In Memory of Ken Silva

A good friend and fellow blogger for many years, Ken Silva, passed away Sunday night at his home. His website became the go-to place for information on the disturbing trends within evangelicalism. I interviewed Ken many times on radio about the emergent spirituality, and we shared information constantly behind the scenes about the latest pertinent news in order to share it with our readers.

Words don’t convey the sense of loss to many of us who appreciated his work and contributions that helped readers to understand our spiritually tumultuous times. He, like all of us, took a lot of personal attacks for the work he did. I witnessed it many, many times at hate sites that smeared him in every way possible. He kept right on going. I am glad he is with Jesus now, beyond anyone’s ability to hurt him, beyond all pain and suffering. We’ll see you again, Ken. It won’t be long now.

Under an Autumn Sky

leavesIn the grocery store parking lot where I was loading things into my cart I heard a voice behind me and realized I was being spoken to. A man in a wheel chair was there.

“Isn’t it a beautiful day?” he asked. He had strong muscles from wheeling his chair up the long hill to the store.

“It’s absolutely gorgeous,” I agreed. “I wish I had a way to store these days to get us through the long winter.”

He nodded, and we stood there just a few moments enjoying the fresh, cool breeze and the sun on our faces. We were two perfect strangers connecting as fellow humans, our souls drinking in the great beauty of the afternoon.

All the best rhapsodic prose about the Fall of the year has already been written many times over. But I was struck again today by the leaves changing color. Emmy and I walked along for our 3 mile walk, taking it all in.

There is something about being outside that makes Emmy think of God.

“He’s up there in the clouds,” she said solemnly as she walked along pushing her doll in her stroller.

“Who is?”

“God. Pastor told us about that in chapel,” she said firmly.

“God loves me, and I love Him,” she added. “He’s watching over me.”

We stopped to admire a maple leaf that Emmy observed was pink, not red. Bees buzzed over some droopy black-eyed susans at the corner where we turn. A neighbor waved cheerily at us as we made our way back home up the long hill.

“It’s such a lovely day, isn’t it?” Em sighed blissfully.

Beauty and truth and faith under a deep blue sky.

(Photo credit to my friend Francis MacDonald. This is a photo of his native Nova Scotia in autumn.)

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The Most Important Trait

I think the most important trait in a man is kindness. Everything flows from that. Related to that is understanding. All the money in the world can’t buy the profound blessing of a man who understands you and doesn’t judge and dislike you for a weakness–someone who instead bolsters you up in that area instead of despising it. That’s what a good man does. They don’t crush the life and joy out of you, they give life and joy because of the way they live and show love. I am grateful to be married to a deeply kind man.

 

TomIngLake

Motherhood In One Picture

Emmy told me that last night she had a bad dream but that in the dream, when a monster was chasing her,  she came running to my room and jumped in our bad, and I kept her safe from the monster. That pretty much sums up how a child should view a mother. In a cold and often scary world, mothers should be a warm and safe place, a place that stays with you all your life in your mind and heart. I saw this unattributed photo today flying around Facebook and thought it summed up mother love all in one photo.

(This is in honor of my own mother, Freda, whose love has always come through, in good times and bad.)

 

mama

An Evening Gift

Our son, Will, is busy at college, but this evening he sent this beautiful and ancient hymn. It came for me at exactly the moment that God wanted it to. Will attached a version of this hymn with a French choir singing along with organ. The setting is by the compose,r Vierne. The organ music is powerful, contrasting with the voices of the choir. The cry of the supplicant, and the answering, response of the Spirit of our all powerful God. I hope this blesses you as it did me tonight. The words echo the cry of our hearts: Come, Holy Spirit. Without you, we can do nothing.

 

COME, HOLY GHOST
send down those beams,
which sweetly flow in silent streams
from Thy bright throne above.

O come, Thou Father of the poor;
O come, Thou source of all our store,
come, fill our hearts with love.

O Thou, of comforters the best,
O Thou, the soul’s delightful guest,
the pilgrim’s sweet relief.

Rest art Thou in our toil, most sweet
refreshment in the noonday heat;
and solace in our grief.

O blessed Light of life Thou art;
fill with Thy light the inmost heart
of those who hope in Thee.

Without Thy Godhead nothing can,
have any price or worth in man,
nothing can harmless be.

Lord, wash our sinful stains away,
refresh from heaven our barren clay,
our wounds and bruises heal.

To Thy sweet yoke our stiff necks bow,
warm with Thy fire our hearts of snow,
our wandering feet recall.

Grant to Thy faithful, dearest Lord,
whose only hope is Thy sure word,
the sevenfold gifts of grace.

Grant us in life Thy grace that we,
in peace may die and ever be,
in joy before Thy face.
Amen. Alleluia!

 

Laying a Sound Foundation

photo 2 (8)The local PBS station was on in the background last Saturday when our little daughter suddenly said excitedly, “He’s talking about Jesus!” Her eyes were shining.

I looked up at the screen to see Bill Gaither on the Gospel music program he hosts. The mention of the name of Jesus made Emmy’s ears perk up. She knows that that name is special in our home.

This last Monday our daughter began her formal schooling. It has made us think about how important foundations are in our lives. We are seeing the foundations of social order completely broken up and discarded in America. It is little wonder why the walls are buckling and the ceiling is coming down in our country. When the moral and spiritual foundations are destroyed, the rest comes down quickly. The same is true in our personal lives.

The reason we placed Emmy in a Christian school is because we know how important a spiritual foundation is. Begin with the wrong material or lay no foundation at all and you are setting lives up for destruction. Academics are important , yes, they are, but the most important thing of all is instilling the fear of the Lord in the hearts of our children. Introducing them to the Architect behind everything is crucial. We are not here by chance, we are not just carbonized life forms. There is a Designer and a design for all of it. Educators in secular schools teach that we are the result of random chance acting on matter. Then they act surprised and horrified when those who really accept that they are highly evolved slime live out that belief system in the halls.

Emmy’s school begins at the beginning. The very first day of school, she brought home a paper intended for the families. Not just the children, but the families. She already has learned the first of the Ten Commandments that God gave from Sinai. The Law of God gives us the basis for the Gospel message. First Law, then Gospel. I thought I would share a photo of the Congregation at Prayer sheet Emmy received from school. Foundations matter. Without them, spiritual ruination will follow.

 

Bible

On Authority

“Some people have an instinctive itch of irritation against the word ‘authority.’ Either they suppose that authority is a pompous name for mere bullying, or else, at the best, they think that mere bullying is an excess of authority. Tyranny is the opposite of authority. For authority simply means right; and nothing is authoritative except what somebody has a right to do, and therefore is right in doing. It often happens in this imperfect world that he has the right to do it and not the power to do it. But he cannot have a shred of authority if he merely has the power to do it and not the right to do it…. To abuse authority is to attack authority. A policeman is no longer a policeman when he is bribed privately to arrest an innocent man; he is a private criminal. He is not exaggerating authority; he is reducing it to nothing.” ~ G.K. Chesterton

—From the essay, “True and False Comparisons”

This essay can be found in the Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton Vol. 37, available here.

HT: Ignatius Press