Friday, October 08, 2010

Gramp and Nanna

Today's Laugh

A pun stolen from Eunice --

A friend of mine recently started a new business. He makes land mines that look like prayer mats. Prophets are going through the roof.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Wisconsin Homeschoolers

It's time to file your PI-1206. Did you do it yet? There's only a week left. Personally, I liked having that piece of paper lying on my desk, in the way, reminding me that it needed to be mailed during the first half of October. It's harder for me to remember to comply with the law when there's no physical reminder.

If you haven't submitted your online form, go to WPA's website for the instructions and the links to the DPI.

The Lord Relents

In Exodus 32, the Israelites ask Aaron to make gods for them. He made the golden calf. The Lord was angry; He threatened to destroy His people.

Verse 11: "Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God ..."
Verse 14: "So the Lord relented from the harm He said He would to do His people."

I don't know about you, but I usually hear this passage as a prooftext on fervent prayer and how we can make God change His mind.

But was it Moses' praying that caused God to "change His mind"? Moses appealed to God's own word of promise. Moses spoke back to God the same words God had spoken to them: the promise of a Savior. The descendant of Abraham would be a blessing to all nations (Genesis 12); He would be the sacrifice that the Lord Himself would provide (Genesis 22). God's wrath did not wipe out the Israelites. It wasn't because they were good; it wasn't because Moses prayed hard enough; it was because His fierce wrath was poured out on His Son who took their rebellion and made it His own.

It is the atonement of the Son of the God --and not the act of praying-- that causes God to save us instead of destroy us.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Joy of a Job Well-Done (or at least Well-Attempted)

Although there is a need for relaxation (especially for those who tend to be perfectionist workaholics), too much rest and pampering oneself is quite unsatisfying and leaves a person restless. Pastor recently mentioned the joy that results from doing what you're supposed to do, tackling the duties God gave you. It's not the joy of the forgiveness of sins, but it's a very real left-hand-kingdom joy. And it's a joy that permeates even jobs that are, in themselves, distasteful.

Recent Snapshots

Making pancakes:

The tall ones taunting the short ones with a high-five that went over their heads, and the short ones high-fiving anyhow:

We burned LOTS of brush on Saturday:

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Psalm 18:49

"I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles."

Usually when a sentence like that shows up in the Scriptures, it is in the context of God's delivering His people from their enemies. In other words, even though the bad guys (aka, Gentiles) are surrounding me and persecuting me, the Lord will rescue me from them, and I will give thanks.

But you know what? Many of the Gentiles have been turned to the Lord. When David or Jesus prayed that they would "give thanks among the Gentiles" it might also mean that the enemies (the Gentiles) have been joined to the people of God, and that the Gentiles are giving thanks too.

Philip's News

A proud mom just has to post about his annual review at work.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Andrew's Birthday

Strawberry shortcake:

and his birthday gift was a spare can of whipped cream, which he enjoyed on a variety of food items: bananas, sandwiches, mugs of cocoa...

Steve Wiest

Come, O Christ, and loose the chains that bind us.
Lead us forth and cast this world behind us.
With Thee, the Anointed,
finds the soul its joy and rest appointed.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Seeing the Kids

Rachel and Matt were up to see friends for gaming this weekend. Because they were awake until near-dawn, they napped early this morning and then showed up in church for late service. Woo hoooo!! I'm glad they've got a church available to them in Chicago, but it is SO so good to worship with them occasionally. Philip couldn't come over to hang out for Sunday afternoon today, but seeing him at church is almost as good as having a long visit. There's just something precious about being at the same Divine Service and then maybe having 5-20 minutes afterward for chatting too. Granted, I like seeing them at other times when possible, but being with them at church is usually enough to satisfy my yearning to see my kids.

Matt & Rachel showed off their new car to us and let us sniff that wonderful new-car smell. It's a really small car but spacious inside (even in the backseat) and with plenty of trunk space. They bought a simple model: it doesn't even have a radio. Rachel said they'll take the radio out of the old car; that radio started in my Camry, went to Rachel's Corolla, then bopped into Matt's car, and now is headed for their new car. Rachel's probably getting pretty good at installing car stereos!

Catechism Memory Work

Our pastor appoints a portion of the catechism each week for the congregation to pray daily along with the Bible verse, the psalm, the collects, and the hymn. Quite a few pastors extol the benefits of including the catechism as part of your prayers rather than as something to memorize as head knowledge. And so each week we have a portion of the catechism to meditate on.

But being a bear of very little brain and ever-decreasing agility-of-memory, I have found it beneficial also to recite all six chief parts each week. Seeing as how there are seven days of the week, and on one of them we go to church in the morning, that leaves one chief part per non-Sunday day. Ideal, eh? So on Monday we say the Ten Commandments (and meanings), and Tuesday is the Creed, and so forth.

We did not start this routine until several of the kids had already learned the catechism by heart. I wanted them to retain what they'd learned. I didn't want them to wait a whole year until they came back to thus-and-such part of the catechism. The younger ones (who had not yet memorized the catechism) would either listen to the recitation or they'd read along out of the book. It doesn't take long -- we spend 3-6 minutes per day, with Thursday usually being the quickest recitation and Wednesday the longest. I realize that this brief daily run-through is not the same as praying the catechism, not the same as meditating upon it, not the same as unpacking its riches. But by saying it at the breakfast table (in the old days when we used to eat breakfast together) or on the drive to chapel/school, it does keep the words fresh in our minds.

And I think that habit is worth five minutes a day.