Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Nancy Ganz-Commentary for Children

I started reading Nancy Ganz's Genesis, A Commentary for Children which is the first in her Herein is Love series. The depth of her commentary is wonderful and the student lesson is ready to read right from the book. For each lesson there is a Teacher's Guide in which ideas for visual aids, memory work, a craft, review questions, prayer, Psalms to sing and a field trip suggestion to assist in rounding out the lesson.
A quick note about the Psalms to sing: Nancy and her husband Rich pastor a Reformed Presbyterian church that sings acappella from a Psalter in which the Psalms are metrically arranged for singing. We have visited their church and while we do not agree with the exclusivity of Psalm singing, it is beautiful and God-glorifying music.
Here is an excerpt from the lesson that I started yesterday.

Lesson 60
Genesis 39
The Lord was With Joseph

Joseph was filled with sorrow as he was led away to be sold as a slave in the land of Egypt. Joseph had lost everything in this world—his family, his home, his country, his work, his freedom, and even the beautiful coat that his father had made for him. Never again would that coat comfort him; it was gone...and so was every other good thing in his life. He had been like an honoured prince in his father's house, but now he was a slave among strangers, despised by all. His brothers had robbed him of everything, hadn't they? No! He still had his life and he still had his faith! In the loneliness of those sorrowful nights, Joseph was no longer warmed by his father's rich robe, but his eyes could still see the beauty of the moon shining on the desert sands. He was still alive! And he could still believe in God! He could trust that God was with him and that God loved him--even now, in this terrible situation. Could any trouble or danger ever separate him from the LOVE of God? Was there any person or power in all creation that could separate him from the LOVE of God? No! His brothers could separate him from everyone else, but they could not separate him from God! The Bible records: “The LORD was with Joseph.” The grace of God and the LOVE of the LORD, which were more precious even than life, could never be stolen from him.
Joseph was brought to a land far away from his family, the land of Egypt. Everything in this land was foreign to Joseph—the way the people looked and lived, the way they talked. The Egyptians spoke a foreign language, which Joseph did not understand. He would have to learn their language quickly, if he was going to survive in this country. Egypt was also a strange land in that it worshipped strange gods. It was a land filled with false gods and idol worship. People bowed down to all kinds of images. Joseph must not learn these things. He must never bow down to another god. He must never forget his god, the god of his fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He must always remember the LORD. Joseph would live in this land, the land of Egypt, for the rest of his life. As time passed, he would forget all his trouble and sorrow; in time he even would forget all his father's household (Genesis 41:51), but Joseph would never forget the LORD—and the LORD would never forget Joseph. Again and again we read in the account of Joseph's life: “The LORD was with Joseph” and the LORD blessed Joseph.

I highly recommend this series which is currently up to the book of Numbers and is scheduled to finish with Joshua.

Related posts about the commentaries:

The Uniqueness of God's Word
Honor Upon Scripture

Monday, January 15, 2007

We Have Snow!

And we are happy!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Richard Scarry revised

Someone over at Flickr has taken the time to document publisher's revisions that have been made to the original editions of Richard Scarry. Click here for the pictures. The comments under many of the pictures are funny and revealing about who really cares about being politically correct. Hardly anyone.

The Rebelution Modesty Survey

The Harris gang over at Rebelution have launched what they are calling a Modesty Survey designed to help girls understand what modesty means from a guy's point-of-view. We all the know the Bible calls for Christians, particularly Christian women to be modest in their appearance. But what does that mean for women and girls of different shapes, sizes and fashion sense? Is the Muslim way of covering women the only way to protect one from immodesty? If you're a guy/man, go register and answer the survey questions. If you're a girl/woman, go to the preview side of the survey and see what kind of statements the guys will be asked to respond to.
It's very detailed and the results should be interesting and helpful.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Little Mosque on the Praire

We watched the premiere of Little Mosque on the Praire last night.
I hadn't heard a thing about it, but my husband who is up on his pop culture had read about the show.
Briefly the show is about Muslims living in Sasketchewan, a prairie province of Canada, trying to assimilate into the small town Canadian culture where there is much distrust of foreigners, especially Muslims.
While there were funny points to the show, overall I don't think it's very believable in that it takes ignorance and prejudice to extreme levels by having people respond to the Muslims with outlandish and stupid conclusions. While you may laugh at the first ignorant remark, several in a row brings boredom. Also, not surprisingly, the Muslims are portrayed as nice people who just want the freedom to worship like everyone else and are capable of living in a pluralistic society. Is that realistic? I think past current events(yep) and time will show the Islamic religion to be as intolerant as Christianty is now being made to appear. Which leads me to my next point, actually my husband's, but I saw it too, that Christianity on the show is not evangelical Christianity, but the more liberal mainline denominations who seek unity above all else. Church leaders who spout cliche phrases and speak almost irreverently of the One whom they supposedly serve.
The show reminded me of 7th Heaven. Long on religious culture, short on any true message.
When you take the heart of out of Christianity, which is the cross of Jesus Christ, you are left with feel-good pastors and priests who want to help everyone be whatever they think they should be. Compromise is the word of the day.
So seems that is the way this new Canadian show will go.
I may tune in for further episodes, but my expectations are low.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Just wanted to add that I updated my Flickr account with new pictures from the past 4 weeks.

Loot the Great White

Here's a true story that will send you cleaning and checking in dark places.
We came home from a long Christmas break, eager to be home after a tiring eleven-hour drive.
After putting away a few items in the kitchen, I saw that my small white cupboard had doors that were half-way open and a few items spilled onto the floor.
The droppings spelled it out clearly, we had a hungry rodent who seemed to have a taste for popping corn. So I quickly cleaned up the mess and checked to see if other foods on the upper shelves has been disturbed. The cheese and crackers were surprisely untouched.
Saturday brought me to Walmart and then the grocery store. We discussed giving our cat, Nico a chance to hunt down the invaders as soon as we brought him home from our friend's house. That was presuming he was still talking to us as we had abandoned him to another family for three whole weeks.
The only problem with that plan is that Nico is not permitted to roam the house at night. He is confined to the basement, where we hoped the rodents might be hiding out.
Who knows how the next event happened, but somehow my husband forgot to take the emptied trash bag to the basement. So there it sat overnight, a shining beacon to whoever had stolen the popcorn in the previous days. In the morning, there was a good size hole ripped in the bag and a few lonely pieces of food strewn around the garbage can. We quickly cleaned up and headed off to a new church(another story in of itself) and returned home to eat an early lunch.
After procrastinating over a trip to the hardware store to pick-up the items for Plan B which consisted of mousetraps, my husband who is forever slick at these maneuvers, suggested I pick them up since I had a few other errands to do.
So off I went, hitting the library and then the grocery store. I picked up a package of traps and headed home to have my husband labor over setting them to net ourselves some overzealous mice.
As I worked to unpack the groceries and enjoy a snack, I noticed Nico staring intently at the bottom vent of the refrigerator. BINGO, I thought!
I quietly called for my husband to come. I pointed towards the fridge and told him to listen.
Sure enough, we heard a loud scratching/rustling sound. The large flashlight was brought out and the search underneath the fridge began. As the light shone around the floor exposing wires and refrigerator parts, we saw food debris and knew we had found the hideout. What we didn't expect to see was this:
A white rat with dark eyes and a long pink tail. My husband and I both jumped back from our crouched position, looking at each other in surprised wonder.
A rat! What on earth? How did it get in? It must belong to somebody.
We checked again, yep, it wasn't a mouse. Way too big, way too much tail, and way too big turds.
The cat crouched low, watching and sniffing. What to do?
Our lowly mice traps were way too small. And being newbies to the whole rat-in-the-house thing, we decided to call the property manager. After calling into the rental hotline, we waited for the dispatcher to call the local manager. Checking with the flashlight. Yes, it was still munching on something tasty and unidentifable from our kitchen.
As the property manager called, I tried to keep calm as I told him what we had found and what he could do about it tonight.
He promised to find someone to come. But as these events often unfold, he couldn't get the Pest Control company to answer their after-hours phone. He questioned me again about the veracity of my rat report. Perhaps it was a field mouse, he suggested. I told him it was definitely not a mouse and that it was probably someone's pet at one point. He backed down on his mouse assertion.
So there it was, we were stuck with this rat for another night.
We closed up the small white cupboard with what else, but duct tape and emptied the trash can and left it bone dry. We put all food items on the counter and put the cat in the basement. We then headed upstairs and tightly shut our doors against a possible roaming rat.
As we checked the kitchen in the morning, we noticed the duct tape was undisturbed and the rat was resting contentedly with eyes half closed.
By mid-morning, I had had no phone calls from anyone, so I left a message for the property guy to call me about the Pest Control's whereabouts.
After not hearing from him, I called the local office number and spoke to a woman who seemed incredulous that I had a rat under my fridge. That's when I began to shake my head. She put a call through to the property manager who called me right back and began to assure me that indeed the pest guy had been to Unit 4(that's our house number) and had retrieved the rat.
Still shaking my head, I began, "Sir, I can assure you that no one has called or been to my house and that the rat is still under my refrigerator." Puzzled by this declaration, the manager promised to look into the matter.
A few minutes later, the phone rang. It was the property manager. "I just spoke with the guy, and he has not been to your house. He expects to be there between twelve and noon." Huh??
He continued, "I'm not sure why he said he was there, but he was not there yet." Yeah, isn't that what I told you??! Thanks for the confirmation. I was starting to doubt myself. Good grief, who were these people? "He'll be there for sure between twleve and noon", he repeated. Right, between twelve and noon. Is this guy for real? Well, considering he had a French accent, I just let it go. Twelve and noon. My head still shaking, I hung up and checked the clock. Great, only another hour to go with this uninvited guest.
Promptly between twelve and noon there was a welcome knock on our door. A man carrying a toolbox. I didn't even check for his id. He came down the stairs after dutifully removing his work boots and came into the kitchen.
He aksed me if I wanted him to set a trap or set out poison. After he explained that it would take a while for the poison to work and that he could die anywhere in the house, I opted for the trap. So he asked for peanut butter and proceeded to spread the bait and set the trap.
He placed it on the floor next to the fridge alongside the counter.
We barricaded the otherside of the fridge with flat boxes to only give the rat only one route to the trap.
He left and said that it would probably go off tonight.
But peanut butter has a stronge smell, even Nico wanted to check it out. So I further barricaded the trap with large juice bottles to keep Nico out and the rat in. So with that deed done, I headed upstairs to finish unpacking and fold laundry. Several hours of checking and checking yielded no rat, but as the afternoon grew late, my son was playing downstairs while I swept our bedroom. Suddenly I heard him yelling, "The rat is out, the rat is out." I flew down the steps hoping it wasn't running around the kitchen or house. Following my son's pointing finger, I peeked. There was the rat, dead as a doornail, chin resting on the glob of peanuttery bait.
Yep, the rat came out. But thankfully he didn't get far. The trap has done it's work. And there was no mess.
I set my son up with a movie and put the cat in the basement, ignoring his meowing howls of protest.
I took one last picture and set the whole trap outside to await my husband's return.

Then I hauled the refrigerator out from the wall and started cleaning. I won't get into the details, but it was disgusting. Thankfully this morning was garbage day, so out he went last night in his own little body bag.
We're keeping the purchased, yet unused mouse traps. I'm not hoping to use them, but it's wise to be prepared. And in the words of my mother-in-law aftering hearing about the rat and the delayed pest control guy, "It's amazing what you can get used to."
Yes, indeed even Loot the Great White.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy 2007 to all

In honor of my dad and my younger brother, I watched the NY Times Square ball drop last night, meaning I had to stay up til 1 a.m. Yawnnnn...
Then crashing into bed shortly there after, I managed 2 hours of sleep before I heard my young son wimpering from his "bed" on the floor. He was wet. I had forgotten to exchange his underwear for a pull-up and he was soaked. Changing his pajamas, finding which of his two blankets were still dry and wondering how on earth we were all going to fit into the double bed, I was surprisingly alert and severely annoyed at my oversight.
The rest of the night, (technically morning) I slept fitfully as I tried to keep my son more on my side and give my husband more room. I'm not sure what angle my head came to rest on but by daylight, my neck hurt enough to believe that I had been sleeeping possum style at some point in the night.
So Happy New Year and someone please remind me about this night the next time I tempted to spout off about what's-his-face for being so forgetful.