Monday, December 31, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
I had a Garfield comic book when I was young, and this strip was in it. It's interesting how 25 years later I still remember this particular cartoon, but last night at the store, couldn't remember 7 items on my list.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
- The Road to Reality (by KP Yohannan): My 3rd or 4th time through. I read this book when I need to be reminded of what my priorities should be.
- The Last Days (by Joel Rosenberg): 2nd in a series...not as good as the first, but I'll probably keep going.
- Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead (by Anne Morrow Lindbergh): read my most recent review here.
- Miss Julia Strikes Back (by Ann B Ross): Light, but not fluffy, this is the 7th or 8th in the Miss Julia series. I like her character's practical outlook on life, and that fact that she is a woman "of a certain age", something lacking in much of today's fiction.
- The Moonstone (by Wilkie Collins): My 2nd attempt...and I made it. Once I got into the story, I enjoyed it greatly.
- The Remarkable Record of Job (by Henry Morris): A wonderful commentary on the book of Job, looking more at the marvels of creation and the power of God than on the suffering of Job.
- Faith Undone (by Roger Oakland): Interesting book on the emerging church. Roger is not the best writer in the world, but he is very well researched and his content is important.
- The Decoration of Houses (by Alexandra Stoddard): A textbook for decoration. I enjoyed it and was inspired by this book.
- With Christ in the School of Prayer (by Andrew Murray): Read this for a discipleship/leadership class. I plan to go through it again this year with no agenda in mind. It's meant to be a 30 day book, and we had 2 weeks!
- Friends, Lovers, and Chocolate (by Alexandar McCall Smith): #2 in a series. Loved it. I don't subscribe to the main character's worldview, but for fiction, I enjoyed the literary twists.
- Mornings on Horseback (by David McCullough): Bio of Theodore Roosevelt. After visiting Medora, ND, I really enjoyed learning more about this man. Highly recommend this book.
- The Last Jihad (by Joel Rosenberg): First in a series. Riveting.
- The Bad Quarto (by Jill Paton Walsh): A mystery. Well written, and thought provoking.
Living a Beautiful Life (by Alexandra Stoddard): read a few thoughts here.
- Why Revival Tarries (by Leonard Ravenhill): Ouch. Excellent book. Very convicting. Ouch.
- George Muller (by Basil Miller): Another read for our class. I dislike poorly written bios, but I love George Muller's faith.
- The Soulwinner (by Charles Spurgeon): The first half of the book is excellent and conversational. The second half gets rather bogged down in the tedious. Overall, a worthwhile read.
- The Sunday Philosophy Club (by Alexander McCall Smith): read my review here.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead is the second in a series of 5 books containing Anne Morrow Lindbergh's personal letters and diaries. I didn't realize that when I picked it up, but it stands alone, and was an enjoyable and thoughtful read. This book covers the period of 1929-1932, during which Anne married Charles Lindbergh, gave birth to their first child, and flew to the Orient with C.L.
But the Hour of Lead is the most riveting section, detailing the infamous "Lindbergh kidnapping" and the death of the Lindbergh's first son.
Anne was pregnant with her second son when little Charlie disappeared. As we know from history, after ten weeks of negotiations with kidnappers, the boy's body was found not far from their home. He had been killed the first day.
The book caused me to reflect upon my own grandparents, who also lost a child when my grandmother was carrying my mother. They never found out what happened to the boy that they lost, it is generally thought that he drowned, and I don't believe that either my Grandpa or Grandma really recovered from it.
Anne Lindbergh expressed her concerns that she would not be able to feel for the second child what she had for the first, that she would be always comparing the two. I wonder if this is how my grandmother felt. My grandmother's family was thousands of miles away in a time when travel was not easily available. Anne Lindbergh was blessed to have the close and loving support of her family, which greatly comforted her.
This book affected me in that it caused me to think about others, and to look at my grandmother (who was difficult, to say the least) with a different eye...perhaps a more sympathetic one.
Overall, a good read. I recommend it and am looking forward to reading North to the Orient, the chronicles of Anne and Charles Lindbergh's 1931 trip to Alaska, Russia, China, and Japan.
Friday, December 21, 2007
I just wrote (and then deleted) a long, ranting, whining post about what I don't like about Christmas. Lest you think I am a total humbug, there are lots of things I do like...I am just in a self-pitying, self-absorbed, self-I-think-I-see-a-trend mood.
And then as I was posting it, I reread the quote from Spurgeon that I posted this morning. Interesting how the Lord uses things that I have said (or, in this case, quoted) to smack me upside the head.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh in a letter to her sister during a period of great busy-ness
That's the way I feel about Jane Austen...like a cup of tea with my feet up at the end of a long day.
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12
But why isn't it among the greatly quoted promises?
Isn't it all about the results of the persectution and suffering? What happens in my life when I suffer? And what happens in other peoples' lives as a result of my suffering?
According to the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4: 17-18: For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
When we are suffering, when we are persecuted, the Lord is working out His purposes in our lives. Suffering leads to dependence upon Him, it leads to godly living, and it leads to opportunities to minister to others. Really, it's not about me. It's about my response to the Holy God in the middle of trials. It's about how He is transforming me into His image through my brokenness.
It is for His glory. Not mine.
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it;
For how should My name be profaned?
And I will not give My glory to another.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
By the way, Poiema, you scored a "genius", and I am torn by being very impressed, or very envious at my obvious lack of intellectual achievement.
Monday, December 17, 2007
I've had about a dozen people email me this list in one form or another...so I am posting it here. Enjoy my self-indulgence as I assume you all wish to read about me.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Usually wrapping paper with my (now famous) recycled ribbons.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Tree...tree...I think we had one of those once. No room now. (I might be slightly bitter about that!)
3. When do you put up the tree? Read question #2.
4. When do you take the tree down? What's this?! More lemon juice on the papercut?!
5. Do you like egg nog? Oh, YES!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I did have a green and yellow Tonka truck that I remember loving!
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, the old and much loved one that I grew up with.
8. Hardest person to buy for? My stepdad...but I think I finally nailed it this year!
9. Easiest person to buy for? My mom...hands down!
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. Except for co-workers and local friends. They get an email...
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Oh, easy! My mom gave me her old waffle iron one year...I don't mind hand-me-down gifts, but this was the worst waffle maker ever. I remember it sticking everytime we used it when I was a kid. Worst of all, I hauled that thing around for years, never used it once, until Mom came to visit one time and said "let's make waffles" and I told her the sad truth. The waffle maker then hit the dumpster. And we still laugh about it. At least I do.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? "It's a Wonderful Life". And I cry at the end every time!
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I buy things when I see them, so I am usually done by December.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? (head hung in shame) Yes
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Turkey and the trimmings. And German Apple Pancake for Christmas breakfast!
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? What's with the tree again!? OK, if I had one...white.
17. Favorite Christmas song? This year I am enamoured with "What Child is This?"
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Oh, I'm flexible...
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeers? You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen, but do you recall...the most famous reindeer of all...Rudolph... (is it cheating that I just sang that at my computer?)
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Sigh...I give up...
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One present Christmas Eve.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? People who don't work full-time telling me how busy they are.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I like color...lots of color!
24. What do you want for Christmas this year? A really, really good new digital camera and tripod and lenses.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
I am beginning yet another personal study of 1 Peter because a) I'm a slow learner and b) it just seems so relevant to my life. So I picked up another Elizabeth George fill-in-the-blank book as a basis. In the evenings, I prefer to do my own study, but I find that the mornings for me are not conducive to clear thinking, so it's better to have a guide.
So this morning I picked up the book to begin, and this is the question that stumped me: How does the "grace and peace" greeting encourage you?
So I skipped it (avoidance being another problem I have in the morning) and moved on to my Proverbs and Psalms reading.
And here was my Psalm for today:
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.
One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
And it got me thinking...David wrote from experience of persecution and turmoil. Likewise, Peter wrote from that same perspective. He hadn't had an easy time in the years leading up to the writing of this letter, so he knew of what he spoke. And still, he was able to express the hope that God would bring grace to those who put their trust in Christ, and an inner peace that in spite of the outward persecution, God is in control.
Now that's encouraging!
Friday, November 30, 2007
Recently, on Main Street here in Minot, a strip club opened with the name of Sin: take a break from being good. Ironically, it was the name change that brought a huge community uproar...most people had no idea it had gone from being just a bar, to a "gentleman's club". So I am getting involved in the fight to move the clubs (there is another as well) to the industrial area of town, out of the sight of the families that patronize the downtown area. (Just a note: yes, I'd love to see them abolished altogether, but I believe that is the work of prayer and revival, rather than legislation).
Obviously, this is a big subject for me...for the obvious moral reasons...not to mention that I live on Main Street.
So here goes my first foray into political activism.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
It's probably not going to happen, and yes, I am pouting as I type... How did you know?
And this is Lady. She is aptly named and is the queen of the world. She was very annoyed that I wouldn't let her enjoy her nap in the sunshine...but she was in my guitar case, so I figured she owed me a bit.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
- First snowfall of the year! It's sticking a bit now, and it is lovely... Remind me that I felt this way toward the end of January...when the blues set in.
- Have you ever noticed that with your weight, the same number at which you were mortified on the way up, you rejoice at on the way down?
- And today is my Prodigal Son's 16th birthday. Please pray for him. He is still my little monkey boy.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
We were blessed to have been given a large quantity of apples. Sweet, small, apples. I have run out of my world-famous and extremely convenient homemade canned apple pie filling, so what could be better? I'll just throw on my apron and whip up a batch after work! This fits in perfectly with my "Miss Mary Homemaker" persona and my budding frugality. Uh-huh.
Then, I peeled, cored, and sliced the apples. Now, I would like to point out that I will never ever can apples without this device. It's the best invention ever. It does all the work. But it does spatter sticky stuff all over the counter (and the wall if you are too close). Don't can if you can't handle stickiness.
But...through all the crises and hair-pulling and maniacal laughter (thank goodness I was home alone!)...I remember how much I enjoy the process of canning.
And the beauty of enjoying the fruits of my labors.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The 1905 Mukilteo Lighthouse (with the Vashon in the background).
Couldn't resist the photos of the official Mukilteo city bird. If you haven't been hit from above by one of these fine seagulls, you really haven't lived.
I met a couple of the ladies who volunteer their time making the lighthouse grounds just gorgeous, even in late October. Nice job, ladies!
Friday, October 12, 2007
- On his faith: My chief concern is to try to be an humble, earnest Christian.
- On learning: The education of a man is never completed until he dies.
- On Bill Clinton (okay, I made that part up): I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself.
- On temptation: Whiskey - I like it, I always did, and that is the reason I never use it.
- On the loss of the Civil War: We failed, but in the good providence of God apparent failure often proves a blessing.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
The motivational poster was also birthed out of that line of thinking and was intended to reinforce those fantastic positive thoughts so that we could go out and achieve great things. Even as a child, I remember thinking that if we could all grow up to be president...that would be one heck of a fight during the election.
So I found these...a great remedy for the smarmy motivational poster. And further proof that I have a warped and twisted sense of humor. (It's my dad's fault.)
Because, let's face it, not everyone gets to be president.
Check out more of these "de-motivators" from despair.com.
I have this one on my office wall. My co-workers all ignore it.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Many times people make more of an effort toward strangers than the people closest to them. ~from a recent interview
How often is that true in our lives? It is easy, especially in ministry, to get wrapped up in "outreach" and doing for others...and then neglecting our own. And let's face it, with strangers, you don't live and work day in-day out with the flaws.
Monday, September 24, 2007
He brought up a couple of interesting points about grace...and how we try so hard not to receive it freely. It's funny how the Word speaks to people differently. Most of what I retained came out of Seth's introduction!
Ephesians 2:8 and 9...we all know, or have heard..."For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."
Grace is free...we know this.
Yet we often still strive to "work for God", to do great things for Him.
Liken this to when you receive a generous gift from someone to whom you would not usually bestow the same "cost" of gift upon.
Our flesh rises up and does one of a couple of things:
- Oh, no...I can't possibly accept that!
- I'll have to give something back that is equal or better to what I have been given.
How much was the gift that we have been given by the Father? It was everything...His Son.
So our actions in response to that should not be an attempt to earn the gift, but instead, just a natural response of love to the One who has given all for us.
Otherwise, it's just another works-based religion. And that only leads to discouragement, and ultimately, hell...because my "good" works are never going to be enough.
We cannot save ourselves, that's the work of the Father. And that's relationship.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
- The native American PowWow was rained out
- Minot Air Force Base sponsored it's annual airshow
- and Minot's Downtown Fall Festival was enjoyed by all
Friday, September 7, 2007
For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Refrain: Lord of all to Thee we raise, This our hymn of grateful praise.
For the wonder of each hour
Of the day and of the night
Hill and vale, and tree and flower
Sun and moon, and stars of light
For the joy of human love
Brother, sister, parent, child
Friends on earth and friends above
For all gentle thoughts and mild
For the church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love
For Thyself, best Gift Divine
To our race so freely given
For that great, great love of Thine
Peace on earth and joy in Heaven
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
There...that was a relatively short rant, and I am done now...so get off the computer and go to the library!
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
The Barnes County courthouse had 3 floors, including the hallways and the banisters, of quilts, quilts and more quilts. Incredible.
I especially liked the one above. It was all "Woodland Creatures" and had about 12 different animals, including a skunk!
And this one was wonderful because of the texture: the "stars" were all done in a striped chenille.
We then visited a little antique shop that we have found before, and entered again what I call "Textile Heaven", a little nook upstairs with a very low ceiling that is filled with tablecloths, doilies, bedspreads, pillowcases and blankets. I touched everything. And then found a white on white chenille "dots" bedspread for $6.25...without a stain on it!
Monday, August 6, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
We are accustomed to think of our good things as in reversion, but here we are told that we shall have them in possession.
Not all the malice and cunning of our enemies can work our destruction: they shall fall into the pit which they have digged. Our inheritance is so entailed upon us that we shall not be kept out of it, nor so turned out of the way as to miss it.
But what have we now?
- We have a quiet conscience through the precious blood of Jesus.
- We have the love of God set upon us beyond all change.
- We have power with God in prayer in all time of need.
- We have the providence of God to watch over us,
- the angels of God to minister to us,
- and, above all, the Spirit of God to dwell in us.
In fact, all things are ours. "Whether things present or things to come: all are yours." Jesus is ours. Yea, the divine Trinity in unity is ours. Hallelujah. Let us not pine and whine and stint and slave, since we have good things in possession. Let us live on our God and rejoice in Him all the day. Help us, 0 Holy Ghost!
Thursday, July 5, 2007
One of the highlights of the day for me was a speech by a Theodore Roosevelt impersonator (below) who did a really great job, and presented one of Roosevelt's moving speeches.
"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
~Theodore Roosevelt "Citizenship in a Republic,"Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910