Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”

When I’m driving, I like driving fast.  The police have different views, and over the years I have collected a nice group of tickets and warnings.  The last one was about two and a half years ago, a warning.  I keep it in my office, right above my computer, where I can see it all the time.  That’s what warnings are for!

I noticed recently that the writing on it is fading. I thought “Isn’t it great that with the passage of time and the presence of light, it’s just quietly going away – just like sin does.”  Then NO!  I got mad at myself, because that is sloppy and wrong thinking.  The only thing that removes sin is the blood of Jesus Christ.  Our memories are frail, and we often misremember the past – but God is perfect, and even the slightest sin is enough to separate me from God.

It is only the blood of Jesus, paying the penalty for my sins, and my acceptance through baptism, that removed my sins. Not the effect of those sins, but the guilt of them.

John 14:6 says “Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Let’s pray.  Lord God, I so often want to remake You into my own image, to diminish the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. As I take the wafer and the juice, representing Jesus’ body and blood, help me to remember what really happened, and how only through Jesus’ work I can be your son. And it is in the name of Jesus that I pray, Amen.

I’m at my lowest weight since May of 2015.

I’m also sick, looking like a bad cold, so past performance is not necessarily an indicator of future returns.

I’m thinking of opening a new restaurant – the Nike Craft Beer and Down-home Cafe.

I’m having problems with my motto.

It’ll be “Just Do It”, or “Just Brew It”, or “Just Stew It”.

Instant rimshot

In the State of the Union speech, the most-used word will be “I”.

Also making an appearance will be “sad”, “great”, “America”, and “we”.

Validation later from the official transcript.

Acts 12:21-24

So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them.  And the people kept shouting, “The voice of a god and not of a man!”  Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.  But the word of God grew and multiplied.

So Herod gave a speech, and the people loved it. They praised Herod, calling him a god. Herod ate it up – he loved the attention and the accolades. I wouldn’t be surprised if he lived for it. I know he died for it.

It’s easy to get used to the praises, and come to expect them. Herod expected the praises that should have gone to God. Essentially, he took what wasn’t his, and he paid for it. Seems proper. What I want to focus on is the people. The ones who called Herod a god for his speech. I have heard or read some good speeches – “Four score and seven years ago”. “A day that will live in infamy. ” “Ask not what this country can do for you.” “I have a dream.” You can identify those – and you can say beyond the shadow of a doubt that they were spoken by men, not by a god. The people in that scripture passage had a mighty low bar for being a god. I want a God who has more than pretty words. And I have one.

I have a God who created me, who loves me, who sent His Son to die for me, who filled me with the Holy Spirit at baptism, who guards and guides me every day.

That’s a God I can devote my life to, a God I can worship. My God speaks to me daily.

And that same God is Jesus, whose death and resurrection we are now celebrating with the wafer and the juice. Not a human who can spout pretty words and loves the praise. Jesus was fully man, and fully God, who inhabits our praise, and is worthy of our praise. He was crucified, buried, and rose again on the third day. That’s my God. Let’s pray.

Father God, we approach Your throne boldly. We know that sitting on that throne is the real God, with ultimate power and ultimate love. We know that Jesus, perfect and sinless, paid the ultimate price for our sins, and now sits beside You in glory. Thank You for Your love and for the gift of Jesus. It’s in His name I pray, amen.

Zero degrees in the carport. Picture lightened, but the lens flare was in the original. 

I like crossword puzzles. I like filling them out, as long as they aren’t too hard, and I really like finishing them. I get a feeling of satisfaction about doing something and doing it all the way to the end.

Sometimes, though, I disagree with the guy who created it. Might be the hardness of the overall puzzle, might be a place where I would have picked a different clue, or every once in a while the theme of the puzzle. Sometimes I just get bothered at the guy.

Then I realize it’s his crossword puzzle, not mine. He gets to choose the size, the contents, the clues, everything. It all belongs to the creator.

And then, God, as He often does, draws me to the spiritual application. It does all belong to the Creator. He *is* the guy. He gets to choose everything. If He chooses to write ten laws to show how perfect He is, and what He wants us to live up to, and which we can’t, it’s His choice. And if He wants to send His only begotten son Jesus to die on the cross because I can’t follow ten simple rules, it’s His choice.

And that’s what He did – and that’s what we are celebrating with the wafer and the juice. The body and the blood of a perfect man – the one who did His life’s crossword puzzle all the way to the end. And He didn’t use a pencil. He didn’t even use ink. He wrote out the answers in His own blood, and He did it perfectly.

Let’s pray. Father God, You are the creator of all things. You made us with free will, and every one of us chose wrongly. So, as part of Your perfect plan, You gave us Jesus. Thank You for the answer to everything. It’s in His name I pray, amen.

(communion meditation for 2017-12-03)

I have a bit of free time today.  I was keeping up on The Register, one of the best (and snarkiest) IT sites.  I came across this security story on the dangers of unsecured container ship loading protocols.

The comments, as usual, expanded greatly on the story.  I read a lot about the MV Rena failure from 2011/12 (and page 2 gets even worser).  And then somebody pointed to a page on parametric rolling

Parametric rolling 0

which I don’t understand, aside from the high-level “badness comes in waves”, but which provided a stunning visual.

Parametric rolling

Reminding me that some 7/10 splits are worse than others.

(pictures from Learn Ship Design, where it is claimed “Images and videos used in the article donot belong to LSD and full credit goes to their respective owners”, without identifying those owners.)

I’ve gotten email recently from a Japanese chap.  Not reading Japanese and not knowing anybody who speaks only Japanese, I have been deleting them.

Tonight, in avoiding the work I need to do, I translated the latest message.

Japanese

According to my friends at Google Translate, this comes out to

Ōburī sensei sei-gai ofisu no Yamamotodesu. Osewa ni natte orimasu. Hyōki ni tsukimashite, sonogo ikagadeshou ka? Chōsei no ue go kaitō itadakimasu yō onegai itashimasu. Nao, satsuei ni tsuite wa, kōho-bi to jikan ni tsuite mo go shitei itadakimasu yō onegai itashimasu. Dōzo, yoroshikuonegaītashimasu.

and in English,

Mr. Aubrey

It is Yamamoto of the office of the government.
We become indebted to.

Regarding the markings, how about after that?
Please adjust after adjustment and thank you for your reply.
For shooting, please also specify candidate date and time.

Thank you very much.

He is indebted to me, and trusts me to make adjustments after someone else makes adjustments. And wants to shoot someone of my choice.

So I’m not sure whether to be honored or scared.  But give it up, Tetsuhisa.  Either way, it’s not worth it.  Trust me on this one.

 

Today marks the 500th anniversary of a Catholic monk rebelling.  I don’t know if the door of the church at Wittenberg was red, black, natural, or “other”.  It was capable of accepting Luther’s 95 Theses, and that’s what kicked off the whole Protestant Reformation.

I don’t have a lot to say about it (the Reformation, not the door).  I’m glad it happened, and I’m pretty sure that Brother Luther wouldn’t recognize what the church has become.

Rather than spend a lot of words saying nothing, I’ll point to Wes King’s commentary.