Is Your Life a Channel of Blessing?

Posted by in Bees, Faith, Forget it Sam nobody can read 4 ounces a day, On the Farm

Is your life a channel of blessing?
Is the love of God flowing through you?
Are you telling the lost of the Saviour?
Are you ready His service to do?

Make me a channel of blessing today,
Make me a channel of blessing, I pray;
My life possessing, my service blessing,
Make me a channel of blessing today.

We cannot be channels of blessing
If our lives are not free from known sin;
We will barriers be and a hindrance
To those we are trying to win.

We sang this hymn in church this morning – In all of the years I have been a Christian or at least attending Baptist churches I don’t know that I have ever heard it. Or, if I had heard it, my mind had probably wandered somewhere else as looking for the lyrics on the interwebs it seems its a very popular hymn. If you’re a person of faith you know the feeling … it spoke to me.

This was my first morning in church since I don’t remember when – more than 6 months for sure – I am in need of fellowship. My children need to fellowship. I struggle with the traditions of man in modern Christianity etc – my grandfather has made me this way – constantly critiquing or trying to reconcile what is said or done with what I know or understand of scripture. Its the same thing every time. I hear someone say something I think is in err I can literally hear my grandfather saying to me “that’s not right Seany baby” (you almost have to say that with a Fred Flintstone type voice) – if you want to know where I’m coming from look no further than the recent endorsements of some mainstream evangelical types and the crass presidential candidate du jour. Calvinism, altar calls, liberalism (not the classical kind).

Really this is all comedy and hypocricy given the SIN IN MY OWN LIFE – who am I!? Sometimes I think my plank has sprouted roots. Still you have to engage your heart and mind and not allow yourself to float and drift on the ebbs and flows and winds of doctrine. Seek first.

On Plato’s Republic

I’m making pretty good progress as I get time – I’m reading it via kindle. HATE reading books this way (I paused after writing that opened an Amazon tab and ordered the paperback). I realized when reading this book my grandfather (yes, here he is again) has mastered the Socratic method having probably never read any of Plato’s Socratic dialogues. It reads like having a conversation with my grandfather …

But shall our superintendence go no further, and are the poets only to be required by us to express the image of the good in their works, on pain, if they do anything else, of expulsion from our State? Or is the same control to be extended to other artists, and are they also to be prohibited from exhibiting the opposite forms of vice and intemperance and meanness and indecency in sculpture and building and the other creative arts; and is he who cannot conform to this rule of ours to be prevented from practicing his art in our State, lest the taste of our citizens be corrupted by him? We would not have our guardians grow up amid images of moral deformity, as in some noxious pasture, and there browse and feed upon many a baneful herb and flower day by day, little by little, until they silently gather a festering mass of corruption in their own soul. Let our artists rather be those who are gifted to discern the true nature of the beautiful and graceful; then will our youth dwell in a land of health, amid fair sights and sounds, and receive the good in everything; and beauty, the effluence of fair works, shall flow into the eye and ear, like a health-giving breeze from a purer region, and insensibly draw the soul from earliest years into likeness and sympathy with the beauty of reason.

Now my grandfather…not as idyllic and with a faded New York accent

Jackson Pollack?! What is that crap?!

This immediately reminded me of Francis Schaeffer’s How Should We Then Live…The context is different – just a memory.

Or also Schaeffer’s The God Who is There

If it is true that philosophy, the first step in the line of despair, touched only a few people, art, the second step, influenced very many more

While I agree with Schaeffer’s premise regarding art, philosophy, music and the ‘line of despair’ I object to his and likewise my grandfather’s interpretation of the impressionists or even The Beatles. Glass Onion anyone? The Walrus was Paul its right there in black and White no Magical Mystery. Maybe I’m just the fool on the hill with a lizard on the window pane. No really for a Long, Long, Long time I have lived on a hill and often see lizards on the window panes. That’s all I got for puns today half of what I say is meaningless.

Who can look at a Van Gogh and think “Oh! the depravity!”? Monet, Gaugin or Picasso perhaps 🙂 but Van Gogh?! While artist like Van Gogh obviously had “personal demons”, to borrow a phrase from popular vernacular, that their art was likely an extension of, the enjoyment of, is not necessarily a reflection of the consumer of the work. I can love ‘Wheatfield with Crows’, have seen it, and not shoot myself in the same field.

In reading The Republic and last year reading The Law and a good bit of Montesquieu – Spirit of Laws before deciding to pause and read them in chronological order I would encourage anyone interested in Law/Culture/Society/Individual Liberty but would prefer a more modern flavor to check out Mark Levin’s LIBERTY AND TYRANNY: A Conservative Manifesto or Plunder and Deceit.

Plunder and Deceit is more or less the data that proves Bastiat was a prophet – though I could argue anyone with a modicum of common sense, some elementary math skills and an awareness that the world did not begin the day they were born and that we can look back to antiquity … you know the last 100 years and easily discern that …

Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy. -Churchill

On the Farm

I have been busy trying to get the wheels off of an egg mobile so that I can replace the tires – I parked it months ago due to other priorities and in that time the tires went flat and some steel spacers rusted to the axels of the trailer so after 4 or 5 cans of PB Blaster and a whole bunch of brute force I was finally able to free them. This literally went on for days for two of the tires as I only had an hour or so at a time to work on it. I need to replace a bearing so instead of ordering from Amazon (something I do constantly) I wanted to support local business so I wait a few days to purchase my replacement bearing for a day when I go to town. Go to town on Friday have all my plans to do the work on Saturday put the bearing into the tire and it doesn’t fit the axel – its literally off by a couple millimeters there was a “-2” that I missed in the part # … call back to see if they have the part I need … ‘sorry we don’t stock it’ … stroll on over to Amazon.com for $5 it’ll be here Wednesday. The UPS guy and I … I should just give him one of our bedrooms. I will post some pictures once the egg mobile is complete.

Bees

Surrounded by pine trees I’m concerned over the life of our farm that we can do a lot better for our bees by doing some plantings for them. I know that bees can travel miles etc but I’m also well aware of the principle of diminishing returns. This being that the further a bee travels to forage the more energy it exerts to and fro thus reducing the take. I’ve decided this year I would put more effort into planting multi seasonal perennials and trees so far we have started with some Tulip Poplars and Eastern Red Buds and then some cuttings of Tea Olive, Texas Sage and a bit of layer propagation of some other plants we are already growing like honeysuckle. In Langstroth’s book The Hive and the Honey Bee he spoke very highly of the Tulip Poplars and as they are considered a fast growing tree I’m hoping these are popular watering holes for the bees over the years. I tried planting some of these last year in the pasture to give the cows more shade protected by some electric fence … but one mistake in the fence and the cow(s) destroyed the trees … one was laying on the spot where the mighty twig once stood as if to mock me. He’s in the freezer so I took my revenge.

Eggs are starting to pick up though the weather has been cool. Eli loves this job he is so proud every day he comes in with his stash of eggs.

I’m looking forward to longer days.

Work

GIS so far is tough trying to understand how mapping and geographic systems/servers/clients/queries/types work. It really interesting but new to me so it has been slow going. Its a new domain. Its a new vocabulary.

I’ve also spent a bit of time learning to use Docker containers – From a developers perspective it has this cool shiny look at my new widget feel. When it comes to microservices I would say I’m a true believer as opposed to monolithic architecture but I think it would be really difficult to get enterprise adoption that originates from a developer.

And there it is my thought stream for the week. Dearest grammar police twisting themselves into contortions over my misuse of proper punctuation etc. remember I am a product of the public school system that you hold so dear.

Postscript
It is so sweet watching Manning go out on top.