"The Wind in the Willows"

“Well, Toad is always foolish.”
Said by the FYG when DHM was using Toad, in “The Wind and the Willows” as a tool to teach that sometimes, when you only mean to do one thing (such as look a motor car) you will have a very hard time keeping it from turning into something much bigger (such as stealing the motor car).

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Christianity is Timeless

Christianity ought to be to us a timeless, boundary-free perspective that transcends place and culture. Eternal Christianity neither excuses nor defends ideas and practices because ‘things were different’ in one area or one era. Things are ‘different’ everywhere. They were different in Rome, in Corinth, in Thessalonica, etc, too- but every place and every time has its own basic seldom questioned practices or beliefs that are the cultural atmosphere, part of the common, basic assumptions of the day.

Some of those differences are neutral. Some are not. The real question is not what is the norm for this place and time- but what is God’s standard? If the status quo is not in line with scripture, than I hope we have the courage not to perpetuate it, defend it, or excuse it. Christianity transcends boundaries of race, culture, geography, and historical era. True Christianity is based on an eternal perspective.

Every practice, every idea, every custom, every thought is to be held up to the unchanging standard of the word of God. When confronted with an idea or practice not compatible with God’s standards, we do not excuse that practice by saying that things are or were different.’ This is, in fact, an indictment, rather than an explanation or an excuse. Christians, of course, are to be salt, changing the flavor of their culture, improving it, and saving it- not living down to it and defending its past errors.

William Wilberforce was one of those men who was able to see beyond his culture. You can read more about this incredible man over at George Grant’s blog. The post you want is from 8/07/05 and is titled “In It For the Long Haul.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nostalgia

We’ve all got it… a potent and affectionate memory we have of something from when we were quite young (instead of only “young” as I am now :-) . Much nostalgia is for books we read as children; quality does not matter, only the fact that we read them at the beginning of our Word Adventures. This is why books like Judy Bolton mysteries or Trixie Belden are popular. Their literary quality is almost nil but people remember reading them as children so they are enhanced with a haze of glory.

The lesson we can learn from that, although I didn’t mean to write such a moralizing post, is that we must surround young folk with an environment of high quality. It needn’t be expensive high quality, just worth while. Instead of Disney read-alouds, get beautifully illustrated fairy tales. Instead of inane teddy bear pictures on the nursery wall, hang bright works of art… wasn’t it Frank Lloyd Wright’s mother who put photographs of famous buildings around his crib?

What got me started on this post was suddenly seeing some scans of one of my favorite childhood books online. Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman was a book I spent many happy hours immersing myself in. Hyman’s illustrations are out of this world beautiful (they won the Caldecott medal) and the story is a retelling of parts of Spenser’s The Faery Queen. Some at Amazon complain that the retelling is too difficult for children to comprehend. Balderdash, say I. It may be a challenge. Children who are bored by this book, though, have spent entirely too much time watching TV.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“I’m having a thought here, Barbossa.”

Not that The Equuschick considers herself to be Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribean, but she is having a thought, so she quotes her favourite pirate.

(She has them often, actually, usually while she is doing the dishes. This is because she must think, and if she were to think of the dishes she was doing she would be sad and depressed.)

She shall try to get this thought down as quickly as possible, because she’d actually like to be in bed by now but her thoughts are apt to take their leave rather too quickly, so she must make a note of them asap.

The Equuschick is not a pacifist. She is not anti-pacifist to the extent that were she asked to give an up or down vote on Hiroshama she would know what to do, but Hiroshama is rather extreme example.
Were someone to attack The Cherub in The Equuschick’s presence, The Equuschick would defend her. Even, if necessary, to the point of harming the attacker.

And she is beginning to think that her aversion to pacifism at all costs comes down to her respect for the God-given gift of Free Will. When a stronger person with the mental capacity for weighing odds and making choices chooses to attack a weaker person without that same mental capacity, they are robbing the latter person of their God-given right to Free Will. The question of what would be the right choice in their situation becomes null and void, because they cannot make that choice. Just as God will not force us to love Him, because if He did our love would lose its beauty, so someone should not be forced to give up their own life. It robs them of the privilege of choosing to sacrifice it. Self-sacrifice is indeed a beautiful thing, but there is no sacrifice when those without defenses are attacked. It is wrong and horrible for the beautiful to be violated, so The Equuschick belives that when the Free Will of the defenseless is violated, those who can defend them, should. The Bible does not read- “Greater love hath no man than to have his life taken.” It reads- “Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friend.” It is like choosing God. It is admirable to choose death rather than life for the sake of noble causes, when one has no choice it is a wasted opportunity.

Often, the pacifists The Equuschick has heard will list the Biblical examples of Christ, the martyr Stephen, Peter and Paul, etc. Every one of them a grown man, with the mental capacity to collect information and make choices based on information, and most of them physically capable of defending themsleves if they had chosen to do so. The Equuschick agrees that they made the right choice, but to comapare their conscious sacrifices with the murder of a weaker party caught by surpise by a stronger, is to compare apples and oranges.

If Free Will were not important to God, The Equuschick does not believe He would have chosen to crucify His son rather than to smack us upside the head and make us love Him. Free Will is imporant to Him, because it is what gives our love value. The Equuschick does not believe He expects His stronger children to stand by quietly while the opportunity for His weaker children to choose self-sacrifice at a later date in their life is taken from them.

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

The House With Nobody In It

The House With Nobody In It

WHENEVER I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black.
I suppose I’ve passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute
And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.

I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know this house isn’t haunted, and I wish it were, I do;
For it wouldn’t be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.

This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied;
But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.

If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid
I’d put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
I’d buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be
And I’d find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free.

Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,
Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.
But there’s nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone
For the lack of something within it that it has never known.

But a house that has done what a house should do, a house that has sheltered life,
That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,
A house that has echoed a baby’s laugh and held up his stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight, when it’s left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.

So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart,
For I can’t help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.

Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

(Yes, you’re right. The photograph is not a picture of an old house. I couldn’t find a shot of the homestead house, but this is a crib from the homestead property, and it’s all of a piece- that is, like everything else at the homestead, including the house, it’s all in pieces and very sad)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“The Wind in the Willows”

“Well, Toad is always foolish.”
Said by the FYG when DHM was using Toad, in “The Wind and the Willows” as a tool to teach that sometimes, when you only mean to do one thing (such as look a motor car) you will have a very hard time keeping it from turning into something much bigger (such as stealing the motor car).

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Christianity is Timeless

Christianity ought to be to us a timeless, boundary-free perspective that transcends place and culture. Eternal Christianity neither excuses nor defends ideas and practices because ‘things were different’ in one area or one era. Things are ‘different’ everywhere. They were different in Rome, in Corinth, in Thessalonica, etc, too- but every place and every time has its own basic seldom questioned practices or beliefs that are the cultural atmosphere, part of the common, basic assumptions of the day.

Some of those differences are neutral. Some are not. The real question is not what is the norm for this place and time- but what is God’s standard? If the status quo is not in line with scripture, than I hope we have the courage not to perpetuate it, defend it, or excuse it. Christianity transcends boundaries of race, culture, geography, and historical era. True Christianity is based on an eternal perspective.

Every practice, every idea, every custom, every thought is to be held up to the unchanging standard of the word of God. When confronted with an idea or practice not compatible with God’s standards, we do not excuse that practice by saying that things are or were different.’ This is, in fact, an indictment, rather than an explanation or an excuse. Christians, of course, are to be salt, changing the flavor of their culture, improving it, and saving it- not living down to it and defending its past errors.

William Wilberforce was one of those men who was able to see beyond his culture. You can read more about this incredible man over at George Grant’s blog. The post you want is from 8/07/05 and is titled “In It For the Long Haul.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nostalgia

We’ve all got it… a potent and affectionate memory we have of something from when we were quite young (instead of only “young” as I am now :-) . Much nostalgia is for books we read as children; quality does not matter, only the fact that we read them at the beginning of our Word Adventures. This is why books like Judy Bolton mysteries or Trixie Belden are popular. Their literary quality is almost nil but people remember reading them as children so they are enhanced with a haze of glory.

The lesson we can learn from that, although I didn’t mean to write such a moralizing post, is that we must surround young folk with an environment of high quality. It needn’t be expensive high quality, just worth while. Instead of Disney read-alouds, get beautifully illustrated fairy tales. Instead of inane teddy bear pictures on the nursery wall, hang bright works of art… wasn’t it Frank Lloyd Wright’s mother who put photographs of famous buildings around his crib?

What got me started on this post was suddenly seeing some scans of one of my favorite childhood books online. Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman was a book I spent many happy hours immersing myself in. Hyman’s illustrations are out of this world beautiful (they won the Caldecott medal) and the story is a retelling of parts of Spenser’s The Faery Queen. Some at Amazon complain that the retelling is too difficult for children to comprehend. Balderdash, say I. It may be a challenge. Children who are bored by this book, though, have spent entirely too much time watching TV.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You’ll want some tissue for this one

Yesterday Chrenkoff responded to Maureen Dowd’s claim that the “The moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute.”

Click on the link to see the post.
Via The Anchoress, who also posts this heart wrenching story of Bush meeting with grieving families.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Lovely Literary List

From George Grant’s King’s Meadow page,

“Readers are inveterate and unapologetic list makers. Indeed, according to Umberto Eco, “Lists are the most necessary literary accessories of all.” There are lists of books that must be read. There are lists of books that must be reread. There are lists of books that must be read by others. There are lists of books that must be bought. There are best-seller lists. There are best of the best lists. There are the indispensable book lists—those titles readers might profess to be their preferred companions were they stranded on a desert isle. It seems that list-making simply goes with the territory—it is the natural accompaniment to the shelf life.

T.S. Eliot quipped, “I love reading another reader’s list of favorites. Even when I find I do not share their tastes or predilections, I am provoked to compare, contrast, and contradict. It is a most healthy exercise, and one altogether fruitful.” Here at King’s Meadow, we share that sentiment wholeheartedly. So, we trust you’ll enjoy mulling over, arguing with, and amending the following literary lists”

Click on the link to see what it is you want to read, argue with, and amend.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment