Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Late December Song

Groans Too Deep for Words

Deep, deep is the falling night
As we weep our wounds shine bright
You cannot hide the holy pain
When there’s nothing to lose and nothing to gain
And the wrongness cannot seem to be made right

Devastation is our salvation
Dead to self and alive to the holy One
Transformation by New Creation
Taken to the depths of the soul by the Son
Rending my old garments as I am undone.

And every passion I have known
Pales in comparison to this new light
Blinding me and showing me the seeds I have sown
They had surely taken over in their blight
Now I know the blinded woundedness of this unseen sight.

Well a heart can cry and a soul can moan
And a body tells a truth that can be shown
And the Spirit gives voice to the prayers I groan
In this darkest night my mind has known
From this deepest well the most wondrous wail I’ve never heard
But my comforter intercedes for these groans to deep for words
For my redeemer bleeds with groans too deep for words.

Groans too deep for words
Groans too deep for words
Here in the fellowship of suffering
Here hidden beneath his sheltering wing
Here in this union hidden in the holy One
Where I come to know as I am known
As my heart becomes an altarplace…
I rest in the Peace that flows from Grace

Anthony Foster
December 28, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Song of Heaven

Angels in realms of Glory
Pure exaltation raise
Witness to the amazing story
As light sets this darkness ablaze
All they can do is wonder
Fall on theiur faces and sing
As darkness is torn asunder
And light to this world Christ brings

You are the Song of Heaven
Come become the Song of Earth
You are the Song of Heaven
Creation sings of your worth
Sing to us Words of Salvation
Strains of redemption we’d hear
Melody of New Creation
Ring in our hearts bright and clear.

This humble and holy birth
Will change the course of creation
This Cosmic invasion of earth
Brings Yahweh’s promise of Salvation
All history has served as sign
From the day that time began
This day for which a world was designed
Before the beginning , it was planned

You are the Song of Heaven
Come become the Song of Earth
You are the Song of Heaven
Creation sings of your worth
Sing to us Words of Salvation
Strains of redemption we’d hear
Melody of New Creation
Ring in our hearts bright and clear.

Winter Light

God of the prancing fire
God of the falling snow
God of the dancing heart
God of the singing soul
Come fill our heart’s desire
Your presence we would know
Lord fill us with your fire
Abide with us here below.
Stir up the embers now
Come set our hopes ablaze
Come as we humbly bow
While angels astounded gaze
Give us your grace and peace
Come set the prisoner free
From winter’s chains release
As your sacred light we see.

Anthony Foster
December 2008


Christ left the Father’s throne
Where the worship of angels he’d known
Taking on human flesh and bone
So that the Truth at last could be shown.

Realms of glory on high
Could not avert His eye
For greater Glory called
From a feeble cattle stall.

So mystery is displayed
The ultimate penalty paid
Was it worth it?
Was it worth it?
Only God can know.
And God has deemed it so.

The Glory now descends
Tabernacles with us men
For He had counted the true cost
Even before this world was lost.

Salvation now has come
Bound up in a beloved Son
Was it worth it?
Was it worth it?
Oh the priviledge he would not grasp
Grace is born in this baby’s first gasp…

December 2008
Anthony Foster

Friday, December 19, 2008

Anthony's World

I got a call today and there was no one on the other end of the line- or so I thought...

Later an email came in with news that made me laugh out loud. A co worker's DOG had hit redial on her phone while she was at lunch and called me- when she returned from lunch there was a 51 minute call to me from the pooch. She must have been too shy to bark...

I told my coworker her dog could call me anytime- It'll probably be a better conversation than most calls I get...

Friday, December 12, 2008

What I don't want for Christmas...

I realize some folks will be having these for Christmas dinner, but no thanks, I'll pass...

Christmas blog

As anyone who looks here might notice, the blogging has taken a back burner to studying for comprehensive exams, writing papers, presenting papers, conducting workshops and teaching of late. Eventually things will pick up again as I hope the flow won't dry up altogether.

Here's something I ran across from a dear cousin who passed away some years ago. She wrote it as a child in 1909...

December 17, 1909--Dear Santa Claus, I am a little girl nine years old and I live back on the river, five miles from Shepherdsville. Oh, Santa, you can come up the river. I am looking for you to come to see me, and I want you to bring me a doll and some oranges and a pair of shoes; and oh, Santa, don’t come down the chimney that has the stove pipe in it, you might get fastened. Santa, the roads are so rough I am afraid you will not come. I want you to come, so I will close. Please come. From Clara B. Trigg

Makes me smile.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Curriculum Design from an Adult Learning Context

Question: Is curriculum design prescriptive or descriptive? And who controls the curriculum?

Learners, teachers, and those in a support role in the education process all participate in building the curriculum. For instance, the definition of mastery level skills or outcomes within any curriculum may be defined by diverse players in the process, such as teachers and schools, subject matter experts, administrators, accrediting boards, organizationally authored standards, societally prescribed qualifications, or codified, systematized bodies of knowledge. These players act in a dynamic and synthetic relationship.

I hold that a false dichotomy is being imposed when one attempts to explicate the curriculum in either exclusively prescriptive or descriptive terms. It is both/and, a holism. The curriculum is composed of what it is not as much as what it is. The American motto of e pluribus unum plays well in this context. The curriculum requires learner, societal, and knowledge facets, but whenever one centers exclusively on an individual facet one mitigates the overall experience of the whole in some way. It is reflective of the complexity of reality in tension- we are many voices.

My approach to building curriculum in specific contexts is a holistic approach that focuses on the accurate parsing or reckoning of reality as the ultimate outcome. In VERY simplified terms, this consists first and foremost of the establishment of objectives, defined by the context. Then the means or source of reaching the objectives are identified. Thirdly , the outcomes are qualified. These three major concerns comprise a concurrenty descriptive/ prescriptive first phase of building the curriculum. The design is held in context(s) by propositional truths that form bridges between elements or subtopics, as well as introduce and conclude the curriculum.

Just as important is what I deem a ”recursive transformative function” of reckoning reality and responding to it accordingly. This is the engine of learning and is primarily concerned with the critical appropriation of information and metacognitive aspects of thinking.

This is typically accomplished in the presentation of case statements- “if a is true, then b follows.” In other words, experience serves as the moderator of the prescription. Information is reckoned, evaluated, and measured, then it is either recognized as truth or rejected, and finally one renders themselves as changed by the process; conversely one re-enters the evaluative struggle with the truth text. The “then” side of the case statement can be positive or negative instruction based on whether the objective is to affirm a current state of being/ experience or to prescribe change. Finally, to move forward in the course, action and application (experience) is required, as the reckoning of reality demands response, whether positive or negative and the transformative function of learning results in some sort of mind renewal unto praxis. Denial of the reality results in truth suppression. One primary role of the teacher is to help the student contextualize and apply information.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Cheese Event

This one warrants a complaint- I ordered two sausage egg biscuits at McDonalds- just like it says on the marquee- 2.19 each- then they charged too much --5.47-- and I asked about this-- window person asked if I wanted cheese, I responded "I didn't order cheese- no cheese".And then she corrected the order and charged the correct amount. When I got to the pickup window I asked "are you sure that this does NOT have cheese - I cannot eat cheese. I was told, "no cheese" So I pull off and check and sure enough, cheese on both sandwiches... So I park and get out in the pouring rain, go in and explain the situation- I do not want cheese... After apologies, I was mindlessly asked if I wanted cheese. I responde "No I do not want cheese- is this hard to understand?" Then I hear the front line manager asking the line to fill the order promptly. Then the lady who picked this up asked if I ordered cheese. At this point I yell, no cheese! I do not want cheese! I cannot eat cheese!. Then I asked the line manager what the problem was and informed her I would contact the corporate office to find out. This would all be funny if it wasn't so exasperating. am I to assume that no one at this location understands the concept of "No CHEESE?" --and by the way why did they add cheese in the first place when it is not featured on the menu marquis? I will never eat at this location-which is on the way to work for me- again. I have had mis-filled orders here three of the last four times I have eaten there.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rattling around in my brain...

Do you ever have an earworm visitation?

this one has been in my head today...from my childhood

Kingston Trio The Merry Minuet lyrics-you can hear it here

Sheldon Harnick

They're rioting in Africa. They're starving in Spain.
There's hurricanes in Florida and Texas needs rain.
The whole world is festering with unhappy souls.
The French hate the Germans. The Germans hate the Poles.
Italians hate Yugoslavs. South Africans hate the Dutch
and I don't like anybody very much!
But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud
for man's been endowed with a mushroom shaped cloud.
And we know for certain that some lovely day
someone will set the spark off and we will all be blown away.
They're rioting in Africa. There's strife in Iran.
What nature doesn't do to us will be done by our fellow man.

Kingston Trio The Merry Minuet lyrics

Friday, September 26, 2008

Anniversary Doings

We are back from a mini- trip that included a night in Augusta KY at a B&B (see the ferrycam for the view), a visit to historical sites at Limestone (Maysville) KY, including the Gateway Museum, Paris KY, the Kentucky Horse Park, The Cane Ridge Meeting House and a stopover in Frankfort. We are off to the Apple Harvest Festival at Shakertown in the morning and hope to make it to the Kentucky History Center on the way home.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Plunge

We have been contemplating a new (for us) vehicle, and today we followed up on our fairly in-depth research, settling on a Nissan X-Terra with low miles (38K). It's not that I could no longer stand not having a car payment, but the 1996 Sable was going to require more repairs that the car was literally worth according to Blue Book.

So now we are climbing up into the seat rather than needing a lift ramp to get out of one. I like the responsive 6 cylinder and the quiet ride. I especially liked the fact that CarMax lived up to its reputation of no hassle and no haggling.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Went to Actor Theater last night for the first of our subscription series of plays. This one was 43 Plays for 43 Presidents. It was a very lively, and entertaining, if a bit dark in places, series of 43 two minute plays based on the lives of our presidents.

The troupe was very talented and versatile, as five actors covered all the roles. At the end of the final performance the audience got to choose the 44th president and the troupe proceeded based on audience feedback. Obama was the overwhelming choice- a few couples, us included, failed to generate enough noise to compete. We are in high hopes that the general populace will render up some more boisterous support for McCain! Unfortuneatly, in these times, much ado about nothing makes all the difference.

Earnie and I gave the play two thumbs up.

Dinner, on the other hand was a tragic mistake.

Joe's Crab Shack lost its flagship restaurant and corporate offices to Ike, but I don't think that was the problem. We were told only one computer was working and that paying the bill would be slow, but as it turned out that was one of the few things that actually worked well.

It took the waitress four tries to get the order to us correctly, then the appetizer came out with the main course. The potatoes were soggy and the fish akin to Long John Silvers' quality. The waitress was unapologetic and snarky. Maybe a few adults could straighten the formerly good restaurant out.

Monday, September 15, 2008

We made it Home

I had to travel to Indianapolis Sunday for a meeting and got out just as IKE was rolling in. We saw a large exit sign in the middle of I-65 Southbound in Louisville, a tree across the southbound lane north of Sellersburg and encountered a downed powerline across the Interstate as well. Indy was not hit as hard as was forecast, at least from what we saw.

On the return trip we saw lots of damage in southern Indiana, and went about fifty miles in search of restroom facilities...either no water or power outages everywhere we tried along the way. We rolled into home about 8 PM and were glad to find no damage to our home. One neighbor lost a row of about half a dozen mature pear trees broken off at about 2 feet above the ground...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Colossians 1:15-20 Exposition

From the text: Christ is supreme, not just prominent, but pre-eminent. Why? Three reasons:

a. Because of His relationship to God- v. 15
b. Because of his relation to creation- in Him, through Him, for Him- v. 16-17
c. Because of His relationship to the Church and New Creation- v. 18-20

From Wikipedia: The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History is a 1978 book by Michael H. Hart. It is a ranking of the 100 people who most influenced human history. Since publication the book has been hotly debated and its concept widely copied. His criterion was influence.

The book was reprinted in 1992 and again in 2000 with several notable revisions made to the original list of 100 people and their associated rankings. Chief among these revisions was the demotion of figures associated with Communism, such as Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong, and the introduction of Mikhail Gorbachev. Hart took sides in the Shakespearean authorship issue and substituted Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford for William Shakespeare. Hart also substituted Niels Bohr and Henri Becquerel with Ernest Rutherford, thus correcting an error in the first edition. Henry Ford was also promoted from the "Honorary Mentions" list, replacing Pablo Picasso. Finally, some of the rankings were re-ordered, although no one listed in the top ten changed position.

What mainly surprised readers was the first person on Hart's list. Hart decided to choose Muhammad over Jesus or Moses despite the fact that Islam was not the largest religion and that it was from a distant part of the world from where he lived. Hart attributes this to the fact that Muhammad was successful in both the religious and political realms. He also writes that Muhammad's role in the development of Islam is far more influential than Jesus's collaboration in the development of Christianity. He attributes the development of Christianity to St. Paul (ranked 6th) , who played a pivotal role in the spreading Christianity.

In fact, Jesus ranks third behind Isaac Newton. He didn’t talk about why Jesus was third, but why wasn’t he first? He used reasons that seemed good to him. But there is a principle here- there is a difference between reasons that sound good and good sound reasons. He observed that Jesus had no real influence on the politics of His time, perhaps for the first century. His geographic sphere of influence was small, and he hadn’t touched many individuals. He had been an ethical teacher with an influential personality. He held that parts of his teacheing others had given and were not original to him, but the original parts were the parts people didn’t follow anyway; people didn’t practice them.

Hart, Michael H. The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, Revised and Updated for the Nineties. New York: Carol Publishing Group/Citadel Press; first published in 1978, reprinted with minor revisions 1992. ISBN 9780806510682

Who Jesus is makes all the difference in the world. The most significant thing anyone can ask is “Who is this Jesus?” This passage reminds us that He is Supreme…and THAT influences how we live our lives. This is a great affirmation- By Him, For Him, To Him Through Him. Paul writes at about the same passage of time away from the event as we are from the length of time we’ve been married- thirty years Why did they say such amazing things about Christ? Wherever they were in the world they had taught and sung these words- it is possible it is more than a poem, but an early hymn. What caused them to be convinced that He is supreme? Others admitted that Christ was important, but Paul declares that He is more than important- it is critical. He is supreme, not just prominent but pre-eminent. Why?

Paul gives us three reasons from this passage which are profoundly important.

1. Verse 15- Jesus is preeminent because of His relation to God.
He is the image of the invisible God. The work image (eikon) points us in several directions. The word has come from the stamp and die industry where a precise likeness is created.the impression or stamp of God. Humans are said to be “in the image of God”

Verse 19 clarifies- all the fullness- the nature. Col 2:9 declares “ all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” Christ IS the image- not just divine- He is God-ness. Paul reminds us that Jesus is all god is. He is in fact God. He is not AMONG the created- He not only shares god’s nature, he reveals God’s person. An image is a visual representation. The David by Michaelangelo impresses us, but it does not surprise us- it reveals familiar territory. We’ve seen it already, we know what the human figure looks like. In a similar way, Paul says Jesus is eternally god. In the incarnation the One and only, fully declared SON- Jesus was asked “show us the Father” and he responded- “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” The Bible says that if we want to know God or OF God, look to Jesus. He shares God’s nature, reveals God’s person. The image is the only way I can know what God is like. Christ is One with God.

Now Paul tells us more. If you love created things- I don’t know of any more relevant and significant passage to the scientific mind.

2. v. 16 Jesus is preeminent because of His relation to CREATION:
His position- he is the firstborn of all creation. This can be a confusing statement, so let’s unpack it. How can Christ be “born” AND God? The next verse gives us a clue: It says EVERYTHING came into being BY Him. There is not a thing apart from Him. So we have a language problem.

Sir Christopher Rand created St. Paul’s Cathedral and then called in Queen Ann to show off his work to her. They made a tour and the Queen remarked: It is awful, it is amusing, and it is artificial.” And Sir Christopher replied “Thank you, your Majesty.” You might ask “why?”

Back in those days awful meant awe inspiring. Artificial meant artistic. Amusing meant delightful, or bringing pleasure. Words change meaning over time. Here the word FIRSTBORN refers to the heir of everything, the owner, possessor, the preeminent, the most important. In Psalms Israel is called the firstborn nation, and it was certainly not the first one born. It denotes headship. Mannesseh and Ephraim were sons of David and in Jeremiah 31: 9 God declares that Ephraim was his firstborn. In Psalm 89:27, God says he will appoint a firstborn-David and his royal line-as the most exalted of the kings of the earth.

In 1880, the Dutch statesman-theologian Abraham Kuyper issued a bold proclamation that spoke to the growing fragmentation of society and social roles in his own day—and in ours: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry “Mine!”

He is Lord of Creation but He is more than that. Verse 16 is a marvelous verse. Paul used three prepositions to describe the Lord’s relationship to creation. Don’t miss the nuances here as they are not clear in the NIV. Use the NASB- for IN Him all things, THROUGH or BY , and FOR Him. In through and for- think of building a house. You begin to think, to dream and design a plan. Before it comes into being it has to be originated in your mind. In you is the plan in terms of design. Paul says it all took place in the omniscient mind of the Son of God. He is the Master Designer who stamped his design on every corner of the Cosmos. Jesus is all of that- all things came into being not by happenstance but by intelligent design- and this same Creator holds the universe together.

Science will tell you there are two things- gravity and intermolecular forces that form the cosmic glue that keeps everything from spinning off into oblivion. More specifically superstrings and cosmic strings are what the astrophysicists tell us, (not Duct Tape). Then it was the “phantom particle”- cold dark matter or LSP’s –“lightest supersymmetric partners.” Fermions, such as electrons and quarks are the bricks or fundamental building blocks of matter. The mortar particle is called a boson.

“The basic idea of supersymmetry is that every boson has a fermion 'superpartner' and vice versa,"(astrophysicist Gordon ) Kane said. Most superpartners are heavy with a mass roughly equivalent to the recently discovered top quark. Like the top quark, they exist only for the tiniest fraction of a second before they decay, leaving no physical sign of their existence. This makes them difficult to detect in particle accelerators.” http://www.ur.umich.edu/9495/May08_95/phantom.htm.

I remember hearing Ken Poure speak nearly 40 years ago- The director emeritus of Hume Lake Christian Camps, he is known for his unique blend of wisdom, practical knowledge, and side-splitting humor. He said that scientists were seeking to know what holds the universe together and the answer was WOG. WOG is the Word of God.
He is the glue of the universe. He is that next heartbeat, the next bat of an eye- Acts 17:28 is my life verse- “In Him we live and move and have our being,” said Paul to the Aeropagus Eggheads.

The fact that all things do not fly apart is not because of random laws of nature. But because of the power of Jesus Christ. He is the cohesive force. Remember the author who put Newton in front to Jesus in ranking them? The Newtonian theories, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle of quantum physics are fine, but beneath them all is the sovereign power of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice in the next section:

3. Jesus is preeminent because of His relationship to the Church.
He is the head of the body. He determines the body. Men build institutions, but God grows things. He gives life. In a physical life there is no life apart from the connection to the head. Any part of the body that is separated from this connection withers and dies. The only ones in the body are the ones joined to Christ. It is a living bond. All the physical head is to the body, Jesus is to the Church. He is the resource, the leader, and controller. H is the one who gives life in verse 18. He conquers death. He is the beginning, the founder of the new humanity , new creation. In what way? First, he conquered death, so he is the first over death. He is the firstborn of all those who will share in this victory. He said “I am the resurrection and the life. When someone who s in Christ dies, it is certain that they go immediately to be in the presence of the Lord. The firstborn of the dead is the only way we can HOPE in the face of death. He is Risen.

VV. 19-20. Paul reminds us that He also brings together fallen, sinful, alienated man and God the Father. Understand this: Jesus ‘ sufficiency to meet our needs is totally related to His supremacy. A Jesus less than God is a bridge broken at the far end. If He is anything less than Lord god of All and I am hopeless. He Lived all that God is. V. 19: Fullness- “dwell in”- there are two words in Greek. One means a temporary visit this one means a permanent residence. This is that word.

There has been a disruption. The universe is in rebellion against its creator. Sin separated man from God who brought everything into being. Sin brought alienation and hostility, and destroyed what god created. Verse 20- God worked through Jesus to reconcile all things to himself. The glorious Creator made reconciliation through His blood shed on the cross (cf verse 14). This is an amazing statement here. He bled and died, he who spoke the tree into being hung on it to bring forgiveness of sins so I can know peace with the Living God!

Paul wants us to understand that Jesus is supreme: Supreme for what He has done in the original and again in the new creation. He is supreme and sufficieint- he is the answer to sin and death, the answer to any issue in your life. Jesus is Lord!

During coronations, the Archbishop of Canterbury turns to each corner of the Cathedral and asks, “Will you pay )Him or Her) homage? When the answer comes, and not until it comes “We will”, then he places the crown on the head of the Monarch. The Father placed the crown on the head of the Lord Jesus. Will you pay Him homage? For some, you need to trust Him, acknowledge His work nd bow at his feet. For others, those who have trusted Him, give Him the preeminence. Yield to His throne of Grace-and exalt Him to the place that is Rightfully his in your life.

Fast Food Backlash--

Slow Food?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Links regarding news in educational technology...

Sun Microsystems demo’s open source Virtual World platform for the education community- created by Boston College and the University of Oregon et al.

Research and Markets: In Depth Analysis of e-Learning- critical reflection on current state of e-Learning market.

A move toward synchronous e-Learning

Colleges mine pre-college market- Wall Street Journal

Webconferencing software news

in Higher Ed

Blackboard’s new social network software

Gas prices driving students to online-here is a representative article from the Chronicle

Using RSS feeds to disseminate course information

Screencasts as scaffolding

Open textbook movement-good or bad?

Copyright fight over college textbooks

Google unveils online reference tool

Blackboard/Sakai integration on the way, Moodle on Deck

Changing Designs of Online Learning

Unknown woman

Going through my collection of photos- Here is RST, a photo taken around 1883-4, and associated with my Smith lineage. I like the hat. The big crucifix may indicate she is Catholic, but that does not fit with that side of the family...who knows??? It may be Reveille Smith but I dunno what the T stands for.

The Story Glory Tells

This flowed out of a series i taught for the Expositors' Class at Highview this summer...

We need the peace of Jesus Christ
The only shalom that has sufficed
We need to let it rule and reign
In hearts filled with doubt and pain

In our circumstances we find fear
But God in heaven draws us near
And the peace of Christ o’erflows
Overwhelms and holds us close

When the accuser accuses
And this life abuses
In this Peace I am called just
For righteousness redeems this dust

Each small victory prepares us
By each failure we’re undone
For our strength is found outside us
By His power the battle is won

As we stand within the glory
Of the hope that in us dwells
Christ in Us shall tell the story
We’re the stories glory tells

On each battlefield yet to come
In each defeat of the past
By His power His will is done
As before the throne we cast
Every circumstance from first to last…

As we stand within the glory
Of the hope that in us dwells
Christ in Us shall tell the story
We’re the stories glory tells…

Anthony Foster
Colossians 2-3
August 19, 2008

Dog Days for Blogging

I haven't posted much here lately, and for good reason... After spending a week catching up from my summer Doctoral residencey requirement, I was off to the MERLOT International Conference to conduct a workshop on Multiple Intelligences- it may sound like old hat stuff, but I focussed on writing assignments that incorporate such concerns. Met a lot of people, talked in Learning Objectese, and presented as part of a panel discussion late in the conference. Post conference has been spent in catching up...


I’ll cast my life into the river and I will rest within its flow
For my pardon and my cleansing- I pray Thee Lord, make it so
I’ll flee from the flood of this world and instead
I’ll rest my head in the river’s bed
I’ll live day by day in its holy undertow
And with the river I’ll learn to flow.

Place my hard heart into the river’s stream
Like a diamond that you polished I would gleam
And Lord your currents will- cover me until
All I know is you alone
As you turn this stony heart into a polished stone

So take me down into the river and wash away my sin
For my pardon and my cleansing you complete what you begin
As I become a stone of grace polished by the currents of your love
You make me a rock you’ll build your Kingdom of
On earth just as in heaven up above.

Anthony Foster
August 19, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

Recent Research findings having potential ramifications for Learning Solutions

• Characteristics of Adult Learners With Implications for Online Learning Design - Cercone, K., AACE Journal

• Envisioning the Educational Possibilities of User-Created Virtual Worlds-

• A New Pathway for E-Learning: From Distribution to Collaboration and Competence in E-Learning

• “Mode-Neutral” pedagogy

• Strategies for assessment and potential rubrics for grading online interaction-

• 7 things you should know about... Multi-Touch Interfaces - EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative

• Short and Sweet: Technology Shrinks the Lecture

• Personal Learning Environments

• Google earth now viewable inside web browsers:Google says it wants to open up the core of Google Earth to developers so they can create the next great 3-D geo application.

• Future Online Learning Landscapes: Transforming Pedagogy through Social Software -Innovate –Journal of Online Education

• How Microsoft uses scenario planning to explore the future of education- White Paper

• Another Microsoft white paper- E-Portfolios

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tragedy strikes

Please pray for the family of Gregory Gomez. I am trying to piece together the story- the IMB site has info here.

Here is the local news report...

I hear 14 people all told died on the bus. The IMB mantions only those on mission.
The Gomez family are part of my home church, Bethel Baptist in Troy, Il.

Long time, no blog

With Ma Smith's death and the ton of work going into dealing with her estate, I got SERIOUSLY behind in preparation for my upcoming residency requirements. So I have been typing mightily and at some point some of it will likely get posted here...
Pray for me as I dig out from under the pile of work and materials I created for the ABF class I am teaching on Colossians...

A recent DesiringGod newsletter had a word for me... If Jesus fed the five thousand, my worries are over.

Monday, June 16, 2008

And Now a word of comment on David Dockery

From Chapter 8 of The Future of Christian Higher Education: on Professional Education

The author’s premise is that a secular worldview that has dismissed eternity, morality, accountability, and charity touches every aspect of life in the world in which we live. A distinctive of Christian Higher Education is to infuse these dimensions of life into education. The ability to contend for the truth in whatever sphere of influence one is called to is the critical foundation for life and living.

There are several implications of the Christian worldview for Christian Higher Education.

First, Christian teachers and learners have a higher motivation for learning than getting a good job. God’s purposes inform our learning. Secondly, the integration of Christian faith and learning can help restore the loss of morality and accountability Our will to do actions of righteousness will follow and that will impact our world. Thirdly, a Christian worldview will impact how someone is prepared to fulfill their calling, which is the original meaning of vocation. Thus the goals of Christian education is to prepare servant leaders to be salt and light for the marketplace and to act as agents of change and redemption in their sphere of influence. The Christian tradition holds that honest work is divinely ordained. This, in a nutshell, means that our learning, study and hard work are a means of glorifying and loving God with our heart soul, mind, and strength.Dockery’s final point is an important one: Promotions and prosperity come from God.

Here I will diverge with a personal comment. This is no name it and claim it theology that co-opts God’s blessings for temporal pleasures. I have see it at work at the highest levels. God is pleased at myriad times to work miraculously to advance the cause of the humble and contrite before him who intentionally seek to glorify Him in their day to day marketplace intercourse. One mark of this genuine blessing is that the one who is advanced becomes more humble, not puffed up by accomplishment. The world, the flesh and the devil would shut this form of righteousness down.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Keeping the Main thing the main thing...

Let's read a little Lewis Carroll- from Alice in Wonderland...

(Alice) was a little startled by seeing
the Cheshire Cat sitting on a bough of a tree a few yards off.

The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good-
natured, she thought: still it had VERY long claws and a great
many teeth, so she felt that it ought to be treated with respect.

`Cheshire Puss,' she began, rather timidly, as she did not at
all know whether it would like the name: however, it only
grinned a little wider. `Come, it's pleased so far,' thought
Alice, and she went on. `Would you tell me, please, which way I
ought to go from here?'

`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said
the Cat.

`I don't much care where--' said Alice.

`Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.

This is an obvious fact- yet we miss it- your destination determines your direction. We usually get that backwards at our own peril. Your goals determine your choices. It’s easy for us to get distracted and more concerned with secondary things. Yet wise people think about what they are about

Pascal said- the last thing we learn is what to put first.

Paul prayed a prayer for strangers to him- yet he prayed for the them the things that were most important to him.- for them.

The Greek here says-“praying for you and asking that you may be filled.”

Grammar can be as exciting as looking at a root canal, but let’s do it- it will benefit us here.

It is imperative to see how Paul’s thought flows.

A. v. 9 the Petition-That you may be filled with the knowledge of his will.
B. v. 10 the purpose- That you might live a life worthy of the Lord then follow 4 participles
C. vv. 10b-14-The Products:

• Bearing Fruit
• Growing
• Being Strengthened
• Giving thanks

This prayer is like a tree- its source or root is found in verse 9
The trunk or substance is in verse 10
The leaves or fruit are in vv 10-14.

The profound question is: What is the right thing? that is the issue. How do we know what is wisdom and what is foolishness- how do we get an anchor for life so we are not knocked back and forth like the waves of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind? (James)

Paul is concerned for believers living in a pagan environment. What do they need most? Paul is not thinking of the theological issues here- God’s sovereignty, etc. “God works all things according to the counsel of his will”

The personal directive will of god is in view here. He does not express it specifically but it embraces all believers here. He is talking about the declarative will of God- the moral will of God. That which arises out of God’s desire for every single person. God’s purposes for all men who name the name of Christ and will follow in His commands.

These people didn’t have the New Testament as we know it- his written commands for us. We hold in our hands the will of God- the known, declared will- which is declared in Scripture-so we can be equipped for every good work. All I need to live a life pleasing to God is contained in Scripture.

The work “know” here is used of the most intimate relationship between a man and a woman. It goes on to say “spiritual wisdom”- this is not the type of word tested in a university, but tested in life. Not just knowing Scripture, but applying it to life.

Personal knowledge and practical skill- the ability to discern and understand what truth applies where. We need to know how the will of God flows into life- not some highly informed intellectual understanding.God says there is a human response to the Word of God.

Menalek the II, was ruler of Ethiopia before the turn of the century. In the Coptic faith the emperor is seen as a descendant in the line of all that. Menalek believed that when he fell ill he could be healed by the Bible. He thought if he literally ate a few pages of scripture it would make him better. In 1913 he fell seriously ill so he decided to eat 1 and 2 Kings…so they tore it out page by page and he ate it and somewhere in 1 Kings he expired.

This is NOT what it means to be filled with the knowledge of His will in case you were wondering about that.- But what DOES it mean?

When we are filled with something it controls us. It is to have the will of God shape and influence my will. And also to be captivated, full of love,

Not only intellect, of our choice, seeking to obey, but also of LOVING His Will. To say as David “Oh how I love your Law!”

We must be possessed by the Word of God, not just possess the Word of God. Do I want to be a man who is shaped by God’s will, by His revealed statement of all the concerns in life?? God has spoken, if we believe that, nothing is more important than being informed and obedient to that written word of God.

Colossians 1:9-14 Our Great Purpose

Why is it important to be informed by and live in accordance WITH the Word of God?

Look at Col 1:10- the purpose is clear here- to live a life worthy of the Lord and to please Him in all respects. OUR GREAT PURPOSE-

First a standard is given- as in Eph 4:1; Phil 1:27;1 Thess 2:12

Here- to Walk Worthy- do not miss the word picture here- the image is of a balancing scale- the standard is placed on one side- WORTHY- = weighs up-we all have a scale, but hat is our standard we measure against?

Here’s a little explanation I thought worthy from DesiringGod.com: The Greek adverb, aksios, is translated "worthy of" in all six of its New Testament uses in the NASB. Five of those uses refer to our acting "worthy of God" or the gospel or our heavenly calling. What does this mean? Does it mean that we are to become "worth" God's favor? That is, does "worthy of" mean - deserving or meriting or earning God's favor? Does it call attention to our worth which God is obliged to acknowledge because it enriches his worth, the way a great computer programmer might be worth $200,000 to Microsoft?

Here are all five of these uses:

3 John 1:6, "You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God."

Thessalonians 2:12, "Walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory."

Colossians 1:10, "Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God."

Philippians 1:27, "Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ."

Ephesians 4:1, "Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called."

I don't think these texts mean that we merit from God or the gospel or our call; but that they merit from us. That is, to "walk worthy of the Lord" means to walk in a way that the Lord deserves from us, not in a way that we deserve from the Lord. So it is with the phrases "worthy of God" and "worthy of the Lord" and "worthy of the gospel" and "worthy of the calling." They mean: Act in a way that fits the great value and glorious nature of God and the gospel and your calling. And what fits with that great value? Faith. Above all things, faith and its fruit of love fits the worth of God and the gospel.

When constructing our scale or worth, we must not look to other people, heroes, role models as what we measure against. NO! it must be Christ Alone! When you construct the scale make One person the Lord. He is your measure, your standard. His character and love poured out on a cross--this rescues us from death and wrath preeminently, but also mediocrity and the ordinary. Don’t just be obsessed WITH it, DO IT to please Him Paul says. In every way we have a motivation.

If these things are true, then 4 other things are true:

1. Fruit is not brought by effort- it is the overflow of life. God’s life is evident in you-manifest the reality. No apple tree consciously decides to bear Macintoshes. The fruit can be the fruit of the Spirit- character. Other places it is evangelism. Here it is good works- the inevitable outflow that we were created UNTO. Titus 2:14 says we are eager- fanatics for good works. We are productive.

2. We also GROW. Verse 10 looks back to verse 9. It’s a circle- we know God’s will and we know God’s person- an endless cycle through this. It is an upward spiral.What I do with what I know of gods will will determine whether I will know my God better and so forth- as I move up the spiral of response. Einstein’s theory of relativity. Mrs Einstein was asked if she understood her husband;s theory. No, she answered, but I understand my husband. Spiritually there is a lot of truth in that.I won’t understand God and all his plans and purposes. He will be my sovereign and omniscient Lord, but not my intimate love.

3. Also I will know his enablement- verse 11.We struggle with our weakness and Paul wants us to know how to live to God’s Glory. It’s not like getting a big push on a swing, then you are on your own. No, God enables constantly. We’d like the end to read “so THAT we might escape and always prosper.” But God’s power is not only revealed in protection, but patience, not escape but endurance. James 1:3 So we can bear fruit and be made perfect. God always marvelously sustains- this is the norm- but he some times miraculously delivers.

4. The last statement bears a sense of wonder: GRATITUDE- vv. 12-14.God’s work in our life is what qualifies us by His grace- this is our position in Christ. V. 13- it is a PRIVILEDGE we could never achieve. We are now citizens. V. 14. It is a FREEDOM only from God. REDEMPTION. None of us would not want these things.

The root of it all is in verse 9. Are we being filled by the knowledge that shapes and controls us? Is vv 12-14 true of us? Have you trusted Christ, been transferred, been qualified by being In Christ? God help us to put first things first. Trust Christ and then obey Him.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Indiana Jones-spoliers ahead!

How long has it been? Almost twenty years? Harrison Ford IS Indiana Jones. It's all there, the walk, the talk, the silliness, the fistfights. I enjoyed the movie thoroughly as you can tell.

Some movies just demand to be enjoyed and forget about the flaws. But then, that wouldn't make much of a review.

The big issue is the absurdity element. The earlier stories were made to seem to be almost believeable, but when you have Indy surviving an H-bomb test in a 1950's Frigidaire in the opening scenes and then opening the refrigerator door from the INSIDE to walk out without a scratch (that's a REAL trick) I got the sense that anything would be fair game. And it was. The poor Ark of the Covenant got left in the dust (and in the warehouse) for this foray into the cartoon unknown.

More to come...

Friday, May 30, 2008

EdTech news

Teaching with Web 2.0

• Web 2.0 is redefining what and how and with whom we learn.

• Wikis- for collaboration and here.

• Smartphone tutorial-

• Research- Innovative Classroom Practices study

• Research on differences in games and simulations-

• Research on real life assessment regimes

• Research from MERLOT- Powerful E-Learning: A Preliminary Study of Learner Experiences

• Why Web 2.0 is about-more than technology-

• The LMS as a trap? Considering Online Pedagogy-

• Computer-Based Learning Could Transform Public Education within a Decade through “Disruptive Innovation,” experts say

• Second life pros and cons

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Return to Narnia

It seems like 1300 years since I last blogged on the Chronicles. I will have to see Prince Caspian again, as I have an unsettled view of the film at this point. The effects were good, and the storyline was mainly consistent with the original.

Where it departs for me is the presence of a grand theme of essense versus presence. What something is, overriding what something is made of. The theme of mythos is underplayed in the movie for a different vision of grand battle scenes we have seen the like of before. It is like the director thought that the "deep magic" would be too deep for the audience. There is no hint of substantive mythological content- no Bacchus to dance with. More disturbing, there is very little sign of Aslan to dance with.Myth becomes fact but there seems to be little longing for it.

And Susan sure killed a bunch of Telmarines with that bow- wonder what Lewis would have thought of that? Apparently Doug Gresham didn't think much of it.

Here is a significant quote from the CT movie review that is very instructive.

"In the film, Aslan tells Lucy, "Every year you grow, so shall I." In the book, Aslan says, "Every year you grow, you will find me bigger." Is this a significant change? In another scene, the film version of Aslan tells Lucy, "We can never know what would have happened." In the book, he says, "Nobody is ever told that." Is this a significant change? Do changes like these affect our understanding of Aslan's divinity? If so, how? If not, why not?"

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Let's Get Celebratory!

We won not one but two awards for our Online Courses...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tech Geek Blogger

Scobelizer- read 4 yerself. Especially the entry on Microsoft versus the Web...

Christian Higher Education- what is it?

Dr. Pettegrew says: "James Davison Hunter in his well known book "Evangelicalism: The Coming Generation" (published in 1987), suggests that "Somehow, exposure to the realm of higher education weakened the grip of religious conviction over a person's life. Thus whatever religious beliefs and practices an individual carried in with him at the start of his educational sojourn would have either been seriously compromised or abandoned altogether by the time he was ready to graduate. Minimally holding on to the religion of his adolescence would have proven difficult if not impossible" (171). He suggests that this is true not only in secular education but also Christian higher education in Christial liberal arts colleges. In fact, other studies have suggested that Christian students may do less well in Christian colleges, compared to secular colleges, because of a kind of "hothouse" effect at the Christian college, that the students become lethargic and apathetic about their faith."

I believe the above statements Dr. Pettegrew quoted are reflective of facts- a correct analysis. The underlying issue is the nature of faith- whether it is born of the Spirit or of indoctrination. It is a larger issue and has a prior genesis than that of beign accepted at a Christian Liberal Arts college. Of course, I am not alone in this crisis assessment. Much of what passes for Christianity is of this cultural untested variety that has learned to affirm that it is “all of God” but in fact is admixed with self-centered man. There is a simple reason why Christian are indistinguishable from the world in the west. They are in it and of it, not living practically with the ramifications of who they are, not even thinking in terms of all Truth being God’s Truth. Lukewarmness and laissez-faire religion ensues at best; the churches become unregenerate at worst...

In answering the second portion, I must allude to the words of my former pastor, Duane Litfin, whom I am deeply indebted to: The raison d’etre of the Christian college is see more fully the One we serve and to understand more clearly our own identity before Him and to provide an education where Jesus is the center and source of all knowledge. With Christ as the source, the Christian college must by virtue of its curriculum strengthen the foundations of Christian thought- to abrogate what David Wells called the Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. The revelatory nature of Truth demands that Christian education not only preserve Truth, but extend its application (and redemptive agency) to the uttermost disciplines. In my mind, this is an area of the Great Commission that has largely been ignored by the body of Christ, and yet it is where a substantial part of the battle is won or lost. We must equip students to take their faith to the public forums and not only stand, but to tear down every argument and every arrogant obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to make it obey Christ. We have along way to go and our existing strategies are not working as effectively as required for the task.

Thus, the key to the redemptive task is to understand and pursue the integrative mandate. Kingdom extension must be holistic and integrative of the whole man, lest the faith become just another compartment; this is how we got to where we are today. I believe a centerpiece of the curriculum must become teaching the strategic planning for advancing Kingdom initiatives in every discipline. For this to happen, it has to flow from the curriculum; teachers must see this as a mandate for themselves and for their students. Kingdom extension should be viewed as an outworking of our conformation to Christ, who is the Lord of All. What I am speaking of moves beyond Theodicy or Reconstructionism, it is the air we breath. We must teach students to think integratively: what can I do in this monent, in this week, in this lifetime to extend the Kingdom of my Lord in my dauily work and walk?

To “prevent it from happening” is not the issue- the primary task we must attack is to verify and validate the faith students enter with- true faith is living and can not be extinguished. We must “stir up the spark” the gift God bestows, and educate students in the deliberately designed passionate pursuit of exalting God in ALL things. The sanctification and consecration of a kingdom of priests is in view. Sanctification is more than Spiritual disciplines- it is practical, physical, vital, daily, anoverpowering engagement and effective stewardship of life on this earth for Christ's sake. I am not sure many Christian educators understand this, they take for granted that the students they encounter must be believers in the first place. We must be about building culture warriors and wise stewards of vocation, but the foundation for such a pursuit must be the correct estimation preeminent place of the Glorious One in our living, moving, being.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Media News

Facebook sets guidelines

TVB Releases Nielsen Survey of Consumption Habits

Day by Day on Vacation

Day One-Saturday we drove to Summerville, SC. We toured the town looking at the shops and the azalea gardens. We missed the blooming but it was still lovely.

Day Two:We attended Summerville Baptist on Sunday morning. Most of the staff there is from SBTS. From there we toured the old Middleton Plantation by carriage and by foot. We journeyed on to Patriot’s Point and Mt. Pleasant that afternoon. We had the best meal of our week at The Water’s Edge in Mt. Pleasant. . There we watched the porpoi – or maybe they were dolphins--play and the parade of dogs steeling themselves like hood ornaments on the front of the passing pleasure boats. I had what I would consider the best flounder i ever ate and the service and atmosphere was almost as good...

Day Three: Monday morning we toured the Yorktown, the Medal of Honor museum, and ferried out to Fort Sumter. Lunch was at the Okra Grill where everyone had a down home meal. Then on to the Hilton for the conference.

The conference started at 6 PM with David Jeremiah teaching from the book of James. The teaching for the entire conference seems to be taken from one of his books, Turning Toward Integrity.

The ministry’s old website is changing- it is becoming DavidJeremiah.org due to the proliferation of like sounding sites- people were getting confused as to whether they were on the right site or not.

Day Four: Tuesday morning was another session from James, followed by a short concert by David Phelps, who was looking a bit shaggy... He has a gifted voice, but I think he needs to go back and work with Bill Gaither on his deportment and especially his interaction with the audience. He didn’t even introduce the talented pianist and accompanist with him. This was especially notable since all the other artists- especially Mark Lowry- bent over backwards to recognize their backups.

We then went into Charleston and ate at Hyman’s Seafood. Compared to the Water’s Edge, the food was not as good. Then we took a carriage tour of Old Charleston, which was great.

Mark Lowry was on the bill for the evening and though I have not followed his career, it was nice to laugh so hard.

Day Five: On day three of the conference Dr. Jeremiah taught from James 5. It was a very good message on patience- waiting and the grip a culture of speed has on us as Christians.

Babbie Mason was in concert that evening.

Day Six: Day 4 of the conference we heard another message from James 5. We adjourned for home and returned to Summerville to enjoy the shops and flora.
Jerry and I saw Iron Man in the evening- (can you say "Tony Snark"?) and determined we had to have another movie weekend together sometime in the next few months.

Day Seven: We journeyed home on Friday stopping to eat and shop a bit- Strawberries and the Ky. Artisan’s Shop in Berea were the order of the day.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

John Michael Talbot's new recording

In a recent interview, John Michael Talbot said "I’m kind of preferring to spend some time with nothing for a while,” he said, adding that what God wants him to do after that is God’s business.

He still plans to tour in the fall of 2008 and the spring of 2009 to promote his new album, which is to be released Aug. 15.

Although touring is a lot of work, he said he loves doing concerts and would continue them, except, in prayer, he hears God telling him to stop and “stand still for a while” so God can direct him. That could be back into touring, doing prayer walks again or even being a recluse for the remainder of his life.

“In the mind of God, the song has been there forever, and the job of the composer is to find that song,” he said.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Word from Foster Anthony

That's my moniker in Second Life. And here's a link to a great resource I am exploring...

Another cultural icon bites the dust- from the First Earth Day, 1971

From The Straight Dope:

"According to an article in the April 8 Los Angeles New Times, the entire persona was exacty that--merely a persona. "Iron Eyes" Cody was actually Espera DiCorti, born of two Italian immigrants in Gueydan, Louisiana. DiCorti had loved playing Indians as a child and always said he was going to be an actor one day. After a move to Texas, he shortened his name to Cody and headed off for Los Angeles to make his fortune. According to Mae Abshire Duhon, his only living sibling, "The next thing we heard was that he had turned Indian."

The story is verified by a 1996 article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune that also established Cody's Italian-American roots. "

Here's the Wikipedia entry...

Expelled opens well

Made 3 Million plus on opening weekend- pretty good numbers for a limited opening venue and little or no advertising...

Thoughts on Earth Day.

I would likely be cast out if I frequented places where tree huggers dwell.

That being said, having grown up in the sixties in a VERY rural place, I know how to live in symbiotic relationship with nature. And I remember the childhood ads and programs created to educate us to environmental awareness...please please don't be a litterbug, for every litter bit hurts. I remember the ad with Iron Eyes Cody shedding a tear.

We made good use of everything and waste was not an issue. Today I have returned to the same county I grew up in and the sights are appalling- young people make a habit of making the landscape their garbage dump. I thought the next generation was green! Not so here. There is no recycling program in Bullitt County, and that's the first time that has been the case in my married life- Memphis, Dallas, and Illinois had recycling programs. Try to find a magazine recycling bin here and you are out of luck. Families have 4, 5, 6 cars and gas guzzlers galore. Fast food is the order of the day, and I get enough junk mail each week to half fill our waste container.

I believe in cycles of climate change- climate based on thirty year cycles. I'm not yet on the global warming bandwagon, but it doesn't take a genius to recognize things are still going horribly wrong in the area of personal environmental stewardship. Education has not helped; it is human laziness and arrogance that makes the mess I see daily. Fast food wrappers, beer cans, cigarette butts. The county just dredged the river and removed tons of debris from where it's been used as a dump. Driving along a lazy country road here gives you a view like a landfill with mattresses and garbage. It is sickening.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Temple Trembles

The temple now trembles now as it is filled
By radiance and glory- all nature is stilled
God’s presence has come out from that most holy place
To meet with his children face to face.

We are the temple God’s Spirit indwells
Our heart is the altar where true praise now swells
A glorious building made of living stones
With light in our eyes and fire in our bones

The water that cleanses in the Holy laver
The altar where the One pure sacrifice finds favor
The showbread, the lampstand that is filled with light
The altar of incense where prayer takes its flight
The one tabernacle where God and man meet
The door, the way, the living vine, the one mercy seat
The ark the manna and living Rod-
the final Word of God
The slain lamb now stands-
and we see the Great I am.

The temple now trembles, the temple now quakes
God’s presence is revealed to us for our sakes
Though once we were cast out we now enter in
To feast with the Father once again.

April 22, 2008
Anthony Foster

The Kindle

I've been hearing the buzz on the Kindle and the reviews I have seen have been very positive. I'll have to try one for a while before adopting a new way of reading- Larry sent a link to the Charlie Rose interview with Jeff Bezos, which I found pretty interesting...

Advocacy Apologetics

Read Rusty Wright's article here.

David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, writes in unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity, "In studying thousands of outsiders' impressions, it is clear that Christians are primarily perceived for what they stand against. We have become famous for what we oppose, rather than who we are for "[emphasis his].

Can't sleep, so here I blog.

I ran across a cheap but pristine copy of a book I remembered from 30 years ago titled God's Images by Dickey and Hayes. I first saw it and photographed images of the fine drawings during my days working on my BFA. It is as beautiful today as I remembered.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Early wakeup call- quake style...

Here's the story...

We were awakened by a substantial tremor around 5:35 this AM- (actually, Earnie was awakened, I slept through the fun...) I chalked it up to a barrage from Fort Knox, which we are still not used to after moving here. Seems Earnie was right- it was a 5.7 earthquake centered near Evansville- which is the epicenter of the New Madrid fault. They's calling it a tremor on the Wabash fault however...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dawgs I have known.

There were others from the litters along the way, but these were the main ones... can't imagine life without a dog.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jobs I have known.

What, you might ask, is a "laserist"? Hmmm...I created computer generated animations using laser displays for what, at that time, was the largest non-travelling laser light show in the U. S. We had about five different lasers to work with and I drew and entered the plot points in the computer to make this happen. I also provided projected images and designed special effect lighing effects. That job was like a laboratory of learning. Didn't pay much though. Here is a link to laserlightshow images I created, used in dozens of shows over a five year period from 1983-88...

Truth is important.

I like urban legend sites...
they tell you a lot about human nature. Here is the link to the Eye of God one, which is notable for its beauty if nothing else...

Snopes.com is my favorite one...and imho, should be perused by every thinking Christian.

So was this a goof or not?

Coins are circulating now with no "In God We Trust" inscription... almost immediately, this spawned a viral email that is being propagated by the uncritical attentions of many Christians.
Here's the skinny...


We saw the movie last week and thought it was pretty funny, if predictable. At times the repartee between Clooney and Zellweger rivalled the interplay of the likes of Roz Russell and Cary Grant in His Girl Friday; but this level of interchange was not sustained for very long. The movie fumbles the ball in places, but overall, it was entertaining if unevenly paced. Clooney does comedy well, I think- this is a stark departure from his somber Michael Clayton role.

Student Art Exhibition

I showed up, as planned, to take a look at the installation of the SBTS First annual student art exhibition- except there was no installation. Dr. Halla and I swung into action and four hours later we had a presentable show with fourteen works, labels and (passable) lighting. Chef Pam added her culinary artistry and the chocolate lovers began obeying their olfactory senses. We probably had 40 folks show by the time I left, and this was early on.

I hope the efforts will shed some light on the potential for God glorifying visual arts in the seminary community. This was a small start, to be sure, but an important first step, I think. This, along with the inception of a new Student Arts group on campus(I met the principal from engagingculture.com at the opening) may provide the impetus for more and greater things down the road.

We also had a prolonged conversation with Dr. James Parker. I knew him from the early days back in Dallas and his work with the Trinity Institute study center.

Visualcy defined- sort of...

Here's a link to Andy Crouch's article in CT from 2005...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

This day is heavy with memories

I won't be writing much on the loss of my dear mother in law, Jennievie Smith. I feel I must say that I have been a student of this woman for over thirty years, from the first time I drove down that driveway to meet her before I married her daughter. She taught me a lot about life and living. I recorded hundreds of hours of her stories over the years, but none of them were as instructive as having the privilege to help my wife take care of her Mom in her last months on earth. In this, she taught me much about dying as well. I pray I will finish my own race with as much tenacity mixed with grace as what she exhibited.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Great Churches we have been members of

Through the years, God has blessed us with great churches with ministries that were as deep as they were wide. Here are a few.
Bethel Baptist Church. Tim Lewis was our pastor. This is where I was licensed to the gospel ministry.
Northwest Bible Church Dr. Howard Clark was our pastor then.
Rhinehardt Bible Church is now Firewheel Fellowship. Dr. Gary Inrig was our pastor then.
New Covenant Presbyterian Church, PCA. Dr. Bob Palmer was our pastor.
First Evangelical Church, Memphis.Dr. Duane Litfin was pastor then.
Highview Baptist Church, Louisville.Dr. Kevin Ezell, current pastor...

We've also been able to attend some great schools...
Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary
Covenant Theological Seminary
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Currently working a Ph.D. there.

Not to mention: University of Louisville (Art), Murray State University (BFA), coursework at Southern Methodist University, Collin County Community College, Dallas County Community College (Multimedia Development), St. Louis Community College, Bowling Green State University (Non -Linear Video Editor 1)... and a MS in Instructional Technology at Southern Illinois University...

The Eye of the Lord

Ayin Adonai (The Eye of the Lord)

Come you flood of tears like the rain
Dwell in our eyes for our grief and pain
Our souls have need of your flowing release
And from this Grace will flow perfect peace.

God will wipe away every tear one day
But today our mourning is displayed
And he will catch up and bottle each tear
For in His book they all appear.

The ones who for his lovingkindness are thirsty
The ones who trust in His good mercy
Their death is precious in the eyes of the Lord
Now unbolt our hearts to let in Your Word.
Unbolt our hearts to love

For as pain pours forth from our eyes
His eye sees every one who cries
While we are weary, while we weep
From within us deep cries unto deep

The ones who for his lovingkindness are thirsty
The ones who trust in His good mercy
Their death is precious in the eye of the Lord
Now unbolt our hearts to let in Your Word.
Unbolt our hearts to love
Help us to see with the eye of the Lord.

Anthony Foster
April 7, 2008

Revelation 7:1
Ps 56:8; Job 16:20

Don Carson quote (for my own sake)

“If our suffering unbolts our own heart to allow freer entrance by the Word of God, it also unbolts our heart to allow freer flow outward of empathetic love.” D. A. Carson in How Long, O Lord? I purchased this book one week to the day before Mama Smith’s death. This is yet another tender mercy of the Lord, I think.

Divine works of art....

C. S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain wrote:
We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character. Here again we come up against what I have called the ‘intolerable compliment’. Over a sketch made idly to amuse a child, an artist may not take much trouble: he may be content to let it go even though it is not exactly as he meant it to be. But over the great picture of his life—the work which he loves, though in a fashion, as intensely as a man loves a woman or a mother a child—he will take endless trouble—and would, doubtless, thereby give endless trouble to the picture if it were sentient. One can imagine a sentient picture, after being rubbed and scraped and recommenced for the tenth time, wishing that it were only a thumbnail sketch whose making was over in a minute. In the same way, it is natural for us to wish that God had designed us for a less glorious and less arduous destiny; but then we are wishing not for more love but for less.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Time off

Taking some time away as Mama Smith has passed on to be with her Lord. Pray for us...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Content Tagging

What are tags and why are they important?

A Heart Beating Somewhere Between Factivity and Possibility

Digital Image (From Sculpture, Plasma and Laser Displays by the Artist), 11 by 19 inches. March 2008.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Joy of Your Presence

Oh Lord my God, I will seek you
I will seek you in the morning
Oh Lord my God, I will worship you
I will lift my hands in devotion
I will bow down in praise
I will pursue you for all of my days

Here in the joy of Your presence
Here in the place where you are revealed
Encountering your suffering
For there my wounds are healed

For all my days
For all my days
I will worship you
As a sacrifice of praise
For all my days
For all my days
I will I will worship
In my wilderness always.

For only You are worthy
To my Master I belong
In this slavery there is freedom
In this freedom is a song

Anthony Foster
April 1, 2008

Creativity and Cruciformity

Creativity can kill you- it must be married to the ethical and moral aspects of the imago Dei in order to form a balanced life. It must be laid down on the altar before the Lord. In the creative endeavor we model god-likeness and this can destroy a created being if used for self-aggrandizement. I have seen it get out of balance in my observations of artists. Talented people tend to get hung up on elevating the value of affirmation, and it is especially irksome if masked with false deprecation. This is just another form of self-focus. You cannot own that which was given to you by God- it is on loan to be a stewardship. The imagination frees us to be humble.What we as artists must get "hung up" on is cruciformity (the title of the image here)- delighting in becoming more like our master and conformed to His image.

Ben Stein

Here is theblogsite for Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. I attended a pre- release viewing of it today, and I must say it was very effective. The documentary clipped along and Ben Stein drew the viewer in with his logical pursuit of the pertinent questions. It will be in theaters April 18th- go see it!