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Showing posts from July, 2009

Coming out in October

Tim Keller's newest book, slated for an October, 2009, release: Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters . Here's the blurb: The New York Times bestselling author of The Reason for God and The Prodigal God and a nationally renowned minister, Timothy Keller exposes the error of making good things “ultimate” in his latest book, and shows readers a new path toward a hope that lasts. Success, true love, and the life you’ve always wanted. Many of us placed our faith in these things, believing they held the key to happiness, but with a sneaking suspicion they might not deliver. The recent economic meltdown has cast a harsh new light on these pursuits. In a matter of months, fortunes, marriages, careers, and a secure retirement have disappeared for millions of people. No wonder so many of us feel lost, alone, disenchanted, and resentful. But the truth is that we made lesser gods of these good things —gods that can’t give us what we

Sunday quotes

"I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you." (Revelation 3:1-3) Soren Kierkegaard spoke of how easily and quietly we can lose our fervor in Christ and how great of a danger it is. He says: “The greatest danger, that of losing oneself, can pass off in the world as quietly as if it were nothing; every other loss, an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, bound to be noticed.” In other words, most things in life, from as sacred as a spouse to as trivial as five dollars, if lost, gets noticed. But for a believer to drift into complacency, maybe a couple weeks of not spending time in the Word, maybe getting involved in a relationship that’s not re

Where've you been?

As I was preparing for a wedding I came across the lyrics of this song, sung by Kathy Mattea, entitled "Where've You Been?" It really touched me... Claire had all but given up When she and Edwin fell in love She touched his face and shook her head In disbelief she sighed and said In many dreams I've held you near Now at last you're really here Where've you been? I've looked for you forever and a day Where've you been? I'm just not myself when you're away He asked her for her hand for life Then she became a salesman's wife He was home each night by 8 But one stormy evening he was late Her frightened tears fell to the floor Until his key turned in the door Where've you been? I've looked for you forever and a day Where've you been? I'm just not myself when you're away They'd never spent a night apart For 60 yrs she heard him snore Now they're in a hospital In separate beds on different floors Claire soon lost her m

a recent trade

Through the fountain pen network I traded a Sheaffer Admiral (touchdown) for this pen, an Eversharp Symphony (a 702, second-generation, circa 1950).

some new additions

This is a Mabie Todd Swan, from a company originally in New York but then moved to England. The Swan was advertised as "the pen of the British empire." In fact it is a wonderfully writing pen, 14k nib, on the bold side. All it needed was a sac replacement. And now my favorite pen to date, a 1928 red Parker Duofold . This is a fantastic fountain pen, the one that put Parker on the map. They took a bit of a gamble in making pens in colors (most before had been hard black rubber, HBR). This one is in red permanite, a Dupont celluloid. One of the best made fountain pens of all time.

Calvin's critics

John Calvin -- like Martin Luther, and Jonathan Edwards many years later -- would be loved by many, and also abhorred by many. Philip Schaff in his History of the Christian Church, Vol. VIII, recorded the various tributes to Calvin after his death. It is fascinating to note the praises of his critics contrast with the stereotypes many modern Protestants have of the man. For example, a statement of a prominent Roman Catholic of his day... "Calvin had morals better regulated and settled than ____, and shewed from early youth that he did not allow himself to be carried away by the pleasures of sense… With a dry and attenuated body, he always possessed a fresh and vigorous intellect, ready in reply, bold in attack; even in his youth a great faster, either on account of his health, and to allay the headaches with which he was continually afflicted, or in order to have his mind more disencumbered for the purposes of writing, studying, and improving his memory. Calvin spoke little; wha

Calvin's 500th birthday, some quotes

“Wherever we find the Word of God surely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, there, it is not to be doubted, is a church of God.” “However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts.” “All the blessings we enjoy are Divine deposits, committed to our trust on this condition, that they should be dispensed for the benefit of our neighbors.” “No man is excluded from calling upon God, the gate of salvation is set open unto all men: neither is there any other thing which keepeth us back from entering in, save only our own unbelief.” “[A]ll men were created to busy themselves with labor for the common good.” “The torture of a bad conscience is the hell of a living soul.” “Is it faith to understand nothing, and merely submit your convictions implicitly to the Church?” “Every one of us is, even from his mother’s wo mb, a master craftsman of idols.” “It behooves u

brumidi corridors

I came across this picture recently, which I took a couple of summers ago when we toured the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Artist Constantino Brumidi emigrated from Italy to the U.S. in 1852 and made an extensive study of native species of animals and plants of America, as well as the history of our nation. He incorporated these into stunning frescoes throughout the halls of the Capitol. These hallways have recently been restored and re-opened to the public. If you get to Washington, it's really worth your time to see them.

Christian meditation

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night . (Psalm 1:1-2 ESV) One main difference between eastern mystical forms of meditation and biblical meditation is that eastern methods practice an emptying of the mind, whereas the biblical form has an object: God and his word. Our culture is so taken up with a rapid and superficial understanding of things -- often Christians carry this over into their approach to the Scripture. We read God's Word and then rush off to something else and promptly forget what we have read. Tim Keller gives this definition of biblical meditation: “[Meditation is] to bring the truth of God into contact with the center of one's being until the Triune God and all his Word becomes real to you so that you seek him. [It is] thinking a truth in, and thinking a truth out, until the ideas beco