Monday, 15 April 2013

On Being Consistent

So today I decided to write about being consistent. No, I am not a consistent blogger, but I do aim for consistency in other areas, for "He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion on the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6)

Firmness of constitution and character; the condition of adhering together; resistance to movement or separation from something, something that rarely, if ever, changes. Pertaining to friendships, I believe this is important. Yes, it is true that we all need room to grow and learn new lessons, but to have a consistent friend is a relief: One can depend on them. Always.

One massive signal of consistency is being dependable in various areas.  One of my passions is to be for people where they need me, where God needs me. Lately, one way I have found is most effective is to stand up for my friends, and I follow through with that when I feel I should, even if they do not do the same. Not only is that doing the right thing, but our Savior is being illustrated.

Christ completed and completes the greatest act of dependable consistency; not only did He stand up for us, but He did so up against God's wrath.  It's true you or I may face the ridicule of different persons, but what Christ did on the cross surpasses all of that.

It's not about me, it's not about us. The least we can do is stand up for our friends, even if those friends don't stand up for us, because in the end, when we've done all we can, we will have given others a glimpse of Christ-like consistency.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Of Seven Blessings

It's April and snowing, but we live in Minnesota, and this is as close as I could bring spring things to the cold without hurting them. au contraire.

The past two weeks have been hectic in so many ways, but God is faithful, and because of this, I realize every day how much more blessed I am in the midst of a whirlwind.

Helping – Helping is always good, but this week I was very excited to help, as the request came from multiple fellow students. Each needed a sample of a certain paper format, and having completed the course, I had the finished paper stored on my computer. It is a bit ridiculous, but I do so love it when people read what I write (and actually like it…). 

Playing – One can never play too much, that is, on the piano.  Last week my siblings and I played for a fairly large group of people at a quaint complex.  Keyboards are hard to play on after competing on pianos sporting the name Steinway or Yamaha, but we made do, and the few mistakes that were made were overlooked, as it was worth it all just to see the joy we were able to bring to the people there.

Light – I have been so very excited recently because of the light that we are being exposed to.  When seven o’clock enters stage left, the world is no longer one of glum. The sun is finally waking from its hibernation, and Spring is starting to emerge (despite the snow).  Light makes the world not only bright but also warm. The boys played barefoot outside, and our wonderful swing is no longer only befriended by snow sitting upon it.

Struggle – “…in the midst of this inner turmoil…” (A quote from <an unremembered episode of> Adventures in Odyssey, anyone?)  It is good for us; healthy.  If we would not have to struggle for anything, we would not place much worth in it.

Philosophy Class – I noticed how I have been getting vague in these posts, and it is never fun to read about vague things, so here is something really real and specific that has been an immense blessing over the semester.  I love this class; even though it starts at 8:00 am. The best part? Our Dr. is an amazing Christian who is passionate about (philosophy, yes) being a “careful belief acquirer.” He’s also so personable and passionate about document fragments from hundreds of years ago, fragments such as pieces of copies of the New Testament and Plato’s Apology. Attacking the brain-in-a-vat and infinite regress problems are only part of the excitement, for the most important thing is that we are reinforced to examine our thoughts and beliefs, keeping God at the forefront, despite any philosophical “problem” that may arise.

Surprising Others – Yes, it may be a blessing to receive, but giving and surprising others is the best.  Much apologies for not using wonderful adjectives there.  If it is so very exciting for me/us to give to or surprise others, take a moment to think about God and how blessed he is when we receive His gifts; His magnanimity ultimatum. Period.

Anticipation – It is half the fun of something.  There are so many exciting events happening this time of year, and one of the best is getting ready for working as well as gardening.  Soon we will have bees. The months will bring raspberries and potatoes (contrasting produces, I know...), and other such wonderful stock. There is a special element to working for these things. And the best part? Waiting and working with family, as we can all be anticipatory together.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

And We're Back! //Snow and Morning Light

To square one, that is... Oh winter, will you let go? You know you will be coming back later this year...
I started this post in January and never ended up...posting it.  It's just some fun light play o a bitter cold morning. (Some of the last ones were taken in the evening, but that's a mite obvious.) Enjoy!

I awoke one morning to a literal stillness. Glad to be up early, I went outside before leaving for my day.

And here is what I found.

A winter anemone, anyone? 

Subtle sparkle...

Thanks for looking, and stay warm during this relapse! (I hope the earth has not got pneumonia...)

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Change of Scenery

(Well, at least for now.) I hope the new background isn't too horrendous. I rather like it, and besides, we need something other than snow and such.

 I am in the midst of an analysis for one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels, and once it's back I will be sure to put it up. (Sounds like I am canning beets or something...) Anyway, look forward to that.

Have a beautiful Sunday!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Listening Lately: Switchfoot

Music has a powerful impact on listeners, and we have yet to find why it is such a powerful influence.
Lately, the status-quo of "contemporary Christian" music just doesn't do it. Sometimes, I need more than a seven song long string of eloquence of God's love and how it goes on and on.

I am a bit judgmental, but please do not get me wrong. God's love is Holy: We wouldn't be here without it, and if anybody's thankful for this holy love, it is me. But sometimes, I just cannot identify the way it's portrayed in songs. So I listen. We want love to get us out of a hole, and his loving light takes us out, up, over, and ultimately higher. Our part is to look (repent) and let him use us, we must be still and know that he is God.

Blinding Light

Hey boy, don't believe them
Their old lies never could come true
Hey boy, don't believe them
Everything that they told you to
Hey boy, don't believe them
We're the nation that eats our youth
Hey boy, don't believe them
None of us are bulletproof

Deep down there's a boy inside
Asleep, waiting for the sun to rise
Wake up, wake up

Still looking for the blinding light
Still looking for the reason why
Still looking for the sun to shine
Take me higher and higher
All my life I've been living in the darkest night
Still looking for the blinding light
To take me higher and higher

Hey girl, be yourself now
Don't believe what they told you to
Hey girl, be yourself now
Your skin's more than a pin-up suit
Hey girl, don't conform now
No one else's got soul like you
Hey girl, you're a strong one
But none of us are bulletproof

Deep down there's a hope inside
You got wings but you're scared to fly
Wake up, wake up

Still looking for the blinding light
Still looking for the reason why
Still looking for the sun to shine
Take me higher and higher
All my life I've been living in the darkest night
Still looking for the sun to shine
Take me higher and higher

Deep down there's a hope inside
Brighter than the fears in my mind
I keep looking for the blinding light
It's a hope that keeps me alive
Wake up, wake up

Keep looking for the blinding light
Keep looking for the reason why
Keep looking for the sun to shine
Take me higher and higher
All my life I've been living in the darkest night
Still looking for the sun to rise
To take me higher and higher

Blinding light, the blinding light
Yeah I've been waiting all my life
To take me higher and higher
Blinding light, you're the vision that gives me sight
All the blinding light, take me higher and higher

Don't believe them.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Be Literate: Kant, Socrates, and Exhortations to...Not be Stupid

Here's the literacy post! You'd benefit from reading the pieces, note on Socrates' Apology and Emmanuel Kant's What is Enlightenment. Oh, what fun it is to ride and think of the thoughts of the thinkers.

Kant and Socrates: Daring to Know

          Two philosophers, namely Kant and Socrates, had unified but variant ideas.  Kant was disgusted when people would not think for themselves and make their own decisions.  He stated that men (and the fairer sex) must discontinue being docile creatures harnessed to a cart and rather work themselves out of immaturity that had become their nature.  Kant believed that immaturity meant one not thinking for his or herself but expecting another to do the work for them, as in making decisions and solving problems.  In What is Enlightenment, Kant exhorts others to stop being immature and instead become mature.  He shows a sure method to go about becoming mature, inserting the words sapere aude, meaning “Dare to Know” or, “Think for Yourself.”  Instead of being led by the thoughts and opinions of others, Kant dares others to stop being immature and to know things for themselves.

          Socrates’ main ideas were apologetic, that is, defending against accusations, but he concernedly spoke more of the condition of others than of himself.  Though he was accused of corrupting the youth of Athens (in The Apology), he made it clear that he had only asked others to stop seeking fame, fortune, and wealth.  In that day and age, wealth and fame were important to citizens, especially after the Peloponnesian War, and when Socrates pleaded (or seemingly annoyed) people to stop searching for those temporal things and to seek the best state of the soul, he was thought a blithering idiot. However, Socrates did display ways people can go about searching for the best state of the soul, namely by conceptual analysis.  By analyzing concepts, Socrates was encouraging the people to think and judge for themselves.
          These two philosophers emphasized a central theme; since man possesses a mind, he should use it.  The ideas of Kant and Socrates, though slightly variant, were unified in that they knew there was something more to be had out of life than simply living.  While Kant exhorted people to discontinue their lazy immaturity and Socrates encouraged others to seek for the best state of the soul instead of wealth and fame, both men wanted their readers and listeners to think for themselves, analyze concepts, and most importantly, dare to know.

 Oh for the day I can talk about such subjects with people. Literally.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Kant and Socrates: Link

I wrote some lines, once on a time...
Just kidding, I will refrain from making poetry references most won't "get." Instead, here are two links to pieces I encourage you to read....if you have time to spare. They are not necessary to read before reading my post later, but they would be helpful in understanding the philosophy.  Think hard, readers!

Kant: What is Enlightenment?

Plato: Apology

I'll get the lines written on these pieces up soon. Have a good Monday!