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Impurity of Worship

Interesting what you come across where you least expect it.

I have been reading the first volume of a trilogy on the 26th President’s life, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris. My purpose in reading it has been simply to enjoy learning more about this larger-than-life man. Never did I expect to have to examine my own heart regarding worship the way I did when I came across this excerpt from a letter of Roosevelt. Listen to what then Civil Service Commissioner Roosevelt said about President Benjamin Harrison following a meeting they had just had:

“Damn the President! He is a cold-blooded, narrow-minded, prejudiced, obstinate, timid old psalm-singing Indianapolis politician.”

Though Roosevelt’s rant is typical of him when he did not get his way, it is interesting how he related the President’s action with his worship practices – in Indiana, no less!This reminded me of a similar line I had read long ago but not forgotten in Gene Stratton-Porter’s (born in Indiana) classic book Freckles. At this point in the story the main character Freckles, a one-handed orphan learning to work the once-great lumber lines of northern Indiana, is recounting his experience of how people […]

Summer Sparks

Setting sun, in its finale,
Drenching clouds with changing hues;

Glowing bits like shooting stars, Fly up then fade from the backyard fire;

Rising fireflies o’er darkening fields, Myriads of tiny angels, signaling the news:

Soon gone are summer sparks, Brief joys of which we never tire.

Slapping thighs, along with a few mosquitoes, As stories meander in the dimming light;

Water’s magnet still attracting Splashing children too soon grown;

Even quieting voices sharing crossesMake hearts glow in the peace of the stilling night;

Summer sparks become dying embersUnless remembrance be over them blown.

Funny How

Funny how – What I see now:On her back the ladybug Struggling against little thugs,Ants, not gentlemen, with a goal, “Drag her down into the hole.”

Funny how – What I see now:This micro tragedy Reminder of my own trajectory,Sin and death, no gentlemen, with a goal, “Drag him down into the hole.”

Funny how – What I see now:Tiniest red and black providence Reminder of my own recompense,Christ, the Gentle God-Man, with a goal, “Take Me instead into the hole.”

Funny how – What I see now.

Politics Under the Sun

If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them.

Ecclesiastes 5:8 (NKJV)

     There is a great deal of political outrage today.  I regularly hear otherwise calm, quiet people give vent to disgust toward our leaders and their policies.  I too have done my share of venting.  My poor wife has had to deal with my rhetorical questions during the evening news: “How can they do that!” “What are they thinking!” “Who do they think they are!”  She still doesn’t know if she’s supposed to answer or not.

     Ecclesiastes 5:8 is a good text to reflect on in these times.

     While it’s easy to think we live in times of unprecedented corruption and cronyism, the preacher reminds us that this state of affairs is nothing new. High officials have always watched over each other while consolidating and advancing their power at the expense of others. Some leaders make it a science, but most do it to some degree. “Do not marvel at the matter,” says the preacher.

     It’s hard to decide whether this […]