Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Like dew from the womb of the morning

A place of rest and power

Sit at My right hand
Psalm 110:1-5

The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand,

until I make your enemies your footstool.'
The Lord will send the sceptre of your power out of Zion,
saying, ‘Rule over your enemies round about you.

‘Princely state has been yours

from the day of your birth,

in the beauty of holiness have I begotten you,

like dew from the womb of the morning.’

The Lord has sworn and he will not recant:

‘You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’

“Sit at my right hand, until I make...your footstool.”

This devotional reading from Monday still echoes in me. “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” But why? Isn’t this a Messianic passage, properly interpreted in the full revelation of the Christ, Jesus? Indeed, it is. And yet its words still ring: Sit at My right hand…!

Is there a derivative meaning here, for children of Messiah? I think so. As I pondered the inner meaning of this verse, several themes began to develop – Scriptural themes of high truth, further relation to God, the Holy One.

“Sit at My right hand…” implies a posture of rest; one might call it a command of rest…and not just any kind of rest, but a rest of faith. It is rest at the “right hand,” i.e. the place of divine authority and will, stillness in divine power and favor. Consider what it means to rest in divine favor and will [cf. Psalm 37, “delight in the LORD!”].

This kind of rest contains active and passive conditions.

The resting child is passive concerning the conventional defense of self, its desires and aims: the divine power is what defends, i.e. “until I make your enemies your footstool.” However, this posture is alien to the modern mindset. Promotion of “number one” is considered a God-given right in our culture. Number one is its own justification in the natural human mind. And yet the divine rest strikes this impulse head-on!

This brings to mind the words of Isaiah, where he talks about the doomed mechanism of “lighting one’s own fires.” The Light of lights must be our referent for action, not our own lesser lights – such is the avenue of divine favor.

However, though this rest is passive toward self-justification, we must never forget that it means action toward the defense of others. The appeal is toward the sovereign authority of God, and yet the action is obedience. True rest in regards of our own needs/desires means that we spring to active obedience when faced with the needs of others.

The resting child seeks divine justice, and sees this call in the eyes of other, needy children.

We act in tandem with God for the defense of others, all the while resting in divine favor regarding our own needs. We just might be the means whereby God answers the prayers of other children, those waiting at His right hand in desperate prayer!

Therefore, when you perceive a need in another, do your best to meet it, to act in the name of Christ. It may be as simple as a word spoken, a small gift given, a prayer, a card, a note, a gesture, a token of love: whatever it means to be obedient to the divine voice for others, that is what we give.

And this is rest at the right hand of Abba!

Honestly, what keeps us from obedience? Is it not the sapping focus on our own needs and limitations? Such improper focus is cured in divine rest at the right hand – we are freed from self-defense to the life-giving defense of others.

Thus does the kingdom come, like dew from the womb of the morning!

Children of the Lord King, Jesus Christ, can learn of Abba, and learn of rest, in this kingly verse: Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies your footstool!


  • What if we rested like this in relation to the needs of Hopegivers orphanage?
  • What if we rested like this in relation to the justice needs in communities close to home?
  • What if we rested like this in relation to the inner needs of our friends and families?
  • What if we rested like this in relation to the personal needs that keep us from soaring?

Like this, how many enemies would be trodden under foot, in miracle time?


Thursday, June 15, 2006

To wear or not to wear? that is the question!

To wear or not to wear a helmet?

Since Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger cracked up his Suzuki this week, brushing death while not wearing a helmet, the topic of motorcycle helmets has filled the air. It’s the topic du jour in Western PA!

But before I address the debate of helmet vs. no helmet, a word or two about Ben’s accident: I don’t think that Ben can be blamed in this accident, as it was clearly the fault of the other driver; she failed to yield the right of way, crossing over into the other lane. And, in a larger sense, I don’t think that Ben can be blamed for not wearing a helmet: PA laws were rescinded for a reason, and the Steelers front office refused to forbid this exact practice, specifically, even though knowing about it. I don’t agree with piling on Ben, at all: his life came a whisker from ending, with other scars still with him; he’ll be wearing a partial plate or tooth implants the rest of his life, with his jaw held together by titanium plates and screws, together with damaged nasal canal and nose bones, and a brain more susceptible to concussion/damage. Ben has paid in spades for this, even though he is alive and better than anyone could have expected – a very tough price to pay for an accident not your fault!

But the accident does bring up the question: should I wear a helmet or not, while biking?

It’s an interesting debate, as PA recently rescinded its helmet laws, making helmet wearing optional. So why did PA make helmet laws optional? Is it a state filled with death-wish riders? No, it’s not that easy…

Consider the basic position of those against helmets. A poster by the name of “Rockman” argues passionately against wearing a helmet. It seems counterintuitive, but he is convinced that it hurts chances of survival.

As a member of ABATE OF OHIO I would like you to know that we have been fighting helmet laws for many years for a very good reason: They kill people. The accident yesterday could have been deadly if big Ben were wearing a helmet. Does anyone remember how Dale Earnhart died? In case you don’t it was the force created by the weight of his helmet when he hit the wall. The same could have happened to Ben if he were wearing a helmet. The rules of NASCAR now dictate that the drivers use a Hahns device because of this. There is no way to connect a Hahns device to a motorcycle. I don’t want to say that a helmet is a bad thing, but do want those of you who don’t ride to understand that there is a very good reason many of us don’t wear helmets. Some riders do some don’t, but it should be the riders’ choice, not some one with an agenda that doesn’t even ride to decide…LET THOSE WHO RIDE DECIDE.

Let those who ride decide, for their own lives! That pretty much sums up the case against wearing a helmet: the extra weight of the helmet is said to put the neck at greater risk for breaking. On this and similar arguments, bikers have successfully lobbied Pennsylvania State laws to where helmets are now optional for most riders.

However, the case for helmets is made just as passionately – other bikers supporting their arguments with graphic stories. JimSteeler responds to the argument against helmets by calling it “BS,” and offering his personal crash testimony:

Now that is pure BS that he is better off because he was not wearing a helmet!

I had my rear brakes lock up on me one time going 65 mph and I was heading straight for a concrete wall with a chain link fence above it. My life passed before me and when I bought my first bike at 16 years old the Italian guy who sold it to me said this to me: "If you wreck a motorcycle, know you wreck a motorcycle and do nothing but wreck a motorcycle, kick away, kick away!" He was Ernest Cerini Sr. from Donora, Pa.

When that point in my life passed by I dove off the bike and belly slid into the wall. I had a facemask on at the time. I can remember watching asphalt slide under my face and felt the heat from the friction on my nose being smashed against the face shield. When I hit the wall with my head the helmet was dented pretty deep, almost cracked and you could not even see through the face shield. I had a badly broken arm that took a bone transplant from my hip to repair, but I had no head injury whatsoever, not even a concussion. My first words when I got up were "my God! I'm alive.”


I cannot believe we have laws that require you to wear a seatbelt when surrounded by metal and have airbags, but you can ride a motorcycle without a helmet.

Then again there is a need for more organ donors.

And, that sums pretty well the argument for wearing a helmet.

So what’s a self-respecting rider supposed to do? Both of these positions have logical points: Yes, the face/skull cracks like a nutshell even at lower speeds. And, yes, the physics of added helmet weight can add potentially deadly force to the neck area [cf. Hahns device in NASCAR racing]. So what to do?

Well, several things I would just toss into the equation for an informed decision [informed with a blend of physics and modern technology]: 1. Helmet technology is improving, as our knowledge in alloys and aerospace textile hybrids increases. As the technology improves, the protection increases while the weight decreases: an inverse proportion of life-saving value. 2. The physics raised by Rockman, where the helmet adds force to the head and snaps the neck [viz., the sad example of Dale Earnheart], is more at risk for when the body stays stationary while the head keeps moving. In other words, it is far more likely that a race car driver [with his body secured by belts] is at risk from this destructive force than a biker: in a bike wreck, the body is often unrestrained, traveling with the head and neck until impact. Of course, depending on the physics of the crash, if the body is somehow stopped and the head still moving, then the risk remains. All in all, though, the odds of biking favor the helmet, from a purely statistical/physical point of view.

I wouldn’t wear a helmet in racecar without a Hahns device; but have no problem wearing a helmet on a bike.

The best answer, I believe, is to take advantage of helmet technology – to wear a light-weight and aerospace-informed cover: it gives face/skull protection at a fraction of the weight of older helmets, and reduces the chance of negative force on the spine/neck. Add leg armor like this, and it’s a Frodo-like chance against the Orcan spear!

So there’s your hot-topic word from Thoughts of Loy! To wear or not to wear? That is the question. Who knew the answer would be so easy? :-)

And free, no less!


Safe and happy riding, to you!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The One who makes a way

Behold, the heavens and heaven above the heavens cannot contain Thee!

How much less this house which I have built?

So He led them through the depths, as through a wilderness...
He led them by a straight way, that they might come to a place of habitation.

Ever living God

Ever living God
Maker of all the Earth
Everlasting King, our eternal praise belongs to You
All of the honor
All of the glory to You

You are wonderful, marvelous, forever
Beautiful, Prince of Peace, faithful One, forever…

Ever living God
Maker of all the Earth
Everlasting King, our eternal praise belongs to You
All of the honor
All of the glory to You

You are wonderful, marvelous, forever
Beautiful, Prince of Peace, faithful One, forever…

Take the place of all honor, take the place above all thrones,
Take the place of all power –
You are the One, glorious!

You are wonderful, marvelous, forever
Beautiful, Prince of Peace, faithful One, forever!

Monday, June 05, 2006

No insignificant people

My God, with His lovingkindness, will meet me.
Psalm 59:10, RV of 1901

No insignificant people
Amy Carmichael

To some of us, there often comes such a sense of the vastness of things and of our own insignificance that it can be a shaking thing. It can even shake our faith in the truth that our Father regards with compassion even the fall of a single sparrow.

To me, one of the proofs that God’s hand is behind and all throughout this marvelous Book we know as the Bible is the way it continually touches upon this very fear in us – the fear that we are so insignificant as to be forgotten. That we are nothing. Unconsciously, His Word meets this fear, and answers it – not always by direct statement, but often by giving a simple, loving story.

Daniel, for instance, was so overwhelmed by this supernatural vision of the vast, majestic march of history and the glory of the Lord that his physical strength vanished – until “a hand touched me” (Daniel 8:8-10).

John, looking through the thin veil of time into eternity, saw his Lord – the Lord he had seen pierced – now holding in His hand seven stars. John declares, “I fell at His feet as though dead.” Immediately – just as though this fallen one mattered more than the seven stars, as though there were no stars – “He placed His right hand on upon me (Revelation 1:16-17).

Isn’t it beautiful that there was no rebuke at all for their human weakness? And there never is a rebuke for our weaknesses either. “The soul of the wounded calls for help, and God does not regard it as foolish” (Job 24:12, Rotherham).

He comforts. He lays His right hand on the soul wounded by weariness, or fear, or any kind of weakness at all. And He says, as if that one were the only soul in the universe:

O man, greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee. Be strong – yea, be strong! (Daniel 10:19, Rotherham)


Friday, June 02, 2006

I will lift up my eyes...

I will lift up my eyes to the hills;
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
Maker of heaven and earth!

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold! He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper,
The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul:
The LORD shall preserve your going out and coming in,
From this time forth and even forevermore!