A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be make to work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system.
Category Archives: Quote
Nothing is as sobering as seeing your sin and weakness and then marveling at the consuming beauty of grace. God has used a book over the past few weeks to do both in my life. I have had to put it down several times because the pain was too great and the worship so strong. Wrestling With an Angel is about a father’s experience with his special needs son and God. The subtitle of the book tells it all: A story of love, disability, and the lessons of grace.
It surprised me that it hit so hard. The chapters are short but the connection to what it means to be a fallen parent regardless of the child God has entrusted you to raise is sharp. I strongly recommend this for all parents. It will help you see your journey in a whole new light. Parenting is never for the faint of heart and some hearts grow through unimaginable pain. Here is an extended excerpt to provide a taste.
The alarm goes off inside my head usually a few moments before the clock on my nightstand sets in motion the events of the morning. It is amazing how the mind and body can sync to a schooled stimulus response, almost to the minute, each and every day.
It’s 5:58 a.m. and I have two minutes before my morning routine begins.
I watch the clock and wait for the alarm. It’s not a desire for more sleep that holds me in place. Nor is it the comfort of my blanket on this crisp, cold, dark morning. I take refuge in my bed for these few peaceful moments to think about my life.
I reflect on my weakness and inability to meet the demands that have been placed on me through the circumstances of my journey. I wonder why God’s plan for my life includes so much frustration and hurt. Then I question why God even has a plan for me at all as I contemplate my sin, self- centeredness, pride, and constant sense of failure.
Suffering seems to be the tool He uses to draw me close. But the very affliction of my soul and the anxious weariness of my heart, things that should force me to run to the light, often drive me furiously into the darkness.
I know He loves me and cares for me but sometimes I cannot understand this strange affection. What kind of love is it that brings so much pain into my life – especially from a sovereign being who has the power to make all things right. And so, by nature,I resist the One who ultimately has designed all these difficult conditions for my good and for His glory.
It’s 5:59 a.m. I want to turn off the alarm, go back to sleep, and wake up in a different place and time. I want to wake up a better man or in different circumstances, something other than what’s right here, right now. I am exhausted already, simply by anticipating the next twenty minutes. Guilt begins to disguise itself as conviction, and so I pray.
Father, forgive me for my sins – cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Make the cross of your Son visible for me this morning as I approach this day. Show me your greatness in the smallness of my life. Lord, I am helpless against what is before me this morning, and I do not know what to do. But my eyes are on you. Please wake my son gently and peacefully. Create in him a good mood and a cooperative spirit. Give him an understanding of your love. Give me an understanding of Your love. Ease his frustration and help me to get him out of bed, cleaned, dressed, and off to school. Create in me the heart of a father, that I might be the man my son needs me to be. Make me like Jesus. None of this will be possible unless you intervene in my life and my family this morning. Lord, before my feet touch the floor, give me strength and grace – especially grace. I am desperate for your grace…
The shrill tone of the alarm clock pierces my thoughts and brings an impromptu amen to my prayer. A bit startled, my heart begins to beat faster, pumping much-needed blood into my reluctant extremities, a slight injection of adrenaline to assure the job gets done.
Why do we dare to “take it all in” when our hearts are ready to epode with grief? Why do we sing when we mourn? Why do we adorn graves with flowers? Because we know that death can only be recognized by the living, sorrow can only be shared by those who grieve, and there is no shame in dying. Death may look like failure to those who worship life. The grave may appear as a dark reminder for those who seek repose in the busyness of daily demands. But, for those of us who have died with Christ Jesus, if his death teaches us anything it’s this: what looks like failure is really victory; what appears to be loss is actually gain; what seems to be shameful is the place where honor is found; and what sounds like the mourning is true worship. Believers call it a “sacrifice of praise,” for only those who are crucified with Christ can thank God for each, a fragrant aroma.
The Christian mind can discern the divine wisdom in the forms in which angels are present to us. To the half-converted mind, hankering after miraculous visitations and supernatural sensations, God says, “Nothing doing. I am supernaturally present with you, but you will only know it through the duties and responsibilities of the immediate life around you.” But to the devout Christians, intent on faithful intercessions and patient burden-bearing, the Spirit on occasion gives visions and dreams to fortify the faithful with the knowledge that we are surrounded and supported by heavenly hosts in our warfare. Angels are for encouragement, not for entertainment.
This video challenges me on so many levels. The question for me is, “Do I live in such a way to show Christ or Christianity?”
What do you want to change about your life? Go for it! You have 30 days!
The communal character of the sacrament means that the communion is with each other as well as with God. In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus bids us be reconciled with each other before we bring our gifts to the altar (5:23)….What role then to the gifts of the bread and wine have in all this? They are surely of great importance, but not in a manner that is detachable from the totality of what is going on. It seems to me of great significance that the bread and wine are not only gifts of created nature in that they derive from wheat and grapes, but are also the products of human labor. In liturgical words that are often used at the Offertory, the gifts are ‘what earth has given and human hands have made.’ They represent the drawing together, in the action of the Eucharist, of the fruits of nature and the fruits of human work and skill in the offering of creation.