Saturday, September 18, 2010

Boxcar Children

Zaya has discovered the Boxcar Children Books. Someone donated a couple of them to his school and his teacher thought maybe he would enjoy having them read to him. So his mom handed him the first one on their way to see me this afternoon. He read all the way into town.

Later this afternoon, I read him a couple of the middle chapters. After supper, he stretched out on the floor while his mom visited with Turtle and me and his sister built towers and composed loud, lively songs on the organ.

He remained oblivious to everything , mesmerized by the idea of children living on their own and solving all their own problems. By the time his mom was ready to leave he had finished the first book, and proudly filled us in on the ending. The children had discovered that their grandfather wasn't mean after all and had moved into the house with him, but "guess what? He had the box-car moved into the back yard so they wouldn't be so sad and miss it!" Whew.

We smiled. It took us all back. Carina said when she gets home she is going to dig a box out of her attic--every boxcar book ever written, lovingly packed away by Zaya's other grandma when her son, Zaya's dad, outgrew them years ago.

Friday, September 17, 2010

There is Something Lonely about a Sunset...

Rich, velvet color fled my darkening world and dropped into clouds beyond the little hills. I wanted to grab it with both hands, like a blanket, and pull it back over me. Alas.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Standing on Shoulders

One of the most disturbing postulates of the Emergent movement expressed at our conference last weekend is the one which states that the value and validity inherent in scriptural interpretation is directly proportional to the age of the idea...or put simply--new ideas are better than old ones.

A speaker stated that he used to argue with his father about doctrine until his professor pointed out "of course you argue with your father; you are standing on his shoulders". Whereupon, with the mystery explained, the man was able to acquire a new respect for his father and his antiquated views.

This is sad, somehow, because it assumes a rise in intelligence and reading comprehension that isn't born out by the record. It also silently proposes that great men of faith throughout the ages haven't been granted the insight or inspiration claimed by post-modern theologians.

I feel the fallacy has been fueled by our scientific leaps in recent years. Men discover DNA and now we have libraries of knowledge about it. Computers are invented...and now they are being used to invent. A microbe hunter makes a successful vaccine and suddenly there are explosions of antibiotics and serums.

But--ask language educators and makers of achievement tests--our modern comprehension of literature and linguistics has lost, rather than gained, ground. And the message of the gospel hasn't changed any more than the original documents have changed. They have been there all along, and we aren't suddenly going to understand them better through modern cultural relevance and the rosy glasses of wishful thinking.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Foggy Sunrise

Fog veils the valleys
Hovers o'er the horizon
And smudges the sun

Conference on the Atonement

Over the weekend I attended a church conference in the city. It was called over a doctrinal issue of highest importance, and those attending were intense, fervent, and contemplative. Literature coming out of our seminary seemed to be striking at the core of one of our basic beliefs and we were compelled to investigate and see if this were indeed the case, or if we were simply misunderstanding poorly written textbooks.

The seminary was well represented there as were our churches in this district. We were cautiously kind to one another, explaining, tiptoeing, and examining.

Beneath those high-ceilings and within those brilliantly windowed walls, I felt like one of many little mice, scurrying around on a marble floor, examining a cat track--discussing at length the depth of the footprint and whether we could live with scratches on the floor.

Meanwhile, no one was allowed to bring up the subject of the large cat--the one sitting in the middle of the floor and smiling.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Family Pictures

I finally got a copy of all the wedding pictures. We just bought the disc--copyright and all. Now wouldn't that have been a neat thing to do years ago at our own wedding? I'm remembering that long ago...33 years now. Actually, there are a lot of neat things you can do now with a wedding and most of them involve a computer. You can print your own programs and invitations, make announcements and updates on facebook, thereby receiving instant reactions from friends, make slide shows, post videos. Life is much more simple ...and of course more complicated at the same time. There are more pictures here than I could possible post...let me see...which ones do I put?