Showing posts from May, 2012

Prayer and forgiveness

I really wanted to focus my prayers yesterday, Wednesday fast day, on someone I know who was recently diagnosed with cancer, but, whenever my brain wanted to go there, it was obscured by some resentment I held against a brother in the Lord. I was irritated, not just over the things he did, but that those things which were waters under the bridge, old water, were robbing me of brain cycles on the person I wanted to intercede for. I got pretty bummed out by the end of the day. I already know I'm not a prayer giant but more of a prayer pixie. I also was disappointed that this old stuff still chafes my heart. I thought I had worked through it all by the end of the day, but Jesus spoke to me this morning in my reading in the Gospel of Mark.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your tr…

the effective woodshop teacher

I took woodshop in junior high school almost 30 years ago. I had some good ideas, but poor execution. However, I had family who appreciated the thought behind the gift despite it's rough edges. Everything was rough, sanding bored me. nothing fit perfectly. My projects were functional, but not beautiful. I made coal, not diamonds. The next year, in art class, we competed to design a pen and pencil holder to be made and sold by carpenter. Being the consistent guy that I am, I designed a whale, with a long back to hold a few writing instruments. It was functional, but not very artistic, not at all like fanciful designs by the students I admired in the class. They came up with seals balancing balls on their noses or octopuses swinging all their arms around. Curiously to me, my design was chosen! My design actually held pens and pencils, and could be reproduced fairly easily. My prize was one of the pencil holders I designed.

What advantage did I have over the better artists in my clas…

book response: Steve Jobs by Isaacson (2011)

The bestselling biography of Steve Jobs was not high on my reading list but I was lent it and devoured it in a week. Since it wasn't my book and I couldn't write in it, I don't have excerpts, but I have a couple responses.
Isaacson is a great writer. I agree with Steve Jobs himself that he was an a-hole, but Isaacson made the life of this a-hole very interesting.Steve Jobs was an a-hole. I'm not disagreeing with his own self-assessment.Steve was an artist with an artist's petulant demeanor.The serious girlfriend in his life before he married concluded he exhibited Narcissistic Personality Disorder. See my earlier blog on that. I think she's right.How could a company succeed with such a self-centered person?How could a company succeed without such a focused person?Notice the two sides of that disorder?He lacked empathy. People who survived and thrived in his employ learned to cope with his insults.He pursued beauty instead of profits. He saw beauty in simplicity …

Bringing the sick to Jesus

When I was reading Matthew 15 the other day I was struck by Jesus' presence on the mountaintop.

29 Jesus went on from there and walked beside the Sea of Galilee. And he went up on the mountain and sat down there. 30 And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them, 31 so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel. 
On this occasion, he did not make it easy for people to reach him. I imagined it must have been quite the effort for the healthy friends to carry up a mountain the lame or crippled person who can't walk, or guide the blind guy up the steep paths. I'm sure they were overjoyed to have their friends and family healed but maybe a little jealous of the region in the previous chapter, Gennesaret who had Jesus on their coastline.
Matthew 14:34 And…

Heavenly bodies

First of all I must apologize if you came here looking for p0rn, astronomy pics or serious theology. This is a theological post of the light sort, it was inspired by my recent ride through Walt Disney World's It's a Small World attraction in the Magic Kingdom.

I didn't like the boat ride in 1987 but last week I appreciated it for the air conditioning and a place to sit with my kids for 10 minutes, as opposed to standing in line or walking to Pirates of the Caribbean on a warm humid day.

For those who don't know this ride, it takes you through 7 rooms with dolls dressed up as children in various ethnic dress representing various cultures. As we were guessing what Disney would do with the 7th room, since no one inhabits Antarctica, just visitors there, sure enough we entered a white room, full of child dolls, but everything was pretty normal in the room, except everything was "snow" colored. I joked, this is the continent of heaven. Then I thought, maybe this i…