Saturday, November 25, 2006
Oh, For Link's Sake
Look out Horizon League.
Grace or stupidity? Sometimes its a fine line. My feeling - gift baskets are no substitute for actual relational grace.
Definitely not an act of grace.
As long as I have my Palm with me I'll be fine.
The problem with legends. If I could just figure out how to ride a tornado...
OK, this is really funny, really funny and I wish I had thought of it.
Best geek question ever.
Is it really criminal to be stupid?
Related Tags: Butler basketball, grace, church, faith, joke, humor, wisecrack
I gotta say, I'm not sure the Wolverine haircut and tail do much to improve things in this newer version. Lame is sadly, just lame.
Now, if anyone at Marvel has any sense of humor whatsoever, this guy is coming back in hero form as Steve Irwin's ghost or something like that - come on, think about it - it's funny. Imagine a clash with the the Hordes of Hydra - pick up a snake "There's a beauty!"
Related Tags: comics, comic books, comic art, Spider-man, Kangaroo, Spidey villians
Friday, November 24, 2006
Shopping H#*% Links
Why is this news? Are the secular truly convinced that creation vs. evolution is the heart of religion? They can't be that shallow, or that dumb. The creation issue is a part of a religious outlook, but hardly constitutes its greatest attraction, or detraction for that matter.
Nothing leftie about this list of "100 most influential Americans" - nope, nothing at all. Rachel Carson?!?!?!? - GIVE ME A BREAK!
Will they discover aliens that play mariachi music?
Really, if you were insufficiently thankful yesterday, you will be today simply because you did not dine with this guy.
The women of science fiction. Does wondering why Uhuru, or Janice Rand is not on the list make me "old school"?
Ghost in the Shell? If any of me readers understand that reference, please leave a comment, I just have to know.
Anybody have a 5-mile wide Clearasil pad?
You have got to be kidding me.
Tell me again how legalizing marijuana is a good thing.
I do like how all this started. How do you solve a problem like Maria? Asassination? Sounds good to me.
Related Tags: toxicity, creation, evolution, joke, humor, sarcasm, wisecrack
ATTORNEY: When is your birthday?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.
ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, "Where am I, Cathy?"
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan.
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: Uh, he's twenty-one.
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Would you repeat the question?
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All my autopsies are performed on dead people.
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy on him!
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting in a jar on my desk.
ATTORNEY: But nevertheless could the patient have still been alive?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.
Related Tags: lawyers, court, humor, Friday Humor
Thursday, November 23, 2006
A Psalm Of Thanks
1 I will exalt you, O LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.
3 O LORD, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going down into the pit.
4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6 When I felt secure, I said, "I will never be shaken."
7 O LORD, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.
8 To you, O LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 "What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me; O LORD, be my help."
11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
Thanksful, oh so thankful, for SWEET VICTORY!
Thankful my cats are not this annoying:
Thankful this was not around when I was a baby.
Thankful for easy pickins's (Honey, I'm home - got Thanksgiving dinner at the train station)
Thankful I am not paying actually money to see this.
Thankful I have a better grasp of the obvious than the guy that wrote this headline.
Thankful for friends.
Too thankful, way too thankful.
Thankful I will enjoy the bountiful harvest a whole lot more than this guy.
Thankful that perhaps the funniest bit in the history of the sitcom is about Thanksgiving
Related Tags: thanks, Thanksgiving, joke, humor, wisecrack
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
On Introspection - Or Should I Say Confession?
Today on his radio show, Dennis Prager analyzed the general Republican reaction to Tuesday's election. He noted that in recent elections, upon defeat, Democrats have often claimed voting irregularities, intimidation, and challenged the results with lawsuits. This time around, the Republicans are generally responding to defeat with critical self-reflection; asking themselves, "What did we do wrong"? One point he made especially stuck with me: "I was raised to believe that the greatest battle in my life is with Dennis Prager and liberal kids are raised to believe that the biggest battle in their life is with society- racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, classism, and you name the rest."Roger goes on to point out how introspection and community help each of us to become better people. Roger is right on about this, and like most insights of great wisdom, it's as old as the hills.
While I think he's making a good political point, I'd like to discuss it applied it to a broader context. Our ability to grow into mature individuals depends upon our acceptance of personal responsibility and our willingness to make the necessary personal changes.
Prov 15:32 - He who neglects discipline despises himself, but he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.Think for a minute about what confession really is - it is self-examination with verbal report of the results - that's all, just taking a good look at yourself, figuring our where you need to improve, and letting God, maybe even another person know about it.
Prov 23:7 - For as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, "Eat and drink!" But his heart is not with you.
James 5:16 - Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
I Jn 1:9 - If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
I must confess to being completely mystified by the lack of willingness to discuss confession amongst most Christians these days. Confession is not some sort of self-flaggelation, it's not some sort of utter denial of self- it's just taking an honest look at yourself and recognizing that you fall short of the mark, and genuinely wanting to get better. That's all.
There's nothing new under the sun really. Turns out Christ and the apostles may have had most of modern life figured out centuries ago. Amazing, isn't it?
Related Tags: introspection, self-examination, confession
The World's Fastest Links
This can't be - such disasters must be man made. Otherwise, no political action no wealth transfer, then what'll the non-working classes do? This story would make no sense, but then it doesn't already - it involves such leaps of presumption that I'm not sure Superman could cross the gap.
Correct? I'm thinking not.
This is admitedly grossly distasteful, but criminal? Are we going to start putting snake owners in jail for feeding them rats? At least it follows the animals instincts - unlike this.
Maybe it's some festive holiday thing, like when they dye the Chicago River Green for St. Patty's. Pessimism, always pessimism.
My kind of kid. And I thought when I made gunpowder at six years of age, I was precosious.
See where anti-smoking efforts will get you? Secondhand political correctness is nasty stuff I tell you.
Because it's cool for nerds to get quoted in the press and an article was born. Naw, it's not slow-news week of Thanksgiving.
Finally, a reason to be lazy. Not that I ever needed one.
TOLD YOU! I really did.
Related Tags: Christian failure, global warming, joke, humor, sarcasm, wisecrack
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
The Church and Political Action
Paul Weyrich, the man who coined the phrase, "Moral Majority," writes in his book Taking Stock, "we have a trivial agenda. What I mean is that, if all the policies we have called for were put into effect tomorrow, the basic trends in our culture, the trends that are bringing about our decline as a nation and as a civilization, would not be changed. They would be slowed but not reversed." We would not bring about the spectrum shift we need.This is so true, the mission of the church is not a political one, and in some ways the areas of political action that we choose are trivial, but I do think this simplifies the equation a little.
Consider for example abortion. The problem is not just that it is legal, no the problem in society is that it is promoted. If it were somehow quietly legal our need for political action might not be so great, but the legalization and rulings that have come in its wake have served not simply to make it available, but to make it plentiful and to stifle the voices of opposition. Imagine if you will a PR campaign against abortion on the level of the government funded campaigns we see about smoking? - But no, that would somehow be an infringement of civil rights. You see we do not care only about the unborn of Christians, but about every unborn child, we do not confine our concerns purely to those we have manged to bring into our fold.
I also like some of the suggestions Allan Bevere makes, but there is a caveat:
What if every church in this country offered to care for a pregnant mom and her child, seeing to it that the necessary medical care were provided, and then after the birth of the child, assisting this new family in getting on its feet? I know there are Christian organizations doing this, but what if every church in the United States made such a commitment? The church would be the church in a way that the rest of the society could not ignore. What kind of claim would the church embody about the significance of children, if we put our time, energy, and money into such practices, instead of picket signs and lobbyists? Such an approach would be in keeping with the early church, whose families went about on the Roman hillsides at night picking up all the infants left to die by their families to exposure or wild animals because their families did not want them. Those early Christians took such doomed children into their homes to raise them as Christians.Now, I'd love to see every church do such things, but the law actually stands in the way. The people we chose to help would have to come to us, we could not go to them. And then there is the matter of funding. Forget the faith-based initiative, what about confiscatory tax policy that lowers the pool of money available in society in general to pursue such worthy goals.
We have come a long way from the government of old which sought to intrude as little as possible on societal activity. The government now interesects on virtually every aspect of life. Which means Christians must act with government.
But then the church must also work with engineers to build buildings and many others that do not have direct action in the called work of the church. The answer concerning the church and politics is not avoidance, but the same answer as when the church works with any other professions - we have to make good Christian politicians. This means the church does have to put some effort and energy into deciding stances on political issues. It is not the mission of the church, and the church should not be distracted from its mission, but we cannot avoid it.
Related Tags: church, politics, politicians, action, society
BHT linked to this story and I reflect on the fragility of civilization, but more how important the role faith, and faith in a specific vein, has in maintaining that fragile veneer. Barbarism lies just under our surface, whether we want to think so or not.
Sadly, there are Christian idiots in the world. Or maybe just Pharisees.
Low enrollment, high costs - science in trouble. I am beginning to wonder if stuff like this is not part of the issue.
Come on, you know it's funny.
Yes, a man can dream of that perfect wedding too.
Yet another thief going after that hard to fence item.
Yeah, but tornadoes are hard to come by around here.
Take all the fun out of your next trip to Vegas.
Something to be thankful for.
Crowned in NYC!
Related Tags: religion and society, justice, science, sarcasm, joke, humor, wisecrack
Kitty Kartoons - Thanksgiving Thoughts
Monday, November 20, 2006
The Brother I've Never Met???
I became a Christian through Young Life. The challenge for Young Life was to get kids to go to church once they had accepted Christ! We never wanted to, and for all their official party statements at fundraisers that they wanted to fill the churches with new believers, they always start their talks with lines like, ?You?ll never see a teenager come to Christ in a musty old church basement.? As a Young Life grad, I needed a tradition. I needed a past for my faith as much as a present and a future. I found it in the Presbyterian Church (First Pres., Evanston, Illinois, to be exact), and in the intellectual tradition I have just outlined.I actually became a Christian through my local congregation, but I was so active in Young Life that it is fair to say it is the most formative influence in my early faith. And I have resonated with few statements I have ever read in blogging like "As a Young Life grad, I needed a tradition. I needed a past for my faith as much as a present and a future." My departure from Young Life was very complex, but reviewing it in retrospect, that may the best summation of what underlied it as I have ever encountered. -- And then there is First Pres. in Evanston -- I was baptised in that church! My mother grew up there. Well, enough of the weird parallels (remind me to tell you sometime about the guy I met with my same name down to middle initial and parents of the same full names)...
Tim's post is about bona fides as an "evangelical Presbyterian" specifically a PC(USA) Presbyterian.
So when I think of the word "evangelical", I am thinking of a very different group of blokes than when Tim Russert uses the word. I'm thinking of Torrance, and McGrath, and John Stott, and J.I. Packer, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton and the Baillie brothers have to fit in there somewhere - and Bruce McCormack and how they aligned themselves with Calvin and Luther, and even Aquinas, and even Augustine, and even deeper in the history of theology until I find myself sharing thoughts of Jesus with the earliest thinkers of our faith. It is also telling (and some of you will think I am already lost to intellectualism) that I don't list theological precepts to explain my evangelicalism, nor do I recount how I voted yesterday, I name an intellectual tradition. It?s a tradition that is faithful to the call to love the Lord with your mind, as well as your heart and soul and strength. It is an intellectual tradition that helped me fill in the blanks.Like the statement about being out of Young Life, this is exactly what I thought of when I heard "evangelical" until it became a political word more associated with independent mega-churches than a school of thought about the very heart of the gospel and an approach to its spread.
I also think it is, if the word "evangelicalism" is to be saved, a meaning that we need to return to for the word. As "evangelicals" like James Dobson continue to rant and posture and demand, I am struck by how we would be served by coming to understand the word in the terms Tim describes. Indeed the traditon he describes is intellectual, but it is also activist - and not the naked power play activist we see these days, but activist in the best sense of the word, breeding good Christians and good Evangelicals to do the hard work of civil engagement.
I need to meet this guy someday, that is for sure. But all of us need to consider the tradition and understanding of evangelicalism that he describes - more than consider, we need to grab hold and clutch for dear life.
Related Tags: brother, Presbyterian, evengelical, understanding
Captain Ed looks at global warming - a press phenomena? Let's see, that would make the "scientists" that study it press
Laer makes on heck of a point.
This is awful, just awful. When choosing betwwen immediate death by fire and potential death decades later by cancer, she's gonna take the fire? And this
All this is not to say that furniture fires don't pose a danger. According to a recent report from the commission, 560 Americans died in house fires that started in upholstered furniture in 2003. But by contrast, cancer killed more than 500,000.Precisely how many of those cancer cases are related to the fire retardant in question? Oh, you can't say because a direct casual connection has never been established? Hmmm... MAYBE THAT'S WHY THE MATERIAL HAS NEVER NEEN REGULATED!
Speaking of scares where there should not be any. In case you don't know there are many, many kinds of radioactivity in varying doses. Most of it completely harmless unless you sleep on a bed of it every night for decades.
A realistic look at this Israeli shale oil thing. $17/barrel oil - bad, would involve strip mining - Much prefereably to leave Islamic terror facctories in charge of most of the world's supply. But then, most environmentalisst have never been accused of seeing the big picture.
Once again -- politics masquerades as science.
The biggest nuke bomb ever. Remarkable footage, remarkably uninformative narrative.
With the Dems back in charge, you can almost feel the '60's in the air. I think this may be the very definition of narcicism.
I't a holiday week, waste some time.
If you're a gauy. you'll like this, just cause.
A direct attack on blogging.
Time to start selling the ad space on our foreheads.
Related Tags: alternative fuels, environment, global warming, nanny state, joke, humor, wisecrack, sarcasm
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Spectacular Spider Links
European churches are embracing Asian, Caribbean and African preachers...It takes someone that legitimately loves the Lord to spread that love.
International corruption. The UN must form a panel, hearing, NGO's must be formed, THIS IS HUGE. Actually, I was once ticketed for parking in a handcapped spot when it was the only spot available in the parking lot...I darn near sued for restraint for free trade.
Speaking of crimes of the century. You know, sometimes the alledged value of a product is becasue the buyers are not eh brightest bulbs in the four-pack, not becasue of an inherent value. I don't think these would have moved too well with the fence.
Thank goodness it is not our government dollars at work.
What about "Forbidden Planet"? or "Lost In Space"?
Need to add "Do you love the cat more than me?"
For the automotive racing fan. Although any of the several histories of the Indidnapolis 500 are well worth the time.
Wanna earn a quick $9000.00? Give me a break.
Related Tags: spreading the gospel, joke, humor, wisecrack, sarcasm
Sermons and Lessons
ARCHIBALD THOMAS ROBERTSON - Professor of interpretation of the New Testament in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 1895 -1934; born near Chatham, Va., November 6, 1863; graduated from Wake Forest College, N. C., 1885; Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, 1888; assistant instructor of New Testament interpretation, 1888; professor Biblical introduction, 1892; author of "Life and Letters of John A. Broadus," "Syllabus for New Testament Greek Syntax," "Syllabus for New Testament Study," "Teaching of Jesus Concerning God the Father," "The Student's Chronological New Testament," "Keywords to the Teaching of Jesus," " Epochs in the Life of Jesus," "A Short Grammar in Greek New Testament," "Epochs in the Life of Paul."
But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit. - 2 Cor. 3:18.
The verse chosen for discussion is the culmination of the argument in 2 Cor. 3:4-18. Paul is engaged in setting forth the glories of the Christian ministry. He had been in the depths of despondency while at Troas over not seeing Titus (2 Cor. 2:12). In Macedonia, however, he had met Titus who greatly refreshed his spirit by the news from Corinth. As a result Paul's spirit rebounds to its normal buoyancy, if it does not go higher than normal (2 Cor. 2:14). Under the spell of this new enthusiasm Paul discourses at length concerning the dignity and glory of the Christian ministry. He casts no reflection upon the ministry of the Old Testament dispensation. That was glorious indeed. But the moon gets its light from the sun and fades before it. In the verse here under discussion he broadens the treatment to include all Christians ("we all") and touches the fundamental thing - Christian ex¬perience, the believer?s relation to Jesus.
The verb "transformed" is the heart of the verse and it is in the present tense. It is therefore a process that is here described. The metamorphosis, to use the exact Greek word, is not yet complete. The work has been begun, the end is still ahead. It is noticeable that Paul here, as often, appeals to the common experience of believers in Christ. His own theology was grounded securely in his own great experience of grace. The subject that naturally presents itself, therefore, is the transforming power of the vision of Christ. The text will respond to several questions:
Into what are we transformed? The answer is, "into the same image." Whose image? It is clearly the Lord's image whose glory the disciple beholds. By "the Lord" here, as is usual with Paul, is meant the Lord Jesus. The Christian then is represented as transformed into the likeness of the Lord Jesus. One cannot doubt that the apostle has in mind the creation of man's spirit in the likeness of God. That likeness has been greatly marred by sin, but not wholly destroyed. Jesus has come to restore the image of God in men.
The implication is that the image needs restoration. A new artist must work upon the old picture, now so badly injured. If it be replied that evolution has overthrown this doctrine of man's likeness to God and fall from that likeness, one may reply that this is not so certain. I am perfectly willing to assume evolution as a working hypothesis or as a fact. I am sure that God made the universe in His own way. It is too late now for our theories to alter the facts. If God brought the bodies of men up by way of monkeys there is nothing in that process to cause protest on the part of a believer in God. Besides it is entirely possible to have a lapse into sin after a rise from a lower state. The spirit of man is all that is claimed to have been made in the likeness of God. It is not shown to be impossible for that likeness to come at a high stage in the process of evolution. Indeed evolution is in perfect harmony with that con¬ception. Sin comes with moral consciousness. Sin is a fact. When did it enter the life of man? Certainly not before moral consciousness. There is plenty of room for the "fall."
It is a fact today that many men and women do undergo the transformation claimed by Paul as a reality. Christianity makes the appeal to life. It is life. The change took place in Paul's day and takes place now. Men are down. They can be lifted up. Christ lays hold of the spirit of man, which was made in the image of God, and restores the likeness to the Father. Christianity to-day stands the scientific test of experience. The great doctrine of grace is in perfect accord with modern knowledge. Life is always open to this appeal. Paul was certain that he and others were being transformed into the image of the Lord Jesus and so of God.
How is the transformation wrought? Here the answer is twofold: "Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord," and "from the Lord the Spirit." There are two factors in the great change, the divine and the human. There is some doubt as to the exact meaning in both of these phrases, but the central fact remains true in each instance. It is not clear whether we should translate "Spirit of the Lord," or "the Lord the Spirit." The order of words in the Greek favors the American Revision. In this sense the deity of the Holy Spirit is asserted and, in a sense, almost identity with Jesus. But the point of importance is that the great change is wrought by the Holy Spirit. This is the basal doctrine of regeneration. The new birth is the truth here firmly set forth. Evidently Paul held the same opinion as the Lord Jesus on this matter. He had no sympathy with the common fads of the time which denied the reality of sin and the need of such a radical course. The modern "Christian Science" has some of its roots in the Oriental cults of Paul's time. The term "mind-cure" has one element of truth at least. Some minds certainly need a "cure." But it is very difficult for a diseased mind to cure itself. The other point here is found in the word "beholding." This word is ambiguous and may mean "reflecting." But even so, it reflects what falls upon it. This is the human side of the matter. The heart of the believer must turn to the Lord. The sinner looks upon Christ. As he beholds the glory of the Lord the change is wrought. The Lord draws him away from himself. He gazes upon the majesty of Christ. Thus no mere human expedients will satisfy the conditions. Reformation will come, of course, but mere reformation will not cause this inward change. Ascetic practices will not necessarily lead to the life of piety. Self-torture may lead away from Christ. Hence no church, no ordinance, no priest, no creed must come between the soul and his Lord. It is the vision of Christ Himself in His glory that brings the wondrous transformation. This is the Pauline principle. All Christians are priests in this holy place. The soul of man finds God in Christ, is won back to God by the sight of Christ, is made like God by communion with Christ, who is God. This is the fellowship with the eternal God that saves the soul from sin.
Is the change instantaneous or gradual? It is both. It is an act and a process. Regeneration is an act, sanctification is a process. Both are in view here. "Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord" we are transformed. The new life springs up in the heart that looks upon Jesus as Lord and Savior. The new life grows as the soul continues to look upon Jesus. He is the bread of life, the true manna from heaven. There must be constant fellowship with Jesus if the growth is to be normal and wholesome. Sporadic looking means imperfect development. James in his Epistle (1:24) pictures the mere hearer who "beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was." "But he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blest in his doing." (James 1:25).
The law of environment applies to the spiritual world. Birds, butterflies, snakes, rabbits, often become like their surroundings. Nature protects from harm or equips for conflict as the case may be. The Christian is inevitably influenced by his surroundings. It is the law of life. It was the main concern of Jesus in His prayer for the disciples (John 17) that they might be in the world, but not of it. Two great laws are in conflict. The spiritual plant is brought as an exotic into an unspiritual environment. If it is left alone, disaster will come. Jesus promises to be with the disciples. He will create a new environment "in the world, but not of it." Never alone can the work of transformation be carried on in the Christian. Never alone can the world itself be transformed. The only hope that the Christian has is to be in constant fellowship with Jesus. He must not wander from "base" as the children under¬stand in their games. In a word, if one aims to be like God he must live with God. If he is not at all like God, he cannot help the world back to God. The Christian then is constantly drawn away from God by the very world that he is endeavoring to lead to God. The drowning man seeks to destroy his rescuer.
Will the change last? Will it be permanent? The answer of Paul is in the words with unveiled face.? The Christian has no need of a veil upon his face. Moses indeed (2 Cor. 3:7) put a veil over his face as he came down the mount that the people might not see the glory fade from his countenance. He had been upon the mount with God. He was afraid that the glory upon his face would not last. The Christian is free from that fear. "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" or freedom from apprehension on that score. The glory remains on the face of the Christian for he is in constant fellowship with God in Christ. He continually beholds the glory. He continually reflects the glory. Thus both ideas of the word come round. He needs no veil. The change is a permanent one. It will last.
What is the destiny of the Christian? It is "from glory to glory." The best is yet ahead. We go from grace to grace, from strength to strength, from glory to glory. That is our destiny. Here is an answer to the professional "perfectionist." He is the only one who has discovered his "perfection!" The culmination is still ahead. The goal is indeed the fullness of God. Will there not be progress in heaven? Sometimes indeed a saint may be granted here a foretaste of the glory that is to be. Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration is a case in point. Stephen also "saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God" (Acts 7:55). No wonder that the bystanders had already noticed that his face shone as the face of an angel (Acts 6:15). Sometimes an aged saint, a mother in Israel, has the glory of God on her face, she has looked so long upon the face of the Lord. Mont Blanc will catch the light of the sun after his light has paled from the hills, and cast it upon the country round - the glorious Alpine afterglow. I once saw this beautiful sight on Lake Geneva. It was like a glimpse of the other world.
The mirror is something to be grateful for. But for the mirror we might not see God at all. But the mirror is not like the person himself. "For now we see in a mirror darkly; but then face to face." (1 Cor. 13:12).
That will be glory for me "indeed to look upon His face, to see Jesus as He is." The Christian life thus begins with a look. The life is developed by looking at Jesus, living with Him. The consummation will come with a look. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). That is it, "We shall be like him." We are somewhat like Christ now. Then we shall have the full family likeness of the household of God. The final reason for John's faith is that "we shall see him even as he is." That is enough.
John Jasper, the famous negro preacher of Richmond, Virginia, used to tell a dream. He dreamed that he went to heaven, and sat down just inside the gate. After a while he was asked by an angel if he did not want to come up closer and see the glories of heaven. "Do you not want your golden crown, John Jasper? Do you not want your harp and your white robe?" "Oh, yes," he answered, "but not yet. Time enough for all that. But now just let me stay where I am ten thousand years and gaze and gaze and gaze at the face of Jesus."
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