First things first: We wish you all a very joyous fall season. This is definitely my favorite time of year and it is especially beautiful here in Tennessee, where the leaves are prolific and beginning their radical shift to autumn colors. Come and visit us, friends and family. We want to share God's glory with you!
I am writing partially because an update to this blog was requested by a person we love very much, and also because the subject herein has been heavy upon me for a while. The post you're about to read (or suffer through, if you will) is actually two excerpts from my personal journal. I hope you enjoy it and perhaps it will make you think a bit about our world and how we interact with it.
"I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from evil.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." Luke 17:15-16
(Originally written 9/13/2008)
I wonder, here in the U.S., with our focus on new technology, whether we're losing our contact with our ability to grasp the aesthetic of touch, sound, and earthly beauty. We desire to create social networks online, and reclusively wait behind our computer screens for someone to notice us. We try to electronically meet our determined efforts at research, and while we know information should be free, our minds quickly become overwhelmed with all of the resources available. The days of digging through encyclopedias, dictionaries, and atlases one at a time have been replaced by frenetic hyperlinking from site to site. Attention deficit is a national plague, pronouncing mental and psychological prison sentences on our youth, our government, and our churches.
I am no Luddite. No, far from it. I have a Facebook, a Flickr, a LinkedIn, a Twitter, a Jaiku, a Plaxo, and other "social network" accounts. I use email and instant messenger. I'm a technical trainer, working with cutting-edge technology. I am not afraid of the Internet, cellular phones, wireless signals, or any of the latest trends. But, I keep a hand-written journal, a daily work log in a paper planner, and want to instill the same appreciation in my family and friends. I love paper, walks through museums, live music, live sports, paperback books, and intimate one-on-one communications.
If we lose touch with these things, we lose touch with who God created us to be: in and experiencing his creation, but not of this world.
(Originally written 9/14/2008)
Samuel is sitting across the table from me, enjoying his second waffle. It is a toaster waffle, of course. And I'm thinking about what he's missing by not having a homemade/handmade breakfast in front of him. Everything he's consuming has come from a package and is missing one key ingredient: love. Love changes the nature of things. You can tell by the taste, the touch, the look, and the spirit of the thing.
Anji has surrounded us, in our home, with handmade items that Ken (my father-in-law) has produced over the years: many things that embody what I'm writing about. Many of them are imperfect, rough around the edges, just like me. But they're made with love, and it shows, just like me.
Thy mercy, o Lord, is in the heavens; and Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; Thy judgements are a great deep:
O Lord, Thou preservest man and beast.
How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, o God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings.
God bless you all.