Sunday, July 31

Being Driven To the Cross

Have you ever wondered why we can not drive ourselves to the cross? I mean, why is it that the Spirit has to drive us there? The drive itself is never pleasant. Though when we find ourselves at the foot of the Cross, all else fades away and we are once again worshipping God with a humble heart and reverent mind.
Paul writes in II Corinthians of the thorn in the flesh he was given. This thorn, Paul writes, was given to him to keep him from being too elated and to rely on God's grace to accomplish the calling Paul new he had been given. I have found that "being driven to the cross" is not a one time trip. It is a continual journey. A journey entirely dependent upon grace. I am confident about the calling God has laid upon my heart, and when I was young, I foolishly thought that because I had been called, the hard parts of the journey would be spared me. Not so! In fact, I have learned that a servant sent out by his master is the one most likely to be attacked, not the servant who plods along safely on the farm.
So what does this mean for us, the servants? It means that God's grace is sufficient for us, His power is made perfect in our weakness. In fact, the more we are driven to the foot of the cross, the more in tune with His perfect grace we become, the better able we become to live out the lives that God has called us to.
And so, as Paul, I rejoice in my thorn. Let God's power and grace become perfect in me. For as a servant, I can never go without being sent.

Wednesday, July 27

Imagining Heaven

In The Great Divorce, the main character ghost is given the size of Hell:

"And yet all loneliness, angers, hatreds, envies and itchings that it contains, if rolled into one single experience and put into the scale against the least moment of the joy that is felt by the least in Heaven, would have no weight that could be registered at all.

Bad cannot succeed even in being bad as truly as good is good.

If all Hell's miseries together entered the consciousness of yon wee yellow bird on the bough there, they would be swallowed up without a trace, as if one drop of ink had been dropped into that Great Ocean to which your terrestrial Pacific itself is only a molecule."
~C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, July 26

Music mixings

So, everytime we go on a road trip, which is every week when we leave town, we buy a new CD. Eric gets a craving for old favourites: Van Halen/Best of Vol. I and Petra/God Fixation. When I want a real oldie, I go for Sting/All This Time. I'm learning to tolerate Van Halen; E's taking 15 minute doseages of the latest Classical selections on NPR over the radio.
Meanwhile, we have found common ground with forays into the Christian music field. Jeremy Camp/Restored is our latest addition, along with Jars of Clay/who we are instead, and two Caedmon's Call//Chronicles and Share the Well. Our favourite yet remains U2 latest, Atomic Bomb.

Tuesday, July 19

licence to steal

Licence plate collections. It's all the new sport in Enid this week. Our truck (yes, Little Darlin, with the super sensitive alarm system) lost her plate Saturday night and never gave us a peep of alarm. Maybe the theif had her mouth gagged.

Monday, July 18

Chapter 2

Witold compares the work of an architect to that of a child at play. Games were first invented for adults and passed down to the children. Consider Pieter Brueghel the Elder's painting, Children's Games, 1560, in which we see streets full of children playing some 91 games, only one of which is a building game, that of laying bricks for a house. Building houses of cards became popular at least by the mid 18th century, recorded by French painters Chardin and Coypel. In 18th century Holland, the domesticity of home life brought children indoors for quieter play, allowing the use of more time-intensive, focussed play in doll houses and Noah's arks.

Educational toys became popular through the work of Friedrich Froebel, a German would-be architect turned educator. He developed the first kindergartens for young children. The kindergarten curricula consisted of games using geometric shapes and blocks to imitate real life structures and exercise the child's natural creative instincts. Our common nursery playthings such as alphabet blocks, flash cards, and plastic construction sets that we have today were inspired by Froebel's educational tools.

Friday, July 15

Reading Mr Rybczynski

In his book, The Most Beautiful House in the World, Witold Rybczynski desires to build a boat. He raises the question: what distinguishes buildings from architecture? Why, in other words, do we make comments such as "my old boat shed out back is no piece of architecture," implying that some buildings are merely useful and others are both useful and ornamental? What is it that makes a court house a work of art that we go visit simply to see the architecture? Are we using the term 'architecture' to describe a certain kind of building having aesthetic appeal?
We are aesthetic creatures, being "sensitive to beauty." In the attempt to tell about our favourite, most awe-inspiring, beautiful man-made living structures, we have fallen into the Ruskin trap of definition. He liked to catagorize some buildings as vernacular and unworthy of our notice, and others as superior works of art, worthy study as Architecture.
Witold challenges such catagorization as mere bias of feeling, the effect that a particular building has upon the onlooker. We need instead to wonder what is the cause of the building's effect upon us. We might begin to ask of all of man's architectural endeavors: how does this building reflect the mind and intent of its builder?

Monday, July 11

Red Sunset

The best thing about a humid day in the middle of summer is that it's nightfall and nearly done. Unexpected reward somes, however, in the form of the fire ball sun. Tonight, the last threads of cloud lingered on the western horizon, where the chariot of Apollo disappears behind the low, level sod of the plowed Oklahoma fields. Our nights here are bright well into bedtime, when good student aviators ought to be asleep. Morning awaits; little bombers wait to be flown out of their bunks into the hazy blue light of day to test the patience and perseverance in the hand of a man.

The Problem with White

Is that it must be bleached. Which doubles the trouble of washing--one more ingredient. Clean sheets and towels give comfort to our civilization, a thing in common we share the pleasure of experiencing. Well, I've been called into work and must leave an unfinished thought to your patience.