Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Some thoughts just short of a review

Spoiler alert!

We saw Alice in Wonderland and the first thing I want to say is- don't avoid the books because you "saw the movie". They are not the same. This is actually based more on the nonsense poem Jabberwocky from Through the Looking Glass, but it has familiar (but not all) characters from Alice in Wonderland. The movie diverges from both Looking Glass and Wonderland.

The books are much richer in a literary and a philosophical sense and Carroll's use of language is all but lost in this. Most of my favorite lines and passages are missing in action, especially from the Cheshire Cat. One discerns the influence of the original illustrator of the book, John Tenniel, on the visual design of the movie. Some of the scenes derive directly from Tenniel's pen.

That being said, it is still wonderful cinema and visually stunning. This wonderland is much more gothic and dark, first of all from Burton's vision and secondly as it borrows from the themes covered in stories such as Lewis' The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe or other stories that feature an evil queen who devastates the land after deposing the good sister.

Johnny Depp steals the show, but the other actors are exceptional as well. I especially liked Mia Wasikowska as Alice, and the maniacal if conflicted Red Queen played by Helena Bonham Carter. Anne Hathaway as White Queen was a bit irksome and contrived. Blue Caterpillar by Alan Rickman added a nice touch.

As for the CGI effects, they missed big time on the horse animation, I thought. Some of the 3D effects didn't work for me either- seemed pointless. The lack of differentiation in the Army of Cards was noticeably disconcerting as well.

And one more thing. I would have rather seen Mock Turtle (who was altogether missing) dance his dance than the Hatter doing the futterwacken, which was extraneous and contrived.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dissertation Dayze are gone...


I am so blessed.

Dissertation defense turned out to be celebratory and a chance to talk about what I learned in the prolonged process. I said in another post that my advisor and reader's kindness left me a bit humbled- I think it is more than a bit, in fact having affirmation from people you respect is just about as good as it gets this side of heaven... I stand amazed at God's goodness in all of this...

So... I didn't get much sleep last night, my heart was so full. Today has been an exercise in trying to get back into a flow, wrote several thank you notes, followed up with coworkers on several issues, but mostly getting re-grounded. And I posted quite a few lyrics, most of which are still in search of melodies. Life is also like that at times, but songs have been reigning in our lives for the most part lately!

Thanks again to all who have been praying for us, and to all who have been communicating to us via Facebook as well!

The strangest part was when Dr. Bredfeldt called me Dr. Foster. Don't think I'll be using that much in anything other than an official work capacity.

Earnie observed that yesterday was a turning of a page in the book the Lord is writing for our lives. The page will never come again, but we can return to it in memory. It's the very satisfying culmination of a journey that started October 1967 when I submitted and committed my life to Jesus. I remember preaching my first sermon in 1974 on Youth Sunday at MWFBC. I remember the affirmation I received from Dr. Duane Litfin in 1986 as we began our seminary experience at Mid America in Memphis. Thank you Second Pres of Memphis library for letting me devour thousands of messages from Schaeffer, Boice, Sproul, Guinness, Roger Nicole, Packer, Metzger, and many others who were my surrogate teachers. I think I gained a better theological mind than I ever could have realized at seminary alone because of these resources.

Then we took the journey through Midian and several great churches in Dallas- and men who influenced me there- Gary Inrig and Ray Bohlin at Reinhart Bible Church, Bill Lawrence and Howard Clark at Northwest Bible Church, and finally Bob Palmer at our dear New Covenant. Thank you all, and especially the Mary Lou's whose prayers have sustained us all these years.

That led to both of us attending Covenant Seminary starting 1996 and being blessed by Jerram Barrs' courses, then grad school in 1999 and our five creative and valuable ministry years at FBC Maryville before meeting Tim Lewis, the pastor that encouraged us into receiving this blessed phase. Under Tim's guidance, Bethel Baptist gave me the opportunity to be licensed to the Gospel ministry, for which I am incredibly grateful.

Then there was the unforeseen and astounding opportunity- as our initial intention was finishing up the MDiv I had started at Mid America and continued at Covenant. I remember Dr. Bredfeldt asking me why I wanted to do that when I could go directly into the PhD after going through the levelling process in less than a year to gain equivalency. Three theology courses later and I was in.

It's been like wandering in both wonder and wilderness and crossing the Red Sea. God closed up the window of opportunity as surely as he opened it and led us through. We are anticipating the blessedness of knowing the Lord is ordering our days.

Thoughts on when He takes me to His side

Sure I want to hear “well done” Faithful servant , enter in.
But I have a greater longing
Just to draw near to the side of the Son
To be called His beloved
And to gaze into His face
To seek a glance from the eyes that saw me from before the foundations were laid.
God didn’t give us a legacy
He gave an inheritance, and that inheritance is the same of the Levites- the Lord Himself.

My Treasure in Heaven

Gold and silver, precious jewels, treasure of great worth
But stored up in heaven is treasure far greater than on earth
Not many here will find it for they’re blind from what they’ve got
They never think to dig deeply where the cross marks the spot.

Insatiable

Make my holy hunger increase
May my thirsting never cease
The more I drink and the more I eat
Whets an appetite that’s incomplete

I hunger for your righteousness
To dwell in me here in my breast
I thirst for water that ever flows
The more I drink my desire grows

Insatiable is my righteous need
The need for you to intercede
The need for your presence evermore
This is what I was created for.
For an insatiable heart toward you I plead

I need you Lord, and that need never ends
Though I am indwelt by you, it all depends
On a humble heart that apprehends your spirit here in me
Oh Jesus help me see reality the way you see…

Until I see with unveiled eyes
Until I see the reasons why
That day when you’ll reveal to me
The depths and heights of your mercy
Till then we live in the unseen light
Till our hearts are satisfied by sight.

Anthony Foster
March 23, 2010

Turn Now and Call Out

A good salvation message from the pulpit at Little Flock this past Sunday... and this emerged.

There is one way to salvation
One way to be redeemed
Only one way to deliverance
One way alone has been deemed

Helpless and hopeless and futile
By the world and the devil deceived
All of your goodness is filthy
His judgments are to be believed

Turn now and call out to Jesus
Turn and call out through your tears
Call for forgiveness and mercy
Call out and Jesus will hear.

A wide way that leads to destruction
By the flesh and its passions defiled
Turn now and call out to Jesus
Repent now and be reconciled.

How close can you get and miss Jesus
How close can you get to the cross
And yet never have His blood touch you
Close, yet remaining so lost.

Turn now and call out to Jesus
Turn and call out through your tears
Call for forgiveness and mercy
Call out and Jesus will hear.


March 21, 2010
Anthony Foster

Our sins were Borne


Our sins were borne
Before we were born..
On our behalf
Christ bore the wrath
My deliverance made sure
Though conceived needing the cure
Before I believed it was secure…
Redeemer of the world

All glory to Christ’s Name
All glory to Christ’s Name
I will never bear the blame
To live is Christ and to die is gain.

One died in the place of all
Turned back the curse, reversed the fall
He died for us
In Him we Trust
A substitute so resolute
He tore my sin out by the root
He took my place
Now he pleads my case
The iniquity of us all
On his head it did fall
Redeemer of the world

He bore our sins in his body
On the cross, on the tree
Purchased the Church by his blood
Oh crimson flood, oh crimson flood
He died and God was satisfied
He died and I was justified.
He died for all who died in him
Sufficient savior for all men
Efficient for those who have faith in Him
Redeemer of the world.


Anthony Foster
March 7, 2010

His Glory IS Our Good

Set your heart fully on the grace brought to you
Lay aside the futile way for the freedom bought for you
Lay aside the worldly pursuits that will soon fall away
Pursue the glory of the Lord, seek Him and obey.

For His glory IS our good
Once this truth is understood
It changes all our hopes and dreams
To gold and jewels from hay and wood
For His glory is our good.

We have seen his glory,
The glory of the Only ONE,
Who came from the Father,
Full of grace and truth, God’s precious SON.

He made the riches of his glory
known to the objects of his mercy,
Whom he prepared in advance for glory
And so we sing the marvelous story.

And we, who with unveiled faces
Reflect the Lord's glory and graces,
We are being truly transformed
Into his likeness we’re being conformed
His ever-increasing glory is shown
And it comes from the Lord alone

For His glory IS our good
Once this truth is understood
It changes all our hopes and dreams
To gold and jewels from hay and wood
For His glory is our good.

2 Cor 3:18
Romans 9:23

Anthony Foster
March 23, 2010

Voice of Thunder

The voice of the LORD is over the seas;
The God of glory thunders,
After it, a voice roars;
And we respond in wonder

He thunders with His majestic voice,
And His lightnings are not restrained
Whenever His voice is heard
Wondrous things are ordained

God is doing great things
Things which we cannot comprehend.
God is doing great things
In a world without end!

And the Most High uttered His voice,
The LORD also in the heavens thundered
Hailstones and coals of fire
That tear our sins asunder.

God thunders with His mighty voice
And we are filled with wonder
And so we sing now and rejoice
For wings we shelter under


Psalm 18:13 Job 37:4-5

Anthony Foster
March 20, 2010

Precious Pathway

Through the garden fall, through the purging flood
Through the Red Sea’s walls by the power of the blood
You opened up your heart, men opened up your veins
Deliverance you impart and so the path remains

Take us through the tribulation
Spare us from the coming wrath
That will fall upon the nations
Through persecution make a path
Deliver us from passions that would secure our defeat
Keep us from the evil one and from our own deceit

See us through, see us through
When we cannot see the way, let us see our way in You
Open up a precious pathway when we have no place to turn
Make the road a straight and narrow way to that place for which we yearn

Here at our Jordan see us through
Into your promised land
Lord bless us as we rest in You
As before your throne we stand

Take us through the troubled times
And help us pass each test
Help us read the travelling signs
And keep us as we rest

Your deliverance now demands
Your direction we must heed
Step by step at your command
As we now follow your lead.

See us through, see us through
When we cannot see the way, let us see our way in You
Open up a precious pathway when we have no place to turn
Make the road a straight and narrow way to that place for which we yearn


Anthony Foster
March 21, 2010

Think About Such Things

Set your mind on things above
And so you are set free
For truth and light and righteousness
Are there for all to see
Set your mind on the things above,
Not on the things that are on earth.
And you will see the blessedness
Of knowing their true worth

Whatever is noble, whatever is true
Whatever is right, whatever is pure,
Whatever is lovely, and is to be admired
These are the things that you should desire
If anything is excellent or worthy of praise
Think about such things for all of your days

Colossians 3:2, Philippians 4:8-9

Anthony Foster
March 21, 2010

According to His Plan


Our faith and hope is in the Lord
We are held within His hand
According to His purpose
According to His plan
In the sending and the rending
Of the precious Son of Man.
According to His purpose
According to His plan

For we know that we know
And we know that we know that we know
Our God has authored the story
God will take evil
And use it for our good and His Glory

Our faith and hope is in the Lord
We are held within His hand
According to His purpose
According to His plan
In the sending and the rending
Of the precious Son of Man.
According to His purpose
According to His plan.


Anthony Foster
March 21, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

God Uses Whom He Chooses


I want to please you my Lord
I want to draw near to you
Not do something For you Lord
But to love and trust and fear you

Give me a heart to help others
To be a light to these dark times
Make me a door opening servant
Who knows his God makes the rhymes

For the sake of the obedience of faith
For the sake of the name of the Son
For the sake of the glory of the Father
By your Spirit, I am undone.

I want to rest in your presence
To be a branch that trails where You send
Filled by the power of the life of the vine
A bruise reed that has learned to bend

God uses whom he chooses
Whether you know it or not
It all belongs to Jesus
So let the carpenter cast your lot.

For the sake of the obedience of faith
For the sake of the name of the Son
For the sake of the glory of the Father
By your Spirit, the victory is won!


Anthony Foster
March 22, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Gratitude for Glory


Unbreakable love, unshakeable love I see
Incomprehensible love rule over me
And this love will make me be a man
Who dares to lose and dares to stand
Compel my heart to be an offering
My gratitude to Jesus I will sing
With humility then We persuade men.
In gratitude for Glory In gratitude for Glory.

Make my whole life an act of gratitude
As I start each day may I conclude
That I will strive with all your might
That I will seek to be made right
Break out in a new doxology
O’er the riches of your glory.
With reverence then We persuade men.
With gratitude for Glory In gratitude for Glory.

Oh manifest mystery
The riches of your glory
Christ’s power works in me and thee
This, the true testimony
This, the manifest mystery
Christ in you the hope of glory
With reverence then We persuade men.
With gratitude for Glory In gratitude for Glory.

So let us tell the story
Of the riches of your glory
So that men may be complete
This is the testimony
That transforms all of history
Christ in you the hope of glory
With power then We persuade men.
With gratitude for Glory In gratitude for Glory.

Proclaim Him and admonish men
With all wisdom teaching them
To present every man complete
Manifest before the mercy seat
To obey whatsoever Christ commands
We are now his voice and feet, his hands.
With gospel then We persuade men.
In gratitude for Glory In gratitude for Glory.

Anthony Foster
March 7, 2010

Heart Wide Open

Look into my heart's depths
My heart is open wide
My sight is clear
My motives pure
His Truth shall be my guide
We exalt the one we worship
Exalt the worthy one we praise
Exalt the worthy one we honor
With an upward call His name we raise

A heart wide open where love begins
Where love flows out and enters in
Yield to the love we have come to know
Oh love that will not let us go

We live in Him
We died in Him
We rose with Him
We hide in Him
He died for our unrighteousness
And so this truth we shall confess
He rose to make us righteousness
And so this truth we shall confess.

A heart wide open where love begins
Where love flows out and enters in
Yield to the love we have come to know
Oh love that will not let us go

Anthony Foster
March 9, 2010

Green Growth

I see new green growth in the wormwood
And resurgence of the flame
Lord we need more than revival
Resurrection is our aim.

For the bones of former glories
Have descended to the dust
Now our sepulchres are whitened
And our swords are red with rust.

To see new life from the cesspool
And new passion spark the fire
From the culture’s conflagration
Birth a holy new desire

See the glory of the Lord arise
Putting the old ways to shame
Bring the sacrifice to the altar
And see it consumed by your flame

Lord in this generation
Raise a remnant filled with power
Who will call upon the nation
To repent in this dark hour

For the smoke is on the water
And the workmen wear their wage
But our Lord is at the rudder
As we navigate this age.

Anthony Foster
March 8, 2010

Battle Song


There’s a war going on in our nation
And our culture has bent it’s knee
We must mount the battle stations
For o’er the land flows iniquity.

Get up every morning and put your armor on
Set your heart upon the battle,
Break out the battle song
Put on the shield and breastplate
Put on the belt and sword
Put on the shoes and helmet
And the battle is the Lord’s.

The clothing of Messiah will provide the sure defense
The just and justifier- on His mount we pitch our tents
He fills them with His Spirit- He commands; His Word is done
For believers, when they hear it, the victory is won.

Get up every morning and put your armor on
Set your heart upon the battle,
Break out the battle song
Put on the shield and breastplate
Put on the belt and sword
Put on the shoes and helmet
And the battle is the Lord’s.

Anthony Foster
March 8, 2010

Rest


I would rest here in your hands
Take my comfort in your plans
And when day is done at the setting sun
I will commend my nights to your command
I would rest here in your hands

I would rest in sweet repose
Kept securely through my woes
When the battle calls and when trouble falls
I will not lose my peace to my foes
I would rest in sweet repose

I will rest here 'neath your wings
And hear as your heartbeat sings
A sweet gentle song with a cadence strong
Held secure in the strength it brings.
I will rest here 'neath your wings

I will rest here in your peace
Where my soul shall find release
From what's less than best, to a life that's blessed
Where my vision is increased.
I will rest here in your peace

I would rest here at your feet
Here beneath your mercy seat
I will be your child, resting reconciled
Here my life shall be complete
I would rest here at your feet

Anthony Foster
March 15, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Day of Grace

We must be faithful to proclaim
The grace of God is not in vain
There will come a time when He will not hear
There is a time when He will not draw near

But this is still the day of Grace
Come and rest in Christ’s embrace
God is still on His throne in this place
This is still the day of grace!

This is the day of God’s favor
This is salvation time
Sinner, sit at His feast and savor
The bread and the new wine.

This is still the day of Grace
Come and rest in Christ’s embrace
God is still on His throne in this place
This is still the day of grace!

Believer, work while the day still lingers
Singing redemption’s song
Night shall fall on both the sinners and singers
And ears will grow deaf e’re long.

This is still the day of Grace
Come and rest in Christ’s embrace
God is still on His throne in this place
This is still the day of grace!

This is still the day of Grace
Come and rest in Christ’s embrace
God is still on His throne in this place
This is still the day of grace!

Anthony Foster
March 12, 2010

Gold and Silver, Precious Stones

Gold and silver, precious stones
Not wood nor hay nor straw
Build a life that God condones
A temple raised in awe.

Gold and silver, precious stones
Not wood nor straw nor hay
Build a life where God alone
Will say well done on that day

For the greatest work, the exalted aim
Is to hear “well done, you are without blame”
The highest goal and the noblest end
Is found in the role of pleasing Him.

Gold and silver, precious stones
Not wood or hay or stubble
Build a life on the Rock alone
That endures in the day of trouble.

Wood and hay and straw are burnt
When tested by the fire
Gold and silver, Precious stones
Are what our lives require.

For he is the power that works in Us
So strive with all of His might
We are God’s workmanship made just
Our ambition is to walk in the light-
To be pleasing in His sight.

Gold and silver, precious stones
Not wood or hay or straw
Build a life that God condones
A temple without flaw.

Anthony Foster
March 12, 2010

Reason 1342-why not to join a cult


Gross-out alert!
The most high God does not require ritual, just a humble spirit and contrite heart, which he will not cast out. It's simple enough- cry out to Him in repentence, believe the good news that man can be reconciled to God though faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and receive His salvation...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Redemption’s Fountain

Flowing blood, Precious blood
Covers the ransomed redeemed
Saved from sin’s chains
Loss becomes our gain
Made low, He shall be esteemed

Flowing love, precious love
Covers the sinsick soul
Saves from sin’s chains
The blood attains
To restore and make us whole

Redemptions fountain ever flows
Out from the mercy seat it goes
To a dry and weary land it sends its stream
At redemption’s fountain cleanse
All your filthy rags and sins
For the fount contains the power to redeem.

Flowing love, precious blood
Renews our lives each day
He became our sin
We’re God’s righteousness in Him
Christ is The Truth that Lights the Way.

Redemption’s fountain ever flows
Out from the mercy seat it goes
To a dry and weary land it sends its stream
At redemption’s fountain cleanse
All your filthy rags and sins
For the fount contains the power to redeem.

Anthony Foster
March 7, 2010

Lost Ark?

I've been reading of the Lemba people for years, but I was interested to see this article recently.
I can't make our what it would look like in 3D as it looks sort of like a lumpy bowl in the picture. Guess I would look lumpy too if I was made of 2500 year old wood...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Belated Birthday 7


OOPS. Missed the fact that I have been blogging seven years as of January 18th. So much for seven being the number of perfection.

I hope the blog will be a bit more focused and vital going forward, and as much fun as it was to start. Not much of value here recently, I realize, but that is on my to do list to change!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

News for Educators


I generally read more in a month related to industry developments than I have recently. However these articles are worth pointing out for general interest and comment.

• 10 Demographic Trends offering Opportunity and Challenges- Education

Dynamics' Market Research and Advisory Services Identifies Key Growth Areas

Some highlights:
o Growth areas in higher ed will be at the associates and graduate level, ranging up to 25 percent growth
o Younger students are likely to be working on a project with other students the age of their parents.
o Men are underrepresented and schools need to find ways to market to their needs.
o The age demographic is becoming less and less relevant to how students learn.
o By 2020 minority students will outnumber Caucasian students.
o Online highschool courses are booming.
o Enrollment in the 2 year public sector will exceed supply.

Google to push Google Voice and Google Wave to Businesses

Google is marketing to businesses, but this has implications for education as many of their innovations are in the areas of collaborative work environments.Mobile technologies are becoming more enabled as a one stop communications center in the process, which has potential application in the learning environment. The chrome OS is driving netbook and Google apps development. The future holds new third party software applications that will hook into Google collaboration apps.

The seventh annual Sloan Survey of Online Learning reveals that online enrollment rose by nearly 17 percent from a year earlier.

The growth exceeds previous years, but the thing that strikes me most is the relative lack of headway schools are making in getting faculty buy-in. Less than one-third of chief academic officers believe that their faculty accept the value and legitimacy of online education. This percent has changed little over the last six years. The proportion of chief academic officers that report their faculty accept online education varies widely by type of school but reaches a majority in none. Yet nearly 20 percent of schools offer no training for their online instructors. From my experience, once faculty have had a bad online experience they tend to fault the medium rather than the methods or their abilities, and it is difficult to get buy in from teachers who are getting burned by lack of support and no evangelistic exemplars to motivate them.