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Issue 033
Pagan Moontide of Augustus 17, Anno Domini 2020
"You make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done." Psalm 92

Artwork: "The Cup"  Artist: alexiuss

The New Resolution

In my life I have often made commitments to myself, to improve, to try harder and to do a great many other good things. But every time I seek these paths, inevitably I am hoping for the kind of change that will never happen before our Lord's return.

I long for the life of the world to come. But I always try to shoehorn in a perfect life here in the meantime. "This time it will be different."

Whatever that means!

I always return to square one: I am the same old squirrely sinner. The better the outside of my heart gets cleaned up, the more unexpected weeds I find sprouting up from within, (usually focused on making "me" better and not paying nearly enough attention to everyone else).

So, years ago I made a New Year resolution to swear off resolutions altogether, and I've been happier for it. I am constantly caught up in the cycle of my personal idols' fight to reassert themselves within. But I also am confident that I can call them out for the lies they are. My God is Jesus, the Merciful. He has paid for me. I cannot die now, and he is coming back soon.

Despair of the present is normal, but need not be trusted. The path of Christianity comes to you in the shape of a cross, which is the shape of your death. 

Our Lord knows that day, that hour, and the number of hairs on your head. 

When you meet the devil in a dark alley, you are not there to lose to him. He is there to lose to you, to cower and slurk away, tail between legs, to resume lobbing arrows afire with feces at you from the shadows. Not because of you, but because of the Name you bear.

Say it. Learn to speak it: "He is risen. You are paid for."

Your Great King cannot be overturned in his resolutions. His verdict on you is, "saved." You are not a dead man walking, but a dying man rising. 

First, by faith alone.

Then, soon, in a singular moment, all that is you that breathes, once and for all, imperishable. 

Like cold water on the hot face.

He won't be long now, anyway.... 

Until next time,

Be strong, and let your heart know courage.
Rev. Fisk

Support the Good Work
Quick Hits for the Eyebuds

🔹 Tarantino might be doing some Star Trek
🔹 The pandemic is seeing 17th century "wine windows" return in Italy
🔹 A transparent TV because... why not?
🔹 Juggler + musician = awesome
🔹 Your Taxes: the board game. So tedious, players flake out before they finish.
🔹 Bust out your Nike slippers and just do nothing

OR better still..

🔹 Fish flops: the best silliest shoes ever 🐟

No word salads
Clickbait Paradise
Big things come in small packages

A prototype of a robot phone case with legs that can crawl to a wireless charger is being developed in South Korea. Maybe one day you will be able to whistle for your phone! Perhaps more helpfully, Google is turning Android phones into earthquake detectors. A foldable e-reader could be the "note taking future", but will it top "smart notes?" Rev. Fisk will be the judge of that :)

We’ve come a long way, baby. The inventor of digital images Russell Kirsch, has died at age 91. He was the first to scan an image, creating what we now know as pixels. 

If you consider data as a “fifth state of matter,” then digital content is on track to equal half the world’s mass by 2245. This article reasons that as natural resources are converted to energy which is used to run massive computer farms that power our servers, digital information is adding an “extra dimension” to physics. 

Speaking of energy, research is being done into why solar power farms are killing so many birds.

It's Monday: Ready or not!
Knowhow: it's the business

A Harvard study has researched that great international commodity - "knowhow.” They looked at the way "the world is benefiting enormously by mobilizing the knowhow in brains through business travel” and that this is directly affecting the economic growth of countries receiving business travelers. The study suggests that the shutdown of international travel will have consequences for GDP globally.

The blind spots

The Beirut explosion has brought attention to underlying political issues in Lebanon, with protestors storming government buildings over corruption and negligence. More amazing footage of a Mass being livestreamed, when the explosion hit a church.

Bill Gates has been very busy during the pandemic, investing in COVID vaccines and offering advice to the government. In a recent interview with Wired, he says that the "majority of all US tests are "completely garbage” but that we have “figured out about” masks. He says there can be a “postmortem” after the pandemic is done to determine what was handled well and what was bungled. It’s hard to believe in light of the conflicting advice given by authorities that that analysis, when it comes, will be objective and bipartisan, but we pray for wisdom for our leaders! 

Rev. Fisk is not the only one who thinks that Kanye is the “third party candidate to take seriously”.

Welcome to the next level

Rev Fisk passed this article on to us a few weeks ago and it has been lurking in the background since, waiting for a good time to raise its head. The author, Julie Muncy, outlines how, in her childhood, the heat of a Texas summer drove her indoors, gaming through the day and avoiding the angst that she felt during “swimsuit season”. But this left her feeling trapped inside the house, staring at the walls. 

Muncy refers to this depression as “stasis”, going nowhere and achieving nothing. She writes about how, during these times of “anhedonia”, where the things that normally bring you pleasure stop doing so, she has found some comfort in “grinding”. The process of levelling up your character, upgrading weapons and the like is often a monotonous one, but the writer finds that it gives her a sense of progress, of getting something done:

"Grinding is digital work, but it's digital work deliberately made in the shape of forward motion. Grinding is the constant working toward a goal, not fun but fun deferred, the light of a reward on the horizon. Grinding is the opposite of stasis."

Is grinding a metaphor for sanctification in our Christian life? That life long, often tedious, sometimes invisible process of being conformed to the image of Christ? Perhaps it is not an entirely terrible analogy. But thankfully the differences here are many. 

We are wandering around in an alien landscape, fighting the monsters of our sin nature. Despite the grind, we obtain strength and armor in the Word, water, bread and wine, even when the progress seems slow or not at all.

The goal glitters far off and the fight can be exhausting but we have a truly awesome advantage in this game - our Savior has already made it to the end. While he continues to equip us for every battle we will face in this life, victory is certain and the upgrade will be complete. 

He is risen. You are paid for. You cannot die now. He won’t be long anyway.

Only Illuminati Need Apply
Your Reaction Highlights

Jonathan Clay has this to share with Christian writers:

On publishing fiction, (as I noted some interest in the subject this last SMC) I highly recommend Realm Makers, an annual conference for Christian writers of speculative fiction (meaning sci-fi, fantasy, and the obscurer genres in-between) which usually happens around the end of July. Audio from this year's (online) conference can still be purchased on their website, and Frank Peretti is set to be the keynote speaker for next year's conference happening in St. Louis. This conference is well worth the investment to anyone (particularly Christians) who are serious about writing fiction and want to get valuable instruction and make connections with publishers, agents, etc.

Promo of Friends

Our friend Dreki Bryni has shared his YouTube channel with us:

Are you a Greek or Latin student looking for an excuse to improve your skills, refresh your memory of the language, or merely spend a little more time in the Greek or Latin Bible? Do you have children learning Latin and want to challenge them beyond what the workbook offers while also getting them to study God’s word? Then here is my challenge to you: exercise your mind with me as we parse and translate our way through the Bible and classical literature. For the last few years I have been releasing one to two videos a week going verse by verse through the Gospel of John, the Athanasian Creed, Vergil’s Eclogue I, various odds and ends, and possibly adding a Greek Tragedy into the mix in the coming months. I cover between one and six lines of text each video, depending on length and difficulty, and publish one to two videos a week. I am open to requests and suggestions, and am always happy to answer questions and offer help to burgeoning Greeklings and Latinists - bonus points if you catch a parsing or translation error on my part. One warning though, I have had inconsistent studios, so please pardon the irregular ambience.


🧅 Beware the onions: salmonella found in red onions
🚓 Joe Rogan calls it: defunding the police is a "silly mantra"
🏞️ Give me land, lots of land: Country star Kane Brown got lost on his own property
📼 Don’t forget to turn out the lights: The last Blockbuster has been turned into an Airbnb
👈 Left-handed kingdom: How many "southpaws" are there?

Sweetness You May Have Missed
This Week Preached

Promises Have Consequences

Recent Release

Psalm 91

Podcast Release

Brief History of Power:
Beware the Lizard Men


Not Saved By The Decision Bell

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Let us pray:  Almighty and everlasting Father, You give Your children many blessings even though we are undeserving. In every trial and temptation grant us steadfast confidence in Your loving-kindness and mercy; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.