Friday, March 14, 2008

Side of Beef

When I buy beef from a local farmer, I pay a certain amount for the hanging weight, and a certain amount to the butcher for processing. I have wondered in the past how that cost ends up comparing to the price I see at the grocery store or in the butcher's case.

Today I picked up half a cow from a butcher I haven't patronized before. The meat was neatly packed in flat boxes, making it easy to put in the car and into the freezer. So I weighed it, just to find out how much of the cow's hanging weight actually makes it into the freezer. It ended up to be about 2/3. With the butcher's fee, the price per pound ended up about twice as much as I pay the farmer for hanging weight. That's helpful to know when I compare to grocery-store prices, and makes the grocery-store prices look less shocking.


The new hymnal has changed some references that were in TLH. "Remission of sins" is a phrase that we are no longer very fond of: "forgiveness of sins" is the preferred way to say it. The reason given was that "remission" is a word that people associate with cancer, a word that indicates the disease is gone, beaten back, but may return. We want to talk about forgiveness of sins so that we know the sins are defeated and fully paid for.

Okay, I see that point. I agree.

But isn't there a place for talking about remission of sins too?

In this life, we are weighed down by the Old Adam. The sinful nature continues with us until we assume room temperature. Sins do go into remission. They are beaten back. But sometimes they return. Sometimes they return overwhelmingly. Sometimes the doctor (the Seelsorger) must apply massive doses of medicine (the word and sacraments) to heal us again.

The word "remission" has fallen into disfavor because of the recognition that sin is not fully defeated. Maybe it's the distinction between justification and sanctification? We dare not think that keeping the sin in remission is something we do, something to which we contribute. But yet it seems very real that "remission" is a picture of how we struggle with the sinful nature until he is fully defeated in our death.

Boy, I think we need both words: forgiveness and remission.

Plundering the Egyptians

Recently I was conversing with an acquaintance who was explaining to me how God wants His Christians to have physical health and material wealth and every other bounty while we are yet here on earth.

Our story today is from Exodus 12. Prior to the Angel of Death passing over the land, the children of Israel went to their Egyptians neighbors and asked for gold, silver, and clothing. And God gave His children favor in the sight of the Egyptians. The Egyptians just handed over the wealth.

Why? So that God's people could be rich rich rich?

About 10 chapters later in the book, we find out why. Those riches would be brought to Moses so that the artisans who made the ark and the altar and the tapestries could build the tabernacle according to God's plans.

So in gratitude and faith, the people turned all that wealth back over to the Lord who had delivered them and given them the wealth. And what did God do with it? He appointed that tabernacle as the place where His people would receive the true wealth. In that place -- made of the gold and silver and cloth that they'd plundered from the Egyptians -- in that place God forgave their sins, He covered them with the blood of atonement, He heard their prayers, He put His name upon them, He gave them all the wealth of heaven instead of the measly wealth of earth.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


The bookshelves are up. The books are unpacked. There's still a lot of putting-in-order that will need to be done with the books. But at least we can now walk through the room that will be the library/dining room, and pass through that room to the laundry room and workshop.

The kitchen is covered with post-it notes on the cupboards and drawers so that we can spend a little less time hunting for things. "What's behind Door #1? Oh, maybe we'll try Door #3 instead."

Setting up some new bank accounts today took two hours. And here I originally thought it would be about 10 minutes. Oh well.

I think (???) I now know my new phone number AND new address and new email addresses.

Today's mail brought an awesome surprise. A bunch of homeschooling friends went together to purchase a house-warming gift of a gift-card to Home Depot. Won't that be helpful!! Wow, I keep getting blown away by how God provides for us just when I suspect He may have forgotten.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dishes Fairy

With the dish-drainer still back at the old house, I've been having problems washing dishes. Then I discovered that I could use the dishwasher to stack wet clean dishes so as to let them dry. But today we did something wild and crazy. We put the dinner dishes in the dishwasher still dirty [gasp!] and then later put the supper dishes in there too. We put in the soap, closed the door, pushed the magic button, and headed to church for Lenten service. And when we came home....
the dishes fairy had come and made everything clean.
Pretty nifty!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

One of Those Days

Started off at the laundromat, and the machine did NOT want to take my quarters. Good grief, when I can't even manage to operate a vending machine (how hard can it be to shove quarters into a slot???), the omens do not portend a good day.

I skipped the board meeting for the state homeschool organization. A lot of important things on the agenda today. But I just couldn't handle the trip in the midst of all the necessities of changing homes after 17 years.

Brought the clothes home from the laundromat, intending to throw them into the dryer. But it took THREE trips to the hardware store before it finally would work. I couldn't manage it, no matter how hard I tried, but Paul hooked up the exhaust vent, as well as changed the outlet.

Made a good dent in cleaning the basement. Pretty soon those cupboards downstairs will be clean enough so that we can begin unpacking the things that need to be stored in the basement. The boys put together three more sets of bookshelves today, so the books can be unpacked as soon as we get a few other tasks accomplished.

Also got a lot of hooks hung up on walls so that some stuff can get off the floors and counters. I love these hooks that don't mar the wall!

The cats have begun to explore outside. They don't go too far (yet) and they come back. But Maggie is stressed whenever the kitties are out gallavanting.

Paul got the baseboards varnished so that Gary can install them in the one bedroom tomorrow evening. He also varnished and attached legs to the legless table for the breakfast nook. Hey, tomorrow we'll no longer need to sit on the floor for all meals!

Worked on some more address changes. Made several phone calls. Andrew had unpacked my computer and set it up for me this afternoon. After phoning APT, I wanted to get online and invite homeschoolers to the annual Shakespeare outing in September. But there were password problems and other glitches with the ISP: it took over two hours (and great frustration on my part, and a whole lot of Gary's assistance, and a long time on the phone with the provider) before I could use the email. That seems to be fixed, but a few things still are not working right. Oy!


Oh, this is too fun! Jeff's blog directed us to a site that makes anagrams out of words. When I put in my name, I got nearly 5000 anagrams, including:
Beach Gals Shun
Chasubles Hang
Bagels Can Hush

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Lent in 3-Year

My father-confessor's congregation began using the 3-year lectionary this past Advent. The congregation I'm a member of is on the historic 1-year series. It seemed to me in December that Advent had more of a "pre-Christmas" feel in the 3-year series, and more a call to repentance in the 1-year series. But my Stuckwischy friend disagreed with me, so I questioned my perspective.

During Lent I have again noticed a difference between the 3-year and 1-year series. The 3-year lectionary for Lent this year seems to have a lot about light. I've been feeling like I'm still in Epiphany. I love the readings. I love the sermons. I love the hymns. But it hadn't seemed very Lentish. Then today, the OT reading was Ezekiel 37. It was hard for me to pay attention because I kept thinking, "That's for Thomas Sunday" (also known as the first Sunday after Easter) and "Why are we reading Easter stories already?"

So here's the perspective of someone who's in the midst of Series A and the 1-year series at the same time:
Series A treats Lent more like a transition from Epiphany to Easter.
One-year series uses it more as a time of penitence.

Black Stove

Bread crumbs and spilled salt and cotton lint show up a whole lot more on a black stovetop than on a white stovetop.

Cats don't much appreciate being moved to a new home.

When a family is moving into a house, there are more things to fix, more projects to tackle, and more decisions to make than I dreamed possible.

With much help from friends, we have transferred the beds, the dressers, the piano, most of the appliances, and much of the cookware to the new house. But there's still a lot to be done at the old house. I wonder where the motivation to DO it will come from, when things are getting kinda nicely settled here? And when my body is sore and aching from 1) a fall on the ice last week, and then 2) all that physical labor of lifting and hauling?