Dispatches from Outland
A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants. Copyright © 2003 Roy M. Jacobsen.

Thursday, August 01, 2002  

Longing For Home Department: William Sulik posts a hearty recommendation for the works of Frederick Buechner (pronounced "beekner") over at Blithering Idiot. I heartily agree.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:16 AM

Wednesday, July 31, 2002  

Good stuff over at NRO: Hadley Arkes on the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 2:01 PM

The Answer My Friend Department: I have the feeling that there is much that remains to be said about what's good and what's evil, and how we grapple with it all. ("Golly, do you reckon?")

First of all, I could begin with the whole question of who God is, and who we are. (Here's the executive summary: God is God. I'm not.)

But what's on my mind this morning is the mistaken notion that Christianity offers simplistic answers for the weak minded. I'll admit that *some* followers of Christ (and plenty of non-followers, as well) are guilty of settling for simple answers to complicated questions. (OK, most of us settle for the simple answers more often than we should.) Quite frequently, the simple answers are perfectly good places to begin. You wouldn't feed a newborn a steak dinner, nor would you ask a beginning pianist to play something like Pachelbel's Canon. In the same way, when one is a new follower of Christ, you begin with what Paul called "milk", that is, "the elementary truths of God's word" (Hebrews 5:12). But you don't stay at that point. Or at least you shouldn't.

Eventually, though you start wrestling with tougher questions--chewing on the meat, as it were--such as trying to reconcile the idea that God is perfectly good and just, and yet evil exists in the world. (Theologians--people who make a living studying God--have a $25 word for this: theodicy.) Sometimes you come to a conclusion that wraps things up nicely--or maybe it just looks that way. And sometimes you just keep wrestling with it. And that brings us to our Song of the Day: The Author of the Story, by Daniel Amos.

The Author of the Story
Music by Daniel Amos, Words by T.S. Taylor
©2001 Zoom Daddy/BMI

She had one foot on the ground
And one foot in the air
(it seemed) the world held her cold hand
While the angels brushed her hair

"but that's how it has to end
On this side of glory,
Some wounds will never mend,"
Says the author of the story

I held one hand in the fire
And lifted one hand towards the sky
But the busy world still turned
And the angels passed me by

Sometimes there seems to be
No author of the story
These thoughts occur to me
On this side of glory

And I kissed the Lamb of God
And my fingers found the wounds
And the angels moved the stone
And I searched the vacant room

That's how it all begins
On this side of glory
"and you'll see her shine again,"
Said the author of the story

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 11:35 AM

Links R Us Department: I just noticed that Karen Marie Knapp has kindly linked to DFO on her blog From the Anchor Hold. Well, two can play at that game.

Also, the inimitable Dave Trowbridge of Redwood Dragon was kind enough to mention my post on the Problem of Evil as illustrated and illuminated by George MacDonald's book, At the Back of the North Wind. Thanks, Dave, and welcome to visitors from Redwood Dragon!

Finally, a big welcome to visitors from Blogs4God. I saw a big (well, big for me, anyway) boost in traffic when that site went live. Go check it out, there's LOADS of cool links there.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:07 AM

Tuesday, July 30, 2002  

James Lileks is back, just in time for Gnat's birthday!

It’s been two years and I’ve been there for every day. Seven hundred and thirty good-mornings and good nights, from the cross-eyed who-you stare you get at the start to the clever smile, the hug, the goonight daddy bye bye I get now. When you’re a young adult, you wish yourself a long long life so you can do the things you simply must do. When you’re a parent, you realize that little matters as much as the simple, daily act of caring for your child. Give me the time, so that I may give it to her. Happy birthday, sweetheart.

Gnat, all of us in the blogosphere wish you a happy 3rd year.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:34 AM

You Get What You Pay For Department: Let's get something clear right off: I'm not complaining! I'm observing. Is that clear?

Free tools like Blogger are cool. Ev and the rest of the crew at Pyra are to be thanked for making Blogger and Blogspot available gratis. Same goes for the Blogrolling service.

Now, if I was paying for these tools/services, I would be complaining when they go down, as Blogrolling currently is. I *miss* all those nice links over on the sidebar.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:31 AM

Monday, July 29, 2002  

A Fool And His Money Are Soon Elected Department: Blogs4God.com is the new home for Martin Roth's semi-definitive list of blogs by Christians (I'm still a bit leerly of calling them "Christian blogs.") One of the features there is that you have the opportunity to rate the blogs. You should see a "Rate Me" thingy on the sidebar, down below the list of links. So, rate me, already! Then go visit Blogs4God.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:00 AM

Paulo (of How Now Brown Pau) linked to my extended quote from At the Back of the North Wind. The discussion over at HNBP has been lively. (Why don't I get that traffic! [sob!])

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:51 AM

Sunday, July 28, 2002  

Heel Tracks Department: Is it just me, or is the State Department overdue for a major shakeup? We've had Visa Express, in which Saudi's we're given too easy access to U.S. visas. The've been siding with the Saudi's and against the families of Americans being held against their will in Saudi Arabia. And now, according to Mission Network News, ...

(USA)--Next, the U.S. State Department is dragging its feet in paying restitution to family members of slain missionary Ronni Bowers, according to US Congressman Peter Hoekstra of Michigan. "To date they have been doing just about everything that they can to delay this settlement and now even delaying the payment." Hoekstra says the Department claims they don't have the eight million dollars or the legal authority to pay. A claim he says is untrue. But while this delay is wearing on Ronni's husband, Jim, he's still active in reaching the people of Peru. "Jim is going down there to take a look at some of the mission projects that they're working on, some of the projects the Peruvian government agreed to fund. While he can go to Peru and take a look at the progress that is being made because of the Peruvian's taking the lead in settling this issue, his own government is still stalling." Ronni and her daughter Charity were killed when the plane they were riding in was shot down by government fighters over Peru in April 2001.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 6:31 AM
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