"Listen you people," she said and flung her arms wide, "God told the world He was going to send it a king and the world waited. The world thought, a golden fleece will do for His bed. Silver and gold and peacock tails, a thousand suns in a peacock's tail will do for His sash. His mother will ride on a four-horned white beast and use the sunset for a cape. She'll trail it behind her over the ground and let the world pull it to pieces, a new one every evening."To Rayber she was like one of those birds blinded to make it sing more sweetly. Her voice had the tone of a glass bell. His pity encompassed all exploited children - himself when he was a child. Tarwater exploited by the old man, this child exploited by parents, Bishop exploited by the very fact he was alive."The world said, 'How long, Lord, do we have to wait for this?' And the Lord said, 'My Word is coming, my Word is coming from the house of David, the king.' " She paused and turned her head to the side, away from the fierce light. Her dark gaze moved slowly until it rested on Rayber's head in the window. He stared back at her. Her eyes remained on him for a moment. A deep shock went through him. He was certain that the child had looked directly into his heart and seen his pity. He felt that some mysterious connection was established between them." 'My word is coming,' " she said, turning back to face the glare, ' " ' My Word is coming from the house of David, the king. ' "She began again in a dirge-like tone. "Jesus came on cold straw. Jesus was warmed by the breath of an ox. 'Who is this?' the world said, 'who is this blue-cold child and this woman, plain as the winter? Is this the Word of God, this blue-cold child? Is this His will, this plain winter-woman?'"Listen you people!" she cried, "the world knew in its heart, the same as you know in your hearts and I know in my heart. The world said, 'Love cuts like the cold wind and the will of God is plain as the winter. Where is the summer will of God? Where are the green seasons of God's will? Where is the spring and summer of God's will?'"They had to flee into Egypt," she said in her low voice and turned her head again and this time her eyes moved directly to Rayber's face in the window and he knew they sought it. He felt himself caught up in her look, held there before the jugment seat of her eyes."You and I know," she said turning again, "what the world hoped then. The world hoped old Herod would slay the right child, the world hoped old Herod wouldn't wasted those children, but he wasted them. He didn't get the right one. Jesus grew up and raised the dead."Rayber felt his spirit borne aloft. But not those dead! he cried, not the innocent children, not you, not me when I was a child, not Bishop, not Frank! and he had a vision of himself moving like an avenging angel through the world, gathering up all the children that the Lord, not Herod, had slain."Jesus grew up and raised the dead," she cried, "and the world shouted, 'Leave the dead lie. The dead are dead and can stay that way. What do we want with the dead alive?' Oh you people!" she shouted, "they nailed Him to a cross and run a spear through His side and then they said, 'Now we can have some peace, now we can ease our minds.' And they hadn't but only sasid it when they wanted Him to come again. Their eyes were opened and they saw the glory they had killed."Listen world," she cried, flinging up her arms so that the cape flew out behind her, "Jesus is coming again! The mountains are going to lie down like hounds and when He calls it, the sun is going to fall like a goose for his feast. Will you know the Lord Jesus then? The mountains will know Him and bound forward, the stars will light on His head, the sun will drop down at His feet, but will you know the Lord Jesus then?"Rayber saw himself fleeing with the child to some enclosed garden where he would teacher he the truth, where he would gather all the exploited children of the world and let the sunshine flood their minds."If you don't know Him now, you won't know Him then. Listen to me, world, listen to this warning. The Holy Word is in my mouth!"The Holy Word is in my mouth!" she cried and turned her eyes again on his face in the window. This time there was a lowered concentration in her gaze. He had drawn her attention entirely away from the congregation.Come away with me! he silently implored, and I'll teach you the truth, I'll save you, beautiful child!Her eyes still fixed on him, she cried, "I've seen the Lord in a tree of fire! The Word of God is a burning Word to burn you clean!" She was moving in his direction, the people in front of her forgotten. Rayber's heart began to race. He felt some miraculous communication between them. The child alone in the world was meant to understand him. "Burns the whole world, man and child," she cried, her eye on him, "none can escape." She stopped a little distance from the end of the stage and stood silent, her whole attention directed across the small room to his face on the ledge. Her eyes were large and dark and fierce. He felt the the space between them, their spirits had broken the bonds of age and ignorance and were mingling in some unheard of knowledge of each other. He was transfixed by the child's silence. Suddenly she raised her arm and pointed toward his face. "Listen you people," she shreiked, "I see a damned soul before my eye! I see a dead man Jesus hasn't raised. His head is in the window but his ear is deaf to the Holy Word!"Rayber's head, as if it had been struck by an invisible bolt, dropped from the ledge. He crouched on the ground, his furiously spectacle eyes glittering behind the shrubbery. Inside she continued to shriek, "Are you deaf to the Lord's Word? The Word of God is a burning Word to burn you clean, burns man and chid, man and child the same, you people! Be saved in the Lord's fire or perish in your own! Be saved in..."He was groping, fiercely about him, slapping at his coat pockets, his head his chest, not able to find the switch that would cut off the voice...
Friday, December 24, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Teacher sings all the verses to "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen". (teacher is thinking in her head: this song is really old, why am I making 1st graders sing all these words they don't know?)
Teacher sings verse 1.
Students sing verse 1.
Teacher (Me): (writing on the board) Tidings = news.
Student who I thought wasn't listening: Oh I get it! I get it! I get the whole song! It's like 'Jesus is born! Jesus is born! Jesus is born'! (not sure why he waxed poetic right then)
Me: Yes, it's like, someone came and said, "Guess what I have good news! Jesus came!" And the angels were telling the shepherds the good news...
Student who I thought wasn't listening: It's like, I have good news, I have a new monster truck for you!
Student who is apparently right with me *says something about songs about Christmas
Me: Yes that news was so great that people were happy enough to write hundreds and thousands of songs about it! Was there ever any other news that made people THAT happy?!
Students who are usually right with me: no, no, there never was!
Student whose IQ is little too high for my taste: What if it was like... God sent a huge pinata down from heaven, and a really big angel hit the pinata and all these little angels came out and were singing...
So take that all you 'old song naysayers'. Today I prepared my kids for the Christmas program, SAT's, gave them some apologetics, brainstormed on a future pinata themed Christmas pageant, and the kids managed to be 100x more charming than if we had been playing some sort of age-appropriate singing game.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Now that stuff needs to happen in person or I feel like a creeper, or conversely, that I've somehow made an important friendship less sacred. I guess it's a combination of evolution of facebook; and me getting more socially intelligent and realizing that not everyone and their mom wants to hear from me.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
I have a recording if you're interested. Not sure about I feel about putting students' stuff on my blog.
Margie, another first grader not to be outdone (or maybe just inspired), wanted to sing a song to me after class today
Her song also dealt with praise to God.
The sacred theme of their songs in contrast with almost the almost all secular curriculum I implement in music class (they sing one hymn per class and all their other sacred songs are learned in the regular classroom or chapel) reminded me of something my professor said this summer. My professor teaches in a Catholic university and found that her students most closely identified with choral music with sacred texts; because, she said, of their upbringing.
Luca and Margie, and even these college freshman, own something beautiful. They have a simple faith in God; not because they dialogued with proponents of every religion and then chose, not because they memorized books of the Bible, not because they read primary sources on canonicity; but because they believed what was told to them.
Is that kind of faith really beautiful? Aren't I supposed to give my children alternatives? To my way of thinking raising Christian kids does feel like a bit of brainwashing. But I can't ignore the fact that Jesus said 'Unless you have faith like a little child you cannot enter the kingdom of God.'
That kind of faith must be valid.
I have been accused of being sheltered from different worldviews and the otherwise nebulous 'world.' I suppose it could be conversely suggested that I have somewhat of a 'blind faith.' This accusation is not true, but I can only thank God that he accepted the faith in Him that I had when I was three, and ask him to continue to cultivate that faith that took seed back then.
I am here to preach for it.
Today I had a disagreement with a good friend. She texted me to say she was praying about the issue. I feel deeply that I am right. I don't want to pray about it; I just want her to stop putting me off by 'praying' and listen to my side of the story!
But guess what. Since she's praying, I have to pray too.
I don't want to, probably because she 'thought of it first.' But, I have to.
So, I prayed a prayer that I didn't feel. Lord, please show me the right way to act in this situation and change my heart if need be.
Only in my head it was more like (Becky grits her teeth) Lord... please... show... me... (grunt from exertion) how... to... act...
I will tell my children to apologize after a fight with their siblings, even if they aren't sorry.
I will pray with my children, even if they didn't think of it first.
I will pray that icky prayer again tonight...
Saturday, September 25, 2010
The Pleasures of God, or, a 'God-centered' post in which John 17 makes it all about us again, or, a post in which I compare God's glory to pizza
The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one.
... that they all may be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given to me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one...Father I desire that they also... may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Just the other night a hometown football game/My wife and I ran into my old high school flame...
Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers...
Alexey Alexandrovitch did not merely fail to observe his hopeless position in the official world, he was not merely free from anxiety on this head, he was positively more satisfied than ever with his own activity."He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: but he that is married careth for the things of the world, how he may please his wife," says the Apostle Paul, and Alexey Alexandrovitch who was now guided in every action by Scripture, often recalled this text. It seemed to him that ever since he had been left without a wife, he had in these very projects of reform been serving the Lord more zealously than before.
For the few seconds during which the visitors were gazing at the picture in silence Mihailov too gazed at it with the indifferent eye of an outsider. For those few seconds he was sure in anticipation that a higher, juster criticism would be uttered by them, by those very visitors whom he had been so despising a moment before. He forgot all he had thought about his picture before during the three years he had been painting it; he forgot all its qualities which had been absolutely certain to him - he saw the picture with their indifferent, new, outside eyes, and saw nothing good in it.
All Mihailov's mobile face beamed at once; his eyes sparkled. He tried to say something, but he could not speak for excitement, and pretended to be coughing. Low as was his opinion of Golenishtchev's capacity for understanding art, trifling as was the true remark upon the fidelity of the expression of Pilate as an official, and offensive as might have seemed the utterance of so unimportant an observation while nothing was said of more serious points, Mihailov was in an ecstasy of delight at this observation. He had himself thought about Pilate's figure just what Golenshitchev said. The fact that this reflection was but one of millions of reflections, which as Mihailov knew for certain would be true, did not diminish for him the significance of Golenishtchev's remark. (emphasis mine)
In attending the elections, too, and taking part in them, he tried now not to judge, not to fall foul of them, but to comprehend as fully as he could the question which was so earnestly and ardently absorbing honest and excellent men whom he respected. Since his marriage there had been revealed to Levin so many new and serious aspects of life that had previously, through his frivolous attitude to them, seemed of no importance, that in the question of the elections too he assumed and tried to find some serious significance. (emphasis mine)
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
The next day John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following, and said to them "What are you seeking?". And they said to him "Rabbi" (which means teacher) "where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come, and you will see."John 1
Jesus saw that two guys were following him and he said "what do you want?" They didn't know what to say... so they just said (and we've all had neighbor kids like this) "uhhhh... can we come over?" Jesus said: "sure, come over."
After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve: Do you want to go away as well? Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,"
Monday, August 30, 2010
Extroverts are easy to understand, because extroverts spend so much of their time working out who they are in voluable, and frequently inescapable, interaction with other people. They are as inscrutable as puppy dogs....
Though we're strangers still I love you,I love you more than the mask...
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
This sort of character is met with pretty frequently in a certain class. They are the sort of people who know everyone - that is, they know where a man is employed, what his salary is, whom he knows, whom he married, what money his wife had, who are his cousins, second cousins, etc. etc. These men generally have a hundred pounds a year to live on, and they spend their whole time and talents in the amassing of this style of knowledge, which they reduce - or raise - to the standard of science.-The Idiot, when Prince Myshkin was on a train inquiring of a seat-mate about his hometown. You probably have to read the whole character sketch of the clerk to get a kick out of it like I did.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Me: I believe the Bible.Unbelieving Friend who loves and accepts everyone but finds my beliefs a little silly: What about Revelation? Scorpions, really? So many different plagues poured out at once that I will be trying to commit suicide?... Pretty sure God's not like that.Me: (who is not very good on my feet, even in imaginary conversations) um...
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
...Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.Does this seem to you exaggerated? If so, think it over. I pointed out a moment ago that the more pride one had, the more one disliked pride in others.
In fact, if you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask yourself, 'How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronize me, or show off? The point is that each person's pride is in competition with everyone else's pride. It is because I wanted to be the big noise at the party that I am so annoyed at someone else being the big noise. Two of a trade never agree. Now what you want to get clear is that pride is essentially competitive - is competitive by its very nature - while the other vices are competitive, so to speak, by accident. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone. That is why I say that pride is essentially competitive in a way the other vices are not. The sexual impulse may drive two men into competition if they both want the same girl. But that is only by accident; they might just as likely have wanted two different girls. But a proud man will take your girl from you, not because he wants her, but just to prove that he is better than you. Greed may drive men into competition if there is not enough to go round; but the proud man, even when he has got more than he could possibly want, will try to get still more just to assert his power.
...He and you are two things of such a kind that if you really get into any kind of touch with Him you will, in fact, be humble - delightedly humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about your own dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life.To get even near [humility], even for a moment, is like a drink of cold water to a man in a desert.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
O how sweet the glorious messagesimple faith may claim;Yesterday, today, forever,Jesus is the same!Still he loves to save the sinful,heal the sick and lame,cheer the mourner, calm the tempest -Glory to his name!Yesterday, today, forever, Jesus is the same; All may change but Jesus never - Glory to His name, Glory to His name, Glory to His name; All may change but Jesus never - Glory to His name!He who pardoned erring PeterNever need'st thou fearHe who came to faithless ThomasAll thy doubt will clear;He who let the loved disciple On His bosom restBids the still, with love as tender,Lean upon His breast.Yesterday, today, forever, Jesus is the same; All may change but Jesus never - Glory to His name, Glory to His name, Glory to His name; All may change but Jesus never - Glory to His name!He who 'mid the raging billowswalked upon the seaStill can hush our wildest tempestas on Galilee;He who wept and prayed in anguishin GethsemeneDrinks with us each cup of trembling,in our agony.Yesterday, today, forever, Jesus is the same; All may change but Jesus never - Glory to His name, Glory to His name, Glory to His name; All may change but Jesus never - Glory to His name!As of old He walked to Emmaus,with them to abide,So thru all life's way He walketh,ever near our side;Soon again shall we behold Him,Hasten, Lord, the day!But 'twill still be "this same Jesus"as He went away.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Thursday, April 8, 2010
One day my mom and I were planning out our day, and I called my aunt to see if she 'needed' me in the office. My memory is very faint, but I know that somehow from our conversation I learned that having assembled key chains on hand was not a top priority in the office. I'm pretty sure I cried. I was not needed.
I think those feelings I had shows a basic human need: the need to feel useful.
In light of that need, God has given us an incredible gift. In addition to saving us from our sins, he has created us in Christ Jesus for doing good works. God has planned out work for me to do. God is giving me the resources I need to do that work. God is going to use me.
I realized this gift after seeing some prayers that Paul prayed for his friends. They are prayers that I know others are praying for me, and that I want to pray for my loved ones.
...we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be... bearing fruit in every good work... Colossians 1:9,10
To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, II Thessalonians 1:10
I like that second verse because I resolve to do many a good work that I'm not quite sure will get done...
I searched the words 'every good work', and these two beautiful blessings came up. I guess they are prayers, I'm not quite sure what a blessing is...
This first one is incredibly personal, like this good work thing is going to be between me and Jesus:
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. II Thessalonians 2:13
This second one was a favorite verse in high school, after I discovered (I'm not being facetious here) Revelation 4:11 and that we were created for the express purpose of pleasing God.
Now may the God of peace... equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21
Thank you for giving me good works, Lord.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
1. Tonight I went to the Egg Harbor City Public Library. I saw the mom of one of my church bus kids. I want to be in Egg Harbor as much as possible so that my heart is with the church bus route I do. And so that I can establish rapport and hopefully friendships.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
What has been is what will be,and what has been done is what will be done,and there is nothing new under the sun.Is there a thing of which it is said,"See, this is new?"It has been already,in the ages before us.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
"all men are like grass..."
"In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety."
"Oh Lord, the way of man is not in himself. It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. Correct me Lord, but with justice. Not in anger, lest I come to nothing."
Monday, March 8, 2010
They say stories like that make a boy grow boldStories like that make a man walk straight...
David just danced,
But I became aware of my Michal too soon.
So praise him that the stones cry out
When a living heart becomes one.
Look at me I love to praise:
On another day I am sounding my trumpet before me.
Praise him that I’ve been made alive
Even though I’m acting like a coffin full of bones.
So loosen my tongue and give it a job,
Make me want one thousand opportunities to say
That your blood breaks the power of sin;
The power of Michals and trumpets.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
The complaint of the pagan writer Celsus was quoted earlier: Christians were ignorant folk whose teaching took place, not in schools nor in open forums, but in kitchens, shops, and tanneries. Although the work of Christians such as Justin, Clement, and Origen would seem to to belie Celsus' words, the fact remains that, in general, Celsus was telling the truth... Wise scholars among Christians were the exception... It is significant that in his apology Against Celsus Origen does not contradict Celsus on this score. From the perspective of cultured pagans such as Tacitus, Cornelius Fronto, and Marcus Aurelius, Christians were a despicable rabble.
Monday, January 25, 2010
I've always kind of known that playing music with other people is what keeps us, as musicians, ticking (no pun intended). It's what keeps me on the straight and narrow, anyway...
More proof when Kirsten and Brighton, my two four year old violin students, went bonkers today when I allowed them to play their first rhythm together. They were bouncing and giggling and stomping their feet; and the moms and I were consequently smiling our heads off when we realized the exploding energy that comes from "duet."
Friday, January 22, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
"The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's award, and the one who receives a righteous person will receive a righteous person's reward."
As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.