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.

Just wondering...


...what I would look like as a Muppet.

Here's the answer.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Another one of life's little mysteries...


We went to this barbecue joint yesterday and it was filled with Coca Cola advertisements everywhere you looked. Old time posters, metal signs, and the like.I counted over thirty signs that could be seen from where I was sitting and I didn't look at the whole place. Sounded pretty good. But when we ordered a Coke we were told they only had Pepsi products. Hmmmm.... Then when I ordered barbecue it turned out to be mystery meat...Live and learn...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

July News of Interest for Educators...

United Kingdom Distance Learning Funding announced-http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2009/6/prweb2581744.htm

The Obama Plan-Obama Administration pushing to fund Community College creation of online courses. Community colleges and high schools would receive federal funds to create free, online courses in a program that is in the final stages of being drafted by the Obama administration. A formal announcement could come in the next few weeks. In addition to the free online courses, the plan would provide $9 billion over 10 years to help community colleges develop and improve programs related to preparing students for good jobs, and a $10 billion loan fund (at low or no interest) for community college facilities.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/06/29/ccplan

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/07/15/obama

U.S. Department of Education Study Finds that Good Teaching can be Enhanced with New Technology. The findings revealed that on average, online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction. Also presents evidence that blended learning is most effective.

http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf

Arizona State University (ASU), Tempe, is being sued by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and the American Council of the Blind (ACB) over the use of Amazon’s Kindle DX electronic reading device as a means of distributing electronic textbooks to its students, because the new ereader's menu isn't accessible to the blind. mLibrary Journal-

http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6668651.html

The Garden Kingdom


Your reign is coming and has come
You are sovereign of this garden Kingdom
The whole earth with your glory is filled
And here in this garden we till and are tilled.

We are the new Eden and hearts are the soil
The hearts of humans are the place where we toil
And you send living water to make the seed grow
Until with the harvest you reap what you sow.

Make me a ploughman
Make me one now
Looking not left nor right
Set my hand to your plow
My furrows will lay straight
My lines will run true
The harvest will come
With my eye set on You

You planted the seed in this ground
The blessed hope has taken root.
Raising heavenward the earthbound
And from this garden springs forth fruit.

Make me a ploughman
Make me one now
Looking not left nor right
Set my hand to your plow
My furrows will lay straight
My lines will run true
The harvest will come
With my eye set on You

Anthony Foster
August 4, 2009

Holy Place


Heaven is your throne
And the earth is your footstool
You abide within your own
The basilica in whom you rule

There is no holy house in which you dwell
There is no separation and no veil
There are no other wings under which to hide.
Other than this tabernacle of your bride.

In You alone we hide
In you alone we abide
Hid with Christ in God we rest
We enter in and we are blessed.

Transform our striving into rest
Let us enter in to that place where we are blessed
Not some earthbound sanctuary
Not some sacred place to tarry
But we find the holy hidden in our hearts
You are the sacred ground of which we are a part

In you alone we trust
In you alone we are declared just
We come our sins to confess
And we are made into your righteousness.

Anthony Foster
August 4, 2009

I've been enjoying my garden's produce...

So it has its effect on my quiet time. Most of the songs I receive are in that context, and here are a few more lyrics...

Make Our Hearts Completely Yours

So many distractions, plans and reactions
So many vocations compete with the call
We would hear a music
That transcends the sounds of earth
We would listen to a voice
That gives the wilderness its worth.

Make our hearts completely Yours
And give us courage that endures
Search and destroy this world’s lures
And make our hearts completely Yours.

Give us a bent, a way, a view
That consecrates our lives to You
A willing walk and humble minds
Till no distractions You will find.

Make our hearts completely Yours
And give us courage that endures
Search and destroy this world’s lures
And make our hearts completely Yours.

For the eye of the Lord searches out the earth
To find a heart that knows His worth
His strong support will be supplied
To the heart that to all but Christ has died
For these are the hearts that in Him confide.

We dedicate
We consecrate
Our lives to do Your will
We come to bless
True righteousness
And these grateful hearts are filled.

Make our hearts completely Yours
And give us courage that endures
Search and destroy this world’s lures
And make our hearts completely Yours.

Anthony Foster
August 4, 2009
2 Chronicles 16:9