Archive for May, 2005

Glaring Omission #2

May 30th, 2005 No comments

In the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, the Gospel reading for the Daily Office, Year One, Proper 3 on Friday is listed as Luke 16:10-17(18). So, Luke 16:18 is not part of the actual reading but a “suggested lengthening.”

In the Sunday lectionary, Luke 16 is split in Year C between Proper 20 (Luke 16:1-13) and Proper 21 (Luke 16:19-31), which entirely omits Luke 16:18 from ever being read on the Sunday public readings.

So, what saying of our Lord do Episcopalians never speak aloud in our common worship, and is relegated to optional obscurity for those few who read the Daily Office?

Only this:

“Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

— Luke 16:18, RSV(CE)

Now, why would we omit that teaching?

In comparision, the 1928 BCP does have the reading (Friday of the 15th week after Trinity Sunday) as Luke 16:1-18. So, it was a deliberate decision by the editors of the 1979 BCP to relegate this teaching of the Lord to the dustbin.

God have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
God have mercy.

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Academic Effects of Spring

May 26th, 2005 No comments

Seen on a local homeschool email list (names withheld to protect the guilty):

Mom #1: .., it is always refreshing to hear about other homeschoolers losing steam these last few days/weeks. Shall we just move school outside and forget the cleaning?

Mom #2: That’s exactly what we did today! 🙂 Too beautiful to stay inside. We read together on the lawn, worked on grammar, and the kids bossed each other around in Latin … homeschooling at its bestest. 🙂

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Pre-Gallows Humor

May 24th, 2005 No comments

Barbara Nicolosi has a wonderful bit of pre-gallows humor, “Songs for the Post-Modern Scaffold?”:

And then, as we start to sing the refrain again, the persecutors will shoot us all down on the spot for our horrible music. And this will wreak havoc with our beatification processes, because it won’t be clear if we died for Jesus, or to spare our persecutors having to listen to our dreadful music.

Read it all.

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Why Cows Learn Dutch

May 22nd, 2005 No comments

Geauga County Extension Agent’s first book reveals Amish farming ‘secrets’

The first day on his job as County Extension Agent for Geauga County, Randy James was asked a question his college professors had never covered: “When you’re plowing with a five-horse hitch, is it better to hitch three horses in front and two behind, or two in front and three behind?”

The question came from a farmer in the county’s Amish community, the fourth largest in the United States. Prior to taking the job, James, a Trumbull County native, knew the Amish existed and could identify them by their drab clothing. Beyond that, James was lost in this seemingly archaic culture.

During the next two decades, James received an education in not only Amish beliefs and lifestyle, but also the improbable economics of the Amish farm. Five years ago, he realized he’d learned enough to write a book about this often romanticized, misunderstood community.

That book, “Why Cows Learn Dutch and Other Secrets of Amish Farming,” was released last month by Kent State University Press. The book provides a barn-owl view of the Amish community, taking the reader into the cow stanchions and ledger books of the Amish farm, an enterprise that, according to the textbooks, should be extinct by now.

“They are more economically efficient than almost any farm out there,” says James, who has studied this efficiency throughout his years in the Geauga community. “On a per-acre basis, they make more money than any other farm we can find. My hope is (the book) provides insight to people who are curious about what it’s like to be an Amish family and why the farm works, both as a family and economic unit.”

James opens the ledger books of the Amish farm and shows readers the economics of raising nine acres of alfalfa hay or seven acres of hand-picked corn. He delves into the numbers and emotions that a young Amish couple must wrestle with when deciding if they should purchase a family farm or work out in the community. As extension agent, James’ job includes doing a farm analysis to determine if it will be a profitable operation – something he was doing the day we met for an interview.

“It’s a common thing, but it still scares me to death,” he says. “It’s a lot easier to tell them how to kill a weed than to tell them to stop working as a carpenter and be a farmer.”

I think I’m going to have to read this book.

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Glaring Omission

May 19th, 2005 No comments

The Daily Office Lectionary covers almost all of the Bible in a two-year reading cycle. The instructions do say that “Any Reading may be lengthened, at discretion. Suggested lengthenings are shown in parentheses.”

The following does not even rate a “suggested” (which is often read as “to-be-dropped-like-a-hot-potato”):

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; also that women should adorn themselves modestly and sensibly in seemly apparal, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly attire but by good deeds, as befits women who profess religion. Let a woman learn in silence with all sumissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived, and became a transgressor. Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.

1 Timothy 2:9-15 (RSV, CE)

The Sunday Lectionary makes the same shortening of the reading when 1 Timothy is read in Year C.

I wonder why?

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Why Rural Life Is Better For Children

May 18th, 2005 No comments

Jeff Culbreath outlines Why Rural Life Is Better For Children:

After 20 years of town-dwelling, I’m probably more suited to city life than country life. My five or six years on the farm in my boyhood gave me a love for the countryside, but it didn’t really make a farmer out of me, nor did it give me the skills I would need as homesteader. So I am pretty much resigned to the fact that I’ll always have a job in town and will never make a living from the land.

We moved to the country primarily because I am convinced that rural life – so long as it is not lived in front of TVs, computers, and video games – is much better for children. This isn’t intuitively obvious to everyone, so I’ll list a few reasons here:

I am in a similar spot, although change “five or six years” to “eighteen years.” Also, scratch the part about being pretty much resigned to my fate.

It’s a good list of reasons, and a good discussion. Read the whole thing.

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Zoo Time!

May 16th, 2005 No comments


After far too long, and far too many “we should really do something with the families together sometime”s, we actually managed to meet in the real world with Dale and Heather Price and clan.

Plan: meet at the Detroit Zoo. Wander around. Let kids have fun. Try to squeeze in some grownup conversation while we’re at it. Let those of the respective clans who aren’t compulsive bloggers get (re-)acquainted. 🙂

Dale’s version of the outing is here.

I think I’m going to frame the comment about our children being “perfectly well behaved” and pull it out on those days when we need it. As to specific points made:

1) It’s big. I re-learn this every visit. With toddlers, it turns into an exercise in cat-herding.

You know, we did suggest Toledo as a more toddler-friendly destination, but noooo

(2) Madeleine likes giraffes most of all. Giraffes are waaaaaaaaay toward the back of the zoo. See Toddlers, Tired, supra.

It’s not so much the walk to the back of the zoo as the return trip.

(3) Dale likes peacocks. He’d very much like to catch one. Peacocks do not enjoy being chased by toddlers.

“Dale, watch out! He’s bigger than you!” “And better armed, too!”

(4) Rachel has formed no firm opinion as to a favorite animal as of yet.

Why would Rachel have formed such an opinion? She was having too much fun having new people (big and little) gawking over her and making a fuss.

(5) If jacuzzi jets existed in the wild, seals would never move. True story–we saw a seal in the Arctic Ring of Life exhibit (it’s very cool–you walk under water and can see the critters through plexiglass) swimming with its head two feet in front of the water circulator. Watching its face blubber flap in the current was one of the highlights of the day.

Agreed. Seal was Way Cool™. Maybe that was its attempt at Botox?

(6) Gorillas are cooler than chimps. The latter had stagefright and/or narcolepsy. The silverbacks were ready for primetime. One of them strode up to the viewing window, extended its massive arms to either side of the glass frame, and looked straight in at us. It then purposefully gamboled off, as if to say, “That’ll give ’em a thrill.”

Um … that weren’t no silverback. That was one of the juveniles. The silverback is about twice that size. The keeper told me that one was about 8 or nine years old, and so the equivalent of a teenager.

(7) I’m getting older. I was in bed by 9:30.


Thursday night I was OK, but spent Friday and Saturday struggling with The Headache That Wouldn’t Die™ and a complete lack of energy. Wondered if I was getting sick or if I was finally succumbing to allergies. It even crossed my addled mind that this almost felt as bad as that time I had to drastically reduce my caffeine intake all at once and suffered withdrawal.

Sunday morning, I discovered that I had made a terrible stocking error in the kitchen and filled the regular tea backet with decaf.

Did I mention that Nancy was out of town for a homeschooling convention this whole time?

Amazingly, the house did not burn down, and the trains (i.e., sports practices, etc.) even sort of ran on time during Management’s absence. And I’m now back on my regular maintanance dose, thankyouverymuch.

Back to the zoo trip: blog readers may not believe this, but when the Eclectic One™ and the Dyspeptic One™ were together, there was hardly any mention of regular blog topics like liturgical and theological goofiness in our respective churches. In fact, I think the only blog topic we covered was my new-found fannishness for S. M. Stirling, which is entirely his fault. And Dale just had to mention that the lastest sample chapter of The Protector’s War was online, the b******.

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Stewed Rabbit in Ithillien

May 5th, 2005 No comments

SAM alerted me to Ithillien, which is chock-full of good stuff.

And shockingly close to home. I am also an Episcopalian, a convert from “holiness” Wesleyanism, and teetering on that same edge of “Rome or no?” that he describes.

(Ah, but was Edwin also a Mennonite prior to being a holiness Wesleyan? Then I would have to be truly frightened at the synchronicity.)

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What is the Church?

May 4th, 2005 No comments

From “A Safe Church?” by the Pontificator:

We Episcopalians find ourselves in the midst of a theological and ecclesiological crisis. This crisis rightly forces us–or at least should rightly force us–to ask the question of Newman: What is the Church? Are we in the Church? Where is the true Church of Jesus Christ to be found? This is not a matter of idle curiosity. If the Church Fathers are correct, it is a matter of our eternal salvation. We have a solemn duty before God to seek the truth of his Church. We should not bank on our invincible ignorance before the Divine Judge.

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There is nothing new under the sun

May 1st, 2005 No comments

Afterward, it was not enough for them to err about the knowledge of God,
but they live in great strife due to ignorance,
and they call such great evils peace.

For whether they kill children in their initiations, or celebrate secret mysteries,
or hold frenzied revels with strange customs,

they no longer keep either their lives or their marriages pure,
but they either treacherously kill one another, or grieve one another by adultery,

and all is a raging riot of blood and murder, theft and deceit, corruption, faithlessness, tumult, perjury,
confusion over what is good, forgetfulness of favors,
pollution of souls, sex perversion,
disorder in marriage, adultery, and debauchery.

For the worship of idols not to be named
is the beginning and cause and end of every evil.

For their worshippers either rave in exultation, or prophesy lies,
or live unrighteously, or readily commit perjury;

for because they trust in lifeless idols
they swear wicked oaths and expect to suffer no harm.

But just penalties will overtake them on two counts;
because they thought wickedly of God in devoting themselves to idols,
and because in deceit they swore unrighteously in contempt for holiness.

— Wisdom 14:22-30

Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

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