Sunday, April 27, 2014

Minke Whale and Kayaker

Just beautiful -- watch the series of 4-5 pics. Love the guy's selfie at the end -- joyful.

MINKE WHALE beneath kayaker

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Robert McCloskey

McCloskey is the writer of Caldecott-winning children's books from decades ago. I loved them as a child and my children loved them, too. Blueberries for Sal, One Morning in Maine, Make Way for Ducklings, and others

All are available on amazon. Don't buy the story tapes. Enjoy the illustrations and chuckle over the story together.

Sarah used to try to put her little foot on the page and step into Sal's mom's kitchen. I wanted to go there, too.


With Us and For Us

If you haven't heard this old song by Michael Card I recommend it. Unlike other kings and kingdoms, which rise and fall, our King and his kingdom never diminish or crumble. Unlike pagan gods who rape and trick, our loving God gives and provides. Christ's name -- Immanuel, God with us  -- is a good comfort to remind us that our God is with us and for us and against him nothing can stand.

For all those who live in the shadow of death
A glorious light has dawned
For all those who stumble in the darkness
Behold, your light has come.

Our God is with us!
And if God is with us, who could stand against us?
Our God is with us,

"Immanuel" by Michael Card

Monday, April 21, 2014

Be Glad

After Easter,
excerpts from Be Ye Glad by MK Blanchard

From the dungeon a rumor is stirring.
You have heard it again and again.
But this time the cell keys are turning,
and outside there are faces of friends.
And though your body lay weary from wasting,
and your eyes show the sorrow they've had.
Oh the love that your heart is now tasting
has opened the gate, Be Ye Glad.

Oh, Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad,
Every debt that you ever had
Has been paid up in full by the grace of the Lord,
Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad.

So be like lights on the rim of the water,
giving hope in a storm sea of night.
Be a refuge amidst the slaughter,
for these fugitives in their flight.
For you are timeless and part of a puzzle.
You are winsome and young as a lad.
And there is no disease or no struggle,
That can pull you from God

Oh, Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad,
Every debt that you ever had
Has been paid up in full by the grace of the Lord,
Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad.

Link to Glad singing "Be Ye Glad"

Friday, April 18, 2014

"Heavy Cloud, No Rain"

Texas has long periods of drought. In this clip, one Texas hill-country man discusses how he has improved the situation on his land.

Drought Relief Link 

And here is a link to the Montgomery Farm green home right here in Allen, Texas. Our friend and an elder at our church, Lee Hall, was the builder. The home is beautiful as well as innovative.

Allen, Texas Green Home Link

Texans are used to living in a harsh environment and have some innovative solutions for preserving precious resources.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Global Views of Morality

Interesting, country-by-country breakdown of what people see as moral vs. non-moral issues. (A family member found this article and I am re-posting.)


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Forensic description of a man from Jesus' time and place

Forensic scientists put together a description of what a typical rural Jewish male carpenter in Jesus' time may have looked like.

In God's providence, we do not know what Christ himself looked like, so excuse the attention-grabbing title of the article ("The Real Face of Jesus"). And I think it's just an assumption that he was a carpenter like his adoptive father, Joseph. One would expect an oldest son to follow in the footsteps of his father, but I don't think that would be a definite, especially in this case. Given his history, his innate skills (impressing temple rabbis at a tender age), and the way people address him, might his parents have had him trained as a rabbi? This  is an unconventional view, perhaps, but doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility.

Whatever his early vocation, this forensic portrait is a picture of a vigorous, outdoor person (one who could travel widely on foot, preach for long periods to crowds while balancing in a boat, dandle children on his knee, turn over tables in the temple). Christ might not have looked like the slender, soft-skinned, fair man we see in children's Bibles.

God. With. Us

God Is Not Fate

As the Sparks Fly Upward

City Journal book review by Steven Malanga on questioning the noble savage: "Welcome to the Jungle" LINK

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Art of Saying Thank You

The New York Times' Guy Trebay discusses Jimmy Fallon, emoticons, and thank-you notes.

It's hip to write on a little paper square.

"'What they to draw a distinction between the tossed-off, compressed nature of electronic messages and a form of ritualized communication that gives material evidence 'that the person really did appreciate something.'”

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Poems: Emily Dickinson, "A Narrow Fellow in the Grass"

A narrow fellow in the grass 

A narrow fellow in the grass
Occasionally rides;
You may have met him—did you not
His notice sudden is,
The grass divides as with a comb,
A spotted shaft is seen,
And then it closes at your feet,
And opens further on.

He likes a boggy acre,  
A floor too cool for corn,
But when a boy and barefoot,
I more than once at noon
Have passed, I thought, a whip lash,
Unbraiding in the sun,
When stooping to secure it,
It wrinkled and was gone.

Several of nature’s people
I know, and they know me;
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality.
But never met this fellow,
Attended or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And zero at the bone.

Spring Poems: Robert Frost, "The Pasture"

The Pasture

I'm going out to clean the pasture spring;
I'll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I shan't be gone long. -- You come too.

I'm going out to fetch the little calf
That's standing by the mother. It's so young,
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I shan't be gone long. -- You come too.

Spring poems: AE Housman, "Loveliest of Trees"

"Loveliest of Trees"
LOVELIEST of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,         5
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,  10
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Spring Poems: Gerard Manley Hopkins, Robert Frost, and Mortality

(really about grieving)

Spring and Fall
to a young child
MÁRGARÉT, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the heart grows older        5
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:        10
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

     And here is a companion poem from a different
author and century

Nothing Gold Can Stay

by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf's a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay. 
- See more at: