dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish


2008: The Year That Was

A few reflections on this past year.

Strangest thing that wasn't so strange:
Spending only eight weeks in class for the whole year. I've been doing school for eight or nine months each year since I was five. Along comes an engineering co-op job in the spring, followed by a session of summer school and another co-op session in the fall. It didn't end up feeling nearly as strange as I expected.

Longest time spent studying for a single test:
Three... four hours? I don't know.

Number of nightmares about final exams:

Most aggravating part of school:
Getting a C+ because I chose not to memorize old tests (whose questions served as the question bank for the "new" tests). According to the professor, memorizing tests was cheating, yet he made no efforts to stop it (even by, say, coming up with test questions he hadn't used before).

Miles on my car:

One thing I won't miss:
Endless media coverage of the presidential race.

One thing I will miss:
New Attitude in Louisville, Kentucky.

Speaking of Louisville:
I don't think I've ever been farther west than that. I need to take a road trip, or something.

Best memories from an event:
Hard to say. The trip to Pittsburgh to hear Mark Altrogge speak was a lot of fun.

Best memories from life in general:
Random, hilarious moments with my family that, frankly, can't be described--not that anyone outside the family would necessarily understand anyway. Wait, I said that last year, and the year before. Oh well. No reason it had to change.

Book that impacted me the most (after the Bible):
The Discipline of Grace, by Jerry Bridges. Although I read a lot of other good books this year, this was an easy choice.

Song that impacted me the most:
All I Have Is Christ. (A download is available for free.) In recent months, I've been learning a lot more about how true -- and glorious -- it is that Christ is all. This life-long lesson is related to...

that impacted me the most:
"I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5) My natural thinking is that I can be self-reliant in many ways. But apart from Christ I can do nothing. It's not fun to see new illustrations of this truth, but it is good.

A Good Piece of 2008 Trivia:
2008 was the longest year since 1992. (Any guesses as to why?)

Best monetary decision:

Setting up a budget in January. Not only did it help me save more money, but it also did away with the "should I be spending this money?" questions when eating out or buying books.

Most shocking budgetary result:
Coming in way under budget for gasoline.

A whole year later...
Life really doesn't feel that much different than it did at the end of 2007. Is that good or bad? Probably some of both.

Share a few reflections of your own in the comments section.



A Tale of Two Countries

Many years ago a new nation was founded. By and large it was agreed that, whether God was distant from or involved in the world, certain standards of life and law were self-evident. The nation would function under neither the thumb of a single despot nor the sneer of select aristocracy, but by a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal (with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness), it united peoples of many nations and ethnicities.

Some years passed, and a new premise came to prominence: man comes not from man but from beast, made not by God but by chance. This idea was quickly welcomed in the name of knowledge and scientific advancement.

For many years, all of this country’s people coexisted side by side. Those who held to the God view of things were by and large willing to accept certain premises of the chance view, and those who held to the chance view were by and large willing to abide by certain aspects of the God view (since the moral standards of society were implicitly tied thereto). Of course, the natural strife of human nature presided in a general fashion, but the sustained relative peace and the promise of continued wealth precluded the need to openly discuss the growing religious and philosophical internal division. The cities grew taller; the nation’s world presence grew stronger; the people grew more wealthy and comfortable.

Following these years, however, there arose a generation that questioned things that had long gone unquestioned. The natural breach between the two views of life and law, so long covered over by the twin bridges Prosperity and Expediency, began to be exploited. The bridges' trusses soon buckled under the weight of the new-found scrutiny, and social turmoil increased. The opposing war cries of Standards and Progress were sounded – not on the battlefield of the earth, but of the mind and the public forum.

After some years, the appeal to Standards alone was seen to be leading a losing battle. The foundation of the Progress supporters must be attacked, but how? To question the vague intentions of Progress, to appeal to the intent of the nation's founders, to focus on the issue of mankind’s origin – all of these strategies were variously propounded, debated, and enacted.

The tides of battle in the public square ran first one direction, then the other. Soon, with each turn of the tide, the losing side pondered ending the unhappy union. Ultimately, both sides became convinced that they were losing, pronouncing apocalyptic consequences in the event of their final defeat.

One side feared the decay of morals and religious freedom. The other feared the denial of any freedom and the idea that truth could be true. At last a public consensus was reached. The breach was relabeled a chasm, and the twin bridges were demolished, ending the tumultuous union.

Rejoicing was immediate, but momentary. Each side had finally received what it thought it wanted; yet neither was satisfied. One side discovered that society could not function when every man did as he pleased. The other discovered that a functioning society pleased every man – and some realized that this was a lowly goal indeed. They saw that in separating from the country of those who disagreed, they had withdrawn from their Great Commission. Rather than seeking to make disciples of all nations, they had withdrawn to be disciples within their own nation.



Ode on a Boring Blog

Thou still unceasing tide of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and Slow Mind,
Mental historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than thy archives;
What brilliance-tinged thoughts haunt about thy drafts
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
Who can say whether any shall escape?
What mental lapse is this? What empty thought?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to put forth?
What types the fingers? What? ...

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December's Quote to Ponder

"Alas, how far from being godly are those who are destitute of faith! Such are altogether drowned in sense."
--Thomas Watson, The Godly Man's Picture