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.
Posted by Jon Daley on April 6, 2010, 12:23 pm | Read 5862 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 104974 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 55347 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 3499 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 11119 times | Comments (5)
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Jonathan has been wanting our family to put on a Star Wars play ever since he started reading his Syar Wars book.  I keep telling him, "You write the script first, and then we can figure out more details."  So he finally decided to write the script, based on the movie Star Wars Episode IV:A New Hope, which we watched with the boys for the first time the other week.  It's more like a plot summary, but it's wonderful! He asks me for a spelling every once in a while, and after asking how to quote a person's speech once, he has done all subsequent ones on his own.  After working long and hard one day, he asked if he could skip handwriting in school since he was doing this, and I answered a resounding "yes!"  So this has been his writing project and I am thrilled with it.

For your (or at least Grandma's) viewing pleasure:

Jonathan's star wars script. Jonathan's star wars script.

This is from the boy who, not too long ago, said there was no way he could ever think of anything to write.  All you need is a topic you're excited about!

In other news, we got out the bikes and took a walk to the nearby street that gets no traffic. Jonathan was a bit rusty after no riding over the winter, but by the end of our afternoon, he could start without stepping on a platform (stump, step, etc.) and could ride in large circles.  He's still not comfortable turning around at the end of the street, nor stopping ("it's handy if there's a hill nearby") but I'm sure he'll be doing both soon.  He's still a tad short, but that may even be "fixed" by the end of summer, too.

Jonathan requests to write now:

i was having fun wen was riding mi bike o ya i was wen i was zoo-m'n along. i was on the 1st geer then i was on the 2nd geer

then i was on the 3rd geer then on the 4th geer then on the 5th geer and then the 6th!!! geer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Mommy's turn again:

Jonathan has been working very quickly on his school and usually ends up spending less time on school than Noah, which seems backwards from how it should be.  I am now ready to add official science to Jonathan's school work and I will start by trying out Pandia Press's try before you buy for their  R.E.A.L Science - Life (Level 1).  We are both excited about this.  It looks like lots of fun for both of us.

I had been giving Jonathan one page a day from Lollipop Logic, and then one day as I was copying more lessons, Jonathan asked to do them and he ended up finishing the book!  He likes analogies and deductions, but not inference (maybe those examples were too easy?).  I got out my old logic book If This and That, Then What? and he got most of them.

He also likes big numbers.  He's been working on some Miquon pages with greater than and less than and invariably a problem like "4<[ ]" gets a 1,000,000 or 10,000 written in.  When he is a superhero, he can run/fly at 2 billion miles per hour.  Things like that.  Googol is also a favorite number.

Well, those are the notes on Jonathan for now that I can think of.  In conclusion, Jonathan will write some more:

i'v been taking tons of picshers all around the House ! i was having fun wen i was taking picshers.!!! i'm havig

fun raeding my starwars book to.!!!!!!  {wheaet are you doing????} 


Posted by Heather Daley on March 28, 2010, 5:04 pm | Read 3103 times | Comments (12)
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3/19 - Mommy asks, "Where are all those hiccups coming from?"  Faith responds by opening her mouth wide and pointing down her throat.

2/23 - Faith said "I love you" to me!  It sounds rather like "hello" with three syllables.  She also tries to do the sign, and ends up with just her index finger up.  She does this when leaving my presence (yes, she's started doing that more and more!) - she waves and says "bye-eye" and waits for me to respond, "Bye, I love you.  See you later!"

She now clearly and more often says "no" and "uh-huh" and "doh" (don't).  She also said "aye-dow" when she wanted me to hold her upside-down yesterday.

She plays with her brothers without me a lot now, even outside.  They take such good care of her.  They have even been known to put on new diapers and clothes for her!

They love each other so much, it is so fun to watch them interact.

I am working on teaching Faith how to use the stool to climb up onto the closed toilet so she can reach the sink to wash her hands.  She can do this now, and we're working on getting back down, which is harder.  Very soon we'll do her potty-training day.  I know it will be different than it was with Noah - she'll need more of my assistance - but it will be very nice to be done with diapers for the moment.

One time during school Faith made a nice design with pattern blocks that resembled a sun.  She likes writing and playing with the blocks, cuisenaire rods, and balance scale.  Usually, all the pieces are on the floor by the time I'm done with the boys' school.  But she is good at helping me clean up afterwards.

Faith is such a joy to have in our house!

Posted by Heather Daley on March 25, 2010, 2:12 pm | Read 2173 times | Comments (2)
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"Francis of Assisi is alleged to have said, 'Preach the gospel always; if necessary use words.'  That may be a great medieval sound bite, but it falls short of what the Bible teaches about evangelism."

I used to like that quote, and the evangelism models it leads to, and felt comfortable in thinking that the street preachers (and other more direct evangelism models) had no place in actually making a difference in people's lives.


Posted by Jon Daley on March 23, 2010, 12:00 pm | Read 12706 times | Comments (22)
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I won't do a whole review, as I probably wouldn't do all that good of a job, but I'm re-reading it because a friend from church asked to borrow it, and I thought I would read through it again before I loaned it to him, so I could better recommend it appropriately.

Dave Skiles recommended the book to me, and added his own subtitle, What's Wrong with your Marriage, and Why it is Your [the husband's] Fault, and while some might end up in condemnation thinking about that title, I have found it quite good, and when I'm tempted to wonder why Heather is doing such-and-such, I can think back on this, and realize (or if I don't realize it, Heather can tell me, like she did yesterday) how my attitude and how I am leading the family is affecting everyone.

I read the chapters on "Effacacious Love" and "Keeping Short Accounts" this morning, and was thinking that there was so much good stuff that I should write a blog post about it, but now when I go back, I think perhaps there is too much to quote, and I'm having a hard time picking which things to mention.

He has a section on beauty and speaks about the bad tendencies in our culture to place focus on outward things (one example he gives is the difference between playing with dolls with the girl in the role of the mother versus playing with Barbie dolls with the girl playing the role of the doll) but goes on to say that some in the church react to that by saying beauty is only inward, and ignoring the outward beauty that God has created.  He quotes various Old Testament scriptures that speak of the outward beauty that the women had (Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Abigail, Bathsheba, Tamar, Esther)  He humorously says that you may be saying, "Duh, everyone knows there are pretty women..."  But, he also says, "a man who marries biblically should expect his wife to be visibly lovelier on their tenth anniversary - and if she is not, he knows that he is the one responsible. But as the one responsible, he has to know where true beauty begins."  As Heather and I approach our ninth anniversary, I can say with confidence that Heather definitely is on the right track, despite my failings.

"When a woman is lovely in her spirit, that loveliness cannot be contained.  It enchants her husband."

"As he loves her, she bears fruit.  As she bears this fruit, it delights him.  In this delight he loves her more, and she bears more fruit.  The wife is to cooperate fully, receiving his love, but he is the one responsible to give it."

Another challenging and convicting quote:

"A husband cannot say, 'All my behavior notwithstanding, I still honor my wife, even though I never show it.' Husbands must honor their wives.  This is a demonstration within marriage of an attitude which we should see elsewhere in the church."

In the "Keeping Short Accounts" chapter, I found a good analogy in picking things up off the carpet and confessing sin immediately.  That while the end result looks the same, picking things up immediately, rather than letting them sit for 6 months is quite different.

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." -- 1 John 1:9

He says that while our justification is not affected by confession of sin, "refusal to confess sin does affect the quality of a person's enjoyment of his justification."  And reminds us of Psalm 51, "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation".

Posted by Jon Daley on March 22, 2010, 9:00 am | Read 39910 times | Comments (1)
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It's definitely a telling commentary on my life that the first chapter of Total Church, "Why Gospel?" was less exciting to me than the following chapter, "Why Community?".  I think the former is in my head only, where the latter is in my head and heart.


Posted by Jon Daley on March 20, 2010, 10:31 am | Read 7817 times | Comments (3)
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I've just started reading a book I ordered from the library. I don't remember who recommended it - probably either someone at Jubilee, or else a blog I read.

Based on the number of things I've liked so far, and I'm only through the introduction, I suspect I'm going to really like this book. They start out by giving four people with different stories. I'll quote this one because it is exactly me:

"Cathy became a Christian in her first year at university. It was great. She spent hours hanging out with her Christian friends, talking through their faith, praying together, sharing the gospel with other students. But two years after graduation she feels spiritually flat. She goes to church each Sunday and attends a home group on Wednesday evenings. But she misses the intimacy of the relationships she had at university. She misses the discussions, the enthusiasm, and the late night prayers. She laughs to herself at how immature they were sometimes. But she can't help wondering whether 'grown-up' Christianity is any better. If only there were a different way of doing church."


Posted by Jon Daley on March 16, 2010, 10:47 pm | Read 6571 times | Comments (7)
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It got up to 67 F outside this afternoon.  We had a picnic lunch and then spent a long time outside enjoying the sunshine (kids absorbing lots of vitamin D) and playing with rocks.  Jonathan cleaned and filled the hummingbird feeder.  I filled the regular bird feeder.  I put away shovels and cleaned up the yard a bit (rocks from the paths had gotten shoveled into the grass with the snow).  Hooray for spring!  I even opened up the windows to let some fresh air in.  It only lasted for about an hour because the outside temperature started dropping, but it was very nice.  (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on March 10, 2010, 3:12 pm | Read 2614 times | Comments (4)
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2/23 - Faith repeated the Church of the Ascension doorbell, singing exactly on pitch.

2/24 - Noah was working with Jon on pronouncing "sure" correctly, having trouble with the "sh" sound at the beginning.  Finally, he said to Jon, "How 'bout I just say 'mm-hmm'?"

3/4 - Faith was exploring her reflection in the convex mirror of the mixing bowl.  She looked up and down, made faces in it, looked from the right and left.  Very fun to watch.

Faith is running now, working hard to keep up with her brothers.

Faith is using the toilet sign often now, and more than half the time, she goes.  Often she'll keep a diaper dry for hours.  I got the Toilet Training in Less Than A Day out from the library again and I think I'll do a session with her soon.  Then she'll be in underwear!  I'm debating about waiting until 20 months, which is their recommended starting age, but they do say some kids are ready at 18 months.

Today is clear and sunny and we had a picnic lunch out front, with an old shower curtain under the blanket to keep off the damp. Jonathan made a few games for us so it was kind of like a carnival!  He also made us lemonade, using three cups of sugar in a gallon of drink, so it was pretty potent.

I've been enjoying the snow and wintery weather (remember it did take a long time for winter to come this year!) but there just is something about the sunshine and warmth that's really nice.
Posted by Heather Daley on March 7, 2010, 3:07 pm | Read 3426 times | Comments (1)
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At least, it might be.  A bill recently passed the house that very specifically makes non-CNM midwifery illegal.  In 1972, (three years after they started licensing CNMs) a bill was passed declaring Mississippi to be a legal state for direct entry midwives.  I only heard about it today, and I gather that there aren't that many CNMs in the state anyway (ie. not enough to cover the population) so I wonder who is driving this legislation.  I suppose it could be the medical community that knows there aren't many CNMs, so this is really a move against all midwives, I'm not sure.

Unfortunately, unlike lots of other bills Rep. Holland introduced, (my favorite is the bill to specify the state song) this bill didn't die in committee.

Posted by Jon Daley on February 24, 2010, 2:02 pm | Read 6819 times | Comments (3)
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2/11 - Noah, as we started school for the day, "I have my gun in my pocket in case any bad guys try to interrupt school."

2/13 - Faith says something that sounds very like "all done" when she is finished eating or going to the bathroom.  She also says "doe" for toes or nose.

2/20 - Faith is now consistently using the toilet sign (it looks like she's shaking an invisible pencil).  She does not use it every time she needs to go, but when she thinks about it, and sometimes at diaper changes.

Noah's work with putting the /g/ and /k/ sounds into his regular speech is coming along great!  Many words now come out correctly without him thinking about it, many more come out correctly the second time.  Since he is now listening and paying attention to how he is speaking, he has also improved other words, such as "seven".   It used to be "eh-uh" even though he can say /n/.  Now it's "eh-un."  /s/ and /v/ will come later.  I just ordered the second Speechercise cd and am looking forward to working on these new sounds with him.

Jonathan made a Lego olympics, with figure skaters, speed skaters, and luge riders.  He even made the bench that the figure skaters sit on with their coach while waiting for their scores. (:  (One of his sets of figure skaters are Han Solo and Princess Leia.  Their coach is a droid!) The ice rink was a flat base turned upside down.  He and Noah had two zambonis.

Jonathan has been reading up a storm.  He found a Star Wars book and has been steadily working away at it.

He had been having trouble with the fact that we solve math problems from left to right no matter where the unknown is.  For example, if the problem was [ ] = 9 - 5, he would write -4 in the blank spot.  "Five minus nine equals negative four."  He was quite frustrated with this for a few days, but the last time I gave him a worksheet with that kind of problem, I simply reminded him that the problems read from left to right, and he did fine.

Posted by Heather Daley on February 21, 2010, 7:40 pm | Read 2351 times | Comments (1)
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