Saturday, February 28, 2004

Friday, February 27, 2004

Don't you love the sound of hot coffee pouring into a mug? Its cadence is unlike any other sound I can think of.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

There really are comments on the threads below - for some reason when I changed to the new template it started saying "0 comments" and I can't figure out how I've managed to mess up a simple cut and paste job!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

By precepts taught of ages past,
Now let us keep again the fast,
Which, year by year, in order meet
Of forty days is made complete.

The law and seers that were of old
In divers ways this Lent foretold,
Which Christ Himself, the Lord and Guide
Of every season, sanctified.

More sparing therefore let us make
The words we speak, the food we take,
Deny ourselves in mirth and sleep,
In stricter watch our senses keep.

In prayer together let us fall,
And cry for mercy, one and all;
And weep before the Judge, and say,
O turn from us Thy wrath away.

Thy grace have we offended sore
By sins, O God, which we deplore;
Pour down upon us from above
The riches of Thy pardoning love.

Remember, Lord, though frail we be,
That yet Thine handiwork are we:
Nor let the honor of Thy Name
Be by another put to shame.

Forgive the ill that we have wrought,
Increase the good that we have sought;
That we at length, our wanderings o’er,
May please Thee now and evermore.

Blest Three in One, and One in Three,
Almighty God, we pray to Thee,
That Thou wouldst now vouchsafe to bless
Our fast with fruits of righteousness.

Words: Unknown author, 11th Century (Ex more docti mystico); translated from Latin to English by John M. Neale.
Music can be found at CyberHymnal.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

An honest question
This is something that I've been wondering about for a couple of years, but I've never seen it addressed in a way that answered my questions.

I know a family that used to hold to covenant theology, but the husband became convinced that CT cannot be true because it is inconsistent. He saw that people who hold to CT want the blessings of the Old Covenant, but not the curses, but, he said, if the New Covenant is an extension of, or fulfillment of the Old, then you cannot have a covenant with blessings but not curses. In the end after much study, he decided that the New Covenant must something completely separate from the Old and he and his family became dispensational. (I hope I've been clear in summing up his position!)

So my question is, did he have a fair and accurate view of Covenant Theology? Does the New Covenant have only blessings and no curses?

Monday, February 23, 2004

Spring is coming!
It's chilly this morning and cloudy because we had a thunderstorm last night, but the air is filled with birdsong. My daffodils and muscari are coming up and I had planned on waiting until they bloomed to change my template, but for the first time this year I saw a cardinal and his mate digging around in my compost looking for building supplies, so I decided to go ahead and celebrate the coming of spring!
In an email, I asked Carmon, What if someone is a kind of Prairie Muffin wannabe? Can she post the Official Prairie Muffin badge anyway, or is there a sort of aspiring-to-PM-status suburban muffin kind of category? and she very graciously said that I may, so I have! :-D

Sunday, February 22, 2004

In lieu of making up something to blog about I'm reposting a comment I made to The Dane's blog wherein he questions the teaching that a woman ought to remain under her father's authority until she marries.

Seth, I don't think this is an issue that can be decided in a hard and fast way, and there's no chapter and verse to reference on either side of the discussion.

When the Bible presents something as being "normal," i.e. the expected family situations of women, I think that the burden of proof rests on the person who thinks there should be discontinuity between the norm in the Bible and our practice.

I can't think of any Biblical reason why we should view an unmarried woman living out from under her father's authority as a positive moral good and something to be sought after. The baseline assumption in Scripture is just that normally, a woman lives under her father's or brother's authority until she marries. There are exceptions, like Zelophehad's orphaned daughters who had no brother, and of course Dorcas and Lydia, whose situations are not explained.

I don't think we should be too quick to dismiss this kind of thing as being merely cultural. In Christian society until relatively recently, women were expected to obey their fathers until they married – even middle-aged women and even when the father was a tyrant (except, or course if he commanded her to break God's law). The fact that it's a fairly modern innovation and coincides with the woman's suffrage and feminist movements makes it highly suspicious.

The main difficulty with your examples is that in each them the father is being somewhat unreasonable – he's treating a grown woman as though she were still a child. It was extremely trying to me when at the age of 19 I wanted to attend a Christian college, and my parents forbade it – for idealogical, not financial reasons. I was not glad when at the age of 20 I wanted to join a different church, and my mother told me she believed it was God's will that I not do so. By the age of 21, when my husband first asked my father for permission to marry me and was told "No," I was a little better at waiting on the Lord. Each of these circumstances was an opportunity for me to submit myself to God and to trust in his sovereign care of me, and he used them for my sanctification and for his glory.

You have to admit that in modern American culture, even within Christian circles, we prize independence, and we especially don't like it when some people, unmarried men for instance, have certain privileges that certain other people – unmarried women – don't have.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

For Theognome who says he made these quizzes just for me, and then was sad because I neglected to take them right away. ;-)

You are the Colossus of Rhodes!
You are the Colossus of Rhodes!

Detail, detail, detail! Any job worth doing is
worth doing correctly and accurately. Like the
Colossus of Rhodes, you will seek the most
efficient and logical way of accomplishing a
task. Never one to rush decisions, you take
into account all available information before
choosing a path. Neat, tidy and organized, you
would rather not lead a group but rather stand
alone. Your downfall is often getting bogged
down in the details.

What Wonder of the Ancient World are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

You are MOSES!
Which Old Testament Character are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

I think the results are consistent. The "Colossus" one says I'd "rather not lead a group but rather stand alone," which is true, and Moses didn't particualarly want to be Israel's leader either. :-D

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Military trivia
Back before the Air Force was reorganized in the early 90s, there were three major commands: Military Air Command, Stratgeic Air Command, and Tactical Air Command. The Commander-in-Chief of each command was known, respectively, as CINC-MAC (pronounced "sink mack"), CINC-SAC ("sink sack"), and CINC-TAC ("sink tack").

Only the old fogeys use this term anymore, but military wives used to be called CINC-HOUSE.


Monday, February 16, 2004

I love spring!
It's fair, sunny, and 67 degrees outside, and I just hung a load of laundry on the clothesline for the first time this year.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Thursday, February 12, 2004

I haven't posted a quiz in ages
Found at Carmon's blog.

You are Shetland Wool.
You are Shetland Wool.
You are a traditional sort who can sometimes be a
little on the harsh side. Though you look
delicate you are tough as nails and prone to
intricacies. Despite your acerbic ways you are
widely respected and even revered.

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
A little help, please
Toni wants to know how to say "blog" in Japanese.
I Married the Military
This post is dedicated to Samantha, who likes long blog posts! :-)

Mike and I were engaged in October of 1997 correction: 1987!, and in November he was transferred to Keesler Air Force Base, in Biloxi, MS. We had not yet set a date for our wedding, but since I was in college and had always wanted a fall wedding, I thought it would be good for me to finish the school year, then take the summer to finalize plans for a September wedding.

But we couldn't figure out if that would work. Mike was going to Keesler for cross-training, meaning he was changing from one career field in the military to another, and he would be at Keesler until the end of July, but he didn't know yet where he would be stationed after that. In any case, after he transferred to his permanent assignment he would begin his on-the-job training, and wouldn't be eligible for leave at any time in the foreseeable future.

Mike was going to have a two week long Christmas break, so he suggested we marry then, but the idea of planning a wedding while I was studying for final exams was daunting, and I really wanted a nice wedding. The next holiday Mike would have was President's Day, which was on February 15 that year, so we decided that we'd be married on the Saturday before, February 13, 1988. I know, I know, the day before Valentine's Day is a stupid day to get married, but we couldn't have a wedding at my church on Sunday, so there wasn't really another option.

The week before the wedding, Mike's instructor told him that he could take his weekly test on Thursday instead of Friday, so that he could leave Friday morning to make the six hour drive to Little Rock – Mike had been planning on leaving after class Friday afternoon and driving all night, missing the rehearsal of course, but hey, it's the actual wedding that's important!

The wedding was beautiful – in spite of the fact that we spent less money on our entire wedding than the average wedding gown sells for these days! We spent the wedding night at the historic Capital Hotel, stopped by my parents' house for lunch and to say goodbye on Sunday, then drove back to Mississippi. Monday was Mike's day off, and Tuesday he went back to class, leaving me in our cute little apartment to begin making it into a home.

Since we didn't have time (or money!) for a honeymoon, we promised ourselves that we'd take a honeymoon on our 10th anniversary.

Now, before I tell the next part of the story, I have to tell why Mike was cross-training in the first place. His first job in the military was as part of a maintenance crew on the Titan II missile silos in Arkansas, but as a result of the SALT II treaty, all the Titan IIs were dismantled and the silos destroyed. This job was finished in the spring of 1987, and everyone in Mike's squadron was given a special medal for having overseen the deactivation of an entire unit. Then Mike was told that he must either re-enlist and cross-train or get out – and was given 10 days to make the decision. He wishes now that he had gotten out and gone to college, but with so little time to make a decision, he chose to re-enlist and cross-train into air traffic control radar repair.

Now, fast-forward 10 years. The ATC radar career field has been merged with weather radar, and now Mike is doing NEXRAD weather radar repair, and he finds out that the military intends to contract out that entire career field – they want all but 400 airmen in the career field to either (can you guess?) cross-train or get out. Mike decides to cross-train, which means he has to re-enlist again. This time he chooses computer programming, so in the fall of 1997, he heads off to Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS, for cross-training. Which is where he was on our 10th anniversary.

We never got the honeymoon.

We've decided to put it off until our 20th anniversary, being reasonably sure that he will not be cross-training into yet another career field! Hopefully he will have retired by then and our lives will have settled into the stability we've longed for.

In the meantime, tomorrow is our 16th anniversary. Mike usually takes leave for a week around the 13th of the month so we can do a big gardening project as a gift to each other. Well, really it's Mike's gift to me – I'm the one who loves big gardening projects but I need manpower to accomplish my purposes!

Unfortunately the Inspector General is coming in March, and it's very hard to get leave right now. Base commanders tend to start getting really flippy just before and IG, and denying leave is pretty standard.

Whenever I complain to Mike about these inconveniences and ask him to "talk to Someone about it," he, in his joking manner, reminds me that the Air Force's standard way of handling situations like this is to remind the airman that "the Air Force did not issue you a wife."

When some soldiers approached John the Baptist asking him "what shall we do?" his response was that they should be content with their wages.

I guess the corollary to this is that soldiers' wives must be content with their husbands' wages... and assignments, and every weird thing that comes with being a military wife.

Every once in a while, I am asked how the military affects my marriage. My answer is usually, "I don't really know." Since I've never been a civilian wife I don't really have anything to compare it with. By way of answering the question, I'll try to post the Adventures of a Military Wife on a semi-regular basis.

**I'm sorry the picture is such poor quality - we don't have a scanner, so I took a digital photo of a picture from our wedding album.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

If I were a New Year's Resolution kind of person, and I'm sure by now you can tell I'm not, here are a few things I'd be resoluting:

Last year I learned The Lord's Prayer in Old English, which is especially handy to know when some person says he can't possibly be expected to understand the Authorized Version of the Bible because he doesn't speak "Old English." You should see their faces when you say, "Actually the KJV is modern English. Old English is like Faeder ure, thu the aert on heofenum; si thin nama gehalgod..." *wicked grin*

This year I thought it would be fun to learn it in Middle English - you know, Chaucer's English. And John Wycliff's.

The only problem with this is I've been unable to find to find an online recording of someone reciting it as I did for the Old English version. I've found a few Middle English resources so I'm trying to work out the pronunciation. Maybe I'll post a transliteration if I can figure out one that seems reasonable.

I've been interested in Pilates since Samantha posted about it a couple of months ago, and I recently found a Pilates for Beginners kit that has a beginners video, a neck cushion, and a huge rubber band for some of the excercises. The video is mostly breathing and posture excercises, which I've done until I'm, um, well, bored with the video (Anne Marie, don't tell Mom I said the B-word!), so I'd like to get either another video or a book, and do the excercises regularly.

Also on the health and fitness front, I really need to get back on the Protein Power diet. My grandmother was diabetic, and I've always had blood sugar trouble so I need to be really careful about carbohydrates. I did PP in 1999 after baby #5 was born and it made me feel great - more energetic than I'd felt in a decade - but then we had a baby and moved, and moved again and had another baby, and I haven't been as disciplined as I should be.

Finally, and this one I really am doing, I'm trying to read more to my younger kids. I read to my first four a lot but with added homeschooling and household responsibilities as our family grows, I have not made the effort I should have to read to my younger ones. In the mornings I'm reading the Chronicles of Narnia to them - we're on book 3 now, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (the discerning reader will notice that we used the original numbering, not the stupid modern numbering), and the kids love it. Caspian, Lucy, Edmund, Eustace, and Reepicheep have just left Deathwater Island and are headed out to open sea again. In the afternoons we're reading from E. Nesbit's The Complete Book of Dragons, a delightful collection of short stories about real old-fashioned dragonish dragons, not the perverse modern kind with hearts of gold. The kids and I are all enjoying it, especially my 3-year-old son whose specialty is killing monsters.
My son, a clog in the making
Okay, Summer says blogs are meant for bragging, so I'm going to indulge myself a little.

When we lived in Virginia, my then 10-year-old son played on the church's soccer team. A certificate of appreciation was given to every team member, and just two trophies were given - one to the most valuable player, and the Big One, the Philippians 3:14 award, to the best all-around player who also exhibited the most Christlike character. Both years he played, Stephen got The Big One. The certificates are long gone, but the trophies still occupy the place of honor in his room.

Tonight was our homeschool group's basketball banquet. Stephen was on the junior high team and this is the first year he has played basketball. Again certificates and trophies were given: every kid got a trophy, and some of the kids also got certificates of achievement. Stephen got the "Mr. Hustle" award - he was the smallest on his team and worked really hard to learn the game, scoring 10 points during each of the last two games of the season.

After we got home, Stephen hung his award certificate in his room. Then he removed the plastic cup and basketball from the trophy to give to his younger siblings to play with, and kept the trophy's marble base for himself.

I'm sure he's planning to make something worthwhile out of it. :-D

Monday, February 9, 2004

Deux Ego (how do you pronounce that, anyway? "Dyooz"? "Deuce"? "Dukes"? I never could figure out French!) is up and running again
If you haven't stopped by in a while, why don't you go give them a holler?

Thursday, February 5, 2004

How do you feel about bones?
Yesterday we took our 14-year-old daughter to the orthodontist to see about getting braces.

Now, I always said we'd never do that for purely cosmetic purposes, so just to defend my pride here I have to say that she really does have a problem. Apparantly she suffered a mouth injury as an infant that caused her two front teeth to come in cattywhampus (if that's the word I want - one front tooth points forward and the other points backward).

Anyway, the funny thing was, as she was filling out one of the forms, she nudged me and said, "How do I answer that?"

The form said: How do you feel about your teeth?

After several minutes of giggling things like They feel smooth and hard, and It depends on what I'm eating, I told her, "Just pretend they asked you what you think about your teeth. Do you like them?"

She put down, "They feel fine. I just want them to be straight."


Monday, February 2, 2004

States I've visited
Found at TulipGirl.

I've driven through or had layovers in several other states, but I only counted the states I've at least spent the night in. Of these, I've lived in Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, New York, Alabama, Virginia, and Texas.

create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide
Mama's linen closet
A voice floats down the hall saying, "There's a ghost in the linen closet!"

I investigate and find my 5-year-old daughter leaning against the linen closet door with her face pressed to the crack, crooning, "There's a ghost in the linen closet!"

"Wooooo!" says the ghost in the closet.

About to tell them not to mess up my linen closet, I open the door, and out tumbles into a blonde and laughing heap my 3-year-old son.

Only it's not my son John - suddenly it's more than 30 years ago and the laughing boy who tumbles out of the piles of blankets and outgrown clothes is my 3-year-old brother Johnny, and I'm the 5-year-old girl with the long brown hair.

Mommy's linen closet has a narrow door, but the closet is wide and there's a three foot deep space to the right of the door where Johnny and I play. First we are in a spaceship flying to the moon, then we're defending our castle from the enemies outside, next we're living in a treehouse, Swiss Family Robinson-style.

As I relive these games aloud, my daughter's eyes widen and sparkle, and my son's mouth draws into a perfect O.

Taking another look at the clothes that have fallen out of their bags and the twisted blankets in the floor of the linen closet, I leave my babies to their games. I can straighten up the closet some other time.