Jonathan Edwards’ Final Words

Written to his daughter, Lucy:

Dear Lucy, it seems to me to be the will of God that I must shortly leave you; therefore give my kindest love to my dear wife, and tell her, that the uncommon union, which has so long subsisted between us, has been of such a nature as I trust is spiritual and therefore will continue forever: and I hope she will be supported under so great a trial, and submit cheerfully to the will of God. And as to my children, you are now to be left fatherless, which I hope will be an inducement to you all to seek a Father who will never fail you.

Whitefield’s Rock

Today I’m teaching on George Whitefield, the famous British preacher in the Colonial era. I thought you might enjoy this clip of Steve Lawson reciting some Scripture on “Whitefield’s Rock,” which is just off of Route 9 in Northampton, MA. The man behind the camera is my former pastor, Michel Abendroth. Whitefield most often preached outside, and his voice was equipped for it. Benjamin Franklin was a friend of Whitefield, and Franklin once estimated — using triangulation — that Whitefield’s voice could reach 30,000 people in the open air.

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
(Matthew 7:24-27 ESV)

Unbroken

This past Christmas I gave my dad an audiobook of the story of Louis Zamperini, entitled Unbroken.  I had read some good reviews of the book from trusted sources, and I knew Dad would like a good WWII biography. 

When we visited home this past spring, he handed it back to me and told me we HAD to listen.

I innocently popped one of the CDs in the stereo on Monday, not knowing how I would be transfixed for the next four days.  Those of you who read Beth or Erica‘s blogs might have already read their reflections.  I couldn’t stop listening.

Wow, just wow.  I can’t say much more than that.  To just scratch the surface of this man’s life, look at this interactive feature from the Wall Street Journal about Zamperini.

I hope to make this part of my boys’ high school reading when they get to WWII.  I can’t think of a more compelling example that history is what happens to real people.

First This Millennium

Remember all the hoopla surrounding the turn of the millennium?  Apart from finally being officially entitled to Party Like It’s 1999, everyone speculated on the millennium error in computers and what we would all do while we sat in the dark waiting for the lights to come back on.

There was also a rush of people wishing they could be the first to do something — ANYTHING — after the year 2000 rolled in.  There were midnight weddings.  Women were excited to be giving birth on December 31, thinking their babies might be in the running for a year’s supply of diapers or a college scholarship.

I am not proud to say that my husband was amongst those who rushed to be the first to do something.  However, everything good was already taken.  So on the morning of January 1, 2000, he walked to the kitchen of our first apartment, in Worcester, Massachusetts, and made history.

He was the first person in the New Millennium — to our knowledge — to put a jar of Spanish olives upside-down on a bottle of Ruby Red Grapefruit juice.  Why was the press not notified?

See, the trick to being a history maker is to pick something so unimportant and random that no one else even wants to do it.

This past New Year’s Day we reenacted it as we rolled from one decade to another.  It was a heartwarming moment.

Cartoon Love

We were introduced to the music of Randall Goodgame through his Square Peg Alliance comrades, Andy Osenga and Andrew Peterson.  Once again we have found a musician who cares deeply about his art and lets it reflect God’s glory.  We’re still delving into his catalog of albums, but so far they haven’t disappointed!

 The beginning of his album War and Peace is anchored by a trilogy devoted to the Peanuts gang.  Goodgame was a big fan of Charlie Brown and his friends, and was saddened by the end of the strip and the death of its author.  He set his mourning to music with three songs remembering Charles Schultz’s work.

Below are the lyrics to Part One of the trilogy.  On our most recent trip to New England, we played this song no less than a dozen times.  The kids LOVE it.  They can’t get enough of it.  It’s very catchy, as laden with piano riffs as you would expect from a song about Schroeder.

Side note:  David loves this song for its reference to Harry Truman, who did play the piano quite often in the White House because he found that it set people at ease.  I love it for the heartbreaking line about Peppermint Patty never being able to compete with the Little Red-Haired Girl — perhaps a leftover sentiment from my days as a Girl, Friend to Boys but never a Boy’s Girlfriend.

It may sound funny but I cried
The day I found out Schroeder died
Little green piano on the floor
Won’t be making music anymore
You know he was the catcher for the team
But he only threw to second in his dreams
For those little arms it was just too far to throw
But put those arms behind that piano
And he’d play like Harry Truman
Without those coke bottles
That only Marcie wore
Like Harry Truman
Without the atom bomb
Without the burden of a third world war
Lucy was fragile as a castle in the sand
But tough as a tuba, with a mean right hand
She always wore that same blue dress
‘Cause she fancied Schroeder liked that color best
She’d watch him hurry home most every afternoon
Blonde hair bobbin’ to the beat of a Gershwin tune
Soon his Mama’d cry, “Your supper’s turnin’ cold.”
But he’d fill up on Beethoven
Underneath that bust of painted gold
And he’d play like Harry Truman
Without those coke bottles
That only Marcie wore
Like Harry Truman
Without the atom bomb
Without the burden of a third world war
Oooh la la oooo
Lucy had a crush on Schroeder
Oooh la la oooo
Sally had a crush on Linus
Oooh la la leee
But Peppermint Patty, with those flip-flops
And without a single curl
Could not compete with the little red-haired girl
Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown
What’s it like in God’s hometown
Do the angels make Lucy hold the football down
Is every cartoon a full-color affair
Since every day is just like Sunday there
And when Schroeder plays Beethoven’s Number Nine
Does Snoopy still dance
Does Lucy still pine
Everybody dies, but still it always seems too soon
So I shed a tear for this cartoon
Yeah he’d play like Harry Truman
Without those coke bottles
That only Marcie wore
Like Harry Truman
Without the atom bomb
Without the burden of a third world war

Back to the Big Apple

When we last left our intrepid urban explorers, they were trekking across the Great Bridge.  Since the walk to and from Brooklyn wasn’t enough, they decided to get off the subway at an inappropriately faraway stop and walk all the way to a decidedly more somber location…

Ground zero.
I’m sure you remember where you were when you heard.
The owner of this helmet was in a stairwell on the 23rd floor when the tower collapsed.  He attributes his survival to his leather fire helmet.
This is what the plaza will look like when construction is completed.
I loved this note to the FDNY from a schoolchild; it says, “Dear firemen, I’m sorry that you guys have to do hard stuff but you guys are doing a great job.”
Then we headed across the street to St. Paul’s Chapel.  We were there on Ash Wednesday, so we quietly circled the outer rim of the chapel while the priest distributed ashes to a growing line of commuters on their way home.
The chapel was the haven for workers at Ground Zero for months.  They served food, coordinated volunteers, provided counseling, gave foot massages, and supplied cots.  Pews served as beds for those who did not have a cot; you can see in the photo that the firemen’s boots scraped up the paint on the pews.  The song “Amazing Grace” was played by someone on their piano every day for months.
This is the pew where George Washington prayed after he was inaugurated.
A few blocks from there (yes, we’re still walking) …
is a rocky hillside that looks out of place.  We walked by it a few times without realizing it was just what we were looking for.
The Irish Hunger Memorial.
The front of the hillside is reminiscent of Ireland’s countryside (I assume, when it’s not snow-covered), and the back is a shiny black wall embedded with illuminated words from the time of the Potato Famine.
“Our potato crop is lost without exception I believe throughout Ireland.”
“The blight came in before St. John’s Day.  It came like a fog in the evening and appeared low on the water.  Next morning the potato stalks were black.”
Then we took a subway to the Village and walked around some more even though by this time I was whining something fierce.  We had a so-so hot dog at Gray’s Papaya (WHILE STANDING UP, OH THE IRONY!)…
and walked a little more.  Then more walking for another Magnolia cupcake.
Then David couldn’t take my whining about my feet anymore so we got on the subway and went back to the hotel and watched the Olympics.

St. Patrick’s Day for Kids

This morning we enjoyed these two short films, and I thought I’d pass them along.

The first is my favorite, because it includes a retelling of Patrick’s story by a little Irish girl (a wee lass).  The second is proof positive that the VeggieTales guys are indeed fans of Monty Python.