What Do You Think?

This selection from my current read is worthy of pondering.

“(The Age of Enlightenment) brought a heavy emphasis on analytical thinking. The mind and rationalism reigned supreme, and this seeped heavily into the church.  Never before had the intellect played such a prominent role in matters of faith. Author Brian McLaren describes this move toward analysis by saying, “If the universe is an intelligible machine — and science is the master screwdriver to take it apart — then analysis is the ultimate form of thought, the universal screwdriver. …The fact that to us thinking and analyzing seem to be synonymous suggests how successful modernity has been at marginalizing all other forms of thought — imagination, intuition, pattern recognition, systems thinking, and so on..”

Now, I think that is right on, timely, worthy of further discussion.


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Exciting and Grand Day

Yesterday was a day of blessings for me.  Church  is always interesting, but this time was even more so.  Our house guest was the speaker of the day; he had just finished a two day seminar of Celestial Beings and other Other-worldly, yet biblical, entities and was planning to finish with further teaching on the book of Jude.  I had promised, and delivered to him, my special B&B breakfast  – a delightful presentation of a French toast sandwich made with cinnamon swirl bread held together with a cream cheese-pecan filling and served with a warm apricot-orange sauce.  The table conversation with such a learned man was challenging and substantive.

The excitement came from expecting Matthew, Becky and little Katherine to join us at church.  To see and hold my first great grandbaby – wow!  Who can believe this?  It all seemed like unreality, while at the same time there was a deep joy in knowing that there is a continuation of my heritage.

Their arrival was somewhat delayed by Katherine’s plumbing mishap and resultant bath and clothes change, but in the middle of worship time, there they stood!  Pastor later announced her arrival and I had an opportunity to stand to show her off to the entire assembly.

The meeting didn’t end until 2:00 p.m., not unusual.  Alan and Amy’s family joined us all at home where I had a fresh batch of soup in the crock pot.  Conversation, plus the usual group photo confusion, followed.  Another amazing feature of the day was that we sat outside on the patio, in our shirt sleeves, for the picture taking.  This is January in Maryland, for heaven’s sake!

After everyone left, the dust settled and quiet returned, I simply praised the Lord for His multiplied blessings.  My quiver is indeed full.

The Squirrel

The Squirrel

 

Above the splatter of the
fountain, a continual ‘soosh’ of wind is moving the leaves.  I wonder, is there any wind song if there are
no leaves to dance?

 

Restless, restless, the oak
branches, the pine across the way – at times the wind sound crescendos and as
quickly softens to a whisper.  Low
pillows of gray white clouds pass by steadily, ships at sky-sea.

 

A squirrel hops up to a
comfortable perch on a fence post – the last post before the space where fence
section was removed this winter.  Munching
on his dinner, he shows no alarm.  How
can he know, as I do, that the hawks are back and will soon be feeding their
young with tasty squirrel meat?

 

A furry finial, he waits
motionless now.  Does he wonder why the
gap in the fence?  Why his “highway” has
an eighteen foot interruption?

 

It had to be removed, you
see, for the machinery, tree removal machinery, to have access to the yard next
door.  Men came and hammered down the
fence.  Men with ropes and tackle and
chain saws.  It is their business, taking
down fences in order to take down trees.

 

The largest oak of all is
gone now.  Home to squirrel and communion
of birds, it is gone.  The four foot wide
stump which remains would be a far wider place to eat his dinner, wide enough
to sprawl in comfort.  But he never goes
there.  It is the fence post he prefers.

 

Did he cry as I did when his
home came down?

 

Men with saws, hawks with
claws, they all are part of squirrel’s life.
Hazards are everywhere.  So he
eats, and rests, and listens to the leaves dancing with the wind.

 

6/25/2006

I wrote this last June while still in mourning over the deliberate removal of a large oak tree in what had been my back yard before I built my new home next door.

Winter is Reading Time

Winter is reading time.  Never mind the beach with its sand and flies and barking dogs.  Shut-in-from-the-cold winter is the time for books.  As usual, there is more than one in process piled on my table.  Current list:

Just finishedEverybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them” by John Ortberg.  Funny as ever, with a serious message hidden midst the laughter.

“The Priestly Bride” by Anna Rountree – lifts the God-hungry heart to a place of intense longing, almost to a point of pain.  Beautiful word painting of our Beloved.

“Redefining the Role of Women in the Church ” by Dr. James T. Davis.  The best I have ever read on what Scripture really says about the role of women, and how distortions over the years have kept 50% of the Body of Christ in bondage.  Excellent Bible study as well.

“Pen on Fire” by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett.  Clearly written encouragement for would be writers, with excercises at the conclusion of each chapter.

New Additions to the Pile:

“The Throne Room Company “by Shawn Bolz

The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind” by Bill Johnson.

“Soul Tsunami” by Dr. Leonard Sweet (a gift this Christmas)

“Growing Old Ain’t for Wimps” (gift from my housemate, Margaret.)

Some time I want to get to “Divine Conspiracy” by Dallas Willard.  Guess we could use a long winter.  Put the coffe on and another log on the fire….and maybe even unplug the phone!

It’s a Puzzle

Sunday, December 31, 2006 I celebrated with taking a giant leap.
Faith? Foolishness?  Prideful self promotion?

It was centered in a manila envelope which contained a CD with the manuscript of my book “The Puzzle of Our Destiny.”  Because I was giving it to a friend who has pledged to hand carry it to Destiny Image Publications I had also included the answers to their questions of authors who are offering unsolicited works.

Some of their questions put me in mind of a final exam:

What makes your book stand out from all the other
titles currently on the market?
What will the reader learn as a result of reading this
book?

What are the major factors of your book that will have
an appeal to readers?

And so forth.  The real stumper:

Please list your conference or speaking
engagements/appearances over the next
12 months, as
well as those in the last
12 months. 

So it is on its way:  the first ever submission of any of my writings to be considered for publication.

That closes a chapter and gets me ready for this new year of 2007.  There is much on the horizon, with projects popping up and ministry opportunities to keep me out of trouble and off the streets.  So greetings, 2007.  There was a time I thought we would never meet, and here you are.  Glory!  Full speed ahead.