Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thomas Saw

Did Jesus show Himself to Thomas to get Thomas to believe in Him? (John 20)

That's what we usually hear.

But Paul tells us that faith comes by hearing, not by seeing. In the resurrection accounts, Luke (chapter 24) shows us that the Emmaus disciples did not see Jesus even though they saw Him. It was His preaching that thrilled their hearts, and it was the breaking of the bread that finally opened their eyes to see.

Thomas's seeing was not Jesus' scheme to get Thomas to change his mind about the stories the others had been telling him. Thomas saw because Jesus had said beforehand that the apostles would see Him. Jesus chose His apostles; they needed to be witnesses of the resurrected body of the Lord. Jesus had promised them on Thursday night (John 16) that for a little while they would not see Him, because He was going to the Father, but that after a little while they would see Him. And Jesus' word always always comes true.

Thomas saw in fulfillment of Jesus' word -- not because it was the only way Jesus could think of to convince Thomas of the resurrection.

Seeing is not believing.
Hearing is believing.

Too Much TV

Hemmed and finished the second dress on Tuesday while I was hawking CCA materials at the district pastors' conference.

Thursday I had a lovely day with a friend from Janesville who came to visit.

Been doing house-cleaning, bread-baking, soil-loosening, compost-spreading, and pruning. And I've barely made a dent in the yard chores.

There has been a lot of car-shuffling and bike-riding as we have been trying to have the green car repaired. Thought it was all fixed, but three times shortly after I picked up the car, the engine died going around a corner, so it's got to go back on Monday.

I got spoiled watching TV while sewing last week. I watched
Ballet Shoes
Man vs Food
10 Things I Hate About You
Kate & Leopold
Julie & Julia
Bedtime Stories
Shakespeare's Women

Bedtime Stories and Ballet Shoes were new to me and most excellent! 10 Things and Kate & Leopold are always fun. Shakespeare's Women was an actress's reflection on her Shakespearean roles, a little dry; the best part was Portia's speech on mercy from Merchant of Venice.

I started watching Ballykissangel near the end of my sewing stint and wish I'd found it earlier. It was a hoot! I wonder if it's such a crack-up for people who haven't lived in a parsonage in a small town and lived under the machinations of church bureaucracy? Now I'm wanting to watch all the episodes and dive into other seasons, but there's gardening to do and schoolwork to do.

Here's the picture of the winter dress. Don't you love the fabric?! I'm disappointed in the sleeve length; it's longer than anything I could buy, but still not long enough. This picture makes me look like allergies have swelled up my eye; I think it's just the lighting; I don't really look like I've been punched.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Garden Report

In a brazen theft of Melody's idea, I'd like to try a weekly farm report garden report.

One tulip has bloomed. The other should be lovely tomorrow or Friday.

Somebody thinks the tiny daffodil blossoms are a tasty snack. (Where is my huntress and why is this daffodil-eater still alive??)

Hostas are coming up nicely. I have to call Ann and tell her to come take whatever she wants before I start thinning; the hostas were quite overcrowded last summer.

Kids and I worked on digging some of last year's compost out of the box today. We loosened soil around the grapes and blueberries, weeded there, and then worked in some of that lovely compost.

The potatoes I planted on Good Friday have not even begun to poke up their little sprouts through the thin layer of soil over them.

Itty-bitty spinach and romaine and beets are beginning to peek through.

Rhubarb is beginning to leaf out.

We weeded out a lot of the parsley that made it through winter and started growing again. Some is still in the garden, and some of what was culled went into tuna salad for lunch. Mmmm.

A four-foot strip of cilantro was planted today, with lots more to be planted later for the tomatoes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Who Are You?"

It is SO awkward when somebody comes up to you with a big smile and a buoyant greeting and a hug/handshake ... and you don't know who they are. And then you embarrass yourself and ask, and find out it's somebody you obviously should've recognized, except he's aged a LOT since you last saw him and that's why you didn't recognize him. When it happened today, at least I had the sense to bite my tongue and refrain from blurting out why I didn't know who he was.

Educational Standards

As Andrew and I prepped for his ACT, we were both initially intimidated by all the stuff that he was supposed to know about literature. I don't Teach Literature here. We read. We discuss. We enjoy. Sometimes we even analyze ... but NOT in the way we studied literature in school.

In light of those recent experiences, I found this article to be telling.

Now assuredly what these literary artists [such as Melville and Austen] hoped above all else was that a century or two from their own time students in high schools would be using their great works not better to understand love or honor or revenge or nobility or happiness, but to "analyze how multiple themes or central ideas in a text interact, build on, and, in some cases, conflict with one another"; as well as to "analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed)." We know that this sort of innocuous thing is what the authors had in mind because that is what our teachers told us in school. We remember the drill: the plot graphs -— rising action, climax, falling action (or denouement) -— the cast lists of main characters and outlines of "main ideas," the possible literary techniques -— foreshadowing, alliteration, onomatopoeia. What we do not remember is one dad-gum thing about these stories.

I heartily recommend the rest of the article to those who care about education and how the government is undermining education. The article is also a good wake-up call to those of us who have been hearing the sirens singing as we waded into the public-school mindset which is inherent to ACT testing.

Thanks to Beth S who forwarded the link on FB.