Saturday, May 30, 2009


We watched A Man for All Seasons tonight. Excellent movie about Sir Thomas More. Lots to think about. Has some scary ramifications for politics today. Has some pretty hilarious one-liners scattered throughout the show.

But one totally inconsequential thing makes me curious. Was the bird named for the priestly office because the birdies were all dressed in red like the higher-than-bishop guys? Or was the office named after the bird? I'm guessing the bird-name was based on the guys-in-red in the church hierarchy, but I don't know.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Delivering Latin Books

My daughter's brother-in-law happens to be the part-time Latin teacher at our church's Lutheran school. Today was the last day of school. Teachers are cleaning out desks. One of my kids volunteered to take home Greg's box of Latin books, and get them to my son-in-law to pass on to his brother.

Gary had a better idea. What if we took them to Matt's folks' house? They live closer to us than the grocery store; it's only 8 minutes away. Rachel's in-laws are greeeeat people, but we almost never see them. So we called. We drove over this evening with Greg's books. We spent an incredibly pleasant hour and a half chatting with them. Oh, it just makes me smile!

Remembering Sin

Amos 8: The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob, "Surely I will never forget any of their works."
Jeremiah 31: "For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

So the one prophet says God will never forget their sin. The other prophet says God will never remember their sin.

In class today, Pastor was explaining how both are true. The first is true according to the Law. The second is true according to the Gospel. But isn't that rather paradoxical?

Amos goes on in chapter 8 to talk about the earth quaking and about the sky being darkened at noon. He talks about feasts being turned to mourning, and songs being turned to lamentation -- like mourning for an only son. This sounds to me like Amos is prophesying about Jesus' crucifixion.

How can it be true that God will never forget their sin? Because every single sin ever committed was laid upon His Son. He didn't forget one of them. Not a single sin remains. They were all placed upon Him, and they were all punished. God did not forget those sins, but made sure He remembered to gather them all into one place to make atonement for them.

But for us who are in Christ, God will not remember our sin. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. There is nothing left for Him to remember because the punishment was fully meted out.

It's so cool how both God's remembering and God's forgetting come to pass in that one place on that one Friday afternoon of darkness and earthquake and lamentation.

Big Day

Philip signs the papers and takes possession of his condo today. He found a nice wood dining room table and a credenza at Goodwill this week. (I always wondered what a "credenza" was. And when he brought this thing home, I wasn't sure what it was. Then I saw the word stamped on the back. Ah ha!) He called last night from the store, asking for advice on saucepans and cookware. He'll be taking my spare 3-qt Reverware until he can get to central Illinois and raid my sister's and brother-in-law's pre-wedding stuff.

After taking on his mortgage, he will be spending the rest of the day cleaning cupboards and shampooing carpet and such. I guess tomorrow is the day to haul stuff back and forth in the van.

I bet Paul will be glad to move upstairs to the bedroom, out of the depths of the basement.

I should spend the day in the garden, but I keep wondering if putting seeds in that cold soil is going to rot them. Hey, at least the grass we planted on Monday should be doing well, with the persistent gentle rains and drizzles we've had for three days straight. It's nearly June and we're still running highs in the 50s and low 60s. Global warming, my foot.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

1 Samuel 18

In our stories about David in the last few weeks, we heard about how Jonathan took off his robe and gave it to the one anointed to be king -- just like the believers on Palm Sunday took off their robes and laid them out for the path of the Christ.

We also heard how Saul tried to do in David. Twice he set up a situation where David was supposed to go fight in battle, in hopes that the Philistines would kill off David. So that's where David got the idea to get rid of Uriah the Hittite.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


The finches have been flitting around the yard. They are so cheery!! With the grass seed we put out on Monday, crowds of finches are visiting us now. (I hope they left some seed to germinate and grow...) I love how the finches fly all zigzaggy up&down, like as if they're dancing a jig and are too exuberant to fly in a mundane straight line.

I tried to get photos, but the little guys would fly too far away whenever I opened the window. So this picture is from the Ohio DNR website.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Jasper Stone

At the end of Revelation, the angel is showing John the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, and he writes that she has "the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal."

I don't know about you, but that never made much sense to me. I ain't seen no stones that light up. They're usually pretty dull. Even sparkly precious stones like diamonds and rubies need to be polished and cut so that the facets reflect the light in a pretty way.

During Israel's wilderness wanderings, God was in the pillar of fire that led His children. He was their light. Paul tells us that the rock which followed them around in the wilderness gave them their water of life, and that Rock was Christ.

In the psalter (119) we sing that the Word of God [Jesus] is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. In the psalter (118) we sing that the Stone which the builders rejected [Jesus] has become the chief Cornerstone.

This line from Revelation makes a lot more sense if you look at it in the background of Scripture's vocabulary instead of from the background of Earth Science.

Enlighten our darkness by the light of your Christ.
May His word be a lamp to our feet
and a light to our path.
For You are merciful,
and You love Your whole creation,
and we, Your creatures, glorify You,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

And, hey, you know what else? A few verses later in Rev 21, we hear that the walls of the heavenly city are made of jasper stone. Plug that into your "A mighty fortress is our God"!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Seems Like Saturday

Seeing as we didn't used to live on a M-F work-week or school-week, this is our first experience with a 3-day weekend after settling into the pattern of Monday through Friday. Gary hauled some topsoil today, and he built some raised beds that will be filled with compost & dirt eventually. We planned out the garden, placed a large order with Jung's, and planted some grass seed where we're patching rough ankle-twisting spots left over from last spring's repairs to the septic system.

And now I'm ready to go to church tomorrow morning. And there is no Service! Not only that, but Wednesday's Divine Service is being replaced by Graduation Vespers. It's gonna be a long long six days until Sunday.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Some More Wedding Pictures

The head table --

Nathan, Andrew, Paul, and Philip --

Philip, Matt, Rachel, Katie & Alia
(and cousins at the next table over) --

an especially good shot of Philip--

Robert's parents --

This waitress couldn't wait to get her hands on Alia, just to help, y'know, so that we'd have free hands to eat. Nasty job, holding a baby, but it was all in the line of duty, sacrificing herself to serve the guests... (It was so cute!)

Maybe Karen can help me out with this one. All I remember is that they're Robert's extended family (I think) --

There was a discussion of cameras at our table. I wonder what's going on at the next table. Looks like it turned out to be a good plan to put Matt, Eric, and Tim with the rocket-club guys.

There should be some great thing we could put in a word-bubble over Mary's head, but it's not coming to mind at the moment --

Zack needed to see the baby. And Alia liked him too.

The part of the wedding that choked me up most was probably when I looked at Robert as Karen was coming down the aisle. His face was full of joy, watching his bride approach. But that wasn't what did me in. We were on the third stanza of "He's Risen, He's Risen" and this guy was singing it from memory. I don't know about you, but in my mind, a man who can sing "The conquering Lord lifts His banner on high. He lives, yes, He lives, and will nevermore die" while he gazes upon his approaching bride is going to be a man who is likely to treat her as Christ cherished His church. And that is a very happy thought.