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Homeschool Prep

When the boys return from the seaside, we'll be dipping our toes into our new school year. (We hope to take a much-needed family vacation at the end of September.)

I've done some preliminary planning. The other night I came across Donna Young's Homeschool Forms. I really like them--Donna obviously has experience with homeschooling and organization, and a lot of the forms "fit" with the planning I've already done. I've printed several of the forms out, and now will transfer my scribbles on scratch paper onto these orderly forms and think through the remaining gaps in our plans.


August 30, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Sanctification and the Sin-Bearer

"It cost him much to part with his Son; it costs him nothing to give every other blessing. He grudges not, but delights to bestow them. He is weary of withholding, but never weary of giving. Now, if he freely parted with what cost him such an infinited sacrifice, will he refuse us what costs him nothing but the delight of giving. He delights to give us his Holy Spirit. He delights to quicken us, to renew us, to sanctify us, to fulfill in us all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power.

Will he then refuse us his Spirit? Will he refuse to make us holy? Will he need many arguments to persuade him to do so? Impossible! For he has already given his Son. And 'how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?'" --Horatius Bonar


August 29, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Off to the Seaside!

Three of our boys are off to the seaside for a week with Babushka. They've been looking forward to it all summer, and it's been delayed due to C3's broken arm and then train tickets being unavailable.

They've been excited, but were a little upset as they got into the taxi to go to the train station. I was upset, too. But knowing them, they were into the spirit of the adventure within minutes.

We're looking forward to having extra time with R5 this week. (And I'm still catching up on laundry from when it piled up last week when we were sick.) This Friday a short-term team will be arriving for a Family Conference--lots of details to come together.

I expect a phone call this afternoon from Yevpretoria, happy boys and happy Babushka saying they arrived safely.

Update: We got a phone call that they've arrived safely and happily!


August 28, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Blogs on Books

Tim at Challies is is predicting 2005 Christian Bestsellers including, these family-focused favorites:

The Even Newer Dare To Discipline by James Dobson (The first 10,000 copies will include your choice of either a switch or a paddle autographed by Dobson himself.)
How To Alienate and Emotionally Starve Your Child God's Way by Gary Ezzo
Child At Heart by John Eldredge

FarmWife Andrea, avoiding satire, is sharing some insights from Cloud & Townsend's Raising Great Kids.

Carol captures the antagonistic attitude of the Pearls as she provides quotes and commentary on To Train Up a Child.

And Sam, curled up with a book in her cabin, is musing on the ideas about autism and asperger's in A Mind Apart.


August 28, 2004  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ukraine in the Olympics

I came across a list of the medals won by various countries today, and was pleased to see how well Ukraine is doing. (And of course, happy that the US is currently in the top position!)

To summarize Ukraine's medal status:

August 28
Men's 66kg Freestyle (Wrestling) Gold: Elbrus Tedeyev
Women's High Jump Bronze: Viktoriya Styopina

August 27
Men's K4 500m Bronze: Team

August 26
Open Double Handed Dinghy Silver: Team

August 25
Women's 400m Hurdles Bronze: Tetiana Tereshchuk-Antipova

August 24
Men's 105kg (Weightlifting) Bronze: Igor Razoronov
Women's 100m Hurdles Silver: Olena Krasovska

August 23
Women's 48kg Freestyle (Wrestling) Gold: Irini Merleni
Men's Parallel Bars Gold: Valeri Goncharov

August 22
Women's Quadruple Sculls Bronze: Team
Men's Quadruple Sculls Bronze: Team

August 21
Women's Keelboat Silver: Team
Men's Team Archery Bronze: Ukraine
Men's Trampoline Gold: Yuri Nikitin

August 20
Men's 100m Butterfly Bronze: Andriy Serdinov

August 18
Women's 63kg (Weight lifting) Gold: Natalya Skakun
Men's Shot Put Gold: Yuriy Bilonog

August 17
Men's -81kg Silver: Roman Gontyuk
Women's 200m Individual Medley Gold: Yana Klochkova

August 15
Women's 10m Air pistol Gold: Olena Kostevych

August 14
Women's 400m Individual Medley Gold: Yana Klochkova
Men's Sabre Bronze: Vladislav Tretiak

I was surprised to see that this information is from Darren Rowse of The Living Room--and this Athens Olympic Games Blog is run by him. Interesting. Darren's was one of the blogs I read pretty regularly before I started blogging.

Updated August 28.


August 28, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Faithfulness of God

"This faithfulness of God is of the utmost practical significance to the people of God. It is the ground of their confidence, the foundation of their hope, and the cause of their rejoicing. It saves them from the despair to which their own unfaithfulness might easily lead, gives them courage to carry on in spite of their failures, and fills their hearts with joyful anticipations, anew when they are deeply conscious of the fact they have forfeited all the blessings of God."

--Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 70


August 27, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Pink&White M&Ms


Buy fun and yummy M&Ms, support breast cancer research.

Today my friend Jill starts chemo.


August 26, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



7 Principles from Absalom

Excellent post from X-ATI Guy--I just had to quote it completely.

7 Principles on How to Capture the Heart of A Young Woman

1. Remove Blemishes that Distract from your Appearance

2 Sam 14:25 But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.

You may not be blessed with Absalom's killer looks, but at least you can practice good hygiene and remove all blemishes that distract from your appearance.

2. Practice the Discipline of Rising Early

2 Samuel 15:2 And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate

God reserves special blessings for those who rise early, and every potential suitor should learn this principle. This discipline releases creative energy that can be harnessed for wooing a young woman.

3. Ask Precise Personal Questions

2 Samuel 15:2b and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou?

Carefully-formed questions are the best way to get to know a young lady and these questions can be written and rehearsed as you rise early. Your questions reveal to a young lady that you are thinking carefully about the information you want from her. She will perceive your wisdom and her spirit will be blessed by your questions.

4. Identify Opportunities to Praise Her

2 Samuel 15:3 And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee. When men came to King David, Absalom inquired of each man's matters. After hearing from each person, Absalom praised them and called their matters "good and right."

In your conversations with a young lady you should always be agreeable and look for opportunities to praise her good character. Agree with her opinions and express your admiration for her frequently.

5. Foster Discontent with Her Authorities

An additional lesson can be found in verse 3. Absalom pointed out that The Authority (King David) did not care enough to appoint anyone to hear the people's matters. Look for opportunities to foster a young woman's dissatisfaction with her authorities. Your astute observations will show her that her authorities do not have her best interest at heart.

6. Demonstrate your Willingness to Serve

2 Samuel 15:4 Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!

Indicate to the young lady that if you were her authority you would take up her cause. Point out your strong sense of justice.

7. Effectively Utilize Physical Contact

2 Samuel 15:5 And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him. Once you have gained a young woman's attention through your questions and have undermined her confidence in her authorities, put forth your hand, take hold of her, and kiss her.

It is important to remember that these Principles are laid out in precise steps of action and should be followed in order. Step #7 is a very powerful tool but Scripture places it at the end so that a young lady is motivated first by your appearance and conversation. Only after you have appealed to her spirit and soul should you attempt to appeal to her physical.

If you follow these principles, you will find good success just as Absalom did:

2 Samuel 15:6 And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

Yes, Virginia, this is satire reminiscent of Bill G.


August 26, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Tomatoes, Boys and The Girls

I'm typing this as 10 kilograms of tomatoes simmers down into proper spaghetti sauce consistency. Today was a good day.

C3 got his cast off today! We went in to get a fresh one, because he had worn down his cast until it was soft. "The arm has begun to grow together," the doctor said, "but he needs to be careful not to fall on it, not to run or jump or do anything active three year old boys do." (Nope, not a direct quote.) *sigh*

A Ukrainian friend asked if he's going in for massage and physical therapy. That wasn't prescribed, but I have some wonderful lavendar massage lotion, and I'll be sure to massage his arm. C3 says it still hurts a little, and he's favoring it still (ate dinner with his left hand again today.)

We also got to play with the girls today. The girls are the three daughters of an American/Ukrainian couple we know and dearly love. Our boys and the girls have become such fast friends, and they play so sweetly together. They'll be moving in another month or so, and I think this will be such one of the biggest losses our boys have had to face.

One of the things talked about in cross-cultural preparation is the "Enjoyment/Endurance Paradox." That concept fits so much of life, and has helped me enjoy the good things more even when I have mixed feelings. It's hard, though, helping our children live through the joy/sadness that is part of relationships and changes in life.


August 25, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Spaghetti Sauce for Canning

I found this recipe online last year, and it was great--though I ended up freezing it rather than canning it then.

Marilyn Crandall's Spaghetti Sauce for Canning

Ingredients :
1/2 cup salad oil
4 x cloves garlic
4 med onions
4 x green bell peppers
20 lb tomatoes
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tbl oregano leaves
2 tbl salt
3/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp basil
2 x bay leaves

Method :
Use the blender to liquefy tomatoes, onions, garlic, and peppers. Put in large kettle. Add other ingredients. Cook until desired thickness. Process in water bath, as you would other tomato preserves.

Makes 10 pints.

My notes:
1. Let the blender do the work! Use the olive oil or keep a bit of previously whirled tomatoes in the blender, and add the tomatoes whole, peppers de-seeded, and onions halved. Works great.
2. After washing the tomatoes, be sure to dry them well before blending them.
3. I add about a 1/4 tsp. of citric acid to the top of each jar--just as an extra preservative.
4. Don't alter the proportions of tomatoes/other veggies, to keep the sauce safe for canning.


August 25, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Discussion Invitation

You'll see me there. *grin*

"[T]here is a new message board for open debate and discussion of ezzo parenting and issues:


Metochoi and I (taketime) are moderating and I know our hope and that of the founders of the board is to have a similar respectful, civil environment that we have grown to enjoy here and that has made this a real "debate ministry" -- strange as that may seem! :-) The hope is that zippier software (and no pop-up advertising) will make for a nice environment. There was a lot of grumbling and a big drop-off in participation when PP changed the messageboard environment here, and we're hoping the new board may fill a need.

Any questions? You can email me at taketyme_007 AT yahoo.com (there's an underscore between the taketyme and the 007)

Now: wherever you fall on this issue---consider yourselves warmly invited; feel free to pass word along to others who may be interested in an open discussion/debate!


(via Ezzo Debate Board)


August 25, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Happy Independence Day!

Kyivites are celebrating Ukraine’s independence today. We skipped most of the festivities downtown, but have had a wonderful day with the boys. Ukraine, in its current political construct, is only 13 years old. Thirteen. I have dear friends with children older than that.

And while Ukraine is still in a bit of a rocky adolescence finding her own self-identity, she’s survived the first toddler steps of independence and the growing pains of separating from the Soviet Union.

The economic outlook seems bright. I look around my neighborhood and see new high-rises under construction, retail stores opening, and consumer goods not even imaginable when we first arrived now easy to find. Hubby, who has done real economic research (as opposed to my “glance around the neighborhood” analysis) is impressed with the economic growth and stability of the past few years.

Spiritually, we can see the hand of God moving. When the Iron Curtain came down, we all heard of the amazing responsiveness people had to the Gospel. That sort of enthusiasm is no longer here. Instead, attitudes toward religion are jaded, cults and cultic churches have scared people off, and new age philosophies are growing. And while Eastern Orthodoxy seems to be recovering from the trauma of communist oppression, it often seems intent on instituting some of its own.

But God is calling his lost sheep in Ukraine to Himself. Each week we gather in corporate worship with people from our neighborhood. We know several solid seminaries, where pastors and Believers are emerging with a sound foundation in the Bible and a vision of Ukraine and the surrounding countries. We see young Believers maturing rapidly eager to study and grow. And I’m not just talking about our church, but we’re also seeing churches having an impact on the wider community and country

And so we rejoice at what God is doing. He has brought independence to a nation, and He is bringing His people into dependence upon Himself.


August 24, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Babywised and Hospitalized

Today, Ezzo.Info's "Voices of Experience" has added a new account of yet another family that has suffered from applying the parenting principles taught by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo.

He was admitted to the hospital after being diagnosed with FTT (failure to thrive) and severe dehydration. As I was frantically gathering things for the hospital, I collapsed from grief and cried aloud asking "Am I going to lose my baby?" The torment I was feeling at that moment, allowed me to begin questioning what we had been doing.

Read the full story, Our Journey to Freedom.

And yes, this is the same mother I quoted last month, but now her whole story is available at Ezzo.Info.

Update: Blogs4God mentioned Sozo's post about this family's experience with Ezzo. Our Anne also uses this story to warn parents about Babywise. And Carol's post about the Pearl's "To Train Up a Child," also provides information on Ezzo this week.


August 24, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Milk For Babes

"Milk for babes, drawn out of the breasts of both Testaments chiefly for the spirituall nourishment of Boston babes in either England, but may be of like use for any children"

• By: John Cotton
• Publisher: London : Printed by J. Coe for Henry Overton, and are to be sold at his shop ..., 1646.

Isn't that a great title?

I was wondering if anyone knew whether and where this may be found online? So far, I've only found it listed as included in the appendix of the book "Puritan Children in Exile."


August 22, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Happy Belated Birth Day!

Congratulations to David and Ange!

Little Lucy was born a week ago, August 15th. See great photos here.

Lucy is a beautiful newborn, and seems to have gotten the hang of noonying pretty quickly.


August 21, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



PowerAde and Applesauce

It hit me today. A nasty virus has been cycling through the kids (one per day, thankfully--easier to give a the sick child attention.) Today I woke up so sick. I spent most of the day lying on the cool tiles of the floor next to the tub. Just in case.

Usually, the few things that we can't get in Kyiv aren't a problem. Make do, or do without. I was so excited last month when the local grocery store started stocking brown sugar!

But when I'm sick or the kids are throwing up, I really want PowerAde. It stays down, keeps us hydrated. And while I don't mind making applesauce from scratch, I'm in no condition to do that when we're sick.

The pastor of our church told Hubby he should call "Skorri Pomesh" (the ambulance service, literally Fast Help) because the Ukrainian flu does secondary damage to organs. I'm sorry, but there are some things that I just haven't acculturated to here--like calling the ambulance for every illness. Besides, I don't want to see a doc or go to the clinic--just be still in my own home until this passes.

Anyway, that's why posting has been light and any prayers for our family are much appreciated. It seems this virus is slowly making the rounds throughout our community and I wish it'd just go away.


August 21, 2004  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



BookMark / BlogRoll Update

Jordana has moved Curmudgeonry to http://curmudgeonry.mu.nu/.

Rachel Ann has moved WillowTree to http://willowtree.mu.nu/.

Prattling Pastor's Wife has moved to http://www.prattlingpastorswife.blogspot.com/.

And if you know of other blog moves that I've overlooked, please let me know.


August 21, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Looking for a few used books. . .

In early September, a short-term team will be coming help with a Family Conference. Hubby and I went to a bookstore that sells Christian books in Russian, and bought several to lend out. (Books here, added August 19th.) We were familiar with most of the authors, but had only read a few of the books.

If anyone has one of the astericked books on their bookshelf, and you don't intend to re-read it, we'd love to have it! We much prefer to have read a book before lwe loan it out. E-mail me @ alex8b8 at hotmail dot com for a mailing address.

**To A Thousand Generations by Douglas Wilson

Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson

Forgiven and Set Free: A Post-Abortion Bible Study for Women by Linda Cochrane

Relational Parenting: Going Beyond Your Child's Behavior to Meet Their Deepest Needs by Ross Campbell M.D.

**How to Really Know Your Child: Help Your Child Grow into Spiritual Maturity (Relationships) by Ross Campbell

**Kids in Danger: Disarming the Destructive Power of Anger in Your Child by Ross Campbell

**Parenting Your Adult Child: How You Can Help Them Achieve Their Full Potential by Ross Campbell

**The Freedom & Power of Forgiveness by John MacArthur

**The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary D. Chapman

**The Intimate Marriage: A Practical Guide to Building a Great Marriage (Sproul, R. C. R.C. Sproul Library.) by R. C. Sproul

**Inside Out: 10th Anniversary by Lawrence J. Crabb

**The Other Side of Love: Handling Anger in a Godly Way by Gary D. Chapman

**Intended for Pleasure: Sex Technique and Sexual Fulfillment in Christian Marriage, Third Edition by Ed Wheat

**Beloved Unbeliever by Jo Berry

Like I said, we haven't read most of these books, so this list is not necessarily an endorsement. These were the ones that were available in Russian and looked most promising.


August 19, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Babywise in Russian, part II

Earlier this year, I sadly discovered that Babywise is now being published in Russian, under the name "How to Teach A Baby to Sleep Through the Night."

Here's the advertising blurb, po-russki:

Как научить младенца спать всю ночь? Именно так и называется книга Гарри Эззо и Роберта Букнама, изданная новосибирским издательством «Посох». Эта книга из серии «Тихая ночь» посвящена воспитанию детей первого года жизни. Каких только методик по воспитанию детей не существует!

Thanks to my friend Maria, we were able to get our experience with Ezzo parenting translated into Russian.

Yesterday, Hubby and I went to a Christian bookstore here in Kyiv. I asked the manager whether or not they had the Russian Babywise in stock. He assured me that while it wasn't on the shelf, he had recently ordered it. I handed him a copy of our story in Russian. After reading it, he was very upset. Hubby clarified some of the medical and Scriptural problems with Babywise. It was too late to cancel this order, but the manager said they wouldn't order it again.

We'll be going back in a few weeks, and I'm planning to take enough copies of our story so the manager can enclose them with the books and parents can, at least, get more information before choosing to implement Babywise's faulty ideas with their own children.

More Info:
At least 7000 copies published, from at least one publisher.
See the cover of Как научить младенца спать всю ночь: Книга о воспитании детей первого года жизни: Система "Тихая ночь", and read more at Ezzo.Info.

Перевод текста.


August 18, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Deacon's Borsch

Paul Baxter has several interesting posts on his mission trip to Lviv, along with a promise to share his recipe for borsch.

Lesson from Ukraine
Lesson 2 from Ukraine
Photos from Ukraine

Actually, to see the pics and read the posts from Paul's trip, it's best to just go to his blog and read through it.


August 17, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Urban Design

Today I came across Christopher Leeson's Urban Design in His Kingdom on the PCA's web magazine, ByFaithOnline.

"Our God wants us to be consumed with praise for him, and the Psalms are filled with various ways to communicate that praise. He instructed artisans and craftsmen to praise him with the Tabernacle. The possibilities for creative forms of dwelling are endless, and the unique and thoughtful ways to inhabit this earth are ways to give Him praise. We should commission architects, landscape architects, engineers, and planners to design and build cities that are works of art worthy of our God. Although in this day and age we have an inclination to experience God and His presence in nature, there are artful moments in cities, either with beautiful scenes of architectural color, an incredibly placed axis, a wonderful aroma, or amidst seas of strangers we expand our understanding of the mercies of God."

--Christopher Leeson

It's a good read, especially as a followup to yesterday's post.


August 17, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



City Girl at Heart

"I love cities. I am quite convinced that a great city is the greatest kind of place to live, and that human beings are put together in such a way that most of us need the kind of interaction possible in a city at least some of the time, if not all the time. [...] Cities are good things because they embody at its most intense the gracious gift of human community."

--Gideon Strauss in Comment magazine

I love cities, too.

Read more of Mr. Strauss's comments on God's work in cities.


August 16, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



How Firm a Foundation

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

This is the hymn that's been on my heart all week.

Listen at Cyberhymnal.


August 15, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Babywise Backlash

Robert Williams shared his observations of how Ezzo's teachings are impacting the families in his church.

Babywise is fairly popular in our church, even among more family-oriented people. One thing I've noticed is that none of the "babywise" kids are cuddly. They don't like to snuggle up to Mom and Dad. Some of the "babywise" moms have said they are a little bit happy when their kids get sick, because then their kids *want* to cuddle up to them. One of them was holding one of our babies once and, since she knew we weren't "babywise", went ahead and indulged herself by rocking him much longer than Ezzo would approve of. Another was actually apologetic because while her daughter was ill, she rocked her to sleep. "I know you're not supposed to do this, but you know, every once in a while it doesn't hurt."

And of course, these parents rarely talk about the horror stories of letting their children scream themselves to sleep. Of finding, after an hour or more, that their son was screaming because his foot was stuck in the crib slats. Of coming in much later to find that their baby had thrown up all over herself from screaming. Of finding the next morning that their daughter had thrown up in bed and fell asleep with her face in it.

It's cool, I guess, that these moms can deposit their wide-awake toddlers in bed in a darkened room and walk out, without being burdened by such things as singing, stories, or rocking them. But it's not a price I'll pay. My sleep and my priorities aren't quite that important. So what if my kids cramp my style.

from comments by Robert Williams

This captures the way Ezzo-thinking impacts families--mothers apologizing for rocking babies to sleep, being fearful of starting "bad habits", being thankful kids are cuddly because they're sick. The problems with Ezzo parenting include a lot of intangibles and subtle attitudes--not simply the breastfeeding or growth issues that are most often discussed.


August 14, 2004  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Must Read Interview

"And what may seem to be counter-intuitive to some, I personally have found that the more I deeply study systematic and biblical theology, the more wonder I have of the God we serve. The more He causes me to learn, the more I recognize how little I know, and so theology has become a devotional activity for me; a discipline that places me in a position of more deeply considering the beauty and perfections of God." --John Hendryx

John Hendryx has aptly said what I've found the impact of studying theology has been on my life.

The quote is from Michael Spencer's "Christians You Need To Know" with
John Hendryx.

As I've mentioned before, Monergism is an excellent clearinghouse of Reformed articles, links, commentaries and sermons. Well worth your time browing.


August 13, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



BlogSwap 4: Freedom

Today I'm happy to host a BlogSwap guest blogger, Marisa. who takes great photos and records her ideas at Simple Games.

Freedom suggests a lot of things. To me, an unusual memory is stirred when I think of freedom. Four images, realistic, inviting, detailed, classical. The Four Freedoms by Norman Rockwell.

The freedom from fear.

The freedom from want.

The freedom to worship.

The freedom of speech.

Freedom from Fear

Our world is such a place that we fear to move about, afraid that someone will harm us, watch us, destroy us. We fear ourselves, what we will do to others, that we won't be good enough, our limitations.

We fear other nations, their powers and their choices. Our security as a nation is threatened, and we fear that we will be attacked. We need to reclaim the safeness that comes from having the Creator's protection, and not imitate the citizens of Jerusalem, to whom Christ said:

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Matt. 23:37

There's such comfort in that image, being so close to Yahshua that we are under His safeguard. Peace and security come when He is the One we look to for control and protection.

Freedom from Want

Our planet gives up riches in food and goods, every necessary of life. Too often, I am concerned about food and clothes, not that I won't have enough, but that I won't have the right sort, something to satisfy my tastes. A vast portion of Americans don't have the need to worry about wanting basic things to sustain life. But if we are in that position, we should remember that God gives the fields the most perfect adornment in a single flower, which will wither in a day, and feeds the songbirds through no work of their own. He knows our needs, and I daresay blesses those more that can completely rely on Him, when no hope of their own is left. That is true courage and reliance upon Yahweh. (See Matt. 6:23-34)

Freedom to Worship

In many centuries, it was a hazard to life to be a Christian. The Bible was censured, doctrines of faith were proclaimed heretical, and worship had to be carried out secretly. People were forced to make a choice between their religion and their life. Horrible punishments and threat of eternal suffering were made to those that kept true to their way of worship. Thankfully, we no longer have to bear up these burdens, but our Father gave those generations the will and the power to persevere. He spread His love over them, welcoming them to pray forever at His altar. Let us not lose this fervor because we have things easier. Let us strive to prove our devotion in other and equally hard ways, overcoming our society with good.

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24

Freedom of Speech

I consider this to be one of the greatest rights of man, the ability to speak his mind, no matter what the subject, openly, publicly, without the threat of prison or death. There is such diversity of opinion about every topic you could name, yet we all find freedom to say what we think, to be honest. Many nations do not enjoy this freedom. It should not be limited to the press. We all need to speak out about something in our lives, whether to those we know, or in a more public arena. As Christians, this means not shirking hard topics with our family and friends, being open about life, and putting our lives and words more and more under the influence of Christ. Words are powerful, they can build up or hurt. Use this freedom wisely.

... Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Matt. 12:34

You can see the Four Freedom paintings here and here.

by Marisa, at Simple Games, which is a mostly random blog, dwelling on Christ, photography, friends, and life.


My entry will be posted on Rebecca Writes. (Woohoo! I feel honored! *grin*)

To view the rest of this week's entries, click here.

Would you like to BlogSwap? For more information visit Challies.com.


August 13, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink




"If I had a choice of only one memory to hold onto for the rest of my life, it would be an evening such as that; all my children together, their voices mingling and separating, and me listening in., satisfied and joyful; they were all home." --Rachel Ann
"And it is amazing how different four children can be, right from the get-go. They are all so amazing. They are like four different musical instruments that make beautiful music but are each extremely difficult to tune and each have a different tuning mechanism." --Jon Barlow

August 12, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Thursday Thankfuls

I really forward to the "Thankful Thursday Three" each week. Since BadgerMum is AFK with company and busy family things, I'm going to just have to post mine here, instead of in her comments.

Today I'm thankful for:

1. That our hot water is back on, after the annual two weeks off for maintanence. Hooray for hot showers!

2. That the most crazy part of summer is over (though we still have a short-term mission group coming in a few weeks from Texas.)

3. That I have a husband that dwells with me in understanding, even when I'm crying over silly things.


August 12, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Let’s Ask Ezzo

As controversy has increased around Babywise author Gary Ezzo in the United States, he has expanded his business into international markets. One of the most lucrative of these markets has been Australia.

During one of his early promotional tours Down Under, Ezzo was confronted by Christian mother and childbirth education instructor Allison Hilbig. If you are at all familiar with Gary Ezzo, it is well worth reading both the Timeline of the Ezzo Controversy as well as Allison Hilbig’s account, A Personal Encounter with Gary Ezzo.

Some highlights:

Allison: . . .My question is: why should we use your program when I have 97 pages of articles from Christian organisations and health professionals expressing their concerns about the material in your program.

Gary: Honey, honey, you have no idea what you are talking about.

Allison: Why is it that some Christian groups will not endorse it and even your former church where you were a pastor will no longer endorse your material and will no longer use it within the church?

Gary: Honey, that material has been in the church for the past 12 years - so don't tell me it won't still be used.

Allison: Why did your church release a public statement to say it would not endorse your material and if I can quote from it: "Gary Ezzo is prone to ....."

Gary: That was all politics. You know why they said that - because they're jealous. Because I'm over here ministering and they don't want me to be.

. . .

Allison:. . .Why are you unable to back up any of the claims you make in your manuals? Where is the evidence to support your claims?

Gary: It's all there sweetheart. It's all there if you want to look at it.

Honey has a brain and did her research. Ezzo doesn't seem to like his "expert" status being questioned. If you have a copy of Babywise or another of his parenting books, you'll see, as Sweetheart did, that Ezzo's footnotes are more for extraneous comments than for backing up his claims with valid research.

Gary: And where are you children right now?

Allison: I don't think that's any of your business.

Gary: See, everyone, she doesn't even have children of her own.

Crowd: Typical, ha.

Allison: Excuse me, but I do - I have 2 children.
[This was true in 1997; today Allison has 4 children--ed.]

. . .

Gary: And does anyone look at your children and comment on how well behaved they are? Do people ask you how you've parented them? No, they don't, do they?

Allison: Well actually they do. Many people have commented.

Gary: Oh... well ... that's good. But do you have an international ministry? Do you - no!

What good is an "international ministry" when the best thing that you can say about your own relationship with your grown children is that it is merely "cordial," as Gary Ezzo has? And when does having an "international ministry" free someone from being accountable to the elders of his own church?

Allison: Well - why did Christianity Today publish an article expressing their concerns.

Gary: Christianity Today? That was a joke. Just a joke.

These articles published by Christianity Today are a joke?
Brave New Baby
Unprepared to Teach Parenting
Growing Criticism

Gary: You're an attachment parent, aren't you? You've demand fed your babies, haven't you? You're ashamed of it, aren't you? You are, aren't you? Go on - admit it - you're ashamed you've demand fed...

ROTFLOL!!! I can't speak for Allison, but the idea that Gary thinks any mother is "ashamed" of having demand fed their babies simply cracks me up. If anything, I'm ashamed that I trusted Gary Ezzo to provide factual information when I was making decisions with my first two children.

Again, I recommend Allison's A Personal Encounter with Gary Ezzo to better understand Ezzo parenting and why it doesn't belong in Christian families.

Update: Sozo, Robert and Anne are both blogging on Ezzo this week, too.


August 10, 2004  |  Comments (16)  |  TrackBack (2)  |  Permalink



Apricot Abundance

On Sunday, Katya took C3 with her to her friend's dacha to pick apricots. He had a wonderful time. Katya brought me homegrown tomatoes, plums, flowers, cucumbers, and apricots.

About 10 kilograms of apricots.

That's a rough guess. Sunday night I made two batches of regular apricot jam and added some apricots to the pot of Rumtopf I started a couple of months ago. I set the nicer apricots and plums out for the boys, and put the slightly green ones on the windowsill to ripen. The rest I cleaned and whirred up in the blender, added a little citric acid, and froze.

Today I started some apricot cordial, made a batch of pineapple-apricot jam, and a double batch of apricot chutney. And I still have more apricot puree in the freezer. I'm toying with the idea of making southern-fried apricot cream pies.

In other family news:

* C3 saw the doctor last Friday. The x-rays still show the break looking pretty serious. C3 got a new cast. Katya took the x-rays to a couple of specialists she knows. The consensus is to keep the cast on another 4 weeks and then re-evaluate. We're still trying to avoid surgery, but that hasn't been completely ruled out.

* My wonderful Hubby bought me a new digital camera, through a friend who is in-the-know about where to get decent ones at decent prices in this city. I'm just tickled, and can't wait to try it out. The camera my mom gave me gave out when we were on vacation over a year ago, and I really miss it.

* Hubby has been doing a lot of remont around our flat--painting, fixing doors, epoxying things. When the telephone repairman came this morning, Hubby had to help him rewire the line into our flat.

* We have a new cyrillic/English keyboard. There are a few extra keys, and I keep mistyping. The shift and ctrl buttons are too close together. Please forgive my typos.


August 09, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Breastfeeding, Interrupted

Well, our telephone is out--likely until next Monday or Tuesday. So my series of posts in honor of World Breastfeeding Week 2004 is interrupted.

For some mothers, breastfeeding comes easily. For others, it entails overcoming a series of obstacles. When one problem is solved, another one crops up. Latch problems, mastitis, low supply, reflux, thrush, working and pumping. . .

For me, my firstborn latched on like a pro. I had normal engorgement and mild mastitis, both pretty usual and minor. However, when he was a bit older I had a problem with my supply, that was related to being misinformed about how breastfeeding really works, and how scheduling can undermine breastfeeding.

So, I'd like to ask those who have overcome breastfeeding struggles, What motivated you to keep breastfeeding? What helped you deal with the challenges you faced while breastfeeding?

What was it that kept you from having your breastfeeding interrupted?


August 07, 2004  |  Comments (13)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Breastfeeding Art V


August 05, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Breastfeeding Art IV


"The Wet Nurse"
by Mattia Pretti
from the Breastfeeding Art Gallery


August 04, 2004  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



These are a Few of My Favorite Things

Some of our favorite things about breastfeeding are. . .

"are the milky smiles when he pulls away after nursing." -- TulipGirl

"the graceful ways my babies have used their hands while nursing. So delicate, almost like a hand-ballet." -- Melissa

"reading to the older one(s) while nursing. The last book I read that way was Baby Island." -- LizaQ

"The "ahhh, Sweet Nectar" expression babies wear when they've drunk their fill, nursed a bit more just for comfort, and are so completely relaxed that their heads loll back with the deep, peaceful, completely intoxicated contentment that comes with being comforted so deeply and so well. It's like holding Joy itself in the crook of your arm." -- Dy

"beautiful to enjoy vicariously." -- Earth Girl

"looking at his pudgy little hands and feet and knowing that it came from me. " --Angie

"as a prospective breastfeeder, my favorite thing is not having to buy formula!" --Lenise

"The sweet sounds a little one makes as they nurse. The contented smacks and sighs as their tummies fill." --Selah

"the way she'll smile with the breast in her mouth, as if we share something special between just the two of us." --Anne

"Going from squalling, frustrated pre-toddler to angelic sleeping baby in 90 seconds at the breast." --KatyM

"The sweet way their tongues curl around the breast as they suckle." --Kim

"The way she curls her whole body around me, hands around the breast she's nursing and legs around the free breast. And the look she has when she's rooting initially -- an "ohmigosh! milk is coming! yay! yay! yay!" -- she's so excited she can barely latch on." --Kristen

"When my kids hold hands while they nurse and the special bond it brings them. . ." --Tenn

"when he would just stare at me and touch my face with his hands. It's such a special bonding moment and it built the close relationship we have now. " --Christina

Have your say! What are your favorite things about breastfeeding?


August 03, 2004  |  Comments (28)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Breastfeeding Art III

Mother and Child.jpg

Mother and Child by Sigrid Herr

"She is nourishing her child, offering food, growth, and life. Their relationship is one of perfect love, unconditional trust and harmony. Who gives and who receives? Both do."

This and other mother/child art available through Attachments.


August 03, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Awww, thanks!

Tim over at Challies ranked me among the 5 Great Blogs (That Aren't On My BlogRoll). Thanks for the kind description and encouragement!

One of the reason I haven't quite made the cut for the blogroll is because we talk about too much girly stuff over here, like breastfeeding. Of course, since this is World Breastfeeding Week, anyone clicking through from Tim's will get an extra-large dose of that topic.

BTW, Tim, I understand. . . If I weren't married to him, I don't think my blog would be too girly for Hubby, even


August 03, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Sites by and for Nursing Mamas

Gentle Christian Mothers: Breastfeeding Resources

Parenting Decisions: Carol's Feeding Baby Page

VioletJoy's Breastfeeding Joys and Challenges

Jeri's Breastfeeding Information

Laurie's Breastfeeding Basics

Tessa's Breastfeeding Page

Alexandra’s Noonie Page


August 02, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Breastfeeding Art II


"Awaiting Chair" John Beahm
from the ProMom Art Gallery


August 02, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Breastfeeding Art I


Madonna Nursing the Christ Child 1609 Orazio Gentileschi.
Collection of National Museum of Art of Romania.
© 1997 National Museum of Art of Romania.


August 01, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Breastfeeding in the Bible

‘For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance.’ For this is what the LORD says: ‘I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.’ -Isaiah 66:11-13 NIV

I am amazed at how God has designed the way children are nurtured, nourished and comforted at their mother's breasts to reflect the same way He nurtures, nourished and comforts us.

I recommend this Breastfeeding Bible Study by Cyndi Egbert for both mothers and all Believers, as a way to understand God's nurturing care for us, His adopted sons.


August 01, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



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