Delight in God. Receive from Him in worship.

"Weak worship is not [weak because] people are coming to get and not to give.... People ought to come to corporate worship services to get. They ought to come starved for God.... And it is my job as a preacher to spread a banquet for them.

"If the focus shifts onto our giving to God, instead of His giving Himself to us, one result is that subtly it is not God who remains at the center but, instead, the quality of our giving."

Technicolor Living Room

Since it's been ages since Steve posted anything, I'm stepping up. Remember me? I'm slowly surfacing from the deluge of boxes and piles of stuff resulting from our recent move. I love moving to new houses just for the decorating challenge. I love to decorate. Love it. It's a blank canvas, and let me tell you, our living room is the ultimate in BLANK canvas. Cream walls. Cream carpeting. Cream window sheers. Dreamy creamy.

Don't get me wrong - cream/ecru/off-white/beige, whatever you call it - is a great color. It has it's proper place. But not all over the place. My challenge is to put some color, zing into our home. That scares the hubby, I think. I painted our bedroom dark blue. His study is terra cotta with a burnt sienna ragged-off glaze. Mmmm. The boys, well, they got serviceable khaki just because they're boys and I'll probably need to repaint in two years. Those satellite rooms were easy decisions, but this living room, the heart of the home, open to all who pass through our door, it is essentially the defining essence of "Hemmeke." OK, not really, but I take color seriously. I collected about 50 different color chips just to select the three colors mentioned above!

So, what will it be? Neutral - khaki, chocolate, taupe; or something more daring - eggplant, goldenrod, salmon? I'm searching for that inspiration nugget that will set the creativity dancing. Stay tuned...


Poem of the day

The world is too much with us
by William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; (1)
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, (2)
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus (3) rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton (4) blow his wreathed horn.

Not that I agree with the "I'd rather be a pagan" part. It's not as though you can say being a pagan is closer to being godly than being a materialist... or can you?


Kingdom as House

"[The devil] is waging war when he encourages us to spend our energies not pursuing the kingdom, but pursuing personal peace and affluence."

RC Sproul, Jr. in Tabletalk, July 2007, pg 59.

This one hit me pretty hard, as we are in the thick of a bunch of little decisions regarding personal peace and convenience in our new home. Is the devil winning, automatically, whenever someone buys, builds, or remodels their home?

I don't think so.

It is easy to end up there, where your only thought is your convenience. How do you keep furnishing a home from becoming an ungodly pursuit of personal peace and affluence? Two principles:

1. Raising children in a godly environment. Are they pointed to the one who is preparing rooms for us, even now (John 14:1)? Do they experience a family of joy and beauty, which is expressed in the physical home environment?

2. Hospitality. Are others who are brought in witnessing a well-thought-out environment with them in mind? Are they exposed to other-centered-ness, or self-centered-ness?

How will others be affected by the physical environment? Will it draw them to the God who dwells in the beauty of holiness (Psalm 96:9), or draw them into their sinful selves? Will it advance God's kingdom, or just our own fiefdoms?

Specific application here takes a great deal of wisdom...

Crummy Judah chosen

I don't think it dawned on me before reading through Tabletalk (a week or two behind schedule!) how crummy of a guy Judah was. Suggesting the sale of a brother to Egypt; marrying a pagan, like Esau; blaming Tamar for not providing sons; making her a promise he doesn't intend to keep; hypocritically condemning her immorality.

Yet Judah's scepter shall rule, not Joseph's. The latter is a poster-boy of righteousness and success, yet he is not to rule Israel.

God's grace and inscrutable providence at work, yet again.

Notice Judah deceives his father with a goat and coat (clothing), and is then deceived in the very next chapter by Tamar, with a goat and a cord (clothing) (Gen 37-38).