Archive for February, 2005

Updated Layout

I like the new “Themes” feature of WordPress 1.5. I can have several layouts available and ready to use at the click of the mouse. The latest layout will get a little more tweaking here and there, but will for the most part look the way it does now. I really loved the three column layouts that I’ve had since I first customized my own layout, but kept running into trouble with columns not showing up right in Internet Exploder (which is one of many reasons you should switch to Firefox if you haven’t already), especially at lower screen resolutions. I run a 21″ monitor at 1600×1200 at home and a 17″ Mac flat panel at 1280×1024 at work, so I’m mostly oblivious to how bad it looked at lower resolutions. Needless to say, if you run at 800×600 you should be ashamed of yourself, and 1024×758 is marginal at best.

I went with a 2 column layout, the first time I’ve been at 2 columns since my early days on Movable Type, to remedy the problems I was having with bad columns. I hope you all like it.

Through all of this, I have learned some things about cascading stylesheets. I am still no professional, but I can wade through a css file much easier now.

Feedback is appreciated. If you see something that looks obviously bad, please leave a comment for me.

UPDATE: Shortly after getting the new layout done, I got an email from Caleb over at Caleb Charles Photo Blog (a fellow MOB’r) offering me a spiffy new title graphic that he whipped up for me. Thanks Caleb!

Notable Quotable

  • “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive.”

    Thomas Jefferson – letter to Abigail Adams, February 22, 1787

Do Ye Now Believe?

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

By this we believe . . . Jesus answered, Do ye now believe? – John 16:30

‘Now we believe.’ Jesus says-‘Do you? The time is coming when you will leave Me alone.’ Many a Christian worker has left Jesus Christ alone and gone into work from a sense of duty, or from a sense of need arising out of his own particular discernment. The reason for this is the absence of the resurrection life of Jesus. The soul has got out of intimate contact with God by leaning to its own religious understanding. There is no sin in it, and no punishment attached to it; but when the soul realizes how he has hindered his understanding of Jesus Christ, and produced for himself perplexities and sorrows and difficulties, it is with shame and contrition he has to come back.

We need to rely on the resurrection life of Jesus much deeper down, to get into the habit of steadily referring everything back to Him; instead of this we make our commonsense decisions and ask God to bless them. He cannot, it is not in His domain, it is severed from reality. If we do a thing from a sense of duty, we are putting up a standard in competition with Jesus Christ. We become a ‘superior person,’ and say-‘Now in this matter I must do this and that.’ We have put our sense of duty on the throne instead of the resurrection life of Jesus. We are not told to walk in the light of conscience or of a sense of duty, but to walk in the light as God is in the light. When we do anything from a sense of duty, we can back it up by argument; when we do anything in obedience to the Lord, there is no argument possible; that is why a saint can be easily ridiculed.

Notable Quotable

  • “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly, I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.”

    Hippocrates – the Hippocratic Oath

The Destitution of Service

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

Though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. – 2 Corinthians 12:15

Natural love expects some return, but Paul says-‘I do not care whether you love me or not, I am willing to destitute myself completely, not merely for your sakes, but that I may get you to God.’ “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor.? Paul’s idea of service is exactly along that line-‘I do not care with what extravagance I spend myself, and I will do it gladly.’ It was a joyful thing to Paul.

The ecclesiastical idea of a servant of God is not Jesus Christ’s idea. His idea is that we serve Him by being the servants of other men. Jesus Christ out-socialists the socialists. He says that in His Kingdom he that is greatest shall be the servant of all. The real test of the saint is not preaching the gospel, but washing disciples’ feet, that is, doing the things that do not count in the actual estimate of men, but count everything in the estimate of God. Paul delighted to spend himself out for God’s interests in other people, and he did not care what it cost. We come in with our economical notions- ‘Suppose God wants me to go there-what about the salary? What about the climate? How shall I be looked after? A man must consider these things.’ All that is an indication that we are serving God with a reserve. The apostle Paul had no reserve. Paul focuses Jesus Christ’s idea of a New Testament saint in his life, viz.: not one who proclaims the Gospel merely, but one who becomes broken bread and poured-out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for other lives.

Notable Quotable

  • “God helps those who cannot help themselves.”

    Charles H. Spurgeon

The Delight of Sacrifice

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

I will very gladly spend and be spent for you. – 2 Corinthians 12:15

When the Spirit of God has shed abroad the love of God in our hearts, we begin deliberately to identify ourselves with Jesus Christ’s interests in other people, and Jesus Christ is interested in every kind of man there is. We have no right in Christian work to be guided by our affinities; this is one of the biggest tests of our relationship to Jesus Christ. The delight of sacrifice is that I lay down my life for my Friend, not fling it away, but deliberately lay my life out for Him and His interests in other people, not for a cause. Paul spent himself for one purpose only-that he might win men to Jesus Christ. Paul attracted to Jesus all the time, never to himself. “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.? When a man says he must develop a holy life alone with God, he is of no more use to his fellow men: he puts himself on a pedestal, away from the common run of men. Paul became a sacramental personality; wherever he went, Jesus Christ helped Himself to his life. Many of us are after our own ends, and Jesus Christ cannot help Himself to our lives. If we are abandoned to Jesus, we have no ends of our own to serve. Paul said he knew how to be a ‘door-mat’ without resenting it, because the mainspring of his life was devotion to Jesus. We are apt to be devoted not to Jesus Christ but to the things which emancipate us spiritually. That was not Paul’s motive: “I could wish myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren?-wild, extravagant-is it? When a man is in love it is not an exaggeration to talk in that way, and Paul is in love with Jesus Christ.

Return to a Sad State of Affairs

I just checked my archives, and it was only my second post to this blog that I was praising God for saving Terri Schiavo’s life. It’s almost 16 months later and the battle is back. I haven’t commented on it much this time because I have less time to learn what’s going on, but it seems she may begin starving to death as early as this afternoon.

God answered our prayers and spared her life back in October of 2003, and there is no reason to believe He wouldn’t do it again. Say a prayer for her, and that the sanctity of live in this country would score another victory.

Notable Quotable

  • “If in the opinion of the people the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates, but let there be no change by usurpation; for though this in one instance may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”

    George Washington, Farewell Address, September 17, 1796.

The Determination to Serve

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

Be still, and know that I am God.The son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. – Matthew 20:28.

Paul’s idea of service is the same as our Lord’s: “I am among you as He that serveth?; “ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.? We have the idea that a man called to the Ministry is called to be a different kind of being from other men. According to Jesus Christ, he is called to be the ‘door-mat’ of other men; their spiritual leader, but never their superior. “I know how to be abased,? says Paul. This is Paul’s idea of service-‘I will spend myself to the last ebb for you; you may give me praise or give me blame, it will make no difference. So long as there is a human being who does not know Jesus Christ, I am his debtor to serve him until he does.’ The mainspring of Paul’s service is not love for men, but love for Jesus Christ. If we are devoted to the cause of humanity, we shall soon be crushed and broken-hearted, for we shall often meet with more ingratitude from men than we would from a dog; but if our motive is love to God, no ingratitude can hinder us from serving our fellow men.

Paul’s realization of how Jesus Christ had dealt with him is the secret of his determination to serve others. “I was before a perjurer, a blasphemer, an injurious person?-no matter how men may treat me, they will never treat me with the spite and hatred with which I treated Jesus Christ. When we realize that Jesus Christ has served us to the end of our meanness, our selfishness, and sin, nothing that we meet with from others can exhaust our determination to serve men for His sake.