Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Some thoughts on marriage

My ddil, Nikki, called for a lovely long talk today-- the first since her marrying my son, Tim! That, combined with my other ddil, Elsa, sending a link to a great article made me decide to send you all some thoughts on marriage, "that dream within a dream..."

Elsa's excellent article can be found here, and is very fun!

Children are an important part of marriage. Here is a good post on discipling your children, and here is a great post on why children lie (and they all do sometime...)

Tim Challies has a thoughtful post on how children who are brought up in Christian homes can often neglect the Savior, and live on "borrowed grace."

OK, so maybe most of what I had saved up was more about children than marriage. But as a woman with two sons now married, can I help but start thinking about children again?

Monday, September 29, 2008

The tongue

Today I listened to a talk by Paul Tripp from the recent Desiring God Conference. (You can access all the talks here.) Why did I ever pull that up today, of all days, when I have snipped at people, thought horribly of others, and spoken harshly to my husband? Dr. Tripp's talk on War of Words: Getting to the Heart for God's Sake is very convicting. He talks about our selfishness in such realistic ways, that it has cut me to the heart. It has deflated by own sense of self-righteousness, and caused me to repent. Not fun, but so necessary. Take a listen-- it will be worth it!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sabbath Sentiments

Bear One Another's Burdens (From Gal. 6)

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.

One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Longing for the Mitford life...

I recently became aware that online, through our county library, I could access 3-week downloads of audio books to listen to on my mP3 player. That means fiction books, biographies, etc-- something in addition to theology titles which my cheapness can get for free! So yesterday I stopped in at the library to sign up for my account, and then downloaded my first book. In the process, I discovered how to turn off the shuffle function on my player, which will help my listening! Hurrah!

The book I downloaded is Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon. This ios her newest novel. She writes simple, happy novels of life in small-town America. Her small town is named Mitford, SC, and it is a place where all Christians get along, and politeness mostly reigns. Where quirky characters are endearing, and mean characters are just waiting for redemption.

As I walked and listened to this book this morning, I thought of how very nice it would be to live in Mitford. I would like to be where theological differences fade as compared to treating one another with loving kindness. I would like to be where there is always a happy ending, and redemption and good relationships just around the corner. In truth, my longing for Mitford is a poor reflection of my longing for heaven, where every tear is dried and there is no more sin. Oh, for that day...

Instead, this morning I also read about the 27 million slaves worldwide today, and about politics, and about the immorality and hopelessness of our age. Our lives are not Mitford lives, alas, but I long for the day when we lay down the weariness of this life, and trade it in for eternity in a perfect place, ruled by love.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Gentle readers, I missed a major holiday two days ago: National Punctuation Day. My gravest of apologies! Tom Neven over at Boundless says of this auspicious day:
I know, it sounds like a crashing bore to a lot of people. But I've spent a large part of my 20-plus years in journalism as a copy editor. The copy editor is a nitpicker, a language curmudgeon. His motto: Go ahead and call me anal-retentive — just make sure you hyphenate it.

You can read more of his comments here.

And while we are on the general topic of words, how about a list of the top 50 greatest villains in literature? Well, the UK Telegraph has put together their list, if you are interested.

Meanwhile, back in the financial crisis, Wesley Priden over at the Washington Times had a clever take on the banking scandal, and reading it was rather cathartic for me. He said in part:
Now we see what Bonnie and Clyde could have made of themselves if only they had gone to Harvard Business School. Machine guns and fast getaway cars are not nearly as efficient as computers, lawyers and imaginative accounting...

But capitalism, with its winners and losers, risks and rewards, is only for the poor. The rich - the investment bankers, the high rollers and the croupiers at the Wall Street casino - get socialism, with never a worry about getting "shaken out" by the free market. So this is what George W.'s "compassionate conservatism" was all about. Who knew?

You can read the whole thing here. If you want a more Biblical, less cynical perspective, I have appreciated Al Mohler's article here.

And lastly, I ran across an interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal today that talked about the female culture on college campuses. Among the discouraging reality, there were some rays of hope shared:
Upon arriving with my sister at Hillsdale, a school known for attracting conservative and religious students, I noticed a contrast immediately. I began chatting with a rising senior, and she and I quickly discovered an acquaintance in common. Referring to this woman, the Hillsdale student said: "She is such an amazing woman. I just have so much respect for her." I was speechless. I was simply not used to hearing college women speak about their peers with such esteem.

A walk around the Hillsdale freshman girls' dorm confirmed my suspicion that young women at the Michigan college had more respect for one another and lived in a happier and healthier environment than what I had experienced at Tufts. The posters on the walls in my all-female freshman dorm at Tufts offered information about eating disorders, what to do if you think you have been sexually assaulted, and suicide and depression hotlines. The Hillsdale walls that I saw were covered with advertisements for quilting clubs, charity opportunities and a listing of local churches.

You can read the entire article here. And I admit, I am a bit biased about the type of fine young women that Hillsdale turns out, since my own dear dil is a grad!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

And now for something completely different...

Found this today and had to share... here's to all of those videographers out there who ride the slipepry slope of copyright all the time...

Monday, September 22, 2008


Today I am trying to organize my desk and my computer files a bit, in the sincere hope that it will help me organize my mind a little...

Marriage and family has been on our minds a good deal lately, due to our recent wedding. Here, Al Mohler discusses the purpose of marriage. Here are 10 helpful ideas for helping your children love missions, courtesy of Desiring God Ministries. Ian Murray offers a totally different perspective on contemporary birth control methods here at The Corner. And here's Al Mohler, again, with his thoughts on population control. ANd lastly, here are Tim Bayly's reflections on his own daughter's wedding day.

And how about a few thoughts on language? Here, discover the seven deadly words of book reviewing, courtesy of the NYTimes. Here, Abraham Piper offers his short-list of excellent contemporary poets. Victor Davis Hanson, here shares some of the rhetorical antics of Mr. Obama. And here is a little diatribe about one of the word usages that annoys me the most.

And finally, how about a few thoughts here concerning living in peace...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sabbath Sentiments

“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation” ~C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

And now for something completely different...

As I prepare for another year of teaching worldviews, a good friend and mom of one of my students, Ann, thought I would enjoy The Onion's take on philosophical questions. I just had to share it...

Friday, September 19, 2008

What education is for...

"Remember what education is for~~not the success of some institution, but
the enriching of the homelife; to make our men more courageous and
discerning, to make our women more gracious and insightful, our
conversations better competition for the television, our storytelling more
captivating, our young men less likely to be the clods that are incapable of
husbanding their wives and our aesthetic tastes more akin to true
beauty."~~Fritz Hinrichs

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thinking on the eternal

Last night was one of those challenging nights. I think many things added up to make it so...

First, I worked out at Curves in the morning (gently) and then gardened for about an hour. By the time I finished that little bit of physical activity, my legs were shaking, and I literally had to lay down for a nap BEFORE lunch! And by the evening, I was sore and achy all over.

Secondly, my radiation area is not happy at the moment: it has turned pretty red and tender and itchy, and the skin is all beginning to peel. It's just not pleasant.

Add to that the fact that the evening had a long series of death scenes in my entertainment. We finished watching the HBO series on John Adams (which was very good, by the way-- I liked the book better, but it was well done). The final episode shows Adam's daughter, Nabby, die of breast cancer, Abigail die, Thomas Jefferson die, and finally Adams, himself, die.

Then I went off to bed to finish the book I was reading, entitled The Night Journal. I read the book because its setting is found in the part of New Mexico I live in. It was interesting, but I would not highly recommend it. {If you want a great book about this part of New Mexico, read Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather-- a much finer novel!} "Night Journal" in the title refers to the journal of a dark time as one of the heroines of the novel dies a grizzly death from tuberculosis. That was what I waded through after John Adams.

And finally, we ended the day with Spurgeon reminding us to find our encouragement in the eternal things, and to point others to the eternal.

So, I lay awake some time, off and on, hurting and feeling uncomfortable, searching my life for those eternal things. How have I spent my life, after all? If God took me tonight, what would I leave behind me, and how would the fruit of my years be measured? The aches and pains in my body and my weariness left me, for a time, without a trace of hope that I have ever done anything worthwhile in the eternal sense. But slowly, as I struggled in prayer and repented of my selfishness, and grasped at God, He met me with encouragement. He brought to mind those things that Scripture says are important. I have loved and tried, however imperfectly, to serve my husband. I raised two boys into men who, by God's grace, love Him. I have taught many students, challenged many women in bible study, all by God's grace. These are the eternal things, are they not? These are the quiet ways God changes lives, and He has allowed me to be part of it.

As I struggled before sleep, I realized anew that the eternal things are not always big things. They are not always martyrdom and majesty. Sometimes they are little things, like changing diapers, or grading book reports, preparing bible study lessons, or taking a meal to someone in need. Part of the amazing thing about our amazing God is that He calls us and enables us to be part of these little things, and instead of them only being "little things", they count forever.


In the midst of exhaustion from treatment and the wedding planning and trip, I have been storing up tasty morsels to share with you, gentle readers, but which threaten to be of little or no relevance if I continue to store them instead of get them shared. So, here are a few things I have found interesting or informative, or humorous. Hope you do, too.

* I rarely post anything about finances and taxes and the like, but have run across a few interesting items in this arena. Tim Bayly has an interesting take on tax policy and how it affects families here. And I am such an economics novice that the whole current financial "crisis" is a confused blur to me. But I have found interesting perspective on it here and here (with special thanks to D.T.)

* I have to admit, I am becoming a Sarah Palin fan. I've read a few interesting pieces on her here and here, one from a Canadian, and one from a homeschooling mom in Alaska. For a nice little piece of election satire, try this. And if you haven't seen this NY Times graphic on the words used at the political conventions, you should.

* And just for some fun, how about this delightful satire from The Onion, or the latest on global non-warming.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sabbath Sentiments

“Thus, since He has gone up there, and is in heaven for us, let us note that we need not fear to be in this world. It is true that we are subject to so much misery that our condition is pitiable, but at that we need neither be astonished nor confine our attention to ourselves. Thus, we look to our Head Who is already in heaven, and say,

Although I am weak, there is Jesus Christ Who is powerful enough to make me stand upright.

Although I am feeble, there is Jesus Christ who is my strength.

Although I am full of miseries, Jesus Christ is in immortal glory and what He has will some time be given to me and I shall partake of all His benefits.

Yes, the devil is called the price of this world. But what of it? Jesus Christ holds him in check for He is King of heaven and earth.

There are devils above us in the air who make war against us. But what of it? Jesus Christ rules above, having entire control of the battle. Thus, we need not doubt that He gives us the victory.

I am here subject to many changes, which may cause me to lose courage. But what of it? The Son of God is my Head, Who is exempt from all change. I must, then, take confidence in Him.

This is how we must look at His Ascension, applying the benefit to ourselves.”

~John Calvin, Deity of Christ