Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hello Betty

My dear friend, who has yet to visit my blog (is it because she's an agnostic? old joke) says she's going to finally look at it.


I didn't get the phone when she first called today, so she left a message. It's been a while since we've talked, and she said ,"I bet you thought I'd died and gone to hell."

Well...It's actually my opinion that in her younger years, when she said the Apostles' Creed, she believed.

She thanked me for not any longer trying to proselytise her. This worries me. anyway... PrAYER wARRIORS, WILL YOU JOIN ME?


Sunday, December 28, 2008


I've spent the last two evenings with Gurney's seed and plant catalogue. Edit: I don't know why I have so much trouble with links here, but if you copy and paste in your browser, you'll go to the Gurneys catalogue.

We don't have much garden space here, and the soil is poor. However, we now have a Rabbit Ranch, which produces a LOT of fertilizer. We'll try again this year, with enriched soil.

I tell you, at the end of every winter (are we there yet?) I get the urge to dig in the dirt. Mr. P's like that too.

However, we need a boy to hire to do the actual digging. Where are all those boys who used to come around for odd jobs? I bet it happens again this year. Our landlady next door has her lawnmower do ours too, but we need a garden digger. What's the going rate? I used to pay $5 an hour, but there's inflation.

May your surroundings flower in the New Year.

New topic: I'm listening to Wagner's Sygfried Idyll right now. It's beautiful and restful. However, I hate to admit to myself that I admire anything written by Wagner. Either his politics were awful, or he has guilt by association with Hitler. The WWII Germans considered his music their totem or something. I had the opportunity in Salzburg to attend a couple of Wagner operas, and in this town I'll never have that opportunity. However, I refused to go along with the group and chose Mozart instead. Surprisingly, the group came along with me.

May you be blessed with beauty, rest, and egalitarianism.

Edit: Wagner's politics were awful. He was anti-semitic.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sister's Advice (Edit: and sisters')

My sister gave me some very good advice last night. She said, "Be good."

Matt. 19:16...there is none good but one, that is, God...

Matt. 5:46 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. But according to Strong's, the Greek used for "perfect" means to be mature, or complete, and also always growing. Hmmm

I'm fond of saying that the only righteousness I have is that of my risen Lord, Jesus Christ. Today I looked for the scriptural authority for that (memory like a sieve).

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
II Corinthians 5:21

I'm working hard at following Sister's advice, but that work seems to consist of keeping my thoughts on God the Father and Jesus, His Son.

Edit: After posting I went over to the CAST forum on etsy, and found the (other) sisters discussing

Philippians 4:13 (King James Version)

13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Such Gifts!

Isn't Heavenly Father good to us!?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Such Promise!

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them."
Isaiah 42:16

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's Christmas!

Every year, at some time in Dec., I say, "Now I've been Christmassed." I mean that the joy of the season enters my heart. It's mainly happened while arranging the nativity scene.

Well, tonight I got Christmassed while listening to wonderful music. A wonderful percussionist added his own flourish to the Hallelujah chorus from The Messiah. These days I have to raise hands to praise God during that piece. And how does Pavorotti always manage to sound so happy? Mr. P corrected me, to use past tense. But I hope Pavorotti was a real Christian. I want to hear him some more, live. Singing "O Come Let us Adore Him" in the throne room.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Projects The Embroidered Things Are Dish Towels.

We Must Remeber

So, three years ago some strange people in PA. named their son Adolph Hitler______. Some stores have declined to make a cake spelling out his name. A swastika was also requested, at least one year.

Walmart did a cake with the poor kid's name. What a shame.

The parents sound reasonable, but WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!?

A few years ago I had my last name legally changed from my father's to a combination of the first names of my mother and grandmother.(don't ask) [now I'm happily Mrs. P]

I think it cost $40. I hope that little Adolph spends the money, as soon as he's old enough.

We must remember.

I'm glad the US Sec. of State (I thought Dr. Rice would make a great POTUS, but that's all over.) and the Pentagon are yawning over the Russian ship that went through the Panama Canal and is going to Cuba. We don't need to escalate the rhetoric. I do find it worrisome, though.

We must remember.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Full Moon

The full moon is partially obscured by clouds here. It's beautiful.

Have I told you I live in the house my aunt sold several decades ago? In this very room, in my young years, was a painting by a great aunt of a night scene lit by the moon. very nice

[Edit: hadn't realized, when first writing this, that the moon is closer to us than usual ]

In Japan I did a lot of walking at night, and was charmed by the little garden or back door lights. I liked the night, and decided that was because I could appreciate the light so much.

Enjoy the Light.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

ArtFire .com and Unintended Consequences Law

I just started listing our items for sale in a second venue, ArtFire. We shall see. It's a brand new enterprise, but so far sounds cheaper for the seller than etsy. I guess that means I should reduce the prices somewhat.

Remember all the toys from China in 2007 that were toxic? So Congress, quite rightly, passed a law that, beginning Feb 10, 2009, toys for sale in America must undergo independent testing for safety. I hear that costs $4000.

Unfortunately the rag dolls sold at craft fairs and wooden toy cars sold on etsy seem to be included. The legalities are being explored. However, if the wording stands, it seems to mean that small market crafters will be out of business.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ok, I was over the top
I seem to engender gentle laughter when I mention celebrating the conception of Jesus. Ok, I hear you.

I recommend reading the comment on yesterday's post. I particularly enjoyed the reference to Hosea, where God said, "I am like a fir tree."

Goody, Christmas trees aren't necessarily pagan. (I had one anyway, but had that residual guilt.)

I tell you, that Bible is a marvelous book. For many reasons.

I just mailed a package to Australia, to a member of Ostia. When I googled it, I learned that Ostia is the foremost pop rock band of Australia. Who knew?

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 8, 2008

How Does One Celebrate Conception?

See yesterday's post for why I want to do so.

So, the manger,shepherds, sheep, and eventually star and wisemen, probably happened in September. Maybe it's the Feast of Trumpets?

So, Mary's God-glorified Egg?

It seems a little personal and maybe even insulting. I have a lot of respect for the most blessed among women.

One does not make an image of the Holy Spirit.

Here is a 2nd day fertilized egg.

One-cell embryo, also called a zygote, or a two pronuclear embryo

The two circles in the middle, with little bumps which might be an artifact of electron microscopy, is the two cell person.


Have a joyous season celebrating God.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Why Dec 25 is a Christian Holiday

I've copied and pasted most of the following.


In a long section covering Luke 1:5 through 2:8, Luke writes of a specific series of events in chronological order. He begins by telling the story of Zacharias, a priest, and his wife Elizabeth, who were childless. While administering his priestly duties during the course of Abijah, Zacharias was visited by the angel Gabriel, who told him that his prayers had been answered and that he and Elizabeth would have a son. They were to name him John.

Because Zacharias doubted that this would happen, Gabriel informed him that he would not be able to speak until the birth of his son. As soon as his service in the Temple was completed, he returned to his own house. Elizabeth soon conceived and hid herself five months, unsure of how her pregnancy would be viewed.

In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, Gabriel visited Mary and informed her, "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and shall call His name Jesus" (verse 31). Soon thereafter, Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth and stayed with her until the latter's ninth month, leaving just prior to John's birth. Jesus, then, was born approximately six months after John.

What information do we have up to this point?

» Zacharias, a priest, performed his duties during the course of Abijah.

» After he returned home from Jerusalem, Elizabeth conceived.

» Mary conceived in the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy.

» John was born approximately six months before Jesus.

The Course of Abijah

To date Jesus' birth, we need a starting point. Fortunately, Luke supplies one in mentioning "the course of Abijah" (Luke 1:5). Is it possible to know if this course existed then, when it fell during the year, and how long it lasted?

Indeed it is!

I Chronicles 24 lists the courses, divisions or shifts of the priesthood that served in the Temple throughout the year. Verse 1 states, "These are the divisions of the sons of Aaron." Among the sons of Eleazar were sixteen heads of their father's house, while among the sons of Ithamar were eight additional heads of house, making twenty-four courses (verse 4).

These courses of priests were divided by lot to be officials of the sanctuary and of the house of God (verse 5). Beginning on Nisan 1, these courses rotated throughout the year, serving in the Temple for one week apiece. The course of Abijah, the course during which Zacharias was responsible to work, was the eighth shift (verse 10).

Josephus, the first-century Jewish historian—who was, by the way, of the priestly lineage of the course of Jehoiarib, the first course—supplies further information about the priestly courses.

"He [David] divided them also into courses: and when he had separated the priests from them, he found of these priests twenty-four courses, sixteen of the house of Eleazar and eight of that of Ithamar; and he ordained that one course should minister to God [during] eight days, from [noon] Sabbath to [noon on the following] Sabbath. And thus were the courses distributed by lot, in the presence of David, and Zadok and Abiathar the high priest, and of all the rulers: and that course which came up first was written down as the first, and accordingly the second, and so on to the twenty-fourth; and this partition hath remained to this day" (Antiquities of the Jews, 7:14.7).

These courses were strictly followed until the Temple was destroyed in ad 70.

The Talmud describes the details of the rotation of courses, beginning on Nisan 1. With only twenty-four courses, obviously each course was required to work twice a year, leaving three extra weeks. (The Hebrew year normally has fifty-one weeks. Intercalary, or leap, years have an additional four weeks.) The three holy day seasons, Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles, during which all the courses were required to serve, made up these three extra weeks. Thus, each of the courses worked five weeks out of the year: two in their specific courses and three during the holy day seasons.

John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for Messiah (Malachi 3:1; Luke 1:13-17). The gospel accounts make it very clear that he was born about half a year before Jesus was born. From historical details in Luke's account especially, as well as the accuracy of the Seventy Weeks prophecy (see "Seventy Weeks Are Determined . . .," p. 2), it is clear that Jesus was born sometime in 4 bc. This means, counting back the nine months of gestation and the six-month difference in age, John must have been conceived in the first half of 5 bc.

This fact forces us to choose the first shift of the course of Abijah as the time when Gabriel visited Zacharias in the Temple. Frederick R. Coulter, in his A Harmony of the Gospels (p. 9), computes it this way:

In the year 5 bc, the first day of the first month, the month of Nisan, according to the Hebrew Calendar, was a Sabbath. According to computer calculation synchronizing the Hebrew Calendar and the stylized Julian Calendar, it was April 8. Projecting forward, the assignments course by course, and week by week, were: Course 1, the first week; Course 2, the second week; all Courses for the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, the third week; Course 3, the fourth week; Course 4, the fifth week; Course 5, the sixth week; Course 6, the seventh week; Course 7, the eighth week; Course 8, the ninth week; and all courses [sic] the tenth week, which was the week of Pentecost.

Zacharias of the course of Abijah worked the ninth week in his assigned course and the tenth week in the Pentecost course, and this period ran from Iyar 27 through Sivan 12 (Hebrew calendar) or June 3 through 17 (Julian calendar). He probably returned home immediately after his shifts were completed, and Elizabeth most likely conceived in the following two-week period, June 18 through July 1, 5 BC.

With this information we can calculate Elizabeth's sixth month as December, during which Mary also conceived (Luke 1:26-38). It is probable, because of the circumstances shown in Luke 1, that Mary conceived during the last two weeks of Elizabeth's sixth month. Thus, John was born in the spring of 4 BC, probably between March 18 and 31. By projecting forward another six months to Jesus' birth, the most probable time for His birth occurred between September 16 and 29. It is an interesting sidelight that Tishri 1, the Feast of Trumpets, is one of the two middle days of this time period.

I copied the above from a website that has a different purpose than I do. They want to toss out Dec.25, as it's obviously not the date of Jesus' birth.(ttp://

I, however, find it absolutely fascinating that Jesus was CONCEIVED around Dec 25, and became Immanuel, God With Us.

Anyone still wondering when life begins?

I've known for decades that this time of year has many pagan holidays, but I celebrated the birth of Christ then. Now the residual guilt at celebrating during pagan holidays is all gone, because Christians are celebrating Jesus' conception. We just move back Bethlehem, shepherds, hosts of angels,etc., about 9 months.

Happy Conception Day, Jesus!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Creative fit

Today I've been joyously coming up with new ideas.

Posted embroidery on etsy celebrating marriage.

Apologies to the singles, but Paul was actually talking about the Church and Christ. So we're all preparing for the wedding feast. Ephesians 5:31, 32.

I also broke down and purchased some more embroidery floss. I'm running out of my favorite colors!

Some etsy shops are doing very well right now. I've resigned myself to having no more sales until the economy improves. May I be surprised.

I don't think I've mentioned the circular shawl I'm knitting. Elizabeth Zimmerman , the Opinionated Knitter called it the Pi Shawl, I think, because of the interesting and helpful math involved.

I got the wool and needles last January, ( gift certificate from Mr. P for local yarn shop) and tried casting on in the circular way with those Big Plastic Slippery needles, using cotton yarn to practice. Difficult

Then it finally dawned on me that the wool is more grabby than cotton. So I recently jumped right in and tried it. Yep, the grabby wool made it possible. I think I'm in the third increase, for those of you who revere E.Z.

I'd post a pic, but at the moment it looks like a cocoon because the outer edge is, of course, on the circular needles. That probably would interest those who study topography, or possible geometry. Isn't the universe fascinating?

May you be fascinated by Good.