Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Decorative Tray

This is a decorative tray, in bookmatched Curly Maple, Wenge, and Brazilian Cherry,
made for one of Deb's co-workers.


New additions to the Beaudet collection, by Heartland Furniture
In Cherry, SoftMmaple, Purple Heart, Curly Maple, and Brazilian Cherry

Luther, On His Daily Life

I do not know how strong in spirit others may be, but I cannot make myself so holy, even if I were so learned and Spirit-filled as some fancy themselves to be. But my experience is always that when I am without the Word, when I do not think about it or occupy myself with it, then no Christ is present nor indeed are any spiritual desires. But as soon as I take up a psalm or a passage of Scripture, it so shines and burns in my heart that I gain a different mood and mind. And I know that everyone will daily epxerience this for himself.
Martin Luther, Luthers Works 69, P. 18

That's what I love about Luther: he so well and honestly expresses my own daily experience. Try this with Calvin, and you always end up feeling inadequate.

My chore on those mornings when I remember to read from The Treasury of Daily Prayer, is to find a passage or two that catches my eye and heart. Then I 'm good to go. Bonhoeffer suggested studying, meditating on and praying only one short passage per week. Gobbling up a whole chapter of holy scripture in a morning's devotion is all well and good, but more often than not I find more food for thought and depth of understanding and enrichment, when I hit upon even a short verse that for whatever reason for the first time strikes a deep chord. Sometimes I have to read a chapter of scripture just to find the verse. But the hidden treasure is well worth the search. The rest of my day resonates well.

It is interesting to me to think of Luther NOT with his nose in scripture. How often did that happen? Often enough, it seems, for him to comment on it in a sermon on the 17th chapter of the gospel of John. Then again, dig through his Table Talks and you get an idea there were times when he'd spent a little too much time with his onion, sausage, and beer--especially the beer-- and not enough time in the Word. He did have a coarseness about him you would not have found, I think, in the refined John Calvin.

That's another thing I like about Luther...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Quote du Jour

Necessity is the mother of several other things besides invention.
Flannery O'Connor

I found this in a hilarious short story by the author entitled THE KING OF THE BIRDS, which is about peacocks. While it bodes of something deep and profound, it was just about peacocks. And peahens.

Quote du Jour for Ethan Bartlett

Flannery O'Connor is perhaps best when she is just writing anything, not necessarily when she is formally writing a story. A quote on Southern Writers:

Manners are of such great consequence to the novelist that any kind will do. Bad manners are better than no manners at all, and because we are losing our customary manners [She speaks of the South here], we are probably overly conscious of them; this seems to be a condition that produces writers. In the South there are more amateur authors than there are rivers and streams. It's not an activity that waits upon talent. In almost every hamlet you'll find at least one lady writing epics in Negro dialect and probably two or three old gentlemen who have impossible historical novels on the way. The woods are full of regional writers, and it is the great horror of every serious Southern writer that he will become one of them.
Ha! How long and deep is the list that could fit under the rubric "It's not an activity that waits upon talent"! I'm duly humbled, and you should be too. But is there really such a thing as "no manners at all"? I'm trying still to wrap my mind around that concept.

No manners at all. Would that be like "no taste"? I've been accused of that.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


STRATFOR, which is an intelligence gathering, evaluating, and disseminating business organization, has put together a cogent, fascinating, and a little frightening evaluation of the mounting stakes in the Israel-Iran-Russia-USA-Germany-Planetary conflaconfusion* that is percolating based upon Israel's sense that the US no longer has its back, Iran's sense that Russia has its, Obama's sense that no major international player believes he has a spine, the problem of oil and the Hormuz Strait, and the perceived slow progress toward's Iranian nuclear weaponry. Egad. Check it out.

*I. uh, I made that up.


I'm reading--desultorily--Jude Wanniski's THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS. I ran across a quote that more than caught my eye, from the little frenchman himself:

Writing to his brother Lucien on Christmas Day, 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte wrote:

"Whilst an individual owner, with a personal interest in his property, is always wide awake, and brings his plans to fruition, communal interest is inherently sleepy and unproductive, because individual enterprise is a matter of instinct, and communal enterprise is a matter of public spirit, which is rare."
A big AMEN to that. The recurring problem I have with a massive takeover of anything by government is that gummint, by nature, is sleepy and unproductive. Its real success lies in the absolute need for its workers to be dedicated and devoted, in a way that is supplied naturally to owners and private operators by, hate to say it, the motive of profit and pride. That is difficult to sustain year after year when one has no PERSONAL interest in the stewardship to which he/she is called. When an entire bureaucracy is asked to sustain it, the results are going to be much much worse than the fettered capitalism we now enjoy.

With Apologies to Ambrose Bearce

The WSJ has a very humorous piece in its Currents section entitled:

The Devil's Dictionary--Financial Edition

Bearce published the original Devil's Dictionary as "The Cynic's Word Book" in 1906; a guide to the code language which permeated the cultural landscape of the day.

The Journal's version is an attempt to humorously update and focus on the devolution of terms during this endless financial mess we are in. A few examples:

TARP,n. acronym. 1. A synthetic device designed to cover up an unsightly mess, or to protect perishable goods (firewood, banks) from the ravages of the elements, typically costing somewhere between $12.99 and $700 billion.
2. Prime example of how governments use otherwise anodyne acronyms, abbreviations and sports metaphors to disguise matters of controversy. See also TALF, TLGP, TURF, FHFA, BACKSTOP, WRAP, OFHEO, and SPECTRE.

CREDIT-DEFAULT SWAP, n. loose translation from the original Latin "ubi mel ibi apes," or "where there's honey there are bees".
1. A complex financial instrument vital to the functioning of a modern economy in the way it spreads risk among consenting parties (Greenspan, A., pre-Sept. 2008).
2. A complex financial instrument that nearly destroyed modern capitalism (Greenspan, A., post-Sept. 2008).
GREEN SHOOTS,n. 1. The first signs of spring, often clobbered by summer's heat and autumn's rain. 2. A sign the economy is falling apart more slowly than previously tought. Related: DAISIES, PUSHING UP. See also THINKING, WISHFUL.
DEFICIT,n. For the party in power, at worst a minor irritant and at best a precondition for economic growth. For the minority, the gravest threat to the stability of the Republic.

Methinks the Journal has grown cynical in its old age.