Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday Ten Minute Freewrite

It is rare that I write Free Writes two days in a row, but I am so happy about feeling better that I want to should it to the world!!!  You really know when you are sick when you truly feel BETTER!  I do not think I have the four week sickness like most people had.

I got such an nice note from a woman I had randomly met in the Linn-Benton Community College 1 1/2 years ago. We got to talking, and it turned out that she had been a victim of verbal abuse from a spouse. I directed her toward a forum, and I forgot about it. Then, I get this friend request from some one who didn't sound familiar, and she also messaged me telling me how wonderful it was to be directed in that way. What is so funny is that I was going to go and hand out at LBCC the other day and wait for Paul to get out of class so he wouldn't have to take the bus since he had that HUGE research paper and riding the bus adds another 1 1/2 - 2 hours to his day, and he needed the time. I was thinking I needed to go back in that library and get the card number that nice lady from the library gave me that would allow me to check out book. That was the nice lady!  I hadn't thought about her for a long time. 

I am glad we went out to the Big River with all those people last night. I had been craving a Salmon Salad, and they had this great one on the menu. God knew!  Veggies are so LIFE-GIVING when you have a cold and help in your recovery! I also just like listening to all the conversations that were going. I was sort of pinned in and couldn't move around the table (I think there were 19 of us), but I had an nice time with the people around me.

This morning was a counseling appointment that I had postponed from Monday because of this sickness. I was wondering if I really was better, but once we go rolling, I felt better. People are life-giving to me too, and especially when I can seek God in prayer with them. We got to some good stuff, but I think she isn't quite ready for what God has to tell her, or maybe she is just needing to hear things from Him in private. Some introverts need that. So, I encouraged her to pray in the off time and see what God tells her as she explored the memories that she isn't quite pressing into for healing. I think she will great! I really like her. She is a lovely girl.

I am on the last four hours of Reading Lolita in Tehran. What a book and surprised there isn't a fatwa on that woman's life. She exposes some pretty gruesome things about the regime, including execution of a LOT of innocent people. Things that the leadership probably doesn't want you to know. I have a friend who visited two weeks ago that doesn't like that book, but she wasn't alive during the really horrible parts. I wonder if she would be willing to read it now?

Ten minutes is up. Off to other things!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Freewrite Wednesday

We will see if this new keyboard sitting on top of my old keyboard without the "O" letter working will suffice and not give me carpel tunnel or something.

I am listening to our favorite Christmas CD. It just changed to the more rocky Mannheim Steamroller Christmas. Sort of shattered my more somber morning, but it is making my fingers type more quickly to the beat (expect typos. just sayin'). 

Had a long talk with Tim this morning. He is happy with what we are doing. I feel like I haven't done much of anything lately because I have been sick now for almost a week. I wished I could have just slowed down when I started feeling sick the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, but we had a meeting on Wednesday night and then three people stayed until 1:30 am. Then it was up for Thanksgiving with the family in Salem. So, no rest for the weary, and we both woke up Friday morning for sickness. I thought I was much better on Sunday and pushed it. Now it is Wednesday, and I still don't feel very well, but I am pushing through and going to dinner tonight with friends (been planned for a long time).

Paul is stressed because of two papers and an art project due this week and the pressure to live up to his older brother's straight A's that he makes look so easy. Poor guy. We walked around the block two times the night before last, and he poured out his heart in his "Thinker" way. The walking helped, and I think he needs to learn to balance his life and not study all the time. SO CONSCIENTIOUS.  He already has eight out of ten pages done on his research paper that isn't due until tomorrow. I don't think I ever had that many pages done before a deadline. LOL! 

What is so hard is that writing is so laborious for him, but he is so good! I used to let writing be a chore for me too, but I think writing almost everyday for five years has really helped me. Also the forums I was a part of where I had to compose my thoughts were also very good for me. 


Sigh. I don't visit those forums anymore. I just don't feel that I have anything else to contribute. I was the biggest contributor but never felt very appreciated for my contribution and looked down upon by most of them. When there was "leadership" of the board, there was usually a power struggle, and I was never picked which made no sense since I was the second most prolific contributor. 

I am so "in between" on so many things. I am not a radical right winger, but I am not a radical left winger either. I just love Jesus, and I don't think he was either (although both camps try to claim that he was one or the other). I went on that old Forum a while back, and it is pretty dead. I am also not part of the prayer loop anymore. No one wants to hear GOOD news, and I always felt disenfranchised there. I have NOT missed the drama that always seemed to erupt there on a regular basis, but I also miss knowing what is up with the people who didn't have much good news to share. I also realized that I had so much in the way of real life people to care for and love that I had to make a choice. All that said, I do love all those people, but I don't miss how the different camps used to gang up on one another. Honestly, the right wingers were worse. I was embarrassed and they were too prideful to admit when they blew it. SO sad. I don't miss it. Love the people but don't miss the collective angst. 

I have been reading a LOT lately because I have been sick. I am going to try to listen to my book and straighten up the living room bookcases to accommodate my scrapbooks and get ready for the Christmas tree. I did a little bit of book straightening when I first got up this morning and was exhausted, seriously. I don't know what this cold is all about, but I want to go and walk and clean my house and work on projects, but I run out of energy so quickly. Even the talk with Tim this morning left me exhausted afterward. 

What gives?


Well, there is the Harp Bell timer going off. Right when I felt like I was done rambling! BYE!

Monday, November 26, 2012

52 in 52 Week 48: 90 Days Thru the Bible by Chris Tiegree


Disclaimer: Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of this review.

The day before receiving this book from Tyndale House, I met with a group of believers who all lamented the fact that they had never read through the entire Bible and felt like they did not totally understand the overall story from Genesis to Revelation. This book could not have been more perfectly timed! I truly believe that this will be a helpful first step for this group and beyond.

I remember the Walk Thru the Bible Seminars that were very popular many years ago. Chris Tiegree has brought these seminars and more to book form. He really emphasizes the whole point of God's longing for relationship with us and brings out the Scarlet Thread of Redemption pointing to Jesus that is woven throughout all of the Hebrew Scriptures. His writing is beautiful and makes you want to draw near to God. Tiegree communicates the key to what life is all about. Bravo!

Here are a couple of quotes I liked so much that I sent them to friends:
"God's highest goal for us isn't our obedience, our service, our testimony for Him, or any other behavioral outcome. It's that we adore Him. Yes, love has implications in all other areas, but first and foremost, our relationship with God is a matter of the heart. If we don't love Him fully, we're missing our purpose." (90 Days Thru the Bible: A Devotional Journey, p. 33) 

"We are not just travelers on a long, hard road to our destination. We carry evidence of that destination within us. Whenever God's presence fills us to overflowing, we bring glimpses of the destination into the journey itself. Wherever we see something that doesn't look like the Kingdom, we're to bring the Kingdom into that place. Though in one sense the Kingdom will come, in another sense it has already come and still comes--not just to us but through us. The builder of the city isn't waiting for 'someday.' He's working even now" (90 Days Thru the Bible: A Devotional Journey, Ezekiel, p.105).
The only drawback is that I wish it had an encouragement to actually read the Bible all the way through as a challenging yet rewarding next step (www.3yearbiblebookclub.blogspot.com is a possibility). I also would have liked to have more application-oriented kinds of discussion questions at the end of each day. Other than this, it is a great contribution toward helping people toward biblical literacy. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

52 in 52 Week 48: The Enneagram Made Easy by Baron and Wagele



I am keeping the book cover large so that you can read the different personality types. I have taught the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator for 25 years, but this is the "new" thing buzzing the personality typing world, and it isn't too bad. It was nice to read through it, and it helps me understand one of the girls I used to meet with since she is really into it. Some people have a hard time understanding the Myers-Briggs. So, I am not going to argue if this simplifies it for people.

I scored as a Helper(2)/Peacemaker(9) (tied both times I took it) with a secondary of an Asserter(8) (I think this is what the Helper goes to in more assertive moments, and this is true with me!)

I liked the end where it paired these types with the Myers-Briggs:


I am an ISFJ/ESFJ, and guess what? The 2 & 9  both align with that. 

It was a fun, quick, read. 

52 in 52 Week 48: Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard

Millard has done it again in an excellent book that weaves together history, biography, medical discovery. River of Doubt is a hard act to follow, but she followed it well! I did not know much about the circumstances surrounding the Garfield shooting. So interesting! Garfield had the potential to be a very good president. He certainly seemed to be a wonderful man. 

I couldn't help but think that American doctors, who refused to accept documented evidence that germs are real, were very responsible for his death. HOW IRRESPONSIBLE and arrogant on their part. UGH.

This was a great read!

52 in 52 Week 48: The Front Line by John Bornschein, et al

I got this from the publisher to do an Early Review. I liked it. It is a "primer" for Spiritual Warfare for the neophyte who wants to get intentional about intercessory prayer for others, the community, nation, government, and world. Although the material is quite basic, even an experienced prayer warrior will find himself or herself reinvigorated for the battle.

All the contributors used an abundance of Scripture to give a basic foundation for understanding the purpose of prayer and to give examples of prayer by people in Scripture. The last part of the book has all of these verses printed out in their entirety. 

In addition to the abundance of Scripture, it has practical suggestions too. It has everything you need to become equipped for the battle!

52 in 52 Week 48: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis is one of the smartest people I know. So smart that I had never been able to read Mere Christianity because it made my head hurt. My son read The Screwtape Letters earlier this year, and I thought if he could do it (since I taught him), I could do it too. I told myself to be brave and encouraged since I had gotten through The Weight of Glory and Other Essays in June. He still made my head hurt, but I got through it! (with a little help from the narrator, Ralph Cosham, of Blackstone Audiobooks)

I still think C.S. Lewis is so much smarter than I could ever hope to be.

But I do not envy brilliant people, they inspire me. C.S. Lewis inspires me. He is so deep. He is so profound. I felt like I needed to stop my iPod after every sentence to fully digest and appreciate his words. I could never say it like he does.  Brilliance. Pure brilliance.  


What is even more brilliant is the forethought of this book (written during the World War II years). Everything he says is so applicable for today. EVERYTHING!  

Here is a review that I read on Wordpress that is a great summary of the book (written by someone much smarter):
The book is a collection of letters from a senior demon, Screwtape, to his nephew and lower-level tempter, Wormwood. The lesser demon is in the process of trying to tempt a young English man, referred to only as “the patient.” There is a bit of a story here, but mostly this book is a series of musings on the human condition and our moral struggles. What makes this book brilliant, however, is that because it is written from the point-of-view of a demon, everything is flipped on its head. Good is bad, bad is good, etc. Lewis called it “diabolical ventriloquism.” This technique gives the book a comic charm, but also keeps it from feeling to preachy. 
Although there is humor in the relationship between Screwtape and his apparently inept nephew, the book is really about our moments of weakness, “opportunities” for the demons, in which a person might be led astray. Greed, gluttony, lust, pride, envy—Lewis more or less digs his blade under each of the seven sins and flips it over to see what bugs are attached. But he also gets at less biblical truths, large—probing the link between fear and hate, the ability of love to launch us toward grace or defilement—and smaller truths—our tendency to give credibility to thinking simply because it’s old, or the anger that can be produced by simply taking away from a person time they think is their own. 
This book could easily have been a good, straightforward collection of essays, Musings on Sin. There’s a lot of wisdom packed in here, and every reader will identify with different points. But the way the wisdom is delivered is what makes The Screwtape Letters such a great read. (http://bosilawhat.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/the-screwtape-letters-by-c-s-lewis/)
P.S. I didn't know when I was reading the book that this review would post on the week of C.S. Lewis' birthday! He was born 114 years ago on November 29!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!


Signs of the Times

BY PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR
Air a-gittin' cool an' coolah,
   Frost a-comin' in de night,
Hicka' nuts an' wa'nuts fallin',
   Possum keepin' out o' sight.
Tu'key struttin' in de ba'nya'd,
   Nary step so proud ez his;
Keep on struttin', Mistah Tu'key,
   Yo' do' know whut time it is.

Cidah press commence a-squeakin'
   Eatin' apples sto'ed away,
Chillun swa'min' 'roun' lak ho'nets,
   Huntin' aigs ermung de hay.
Mistah Tu'key keep on gobblin'
   At de geese a-flyin' souf,
Oomph! dat bird do' know whut's comin';
   Ef he did he'd shet his mouf.

Pumpkin gittin' good an' yallah
   Mek me open up my eyes;
Seems lak it's a-lookin' at me
   Jes' a-la'in' dah sayin' "Pies."
Tu'key gobbler gwine 'roun' blowin',
   Gwine 'roun' gibbin' sass an' slack;
Keep on talkin', Mistah Tu'key,
   You ain't seed no almanac.

Fa'mer walkin' th'oo de ba'nya'd
   Seein' how things is comin' on,
Sees ef all de fowls is fatt'nin'—
   Good times comin' sho's you bo'n.
Hyeahs dat tu'key gobbler braggin',
   Den his face break in a smile—
Nebbah min', you sassy rascal,
   He's gwine nab you atter while.

Choppin' suet in de kitchen,
   Stonin' raisins in de hall,
Beef a-cookin' fu' de mince meat,
   Spices groun'—I smell 'em all.
Look hyeah, Tu'key, stop dat gobblin',
   You ain' luned de sense ob feah,
You ol' fool, yo' naik's in dangah,
   Do' you know Thanksgibbin's hyeah?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Morning Freewrite Fifteen: Well Update

Well-Watered Soul/Well-Adjusted Heart

On this momentous occasion, I am combining SOUL/HEART in one. It seems like I talk about my SOUL, and when I get down to the HEART part, it has already been covered in SOUL. Our SOUL and HEART are intertwined. So, I am going to do my updates this way from now on. (Not that anyone care or reads these things, but I need to have it that way in my mind!)

Well, my soul is watered today. Nancy keeps telling me that when she goes on her big runs up into the hills, she has a spring that reminds her of me, and she prays for me based on the spring. She keeps saying that is always flowing, even in the heat of summer when all the other springs in the area are dry. Then she texts me and tells me. How sweet.

What is our constant Source? Duh! Jesus! But I think that many go to other springs that do run dry in the heat of summer. I went to a banquet called the Parade of Champions last week, and I just saw the futility of looking for our source at anywhere else but the capital "S" Source! Glory in sport. I dreaded going, but it was lovely to see old friends, and many of them were honored, but the tone was women's sports was the pinnacle of it all. It sort of made me gag. I prayed that God would show me why I was there since I really am not that into sports anymore (even though I am a college athlete). God sovereignly place my coach before me (I think I already free wrote about this, but it bears repeating) when she was supposed to be at a head table and all the table people requested to sit with her. At the end of the banquet she said (with a thick Japanese accent), "Little Carol, you were my 'ground'.  I sometimes get all the teams I ever coached mixed up in my mind, but I will never forget you."  My husband said, "Do you me Little Carol 'grounded' you?" She replied with an affirmative, "YES!"  I think it was because I just saw through the futility of all it all even back in 1978 at 19 years old. Aki (my coach) knew that I knew that there was more to life than putting a silly orange ball through a ring 10 feet above the ground, and it certainly wasn't something one gave their life to.

She has since retired and seen more of the spiritual side of life. She always introduces me as "Coaches Sweetheart." I love that woman.

After she said that, I embraced her and kissed her on the cheek with a tear. There was a reason why I came to that silly event! It is all about the people you encounter along the way and even silly events or silly sports put you in contact with those you would never encounter any other way.

If only I could convince my kids this because we have trained them to think sports are stupid, and we have neglected to really help them to see the benefits.  My bad.

Anyway, I also ran into a girl who is a former basketball player (1999-2003) who is a follower of Jesus. It was nice to sit next to her and be encouraged at her love for Him! YAY God.

Woops. Fifteen minutes is up, but I will keep on going because I want to do a full update. Maybe ten more minutes will do it. (Oh that was Leslie telling me she was going to church and not my timer, but it almost was because there was one minute to go!)

Well-Educated Mind

I am loving this. See my quote from Audrey Assad below about good art, books, and music. Love her philosophy about that.

I am loving the Invitation to the Classics list which evaluates classics from a Christian worldview. I didn't like 100 Great Books. I won't be recommending that list to anyone, and I am thinking I like the ITC one even better than The Well-Educated Mind list, but really the TWEM list taught me a ton that I really appreciate but did not necessarily enjoy where I am enjoying everything the ITC one puts out. They are discrete and protective of my spiritual side. There are some books on the TWEM list I think SW Bauer should take out! YUCKY!

Anyway, I am starting The Shorter Summa, and I love it. I don't think I need to read all of the Summa Theologica by Aquinas. The Shorter Summa is really all I need. It is concise and thoughtfully abridged. Thank you Peter Kreeft for saving me from 3,000 pages of too much theology for anyone's good!  I say read the Bible for your theology!

I am also reading quite a few Early Reviewer books through LibraryThing and Tyndale Publishers. I like writing these. I wish I could become a "travel the world restaurant reviewer"!

Well-Tuned Strength

This is probably one of the things I am most excited about. I am seeing as I move suddenly and get in and out of cars that I don't have those little twinges of pain that I have thought I had to live with for the rest of my life. I cannot remember if they were also not present before my November 2009 injury, but my back and neck are definitely BETTER. My massage therapist even said she noticed how much more responsive my back was to her. The muscles are aligning again because I am nipping any little tweeks in the bud and making sure I am doing those back exercises FAITHFULLY every day! DUH! What was I thinking not doing them? I guess I didn't know what they should be. The trainers would give me ones, and those were just NOT good for my back. I should have known and told them NO. Most athletic trainers are JOKES. I had three pretty bad ones at the club (and one bad massage therapist). I should have just told them, "HEY, I know my body, and we have to modify that one for my back safety." Those physical therapists have YEARS of training in the body, and I should have gone to them after my injury, but my insurance was lousy at that time. Now we have good insurance that pays for more preventative stuff instead of just when we have an immediate injury. BEST investment I ever made, and those physical therapists are much cheaper than the trainers anyway ($16 per visit versus about $60!).

I think I am canceling my membership at that club and going to another place that is 1/3 the price and will add my kids at a much cheaper rate too. They also have rewards for workouts, less snooty people, and classes on demand. So, I can have a class at a time that fits my schedule (i.e. in the afternoon versus right in the middle of my best writing time in the mornings). The only drawback is NO POOL, but I think if I train for a triathlon again, I will just go to the aquatic center and get a nice pass for the time I will train for it.

So, I really think I am on the mend to the pre-November 2010 body. I still am not tracking my food intake. That is, by far, the hardest thing for me to do! But I am very faithful to get daily exercise and am not overeating, but I could lose 5-10 pounds still!

Perfect. I am done! Thirty minutes of freewrite today. No proofreading but pressing!

52 in 52 Week 57: Love's Greatest Gift: A Christmas Novella

I got this as an Early Reviewer book off of LibraryThing.com and promised a review. It is the author's second foray, and I have been in the mood for Christmas reading. So it was perfect to read on this dark Saturday before Thanksgiving. I also wanted to get this review out so that others could be encouraged to read it during the Christmas season. 

It is a simple, sweet novella; perfect for a cozy read next to a fire during the Christmas season. The mystery part is pretty easy to figure out and a bit contrived and unbelievable (The parents couldn't find their daughter for 15 years in today's world when she went by the same name and was only a state away?), but I still wanted to keep reading because I wanted to know how it would all turn out. That is a sign of a good writer.  

I will read the first novel in the series now!

52 in 52 Week 47: Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

This was a read for a new book club that I just joined. It is a simple and easy book, and the writing is pretty good. I loved the back story centered around England leading up to and through World World War I better than the actual mystery. The mystery wasn't that clever and pretty predictable, but I suppose it was hard to get through Maisie's back story and a current mystery in one book. 

It is interesting to note that I had started The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowlings before Maisie Dobbs, but I had to put it down because it was TOO CRUDE! I thought the writing was better in Maisie Dobbs too! 

52 in 52 Week 47: No Easy Day by Mark Owen

Interesting to read this on the heels of reading Argo and the failed attempt (Operation Eagle Claw) to rescue the 52 hostages in Tehran in 1980. This man's anti-terrorism unit was created in response to that failed mission:
"After the mission, the Navy identified a need for a force capable of successfully executing those kind of specialized missions and tapped Richard Marcinko to develop a maritime counter-terrorism unit called SEAL Team Six. The team practiced hostage rescue as well as infiltrating enemy countries, ships, naval bases, and oil rigs. Over time, missions branched out to counter-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction." p. 17
This eventually became DEVGRU (United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group) which was the author's unit that killed Obama. Since September 11, it has gone to Afghanistan and Iraq to target al Queda and Taliban commanders. They are also the guys who rescued Jessica Lynch in 2003.

I have to admit that I am not a military gal. So, I sort of skimmed over all the military stuff and got to the meat of the book on page 157. That is my biggest criticism of the book. You think you are getting the firsthand account, but you will notice by the title after No Easy Day on the book cover above that it is followed by this: The Autobiography of a Navy Seal. Other than a little "teaser" at the beginning about the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden (URL in the book), you get Owen's autobiography, and I found that pretty boring. There were too many details and acronyms! The pictures were of helmets and guns and things in his kit. For military people, it might be interesting, but it wasn't interesting to me. So I skimmed. (I reserve the right to skim, by the way.)

Reading the teaser in the beginning and then skipping to page 157 would be totally acceptable. I loved the book from then on. Well . . . you cannot really "love" a book that talks about killing people, but the story is very compelling, and I couldn't put it down from that point on.

I have read some reviews stating that Mark is egotistical, and it is all about him, but I disagree. He just gives you the facts about his mission. And my hat is off to those Navy SEALS! My goodness, I couldn't imagine doing something like that.

I was confused about one thing: Owen states that they were given orders not to kill Obama and take him as a prisoner if he did not put up a fight. Others in the compound did draw weapons and they were killed, but Mark points out that Osama did not even have a loaded gun in the room. Why did the "point" kill him then? I was confused about that.

I don't disagree that Osama was to be brought to justice for his HORRIBLE Hitler-like crimes, but I will never forget taking a walk with Shelly and Sandy before sitting down to watch The Amazing Race that Sunday evening in May and coming home to the news reports instead. Shelly and I could not rejoice over anyone's death, even Osama's.

I thought it was interesting that Owen mentioned that none of the SEALS were Obama fans emphasizing that Obama took WAY more credit for the mission than he deserved to. (Basically it was in the works, and Obama just approved it at the very end with no input along the way. Interesting that he took no responsibility for the lack of security and protection of the U.S. Embassy in Libya in September 2012, but I digress.) Owen states that Osama being killed on Obama's watch would reelect him (even though he had very little to do with it). I read Owen's words right after Obama had won the White House for the second term. SIGH.

I also don't have a problem with him coming out and telling the story. There was so much MISINFORMATION (Laughed about his making fun of Chris Cuomo's report on ABC - ABC News inaccurate? Really? LOL!) that he felt he needed to set the record straight without compromising security. I believe he succeeded in doing that.

52 in 52 Week 47: Argo by Antonio Mendez

I love it when a book gives you a personal story within a major event in history. This is the story of the "exfiltration" of six Americans who escaped before the take over of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran in 1979. They found refuge in the Canadian Embassy, and Mendez concocts a scheme to get them out of the country by having them pose as a film crew for a science fiction movie called Argo.

I had seen the movie by Ben Affleck, and this book gave me the background. Some reviewers have not liked all the detail, but I LOVED all the background and history that the movie cannot give you. And, of course, the Hollywood version adds more suspense and drama than actually happened, but that is OK with me (It is a great movie)! 

I highly recommend this book even though it does have some bad language. 

52 in 52 Week 47: Peace by Aristophanes

I love this book cover (I read the free Kindle version). 

This play by Aristophanes is about war and it unsavoriness.  It involves a dung beetle carrying Trygaeus, an old Athenian, to the home of the gods, Mount Olympus, so that Zeus can save Athens. When he gets there he find the god of War in charge and the goddess of Peace buried. Tragaeus saves the day by digging up Peace. 

YAY!

52 in 52 Week 47: The Clouds by Aristophanes

I thought this was on my list, but it was not, but it was pretty painless to read. This play is referenced to in Plato's Apology as contributing to the trial and execution of Socrates. Since I read Apology recently, it was valuable to read this play. 

This play involves a father who is enraged by his son's spendthrift ways. He begs him to enroll in a school to learn about esoteric science and sophistry in order to outwit his creditors in court. 

What is sophistry?

soph•ist•ry \ˈsä-fə-strē\ noun
(14th century)
1 : subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation
2 : sophism 1


soph•ism \ˈsä-ˌfi-zəm\ noun
(15th century)
1 : an argument apparently correct in form but actually invalid; especially : such an argument used to deceive

 Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. (10th ed.). 

Here is a summary from Wikipedia: 
Faced with legal action for non-payment of debts, Strepsiades, an elderly Athenian, enrolls his son in the "thinkeria" (the "Phrontisterion") so that he might learn the rhetorical skills necessary to defeat their creditors in court. The son thereby learns cynical disrespect for social mores and contempt for authority and he subsequently beats his father up during a domestic argument, in return for which Strepsiades sets The Thinkery on fire. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Clouds
This is about the battle between old and new ideas. Socrates is portrayed unfavorably in this play as a thief, fraud, and sophist, and there is strong support that it did contribute to his demise!









52 in 52 Week 47: The Frogs by Aristophanes


I am now going to complete the Invitation to the Classics List (see link for the complete list in the "pages" section above) . I started it in 2002 (this week, in fact). I was hoping it would help me to teach a high school literature class when my kids got in high school, but I ended up facilitating a literature class using material from www.thelmaslibrary.com instead. I also opted for my personal reading to come from The Well-Educated Mind when it came out in 2003. 

But it has always been in my mind to get back to this list, and now is the time. After this NO MORE LISTS! (My husband says he will believe it when he sees it.) 

I love the Invitation to the Classics List because it asks questions from a Christian worldview and the list includes many devotional classics that I have always wanted to read. In fact, I read books from this list when I just couldn't take another depressing, hopeless, modern book from the 100 Great Books List. LOL!


I know Aristophanes' comedies are not Christian, but Invitation to the Classics says: 
His fundamental vision . . . is profoundly spiritual. Aristophanes was the first to see the full implications of comedy -- to recognize that the comic imagination is essential in the movement toward hope and love. In fact, as he shows, those who choose a comic sprightliness and optimism in difficult situations are thereby enabled to renounce self-absorption and hence to endure and prevail.

My back was ailing, and I needed some books I could listen to while laying on my table with a heating pad over my back. Aristophanes is on the list of people to tackle from the Invitation to the Classics list, and it was free on my Kindle. So, I plunged into it. I had read Birds for the Well-Educated Mind list, and it was easy to follow. This was also easy to follow. Aristophanes was the one who got Socrates in trouble and is referred to in Plato's Apology (more on that when I review The Clouds next week).

Aristophanes is very accessible. So, do not let his Greek name scare you. My son read him before I did for a homeschool classical literature class, and he thought he was hilarious. I'll tell you why when I review The Clouds next week (two things to look forward to). 

Here is a bit on the author that will carry into the next three weeks of Greek comedies that I will be reviewing: 


Aristophanes, the greatest of comic writers in Greek and in the opinion of many, in any language, is the only one of the Attic comedians any of whose works has survived in complete form He was born in Athens about the middle of the fifth century B C, and had his first comedy produced when he was so young that his name was withheld on account of his youth. He is credited with over forty plays, eleven of which survive, along with the names and fragments of some twenty-six others. His satire deal with political, religious, and literary topics, and with all its humor and fancy is evidently the outcome of profound conviction and a genuine patriotism. The Attic comedy was produced at the festivals of Dionysus, which were marked by great license, and to this, rather than to the individual taste of the poet, must be ascribed the undoubted coarseness of many of the jests. Aristophanes seems, indeed, to have been regarded by his contemporaries as a man of noble character. He died shortly after the production of his "Plutus," in 388 B. C.  
Here is a bit about this particular play: 
"The Frogs" was produced the year after the death of Euripides, and laments the decay of Greek tragedy which Aristophanes attributed to that writer. It is an admirable example of the brilliance of his style, and of that mingling of wit and poetry with rollicking humor and keen satirical point which is his chief characteristic. Here, as elsewhere, he stands for tradition against innovation of all kinds, whether in politics, religion, or art. The hostility to Euripides displayed here and in several other plays, like his attacks on Socrates, is a result of this attitude of conservatism. The present play is notable also as a piece of elaborate if not over-serious literary criticism from the pen of a great poet.
(Aristophanes (2012-05-16). The Frogs (Kindle Locations 12-16).  . Kindle Edition.) 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Audrey Assad Quote Rocks

I could not agree more with this statement. Thus why I continue my pursuit of the "Well-Educated Mind." It is all about that balance baby!



"Feed your soul with as much beautiful art as you can find. Consider those things which are generally regarded as classic, beautiful, and important. It has long been my belief that certain works of art or pieces of literature rise to prominence and remain there because they possess an unique or timely insight into what it means to be human. Read great books--look at great paintings--listen to great music."

She is the best songwriter and singer!

Free Write from a Well-Watered Soul

Setting the timer for 20 today. Refer to the rules and shutter when you see all my errors, but don't judge! Try a free write yourself. They are so fun!

Well-Watered Soul 
From a Bible Book Club reader:
Just finshing up a year long study of the Old Testament with Carol Ann Weaver. She said I would look at advent hymns with new eyes after studying the OT in its entirety and boy! was she right! Meditating on the words of "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" and "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" (one of my favorites!)...can't wait for Advent this year!
Thus why I do this crazy thing called the Bible Book Club and why I am writing a twenty minute free write today. 

It makes all the long hours worth every single millisecond. I stood there making my tea this morning, and God was saying, "YES! This is why I have put this crazy idea in your heart and mind." I see no other way we can really know God than to read what He has said to us about Himself. Sure, you have to struggle through His wrath and see the consequences to seemingly innocent people, but we must struggle through that wrath to really understand His mercy.

My soul is well-watered this morning. I had this Holy Spirit twinge that has not subsided since I awoke to this delightful message on Facebook. What a rewarding journey the Bible Book Club has been for me. (I am going through a brain blip right now, but the rules of free writing saying that I do not remove my fingers from the keys. It is a Holy Spirit raptures kind of brain blip though. I am basically having this soothing peace inside my heart. It is warm right in the center of my chest, and I know He is right here with me as I type. I know that some people believe that God is dead, but NOPE, He is very much alive. There is NO DOUBT in my mind that He is 100% real and true, and I wish more people knew - Thus why the Bible Book Club is there).

Claudia was so sweet to tell another person at our Imagine Coffee and Conversation time yesterday why I do the Bible Book Club, and how great it will be for it to be there "in perpetuity" once I finally finish this second cycle in December of 2013. 

What an all-consuming time thing it has been, but I would not trade the time for all the tea in China (and I really like tea, by the way). It has fed my soul, and I always miss it when I take breaks. I have taken some breaks this year (more than all the other years ), and it has been good for my back and fitness to walk and pray more this year than other years (although I try to do that daily).

Anyway, this reader's post on Facebook made me SO excited for CHRISTMAS! I had forgotten that I had posted two advent hymns in today's post until she posted on Facebook. It made me go to Handel's Messiah posts, and I cannot wait until I go through Messiah again starting the day after Thanksgiving. I think I went through it four times last Advent season, and it was such a "near to God" time for me. I had those songs in my head as I awoke every morning. 

I love this well-watered life, Lord. Thanks for being Living Water, Jesus. You are really real, and You came to do what You said You would do: GIVE US LIFE ABUNDANTLY!

OK, here is a free-write side note that is maybe along that line: why is the divorce rate higher among evangelical Christians than both mainline denominations AND atheists and agnostics then? I just reread some of my posts for 1 Corinthians (working ahead), and I read the Barna Group statistics on that one, and I am flummoxed. Having this abundant life marriage myself, it is hard to fathom, but George is walking with God, and I honestly think that most evangelicals think they have it but they don't even know that half of it. I am not saying that arrogantly or in a "Neener, neener neener, I have it, and you don't" kind of way. I say it with sadness in my heart. There might be a wife that really gets it, and a husband who is barely living that kind of life or visa-versa. George says it is more the husband being "barely" there as a husband and father when it comes to walking with God. He has seen it in the failing marriages that are so prevalent all around us in our churches.

Really not a "I have it and they don't" kind of thing. People just don't get the GOOD NEWS. Seriously. We don't get why Jesus died. We don't get this amazing MERCY we have been given. And we are "prone to wander" and "leave the God we love" at every turn in our lives. That is why I write so furiously everyday to say, "STAY here in His Word. It isn't just a "trifle" for us. It is our "life" (quoting Moses' final word to the Israelites.).

And it isn't that much of a sacrifice.

Twenty minutes. Done. Press without Proofreading!




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Definition of a Free Write

I used Free writing while home educating my children. Sometimes (maybe most of the time), they really disliked it. I found it more effective for me than them. So, I have adopted it as a way to get what is on my heart down on paper (or in the computer) before I start writing in the mornings. Most of what I write is pretty "G" rated, and I am fine with others reading it, but this is not a public blog accessible on any search engines. Most would have to be connected to it some way, and I have been surprised at who is reading. Sometimes people come up to me at church and say, "What you wrote really helped me cope with this or that."  I have no idea how they found my blog!

I really understand the rules of writing and grammar and am an excellent speller. That said, I often type so fast that I do not notice all those things as I let my fingers fly. 

ADDITION: I think my kids like their free writes. As Paul was writing his ten page research paper for college this week, he told me what he would do during free writes in a favorable light. By the way, one of his college instructors told him he was the best writer in his class of 30. So, I am a big proponent of free writes and the www.bravewriter.com methods!

Here is a Definition of a Freewrite from Wikipedia:

Free writing is a prewriting technique in which a person writes continuously for a set period of time without regard to spelling, grammar, or topic. It produces raw, often unusable material, but helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and self-criticism. It is used mainly by prose writers and writing teachers.[1][2] Some writers use the technique to collect initial thoughts and ideas on a topic, often as a preliminary to formal writing. Free writing is not the same as automatic writing.


History

Peter Elbow advanced freewriting in his book Writing Without Teachers (1975), and it has been popularized by Julia Cameron through her book The Artist's Way (1992).
Natalie Goldberg principles to develop freewriting encouraged in undergraduate and creative writing programs. Writing practice encourages the writer to be aware of their thoughts throughout the writing practice, and may be an end unto itself, rather than a means to produce a more polished piece. (Carol: that would be me. I am not writing for polish or publication.) 

[edit]Technique

The technique involves continuous writing, usually for a predetermined period of time (often five to fifteen minutes). The writer writes without regard to spelling, grammar, etc., and makes no corrections. If the writer reaches a point where they can't think of anything to write, they write that they can't think of anything, until they find another line of thought. The writer freely strays off topic, letting thoughts lead where they may. At times, a writer may also do a focused freewrite, letting a chosen topic structure their thoughts. Expanding from this topic, the thoughts may stray to make connections and create more abstract views on the topic. This technique helps a writer explore a particular subject before putting ideas into a more basic context.
Freewriting is often done on a daily basis as a part of the writer's daily routine. Also, students in many writing courses are assigned to do such daily writing exercises.

[edit]Definition

Free writing is based on a presumption that, while everybody has something to say and the ability to say it, the mental wellspring may be blocked by apathy, self-criticism, resentment, anxiety about deadlines, fear of failure or censure, or other forms of resistance. The accepted rules of free-writing enable a writer to build up enough momentum to blast past blocks into uninhibited flow, the concept outlined by writing teachers such as Louise DunlapPeter Elbow, and Natalie Goldberg.[3]
Free-writing is all about loosening and limbering the thought process, not about a product or a performance for a student or a writer.[4][5]

[edit]Use in education

Often free-writing workshops focus on self-expression, and are sometimes even used in teaching to elementary school children. There is no common consensus on the acceptance of this technique.[6]

[edit]Rules

Here are the essential rules that are often formulated for the beginners or students, often a paraphrase of Natalie Goldberg's "Rules for Free Writing," [7][8] often referred as Natalie Goldberg's first four rules of writing[9][10]:
  • Give yourself a time limit. Write for one or ten or twenty minutes, and then stop.
  • Keep your hand moving until the time is up. Do not pause to stare into space or to read what you've written. Write quickly but not in a hurry.
  • Pay no attention to grammar, spelling, punctuation, neatness, or style. Nobody else needs to read what you produce here. The correctness and quality of what you write do not matter; the act of writing does.
  • If you get off the topic or run out of ideas, keep writing anyway. If necessary, write nonsense or whatever comes into your head, or simply scribble: anything to keep the hand moving.
  • If you feel bored or uncomfortable as you're writing, ask yourself what's bothering you and write about that.
  • When the time is up, look over what you've written, and mark passages that contain ideas or phrases that might be worth keeping or elaborating on in a subsequent free-writing session.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

52 in 52 Week 46 : The Harmony of the Gospels: New American Standard Version


2 - HarmonyI finished this months ago, but I was comparing my list at LibraryThing to this Blog list for 52 in 52, and I had forgotten to include this in my list of reading. 

From January to Easter I wrote a blog called The Gospel Harmony Book Club that takes a person chronologically through all four gospels. I coordinated it with the days of the Holy Week too (From Jesus' arrival in Bethany through His entry into Jerusalem to Resurrection Sunday). It was written in a "Beta" form with the intention of REALLY using it for an alternative way of reading the Bible in YEAR THREE of the BBC (Bible Book Club) next year, but it got almost 2300 page views in 88 posts!  Go figure! I am not sure how people knew about it. I might have linked it to my Facebook page, but I cannot remember (By the way, if you want to friend me on Facebook, I am Carol Ann Weaver, just tell me that you know me from this blog since I don't know your name). 

Anyway, the Harmony of the Gospels book is my "spine" with minor variations from it. It makes reading this way easier because you do not have to flip back and forth within your Bible to "harmonize" the four Gospels. For more of an explanation of reading the Gospels in "stereo" see my post HERE. I hope everyone can read through the Gospels this way at least once in their life. Also, I think reading through the Bible chronologically is a very worthwhile thing to do, and this is my preferred way of reading through it. The Bible Book Club does a semi-chronological approach in that I insert Psalms and Prophets according to where they fall in the Bible history, but I do it so that you read the whole prophetic book in one chunk since most don't want to buy a chronological Bible (although they are pretty cheap and good to have). 

I had originally purchased this book in the New International Version because I thought that was the only way you could buy it, but I stumbled across this version somewhere along the way and snatched it up. New American Standard is my preferred version since it is a word-for-word translation whereas the New International Version is a thought-for-thought translation. It is much more convenient to have a word-for-word when doing in-depth study of Hebrew and Greek words, which I LOVE to do. :) 

By the way, the Bible Book Club was born on Christmas Day 2007. My mom had died earlier that month, and I knew that I would have more freedom time-wise because of this and the fact that my kids were more independent in their homeschooling (7th and 9th grade). 

I had always dreamed of helping people to read the Bible like they do books for their book club (I was in two at the time). Why can we read a 200-400 page book every month but not read the Bible that was only 1200 pages? Why don't we just get together and discuss it like it were 66 non-fiction books?

I also saw how the "Read the Bible in a Year" books and programs on the market were doing more to hinder Bible reading because people would feel defeated if they couldn't do it in a year. Who said we have to do it in one year? Why not do it slowly? (You can read "How the Bible Book Club Came to Be" to hear my funny story about my own struggle to read through the Bible at all, let alone in a year. :) 

The Bible Book Club is a SLOW way to read through it in three years. It isn't in-depth study, but it isn't a daily sprint of reading like the a "one year" Bible either. I give a . . . 


Background - I try to anticipate where people might not understand what is going on, but it isn't a comprehensive commentary. 

Reflection - It is basically my devotional time journal for all the world to see. 

Application - "The Scriptures were not given to increase our knowledge but to change our lives" (D.L. Moody). Life with God is all about "Obedience-Based Discipleship" something I learned in The Navigators as a very young believer. How will your life change as a result of reading this passage? I just give how I am applying it that day, but you can apply it any way you want! 

Prayer - To wrap it up and give it to God!

It comes out to be 1-2 chapters of reading each day with an even slower pace when we get to YEAR THREE New Testament. Then, we do a little deeper study since we have less pages to read that year. 

I am on my second cycle through this, and it has been so good with people all over the world reading it (Over 115,000 page views not including people in closed countries who are sent it by email since they cannot access it on the internet).  It has been so FUN and FULFILLING! 

Anyone reading this is welcome to join for YEAR THREE or go back to Genesis with posts already on the blog!

The Bible is my FAVORITE book!!!!  

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Thursday Freewrite Fifteen

I had a good study in Romans with Rachel early this morning, and I had some calls to make afterward. I am finally getting down to writing. 

This is my "calm before the storm" as I will have Bene, childhood friend, coming at about 3:45 pm today and staying through Sunday. I have two other friends coming from out of town but not staying with me. Wondering how it will all work out with seeing people. It is the 40th anniversary for TITLE IX women's sports, and there is a big "Parade of Champions" Banquet tomorrow with 450 people at Reiser Stadium. I am dreading the big crowd, but I am glad I am participating being that my weekend guest is attending.


I hope to get a bit of writing done this morning. Then it is off to Hilda's Master's defense (must check to see where I am going). After that, I need to shop and get home before Bene comes in the door. I hoped to get a workout in, but maybe Bene and I can go for a hike when she gets here. Wish we could ride bikes, but she is too short for all of our bikes. LOL! Maybe I can borrow one from Kathleen.

I had a shock in that my blood sugar was at the high range for this last blood test. I called Kim, my R.D. friend today, and she said, "I usually tell people when they are high to exercise at least 150 minutes a week and lose 7% of their body weight. You are already doing that and don't need to lose weight." So, I think it was probably all the "more than normal" sweets you were eating due to social events."  I really had been eating a LOT more ice cream than I usually do. So, she wasn't too concerned. Another suggestion she made is go back to just Splenda in my tea. I had been drinking more tea with sugar lately which is something I also NEVER do. I was just experimenting with taste combination. 

I did the second stage test and had not been eating sweets prior. Oh, she also said that it can spike if you have been sick, and I was sick going into that blood test and wondered if I should even go. I had some flu-like symptoms all week. Kim wasn't too concerned because she knows my lifestyle. So, that made me feel much better.

I have not run all week and have just done fitness walking, and my back feels fantastic. I think I really am done with running for good. It is good for my cardio but bad for my back. Hiking seems to be a good alternative. Really gets me pumping but not jarring.

What else is new? I cannot remember. Oh, I am writing that novel for NANOWRIMO and doing a lousy job of keeping up. It seems like it has just gotten too busy. 

Well, I better get to writing before I have to go to the defense (And find a parking place near campus. UGH!). 

Fun Giveaway on the Last Day

For all you Peacemaking Women~

http://www.tarabarthel.com/foundational-peacemaking-principles-that-i-mentioned-on-wellspring-radio-today-and-a-giveaway/#comments

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Monday, November 05, 2012

Freewrite Fifteen

Well-Watered Soul

The most extraordinary thing happened on Friday. I was busy with other things, but the doorbell rang. I must admit, usually I check from the upper window to see who it is, if it is those really pushy door-to-door people (The last one rang the doorbell over and over in succession at the first attempt to rouse me and then ran into the street so he could move on to the next house if I didn't answer the door.  I thought that was so rude that I didn't answer the door), I don't answer it. I didn't check and had two sweet Latter-Day Saints gentleman at my door. They are so sweet compared to the Jehovah's Witnesses whom I invited into my home, and they proceeded to call me an idolator and refused to pray with me when I asked them, telling me they couldn't pray with people like me.

What was so extraordinary was the way our conversation evolved. I just let the Lord tell me when to listen and when and what to speak. It was lovely. I really felt Him speaking to me like a mic in an ear that the newscasters wear.

I have had that happen briefly in those kinds of conversations, but this time it was continuous. I think we talked for 45 minutes. I had no fear or frustration. Only peace. I like that.

Well-Educated Mind

I went to the library and got a stack of books after I talked to the LDS missionaries. I really do not know why in that I have other books I am reading, but it seems that all my holds came up. Most are not due for one month, but No Easy Day by one of the Seals who shot Bin Laden came up, and that is a two week check out with no hope of renewal. So, I will read that and read the other ones AFTER I am done with Middlemarch. I am 70% of the way through listening to it, and I LOVE IT! I am so glad I finally read this after years of having it on my "to read" list. I don't care what anyone says: It is superb and one of the best books I have ever read.

The other books were: Reading Lolita in Tehran, Casual Vacancy, and Leap of Faith. We will get around to them when we get round to them.

Well-Adjusted Heart

It is great to be healthy in heart. Loving it and wanting to spread the health. I will be doing Theophostic with some women in the near future.

Well-Tuned Strength

Here is the newest revelation: I am definitely not built for running.

Basically, that is what my brother-in-law said in not so many words. He didn't come out and say it, but as he adjusted what I thought was a "not to out" back, he mentioned my abnormalities that make the jarring of running added to the pulling and twisting that my body (especially my pelvic hip flexor compensation stuff) does because of how it is congenitally formed makes running really counterproductive for my overall health.

SIGH.

What I love about running is that it burns the calories quick. I love how it pushes my cardio to the next level. BUT it doesn't do a bit of good if it makes me have pain and go to the chiropractor or Paul when I do too much of it.

So, I am giving it up. Maybe I will walk 5K and 10K's. I cannot even walk fast because of the way my pelvis twists when I walk. That explains why I can be in great shape and smoke everyone in swimming and biking, but I can never increase my speed in running no matter how good of shape I am in.

It also explains how Paula told me my right foot does this weird thing and turns in as I run while watching me run around the track last year. It is because my pelvis turns in.

I am a mess from the waist down, and it is a miracle I ever played basketball at all.

SIGH.

But walking is so good for me. I love it. I just have to do more of it to burn the same number of calories, and you know, I could just cut down on my eating to maintain my weight (which is pretty consistent these days, although I would like to be 5-10 pounds down).

There is the timer. No proofreading!

Old Herbaceous

This was a sweet story about a gardener in England from the time he was a boy to an old man. It made me cry it was so short and sweet.  Here...