Thursday, November 20, 2008

To God all Praise and Glory.

I am overwhelmed and profoundly grateful.

Bob Jones University posted this page on its website today about their past racial policies. This is amazing for this institution.

I thank God for 1.) the humility and grace He gave to the administration to admit past wrongs, and 2.) the humble spirit with which the organizers of have handled the entire approach to the University.

I am certain that the letter has not officially made it to the University yet, but clearly the administration has noted what has taken place.

Here's the BJU post:
Statement about Race at Bob Jones University

At Bob Jones University, Scripture is our final authority for faith and practice and it is our intent to have it govern all of our policies. It teaches that God created the human race as one race. History, reality and Scripture affirm that in that act of creation was the potential for great diversity, manifested today by the remarkable racial and cultural diversity of humanity. Scripture also teaches that this beautiful, God-caused and sustained diversity is divinely intended to incline mankind to seek the Lord and depend on Him for salvation from sin (Acts 17:24–28).

The true unity of humanity is found only through faith in Christ alone for salvation from sin—in contrast to the superficial unity found in humanistic philosophies or political points of view. For those made new in Christ, all sinful social, cultural and racial barriers are erased (Colossians 3:11), allowing the beauty of redeemed human unity in diversity to be demonstrated through the Church.

The Christian is set free by Christ’s redeeming grace to love God fully and to love his neighbor as himself, regardless of his neighbor’s race or culture. As believers, we demonstrate our love for others first by presenting Christ our Great Savior to every person, irrespective of race, culture, or national origin. This we do in obedience to Christ’s final command to proclaim the Gospel to all men (Matthew 28:19–20). As believers we are also committed to demonstrating the love of Christ daily in our relationships with others, disregarding the economic, cultural and racial divisions invented by sinful humanity (Luke 10:25–37; James 2:1–13).

Bob Jones University has existed since 1927 as a private Christian institution of higher learning for the purpose of helping young men and women cultivate a biblical worldview, represent Christ and His Gospel to others, and glorify God in every dimension of life.

BJU’s history has been chiefly characterized by striving to achieve those goals; but like any human institution, we have failures as well. For almost two centuries American Christianity, including BJU in its early stages, was characterized by the segregationist ethos of American culture. Consequently, for far too long, we allowed institutional policies regarding race to be shaped more directly by that ethos than by the principles and precepts of the Scriptures. We conformed to the culture rather than provide a clear Christian counterpoint to it.

In so doing, we failed to accurately represent the Lord and to fulfill the commandment to love others as ourselves. For these failures we are profoundly sorry. Though no known antagonism toward minorities or expressions of racism on a personal level have ever been tolerated on our campus, we allowed institutional policies to remain in place that were racially hurtful.

On national television in March 2000, Bob Jones III, who was the university’s president until 2005, stated that BJU was wrong in not admitting African-American students before 1971, which sadly was a common practice of both public and private universities in the years prior to that time. On the same program, he announced the lifting of the University’s policy against interracial dating.

Our sincere desire is to exhibit a truly Christlike spirit and biblical position in these areas. Today, Bob Jones University enrolls students from all 50 states and nearly 50 countries, representing various ethnicities and cultures. The University solicits financial support for two scholarship funds for minority applicants, and the administration is committed to maintaining on the campus the racial and cultural diversity and harmony characteristic of the true Church of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

I have no words, except Soli Deo Gloria.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Update on "Fishing at the Park"

You might remember that last summer D came home from a fishing trip with his arms full of guinea pig instead of trout.

Well our rescued piggy is now featured on the front web page of the Foggy Creek Cavy Rescue.

Sniff. Our Oreo piggy, a star--except his stage name has become "Zebra," apparently. We can always say "we knew him when."

the appliances have ears

Just last week A. was commenting on our Sharp microwave--how well it's held up! We purchased it immediately following our trip to Israel back in 1995, and it's been going strong ever since. 13 years for a small appliance - not bad, considering the way things are built to be disposable in this day and age.

The following Sunday I was reheating leftovers for our meal following church, and the trusty, faithful microwave sputtered, flickered, and sank into lifelessness, sounding very much like an organ grinder who has suddenly run out of grind.

We shouldn't have spoken in its presence, I'm convinced. It realized it was one of a kind---learning that its peers were long since cluttering a landfill somewhere, it just couldn't face life alone anymore.

We now have a new Sharp microwave in its place. And we will be very careful not to tell it how old it is.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Please Reconcile - an open letter to Bob Jones University

In general, I am not a political person. I am not a rabble rouser. I avoid conflict and confrontation.

The majority of you who come here will likely be unfamiliar with the link I'm posting above. I rarely discuss my roots or much personal information, though some of you might know I grew up in California.

And I virtually never mention the fact that I am a graduate of Bob Jones University. The primary reason is explained in that link above.

To be honest, when I first applied to attend there and was accepted, I did not realize that the school's past was linked with segregational/racist policies. It wasn't immediately apparent there in campus life, either; it simply didn't come up all that often for me to consider seriously, and it didn't affect me personally. I'm just some white girl; nothing extraordinary about me.

Now, however, I look back at certain events that occurred during my time there (2 specific instances of "whites" being counseled/forbidden to date "Asians") and I grieve about this-- the damage done to the testimony of Jesus Christ and His Church. And I regret that I didn't have the boldness to stand up and say something at the time. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, I'm by nature a non-confrontational person--though that is not an excuse.

I didn't realize that the association of my college degree would carry over into my first job interview, post-graduation. I was applying for a teaching position at a Christian school, when the principal asked me what I thought about the school's celebrating Martin Luther King Day. I wasn't sure where this question was going, to be honest. I don't remember what I answered--though I am a big fan of just about any holiday off from school ;). What floored me and sickened me was the follow-up question: "What do you feel about having a black student in your class?" I stammered out a response; why should I care what color a kid is? They're all just people! But the name of the granting institution on my degree colored (hah) certain assumptions about me as a person.

No matter how many times I tried to say, "it wasn't like that, REALLY, it wasn't" - I would hear examples of old-school graduates who, sadly, WERE. My English teacher colleague/friend Claire Teague commented to me she'd never met a BJU graduate who was as laid-back as I and Jim Mailloux (another BJ grad and colleague @ the school) were about race/segregation. My elementary teacher colleague, who, upon hearing I attended Bob Jones, said, "Oh, he was the racist, right?" (She later came to me, weeping and apologetic if she had hurt my feelings. Judi, you don't need to apologize for anything.) My friend whose grandparents-in-law - BJU affiliated - disapproved of her marrying their grandson, because she is Asian.

It's grievous. It's a blight on those who name the name of Christ. It's a reproach.

So there is a call from the alumni and past students to the current administration to make things right. Be it known that I am a lifetime member of the Alumni Association, charged with keeping the school true to the Faith delivered once for all to the saints.

May the testimony of Christ shine forth clearly.

Edit: I am not posting this because I'm a disgruntled soul with an axe to grind. I am jealously watching out for the reputation of an institution that I have loved through the years, in hopes that wrongs can be made right.

Other alumni have been much more eloquent than I am in this instance, and if I knew how to do trackback things, I would.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

the last man on earth = the last kid awake

D. awoke this morning, barking like a seal, voice high and reedy. Could I find the thermometer? No. I have a pretty good sense of what a fever feels like, though, and he definitely was on the warm side. That, plus no appetite--strong indicators that the child is not well. So D and I spent the morning at home, away from church people.

After he woke up and nibbled a few bites of oatmeal, followed by a cup of hot tea, he settled in to watch some 50's Sci-fi/horror movies (he's a fan of the monster genre), while I continued to work on my list from yesterday, occasionally pausing to visit Piper's web site, Bible Gateway, SermonAudio, etc.

D decided to watch an old Vincent Price movie called The Last Man on Earth. I warned him. Vampire zombies are one thing by daylight (flopped lifeless on the ground) - but after dark are quite another thing all together--and can be rather nervewracking.

He scorned my advice. "Mom. (eyeroll) This isn't scary at all." I decided to let it pass.

So guess which kid is still awake right now, wanting company--ANY company, so long as he doesn't have to be alone?

the unexpected task

Saturdays are catch-up days around here. The mowing-grass, pick-up yards, clean guinea pig cages, do some extra laundry and tidy the house days. Swish and swipe the bathroom sink, mirror, and floor days. Cook a few meals and put them in the fridge for busy weekdays days.

On that last front, I sent D to the garage freezer to retrieve some frozen Bubba (the name of the beef cow we purchased from Jennifer - it's so trendy-green to meet your meat!). He returned, saying he couldn't find any. This I knew to be inaccurate--we bought a quarter of a cow and I know that what's left of Bubba takes up the entire top shelf. I went out to the garage to prove my dear son wrong...obviously he hadn't looked hard enough.

When I got there, though, I couldn't find any Bubba either--not easily. Apparently someone decided to set up a shave-ice business in my freezer by leaving the door ajar. Here in Western Washington, all that moisture in the air makes great, furry icicles on the freezer coils.

So with a sunny day outside, I decided I had time to unplug, empty, and defrost the freezer. An unexpected task, but necessary if we were ever to locate food to eat from our stockpiles. I loaded the berries into one laundry basket, the corn, fish and chicken into the next, and finally uncovered Bubba from the top. Some parts of Bubba refused to leave the freezer, glued by ice to the coils, fighting for their very... well, if not life, at least avoidance of consumption.
I let them remain for the time being.

Armed with a kettle of boiling water and some crummy towels, I set the hot pot in the freezer to let the kettle do its work while I went back to my Saturday "can we fix it? yes we can!" list.

A. must have thought I had too much to do on my list, because while I was in between cooking a pot roast and cleaning guinea pigs, he took over the defrosting task (thanks!).

Meanwhile, I got two meals prepared: Bubba barley soup with butterhorn rolls, and pot roast Bubba. The butterhorns were a test-drive recipe to see if they'd be suitable to bring to Thanksgiving dinner with the Millers next week. Unfortunately, I let the milk/butter on the stove get too hot, so I think I killed the yeast in the bread dough. The flavor was great; the texture, not so much. (I have yeast bread issues. Successful breads from my kitchen almost always originate with my Breadmaster, rather than my kneading prowess.) Then again, I checked the yeast jar, and the expiration stamp said "SEPT 2008," so I may not have been completely to blame. Verdict: try again. I don't consider any baking project to be beyond my grasp. (Miffed Sniff)

Dinner last night was ground Bubba dolled up with a jar of Trader Joe's Eggplant Caponata (the family says BUY THIS AGAIN), served over linguini noodles. Basically, spaghetti with meat sauce, but oh, the sauce! A. will be near a TJ's tomorrow when he takes S. to choir, so I'll send him with a shopping list.

The evening wore on, and, after getting kids in and out of bathing (D actually went without a fuss), laying out "clothes kids" (making sure we have matching/ironed clothes), and preparing church bulletins for Sunday, I finally got my carcass to bed about 11:45 p.m.

I love my bed. It's a Select Comfort sleep number bed. My number is 40. (This has been an unpaid commercial announcement.) Last night I lay there, relaxing, rewinding through the events of the day.

My heart gave a throb.


So with my husband lightly snoring next to me, I sighed, sat up, and headed back to the garage, where, sure enough--all the berries and meat sat in laundry baskets--a little softer than before, true, but at least not the carrion I would find if I had remembered the following morning.

Bubba bits are back on the top shelf, with frozen veggies and other meats on the second. The berries and a casserole are on the bottom two shelves. All is well, all is refrozen, all is de-iced.

I don't quite know what the moral of this story is, other than if it wasn't on your list, and you start it, you'd better be sure you finish it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wow! Gas is 2.07 @ costco! I just filled my tank for under 30 bucks!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

tag (x3), I'm it

Thanks, Christy, Rebecca and Crystal, for assuming that I actually have something interesting and random to share. Well, random I can do....interesting, not always so much.

7 random things about me, that may or may not be interesting:

1. I have nightmares about the kids destroying the house in some way. I dream that there's crud all over the floor, or puddles of chocolate (well, that really happened once), or broken glass, or a tipped-over bag of potting soil seeping down into my carpet. Then I (in my dream state) proceed to feel extremely guilty: WHY didn't I know this had happened? HOW LONG has it been this way and I didn't know? I must be such a horrible mom/wife/housekeeper because my house looks this way - can't I even keep track of my kids? Where ARE the kids, anyway? I have dreams like this several times a month, and I wake up, anxious, heart pounding, and depressed.

2. I love, love, love California roll sushi. I learned how to make it this past summer. Great thing is, I am the ONLY person in my house who likes it, so the treat is all mine, MINE I tell you.

3. I don't like to stand by the side of the bed. When I was a kid, I would always enter bed by climbing up from the foot. The monsters weren't expecting me to get in down there; I tricked 'em that way. Nowadays I DO enter from the side, but I catch myself quickly swinging up my feet, out of reach of the edge of the bed......just in case, you understand. If you're clever, some of you can divine the scariest part (for me) of the movie The Sixth Sense.

4. I hate to go shopping for clothes. It's very stressful. I have to go alone, because it takes my total concentration, and I can't be bothered with short ones talking to me, asking me to buy thisnthat... I love it, though, when someone hands me a big bag and says, "Here, look and see if there's anything in here that you like, and give away the rest."

5. I'm exceptional at grammar, usage and mechanics of the English language. (You are hereby ordered to ignore all errors on my own blog forthwith.) I have a flair button on my facebook page that says "Yes, I corrected your grammar. Trust me, it sounds better my way." Now, I'm not as bad as all that--I will not SAY anything. But I will think it, and I cannot help myself.

6. We keep guinea pigs around so they can mow the backyard grass during the summer. That's why A. tolerates them: they're utilitarian pets. They're also cute little fuzzballs, which is why I have four of them. I'd have more if space allowed. Next summer I want to get some chickens, too--make one of those chicken tractors, and have fresh eggs (no more sweat shop eggs, a la Seinfeld).

7. I can sing a high C, but I'm an alto.

does the exception prove the rule?

When you're taking educational method classes in college, you are taught to praise a child's work ethic, rather than his intelligence. Compare "Wow, you really worked hard on this-- and I can tell" with, "Wow, you did great on this - you must be really smart"

Praising a child's persistence and determination actually goes much farther in building a student's learning habits. Why? Because the next time your student faces a difficult problem, s/he will be more likely to think, "Hey, if I work hard enough, I can come up with the answer." The student who's praised for his intelligence tends to cave under the pressure of a difficult problem, reasoning thus: "I don't understand this. I must not be very smart after all."

So today, while studying math word problems involving fractions, D was presented with this question on his assessment: "There were 56 students on a track team and 16 of them won first-place ribbons. What fractional part of the team won first-place ribbons?"

After about 10 minutes of deliberation, D finally came up with the answer of 16/56, reduced to lowest terms: 2/7.

Naturally I came forth with the praise for "job well done, lad - you worked hard, and you found out the answer all by yourself, and you were RIGHT. How does that feel?" (Must praise the student for his hard work, not his intelligence, after all--the cognitive science shows that!)

And my dear son replied, "Kinda makes me wonder if it was worth all that time and effort."

Clearly, a boy after Thoreau's heart.