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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pineapple face

Pineapple face
Brooksyne made this ridiculous character for our women & girls social at church. Their theme is "Bearing Much Fruit" so attendees are invited to dress up fruit, thus we have the silly looking pineapple.  Kind of looks like a Mardi Gras character.

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"Man's Foolishness"

For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate" (1 Corinthians 1:19). "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God" (1 Corinthians 3:19).

Sarah and Nicole at John Harvard Statue
Nearly three years ago Ester was at Boston Children's Hospital to have her pacemaker replaced.  At that time I met Nikki and Sarah who had grown up in the church I pastored in New England. I took this photo of  them beside the John Harvard statue in Harvard Yard on the campus of Harvard University.

In 1638 John Harvard, a devout minister of the Gospel, died at 31 years of age and donated some money and about four hundred books to a new college that had just been established in 1636. This was the beginning of the library at the new school and in 1639 the school was named after him.

The college's “Rules and Precepts” of 1646 reads like it could have come out of a devout Bible College: "Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisedome, let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seeke it of Him" (Prov. 2:3). Every one shall so exercise himselfe in reading the Scriptures twice a day, that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein, both in Theoreticall observations of Language and Logick, and in practical and spiritual truths, as his Tutor shall require, according to his ability; seeing the entrance of the word giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple (Psalm 119:130)." (spelling from original unchanged)

Harvard Shield (original)
When Harvard was founded, its motto was Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae—"Truth for Christ and the Church." Its crest showed three books, one face down to symbolize the limitation of human knowledge. But over time that book has been turned face up to represent the unlimited capacity of the human mind. And the motto has been changed to Veritas— "Truth."  Now of course Harvard is a bastion of secularism, although there is still an active group of Christian students.

Regardless of where we live, we encounter the secularized "wisdom" that prevails in our "postmodern" culture.  This "wisdom" that infected Harvard many years ago is now rampant in our culture and is impacting many Christian colleges and churches who are forsaking the wisdom of God for the wisdom of the world. Sometimes my head spins as I see the rapid decline and the accumulative effect of years of living according to the ever-changing human philosophies of this world.

We must heed the Scriptural warning, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ" (Colossians 2:8).

The daily verse is such a powerful expression. "For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate" (1 Corinthians 1:19). Paul is actually quoting Isaiah 29:14 in the Old Testament, thus the expression "It is written." In this window of time we live in, the wisdom and intelligence of the world seems so prevailing but God's promise stands; it will one day be destroyed.

"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God."  The Apostle Paul is saying that wisdom from a worldly standpoint is foolishness to God who is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Human based wisdom does not form a bedrock foundation of genuine truth.

I want to know the ways of God, who is all-wise so that I recognize this foolishness, even though the world through academia, political, cultural, or even through entrenched religious circles may be saying it's wise. My heart is gripped this morning by a rather obscure statement from Daniel, "He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning" (Daniel 2:21). Amen, may God give us this wisdom and discernment today!

I want to continue to grow in my understanding of God's ways.  And that begins when I recognize that ultimately all wisdom apart from God is foolishness.  This day join me in seeking to know the Lord and His ways better!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, when we gave you our heart, we made the willful choice to no longer conform to the trends and philosophies of this world.  Instead we ask You to daily renew our minds so that we see this world and its philosophies through the eyes of Christ.  We are put to the test daily in deciding what is truth and what is error.  May Your Holy Word be our reference point and Your Spirit be our Guide as we are exposed to countless philosophies based on human understanding and the basic principles of this world rather than Your eternal foundational truths.  Sharpen our discernment and grant us courage so that we readily know truth from error and are fearless in saying so.  In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

A corollary way of expressing the second daily verse is, "The wisdom of God is foolishness to the world."  And that is really the viewpoint of many in the world.  Many, who in one way or another acknowledge God, actually live as if the statement were true since it is essentially the way they practice their lifestyle.

"But we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16).  I desire to have the mind of Christ developing in me today.  I hear and heed the words of Scripture, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--His good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2).  I want to walk in the wisdom of God.

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Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources
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"Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise"  Video

"All Heaven Declares"

"You Are God Alone"  Video

An interesting article about Harvard.

More info about the Harvard Shield from a Christian group on campus.

Roxie with glasses
We've been having some fun with the pineapple glasses and Ester couldn't resist putting the glasses on Roxie!   Doesn't she look smart?  She also looks like she's getting ready to fly her plane, doesn't she!

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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