Monday, May 28, 2007

Two green eyes shone

My son Marc reads to his children every night. We all know that it is a valuable part of child rearing; it helps children become creative, imaginative, more successful in school, and more importantly, it builds child-parent bonds.
I ran across a simple little story the other day, and if you have young children, it is one you can add to your collection.

A Story For A Child

Little one, come to my knee;
Hark, how the rain is pouring
Over the roof, in the pitch-black night,
And the winds in the woods a-roaring.

Hush my daring and listen,
Then pay for the story with kisses;
Father was lost in the pith-black night,
In just such a storm as this is.

High up on the lonely mountains,
Where the wild men watched and waited;
Wolves in the forest, and bears in the bush,
And I on my path belated.

The rain and the night together
Came down, and the wind came after,
Bending the props of the pine-tree roof
And snapping many a rafter.

I crept along in the darkness,
Stunned and bruised and blinded-
Crept to a fir with thick-set boughs,
And sheltering rock behind it.

There from the blowing and raining
Crouching, I sought to hide me;
Something rustled, two green eyes shone,
And a wolf lay down beside me.

Little one, be not frightened;
I and the wolf together,
Side by side, through the long, long night,
Hid from the awful weather.

His wet fur pressed against me;
Each of us warmed the other;
Each of us felt, in the stormy dark,
That beast and man were brother.

And when the falling forest
No longer crashed in warning,
Each of us went from our hiding-place
Forth in the wild, wet morning.

Darling, kiss me payment!
Hark, how the wind is roaring!
Father's house is a better place
When the stormy rain is pouring.

I think the story teller is quite good, the way the scene is set, the details paint the blustery night so clearly; of course this story would be best suited for a cold rainy night.
For younger children, the story can be abbreviated or embellished. We read this to Dre'Sean the other day and later I asked if he could tell it to his older sister and I was surprised to hear him recall it so accurately.

Tend the vestal fire...

I listen to Dr. Laura for about two hours a week and have for years. Yes she's opinionated, blunt, to understate it, a bit harsh at times, but for the most part I agree with her. She has a book out called "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands", and I thought how much her advice is like that of Thomas Watson, a 17th century Puritan.

Here he discourses on avoiding adultery--
" To avoid fornication and adultery, let every man have a chaste, entire love to his own wife. Ezekiel's wife was the desire of his eyes. Chap. 24:16.
When Solomon had dissuaded from strange women, he prescribed a remedy against it. " Rejoice with the wife of thy youth."
It is not in having a wife, but loving a wife, that makes a man live chastely. He who loves his wife, whom Solomon calls his fountain, will not go abroad to drink of muddy, poisoned waters.
Pure conjugal love is a gift of God, and comes from heaven; but, like the vestal fire, it must be cherished, that it go not out. He who loves not his wife, is the likeliest person to embrace the bosom of a stranger."

Monday, May 21, 2007

Termite's belly

What came first the chicken or the egg? This of course has baffled evolutionists for ever. But what about the termite? I was listening to a radio program with a creationist scientist and he was explaining the complicated digestive system of the termite. You see, termites eat wood, right? Right, but they cannot digest wood.
In order to do this they require a tiny little bug, actually a protozoan, to live in its belly. This protozoan does something to the termite that allows the termite to produce the enzyme needed to digest wood. Problem is, the protozoan has no way of moving, no hands or feet, flippers, tail or fins, and without those it would soon die and never find a mate to breed with. So, along comes another even tinier bug that lives on the protozoa’s back. And wouldn’t you know, the hitching bug happens to have little flippers that he uses to propel the protozoan, which allows him to find food and a girl friend. There you have it, three critters living in a symbiotic relationship. So the question about the egg seems simple compared to the three bugs.

Monday, May 14, 2007


So on Saturday I went to a friends 50th birthday party at their church. So I was surrounded by Assemblemites. Yeek! I spent most of my time talking with two old friends. It was a pretty spiritual conversation, all about the anointing, and it came across to me as though that was the measuring stick of all of Christendom. It was perplexing to me because in the Baptist church there is no moving of the Holy Spirit in the same way there is at times in the Pentecostal church. The Baptist church is far less mystical, but far more practical. Hard to define, but for example, nearly thirty percent of our members have been on the mission field, and we are very involved in missions, locally and worldwide. We are rich in good works and practical expressions of God's love. But, without the anointing, or as some would say, "Hooplah".
As for myself, I fall somewhere in the middle, I love sensing God's presence, and in charismatic churches it is pursued and the stage is set in a way for God to move in the mystical dimension. That is not done in my church. I miss that to some degree but I do pursue Him in my prayer closet and He is faithful to bless. I also don't think about it much in church, I focus on Christ and sense his presence but not in the way I sometimes do in charismatic churches. The trade off for me is this-- in the Baptist church the focus is on ministry, and being missions minded there comes an anointing that is longer lasting, in fact it is like being hooked up to a slow drip I.V. Not the dramatic highs but a warm sense of His presence that continues while putting others first in thought or deed. When I first began going to the Baptist church I was amazed at how different they were in that direction. It was as if I had never heard about the lost and the oppressed by comparison.
So much of what our sermons are and our activities are directed at, is outreach. It is a very determined, organized, corporate commitment. I wish the best of both could be in the church but it is not. So, I have to choose and I have chosen. In some ways it is almost as if the charismatics are somewhat self centered. They gather to get a blessing, blessings I love, blessings I think are wonderful, but if they become the purpose, it rings hollow to me. That is the part I find perplexing, I'm not clear on what the Lord thinks about that. Certainly seeking his face and blessing is a good thing, but in conversations the other night, when I talked about Eric and what he is doing and Matt and what he has been involved in, they asked no questions, made no comments, but just listened, and then it seemed like the first opportunity they found, , they changed the conversation to the anointing. It made me feel somewhat unappreciated and a tiny bit hurt,
So I just listened to them talk about the powerful way God was working through manifestations. Hmmmm, I thought God was manifesting himself in Burma, as well as the International Justice Mission (the organization that is busting traffickers of pre-teen girls for prostitution that Matt was involved in) as well Eric's urban church in Spokane? What do I know. There is no warm and fuzzys, so it must be something else. Forgive my sarcasm.

I'm not done with this, I think I'll go with one of them to visit his church where God is working in "Powerful" ways. I need to resolve something and I don't think I can do it without going; We'll see.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Clear Voice

I believe that God is the author of sympathy, and he instills it in the heart of man to be acted upon. It is one, very clear, expression of his universal love, to move the hearts of men to action.
When we experience the emotion of sympathy we should look and listen very carefully to what is occurring and determine our “love action plan”. Each visit of sympathy is a clear voice of God and comes with purpose. We are taught so little about hearing and understanding the voice of God, sometimes we hyper-spiritualize it and lose simple practical demonstrations.
Sympathy is a living demonstration of God’s love and when acted upon, His living Spirit voice, grows and sensitizes us to hear at a distance.
The simple and most evident graces are sometimes completely overlooked in search of mysteries.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Take Life Like a Man

"In nothing is childhood more strongly distinguished from manhood than in this, that the child has no purpose, no plan of life, no will by which his energies are directed. He lives, in a great measure, to enjoy the passing scene, and to find his happiness in those agreeable consciousnesses which from hour to hour come to him by chance. If his life is governed by a plan, a purpose, it is the purpose of another -- not his own.

The man has his own purpose, his own plan, his own life and aim. The sorrowful experience of multitudes in this respect is that they are never men, but children all their days.

Take life like a man. Take it just as though it was -- as it is -- an earnest, vital, essential affair.

Take it just as though you personally were born to the task of performing a merry part of it-- as though the world had waited for your coming. Take it as though it was a grand opportunity to do and to achieve, to carry forward great and good schemes........" The Royal Path of Life

The lines that stuck out the most in this is --"Take it just as though you personally were born to the task, as though the world had waited for your coming...." As a Christian I believe God designed each of us for a unique end. In fact the world really has waited for that special thing we can do like no other.
In the symbolic picture, the woman illustrates the virtues of protection, nurture, teaching, and support.

Ivory and Eagle's Down

"We make a great ado about our hardships, but how little we talk of our blessings. Health of body, which is given in largest quantity to those who have never been petted, and fondled, and spoiled by fortune, we take as a matter of course. Rather have this luxury and have it alone, than without it, look out of a palace window upon parks of deer stalking between fountains and statuary. These people sleep sounder on a straw mattress than fashionable invalids on a couch of ivory and eagle's down. The dinner of herbs tastes better to the appetite sharpened on a woodman's axe or a reaper's scythe than wealthy indigestion experiences seated at a table covered with partridge, and venison, and pineapple.
The grandest luxury God ever gave a man is health."

"The dead body of Abel lies across Adam's lap in the same manner as Christ is often depicted lying across Mary’s (such as in Michaelangelo’s Pieta). Adam clutches his heart out of grief fearing it will break and Eve kneels by his side crying uncontrollably, her face buried in her hands. The image is truly heart wrenching, causing the viewer to feel a great sense of compassion for the grieving couple. Bouguereau can capture the look of death with almost frightening directness. He was no stranger to death or to grief. He had five sons, four of whom died before him. First Mourning was painted directly after the death of his second son. This piece is well titled as The First Mourning because it is the first time a human has had to suffer the loss of a loved one. The grief is only magnified by the fact that their son did not just die, but was murdered by their other son Cain, making this also the first act of murder. Cain then fled, leaving Adam and Eve once again alone. Bougureau also cleverly used a play on words in titling this work, because not only are Adam and Eve mourning, but dawn approaches. It is the first 'morning' after the death of Abel. The paining has the same theme as the sculpture First Mourning by Barrias which is located at the Petits Palais in Paris. Bouguereau and Barrias lived and worked during the same period, and both these works were masterpieces that helped to define their creators."-- by Kara Ross

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


I was reading a poem called Fireside Musings by Ada A. Chaffee, and there was a stanza or two that I especially liked ---

"Roving thought! oh, whither, wither
In thy musings dost thou speed?
To some brother weary, toiling,
That perhaps of aid has need?
Seeking out the spirit wand'ring?
Culling tares from golden grain?
Pondering on Christ's example,
That this life be not in vain?

Child of earth! say, art thou weaving
In the tangled web of life
Something more than tender fancies--
Strength to brave the coming strife?"

When I first read this I thought of young people growing up today, and they are usually encouraged to learn skills that will be marketable and earn them a good living. Little is said about using these skills to serve mankind, much less the Savior. Life is a tangled web for nearly everyone in this culture, but seeking "tender fancies" to self serve will not prepare us for life's promised strife; but rather, we should be like the man in the picture, listening to the guidence from above

The Lord is faithful to meet us when we are despondent or in a time of mourning. It is a foretaste of glory. Oh that we would have more of this glory as is well said in the following quote;

"Oh, yes massa, I feel berry lonesome since my Ellen died, but den de Lord comes round ebery day and gibs me a taste ob de kingdom, jus' as a nus would wid de spoon; but, oh, how I wants to get holds ob de whole dish!"