Ryan & Jordan

with Pioneer Bible Translators

Tag: King Solomon

a bit on Truth

by ryan

I don’t recommend reading Ralph Waldo Emerson; there are better people to read out there.  But I do like some of his lines:

Thee, dear friend, a brother soothes,

Not with flatteries, but truths,

Which tarnish not, but purify

To light which dims the morning’s eye.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mister Emerson here reminds me of a couple proverbs of King Solomon:

Better is open rebuke

than hidden love.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend;

profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

Being nice and polite are not wrong in and of themselves, but they are never grounds for obscuring the truth.  I am not saying here we should forget about being nice and polite.  Rather, there is a more important virtue: love.  Nearly two thousand years ago Paul of Tarsus wrote a letter in which he exhorts followers of Jesus to “speak the truth in love.”  In a later letter he writes:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

What is true?  What is worthy of praise?  I know only who is True and who is Worthy of Praise.  I sing with David and many others:

Bless YHWH, O my soul,

and all that is within me,

bless his holy name!

—-

Note all quotes in this post are actually translations, except the one by Mister Emerson.  The ones from the Bible in this post keep with the wording of what is often called the English Standard, except where I keep the transliteration of the Hebrew name of God in Psalm 103 instead of trying to find an English word.

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trials, faith & rest

by ryan

King David wrote a song that declares “The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.”

His kingdom rules over all.  Over all.  And trials are a part of the “all”.  This week has been very challenging for Jordan and me.  We endured something quite evil.  But you see, God was not surprised.  He knows all things. God watched what happened to us, as King Solomon said: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.”  And as he watched, his kingdom was still ruling over all.

Often hard things happen in our lives that don’t make sense to us.  And when they do, it is tempting to give up trusting God.  But we believe God is still on his throne, ruling the whole universe.  He always accomplishes his purposes, as the Prophet Isaiah has written:

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

God always accomplishes his purposes and they are good and just.

So at the end of a long week, Jordan and I are reclining & resting knowing that our God is faithful to us.  So we walk by faith, being faithful to him.

We know many of you are going through challenging times, and if you are not, you will.  And when you are, may you walk by faith,  finding peace & rest under the shadow of his wings.

Words

by ryan

Consider the miracle of communication: that fascinating borderland between persons, where people are brought together in peace (yes and sadly, not peace), where a plural colors a singular and a singular colors a plural, where there are a great many happenings; now eyes meet and the whole body engages; the whole body speaks; now breathing lungs, filling lungs expel air shaping it more skillfully than any potter with clay, crafting strings (do I dare say music?), sound waves of meaning; now these waves vibrating the most elaborate percussion translated into neural . . . what have we even understood of this miracle?  This mystery is beautiful.

Communication might be a noun, but it is surely not just a thing.  Speaking and listening are grand events changing our universe as ripples resound among human relationships and expand throughout the cosmos.  We are, after all, made in the image of God.  In the beginning God said let there be and there was.  And God is still speaking.

But what about words?  To literate society, ‘word’ might bring with it the image of a written word.  But words are speech primarily.  It was only much later that visual symbols were invented to represent oral ones.  We would much rather have you over for tea to discuss this, but we only have that privilege with some of you.  Instead, here we are pressing buttons with symbols on them so the symbols appear on your screen, pale glimmers of speech.  So please listen to a person today.  We mean really listen.  Hug.  Love.  And use the power of your voice for good.  “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, / but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” – Solomon son of David

So Dear People, as students of language we wanted to begin our weblog with a brief reflection on the gift that is language.  “For every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James son of Joseph

Warmly Spoken, albeit Keyed to You,

Ryan & Jordan