Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It is a good thing, a blessed thing, I believe, to be at the continual understanding that one is at the mercy of God.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thankful Friday

I am thankful for my weaknesses.



In case any of you were under the impression that the overpass seemed to be a pretty safe place to be in the event of a tornado...

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

To whom it may concern,

I’d like to take this opportunity to say that requirement 8.2 is silly and redundant.

Yes, we need windows. Thank you for letting us know this. Had you not stepped in to inform us, I’m sure that our local building official might have stepped in to correct our misguided thinking with a look at Chapter 12 of the IBC. We’re not entirely sure how much our occupants are going to care about sight lines, but we’re comforted to know that you, big bad USGBC bureaucracy, are terribly concerned.

Thank you for your time.

Resolved: To no longer multitask, but to concentrate all of my mental and physical effort into one activity or task until it is either completed or I reach a point at which I cannot continue.

I am distracting myself to death.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Some advice

What I can affect, I must do with excellence. What I cannot affect, I must trust in the Lord.

What I have been given, I must work hard at to cultivate. What I have not been given, I must not think there is a need to pursue at the cost of what I've been given.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Some thoughts on models

I was very blessed by the Lord to be able to go storm chasing. I learned all about the one thing that scientists (and weather hobbyists) hang their hats on, and that is the model output data. All the way down to the moment by moment of weather, we cannot know what is going to happen. We rely on models. Most of the time they are accurate, but I have experienced an occasion of standing out in a field under perfectly blue skies where storms were supposed to have fired up. Models are never hills to die on. Ever. Yet they are used as gospel by those who advocate an alarmist global-warming perspective on the weather and economy.

Praise be to God. I had no idea that the events in my life would be not what I thought they were but for something completely different. To get an understanding of some of the players in this big game of global hysteria, and to have the opportunity to think critically about it. What grace, what goodness of God. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Further thoughts on big weather versus the Bible

In grad school I was swept into a class by my advisor at the time. It was a PhD level class taught by one of the more liberal professors in the department. The class was titled "Qualitative Epistemology." I had no idea what any of that meant, but my advisor was so enthusiastic about its addition to the PhD curriculum she grandly ushered me onto its roster. Little did I know that I would be learning a LOT about the history and philosophy of science.

People who do not study science for a living do not seem to understand that the world is so vast that no one person can possibly have all knowledge, especially where certain disciplines overlap, but certainly even within a single discipline. That is why science is generally run by "consensus." I learned about peer reviews in this class, and about one peer review in particular where the journal article author's main objective was to ridicule the peer review process. The consensus is a checks and balances system, which can work, but it isn't fool proof. It does, however, give a nod to the vast incomprehensibility of the world by a single person. We ought to see the glory of God in this tiny, oft-overlooked, detail of scientific philosophy.

When the practice of "normal science" is engaged, the variables involved in any research results in a potpourri of results that are expected to reveal some type of pattern. I learned that sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't. And to be honest, I believe it is all by the grace of God that we have understood all that we have. Because these are fallible tests being run by fallible individuals which yield fallible results, I think that it could not be anything BUT the grace of God that has allowed us to harness knowledge of the world as much as we have.

But what of those anomalies? I learned that there are more than we ever hear of. They are either discarded or set aside for later analysis. They exist, though. And all this as the result of fallible beings at the helm of the analysis the entire time.

Which made me wonder: "where is the final authority? could we ever drive ourselves off the edge of a cliff unknowingly because of repeatedly bad data?" And the answer was quite clear: we DO have a final authority. It is the Bible. And when God speaks to Job, and tells him who brings out the whirlwind, we ought to understand that this statement came not after applying the scientific method to the weather, but it came straight from the mouth of God.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Job and the whirlwind

Well, I finished the book. Big Weather. It ended on a rather melancholy note, but I don't see how it could not. Who doesn't go hunting and feel a depressive murk in their bones while unpacking the SUV, the cooler, the memories.

But we mustn't hang out there.

There were two concepts in the book that stood out the most to me. The first was the writer's rather irreverent take on Jesus. I guess that can't be helped by one unredeemed. One cannot visit the heart of the Midwest without noticing that the remnants of Christianity are strong, thriving and varied here. The second concept was the idea of global warming. Again, I guess one cannot expect the author to take anything less than the mainstream approach to the matter, and coupled with the irreverence for Christ, it was sad and painful to watch.

Most interesting is the last chapter, where he comments on Job and God's challenge to him by His own command of the whirlwind. The author makes the point that now we somehow switched the roles and that Job is now purporting himself to be the cause for their occurrence. And it dawned on me that this man, as blind as he is, still understands to a degree the line drawn in the sand over this exchange between God and Job. Who causes the whirlwinds? Will we let scientists say that we are causing them? Or will we take God at His word and allow Him to remain their sole author and impetus? I, for one, will take the latter. But I had never seen the challenge laid out so clearly as I did tonight, on my couch, that man is "God" and therefore has the power to command the whirlwind to emerge. Reading it made me give pause, only to amuse myself in the sheer lunacy of it all. And here this author saw it so clearly.

And as if that weren't interesting enough, another timely piece of mail arrived this afternoon from Bob De Waay. Read it if you're interested. The slick switch between sin as our behaviour against God, or as our behaviour against the earth. Wow. Very deceptive indeed.

Seems I've been trying hard to find something to do with myself now that I have no immediate goals. It is so difficult to just rest sometimes. I know that it would do me good, too. During lunch, I was contemplating a jar of applesauce I had kept on the kitchen counter and wondered "what if the farmer put so much time and energy into cultivating his trees and NOTHING ever grew?" How frustrating would that be. But it was just what has been happening lately as I'm trying to cultivate "something" in my life.
Rather, out of obedience, I ought to work on what is right in front of me now, for God's glory, not for what I'll learn from it. That's a hard lesson to learn.

This is where it all begins

Is this what it feels like when, as a meteorology student, one buys their very first anemometer?

I've purchased my own Kill-A-Watt. The journey has begun.

However, if I read one more site that calls the sun "renewable," I'm going to throw something. The sun is no more renewable than the oil and gas in the earth. The sun has a life to it, scientists tell us, first of all. Second of all, we know that God will destroy it all. It's here for a purpose. It all is. Let's stop trying to create a distinction between the two. By calling something "renewable," we are supposing that it is without end. But isn't this what was said would happen in Matthew 24? And in 2 Peter 3?

Argh. Could you hand me that brick?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

And even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.

When we persevere with what we've got, the world will look at us and say (with emphasis) "What are you DOING?" When we walk by faith and not by sight, it looks so odd and silly to the world. But we are looking for a Heavenly City, whose builder and architect is God.

It's an amazing thing, how much better one can feel when they simply admit they do not feel well to begin with.

It's an amazing thing, how we have a reason not to worry about anything when the Lord has already promised to take care of us.

We only have to walk through life to see that promise fulfilled.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!

My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy name.

Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’Tis life, and health, and peace.

He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.

I am constantly amazed at how not simple life can be sometimes. I see just what good things God has given us, and our sin twists them around and over and again. We deceive ourselves so easily about things. I see more clearly that, but it's also very frustrating.

I am also amazed at how deep my sin runs and how absolutely oblivious I am to it most of the time.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

You know you're a chaser when...

looking at someone else's plains photography, you happen to recognize that abandoned and dilapidated house in the middle of nowhere. Because you have a picture of it, too.

Friday, July 11, 2008

This is from our 2007 storm tour. The nostalgia sets in as I watch the storms I stood underneath being played out in time-lapse .

Monday, July 07, 2008

Have I ever told you I feel like a mad scientist most days? I just thought you should know.

Chasing the bear

I'm working on the book at the moment. Big Weather is its name, and severe weather is its game. While it lends a hand up, a shoulder to sit on to survey the landscape of the genre of severe weather and those who seek it out, it lent an unexpected gaze into my own desire to chase. My own original longing to battle the wilderness, anything wild, since my days playing war games on the Air Force base with other military children, and since exploring the uncharted neighborhoods on my bike, and since getting up before dawn to run the length of the military base with no one around save for an occasional MP.

The dream of absolute knowledge may not have been fulfilled, but the fear of its arrival is consonant with the anxiety of a vanishing wilderness. And while no place on earth may now properly be called wild, there is one thing in nature that we as a culture seem to have reclaimed, and now celebrate as "wild," and that thing is the weather, especially severe weather. Indeed, violent storms give the lie to the Laplacean fantasy of control, revealing the boundlessness of nature, its sheer unpredictability, its daunting scale. (Big Weather, 91)

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to hunt the bear, the elk, the lion. I have always wanted to battle the very essence of the wilderness. And win. I don't know why, just that I have.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Blog Break

In light of yesterday's post, and subsequent thought on the matter, I'm officially on a hiatus. I'll probably come back after I successfully read a book cover to cover.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I'm also giving thought of the readily accessible information available to me in part, and its propensity to erode my ability to think through large bodies of information.

Just a thought.

I'm also giving thought of the readily accessible information available to me in part, and its ability to erode my ability to think through large bodies of information.

Just a thought.

I need someone to remind me of something:

There is nothing pressing on me at the moment.
It is currently an acceptable practice to exhale.

[1 Samuel 16]
When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD'S anointed is before Him."

7But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

I've been reading through some of Daniel Webster's writings on Google Books, the most ingenious, important and useful invention since the rubber band.

Though I haven't had time to read through an entire speech, I have come to one course-altering conclusion: anyone who doesn't think that politics and religion ought to be mixed must have very little understanding of one, the other, or both. And that is just a blanket statement needing to be further refined, of course. But Daniel himself stated that he knew of nothing but law and politics. And that made me consider that such a man who had such knowledge of both religion and politics knew their place. He was well acquainted with them both and his application is quite masterful.

It caused me to consider that that is the definition of a noble man.

If religious books are not widely circulated among the masses in this country, I do not know what is going to become of us as a nation. If truth be not diffused, error will be; If God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy, If the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will; If the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end.
-Daniel Webster