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Saturday, August 31, 2002 AD
Somebody Oughta Write a Book
Why have I never seen a book about how to be a member of a local church? There are nine bazillion books on being a husband, or a wife, or a single, or a pastor, or any number of other categories, but there donít seem to be any about being a church member. (If there are, and Iíve missed them, please make a recommendation!)

Hereís what Iíd like to see covered in such a book (which Iím sure one of the fine readers of this here blog will rush right out to write):
  • Membership Vows: What churches have íem? Why are they needed? What do/should they cover?

  • Supporting the Church: How much money, time and prayer, and how spent?

  • Submission: What is the nature and extent of authority of church officers? When do leaders take their authority too far? When do they not take it far enough? When, if ever, is a refusal to submit warranted? What does/should discipline entail?

  • Coming and Going: What are the right reasons to join a church? What are the right reasons to leave? Are there times when you must leave? when you may leave? when you may not leave?

  • ???: What have I left out that ought to be on the list?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/31/2002 01:07:00 PM • Permalink
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Friday, August 30, 2002 AD
Three Prophetic Voices

Chesapeake Presbytery(PCA) (of which my church is a member), Potmac Presbytery (PCA), and Mid-Atlantic Presbytery (OPC) are holding a concurrent presbytery meeting September 21 and 22. They evidently plan to do this biannually (that's every two years, not twice a year, right?). On Friday, O. Palmer Robertson will be leading three seminars to which all are invited for a mere $10. On Saturday the presbyteries will split up for their respective meetings. The seminar titles are ever so helpfully given as "Three Prophetic Voices," "Three Prophetic Voices," and "Three Prophetic Voices," so I'm kind of in the dark regarding specifics, but I'm planning to go, anyway.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/30/2002 11:04:00 PM • Permalink
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But I'm Too Tall to be a Hobbit!

Find your Middle Earth race at Lancepaw's Quiz Castle.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/30/2002 03:59:00 PM • Permalink
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Lullaby and Goodnight: The Sequel
How lame can a person get? This is how I spent my birthday: It is half past midnight and I'm finally getting ready to leave my office. I had microwave popcorn and Hershey's kisses for supper. Now I'm going home and going to bed!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/30/2002 12:28:00 AM • Permalink
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Thursday, August 29, 2002 AD
Lullaby and Goodnight, with Roses Bedight
ABCNews.com had a story about brain music yesterday. Seems our brains produce their own lullabies to help us get to sleep. And other people's brain music just doesn't have the same effect. I wish they'd included an audio file with the story--it would have been cool to hear someone's brain music!

(Bedight, for those who are wondering, means bedecked or arrayed.)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/29/2002 11:07:00 PM • Permalink
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To Me!

I'm 35 today, and as I always like to point out, there's only one alternative to getting older....
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/29/2002 01:28:00 AM • Permalink
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Wednesday, August 28, 2002 AD
Since Emeth Wants Me to Blog Something
Google finally found me, too. It actually caught me once before, but in the "this is the future home of" stage. Now I'm the first kyriosity. And almost all of the others, too. All but one, in fact, which has something to do with roleplaying. Google also found the test blog I set up and played with before buying server space from Jonathan. I have no idea how to get rid of that now. Any suggestions?

Sorry, Emeth. You didn't stipulate that I should post something interesting!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/28/2002 10:08:00 PM • Permalink
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Thursday, August 22, 2002 AD
Singleness: It's Bad for Your Health, Gents!
A British study shows that, for men, being single is worse than smoking.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/22/2002 06:55:00 PM • Permalink
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Valkyrie v. Amazon: Battle of the Warrior Women
I am happy to report that I have won an e-mail battle with Amazon.com customer service -- they have seen the light and are refunding an unfair shipping charge. I promised to spread the word that they are a wonderful company with whom to do business...if one doesn't mind persvering a bit!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/22/2002 06:46:00 PM • Permalink
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Wednesday, August 21, 2002 AD
First Date, Last Date
I went on my first date when I was 15 (1983). We went to play miniature golf. I won. I went out with that guy twice. That was my longest relationship ever. Yes, as a matter of fact I am a pathetic loser...wanna make something of it?

My last date was when I was 22 (1989). Need I repeat the "pathetic loser" bit?

I should hasten to add I can post stuff like that because at the moment I'm actually enjoying a rare season of contentment with my lot. From this perspective, it's all actually rather amusing.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/21/2002 12:07:00 AM • Permalink
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Tuesday, August 20, 2002 AD
A Seething Blogger Gives Herself a Pep Talk
"Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve." (Colossians 3:22-24, NASB)

Some days these words are more challenging than other days. Today is one of those very-not-easy days. There's just no caveat about masters (or, as in my case, mistresses) for whom, for whatever reason, one doesn't particularly care. And there's just no caveat about being asked to do things one considers to be a stupid waste of time. Whatever thing is asked by a legitimate authority, unless it requires disobedience to a higher authority, must be done, and done cheerfully and willingly. It must be done "as for the Lord," and nothing done for Him is, in the final analysis, a stupid waste of time. Quite the contrary! Anything done for Him, in Him, by His power, in obedience to His command, is a beautiful and worthy thing that brings Him glory.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/20/2002 01:23:00 PM • Permalink
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Monday, August 19, 2002 AD
Yay! Another Blogger Baby!
Elizabeth Anne Saenz, daughter of Rick Saenz, was born this morning!

Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/19/2002 09:09:00 PM • Permalink
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Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/19/2002 06:21:00 AM • Permalink
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Saturday, August 17, 2002 AD
I Probably Ought to Be Ashamed of Myself
I haven't been feeling well this week (hence my blogging lapse) so when I got through with a doctor's appointment yesterday afternoon, going back to my un-airconditioned house was not in the least appealing. So I went to Greenleaf Christian Books, found a novel, and sat in the climate-controlled bliss of the comfy-chair-furnished reading area. For about four and a half hours. And read the whole book. And didn't buy it. I suppose I could've gone to a library, where such behavior doesn't seem quite so much like theivery, but at the moment it didn't occur to me. Happily, it was much cooler when I left the store and I got the closest thing to a good night's sleep I've had in a week!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/17/2002 01:40:00 PM • Permalink
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Close Encounters of the Blogger Kind
I had the very great pleasure of lunching today with Brian and Stacey (once I found the right bagel place -- 20 minutes past the appointed hour). Brian accosted an innocent bystander (bysitter, actually) and pressed him into photographic service, the results of which I suppose will be posted at Barukatash by and by.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/17/2002 01:30:00 PM • Permalink
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Saturday, August 10, 2002 AD
My Apostatizing Blog
In my Blogger settings, I have "Convert Line Breaks" set to "Yes," but my blog occasionally unconverts and I have to go back and save my settings again. I don't have to change them -- the "Yes" is still there -- but I have to resave them, then my blog is hunky-dory. It's just getting old when you have to do that about every other post. Of course this polyapostatizing behavior is very disturbing to me as someone who believes one can only be saved once, and that it sticks! ;^)

Anyway, if any Blogger users out there have come across this problem and can suggest a solution, your assistance would not be unappreciated!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/10/2002 07:42:00 PM • Permalink
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The Pith of Marriage?
This quote (slightly edited for punctuation) is from a friend giving advice to a young brother in Christ who is wringing his hands a bit about whether or not to pursue a certain fair maiden: "This is the question--'Can I lead and love sacrificially this one?' If the answer is yes, and her answer to 'Can I follow this one?' is yes, then get busy."

What think you? Is that the heart of the matter? I'm inclined to think it's pretty close, if not right on target. It seems that other considerations are subcategories of these.

Since these matters tend to elicit a flurry of discussion, I will eagerly await your comments!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/10/2002 06:48:00 PM • Permalink
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Friday, August 09, 2002 AD
Worship Post Resurrection
(That's "Worship Post Resurrection," not "Worship Post-Resurrection"!)

Speaking of the infestation of Waynes, another one linked to my July 27 post on worship music, which has generated a new flurry of comments.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/09/2002 12:13:00 AM • Permalink
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Thursday, August 08, 2002 AD
Wayne W (not to be confused with any of the other Waynes who, along with Mr. W., infest the blogosphere), yesterday posted the history of churches he's been a member of over the years. While my list is not quite so long and interesting, I thought I might as well play copycat. (This might be an interesting trend for Christian blogs. Of course that means that Seth can't participate.)

+ From pre-birth to almost-23 I attended a Southern Baptist Congregation that friends and I learned to call "The Church of Good Taste." The choir loft was higher than the cross, a metaphor of their relative value in the eyes of the congregation. Since good music was such a priority, the church hired the best choir director they could find. No matter that he was living in open and unrepentant sexual immorality. This event caused many of us to leave shortly before the congregation's 75th anniversary. Their slogan for that occasion was "Enlarging the Vision," to which I was wont to append, "by Stretching the Truth."

+ Several months of clueless wandering ensued. As one might guess, I wasn't exactly well-grounded theologically. I visited a PCUSA church for a while, then an Evangelical Congregational plant that never made it off the ground, then a Vineyard church for a bizarre three months, and finally ended up at another PCUSA congregation. I joined a year to the day after I wrote my letter of resignation to my first church and was there for about six years. Unfortunately, it was six years of change in a generally liberalward trend as I personally was moving more conservativeward. The founding pastor, Eugene Peterson, was on his way out after 29 years. The first interim was a very liberal woman. The second installed pastor was a solid Evangelical fellow who was quite overwhelmed by the calling and resigned after just 18 months. Two more liberal interims. During the second one's tenure, especially, I was gritting my teeth, saying "She's only an interim, she's only an interim." But the damage had been done and the character of the congregation had shifted. The third installed pastor was a woman whose candidating sermon was psychobabblish "God believes in you" pablum. I blew 'dat joint.

+ Sigh...another year of ecclesiastical limbo. By that time I was solidly set on a no-women-pastors denomination. I had taken Greek at a PCA seminary, and was involved in a singles group at a PCA church, so I was considering the PCA, but I had only just encountered Calvinism and was pretty freaked out by it, kinda like the chick in this story (but without the public tounge-lashings). So I found another SBC congregation (the antithesis of the one I'd grown up in -- they seemed to deliberately eschew good music, but actually held the Bible in high regard) and stayed there for about three or four years. First Casual Baptist (a nickname given by the pastor) wasn't a bad church, and I reflect with some dissatisfaction on my decision to leave as lacking in charity. But by this time, I had swallowed the TULIP bulb and was itching to be in a Reformed Presbyterian congregation.

[To be continued....]
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/08/2002 10:17:00 AM • Permalink
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Wednesday, August 07, 2002 AD
Well That's a Bit Disturbing
Yesterday I wrote an e-mail to a financial services company. Today I received a reply to my inquiry. Then I received a reply to someone else's inquiry. Including her user name and password! I wrote back to point out the error...and threaten terrible things if they were ever so careless with my personal information.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/07/2002 03:00:00 PM • Permalink
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The Truth About "The Washington Post Style Invitational"
In a comment re yesterday's Sniglets post, Ellen contributed a list of words purported to be the winning entries in the Washington Post Style Invitational. Like Ellen, I've received this list by e-mail and passed it on to others, too. But this is what seemed fishy: Ellen's version (rather, in the version Ellen shared -- I'm not accusing Ellen of tampering with anything!) claimed to be the results of the 2001 contest. Trouble was, I was sure I'd seen this longer ago. I also thought it suspicious that the Post would print the "French" item on the list. So off I went a-Googling/Among the leaves so green.

Sho' 'nuff, things were not quite as reported. The Post ran the Style Invitational as a weekly feature, which ended in 1999 when the fellow in charge was sent off on a six-month overseas assignment. (Either he never came back or someone needs to send the Post a calendar.) The contest changed weekly as readers were invited to submit various sillinesses in an attempt to win various sillinesses.

And now, without futher ado, I present to you the original August 1998 list from which Ellen's was derived and the Style Invitational Archive. Don't laugh too hard!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/07/2002 11:10:00 AM • Permalink
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Tuesday, August 06, 2002 AD
"Eye-Hurting Paisley"?
That's how someone discribed my blog design. Does it hurt anyone else's eyes?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/06/2002 10:44:00 AM • Permalink
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Remember Sniglets?
They were a series of books back in...oh, I guess the '80s...that created words that ought to exist but didn't. A couple of my favorite examples are bovilexia, the uncontrollable urge to lean out the car window and moo when passing a herd of cows, and aquadextrous, the ability to manipulate the faucets in the tub with ones toes while bathing.

Well, a faithful friend of this blog, Mrs. PentaMom, came up with a good one the other day: subarubs, city-adjacent neighborhoods inhabited by people who drive Outbacks, Foresters, Legacies and Imprezas.

And I came up with this one this morning: punktuation, the use of commas, dashes, colons, semicolons, quotation marks, etc. without regard to any standard or authority.

Any other contributions?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/06/2002 10:10:00 AM • Permalink
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Monday, August 05, 2002 AD
Taking the Ninny out of Femininity
Emeth has started a new blog, Valiant Women (then gone camping, leaving it to languish). I'm looking forward to her "pursuing a truly Biblical definition of the ideal woman." I've seen too many online discussions about masculinity and femininity that have devolved into debates about subjects such as whether, if a woman practices headcovering, a brightly patterned fabric is appropriate. I'm counting on valiant young Emeth (since when were 22-year-olds allowed to be so smart?) to spare us such idiocy.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/05/2002 09:12:00 AM • Permalink
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Sunday, August 04, 2002 AD
Zeb's happy cow gave quarts of jinxed milk.
That is my briefest attempt thus far at creating a pangram. My example contains 34 letters--one less than "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." That famous line was penned, according to the delightful novel Ella Minnow Pea, by one Nevin Nollop, honored native son of a little island country off the coast of South Carolina formerly known as Utopianna but renamed Nollop after the aforementioned Nevin in 1904.

The novel, written by Mark Dunn (a playwright I've never heard of before) and borrowed from Sophia Prester (a pseudonymous writer of fan fiction and knitter of my favorite pair of mittens), is "a progressively lipogrammatic epistolary fable." (Unless you buy the upcoming paperback version, in which case it's just "a novel in letters," which isn't nearly as interesting a subtitle if you ask me.) Ella Minnow Pea takes place during a dreadful season when the tiles bearing the letters of Nevin's famous sentence begin to fall from his monument. The Nollopian High Council read into this occurrence a portent that the islanders must cease to use each fallen letter in either speech or writing upon penalty of a public dressing-down for a first offense, a choice between flogging or time in the headstock for a second offense, and banishment for a third offense. Some islanders embrace the bizarre new law with fundamentalistic fervor, some reluctantly acquiesce, some try and fail and suffer the consequences, and a brave few choose to fight for their liberty...not to mention their Z's, Q's, J's and D's. In this last category are those whose dramatic public gestures get them quickly booted to the U.S. mainland and those, the title character amongst them, who strike a deal with the High Council: If anyone can compose a pangrammatic sentence of a mere 32 letters, the leaders will acknowledge that the revered Nevin might not be directing their actions from the grave, after all, and might even be somewhat less than worthy of their cultic zeal.

The 200-page volume is thus far not only sweetening my word tooth with chocolatelike neologistic synonymography, but also indulging my penchant for seeing hermeneutical nincompoopery pooh-poohed. I'll let y'all know if I still like it once I'm done with the second half.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/04/2002 04:27:00 PM • Permalink
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Thursday, August 01, 2002 AD
A Pleasant Evening with My Father
That may not seem like a very interesting title, but I assure you that it's quite remarkable. You see, it's the first pleasant evening I can recall ever spending with my father in my nearly 35 years. And it was the first time I'd seen him at all in over three years.

I met him for dinner at a nearby restaurant. We had a good conversation -- not about anything deep, but I learned some things about him that I didn't know before. Of course, I hardly know anything about him, so that wasn't hard to accomplish. I was able to tactfully change the subject when he strayed into inappropriate territory. In the past, that sort of thing has just made me want to get out of his company as quickly as possible.

I think it was such a success because I wasn't controlled by my pain from the past. He wasn't just the man who utterly abdicated his calling as a husband and father, he was more a tired old sinner in need of grace. And I wasn't just the poor little girl utterly paralyzed by the circumstancs of her past, I was more a child of God enabled to be a vessel of grace. I can almost say with Joseph, "What you intended for evil, God intended for good."

It's a bit stunning to me that I could be sitting here writing about a pleasant evening when I was bracing myself against a dreadful one. God has been merciful to me, indeed.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/01/2002 10:17:00 PM • Permalink
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The most arrogant man in the world, our editorial consultant, just replied to something I'd written him in too sharp a tone. His message was, "Haven't you ever heard of grace?"

My immediate comeback was, "Yeah, it's that thing all of us so often wish we got from you!" But God was merciful and didn't let me send it.

Ugh! Rebukes are always hardest to take when they come from the mouth of an enemy. How I hate to have to go humble myself before him. Yet it must be done.

"Haven't you ever heard of grace?"

"Yeah, it's that thing I need an awful lot of right this moment."
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/01/2002 04:41:00 PM • Permalink
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