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Planes, Rocketships, And Now (via XKCD)

Thoughts like this one give me pause.
I don’t know what they prove, but they give me pause.
Mostly I’m disappointed that we don’t have flying cars yet.
I also wonder if one day gaps like this will measure humanity’s first flight with our first steps on the moon, and the fact that noone’s been back to the moon in over that period of time. Surely one day we’ll return to space.
From XKCD


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Clever Girls

My wife and I saw Ladies In Black today.
It’s the cinematic adaption of novel The Women In Black.
The movie sort of acknowledges the fact that if you leave a life story at particular point then you achieve a happy ending, but life always goes on beyond that point and happiness is never guaranteed.
Actor Noni Hazelhurst, with sublime craft, restraint and warmth delivers the words which are the thematic climax of the tale.
As someone blessed to marry a clever girl, and then for us to be further blessed with three clever girls, it warmed my heart.
This is the version from the novel, which differs slightly, but conveys the substance of the idea.

You’re a clever girl, I could see that. It’s a pleasure to work with you and I’ll be sorry when you leave us. You’ll be going to the university, won’t you, of course you will. A clever girl is the most wonderful thing in all Creation you know: you must never forget that. People expect men to be clever. They expect girls to be stupid or at least silly, which very few girls really are, but most girls oblige them by acting like it. So you just go away and be as clever as ever you can; put their noses out of joint for them. It’s the best thing you could possibly do, you and all the clever girls in this city and the world.


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Faithful Friendship And A Life Marked By Jesus And Redemption – A Songwriter’s Spirit, A Pastor’s Heart

This is from a review of Everything As It Should Be, a new album by singer/songwriter Andy Gullahorn.
Fellow song-writer Andrew Osenga muses about Gullahorn’s capacity to keep producing album after album of personal and poignant vignettes that resonate with real life.
To keep doing so requires life lived well with others.
It resonates closely with what a pastor does.
From Osenga about Gullahorn’s songs:

Well, you have to live them. That’s how. You have to actually love people. And be the kind of person they turn to when life falls apart. You have to know how to listen more than you speak, and then not try to fix them when you do.
You have to know people for years. You have to forgive them when they let you down. You have to let them forgive you, too (which is, of course, the hardest thing. Until you’ve done it).
You have to walk closely for a long, long time with your spouse, your kids, your friends. With people in your congregation and your neighborhood and your bowling alley and some other church’s basement with old carpet and hard plastic chairs.
You have to ask hard questions without judgment. And ask them again when you’ve been shut down the first dozen times. You have to hold your friends when they’re crying and not look away when it’s uncomfortable.
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But beneath all of that wonderfulness there is faithful friendship and a life marked by Jesus and redemption.

Read the review of Everything As It Should Be at the Rabbit Room, where you’ll find more information about the album.


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One Out Of Two Isn’t Bad

I reckon I’ve got one of these down, now if I could only manage the other.


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We Believe (Apostles’ Creed) – Sunday Songs

We Believe is a song that follows the contours of the Apostles’ Creed in a singable setting and tune.
It featured on Stuart Townend’s recently released album, Courage and was also on Keith and Kristin Getty’s 2016 album Facing A Task Unfinished.

The lyrics:
1
We believe in God the Father
Almighty, Lord of life
Creator of the Heavens
The earth, the sea, the sky
And we believe in Jesus
The only son of God
Born of the virgin Mary
Who lived as one of us
Chorus:
We believe in one true God
Father, Spirit, Son
One Church, one faith, one Lord of all
His kingdom come
2
We believe that Jesus suffered
Was beaten, crucified
He died and he was buried
Entombed in darkest night
The third day rose victorious
Ascended into Heav’n
Will one day come to judge us
The living and the dead
Chorus
3
We believe in God the Spirit
One church, empowered by Him
Communion of God’s people
Forgiveness of our sin;
Our bodies resurrected
To everlasting life
To worship, love and wonder
Before the throne of Christ
Chorus

Words and Music: Stuart Townend, Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty.
Copyright © 2016 Getty Music Publishing (BMI) and Townend Songs (PRS) (admin by Song Solutions http://www.songsolutions.org); Thankyou Music (admin by Integrity Music)


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 46

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 46

120.
Q. Why has Christ commanded us to address God: “Our Father”?
A. That at the very beginning of our prayer he may awaken in us the childlike reverence and trust toward God which should be the motivation of our prayer, which is that God has become our Father through Christ and will much less deny us what we ask him in faith than our human fathers will refuse us earthly things.

121.
Q. Why is there added: “in heaven”?
A. That we may have no earthly conception of the heavenly majesty of God, but that we may expect from his almighty power all things that are needed for body and soul.


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We Attend Church Not Primarily As Consumers To Experience A Product, But As Worshippers To Exalt God And Edify His People (via Matt Merker)

In an age and a culture that expects polish and encourages perfectionism, the tendency to import these values into worship is at best seen as a ‘bait and switch’ tactic of appealing to the non-Christian’s expectations in order to introduce them to Jesus.
There is a legitimate aim in that desire.
But unrelenting exposure to that culture must shape and form the values and expectations of Christians eventually.
If the medium is the message, what does ‘professional’ standard worship in a darkened room shape.
From Matt Merker:

We live in an age of production. We’ve learned to value and expect polished professionalism from the various interactions that make up our daily lives, from the television shows we watch to our “customer experience” at the local Starbucks.
I call these expectations “consumer intuitions.” They’re not necessarily bad or wrong. But we must beware lest we let these intuitions dictate how we approach church gatherings. We attend church not primarily as consumers to experience a product, but as worshipers to exalt God and edify his people.
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Of course, I’m not saying that we should aim for mediocrity in our church services, or that pastors should encourage members to serve in areas in which they’re obviously not gifted. My point is not for us to pursue clumsiness, but merely to embrace it when it occurs.
And I’m not against “excellence” per se. It simply depends on what we mean by excellence. Yes, it honors God to serve him with our whole heart. Doing all things for his glory (1 Corinthians 10:31) means stewarding our God-given gifts as well as we can. It means resisting sloppiness. Church musicians would do well to emulate the Levitical singers who were renowned for being “skillful” (1 Chronicles 25:7).
Pursuing excellence in serving, facilitating, and accompanying the worship of God’s people is one thing. But if by “excellence” we mean professional-level production quality, I fear it reveals that our consumer intuitions have snuck into our churches.

Read the whole post at Desiring God.