New Year

It is a new year.

In some respects little has changed, although that has been the case for the past few years. At least, ever since graduating from college, all the days and months seem to be more or less identical to one another. Life is static. This can be either bad or good, and I do like stability, but the downside is when nothing really stands out.

But there are some positives from last year too. I have met several new people and am friends with some. They’ve helped me get through the past few months. While none will be named here, they would know who they are.

And now for this thing.

Every year I say I’ll do something with it, and every year I end up leaving it abandoned. What would you like to see me do with it?

Thoughts on Houston

It’s been a while since the last time I wrote about where I’ve moved to, if I’ve written anything at all (can’t remember at the moment although it’s been talked about on Twitter and one-on-one for certain). So in the interests of either filling a gap in writing, or being redundant and amusing myself by talking about the same things again, here we go.

Houstonians are, as a rule, ruder than people in South Carolina. I’m not sure why that is. Could come from everyone having to live so close together.

I have yet to find an Asian restaurant that understands the concept of sweet tea.

Traffic lights mean nothing. Neither do the lanes painted onto the road.

Many I’ve run across don’t seem to realize there is a world outside Texas. (Is this a problem endemic to Texas?)

The lack of income tax is more than compensated for by the higher sales tax and cost of living.

So far I haven’t said anything positive about Houston, and it’s a policy of mine to at least try to find something positive to say when I have a list of negatives, to at least pretend to have balance.

Unfortunately I can’t think of anything worth liking about this place. My plan from the beginning was to be here short-term, but it may end up being shorter-term than even I anticipated.

Post-Christmas Thoughts

(This was scribbled in the back of my notebook while I was restless during church on Sunday. That will explain most of the discordant thoughts.)

It is a few days after Christmas when this is traditionally celebrated (at least by most Protestants) but I can appeal to the twelve days of Christmas tradition and say my notes are still timely.

It was long ago that the coming of the redeemer was announced. Some will tell you that God declared it in the garden shortly before evicting the first man and woman from it. He said there would be a descendant of Eve who would crush the serpent’s head. Ever since that day, the darkest in the history of mankind, the adversary had been at work trying to thwart God’s plans. He persuaded man to sin and polluted the human race (possibly physically as well as spiritually), and was inconvenienced by the Flood. He was soon back to work, first with the people at Babel before singling out one man’s descendants to harass for centuries to come, as he learned that from this family would come the one who could stop him. It was not for hundreds of years though that it finally happened.

And when it did, would it not have caught many by surprise? God humbled himself and took on the human flesh and entered his creation. He came into his own, but his own did not recognize him or receive him. They were looking for someone else, someone more impressive who could lead an army and bring deliverance. He did bring deliverance, but again, it was not the type they expected.

The next surprise was in how the deliverance was carried out. The devil figured out who the Messiah was (this was not kept secret by any means) and tried to make him fall, and of course he did not succeed. He then decided to kill him.

And he was playing right into God’s hands, because he’d planned this from the beginning. That set the stage for the next shock, when the Messiah rose from the dead.

God has not agreed to carry out his plans in the way we expect. How might he do it in the future?

Don’t Forget…

In the weekly Bible study we hold over IRC, we have begun going over Psalm 119 as a study of some of the basics of the Christian faith. This is sort of a spoiler of tomorrow, but almost no one who attends reads my blog, so it’s not like they’ll try to steal any talking points.

If they do, then maybe there will be more opportunity for discussion.

Anyway, I was reading the section again and have been thinking on verse 16.

I shall delight in Your statutes;
I shall not forget Your word (NASB)

There are many things I have heard or learned in my life, which I have already forgotten. I cannot even give an accurate estimate of what all these things may be, because I do not remember what all I have forgotten. Names of classmates whose faces I recall but names I do not serve as examples. So do lessons from my school days, and odds and ends at work. There is so much information out there that it is impossible to retain all of it.

Why is it forgotten? It is forgotten because it is not used. It is pushed aside to make room for other bits of information that my current situation calls for, or after years of disuse it becomes mixed up with other old pieces of information.

What is remembered? It is either the things I keep at the forefront of my mind all the time, or those things I value enough to recall from time to time and, because they interest me, I do not forget.

Enough of that. The psalmist declared that he delighted in God’s law and made a decision not to forget God’s word. Is this not a noble goal? Not only is it noble, it’s within the reach of anyone who wishes to attain it.

All it takes is the decision that God’s word is important enough to read and know, and to refresh your memory of it often.