Saturday, July 29, 2006

Frustrations in France

I had prepared a post on Day 2 with pictures and lots of descriptive text to accompany them that took me forever to write, only to lose it all in cyberspace. I keep trying to post the pictures and they are not showing up. However, Blogger shows my last update was today, so something very bizarre is occuring. I don't have time to mess with it tonight as I am very tired from a hike in the countryside and I will be up early (as I have been ever since arriving) and I am somewhat sore not just from the hike, but also from climbing the narrow, winding, claustrophobic-inducing stairway to a tower that is part of an abbey built in 1031 (I think - it was 10something definitely) that is now in a lot of ruins. Anyway, all that to say...

Next post coming Monday. And if you should happen to see many multiple posts on here until then, just blame Blogger and Picasa for that. :-)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Traveing with ReforMaiden: Merignac

Following are some random shots from our first morning in France. These pictures were taken at the local park, which is very beautiful and peaceful. The park is lush and verdant, with trees everywhere so that even on sunny days it is still quite shady. The park is also very extensive, so that it takes a little while to walk completely around it. Looking at the pictures will only give you a small idea of what it is like. As you view them, you should imagine you are here with me in the cool early morning...

The waterfall is roaring under the stone bridge as you walk over it... You pass the beautiful school and see the swans swimming in front... You pass an old building and field and hear in the distance ducks quacking, roosters crowing and fish jumping in the water... You pass people who are murmuring softly in French... Everywhere there are ancient trees and beautiful foliage... The flowers and roses are in full bloom and there is color everywhere you look, as far as the eye can see...

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Feeding the ducks, geese and swans at the park (that's Ashley and our cousin's little boy, Henrik)
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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Traveling With ReforMaiden: London

Tuesday, July 25.
So how do you spend 9 hours in London? Why, you hit the streets, of course! You also take the wrong train out of the airport and see a part of London you might not normally see (the gentleman taking our tickets described it as a"boyfriend spying" neighborhood), you get all day Tube passes and thank goodness, because you are off and on all day just trying to get on the right line; you walk your feet into oblivion and you have to race across streets because Brits don't slow down for pedestrians and they drive like maniacs, too. You get to see some beautiful sites like St. Paul's Cathedral, the Hall of Justice (complete with protesting outside) The University of London, and Buckingham Palace Road, which of course you don't take because you're already running out of time. You pass a million Starbucks stores (go figure - I thought the British were only big on tea!) and never once stop to take authentic tea somewhere. You get down to the underground and find out that:

1. It's steaming hot and no A/C
2. People here in Europe don't wear deodorant
3. People are sweating all around and everywhere you go
4. It all combines to make a smelly situation

Nice British touches to our day was a sighting of a quintessential British gentleman - umbrella and all - lovely voice accents everywhere, beautiful, old, old buildings, walking in places I might never have been to had we known where we were going exactly (we took the Tube from Victoria Station to Charing Cross, we then walked from there to Westminster- and if you have never been to London, then you should know that it is not all in the same area!) and yet we were mixed with the true "Londoners" because we weren't in the tourist places. London was everything I expected it to be, except for one thing: filth. I was wearing flip-flops and by the time I returned to the airport, my shoes and toes were both black. Still, it was great to get out and see London, albeit for a short time. I would love to come back... Posted by Picasa
Vespas are the vehicle of choice in Europe Posted by Picasa
This church is celebrating 1,000 years Posted by Picasa
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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Traveling With ReforMaiden: Raleigh Durham

July 24, 3.45 pm ET
So how do you spend 4 1/2 hours at Raleigh Durham International Airport? Why, you knit of course! Yes, that is a tiny gauge swatch for a pair of socks. Hopefully I will have cast on by the time we have boarded our flight for London (2 days later: it did not happen). There really isn't much to do here, especially when you have to waste so much time. However, I have to hand it to RDIA to have a woman's bathroom every 10 feet (2 days later: exaggeration - it was more like 20 feet) and a fairly crowd free airport. There isn't any chaos with people about to run you down, any pushing or shoving, etc., so although it has been what feels like the longest afternoon of my life, it has been relatively peaceful and event-free. That's good, no? Posted by Picasa
Here is a closing shot of Ashley filling her time (aren't we the industrious ones) ;-) Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Happy Birthday Sarah!

Today is the 2o -something birthday of my lovely sister-in-law, Sarah. She is sweet, generous, compassionate, kind, and is also by far the most graceful, gracious and charming Southern belle in these parts. Texas is all the better for her presence here - and we are, too!
Love you, Sar!!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Coming Soon:
Tales of a ReforMaiden Abroad

I am leaving on Monday for a 16 day vacation to France, so posting may be even more sporadic than what it has been these past couple of weeks. I intend to post if I can while I am over there but if not, I will keep a journal while I am away and will post about my adventures when I return.

Au revoir

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


"Postmodernism has failed us. More specifically, pluralism has failed us. And I don’t mean in a small, figurative sense. I mean pluralism, with all its promises of niceties and tolerance, poised as the number one non-religious religion in America, has failed us on a grand scale. And it is my prediction that this failure is more than a philosophical one; it is a deadly failure."

Read the rest here.

Friday, July 07, 2006

This is Worth Your Time...

Download (free!) and then watch this great video of Joshua Harris discussing Humble Orthodoxy. He is alternatively funny and serious, but always good.

HT: Natalie Marie Nyquist

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, America!

Today I will be celebrating our Nation's birthday with good food, games, Wimbledon, visiting with family, more food, boating out onto Lake Grapevine for the city's fireworks display, knitting, finishing my current book Wives and Daughters, and whatever else I can think of to celebrate the day with! I'm certainly not going to waste a lot of time blogging with so much going on, so I leave you with a few links worth looking at on this Independence Day:

Dr. George Grant has posted the Declaration of Independence. While you're there, be sure to read this poem by John Greenleaf Whittier in praise of our first President.

Over on the GirlTalk blog, we are given "a girly perspective" on our grand holiday.

And finally, Dr. Ligon Duncan reminds us that the War for Independence was even called "the Presbyterian rebellion" due to the significance of Reformed influence in America at the time.

Have a glorious day celebrating your freedom!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

My Thoughts Regarding Wilson and Sproul

In the past couple of months I have received several comments concerning R.C. Sproul, Jr. I have not posted previously my feelings on this issue because I just didn't want to add anything to all of the confusion out there; also, I don't know him personally, and what goes on in his private life is no business of mine, and I don't think of anyone else's whom the issues do not personally touch. A comment was left on the post below (which linked to Doug Wilson's website) and after reading it I realized that it is time for me to break my silence on the issue so that people will know where I stand and how I feel about this. I won't even try to address the controversial issues that surround Mssrs Wilson and Sproul as there are other people on the web who have already done so, and anyway I think it's time everyone just moved on. And, in case you are wondering, I have read both sides of the various issues/concerns and my conclusions side with Wilson and Sproul. I have posted my thoughts below. I had started this as a response to my commenter but it got too long, and so I am just posting it here.

Hello Deacon Phoebe,
I assume that you meant kindly by hinting that I should not have linked to the article on modesty by Doug Wilson. Thank you for your concern. However, I think that this article was very good and needed to be shared. Modesty is not talked about often enough, and there are a lot of Christian girls and women who desperately need this message as they are often unaware of the damage caused or the message sent by their clothing choices. I feel very strongly on this (though I am far from being as modest as I know I should be) and if you have visited my blog before, you will have seen one of my earlier posts on modesty. It is one of the biggest untouched subjects in the church today, and it is time that pastors stop being afraid of addressing this issue. They do a great disservice to the women in their congregation by not instructing them in this area. We need strong men who are not afraid to face this issue. That is why when I come across an article like this one, I am cheering exuberantly and admiring the bravery of the man bold enough to address the problems of immodesty and it's reflection of the church. It is a good article, and one that my sisters in Christ need to read. I needed it, and I am glad it was written, though it convicted me shamefully.

As to all of the controversy surrounding Doug Wilson and, since you've alluded to him, R.C. Sproul, Jr., I find that these are Godly men who are, like all of us, imperfect and human, but that in no way detracts from their teachings. We are none of us saints, and sanctifiaction is a process that will not be complete in this life. Forgive me for sounding like a cliche, but the road to sanctification is paved with human frailty and imperfection. The glorious wonder is this: that the grace and mercy of God extends to His children in that we are used in spite of our sinfulness and humanity. We all admire theologians and Christian saints, martyrs, etc., yet, none of those men or women were perfect; in fact, I am guessing that they were hardly the saints we often imagine them to be. Even their biographers will carefully tread around their humanity. Yet, we still glean from the teachings of these men and women gone before us - in no way does their sinfulness or imperfections detract from their message and their spiritual legacy. I think it is important for us to remember that people such as Mssrs. Wilson and Sproul are human, they are going to sin and make mistakes. But their God is our God, the same one who forgives me of my sins, and who forgives them of theirs. God's mercy doesn't just extend to me or you, and He will always use imperfect people to accomplish His sovereign will. That's mercy and unfathomable compassion. Praise God for it, and let's never forget it!