Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sabbath Sentiments

Whatever My God Ordains Is Right by Samuel Rodergast, 1676, translated by Catherine Winkworth, 1863

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
His holy will abideth;
I will be still whate’er He doth;
And follow where He guideth;
He is my God; though dark my road,
He holds me that I shall not fall:
Wherefore to Him I leave it all.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He never will deceive me;
He leads me by the proper path:
I know He will not leave me.
I take, content, what He hath sent;
His hand can turn my griefs away,
And patiently I wait His day.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
His loving thought attends me;
No poison can be in the cup
That my Physician sends me.
My God is true; each morn anew
I’ll trust His grace unending,
My life to Him commending.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He is my Friend and Father;
He suffers naught to do me harm,
Though many storms may gather,
Now I may know both joy and woe,
Some day I shall see clearly
That He hath loved me dearly.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Though now this cup, in drinking,
May bitter seem to my faint heart,
I take it, all unshrinking.
My God is true; each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
And pain and sorrow shall depart.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Here shall my stand be taken;
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
Yet I am not forsaken.
My Father’s care is round me there;
He holds me that I shall not fall:
And so to Him I leave it all.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Knowing ourselves...

He that has any feeling of his own sinfulness, ought to thank God for it. That very sense of weakness, wickedness, and corruption, which perhaps makes you uncomfortable, is in reality a token for good, and a cause for praise. The first step towards being really good, is to feel bad. The preparation for heaven, is to know that we deserve hell. Before we can be counted righteous we must know ourselves to be miserable sinners. Before we can have inward happiness and peace with God, we must learn to be ashamed and confounded because of our manifold transgressions. Before we can rejoice in a well-grounded hope, we must be taught to say, “Unclean, unclean! God, be merciful to me a sinner!”

~ J.C. Ryle, Old Paths, “Our Sins”, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1999], 155.

HT: JCR Quotes

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Immensely long perspective...

Albert Jay Nock on classical education:

The literature of Greece and Rome comprise the longest and fullest continuous record available to us of what the human mind has been busy about in practically every department of spiritual and social activity... The record covers twenty-five hundred consecutive years o the human mind's operations in poetry, drama, law, agriculture, philosophy, architecture, natural history, philology, rhetoric, astronomy, politics, medicine, theology, geography, everything. Hence the mind that has attentively canvassed this record is not only a disciplined mind but an experienced mind; a mind that instinctively views any contemporary phenomenon from the vantage-point of an immensely long perspective attained through this profound and weighty experience of the human spirit's operations. If I may paraphrase the words of Emerson, this discipline brings us into the feeling of an immense longevity, and maintains us in it.
~T. L. Simmons, Climbing Parnassus, pp.156-157

Friday, February 19, 2010

Some thoughts on love...

Many years ago, I was introduced to the concept of "love languages", based on Gary Chapman's book. I have found the identifying of others' predispositions to be often helpful. But Justin Taylor, in reviewing ideas from David Powlison, over at the First Things blog, has hit the nail on the head in regards to just how self-centered we can all become. Taylor quotes in part:
Powlison summarizes Chapman’s “full working philosophy” as follows:

“I’ll find out where you itch, and I’ll scratch your back, so you feel better. Along the way, I’ll let you know my itches in a non-demanding manner. You’ll feel good about me because your itches are being scratched, so eventually you’ll probably scratch my back, too.”

But therein lies the problem: Chapman takes an “is” and turns it into an “ought”:

Unwittingly [Chapman] exalts the observation that “even tax collectors, gentiles, and sinners love those who love them” (Matt. 5:46f; Luke 6:32ff) into his guiding principle for human relationships. This is the dynamo that makes his entire model go. This is the instinct that he appeals to in his readers. If I scratch your back, you’ll tend to scratch mine. If you’re happy to see me, I’ll tend to be happy to see you, too. So, 5LL teaches you how to become aware of what others want, and then tells you to give that to them. This is the principle behind How to Win Friends and Influence People and The 30-second Manager. It’s the dynamic at work in hundreds of other books on “relational skills,” or “attending skills,” or “salesmanship,” or “how to find the love you want.” Identify the felt need and meet it, and, odds are, your relationships will go pretty well.

I find these thoughts very provocative this morning. What exactly is my motivation in sharing my "felt needs" with my husband? Am I seeking his good, or my own gratification? Hmmm...

Couple this (no pun intended)with the excellent series on the "Myths of Marriage" by Glen Knecht being run (in parts) at the blog of First Pres, Jackson, MS, and I have lots to think about today. May God keep me from my default desire to please myself, and give me the grace to love my husband, and others, well.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Midweek Miscellany

With a photo of pruning a mesquite tree, how about if I prune away a few finds I have been saving for you, Gentle Reader?

Poem of the day: from my friend KL, a beauty by Christina Rosetti

Cartoon of the Day: Took this to my composition class to share today. I will pull it out when I am in my grammar-Nazi mood.

Chocolate of the Day (or month): My friend Renee is doing a whole month of chocolate recipes. Check them out! And last month, she did a month of house-cleaning challenges, each one to take no more than 5 minutes. They were fun: so check out her January posts as well.

Frightening Cultural Trend of the Day: Check out this story from Dr. Veith.

Economics Visual of the Day: Here's a picture of how the US's debt stacks up.

Movie Moment of the Day: I haven't seen Avatar, and am not all that interested in seeing it, but this made me laugh.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vincit qui patitur...

When dealing with my own laziness, or the laziness of my charges, I often have to remind myself that insisting on hard work is actually a kindness to myself and my students, not some sort of torture. As T. L. Simmons quotes older maxims,
Nil sine magno vita labore dedit mortalibus. Life gives nothing to us without tremendous work and sacrifice. Vincit qui patitur. One who suffers also conquers.
~Tacy Lee Simmons, Climbing Parnassus, p.165

Wednesday without words

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Economics Rap

Special Thanks to my friend AR, who is a genius at finding fascinating things on the web...