Showing posts from May, 2013

35. Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner

Swearing off Faulkner forever?

Ok, maybe Faulkner has finally won over my heart, but I have a sort of love/hate relationship with the guy (probably like his wife did). 

He is a very good crafter of words. Writers change the course of history, and he certainly should be applauded for just understanding the absolutely stupidity of slavery and of treating black people as less than human. How could a Christian think they could twist Scripture to treat people like chattel? I just don't get it, but Faulkner did.  My favorite Civil War historian, Shelby Foote, once said, "Faulkner, to me, was one of the great communicators of sensation." That is a perfect way to put it! His writing created sensation and made people think!  He was so ahead of his time, and that is what probably won him the Nobel Prize for Literature and two Pulitzers. Here is an excerpt of his Nobel acceptance speech:

I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone a…

The Well Balance

Well-Adjusted Heart

I think the "adjustment" to our new work mentality is coming along nicely. I need to breathe through it. I have this balancing between being a wife and being a mother with George up in Hillsboro/Newberg and the boys down in Corvallis. Something happened yesterday that made me realize that I am needed as a mother. I know my two kid are both adults now, but they need processing and pampering as well as life training (for the housecleaning and cooking). They are doing so well, but a mother's work is never done.

Trying to also balance time with my friends my age too. I am more purposeful about initiating time with Kim, Teala, and Jean. So lovely to be with friends and balance it with ministry people (who are also my friends but at a different life stage!).

Well-Watered Soul

. . .from which all things flow! Nancy has been sending me pictures of the spring she sees on her runs for the past seven years. She says it never runs dry, and she always prays for me the…

Deepening in The Library

Taking the time to thank You
In the middle of this day
For life, for rain, for library children
Making noise as I pray

A pandora's box of praise
Emanates from deep within
As I study your Word, I find
A deeper knowledge begins

The Call by George Herbert

THE CALL.      
Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life :
Such a Way, as gives us breath :
Such a Truth, as ends all strife :
And such a Life, as killeth death.

Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength :
Such a Light, as shows a feast :
Such a Feast, as mends in length :
Such a Strength, as makes his guest.

Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart :
Such a Joy, as none can move :
Such a Love, as none can part :
Such a Heart, as joyes in love.

34. Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard

I have seen quotes by Kierkegaard for years! So it was good to finally read him. Philosophy makes my head hurt a bit (not as much as it used to because I have trained myself to read it), but I enjoyed this. It is only 128 pages in full print form (I read it on the Kindle) so it isn't too painful! 

Here is a summary  by Dr. Bob Zunjic, instructor of  Philosophy 346: Existentialism at University of Rhode Island (emphasis in bold is mine): General Title: Fear and TremblingThe book title echoes a phrase from the New Testament: "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2,12). In alluding to these words of St. Paul, Kierkegaard indicates that religion in general and Christianity in particular are not a couch potato state of mind (convenient and comfortable relation toward the contents of faith). We need to ground ourselves in the uncertain and infinite transcendence. Already this gives rise to fear and trembling. But there is more to that. Since faith re…

Friday 5:04 FifteenFreewrite

Bible Book Club: 18 chapters left!
Hebrews 11                                    (1)
1 Peter 1, 4-5 (+ intro)                    (3) 2 Peter 1 (+ short intro)                  (1)
1 John 1, 5 (+ intro)                        (2) 2 John (+ short intro)                      (1)
Revelation 1-2; 7-9; 14-16; 20-21  (10) 18
Invitation to the Classics:718 pages left! 
1)The Temple(50) 2) Go Down, Moses                 (315) 3)Selected Essays/Johnson     (353)                                               718 I am a woman on a mission. So I had to post my latest progress. The tabs from Word didn't exactly transfer over, but that is OK.
I was having a dream that I was in Mexico on a hill and both our truck and Suburban were sliding down off of it, and I was trying to hold it up. So I forced myself to wake up to avoid a catastrophe. Prior to that, I had waited for a haircut only to find that the girl who usually cuts my hair was going on a date, and a substitute was sent, and i went into …

He is Here Again

I must report another God sighting/feeling. I have been puttering this morning. Within minutes of starting work on Hebrews 6:13-20 (YES, still working on Hebrews 6), I got a HOLY SPIRIT ZINGER. So fun when God blesses time in His word.
Just want to report that for all the world to hear (or at least any crazy person who would even read my private blog)!

Self-Imposed Deadlines Be Damned

I only have another 1 1/2 hours until I have to pick George up from his workplace, and we go back to Corvallis. I had hoped to get through Hebrews 11 by this morning with just a little more to go on Hebrews 6, but I am at that "falling away" subject in 6:4-6, and I do not have any desire to just gloss it over. I could have just ground it out by my 5 pm deadline yesterday if I had pushed, but how can you gloss over such an important passage? It isn't about OUTPUT but about EXPERIENCING GOD in this whole exercise of the Bible Book Club.

So the thing is that I have slowed myself down. I have thrown out the deadline, and I am EXPERIENCING GOD in Hebrews 4:4-6. I am BLOWN AWAY at His presence with me as I sit at the Starbuck's facing the Hillsboro Costco this morning. He is real. I am not going to be able to explain Him away by reason or eloquently philosophize about Him like Soren Kierkegaard (reading him right now), but I am going to just communicate that He is real in t…

Straining Toward the Goal Update for Tuesday!

Bible Book Club: 18.5+ chapters (Portions of six books) left!

Hebrews 6:6-20; 10:19-11:39

1 Peter 1, 4-5
2 Peter 1 (shorter introduction since I will have done a background on Peter)

1 John 1, 5 (with introduction)
2 John (shorter introduction)

Revelation 1-2; 7-9; 14-16; 20-21

Invitation to the Classics: 786 pages left! 

1) The Temple (64 pages left)
2) Go Down, Moses (316 pages left)
3) Fear and Trembling (42 pages left)
4) Selected Essays of Johnson (364 pages)

Straining Toward the Goal Freewrite

I anticipated a morning up in Hillsboro with George, but he decided to go a bit later to just meet the founder of the company and come back. So, I wouldn't have a big chunk of time to write today if I did that. So, I stayed home and now have a free day other than making an entree for the final Perspectives course tonight and probably correcting Nessa and Leslie's final homework so they can have closure TONIGHT rather than next week! I am so proud of them for finishing this course. I see bright possibilities for their futures, and it was a privilege to correct for them even though it was during a MOST stressful time in our lives!

The transition is in mid-stream, and I am doing OK. I think a back and forth for me is appropriate, maybe one week up there with George and one week down here with the young men. I did like how we had extra time to relate last week. I want to make a point of having sit down, face-to-face dinners with them.  


33. A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections

From Wikipedia: 

Edwards wrote the Treatise to explain how true conversion to Christianity occurs. Edwards describes how emotion and intellect both play a role, but "converting grace" is what causes Christians to "awaken" to see that forgiveness is available to all who have faith that Jesus' sacrifice atones for all sins. This salvation is not possible through believers' imperfect good works which are simply evidence of faith, and only possible through Christ's sacrifice which is free to all. Edwards describes the importance of testing new faith and discerning whether it is legitimate. He lays out twelve tests of true conversion, including ways of measuring allegedly fruitful works. He basically concludes that the fruit of the Spirit are the religious affections, love being the chief affection, and that all other fruit (or Christian virtues) flow from this. "Love is the chief of the affections, and as it were the fountain of them." (p.76, Banne…

Saturday Freewrite

Despite staying up very late last night (1:30 am), I was up by 6 am this morning. I have already listened to Religious Affections and made some tea and have James 4 out, ready to finish. The only thing I have today is a wedding at 1 pm, and I do not think we will stay long for the reception. I will split the day between James and finishing up reading my last five books of Invitation to the Classics:

1. The Temple (72 pages)
2. A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections (52%)
3. Go Down, Moses (Chapter 2, 9.99 for Kindle is pricey and have library book)
4. Fear and Trembling (not started, broke down and put it on my Kindle)
5. Selected Essays from the "Rambler", "Adventurer" and "Idler" (still has not come in the mail)

I read Doctor Johnson's Prayers in about an hour last night, and it was a lovely way to fill my mind with great things before bedtime! He was a truly godly man. That is what I love about the ITC list: it is filled with much more edifying books…

32. Doctor Johnson's Prayers

This was recommended as one of the three books to read about Doctor Samuel Johnson. He was a very godly man and wrote out many prayers that were made into this little book. 

I always find it awkward to read other people's prayers though. 

Freewrite Fifteen Follow up from Yesterday

I ended up having a fabulous day yesterday. It started out gloomy, like the rain that had descended upon the valley after many sunny days prior. Maybe it was the weather too that affected my mood, but I was pretty mopey until I decided to be PROACTIVE.

One thing I did was write a "feeling freewrite" that I did yesterday. I also wrote my FACED accountability group saying that I was down, and I did not want to turn to food to solve the problem. I also sent out a text for Nancy to pray for me!

It also helped that God providentially led me to James 1 instead of Hebrews 4 that was next in in line to be written. That was totally Him. I cut and pasted the Philips version to the addendum in my post. 

Then I set in motion the "Natural Ways to Increase Dopamine (Pleasure Center) and Serotonin (Impulse Control) Without Using Food to Elevate It." I called Kim so we could walk (SWEAT) and talk (BONDING) on hospital hill (BEAUTY + SUNLIGHT). It ended up being rainy so we talked in …

Random Thought Freewrite 15 for a Wednesday Morning

8 am, and I have been awake since 5 am with very little to show for it. I am a bit down today, and I think I keep on trying to do things to pick myself up. Down is not a thing I have too often. But when I am down, the earthly person who helps me the most is George, and he has started his new job in Hillsboro. So, I do not begrudge that. He is love, love, loving it. I am so proud of him and so happy for him after five years of trudging along in jobs that really held no promise for future possibilities (although he loved every single one of them because he loves the people he works with so much) and decreasing pay.  He now has a job that he is THE only stat person, and he can create something there for other stat people too. So, I think it is a very good thing for him. It just means sacrifice for both of us, but I am up for the adventure even though it means not being able to process my "down" state with him. Usually, he would stumble out of bed at about 7 am and talk things t…

31. The Temple by George Herbert

Here was a man who seemed to me to excel all the authors I had read in conveying the very quality of life as we live it from moment to moment, but the wretched fellow, instead of doing it all directly, insisted on mediating it through 
what I still would have called the "Christian mythology."  The upshot of it all could nearly be expressed, "Christians 
are wrong, but all the rest are bores."
-C. S. Lewis

One does not need to buy this book and can read The TempleHERE

by George Herbert

Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
        Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
        From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
        If I lack'd anything.

"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here";
        Love said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
        I cannot look on thee."
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,

30. Rasselas by Samuel Johnson

"Do not suffer life to stagnate; it will grow muddy for want of motion: commit yourself again to the current of the world."

In this enchanting fable (subtitled The Choice of Life), Rasselas and his retinue burrow their way out of the totalitarian paradise of the Happy Valley in search of that triad of eighteenth-century aspiration – life, liberty and happiness.According to that quirky authority, James Boswell, Johnson penned his only work of prose fiction in a handful of days to cover the cost of his mother’s funeral. The stylistic elegance of the book and its wide-ranging philosophical concerns give no hint of haste or superficiality. Among other still burning issues Johnson’s characters pursue questions of education, colonialism, the nature of the soul and even climate alteration. Johnson’s profoundest concern, however, is with the alternating attractions of solitude and social participation, seen not only as the ultimate life-choice but as the arena in which are played out…

29. My Foot is Too Big for the Glass Slipper

It is perfect to post this on Mother's Day! 

My curiosity was peaked when I saw her on an ABC News report. She is a former beach volleyball star, 6 feet 3 inches tall with a size 12 shoe. She is also a "what is, is" kind of person. So I could identify with her on more than one level. (I am an athlete, 6 feet 2 1/4 inches, weigh about the same, wear a size 13, and am a "what is, is" kind of person too.) I do not use the F-Bomb, ever, but she apologizes for that up front.

She talks about the realities of marriage and raising a young family. She caused a firestorm when she said the word "submit" in her book, “To truly be feminine means being soft, receptive, and — look out, here it comes — submissive.” I love it! She is so practical about life and doesn't think we can "have it all." So true!

She gets into diet and exercise and had some practical advice about all of that when I thought that the book was going to be mostly about her marriage to …

28. A Life of Johnson by James Boswell

Since this particular chapter in Invitation to the Classics involves reading Johnson's Selected Essays, Prayers, and Rasselas, I decided to opt for the greatly abridged version of this book by NAXOS audio rather than the full 1300+ page unabridged version. I did look at the unabridged in the library and followed along as I listened for a good chunk of it. 

I really enjoyed the narrator, Bill Hartman, with his deep Scottish brogue. Since my 2nd great grandparents immigrated from Scotland to Pennsylvania in 1864, it was special for me!

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was THE man of literature in the mid-eighteenth-century England. He wrote moral essays, poetry and prayers (Johnson was a devout Anglican). He is probably most famously known for publishing a Dictionary of the English Language  or sometimes published as Johnson's Dictionary (1755) that stood as the authoritative dictionary until the Oxford English Dictionary came 150 years later.

Johnson would not have been SO well-known ha…

27. The Twilight of the Idols by Friedrich Nietzsche

I read Ecce Homo for my Well-Educated Mind list, and I could have never read Nietzsche again but for the Invitation to the Classics list(five more to go, and I am DONE with classics lists!).  Actually, I found this work more accessible than Ecco Homo, but it is Nietzsche, and he is an arrogant, surly philosopher. He "sees himself as a preeminent interpreter to articulate the new meaning of the self, nature, society, and God" (Invitation to the Classics, p.300). I do not care for his ideas, but his works, especially this one, are like a bitter pill that needs to be swallowed if we are to understand this nineteenth-century philosopher's influence on twentieth-century thought. In this work, he attempts to destroy and expose the "idols" of Western thought and culture. He takes aim at everyone, especially Christianity. "Christianity, which despised the body, has been the greatest misfortune of humanity so far" (p.41).Considering Nietzsche's beliefs abo…


George says we have been here and there lately. I think he is right. Wednesdays always make me realize that I am still a very busy woman! I have many appointments this week and have a hard time writing.  If I do not get up SUPER early, it seems that the day gets away from me. Partly because George is here in the mornings now. This morning I had lots of juggling of schedules that ate away at my writing time.

 It seems I am going more to people rather than them coming to me lately. One appointment I have today is someone I do not know and out of my realm of influence, but someone else recommend I meet with her. So. I will this one time.

I wonder if one person would be open to going back to meeting HERE again rather than me going to campus. I thought we were going to meet every other week on  campus and the off weeks we would meet at night but unless I schedule it, she will not necessarily remember that. Jennifer did come to me this week and Leslie is also very game. I just have two meet…

26. Waiting for God by Simone Weil

Sheer and utter brilliance and beauty! The letters to the priest were OK, but her essay on "The Love of God and Affliction" took my breathe away.  The whole essay is HERE. It is well-worth your time to read it. Then you can say you read one of the great 20th century philosophers! 

"All that man vainly desires here below is perfectly realized in God. We have all those impossible desires within us as a mark of our destination, and they are good for us when we no longer hope to accomplish them." (p. 74)
Invitation to the Classics says, "Despite Weil's preoccupation with the political and social nightmare of the Spanish Civil War and World War II, she still . . . focused on a God who superseded the pain and chaos of this world" (p. 345). 

She was a French Jew from an agnostic home writing during World War II. She was definitely an unconventional believer, but she "gets God" and is often called a "saint for the churchless." She is definite…

91% Through My Invitation to the Classics List!

1633 The Temple – Herbert (1/2 way through)1746 A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections – Edwards (started)1759 Essays and Rasselas – Johnson1791 The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. – Boswell1843 Fear and Trembling - Kierkegaard1888 Twilight of the Idols - Nietzsche1942 Go Down, Moses - FaulknerI am so close to my goal, but the thought of one more Faulkner and one more Nietzche . . . well.  No! It doesn't depress me. I am a fighter. I am a finisher. I am going to go for it!!!
The other ones are hard to get through but in a good sort of way. Samuel Johnson is big one on everyone's radar. You do not realize how influential he was until you know his name. Then you hear him quoted and mentioned. Herbert and Edwards are spiritual, and I always love that. Keirkegaard is brilliant but tough. I love brilliance, even though it makes my brain hurt in the light of it.

Fifteen Minute Free Saturday

I do not have anything in particular to unload. So I will just write until the harp on my iPhone says it has been fifteen minutes. 

I took a week off from Bible Book Club, and that was really great. We went away to California, attended Andrew and Karina's lovely wedding, saw Brian N., Jens and Deborah, Jerome and Terri M., my brother, sister-in-laws, and niece, Susanne, Dave and Lin Hunt, and Sonrise Center (formerly Fallbrook Presbyterian) people. We ate good food (In and Out and Kona Beach burgers!!!) and had great fellowship. I liked getting away from my keyboard to restart my life again after a very stressful March/April with all the job uncertainty/drama.

So, I am refreshed and reenergized for today. I have book club at 8 am, but I hope to get through 1 Timothy 6 before then. Just listened to it while doing other things.

"THE WELL" in one sentence for each area:

Heart - Three years in June since any "major" drama with crazy people because I politely decline to…