Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bob Burnell

Jichuan Shan

I don't get this kind of gorgeous fall color in my neck of the woods, so I am glad I can find such lovely photographs of it. In a couple of days I will be heading for Tennessee to visit my family, which should give me the opportunity to see some fall color in person, for a change!

Photos credited where possible: the three in the middle came from random free wallpaper sites.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

The debate on Calvinism continues elsewhere.

Those that support Calvinism or 'reformed theology' seem to believe that the idea of man being given free will is incompatible with a sovereign God; it makes man look powerful and makes God look weak and powerless.

This is what I wanted to post in response.


So explain how limited atonement and predestination before the forming of the world are any better than the idea of a poor, broken-hearted little God whose sovereignty has been taken away?

The God of Calvinism is indeed sovereign. Not only did He predestine a portion of humanity to come dwell with Him after death, He created billions of human beings in His image, with consciousness and a conscience and the ability to be aware of something higher and more powerful than themselves; predestined them to live out their lives on earth, both enduring the evil of others and inflicting evil themselves; afterward to suffer eternal torment, just to prove what an awesome God He is in the eyes of His elect.

That might be the God some of you see in the Bible, but it certainly is not the God I see.

Have any of you ever suffered? I mean really suffered - to the point that you wished you had never been born, or that you had the courage to kill yourself because surely that would be better than the mental, spiritual and emotional agony you lived and breathed?

Have you ever contemplated eternity? Being without time? Without an end?

If you have, you should be wondering how the God we're told is the God of love, whose greatest commandment is that we love Him and that we love our neighbors, would deliberately create billions of souls on purpose just so they can suffer torment for eternity. That's His 'better plan'? The plan of a good God?

I fail to see how a God that chose to give His creation a choice is no longer sovereign.

The God Calvinism paints is like a father that has ten children. Three he decides he will love and cherish and give an inheritance to; the other seven he keeps chained in the basement and pimps out to the local pedophiles.


I haven't yet posted this on the forum in question. I actually like the people there and think that perhaps this post is a little harsh. So I'll wait and reread the post later and figure out whether or not I should alter it or simply skip posting altogether.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Meet Hazel

Meet Hazel, a four month old mutt. It turns out that the Humane Society of a nearby town was much more reasonable about the need to find a home for the dogs in their care. They had no restrictions about indoor vs outdoor dogs, though they did recommend we keep her inside for a couple of months for the purpose of socialization, training and getting her used to the children. That made good sense to us so we'll have her inside with us for a bit. In addition to the $75 for purchasing the dog (already spayed and with all shots she is old enough to receive), they threw in two bags of dog food, toys, food/water dish and even a crate, free. Not only that, the volunteers were personable and they fudged their own rules for us. They had a notice stating puppies under six months old could not be adopted to families with children under six years of age, but they let us have her anyway. Sensible people (I'm sure it didn't hurt that all three of the kids were as good as gold the entire time we were there, and very gentle with the dog). So, that Humane Society gets high marks for the ease with which we were able to adopt from their facility.

“These two men are a disgrace to their badges, but they should not reflect on the hard working men and women in the police department."

Just a wee bit embarrassing for your force there, eh PPD?

Monday, October 04, 2010

This morning I noticed a new comment notification in my email. Normally I just delete them but this time I opened it and saw that it was on a very old blog post. I looked up the post and found 22 comments. Apparently, these are kindred spirits from multiple continents that share my loathing of the city and reached my blog by googling "I hate the city" and finding my post by that name. I wrote it five years ago. I'm humbled and gratified by the kind words expressed but also pained on their behalf. I hope they all find an open door through which they can escape their cage. We weren't mean to live this way. It isn't healthy.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Ahahahaha! I was right! I WAS RIGHT!

Okay, well, close enough. I had always said that I never saw what the big deal was with Monet's paintings. He didn't look like an impressionist, he just looked like someone that was nearsighted and needed glasses.

Well, it turns out I wasn't far off the mark.
His mercies are new every morning.

Earlier this year, my husband and I got in a heated discussion about spending money on household projects. We had three expensive items that needed to be updated: the A/C unit, the windows and porch doors, and the electric wiring and circuit/breaker board. He decided he wanted to replace the windows and put in a privacy fence - not just any privacy fence, but a pricey vinyl version. My priorities were the A/C and the wiring, particularly the A/C, which is at least 15 years old at this point and could go at any time, leaving us to face temperatures of 98 or more inside the house, with or without open windows. We'd already been having trouble with it last summer.

Well, he was set on his fence, and we'd already determined a long time ago that he gets final say on matters of large financial expenditures. So, I dropped it. I was pleasantly surprised to find afterward that he had at least opted for a compromise: the less expensive wooden privacy fence instead of the vinyl version. The fence was installed and we ordered our doors and windows from Home Depot and over the course of the summer he replaced them one by one, doing the lion's share of the work on his own.

The A/C, to my surprise, kept working. Replacing the old, leaky windows seemed to help take some of the burden off it and we were actually able to keep the house at 75 instead of the 78 of last summer. Well, yesterday, the A/C finally gave indication that it might be breathing its last. I spent the afternoon working on it, cleaning out the heavily clogged drip pipe and opening the front panel and clearing the sludge out of the drip pan and checking to make sure the pan was not fractured or rotted through. Afterward, the A/C seemed to be working again, but this morning I noticed that the temperature inside the house was rising in spite of the A/C being on.

That's okay though! This is not nearly the problem that it would have been at any point earlier in the year. When I checked the weather forecast, it shows that last night the temperature finally dropped below 70. We should be able to open the windows at night and hopefully keep the interior cool enough that we won't be looking at anything worse than 80-85 inside during the hottest part of the day. Do I know for sure that this was the hand of God? No, but I'm skeptical of this kind of 'coincidence,' and I'm going to give Him the credit for preserving the unit for just as long as we needed it. We've already been working on saving up for the next expensive project, and by the time next summer comes around we should have what we need for a new A/C.

I am so thankful for the mercies of my Father, who knows what I need before I even ask.