Thursday, April 29, 2010

Heed the colors...

Teacher by Ethel Barnett DeVito

Child, though I tell you in this sunlit cove
This cup of captive sea is ever blue,
For you it may be equally as true
That it is nacre, emerald, taupe or mauve.

Youth, though I say to you our days are scrolled
In hues allied to charcoal, chalk or steel,
For you it may be equally as real
To name them carmine, coral, or yet gold.

Experience and age have tossed a bone:
The right to paint life as it seems to me,
And you may heed the colors that I see,
But never let them blind you to your own.

HT: Dana

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why Latin?

English, as we have wearily heard repeated in dreary textbooks, takes about sixty percent of its words--either directly or via modern romance languages-- from Latin. Any student who has invested strenuous years in Latin, both reading and writing it, will own an obvious edge with English over those who haven't. Not only has that student learned what the words mean, he has learned what they have meant; he has seen them jostling and lounging in their original habitat. They've gamboled at his feet. "Liberty" never means the same thing after our backs have been burdened with the full Roman weight of libertas...
...If people have family trees, so have words, and tracing their branches through time and place reveals the complexity of their characters. memorizing them, as we must do when learning to use a language, stretches the mind.
Our brains become more capacious: the more we memorize, the more we can memorize. We begin to feel at home with those old words, and thus we feel more at home with their descendants in our own tongue. Once we have seen and used them, they're strangers no more. They're tactile; we can roll them in our hands. Commerce with them becomes easy."
~T. L. Simmons, Climbing Parnassus, p.168

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Learning a new song...

Dave and I help lead a "gathering hymn" each Sunday at our church. This is usually done with guitar, and with our pianist friend Gregg, and is usually a contemporary hymn used to call everyone to worship and focus our thoughts on the Lord. We are getting ready to teach a new song, and this morning as I sat listening to the bees buzzing in my beautiful pear tree and watched the daffodils sway in the breeze, I found myself contemplating the words. A good sign, I think! I am singing it every day to learn it well, and will start playing it soon and teaching it to my patient dh (who has been dragged into music leadership, and does a lovely job of it.) We have lately been spending a month learning a new hymn, then reviewing familiar ones. Here is the new song for May. You can listen to it by clicking on the link in the title below, then clicking on the recording.

Go Up, My Heart by Horatius Bonar and David Ward

Go up, go up, my heart,
And dwell with God above;
For here you cannot find
A satisfying love.
Don’t set your love upon
These things so stained and dim;
Go up to meet with God,
Take up your love to Him.

Go up, my heart, go up
To the fountain of delights.
Go up, my heart, go up
To the source of all joy, Jesus Christ.

Go up, go up, my heart,
Don’t spend your treasure here:
Ascend above these clouds,
Soar to a higher sphere.
Don’t waste your precious stores
On creature-love below;
To God that wealth belongs,
On Him that wealth bestow.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kissing on a Sunday...

Found this sweet love song on Pandora this afternoon.

Sunday by Bebo Norman

Day is fading, but baby, I don't mind
'Cause sunlight is dancing in your eyes
And time is frozen but somehow flying by
Here with your hand holding mine

It just feels right kissing on a Sunday
I'll hold you tight as if it were the last day
With all my might, I will keep the world away
It just feels right kissing you on a Sunday

Time is racing to the sound of my heart beating
Can the dreaming escape this life
Unfair, maybe, but know that I'm not leaving
Right now, baby, life is kind

Make this moment last for a lifetime
Don't let it slip away
Play it over and over like your favorite song
And we'll fit forever in a day

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sabbath Sentiments

Judge not Christ's love by providences, but by promises. Bless God for shaking off false foundations, for any way whereby He keeps the soul awakened and looking after Christ; better sickness and temptations, than security and superficiality.
~Thomas Wilcox, "Honey Out of the Rock"

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The sweet exchange...

“When our unrighteousness was fulfilled, and it had been made perfectly clear that its wages—punishment and death—were to be expected, then the season arrived during which God had decided to reveal at last His goodness and power (oh, the surpassing kindness and love of God!).

He did not hate us, or reject us, or bear a grudge against us; instead He was patient and forbearing; in His mercy He took upon Himself our sins; He Himself gave up His own Son as a ransom for us, the holy one for the lawless, the guiltless for the guilty, the just for the unjust, the incorruptible for the corruptible, the immortal for the mortal.

For what else but His righteousness could have covered our sins? In whom was it possible for us, the lawless and ungodly, to be justified, except in the Son of God alone?

O the sweet exchange, O the incomprehensible work of God, O the unexpected blessings, that the sinfulness of many should be hidden in one righteous person, while the righteousness of one should justify many sinners!”

–The Epistle to Diognetus, 9:2-­5, in The Apostolic Fathers, trans. Michael W. Holmes (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007), 709–710. [HT:Tolle Lege)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Something light for a Friday...

"Tense Times with Verbs" by Richard Lederer

The verbs in English are a fright.
How can we learn to read and write?
Today we speak, but first we spoke;
Some faucets leak, but never loke.
Today we write, but first we wrote;
We bite our tongues, but never bote.
Each day I teach, for years I taught,
And preachers preach, but never praught.
This tale I tell; This tale I told;
I smell the flowers, but never smold.
If knights still slay, as once they slew.
Then do we play, as once we plew?
If I still do as once I did,
Then do cows moo, as they once mid?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Beware of cooling down...

“I have but one request to make, and that is that you will persevere. I implore you to maintain your zeal and never let it go. I urge you never to stop doing the things you did at first, never to leave your first love, never let it be said of you that the things that you did in the first part of your Christian life were better than the things you did in your latter years. Beware of cooling down. All you have to do is to be lazy, and to sit still, and you will soon lose all your zeal. You will soon become another person from what you are now. Oh, don’t think that this is a needless exhortation!”
~ J.C. Ryle
Practical Religion, “Zeal”, 208, 209.

HT: J C Ryle Quotes

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Education is...

The purpose of intellectual education, according to John Henry Newman, is "to remove the original dimness of the mind's eye; to strengthen and perfect its vision; to enable it to look out onto the world right forward, steadily and truly; to give the mind clearness, accuracy, precision; to enable it to use words aright, to understand what it says, to conceive justly what it thinks about, to abstract, compare, analyze, divide, define and reason correctly."
~Tracy Lee Simmons, Climbing Parnanssus, p.163

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Sundays with Jean

In our reading of Calvin's Institutes, I find that good old Jean grappled with the same church I grappled with as a young woman, and he often articulated, much better than I, the same realizations that, along with a godly husband, lead me away from the Roman church. In Book III, Chapter 20, Part 21, concerning the Roman practice of praying to saints, he had a couple of points that I had to "amen" right out loud as Dave read:

Now Scripture recalls us from all to Christ alone, our Heavenly Father wills that all things be gathered together in him. therefore, it was the height of stupidity, not to say madness, to be so intent on gaining access through the saints as to be led away from him, apart from whom no entry lies open to them.

...scripture offers him [Christ] alone to us, sends us to him, and establishes us in him. "He," says Ambrose, "is our mouth, through which we speak to the Father; he is our right hand, through which we offer ourselves to the Father. unless he intercedes, there is no intercourse with God either for us or for all saints."

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Three people dressed for the wedding...

Can you see Person #3 in the photo below, Gentle Reader?

Friday, April 02, 2010

As nothing but Thy power doth cut...

The Altar by George Herbert

A broken ALTAR, Lord thy servant rears,
Made of a heart, and cemented with teares:
Whose parts are as thy hand did frame;
No workmans tool hath touch’d the same
A HEART alone
Is such a stone,
As nothing but
Thy pow’r doth cut.
Wherefore each part
Of my hard heart
Meets in this frame,
To praise thy Name:
That if I chance to hold my peace,
These stones to praise thee may not cease.
O let thy blessed SACRIFICE be mine,
And sanctifie this ALTAR to be thine.

(HT: KL)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Divine Comedy complete...

On my walk this blustery morning, I finally finished Paradise, Canto 33, and brought my adventure through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise to an end. Of my two recent audio-book forays into epic poetry--Milton's Paradise Lost and Dante's Divine Comedy-- I must say I enjoyed Milton the most. I think that is true for several reasons.

First, I loved Milton's language. If I had been able to read Dante in his original Italian, that difference might have disappeared. Or if I had a different translation of Dante, that also may have helped. (I was listening to the John Ciardi translation).

Second, Milton's story is literally of Biblical proportion and roughly Protestant understanding, while I found much of Dante more Roman Catholic and extra-biblical in nature. My own RC baggage probably made this more irritating to me than it may be to others.

Third, Milton's allusions tend to be classical or biblical in nature, at least some of which I have a passing familiarity with. Dante tends to make local and historical Italian allusions, very few of which I know about or can relate to.

I am glad I completed The Divine Comedy. It is a great work which reflects its time in some remarkable ways. But I think my next audio book needs to be something lighter and more entertaining...