19.10 NASB)

Jesus sought out Zacchaeus and Zacchaeus was transformed into a seeker: not, of course, an indecisive and indiscriminate seeker or one who especially knows what he is seeking. Yet a real seeker whose tax grubbing hands are empty, who has not yet apprehended, but wants to apprehend because he is already apprehended (Phil 3.12f). And Jesus does not allow Zacchaeus to be merely a casual or even friendly seeker, preoccupied with unraveling facile cultural barriers. Zacchaeus is no longer a looky-loo who divides his powers between this seeking and a possessing. No! Zacchaeus is a true seeker. He seeks this one thing, his life in Christ, and all other possibilities have passed away.

Like Zacchaeus, once our Seeker finds us, our lives on earth may now be defined in “seeker-only” terms. This is the meaning of the imperative (Col. 3.1f): “Seek those things which are above, where Christ sits.… Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” As K. Barth puts it, “To seek that which is above means that we are to seek here and now, but not in this here and now, not on the earth, because, … the true life of the Christian is with Christ, his true and exalted life, his own proper life, which begins with the death of Christ as his own death, the death of the old man. Christ is above, and so too is the Christian in so far as he is in Christ.”

enjoy, ron

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Make a name for youself!


"Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it
;" - Ps 127:1

See Genesis 11.1-9

So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city” (Gen 11.8). Is it important to see why God does not simply destroy the Tower of Babel? Perhaps it is if we consider the fact that it is not the building, the technical invention or the attempt at civilization facilitated by it, which constitutes the evil against which God takes His measures. It has more to do with the fact that “They said, ‘Come, … let us make for ourselves a name…’” (Gen. 11.4).

God’s judgment is not against the advancement of culture. Rather, “the Lord came down …” against the way in which humanity tries to facilitate and affirm and maintain itself, to make itself a name, to play the part of Providence. God’s judgment is against any attempt or intention of humanity to achieve a name for itself independently of God Himself.

You see, once humanity’s contrived object was taken away (unity through culture) the building process ceased automatically. “That it could cease shows that it was not harmless in intention but directed against God and therefore evil”, says K. Barth. According to Ps. 127.1, the building process had to cease because it was in vain. Again, Barth points out, “Everything is in vain, and moves self-evidently to destruction sooner or later, that is ventured by man with the same intention as this building” of the Tower of Babel.

enjoy, ron

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Nazbo Rap II



As a follow up to the first “Nazbo Rap” made 2 years ago, we now have “Nazbo Rap II.” It was cut by some students at a mid-western Nazarene Theological Seminary. There’s some bizarre stuff here and there, but it’s entertaining even if you have trouble following Rap lyrics.

Enjoy,ron

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fear & Death!


A brief mull over Luke 12.4-7:

Death is a pawn in Satan’s diversion; an instrument at God’s beckon. “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.”

Death (and Satan) will be the subject(s) of God’s judgment. “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell.” Death and hell (Satan’s future temporary quarters) will be cast into the Lake of Fire!

Yes, I tell you, fear him!” The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Therefore, “Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”


enjoy, ron

Friday, April 18, 2008

Idol's Hillsong Song!

If you were in any doubt about the influence and reach of Hillsong's music, you might like to note that ‘Shout to the Lord’ was sung not once, but twice on two separate episodes of American Idol recently. You can see both on YouTube.

enjoy, ron

Saturday, April 12, 2008

You're a Monster!

Below you'll find a very funny article where Sesame Street's Cookie Monster searches deep within himself and asks: is me really a monster?

Obviously struggling with his frequent out-of-control cookie binges, the Cookie Monster reflects on his own self-image. Who am I? Saint or Sinner or Both?

COOKIE MONSTER SEARCHES DEEP WITHINHIMSELF AND ASKS: IS MEREALLY MONSTER? by ANDY F. BRYAN

Me know. Me have problem.

Me love cookies. Me tend to get out of control when me see cookies. Me know it not natural to react so strongly to cookies, but me have weakness. Me know me do wrong. Me know it isn't normal. Me see disapproving looks. Me see stares. Me hurt inside.

When me get back to apartment, after cookie binge, me can't stand looking in mirror—fur matted with chocolate-chip smears and infested with crumbs. Me try but me never able to wash all of them out. Me don't think me is monster. Me just furry blue person who love cookies too much. Me no ask for it. Me just born that way.

Me was thinking and me just don't get it. Why is me a monster? No one else called monster on Sesame Street. Well, no one who isn't really monster. Two-Headed Monster have two heads, so he real monster. Herry Monster strong and look angry, so he probably real monster, too. But is me really monster?

Me thinks me have serious problem. Me thinks me addicted. But since when it acceptable to call addict monster? It affliction. It disease. It burden. But does it make me monster?

How can they be so callous? Me know there something wrong with me, but who in Sesame Street doesn't suffer from mental disease or psychological disorder? They don't call the vampire with math fetish monster, and me pretty sure he undead and drinks blood. No one calls Grover monster, despite frequent delusional episodes and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. And the obnoxious red Grover—oh, what his name?—Elmo! Yes, Elmo live all day in imaginary world and no one call him monster. No, they think he cute. And Big Bird! Don't get me started on Big Bird! He unnaturally gigantic talking canary! How is that not monster? Snuffleupagus not supposed to exist—woolly mammoths extinct. His very existence monstrous. Me least like monster. Me maybe have unhealthy obsession, but me no monster.

No. Me wrong. Me too hard on self. Me no have unhealthy obsession. Me love cookies, but it no hurt anyone. Me just enthusiast. Everyone has something they like most, something they get excited about. Why not me? Me perfectly normal. Me like cookies. So what? Cookies delicious. Cookies do not make one monster. Everyone loves cookies.

Me no monster. Me OK guy. Me OK guy who eat cookies.

Who me kidding? Me know me never actually eat cookies. Me only crumble cookies in mouth, but me no swallow. Me can't swallow. Me no have no esophagus. Me no have no trachea. Me only have black fabric throat. Me not supposed to be able to even talk.

Me no eat cookies.

Me destroy cookies.

Me crush cookies.

Me mutilate cookies.

Me make it so no one get cookies.

Everyone right. Me really is cookie monster.

Enjoy, ron

Monday, March 24, 2008

Six Blind Men!


John Godfrey Saxe's "Six Men of Hindustan" or "The Blind Men & the Elephant" can be applied to about any kind of quest for knowledge.

Originally Saxe wrote this parable to mock theological dispute (The disputants… / Rail on in utter ignorance / Of what each other mean, / And prate about an Elephant / Not one of them has seen!), but it’s applicable to about any field of experience. After all, truth be told, no mere mortal can possess complete and objective knowledge.

But let’s not take lightly the other side of the coin, namely that the six men of Hindustan, though blind, at least were curious and went out there, and had an adventure!

There were six men of Hindustan,
to learning much inclined,
Who went to see an elephant,
though all of them were blind,
That each by observation
might satisfy his mind.

The first approached the elephant,
and happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
at once began to bawl,
"This mystery of an elephant
is very like a wall."

The second, feeling of the tusk,
cried, "Ho, what have we here,
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear,
This wonder of an elephant
is very like a spear."

The third approached the elephant,
and happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
thus boldly up and spake,
"I see," quoth he, "the elephant
is very like a snake."

The fourth reached out an eager hand,
and felt above the knee,
"What this most wondrous beast
is like is very plain" said he,
"'Tis clear enough the elephant
is very like a tree."

The fifth who chanced to touch the ear
said, "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
deny the fact who can;
This marvel of an elephant
is very like a fan."

The sixth no sooner had begun
about the beast to grope,
Than seizing on the swinging tail
that fell within his scope;
"I see," said he, "the elephant
is very like a rope."

So six blind men of Hindustan
disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
exceeding stiff and strong;
Though each was partly in the right,
they all were in the wrong!


Enjoy, ron

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What’s in a name!


The Scripture gives four names to Christians, taken from the four cardinal graces so essential to man’s salvation: Saints for their holiness, believers for their faith, brethren for their love, disciples for their knowledge.” - Thomas Fuller (born June 19, 1608, died Aug. 16, 1661) British scholar, preacher, and one of the most witty and prolific authors of the 17th century.

For the modern reader, Fuller’s most interesting work is probably The Holy State, the Profane State (1642), an entertaining collection of character sketches important to the historian of English literature.


enjoy, ron

Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Pi Day!


I’m not much of a math enthusiast but I like pie.

Pi Day (not pie day) is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14th. Pi is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi = 3.1415926535... The rough ratio of pi 3.14 gives us the date for Pi Day and opens the door to a celebration of this famous constant.

Coincidentally, Pi Day is also the birthday of Albert Einstein, who no doubt knew more than a little about pi. So in honor of Pi Day and Einstein, I think I’ll enjoy a lighted warmed piece of pecan pie with a large scope of vanilla ice cream on top.

Enjoy, ron

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Vision!


I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision. Acts 26:19.

If we lose the vision, we alone are responsible, and the way we lose the vision is by spiritual leakage. If we do not run our belief about God into practical issues, it is all up with the vision God has given. The only way to be obedient to the heavenly vision is to give our utmost for God’s highest, and this can only be done by continually and resolutely recalling the vision. The test is the sixty seconds of every minute, and the sixty minutes of every hour, not our times of prayer and devotional meetings.

Though it tarry, wait for it.” We cannot attain to a vision, we must live in the inspiration of it until it accomplishes itself. We get so practical that we forget the vision. At the beginning we saw the vision but did not wait for it; we rushed off into practical work, and when the vision was fulfilled, we did not see it. Waiting for the vision that tarries is the test of our loyalty to God. It is at the peril of our soul’s welfare that we get caught up in practical work and miss the fulfillment of the vision.

Watch God’s cyclones. The only way God sows His saints is by His whirlwind. Are you going to prove an empty pod? It will depend on whether or not you are actually living in the light of what you have seen. Let God fling you out, and do not go until He does. If you select your own spot, you will prove an empty pod. If God sows you, you will bring forth fruit.

It is essential to practice the walk of the feet in the light of the vision.


Chambers, O. (1993, c1935). My utmost for his highest : Selections for the year (March 11). Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Amid a crowd of paltry things!

...in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses. 2 Cor. 6:4.

It takes Almighty grace to take the next step when there is no vision and no spectator - the next step in devotion, the next step in your study, in your reading, in your kitchen; the next step in your duty, when there is no vision from God, no enthusiasm and no spectator. It takes far more of the grace of God, far more conscious drawing upon God to take that step, than it does to preach the Gospel.

Every Christian has to partake of what was the essence of the Incarnation, he must bring the thing down into flesh-and-blood actualities and work it out through the finger-tips. We flag when there is no vision, no uplift, but just the common round, the trivial task. The thing that tells in the long run for God and for men is the steady persevering work in the unseen, and the only way to keep the life uncrushed is to live looking to God. Ask God to keep the eyes of your spirit open to the Risen Christ, and it will be impossible for drudgery to damp you. Continually get away from pettiness and paltriness of mind and thought out into the thirteenth chapter of St. John’s Gospel.

Chambers, O. (1993, c1935). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year (March 6). Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Amazing Grace History/

How about black history month based on "just the black notes" on the piano! enjoy, ron

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pearl of Great Price!


Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it" (Matthew 13.46). What Christ refers to in the parable, of course, is the Kingdom of God. And lest we confuse anyone - the Kingdom means everything – the triune God Himself and all the good that you and I could possibly desire (Matthew 6.33).

Aesop tells the following story. A cock was once strutting up and down the farmyard among the hens when suddenly he espied something shinning amid the straw. "Ho! ho!" quoth he, "that's for me," and soon rooted it out from beneath the straw. What did it turn out to be but a Pearl that by some chance had been lost in the yard? "You may be a treasure," quoth Master Cock, "to men that prize you, but for me I would rather have a single barley-corn than a peck of pearls." (The Cock and the Pearl)

Moral: Precious things are for those that can prize them.

In short, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces” (Matthew 7.6)

A fine pearl was an object of such great value that one might sell all one’s accumulated wealth to purchase it (Mt 13.45, 46), but a pearl, used figuratively for the Word of God, should not be cast before swine or roosters for that matter. (Mt 7.6).


enjoy, ron

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Prince Caspian Super Bowl Commercial



It has been confirmed that Disney will play a Prince Caspian trailer during the Super Bowl. The new trailer has been posted online and can be viewed here above (or click here).

C. S. Lewis (1898 – 1963) wrote the seven Chronicles of Narnia from 1950 – 1956. I’ve been a Narnia fan since reading the complete set with my children several decades ago. You can follow the latest in Narnia movie news plus a whole lot more at NarniaWeb.com. Along with a discussion forum, action figures, cast interviews, photo gallery and Narnia T-shirts, the web site is your complete source for Narnia movie news.

enjoy, ron

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Salvation Question!


Jews are well-known to always answer a question with a question. The story goes of a Jewish fellow and a non-Jewish fellow walking down the street, and the non-Jew says to the Jew, “How come you guys always answer a question with a question” and the Jew replies: “So what’s wrong with that?!”

Questioning, of course, is central to learning and growing. And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good” (Matthew 19.16-17a).

Questions are very powerful tools for making decisions and solving problems, for inventing, changing and improving our lives as well as the lives of others. The question of eternal life is certainly a big question and it seems that most everybody is looking for an answer to it. Even the religious leaders of Jesus’ day were diligently studying the Scriptures in order to possess eternal life (John 5.39-40). What’s up with that?

Questions allow us to make sense of the world. Certainly the young man’s question to Jesus assumed that eternal life could be achieved by doing some good thing but it also assumed that eternal life was the paramount thing to get.

Yet Jesus’ reply did not expressly focus on salvation. Rather Jesus obliged the young man to think more seriously about the word good. Answering a question with a question can sometimes trigger something to get us moving in the right direction. “Only God is good,” Jesus said. By emphasizing the goodness of God Jesus questioned the man’s idea of goodness. You see, goodness is found in relation to God, not by ‘good deeds’ of our own devising. In other words, Jesus is asking, “Do you believe that I am good and therefore that I am God?”

Think about it! Surely salvation is good! But if Jesus is good, then He is God, and knowing Jesus (His Person & Work) is far better than salvation. No! Even more, knowing Jesus is salvation (John 17.3).

Any questions?

enjoy, ron

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monkey Around?


Prince Charles is quoted as saying, “I learned the way a monkey learns - by watching its parents.” Perhaps so but I wonder who learns fastest, the Prince or the monkey?

According to recent scientific findings, when it comes to serious mental powers like short-term memory, young chimpanzees can significantly outperform the Prince at some short-term memory tasks.

In the words of Winston Churchill, “Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.” After all, scientists have the video to prove it. And one of the lead researcher’s says that chimps seem to have something akin to "photographic memory," at least for short-term tests. Don't believe it? Well, then, here’s a way for you to test yourself against the chimp. Just click the link below for a video test.

Click: Test yourself against the chimp!

FYI: Rules of the Game: First, researchers in Japan taught six chimps--three 5-year-olds and their mothers--to recognize and order the numbers 1 through 9. Then they taught them to play a memory game.

In the game, the numbers would appear randomly on a video screen. The object was to touch them in order: 1, 2, 3, etc. But there was a catch. As soon as the chimps pressed 1, the rest of the numbers disappeared, covered over by white boxes. So they had to remember where they had seen the numbers and touch the white boxes that covered them.

Results of the Game: Not only could the chimps do this just as accurately as college students, they could do it faster, too. So the scientists devised another test, to see who could remember and order five numbers that flashed on a screen for just fractions of a second. Result? Another chimp win.

PS. Once I entered a free-style dance contest as a teenager. I won! My prize? A Monkees Album! "Hey hey we're the Monkees, People say we monkey around. But we're too busy pushing buttons to put Prince Charles down."

PSS.
Once I was a tadpole beginning to begin,
Then I was a frog with my tail tucked in,
Then I was a monkey in a banyan tree,
And now I am a professor with a Ph.D
.

Enjoy, ron


video

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Excommunicate Luther!


"Here I stand, I can do no other, God help me, Amen..." (Martin Luther)

On this day in 1521, Pope Leo X issued the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem, excommunicating Martin Luther, the German priest whose questioning of certain Roman Catholic practices initiated the Protestant Reformation.

Luther fought the good fight of faith to the very end. Seized by a crippling heart attack, Luther eulogized before his death, "When I die, I want to be a ghost... So I can continue to pester the bishops, priests and godless monks until that they have more trouble with a dead Luther than they could have had before with a thousand living ones."

Here is a short biography with links:

1483 (November 10) Born in Eisleben
1505 Monk in Erfurt
1512 Doctor of Theology in Wittenberg
1517 Nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church
1521 Outlawed and exiled to the Wartburg
1522 Return to Wittenberg
1525 Married Katharina von Bora
1534 Published the complete Bible in German
1546 (February 18) Died in Eisleben

Through faith in Christ, therefore, Christ’s righteousness becomes our righteousness and all that he has becomes ours; rather, he himself becomes ours. Therefore the Apostle calls it 'the righteousness of God' in Rom. 1:17; For in the gospel 'the righteousness of God is revealed…; as it is written, 'The righteous shall live by his faith.' Finally, in the same epistle, chapter 3:28, such a faith is called 'the righteousness of God': 'We hold that a man is justified by faith.' This is an infinite righteousness, and one that swallows up all sins in a moment, for it is impossible that sin should exist in Christ. On the contrary, he who trusts in Christ exists in Christ; he is one with Christ, having the same righteousness as he. It is therefore impossible that sin should remain in him. This righteousness is primary; it is the basis, the cause, the source of all our own actual righteousness. For this is the righteousness given in place of the original righteousness lost in Adam. It accomplishes the same as that original righteousness would have accomplished; rather, it accomplishes more.” (Luther – Two Kinds of Righteousness)

Enjoy, ron

Note: A site devoted to interactive annotative study of the writing of Martin Luther can be searched here.

Note: On this PBS site there are a number of interesting offerings included with a documentary titled Martin Luther: The Reluctant Revolutionary.