Thursday, October 25, 2007

Books to read to start reflecting on worldviews

James Emery White, author of A Mind For God, was on a Stand to Reason podcast, and recommends several books and authors to start 'thinking Christianly', that is, developing good intellectual habits of reflection for engaging current competing worldviews that influence culture.

Some Christian authors and books:
James Emery White, Serious Times
Francis Schaeffer, Escape from Reason
James Sire, The Universe Next Door
Charles Colson, How Now Shall We Live?
C.S. Lewis, Abolition of Man and The Weight of Glory

Some non-Christian authors to stimulate thinking:
Nietzche, to understand postmodernism
Beckett, Camus, Sartre, for understanding existentialism
Some interesting novels: Orwell 1984 and Huxley Brave New World
Darwin (much more than Freud) for understanding naturalism

Labels: ,

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fall colors


This past weekend, Jessica and I went to Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia. It's as high as it gets in Virginia, about 5000 feet. We saw beautiful views of the multicolored forest, just now in peak color (deep reds and oranges). The highlands are kind of an 'island in the sky' compared to the surrounding area. It's categorized as a subarctic zone, whatever that means. It has open meadows, giving views as far as 70 miles, and there's exposed rock everywhere.
This may be common in the West, but it's rare for Virginia. It kind of reminded me of the high alpine landscapes along the Pacific Crest Trail. And, get this, there are wild ponies!

Labels: ,

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Finally one of my favorite pics...

from my mom's visit.

More found HERE.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lots to talk about... good, bad, and ugly.

I had wanted my next post to be pictures but I have put it off due to there being so many pictures to sort and I was kinda lazy. Actually it was a combination of busy and laziness.

So, here are some things I've been up to.

Monday night Shane and I went to a dedication service at church. Our church has undergone major changes (demolition, construction, and renovation). Long story, but anyhow, now it is not only our church but also a conference center and a center for spiritual renewal for pastors and their families. It was very interesting as many of the people in attendance were the higher ups in the Foursquare Church denomination.

Tuesday night, there was a special speaker at VT talking to faculty, staff and students. That speaker is the world known apologist, Ravi Zachariahs. His message was very interesting! Soon it will be available in recording - maybe podcast? I hope. I would like to listen to it again. He just had so many things to say in his message, too hard to encapsulate for summarising on a blog.

Last night, there was a second part to his message. This time it was open to the general public. Pretty cool. We went to it as well.

Two other things going on are not so cool. The first is that Chispita has some kind of skin problem. I am hoping it is not skin cancer. I took her in to see the vet on Monday and they scraped a little piece off. Unfortunately they didn't scrape enough to determine exactly what it is. So, Monday I will take her in to get knocked out and the whole thing will be removed. I am not too happy about that. Especially since I've had to keep an eye on her because she keeps licking where they scraped her. It is so gross! She'll probably need to wear a cone after that to keep her from licking!

The other thing is that the transmission in our truck is having problems. Fortunately, it was just a cable and they will not have to overhaul the whole thing. It will still be expensive, but at least it won't be thousands! So, we are without a vehicle until Monday. Oh well, maybe we'll do a little more walking! Yesterday, the weather was in the 80s, but today it has suddenly dropped to 54 degrees with rain in the evening, in the 40s! Yikes! It was actually pretty earlier today. Breezy, a little chilly, but nice and sunny.

Okay, now for the ugly.... the week has been full of its ups and downs. In spite of the two problems aforementioned, everything else has been pretty cool. The weather, the fall foliage, walks and all around good times, in the middle of all this there was tragedy on our block. My neighbor two doors down died. Yesterday was such a beautiful day. The first time I was inspired to go outside and rake the leaves and clean a window. It was a glorious day; it was sunny, breezy, simply wonderful outside. When I noticed the ambulance in front of my neighbors house. Then the police showed up. My neighbor had an elderly bedridden mother he was caring for so I just assumed they were picking her up as usual, even though it was peculiar that the police showed up.

After a few hours had passed the police left but other emergency personnel vehicles were still lingering then I notice that there were forensics people, too. It was strange. Finally, I overheard the social workers outside my dining room window. They were talking on the phone trying to place my neighbor's mother in some hospital or some facility. I overheard that he had died. I was so sad and shocked. I went outside to inquire. Apparently he did not die of natural causes. I knew he had guns in the house so I am assuming the worst. The social worker did not specify except that it was not natural causes.

I am sad. He was a good neighbor. When the shootings at tech happened, he was quick to email Shane and ask if he was okay. He didn't know we were out of town. He just noticed that we weren't home, so he emailed. He loved to bbq. He was always out on his porch cooking some steak or shrimp. We chatted many times when I would walk past his house to got get our mail. He was very friendly. One time he brought us some smoked bbq pork he had made. It was really good. I remember last month there was some guy running from the cops in our neighborhood (very unusual occurrence). I didn't know so I was on the porch letting Chispita out. I looked outside and noticed so many police cars on our block. I looked over to his house and saw him on his porch. I asked what was the fuzz about. He informed me and told me not to worry, he showed me his gun. He said if anyone tried anything they'd be in for a surprise. I laughed and felt reassured. We had had several talks about his guns and protection and all that, so I wasn't surprised.

I am really saddened by this. I've never known anyone that took their own life. Even though he wasn't a very close friend, he was a friendly neighbor. I enjoyed talking to him. Today I walked past his house and it was weird to see his bbq grill out there. It wasn't just a grill it was also a smoker. He was particular about bbq. The grill cost a grip, around $1700. I remember telling him he should lock it up. He just laughed at me, I'm so L.A. Well, it's still out there. A sign next to it reads "BBQ cook with an attitude".

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My Mom was in town.

It has been a busy time around here. My mom was been visiting from Sept. 6th through the 29th. We ran and lounged around a lot. My mom liked it here. She said it's really pretty. She loved that it is so green. She got a glimpse of the leaves starting to change. That was cool. We did lots! I will post some pics in a moment.

Life is good. The weather was pretty hot for a while, but it seems to be cooling down. It's great! Apparently something is going on with the environment that is making the leaves turn early. Its pretty, but early. So that is worrisome to the people that study the environment. Well anyway, I hope it isn't too grave.

I can't believe it is already October! The summer just blew right by. My garden is still somewhat alive. The jalapenos still look pretty. I hope they live through the winter. I think I will bring them into the house when it gets colder. The rest of the plants have a withered and dying look to them. The cherry tomatoes are still kinda growing, but I can't say that I really liked the them. They were itty bitty, smaller than marbles. Next year I will plant regular sized tomatoes.

While my mom was here we showed her our pictures from the past year. Amazing! It's been year already and we did so many things. This year will be different. Kinda like sophomore year in high school, everything is still kinda new but now we've got some experience.

The major difference this year will be that we will be more careful about our activities due to me being pregnant. (Yes, I am pregnant!) This changes everything! Last year we missed taking a canoe trip down the river to see the fall foliage and had planned to do it this year. Well, that is not gonna happen. Too dangerous. Yeah, I know our friend, Jen, canoed in Alaska while pregnant- but I am just not that brave!

Anyhow, I am three months pregnant. It has made this summer very interesting. Morning sickness while traveling and hosting family visits was extremely tiring. I love my family and I was so thrilled that they came out to visit, but it really wore me out. Now, I am so glad to finally be home relaxing and trying to get back into routine. I have the longest to-do list!

Answers to FAQ:
We don't know the gender of the baby- we want to be surprised.

We don't have names yet. We have some we are considering as middle names but nothing definite. If you have any ideas, please let us know. I want something that can be read in both English and Spanish. For example: David or Adelina....
It's a bit of a challenge. Even a name that has a Spanish version, like Matthew= Mateo, Andrew=Andres, .....
Well, that is what I would prefer, but any suggestions would be considered.

I am starting to show. I am in the in between stage where my pants don't zip all the way but maternity gear is still too big. So, I kinda just look a little fat in the middle.

The reality has not really sunk in. I mean, we talk about it, I feel sick, I've gone to the doctors, I have an ultrasound picture.... but the reality of it being a baby... not quite sunk in. It is unreal. Most people refer to their baby as "baby" or "he" or "she",... I can't stop referring to it as "it"! Soon I hope to feel it moving and it will become "baby". Maybe its because in Spanish I would refer to it in the same terms as he or she. Everything is conjugated in the terms of it, he or she. All the same. Hummm... maybe that explains it. It's my bilingualism. Whatever the case, I have to stop referring to the baby as "it".

Some pics coming soon.