25 September 2006

Ohio State 28 Penn State 6

A friend of mine gave me a really nice gift the other day and took me to a Ohio State game. I took a ton of pics... here are just a few. We also stopped and saw my brother Greg for a few moments as well (top pic). Thank again Dave!

20 September 2006

The Life of Investment

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him." - John 12: 24-26

These words have always had an effect upon me. As I have read them the last few nights, I have been struck once again by reality of investment. Jesus is talking about what kind of investment we will make with our lives. The mental picture of one seed sacrificing itself so that hundreds of other seeds can be created has great appeal to me. In so many ways one seed is so insignificant. But when in the soil, it can produce so much more.

I don't think that Jesus means a literal hated of our own lives, but a love that is so significant, potent and powerful for the eternal that it makes all other loves look like hate.

I was thinking about what it means to be a servant last night according to what Jesus says... how am I, or even can I, be a servant of the Living, Eternal, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient God? The answer for now is A) I am not completely sure and B) to love Him and everyone else as much as I can and to show that love by compassionate acts.

13 September 2006

Steady Words

"My dear brother, we must not mind a little suffering for Christ's sake. When I am getting through a hedge, if my head and shoulders are safely through, I can bear the pricking of my legs. Let us rejoice in the remembrance that our holy Head has surmounted all His suffering and triumphed over death. Let us follow Him patiently; we shall soon be partakers of His victory."

(H.C.G. Moule qouting Charles Simeon in the book Charles Simeon, [London: Inter-Varsity, 1948], 155f.)

05 September 2006

Stars in Their Courses

Yesterday I finished reading Shelby Foote's historical narrative Stars In Their Courses. The book is a retelling of the greatest, and perhaps most tragic battle ever fought on American soil.

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought from July 1-3, 1863 and eventually decided the outcome of the American Civil War, although not as fast as some would have desired. Shelby Foote (who just died last year), does a fabulous job of explaining the thoughts, actions, personalities and miscues of both sides. While the Confederates had the decided advantage coming into the battle, due to many recent victories and superior officers, the Union emerged with the victory more due to a superior position on the field, better numbers and the faulty battle plan of Robert E. Lee on the third day of battle.

The tragic nature of war was exacerbated by the fact that men were shooting at literal friends and countrymen. Foote does a good job of mixing in the friendship of Hancock and Armistead, as well as the good relationships that had been shared by officers of both sides in the Mexican War when they had all fought together.

The title of the book comes from the statement that even "the stars in their courses" had fought against Lee that day, and had prevented a Confederate victory.

The Great Evangelical Disaster

I finished reading The Great Evangelical Disaster by Francis Schaeffer last week. I have read it before, but it was good to read it again, and learn from this incredibly wise man. Several people who have learned that I have read this book have asked, "So what is the great evangelical disaster?". The answer is accommodation. Accomodation to un-biblical ways of viewing the world, the church and reality. In some ways that does not sound that imposing or scary, however it will be the end of evangelical Christianity if it is followed to it's logical conclusion.

Perhaps one of the best mental pictures that comes from the book is of the snow at the top of a mountain ridge. The snow on the east side of the ridge and the the snow on the west side of the ridge are so close together and similar in appearance when they reside near the peak. However, as the sun warms the area and the snow begins to melt and to descend into their respective valleys on the east and west sides of the ridge they could not be farther from each other. In Schaeffer's example, one ends in the Mediterranean and the other in the North Sea. The point is that things that appear to be so similar to evangelical Christianity are shown to be diametrically opposed to it when followed to it's logical conclusion... and that those conclusions are the difference between truth and falsehood, life and death.

The solution is being faithful to the Scriptures (easier said than done), but also using loving, truthful confrontation to bring our (and others) thoughts back to Christ as He is revealed in His Word. Obviously if you could learn everything about the book from a blog posting, you would not need to read the book, so I have only scratched the surface... The book is 20 years old, and yet it is so attuned to the situation of our day. He was an incredible mind.