Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Home UnManagement or Flying by the Seat of My Pants

I gave a short whirl to a new yahoo list run by a mother of many the other day. It is called Large Family Logistics, and it is likely to be of immense help to young mothers who are newly inducted into the logistical nightmare of doing it all (homeschooling, home making, childbearing, cooking, laundry, etc.) with a large and growing tribe. This is not a discussion list; it is similar to Fly Lady in that you get sent regular notices telling you to do such and so and such and such a time. This gal also has a blog with more personal information about what is going on in her life if you need a more personal touch.

These lists are great if you are the sort of person who likes order and likes being regimented. It does all the thinking for you. Just follow directions and you too can have a clean, organized home, complete with canned veggies from your own organic garden.

Alas. I find such programs to be an exercise in frustration and a means of creating guilt and anger at myself and my family who usually doesn't want to get with the program. This doesn't mean that I am totally unorganized, as the title of this post would suggest. But I have always found that no one has a system that fits my life/lifestyle perfectly, and I have usually ended up frustrating myself and my family by my attempts to fit myself into someone else's idea of how life should be lived. In my own personal (and humble) experience, I have found that the best thing to do with all such systems (Gregg Harris, MOTH, Fly Lady, Large Family Logistics, Don Aslett, etc.) is to learn the principles behind them and then adapt them to your own situation. Then the system that develops is more organic to your family and easier for everyone to keep to. If you don't do this, you can end up with yet another way of needlessly flogging yourself for failing at keeping the "law" of good house management that someone else has devised.

My house is not a clutter-free and antiseptic paradise. But I can usually make it presentable within a relatively short period of time if I need to. And even if my day looks a lot less structured than that of others, things are still getting done. House work is completed, school work is done, people are fed, clothes are cleaned. Phooey if it doesn't match the ideals and standards of someone else! It works for us.
If Longevity is Your Goal...

...then do what I do. Keep on having babies as long as possible.

To the great surprise of a group of Finnish scientists, it has been found that, contrary to their expectations, mothers who have children late in life are demonstrating signs of "physical robustness" and aren't aging as fast biologically as their counterparts who quit at an earlier age.

"This result is unexpected because late age at reproduction is not generally believed to be favoured by natural selection, owing to its adverse effects on both the survival of the mother and the offspring, " they said.

"However, the result fits with earlier studies that showed the later a woman goes through the menopause, the longer she is likely to live. "

Of course, the birth control people want to put this down to women being able to control their fertility and delay it to a time when they are psychologically and financially prepared to raise offspring. However, given the large numbers of women who experience problems with fertility when they delay childbearing, how much credence can be given to this idea? Especially as it flies in the face of the actual study, which looked at a group of people who had no access to modern medical care, birth control, or other modern "advances." The study group experienced "natural mortality" and seemed to show a direct link between the physiology that underlies both general physical health and reproductive abilities. In other words, the more your health declines, the faster an end to your reproductive years. Conversely, if you are physically robust and healthy, you'll be able to produce offspring long after your sickly sisters have quit.

I may look like the human equivalent of a brood mare that has seen a lot of years of service, but hey, I must still be pretty healthy, right?

Saturday, December 25, 2004

The Family is Growing and I am Rambling

Yesterday we had all the kids together for the first time in a year and a half. Today I learned that my eldest daughter has become engaged. Our tribe is increasing.

Next month, Lord willing, I will be a grandmother again with a grandson due at the end of January. Then in June, another aunt or uncle for the new grandchild will make an appearance. I must say it feels strange to be a new grandmother and mother at the same time. Again!

New Ramble

As I get older I see more and more the importance of not trying to control everything, mainly because it is a fruitless and impossible task. I have come to see that trying to take control of everyone and everything is a manifestation of faithlessness and doubt. Besides, who am I kidding? I'm not infinite in knowledge or power and we all know it. It's much better to just rest in the sovereignty of God because His wisdom, knowledge, and power are infinite. Do I believe that all things work for my good and His greater glory? Then I had better act like it and stop fretting and just ask for what I know to be according to the revealed will of God and leave it with Him to act in the ways he deems best.

It never fails to amaze me how the Lord often increases our faith when we begin to act like He is really telling the truth about life. If all things work together for the good of the elect, then believing this despite the circumstances, transforms everything into something that is redeemed and redeemable. In family worship we are reading through the terrible stories of David's adultery and the subsequent incest and murder that takes place between his children. These stories are heartbreaking, but at the same time of great comfort to me personally. David was and is a great man of God, but even a saint can fall far short of God's revealed will and yet still be saved in the end. David's sin gave birth to some tremendously comforting psalms and they show us that no matter how far the fall, God's grace extends even more.

I identify with some of David's weaknesses as a parent because I see them in myself. At the same time, I know that he probably brought his children to the tabernacle of the Lord and showed them over and over a good example of what to do when you fall. Humbling yourself before the Lord, confessing and repenting of your sin, and taking your licks are all good lessons that we pitiful humans need to learn and often relearn. If we fall into sin ourselves, this is a good thing to model for our children as well. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. And those who cover their sins in shame in an effort to present a proud and perfect face to the world do not prosper. Those who confess their sin and turn from them, however, find mercy.

Switch Gears

One of the things that the kids and I have been doing lately is watching a series of videos that a friend sent to us. They are called The Way of the Master, and it is a Biblical evangelism series. I have to say that I highly recommend this series because it is the best and quickest presentation of the Gospel that I have ever seen. Gospel presentations should always start with the Law of God because they show a sinner the fact that they are a sinner and that God's wrath is abiding on them. Then and only then should you show them the grace offered in the sacrifice of Christ. Those who are sick know they need a doctor. Likewise, those who see they are sinners need a Savior. One caveat -- for the five point Calvinist, you should be aware that those who produced the series appear to be four pointers. If you can overlook this, you will learn an effective way of sharing the Gospel in an engaging way in just a few minutes.

Well laundry mountain awaits and there are things to prepare for the Lord's Day. I'll leave you with a few photos of my clan, taken yesterday.

Our newest "baby": Cyrus. He's a Rottweiler/Maremma cross, eight weeks old, and built like a tank!  Posted by Hello
All the kids (except Elodie) with my granddaughter, son-in-law, and soon to be son-in-law. The tribe is growing! Posted by Hello
My husband with 10 of our offspring. Elodie is missing because she was in bed asleep at the time. Posted by Hello

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Easy Decadence

I have spent the day cooking, baking, and concocting in the kitchen for tomorrow's family dinner. All my kids will be in town for the first time in a year and a half and we are having a get- together tomorrow. (Note: This is NOT a Christmass celebration!)

Anyhow, one of the things concocted today was a thoroughly decadent kind of candy called Almond Roca. Here's the recipe:

Graham crackers
1 c or more of flaked almonds
1 c butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c chocolate chips

(Double the last 3 if you are using a large cookie sheet.)

Line a cookie sheet with the graham crackers. Sprinkle liberally with the flaked almonds. Melt the butter in a pot and add the brown sugar. Bring to a boil and boil exactly 3 minutes. Drizzle over the almonds and crackers then bake in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes. When it comes out, sprinkle a liberal amount of chocolate chips over the hot concoction and spread them around when they start to melt. Cut into SMALL pieces (because it is very rich) while it is still warm, and allow to cool in the pan.

This stuff is so good you can easily make yourself sick eating it so be warned.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Women and Modesty

The discussion on my Biblewives List lately has been on the issue of modesty and whether or not this requires women to wear dresses only. A number of links were put forward that make the case that a woman who wears pants is a scandalous and immodest woman.

The automatic assumption of the authors is that pants or trousers are an item of clothing that automatically belong to men as a cultural universal. The Chinese women took to wearing them precisely for reasons of modesty when working in the rice paddies because a dress could float up around them and expose them as they work. Pakistani women wear trousers under their long tunics (which are identical to those the men wear except in detail) as a means of being modest. To demand that they forgo using them would be to offend their conscience and cause a scandal in their culture.

Another thing that stands out to me is that the forbidding of women of wearing that which pertains to a man seens to work only in one direction. When men and women wear clothing that is relatively similar (as the robes and tunics of Biblical times were), then we might as well accuse the men of being feminine in their attire as accuse the women of trying to cross dress if they wear something that is similar to a man's item of clothing. The authors draw their conclusions far beyond what was the actual *uncondemned* practice of men and women wearing similar items of clothing that existed in the times of the OT and the apostles!

Many of these articles use the "argument from abuse" to make their point. IOW, because a thing *may* be used to the point of abuse, if we forbid its use altogether, then we eliminate its abuse as well. I also find them to be somewhat confusing. On the one hand women are not to dress in a way that is explicit in terms of being sexually alluring to men, and with this I agree. But some of them seem to take it to the extreme that women are to totally disguise their feminine form so that we do not appear to be women, but do so in such a way that we are maintaining a feminine form of dress so that people don't think we are men. One is almost tempted to take issue with the Maker for making women's bodies in such a way as makes it difficult to disguise!!!!

We are responsible to dress in a way that is modest and not designed to attract men sexually. However, that doesn' t make us guilty of causing every wayward thought that a man has. To the pure all things are pure. The converse is true as well. In my youth I was a member of a Canadian forces Service Battalion and some of the men there could turn anything and everything into something with a sexual twist, including a modestly dressed neck-to-knees clad woman with a kerchief on her head.

Articles like the ones I read help to drive the feminist engine. Nearly all the responsibility for preventing men from sinning appears to rest on the shoulders of Christian women in how they dress. Very little is said about the responsibility Christian men have for making a covenant with their eyes not to look where they shouldn't be looking. After all, the temptations are all around us in the way that ungodly women dress and the magazine covers that abound. Modestly dressed Christian women won't prevent a man from lusting in his heart if he is freely looking at the cover of Cosmopolitan or ogling the babe in the tight skirt on the corner.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Sharks respond to magnetic lines

Marine biologists have confirmed sharks can detect changes in magnetic fields.
This ability has long been suspected by researchers who have observed the fish migrating huge distances in the ocean along straight lines.

A Hawaii University team has trained captive sharks to swim over targets in their tank whenever an artificial magnetic field is activated.
The new study, by Dr Carl Meyer and colleagues, is reported in Interface, a journal of the UK's Royal Society.

"This significant advance in demonstrating the existence of a 'compass' sense should now make it possible to investigate exactly how this sense works and how sensitive sharks are to the Earth's magnetic field," the team tells Interface.

The Hawaii group used six sandbar sharks and one scalloped hammerhead in their research. They kept the animals in a 7m-diameter tank.

The fish were trained to associate the presence of food in a 1.5m by 1.5m target area on the enclosure floor with the switching on of a magnetic field, derived from a copper coil surrounding the tank

Big swim
In a series of trials, the field was then activated at random times and the fish were seen to move on the feeding zone even when there was no food present, proving the existence of their "compass".

"Activating the artificial field produced an immediate response in the conditioned sharks," the team says.

"They changed from swimming steadily around the perimeter of the tank to swimming faster, turning rapidly and converging on the target in anticipation of a food reward."

Tiger sharks, blue sharks and scalloped hammerhead sharks are all known to swim in straight lines for long periods across hundreds of kilometres of open ocean, and then later orient themselves to underwater mountains, or seamounts, where geomagnetic anomalies exist.

Scientists want to understand how sharks are able to detect magnetic fields. Other animals that do it, such as trout and pigeons, possess the iron mineral magnetite in their bodies.
Sharks, however, do not possess magnetite. It is possible electro-receptors in their heads are employed instead.

Story from BBC NEWS: 2004/12/15 01:42:01 GMT© BBC MMIV
Weird Dreams

The weird pregnancy dreams have started already. The other night I dreamt that I had delivered the baby by myself before the midwife arrived, and when she did arrive, she kept dropping it on the floor. This newborn was also able to sit up by itself and it helped itself to some lettuce off its father's plate. I'm not sure if it was a boy or girl, but it looked weird, like something you would find on a horror movie. Dropping it probably did nothing to improve its looks.

Last night I dreamt that Marc and I had bought an eccentric little house in a small rural village from Sora and her husband Matt. I have no idea why these people showed up in my dream, but I recognized certain features of the house from supposed blog postings they had made describing it. (These blog postings are entirely a fiction of my dreaming mind, btw.) I was quite taken with the house, but forsaw a lot of renovation work that would be required to bring it up to snuff. When I looked out one window, it was to see a large construction site for a big box retailer. I don't know what they were doing in a small rural village, but there you go. That's dreams for you.

Pregnancy Rash

The dreaded rash has made its return, though so far, it appears to be confined to my right arm from my underarm to the elbow. The severity of itching and irritation depends on whether or not I eat anything to which I have acquired a new sensitivity, or if I forget to take some of my supplements.

At least I know what I am dealing with: Candida Albicans. I have cut out all sugar, starchy foods, all grains, beef, pork, fruit, coffee, tea, processed foods, and dairy in an effort to starve it out. Alas, progesterone, one of the hormones that sustains pregnancy, is one of Candida's favorite foods! When I discovered that, I felt less guilty because my diet has been pretty good and I couldn't figure out why I get such an overload during pregnancy. Apparently I produce progesterone in goodly amounts which makes the yeast happy.

I am using a three-pronged approach to attack this problem and keep it from overwhelming me like it did the last time:

1. Starve it as much as possible by removing as many things as feeds it
2. Anti-fungal herbs which are safe to use in pregnancy
3. Boosting my immune system through a combination of glyconutrients and colostrum supplements.

Some days are good, others are not so good. It isn't merely the rash and itching that gets me. A lot of the mental depression and mental fog are a result of Candida as well, as well as a general feeling of blah, and a lot of that depends on what I eat. Some days I stand and scratch my head and wonder what I can eat since I sometimes never know what will provoke a reaction, despite trying to be careful. Yeast infections tend to cause other food allergies to appear, and they can be quite arbitrary with some things being okay one day and not okay on others.

[Sigh] I won't complain too much though. Last time I did this I got a healthy nine-pound plus baby out of it and only six pounds of weight gain. And I do have more choices of what I can eat than women in other parts of the world where food is in short supply.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

You have the Goya girl look. A Goya girl had an air
of extreme elegance and sophistication. They
liked richness of every kind. The artists
excelled in painting brocades and tapestry,
cloth of gold and silver, gauzy fabrics and
black lace. You could have modeled for the
great Spanish painters, such as Valasquez and
Goya. Both were painters to the royal court of

'Pretty As A Picture' - Which Artist Would Paint You?
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Sunday, December 12, 2004

My Annual "Bah Humbug" to the Unholy Popish Ho Ho Season

The following article by A. W. Pink comes from Ginny's blog for those who don't read there. We can never be reminded or admonished too much against one of the prevailing sins of our times and nation -- that of worshipping God in ways He has not commanded, or in profaning anything to do with Him.

XMAS (a.k.a Christmass)
by A.W. Pink
"Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen...for the CUSTOMS of the people are vain" (Jer. 10:1-3).

Christmas is coming! Quite so: but what is "Christmas?" Does not the very term itself denote it's source - "Christ-mass." Thus it is of Roman origin, brought over from paganism. But, says someone, Christmas is the time when we commemorate the Savior's birth. It is? And WHO authorized such commemoration? Certainly God did not. The Redeemer bade His disciples "remember" Him in His death, but there is not a word in scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, which tells us to celebrate His birth. Moreover, who knows when, in what month, He was born? The Bible is silent thereon. It is without reason that the only "birthday" commemorations mentioned in God's Word are Pharaoh's (Gen. 40:20) and Herod's (Matt. 14:6)? Is this recorded "for our learning?" If so, have we prayerfully taken it to heart?

And WHO is it that celebrates "Christmas?" The whole "civilized world." Millions who make no profession of faith in the blood of the Lamb, who "despise and reject Him," and millions more who while claiming to be His followers yet in works deny Him, join in merrymaking under the pretense of honoring the birth of the Lord Jesus. Putting it on it's lowest ground, we would ask, is it fitting that His friends should unite with His enemies in a worldly round of fleshly gratification? Does any true born again soul really think that He whom the world cast out is either pleased or glorified by such participation in the world's joys? Verily, the customs of the people are VAIN; and it is written, "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil" (Ex. 23:2).
Some will argue for the "keeping of Christmas" on the ground of "giving the kiddies a good time." But why do this under the cloak of honoring the Savior's birth? Why is it necessary to drag in His holy name in connection with what takes place at that season of carnal jollification? Is this taking the little one with you OUT of Egypt (Ex. 10:9-10) a type of the world, or is it not plainly a mingling with the present day Egyptians in their "pleasures of sin for a season?" (Heb. 11:25) Scripture says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Prov. 22:6). Scripture does command God's people to bring up their children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4), but where does it stipulate that it is our duty to give the little one a "good time?" Do we ever give the children "a good time" when we engage in anything upon which we cannot fittingly ask THE LORD'S blessing?

There are those who DO abstain from some of the grosser carnalities of the "festive season," yet are they nevertheless in cruel bondage to the prevailing custom of "Christmas" namely that of exchanging "gifts." We say "exchanging" for that is what it really amounts to in many cases. A list is kept, either on paper or in memory, of those from whom gifts were received last year, and that for the purpose of returning the compliment this year. Nor is this all: great care has been taken that the "gift" made to the friend is worth as much in dollars and cents as the one they expect to receive from him or her. Thus, with many who can ill afford it, a considerable sum has to be set aside each year with which to purchase things simply to send them out in RETURN for others which are likely to be received. Thus a burden has been bound on them which not a few find hard to bear.

But what are we to do? If we fail to send out "gifts" our friends will think hard of us, probably deem us stingy and miserly. The honest course is to go to the trouble of notifying them - by letter if at a distance - that from now on you do not propose to send out any more "Christmas gifts" as such. Give your reasons. State plainly that you have been brought to see that "Christmas merrymaking" is entirely a thing OF THE WORLD, devoid of any Scriptural warrant; that it is a Romish institution, and now that you see this, you dare no longer have any fellowship with it (Eph. 5:11); that you are the Lord's "free man" (1 Cor. 7:22), and therefore you refuse to be in bondage to a costly custom imposed by the world.

What about sending out "Christmas cards" with a text of Scripture on them? That also is an abomination in the sight of God. Why? Because His Word expressly forbids all unholy mixtures; Deut. 22:10-11 typified this. What do we mean by an "unholy mixture?" This: the linking together of the pure Word of God with the Romish "Christ-MASS." By all means send cards (preferably at some other time of the year) to your ungodly friends, and Christians too, with a verse of Scripture, but NOT with "Christmas" on it. What would you think of a printed program of a vaudeville having Isa. 53:5 at the foot of it? Why, that it was altogether OUT OF PLACE, highly incongruous. But in the sight of God the circus and the theater are far less obnoxious than the "Christmas celebration" of Romish and Protestant "churches." Why? Because the latter are done under the cover of the holy name of Christ; the former are not.

"But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto perfect day" (Prov. 4:18). Where there is a heart that really desires to please the Lord, He graciously grants increasing knowledge of His will. If He is pleased to use these lines in opening the eyes of some of His dear people to recognize what is a growing evil, and to show them that they have been dishonoring Christ by linking the name of the Man of Sorrows (and such He WAS, when on earth) with a "MERRY Christmas," then join with the writer in a repentant confessing of this sin to God, seeking His grace for complete deliverance from it, and praise Him for the light which He has granted you concerning it.

Beloved fellow-Christian, "The coming of the Lord draweth nigh" (Jas. 5:8). Do we really believe this? Believe it not because the Papacy is regaining its lost temporal power, but because GOD says so - "for we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7). If so, what effects does such believing have on our walk? This may be your last Christmas on earth. During it the Lord may descend from heaven with a shout to gather His own to Himself. Would you like to be summoned from a "Christmas party" to meet Him in the air? The call for the moment is "Go ye OUT to meet Him" (Matt. 25:6) out from a Godless Christendom, out from the horrible burlesque of "religion" which now masquerades under His name.

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Cor. 5:10).
How solemn and searching! The Lord Jesus declared that "every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" (Matt. 12:36). If every "idle word" is going to be taken note of, then most assuredly will be every wasted energy, every wasted dollar, every wasted hour! Should we still be on earth when the closing days of this year arrive, let writer and reader earnestly seek grace to live and act with the judgment seat of Christ before us. HIS "well done" will be ample compensation for the sneers and taunts which we may now receive from Christless souls.

Does any Christian reader imagine for a moment that when he or she shall stand before their holy Lord, that they will regret having lived "too strictly" on earth? Is there the slightest danger of His reproving any of His own because they were "too extreme" in "abstaining from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul" (1 Peter 2:11)? We may gain the good will and good works of worldly religionists today by our compromising on "little (?) points," but shall we receive His smile and approval on that day? Oh to be more concerned about what HE thinks, and less concerned about what perishing mortals think.

"Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil" (Ex. 23:2). Ah, it is an easy thing to float with the tide of popular opinion; but it takes much grace, diligently sought from God, to swim against it. Yet that is what the heir of heaven is called on to do: to "Be not conformed to this world" (Rom. 12:2), to deny self, take up the cross, and follow a rejected Christ. How sorely does both writer and reader need to heed that word of the savior, "Behold, I come quickly; hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown" (Rev. 3:11). Oh that each of us may be able to truthfully say, "I have refrained my feet from EVERY evil way, that I might keep THY WORD" (Psa. 119:101).

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Way Cool

It is nice to receive some validation for something you are doing. The other day I went to see my mentor/trainer, Cal, to get a tune up for health reasons. Some people think that my practice in kinesionics is way "out there" in terms of validity. However, in the course of my exam, Cal mentioned to me that the course I took to certify as a Kinesionics Practitioner will now be a four year university course next year and the only way people will be able to certify is to take the four years at a Seattle university.

I am very grateful that I was able to do the course now since I wouldn't have been able to go for training for four years. I am also pleased to know that I now have something that is equivalent to a university education.
Plain Speech

I have been contemplating the issue of plain speech lately, especially as it relates to the topic of abortion. I was a small participant in one discussion on another blog and had my hand slapped for making what the moderator thought was a personal attack upon one of the posters. In reality, I was just trying to illustrate the fact that he didn't have the philosophical basis, as an atheist, to designate anything as being right or wrong. When God does not exist, there is no objective standard for determining the rightness or wrongness of any given action. All you are left with is the preference of the individual. Wars can't be wrong, they just aren't preferable. Likewise stealing or murder. Ethics are reduced to a pragmatic basis of what works/doesn't work.

Euphemisms abound in the pro-choice camp, and sadly, even in the Pro-life camp but for different reasons. The pro-choice camp uses them to hide their real motives of selfishness and self-centered lawlessness that scoffs at God's Law. For pro-life people the motive is different. Because of the tremendous amount of pain and suffering that women can feel as the result of having had an abortion, people are sometimes afraid to speak plainly about the sinfulness of this sin for fear of heaping more guilt and pain on the woman in question. But plain speaking about the Law of God in relation to murder is the school master that brings these women to Christ.

Abortion is a sin that instinctively calls for the need for atonement. In a perverse way, unsaved women try to atone for the initial shedding of blood by shedding more blood of subsequent children who are conceived, as though this will make it all better. Once the natural order of nurturing offspring is breached in this most unnatural way, it becomes easier to resort to this perverse atonement each time as is seen in those who have multiple abortions. The only remedy and true atonement can come from the blood of Christ. I am both saddened and sickened by those professing believers who ignorantly gloss over the heinousness of this sin and declare that God would never punish for abortion. God has punished and will punish, whether the punishment is meted out to the actual woman and abortion provider or whether it was borne by Christ. Blood will be paid for one way or another.

The glossing of sin denies the only remedy for it. "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy." (Proverbs 28:13)

Friday, December 03, 2004

C.S. Lewis

Yesterday I found a book at the library that I started to dig into last night. Mere Theology: A Guide to the Thought of C.S. Lewis by Will Vaus is a reminder of why Lewis remains one of my favorite Christian authors. Ok, Lewis may be Arminian in some of his leanings (and even the staunchest Calvinist has Arminian errors in his/her own thinking that will be weeded out at death), but when he says something that is right, he says it like no other can

As one who is somewhat familiar with Van Tillian pre-suppositional apologetics, one of the things that I recognized in Lewis was the fact that he never tried to prove the existence of God. "The reasoning process is based as much upon intuition as it is upon logic, and you can't manufacture rational intuition by argument." There are certain things that must be "seen." Furthermore, if Christianity is true there comes a time when "you are no longer faced with an argument which demands your assent, but with a Person who demands your confidence." Arguments fall away in the reality of Christ.

I think one of the things that I loved about Lewis is his way of putting his finger upon obvious things that we miss because we take them for granted, but when looked at from the right direction, they provide an evidence of the fact that we are made in God's image and they provide evidence of God's existence. One example is the way we respond to the passing of time. We exclaim "How time has flown!" in great surprise. Why are we surprised by the passage of time? Because there is something in us that is not temporal. Time binds and frets us now, but it won't always be that way. Immortality, either as the wonderful creation we were intended to be, or as the eternal horror we will have made of ourselves when left to ourselves, is our eternal destiny, and at some level we know this.

Lewis, more than any other Christian author, has the ability to make me long for the things that he continually points to. Lewis said that the goal of theology was practical. God doesn't want us talking endlessly about Him. He wants us drawn to Him as a result of theology. Lewis invariably does this for me. I admire and love him, but the admiration and love doesn't stop with him, it leads me beyond him to the One he is trying to direct us to.

Ultimately, our lives, like Lewis', should all be signposts pointing others to God.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

You're a literary minded as the Bard himself!
You are a complete literary geek, from knowing the
classics (even the not-so-well-known classics
and tidbits about them) to knowing devices used
in writing, when someone has a question about
literature, they can bring it to you and rest
assured; you know the answers.

How much of a literary geek are you?
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Homeschooling Grandmothers

I got an email today from Homeschooling Today that contained a testimony by Gail Busby, who is now homeschooling her grandson. As I read it, I got this awful sinking sensation in the pit of my stomach that being a homeschooling grandmother could very well be my fate. Considering the fact that my two youngest children are going to be roughly the same age as my two eldest grandchildren, this is not outside the realm of possibility.

I lost the stars from my eyes a long time ago when it comes to homeschooling. It is just something I do now and get through as thoroughly but as quickly as possible. I have decided to give up apologizing for that fact. I might as well apologize for having brown hair and eyes. I can be competent at teaching children to learn things, just as I am competent at cleaning toilets, but neither of them are jobs that I would describe as finding personally enjoyable and fulfilling. Heresy, I know. But we aren't all cut from the same cloth. I do it solely in obedience to the Lord and try not to be too cranky about it even if I can't find it in me to clap my little hands in glee at the start of every school morning.

Speaking of homeschooling, we had a home visit from the Ebus teacher yesterday. Yes, I actually let her into my house and allowed her to meet my children. That should give all the libertarians reading this fits, but hey, I have come to see that public school teachers usually are people who are gifted in teaching and enjoy their work. I am free to cut and paste what I want from the school curriculum and most of what I use is stuff I have been using for years. The attitude towards grading is a precise match to my own: grades don't matter as long as the children are learning. We got the first report cards, and the kids are all doing well and more than meeting expectations in some areas, which is a relief to me. I think I can start to relax a bit and possibly, just possibly, start to even enjoy some of it.

Weird and Healthy Cravings

I have been blessed, thus far, in that I haven't really had anything in the way of digestive upset with this baby. Elodie's pregancy was similar in this respect, so this is no guarantee that this is a boy. The rash I had with Elodie has made a brief appearance, but I increased the level of glyconutrients and became more consistent in taking them, and it has receded steadily to the point of almost being gone. The only thing I am struggling with is the desire to nod off anytime I sit down anywhere. This presents a problem when I am sitting in the driver's seat, or when I am in a Bible study or church service. It could be from the pregnancy, or it could be a combination of pregnancy and creeping senility. Not sure which.

This time around I found I have lost most of the desire for junk food. Instead I have been feasting on sprouted organic whole wheat wraps with spinach, cucumber, vine-ripened tomatoes, organic chicken, ripe avocado slices, a slap of mayo, and the piece de resistance: sliced raw garlic cloves. The latter puts people off of kissing me, but since I don't like being touched when pregnant, this is actually a bonus.

I am more anti-social than normal this time around as well. I hate it when the phone rings and I have to take the call. I don't want to visit or be visited. Part of this stems from natural hen-like broodiness, and part of it stems from not wanting to deal with the inevitable comments that an almost 44 year old woman, expecting her 12th child invites. Reactions range from pity, to disgust, to amusement, to incredulity over my lack of knowledge of "what causes it." How I wish I lived in the time before birth control became so pervasive and used in the surrounding culture! Of course, this is only a temporary problem as everyone is generally happy that the child exists once he or she is born (unless you happen to belong to my husband's family). I am also thankful for the support of my church which has the happy conviction that all children come from God's Hand and are to be received with thanks and gratitude, no matter how old mom is when having them or what the circumstances are that baby is being born into.

My husband is relieved that there is a baby coming. He told a friend that he didn't know if he could handle the pre-menopausal doldrums and depression, but when he learned that it was actually pregnancy-caused, he laughed. Pregnancy, at least, is familiar territory for him and one he can deal with. At any rate, he is undismayed at the prospect of having another baby around the house. I can't complain about his attitude at any rate.
Dog Gone!

Our elderly Chesapeake Bay Retriever dog, Chilko, has gone missing. He was home early Saturday morning when I took the kids on their paper route, but later in the day he went missing and no one knows what became of him.

We suspect that he has been taken. Which is rather odd because he has a bit of arthritis in one foot, and his snout is visibly white with age. It makes us happier to think that someone made off with him, rather than that he met a tragic and untimely end. The evidence all points to the former anyhow. He was in good health, aside from the limp, he is no where to be found on our property (and he never would leave it without us), and no flocks of crows, ravens, or carrion birds have been seen in the vicinity, feasting on some hapless animal that met its end.

Good-bye, Chilko. You were a great dog, protector, family pet. We will miss you.