How is the Word “Heart” Used in the New Testament?: Tim Challies writes, “But then how does the Bible use ‘heart?’ Did you know that the New Testament uses the word ‘heart’ well over a hundred times, but never once to refer to the organ in your chest? It only ever uses it as a metaphor, as a word picture. So what can the heart do according to the Bible?” If you want to read more, click here. It is a really helpful article for interpreting the Bible, understanding what God desires, and for using words in a more responsible manner.
Meditation on Joy: Joy is not an emotion; happiness is. Joy is something deeper, permanent, and less dependent on circumstances. Psalm 30 focuses on joy, but only on the heels of pain. Psalms 30:5 reads: “…weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” And Psalms 30: 11–12 declares: “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.” As John 16 makes so clear, pain and joy are often found together. I am convinced that no season in life is void of either. Granted, one season may have lots of joy and a little pain or vice versa, but no season is purely one or the other.
Conversation about Dark Times Between Elrond and Gimli:
“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens,” said Gimli.
“Maybe,” said Elrond, “but let him not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall.”
“Yet sworn word may strengthen quaking heart,” said Gimli.
Resting in God:My Utmost for His Highest is still one of the best devotions out there. Typically, I do not like devotions. Most amount to little more than pop psychology with a Bible verse and religious language. Ugh. No thank you. Yesterday the devotional was: “The Theology of Resting in God.” It challenged me in more than one way. I hope that you will take five minutes to read and reflect. It is powerful, challenging, and a nice reminder of what God desires.
The Zygote and Christian Ethics: One of my favorite sources in my Logos is “Pocket Dictionary of Ethics” by Stanley Grenz and Jay T. Smith. I found the following entry on “zygote” helpful since it touches on one or two important points that are relevant from a biblical viewpoint: The double, or diploid, cell formed by the union of the male sperm cell and the female ovum at conception. As a diploid cell, the zygote has twice the number of chromosomes as a normal germ cell. The zygote formed as a consequence of human reproduction is at the center of several ethical issues, including but not restricted to the question, “When does a human life begin?” Biblical passages such as Psalm 139 are often invoked to suggest that God has an intimate involvement with human beings even in the womb. Consequently, the zygote is generally considered uniquely human in the Christian view of life.
Laughter: Our family right now is enjoying a good dose of laughter at the dinner table reading poems by Shel Silverstein. I mentioned him yesterday. Here is another favorite about the plunger hat!
Deep Work: I want my work and life to count. Yet, it is easy for a number of reasons to focus only on tasks that are easy, mind-numbing, do not require focus, etc. Yesterday at Enlightium Academy, my friend Thomas Lambert shared about the difference between Shallow and Deep Work. It comes from the book, Deep Work, written by Professor Cal Newport. I plan on reading this book over the next four months and making changes. It is when we do deep work that we actually create and contribute something meaningful. While shallow work is necessary in personal and professional life, it can “eat up” (Thomas’ wording) our deep work time and leave us with little to show for hours, days, and weeks of work. Here is an article that summarizes some of the main points of the book: “What is deep work? 7 rules to boost concentration and unleash your full potential”
A Poem That Made Our Family Laugh: “Smart” from Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends”
My dad gave me one dollar bill ‘Cause I’m his smartest son, And I swapped it for two shiny quarters ‘Cause two is more than one!
And then I took the quarters And traded them to Lou For three dimes — I guess he didn’t know That three is more than two!
Just then, along came old blind Bates And just ’cause he can’t see He gave me four nickels for my three dimes, And four is more than three!
And then I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs Down at the seed-feed store, And the fool gave me five pennies for them, And five is more than four!
And then I went and showed my dad, And he got red in the cheeks And closed his eyes and shook his head — Too proud of me to speak!