Thursday, November 11, 2010

Return to Triangle Island!!

Almost sounds sinister, doesn't it?

Mr. Claraspet and I cleaned and moved around my sewing room so that things are set up better. I love my new setup, and now that the Davis NVF is cleaned and ready to go with a new lift cable, I'm getting ready to start quilting.

This is a Davis New Vertical Feed for those who have never seen one. They're wonderful machines. They have no feed dogs, but feed with the needle and a walking foot. Mine is from around 1914-1915, give or take a couple years. I bought it from a friend, who found a much earlier Vertical Feed (ca 1880s) and who didn't really have room for both (and who took pity on me who wanted one!) The earlier Vertical Feeds seem to be a little bit quieter, but I still love mine, noisy or not! (And yes, that's a piano in the background. I have a whole sitting room in with all 15 or so treadles.)

I would have been quilting the Triangle Island quilts sooner, but I had a small mishap with the lift chain. I found out the hard way that part of it was broken. It took awhile to find a heavier chain that would fit, and I hope this is strong enough.

If you've forgotten about Triangle Island, here's one link

and I know I posted a few times about it. I think it was last year.

Anyone know what the weather's like on Triangle Island?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My 8 year old gets it

Tonight was the W.O.R.S.H.I.P. experience. NEW!! EXCITING!!!

"Here I am to worship; Here I am to bow down" "...all I am never cease to worship You" "I sing for joy" "I am Yours" "I just want to say Thank You Lord" "I'll praise the Lord"

I, I, I, I, I......

You know, one song wasn't so bad. The "New Doxology." At least there was reference to the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. In church I puzzled over why it was called the "NEW" Doxology.... What's wrong with the old? It just dawned on me that in the OLD Doxology we sing "Praise God from whom all blessing flow/ Praise Him all creatures here below/ Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts/ Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." That's it. Finis. In the NEW Doxology we find additions, many of them, and most of them perfectly fine, until we get to "... I'll praise the One..."

See, in this contemporary stuff, there has to be "me." "I" do this, "I" do that, "I am" and so on.

Anyway, back to my 8-year-old. I asked him what church was about tonight. He said "that we should thank God for everything."
"Like what?"
"The world and everything we have and all that."
"What else?
"Hmmm," at this point he's really thinking hard. "Jesus."
"What did you hear about Jesus?"
At this point I showed him the picture of the Crucifixion window at church, and he jumped on it.
"We never heard to thank God for sending Jesus to die for us! Or for His resurrection!"

He got it.

There might be subtle references to Jesus' death and resurrection in this contemporary stuff, but they are so lost in the "I" that they are very easy to miss.

I'll leave alone the Theology of Glory stuff in it for tonight. However, compare this with the "I" stuff:

He brings me to the portal/That leads to bliss untold/ Whereon this rime immortal/
Is found in script of gold:/ "Who there My cross hath shared/Finds here a crown prepared;/
Who there with Me has died/Shall here be glorified." (Paul Gerhardt)

'Nuff said.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Quote of the Day

"A congregation that takes care of its own cannot help but raise up people who will take care of their neighbors' needs." Rev. Matthew Harrison

Read the rest here:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Christ-less Christian Radio

So what do you call "Christian Radio" which doesn't mention Christ?

I'm still trying to figure that out.

On my way to the bookstore today I put on the popular "Christian" radio station I hear about at church. So many people tell me how great it is, and since I had a long trip, I thought it might be enjoyable.

First speaker told everyone how God wants us to enjoy life. We have to enjoy life and enjoy what we do. In fact, I learned she wants to die preaching. Hey, that's great, but there was no Jesus, no dying on the cross for our salvation, no forgiveness of sins.

Next was a sermon from a church. "Hey, this has got to be better," I thought. Well..... I guess it was, in that Jesus was actually mentioned by name -- twice -- in Bible readings. The rest of it was how to live your life to the fullest, and didn't reference the readings.

Then the third program started. By this point, I was switching stations without thinking about it, then I made the conscious effort to go back because "all those people can't be wrong, can they?" (This is about the time I recall my mom saying, "If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?")

Well, thankfully I got to the bookstore. I couldn't take any more. At that point, I'd been listening for an hour to a station that claims to be "Christian" radio, and not once had I heard ANYTHING about Jesus Christ and what he has done for me. Oh, I'd heard about what I could do FOR God, but I can't be sure which god was being talked about. Most of the time, God was assumed, and it was all about YOU and what YOU do. Law.

I couldn't go back to that station after I was done at the bookstore. I'd heard nothing but Law, and nary a drop of the Gospel to soften it. Just like what's going on where I go to church. People are demanding to be fed Law. Anyone who points out that "worship" -- how I detest that term, it should be Divine Service -- isn't about YOU, is labelled, marked, and avoided. And eavesdropped upon. I'm waiting to see if intimidation is next.

I'm surprised that no one has yet talked about selling the stained glass windows to pay off our debt. Some of our members find our crucifixion window offensive. I feel sorry for them. Christ-less radio, Christ-less church, and what is there to Christianity if there's no Christ?


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Confessional not Conservative, thank you

I was called a "Conservative" today.

Usually, that's not a problem. Politically, I'm a conservative. I'm OK with that, or I wouldn't be one. However, when it comes to church, I'm not a conservative. I'm a confessional.

A confessional Lutheran holds to the teachings in the Book of Concord. All of them. A conservative doesn't necessarily do that. Most conservatives look confessional on the outside, until you listen to them. A conservative will want to keep something in church because "it's always been done like that." A confessional looks at the practise and asks, "No matter if it's always been like that, is it correct?" A conservative, and I know this as my mother is one, can sit through a self-help sermon and think it's just fine, whereas a confessional leaves asking, "Where was Jesus?"

At my church there is currently a push for a "new style of worship." I appear to be in the minority on this issue (big whopping surprise.) The push is that we have to get current, we have to do this stuff and spend money we don't have to get more people into church. It's being called "blended," and I still have not heard what blended worship is. (Likely because there isn't such a thing.) There's even an advertising acronym WORSHIP: Welcoming, Offering ourselves, Responding, Serving, HONORING, Inspiring, Praising. Sounds great, doesn't it?

Except for one thing: Worship isn't about me or what I do. It's about what GOD does FOR me. That's why the proper term is "Divine Service." Church isn't about ME, it's about JESUS for me.

That's why I will not subject my kids to this "blended" stuff. My kids deserve only the best, and that best is found in liturgy and sacraments. The best isn't to be found in worship that is all about "me." And a worship service which is being sold under the above acronym doesn't sound very Christ-centered or Cross-focused, now does it?

I have been assured that this "blended" W.O.R.S.H.I.P. will be just as good as the "traditional" worship services. If it's anything like today's service, that won't be saying much. Today we had a self-help sermon that only mentioned Jesus by name at the end ONCE, and most of the hymns had us the congregation as the subject of the verbs, not Jesus.

In 1946 Hermann Sasse wrote: "What would have come of the fourth and fifth centuries if, for the sake of the mission task, it [the church] had not battled through the Arian and Nestorian controversies, if Arian, Homoious, Nestorian, Monophysite, Pelagian, and followers of Augustine had allowed themselves to simply be united in one great ecclesiastical communion? ...Today the church would simply no longer exist. The church would have been ruined. Just like a man whose kidneys no longer eliminate poisons which have accumulated in the body will die, so the church will die which no longer eliminates heresy."

Hermann Sasse not only lived to see the end of Lutheran orthodoxy in Germany, but also to have to leave Germany in order to keep his conscience clear. I pray that I should not be put into the same position, but if I should be, then I pray that I am given the strength to stand as a witness as Sasse did.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm still here!!!

Yes, I really am still here! I think....

After my last post, we started having internet "issues." So when the phone company called with a deal I couldn't refuse for high speed internet, I said, "Let's do it!" Hahahahaha, little did I know what the next 3 months would bring.....

First, they tried to hook us up and then proceeded to tell us that the phone lines were too old. (Our lines date to the 1940s-50). Then I got another call trying to sell us the high speed internet. I told them that it couldn't be done, and the rep did the line test and claimed that there was sufficient signal. Attempt #2 ended with the service tech informing me (on my front porch) that they couldn't hook us up since the phone lines could only handle so much data transfer, and the two neighbors next to me were sucking the signal up. (No, really, and I live in one of 4 houses in a mile stretch.) However, he at least put a work order in to update the lines, and they took down the two old phone lines to the house and put one new one up.

Attempt #3 started off much as #2. Phone company called trying to sell the service, and I told them I wasn't falling for that line. Then I proceeded to inform them that I was more than willing to pay for it, but they couldn't bloody well get it to me. "Oh, no, we show that you have full connection." "Sorry, I don't believe you. I've heard that 3 times now, and they can't get it here because the phone lines are too old." To make a long story short, after having to call 2 more times and re-initiate installation service (since the phone company's computer automatically cancels the work order after 10 days), finally someone succeeded. However, it took him 4 hours longer since the update at the box hadn't been done the week before like it was supposed to.

After 3 months we finally got hooked up and got much faster service -- just in time for the garden to hit. So I've been hanging in the garden most of my time, battling the Colorado Potato Beetle and whatever critter who decided to eat the tops off my wax beans.

I've still got the Triangle Island quilts ready to quilt, but I had to sneak in a repair to my Davis NVF. The cable snapped. Try replacing a chain cable from 1915. I'm also planning the "Walk through History" at church, and I'm working on my gear for that. In other words, I have way too much going on and not enough time to do it. I can't wait for school to start next week!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Garden Fever

We've had such nice weather lately that I've had to keep reminding myself it's only March. I am so ready to be out in the garden every day!

I decided Wednesday would be a good day to dig my parsnips. I'm putting new seed in this year, and I don't want any straglers taking up room where I don't have it. So Pauli and I started digging. We dug, and dug, and dug, and about the time we thought we'd found the last one, the chickens scratched a couple more up. This is what the catch looked like when we stopped:

Notice I didn't say we finished. We stopped. I think the chickens have found a few more since then. That's about 2/3 rds of a bushel in that wagon. Good thing we like parsnips.

The cold has come back, so it's back to calculus for me. Probably not a bad thing, because I'm really itching to be out planting.

Here's hoping that this March isn't a repeat of the March of 1933!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Update and Apologies

So here it is March, and I'm just now getting back to blog. Internet problems have been part of the problem. The rest was a computer virus that I'm still recovering from. Well, OK, honestly, the rest is below.

I've been working on Triangle Island, and I'm nearing photo stage. I spent a really ticked-off Sunday afternoon kicking out the majority of it. Then I discovered that it was 4 rows too long, so I took 4 rows off which is for another quilt (because I just can't work on one at a time!)

For two years in a row now, I've spent March 16 planting my tomato seeds. It's kinda early here, but I've had enough success that I'm not too worried. Besides, as nice as the weather has been here (60s today) that I'm about crawling up the wall waiting for the last blast of Winter. I love winter, but I love Spring, too! Fall is my favorite season, but that's because I'm a Fall baby.

Somewhere along the line I've discovered something very disturbing. My life mirrors that of my favorite comic strip Foxtrot. To those who know me, that shouldn't be much of a surprise. I mean, Jason Fox and I have a lot in common when it comes to science and math. (Sorry, the only iguana I like is Quincy -- and that's because he's a cartoon.) I lived vicariously through Jason in 1998 when he was at Camp Bohrmore (where you go to get more Bohr!), but then there's that disturbing part. In an effort to forget the things going on in my life that I can't blog about, I went to Bill Amend's old site (I'm probably the only person left to go there) to play Foxcentration and Burp-a-long Fox, and I somehow got it in my head to do Jason's Nerd search (which I did when it first came out). And that's when I found out it's been so long since I did any calculus that I forgot how to.

Do you see where this is going?

That's right, my old calc book is back out and I've been reviewing. I have to. I have very few things I can be proud of, and my calculus ability is --- WAS --- one of them. Besides, I have great memories of Calc at Macomb Community College, back when it was still Macomb.

And now you know where I'm at if I'm not here. I'm studying calculus!

Happy 90th to my grandpa today!

P.S. I've really got to get "Math, Science, and Unix Underpants" to keep my sanity.

P.P.S. If you didn't know it, Bill Amend is really a nice guy. I once sent him an email in support of the math notation he used (which a bunch of weenies objected to) and he sent me a really nice email back.