Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Reformation Day!!!

In other news, Grand Prairie had a 2.5 earthquake last night. And I was awake to feel it! It felt like my big male cat was shaking the couch with his jumping. But I was so engrossed in my movie at the time, I didn't look up or shoo him off. When I finally did look up to see what in the world he was up to, there was no cat anywhere. The quake had ended, though. It wasn't until this morning that I knew what it was. It was exactly as described in the papers: a quick jerk, and then a lot of shaking.

The earth trembles indeed!!!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I have a friend who knew from a very early age that he was going to be an architect one day. He's still working hard at that goal, too. I, on the other hand, had very many various and sundry ambitions in life. From veterinarian to chemical engineer to artist, let's just say my interests were a constantly shifting target. But now, I am an architect. And before reaching 30, too. Wow. Only God could have known, and could have chosen such a profession for me. He has put me in the best profession suited for me. I don't know what actually caused me to pursue architecture. Had I known then what I know now, I wouldn't have pursued the training. I probably would have stayed in school, fearful about what being an architect (or anything else) might mean. But God kept me safe, and relatively numb enough, for long enough, to get me through everything unscathed and un-vexed. Tonight I'm reading a book about structures in architecture, and a quote by the author stood out and made me laugh, and even more sure that my being an architect was nothing I could have chosen for myself with such little self-awareness as I possessed at the age of 19.

He must know about so many specialties that he is sometimes said to know nothing about everything. -- Mario Salvadori Why Buildings Stand Up (p24)

Yes, that is me, all right.

Would you believe me if I told you that I just spent another $30 on books just so that I'd qualify for the free shipping? Of course you would. I like to think of it this way: I'm building a solid library for my heirs... whoever they may be.

Psalm 27

1The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
2When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
3Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.
4One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD
And to meditate in His temple.
5For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
6And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.
7Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice,
And be gracious to me and answer me.
8When You said, "Seek My face," my heart said to You,
"Your face, O LORD, I shall seek."
9Do not hide Your face from me,
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation!
10For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
But the LORD will take me up.
11Teach me Your way, O LORD,
And lead me in a level path
Because of my foes.
12Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
13I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
14Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD.

Okay, I need to slow down again. This is becoming a regular problem, it would seem.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thankful Wednesdays

Thanking God for my friend Gayla today.

This may come as a shock to some, but I just don't have anything to say right now.

This was worth reading, however.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Concerning a clear conscience before God and the unconverted neighbor

A sober reminder that we have one role in bringing the unconverted to the Lord and that is through the preaching of the gospel alone. In this treatise by Richard Baxter, I am reminded that one's conscience should be clear before God that the gospel has been presented, and should the Lord be pleased to bless that, He will do so.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'm reading Ecclesiastes at the moment. And I'm being taken through so much at the moment.

And I have to believe it is all for my good, though I cannot see it now.

And I have to wonder. The great question has always been: How do we reconcile suffering with the goodness of God? I have to ask: How do I reconcile my sin with the goodness of God? Why has God been so good to me when I am so unfaithful to Him and sin against others?

I cannot think of one reason to have all of the good things that I have been given. Except that this brings God glory. I am really wrestling hard with this, though believe thoroughly that in the end I will have some semblance of understanding. I pray it is an understanding I can walk confidently through life with, unafraid of any evil that befalls me. I do not deserve any good thing. And I've been spending quite a while waiting for the other shoe to fall. This is wrong, though. All the while I pray the words of David in 2 Samuel 7 : "Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far? And yet this was insignificant in Your eyes, O Lord GOD." God wants me to glorify Him. That is all. No matter what I'm doing or where I'm living, it's all got to be about Him. The details are largely insignificant otherwise.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I really appreciated, and needed to hear, John Piper's exhortation about how I am to live my life, do my work, and to be buffeted by this inexorable world I live in.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sin is perversity

What is so perverse about the sin nature that I would choose to sanctify the name of the Lord when things don't go well, but choose not to when things do go well?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I keep going back and forth on this, but I cannot escape this nagging feeling that this job is not where I'm supposed to be. Perhaps this vacillation is meant to slowly pry loose the hold it has on me. I don't really know. I just know that I need to trust the Lord. He must be making me ready for whatever may come next.

I made a few big purchases recently. I kind of made them on emotion. The dining set was a more rational choice, I think. I needed the space to study. My chairs came in today. I'm really looking forward to moving ahead on the church history study tonight, and doing some retouching to Jenna's photos.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

I do not understand ANY of this, and I don't know what direction to look toward. I was telling a good and wise friend this morning that it seems that the Lord has always led me from the front, showing me where the next step was. Now I feel pushed from behind, with no way of knowing where to go next, or what is in front of me. I have heard of people being in these places before, but I've never experienced it. I have always known what was "next".

It seems I'm beginning to wrestle with the Lord here, and I'm not sure what the outcome will be, but I know that whatever the result, it will be good. Because He is my kind, loving, and GOOD Father in Heaven.


This just doesn't happen every day!!!

Proverbs 31:25

Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I picked up the coloured pencils this afternoon and I immediately remembered this post. I had forgotten how much I enjoy drawing.

"Poor as my faith in the Substitute may be, it places me at once in the position of one to whom 'God imputeth righteousness without works.' God is willing to receive me on the footing of His perfection; and if I am willing to be thus received, in the perfection of another with whom God is well pleased, the whole transaction is completed. I am justified by His blood. 'As He is, so am I (even) in this world,' -- even now, with all my imperfections and evils."

Horatius Bonar
The Everlasting Righteousness


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"With a weak faith and a fearful heart many a sinner stands before the altar. But it is not the strength of his faith, but the perfection of the sacrifice, that saves; and no feebleness of faith, no dimness of eye, no trembling of hand, can change the efficacy of our burnt-offering. The vigour of our faith can add nothing to it, nor can the poverty of it take anything from it. Faith, in all its degrees, still reads the inscription, 'The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin;' and if at times the eye is so dim that it cannot read these words, through blinding tears or bewildering mist, faith rests itself on the certain knowledge of the fact that the inscription is still there, or at least that the blood itself (of which these words remind us) remains, in all its power and suitableness, upon the altar unchanged and uneffaced. God says that the believing man is justified: who are we, then, that we should say 'We believe but we do not know whether we are justified?' What God has joined together, lot not man put asunder."

Horatius Bonar
The Everlasting Righteousness
pp 23-24


We should refuse to be unfaithful to the One who was faithful to us.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Quick thought

When you try to do too much at once, you don't learn discipline. Instead, you only learn survival.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Setting the record straight

The only good theologian is a dead theologian.

*Goes back to reading Bonar*

God has dealt with it

- May I then draw near to God and not die?
- May I draw near and live?
- May I come to Him who hateth sin, and yet find that the sin which he hateth is no barrier to my coming, no reason for my being shut out from His presence as an unclean thing?
- May I renew my lost fellowship with Him who made me, and made me for Himself?
- May I worship in His holy place, with safety to myself, and without dishonour to Him?

These are the questions with which God has dealt, and dealt with so as to ensure a blessed answer to them all; an answer which will satisfy our own troubled consciences as well as the holy law of God. His answer is final, and it is effectual. He will give no other; nor will He deal with these questions in any other way than He has done. He has introduced them into His courts of law, that there they may be finally adjusted; and out of these courts into which God has taken them who can withdraw them? Or what end would be served by such a withdrawal on our part? Would it make the settlement more easy, more pleasant, more sure? It would not. It would augment the uncertainty, and make the perplexity absolutely hopeless.

Yet the tendency of modern thought and modern theology is to refuse the judicial settlement of these questions, and to withdraw them from the courts into which God has introduced them. And extra-judicial adjustment is attempted; man declining to admit such a guilt as would bring him within the grasp of law, and refusing to acknowledge sin to be of such a nature as to require a criminal process in solemn court; yet admitting the necessity or desirableness of the removal of the sore evil under which humanity is felt to be labouring, and under which, if unremoved, it must long ere dissolve.

-- Horatius Bonar
The Everlasting Righteousness


Friday, October 10, 2008

Mark 14:38

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Yup, that about sums it up at the moment. To continually watch and pray is the only line of defense I have at the ready. But I can be confident in its effectiveness, as it was prescribed by the Lord.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Hunting tips

Tips for hunting those tornadoes this spring.

I'm still saving my pennies for that double-wide Fleetwood Tornado Blind... maybe for Christmas.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Why architects may seem irritable

Comment 4:
All facades of a building which are adjacent to and face a roadway, public park or residential district shall comply with the building articulation standards.

Are you kidding me? It's a pre-fab metal storage building!!!!

Question of the Day

Did the abandoning of Euclidean zoning techniques have any relationship to the simultaneously emerging philosophy called Post-Modernism?

Discuss amongst yourselves while I reply to this zoning review comment list...

Picture four of these lovely pieces of furniture in a nice natural wood finish around a modest rectangular table. I'm looking forward to having this small dining set in my home to have dinners on, to study the Bible on, to share coffee on...

What could possibly be more important than meditating on the Word. On Jesus Christ. On what He did for us. But what is the last thing I make time in my schedule for? This very important thing.

When something attempts to take your attention away from meditation, stop and realize what an important and vital communion with the Lord you are walking away from. Schedule it in, and don't break that appointment.

It is difficult to be obedient and to accept where one is and what one has when one is such a sinner.

I have such a patient God and Savior.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Encouragement for the Weary

Go listen to a wise brother.

Monday, October 06, 2008

I thank God that it is not in what we do, but in what we believe.

Greatest Discoveries Ever Made

American Shotguns.
I'll leave it at that.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Okay. I'm just gonna come out here and say it. I'm jealous. Look at that glassy water! Look at the wake! Listen to the sound!

But, listen. Consider how they talk about "playing with God." Quite a doctrinally astute statement that will probably come full circle one day.

It reminds me of a dream I had the other night. As SDS sets in, these dreams become more frequent. I was outside of a house, under a wall cloud, and the funnel started to descend. In fact, it came quite close to me. So I walked up to it, the funnel tip just at eye level, and only about a centimeter wide. I reached up with my finger and let the funnel rest on the tip of my index finger. It lasted for about a few seconds before the funnel retreated back into the cloud.

Dear Mike Hollingshead. I think I just figured out a large portion of your most enviable digital photography technique.

No HDR this time; all Photoshop. Macro friendly. Potentially lucrative.

Okay, maybe not lucrative, but I can certainly chase in 2009 with the confidence that I won't likely be spending the next four months at the computer.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Going home

Vista gave way to vista as I moved silently over the land that called me its child the moment it beheld my gaze. And while I was headed down a familiar road, I was sure I had never seen any of this before. The land seemed to speak with a clarity I had never heard, but in a language that was my first. It had only been an eternal highway moving beneath me, a constant alarm of yellow to my left, a blinking beacon of white to my right. But now, Mammatus clouds. Virga. Kelvin Helmholtz waves crashing in increasingly violent succession to my left, echoing a disturbance within not unlike a tropical depression. It soon became Hurricane Marcia making landfall on the west coast of my car, tears flowing like the wind and rain at 75 mph.

I pulled off the highway to take advantage of Ardmore's $3.19/ gal of gas, and watched the sun set from Starbucks.

This is home.

*Update: $2.89 in the city just down the street from my folks' house. Woo hoo! Let's go chasing!*

The power of Photoshop

Formerly, I was only able to get this kind of local contrast enhancement with Photomatix. But with the reverse-engineering of a few plug-ins, I've discovered how to do this in Photoshop only.

This is just my first run, so I hope to perfect this technique at a later date.

Traveling with Forbes

Another day, another reminder of God's power, love, faithfulness and favor.

May I not forget, however, that the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.

I am convinced

I have become convinced, lately, of a few things...

I am convinced that God is good.

I am convinced that God is sovereignly controlling every circumstance, whether good or evil.

I am convinced that goodness and mercy WILL follow me all the days of my life.

I am convinced that I am exceedingly blessed materially beyond all I could have ever hoped or expected as a young child, when I remember precociously wondering, after an afternoon nap, whether I would be able to take care of myself as well as my parents were taking care of me.

I am convinced that I am exceedingly blessed spiritually beyond all I could have ever hoped or dreamed or expected or understood. There is no way I could have possibly manipulated my way into such blessing, the church I attend, the teaching I sit under, the brothers and sisters I live with this side of eternity... I could not have known, even, that this was where I should strive to be, yet it was graciously given to me.

I am convinced that since life is a gift from God, and all the good things in it, I am to enjoy life and all its good things to the greatest extent. I am to come to my job with the intention of working hard, understanding that any benefit reaped from hard work is the blessing of Providence. The earth is indeed pregnant with good things for us if we endeavour to work it diligently, and this is true with all things when worked diligently.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Heard on Stormtrack

Customer service is dead in this country, partly because it's all been outsourced. -Verne Carlson

I may not know what to do with this time in my life, but I know that I had better not waste it.

How to be useful with your hands

I'm leaning toward this. I have all the tools already.

Seriously skewed priorities

Probably one of the more evil things perpetrated on this planet is Amazon's free shipping for orders of $25 or more.

What, you want me to spend another $15 on books, and you'll send them to me at no additional charge for shipping? Um, could you twist my arm a little harder, PLEASE?!?!