February 8th, 2007


Fun news, books, icons, and more

I could run through a list of what I did the past few days, but instead I am going to pick out some highlights.

My father's sermon on I Chronicles was really fun! He talked about books and genealogies. I would recommend listening to it, just because it was such a unique topic for a sermon: http://media.putfile.com/1-Chronicles
Did you know that there is a book with your name on it? I didn't O.o;

The same day, I met with the pastor of the church I attend here in MD. We had a really nice chat. He asked about my school and my family and told me that they would pray for me at the morning prayer meetings. It is really nice knowing that my fathers and mothers in the faith are praying for me! In addition, Pastor Jacob told me that I have some things in common with Timothy. I must study the book of II Timothy...

During the past two days, I worked on homework, key verse reflections, and new icons. The homework is slow going and sometimes feels like wading through a swamp. I shouldn't be surprised! Some of the homework, though (well, Java and some Info Structure reading) is really exciting! Is it possible that I actually look forward to homework? :)

The key verse reflection writing dug a lot into my past and it was quite draining. I tend to forget who I was and it is pretty scary to look back... On the other hand, I kind of write it off like it isn't important now that it has passed. I stumbled upon one memory that can be used to sum up the way I was living my life:

"I remember one day plucking a white flower bud from a rose arrangement and bottling it in a miniature glass jar I had. I stuck the cork on tight. I was going to tick it away for later and then remember this day.
A memory, time frozen by man.
I found it many years later and the bottle was full of mold. The grey fuzz was filling up the glass. I dropped the bottle in shock, missing a heartbeat. Shaken and disturbed, I put the box away and washed my hands, not once but twice, in case there were some poison there. Something of my glass world shook. I rocked and tipped about unsteadily, but I did not change."

Well, working on the reflection (the people here call it a testimony) was good, but I am too ashamed to share it at the Bible study this Friday. I think there are some things we are meant to keep to ourselves and remember, but that need not be broadcast to the entire world. So, I think I will work on another testimony based on the passage we studied Wednesday.

So, now that leaves me to mention the last thing I did today: make some icons. I seem to have a theme of Minoan Crete and Biblical Figures overtaking my icons!^^ Here we have a set from a Cretan Palace (Crete/Thera is the possible location of Atlantis!) and some from the famous Sistene Chapel. There's Daniel, a Sybil, Isaiah, and another Sybil. (Ok, two of these are not new, but I wanted to post them because it shows how varied the Minoan style of fresco is. These are, by the way, from a time that predates or ran concurrent to the Exodus.)

By the way, I forget if I posted about the nice birthday presents I got over the weekend. If I forgot, here goes!
My aunt sent me a card with a picture of a crazy library/bookstore with more books than should be squeezed into one tiny space... It was really funny^^ She also got me a T-shirt with pictures of sushi on it! :D How fun! I can't wait to wear it!
And I also got another package...a very mysterious one from New York with no documentation...
I opened it curiously and found a CD inside? A recording of Holst's The Planets and Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (the song that plays in Master and Commander after the sailor falls from the mast and Hollom is standing by). Oh, the music is wonderful! There is nothing like a good song to conjure up artwork in the mind with such ease. Only a man of fine taste would send me such a gift ^___~ Thank you, Joe! :D
My favorite song is Jupiter, though as I am listening to Neptune, I am wondering if that is where the FoA (Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis) theme music got its inspiration! I enjoy listening to that and thinking about my Atlantis characters, or at least, the Atlantean architecture in the video game. I suppose it inspired me to make the Minoan icons, too^^

Implications of Knowledge

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3

Everything I need I have been given. I came into the world with nothing and will leave with nothing; and yet I have been offered the promise of a blessing that will take hold now and never pass away. Snatched from death and now dead to the flesh. If I live now, I cannot live by anything but the Spirit of the Living and Holy God. Yet, how unfit I am. How unworthy a vessel, and even my "righteous acts are like filthy rags," as the prophet Isaiah says. Yet the Apostle Paul tells me that my own body is "a temple of the Holy Spirit." How hard it is to comprehend. I echo King Solomon: "But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!"

Living with an intentional desire to live is rather interesting. I started again at the beginning, layer by layer laying a foundation to construct a life founded on truth, raised on mercy and hope.
I need to sandal myself with peace and begin to learn to walk.
I need to get off milk and onto solid food, drink from the spring of living water.

Now that I am learning, my soul cries out! I prayed to be made like David, who had a heart that thirsted for God's righteousness and grace. Oh, to serve the Lord of lords and be among his household. No, to be adopted. A child of the Most High.

There's such a swarm of thoughts, a cloud of doubts, a storm of questions that have not taken shape. It's the unrecognized information need that can be expressed, but not in words and not in form. A deep curiosity, a quiet whisper that urges me to go on. Now what do I do that I have found that knowledge I sought for so long? I thought it was unreachable. I was fooling myself. I was doubting what God can do.

Why would God bother to give His word if it were unknowable by men?

We might not be able to understand it on our own, but that is the whole reason God wants to work in us. To cure our blindness, to free us from ignorance and death. Through Him all things are possible in accordance to His will.

God created all things. He created my sight. So why do I trust my sight more than I trust the one who made sight? Faith doesn't come naturally. Yet it is by faith that we obtain a good testimony. So why am I slow to change? Why is it so difficult for me to see and to live?

God grant me the humble heart of one who can look beyond the self to fulfill a life of love.