Wednesday, February 26, 2003

The Living Years

Sung by Mike and the Mechanics

The Living Years

Every generation
Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door

I know that I'm a prisoner
To all my Father held so dear
I know that I'm a hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Crumpled bits of paper
Filled with imperfect thought
Stilted conversations
I'm afraid that's all we've got

You say you just don't see it
He says it's perfect sense
You just can't get agreement
In this present tense
We all talk a different language
Talking in defence

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye

So we open up a quarrel
Between the present and the past
We only sacrifice the future
It's the bitterness that lasts

So Don't yield to the fortunes
You sometimes see as fate
It may have a new perspective
On a different day
And if you don't give up, and don't give in
You may just be OK.

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye

I wasn't there that morning
When my Father passed away
I didn't get to tell him
All the things I had to say

I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I'm sure I heard his echo
In my baby's new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye

Monday, February 24, 2003

Homeland Security

Homeland Security has announced they will soon be implementing new software
which will record every click of your mouse. It is their belief that it
will operate completely transparently and that the average user will not
notice any difference in performance.
Rabbit Whisperer?

As I had mentioned in previous posts, my sons Ben and Trahern have decided to go into the rabbit breeding business. So far, their attempts at raising rabbits has been hard on the rabbits. I have never really thought that rabbits were highly intelligent creatures, Bugs Bunny notwithstanding. And so far they have done nothing to change this opinion.

I speak of the suicidal tendency of rabbits to escape their hutches in front of a couple of dogs who, wanting to please their masters, dutifully catch said rabbits and return them to us, albeit in a dead, frozen and poker stiff manner. (The dogs can't seem to understand why we do not leap with delight at seeing the rabbits piled like cordwood at our back doorstep or dismembered on the driveway.)

Last night the boys and I watched a video about Monty something or other, the original Horse Whisperer. It was a very fascinating video about how this man learned the secret body language of horses and then used that to train them to wearing saddles and accepting a rider within hours without traumatizing them. I am wondering if any of you know of a similar video on Rabbit Whispering? We are learning in a trial and error way what rabbits are trying to convey by their body language, but it would be easier on the rabbits and us if we could learn this a bit faster rather than using the trial and error method.

Case in point: The other day Trahern thoughtfully brought his black dwarf mini-lop doe (the most recent replacement for the other bunnies) into the house to hop around and deposit little raisins on my floor for Elodie to find and eat. Elodie was quite enthralled and squawked with delight as she crawled rapidly in the rabbit's wake. After a while she tired of this and found one of her rattles laying on the floor. Picking this up, she began to bang the floor with gusto. The rabbit, demonstrating a distinct lack of intelligence and instinct for survival, was foolish enough to wander into reach of Elodie, who, tiring of banging on the floor, used her rattle to deliver a few hearty whacks on the rabbit's head. The rabbit gave her an indignant and astonished look and then stamped its hind feet in what looked to be a display of extreme chagrin. Next thing we knew, Elodie flew over backwards like a ninepin before a furry black bowling ball. The rabbit took exception to the clubbing and bunted Elodie in the stomach with its head. After we dusted Elodie off and soothed her wails to silence, we found the rabbit sitting in the corner with a smug look on its face.

If I had thought about rabbits before, it was to regard them as soft furry creatures that are kind and gentle. The well-hidden truth is that they resemble the killer rabbit on Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail. I had foolishly thought that the bloodthirsty rabbit in that show was merely a playful and silly sketch meant to cause laughter. Little did I know that this was actually a documentary on what rabbits can actually be like. If you want proof that the Fall affected all of creation, and not just the nature of man, then you need look no further than a female rabbit. Female rabbits are famous for their ability to breed rapidly. We have been careful to keep them away from the bucks in order to prevent that ability from being displayed right now. Instead of pregnant rabbits, we now have rabbits with PMS.

A rabbit with PMS is not a pretty sight. The owner may want to demonstrate kindness and consideration to his pet by giving it fresh water and food. But when these does start into "that time of the month" they meet these demonstrations with slavering jaws, terrifying squeals and charges across their pens looking for blood. The bucks don't seem to have this problem which leads me to conclude that the homicidal bunny in the Monty Python movie was a doe who really wanted chocolate and was enraged when she couldn't get any.

Anyhow, if any of you know of any books or videos on rabbit whispering, we would appreciate it if you would direct us to them.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003


Elodie crawled into the mudroom and ate some of the cat's litter.

I think I shall go and quietly heave in a toilet somewhere. And flagellate myself in the still watches of the night.

I am doing my very first full-blown pieced quilt project for myself. It is a wall hanging on twelve house blocks with a strip of one inch squares in various patterned pieces beneath each row of four houses. If it turns out well, I shall probably do one for my mother's birthday and make one for my daughter Trista, to hang in her livingroom. So far it is going pretty well. I am even thinking that this is easy enough that I may introduce my daughter Hannah to the fine womanly art of quilting.

I have often wondered why very few women have produced works of art that last for centuries. I don't think women are less creative than men are. Perhaps it is because most of our artwork is of the edible or wearable variety...
Parenting Blues

Does any parent out there go to bed at night feeling like they did a good job that day? Or is it just me that makes a habit of going over the day and seeing all the places I have failed and then lamenting over whether or not these children will turn out okay?

The parents of yesteryear seemed so confident in the advice that they gave and the actions they took. Do thus and so and you should get this result. If you get something different, the fault lies with the child and their corrupt nature. Parents today are very tentative and I am one of the tentative hordes. I don't know if this is because the surrounding culture encourages us to look to experts for answers (and there are no expert parents) or because I am daily faced with the realization of what a corrupt sinner I am and I see it in corruption reflected in my children.

I love my children, but I am often left with the feeling that I haven't loved them enough or wisely.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003


I find it very disarming to read the blogs and details of the homelife of people with whom I may have significant differences in theology. The little details of homelife make them more real and three dimensional and therefore someone I am less likely to let have it with both barrels. I sometimes think that one of the reasons that discussions or debates grow so heated is that it is easy to forget there are people behind the words that are written. We say things to one another that we wouldn't dream of saying in person. The subjective feelings of the recipients of our words are lost in the objectivity of our arguments.

Everybody should blog.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Unbloggable, Unsayable

I have a number of things that I would like to blog about and say, but am finding that I am becoming increasingly gun-shy about saying anything. Accountability, or at least some people's versions of it, can be an onerous thing.

Monday, February 10, 2003

On Covenants and Covenanting

All the intercourse which God holds with men is through the medium of covenant transactions. Soon after the creation of this world, it was put under a federal dispensation, of which man was the head. By this arrangement, nothing was detracted from the glory of the Creator in the exercise of his high prerogative as Legislator; but by it there was an eminent display given of his goodness. The law under which man was created, was a copy of the moral perfections of God. In the superadded form of a covenant which it received, it exhibited a transcript of his gracious character. On that dispensation, under which man was placed in innocency, there are the clearest traces of the goodness of God, as well as of his wisdom, and power, and justice, and holiness. And it was this finishing act of the six days' creation work that made it, in the highest degree, the object of Divine complacential contemplation. "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good."

Much that has been said and written in denial of the covenant of works, proceeds from evident ignorance of the nature of such a transaction. Did God, by fair implication, give to our first parents promises of good, to be fulfilled, when they should perform the condition required of them? Life was as certainly promised, as death was threatened, in the covenant of works. A penalty is necessary to law, and therefore, does not change its nature; but in the exercise of purely legislative authority, there is no place for promises or reward. "When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say we are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was our duty to do." Luke 17:10. Those who have only what was their duty, have merited nothing. Promises on the part of God, to our first parents, exhibited him in another than a merely legislative character. It displayed his benignity in promising to reward man's obedience, and his faithfulness as pledged for the fulfillment of his engagement. The covenant of works was not a mere act of Divine authoritative will to preserve order and subordination in the world, but it was an emanation from the goodness of the Divine nature, in this way discovering itself, mediately for the good of man, and ultimately for the glory of God.

The design of the foregoing remarks, is to show that God is inclined, by his essential graciousness, to connect with his commands promises of reward, as motives to obey. An argument a priori is thus furnished for the proposition under consideration. Abundant facts confirm the same truth. In the whole history of man till the present time, and in that which remains to be filled up until time shall be no more, a single exception shall never be found to that rule of the divine administrations, by which God is exhibited as a God who makes and who keeps covenant with men. The condemnation and punishment of the wicked furnish nothing incongrous with this most interesting view of the Divine character, for they all die under the covenant of works, and suffer its direful penalty; and their sin has this aggravation, that it is committed under a dispensation of new covenant mercy, and against a Savior by whom it is administered. And, while from that very fact, the righteousness of the Divine government, in their sentence and its execution, will be most clearly displayed, there will be, in the salvation of all the redeemed, a most glorious exhibition of the gracious perfections fo the Triune God. "He hath sent redemption unto his people; he hath commended his covenant for ever; holy and reverend is his name."

2. All God's covenant transactions with men since the fall, are based on the covenant of grace. The covenant of works being broken, there was no place left under it for promises. By the violation of his engagement, man lost all claim to the Divine favor. There was before him nothing but a "fearful looking for of judgement and fiery indignation." It was perfectly clear that if promises be made again to man, it must be under an order of things entirely new, and for which the covenant of works made no provision, Infinite wisdom foresaw and provided for the exigency. Between the eternal FAther and the eternal Son a covenant was made in eternity, which contemplate the wiping away of all the dishonor done to God by the introduction of sin, and the manifestation fo the Divine perfections in restoring to the moral universe the harmony which that foreign and malignant element had disturbed. "I have made a covenant with my chosen." "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself." The Son of God undertook, in our nature, to satisfy Divine justice, and to opent up a way through which mercy could be manifested to sinners. By his obedience to the death, he fully performed all the stipulations of the covenant, and provided for the children of men a way of access to God. "In Christ Jesus, ye who were sometimes far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ."

[Taken from Vol. 3 no. 21, October 13, 1995 of the Original Covenanter and Contending Witness. Originally published in 1850.]

Sweet Elodie...
Is now trying desperately hard to walk. She is eight months old now and such a tiny, petite little mite, that she looks too little to accomplish such feats of daring do. However, we caught her after she had crawled up four steps on our stairs the other day. She was quite pleased with herself and chuckled until we took her off. Then the chuckles became shrieks to be put back DOWN on the stairs. She can't say a word, but despite that manages to convey her meanings quite clearly.

It is true that crawling does cause a huge spurt in learning in babies. The act of coordinating the movement on both sides of the body forces both hemispheres of the brain to work together. This, in turn, causes a quantum leap in their ability to learn stuff. And Elodie is just a shining example of this in my own biased opinion.
Biting my Nails...

Well, my paper on Energy Therapy is now in the hands of my elders, awaiting their verdict. I was told to "hope for the best, but prepare for the worst." My moods alternate between both extremes of despair and wild hope. Yesterday at church, one of the men there who is studying apologetics and philosophy, and who is able to stymie all his profs with Van Tillian precision, gave me his verdict on my paper -- thumbs up! There was one little point that he had a question by, but as it wasn't something that I hold as my position, it isn't really a problem. He echoed what several others have said -- there needs to be a book written on this topic from a Reformed Christian perspective. Several others, whose opinions I respect, have also said that my thesis looks pretty good.

I spoke with my kinesionics trainer the other day and told him some of what was in my paper. He wants a copy because he has had to deal with much of the same thing. But what was really, really, really exciting and gratifying to me is that he wants me to come and teach this stuff on his next course! He also recommended that I write a book on the topic as well!

So, here I am, seriously considering the possibility of writing a Christian apologetic on the lawful use of energy therapies in healing, once I have the elders' blessing on what I have done thus far. Most of the writings from Christians that deal with the topic fall into the category of "New Age Paranoists" because many of these therapies were developed in non-Christian countries and have pantheistic ideas attached to them. But some of the methods are indeed valid, and indifferent means of healing that I believe can be utilized safely and effectively if done in the context of the correct worldview (Reformed Calvinism).

In the meantime, I am trying to be circumspect in what I actually post here so that I don't get into too much trouble. Sometimes it is hard to restrain myself...

Saturday, February 01, 2003


A small piece of heaven came my way today. I lay on the floor mattress that Garnet uses and nursed baby Elodie while watching the wind chase the clouds across the sky through my bedroom window. It was a rare moment of peace. A rare experience of quiet contentment.

Last night Marc took all but the two youngest to see The Two Towers. I had the house to myself with the exception of 3 year old Garnet and Baby Elodie. I hated it. As much as I think I would enjoy the lack of chaos that not having the children here would bring, as soon as I have it, I hate it. The children are noisy, messy, and too exhuberant for my nerves some of the time. But it is much tougher not having them here. The house feels like an empty and lifeless shell without them.

How will I handle the future when they are grown and gone? Will they live close enough to visit me often? Will grandchildren over run me? I hope so.

I am also thankful that I still have another 18 years or so of child guiding ahead of me with Elodie. When I first fell pregnant with her, I was so bummed. I had already started to plan for a life free of diapers and potty training and no more homeschooling. But now I wonder how I ever lived life without her.

Nathanael is 16 and will be leaving in a few years. I really really like my son. He is growing into a fine young man that I am proud of. One of the most pleasant things in my life is being able to visit with him and share jokes, stories, stuff we are discovering, and just plain old companionship. I hope I won't be one of those jealous interfering mothers-in-law when and if he gets married. And I hope his future bride doesn't take me in dislike.

[Sigh] Why can't time stand still?