Tuesday, June 26, 2007

House Hunting Update

Well, we didn't get Finalist #2; the seller just didn't come down to a price we were willing to pay. So, back to looking...
We have a new prospect and the list price starts out in our budget this time. The only thing is that it is 2 BR with a large open loft that overlooks the living room. We've spoken to several people that say it is quite possible to close that off as a bedroom, and may have people who know more about this than Lee or myself (which isn't too hard) to look at it soon. We are excited but want to take our time...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sabbath Thoughts

For Sunday school last Sunday, our pastor shared his notes from a conference (Westminster Confession for Today) on the Sabbath . I have struggled for some time to figure out how to best spend the Sabbath. Actually, I've struggled to figure out what is not to be done, at the least.

On the way home, we were discussing this issue - particularly that the 4th commandment is perhaps treated the most lightly among conservative Christians. I just don't see us coming up with ways to explain away the commandments against adultery or stealing like we do for the 4th.

In thinking about this and studying the Scriptures, I think part of our lack of respect for the Sabbath is our lack of cultural influence. Our culture still generally values honesty and other "second table of the law" values. But the Sabbath is not. Stores and restaurants are open and there is little cultural influence to keep the day holy. We're used to and guided by that cultural influence so the lack of it in this area makes it difficult to see and follow the Biblical command.
I think we also (or at least for me) tend to think of our time in only two categries: work and pleasure. If I am not working (an easy to define time period) then I consider the rest of the time to be "mine" to spend with family or myself in entertainment or relaxation. I find I don't have a category for the time bounded by the Sabbath; it is not work (Exodus 20) or recreation (Isaiah 58).

So what is this time and how do we use it? I defer to the Westminster Larger Catechism:

Q. 117. How is the sabbath or the Lord’s day to be sanctified?

A. The sabbath or Lord’s day is to be sanctified by an holy resting all the day, not only from such works as are at all times sinful, but even from such worldly employments and recreations as are on other days lawful; and making it our delight to spend the whole time (except so much of it as is to be taken up in works of necessity and mercy) in the public and private exercises of God’s worship: and, to that end, we are to prepare our hearts, and with such foresight, diligence, and moderation, to dispose and seasonably dispatch our worldly business, that we may be the more free and fit for the duties of that day.

But, I'm still not sure how to live that out in our family.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Praise God for our Keys

Yes, we are back from vacation, which was great. Stephen had a blast at the beach and visiting all his grandparents. I'm sure Kristy will blog sometime soon about it all.

One story - we went out to eat in downtown Sylva last night at Mill and Main (very good, by the way) and walked around a bit after. When we got back to our car, we all get in as usual, but as I was getting in, I drop my car keys. This would not have been a big issue had we not been parked over a large storm drain in the street. Yes, my keys went through the grate to rest about a foot and a half under it in the muck. I could see them, but couldn't reach through the grate, nor move the grate. Did I mention that Kristy had not brought her keys? So, we were stuck.

Thankfully, I had some bungee cords in the trunk, which I got out and used to try to hook the keys and pull them up. After probably 15 minutes of trying, I found the right cord with the right hook (and the right bending from me) to snag the keys. Praise God that we got them back without having to call someone.! I'm not even sure who I would call. I can hardly believe I dropped them, much less got them back.

Moral: don't park over a storm drain, but if you do, always carry bungee cords with you (though a coat hanger would have been better).

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Clemson Indoctrination

For a few months we've had the book Clemson University 101: My First Text-Board-Book. (Available, with other colleges at www.101book.com.) Stephen enjoys reading it; he especially enjoys recognizing "Daddy's ring", looking at the sports page, and having someone sing the Alma Mater at the end. He's recognizing a lot more, but we still have work to do: on the sports page he pointed at Howard's Rock, calling it the How-are-you? Rock (link provided for curious non-Tigers).
It's so fascinating to see the ways children make connections between the new and the familiar. It also reminds me the great importance in building strong foundations in our children from the beginning so that the things of God are "the familiar" in their lives through which they examine everything.

House Hunting Part 2

Well, Lee's parents have come and looked at Finalists 1&2. As a result, we're leaning more toward #2. We hope to try to move forward on this before vacation later this week.
One thing is that we need to see if our car can make it up the steep gravel driveway - we've been up it twice in SUVs, and those weren't easy trips. But it's a new gravel road that is still pretty loose, so it should eventually be okay. Ah, the mountains.