Sunday, August 30, 2009


"Earth is all the believer will know of hell,
and all the unbeliever will know of heaven."

--John MacArthur--

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Great Canadian Inventions

I was feeling proud to be a Canadian, so I decided to list some of our accomplishments.

Health/medicine: Insulin, Pacemaker, Electric Wheelchair, Cobalt 60, CPR mannequin, TPN.
Clothing: Zipper, Push-up Bra, G-suit.
Food/cooking: Pablum, Poutine, Instant Mashed Potatoes, Bloody Caesar, Electric Oven.
Re: Sports: 5 Pin Bowling, Basketball, Goalie Mask, Lacrosse, Instant Replay, Birchbark Canoe.
Re:Machines: Ski-Doo, Electric Music Synthesizer, Snowblower, WeeVac, Self-propelled combine harvester.
Military: Marine Screw Propeller, Steam Foghorn, Explosives Vapour Detector.
Electronics: Light bulb, telephone, Blackberry, Electron Microscope, Canadarm, Walkie-Talkie, Alk. Battery, Radio Voice Transmission.
Random: Standard Time, Plexiglass, Paint Roller, Green garbage bag, Caulking gun, Java Prog. Language, Key Frame Animation, Robertson Screw.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Summer At Last!

August 14, 2009

Outside my window...Me! I'm writing on the deck. Well, actually, I'm writing on paper and sitting on the deck, but now I'm just being picky. I was cleaning the bathroom and then I thought, 'What am I doing inside on one of the first hot days of the summer?' So here I am, writing blogs and tweets and lists and stories, because I can.
I am thinking...that tomorrow will be 25 years since our first date. it can't be that long! It seems like just yesterday. We went to the CNE and I pretended to be scared on the roller coaster so I could grab his hand. Oh, the games we women play! The damsel-in-distress routine works every time.
I am thankful washer and dryer. I couldn't imagine having to beat my clothes on rocks and drape them over bushes.
From the kitchen...No clue yet. Maybe eat out, or make chicken or fish with asparagus and corn on the cob.
I am wearing...jean capris and a red tank top. It's REDFRIDAY, and when I remember, I wear red, to support our troops.
I am reading...From A to X, by John Berger. I'm not enjoying it much, the prose is too flowery. I prefer plain speech to tell a story, but I'm half way through, and I'm a stubborn Finn, so I'll finish it.
I am hoping...that one day we'll live in a house with a sauna. My husband assures me that if we move, he'll have one built for me. I only get into a sauna once or twice a year, now. Sigh.
I am hearing...the a.c. working hard to keep our house cool, and the sounds of the neighbourhood.
Around the house...this is my youngest daughter's last day of work. Six weeks went by fast. She worked hard and made good money, and now she has two weeks to enjoy her summer before school starts. We'll see our eldest tomorrow. We're picking her up on our way to London for a family reunion, of sorts. My mom's sister is here from Finland for two weeks, and some other relatives are coming from Sault Ste. Marie. I'm looking forward to good food, lounging by the pool, and having my bi-annual sauna. My husband has two weeks off. I do, too, except for Monday night.
One of my favourite things...sweet summer corn on the cob with butter.
A few plans for the week...London this weekend, weigh-in on Monday morning, purchase perennials for my husband to plant in our currently empty planter boxes in the front yard, work one night, finalize Carey plans, pack for Carey, leave a day early to get set up.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Soldiers in a Totalitarian Regime

This quote is from the book,
From A to X by John Berger

"I felt old, I could still remember the time when soldiers were warriors, when mothers, however anxious, were proud of their soldier sons.
Across the world, uniformed, highly armed, commanded soldiers operate against unarmed civilians, temporarily isolated and surrounded. This is the new military profession. Soldiers have been transformed into bastards.
The old military orders of Advance or Withdraw or Offer Covering Fire have become obsolete because there is no front line and no opposing army. Nobody will say of one of these bastards that he died nobly.
If one of them happens to get killed, those close to him will mourn his death, but about its circumstances they will keep quiet, and say nothing.
The single word that counted on Wednesday was the one that came from the muzzle of a gun, addressed to somebody on their knees."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Longing Season

The Longing Season: The Amazing Story Of 'Amazing Grace'
By Christine Schaub

This is the love story of John Newton and Mary Catlett. John Newton was an infamous slave trader who was converted to Christianity during a storm at sea and then laboured to end slavery in England. John and Mary were separated for three years and alternated between longing and despair.
It has a mixture of fictional and non-fictional characters. I don't like when a book introduces a second love interest, especially when he's more charming than the one she really loves. I would have chosen the other guy, but then, maybe I'm just shallow.
Reading the life story of John Newton makes the words to the hymn he wrote more poignant. He really was a wretch.
This is the second book in the Music of the Heart series, which pressents the background stories of famous hymns and writers, in this case John Newton's Amazing Grace.

Monday, August 10, 2009

You Only Thought You Knew The Story

The Murder of Jesus
By John MacArthur

MacArthur takes the narrative of the suffering and crucifixion of Christ, from the Upper Room to Golgotha itself. He basically tells the story chronologically, by producing a harmony of the gospels, with commentary, background and application. They are essentially his sermons on the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Christ. It gives a more complete picture than you would get from reading each gospel separately.
But it's not what you'd expect.
While you get a feel for the INJUSTICE of the arrest, the mockery of the kangaroo court, and the cruelty of the scourging and crucifixion, MacArthur also shows the other side: that the JUSTICE of God was satisfied in the death of the Lamb of God. The Cross didn't just "happen" to Jesus; He came to die.
While it is the worst crime ever committed, because of the infinite value of the victim, it was also the best thing to ever happen. It was a "Good Friday" for us, because if Christ had not died, we would have no way to approach God.
The crucifixion of Christ is at once both the nadir and the climax of history.

Romance in the Bible?

Faithful God: An Exposition Of The Book Of Ruth
By Sinclair Ferguson

This book is based on a series of sermons preached by Sinclair Ferguson. The story of Ruth is a beautiful story on its' own, and I've heard preaching on it many times. But it always amazes me to hear (or read) it again and see things that I never noticed before. That's one of the things that sets the Bible apart from other literature; it's inexhaustible nature.
The book of Ruth is short, only four chapters, but there is much in little. On the surface, it is a love story of an unlikely woman, a poor widow from Moab, with a wealthy, honorable Israelite, named Boaz.
Ferguson describes how a personal ad would have appeared in the Bethlehem Star:
"Single Moabite woman, widowed, childless, with mother-in-law, seeks well-to-do Bethlehem businessman with view to marriage; must love mother-in-law."
The story is about the themes of returning/conversion, loving-kindnesss, loyalty and faithfulness. It shows how Ruth and her meddling mother-in-law, Naomi are saved by their Kinsman-Redeemer. It has an overarching theme of the providence of God in difficult circumstances to advance his kingdom. It was written a few generations after the fact to show how God used an unlikely foreign woman to be the great-grandmother of King David. Ruth is also listed in the gospel genealogy in Matthew to show that she is also in the family line of Christ. It shows the inclusion of the Gentiles (non-Jews) in the great plan of Redemption.
Ferguson also contrasts Boaz with Adam. They both seemed to have it all, but they were both alone, and that was "not good". They both went to sleep, and when they woke up, the woman of their dreams was there.
Ruth is always used as an example of loyalty and faithfulness. Her famous words (spoken to her mother-in-law) are often quoted at wedding ceremonies to show devotion.
It's a good book to add depth and insight to an already beautiful love story.

Mary; A Real Woman

Three Days: A Mother's Story
by Melody Carlson

This was historical fiction on the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. I find as a Protestant, we tend to steer away from studies on the life of Mary, due to the Roman Catholic tendency to make too much of her, which changes her from being a simple servant of God, to the "co-Redemptrix" or "Queen of Heaven".
Other than the fact that the book stayed true to Scripture, I appreciated that through the fictional writing, Ms. Carlson was able to present Mary as a real woman, dealing with life as a widow, who sees her son arrested and executed, and who has other children who are unbelievers.
Mary was an amazing woman, but she was also just a sinner, in need of a Saviour. "I rejoice in God, my Saviour."
The story begins right after the crucifixion and follows Mary's thoughts as she remembers key events in her life and in the ministry of Jesus. It goes through to the forty days after the Resurrection, to the Ascension of Jesus.

The Reasonableness of Faith

Reason to Believe by R.C. Sproul

Subtitled, A Response to Common Objections to Christianity, R.C. Sproul once again shows himself to be a master teacher and apologist (defender of the faith).
He takes difficult concepts and explains the issues in an understandable way. He doesn't explain away hard questions like the existence of evil or the problem of suffering in a trite, one sentence answer. That would be unfeeling. He's not afraid to admit that some things are unknowable, but they are unknowable to the atheist as well. The difference is that underlying the big questions of life, the believer has hope that the atheist knows nothing of. Suffering has no meaning to an existentialist who has only this life.
Sproul deals with objections to the Bible itself, the fallacy of thinking all religions are the same, what happens to those who have never heard, charges that the church is full of hypocrites or is only for weak people, the idea that we only have to try hard to do the right thing, the existence of God, the case for life after death, and the problem of evil and suffering.
He does an excellent job of demonstrating the reasonableness of faith, while showing the futility and illogical conclusions of Christianity's detractors.
Sproul explains these things in a way that we can retain, so we can "give a reason for the hope that lies within us." (1 Peter 3:15)

Thursday, August 6, 2009


"An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Civic Holiday

August 4, 2009.

Outside my window...a warm, summer day.
I am thinking...if President Obama really was born in Hawaii, instead of Kenya, as some claim, why doesn't he just produce the birth certificate and end the speculation? He did promise "unprecedented transparency and accountability".
I am thankful job. I know I've said that before, but I really do love it, even on busy nights.
From the kitchen...steak, buttered noodles(not for me), and grilled veggies.
I am wearing...white capri pants, a black and white top.
I am reading...The Justice Game by Randy Singer. It's a legal thriller about gun control, which I didn't think would be very interesting, but it is. He's called the Christian John Grisham. I've read all his books.
I am hoping...that I can arrange to be off for Carey. I don't know how I ran out of vacation days without realizing it. I may be aable to use some stats to get that week off, but I had hoped to be off the week before as well. I guess I'm getting spoiled with all this vacationing I've done this year.
I am hearing...Law and Order, the original series. I think it's the best one.
Around the house...we hired an unemployed man from our church to do some work on our yard. He started while my husband was still locked in at work. All our projects were on hold that month because of the strike. I think if the Mayor was planning all along to give them the store, he should have done it early and saved us all the grief of a strike. It was a bad deal and our taxes will go up, again, and there may be layoffs down the road. The union was feeling the lack of pay and many were crossing the line or getting close to it. The City should have held out at least another month, speaking as a taxpayer, not as a spouse directly affected by the strike.
One of my favourite things...long weekends. We went to the beach at Lake Simcoe on Saturday.
A few plans for the week...Weigh-in Tuesday morning at SUREslim. I've been going for a month and have made good progress so far. I'm working three nights this week. Our O.R. is closed this week, which may result in us being overstaffed. One of us may have to float to another unit to work. That's very stressful to be away from our home unit.