Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Here's an excerpt from Bartleby.com.

Hymns Based on Psalms

Psalm XXIII

Henry Williams Baker (1821–1877)


THE KING of love my shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never:
I nothing lack if I am his,
And he is mine forever.

Where streams of living water flow 5
My ransomed soul he leadeth,
And where the verdant pastures grow
With food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love he sought me 10
And on his shoulder gently laid
And home rejoicing brought me.

In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
With thee, dear Lord, beside me,
Thy rod and staff my comfort still, 15
Thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spread’st a table in my sight,
Thy unction grace bestoweth,
And O! what transport of delight
From thy pure chalice floweth! 20

And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
Within thy house forever.

I have been away for a couple of days, and sick for another few... I'm glad to be feeling better. Yesterday Rene' and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. I identify that at least two points in my life I made fantastic decisions: one was to believe in Jesus Christ, and the other was to marry Rene'.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Website Review: Bartleby.com

Bartleby.com is a literary website par excellence. Named after Herman Melville's paragon of human inertia, Bartleby the Scrivener, it contains thousands of pieces of literature, including prose, verse, ballad, and non-fiction. There is literature from classical antiquity to the modern era, encompassing adventure, mystery, horror, love, comedy, science fiction, and many other genres - from Plato to Sherlock, from Twain to Sophocles and so much more. It is not comprehensive by any measure, but it is an excellent collection nonetheless, and best of all it contains many works of great virtue. As long as Bartleby exists, there will be no lack of lit for my consumption. It is more convenient than a library: its books are always there, there are no worries about return dates, and no degenerate dogs thinking the books are chew-toys.

I have to state that I am not overfond of reading via computer. Perhaps it is because I sit in front of my monitor all day long already, and being thus committed to so many hours of devotion to my Cyclops, it is too much to take leisure in reading there. Instead, I find something of worth at Bartleby, print it out, and read it, sometimes including my family in an out-loud session. The shorter works are ideal for an afternoon study break; the longer for our nightly family reading sessions.

The site is easy to navigate, and lends itself to either an orderly or more eclectic selection process. Search by subject, author, or title, scroll as though you were strolling among the bookstacks, looking for something to strike your fancy. However you go about it, Bartleby is a reader's dream.

Animo et Fide.

Monday, December 16, 2002

From time to time I become aware of a friend or parishioner who is enduring emotional pain. When I was in college at Azusa Pacific, I wrote this:

Pain

Pain is pain.
Neither blaming the other,
nor blaming God,
nor blaming myself
will ease the pain.

Anger
does not stop the pain.
In anger lies futility,
a deception of the devil
when there is nothing
to be angry for.
In anger there is only more pain.

The Lord
does not take away the pain.
He lets the pain run its course.

No pain, no gain.
I'll be stronger, wiser, better prepared.
May the naive benefit from my pain.
To God be the glory!

Even though
God does not take away the pain,
He gives me hope
for a time
and a place
without pain.
Heaven.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

This morning our children performed their "Christmas Vignettes," and it went off marvelously. Alene Lindstrand coordinated the effort, but the children really deserve our praise for their dedication which manifest itself in an excellent performance. The content was the key. There was much truth spoken, with special focus on the gospel message in the context of the Christmas season.

The experience of such a performance is good for at least three reasons.

First, as a lesson in discipline, to learn the parts well;

second, as a lesson in self-esteem, to stand before the congregation and recite the parts;

and third, as a lesson in Christian service, to participate in giving the message of Christ to the world.

Such practices are worth the time and effort, and I look forward to many more years and many more children doing the same.