Sunday, May 27, 2007

Our Effort and God's Work.

I am utterly without the power of obedience, O God, but let me not on that account withhold the effort; let me be ever trying that in the very endeavour strength may be given to me. Neither, although thus a fellow-worker with God, let me presumptiously share with Him the honour of my salvation. He works to will as well as to do: He inspires the effort, as well as execution. Therefore, Heavenly Father, to Thee be all the glory -- Thou beginnest the good work. Carry it onward to perfection; turn me and I shall be turned. And yet let me not forget that Thy grace worketh in me, not as in a passive and lifeless machine, but as in a purposing, willing, ever-doing creature; and in this capacity let me know that I cannot begin too early the participation which belongs to me in the great work of my christianization. More especially it is of importance that, like the man with the withered hand, I should put forth the conatus, even though I should yet be without strength. And who knows but that the strength has been already given, would I only set it in exercise? Let me, therefore, in the language of Paul to Timothy, stir up the gift that is in me; let all that is in me, be it great or little, be stirred up to bless His holy name, and obey His holy will.
--Thomas Chalmers, Sabbath Scripture Readings (on Mark chapter III).

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ashi Barai

I'm on a bit of a "kick" lately. Getting ready for Shawn's visit, I suppose! My apologies to my readers who care not for these things.

Ashi Barai, the basic foot sweep.

How to do Ashi Barai, nice and slow:

Again, how to do Ashi Barai, this time with some verbal instruction (sometime called Ashi Harai):


One more time, this time from a Karate guy rather than Judo:

Against a resisting opponent (Judo match):

This guy finally lands one after many attempts:

A few nicely done Ashi Barai:

Devastating dudes with Ashi Barai, the Karate way:

Careful now, Sensei Murase has an answer for Ashi Barai!

Monday, May 21, 2007


Kusanku/Kushanku Kata in some of its various forms --

Wado Ryu:

Shorin Ryu:

Matsubayashi Ryu:

Shito Ryu:

Isshin Ryu:

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Blessed are the Merciful

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Those are the merciful, who are piously and charitably inclined to pity, help, and succour persons in misery. A man may be truly merciful, who has not wherewithal to be bountiful or liberal; and then God accepts the willing mind. We must not only bear our own afflictions patiently, but we must, by Christian sympathy, partake of the afflictions of our brethren; pity must be shown (Job vi. 14), and bowels of mercy put on (Col. iii. 12); and, being put on, they must put forth themselves in contributing all we can for the assistance of those who are any way in misery. We must have compassion on the souls of others, and help them; pity the ignorant, and instruct them; the careless, and warn them; those who are in a state of sin, and snatch them as brands out of the burning. We must have compassion on those who are melancholy and in sorrow, and comfort them (Job xvi. 5); on those whom we have advantage against, and not be rigorous and severe with them; on those who are in want, and supply them; which if we refuse to do, whatever we pretend, we shut up the bowels of our compassion, James ii. 15, 16; 1 John iii. 17. Draw out thy soul by dealing thy bread to the hungry, Isa. lviii. 7, 10. Nay, a good man is merciful to his beast.

Now as to the merciful. 1. They are blessed; so it was said in the Old Testament; Blessed is he that considers the poor, Ps. xli. 1. Herein they resemble God, whose goodness is his glory; in being merciful as he is merciful, we are, in our measure, perfect as he is perfect. It is an evidence of love to God; it will be a satisfaction to ourselves, to be any way instrumental for the benefit of others. One of the purest and most refined delights in this world, is that of doing good. In this word, Blessed are the merciful, is included that saying of Christ, which otherwise we find not in the gospels, It is more blessed to give than to receive, Acts xx. 35. 2. They shall obtain mercy; mercy with men, when they need it; he that watereth, shall be watered also himself (we know not how soon we may stand in need of kindness, and therefore should be kind); but especially mercy with God, for with the merciful he will show himself merciful, Ps. xviii. 25. The most merciful and charitable cannot pretend to merit, but must fly to mercy. The merciful shall find with God sparing mercy (ch. vi. 14), supplying mercy (Prov. xix. 17), sustaining mercy (Ps. xli. 2), mercy in that day (2 Tim. i. 18); may, they shall inherit the kingdom prepared for them (ch. xxv. 34, 35); whereas they shall have judgment without mercy (which can be nothing short of hell-fire) who have shown no mercy.
-- Matthew Henry, Commentary upon Matthew 5:7.

To Serve and Protect...

Ok, I just found out a bit ago that the police have seized the license plate off of my car... at 1:30 am Lord's Day morning (like they have nothing better to do than drive around looking at license plates from law abiding citizens), because I was not able to produce evidence that the plate has been transferred to this particular vehicle (well, sorry I wasn't sitting in my car parked in front of my house with the paperwork in my hand at 1:30 am!). I called the police station to get my license back, and they told me I have to go get it from the cop that stole it, at 11pm tonight when he reports for duty. I said, "So let me get this straight, you take my plate, and I have to come get it back at a time when I should be in bed?" I was told to save my hostility for the actual officer who perpetrated on me. I feel sick to my stomach!

Yeah, a tea party would hit the spot about now.

Sorry about the rant... I needed to blow some steam. I'll post something more Lord's Day appropriate in a little while.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

When's the Next "Tea Party?"

It's been a LOOOOOOONG time since the Boston Tea Party, and I'm ready for another one. Let me know when it's going down, because I'm in.

Item #1. A gas station owner is selling discounted gas to senior citizens, and the State requires him to raise the price!

Item #2. You would think that "Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms" would be a fantastic convenience store for your one stop shopping, but NO, it's a government agency that has terrorized citizens, harmed and put children in harm's way, shot and stomped on family pets, shot residents while forcefully entering the home or otherwise invading legally owned property -- including shooting an unarmed woman in the head while she held her baby, and shooting a startled woman while she lay in her bed because she made the mistake of picking up her legally owned firearm when these stormtroopers kicked her doors in, etc., etc.

Item #3. April 30th was "Tax Freedom Day," that is, the day of the year when the average American's paycheck stops paying for taxes. Did you understand that? Up until April 30th, on average, all of the money you earned will be taken by the government! That's one third of the year! Would someone please tell me when this becomes absolute theft? Obviously people don't seem too concerned that one third of their income (on average) is taken from them. Well, what percentage is unacceptable? 40%? 50%? Render unto Caesar whatsoever he listeth?

Anyway, if anyone's planning a tea party, I'm in. 2 lumps, please.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Chalmers on the Sinful Demands of Rulers in His Day

Nothing short of unqualified Erastianism will please our rulers. If I stop short of that, and repent of the concessions I may have made, they would glory in the destruction I had brought upon my character -- while to the uttermost they would avail themselves of all that I had surrendered into their hands. I pray for guidance and firmness, O Lord.
Thomas Chalmers, Sabbath Scripture Readings, on Matthew 27.