Thursday, August 31, 2006

Books and Letters and Legislation...

I'm reading "Democracy in America". It's hard... even though it's abridged. I mean, I know all the words, but the sentences are somewhat complex so I have to read them over to fully grasp what he's saying. It's very, very good though.

I got a letter from the Mayor of Chicago yesterday. Can you guess why? Oh all right I'll tell you... since you're just dying to know. :-P Apparently he promotes St. Xavier University officially. 'Tis a Catholic college out in Chicago, and my dad says the mayor's Catholic, so it makes sense I guess.

I got another college letter today. This must be the... fifth? fourth? something like that, different college that I've never heard of, but happens to be a rather well-known selective college. Anyhow, this one was from Smith College. Never heard of it, but it's a "women's liberal arts college." I wonder how much emphasis is on "liberal"?

And what is the idea behind trying to subvert the First Amendment? I heard this on Hewitt's show tonight - one of my first times listening to the show, which happened to be on during my late supper. So I checked it out on his blog. Some college in California is refusing to sell to a religious broadcaster simply because they're religious! Whatever happened to "nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof"?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Tozer part 2

Some other interesting quotes, which I ran out of time for on Thursday:

"The heart of man is like a musical instrument and may be played upon by the Holy Spirit, by an evil spirit or by the spirit of man himself. Religious emotions are very much the same, no matter who the player may be.... The nun who kneels 'breathless with adoration' before an image of the Virgin is having a genuine religious experience. She feels love, awe and reverence, all enjoyable emotions, as certainly as if she were adoring God. The mystical experiences of Hindus and Sufis cannot be brushed aside as mere pretense. Niether dare we dismiss the high religious flights of spiritists and other occultists as imagination. These may have and sometimes do have genuine encounters with something or someone beyond themselves. In the same manner Christians are sometimes led into emotional experiences that are beyond their power to comprehend....
The big test is, what has this done to my relationship to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?"

I really like that one, from his book "Man: the Dwelling Place of God". And the chapter "Some Thoughts on Books and Reading" from the same book was also good. A short excerpt:

"The best book is not one that informs merely, but one that stirs the reader up to inform himself. The best writer is one that goes with us through the world of ideas like a friendly guide who walks beside us through the forest pointing out to us a hundred natural wonders we had not noticed before. So we learn from him to see for ourselves and soon we have no need for our guide. If he has done his work well we can go on alone and miss little as we go.
That writer does the most for us who brings to our attention thoughts that lay close to our minds waiting to be acknowledged as our own. Such a man acts as a midwife to assist at the birth of ideas that have been gestating long within our souls, but which without his help might not have been born at all....
Since what we read in a real sense enters the soul, it is vitally important that we read the best and nothing but the best.... Today we must practice sharp discipline in our reading habits. Every Christian should master the Bible, or at least spend hours and days and years trying. And always he should read his Bible, as George Muller said, 'with meditation'."

The nice thing about Tozer is that all his chapters, or the great majority of them, are short - about three or four pages of a small-print paperback. So you can read little pieces in between other things, like waiting to pick up my sister or something. And if your book's small enough it fits in your purse... :-)

Democracy in America, on the other hand.... that'll take me awhile to get through, even though I am reading the abridged version.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

My best of Tozer

I recently finished a book-compilation of A.W. Tozer's 52 best chapters.... and, really, Tozer is the best author I've read in awhile. He just opens my eyes to what God's saying in His Word, and he's brilliant besides, although by this time, he's somewhat dated (but sometimes prophetic). A few interesting quotes:

"No one with a due regard for the wisdom of God would argue that there is anything wrong with laughter, since humor is a legitimate component of our complex nature. Lacking a sense of humor we fall that much short of healthy humanity.
But.... some things lie outside the field of pure humor. No reverent Christian, for instance, finds death funny, nor birth nor love. No Spirit-filled man can bring himself to laugh at the Holy Scriptures, or the Church which Christ purchased with His own blood, or prayer or righteousness or human grief or pain. And surely no one who has been in the presence of God could ever laugh at a story involving the Deity."

"For centuries the Church stood solidly against every form of worldly entertainment, recognizing it for what it was - a device for wasting time, a refuge from the disturbing voice of conscience, a scheme to divert attention from moral accountability.... But of late she has become tired... and has given over the struggle. She appears to have decided that if she cannot conquer the great god Entertainment she may as well join forces with him and make what use she can of his powers. So today we have the astonishing spectacle of millions of dollars being poured into the unholy job of providing earthly entertainment for the so-called sons of heaven. Religious entertainment is in many places rapidly crowding out the serious things of God. Many churches these days have become little more than poor theatres where fifth-rate "producers" peddle their shoddy wares with the full approval of evangelical leaders who can even quote a holy text in defense of their delinquency. And hardly a man dares raise his voice against it.
....Is it not a strange thing and a wonder that, with the shadow of atomic destruction hanging over the world and with the coming of Christ drawing near, the professed followers of the Lord should be giving themselves up to religious amusements? That in an hour when amutre saints are so desperately needed vast numbers of believers should revert to spiritual childhood and clamor for religious toys?"

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. Such intriguing passages! Though not really my favorites: to post those would take up too much time typing. More later...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

First posting.....

Welcome to my parlor, said the spider to the fly.....

Or not. This doesn't look like a parlor, you don't seem to buzz like a fly, and I certainly don't have eight legs. But welcome anyway. Pull up that chair! How do you like my new house?

Have a cup o' tea. Why don't you help me build a sugar cube hut, while you're at it?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hmm.

I don't know. I really like this layout, but... I've had a blog for a year and a half already, and I'd just leave that one, with all its archives etc, and start a whole new one. I'd have to re-learn blogging, almost. And I'd probably lose a good many readers....