Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Redemptive Threads and Themes

Tonight, Lydia asked if we could go around the table and share what our favorite subjects are (hmmm, do we have another budding teacher?). My two favorite subjects are Bible and Literature. What I love most is showing others how to see literature as the Greeks did. They viewed life very figuratively, always looking for the hidden meanings and underlying themes. Most people would be able to see that Aslan, in the literature classic, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, is a type of Christ; a hero who sacrifices himself for others. This is actually a literary term. But there are other ways that Christ is in literature. The basic requirement for a good story is redemption; a hero, a victim, a villain, a trial and triumph. The more threads of redemption, the more captivating the story. We all root for the good guy, the man who is betrayed, the man who is right when others are wrong. How many times have you read a story and thought it was wonderful because it evoked strong emotions? What caused that stirring? Evolution would have you loving the strong, hating the weak, feeling ambivalent to mercy, but that is not what we feel when we're reading a good story. Have you ever considered that those emotions are a way that God is speaking to you through literature? We long for a good love story, a strong hero or heroine, even a clever villain. We crave justice and we long for mercy. Ever wonder why? My students just finished reading Sarah, Plain and Tall. We ended our adventure by listing all of the redemptive threads. Our study in Bible class enabled them to see the threads of redemption in this American family tale. They determined that Sarah was both the Damsel in Distress and the Redeemer at the same time. Their adventures in viewing life through Greek lenses are just beginning and what exciting adventures they will have.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Counting our losses

This weekend was Defender's Day in Maryland. This is the best and least known fireworks show of the year, complete with a narrator of the re-enacted battle and a band. Defender's Day celebrates the American victory in the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Traditionally, it is the first weekend after the first week of school. The weather is getting cooler, the afternoon sunlight hints of Autumn and one swells with pride of knowing that such a monumental battle was fought in our back yard. This weekend was Defender's Day...and we weren't there. Very soon the leaves will begin to change colors on the Gingko trees in our neighbor's yard...and we won't see them. Our niece was married last week...and we weren't there. The week we came, a friend of ours died suddenly and a week later another friend was paralyzed in a bike accident...and we weren't there. When we left Maryland, we left everything we knew and loved to become a part of something unknown. We left security and safety. We were crazy. In our lunacy we believed that we should take part in a greater plan for our lives than security. We wanted to be a blessing to a community deeply committed to putting families back together, one generation at a time. We believed that if we made these sacrifices of safety, security, friendships, conveniences and Defender's Days, that God would turn them into investments. Pouring out these losses at the foot of the cross turns them into gains for a greater purpose. In our unstable state of mind, we are asking the Lord to allow us to stay here for as long as He will allow, to make an impact here and in Asia. May He add to our losses a hundred more Defender's Days.

"What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ." Philippians 3:8

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Welcome to our Kaneohe (Kahn - ay - OH- ay) Kottage. We love our little home. It's small, easy to keep clean, in a friendly neighborhood and close to school and church.

That dish rack was given to me by my mom. It used to be an aquarium stand. My church kitchen friends might recognize the metal utility basket like the one in the church kitchen.

This is a breeze way for the kitchen door, which we keep open most of the time.

Hi. I'm Larry the Lizard. Welcome to the Lanai.

We eat dinner out here most nights, except on Sundays when we use the special Ardolino China. That doesn't come out here. We also hang our laundry out here.

Our living room. "The Pyramid" book case that Dave made from old wooden boxes from the family hardware store.

And on the other side of that wall, is the kitchen. Much bigger than my Linthicum one.
Thanks for my butcher block Darlene and for my fruit bowl Jen!

If you turn around, you're in the dining room!

Down the hall is...

Mom and Dad's Bedroom
Friends from church gave us this dresser and mirror. It matches our book case.

And Mom and Dad's Bathroom. We have closets in our bathroom
so we can keep our clothes in there.

Quite possibly the only Fall leaves they'll see for a long time. This painting was done by my dear friend Katy, who used a photo of Dave's as the starting point.

The keikei's (kids') room.

The curtains on the bed allow for peace and quiet.

Our quiet room. A place for movies, playing, yoga and Laura to hide away.

SO, how do you like it?