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Monday, April 28, 2003

Second Sunday of Easter

Crown Him with many crowns is one of the most well-known resurrection hymns. It is also perhaps the most beautiful, and very nearly the most postmillenial.
Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.

Crown Him the Lord of life, who triumphed over the grave,
And rose victorious in the strife for those He came to save.
His glories now we sing, Who died, and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.

Crown Him the Lord of peace, Whose power a scepter sways
From pole to pole, that wars may cease, and all be prayer and praise.
His reign shall know no end, and round His pierced feet
Fair flowers of paradise extend their fragrance ever sweet.

Crown Him the Lord of love, behold His hands and side,
Those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye at mysteries so bright.

Crown Him the Lord of Heaven, enthroned in worlds above,
Crown Him the King to Whom is given the wondrous name of Love.
Crown Him with many crowns, as thrones before Him fall;
Crown Him, ye kings, with many crowns, for He is King of all.

Crown Him the Lord of lords, who over all doth reign,
Who once on earth, the incarnate Word, for ransomed sinners slain,
Now lives in realms of light, where saints with angels sing
Their songs before Him day and night, their God, Redeemer, King.

Crown Him the Lord of years, the Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres, ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, hail! For Thou has died for me;
Thy praise and glory shall not fail throughout eternity.
How can we sing this and think at the same time that we are not living in the physical Kingdom? Christ is reigning now. This is our eternal home - a new earth. We can sing "Crown Him the Lord of years, the Potentate of time, Creator of the rolling spheres, ineffably sublime" and be comforted that what we are doing here, now, has eternal significance. But most of all we know that the Kingdom has come, though not yet completely, and Christ is even now placing His enemies under His feet.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Help

All you Latinists out there, what do you think is the best English rendering of animi confirmabantur?

Saturday, April 26, 2003

He really is reformed

Browsing Dr. Grant's blog I took a peek at his Easter Feast photo album to see if, on his challenge, I could see anyone I recognized. I did see Steve Green, looking a little bit older than he did the last time we saw him in concert.

Steve Green was the first CCM artist I ever listened to (after my Amy Grant phase in middle school, of course), along with GLAD. I saw them both in concert about the same time, my senior year in high school. Steve Green had vocal training in college, I believe (I think he majored in voice), and it shows in his music. I remember listening to his older music which, while not necessarily reformed, was always just plain good. Not gushy or thin, but thick and meaningful. His a capella version of A Mighty Fortress could always raise the hairs on my arm. I am glad to see that the rumors I heard - that he had become reformed - are indeed true. His music certainly has become reformed over the years, and I've continued to be a huge fan of his music.

One song that he recorded on an early album (which is now out of print) is "Search Me, O God." (Jon would be proud of the work I went through to buy a licensed copy of the piano music - long out of print, archived in a dusty room at Gaither Music Company...) It's worth buying the album, We Believe, if you can find it. The lyrics are very good, and Steve takes them up to another level with his vocal talent.
Search me, O God, reveal my heart;
expose my sin that it may be confessed.
Search me, O God, unveil each thought,
and leave no hidden motive unaddressed.

Uncover every action born in pride;
show me the worldly ways I still embrace.
May every anxious thought be brought to light,
and each unspoken fear with faith replaced.

Search me, O God, observe my life;
bring to my mind each idle word I speak.
Search me, O God, test my resolve,
and alert me where you find it weak.

Reveal all weakened walls within my soul;
show me potential dangers unforeseen.
Then clothe my conscience with Your holiness;
help me to guard it well and keep it clean.

Search me, O God, that I may walk in peace,
filled with the joy of knowing all is well.
My heart surrendered and my conscience clean,
so great a joy my tongue can scarcely tell.
O, what a joy to know that all is well!

Friday, April 25, 2003

Counting

Bailey has been working on counting. She can count (if she's in the right mood) from one to "elevuhn" by herself. She just came up to me with two barettes and said "I want two flowers in my hair." I put one in, and she handed me the other one and said "No, I want two flowers." Maybe she'll take after my affection for math.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

How much do you like me?

I wonder if anyone likes me enough to buy me this. My VHS copy is stretched and over-watched. It's so bad the soundtrack doesn't match the action anymore, and there is a 2 inch line of snow at the bottom of the screen.

Friday, April 18, 2003

27 DAYS

Until The Matrix Reloaded!!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Puzzle

Duane is writing a term paper on dispensational premillenialism for his eschatology class. DP is not to be confused with historic premillenialism in that many of the major identifying marks of DP are not shared with HP. The interpretation of the “Church Age” as mysterious, parenthetical, and unknown to any OT prophet (as defined by Allis in his watershed work Prophecy and the Church) is unique to DP and is found in no other orthodox theological system (as far as I know). [Several mainstream cults are DP.] This idea of the Church as parentheses is extremely troublesome to the covenanter who sees the sublime continuity between Israel and the Church. Beyond this irritant under the collar, however, is a more dangerous and subtle underlying problem.

Every (orthodox) theologian would agree that Psalm 22 prophesies the death of Christ on the cross as the beginning of the fulfillment of the protoevangelion. DP has a serious burden of proof when making the claim that the Church Age was merely an unforeseen parenthesis. To be consistent the system would either have to a) acknowledge a change in plans between the prophecy and the fulfillment due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g., Christ dying for Israel in the prophecy changing to Christ dying for the Church in history) or b) deny the fulfillment of the prophecy since Christ died for the world (Jews and Gentiles). Either way the prophecy loses all credibility and, by the Word's own guildelines for discerning true prophecy, must be declared false.

A paper I skimmed tonight declared DP an airtight theological system because it, like the Bible, teaches that “there is not a word as to what theologians teach about the world growing better through the process of evolution, etc., and not a word about righteousness and peace, but the Son of God predicts apostasy as it was in the days of Noah and as it was in the days of Lot. Wherever these learned men get their message from, we don't know; they don't get it from the Word of God nor from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Amo C. Gaebelein, "The Apostasy Sweeping Over the Churches," (printed in Foundation magazine. Los Osos: FEA Press, March-April 1997), 17-24.) After I nearly choked on my ice reading him equate a victorious eschatology with evolution, I recovered and realized the other more sinister thread running through this system.

How sad to come to church on Easter Sunday and sing so many postmillennial, victorious hymns, yet in one’s heart believe that even today there is no significant impact of the Gospel in the world, and that there never will be, and that this glorious, beautiful creation will not endure to redemption and glory but awaits destruction. Surely no Christian can truly be anything but postmillennial on Easter Sunday, and for that one day he experiences the true joy and awe and wonder at catching a shadowed glimpse around him what Christ truly has in store for His creation and His Church. Not by accident or by Plan B, but by beginning the tapestry long, long, ago, loving His Church and dying for her, loving His creation (how can we call evil what God has declared good?), and carefully weaving all the colors on the loom as each day goes by, looking forward to the beautiful and complete masterwork that is to come.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Speaking of sountracks

John and I have posted here and there about Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy, or Trois Couleurs for you Francophiles out there.

I'd have to say without a doubt that the soundtrack to Blue, the first movie in the trilogy, has one of the best soundtracks of any movie I've ever seen. Since music, and the main musical theme of the movie, is a huge part of the plot, the music intertwines with the movie in a very unique way. You hear snippets of music here and there accompanied by amazing photography, motifs that are not finished blending with thoughts that are not finished, and themes jumping from instrument to instrument, until finally at the end you hear the complete motif (with a choir singing in Greek, by the way) with all the instruments in their final parts. Heard apart from the movie the music is quite powerful, but hearing it in context, with the photography, is an experience. My French is rusty, but I could have watched this movie without any English subtitles and enjoyed it as much as with subtitles. It is definitely one of those movies you can't let pass you by. Go and rent it if you haven't seen it. Most Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stores carry the triology on VHS.
Sore fingers

I had my second lesson with Mrs. Digiulian today. I'm having a great time being a student for a change, just sitting and letting someone else tell me what to do, then doing my best to do it well.

She assigned me the Bach Arioso from Cantata 156 (everyone would recognize it if I could hum it), which, like just about everything Mr. Bach wrote, looks easy but is a humdinger to play well. It is slow, very legato, with a ton of shifting and intonation pitfalls. Mrs. D also gave me some bowing etudes (my biggest problem) and Telemann's Concerto in G Major. I'm not sure if it was originally written for the viola or if it is transcribed from a violin part, but I like it. It's good for rapid finger action and position work.

I practiced tonight for about 45 minutes, mostly the Telemann and some of the Bach. My neck is sore, my fingers hurt, and my right arm hurts. It's been years since I had calluses on my left hand from playing so much. Those of you who play the violin know that kind of tired, but this viola I have is a kicker. It is huge and it is heavy, and I have to stretch my hand out almost completely just to hit 1st position in tune. 4th finger requires me to almost lift my hand off of the fingerboard to hit it. I love it.

Soon, when Mr. Lytle gets back from his mountain days, I'm going to order a violin in the white and graduate it myself, put it together, and stain it so I can have a fiddle, too.
New guy in town

I'd like to invite everyone (if anyone still comes by here!) to visit Tim Bailey's blog. Tim and his wife, Kristen, attended the same church we did in Illinois (Community Bible Church). I believe I remember that they have a PCA background, but unfortunately, we didn't get to know them very well before we left for Louisiana. They are now in Georgia (he's in the Air Force) and are searching for a church.

Welcome, Tim and Kristen!

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

A-ha! Tell me how this works...

A friend and I (and one of his students) were discussing the tricky nuance of translating Greek sentences containing participles, and rendering both the verb and the verb aspect of the participle correctly. My post below is a perfect example of the type of sentence we were trying to translate...

"I was quite excited when, while browsing Amazon.com the other day, I found Arturo Perez-Reverte's lastest novel, The Nautical Chart."

Someone who is good at Greek grammar please explain to me how you would teach this. How do you explain in which tense to render the participle? It makes sense to us in English that when you have a completed past (I was excited) you need to render the participle in a comparable tense. We wouldn't render the participle, browsing, in a future tense. I first likened it to the way we do subjunctives - "If I had earned more money, I would have bought a bigger house" - but then I realized that is quite the opposite of what I was trying to say. There is also the natural progression of tense in a sentence (a "farther past" action being interrupted by a "nearer past" action - for example, "I had been painting my room when my friend knocked on the door."). I find this is a much easier concept to explain and illustrate in Latin. Is this because I'm so rusty with Greek? (It's been almost 10 years!) Or is it because the aspect of Greek verbs adds more color and nuance to the translation?

Mike, you're disqualified from answering this. You're too smart and I can't understand your super-dooper highly technical linguistic explanations. :)
Maybe Pastor Meyers' theory is correct...

I was quite excited when, while browsing Amazon.com the other day, I found Arturo Perez-Reverte's lastest novel, The Nautical Chart. I've read all his books except for The Seville Communion, and I have loved them all. I enjoy his style. The translations are beautiful and even though his mysteries are a bit predictable, there is usually interesting character development and a few twists and turns along the way. (His The Flanders Panel is my favorite although it contained a glaring chess error that I, being a chess negat, did not notice...but John and Duane did, and even had a chuckle over it...*)

I ignored the not-so-favorable reviews I read here and there on the Internet (I would say hither and yon, but who says that anymore?) and checked it out from the library. I got halfway through it and returned it. In the spirit of Rushdoony, I have finally, with much suffering, doubt, and apprehension, decided that not every book I pick up is worthy of a complete and thorough reading. The Nautical Chart was, as usual for P-R, written well and interesting at its core. But something was missing. I knew Tanger was the bad guy - er - girl from the beginning, and found myself not pulling for success in her quest but rather feeling ambivalent about her altogether. Poor Coy, well, he just needed help. I felt myself more attached to him as the story went along, as it seemed he gained confidence as he got his sea legs back after a prolonged restriction to shore.

I think that P-R's narratives, while well-written, were much too long and dry, full of too much introspection, too many flashbacks, and philosophical meanderings about the sea, the shore, and the innate untrustworthiness of landlubbers.

I hope this isn't indicative of P-R being able to produce only a small handful of quality works in his lifetime. If waiting five years meant producing a better book, I'd rather wait a long time than read something churned out under pressure.

*when John came to our place with the "Blogger's Luncheon" during the AAPC, he pulled the book of our bookshelf to ask Duane if he had noticed this error. As he was flipping through the book, he said "Mine doesn't have this many pictures!" I said "John, all of my books have lots of pictures."
Yummy

In the world of junk food there is nothing better than fresh original-flavor Doritos.
That explains it

I looked around on the website and found that it is run by disciples of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee.
I can't resist...

God wants someone to love Him, not just someone to serve Him,
He wants someone to love Him as his bride.

For this He came down to us,
He came to court, to woo us,
Away from everything unto Him.
Now we're espoused unto Him,
Pledged and betrothed unto Him,
Yes, we are bound to Him by His love.

God wants someone to love Him, not just someone to fear Him,
He wants a sweetheart who will be His bride.
God wants someone to know Him, not just to know about Him,
He wants someone who'll look Him in the eye.

Whew! I'm glad to get that all straightened out.
It gets even better...

From my spirit, when I'm sensing the supply of God's speaking
from a fount that ne'er runs dry,
And within me comes a fresh and sweet supply,
Then I've got to open up and water you.

Water you, water you,
from the flowing in my spirit water you,
When the saints need my supply then I'll surely testify,
I'll stand up, release my Christ, and water you!

Should a pause come, or the meeting ebb real low,
While within me there's a rich and living flow,
Then I'll stand up so that all the saints will know
That I'm here to share my Christ and water you.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Fair game

Just to prove that I can be grumpy with choruses too, take a look at the theo-floppy in this song. It is an Indonesian praise chorus and has been translated into English. For a minute I thought I’d give the benefit of the doubt to the translator, but…no. I don’t think so.
Your sweetness is just a taste of enjoyment
Your beauty is simply my heart’s attraction
Your radiance has captured me.
Your eyes draw things out of me.
Daily I want to kiss You and hold onto You.

O Jesus I’m crazy loving You, (x3)
until myself is no more.
O Jesus I’m crazy loving You, (x3)
until I’m lost in You.

Forgetting all that I’m outwardly doing,
Forgetting all of my thoughts of improving,
You only want to be loved,
I give my love unto You,
A crazy lover of Christ, I’m jumping for joy.

Yes, my life’s just to love You with my whole being,
Yes, my work’s just to love You with my whole being,
Loving You is my pleasure,
Loving You is my service,
Loving You is my motive and also my will.

O my Love, You’ve blinded me towards all things,
O my Love, You make the world simply nothing.
Just let me see You alone,
Just make me need You alone,
None other is there for me, it’s Jesus alone!

Movie soundtracks

I heard it argued once that movie soundtracks are our culture's classical music, in that the soundtracks are written in a sense to be "disposable" and accompany the specific movie. There are many very gifted composers today and scores (no pun intended) of beautiful and artistic soundtracks. If you don't make a habit of listening to the soundtrack, start making an effort to listening how the composer and director use the music to affect the mood of a movie. Sometimes a soundtrack completely redeems an otherwise worthless movie, and sometimes a great movie lacks good music.

Bailey was given Toy Story 2 a few months ago. When I was watching it with her, Jessie's When She Loved Me brought tears to my eyes. Sarah MacLachlan sings it on the movie, and it is an artistic and beautiful song.
When somebody loved me,
Everything was beautiful.
Every hour we spent together lives within my heart -
And when she was sad,
I was there to dry her tears.
And when she was happy,
So was I,
When she loved me.

Through the summer and the fall
We had each other, that was all
Just she and I together,
Like it was meant to be.

And when she was lonely,
I was there to comfort her
And I knew that she loved me.

So the years went by -
I stayed the same,
But she began to drift away.
I was left alone.
Still I waited for the day
When she'd say "I will always love you".

Lonely and forgotten,
I'd never thought she'd look my way
And she smiled at me and held me just like she used to do
Like she loved me,
When she loved me.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Gettin' the hang of it

Today I had a long drive out to my friend Lori's for my "sewing hour". Bailey was getting tired and cranky, so I started to sing to her. We went through the catechism questions, and we sang the Gloria Patri. Then I started singing the Doxology, and she put her arms up over her head. I thought she was getting it confused with "Itsy Bitsy Spider" (out came the sun and dried up all the rain...). So I sang the Gloria Patri again, and she had her hands in her lap. I started the Doxology, and she threw her hands up.

Then I realized that we raise our hands in church for the Doxology. She's getting the hang of it!
Chopped liver

Tuesday afternoon, for the first time, Bailey came to me and hugged me, put her head on my shoulder, and said "I love you, Mommy." Tears welled up in my eyes as I realized she was showing honest, unprovoked affection.

Then we went out into the yard. She played on the sidewalk for a while, watching the ants, and when we went back into the house she waved frantically at the ants and said "BYE-BYE, ANTS! I LOVE YOU!"

We came inside. She watched a few minutes of Spot (she calls it "Pots") and then said "BYE-BYE, PUPPY! I LOVE YOU!"

What am I, chopped liver?

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Sure to be quality entertainment

Every Christian should own a copy of this.
Sicky

I feel a sinus infection coming on.
Roller coaster

Have you ever found out that you might get to be a part of something really exciting, and you get really excited and worked up about it, and then find out a little bit later that not only is there a good possibility you are not going to be a part of that really exciting thing but that you might not be able to continue with what you were a part of before?

It's a good thing for everyone else, but it makes me very sad. I was beginning to feel useful.

Monday, April 07, 2003

Blessing

I drove over to visit with Mr. Lytle last week - to give him the last bit of money I owed him for my viola - and he had some friends visiting from Arkansas.

I sat down with "Lytle", as he identifies himself when I phone him, and his friends, John and Judy, who had brought their granddaughter, Natalie, to see Mr. Lytle and to learn how to put together a violin. We started chatting and Judy told me Mr. Lytle had told them all about me and Bailey, and they felt like they knew me.

As the afternoon went on, she mentioned how much she had loved Finlandia that the symphony had played the previous Saturday. The middle section of that piece is the music that the hymn Be Still My Soul was written to, and she loved the music but didn't know where to find it. She was sure it wouldn't be in their hymnal, and it wasn't in the hymnal Mr. Lytle had.

Judy told me to come back around 5:00 that evening with Bailey and Duane and they'd take us all to dinner at Piccadilly's. I couldn't believe their generosity. We went to dinner, all eight of us, and had a great time. The next morning I printed "Be Still My Soul" off the computer and took it over to them before they left. Judy thanked me and thanked me and thanked me, even though it only took me about 45 seconds to find it on the CyberHymnal and print it out.

A few days ago I got a card in the mail, one from Natalie, and one from Judy. In the card from Judy was a sizeable check designated for me to take viola lessons. I couldn't believe it! I called Mrs. Diguilian and she's willing to teach me, at least until the summer, and then we'll take a break and go from there.

Sometimes the kindness of fellow Christians is overwhelming.
Liturgy
The sun rises every morning. I do not rise every morning; but the variation is due not to my activity, but to my inaction. Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may me a theatrical encore.

-G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

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