Arthur Schopenhauer or Buying Too Many E-Books

~ I have a bad habit of buying too many ebooks and never getting around to reading them. Its hard to resist when Amazon puts kindle books out on sale for $0.99 – $3.00. And its also hard to resist d/l’ng free epubs for my Nook.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Not too long ago, I was in a hunt for free epubs and found this by an old chum of mine: The Art of Literature, by Arthur Schopenhauer.  Having never before seen this I picked it up.

Schopenhauer is a famous philosopher, known for writing tomes such as The World as Will and Representation, but –  but, I don’t actually read any of his Philosophy because I find it to be too abstruse.

However I read his non-philosophical stuff because whether intended or not, I find it to be hil –

– arious.

Case in Point: The Pessimist’s Handbook, a collection of essays describing and justifying Pessimism.

Anyway, all that said and aside, I want to excerpt something from the above, because I think its a lesson for me on exercising moderation with my ebook acquisitions. Were Herr Schopenhauer alive today, I think he would have modified this excerpt to fit our contemporary situation with ebooks.

Anyway, here it is:

“A library may be very large; but if it is in disorder, it is not so useful as one that is small but well arranged.

In the same way, a man may have a great mass of knowledge, but if he has not worked it up by thinking it over for himself, it has much less value than a far smaller amount which he has thoroughly pondered.

For it is only when a man looks at his knowledge from all sides, and combines the things he knows by comparing truth with truth, that he obtains a complete hold over it and gets it into his power. A man cannot turn over anything in his mind unless he knows it; he should, therefore, learn something; but it is only when he has turned it over that he can be said to know it.”*

~ This day and age, it is so easy to get books for free, especially if they are from yestercentury. I just d/l’d some Mark Twain, Charles Dickens and … can’t remember … earlier.

But its far better to read less and know it well, than to read tons and not only not know it well, but know it incorrectly.

*Note: On the side, I want to note that there seems to be something oddball about what old Schopenhauer is saying. He seems to be saying that in order to think something through, you first need to know it. Then he goes on to say that you cannot be said to know anything unless you first think it through???

Huh? There seems to be some kind of chicken and the egg – which came first – type of thing going on here… Ehhh.. whatever…

Ja … Yes , , ,   Whatever . . .

Fibonacci Elephant i.e. Golden Ratio Elephant

Golden Ratio Elephant ~ RGB Rao

~ I noticed online that a bunch of artists were doing art of various sorts and saying that it was related to something called the Golden Ratio. So I got curious and did some reading on it.

And …

And it turns out that the Golden Ratio is something that artists from Leonardo Da Vinci to Juan Gris to Who-Knows-Who, have at times experimented with in their art.

So what is the Golden Ratio?  The Golden Ratio is a number, namely, 1.61803398875 . . . It turns up in a certain mathematical sequence called the Fibonacci Sequence, which is:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, … and a drawing that often goes with this is:

                                                                  Golden Rectangles

(Basically, if you pick any two sequential numbers in the Fibonacci Sequence and divide the larger by the smaller you will start to get the Golden Ratio. I.e. 3/2 = 1.5,  5/3 = 1.666…, 8/5 = 1.6, 13/8 = 1.625, etc. )

And . . . anyway as I was looking at the “Golden Rectangles” drawing and looking at the types of stuff other artists have done with it (snails, turtles, birds, etc), it occurred to me that there was a big gigantic elephant sitting right in it! Soooo? So, I just had to draw the elephant and voila! There it is!


O Earth! ~ Job 16:18-19

~ I read this verse this morning and just loved it. So I made this.

~ The photograph, I got from Pixabay. I don’t know how to take photos like that. The rest of the modifications, the text, the arcs, the colors, etc., I did.

Family of Cheetahs Running in the Serengeti

~ Just some scribble on the side. I have this fascination with sort of, kind of catching the essence of something or someone and I want to do this in an abstract, minimalist fashion, using the least number of lines possible. So here is a drawing of the fastest land animal in the world, (0-60 in 3 seconds) – cheetahs.

Family of Cheetahs Running in the Serengeti

Odorata! Consider the Lilies! ~ Matthew 6:28

~ Whew! Well, I finally got it done. (I hope.) For a long whiles I have been working on drawing a Lady-Considering-Some-Lilies and have been stuck, but now… whew! J’ai fini! I got this done by abandoning my project of drawing lilies like so and similarly so below:

Turk’s-cap Lily aka Lilium Superbum

Lilium Candidum – the Madonna Lily







And moving on to water lilies (Nympheaea Odorata).

The problem was that I never could find just the right photos taken at just the right angles. So I decided to wait until Spring until the lilies were a blooming. Then I would see them with my own eyes and draw them.

Oooh! initial sketch

And Spring has come but the lilies have not yet appeared – at least not where I live.  And in the meanwhiles, my attempts to draw these have been somewhere between an “Ehhh” and a “Bleah!” So, I will have to keep on trying. Some other day, some other time, I just might be able to pull out an “Oooh!” and an “Aaah!” along with a “Wow!” and “Voila!” Anyway…

Cutting it Short:
Soeeee… Just a few days ago, I happened to stumble upon water lilies (N. Odorata) and was like “Perfect! This will do.” They are not actual lilies as in genus Lilium and neither are as beautiful as the superbums or the candidums up above, but whatevvs … The Odorata is good enough for me. And I love the sound of that word, Odorata. Very cool.

Anyway… dum de dum dum.  And so. Here it is…Nothing special. Nothing fantastico as I am not a professional artist.

All that said and aside – a word as to where this came from.

A long time ago, the poet Emily Dickinson wrote something somewhat droll in a letter. Viz.,

“The only Commandment I ever obeyed — ‘Consider the Lilies.”

I thought that that was really cool. Just so Emily. This comment just got into my head because I like lilies a lot. As such, I did some reading and thinking. Dickinson got said command from a certain verse in the Bible, viz., Matthew 6:25-28, which is,

_ . ~ Emily Dickinson ~ . _

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? … Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin…”

And I don’t quite know how I want to say what I want to say so I guess I will just say it.

Sometimes in life, we may find ourselves in the icks, the acks, the ughs, the yuks, the murks, the dumps, the groans and so on. We just get caught up in some funk and our thinking gets stuck in a cul de sac. The same old thing over and over again.

It is at times like these that we just need to get out and go find some lilies and take a deep wiff. I have found that this actually helps. And I mean that even quite literally so. Just get out and find you some lilies and then you look at them, examine them, appreciate them, consider them, Yea – Behold them. And of course get your wiff.  Take in a deep deep breath. Get some redolence in you. This is just the right antidote for the funks.


Will it solve all your issues with the icks, acks, and ughs? No, not entirely. However, it will give you some distance and distance is perspective. Perspective helps.

Ok. I’ll close out with this:

“Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable
– – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things”
(Philippians 4:8).

Find your lilies.

Happiness & Unhappiness

~ I have not blogged in ages because I have been stuck on some artwork. I have been trying to draw certain kinds of lilies and have not been able to find satisfying references, so I thought I would wait until Spring is out, and then go a looking for lilies and if I find them, then examine live one from every angle possible.

In the meanwhile here is something in passing:


~ Basically the thought is something of the following sort: Historically philosophers from Augustine to Aristotle to Berkeley to … to WhoKnowsWho have stated that happiness is a byproduct. This means that you do not pursue happiness per se, instead you pursue other things and happiness results. This of course assumes you are pursuing the right things.

~ That said, of late I have been wondering if unhappiness is also a byproduct. Is it the result of pursuing things that are not so good? I think that it is and is not.

It is a byproduct in the sense that you can pursue things that are not good for you (e.g. a bad relationship) and the end result is that you are unhappy.

It is not in the sense that you can pursue unhappiness proper. How so? Well, you can be unhappy just simply by sitting down, twiddling your thumbs and doing nothing. Pursue nothing and you will be unhappy.

Hmmm… Something tells me that I need to keep thinking. Anyway…

~ My two cents worth – I have found the following to be quite helpful:

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” ~ Matthew 6:33

Summa: If you pursue unhappiness, you will be unhappy. If you pursue nothing and you will be also be unhappy. Soeeee? Pursue something.

Tenebrism, Tenebrae & Frankenstein

~ I am reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and must say that if there is such a thing as Literary Tenebrism, then this is it.

So I put some stuff together and came up w/ this.

Of the painters up above, Caravaggio is known for being the Tenebrist par excellence. Tenebrism is a form of painting that involves what can best be described as a lightening of the lights (and all colors) and a darkening of the darks. It is what you get (almost) when you have just candlelight. It is also very much so what happens in a church sanctuary when Tenebrae is observed.

Shelley’s writing is like that. She really highlights a lot of things within a scene and really gets involved in details giving them much color and yet – yet the whole story is set against a really dark background.

I will probably come back and post some excerpts here but the book is available for free online at Adelaide University.

Also here is an article I found online: The Theology of Frankenstein: Deism vs. Biblical Theism

Also will say – Mary Shelley is a must read. Don’t watch any Frankenstein movies unless you have read her first

Swirly Cat

Been busy and also stuck on some other artwork (= Consider the Lilies), but in the meantime looking at something like those metallic fences or gate-like ornamentation gave me an idea. So here it is:

Swirly Cats Eat Swirly Things ~ RGB Rao

 ~ I could have done it a wee bit better, by working out a Rule of Thirds / Golden Ratio thing, but decided just to eye it.

Alternative title: En France, les chats mangent des escargots.

Land of Uz . . .

~ I recently did the pic below using Sketchbook Pro, a tool which is now free. The poem is something I wrote some years ago but I am setting it to the art along with a devotional by John Piper of Desiring God Ministries.

~ In the pic below we have a character from the Bible, Job seated on the floor. He is surrounded by some broken pottery. The story of Job is basically about this guy who goes through some intense trials and some intense processing thereof. I will put a link to an animated explanation to it down below.

Land of Uz

Words for the Wind

Do you think that you can reprove words, when the speech of a despairing man is wind? (Job 6:26)

In grief and pain and despair, people often say things they otherwise would not say. They paint reality with darker strokes than they will paint it tomorrow when the sun comes up. They sing in minor keys and talk as though that is the only music. They see clouds only and speak as if there were no sky.

They say, “Where is God?” Or: “There is no use to go on.” Or: “Nothing makes any sense.” Or: “There’s no hope for me.” Or: “If God were good, this couldn’t have happened.”

What shall we do with these words?

Job says that we do not need to reprove them. These words are wind, or literally “for the wind.” They will be quickly blown away. There will come a turn in circumstances, and the despairing person will waken from the dark night and regret hasty words.

Therefore, the point is, let us not spend our time and energy reproving such words. They will be blown away of themselves on the wind. One need not clip the leaves in autumn. It is a wasted effort. They will soon blow off of themselves.

O how quickly we are given to defending God, or sometimes the truth, from words that are only for the wind. If we had discernment, we could tell the difference between the words with roots and the words blowing in the wind.

There are words with roots in deep error and deep evil. But not all grey words get their color from a black heart. Some are colored mainly by the pain, the despair. What you hear is not the deepest thing within. There is something real within where they come from. But it is temporary — like a passing infection — real, painful, but not the true person.

Let us learn to discern whether the words spoken against us or against God or against the truth are merely for the wind — spoken not from the soul, but from the sore. If they are for the wind, let us wait in silence and not reprove. Restoring the soul, not reproving the sore, is the aim of our love.

The Book of Job

Craig Keener’s Post: The faithless prayer meeting—Acts 12:5-16

~ I need to remember this for later – Do not want to lose track of it.


The narrative bristles with irony:

  • Israelites at the first Passover were girded and sandaled, ready to escape captivity (Exod 12:11)—in contrast to Peter, at a later Passover season (Acts 12:4, 8)
  • Whereas the church is praying fervently for his deliverance (12:5, 12), Peter is sound asleep (12:6-7; cf. Luke 22:45)
  • Neither the people praying (Acts 12:12, 15) nor Peter himself (12:9) initially believe his release
  • Peter thought the angel he was seeing was a “vision” (12:7) just as Jesus’s male followers once had supposed that his female followers saw only a “vision” of angels (Luke 24:23)
  • An angel frees Peter (Acts 12:7-11) but his supporters suppose him an angel (or ghost; 12:15)—as some supposed when they saw the risen Lord (Luke 24:37)
  • When a woman joyfully proclaims his survival (Acts 12:14), others faithlessly dismiss her testimony like that of the women at the tomb (Luke 24:11)
  • Whereas Peter’s guards in 12:6, 10 fail to keep him in, in 12:13-15 his own supporters keep Peter out
  • Whereas the iron gate in 12:10 opens of its own accord, in 12:14 the gate of the house where fellow-Christians pray for his safety remains barred to him
  • Whereas Peter comes to his senses only when he recognizes that the “vision” (12:9) is real (12:11), believers accuse Rhoda of madness (12:15) for declaring Peter’s presence

To borrow an analogy from Luke’s Gospel, Those inside have been “knocking” in prayer that a figurative door may be “opened” for them (Luke 11:5-10), for Peter’s release (Acts 12:5, 12)—yet fail to believe that the answer to their prayers is knocking on their door!

Excerpt taken from The faithless prayer meeting—Acts 12:5-16

The Most Common Command & the Most Common Promise in the Bible is?

~ It is interesting to note that the most frequently found command in the Bible is ____________ Guess? It is not “Love one another” or “Love God” or “Forgive others” or “Do unto others”, etc. No. It is “Do not be afraid.” That is the most common command found in the Bible. It is given to the person reading the Bible as well as to various characters found in the Bible such as David or Jacob and ?!? Va va va voom – the Virgin Mary – Merry Christmas!

The Annunciation – Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937)

~ That said – there is something else in the Bible that is interesting and this is the most frequent promise found in the Bible. Like the command, this promise is also given to those reading the Bible and also to various characters and figures in the Bible. And what is the most frequent promise given in the Bible? It is “I [God] will be with you always.” Yes, God will always be with us – through good times and bad and even beyond the grave.

~ Now all that said – what is particularly interesting is that often enough the reason (i.e. rationale given) for the command is the promise. The command is grounded in the promise. 

~~> I.e. The reason you ought not to be afraid is because God is with you always.  

So what follows below is a smattering of verses that I started to collect and edit with said command or promise or both. This is just a smattering because it got to be too much work so I cut it short. Anyway here it is in case its of interest.

Genesis 15:1 “… the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. …”

Genesis 21:17 “God … said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid…”

Genesis 26:24 “That night the Lord appeared to him and said, “… Do not be afraid, for I am with you…”

And… Genesis 46:3, Numbers 21:34, Deuteronomy 1:21, Deuteronomy 2:4, Deuteronomy 3:2, Deuteronomy 3:22, Deuteronomy 7:18, … cut

Deuteronomy 20:1
“… do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.”

And … Deuteronomy 31:6, Deuteronomy 31:8, Joshua 1:9, Joshua 8:1, Joshua 10:8, Joshua 10:25, Joshua 11:6, Judges 6:23, 2 Kings 6:16, 2 Kings 19:6, 2 Kings 25:24, 1 Chronicles 22:13, 1 Chronicles 28:20, 2 Chronicles 20:15, 2 Chronicles 20:17, 2 Chronicles 32:7, Psalm 27:1, … cut

Matthew 10:31 “So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Matthew 14:27 “But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.

Luke 1:30 “But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.

Luke 2:10 “But the angel said to the Shepherds, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.'”

Revelation 1:17 “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.”


~ The above is Jubilia. Its random stuff I made while experimenting around. I tried to convert it to a Mary with a yellow halo and stuff. It did not work so… it is what it is. 

Isaiah 6:3D

~ I was wondering if I could pull off some 3D stuff with the Hosea pic down below in a previous post. So I experimented and made this the night before. It consists of the word Holy Holy Holy! (in Hebrew) as found in Isaiah 6:3

“… they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; …”I used Blender 3D to make it and then created a video out of it. There is an error in it that I need to resolve. The script letters are individually backwards… but I will figure it out.

However WordPress would not let me upload videos unless I get a WP account for which I have to pay, so I converted it to an animated gif and loaded it.

The lighting is a little bit of an ehh… and these grid like lines showed up after I put it through the gif animator maker. Ehh again but whatever. Just an experiment.

Between the Wind and the Whirlwind ~

~ I am reading through Hosea and came across the verse below.  I know I’ve seen the verse before and I don’t just think in the Bible. It just has some kind of familiar literary ring to it. So anyway in thinking about what it means, I had an idea and decided to give it a whirl.

~ The Hebrew I got from two places. First I googled around and found a free Hebrew font, Stam Sepharad CFM from the kind folks at Open Siddur Project. Thanks!

I also got the verse from

I then pasted the verse into Affinity Designer, set it to the d/l’d font and played around. Since Hebrew is read right to left, I was curious how this would work.

*Note: If some of those letters looked scrunched or upside down, etc., thats ok. It a whirlwind… To get the effect that I want, I think I will ultimately have to do this in 3D.

The Most Common Trait in Great Men ~ From Head Heart Hand (D. Murray)

~ The following excerpt is from a post on Dr. David Murray’s blog, Head Heart Hand. It contains a lesson that I do not want to forget, so I am posting a part of it here. Its a note that Dr. Murray has taken from a book (down below) on Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States.

“Looking back, however, his biographer highlighted one pivotal period in his life. Truman took seriously ill with diphtheria while in first grade and was packed in snow to try and reduce his dangerous fever. He ended up being paralyzed for a year, but it was during that year when he took up reading. He read the Bible, especially Matthew and Exodus, but he also read a set of books, called Heroes of History. As he read about Moses, Cyrus, Hannibal, the Duke of Wellington, Ulysses Grant, and many others, he noticed one common trait in them all. Here’s how he put it in his diary:

“In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves . . . Self-discipline with all of them came first.”

It was a trait that he himself quietly cultivated and strengthened over many years and through many difficult providences, never realizing the greatness he was being prepared for.”


In The Meanwhiles…Self-Forgetfulness

~To Do: Continue to look into 1 Corinthians 4:1-4 and also what Tim Keller says about it in his book, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness.

This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.

The above relates to identity.

snip: “I care very little if I am judged by you…”

Quite often people tell us who we are. For better or worse, this can have a powerful impact on us. The whole 1000+ pages of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables is all about that. Let me slip that in. Why not?

From Fantine, Book 1, An Upright Man, I., Monsieur Myriel – Paragraph 2

“Although it in no way concerns our story, it might be worthwhile, if only for the sake of accuracy, to mention the rumors and gossip about him that were making the rounds when he first came to the diocese. Whether true or false, what is said about men often has as much influence on their lives, and particularly on their destinies, as what they do.“ ~ Victor Hugo

So people – you, Joe, Jane, Jasminder, etc., judge us and in that process unwittingly tell us who we are or think we are. This can have a powerful molding effect.

snip: “…or by any human court.”

Like so with human institutions. They too can judge us and in effect tell us who we are or think we are. So and so forth.

However… here comes the “Huh?” The apostle Paul says also,

snip: “… indeed, I do not even judge myself.”

~ Huh? What does that mean?

~ I am still thinking about this and have not put my thoughts together. I will have to keep reading Keller’s book. I’m think that part of where he is going to go is that we need to be care not to go too far into self-consciousness. There is a certain kind of freedom that comes with not being too self-conscious. My 2 cent suspicion.

Ok. Ciao.

Oh yeah. Le chat! What does the cat have to do with anything here? Nothing. Just was doodling around and did it and so I thought I would throw it in. So zip. Nada. Nothing.

Patience & Persuasion

~ I just made this… I see too many internet wars being waged on various social media venues.  A lot of it seems to involve persuading others of one’s point of view by way of fixing them, controlling them, shaming them, etc. I don’t think any of it actually works. What happens instead is that people only get hardened in what they already believed in and the rage climbs higher.

~ What people do not seem to realize is that, if you fail to persuade properly (i.e. being rude, crude, etc.), then you actually undo yourself.

~ It could have been otherwise had a less bellicose approach been taken.

Lion From Zion

Reworked… take n

I made this using Affinity Designer.

~ The above did not come out quite as I expected. I was doing one thing, then I got an idea for another thing and so took a detour and well, this is what I wound up with. It is something quite different than what I had done on paper.  Its a bit of a blah, but oh well whatever.

As for the Hebrew up above, its a partial quote from the book of Amos and it says “The Lord roars from Zion …” Amos is a fairly obscure and unheard of book that nevertheless contains a verse which many people actually might have heard of, viz.,

~~~> “But let justice roll on like a river, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”  ~ Amos 5:24

This was a major motto of the Civil Rights Movement in the USA and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also preached a sermon, “Let Justice Roll Down” referring to it.  In addition, he also referred to it in his unforgettably famous “I Have a Dream” speech back in 63′, and that to wit is,

“We cannot be satisfied so long as the Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and the Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied and will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

I Have a Dream

~ The latter is worth googling if you are not familiar with it.   Oks… Ciao…

On Completing Others

~ The following is a very touching scene from a movie I saw years ago, the romantic comedy, Jerry Maguire. In this scene, Jerry (Tom Cruise) in so many words, basically affirms his undying love for this woman, Dorothy (Renée Zellweger(!)). What he says is unforgettable:

~ My thought. I’ll be honest. When it comes to the above, I am part of the cynical world. No human completes another. I mean what happens to Maguire if Dorothy dies tomorrow?

Does he go back to being incomplete?

Picasso: From Guernica to Grace

~ The following is a post that I have had in [Draft] status for a long time. Its an essay that I’ve worked on over and over but just have not been able to fix its numerous aching defects. So… So there comes a time, when you just have to put it out there anyway. Oh well. So it goes. Whatever. So anyway, here it is. What can I say? The time has come to put this to death by giving it life.

Pablo Picasso speaks to the fallen-ness of this world.  His paintings are at first blush misshapen, grotesque, distorted, tortuous and bitterly twisted! I.e. They are fallen. However on second blush, and third what one can draw out of his work is beauty. And this is an interesting sort of beauty that one can draw out, for it is something like a fallen beauty, that is to say, it is something sourced in or derived from something fallen. It is a beauty from ugliness.

This world presents to us both ugliness and beauty in all its glory.  Just turn on the evening news or open up the papers.  From tornadoes ravaging Iowa to an 80 year old steam pipe blast in Manhattan spewing asbestos everywhere, what we find is a glorious ugliness. This is the world that you and I live in. Its broken. However this is also the world that Picasso lived in and grappled with and therein lies hope.  Consider the following painting by Picasso, Guernica. 

Guernica, 1937 – Pablo Picasso

At first blush, a Guernica world sees the world in black and white.  Here truth begets truth and only begets truth. Here too beauty begets beauty, goodness, goodness, and of course lie begets lie, ugliness, ugliness and so on.  Indeed here, Guernica begets Guernica and only itself. It begins with itself and dies with and within itself. It is its own grave. At first blush.

Yet Guernica is only one painting. When we look at the whole world, we see that there is also another begetting, and this is grace begetting grace. This is a very different kind of begetting, for grace begets itself through others.

On second blush, Grace draws color out of Guernica and gives one eyes to see the Guernica behind the Guernica. The world is not simply about good people doing good things and bad people doing bad things – do’s and don’ts without a divine Because. No, grace takes you out of a gaunt What and takes you to a transcendental Why, and all through a heavenly Who.

Picasso painted Guernica in 1937. He painted it in response to the Nazi bombing of the Basque village of Guernica in Spain. Picasso never really explained Guernica all that much. I don’t know why. Perhaps he wanted you to blush twice. If you think hard enough about Guernica or any work of art, you will find yourself seeking something more, something greater, something wondrous, and yea even exhilarating – something that can only come by way of grace. This takes us to the primary work that is of grace.

When grace begets grace, then ugliness begets beauty. This is what grace does. It  draws out beauty from ugliness, not simply beauty from beauty.  When grace begets grace, it draws out good from bleak and hopeless, and yea even disgracefully evil situations. Grace redeems. When grace begets grace, it draws out a truth that is felt from a truth that is just bare-bones known. As it says in the Good Book, “Love rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6). Love does not and cannot simply know the truth.  

When grace begets grace, you see Picasso’s full palette.

Le Reve (The Dream) – 1932

Paul David Tripp Quote

~ I found the following article which taking a look at the Articles list at Crossway Books:

10 Things You Should Know about Sex by Paul David Tripp

~ I want to basically excerpt something that he said and post it here:

4. Sex cannot satisfy your heart.
Sex is powerfully pleasurable, but it cannot satisfy your heart. The touch of another person stimulates your body and your heart, but it never leaves you fulfilled. …

Whether we know it or not, every human being lives in search of a savior. We are all propelled by a quest for identity, inner peace, and some kind of meaning and purpose. And we all look for it somewhere. Here’s the bottom line: looking to creation to get what only the Creator can give you always results in addiction of some kind.”

~ What is of interest to me is are the four things that Tripp mentions that he thinks all people are in a quest for. Here are the four with my own elaborations:

  1. Identity
  2. Inner Peace
    1. I would say that this is the same as Contentment or Happiness in the sense of human flourishing, not simply split second pleasures.
  3. Meaning 
    1. I call it the Meaning of Life, i.e. the Story of Stories or the Grand overarching Meta-narrative (think Superstory).  We are all searching to be part of a story – a story that lasts and one that in particular has a happy ending. When we are part of the Story, our lives have direction (i.e. purpose) and we have identity (think cast of characters).  When we are part of the Story, we are part of something larger than ourselves, i.e. significance. And of course, when we are part of the Story, we have a sense of belonging, i.e. identity again. (Our lives are not simply suspended in mid-air.) The question is: “Is the story that we are a part of, one that is broken?” or “Is our story a part of a greater Story of Stories, one that can reach down, bend over and fix our broken story?”
  4. Purpose
    1. Purpose is not the same this as “the Meaning of Life”, an expression which is meant to encapsulate the whole of life. Rather Purpose is a subset. I call it something like “What is the Meaning of MY Life?”. That is to say, Purpose has to do with not just why all humans are here or what all humans are to do, but more specifically, why am I here and what am I do to do in this life? (~ I still have to resolve how this relates to significance.)

~ Here also is a brief clip on who Tripp is: 

Paul David Tripp (DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a pastor, author, and international conference speaker. He is also the president of Paul Tripp Ministries.


Lazy Sunday…

~ Just made the following w/ Affinity Designer. I had in mind to do a certain something with the line work, but so far have not succeeded in doing that something. Oh. Well – another day I suppose.  In the meantime, I guess I will go read something by Hemingway or someone … Siyanaras!

Face Test


Knowing vs. Teaching | Bezalel & Oholiab

~ In the book of Exodus, we find mentioned, two artists par excellent.  These are Bezalel and Oholiab. One place among many that you can read about them is Exodus 35:30-35,

30 Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31 and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— 32 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 33 to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts. 34 And He has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. (NIV)

~ Now what I find interesting about this verse is that it is saying not only that God gave these guys the ability to do art, but God also gave them the ability to teach others how to do art.

As regards verse 34, Walt Kaiser says in his commentary,

“Verse 34 adds that Bezalel is given “the ability to teach others,” a capability of training and guiding assistants who work with these two artificers. All the abilities these gifted craftsmen own come from the expertise God has given to them.”

Kaiser, Jr., Walter C., Exodus (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary) (Kindle Locations 7881-7883). Zondervan. 

~ I find this interesting because we meet a lot of people in life who are super-smart at Neuroscience or Astrophysics or whatever, but you ask them to explain one jot of it and in no time, they are sort of out in who-knows-where-land and you have no clue what they are talking about.  And… and … they don’t quite get that you don’t get it. They just keep going, going, going. The plane is not about to land anytime soon.

All that said and aside – two quick points:

  1. I think that teaching has to be learned like anything else. We all too often assume that to know something well means that you can automatically teach that something well. Why? Why assume that?
  2. We also assume that while every subject under the sky is learn-able, teaching is somehow not. We assume that teaching skills are somehow something that one is born with – something innate. Why?

No. Point in fact, people need to be taught how to teach, not just be told to teach or assumed able to teach.  Teaching is an area we all need to grow in. 

Vladimir Solovyov Quote…

~ I just discovered this quote by Russian Philosopher and Poet, Vladimir Solovyov (1853-1900). I so liked the sarcasm and humor in it, that I had to make something. Here it what I made using Affinity Designer.   (Photos courtesy Wiki.)

Vladimir Solovyov (1853-1900)

Palanquin Bearers by Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu

~ I am surprised I missed this poem. I thought I had posted on it before… but in doing a search through my posts, I cannot find it. Soeee….here it is – Palanquin Bearers by the poet, writer and former President of the Indian National Congress, Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949). I have to post the poem, because it bears an interesting contrast with Song of Songs.

Palanquin Bearers by Sarojini Naidu

Lightly, O lightly we bear her along,
She sways like a flower in the wind of our song;
She skims like a bird on the foam of a stream,
She floats like a laugh from the lips of a dream.
Gaily, O gaily we glide and we sing,
We bear her along like a pearl on a string.

Softly, O softly we bear her along,
She hangs like a star in the dew of our song;
She springs like a beam on the brow of the tide,
She falls like a tear from the eyes of a bride.
Lightly, O lightly we glide and we sing,
We bear her along like a pearl on a string.

Royal Palanquin in Mehrangarh Fort out in Jodhpur, Rajasthan