Friday, September 24, 2010

Alia Pictures

Stolen from Katie's photo album:

The asparagus forest--

Peek-a-boo from the cupboards--

Playing with Daddy--

Making cornbread for supper--

Visiting the lady in the fountain--

A Holy Sabbath

The Third Commandment enjoins us to "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy."

I don't know about you, but I'd always understood the emphasis in that sentence to be the remembering: DO something to honor the Sabbath (be it a day of the week or the hearing/treasuring of God's Word).

My pastor frequently quotes the line from the Large Catechism: "The Word of God is the only holy thing we have." As we recently prayed the Third Commandment, he emphasized not "remember" but "holy." It is God's Word of grace that makes us holy, that makes our homes and churches holy, that makes our work holy, the makes our prayers holy, that makes even our day-of-rest holy. The important thing is not what we do to sanctify the sabbath day, but what God does to us and for us when He pours out His Word on us.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Alia Pictures

From July --

and August --

Today's Laugh

This is their selling point?

HT: Jamie

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Credit Cards and Our Needs

Probably the most basic rule of sound financial management is not to spend more than you have. A corollary of this would be not to put charges on the credit card unless you've got the cash in hand to pay off the bill in full at the end of the month. Most people don't live like that, though -- if they did, the credit-card companies would crash-and-burn.

So what happens when people face tough times of unemployment? We hear on the news that lots of people are living on their credit cards. I suppose if you have to, you have to.

But here's my question. How would we spend our money during those tough times if we had to pony up the cash instead of paying with plastic? What happens when "limited cash" actually means that, when you run out, you're out?

Would we live with clothes more ragged and stained if the choice was food versus clothing? Do we remember the stories of people during the Depression who would put cardboard in their shoes to cover the holes in the sole? Would we forego a treat (be it a Pepsi or a new video game or an annual trip to Disneyland) that we indulge in because we can with the credit card? Would we walk to church instead of drive there; are we willing to stay home instead of driving to visit a friend? How would we treat illness or injury if there were no money for the doctor? What about giving presents at occasions where it's socially expected? Would we give up the phone service or the internet if we had to choose between that and food? What about the lights and where we set the thermostat? When do frugality-measures become excessive? Are we unwilling to face even minor deprivation? Will people look down on us for not living up to the standards that everyone else abides by?

If you live on a cash-basis, a shortage of income leaves people faced with decisions that may not be easy, and self-denial that may hurt. But credit cards make it easy to avoid those hard decisions: we can always pay for it later. But once you allow yourself to borrow, you have to wonder: am I really being as careful with the expenditures as I ought?

Back When I Was Young

... grapes and watermelons had seeds.

(It sure ain't easy to find seeded watermelons anymore. And seeded grapes show up at the store just about as [in-]frequently.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Astounding Math Skills

Why does no one care that I know that the sine of 60 degrees is half the square root of 3? You'd think it was irrelevant knowledge or somethin'. And when my kid in the living rooms asks me (near the computer) to look up a number on the trig calculator and holler out a sine for him, he is not satisfied with half the square root of 2, or half the square root of 3 -- he wants a decimal. What's up with that?

Pout. You'd think people would appreciate my math skills....

Back When I Was Young

... people introduced themselves when they phoned. When I hear "Hello" on the other end of the phone, I still say, "Hello, this is Susan..." So often the response is "Yes, I know." Sometimes people will even pick up their phone and tell me "Hello, Susan" before I've said a word. It freaks me out.

The flip side is that people will call and start to talk, without realizing that not everyone has caller-ID. Some voices I know; some I do not. But even when it's a person whose voice I normally recognize, a cell-phone call from outdoors or in a moving vehicle may mask the sound of the person's voice.

There's something to be said for land-lines that cannot go to the garden with you, cannot go to the store with you, and let you have a little peace away from the cell phone! But I don't think the rest of the world agrees with me.