September 12, 2003 Surfing for Resources

Found some interesting and useful educational tools and sites today. The British Library has several virtual versions of books in their collection online.

Discover the British Library's award-winning system Turning the Pages. Just use the links to start turning the pages of our great books. The Lindisfarne Gospel is a 10 mb .dcr so you will need Shockwave for Director.

September 12, 2003 From my Inbox


1. Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings...
they did it by killing all those who opposed them.
2. If you can stay calm, while all around you is chaos... then
you probably haven't completely understood the seriousness of
the situation.
3. Doing a job RIGHT the first time gets the job done. Doing
the job WRONG fourteen times gives you job security.
4. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet
5. Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity.
6. A person who smiles in the face of adversity... probably
has a scapegoat.
7. Plagiarism saves time.
8. If at first you don't succeed, try management.
9. Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether.
10. TEAMWORK... means never having to take all the blame
11. The beatings will continue until morale improves.
12. Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in
large groups.
13. We waste time, so you don't have to.
14. Hang in there, retirement is only thirty years away!
15. Go the extra mile. It makes your boss look like an
incompetent slacker.
16. A snooze button is a poor substitute for no alarm clock
at all.
17. When the going gets tough, the tough take a coffee break.
19. Succeed in spite of management.
20. Aim Low, Reach Your Goals, Avoid Disappointment.

Google Gobbled Blogger so I Giggle.

September 11, 2003... More Reflections on 9-11-01

Check out this message from John Piper posted last year.And his sermon Lessons from Lisa...


Write and write some more. Record a demo and listen to it- what's wrong with it? Fix it. Sing into a cassette while driving down the road. Write from insights and to insights. Imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery. Revisit your songs as they are like journals of discovery. Make notes on where you were when writing for future edification.

I've written 1300 songs and some of the early ones initiate new ones at this stage of my life. Some of the early ones also blow away some of the later ones- that's no reason to stop writing. Writing is a discipline and an art. Do it Soli Deo Gloria. Don't get precious with what you write. Wordsmithing takes practice. DO NOT use a formula but don't be arcane either. Don't write to get published, write to bless Jesus and others. If you are a song receiver, it's still OK to cultivate the song. You are it's steward. Just don't embellish it out of recognition. Don't give up in times of dryness.You may get to carry the heartdriven ones into heaven with you to cast at Jesus feet. So start now.


Is is dysfunctional for us to have a love relationship with God?

Was Jesus codependent?

What am I talking about?

September 11, 2003 Notes from my Journals

order (n.) - 12c., from O.Fr. ordre, from earlier ordene, from L. ordinem (nom. ordo) "row, rank, series, arrangement." Earliest Eng. sense was ecclesiastical (holy orders, etc.); meaning "command, directive" is first recorded 1548, from the notion of "to keep in order." Phrase in order to preserves etymological notion of "sequence." The verb is c.1200, from the noun. Orderly (adv.) is 15c.; as a noun meaning "military attendant who carries orders" it is first attested 1800.

The word reflects a very medieval notion: "a system of parts subject to certain uniform, established ranks or proportions," and was used of everything from architecture to angels.

So Order, we find is realated to Art, especally premodern art, for the moderns sought to free expression from the restraints of order. Some believe that the creative art of community is quelled when order is imposed. When limits are set and leadership asserted, people are excluded.

But God, the ultimate artist is a God of order. Coercion is a distortion of order. In the world and in relationships, order can be a vital part, else relationships tend to get messy indeed. This begs the question: How do we fit things together in a proper fashion. Is technique a critical part of community we must master before creating it? As art is a discipline, so is community creating. How do I foster freedom of the individual without curbing your freedom. This is Plato's question.

How do we grow together? Jesus told the disciples that we must become like little children (childlikeness, not childishness) in order to build community. One overlooked fact is the biblical role children take on - they are disciples- they learn disciplines and discipline. If they do not they remain children- Lots of 40 year old kiddies out there- have you noticed?

So Discipleship involves learning disciplines AND discipline. We focus on defined areas of study in the curriculum of community and see that it is a subset of the curriculum of Christlikeness. Self control in service of a larger context- that's ultimately what Jesus did in his kenosis and it becomes in turn a normal part of living with others. It's another element on what fGod did at creation- He imposed order on chaos. He is still doing that today as we submit ourselves to the Christ life.

Yet the order of God is not based on the chain link model. It is more of a dynamic, synergistic , a spiraling, intersecting model, and not a linear tune. We can see a parallel in how the systems approch to design has given way to a nonlinear, cyclical approach of evaluation and redesign. We see this in the scriptures when we look at the actions of god in salvation...

Regeneration : already (Ephesians 2:5) not yet (Mt 19:28)
Sanctification : Already (1 Cor 6:11, Rom 6:1-14) Not/yet (1 Thes 5:23) progression.
Glorification (2 Cor 4:18, Rom 8:28, I Pet 4:13)
Adoption: Already (Gal 4:5) not yet (Rom 8:23)
Justification :Already (Romans 1-8) Not Yet (2 Cor 5:10) final vindication of the saints

That's why attempts at defining a strict ordo salutis are problematic. That's why we also see such legitimate theological diversity when it comes to it.

September 11, 2003 Do You Remember

At 7:46 I was on my morning commute to the office and heard the call for a moment of silence on the radio . Sitting at the stoplight I noticed a few people wiping their eyes and I must say I was one of them. When people ask why we are in Iraq and claim it is under false pretenses and they deny that it is linked with 9-11 I am bewildered.

The power to rationalize is amazing.
September 10, 2003 Quote for Today

Not great theology but it works

Men need God because their precarious and contingent lives can find final significance only in His almighty and eternal purposes, and because their fragmentary selves must find their ultimate center only in His transcendent love. -- Langdon Gilkey
Dallas Willard on a Curriculum for Christlikeness from The Divine Conspiracy

"The primary objectives of any successful course of training for "life on the rock," the life that hears and does, are twofold.

The first objective is to bring apprentices to the point where they dearly love and constantly delight in that "heavenly Faither" made real to earth in Jesus and are quite certain that there is no "catch," no limit, to the goodness of his intentions or to his power to carry them out...

...When the mind is filled with this great and beautiful God, the "natural" response, once all "inward" hindrances are removed, will be to do "everything I have commanded you to do."

The second primary objective of a curriculum for Christlikeness is to remove our automatic responses against the kingdom of God, to free the apprentices of domination, of "enslavement" (John 8:34; Rom. 6:6), to their old habitual patterns of thought, feeling, and action.

These are the "automatic" patterns of response that were ground into the embodied social self during its long life outside The Kingdom Among Us. They make up "the sin that is in my members" which, as Paul so brilliantly understood, brings it about that "wishing to do the good is mine, but the doing of it is not" (Rom. 7:18).

It is not enough, if we would enable Jesus' students to do what he said, just to announce and teach the truth about God, about Jesus, and about God's purposes with humankind. To think so is the fallacy underlying most of the training that goes on in our churches and theological schools. Even relentlessly pursued, it is not enough."

Response and Discussion Points

This makes me think- do I agree with Willard? Do we need a curriculum of Christlikeness? Can compassion be learned via a curriculum? Announcing and teaching the truth about god is not the same as incarnating that truth in our members. I thought that was what living moving and finding our being in Christ in a fallen world was all about- the challenges and tests and trusts we are destined to face in this world god put us in are the pedagogues of our faith-life. The Holy Spirit prompts us to navigate circumstances, and it is not knowledge that ulimately transforms us, it is coming face to face with crisis moments in the mundane universe. This seems to boild down to Truth and Consequences.

September 9, 2003 Purpose Prevails

The Godward life does not happen on its own. The world is no friend to it.It is a life of intentionality, of reckoning the truth to be true. Our great joy will be God's great glory and vice versa. They are one and the same, not at all at odds with one another.

The great mystery is that be seeking self we can return to the primordial chaos, when the universe was without form and void. Such is the dire result of living for any other purpose than God's glory!

Am I an Aggressor?
Via Relevant: A new study by Barna Research Group shows that adults under 35 years of age are more likely than are older adults to attend small churches. "Small churches play an important and valuable role in the religious landscape of America," George Barna said. "They reach millions of young adults who have no interest in a larger church setting." The average American Protestant church draws less than 90 adults on a typical weekend ...
September 8, 2003 -Now everybody will be trying this...

DALLAS ‹ Federal agents say they are investigating how a man succeeded in stowing away in a cargo plane (search) on a flight from New York to Dallas by shipping himself in a wooden crate.

Take the NERDTEST at Archie McPhee...My score is:  -72   My rating is: -15.42% While you're there check out the Librarian Action figure with amazing push button shushing action! Or maybe a Jesus Christ Action Figure for your pastor.

I think we need one of these in St. Louis- it might even be an improvement over what the highway engineers come up with around here.

While I'm on that subject here's something from my inbox. I don't know who wrote it, but it's a winner... and every word is true...

The morning rush hour is from 6:00 to 10:00 am.  The evening rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:00 PM. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning. Gravois Road can only be pronounced by a native.  Ditto for Spoede and Chouteau.

Construction on Highways 40, 64, 70, 255, 270, 44, 55 and I-170 is a way of life, and a permanent form of entertainment. The Page Avenue extension and Airport expansion projects took over 20 years to get approved and St. Louisan's lost track of how many political figures claimed them as their own ideas.

A St. Louisan from South County has never been to North County and visa versa. West County has everything delivered. St Louisan's were aghast when the federal government required them to redo the highway signs to indicate that the federal highway went to cities in other states instead of local municipalities. If someone actually has their turn signal on, it is probably a factory defect, or has been on for the last 17 miles.

There are 2 exits on Highway 40 for Clayton Road and 2 for Big Bend. All old ladies with blue hair in Cadillacs (driving on Olive west of 270) have the right of way. Laclede Station Road mysteriously changes names as you cross intersections. As do McCausland, Lindbergh, Watson, Reavis Barracks, Fee Fee, Mc Knight, Airport Road, Midland, Olive and Clarkson. Drivers are starting to cut their OWN plates rather than go through the Missouri  Vehicle Dept. to get new tags.  You can purchase tags from dealers behind QuiK Shops in the city. They are cheaper, the clerks are nicer, and the service is faster. - ask for Rocky Allowell.

You can go all four directions on Highway 270: North and South in West County, East and West in South County, and East and West in North County.  Confused?  So are the St. Louis drivers. There are 54 school districts on the Missouri side alone - each of which has their own school bus system and scheduled times to block traffic.

There are 75 "official neighborhoods" in the City of St. Louis. St. Louisan's commonly give directions (especially for restaurants) to strangers based on these neighborhoods which aren't marked on any maps that are handed out by the tourist board, Rand McNally, AAA or Mapquest. There are 91 official municipalities in St Louis County.  Each municipality has its own rules, regulations, and often their own police departments.  More importantly, most have their own snow removal contracts so it's not uncommon to drive down a road in winter and have one block plowed, the next salted, the next piled with snow and the last partially cleared by residents wanting to get out of their driveways.

No native St. Louisan knows that Lindbergh runs from South County to North County.  And, if you tell them, they will not believe you. Lindbergh belongs to every neighborhood except Kirkwood, who had the nerve to creatively change the name to "Kirkwood Road". Any car parked longer than 4 hours in the city, is considered a parts store. Highway 270 is our daily version of the NASCAR circuit. YIELD signs are for decoration only. No native St. Louisan will ever grasp the concept.  Lambert Field and St Louis International Airport really are the same place.  The East Terminal however is a different place. Never ever try to cross a bridge in St Louis during rush hour unless you have a port-a-potty in the car. The outer belt is Highway 270 which turns into Highway 255 in South County. The inner belt is Highway 170 and if it's a 3XX number it's an outer outer belt. Highway 40 is the same as Interstate 64 through the middle of St. Louis.

If you need directions to O'Fallon, make sure to specify Illinois or Missouri. The City of Ballwin actually proposed that drivers use connecting strip mall parking lots to get from place to place rather than drive on Manchester Road to cut the traffic on Manchester. If it snows or rains? Stay home.  

From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @