Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Popularity of Sims

In Bible class recently, we were discussing how God's word determines the value of things.  God made the light, and He declared it to be good.  He said the earth and seas are good.  He said the man and woman He created (and the marriage by which He joined them) was very good.

God is the one who gets to say what's good and what's not.  Hey, He was the one who made it.

Now, if you create a universe, then you get to decide how things go and what value things have.  If you create the universe, you get to decide, for example, whether "being happy" is more important than being moral.

And that's when I realized: maybe that's why Sims and Minecraft and other video games are so popular.  It's where we get to be god.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Definition of Faith

We are SO good at turning even faith into a work.

I've heard definitions.  Good definitions.
~ Faith is the passive receptivity of God's mercy.
~ Faith is the trust of the heart.
~ Faith is defined rightly only if you can replace the word "faith" with the word "Jesus," and still have the sentence mean the same thing.

Recently, Pastor said
Faith is a desire to be loved 
and forgiven by your Lord.

A desire.
Nobody confuses "desire" with my own work, my own activity, my own merits.

I like that.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Upcoming Shopping-Weekend

"Black Friday"?

It's a new-fangled term.  I'd never heard the phrase until my daughter worked at Borders. 

I wasn't crazy about it at first.  Then I began to use it; everybody else does! 

This year, I'm refusing.

I hate the word.  I'm not sure why.  I suspect it's because of the consumeristic hype.  It's also because my distaste for the name has increased as the Friday sales have spilled over onto Thursday.  It's also influenced by the harm done to people (stampeding as shop-doors are unlocked, or crazy rudeness in parking lots). 

A week or so ago I made a decision to refrain from using the phrase "Black Friday."  I've slipped up a couple of times.  But I'm still trying to stick with the much longer description: "the shopping day after Thanksgiving" or "the crazy shopping-weekend at the end of the month." 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Learning to Trust

When Pastor recently said something about "learning to trust Jesus," I realized that there are two different ways people could take that.

1)  Matthias is learning to walk.  He wants to.  He keeps doing it.  It's not "work."  It's just what he does.  And he falls a lot.  No biggie.  You just keep growing up and bumbling along, and the walking gets easier.
2)  Pick a typical third-grader.  Choose one of the math-haters; not a weirdo like me who thought math drill was play-time.  That kid may be learning his math facts.  But he's doing it because the teacher is arm-twisting him into it.  He hates it.  It's boring.  It's hard.  He doesn't understand what good this will do.  Why does he have to do this anyway?  "Because it's good for you."  "Well, I'd rather climb a tree or ride my bike."  There's no joy in the learning.  And he hates being berated when he makes a mistake.

Both are learning.

But "learning to trust Jesus" is much more like the first than the second.

Reading Challenge

Update on this year's reading list:

finish proofreading New Testament Catechist  [done Feb 11]

Light from Heaven (the last Mitford book) [done March 6]
Home to Holly Springs [done Sept 7]
In the Company of Others [done Nov 23]
Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good

the Kristin Lavransdatter series, by Sigrid Undset
Bridal Wreath [done March 27]
Mistress of Husaby [done April 30]
The Cross [done June 15]

Anne of the Island [done July 31]
Anne of Windy Poplars [done Sept 8]
Anne's House of Dreams [done Oct 12]
Anne of Ingleside
Rainbow Valley
Rilla of Ingleside
(with Maggie)

Hammer of God (again)

The Complete Guide to Creating a Special Needs Life Plan, by Hal Wright [done Sept 19]
likely some proofreading on Bible Stories for Daily Prayer

a Luther biography with Maggie
Narnia (again)
Horses of Heaven, by Gillian Bradshaw [done Sept 1]
maybe try out an Elizabeth Gaskill book
something by Beverly Engel or Robin Stern
Quiet by Susan Cain [done July 20]

additions beyond original list
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause [done July 29]
Struck by Genius [done Oct 20]

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You
by Elaine N Aron
Let's Roll, by Beamer
Beyond the Mists, by Benchley
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Cutting for Stone, by Verghese
Light in the Dark Belt: The Story of Rosa Young

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Zoe Said Her Catechism Verse

At church, there's a star-chart in the hallway.  Kids' names, listed by grade, with slots for having learned the main Bible stories and the Six Chief Parts.  When you say the Bible verse from one of the chief parts, you get a colored star.  When you speak the entire section, the date is listed. 

Today 3-yr-old Zoe recited fully and correctly to Pastor for the first time.  (Earlier this year, she told him the Lord's Prayer almost by herself without prompts.)  This morning she whispered told him the verse from John 20.  He gave her a high-five, then she walked away, dragging me with her.  Down the hall.  Directly to the star chart.  It was all of about 15-20 seconds after finishing her recitation. 

Disappointed little girl.  Her star had not appeared on the chart yet!

(I told Pastor about her expectation.  I suspect the star will appear soon.)