Archive for the ‘General’ Category

It really happened


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It was a cold day in…

By the way, it is currently snowing in Monroe, Louisiana.

If you will kindly idle your car in the driveway for a while, and release some extra greenhouse gasses, we would appreciate it.

Update: It worked. Thank you.

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Motivation, etc.

The people that work in the print shops which produce these inspirational posters with colorful photographs illustrating such principles as “teamwork” or “achievement”, do you think that they remain in a constant state of motivation?

Speaking of achievement, when you have listened to an unabridged audio book in your car, do you tell people, “Yeah, I read that book.”… or do you ‘fess up and say, “I listened to it.” and then go about explaining that it was unabridged and you listened to it really closely, while the “real” readers of the book roll their eyes? To be honest, I would rather people just tell me they “read it”, and save me all the suspicion.

Speaking of audio books, we picked up a neat one from the library the other day – “Where’s Waldo.” It went something like this, “Bob…. Jack…. Larry…. Hank…. Joe…. Frank… …. …. …. waldo…”

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“It is said that he had naturally a very dull wit, and that he was upon the point of leaving the cloister, because he despaired of attaining what his friar’s habit required of him, but that the Holy Virgin appeared to him, and asked him in which he would chuse to excel, in philosophy or divinity; that he made choice of philosophy, and that the Holy Virgin told him he should surpass all men of his time in that science, but that, as a punishment for not chusing divinity, he should before his death, relapse into his former stupidity. They add, that, after this apparition, he shewed a prodigious deal of sense, and so improved in all the sciences, that he quickly surpassed his preceptors; but that, three years before his death, he forgot in an instant all that he knew: and that, being at a stand in the middle of a lecture on divinity at Cologne, and endeavouring in vain to recal his ideas, he was sensible that it was the accomplishment of the prediction. Whence arose the saying, that he was miraculously converted from an ass into a philosopher, and, afterwards, from a philosopher into an ass.” (The Magus, Book II, Francis Barrett)

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The Dying Season

[Buckley Athwart History]The death of William F. Buckley yesterday made me think — it seems like a lot of prominent people have died so far in this year. After a little checking around, it appears that I was right. In only two months we’ve seen an unusually large number (or so it seems to me) of well known folk leave this world. I recall one of the statements I read in one of the Slave Narratives, where one former slave observed, “I notice that if I live through March, I usually live the rest of the year.” It is said that more deaths occur in the first three months of the year than in any of the other three quarters. Whether that’s so or not, there have been quite a few notable deaths. Here are a few of the famous (and infamous) who have died so far this year: (more…)

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It seems like all my wife and I are doing these days is putting a bottle in my infant son’s mouth and then minutes later cleaning up the other end. Wash, rinse, repeat.

The other day I asked my dear wife if it wouldn’t be much more efficient for us to simply put the formula directly into the diaper, you know, to cut out the middle man.

She stared at me in that special way that lets me know she’s laughing on the inside.

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What is Regeneration?

The word “regeneration” for most of us today refers to that one-time, unseen, inner moment when the Holy Spirit flips the switch and brings us from death to life. We’ve heard time and again, “Regeneration precedes faith. Regeneration precedes faith. Regeneration precedes faith.” And therefore if anyone should start using the word “regeneration” and “baptism” in the same sentence, he would quickly find himself in hot water.

But where does this modern definition of “regeneration” come from? How has the Church and her scholars traditionally used this term?

John Calvin seems to have a pretty broad definition for the word –

In Institutes III.3.9, he says “I interpret repentance as regeneration whose sole end is to restore in us the image of God… [then he lists a number of verses we normally associate with sanctification – 2 Cor. 3:18, Eph 4:23, Col 3:10]… this restoration does not take place in one moment or one day or one year; but through continual and sometimes even slow advances.”

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Anyone who complains about the itty-bitty bit of wine you get in the standard plastic communion cup has never spilled it all over their pants.

Jonah’s predicament comes down to this – which end of the whale was he going to come out?

Some words sound so much better than they actually are. Like supervision. Or food pyramid.

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Henri de LuBac (in The Christian Faith) quotes an interesting section of the Explanatio Symboli (an early exposition of the Apostles’ Creed commonly attributed to Ambrose) where converts are exhorted to memorize the creed and never to write it down. Note the reason:

 “But, you will say, how can we remember it if we do not write it down? You will remember it all the better. . . . When you write something down, in fact, certain that you can reread it, you do not take the trouble to go over it every day, meditating on it. But, when you do not write something down, on the contrary, fearing to forget it, you do take the trouble to go over it every day.”

People in the early centuries of the church wrote little down and remembered everything. By contrast, I write everything down and remember nothing (especially what I forget to write down!). I write things down because I don’t want to go to the trouble of remembering them. Now I wonder if the forgetfulness and absent mindedness I see in myself (and that others complain about) is related to our refusal, our unwillingness, to try to remember. Dementia rooted in mental laziness. whoo-boy.

Well, at least I will have forgotten about this by tomorrow.

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a blog? are you sure?

“Why a ‘blog’ and what are y’all thinking anyway?”

Ok, good questions and here are the answers: Just because and we’re not sure.

We don’t want this to be a digital diary but we thought that maybe it would be a good place for Duane and I (and maybe others too) to put some thoughts about some things up for public view and perhaps discussion. In other words, we are not at all sure why we’re doing this (and that may become all too evident in the weeks ahead!).

So that’s about it. To me, it’s like watching some of my friends when they used to say (just before doing something fairly disastrous), “Hey y’all, watch this!”

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