Saturday, January 30, 2010

Australian School Answering Machine

Since Blogger keeps blocking the video file that I uploaded, here it is as an embedded video from YouTube.

Here is the Snopes informaton regarding this video.

I received it in an email and found it to be funny, but as a sadly realistic and descriptive bit of sarcasm.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Indigenous, Naturally Available Remedy

As I was reading this evening I was reminded of a circumstance from the past.

On one of the tree jobs that I worked, a tree removal in a cemetery, I was employed to remove a diseased tree that had grown next to a chain link fence. The area to fell the tree was, of course, full of tombstones and benches and statues. The tree had to be felled so as to do no damage to any of these.

The tree fell perfectly, landing exactly where I had planned. However, the curvature of the trunk was such that having hit the ground it forced the tree to bounce and to twist so that it bounced back at me. The trunk landed on my foot, slamming into my ankle and shin, pinning me against the fence and ground. I had a helper that day, and together we rocked the tree sufficiently to unpin my foot and leg.

My leg should have been shattered, but it was not. Whether the Lord sent an angel or simply prevented the bones from shattering, He prevented serious injury. However, my foot and leg began to swell badly. We could see the bruised area rise as it swelled.

First I thought, “How will I get ice for my leg?” We were at least half a mile from the cemetery office or any other facility. But it was winter and the ground was frozen with ice and snow all around. So I immediately hobbled to where the sun had shone and partially thawed some ice and soil, forming a small patch of icy mud. I rolled up my pant leg and stripped off the work boot and sock. Then I packed my foot and ankle in the icy mud for 15 to 20 minutes. We watched the swelling go down almost as quickly as it had risen.

Then I brushed away the mud pack, put on my sock and boot, and finished the job.

The point of sharing this story is to serve as a reminder that God provides the way, and if we are open to perceive it we receive it. God had provided for my rescue and healing through means that I ordinarily despise. But on this day I was very thankful that God had sent the wintry mix of ice and snow and frozen ground. He had already provided the means for my first aid before I had any notion of needing any aid. Without the frozen mud pack to apply with such rapidity, the swelling would have caused considerable damage, for which I would have needed days to heal.

Truly the Lord is our gracious Father who provides all that we need for this life and for the life to come. If we have proper fear of Him, then we fear not the things that sneak up on us in our daily walk, so that we remember His goodness and power and grace and we expect to see and hear and perceive what He has provided for us so as to make proper use of His providence.

Monday, January 18, 2010

We Dare You Guarantee

When a company stands by its products, I like to support that company.

The Duluth Trading Company has shown itself to be such a company. In the photo below is shown their “We Dare You (to wear them out) Guarantee”.

The company stands by this. My wife began purchasing for me their Fire Hose Logger's Pants, and then also purchased the Work Pants for me. I now have 3 pairs of Logger’s and 2 pairs of the Work pants. They are very attractive and durable pants.

But as an arborist, I am very hard on clothing. I have worn through 4 pairs of their pants. They have replaced them all. We were responsible for the return shipping cost to them. A short time later the brand new pairs arrived with no additional charges to us.

We are very pleased with their clothing and their service. Their guarantee is wonderful!

If you have need of durable work clothing, or any of the other items offered by Duluth Trading Company, I am sure that you will find satisfaction through doing business with this company.

Rote Worship Loses Meaning?

This is a response to a wonderful post by Dan at Necessary Roughness,
Rote Worship Loses Meaning? My response is posted here as it seems to me to be too long to include in the comments section on his blog.

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Dan, you make some wonderful statements regarding the liturgy and your esteem of the liturgy is wonderful to behold.

I have some additional thoughts that I believe are worthy of pondering.

After listing aspects of the historic liturgy you then say: “These are the church’s tools, and we make them ours.”

Are these the Church’s tools? Is not this part of the false perception of those who decree that the liturgy is rote? While rote does not necessarily mean “lifeless,” this is what is implied. Tools are lifeless instruments. Are any of the portions of the liturgy lifeless? Are they not the very Scriptures put into practice? The Scriptures by themselves are without life, and merely point to the one who is the Life. But when the Scriptures are uttered, those utterances are the very Word of God, Jesus, actively present among those who rightly utter them.

These words are not tools. They are the very Life by which we receive life.

This is true even in the form of creeds and prayers that are drawn from and summarize and recite the doctrine revealed to us in the Scriptures. The pure and holy doctrine is not a tool. It is the very voice of God among us.

In your last paragraph you say: “That’s not bad stuff to recite every week. If it loses meaning to me, then the fault is mine, not the liturgy’s.”

No, it is not really a matter of fault. It is really a matter of where life is found. The liturgy is alive. The question is, “Is the worshiper alive?” Also, “Is the worshiper receiving the Life that comes to be present through the liturgy?”

That really is the issue for those who consider the liturgy to be rote or not lively. Those with such a view toward the liturgy have chosen to make worship based upon their own actions, their own thoughts, and their own words. They have turned their hearts away from God’s gracious activities and His gracious words of life and power and His thoughts of condescension toward us poor sinners, and have imagined themselves worthy of offering praise to God so that their hearts are filled with their own glorious acts and thoughts and words that they imagine to be elevated to heaven by their doing them. They reverse the Christ Mass, the gift of God, which is from heaven above come to earth below. They reverse the Epiphany of our Lord to us, to make it the epiphany of the worshipers to God.

They do not feel uplifted by the liturgy because they do not believe that they need to be lifted up. Only one who understands worship as proskuneo (forward toward-dog), prostrate kissing of foot or hand, only one who understands worship from this perspective can truly appreciate the holy absolution as that which lifts up the soul. This is why “This is the feast of victory for our God” was substituted for “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” The revelation of what is for those who are already in heaven was chosen in place of the blessed evangelism of the holy heralds from heaven concerning the great work and love of God come to earth to save those who have no hope in themselves and throughout their earthly lives look longingly to that which is above.

This is why the so-called contemporary worship promoters are not promoting anything that is truly contemporary with earthly worshipers. For true contemporaneity acknowledges the “now/not yet” reality of earthly life and worship. True contemporaneity does not look in the mirror without observing the poor, miserable sinner who has no righteousness of his own, who craves the continual declaration of the heavenly absolution. True contemporaneity declares that worship and praise have value only because these actions are faithful reiterations of the declarations of the one who is worshiped and praised, the author and finisher of the faith.