Combine shorts/shortsleeves with pricker bushes and concrete and childhood exploration.  Jonathan takes care of himself now, and Noah does sometimes, but I've been doing lots of bandaging for Faith.  She's pretty good about leaving them on, but when they fall off she is insistent that a new one goes on right away.

4/19 - Faith adds new words all the time now.  "Dit" means sticker, this is often accompanied by pointing to the back of her hand (put a sticker there, please.)  "Niw" or "miw" for milk, accompanied by the milk sign.  She sounds like a little kitten when she says it!  "Dide" or "ide" for outside or inside, depending on circumstance.

We have lots of violets in our backyard.  Jonathan calls them butterfly flowers.  I used to remind him that they are called violets, and then I read that their scientific name is viola papilonacea.  It means "butterflylike violet" - so Jonathan was right!  He's just speaking English and not Latin. (:

4/22 - Jonathan, sniffing deeply, "Broccoli makes my nose thirsty."

4/23 - Faith was helping me unload the dishwasher.  If she picked up an item she didn't know where to put she asked me, "Doh?"  ("Where does it go?")  One time she picked up a small mixing bowl and put it in the low cabinet where it belongs.  Later, she picked up a larger mixing bowl, and very carefully took out the previous one and stacked them according to size before replacing them in the cupboard.

Last night we visited our friends who have a farm and Faith several times repeated "dat" and "dod" for cat and dog.  She was afraid of all the animals except the cats.

Last night was a bluegrass jam session and it was such a blast.  Jon brought his guitar, though he'd not done bluegrass before.  People sat and stood around a circle, playing away.  It was fun to listen to and sometimes sing along if I knew the words.  Young and old together, great players and medium players.  Jon plucked around on a banjo for a while.  There was a bass fiddle that got passed around to whomever wanted to play.  The kids who were not playing instruments ran around the farm, in and out of the garage where the music was. It was a blast.  Mom, you would have loved it!  One of the girls led some fiddle tunes and the banjos and guitars jammed along with her.  It reminded me of Janet's fiddling days and I thought of that lion-headed fiddle.  They played Red River Valley, Cotton-Eyed Joe, and Rocky Top among many others.  Amazing Grace, I'll Fly Away, and other old gospel hymns.

Noah and Jonathan got covered with farm dirt and bruises; Jonathan stuck a turkey feather over one ear; Noah carried a cat around for a while.  Faith stuck with me the whole time, but did ride on a tricycle a bit with me pushing.

Posted by Heather Daley on April 24, 2010, 12:15 pm | Read 2820 times | Comments (3)
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Here are my notes from when Jon was in the Dominican Republic:

Saturday - first dinner with Daddy gone - When Faith saw that Daddy was not in his chair at the table, she looked for him in the computer room.  The next morning when I got up first, Noah commented that usually Daddy is up first.  I asked, "Do you remember where he is?"  Noah says, in an "of course" tone, "In his bed!"  When I replied that he was not, then Noah remembered "minihan public."

They were really good in church, except for Noah during the sermon, wiggling and lolling.  After church they were exceptionally well behaved.

Jonathan helped Noah get to bed on nights when I had to take care of Faith.  Jonathan often helped me by putting on Faith's diaper and pants.

We had a relaxed pace for everything except getting to Faith's checkup appointment on time.  One of the reasons Jonathan was looking forward to Jon being gone (that he was unable to articulate for a while) was that he was excited about having more of my time, that I would not be spending any time with Daddy so I'd have more time for him.  This spurred me to make a special time for Jonathan more often than we had before.

I realized if something needed to be done, it was me who had to do it, so I might as well do it now since there's no point in waiting to see if someone else does it.  That was not as tiring as I thought, and I thought that I should just do those sorts of things anyway even when Jon gets back. 

God poured out much grace and I poured out lots of prayer.

Spring really helped - everyone was cheerful and excited and we could play outside a lot.
--End of Daddy Gone Notes-- (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on April 18, 2010, 5:52 pm | Read 2552 times | Comments (7)
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In conclusion, the authors talk some about definitions of success and how those definitions affect how you see yourself and your church.

He is quick to point out that large churches are not always bad, but points out various downsides of being in a large church, some of which I have experienced when I was at different large (where I define "large" as more than two or three hundred people) churches in Pittsburgh, where if you sit in a different seat on a particular Sunday, everyone assumes you are new to the church.

He also talks about the glamor of big-name preachers, and how some churches look for big-name speakers, both to pastor their churches, and for retreats, etc. There is a church in Pittsburgh that probably most people wouldn't recognize the name of the church, but lots of people would recognize the name of the pastor, mostly because that is how the church is advertised, as "so-and-so's church in wherever".   (And some people joke at our church about doing that for the pastor...)

In the sermon last wee, Andrew mentioned some grass-is-always-greener temptations that some pastors have, where small congregation pastors sometimes wish for larger congregations, and/or staff for the ministry that would be possible with those resources, and large congregation pastors sometimes wish for the "old days", when things were simpler and easier to manage, etc.

I guess it all comes down to how you define success.

Heather and I were talking about our food budget the other day (she aims for $300/month, but fails whenever I go shopping, and I've done a bunch of shopping this month) and we were talking about where I spent the money, and how it was different than how she would have spent it.  One thing that I got was a handful of "Tony's" pizzas, since they were on sale, and I figured you can always have more frozen pizzas around for those days that are busy, and it is easier to throw some toppings on a pizza than make dinner, and Heather said that we haven't been eating Tony's pizzas in a long time, and I thought that perhaps our consumption of Tony's pizzas is a good indicator of how life is going: if Heather has time to make homemade pizza and other dinners, things must be going pretty well.

Posted by Jon Daley on April 16, 2010, 10:57 pm | Read 10413 times | Comments (2)
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The authors quote some statistics of how many children leave the church never to come back, and particularly notes some examples of where churches had "junior church" for the kids, and while it was fun and entertaining when they were young, when the kids were old enough to attend "adult church", they never went, since it was completely different than what they thought church was all about.  Having not seen either of the services in the example, I'd probably argue for something in the middle - that probably the junior church was too much fluff and "fun" (Jonathan and I have conversations occasionally and setup a quadrant diagram with the axes labelled "good" and "fun", and how there can be things that might be fun but not good, etc.) and probably also the "adult church" takes themselves too seriously and needs to realize that "good" church isn't dead and dry, and it is not about surviving the weekly ordeal in order to get to the football game in the afternoon.

We have a simple rule of thumb in our church: if we would do this as a family, we can do it as a church; if we would not do this as family, why do it as church?  This is not intended to cover every possible eventuality, but it has proved useful in maintaining a church life that is refreshingly simple and uncluttered, with space for relationships and front-line evangelism.

 

Posted by Jon Daley on April 12, 2010, 10:42 am | Read 5370 times | Comments (2)
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I'm skipping the "Theology" chapter, partly because I don't have anything to say about it (it was a short chapter), but also that I need to return the book to the library, and I'm running out of time, and trying to avoid any fines...

First off, a definition of apologetics, since I always forget the definitions of these "fancy" words:

  1. The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.
  2. Formal argumentation in defense of something, such as a position or system.

The most interesting thing that I read in this chapter was the concept of relational apologetics.  I don't think I'd ever heard that before, but as you might guess, pretty much everything these guys (and probably me too) think about can be thought of in a communal-center fashion too).

People reject the knowledge of God not because they cannot know God, but becaue they will not know him.  At root it is not an intellectual problem of the head, but a relational problem of the heart.  This has profound implications for apologetics.

We need to persuade people that our story, the story of God, is true.  But they will only explore its truth if we can first persuade them that it might be a better story.  We need to address their hearts before we can begin to address the questions in their heads.  We have a better sotry than any of the alternatives.  We need to awaken a desire for God.  We need to make people want Christianity to be true.  Then we might be able to persuade them that it is true.

 

Posted by Jon Daley on April 10, 2010, 11:33 am | Read 2153 times | Comments (0)
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Noah can buckle his own seatbelt in the car now.

His speech is continually improving.  Jon could tell the difference when he came back from the Dominican.  /g/ and /k/ are now well established in his regular vocabulary.  We're working on /f/ /v/ /l/ /s/  in our school times and he can do them well when he thinks about it.

He's also fixing on his own some vowel sounds that he had wrong.  "kite" used to be something like "kut" and now is correct.

He can count to ten without skipping and he loves playing Pegs in the Park.

On the earlier mentioned biking day, Noah rode his pedal-less bike and made progress with that, too.  He had fun going down a slight hill (drveway) with his feet up.

Noah is an excellent clothes folder and enjoys it, too.

Noah and Faith play together often when Jonathan isn't around (reading Star Wars most likely) and they do play very well together.  Noah takes such good care of her.  He'll help her go to the bathroom and even will put on a new diaper (sometimes!).  He sings songs to her.  They enjoy each others' presence.  This is a very sweet thing for my mother-heart.

He is also a good pancake flipper.

Posted by Heather Daley on April 10, 2010, 9:34 am | Read 2093 times | Comments (1)
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Heather's dad sent a link to this article, which I thought was pretty good.  And at least, it is a good word-of-the-day for you. Your assignment is to use it in a sentence sometime today.  Laughing

"NOW, SIR," concluded Davy Crockett, "you know why I made that speech yesterday. I have had several thousand copies of it printed and was directing them to my constituents when you came in. ...

(Original Post)

 

Posted by Jon Daley on April 9, 2010, 2:27 pm | Read 5340 times | Comments (10)
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This chapter is basically comparing Eastern and Western religions, though I think those terms aren't ever actually used.  And they argue against those Christians that would like to introduce Eastern practices into Christian.

"Contemplation, silence and solitude."  It certainly describes a good deal of what passes for spirituality among evangelicals today.  Or worse than that, it constitutes a kind of advanced spirituality for the elite.  We teach new Christians to pray and read their bibles, but mature spirituality, it is said, takes us into new realms - the realms of "contemplation, silence and solitude."

But what struck me as I pondered those words is that the describe the exact opposite of biblical spirituality.  Biblical spirituality is not about contemplation; it is about reading and meditating on the word of God.  It is not about detached silence; it is about passionate petition.  It is not about solitude; it is about participation in community.

I think part of the problem might simply be definitions, as the author has to acknowledge that Jesus went off on his own early in the morning for what I would think could accurately be described as "contemplation, silence and solitude".  Being community-centered people, the authors and myself are probably more wary than we should be of this sort of thing.

This community spirituality clearly requires a certain level of relationship.  We need to be sharing our lives.  We need to be with other Christians "daily."  We need friendships that are real, open and intimate.  We need to give one another license to dig into our lives and challenge our hearts.  We need leaders who foster this culture by giving and receiving this daily exhortation, who lead not only from their pulpits but with their lives.  The word of God needs not only to be central to church life, but thoroughly to pervade every aspect of it.

 

Posted by Jon Daley on April 9, 2010, 10:25 am | Read 2318 times | Comments (0)
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I am not sure what I think about this chapter.  The authors argue for Christian pastoral care within a communal setting, as opposed to the "professional" counseling.  I have heard of a couple stories of people violently against that idea, though I haven't seen anything bad about that myself, and would tend to agree with the authors, that I think it is helpful for a "counselor" to share a worldview with the "counselee" as that greatly affects what counsel is appropriate to give someone.  In addition, I think the authors would argue against professional Christian counselors as well, but aim more for relationships within the community that you are already in.  (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on April 8, 2010, 3:57 pm | Read 7770 times | Comments (11)
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When we were going to bed, Kim said something about setting his alarm for 4AM or some crazy number like that.  Apparently, he gets up pretty early at home, and takes the opportunity to get up even earlier in the Dominican.  But, since I work for myself, I tend to get up pretty late most days, and I think I've been sleeping pretty well lately, so I don't think I've gotten up at 2 or 3 in a long time (a number of years ago, I made myself a rule that said if I wake up and can't get back to sleep for an hour, I get up and start my day, no matter what time it is, so I've gotten up at all sorts of crazy times - midnight, 2, 4, etc.)

I've inherited my dad's sensitivity when sleeping (well, probably not as much as he had, when he used to wake up to an alarm that was broken, and so the only noise was the mechanical plastic piece snapping a half inch), but I've never liked alarm clocks, and always use a quiet radio to wake up to if I need one.  Kim's Blackberry, or whatever it was, was really loud, and John and I were pretty surprised.  The rest of the week, either he used a quieter alarm, or else he just woke up on his own, as I had a nice peaceful wake up at right around 5 each morning.  (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on April 7, 2010, 12:57 pm | Read 1855 times | Comments (2)
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Again, probably showing my bias, I didn't get a whole lot out of the "World Mission" chapter, so I am going to combine two chapters into one post.

The gospel word is a word for the present about the future.  Hope is integral to our message.  Non-Christians campaign for justice and feed the hungry, often with greater energy than Christians.   But only Christians can point people to the world to come.  Only Christians can show them how eloquently and relevantly the Bible describes the world we all want. ... The very best we can do for others is to tur their gaze toward eternity.
 (More)
Posted by Jon Daley on April 6, 2010, 12:23 pm | Read 5719 times | Comments (1)
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So, as most of you know, in March I went on my first ever short-term mission trip to Hato Mayor in the Dominican Republic with college students from Penn State, University of Pittsburgh and a handful from other places.

It is almost a month later, and I've been meaning to write down things that I saw and experienced while I was there, partially so I don't forget them, but hopefully also to encourage you, the reader.  I have quite figured out the best way to write it all down, but I think going day-by-day will be the easiest, as I can categorize things chronologically, and hopefully not forget anything in the process.

However, the first "day" is a little hard to write about, since we left Pittsburgh on Saturday evening, and fell into our beds at 4AM or so on Sunday morning, and so I consider Sunday to be our first "real" day anyway.  (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on April 5, 2010, 10:49 pm | Read 104188 times | Comments (3)
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I am not sure of the original source, but I received this via Jack Ganssle in his Embedded Muse.

Mother taught the IF ... THEN ... ELSE structure: "If it's snowing, then put your boots on before you go to school; otherwise just wear your shoes."

For years I badgered my mother with questions about whether Santa Claus is a real person or not. Her answer was always "Well, you asked for the presents and they came, didn't they?" I finally understood the full meaning  of her reply when I heard the definition of a virtual device: "A software or  hardware entity which responds to commands in a manner indistinguishable from the real device." Mother was telling me that Santa Claus is a virtual  person (simulated by loving parents) who responds to requests from children  in a manner indistinguishable from the real saint.

Mother explained the difference between batch and transaction processing: "We'll wash the white clothes when we get enough of them to make a load, but we'll wash these socks out right now by hand because you'll need them this afternoon."

Mother taught me about linked lists. Once, for a birthday party, she laid  out a treasure hunt of ten hidden clues, with each clue telling where to find the next one, and the last one leading to the treasure. She then gave us  the first clue.

Mother understood about parity errors. When she counted socks after doing  the laundry, she expected to find an even number and groaned when only one sock of a pair emerged from the washing machine. Later she applied the principles of redundancy engineering to this problem by buying our socks three identical pairs at a time. This greatly increased the odds of being  able to come up with at least one matching pair.

Mother had all of us children write mail in a single envelope with a single stamp. This was obviously an instance of blocking records in order to save
money by reducing the number  of physical I/O operations.

Mother used flags to help her manage the housework. Whenever she turned on the stove, she put a potholder on top of her purse to reminder herself to turn it off again before leaving the house.

Mother knew about devices which raise an interrupt signal to be serviced when they have completed any operation. She had a whistling teakettle.

Mother understood about LIFO ordering. In my lunch bag she put the dessert on the bottom, the sandwich in the middle, and the napkin on top   so that hings would come out in the right order at lunchtime.

There is an old story that God knew He couldn't be physically present everywhere at once, to show His love for His people, and so He created mothers. That is the difference between centralized and distributed processing. As any kid who's ever misbehaved at a neighbor's house finds out, all the mothers in the neighborhood talk to each other. That's a local area network of distributed processors that can't be beat.

Mom, you were the best computer teacher I ever had.

(too bad Mom probably doesn't understand most of these.  And also apologies to Klaus Sutner, who was the best computer science teacher I ever had)

Posted by Jon Daley on April 5, 2010, 10:41 am | Read 54833 times | Comments (0)
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"The church exists by mission as a fire exists by burning." -- Emil Brunner
Mission very easily becomes one activity among others in church life.  It sits on the agenda alongside a list of other items bying for attention.  Or it is left to the enthusiasts to get on with it at the edge of church life.

How often have you seen a church where the evangelist is over there, and you should talk to him if you are interested in that kind of stuff.  Not that I am any better, most likely far, far worse than the average person sitting in the rows of chairs (we don't have pews), but that doesn't make it any less important.  (Just because there are always earmarks in the bills our legislature passes, doesn't make the next one right)  (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on April 4, 2010, 6:01 pm | Read 3363 times | Comments (4)
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Partly due to doing things with my family and partly due to catching up at work after last week of very little work, I haven't read much lately, and then when I did read, it was late at night, and figured I'd wait until I was in front of a computer to blog about it, rather than using the phone (and keeping Heather awake with the cell phone light, and the clicking of the keyboard...)

The next couple chapters weren't as gripping for me as the first few.

I did like a couple quotes though:

I was talking with a prominent evangelical church leader and asked him why more people are not open to a household model of church or to community groups meeting in homes.  The church leader was candid in his reply: "Because people like me come from professional backgrounds, and we want churches that reflect our backgrounds.  I don't want to be opening my home to people.  I don't want to get involved in people's lives.  I don't want needy people in my church.  Before people like me went into Christian ministry, we were lawyers, doctors, businessmen. And when we get involved in ministry, we bring those values with us."

I have wondered why some people seem to not want people in their home, at least not more than once or twice a year.  I have no idea what the reasons are, and if this guy represents a common thought.  BCF is always looking for homes to have various meetings in, and I think people have finally gotten the idea that our house is open whenever, and it isn't a burden at all. (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on April 2, 2010, 9:30 pm | Read 10951 times | Comments (5)
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