Saturday, September 05, 2009

1 Samuel 22:23

King Saul wanted to eliminate David, the one anointed by the Lord to be the next king. David was in hiding. He even tried hiding with the enemies, where Goliath was from. He found a safe place outside the country for his parents to live. David is living in forests and caves. Saul slaughters many priests and laymen because one of the priests assisted David (unaware that there was any trouble betwixt Saul and David). One priest escapes and comes to David. And David says to him,

Stay with me. Do not fear. For he who seeks my life seeks your life, but with me you shall be safe.

It sounds like David is promising Abiathar the priest a safe place to live. Like as if David will defend him and protect him. But what position is David in to protect anybody? It seems he can't even protect himself! The man who is #1 on the king's hit-list, the man who has been driven from his home, the man who is in hiding in his own land and feigning madness in neighboring lands -- this is the man who promises to protect Abiathar?? If I were Abiathar, David wouldn't look like a good bet.

But there is one thing about David: he has the Lord's promise. David may not be able to protect himself or his followers. But the Lord has promised that he will be king. So against all evidence to the contrary, to be in David's band is to be in the place of safety.

David believed that. That's why he could promise the priest, "With me you shall be safe," even though it sure as heck didn't look safe.

Would that I believed God's promises to me with the same certainty that David believed God's promises to him, even when it appears God is botching things up.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Fine Bread

I seldom let bread rise only once before shaping it. It's not discipline; it's disorganization. The bread is rising. I have things to do. I punch it down and plan to deal with it later. Forty-five minutes later, I punch it down, planning to deal with it later. Forty minutes later, I see the bread getting bigger and bigger, and don't want to deal with shaping it into loaves right then, so I punch it down.

And so it goes.

Eventually the bread dough is shaped into loaves, placed into bread pans, rises that one last time and is baked.

Having made a very late start on my bread-baking last week, and the freezer being bereft of frozen loaves, I was in a hurry to get that bread baked and ready for supper. It rose once. I shaped it and baked it. And it turned out crumbly.

Big ol' fat crumbs. Messy cutting board. Harder to spread the peanut butter over the bumpy surface. What's up with that?

After a couple of days, I realized. Repeated risings make for a finer (that is, smaller, tinier, smoother) crumb. My dawdling on the bread, punching and repunching and repunching, actually creates a nicer loaf than allowing the dough to rise only once.

This week, that knowledge provided me the kick-in-the-tusch to do the bread right, with all those repeated punch-downs. (I wonder how long my new resolve will stick with me?)

Seeing Jesus in the David Stories

Right now we are reading David stories from 1 Samuel. Pastor has been pointing out how David is set up look like Christ ... but not quite.

In the story when Saul gets so ticked that he throws a spear at David, he misses. But later, a spear would pierce Jesus' side.

Jonathan sounded out his dad about whether Saul really hated David enough to kill him. When he went out to the field to deliver the coded message to David, David was hiding behind a rock. Our safety is found when we hide behind the Rock of our salvation.

David took five loaves of the showbread from the tabernacle to give to his men. Jesus, the Bread of Life, took five loaves of bread to feed the 5000.

When David was on the run, those who were discontented, who were in debt, who were in distress, came to him. Centuries later, the outcasts came to Jesus.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Around here

Last week Maggie had the blood test done to verify whether she has VCFS. Results came back today. Now we can mail the application to participate in research out in California.

A kid may be able to stay up late talking to friends via the computer and still be able to arise in the morning to make it to chapel on time. But he may need to nap during the afternoon when chores and school lessons are supposed to be done. Bedtime must be set earlier.

Pulled out the old bean plants that are no longer producing; the second planting is slowing down; the third planting is flowering. The cucumbers are failing. The tomatoes are still doing nicely. I harvested some very nice romaine lettuce today for our BLTs. Turnips are almost ready; they will only make one supper's worth.

We had our first Greek class today, tutoring Leah. I think she and Maggie will probably do well working on the language together.

The newsletter from our old church came today. The man who's been preaching most frequently has agreed to take on a little midweek responsibility too. They are joining a dartball league, have organized a Car, Tractor, & Cycle Day, and are gearing up for the annual turkey dinner. A neighboring pastor is going to help them implement another stewardship program. The Sacrament is celebrated twice a month there now instead of weekly.

Andrew and I wiped the virus-laden downstairs computer and reloaded programs. It's time to install the program for German study, but day after day, I don't get around to it. I keep putting off the job until I read the instructions. Maybe we should just wade in and give it a go, trial-and-error.

A friend at church is getting ready to defend her dissertation and asked me to proofread her work on Job. I think it will require a week's vacation from my involvement in the kids' schoolwork, but it will be a treat to read what Nancy has written.

I hate shopping so much, and I have been trying to be so diligent about the kids' schoolwork (in other words, not running off to the store), that the grocery list keeps getting longer and longer, and that makes the icky job of restocking that much more intimidating.

Saturdays are going to have to be jealousy guarded. It's the one day to sleep in and kick back and relax (or catch up on chores!) and it's going to take work to make sure we don't fill up our Saturdays with cool things to do that leave us unrested to face the coming week.

I miss my computer time, but I'm enjoying the things I'm reading with the kids.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Awesome Pork Chops

I was googling a recipe for pork chops that used plenty of basil, and I found this one that is brown sugar and basil, with a little salt and chili powder and oil mixed in. Weird combo, but when rubbed into the pork chops, it was highly agreeable to our tastebuds! The pan drippings were fabulous drizzled over the rice. We're thinking this rub/glaze could be used very nicely on chicken too.

Helicopter Parents

When Philip went off to college, I first heard about "helicopter parents" who hover and make decisions for their kids and don't allow them to make their own mistakes & learn from them.

I think maybe it starts early. Do we let a kid bump his head on the underneath side of the table as he's learning to walk? Do we fret when the budding bike-rider scrapes up her knee, or do we matter-of-factly wash away the blood and send her on her way? Do we teach children from their earliest days that any bump, bruise, cut, splash of water in the face, is something for which they need comfort and soothing?

Of course, we don't want to be callous to sorrow and pain. But look at how we've been training the children: dumbing-down playgrounds, the widespread use of helmets and knee-pads, and the fear among parents of tree-climbing and mosquito-stings. No wonder we end up with a society where the adults think they have a right to a life without pain, where lawsuits allow outrageous sums for "pain and suffering," and where somebody else should be paying for my health insurance and my new & more-gas-efficient car and my house that was destroyed by the river after I built in a flood plain.

If we're afraid to let a toddler fall-down-&-go-boom, then it makes sense that we're afraid to let them make their own mistakes 15 or 20 or 30 years later when the stakes are even higher.

Monday, August 31, 2009

First Day of School

After chapel this morning and an hour of doing schoolwork in the narthex at church, we headed to the library. That's when we learned that only one computer at the library has the German program we wanted to use. Well, if we have to use it one-person-at-a-time, we might as well use the program at home ... at least until we get so far that the library has lessons beyond what we have.

Apparently there was no spyware on the downstairs computer. Andrew and I have had to wipe the computer, reinstall everything, and get up-to-date anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall. I think we did something wrong and will have to start over. Until that's fixed, the computer German lessons are on hold.

Gary and I went out to dinner this evening. Thanks to our parents for the anniversary gifts to provide this treat!

We need to readjust the daily schedule now that the library's computers aren't going to cater to my time-needs.

It's a long bike-ride to church when you haven't exercised in several months.

Maggie and I saw the doctor today. Her back was straightened for maintenance to fight against the scoliosis. I was straightened to fix that out-of-place bone from earlier this month. The doctor showed me what to do to pop it back into place, but no matter how much I try to do it at home, I can't adjust it myself. I gotta work on that some more.

Too Many Cucumbers

After enjoying plenty of cucumber salads and other uses for abundant cukes, we were still being overrun there for a while. We caught up by cutting thin slices of cucumber and using them (instead of pita chips) to scoop up hummus for lunch. Ooooh! Yummy combo!

Storing Tomatoes

You're not supposed to store tomatoes in the refrigerator. They're supposed to sit on the counter. If they ripen and you put them in the fridge to keep from over-ripening, the texture and taste changes.

So when you get up on an AUGUST MORNING and it's all of 45° outside, what does that do to the tomatoes???

Sunday, August 30, 2009


We've never before "started school." This year, for various reasons, I think we're going to need to do that. Tomorrow is the start of the school-year for our congregation's academy, as well as the start of school for several homeschooling families in the congregation.

I am totally lost as to how to make a schedule work. There is more to fit into a day than is fit-innable. Schedules have always failed in the past because we (well, okay, I) over-committed the time. There must be time in the days and weeks for housecleaning, laundry, rest, mowing, shopping, visiting with friends, being with Gary in the evening, and phone calls to Katie, Mom, & Paul. If we don't allow time for those things, the schedule isn't sustainable.

And yet, when I look at the schedule and take into account the realities of everyday life, we're left with only four hours for schoolwork per day, scattered throughout the day. And it's just not enough for our situation of two kids -- one of whom is going to need adult interaction for wrestling with ideas and college-prep work, and the other of whom needs a lot more teaching-from-mom than self-teaching. I've been puzzling through this for several days, gathering curriculum ideas, and trying to make a schedule, and it's just not working out.

I have no idea how to plow into this tomorrow. It looks like a recipe for disaster, and I don't need disaster right now. (I've got plenty of that going on in non-school areas.) Besides, I just have this deep-seated aversion to making Real Life take a backseat to bookwork. But I have to find some way to fit in some bookwork. Don't I? I think?

Today's Laugh

After a long, dry sermon, the minister announced that he wished to meet with the board following the close of the service.

The first man to arrive and greet the minister was a total stranger. "You misunderstood my announcement. This is a meeting of the board members," explained the minister.

"I know," said the man, "but if there is anyone here more bored than I am, then I'd like to meet him..."