Friday, March 31

The South Side of Chicago

After I wrote this post, I became inspired to do a series of posts using bits of lyrics from Jim Croce songs. As you can see, in my case, being inspired to do something is not necessarily followed by immediate accomplishment. This post would be the second, I guess, in that series.

When I was a little girl, we lived for a while in Wheaton, Illinois. We'd packed all the family belongings into a little utility trailer and travelled over the Rockies in the dead of winter from Idaho to Illinois so my dad could go back to school at Wheaton College.

We moved into a grey bungalow on Union Avenue, and started driving into the south side of Chicago on Sunday to attend church at a little Brethren in Christ mission run by Carl Carlson and his wife Avas, who were related to my father in some way I never quite understood. The mission was in a storefront building on a street that was mostly deserted on Sunday mornings, except for the other storefront church--what we called the "colored" church--down the block.

We'd leave early for the long drive. The Dan Ryan Freeway opened sometime during those three years, but before that, it was a stop and go ride past reeking stock yards to get to church. Every Sunday I arrived at the mission carsick from the odor and the lurching.

Then we'd sit for what seemed to a child to be an unending service. We may have had Sunday School, but if we did, I remember nothing of it. I do remember the church services: Organ accompanied dragging hymns sung feebly by the few, and then a sermon. Sometimes my dad preached. He wasn't Mennonite in his theology, but Carl Carlson told him that as long as he stuck to preaching the scripture, that shouldn't matter.

After the service, we always stayed for lunch. Upstairs, above the church, was the apartment where the Carlsons and a couple of single women mission workers lived. As a middle of the block storefront building, the only windows in the whole apartment were at the very front in a small sitting room and at the very back in the kitchen. In between were the bedrooms and a dark dining room with a huge table that filled the room and seated twenty or so. Maybe that's an exaggeration--I was just a little girl, remember--but it at least seated the Carlsons, the ladies, my family and a few other families.

The Sunday spread was what made the long drive, the long service, and the long wait in the sitting room paging through old Reader's Digests while the women prepared the food worth it for me. That's where I learned to love cooked cauliflower--cauliflower with cream sauce, to be precise. My parents say that once I more or less ate a whole bowl prepared for twenty all by myself, to the amusement of the adults, who kept sending the bowl of creamed cauliflower back round past me to see if I'd eat more.

Once we'd finished eating and the dishes were done, we left for home. On one Sunday afternoon, we went outside to our black Chevy parked on the street in front of the mission to find that my father had locked the keys in the car.

As my dad struggled with a wire coat hanger to unlock the door, a very large, neatly dressed, but tough looking man strolled by. "Here," he said, "I can help you with that." And from his side he pulled up a chain with a round metal key holder the size of a saucer, chock full of car keys. He rummaged through them for only a second to find the right one, unlocked the door for us, and we were off. We were very thankful for the help, but we've always wondered what he really used all those keys for.

Whenever I hear the Jim Croce song, the man with the big key chain is who I picture. For me, that is Leroy Brown.

Thursday, March 30

Favorite Things: Crosley Bakelite Clock Radio

It's a few years older than I am, and it's still kicking--radio, clock, and alarm. It has a slight tube buzz, but nevertheless, it sounds better than most modern radios.

Where did I get it? A garage sale, of course.

I know you've probably seen it before, but not in a photo taken with this camera.

Overlooking Riverdale

I have a new camera. Oldest son seems to think it's his, but it's really mine.

This is photo is from this afternoon's walk up the Grey Mountain Road. Click on it for the larger view. This is not the prettiest time of year here, but the walk was good. Fresh air, blue sky, snow melting.

Wednesday, March 29

Round the Sphere Again

  • It's been so long since I posted a Round the Sphere Again post that I need to link to two Christian Carnivals in this one. Last week's Christian Carnival can be found at All Kinds of Time. And this week's carnival will be is at The secret life of Gary. I'll post a link to this carnival post once it's ben posted. Here it is.

  • The Parableman is the one from whom I learned about the new blog of Dr. Andreas J. Kostenberger at Biblical Foundations. As far as I can tell, there are no permalinks, but I recommend the post that's at the top right now: March 27th's post, Is Jesus God?

  • Shaun Nolan discusses house churches at Postscript Posthaste.

  • The Crusty Curmudgeon examines the anti-intellecual trend in abortion-rights activism.

  • Bob of gratitude & hoopla quotes from D.A. Carson's devotional, For the Love of God (volume 2), where Carson points out that it is the gospel itself that underpins so much of instruction in scripture on how it is we are to behave. It made me think of Philippians 2.

  • I love true stories, so I love biographical sketches. Here are a few interesting ones posted recently:
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    Tuesday, March 28

    The Owl

    When cats run home and light is come,
    And dew is cold upon the ground,
    And the far-off stream is dumb,
    And the whirring sail goes round,
    And the whirring sail goes round;
    Alone and warming his five wits,
    The white owl in the belfry sits.

    When merry milkmaids click the latch,
    And rarely smells the new-mown hay,
    And the cock hath sung beneath the thatch
    Twice or thrice his roundelay,
    Twice or thrice his roundelay;
    Alone and warming his five wits,
    The white owl in the belfry sits.

    ---Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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    Monday, March 27

    Get Real Monday

    It's Get Real Monday, when we show ourselves for what were really are (or were). This week it's all about high school, which for me is way back in the olden days. I did find a couple of photos to scan. This is me with my family in the late sixties. I'm probably more junior high age than high school age.

    I was mortified by my naturally curly hair at fourteenish, so I'd probably spent hours combing my hair dry to get it to lie this flat.* Notice the cool glasses! They were pretty thick, since I'm really near-sighted. Thank goodness for the thin plastic lenses there are now!

    I was a pretty quiet kid, but not really shy. More a student sort than anything, and not really a club or activity joiner. I spent my nights on the phone doing math homework with my friend.

    In the photo on the left, I'm more high school age, around eighteen or so. At some point between 14 and 18 I made peace with my curly, wild hair, so I have it more natural here. I've gone to wire rimmed glasses, too. The jeans, if you could see them, would be bell-bottomed.

    *There were no blow dryers. I already told you; it was the olden days!

    Updated Blog Resource List and More

    Make sure you check out the blog resource list. It's grown into a thing of beauty, thanks to all your wonderful contributions.

    (I've also been busy in the comment section of this post at Theologica.)

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    Sunday, March 26

    Sunday's Hymn: The Nauticals

    The Cyber Hymnal has 50+ nautically themed hymns, believe it or not. We'll feature one more next Sunday, and then it's on to some seasonal (crucifixion and resurrection) hymns. This week's hymn is one of Fanny Crosby's.
    Keep Thou Me

    Jesus, Savior, oh, how trustfully
    I lean on Thee where'er I go;
    In Thy mercy Thou wilt shelter me,
    From storms that beat, and winds that blow.


    Trusting, I am trusting,
    Trusting, I am trusting;
    Trusting, trusting, Lord, in Thee;
    Ever keep Thou me.

    Jesus, Savior, oh, how tenderly
    Within my heart Thy words I hear;
    Thro' Thy Spirit sweetly telling me,
    That I am safe, for Thou art near.

    Jesus, Savior, oh, how joyfully
    I give my all to Thy control;
    Clouds may gather, yet how peacefully,
    The sun shines brightly in my soul.

    Jesus, Savior, Thou hast promised me
    That o’er life’s billows, wild and dark,
    Safely, surely Thou wilt anchor me,
    And homeward bring my wave-tossed bark.

    Other hymns or worship songs posted this Sunday:


    Friday, March 24

    Blog Talk: Blogging Resource List

    Helping oldest son get his blog up and running has reminded me that there are many things that seem old hat to those of us who have been blogging for a while that new bloggers just aren't aware of. I'm hoping you'll help me make a list of free online blog/blogging resources.

    By now you know how it works. I start the list off, and you add your list items in the comments, then I put your item up in the body of the post and give you a link. Got it?
    • Bloglines. Bloglines is useful to me in acouple of ways. I subscribe to my favorite blogs through Bloglines, and then use Bloglines as a feed reader. I let Bloglines tell me when they are updated. I also use it to run my blogrolls. I get an HTML blogroll code from Bloglines, and that way I never have to add picky code to my sidebar, or fool with my template everytime I want to add a blog to the roll. Bloglines has many other features, but those are the two that I use.

      Martin LaBar adds that he uses Bloglines' search capacity. You can use it to search for blogs or blog posts on a particular subject. That's how he found this blog, he says.

    • Michele recommends joining blogrolls, like Homespun Bloggers. She says she has "read a lot of interesting sites and have had many hits from it." On the Homespun Bloggers information page it says that it is
      a loose association of bloggers for whom blogging is a labor of love, and no more.
      In other words, if you are not blogging to make money off your blog, and your blog is not business related, this blogroll is for you.
      To be eligible to become a Homespun Blogger one must 1) have a blog, 2) keep that blog relatively family-friendly and 3) earn a living in some realm other than selling one’s opinions. In other words, we are a group of family-friendly bloggers who blog for no financial gain...
      Whatever your particular interests or affiliations, there is probably a blogroll for it, and they are good ways to get your blog known by people who share your interests. A blogroll and aggregator I belong to is the League of Reformed Bloggers.

    • Steven Harris reminds us that Pingomatic is a good automatic pinger for "letting most blogging providers and search engines know that you've updated your blog." Every time you post something, you should be letting Pingomatic know. You can bookmark your own page, and then you only have to go to that page and it automatically repings the services you've chosen.

      Ian McKenzie says Pingoat is a good automatic pinger, too.

    • Martin LaBar also suggests flickr for storing and sharing photos for your blog. I use Picture Trail for that, which is another good resource, but you do have to pay a small fee after a while. Update, March 28: Eija adds another free photo sharing site: Zoto.

    • Violet suggests Sitemeter as a good free web counter for your site.
      I added a Sitemeter counter to my blog recently (having had a Bravenet one since almost the beginning). I like Sitemeter because it gives more detailed info about visitors....and it allows you to keep your traffic cards close to the chest - if that's your style.
      I think Sitemeter is probably the best free counter, too. Some people like to have several counters on their page. I guess that's just to make sure they don't miss anyone!

      Update, March 30: John Hollandsworth points us to another source for free web stats that he's been pleased with: Perfomancing.

    • Ian McKenzie says that Blogger itself is "the grand-daddy of all free on-line blogger resources." I'd have to agree. In a matter of minutes, you can be up and running with a brand new blog. And except for some service problems over the last few weeks, I've found Blogger quite reliable.

      If you're already a Blogger use, don't forget Blogger Help, which has lots of "how-to and help documents to help you get more out of Blogger." You can, for instance, learn all about your template tags, and what you can do with them.

    • Both Ian McKenzie and Tulipgirl recommend Technorati. Technorati is a search engine that
      tracks the number of links, and the perceived relevance of blogs, as well as the real-time nature of blogging. Because Technorati automatically receives notification from weblogs as soon as they are updated, it can track the thousands of updates per hour that occur in the blogosphere, and monitor the communities (who's linking to whom)...
      So, as Tulipgirl mentions, you can find out how many people (and who) is linking to your blog and what they're saying about what you wrote by searching using your blog's URL. You can claim your blog at Techorati by simply filling out this form.

      You can also use Techorati to see who is blogging what about a certain topic. Just search for a key word, and you'll find the blogs that mention it, sorted by most recent first. And that brings us to Technorati tags. It's a way you can categorize your own post by topic. I've got them at the bottom of my posts, and as Ian mentions, they do help to build traffic to your site. I use the Technorati tag for hymns most Sundays to find other people posting hymns. I just click on the tag at the bottom of my post, and link to others who have also posted hymns on Sunday. (Mostly I just find good old Ian himself, but sometimes there are others.)

      If you are interested in tagging your posts, Ultraseeker is a good tag building tool. Update, March 28: John Hollandsworth uses Ultimate Tag Warrior, which is a plug-in for Wordpress (See item #16).

    • Ian suggests for tagging your blog posts, too.

    • Brian suggests Sage as a feed reader extension for Firefox users. Update, March 28: Jim suggests another feed reader: Thunderbird by Mozilla. John Hollandsworth suggests FeedBlitz

    • Brian also uses w.bloggar for composing blog posts off-line. This resource is new to me, but it looks interesting. I'll be checking it out more later.

    • Another helpful resource suggested by Brian is Color Schemer. Besides getting the code for different colors there, they'll help you find colors for your blog that look good together. I've used this color code chart from Webmonkey.

    • Tulipgirl points to another blog search engine: Google Blog Search. You can search by topic, blog name, or URL to find links on a certain topic or to a certain blog (like your own). The "links to this post" or backlinks feature on Blogger is based on this search engine. (And while we're on the subject, if you want to your links show up in Blogger backlinks, you must use full site feed. For Blogger users, that means going to the site feed section under your settings and making sure your description is set on "full". If you change this setting, make sure you republish your blog.)

      Update, March 28: Eija remind us that we can search for links in just plain old Google as well, by putting "link:your URL" in the search field.

    • Tulipgirl also likes Blogtree, which is unfortunately so popular that it often exceeds its bandwidth. When it's working, you can find out who your blogging kin are--who you are related to, blogwise.

    • Julana suggests free sources for photos, signs and banners, etc:
      Custom Sign Generator
      Sign Generator Widgits

    • Another tip from Michele: View your blog through various browsers to see if you are satisfied with how it looks in each of them.

    • Another free service to power your blog is Wordpress, recommended by Jim, eija and John Hollandsworth. Eija says that Wordpress
      has what is missing from the Blogger: a feature for pre-timed posting. It means that you can write your post now and time it to be published next week when you're travelling or something. It also has an efficient spam filter without any annoying word verification codes... But, you can't really customize the free wordpress blog, so counters and other fun are excluded and you have to choose the layout from the few available ones.

    • Okay, now it's time to talk about site feed. It is a must-have item for your blog! Just this morning I ran into a blog I found interesting, but it had no site feed, so I couldn't subscribe to it at Bloglines. That means that even though I liked it, I'll only read it when (and if) I remember to visit again. There's no excuse for that, because FeedBurner, suggested by both Jim and John Hollandsworth, is a fast and easy source for RSS feed.

      For Blogger users, having atom feed is just a matter of adjusting your settings to publish your site feed. You may want to consider getting feed from FeedBurner as well, since not all feed readers read atom feed.

      And FeedBurner offers lots of other RSS based fun things for your blog, too, so make sure you rummage around a bit a their site to see what else they offer.

    • For maps and such things, MapStats and ClustrMaps are recommended by John Hollandsworth.

    • Shaun Nolan adds a suggestion over at Postscript Posthaste.

    • Kristie reminds us of the free avatars for our sidebars, like the weatherpixie, for instance.

    What free blogging resources do you recommend?

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    Of Dogs and Decrees

    Whew! I finally got the next post on the order of decrees posted at Theologica, so I expect you to indulge me by allowing me to post a picture of my dog here.

    And speaking of dogs and dog photos, Stacie of Life with Dogs in the Yukon took her Gang of Four out skijoring (sort of) and photographed it all. If seeing their antics doesn't make you laugh, you are crankier than I am.

    Miscellaneous other dog related posts:
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    Thursday, March 23

    The Plan That Was Not To Be

    So, all I really got done today, blogwise, was respond to a comment from Jeremy Pierce on the order of decrees at Theologica. I'd planned to finish a post on infralapsarianism, but that was not to be. I blame my email, my web connection, and even Blogger itself, who were all behaving badly sporadically throughout the day.

    I actually lost my comments to Jeremy twice before I got them posted, too!

    Email Problems

    My email isn't working, so if you've written me since yesterday afternoon, I haven't recieved it. Nor can I send email out, which isn't good, because I'd hoped to get caught up on that this morning.

    K of H, I did receive your little gift. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and I'll write more than that once my email works again.

    Wednesday, March 22

    Last Interview

    This was the last interview that he ever had with his people.
    That's what Jonathan Edwards says about the latest entries in David Brainerd's journal:

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    Remembering the Martyrs

    Two years ago, two African Inland missionaries and a Ugandan student were murdered in Uganda. You can read more of the story here. (I blogged about it back then: Not Again! and A Tribute to Warren and Donna Pett.)

    Today I received an email from Warren Pett's sister. She'd found my blog post from back then, and wanted to comment on it. She mentioned that it is now the second anniversary of these deaths.
    I am overwhelmed and grateful to my Heavenly Father for words of comfort and support we've received from people we don't know. On this, the second anniversary of their murder/martyrdom, the pain is still there, but so is the comfort, promised to all Christians. Our family could not survive and go forward, were it not for our faith in the risen Lord Jesus, the prayers of other Christians, and the confidence we will enjoy Eternity together.

    God is good, all the time.
    All the time, God is good.
    Why not take a little time to remember the martyrs today--Warren and Donna Pett, and all the other faithful martyrs, too. And pray for their families. It can't be easy.

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    Tuesday, March 21

    Christian Carnival Reminder

    Please note the change in policy for the Christian Carnival below.

    Entries for the Christian Carnival are due by tonight (March 21) at midnight EST. Submit your entry to ChristianCarnival [ATT] gmail [DOTT] com. Include
    • The name of your blog
    • The URL of your blog
    • The title of your post
    • The URL of your post
    • A short description of the post
    • The trackback link if you have one
    Then look for your entry in tomorrow's (March 22) carnival at all kinds of time....

    You'll find more complete information on the Christian Carnival here. There's been a bit of a change in policy for the carnival. From Dory:
    Hosts have the option of limiting the Christian Carnival to the first 40 acceptable entries. Just one more reason for you to enter early!
    So you'd best not wait for my Tuesday reminder to get your post in! Usually you'd be okay, since there are often less than 40 entries, but don't count on it.

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    That Was Fun!

    Whew! I just got back from A Sparrow's home where I listed my favorite children's books. Her door is still open. Why don't you hop on over and list your favorite children's books, too?

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    Monday, March 20

    Round the Sphere Again

  • Last week's Christian Carnival is at Light Along the Journey.

    We go back to school in this week's Round the Sphere post.

  • Reading:
  • Language: Chez Kneel on Speaking Inuit.

  • Theology: You didn't think I'd have school without a class in theology did you?
  • Current Events: It's Rex Murphy again. I've already let you know how I feel about Rex. Magic Statistics linked to an article by Rex Murphy, too. Here's another one that deserves a read. Both articles are about Stephen Harper's trip to visit the Canadian troops in Afghanistan. Here's a quote from the CBC: The National article, A Question of Honor:
    I cannot see how we can ask troops to risk their lives in combat and in the perils of helping to rebuild a ravaged country while, in essence, we tip them to the idea that meanwhile, we're about to launch an argument if there is a reason for them to be there in the first place. It would be a little like saying "Off you go. Now, let's debate if we should send you."

    That would be reckless, illogical, unjust, and defeatist.
    Now, imagine that text spoken in a Newfoundland brogue.

  • Sports: Youngest daughter's good friend Emily won a silver medal in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games. Emily trains in Montreal, so the article says she's from there, but she's really a Yukoner.

  • Recess: It's a Lego aircraft carrier. HT: Ian.

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    Sunday, March 19

    Sunday's Hymn: The Nauticals

    We can't feature nautical hymns without having this, can we? This hymn was published first in 1871 in The Sailor's Magazine.
    Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me

    Jesus, Savior, pilot me
    Over life's tempestuous sea;
    Unknown waves before me roll,
    Hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
    Chart and compass come from Thee;
    Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

    While th'Apostles' fragile bark
    Struggled with the billows dark,
    On the stormy Galilee,
    Thou didst walk upon the sea;
    And when they beheld Thy form,
    Safe they glided through the storm.

    Though the sea be smooth and bright,
    Sparkling with the stars of night,
    And my ship's path be ablaze
    With the light of halcyon days,
    Still I know my need of Thee;
    Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

    When the darkling heavens frown,
    And the wrathful winds come down,
    And the fierce waves, tossed on high,
    Lash themselves against the sky,
    Jesus, Savior, pilot me,
    Over life's tempestuous sea.

    As a mother stills her child,
    Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
    Boisterous waves obey Thy will,
    When Thou sayest to them, "Be still!"
    Wondrous Sovereign of the sea,
    Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

    When at last I near the shore,
    And the fearful breakers roar
    'Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
    Then, while leaning on Thy breast,
    May I hear Thee say to me,
    "Fear not, I will pilot thee."

    ---Edward Hopper, pastor of Church of the Land and the Sea in New York City. (Listen.)

    Other hymns or worship songs posted this Sunday:

    Saturday, March 18

    Favorite Things: Vintage Table Cloths

    I like vintage textiles of all sorts, but especially table cloths. This is one of my favorites. I got it at an estate sale a few years ago--the same estate sale I got my autograph book at. I put it on the table today in celebration of spring, which officially starts in a couple of days, but came a tad early to the Yukon today when it warmed up to -15C.

    Saturday's Frivolity


    Friday, March 17

    Wanda Gag, Free to Imagine

    Thanks to Ian, who was the first to guess correctly (although others did, too), I can post this revealing piece by our mystery artist. If you haven't read this book to your kids, you've neglected them.

    It's the first children's book, according to my children's literature professor, that used a repeated refrain throughout. (You know it, right?: "...hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats!") It was a technique used in oral versions of folk tales, but it hadn't made its way into books before Wanda Gag* wrote this one. This book was also the first children's book to use a double-paged spread and hand lettered text.

    People thought of Wanda Gag as a "free spirit", and her work is very unique and innovative, but she was hardly free. She was the oldest of seven children, and a Minnesota native, as Ian mentioned. She was only fourteen when her father died of tuberculosis, and his last words to her were "what Papa has left undone, Wanda will have to do."

    It was her hard work that kept the family together, as she took on odd jobs illustrating magazine articles, greeting cards, and calendars to make money. She graduated high school in 1912, but didn't feel free to accept her scholarship to art school until the next two sisters had graduated high school, too, and were established as teachers.

    Wanda Gag was a well-known artist with works in the permanent collections of many museums when Millions of Cats was published in 1928. Her other Newberry winning children's book is The ABC Bunny, but you might also be familiar with Gone is Gone (my favorite), Nothing at All and others.

    Unfortunately, Wanda died from lung cancer in 1946 when she was only 53. Not long before she died, she wrote a brief autobiography for Illustrators of Children’s Books, 1744-1945 by Bertha Mahoney. Wanda wrote in this piece about serving in the army, living in Paris, and travelling to the Orient and India on a Guggenheim Fellowship.

    It was probably what she wished were true, but none of it was. To the last, I guess, Wanda Gag was free spirit, but a free spirit chained by her circumstances.

    Want to see more of her work, which, by the way, are mostly lithographs?

    Still Life

    Grandma's Parlor

    Spinning Wheel

    I don't know the title to this last one, but I'm including it anyway, because I really like it. It's a hay baling thingamajig, I think, but the name escapes me. [Update: Island Sparrow's husband thinks that might be a potato harvester. I really should learn not to venture guesses in farm machinery identification.]

    *pronounced "Gog", and there's an accent on the a that I can't do.

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    Linkin' Green


    I'm Sick of Complaining About the Weather

    so I'll let Scott do it for me.

    This morning--right now--it is -37C. Not complaining, mind you, just saying. At least the wind is calm and there's no ice fog.

    Related posts:
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    Who Is the Artist? More....

    No one guessed correctly on yesterday's post, so here's another work by the same artist. This one is Self Portrait.

    Missmellifluous asks "Did the artist write the books or just - well not just - illustrate?" In the books I'm thinking of--the most famous ones--the artist is both author and illustrator.

    (Still clueless? You'll find a couple of hints in the comments.)


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    Thursday, March 16

    Who Is the Artist?

    This piece is called The Forge, and it's in the National Gallery of Art collection. You can click for a larger view.

    You may not need to know much about art or artists to make a reasonable guess as to whose work this is. If you have children and you've read the classic children's picture books to them, you're probably familiar with some of this artist's work. If you aren't, then you missed at least one of the most important classics.

    Give us your guess in the comments. If no one gets it right--although I'm pretty sure someone will--I'll add a self-portrait that gives some more clues. Right now, the distinctive style is your best hint.


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    I Started A Post

    . . . . that started the whole world posting.

    That isn't what I wanted to say, but my fingers have a mind of their own. What they were supposed to type it this: I started a post for today that I didn't finish.

    In case you can't tell by the posts on the blog, I haven't been up to snuff this week. I am just now returning to normal after that nasty illness youngest son--and his entire basketball team--picked up in Tok, Alaska. So I started a post this morning, and it was coming right along, until I looked up and noticed some other things I've been neglecting.

    So the big choice was between a finished post or a slightly more orderly home with watered plants and milk in the fridge. I went with milk. See you tomorrow. Or possibly later today.

    Wednesday, March 15

    Blogging Kin

    Yep, oldest son's recently become a blogger, too. In his first post he takes on the Canadian Forces.

    Update, March 17: No, he's not quit blogging. His blog is one of the ones stored on Blogger's bad filer, and it's inaccessible. Temporarily, we hope!

    I'm Going On Record


    Called According to Paul: All the Rest

    An explanation of this series of posts can be found here. You'll find the previous twelve posts in the series listed under Current Series in the sidebar.

    We have only three more examples of Paul using the word called in regards to the call of God, and the plan is to look at all three in this post. First up is Colossians 3:15:
    Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body to this peace), and be thankful. (NET)
    The call to the Colossian Christians was a call to peace. We've seen this idea before in Paul's usage of the word call: the call that believers received was an appointment to a certain kind of life--a life of holiness, peace, fellowship with the Son, etc.

    The Colossian believers were called "as one body". I'm going to take this as referring to the way they were called rather than referring to what they were called to. They were called together as a group (See chapter 1.), and came to faith as a group, and that they were called as "one body" was reason for them to not be factious, but to continue as a unified, peaceful body.

    The next usage of called by Paul is in 1 Thessalonians 4:7:
    For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. (NET)
    This is another of the "called to" uses. Those who are called are called to live holy lives. We can compare this to verse 3 of the same chapter, which says that "this is God's will: that you become holy". A calling from God is an appointment to sanctification.

    The very last verse to look at is 1 Timothy 6:12:
    Compete well for the faith and lay hold of that eternal life you were called for and made your good confession for in the presence of many witnesses. (NET)
    In this case, it's eternal life the calling is an appointment to, and that appointment serves as incentive to "compete well for the faith."

    We've now looked at every time Paul uses the word call in regards to God's call. I'll follow up with one last post that summarizes everything we've gleaned about the way Paul uses that word when he talks of God's call so we can compare that with the quote from Herman Ridderbos that started this whole series rolling. That's the plan, anyway.

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    Tuesday, March 14

    No, My Car is Not Electric!

    Ian pointed out that I may have confused some of you with my reference to plugging my car in. He thought I ought to explain what that meant.'s what I know. When it's cold you need to plug your car in or it won't start. With my Honda Accord, the magic temperature is -28C. If it's -28C or less, my car will refuse to start if I don't plug the little cord that hangs out of the grill into an extention cord that I plug into the outlet beside the garage door.

    Actually, if it looks like it's going to be -20C or less, I plug the car in. It's a happier vehicle that way. Vehicles are even happier if they also have a cozy electric battery blanket and/or an oil pan heater.

    The most important thing to remember, besides plugging the car in when it's cold, is to unplug it before driving off.

    If you're a stickler for details, you might want to read this. And yes, having my car plugged in adds to my electric bill. Replacing extension cords that your children have wrecked when they forget to unplug isn't cheap, either.

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    If There Had Been No March This Yeawr

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    we wouldn't have fallen to -30C at all. Okay, don't quote me on that. I don't actually record the daily low temps, so I could be off a little, but I'm thinking that while we'd flirted with -30C on occasion, we'd never actually dropped that low until these past few days. (The thermometer on the right is a visual aid for those who need a little help converting C to F.)

    Up until now, we've had a mild winter. We haven't had any snow to speak of either--at least any snow that required shovelling--until last week.

    I suppose I shouldn't complain. The year I was pregnant with my oldest son, who was born in March, the thermometer never went above -30C for the whole month of February. We had an earthquake, too. You could get a certificate saying you survived February, 1979. Now there's a month worth complaining about.

    And I have to admit, -30C is better than tornadoes and wildfires.

    But I'm going to complain about this month anyway. Last year, on March 12, it was 10C. I was probably sitting on my deck for part of the day. This year, I'm still plugging my car in.

    Update 1: StatGuy tried to cheer me up with the good news that it would be -21C this afternoon. What he neglected to point out is that there would be just a wee bit of a wind chill--about -30C worth or so.

    He also linked to a 75 page pdf file full of--What else?--stats, including some weather statistics. The coldest temp for March in Whitehorse? -40.62, back in good old 1972. Warmest March day? 11.7C in 1979.

    So when the oldtimers tell us it's just not as cold as it used to be, they might be right. What they're neglecting to tell us is that it's just not as warm as it used to be, either.

    Update 2: Kevin has more on Yukon cold.... with pizza in Old Crow.

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    Christian Carnival Reminder

    Entries for the Christian Carnival are due by tonight (March 7) at midnight EST. Submit your entry to ChristianCarnival [ATT] gmail [DOTT] com. Include
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    • The URL of your post
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    Monday, March 13

    Speaking of Yukon License Plates

    Here's the personalized one I want. I think it would be fun to explain what it means.*

    Acme License Maker will make you a license plate, too. Once again, this is a cool thing I saw at Ian's Messy Desk.

    *You might call the Five Solas the foundation stones of the Reformation. They are five Latin phrases that sum up the ideas underpinning the Reformation.
    1. Sola Scriptura. The Bible is the ultimate and inerrant rule for the church.

    2. Solus Christus. The sole grounds for our salvation is the mediatorial work of Christ.

    3. Sola Gratia. Salvation comes to us completely out of God's grace, and it has no basis or grounds in human merit or works.

    4. Sola Fide. Our justification is through through faith alone, and does not rest on any merit within us.

    5. Soli Deo Gloria. Since salvation is accomplished wholly by God, all glory is due to God alone.

    Sunday, March 12

    Sunday's Hymn: The Nauticals

    Lord, Whom Winds and Waves Obey

    Lord, Whom winds and waves obey,
    Guide us through the watery way;
    In the hollow of Thy hand
    Hide, and bring us safe to land.

    Jesus, let our faithful mind
    Rest, on Thee alone reclined;
    Every anxious thought repress,
    Keep our souls in perfect peace.

    Keep the souls whom now we leave,
    Bid them to each other cleave;
    Bid them walk on life's rough sea;
    Bid them come by faith to Thee.

    Save, till all these tempests end,
    All who on Thy love depend;
    Waft our happy spirits o'er;
    Land us on the heavenly shore.

    ---Charles Wesley

    Other hymns or worship songs posted this Sunday
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    Saturday, March 11

    A Little Secret

    Kim from Hiraeth has already let the cat out of the bag, so it's not really a secret, I guess. Today is my birthday.

    We will be celebrating some other day, since I'm not feeling all that great today. I took Contac cold capsules yesterday and got rash all over, so not only do I have a miserably stuffy nose and a fever, I have itchy rash.

    I was born on my mom's birthday, so we always celebrated the day together when I was growing up. Wikipedia has a list of other people born on this day, but I only know who a few of them are: Lawrence Welk, Ralph Abernathy, Rupert Murdoch.

    [Update: Woohoo! Another birthday mate: Wanda Gag, born in 1893.]

    On this day in history:

    • In 1892, in Springfield Massachusett at the YMCA training college, James Naismith, from Almonte, Ontario, organized the world's first public game of his new invention - basketball.

    • Romeo and Juliet were married, at least according to Shakespeare. That would have been in 1302.

    • Rock musician Paul McCartney was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997.

    Searching for the Quadrupeds

    If you search for "the family that walks on all fours" on Google, this page shows up on page one of your results right now. That's been the most common search query leading to this blog recently.

    One thing that looking through the search queries shows me is that many people don't know how to do productive search queries. Like this search: word or a phrase to describe Rebecca. I'm pretty sure the little guy who operates the search engine doesn't know Rebecca, so he's going to have a hard time coming up with phrases to describe her.

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    Friday, March 10

    Round the Sphere Again

    Christian Carnival:
    Church History:
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    Thursday, March 9

    Simple Pleasures

    I mentioned last week that we had some sort of illness floating around the house. Fortunately, no one else got the particularly nasty version that youngest son had. He lost 15 pounds, and is still recovering a little each day. It's a good thing this week is spring break, because if he were back in school, he'd be struggling to keep up with things.

    The rest of us had the weaker version of the illness--a little headache, a few muscle aches, a scratchy throat, with crankiness and lethargy. We all have appetite problems, too, at least as long as you consider little appetite for heavy foods a problem.

    So we've been rediscovering the joy of simple foods. Two nights in a row we've had homemade soup for supper--chicken noodle last night, and tortellini soup tonight. I made corn bread to go with the tonight's soup, but last night the soup was only accompanied by crackers and cheese. And they loved it. You'd have thought I spent the whole day in the kitchen.

    Youngest daughter and I have also rediscovered cream of wheat hot cereal. Every morning for breakfast, with some dried cranberries cooked in it. The boys have become very fond of Wheatabix. I bought a box on Tuesday and it's already gone.

    As I write this, youngest son is hinting that a spot of tea would be nice, so as soon as I post this I'll be off to the kitchen to make a pot of Twinings Earl Grey Tea. He is also reading--something he likes to do, but hasn't had much time for, with his homework and basketball and trips and friends to keep him busy. Today he was searching the shelves for a good book--an adventure or something like that, he said--so I found him the first book in C. S. Lewis's space trilogy. Right now he's sitting in the wing chair in front of the fire reading it.

    We've turned into a bunch of old codgers in pajamas. We just need our cups of tea to complete the look.

    What is God's providence towards the angels?

    God by his providence permitted some of the angels, wilfully and irrecoverably, to fall into sin and damnation,[1] limiting and ordering that, and all their sins, to his own glory;[2] and established the rest in holiness and happiness;[3] employing them all,[4] at his pleasure, in the administrations of his power, mercy, and justice.[5]
    1. Jude 1:6
      And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day...
      II Peter 2:4
      For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment...
      Heb. 2:16
      For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.
      John 8:44
      You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

    2. Job 1:12
      And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
      Matt. 8:31
      And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.”

    3. I Tim. 5:21
      In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.
      Mark 8:38
      For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
      Heb. 12:22
      But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering...

    4. Psa. 104:4
      ...he makes his messengers winds,
      his ministers a flaming fire.

    5. II Kings 19:35
      And that night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.
      Heb. 1:14
      Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

    Question 19, Westminster Larger Catechism.

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    Why Catechism?

    B. B. Warfield quotes D. L. Moody on the value of catechism:

    An anecdote told of Dwight L. Moody will illustrate the value to the religious life of having been taught these forms of truth. He was staying with a Scottish friend in London, but suppose we let the narrator tell the story. "A young man had come to speak to Mr. Moody about religious things. He was in difficulty about a number of points, among the rest about prayer and natural laws. 'What is prayer?,' he said, 'I can't tell what you mean by it!' They were in the hall of a large London house. Before Moody could answer, a child's voice was heard singing on the stairs. It was that of a little girl of nine or ten, the daughter of their host. She came running down the stairs and paused as she saw strangers sitting in the hall. 'Come here, Jenny,' her father said, 'and tell this gentleman "What is prayer." ' Jenny did not know what had been going on, but she quite understood that she was now called upon to say her Catechism. So she drew herself up, and folded her hands in front of her, like a good little girl who was going to 'say her questions,' and she said in her clear childish voice: "Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies." 'Ah! That's the Catechism!' Moody said, 'thank God for that Catechism.' "---B.B. Warfield

    Update: Kyle asks what catechism the little girl was quoting. It's the Westminster Shorter Catechism, question 98.

    Update 2: James Spurgeon of Pyromaniacs touches on the value of catechism, too, in Meditations on God's Glory.

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    Wednesday, March 8

    Organizing for Fun


    Ordering the Decrees Again


    Tuesday, March 7

    Sola Scriptura and KJV Onlyism, Better Late Than Never

    For some reason, this old post has generated quite a bit of traffic here recently. And not from one link source, but from several.

    Weird how that works, isn't it?

    Christian Carnival Reminder

    Whoops! I was working so hard on an ordered decrees post that I forgot to remind you that there's a deadline coming up in a few hours. Now you'll really have to hop to it!

    Entries for the Christian Carnival are due by tonight (March 7) at midnight EST. Submit your entry to ChristianCarnival [ATT] gmail [DOTT] com. Include
    • The name of your blog
    • The URL of your blog
    • The title of your post
    • The URL of your post
    • A short description of the post
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    Then look for your entry in tomorrow's (March 8) carnival at Adam's Blog.

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    Monday, March 6

    Kirby Puckett: 1960-2006

    Baseball great Kirby Puckett died today just short of his 46th birthday. He had suffered a stroke yesterday morning

    We were in Minnesota in 1991 when the Twins won the World Series, so we could watch all the games in the company of other Twins fans. Kirby Puckett was the little round guy who came through when it counted, like when he hit the winning home run in the 11th inning in Game 6. I remember him making a spectacular leaping catch against the wall in that game, too. It wouldn't be much of an exaggeration to say that Kirby won the 1991 series for the Twins.

    His reputation was tarnished more than a little in the past few years, teaching my sons (and us all) that it's never a good idea to idolize our sports heroes. But whatever you make of that mess, we can all agree that Kirby sure could play baseball!

    If I could find my Kirby Puckett rookie card, I'd scan it and post it. I run into it from time to time when I'm rummaging around the house, but I can't remember where it is when I need it.

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