Thursday, September 24, 2009

Where to Live

I have come to realize that one of the most important things we can do on this earth (and when you think about it,we're really capable of very little) is to simply live in the moment. It is the only allotment of time we can do anything about. It is our fleeting second (literally) of opportunity. The past is good too-the past is the only part of our stories that we can see right now. William Young said in The Shack "much can be remembered and learned by looking back,but only for a visit,not an extended stay."
The present is the point at which time touches eternity (C.S. Lewis said that,not me). This seems to me to be an admonition against both laziness and worrying. We cannot change the the past obviously and the only thing we can really do about the future is pray. And we should pray-guess when-today!
The present moment is the only time we are given deciding power (and that's a relief-think of who would do what with their One Rings) over. We do have choices and freedom,but only if our god is God and not worries and past shadows and ambitions and lusts and fears.
Go live today my friends! And since I just have to end with a Gandalf quote,
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
P.S. "Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment 'as to the Lord'. It is our daily bread that we encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received." ~Lewis,The Weight of Glory

Thursday, July 2, 2009

“I believe in Christianity

as I believe that the Sun has risen,

not only because I see it,

but because by it I see 



-C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Butterflies in Prison-a book review

Tortured For Christ is the story of Richard Wurmbrand's time spent in Communist prisons for proclaiming Jesus. But I do not think he would call it his story;rather it is the story of all the people who have been called criminals because they could not stop praising God. Wurmbrand spent fourteen years in prison,and he went on to start The Voice of the Martyrs.
Tortured For Christ is very short,written with a humility that far outweighs the horror and violence and hate to which its pages bear witness. And somehow,amid the blood and tears, a reason for it all is glimpsed. I do not think we can ever fully understand why such atrocities happen here on earth;but if we listen I think we can understand that one day we will understand. That is faith-the evidence of things not seen. As Wurmbrand says near the end of his book "The sufferings that God sends us only strengthen us more and more in the faith in Him."
Read this book if you want to know more about that faith and the people who lived in it when all other strengths and comforts vanished.
"Christians in prison danced for joy. How could they be so joyful under such tragic conditions?...It was because they had not seen only the sufferings. They had also seen the Savior. For the first time a few ugly worms-caterpillars that creep on leaves-understood that,after this miserable existence,there comes life as a beautiful,multicolored butterfly,able to flit from flower to flower. This happiness was ours too."
Richard Wurmbrand,Tortured For Christ

How does it feel to be a worm? Who would choose such a title to proclaim as his own? I guess a caterpillar wouldn't want to be a caterpillar either except for its hope to become a butterfly. But a caterpillar has no knowledge of such things. Christ has given us both the hope to be a butterfly and the knowledge that we may become one. In fact,we even have the choice to become a butterfly or remain a worm forever. But who would not love to be a butterfly?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

When you cry out,as a whitened desert pleas for rain

And you fear because of your wilting life,

He shall replenish you and make you fruitful.

When your skin is stretched out

Like ashen canvas over thirsty bones

He shall revive you and make you flourish.

Like a youthful sapling,

As a hearty oak you shall rise up

And He shall crown your head with bright leaves.

Crowns of splendor in the spring

And in the winter,warm garments.

With king’s rainment and the bread of angels

He shall sustain you

You will lead the forest in singing,

With voices of exuberance 

You shall sing.

You shall unwrap your garments,

Your precious rainment

And cast off your bounteous crowns

The first fruits of your glittering harvest

You shall take them off before your King

And offer them at His feet

Then the banner of Goodness and Truth shall unfurl

In the new-beckoned day,

In the brilliant sky.

The hills will waver in jubilation

And the creatures of the woods will clap their hands.

The ravines shall be overcome because of the abundant streams

Their loud waters shall be like music,

The silver waves like cymbals.

The wild horses will dance

And the storm of their hooves will be like drums.

The good things of the older days shall live anew

In the greatness of things to come 

And you shall never thirst again. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Marley and Life

In the movie Marley and Me, husband and wife John and Jenny have “the world’s worst dog”, and they do ordinary things in a beautifully unordinary way.In the end it’s not so much about what the dog Marley does,as it is about what happens with Marley in the midst.It’s Marley who makes you cry at the end,but it’s who Marley leaves behind that make the movie worthwhile.


Jenny(Jennifer Aniston) and John(Owen Wilson) don’t cut their marriage short,they don’t seek an artificial end to their troubles;with all their energy and dreams they winsomely meet life in its face. Sebastian avoids commitment and chases the new,John and Jenny each take a deep breath and trudge through the ordinary together. Sebastian finds himself always looking wistfully around him without a story to tell. John and Jenny discover scrapbooks of unexpected celebrations. 

As Jenny said in the movie, “Life is where we are”...not where we planned on being,not where we think things are better.

So Marley and Me is about endurance and the celebration of life. About waiting with both patience and expectation;and enjoying the wait.The movie’s adventures are not without realistic sadness;but it is sadness because something did indeed come rightfully to an end. Not twisted grief over something cut short.

It is sad.Marley dies. But it is the best kind of sadness one could hope for.

And so, perhaps,it is really the end of the beginning. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Easter Slumdog

The people who laid the clothes and branches down for Jesus in Jerusalem wanted a savior who made no one wait.They wanted it at once,and in the way they had planned.But Jesus said "I am going to build a place for you"...a place outside of this earth. Jesus talked of a kingdom of fulfillment that would by no means come immediately. So, five days after He entered Jerusalem ,He was crucified at the hands of
the people.
Slumdog Millionaire is not only about the hope for something great,it is also about patience and a desire long in its fulfilling.But the main character in Slumdog is not perfect;so the movie is also about grace. Jamal wins 20 million rupees in a quiz show.But without the horrors and sorrows of the slums,the injustice,the separation,the loneliness,and torture,he never would have known the answers. In the end,all the ineffable evils of the past fit together to make something beautiful.Something that would have never been guessed. It actually ended with dancing...but first he kissed Latika's scar.
First the hope,then the perseverance,then the healing,then the celebration.
"The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces;He will remove the disgrace of His people from all the earth...let us rejoice." Latika received the scar during Jamal's bitter attempt to save her;but the scar made the final restoration even more sweet. It was Jesus' resurrection that made Thomas doubt, but with the scars came his belief and adoration.
Whoever loses his life will gain it.
If there were no slums,who would need to be a millionaire?If there were no riches,everything would be slums.
Jesus will overwhelm us,but He will be there for us to run to. He will turn our lives upside-down, but He will never burden us with more than we can bear,and nothing can separate us from Him.
His yoke is easy and His burden is light,but He requires perseverance, and faith:the substance of things hoped for.
"And so it was that when he returned,having received the kingdom,he then commanded these servants,to whom he had given the money ,to be called to him,that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.Then came the first saying,'Master,your mina has earned ten minas.And he said to him,'Well done, good servant ;because you were faithful in a very little,have authority over ten cities.' "

Happy Easter.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Science Tidbits!!!(YEY)

Here are two of the many Portuguese Man-o-War specimens we found on Santa Rosa island.
(I love the cigarette in the background) We must have had the dangerous-marine-life angel protecting us,because certainly nobody listened to my insightful warnings regarding excruciating welts and stings.If anyone had gotten hurt then the moral to that story would have been:don't eat everything you find that looks pretty,and:
Geeks are always safer.
"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you"~Gandalf
Why does Saturn have rings? Why can't penguins fly? Why does this blog exist???
Some questions cannot be answered,at least not in this life.
But as I decide what to do with the time  given to me I find an unquenchable yearning to talk and write and muse and ponder.And you know,blogs save paper,ink,and oxygen(unless you're laughing while reading).As for the name,well, it's raining outside.
This infinitesimal little smudge in the vast world wide web will be a smattering of my thoughts on various,unpredictable subjects.Who can guess what one may read.I can only hope my musings might lead to something somewhat satisfying.And don't fret over "my musings" ,I'll try to make this as fresh, poly-authored,and eclectic as I can. 
For now,enjoy the rain(or think of me enjoying it)and may "your friends be like the sun as he rises in his might"  (Judges 5:31)