The Aberrancy in Politics

I can't help it. Hopeless though I think some of his positions are. . .and futile as his candidacy likely is. . .I like Ron Paul. Enough to desperately hope I find a way to vote for him, however inevitable his doom may be. And I thoroughly enjoyed this article.


Merry Christmas!

This is a quote from a Spurgeon sermon that I am copying from our church newsletter. There isn't a date, but the title of the sermon is "Mary's Song," and it's based on Luke 1:46-47.
"Observe, this morning, the sacred joy of Mary that you may imitate it. This is a season when all men expect us to be joyous. We compliment each other with the desire that we may have a "Merry Christmas." Some Christians who are a little squeamish, do not like the word "merry." It is a right good old Saxon word, having the joy of childhood and the mirth of manhood in it, it brings before one's mind the old song of the waits, and the midnight peal of bells, the holly and the blazing log. I love it for its place in that most tender of all parables, where it is written, that, when the long-lost prodigal returned to his father safe and sound, "They began to be merry." This is the season when we are expected to be happy; and my heart's desire is, that in the highest and best sense, you who are believers may be "merry." Mary's heart was merry within her; but here was the mark of her joy, it was all holy merriment, it was every drop of it sacred mirth. It was not such merriment as worldlings will revel in to-day and to-morrow, but such merriment as the angels have around the throne, where they sing, "Glory to God in the highest," while we sing "On earth peace, goodwill towards men." Such merry hearts have a continual feast. I want you, ye children of the bride-chamber, to possess to-day and to-morrow, yea, all your days, the high and consecrated bliss of Mary, that you may not only read her words, but use them for yourselves, ever experiencing their meaning: "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior."

**On an unrelated note, this is (sadly) my 79th post of the year, ruining my chance for a 78-78-78 annual total during the 3 year existence of this blog. Oh well. Merry Christmas anyway.


It's Official

Yesterday, we received keys to our very own house. It's official. We own a home.

Already, the work has begun. :-)

Pictures to follow.


Not New, but Timeless

I've probably posted this before. If not, I should have. But I came across it again today, and had to post it (again). It might be my all-time favorite poem--and prayer. If you haven't read it before (I realize not everyone is an English geek like me), don't rush through it. Absorb the analogies--a city, a marriage--and the paradoxes, and really let it soak in.

“Batter My Heart, Three-Person’d God,”
by John Donne

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to’another due,
Labor to’admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly’I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me,’untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you’enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.


Weekend at Assateague

We spent Saturday at Chincoteague and Assateague parks on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia. This is where the famous wild ponies are, as well as a wide assortment of shore birds and various other wildlife. It was chilly, but beautiful.

This lighthouse was originally built on the south end of the island in 1833, and was about 45 feet tall. Still, with only small oil lamps, it reached something like 15 miles out to sea. Rebuilt at triple the height in 1867 and eventually refitted with an electric light, it will now reach 22 land miles. However, it is no longer on the southernmost part of the island; storms have rebuilt and reshaped the island until the lighthouse is now more inland than on the shore, and there is a sizable southern hook that did not exist when the lighthouse was built.

Holly trees are common here.

A crane was fishing while we watched.

On the Maryland end of the island, the ponies run free and may be on the trails, roads, parking lots, or, if you're camping, in your tent. Signs everywhere warn not to touch them; they bite! Most of them look pregnant, but the visitors' center information says they are only bloated from feeding on salt marsh grasses, which they do 18 hours of every day.

This is a Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrel, an endangered species the Chincoteague Park is helping to re-populate.

The visitors' centers were really well-designed. I found this display particularly. . .catchy.

We walked out to an observation deck to watch the sunset over the bay.


Do You Know Earth?

I got to Level 6 the first time I played, with a score somewhere in the 170'000's. In subsequent attempts, I've gotten up to Level 10. How do you rank?

Geography Game

More Thanksgiving

We downloaded pictures from Kevin's parents' cameras last night, so here are a few more Turkey Day pictures.

Black Friday, after Kevin left for work:

The food table, once it was complete:

Just before the feast: