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Saturday, July 31, 2004 AD
Guess Who Came to Dinner
Mr. and Mrs. Capezza eating Maryland steamed crabs for the first time...

...at the Crackpot Seafood Restaurant. (Rick was more amused by Crackpot Liquors next door.)

And a good time was had by all.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/31/2004 05:54:00 PM • Permalink
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Friday, July 30, 2004 AD
They're Coming After All!
Now pardon me while I go home and turn my house upside-down by tomorrow. Actually, it's already upside-down, so I guess I'll have to turn it rightside-up!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/30/2004 01:37:00 PM • Permalink
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Thursday, July 29, 2004 AD
Rats, My Longest Scarf Wasn't Long Enough
Random friendly 7-11 proprietor shows how to construct the perfect turban (link from Paulo). According to my calculations, "really long" (see step 3) = more than 7 feet, which is the length of my longest scarf, made of a remnant of hot pink Indian silk I found at G Street a few years ago. G Street is the most amazing fabric store I have ever seen. Two floors of fabrics from all over the world. Most of the stuff I lusted after was entirely-too-expensive Asian silks. I also loved some of the African batiks and other prints, but they were so stiff -- almost starched-stiff. I wonder if they would soften with a few washings. Have any of you seamstresses ever played with them?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/29/2004 11:26:00 PM • Permalink
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Another lovely post from Megan at All In A Day's Work
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/29/2004 02:59:00 PM • Permalink
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Psalm 52

1 Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man?
     The lovingkindness of God endures all day long.
2 Your tongue devises destruction,
     Like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit.
3 You love evil more than good,
     Falsehood more than speaking what is right. Selah.
4 You love all words that devour,
     O deceitful tongue.
5 But God will break you down forever;
     He will snatch you up and tear you away from your tent,
     And uproot you from the land of the living. Selah.
6 The righteous will see and fear,
     And will laugh at him, saying,

9 7 'Behold, the man who would not make God his refuge,
     But trusted in the abundance of his riches
     And was strong in his evil desire.'
10 8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
     I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.
11 9 I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it,
     And I will wait on Your name, for it is good,
     in the presence of Your godly ones."

Verse 6 really jumped out at me when I read this the other day. The righteous will fear and laugh. Thinking about this woman who killed two of her triplets, I fear God because I know that there but for His grace go I. I fear becoming so calloused. I fear having a conscience so seared that I could boast about heinous sins. But I will laugh over the punishment of the wicked, and righteously so. I don't think most evangelicals think that's possible -- both to fear and to laugh -- so in the name of humility they end up doing neither. Or worse, they end up doing the reverse -- fearing the wicked, fearing the idea that the wicked will be punished, and thereby scoffing at the holiness of God.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/29/2004 01:40:00 PM • Permalink
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Elder Bill (Gabbard) suggested that I add a photo to my bio, which I have done. Some of my readers will recognize it as #7. ;-)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/29/2004 12:19:00 AM • Permalink
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Wednesday, July 28, 2004 AD
Well, Well...Look Who Turns Out to Be a Veteran Baby-Killer
The woman who aborted her identical twins and kept her "stand-alone" is not just an average chick-on-the-street, but the founder of a feminist organization that funds abortions for young women. I wonder if she was just itchin' to qualify to buy one of these.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/28/2004 11:34:00 PM • Permalink
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Sigh...No Houseguests for Me
I was so hoping to have a little R&R, but they've decided they can't afford to come. The Garvers have all the fun.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/28/2004 08:07:00 AM • Permalink
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Tuesday, July 27, 2004 AD
Happy 24th!
Congratulations to Cindy of Dominion Family and her husband Tim on 24 years of wedded bliss!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/27/2004 02:30:00 PM • Permalink
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New, from Tyndale House, It's The Photographers' Bible™!
With a lens built into the spine, this version of God's word is designed especially for the Christian photographer. Five megapixels give the clear resolution a godly shutterbug needs to discern the truth. A 32MB storage card comes free with every purchase. Additional cards are available -- see Accessories on page 12 of the catalogue.

Commentary placed on pages throughout the text will make God seem as close as if you were looking at Him through a telephoto lens. For example, in Genesis 1, where God says, "Let there be light," our scholars have provided for you biblical insights into the use of flashes in your work. As the scales fall from Saul's eyes in Acts 9, you'll be treated to an exposition on the removal of lens caps. And the wild apocalyptic passages of Revelation are accompanied by tips on applying psychadelic effects with PhotoShop.

The Photographers' Bible™ is a must for any serious or casual photographer who really wants to be a well-developed disciple of Christ.

Available in Black or Burgundy bonded leather, in KJV or NIV for just $399.95!

I posted this on a forum when a friend apologized for not not having a camera in his Bible when he paid a surprise visit to Bret's church on Sunday. Thought it might be appreciated by a wider audience!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/27/2004 11:54:00 AM • Permalink
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EGEATP Goes Global
[Postmark -- Jablonné nad Orlicí, Czech Republic, 21 July -- on a postcard depicting Prague]

Dear Valerie,

Hope your plans are coming together: EGEATP. Such a helpful acronym when stuck in Frakfort airport all day!

English camp is going well. It is a privilege to be here.

Thanks for your prayers for us. We see His glory glimpse by glimpse and long to gaze!

Unrelated note: The original authoress chimed in re her quote that I posted last Tuesday.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/27/2004 03:23:00 AM • Permalink
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Monday, July 26, 2004 AD
Math in the Kitchen With Valerie
OK, boys and girls, today's lesson is on division. Valerie has half a leg of lamb. Valerie has a recipe for a whole leg of lamb. Valerie's recipe calls for two cloves of garlic, slivered and stuffed into slits in the meat. How many cloves of garlic should Valerie use?

a) one clove
b) two cloves
c) three cloves
d) four cloves

If you picked c, give yourself a pat on the back. The correct answer can be determined of course by figuring out just how many slits one can cut into half a leg of lamb. Valerie was able to cut enough to fit the slivers from three large cloves. We asked Valerie if her lamb turned out OK, but we couldn't understand her answer 'cuz she was talking with her mouth full.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/26/2004 02:11:00 PM • Permalink
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Sunday, July 25, 2004 AD
The Body As the Baby
Once upon a time there were two women, Sadie and Sally, who were members of the same church. Sadie and Sally got into a terrible quarrel (about what no one remembers) that ruined their previously cordial, if not close, friendship, and threatened to escalate into full-scale warfare if nothing were done about it.

When the elders got wind of the feud, they brought the women in to try to sort things out. Unfortunately, after lengthy questioning, it turned out to be one of those nasty she said, she said situations, with no witnesses that could speak for either of the combatants, and the elders just couldn't make heads nor tails of it. There was no way of telling who was right and who was wrong.

Finally, the eldest elder, wise old Mr. Johnson -- whom some in the congregation likened to Solomon, though he'd only ever been married to one woman, Mildred, his bride of 37 years -- began to plead with the women:

"Look, Sadie, Sally...we really can't see what should be done in your case. We can't discern the truth well enough to discipline either one of you. So please help us out here. A buzz about your conflict has already started in the congregation. Soon people will start to take sides on the matter, and I'm afraid that can only lead to a church split. Since we can't figure out the truth here, there's only one way I can see of avoiding such a tragedy. One of you will have to leave. Would one of you please be willing to do that for the sake of peace?"

Sadie answered first:

"Well I'm certainly not going to be the one to leave! Why, I've belonged to this church all my life. My granddaddy was a founding elder and my parents met here as children and were married in the sanctuary right down the hall. I was baptized here, too, and have been a faithful member ever since. No way am I giving up my place in this church for the likes of her!"

And then Sally replied:

"Well, I've only been a member here for four years, but this congregation has been a real blessing to me. I've been shown so much love and friendship! I love the liturgy and the singing here. I love the preaching and the teaching. I love the fellowship. It will break my heart to have to go, but it would break my heart worse to see this body split, so I guess I'll go join First Pres. in the next town over."

The session chucked Sadie out on her ear.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/25/2004 05:10:00 PM • Permalink
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In case I haven't annoyed my dial-up readers enough, here's a bunch more images. Click on each one to view it without a paisley background.

I was trying to remember when I took my painting class and I finally worked it out that it was the fall semester of 1988, when I was 21.

This was my first oil painting. The instructor started us off with just black and white paint, and a still life of potatoes and onions.

Next she moved us on to a couple blue and reddish-brown (I should probably remember the names of the pigments, but I don't) paintings. Here's one with what seems to have been her favorite still-life component: shoes.

Here's another with some cylinders. I think she was going for textures and reflective properties here. The brown cylinder was probably cardboard or something. The blue cylinder was metallic, and you can see the brown one reflected in it. Who knows what the white ones were...I obviously didn't complete them.

Next we did complimentary colors. Our in-class assignment was, once again, a shoe still life. These, as well as the previous two, were intended in part to help us see how warm and cool colors create the illusion of closeness and distance.

The complimentary color homework assigment was to paint a popcorn landscape.

Eventually we moved on to full color work, and the instructor taught us a technique for painting shiny things. I call this masterpiece "Chevy Hubcap with Gourds." Can you see the Chevy logo in the center? Wouldn't you be proud to hang this above your couch?

We also had a shiny homework assignment for which I produced the following. I borrowed the shoe from the instructor's prop collection (I did all my homework assignments in the studio) as such a thing would not have been found in my wardrobe at the time. Or at any time, for that matter.

For one class she set up a huge still life with a variety of objects in the center of the room and told us to paint what was right in front of us. I was staring a baby doll draped across an American flag, which wasn't the most pleasant thing in the world to paint, but I always thought it looked like an anti-abortion statement. Creepy, innit?

Another home assignment was leaves, rock, and fruit or vegetable. I think this was the assignment where she threatened to tie a 2-inch paintbrush to my hand so I wouldn't be quite so obsessed with details 'til I'd gotten the thing a little better filled in. She was pleased enough with the pepper and the orange leaf, but not with the barely sketched rock. It was a piece of feldspar I'd borrowed from the geology lab (with permission from my prof, of course) because I wanted an interesting rock. An uninteresting rock might actually have gotten painted, though. Note to self: Don't take mineralogy and painting classes simultaneously.

Another still life component the instructor liked was styrofoam cups You can see some above in one of the shoe paintings. I think the idea was to get us to see that white isn't really white. If you've seen "Girl With a Pearl Earring" (and I don't particularly recommend that you do) you may remember the scene where Vermeer asks the girl what color the clouds are. At first she says they're white, but then she looks a little harder and says they're yellow and gray and blue. I thought of my instructor's styrofoam cups.

This is my favorite painting of the semester (the silver shoe is my second favorite). I think it helps that the colors are bright and cheerful, and it actually looks finished. When I look at this one, I wish I'd kept painting. I wish I could start painting again. Maybe someday....

Our final assignment was to create a still life of our own and paint it. One of the options was to create the still life by pinning things to a bulletin board. Since we'd have to be painting both at home and in class, I went that route. Unfortunately every element of the piece is emblematic of my 21-year-old foolishness, and I'm too embarrassed to post it. Obviously styrofoam cups and colored paper were about as self-expressive as I should have been at the time.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/25/2004 03:16:00 PM • Permalink
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Stupid Bread Machine Tricks
I'm not the most brilliant person in the kitchen, but I have one trick that excels above the rest in its failure to achieve genius: Forgetting to put the kneading attachment into the bread machine. Happily, this morning I woke up a little earlier than my alarm was set for and went to peek at the machine. Sho' 'nuff, it hadn't been kneaded. But on the regular (three-hour) setting the machine doesn't start actually baking 'til an hour before the end of the cycle. There was an hour and eleven minutes on the clock. I pulled the plug, scooped out what I could of the dry ingredients, added the kneading attachment and reset the timer for express mode, which takes an hour and twenty minutes. So my bread won't be quite as good as if I'd gone with the regular mode, but at least it'll be done on time!

Note to self: Don't start making bread at 2 o'clock in the morning. Get that done first before you get carried away with perusing and commenting on your friends' newly redesigned websites!

UPDATE: Or maybe not. That's the ugliest flat brick of bread I've ever seen -- didn't rise right. Ah, well, guess I'll have to go empty-handed to the thing after church today. At least I'll have a story to tell...that oughta count for something, right?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/25/2004 08:05:00 AM • Permalink
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More Progress
1) A better book comparison:

2) Where the bed was:

These pictures are of the smallest of my three bedrooms (the one that used to have pink gingham curtains). The neat stacks of boxes you see above used to be just about filling the middle bedroom in wild disarray. I've condensed and combined and put lids on things so it's all a bit tidier. The boxes are all full of a hodge-podge of stuff that needs to be sorted, but it looks a lot less intimidating than it used to. There are now several boxes fewer than there used to be.

The middle room is now nearly empty except for the bookshelves. Next I'll move the double bed from my room to the middle room in hopeful anticipation of my possible company (and because I've been wanting it out) and the single bed into my room.

Hope I'm not boring y'all. I'm just so excited to be making some progress -- thanks be to God! I did take a break tonight, though. Went for a girls' night out and watched "Starsky and Hutch" and laughed my fool head off. And now I'd better get to bed so I don't sleep through church tomorrow. Yaaaaaawn!

Coming Tomorrow (technically, at a more sensible hour later today): The paintings from under the bed!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/25/2004 01:39:00 AM • Permalink
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Saturday, July 24, 2004 AD
I'm attempting to take apart a bed frame that probably hasn't been disassembled in over 31 years. (It's in the bedroom set my parents bought me when I was 5. White with antique gold trim. And I had pink walls and pink gingham curtains, too. Can you get any girlier than that?) The side pieces absolutely refuse to budge from the headboard and footboard. I've never met a bed where these didn't just slide out. Even a bit of banging with a hammer doesn't do the trick. Is there such a thing as a locking bed frame?

Unfortunately, taking this thing apart was a crucial step in my afternoon plans, which involved basically rotating a portion of the contents of three bedrooms in anticipation of possible houseguests in a weekend or two. So I'm kinda stuck. But EGEATP!

UPDATE: Eureka! Went at it again with the hammer and a little more vigor, and I now have a diassembled bed. And a whoooooole lotta dust bunnies underneath it!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/24/2004 03:40:00 PM • Permalink
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Cruel, Cruel, Cruel!
These are the books that have so far survived purging:

These are the books that have not survived:

And this was after culling several hundred volumes a few years ago. Have I not been cruel, heartless, downright vicious with my library and, verily, with myself? Am I not deserving of the tenderest of sympathies and gentlest of pats on the head?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/24/2004 01:13:00 PM • Permalink
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Friday, July 23, 2004 AD
I posted a very brief bio near the bottom of the blue sidebar. Anything I should add to it? What are the things you want to know about when you first visit someone's blog?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/23/2004 04:37:00 PM • Permalink
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Thursday, July 22, 2004 AD
And on a Related Note
The prejudice is widespread that a termination for medical reasons is somehow on a higher moral plane than a run-of-the-mill abortion. (You can use newspaperlogin/123456 to login to read the article.)
How refreshing to see a pro-abortion writer acknowledge that!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/22/2004 01:07:00 PM • Permalink
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Bragging Online About a Double Murder
I know lots of others have already blogged about this charming article, but here's a couple cents' worth from me:
On the subway, Peter asked, ''Shouldn't we consider having triplets?'' And I had this adverse reaction: ''This is why they say it's the woman's choice, because you think I could just carry triplets. That's easy for you to say, but I'd have to give up my life.''
"Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

"By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?"

Isn't this so much at the heart of every sin? We disobey God because we don't want to lay down our lives -- not the least little bit of our comfort. And we're sure that we know better than the God of all comfort what will truly bring us comfort. We know better than the God at whose right hand are pleasures forevermore what will bring us pleasure.
Not only would I have to be on bed rest at 20 weeks, I wouldn't be able to fly after 15. I was already at eight weeks. When I found out about the triplets, I felt like: It's not the back of a pickup at 16, but now I'm going to have to move to Staten Island. I'll never leave my house because I'll have to care for these children. I'll have to start shopping only at Costco and buying big jars of mayonnaise.
Oh no! Not the big jars of mayonnaise! Horrors!!!
When we saw the specialist, we found out that I was carrying identical twins and a stand alone. My doctors thought the stand alone was three days older. There was something psychologically comforting about that, since I wanted to have just one.
There was something comforting about murdering twins? From a sheer cuteness factor, the thought ought to repulse even secular minds.

Vengeance is the Lord's. He will repay. I'll just rant a little bit in the meantime.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/22/2004 11:46:00 AM • Permalink
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Potty Poetry
The porcelain facilities in the office where I work are not always effective in the first-try disposal of their contents, so I wrote the following poem, which I printed on a tasteful poster with a pretty flower. A copy hung in each stall in the ladies room for a couple years 'til somebody finally took them down a few months ago.
Please be nice
And stick around
To flush it twice
If it don't go down.
I bet it's the most well-known verse I've ever written. I bet every woman who worked on this floor before it was removed could quote it to you. And if that ain't enough to keep a girl humble, I don't know what is!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/22/2004 10:19:00 AM • Permalink
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Wednesday, July 21, 2004 AD
Now This Could Come in Handy
Online tunes for psalms and hymns from Cantus Christi
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/21/2004 04:15:00 PM • Permalink
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Reading Doug Wilson Is So Educational
I always wondered how to spell skosh. Now (after double-checking) I know. But he's still got kerfuffle wrong.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/21/2004 11:20:00 AM • Permalink
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Tuesday, July 20, 2004 AD
More on Expectations for Kids
I have been pondering the idea of 'expectations', as in 'what kind of behavior should you expect from a 1 year old child?' This is the conclusion I have come to: when a child is born, his parents should EXPECT him to behave as an adult. Yes, that sounds weird...but if you are a Christian person, you believe that your child should grow into an adult that exhibits the Fruits of the Spirit--namely, Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. (Galatians 5:22). So when that child is born, you should expect him to have a character that exhibits these fruits. If you do, than when you look at the child and see him exhibiting behavior that doesn't fit the picture, you correct him. It's a simple concept, but I think it's a very profound one. If you merely 'expect' your baby to act like a baby, he's not going to be trained to be anything different than a baby. Children are supposed to grow into adults, so all the training of childhood is aimed at creating a good adult. If a parent only expects their child to be a child of a particular age group, that's what they're going to get."
I suspect the young lady who wrote this was raised with those sorts of expectations.

Read the rest of her blog. It's only been up two weeks, so it won't take long. Read from the earliest posts up (the quote is from the first one). And if you can read the posts about Elaina with a dry eye...well...I worry for you.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/20/2004 09:03:00 PM • Permalink
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Too Bad Kids Can't Understand Spiritual Matters
Last night, after Hubby and C3 left in the taxi for the clinic, I took the other boys to the grocery store to get some treats. While walking around, J8 mournfully asked, "Why did C3 have to get hurt? Why was my little brother hurt?"

It was hard to answer him without tears, "Well, we know that God has this all in His hands, and that God will use this in C3's life for His purpose."

Later in the evening J8 told me, "I think it's not just in C3's life, but God did this for me, too," and went on to explain some things in his heart.
For those who need a cast (no pun intended!) list, C3 and J8 are two of Alexandra's boys -- first initial and age.

Amazing, innit, what kids can grasp when parents actually expect them to grasp stuff, and believe that they grasp stuff. American Evanjellyfishdom has so swalllowed the unbiblical idea of "age of accountability" that they treat their children not only like heathens, but like spiritual morons. By the grace of God, their children don't always reflect those parental expectations, but it should be no surprise when they do.

I love stories like Alexandra's. I love seeing a young boy grasp and apply spiritual truths. But faith is evidence of things not seen, and we should expect that God is working in covenant children's lives even when our senses give us no proofs. So I also love stories like the one RCJR tells about his daughter Shannon, who is not much younger than J8, I think. When he brings her to the Lord's Table, although she may not partake of the elements, he whispers to her, "Shannon, Jesus is here," and believes not only that Jesus communes with her just as He does with her siblings and her parents and her fellow church members and all of God's covenant people around the world and the great cloud of witnesses, but also that Shannon understands.

Suffer the little children to come unto Him. Do not stumble them by your own faithlessness.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/20/2004 10:09:00 AM • Permalink
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Monday, July 19, 2004 AD
A Sound I Like Very Much
We sang Psalm 42 from Cantus Christi yesterday. (Well, technically we sang it from photocopies, but I was happy to find it in CC when I looked this evening.) It was yummy, even though I never did get the timing quite right at the end. I'm practicing it for next time.

Aha! That's also the tune for "Comfort, Comfort Ye My People" (at least in CC). When I needed something to sing for an Advent/Christmas concert a couple years ago, I wanted to write something, but couldn't manage any original lyrics that I liked. So I looked for a hymn whose tune I didn't know in order to compose new music for it. I settled on "Comfort, Comfort" and added a refrain/chorus (is there a difference between a refrain and a chorus?) thingie. It's nice to be able to sing it with a real hymn tune.

The Cyber Hymnal (did I mention hating the sound of MIDIs?) uses a different tune. The tune in CC, "Freu Dich Sehr," they have here with different timing and these words:

Print Thine image, pure and holy,
On my heart, O Lord of Grace;
So that nothing, high or lowly,
Thy blest likeness can efface.
Let the clear inscription be:
Jesus, crucified for me,
And the Lord of all creation,
Be my Refuge and Salvation.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/19/2004 07:59:00 PM • Permalink
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Loud Mechanical Noises I Hate
I would rather be a little warmer than have the fan on too high, because I hate the sound.

I would rather have slightly (though not dangerously!) reduced visibility than have the windshield wipers on too high, because I hate the sound. Ideally, the sound of the rain will help drown out the sound of the wipers if run at higher speeds.

I hate lawnmowers.

I hate the beeping sound trucks make when they back up.

I hate my co-workers' choice of cell phone rings. Actually, I hate most telephone rings, but those are particularly bad.

I hate printers that screech.

I hate busy signals.

I hate the timer on my oven.

I hate alarms of any sort -- alarm clocks, car alarms, sirens, error beeps, etc.

(07/20) Thought of another one to round out the list at 10: I hate most children's toys that make sounds on their own. Especially Kate's infamous talking phone. It would "talk" to the user in a drawling, demonic voice that said things like "What's your dog's name?" It was evil inplastate (um, which is a word I just made up to mean incarnate, but in plastic).
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/19/2004 07:39:00 PM • Permalink
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I Knew I Had That Book
I'm being a good girl today and starting one of my toughest moving chores: sorting books. (Phase one is yanking the ones I can easily part with. Phase two will be culling what will undoubtedly be the entirely too many that remain. Phases three and following will be progressively more difficult repeats of phase two.) And in the stacks of unshelved and disheveled volumes I found that Schaeffer book, The God Who Is There, in which he addresses "philosophic homosexuality," which I mentioned in a previous post (or in the comments to a previous post...can't remember which, too lazy to look). Here's the passage:
Some forms of homosexuality today are of a similar nature [The previous section is about Henry Miller whose writing Schaeffer describes as "not just pornographic but...a philosophical statement."], in that they are not just homosexuality, but a philosophic expression. One must have understanding for the real homophile's problem. But much modern homosexuality is an expression of the current denial of antithesis. It has led in this case to an obliteration of the distinction between man and woman. So the male and the female as complimentary partners are finished. This is a form of homosexuality which is a part of the movement below the line of despair. But this is not an isolated problem; it is a part of the world-spirit of the generation which surrounds us. It is imperative that Christians realise the conclusions which are being drawn as a result of the death of absolutes.
I've no comment to add except to say that I've never actually made it through an entire book by Schaeffer....
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/19/2004 04:16:00 PM • Permalink
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What Calligraphy Hand Are You?

Uncial -- You are simple and easily understood, but tend to have many different faces. (Brought to you by Quizilla.)

I'm not sure the results of this one really suit me, but a quiz on calligraphy hands was too cool to pass up!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/19/2004 12:08:00 PM • Permalink
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Sunday, July 18, 2004 AD
A Favorite Post
This post from last September is one I probably could have written nearly every day since. One of the hardest things about living alone is that it's so easy to slip into some state that's antithetical to the Christian life and go unobserved, unchallenged, unencouraged, and unchanged. But this is the good gift of God for as long as it lasts -- the training ground for learning the sufficiency of His grace and the surety of His promises. I would say that I'm flunking miserably, but then Jane or someone would scold me for breaking The Nancy Rule, so I think I'll just go to bed.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/18/2004 12:16:00 AM • Permalink
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Friday, July 16, 2004 AD
Suspicious black briefcase outside our office was a false alarm. Some poor schlep jes' got all his papers blowed up fer nuthin'.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/16/2004 11:12:00 AM • Permalink
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Monday, July 12, 2004 AD
And on a Related Note...
The January/February issue of Every Thought Captive isn't online yet, but the issue title was "Neither Greek Nor Jew" and the theme was race. When the issue hit the mailboxes, the shrieks from certain readers I will neither name nor link, though some of you know of whom I speak, could be heard for thousands of miles. The fine folks at HSC of course took the stance that race doesn't count for diddly-squat in the church of Jesus Christ. It has no bearing on whom we baptize, ordain, fellowship with, adopt or marry. Zero, zip, nada. I of course most heartily agree.

One of the shriekers' objections has been that the ETC authors used Galatians 3:28 to defend color-blindness. They argued that pro-homosexuality folks use the verse in the same way to defend gender-blindness, so HSC must be pro-homosexuality, too. There are probably lots of arguments to refute their thinking, but I wandered across one yesterday that works for me (though I'm sure it would never convince them). I was reading 1 Corinthians 12 and wrote this (in part) in my journal:
You simply cannot have a uni-member body. You cannot have an un-integrated body. Such a thing cannot exist. This isn't so much a command to re-integrate what's been put asunder as to acknowledge that what is a whole cannot be sundered. To think otherwise is a vain imagining, a wicked denial of a plain truth. This is not to say, though, that there are no distinctions in the body. There are indeed many members, but we must look at the diversity through the lens of unity. The only diversity we may look at, however, is the diversity of gifts and roles. That is the only diversity that signifies. The differences between the sexes are on this order of diversity -- a clear and soul-deep demarcation between roles -- and never the twain shall be conflated. The role differences between masters and servants, while also clearly defined in Scripture, are neither innate (as with the sexes) nor supernatural (as with the spiritual gifts). The differences among the races are never in Scripture a matter of roles. Even in the old covenant, non-Jews were to be included in the covenant if they were circumcised. The Jew/Gentile distinction with regard to the covenant is clearly obliterated in the new covenant. Therefore racial differences are of no significance whatsoever in the Church. In Christ we are a new race, distinct only from those who remain in rebellion against Him.
P.S. If any shriekers happen to surf by, feel free to read, but not to comment. Your arguments are not welcome here.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/12/2004 09:54:00 PM • Permalink
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Has the American Church Been Performing Homosexual Marriages for Decades?
Is that title provacative enough?

Something RCJR said on a tape series I'm listening to (Signs and Seals--third from the bottom) makes me ask this. He talked about the reaction most of us have probably had when attending a wedding where the bride doesn't vow to obey or submit: "She must be some kind of a feminist and he must be some kind of a wuss." (Actually, I think RC said it nicer than I just did, if you can believe that!) American churches, including many Evangelical ones, have for decades allowed marriage vows that speak not at all to the biblical roles of husbands and wives, i.e., headship and submission. Is this not a) an evisceration of the very nature of marriage, and b) an implicit acknowledgement of the interchangeableness of men and women? And if the sexes are interchangeable in their marriage roles, why shouldn't they be interchageable in bed? The Church acquiesced to spiritually homosexual marriage decades ago. So as the Dougs, for related reasons, point out, the American Evangelical Church has little right to moral outrage over the advent of physically homosexual marriage.

Of course homosexual "marriages" are not marriages at all. I'm not quite willing to say that marriages performed without acknowlegment of biblical roles aren't necessarily marriages, but it probably wouldn't take a whole lot to convince me of that notion. The thing that keeps me from going that far is the awareness of many Christian couples who wed with foolish, role-less vows and later came to embrace biblical roles. I'm not willing to say they'd hitherto been living out of wedlock, though they had been living in sin, in a broader-than-we-usually-mean-by-that-term sense. And I'm thinking it might be a fabu idea for such couples to renew their vows and do it the right way the second time around.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/12/2004 09:16:00 PM • Permalink
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Saturday, July 10, 2004 AD
You Mayn't Drive on the Sidewalks, Even with a Valid Poetic License
I was playing through some songs I wrote about ten years ago and there are a couple in which I paraphrased Jesus speaking. I don't think I took too much license, i.e., I think everything in those "quotes" is biblical, but I could be wrong about that. I can't necessarily point to specific passages in the Gospels that I'm attempting to paraphrase. So I wonder if I'm treading too close for comfort to claiming "thus saith the Lord" and putting words in His mouth.

I'll be brave and put one out there for your consideration. Most of what I was writing was to sing as solos in worship (a practice in which I am quite content to engage no longer, henceforth and forevermore, Amen). I would find out what texts were to be read and preached, and write something based on those passages. In this case, the texts were Psalm 23 and John 14:1-7.
Why do you worry and why do you fret?
Just trust in God, just trust in Me.
I've been with you so long, but you don't see yet
That all this time it's the Father you've seen.
So don't let your hearts be troubled!
I'm your Shepherd and you are My own.
I'm just going to find green pastures,
I'm just going to prepare your home.
If God didn't have a place for you,
Don't you think I'd have told you so?
So don't let your hearts be troubled!
I'm your Shepherd and you are My own.
Why do you puzzle and why do you fear?
You can find that place, you'll be there one day.
You've been given the answers, but you still don't hear:
You go through Me, for I am the Way
So don't let your hearts be troubled!
I'm the Way and the Truth and the Life.
I will lead you in the right paths,
Even through the dark of night.
If I hadn't planned to come back for you,
Don't you think I'd have told you so?
So don't let your hearts be troubled!
I'm your Shepherd and you are My own.
Why do you think that you can't find the way?
Why do you keep searching when you're holding the key?
I've said it before and again I will say:
It's the wise who are blind and the fools who can see.
So don't let your hearts be troubled!
There's no magic or mystery here.
Just open your eyes and follow
And the way will be made clear.
If there were anything else you'd need to have
Don't you think I'd have told you so?
So don't let your hearts be troubled!
I'm your Shepherd and you are My own.
Why do you think that you can't find a way?
Why do you keep searching when you're holding the key?
I've said it before and again I will say:
It's the wise who are blind and the fools who can see.
I don't think this is anywhere near my best lyrical attempts, so feel free to criticize my versifying as well as my theology. (I don't think it's anywhere near my worst lyrical attempts, either, but I ain't gonna post those out here in public for all to see and mock, now am I?) I also don't think the tune is one of my better ones, so I'll feel no great sense of loss if the whole thing needs to go on the scrap heap.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/10/2004 02:13:00 PM • Permalink
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It's That Time of Year Again!

Happy 495th Birthday, Iohannes Calvinus!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/10/2004 01:17:00 PM • Permalink
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Friday, July 09, 2004 AD
Annoying Banner Ads 0
I decided to quit my annoying banner ads series. It's hardly an attitude I need either to cultivate or to propagate!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/09/2004 09:22:00 AM • Permalink
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Thursday, July 08, 2004 AD
Annoying Banner Ads 5
The one with the guy in a colon polyp costume.

Do I really need to comment on that?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/08/2004 11:39:00 PM • Permalink
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Annoying Banner Ads 4
"The best time to stop a man from becoming abusive...is before he becomes a man. Teach boys that violence against women is wrong."
How much you wanna bet that the people who made this one up would become abusive (if only verbally) if you suggested teaching "boys protect girls"? Of course it should go without saying that nothing is less manly than for a man to abuse a woman. Remember a certain BadgerCub's definition: A gentleman is sweet to ladies and mean to monsters!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/08/2004 03:32:00 PM • Permalink
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Coming Soon, to a Prison Near You!
From World Net Daily:
A Swedish court has sentenced Ake Green, a pastor belonging to the Pentecostal movement, to a month in prison, under a law against incitement, after he was found guilty of having offended homosexuals in a sermon, according to Ecumenical News International.

Green had described homosexuality as "abnormal, a horrible cancerous tumor in the body of society" in a 2003 sermon.
How long can it be before this happens in Canada or the States? Should we start a betting pool?

"Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body."

"Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/08/2004 02:04:00 PM • Permalink
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Annoying Banner Ads 3
In the past few days at least half of the ads have been for an online dating service called True. (In fact, I've just refreshed the screen about a dozen times and gotten one of True's ads every time. If they've bought out all the Sitemeter advertising, that could put a damper on my annoying ad series!) True promises to screen out married people, felons and freaks, and to find someone "right for you." How much you wanna bet that 99.9999% of people who use a service like this would bristle like a herd of hedgehogs if you suggested that maybe parents should take the lead in that whole process of screening and compatibility testing? Yeah, it's much safer and saner to trust such things to computers and the nameless, faceless people who run them.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/08/2004 12:40:00 AM • Permalink
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Wednesday, July 07, 2004 AD
Annoying Banner Ads 2
"Dream: I'm going to become a dentist who kids love going to. A mind is a terrible thing to waste."
Dream: I'm going to start a scholarship fund that doesn't make two grammar mistakes per ad.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/07/2004 12:23:00 PM • Permalink
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Annoying Banner Ads 1
Sitemeter always has a wealth of annoying banner ads. I think I'll start a series of posts about them, beginning with this one:
"When kids think Man Ray is a poisonous jellyfish, clearly there isn't enough art in our schools."
When anyone thinks that's a well-reasoned argument, clearly there isn't enough logic in their schools.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/07/2004 11:55:00 AM • Permalink
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An Editing Challenge
It's hard to edit writing when you're not sure whether or not it's gibberish:
"Develop initial cost-benefit analysis and research to define and validate opportunities, and prioritize the impact of the change efforts."
I know what "Develop initial cost-benefit analysis and research" means (and suspect that it would be better to put the research before the analysis), but I'm lost beyond that. Considering the general quality of the writing in the rest of the document (a job description), I'm highly dubious regarding the comprehensibility of this sentence. Can anyone explain it to me?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/07/2004 11:48:00 AM • Permalink
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Contentment Survey
OK, here's what I got out of last week's survey on contentment. The bottom line seems to be that we'd all be content if we were in control. We want control over...
  1. God -- He should sanctify me the way I want and when I want.
  2. Parents -- They should have done a better job.
  3. Spouses -- I should get one, he should be exactly what I expected him to be, and our marriage should be exactly in keeping with my dreams.
  4. Children -- They should come when I want, and then behave as I want.
  5. Friends -- I should have as many as I want, and of the right sort, and in the right place.
  6. Churches -- First Perfect Church should be right next door to my house, no matter where I live. My leaders should lead exactly the way I want to be led, or, better yet, they should just get out of my way so I can lead the right way.
  7. People -- They should follow my rules (which I may ever-so-carefully refer to as "the" rules, though I'm really more concerned with my own standards, not God's or anybody else's), and they should always admire and love me.
  8. Circumstances -- I should never be sick, tired, lost, or otherwise inconvenienced.
  9. Money -- I should have all I want, and all the stuff I want to buy, and not have to owe anybody else.
  10. Self -- I should be as thin, as beautiful, as good as I wish to be at any given moment while simultaneously pursuing my own agenda and appetites.
Of course points 2-10 are all subsets of point 1. Discontentment is just the same old self-idolatry that is the only other option to submitting to the sovereign rule of God.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/07/2004 11:03:00 AM • Permalink
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Tuesday, July 06, 2004 AD
Two Years
Today is my second blogiversary. My first post, on July 6, 2002, promised the sublime and the ridiculous. I'm sure I've delivered on half.

On this auspicious occasion, I pause to ask, Why? What's the point? Is this just a vehicle for narcissistic navel-gazing, or does it have some value? Is it more glorifying to God or to Valerie? Does it advance His agenda or mine? Does it really serve my neighbor or just myself? Does it exhibit more wisdom or foolishness?

Now I realize that if you are reading this, you are likely a biased respondent to such questions. If you thought it was worthless dreck (or at least if you were willing to admit it was worthless dreck) you wouldn't be reading it. But at least think about it before you answer: Should I keep blogging? Why or why not?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/06/2004 08:50:00 AM • Permalink
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We Might Make a Presbyterian of Me Yet
A couple years ago I wrote a post about the "pop guns and plastic swords" that constitute the arsenal of contemporary worship. In contrast, the song that has kept coming to mind since Sunday is Psalm 2:
Why do heathen nations rage? Why do peoples folly mind?
Kings of earth in plots engage, Rulers are in league combined;
Then against Jehovah high, And against Messiah's sway,
"Let us break their bands," they cry, "Let us cast their cords away."

But the Lord will scorn them all; He will laugh Who sits on high.
Then His wrath will on them fall; Sore displeased He will reply:
"Yet according to My will I have set My King to reign,
And on Zion's holy hill My Anointed I'll maintain."

His decree I will make known: Unto Me the Lord did say,
"Thou art My beloved Son; I've begotten Thee this day.
Ask of Me, and Thee I'll make Heir to earth and nations all;
Them with iron Thou shalt break, Dashing them in pieces small."

Therefore, kings, be wise, give ear; Hearken, Judges of the earth;
Serve the Lord with godly fear; Mingle trembling with your mirth.
Kiss the Son, His wrath to turn, Lest ye perish in the way,
For His anger soon will burn. Blessed are all that on Him stay.
Now that's a weapon! *BIG grin*
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/06/2004 08:31:00 AM • Permalink
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Monday, July 05, 2004 AD
My Garden's Getting Weeded
I have about zero natural inclination for gardening. I've done a little bit better this year than most with keeping up with things, but there's just too much to be done indoors to try to keep up with outdoors, too. Happily, my dear friend Arlette loves the stuff like a duck loves water, and has kindly proffered her services for the day. She's even brought her helper, Stephen, a kid from church who's been working with her at her and her parents' house this summer. I am blessed!

And now I'm supposed to be motivated to work indoors while they're working outdoors, so I think I'd better get offline and get cracking!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/05/2004 10:38:00 AM • Permalink
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Sunday, July 04, 2004 AD
My Brother's Still in the Hospital
They sent him home a day or two after the surgery. Then he had to go back because his blood sugar went quite out of whack. He has an infection -- they think laryngitis brought on, in part, by 30 hours of vomiting in reaction to pain meds. Of course if they'd just kept him one day longer they probably would have been able to avoid these extra problems and these extra days in the hospital. Mismanaged carelessness at its best!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/04/2004 08:27:00 AM • Permalink
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Those Clark Kids Are at It Again
This time it's a post from Josh that pretty much nails the introvert experience.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/04/2004 06:40:00 AM • Permalink
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Friday, July 02, 2004 AD
Remember This from Psych 101?
In 1965 twin boys born in Winnipeg underwent what was to be a routine circumcision. Sadly, the procedure went terribly wrong for one of the twins. At the advice of a Dr. John Money, a Mengele wannabe from my home town, the boys' parents decided to raise one of the identical twins as a boy and the other as a girl, subjecting the latter to physical and psychological procedures in a horrifying attempt to prove that gender identity is a merely sociological phenomenon -- all nurture and no nature. Do I even need to say that it was an unmitigated disaster?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/02/2004 11:01:00 PM • Permalink
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This Classical Baby
Welcome, Kathryn Lilia Stewart!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/02/2004 05:44:00 PM • Permalink
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True or False?
SH, February 1847
Helen has been spending the whole day with me, as she often does, helping me with her skillful needle, and with the children, in a very sweet way. I am almost ashamed to indulge in writing down how dearly she seems to love me, and how disposed she is to sit at my feet as a learner at the very moment I am longing to possess her sweet, gentle temper. But one thing puzzles me, in her, and that is the difficulty she finds in getting hold of these simple truths her father used to grope after but never found till just as he was passing out of the world. It seems as if God had compensated such turbulent, fiery natures as mine, by revealing Himself to them, for the terrible hours of shame and sorrow through which their sins and follies cause them to pass. I suffer far more than Helen does, suffer bitterly, painfully, but I enjoy tenfold more. For I know whom I have believed, and I cannot doubt that I am truly united to Him. Helen is naturally very reserved, but by degrees she has come talk with me quite frankly.
Is the italicized bit accurate, or is it just cleverly disguised excuse-making and romanticism? Part of me -- the turbulent, fiery-natured part -- is nodding vigorously. Another part of me is saying, "Don't kid yourself, sister. You cannot judge God's revelation of Himself to you by your feelings about it." And another part is willing to believe that I've misunderstood the point of the passage altogether. What think ye?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/02/2004 05:05:00 PM • Permalink
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