Saturday, August 30, 2008

those things

You know, I suppose I should have been good at a great deal many things, but sometimes it is best to be content with only being interested in them. Finding a healthy diversion in them ought to be the limit of involvement at times, instead of making a life out of exhausting everything only to lose all happiness and joy in them.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The fact that we can rejoice in our trials is proof that we serve a remarkable God. Just think of what our rejoicing will be like when there are no trials to encumber us!!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sometimes I can only regard myself a fool for not mining the absolute depths of the Word of God for all the riches that are in it.

As a believer, there is a certain natural order to things that must be observed.

1. God
2. Everything Else.

I realized this as I considered how to go about pursuing my passions, dreams and hobbies. Sometimes, there's nothing you can do with them except leave them in God's hands. It's not about walking away in a state of apathy. God certainly gave me these interests, but perhaps not with the intent that I pursue them in the manner that I have been. Not with the intent of going full steam ahead at everything, but with the manner of constant prayer and vigilance, and attending to the matters at hand.

Finding this balance has been the pursuit of my mind lately, and through Christ alone can I find that balance. ONLY, when He is at His rightful place as Lord of our lives, directing our every steps through the commands of His Word, only THEN do we have our priorities straightened well enough to find that balance.

Oh, and the caffeine has got to stop. The ability to think more clearly has been restored to me since I began the habit of restricting my coffee intake.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

12th Annual High Plains Conference

Oh, I want to go!

This conference is unique. There appears to be a long list of presenters, each getting 20 minutes for presentation and questions. I started looking for the list of qualifications... and there isn't one. All one needs to do is be interested in severe weather and have something to present that is approved by the Conference committee. The topic, of course, must be weather that impacts the high plains.

Well, what better outlet for my academic nature and my love for severe weather and curiosity in underground construction than this conference? I don't have to enroll in school anywhere and pay more tuition money. I can do my research on my own (I have a year now to prepare for the 13th annual conference, should the Lord will that I do this). I can do this at my own pace. But this can be a starting point instead of just standing in the middle of nowhere with a pile of books and an idea.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Don't judge a CD by its cover. For instance, consider this specimen. I pulled it out of the pile because I was morbidly curious about its sound. Surely it couldn't be any more impressive than its cover.

Oh, but alas! Beautiful strings and piano! You must have a listen.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I got to thinking today:

"Which do you love more, Marcia? The praise of men, or the praise of God?"

"Implying how great an absurdity it were, to expect salvation and blessedness by our sinless Saviour, and yet indulge ourselves in sin, against His design, not only to expiate our sins, but make us sinless like Himself."

Puritan Matthew Poole on 1 John 3:5

Friday, August 22, 2008

1My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
2Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
3For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
4If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5Then you will discern the fear of the LORD
And discover the knowledge of God.
6For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
[Proverbs 2:1-6]

Signal success is rarely won except through loss and failure. The soul's shapeliest temples rise on sites strewn with the ruins of earlier erections; their materials, like those of certain old-world churches, have been wrought over from walls once dedicated to pagan gods.

From the foreword to a book by F R Havergal.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

No matter what happens in life, it is so important to remember that God is the one who did it all. When one has spent a lot of effort "making things happen," it can be quite difficult to extricate one's self from that paradigm and instead remember that God was the one who made it all happen. It is hard to stop trying to "make things happen."

Then, live within that paradigm.

Well, this is it.

First thought: Pressing ourselves into obedience is not without the need of grace. We cannot do anything apart from His grace, and that includes being obedient to Him.

Second thought: Once I'm finished with Worldly Saints, I'm thinking about pulling this book off the shelf and reading it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I've been relating this concept to friends over the years, and it might be a good time to lay it out in front of me in print form.

Why is it that when one is so blessed with intellect, and the ability to grasp a concept quickly, that one then becomes lazy and doesn't desire to work hard at other things? Is this just general laziness?

Talk amongst yourselves...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Your Weather Hint of the Day

A weather system for which a tropical cyclone forecast center (NHC, CPHC, or JTWC) is interested in collecting specialized data sets (e.g., microwave imagery) and/or running model guidance. Once a system has been designated as an invest, data collection and processing is initiated on a number of government and academic web sites, including the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (UW-CIMSS). The designation of a system as an invest does not correspond to any particular likelihood of development of the system into a tropical cyclone; operational products such as the Tropical Weather Outlook or the JTWC/TCFA should be consulted for this purpose.
I was very curious about the use of the term "invest" as it applies to naming tropical storms. After reading the NHC definition, the etymology became clear. I post this for your enjoyment and further education.

Another lesson learned:

Why not take life at a bit slower pace, and why not pray over everything?


A quick sketch of what's been going on in my mind lately.

First, the great imperative to finish what you start. I have finished a great deal, but I have also started much that I have left unfinished. Now, I believe this is a character issue and should not be taken lightly. If one does not finish the small things, how, then, does one distinguish between what is small and what is large? It is a character issue that extends to all reaches and is liable to extend to something that one would lose a great deal from should it extend too far.

Second, it is probably most wise to continue the course you are taking if it is not immoral, illegal, or fattening. Sometimes, it is wise to slow it down a bit, but if there is nothing in view threatening to blow you off course, well, keep going. Sometimes, those things are blessings that just need to be appreciated, and not extensively exploited. It is wise, indeed, to know how far to take that.

Third, you know, we're all a lot alike. I feel relieved to know that others struggle with the same problems I do, and more often than not, when I hear this, I deeply desire to give them the same encouragement that I need. Perhaps this is why we all struggle with much of the same, although manifest in different ways. I am amazed at how much I have in common with people I would otherwise think I have nothing in common with. Simply because we're fallen human beings, we have probably got a lot of common ground to draw from if we only stop and listen to what the other is saying.

Finally, I'm pretty sure I won't miss anything if I just keep doing what I'm already doing. It is like being in a slow moving traffic jam on the highway. If you're like me, you swerve to try to see as far ahead of the guy in front of you as possible. It's not enough to just sit there and inch along, all the while staring at the bumper in front of you. But sometimes that's all we should be doing.

And I've been sleeping. A lot. I think I'm just now catching up from the chase in May. I feel guilty laying on the couch reading, but then I quickly dismiss my guilt and send it off to find something better to do with its time than harass me. Sometimes, resting just happens to be a better use of my time than anything else.

PS. It's cold and rainy out in West Texas. I looked at the Lubbock T/Td spread this morning. 62.5/61. Those numbers alone gave me the sensation of the cold atmosphere condensing on my skin. Yuck. This may mean a curtailed dust devil season, too. It was over before it had a chance to begin.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

At six this morning the alarm went off. It's Saturday, and I'm excited about getting up. I'm working on photos for Jenna's site. I couldn't be more thrilled. But it hasn't always been this way.

See, depression. It can snarl one's schedule into something resembling a plate of hamburger meat. It's physically painful and emotionally dulling. And yet, the pain is a good thing. It's there to tell us that something might be wrong. Dreadfully wrong. And it was.

Without going into too much detail (because I have work to do) I must say that I have learned a few things about life from this episode, a few being that vigilance is key, and that talking to one's self might actually be a sign of sanity, and not the other way around.

See, I used to be suspicious that I was living life based on reactions. Especially emotional ones. Which would shock anyone who knows me, because they know I'm not overly emotional. But it seems my emotions find a way to assert themselves. As in being the impetus for my actions, making me a very impulsive person. I learned that keeping an eye out for these emotional impulses and then talking myself out of them are very important in life.

Sometimes, depression needs to be talked out of its cell, coaxed out. Cajoled with a few words of truth that act as tiny points of light in this otherwise impenetrable dungeon. This is a very helpful exercise, this talking to one's self.

Friday, August 15, 2008

In this world of conveniences, have we trained ourselves to take life much less seriously, and much more quickly? Have we trained ourselves not to think so deeply? And don't we think we ought to see results sooner than we do?

Sometimes, that which takes the longest to grow, is the most beautiful. I considered this in college, when contemplating the trees. We love large trees, but they take so long to become large, so long to reach so broadly with their shade.

As far as my sanctification goes, there are some things I wish I would just understand right now. But I cannot. These things will take time. And I must bow the heart to that truth.

To [Jonathan] Edwards, lightning was both an admirable work of nature as well as evidence of God's majesty, and his scientific curiosity led him to view lightning with wonder rather than fear. "And scarce any thing, among all the works of nature, was so delightful to me as thunder and lightning, formerly nothing had been so terrible to me. Before, I used to be uncommonly terrified with thunder... but now, on the contrary, it rejoiced me. I felt God, if I may so speak, at the first appearance of a thunderstorm; and used to take the opportunity, at such times, to fix myself in order to view the clouds, and see the lightnings play."

Out of the Blue, p 76

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Wednesday night experiment

I tried something new. I slept last night. And I feel better today for it.

I might be onto something here....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And on a more personal note, I considered deeply the amount of caffeine I have been consuming compared to the amount of food I have been consuming. Seems there is quite a disparity there. So, I'm going to head back to the more judicious end of the caffeine consumption range.

It will probably be a quick solution to the anxiety. *sheepish grin*

Concerning the poem below, it seems that interpreting someone's thoughts through the words they leave behind is fairly easy. Well, fairly easy when we have our own biases and conclusions about something predetermined. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Originally, I liked that poem because it seemed to pin down the emotion behind this transition I am facing in life fairly well. But the more I thought about it, the more I associated certain events with certain lines in the poem, and all it did was depress me. I mean, overall it is true, but to use it as some sort of palm reading for the future is insane.

There are transitions in life, but they are to prepare us for the future, for perhaps a new direction. And to tell the truth, sometimes we're pretty content with the present. We wish it could go on as it is right now. It's safe. At least, what we know of it is safe. But it is not we who are in charge of our past or our future and in control of its safety. It is God.

Interpreting everything should be done in consistency with the Word of God.

What wouldst thou be?
A wavelet just rising from life's wide sea.
I would I were once again a child,
Like a laughing floweret on mountains wild;
In the fairy realms of fancy dwelling,
The golden moments for sunbeams selling;
Ever counting on bright to-morrows,
And knowing nought of unspoken sorrows:
Such would I be,
A sparkling cascade of untiring glee.

No so, not so!
For longings change as the full years flow.
When I had but taken a step or two
From the fairy regions still in view;
While their playful breezes fanned me still
At every pause on the steeper hill,
And the blossoms showered from every shoot,
Showered and fell, and yet no fruit,
It was grief and pain.
That I never could be a child again.

Not so, not so!
Back to my life-dawn I would not go.
A little is lost, but more is won,
As the sterner work of the day is done.
We forget that the troubles of childish days
Were once gigantic in morning haze.
There is less of fancy, but more of truth,
For we lose the mists with the dew of youth;
And a rose is born
On many a spray which seemed only thorn.

Not so, not so!
While the years of childhood glided slow,
There was all to receive and nothing to give:
Is it not better for others to live?
And happier far than merriest games
Is the joy of our new and nobler aims:
Then fair fresh flowers, now lasting gems;
Then wreaths for a day, but now diadems,
Forever to shine,
Bright in the radiance of Love Divine.

Not so, not so!
I would not again be a child, I know!
But were it not pleasant again to stand
On the border-line of that fairy land,--
feeling so buoyant and blithe and strong,
Fearing no slip as we bound along,
Halting at will in the sunshine to bask,
Deeming the journey an easy task,
While Courage and Hope
Smooth with "Come, see, and conquer" each emerald slope?

Not so, not so!
Less leaping flame, but a deeper glow!
There is more of sorrow, but more of joy,
Less glittering ore, but less alloy;
There is more of pain, but more of balm,
And less of pleasure, but more of calm;
Many a hope all spent and dead,
But higher and brighter hopes instead;
Less risked, more won;
Less planned and dreamed, but perhaps more done.

Not so, not so!
Not in stature and learning alone we grow.
Though we no more look from year to year
For power of mind more strong and clear,
Though the table-land of life we tread,
No widening views before us spread,
No sunlit summits to lure ambition,
But only the path of a daily mission.
We would not turn
Where the will-o'-the-wisps of our young dreams burn.

Then be it so!
For in better things we yet may grow.
Onward and upward still our way,
With the joy of progress from day to day;
Nearer and nearer every year
To the visions and hopes most true and dear;
Children still of a Father's love,
Children still of a home above!
Thus we look back,
Without a sigh, o'er the lengthening track.

F R Havergal

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Coming up for air

A hard fact of life is that it moves on with or without us. I'm about to embark on a journey that I never quite gave much thought to before, but that was as it was supposed to be, I suppose. The Lord is sovereign over all things, and will use it all for His glory and for my good. I am about to hop back on the editing bandwagon and keep churning out the photos for Jenna's website. And I just realized today in a temporary moment of panic that people were going to see my face, my photos, put two and two together, etc... It was no longer going to be about my hiding in the shadows, releasing the shutter with little repercussion. Now thousands of people are going to see my work. That is more than I had ever dreamed would become a reality. Sure, I had considered a gallery showing, but when I considered all the work that would be to print the things, frame them, find a place interested in showing them, well, I gave up on that dream pretty quickly. But now this is being handed to me, and I'm a little more ready than a deer caught in the headlights.

Even the good things in life require trusting in God, not always the bad things. I'm dealing with this again and again, lately. I must need some refining in this area, and I would not argue with that claim one bit. I do. I have a lot of wrong thinking going through my head that is not Biblical, and that will not allow me to bring the glory to God that He deserves for all of this. So, if you think about it, please pray that I would continue to press on to seek honoring Him with all I do, including my approach to all that has been given me, and to not panic, but to rest wholly in Him, that He would be honored by the low position of my heart before Him.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday morning thought

I am humbled that God would even consider using such a sinner as I.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

You know, I am really so much less spiritually mature than I seem to give myself credit for.

I would do well to remember that... and remember it often.

Thinking: It's what we do best here

I seem to have found my thinking sea legs once again.

I don't think I've ever thought of any music to be as beautiful as ambient/electronic/chillout. (I even bought a "praise CD" of that kind of music... many years ago. Not sure what I was thinking)

This is an incredible song. I'm unable to use a fitting superlative, really. But the greatest part of this compilation is not the music so much as it is the images set to the music. For such a timeless piece of music, only God's creation could be an adequate response.

So, enjoy.

Friday, August 01, 2008

"The fact that we have a moon and that the moon passes in front of our sun, and that the apparent size of our moon is approximately equal to the apparent size of the sun -- all these factors combine to create the solar eclipse phenomenon."

---Michael Khan, a mission analyst at the European Space Agency.

Yes, and all of that carefully designed by the Lord.