The Only Place of Refuge

One of the first Bibles I ever owned was the Harper Study Bible. Yes, it’s the RSV (Revised Standard Version). It was very handy in my formative years as a Christian. I still have it. In fact, while sorting belongings lately, I came across that Bible. I opened it and the page it opened to was Psalm 73. RSV

Asaph, the writer of this psalm, was a noted whiner. He was “envious of the arrogant, when [he] saw the prosperity of the wicked.” As I looked at the page, I saw a section circled (by me). It was these verses:

10 Therefore the people turn and praise them; and find no fault in them. 11 And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?” 12 Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. 13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all the day long I have been stricken, and chastened every morning.

The note in the margin (again, written in by me) reads this way:

Read over and over and over again.

Introspection – pathetic self-centeredness.

I needed that reminder. I need that reminder. I have felt the same way as Asaph on numerous occasions. I feel that way now. So, I must keep reading. In verses 21and 22 Asaph describes us (him and me) like this:  “When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was stupid and ignorant, I was like a beast toward thee.” Yup.

But, I need to keep reading. Brother Asaph finished the Psalm in a better frame of mind, writing:

27 For lo, those who are far from thee shall perish; thou dost put an end to those who are false to thee. 28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all thy works.

That’s the important part! That’s what I need to read often. That’s what I offer to you, too. It is good to be near God.

I actually preached on this psalm as my final sermon when I was at Covenant Seminary. I compared the psalmist to the blues singer. Asaph had the blues, it’s true. Unlike the bluesman, however, he also knew the answer for the blues. He knew that it is good to be near God. He is our only refuge.

Reading and Writing – Important Diet News

: Chocolate is Good For You!

Chocolate may be good for us because we can’t actually digest it. Various studies over the past decade have shown eating dark chocolate has health benefits. Specifically, it has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease because it contains flavonols. But science has been unclear how these feather20pen20clipartflavonols actually benefit us. Now teams at Virginia Tech and LSU may have discovered why: most of the cocoa bean is indigestible by humans. The undigested cocoa matter is eventually broken down by our gut bacteria. Some is absorbed into the blood stream, where it is known to reduce cardiac inflammation. The remaining cocoa fiber eventually ferments in our lower intestine, releasing substances that improve cholesterol levels, and producing healthful probiotic microbes in the process. That’s so cool and gross at the same time!

Once again we thank www.curious.com for this informative gem.

Reading and Writing: The First Casualty

In 1918, US Senator Hiram Johnson stated that “In war, the first casualty is truth.” It’s disputed whether Johnson was the first to state this. Some claims go back as far as feather20pen20clipart Aeschylus (Greek playwright; 525 BC – 456 BC). It matters not who first stated it.

We are always, in this world of ours, in a state of war. One has to wonder if we ever get the truth, whether from the governments or the (allegedly free) press.

 

Just a thought. What think you, Readers? 

Reading and Writing

A daily curious fact from Justin Kitch, Curious CEO
We all know “A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y” are vowels in the English alphabet, and all the other letters are consonants. Technically, a vowel is any sound made without the mouth orfeather20pen20clipart throat closing. Consonants are sounds that require air to stop at least once during vocalization. This is why “y” is only a vowel sometimes–the ‘Y’ in “yellow” is a consonant but in “wry” it is a vowel. Well, it turns out that by the technical definition there is a seventh vowel: w. At the end of words like “now” or “how”, it is actually considered a vowel because air doesn’t stop. The same appears true when you say “zzzz” but because your teeth have to be almost touching (try saying the “zzzz” while opening your mouth wider) it is actually a subclass of consonant called a fricative, made by pushing air through a small gap in your teeth. Yowee, this is getting complicated!
go to http://www.curious.com for more curiosities

Reading and Writing

feather20pen20clipartThe “Softening” of Public Education in America

I have been involved in education in the US at various levels. I have seen the constant creep of political correctness, mediocrity, liberalism (in its many forms), and inefficient bureaucracy firsthand. Here is a brief article which describes that headlong slide. Thanks to Kairos Journal.

How could the supposed leaders in public education be so out of touch with the people of the United States? According to E. D. Hirsch, an outspoken critic on the quality of public education in America, public education is held captive to certain ideological elites whose theories have ultimately made “K-12 education . . . among the least effective in the developed world.”3 These educators promote “the very antifact, anti-rote-learning, antiverbal practices that have led to poor results. . .”4

To read the entire piece, click here.