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Archive for July, 2018

One of the most finely crafted and resonant chapters of the biblical corpus achieves its quiet doxology via a horticultural simile, which catches this reader’s eye on the morning after hauling yet another load of subtropical greenery to our Colombian patio.

For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations. (Isaiah 61:11 ESV)

The author has in the preceding verses gone a bit crazy in the search for metaphors that capture the extravaganza of YHWH’s turning towards his people after the ‘brief moment’ of their affliction. Now, they are walls called ‘salvation’, rebellious citizens will have become ‘the righteous’, the oil of gladness will have displaced mourning, Zion’s children will have become famous throughout the world. (more…)

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YHWH’s blessing comes not as a single product, well-worn branding splashed across familiar package.

Rather, it sneaks into life variegated, diverse, subtle, nuanced, its hues settling in across the broadest range.

Instead of bronze I will bring gold, and instead of iron I will bring silver; instead of wood, bronze, instead of stones, iron. I will make your overseers peace and your taskmasters righteousness. (Isaiah 60:17 ESV)

The prophet reaches for a poet’s pallet to explain to a weary people why return to all that once was and has been snatched away beyond repair will be more glorious than a captive nation can just now imagine. The cadence of his Hebraic persuasion does indeed speak of shining extremity, for example in the ‘wealth of nations’ that will flow to resplendent Zion, in the transmutation of empty abandon into urban majesty. (more…)

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Insondable

Servicio religioso FUSBC, 26 julio, 2018

 

¡Qué profundas son las riquezas de la sabiduría y del conocimiento de Dios! ¡Qué indescifrables sus juicios e impenetrables sus caminos! (Nuestra amiga la Reina Valera ofrece una alternativa a esta última exclamación del apóstol: ‘¡Cuán insondables son sus juicios e inescrutables sus caminos!’) «¿Quién ha conocido la mente del Señor, o quién ha sido su consejero?» «¿Quién le ha dado primero a Dios, para que luego Dios le pague?» Porque todas las cosas proceden de él, y existen por él y para él. ¡A él sea la gloria por siempre! Amén.

(Romanos 11:33–36 NVI)

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Pareciera que la realidad y el dialecto de la Biblia Hebrea cobran mucha fuerza en la vida del apóstol Pablo. Lo digo porque, a la luz de su experiencia de Cristo, él apóstol no puede sino replicar la cadencia poética de tantos brotes de alabanza que él conoce a partir de esos rollos antiguos.

¡Qué indescifrables sus juicios e impenetrables sus caminos! … dice con paralelismo hebreo a pesar de estar escribiendo en griego … ¡Cuán insondables—sabroso el vocablo … ¡Cuán insondables son sus juicios e inescrutables sus caminos!

Y, sin embargo, aquí estamos … estudiantes, profesores, administradores de un seminario bíblico, donde semana en semana … asignatura en asignatura … a lo largo de nueve semestres (o diez … u once …) sudamos precisamente para sondar sus juicios y sujetar sus caminos a nuestro escrutinio. (more…)

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41DqbK37PdL._SS300_I held this little puppy in my hand after about five pencil sharpenings, and I says to myself, ‘Self, this is simple, effective, strong, and European-modern. I bet it speaks German.’

Turn it over and read: ‘Staedtler/Noris, Germany’

It’s not a Bimmer. But it’s German-made pencil sharpener at two for $3.69.

Look no further.

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Most mornings do not bring peril.

But for some people—this writer numbers himself among them—and for all threatened peoples, morning arrives with the scent of danger. Before my feet hit the floor, a thousand potential disasters have stomped briefly on my soul.

A beginning is by nature an imperiled moment, a tender shoot extinguishable by the crush of a single boot. Anything can happen in a beginning. Fear tilts perception’s scale to the narrow downside of all eventualities. The day needs little encouragement to break darkly. (more…)

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51dfwX1VqUL._SS300_In the final moments before an overseas move, my wife announced that our Queen mattress and boxspring required a mattress bag.

Fingers flew on the keyboard and—thanks to the choice-reducing effects of the Amazon’sChoice badge—we were soon in possession of this Cresnel mattress bag. It worked great.

We did a fair amount of manhandling of the bagged mattress from house to pickup truck to storage unit. There was, just between us, even a little dragging involved. The bag held up very well under the physical stress and the bad moods.

Next time this happens to you, don’t waver about going with this economically-priced and sturdy product.

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517Fm+BOPgL._SY180_We bought these brightly-colored luggage tags when we were moving some of our personal effects from the USA to Colombia, leveraging the availability of cheap, used suitcases to get the job done down and dirty.

I’ve clocked too many business miles, and so am awash in complimentary luggage tags from the likes of United Airlines and American Airlines. They fall off.

These do not. They ain’t pretty or sophisticated, but they’re garish and strong. ‘Just what we needed.

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This may not be your one-size-fits-all dog bed. It’s a bit lightweight for that.31PPnBYaIIL._SS300_

But it is as excellent product for the dog on the move. By way of example, we drove our mid-size Whipador ‘Rhea’ from Pennsylvania to Miami on a two-week road trip, then shipped her in a dog crate to our new home in Colombia. Here, she’s got a plush bed on the floor of our bedroom, but still uses this AmazonBasics Padded Pet Bolster Bed as her day-time crash. Plus, we can move it outside to our patio if we’re going to spend an extended time out-of-doors. She follows it wherever it goes and finds it a great mobile couch/bed.

I don’t know when Amazon introduced its AmazonBasics moniker, but it has proven very reliable to us. This product is one example. The price is certainly right, the materials are excellent, and it rolls up and carries in couple of seconds.

Rhea’s black fur eventually means some strong-armed learning, so we wish it came in a darker color. But you won’t go wrong snagging the Bolster Bed for your dog’s part-time lolly-gagging.

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31kEtZTvobL._SS300_Don’t overthink this. Good pencils, cheap.

You have other things to worry about.

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I clocked 58 years before I discovered clean glasses.51D0F8VxU7L._SS300_

Don’t be like me. Buy these.

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