Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Doug Wilson writes children's fiction!
I just got my Veritas Press Catalog in the mail today and they are advertising a new book by Wilson that will be available in August, called Blackthorn Winter. From the catalog:

You gotta have this - Doug Wilson's first voyage into children's fiction. Set on the eastern seaboard in the third year of the reign of good Queen Anne, this pirate novel contrasts righteous behavior and foolishness. The story follows the service of fifteen-year-old Thomas Ingle on the Prudent Hannah under the honorable Captain Monroe and then their unfortunate tour on the Lady Constance. Treasure, financial hardship, and pirate mystique all add to the cleverly woven tale. Kids won't put it down and you won't either.
I learned a new word today.


NOUN: Christianity The doctrine stating that Jesus will reign on earth for 1,000 years.
ETYMOLOGY: New Latin chiliasmus, from Late Latin chilias, chiliad. See chiliad.
chili·ast —NOUN
chili·astic —ADJECTIVE

Monday, May 12, 2003

Family worship
We've been terribly unfaithful in having family devotions, and have struggled for our whole marriage to come up with something suitable for family use. I think part of our problem was trying to keep coming with New and Different and Interesting Ideas so that the kids, not to mention the parents, would not get bored.

Well, our church situation finally got so desperate that we felt we absolutely must start having family worship on a regular basis, or we would all starve to death! After asking the Lord for wisdom and direction, we were directed to the Church. Huh. Imagine that. In this process, we are also learning to look to Mother Church for guidance. :-)

For a little over two weeks now we've been using a form that is a very simplified version of the Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer that I found in the 1963 REC Book of Common Prayer.

Morning Prayer


God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
(John 4:24)
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my Strength and my Redeemer.
(Psalm 29:14)

Let us confess our sins together, saying:
Almighty and most merciful Father;
we have erred and strayed from thy ways, like lost sheep.
We have followed too much the devices of our own hearts.
We have offended against thy holy laws.
We have left undone those things which we ought to have done;
And we have done those things which we ought not to have done;
And there is no health in us.
But thou, O LORD, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders.
Spare thou those, O God, who confess their faults.
Restore thou those who are penitent;
according to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our LORD.
And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake;
That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life,
To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

To all who truly confess their sins and look to Jesus Christ for their salvation, you are assured that your sins have been forgiven you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. (Psalm 86:5)

Now let us pray together as our Lord taught us to pray, saying:
Our Father, who art in heaven…

The Gloria Patri

O Christian, what do you believe?
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into hell;
the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the
right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence He shall come to judge the quick
and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic Church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting. Amen.

Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee; and dost promise that when two or three are gathered together in thy Name, thou wilt grant their requests; Fulfill now, O LORD, the desires and petitions of thy servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting.

The grace of our LORD Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. (II Corinthians 13:14)
Amen. Amen. Amen.

During Morning Prayer, after the Apostles' Creed, we pray from the Ocassional Prayers. Each person who can read picks one; my non-readers like to pray too, so they just pray "Thank you, Jesus, for today. Amen." or whatever they think of.

Evening prayer is essentially the same except that instead of the Ocassional Prayers we read a Psalm responsively.

My 2 year-old has already memorized the Gloria Patri, most of the Lord's Prayer, and some of the Apostles' Creed. He follows along well with the rest of the parts. And you know what? Nobody is bored. Not even the parents. ;-)

Friday, May 9, 2003

A 50-foot hood ornament?
That's how John B describes this church design. If you poke around the church's website, you'll learn that in lieu of a sanctuary, they have a Ministry Gallery.

Thursday, May 8, 2003

Against navel-gazing
Certainly the most sagacious creeds may suggest that we should pursue God into deeper and deeper rings of the labyrinth of our own ego. But only we of Christendom have said that we should hunt God like an eagle upon the mountains: and we have killed all monsters in the chase.

...If we want reform, we must adhere to orthodoxy: especially in this matter (so much disputed in the counsels of Mr. R. J. Campbell), the matter of insisting on the immanent or the transcendent deity. By insisting specially on the immanence of God we get introspection, self-isolation, quietism, social indifference - Tibet. By insisting specially on the transcendence of God we get wonder, curiosity, moral and political adventure, righteous indignation - Christendom. Insisting that God is inside man, man is always inside himself. By insisting that God transcends man, man has transcended himself.

~G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Tuesday, May 6, 2003

It's finally working right!
Last week, Carmon informed me that my wish list wasn't working and she told me how to fix it. Thanks, Carmon!
Thanks to PhillipB for the heads up!
Remember all those emails that said if you forward to 10 friends you get money from Microsoft? Go to this website and find your name on this list... with the dollar amount coming to you.
Click on the following: Microsoft Money Payout

The above link no longer works. I'm awfully sorry. :-(
I feel especially bad because I've gotten Google hits from people searching for "microsoft money payout."

Latin crash course for moms
Just in case you missed it in the comments, Sarah mentioned that she's been thinking about having a How to Teach Latin and Greek conference for homeschooling parents.
New magazine that looks very promising
Meshereth Magazine edited by Rick Capezza, Emeth Hesed Smith, and Rachel Eyre. The inaugural article is by Peter Leithart on the meaning of Christian community. Thanks to the HSC website for posting a link to the article!

Sunday, May 4, 2003

I love those "analyze your personality" quizzes.
Barb is an existential thinker, and I'm an interpersonal thinker. What kind of thinker are you?

Interpersonal thinkers:
Like to think about other people, and try to understand them
Recognise differences between individuals and appreciate that different people have different perspectives
Make an effort to cultivate effective relationships with family, friends and colleagues

Other Interpersonal thinkers include
Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa, William Shakespeare

Careers which suit Interpersonal thinkers include
Politician, Psychologist, Nurse, Counsellor, Teacher

Friday, May 2, 2003

Another good idea from Carmon's blog.
Carmon describes a lady who is copying the Bible in her own handwriting, but doing it with style. To begin, she bought 11x17 cardstock onto which she would copy God's word. She is using books with old woodcuts and illustrations which she photocopies and pastes onto her pages, and she illuminates some letters (looking at examples from some of her books) in the tradition of medieval scribes. She said that her project will take about five years if she is diligent, and when she is finished she hopes to have several books filled with beautifully decorated handwritten pages of Scripture which she plans to bind herself.

That sounds like something I would like to do as part of my personal devotions, although it would probably take me twenty years to finish the project!
Search engine queries can be so funny.
I've gotten hits from people searching for "Snake Plant" nationality, repotting aloe vera recommended soil, "homeschooling mom" blog, and houseplants + praying hands, but my favorite by far is the most recent: Matt+Sora Love Gallery.

I wonder if they've ever thought of starting their own matchmaking service?
When is "It's boring!" a legitimate complaint?
I've been struggling along teaching Latin for a couple of years now, using Latina Christiana, and have never gotten beyond the 15th lesson. There are things that I like about it: the pronunciation (Christian rather than classical), the content, the tie-in with Roman history, the prayers and songs we learn, the fact that it's written for homeschooling moms who have no training in Latin, so why have we not made better progress than 15 lessons?

Recently I came across this post at Matt's blog where he mentions the Latin curriculum he is using with his own children.

This is how the publisher describes the curriculum:

Lingua Latina provides Latin that students read and understand immediately. Every sentence is intelligible per se because the meaning and function of all new word forms is made clear by the context, by illustrations or by marginal notes provided throughout this carefully graded text. Part I forms an eventful and entertaining narrative, which also serves as an introduction to the life and culture of ancient Rome.

This DIRECT METHOD, based on understanding from the context, has proved efficient both for self-tuition and classroom teaching. Students discover that they can read and understand Latin immediately without parsing. Such direct understanding gives students self-confidence and stimulates concentration. It sharpens their faculties of observation and reasoning – faculties that will be greatly needed as the sentences grow more complex. Reading in this way, they move step-by-step towards reading of Latin literature in Latin with real understanding and appreciation.

I looked over the sample pages and the first thing I thought was That makes it so easy! It must be cheating! Then I showed them to my three oldest, and they really enjoyed being able to read Latin. My 14 year-old daughter commented that Latina Christiana was too boring -- she wants to be able to read Latin now, not just memorize chants and rules.

I'm going to email the publisher and ask if it's appropriate for a mom with no Latin background.
All you bibliophiles need to get over to Carmon's blog. While you're there, be sure to read this post wherein she gives tips on finding good books cheap!