Monday, November 24, 2008


I have been reading some more since we got back from our trip. I started with The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. The author was raised as a completely secular Jew. That is amazing even in this day and age to have no religious training at all. He says that he is open to religious ideas, but I can tell by the tone of the book that he finds belief/religion embarrassing.

I have found this book very interesting. The author calls himself a reverent agnostic. How can an agnostic be reverent? "The Agnostic suspends judgment, saying that there are not sufficient grounds either for affirmation or for denial." What is he exactly being reverent of, the possibility that there may be a God if he decided to get up the nerve to make a decision? It sounds like he wants some fire insurance. Another way to look at it is through Pascal's wager. Blaise Pascal, a French philosopher, put forth that one should live one's life as though God exists since it leaves one with everything to gain and nothing to lose. Though he criticizes Pascal, I think that is just what he wants, perhaps without the confining belief part. He wants to be able to have all the wonderful uplifting experiences that a person in relationship with God gets without having to limit himself to one idea or way of acting. In fact, I think he's just deeply humanist. Just be good for goodness sake. But he somehow doesn't get that it is God that allows for that goodness. I realize I am judging him according to a rule book he doesn't follow, but he opened the door with his question whether one can be holy just by following the Bible. Everybody breaks the rules is what he decides, which is completely true those are called sins. However, he decides that everybody who believes in God is just picking and choosing the parts of the Bible that they want to follow. He admits that he cannot follow all the rules, but explains it away that he has just started to learn about religion. I think what he is missing, most of all, about anybody who follows God is that we don't have all the answers, that it is very difficult. I find that as I get older I have more confusion about how I am to love others yet still hold people accountable. I realize that it is not all cut and dry. I think that is the main place the author and I diverge, he doesn't think anybody should be held accountable for their sins because we all sin.

In the end what this book has helped me understand is those coming from a completely humanist perspective. At one point I had hope that he would start to believe in something, but at the end he decided to use the Bible as a self-help book. I think he ended his year where he started it, completely embarrassed of religion/belief in God.

cross posted at The Book Loft

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Here are some random pictures from the trip.

This is at the visitor center at Mt. St. Helens. They thought the giant mushroom was cool, so we took a picture of it with them.

This is the view from the school across the street from the wedding chapel. Talk about some blessed kids, getting to see that view every school day!

Here is Peter and Esther at the school play ground. Don't you just love that hat?!

This one is on the way home. I finally got Peter to stop the car so I could take at least one picture without the trees rushing past!

However, he wouldn't stop so that I could be a picture of the sunset, so it is blurry. This is outside of Bend.
I just love this picture I wish I could have gotten a non-blurry, in the car picture. I think it's the Three Sisters. Oregon certainly has some of God's amazing handiwork on display!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Homety, homety home again!

This weekend we went to Oregon. It was so much fun! We had Christmas pictures made and went to a lovely wedding. Such a grand ole time, and interesting too. Definitely one to go down in family lore!

On Friday we had the kids pictures done. And let them run around after a day long trip on Thursday. Not much to write about there. On Saturday our plans were to go to Mt. St. Helens and then to the planned wedding.

It took a little longer to get up to the visitor center than expected so we didn't have time to drive around to other side. I think Esther may have had something to say about that! But I got some pictures from the visitor center. I found it interesting that Silver Lake, where the center is, was created from the eruption.

After our fun time at Mt. St. Helens we had to zip to the wedding. None of us were dressed yet and we had no where to get dressed. We just figured that we would get dressed at the Brookshill Historic Church. So off we went to find this diamond on a really tall hill. It is in Hillsboro, which happens to be aptly named.

The church is right across the street from a quaint school.

We got to Hillsboro late! We rushed to get dressed appropriately in the school parking lot after running down the hill (15 minutes) to get lunch. (All I can say is thank goodness for our Yukon! Crouching room!) We finally were dressed nice enough, barely, for a wedding. We ran into the church, amazingly not making a scene! Sitting down in the back of the tiny chapel, Peter and I looked at each other. We did not recognize the groom, whom we know. Somehow we were at a lovely wedding where we didn't know anybody! Peter quietly rushed out to the car to see if we had gotten the day wrong. Was it the wrong time? No, we had both correct. Suddenly, Esther began to make noise. Perfect! We were making a scene at a wedding, to which we were not invited, and drawing attention to ourselves! Peter missed the rest of the service. Which was unfortunate, it was wonderful and touching between two older folks. Including the brides sons saying "Way to go, Mom!" It was great! After two kisses and the pronouncement we tried to figure out what happened. First I talked to a guest at the wedding. He said we have a handsome family. Then, we talked to the owner of the chapel and found out that the bride for our wedding canceled four weeks prior! So Peter called someone at home to find out what happened. No the marriage wasn't canceled, just that location for the wedding. We didn't find out for another day, but it was in Kelso, WA. Much closer to Mt. St. Helens! Here's a picture of the lovely couple, I forgot to get their names!

We had plenty of fun, and even went to a lovely wedding, even if it wasn't the right one!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Inspiration, or lack thereof

So Peter is interested in me decorating for holidays this year. A new and interesting plot development. However I can't seem to get into the swing of things. At Mt. Hope Chronicles Heidi has great ideas all the time. For this month she is decorating with thankful leaves. I think that is a wonderful idea considering our coming holiday. I have been scouting trees all day so that I can use her idea. I haven't found any with the large enough leaves but I am hopeful that I will find some.

I have been contemplating why I just can't seem to get excited. I been having some stress to do with the Holiday Home Tour coming up. And I am really looking forward to our family trip this weekend. (Since Peter can't take vacation during the summer we try to do stuff other times of the year.) Maybe once we are home next week I can get crazy excited.

We are going to Oregon. I am really looking forward to it. Be prepared for many tree pictures. I love trees and miss them terribly. I enjoy the feeling of disappearing while looking up into the branches. It keeps me humble!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Tonight my Bible study group watched Louie Giglio's DVD Indescribable. I really enjoyed the sermon ideas and the way Louie showed the awesomeness and glorious works the Lord has put into being, that he is continuing to create. Louie said that according to astronomers, each second a star is born. I really liked all the astronomy, Louie used it to the utmost in showing the vastness of the universe that God has created and how infinitesimal we are in comparison.

The song Indescribable by Chris Tomlin is featured before the sermon. Some of the songs sung today seem feature our love of God, not His love for us. How could it possibly be awesome that God chose us and we love Him for it?! That is not amazing. What is amazing and powerful is that He loves us. How small and insignificant we are here on earth within the universe was clearly and eloquently displayed in Louie's sermon.

In Job 38:31-33 God named constellations and showed Job a fraction of His size. Psalm 147:4 says "He determines the number of stars and calls them each by name." That, all on it's own is a powerful statement, but the verse just before says "He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds." The Lord who created galaxies, loves us and will bind up our wounds! That thought unto itself is profound to me, add onto that He sent His beloved Son to die in our place, when He created the vast universe puts me on my knees. I usually fight my emotions when dealing with my faith, I get too confused. However, this time I will probably let myself cry.

The truth of His love puts the election and all the turmoil in such stark perspective. Of course He can heal our wounds, He says so. He's the one that created the universe.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm in Heaven, kinda

I have said that laundry is the bane of my existence. I was wrong VERY, VERY wrong! I learned just how wrong I was once I had three potty trained boys sharing a bathroom, that they did (do not) clean. Yuck to the nth degree. Does anyone have tips on that problem?

But onto my happy, happy news. We got a new washer and dryer yesterday. And they are huge. They are 4.7 cubic feet. Look how they shine.

Laundry, for now, can be once again done in a day instead of taking all week. I'm thinking of naming them. Definitely not Thelma and Louise. I haven't figured that out yet. If you have ideas let me know.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I've been cited!

I have been so busy with the Holiday Home Tour tickets, for a local version of the Junior League, that I haven't been reading my daily blogs. Now that I am done, I can go back to reading my blogs everyday. My friend Megan at A Sanctuary Sought cited my blog. (Or are you supposed to say linked, hmm something to ponder.) Unfortunately, the post she cited was the one about me being in a funk(unhappy). Oh, the shame! I wish that I were never in a funk, so that a post like that couldn't be cited. But MY reality dictates that I have a hard time controlling my emotions and moods. I am endeavoring to triumph over this affliction, but this may be a lifelong lesson. I have been told I was born moody. Now that definitely puts a new spin on things. But it doesn't mean that I can't try.

This past month has been hard for me as far as moods go. It's been the ticket. I finished it, but it is not what I hoped it would be. I have spent many hours on it. I must say that I am greatly discouraged. I tried, but I couldn't make it perfect. Maybe with enough time. However, is perfection something to strive for? Trying really made it difficult for me to be pleasant to be around the last month when thinking about the ticket. I have a tendency to be negative. Yes, I know SHOCKING! My negativity really reared it's ugly head as far as Junior Club is concerned this month.

At this point, my point is that while I am trying to have joy, sometimes I fail. I know that striving for perfection really gets in the way, for me.

Thanks, Megan, for citing me! I feel cool now!