Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sheaffer Balance

The Sheaffer Balance is a classic celluloid fountain pen with an excellent Lifetime nib and wonderful writing properties. Not long ago I picked up a 1930/31 model from a flea market. It's my current favorite, and almost identical to the one pictured below.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Top ten irritating phrases

The British newspaper, The Telegraph (online), recently listed the Oxford top ten most irritating phrases:

1 - At the end of the day
2 - Fairly unique
3 - I personally
4 - At this moment in time
5 - With all due respect
6 - Absolutely
7 - It's a nightmare
8 - Shouldn't of
9 - 24/7
10 - It's not rocket science

I said, I wonder if you could put all these into one sentence, and here are a few responses:

"With all due respect, I personally, at this moment in time which is fairly unique, that is, at the end of the day, absolutely agree it's a nightmare to (and I shouldn't have) try and prove it's not rocket science, 24/7." (-Doug)

"At this moment in time, at the end of the fairly unique day, I personally think it's a nightmare, for the job absolutely shouldn't of taken 24/7; with all due respect, it's not rocket science!" (-Linda)

And the winner is:

"With all due respect, it's not rocket science to critique one's life, and at this moment in time I personally feel that at the end of the day I can look back and immediately know what I did that was fairly unique, the kind of thing I should repeat 24/7, and what I did that I absolutely shouldn't of done, things that make me summarize my whole life with, 'It's a nightmare.'" (-Hannah)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The love of the Father

Reading these most encouraging words from John Owen's Communion about the love of the Father...

Resolve of that, that you may hold communion with him in it, and be no more troubled about it. Yea, as your great trouble is about the Father’s love, so you can no way more trouble or burden him, than by your unkindness in not believing of it. So it must needs be where sincere love is questioned…

Communion consists in giving and receiving. Until the love of the Father be received, we have no communion with him therein. How, then, is this love of the Father to be received, so as to hold fellowship with him? I answer, By faith. The receiving of it is the believing of it. God has so fully, so eminently revealed his love, that it may be received by faith. “Ye believe in God,” John xiv. 1; that is, the Father. And what is to be believe in him? His love; for he is “love,” 1 John iv. 8.

This is that which is aimed at. Many dark and disturbing thoughts are apt to arise in this thing. Few can carry up their hearts and minds to this height by faith, as to rest their souls in the love of the Father; they live below it, in the troublesome region of hopes and fears, storms and clouds. All here is serene and quiet. But how to attain to this pitch they know not. This is the will of God, that he may always be eyed as benign, kind, tender, loving, and unchangeable therein; and that peculiarly as the Father, as the great fountain and spring of all gracious communications and fruits of love. …for the love of the Father is the only rest of the soul.

(Of Communion with God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I:3 [1657] )

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

From George Mueller's journal

(May 7, 1841) "The primary business I must attend to every day is to fellowship with the Lord. The first concern is not how much I might serve the Lord, but how my inner man might be nourished. I may share the truth with the unconverted; I may try to encourage believers; I may relieve the distressed; or I may, in other ways, seek to behave as a child of God; yet, not being happy in the Lord and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, may result in this work being done in a wrong spirit."

Friday, November 7, 2008

The great "I Am"

“I am the One who is” (Exodus 3:14, Septuagint [LXX], 2nd Cent. BC)

“The True Being is eternal, ingenerable, and incorruptible, unto which no time ever brings mutation.” (Plutarch, ca AD 46-119)

“’He who is’ has sent me to you.” (Exodus 3:14, Latin Vulgate, 4th C. AD)

“I am that I am… [God] designated Himself by this name as the absolute God of the fathers, acting with unfettered liberty and self-dependence. This name precluded any comparison between the God of the Israelites and the deities of the Egyptians and other nations and furnished Moses and his people with strong consolation in their affliction, and a powerful support to their confidence in the realization of His purposes of salvation as made known to the fathers.” (Keil & Delitzsch, Commentary on the OT)

“The name is usually translated ‘I AM’ and connotes the personal, eternal, and all-sufficient aspects of God’s nature and character.” (Andrew Hill and John Walton, A Survey of the Old Testament)

“The greatest and best man in the world must say, ‘By the grace of God I am what I am’; but God says absolutely – and that is more than any creature, man or angel can say – ‘I am that I am.’” (Matthew Henry)

“God is not hurried on in the time-stream of this universe any more than an author is hurried along in the imaginary time of his own novel.” (C. S. Lewis)

“God is the great reality.” (J. B. Phillips)

“Believe Me,” said Jesus, “I am who I am long before Abraham was anything.” (John 8:58, The Message)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Historic moment

But with mixed feelings. I rejoice that an African-American can be our president. I appreciate his youth, vision, and oratory. But is our new president more inexperienced, more liberal, than we know? Was this election more about just getting change and getting rid of everything that reminded us of the past president? Is it more about pumping ourselves up as Americans?

This reminds me of John F. Kennedy's election, which I remember as a little boy. Today is indeed a new day, and we'll see what changes will come, for good or ill.

T. S. Eliot once wrote cynically, "An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry." I am not that cynical but I am reminded of Daniel 4:34-35...

At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?"

Finally, this was sent to me, and a good reminder...

Top 10 Predictions No Matter Who Wins the Election

1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him.

(And God approves this message...)