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December 15, 2008

Anyone feeling a need for accountability in dedicated daily prayer time in '09?

I'm looking for someone (or several someones) who are not already happy with their current routine regarding regular personal prayer time, and feel like doing something about it.

I don't spend regular time "just praying" daily, and I'd like to change that. I pray every day, but usually while I'm doing other things, like driving, doing laundry, showering, cooking, meeting with friends... I also read the Bible most days, but I don't tend to pray over the passages as much as I'd like. I want to be changed by what I read, and that takes prayer.

I want to start with a very modest goal of spending ten minutes each day doing nothing but conversing with God by myself, whether about scripture I've read (not including the reading time), or just in worship, confession, intercession (for myself and others) and listening for guidance. I hope it will turn into longer, but I only want to commit to ten minutes at first and see if I can even do that, long-term, since I haven't been lately. I realize it sounds puny, but one has to start somewhere. I want to become consistent.

What I really need (I think, based on experience in Bible reading) is someone else who would like to take on the same mission for themselves, and would like to check in with me once a week by email to report our accomplishment of the goal each week for a certain amount of time (maybe 6 months and then regroup?).

I'd like to jot down daily in a journal a brief something (maybe just a word or a phrase/thought) that comes out of each time of prayer, so I have a record, and something specific to share each week (as appropriate). Or I might even pray by writing in my journal, as that has helped to keep me focused in the past. But that takes longer. We'll see.

- Committing to at least 10 minutes every day of dedicated, focused solo prayer time while not doing much of anything else (I imagine walking alone would be okay!)
- Email each other once a week to update each other honestly on how it went that week
- Starting January 4th, say for 6 months until July 4th

Anyone interested in joining me?

December 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 14, 2008

Ding Dong the Printer Repair Cat

Two more favorite links of the week:

Ding Dong Merrily on High by Celtic Woman (over-the-top, in ballgowns strutting around the stage, with one woman playing violin and everyone looking very happy). Had to look this up to find out how to pronounce "Io, io, io" for singing at church with the music team. Still not sure whether it means anything - perhaps like "tra la la"?

The Reason the Printer Won't Work (the cat is trying to fix it - watch to the very end). Hat tip to Amanda Witt.

December 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Bumpy Friday Morning

Friday was an interesting morning.

GOOD: I woke up next to David.
NOT-SO-GOOD: I woke up 30 minutes late (the device that alarms me was in another room).
G: There was beautiful snow outside on the trees.
NSG: There was icy snow in the driveway.
NSG: A child had misplaced her lunch bag with our last remaining cute M&M ice pack in it.
NSG: And her new choir uniform, never yet tried on.
NSG: Somewhere along the way there was some spilled milk, not sure where or on whom.
NSG: A child had not finalized or wrapped his gift for the compulsory gift exchange at school, by the time scheduled for departure.
NSG: This led to realizing we would miss the train, and deciding to drive to the school in question instead.
NSG: The other child was running late too, so I had to pass the school bus coming to pick him/her up, and hope they didn't think s/he was in my car, when I only had the other child.
NSG: I left home without having showered.
NSG: And without having a drink.
NSG: And without brushing my teeth.
NSG: And without any earrings on.
NSG: I left my phone in my bathrobe at home.
G: The roads were well-ploughed and safe to drive upon.
NSG: The windscreen was icing over with the flecks of water spun up by the vehicles in front (-2°C / 28°F).
NSG: The traffic at arrival time at the school made it difficult to turn into the school, and there were cars waiting behind me to go straight.
G: The other child made the bus in the end.
G: I got the driven child to school on time as well, after all.
G: I decided to go shopping at a specialty store I don't get to often, since I was nearby, and we needed some of their wares (Campbell's tomato soup for a recipe, and canned pumpkin).
NSG: They were closed for another hour after I got there, and I had to go home instead, after paying for parking.
This brought me to my arrival back home at 9:45am.

Later Goods:
G: Emily found her lunch bag, the cute ice pack, AND the choir uniform, which had been left at school after all.
G: I got to see Jason performing in some drama improv games at his school.
G: Weekend!

December 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 11, 2008

Broccoli Angels We Have Heard on High

You HAVE to watch this guy play "Angels We Have Heard on High" on a head of broccoli. It will make your day. Not to mention the spirited introduction in Japanese.

Hat Tip to Kamp Krusty (Brant Hansen, who finds entirely too many very funny things to share).

December 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Third Snow of the Season Coming Down Steadily

UprightSnowAngelIt's so fun to live somewhere where it snows in our back yard three times before Christmas even arrives. The last two times, the snow stayed over a week. Who knows this time - but it's sure coming down hard, and everything is a beautiful winter wonderland. I sure hope after all this snow, we actually have a white Christmas for all our guests coming from far-off places.

On the steep street to which ours connects, there are three speed bumps - normally. However, they recently removed them. I am guessing this is a seasonal thing, allowing for easy plowing of the roads during winter. They are the kind of speed bumps made out of heavy-duty plastic, which they could reapply later. I'll let you know in the spring if they reappear. Many children walk up and down the street to and from school twice daily (going home for lunch in the middle of the day), so I'd be surprised if they didn't put the speed bumps back again for safety, since it is a big hill and could be tempting to zoom down otherwise.

Try telling me the picture of the neighbour's yellow house below doesn't look colorized. Well, that is just how it looks (other than the purple border (a new feature of typepad blogging platform), it's straight out of camera, or SOOC, as my friend Susan says). Imagine how bright it is in sunlight! They are a very friendly, cheerful family :-) Above is Jason's "snow angel" in the driveway - I love it. He said the snow was perfect packing snow. Hopefully we can have a 14-person snowball fight at Christmas, eh, family? :-) PaleBlueSkyBehindSnowyTreeSnowflakesReflectFlashBigSnowyTreesNonColorizedHouse

December 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 09, 2008

Commenting problems

Update 11 Dec 08: Okay, I've restored it to how it used to be. So much for upgrading while something is still in beta. I really would like to offer the capacity for commenters to be notified of follow-up comments - I so appreciate that feature on other people's blogs. But it will have to wait a while. Thanks for your helpful comments while you typed blind.

Hi readers,

I am experimenting with a new commenting feature offered by Typepad (my blog hosting service), but it's in beta and having some major problems from my point of view...

Does this happen to you?

1. The comment entry box is covered up by another box (the one with "Get a Profile Edit Profile" and "Activity on this blog, overall" written inside it), so the commenter cannot see what they are typing! Then when I hit preview, the same thing happens - still cannot see the comment. Then when I save the comment, finally it shows up. This will not be generally helpful! You have to type & publish your comment blind.

2. Secondary problem: At the bottom of the post page, there is no space between "Get a Profile" and "Edit Profile" so it looks like "Get a ProfileEdit Profile" which is confusing.

3. Also, for the people with Profiles already, their name is written before their comment, and then their name AGAIN, with a link to their profile (with no space between the two instances of their name). This is confusing and clumsy-looking.

I am using Safari (and Camino). What web browser are you using and do you have these same problems? If so, you'll have to type your comment carefully and jump into the void when you submit your comment to let me know. If they don't fix this soon I'll try to go back to how it was before.

By the way, had a great weekend visiting my 92-year-old grandfather for the first time in 3.5 years. It was lovely to see him and to let the kids update their memories of their only surviving great-grandfather.
 So glad my mom could join us, and that we got to have lunch with David's cousins as well. And we had a Mexican dinner and got to shop for basics at Old Navy - what a bunch of treats this weekend.
 Thanks be to God, the fount of all blessings.

December 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 02, 2008

Struggling with Dativ and Akkusativ and Der-Die-Das-Den-Dem

I attended German class this morning as usual for Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and was honest with the teacher: "It's a total guess for me as to which article to use!"

In German it's not just
"the" as in English.
The dog, the door, the bed, the tables. Easy, right?

And it's not as simple as French, with only
"le" (masculine: le chien) or
"la" (feminine: la porte) or
"les" (plural: les tables).

No, no, in German, it's
"der" (masculine in nominativ case: der Hund; or feminine in akkusativ case: der Tür), or
"die" (feminine: die Tür; or plural, die Tischen) or
"das" (neuter: das Bett), or
"den" (masculine in Akkusativ case, or plural in Dativ), or
"dem" (masculine or neuter in Dativ case)

And of course half the time what's masculine in French is feminine or neuter in German and vice versa:

e.g. the table: la table (fem in French), vs. der Tisch (masc in German)
or the bed: le lit (masc in French), vs. das Bett (neuter in German)
or the cat: le chat (masc in French), vs. die Katze (fem in German)

Help, help! I can usually figure these things out if I have time and solitude:
1. I look the word up in the dictionary (whether paper or online) to find out if it's masculine, feminine or neuter
2. I think about whether the thing is the subject (nominativ) or direct object (akkusativ) or perhaps an object of a preposition (akkusativ or dativ)
3. I think about whether the action is taking place in one spot (dativ case), or whether it involves moving from one place to another (akkusativ)
4. I look up in the tables (whether on paper or in my head) which article is thus the correct one to use

It's quite the multi-step process just to pick one little tiny inconsequential word before a noun. But on the spot, in class? I blush and sputter, or just pick randomly, and the teacher corrects me - but what use is that?

Ah well, I know I am learning a little each class, and with each piece of homework. David shared a great little trick with me today which helped oodles. "Wo?" (where) and "Dativ" are the shorter words and go together, and "Wohin?" (where to) and "Akkusativ" are the longer words and go together. Thanks, my love! Helps no end.

December 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack