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Sunday, September 18, 2005 AD
Gone Garver
It's time for me to take another break. My archives are still here. My blogroll is currently here, but will disappear in a few days. I've kept an excruciatingly abbreviated list of links on my home page, and I may cut out the last few blogs altogether. I still plan to keep building my song database, in case that interests you.
But between them and the foot of the sky there was something so white on the green grass that even with their eagles’ eyes they could hardly look at it. They came on and saw that it was a Lamb.

“Come and have breakfast,” said the Lamb in its sweet milky voice.

Then they noticed for the first time that there was a fire lit on the grass and fish roasting on it. They sat down and ate the fish, hungry now for the first time in many days. And it was the most delicious food they had ever tasted.

“Please, Lamb,” said Lucy, “is this the way to Aslan’s country?”

“Not for you,” said the Lamb. “For you the door into Aslan’s country is from your own world.”

“What!” said Edmund. “Is there a way into Aslan’s country from our world too?”

“There is a way into my country from all the worlds,” said the Lamb; but as he spoke his snowy white flushed into a tawny gold and his size changed and he was Aslan himself, towering above them and scattering light from his mane.

“Oh, Aslan,” said Lucy. “Will you tell us how to get into your country from our world?”

“I shall be telling you all the time,” said Aslan. “But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder. And now come; I will open the door in the sky and send you to your own land.”

“Please, Aslan,” said Lucy. “Before we go, will you tell us when we can come back to Narnia again? Please. And oh, do, do, do make it soon.”

“Dearest,” said Aslan very gently, “you and your brother will never come back to Narnia.”

“Oh, Aslan!” said Edmund and Lucy both together in despairing voices.

“You are too old, children,” said Aslan, “and you must begin to come close to your own world now.”

“It isn’t Narnia, you know,” sobbed Lucy. “It’s you. We shan’t meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?”

“But you shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.

“Are - are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund.

“I am,” said Aslan, “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”

(C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)
In my case, I must begin to come close to my own church now. I have known His bride a little in the cyberworld, and now I must learn to know her better in the flesh. In order to do that, I need to stop stealing time from her to spend online like some junkie thieving money from his mother's purse to get a hit. That means I will not be spending time on forums or on many other blogs, either.

Say a prayer for me that I survive detox, and rejoice with me that I now have a church home where I finally feel secure enough to kick the habit.

Thank you for reading, and may God richly bless you.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/18/2005 07:40:00 PM • Permalink
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Saturday, September 17, 2005 AD
Two Decades
One reason I am glad to have a (for the moment) working computer again is that I can post more songs. Happily, I also figured out what I was doing wrong with Audacity, and can also record the songs. And happily, after fighting with uploading a song half the day, everything finally cooperated and a new MP3 is now on my very own domain.

I've been writing songs for 20 years now, so I have a good number to share with y'all. I've posted a list here, and have begun to post lyrics here. I'll post recordings as I complete them.

For now I'll start at the very beginning with one I wrote in 1985. I think it's the second one I wrote -- you'll never hear the first! For some reason I can't seem to get the recording very loud, so you might need to turn up your sound a bit to hear well. The title is "Confession Song (Psalm 51)": lyrics | MP3
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/17/2005 11:37:00 PM • Permalink
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Gaaaah! Someone Stole My Name!
There's another Kyriosity. This must be stopped. Why didn't this person Google the word before using it? There are over 51K references to Kyriosity, and you have to get through a whole lot of pages before you get to one that's not me. In fact, I just went through 21 pages and found none...just a "we have omitted the similar entries" note. I'm especially cranky because I can't use Kyriosity on Soundclick now that I finally have the ability to post some songs. I coined the word in 1996 and have been using it as my screen name since 2001. Yes, this is really bothering me. No, it probably shouldn't.

Grumpily yours,
The Real Kyriosity
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/17/2005 09:43:00 PM • Permalink
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Tuesday, September 13, 2005 AD
I'm thinking about this desk for my home office. It also has this utlity stand and these shelves to match. It's a little more modern than my usual tastes, but I like it because a) it's minimal, and my living room/office is rather tight so it will make things seem less cluttered, and b) it's open, and my ac/heat vent is near the floor by the desk, so my current solid desk blocks it. Also, it has a keyboard tray, and the monitor doesn't go up on a separate ledge (bad ergonomics -- you shouldn't have to look up at your screen).

Anybody have other recommended sources for furniture?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/13/2005 05:59:00 AM • Permalink
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Monday, September 12, 2005 AD
Had to Get Out of Bed to Post This
"P-please," said Hwin, very shyly, "I feel just like Bree that I can't go on. But when Horses have humans (with spurs and things) on their backs, aren't they often made to go on when they're feeling like this? and then they find they can. I m-mean -- oughtn't we to be able to do even more, now that we're free. It's all for Narnia."

"I think, Ma'am," said Bree very crushingly, "that I know a little more about campaigns and forced marches and what a horse can stand than you do."

To this Hwin made no answer, being, like most highly bred mares, a very nervous and gentle person who was easily put down. In reality she was quite right, and if Bree had had a Tarkaan on his back at that moment to make him go on, he would have found that he was good for several hours' hard going. But one of the worst results of being a slave and being forced to do things is that when there is no one to force you any more you find you have almost lost the power of forcing yourself.
It's the same with being a slave to sin. The temptation seems absolutely irresistable, and the call to do good seems entirely unmotivating.

At 38, having known Jesus my whole life, how is it that I am still so susceptible to the merest suggestion from a master who no longer has authority over me? How is it that I still cry out to God, as if I were still in shackles, to free me to obedience, as if He had not already done so? How am I still directed so inexorably by "spurs and things" that ought to have no power over me any longer?
I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God -- through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
Nope...I've never been able to figure out Paul here, either.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/12/2005 10:57:00 PM • Permalink
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'He Gave Some to Be...'
(I posted this a week ago, but it was quickly buried beneath several other posts, so I'm bumping it to the top, since I rather liked it, but it didn't get many comments.)

A couple years ago, in some previous incarnation of his blog, Mark wrote something that has stuck with me. The gist was that when we trot out our catalog of spiritual gifts, the list should include not only abstract abilities such as exhortation or administration or hospitality, but people: "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers...." To make it even less abstract, I can say that He gave Angie and Betsy and Karen, Paul and Ken and Mike, Jeremy and Olivia and Dorothy. So I can approach the Church like a perpetual birthday party: I've hardly begun to open and enjoy all these presents!

Of course I need to think corporately about these gifts, too. They're not just for me, they're for the whole body. Sometimes that's going to be obvious: For instance, when Eric preaches, we all get to listen and be edified. Other times it may be less obvious: For instance, Nianque, a young single woman, has a real knack for loving other people's kids. That's not going to benefit me in the same way it's going to benefit the little ones, but I can benefit indirectly a) by observing and learning from her, and b) by delighting in their being blessed. If we love people, it's a great pleasure to watch them open the presents at their perpetual birthday parties, too! Probably no one individual is going to be a gift to any two others in exactly the same way, so we shouldn't expect that, but should guard against envy by rejoicing with those who are blessed in ways we haven't been.

And here's a daunting thought: I'm a gift to the whole body, too. In what way? I dunno, exactly, but I'm pretty sure of one thing: I'm probably not going to find out by taking some multiple-choice test that purports to discern my gifts. As someone recently pointed out (I'd give credit, but I've forgotten who it was or in what context) Matthew 25 indicates that most of us are going to be pretty clueless about the service we render to Christ as we minister to one another. The faithful will be surprised to find out that they fed Him when He was hungry. A better approach than taking one of those tests would be simply to strive to love the brethren to the best of my ability and understanding. I don't think I'm particularly good at loving anybody. My selfishness is of far too vast proportions. But I know that I feel a great deal of affection for the folks in my church, and that's a good thing, so I should go with that emotion and nurture it. As it grows, perhaps it will ignite my now-feeble prayers and inspire me to greater sacrificial service.

Finally, as I open these spiritual gifts at my perpetual birthday party, I must remember my manners and send thank-you notes for each one: humble, sincere, effusive, and frequent prayers of gratitude to the Spirit who has given Amy and Xia and Laura, Terry and Dave and Jeff, Molly and Harrison and Calvin, and so on and so on and so on.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/12/2005 07:12:00 PM • Permalink
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3,345 Messages
That's how many messages I downloaded after 4+ months of not being able to access my kyriosity.com e-mail account. After deleting all the spam, and moving all the Sensus Plenior notifications to their own folder, how many items did I have left in my inbox?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/12/2005 04:55:00 PM • Permalink
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Best Dentist Ever
Does anyone else have a dentist who a) answers his own phone (not all the time, but often enough), b) knows who you are, and c) knows exactly what you need to have done next in a long line of complicated procedures, even though he hasn't seen you for months? If anybody in the Baltimore area needs a recommendation for a good dentist, I don't think you could do better than Dr. Andersan Bloomer.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/12/2005 04:28:00 PM • Permalink
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Friday, September 09, 2005 AD
Just When You Least Expect It

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Someone sent me this photo a few weeks ago, and I am just getting around to posting it. I wanted to lull the sender into a false sense of security, you see, and then spring it on her. (Either that, or I just hadn't gotten around to it.)

Can anyone guess who these lovely ladies are? And if they are you, you're not allowed to guess! Unless, of course, it's to throw off the other guessers, in which case I heartily approve. ;-)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/09/2005 08:08:00 PM • Permalink
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Thursday, September 08, 2005 AD
Does Time-Delayed Self-Control Count?
Yesterday something transpired that caused me to draft a blistering e-mail including a threat to quit on the spot if things did not go my way. I didn't send the e-mail, and I have since calmed down greatly, and am almost cheerfully resigned to the status quo. Remember all that discussion about submission a few weeks back? It wasn't really about marriage! Adding to the difficulty of this particular situation, though, was the fact that the offending person has no authority over me, and no authority to make the decision. But blowing a gasket would still not be appropriate, as she is still a couple ranks above me in the agency. (Of course blowing a gasket would have been inappropriate even if she'd been my equal or a couple ranks below me, too.) One of the great things about working at home: There's time for time-delayed responses!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/08/2005 05:16:00 PM • Permalink
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Tuesday, September 06, 2005 AD
Are All Preachers Like That?
Sources say that Mr. Badorf was pretty pleased with himself regarding his lachrymal triumph over me on Sunday. 'Fess up, all you sermon-makers -- do you get a kick out of making poor defenseless women blubber with your pulpiteering prowess? If so, you really ought to pick a more challenging target than me. I cry at anything.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/06/2005 09:19:00 PM • Permalink
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Don't You Hate It When...
...you're halfway through writing a long, complicated e-mail with a kajillion links and Outlook totally freezes so there's no way to finish it or even save it? Yeah...me, too. At least I could do a print screen and copy from that rather than starting completely from scratch, but it was still rather vexing.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/06/2005 08:29:00 PM • Permalink
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Yay! Work! Yay!
The earliest incidence I can find of my now-famous "Yay! Babies! Yay!" expression was December 1, 2003. When I say it now, I really mean it, but when I started saying it, I was still working towards feeling it. (By the way, the work of my friends at the Highlands Study Center has been a huge factor in this transformation of my thinking, for which I am very grateful.)

So now I need to do the same thing about work -- both paid work and housework. I need to keep saying it's a good thing 'til I really believe and feel that it's a good thing. Learning to love work is harder than learning to love babies. Work doesn't have dimply, toothless smiles and isn't the least bit snuggly. In fact, I'm not really sure what there is to love about it. All I know is that God commands it, and that I ought to delight in everything He commands.

How would you tackle this one if you were in my shoes?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/06/2005 06:19:00 PM • Permalink
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Monday, September 05, 2005 AD
A Labor Day Quote
The maid who sweeps her kitchen is doing the will of God just as much as the monk who prays, not because she may sing a Christian hymn as she sweeps but because God loves clean floors. --Martin Luther
With the help and prayers of some of those gifts I mentioned a few posts ago, I've made a good bit of progress toward improving my work habits on the job, but my work habits at home remain abysmal. When I walked back in from my vacation Saturday night, I was so disappointed to see what a mess my house was. Today was supposed to be the day to start to fix that, but of course I spent the entire day on this dumb machine until I went to a cookout this afternoon. I got home at 8, which ought to give me at least an hour to really tackle a project, but of course I am back on this dumb machine. Why? Because I don't really believe that God loves clean floors. And because I don't really believe that He loves me. And because I don't really love Him.

My mind needs so much renewing.
O Lord, turn not thy face from me,
who lie in woeful state,
lamenting all my sinful life
before thy mercy gate;

A gate which opens wide to those
that do lament their sin;
shut not that gate against me, Lord,
but let me enter in.

So come I to thy mercy-gate,
where mercy doth abound,
requiring mercy for my sin
to heal my deadly wound.

Mercy, good Lord, mercy I ask;
this is the total sum;
for mercy, Lord, is all my suit,
Lord, let thy mercy come.

--John Marckant, 1561
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/05/2005 08:03:00 PM • Permalink
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More Good Wilsonian Stuff
Also an Act of God
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/05/2005 12:09:00 PM • Permalink
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Sunday, September 04, 2005 AD
Eric's out of town, so we had a guest preacher. Turned out to be someone I know: Steven Badorf is an RUF guy who happens to work on the campus where two of my oldest and dearest friends are on the faculty, and has become good friends with them, too. In fact, one of Steve's illustrations was a story about preaching at the funeral of Joe's father. I had, of course, attended the funeral, which was, incidentally, where I first met Steve. So not only was it unexpected for a friend to show up in the pulpit, it was unexpected for another friend to show up in the sermon itself. The overall effect was to remind me of the breadth of the body of Christ. I met Joe and his wife at the church where I grew up. Later we both joined another church on the same day. Steve currently attends FCF, where I was a member before joining CREC. When we came to the Lord's Table, I rejoiced in the fact that I was communing not only with the folks who were present in that room, but also with the brethren at Long Green and Faith and across the country and around the world and even in heaven. Another overall effect was to prove how foolish I had been not to buy the waterproof mascara!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/04/2005 09:57:00 PM • Permalink
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I'm a Failure
I tried to make this thing do post pages, really I did, but it just wouldn't work. Sorry, Paulo!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/04/2005 09:55:00 PM • Permalink
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Saturday, September 03, 2005 AD
Good Stuff from Mr. Wilson
Thoughts on New Orleans
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/03/2005 11:53:00 PM • Permalink
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