Paradise Lost

John Milton wrote this great work when he left Santa Barbara. (Is this revisionist history?) Actually, this is how people feel when they leave Santa Barbara.

I left Ben on Wednesday afternoon and took the red eye back to Boston to hit the ground running. The trip to get Ben settled went perfect, PTL! A lot could have gone wrong that didn’t. And a lot more went right that we were expecting. Ben’s shipment of things from Boston even arrived early. (I guess things just go better in Santa Barbara).  He ended up with a great roommate. I know that because his roommate’s dad took us all out to eat at a great restaurant on the beach!!!

Ben and I spent Wednesday morning on the beachfront and wharf at Santa Barbara and then did some cruising among the shops on beautiful State St. Wow!!! It’s hard to shake the Walmart urges – blue vests and gray hair make my day. But I was getting used to the CA look.

On landing back in Boston I was reminded how beautiful our area is. Most of all it is GREEN.  There are very few places as attractive as the South Shore. And who wants all that boring 72 degree weather all the time anyway?

 Now Sharon and I are officially empty nesters. The guys are gone! But we are working on Christmas plans to get everyone together. I already can’t wait.

Santa Barbara rules!!!

Ben and I are out in Santa Barbara setting up his apartment as he begins his graduate studies. Warm temperatures, cool breezes, palm trees, outdoor restaurants, bicycles and motorcycles galore!!!  Yep, Ben is really going to suffer out here. Somebody has to be here. It might as well be a Bryant.

On Sunday we worshiped at an Orthodox Presbyterian church. This is the denomination that formed the seminary where I studied. They put the O in orthodox. My theological education was superb. I have never felt shortchanged at that level. But when it comes to ministry there was a significant deficit. Anyway, Ben will be trying to find a spiritual community and will connect with Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship out here.

I will be flying back later this week on the red eye and try to function at the office after I land.  I think I will put off any big decisions until jet lag wears off.

I am continuing to struggle with the effects of Lyme Disease. My sciatic nerve is inflammed and kicks up in a fierce way. It’s time to get this over with!!!!!!!

Today’s Quote 9/9/07

Martin Luther
If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.  Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.

Today’s Quote 9/6/07

Sinclair Ferguson
The great tempation most of us face is to believe that very little has happened to us through grace.  We still stumble and fall far short of the high calling which is ours in Christ.  Scripture encourages us to hold a different perspective by enlarging our understanding of what God has done for us, and has begun to accomplish

My Most Unpopular Beliefs

I put this as a new category at the top of my home page. I haven’t really filled it in except to ruminate a bit about why I am so slow to preach some of the things I believe are true but which aren’t “in.”  Okay, I admit it – I am a coward. Telling people what they would like to hear is my bag, baby (as Austin Powers would say).

I asked one of my sons what his most unpopular belief would be. Without hesitation he replied, “Women should not be football sports announcers.” Of course, I am thinking more theologically. Maybe I will fill some things in. Not sure. But I wonder about it.

For some reason I don’t think I would make a good Athanasius or Martin Luther. Their beliefs cost them an easy retirement. 

Today’s Quote 9/5/07

FB Meyer
There is a life-attitude toward the will and purpose of Christ that is so quiet, so at peace with God, so at rest in His joy, so perfectly content that He is doing the best, that the lines in the face are smoothed out; the fever is gone from the restless eye; and the whole nature is still.  Rest in the Lord.  Wait patiently for Him.  Then share your experience with others who have lost their attitudinal focus.

Today’s Quote 9/04/07

A. W. Tozer
The moment we make up our minds that we are going on with this determination to exalt God overall, we step out of the world’s parade…  We acquire a new viewpoint; a new and different psychology will be formed within us; a new power will begin to surprise us by its upsurgings and its outgoings.