Saturday, October 20, 2007

Walking

The other night, while at Ikea, Caleb started walking. This isn't the best video because he was already really tired by the time we got home and took this, but it is still cute to see him toddle.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Imagination: A Christian Duty

This devotional was sent to me by my mom and I thought it particularly good.

(for the original source, click here)

God is Not Boring
John Piper

Recently I spoke at Northwestern College as part of their year-long 100th anniversary celebration. The title of the message was "The Supremacy of God in the Life of the Mind." One capability of the mind that I focused on was the imagination. It applies to everybody who has a mind. Here's what I said:

One of the great duties of the Christian mind is imagination. It is not the only thing the mind does. The mind observes. The mind analyzes and organizes. The mind memorizes. But imagination is different. It does not observe or analyze what's there; it imagines what is not seen but might be there and might explain what is there (as in the case of most scientific discoveries). Or it imagines a new way of saying what is there that no one has said before (as in the case of creative writing and music and art).

I say that imagination is a Christian duty for two reasons. One is that you can't apply Jesus' golden rule without it. He said, "Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them" (Matthew 7:12). We must imagine ourselves in their place and imagine what we would like done to us. Compassionate, sympathetic, helpful love hangs much on the imagination of the lover.

The other reason I say that imagination is a Christian duty is that when a person speaks or writes or sings or paints about breathtaking truth in a boring way, it is probably a sin. The supremacy of God in the life of the mind is not honored when God and his amazing world are observed truly, analyzed duly, and communicated boringly. Imagination is the key to killing boredom. We must imagine ways to say truth for what it really is. And it is not boring. God's world - all of it - rings with wonders. The imagination calls up new words, new images, new analogies, new metaphors, new illustrations, new connections to say old, glorious truth. Imagination is the faculty of the mind that God has given us to make the communication of his beauty beautiful.

Imagination may be the hardest work of the human mind. And perhaps the most God-like. It is the closest we get to creation out of nothing. When we speak of beautiful truth, we must think of a pattern of words, perhaps a poem. We must conceive something that has never existed before and does not now exist in any human mind. We must think of an analogy or metaphor or illustration which has no existence. The imagination must exert itself to see it in our mind, when it is not there. We must create word combinations and music that have never existed before. All of this we do, because we are like God and because he is infinitely worthy of ever-new words and songs.

A college - or a church - committed to the supremacy of God in the life of the mind will cultivate many fertile, and a few great, imaginations. And O how the world needs God-besotted minds that can say the great things of God and sing the great things of God and play the great things of God in ways that have never been said or sung or played before.

Imagination is like a muscle. It grows stronger when you flex it. And you must flex it. It does not usually put itself into action. It awaits the will. Imagination is also contagious. When you are around someone (alive or dead) who uses it a lot, you tend to catch it. So I suggest that you hang out with some people (mainly dead poets) who are full of imagination, and that you exert yourself to think up a new way to say an old truth. God is worthy. "Oh sing to the LORD a new song" - or picture, or poem, or figure of speech.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Caleb's Birthday List

Every year on my birthday I make a list of things I love (in no particular order), one item for every year. The list is usually random and certainly not comprehensive, but it is a fun way to "capture" my life at that moment.

I've decided to carry on the tradition for Caleb. I don't usually explain the items but since Caleb only gets one item on his list, I thought I'd throw a story in, too.

Caleb's Very First Birthday List

1. Daddy! Caleb's favorite thing to do toward the end of the day is sit by the front door and wait for Daddy. When he hears Josh on the other side of the door, he stands at the door and babbles "da da! da da!" This morning, after Josh left for work, I was doing the breakfast dishes while Caleb was playing. I peeked my head out to see what he was up to and there he was, sitting by the front door with Daddy's shoes in hand, pointing to the door and calling "da da!?! . . . da da!?!" Very, very cute!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Focus


Our pastor said something last Sunday that has been rumbling around in my head all week. He said, "Don't let the FORM of your faith cause you to miss the FOCUS of your faith, namely Christ Jesus." Although this was said in the context of a sermon being preached on Romans 2, I can't help but think of Hebrews 12:2.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,
the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before him endured the cross,
scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


The question I have been asking myself all week and which I now put to you is this: Are your eyes fixed on Christ? Are you fascinated with Christ? In love with Him? Is he your waking thought in the morning and your last thought before slipping into sleep?

I don't know where you are in your walk of faith, but wherever you are I encourage you: "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles" and run toward Jesus! (Heb 12:1) Whether you be entangled in the grossest of sins or simply weighted down with trappings of religiosity and morality, the end result is the same. . . you cannot run freely to the arms of Jesus.

Photo:
Singaporean Sunset by Joshua Redin

Monday, October 01, 2007

Organic

I know many of my readers (probably most) are into the whole organic foods thing. I have not yet joined your ranks and, based on my experience today, am not headed in that direction.

We are having Italian food tonight--spaghetti, garlic bread and salad. So last night at the grocery store, I bought the only available head of lettuce--an organic butter lettuce head. I just opened up the container (can I say that it makes no sense to me that they package organic produce in fancy plastic containers) and was washing the lettuce when I discovered a whole family of worms living in my future salad. I'm not talking about just a momma and papa worm. I'm talking about mama, papa, and several other generations. . . probably about 10-12 worms total. GROSS...double gross.

I know worms in produce are a fact of life, but I am a boneless-skinless-chicken-kind-of-shopper and I don't usually like to buy worms with my Tuesday dinner salad. I'm still debating on what to do with the freshly washed, de-wormed head sitting in the colander. Maybe we'll just skip the lettuce and have a cucumber and tomato salad.