...thoughts expressed here are not necessarily final.

August 10, 2004 Big Traffic Boondoggles

It took me two hours to make the twenty minute commute this morning due to an ethanol tanker spill in I-270. I turned north to go around the stoppage and encountered a worse mess in Alton since the police there did nothing to stop the bottleneck at the bridge. The traffic lights were going through their normal cycles, with an eight mile backup on one side and no traffic on the three other sides of the intersection. All it would have taken was a traffic cop to turn off the lights and let the line proceed smoothly, but apparently no one thought of it or perhaps they just didn't care.

I had time to think about how many times in the past few weeks messes occurred because no one was willing to go beyond their duty. I can cite example after example where work was held up, services were not rendered and all of it was done legally, within the confines of what was simply required. I don't suffer fools gladly.

One way to kill an organization is for everyone to do JUST what they are told.

Everyone is getting back in pocket after vacations. I didn't get one again this year- maybe in September. Glad the boss is back, doing double and sometimes triple duty during these past weeks has been a real drain.

We are going to meet later today on getting back into Seminary- hopefully this time will be better than in the past. I was knocked down and out by continued problems with kidney stones and no insurance the first time, and the second time we went to Dallas and out support systems failed. Then on our third try it became apparent that the divide between God's call and what they had to provide was too broad a chasm to negotiate. Part of this was a case of theological distinctives, partly a thread of hypercalvinism and all too obvious gap between grace and arrogance. It seems we can do no other but to try again, however.

The Back Door?

I was once told by my pastor that we would make it but we would always be entering through the back door. I want to go through the front door this time. I am pondering just what he meant. Wish I had asked.

August 11, 2004 Unlived Truth

Yep- I can USUALLY see ways for others to adjust their behaviors. I can SOMETIMES see ways for me to change mine. My downfalls usually come in the arena of unlived truth- all that stuff I think I know but that tends to remain in my cerebral cortex and never sinks down into my spirit. The Spirit is the breath of life and if I am not LIVING by Spirit and Truth together I fall short on life in much the same way that untrue worshippers fall short on worship.

Unlived truth is a grace killer, as Earnie says. She has taught me more about this than any other human being. Living the truth is understanding the difference between "knowledge puffeth up" and "the knowledge of God disintegrates pride and works humility."
There is a vital link here- we know about worshipping in Spirit and Truth. But worship and life itself are not dichotomous in nature. When we live what we know then we can live Who we know which is most of the point of the walk we walk. Being conformed to the likeness of Christ has more to do with how we ooze grace and glory from our pores than storing up more of his image. Like the cracked pots of 2 Corinthians, the vessels are never ultimately meant to CONTAIN. We are meant to DISPERSE.

What I am railing against ultimately is my inability to FIX people. To make them do the right thing. This presumptuousness and manipulative trait in me has caused me many times to look in the mirror and say, "I have met the enemy and it is me." It is soooo easy for me to chalk these tendencies up to the gift of leadership (which in reality I don't have) or some other spiritualized faultiness in my character.

That reminds me, have you heard the most recent Promise Keepers ads?

They sort of reflect the "Wild at Heart" movement that John Eldredge promotes. See here and here too. Have you read any of his stuff? My first take is that this is promoting the "I am man hear me roar" philosophy what I have spent half of my life trying to overcome by grace. I won't press further into this as I can only relate to the media blurbs I am hearing and know not much of the substance of the events these days. I love the notion of surety of purpose but it can be so easily miscast and misused by fallen men.

?????My question for the week:

Do you think Jeremiah 17:9 applies to one indwelt by the Spirit of Truth?

John Eldredge contends in the latest Christianity Today that it does not.

As my friend Larry eloquently contends, "Absolutely. Like the law, directed at unbelievers, applicable to believers. Yet unbelievers cannot know it until grace and belief dawns, only believers can truly know it in spades. "

I do believe that the "who can know it?" part Jeremiah 17:9 finds an answer in this: You can know your own motivations inexact proportion to the degree that you are being Spirit filled and find your heart beating after God's own heart. The Spirit convicts and informs our consciences, but only if we are being living sacrifices and seeing our minds renewed.

A know a woman who is reading Eldredge to try to come to grips with her macho husband. Too much of his behavior is due to immaturity and jealousy, not being a man. Being God's man has everything to do with overcoming and obedience, not testosterone.

Common sense and Common grace

I'm not sure I believe in common sense. I do believe in common grace. When it comes to the notion of "Common Sense" I would rather see an explosion of wisdom. For me, that means seeing that the immediate, short term benefits of any activity do not comprise the sum total of the potential of any activity.

Speaking of Common sense, beware! Thieves in Arkansas, Missouri Taking 'Donations' in Phony Drop Box Over Bank Night Depositories . I guess this could be chalked up to a trusting nature as well.

Speaking of "deceitfully wicked" check this one out. Four members of a family have been arrested and charged with murder for allegedly killing and eating a relative during a wedding reception -- and serving his flesh to unwitting party guests, police have said.

Check out Low Morale.. where "any correlation between events shown and real-life have been personally researched."

And you shall be as one flesh

A German prisoner in Madrid and his girlfriend glued their hands together during a jail visit in an attempt to fight the man's possible extradition to Germany, judicial sources said on Thursday.

From the Campaign trail

Saw these on Bloggedyblog and went back and read them in the Post Dispatch.

Gleaned from the Political Notebook section of St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 08/06/2004, here's a summary of the latest spoken gaffes from the presidential candidates:

* From George W. Bush, during a signing ceremony photo op: "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

* From John Kerry, while campaigning in Michigan: "[A]pparently forgetting he was no longer in Ohio, Kerry voiced support for 'Buckeye football.' The Ohio State Buckeyes are the University of Michigan's top rival.

* "In its Thursday edition of 'He said it,' the Republican National Committee noted that Kerry, in a Thursday speech in Washington, said he could fight a 'more sensitive war on terror.'"

The Gospel according to Spidey

Time Magazine's online article..."Film, especially for those under 35, is the medium through which we get our primary stories, our myths, our read on reality," says Robert K. Johnston, professor of theology and culture at the Fuller Theological Seminary"

And here is Time's Holy-Wood Or Bust- Is there a Christian subtext in all films? Maybe not, but God crops up in some unusual places. Thisarticle is about the Christian community's propensity to read into pop culture meanings that were not intended by the author. We don't like it when people monkey with OUR metanarratives.

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From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @http://anthonyfoster.com/blog/