Georgetownrose

…from glory to glory

Archive for the tag “spontaneous posting”

Natural Theology…

In the last session of course in The History and Overview of Philosophy, there were discussion questions presented to the students. I spent a good deal of time thinking how to answer the question featured here, since I was not immediately certain I could articulate on the basis of the logical necessary being of God. Logical necessary being of God and natural revelation… Here is the question…

Creation: How much can we learn about God from creation?

This is an exciting question.  The painful thing I see in creation is that it seems troubled and put to grief–something my soul recognizes should not be so, unless a terrible event plunged it into trouble and grief. Perhaps I see in this the wrath of the God of all creation, His expressed grief and yet His carefully restrained justice, revealed from heaven against all that mankind thinks and does to deny Him and to exalt man above God–because in the natural, we think we are so very smart; we think we are God. When I look at me–one of the creation–I see that big old “I” problem at the center of SIN… and I am real good at seeing it in others, too…

Then when I look at nature, I think no wonder God sometimes expresses His anger toward us through the elements of creation… Actually, that’s not too far off from what the native Americans or the Incas or the Aztecs realized; the difference is that they responded by worshiping the creation as receptacles of spirit gods, denying the God who is King over all creation…

Nevertheless, I love meditating on the attributes of God which can be known of His Being and character from creation. When I see a thunder cloud advancing in the summer skies, I realize my dependence upon the sovereignty of God to control the natural forces building up inside it; so I see His power to execute wrath and His power to exercise mercy; and these attributes of God are communicated through the mediate medium of His own creation–how He governs the vapors of the firmament for the good or the remaking of the earth beneath…​ summer-clouds

When I see the young fawn grazing in the tall summer ferns along the paths of the Blue Ridge, I observe the providence of God for this creature and I remember His providence in my own life… White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawn, also known as the Virginia deer or simply as the whitetail, in spring ferns at Mount Porte Crayon in West Virginia.

When I see the swells of sea water form only yards away from me as I bob buoyantly in the watery firmament oc waves2beneath skies, I feel and know the power of God to govern the motion of the water as it becomes a wave which can either delight me with its rhythmic movement, carry me in its curl to shore, or overtake me and plunge me tumbling and rolling like so much flotsam, till it releases me both laughing and sputtering and disheveled from the humiliation of its tossing…

I could go on and on and on… I could not in my lifetime realize from nature the Way God has provided as the means of redemption for my rebellion against Him to satisfy His grief and justice… But then, this extraordinary God who IS, revealed His necessary being from creation to my once humanistic heart, and then led me to His Word–37 years ago as time is counted. I have not been the same ever since…

What are you all learning about God from your observations and experiences in creation?

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An “Indivisible” American Heart…

Just thinking out loud…something I do not quite understand about the current media and political upheaval over talking to foreign diplomats/businessmen/guests during an election campaign season…

Observation #1: Former President Obama and the Democratic Party are generally in favor of global trade, free access between countries to trade and traffic… “the global economy” idea…

Observation #2: In this country, we value freedom of speech; there are countless champions for that right given in our Constitution…

Observation #3: In this country, a political candidate has the right to raise funds and support from willing parties… in recent years, those who are resident aliens, enjoying the blessings of the Democratic welcome of living and working here, in the interest of free trade, etc., exercise their freedom of speech to dine with and be invited guests of a political candidate whose ideas and business philosophy interest them… especially since he might become the next “leader of the free world…”

Observation #4: But Democratic advocates for free speech and global trade and traffic and unified global economy and good relations suddenly object to another political candidate even speaking with peers/businessmen/government emissaries of the foreign country — whose relationship has not been defined as outwardly hostile at any particular level (or maybe it is a personal dislike of the former “leader of the free world.”) Democratic advocates for free speech dismiss these resident aliens and deport them for talking to and liking the platform of the other candidate…

As I read what is being presented in the media, the only thing that is apparent is that Mr. Flynn lied to the FBI about exercising his right to entertain and talk with people from another country…potential supporters of the potential new leader of the free world… the lie was wrong.

But here is another thing which puzzles me: It is now the outraged champions of free speech–the Democratic party–which have instigated an FBI investigation into this other country’s “meddling” in the 2016 election. What constitutes meddling? Having been dissatisfied with previous avenues of accusation and investigation into “meddling,” the FBI is now directed by the Democratic champions of free speech to turn its inquisitive eye upon the team members of the current President’s office, announcing the “criminality” of his conversations with people from the country the previous President evicted in response to his own unproven suspicions of “meddling.”

Believe me when I say this: witch hunting is an abominable thing for a people to be doing–regardless of who is in the “people’s house,” (aka The White House).

I have nothing else to say on this matter, except to go to the Sovereign Lord in fervent prayer…

LORD! There is so much going on which so many of us do not see. If it is Your Will, by Your grace, protect us from ourselves!

Positively “Electrifying”!…

…or “What Hath God Wrought?”

Been watching AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire…”

Let me say first that I am not a fan of voyeuristic viewing, and I could comment on the fixations of the writers and producers, but I do not wish to dwell on those things here. If you can get past all the gratuitous physical play-acting, there were striking messages in this series which I cannot ignore…

Such as?” you ask…

Rather than my publishing “cliff notes” for the series here, I recommend that you say a prayer and engage your little grey cells and watch how the process began and unfolded–the subject process being that of wrestling information into a communicable medium for a world community to share…

My “Aha!” moment occurred the other day, when I was searching the web for definitions and Bible verses, listening to messages I missed at church, writing e-mails, and sending e-cards, listening to worship music on YouTube, etc…

Those digitally minded brains who see everything in the world–all information in bits and bytes… mathematically defined… they stayed up nights theorizing and seeking mathematical solutions for packaging information into a form which can be communicated, collected, stored, and found all over the world. I think of it as “electrifying” information. (That may not be an accurate description, and to all who are knowledgeable in such things, I apologize;  but that is the only way I can think of it–being that I don’t see the world in numbers and algorithms and mathematical equations. To me it is positively “electrifying!”)…

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I would guess that the series writers and producers were pretty accurate when they developed their cast of cerebral story characters whose efforts became highly competitive (that’s a euphemism) to develop the software and the hardware for this project. In truth, many of them  scratched and clawed to make it to the top of the heap in the “www”…

They thought they were building an empire for themselves…

…But God used the gifting they enjoyed by His grace to build it for us who know and understand the God of all math–even if we don’t understand the math; we understand the God of all math. To be sure, everybody enjoys the mercy of using it for now; but if you view it through the lens of eternal reality, we who believe in Jesus are co-owners with Him of the whole blooming network…

In Bosley’s words: “Well, ain’t that a hoot!”  

Thanking God for the network, even if I have to share it with those who will not acknowledge that their gift has come from God and give Him the glory due to Him… some day… For now, let us who were created for declaring the Kingdom of God in Christ Jesus, use the www in a way which glorifies Him and increases His Kingdom in all the earth…

Trusting the God of all math to grant the increase and to multiply to His glory my bits and bytes about His glory on the www pages of my thoughts…

Confessions of an American Voter

It’s 8:30ish in the morning; I’ve been awakened, after a night of extraordinary dreams, with the realization of the kind of American voter I’ve been since I arrived at the age to vote. In my day, 21 was the legal age for voting; since then, that legal age has been lowered to 18. By way of confession, I questioned the wisdom of that when it was first raised, and I haven’t changed my doubts about the wisdom of that. But that’s a blog for another day. Suffice it to say, that as I observe the young student behavior in recent practice in our democratic republic, I believe my reservations for the younger voting age to remain justifiable…

I live in a town in Northern Virginia designed by a 1960s visionary to be a model town. As I sit here in my modest—by the standard of “the American Dream”—little 40-year-old condo in the lesser working class section of this model town, I am praising God for all that I need and more… I have exactly what I desired of God from my young adult years: I am loved and I am comfortable; it is that simple…p_00014b

My confession is this: that in my “career” as an American voter, I have voted to preserve that condition. I confess that from the day I came of voting age, my motives for voting have been about what I want to preserve about my personal comfort as if it were my inalienable right to sustain that level of comfort. My humanistic motives in the voting booth have been influenced by a popular, selfish idea of inalienable human rights instead of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands…

I am not saying that it was consciously selfish or that I am oblivious to the plight of those less comfortable than me and the hopes for the generation to come. But the inclination is so deeply embedded in myself that it need not be conscious, because it bullies every choice I make; not pure…

And I am also saying this: in this democratic republic where I live, I have found it nearly impossible to be a voter from a country that is one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. No human political representative at any level has ever fulfilled or totally held to the principles of that pledge. Of course, I knew that fact intuitively in all my experiences as an American voter. My expectations were never that any one person in our governing body, at any level, would be able to meet all those qualifications and expectations. But I had held on to my hope and expectation that the plurality of representatives would combine to bring about the work for which our American pledge of allegiance calls…

ChristTheKing4And yet, this is the first year of my voting experience where I actually, fully  realized that I could not vote either for my selfish inclinations or upon my hopes for the American pledge of allegiance; I was forced to vote totally surrendered to the sovereign will of God—as a citizen living in a nation where some, at least, believe that we are a nation under God, but who now realize that we are not indivisible and where liberty is only for those who will submit to the sovereignty of the God of the Holy Bible, knowing that justice is His alone to dispense in full, in His perfect timing…

If you are an American or aspiring to become a citizen of this nation, I pray that you wilbless-god-americal always honor allegiance to the republic for which our flag stands; but I pray you will do so recognizing that this land, its people and its leaders are subject to the sovereignty of the God…

that hath made and preserved us a nation…And this be [your] motto: ‘In God is our trust.’

–Francis Scott Key, “The Star-Spangled Banner” vs 4

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…and may He have mercy upon us all.

Elijah on Mt. Horeb…

…Listening for God’s Voice…

Recently, I had the blessing of introducing our church’s younger children to the encounter between Elijah the prophet and God on Mt. Horeb…In 1 Kings 19, Elijah had run a marathon to escape the fury of queen Jezebel; she was livid, nearly apoplectic,  when she heard her husband Ahab’s tale of how the God of Israel had literally outmuscled all Jezebel’s favorite idols and made 850 prophets of these false gods look like simpering idiots on Mt. Carmel. Elijah was the agent of the Lord who facilitated the exhibit, and also meted out subsequent execution on 400 of those false prophets. As a result Jezebel was not only angry with her husband, she also declared all-out war on Elijah with a vow to murder him at the first opportunity…

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Elijah on Mt. Horeb

Having escaped Jezebel’s wrath, Elijah found a tree under which he could collapse his weary, frightened, discouraged bones. In his bitter dismay about the response of faith among the Israelites who witnessed God’s unmistakable presence on Mt. Carmel, Elijah wanted God to let him die… An angel of the Lord visited Elijah, comforted and fed him, bidding him rest awhile…

 Upon regaining his strength, Elijah traveled 40 days and 40 nights, over roughly 280 miles of wilderness to find a cave on Mt. Horeb. Again, he prayed, pouring out his grief about the leadership of Israel, their hatred for the Word of God and their fondness for all the atrocious customs attendant to the idolatry of the pagan world…Again, Elijah asked God to let him die…

tornado-storm-wind-rotation-whirlwind-willywillyAs I thought about whether God was grieved in His own Spirit for the very issues which grieved Elijah’s soul, I realized that the way God expressed His own grief at that encounter with Elijah was first with a whirlwind…

But His voice was not in the whirlwind…

tumbling-rocks-earthquakeThen God expressed His grief in an earthquake…

But His voice was not in the earthquake…

Finally, God expressed His grief in fire…fire

But His voice was not in the fire…

At last, God spoke to Elijah in a whisper—when all the grief was vented in rushing wind, shaking of the earth, and the roar of fire—and nothing was left but quiet…so quiet that Elijah was now sensitive to hear that still small voice of God’s comfort and counsel and encouragement…

Over 2,000 years ago, God sent His Son, Jesus of Nazareth, to speak to the people of Israel and He was overheard by the Romans who carried news of the teachings of the new Jewish Rabbi all over the Roman world…During that period of the Roman Peace, there was sufficient quiet to hear God speak through Messiah Jesus…And no enemy from within the Church nor any foe from without has succeeded in silencing His voice…

Hebrews 1.1-2 tells us that God spoke in former days through the prophets, but now in these last days, He has…

“…spoken to us through His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds…”

Among the multitude of thoughts with which my little grey cells swim, this is what occurs to me as I think on this encounter with Elijah: there are so many expressions of woe and travail in creation around us; we have the whirlwinds; we have the earthquakes; and we have the fire, to name a few. My question was this, “Lord, what will You do to make it quiet enough for people in this culture of constant racket and babble to hear Your voice?” His answer came so gently…

the assurance that He will make it so…

“Be still and know that I AM God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psalm 46.9-10

Weak Days & New Beginnings…

Lately, I have been having an onslaught of weak days—feeling tired, floundering, losing interest in ordinary things, overwhelmed, even a little sick…wondering greatly what has attacked me, as if knowing the “WHY” or the “WHAT” would give me the rational strength from within to effect my healing and release from the weight. News flash! I looked and there was no strength from within…

So, I started talking it out with the Lord; and in my conversation with the Lord, I have had to confess my rebellion, my “I don’t want to do ‘it;’ I don’t feel like ‘it’…” a pattern of thought which I have allowed myself to entertain for far too many days and nights…

Well, I figured I  needed some sanctified cognitive behavioral therapy…

By God’s grace, it occurred to me to just stop for one moment and challenge that repetitive thought pattern, wondering why indeed I would permit that to have its way in my sanctified mind, instead of calling out to Jesus to touch me and make me want to do “it” (whatever “it” I am refusing to do in the ordinary life and my dusty existence). The current catalog of “its” for which I have lost my rhythm and interest include simple things like making decisions, a reasonable appetite, making healthy meals, knitting, a daily walk, simple sewing projects and writing…

I am reflecting on why this sudden relapse into the old patterns of thought, old habits, which seemed to flee from me in the springtime of this year…I remember that then I began a new beginning of seeing the matchless grace of Christ, how sufficient His grace is for me, how perfect His strength is made in my weaknesses…and blessed release from old habits, enjoying a new beginning…

Just now, I am realizing in my heart—not just an intellectual kind of recognition—but down in my kishkes—that this discipline in my walk with Jesus is a seasonal kind of experience…Well, duh! (I don’t know why that is so mysterious a concept to get into my grey cells and remember; perhaps, the influences of this culture)…

I find that I am constant and seemingly unchallenged in my commitment to a new beginning for a period of time. Then, without warning, I am prone to fall away—my thinking skips beats; the focus I once enjoyed without a grievous effort has now, of a sudden, become a constant, unyielding struggle to regain.  I lose my former breath which once fed my soul and filled me…and I realize I need another new beginning…in my weakness I need another healing touch from Jesus…

So here is a new season, the Feast of Trumpets, the Days of Awe and Remembrance…a wonderful and timely moment for another new beginning…to remember that the grace of Messiah Jesus is sufficient for me, for His strength is made perfect in my weakness 2 Corinthians 12.9

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All I need to do is call on Him to make me want His strengthening grace to do what He has formed me to do from the womb…This is the discipline I dare not forget or fail to recognize from season to season …

Beloved, if you are going through this kind of season, may God grant you the grace to recognize it for what it is; and by His grace, may God bring you to Him to find the truth that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is sufficient for you, that His strength alone is made perfect in your weakness. By this may He grant you a new beginning…

Which Miracle is Bigger?

2 Kings 5.1-20: the days of the prophet Elisha and his encounter with the Captain of the Syrian army–Naaman the leper…

Wondering which miracle of God is bigger:

 

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that He so thoroughly cleansed and healed Naaman of his leprosy…

OR

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that He preserved the knowledge of His great sovereignty over all things in the heart of a little Israeli lass taken as a slave to serve in a pagan culture…

Makes me adore Jesus more and cling to His promises that “the gates of Hell shall not prevail” against the Body of Christ in any age on this planet…

O Lord God of Israel – Jonathan Settelsnapshot2

Time Flies

I was just looking at my last post dated February 25. Time has flown and, in that rush, waves of thoughts which compete with my focus have poured over my little grey cells. One stands out and begs to be voiced. Soon, my friends, soon…

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Meanwhile, life is pressing me into focusing on the every day living to keep home, body and soul together. And I have been reading others’ posts as time allows, always sharing some thought of acknowledgment, thanks and encouragement whenever I have the blessing of time to read your posts. If I have not commented, it means I have not had a chance yet to read your work. But I will in due time.
Don’t neglect the gift that God has given you. Keep writing and expressing what is true and edifying for times like these, “…redeeming the time…” (Ephesians 5.16)

Drifting…

The new post window is open and here I sit with my fingers on the keyboard…

The weeks have drifted by, washed in currents of reading other friends’ posts, led on paths to re-visit Middle Earth, immersed in the water of the Word of God, and plunged into dialog with other hearts…

My little sailing ship has cut through many currents, venturing far and wide across the seas during what I hope is the very last blast of winter in our region. I’d rather be someplace tropical and sunny, but I am exceedingly grateful for God’s mercies on my stretch of the sea of life…

Now that I’ve managed to steer my little craft back into harbor, I am beginning to think about how to blog all the things I’ve discovered and learned on my little voyage to encourage all who are in this boat with me, as I sail from glory to glory…

All Because of Christ…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Alphabet Soup.” Write down the letters of the ABC. For each one, choose a word that begins with that letter. Now, write a post about anything — using all the words you’ve selected.

Trying to put a series of coherent thoughts together today is like fishing for words in alphabet soup. My little grey cells have been so busy of late, processing information by the boatloads, from appointments on my calendar, blog readings and responses, online merchandise orders, and credit card statements, to Bible-study content questions, and everything in between… and struggling to keep up…

In truth, I am overwhelmed and Aggravated By the Cacophony going on in my head. I am a person who likes order; I like my thoughts to yield to my direction for orderly expression. Not getting much cooperation on that score at present. So I am focusing on what is primal in my grey cells–no documentaries, no attempts at story creation or artistry which evades my grasp just now…

So when a good scout finds herself in confusing territory, she pulls out her compass and looks for True North. From there, All Believable Charting for direction can be found. Taking that wise Advice, Benefit, and Counsel, I fix my attention on True North during this season. The ABC’s of it all–Amid the Bounty of Celebrations, is remembering my Lord Jesus. Without Him I would be–to add a “D” word to this piece–DESOLATE..

There would be no Advent light during the dark and cold nights leading up to the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere; there would be no Breathtaking Beauty at the remembrance of His exquisite perfection, His mercy and His love for me; there would be no Comfort, Consolation or Courage to walk Amid the Battling Cultural influences swirling like a raging blizzard all over this planet…

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Without the Lord Jesus, my King, there would be an Absence of Blessing, and Contentment in the gracious provision of God for life; Adversity, Brutality and Confusion would be the rulers of this world. The Adversary of God would Beat out his own Contrary Discord without impunity or restraint…

All Because of Christ, I enjoy the ABC’s of Abiding Beneath Christ’s sovereign care, resting my brain in the protection of swaddling clothes as He prepares me for uttering something of the Abundance of Blessing Credited to my life–All Because Christ Jesus Is King…

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