Phone it in Friday XV: Blogger Buddies

It’s been another crazy week, but the rhythms of the school year are beginning to fall into their familiar patterns.  That said, I’ve put in more hours working this week than any in a long time.

Regular readers know what that means:  another edition of Phone it in Friday, now reaching its fifteenth installment.

It’s been a week for shout-outs to other commentators and platforms, so I figured I’d continue with that theme and recommend some of my blogger buddies to you.  I have to give a big hat tip for this idea to one of my best blogger buddies, photog, over at Orion’s Cold Fire.  He wrote a post—“A Word of Thanks to Our Boosters“—highlighting some of those blogs that routinely link to his page or reference his writing, and yours portly made the list.  Thanks, photog!

So on this rainy, overcast Friday, here are some excellent blogs for your consideration:

Read More »


Galaxy Quest II: Cox Blogged

Following yesterday’s post on the galaxy, blogger buddy Bette Cox—who was also my predecessor as Secretary of the Florence County (SC) GOP—shot me an e-mail with links to some of her own writings on astronomy, the galaxy, and faith.  I wanted to share a few of those pieces with you today.

Bette is a prolific writer, and maintains a dizzying array of blogs.  She contacted me with some excellent feedback on my first Nehemiah essay, which prompted a follow-up incorporating her remarks.  She writes beautifully about faith at Esther’s Petition, and about the fulfillment of end-times prophecy at Tapister.

What I did not realize, until yesterday, is that Bette writes extensively about space—one of my favorite topics—at another blog Speaking of Heaven (her main blog, Bette Cox, is also dedicated to space).  Her writings about the intersection of space exploration and faith are particularly thought-provoking.

Read More »

Nehemiah Follow-Up

Yesterday, I posted about the Book of Nehemiah, and how the reconstruction of the wall around Jerusalem was a practical and symbolic form of national renewal and spiritual revival for the Israelites.  I drew the obvious comparison between Nehemiah’s effort, which his enemies scorned, mocked, and undermined, and that of President Trump’s to build a border wall and to enforce immigration laws.

A good friend and fellow blogger, with whom I share some Nehemiah-Trumpian parallels—for example, we’re both former secretaries for the Florence County GOP—Ms. Bette Cox, of the blog Esther’s Petition, e-mailed me the following comment.  It is reproduced here, in full, with her permission:

Good job with Nehemiah, Tyler. The most critical points, however, are found in 1:4 ff. The wall was, and is, not the most important thing in God’s eyes. Mourning. Grief. Repentance. Intercession. Far more important and essential, then and now. “Ask God what he wants prayed; pray that. Ask God what he wants to do; do that.”

Nehemiah 1:4 (KJV) reads as follows:  “And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.”

That’s a key point that I overlooked in my original post, and I wanted to write this brief follow-up to draw attention to this verse, and to thank Ms. Cox for highlighting it.  Indeed, verse 4 is the key to the entire Book of Nehemiah:  upon hearing the condition of his nation and his people, Nehemiah falls to his knees in tears, crying out to God for direction.

Another important detail:  Nehemiah asks, just two verses later, for forgiveness, not just for his people, but for himself.  He confesses his own sins to God, knowing that without full confession and repentance, he cannot follow God’s Will—indeed, he would be unable even to know what God’s Will is!

I don’t know the state of President Trump’s spiritual life, but I do believe he wants what is best for his nation.  Just as Nehemiah wept upon hearing the reduced condition of his people and their holy city, so did candidate Trump mourn (metaphorically) the degraded state of America.

For Christians, we should pray ceaselessly for God to spare the United States and to bring about national, spiritual revival and renewal.  I believe He granted us a reprieve with the unlikely election of Donald Trump, a man that, in his personal life, does not fit the mold of the “ideal” Christian.  What comes next is unclear, but we have to walk in faith, and trust in God—especially in the face of progressive lunacy and violence.

Reblog: Who doesn’t like Christmas? — Esther’s Petition

A poignant piece from Esther’s Petition, an excellent blog about faith.  It’s been a tough Christmas season for some friends of mine, with death and heartbreak hovering around and darkening the usual brightness of this season.  Ms. Cox writes beautifully—wrenchingly—about how the holidays can be difficult, and how we should strive to be understanding of that […]