Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How Does God See Things?

You might have discovered that I am a Christian and attend Church regularly. Sometimes I cast a skeptical eye at Church politics and positions, and I find that I am not alone in my skepticism. It is sort of reassuring to find others who have similar questions to my own.

C. S. Lewis uses Screwtape to express a rather unflattering description of the Church to encourage his nephew Wormwood when the object of his efforts became a Christian. Screwtape pointed out the habits and customs of the one being tempted were still oriented toward the desires of the flesh, and Wormwood had those habits on his side. The Church is regarded as the total mass of the members. Of course, the intended aim of the Church is to strengthen the members toward a more virtuous life, but let's face it: the members still carry and participate in a lot of sin. This indicates that the Church is a project under construction just as the individual Christians are always moving toward a more excellent rendition of themselves.

It is reassuring that God does not expect us to become Holy or virtuous overnight. I have been working at this for a long time and I'm still not Holy, but, on the other hand, I have come a long way and learned a lot about what I think God want's me to know of his word and his work. I find it encouraging that he doesn't give up on me even though I'm still not perfect. One of the things God keeps showing me are the many areas where I'm still not up to his standards. He also continually shows me the many ways where I am making progress and becoming more constrained by his commands. 

This double sided view of myself is both fearful and fabulous: Both are revelations that I don't see without his help. In this life, the Church is the collection of the humans who attend and support her. One day the Church will be transformed into the image God sees in her and, like us, the Church will be visible to us too, in all her glory and majesty. There's a great day coming!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Oh, Say Can You See...?

Cover of sheet music for "The Star-Spangl...
Cover of sheet music for "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Francis Scott Key, transcribed for piano by Ch. Voss, Philadelphia: G. Andre & Co., 1862 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today is the anniversary of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. It is our National Anthem. No matter what complaints and gripes I hear about it, I still swell with pride when I hear the initial phrase begin and the words are usually corrupted by the tears in my voice. I was never a singer anyway, but I'm impressed by it.

Rosanne Barr made a spectacle of herself when she performed it at a Padres games in 1990. It was supposed to be funny, but I found it both disrespectful and embarrassing. I sorta felt sorry for whoever contracted that deal. He or she probably got a reputation of inappropriate public awareness from it. I can't believe the players were thrilled by it, and certainly the service personnel could not have been inspired. Altogether it was a flop. Nobody has repeated it in such a manner since 1990.

A lot of verbiage has been spent on complaints about the difficulty of singing the song and the complexity of the language. To me this means we have a wonderful opportunity to teach children and all citizens about who Francis Scott Key was and the importance of the War of 1812. And by the way, the poetry of the song's four verses and what they mean. Somehow we have missed something in our value of the meaning of music, words, and patriotism. It still bugs me that the First Lady does not honor the flag with a salute. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Moving Time

Apartment Complex USA 1
Apartment Complex USA 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Have I said that before? I'm moving this month. I did that last year. I didn't think I'd do it again, maybe not ever, but I'm excited about the change. I've already announced it, but now I've found the new apartment complex. My now digs will have two bedrooms--one for the computer and some of the book cases, a bedroom for me, and a nice living room with a built-in bookcase. And of course, a kitchen. It's not large, but it's adequate. I don''t want a very big kitchen, since I don't really want to cook a lot. There is also a nook for my dining table. I think it will be very nice.

I can get one wall in each room painted a color I like. I think that will brighten up the place a lot. My present apartment is nice I guess, but very dull. The woodwork is dark and the walls are cream--it makes for dull. 

I now have boxes to fill with collectibles, books, and memorabilia which also means I have work to do. At least I won't be bored. I don't guess you call that interesting, but it is necessary. The time is getting shorter and shorter.  I'll try to keep posting my progress.