Tuesday, September 30, 2014

About that garden

I haven't posted much about the garden this summer, except for those two mutant crook necked squash : ) But that doesn't mean I haven't been gardening! In July, I added two new 16' x 3' beds north of the log cabin (Cedar) and filled them with our own compost. I transplanted Romaine lettuce into half of one of the beds, put green beans in the other half. They grew like crazy! The Romaine was wonderful and the beans renewed my hopes of a decent bean harvest this year. But it was too late for that; it turned cold 2 weeks ago, just as they were almost ripe enough to pick and the slugs moved in...we got enough for a few meals. Next year!

In the other bed I put short season carrots (Mokum), shell peas, and spinach. I haven't been able to get spinach to grow here at all. It won't germinate, and if it does, it stays small and stunted. Not this time! The seed was 3 years old, so I only got about 50% germination, but that was an improvement over my other plantings. But it grew like crazy; we've been cutting off it for about a month now—I actually need to cut again today. It's slowing down, but that compost made the difference.

You've seen my mutant squash, so you know I've been eating that. Last year I planted three plants each of patty pan, yellow crookneck, and kabocha (winter) squash. I got 2 patty pan squash and one very small kabocha. Not a very promising start! So, this year I tried again. Same number of plants, different location. And a helpful scooping of rabbit manure. I've been eating patty pan and crookneck every day since the beginning of August. I've given away at least 2 dozen and if it doesn't freeze, I've got enough maturing to last me until the end of October! Next year I'm only planting 2 each of the summer squash...

The kabocha are doing OK, but the slugs seem to like them when they are small, so I've only got about 5-6 total. But they are huge. People think I'm growing pumpkins when they see them. The plants are starting to die back because of squash wilt (or whatever it's called), so I won't get anymore than that. No problem, it's a start.

Last winter we were at a gathering where someone served a winter squash dish that Debbie just loved. She asked them what kind of squash it was; they said it was delicata. According to them, it was the only winter squash that did really well here. So I planted some. And it's doing great. Again, the slugs like them when they are small, so the harvest will be smaller than it might have been, but it's a start. Next year...

The really big success story though is the runner beans. We grew them last year on the west wall outside the garden, along the lane. All the guests loved the beautiful blossoms and we got enough beans to dry some for food and seed. (By the way, they are terrible as dried beans; they taste like mud!) So, I planted them again this year with my own seed. They did really well, taking over the wall even more than last year (of course, I added rabbit poop, so that helps). And the hummingbirds discovered them about halfway through the summer.

What a difference that made. Last year, they were loaded with blossoms—6-8 per spur—but we would only get one bean per spur. It started out that way this year, too. But once the hummingbirds discovered them, I've been getting 6-8 beans per spur! I pick them as immature green beans; they have a bit of a wild flavor to them, but we like it. So I've been freezing them like crazy. It turned cold yesterday, so they will slow down, but I still will probably pick again on Wednesday and freeze a gallon bag full. That's from about a dozen plants, so you get an idea of how well they are doing. I've let a few bean pods get large for seed saving, so I should be able to plant even more next year.

Can't beat that, can you? Beautiful red flowers on the gray fence, brightening it up, feeding the hummingbirds all summer. And all winter, feeding us with green beans. Of course, I've been snitching them all summer long, too. I love eating them raw, right off the plant. One bean is almost a meal by itself when they are mature.

Well, that's enough for today. I'll try to post some more later this week, but I've got cabins to clean...

Want it to last?

“The fruit of peace is grounded in the fact of peace. Without that reality of union with Christ, peace is presumptuous. It is no more real or enduring than the relief given through pharmaceutical painkillers that treat the symptoms but not the cause.”— Vine Ripened Life

More on moralism

In a followup to yesterday's post, Roger Olson clarifies what he was meaning. Read it! He's spot on. Here's a snippet to lead you there:
Gradually, over the years, I have noticed a trend in American Christianity, including among evangelicals, to ignore the gospel impulse and emphasize the moralistic one. Sociologists of religion have studied this trend and labeled the “religion” of most American youth who go to church as “Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism.” I can understand why. Now the duality I hear in churches is that God expects us to be different than we are and it is up to us to change, but God forgives us when we fail.

What’s missing? What’s missing is emphasis on the Holy Spirit’s power to transform and our total dependence on that power to be spiritual, holy, God-pleasing persons.

<idle musing>
Definitely! Amen! Keep on preaching it! We're setting ourselves up for failure if we neglect to add the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. It's like trying to make bread without adding any leavening. It's flat, tasteless, and ugly. Who wants it?

And that's what we're billing as the abundant life? No wonder the world turns away in disgust! We're offering a way to make them as miserable as we are! Sin and confess, sin and confess. No thanks!
</idle musing>

Monday, September 29, 2014

It happened again!

This is really strange. I've been growing squash for a good while and I've never had a double one. And this year, I get two! What kind of portent is this? Livy would have a blast. Maybe Hannibal is invading Rome again! Or some other disaster of equal weight...call the diviners! Call the priests!

But seriously now, should I save the seeds from this plant? Do you think it's a mutation that would be passed on? Or is it just a chance happening that isn't in the seed genetically?

Thought for the day

If a Christian dare to aspire to a touch of union with the divine he must be well persuaded of the all of God and his own nothingness. He must go forth feeling nothing but contempt and hatred for his self-nature and reserve all his esteem and all of his love for God. By this means he may attain to that union.&mash;Jeanne Guyon

It's not that easy

“That makes it easy to write this book on the fruit of the Spirit. All the writings on the subject appeal to the same foundational text—the Word of God. Two parts study, one part experience, structured with a dash of writing acumen produces a helpful volume. However, it’s one thing to write a book on a subject. It’s quite another to live it.

As a pastor, I have taught from the Bible on the subject of worry. I even wrote an article on it for a theological journal. It was entitled “Worry Unmasked,” and it exposed worry for what it is according to our Lord’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. God has a lot to say on the subject. He knows our frames and frailties and fears. He ministers to us in our need, as He understands that need better than we do ourselves. He does not leave us unprepared.

In addition to teaching on the subject, I have counseled many people struggling with anxiety. I have helped them understand and apply God’s counsel to their specific situation. Together we have put the flesh of their problems on the skeleton of God’s truth to give them stability and ability to stand and press on.

You would think I would have been prepared.”— Vine Ripened Life

<idle musing>
You would have been—if we were brains on a stick! Unfortunately for that approach, we aren't. But I would rather not be a brain on a stick, wouldn't you? Sure, that leaves a lot of loose ends and disappointments. But it also opens the door to real relationships—especially with God.

When we realize we aren't able to work it out ourselves, we are thrown back on the Holy Spirit. And he never fails. He is always there, inside us, working, and—most importantly!—loving us.

Why settle for less?
</idle musing>

Work just a little bit harder

Roger Olson hits the nail on the head today. Here's a snippet:
I visit churches and listen for the gospel. I’ve begun to agree with Wolfhart Pannenberg who said that when he listens for the gospel in most churches he concludes it is what the preacher should have said but didn’t. The true, biblical, evangelical gospel is difficult to find in American churches or hear from their pulpits. What I hear most of the time, from most pulpits, is moralism: “Here’s what God expects of you, now go and do it” and “Become a better person than you are.” Very rarely do I hear that “You can’t do it without the Holy Spirit changing you.”
and here:
From beginning to end, everything about being a Christian, in more than a merely nominal sense, is gift. All we have to do, all we can do, is receive the gifts—forgiveness, regeneration, justification, sanctification, glorification. At no point in the process does anyone have the right to claim some good accomplished or achieved as his or her own.

The American gospel, however, is that you must use your will power to change and grow. It’s totally up to you—so just “do it.” The vast majority of sermons focus on that message of moralism. “God would be more pleased with you, you would be more pleasing to God, if you exercised your will to change and grow and become a better person than you are.” That’s not the gospel. The gospel is that you can’t do it. As songwriter Jeremy Camp said in a song popularized by Amy Grant: “Being good is just a fable; I just can’t ‘cause I’m not able. Gonna leave it to the Lord”—the “Lord” being the Holy Spirit.

and further on:
There is no cheap grace in letting go of self and sin and letting God change you. And for most people it’s a lifelong process. But it’s not “deciding to grow.” It’s not moralism or even morality. It’s not “becoming a good or better person.” It’s not even “spiritual formation” as good as that can be. It’s transformation by God’s Spirit.

This is the gospel, folks. But, by and large, we have lost it. For it we have substituted false gospels of morality, prosperity, “success in life,” niceness, effort, churchmanship, citizenship, the “American way.”

Amen! Good preaching!

Friday, September 26, 2014


We have a guest that checked in around the end of July. He hasn't paid and probably won't. His name is Orville and he is currently living in the woodpile. You see, Orville is a woodchuck : )

He's a cute little thing, quite shy and retiring. But he is one mighty powerful digger! He's made a few exits for himself under both Aspen and Spruce. In fact, if he keeps that up, we'll be forced to trap him and relocate him.

He also has a voracious appetite! Good thing he prefers clover to garden veggies...I did catch him eating a kohlrabi leaf one day. I stepped out onto the deck to scare him. He just looked up at me and continued munching. I started down the steps and he decided to back away—but he didn't drop the leaf that was in his mouth!

Since then, I've seen him periodically munching on a leaf here and there, but not too much. He really does prefer the clover that is all over in the yard. One day I saw him sitting in between the garden beds, ignoring all the lettuce and munching on the clover instead. No problem, eat as much as you want : )

About 2-3 weeks ago, we had some painters staying in Spruce for the annual Plein Air event. It was great fun watching them paint the scenes around the town and cabins. One of them, Tom, tried to capture Orville on canvas. He told me at one point, "I'm not sure what it is, but it isn't Orville!" about what he had done. He said he would continue to work on it at home and send us a picture of it when it was done.

The picture arrived yesterday. Here it is. I think it captures Orville nicely.

Just so you know, Orville has settled down and isn't making any new excavations...maybe you can see him if you come and visit us : )

It's not about circumstances

First, in circumstances of distress that inhibit joy, we can issue declarations of faith. We remind ourselves of what we know to be true—by faith. Faith rests in the reality of God and the certainty of His working. Faith trusts, submits, and expects. It is infused with strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, much as Peter instructed us. When circumstances suggest God is not there or that He does not care, we insist, “I will not base my faith on sight but on His revelation."

Second, circumstances are not the source of our joy. The picture Habakkuk paints is compelling. Though our lives be stripped bare, though our best efforts frustrated, though no relief is in sight, the fountain of my joy cannot be capped. God is my joy. He is my constant. I will rejoice in the Lord—always.

Third, my comfort and strength are not in circumstances, but in the Lord my God. He is my strength and stability. My foot is steady in all terrain of life because He is with me and He is for me. As Nehemiah puts it, “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength[…]— Vine Ripened Life

Is this true?

Is it possible that Satan has so got the advantage of God, that God's kingdom cannot be re-established in this world, and that the Almighty has no way but to back out, and to take His saints to heaven, before He can make them holy? Is God's kingdom to be only partially established, and is it to be always so, that the best saints shall one-half of their time be serving the devil? Must the people of God always go drooping and driveling along in religion, and live in sin, until they get to heaven? What is that stone cut out of a mountain without hands, that is to fill the earth, if it does not show that there is yet to be a universal triumph of the love of God in the world?—Charles Finney

<idle musing>
Well, is it true? Is that what you believe? That you have to live a defeated, half-hearted christianity until you die? Is that what the kingdom of God is all about? Is that why Jesus came, to sorta, kinda, maybe deliver us?

In the immortal words of Paul: No way! (my translation of μὴ γένοιτο)

Life in Christ is more than that! (Note the in Christ part of that!)
</idle musing>

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Another book

I ran across a free e-book yesterday from David C. Cook. It looked interesting, so I downloaded it (you can always delete them, right?). I have to say that they are rapidly becoming my favorite nonacademic publisher. They've gone from being that Sunday School curriculum publisher to publishing books that make you think about your Christian walk—and not guilting and shoulding you into a legalistic mold.

Anyway, I digress (as usual!). The title was AHA Student Edition. I'm not sure how it differs from any other version, but I read the first chapter and it's a keeper. Watch for excerpts later this fall. Meanwhile, here's a snippet to whet your appetite:

“And because we’re all too aware that our self needs help, we jump on this misery merry-go-round and buy book after book, hoping for better results. We know something is wrong. We even know what we want to change. Our diagnosis is spot-on, but no medication seems to do the trick.

So if you picked up this book because you are trying to help yourself make some significant changes, I want to tell you up front that this isn’t the book for you. If self could help, then we would all have been fixed a long time ago.

Let me be clear: AHA is not a self-help process. This is the antithesis of a self-help book. What Bizarro is to Superman,4 this book is to the self-help genre. This journey begins by rejecting self’s offer to help.”

Isn't that great? I wish I had more time to read it now, but there's a cabin that needs cleaning and strawberry plants that need transplanting and beans that need picking and I need to get it all done soon so we can make that return trip to Oberg Mountain before sunset this time! (Notice the lack of punctuation to make you feel breathless about it all...)

More new books!

We walked into the post office yesterday to check the mail. I wasn't expecting anything, so was very surprised (and delighted!) to find a box from InterVarsity Press containing these two gems:

Why Church History Matters


Johannine Theology

I'll be reading them later this fall—once the cabins close for the season! Right now...well there's too much to do outside and there's hiking in the woods and the garden and...

By the way, thanks IVPress for the books!

Pardon me, but your biases are showing

“Remind yourself of who Jesus is and what He did for you. Encounter Jesus anew, breathing life into the cardboard cutout we can make of Him in our religiosity.”— Vine Ripened Life

<idle musing>
We desperately need the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit to break through our "cardboard cutout" of who we think Jesus is. Without that, we are doomed to our cultural blindness, after all, does a fish know it is wet? In the same way, we don't even know we have preconceptions, that we are reading scripture more through our cultural blinders than the actual words on the page.

Along those lines, Ken Schenck has a series on how we read scripture (the link is to today's with links to the preceding 6 posts). Well worth reading. He isn't afraid to say that the Holy Spirit can give a fresh meaning to the Bible, but we need to be aware that it isn't necessarily what the Bible is really saying, it is just a fresh interpretation or extension given to the text. Good stuff to think about...
</idle musing>

To be specific...

Sinners may strongly wish to become Christians, and Christians may strongly wish or desire to be rid of all their sins, and may pray for it, even with agony. They may think they are willing to be perfect, but they deceive themselves. They may feel, in regard to their sins taken all together, or in the abstract, as if they are willing to renounce them all. But take them up in the detail, one by one, and there are many sins they are unwilling to give up. They wrestle against sin in general, but cling to it in the detail.—Charles Finney

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

All that stuff

“Joy is nurtured through the exercise of faith in communing with our Lord Jesus. Think of the best joy in your life. Is it things? Certain experiences? Or does the joy of relationship with those you love dwarf the delight of things? Those who find the greatest joy in things lead a cold, sterile existence.”— Vine Ripened Life

<idle musing>
Bold words to a materialistic culture. And he's right. How many people with lots of stuff do you know who are truly happy?

Me neither. I've been with people who have lots of stuff when a severe storm was approaching. They immediately were worried about all their stuff. "What happens if a tornado really does happen and takes my stuff?! I won't have anything! Help! I'm worried! But don't talk to me about God!"

That's a joyful life? Hardly! I could (and did) just sit back and enjoy the storm. It really was a wonderful storm, too! Lots of rain and wind and lightning. Great fun. And they missed that part of it because of "stuff"! How sad.
</idle musing>

Romans 7

Those who find their own experience written in the 7th chapter of Romans, are not converted persons. If that is their habitual character, they are not regenerated; they are under conviction, but not Christians.—Charles Finney

<idle musing>
Strong words! Few today would agree with him, but I wonder if he isn't right? Have we lost sight of how much God wants to transform us? Have we created a culture that accepts sin in believers as the norm? If so, then we haven't got a gospel to preach...we're still lost in our sins, a slave to our lusts. And Finney is right, we aren't regenerated, we're just under conviction.
</idle musing>

First day of fall

Yesterday was the first official day of fall. Actually, fall arrived here about 2 weeks ago with a week of cold rainy weather, but it has cleared up again and is beautiful. The leaves are starting to turn. In fact, I could have sworn that on my bike ride last Saturday, they got yellower in the course of the 30 mile ride!

The cabins have slowed down a bit right now during the week (they'll pick up again next week with the leaves turning), so we only had two to clean yesterday. The weather was perfect for a hike in the woods, so off we went.

Our first stop was Temperance River with its magnificent torrents of tortuous waterfalls. Last Saturday we had hiked up the east side of the river on the Superior Hiking Trail to the point where it leaves the river, so we wanted to go up the west side now. We hadn't been up that side for a few years, but from the map (PDF), it looked like it might be a fun walk, too.

It was. It offered easier access to the upper falls and a magnificent panoramic view of the ridge, which was more colorful yesterday than it had been on Saturday. We soaked it in for a couple of hours, walking and then stopping.

The original plan had been to just walk in Temperance, but with the leaves so colorful, we thought we should add one of our favorite fall hikes, Oberg Mountain. But time was fleeting, so we covered the return trip along the Temperance in half the time that it took us to get there : )

We arrived at Oberg with less an hour of daylight to do the 3 mile loop. I don't recommend trying this if it's your first time there! As we were going up the trail to the loop, we met some people coming down. They asked us if we had a flashlight. We assured them we had a few—flashlights are standard equipment in our day hike backpack, we've been caught in the woods too often by the dark! The leaves were a beautiful yellow, reflecting their color back from the canopy, giving the whole thing a otherworldly glow. Beautiful!

The Lake Superior overlooks on Oberg are spectacular, but we were interested mainly in the overlooks on the back side where we could see the leaves on the ridges and in the valleys, so we sped past the 3 lake overlooks far too quickly. We'll come back another day and loiter there—maybe tomorrow?

The back side didn't disappoint. The sun was getting lower and gave a different glow to them. The small lake was like a mirror, reflecting back the trees. We paused and took it in, but not too long! We've been caught on Oberg before in the dark, and all those roots and rocks seem to reach out and grab your feet in the dark. It's almost as if they come alive...

We arrived back at the car just as it was getting too dark to see. I glanced at my clock. We had covered the 2.25 mile loop in about 45 minutes! That's flying for a walk in the woods. We'll be back for a more leisurely walk soon...but what a way to celebrate the first day of fall!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


“For us, joy is tied to circumstances, which can be fickle. Therefore, our joy is as ephemeral as is the adrenaline high of good news. In addition, if positive circumstances are the source of joy, how can anyone know such gladness in the face of anxiety, depression, and adversity? If good times are the soil that produces joy, that means a significant portion of our lives is inevitably barren.”— Vine Ripened Life

<idle musing>
Indeed! The joy that God gives is deeper than circumstances. How else could Paul and Silas rejoice in the midst of a Philippian prison? Singing Psalms and hymns with their backs encrusted with blood and their feet in the stocks! They were either crazy or they knew something deeper than circumstances. The jailer changed his mind after the earthquake, didn't he?

What kind of earthquake will it take to change our minds, I wonder...
</idle musing>

Context? What context?

Much of the language of common life may be tortured into anything, if you lose sight of the subject, and take the liberty to interpret it without reference to what they are speaking of. How much injury has been done, by interpreting separate passages and single expressions in the scriptures, in violation of this principle. It is chiefly by overlooking this simple rule, that the scriptures have been tortured into the support of errors and contradictions innumerable and absurd beyond all calculation. This rule is applicable to all statements. Courts of justice never would allow such perversions as have been committed upon the Bible.—Charles Finney

<idle musing>
You mean they were doing that back then too?! What a surprise! Not!
</idle musing>

Just arrived

I received a new book over the weekend, 2000 Years of Christ's Power, Volume One. It looks interesting. This is the first of a projected four volume work. The fourth one is scheduled to come out early next year some time.

The series is designed to fill that missing niche between the general overview for the popular audience and the detailed, heavily footnoted studies for the specialist. We will see how well it does that—once the cabins close for the season! I did look over the first two chapters, and it sounds promising. Here's a portion of the publisher's blurb:

This book was born out of the author's deep conviction that today's Christians can benefit enormously from learning what God has done in the past. The mighty acts of Christ did not come to a halt soon after the events recorded in the book of Acts. In every century since the first, the Almighty has been at work and believers can trace his footsteps by studying the way that Christians of a previous generation faced the challenges that confronted them.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hallmark gets it wrong–what a surprise

“Don’t tell Hallmark, but the love that God has in mind for us as His children doesn’t mesh well with their greeting-card line. The love that God wants of us and wants us to cultivate as His children is not some sort of sentimental feeling. He wants us to love in deed—as He has modeled for us in the giving of His Son. God did not love us merely in word and thought, but in action and intention. God is telling us this love is part of our redemptive makeup. It is to be exercised in our lives, in the strength of the Spirit and the model of Christ.”— Vine Ripened Life

Where's the dividing line?

[I]t [the book of Proverbs] heightens the significance of the secular everyday life, not by emancipating it from the sacred but by blurring the boundary between sacred and secular, not by pushing the boundaries of the secular as far as possible but by seeing the secular in the light of the regular.—Toward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs, page 210

<idle musing>
We live our lives in the exact opposite way, don't we? We try to put the sacred in a little box that we can trot out when we need help or are feeling guilty, or...you get the idea. But that's not the scriptural view, is it? Even in a supposedly "secular" book like Proverbs, with its emphasis on discovering wisdom in the things around. Even there, the undercurrent is the presence of YHWH, giving meaning and purpose to everything.

By the way, that's the final post from this book. I had lost a portion of the quotation and finally found the rest of it over the weekend. Hope you enjoyed the excerpts and will consider reading the whole thing.
</idle musing>

Friday, September 19, 2014

It is well

You see why so many professors of religion are always in the dark. They are looking at their sins, confining their observations to themselves, and losing sight of the fact, that they have only to take right hold of Jesus Christ and throw themselves upon Him, and all is well.—Charles Finney

Everything is smaller

As our devices have gotten smaller, our vices remain just as vexing. We still buy more than we need and waste as much as we consume. We get things more quickly, but our tempers and patience have grown shorter. We’re likely to blow up over tiny inconveniences.—iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives, electronic edition

<idle musing>
Basically, all technology can do is magnify who we are—both our good and our evil traits. Which is both a bummer and a blessing. Hopefully it will show us more quickly how totally we must rely on the Holy Spirit—if he can catch us between texting and Facebook updates!
</idle musing>

How it works

“A vine-ripened life looks to the development of the fruit of the Spirit, cultivated by the hand of our heavenly Father in our union with Jesus Christ. As we abide in Christ, remaining rooted and built up in Him, the fruit of new life will grow organically from the inside out. Our lives will take on the character of the One we have been grafted into by grace, taking on the family likeness of our God.”— Vine Ripened Life

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Good start

“Sanctification, whereby Christ is formed in us, involves our participation and compliance. But its result as well as its pursuit are by grace, through faith. Apart from Christ we can do nothing. Perhaps this principle is the principal purpose of the Father’s pruning—teaching us to abide in Christ.”— Vine Ripened Life

Vain hope

Technology cannot free us from the grip of personal and collective sin.—iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives, electronic edition

That's not salvation

Beloved, if God were merely to pardon you, and then leave you to get out of sin as you could by yourselves, of what use would your pardon be to you? None in the world. If a child runs away from his father's house, and wanders in a forest, and falls into a deep pit, and the father finds him and undertakes to save him; if he merely pardons him for running away, it will be of no use, unless he lifts him up from the pit and leads him out of the forest. So in the scheme of redemption, whatever helps and aids you need, are all guaranteed, if you believe. If God undertakes to save you, he pledges all the light and grace and help that are necessary to break the chains of Satan and the entanglements of sin, and leads you back to your Father's house.

<idle musing>
Anything less isn't really salvation, is it? Salvation means saved, but saved from what? For too many if just means saved from the consequences of sin, but God intends to save us from sin, not just sins, i.e., the concept of sin, not just individual sins. Now that is a promise worth getting excited about! No wonder they talk about a great salvation...
</idle musing>

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Work a little harder, please

“Paul brackets the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 with this emphasis and strategy: “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25). Though we are called to purpose and to do, we are completely dependent on the Spirit to act and to achieve anything genuine and lasting.”— Vine Ripened Life

<idle musing>
Amen! It is entirely as we depend on the Holy Spirit that anything good can happen.
</idle musing>

The human touch

We can study the numbers, but we must remember that each number is actually a person, created by God, worthy of our attention. You are not a number or an outcome. You are not a gadget. You are far more than your social profile. While the algorithms offer pictures of our collective behavior, discipleship still comes down to a life on a life. We are children of God, called to love and serve God’s children. Let’s figure out how to live out our faith in tangible ways, each hyperaccelerated day.—iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives, electronic edition

Finney for a Tuesday

Did you ever find it a painful thing to do what you love to do? No. It is a pleasure to do it. The religion of the gospel is no labor to them that exercise it. It is the feeling of the heart. What would you do in heaven, if religion is such a painful thing here?—Suppose you were taken to heaven and obliged to grind out just so much religion every week, and month and year, to eternity. What sort of a heaven would it be to you? Would it be heaven, or would it be hell?—If you were required to have ten thousand times as much as you have here, and your whole life were to be filled up with this, and nothing else to do or enjoy but an eternal round of such duties, would not hell itself be a respite to you?—Charles Finney

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thought for the day

The legalist expects to be justified by faith, but he has not learned that he must be sanctified by faith. I propose to examine this point another time, in full. Modern legalists do not expect to be justified by works; they know these are inadequate—they know that the way to be saved is by Christ. But they have no practical belief that justification by faith is only true, as sanctification by faith is true, and that men are justified by faith only, as they are first sanctified by faith. And therefore, while they expect to be justified by faith, they set themselves to perform works that are works of law.—Charles Finney

How do we do it?

“In this metaphor [of bearing fruit] Jesus indicates that abiding is accomplished in large part through utter dependence on Him. The grace of sanctification flows from experiential union with Christ. We must abide in Christ so that the fruit of character change in our lives is not the product of self-will or best effort. Such efforts at love or joy or patience will be meager and short lived.” — Vine Ripened Life

A Vine Ripened Life

Those of you who follow my blog even somewhat will know that one of my passions is theosis/abiding in Christ/holiness. I really can't separate them because they are all different aspects of the same thing. Some call it the exchanged life, others entire sanctification. The title doesn't matter. What does matter is that it is Christ in you through the Holy Spirit doing the things you can't and allowing you to live a holy life. So when I saw the chance to review A Vine Ripened Life, I jumped at the chance.

I come from a Wesleyan/Holiness/Charismatic (pre-name it & claim it) background, so I thought it would be interesting to see how someone from a Reformed background would approach the subject...I found that on the whole, I agreed with what he was saying. His Reformed background came through in a few places (e.g., limited atonement was mentioned en passent, an angry god was in the background, etc.), but not in a way that would keep a non-Reformed Christian from getting a lot out of the book.

I found much to like in the book, and over the next few weeks you'll see excerpts posted here. But I also saw the "brains-on-a-stick" mentality that James K.A. Smith has talked about. What that means is that there is a lot of cerebral stuff, but the Holy Spirit making it happen is not mentioned very much. Consequently, it lacked "punch" for lack of a better word.

You know what I'm talking about, don't you? You pick up a book and you can feel the Holy Spirit. Some call it a special anointing. Fine, that works.

This book didn't have it. Don't get me wrong, it's full of great stuff and you can benefit greatly from reading it—as long as you add the Holy Spirit as a very real presence to everything he says. You'll see what I mean as you read the excerpts I post (I hope!).

<rant>If you remember, I've mentioned this problem before with some great Mennonite stuff. The Holy Spirit isn't an active force in the believer's life. This isn't limited to Mennonite or Reformed stuff, it is a major problem for most of Western/Modern/Postmodern Christianity. We really don't believe in the supernatural. Oh sure, we believe in it abstractly, but we don't really think God can work in a real way in our daily lives. If we did, we'd live differently! </rant>

So, would I recommend this book to a friend? Sure, but I would suggest they read Watchman Nee's Normal Christian Life or Sit, Walk, Stand, or Hannah Whitall Smith's The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life (don't let the title fool you, it's good stuff!), or Andrew Murray's The Holiest of All first. After they have a foundation built with one of those books, what is being said in A Vine Ripened Life will be able to become real and not just cerebral.

Just an
</idle musing>

Monday, September 15, 2014

It's not really that simple

It is important to remember that for purposes of assessing the translator’s techniques and ideas, it is not what the Hebrew text means but what the translator thinks it means that counts. For that matter, this is true of the text critic too: what the text means cannot be distinguished from what he or she thinks it means. For practical purposes, there is no escape from gauging the translator’s interpretation by one’s own—often uncertain, sometimes shifting—understanding.— The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition, Introduction

<idle musing>
I'm frequently reminded that it's the perspective that counts, not what is really (if there is such a thing!) there. We all come with preconceptions that color how we see things. The LXX, Syriac, and Jerome (Vulgate) were no different, so it shouldn't be a surprise when what we see in the text is different from what they saw...
</idle musing>

There's just too much out there!

Humanity gave names to all the animals in the garden of Eden, but we can no longer name everything in sight. The diversity of our world, the proximity of what’s possible has overwhelmed us. Becoming like God has fried our brains.—iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives, electronic edition

<idle musing>
Maybe because we're not supposed to be God!? But don't tell us that, we're doing fine, thank you. As we lose our sanity trying to keep track of everything.
</idle musing>

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Of kudurrus and massebot

Sometimes the weirdest thoughts come my way...

We use some very large rocks in places to mark where people can and can't park. We're talking 20–30 pound rocks. We don't want them to be moving around : )

Well, twice this summer, guests have moved them. Once, it was raining and they wanted to park closer to their front door. So they moved a rock about 3 feet to get through. And another time someone wanted to park another car behind them, so they moved 3 rocks about 15 feet to make the parking space bigger.

OK, what's so strange about that? Well nothing, except the first thing I thought of was kudurru stones...OK, not a perfect match in that I haven't inscribed the rocks—yet : )

Maybe a better match would be from Proverbs 22:28 or 23:10, after all, the rocks are bit bigger than the kudurru stones were...

There are a few rock gardens behind the bed & breakfast. Being rock gardens, the borders are of rock (duh!) and I have to mow around them. Well, this summer Max and Sherri have been rearranging the border rocks and standing some on end. The first time I came across that, I couldn't help but think of the massebot in the Hebrew Bible (there's a good book about the ones in Jordan here: Megalithic Jordan). Sure, they're shorter, but...well the mind does strange things when you've studied ancient stuff too long!

Just an
</idle musing>

Saturday, September 13, 2014

You've already chosen

I've been busy the last few weeks—and not just with the cabins. As most of you know, we get our house and utilities paid by working as cabin caretakers/maintenance. But we still have to eat (and the garden doesn't supply everything we eat! At least not yet...) and pay other bills. In order to do that, I do copyediting and proofreading for various publishers. One of the publishers I work for is the Society of Biblical Literature. I've done several books for them, but this summer I started working on a project that I am really enjoying and hope to for a long time to come: The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition. Right now I'm working on Proverbs. I was reading through the introduction when I ran across this little gem:
It should be stressed that those who prefer a Masoretic reading or an entire Masoretic edition are in effect participating in this construction of meaning, albeit passively, by aligning themselves with one text state, a medieval one.
That's right, not to decide is actually to decide. And you've probably chosen a version that is further from the original than an eclectic text. Think about that for a while before deeming the HBCE a useless exercise.

Just an
</idle musing>

Are you really there?

We are hyperconnected and easily distracted, always available and rarely present.—iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives, electronic edition

<idle musing>
That reminds me of a line in Dune. Paul is thinking about his father and he says that one of the things he liked about his father is that when he was present, he was there. Really there, attuned to the surroundings and listening to you.

How many of us are truly there when we are someplace? With the distractions of always on Internet and texting, I wonder if we've lost some of the ability to truly be there for someone. What do you think?
</idle musing>

Friday, September 12, 2014

The beginning of wisdom - and the end

Wisdom in Proverbs is easily accessible in one sense yet not that easy to gain in another. No one can claim that he or she grasped her fully, but everyone has to be constantly open towards her. To revise slightly one of the important statements of Proverbs: wisdom only has a beginning (the fear of the Lord) but not an end. As there is a certain continuity between the Lord and wisdom, maybe it is arguable that these characteristics of wisdom in Proverbs tell something of Proverbs’ view of God, too. This understanding of divine hiddenness is not so much connected to a feeling of divine passivity or invisibility in the (secular) life, but, to an ever deepening relationship, even to participation in (but not possession of) the divine.— Toward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs, page 244

<idle musing>
Whodda thunk! Theosis in Proverbs! Or at least a shadow of it...

That's the final post from this book. Monday I'll start posting from another book. Not sure which one yet, but I trust you will find it an intersting one : )
</idle musing>

Why do you do it?

There is a class of legalists that depend on Christ, but their dependence is not gospel dependence, because the works which it produces are works of law; that is, from hope and fear, not from love. Gospel dependence may produce, perhaps, the very same outward works, but the motives are radically different. he legalist drags on a painful, irksome, moral, and perhaps, outwardly, religious life. he gospel believer has an affectionate confidence in God, which leads him to obey out of love. His obedience is prompted by his own feelings. Instead of being dragged to duty, he goes to it cheerfully, because he loves it, and doing it is a delight to his soul.

<idle musing>
As we see in the Gospels, it's not what you do as much as why you are doing it.

Lord, may we do things because we love you! May the love of God move our thoughts and actions! Deliver us from the idoloatry of self-love.
</idle musing>

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A bit of a change

Yesterday's post from Crazy Love was the final one from the book. So it's time for a new book to begin. But  before that, I thought I'd post a few Finney quotations since it's been a while. Here's the first one:

"Here is the great distinction between the religion of law and gospel religion. Legal obedience is influenced by hope and fear, and is hypocritical, selfish, outward, constrained. Gospel obedience is from love, and is sincere, free, cheerful, true."

Is Wisdom a thing? or an attitude?

Wisdom is not something one can possess forever without the possibility of losing it. No one can say that ‘I am wise’ in the sense of having comprehended and possessed wisdom. Being wise is at least as much a character trait as possessing a sharp mind and having vast experience. Being wise is being humble, ‘denying our knowledge’ in the sense of leaving behind our knowledge constantly and listening to instruction, being ready to change. It is more about having an attentive relationship with wisdom than having wisdom herself. In other words, it is accepting and being open to the incomprehensibility of wisdom.

If this reconstruction of Proverbs’ thought-world is correct, then ‘hiddenness’ in it is not so much about being invisible but about human inability to see and comprehend wisdom fully. This inability can be caused by false (i.e., proud) thinking and by human limitations, not being able to comprehend and possess wisdom in its fullness. As a consequence, Proverbs is not so much about human autonomy as about being attentive, listening humbly, and constantly being willing to change and leave behind one’s own ‘precious’ wisdom.—Toward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs, page 238

<idle musing>
And for that very reason, Wisdom is so difficult. It means that our pet theories and ways of looking at things might just have to be modified--or worse yet, jettisoned entirely. Perish the thought!

My precious views wrong? Impossible! God would never do that to me! Or, should it be "my god would never do that to me"--note the lower case god. My god, not the God...Lord deliver us from our pride!
</idle musing>

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Deceiving ourselves

Unfortunately, we’ve conditioned ourselves to hear messages without responding. Sermons become Christian entertainment. We go to church to hear a well-developed sermon and a convicting thought. We’ve trained ourselves to believe that if we’re convicted, our job is done. If you’re just hearing the Word and not actually doing something with it, you’re deceiving yourself.—Crazy Love, electronic edition

<idle musing>
Hmmm...that sounds familiar, doesn't it. Kinda like something straight out of the book of James, isn't it? Not much has changed in almost 2000 years, has it?
</idle musing>

Common goal, different path

This surprising phenomenon of not specifying instruction in Proverbs can not only be understood as suggesting that the content is given somewhere else (law, or some other parts of Proverbs), but also as suggesting that the attitude of humble listening is not less important than the content of the instruction itself. Maybe, if they had met, the different authors of Proverbs would have had a debate about what the best source of correction is but they would have definitely agreed that the way towards wisdom is being open for correction.— oward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs, page 237

<idle musing>
In other words, if the attitude is right, even if the course is a bit crooked, you'll get there. But if the attitude is full of pride and arrogance, look out! You're heading for a fall...
</idle musing>

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Perhaps it should be obvious, but

The point is that there is another path, an alternative to the individualism, selfishness, and materialism of the American Dream (even the so=called Christian version) .—Crazy Love, electronic edition

<idle musing>
My first thought was he was stating the obvious. But then I started thinking about some conversations I've had over the years...and I came to the conclusion that he isn't stating the obvious; as the saying goes, "Does a fish know it's wet?"

So, yes, there is an alternative, and it needs to be proclaimed and—far more importantly—lived out. People need to hear and see that Jesus offers a real alternative to the self-enslavement of the American Dream.
</idle musing>

Hiding in plain sight

[W]hy is it so difficult to find wisdom, when she is so close and visible; and why cannot one consider him- or herself wise when finding wisdom is not only possible but the aim of the whole enterprise? In fact, Proverbs does provide explanation for how one can miss Lady Wisdom even when she is clearly visible. Possible causes for failure are the tempting presence of Lady Folly (Proverbs 9) or the alluring prospect of gaining riches through unwise means (Prov 1:11-14). However, there is a further difficulty which is especially relevant for our questions: pride and unwillingness to listen to advice and instruction prevent people from becoming wise.—Toward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs, page 235

<idle musing>
That does indeed seem to be the main problem. We don't want to appear stupid or ignorant, so we don't ask questions if we don't understand. Or, when someone offers advice, we assume we know better...pride. No, better PRIDE writ large. May God deliver us that we may become truly wise!
</idle musing>

Monday, September 08, 2014

The wrong stuff

We are consumed by safety. Obsessed with it, actually. Now, I’m not saying it is wrong to pray for God’s protection, but I am questioning how we’ve made safety our highest priority. We’ve elevated safety to the neglect of whatever God’s best is, whatever would bring God the most glory, or whatever wouldaccomplish His purposes in our lives and in the world.—Crazy Love, electronic edition

Let's clarify it a bit

The invisible God is completely visible through the (extraordinary and ordinary) visible phenomena of the world. Yet, God’s essence is incomprehensible. It is a dark abyss, vastness, otherness which is completely beyond human perception. This is what is called God’s hiddenness in many patristic, medieval, and even modern theological discussions and not that God and his activity are not visible in mundane everyday reality.— Toward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs, page 220

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Plumbing again

Plumbing isn't one of my favorite things. In fact, it ranks right up there with having a tooth filled. But it's a reality when you're taking care of cabins. About a month ago now (that's how busy we've been—I'm just now getting around to writing about something a month ago!) I had a week of plumbing goodies.

It started on a Monday. The departing guest told me that the water closet seemed loose. I checked it out and it was. I figured it was just a matter of tightening the hold-down bolts. Right. I looked under the toilet and saw one of the bolts lying on the floor! It had actually rusted out. The only thing keeping the tank from dumping its water all over the floor was that Dave had put caulk over the inside head of the bolt. Otherwise...well it wouldn't have been pretty. I emptied the tank and took a wrench to the other side. The bolt fell off! Good thing they warned me it was loose or the next guest would have had a water closet all over their back.

I was able to replace the bolts and tighten the tank up with no problems. One down. Two days later another guest asked if I could come and unplug their toilet, a fairly common request. A plunger didn't do the trick, so I pulled out the snake. It didn't work either. In fact, it kinked the thing. Hmmm. I thought maybe a longer snake would work better, so I pulled out the faucet snake. It didn't work either. Time to call the plumber.

The first plumber I called said it sounded like the sewer line was plugged. He didn't have the tools for that and suggested I contact someone else. The second one suggested a "hydraulic hammer"—basically a pressure washer for sewer lines. The catch is you have to get it past the vent pipe or you have a royal mess!

No problem, right? I've been under that cabin so many times this year that I could do it blindfolded. Except I couldn't get the clean out trap off. I didn't have a big enough wrench and couldn't get enough torque on it.

Call the plumber! He can't come out until the next day! Yikes! I've got guests in the cabin and no toilet!

They were very gracious. I gave them a key to the Fiddler's Place to use that toilet... (Yes, we credited them for the night.)

Next day, the plumber arrives around noon. He tried his snake. No success. So, he pulls out this monster of a snake. If this doesn't work, nothing will. It didn't!

Well now what? He decides to take the toilet out and access the sewer line that way. But he suggested we take a look at the toilet after we took it out. So we haul it out onto the yard and flip it over. The thing was packed tight. No wonder my snake doubled back on itself!

While we had it upside down, he noticed a crack in the thing. Time for a new one! Whew! I wasn't relishing the thought of cleaning that thing out. The closest we could figure is that a child had flushed a small toy down and that had caused a blockage that was catching all the toilet paper and stuff until it caused the blockage.

New toilet. Happy guests! Two down.

Two days later (Saturday) was supposed to be a nice quiet day. We were full, so no cabins to clean. The yard had just been mowed, so no yard work. Great! I can get some editing done...NOT! There was a family reunion going on and they were using the Fiddler's Place. Guess what? The toilet plugged. Here we go again...

I got the plunger out. No success. I got the snake out. No success. Time for the hydraulic hammer... While I was doing all this, one of the people at the reunion asked what I was doing. He wasn't staying with us, so I hadn't met him. I told him that I was going to take the hydraulic hammer to it. He said, "Oh, a blow bag!" Huh? Turns out he's a master plumber! And he wanted to help!

Praise God! I came back to the house to get the "blow bag" and told Debbie about the "coincidence." Scott (that's his name) was a great asset. He told me some stories that would curdle your ears about plumbing under cabins. Seems ours isn't as bad as some...

Anyway, we ran the hydraulic hammer for a while. Then we (actually he!) put the toilet back on. It didn't help! The thing was still slow...He asked about a vent. Vent? What vent?!

We looked all over for a vent. Nope. Dave hadn't put a vent on the plumbing there.

I asked Scott what he would suggest. So, we scouted around, climbed under a nearby cabin only to find a drain had come apart there under the shower. Mental note: fix on Monday—I did.

He suggested all kinds of expensive options. Finally, he suggested putting an inline vent under the sink. He thought it might be enough. Great! Simple, easy, maybe not elegant, but it might work. And it was a whole lot easier than digging up the ground (to say nothing of cheaper!).

Tuesday I bought the vent and put it in. Relatively simple. Just a few cuts, some glue on a Y pipe and we're done. Except it wasn't enough air! It would work fine for 3 flushes then back up. Great!

Scott had suggested that if that didn't work, we could run a vent out the side. Problem: This is a log structure with 8-10 inch logs! I didn't have a bit that long or a Sawzall to make it big enough once I had the hole drilled.

Max to the rescue. He ordered me a Sawzall! It arrived three days later—a factory refurb : ) But no blades! Trip to the hardware store and look out world! I have a Sawzall!

I also picked up a 16 inch spade bit and the necessary pipes.

Out comes the trusty hacksaw and off with the vent I had just installed. Sewer gas stinks! But now I could see the log wall to drill through. I hope I guess correctly on the angle of the hole or I'm going to be in trouble trying to thread that pipe through. I prayed (later I found out that Debbie had been praying too). I started drilling. Went right through. This log was only 8 inches and relatively soft.

Out comes the trusty Sawzall. Open up that hole and test the pipe. It lined up with the inside one on the first try! Praise God!

A little glue, a little caulk. Everything is sealed. Now the acid test. Will it flush? I gave it five quick flushes in a row. Sure enough! It worked! Bring on the crowd!

And we did. That weekend (Labor day), Max and Sherri had a shindig to celebrate the beginning of their 15th year here.

And the toilet didn't back up!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Obviously a fanatic

The idea of holding back certainly didn’t come from Scripture. The Bible teaches us to be consumed with Christ and to faithfully live out His words.—Crazy Love, electronic edition

<idle musing>
Holding back is usually just an excuse to do nothing—to live for self. Or to pay lip service to something. After all, saying it is as good as doing it, right? To actually do something means I'm committed to it—that I can't back out. I want my options! Leave that door open...I might need it some day! Never mind that it only brought me heartache and trouble! At least it was my decision! I certainly don't want to be labeled a fanatic! Unless, of course, it's something important like a football game or other sporting event. You know, the really important stuff...

No wonder the early church frowned on the gladiator games!
</idle musing>

Wise living is temple building

Thus, we can conclude that the house-building motif goes through the whole book of Proverbs hand in hand with allusions to the tabernacle/temple. The interpretation towards which all these point is that the whole universe is Wisdom’s house (byt ḥokmah)and this house is at the same time God’s temple (byt YHWH). Human beings can join Wisdom in her house (i.e., the Lord in his temple) by being wise in the world. Building one’s own earthly household and human relationships through being wise equals building the temple of the Lord, so to speak.—Toward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs, page 201

<idle musing>
Of course, some people live as if he said "delusions" or "illusions" instead of "allusions"! : (
</idle musing>

Wednesday, September 03, 2014


The weather around here can change in a few minutes. I know they say that about everywhere, but it's never been truer in our experience than here in Grand Marais. To the south, east, and west, you have the lake—or should I say LAKE?!—while to the north, there is the ridge, rising over 1000 feet from the lake.

I've seen storms come out of nowhere. One minute it's clear and next minute a storm blows over the ridge and you are soaked. When we go for walks, we always carry a backpack with an umbrella and a jacket. We've been caught too many times...

Yesterday was one of those days. They were predicting scattered thunderstorms, so before going for a bike ride I checked the radar. Nothing. Just a small area of rain out over the lake down toward Duluth. I figured it would be safe to crank out a 25-30 mile ride.

Right! About 8 miles into the ride, just before getting to Cascade State Park, it started to sprinkle. The sky looked mainly clear, so I figured it would pass. I kept riding. The rain got harder. The wind got stronger against me. I put on my jacket. The rain got harder. At about 9.5 miles, with the rain still coming down and the sky mainly clear, I figured it was time to turn around and try riding east. I'd just ride a little further that way to get the miles...

As I climbed up out of the lake shore, the rain let up. Or maybe because I was now going with the wind it just seemed that way. At about the 13 mile mark, it stopped raining. The sky was clear again and the pavement was dry—it hadn't rained here at all. Great, I'll get those miles in easily.

As I got to the east end of town, it started to sprinkle. It got cloudy. OK, do I want to risk this? I decided to go home. I didn't want to get wet twice in one day. Five minutes after I got home, it poured. Thunder, lightening, wind, rain. The whole thing. I ended up with 21 miles, not quite the 25-30 I wanted, but I didn't get more than a few sprinkles on me the second time...a good exchange, I think : )

Contagious Christianity

Lukewarm living and claiming Christ’s name simultaneously is utterly disgusting to God. And when we are honest, we have to admit that it isn’t very fulfilling or joyful to us, either.

But the solution isn’t to try harder, fail, and then make bigger promises, only to fail again. It does no good to muster up more love for God, to will yourself to love Him more. When loving Him becomes obligation, one of many things we have to do, we end up focusing even more on ourselves. No wonder so few people want to hear from us about what we ourselves feel is a boring, guilt-ridden chore.—Crazy Love, electronic edition

<idle musing>
Contagious? More like toxic! Real Christianity is so much better than that!
</idle musing>

You need wisdom for that?!

People in the twenty-first century tend to connect wisdom to the existential decisions of everyday life. It is also understandable that creating the world requires some wisdom. We would, furthermore, understand that the decision of whether to build a temple or not might require wisdom, but that the actual building activity itself requires wisdom could sound a bit unusual for modern readers. It seems that in the ancient Near East, and the Old Testament is not an exception, wisdom was connected to everyday life, creation, and (especially temple-) building. This becomes more understandable if we consider the close connection between temple-building and creating the world in biblical thinking.—Toward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs, pages 194-195

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Examine yourself

I know that this whole swimming-upstream, pursuing-Christ, taking-up-your-cross, counting-the-cost thing isn’t easy. It’s so hard, in fact, that Jesus said the road is narrow and few will actually find it…and fewer still among those who are rich. Like the parable of the sower, don’t assume you are the good soil; don’t assume you are one of the few on the narrow way.—Crazy Love, electronic edition

<idle musing>
Don't worry, he's obviously talking about someone else! It couldn't be you or I that he's talking about, could it?

No, of course not! I'm fine. And I'm pretty sure about you...then again...

But I'm fine!
</idle musing>

Who's getting sanctified?

The thrust of the book seems to be to encourage the reader to experience Yahweh in the world. In this sense, it is more about the ‘sanctification’ of the ‘secular’ world than about worldliness.—Toward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs, pages 188-189