Just one thing:
in Jiro’s life.
Reminds me of the Sun.
The Sun at the center,
No stars, no moon, no planets
are visible to the eye.
They are hidden from sight
by the one supreme light.
Whether this is a life worth living,
I am not sure.
Hyper-focused on one thing
to the exclusion of all else –
Is that not an idolatrous waste
of energy and time?
To look at the sun
straight in the eye,
never averting one’s gaze,
is to be blinded by light.
(Photo by Luigi Pozzoli on Unsplash)
The saddest words I have ever read are found in Ecclesiastes ch. 12, “To the making of books there is no end, and too much reading is a weariness of the flesh.” But then I realise that this is also good news: books won’t end, therefore they’re eternal. There will be books in heaven. The reading life does not end! (John Piper) And the good news is: in heaven there will be no weariness of the flesh because we will be reading with our glorified bodies, glorified eyes, and glorified minds. I’m looking forward to heaven!
Interestingly, many of the books in heaven will be law books and biographies. According to Revelation many of the books there will be filled with accounts of everything people have done, and according to their deeds they will be judged, which means I think that these books will also cite the laws which people have either kept or broken. I’ll be reading about your lives and your deeds, and you’ll be reading about my life and my deeds! Now that is frightening.
Maybe that’s the reason why the Bible says that at the last day there will be tears in our eyes – because all the things that we’ve done will be uncovered and publicly revealed. But these tears of shame and sorrow for all the sins we’ve committed God will wipe away – all of them. In the presence of all creatures, angelic or otherwise, he will confirm the fact that we are justified from all things, cleansed from every sin, by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
But I digress. Going back to books and reading, even in heaven, Virginia Woolf once wrote, St Peter who stands watch at Heaven’s gate will say, upon seeing people coming in, carrying their books with them – he will say with a note of envy in his voice, “Look, we have nothing to give them here. They have loved books.”
Heaven is a library where reading will never end.
I will be taking a break from blogging as I will be taking a vacation with my family. I plan to make use of the time with as little engagement with digital devices as possible.
Hope to be back after a month’s time.
“Gifts are given to trade withal for God. Opportunities are the market-days for that trade. To napkin the one and to let slip the other will end in trouble and disconsolation. Disquietness and perplexities of heart are worms that will certainly breed in the rust of unexercised gifts. God loseth a revenue of glory and honour by such slothful souls; and he will make them sensible of it.”
(from John Owen’s An Exposition of Psalm CXXX)
Yes, yes, I know I posted yesterday that I will blog daily no more, and that my next post will come out on Monday. But the above quote from John Owen made me change my mind. As applied to blogging, I take him to mean that to neglect opportunities to consistently blog for God’s glory is a failure of stewardship, for which I will be held accountable! So, instead of blogging once a week, I’ll try blogging every
MWF TTh. And in my defence I invoke the platitude “Only fools do not change their minds!”
I tried to follow Seth Godin’s advice and for a couple of weeks I blogged every day except for Sundays.
However I don’t think I will be able to keep this up. I have a lot of obligations to fulfill and the fact is blogging for me is not a top priority.
Still, I think blogging is something worth doing, so I plan to keep on blogging, but on a weekly rather than on a daily basis.
My next blog post will therefore come out on Monday.
I’ve been listening to an audiobook of Seth Godin’s This is Marketing. He talks about the importance of status as the reason why people do things and the difficulty of getting them to change if it means going against what gives them status. According to Seth, people acquire status by affiliation or domination, i.e., “I’m part of this group,” or “This is mine!” He tells a story about young men in a tribe who acquire status by killing lions as their rite of passage. This has led to a significant decrease in the number of lions in their area. And he says that trying to change them by trying to convince them that killing lions is wrong or bad won’t work. What works is getting them to change their perception of acquiring status. For example: Be a lion-saver, not a lion-killer!
I think there’s an insight here that relates to Christianity. Part of the motivation involved in the change in a person’s conduct when he becomes a Christian has to do with the way he perceives his status: he is now affiliated with Christ and he identifies with his fellow Christians. They read their Bibles, so does he. They pray and sing hymns, so does he. They go to church, so does he.
This isn’t peer pressure or herd mentality; this is biblical teaching, or if you like, biblical psychology. You see yourself in a new way, you then act in a new way, and it helps that you’re part of a group that sees and acts in this new way. “You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” “You have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self…” “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…” (See Colossians chapter 3).
New identity, new self, new affiliation, new practices. New status!
I tried accessing my blog post entitled Fixed-Term Employment Contract only to discover that someone else’s post appears in it even though the title remains the same. It’s one of my most visited posts. I don’t know what happened. I have to check my other popular posts to see if they’ve been hacked too. Anyway I’ll be reposting the “Fixed-Term Employment Contract” post in a little while.
I came across this very good advice by Tim Challies on his blog and I thought I ought to share this especially with my fellow Christian bloggers.
Why You Shouldn’t Stop Blogging (or Why You Should Consider Starting) https://www.challies.com/articles/why-you-shouldnt-stop-blogging-or-why-you-should-consider-starting/
I watched a video of Seth Godin just a while ago. He said something about the benefits of blogging everyday and recommended that everyone should blog everyday. I thought I should try that. I took a look at his blog and I noticed it was very simple, his blog posts were quite short, and covered a lot of topics. A recent post was about exhaust fans!
So I’m going to try that. Post everyday even if no one else reads it. The important thing is to keep doing it.
My goal however is not to become popular. I just want to share what’s in me. And I think some of the things I have to share might be of benefit to someone out there.
As the Bible says, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee.”
So as I said, I’m going to try that. Blog everyday. Probably about the three things that matter most to me per title of this blog: theology, law, and everything else!
I’m not in the habit of checking the stats on my blog, but I do so once in a while. And what I’ve found is that I get visitors everyday(!) – but almost 99% of them visit for the sake of my posts on legal topics.
I’ve posted a lot of my poems and written on topics related to Christian living. They get some views, some likes, and that’s it. But what’s interesting is my most popular posts (on legal topics) are not what gets me subscribers. It’s my poems and sermons that do that. I find this both interesting and confusing.
At any rate, I intend to resume blogging once a month on legal topics. I assume most of those who’ve subscribed to this blog won’t care for that, but I hope you understand that this kind of posts are what gets my blog the most views and visitors (but not subscribers). That puts me in a sort of dilemma, but I still intend to post the manuscript and audio of my sermons at least once a month. And some poems occasionally.
Frankly, my original target audience are my country men who’re interested in theology and Philippine labor law. My sermons are of course primarily for the members of the church where I preach (Ikthus East, Bacolod City). As far as I can tell, none of them subscribed to this blog!
Be that as it may, I plan to blog more regularly – at least once a week. A sermon once a month. A legal article once a month. A poem once a month. And whatever else comes along worth blogging about. This after all is Philippine THEO LAW GEE!