Saturday, December 29, 2007

Soldiers Song

Last night I finished reading We Were One: The Battle for Fallujah. All I can say is that the author did not earn my respect for his writing abilities....they left more than a little to be desired, but he DID earn my respect for his willingness to embed during battle (unlike most journalist who fled when firing began), and his desire to tell the story of these courageous and very young men.

Reading this story aroused a great deal of anger in me toward the "armchair generals" and media pundits who hand down judgments about the war which are intended to mold popular opinion, while completely ignoring the reality on the ground. Shame on them.

These men are good men who see beyond themselves and risk everything on our behalf. They deserve our admiration, thanks, , prayers, respect and our support after they leave the fray.

Here is a touching video which I admit is a sentimental tribute, but it is even more poignant after reading this book. Sometimes we need to step out of our intellectual, detached evaluation of war and just remember that the real lives of real men are changed every day...that even today on the battlefield, "uncommon valor is a common virtue."

Friday, December 28, 2007


My eldest son and I head to New Orleans tomorrow with a group of about 30 from Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church. One of our former seminary-student-interns is pastoring there at Redeemer Presbyterian Church and we hope to make a small dent in the process of cleaning up their neighborhood. This summary from Redeemer's website makes it abundantly clear just how astronomically huge this job of restoring NOLA is:

80% of the city of New Orleans was flooded in Aug 2005. 172,000 of 215,000 homes were damaged. This amounts to several times more than the entire rest of the Gulf Region combined. Habitat for Humanity (the finest organization of its kind) has built fewer than 172,000 homes nationwide in its first 25 years, so you can see our task is huge. Another way of looking at it – there are 520 licensed contractors in New Orleans, so even at ten homes per contractor per year, it would still take nearly 35 years to rebuild!

Pray that we will be a blessing and encouragement to one another, as well as to those we are seeking to serve in New Orleans.

I won't be posting until after the 6th of January....of course, after the last 2 weeks, you no longer expect regular posts from me anyway, do you?

The Lord be with you all.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Upon Christ's Nativity

For some reason, I failed to publish this post previously, so here it is! It's never to late to celebrate Christ's birth, is it?

Upon Christ's Nativity

By: Rowland Watkyns

From three dark places Christ came forth this day:

From first His Father's bosom, where He lay,

Concealed till now; then from the typic law,

Where we His manhood but by figures saw;

And lastly from His mother's womb He came

To us, a perfect God and perfect Man.

Now in a manger lies the Eternal Word:

The Word He is, yet can no speech afford;

His is the Bread of Life, yet hungry lies;

The Living Fountain, yet for drink He cries;

He cannot help or clothe Himself at need

Who did the lilies clothe and ravens feed;

He is the Light of Lights, yet now doth shroud

His glory with our nature as a cloud.

He came to us a Little One, that we

Like little children might in malice be;

Little He is, and wrapped in clouts, lest He

Might strike us dead if clothed with Majesty.

Christ had four beds and those not soft nor brave:

The virgin's womb, the manger, cross and grave.

The angels sing this day, and so will I

That have more reason to be glad than they.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


I have finally finished Bondage of the Will! I have not allowed myself to start reading anything else before finishing the final page. At times, only my pride kept me going...I wanted to add this to my list of accomplishments (what kind of person considers reading a whole book an accomplishment? That would be ME...pitiful, I know!)

I had to slug through the middle where I felt like Luther was exceedingly redundant with his arguments. I almost put the book aside 'cause I kept thinking "O-K, got that...can we move on now?" In the end, I was glad I had kept going.

Luther's primary criticism of Erasmus (and thus the harsh tone) is that he "wrests and parries" the Word of God from its intended meaning and context, being concerned solely with literary figures, logical subtleties and rhetorical arguments. Luther believes Erasmus is more intent on winning the argument than he is on building up the people of God in truth...he is seeking the favor of intellectuals rather than God's favor.

"But our friend, the Diatribe, grows more stupid still...once more it would teach us, by its novel grammar, that owing and having, command and performance, requirement and rendering, are identical."

"Did not the Holy Ghost know a little rhetoric, there would be some risk that He would break down before such a skillfully acted display of contempt and despair of His cause, and yield the palm to 'free-will' before the battle begins!"

"So when Moses' words, 'I will harden the heart of Pharoah', are interpreted [by the Diatribe] as meaning: 'My longsuffering, by which I bear with the sinner, and which leads others to repentance, shall make Pharoah more obstinate in wickedness' - it is prettily said, but there is no proof that it is right. And I am not content with a mere statement; I want proof."

"It [the Diatribe] thinks we are as thickheaded and dimwitted, or as little interested in this subject, as it is itself! As little children in fear, or at play cover their eyes with their hands and think that because they see nobody, nobody sees them, so the Diatribe, which cannot bear the bright beams, nay, the lightning-flashes, of the clearest words, uses every means to pretend that it does not see what the facts are, in the hope of persuading us that our eyes are covered also and that we cannot see them either. All these manoeveres, however, are signs of a mind under conviction, recklessly resisting invincible truth."

"But he [Erasmus] avails himself of a rhetorical device for changing the subject, and tries to drag with him us, who know nothing of rhetoric - as though we were here dealing with something of no significance, and it was all a matter of mere logical subtleties! - and thus he races strongly away from the battlefield, wearing the crowns of warrior and bard together!"

"It is hard at this point to acquit you of deceit and double-dealing. One who handles the Scriptures with such hypocritical artfulness as you do, may safely say of himself that he is not yet instructed in the Scriptures, and wants to be instructed, when in fact he wants nothing less, and is merely rattling on like this in order to cast a slur on the clear light that there is in the Scriptures, and to whitewash his own stubbornness!"

In his closing remarks, Luther "apologizes" for the tone of his essay this way:

"As to my having argued somewhat vigorously, I acknowledge my fault, if it is a fault - but no; I have wondrous joy that this witness is borne in the world of my conduct in the cause of God. Who would be happier than Luther - commended by the testimony of all his age as having maintained the cause of truth, not lazily, or deceitfully, but with vigour enough and to spare!

....If I seem too bitter against your Diatribe, you must pardon me. I do not act so out of ill-will; but I was concerned that by the weight of your name you were greatly jeopardising the cause of Christ (though you can really effect nothing against it by your learning). And who can always so govern his pen....? Even you...not infrequently hurl fiery, gall-dipped darts against me, so that were your reader not very fair-minded and sympathetic, he would think you venomous. But these things have no bearing on our debate, and we must freely pardon each other in them; for we are but men, and there is nothing in us that is not characteristic of mankind."

Luther concludes with some kind remarks, praising Erasmus' gifts of wit, learning and unsurpassed eloquence, but urging him to confine the use of his gifts to languages and literature!

"May the Lord, whose cause this is, enlighten you and make you a vessel to honour and glory. Amen."

Though Bondage of the Will was definitely a worthy read, I am happy to be moving on now.

Next on the docket - We Were One: The Battle for Fallujah.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Evening News-Worthy...NOT

Yesterday I received an odd and unexpected call from WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The new sentencing for Mr. Harold Wayne Nichols has been handed down - the death sentence remains, but his years in prison were reduced from 600+ to 225. Upon searching the web, one of their reporters found my blog about Karen, looked me up and called to "chat."

I am suspicious by nature, but am doubly suspicious of anyone in the media, so I declined to discuss it with him. After I got off the phone, I wondered what his motive could have been for calling...what was he looking for...what did he expect from me...?

I concluded that he was probably looking for a newsworthy quote, so I e-mailed him this as my formal statement:

"It is the duty of governments everywhere to wield the sword of God's justice upon evildoers, and it appears this duty has been faithfully executed in the upholding of severe penalties for Mr. Nichols. I continue to pray for his genuine repentance, by which he may experience the lovingkindness and mercy of God so that, in the end, he may be received with joy into the Lord's keeping." likely is it that this statement will ever be aired? Slim to none, I suppose. It lacks that sensational quality on which news organizations seem to thrive, but it is nevertheless the sincere expression of my heart.

Where Have I Been?

How thoughtful of you to inquire! Like everyone else, I am extremely busy right now. I have spent most of my time running from doctor to doctor this last week, plus making calls and appointments in preparation for my aunt's coming to live with us (more on that later).

My aging body is giving me fits these days. I've had a bum hip for about 8-9 years now, but it is just now bad enough to hinder my lifestyle, plus the pain, though not severe most days, is constant and it's becoming tiresome!

Additionally, I have classic carpal tunnel symptoms in my right hand, so I had the joy of experiencing that testing process as well. I'll go back next week to follow up on those two issues.

The rest, you don't want to know about...and no, it's NOT menopause...I'm not THAT old yet!

Hopefully I'm back now.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Yes Sir, Sergeant Major Sir!!

At my church, I have been labeled with the unwonted and undesirable title of "Drill Sergeant." With very little effort, I have seemingly built a reputation for being skilled at the "art" of intimidation...especially when it comes to hordes of young, squirrelly children!

This reputation for squelching exuberance with a mere glance, is not one I relish, nor do I enjoy its attendant duties - usually some form of crowd control where masses of smiling, calm, lovely-dispositioned adults stand watching while I scowl, rebuke, admonish, shake-the-finger, shake-the-head, give-the-evil-eye, reposition, and otherwise force their children into submission.

This year, I have once again been recruited as the "bouncer" during the Service of Lessons and Carols rehearsals, where we attempt to quickly and efficiently line up 60 Grammar school children on stage in an aesthetically pleasing way. Yesterday, about 5 minutes into the process, much to my chagrin and consternation, one of our 6th grade boys, James, declared, "You are a very good disciplinarian!" You have to know James to fully appreciate the impact of that remark. My sternness momentarily gave way to a chuckle of delight...

I've attempted to convince myself that it's not some quality of severity or harshness, or a propensity to control-all-things, which causes me to be recruited for such jobs.

No. No. It must be that I possess the singular capability of taming the exuberance of these bundles of energy to a manageable level, without extracting the joy from their hearts! Yes! That's it! There. I have sufficiently deluded myself.

Well, not really. But I have successfully persuaded myself that this role of Drill Sergeant is an unpleasant necessity for staving off uncontrolled chaos and for the purpose of organizing all these bodies to raise their voices in unison, inciting our hearts to rejoice in the birth of The Christ-child!

They proclaim, with an appropriate sense of wonder and simple trust, the glories of the One who has secured our Consolation and Redemption, thereby softening even the hardest of hearts. Even the Drill Sergeant's.

Lord of the Reveling

A Christmas Carol,
Sung to the King in the Presence at White-Hall
By: Robert Herrick

What sweeter music can we bring,

Than a Carol, for to sing

The Birth of this our heavenly King?

Awake the Voice! Awake the String!

Heart, Ear, and Eye, and every thing.

Awake! the while the active Finger Runs division with the Singer.


Dark and dull night, fly hence away,

And give the honor to this Day,

That sees December turn'd to May.


If we may ask the reason, say:

The why, and wherefore all things here

Seem like the Spring-time of the year?


Why does the chilling Winter's morn

Smile, like a field beset with corn?

Or smell, like to a mead new-shorn,

Thus, on the sudden?


Come and see

The cause, why things thus fragrant be:

'Tis He is born, whose quick'ning birth

Gives life and luster, public mirth,

To Heaven and the under-Earth.


We see Him come, and know Him ours,

Who, with His sunshine, and His showers,

Turns all the patient ground to flowers.


The Darling of the World is come,

And fit it is, we find a room

To welcome Him.


The nobler part

Of all the house here, is the heart,

Which we will give Him; and bequeath

This holly and this ivy wreath,

To do Him honor; who's our King,

And Lord of all this reveling.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Milton on The Nativity

My pastor has been defending the celebration of Christmas here for several days now. His thoughts are worth reading. Those arguments often raised against Christmas, which insist that our practices stem from pagan rituals, reminded me of this poem by John Milton titled Hymn On The Nativity. It is quite long, so I will only quote a portion:

The oracles are dumb;

No voice or hideous hum

Runs through the arch-ed roof in words deceiving.

Apollo from his shrine

Can no more divine,

With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving.

No nightly trance, or breath-ed spell,

Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetic cell.


The lonely mountains o'er,

And the resounding shore,

A voice of weeping heard and loud lament;

From haunted spring and dale,

Edged with poplar pale,

The parting Genius is with sighing sent

With flower-interwoven tresses torn,

The nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn.


In consecrated earth,

And on the holy hearth,

The Lars and Lemurs mourn with midnight plaint.

In urns and altars round,

A drear and dying sound

Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint;

And the chill marble seems to sweat,

While each peculiar power foregoes his wonted seat.


Peor and Baalim

Forsake their temples dim

With that twice-battered God of Palestine;

And moon-ed Ashtaroth

Heaven's queen and mother both,

Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shrine;

The Libyac Hammon shrinks his horn;

In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz mourn.


And sullen Moloch, fled,

Hath left in shadows dread

His burning idol all of blackest hue:

In vain with cymbals ring

They call the grisly king,

In dismal dance about the furnace blue:

The brutish gods of Nile as fast,

Isis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste.


Nor is Osiris seen

In Memphian grove or green,

Trampling the unshowered grass with lowings loud;

Nor can he be at rest

Within his sacred chest,

Naught but profoundest hell can be his shroud;

In vain with timbrelled anthems dark

The sable-stoled sorcerers bear his worshipped ark.


He feels from Judah's land

The dreaded Infant's hand,

The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyne;

Nor all the gods beside

Longer dare abide,

Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine;

Our babe, to show his Godhead true,

Can in his swaddling bands control the damn-ed crew.

Milton artfully makes the point that all the gods of the nations are idols, and an idol is nothing. The Christ can control them from his very cradle. We need not fear these gods who cannot speak, see, hear, smell, feel, or walk. Nor need we fear their followers, for all who make and trust in them will become like them! (Ps. 115)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas Bill of Fare

From the book: Christmas in Prose and Verse. This piece attributed to "H.H."

All good recipe-books give bills of fare for different occasions, bills of fare for grand dinners; bills of fare for little dinners; dinners to cost so much per head; dinner "which can be easily prepared with one servant," and so on. They give bills of fare for one week; bills of fare for each day in a month, to avoid too great monotony in diet. There are bills of fare for dyspeptics; bills of fare for consumptives; bills of fare for fat people, and bills of fare for thin; and bills of fare for hospitals, asylums, and prisons, as well as for gentlemen's houses. But among them all, we never saw the one which we give below. It has never been printed in any book; but it has been used in families. We are not drawing on our imagination for its items. We have sat at such dinners; we have helped prepare such dinners; we believe in such dinners; they are within everybody's means. In fact, the most marvelous thing about this bill of fare is that the dinner does not cost a cent. Ho! all ye that are hungry and thirsty, and would like so cheap a Christmas dinner, listen to this:


First Course: GLADNESS

This must be served hot. No two house-keepers make it alike; no fixed rule can be given for it. It depends, like so many of the best things, chiefly on memory; but strangely enough, it depends quite as much on proper forgetting as on proper remembering. Worries must be forgotten. Troubles must be forgotten. Yes, even sorrow itself must be denied and shut out. Perhaps this is not quite possible. Ah! we all have seen Christmas days on which sorrow would not leave our hearts nor our houses. But even sorrow can be compelled to look away from its sorrowing for a festival hour which is so solemnly joyous as Christ's Birthday. Memory can be filled full of other things to be remembered. No soul is entirely destitute of blessings, absolutely without comfort. Perhaps we have but one. Very well; we can think steadily of that one, if we try. But the probability is that we have more than we can count. No man has yet numbered the blessing, the mercies, the joys of God. We are all richer than we think; and if we once set ourselves to reckoning up the things of which we are glad, we shall be astonished at their number.

Gladness, then, is the first item, the first course on our bill of fare for a Christmas dinner.

Entrees: LOVE garnished with Smiles.

GENTLENESS, with the sweet-wine sauce of Laughter.

GRACIOUS SPEECH, cooked with any fine savory herbs, such as Frollery, which is always in season, or Pleasant Reminiscence, which no one need be without, as it keeps for years, sealed or unsealed.

Second Course: HOSPITALITY

The precise form of this also depends on individual preferences. We are not undertaking here to give exact recipes, only a bill of fare.

In some houses Hospitality is brought on surrounded with Relatives. This is very well. In others, it is dished up with Dignitaries of all sorts; men and women of position and estate for whom the host has special likings or uses. This gives a fine effect to the eye, but cools quickly, and is not in the long-run satisfying.

In a third class, best of all, it is served in simple shapes, but with a great variety of Unfortunate Persons, - such as lonely people from lodging-houses, poor people of all grades, widows and childless in their affliction. This is the kind most preferred; in fact, never abandoned by those who have tried it.

For Dessert - MIRTH, in glasses.

GRATITUDE and FAITH beaten together and piled up in snowy shapes. These will look light if run over night in the moulds of Solid Trust and Patience.

A dish of the bonbons Good Cheer and Kindliness; the whole ornamented with Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver, of the kind mentioned in the Book of Proverbs.

This is a short and simple bill of fare. There is not a costly thing in it; not a thing which cannot be procured without difficulty.

If meat be desired, it can be added. That is another excellence about our bill of fare. It has nothing in it which makes it incongruous with the richest or the plainest tables. It is not overcrowded by the addition of roast goose and plum-pudding; it is not harmed by the addition of herring and potatoes. Nay it can give flavor and richness to broken bits of stale bread served on a doorstep and eaten by beggars.

We might say much more about this bill of fare. We might, perhaps, confess that it has an element of the supernatural; that its origin is lost in obscurity; that , although, as we said, it has never been printed before, it has been known in all ages; that the martyrs feasted upon it; that generations of the poor, called blessed by Christ, have laid out banquets by it; that exiles and prisoners have lived on it; and the despised and forsaken and rejected in all countries have tasted it. It is also true that when any great king ate well and throve on his dinner, it was by the same magic food. The young and the free and the glad, and all rich men in costly houses, even they have not been well fed without it.

And though we have called it a Bill of Fare for a Christmas Dinner, that is only that men's eyes may be caught by its name, and that they, thinking it a specialty for festival, may learn and understand its secret, and henceforth, laying all their dinners according to its magic order, may "eat unto the Lord."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Keeping Christmas

Henry van Dyke was an American author, educator, and clergyman who graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in the 1870's where he subsequently served as a professor of English Literature.
Mr. Van Dyke also chaired the committee that wrote the first Presbyterian printed liturgy, The Book of Common Worship of 1906. He authored a variety of poetry, hymns, short stories and essays, as well.

The following essay of his poignantly captures the necessarily vertical nature of our Christmas celebrations:

Keeping Christmas
by: Henry Van Dyke

He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord... Romans xiv, 6.

There is a better thing than the observance of Christmas day, and that is, keeping Christmas.

Are you willing...
To forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you;

To ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world;

To put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance, and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground;

To see that men and women are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy;

To own up to the fact that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give to life;

To close your book of complaints against the Management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness?

Are you willing to do these things even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.

Are you willing...

To stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children;

To remember the weakness and loneliness of people growing old;

To stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough;

To bear in mind the things that other people have to bear in their hearts;

To try to understand what those who live in the same home with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you;

To trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you;

To make a grave for your ugly thoughts, and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open?

Are you willing to do these things, even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.

Are you willing...
To believe that love is the strongest thing in the world—Stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death—
And that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love?

Then you can keep Christmas.

And if you can keep it for a day, why not always?

But you can never keep it alone.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Let's Keep Christmas

Excerpts from a Sermon by Peter Marshall: (a Scottish immigrant to the U.S. who eventually went to seminary and became a minister in the Presbyterian church - this sermon was likely delivered sometime in the 1930's - 1940's)
"We all feel the pressure of approaching Christmas.
The traffic is terrible.
You can't find a parking space...
The stores are crowded...
Mob scenes make shopping a nightmare.
You are thinking about presents - wondering what in the world you can get for so-and-so.
You think of friends and loved ones who are so hard to shop for. You can't think of anything they need (which is rather strange when you take time to think of it.)
Let's not give way to the cynicism and mutter that 'Christmas has become commercialized.'
It never will be - unless you let it be.
Your Christmas is not commercialized, unless you have commercialized it.
Let's not succumb to the sophistication that complains: 'Christmas belongs only to the children.'
That shows that you have never understood Christmas at all, for the older you get, the more it means, if you know what it means.
Christmas, though forever young, grows old along with us.
Have you been saying, 'I just can't seem to feel the Christmas spirit this year'?
That's too bad.
As a confession of lack of faith, it is rather significant.
You are saying that you feel no joy that Jesus came into the world...
You are confessing that His presence in the world is not a reality to you...
Maybe you need all the more to read the Christmas story over again, need to sit down with the Gospel of Luke -
and think about it.
When Christmas doesn't make your heart swell up until it nearly bursts...
and fill your eyes with tears......
and make you all soft and warm inside..........
then you'll know something inside of you is dead.
Isn't it wonderful to think that nothing can really harm the joy of Christmas...
Although your Christmas tree decorations will include many new gadgets, such as lights with bubbles in them...
it's the old tree decorations that mean the most...
the ones you save carefully from year to year....
the crooked star that goes on the top of the tree.....
the ornaments that you've been so careful with.
And you'll bring out the tiny manger,
and the shed,
and the little figures of the Holy Family...
and lovingly arrange them on the mantel
or in the middle of the dining room table.
And getting the tree will be a family event, with great excitement for the children...
And there will be a closet into which you'll forbid your husband to look,
And he will be moving through the house mysteriously with bundles under his coat,
and you'll pretend not to notice...
There will be the fragrance of cookies baking
spices and fruit cake...
and the warmth of the house shall be melodious with the lilting strains of 'Silent Night, Holy Night.'
And you'll listen to the wonderful Christmas music on the radio,
Some of the songs will be modern - good enough music perhaps -
but it will be the old carols,
the lovely old Christmas hymns that will mean the most.
And forests of fir trees will march right into our living rooms....
There will be bells on our doors
and holly wreaths in our window...
And we shall sweep the Noel skies for their brightest colors and festoon our homes with stars.
There will be a chubby stocking hung by the fireplace....
and with finger to lip you will whisper
and ask me to tip-toe, for a little tousled head is asleep and must not be awakened
until after Santa has come.
And finally Christmas morning will come.
Don't worry - you'll be ready for it -
You'll catch the spirit all right.
And then you will remember what Christmas means - the beginning of Christianity....
the Second Chance for the world....
the hope for peace....
and the only way.
The promise that the angels sang is the most wonderful music the world has ever heard.
'Peace on earth and good will toward men.'
It was not a pronouncement upon the state of the world then
Nor is it a reading of the international barometer of the present time...
but it is a promise - God's promise - of what one day will come to pass.
The years that are gone are graveyards in which all the persuasions of men have crumbled into dust. If history has any voice, it is to say that all these ways of men lead nowhere.
There remains one way - The Way - untried,
unexplored fully...
the way of Him Who was born a Babe in Bethlehem.
In a world that seems not only to be changing, but even to be dissolving, there are some tens of millions of us who want Christmas to be the same...
with the same old greeting 'Merry Christmas' and no other.
We long for the abiding love among men of good will which the season brings...
We want to hold on to the old customs and traditions because they strengthen our family ties,
bind us to our friends,
make us one with all mankind
for whom the Child was born,
and bring us back again to the God Who gave His only begotten Son, that 'whoever believeth in Him shoud not perish, but have everlasting life.'
So we will not 'spend' Christmas.....
nor 'observe' Christmas.
We will 'keep' Christmas - keep it as it is....
in all the loveliness of its ancient traditions.
May we keep it in our hearts,
that we may be kept in its hope."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Inner European

My inner European is a colony. No, not a leper colony...

I took this survey which first concluded that my Inner European was Dutch (tolerant and all that...hmmm...remember that open-mindedness quiz I recently took that rated me at 4% and called me judgmental and unwilling to discuss others' ideas? Apparently, I am an infinitely conflicted human being.)
I knew Dutch couldn't be right, so I re-took the test and changed my answers. :-) This time I was Italian...passionate and colorful. I liked the sound of that better, so I went with it. Even though I found myself somewhat frustrated by the lack of answers that really fit me, I moved on with my life.

UNTIL, I read Angie's blog today. She thought of that which never occurred to me...she gave her own know, personalized the survey. (She's quite the comedian - check out her humor blog - plus she's a Jim Jordan, Peter Leithart, JJM could you not like her?)
Anyway, I am going to piggy-back on her idea and give my own answers to the questions.

1. Your ideal meal is something like...Lobster Bisque, Greens w/ Beets, Mandarin Oranges and Goat Cheese, medium-rare filet mignon, asparagus, garlic mashed potatoes.

2. And you would finish it off with...Missouri port and something very chocolatey.

3. What political issue really gets you going? Taxes...big Oh, that question asked for "issue" singular. Oops. See, that's why I don't read political journals, or newspapers or magazines or listen to or watch shows about politics. It all gets me worked up, so I ignore it and live my life in relative peace.

4. Your dream car is...something classic and old, like a 1965 mustang. I've wanted one of those for a very long time.

5. Your idea of a great night out is...a small group of friends listening to John Pizzarelli at "Jazz at the Bistro," followed by martinis at the Ritz.

6. Your ideal vacation involves... a yacht out in the middle of nowhere, with an ample supply of pens, paper, books, and a tall, dark, handsome....aah, nevermind that part.

So, whad'ya think? What is my Inner European?