Monday, March 30, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
2. We have spring! I love it. Actual sunshine and clear skies. Being able to go out with only a light jacket. Budding trees. Enough daylight to actually do something after dinner . . .
3. Last night I learned how to do stationary lunges. Without weights. And still . . . Ow.
7. At some point, this post of Jared Wilson's needs more extended reflection. But in the meantime I'll just note that as my dear husband often preaches, legalism is easier than grace. And being like Jesus means loving those who don't deserve it all the way to the cross. Christ-following isn't for wimps . . . and "just loving people" sounds real nice until you have to apply it to . . . you know, actual people.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Picked up my copy of New Scientist over breakfast this morning (which, along with Fortean Times, is my favourite publication) and found myself puzzling over an article that began
That a complex mind is required for religion may explain why faith is unique to humans.
Which left me amazed and potentially delighted that journalists at New Scientist had succeeded in interspecies communication to the point of being certain that dolphins and whales have no belief in things deeper than themselves, that ants do not imagine a supreme colony at the centre of everything, and that my cats only believe in what they can see, smell, hunt and rub up against (except for Pod, of course, who when much younger would react in horror, with full fur-up, to invisible things), and that there are no Buddhist Pigs, Monkeys or whatever-the-hell Sandy was.
which in turn has me thinking this afternoon of all the wonderful passages in scripture from which we know that all creation gives God the praise which he is due. The mountains break forth in singing and the trees clap their hands. The seas roar and the fields exult. Jesus assures us that if we decline the privilige of singing praise to God the stones will do it for us. For the Holy One will make his glory known, and will not leave a seat at his banquet empty. (Tough luck for you if a rock gets your seat.) Do the dolphins and whales have a belief in something deeper than themselves? I rather expect believe in God about the same way that they believe in the water in which they swim. They don't need religion--they do not have the awesomely dubious privilege that we humans have of being able to defy God. And they can no more fail to worship their creator than they can choose to not have gravity hold them down. Balaam's donkey saved his master running himself into an angel delivering the wrath of God. The animal saw the truth clearly, when the guy with the complex brain and the hot-shot reputation for being able to really curse people couldn't see what was standing right in the middle of the road in front of him.
I think that there are times that if we weren't so eager to slice and dice what we know and don't know, to put it under a microscope and over-analyze that we wouldn't miss the obvious.
For what can be known about God is plain . . . because God has shown it to [us]. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So [we] are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)
Friday, March 13, 2009
1. Euchre, in its many variants. Especially 5-handed.
2. Sour Cream Pound Cake *
3. Scrabble on Facebook--except, of course, when I've got a fistful of one point tiles.
4. Re-reading a good book. By my definition, it's not a really good book unless it's better the second time. And the dozenth.
6. Artwork on my walls and mantle. I'm thankful every day for those with the call, skill, and patience to add beauty to our lives. My father, Ando Hiroshige, He Qi, Vincent Van Gogh, Ruth Lampi and others.
7. Dvorak's Sixth Symphony
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
3 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 8 oz. carton sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-2 tsp. other extract**
Grease and flour 10 in. bundt pan. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one by one, beating well. Combine dry ingredients. Add to wet alternately with sour cream. Add vanilla. Pour into pan. Bake at 325 for 90 minutes.
** for whatever flavor you want to make it. The cookbook suggests almond, but I don't like almond. I've succesfully used this cake as a base for coconut, pineapple, and rum pound cakes.
If you want to be really decadent, glaze it: 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, and 1-2 tsp flavored extract. Boil 1-2 minutes. Loosen cake from pan and pour over. Remove cake when glaze is soaked in.
7 quick takes is hosted by Conversion Diary. Like you didn't know that yet.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
A few months ago, I joined Facebook. And despite the complaints I've read about it recently, I rather like it. Sure, it can be a time sink--but so can a lot of other things. I'm learning that I've got a certain amount of time in my day that I'm inclined to "waste," and that if it's not going down Facebook's drain, or World of Warcraft's, it might simply be going down Minesweepers--and how much improvement is that? This is one of those areas that God is working on me.
No, the interesting thing for me about Facebook is the status updates. I enjoy hearing about what everyone is up to. I like reading them and posting them. But it's made me aware of just how inclined I am to complain and worry. How often, starting at the blinking cursor in the "Sara is" box, I'm inclined to put "tired" or "doesn't want to deal with the laundry" or "hopes the check will clear soon" or "is dealing with sick family members again." Do I detect a whiny note there? That's not who I want to be . . .
So I am attempting the discipline of positive status updates. Not that life doesn't have its down moments--but trying not to come at them from an angle that really only ends up making it worse. I've got a good life. I want the trick of reflecting it back to myself so that when I'm describing the sky, the first thing out of my mouth isn't that lone wispy gray cloud over there.