Thursday, December 31, 2009

First blush review of Sherlock Holmes.

The film bears little resemblance to a Conan Doyle story. This is a much darker, much more physical and less cerebral Holmes with a story that rehashes elements of many action flicks in memory, complete with a strongman giant and malevolent midget. Sadly, I had figured out the main mystery within a few frames of the resurrection of the bad guy.

I just cannot get into a kungfu fighting Sherlock, or the Num3ers slo-mo step by step methodologies showing Holmes’ brain at work. Whereas the heroine and her blackjack can take a villain out with one slap, it takes Downey and Law scores of blows and a hardware store to take out their opponents, ostensibly to drag out the overly long action scenes. Honestly, this reminded me of a combination of James Bond and the Wild Wild West in turn of the century London with little of the Holmes idiosycrasies in evidence.

Throw in the occult underbelly and overtones along with slaughterhouse and sewer scenes, and you could almost smell this film. How many films in recent memory have depended upon the presence of s secret society set to rule the world as it’s core malevolence attraction? Umm- there the Illuminati who are apparently everywhere in video games. Movies, comics, fiction, Freemasons as in National Treasure, Skull and Bones, Opus Dei and so forth. This is getting pretty tired. And speaking of tiresome, Robert Downey is in danger of becoming typecast as himself. Give me Jeremy Brett.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Idea Park

Sometimes I use this space to park ideas for further exploration later. Today's idea is that of a leader as an architect of synergy. When a leader is only able to bring all the parties he leads to the table as a conglomeration of individual interests, the results are gridlock and less than the sum of their parts. Results are stringently limited. When a leader leverages leadership qualities, results happen that are more than the sum of the part. there is a creative stewardship involved in this. The character of these results are based in the character of the qualities leveraged, that is, by the quality of authority or power invested in him/her, by the power of personality, or by the power of compelling compassion and service- or any of the many other qualities of a leader. Virtue begets virtue, and vice begets vice. You will know them by their fruit, Christ said...

to be explored further....

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bliss

To revel in the presence
Of the source of all delight
To come and bow in reverence
Transformed from blight to right

We were made for this
We were made for this
To enter into bliss.
In his glory at His throne
Reveling here in Christ alone

To be never separated
In adoration unabated
To linger there our one desire
We will gaze on him and never tire

Raptured by His righteousness
There at the mercy seat
To be forever, always blessed
Our destiny complete

Where glory to glory reflects
And praise upon praise resounds
And light to light is mirrored
In resplendent radiance found

Where wrong is set right
By His covering made clean
Lesser desires will fade from sight
In the light of the unseen.

We were made for this
We were made for this
To enter into bliss.
In his glory at His throne
Reveling here in Christ alone

Anthony Foster
December 26, 2009

Seek the Child of Heaven

He is the Word that had to be said
He is the prayer we pray.
He is the gift that arose from the dead
A gift to give away
He made the star in the skies
That points the way in the night
He is the one that gives it light
And oh He shines so bright

Burn away the darkness that blinds us
Burn away the darkness that binds us
And give us sight
Oh give us sight

To see the Son is to see
The God who is unseen
We see the Son and see
His purpose for every thing

Seek the child
Oh seek the child
The child of heaven reconciles
He sets the prisoner free
To arise and to shine bright
In His presence whole and holy
Whole and Holy
Whole and Holy
Enter in and stand in glory
Seek the child of heaven
Come and shine within His light

Gloria to the glorious one
Our Creator is revealed
His glory he now shows
God on High is here below
So that we can know
So that we can know….

Anthony Foster
December 26, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Best Laugh of the Day

Glad to see Dave Barry hasn't lost his touch- here's his 2009 in review....

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What I saw at Southern Lights @ the Kentucky Horse Park


12 Snowflakes blinking
11 Toy soldiers
10 Disney displays
9 Snowmen waving
8 Reindeer flying
7 Gingerbread men
6 Famous fables
5 Ninjas fighting
4 Horses racing
3 Bears a flashing
2 Jedi dueling
1 Santa’s limo
And no baby Jesus nowhere!

So I must echo the sentiments: Bah, Humbug!!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Musings and Meditations at Christmas


The great shame and the great sin of the world is not complicated. It is simply and only and always-- undervaluing Jesus. This takes on a multitude of forms from blatant rebellion and cosmic anarchy on one end of the continuum, to sentimentalizing Christ and making him a safe, warm, and fuzzy buddy that you can take or leave. Sin violates who Jesus is. It is seeking sustinence and pleasure in his gifts rather than enjoying the one who gave them. In enjoying his gifts, even then we must enjoy them in the way that they were intended to be enjoyed. So whether the sin is calling God a liar in not believing his Word, or in substituting the pursuit of ease comfort and pleasure for pursuing him, or in devastating your family and body with runaway desires, in the end it boils down to this truth. To value Jesus- who is of the ultimate worth in the universe, less than he is due is worthy of death.

The world offers many competitors and substitutes that vie for our attentions,loyalties, and energies. While Jesus needs not be defended from Santa, it needs to be said that it is our very reason for living to worship and adore him. We have tremendous freedom and opportunity to find his light in all it's various facets- his poikilos grace, as it is in the Greek. Because he is full of grace and forgiveness, mercy and compassion for he understands our sufferings and desires better than we do ourselves.

He can understand our hearts because he created them. Jesus was unique because he is God. He is God-nature and Man-nature all wrapped up in an explosive and incomprehensible package of love. Jesus was unique as a human in that he never sinned and he rose from a stone cold death with power. The bible says in various places that God raised him, that the Spirit raised him, and that he raised himself. It’s paradoxical, but Christians believe this is reality, and stake their lives on it, not because of some leap of faith, but because of the character and nature of the One who told us this is true. His resurrection defines reality.

This undervaluing of Jesus- anything that deprives him of the glory and honor that is due him as the incarnate logos, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world is something every individual on earth is accountable for. He defines glory and honor; the world devalues and perverts it.

He is the only one who can purify all the things we pervert, and make no mistake, we are all experts at that, every one of us frail children of dust. Only in Christ can we trust, for he will not fail. As the fulfillment of the law, and the perfect image of God in whose image we are made, he defines Sin. He is the only one who has the authority to forgive sin. Therefore since failure to acknowledge the Truth of his Worth is at the root of all sin, he is the only solution to the sin problem. No religion can make that claim. Only in this person- the most high God in a body, the child who was born in a cattle stall in a dark and weary world, can we find reconciliation with God, and our very salvation. This determines whether you go to heaven: not who you are, or what you’ve done, but whether your desire to be with Jesus in all of his worth drives your life. If you don’t have much use for him in this world, what makes you think you can worship him in heaven?

Jesus is more than the reason for the season. He is the reason for the universe- let's worship him in Spirit and Truth every moment of every day. that makes all the difference- it will lead us to a life of humilty and gratitude, loving others because we are loved, for we are never more like Jesus that we are when we are giving of ourselves.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Blind Side- a review

I'm not much of a sucker for schmaltz, so I don't watch much of the Hallmark Channel. I must admit that I half expected this film to be of that ilk, but I was pleasantly surprised. There were points that danced dangerously close to that tune...but all in all this was a good story, and a fine performance from Sandra Bullock, who carried the film through some treacherous territory where it might have descended into being just another tear-jerker.

We've gained a bit of experience on the inside of the foster care system and know of the heroic actions of many who put their money where their mouths are when it comes to care and compassion. People really can change a life by taking care of widows and orphans, but it's equally true that their own lives are changed in the process. Bullock was convincing as well as entertaining. The depiction of the role the kids in the family made in making the intervention work was a good touch.

The down side: Tim McGraw is really a weak link as an actor in my opinion. His wooden performance was a distraction.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Jerusalem


The new Jerusalem. The new Jerusalem
Where the lamb is the light and the tree of life grows
And the stream of living water flows and flows and flows
With a stone and a new name, in the new Jerusalem.
Oh blessed day when it descends- the new Jerusalem.

To be changed into the likeness
Of the risen lamb
To be transformed into righteousness
Forever to stand
In the presence of the most High
Or to fall upon our face
Before the awesome throne of grace.

The new Jerusalem. The new Jerusalem
Where the lamb is the light and the tree of life grows
And the stream of living water flows and flows and flows
With a stone and a new name, in the new Jerusalem.
Oh blessed day when it descends- the new Jerusalem.

Now as we celebrate his birth
We see the portent of his worth
In the now and in the not yet
In the future that’s already set.
The earth by glory is consumed
The day God’s rose has fully bloomed.
In His Incarnation we see the sign to come
For the final Word is said and done.

Anthony Foster
December 14, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

One Life

One life is not enough
So we shall see forever
With one purpose in mind
Our ties with sin to sever
And then true purpose we shall find.

One life is not enough
To apprehend His glory
To know His worth
To know His victory
And so His kingdom comes to earth.

One life is all we’re given
To receive the life beyond
One life to be forgiven
To take on His precious bonds.
One life to live within the light
To be redeemed and be made right
All this life is a gift in which we trust.
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.

One life is not enough
To render all the praise
One tongue to speak
One voice to raise.
One heart and mind with which to seek.

One life is not enough
So we shall gain eternity
To pray and praise
On our knees, yes on our knees
Worshipping the ancient of days.

One life is all we’re given
To receive the life beyond
One life to be forgiven
To take on His precious bonds.
One life to live within the light
To be redeemed and be made right
To be declared righteous and just
All this life is a gift in which we trust.

Anthony Foster
December 14, 2009

Our Christmas Traditions


We started recounting them this weekend and came up with these- there are probably more, but this is a good representation...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Warm My Soul

I would warm my soul by the fire of your glory
I would warm my soul in your light
I would draw e’re close to the fostering fire
And steel myself 'gainst the wintery night.

As I bask in the warmth of your most holy fire
To remain in this place I will yearn
Till my soul’s consumed with the warmth of its glow
And with the light of your glory I burn.

By Your Spirit my embers are stirred
By your Spirit my heart has heard
And the stone cold ash is set ablaze
As here in your fire I stand amazed.
By a flame that burns but does not destroy
The branches are consumed by pure joy

I would warm my soul by the fire of compassion
I would warm my soul in your light
I would feel the fire in my bones growing stronger
As I stand in the fire and I fight.

I would see the spark that you place in me
Be stirred to a bonfire so bright
That its heat will burn all the dross of my life
As I warm my soul in your light.

I would warm my soul by the fire of compassion
I would warm my soul in your light
I would feel the fire in my bones growing stronger
As I stand by the fire in the night.

Anthony Foster
December 13, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Benedictus


Oh dayspring from on high
Oh star that lights the sky
Visit us and visit now
As humbly in our hearts we bow.
Arise in us and shine.

To them that in the darkness sit
Here in the shadow of death’s pit
A light has shown to guide our feet
Into the way of peace.
That by your light is lit.

Child of heaven now we sing
Of your altar and your offering
Your sacrifice the perfect gift
And so to you our eyes we lift
You who know our suffering

Oh heaven’s precious gift is given
Through tender mercy we’re forgiven
To dwell within his glorious light
Redeemed and reconciled, made right
Christ has accomplished our release
And so we know his perfect peace

Oh amazing incomparable worth
Beyond all value on the earth
Oh rising sun of righteousness
We lift our voices to confess
Oh Jesus we celebrate your birth.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

We had thought about going to hear this


Program Information:
Michael Sandel Renowned Harvard professor and author of Justice: What We Owe One Another as Citizens - and How We Can Think About It Together

Justice, or Moral Reasoning 22, a course in moral and political philosophy taught by Harvard Professor of Government, Michael Sandel, draws more than 1,200 students each year. One of the most visited pages on the Harvard website (link) carries a video in which Sandel addresses a rapt audience on dilemmas dreamt up by philosophers in order to get people to reflect on their beliefs about the relationship between action and intention.

His new book, Justice, offers readers the same exhilarating journey that captivates his students- the challenge of thinking our way through the hard moral challenges we confront as citizens, inviting readers of all political persuasions to consider familiar controversies in fresh and illuminating ways.

Interviewer: John S. Carroll
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former editor of the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun, and the Lexington Herald-Leader.

BUT by the time the "convenience fees" (that is an oxymoron, for sure) were added it was going to run over 50 bucks- and at 6PM one would have to fight downtown rush hour to attend. I think we'll check out any lectures online. It would take longer to get there than the interview lasts. I think living in the boonies will have to change in the future.

Here's a 27 minute one.

And another.It's 43 minutes. Here are the Reith Lectures.

Wise Words from Thomas Sowell

This is one of Earnie's favorite writers; she reads him on a regular basis. Here's a smattering of wisdom on a variety of subjects- immensely quotable.

For instance: "“Many colleges claim that they develop ‘leaders.’ All too often, that means turning out graduates who cannot feel fulfilled unless they are telling other people what to do. There are already too many people like that, and they are a menace to everyone else's freedom.”"

Monday, November 30, 2009

Whacked Out Spirituality


Here's something I encountered on our trip to see the Christmas decorations on the first day of Advent, where we begin to prepare to celebrate the nativity of the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. We celebrate that year 'round, but especially this time of year.

So here's a little duck dressed up as a Christmas tree with the message- "BELIEVE." He's surrounded by a flock, brace, flush, paddling or raft(whatever you choose to use) of duckie-clones.

This is scary it's so cute, but I'm not at all sure I know what I am supposed to BELIEVE in here. Is it that somewhere there are ducks that dress like this? Or perhaps this is some sort of alien lifeform come to save us from a deficiency of cuteness?

I suppose it is more likely a new derivative form of pagan theology. First, there was the myth of justification by death, where all you have to do to go to heaven is to die. Now this one says the destiny of your eternal, immortal soul depends upon whether you BELIEVE- something, anything, even if it is that ducks and trees can produce such offspring. Whatever it is as long as you sincerely BELIEVE, it will be OK. But then there's nothing new with that, is there?

We also saw an inflatable nativity scene blowing in the wind and I'd swear it looked like Mary had a beard and was dressed in red. Maybe it was my imagination, after seeing so many Santa's, or maybe Mary has a hormonal imbalance. Will have to return to check that one out in the daylight.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

4 more lyrics

Angels and Shepherds

The highest of the high
And the lowest of the low
Glorious in the sky
And broken here below

Beneath all of the heavens
Above all of the earth
Both wonder now in worship at
His inexpressable worth.

Both passion and compassion
Intermingled here in One
Here are the purest gifts of all
Compounded in God’s Son.

Precious purity undefiled
They come to praise the Miracle child.
Declarations of praise
Is all they can know.
Highest of the high
And lowest of the low…

Stunned into silence
Stunned into exaltation
They see the holy evidence
And respond in celebration…

The highest of the high
And the lowest of the low
Glorious in the sky
And broken here below

Beneath all of the heavens
Above all of the earth
Both wonder now in worship at
His inexpressable worth.

Anthony Foster
November 27, 2009


As the Starwheel Turns



On this starry night angels take their flight
And come to sing their story
Sing to all the earth of this blessed birth
A savior come from glory…

As the starwheel turns
Hearts with joy still yearn
They desire to know God’s plan
As the starwheel turns
A new fire now burns
And he’s come to be with Man.

Joy to the earth
We have seen his worth
And words we are not finding
That can rightly bless
And our hearts confess
The meaning that’s behind them

Gloria to Our Yahweh!
In this joyous night
A child is born
So laugh and leap with joy
You hearts that mourn
His favor he gave us
And as surely as that star does rise
Dry bones will be reborn
With victory in their eyes.

As sure as the savior reigns
His peace He ordains
His blessedness abideth
In the heavens show
Secrets angels know
One star shall surely guide us

For all the wisdom of heaven is His
And the source of joy
Will show the world what true joy is.

So seek you now his wisdom
Seek you now this child
So you can be completely
Redeemed and reconciled
Tell of the glory, tell of his story
And we will surely hear
With joy in our hearts
And as we hear it
With humble spirit
Will we apprehend
The peace that he imparts
In Bethlehem
The new beginning starts

Anthony Foster
November 28, 2009


Dwellingplace

Lord in your green pastures
I will take my rest
Under your tender mercies
I will be completely blessed.

Thy righteousness follows me
All the days of my life
So I will find my dwellingplace
In the midst of this world’s strife.

In all this world throughout all of history
There is a path that is faithful and true
In all this world there is no mystery
Harder and deeper to fathom than you
Lord where you lead there I will follow you
Lord where you lead I will come too
Fall on my knees, there I would wait on you
And Lord I will follow you.

In the holy ground of green pastures
I am wholly found in your grace
Here where mercy streams ever flowing
May your peace cover this place.

Lord be my dwellingplace
Be my dwellingplace
Abide with me as I hide in You
Lord be my dwellingplace.

Anthony Foster
November 27, 2009


Creche of Grace


Here in this crèche of grace
The heavens have invested glory
Here we can see God’s face
His reality becomes our story
So we seek him now
On our knees in our hearts we bow
Emmanuel rests in this place
Here in the crèche of grace.

Here in this humble stall
Here on our knees we fall
And join the creatures
As they low in awe
The shepherds and their sheep
Standing silent as they hear God weep

Here in a broken world
The silence too must break
The final word comes weeping
And soon he is a sleeping
The incarnate Lord
Now hear Messiah’s call
It is the call of tears
As his cry fills the silent night
So clear-so clear.

Here in the crèche of grace
The creator-King is crying
Descended unto this place
Where each day has its dying
And so we see Him now
And yet we wonder how
With incarnate God we stand face to face
Here in this crèche of grace

Anthony Foster
November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dreamer of Dreams


I have a dream- a dream that I can surely see
Life is more than it seems- this world has not yet blinded me.
There on the horizon beyond the vast shore
I view a vital vision so I am asking for far more.

I have a dream helps me cope with the suffering and pain
The vision of a blessed hope that turns my loss to gain.
I have a dream that draws me, a dream of burning fire
A hope that stuns and awes me and fills my heart's desire.

I have a dream and my dream has me
Audacious, extreme and it's setting me free.
This dream will draw me near to its warm reality
With vision that is clear if I have the eyes to see.

The obvious escapes most men- this sure and sacred fact
All bound up in what might have been, defined by what they've lacked.

Our dreams of dying and of dust leave us broken, weary, lost
Yet dare to dream we surely must- so let us come to count the cost.

Oh dreamer of dreams, what will you see
When your dreams become reality?
I have a dream and my dream has me
Audacious, extreme and it's setting me free.

Anthony Foster
November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Snow

See the photos of Tom Rudkin here
Falling down like leaves of gold
Nestling on the earth below
It’s peaceful here out in the cold
Silent in thanksgiving snow…

And now a cov’ring for my heart
Settles softly from above
Shalom the silent snow imparts
It flutters gently as a dove.

Peace comes like Thanksgiving snow
To grateful souls it is enough
To humble hearts that truly know
The covering of perfect love.

To settle on the satisfied
It covers them in white
And brings thanksgiving that abides
Like sacred silent light.

Like snowfall gathering in drifts
Like manna as it falls
I’ll make an off’ring of the gifts
For hope shall deck my halls.

This path I follow in the snow
Will help me find the way.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow
This blessed Thanksgiving Day…

Anthony Foster
Thanksgiving morning 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Bountiful Trip

I had a portent of what may come- as I finalized most of the writing on the phd, a spate of seven new songs accompanied me on the 2.5 hour trip back from speaking on the Future of Education at a regional conference Friday. Glad I had my digital recorder. The lyrics will follow this post.


Enjoy the artwork of GH Harris at http://lee-ny.com/arts/gregory_frank_harris/gregory_frank_harris.htm
Bountiful Praise

Lord fill our hearts with peace
Fill our eyes with victory
Seal us with love overflowing
And Lord send your sweet release.
Oh the blessedness of knowing
Your righteousness shall increase!

Lord fill our hearts with praise
Help us one voice to raise
Seal us with joy overflowing
Fill our hearts as each heart prays
Oh the blessedness of knowing
You have authored all our days.

Glorious singing, the mountains are ringing new praise
The valley’s resounding, and joy is abounding in this place.
Our hearts and voices we shall raise as we bring you bountiful praise!

Lord fill our hearts with love
Compassion sent from above
Seal us with mercy overflowing
As you provide more than enough
Oh the blessedness of knowing
You fill this place that we’re part of.

Glorious singing, the mountains are ringing new praise
The valley’s resounding, and joy is abounding in this place.
Our hearts and voices we shall raise as we bring you bountiful praise!

Lord fill our hearts with joy
As to the battle we deploy
Seal us with grace overflowing
As power in weakness we employ
Oh the blessedness of knowing
It’s your favor we enjoy!

Anthony Foster
November 20, 2009
=========================================

The House of the Lord

This not the house of the Lord
His home is the body of Christ
This building may have its beauty
But it was not bought with blood’s price

He has made his abode
In the heart completely his
The cornerstone was laid
The cost of construction has been paid
And now we abide, in him we hide
And our hearts have a home.

Now we are his tent of meeting
His tabernacle
His temple where lives are outpoured
We are one edifice as His name we confess
The dwellingplace of the Lord.

A building cannot hold the One who is to be adored!
So be glad when they say let us go unto the house of the Lord

So we are his tent of meeting
His tabernacle
His temple where lives are outpoured
We are one edifice as His name we confess
The dwellingplace of the Lord.

Anthony Foster
November 20, 2009
=========================================

See the artwork of Frank Mason at http://www.anny.org/2/artists/0451/003p0451.htm
Winter’s Grace

The outcasts have heard the word
And they choose to enter in.
The creatures too have heard
And so their song begins.
Glorious jubilation!
Announce it to creation
All night long
In Jubilant song
This Christmas celebration!

Heaven is in a manger
God is not longer a stranger
Christ has come to dwell in this place
So we sing of this winter’s grace!

The kings of earth have heard
The prophecy in stories
And so they seek his word
And join the paths of glory

Glorious Jubilation
Announce it to the nations!
All night long
In Jubilant song
This Christmas celebration!

A deliverer, a savior
Has come to show God’s favor
Christ has come to dwell in this place
So we sing of this winter’s grace!

Anthony Foster
November 22, 2009
=========================================

Source of Our Delight (Obedience)

Take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ
For we are the blood bought, the bride purchased with a price
And to obey is better still than sacrifice.

Oh source of our delight
You along can set us right
The good, the beautiful, the true
Are all bound up in You!

The good fight must be fought, the battle must be won
The high ground must be sought and God’s will must be done
The race of redemption to the end must be run…

Oh source of our delight
You along can set us right
The good, the beautiful, the true
Are all bound up in You!

Our hearts are set on You
Our hope is bound in You
Our happiness built on You
Our holiness found in You

Take captive every thought and purify your mind
Think on the things you ought-as the Lord searches may He find
No impure thought of any kind.

Oh source of our delight
You along can set us right
The good, the beautiful, the true
Are all bound up in You!

2 Cor 10:3-4

Anthony Foster
November 22, 2009
=========================================

First Step to Forever

This is the first step to forever
The entry into eternity
This is the first step to forever
Into a place where you can finally be free

No mortal man can enter in
Except they come by the one way
No one can overcome their sin
Unless they kneel their heart and pray

Then comes forgiveness full and free
The journey begins on the bended knee
Then comes the yearning
Then comes the turning
Then comes the longing to agree.

This is the first step to forever
The first step into the Father’s arms
The lovingkindness you longed for
That keeps you safe from harm

The shelter and the resting place
The place of the Father’s love
Where you can come to seek his face
When of this world you’ve had enough

Enough of this life
Enough of your way
Enough of the heartache
To bow down and pray
To ask for forgiveness
To seek and to find
The healing you need
For your heart soul and mind.

This is the first step to forever
So step into life made new
Surrender your life to the Savior
For he is forever faithful and true!

Anthony Foster
November 22, 2009
=========================================

The Word made Fresh

In silent jubilation the trees and rocks and hills
Cry out in celebration, the earth their joy fills.

The blossoms and the flowers shed glory on the earth
They dedicate their powers to a rose of greater worth

Each morning brings new glory
That every day is fresh
Creation tells the story
Of the Word that was made Flesh.
The Word made Fresh.

For He who has created a man from naught but dust
Has perfectly related the God in whom we trust

Glorious jubilation breaking on the night
The darkness over creation has now been turned to light
The Earthsongs now arise and men cry out in praise
As victory fills the eastern skies
And Heaven’s glory now displays

Angels in heaven always gaze
Full on the Father’s face
And now they look in awe, amazed
At the baby in this lowly place
And see the face of Grace

The infinite eternal Son
Displayed for all to see
And no one notices but the ones
Surrounded by humility
Unto himself the world he seeks
To redeem and reconcile
So heaven opens to the weak
Who find strength in this Child

And angels are descending
And ascending to His throne
That awaits the return of this babe
They defend the One who reigns alone

In glorious jubilation
Their joy is ever fresh
In this Christmas celebration
Of the Word that was made flesh.

Anthony Foster
November 20, 2009
=========================================

Thanksgiving Song

Lord fill our hearts with peace
Let strife and striving cease
Lord be the source of our shalom
Your blessed peace will be our home
That the fruit of righteousness may increase

Lord fill our hearts with grace
And mercy now to run the race
Transform our minds with gratitude
And let this be our attitude
As thanksgiving fills this place.

Thank you, Thank You, Thank you
You bless us so we may be a blessing
Thank you , Thank you, Thank you
For blessedness comes in the blessing.

Lord fill our hearts with love
Compassion from above
Lord give us lives to bless others
To suffice for the sins that it covers
Your lovingkindness is more than enough

Anthony Foster
November 21, 2009

Muses on a good weekend

Printed out the final draft of my dissertation last night.

Went to another area church as we are seeking to discern where we want to buy or build for the future and it may be in an outlying area. I recall Jack Kemp's story where he and his wife Joanne decided to first seek and find a great church and then move their family to be in proximity of it. That sounds like real wisdom to me- to put the center of bodylife at the focal point of your environment.

Did a little Christmas shopping as well!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Quite an evening

We had a great time at Actor's Theater at a performance of A Christmas Story. ELVES ROCK! They added a lot with their choreography, juggling, Christmas trivia, radio announcing, and Christmas themes. On the way out Santa and the elves greeted us as they partied...

No problems on the way in (what with all the construction going on) but going home we were met by a fireball probably fifty feet high, looked like a head-on collision of two tractor trailers. I am blogging an hour and a half later and it is still on the news. You could tell death was in the air. We sat there from 10 PM until 10:35 and then a few of us were let through. Glad to be home and praying for anyone involved!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Standing in the Need of Prayer


We lift up our praise to you
In adoration for all of our days to you
And there we will begin
To truly enter in and dare
To open up our hearts
And lay them bare to you.

We confess our sins to you
Forgive us and make us new
We come now to agree
We have come to clearly see
That righteousness is far from us
So cleanse and make us true.

We are standing in the need of prayer
Standing in the naked light with hearts laid bare
Standing, standing in the need of prayer
So raise us up from here on our knees
Heal us from our dread disease
Cleanse us from our sins
Here is where life begins.

We express our thanks to you
Our hearts humbled in gratitude
Thankful when nothing remains
To be grateful and unashamed
A servant spirit offered up-
Let this be our attitude

We lay all our needs before
The altar of the open door
In humble supplication
We understand our station
Frail children of dust,
Trusting Father evermore.

We are standing in the need of prayer
Standing in the naked light with hearts laid bare
Standing, standing in the need of prayer
So raise us up from here on our knees
Heal us from our dread disease
Cleanse us from our sins
Here is where life begins.

Lord we need wisdom, Lord we need power
Lord we need peace in this troubling hour.
Lord we will ask, in each trial or task
For you will provide- your arms open wide
To your daughters and sons
You pour lovingkindness on your favored ones.

We are standing in the need of prayer
Standing in the naked light our hearts laid bare
Standing, standing in the need of prayer
So raise us up from here on our knees
Heal us from our dread disease
Cleanse us from our sins
Here is where life begins.


Anthony Foster
November 3, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

More Songs for the Bride of the Lamb


Perfect Peace (Shalom Song)

You- provide a place to rest
We are blessed- in your presence, Lord.
You- draw us to your side
Here we hide- in your presence, Lord.

Every minute, every hour
Every moment by your power
We will pray.

Perfect peace, perfect peace
Sweet release in the depths of our souls
Perfect peace, perfect peace
Will never cease in the depths of our souls.
His name we extol! Jesus- Prince of Peace!

The wisdom of your plan
The might of your right hand
Your wish is our command
You are righteous and just, Jesus!
We lift our hearts in praise
Our songs of faith we raise
Oh author of our days
We will trust Jesus!

Lord give us peace give us power-give us purity
Give us strength in your sovereign security.
Perfect peace perfect peace
Will never cease with Christ in control
Perfect peace, perfect peace
We are priests of peace and your name we extol!

Peace- we cannot understand
Peace- according to your plan
Peace- in your shalom we shall stand
In your shalom all is well- Jesus- Prince of Peace!

Our minds on you are stayed
Our hearts are unafraid
Our souls are given aid
In perfect peace all is well- Jesus- Prince of Peace!

Our spirits are remade
Our every prayer is prayed
Our lives before you laid
In perfect peace all is well.-Jesus- Prince of Peace!

Anthony Foster
October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

AECT

Anthony sez, Had a fair to middlin' turnout for the talk at the AECT Conferenceat the Galt House. I spoke on a project we did with 100 students who built critical thinking exercises to link learning objects to the award winning courses we built a couple of years back. Best part was linking up with old friend Luther after all these years. I can't believe it- he looks better than me!

25 years later...


Hung a while with an old friend and colleague, from the Pink Palace days- my first full blown educational media venture- and here is my cohort in creativity from those days. I can say without reservation that I am proud of the work we did together! I was still known as Tony back then- when we were just babies. Here after all these years we find we are in the same line of work, and both working on PhD's... pretty cool, methinks. Maybe we'll get a chance to work on some projects together again, who knows?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Laver of Favor


We cry for mercy
Come to our relief
We cry for mercy
Come and heal our grief.

We spread out our hands
Souls like a parched land
Show us the way to go
To you we lift our souls.

In your kindness is forgiveness.
In your cleansing, purity
In confession we find righteousness
And a faithful and just walk for all to see.

Do not profane his presence
Come to worship in holiness
In purity we enter in.
In humility we confess our sin.

And there is but one place of washing
One brazen laver that purifies
Here where we confess our iniquity
Covered by the blood of the lamb we arise.
Covered by the blood of the lamb sin dies.

In your kindness is forgiveness.
In your cleansing, purity
In confession we find righteousness
And a faithful and just walk for all to see.

Anthony Foster
October 23, 2009

Weapons of Warfare


This is not a game, this is not a game
The lion of Judah is not tame
Born on a battlefield
We rise to never yield
Except to our sovereign’s command
The battlelines are where we stand.

Armored in the profound
We seek to silence every sound
Raised up against the throne of grace
To rout out evil in this place.

Destroying speculation
The fortresses’ destruction.
Every lofty thing raised up
Against the knowledge of our God

Our captives made from every thought
Taken prisoner to the obedience of Christ.
His bride is the once-for-all blood-bought
Willing prisoner to the obedience of Christ.

Army of mighty servants raise
Your hardy hearts in praise
Army of righteousness,
Destroying evil’s fortresses
Given divine power
To pull down every tower
Raised against the blood bought
Lambs of the lion
Who conquer from Zion

Living in what the light revealed
Routing out what darkness would conceal
The mortars overhead illuminate the sin
Destroy the devastation
That strangles every nation
Following the captain of salvation

Anthony Foster
October 25, 2009
2 Corinthians 10:3-4

We are Healed

Mercy’s incantation
Death secured our sure salvation
Raised to new creation
Miracle of rcconciliation
In the mystery revealed
By his wounds we are healed.

The impossible we find
Here in our savior’s mind
The impossible we seek to do
All things are possible in You.
We become the righteousness of God in You.

In suffering and pain
We discover loss is gain
For even though we die we live
Yet not I but by the life Christ gives
Throughout history concealed
By his wounds we are healed

We lose if we seek life to retain
In losing life we discover loss is gain
Power is perfected
In the stone that was rejected
Weakness is the strength of stone
Laid down before the presence of the throne

The impossible we find
Here in our savior’s mind
The impossible we seek to do
All things are possible in You.
We become the righteousness of God in You.

In this fellowship of suffering
We bind ourselves as offerings
A pleasing sacrifice
For we are found in Christ
And our hemhorraging heart is sealed
By his wounds we are healed.

October 27, 2009
Anthony Foster

Stream of Conciousness blogging...

Re.:Geezer Worship

A multitude of years does not a wizened saint make. I know some old fools and have been known to claim that moniker for myself. Yet some of the greatest spiritual giants I have known have had some serious mileage on them on the road with the Lord. I recall Miss Dorothy Armstrong, who taught me bible verses in Sunday School, Miss Anita Byrum, whose heart for the lost was humbling and inspiring, and others who have gone on before me now.

Re.: Bygone Musical Tastes: I don't get too bent out of shape when folks in the church want to have a bit of the memorable music of their journeys and not just something written in the past five years.

Re.: On singing in church. the PW leader at church sunday was attempting to teach a new PW song and didn't quite have it down himself. That reminded me of another quote from an older lady who was struggling to attain to a praise song that ended every line in "yeah, yeah": "Not very tuneful, is it?"

And it was just last week that we visited a church where the hymnbook attempted to take us to the mountaintop (musically speaking that is). My falsetto got a real workout.

Geezer Worship (A Heart that Perseveres)

Every day for all these years
They’ve traded in their tears and fears
For long sustaining providence
And their profane heart repents
This is the beauty of wisdom
In the heart that perseveres.

Moment by moment, day after day
Week after week they watch and pray
Multiplied minutes return
A heart that still burns year by year
This is the beauty of faithfulness
In the heart that perseveres.

The head now is wizened, the brow furrowed deep
Draws near the horizon, yet still the heart leaps
The memories are sweeter, the countenance blessed
Displaying the peace of a heart that has confessed.
Conforming to the likeness of the Lord of righteousness!

Here is the life that waits upon the Lord
On eagles wings lifted- a life that’s outpoured
They live long and prosper
They that humbly draw near
Here is the glory of Jesus
In the heart that perseveres.

Anthony Foster
October 26, 2009

Soon that Day


Soon that day will come
When this life is done
When our dreams and plans shall end
Soon that day shall come
It will surprise some
But watchful comprehend

So awake from sleep
Wade into the deep
And immerse yourself in love
Open up your eyes
Search the eastern skies
He’s returning from above!

We see your plan unfold
You do not withold
Of your presence in this world
Maranatha Lord!
Sound the trumpet’s chord
We prepare for your return.

Prepare us to be watchful
The bridegroom’s on His way
His returning could be any day
So watch and pray
Watch and pray

Lord come take us home
May your Kingdom come
Come and draw us to your side
You’ve prepared a place
For each child of Grace
There we’ll evermore abide

Anthony Foster
October 25, 2009

Gardens of Grace


It is our call to cultivate
The hardened soils within our gate.
Our gardens overrun by weeds
Are choking out redemptive seeds.

We turn from darkness as we shed
Our light abroad to wake the dead
To eradicate the hatred in this place
As we cultivate this garden of grace.

We won’t look further than our hearts
To find the perfect place to start
Change begins here where our garden grows
The seeds we plant
The light we grant
The water of life we allow to flow.
And grace will grow, will surely grow.

Here in the garden of grace
The seed we sow
The weeds we hoe
And love will surely start to grow freely in this place
In this garden, beautiful garden of grace…

We feed the soil of the ground
With lives sacrificially laid down
The evidence will surely show
There in the Christ-like crop that grows
By what we harvest we will know.
And so the seeds can sink their roots
To become the fledgling tender shoots

Through seasons of mercy-Seasons of change
Seasons of shadows The vine life remains
Seasons of blessing Working out what Christ works in
Through times of testing A new season can begin.

Here in the garden of grace
The seed we sow
The weeds we hoe
And love will surely start to grow freely in this place
In this garden, beautiful garden of grace…


Anthony Foster
October 26, 2009

Give us a place near your altar



Give us a place near your altar
A blood bought place of our own
Where we can boldly enter in
And stand before your throne.
Draw us unto your bleeding side
Neath the shadow of your cross we hide
Hid with Christ in God we now abide.

How lovely is your dwelling place
The courts of the Lord of Grace
Where hearts cry out
And spirits shout
As we run the race
The glory of our sun and shield
Emblazoned on our eye
The mystery’s revealed
Answers to every why.

Give us a place near your altar
A place where our souls can rest
A mansion in glory built by your hands
By the nail scarred hands we are blessed.
A place for us to finally dwell
We enter in and it is well
The glories there no human tongue can tell

How lovely is your dwelling place
The courts of the Lord of Grace
Where hearts cry out
And spirits shout
As we run the race
The glory of our sun and shield
Emblazoned on our eye
The mystery’s revealed
Answers to every why.

October 26, 2009
Anthony Foster

Pilgrim Heart



Set our hearts on pilgrimage
Give us a pilgrim's heart
Take us on a journey far
Far from comfort, raise the bar
Step by step we make our way
A pilgrim heart will never stray.

Train our hearts in righteousness
Give us a prosperous heart
Let it break forth in joy
Every stronghold destroy
As your name and word we confess
Give us a heart of righteousness.

Set our hearts on pilgrimage
Take us over glory's edge.
Set our hearts on pilgrimage
Take us over glory's edge.

Make our hearts an open door
Give us a fearless heart
No fear of death's dark penalty
No fear of life and eternity
Fear of the unknown falls away
For with God in control we watch and pray.

Set our hearts on pilgrimage
Take us over glory's edge.
Set our hearts on pilgrimage
Take us over glory's edge.

Anthony Foster
October 26, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In Your Arms



In this quiet special place
In this respite from the race
Jesus I will seek your face
Resting quietly in your arms.

In this sanctuary sweet
Just to sit here at your feet
I will find my heart complete
Resting quietly in your arms

In the midst of trial and test
In the turmoil I am blessed
In toil and trouble I find rest
Falling safely in your arms.

Here I sense you are so near
Close to you I draw
Keep me ever present here
In this place of grace and awe.
Sovereign over circumstance
Make my heart to daily dance
Coming away or still in the fray
With your arms wrapped ‘round me
Your blessed peace surrounds me.

In this simple place of rest
I will be your welcome guest
As I bless you I am blessed
Resting quietly in your arms.

I am weak but you are strong
I cast myself on you headlong
Here we sing redemption’s song
Resting quietly in your arms

God my Father give me Grace
Spirit help me keep your pace
Christ my restless heart replace
Sheltered from the world’s alarms
Jesus keep my soul from harm.
As I rest here in your arms

Anthony Foster
October 22, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Magnificent Journey


The star-wheel turns
As the human heart yearns
Here in the foundry of faith we burn
Here in the extreme
Beyond the dross we will dream
Where nothing is as it may seem

From when we exit the womb
Till we enter the tomb
We start to the grave from the delivery room
On the journey of faith
We run the holy race
And we live and move by Grace.

Magnificent journey
From the cradle to the gurney
Don’t want to go it on my own
The journey with Jesus
We’re bound as he frees us
Never alone, we’re never alone
So there’s joy in this magnificent journey
Awed at the sights we will see
So join me on this magnificent journey
For here on the road we are free.

Past every milestone
In Christ we’re never alone
Joined unto Jesus as we make our way home
Here on our course
Fueled by faith’s fiery force
The Spirit now guides us back to our One source

A heavenly stairway
Where we work and we play
As we learn to love others along the way.
Caretakers of grace
Here in this time and space
Rooted in heaven while we toil in this place

Magnificent journey
From the cradle to the gurney
Don’t want to go it on my own
The journey with Jesus
We’re bound as he frees us
Never alone, we’re never alone
So there’s joy in this magnificent journey
Awed at the sights we will see
So join me on this magnificent journey
For here on the road we are free.

Anthony Foster
October 18, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Alien Wisdom


I need a wisdom that is far beyond my thought
I need to know how to choose what I ought..
I seek a better way, a better choice
I seek to harmonize with my creator’s voice.

I need an alien wisdom- from far beyond my soul
I need an alien wisdom if I hope to become whole
The power to think and the power to choose
The power to walk away and lose
The power that comes when I become weak
Alien wisdom is what I seek.

There is one place to which any fool can turn
A place to grow and a place to learn
Here at His feet is wisdom’s source
Where the supernatural takes its course.

I will fear the Lord and draw near to the Lord
Then I will be a wizened man.
To consume his word, and obey what I have heard
To act on it and stand.
Then I will understand his plan.

I need an alien wisdom- from far beyond my soul
I need an alien wisdom if I hope to become whole
The power to think and the power to choose
The power to walk away and lose
The power that comes when I become weak
Alien wisdom is what I seek.

There is a forgiveness Full and free
It comes to those who repent and see
That God is still God
And sin is still sin
This is the place where
we see new life begin.
This is the place of wisdom’s source
This is the place where we find our course.

I need an alien wisdom- from far beyond my soul
I need an alien wisdom if I hope to become whole
The power to think and the power to choose
The power to walk away and lose
The power that comes when I become weak
Alien wisdom is what I seek.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Celebrating Adoption


We attended a SNAP mix and match event yesterday at Salato and it was a diametric departure from what we experienced earlier in the year, where there was little mixing and no matching, and the caseworkers and volunteers seemed all too shy. We taught a couple of great kids how to fish (their first time!) and got to know a couple of others as well, one of whom impressed me with her active mind and interaction with the other kids and workers. And one of the kids caught a fish about ten seconds after drowning her first worm. That was too cool.

We went through a wildlife exhibit and talked about beasts and bees and bugs. This was incredibly encouraging for us as we also got to spend some time with some of the workers involved in the program from another part of the state. We also had some incredibly responsive kids to get to know better. We're praying the Lord will see fit to bless us with further interaction, if it be His will.

We need encouragement big time as we have been a part of the system for nearly a year now and have had one roadblock after another. We wish we could take ALL of the kids in and raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. I watched as one young lady (whose name I cannot mention for sake of anonymity) praying over her meal and was reminded that in the crisis times we all go through God is faithful and reveals himself in kindness and tenderness to us all, if we will receive Him. It was a view of the good, the true and the beautiful that uplifted my spirit in praise.

We were blessed to visit a local church this morning and the make good on an invitation we had some time ago. One of the members who was one of my favorite people when I was a child is a member there and had called my Mom recently to invite her to their church. We briefly reminisced about the shoe shine kits he helped us kids make in VBS circa 1965 or so- which is still in service, I may add- and that he also used HIS this morning.It was the kind of feeling only afforded by a spiritual heritage and there's nothing on earth that can replace that. We also heard a VERY sound message from Isaiah 53 this morning on SIN. It is a paradox that such a message could be so encouraging- but that is life this side of the cross. Knowing that there is an ABSENCE of condemnation in Christ is something we often take for granted, and regular, sound theological expositions of Sin and its CURE from the pulpits of America could go a long way in righting our course...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

'Whatever' so totally tops most annoying word poll


I think the outcome of this poll has an underlying issue- that Americans tend to become easily exasperated. I know, not everyone these days calls 911 when Mickey -D gets their order wrong. But don't you notice, everywhere you look- that people are operating on the edge of losing it?

While it may be true that as Throeau said, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them", many are much more overt in living lives of not so quiet exasperation.

Trying something new doesn't always work out...

THe post below was sent remotely, after which I was supposed to go in and edit it. Trouble is, it completely slipped my mind. Therefore I resolve that there will be no more remote posting on this site from yours truly!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Higher Education News

How Higher Ed is beginning to be disrupted- from Techdirt-

Interesting article and fun discussion - An online university falls short of the ideal-

I think this calls for some thought on the value of physical space for a LEARNING ENVIRONMENT...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dust and Ashes



I’ll be mindful of my origins
Formed from the dust of the earth
Satan eats it all the days of his life
For the dust still bears the curse


I am mindful of my own end
For it’s to dust I shall return
And it will come to me so soon
As surely as the starwheel turns
Only my Lord can raise me above
I am only lifted by his perfect love

I declare my outrage against Satan self and Sin
For I am called to know my enemies.
I refuse to let them hold the upper hand again
Complicit in this dread conspiracy
I shake off the dust from my feet
Declaring my protest is complete
I will live like I believe I’m free.

I abhor with my whole being
The sin that has defeated me
Sitting in the dust I’m seeing
My need for real humility.

In ashes I see my own worth
And the end of the arrogant
I remember I will return to dirt
As in sorrow and ashes I repent
And only my Lord can raise me above
I am only lifted by his perfect love

I declare my outrage against Satan self and Sin
For I am called to know my enemies.
I refuse to let them hold the upper hand again
Complicit in this dread conspiracy
I shake off the dust from my feet
Declaring my protest is complete
I will live like I believe I’m free.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Prostrate Poem


We would tremble in the presence of the Lord our mighty King
And be deafened by the roaring of his wondrous sheltering wings
To be blinded by the glory of the radiance of His face
And our hearts will race to countenance His righteousness and grace
We have known of His embrace.

Devastated by His kindness and consumed by holiness
Purified by righteous searing fire as His Name we confess
We have swallowed dust and ashes as our selves we have abhorred
Quaking in the courtyard of our Holy, Holy, Holy Lord!
His name is to be adored!

We have rested by still waters after burning in our bones
We have understood the fullness of having Him alone
We have known the mystery of those who're wholly satisfied
While yet craving more and more of a life that’s crucified.
As to ourselves we’ve died…

This is no place of easy comfort and familiarity
No place to look to others, and no place for apathy
For if we remain untouched and not grieved by our gross sin
We’ve not tarried in his presence for we have not entered in.
This is not where we’ve been

We have apprehended mercy in its full unvarnished form
We have learned to drink from fountains overflowing from His storm
We have wept with tears of gratitude while trembling in fear
And we're longing for the day when we won’t depart from here
We would ever be drawn near.

In the mountain and deep valley he Has drawn us to his side
While we awe at dread perfections where we're called now to abide
We have lived beneath our privilege for far, far, far, too long
We desire to stay enraptured as we sing life’s simple song.
And to sing our whole life long

Anthony Foster
September 5, 2009
2AM

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Quote of the Day...

Those who flee temptation generally leave a forwarding address.
- Lane Olinghouse

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sometimes I Wonder

Sometimes when a song comes to me it seems so familiar and complete that I can’t distinguish whether I have already written it or not. This is one of those moments. It has been written one way in early August and now another expression is due. The first took a corporate direction and this version is more intimate and personal, I think.





Make My Heart Completely Yours

Make my heart completely Yours
Give me grace and make me pure
Give me mercy to endure
And make my heart,
Make my heart,
Make my heart completely Yours.

Give your strong support
As I dwell within your courts
As I dedicate myself to one desire
As my soul repents
Grant me confidence
To obey and do what you require
I would do justly,
I would love mercy,
Walking humbly with the Lord my God
As to this I’m set apart
Distractions all depart
I seek the comfort of your staff and rod.

Make my heart completely Yours
Give me grace and make me pure
Give me mercy to endure
And make my heart,
Make my heart,
Make my heart completely Yours.

Cleanse my willful mind,
All temptations bind
Consecrate me Lord unto your will
Purify my soul,
Make the broken whole
With your Spirit I would now be filled.
Lord I seek your face
Lord I need your grace
All I need indeed in You is found
Your sufficiency
Is more than enough for me
At your feet I cast my every crown.

Make my heart completely Yours
Give me grace and make me pure
Give me mercy to endure
And make my heart,
Make my heart,
Make my heart completely Yours.

Micah 6:8
II Chronicles 16:9

Anthony Foster
August 28, 2009

QOHOLETH


A prophet to dry places
Called to the wandering
He sees their haunted faces
Laughing, crying, lingering
And he knows their hearts are heavy
And he know they are confused
Buying wholesale in the marketplace
Any new deal that they choose
He knows they have everything to lose.

Here in the aereopagus
Of shattered dreams and ploys
Their sorrow terminates their trust
And renders songs to noise.
He’s a prophet to the pagan
And a harbinger of love
For those who dare not hope to plan
To raise their eyes above
One word may be enough.

For once he was a prisoner
Now he is set free
And he dare not cheat the listeners
Now he cannot keep his peace.
A tiller of unfertile fields
A keeper of lost sheep
A survivor who’s been truly healed
And rescued from the deep.
Now he weeps with those who weep

In the desert of the classroom
In the offices and bars
From the blight of the boardrooms
To the cults and culture wars
To the one who violates the womb
To the ones who bear the scars
In these holy halcyon days of doom
There’s a stairway to the stars
If you want see that far.

He’s a warrior and a watchman
Who dares to stand and speak
The truth in love’s his only plan
And peace is what he seeks
Now this is where his calling
Has led him now to stand
In a place where night is falling
In a dry and weary land
God’s wish is his command.

Anthony Foster
August 28, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Green Pastures of Grace



I have danced to mercy's music
And I've flown on eagle's wings
And I 've marched to love's strong drumbeat
As I've burnt my offerings

Until nothing's left but shalom
There's no despair left to face
And I find I am a rich man
Resting in this blessed place.
Here in the green pastures of grace.

For I wandered as a seeker
Searching for that greener grass
long bewildered, I grew weaker
As I starved for that which lasts
Never knowing there's a banquet
Set and waiting for the child
Who wills but to receive it
Who is willing to believe it
Those who enter from the wild.
Those redeemed and reconciled.

There we find the stiller waters
We have chosen to lie down
And I want to see my daughters
And my sons and brothers now
Lying peaceful here beside me
In this most peculiar place
Here where the shadows falter
Where the heart becomes the altar
Here in the green pastures of grace.
Here in the green pastures of grace.
Here in the green pastures of grace.

August 27, 2009
Anthony Foster

I discovered I am a netgeezer.

I was on a bulletin board for Parkinson's caregivers by 1989, published my first webpage in 1993, was into Shockwave in 95, taught "internet literacy" from '98-03 and started blogging in 2003.

So's I went out to the World Wide Web and did a little web surfing on the infobahn this morning. Then a long distance call came in on my personal digital assistant about something someone read on my weblog.

Now that is REALLY dating yourself. Here are the Business Week 12 words that are so passe as to embarrass you...

Who wants to do that?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just in the Nick


Ancestry.com has a new datasource this week- I suddenly have a hankering for a piece of cake...

PC versus TV

I'm up for this- first thing I'll do when I get a life. Ready to ditch cable if it weren't for Turner Classic Movies.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Copycats...


First I saw my friend Amanda, then Rippy and said- now I wonder what we would look like Simpsonized? For my friends who don't Facebook, now we know. 2D flatters me...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Unless the pleasure is in the ultimate source of pleasure...

A life of pleasure makes even the strongest mind frivolous at last.
- Edward Bulwer-Lytton

The Edge of Eternity



Dancing at the darkened door Forgetting what Has gone before
When all is said, we muddle through Forget the why of what we do.
At the edge of eternity. At the edge of eternity.

I look on every face and name And see that we are all the same
No little lives, no little dreams And nothing’s truly as it seems
At the edge of eternity At the edge of eternity.

Avoid the eyes Avoid the truth And choose your idols In your youth
That way is sure To devastate When you find you finally Meet your fate
On the edge of eternity At the edge of eternity

Each indiscretion Each mistake We know the sin we give and take
Doing all For our own sake Hoping for no more than an even break
On the edge of eternity At the edge of eternity.

So get your eyes On things above Where vision’s cleared By the fire of love
For darkness flees The searing light Here on our knees We set our sight
O’er the edge of eternity O’er the edge of eternity.

How close we are... To the edge of eternity
How close we are... To the edge of eternity.

Anthony Foster
August 14, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Great Acting, Marginal Movie? Julie & Julia


You ask, how is this possible?

This is not really a review of the movie we just saw tonight. It is more a commentary on the state of the art form that has shaped the American consciousness like none other.

So there are no spoilers here. I am not sure what would even constitute a spoiler in the present case, and that says it all. I think Merle Streep is one of the great actresses of all time and certainly the best of this day. Merle Streep is fascinatingly entertaining and touching as Julia Child, and contrary to what I have read in some reviews, the double adaptation of two books in one movie works for the most part. It was good entertainment and a nice distraction.

The problem as I see it is that with Streep, the material rarely rises to the level of the actress. She saves every movie she is in and gives it value it would not otherwise have. What I was struck with was the same feeling I had recently when watching a month of 1930's movies on TCM. I remember John Barrymore for his superb acting, but his movies are, for the most part, forgettable, I think. We have many good movies today but very few great ones that will stand the test of time.

I'm not so sure that any of the movies in Streep's long career will ever rise to the greatness she commands as an actress. Nora Ephron is no slouch, but the power of the narrative of this adaptation left me considering the storyline as negligible. In some ways a biopic would have been more engaging as the movie stops short of her foray into TV history except for Julie's rerun watching. It would have been nice to see more of how Julia Child transitioned into one of the most unusual television personalities of the day, as well as her husband's role in this.

And now a word on the state of the art of cinema.

Earnie and I were conversing about the gulf between the great storytellers of 1939 versus the scene seventy years later. I do not think the art form has advanced in any way from that day so long ago. Special effects and the postmodern realism so evident in today's fare has yielded a degradation of the promise of cinema by wringing the humanity out of it by devaluing symbolism and archetypal characters for blatant realism. Meatgrinders replace metaphor and the f-word replaces prose.

What was so noteworthy, time and again in watching so many classic four star movies on TCM in July 2009 was the fact that this great age of entertainment was exacted during a time of great suffering in our country.

Negating the negative


And then there's the seven Deadly sins: "Lust", "Gluttony", "Greed", "Sloth", "Wrath", "Envy", and "Pride", which would seem to be a negation of the "Seven Holy Virtues"...

In the Book of Proverbs, it is stated that there are specifically "six things the Lord hateth, and the seventh His soul detesteth," namely:

Haughty eyes
A lying tongue
Hands that shed innocent blood
A heart that devises wicked plots
Feet that are swift to run into mischief
A deceitful witness that uttereth lies
Him that soweth discord among brethren

The Virtuous Life

There are several different approaches to the concept of virtue. To start the thought processes going, I'll post them here.

The Seven Holy Virtues:

Valour: Pursuit of Courage and Knowledge
Generosity: Pursuit of Giving
Liberality: Pursuit of Will
Diligence: Pursuit of Ethics
Patience: Pursuit of Peace
Kindness: Pursuit of Charity
Humility: Pursuit of Modesty

The Church Fathers List: 4 Cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Restraint (or Temperance), and Courage (or Fortitude), and the 3 Theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love (or Charity)

The seven Heavenly Virtues-Purity, Temperance, Love, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, and Humility.

You can see lots of overlap here; I'm not really sure why anyone thought they could improve on the Apostle Paul and the Holy Spirit's
Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self Control

First thought: I think diligence, faithfulness, and goodness imply truthfulness.

The Requirements of Leadership

One thing I strongly believe is that leadership is a trust and a test and leaders should be held to a higher level of accountability than others. This is a biblical principle that the apostle Paul applied when referring to teachers.

In the Pitino case, I am disappointed in the vernacular being used, but then again, it was exactly what I expected. So far, Pitino's actions are being characterized as an "indiscretion" and a "mistake"- both of which remove any moral overtones to the conversation. We've had weeks of denials of wrongdoing, and it echoes the vernacular that has been evident in the coverage of many of the instances of major moral failures of our leaders this year.

I expect this will drag out in the press here locally. I probably won't be commenting further on it, but my view of the man has changed dramatically, whatever the nature of the allegations and confessions are. I note that the media spin was previously totally against the woman involved in the "indiscretion." I wonder.

Quote of the day

What I look forward to is continued immaturity followed by death.

Dave Barry

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Non-virtuous living


Earnie and I have been discussing the importance of the virtuous life versus success as key to living the COMPELLING LIFE. More on that to come here or on her blog, EyefOfE.

Case in point: the current Rick Pitino scandal is hitting Louisville fans hard.

With the narrative of this mess thus far, one has to consider the possibility that there never was a baby and extortion was in view. That's the first thing that should be proven or disproven.

It would seem from the reports that some of the following is true;

a. Rick Pitino is a liar.
b. Rick Pitino paid to have his baby aborted.
c. Rick Pitino is a rapist.
d. Rick Pitino can't hold his liquor.
e. Rick Pitino has disgraced and damaged his wife and children.
f. Rick Pitino has damaged his reputation irreparably.
g. Rick Pitino has damaged his integrity irreparably.

So how much of this attains?

It remains to be seen how his public, his fans, the press, and the communities-sports, religious, etc. will react to this news. Some will say- "he who is sinless among you should cast the first stone". It's high time we held our leaders accountable as a society and this attitude smells like smoke. Simple judgment of right and wrong is in order, and this is the basis of lex rex in society. I am losing count of how many high profile leaders have had moral failures this year alone.

This all makes me sick to my stomach. As usual, some will defend his actions, some will decry them, but whether there will be an righteous response is far more dubious. So that leads to the question: what should the reaction of U of L be?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rare find on ebay


I was always under the impression that the canooter valve, muffler bearing, blinker fluid, halogen headlight fluid, left handed monkey wrenches, metric screwdrivers, and metric crescent wrenches all have this is common: they don't exist.

Au contraire- I just spotted what I believe to be an antique canooter on ebay! Only 5.99 and 8.95 shipping at this writing!
(Wonder what the odds are that someone will actually buy it?)

Switching Channels


I was just posting info about the Perseid meteor shower tonite on Facebook, and I was reminded of another fairly rare conjuncture. What do Sam and Sue (the animated clown robots that terrorized me on trips to Fontaine Ferry Park as a child) Galileo and Copernicus have in common?

Answer: they are all in exhibits at the Frazier Museum in Louisville. I'll be there- you go too!

Fontaine Ferry Park was a staple of Louisville amusement for most of the twentieth century. Waaaaay back on September 8, 1905, my great-great Grandfather C. W. Ridgway wrote of a trip to the park for a family reunion "to enjoy all the beauties art can lavish upon any one spot. The Park is beautiful beyond description."

Of course, Sam and Sue were johnny come latelies compared to that. From what I see on the "memories" website, I was not the only youngster that was scarred for life by their crazed, cackling gyrations. I guess they seemed like a good idea to somebody.