My Mornings

Having just come back from PEI, I enjoyed waking up with Micah, my brother, and Lindsey and Arden, his wife and daughter, to sit out on the front porch, fresh roasted coffee in hand, overlooking his yard stretching down to a small bridge crossing a small river. While I was there, the bridge was under construction, making lots of noise, and, in spite of this, we would actually sit in the sun, watching and talking, for close to an hour each day.

My mornings here, in Ontario, on the other hand, are hectic, uncomfortable, and stressful. I usually wake up resentfully clinging to a few more moments rest. Then, I struggle dozily out of bed and down the stairs to the computer where I check email for about 10 minutes. I don’t have coffee or breakfast here. I save that to eat at work (usually just a bagel, anyway). I then start daily personal hygiene, like shaving my head and showering. Then, I head back up stairs to my room where I read my Bible for about 20 minutes, alternating Old and New Testament and either Psalms or Proverbs. Then, it’s off to work in Toronto traffic on the 401.

I’ve always said I enjoy the first few moments of the day at work when I just plop down in my seat and nothing’s begging to be done yet. Maybe that’s because it’s my least stressful part of the day…

Would I change things up to achieve mornings like those I had in PEI? Should I? I’m sure it’s not half as great as it seems as I didn’t have work on the horizon of my morning to bother me as I relaxed on the porch. I certainly couldn’t find the same job out there and I don’t think I’d be as satisfied with the work, itself. And what’s a morning, anyway, without people to spend it with? As surely I presently have no one to spend it with anyway.

I guess I will just keep doing my thing. I do have something in mind. I don’t intend to live without attempting to get to a better place. But, for now, I just need to trust God to walk me through.

The right tool for the right job: Not so simple.

The right tool for the right job, like most things in life, is more complex, more difficult to understand, and takes effort to grasp the reason and benefits of its true meaning.

The argument “the right tool for the right job” is as old as they come. It’s similar in spirit to the old adage that you can’t put a “square peg in a round hole“.

The problem is no scenario is black and white.

You’re on Microsoft Windows so you should use .NET? You’re on Mac so you should use Objective-C and Cocoa? You’re on linux so you should use C and GTK?

The right tool for the right job is not just about price/performance ratios, the primary goal of a language, or what a language has tradionally been used for.

You use a programming language for a task because you’re an expert in that language and you can bend it to your will with greater ease than implementing in a new language.

Business understands this. It’s about efficiency not “perl is for data” and “python is for prototyping” and “C is for algorithms” and “java is for apps.”

It’s not black and white.

Microsoft Office might, in a very base sense, be the best tool for the job if you’re dealing with Microsoft Office format files. But the “right tool for the right job” includes conditions like price, licensing, security risk, training, etc.

Licensing is a big issue. The internet and the FOSS movement, from which we all benefit enormously today, was built on open standards, open protocols and open code.

Stallman understands that we’re where we are today because IT pioneers simply found it easier, better and more fulfilling to craft open source and have all modifications on open source returned back to the source.

We have a great computer ecosystem because the right-tool-right-job mentality did not include the idea that one should go with the status quo which is so often the case when people bring up this argument.

The right tool for the right job, like most things in life, is more complex, more difficult to understand, and takes effort to grasp the reason and benefits of its true meaning.

G.K. Chesterton

Anybody might say, “Very few men are really Manly.” Nobody would say, “Very few whales are really whaley.”

Mr. Blatchford says that there was not a Fall but a gradual rise. But the very word “rise” implies that you know toward what you are rising. Unless there is a standard you cannot tell whether you are rising or falling. But the main point is that the Fall like every other large path of Christianity is embodied in the common language talked on the top of an omnibus. Anybody might say, “Very few men are really Manly.” Nobody would say, “Very few whales are really whaley.”

Just a taste of the wit of G.K. Chesterton.

May I recommend an Introduction to the Book of Job?

I know I mentioned it earlier but it may have gotten buried and gone unnoticed for some.

Enjoy.

Sons of Elohim

Ever read Genesis 6:1-4? You should. It’s a tantalizing piece of the bible with fantastical possibilities.

Ever read Genesis 6:1-4? You should. It’s a tantalizing piece of the bible with fantastical possibilities.

I don’t know when it occurred to me but ever since I can remember I have always held a connection between those Big Fish (great movie, btw) stories of old, the greek and roman gods, dragons, mythical sea creatures, and more, with the possibility that they may have been based on some kernel of truth, even if they seemed exaggerated out of all rational proportions.

Genesis 6:1-4 talks about “sons of God” and continues to explain the “Nephilim [giants] were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them.” But this is even more fascinating, “They were the heroes of old, men of renown.”

I don’t know about you but I don’t refer to historical figures as heroes or men of renown. Perhaps renown, in the case of great statesmen, or poets or writers, but used in the context like it is, it seems there’s more.

Before I go to far, this isn’t just my imagination running wild. See Sons of God for an incredible journey of possibilities and some eye-openers.

For those not interested in whether or not there were “giants” in the past, you might be interested to know that the King James Version has what is commonly held as a mis-translation in Deuteronomy 32:8 (read the Sons of God link) that in turn leads to more meaning regarding Genesis 6:1-4.

Don’t be afraid of “errors” in your bible. They’re not the kind of errors that are going to blow up your faith. God’s Word is perfect. Mankind is not.

Your bible is a translation and it may have a mistake here and there. The KJV has been known to have a few ever since it was first published but they let it be, I’m not sure why. At any rate, there’s a wealth of knowledge out there when these issues do come up. The answer is always a google away.

Back to the topic at hand.

When you’ve read the links above you’ll better understand what I say next.

What really excites me is the possibility that the adventurers, the heroes, the kings, the queens, the vagabonds and the gods we all read stories about, were not entirely made up by writers of pure fiction, but sourced on real superhuman beings that presented themselves at that time.

Imagine that! If the gods of olympus were bourne on some kind of truth, what else is out there that might also hold some weight? Imagine each and every incredible, far out myth that has come down to us from the dawns of time and that there may be some truth to each.

What I especially love about all of this is the tapestry, vibrant with colour, rich with texture, God has created for us and placed us in. Whether or not roman and greek gods really did exist is beside the point. There were incredible people, creatures and events that continue to astound us. They are so fantastic our minds can not grasp them as a reality.

And so it is with God.

I talk of stories of the farthest of wild dreams. I might be wrong, but then again there might be some truth to what I’m thinking too.

God lays out the brutal truth,

2 “Who is this that darkens my counsel
with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone-
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels [a] shouted for joy?”
Job 38:2-7

And the Almighty God of the universe goes on and on to drive home the point. We think we are wise. We think we know the ways of God.

The truth is, even this creation he has given us, which we live a lifetime in and think we can finally come to grips with and understand it, even this, even this we truly do not understand the better part of a fraction.

Job 3, Job 38-42

Read it. It’s breath-taking and humbling. When you’re done that, G.K. Chesterton‘s excellent essay may shed some light of the brilliance of the scipture.

Genesis 1 (What’s it like to read the entire bible? How about we find out?)

Trust God’s Word. Trust God’s Word not because it says so, but because it says so and because it welcomes any and all skepticism with a voracious appetite.

I’m a few chapters into Genesis already but I’ve been finding it difficult to write about what I’ve already read. I had read Genesis 1 and actually had a huge piece written up but it wasn’t really what I wanted it to be. I went real long and in-depth about the importance of the first verse, about cosmologies, creation and evolution, and about approaching Genesis from another angle (which has produced some novel ideas from others). It didn’t feel right, though.

If I’m going to write about reading the bible, I don’t want to get caught up in detailed explanations, theories, wild-goose chases or other tangents. I really want to show readers the best parts, the parts that most show the bible as the solid truth that it is and that most reflect glory upon God.

So let me just get this whole ball rolling…

  1. Genesis 1:1 Is there any more simple, pragmatic way the book could open than this? “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” It’s the perfect introduction to history. There was a beginning to all of this and God was there creating all of it and us.
  2. Origins of the Universe. Look up Russel Humphreys and read up on Starlight and Time. His theory may not stand the test of time but others will take inspiration from his novel approach to the text of Genesis 1.
  3. Creation/Evolution. It may seem to you like there’s no evidence for creation. Mainstream media will rarely report anything to do with creationism, less still in a flattering light, so how would we know? It’s up to every believer to be familiar with the massive field of creationism. Many thousands of believers have spent their lives understanding the Genesis account of creation and going about showing that it is true. Answers in Genesis is an organization which I find provides solid, well-reasoned, rational answers to many of the questions we have about what mainstream science is telling us and what the bible is telling us. Their Get Answers section may help you if you, like many, ask why a biblical creation even matters.
  4. God created you and I, male and female, to have not only amazing relationships with each other, but to know our creator personally. God wants to know you and He wants you to know Him. You just wait. You’re going to learn incredible details about the character of God just by reading His Word.

The bible is jam-packed with goodness but I feel I would detract from it by writing too much so I’ll stop here and give you these points and links to ponder. Let me just say one more thing that came up just now.

As we begin reading the bible I do want to give you one bit of advice. Google is your friend. Wikipedia is your friend. Firefox is your friend. Googlepedia is your friend. Neither of these things has a Christian bent. In fact, Wikipedia can easily lead a weak Christian astray. But let me tell you what just happened while I googled the wiki article for Answers in Genesis, where I knew I was likely to find not only positive views but also criticisms.

What I found was a very unflattering portion of the wiki article entitled Controversy over interview with Richard Dawkins. It painted a very unsavoury picture of Answers in Genesis. Had I stopped right there, I would probably have dismissed Answers in Genesis forever after. But you know there’s always two sides to a story. And you know you have a brain for  a reason. So I went to the Answers in Genesis website and searched for “dawkins response” and their own search results gave me Skeptics choke on Frog, a response to critics about the controversy of the interview.

I hope the lesson is clear. You really need to have more than one side of a story before you can form your own positions.