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Issue 13

Dear Random Recipients,

If you will recall, at issue seven, I noted the significance of seven as a perfect number. Well, here we are, New Year's Eve 2000, and I'm sending out Issue 13. And the significance of 13 is most certainly at odds with the significance of seven, is it not? And when we consider the state of the world, well, it is rather dismal. One may even say . . . unlucky? But hope is out there for this world, and we must always remember the hope we have in Jesus, right? Right.

Well, Recipients, I have some business to attend to. First, let us note the addition of my little sister Suzie Pahl to our ranks. Yay, Sue! And a very special welcome to Rob, who's been getting this newsletter all along, but hasn't had e-mail since he left for Angola. Well, Rob, I hope you'll be reading this shortly after its e-mailing! And merry Christmas to all! (Let us remember that the Christmas season is 12 days long and ends on January 6 with Epiphany.) And to all a Happy New Year!

A quote:
"The world is happy to let Jesus Christ be a baby in a manger, but not willing to let Him be the sovereign King and Lord that He is, yet that is the central truth of the Christmas story: the Child of Christmas is God."
-John F. MacArthur, Jr.

And now for my somewhat deep, quite random and often repeated thoughts! I was writing in my journal the other day and this is what I wrote . . .

Friday, December 29, AD 2000

I am curled up in a corner of the couch. Life is a wild conglomeration of insanities and random events, linked together by time, that cruel mistress who can heal or destroy all. And we poor, human fools try to make sense of it. We write philosophy, we use logic, reason, experimentation, experience, knowledge--every tool and our mind's disposal. But we are unsuccessful. Instead of logic, we create a jumble of ideas. We get Voltaires, Nietzches, Erasmuses, Luthers, Lockes, Humes, Platos, Aristotles--fools. All fools. But every man is a fool. I am a fool. Einstein was a fool. The next generation will be brimming with folly and a mass of idiots. We all try to put logic on ourselves, our actions, our emotions, our friends, oru situations, our environments, our world, our society. But we are fools. Human beings are not rational. We are the most irrational, illogical creatures in existence. Yet we think ourselves wise.
We praise the philosophes, the Greeks, the humanists, the liberals, the Romantics. Few men avoid priase. Humanity will praise the "Enlightenment" one day, then Romanticism the next. We are a fickle lot. We sway and rock like a ship on the high seas. We sit and steer and choose our course. But man has a fog on all sides. He will never see where he is headed. He is cocky, proud, self-confident. He dreams dreams and thinks thoughts. He creates philosophies. He lays out a plan for his life. He claims to know what tomorrow has in store for him. And the fog grows ever thicker. The ship is lost. It is at sea, and enshrouded in a deep mist. Mankind has set its ship on an unknown course which is claimed by all to know. But the navigator and captain are blind. Each man steers his own little frigate and is esteemed by his colleagues, proud of his course. Then he is smashed to smithers. The rocks. The lighthouse is there. It shines its bright beam, but Man ignores it or cannot see it. As a result, he commits suicide and is destroyed forever.
What a piece of work is man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god: the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals! And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me. (Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2)

How like a god, indeed! So we think of ourselves. And though Man may be the "quintessence of dust", he still is dust. He must remember this. But he seems to rather think of himself as God than dust. We were made only in the IMAGE of God. We are not gods. We are only feeble-minded fools who cannot make sense of the world, much less the universe, and much less GOD. Who are we to dictate how the world runs? Wo are we to challenge the Almighty? We are nary even ants to Him, yet we rebel. We rebel against the most powerful Being in the cosmos. And we end up crahsing our ships on the rocks and breaking open our skulls, dying agonising, loveless, Godless, truthless, orderless, meaningless deaths. We rebel against our King, and our insurrection is useless, pointless, and powerless. We die the deaths of madmen and criminals. And as we hear from Friar Laurence, "madmen have no ears."
Man regards himself as a god, and is deaf, blind, dead. He cannot hear the call of God Almighty. God calls out. But he does not call out in anger or hate. All He says is, "I love you." And some of us hear that call, the Voice in the Darkness. We are drawn to it like an animal to its mate. And there we find God Almighty, who loves us more than we can ask or imagine. And He holds us and loves us and calls us His children. He weeps at our returning. And we see our folly. We realise that we are dust and to dust we shall return. We see how utterly inconsequential we are in the universe. And we try to say we're sorry. But, in Brennan Manning's words, God says, "Hush, child. I don't need to know where you've been or what you've been up to." He loves us and embraces us. He gives us sight, light and hearing. God pulls us from the tomb we have constructed with our own folly and sin into the glorious palace of His truth and greatness. "He will seek no explanations about our sudden appearance. He is glad we are there and wants to give us all we desire." (Manning) And we are given new sight, new life. God is at the helm, and our ship moves more straight.
And so a few of Man's ships are free. The fog is lifted and a true path is charted. But these ships are too few, and go to the foggy lands to help others see clearly. Sometimes we lose ourselves. A storm comes or a thick fog of lies envelopes us. The blindness of sin, pride, worldliness can strike any of us. And we lose sight of the Captain. We are thrashed about and beaten. In a moment or piety, inspiration--desperation, we lose it all. We sink to our knees on the wet bridege of our battered vessel and cry out to our king. We cry to our Father, our Daddy, for forgiveness. We see the Lighthouse and narrowly avoid the rocks. But it is enough. The High King of Heaven has saved us. And we will often mess up. Such is our lot. We will so often be caught in a storm or fog that we doubt ourselves as Christians. But we MUST NOT, for God loves us anyway. One day, while Brennan Manning was praying, God spoke to him and said, "I expect more failure from you than you expect from yourself." God knows we're gonna mess up. Remember this French phrase: "L'amour de Dieu est folie!"--"The love of God is folly!" And what an exciting folly it is! For I would rather be loved and headed home in God's folly than confused and lost and feeling unloved in my own.
Audio Adrenaline wrote a song about the lighthouse. The chorus goes:
If it wasn't for the Lighthouse
Where would my life be
On a ship bound for nowhere
On an unforgiving sea
I thank God for the Lighthouse.
I thank God for the Light.

Good Night,
MJJH <><

And there you have my random thoughts from the other night. One note: when I say man, I mean mankind, humankind, humanity--all of which include girls.

Matthew Hoskin

Copyright 2001, Matthew Hoskin