Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Proverbs 20

Pro 20:7  The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
Pro 20:8  A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.
Pro 20:9  Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

Who indeed? None of us can. We are incapable of becoming pure on our own power.

Pro 20:10  Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.
Pro 20:11  Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
Pro 20:12  The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.

Monday, May 30, 2011

This is from the book of Wisdom.  This is the prayer Solomon may have used when requesting wisdom from God.

God of my fathers, and Lord of mercy, who hast made all things with thy word, And by thy wisdom hast appointed man, that he should have dominion over the creature that was made by thee, That he should order the world according to equity and justice, and execute justice with an upright heart: Give me wisdom, that sitteth by thy throne, and cast me not off from among thy children: For I am thy servant, and the son of thy handmaid, a weak man, and of short time, and falling short of the understanding of judgment and laws. For if one be perfect among the children of men, yet if thy wisdom be not with him, he shall be nothing regarded. 

 Thou hast chosen me to be king of thy people, and a judge of thy sons and daughters: And hast commanded me to build a temple on thy holy mount, and an altar in the city of thy dwelling place, a resemblance of thy holy tabernacle, which thou hast prepared from the beginning: And thy wisdom with thee, which knoweth thy works, which then also was present when thou madest the world, and knew what was agreeable to thy eyes, and what was right in thy commandments. Send her out of thy holy heaven, and from the throne of thy majesty, that she may be with me, and may labour with me, that I may know what is acceptable with thee: For she knoweth and understandeth all things, and shall lead me soberly in my works, and shall preserve me by her power. So shall my works be acceptable, and I shall govern thy people justly, and shall be worthy of the throne of my father. 

For who among men is he that can know the counsel of God? or who can think what the will of God is? For the thoughts of mortal men are fearful, and our counsels uncertain. For the corruptible body is a load upon the soul, and the earthly habitation presseth down the mind that museth upon many things. And hardly do we guess aright at things that are upon earth: and with labour do we find the things that are before us. But the things that are in heaven, who shall search out? And who shall know thy thought, except thou give wisdom, and send thy holy Spirit from above: And so the ways of them that are upon earth may be corrected, and men may learn the things that please thee? For by wisdom they were healed, whosoever have pleased thee, O Lord, from the beginning.

Proverbs 20

Pro 20:1  Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
Pro 20:2  The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.
Pro 20:3  It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling. 

I continue to find it interesting that strife and contention and anger are respected in society, even if we know it brings an early death from stress, in complete opposition to the Bible.  There are few times when anger and strife are recommended, and yet it is something we fall into time and time again.  It is considered honorable to avoid such strife, which we know is true.  We know the people who can hold their mouths and kick on their filters and we think more highly of them.  Fools will be meddling.

Pro 20:4  The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.
Pro 20:5  Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.
Pro 20:6  Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find? 

Most people will claim their own goodness and loyalty and truth, but it is really hard to find a faithful person.  So even though we say how great we are, we know how high of a standard that is.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Wisdom 8

The author is talking about wisdom here.

Wis 8:1 She reacheth, therefore, from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly.
Wis 8:2 Her have I loved, and have sought her out from my youth, and have desired to take for my spouse, and I became a lover of her beauty.
Wis 8:3 She glorifieth her nobility by being conversant with God: yea, and the Lord of all things hath loved her.
Wis 8:4 For it is she that teacheth the knowledge of God and is the chooser of his works.
Wis 8:5 And if riches be desired in life, what is richer than wisdom, which maketh all things?
Wis 8:6 And if sense do work: who is a more artful worker than she of those things that are?
Wis 8:7 And if a man love justice: her labours have great virtues: for she teacheth temperance, and prudence, and justice, and fortitude, which are such things as men can have nothing more profitable in life.
Wis 8:8 And if a man desire much knowledge: she knoweth things past, and judgeth of things to come: she knoweth the subtilties of speeches, and the solutions of arguments: she knoweth signs and wonders before they be done, and the events of times and ages.
Wis 8:9 I purposed, therefore, to take her to me to live with me: knowing that she will communicate to me of her good things, and will be a comfort in my cares and grief.
Wis 8:10 For her sake I shall have glory among the multitude, and honour with the ancients, though I be young:
Wis 8:11 And I shall be found of a quick conceit in judgment, and shall be admired in the sight of the mighty, and the faces of princes shall wonder at me.
Wis 8:12 They shall wait for me when I hold my peace, and they shall look upon me when I speak; and if I talk much, they shall lay their hands on their mouth.
Wis 8:13 Moreover, by the means of her I shall have immortality: and shall leave behind me an everlasting memory to them that come after me.
Wis 8:14 I shall set the people in order: and nations shall be subject to me.
Wis 8:15 Terrible kings hearing, shall be afraid of me: among the multitude I shall be found good, and valiant in war.
Wis 8:16 When I go into my house, I shall repose myself with her: for her conversation hath no bitterness, nor her company any tediousness, but joy and gladness.
Wis 8:17 Thinking these things with myself, and pondering them in my heart, that to be allied to wisdom is immortality,
Wis 8:18 And that there is great delight in her friendship, and inexhaustible riches in the works of her hands, and in the exercise of conference with her, wisdom, and glory in the communication of her words: I went about seeking, that I might take her to myself.
Wis 8:19 And I was a witty child, and had received a good soul.
Wis 8:20 And whereas I was more good, I came to a body undefiled.
Wis 8:21 And as I knew that I could not otherwise be continent, except God gave it, and this also was a point of wisdom, to know whose gift it was, I went to the Lord, and besought him, and said with my whole heart:

Sixth Sunday of Easter! Psalm 24!

Readings are here.

1Pe 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
1Pe 3:16  Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

Psalm 24
A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Romans 4

This next week we’re on Romans 4. I hope we’re able to do it, because my partner will be out of town to see her son come home from Afghanistan. I do think that’s an amazing reason to miss Bible study though!

Romans 4 continues the discourse on faith and works of the law. One cannot be dependent upon good works to get into Heaven, as there is no way for us to do every act with perfection. We are not perfectly holy. Even our good works are often marred with less than good intentions or motivations. Further, none of us is capable of avoiding evil works. We continue to fall down, over and over and over. So there is no way we can earn our way into Heaven – that door must be opened by God and the only thing we can do is have faith in God as God commands.

This of course does not mean we don’t do good works or God isn’t expecting our best. Faith is the first step, but faith without works is dead (James).

Friday, May 27, 2011

Proverbs 19

Proverbs 19

It has been awhile since I’ve done anything with Proverbs! I was busy with the Bible in 90 days, and then life just ran up on me and I slowed down. But now we’re back to Proverbs, finishing up Chapter 19.

Pro 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
Pro 19:19 A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.
Pro 19:20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
Pro 19:21 There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
Pro 19:22 The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.
Pro 19:23 The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.
Pro 19:24 A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.
Pro 19:25 Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.
Pro 19:26 He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.
Pro 19:27 Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.
Pro 19:28 An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.
Pro 19:29 Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Don't leave it on the desk

This was stolen from Rural Revolution, and she got it from somewhere else as well.  I've seen it as a forward.

There was a certain Professor of Religion named Dr. Christianson, a studious man who taught at a small college in the western United States.

Dr. Christianson taught the required survey course in Christianity at this particular institution. Every student was required to take this course their freshman year, regardless of his or her major.

Although Dr. Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as nothing but required drudgery. Despite his best efforts, most students refused to take Christianity seriously.

This year, Dr. Christianson had a special student named Steve. Steve was only a freshman, but was studying with the intent of going onto seminary for the ministry. Steve was popular, he was well liked, and he was an imposing physical specimen. He was now the starting center on the school football team, and was the best student in the professor's class.

One day Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him.

"How many push-ups can you do?"

Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."

"200? That's pretty good," Dr. Christianson said. "Do you think you could do 300?"

Steve replied, "I don't know.... I've never done 300 at a time."

"Do you think you could?" asked Dr. Christianson again.

"Well, I can try," said Steve.

"Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I have a class project in mind and I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it," said the professor.

Steve said, "Well... I think I can...yeah, I can do it."

Dr. Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday. Let me explain what I have in mind."

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, the professor pulled out a big box of donuts. No, these weren't the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr. Christianson's class.

Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want to have one of these donuts?"

Cynthia said, "Yes."

Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"

"Sure!" Steve jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Dr. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's desk.

Dr. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe, do you want a donut?"

Joe said, "Yes." Dr. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?"

Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten push-ups for every person before they got their donut.

Walking down the second aisle, Dr. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was on the basketball team, and in as good condition as Steve. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship.

When the professor asked, "Scott do you want a donut?"

Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own push-ups?"

Dr. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."

Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."

Dr. Christianson shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?"

With perfect obedience Steve started to do ten push-ups.

Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!"

Dr. Christianson said, "Look! This is my classroom, my class, my desks, and these are my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it." And he put a donut on Scott's desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow.

Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry. Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?"

Sternly, Jenny said, "No."

Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten more push-ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?"

Steve did ten. Jenny got a donut.

By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room. The students were beginning to say, "No!" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks.

Steve also had to really put forth a lot of extra effort to get these push-ups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbeliever in the class, to watch Steve do each push up to make sure he did the full ten push-ups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those uneaten donuts. He sent Robert over to where Steve was so Robert count the set and watch Steve closely.

Dr. Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some students from other classes had wandered in and sat down on the steps along the radiators that ran down the sides of the room. When the professor realized this, he did a quick count and saw that now there were 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Dr. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Dr. Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?"

Dr. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your push-ups. You are in charge now. You can do them any way that you want." And Dr. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled in one voice, "NO! Don't come in! Stay out!"

Jason didn't know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."

Professor Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten push-ups for him?"

Steve said, "Yes, let him come in. Give him a donut."

Dr. Christianson said, "Okay, Steve, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now.
Jason, do you want a donut?"

Jason, new to the room, hardly knew what was going on. "Yes," he said, "give me a donut."

"Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?"

Steve did ten push-ups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.

Dr Christianson finished the fourth row, and then started on those visitors seated by the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. By this time sweat was profusely dropping off of his face, there was no sound except his heavy breathing; there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two students in the room were two young women, both cheerleaders, and very popular. Dr. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a doughnut?"

Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."

Professor Christianson quietly asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?"

Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push-ups for Linda.

Then Dr. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want a donut?"

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, began to cry. "Dr. Christianson, why can't I help him?"

Dr Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, Steve has to do it alone. I have given him this task and he is in charge of seeing that everyone has an opportunity for a donut whether they want it or not. When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade book. Steve here is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone else has failed a test, skipped class, or offered me inferior work. Steve told me that in football practice when a player messes up, he must do push-ups. I told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless he paid the price by doing your push-ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes."

"Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?"

As Steve very slowly finished his last push-up, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 push-ups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Dr. Christianson turned to the room and said, "And so it was that our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross, pleaded to the Father, 'Into thy hands I commend my spirit.' With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, He yielded up His life. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten."

Two students helped Steve up off the floor and to a seat, physically exhausted, but wearing a thin smile.

"Well done, good and faithful servant," said the professor, adding, "Not all sermons are preached in words."

Turning to his class, the professor said, "My wish is that you might understand and fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that have been given to you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He spared not His Only Begotten Son, but gave Him up for us all, for the whole Church, now and forever. Whether or not we choose to accept His gift to us, the price has been paid."

"Wouldn't you be foolish and ungrateful to leave it lying on the desk?"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yay books!

I’m reading So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore. Yes, I said I was going to read that earlier. But I ended up reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Hunger Games is about a future society broken up into several districts around the capital, which is in the Rockies. The districts had rebelled decades before, and the capital won. To ensure dependence on the capital, authoritarian rule became the norm and the capital did all sorts of things to remind everyone they were in charge. Each year, the districts send one male and one female teenager to compete in the Hunger Games against the tributes of the other districts in a death match. Last teen standing wins.

It was a really compelling read and I stayed up late to finish it the night of the Joplin tornadoes. I wasn’t sleeping anyway. It is apparently a young adult book, but I found some of the themes to be quite adult in nature. It did give me some interesting dreams.

I love So Long Insecurity so far. She does a wonderful job with the subject of female insecurity in the light of Christianity. We’re not talking about the really unhealthy women – this insecurity is found in all women I know, even the ones that are really well adjusted and happy. She makes a lot of wonderful points! I thoroughly recommend this book to any woman.  I made so many highlights it is hard to pick my favorites!  I went with these three.

Pride lives on the defensive against anyone and anything that tries to subtract from its self-sustained worth. Confidence, on the other hand, is driven by the certainty of God-given identity and the conviction that nothing can take that identity away.

This one is when we try to play God and think we need to know everything about everyone and everything:

Because God is complete perfection and immutable holiness, He can handle omniscience. He can know all things—good and evil—without responding with sin, weakness, horror, or despair. We, on the other hand, don’t have that luxury.

This next one is after a friend says or does something you're not sure if you should take offensively or not:

But that’s one of those times when we get to exercise the power of choice. Will I think the best of her or the worst? Will I focus on this exact moment of offense, or will I remember a faithful, long-term friendship? The camaraderie my closest female companions bring to my life is well worth having to occasionally whisper to myself, “What you’re feeling right this minute is stupid. Stop it.”

Friday, May 20, 2011

This week, I got a Kindle. It is just every bit as spiffy as I wanted it to be, which was good since I had the stomach flu and just laid around after work all week. It is a wonderful little piece of equipment and I can see my reading (as well as my book costs) increasing. It doesn’t feel like you’re reading a computer. The first night when I had accidentally skipped too many pages forward, it felt like it would if I’d grabbed too many pages in a book. I wasn’t even thinking about it and reached out with my left hand to correct the situation, only pausing when I realized there wasn’t a page to flip back. That is how engrossed in the reading one can be, which is a true shock to someone who thought I needed a physical book to get that involved in the plot!

The first book I read was Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell. This was an outstanding book. Simply great. I gave it a perfect rating at Amazon. It is the true story of the lone survivor of a four man SEAL team sent in to Afghanistan. It is brutally honest and entirely brutal on top of being an engaging and compelling read. I will no doubt think of it often.

One particular portion has been on my mind – the decision to shoot or release some unarmed herdsmen that had found them. Militarily, he discusses how killing them is the only clear option. He references how they are all Christians though and that seems to be a problem. He goes on to blame the liberal media for his final decision, his vote, the one that would change the mission entirely and his life. The question of morality has been on my mind of late for a variety of topics so this was added to the pile of situations to ponder. It isn’t a new situation – they asked this of us in ROTC as a hypothetical situation.

It is of course harder to go from a hypothetical situation to real life; even if one finds it easy to decide on the moral course of action on paper, it is frequently difficult to put that into action when everybody else and even your “common sense” tells you something different. We can be quite good at confusing ourselves.

I try to remember that when I think of the victims of abortion, who I think include many of the young mothers. I can state objectively abortion is an intrinsic evil, a sin against God. But I’ve never been pregnant. And even if I was, I’ve never been in a situation where a pregnancy could even be perceived as impossible to manage. The poor woman in crisis could easily be overwhelmed and unsupported and placed in a perfect position to succumb to the lie that human wisdom and ability is superior to God’s.

The second book I read was Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace: My Spiritual Journey in Opus Dei by Scott Hahn. Scott Hahn is my favorite author to read in Christian non-fiction. He is clear and follows a logical thought pattern my brain can follow. This book is about his experiences in joining Opus Dei, the organization most people know of from fictionalized tales in the media. Oh, I’m sure they have their problems, but if you end up the subject of a major Hollywood movie, lies are sure to abound. Anyway, I did enjoy the book, but not as much as some of his others.

One thing I did take from the book is from a chapter called “Turn Up the Romance,” though the part I took away had little to do with the romance. When he converted to Catholicism after being a Protestant minister, it created some tension with his very intelligent and very not Catholic wife. He explained he spent hours researching all the different information so they could have conversations about their differences, but remained frustrated it wasn’t working and she no longer seemed interested in hearing about Catholicism. His friends advised him to drop the theology and turn up the romance, meaning stop arguing with her and just start loving her.

I’m not married so have no one to immediately apply that part to, but he said that after it worked he started doing the same thing with friends and coworkers as well. Yes, it is good to know all the theology and detailed reasons for everything we believe, but that’s not actually what wins people to either Catholicism or Christianity. It certainly is not what makes or sustains relationships. I have found if all I focus on in a friendship is the differences, be they in religion or any other topic, the friendship surely struggles. This doesn’t mean we agree with someone else’s false doctrine or assume that all truths are created equal – it just means we spend more time focusing on love and service than on the scholarly arguments behind our disagreements. The focus is on relationships.

He talks about relationships and their importance elsewhere. “In true friendship, we have the freedom to speak a word of correction or even reproof. In the wake of prayer, we have the ability to say it in a diplomatic way. Truth can move mountains without employing rhetorical explosions.”

He also talks about praying for our friends who do not know Jesus while we continue to serve them in love. He quoted St Josemaria, “Most of our apostolate, then, will be invisible. Our friends might someday glimpse the tip of the iceberg – maybe. In heaven, however, they’ll know our love in its very depths.”

I think my next read will be So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore, which appears to be aimed at telling women why we just need God to validate our existence and make us worthwhile. Nothing else on the planet can do that for us. I already know that, but it is so good to be reminded.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What I've been reading while neglecting my blog...

Wonderful post at Seraphic Singles.  I'm not even sure how to classify it, but she tags it under "Facts of Life" and "Sexuality."

Sometimes I think our age is floating on an oil slick of dreams over the ocean of reality.

Thanks to the extended adolescence of people in the West and the stultifying effects of political correctness, it is harder and harder to do this, but we must all be rooted in reality. Christians are mocked by a herd of horoscope-readers for believing the Gospel, but the Gospel is based in the historical realities of a community in relationship with Reality Himself. In order to live in correct relationship to Truth, we must be rooted in the truth. We must constantly demand of ourselves the truth. And one of the truths, the very hard truths, is that we are sinners and we screw up.

Over at NCR, we have the Three Temptations of Facebook (which also includes other social networking sites) by Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary, one of my favorite blogs to read.  On that blog, she's having a word by word analysis by guest bloggers on the Our Father.

But now I’d developed a habit of making sure that no opinion, no matter how ill-thought-out, inappropriate or pointless, went unannounced. In fact, I’d almost come to think of it as a duty, as if I had to form opinions about every single thing that crossed my path so that I could bless my social media friends with my commentary.

What Does the Prayer Really Say gets a read from me at least once a day.  Lately he's been commenting on the latest thing on the Latin Mass out of Rome, and it is really above my head.  But I like reading it, and he has pretty pictures.

Also on my daily reading list is Rural Revolution, which has stuff about farming and conservative family values with humor ALL IN ONE BLOG.  Cows are actually kind of fun to look at, especially the babies!

Finally, some more humor.  Simcha Fisher is preparing to welcome Child #9 into the world, and she has some snappy answers to your questions about her large family at NCR.  You can also check out her blog - I have to sit down.

Q: Don’t you have a TV?
A: If you think TV is better than sex, then you are doing it wrong.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Long time, no see.

I apologize for the gap in blogging. Life has gotten very busy of late and I have not had as much time to blog. I do still find time to read and study the Bible, and read other people’s blogs. I hope to continue with more frequency as the spring develops.

I am reading through Romans with a friend. We are on Romans 3 this week. Paul continues to make his case that all are in need of divine intervention, as none are righteous by their own doings. While we can and frequently do good things, it is almost impossible to be pure when doing them and the evil deeds we do or the good deeds we fail to do or even the deeds we do that aren’t for God far, far, far outnumber anything good we might come up with.

He speaks toward the Law, which is what the Jews had in terms of guidance, and points out nobody has been or will be able to fulfill its requirements. The Law itself is of course good since it came from God and does point the way toward God, but people are unable to meet its demands. In that way, the Law also highlights our need for something apart from ourselves to save us.