Saturday, February 27, 2010

I Confess

We watched I Confess again last week.

This time I was struck by two things I hadn't noticed before. (Warning: spoilers follow.)

First, everybody knew that the seal of the confessional was not to be violated. The murderer relied on the fact that the priest could not and would not tell. The murderer's wife wasn't completely sure that the priest would keep his mouth shut, but with the reminder about the seal of the confessional, she was pretty sure he would abide by it. The detective pressed the priest for information, but he did not know that he was asking Father Logan to reveal what he'd heard in confession. The priest's former girlfriend and the blackmailer both know that the priest will not tell about sins he knows of. Today we have pastors telling other pastors that there are times when they must reveal what they've heard in confession. But in years past, people had a better sense that the ordination vow, "Do you promise never to divulge the sins confessed to you?" actually meant never.

Second, what brought about Alma's confession? She went through the movie worried that her husband's crime would come to light. She sat through the priest's trial without a word, watching with increased discomfort as her husband lied. But still she bore her own guilt. It was Father Logan's sacrifice and love which finally moved her to confess. It wasn't guilt. It wasn't the law. It wasn't threats that moved her. Her heart was changed as she was the recipient of sacrificial love, as she saw this man silently and patiently bear their sin.

Wow! Compare Hitchcock's theology to much of what we run across today.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Why is it that I hate using that last of something?

It doesn't bother me to use hamburger and rice and canned tomatoes freely. I'm fine with getting out plenty of potatoes or tuna or pasta. But using the ONE salmon steak in the freezer? Eeek. Opening those precious jars of chicken meat that came from Katie's pantry? Well, well, ... I might need those later. I can use lettuce freely in summer when I can get gobs from the garden, but using lettuce at this time of year means that it will be gone from the fridge, and there wouldn't be any if I want some tomorrow on my sandwich.

So if there's just a little, I don't touch it. And risk letting it go bad. How dumb is that?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

God Works for Good

On this St Matthias Day, Pr Eckardt writes on whether the Eleven should have chosen a successor to Judas so that they would again be the Twelve, or if they should have waited until God gave them Paul to be the twelfth.

The important point, though, is not about who picked whom and when.

What matters is that the Lord blesses what we do. He even blesses our mistakes. Even when we screw up in the offices into which He has placed us, He does good to those we have been called to serve. I love Pastor Eckardt's conclusion: we too may learn to live without regret. If we might have made decisions that in retrospect could be called ill-advised, we may take confidence in this, that God assumes them into the course of our grace-laden lives, and moves forward with us in His unspeakable mercy.

Today's Laugh

From Kari, who has some of the best laughs!


Dear Employees:

As the CEO of this organization, I have resigned myself to the fact that Barack Obama is our President and that our taxes and government fees will increase in a BIG way. To compensate for these increases, our prices would have to increase by about 10%. But since we can not increase our prices right now due to the dismal state of the economy, we will have to lay off sixty of our employees instead.

This has really been bothering me since I believe we are family here, and I didn't know how to choose who would have to go. So, this is what I did. I walked through our parking lots and found sixty Obama bumper stickers on our employees' cars and have decided these folks will be the ones to let go. I can't think of a more fair way to approach this problem. They voted for change ... I gave it to them.

I will see the rest of you at the annual company picnic.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Mag mentioned last night wanting to learn to sew. I wasn't sure whether to start with the machine or hand-sewing.
Last night while we read Betsy-Tacy, she embroidered a simple heart on some scrap cloth and did an awesome job! Today we downloaded a simple coloring-book picture of a bird on the branch of a cherry tree, traced it onto a piece of scrap cloth, and she's outlining it in appropriate colors.

We're going to need to buy more colors of thread or floss. Pretty quickly she's going to run through what little I have. Nifty, eh?


Fear Of Missing Something. It's a fear that I share with a lot of my friends. Online friends and some in-real-life friends.

As I try [again!!!] to get my computer addiction under control, it crossed my mind that I miss something no matter which way I turn. I may miss the online conversations. But if I participate in them to my heart's content, then I'm missing something at home -- the time reading with Maggie, the math play-time with Andrew*, the cleanliness of keeping the kitchen floor properly mopped, watching a movie with Gary, phone chats with Mom & Katie & Paul, etc.

* Okay, so Andrew thinks it's torture. Give me an algebra book and I can't help but think "play-time"!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Biblical Redundancy

My friend Steve told me once about the Department of Redundancy Department, augmented by the Department of Multivalence Bureau. My pastor (a son of Stephen) talks about how important it is for pastors to be redundant and to repeat themselves and to be redundant.

Okay, but still... Psalm 14 and Psalm 53 are the same thing. It seems pretty weird to me. Why put two of the same hymns in your hymnbook? Wouldn't you like to know what was up with Asaph and his hymnal committee?

And now that we're studying Micah on Thursday mornings, I keep getting jolted by how much Micah sounds like Isaiah. Well, now, they were contemporaries. They must have been going to the same symposia and were probably talking theology at the local Starbucks or pub. Reading Micah (and hearing Isaiah) is almost like listening to some of my pastor-friends and how they all sounds alike.


The house was cleaned fairly recently.
I'm done editing Karl's book.
I'm going to Woodmans tomorrow, so there was no sense in grocery shopping on Saturday.
More than a week ago, I finished studying the book about a social-skills curriculum.

I went to bed on Friday night not knowing what I was going to do when I woke up on Saturday. Freaky.

I didn't do anything on Saturday. I rested. I got up late. I watched some tv. I tortured Andrew worked on manipulating exponents with Andrew. The kids and I read a little from our history book. I didn't cook; we ordered pizza. I washed only two loads of laundry. I sat with my legs up for much of the day.

I cannot remember the last time I rested like this. It certainly hasn't been since we moved. And I honestly can't remember how long it was before this that I did nothing.

It was a very weird day.