Three Samsons

Samson came to my bed
Told me that my hair was red
He told me i was beautiful and came into my bed
Oh I cut his hair myself one night
A pair of dull scissors and the yellow light
And he told me that I’d done alright
and kissed me till the morning light, the morning light
and he kissed me till the morning light.

“Sampson” by Regina Spektor

After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Seduce him, and see where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to humble him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.” So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could subdue you.”

Jdg 16:4-6 ESV

He really loved her, that Holy Fool.
Others not so fortunate, but this one Samson loved
like nothing else.
In the midst of betrayal,
This sad sack knew,
he loved her still.
Loving her, he loved her to the end.

And she tormented him.
As we do Him, in the end,
And they both bring down Dagon.
Our Hero sees and lives even yet.
Delilah is redeemed.

Finding your Ideal Bedtime

Dr. Michael Breus writes on the Insomnia Blog that to find your perfect bedtime, you should count back 7.5 hours from your typical wake time (the average person has 5 sleep cycles that last 90 minutes long, so that’s why we should start with 7.5 hours). If you wake up within 10 minutes before your morning alarm after three days, that’s your target bedtime.

If not, move your bedtime back by 15 minutes every three days until you do wake up just before your morning alarm.

Imagine waking up without needing the alarm clock—and getting the sleep you need. That definitely seems worth this little experiment.

HT: Lifehacker

Love and Trinity 1

Christ gave us peace; He bade us be in agreement, and of one mind. He charged the bonds of love and charity to be kept uncorrupted and inviolate; he cannot show himself a martyr who has not maintained brotherly love. Paul the apostle teaches this, and testifies, saying, “And though I have faith, so that I can remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I give all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity is magnanimous; charity is kind; charity envieth not; charity acteth not vainly, is not puffed up, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; loveth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth.”1 “Charity,” says he, “never faileth.” For she will ever be in the kingdom, she will endure for ever in the unity of a brotherhood linked to herself. Discord cannot attain to the kingdom of heaven; to the rewards of Christ, who said, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you:”2 he cannot attain3 who has violated the love of Christ by faithless dissension. He who has not charity has not God. The word of the blessed Apostle John is: “God,” saith he, “is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God dwelleth in him.”4 They cannot dwell with God who would not be of one mind in God’s Church. Although they burn, given up to flames and fires, or lay down their lives, thrown to the wild beasts, that will not be the crown of faith, but the punishment of perfidy; nor will it be the glorious ending of religious valour, but the destruction of despair. Such a one may be slain; crowned he cannot be. He professes himself to be a Christian in such a way as the devil often feigns himself to be Christ, as the Lord Himself forewarns us, and says, “Many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many.”5 As he is not Christ, although he deceives in respect of the name; so neither can he appear as a Christian who does not abide in the truth of His Gospel and of faith. (St. Cyprian, Treatise 1: On the Unity of the Church) 

Passages Visit and Review

Yesterday I went to Oklahoma City to see the Passages Exhibit at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Despite opening in this city not known for art and culture, it is a world-class exhibition containing many significant and noteworthy items in the history of biblical manuscripts, codices, books and even a few papyri.

If that last sentence doesn’t mean much to you, then I’ll explain: the owner of Hobby Lobby has a private collection of biblical texts. This is the collection on display. He has a few fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls, a few other ancient pieces of papyri and scrolls, and many, many medieval copies of the Bible and religious illuminated manuscripts, commentaries and the like. There are some Jewish scrolls, most of which are dating from the last few hundred years, as well as many first edition copies of English translations of the Bible, including first editions of the Geneva Bible, the Coverdale and the Authorized Version (King James 1611).

It is an impressive collection, though geared toward English Protestant and American Evangelical guests: there is an abundance of attention given to the intricacies of the English translation efforts and martyrdom of Tyndale. However, there are enough examples and displays of early Medieval manuscripts to be of interest to others. There is a notable, if small, collection of German and Luther-Bibels to interest people like me, including a very rare hand-colored edition of a German bible. That was breath-taking. Absolutely gorgeous.

Read the link above to see how they are handling tours and what the museum docents are up to. It made sense, I suppose, but turned out to be not as user-friendly as they hoped it would be.

I will go back and bring a group from the church, but what I plan to do is lead my own tour for thirty minutes, and then let the group go and wander the exhibit on their own.

What We Expect Is What We Get – Lifehacker

I think we all understand the placebo effect a little, but this article (What We Expect Is What We Get – Lifehacker) describes something even more bizarre: being told you job makes you more fit actually does.

I’m going to stop lamenting about my job being so sedentary and start thinking of it as active. Also, go back to the Y more often.

Moralism at VBS

Day One of Vacation Bible School was last night. We are using a VBS from a publisher affiliated with another church body, which we normally do not do, but the theme was good and CPH’s VBS has not been as good lately.

I am the Storyteller this year. My job is to tell the Bible story and apply it to the kids. What I discovered last night is just how moralistic this VBS is. It was very difficult to show the kids Christ, especially in the heat of 65 sweaty tired kids, noisy adults, and trying to be engaging and entertaining (it is VBS and not Divine Service, after all).

The moral of this sad story is: appreciate the Christ-centered material you had in the past, and work hard to avoid moralistic children’s ministry garbage. This is true of VBS, children’s sermons and everything. Make God in Christ all-in-all.