7 months ago
Thursday, December 30, 2010
To say that Job of old was tested is putting it mildly. The list of things he withstood is beyond the scope of this writing. Yet in all of it he "charged God not foolishly", spoke of his knowledge that his redeemer lives and will stand in the latter day, yielded to the testing as of gold by fire. And so on. Still, he questioned God and wished he'd never been born.
God's response, starting in Job 38 is eloquent and thundering in its opening question, "Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?" Among the many things God asked Job in order to make it clear Who was Sovereign and who was not, was the question above. In our language; So, Job, do you command the sun to spring forth each day? Or you, Brad? Or you?
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
("His Eye is On the Sparrow" -- Charles H. Gabriel)
"Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?" (Luke 12:6)
Yes, Jesus made a point of telling us that God sees every sparrow that falls and even knows the number of hairs on our heads. So why should I feel discouraged? Forgive us (me) for our lack of faith.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Something about highways and railroads intrigues me. As I cross a road, my mind wanders to its extension beyond the horizon and ultimately its terminus. When we travel, they represent the way back home--there are even highways in the sky which you can observe if you pay attention to the contrails in your area.
This verse in Isaiah, as well as Jesus' famous account of the prodigal, makes me thankful that no matter how far we roam in this old world, there's a way back home if we will just turn and head that way.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above, would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.
"The Love of God" -- F.M. Lehman
Thursday, December 9, 2010
And the Apostle John, who felt so close to Jesus that he referred to himself as the "disciple whom Jesus loved" testified, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear."
Monday, December 6, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Then again, the lady in front looks like she's in charge and likely is giving them a compelling reason to unify around the common purpose of staying together; no doubt a balanced mix of the benefits of doing so and the consequences otherwise.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
In life, too, it's important to know which are the important "gauges". Focus on them and ignore the rest--especially in time of trouble. Here it's the six in the very middle. Bonus points if you can name all six.
Any guesses who Otto might be?
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
"Let us make us a name." Significance. Independence. Self-sufficiency. All valued highly in this world. All certain to bring the confusion of Babel when man's purposes are confounded by his ambition, over-reaching and wretched pride.
Monday, November 15, 2010
It's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there! Seriously, there's a tremendous sense of intrigue as you walk past this place, either by the north entrance along Pennsylvania or this more distant, yet somewhat grander, view from the south. Gone are the days of Lincoln where the public had easy access to the "People's House". Now we mill about outside the fence, jockeying for the best spot to frame our companions with this magnificent backdrop, wondering how long it would take for the U.S.S.S. to pounce should some witless lad attempt to scale the barrier.
I guess I liked the somewhat human scale the house takes in this image--appropriately subservient to the even grander canvas of God's sky.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?
But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. (Psalm 86:15)
One can stand outside the Supreme Court building in Washington and ponder the difference between man's and God's judgment. One flawed, one absolutely just. And the Just One is "plenteous in mercy". How blessed we truly are.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Until that day. That day...when Jesus comes back. Someday. Soon? Maybe today? Maybe today!
Then the hands will freeze as in this image. Where will you spend eternity?
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Unfathomable depth of love!
May all the universe acknowledge
That Thou art King and Lord above.
(Zion's Harp #73)
We had a wonderful night last evening as a church (hence the table arrangement pic from my dad and mom's retirement dinner) in which the ardent flames of Christ's love were manifest!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Thanks to all who selflessly serve in so many places, lowly and great. The Lord is your reward.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I love fall! And this year we've been blessed with an abundance of those wonderful clear, crisp, cool days. Among the delights of a climate with distinct seasons is the quarterly reminder that God has promised that the seasons will continue "while the earth remains". Enjoy!
Monday, October 18, 2010
Then along comes the news today that my little girl Julie was accepted to Illinois State University! More than enough reason. Congratulations, Julie--I love you!
Friday, October 15, 2010
I love a good zoom lens. So functional for bringing up close an unsuspecting subject. But what's really fascinating is that when you zoom in on God's creation, the complexity never gets fuzzy. It's crystal clear and ever more beautiful as you discover the never-ending patterns.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Which of the stones from the iconic Altgeld Hall could safely be removed before the tower would fall? Good question to ask when we start assuming the things we think are unnecessary can be forsaken. Maybe someone older remembers why the stones were placed in the first place.
Yes, I realize things can and do change in any organization. Maybe that's why it's so important we understand the difference between principles and rules. We must understand the principles, doctrine, etc. if we are ever to know which stones must stay fast and be shored up.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Dayspring isn't a term we use anymore but I understand it to mean the rising sun. How appropriate that old Zechariah would prophesy that his son, John the Baptist, would prepare the way for this "dayspring from on high", Jesus Christ.
There something in a beautiful sunrise that gladdens the soul with the promise of a fresh and unspoiled day. It's even more beautiful to link this explosion of color with God's tender mercy towards us.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
This image is literally of the Alma Mater from my Alma Mater, the University of Illlinois where two of our sons now attend. And, in recent days, our daughter has decided to attend Cindy's Alma Mater, Illinois State University. Plenty of warm feelings to go around these days!
Thursday, September 30, 2010
"Hey, stop looking at me like I've got a crooked toe!" Can you guess which of our children was overheard making this tongue-in-cheek comment recently?
This one goes in the category, "God works in mysterious ways". We first saw these toes (both corrected by surgery but one needing it again) shortly after they made their entrance into the world. We have the birth certificate to prove it. The amazing part is that this same infant somehow lost the standard hospital identification wristband in the nursery. But we had built-in proof that the toes matched the certificate and definitely belonged to our child! One trip to Solomon avoided... :)
Monday, September 27, 2010
Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun. Eccl. 11:7
Cindy put me on to this verse recently after a night of some tossing and turning. The light of the morning sun often helps restore a clearer perspective!
Extra credit if you can guess the location...
Friday, September 24, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Truth...in love. How easy it is to come down on someone with a full load of "truth". And how we appreciate it when someone approaches us in love and esteem. I bet Paul had to work on this too, as do I. Worth the effort.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Or maybe we only reach this "first quarter" at life's end, to be completed in fullness on that heavenly shore where, as the hymn-writer put it, "the half cannot be fancied". I like that thought better since at age 45, I'd already be considered waning under the first analogy!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I've been trying to decide whether and how to use this image which I snapped somewhat surreptitiously during a recent visit to Lancaster County, PA
I suppose I could comment on the juxtaposition of the Amish boys with an "Italian Restaurant" sign behind them, or the modern street bearing their 19th century conveyance. But it strikes me that there's something hidden a little beneath the surface. Maybe it's in the eyes?
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
When flying tight formations like this, it's imperative that each plane follows the leader. Even in a deep dive. But not into the ground.
Like the noble Bereans, we all must "search the scriptures". Paul said, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." (I Cor. 11:1).
Friday, September 3, 2010
This guy's intensity reminds me of the Apostle Paul's singular focus and determination to know nothing save Jesus Christ, and him crucified (II Cor. 2:2). Indeed, though he was talking about running a race, these verses from I Corinthinans 9 seem to apply as well:
"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." (I Cor. 9:24-27)
Monday, August 30, 2010
Life can be like that in some ways. But in others, such as our love for each other, we cannot accept this! A Zion's Harp hymn captures it best:
Should your love and your affection
Threaten to decrease and wane,
O implore for God's correction
Till its strength it may regain.
Notice the action counseled at the mere threat of such waning!
Friday, August 27, 2010
Anyone recognize the location where this image was taken?
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
This canoe was made by hand by a craftsman who recently lost his sight. I'm glad he had the ability to envision and then make reality this beautiful work before his sight was taken.
"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision" -- Helen Keller
Saturday, August 21, 2010
I am peaceful, for I know, wildly though the winds may blow,
I've an anchor safe and sure, That can ever-more endure.
Mighty tides about me sweep, perils lurk within the deep,
Angry clouds o'er-shade the sky, and the tempest rises high;
Still I stand the tempest's shock, for my anchor grips the Rock.
And it holds, my anchor holds;
Blow your wildest then, O gale,
On my bark so small and frail: by His grace I shall not fail
For my anchor holds, my anchor holds.
"My Anchor Holds", W.C. Martin
My first thought was that the anchor pictured isn't doing much good, displayed as it is along the shore with a backdrop of ships at anchor in a calm bay; sails struck and idling the summer away. But then I noticed the rust and signs of great use. How great the tales must be that accompany this now rusted and resting stay! So we press on, knowing the anchor is sure when it grips the Rock. No matter how mighty the tides or angry the surges, or deep the perils...I am peaceful, for I know...I've an anchor safe and sure.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
What else do you see? Maybe you noticed that the #4 plane is slightly out of formation; actually noticeably farther away from his flying comrades than the rest. Do you think he's a slacker? Maybe just not as good as the rest? It's interesting to ponder how we react to slight differences -- do we overlook the incredible reality of how close they are to focus on the variances? I confess to having some of those thoughts.
Then, it turns out that the #4 guy dropped out of the show the next day because of illness. So maybe, just maybe, he was feeling a little off his game when this shot was taken and left just a little extra margin of error to protect his formation partners. That changes the perspective, doesn't it?
Lord, help me to be quick to listen, slow to judge, and to be full of grace.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
OK, so these aren't eagles...and not really "angels" either...but their upward attitude reminded me of this verse. And as I soak in the effects of a very blessed week in which waiting on the Lord was key, I'm thankful for the promise from God through the old prophet.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after thy will,
while I am waiting, yielded and still.
("Have Thine Own Way, Lord" -- Pollard/Stebbins)
A good friend of mine has a pottery hobby/business (www.muddybrookpotters.com) and was the creator of these lovely works of art. I'm a bit envious of his opportunity to be frequently reminded of Isaiah 64:8, "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."
Praying to be "yielded and still".
Friday, August 6, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Sitting on the square in Magdalena de Kino, Mexico last Tuesday night, one could see the twilight fading and the light of a distant planet shining as a backdrop for this church. It made me think of this scripture. Our buildings can't contain Him, the Creator of all. He looks to the humble.