2.28.2008

William F. Buckley

Buckley passed into eternity yesterday.
Here are some random anecdotes from his life, and quotes for your amusement.

Texas Governor Bush (Jr.) said in 2000, "William F. Buckley and I have a lot in common. When he was at Yale, he wrote a book. When I was at Yale, I read a book. When he was at Yale, he started a political party. When I was at Yale, I started lots of parties."


President Reagan said in 1985, “You didn’t just part the Red Sea — you rolled it back, dried it up and left exposed, for all the world to see, the naked desert that is statism.... And then, as if that weren’t enough, you gave the world something different, something in its weariness it desperately needed, the sound of laughter and the sight of the rich, green uplands of freedom.”


Chris Weinkopf, a former National Review staffer, describes how Buckley managed to stay prolific: "The one thing Buckley won't tolerate is idle time. When he gets a haircut, he brings a book. In a restaurant, he usually calls over the waitress to order right away, and then asks for dessert midway through the entree, so that no time is lost between courses."


In 1999, Buckley was interviewed for "Nightline" by Ted Koppel. "Mr. Buckley, we have 10 seconds left," Mr. Koppel said at the end. "Could you sum up in 10 seconds?" Buckley replied, "No."


In 1965, he was the Conservative Party candidate in a three-way race for mayor of New York. Buckley won 13% of the vote, more than any previous Conservative mayoral candidate. Asked what he would do if he had won, he said, "Demand a recount." In the same campaign, a reporter asked him, "conservatively speaking," how many votes he expected to get. "Conservatively speaking," he replied, "one."


Here is a list of the more than 40 books Buckley wrote.

2.26.2008

U2





I came upon this album at the local library, and got on a U2 kick again, lately. Great musical style - some rock music, you can hear the anger or rebellion seething out of it. But not all. Please don't throw out the baby with the bathwater when it comes to whole musical genres! U2 is often an exception, and exceptional. Search my blog for U2 or Bono for more!




Some favorite songs:
Beautiful Day - "after the flood all the colors came out"

Vertigo - "the jungle is your head can't rule your heart... Your love is teaching me how to kneel"

Until the End of the World - "in the Garden I was playing the tart; I kissed Your lips and broke Your heart" (written from Judas' perspective, to Jesus)

All Because of You - "I was born a child of grace, nothing else about the place... I'm alive/I'm being born, I just arrived/I'm at the door of the place I started out from, and I want back inside."

Yahweh - "Take this city, A city should be shining on a hill; Take this city If it be Your will; Take this heart and make it break"

Hawkmoon 269 - "Like a desert needs rain, Like a town needs a name, I need your love. Like a rhythm unbroken, Like drums in the night, Like sweet soul music, Like sunlight I need your love."

40 - "I waited patiently for the Lord. He inclined and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit Out of the miry clay. I will sing, sing a new song."



And, from Summer Rain, on the album above...

"It's not why you're running, it's where you're going;
It's not what you're dreaming, it's what you're going to do;
It's not where you were born, it's where you belong;
It's not how weak, but what will make you strong."

2.23.2008

Quilt Fest Review

Today was the day our little band of women visited the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton; a much-awaited day! I was not let down. There were so many impossibly beautiful quilts it was visual overload. If you think quilts are fuddy-duddy things of the past, you have no idea what modern technology can do for an ancient art. And these were quilts as fine art, many of which were wall-hanging sized, 3-dimensional, or exploring some interesting theme (like bridges). I was blown away by it all. But I had a few disappointments when examining the quilts up close:

1) craftsmanship, or lack thereof. Many quilts were beautifully made with insanely detailed stipple quilting, but I noticed a lot of "appliqued" pieces that were essentially spray-glued onto the quilt top without even folding the raw edges under to finish them off. Perhaps this is the "new" way of doing applique, but my mind says that there'll be a ton of strings hanging off those pieces after it's washed (or touched) a few times.

2) "me too" effect - my how Ma Ingalls would've gawked at those huge quilting machines (financing available!). Seems that everyone and their sister is quilting by machine nowadays - with rainbow thread - over multi-dyed rainbow fabric. Then sewing buttons, trims and yarn snippets on top of that. OK, we know you all can do that, let's move on to something creative now.

3) design and color theory - I found myself stopping every now and then to think "why do I really like this quilt?" The answer was almost always either a) great design and composition or b) exciting use of color. The best quilts IMHO were those that scored high in both categories. Many quilters aimed to paint a picture with their fabric and thread but neglected to consider color and composition. If you're going to go for the effect of a painting, you should play by a painter's rulebook.

Don't let these three critiques make you think the show was a bust. Here are three gems I discovered:

1) I am in love with the cotton-candy pastels of vintage quilts. Never would've guessed me to be a pastel kind of gal, but there you have it.

2) Williamsburg Spinners Guild - spoke with a woman who actually owns and spins on a great wheel like I have. Learned a bit from her while she demonstrated her charka (little spinning apparatus that Ghandi toted around India)

3) a passionate underground of hand-stitchers. Quite a few women I talked with lamented the fact that girls/women are not learning to hand stitch anymore. But with the resurgence of embroidery and other decorative stitching, I forsee a turnaround in this area. And this will lead to better attention to craftsmanship.

I was inspired to draw up a few of my own quilt designs, but resisted the urge to buy fabric or patterns. I. MUST. FINISH. MY. QUILT. FIRST. It's been 10 years since I started it, and I'm so close to finishing! It is now languishing in the living room instead of the bedroom closet. :) Perhaps an old fashioned quilting bee is the answer.

2.21.2008

On humility and musical excellence in worship

A quote from one of the elders at the church I serve:

"One has to be able to pursue "technical" excellence without impugning or judging others who do not progress as far in it. That said, there has to be some minimum accepted level of technical expertise... to facilitate the harmonious singing of praises to God. It is this line where people differ. I think both sides can be prideful.... Looking down on others who do not place the same value on technical expertise or looking with pietistic disdain on those who place a greater emphasis on it."

FV sum

Here is a good summary of one aspect of the Federal Vision, by Douglas Wilson, emphasis mine.

"Jesus lived and died and rose by faith. We participate in His great obedience, and the fruit of His great obedience, on a derivative level, by faith as well. In the Pauline vocabulary, works and faith exclude one another -- they displace one another. But obedience and faith are not contrary principles at all. To believe is itself an act of obedience, and is the ground of all future obedience. When Christ believed God He was obeying God. When we believe God we are obeying God. There is nothing meritorious (in the quantitative sense of acquiring bookkeeping points) about this whatever. We are only doing what we were told."

2.20.2008

Scripture of the day

Luke 9:35
"And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!'"

I have to explain this one, it is so awesome. Jesus is transfigured beside Moses and Elijah as the Father speaks this. Moses and Elijah signify the Law (Genesis through Deuteronomy) and the Prophets (Joshua through Malachi, minus the Writings like Psalms, Proverbs, etc.).

Well, the Father quotes 3 portions of the Old Testament,
one from the Law:
"Yahweh your God will raise up for you a prophet like me [Moses] from among you, from your brothers - it is to Him you shall listen" (DEut 18:15)

one from the prophets:
"Behold My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen, in whom My soul delights" (Isa 42:1)

and one from the Writings:
"I will tell of the decree: Yahweh said to Me, 'You are My Son; today I have begotten You" (Psalm 2:7).

One thing I didn't think of until now: Moses and Elijah are present as witness to Deut 18 and Isa 42 (Elijah the first of the prophets). But who is witness to David's Psalm 2? Maybe it is Jesus Himself, the Son of David...

Early Easter

Again, thanks to George Grant...

"Easter is early this year. Very early. Unusually early.

"The "Great Pascha" is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. This is based on the lunar calculations of the Hebrew calendar--because, of course, it is connected to the Passover festival. That is why the observance of the holiday moves around on our Western solar calendar.

"So, while it is actually possible for Easter to be a day earlier than it will be this year, that is more than a little rare. In fact, this year’s celebration of Christ’s resurrection is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see for the rest of our lives. Indeed, only the most elderly members of our churches have ever seen it this early before--they'd have to be 95 or older because the last time Easter came so soon was in the year 1913. And the next time it will be this early will be more than two centuries hence, in the year 2228."


George Grant

2.13.2008

Covenant of Grace

With thanks to George Grant, who quotes Thomas Chalmers (1847):

“We do not often enough contemplate our salvation in the form of a covenant—yet, it is so represented in Scripture. From the beginning of God’s dealings with men, covenant is set forth as the relation in which He and the people who are peculiarly His own are made to stand with each other. It is well for us to look more upon this, to dwell more on this—the very condition and state of the matter between Christians and our God—so that instead of the vague and loose and general views that take no real or practical hold of a man, we are able to precisely and distinctly understand the things which the great God of Heaven and Earth has bound Himself to do for us, and to what, on the other hand, He has bound us. Instead of this faith of ours floating before the eye of our mind in the form of a slight, shapeless, shadowy imagination, we can clearly apprehend it as an express and definite plan, both of what God is engaged by promise to do for us, and to what we are engaged by promise in return. Comprehending this covenantal overture of mercy is the means by which we may know the greatness of an amazing grace."

Communion Exhortation - 1/6/08

Text: Matthew 2 - the Magi from the East (Epiphany)

If you hadn’t noticed before, our time of Communion follows immediately after our offering, and there is a connection. Part of the relationship we have with the Lord is one of giving and receiving. He gives us life and all that comes with it, we receive all these gifts that come with life, and thank Him, and sacrifice back some to Him. What we give back to Him, during our offering, He transforms and gives back again. Some of the OT offerings were given back to the worshiper to enjoy and eat before the Lord. So as we bring our offerings forward, our focus turns to the Table, where God gives back. We receive it and thank Him, and go to sacrifice back our lives to Him, as our spiritual act of worship. Melchizedek God’s priest, gave to Abraham, Abraham gave to his concubines’ children who went east, the magi come from the east to give to the seed of Abraham. Jesus, the seed of Abraham gave His life for us, symbolizing it with bread and wine. His Father gave Him His life back. He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Jesus gave us the Spirit and all His gifts with Him.

We present back to Him what He has given us to steward. Have you been stingy, holding your resources close, or multiplying your investments wisely? What can you give Him? You. And everything that is you. May your soul bless the Lord, and all that is within you. This is communion. Sharing what we have with Him.

Of course, OUR sharing is a drop in the ocean the other way, of God’s sharing with us Himself, His Son, and all the benefits of Christ our new covenant head. Standing in Him, His life, obedience, death and resurrection are ours. He has pleased the Father for us, and in Christ, the Father is pleased with us. We are sobered, remembering the sacrifice it took to get to this place. That travail of body and soul is also ours, as we suffer under modern Pharaohs of disease, disaster and dysfunctional leaders, who tyrannize, kill and persecute us. But we also rejoice with exceedingly great joy, knowing our salvation draws near, of which we already have a foretaste. This joy was the Father’s intent all along, that our joy may be full. His joy is ours. His satisfaction over His enemies is ours. So we don’t steal your joy at this Table, dwelling on your sin, except to say that the death of Christ paid for them.

The main ways we know this are through Word, Water, Bread, Wine. The gifts of God for the people of God.

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Communion Exhortation - 12/30/07

Text: Simeon and Anna - Luke 2:21-40

Simeon was comforted because he had seen God’s salvation, in the form of a baby. He knew that baby would grow and save Israel. We also ought to be comforted as we see God’s salvation here. Again, it doesn’t look like much in the world’s eyes, but it is here that our faith grows. And we know a little faith can move mountains. It can bulldoze years of bitterness toward family members. It can lift up the doubting, timid soul away from his own vacillations, and to his Savior. It can replace weeping and sorrow with joy and gladness. This all happens as God graciously gives us His Spirit, who increases our faith. The Holy Spirit continues to work His grace in us. He does this through Word, Water, Bread, Wine. The gifts of God for the people of God.

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Scripture of the day

Mark 3:13-15
"And He [Jesus] went up on the mountain and called to Him those whom He desired, and they came to Him. And He appointed twelve (whom He also named apostles) so that they might be with Him and He might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons."

2.12.2008

A Big Book

This is one of the more interesting videos I've seen.
If you don't get it, it is a critique of a destructive form of pietism, and of the naivete of those caught up in it. I admit, it may be on the cynical side, but still enjoyable. If you somehow know the song it is spoofing (not recommending it, if you don't), it enhances the viewing experience...

Republican blues

Just back from voting.

Here is a comparison Huckabee and Ron Paul. These were my top two candidates. Some will jump to the practical question: "Paul doesn't have a chance!" Well, neither does Huck, anymore, really. What we are doing now is telling the Republicans at the convention who we Republican voters are, beyond "McCain can beat Hillary/Obama."

So here are quotes of positions from their webpages. See if you can tell by the end how I voted...


On Education:

Huckabee:
"I believe that every child should have the opportunity for a quality education that teaches the fundamental skills needed to compete in a global economy."

Paul:
"The federal government does not own our children. Yet we act as it if does by letting it decide when, how, and what our children will learn. We have turned their futures over to lobbyists and bureaucrats."



On health care:

Paul: "The federal government decided long ago that it knew how to manage your health care better than you and replaced personal responsibility and accountability with a system that puts corporate interests first."

Huckabee: "The health care system in this country is irrevocably broken, in part because it is only a "health care" system, not a "health" system. We don't need universal health care mandated by federal edict or funded through ever-higher taxes. We do need to get serious about preventive health care instead of chasing more and more dollars to treat chronic disease, which currently gobbles up 80% of our health care costs, and yet is often avoidable. The result is that we'll be able to deliver better care where and when it's needed."



On terrorism/Iraq:

Paul: "The war in Iraq was sold to us with false information. The area is more dangerous now than when we entered it. We destroyed a regime hated by our direct enemies, the jihadists, and created thousands of new recruits for them.... The United States invaded Iraq under false pretenses without a constitutionally-required declaration of war. Our Founders understood that how we go to war is as important as when we go to war, which is why they vested the power to declare war in the Legislative Branch."

Huck: "Iraq is a battle in our generational, ideological war on terror. General Petraeus and our troops are giving their all to provide a window of opportunity for the Iraq government to succeed, while the Democrats are running for the exit doors.... I believe that we are currently engaged in a world war. Radical Islamic fascists have declared war on our country and our way of life. They have sworn to annihilate each of us who believe in a free society, all in the name of a perversion of religion and an impersonal god. We go to great extremes to save lives, they go to great extremes to take them. This war is not a conventional war, and these terrorists are not a conventional enemy. I will fight the war on terror with the intensity and single-mindedness that it deserves."



On spending priorities:

Huck: "If we are going to spend $150 billion, I'd like to suggest that maybe we add two lanes of highway from Bangor all the way to Miami on I-95. A third of the United States population lives within 100 miles of that. This nation's infrastructure is falling apart. And if we built those lanes of highways -- with American labor, American steel, American concrete - I believe it would do more to stimulate the economy."

Paul: "too many politicians and lobbyists are spending America into ruin. We are nine trillion dollars in debt as a nation. Our mounting government debt endangers the financial future of our children and grandchildren. If we don’t cut spending now, higher taxes and economic disaster will be in their future — and yours.... We need a new method to prioritize our spending. It’s called the Constitution of the United States."


On Social Security:

Paul: "Our nation’s promise to its seniors, once considered a sacred trust, has become little more than a tool for politicians to scare retirees while robbing them of their promised benefits. Today, the Social Security system is broke and broken."

Huck: couldn't find anything



On marriage:

Huck: "I support and have always supported passage of a federal constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. As President, I will fight for passage of this amendment. My personal belief is that marriage is between one man and one woman, for life."

Paul: Couldn't find anything



On the environment:

Huck: "My faith is my life - it defines me. My faith doesn't influence my decisions, it drives them. For example, when it comes to the environment, I believe in being a good steward of the earth."

Paul: "The key to sound environmental policy is respect for private property rights. The strict enforcement of property rights corrects environmental wrongs while increasing the cost of polluting."


On energy:

Huck: "The first thing I will do as President is send Congress my comprehensive plan for energy independence. We will achieve energy independence by the end of my second term."

Paul: "As president, I will work to restore a free-market in energy. In particular, I will work with Congress to repeal federal regulations and taxes that impede the development of new energy sources."



That's enough. Got it figured out? No? Well, then I ain't saying, either...

2.11.2008

Voting

Virginia presidential primary is tomorrow.

McCain, Huckabee, or Ron Paul? Hm.

Received mainstream, moderate and blue-blood Republican wisdom says McCain.
Received evangelical wisdom says Huckabee.

I'm actually thinking Ron Paul, at this point. He's the only one saying what Reagan said: government isn't part of the solution but part of the problem. Huck especially falls into the "oughta be a law" mentality too much. The Democrats of course have the same problem to the nth degree. It is just astounding how 90% of Republicans are now of the same mind with them.

I don't think Huck has a real chance any more, anyway, so a Ron Paul vote isn't thrown away, but sends a non-Christian-Right-more-Biblically-principled (proper role of gov't) message to the Rep. establishment. Feel free to try to convince me otherwise. I have yet to check out official positions of the candidates, but will do so tonight or tomorrow before voting. Maybe I'll cut and paste interesting bits for you.

By the way, it seems the Huck-McCain race is a good barometer of evangelical strength in the Republican party - as in, it is waning.

Federal Vision blues, part 4 of 4

FV objection 6
“FV denigrates evangelism, focusing the Church on herself as an elite club of the “baptized.”

First, we should recognize that we are criticizing God’s own way of dealing with His world and people. He began His plan of redemption – with Abraham, more fully in Israel, completely with the Church - by setting up a distinction between His people and the world (Ex 19:5; Deut 14:2; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:9). Jesus and a Gentile woman both agree to this distinction in words that make us uncomfortable. “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” 27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” (Matthew 15:26-28). Notice there is a distinction and a boundary, but that that boundary can and should be overcome and crossed by believing in Christ. The Church is to reach into the world and bring them to Christ and to His Body, the Church. The two are supposed to go together, so that we experience fully life in Christ on this side of eternity as well, in His Body, the Church. Nothing in FV works against crossing this boundary into Christ, into the Church. We need not say the normal means of grace in the Church are unimportant, in order to affirm our activity outside the church to bring people to Christ. On the contrary, at the end of the Bible we find the Spirit and the Bride (the Church) inviting all to come to the marriage banquet of the lamb, which is signified in the Lord’s Supper. We need not be anti-institutional Church to be genuine believers. God means for the Church to be the community of believers (Ephesians 4:11-13; 1:22-23).

2.10.2008

Sermons now online!

We are now online at the good folks of www.wordmp3.com.
2 recent sermons from Colossians 1 are available for a listen, free of charge.
Just go here...

Federal Vision Blues, part 3 of 4

Objection 5
“FV makes too big a deal about being in the Church, or being baptized, and not enough about the condition of your heart, in direct contradiction to Rom 2:28-29.”

Experiences are always appealed to: “I was in the church for years and baptized as a baby, but didn’t get it until I left and found Christ through Intervarsity in college.” I say, praise the Lord, God was pleased to inscrutably use your baptism and time of wandering in the desert with God’s people to bring you to faith, as much as He also used (the instrument YOU notice) Intervarsity. But why only focus on the means YOU notice, instead of the ones Scripture says God uses (1 Peter 3:21 and John 6:50-58, for instance)? Why should this cause us to lessen the importance of being among God’s people, or the value of the Church?

FV doesn’t say “ignore the heart, it’s your baptism that matters.” FV says, our outward world affects our spiritual life more than we care to admit, being the gnostics we are in the church these days, and part of that world is church, parents, sermons, baptism, Communion, etc. The theological term is “means of grace.” So out of concern for your heart, take care to attend to the outward means of grace given in the Church. These are the visible signs Christ Himself has given us to nourish and strengthen our faith. Why would we pooh-pooh them in a careless misapplication of Romans 2:28-29? At the same time, we only look to our baptism for assurance to the extent that it enables us to look to what baptism signifies: the blood and righteousness of Christ with which we are cleansed. Should we not look to our baptism at all? That would be like sitting at the Supper with Christ; He hands you the bread and tells you to do this to remember Him, and you refusing Him and saying, No that will get in the way of just remembering You. I don’t want to look to some little piece of bread, I want to look to You.” Well, Jesus wants you to USE the bread, the water, the Word, to look to Him, not oppose these things TO Him! Don't refuse His gifts.

2.09.2008

Federal Vision blues, part 2 of 4

Federal Vision (FV) objection 4
“FV confuses the meaning of grace; you’re either saved and have grace, or you are not, and don’t”

Then what does Paul mean when he tells the Galatians they have “fallen from grace” (Gal 5:4) if they go back to the law, getting circumcised to be in favor with God? It can’t mean they lost their salvation, because Jesus won’t lose any of those the Father gives Him (John 10:27-28). It can’t mean they lose nothing, because Paul says “grace.” This is part of the FV core: there is a 3rd category between saved and in covenant, and lost: lost and in covenant as a covenant breaker. Scripture speaks of this category in many places, in various ways. Matt 13:5-7; John 15:2,6; Gal 5:4; Hebrews 6:4-6a; 10:28-29. Being in covenant as a covenant breaker (nominal, apathetic, carnal Christian) for a time can be a blessing, if it leads you to faith. If it doesn’t, it heaps condemnation upon you (Matt 11:20-24).

2.08.2008

Federal Vision Blues

So we had a discussion among the men of our church on the Federal Vision (FV) recently. Here is my part in continuing the conversation, partially to vent my own frustrations, and partially to answer objections and arguments raised there. Full disclosure: I consider myself an advocate of a mild version of FV. Not hot and spicy, or thick and chunky. Just mild and smooth...

Objection 1
"FV stems from pride"

This is a red herring and ad hominem all rolled into one, akin to saying gluttonous eating stems from hunger. Of course, and pride is mixed in with everyone's motives all the time, but that just distracts us in a discussion of FV. The real issue lies elsewhere, like in the quantity of food the glutton is eating, and in how Scriptural (or not) FV assertions are. Is what they are teaching against a real and legit problem? If not, called them misguided, but don't impute motives, please.


Objection 2
"FV is a dispute that is dividing the church over minor issues"

What Scripture says about justification, the Church, sacraments, assurance are all at stake, and these are minor issues? I agree we ought not divide over these things, since both sides hold to Reformed views on these issues. No one is going Catholic or even Lutheran in FV. And we have mixed views of FV within our church, so we are living out that unity. The CREC was started 10 years ago (as I understand it) before FV was an issue, when a bunch of independent Baptist types became Reformed, but didn't fit in with the current Reformed denominations, all of which [CORRECTION, added later after I cooled off a bit: "most" of which] are either compromising with the world (say, on evolution or worship style) or are more wrapped up in their Books of Church Order and presbytery minutes than they are in living out a robust Reformed worldview. The FV men aren't doing the dividing, but are being pushed out of denominations by anti-FV men.

It is easy to score rhetorical points saying we shouldn’t let doctrine divide us. It is also easy to nitpick over theological minutiae that have no bearing on life. But no minister worth his salt avoids certain texts or issues just because they are controversial, either, especially when they have Scriptural and pastoral ramifications, which I believe the FV does (see later objections).


Objection 3
“FV sees parallels from OT to NT that just aren’t there”

This is an objection to Reformed and covenant theology in general, not FV, specifically. We had lots of questioning of the parallels from Passover to Communion (1 Cor 5:7-8), from circumcision to baptism (Col 2:11-12), requiring baptism before Communion (Ex 12:48), from the covenant with Abraham to the Church covenant (Rom 4:16-18). But none of this is a problem only with FV – it is a questioning of the whole of Reformed theology (not to mention of God's dealings with Israel in the Old Covenant, in my mind). All of it doesn't come down to infant baptism. Rather, infant baptism is one natural outworking of covenant theology.


Last 3 objections tomorrow, or later...

2.07.2008

Happy Blogiversary




Get wild and crazy! Today the Hemmeke Blog is 3 years old.


2.05.2008

February is Quilting Month - Part 2

Lots of thinking about quilts lately, and no, I haven't been thinking (or touching) my own patchwork quilt I set about to finish this month.

Currently I'm restoring my great-grandmother's quilt. The edges have literally worn out, leaving layers of quilt flapping in the breeze. Pieces of bright aqua sashing (strips of fabric between the blocks) have holes torn in them. It's not so pretty to see, but it's a treasure to see inside the quilt. No batting was used; instead a pink and white gingham coarsely woven fabric was laid on top of muslin sheeting. The appliqued top (giant butterflies) and backing are tied together with bright yellow yarn. It's a riot of color waiting to be healed.

Pictures to come...

For an inspiring article on teaching quilt history to children, check out this "Sew Mama Sew" post.

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Verses of the Day

Psalm 28:7, 9
Yahweh is my strength and my shield;
in Him my heart tursts, and I am helped;
my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him....
Oh, save Your people and bless Your heritage!
Be their shepherd and carry them forever.

Children Taking Communion?

How can that be right?

Here's how:

http://jeffreyjmeyers.blogspot.com/2008/01/passover-paedocommunion.html

Creativity Unleashed

Give a 6 and 5 year old some scissors, tape and construction paper and you'll never know what happens. My two oldest have been creative wizards lately. Most days they create warships complete with USS Monitor-esque turrets and hundreds of cannons. Yesterday we made an Indian village together, complete with mini teepees, bear skins, even a campfire with paper logs and fire. Of course they made headresses for themselves, too.

It's so much fun to watch their minds think, and my how differently they do think! That's been most apparent in their drawings. My 5-yr old boy draws the wildest scenes of dinosaurs chomping other dinosaurs, aliens, spaceships and the like. I can tell he easily understands how something can go from a 2D piece of construction paper to a 3D recreation. My 6 yr-old daughter prefers to make abstract, geometric drawings, like checkerboards and a page full of fish scale shapes. Her paper creations are flat outlines with details drawn on. Both have their strengths; my challenge is to harness that and at the same time help develop their weaknesses.