Friday, August 29, 2008
When I think about the book of Revelation I think about worship. I think that this is where we find more images of true worship than anywhere else in the Bible. This is also the book that gives us more insight into why we worship. Here is where we find not only descriptions of God and all of his glory and power, here is where we find out the end of the story. We here what is in store for us at the end of all things. And let me just say that it is going to be worth it!
Here are a few highlights from Revelation:
*The four Animals were winged, each with 6 wings. They were all eyes, seeing around and within. And they chanted night and day, never taking a break: Holy, holy, holy is God our Master, Sovereign-Strong, The Was, The Is, The Coming.
*Then I heard every creature in Heaven and earth, in underworld and sea, join in, all voices in all places, singing: To the One on the Throne! To the Lamb! The blessing, the honor, the glory, the strength, for age after age after age. The four animals called out, "Oh, yes!" The Elders fell to their knees and worshipped.
*These are those who come from the great tribulation, and they've washed their robes, scrubbed them clean in the blood of the Lamb. That's why they're standing before God's Throne. They serve him day and night in his Temple. The One on the Throne will shepherd them, will lead them to spring waters of Life. And God will wipe every last tear from their eyes.
*Then I heard the sound of massed choirs, the sound of a mighty cataract, the sound of strong thunder: Hallelujah! The Master reigns, our God, the Sovereign-Strong! Let us celebrate, let us rejoice, let us give him the glory!
*I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: "Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They're his people, he's their God. He'll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good - tears gone, crying gone, pain gone - all the first order of things gone." The Enthroned continued, "Look! I'm making all things new."
*His servants will offer God service - worshipping, they'll look on his face, their foreheads mirroring God. Never again will there be any night. No one will need lamplight or sunlight. The shining of God, the Master, is all the light anyone needs. And they will rule with him age after age after age.
*Yes, I'm on my way! I'll be there soon!
*Yes! Come, Master Jesus!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
"'Ow, Bree,' he gasped. 'I'm so sore. All over. I can hardly move.' 'Good morning, small one,' said Bree. 'I was afraid you might feel a bit stiff. It can't be the falls. You didn't have more than a dozen or so, and it was all lovely, soft springy turf that must have been almost a pleasure to fall on. And the only one that might have been nasty was broken by that gorse bush. No: it's the riding itself that comes hard at first. What about breakfast?'"
"They were now in the palace garden which sloped down in terraces to the city wall. The moon shone brightly. One of the drawbacks about adventures is that when you come to the most beautiful places you are often too anxious and hurried to appreciate them; so that Aravis (though she remembered them years later) had only a vague impression of gray lawns, quietly bubbling fountains, and the long black shadows of cypress trees."
"Shasta saw all this in a glance and looked again. The lion had almost got Hwin now. It was making snaps at her hind legs, and there was no hope now in her foam-flecked, wide-eyed face.
'Stop,' bellowed Shasta in Bree's ear. 'Must go back. Must help!'
Bree always said afterward that he never heard, or never understood this; and as he was in general a very truthful horse, we must accept his word."
"When Shasta went through the gate he found a slope of grass and a little heather running up before him to some trees. He had nothing to think about now and no plans to make: he had only to run, and that was quite enough."
"The High King above all kings stooped toward him. Its mane, and some strange and solemn perfume that hung about the mane, was all round him. It touched his forehead with its tongue. He lifted his face and their eyes met. Then instantly the pale brightness of the mist and the fiery brightness of the Lion rolled themselves together into a swirling glory and gathered themselves up and disappeared. He was alone with the horse on a grassy hillside under a blue sky. And there were birds singing."
"And immediately, mixed with a sizzling sound, there came to Shasta a simply delightful smell. It was one he had never smelled in his life before, but I hope you have. It was, in fact, the smell of bacon and eggs and mushrooms all frying in a pan."
"But at that moment he was interrupted by a snore from Shasta who, what with his night's journey and his excellent breakfast, had gone fast asleep. The kindly Dwarfs, as soon as they noticed this, began making signs to each other not to wake him, and indeed did so much whispering and nodding and getting up and tiptoeing away that they certainly would have waked him if he had been less tired."
"When Shasta fell off his horse he gave himself up for lost. But horses, even in battle, tread on human beings very much less than you would suppose."
"Aravis looked twice at his face before she gasped and said, 'Why! It's Shasta!' Shasta all at once turned very red and began speaking very quickly. 'Look here, Aravis,' he said, 'I do hope you won't think I'm got up like this (and the trumpeter and all) to try to impress you or make out that I'm different or any rot of that sort. Because I'd far rather have come in my old clothes, but they're burnt now...'"
"'It was he who did all that, Sir,' said Aravis. 'Why, he rushed at a lion to save me.' 'Eh, what's that?' said King Lune, his face brightening. 'I haven't heard that part of the story.' Then Aravis told it. And Cor, who had very much wanted the story to be known, though he felt he couldn't tell it himself, didn't enjoy it so much as he had expected, and indeed felt rather foolish. But his father enjoyed it very much indeed and in the course of the next few weeks told it to so many people that Cor wished it had never happened."
"Then Rabadash rolled his eyes and spread out his mouth into a horrible, long mirthless grin like a shark, and wagged his ears up and down. He had always found this very effective in Calormen. ... But what Rabadash hadn't realized is that it is very easy to frighten people who know you can have them boiled alive the moment you give the word. The grimaces didn't look at all alarming in Archenland; indeed Lucy only thought Rabadash was going to be sick."
"'But, Father, couldn't you make whichever you like to be the next King?'
'No, The king's under the law, for it's the law makes him a king. Hast no more power to start away from thy crown than any sentry from his post.'
'Oh dear,' said Cor. 'I don't want to at all. And Corin - I am most dreadfully sorry. I never dreamed my turning up was going to chisel you out of your kingdom.'
'Hurrah! Hurrah!' said Corin. 'I shan't have to be King. I'll always be a prince. It's princes have all the fun.'
'And that's truer than thy brother knows, Cor,' said King Lune. 'For this is what it means to be a king: to be first in every desperate attack and last in every desperate retreat, and when there's hunger in the land (as must be now and then in bad years) to wear finer clothes and laugh louder over a scantier meal than any man in your land.'
When the two boys were going upstairs to bed Cor again asked Corin if nothing could be done about it. And Corin said:
'If you say another word about it, I'll-I'll knock you down.'"
"Aravis also had many quarrels (and, I'm afraid, even fights) with Cor, but they always made it up again: so that years later, when they were grown up, they were so used to quarreling and making up again that they got married so as to go on doing it more conveniently."
Monday, August 25, 2008
This is the dashboard of my car. (And yes, I did take this while I was driving, at night. And I was on empty. I have nothing to say in my defense.) Pretty cool, huh?
Anyway, today I took my car to get washed. (Why does it always rain right after you wash your car?) Then I went to Goodyear to have my oil changed, tires rotated, and state inspection done. (Like an MOT for you Brits.) Why do you always come away from these things having spent more money than you expected and having found out that there are more things wrong with your car than you knew? Ugh! I'm hoping my dad can replace a serpentine belt (whatever that is) along with the tail light that's broken (thank you Lacy) and the air filter which is too full of gunk to filter out anymore. And that he can do it in the next 30 days before I get in trouble with the state. I'm also hoping he can replace the dome light that has burnt out. Once we get that taken care of I just need to get the recall on the "front door glass shatter - replace bolts" that I received a postcard from Pontiac GMC dealer. And at some point in the not too distant future get all new tires. I tell you what, car maintenance is fun stuff!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Well, yesterday I went to Charlotte's Map Store and got both! And now they are hanging on my walls along with my world map and maps of Dublin, Belfast, and North Carolina. (I found the NC map in my car, I think Lacy must've picked it up free at the NC Welcome Center cause it's full of information about NC including a paragraph on the Highway Patrol.)
So anyway, I'm happy!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Since I got home in mid-July I've been reading the minor prophets. I finished yesterday. I think they're collective name is a horrible one. It makes us think that their message is one that isn't as important as that of the major prophets. But let me tell you, their message is anything but minor. It's pretty big and pretty important. You hear a lot of God's heart in this long collection of short messages.
They have so much to say about justice, mercy, being real, how to live like God created us to. Really, really major life issues are discussed here, and everything is a message straight from the heart of God. We, in the church as a whole, need to stop overlooking them. We, as the church in the west, need to stop ignoring God's heart cry for us to care for the poor and live lives marked by compassion and mercy and start putting this stuff into practice. Before it's too late.
Here are a few highlights:
*Listen to this, priests! Attention, people of Israel! Royal family - all ears! You're in charge of justice around here.
*From now on I'm the one who answers and satisfies him. I am like a luxuriant fruit tree. Everything you need is to be found in me.
*Because of the three great sins of Israel - make that four - I'm not putting up with them any longer. They buy and sell upstanding people. People for them are only things - ways of making money.
*Because you run roughshod over the poor and take the bread right out of their mouths, you're never going to move into the luxury homes you have built.
*Go out into the streets and lament loudly! Fill the malls and shops with cries of doom! Weep loudly, "Not me! Not us, not now!" Empty offices, stores, factories, workplaces. Enlist everyone in the general lament.
*I've had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to me?
*Do you know what I want? I want justice - oceans of it. I want fairness - rivers of it. That's what I want. That's all I want.
*He will teach us how to live. We'll know how to live God's way. True teaching will issue from Zion, GOD's revelation from Jerusalem. He'll establish justice in the rabble of nations and settle disputes in faraway places. They'll trade in their swords for shovels, their spears for rakes and hoes. Nations will quit fighting each other, quit learning how to kill one another. Each man will sit under his own shade tree, each woman in safety will tend her own garden. GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies says so, and he means what he says.
*GOD will be seen as truly terrible - a Holy Terror. All earth-made gods will shrivel up and blow away; and everyone, wherever they are, far or near, will fall to the ground and worship him.
*On that Big Day there will be no buying or selling in the Temple of GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies.
*Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don't open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessing beyond your wildest dreams. For my part, I will defend you against marauders, protect your wheat fields and vegetable gardens against plunderers. ...You'll be voted Happiest Nation. You'll experience what it's like to be a country of grace.
I've come across some media in the last few days that build on this message. First is a short film by John Piper:
Second, as I've been writing this I've been listening to Jon Foreman's Summer EP quite a few songs touch on these issues but one in particular stands out, Instead of a Show. You can hear it on his myspace.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Here is a picture of me getting into her/him the day before I left last September:
This is the second car I've owned. My first car was given to me by my youth pastor and his wife when I graduated from highschool, they're pretty awesome and not just because of that. So this is the first car I bought on my own and I worked hard to pay it off and took really good care of it, never missed an oil change or tire rotation or scheduled maintnenance. It deserves a really good name. I've always wanted to name it but the gender issue has stopped me. So I'm open to suggestions for either what gender you think it is or good names. : )
Saturday, August 16, 2008
America's medal standings:
GOLD 16; SILVER 16; BRONZE 22; TOTAL 54
Great Britain's medal standings:
GOLD 7; SILVER 3; BRONZE 7; TOTAL 17
Here are a few more statistics:
*America has more athletes competing in more events. *Based on the number of athletes sent verses medals currently won America is at 9.4% while the UK is at 4.8%. *America has won the most medals of any country over the entire history of the Olympics. (But don't worry, the UK is 3rd which isn't too bad for such a little island.)
But really, my point isn't that America is better at sport than the UK. (Although we are clearly more diversified.) My point is that while we may not really compete in the Rugby, Soccer/Football, or Cricket (or what I like to call Britain's Big Three) we are clearly a nation that excels at sport. And no longer am I going to sit idly by and listen to all the rubbish about how American Football is for sissies and all that junk about having a World Series for a sport that only one nation plays, etc.
So I don't want to hear anymore about it, all right!
Monday, August 11, 2008
All the Andersons. (at least the ones who made it!)