Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day -- USA

It is our US holiday -- Memorial Day! I love this holiday. I love the waving of the flag and the overall sentiment of gratitude that rises as a result of remembering those who have fought so hard for our country and our present way of life. The US has many problems (as do all governments ordered by frail humanity), however, when we wave this flag, most hearts are filled with thanksgiving, and thanksgiving to our God.

Joe led the choir at a "Watch Fire" gathering last night. It is a gathering of the veterans and citizens in our area: a huge bonfire where all the worn and "used-up" flags are placed and burned as the bagpipes play and the choir sings our patriotic songs. He enjoys that very much.

Today we gather with my church family for a huge picnic at our park on the lake. My heart is thankful to our Lord for all who have gone before me. We do stand on the shoulders of many who have lived and died in and for this great land.

It is a grand ole' Flag!

Have a blessed and thankful day in our Jesus!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Grading Papers

Well, push has come to shove. I must complete the grading of my spring institute course. My dear students have been exceeding patient with me and my travel schedule, but now I must complete the stack of lessons, papers, and finals. Those of you who read here, rejoice, I have completed half of them -- did that yesterday! So now I will try to finish today.

I always enjoy what the students write, and never know why I drag my feet in grading. I love to teach on the Institute level, and enjoy all who are my students. Their creative insight into the Scriptures always blesses and amazes me. Each one is so very different from the other.

In our Bible Institute we grade according to a students ability -- not on a curve in reference to others. Our students' background education has been from a high school diploma to a doctor's degree and all in between. So it would be totally unfair to grade the one with the high school education with the same expectations of those with higher degrees. It works well for all -- this watching of student progression. That is what I watch for, are they progressing in their knowledge of the subject, and in their relationship with their Lord. With out that second part, the Institute would not be doing its appointment in our Lord Jesus. I could hire someone to grade for me, but then I would not be able to see these two things easily.

We have completed 7 years of night school. I am so blessed by the Lord's faithfulness. This summer we are offering one course -- New Testament Survey -- for those who have begun to study with us. This fall we will offer (if all goes as expected) a course in Acts (I will be teaching that one) and a course in the first 100 years of church history based on the New Testament (Fr. Bob Hackendorf will be teaching that one).

Our courses are presently accepted for transfer by several other Institutes. If any of you have a question about which ones, just ask. It is on an informal basis, so I do not advertise the specifics. Our students are reflecting excellent scholarship. The Institute is primarily designed for lay people. We are inter-denominational, and not affiliated with any denomination. Our purpose is to teach what the Bible says -- not necessarily to insist on a specific interpretation of it. However, all teachers are charismatic, so there will, of course, be a slant that direction.

Our courses are available by extension, and you may read about all of them on our web site: www.psalm19ministries.org .

O.K. now I must stop talking about it and get to the work of grading these wonderful (truly) writings of my students.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

When "FREE" isn't really...

Well, I have spent a very frustrating few hours discovering that "Free" really doesn't mean "Free." On the side-bar of this blog, there is an Intercessors Sign up place. I began using a "free" newsletter service (under 50 contacts) to develop a scheduled Weekly Update. It is a dandy little program and since we are not "big potatoes" with a small number to send, it has been free. However, shortly they will begin charging a monthly fee, for all. The fee is not large, but I really did not want to be plugged in to paying for 30-40 emails. Later, when our numbers climb, well of course, and that is the way it was set up. But now they are changing the rules.

So I have spend the morning and part of the afternoon, chasing down "Free" programs offered on the net. Only to discover each and every one of them will give you a free trial, but then, you must pay -- and sometimes for some of them it is pretty big bucks. Now I ask the question. Is it Free or not. I say a loud NOT!

This just should not be allowed. If it is free, then say so. If not, then say so. I am much less likely to use any of them, and will probably just stay where they change the rules. (I will send them an objection). I do not appreciate that, but it is more honest, I think, than telling you it is free, and then making sure you have to buy to make it effective. (I'm sorry, 25 email limit is not an email campaign).

So, there you have it. I am a bit frustrated. Oh well, the sun is shinning, and I have an outing planned for most of the rest of the day, and then there is my Sunday School class to look forward to -- as well as all of church tomorrow. I do love where the Lord has me appointed.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It is the Time . . .

It is Spring and the time for flowers! I took this picture this past week-end in the Nazareth, PA area. What a precious example of our Lord's attention to detail. When we have forgotten where we planted them, (sometimes, we just threw them off to the side of the road), yet, come spring there they are, flags and then these precious delicate flowers. Nothing special really.

Most of us would consider ourselves to be nothing special, really. We have ordinary (or less than) beginnings, not nearly enough of whatever, whenever, and our tendency is to count ourselves of little worth when it comes to doing something special for our Lord Jesus.

Yet, here the daffoldil stands as an example for us. Nothing special really -- just a daffodil, yet they bloom for all their worth, and add such value and beauty to the scene -- where ever. . . in their hour and in their time. We are like that. Just because we are His, we have value and add beauty where ever we have been "thrown," or were we instead planted? He never forgets where, and we bloom in season, always.

Lord, may we be ever so patient with time, and allow You Your season in us deep in the quiet dark before the time of sun blooming. It will come.