Monday, October 31, 2005

manna on monday

Our pastor continues to preach through the book of Acts, yesterday stopping in Acts 18 and telling us what it means to have a faith that is complete. We are nourished and refreshed, on hyper-everything detox.

The six marks of a complete Christian as demonstrated by Apollos:

* thorough knowledge of the Bible and a hunger to mature
* great passion for God that is contagious
* proclaiming the truth with boldness
* eagerly receiving the Gospel and humbly learning from others
* having a helpful ministry to God's people
* courageously refuting false doctrine

Not only was I blessed beyond measure by the message, but the music was so worshipful and inspiring, nothing in a minor key, not a single dirge. I wonder if this is what music in heaven will be like; I wonder what kind of amps God uses in His praise band.

oh, the glories of an october day

I cannot believe that October has come and gone. We live on the most beautiful street in all of Canton. The two maple trees in our front yard are the last on the block to turn and today they are a vibrant yellow. Rain has fallen most of the day, causing them to lose their leaves more readily. Jude and I spent the afternoon being cozy, snuggling on the couch, commiseratng together about how awful it is to get new teeth. I pulled out the cookbooks again today, looking for new recipes to try in the crockpot. K-Mart and Walmart tell me it is Christmas time but I would like to meander through November rather than race toward the twinkle lights.

My First Morning Milking
by Leo Dangel

I walk to the barn before a sign
of morning. The stars are sparks
in a black sky. Yellow light
from a window is on the blue snow.

Then my father and I
carry the milk pails to the house.
We bend over the sink, our heads
close together, and scoop up water
with our hands to wash our faces.

I smell bacon. The others come
downstairs, rubbing sleepy eyes.
I want to tell them what I know,
the mystery that goes away
when everyone wakes up and the sun
is a cold fire in the east window.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

welcome to the world Clayton Dowen Campbell V

My newest grandbaby made his entrance into the world this afternoon. He is the fifth Clayton and weighed in at 8 lbs. 10 oz.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

grandbaby photo of the week

Friday, October 28, 2005

"monstrous" woman of the week

Welcome to the fourth in a series of biographical sketches that I plan to publish on Fridays.

These entries will briefly tell about women I believe have done many things to further the cause of Christ in America, and some even around the world, and have maintained a godly femininity while doing so. They will be women whose choices in life have also disqualified them from being given the godly woman status in some of today’s hyper-patriarchal circles, though the hypocrisy certainly has escaped some of these list keepers! Grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy! Oh, and feel free to emulate.

This week I am featuring Amy Carmichael, missionary and defender of the women and children of India. The following biography is used by permission from, a great resource for anyone who is interested in God's working out of His plan throughout the ages.

"Amma! Amma!” 84-year-old Amy Wilson Carmichael awoke with a start from her peaceful sleep to her many children crying Mother in the native Tamil language outside her window. “Amma wake up!” Slowly, but surely, Amy forced her old crippled body into an upright sitting position. Soon she could hear Jewel hushing the children and telling them to leave their Amma alone. Amy couldn’t help but smile at the rude awakening, thinking she wouldn’t want her life to be any different. As her usual routine she pulled out her Bible, and prayed, thanking God for not forgetting her and her children and for blessing them as much as he was.

Resting comfortably, she started to ponder where she had left off in what would become a book filled with her own stories that had lead her to become Amma to so many children.

She had already written a little about her birth on December 16, 1867 in Millisle, Northern Ireland, making sure not to forget to include some stories of her 3 younger sisters and 4 younger brothers.

One afternoon, she and her brother came across a homeless woman (called a Shawlie for the Shawls the homeless wore). The woman was stumbling over the stone path trying to carry her bags, and probably would have taken a bone-shattering fall if Amy and her brother had not assisted her back home. Although it was a short distance to go, the experience would forever change Amy’s life, and million’s of lives around the world. There were many who looked down on Amy for helping the woman, and she had to learn to hold her head high and proud that she was helping someone in need. In addition to that lesson, she experienced a small miracle; she heard the words “Go ye”, as if a human voice had just spoken to her. She looked around the owner of the voice, but found none. When she arrived home later in the day, she eagerly looked up the words “Go ye” in her Bible, in hopes to find a verse that finished the statement. God was with Amy then, as he also had been, and always would be, and showed her a different verse in 1 Corinthians 3:12-14 – “Now anyone who builds on that foundation may use gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But there is going to come a time of testing at the judgment day to see what kind of work each builder has done. Everyone's work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value. If the work survives the fire, that builder will receive a reward.”.

After just a few short years of living with and teaching the Shawlies, Amy heard God’s calling again. This time she felt like God was calling her to go oversees, specifically, India.

“Amma?”, Amy put her pen down and looked up from her writings, “Yes?”. A very small, thin girl entered Amy’s room, and tiptoed her way into Amy’s lap. The girl was 6 years old, though she appeared to be only a toddler because of her small frame. “Tell me again how I became your little girl, Amma?” asked the little girl as she put her arms around her Amma’s neck in a loving embrace. Amy sighed, put her biography away, and started: “Well my precious Gem, you were only just short of 2 months old when your REAL Amma died of a jungle fever. Your Papa, although he loved you dearly, was going to give you to a local Temple, to make the gods of his religion happy.” The small girl’s eyes became wide with horror, “What would I do there Amma?”. Amy continued, wishing her daughter wouldn’t have to know such things so early. “Well the temple priests would never let you play in the sunshine like you do here, and they would teach you dreadful things. Then you would eventually be ‘married’ to the false gods, and would become a prostitute in ‘honor’ of the gods. God was watching over you though, my dear Gem, he knew you needed to become my daughter. So through your aunt, He brought you to me, and now I am your Amma, and you are my precious daughter.” Satisfied with the story, the little girl bounced off to go play with one of Amy’s 100 other “daughters”. The tired Amy sighed, but thanked God repeatedly for how he was using her. Amy thought of all her other “daughters” and “sons” who had the same story as Gem, and how God was working in the lives of the people to break their Caste system to bring Amy children who needed a loving Amma.

Once in India, missionary work was very difficult, but Amy being as strong willed as she was, persisted, and was rewarded with a band of Indian women who became Christians. That wasn’t enough for her though, especially after she learned more of the horrors of the caste system. Such as a mother would rather her child die of a curable disease than to allow him to be seen by a doctor of a lower caste. She also learned about how newborn children were sold for the use of prostitution in the temples for their entire lives. Ironically as Amy fought the caste system of India, she found herself also fighting the caste system that the missionaries had created in their own communities. In the Indian caste system, there were levels of importance of the value of a person’s life, depending completely on the family they were born into. The castes ranged from a person of very high importance and value (Brahmans who are political and religious figures) down to the people who, according to the system, didn’t deserve a caste, and were simply the Untouchables (usually maintenance workers). Similarly the missionaries caste system began with those of high importance and value (themselves), then the Christian Indians (their servants/slaves), then the non-Christian Muslims/Hindus, and then lastly, the children of India and the missionaries who had “gone native”. Amy knew she needed to break both systems, because God sent his Son to die for, and love ALL people, including the Untouchables and the children of India.

This was not acceptable to Amy, and she immediately began trying to break the caste. Soon families were giving Amy their newborn girls, because girls were not of any value to them. After just a few short years the Carmichael “family” grew, and grew. Property was then purchased , and a small village was created to accommodate Amy, her girls, and her growing band of women Christians.

The village was called Dohnavur, and didn’t take long before it was filled with un-wanted girls, and loving Christian women. In 1918 the first boy arrived in Dohnvur, and became just the first of hundreds of boys who would fill a similar village next door to the girls. Amy loved every minute of working with all the children, and called them all her precious Gems. Although she never married, the hundreds of children became her children, and she was a loving Amma to them all.

Feeling more tired than usual, Amy put away her papers for the last time. Lying back on her pillow, she thought about the past 56 years she had spent in India, and how much God had blessed her life. Then she closed her eyes, and fell asleep for the last time. She never awoke. Amy Wilson Carmichael went to go be with her God that she spent her whole life serving, on January 18, 1951. She was buried in her garden along with many of her children that had died over the years. Although she clearly asked before her death for no grave stone to be put over her grave, her children put a bird bath over it with one word written on it: Amma.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

next generation leadership

(Note:This is from the Jeff Myers newsletter I receive each week via e-mail. It was so good I couldn't keep it to myself!)

It started as a simple question. Bryan College student David Beisner wondered if anyone wanted to go down to Louisiana for a weekend to help with disaster relief. He felt he should do something, and he had four seats in his car.

David mentioned this in chapel--would anyone want to go?
Eighty students signed up.

By the end of the week, a full-out relief convoy was being planned, and not just for a weekend, but for the entire Bryan Fall Break--seven days.

David, who is in my leadership class, came to class with a stunned expression. "Eighty people means 2,000 gallons of water, several thousands dollars worth of food--in addition to housing and supplies!" David was totally overwhelmed, but he bravely pressed ahead, guided by faculty sponsor Dr. Travis Ricketts and assisted by several other of Bryan's outstanding student leaders, the team made the journey and returned last week.

Because so many of the students who went on the trip were in my leadership class, I asked them to share some brief testimonies. An hour later, the entire class had been moved, some to the point of tears, to see how God had worked through this trip to make His glory known, to provide relief for the suffering, and to set a practical example of leadership for those who weren't there.

For example, one student named Laura told of finding two children essentially abandoned by their drug-addicted mother and her boyfriend. Laura cared for them as her own for the week, and shepherded them through social services to be placed with their natural father.

Last week she received this letter from a co-worker on the

The troubled couple with two kids have been getting rides
to the methadone clinic everyday and are doing much better.
The girls are with the oldest one’s paternal father (who
apparently hadn’t seen her in years) and his wife and are
happy. I just wanted to let you know that it was because of
your team's intervention that their lives were changed
forever. Thanks for stepping up to the plate and doing what
God called you there to do.

One day Laura was on hand when a Marine Corporal showed up and announced that he was assigned to set up a medical clinic.
The FEMA employee turned to Laura: "Do you know anything about that?"

"Well," said Laura with hesitation, "my dad's a doctor."

"Then you're in charge," was the reply.

It was amazing how much of a difference one group of committed, hard-working and compassionate students could make during one week of time--and how much responsibility they were given. One 2005 Bryan grad was hired full time in a coordination role for all of the FEMA trailer-parks in all of the Southeastern U.S.

Another student, Timothy, told of how he and his team tore moldy plaster and insulation out of homes so that they may be rebuilt. They told of stunned and grateful home owners who were skeptical that anyone would work without pay--and who then dissolved into grateful tears when they found out it was true.

Perhaps the greatest testimony, however, came from two students from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania who had come to Louisiana on their own to see if they could help out.

These two students were taken in by the Bryan group, and while they found the Christianity of the Bryan students baffling and odd, they couldn't help but feel--and see--Christ's love in action.

Stephen St. Vincent, one of the Swarthmore students (they call themselves "Swatties") wrote about his experiences in the Phoenix, Swarthmore's online student newspaper. Note how profoundly the encounter with the Bryan students broke down his stereotypes of conservative Christians:

Trip to Louisiana an eye opener
The Phoenix, October 20, 2005

In the wake of the hurricanes that shook the Gulf Coast to
its physical and moral core, many thoughts crossed my mind.
The overarching theme of these thoughts was to do whatever
I could to help. Yet I found myself doing nothing. Musing
with Jonathan Ference '07 one night, I commented that it
felt selfish to want to do something yet care too much about
my grades here at Swarthmore to drop everything to help
these people in their most dire hour. So we made a moral
compromise and planned a trip to Louisiana for fall break
to volunteer.

Jon and I drove from Swarthmore to Baton Rouge, La., on the
first Sunday of break and ended up at the main Federal
Emergency Management Agency refugee camp. Despite the
recent condemnation of FEMA, this place was absolutely
astounding. An entire RV park with full hookups--electri-
city, water, and sewage. The camp contained about 700 RVs,
each holding between four and seven people. Residents got
three free meals a day and paid no rent. This program will
last for 18 months...

The FEMA camp had exhausted its need for volunteers by the
end of Tuesday, but we were lucky enough to meet up with a
group from Bryan College in Tennessee. The rest of their
group was working in Slidell, just north of New Orleans. The
next morning, Jon and I met the rest of the Bryan group in
Slidell. Their task was to gut houses that had seen up to
eight feet of flooding. Everything was disgustingly mold
infested. Our job was to go into a house, take out all the
belongings and throw them into a huge pile on their front
lawn. We then added to this pile every appliance, cabinet
fixture, door and all of the drywall, insulation and
flooring in the house, leaving literally a shell of what
used to be a home...

The Bryan group generously took us in, fed us, and
generally treated us like family. Granted, these kids have
some views that would not exactly go over swimmingly at
Swarthmore. Their school is named for William Jennings
Bryan, the pro-creationist lawyer in the Scopes trial...
I think I prayed more with those kids than I ever have in
my life...

I was forced to assess how much stuff I own and consider
essential to my life.... But more than that, I was forced
to wonder why, despite all of the talk on this campus
about a "social conscience", despite all of the
conservative-bashing and despite all of our resources,
there were nearly a hundred conservative Christians from
Bryan College volunteering there, but only two Swatties.

It was William Jennings Bryan who said, "The humblest citizen of all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error." When we act as if it was true, and the world sees it, God receives the glory.

Christians and boycotts

The past several months I have received e-mails that have encouraged me to boycott all sorts of businesses in the name of Christ. Either these businesses are giving charitable support to groups who support anti-Christian behaviors, such as homosexuality or abortion, or businesses that have poor employee policies.

As I have read through the e-mails, have looked at the suggested links, and have read the articles where Christian leaders are calling for these boycotts, I have had many thoughts and concerns as well as questions. Here are a few of them:

Where do we draw the line in our boycotting? Recently I learned that American Girl, the makers of the wonderful Kit doll I received as a birthday gift just weeks ago, has given a large sum of money to Planned Parenthood, the number one abortion provider in the country. They are also advertising their cooperation with Girl's Inc. which is an educational organization that encourages girls, among other things, to be pro-choice as far as abortion is concerned. Some others are also upset that the books featuring American Girl dolls promote what they call a "feminist" mindset. (I am in the process of writing an entire piece on Christians and feminism so that is for another day.)

Just prior to this, Starbucks was the target because of their charitable support of homosexual organizations. And before that it was Wal-Mart and Target because of their treatment of employees as well as their violation of the human rights of those in foreign countries where their products are made.

So, the questions I have are these:

Do those encouraging these boycotts apply the same standards everywhere they shop? Do they stop in for a chat with every mom and pop shop owner to find out the recipients of their charitable giving? Do they do the research and discover where every brand name in their favorite store gives charitable contributions? What about every business establishment, every vendor they work with in their own businesses, right down to the guy who sells you paper and paper clips? What about every barber, every beautician, every gas station, etc. etc. etc? Do they ask everyone of these people and businesses if they give to the United Way, who, in most cases, is a big supporter of Planned Parenthood? If not, where is the equity and justice in the matter?

Then I wondered about which "sins" ought to inspire these boycotts. Abortion and homosexuality seem to top the list. What about lust? Should we rent DVD's from establishments that rent or sell X-rated materials? What about R rated movies that have nudity? What about PG movies, like Waking Ned Devine that has nudity, albeit a naked little old man on a motorcycle? What about patronizing restaurants where the waitresses are not wearing modest clothing? Should we give money to businesses who hire these women and then require them to wear immodest uniforms?

And that brings me to this question....there are those who believe that it is a sin for a woman to work outside the home. Do you then not shop at Kroger because there are women clerks? How far does this go and what "sins" qualify as boycottable?

Here is my own answer for this. We need to realize that we live in a fallen world and we must expect that those unbelievers who live in it will act like the unregenerate folk that they are. Our job is not to publically undo them. That is God's job and we have the assurance that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. In the meantime, I think Christians ought to be spending their time and energies in doing three things:

1. We must be about the business of witnessing and ministering to our "enemies" in Jesus name, giving a cup of cold water to those who do not yet know Christ, seeking to spread the Gospel far and wide to those who are lost. This might mean speaking a word of kindness and offering compassion to everyone from the owner to the guy stocking the shelves, building a relationship with those outside of our own "boxes."

2. We must stop being afraid of our culture and purpose to engage it and shed light in the dark corners. We are not called to start a new culture but to be God's instruments in reforming this one. I recently actually read the statement that said that "Hollywood is unredeemable." How much faith does it take to say that? Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. We are not the keepers of the secret knowledge of who might or might not be redeemed. Not long ago World Magazine had an interesting article on the large number of Christians who are seeking to influence the movie industry. (I think this is awesome, mostly because so many Christian offerings in the arts tend to be hokey and sappy.) The challenge is to be culturally relevant without compromise. There are many areas of life where this ought to apply.

3. Finally, where are those people who are crying out for boycotts against Christian organizations and businesses that muddy the name of Christ by their own behaviors or hiring practices? I know of a situation where a Christian ministry practiced age discrimination. This is not only unchristian, it is illegal. There are other groups who go far beyond the essentials of the Christian faith and practice discrimination based on their own unbiblical views of women. Should I purchase products from those people? (If I don't would that be called a "girlcott?") Instead of worrying about what the world does or doesn't do, I think believers ought to be holding each other accountable and to higher standards than we require of those outside the body of Christ. It is hard to be taken seriously when we are not cleaning up our own messes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

spicy apple bar cookies

Spicy Apple Bar Cookies
I discovered this recipe during our first Christmas in Germany in 1976. The cocoa adds an unexpected zing to the apple dessert. I like to serve this warm with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 TBS. cocoa
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground cloves
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1 ½ cups diced, peeled apples
½ c. chopped walnuts
Sifted powdered sugar

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Sift together next 8 ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Stir in oats, apples, and walnuts. Spread in greased 9 X 12 pan. Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes. Cool slightly in pan on rack and cut into bars. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm with ice cream!

another soup day

The days are shorter now and the crispness comes under the door as we dig for coats and heavy sweaters. My upstairs hallway is lined with the "winter tubs", as I call them, and we are accessing what things to put away for yet another warm time and which things to save, hoping for Indian summer.

Much of the midwestern crop is harvested and we talk of baking squash and making chili. I pour over cookbooks in search of the perfect stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving, knowing I will most likely make it the way I have done for 30 years and the way my mother made it 30 years before that.

Here is an old standby recipe, a soup I dreamed up one day when I didn't have meat thawed for dinner and I knew everyone would want their tummies warmed when they came inside. Nothing is better than this delicious soup served up with bread sticks on a cold November day. I especially like to put it in the crock pot for the afternoon so the flavors can blend.

Karen’s Corn Chowder

1 pound frozen or fresh corn
1 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 cup finely chopped red pepper
4 cups potatoes, boiled, drained and cubed
4 cups milk
2 cups reserved water from boiled potatoes

In pot, sauté onion and pepper in butter over medium heat. When vegetables are translucent, add flour and mix well. Pour in milk and cook until bubbly and thick, stirring continually. Add boiled potato water. Add corn and heat through. I like to place the soup in a crock pot at this point and let it sit on low for several hours so the flavors can blend.

what is leadership?

"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather the wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea"

~ Antoine de Saint Exupery

Friday, October 21, 2005

"monstrous" woman of the week for God, Home, and Every Land

Welcome to the third in a series of biographical sketches that I plan to publish on Fridays.

These entries will briefly tell about women I believe have done many things to further the cause of Christ in America, and some even around the world, and have maintained a godly femininity while doing so. They will be women whose choices in life have also disqualified them from being given the godly woman status in some of today’s hyper-patriarchal circles, though the hypocrisy certainly has escaped some of these list keepers! Grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy! Oh, and feel free to emulate.

This week I am featuring not one “monstrous” woman but actually an entire regiment of them. Just after the end of the Civil War, in the fall of 1873, a group of women met together in New York State to address the growing problem of alcohol abuse in their homes and communities. Seeing the destruction of families by men who were abusing alcohol and spending their hours in saloons rather than with their families, the women first began times of prayer in the 2nd Presbyterian church of Fredonia, New York. It was out of these first prayer meetings that the Women's Christian Temperance Union began.

By the end of the 19th century, Americans spent over a billion dollars each year on alcoholic beverages compared with $900 million on meat and less than $200 million on education of children. As concerns rose around the country, Christians began to rise and take a stand against the abuse of alcohol. Women, the guardians and keepers of home and hearth, led the charge. Eventually Women’s Crusades were held and the women marched into saloons, drug stores, or wherever liquor was sold. They prayed on sawdust floors or, being denied access, knelt on snowy pavements or in the doorways until nearly all the sellers had given in.

According to E.P. Gordon, author of Women Torchbearers, one crusade in Ohio lasted 50 days and “in fifty days drove the liquor traffic, horse, foot, and dragoons, out of two hundred and fifty towns and villages, increased by one hundred percent the attendance at church and decreased that at the criminal courts in like proportion."

I chose these dear ladies to be lauded this week for several reasons. First of all, my husband’s grandmother and two great aunts, all three godly women who worked their entire lives for the preservation of the American home, were at once suffragettes and lifetime members of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.* When I think of godly women who have gone before us, their names certainly deserve to be included on that list.

Secondly, there appears to be resurgence among Christian men today who have no qualms about spending both their time and money in saloons rather than in their homes with their families and, sadly to say, sometimes under the guise of “Christian fellowship.” This is heartbreaking when you realize that as little as one drink of an alcoholic beverage can cause judgment to be impaired, a loss of self-control, an unrealistic feeling of well being, a release of inhibitions, coordination and alertness to be impaired, and an increase of collision while driving. Note that a drink contains ½ ounce of alcohol and is defined as 1 can of beer (12 oz; 4-5% alcohol), 1 glass of wine (4 oz; 12% alcohol), or 1 shot of most liquors (1 oz; 40-50% alcohol). At times "a drink" is really the equivalent of more than just one drink, like when you order a drink with more than one shot of alcohol in it, or you do a shot followed by a beer.

What sadness for a godly wife to know that her husband is purposefully placing their family in harm’s way by public drinking in places of temptation. Perhaps it is time for Christian women everywhere to unite, once again, and take a stand against this renewed threat to our home and nation.

The original WCTU members rallied under the banner which read “For God and Home and Every Land.” Today they would quote the Greek Philosopher Xenophen in describing temperance this way: "moderation in all things healthful; total abstinence from all things harmful.”

For anyone who is interested in what my own personal conviction is on this matter, it could best be described here.

*Note that the woman's right to vote was, in part, a result of the need to protect women who were married to alcohol abusers. Not being able to own property and having no rights for custody of children if a divorce occured were just two injustices that women suffered and were directly related to alcohol abuse.

grandbaby photo of the week

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Friday, October 14, 2005

"monstrous" woman of the week ~ Elizabeth Elliot

Welcome to the second in a series of biographical sketches that I plan to publish on Fridays.

These entries will briefly tell about women I believe have done many things to further the cause of Christ in America, and some even around the world, and have maintained a godly femininity while doing so. They will be women whose choices in life have also disqualified them from being given the godly woman status in some of today’s hyper-patriarchal circles, though the hypocrisy certainly has escaped some of these list keepers! Grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy! Oh, and feel free to emulate.

This week's "monstrous woman" is missionary and exemplary Titus two woman, Elizabeth Elliot. Elisabeth Elliot was born in Brussels, Belgium, where her parents served as missionaries. She graduated from Wheaton College and later went to Ecuador as a missionary. In 1953 she married a former classmate, Jim Elliot. Together they worked on translating the New Testament into the language of the Quichua Indians. Their daughter, Valerie, was born in 1955. Ten months later, Jim was killed by the Auca Indians while attempting to take the Gospel to that primitive tribe. Elisabeth continued her work among the Quichuas and later lived and worked among the Aucas.

She returned to the United States and remarried. Her second husband, Addison Leitch, a professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, died of cancer in 1973. Today, she lives north of Boston, Massachusetts, with her husband, Lars Gren. She has one daughter and eight grandchildren.

Elisabeth is the author of a number of books, including Shadow of the Almighty, Passion and Purity, A Path Through Suffering, The Shaping of a Christian Family, and Keep a Quiet Heart. For many years she hosted the radio program Gateway To Joy.

Most recently, a documentary, Beyond the Gates of Splendor, has been released about Elizabeth's heroic ministry in Equador to the same tribe who murdered her husband. It will be followed by another film, End of the Spear, also based on their lives, that will be theaters in January, bringing the good news of the Gospel to those in our culture who so desperately need to hear it. Elizabeth Elliot is a role model for any young lady and a picture of God's providence in using her unique gifts and abilities as a woman for His glory!

friday's quotes of the week

"Reintroduce law into justification and you open the door to faith-plus-something. That "something" is never legal righteousness. It always turns out to be sacerdotal power, the great grand priest in his robes and sacerdotal office holding forth like the Pope.

Understand this: whenever you hear a pastor arguing for works as part of justification, you hear a pastor seeking the office of Pope. "

from David Bayly (the whole article hits the nail on the proverbial head)

"Why isn't there a special name for the tops of your feet?"

Lily Tomlin

"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment."

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

"I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than to be crowded on a velvet cushion."

Henry David Thoreau

grandbaby photo of the week

that's my kind of student

Noah Riner, student assembly president from Dartmouth College, delivered the following speech to incoming freshmen last month. Three cheers for Noah. I might also mention that Noah was homeschooled and part of his curriculm included the "Secrets of Great Communicators" from the Meyers Institute. You can read about the huge firestorm this great speech created here.

You've been told that you are a special class. A quick look
at the statistics confirms that claim: quite simply, you are
the smartest and most diverse group of freshmen to set foot
on the Dartmouth campus. You have more potential than all of
the other classes. You really are special.

But it isn't enough to be special. It isn't enough to be
talented, to be beautiful, to be smart. Generations of amazing
students have come before you, and have sat in your seats.
Some have been good, some have been bad. All have been special.

In fact, there's quite a long list of very special, very
corrupt people who have graduated from Dartmouth. William
Walter Remington, Class of 1939, started out as a Boy Scout
and a choirboy and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He ended up as
a Soviet spy, was convicted of perjury and beaten to death
in prison.

Daniel Mason '93 was just about to graduate from Boston
Medical School when he shot two men--killing one--after a
parking dispute.

Just a few weeks ago, I read in the D about PJ Halas, Class
of 1998. His great uncle George founded the Chicago Bears,
and PJ lived up to the family name, co-captaining the
basketball team his senior year at Dartmouth and coaching
at a high school team following graduation. He was also a
history teacher, and, this summer, he was arrested for
sexually assualting a 15-year-old student.

These stories demonstrate that it takes more than a
Dartmouth degree to build character.

As former Dartmouth President John Sloan Dickey said, at
Dartmouth our business is learning. And I'll have to agree
with the motto of Faber College, featured in the movie
Animal House, "Knowledge is Good." But if all we get from
this place is knowledge, we've missed something. There's
one subject that you won't learn about in class, one topic
that orientation didn't cover, and that your UGA won't
mention: character.

What is the purpose of our education? Why are we at

Martin Luther King, Jr. said:

But education which stops with efficiency may prove the
greatest menace to society.... We must remember that
intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus
character--that is the goal of true education."

We hear very little about character in our classrooms, yet,
as Dr. King suggests, the real problem in the world is not
a lack of education.

For example, in the past few weeks we've seen some pretty
revealing things happening on the Gulf Coast in the wake
of hurricane Katrina. We've seen acts of selfless heroism
and millions around the country have united to help the
refugees. On the other hand, we've been disgusted by the
looting, violence, and raping that took place even in the
supposed refuge areas. In a time of crisis and death,
people were paddling around in rafts, stealing TV's and
VCR's. How could Americans go so low?

My purpose in mentioning the horrible things done by certain
people on the Gulf Coast isn't to condemn just them; rather
it's to condemn all of us. Supposedly, character is what you
do when no one is looking, but I'm afraid to say all the
things I've done when no one was looking. Cheating, stealing,
lusting, you name it--How different are we? It's easy to say
that we've never gone that far: never stolen that much; never
lusted so much that we'd rape; and the people we've cheated,
they were rich anyway.

Let's be honest, the differences are in degree. We have the
same flaws as the individuals who pillaged New Orleans. Ours
haven't been given such free range, but they exist and are
part of us all the same.

The Times of London once asked readers for comments on what
was wrong with the world. British author, G. K. Chesterton
responded simply: "Dear Sir, I am."

Not many of us have the same clarity that Chesterton had.
Just days after Hurricane Katrina had ravaged the Gulf Coast,
politicians and pundits were distributing more blame than
aid. It's so easy to see the faults of others, but so
difficult to see our own. In the words of Cassius in
Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, "the fault, dear Brutus is not
in our stars but in ourselves."

Character has a lot to do with sacrifice, laying our personal
interests down for something bigger. The best example of this
is Jesus. In the Garden of Gethsemane, just hours before his
crucifixion, Jesus prayed, "Father, if thou be willing,
remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine,
be done." He knew the right thing to do. He knew the cost
would be agonizing torture and death. He did it anyway.
That's character.

Jesus is a good example of character, but He's also much more
than that. He is the solution to flawed people like corrupt
Dartmouth alums, looters, and me.

It's so easy to focus on the defects of others and ignore
my own. But I need saving as much as they do.

Jesus' message of redemption is simple. People are imperfect,
and there are consequences for our actions. He gave His life
for our sin so that we wouldn't have to bear the penalty of
the law; so we could see love. The problem is me; the
solution is God's love: Jesus on the cross, for us.

In the words of Bono:

[I]f only we could be a bit more like Him, the world would
be transformed....When I look at the Cross of Christ, what
I see up there is all my s—- and everybody else's. So I ask
myself a question a lot of people have asked: Who is this
man? And was He who He said He was, or was He just a
religious nut? And there it is, and that's the question.

You want the best undergraduate education in the world, and
you've come to the right place to get that. But there's more
to college than achievement. With Martin Luther King, we must
dream of a nation--and a college--where people are not judged
by the superficial, "but by the content of their character."

Thus, as you begin your four years here, you've got to come
to some conclusions about your own character because you won't
get it by just going to class. What is the content of your
character? Who are you? And how will you become what you need
to be?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

soup weather is here!!!

The weather has turned cold and yesterday just seemed like the day for chicken soup. Here is a recipe from my own repertoire. Enjoy!

Prairie Chicken and Rice Soup

3 pounds chicken with skin and bones, any combination
1 pound carrots, sliced
3 onions, 2 of them finely sliced and 1 quartered
2 cups chopped celery
3 stalks celery hearts
3 TBS minced garlic
2 pkgs. long grain and wild rice mix, including dry seasonings packet
sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)
coarse salt to taste
fresh-ground black pepper
dried parsley flakes

In stock pot, place chicken parts, quartered onion, celery hearts, and garlic. Cover with water and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer until chicken falls off bones. When cooked, drain chicken, reserving broth but tossing out vegetables.

Return broth to heat and add remaining ingredients, simmering until vegetables are tender and rice is cooked. Remove meat from bones and add to soup mixture. Offer ground pepper when serving for extra zing. Can be prepared ahead of time and frozen or placed in crock-pot for supper later in the week.

Best if served with homemade bread or biscuits.

how biblical is your worldview?

Time for introspection. Time to put on a thinking cap. Time to find out just how Biblical a thinker you really are. Go here to take a Biblical worldview test and then, if you are at all inclined, comment about your thoughts during and after the test as well as logging your score if you so desire. Hint: If you cannot identify the man in this photo, you may be in trouble! I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Monday, October 10, 2005

manna on monday

All summer we have been enjoying the blessings of solid Bible teaching in our worship services on Sunday as well as some good study time over the weekends. I thought I would like to post what I am calling "manna on Monday", just some thoughts from the sermon,Scripture quotes, or even hymn or chorus lyrics that have encouraged and convicted me as we have worshipped, relaxed, and meditated over the weekend.

Some excerpts of Isiah 43, from which the sermon text was taken yesterday:

"But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert."

Random thoughts I had:

There is but one true God,though we live in a post-modern culture that rejects any such notion.

The phrase "let go and let God" is ridiculous. God himself says He is in control of all things and no one can "let Him" do anything.

God is continually doing a new thing.

I also spend some time researching the "one another's" of the New Testament in preparation for the mom's retreat. I am asking God to show me this week how they apply in my relationships with my children. Pretty convicting stuff

"Lord, we stand by grace in Your presence, cleansed by the blood of the Lamb; We are your children, called by your name, humbly we bow and we pray: release your power to work in us and through us until we are changed to be mroe like You. Then all nations will see Your glory revealed and worship you."

homeschooling mom's day of encouragement

There is still time to register for the Homeschooling Mom's Day of Encouragement in Peoria, Illinois. Anyone who wants information can e-mail me. You can also download a registration form at Providence Church's website. Here is the scoop:

The Third Annual Treasures of a Mother's Heart
A Day of Encouragment for Homeschooling Mothers
will be held on October 22nd from 8:30am to 3:00pm
Lariat Club in Peoria
$20.00 includes lunch and all materials.
Nursing babies more than welcome.

The goal of the day is to encourage and pamper homeschooling mothers.The theme for this year's retreat is "The Joy in the Journey" and there will be 6 homeschooling mothers sharing their personal testimonies of God's grace to them during difficult times of homeschooling. Renee Lowe and Karen Campbell will also be speaking and you won't want to miss "Burn-Out: The Musical!" Who could pass up this event with original lyrics like these, sung to the tune of Memory from Cats?

It was piled on the pavement
It was flowing from dressers
It was up to my knees
From the lamplight
The dusty tables made us all cough
And the refrigerator had old cheese."

Sunday, October 09, 2005

happy birthday to me

The close of a great birthday celebration weekend is at hand. I am posting some pictures taken with my new digital camera. Thank you dear, sweet husband for this wonderful present! No more begging and borrowing photos from the offspring.

I spent part of Saturday at Mount Piscah during the Spoon River Scenic Drive, a beautiful golden day set against the blue of an October sky in Illinois.

We feasted on grilled pork chop sandwiches, deep fried onions, and funnel cakes. Too much sugar and fat but oh so good and only once a year!

Henry had his face painted by a real Indian woman with feathers in her hair and dreamcatchers hanging over her head.

Joe gave me the wonderful gift of my very own American Girl doll.

Friday, October 07, 2005

grandbaby photo of the week

voice of reason in the wilderness of paranoia

Finally I read an article this week that reflects what I have been thinking as I have listened to the pundits from all sides discussing the appointment of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. Dr.Jeff Myers is an Associate Professor of Communication Arts at Bryan College and President of the Myers Institute for Communication and Leadership had these comments to make about her appointment.

"On Saturday I had the privilege meeting Robert George, a long-time Princeton professor who is an articulate defender of natural law against the encroachment of secular humanism...Dr. George defines judicial activism as when courts legislate from the bench—when they force the legislature to adopt, and the executive branch to execute, policies that could not prevail in the fair forum of a democratic process...The opposite of judicial activism is strict constructionism, which says that judges are not legislators. Dr. George points out that justices should not legislate, even for desirable means. The court’s edicts, if they usurp the authority of the people, are not redeemed even by good consequences...To understand why strict constructionism is a good idea, we need to go back to the deliberations of our founding fathers."

Check out the entire article and while you are at it, read some of the other writers who are featured on Christian Worldview Network.

friday's quotes of the week

"The world changes; it is never constant but in its disappointments. The world is but a great inn, where we are to stay a night or two, and be gone. What madness is it to set our heart upon our inn, as to forget our home?"

Thomas Watson

"It naturally follows, then, that when someone leaves the cult, it is of paramount importance to the cult leader that this individual not have any communication with the members at all. The one who leaves becomes public enemy number one because he may influence others to leave. So what do cult leaders do to keep this from happening? They slander those who leave. They spread rumors about them. They practice public character assassination and promote behind-the-scenes gossip. The purpose of this is to keep the still loyal members from communicating with the former members.

All morality is thrown out the window in this. The end justifies the means. Cult leaders will lie, make up false rumors out of thin air, gossip publicly and privately, and do everything possible to destroy the individual who left, then wipe their hypocritical mouth and say, "What have I done?"

In this way they are just like the adulterous woman in Proverbs.

Proverbs 30:20 Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness."

James Spurgeon, author of Tales from the Temple

premiere of the "monstrous" woman of the week ~ Phyllis Schlafly

Welcome to the first in a series of biographical sketches that I plan to publish on Fridays.

These entries will briefly tell about women I believe have done many things to further the cause of Christ in America, and some even around the world, and have maintained a godly femininity while doing so. They will be women whose choices in life have also disqualified them from being given the godly woman status in some of today’s hyper-patriarchal circles, though the hypocrisy certainly has escaped some of these list keepers! Grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy! Oh, and feel free to emulate.

The distinct privilege of being the first "Monstrous" Woman of the Week goes to none other than Phyllis Schlafly. I could think of no other woman who deserves this honor more than she does, a woman who embodies the principles and character qualities of the true American Woman, a woman who stands as an example for all women today and for all the little girls and young women who will one day become wives and mothers in American homes. And, if I were George W. Bush, her name would have been at the top of my list to be Supreme Court Justice.

Best known for her courageous and undaunted battle against the Equal Rights Amendment, a brief biographical sketch of Mrs. Schlafly would certainly also include the following which I learned from the Eagle Forum website.

Phyllis Schlafly is America's best-known advocate of the dignity and honor that we as a society owe to the role of fulltime homemaker.

Mrs. Schlafly is a lawyer and served as a member of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, 1985-1991, appointed by President Reagan. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues.

Mrs. Schlafly is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Washington University, received her J.D. from Washington University Law School, and received her Master's in Political Science from Harvard University.

Mrs. Schlafly's monthly newsletter called The Phyllis Schlafly Report is now in its 38th year. Her syndicated column appears in 100 newspapers, her radio commentaries are heard daily on 460 stations, and her radio talk show on education called "Phyllis Schlafly Live" is heard weekly on 45 stations.

Mrs. Schlafly is the author or editor of 20 books on subjects as varied as family and feminism (The Power of the Positive Woman), nuclear strategy (Strike From Space and Kissinger on the Couch), education (Child Abuse in the Classroom), child care (Who Will rock the Cradle?), and a phonics book (Turbo Reader). Her most recent book, Feminist Fantasies, is a collection of essays on feminism in the media, workplace, home, and the military. (Blogger’s note: Mrs. Schlafly’s most recent book is proof that to be a strong, educated, politically active woman, one does not have to belong in the feminist camp.)

Mrs. Schlafly is an attorney admitted to the practice of law in Illinois, Missouri, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Supreme Court. She served (with the late Chief Justice Warren Burger) as a member of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, 1985-1991, appointed by President Reagan. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, foreign policy, education, tax, encryption, and family issues. She served five terms as a member of the Illinois Commission on the Status of Women, 1975-1985, appointed by the Illinois Legislature. She served as a member of the Administrative Conference of the United States, 1983-1986. She has filed several amicus curiae briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal.

Mrs. Schlafly received her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis in 1944 (Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha, Final Honors). She worked her way through college on the night shift at the St. Louis Ordnance Plant testing ammunition by firing rifles and machine guns and as a laboratory technician investigating misfires. She received her Master's in Government from Harvard University in 1945. She received her J.D. from Washington University Law School in 1978.

Mrs. Schlafly was the 1992 Illinois Mother of the Year. She and her late husband of 44 years are the parents of six children (John, Bruce, Roger, Liza, Andrew, and Anne) and 14 grandchildren. She taught all her children to read before they entered school and all had outstanding academic success: three lawyers, one physician, one Ph.D. mathematician, and one businesswoman.

In a ten-year battle, Mrs. Schlafly led the pro-family movement to victory over the principal legislative goal of the radical feminists, called the Equal Rights Amendment. She assembled the movement called Stop ERA. She is America's most articulate and successful opponent of the radical feminist movement. She has appeared on virtually every national television and radio talk show and has lectured or debated on more than 500 college and university campuses. Other political battles she led and won defeating the national movement in the 1980s to call a new Constitutional Convention.

The economist George Gilder wrote in his book Men & Marriage (Pelican, 1987):

"When the histories of this era are seriously written, Phyllis Schlafly will take her place among the tiny number of leaders who made a decisive and permanent difference. She changed the political landscape of her country. In fact, by the measure of the odds she faced and overcame, Schlafly's achievement excels all the others'. . . . She won in part because she is one of the country's best speakers and debaters and its best pamphleteer since Tom Paine. She won because of her indefatigable energy and will power, mobilizing women in state after state."

Joseph Lelyveld wrote in the New York Times Magazine (April 17, 1977):

"Phyllis Schlafly has become one of the most relentless and accomplished platform debaters of any gender to be found on any side of any issue."

On another interesting note, in September 2005, Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum awarded Margaret “Peggy” Elizabeth Phillips, wife of Howard Phillips and mother of Doug Phillips “Homemaker of the Year" which was mentioned on Doug's blog in August of 2005 as being quite a prestigious award!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

you won't want to miss.......

Starting this Friday, I will be featuring the first in the series of the most terrifying, the most horrifying, the most mystifying, the most awesome blog entries ever...


You won't want to miss it.

may the mind of Christ my Savior

May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.

May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power.

May the peace of God my Father
Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.

May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
This is victory.

May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
As I onward go.

May His beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.

Listen here.
This hymn, one of my favorites, makes me think of Corrie.

comments for the Gunn brothers

(blogger note: I am glad that I posted these thoughts here as shortly after I posted them in the comment section of their blog, the gunn brothers removed all comments and all options to comment...what do you call someone who removes comments? New definition needed I think.)

I have been thinking about the monstrous women movie clip and the various things the Gunn brothers are saying on their blog. Here are today's thoughts for them:

"I hope you understand the point that I am trying to make. Past abuses necessitate sensitivity to others. It's the "winsome ambassador for Christ" approach. I believe that most feminists are such because of a reaction to the abuse of men in their lives.

Your comment about the kitchen might be funny to you but not to a woman who was consistently told that all she was good for was to be barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen.

Look at it another way. Would you joke about vigiante lynchings to a black person? Would you laugh about ovens to a Jewish person? What I am sensing is your lack of understanding and compassion for the abuses that many women have had to endure in life. Are you asking "why" with ears to hear the answers?

I spent several years counseling women through a crisis pregnancy center ministry. I saw first hand the many abuses that so many of them endured. Up until that time I had been pretty naive. My own father was wonderful and then I married a man who was even more wonderful than that so I had a difficult time relating to what I heard. But once I listened with a heart of compassion, I heard and saw things that I have never forgotten.

We recently finished reading The Hiding Place as a family. My children were moved to tears many times. I cannot even imagine Corrie ten Boom approaching the topic of feminism with what I am seeing here. First of all, I imagine that you would think she, as a woman, should not have done all that she did. But beyond that, her example of compassion and hospitatlity to those who were not like her, especially the Jewish people, whom she knew to be enternally lost without Christ, was a true picture of Christ himself. Maybe it is trite, but what would Jesus do with a feminist? I think he would have asked her if he could have dinner with her."

Corrie ten Boom has long been honored by evangelical Christians as an exemplar of Christian faith in action. Arrested by the Nazis along with the rest of her family for hiding Jews in their Haarlem home during the Holocaust, she was imprisoned and eventually sent to the Ravensbruck concentration camp along with her beloved sister, Betsie, who perished there just days before Corrie's own release on December 31, 1944. Inspired by Betsie's example of selfless love and forgiveness amid extreme cruelty and persecution, Corrie established a post-war home for other camp survivors trying to recover from the horrors they had escaped. She went on to travel widely as a missionary, preaching God's forgiveness and the need for reconciliation.

Monday, October 03, 2005

clarification on term "neolegalism"

I have realized that my use of the term "neolegalism" has caused some confusion and I wanted to clarify my use of the word. For the record, I wanted to reiterate what I was hoping I had said.

An alert reader of my blog stated " Not to wander too far off topic... but I think that Doug Phillips is on record as opposing the neolegalists."

In part, this is how I responded:

"I would be interested in reading anything that Doug Phillips has had to say about "neolegalists." I guess is all depends on how one defines legalism and then neolegalism. Of course, if you mean neolegalism to only mean the discussions surrounding the Auburn Avenue Controversy, of course Phillips, who does not believe in the baptism of infants, would not be one.

However, I am using this term in the broader sense. Wikopedia defines legalism in this way: "Legalism, in Christian theology, is a pejorative term referring to an improper fixation on law or codes of conduct, or legal ideas, usually implying an allegation of pride and the neglect of mercy, and ignorance of the grace of God."

I would use the term "neolegalism", then, to describe those people who, in their zeal for personal holiness within our post-modern world, superimpose their own application of Biblical principles on others, equating adherence to their own personal standards with another person's spirituality."

Hope that isn't clear as mud, as they say.


I just learned something new again this morning.

There is actually an official term for anonymously posting on someone's blog.
Check this out.

"Anonymous Coward" is a term applied within some online communities to describe users who post without a handle; it is a dummy name attributed to anonymous posts used by some weblogs that allow posting by people without registering for accounts. The practice originated on Slashdot, where the mildly derogatory term is meant to chide anonymous contributors into logging in. Some weblog engines such as Scoop use the term "Anonymous Hero" instead, perhaps to avoid the name's confrontational nature.

Now, what I would like to know, what is the official word for someone who leaves a comment and then removes it, along with their name, though you have the e-mail comment?

Any thoughts?