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31 October 2007

"Ketchup? Puh-leeeese!"...

...says the salsa package.

A big THANKS to Taco Bell, who provided us with 6 tasty and free tacos yesterday. We appreciate that! And, it reedems the Boston Red Sox just a little bit, too...

Faith in what?

I've recently been challenged by the idea of "faith." We so often hear of faith spoken of, as if "faith" were the religion or the god, itself. Faith in what, I ask? I remember pop singer George Michael in the 80's crooning, "I've just gotta have faith..." Catchy song. Questionable faith. (and no comments on lifestyle choices of Mr. Michael, please. This is a family blog... :-) )

For the Christian believer, faith must be in God, the one true God, and in Christ's saving work on the cross. But, do we trust in that faith, in that God, enough?
Oswald Chambers addresses just that issue, faith, in the Utmost reading for today...

Faith by its very nature must be tried, and the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God's character has to be cleared in our own minds. Faith in its actual working out has to go through spells of unsyllabled isolation. Never confound the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life, much that we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive. Faith in the Bible is faith in God against everything that contradicts Him- I will remain true to God's character whatever He may do. "Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him"- this is the most sublime utterance of faith in the whole of the Bible.

30 October 2007


New house rule:
If mom can hear the music in the dining room, it is too loud...

(ps: bedrooms are above and below...)
(pps: only 12 more teenager years to go... :-) )

29 October 2007

Art jag

Nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small it takes time - we haven't time - and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. Georgia O'Keefe

This is one of my favorite Georgia O'Keefe paintings. (can you use "favorite" if there is more than one?)

I don't remember when I was exposed to O'Keefe first, but I remember exactly when I became enamored by her work. When living in Maryland in the fall of 1987, there was an O'Keefe exhibition at the National Gallery in DC and I wandered around by myself for hours. The enormity of some of her work simply awed me. I took a poster of this poppy home, and it has hung in various homes and rooms ever since.

After I left New Mexico, the O'Keefe Museum opened in Santa Fe. I've never visited, but I hope to next summer, because I see they will be doing an exhibition with O'Keefe and another one of my favorites, Ansel Adams.

I'm not an art scholar. But I know what I like... :-)

23 October 2007

Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa?

I heard this story the other day, and was fascinated. What amazing technology, that can figure out what was, but is no longer. And, admitedly, I was amused. Because some poor cleaning chap, probably with the most honorable of intentions, might just have erased Miss Lisa's eyebrows. OOPS!

Don't worry- you won't find any kind of destructive cleaning like that around here...

22 October 2007

Fall Classic

He's our favorite reason that this household will rooting for the Colorado Rockies in this year's World Series. No relation, that we yet know of... Well, and of course, that they are COLORADO. What sense would it make for this family to cheer for Boston? (though we did live in nearby Connecticut twice...)

Actually, I was hoping that Cleveland would beat Boston, and THEN fall apart against the Rockies. Alas... But, reminder..., the Rockies did outscore the Red Sox 20-5 in three games of interleague play at Boston back in June. Goliath who, we say?

Go Rockies!

17 October 2007

Felony Flyers

These are my favorite shoes, well, right now, and I'm not just saying that because they don't hurt my infected toe and they only cost $5 on clearance. A friend, who has experience with such things, calls them my Felony Flyers because, apparently, they are jail issue shoes. Who knew I was so edgy? HA!

When I wear these shoes, I have a sense of being READY. Ready to go, on a moments notice. It's that same feeling of wanting to make "vroom-vroom" noises when I ride my mountain bike and hop the curb. Probably the Proverbs 31 woman did not wear Converse sneakers (only because rubber had not yet been invented, maybe, though I have to concede, that purple and fine linen probably don't go so well with sneakers...), though these shoes give me just a little extra bit of strength, and I smile when I wear them. (Prov. 31:25) These shoes aren't the Gospel of peace, but I am ready to go and speak it, live it, when I wear them. (Eph 6:15)
Watch out world!

Just wanted to share... :-)

"Go Simply Means to Live"

from Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest:

"Go ye therefore..." Go simply means to live. Acts i. 8 is the description of how to go. Jesus did not say- Go into Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, but, "Ye shall be witnesses unto Me" in all these places. He undertakes to establish the goings.

"If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you..."- that is the way to keep going in our personal lives. Where we are placed is a matter of indifference; God engineers the goings."

13 October 2007

Fall Break

A day off! Fall Break! The Academy set off south yesterday, bikes in tow, to Indian Cave State Park. Indian Cave is located next to the Missouri River and offers some spectacular views of the Missouri River valley. There really is a cave, with Indian petroglyphs of buffalo and deer, and some more modern work, like "Jordan 1977." We resisted adding to the collection.

We did, however, climb trees. (well, some of us..., not the official photographer, of course...)

We rode our bikes along the Missouri Watershed trail.

Here's a self-portrait, a peek into a one-room schoolroom that's on the property. If you look past the glare, you can see the classroom...

We saw more fields being harvested than we could count.

We stopped at a family farm pumpkin patch in Nebraska City on the way home, and left with our arms full of pumpkins and gourds. I think the lady liked us... :-)

At any rate, I'm sure glad that my kids enjoy road trips! I guess they can hardly help it, as I've been toting them around the countryside, indeed, around the country, since before they can remember. Wonder where the road will take us next...?


...When King Jehosphaphat faced an insurmountable problem, he made no pretense to know the solution. A vast army marched against him, and "he was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD..." He assembled the people together, and he prayed,

O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might... For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. (2 Chronicles 20:6, 12)

Like Jehosphat, we can unapologetically say to a woman facing a vast army, "Our God rules heaven and earth. I don't know the answer to your problem, but I will help you fix your eyes on Him. I will remind you of His sovereign love and power. I will pray for you, and I will encourage you to search out His word to know Him more intimately."

from The Legacy of Biblical Womanhood by Susan Hunt and Barbara Thompson

08 October 2007

When pigs fly...

Couldn't get past this week without a special post on one of the all-time greatest fall events, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, now in its 32nd year, I think. Now, the Balloon Fiesta has it's own park, with grass, which seems completely unbelievable to this New Mexican. (We didn't even have grass on the school playgrounds! We barely had grass in our yard, but I digress...) I think I remember going to the earliest balloon fiestas in the parking lot of the mall, but maybe I only remember that because I read it. My mom would know, and certainly, that would have been something that she would have taken us to.

At any rate, I KNOW I've been counting balloons since I have known how to count. For a full week in October, on each clear and crisp New Mexico morning, as the sun peaks over the mountains, one by one, those colorful globes fill the sky. FILL the sky. They drift, almost silently, to the west and to the south, or wherever the currents take them.

Going to the balloon fiesta means waking up early, before the break of dawn, and dressing in lots of layers, and walking a far way from the parking lot, sometimes over and through arroyos. It means hearing the hum of big fans and the whoosh of gas blowing up. ("blowing up" as in upward into the balloon, NOT "blowing up" as in BOOM!) It means Indian fry bread, and trading pins, and chasing ballons through town.

I grew up across the street from one of the first balloonists to cross the Atlantic Ocean. I was in his kitchen, playing with his daughter, when we were hearing news that they had made it to France. I once watched a balloon attempt to cross the Sandia mountains, and not make it. It went down in an ominous flame, a terrible free-falling plunge, seemingly just over the hill, but really, so much farther than we could possibly get to for help. T & I were married on a fall morning during the balloon fiesta, and I counted balloons on the way to church. I remember a lot about balloons. At any Albuquerque event, it seems there is always a balloon.

And yet, I've never actually ridden in a balloon, well, except for just a few feet off the ground, in one that was firmly tethered to earth. But, I suppose (now, look at the picture really close... see the snout? the pig ears? heehee!) that if pigs fly, someday I might, too...

06 October 2007

You Can Learn A Lot...

We rented The Muppet Show, Season 1, for Friday night, and a couple of girls were especially amused by song, led by Kermit and one very special pig...

04 October 2007

In Whom or In What?

This week I began a distance learning class, via the Internet, through the Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College. Foundations and Principles of Holistic Ministry primarily looks at issues surrounding poverty, and what the appropriate response and action of the church should be. The reading is both thought provoking and engaging. What are my thoughts and, yes, biases, on poverty, and the poor, and what is my own response? Does that line up with biblical mandate? So, over the next month, there just might be a bloggy emphasis on such topics...

Consider this bit from the introduction of Walking With the Poor (Myers):

...There is no such thing as not witnessing. Christian development promoters are witnessing all the time. The only question is to whom or to what? Their deeds, both what they do and how they do it, declare in whom or in what they place their faith and also demonstrate the moral content of that faith. The way they live their lives declares whom they love and on whom they depend. And, if they are truly living lives that demonstrate their love of God and their neighbor, then questions will come to which the gospel is the answer and they will witness with the words that provide this answer.

Isn't that truth for all of us, in whatever scope of life we interact? Over and again, it goes back to relationships, living as salt and light such that we are noticed as different.

02 October 2007

A glimpse of life with four daughters...

(I hope this comes out big enough to read, although I know the script by heart already... If you need to see it bigger, click on the comic, I think.)

Thanks to Mark Tatulli and Heart... :-)

01 October 2007

A click to save

Here's an easy way to do a good thing. Matthew Smith, from Indelible Grace music, is giving away the title track to his latest hymn CD, All I Owe. For every person that downloads "All I Owe", Matthew will donate to Blood:Water Mission to provide clean water for one person in Africa for one week. Water, something that we take for granted. So, go here, get a good old hymn in a good new style, and help to offer a bit of God's mercy in a place where it is much needed.