Sunday, July 19, 2009

Update, Verse, and Quote of the Day

Not a whole lot has changed around here. I'm still looking for a job and have applied for customer service positions at a couple of companies in Deerfield. I've been reading various stuff and watching too much t.v. and the occasional movie. My small group is on a hiatus but we've been having a good time with the youth at 3-D on Wednesdays. The weather has been pleasantly cool and dry but not very sunny.

Verse of the Day:
"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing." James 1:22-25 (ESV)
--I was struck by this when discussing it with the youth a couple of weeks ago. Someone who looks in a mirror and immediately forgets what he looks like is no better than a person who didn't look in the mirror at all. The action is of no benefit to him. Likewise, someone who reads scripture but does not put it into practice is not benefited by the act of reading. Scripture is good for many things, but is worthless for reading divorced from obedience.

Quote of the Day:
"There is an unbridgeable chasm between the book that tradition has declared a classic and the book (the same book) that we have made ours through instinct, emotion and understanding: suffered through it, rejoiced in it, translated it into our experience and (notwithstanding the layers of readings with which a book comes into our hands) essentially become its first discoverers, an experience as astonishing and unexpected as finding Friday's footprint on the sand.... To be the first to enter Circe's cave, the first to hear Ulysses call himself Nobody, is every reader's secret wish, granted over and over, generation after generation, to those who open the Odyssey for the first time. This modest jus primae noctis, or 'first night rights' assures for the books we call classics their only useful immortality." Alberto Manguel The Library at Night pp. 218-219

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Verse and Quote of the Day

Verse of the Day:

For who is God, but the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God?—
The God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless." Psalm 18:31-32 (ESV)
-My friend David preached this morning on Psalm 18. You can listen to the sermon here. One of the points that struck me was the reminder that in Christ we are fully righteous and blameless. In verses 20-24 David rejoices that God has dealt with him according to his righteousness and here in verse 32 he acknowledges God as the sort of that righteousness. When we respond to God in faith, taking refuge in him and acknowledging our sin, then we truly respond in righteousness.

Quote of the Day:
"Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love you from the inside out." "From the Inside Out" (video with lyrics) Hillsong United
-I've really liked this song since the 3-D winter retreat and this is one of the lyrics that continues to stick with me. The theme that God loves mercy rather than sacrifice is so strong throughout the Old Testament and into the ministry of Jesus. Correct worship is crucial to a life pleasing God, but without obedience, mercy, and justice in the rest of our lives, it is worse than inadequate. The Father seeks those who worship in Spirit and in Truth and they only do that who live in obedience by seeking justice as they praise Him.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Life at Home

There's not been a whole lot going on here. Steve and John and I went to see Transformers 2 when it came it. Steve's analysis, "It was explodey." I enjoyed it but the action scenes are pretty confusing. I reread the Harry Potter series in six days. That was fun. I also watched the collected Babylon 5 movies. I've done lots of other reading. As I told Ann and Daniel, it was nice being back in my church where we do communion and most of the singing after the sermon. Services that just end after the sermon always leave me feeling a little incomplete now. I want that community response time. I spent yesterday afternoon and evening at the Arlington Park race track with some friends. I didn't bet anything, but I did pick the winners in two races, and got the 1st and 2nd horses in the last race (there were more than two horses). After the races were over there was live music from a Dylan tribute band. Charlie noted he couldn't understand what they were saying, so they were probably pretty authentic. There was also a great fireworks show. Maybe the best fireworks show I've ever seen. There were a couple of moments I thought were the climax of the show and if they had been, I would have thought it a good show. As it was I thought I was going to go blind from the sheer concussion of the finale, let alone the flashes. Then we spent 45 minutes trying to get out of the parking lot; that was less fun.
Life's going on. I'm still looking for a job. We've got a new crop of students in 3-D and that's always fun.