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Tuesday, August 31, 2004 AD
Great Quote
Heisted from TulipGirl:
"It cost him much to part with his Son; it costs him nothing to give every other blessing. He grudges not, but delights to bestow them. He is weary of withholding, but never weary of giving. Now, if he freely parted with what cost him such an infinited sacrifice, will he refuse us what costs him nothing but the delight of giving? He delights to give us his Holy Spirit. He delights to quicken us, to renew us, to sanctify us, to fulfill in us all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power.

"Will he then refuse us his Spirit? Will he refuse to make us holy? Will he need many arguments to persuade him to do so? Impossible! For he has already given his Son. And 'how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?'" --Horatius Bonar
I think I ought to write that on a two-by-four and beat myself over the head with it.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/31/2004 07:54:00 AM • Permalink
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Paulo Raises an Interesting Question
If Presbyterians are part of Presbyterianism, and Catholics part of Catholicism, and so on, what are Baptists a part of? Baptistism?

I would add, if Jews are part of Jewry, are Baptists part of Baptistry? If Christians are part of Christendom or Christianity, are Baptists part of Baptendom or Baptianity? Whatever y'call 'em, they're all wet. ;-)

UPDATE, September 1: There are 250 Google results for Baptistism and 12 for Baptistdom. But let's face it, Baptistism just sounds silly. Therefore, by the powers vested in me as absolutely nobody, I hereby declare Baptistdom to be the winner. I will now rely on my faithful readers to propagate the use of this word throughout the theological cyberworld. Go to it, folks. Let's see how fast we can get the Google results to shift in Baptistdom's favor!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/31/2004 07:47:00 AM • Permalink
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Monday, August 30, 2004 AD
Yankee Hospitality
Back in December when I visited Alabama, the directions were a bit confusing right at the end, so I got lost just a few turns from my friends' house. I asked for directions at one gas station and ended up driving in a circle, so I stopped to ask at the next gas station and a kind gentleman not only "Bless your heart"ed me, but drove out of his way to guide me to the turn I needed to make.

Everyone said, "See! The South is better than the north!"

Well, my mother recently had houseguests who didn't plan their trip very well and ended up trying to find her house late at night. Hint: Don't try to find my mother's house for the first time after dark. You won't. And at half past midnight, nothing in rural New Hampshire is open. Nothing. So it was a blessing that they just happened to find some folks pulling into their driveway at that hour, and stopped and asked for directions. They learned that they were about 20 minutes away from Mom's, and since these folks knew the area pretty well, they drove all the way, leading my mom's friends practically to her doorstep.

And that's what "Yankee" means to me! ;-)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/30/2004 09:21:00 PM • Permalink
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Sunday, August 29, 2004 AD
Me and Michael Jackson
Happy birthday to two white chicks!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/29/2004 02:51:00 AM • Permalink
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Some people had complained that my blog categories—These, Them, Those, The Others, Maybe, and Not—were insufficiently clear. For those still wondering, they broke down something like this: The first four categories were a vague breakdown of frequency with which I checked a given blog. These were checked multiple times per day. Them, about once a day. Those, a few to several times a week. The Others, maybe once or twice a week. The Maybes were folks on long hiatuses or whose blogs are semi-permanently closed (or maybe even permanently closed, but I tend to be a hopeful sort). The Nots were blogs that like to pretend they aren't, but, well, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck.... ;-)

Anyway, I’ve now replaced that obscure system with a much clearer system of acronyms. I’m just not gonna tell you what the acronyms mean. But I’m not completely without mercy...I will give you a few hints:
  • All but one occurrence of BT=“blogs that.”
  • No articles, prepositions or conjunctions have been left out of the acronyms.
  • Punctuation, however, has been omitted.
  • There is one acronym up with which Mr. Churchill would not have put.
  • There are a few links that could have fit into more than one category, but I put them where it was most convenient for me.
Beyond that, I will only answer yes or no to questions posed by any whose curiosity demands further explanation.

I’ve also put my bio (with updated age) and e-mail address in a separate box, and moved my archive links over to the far left to save a little bit of room in the links box. Not sure if I like the archive links there, but I thought I’d try this arrangement for a while. Also not sure whether or not I like the green box—I can’t seem to find a green that works exactly right—so I may switch it to purple if I grow to loathe it.

I finally figured out why a couple of my border widths weren’t working and fixed those (ah...it helps to re-post the CSS file!), and I think I figured out why my photo keeps coming out cut off, and fixed that.

Whaddaya think?

UPDATE: But now it's doing funky things with my tables. The blue and green boxes are sometimes rendering as squares. I've got heights specified (that's what I thought was wrong with the photo table), and I didn't change anything else on the tables, so I can't figure out why they're suddenly doing this. Help? :-(
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/29/2004 02:50:00 AM • Permalink
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Saturday, August 28, 2004 AD
'It Is Wrong to Take Pleasure In Another Person's Shame.'
The Dawn Patrol nails what's wrong with a new reality show, "He's a Lady." Humilitainment is what put me off most sit coms years ago. And I'm glad I've broken my TV addiction, because I was getting too inured to "reality" stuff.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/28/2004 07:08:00 PM • Permalink
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Word of the Day
Hormotions. You know exactly what it means!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/28/2004 12:55:00 PM • Permalink
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'It Takes a Child to Raise a Village'
First, welcome Lois to the Blogosphere. (Any Scrabble opponent of Cindy's is a friend of mine!) Then read her post about her obsession.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/28/2004 10:54:00 AM • Permalink
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'My Dad's Cooler Than Your Dad,' Say Barlow Boys
Check out these MP3s of Jon with sons 2 and 3. (And while you're at it, check out this photo of son 4.)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/28/2004 07:31:00 AM • Permalink
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Friday, August 27, 2004 AD
I Have a Reputation
The mail room guy recently forwarded an e-mail to me from a friend of his asking him to check out an e-mail with his "Urban Legend Hook-Up." That's me -- Woman Waging War With World Wide Web Wackiness! And the e-mail was fishy. And I found the story and set the record straight. It's nice to feel useful on occasion.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/27/2004 03:00:00 PM • Permalink
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Inspired by a Chat Session
Go in peace, be warm and be fed
Without any blankets, without any bread,
Without anyplace to lay down your head.
Be so well provisioned you’ll soon be quite dead.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/27/2004 01:53:00 AM • Permalink
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Thursday, August 26, 2004 AD
Is 'Pope Geneva' an Oxymoron?
Check out this photo of Geneva Okimoto...and the comments, in which I amuse myself, if no one else.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/26/2004 03:54:00 PM • Permalink
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Canadian Tax Authority Warns Churches about Speaking on Moral Issues
(From today's PCA's ByFaith e-mail)
The legal counsels for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) and for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops met with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in early March and were warned by revenue officials that if they became involved in partisan political activity during the then-upcoming 2004 federal election they would risk losing their tax-exempt status. According to the CRA, to avoid being partisan means not addressing issues on which the competing political parties have opposing views. Not only would churches be penalized for telling congregants to vote for a certain party or candidate, they would also be penalized for coming out strongly on an issue on which the parties were opposed, such as abortion or same-sex marriage.

One official said, "The best thing for a charity to do, especially during an election, is to stay away from those issues. There are certain issues, especially during election times, that are very political." All moral issues including even poverty seem to be covered by the election time gag-order on religions. Giving an example, the official said, "Taking out a full-page ad before Christmas on homelessness might not be considered political, but doing the same thing the week of an election might be considered political."
It'll be interesting to watch whether or not Canadian churches say, "Yes, Massa," to the CRA or obey their real Master in this matter.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/26/2004 02:59:00 PM • Permalink
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Not Paying the Piper
(I just had to rip off John R's title as well as the content of his post!)

This title looks like something I ought to read. And being able to read it online for free is extra-specially cool. More free Piper here and here.

I've been feeling down-in-the-dumpsy for too many days running, so last night I pulled out one of my secret weapons -- the fourth disc in R.C.'s Spirit of the Fruit series, on the topic of joy -- and listened to it twice while I finally got some much needed housework done. Piper's book sounds like it might be another useful secret weapon.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/26/2004 01:52:00 PM • Permalink
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Wednesday, August 25, 2004 AD
Comment Spam
I got my first comment spam this morning. I have no idea where in my 740 posts it is (except that it's not on the current page) since SP notification e-mails don't provide that information, so nobody may ever come across it, and at least it wasn't vile, but it makes me cranky none the less.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/25/2004 08:48:00 AM • Permalink
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Tuesday, August 24, 2004 AD
One of My Favorite Limericists
For those of you who do not read The Home Realm, let me copy here for you a few of Samantha's wonderful Limericks:
There once was a gal at the ocean
Lack of clothing (not hers) caused commotion
Poor little young ladies (with parents from hades)
Clothed in little but suntanning lotion

There once was a gal whose own reading
Was in need of improvement exceeding
What went in at the eye, in the mind went awry
And led into thinking misleading

There once was a gal so annoyed
She'd be one you'd want to avoid
Her mood, oh so grumpy, and down in the dumpy
Would undoubtedly inspire Sigmund Freud

There once was a gal who sat gazing
At her navel; It was so amazing!
She just had to share, with the people out there
A navel which was so worthy of praising
I wish Samantha'd been around to enter a certain Limerick contest a couple years back. She would've made the judging more interesting.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/24/2004 12:43:00 PM • Permalink
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Saturday, August 21, 2004 AD
Which Way Do You Pronounce It?
How do you pronounce endure -- en-door or en-dyoor? I like the voice of the fellow who reads the WEB MP3s better than most other recorded Bible readers I've heard because it is simple and unaffected. But I confess that as I listened to Psalm 136 I found myself wishing he'd put a tiny bit of y into endures. (Yes, I know this is not a moral issue and I'm being princess-and-the-pea-ish again!)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/21/2004 02:49:00 PM • Permalink
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Wednesday, August 18, 2004 AD
Cute Promotion, But....
I recently referred a colleague's wife to my dentist. Today I got in the mail a thank-you note from the dentist...with two lottery tickets. The note had a line about patients who refer others being "worth a million." It's a cute and memorable promo, I just have no use for state-run lotteries, and I don't much care for state programs they probably fund.

I also don't much care for the glimmer of greed I find stirring in myself when I start wanting to win and thinking how much easier it would make things if I did. And I fear that I'll have some feeling of discontent if when I don't win.

Now if you'll excuse me, the numbers will be announced any minute now....
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/18/2004 08:00:00 PM • Permalink
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Tuesday, August 17, 2004 AD
A Low Threshold for Suffering
Jennie Chancey of Ladies Against Feminism addresses in this article Paul's teaching on singleness in 1 Corinthians 7. She notes that "When he wrote about remaining single in I Cor. 7, he was talking to an audience living through famine and persecution ('because of the present distress') -- not a good time to marry and start a family!"

I've seen that explanation of the passage before, and agree agree that it is the simplest reading of the passage and that it harmonizes with passages such as 1 Timothy 5:14, "I command the young women to marry, bear children, and guide the house."

What struck me about it this time (though it really has nothing to do with the context of the article) was that in our culture we have a really low threshold for suffering. So many men put off marriage (and so many couples put off having children) until, for example, getting through school or arriving at a certain career stage. But compare the inconveniences of marriage and children during such life stages with the inconveniences marriage and children during times of famine and persecution, and our society comes off looking like a bunch of whiners.

Paul was talking to people who saw delaying marriage and children as a hardship on top of a hardship. We see it as a relief from inconvenience.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/17/2004 06:48:00 PM • Permalink
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'Likemindedness, Unity and Love'
Download this lovely sermon by Peter Leithart Mike Lawyer here. (Be courteous: right-click and save it rather than streaming, so you don't overwhelm Christ Church's bandwidth use.) It's the August 8 1 (sorry!) sermon and will probably be up for another couplethree weeks.

I'm listening while editing a Report on Burmese refugees, and if I can manage to actually comprehend something from a sermon while concentrating on completely unrelated words, it must be a good 'un!

(Sorry for the errors!)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/17/2004 05:14:00 PM • Permalink
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Two New Psalters
I decided I wanted a copy of The Book of Psalms for Singing, but I was too cheap to pay retail, so I found one on ABE for ten bucks. And since shipping is less per book if you order more than one, I thought it only wise to browse through the dealer's other offerings. I found Psalms and Hymns, an 1843 publication of the PCUSA, also for ten bucks.

It's a nifty little volume, about the dimensions of an index card, but nearly an inch and a half thick. Older hymnals tend to have just the texts, with the meters noted (S.M., L.M., 6s & 8s, etc.), so I'll have to do some work to figure out the best tunes to use. And a hymnal of this vintage isn't likely to be cluttered with revivalist numbers, either. The hymns have a good topical arrangement, and the psalter and the hymnal have separate topical indices. At the back are five pages of doxologies.

Unfortunately, the book's not in very good shape--the spine is split all the way down (just the outer part...the pages themselves seem secure enough), the pages are very spotted, and it's got a pretty musty odor--but I'm happy to have it all the same!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/17/2004 03:11:00 PM • Permalink
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Some Search Hits Are Just Too Cute
I just got this one, obviously from some poor kid who's trying to spell phonetically: "how do know you have chicken pokes?" Jeeves asks "Did you mean: how do know you have chicken jokes?" Dunno which is funnier!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/17/2004 12:12:00 PM • Permalink
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Sunday, August 15, 2004 AD
Pro-Choice. Yeah, Right.
Forced and Coercive Abortions an "Epidemic" for U.S. Women
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/15/2004 10:38:00 PM • Permalink
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'The Sluggard' by Isaac Watts
'Tis the voice of the sluggard; I heard him complain,
"You have waked me too soon, I must slumber again."
As the door on its hinges, so he on his bed,
Turns his sides and his shoulders and his heavy head.

"A little more sleep, and a little more slumber;"
Thus he wastes half his days, and his hours without number,
And when he gets up, he sits folding his hands,
Or walks about sauntering, or trifling he stands.

I pass'd by his garden, and saw the wild brier,
The thorn and the thistle grow broader and higher;
The clothes that hang on him are turning to rags;
And his money still wastes till he starves or he begs.

I made him a visit, still hoping to find
That he took better care for improving his mind:
He told me his dreams, talked of eating and drinking;
But scarce reads his Bible, and never loves thinking.

Said I then to my heart, "Here's a lesson for me,"
This man's but a picture of what I might be:
But thanks to my friends for their care in my breeding,
Who taught me betimes to love working and reading.

Between this and the latest ETC (which is on the topic of laziness and diligence, and isn't online yet), you'd think I'd have been kicked in the pants enough to motivate me to get off this silly machine and do something productive!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/15/2004 07:58:00 AM • Permalink
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Saturday, August 14, 2004 AD
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
My neighbor Mr. Henry had brought over a couple tomatoes from his garden, of which half of one made its way into my tuna salad tonight. I say it is a killer tomato because it is to die for.

Tomatoes remind my of a fellow called Jeff, with whom I worked in Yellowstone in 1988. He liked to call 'em 'maters. I didn't have the sense God gave a rock at that point in my life (I have since gained about the sense of a rather smallish pebble), so I was regularly developing too-close friendships with guys, often remaining completely oblivious to the fact that they were attracted to me. That's what happened with Jeff.

I will always remember him fondly as the first (and, so far, only) man who ever proposed to me. Jeff was not a believer, and that was only the chief of his many disqualifications, so I've never regretted saying no. But I know he asked because he had just enough sense of right and wrong and just enough respect for me to know it was his only possible shot of getting me into bed. I pray he's progressed a bit more on his understanding of such things.

The first boy who propositioned me didn't have quite that much finesse.

Scene 1 [15-year-old Valerie is sitting at a picnic table. Andre, also about 15, whom Valerie doesn't know beyond his name, walks over and sits across from her.]

Andre: Would you go out with a black guy.
15-year-old Valerie: Sure [Unspoken: By which I mean, in the abstract, not necessarily in the case of the person currently speaking to me.]
Andre: Would you sleep with him?
15-year-old Valerie (with a mix of indignation and amusement): If I were married to him!
Andre: [expletive deleted] [walks away]

Scene 2

15-year-old Valerie (with far more amusement than indignation at this point): [Recounts the incident to Mr. Green (who is also African American), the director of the summer program she and Andre are both attending.]
Mr. Green (with far more indignation than amusement): That boy can't even pass Algebra 1. What does he think he has to offer you?

Once again, a post has meandered into places that have nothing to do with where it started out. But it's fun to see how thoughts and memories are connected in our minds, innit?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/14/2004 09:37:00 PM • Permalink
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Fools' Gold
I think it's a hoot that next year's HSC conference, Your Gold to Refine, is on April Fools' Day (and the day after). The topic of the conference is sanctification, which I suppose looks like a rather foolish pursuit to many. The joke at this past April's conference, For the Beauty of the Earth, was that they wanted to call the 2004 event Dirt and the 2005 event Soap.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/14/2004 06:02:00 PM • Permalink
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The Good News and the Bad News
The good news is that I appear to be capable of reassembling a computer I disassembled the night before. The bad news is that I had to reassemble a computer I disassembled the night before. Near's I can tell they must have passed a state law forbidding the sale of Pentium 4-compatible CPU fans. That was right after they passed the law mandating that computer store employees have the personality of Pentium 4-compatible CPU fan. But, happily, I'm online again for the moment, and will probably be able to hunt down the needed critter soon.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/14/2004 05:16:00 PM • Permalink
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Friday, August 13, 2004 AD
Goodbye Cruel World!
OK, maybe that's a bit dramatic. I'm about to disassemble and rebuild my computer with over-the-phone instructions from the BadgerDad (Kelly's hubby). So if you don't see me again, it's 'cuz I made a mess of things!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/13/2004 10:56:00 PM • Permalink
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My original plan was to have moved by mid-August. And here August 13 finds me still sitting in Baltimore. Over the past few weeks I have read through most of the posts on the old HSC forum, reminding myself of why I want to go and of how my thinking has progressed over the past few years to lead me in that direction. It's ratcheted up the intensity my pining a couple of notches. So I'm bummed that I'm not there yet. But EGEATP. My bummedness indicates my continued dissatisfaction with the status quo, and therefore serves to confirm the decision to move.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/13/2004 03:47:00 PM • Permalink
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Thursday, August 12, 2004 AD
Why oh why does benefited not have two Ts? I get it wrong every time I type it. Makes no blessed sense to me!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/12/2004 12:53:00 PM • Permalink
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Speaking of Domestic Violence
The second verse of this Tracy Chapman song always resonnated with me:
Last night I heard the screaming
Loud voices behind the wall
Another sleepless night for me
It won't do no good to call
The police
Always come late
If they come at all

And when they arrive
They say they can't interfere
With domestic affairs
Between a man and his wife
And as they walk out the door
The tears well up in her eyes

Last night I heard the screaming
Then a silence that chilled my soul
I prayed that I was dreaming
When I saw the ambulance in the road

And the policeman said
"I'm here to keep the peace
Will the crowd disperse
I think we all could use some sleep"
I heard the police say basically that to my mother, too. How ironic that a state that assures us it's capable of raising our children "can't interfere with domestic affairs." To be fair, I think police in general are a little more willing to respond helpfully to domestic abuse calls than they were in the '70s, but it's still ironic....
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/12/2004 11:05:00 AM • Permalink
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A post at Buried Treasure about wifely influence has led to a good discussion of domestic violence. (Carmon's comments are upside-down, by the way, so read them from the bottom up.)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/12/2004 10:29:00 AM • Permalink
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I'm So Spoiled
I got to meet Kathryn Lilia tonight! What a sweet little cutie patootie. And I got to hold her and snuggle her, too.

Oh, yeah, and her parents...I think their names are Mark and Christine...or something like that...were there, too. ;-)

This Classical Dad was in town for a new teacher training put on by Rockbridge Academy, which has many organic ties, though no formal ones, with CREC. Matt Colvin's brother Grant teaches there, too. This Classical Mom and This Classical Cutie Patootie came along for the ride. So when I discovered that they were in Maryland, I pounced on the opportunity to add another dot to my blogroll.

I was 20 minutes late meeting the Stewarts at their hotel because, in true Valerian fashion, I took a wrong turn. But this time it wasn't entirely my fault. The directions said "Crain Highway," with no mention of Route 3. The road signs said "Route 3," with no mention of Crain Highway. Yet somehow I was supposed to discern that they were one and the same. But I won't complain too much. When I was coming back from my wrong turn, I got to see a gorgeous, full-180° rainbow, and consider the promises of our faithful God.

And eventually we got to have a lovely conversation over dinner at Applebee's!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/12/2004 12:02:00 AM • Permalink
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Tuesday, August 10, 2004 AD
Everything's going exactly according to plan. Everything's going exactly according to plan. Everything's going exactly according to plan. Everything's going exactly according to plan. Everything's going exactly according to plan. Everything's going exactly according to plan. Everything's going exactly according to plan. Everything's going exactly according to plan. Everything's going exactly according to plan. Everything's going exactly according to plan. Everything's going exactly according to plan. Everything's going exactly according to plan. Everything's going exactly according to plan. Everything's going exactly according to plan. Everything's going exactly according to plan. Everything's going exactly according to plan. Everything's going exactly according to plan....

This has been a test of the Emergency Attitude System. Had this been an actual emergency, you would have been alerted about where to turn for further attitude ajustment. This concludes this test of the Emergency Attitude System. Oh who am I kidding? This has been an actual emergency. Now if only I could actually believe my own liturgy, I'd be set!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/10/2004 05:03:00 PM • Permalink
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Furry Fury Frights Flight
The handiwork of creative, animal-training terrorists? You decide! (Link from Philosomatic. Attempt at clever headline inspired by The Dawn Patrol.)

(Durn if I didn't do it again. This was posted at Gideon's for about 30 seconds!)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/10/2004 03:10:00 PM • Permalink
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Monday, August 09, 2004 AD
Life's Little Embarrassing Moments
I'm doing some re-design work for Gideon and accidentally posted this earlier while logged onto his blog rather than mine:
Perhaps I'm Just a Cynic
Some kid just wiped out on his bike in the alley across the street. The wailing was just a bit too loud and dramatic for me to believe there was anything seriously wrong. Sho' 'nuff...he quieted down as soon as his brother? friend? went to fetch a parent. Just a scraped knee and he walked away under his own power.
That'll teach me to be unsympathetic with the misfortuntes of others, eh?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/09/2004 08:18:00 PM • Permalink
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I sorted through several boxes of junk today -- keep, trash, yard sale. The hardest was a file box filled mostly with letters, cards, notes, programs, and the like. But I was pretty ruthless and far more is on the curb than in the keeper box.

It was almost harder reading some of the stuff I'd written in high school and college and even later -- embarrassing poetry, atrocious attempts at fiction, self-pitying journal notes, self-centered letters, silly essays and (cringe) a sermon I preached in Yellowstone in 1988. (I recently told a friend, who should know better, about that particular summer ministry activity and she said, "Oh, good for you!" to which I responded with a resounding, "No, bad for me! Bad, bad, bad!")

I found more notes (I had pitched some a couple months ago) passed in 11th grade trig class with the girl who grew up to become the author of this.

I found whispers of my first, almost forgotten wrestling with the doctrine of predestination: notes on a teaching by an Arminian fellow who, I tried to convince myself for a long time, dispensed quite satisfactorily with the troubles of Romans 9, and a never-mailed letter in which I pooh-poohed a mutual friend's Calvinism.

I found a few papers from an English class in which my professor had pooh-poohed my faith (which is incompatible with intellect, don'tcha know). I remember, though, going to pick up my last paper from her office, and her telling me, in quite a surprised tone, that I seemed to have some talent.

And there were signs of grace in the lot, too. A journal entry from February 1987 (I'd have been 19) was overwrougt, but I know an honest depiction of the depression I was going through at the time. More importantly, it ended with these sentences: "My Refuge is with me, though. I trust Him. The sadness and pain may be no less, but there is hope. I can't doubt Him."

Now that I know better, I can give thanks that the faith with which I clung to Him was a free and wholly undeserved gift from Him. I'd never have survived those years of emotional turmoil if it had depended on my spiritual abilities or tenaciousness.

Again, EGEATP. I saved a few pieces of that wretched writing to remind myself that though the path lay through all manner of foolishness and sin, it was ordained by a wise and holy and sovereign God. And the sillier I realize myself to have been (and still to be), the more glorious I realize Him to have been (and to still be).
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/09/2004 08:08:00 PM • Permalink
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Sunday, August 08, 2004 AD
Real Men Don't Eat Tofu
Although scientists discovered only recently that soy lowers testosterone levels, tofu has traditionally been used in Buddhist monasteries to decrease the libido, and by Japanese women to punish straying husbands. (Link via Brianna)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/08/2004 12:05:00 AM • Permalink
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Saturday, August 07, 2004 AD
On November 2, 1997, I lost my temper at an old friend (of about 14 years) over a trifling matter. Although he said he forgave me, it soon became clear that he had closed the door on our friendship. Despite the intervention of several friends, including three pastors, an elder and a deacon, he was never willing to be reconciled. I finally had to give up. As much as it depends on us we are to live in peace with all men, but sometimes it doesn't all depend on us. I wrote this song in when I was still hopeful of redeeming the relationship.

A Christmas card returned unopened, an empty chair where you won’t sit,
The cold politeness that’s between us, reminding me not to forget
The sin that you still hold against me, the sin that I cannot excuse.
But if our Holy God forgives me, my friend, why do you still accuse?

In Jesus’ name, forgive me
And let this cold war cease.
In Jesus’ name, please love me again.
In Jesus’ name, make peace.

Not only you and I are hurting. We’ve pierced the body of our Lord
And all our brothers and our sisters are wounded by our hearts’ discord.
Can you look past the pain I’ve caused you and see I’m just a foolish child?
Can we break down the wall between us? Can you and I be reconciled? (Repeat Chorus)

What can I do to buy your pardon? What can I give in sacrifice?
What can I give but what’s been given? What can I plead but the blood of Christ? (Repeat Chorus)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/07/2004 06:43:00 PM • Permalink
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Optical Delusions
Did you ever stare at the clouds moving behind a building to the point where it began to seem as if it was the building that was moving?

Did you ever get so absorbed in watching the shadow of the bus in which you were riding that you seemed to be in the shadow, and got quite a shock when it hit an oncoming car?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/07/2004 06:32:00 PM • Permalink
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Friday, August 06, 2004 AD
How come regular cream cheese is really yummy and soft cream cheese is really not? And how come the soft stuff was on sale so I bought extra and now have to eat it all? And how come I'll never do that again? (Actually, I think I can figure out that last answer!)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/06/2004 11:07:00 AM • Permalink
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Thursday, August 05, 2004 AD
Separated at Birth?
Paulo explains the Manilow thing (see comments on grandparent names post below).

Do you see a resemblance?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/05/2004 10:35:00 PM • Permalink
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Monday, August 02, 2004 AD
Nana, Granny, Grandfather, Gramps
What do you look forward to your grandchildren calling you? Or, if you already have grandbabies, what do they call you? My grandmothers were both Nana, so that's what I'd want to be called. If I ever have grandchildren. And I live to see the day....
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/02/2004 10:16:00 PM • Permalink
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One thing I didn't know about Rick -- he's a very finicky eater. We weren't sure he was going to make it through his first crab (crabs have some pretty gross stuff inside that you've got to fish through to get to the meat), but with a bit of coaxing he pressed on and got the hang of things. Besides, who wouldn't love food that you get to whack at with a hammer?

Later Saturday evening I offered some of my coconut curry bread, and Rick kind of wrinkled his nose. (He also said, "Coconut curry bread? Yeah...you'll fit in at St. Peter.") I insisted he'd love it, and he was brave enough to take a nibble off a corner. A few minutes later he was asking for a second slice. Another convert! Have yet to meet the person who can't be convinced to love that stuff.

For breakfast I tried (again) to emulate Denise Sproul's baked French toast. I failed (again), but came a little closer than my earlier attempt a couple months ago. I think the recipe I found online was good, but it was probably intended to be made with store-bought bread. Since I was using home-made, which is much heavier, I think I needed to increase the other ingredients quite a bit. It was tasty, but too dry.

There was no pickiness whatsoever about our Sunday dinner. I thought company was a pretty good excuse to make lamb again. Another thing I didn't know was that Rick's favorite vegetable is green beans, so those were a hit, as were the potatoes. The poor kids are evidently subject to some pretty bad cooking at the camp where they're working this summer, so I could not have asked for a more appreciative audience for my culinary endeavors!

A batch of chocolate chocolate chip cookies (made from a cake mix) and a bag of pistachios filled in between meals.

At 5:30 yesterday evening I sent R&R on their way with a bag of goodies (and two boxes of books -- sorry, Rachel!) for the road, and by 6:00 I was feeling a bit lonely. It was food for my soul to have other people in the house, if only for a couple days.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/02/2004 11:35:00 AM • Permalink
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Sunday, August 01, 2004 AD
Capezza Wedding Pictures!
For all who have been waiting, here are selections from R&R's special day. And boy to I feel like the cat who got the canary to be the one to get to post them! Don't cry, Barb. It's just an expression. No canaries were harmed in the posting of these photos. ;-)

I'd appreciate it if Rick's and Rachel's other friends could propogate this link on their blogs, since I suspect that more folks would like to see it than read mine.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/01/2004 08:37:00 AM • Permalink
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