Sunday, December 18, 2005

Off to New Hampshire for Christmas

My husband and I are flying to New England in the morning to visit family for Christmas. As I speak, we are having our first real snowfall in my area. The snow is soft and deep. A hot cup of coffee and a fresh snowfall make this morning wonderful.

Christmas in New Hampshire is like stepping back in time. All the colonial houses in small villages have single candles in each window. When I lived in New Hampshire, I worked at a shelter for teens and got off work at midnight. I had to warm my car for quite awhile as I struggled to scrape thick sheets of ice from my car windows. I drove home down winding rural roads and passed two or three villages along the way. One of the villages is Francestown, which was founded around 1740. It consists of large colonial farm houses and it was a delight to drive through in the middle of the night. So quiet, with every window in every house glowing only with candles, and wreaths upon each door. It took me an hour to drive home to Manchester, but it never felt like a burden. Manchester on the other hand is the largest city in New Hampshire. The center of town consists mostly of tenements. Manchester was a textile town and the mills are in the middle of town, with the Merrimac River dissecting the city.

My husband and I compare our home states quite often as he misses New England and I am tied to the Sierras. We pray for God's direction in our lives and this trip to see his family may determine our future. We are excited about visiting a Sovereign Grace Church while we are there and hope that God will show us his desire for us. Here is hoping that this Christmas is a blessing for all who read this blog.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Obscure Movie Quotes

This is a great list of obscure movie quotes from Evangelical Outpost. here

Friday, December 16, 2005

Education and the Dialectic Process:Part Two, History and Implementation

In Part Two of the Dialectic Process in education, written by Denise , one can also recognize the same process in seeker sensitive churches, and especially in the emergent churches. It is imperative to understand this process in order to recognize compromise, and the shifting of emphasis on objective, absolute truth to a synthesis of subjective truth. The goal is to break down pillars of truth and crumble the foundation that we as Christians stand on.

History of Modern Dialectics

Our generation is lost to truth of God,
to reality of divine revelation,
to the content of God’s will,
to the power of His redemption,
and to the authority of His Word.
For this loss is paying dearly in a
swift relapse to paganism.
The savages are stirring again;
one can hear them rumbling and rustling
in the tempo of our times.
Carl F. H. Henry,
Twilight of a Great Civilization:
The Drift to Neo-Paganism

Karl Marx wanted to take man back to the Garden of Eden. But this would be a garden without God or His truth to mess it up for everybody. He wanted to take mankind, through the labor of his hands, into a world that had a sensation of oneness; by focusing on the commonalities of people, peace and love (eros) could be created. If this world of peace and sensual love was to be implemented, Marx had to change the way people thought. To this end, he incorporated the essence of the philosophies of Georg Friedrich Hegel’s dialectic materialism into his own theory.
Hegel was an early 19th century philosopher who denied there was a personal God and believed, instead, that the entire universe was god or divine energy. His pantheistic view stated that the universe was as the mind of god in a process of achieving his own self-realization. He believed the way to effect change and produce perfection was through what he called the dialectic process.
Hegel describes his dialectic as thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Here is how it works: first step, thesis, is to bring a group of people together who have diverse opinions and backgrounds to talk about a social problem. The second step is called antithesis. The goal of step two is for this nonhomogenous group of people to discuss a social issue and come to a group conclusion or consensus. In order for a diverse group to come to a conclusion on any topic each person will have to sacrifice some aspect of his position. Hegel understood the power of peer pressure and counted on it as a major tool to enforce participation in the process of sacrificing ones beliefs to get along with the group. (A similar process was used by the military called “brainwashing” during WWII)
This means one must compromise ones beliefs (if ever so slight) in order to come to a group conclusion. As the group compromises on small issues they strive together toward a common goal. This blending of ideas is called synthesis because it is a melding of the opinions of all the participants. The process becomes what Hegel calls, “evolutionary”. It is described as evolutionary because the participants must continue to practice the process in a never ending cycle of small group interactions in which one must continually compromise to some degree in order to come to group conclusions. Soon all sense of conviction disappears as the conscious is numbed and compromise becomes a way of life. There are many venues in which the dialectic process is being used every day. It is utilized in both public and private education, church growth movements, Total Quality Management, and in various forms in business and government.
Hegelian dialectic is simple rebellion: turning from God’s true word. At its root is the same occultism that dates back to Nimrod, Babylonian mysticism, Gnosticism, and what we now call “New Age” thought. The dialectic is a new name for an old occult technique designed to manipulate the way people think over a long period of time, incorporating the tool of peer pressure. Sometimes it can take years to manifest in society. Marx found he could easily hide his agenda within the slow nature of the process. Marx passed his ideology to a handful of highly motivated idealists who birthed the modern socialist/communist movements.
Lenin was among those men. Lenin, however, did not like Hegel’s dialectic or Marx’s revised version of it. He believed the way to implement communism was by force. The dialectic was too time-consuming; the process could take half a life time or longer. This was much too slow for Lenin’s taste. The way he decided to change the way people think was too kill anyone who took a position that disagreed with his. He killed thousands of his own people and destroyed the infra-structure of the nation before he realized his method might be flawed. Communists who believe it takes guns and blood to implement communism in a country are called “Leninists”. There was another group of Marxists who disagreed with Lenin and his methods. They advocated dialectic process.
In the early 1900’s in Germany, two men, George Lukase and Karl Korsch, were kicked out of the communist party because they wanted to incorporate Freud into Hegel’s dialectic process. The addition of Freud into dialectic thought became known as Transformational Psychology or, as it is called today, Social Psychology. The new flavor of socialism that came from this association became known as Transformational Marxism. It is this new form of Marxism that is the underlying machine for drastic changes in American culture over the last 50 years and it is this philosophy that has so profoundly impacted education.
Lukase and Korsch set up the Institute of Marxist Research. They soon changed the name to The Institute of Social Research to hide the true nature of their research. These new and improved Marxists were living in Frankfurt Germany where they hoped to take over that country quickly; but another socialist beat them to the punch. In 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany and foiled their grand plans. They could not compete with such a charismatic personality, so they left Germany for more accessible territory...the United States. In The United States, this think-tank became known as the Frankfurt School (Frankfurtschul). The Frankfurt School was made up of 21 idealistic Marxists whose goal was, and is, to undermine Judeo-Christian values in order to overthrow Christian based western civilization. The Frankfurt school found the American educational intellectuals had already created a strong socialist infrastructure in the public school system through the work of educational icons like Horace Mann and John Dewey.
Columbia University was the initial American home to the Frankfurt School where they were generously funded by the Rockefellers, Carnegie, and Ford. Carnegie established the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of teaching (CFAT) in 1905 which, along with other Carnegie organizations, funded many socialistic educational projects. An interesting aside is that the Frankfurt School was often supported by wealthy American industrialists who desired to have a docile and easily manipulated work force and understood that a quiet socialist revolution would do just that.
In 1947, the Frankfurt School planted a training facility in Bethel, Maine, with a primary purpose of training people in the use of dialectic process; now ten of these training schools stretch across the United States. There is one training campus for every five states. They have effectively placed trained men and women in influential positions in education, government, media, churches, and business.

Here is a short list of influential Frankfurt School members and their accomplishments:

Theodore Adomo went to the university at Berkeley and wrote The Authoritarian Personality. This book was the major source for Benjamin Bloom’s book Bloom’s Taxonomies. The philosophies and teaching methods based on Bloom’s Taxonomies underpin, along with the writings of Vygotsky, the educational establishment in the United States today.

Jergan Habermas of the Frankfurt School moved back to Germany and set up the gymnasium system used there today.

J.L Moreno arrived in the U.S. in 1926, and is called the Father of Role Play. Role play has several aliases; it can be called sociodrama, psychodrama or sociometricdrama. Moreno’s work is based on dialectic philosophies used to change a person’s way of thinking from truth based to imagination based.

Kurt Lewis, another Frankfurt School man, arrived in the U.S. in 1933, and he refined the “group dynamic” concept which is known today as Total Quality Management among other aliases. T.Q.M. is a dialectic processing method. (Side note: Peter Drucker, Rick Warren's mentor was very involved in T.Q.M. in the business world, and used his ideas to help structure the model for church growth).

In 1947, Hediedin, set up the first training facility in Bethel, Maine, called the National Training Laboratory. It was, and is, a training college geared to produce facilitators of the dialectic process. A change agent, or facilitator’s job, is to move a group of people toward consensus by compromising position for the sake of social harmony. Since the construction of the training lab in Maine, nine other training labs have gone up across the country; one training college for every five states.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Education and the Dialectic Process: Introduction

I have invited a friend and respected educator, to post a series of articles on the dialectic process in education. Denise has done extensive research into issues surrounding education, including trends becoming prevalent in christian education. These articles are intended to illuminate some of the issues surrounding education today, and as an encouragement for parents who choose to homeschool, or who do thorough research on their own.

Education and the Dialectic Process: Introduction

Christian Schools are graduating students who cannot be philosophically distinguished from their public school counterparts the 2004 N.E.E.T. tests reveals. Their behavior is no different, and beneath their Christianese vocabulary, neither is their world philosophy. The blame is placed by some on poor biblical parenting, homes split by divorce, the influence of the secular media etc. All of these reasons are legitimate, but not sufficient to explain the across the board, secularization of students graduating from Christian schools.
As an administrator of a midsize christian academy, I struggled with the obvious lack of Christian students in the school. We had the best Christian curriculum, a fabulous staff of believers, and wonderful Chapel services: yet our student body consisted of fewer than 10% of actual students who were Christians. I take seriously the warning in Matthew 18:6 but whosoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck,, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea. So with the fear of the LORD in my heart I started on a quest to discover the answer to my one simple question: What the heck is going on?
What I found at the bottom of it all was a simple and ancient human philosophy that has been around since the Garden of Eden and first implemented by the serpent as he seduced Eve. This philosophy may be simple but it is a powerful and deceptive tool to change culture. It has been called by various names through out history: one of the most common titles it carries is dialectic. I hope to unmask the secret quality of this human philosophy by giving you the facts of its history, modus operandi, and to then discuss education that is uniquely biblical.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Sovereignty of God in History: Birth of Jesus, Pax Romana, Roman Roads

Ever so often I would like to share a brief picture of major events in history. When I study history, I am amazed to discover God in events and circumstances that clearly reveal his hand of providence. The sovereignty of God is evident throughout history.

At the time of Jesus's birth, Rome was in a period of relative peace, called the Pax Romana. The Roman Empire had risen in power and prosperity, and even though there were uprisings and rebellions, they were brief compared to previous battles and wars. Not only was Jesus born in a time of peace (so to speak), but Rome was the center of world power. Because of an increase in trade with other countries, the Romans embarked on a conquest of lands and goods far beyond Rome. They built the Roman roads which stretched through Europe, all the way to Great Britain. These roads eventually made it easy to spread the gospel throughout Europe to the uttermost parts of the known world.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Worst Opening Paragraph of a Christian Novel: Romance

Most of us have read really bad novels. As a Christian, it is difficult to find a well written novel. There is a contest called the Bulwer-Lytton contest (he wrote it was a dark and stormy night). It would be fun to write the worst opening paragraph of a Christian novel. Feel free to jump in with your own. Mine is inspired by the Romance novel cover.

Mabel had never been to an afterglow service before. She had been raised in a strict fundamentalist church. She couldn't figure out what propelled her through the door. She timidly sat in the cold steel folding chair and listened to the african throbbing of the drum set stragetically placed in the center of the stage. The guitars were wailing and people were singing lustily. Mabel began to feel a tingling down her spine. "Why did I walk through those doors and what is happening to me?" she thought as she swooned and dropped to the floor. After some minutes she opened her eyes to find a dark mysterious stranger praying over her. Inexplicably, he had a pipe in his mouth. With a start, Mabel realized she recognized the man. Isn't he the man I saw in the tavern last night, Guinness in hand, urguing forcefully about Calvinism? Mabel looked around in a panic! "I must leave now, before it's too late, but how?"

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Worst analogies ever written in a high school essay

He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
Joseph Romm, Washington

She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again.
Rich Murphy, Fairfax Station

The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.
Russell Beland, Springfield

McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty Bag filled with vegetable soup.
Paul Sabourin, Silver Spring

From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and "Jeopardy" comes on at 7 p.m. instead of 7:30.
Roy Ashley, Washington

Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.
Chuck Smith, Woodbridge

Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.
Russell Beland, Springfield

Bob was as perplexed as a hacker who means to access\aaakk/ch@ung but gets T:\flw.quidaaakk/ch@ung by mistake
Ken Krattenmaker, Landover Hills

Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.
Jack Bross, Chevy Chase

The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
Gary F. Hevel, Silver Spring

Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a movie this guy would be buried in the credits as something like "Second Tall Man."
Russell Beland, Springfield

Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
Jennifer Hart, Arlington

The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr. on a Dr Pepper can.
Wayne Goode, Madison, Ala.

They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth
Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.

John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
Russell Beland, Springfield

The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.
Barbara Fetherolf, Alexandria

His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free
Chuck Smith, Woodbridge

The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola crayon.

Based on an unoriginal article in the Washington Post.

HT: Michelle Malkin


Friday, December 09, 2005

Jesus, manger; Luther, toilet?

As we ponder the fact this Christmas season that Jesus Christ the Savior, was born in a manger, I wonder if we think about the implications of that fact. The God of the Universe was born among smelly dusty animals and steamy dung. Most of us live in urban areas. I can remember driving by cattle ranches and the smell of manure permeated the air. Living in the nitty gritty, up the elbows in dirt, is no longer a reality for most of us. A stable is the place chosen by God for the tremendous event of Jesus's birth.

Then there is Martin Luther, the hero of the Reformation. We know a bit about his struggles and his grand revelation of justification by faith alone, by the grace of God alone. We gloss over the fact that the poor man had major gastrointestinal problems and in fact, joked about his condition. An overlooked tidbit or perhaps the stuff of legends is Luther's tower experience. As he wrote his memorable words about justification, he states that he wrote them in the "cl". Some scholars believe that "cl" stands for cloister, and a less favorable explanation states that the location was the cloaca. Cloaca means toilet. In other words, there is a possibility that Luther received his amazing revelation while sitting on the toilet!

What is my point to this post? My point is that I would not be surprised if the toilet was the true location of Luther's revelation. God has a tendency sometimes to bring in the most beauty, the most truth, the greatest revelation of his glory, in the basest of locations or situations. While we sit in our intellectual towers spounting words of wisdom, God is in the dungheap full of grace. While we prove to the world that our hands are clean, God shows up in somebody, fingernails full of dirt.

I hope that this Christmas gives us a greater revelation of the Holiness of God. In order to do that, I think we have to have a sense of our own baseness. It is no mistake that God made us from the dust of the earth. To God be the glory, for the things He has done.

Why Bother to Pray?

I know one of the issues I struggled with when I became a reformed Christian is the issue of prayer. If God predestines, or is sovereign over all, then why bother to pray? I now understand a tad bit more that prayer is a summons to trust God more in my life, and an opportunity for intimate fellowship with God. Spurgeon in my devotional today puts it rather well I think. What about unanswered prayer he asks?

Therefore the Lord Waits to be Gracious to You
Isaiah 30:18
God often delays in answering prayer. We have several instances of this in the Bible. Jacob did not get the blessing from the angel until near the dawn of day-he had to wrestle all night for it. The poor woman of Syrophoenicia received no answer for a long while. Paul asked the Lord three times for "a thorn . . . in the flesh"1 to be taken from him, and he received no assurance that it would be removed, but instead a promise that God's grace would be sufficient for him. If you have been knocking at the gate of mercy and have received no answer, shall I tell you why the mighty Maker has not opened the door and let you in? Our Father has personal reasons for keeping us waiting. Sometimes it is to show His power and His sovereignty, so that we may learn that God has a right to give or to withhold. More often the delay is for our benefit. You are perhaps kept waiting in order that your desires may be more fervent. God knows that delay will quicken and increase desire, and that if He keeps you waiting, you will see your need more clearly and will seek more diligently, and that you will treasure the mercy all the more on account of the wait. There may also be something wrong in you that needs to be removed before the joy of the Lord is given. Perhaps your views of the gospel plan are confused, or you may be relying upon yourself instead of trusting simply and entirely in the Lord Jesus. Or God makes you wait for a while so that He may display the riches of His grace more abundantly in the end. Your prayers are all filed in heaven, and if not immediately answered they are certainly not forgotten, but in a little while they will be fulfilled to your delight and satisfaction. Do not allow despair to make you silent, but continue to present your requests to God.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Churches Closing at Christmas!

The news is out that many churches are closing for Christmas. The emphasis is mostly on mega-churches. My husband and I are praying about relocating back to his home state of New Hampshire and are visiting for Christmas. One of our goals is to visit a reformed charismatic church while we are there. Much to my chagrin, in checking their website, I find that they are also closed on Christmas day! What is up with that! I am thinking that of all days, this would be an important day to bring family. It would have been a great way to start Christmas! What an opportunity that might otherwise be missed. Worshipping God Almighty on the day symbolizing the birth of the Savior! In this day and age of suppressing all expression of worship to God, including Christmas hymns and traditions, we cannot afford to close the doors of our churches. Oh well...... ho ho ho.

My Journey into Reformed Christianity

It is amazing to think that I spent 20 years as a Christian, not understanding the importance of doctrine. I just knew I didn't measure up to what I believed God wanted of me. The result was a rebellious heart at many times, and angry at God much of the time. I just could not conceive a loving Father. Life was difficult in many ways during those years and a divorce happened at the end of the 20 years. My husband had been the first person to share the gospel with me. I had been immersed in New Age prior to Christianity.

I went into the wilderness after that so to speak. I worked at a wilderness ministry where theology was debated. I eventually moved to Texas to be a houseparent for teens. During those years, I searched for truth and God opened my eyes to grace. I related the most to Gomer in the Bible. Remember Gomer? Hosea's wife?

Lest I strip her naked
And expose her, as in the day she was born,
And make her like a wilderness,
And set her like dry land,
And slay her with thirst Hosea 2:3

God was showing me my wretchedness. He was showing me that I had many lovers so to speak...the idols in my life. My selfishness, my seeking for things to fill my life, to have fulfillment...but not so much in Christ. He was stripping me.

I will hedge up your way with thorns,
and wall her in,
So that she cannot find her paths. Hosea 2:6

Texas was an awesome place for me. I explored nature preserves, watched clouds, walked and prayed, studied the Word. I was being awakened from slumber so to speak. I was out in the wilderness in my life and God was wooing me to Himself.

Therefore behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope. Hosea 2:14,15

In the book The Holiness of God, by Sproul, he mentions the time that Martin Luther was to do his first communion. Luther was overcome by a sense of complete unworthiness before God. He trembled before God and was unable to administer the sacrament. I can relate, for during this time, I was very grieved over my lifetime of gross sin. Bear in mind that I had been a Christian for over 20 years. I had previously had that bit of belief that I had somehow chosen God, and it was all up to me to choose to be a good girl. I had given up the idea of being Daddy's little girl because life had been so hard and so obviously He wasn't pleased with me.

And it shall be in that day
says the Lord,
That you will call Me your Husband,
And no longer call Me, my Master, Hosea 2:16

Up until this time in my walk, I had seen God as a hard taskmaster. I just could not measure up to what He wanted of me. After being exposed to my sin in a way I had never been before, I saw my wretchedness and his grace washed over me. It is almost the defining moment in my life. To realize that He chose me, puts me in such a position of gratitude for his gift of salvation. To realize that the Holy Spirit will change me precept upon precept, day to day is amazing. It no longer hinges on my efforts to be pleasing to Him, but on me trusting Him to do all things for his glory alone. I read a sermon by Spurgeon over at and it really brought home the fact that I was a fool until the Holy Spirit revealed truth. It also gives me hope that He is doing a similar work in many people. I think Calvinism comes by revelation by God. God is quietly doing this good work in these dark days of apostasy. I will finish with part of the paragraph by Spurgeon. Oh more note. Ten years after my divorce, God brought a kind and loving man who is also a reformed Christian. We are growing in grace together.

We call those fools who have a great want of knowledge of things which it is necessary to know. Where other men find their way, they are lost. Where other men know what to do upon very simple matters, they are quite bewildered and cannot tell how to act. I remember when I did not know the way of salvation. I had heard it from my youth up, and heard it explained very simply, too; but I did not know it. Many must confess that, though now they understand what faith in Jesus is, yet they were very slow in catching the idea. It is an idea which a babe in grace can explain, but which wise men, classically instructed, do not receive. I may stand here, and beat my very heart out in trying to make plain how men are to believe and live, and yet out of my congregation not one will receive God's meaning into his heart unless God the Holy Ghost shall enlighten him; for we are such fools that the simplest matters of heavenly truth are utterly unknown to us.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The White Crucifixion, Chagall

Monday, December 05, 2005

Quiet Revival?

It seems like so many Christians are up in arms over alarming trends in Evangelical Christianity. Signs and Wonders, Emergent Churches, Seeker friendly Churches, the list goes on. I am as concerned as the next person and have spent many hours doing research on current trends. Not many people are talking about the quiet revival that is taking place today in Christian circles. In the midst of crisis and turbulence over truth, Christians are rediscovering the Doctrines of Grace. Contemporary Christianity puts much emphasis on the legacy of the "great awakenings" in United States history. The Second Great Awakening was greatly influenced by Charles Finney who did great disservice to the Church. Finney along with John Wesley much earlier, believed that Christians could achieve personal holiness. Their influence on the Church brought about much that makes up contemporary Christianity in America today. I have noticed a pattern over the past few years. After trying to measure up for years, many Christians have come to the end of the rope of self-sufficiency. The light goes on quickly or over a period of time...a revelation of grace! I hear many testimonies of people who had belonged to churches that placed burdens on the backs of their people and eventually the realization came that they had sat under doctrinal error. It is no less a revelation than Luther's revelation of grace in the tower. It is transforming to the person who is given the gift of understanding their complete depravity, complete dependence on God, and complete gratitude over being chosen by God. I am amazed that people speak of Calvinism as being fatalistic. How can we be anything but overwhelmingly thankful of the gift of salvation? Man in his natural depravity would never accept God. God's gift of salvation is efficient for the elect, and sufficient for the world. Romans 1:20 states that man is without excuse, because all of creation speaks of the glory of God.

I heard a story recently about a guy who kept getting prompted to share the gospel with a co-worker. He kept putting it off, until one day he noticed that she was hauling boxes out of the building. He asked someone else about the co-worker and was told the person had quit her job. He realized that it was his last chance to share, so he took the opportunity. After sharing the good news, the co-worker broke down in tears. She confessed that she had determined to take her own life. After hearing the gospel, she was saved. The way this guy tells the story, he states that she could have possibly taken her own life, if he had not been obedient to the Lord to share the gospel with her. I offer a different perspective. I believe that this co-worker had come to the end of her rope. At the exact perfect moment, God used this man as a tool to evangelize. She, at the perfect appointed time, accepted God's gift of salvation. I hear many stories like this one. We make it about us instead of about God.

So anyways, the Revival. Even in the midst of a great falling away, there is a revival of people hungry for truth, absolute truth. There is a hunger for the Word of God, and for an understanding of grace, sufficiency of scripture, faith, all for the glory of God alone. David Wells, in a teaching I heard recently states that there has always been an ebb and flow in Christianity and so these current trends are nothing new really...but look around. Don't you see it too? The quiet revival?

Valley of Vision

The Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,

Thous hast brought me to the valley of vision,

where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;

hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox

that the way down is the way up,

that to be low is to be high,

that the broken heart is the healed heart,

that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,

that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,

that to have nothing is to possess all,

that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,

that to give is to recieve,

that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,

and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;

Let me find thy light in my darkness,

thy life in my death,

thy joy in my sorrow,

thy grace in my sin,

thy riches in my poverty,

thy glory in my valley.

from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Two Lakes

I live in the outback of America. It is desert and I am at the edge of the mountains. It is amazing to think that two completely different lakes are approximately 30 miles from Reno in opposite directions. Pyramid Lake is primitive and silent. It has an island full of pelicans. I can see a million stars at night. One has to look closely at beauty in a desert. It is red and purple, orange and yellow, and many shades of brown. Small plants grow between pebbles. Not many trees. Out at Pyramid, one can sift through the sand and find millions of tiny seashells. I live in the Great Basin, once all under water. Hmmmm...all under water. Wonder why.

Lake Tahoe is high above Reno. It is set in a bowl surrounded by high peaks and green pine forests. It is crystal blue and emerald green. One can see a depth of 60 ft. in places. Much of the rock is volcanic in nature and there is much granite. If I go to the mountains, all around me is grandeur. Jagged peaks and deep blue sky. Carpets of alpine wildflowers in the summer, and rocky creeks rushing down steep mountainsides and through meadows. Not long ago on a hike a hummingbird zipped by, screeched to a halt above my head, checked me out, tossed his head and was on his way. I am amazed at God's creation. What beauty.

I feel a kinship with Jonathan Edwards, instrumental in the first great awakening in America. He spent much time in nature, writing notes for sermons, pinning the notes to his jacket, also amazed at the intricacies of creation. I heard John Piper say once that we should have a sort of mentor. I think I pick Edwards.

Why Shook Foil?

My first post is really the inspiration for the title of my post. It is taken from a poem from Gerald Manley Hopkins.

God's Grandeur
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things:
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs-
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
Worldd broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.