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Saturday
Feb132010

Soundtrack for a Saturday

Earlier this week, as I listened to an installment of A Celtic Sojourn, the artist Hanneke Cassel was brought to my attention.  Every week, at the beginning of A Celtic Sojourn, a waltz is played, and Cassel, a violinist, was the artist playing the waltz I was listening to.  I have heard her name mentioned on a number of other occasions when listening to the program.  I did a search for some of her music and came across her MySpace.  There are some selections you can listen to.  If you scroll down the audio clips, you will find a version of "It Is Well With My Soul," which is just beautiful.  I found the recording from which that song comes, and was pleased to see that it is a collection of worship songs, including a beautiful combination of "Abide with Me" and "Fairest Lord Jesus."  The name of the recording is called Calm the Raging Sea.

I wanted to find a clip of her playing one of the songs from Calm the Raging Sea, but couldn't. I did find a clip of her with the group of which she's a part, Childsplay.

Tuesday
Feb092010

Not exactly Church History

The past couple of days have been rather harried ones.  I have been nursing a very sore neck, and trying to stay off the computer if I could, or if I'm on, I only stay on for brief periods.  I have finished reading The Irish Puritans, and I wanted to make some observations, but with a sore neck and busy days, things just didn't happen.  I did feel better today, though, and made my boys their favourite treat, Toffee Bars.

1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

Cream the margarine with brown sugar.  Add the egg yolk and vanilla, mixing well.  Add flour.  Spread the dough out on a 9x13 baking pan (I use a Pampered Chef bar pan, which works nicely).  Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned.

As soon as the pan comes out of the oven, spread the chocolate chips evenly across the top.  As the chips melt on the surface, spread evenly over the top.  When spread completely, spread the chopped nuts across the top.  Cut into bars while warm. 

Sunday
Feb072010

Heart Aflame - Psalm 16:1-2

Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge.  This is a prayer in which David commits himself to the protection of God.  God is ready to succour all of us, provided we rely upon him with a sure and steadfast faith; and that he takes under his protection none but those who commit themselves to him with their whole heart.

You are my Lord, my well-doing cannot extend to you.  David begins by stating that he can bestow nothing upon God, not only because God stands in no need of anything but also because mortal man cannot merit the favour of God by any service which he can perform to him.  At the same time, however, he takes courage, and, as God accepts our devotion, and the service which we yield to him, David protests that he will be one of his servants.

Two things are distinctly laid down in this verse.  The first is, that God has a right to require of us whatever he pleases, seeing we are fully bound to him as our rightful proprietor and Lord.  David, by ascribing to him the power and the dominion of Lord, declares that both himself and all he possessed are the property of God.

Let men strive ever so much to lay themselves out for God, yet they can bring no advantage to him.  Our goodness extends not to him, not only because having in himself alone an all-sufficiency, he stands in need of nothing, but also because we are empty and destitute of all good things, and have nothing which to show ourselves liberal towards him.

It is impossible for men, by any merits of their own, to bring God under obligation to them, so as to make him their debtor.  The sum of the discourse is, that when we come before God, we must lay aside all presumption.  When we imagine that there is any good thing in us, we need not wonder if he reject us, as we thus take away from him a principal part of the honour which is his due.  On the contrary, if we acknoeldge that all the servies which we can yield to him are in temselves things of nought, and undeserving of any recompense, this humility is as perfume of a sweet odour, which will procure for them acceptance with God.

 

Friday
Feb052010

A few links I liked this week

 I enjoyed two links from the Grace to You blog, where Dr. MacArthur talks about Bad Hermeneutics and Good Hermeneutics.  They are audio short clips, and very much worth the listen.

This morning, Annette shared a video done by a young woman from Toronto, discussing how Canadians all drink milk from bags (we do here in Ontario).  A subsequent article in The Toronto Star reveals that Miss Ng, was not properly informed; not all Canadians partake of milk from bags.  I thought it was interesting that her video generated cries of "Are you guys ever weird!"  Have those people seen what is on YouTube?  Miss Ng's video was among the saner material I have seen.  Weird is in the eye of the beholder, at times.  It's kind of mind-boggling that such a trivial piece of informaton can generate so much attention; but then again, this is the internet after all.

Wednesday
Feb032010

Finished!

I finished reading John Frame's book The Doctrine of Knowledge of God.  It took me longer than I planned, but honestly, so much of what I read was so thought-provoking that I had to sit down and think about it.  I must write (with a pen and paper) things out to process them, so I had a notebook alongside this read, with attempts to summarize things well enough to understand them completely.  Even after doing that, however, I think I will want to read this book again in the future.  What would be really great is to find someone much smarter than I to read along with me so that we could discuss it.  Who knows?

There are far too many things about this book that I liked to start listing them.  I guess above all, though, is that despite the fact that Frame is a philosopher and an academic, and his writing reflects that, it is very evident to the reader that Christianity is not merely an academic thing to Dr. Frame.  He regularly emphasized the balance between knowledge and experience.  Furthermore, his emphasis on showing humility and charity in our theological debates was very encouraging.   I like how he regularly points to the reader to the absolute necessity of the Holy Spirit in any theological endeavours.

Another aspect to this book I liked was the section discussing language in theology.  We must remember that Scripture is, above all, a language.  God has revealed Himself in language.  There are all kinds of interesting intracacies involved with how people learn and use language that will affect our study of theology.  I found that part quite interesting.

There are a couple of other books in this series of Dr. Frame's, The Doctrine of God, and The Doctrine of the Christian Life, and I would like to see those some day, but in the meantime, I think I'd better start reading what I already have!