A Gracious Place

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Resolution #10

10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.

This is just one of Jonathan Edwards’ many personal resolutions (or goals). They can be found here, and are excellent. He was committed to growing in godliness. The making and reviewing of his personal resolutions was for him a spiritual discipline. I thought of this one today while I was in Greek. My bladder was full, I was extremely uncomfortable, and I still had 20 minutes left! So I used my discomfort to cause me to think of my unsaved friends. Hell is real, and it’s a lot worse than a full bladder. It’s duration is a lot longer than 20 minutes. To my shame, I do not pray as often as I ought for my lost friends.

This resolution also helps us to get some perspective on the physical pain we normally complain of, or seek to anesthetize as soon as possible. I know that I have not experienced suffering even close to the degree or duration of many. Instead of writhing in self-pity, I may use my pain as a springboard for prayer (easier said than done, of course! I usually just complain, ask Diedra).

Our pain may be used to help us pray for those whose circumstances are far worse than our own, like Hurricane victims, or the hungry, or the persecuted, or the impoverished, or/and especially the lost. Thanks Mr. Edwards! Dead almost 250 years, he is still encouraging many to follow the Savior.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Breezy Day

So far today, all we’ve seen of Rita has been some dark clouds and some wind. No rain, as of yet, though it looks like it could dump at any time. I’m just amazed at the immensity of this storm. We live about 300 miles from the coast. Very powerful, it makes me feel so small. Indeed the majesty of the creator may be manifest in the storm!

Monday, September 19, 2005


I went to Starbucks in Old Town on Saturday to read John Owen. I was there from 12:00-3:00. Sometime around 2:00 we (those of us in the store) came to the public realization that eight out of ten of us were DTS folks (seven current students, and one grad). I know some people would be really annoyed by this, and are sick of seeing DTS people because they see them all the time on campus. I actually kind of like it. I’m from a relatively small town in Indiana, and you can’t go anywhere without bumping into someone you know. When we moved to Dallas, everyone everywhere was unfamiliar. So, when I bump into familiars, the city feels smaller, and more like a community. On the downside, however, I had to leave Starbucks earlier than I had planned because I could no longer read Owen’s complex sentences while hearing people chitchat in the background about professors, classes, and chapel.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


A strange thing happened yesterday. I’ve been doing this “blog” thing for several months now, and have noticed how these little “cyber-communities” start to develop. A common practice is to put links to your friends on the sidebar of your page. As you read your friends’ blogs, you may explore their links and end up reading someone’s blog whom you’ve never met before. Additionally, the conversations going on in the comments may be carried on by virtual strangers. However, as time goes on, you kind of get familiar with certain individuals, and may even regularly read his/her blog. Anyway, (so much for a concise post) It turns out I have a class with Jon Kever, whom I’ve read through Matt’s and Jerod’s blogs. So we had this kind of awkward introduction, and attempt to make small talk, which is the normal way to make a friend. However, in this context, small talk seems even more bizarre than usual because you are already “acquainted” in a sense. Indeed a very interesting experience…and a pleasure.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


So, I’m sitting in Walvoord Student Center waiting for my beautiful bride to arrive. Wednesdays she packs a nice dinner and we eat together from 6:00-7:00, and then we go to class (Intro. to World Missions). This is Diedra’s second class to audit (the first was our tour of Israel), and I love taking classes with her! It helps us stay more connected, and gives much fodder for our “walk-talks.” So, Wednesdays are the long day on campus. I get here around 9:30 in the morning, and leave around 9:30 in the evening. It’s a great day though, probably the highlight of the week.

Monday, September 12, 2005

A Word on Statistics

A Poem by Wislawa Szymborska
(translated from the Polish by Joanna Trzeciak)

Out of every hundred people,

Those who always know better:

Unsure of every step:
almost all the rest.

Ready to help,
if doesn’t take long:

Always good,
because they cannot be otherwise:
four-well, maybe five.

Able to admire without envy:

Led to error
by youth (which passes):
sixty, plus or minus.

Those not to be messed with:

Living in constant fear
of someone or something:

Capable of happiness
twenty-some-odd at most.

Harmless alone,
turning savage in crowds:
more than half, for sure.

when forced by circumstances:
it’s better not to know,
not even approximately.

Wise in hindsight:
not many more
than wise in foresight.

Getting nothing out of life except things:
(although I would like to be wrong).

Balled up in pain
and without a flashlight in the dark:
eighty-three, sooner or later.

Those who are just:
quite a few, thirty-five.

But if it takes effort to understand:

Worthy of empathy:

one hundred out of one hundred-
a figure that has never varied yet.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Very little time

I'm short on time, but even if I had a lot of time, I don't think I could write a post this good. So, take a few minutes and read some of the best thoughts I've encountered regarding the Hurricane Disaster.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Labor Day

Happy Labor Day! Diedra spent the morning by the pool with a friend. I spent the morning reading Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper. Diedra has to work this evening, since she took last Monday off for our trip to Indiana. So, I’ll be studying, Whoo Hooo!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Saturday Studies

I’m not sure when I finally figured it out, but I’ve learned that Saturdays must be mandatory study days in order for me to survive the course load. I usually head down to the Seminary or to a couple other hangouts I’ve discovered and spend most of the day trying to read or write. This is usually a challenge since I work late Fri evenings at the hospital and don’t get to bed until 12:30 or so. Additionally, I have to fight my 26 years of conditioning that says Saturdays are for cartoons and playing. (I’m kidding of course, Mom and Dad almost always had us working in the yard or in the house on Saturdays.) While in Israel I learned that most of the world does work six days, and that our two-day weekend is kind of unique. Even the little children in Israel go to school six days (they get Shabbat (Saturday) off). So, I guess I should probably stop procrastinating on Blogger and get to work!

Before I go, I have a quick question for my Dallasite friends. I’m looking for more places to study besides DTS. John Mark introduced me to Kaffa Coffee, which I like, but I’m looking for more options. A key element is free wireless. So, if you have any suggestions, let me know.