Tuesday, September 30, 2008


English grammar texts of the early 1800s in America taught reformed theology. No seeker-sensitive churches to be found in the colonies, it would seem. An Arminian would probably have failed this grammar lesson.


Whatever your hands find to do...

I'm sipping a hot cup of office-made raspberry mocha (a little of this, a little of that), and still feeling the cold air on me from my walk to the office this morning. I can't believe it is almost October. Wasn't just yesterday February? *sigh*

I'm thinking about what I do here at work. And while working hard here is not to be sacrificed for foolish pursuits, I had a small revelation yesterday. During lunch I decided to fix the matting for my Amateur Radio License wall certificate. The matte that I bought was too small, and I needed to widen the opening to show all the information. I measured and marked and measured again, then cut. And then something happened. I began to realize that I was much more fulfilled, much more satisfied, and felt much more useful when I worked with my hands like that. In a way that I don't at work. At work, I just accomplish tasks because they have to be accomplished at the office, and because they pay me to do them. But they are not satisfying in any way. Not in the way cutting and measuring are.

This is probably what got me through studios in school. I was not the best designer, but I just enjoyed the building part. With the weather getting a bit cooler, it just might be "project time" once again. A few things I'd like to do are: take my bike apart and clean it, then reassemble it (with no extra pieces), build an amateur radio for use in the house, build a scale model of the underground housing subdivision I've been thinking of...

So, while it was a relief to feel such pleasure at that, it was frustrating to know that that will probably not be a part of my life while here at this office.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Realized: The Reason for Patience

You know, God's patience with me is not a free pass to let life pass by and do as I like. It's still up to me to work hard at knowing God, and knowing Him to the point of loving Him and His sacrifice supremely. It is still up to me to spend time meditating on His Word, and allowing it to percolate down into the marrow. It is easy enough to read the Word, close it, and not think about it. But the Bible is not unclear about that method of "having devotions".

James 1:22-24
22But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;

24for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.

On Mathematics

"There is a certain type of mathematician who is always rather impatient at delaying over the ideas of a subject: he is anxious at once to get on to the proofs of "important" problems. The history of the science is entirely against him. There are royal roads in science; but those who first tread them are men of genius and not kings." --An Introduction to Mathematics By Alfred North Whitehead

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Meditation: Think of it this way

I'm sitting in Starbucks, elated that I am able to get on the internet from here, and listening to All of Grace by Spurgeon, and thinking about the implications of justification...

Justification. The atonement. All of this can be taught us. But it must ALSO be ruminated upon, meditated upon, on one's own personal time. Only THEN are these concepts capable of shaping the thoughts that they come into contact with.

The die must have a sharp and distinct edge if it is to cast and clearly leave its image on all it strikes.

A brief thought on stories:

It takes effort I have found to apply any lessons that are to be learned from a story. It is easy enough to merely listen to a story and not understand its implications upon one's self, should there be any.

I was listening to a story of a king who forgave all debts, and I realized that I was listening to it earnestly, but only as a story that had no implication on my life. That was wrong. One must take pains to apply the story to one's own self.

Take every opportunity to apply stories of the truth of the gospel to your own life.

Preach the gospel to yourself daily.

Currently Reading:
All of Grace by Spurgeon

Friday, September 26, 2008

Something to think about.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

In the middle of mucking up my blog layout, I have gained success in locating outer fringes of surface highs on a satellite image. *shrugs*

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pardon the mess

I'm tinkering with the HTML, trying to optimize for 1024 resolution. And since I'm learning as I go, this blog is going to look a little weird for a while. Bear with me...

...and if you're still using an old version of IE, you can forget it, apparently.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Isaiah 66:1-2

1Thus says the LORD,
"Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool
Where then is a house you could build for Me?
And where is a place that I may rest?

2"For My hand made all these things,
Thus all these things came into being," declares the LORD
"But to this one I will look,
To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

Did you know that there are people who stand at the ready to twist your words around and, no matter what, aim them at you as ammunition? And that no matter what their involvement in a situation, it is always your fault? The worst part is that some of them have money. And they want things done. Whether it is illegal or not.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but to be honest, I'm just sickened.

Necessary reflection and occasional self-deprecation

I spent my lunch writing out cards to send to the guys who posed in the Boys of Tempest photo, and for Martin, without whom none of this would even be possible. And I began to reflect on each of them, and the terrific time we all had, and the camaraderie, and stories and gained affections and respect. And I realized that as I was writing and reflecting, I was thinking about what I stood to gain from these relationships, as if I was the reason these relationships existed. But really, Christ is the reason these relationships exist, to exalt and glorify Him in them. Now before I start to applaud myself for coming to this conclusion, I really ought to consider what a wasteful dolt I have been for not putting that into practice.

Galatians 6:1-10

1Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

2Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

3For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

4But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.

5For each one will bear his own load.

6The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.

7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

9Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

10So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's been a good night

I'm spending the night printing out Boys of Tempest photos.

And listening to a very thought-provoking Crosstalk show.

Our labor is not in vain

Do you need to be encouraged today? Look here.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

One of Satan's strategies is to draw our attention to evils outside of us so that sin can have its grand work unhindered where it does the most damage. Sin is like a mastermind that gets its job done without attracting attention to itself. It is most successful when attention is not on itself. Sin could almost be considered humble were it not for its corrupting abuse of virtue.

Tolle Lege V6, I3

Friday, September 19, 2008

The question of the hour

Are my actions fueled by contentment?

Or are they fueled by discontentment allowing for impulse?

Global Warming?

Wow. Trying to make the data look the way you want it to look. The postmodern paradigm of scientific philosophy. I'm not surprised.

HT: Don Sands

Well, last night I couldn't sleep. It was a first for me, though that grande latte over lunch probably didn't help the situation. Had I been more concerned, I might have made myself a double strength chamomile tea, but I enjoyed working my way through the end of a novel and reading a few other odds and ends, as well as entertaining myself with a DVD. I just dont' do that enough. I did make it out of bed early enough this morning to get a bike ride in.

At first I thought that my recent restlessness might mean that I need to just relax more. Perhaps my propensity to be going 70 mph at all times was the problem.

But this morning, I began to wonder if my mind just wasn't being challenged like it should be.

And I thought about going back to school.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Especially since I'm unsure whether this job is where I want to be...


Endurance, endurance, endurance...


This is probably a character trait of greatest value, yet least sought after.

So, new emails flying through my inbox seem to indicate that my photos will be featured in an upcoming article and related slide show in Forbes Travel.

And all I can do is send the files and then go outside and laugh, and thank God, because I just don't know what else to do.

Am I not supposed to be architecting?


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

An essential ingredient to hard work

I get a lot done with these puppies firmly in place.

In short

I'm hearing a lot of talk about "worldview" lately. But it seems that within the camp of holding a Biblical worldview, there are those who don't seem to share Biblical doctrinal tenets. But they cling tightly to a "Biblical Worldview" as if their very lives and lives around them depended on it.

Well, they don't. There's only one order to things.

1. The Gospel
2. Biblical Worldview

Don't confuse them, don't switch them. They're different. The first eclipses the second in matter of importance. Absolutely.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm trying not to feel overwhelmed by it all. It's all of grace, to be sure. Everything is, and everything has been. A scrutinizing look at my life reveals all to be a tightly woven tapestry of His grace and providence, sovereignty and love. What a good God I serve.

Wow, look at that!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Minor commentary

I was reading earlier about young drivers who have a harder time concentrating on the road because of ADHD. And I was kind of wary of this idea. I'm sure that 100+ years ago, there might have been mule team drivers with the same proclivities. But people used to call this a character issue, and something that could be straightened out by the person himself.

I know that I have some of these proclivities. Laziness. Inattention to detail. Lack of focus. Trying to do too much at once. But that is an issue of self-control that I need to identify daily and work on. No amount of medication or diagnoses will change my desire to be selfish and lazy.

Proverbs 25:28
Like a city that is broken into and without walls
Is a man who has no control over his spirit.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I just can't help myself sometimes

*sheepish grin*

Thursday, September 11, 2008

All this cloudy weather is giving me the Lake Murray bug once again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

So much for the GFS

In grad school I was introduced to the real scientific method. The one that was currently being used in academic and research setting. It is the one that allowed people to scrap data that didn't fit, wasn't expected, and was not understood. Maybe not "scrap" per se, but certainly left far enough aside to be forgotten about in the meantime. So as much as I longed to see humans work on their models to better understand the earth, I had to throw up my hands and laugh heartily at this mornings weather discussion about Ike.


I kind of like that little word "ignored". The truth is that we do not know what tomorrow holds. We spend a lot of time creating a bubble of certainty in our lives that we feel comfortable living within. But this is all smoke and mirrors. The hurricane will lands where God directs it to land, and rather than have a government agency urge them to evacuate, or urge them to stay, perhaps we should bow to the uncertainty of it all, encourage people to be responsible for themselves and their families, and move to a safer place if they are anywhere near the storm's reasonable landfall location. Maybe the government should be more up front about its inability to predict these things, instead of insisting that people listen to their models. Yes, they're helpful, and they create an outline of the way God fashioned His world to work. But if people understood and held to the precept that God alone dictates these things minute by minute, then they'd be less willing to hold to their models and more willing to merely observe and urge people to just be reasonable.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Blogging my thoughts

This rainy weather is putting me in the mood to paint something. This is what happened the last time that mood struck me.


Meet Jenna, my lovely chase partner. She is excitedly posing in front of a retreating tornado, our fourth viewed of the day thus far.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Trusting God

You know, there is a simple joy in the mundane. I'm sitting here reconciling egress calculations between an existing building and new addition, and there is nothing but tedium in it. But it's joyful.

It has been hard coming down from the era of pursuit, where I felt I had to work hard for everything instead of taking something and simply working it while trusting God for the increase and joy. There is no goal here, just a daily pursuit of what God has put in front of me. It's very strange, to say the least. And make no mistake, I do not like transitions. They make me very uncomfortable. But especially this transition. It seems to have shaken things up in my life in such a way as to leave me a bit unsure of which way is up. For someone so used to being sure about things, that's a rather unnerving place to be. "Is this for real? Am I going crazy? Is this right?" I find myself asking these questions every five seconds, it seems.

Psalm 107 put it all back into perspective for me. We SHOULD consider the past and all that the Lord has done for us. This is wise. It is wise to remember how He answered us in the past in order to keep our minds and hearts focused on His faithfulness to come to our aid in the future.

Now, what to do. I really feel a bit of relief at the thought of walking away from much of what I hold dear, even though a bitter-sweetness surrounds it. To not involve myself in academia a bit longer, well, it is like walking on the water, I suppose. To just live life with its ups and downs while not having looming deadlines is really like being out on the high seas and seeing no land in sight. I am just required to perform my daily duties out at sea on that ship. They will not get me one mile closer to any visible land. They may be mending a sail, swabbing the deck, arranging the food rations, cleaning freshly caught fish, nothing which will make the ship go any faster than the wind takes it.

But this is what I wanted, after all. To rest on my laurels. Now I'm finding that I'm rather restless on my laurels and have developed a fresh case of wanderlust. I think it is wise to not jump ship so soon, but to perch myself on the bow and trust the Almighty God, the great captain of this vessel, to bring me to port safely once again.

Psalm 107

43 Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things,
And consider the lovingkindnesses of the LORD.

Of few words

Humility is painful.

More exquisite storm photography from a fellow chaser, Bill Reid.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Good night

Did I mention we saw lots of tornadoes in one day? Here's our first wedge.

Lots of hard work

I'm hitting the photoediting circuit hard right now. I'm determined to get as many of these photos worked on until I cry "UNCLE!"

But what works of art! Perhaps I should consider a gallery showing one day.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Daniel gets it.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

On Providence

You know, a lot of good has come to me in my life. A lot of good. And I have never been so naive as to think that it wasn't entirely the providence of the Almighty God. No matter how hard I worked. Nothing would have come from my effort if God had not blessed it. I pray that as the routine sets in, I would not forget the goodness of God. And I hope my prayers are for more of His providence and blessing, not so that I would prosper, but so that I would grow deeper in my understanding of the dependence I have on God for all things.

What astounds me is that we seek happiness apart from God even after our conversion.

I was pondering this morning whether I would ever feel like I was on top of things. Things at home, things at work. Just things in general. And I have begun to slip slowly into the uncontrollable part of life where events and responsibilities just sort of send you careening around perilous corners located far above any safe place to put your feet, and I realized this morning that you just trust God. What kind of independence from God would I exercise in my heart if I was not where I am now? If I had everything nailed down, then would I need to look to the Lord for His constant provision, to see that nothing came bursting apart at the seams? If I wasn't making mistakes, would I need forgiveness? Would I need to forgive? If the world wasn't so messed up, would it need a Saviour? So, here's to not having it all figured out, and here's to being okay with feeling slightly behind the curve at all times. For as long as the Lord wills.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

On fear

You want to know what the most frightening events are in my life?

My growth. When God clearly wants to take me above and beyond the only summit I know of, to a place I can't see. When He asks me to lay down my ambitions in life and follow Him through suffering and sacrifice. What human willingly follows on their own power? None that I know of. We boast of craving adventure, but we're not willing to risk everything for the greatest adventure of all, becoming more like Christ through the sacrifice of all we hold dear on this earth.

And I think that's because we know it's going to ask for more of us than we're currently willing to give. So we decide it's not worth continuing on. Where we're at is okay. Isn't it?

Oh, what pitiful humans we are. Praise God for His mercy on us to begin with, and continued patience when we deliberate the benefits and costs of following His leading to die to self, to decrease that He may increase. We deliberate the truth behind the words "power" and "strength" and "I can do all things" and "nothing is impossible for God."

Oh, that we would all crave, like seed, to fall to the earth and die so that we may live.

When we sing "Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer" do we sing this with a heart full of humility, or haughtiness?

Examine your heart.

Just between you and me, concerning cats and carpet, either one or both of these will not be in my future.

One thing I don't think we think on often enough is the consequences of our sin. While we are forgiven, do we fear the actual repercussions of our sin on this earth enough to avoid them? And how about spiritual laziness? Do we consider the consequences of neglecting our own spiritual health, simply because we do not see any immediate negative consequences?

I am quite sure that it is a wonderful thing to be able to look at life and all of its adversities and just...