Friday, September 30, 2005

Thought For the Day

I manage three, some times four, other blog sites besides my own. The boys can blog more than twice a month, why can't I?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Grace in a Jolt

Open your eyes. Look at what is going on around you. Think about the fact that while it could always be worse, you have never been in a better place to see that it could always get better too. Stop. Remember when. Those were the days. But were they really? Would you really want to go back? You have learned so much. They smiled at you. Keep going. It's a new dawn, it's a new day. He laughed with you. It could always be worse. She sent you a card. But it's not. They prayed for you last Sunday. Why does it have to hurt this much? He listened when no one else would. It has been such a very long road. I never knew she cared so much. What is the point? A kind word. Where is the pleasure? An honest answer. Who really knows what I am going through? A simple deed. What next? A touch of mercy. Where are the people I need most? A small grace. How much longer? A leap of faith...

Often great calamity brings a whole new perspective of life to the church. At least it should. The deeds that should be carried out as a consistent outpouring of the truth of Christian faith are jolted into action and awakened to the realization of need. We finally stop to listen, to see, and, if the former are allowed to reach our inmost being, to comprehend a hurt and a hunger out side our finely padded lives. Why can't we hear the questions all the time? Why can't we respond with a kind word and an outstretched hand when it is less convenient for us? Why wait until we have no choice but to stare woe in the the face and fall back on the same grace that heals hearts and others? That is grace--when we are left with nothing but. That is mercy--when we are driven towards it in time of need and left with a gaping void when the time is over. With every trial more is learned. Remembrance and forgetfulness in how to extend the gospel of grace to others need not be a vicious cycle. We will forget, we will be stirred, we will remember. But hope lies in that faith is the evidence of things not seen. Grace depends not on our deeds but on the finished sacrifice of the Creator of all things. It is in His Image and as His people that we work out our salvation with fear and trembling--if we will only have ears to hear and eyes to see.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


If we look for the big things in life there will never be enough of them to satisfy us. But if we take them in stride, there will never cease to be a small grace that amazes us.

It is most often the simple things in life that leave us the most dumb-founded and encouraged. Anything from the reddish rays of early morning sunlight piercing the hovering ground cover of fog, to a Wednesday tradition of eating Tai food to go. From the comforting ambiance of your favorite coffee shop couched in the middle of a suburban sprawl, to a kind reassurance from a friend that the world is not going to fall apart. The small things just tend to remind us that there is a pattern and a purpose to life. We need not look to deep descriptions and elaborate explanations when ordinary simplicity makes so much more a profound statement in its own time through well-placed graces and kindly explanation. Some times no manner or amount of elaboration will get a point across. But if we are shown rather than simply told, many times the light bulb of realization turns on when we least expect it. And often when we need it to most.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Logic Low-Down

Somehow, our whole approach to teaching and learning has gone awry. Do you sometimes have an uneasy suspicion that the product of modern educational methods is less good than he or she might be at disentangling fact from opinion and the proven from the plausible? Although we often succeed in teaching our pupils subjects, we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think. They learn everything except the art of learning. Dorothy Sayers

Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right. Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Logic—the art of reasoning born from sound judgment—is the second stage in the classical approach of the Trivium. Following the grammar stage and preceding the stage of rhetoric, logic is the vital transition between knowledge and wisdom. Its purpose is to cultivate an environment of thought, to begin to understand purpose and pattern, and make connections.

Logic has been defined by some as "the science and art of reasoning". Some have argued that logic should stand apart from the sciences, but few know why nor do they see the link that logic can be bridging the rigid and the refined, the structured and the sensate, the numbers and the narrative. It would seem that the grammar stage is dealing mostly with facts and figures while the rhetoric stage is primarily polished dictum and practicality. Because most people lean to one extreme or another in relating to the arts and sciences, the middle stage of logic tends to get passed over due to a lack of understanding when in fact it is the perfect marriage of the studies. Pattern and order are an originally biblical idea after all. "In the beginning God created..." and the vivid portrait of God's masterpiece is put on display before our eyes to both observe and imitate. There is a pattern in the daily structure: God spoke and thus made, He separated and called forth, He blessed and saw that all was good. There is and order that is made more resilient by the poetry of the words: Light and darkness; the expanse of the waters; earth, sea, vegetation, and seed bearing plants; sun, moon, and stars; great sea creatures and birds; livestock and creeping things; man, within whose nostrils was breathed the breathe of life.

There is a place for structure just as there is a place for beauty. While it is true that the point of logic, ultimately, is not to win and argument but to restore order, it is simultaneously true that one must first learn how to rightly win an argument based on sound judgment and the understanding of thought patterns. Hand in hand, the sciences can merge with the arts to craft a lasting and substantive apologetic for truth...if we will only cross the bridge.