Friday, May 31, 2019

Character

There are certain character traits I have come to appreciate in a person.

1. Passion. I get along best with those who deeply believe in something and know how to energetically share it with others. Even if we don't agree on everything, at least we can have in common a similar level of enthusiasm. My mother often called this animo.

2. Transparency. Sometimes people don't like to be too direct for fear of hurting someone. For some of us, opaque indirectness can actually hurt worse. What you see is what you get is helpful when it come to people, too. I'm not always very good at picking up on cues, and sometimes I just need things spelled out.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

What child care can teach education

The Proverbs 31 Woman and the 1950s Woman are not mirror images of one another. In the classic presentation of the 1950s, the woman was the housewife and the husband was the breadwinner. The Proverbs 31 Woman is active in the home and in the marketplace.

In post-World War II America, women have become well-established in the marketplace. This trend has continued to the point that outsourcing part of early childhood parenting has not only become a viable business opportunity, but is now a growth industry.

With the President's daughter talking about the child care issue, Republicans are raising the issue and looking at ways to address the issue from a policy standpoint while still adhering to conservative principles. Whatever happens in Congress, demand shows no signs of slowing down or abating any time soon.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

One third complete

Today, I'm 15,333 days old, and that means I'm one third of the way through 1,000 days of writing.

I've found that this commitment has pushed me from social media, back to blogging. Twitter is still a useful outlet, and sometimes my writing here doesn't merit more than a Tweet. Nonetheless, it's useful in this format, too. One thing that you can do on blogging that you can't on social media is add hyperlinks to text. Yes, social media obviously handles links, but not directly from text of my choosing.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Netflix vs. Pro-Life Movement

Netflix has announced it is working with the ACLU to overturn Georgia's heartbeat bill, the law that bans abortion of an unborn baby's heartbeat can be detected.

Netflix is working directly against the pro-life movement.

If you're pro-life and a Netflix subscriber, please know your subscription fees are working directly against your principles. I recommend canceling your subscription.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Destroyers for Bases

The Second World War changed everything. The United States was attacked by an increasingly militaristic Japan after Washington imposed economic sanctions on Tokyo that would have brought the country to its knees. The Americans came out swinging. They projected their now vast power around the world, and in order to keep things that way, this time they didn't go home.

As the world's greatest economic and military postwar power, America now needed to control the world's sea-lanes, to keep the peace, and get the goods to market. They were “the last man standing.”

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Grasping too strongly

Often we want people to pray for us and help us, but always defeat our object when we look too much to them and lean upon them. The true secret of union is for both to look upon God, and in the act of looking past themselves to Him they are unconsciously united.

The sailor was right when he saw the little boy fall overboard and waited a minute before he plunged to his rescue.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Tech News

NASA’s first-of-kind tests look to manage drones in cities
NASA has launched the final stage of a four-year effort to develop a national traffic management system for drones, testing them in cities for the first time beyond the operator’s line of sight as businesses look in the future to unleash the unmanned devices in droves above busy streets and buildings.

Contemporary internet shopping conjures a perfect storm of choice anxiety. Research has consistently held that people who are presented with a few options make better, easier decisions than those presented with many. It has also shown that having many options is particularly confounding when the information available on them is limited or confusing.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Universal Basic Income is a shortcut to hyperinflation

As more job skills are transferred to technology and parts of jobs in part or in whole get taken over by technology, some have pondered how those without high-level skills will make a living.

Some have suggested universal basic income as an option: regular money from the government to the citizens on a regular basis.

Let's think about what would happen with this.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Growth Engine

This week is quite busy for me, and I'm not ahead of schedule on writing, so this is going to be another brief post.

Suffice it to say, God is using this little book in a couple people's lives today. He is, of course, a step of me, and it's fun to see that firsthand. He may be bringing the story in that book to real life, too. Stay tuned, and in prayer! Thank you.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Almond Trees

Almond trees are among the earliest to bloom and the latest to bear fruit.

A friend of mine was applying the latter to me and a situation of mine today, but in looking up the analogy, and also in seeing the reference to almonds in Jeremiah 1:11-12, I'm wondering if the former isn't more applicable to how I should consider next steps for pursuing my purpose.

Monday, May 20, 2019

How do you measure success?

Do you measure success by…

• how much money you make?

• how content you are?

• how effectively you can do things?

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Rejoicing in Routine

There is nothing that tells more of Christ than to see a Christian rejoicing and cheerful in the humdrum and routine of commonplace work, like the sailors that stand on the dock loading the vessel and singing as they swing their loads, keeping time with the spirit of praise to the footsteps and movements of labor and duty. No one has a sweeter or higher ministry for Christ than a business man or a serving woman who can carry the light of heaven in their faces all day long.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Abortion's ‘hard cases’

This is a reprint of one of the most compelling things I've ever read about the difficult question of rape and abortion. Links added.

Abortion’s House of Cards
Victims of rape and incest speak out
By Pamela Pearson Wong
January/February 2001

They’re called the “hard cases”: those situations that may cause even “pro-life” people to waffle on their opposition to abortion. A 12-year-old is the victim of incest by her brother. A 16-year-old, the only child of a hard-working single parent, is brutally raped by a stranger. A man overpowers a recent high school graduate on their first date.

Abortion supporters abuse tragic circumstances like these to gain sympathy for abortion-on-demand. When a woman or girl is the victim of sexual abuse, they say abortion is a way of escape. They claim that “forcing her” to give birth in these situations will cause more trauma than she can handle. What could be crueler, they ask, than insisting a girl or woman must bear the child of her rapist or abuser?

Pro-life supporters counter that, while they are tragedies, rape and incest should not be automatic grounds for abortion. A child conceived in abuse is still an innocent bystander who does not deserve to suffer for her father’s sins. Further, they say, abortion harms rather than helps women.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Plans and Steps

Tragedy recently hit the Appalachian Trail in southwest Virginia.

This hits a bit close to home for me because I've met some hikers from the Trail before. Four of them in Virginia had once gone into town to get supplies for a couple weeks, and we're heading back to the trail.

Trail names are a thing. I never knew about that until these people introduced themselves with names that sounded like they were characters out of Peter Pan. I don't remember them all now because they were so far out of the normal names I was expecting during introductions.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The presence of God is not a practice

The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence, is an old book about which there is renewed popularity and consternation. It's good to read something for oneself, and it's short.

Here are some quotes (in bold) from the book I found noteworthy. I also include Scripture references for comparison.

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Rise of Vanity

Key cultural transformations in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including the rise of letter writing, the development of photography, the mass production of mirrors, and the repudiation of religious teachings that portrayed humans as inherently flawed, slowly accustomed individuals to public self-presentation and self-promotion.

Before these psychological labels emerged, Americans thought of high self-regard as a sin, and they used the words “vanity,” “pride,” and occasionally “egotism” to describe the trait.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

A mother story to cherish from the Bible

One of the most beautiful stories portraying motherhood in all the Scriptures is the story of Hannah.

At first she could not have children. She sought the Lord diligently about this, and He answered her request. In expressing her thanks for the child, Samuel, she dedicated him to the Lord and, as he was growing up, saw him once a year.

The part of the story that gets me the most each time is 1 Samuel 2:19: “his mother used to make him a little robe, and bring it to him year by year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.”

Children grow up fast, and I imagine she would be surprised at how much he had grown. I’m sure she took that into account for calculations on his new size the next year.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Connecting Threads

Warren Wiersbe passed away early this month.

I remember his name from my family connections to ministries out of the Chicago area from years ago.

I recently bought his commentary series and outlines. I bought it especially because it presented Wiersbe as having been very effective at finding lots of threads connecting different parts of Scripture together. Even if he didn't go verse-by-verse, his was a form of expository preaching. Recently I included one of his examples in my teaching preparation on John 12.

I'm grateful for his life and testimony.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Divide and Conquer

Yesterday I read in Proverbs 30:27, “While locusts live without a ruler, they all know how to move in formation.” Some translations render that last word, “ranks.”

On it's face, today's anti-individual culture in the Church could use this as another example of “the value of ‘small groups.’” In looking up the original Hebrew word, however, the meaning seems to be the exact opposite. Ranks are formed by separating off sections of a larger group. Why your whole army get defeated at once when you can divide and conquer?

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Scriptures used to advocate for contemplative prayer

There is a movement in the church today to advocate for prayer without words. Usually not much Scripture is involved in the presentation off these ideas. I came across one recently that did. I found it helpful to look up the Scriptures claimed to support the ideas.

What follows are the claims with Scripture references cited, and then the actual text of those Scriptures. The question to ask in considering these is: Do the Scriptures cited back up the claims? Links are added which can be used to look at them in context.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Fall of Jericho

BY C. H. SPURGEON, 1852.
THE day is come, the seventh morn
Is usher’d in with blast of horn,
Tremble, ye tow’rs of giant height,
This is the day of Israel’s might.
Six days ye mock’d the silent band,
This hour their shout shall shake your land.
Old Jordan’s floods shall hear the sound,
Yon circling hills with fear shall bound.

Thou palm-tree’d city, at thy gates,
Death in grim form this moment waits;
See, hurrying on the howling blast,
That dreaded hour, thy last, thy last.

Lo at the leader’s well known sign
The tribes their mighty voices join,
With thund’ring noise the heavens are rent,
Down fails the crumbling battlement;
Straight to the prey each soldier goes,
The sword devours his helpless foes.
Now impious! on your idols call;
Prostrate at Baal’s altar fall
In vain your rampart and your pride
Which once ,Jehovah’s pow’r defied.

Now Israel, spare not, strike the blade
In heart of man and breast of maid;
Spare not the old, nor young, nor gay,
Spare not, for justice bids you slay.

Who shall describe that dreadful cry,
These ears shall hear it till they die.
Pale terror shrieks her hideous note,
War bellows from his brazen throat,
Death tears, his prey with many a groan.
Nor earth itself restrains a moan.

Ho! vultures to the banquet, haste,
Here ye may feast, and glut your taste;
Ho! monsters of the gloomy wood,
Here cool your tongues in seas of blood.

But no; the flames demand the whole,
In blazing sheets they upward roll;
They fire the heavens, and cast their light
Where Gibeon pales with sad affright;
A lurid glare o’er earth is cast,
The nations stand with dread, aghast.
The shepherd on the distant plain
Thinks of old Sodom’s fiery rain;
tie flies a sheltering hill to find,
Nor casts one lingering look behind.

The magian scans his mystic lore,
Fortells the curse on Egypt’s shore;
The Arab checks his frighted horse,
Bends his wild knee, and turns his course.
E’en remote behold the glarer
And hardy sailors raise their prayer.

Now in dim smoke the flames expire
That lit the city’s funeral fire,
The glowing embers cease to burn:
Haste, patriot, fill the golden urn!
In crystal tears her dust embalm.
In distant lands, in strife or calm,
Still press the relic to thy heart,
And in the rapture lose the smart!
It must not be; her sons are dead,
They with their mother burned or bled;
Not one survives: the vip’rish race
Have perish’d with their lodging-place.
No more lascivious maidens dance,
No youths with lustful step advance,
No drunkard’s bowl, no rite unclean,
No idol mysteries are seen.
A warrior stands in martial state,
And thus proclaims her changeless fate.
“Accursed city, blot her name
“From mind of man, from lip of fame,
“Curs’d be the mail, and curs’d him race,
“Who dares his house on thee to place;
“He founds it on his firstborn’s tomb,
“And crowns it with the brother’s doom.”

Thus God rewards the haughty foe,
Great in their sin and overthrow.
He ever reigns immortal King;
With Israel’s song the mountains ring.

Yet ‘mid the justice dread severe,
Where pity sheds no silv’ry tear,
A gleam of golden mercy strays,
And lights the scene with pleasing rays.

One house escapes, by faith secure,
The scarlet thread a token sure,
Rahab, whose seed in future time
Should bear the virgin’s Son sublime.

Thus when the thund’rer grasps his arms,
And fills our earth with just alarms,
His hand still shields the chosen race,
And ‘midst his wrath remembers grace.
Charles H. Spurgeon (2010-04-18T23:58:59). The Sword and the Trowel Volume 1. Kindle Edition.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Post-Teaching

To teach is to take others on a tour of new territory.

To review is to help students navigate that territory themselves.

There is an art to integrating tools into teaching.

There is an art to integrating no tools into review.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Getting Fit

Our Father is fitting us for eternity.

A vessel fitted for the kitchen will find itself in the kitchen.

A vessel for the art gallery or the reception room will generally find itself there at last.

What are you getting fitted for?

Friday, May 3, 2019

17 years ago

It's hard to believe my great-uncle Dave Breese passed away 17 years ago today. He lived for 27,595 days.

His widow is still alive. I call her now and then. Today would be a good day to do so again.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

To End or Extend

First we make our decisions, and then our decisions make us. I once heard that.

Sometimes our past decisions break down or reach their endpoint. Sometimes we can extend those, too.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

New month, unexpected new challenge

Getting unexpectedly thrust into a market for a necessary, large, and not-exactly-affordable purchase can have a way of derailing one’s plans. This would include a daily writing commitment.

Disclosure

Links to Amazon.com are affiliate links and earn commissions.

Your support is appreciated.

Blog Archive

2013

You don't launch a popular blog,
you build one.
Seth Godin