Friday, May 29, 2009

Mother-Child Banquet

A little late on the posting - sorry - but some fun pics from the banquet and our home-grown entertainment. Thanks to George and Dee for the pics.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How does your garden grow?

In addition to Sunday worship and the evening PBS concert (excerpted in a YouTube posting), we observed the holiday with two picnic/party gatherings, one on Sunday and the other on Monday, both at our place. Fortunately for us, our friends were willing to get their hands dirty in the flower beds ($3 for gallon perennials at Lowe's over the holiday weekend, plus a bunch of bareroot, fresh dug perennials - mostly Black-eyed Susan and Bee Balm - gifted by a new friend Robin met in the Lowe's checkout line). We love the progression of color, from early bulbs to spring flowering shrubs (the big rhododendron is pictured above) to early perennials to season-long perennials and summer-flowering shrubs. No vegetable garden planned, though we'll grow some herbs and might stash a few odd veggies in some of the remaining gaps. This year, we joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Each week during the growing season, we'll receive a share of the harvest from a small family farm using organic growing methods and supplying the freshest of local ingredients. We've been interested in doing this for several years, but this is the first time we've done it. Looking forward to some good eating!

Trace Adkins- Til The Last Shot's Fired (Live At National Memorial Day Concert 05/24/2009)

A wonderful conclusion to the National Memorial Day concert on pbs.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Origin of Species

A great article by the always marvelous Alister McGrath on Augustine, Scripture, science, and Darwin. One paragraph:

Augustine anticipated this point a millennium earlier. Certain biblical passages, he insisted, are genuinely open to diverse interpretations and must not be wedded to prevailing scientific theories. Otherwise, the Bible becomes the prisoner of what was once believed to be scientifically true: "In matters that are so obscure and far beyond our vision, we find in Holy Scripture passages which can be interpreted in very different ways without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such cases, we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search for truth justly undermines our position, we too fall with it."

Senseless Violence and CommUNITY

An excerpt below, from the YorkCounts Blog . . . a response to the cross-fire shooting death of Ciara Savage on Mother's Day:

Everywhere I go this week, it comes up: the crossfire killing of 9-year-old Ciara Savage in York on Mother's Day. This tragedy has reverberated through York County like a news event seldom does. And it demands action. Earlier this month, Penn State York held a gang summit, and some powerful speakers made the case that York County needs to find ways to keep our kids safe. But all of their eloquence and passion couldn't come close to making the point the way this senseless death does. And this single incident is tied into a whole range of other issues that stand in the way of making York County a better place to live: improving educational opportunities; providing safe community places for at-risk youth; creating good-paying, family-sustaining jobs that lift people out of poverty; and establishing more affordable housing opportunities across the county.

But on the most basic level, I'll say it again: We need to keep our kids safe. How are we going to do it? The time has passed for letting the passionate volunteers on the gang-prevention coalition try to figure it out by themselves. That group will likely be the leader in developing a broad response, and its next meeting is at 8 a.m. Friday in Penn State York's Conference Center. To join that effort, call Beth Gill-MacDonald at 495-7267 or send e-mail to

On Sunday, a unity march will bring two sets of marchers to Continental Square: one coming down Duke Street from Crispus Attucks, the other coming down Beaver Street from the Jefferson Center.

(See the entire post.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


The primary day is coming up - May 19. Two great resources are the county election site, including sample ballots, and the local newspaper Voter's Guide, including responses by candidates to standard questions. Please vote if you are registered. And, if you are not registered, please print and complete the form available at the county election site.

Irrational Exuberance

From an interview with Robert Shiller, author of the book Irrational Exuberance, from Kiplinger's Personal Finance:

Why do you say "stories" are so important in our economic thinking?
Social psychologists argue that the human brain is organized around stories. It's a memory device -- we tend to remember things that are tied to stories. The impact of stories on behavior is a major omission from economic theory. The main story line of the 1990s was the idea that capitalism was triumphant and people didn't want to be left out. The same thing happened with the housing market this decade. People were worried that they'd be left out, so their egos compelled them to take part in the housing boom.

That's probably why the Bible is filled with parables.
Yes, there aren't a whole lot of numbers in the New Testament.

The story of Capitalism's preeminence certainly has taken a beating.
Yes, but our attitude toward business changes from time to time. We hit low points in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and today there's a sense big business was involved in a conspiracy. Anger about that will result in more regulation.

Do you see Americans adopting new values as a result of the turmoil?
It's hard to predict. But I'm hopeful that people will start valuing friendships more and material things less.

See the entire article.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Unpleasant Things

On study retreat at the beach (a pleasant thing, by the way) and polishing off some reading: What's Theology Got to Do with It? by Robinson and The Monkey and the Fish by Gibbons. Also finished up reading in Amos and Ecclesiastes. An interesting note from Ecclesiastes, "the Teacher", on responding to a king: "Do not delay when the matter is unpleasant" (8:3). I was reminded of how easy it is to put off unpleasant but important matters, and how much it helps to have some accountability to "get 'er done". Much better, of course, is the internal drive to accomplish something unpleasant because it is simply the right thing to do.

Sign of Spring

Monday, May 4, 2009

Commencement Address

The speaker at MU's commencement was Donald Eberly, a guy with a pretty remarkable resume who spoke on "Serving in the Spirit of Lincoln". A couple interesting notes . . . In Indonesia, after US aid for the tsunami, opinions of the US were 60% favorable. BEFORE the disaster aid, opinions were 60% unfavorable. An incredible swing, and the favorable opinions are LASTING. So, what can happen when God's people get into the act in a community? in the world?

He also encouraged graduates to set specific goals that are not material in nature, including to befriend a poor person.