Criticism was always the shortest kid in the class. He learned early to use words to defend himself. As a teenager, Criticism loved to take things apart. At that time he didn’t care if they ever got put back together. He retains a strong curiosity about how things work and a deep respect for tools. Criticism is a strict father. He adores his children, but he fears their spontaneity.

Sometimes I want to write Criticism a letter and tell him to leave me alone. The problem is that when I don’t see him for a while, I start to miss him. Still, my conversations with him often make me nervous. I usually believe the bad things he says and forget about the good stuff. When we really disagree, I am upset for days and run around asking everyone I meet to reassure me. If I could trust him more, it would be different, but he changes his mind as much as I do. For all his sensitivity, it was years before he realized that other people also have feelings.

– J. Ruth Gendler, The Book of Qualities


Word of the Day

mention [ˈmɛnʃən]

vb (tr)

1. to refer to or speak about briefly or incidentally
2. to acknowledge or honour
not to mention (something) to say nothing of (something too obvious to mention)

1. a recognition or acknowledgment
2. a slight reference or allusion he only got a mention in the article the author makes no mention of that
3. the act of mentioning
I do love to cross-stitch.  Can’t recall who I gave the “Fried Green Tomatoes served at the Whistle Stop Cafe” to, but I believe that I gave the woman hanging clothes to Hubby’s secretary.
Photo memories.  Stitching memories.
Just mentioning . . .


My visits to Clarity are soothing now. He never tells me what to think or feel or do but shows me how to find out what I need to know. It was not always like this. I used to visit other people who visited him. Finally, I summoned the courage to call on him myself. I still remember the first time I went to see him. Was I surprised. He lives on a hill in a little house surrounded by wild roses. I went in the living room and sat down in a comfortable chair by the fireplace. There were topographical maps on the walls, and the room was full of stuff, musical instruments and telescopes and gloves, geodes and crystals and old Italian tarot decks, two small cats. When I left, he presented me with a sketchbook and told me to draw the same thing every day until the drawing started to speak to me.

The Book of Qualities by J. Ruth Gendler

How should we then live?

. . . Christian values, however, cannot be accepted as a superior utilitarianism, just as a means to an end. The biblical message is true and it demands a commitment to truth. It means that everything is not the result of the impersonal plus time plus chance, but that there is an infinite-personal God who is the Creator of the universe, the space-time continuum. We should not forget that this was what the founders of modern science built upon. It means the acceptance of Christ as Savior and Lord, and it means living under God’s revelation. Here there are morals, values, and meaning, including meaning for people, which are not just a result of statistical averages. This is neither a utilitarianism, nor a leap away from reason; it is the truth that gives a unity to all of knowledge and all of life. This second alternative means that individuals come to the place where they have this base, and they influence the consensus. Such Christians do not need to be a majority in order for this influence on society to occur.

Note: the title of Francis Schaeffer’s book comes from the watchman passage in Ezekiel 33:1-11, 19.

Verse 10:

Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?

First Sentences


I’d come five years and two thousand miles to stand in the rain while they prepared my brother for his own murder.

God alone sees us as we are

Word of the day (and thought for the day):


1.  tact: the good judgment and sensitivity needed to avoid embarrassing or upsetting others
2.  freedom to decide: the freedom or authority to judge something or make a decision about it
“Tipping is left to the customer’s discretion.”
3.  confidentiality: the ability to keep sensitive information secret
[ 14th century. Via French < Latin discretion- “separation, discernment” < discret-, past participle of discernere (see discern) ]
Flannery O’Connor’s rather relentless scorn for “nice Christian people” who sincerely believe they’re the good folks, better than average, and pleasing to Jesus, makes her stories, like Hawthorne’s, classics of our literature. I treasure them, certainly, for their many literary virtues and their rich, dark, humor, but more importantly, for their sharp, honest theological insight: there is none righteous, no, not one–and don’t you forget it! O’Connor’s great gift to readers lies in the way she tricks us into identifying with the worst of these self-righteous characters, blinded by the beams in their own beady little eyes, ever ready to sit in judgment on their neighbors.
. . . Because we are commanded not to pass judgment on one another, it may be that discretion–regard for privacy, protection of the closed spaces of heart and workplace that allow people to “work out their own salvation in fear and trembling”–needs a high place in the ground rules of community life.
. . . discretion requires us first to pray, so that we might learn when to share and not share, and when to sacrifice the love of story for the protection and healing that comes only in silence.

little efforts matter

How we spend our days is,

of course,

how we spend our lives.

~ Annie Dillard

words without thoughts

“My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go.”

– Hamlet, Act III, Scene iii

C. S. Lewis writes about the Efficacy of Prayer that “Simply to say prayers is not to pray; otherwise a team of properly trained parrots would serve as well as men for our experiment.”

The World’s Last Night and Other Essays

Further – “Prayer is not a machine. It is not magic. It is not advice offered to God. Our act, when we pray, must not, any more than all our other acts, be separated from the continuous act of God Himself, in which alone all finite causes operate.”


It would be even worse to think of those who get what they pray for as a sort of court favorites, people who have influence with the throne. The refused prayer of Christ in Gethsemane is answer enough to that. And I dare not leave out the hard saying which I once heard from an experienced Christian: “I have seen many striking answers to prayer and more than one that I thought miraculous. But they usually come at the beginning: before conversion, or soon after it. As the Christian life proceeds, they tend to be rarer. The refusals, too, are not only more frequent; they become more unmistakable, more emphatic.”

Does God then forsake just those who serve Him best? Well, He who served Him best of all said, near His tortured death, “Why hast thou forsaken me.” When God becomes man, that Man, of all others, is least comforted by God, at His greatest need. There is a mystery here which, even if I had the power, I might not have the courage to explore. Meanwhile, little people like you and me, if our prayers are sometimes granted, beyond all hope and probability, had better not draw hasty conclusions to our own advantage. If we were stronger, we might be less tenderly treated. If we were braver, we might be sent, with far less help, to defend far more desperate posts in the great battle.

the unexpected

The marvels of daily life are so exciting: no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street.

–          Robert Doisneu

mi casa – 1997-2004

mi casa – 1980-1997

an impulsion

A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed . . . It feels an impulsion . . . this is the place to go now.  But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons. ~ Richard Bach

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