Sunday, March 30, 2003

Puppy Update

Our neighbors are building a pen for their puppies. I guess they came out on Friday and saw the puppies all tangled up because they took them inside. We didn't see them all weekend. Who knows what a mess they made inside their house.

Since the puppy incident last week, we've been talking to them more and learning a little bit about them. Our neighbor asked Duane if he has ever been to a Pentecostal Charismatic service, and Duane said no. He asked if Duane ever wanted to go to one, and Duane said...no. Our neighbor (I don't know his first name) said "It was great! People were rolling around on the floor and all kinds of stuff..." *groan*

They've invited us over to their house for a Bible Study to "open our eyes" to the Holy Spirit. They are Oneness Pentecostals. Duane's sort of excited he might get to play Athanasius for an evening. I'm glad they told us about it so we won't get blind-sided when we do get together, but I'm nervous. I've had discussions with pagans (who, funny enough, are easier to be around than heretical Christians) and cult members, but never really with Christians who are so far off-base.

Does anyone know anything specific about Oneness? How to refute it? What verses they might use to put forth their theology?
Optimistic eschatology

A-ring asked me what I thought was wrong with this hymn. Here was my reply:

Christ's kingdom has already come. This hymn is extremely pre-trib pre-mil; it doesn't reflect the hope of the already-present victory of Christ that belongs to the church today. [I thought about justifying it as an Advent hymn, but that doesn't really work, either.]

It's one thing to acknowledge our weaknesses, and yes, without Christ's victory and the Spirits we couldn't accomplish anything. But the point of scripture is that when Christ came, he crushed the serpent's head - at his crucifixion and resurrection, not at some unknown point in time thousands of years in the future.

The church is already victorious. Phrases like "Bring the long looked for day; O why these years of waiting here, These ages of decay?" are dangerous. The long looked for day has already come; Satan was defeated at the resurrection. These are not ages of decay, they are ages of victorious work, work that has to be done for the Kingdom. This song recognizes an impotent Church, one with no vision.

"Come, for creation groans, impatient of Thy stay..." When Christ died and arose, everything was brought under his dominion. While we are just at the beginning of exercising Christ's dominion over the earth, that dominion applies to the Church and to creation as well. We ought not be impatient of Christ waiting; he has promised us a long history of victory and joy here in the Church. He has also promised us an optimistic eschatology, an eschatology of hope, not of groaning, dispair, and of counting the minutes and hours until we're done with this earth. That's a gnostic view of creation.

The problem with this hymn is that it was written from a defeated point of view. Christ has already begun his reign, the kingdome has been taken to himself. To deny this is to deny his kingship and his place in the heavens. It denies the church of the power Christ has already given her. It is dangerous to claim that Christ has not already given the Church these things. The Church today largely believes that Christ has not given her these things; that's why she stands with a defeated posture, not wanting to take everything under dominion for Him. It is our job, with the ministry of the Spirit, to take back creation. It is ours, it has already been given to the Church, and Satan has alreay been defeated. There's nothing else to wait for.

Saturday, March 29, 2003


Inspired by a comment made by a-ring, I'm curious what y'all think is the most complex hymn tune you know/have sung/have heard. It doesn't have to be one you've actually sung in church; it can be something you've heard. Chorales and cantatas don't count, because they weren't written for congregational use.

Friday, March 28, 2003


I believe in one God, the Father Almighty; Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God,
begotten, not made; being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; Who for us and for our salvation, came down from heaven; And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; And was crucified under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried; And the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; And ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of the Father. And he will come again in glory to judge both the quick and the dead, Whose kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

This is scary. I've never seen a confession quite that blatently blasphemous.
New Song

One of the songs in the new Cantus Christi is "'Tis by Thy Strength the Mountains Stand" by Isaac Watts. The tune is pretty, although it has some laborious sections and some progressions I wouldn't think of using. The lyrics are beautiful.

'Tis by thy strength the mountains stand,
God of eternal power;
The sea grows calm at thy command,
And tempests cease to roar.

Thy morning light and ev'ning shade
Successive comforts bring;
Thy plenteous fruits make harvest glad,
Thy flowers adorn the spring.

Seasons and times, and moons and hours,
Heav'n, earth, and air, are thine;
When clouds distil in fruitful showers,
The Author is divine.

Those wand'ring cisterns in the sky,
Borne by the winds around
With wat'ry treasures well supply
The furrows of the ground.

The thirsty ridges drink their fill,
And ranks of corn appear;
Thy ways abound with blessings still,
Thy goodness crowns the year.

Have you ever watched a squirrel taunt a cat? It can be funny watching the cat go nuts, jumping against the glass and scratching on the windowsill. The squirrel knows he's going to win the pscyhological game unless the cat can get outside, in which case it turns bloody.

I think Gracie is being taunted by a lizard. There is one lizard who sits on the window screen in the same place several times a day. He's brown on the top and green on his tummy and tail, and he's about a foot long (including his tail). He stares at Gracie and Gracie goes nuts. She does everything she can to get to that stupid lizard, but he knows he's got her beat. She's never seen a lizard before, but she's already learned that this window next to the bush where they all live is the place to sit to watch them. At our last house she watched dogs. At our second apartment in St. Louis we had a tree full of all kinds of birds that hung over our patio and touched our living room window, and she would spend hours watching the birds. At out first apartment we had squirrels. She's had something to watch just about everywhere, and I'm glad, because she's a strictly indoor cat, and I know sometimes she gets bored.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

You're at the mall. There are ten doors at the entrance to Dillard's. Five people are leaving, five people are entering. There are ten people coming and going, there are ten doors. All ten people wait to try to squeeze, shove, or push their way through one door. This is known as the One-Door Rule. Follow the simple guidelines below and you will become an expert at neglecting the other nine unlocked doors (or n-1 where n is the total number of unlocked doors).

User manual for the One-Door Rule

1. This rule is mandatory. It must be followed no matter where you are.

2. The more doors available to you, the more imperative it is you follow this rule. You will only truly feel the euphoria of the One-Door experience if there are at least ten doors in front of you, such as at a mall, department store, or movie theater.

3. Never, ever fail to follow this rule especially if you are directly behind a young mother with stroller(s) and/or small children, an elderly person who needs extra time to get through the door, an injured or infirm person who does not have adequate agility, or someone who just isn't walking quickly.

4. Be sure to show on your face how proud you are to be "The One" to follow this rule. Never use another available, unlocked door if at all possible. The world might very well implode. Or explode, depending on which way the door opens.

5. If someone around you deigns to break the one-door rule, be sure to scowl, grunt, and roll your eyes in their direction so they clearly understand that they are thinking "outside the box" which can be a serious threat to the mob mentality.

6. If you are headed toward the one available door and you see a young mother with stroller(s) and/or children exiting through another "available" door, be sure to scurry to that door so that she will feel compelled to hold the door open for you while balancing the stroller, purchases, children, etc.

Follow these simple guidelines and you will be well on your way to mastering the difficult art of the One-Door.

Don't let the door hit you on your arse on the way out.
How to kill your neighbor's dog

A while back Duane won a contest on the local radio station. His prize was the opportunity to pick a "new release" VHS movie out of their prize bin. I closed my eyes and I picked the first movie I pointed at, which was a Kenneth Branagh film called "How To Kill Your Neighbor's Dog". There was a dog in the movie, and it belonged to their neighbors, but it wasn't really a manual on how to kill it.

Our neighbors' dog had puppies recently. Their yard is about the size of ours; a standard subdivision back yard. This dog had nine puppies. There are six left (three were given away). The owner told me this weekend she has grown too attached to the remaining six to give them away. Keep in mind they are Lab mixes.

Many of the houses down here are not laid on a foundation; they are up on cinderblocks. It has been explained to me that cement slab technology was not around yet when a lot of these homes were built. I think part of it is because it is so swampy down here. Anyway, regardless of the reason, this architecture pretty much makes fences irrelevant. The puppies began crawling underneath the house and coming out on the other side, near the road.

Several times over the past week we've had to round all the puppies up and drop them back over the fence, only to make it almost to our screen door before being attacked (playfully) by all six puppies again. Finally our neighbors decided to tie them all up (the mama is tied up 24/7) but spaced out all over the yard, so they can't get near each other. They have been barking non-stop since 3:00 this afternoon. It is now 9:00. Some are tangled up and I can't get to them because their fence is locked. The owners have been gone all day.

This dog has six puppies and they're going to keep them all. And my neighbor told me on Saturday that the mama dog is pregnant. Again.

I am not anti-dog. I love puppies. But this just adds to my conviction that I will never, ever own a dog.

What I would give to live somewhere, just once, where there is nothing but peace and quiet.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Gory Fader

We've been working on the Gloria Patri with Bailey. She's doing a pretty good job. Here's her rendition.

Gory to Fader oh to Son the Holy Ghost
As wah ee ining is now ah ha shaw be
Wah wah wah
Getting to know you

My mom bought me a viola bow for my 16th birthday when I was in high school. It's got a good weight to it, it's a beautiful color, and I've had it all these years. The problem is I haven't had it rehaired since I bought it. If you use a bow regularly, you're supposed to rehair it every several years, ideally once a year. I've had it almost 14 years. It was way overdue for new hair.

I asked Mr. Lytle yesterday if he would rehair my bow. The music stores typically charge about $50. He said if I came and sat with him and learned how to do it, he'd charge me $25. So I went to his place last night (it was a beautiful night!) and we sat in his tiny workshop (the size of a closet) and he showed me how to re-hair a bow. It took about an hour and a half.

In that time I learned how he is reminded of the smell of burning bodies from WWII (he's a bona fide war hero, but he'd shoo you off if you tried to talk about it) whenever he burns off the end of the hair on the bow.

He told me about how Siberian horse hair is the best you can use in a bow because the horses have to have a high-protein diet because of the environment.

We talked about how glucosamine has enabled him to resume doing fine-detail work on bows and fiddles - the work he really loves - by making his joints less achy and stiff.

He showed me how to whittle a plug from boxwood and how to dip the plug into denatured alcohol and rosin to make a type of organic adhesive.

We talked about the folk retreat he works at every summer, MountainView in Arkansas, where there is a town square where groups of musicians gather in the street and play music while their children play nearby.

We talked about pretentious pastors who refuse to reach out with compassion to those who suffer.

We talked about how lonely he's been without his wife, Nancy, who died a little bit ago.

Then we finished the bow and I tried it out.

Off the top of my head all I could play was "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence". He watched me and he said "It doesn't get better than that." I know he's not talking about my skill, but about seeing me so happy with my instrument, his workmanship, and me being pleased with work he had done for me. All he wants is to help people.

I couldn't have imagined a nicer spring evening, getting to know him and learning a craft at the same time. Like with sewing, working with instruments requires patience, diligence, and a willingness to slow down.

I like it.

You know, these Blogger banner ads are really annoying.

I wouldn't encourage anyone to use an LDS dating service. Just so you know, I don't advocate drug use. I wouldn't be a responsible Christian if I did.

Bailey has started saying "bye-bye! see-ya!" to everything now. A week or two ago it was just a few things, now it's everything.

Mr. Lytle fixed up a little 1/8 size violin for her to play with. When we're done playing with it, I put it away and she says "Bye-bye, violin. Night-night." Sometimes she comes up to me and says "Violin night-night?" just to be sure.

The other day Duane took her out to see the lizards that live in the bushes by our water hose outside next to the house. There are two bushes that shake like someone's hiding under them when you walk by - all the lizards scooting away. When it's sunny they sit out on the branches and they'll sit still when you walk up to them. Bailey was looking at one, and, after deciding he wasn't a baby alligator (her favorite animal right now), she said "Bye, bye, LIZARD!"
Feminism, Part 2

I read with great interest Matt's post on feminism yesterday. I didn't think much more of it since I am mostly convinced in my case he's preaching to the choir.

Long ago I thought that women belonged right alongside men in combat, using the success of female Israeli soldiers as my prooftext. Then I toned it down to women should serve in the military, but not be in combat. I have come 180 degress from my first position and now believe it is not beneficial to any nation to allow its mothers, daughters, sisters, or wives to serve in the military. (The argument that they should serve in non-combatant roles carries another onerous argument with it; that I can address in another post if anyone wants to know my position.)

This morning ABC carried back-to-back stories that showcased how truly degrading it is to our nation and our armed forces to have women in the military. The first story was about a female POW, Shoshana Johnson, a chef who was captured and is now a prisoner of the Iraqis. Duane commented while watching the story that no matter how much Americans say they want equality, they have no stomach for the sight of a woman being held as a POW. I would venture he's probably right.

The second story was about a Marine Corporal whose husband is deployed in Iraq. She gave birth to their son in November and then received orders to deploy to Iraq. She refused because there is no one to watch her baby while she goes. During the interview, however, it seemed she was taking more of a stance that the problem isn't that there is no one to care for the baby, but that she wants to be the one to care for the baby. Her commanding officer told her she could either find someone to care for the baby, give him up for adoption, or take a discharge. Of course she is outraged, not understanding why they won't just let her stay stateside and be a Marine and a mother. What, stay stateside and send some other mother, sister, daughter, wife, father, brother, or son into the theatre in her place? It reeks of dishonor.

Doesn't anyone understand that when you join the service, that becomes your role? You are no longer a mother or wife, you are a soldier, marine, or sailor, and you have to accomodate your life to your orders, like it or not. She had no right to have a baby if she wanted to be a career Marine in a deployable unit. She has no right to complain that they cut her orders to deploy to combat; she assented to that possibility when she took her oath. I agree with the three options put before her, although I would not grant a general discharge (she has one year left in her enlistment), I would offer a dishonorable discharge or take her to court martial for disobeying a direct order. The Marines are probably playing it safe for PR purposes.

The news stations have done several profiles recently of husbands and wives who are deployed to Iraq together and left children at home as though it is something to be proud of that Mommy and Daddy are both fighting for their country. What is so sad is that femininism, which uses a root word that in proper context paints a picture of all that God designed women to be, really ought not invoke any use of the word "feminine" or "female" as it strives to completely strip the woman of anything feminine.

Where men and women are serving together, cohesion and morale are jeopardized. At the Air Force Academy, a sexual abuse scandal has been brewing for several years. Why does everyone jump to unequivocally blame the men for what is happening? Cadets room coed by door. They serve together; they are with each other physically 24/7. Female cadets are outnumbered; at Navy they were outnumbered 10 to 1, I'm not sure of the ratio at the AFA. What would you expect to happen in an environment like that? There are temptations and distractions to no end. I remember when we had our first dining-in at Navy before Christmas leave. We wore our mess dress; a very nicely designed uniform with a long very fitting skirt and a tuxedo shirt with a dinner jacket. We were allowed to wear makeup and style our hair for the first time in five months. When the guys in our company saw us, some made favorable, gentlemanly comments; some made rude and aggressive comments. Who could blame them? We didn't belong there.

The female cadets are never without any fault. No one knows what happens all those long days before whatever incident occurs. A guy and a girl, together night after night, living right next door, spending time alone in the wardroom or library, or some secluded spot on campus. Winks, comments, flirting that seems harmless but at its core is feral and base...and then something happens, and someone cries wolf. I can pretty much guarantee you there is more to the story than what is surfacing in the media. I'm sure that the men have problems, and should be disciplined as such, but we should certainly not continue exhonerating the women with no questions asked. Things are never like they seem, especially not at places like Military Academies where the general public must stay on the outside of a very insulated culture.

Someone once wrote that a nation that has to be defended by its women isn't worth defending.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Atrociously Bad Hymn

I have been becoming more and more aware of the eschatological views of hymns. How can we say that what hymns teach is not as significant as what is preached? Or taught by creed, confession, or prayer? It is dangerous to demand of Christ what He has commanded His Church to do.

Come, Lord, And Tarry Not

Come, Lord, and tarry not;
Bring the long looked for day;
O why these years of waiting here,
These ages of decay?

Come, for Thy saints still wait;
Daily ascends their sigh;
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come”;
Does Thou not hear the cry?

Come, for creation groans,
Impatient of Thy stay,
Worn out with these long years of ill,
These ages of delay.

Come, for love waxes cold,
Its steps are faint and slow;
Faith now is lost in unbelief,
Hope’s lamp burns dim and low.

Come in Thy glorious might,
Come with the iron rod,
Scattering Thy foes before Thy face,
Most mighty Son of God!

Come, and make all things new,
Build up this ruined earth;
Restore our faded Paradise,
Creation’s second birth.

Come, and begin Thy reign
Of everlasting peace;
Come, take the kingdom to Thyself,
Great King of Righteousness.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Pure garbage

I'm bored. I was searching through our book boxes to find something to read and the first book I found was the Book of Mormon. I decided to sit and skim through it since I've never actually read large portions before. The front had a quick-reference section so I decided to start there.

Here are some "prophecies" (keep in mind this was written in the 19 century):

America's History foretold 2500 years ago -

Columbus: 1 Nephi 13:12 "And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by many waters, and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land." Hmm. Whatever.

The reference section also asked where do unbaptized infants go when they die? Let's see their answer.

Moroni 8
[1] An epistle of my father Mormon, written to me, Moroni; and it was written unto me soon after my calling to the ministry. And on this wise did he write unto me, saying:

[2] My beloved son, Moroni, I rejoice exceedingly that your Lord Jesus Christ hath been mindful of you, and hath called you to his ministry, and to his holy work.

[3] I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end.

[4] And now, my son, I speak unto you concerning that which grieveth me exceedingly; for it grieveth me that there should disputations rise among you.

[5] For, if I have learned the truth, there have been disputations among you concerning the baptism of your little children.

[6] And now, my son, I desire that ye should labor diligently, that this gross error should be removed from among you; for, for this intent I have written this epistle.

[7] For immediately after I had learned these things of you I inquired of the Lord concerning the matter. And the word of the Lord came to me by the power of the Holy Ghost, saying:

[8] Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them; and the law of circumcision is done away in me.

[9] And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me; wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children.

[10] Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach -- repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children.

[11] And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins.

[12] But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism!

[13] Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell.

[14] Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity, for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell.

[15] For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism.

[16] Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.

[17] And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation.

[18] For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.

[19] Little children cannot repent; wherefore, it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in him because of his mercy.

[20] And he that saith that little children need baptism denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the atonement of him and the power of his redemption.

[21] Wo unto such, for they are in danger of death, hell, and an endless torment. I speak it boldly; God hath commanded me. Listen unto them and give heed, or they stand against you at the judgment-seat of Christ.

[22] For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent; and unto such baptism availeth nothing --

[23] But it is mockery before God, denying the mercies of Christ, and the power of his Holy Spirit, and putting trust in dead works.

[24] Behold, my son, this thing ought not to be; for repentance is unto them that are under condemnation and under the curse of a broken law.

[25] And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;

[26] And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.

[27] Behold, my son, I will write unto you again if I go not out soon against the Lamanites. Behold, the pride of this nation, or the people of the Nephites, hath proven their destruction except they should repent.

[28] Pray for them, my son, that repentance may come unto them. But behold, I fear lest the Spirit hath ceased striving with them; and in this part of the land they are also seeking to put down all power and authority which cometh from God; and they are denying the Holy Ghost.

[29] And after rejecting so great a knowledge, my son, they must perish soon, unto the fulfilling of the prophecies which were spoken by the prophets, as well as the words of our Savior himself.

[30] Farewell, my son, until I shall write unto you, or shall meet you again. Amen.
Socks are goin' up and down

Kuma requested hymns that I get really excited about. Here are links to a handful I've posted in the last year. These are all in the Top 100, and some are in the Top 10.

Here's one.

Here's another one.

And another.

And another.

Yet another.

And again...

And again...

And the last one.
A Conversation

Duane: How much energy do you think it would take to boil the Atlantic Ocean?
Me: I have no idea.
D: The energy from an atomic blast?
Me: Probably more than that.
D: The energy from 5 million atomic blasts?
Me: I don’t know, that might do it.
D: Cool.
M: What?
D: That’s my plan. I want to be one of those evil masterminds. If the world won’t meet my demands, I’ll boil the Atlantic Ocean.
M: Okay…
D: I’ll either do that or I’ll eat a sandwich.
M: …. (A moment passes)
D: Of course “sandwich” is my code word for “world leader” (making the little quote signs with his fingers)
M: …
D: And “eat” is my code word for “assassinate.”
M: You have issues.

Friday, March 14, 2003


I thought of Sora when I found this page. If you're worried about your diet, don't visit.

I can personally vouch for the Cinnamon Bun Scones. I used 1/2 milk and 1/2 heavy cream and omitted the glaze.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003


Thanks to Barb, who posted her link to the Lord of the Peeps page. Go visit this site - especially those of you who lean toward the sciences, particularly anatomy, organic chemistry, and molecular biology.
'Tis the what???

(Copyright 1945 Stamps-Baxter Music & Ptg. Co.)

'Tis the old ship of Zion, (x3)
get on board.

It has landed my old mother, (x3)
get on board, get on board.

It has landed my old father, (x3)
get on board, get on board.

It has landed Paul and Silas, (x3)
get on board, get on board.
Now I'm gonna' one-up those

Don't Put Off Salvation Too Long (copyright 1942, Stamps-Baxter Music & Ptg. Co)

The Savior is tenderly calling,
Don't put off salvation too long;
the night shades for you may be falling,
Don't put off salvation too long.

O come to the Savior,
Don't put off salvation too long;
Find pardon and favor,
Don't put off salvation too long.

While loved ones are earnestly praying,
Don't put off salvation too long.
The angels in heaven are saying,
Don't put off salvation too long.

It may be too late if you tarry,
Don't put off salvation too long.
Your burdens to Jesus now carry,
Don't put off salvation too long.

You may not be living tomorrow,
Don't put off salvation too long.
Just lay at His feet all your sorrow,
Don't put off salvation too long.
Request hour, part 2

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

I have decided
To follow Jesus;
No turning back.

Tho' none go with me,
I still will follow,
No turning back.

My cross I'll carry,
Till I see Jesus;
No turning back.

The world behind me,
The cross before me,
No turning back.
Request hour

Pass Me Not

Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

Savior, Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

Let me at Thy throne of mercy
Find a sweet relief,
Kneeling there in deep contrition;
Help my unbelief.

Trusting only in Thy merit,
Would I seek Thy face;
Heal my wounded, broken spirit,
Save me by Thy grace.

Thou the Spring of all my comfort,
More than life to me,
Whom have I on earth beside Thee?
Whom in heav’n but Thee?

Monday, March 10, 2003

abh series

I've included links to all the hymns in my "Atrociously Bad Hymn" series on the left side of my page.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

"Almost persuaded"

To be fair, here is my next "orthodox" (non-cult) hymn in my Atrociously Bad Hymn series.

This is for those of you who, attending revivals or tent meetings in your youth, heard the old story during an invitation about the scruffy alcoholic biker guy who slunk into church and sat on the back row, hoping not to be seen. He heard the "message" and the invitation, but was only almost persuaded. He left the church, hopped on his bike, and was killed on the way home, without being convinced he (sh)(c)ould answer the knock on his heart's door.
“Almost persuaded” now to believe;
“Almost persuaded” Christ to receive;
Seems now some soul to say,
“Go, Spirit, go Thy way,
Some more convenient day
On Thee I’ll call.”

“Almost persuaded,” come, come today;
“Almost persuaded,” turn not away;
Jesus invites you here,
Angels are lingering near
Prayers rise from hearts so dear;
O wanderer, come!

“Almost persuaded,” harvest is past!
“Almost persuaded,” doom comes at last!
“Almost” cannot avail;
“Almost” is but to fail!
Sad, sad, that bitter wail—
“Almost,” but lost!

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Not quite the answer I was looking for

Bailey, who made you?


What else did God make?

Another installment

Here is another installment in my "Atrociously Bad Hymn" series. See if you can guess what type of "hymnal" this might have come out of. Get the tune of Glorious Things Of Thee Are Spoken in your head, grab some Tums or Pepto Bismol, and read away...
O my Father, Thou that dwellest In the high and glorious place!
When shall I regain Thy presence, And again behold Thy face?
In Thy holy habitation, Did my spirit once reside:
In my first primeval childhood, Was I nurtured near Thy side.

For a wise and glorious purpose Thou hast placed me here on earth;
And withheld the recollection of my former friends and birth;
Yet oftimes a secret something Whispered, You're a stranger here!
And I felt that I had wandered From a more exalted sphere.

I had learned to call Thee Father, When I lay this mortal by,
But until the Key of Knowledge Was restored, I knew not why.
In the heav'ns are parents single? No! the tho't makes reason stare!
Truth is reason; truth eternal Tells me I've a mother there.

When I leave this frail existence, When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you in your royal court on high?
Then, at length, when I've completed All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation Let me come and dwell with you.
And here's another with even better "theology":
Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!
Jesus annointed "that Prophet and Seer" -
Blessed to open the last dispensation;
Kings shall extol him, and nations revere.

Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain;
Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethen,
Death cannot conquer the hero again.

Praise to his mem'ry he died as a martyr,
Honored and blest be his ever great name!
Long shall his blood which was shed by assassins,
Stain Illinois, while the earth lauds his fame.

Great is his glory and endless his Priesthood,
Ever and ever the keys he will hold;
Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom,
Crowned in the midst of the Prophets of old.

Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven;
Earth must atone for the blood of that man;
Wake up the world for the conflict of justice;
Millions shall know "Brother Joseph" again.
These were from the Deseret Sunday School Songs hymnal of the Mormon Church, 1909.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Lent, Part II

Humbly I adore Thee, Verity unseen,
Who thy glory hidest 'neath these shadows mean;
Lo, to Thee surrendered, my whole heart is bowed,
Tranced as it beholds Thee, shrined within the cloud.

O memorial wondrous of the Lord's own death;
Living Bread, that givest all Thy creatures breath,
Grant my spirit ever by Thy life may live,
To my taste Thy sweetness never failing give.

Jesus, Whom now veiled, I by faith descry,
What my soul doth thirst for, do not, Lord, deny,
That Thy face unveiled, I at last may see,
With the blissful vision blest, my God, of Thee.
Scavenger hunt

As I was posting my old Navy archives, I remembered one particularly awful story from my plebe days. This story might tell you a little more than you want to know about me - so, I warned you!

During Army-Navy week the plebes (freshmen) are given the responsibility of getting the brigade excited about the upcoming football game. Everyone gets excited; rules are bent and stretched and sometimes broken - in the name of school spirit, of course - and some plebes gain a bit of infamy along the way.

My plebe year The Log (a now defunct [I think, due to its lack of PCness] midshipman-run underground magazine) sponsored a scavenger hunt. They printed a list of things we had to obtain or accomplish. The first company to successfully complete the scavenger hunt won. What would they win? Nothing much but some pride and motivation to BEAT ARMY!

So my next-door neighbors (I don't remember all their names) and I decided we'd give it a good try. I don't remember the whole list, but there were several that would require breaking some pretty staid rules. We had to collect the company guidon for every company in the brigade. We accomplished that - with a little help from some mates on other decks. We had to take them outside and put them in the ground all up and down Stribling. (It would take too much explaining to do to mention the officer in charge that day was a female Marine that we called Captain "Crazy Jane" MacMurray. She was nuts - and by-the-book.*) Then we had to sneak into Rickover and get a hold of the torpedo that is in there for decoration. We managed that, too, and set it at the foot of the steps of Bancroft right outside of Main Office, where it was sure to be seen. That night we missed a rack check - by our company officer, who decided to "stop in" at 2200 at night to see how we "were doing". Our 2/c had to cover for us - it was actually an honor violation - and we paid for it dearly when we finally made it back. All sorts of "extra instruction", tailored to each of our personalities, and a lot of promises by us that we'd help him out when he needed it. He had a smile on his face the whole time, though, and I overheard him telling one of our firsties the next day how proud he was of our motivation. Coming from him, one of the 2/c I admired the most of anyone, it was a huge compliment.

Eventually my roommate and the other two plebe girls in our company decided to do the last item on the list - bring the Superintendent's wife to the Log editor's room, escorted, of course. The Superintendent is a 2-star Admiral who is in charge of the entire Academy. He struck fear in the knees of all plebes, who had only just recently learned to salute. Samya, Amy, Jessica and I showed up at Admiral Lynch's doorstep at about 2230. We were wearing gym gear (shorts, running shoes, and a t-shirt) and shaking like leaves. He answered the door - in a bathrobe and slippers - and we weren't sure what to do. We couldn't salute him since we weren't covered, we couldn't just start talking to him, since he was an Admiral. We finally found our voices and sounded off, then asked for permission to speak freely. He granted it, chuckling all the while, and we asked him - with great social grace and humility - if we could "borrow" his wife for about twenty minutes. We promised to bring her back safely. He chuckled and she, in the true gracious spirit of an officer's wife, said she'd be glad to come along, as long as she could get dressed first. He invited us in (we were about to throw up at this point) and we waited for her to get dressed. Off we went, taking her into Bancroft Hall and to Joe's room. You should have seen the look on his face - he was absolutely astonished - and a little irked that he came up with the idea that could have gotten us all fried (disciplined) in the worst way.

We returned Mrs. Lynch, unharmed, and won the scavenger hunt. It got me pretty excited, and I wound up (with another friend in my company) winning the push-up contest, too. (Every time we'd square a corner we'd drop and do 100 pushups. I think we did almost 5000 pushups that week. I lost count after 3000.)

We also BEAT ARMY! that year, 21-3, right before one of Navy's longest losing streaks against Army. We didn't get carry-on like we were supposed to, but it was fun making a fool out of myself to humor someone else.

*Captain MacMurray remembered me. Because I lived in Severna Park, about 10 minutes from the Academy, I got stuck with watch...all the time. I stood watch on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Traditionally, watch inspection on the big holidays is a little more lax. She remembered me, though, and at every inspection she asked me all the daily rates and all the General Orders of the Sentry, plus some other juicy tidbits.

Here's a wonderful recipe I tried a few months back. It's now Duane's absolute favorite cookie.

Double-chocolate chip cookies

1 package Devil's Food cake mix (any brand)
1/2 cup butter, softened (don't substitute)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. If you're using a dark or non-stick pan, set it at 325. Beat half of the cake mix, all the butter, vanilla, and eggs in large bowl until smooth. Mix in remaining cake mix and chips/nuts by hand. Note: The batter will be very thick and stiff. Don't add more liquid.

Refrigerate dough for about 1 hour. Shape into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 10 minutes. Do NOT overbake. They will look underdone in the middle. Cool 5-10 minutes on cookie sheet, remove to wire rack.

To achieve more fudge-like cookies, take a metal spatula and lightly press on each cookie as soon as they come out of the oven to push the air out. If you prefer a more cake-like cookie, leave them alone.
Lent, Part I

Lord, Who throughout these forty days
For us didst fast and pray,
Teach us with Thee to mourn our sins
And close by Thee to stay.

As Thou with Satan didst contend,
And didst the victory win,
O give us strength in Thee to fight,
In Thee to conquer sin.

As Thou didst hunger bear, and thirst,
So teach us, gracious Lord,
To die to self, and chiefly live
By Thy most holy Word.

And through these days of penitence,
And through Thy passiontide,
Yea, evermore in life and death,
Jesus, with us abide.

Abide with us, that so, this life
Of suffering over past,
An Easter of unending joy
We may attain at last.

Blog roll

I can't keep up with all the new bloggers. I went through my blog roll and trimmed it down. I usually use Duane's blog roll anyway. I hope no one gets offended. I kept the blogs that I pretty much visit on a daily basis, although there are a handful of recent blogs that I haven't added...but rest assured, I visit them frequently.
Archives revisited

A recent Navy grad who commented on Kristen's blog asked if I had ever blogged about my time at Navy. I have, although I thought I had posted much more. I guess I could write about my days there, but one never knows if they are interesting to others or not. Although this is my blog...

I might post more sometime soon. Who knows.

Table Salt

Little About Me (when I met Harrison Ford)

Olfactory Experience

"Anchors Away! (sic)"

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

chalepos estin ho bios...

...that would be an inside reference for Matt, Kristen, and anyone else subjected to Athenaze.

It's about that time. Our Greek class fizzled out last year due to - umm - that pesky first declension, so we're going to give it another go at the end of the spring. If you are local and you're interested, let me know. We'll meet once a week at my house and we'll slog through Machen again. Whether we meet for one hour or 2-3 hours depends on how much you want to master over the summer. Think about it and get back to me. This course is designed primarily to give Dabney/seminary students their Greek requirements for examination.
Used books

I really, really have to find Jenney's Latin Second Year from the 1975/1979 edition. I am assuming all four years were re-published every time a new edition came out. I don't care what it costs. I can't use a newer edition because the vocabulary is all off. The earlier editions are geared towards prose; the more recent editions introduce poetic language. I regularly check alibris and abebooks, but I can't find it. If you know of anyone who can get it - or who could get any of the printings in a complete four-year set, I would be forever grateful.

Monday, March 03, 2003

Jack of all trades, master of none

Reading Mike's post I was again reminded of what it is like to be a jack of all trades and master of none.

One of the few things I really like about myself is that I'm well-rounded (obviously in more than one way!). Everything is interesting to me; I have learned at least a little bit about a huge variety of things. I find this useful when talking to people. I can discuss what they know, what they love and do, and be able at least to understand the basics of just about any conversation. My brain is packed full (it's not a very big brain, you know) of trivial tidbits that act as jumping-off points for just about anything I want to learn - or talk about.

The one drawback is that I really don't know a lot about any one thing. I guess it's give and take. Mike's post reminded me of all my lessons in humility in college, sitting and sweating over principal parts in Greek and Latin then desperately trying to remember my French vocabulary, ten years gone, during an oral exam with a native Parisian. My sophomore year in college I had Greek 202 (mostly grammar), Latin 301 (Plautus), and then French 402 (conversational French) back-to-back-to-back. I remember my Latin prof asking me to decline puer, and I proceeded to give her the declension of pais, during which she had a hearty laugh at my expense. Hey, they mean the same thing! You etymologists out there should jump to my defense. It took me until the ablative that I caught my mistake. And don't even ask me about confusing deipnos and deinos in first semester Greek - another hearty laugh, from the same professor - and the rest of the class (Matt, were you in Dr. Stehle's Greek 101?).

So, I don't know much about languages, or music, or theology, or grammar, or physics, chemistry, astronomy, quantum mechanics, stellar cartography, philosophy, art, history, politics, theater, or anything else, but I know a little bit, and chances are I'd like to learn more.
Humming the tune

Christ hath a garden walled around, a Paradise of fruitful ground;
Chosen by love and fenced by grace from out the world's wide wilderness.

Like trees of spice his servants stand, there planted by his mighty hand;
By Eden's gracious streams, that flow to feed their beauty where they grow.

Awake, O wind of heav'n, and bear their sweetest perfrume through the air;
Stir up, O south, the boughs that bloom, till the beloved Master come.

That he may come, and linger yet among the trees that he hath set;
that he may evermore be seen to walk amid the springing green.

Winnie Ille Pu

Many years ago, when my Latin was much more fluent than it is now, I purchased this book, hoping someday I'd be able to read it to my children - just for fun, of course.

Ecce Eduardus Ursus scalis nunc tump-tump-tump occipite gradus pulsante post Christophorum Robinum descendens. Est quod sciat unus et solus modus gradibus descendendi, nonnunquam autem sentit, etiam alterum modum exstare, dummodo pulsationibus desinere et de eo modo meditari possit. Deinde censet alios modos non esse. En, nunc ipse in imo est, vobis ostentari paratus. Winnie ille Pu.
Nomen audiens primum, sicut vos dicturi estis, etiam ego dixi:
'Credidi eum puerum esse!'
'Ego quoque,' dixit Christophorus Robinus.
'At non potes eum "Winnie" vocare!'
'Minime vero.'
'Dixisti autem. . . .'
'Est Wirrnie ille Pu. Num nescis, quid "ille" significet?'
'Scilicet nunc scio,' cito subjunxi; et spero vos etiam scire, quia nullam nisi hanc explicationem accipietis.
Modo Winnie ille Pu apud imos gradus ludum diligit,
modo autem ante ignem considens fabulam audire amat. Eo vesperi. . . .
'Quid de fabula quadam opinaris?' rogavit Christophorus Robinus.

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