October 29, 2010

Time Traveler

Here’s one for you to ponder. A short clip detailing what is claimed to possibly be evidence of a time traveler caught in camera frame during the filming of a 1928 Charlie Chaplin movie, The Circus.

OK. So this is the latest evidence we have of the possibility of time travel: an old woman (or someone dressed like an old woman) with thick ankles and skinny shoes, talking into a cell phone in the middle of a 1928 Charlie Chaplin movie. Go with that explanation if it works for you. Or come up with your own and post a comment. Maybe she is talking to her dear diary, yelling at an imaginary friend. I don't know. I am not losing any sleep over this, either way it plays.

But OK. So who says the future doesn’t make sense? We have seen it, and it is a silent movie.

October 28, 2010

What Did He/Does He Look Like?

To you that is.

What mental picture do you have of Jesus? What did He look like when they took Him off the cross, what does He look like now, while we await His glorious return? These questions came up in the study of Revelation in my seminary class today. The question came up as we studied the following verse (emphasis is mine):
And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.
Revelation 5:6 (New American Standard Bible)
The question is that Christ stands in heaven, the Lamb, as if slain. Does He bear the marks of His crucifixion, will He for eternity, not as a remonstrance to us, but as a reminder of His love? Clearly, the marks of crucifixion were evident after the resurrection, before He ascended into heaven:
So the other disciples were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing."
John 20:25-27 (New American Standard Bible)
Look at what some of the Old Testament prophecy had to say about His death:
Just as there were many who were appalled at him — his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness
Isaiah 52:14 (New International Version)
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Isaiah 53:7 (New International Version)
I do not even have to go into the crucifixion accounts of the Gospels, easy enough to find and read, for you to get a sense that it was a broken body taken down off the cross, and I believe that when we meet Jesus we will see the marks He bore in love and continues to do so even in His glory.

It is interesting that there is no physical description of Jesus in the bible, and I think not for good reason. while we can surmise some from where and when He walked the earth as a man, we are left to let our mind's eye capture for us what Jesus looks like. I think that allows us to approach Him on terms we are comfortable with, at least until He comes back in glory and removes all doubt.

What did He/does He look like to you? I hope whatever that image is, it is the picture of your Savior.

October 20, 2010

The Never Ending Post - Part IV

So, what is next? I am running out of steam on my social media activity, limping along on blogging. Not sure what to do next.

Maybe I should take up reading, again. I did a lot more of it before I started seminary, which I find ironic. School is making me cut back on my reading.

I need a big fat book to read. Feeling the heft of a massive tome (like Shelby Foote's tripartite on the Civil War). Something I can get into, grind through. Maybe try to wade through Charnock's The Existence and Attributes of God again, a little more intently this time. Or the seven Jules Verne novels in one edition I picked up a couple of years ago.

Maybe not. It may not be the time to run over covered, or semi-covered ground right now. I have a pretty big stack of unread books, and I got through a couple pieces of the Verne collection, and I do not need to take on a reread at this point. It would need to be something I have not cracked open yet (and that would leave out the Foote trilogy as well). Although the one book I will always read, no matter how many times I go over the same part, is the Bible. To me, there is no better indication of the divine inspiration of the Bible, that it is the word of God written into our hearts, than the fact that I never tire of reading it. Never tire of seeking Jesus in it.

I need a sense of accomplishment I cannot get from reading off a screen. I have to admit, there is something satisfying in finishing a big book that you do not get at reading a long blog post.

So I will cut this one off.


October 19, 2010

The Final Check In

I completed my review of foursquare and Gowalla and reached a decision yesterday. I shut both accounts down. Yes, there was a brief moment when badges (21), stamps (117), mayorships (16) and pins (17) just flew off in all directions, not to be seen on my accounts ever again. I looked these over for about 40 days (a good amount of time for testing and trial) and decided I did not want to go further with either. Both had their merits in my eyes, and both their drawbacks. Foursquare was more socially oriented, but Gowalla more travel oriented. Gowalla had nicer looking pins and stamps than the badges of foursquare, but foursquare seemed way more interactive and goal oriented. But in the end, I came down to this:
  • Not many people care where I am at a given moment
  • Fewer care to be reminded of it
  • I do not care all that much where most people are at a given moment
  • If I cannot remember where I have been, I would rather not be reminded that I had forgotten
So, out the door both went yesterday. I deleted them one after the other and I cannot remember which one went first (which sort of underscores the 4th bullet above). It was fun to try them out and collect badges for a while, but one thing became painfully clear, at least in my daily living. It becomes a little depressing to keep checking into the same places. I do not need a reminder of the banality of my life from www.e-rut.com on a daily basis. I mean, other than the occassional foray to try a new restaurant or take a trip, we are creatures of habit. And I am getting too old for the hamster wheel.

I did learn some stuff:
  • The GPS-based services on my Droid eat battery like I suck down my wife's baked ziti. Only with less sauce splattering around.
  • The location services that are cell phone based only are not always that reliable. There were times when I was standing in front of a place and was told I was 2.2 kilometers away.
  • I live not all that far from DFW airport. They must be bouncing radio signals around in the area to keep them away from the planes because I always got some weird results when I was close.
  • I can take a flight from Newark to Dallas, log on to GoGo Inflight and check in to O'Hare airport in route and earn a Swarm badge on foursquare. Been there, and did that.
I did try some new stuff as a result of seeing things on foursquare (which is why they seemed way more interactive and goal oriented):

Regrets? I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention.

And none at all on trying out or turning this stuff off.

I guess I'll wait for the next thing to come along.

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October 8, 2010

The Beginning of the End

Today in my seminary class we move on from Daniel into Revelation, where will be for the remainder of the semester. I cannot wait to dig into this part of the study. I have always wanted to spend time in the Book of Revelation, but have never done a detailed study. This one, led by Dr. Pentecost, will be from the pre-millennial, pre-tribulation school of thought. Which is fine, as that is what I hold to personally, I would probably not be studying where I am if I wasn't of that frame of mind.

As I go through the reading of this section, as I hear the events laid out in the bible and compare them to what is going on on the world, I see things developing in a way that one can see Revelation playing out in the future. I am not saying today nor tomorrow as no one knows the day except our Father in heaven, if I may paraphrase Matthew 24:36 a bit.

I can imagine how John struggled to get his mind around this divine revelation, how he must have struggled to put it on paper. (And remember, he had to do it in Greek with all those funny squiggles. You can tell I am not taking languages in school). What did he see, how did he describe it as he did? I am sure without divine inspiration he would be completely lost understanding what it is that was revealed to him. I wonder if he saw it in his mind like we see on a TV or computer (maybe a little 3D or HD action?), if he saw it as it will happen or in images his mind could grasp from the world around him.

That we are heading towards the end of days, I have no doubt. I mean, we are a day closer each day. Will it happen in my lifetime, or the lifetime of anyone alive on the earth today? Who knows. But it is possible that this is more likely true today than it was yesterday, and will be more so tomorrow. All I know is that it will happen when God wills it, and I will be in it those days if that is His will for me.

I do not know what to expect, but I know what to do. Follow hard after the Lord as I walk down The Narrow Road.

October 7, 2010

Quiet Time

I love my quiet time with the Lord, early in the morning, before the sun is fully up, before everything else is stirring.

I will adjust the time I get up to spend time with the Lord, the earlier I have to be someplace, the earlier I get up for quiet time. I must say, that has led to some very early quiet times over the years.

It is ingrained in my day, the few times when I miss my quiet time, I do feel out of sorts for the rest of the day. I need that daily time of prayer, reflection, reading of the word, meditation, and just having a conversation with God, just the two of us. I love this pisture I took at the Grand Canyon a few years ago at dawn, it is a good mind picutre for me to focus on when I think of quiet time, standing here at a quiet time, taking in the stunning beauty of the Lord's creation.

I feel that if I am going to hear that soft, still voice leading me, coaching me, prompting me toward action (or in my case, more probably inaction on a particular item), it is going to be during these early quiet times of the day.

The only regret I have about my quiet times is that I always feel like I should have let them last just a little bit longer.

October 1, 2010

Time Moves

At seemingly differing speeds, all at the same instant.

Here it is, the 1st of October, the year 2010 is rapidly winding down, the Christmas season will be upon us before we realize it (Is someone keeping track of how many shopping days are left? It would not do to lose track of the true reason for the season after all). We will celebrate the birth of our Lord (the real season reason in case you missed the sarcasm), and move into a new year. Time moving at what seems to be ever increasing pace as I get older.

Here it is, the end of another work week. There has been vacation time, and travel and return to house, hearth and cubicle. A good week, but one that has seemed to go on longer than the 4+ days that have transpired.

Time at differing speeds at the same instant. As I ponder this, I think it is my faith walk that allows me to cope with the changing speeds of my life. It is walking with Christ that allows me to know that whatever pace life takes, I am moving at the right speed, for He is with me and I feel Him by my side. My faithfulness in Him doesn't change His attitude to me, He loves me, no matter what. But it allows me to be calm in Him but of that faithfulness.

Time moves as He wills it, and I hope to keep up the pace He wants me to.