Friday, December 16, 2011

Closing the Chip Bag

We have several of those clips for the chip bags. Why? Don't wooden clothes-pins do the job? They're cheaper. They don't hog up as much space in the kitchen drawers. And if you need extras or you lose one, you just run to the laundry room and grab a spare.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Double for Her Sins

Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her,
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned;
for she has received from the Lord's hand
double for all her sins. (Isaiah 40)

As the class was considering this verse, Nancy brought up the connection to Elijah and Elisha. Elisha wanted a double-portion of Elijah's spirit (2 Kings 2). But that's not a quantitative "double" because you can't have more of something you already have in all its fullness. She suggested that both of these "doubles" refer to the double portion of inheritance that is due by right to the firstborn (Deuteronomy 21:17).

After all, we are "in Christ." And He is the firstborn of the Father. And He will share the spoils with us (Isaiah 53). The double portion is ours!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Removing the Sandal

John the Baptist said he was not worthy to loosen the strap of the Messiah's sandal. Most of us heard that all our lives as "I'm nothing and He's everything, and I'm not worthy to even serve Him." But it's more than that.

Pastor likes to remind us of the story of Ruth, and how Boaz was the kinsman-redeemer. He exercised his right of redemption by removing his sandal. This also ties in with Genesis 3 where God tells Satan that the Seed-of-the-Woman will crush his head with His heel.

Last week when we were discussing these things in class, someone brought up the burning bush and how Moses was told to remove his sandals "for the place you are standing is holy ground." I'd always thought that was just a reference to God's holiness and purity, and the dirtiness of us sinners as signified by our dirty shoes. But then Pastor pointed out that Moses was a redeemer figure. He rescued the people. He brought them back from slavery in Egypt. And as a redeemer, he (like Boaz) had the bare feet.

"How beautiful upon the mountain are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Paul being "hooded."

During the ceremony.

Being dismissed.

His medallion is for graduating magna cum laude.

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Car

Corolla. Five years old and 110,000 miles. Stickshift. It came from the village just north of here. Now we have to sell the van; we're not experienced in this -- we usually sell our cars to the junk dealer.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


In chapel at Paul's college recently, Gary and I did something outlandish. When the pastor started the service by saying, "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," we said, "Amen."

It seemed to me like a normal thing to do. Nobody else thought it was a normal thing to do.

At the end of the service, we should have realized that we weren't supposed to say "Amen" when the pastor said, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all." But y'know, it just kinda pops out of your mouth. And then you're the only ones saying it.

It's weird. After all, what does "amen" mean?

Looking at their hymnal, there are places where the congregation sings "amen" after the invocation or benediction. But the rubrics for most of the prayers and blessings put the "amen" in the mouth of the pastor. I thought "amen" was my agreement with the prayer, that this prayer is true and in accordance with God's will ("yes, yes, it shall be so"), that I want here what God wants and promises to give. If the pastor already spoke the prayer, he's saying it, so it's obviously his prayer. But my "amen" says that it's my prayer too.


Milwaukee is on a campaign to stamp out bed-sharing. Several babies have died when sleeping in bed with Mom, Grandma, or Mom's boyfriend. The city officials want to convince people that they ought never ever ever ever ever sleep with a baby. Some people are talking about passing laws to make it illegal, charging parents with murder if a baby should die in the parents' bed.

Now, I don't think a baby should be sleeping with Grandma or Mom's boyfriend. I even wonder a little about Baby sleeping with Daddy alone. Under no circumstances should a drunk or high mom be sleeping with her baby. But those scenarios are quite different from a sober breastfeeding mom sleeping with her baby.

Cassie tipped me off to a news report on bed-sharing. And the findings certainly ring true. Although alcohol has been implicated in many of the recent deaths, although there have been a disproportionate amount of deaths in the poverty-stricken areas of the city, there is only ONE 100%-consistent factor in these deaths. The babies were formula-fed. None of the babies were sleeping with a nursing mother.

That's critical.

And it's why bed-sharing must not be made illegal.