Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday's Fave SEVEN, 5/30/14

Link to Friday's Fave Five host blog

This will be more than five items, but that's better than not being able to come up with five. . .

1. Nice graduation service last Friday night.  Sixteen young people turned out from our school, we hope to help advance the cause of Christ throughout their lives.

2. A getaway with Mike on Memorial Day weekend.  On Monday we went to his hunting club and I watched him take down and move stands.  Not the most exciting thing in the world, but it was just nice to be away with him.  And the birdwatching, while not yielding anything new, was great.  Then we stopped by an old hardware/general merchandise store that was like stepping into 1945 or earlier.  We like browsing through that kind of place.

3. I got my travel insurance policy taken care of this week.  Three weeks from today I will be at the Beijing airport, seeing my son for the first time in ten months!

4. Finally was able to get a haircut this week.  ML's friend Alicia does such beautiful work.  Just wish she weren't working 30+ minutes away, but it's worth the trip.

5. A last bucket of strawberries from a roadside stand.  Around here the berries are pretty well done, but this place had them from somewhere further north.  Nice to get one last unexpected bucket.

6. I needed new copies of Great Expectations for school as many in my set are old, tearing, and cobbled together from several sources.  Last week I found two sets on eBay, totaling 40 permabound hard copies, for $3--which included postage!  An unbelievable deal.  Then my great dad, always ready to help, used glue and tape to make minor repairs on the few that needed them!  These should last for many years - long after I do.

7. We found out yesterday via one of ML's teachers on FB that this picture (top half) was printed in the Baptist Courier to illustrate a story about NGU's graduation.  The man is the university president (guess that was obvious).  They are sending me several copies as well as having emailed me this digital version, which I will probably get made into a larger print because I really like it.  She was in the right place at the right time!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday's Fave Five 5/23/14

LINK to Friday's Fave Five home blog

Just realized it's been two full weeks since a post on here.  That's what the end of the school year is like.  I have a number of thoughts and things to write about. . .as soon as summer gets here.  And it is close!!

1. We had a lovely dinner last night with Mike's side of the family at a nice local restaurant.  Pictured below are all of the "next generation" (along with one boyfriend), three of whom are 2014 high school graduates and one just graduated from college.  Really nice evening.

2. My visa arrived in the mail today!!  It was sent FedEx and required a signature, so Mike had to stick around the house this morning while I was at the school awards program.  I hurried home - but in the meantime it had arrived.  I leave four weeks from yesterday!  It's becoming more real now.

3. When I got home today, Mike had cleaned up the kitchen, made the beds, and taken the trash to the dump.  He is a big help, especially if he is home on busy days when I have to work.  And right now he's helping my dad haul some mulch.  He's a hard worker and it is appreciated!!

4. Grades are done, awards program over with, and graduation is tonight.  Tomorrow I can breathe.

5. And this has absolutely nothing to do with my week, but a friend posted this picture on FB of her grandson right before his bath.  Have you ever seen such a cute little backside!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

New College Graduate!

ML graduated from North Greenville University this morning.  It was a hot, sunny day, but at least there was a little breeze, which did help a little.

Here are the grads walking into the stadium, ML third from left:

And here she is, again third from left.  She was the fifth undergrad to get her degree.

Being greeted by the college president (in red) just after she received her diploma.

With Dr. Joe Hayes, the dean whose office was part of the suite of offices where she worked.  She helped him a great deal with his work and office organization.

With her dad, who paid the bill!!!

B.A., elementary education, magna cum laude, North Greenville University.
It was a lovely morning.  The only thing that was sad was that her brother was on the other side of the world and could not be there also!

Monday, May 5, 2014


Mike and I went to see God's Not Dead Saturday night.  A little late to the party, but we'd both heard much about it and decided to go check it out.

First of all, I loved the premise, I loved the apologetics, I loved the overall cleanness of the movie.  No language issues, and there was no intense sensuality.  I loved the idea of seeing, in a theatre, a movie defending God.  I loved seeing that young man do his best, even though very nervously, to break down the defenses of that incredibly arrogant professor.

The online reviews are mixed.  As one might expect, the Christian publications praised it, and the secular outlets panned it.  And, frankly, there were some things in the movie that gave fodder for people looking to criticize the movie.  Some things didn't seem well planned or executed.  Some examples:
  • The young man was a college freshman.  That meant that at most he was 19 years old, probably 18.  He certainly didn't look like an older student starting college.  Yet he and his girlfriend were supposedly together for six years.  That means that they were a "couple" starting at age 12 or 13?  That is not realistic.  Furthermore, she was adamantly against his defending God to the professor.  She did not appear to share his faith at all.  They were together that long, through tumultuous teen years, with values that different?  Not real. 
  • On the same note, the professor's girlfriend Mina was supposed to be a dedicated Christian, yet she was living, not even with a nominal Christian or even just a "religious person," but with an outspoken atheist.  That also doesn't ring true.
  • There were too many plot lines.  The two listed above were the main ones, plus the converted Muslim girl thrown out of her house, the pastor who's not sure if he's making a difference, and the in-your-face reporter who finds out she has cancer.  Five subplots in a 113-minute movie, and also the issue of Mina's mother with dementia with her unsaved and very mean son.  It's just not possible to adequately develop that many plots and that many characters in under two hours.  It would have been better to limit the plots and characters, and then further develop the personalities and conflicts of the ones that survived the cut.
  • Another implausibility:  That two men and a car rental agent would have that much trouble figuring out how to get a car started so they could take a trip.
  • The weather was beautiful at the beginning of the concert; then, when the professor was running to find Mina, rain starts pouring down outside the arena, and tragedy strikes (trying not to be a spoiler here).  The rain continues pouring down throughout the conclusion of the tragedy; then, when the camera hones in on the arena again, there is no rain at all nor any signs of any recent weather event.  Just poor filming.
  • The unsaved people were so mean.  Really mean, and really unkind.  Stereotypes of what many would think of atheistic people.  I don't think even an atheist, even one who has just received a promotion he is excited about, would be that mean and calloused toward a girlfriend - not an acquaintance, but a girlfriend! - who has just received a cancer diagnosis.  I think that, due to the Holy Spirit's general presence in the world (not our own goodness), that most atheists and non-Christians are much kinder and gentler - which makes it even more difficult for them to see that they should have a reason to change.  The professor, the unsaved philosophy faculty, the brother of Mina--all extremely typecast as mean, mean, mean.
Those were the things that troubled me about the planning and production.  I could see how those things would be barriers to those looking for reasons not to like the movie.

As for the Newsboys concert - That is difficult for me to reconcile.  I'm just too old, and was taught too strongly, that we should be separate from such music--and the concert at the end of the movie was not even borderline, but was very much the music of rockers (as was even stated in the newspaper headline shown in the film).  Having said that, it is also true that God can use anything, and doesn't need my approval to do so!  And it was evident from their talking to the lady journalist that they do know God, and were able to be used by Him in her life.  So it is just one thing to consider in a movie that has much to offer.

God's Not Dead can be a powerful tool.  It is too bad that some of the technical aspects of the film were not considered more carefully.  (Then, of course, it's easy for some schoolteacher who is Monday-afternoon quarterbacking the production, to have little to no idea of what all is involved.)  I would go see it again.  I would take non-Christians with me.  I see why it has been an encouragement and blessing to many, and why God is using it among Christians, and hopefully atheists also, for His glory.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday's Fave Five, 5/2/14

Link to Friday's Fave Five Host Blog 

1. I made two batches of jam last Saturday, then made one more on Tuesday night.  The picture isn't the greatest, but I like the artistry of how they look in the kitchen window.  Soon they'll get put away.

2. On Tuesday I bought a ticket for China!!

3. I've been going to the gym at least three times a week now for a couple of weeks, and it's getting easier.  I'm trying to get the knee stronger for going to China.  Sometimes it just pops out and is very painful.  It may require more intervention later, but for now I just want to get through the trip, in better shape and with a knee that lasts throughout all the walking that will go on.

4. Wednesday was a good day.  Two of my classes were gone on field trips, and I got a LOT of things done in my room that needed to be done - including getting vocabulary quizzes for next year run off and taken care of.

5. And finally - yesterday I had the privilege of "mothering" this little one for the day.  Her older sister is a good friend of my daughter's, and she goes to the school where I teach.  Her mom was going out of town, and her father was delayed getting back into town from a business trip.  So she showed up on my doorstep at 5:30 in the morning; I took her to school with me and then back home.  We made cookies; she practiced piano and watched TV until her dad got here.  She was as sweet as could be, and I enjoyed having her with me.  I had forgotten. . .