Friday, October 30, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The beauty of grammar

I am no grammar guru, but I have grown in my love and appreciation of grammar over the years. Today I happened upon a thought-provoking post about grammar, which said in part:
Grammar is where God, man, the soul, thinking, knowledge, and the cosmos all come together.

Grammar is based on the link between something that exists and something that applies to something that exists.

You can read the whole, short post, by Andrew Kern, here.

The Creator of the universe chose to reveal Himself to us in language. What a gift! And understanding how language in general, and any one language in particular, works, is to delve into the beauty of the very mind of God.

Now, if I can just oass that along to my composition students...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dante, and other audio adventures

Today as I took my walk, I wandered with Dante through the first 5 circles of Hell. It was sobering stuff as I walked against the wind, the gray sky, and the promise of moisture on its way. It all made a nice back-drop to the poet's travels with Virgil. I know I have mentioned it before, but be sure to check out the free monthly audio offerings here. They also offer a daily podcast of Spurgeon's Morning and Evening, which I have been enjoying.

Today I became aware of a couple of fun podcast sites for history. I have started the series of podcasts by Mike Duncan on the history of Rome here. It's good to be reminded about the ties between Aeneas and Romulus and Remus, to put the Sabine women in their context (and not just in a song from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) and to be reminded why Tarquin was a tyrant. We started at the beginning, and are now through the monarchy, and about to embark on the Republic.

A couple of other sites I look forward to exploring are also podcasts about history: the first is the history of the Byzantine Empire, and the second on the Norman Centuries, both by Lars Brownworth.

I love history, but sometimes have a tough time slogging through the books. So this is a great way to bone up on history while cleaning, folding laundry, or walking the wide world!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Support Circe

One of the ministries that has really meant a lot to me over the years is Circe Institute, and its founder, Andrew Kern. If you don't know about Circe, check them out here. And if you want to help, they are offering 7 downloads of talks from their past conferences for ANY DONATION! You heard me-- seven excellent lectures for any donation. Check it out here.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sabbath Semtiments

Holy, Holy Holy by Reginald Heber, 1826

1. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

2. Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

3. Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in pow’r, in love, and purity.

4. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

God will beat the time for us

It took my breath away In our whole life melody, the music is broken off here and there by rests and we think we have come to the end of time. God sends a time of forced leisure, a time of sickness and disappointed plans and makes a sudden pause in the hymns of our lives and we lament that our voice must be silent and our part missing in the music which ever goes up to the ear of our Creator. Not without design does God write the music of our lives. Be it ours to learn the time and not be dismayed at the rests. If we look up, God will beat the time for us. -- John Ruskin

Thanks to Julia

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Our compassionate God

“Let us remember that the eye of our loving Savior is upon us, morning, noon and night. He will never suffer us to be tempted above that we are able to bear. He can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, for He suffered Himself being tempted.”
“He knows what battles and conflicts are, for He Himself was assaulted by the Prince of this world. Having such a High Priest, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.”
~ J.C. Ryle
Faithfulness and Holiness: The Witness of J.C. Ryle,
“The Fight”, 171, 172.

Thanks to EK

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A glorious good morning

Enjoy this fun video, Gentle Reader, and rejoice this morning!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Miscellany

Reflections on family: I ran across some interesting family-related items this week. Married to the State is an interesting chronicle of the changes from the state protecting marriage to usurping power over marriage. Micah Watson reports on an interesting piece by Maggie Gallagher about a new marriage index. And the New Yorker discusses the changes in childrens' books, and how it reflects change in the family.

Best title of the week: this goes to Anthony Esolen's blog post at Touchstone Magazine's blog entitled Inhaling and Ingesting Microscopic Chinese Communists. Interesting thoughts, too!

Best photos of the week: Check out these amazing images from the world of medicine.

Nifty product of the week: I'm actually split between two products here. Either it is the Postmodern Apology form, or it's the Grammar Nerd Corrective Label Pack. I really want one of these. I only wish they had included the than/then difference...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sabbath Semtiments

Jesus, Lord of life and glory by James J. Cummins, 1839

Jesus, Lord of life and glory,
bend from heaven thy gracious ear;
while our waiting souls adore thee,
friend of helpless sinners, hear:
by thy mercy,
O deliver us, good Lord.

From the depth of nature's blindness,
from the hardening power of sin,
from all malice and unkindness,
from the pride that lurks within, Refrain

When temptation sorely presses,
in the day of Satan's power,
in our times of deep distresses,
in each dark and trying hour, Refrain

When the world around is smiling,
in the time of wealth and ease,
earthly joys our hearts beguiling,
in the day of health and peace, Refrain

In the weary hours of sickness,
in the times of grief and pain,
when we feel our mortal weakness,
when all human help is vain, Refrain

In the solemn hour of dying,
in the awful judgment day,
may our souls, on thee relying,
find thee still our Rock and Stay; Refrain

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The seasons change

This morning we picked pears, saving about a bushel of the larger ones. The tree was just loaded: so loaded, in fact, that most were tiny, and I just can't see bothering with them. Then, while Dave went to a fall work day at church, I worked on finishing the last of the apples, making about 8 quarts of applesauce, and another 5 quarts or so of apple butter, and saving a few of the best for pies. The fresh fall air is wafting in, the sun shining in the brilliant blue sky, the leaves gone from the ash tree, and a brilliant mixture of colors on pear tree. I love fall, and I love to notice the changing seasons of the year.

Yesterday, we went to the memorial service of a friend. A fellow homeschooler here in town, she died at age 50 after battling lung cancer for two years. Her eight children range in age from 24 down to 7. And the love for her which her dear husband of 25 years holds was palpable and strong. For that family, the seasons of their lives have just changed unalterably. And our lives change, too, as we are reminded of the passage of time. The funerals now are not only of the parents of friends, but of friends and their children.

Sometimes this way of thinking can tempt me to depsair. But that's when I have to focus on God's amazing goodness and gentleness in the midst of these changing seasons. I found this evening's Spurgeon podcast to be a great reminder in the midst of the changing seasons of my life...

"He shall gather the lambs with His arm."
--Isaiah 40:11

Our good Shepherd has in His flock a variety of experiences, some are strong in the Lord, and others are weak in faith, but He is impartial in His care for all His sheep, and the weakest lamb is as dear to Him as the most advanced of the flock. Lambs are wont to lag behind, prone to wander, and apt to grow weary, but from all the danger of these infirmities the Shepherd protects them with His arm of power. He finds new-born souls, like young lambs, ready to perish--He nourishes them till life becomes vigorous; He finds weak minds ready to faint and die--He consoles them and renews their strength. All the little ones He gathers, for it is not the will of our heavenly Father that one of them should perish. What a quick eye He must have to see them all! What a tender heart to care for them all! What a far- reaching and potent arm, to gather them all! In His lifetime on earth He was a great gatherer of the weaker sort, and now that He dwells in heaven, His loving heart yearns towards the meek and contrite, the timid and feeble, the fearful and fainting here below. How gently did He gather me to Himself, to His truth, to His blood, to His love, to His church! With what effectual grace did He compel me to come to Himself! Since my first conversion, how frequently has He restored me from my wanderings, and once again folded me within the circle of His everlasting arm! The best of all is, that He does it all Himself personally, not delegating the task of love, but condescending Himself to rescue and preserve His most unworthy servant. How shall I love Him enough or serve Him worthily? I would fain make His name great unto the ends of the earth, but what can my feebleness do for Him? Great Shepherd, add to Thy mercies this one other, a heart to love Thee more truly as I ought.
~C. H. Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, October 17

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Midweek Miscellany

Trying to come up for air after 10 wonderful days away in the natural beauty of SW Utah and N Arizona, but here are a few interesting tidbits...

A strange take on our culture of death can be found here.

Some unprecedented thoughts coming from our president via Al Mohler, and some related ideas about women in the military.

Some ideas about words from Andrew Kern on literature, and sort of the antithesis of this: a library without books. And a few thoughts on the kindle reader: not sure I'm sold on it yet. I know I'm a Luddite, but I love books: their feel and smell and look and weight! It's hard to imagine not having books-- real books.

Some interesting words on economics from the Intercollegiate Review.

Some explanatory words about these beautiful pictures of clouds.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

There is a God

There Is a God by Wes King

Well, I plan on being here for a long time,
Watching you grow up, and watching you fly away.
I plan on crying at your wedding,
And saying goodbye to my little boys
And hello, nice to meet you, to the men you’ll someday be;
Growing old with your mother and hold her hand all the way,
Falling in love with her every single day.
And should I die before you wake,
There is something I would want to say.

Love life with all your might.
Love peace but be willing to fight.
Love beauty and train your sight.
And nurture your appetite for beauty, goodness and truth.
Be strong and be brave.
Believe and be saved, for there is a God.

Be men of faith and courage: a little crazy, a little bold.
Seek to find your mission. Fear God and fear not men.
And believe me when I tell you—oh, I wish you only joy.
And if you wish to find your life, you must give it away.
And when you die, you will wake in the arms of the One
You pray your soul to take.

Love life with all your might.
Love peace but be willing to fight.
Love beauty and train your sight.
And nuture your appetite for beauty, goodness and truth.
Be strong and be brave.
Believe and be saved, for there is a God.