Like Abraham, We Must Look to the Heavenly City
I shared this message on Hebrews 11:8-12 as part of our 2015 Opening Chapel Service at Lindenwood University. As we begin a new academic year — or face any sort of new calling — we find an important question arises: what foundation are we building our efforts upon?
Thank you to everyone who has been praying for my dad over the last two days. My dad had a stroke yesterday morning and after being taken to the nearest hospital, it was determined he needed to be transferred to the regional stroke center for an angioplasty to remove a blockage in his carotid artery; there was also a significant amount of blood clotting in his brain that they removed at the same time. While the surgery was successful, the amount of damage caused by the blockage is still unclear.
The most recent CT scan showed some brain bleed, but the doctor and the nurses did not seem terribly worried about it at this point. He had a fever this morning, but that has cleared up. Right now, he remains largely paralyzed on his left side, but he was able to wiggle his foot, so that was quite encouraging. The biggest challenge that we can see immediately ahead is that he cannot swallow at the moment. The doctor seemed to be optimistic that this too would be temporary.
Your continued prayers are so very much appreciated. I am grateful for them and I know my mom is as well. Thank you.
CXXXVII. Snow fell on past snow,
Restored the day-toiled cover,
Hid foretastes of spring.
CXXXVIII. Light dances on snow,
Unaware the icy air,
Content to melt later.
CXXXIL. Not a snowman graced
The path I took — forgotten
Amongst the garland.
I remember growing up that every year I would wake up on the morning of December 26 and see that the neighbors next door had their Christmas tree lying next to the trashcan. I suppose by the time the festivities of Christmas Day had wrapped up they were so tired of the holiday season that they had to rush the tree outside either that night or early the next morning lest its smell pollute the house like old fish.
I can't say I ever really understood that.
I hope you have the happiest of 2015's! And, that any ideas you may have during the year will turn out just like those in this GE commercial. I'm excited about what this new year holds. Are you?
The Daily Mail has a problematic article on the disruption light emitting devices can cause to sleep patterns. In part, it states:
And they [those using electronic devices] took nearly ten minutes longer to fall asleep after reading an e-reader compared to reading a printed book. They also had a lower amount of rapid eye movement sleep — a stage thought to be crucial because it is when memories are consolidated.
This seems to reflect research I have read for years. Unfortunately, the article seems to misuse the term “e-reader,” applying it to the Kindle Fire tablet — tablets were the subject being researched — and not the actual Kindle e-readers that most people would expect they are referring to. This confusion of terms led the Drudge Report to link to the piece with the title “Reading a Kindle in Bed Ruins Your Sleep.” Reading closely, however, this piece would seem to say quite the contrary: instead of showing how a Kindle ruins sleep, it would seem to argue for why e-ink e-readers like the Kindle are justifiable along side much more robust tablets. Yes, you can do more with a tablet, but e-ink displays really are much more enjoyable (and, perhaps, healthy) to read off of.
Several of my friends have pointed out that today, 12/13/14, is the last day during this century in which we will have a date that is made up of sequential numbers. A date may be entirely arbitrary in the grand scheme of things, yet it makes me rather melancholy thinking that most of us will not see another day that has one of the interesting numerical patterns in it that have shown up throughout the year during the first thirteen years of the new millennium.
Enjoy 12/13/14 while it lasts!
An apt observation from Philip Yancy in a recent Christianity Today interview:
Sociologist and researcher Amy Sherman has said that Christians tend to have three models for interacting with society: fortification, accommodation, and domination. To put that in layman's terms: We hunker down amongst ourselves, water down our witness, or beat down our opponents. For many reasons, those aren't New Testament models.
So what should we be? We need to create pioneer settlements that show the world a different, grace-based way of living.
Gruber makes a good point — the handringing that law enforcement figures are doing with regards to iOS's new encryption suggests that Apple may have successfully interfered with the government's attempts to constantly collect everyone's data. I'm encouraged.
Happy Independence Day! If you are still looking for some fireworks to use for today, check out my 2010 post on St. Charles fireworks stands which mentions the details on my two long time favorite stands, one of which I've been shopping at since the early 2000's and one since it opened in 2007. Both have their own, interesting inventories of fireworks, a few of which have become family favorites that are must haves each year. Both offer massively better bang for your buck (pun intended) than the big chain stands. Here's a sample of new and old favorites:
- From Red Dragon: Lava Lamp, California Sunrise, Pacific Paradise, Funky Fountain, Havana Heat and 2 Cool.
- From Powder Monkey: Attack, Evil Stairs, Bees in a Thicket, Angry Alligators and Smoke and Mirrors.
Also consider some classics that have been around for decades and virtually all tents stock, such as Happy, Golden Silver Flowers/Flowering Peach, 96 Shot Colored Pearl, Cuckoo, and (naturally) long lasting mammoth smoke.
I hope everyone has a blast today!