We Never Live, But We Hope to Live

“We do not rest satisfied with the present. We anticipate the future as too slow in coming, as if in order to hasten its course; or we recall the past, to stop its too rapid flight. So imprudent are we that we wander in the times which are not ours, and do not think of the only one which belongs to us; and so idle are we that we dream of those times which are no more, and thoughtlessly overlook that which alone exists. For the present is generally painful to us. We conceal it from our sight, because it troubles us; and if it be delightful to us, we regret to see it pass away. We try to sustain it by the future, and think of arranging matters which are not in our power, for a time which we have no certainty of reaching.

Let each one his thoughts, and he will find them all occupied with the past and the future. We scarcely ever think of the present; and if we think of it, it is only to take light from it to arrange the future. The present is never our end. The past and the present are our means; the future alone is our end. So we never live, but we hope to live; and, as we are always preparing to be happy, it is inevitable that we should never be so.”

– Pascal, Pensees (p. 50)

Flotsam & Jetsam (11/8)

One Soul at a Time – Wise words: “We have hope beyond this country, beyond our system of government, beyond this life. But so many do not. Do we care about those souls?”

When Martin Bucer Has Your Back – Good stuff.

Reel Quick – Well, it’s been almost two years since I started this movie journal. Two hundred ten reviews so far, and counting. My latest review is of Clint Eastwood’s film Changeling. If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s amazing.

The Normalization of Sexualizing Children – “No longer is the Proverbs 31 standard upheld or desired as the post-modern Westernized culture has taught females that this lifestyle will not garnish the clamor of others.  Outward beauty is sought as a means to gain value because females lack a healthy understanding of what it means to be loved.” (HT Aaron)

On Our Merciful God – Love this.

BPR: Wreck-It Ralph – “This film was designed with gamers of all ages specifically in mind, but even if you don’t play much, Wreck-It Ralph is almost guaranteed to put few smiles on your face.” I wasn’t really interested in this film to begin with, but after reading a number of glowing reviews (this one included), I may just give it a shot.

Another CC Classic – A laugh from good ol’ Mr. Eddings.

“People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.” – Pascal

Seven Post Mortem Principals

1. The first principle is not just that Jesus is Lord. That wonderful phrase is our foundational confession; it is not simply a sweet sentiment to tide us over until the sweet by and by. Rather we must say that Jesus is the Lord of history, and so He is the one who gave this electoral outcome to us. We don’t fully know why He did, but we know that He did.

2. Given the wickedness of key elements in Obama’s agenda (abortion, sodomy, thievery through taxation, etc.) we know that whatever the Lord is doing, it is for judgment and not for blessing. And in Scripture, whenever judgment is pending, or has begun, the appropriate response is repentance – not mobilization or organizing our remaining tatters.

Postmillennial optimism does not mean the world gets better without repentance. It means that the gospel is powerful to save, and when the gospel is preached rightly it comes in the form of “repent and believe.” Repent of what? Repent of our sins. Believe what? Believe in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen. Continue reading —>

I’m not sure I agree that Romney would have been easier to oppose, but that’s a small bone to pick with this terrific article from Pastor Wilson. Give it a read. It’s one of the best post-election pieces I’ve encountered.

Superlative

“Don’t use words too big for the subject: don’t say ‘infinitely’ when you mean ‘very’; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.” – C.S. Lewis

Never say savor when you only mean taste –
one is a holding on the tongue and an intoxication
and the other is cursory, a sampling, connoting
reluctance to bask. Never say a thing you don’t mean.

Never say agony for pain or vast for very big or
love for the agitated chemistry of bodies unknown
to each other. If you say eternal for longevity, how
will you ever convince us of undying things?

Never say always for most of the time, or downpour
for the dribbling of hesitant rain. If you say you
believe in something you only hope tremulously to
be true, how shall we be made to understand faith?

Never say never when you only mean, “not at any time
in the past or the future as far as we know.” Because you
might not know. And when you truly need to say,
“I will never leave you, nor forsake you,” you will hear it
echoed back at you: the riotous mockery of a world
hungry for reasons to doubt. Tell us the whole truth
and nothing but the truth, so help you God.

Bryana Johnson

On the Bookshelf XII

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
After nearly two decades in Britain, the author decided it was time to return to the U.S. – but not before embarking on a grand farewell tour of the island that had so long been his home. Bryson is a keen and delightfully funny writer; in fact, he reminds me of Mark Steyn, if Mark Steyn ever did travel writing. Some of the humor is, shall we say, off-color, but on the whole this is easily one of the most entertaining books I’ve read all year.
Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
Yes, yes – I said I was going to read this Hugo award-winner months ago. Better late than never, though, right? I’m a couple chapters in, and enjoying it immensely thus far. Fantastic writing, fantastic story. But as exciting as the action is, I get the feeling that this book is going to be about much more than space battles and aliens. Which is exactly why I picked it up to begin with.
Pensées by Blaise Pascal
“The last step that Reason takes is to recognize that there is an infinity of things that lie beyond it. Reason is a poor thing indeed if it does not succed in knowing that.” I’d all but forgotten about this one… until it appeared on my senior year reading list. Awesomeness.
Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions by John Donne
A beautiful, beautiful book, rich in passages like this one: “As yet God suspends me between heaven and earth, as a meteor; and I am not in heaven because an earthly body clogs me, and I am not in the earth because a heavenly soul sustains me.” Donne was a true wordsmith.
On the Incarnation by Athanasius of Alexandria
“Athanasius contra mundum.” I recently did a study of this man’s life, and the more I learn about him, the more I admire him. Such a remarkable defender of the faith. He penned On the Incarnation at the ripe old age of twenty; it’s short, potent, and what I love most is the passion with which it is written.

What’s on your bookshelf right now?