Friday, April 21, 2006

My God, How Wonderful Thou Art

by Frederick W. Faber
from Jesus and Mary, 1849

My God, how wonderful Thou art,
Thy majesty, how bright;
How beautiful Thy mercy seat
In depths of burning light!

How dread are Thy eternal years,
O everlasting Lord,
By prostrate spirits day and night
Incessantly adored!

How wonderful, how beautiful,
The sight of Thee must be;
Thy endless wisdom, boundless power,
And glorious purity!

O how I fear Thee, living God,
With deep and tender fear;
And worship Thee with trembling hope,
And penitential tears!

Yet, I may love Thee, too, O Lord,
Almighty as Thou art;
For Thou hast stooped to ask of me
The love of my poor heart!

No earthly father loves like Thee,
No mother, e’er so mild,
Bears and forbears as Thou hast done,
With me, Thy sinful child.

Father of Jesus, love’s Reward!
What rapture it will be
Prostrate before Thy throne to lie,
And gaze, and gaze on Thee!

10 Talked Back:

At April 21, 2006 at 2:02:00 PM CDT, Blogger Nicole said...

This is beautiful. I love the third stanza, "How wonderful, how beautiful, the sight of Thee must be." It puts me in mind of (and forgive me for going literary here, but I really must reference this) Ransom's first sight of the king in Perelandra. That moment of seeing His face will be a moment that can never be described by mere words, but in a small way, will be expressed by our eternal praise to God. Wow, how awesome is that to think about!


At April 24, 2006 at 12:22:00 AM CDT, Blogger Katie said...

Perelandra has been mentioned quite a bit lately around me. I think I need to read it. Besides everything Lewis writes is amazing. I think I need to take a trip to Borders...


At April 24, 2006 at 7:24:00 AM CDT, Blogger Nicole said...

Katie-you should totally read Perelandra. It is one of my favorite of Lewis's works! I do recommend reading Out of the Silent Planet first, though, so that it will make more sense. But you're right, Lewis is amazing!


At April 24, 2006 at 8:25:00 AM CDT, Blogger Jana Swartwood said...

And then, once you've finished Perelandra, the final book of the trilogy is That Hideous Strength, which I happen to like the best out of all three. (But that's just me.)


At April 26, 2006 at 12:03:00 AM CDT, Blogger Katie said...

Oh lookey here, more suggestions on Stan's blog for me to read. I like the way we are using this post as a side conversation. Thanks girls I'm going to check the series out.


At April 26, 2006 at 9:50:00 AM CDT, Blogger Nicole said...

Katie, you should know that the reason Jana likes That Hideous Strength the best is because it is the most difficult to understand. (And whatever you do, don't get her started on Dante!) So, my advice is to read with patience and make sure you have plenty of time to reread a passage here and there! (I have personally been unable to finish it.)


At April 26, 2006 at 2:11:00 PM CDT, Blogger Nicole said...

Oh, and Katie, you reminded me, I think we should all thank Stan for letting us use his serious post as a forum for our little literary discussion! So, thanks a bunch, Stan! We all think you're awesome!! ;)


At April 26, 2006 at 5:43:00 PM CDT, Blogger Jana Swartwood said...

Yes, it is difficult, but I almost would say that Out of the Silent Planet is more difficult simply out of the fact that it's the first book and you have to wrap your mind around the weirdness of the book concept, whereas once you're in the other books, you're more acclimated to what's going on.

My advice to anyone reading the space triology: "Give in to the weirdness, because believe me, there will be weirdness. Don't give up on the book, and things will slowly start to become more clear."

Nicole might do well to take that same advice when it comes to That Hideous Strength. :)


At April 26, 2006 at 8:18:00 PM CDT, Blogger Nicole said...

I will admit, that is good advice, Jana. I remember you telling me that when I started to read the trilogy. "Give into the weirdness." It did help out a lot! (Oh, I will pick up That Hideous Strength again someday. I am a tad busy at present.)


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And, just like that... glasses have just disappeared. Where did they go?

Does the scientist know? NO!

Update: I found them, on the floor under the bed, having fallen and bounced there while I was awkwardly positioned on top of the bed (on top of a mountain of unfolded laundry, to be exact) while on a phone call. ...wait, did you hear that? That's the sound of only me caring about that.

2 Talked Back:

At April 22, 2006 at 3:52:00 PM CDT, Blogger Jana Swartwood said...

That's ok, Stan. We'll all pretend to care if it makes you feel better. :)


At April 26, 2006 at 12:02:00 AM CDT, Blogger Katie said...

You know what that picture makes me think?



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Thursday, April 20, 2006

I want my baby back, baby back, baby back, because you're contradicting yourself

So at work today I noticed this coupon lying on top of a lunch table, and because I just can't help myself, I picked it up to read it. It was a coupon for Chili's restaurant which was clearly ripped out of one of those Entertainment coupon books that schoolkids sell to raise funds for new soccer gear or whatever.

There are two contradictions on this coupon that basically make it self-voiding. Maybe this is by design, or maybe the coupons are designed by committee. I don't know. All I know is that I feel it's my duty to report this to you, my loyal blog reader.

First, on the back of the coupon, notice what it says happens if the coupon has been purchased. VOID! Um, hello? One cannot acquire the coupon any other way besides buying the book!

Second, it says on the front of the coupon, in bold letters, that the coupon is "valid anytime". To me, the word "anytime" means, well, any time that the restaurant is open. But look again at the back: "Not valid holidays." Well, Merry Christmas to you, too.

There's something fishy going on here. Or, maybe it's ribby. (On account of Chili's ribs and...well...okay, you get it.)

1 Talked Back:

At April 24, 2006 at 12:20:00 AM CDT, Blogger Katie said...

I just was thinking about this post, and you my friend, and I have decided you are an observer of oft' overlooked details. This could be your profession. We could market this!

While we are all flurrying through life you are observing the oddities and idiosyncrasies we see everyday and bringing them to our attention. And it never fails to make me giggle. Maybe we all just need to slow down and take it all in more.


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Sunday, April 09, 2006

"Thank you, Mr. Maha..raj..uh..pruh..jarpah..."

It's a policy of the Safeway grocery stores that when a customer leaves the line, the checker must look on the receipt for his or her name, and then say, "Thank you Mr. (or Ms.) ______." It's designed to give the customers a greater feeling of personal connection with the store.

Now, my last name's Kost. Most people who read that seem to think that it rhymes with "most" or "toast", but it actually rhymes with "lost", or, I'm sorry to say, "accost". Safeway employees are no exception. "Thank you, Mr. Coast." ("You're welcome. Mr. Shore?") I'm used to it, even though I always perk up a bit when it's actually pronounced correctly.

I'm just glad that I don't have a impossible-to-pronounce Eastern European or Indian surname. Although I'd probably die from laughing, if you want my honest opinion.

2 Talked Back:

At April 11, 2006 at 4:47:00 PM CDT, Blogger h-i-p said...

I still have my Safeway Club Card under my former name which is of course always a joy to hear people pronounce. In actuality, it barely amuses me since it was so common for people to mispronounce it. It gets to a point where you don't even care and wish to move on with life to better things like getting back into your car and getting the milk in the fridge.

What I do really miss though, is using the Delta-Charlie-Delta type descriptions of letters to describe my name: "T as in Tom, S as in Sam, N as in Nancy". Now my name is so guaranteed to be recognized that if I ever lapse and spell it for old times sake they get a little irritated. Alas, good times.


At April 13, 2006 at 3:00:00 PM CDT, Anonymous newwave said...

Just change your name to :) and you won't have any more such problems.


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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Wherever you _____, there you _____

Do you ever think about that phrase, "Wherever you go, there you are"? It really doesn't make any sense as it is written. The meaning, of course, is that you are where you are, no matter where you happen to be at the time. And if you go somewhere else, you'll still end up exactly where you are.

But to put "go" and "are" in the same phrase is inconsistent; paradoxical, even. The word "go" implies something in the future, not the present, while "are" indicates right at this point in time. Either you are where you are or you are going there, and you'll be there when you get there. It's true, that as you are going there, you are still where you are along the way. But therein lies the difference between motion and stillness. If you take a snapshot in time, everything is still; and wherever you are at that frozen waypoint in time, there you are. But while you are in motion, where you are is also always in a state of motion, always changing; for one cannot be in more than one place at once.

So it's one or the other, but never both together.

Wherever you are, there you are.
Wherever you go, there you will be.

And, there you go.

6 Talked Back:

At April 2, 2006 at 8:13:00 PM CDT, Blogger Nicole said...

Fascinating! Wow, funny and a deep thinker . . . how do you do it?


At April 2, 2006 at 9:50:00 PM CDT, Blogger Meagan said...

Stan, these are exactly the kind of thoughts that constantly torment a grammar-stickler like myself! Have you read the book "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" by Lynne Truss? It's a book about grammar and punctuation and is, quite surprisingly, enjoyable and hilarious.

love meagan


At April 3, 2006 at 11:10:00 AM CDT, Blogger Katie said...

I think perhaps its just a statement that means you can't escape yourself. I love how deeply you've disected it.


At April 3, 2006 at 12:17:00 PM CDT, Blogger h-i-p said...

Interesting assessment. However, the act of going indicates a determinate end-goal. For example, one says "I am going to go on vacation," or "I am going to bed," etc. Its acts as a statement of something that will happen in the near or far future.

However the idea of "go" I believe is more indicative of a present action, be it ongoing or intermittent. For example, "I go to church," or "I go for walks," etc.

In this, I believe the statement, however strange it may sound, is hinting (grammatically even) at the idea that even in the act of "going" you are always in a certain place at a certain time. To get from point A to point B you will need to be at A.1, A.2, A.3 . . . and those in and of themselves are legitimates places.

So often, and maybe too often, we think about the future result and forget about the present process. I think this little phrase reminds me at least of the importance of being aware of where we are, who we are, even if we're not exactly where we're supposed "to be" or "go" at that given moment.

I like this : Wherever you go, there you be.

Thanks for the thoughts.


At April 3, 2006 at 9:01:00 PM CDT, Blogger stan said...

Ah, H-I-P, I am following your logic, and I would say to you that even in the act of motion, those A.1, A.2, A.3, etc. waypoints are still singular, in the aforementioned frozen moments in time. So at each of those, you still "are".

Granted, that there would even be frozen points in time is not necessarily a sure thing. You can't measure the infintesimal spaces in between the "points", like you can with a 24-frames-per-second film...

Looks like I have some more thinking to do.


At April 4, 2006 at 11:06:00 AM CDT, Blogger Jana Swartwood said...

I see the verb "go" as directional in nature and the verb "are" as ontological. "Are" implies a consistent state of existence. "Go" implies an impetus to move in a particular direction.

So yes, when you "go" somewhere, you end up being there. But "going" (a process) is different from "arriving" (an end)and, hence, different from "being" (a constant state). When you are going, you are actively pursuing a direction, whereas when you are "being," you simply are.


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