May 21, 2003 In Pursuit of a Friendlier World

Superficiality at it's Best

Man with big hair is doing YOU a favor.


May 21, 2003 Joyless blogging?

"I enjoy the blogs outside the church. They seem to be full of so much more... well... life and joy. Is the church the only interests many Christian bloggers have? Is that their entire life? What about extended circle of friends and interests? So many blogs that from people inside the church are devoid of these. Of the church blogs, that is what they are preoccupied with. Church, structure, and that fun stuff. The pursuit of Christ has been reduced to the study of the ideal church. Especially with many postmoderns."

read it at

May 21, 2003 -A Rare Rant fron Watersedge

See May 8 blog. "The problem isn't that we don't have enough people in our churches. The problem is that we don't have quality in our churches. By and large, discipleship has been dismissed and we are paying the price--churches full of spiritual stillbirths. We need to stop worrying about the people who aren't there (Dallas{Willard} said something like this, and I agree) and start pouring ourselves into the people who are."

Comment: That's not the only problem of course. But the answer to many of the other problems than the one that's the subject of the rant is the mobilization and nurturing of passionate followers of The Most High, Living God of the universe who IS. People who live and move and have their being in the one that everything can be said is to be of Him and through Him and to Him. Vessels of Mercy filled to overflowing with glory is what I have in mind (as Jesus did) here instead of whiny pathetic derivatives of a corner cultural institution.

Fountain of Grace
There is a fountain of grace - flowing out from mercy's source
To flood a barren wilderness and to cut an ever deepening course
Through the valley of the shadow- it will wash away the stain
On every heart that will believe- it cleanses and constrains

Flow through this dirty vessel- cleanse from all guilt and shame

Purify me wholly- make me holy, without blame
Take me under into wonder that I might drown in you
For you will raise me up again washed clean and renewed.

Lift my feet from your mountain unto a higher place
To the source of the fountain of your amazing grace
Let me walk on THAT water that lives forevermore
Let me drink of the cleansing power of your presence Lord!
Anthony Foster


Keep the fresh water flowing into the spiritual stream
From His wounded side is flowing the water that redeems
Living water from His hand- drink and never thirst again
Water washes clean as it flows-The deeper you wade the deeper it goes!
Living water takes you under
To become a son of thunder
Living water that tore death asunder!
Water running deep with wonder!
From the water as I rise washed and reconciled, redeemed,
I am clean before God's eyes, cleansed by God's eternal stream!
Living water, running deep, Flows like the tears that God must weep
For all his children who are unclean and cannot by the Lord be seen!
Living water takes you under
To become a son of thunder
Living water that tore death asunder!
Water running deep with wonder!
Born once a man dies twice though he might try to pay the price
A man dies once if he's twice born -from this world's grip he will be torn
Let God wean you from the things of time all flesh is grass but his word divine
Will never pass away like the life of man
No the life he gives will forever stand!
So undertaker, take me under
To become a son of thunder
Living water that tore death asunder!
Water running deep with wonder!
Dying to live and living to die,
Obeying and serving and learning to fly
Dying for Jesus for Jesus I live
Living water takes you under
To become a son of thunder
Living water that tore death asunder!
Water running deep with wonder!


I once had a coworker from eastern Europe proclaim that it was sick and evil to be satisfied. He was speaking out of a peculiar context but at its root i think that attitude infects the church today.

We talked about contentment Sunday evening in small group- If man's chief end-or purpose- is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, finding the paradoxical satisfaction of drinking at the fount of living water is one of the greatest ways we can participate in this. It is paradoxical because as we are filled to overflowing we apprehend that we are being transformed to bear more of that glory and we naturally hunger to pursue Him with ever more passion, as the deer pants after the waterbrook. And that is a foretaste of the Glory we will taste for eternity. I think that apprehendign the possibilities of this would yield a transformed church in this world that sees with eyes of faith and all the rhetoical questions and concentration on temporal form that bogs down worshipping in spirit and truth would pass into the mist as the unseen manifests itself incarnationally in the Bride of Christ.

May 21, 2003 Cookie News

Oreo Cookie Smuggling solution and New world record cookies!

A sage once said friends are the chocolate chips in the cookie of life.

Rich told me about the Paul Graham site- check out the Hackers and Painters essay.

May 21, 2003 The Dance Continues...

Went to a new small group last night and man were the people nice to us (and the food was good too) good conversation. the study was a little thin being the summary final wrap up of a 15 week study, though it was encouraging that people participated and our participation was encouraged.

The topic of wisdom and folly I shared that I was always remindd from childhood that I had no common sense- so for me that became a motivating factor to seek wisdom. James 1:5 was my life verse for a long long time, and it is still dear to me because it amazes me how I can revert to foolishness when I get my eyes off the One who is Wisdom.
May 20, 2003 Matrix Reloaded- All that was promised and so much less...

This is a difficult movie to review- because it has exceptional positive qualities as well as negative ones. In this case more is less.

The positive-technology of course- some of the CG effects get better and better- the virtual car chase was incredible, but they ruined it by going WAAYY too long.

The multiple Kung Fu Smiths end up looking like a fast forwarded cell mitosis video. The several atttempts at humor could have saved the day if only more had been used. The old chestnuts of questions that have plagued men through the ages wear thin eventually. Actually the dialog becomes inane because of it's shallowness.

Everything begins with choice.

We can never see past a choice we don’t understand.

Choice is an illusion created between those with power and those without.

You didn’t come here to make the choice. You’ve already made it. You’re here to try to understand why you made it.

The negative? The direction plods on. The plot is incoherent. The action sequences are so overblown it becomes laughable- including what must be the worst shots in gunslinging history. The only person who gets killed is a silver bullet one shot to the head of a vampire program. Trinity takes a hit but gets restored in a Superman -Lois Lane like interchange.

Several of the main features, like the chase scene and the doors are lifted outright from movies like Monsters Inc. and "To Live and Die in L.A." and "Terminator 2."

The novelty has worn off. When you've seen one black-clad guy dodging bullets, you've seen them all.

Agent Smith returns to off Neo even after Neo “Set him free”. He is now like a self replicationg demon supervirus running amok in the Matrix. Apparently there are lots of anomalies- rogue programs- running around the matrix.

The Oracle sends Neo to the Merovingian to free the Keymaster who holds the keys to the mainframe ( is this some veiled reference to the church’s support tof that dynasty’s will to power?) Who knows?

Several of these various characters do not seem real -- and they are stuck in a convoluted plot -- I just didn't care what happened to the new love interests because the characters were just sprung on us. Smith possesses Bain and gets outside the matrix so that will be interesting to see how that plays out.
Note the Dreaming quote by Morpheus- someone said it was from Daniel but nowhere I remember.

One of the biggest issues in the movie - free will and predestination. Are we free to choose and guide our own existence, or are we fundamentally guided by forces outside of ourselves? In reformed thought the will is bound- by laws of the universe and moral law.

Morpheus argues that life is governed by choice, and more specifically, the choice to believe (have faith). this is more existential than gnostic.The Merovingian sees the world in terms of mere cause and effect.

Also several events- Smith deciding not to be deleted, Neo disabling the machines with a handstroke while outside the Matrix, the existence of the Architect, the Oracle, and the Keymaster inside the Matrix- seem to point to a possible matrix inside a matrix twist which would be sooo predictable.

The great topic of this movie centered around Choice-Fate, Destiny-Purpose. But it just plays with the notions and offers up nothing- a great disappointment sine the Matrix Philosophy site had lots of good thought on it but it does not seem to have impacted the movie in any way.

Here’s my take on some of the other themes, symbols/metaphors.

I think the architect is actually Lucifer, angel of light, a creature himself. Remember the machines built the Matrix. Lucifer was the guardian of Shekina that presumed to be like the Most High. The scene where the One meets the architect- is like the temptation of Christ in the desert- save yourself and have your own new kingdom or save the old one against impossible odds. I don't trust anything the architect says. He's the prince of the power of the air and prince of this world. Note his comments on hope being due to an anomaly in the program-God is the God of Hope.

The messiah was supposed to come and save Zion from war and the Powers that were were disappointed (like Morpheus) he didn't follow their agenda- he was actually to fulfill this in two stages- as the suffering servant the first time and the messiah King on the second coming- so I think Neo may have another death and resurrection, this one outside the matrix. Or a realization of more power- which makes him an inferior messiah in my book. The True One was in control of His destiny at all times. Lots of Buddhism mixed in syncretizes it all. Whaddaya think?

I expect Neo will learn he can disseminate his power or to dwell inside them so the remnant in Zion are empowered at some point ...

Bane is the Judas figure- unwillingly co-opted by Smith.But he is the only one that retains his own appearance

Notably missing from Zion, the city of God- is God himself. Faith is expressed on the fact that the machines haven’t gotten them for a hundred years.
Also not nearly enough dialog in this one for me- it was all concentrated in a few places with shoot em up and crashes making up most of the movie.Pretty boring after a while.


May 19, 2003 The Dance

We are visiting small groups from CBC and it's been a good experience so far- we have one group down 11 to go. I was impressed by both the quality and the fervor of the discussion.

I find I resonate with younger participants and hope no one will attempt stereotying us because of all the grey hair. Most of all I pray we can be an encouragement to all we meet and that relations will be reciprocal in nature. Soli Deo Gloria!


From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @