#244: Let Jesus Come into Your Heart

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(Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)

1

If you are tired of the load of your sin,

Let Jesus come into your heart;

If you desire a new life to begin

Let Jesus come into your heart.

CHORUS

Just now your doubtings give o’er,

Just now reject Him no more;

Just now throw open the door –

Let Jesus come into your heart.

2

If ‘tis for purity now that you sigh,

Let Jesus come into your heart;

Fountains for cleansing are flowing nearby,

Let Jesus come into your heart.

CHORUS

3

If there’s a tempest your voice cannot still,

Let Jesus come into your heart;

If there’s a void this world never can fill,

Let Jesus come into your heart.

CHORUS

4

If you would join the glad songs of the blest,

Let Jesus come into your heart;

If you would enter the mansions of rest,

Let Jesus come into your heart.

CHORUS

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Riddle me this: I am a Wondrous Thing

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It was back at World Con in 2016, in our hometown of Kansas City, that we met author Rob Howell and I started reading his books. For a review of his book A Lake Most Deep just follow the link I placed in the book title.

Because today’s post is going to be on his book I am a Wondrous Thing. It is in his same World of Shijuren universe, but tracks a different part of that world. There is a connection to the characters in A Lake Most Deep, but it is indirect and not necessary to read that book to understand any of the context here. The book stands alone, but also paints with a well-defined palate another interesting piece of Shijuren.

I became intrigued with I am a Wondrous Thing at LibertyCon this past June, when I heard Howell give a reading from the book. It was a very poignant section of the book that totally intrigued me, and totally misdirected me about the core of the book. I thought the reading was from much earlier in the book than it turned out to be. His painting of Irina and the loss/death of her husbands was a very poignant reading.  Later, reading it myself in the context of the book, it was just as poignant, and also imbued with much more meaning than Howell was able to bring out in the isolated reading of the passage.

Like all of his writing, Howell paints very solid characters that ring true and believable in their world. No one is too good, too perfect, or too evil. There are no stock characters.

Irina before and after her time as Velikomat is an especially well-drawn character. Her ability to live two lives, but also how they can or cannot be totally untwined is an interesting element of the plot. One which leaves a lot of potential for future stories, and a lot of unanswered questions, while leaving the reader satisfied at the end.

Howell shows his true Puckish nature in the writing. The best example comes from page 163, the last line of chapter 26: “The idyllic time ended in a night of blood and fear”. Once you read description, later in the book, of that “night of blood and fear”, you will be ready to strangle him for the setup and misdirection that one line gave you. And then plunge back into the book to see where it leads next.

Howell has definitely improved his craft since the writing of his first book, which I found quite satisfactory, and I look forward to reading the other two books of his I currently have in possession. If only life gave me more time to read for mere pleasure.

And when you do read this book, let me know if you understand the prologue.  It is a very fascinating scene at the beginning, but if it links to something in this book, I did not find it. Perhaps the explanation is in a future book that will shine light on how it links to this one. Howell’s threads are often deep, but they always connect.

BTW, the title of the book can be found in a riddle at the end of the book (don’t flip forward to find it, read until you get there — it will have a better impact that  way). Howell doubtless understands that Riddle. I don’t — yet.

A Blast of the Past #122: Rocky

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Hard to realize that it has already been 8 years. Sept. 12, 2009 we went to Wayside Waifs and adopted Rocky (called Devito at Wayside, after Danny Devito, because of our dog’s short legs). Here are the pictures when he first came home.

We were warned we couldn’t leave him out in a back yard, that he would dig and is an escape artist. And though the escapes have gotten less frequent, the most recent one took place this Tuesday Morning. So he’s still the same ole Rocky, though perhaps the world old does apply more than it did to our frisky pup.

#243: Room at the Cross for You

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(Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)

1

The cross upon which Jesus died

Is a shelter in which we can hide;

And its grace so free is sufficient for me,

And deep is its fountain – as wide as the sea.

CHORUS

There’s room at the cross for you,

There’s room at the cross for you;

Tho millions have come, There’s still room for one –

Yes, there’s room at the cross for you.

2

Tho millions have found Him a friend

And have turned from the sins they have sinned,

The Savior still waits to open the gates

And welcome a sinner before it’s too late.

CHORUS

3

The hand of my Savior is strong,

And the love of my Savior is long;

Through sunshine or rain, through loss or in gain,

The blood flows from Calv’ry to cleanse ev’ry stain.

CHORUS

 

A nod, a wave, a honk

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When I ride my bicycle, I am much more alert of drivers around me than most of them are of the cyclist around them. I actively watch and make an effort to engage them.

When a driver is coming toward me I will usually lift my hand off the handle bar and give a small fanning wave in their direction and watch to see if they respond back. If it isn’t easy or safe for me to take the hand of the handle bar, I will attempt to nod toward them in a way that will signal them that the motion is meant for them, and not just an unconscious movement on my part.

Part of these movements is my natural social nature to engage (somewhat curious in someone who is by nature an introvert), but much of it is a natural defensive mechanism. If those people are aware of me, they are not likely to try and purposefully occupy the same space on the road that I will be in.

In contrast, most of the time someone honks at me while I am riding my bicycle, it is not for the same reason. Most of the time it is their way of insisting that I am occupying a space that properly is theirs, and should vacate it immediately, if not sooner, without their having to physically collide with me to make them do so, and thus inconvenience them even further.

I know this for a general fact, based on the portion of times after being honked at where those same people who honked pass me and tell me specifically where to go, or suggest suitable sexual actions that I should perform. They seem to have passed their driver’s license tests without learning the traffic laws that give me the right to be where I am, doing what I am, and usually prohibiting me from doing what they suggest.

This is quite different from the horn etiquette I experienced during my very brief time in India. There there is a lot more horn action, but for what I experienced, much more polite. The honking is almost incessant, and yet it is a perpetual part of people’s courtesy to one another. Especially with the amount of motorcycles and small vehicles, it is a way to help each other stay constantly aware of the other motorists around them. In one sense, it creates almost a form of echolocation for drivers.

The action, less prevalent here, that is often counterproductive and annoying (both in origin from the person who honks, and to me, since it serves no productive and legal purpose), in the India context becomes something very positive and social.

Fitness Update

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This past week was a rest week. I did the requisite biking for commuting, but other than that, I pretty much slept until time to get up for work, and went to bed early. My sleep numbers looked good.

I did finally feel rested about Saturday, when the work week was done — go figure.

So on Sunday I ran a leisurely 6 miles in 50 degree weather and mist.