Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The two sides

There's at least two sides to everything, as they say.
I've known it, but I was reminded of it tonight.
Sometimes, as I try to decide on something, it's as if Satan was whispering, "It's too early." At the same time, I know God says, "Today is the day of salvation."
So I listen to Satan, because I want to wait.
Then, when I change my mind minutes, days, or months down the line, Satan screams, "It's too late." At the same time God looks at me and says, "Today is the day of salvation."

I used to think that a good friend is someone who smiles and nods while you talk. Then I found out that lots of people do that, and only some of them are listening; only some of them are your friends. Sometimes the best friend you can have is the one who cuts you off when your monologue gets boring. If they didn't do it, the next polite person you repeated your "great story" to would have to be bored, too!

So if a true friend tells you how things are, and doesn't simply second your whims and wants, which is a true friend: Satan, or God? Satan, I've found, acts as if he's on my side when he wants to convince me of something. If I want to get out of work by citing a starving belly (which has never yet starved), he seconds it. God through the Holy Spirit might remind me to keep at what I should be doing, and enjoy the fruits of my work later!

When my flesh cries out, Satan cries out with it, trying to sway my resolve. God, on the other hand, often tells me to ignore my flesh and focus on Him and His Way.

When I listen to my flesh and to Satan's secondings, I always look back at the decision with shame. But when God, my true friend, helps me find the better way, I look up at Him with even more reverence than before.

As Jesus said, "I call you friend!"

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's easy to get wrapped up

Yeah, it's easy to get wrapped up in grading.

You find that some students care more about presentation than others.

You have to learn it is possible to study a report too long.

'Cause if you're going to get anything beside grading done,

You've got to focus.

Thank God for Turkeys

He carries 'em

He carries 'em:
the Burdens, and
the Wants, and
the Tears, and
the Pain.
He carries 'em.

A French Chemist

He emerged from the pile of silica gel -- I couldn't have stopped him if I'd wanted to! You see, I was running a column and I couldn't leave the hood for more than 35 seconds at a time. So I was amusing myself by playing with the spilled silica. That's when Pierre, here, made his appearance. Though his nose is upturned, he seems to be smiling. Perhaps he's sniffing at my lack of finesse in the lab. And he's right! My column nearly ran dry as I created him!

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Let me tell you: Scrabble is a great game. When our family went to San Antonio two summers ago, I played it with my sister-in-law and had a blast.
Last Sunday I played with some friends, and they showed me "Speed Scrabble." In this version, everybody starts out with seven tiles (as in a normal game). The difference is that instead of playing on a board with everyone adding to the same group of tiles, each person makes their own set of words. As soon as someone has used up all their letters, they call out, "Take two." Everybody -- whether or not they've used up their tiles -- takes two tiles and tries frantically to work it into their words. I was definitely out of my element: I usually had more tiles that needed to be made into words than completed words. But the worse I did, the more I wanted to play again!
Fortunately, they had a dictionary nearby so that you could check on words that were unfamiliar. (You're just supposed to check on words you'd already thought of -- not browse for new words!) One guy used the word "adze"!
I bought my very own version a few weeks ago, and I decided that it was high time that I learned to play Scrabble better. Some night last week I sat down and started my own version of Speed Scrabble, starting with seven tiles and adding letters by increments of two!
Last night I used every up tile in the box to make the setup shown above. And yes, I'm very proud of it. That's why I had to take a photo before I cleared it off!