Archive for June, 2009

The blogger at Virginia Is For Huguenots wishes to address the stereotype of a stern Puritan magistrate wearing a wig. The post contains history on the wearing of wigs by men, and on other fashions that provoked controversy and sometimes dismay amongst the faithful in the 17th and 18th centuries.

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While looking for information on Philip Doddridge, whose The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul is said to have helped William Wilberforce come to faith, I stumbled across the website Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings, which features sermons, poetry, a Puritan Quote of the Week, and more.

Having found out in recent years that a great deal of what I was taught about Puritans was revisionist (to put it mildly), I’m looking forward to reading what was written by actual Puritans.

Well, and by non-Puritans, too. I like this bit from the Poetry page, under the heading Non-Puritan Poems (and would like very much if those of you who know Latin would translate the Latin for me):

Here are some poems that I feel need to be included in Fire and Ice. Their inclusion should not be construed as any endorsement of any erroneous theological beliefs of their authors. That these poets expressed noble Christian sentiments with beauty and grace is sufficent reason for their works to be appreciated in their proper sphere. “Christianus sum; nihil christianii alienum me puto.”

Added: This 1993 Touchstone editorial includes the Latin phrase, and a translation. Correction: No it doesn’t. It features a variation, wherein “human” is substituted for “Christian” in the latter part of the quote. Not the same thing at all. My mistake. Sorry.

Added: This is better. It gives a history and applications of several variations of the Latin phrase.

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Jonathan Witt notes that some people are treating the Constitution like Mr. Potato Head.

hat tip: Wittingshire

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Is your concept of bravery inadequate or amoral?

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… is apparently not as easy as it used to be, especially if you are trying to get a teen to his grandparents in another state.

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If I understand this right, if your governor doesn’t veto House Bill 4294, activists will have permission (and means) to do end runs around the State Board of Education when it comes to textbook/curriculum content. Newspaper article here. (Via Terri Leo. I asked to be placed on her mailing list back when she was fighting the good fight on another controversy over maintaining textbook standards. Even though I don’t live in Texas, I’ve found her emails to be useful for finding out about some of the attacks on foundational values that are being made in the public education arena.)

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Sherry over at Semicolon is doing a Hymn Project. She asked readers to submit their ten favorite hymns, ranked one to ten, from which she planned to compile the top hundred. She had a tie for 99-101, so she’ll be sharing 101 hymns. She also has links to online hymn resources.

I didn’t submit my ten favorite hymns, because I’m not that well versed yet. Somehow submitting ‘ten hymns with which I’m more or less familiar’ didn’t seem quite in the spirit of the project…

We recently joined a church that uses a service book with hymns from throughout the ages, so I am catching up. But for now, I’m expecting most of the hymns in Sherry’s round-up will be new to me. I’m looking forward to it.

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OK, I’m still getting sidetracked over at Tyndale (I’m working, really… Sort of… Bookstore owners are supposed to browse at publisher’s websites… Ahem). 

Anyway, this book from 2005 seems very relevant to our current political discussions. From the publisher’s write-up:

Charles Colson tackles five major myths that are prevalent in our society, and which undermine the historical foundation of American government: (1) Judges should interpret laws to help the underdogs in society; (2) Each person has the right to make decisions about life, death, and relationships without outside interference; (3) Religion should be a private concern; (4) Government should play a greater role in granting unrestricted freedoms; (5) My problems stem from others who are exploiting me. Using sound biblical truth and concise examples, Colson helps readers gain a full understanding of underlying motives, events, and repercussions of these lies that often go unchallenged in our society.

Back Cover Copy
Truth . . . or persuasive deception? 

  • “Judges should use their power to interpret laws to help the underdogs in society.”
  • “Each person has the right to make decisions about life, death, and relationships without outside interference.”
  • “Religion should remain in the church and the private lives of individuals.”
  • “Government should play a greater role in granting unrestricted freedoms.”
  • “Our personal problems stem from others who are exploiting us for their own ends.”

These five statements may seem appealing at first glance. However, the only truth about them is that they are manipulative tactics employed to undermine the biblical traditions on which the United States was founded. The Judeo-Christian values of the Founding Fathers were the basis for creating a government that upholds personal liberties and protects the foundational institutions of life, marriage, and family. Those values are being challenged in ever-increasing ways by liberal groups promoting self-serving goals. All Christians are called to an active defense of God’s standards.In Lies That Go Unchallenged in Media and Government, Charles Colson explains the myths that oppose the heartbeat of Christianity and diminish the welfare of our country’s future generations. Ideal for individual or group study, the format follows real-case scenarios with helpful features called “Truths to Consider,” “Personal Transformation,” “Renewing the Church,” and “Influencing Culture,” to assist readers in making a difference.

Don’t settle for the lies. Change begins with each one of us.

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When I was over at Tyndale’s website looking for something else, I was confronted with a teaser saying “Join the Championship Fathering Movement Today!” Of course, I am not the target audience by any stretch, but since fathers tend to get undermined at every turn in the so-called popular culture, I’m happy to let you know there’s a new book that aims to counter that.

I haven’t seen it yet. If you read it, let me know what you think.

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Yesterday morning, as I was shuffling around trying to wake up, I heard a kitten crying out back. That got me awake and dressed and outside considerably faster than I’d planned to be up and outside. The kitten did not sound like it was in distress, mind you. I simply could. not. wait. to. see. what. it. looked. like. I’d like to say that my enthusiasm was because this was the first kitten mewing of 2009 (which it was), but the simple fact is that I quite enjoy meeting kittens.

Gremlin, it turned out, has had three kittens in hiding somewhere for weeks, and had decided it was time for formal introductions, not to mention time for them to do some of their eating out of a bowl. This litter is a nearly matched set of three: much white, with swirled calico markings of the palest gray and the palest orange, with darker gray splotches on the face. I’ve never seen cats like this, and now I have three. (I will be wanting homes for these shortly, if you’re local, and know anybody wanting a kitten…)

So I have, naturally, been spending time watching and petting kittens, and laughing quite out loud as their spunk outpaces their coordination.

Yesterday was also the day that the sand lilies first bloomed out back, and the Sweet William started blooming out front. Such a deal. The sand lilies are wild. The Sweet William was here when we got here. Beauty isn’t necessarily better when it’s free, but it sure doesn’t cheapen the experience, in my view.

When I was out admiring the sand lilies, they were being visited by small, dark green hornets. Yes, Virginia, there are real green hornets. I don’t recall seeing any before we moved here, but these definitely seemed to be hornets, and they were decidedly green.

While I was happily steeped in kittens and flowers, I got news of the death of one of my favorite old ladies (life’s so often like that, isn’t it?). She was 98, so I can’t say the news should have been unexpected, but it did come as a jolt. She was a Christian lady, radiating vitality coming and going, and the last I’d heard she was still playing the piano every Sunday at her church, and playing it well.

In other news, yesterday we were hearing from tourists coming to town from different directions, all saying,  ‘I drove through snow to get here! Can you believe that?’

Well, yes. We’re happily between ice ages, but we will have our moments of ‘unseasonable’ weather, particularly at the higher elevations. Get used to it. Besides, it made the fire danger go down. That’s a good thing this time of year.

This morning, I put all my pants and shorts into bags, and took them to the new thrift store. I have been living nearly exclusively in dresses and skirts for months and months now, and decided to take the plunge into entirely feminine dress, all the time. There are quite a few ladies around here who do not own a pair of pants, and so I know it can be done. (Well, OK, I know a bit of history. Most women in most of history never have had a pair of pants, so obviously it shouldn’t be a problem. But I grew up in a pantset and jeans world, and have been in need of some remedial training, so to speak.) After donating the pants, I further helped the thrift store get properly launched by buying a jumper. It looks nearly new, and cost three dollars. Yay, thrift stores.

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