Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The early morning sky

I don't have a camera capable of capturing what would not be all that arresting an image anyway, so ... there is no photo to go with this post. But, I just came in from walking the dog. To the west, the sky is clear as a bell: full moon, Orion in his proper place, just one jet trail skirting through Ursa Major, but otherwise, a sky unmarred. In the east, I saw the morning star, but only as a headlight through fog, the broad streaks of the outer bands of Sandy filling half the sky. Yes, Sandy. It is not the sight, but knowing whence those bands have come, and knowing: this is Iowa, west of the Mississippi. Lord, have mercy on folks in the eastern US, all of them, in Jesus' name. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Elizabeth Scalia (a.k.a. The Anchoress) has some thoughts on the new "Forever" stamp by the USPS. It really is lovely. In this day and age, it is a grace indeed that something as simple as a stamp can be used of the Holy Spirit to redirect our harried thoughts to eternal things. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

For capturing your sermons ...

Here's a list of top-rated digital voice recorders with USB connectivity, for small church pastors who have to act as their own sound technicians (and promise to do it unobtrusively), or for those whose sound techs may tend to fall asleep at the switch. This one seems to garner the best reviews:

UPDATE: There seems to be some question as to whether the above is Mac compatible, but this one seems to be:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The state of the nation ...

Here is a perfect depiction of the state of the nation at present. A man in NC invites those concerned for the health of the nation to engage in a prayer walk for the healing of the land, citing 2Chron 7:14. It is a simple, earnest expression of faith and concern. He does not say, "Look at me," but rather,  "Join me, wherever you are, if you share my concern" (my paraphrase).

Then the first commenter tells him to keep it to himself, and cites Jesus as his authority for doing so. Evidently he has overlooked the key phrase in Jesus' instruction, "in order to be seen by" others (Matt 6:1). I read no such motivation behind Mr. and Mrs. Poore's letter. This detractor, Mr. Gay, should read Bonhoeffer's exegesis of the whole of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5—7) before he concludes that Jesus wants the entire Christian life to be lived sequestered in the closet.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

An excellent choice

I take the appointment of Craig Barnes to take the helm at Princeton Seminary as a most happy development. I'm happy to say I (along with gobs — or let's say, myriads — of other people, evidently) suggested his name to the committee. May God bless and watch over him, his family, and all in the Princeton Seminary community. It really is a very special place.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A petition worth praying at least as often as you pray the Lord's Prayer

Here is a worthwhile reminder about keeping first things first from colleague and friend, Chip Hardwick.

Just to reinforce the point, I often remind students of worship that Jesus' instruction to his followers to pray for laborers was no less normative than his instruction concerning the Lord's Prayer. Thus, if we pray the Lord's Prayer in Sunday service, should we not ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers every week? Or, if we pray the Lord's Prayer thrice daily (per Augustine), should we not ask for laborers just as often? What difference would it make? Let's find out, for Christ's sake!