WFB, RIP

March 3rd, 2008

Last week, William F. Buckley Jr. passed away at age 82. I decided to wait to post my tribute until after taking in the media’s presentations of theirs. The fascinating Feb 27 transcript from Rush Limbaugh’s radio show I think was the best.

I had lunch with a friend last Thursday who said that he couldn’t recall an instance of Buckley influencing him on any issue. Come to think of it, neither can I, other than the first time I ever paid attention to WFB when he debated Ronald Reagan on the Panama Canal and won me over to his position. It remains my only recollection of the former president losing a debate. By the time I started reading National Review in the late 1980s, I was firmly in the conservative camp, and inclined to hold similar views to Buckley’s.

Perhaps Buckley wasn’t widely read, at least by most Americans. But what he did was influence the influencers, including the one who had the most influence on my political thinking – Ronald Reagan.  His writing and television appearances revealed an interesting fellow that I would like to have known, though in a way, I did, through his work at which he was so prolific. And that’s another fascinating aspect of Buckley – for a man who didn’t have to work, he was so highly prolific, reminiscent of Isaac Newton, though even Newton tailed off in the second half of life. Buckley’s book Windfall : The End of the Affair, recounting his last trans-Atlantic sailing excursion, remains one of my favorite reads.

It is sad to see him go, even more so in that, like so many great ones who have passed in the last few years, there has not as yet emerged anyone in the next generation who can replace his value to America and to freedom.

Rest in peace, WFB. In days ahead, we shall meet after all.

And That’s a Fact

January 6th, 2008

Over “the Holidays” ;) we played the game Fact or Crap with some friends from church.

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I Wish You a Merry Christmas

December 23rd, 2007

Recently, at the end of the local boardgame club meeting, everyone wished each other Merry Christmas. No one offered the artificial Happy Holidays. Now some in this group are Christians, but not all, and no one seemed to regard the greeting as offensive. It seems that except in the corporate world, Merry Christmas is still the norm here in the USA.

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We Had an Inkling

December 17th, 2007

Recently I had a chance to try the boardgame Inklings from Cactus Game Design with friends from church.

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Yes, There Is a Santa Claus

December 5th, 2007

Absolutely true. There is.

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Thanksgiving

November 21st, 2007

I thank God for my life, freedom, health, wealth, and safety;

for his salvation from my old nature; that he gave his Son to accomplish it;

for his abiding presence; that his wisdom is with me;

that I have a purpose in his creation (and know what it is), and am equipped to perform it;

that my family, or much of it, is still with me; that nearly all of them are believers;

for friends of yesterday and today;

that my country is free (for now); for those who gave their lives and those who put theirs at risk so it can remain free;

that I have days left beyond these, and an endless life yet to come.

And I thank my King, Jesus Christ, for making all of the above possible.

The Living Word

October 31st, 2007

The fourth reason I attend church is to hear the Word of God, though perhaps not in the way that you might first think.

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House of Prayer

October 24th, 2007

The third reason I attend church (or church activities, like home groups) is for prayer. Now in practice, I pray very little at church these days, especially compared to prayer on my own. The role of prayer in church has diminished in recent times.

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Any Given Sunday

October 17th, 2007

In the first days of the church, believers in Jesus were mostly Jews or proselytes to Judaism. On Saturday they would go to the synagogue or to the Temple if in Jerusalem. Early in the morning, often on Sunday, believers would meet together in an assembly of their own that has come to be known as the Gathering. As believers were expelled from synagogues and the temple was destroyed, the Gathering began to take on the function of these institutions, and over time would develop into what is now our modern church service.

So what was the original Gathering like?

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Why I Attend Church

October 12th, 2007

I read a homily by John Chrysostom from 1600+ years ago, in which he mentions the church attendance patterns of various types of people in his day, among them are – those who stop going altogether, those who attend maybe once a year or at random, those who attend regularly but with a frivolous attitude, those who make a show of being zealous but cause division. I was amused how little things have changed, as I’ve recognized the same patterns today. But getting to the topic, I’ll start out by saying that I don’t attend church because I’m supposed to. I won’t invest precious time doing anything without perceiving its worth. And that is probably true for anyone. I’ve known many people who say they should attend church but don’t.

So whether to attend and how often comes down to perceived worth. For me, there are four things I value about the local church that motivate me to attend. I’ll cover just one this week.

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