The Enigma of the Blog Title Explained in Living Color!


Cerulean Sanctum in real cerulean blueEver since Cerulean Sanctum debuted back in September of 2003 (after I put to rest my previous blog started in 2001, The Boiled Frog Blog), at least a dozen denizens of the blogging world have attempted to deconstruct the title of this blog. All have gone down to ignominious defeat in their vain efforts to pierce the veil.

So here today, I lay before you all my entire motivation/reasoning/cunning for coming up with the blog name that confounds the great unwashed, Cerulean Sanctum. I will bust myths, teach the ignorant, and astound the gullible, all from the pinnacle upon which my humble hermit’s office rests, and without so much as a square inch of safety net below me.

Look now to the center ring…!

  • The only Latin I know consists of what Noah Webster tells me. I took Ancient Greek in college and French in high school. I wanted to become fluent in Russian, yet both colleges I attended canceled their Russian programs the summers before I arrived on campus, leaving me scrambling to find another class to take instead. Based on my rusty Greek and my comatose French, I can add the two together with my passable English to guess which words are Latin and which are not.
  • Despite the fact that the only Latin sentence I know is “Et tu, Brute?”—how marvelously appropriate—I did score a perfect score on the Test of Standard Written English on the SAT. I was able to use this perfection to no discernible advantage at either Carnegie-Mellon University or Wheaton College. I am fitfully attempting to manipulate it to my ends now.
  • In choosing my blog’s name, I wanted something with a touch of the exotic, something that if listed in a myriad number of links would stand out and make people say, “What the heck is that? I think I’ll click on it to find out!”
  • I wanted to convey a place of respite, of thought, of camaraderie with Christians who are looking around and wondering how we got to the weird place we are now. I wanted a sanctuary. As a charismatic, I also wanted to maintain an aura of the majestic and the mysterious. Sanctuary became Sanctum.
  • Poetry moves me; I love to write it (even though there’s not a dime to be had in doing so.) As a writer, the lyricism of words stirs me. Something had to come before Sanctum and it had to have consonance and rhythm.
  • I’ve always been the square peg in the round hole and as a result have run afoul of many folks who could never put a finger on me without having a figurative fist do the follow-up. I’ve never truly felt the sting of real persecution like that of the underground churches in China or the Soviet-era martyrs, but I’ve felt enough of the American variant—light though it be—to count it a friend. Persecution passages in the Scriptures move me as a result. In the course of thinking where this blog would go and how it would exist to challenge the Western Church’s status quo and American “easy believe-ism,” the Lord laid this passage on my heart:

    …They shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls. And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
    —Luke 21:12-28 KJV {emphasis added}

    Out of the sky He will come and we will enter our ultimate Sanctum. And what is the actual color of that sky? Cerulean—the official name for the blue that encompasses our world.

And so the ne plus ultra of titles had come.

But there is one more interesting piece of trivia. After I had decided on the name, I surfed around to see if there was anything like it out on the Web and I stumbled upon this astonishing piece of synchronicity. So not only did I have a name, but this blog is destined to be the blog of the new millennium!

Now you know the secrets; the mysterious has been unveiled. I hope none feel diminished for want of one more mystery now gone t0 resolution.

With that—and the lateness of the hour—I bid you till another day, Adieu!

{And yes, the image above is done in pure cerulean, being RGB 155/196/226 and HTML code 9BC4E2.}

The Backstory Behind Cerulean Sanctum


Back in April 2003, I was in church worshipping and had an experience in which I was overwhelmed by the fact that many people were worshiping a god of their own creation, not truly knowing God to worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

I was staggered and had to sit down. This was in the midst of 3,000 worshipers.

I went home and could not think. But even as I lay there, I finally realized that what I had heard was true. As I examined my own heart by the light of the Spirit over the last few months, I realized that I was one of those people.

How can it be that I really don’t know the Lord? I gave my life to Christ twenty-six years ago on a cold, starry February night in the chill air of a Christian camp in Ohio. I’ve prayed, ministered in dozens of ministries, been baptized with the Holy Spirit (ironically at the same camp in a February years later), pursued a degree in Christian Ed, and certainly influenced lives in a number of places.

Truth is, over the years I was lulled to sleep. Much of that is my own fault, but I also believe that some of that fault rests with what is happening to American Christianity. We are falling asleep or abandoning the Truth altogether at an ever-increasing rate.

I’ve talked to others since that time and I am appalled by what people are telling me about what is going on in their Christian walk. More and more dedicated Christians are revealing to me that they really don’t know the Lord, either.

Now this is not a matter of salvation – at least I don’t believe it is in most cases – but it says how easily we have let the world consume us with its vacuous thrills and empty promises.

How many of us spend the hours a day needed in order to really know God? Is a half hour quiet time going to get us all that much closer to knowing the deep things of the Infinite One? How much of the Bible do I have memorized? If it really is so transforming, why have I not memorized it from cover to cover? We’ve held on to things that don’t matter and forsaken the eternal in favor of perishing things. We all know what they are, so I don’t have to state them all here.

I hope to think that like Paul, the scales are falling from my eyes and I am seeing the depths of how far we have fallen.

Through all this, I have realized that effort is needed and have been girding my own loins, so to speak. I hope to discuss all this here in days to come, but the point still remains that if we as the Church want to live out our calling we cannot let this continue.

Long ago, God called me to be a Barnabas that raised up Pauls. Perhaps now is the time for that to kick into high gear.

Do you really know Christ? Do you settle for tiny fragments of Him even though the fullness of His life can be lived in yours? Have you really died to this world at the foot of the cross? Are the sick healed when you lay hands on them? When you minister, do you get the feeling that it is mostly your own effort rather than the Spirit moving in power through you?

Good. Keep on asking those questions and let yourself be disturbed by the answers.

Then let’s do something about it.