Thursday, August 21, 2008
A Department of Water representative stopped at a Texas ranch and talked with its owner. He told the rancher, 'I need to inspect your ranch for your water allocation.'
The old man said, 'OK, but don't go in that field over there.'
The Water representative said, 'Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me. See this card? The card means I am allowed to go WHEREVER I WISH on any agricultural land. No questions asked or answered. Have I made myself clear? Do you understand?'
The old rancher nodded politely and went about his chores.
Later, he heard loud screams and saw the Water Rep running for the fence;close behind was the rancher's huge-horned prize bull. The bull was gaining with every step.
The Rep was clearly terrified, so the old rancher immediately threw down his tools, ran to the fence and shouted out...
'Your card! Your card! Show him your card!'
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Jake is all signed up for classes, paid and ready to go. He also has a campus job- oddly enough, he applied for it before we even talked about him going back to school. He'll be working in the Museum, in the gift shop and as a floor attendant. His first day was today and he's a little overwhelmed right now.
Beth & I are working to get new stuff ready 'cuz we've had a couple of wonderful days at Farmer's Market. It's amazing what a difference good weather has made on our sales! :) We've had lovely weather during the days for the last two weeks and we're glad!
Deborah starts kindergarten next week on Wednesday. I'm nervous and so is she. She's had about a week of extreme highs and lows. Like having a little teenager around! I'll be glad to see her going and having it more peaceful.
Abigail is calmly dealing with all of our emotional turmoil and exhibits absolutely no problems with any of it. She's excited about starting pre-school in the next two weeks and I know that will go well.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Before introducing the quote I need to say a few things about the book-
1. I like the characters- I mean I really like them... Rawn has drawn sympathetic, real, fun people and I want to know what happens to them. The bad guys stink, and you love to hate them.
2. I don't like the overall book... I'm not sure exactly why. It's a little full of itself- a little pompous, pretentious, snobby.
3. It has a couple diatribes against Christians that I find very frustrating- lumping all of them together with over-wrought fanatics and self-righteous puritanical bigots.
4. However, for some reason, I've been compelled to read the whole thing- Even though I get annoyed with Rawn's snootiness at times, I want to know what happens to these people. They've become real to me. I care about them. I want to know how it all works out.
So, here's the section about connections. It's on pages 322 & 323 in the hardcover edition:
"But here (in New York), there's so much of everything. So many lives, all separate- you say I'm not connected to New York, but is anybody here really connected to anybody else? Outside of family and friends, I mean. There's contact- hell, walking down the street is a contact sport- but is there connection?"
"I think the intertwining is not often acknowledged. New York is the greatest city in the world- which means it's the most excessive city in the world. Wealth, poverty, art, ugliness, generosity, violence- all outsized. But it weaves together."
"I think the word you want is 'tangles,'" she retorted. "And no tapestries, please- the image is uninspired. Okay, I can see that after 9/11, yeah, connections were made. Martin told me that he and Ian realized it was the first time in their lives they didn't feel hyphenated. Not African-American, but Americans. The United States finally became their country- and they descend from slaves who god damned built half the United States!"
"We were all shocked into seeing each other. It's a disgrace that it took 9/11 to do it, because we've all been here living with each other all along."
"Not 'with,' Alec. 'Among.' The connections were made out of hideous necessity. Some still exist, I'm sure. But-" ...
Is there a limit to the number of people you can know? Really know, I mean, not just nod to at the bank or the market. How many people allow you to see them- and how many do you allow yourself to be seen by?"
Very, very few," she mused. "I could do a whole lecture about socialization within the family, tribe and clan, and keeping relationships structured-... The point is that evolution didn't wire us for infinite number of connections. In a city like this we guard our personal space, and that means seeing only a finite number of people. But when we look at each other, we should see the possibilities."
It isn't often that I see the possibilities in people... I get distracted very easily- by people's problems, my problems, my heart... It's very easy for me to get overwhelmed by the difficulties going on around me. I'm afraid of being hurt. So my tendency is to focus on the things that have to be done, rather than the people around me.
In Kotzebue I learned to shut down to protect myself. I came into a very tightly woven community built on native culture & values, and I did not fit in. I was too blonde, too white, too Californian- so I built a bubble around myself. My intention was to protect my heart and feelings. But the bubble became a trap. I was so tightly closed up that I couldn't let people in easily.
I've finally learned how to let people in, but it's still an issue... I'm never sure where the edge of the bubble should be- how close should I let people? How much do I let myself be seen? Do people really want to see me? I have a tendency to either keep people way far away or let them in further than they really want... I'm not a socially comfortable person... It's so much easier to keep people at a distance, but I know I need to be connected. That's one of the needs hard-wired into me.
God, help me see the possibilities in people. Please, give me your insight. I'm not socially adept & I'm not comfortable just hanging out, but, more than anything, I want to do your will. I want to see people how you do, and not get focused on things. I want to focus on the eternal, not the temporal...
"But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses."
1 Timothy 6:11&12
To me, this passage specifies that I am to take hold of the eternal life... The things that will last forever- People. Their hearts and minds and souls. That's it... Not money. Not jobs. Not my beads. Not clothes. Not my house. Not my writing... Nothing else is going to last into forever.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
If you haven't seen this video you are missing out on something beautiful.
My husband, Jake, has read John Newton's biography and would say that Phipps is completely right as far as the possible combination of slave tune & Newton's words.. Yes, there are some historical question marks in Wintley Phipps timeline but he's right on the money about God's intent for 'Amazing Grace'-
Newton was conscripted by the British army and was actually quartered with the slaves at times- he worked on slave plantations beside slaves before becoming a slave ship captain and before his salvation...
When did he first hear this tune? We'll never know till we meet him in heaven. It's possible he heard it sung while working beside other slaves... It's possible he first heard it as a slave ship captain... Isn't it amazing how God takes something of the world and makes it new again?
His grace is amazing...
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Beth & I got to Farmer's Market and we just froze... Good grief! How on earth can it be this cold in AUGUST?
I know 50 doesn't sound cold, but it was also rainy and windy, which made it just miserable. It wasn't so bad the first couple of hours, but by the time I'd been there 4 or 5 my toes felt like ice cubes. And that was with long johns! :) Probably TMI!
At least we sold stuff! A good day, not a great one, but not a bad one.
Friday, August 08, 2008
Our response should be: "To gain freedom from the power of your obsessions, failures, and faults and know a freedom and peace that only a follower of Christ can have."
Christ came to fulfill the law so that He could set us free to follow Him by means of the power of the Spirit. We must consistently seek for the Spirit to enable us to live as free people.
Life is better when lived by the Spirit's power and in intimacy with God than when shackled to the unrelenting desires of the flesh.
Read this in my daily Bible reading stuff on Facebook. It struck me 'cuz I hate the idea of being shackled to anything... I love the idea of Freedom. This is a great way to talk to a non-believer. I think most of us desire freedom. I think this is a real need.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
It's rained & rained & rained & rained up here for the last few weeks...
I've got Farmer's Market friends who've lost part or all of their gardens. Remember, their crops are their income...
We're small so you probably won't hear about it on the national news, but it's pretty bad up here.
Friday, August 01, 2008
These are excellent murder mysteries starring Aurora Teagarden. Fresh characters and a quirky Southern small town feel. Librarian Teagarden lives a most unusual life, followed by a string of macabre murders and wacko admirers. Quick, fast-paced fun reads.
I loved this! The second tale in ‘The Myth Hunter’, and even better than the first in my opinion. Dark fantasy, quick-paced action, chilling adventure, excellent characterization, touches of horror and a delightful melange of fairy tales and mythology...
Half Magic by Edward Eager A
By accident I discovered two of the books from the Battle of the Books list this year- this one and Heartbeat. They were close to Bruce Coville's books in the library... I'm glad to have read books that 'I should read', but it's funny I didn't know I'd done it until after I'd already read 'em. From the cover: It all begins with a strange coin on a sun-warmed sidewalk. Jane finds the coin, and because she and her siblings are having the worst, most dreadfully boring summer ever, she idly wishes something exciting would happen. And something does: Her wish isgranted. Or not quite. Only half of her wish comes true. It turns out the coin grants wishes- but only by half, so that you must wish for twice as much as you want. Wishing for two times some things is a cinc, but other doubled wishes only cause twice as much trouble. What is half of twice a talking cat? Or to be half-again twice not-here? And how do you double your most heartflet wish, the one you care about so much that it has to be perfect?
Very fun YA. Enjoyed it very much. Light and silly, but about the consequences of not thinking things through before acting. Has the feel of Mary Poppins books (Travers) or Peter Pan...
I made it halfway through this before I finally accepted that I hated it and was not going to bother finishing it... I was just convinced that I’d like it! It’s a retelling of the Snow White tale, it’s by the guy who wrote the fantastically popular ‘Wicked’. However, it’s about the Borgias and the dark nasty years when they controlled the papacy... Very dark & evil times. Not a fun or light or even entertaining book. I’m all up for dark and disturbing, but this was sick & twisted, too.
This is the other Battle of the Books one I picked up by accident. I loved this little YA book. It tells the story of a young runner named Annie through poetry commenting on the rhythms of her life. She’s a painter/runner who is dealing with a mom who’s pregnant, a grandfather developing alzheimer’s and a best friend named Max. The story is simple, yet told so beautifully...
No Place Like Home by Mary Higgins Clark C
From the cover: Ten-year-old Liza Barton shoots her mom while trying to protect her from her violent husband- Liza’s stepfather. While the death is ruled accidental, the tabloids still compare Liza to the child murderess Lizzie Borden. Liza’s adoptive parents change her name to Celia and try to erase all traces of her past. Widowed after a brief marriage in which she had a son, Jack, she remarries a young lawyer. Celia is happy until, on her birthday, he presents her with a gift-the house where she killed her mother. On moving in, the find the words LITTLE LIZZIE’S PLACE-BEWARE painted in red letters on the lawn. When the real estate agent who sold the house to her husband is murdered, Celia becomes a suspect. As she struggles to prove her innocence, Celia and her little son are being stalked by the killer.
Another of her suspense thrillers... It’s actually an interesting concept- however the execution was way too complicated to be interesting or fun. I lost track of some of the peripheral characters who turn out to be very important in the end, and it just wasn’t worth the time...
Justice Denied by J.A. Jance A
The next one in the Beaumont series. Excellent mystery. I enjoyed this one a lot- about a serial killer executing ex-cons, and the process to find the killer...
The Healer by Sharon Sala A
I thoroughly enjoyed this- an Alaskan guy who can communicate with animals meets up with another loner who’s trying to escape her past... Right up my alley ;)
WARNING: Sensuality abounds- It’s a romance, but the mystery of his healing ability and the bad guy who’s trying to catch him to keep his healing gift all to himself makes it worth the time.
The Prince and the Princess by Marianna Mayer A
An old fashioned fairy tale- a prince who must rescue a princess and defeat an evil wizard. Very fun. He makes friends along the way, and in the end only succeeds through the help of those friends- Always pays to have interesting friends!
Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris A
Second in the Harper series telling the story of a young woman struck by lightning who can tell where corpses are and how they died. The second installment is a little less ‘woe is me’ than the first and they are definitely growing on me. I like the paranormal mystery aspect of these and watching the main character discover some truths about herself.
Monster of the Year by Bruce Coville A
Uh-oh... Two boys start out with a silly idea (to have a monster of the year contest advertised on an empty billboard) and end up with vampires, mummies, hunchbacks, and lagoon monsters fighting over who will fun. Very silly but, in Coville’s usual style, also an eye-opening tale about the problems these boys have to deal with on an every day basis.
Since Jake left Fred Meyer we have the option of him going back to school FT. We're trying to decide whether to send him back or not. Jake had trouble working and going to school, and won't go back unless he can just do school and nothing else. He got overwhelmed- school, ministry, job, husband, and daddy.
I can certainly understand. I tried to have a job in college and couldn't do it. I ended up dropping out that semester 'cuz I kept getting sick. And then I did it again... I didn't have to completely drop out the second semester, but I had to withdraw from most of my classes. Finally, my parents told me to stop trying to work. My mom said that for me school was my job.
I lived at home and went to UAF and that was it. I did ministry with my BSU and I was in theatre shows. It really only worked since my mom worked at the university... Children under 24 of UAF employees had & still have tuition waived. If that hadn't been God's gift to us there's no way I could have gone to school without having a job.
Funny. In seminary I had a job (at first I worked in the music library on campus but after that I tutored in the school system), was traveling a LOT with Company, doing youth group stuff at my church on Wednesday night plus doing FT classes. I think God gave me the grace to succeed at seminary... 'Cuz there's NO way I could have done all that in college.
It will cost a LOT for Jake to go to school, but right this minute we can do it. We're trying to figure out what kind of job I need to make this happen.
So much is up in the air, but it does feel like this is exactly what God wants us to do for this moment in time.
Help, God! Give us wisdom and please take care of our needs. God, please work everything together in our life so that we can obey you and glorify you...
I believe that you want Jake to finish his schooling. If that is so, provide for that to happen. Please help us trust you and make the path straight before us.