License

I have written an e-book, Does the Bible Really Say That?, which is free to anyone. To download that book, in several formats, go here.
Creative Commons License
The posts in this blog are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You can copy and use this material, as long as you aren't making money from it. If you give me credit, thanks. If not, OK.

Sunday, August 07, 2022

With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray, excerpt 138

This post continues a series of excerpts from With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray. I thank the Christian Classics Ethereal Library for making this public domain work available. To see their post of the book, go here His book is based on Mark 11:22-24. The previous post in this series is hereAs usual in this blog, long quotations are in this color. Murray's book is based on Mark 11:22-24.

The Father accepts the will, the sacrifice is well-pleasing; the Holy Spirit will seal us within with the consciousness, we are living for God and His glory.

And then what quiet peace and power there will be in our prayers, as we know ourselves through His grace, in perfect harmony with Him who says to us, when He promises to do what we ask: ‘That the Father may be glorified in the Son.’ With our whole being consciously yielded to the inspiration of the Word and Spirit, our desires will be no longer ours but His;  their chief end the glory of God. With increasing liberty we shall be able in prayer to say: Father! Thou knowest, we ask it only for Thy glory. And the condition of prayer-answers, instead of being as a mountain we cannot climb, will only give us the greater confidence that we shall be heard, because we have seen that prayer has no higher beauty or blessedness than this, that it glorifies the Father. And the precious privilege of prayer will become doubly precious because it brings us into perfect unison with the Beloved Son in the wonderful partnership He proposes: ‘You ask, and I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.’ precious because it brings us into perfect unison with the Beloved Son in the wonderful partnership He proposes: ‘You ask, and I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.’

‘LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY.

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Sunspots 895

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to others*:




The Arts: (and Christianity) a Tor author discusses the fate of Susan Pevensie in the Narnia books, by C. S. Lewis.

Christianity: (and Politics) Christianity Today examines the question of how behavior changes in Southern whites who have stopped going to church.

Finances: Gizmodo reports that the oil industry has received lots of profit over the past few years, but has cut its workforce drastically.

CNN reports on how Russia is financing the war in Ukraine with African gold, and propping up African dictators.

Science: The Scientist on why a humpback whale recently collided with a small boat.

NPR reports that, although the moon has been thought of as divided into two regions, one too hot, and one too cold for living things, certain geological features on the moon are habitable throughout the lunar cycle, neither too hot or too cold.

*I try not to include items that require a password or fee to view.

Thanks for reading.

 

Sunday, July 31, 2022

With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray, excerpt 137

This post continues a series of excerpts from With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray. I thank the Christian Classics Ethereal Library for making this public domain work available. To see their post of the book, go here His book is based on Mark 11:22-24. The previous post in this series is here. As usual in this blog, long quotations are in this color. Murray's book is based on Mark 11:22-24.

He that seeks God’s glory will see it in the answer to his prayer, and he alone.

And how, we ask again, shall we attain to it? Let us begin with confession. How little has the glory of God been an all-absorbing passion; how little our lives and our prayers have been full of it. How little have we lived in the likeness of the Son, and in sympathy with Him—for God and His glory alone. Let us take time, until the Holy Spirit discover it to us, and we see how wanting we have been in this. True knowledge and confession of sin are the sure path to deliverance.
And then let us look to Jesus. In Him we can see by what death we can glorify God. In death He glorified Him; through death He was glorified with Him. It is by dying, being dead to self and living to God, that we can glorify Him. And this—this death to self, this life to the glory of God—is what Jesus gives and lives in each one who can trust Him for it.
Let nothing less than these—the desire, the decision to live only for the glory of the Father, even as Christ did; the acceptance of Him with His life and strength working it in us; the joyful assurance that we can live to the glory of God, because Christ lives in us;—let this be
the spirit of our daily life. Jesus stands surety for our living thus; the Holy Spirit is given, and waiting to make it our experience, if we will only trust and let Him; O let us not hold back through unbelief, but confidently take as our watchword—All to the glory of God! The Father accepts the will, the sacrifice is well-pleasing; the Holy Spirit will seal us within with the consciousness, we are living for God and His glory.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Sunspots 894

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to others*: 


Christianity: (or something) NPR reports on a movement to pass wedding dresses on to strangers, free

Environment: Gizmodo, and other outlets, report that monarch butterflies are now listed as endangered.

Representative Matt Gaetz claims that immigrants into the US Southwest are responsible for the danger to monarchs. Really.

Politics: (and Christianity -- sort of) CNN has posted a thorough discussion of Christian Nationalism, so-called.

*I try not to include items that require a password or fee to view.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray, excerpt 136

This post continues a series of excerpts from With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray. I thank the Christian Classics Ethereal Library for making this public domain work available. To see their post of the book, go here His book is based on Mark 11:22-24. The previous post in this series is here. As usual in this blog, long quotations are in this color. Murray's book is based on Mark 11:22-24.

And what motive, what power is there that can urge our slothful hearts to yield themselves to our Lord to work this in us? Surely nothing more is needed than a sight of how glorious, how alone worthy of glory the Father is. Let our faith learn in adoring worship to bow before Him, to ascribe to Him alone the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, to yield ourselves to dwell in His light as the ever-blessed, ever-loving One. Surely we shall be stirred to say, ‘To Him alone be glory.’ And we shall look to our Lord Jesus with new intensity of desire for a life that refuses to see or seek ought but the glory of God. When there is but little prayer that can be answered, the Father is not glorified. It is a duty, for the glory of God, to live and pray so that our prayer can be answered. For the sake of God’s glory, let us learn to pray well.


What a humbling thought that so often there is earnest prayer for a child or a friend, for a work or a circle, in which the thought of our joy or our pleasure was far stronger than 
any yearnings for God’s glory. No wonder that there are so many unanswered prayers: here we have the secret. God would not be glorified when that glory was not our object. He that would pray the prayer of faith, will have to give himself to live literally so that the Father in all things may be glorified in him. This must be his aim: without this there cannot be the prayer of faith. ‘How can ye believe,’ said Jesus, ‘which receive glory of one another, and the glory that cometh from the only God ye seek not?’ All seeking of our own glory with men makes faith impossible: it is the deep, intense self-sacrifice that gives up its own glory, and seeks the glory of God alone, that wakens in the soul that spiritual susceptibility of the Divine, which is faith. The surrender to God to seek His glory, and the expectation that He will show His glory in hearing us, are one at root: He that seeks God’s glory will see it in the answer to his prayer, and he alone.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Sunspots 893

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to others*:




The Arts: NPR reports that Mary Badham, who played Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, is now playing one of the Finch's neighbors in a theater production of the story.

Christianity: (and politics) A Christianity Today writer, along with others, believes that the US is headed for a time of political violence, and in fact is already in one. She says that Christians, of whatever political persuasion, should not participate, following the example of Jesus.

Education: Grammarphobia discusses the expression "weak in the knees."

Environment: Gizmodo tells us that European bison are being re-introduced to the United Kingdom, where they have not been (in the wild, at least) for thousands of years.

Finances: (or something) Gizmodo discusses mishandled air luggage.

Health: Fox News (and other outlets) reports on a study that says that those under 40 years old should not drink alcohol.

A Conversation writer tells us why drug names are so complicated, and explains some of how they are named.

History: (or something) ListVerse shows us some amazing bridges.

Humor: (or something) a cat escaped from a carrier, in the Boston airport, and was finally caught, after three weeks, according to NPR.

Politics: (or something) A Conversation writer says that the Shinto religion (and the Unification Church) influences the assassination of Shinzo Abe.

Science: (or something) The Conversation discusses love (by which the discussion mostly means physical attraction.)

Gizmodo reports that the Webb telescope has been damaged by a micrometeorite. It should still function, almost as well as before the damage.

Gizmodo also reports that NASAs martian explorer devices have photographed what looks like a tangle of string. The article has a link to a previous finding -- something that looks like a door.

*I try not to include items that require a password or fee to view.

Thanks for reading.

 

Monday, July 18, 2022

How many kinds of dragonflies are there?

 Antique Dragonfly - Openclipart

Graphic: Antique dragonfly, from openclipart 

My wife and I were out walking, when I saw a dragonfly. She remarked that this one was black and white, and innocently asked me what kind it was. (I hadn't a clue.) I innocently remarked that dragonflies are of many colors, and that there are hundreds of kinds of them, although most of these kinds don't live around where we do. Then she asked me, innocently, if God made each kind of dragonfly, or if they descended and diverged from other kinds. She also asked, innocently, if there wouldn't be a web page, or something, which told us which of these types of events happened.

Well, yes and no. There are some web pages, and/or books, which claim that each kind of organism was made by a separate miracle. For example, see this page, which doesn't specifically say that each creature was created by a distinct miracle, but says that the six days of Genesis 1 were literal 24-hour days, so it would have been impossible for some kind of evolutionary process to produce all the species of dragonflies. (Genesis 1 does not specifically mention flying insects, let alone dragonflies.)

There are also many books and web pages which claim that animals developed into many species, over long periods of time, by completely natural processes -- there is no God, and never was. Here is the Wikipedia web page on an introduction to evolution.

Though you probably don't hear much from them, there are other sources that believe in a Creator. Some of these believe that the days of Genesis 1 were very long periods of time, thus allowing for evolution of dragonflies from a common ancestor. Others who believe in a creator believe that Genesis 1 was never meant to teach science, and that it is a mistake to do so. Genesis 1-2, they say, were meant to teach important truths, such as that there is only one God, not many, like the peoples living around the Israelites believed. And God is sovereign. Further, humans are more like God than any other animal, and have some responsibility to care for God's creation. Genesis 1 and 2 were not, in their view, to be taken literally. This last group holds that God's marvelous original creation included built-in laws, processes and properties of atoms and molecules, and rocks and clouds, that led, over a very long time, to the world we have today.   

To answer my wife's question, there are about 3000 species of dragonflies living on earth today. There were fossil dragonflies, too. Some dragonfly-like insects had wingspans as long as your arm, or even longer. Just don't ask me to identify them.

Appendix See these posts: "Should Genesis 1-2 be taken literally?"

"Young-earth creationism and the kinds of animals"

"Is Genesis 1-11 history, or myth? Comparing the sequence of events in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2"



Sunday, July 17, 2022

With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray, excerpt 135

This post continues a series of excerpts from With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray. I thank the Christian Classics Ethereal Library for making this public domain work available. To see their post of the book, go here His book is based on Mark 11:22-24. The previous post in this series is hereAs usual in this blog, long quotations are in this color. Murray's book is based on Mark 11:22-24.

This demand in connection with prevailing prayer—that it should be to the glory of God—is no more than right and natural. There is none glorious but the Lord: there is no glory but His, and what He layeth on His creatures. Creation exists to show forth His glory; all that is not for His glory is sin, and darkness, and death: it is only in the glorifying of God that the creatures can find glory. What the Son of Man did, to give Himself wholly, His whole life, to glorify the Father, is nothing but the simple duty of every redeemed one. And Christ’s reward will be his too. Because He gave Himself so entirely to the glory of the Father, the Father crowned Him with glory and honour, giving the kingdom into His hands, with the power to ask what He will, and, as Intercessor, to answer our prayers. And just as we become one with Christ in this, and as our prayer is part of a life utterly surrendered to God’s glory, will the Saviour be able to glorify the Father to us by the fulfilment of the promise: ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask, I will do it.’
 

To such a life, with God’s glory our only aim, we cannot attain by any effort of our own. It is only in the man Christ Jesus that such a life is to be seen: in Him it is to be found for us. Yes blessed be God! His life is our life; He gave Himself for us; He Himself is now our life. The discovery, and the confession, and the denial, of self, as usurping the place of God, of self-seeking and self-trusting, is essential, and yet is what we cannot accomplish in our own strength. It is the incoming and indwelling, the Presence and the Rule in the heart, of our Lord Jesus who glorified the Father on earth, and is now glorified with Him, that thence He might glorify Him in us;—it is Jesus Himself coming in, who can cast out all self-glorifying, and give us instead His own God-glorifying life and Spirit. It is Jesus, who longs to glorify the Father in hearing our prayers, who will teach us to live and to pray to the glory of God.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Sunspots 892

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to others*:


Food: (and finances) Listverse tells us some things we didn't know about Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

Health: (and politics) A writer for The Conversation argues that, prior to the 1800s, abortion, prior to quickening, which is perceived at about the fourth month, was accepted as a medical procedure, and was not stigmatized or outlawed.

History: (or something) Gizmodo on the Georgia Guidestones, which recently suffered severe damage from a so-far at large bomber.

Politics: (and computing) Gizmodo notes that former President Trump, his son, and others, resigned from the board of Trump's Truth Social social network, shortly before a Securities and Exchange Commission examination of the company.

Science: The Scientist reports on how an infestation of mange on vicuñas had important effects on an entire ecosystem.

*I try not to include items that require a password or fee to view.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray, excerpt 134

 

This post continues a series of excerpts from With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray. I thank the Christian Classics Ethereal Library for making this public domain work available. To see their post of the book, go here His book is based on Mark 11:22-24. The previous post in this series is hereAs usual in this blog, long quotations are in this color. Murray's book is based on Mark 11:22-24.

Or are not, in large measure, self-interest and self-will the strongest motives urging us to]pray? Or, if we cannot see that this is the case, have we not to acknowledge that the distinct, conscious longing for the glory of the Father is not what animates our prayers? And yet it must be so.
Not as if the believer does not at times desire it. But he has to mourn that he has so little attained. And he knows the reason of his failure too. It was, because the separation between the spirit of daily life and the spirit of the hour of prayer was too wide. We begin to see that the desire for the glory of the Father is not something that we can awake and present to our Lord when we prepare ourselves to pray. No! it is only when the whole life, in all its parts, is given up to God’s glory, that we can really pray to His glory too. ‘
Do all to
the glory of God,’ and, ‘Ask all to the glory of God,’—these twin commands are inseparable: obedience to the former is the secret of grace for the latter. A life to the glory of God is  the condition of the prayers that Jesus can answer, ‘that the Father may be glorified.’

Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Sunspots 891


Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to others*:

Education: Grammarphobia discusses grandparents, grandparent's and grandparents.

Environment: A Conversation writer says that one way to alleviate the water shortage crisis in the US southwest would be to have cities pay farmers to use more efficient ways of getting water to their crops, eliminating much of the evaporation that uses the water supply inefficiently.

Health: I am not making this up. Gizmodo reports that some scientists are recommending that a sample of fecal material be stored when a person is young (can be frozen), so that restoration of the base-line intestinal inhabitants can be accomplished. Some fecal organisms contribute significantly to our health.

Science: Gizmodo reports that orcas (killer whales) have become predators of great white sharks, off of the coast of Africa.

A stored water lily seed has been determined to be a separate species, with leaf diameter up to 3.2 meters, according to a report by Gizmodo.

*I try not to include items that require a password or fee to view.

Thanks for reading.

 

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Geography (and economics and arithmetic) lesson: In case you didn't know it, Louisville, KY is on the Atlantic Coast, and Oklahoma is in the East.

(Image from Pixabay) So. The Pac-12 athletic conference is going to shrink to 10 members. Texas and Oklahoma, which aren't exactly in the east, will be joining the Southeast conference. The Big 10 is already up to 14 members, and will apparently be adding 2 more, making it the Big 16, maybe. The Big 12 currently has 13 members, and will shrink to 8. The Atlantic Coast Conference includes Notre Dame (sort of) and Louisville, which are both about 600 miles away from the nearest ocean. Have you got all that? It doesn't really matter very much if you do, because there will be more changes, barring the Second Coming. By the way, there are more sports than football, but that's the big one.

Why is all this happening? Money, money, money. Major college sports is an industry, more than a sport. It reflects our values pretty well.

See here for Wikipedia's reporting on this phenomenon, without my editorializing:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_Five_conferences


Sunday, July 03, 2022

With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray, excerpt 133

This post continues a series of excerpts from With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray. I thank the Christian Classics Ethereal Library for making this public domain work available. To see their post of the book, go here His book is based on Mark 11:22-24. The previous post in this series is hereAs usual in this blog, long quotations are in this color. Murray's book is based on Mark 11:22-24.

Let us make His aim ours: let the glory of the Father be the link between our asking and His doing: such prayer must prevail.
This word of Jesus comes indeed as a sharp two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. Jesus in His prayers on earth, in His intercession in heaven, in His promise of an answer to our prayers from there, makes this His first object—the glory of His Father. Is it so with us too? Or are not, in large measure, self-interest and self-will the strongest motives urging us to pray? Or, if we cannot see that this is the case, have we not to acknowledge that the distinct, conscious longing for the glory of the Father is not what animates our prayers? And yet it must be so.


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Sunspots 890

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to others*:


Christianity: (And politics) CNN talks with an author who argues that white evangelicals honor supposed masculinity, regardless of what various sins that these male figures have committed, and that speaking out against this hypocrisy often leads to consequences for those who speak out.

Education: (and politics) Slate, and other outlets, report on Carson v. Makin, which Supreme Court ruling requires state funding instruction based on the beliefs of  conservative Christians.

Food: Gizmodo reports that Texas has the worst corn in the US.

Health: A report says that, if you can't stand on one leg for 10 seconds, you are twice as likely to die within 10 years as if you can.

Science: Gizmodo tells us more than we want to know about the tiny mites that live in the pores of your facial skin.

Terry Gross, of NPR, interviews a scientist who describes sensory experiences in some animals that are quite different from those of humans.

Gizmodo reports that wild bats can remember a phone-made sound for at least four years.

Gizmodo has posted some fine photos of several of the moons in the solar system.

*I try not to include items that require a password or fee to view.

Thanks for reading.