Monday, April 27, 2015

Joy / Love / Lust

I had printed out and laminated this verse at New Year's and attached to my fridge, the side of it.  The front of the fridge is not magnetic anymore.  But still I could see it there.

Then I gave it away at Easter as a present and noticed how much I missed it.  So I have just have printed it out again, four to a page, to laminate and give away again.

We probably have the old ditty in our head:  "This is the day, this is day..."  It sounds infantile.  But the verse is still powerful.  Just keep it in front of you for a few days.  It will make you more grateful, present in the moment, and happy.  It IS the day, this very day, that the LORD has made for you.  Seize it.  Live it.  Love it. Pain and all.  Warts and all.  Hope and all.  Forgive.  Be forgiven.

Pastor Riley posted a deep and moving piece today:
A stony heart bathed in tears.  It is easy to always think of someone else, but we need to try and think of it about ourselves.  How is our heart so hard.  How do we have lust rather than love?  What will create a true joy?  Lust or love?  Giving or receiving?  Being selfish?  This is where self-actualization falls down.

The rejoicing day is in the Lord, not my desires otherwise.  Otherwise will let us down.  Some time.  Some how.

"You make Beautiful Things out of Dust" / Tribute

You can see here, several things:  the blanket is growing and we don't have very much spring here, yet.  The leaves don't usually appear until Mother's Day or later.  So far, we have enjoyed about two warm days.

My right wrist hurts from the knitting--I will be glad and thrilled when I am finished.

Two thoughts:  Last year we attended a lovely wedding.  The preservice music was provided by a spring quartet from the congregation.  The song played was "You make beautiful things out of dust."
It is on Youtube and can be purchased on I-tunes.  Funny was, that as the bride was late, as per usual, the already repetitive song was repeated several times more.  It became quite unforgettable this way.

The song makes me think about spring, Easter, death, dying and resurrection.  Come to think of it, it also makes me think of Pentecost, as the disciples wait for the Holy Spirit.  I have used it in music with different kinds of populations.  Lately, we have been dancing to it with scarves, and it was most beautiful. -- A moment of joy!  As it is somewhat light on the religious theme, it can be used in different settings.

Second though:  about the blanket and tributes for babies.  We are expecting this baby and it is so wonderful.  I imagine the baby putting its little perfect fingers through the holes in the blanket and pulling.  There is a very nice stretch in the fabric.  And it makes me think about baby Jesus.  We hear about baby Jesus so much at certain time of year, that it has lost some of its meaning.  The blanket makes me meditate on the long expectation of the Messiah, the hope and joy that hung on this person to arrive.  The wise men came to bring their gifts, and nothing chincey (sp), nothing cheap.  It has to be worth something.  It has to cost 150 hours and a sore wrist.

Beautiful things are made out of this expectation of something great.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Creating Moments of Joy / Caregiving

My husband and I have been reading a book for a long time now, little by little.  Every short section leads to conversation and contemplation.  It is called "Creating Moments of Joy".  It is a book giving tips and directions for caregiving involving individuals suffering dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

It is very highly rated by over 300 reviewers on Amazon.  It has opened my eyes to many situations, the feelings involved, the ways of coping with issues, and making the best of a "moment".  A giggle and a smile can be elicited and this is success.

We also find ways to apply this to our marriage.

Sex on Campus / Sexual Elite / First Things article "Sex and Danger at UVA"

The other day, we had dinner with a dorm supervisor.  It was on Easter Sunday.  She said everything is about feminism, body image and early sexualization of females, these days, issue wise.  When you get to college, what goes nowadays?

Myself, I lived at home when I went to University and I was married before I was done.  My daughter lived here and there, but not in dorm, and was married before she was done.

When she was in college, she took a course on sexuality.  I secretly read her notes.  (Confession right here.)  I remember reading that those who get into stable marriages are the sexual elite, so to speak.  I think this is a good way to look at it.  Having sex in marriage is being the sexual elite.  We should shout it out.  It's the way to go.  But not everyone can get it, and so much is delayed these days.

But, ever more and more, it sounds like women are supposed to put out without any kind of love, romance, affection, security or care.  Especially at college and in the dorm.  It may sound like freedom, but what is it really?

First Things came out with an interesting article, just now.  Very important points.

Lately, I have been working up secular song repertoire for the choir I lead.  What strikes me about the love songs is how romantic they are compared to the crude things we are subjected to often.

I think it is interesting that Bob Dylan just came out with a CD that reworks Frank Sinatra songs.  It's a little sleepy for me, and it put my old husband and my old me down for a nap, but the idea of reintroducing some of these songs is intriguing.  Anybody want to be a gentleman and a lady?

Come to think of it, there was a lab assistant in evolutionary biology who told me:  why on earth are you getting married?  You don't have to do that sort of thing any more.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Blanket Progress

This much has taken about 25 hours and represents about 1/5 done.  There are about 200 stitches across with a fine acrylic.  If I had known it was going to be such slow progress...  :)  But, there are several months left to finish it in, since the baby is due in October.

Next time, I will try something with patches.  The continuous has a nice stretchy feel, and the lace lets it give in all directions. It will be a useful item and--unique.  Hopefully, it will be lovely, also, in spite of all the little mistakes here and there.

People keep asking you whether the young couple will want to know ahead of time if the child is a boy or girl.  This is a discussion item.  As you can see by the colors, they do not want to know ahead of time (in case you wanted to know.)  :)

My needles, by the way, I am very satisfied with.  I purchased a whole set of sizes with interchangeable lengths of plastic for the round.  The attachments screw together very accurately as the set is fine-tooled in Japan.  There is no snagging.  At the local Michael's the set would have cost $200.00.   From Amazon, it cost me half that.  The beautiful effect is, that I never have to hunt for needles again.  Everything is nicely organized in a functionally designed etui.

I learned two new stitches on this pattern.  What's nice, nowadays, if you can't figure out how do to it you just check it on Youtube.  The international offering of knitting tips is really heartwarming and inspiring.

(Here is my needle set at Amazon.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Blogging these days

Someone said to me, that I haven't posted much.

Well, it's good and bad.  I have been reading on dementia, catching up on Hemingway and Huckleberry Finn, taken on some new work.  And, God willing, I shall soon be holding a grandchild, for whom I have begun knitting...  And it's spring with a lot of work all of the sudden needing to be done around properties.

And, to keep posting about the atrocities in the world, is so depressing.  I don't know what the answer is.  Prayer.  Donating.  Arguing on-line?

This is the blanket I am knitting.  And some other recent pictures around house and home.  XO

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Maundy Thursday 2

We sang this hymn tonight:  "Where Charity and Love Prevail", LSB #845
It is very beautiful.

I can't find the text online after cursory search, except for this very plain one, here below.  In any case my hymnal has six verses.  They were translated from the Latin, 9th century by Omer Westendorf.  The text is copyrighted to World Library Publications. I just cannot believe that hymn translations should be copyrighted.  Especially something from the 9th century...

Ubi Caritas et Amor

Where charity and love are, there God is.
The love of Christ has gathered us into one flock.
Let us exult, and in Him be joyful.
Let us fear and let us love the living God.
And from a sincere heart let us love each other (and Him).

Where charity and love are, there God is.
Therefore, whensoever we are gathered as one:
Lest we in mind be divided, let us beware.
Let cease malicious quarrels, let strife give way.
And in the midst of us be Christ our God.

Where charity and love are, there God is.
Together also with the blessed may we see,
Gloriously, Thy countenance, O Christ our God:
A joy which is immense, and also approved:
Through infinite ages of ages.


--Here, I will give verse One from our hymnal.  Maybe that's allowed.

"Where charity and love prevail

there God is ever found;
brought here together by Christ's love
by love are we thus bound.
With grateful joy and holy fear His charity we learn;  
Let us with heart and mind and soul 
Now love Him in return."

(There is a melody by Lucius Chapin, which is in Public domain.) 

Lent is Over / Maundy Thursday

Lent is over.  I am not sure I have spent it profitably.

I have argued on Facebook and have been blocked by three people.  All three of them were making disparaging remarks about God and Christianity when I encountered them.  I crossed them and they did not like it.  I am not sure it is my fault or my glory.  The Lord knows what's up.  Certainly, I need forgiveness.

I worry about the Christian hostages and victims in Kenya, today.  I am sick of the daily reports of violence and enslavement.  I grieve quite a few things.  There is no sense in going into it here.  You can read it in all the world reports.

Psalm for today:

"Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the LORD, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you
the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man
who carries out evil devices!"

Psalm 37:1-7


"About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.  for though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God.  You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness,since he is a child.  But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil."

Hebrews 5

C.F.W. Walther

The apostle Paul wishes to say:  consider, beloved Christians, that when you receive the blessed cup and the blessed bread, each one partakes of the body and blood of Christ;  they are both common to all of you.  You come into the body-and-blood fellowship with one another.  For just as many grains become one bread, so in the Holy Supper, you, though you are many, become one body, one mass, because you are partakers of the one bread and with it one and the same body and blood of Christ.

Because of the presence  and participation of the body of Christ, the Holy Supper is a meal of the most intimate fellowship and, therefore, at the same time, the highest love-meal.  Just as fervent love is demanded, so fervent love is delivered.  We all come together, as children of the same family, to the table of our common, heavenly Father.  As great as the distinction between communicants in civic life may be, in the Holy Supper all distinctions evaporate.  We are all the same, in that we each eat the same earthly and heavenly bread and drink the same earthly and heavenly drink.  In this Meal, the subject and his king, the slave and his master, the beggar and the rich, the child and the old man, the wife and the husband, the simple and the learned, truly all communicants stand as the same poor sinners and beggars, hungry and thirsty for grace.  Although one may appear in a rough apron while another in velvet and satin, adorned with gold and pearls, when they depart, all take with them that for which they hunger and thirst:  Christ's blood and righteousness as their beauty and glorious dress.  No one receives a better food and better drink than the other.  All receive the same Jesus, and with Him, the same righteousness.


..No one should by any means be forced or compelled to go to the Sacrament, let we institute a new murdering of souls.  Nevertheless, it must be known that people who deprive themselves of and withdraw from the Sacrament for such a long time are not to be considered Christians.  For Christ...has commanded His Christians to eat it, drink it, and remember Him by it.

Indeed, those who are true Christians and value the sacrament precious and holy will drive and move themselves to go to it.... There is also need for daily encouragement, and... there is need for us to continue to preach so that people may not become weary and disgusted.  For we know and feel how the devil always opposes this and every Christian exercise.  He drives and deters people from them as much as he can.


This blog is a Christian exercise for me, when I post scripture, catechism, etc.   Someone has offered the criticism that this is not "creative".  Let all those who want to be creative in places be creative in those places.  If this is a Christian exercise in the word and doctrine, to me, at times, and sometimes also serves as a place for journaling and making observations, it should not really bother anybody.

What is needful, is one thing, and it is the meditation on God's word.  And it is not boring, but life-giving.

Thanks be to God, for inviting us to his feast of joy, peace and love, for giving up his wrath toward us and passing over the judgment.  We are in his good grace.