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Beauty and Beholder

Seeing the Future

The text I received went something like this:   The doctors have given him two months to live.  He really wants to meet with an elementary Art teacher, with the hopes that he can pass on his classroom gadgets.  He wants them to be used by children after he is gone.  Are you interested?   I am grateful that I said yes.   As I approached the house, I wondered what I would experience during our visit.  How able would this man be?  Would he be encouraged or solemn or resigned? And the most important question of all:  Does he know the Lord?  I had bathed the meeting in prayer and had only my Bible in my hands as I rang his doorbell.  Would he even...

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Glory and Calluses

Is my heart so hard?  Are my ears so deaf?  My eyes covered in layers of scale?  Could it be that when glory is standing before me, I am unmoved by it?   Sadly, the answer is yes.  I sit before the Word.  My eyes take in the sentences, but the meaning is hidden in fog.  Between the cereal bowl and the day's activities that sit before me, my mind is shrouded in a cloud of competing thoughts.   Is there a common denominator to the distractions?  I believe that there is, and its name is Pride.  One could call it Self-Worship, too.  This familiar enemy of the children of God keeps our hearts hardened and our ears deaf, our eyes darkened and our...

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One Body, Many Arts

"I really struggled with art in high school.  I just couldn't make anything the right way."   That's what a friend said to me recently.  In fact, what she declared is in line with what most people say about their own experience in artistic environs.   "I am not an artist."   "I can't draw anything right--not even a stick figure."   Perhaps you have even said these things.  Statements like these reveal a misunderstanding about what it means to be artistic by nature.  We are creators by pedigree, manufacturers by design!  The reason for this ontology flows naturally from our theology.  We are all image bearers of the One who created all things, and He has given us an innate impulse to fashion that which is good...

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Who Is Like the Lord?

For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord?     Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings? -Ethan the Ezrahite in Psalm 89:6   They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. -Paul in Romans 1:25   So the men of the city said to Joash, “Bring your son out. He has pulled down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah idol beside it. He must die!” -Judges 6:30     Too often, we give our worship to lesser gods.  We bow our knees to imitations (at best) and usurpers (at worst).  Celebrities have "followers" for a reason: they are being worshiped.  Wealth, prosperity, and security are chased after while Christ remains unpursued.  Politicians of all stripes...

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Limitless Beauty

 "Can you fathom the mysteries of God?  Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?  They are higher than the heavens--what can you do?  They are deeper than the depths of the grave--what can you know?  Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea." (Job 11:7-9)      If my memory holds true, my college Art History professor taught us that Edgar Degas quipped, "Without a touch of ugliness, there is no beauty."  It has been 20 years since then.  I am starting to doubt my memory.  I can't find such a quote attributed to Degas on this thing called the internet, and if that's the case, then perhaps I've gotten it wrong with the passage of...

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