Friday, September 29, 2006

Mizpah: The Lord is Witness pt 2


"The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent from one another."

The decided implication is that God will judge the oath-breaker. God will judge between us.

He will.

As you can see from the story, Mizpah was established between the kindred Jacob & Laban in lieu of physical battle, and that only because God had directly intervened and prevented open conflict. Everyone speaking in this courtroom scene had grievances

Let's look at them.

Jacob was aggrieved that he had been tricked into working for twice as long as he'd contracted to do and having an extra wife pushed on him as part of the deal. Laban changed Jacob's wages again and again trying to make a better deal for himself. God had prevented this from working the way it normally does in the meat realm, but Jacob was still very angry. He wanted to quit now and leave while he was still ahead of the game, as he could see his kinsman was getting hostile again. Unfortunately, Laban's previous 'sharp dealing' meant Jacob wasn't too sure Laban wouldn't just seize everything he had agreed to pay Jacob if he did. Laban had all the backup and all the connections there in Syria. So Jacob fled without warning, believing God had ordered him to go and would therefore protect Jacob's household from his unjust boss & senior relative.

Rachel and Leah were aggrieved that they had been 'sold' to Jacob for his labor over a very long period of time. (Waiting 7-14 years to marry wasn't usual then either) Worse, the money/goods that traditionally would have been theirs upon marriage had been kept by Laban and spent up. After twenty years in this situation and a bunch of kids with Jacob they have no good options now if Jacob left them or died.

Laban felt aggrieved that his best shepherd and 2x- son-in-law had left suddenly and taken most of the extended family's wealth with him. Laban suspected (correctly) that Jacob had tried to manipulate matters so that Jacob would always get the better babies out of the sheep. (What he didnt know was that Jacob's efforts were so silly they wouldn't have done a thing if God hadn't intervened on Jacob's behalf for His own reasons.) Worse, Laban's household idol(s) had vanished with him. Laban was accustomed to making things up as he went, staying vaguely within traditional bounds but always holding a trump card or three. As long as Jacob had remained at his home, Laban held hope of winning the last big hand. Meantime he was bluffing that he still held all the cards. As head of the house, technically everything was still under his authority and he could still claim a kind of ownership. Laban was very ticked things hadn't gone his way. He might well have lived down to Jacob's worst fears had God not challenged him directly.

And so we have this exchange of accusations at Jacob's camp.

Did you notice that the one who wronged the most also made the aggressive charge across the desert in order to pursue his own accusations? Jacob couldn't even defend himself without pointing out what Laban had been pulling. I've no doubt Laban was hopping mad to hear the implied criticism, no matter how true he knew it was.

& Laban had the mob on his side, initially - so he got to look around and try to make his best charge (the idol thefts) stick.

Unfortunately, Rachel HAD stolen them (to get a little of her own back), but not with Jacob's knowledge. Why doesn't God let her get caught? Simple. Jacob would have been blamed. Jacob was innocent. God preferred to vindicate his innocent servant. Rachel has some trials of her own later and dies relatively young. I wouldn't say she got away with anything. She probably felt justified in her behavior but notice this was the one action that could have undone everything. When God says He'll take care of something, it isn't wise to modify the plan.

Notice also how little remorse Laban has for his own behavior. Okay, so he can't get Jacob for theft. He knows perfectly well Jacob has a right to all he sees...but... Laban is gonna play to the crowd anyway.

His daughters 'were as strangers to him' before their departure but now he says he feels deprived because he wanted to give them a big party before they went. His son-in-law taking his wives & kids to see their paternal grandparents is likened to a violent raiding expedition. He just wants to kiss his grandkids now? yeah huh

Any more ham and Hormel would have been looking for him.

Its not really convincing, is it? So why'd he bother? As a matter of fact, his 'everything you have is really mine' speech probably didn't go over so well right after Jacob refreshed everyone's memory how much he had paid and how often the deal got changed. Notice how the tone changes immediately since everything is really my family how could I possibly hurt any of you? (turn sharp right here! Use the brakes! ssscccrrreeeEEEECCCCHHHHH!!!)

Laban knows Jacob has little standing with the society in which Laban usually lives. Even caught out, he knows his own accusations would not be rebuked by any other man as long as he could make some decent-sounding excuse for it. If he can get the herds back to his community everybody will agree with him tomorrow because he's de big stinky cheese in da tent. He is playing everything up to manipulate Jacob with the other men he knows are listening. He is not focused on justice, just on making the situation end as profitably as possible for Laban.

I feel sure he also knew the ladies felt ripped off. He knew perfectly well that witholding their money had made it hard for them to marry anyone BUT Jacob. Still, as far as he is concerned, he had the right to make the arrangements and if they didn't like them - tough! He was the judge of what rights they had. He'd gotten 'em married, hadn't he?

Laban seems to be one of those who figures that if he has the power to do something, he also has the moral right, and that if he can get the crowd to agree that his gripes are fair, God has to go along with it & call him righteous. I've seen a number of people try this, even today.

As near as I can tell the internal argument goes..."I can't see God's face & I'm ignoring that little voice. If a group of followers agrees that my cause is just, I have a good argument for saying I didn't know any better in Heaven's court...especially if I deliberately forget what I did that I knew was wrong at the time, and believe my own slander about the person. After all, if I can get enough people believing ugly things about my victim(s), they must have no favor with anyone, ergo: they must deserve it. God must hate them too." ***

[big hint: Heaven doesn't work this way.]

We know Laban had been trying to rip off Jacob's whole household

- but all Laban sees is that his social aspirations are endangered and ...that someone had taken something from him! And without any contractual excuses! Oh the inhumanity of it all! He wants justice! Now!

Laban is not a good loser. He's not about to admit God may have had a larger part in the story than the one warning dream he mentions. Laban has no intention of admitting... anything, actually. He's not the kinda guy to back down, show humility, or remorse. That's for losers...

But he isn't as bad as he could be or could have been. His indignant comments suggest to me that Laban is patting himself on the back for not being more violent, dishonest, or high-handed. People often do that too. They compare themselves as favorably as possible with the world's standard, instead of God's perfection. Somewhere in there must be the hope that God will grade on the curve. Even if he did, the upgrade still wouldn't equal a pass for the class. Think about it. You may be one up on your temptor demon, but that demon is already going to hell. Standing on its head won't make your eternal home a better place.

Instead God says that even our best efforts at righteousness are as filthy (mense) rags. [Is 64:6] Think about it. Our BEST efforts are unclean, nasty, gross, icky, unhealthy..and those are the good days. Without God's covering grace we'd have no hope at all. WITH God's covering grace and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit our standard is Jesus, the perfect one, not our neighbor, not our ugliest temptations. Its challenge enough to keep you busy your whole lifetime.

Hey, at least you won't be bored.

Getting back to Laban... our indignant, carnally-minded, brother....

Yes, to be fair, Laban had shown some restraint. He was willing to bend the facts & situation - to the breaking point- in an effort to make himself look good & the other guy look bad, but not make anything up wholecloth. He did at least keep to the letter of his contracts. The irony here is that you know what Laban has done, yet he probably felt that he was honest (comparatively) and had been cheated by Jacob's household because of the way things had gone for him. He kept the women's money, and it vanished. He changed the wages of the livestock, and the births changed to compensate. He tricks Jacob into marrying Leah first, and she gives him a quiverful of kids. No matter what he did, God made sure it worked out for the best for his Covenanted One. God gave Jacob everything anyway. It was also God that stayed Laban's hand from his worst temptations. God remained in control of the situation and looked out for those who trusted in him. Laban looked to his pet idols, the crowd, and his own wits. Calling on God was a last resort.

& As far as Laban is concerned his demand for satisfaction for the sin against him is a completely separate matter from his own sins...even to the same people.

We'd better be careful how we view that particular sin. Everyone in carnal mode does that one. Your spouse snaps at you and you are 'righteously' indignant, somehow managing to forget that you've been criticizing your partner all afternoon.

You have a private exchange with a co-worker who feels you've wronged them and you jump at first thing on the list you feel you can honestly refute. Bristling with indignation you want to denounce them for getting in your face, totally ignoring the fact that other points were just. Will you expand the war or feel smugly superior that you didn't say 'all you know' about 'how they did you.' This is not the grieved humility saddened to have hurt your neighbor, a concern for the relationship would have worked toward Godly repentence. This is the carnality wearing fallen man's 'filthy rag' robe... and calling it white. consider Gal 5:13- 26

(btw If you said line B to would commit three sins. You would be following the spirit of wrath/dissension instead of grace, warring upon your neighbor and creating a lying innuendo that implied the other one sinned far more than you did. How easy it is to add sin to sin when we don't seek God's ways!)

That's the carnal fallen man for you. He always jumps up to defend his own interests, puts himself in his best light, and believes he can justify himself at another's expense if he puts it just right. The most deceived think they can fool heaven.

Laban wasn't going to win the PR war this time and God had flat warned Laban to behave but...

God's message to Laban is interesting. For one thing, I am not sure we heard all of it. Laban says that 'the God of your father' told him "Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad." Laban gives this as the reason he didn't immediately violently attack the family. Laban admits he is changing his plans because of what God told him, and the restriction of activities is not in this bit. He doesn't precisely obey even what he reported as Laban certainly didn't keep his mouth off of Jacob when they met! Had Laban obeyed God even in this, he would have been better off, as Jacob's replies were humiliating...

The Mizpah covenant.

Genesis 31:44 Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.
45 And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.
46 And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap.
47 And Laban called it Jegarsahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed.
48 And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed;
49 And Mizpah; for he said, The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.
Genesis 31: 50 If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee.
51 And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee;
52 This heap be witness, and this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm.
53 The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac.
54 Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.
55 And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place.

Notice that even in 'making peace' Laban adds in a few insults, conditions, and accusations to the 'covenant' with his 'loved ones.' Jacob is never to marry anyone else no matter what. God will see if you ever mistreat my daughters/grandkids! (um..who had the sword out, Granddad?) and so on... They swear before the real God, Laban's lost pet 'gods,' & before the ancestors, that they will not attack each other. There is a big dinner. Jacob makes a sacrifice to God (probably as a thank you for keeping Laban on a leash). There's a touching visit with the grandkids and then Laban finally gives it up and goes home.

Any takers as to whether Laban was smiling under his beard? Planning to send New Year's cards? Commended his daughters and son-in-law warmly to the neighbors when he got home? yeah. thought not. Truly making peace is difficult for the carnal man. Treaties are about as good as it gets. The more honorable will at least try to keep to terms. Laban knew all about terms...and loopholes.. and escape clauses... but God was the arbiter of this one. It held.

This is what Mizpah was about.

"God saw what you did to me! God will get you if you wrong my interests further!"

Yes, God saw. God saw what everybody did long before they invoked His name to settle the matter. God also saw that the results went the best way possible for those who trusted in Him first.

Jacob wasn't always the epitome of upright behavior, but in this circumstance he had more favor than wily, worldly-wise, self-righteously-indignant Laban.

Just the same.... Laban is in the family. Laban is Jacob's relative. Laban is willing to make a covenant before God and keep it. Laban doesn't live for God first, but he does acknowledge God. There is room for growth. There is still hope for him. God gives him the time to make the right choice beyond this day. Laban remains under different rules than a stranger would be. That is important to note.

Mizpah was enforced on family

How does this fit in with the New Testament & our lives today?

part 3 coming up!

***Proverbs 26: 28 "A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mizpah: The Lord is Witness pt 1


Sometime back I began a series of reflections/meditations called "the Cleansing of the Bride." Its one of my 'almost a book' projects, or at least it would be if I put all the notes into one place.

Mizpah is one of the chapters. It is too big to give all at once so I will break it over several days.

This first part deals with its meaning.



You've seen the cute half-coin sets and pendants. They are usually sold as best-buddy sets or as romantic trinkets, with two halves of a heart or a stone or whatever. "God watch between us while we are apart." Sounds like a prayer for the well-being of your loved one. Sounds nice.

There's nothing wrong with that sentiment.

Nevertheless, that is not the story of Mizpah. That is not what the words meant. This part of Jacob's story must be one of the least taught lessons in the church today, but we would be wise to learn from it. Several of the concepts illustrated here are crucial to living well before God.

First. Please just read the story from scripture.


Genesis 31:5 And [Jacob] said to them, I see your father's countenance, that it is not towards me as before: but the God of my father hath been with me.
6 And ye know that with all my power I have served your father.
7 And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times: but God suffered him not to hurt me.
8 If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the cattle bore speckled: and if he said thus, The ring-streaked shall be thy hire; then all the cattle bore ring-streaked.
9 Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me.
10 And it came to pass at the time that the cattle conceived, that I lifted up my eyes, and saw in a dream, and behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ring-streaked, speckled, and grizzled.
11 And the angel of God spoke to me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lift up now thy eyes and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ring-streaked, speckled, and grizzled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth to thee.
Genesis 31:13 I am the God of Beth-el, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst to me a vow: now arise, depart from this land, and return to the land of thy kindred.
14 And Rachel and Leah answered, and said to him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house?
15 Are we not counted by him strangers; for he hath sold us, and hath quite consumed also our money.
16 For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and our children's: now then whatever God hath said to thee, do.
17 Then Jacob arose, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;
18 And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gained, the cattle of his getting, which he had gained in Padan-aram; to go to Isaac, his father, in the land of Canaan.
19 And Laban went to shear his sheep; and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father's.
Genesis 31:20 And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he was about to depart.
21 So he fled with all that he had; and he arose, and passed over the river, and set his face towards the mount Gilead.
22 And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled.
23 And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey: and they overtook him in the mount Gilead.
24 And God came to Laban, the Syrian, in a dream by night, and said to him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.
25 Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban, with his brethren, pitched in the mount of Gilead.
26 And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?
27 Why didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me, and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp?
28 And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons, and my daughters? thou hast now done foolishly in so doing.
29 It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spoke to me yesternight, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.
30 And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou didst earnestly long after thy father's house; yet why hast thou stolen my gods?
31 And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, It may be thou wouldest take thy daughters from me by force.
Genesis 31:32 With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee: for Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.
33 And Laban went into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the two maid-servants' tents; but he found them not. Then he went out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent.
34 Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel's furniture, and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not.
35 And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched, but found not the images.
36 And Jacob was wroth, and chid with Laban: and Jacob answered, and said to Laban, What is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast so eagerly pursued after me?
37 Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household-stuff? set it here before my brethren, and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us both.
Genesis 31:38 These twenty years have I been with thee: thy ewes and thy she-goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten.
39 That which was torn by beasts, I brought not to thee; I bore the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night.
40 Thus I was; in the day the drouth consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from my eyes.
41 Thus have I been twenty years in thy house: I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times.
42 Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac had been with me, surely thou hadst now sent me away empty. God hath seen my affliction, and the labor of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.
Genesis 31:43 And Laban answered, and said to Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine; and what can I do this day to these my daughters, or to their children which they have borne?
44 Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.
45 And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.
46 And Jacob said to his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made a heap: and they ate there upon the heap.
47 And Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed:
48 And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed:
49 And Mizpah; for he said, The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another. Webster 1833 ed

I'll put the first part of my reflections on it on the next blog.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Its in the Way That You Use It....

Today was grocery day! Zee big trip takes me into the neighboring city & is always expensive, but happy! On the way we did a little people watching (as always) and got into a mild debate about some of their facial features. One lady's expression reminded my spouse of a bulldog and he wondered at the body styles God gave some folks. But I have seen all sorts of types of people who, because they have a good heart/expression, make their 'type' worth having. I remember a loving lady at a church whose 'bulldog' style meant being determinedly loving. Was she beautiful? With that heart, yes!

Conversely, I knew a guy in my high school who was such a snot that many of us never noticed his physical gifts. His face was always contorted with a sneer. A couple of years after I graduated, an acquaintance looking through my old pics asked about the 'hot guy' in several of my club photos etc. Took me a long while to realize who she meant. He was smiling in those shots. Interestingly, she didn't identify him as the same guy in the ones with a expression.

Now some people know how to look beautiful/charming but still have bad hearts. Some are afflicted with non-symmetrical faces or other aesthetic burdens that are hard for some folks to overlook, but most of us are greatly enhanced (even physically!)- or reduced by the lack of- love, humility, gratitude, hope, and joy.

In our positions too we have the chance to bless the lives of those around us, to show extra love to our families and friends in big and small ways, or dwell in the mire of petty offenses, grudges, slander, self-centeredness. A book I read sometime ago (I think it was Bad Girls of the Bible) suggested that even Delilah had held Samson less by her beauty than by her willingness to cater to him, to offer those little kindnesses and compliments that can feed a soul (or an ego!)

You'd be amazed how much love you can show by being willing to have a servant's heart toward your family. Try bringing a meal to your spouse in bed occasionally. Make your daughter a lovely skirt. Help your son find all his legos without the lecture (this time ;) Tell them when they do well (without mentioning the other time.) Keep a prayer list of their desires and needs. Keep a 'goodies' list of the things they mention over the year for birthdays and Christmas. Have 'favorite' meal nights.

Sounds like 'spoiling' them? Doesn't have to be. You can do all this and more and - as long as you also are firm in your discipline (the least popular form of love) - you will ensure that they always know that you love them, whether you said it today or not. Hugs are good, words are good, consistent actions are better. All of them well integrated into our lives is best of all.

Isn't it the love God showed us that he didn't have to, the extra miles He was willing to go to avoid judging us, the undeserved favor and care he gives us daily that make our lives worth living? Freely we receive, so freely we must learn to give. (and receive from one another. This is another weakpoint for some.)

If you think physical beauty or fame will reduce the need to develop the inner graces, consider how many divorces and other troubles the famous seem to have. You don't need to read a gossip rag to realize that all the trappings of worldly success do not wear well without a willingness to focus on the needs and merits of others. Even the most successful manipulator's selfish ways will wear thin over time, but a gentle spirit warms, heals, and builds up all those touched by its words and example.

Its all in the way you use what God gave you.

1 Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in decent apparel, with modesty and sobriety; not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array,
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Webster 1833

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

in the news...

Sometimes I definitely feel like commenting on the news I hear. Usually, though, the time period for my observations passes before I get around to blogging again. Guess you're outta luck this week. :P

Definitely feel that the Muslimic over-reaction to Pope Benedict's measured words have more than affirmed his point. They even make a good case for the quotes that he made a point of not espousing... We've known Muslims who we totally respected but this behavior in lands where Islam is the only faith doesn't reflect well on their belief system at all! I think it was the 'protest killing' of that elderly nun that really did it for me. What kind of point do they think they are making by burning churches with women and children in them or by murdering a harmless old woman who spends all her time trying to help others?

I think, in time, Benedict will be shown to be in the right. But is it just coincidence that during this hullaballoo Pope Pius XI is finally being vindicated for his opposition to fascism at the height of its popularity?


My sympathies and prayers to the shooter's victims and their families in Montreal.

Very sad to hear about death squads in Iraq. That was one of the abuses we idealistic people had hoped to stop. :(((

Lord, please help the new Iraqi gov't get it under control so our men can come home!

We tend not to be surprised when we discover our national politicians are less In fact, about all national politicians have been criticized in the media so much that we (as a people) rarely credit any of them with the honesty we demand from our state & community leaders. We often go too far, imho, in not giving them at least the benefit of a doubt. Judging by their the outrage, it would seem Hungary's people have higher expectations... But why do they think Siberia would accept their minister?

Nearer home, things are going fairly well, Finally got some extra memory for the ole compies. William is doing well with his new curriculum. Tom is still healing. I've got a new toy ^_^ & it looks like Tom may get his jeep into regularly usable condition on the cheap (stay tuned! ;) Mom has seen relief from a concern she had. Its all good, though not always easy.

We are very grateful that Hurricane Florence kept away from us and didnt do too much to Bermuda. Looks like Hurricane Gordon may weaken just in time to give Spain & Portugal some much needed rain. God have mercy on the Azores inthe meantime though! Helene looking today like she may turn away from land also, but you never count a hurricane out until it has definitely gone away... We will stay ready!

I guess that's it for now!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Ernesto poem & pics

Finally got a few minutes to share these! Here's the pics & poem from Ernesto. (If you click the pics you can see larger versions)


Our trees dance with flowing grace
the young ones bow
the old ones brace
the wind sloughs off the old dead face
and bids them courtsey to the storm

A driving rain makes misty sky
with paley-grey great weeping eye
I do not know why it should cry
when all is green and warm

The power flickers then it fades
ends the nervous chatter o'er airwaves
its peaceful here, where mercy stays
and rest in God is the norm

A good oil lamp can put out plenty of light, as long as you remember to keep plenty of reserves on hand. We try to keep our many lamps trimmed & ready at all times. Nobody knows when the bridegroom will arrive. ;-)

Monday, September 11, 2006

For 9-11

They said it better than I could. God Bless!

More quizzles

I don't have a lot to say on this sad day or remembrance, but I didn't want to leave the you guys without anything, so I did a few more quizzes. I hope you don't mind.

You Are Sunrise

You enjoy living a slow, fulfilling life. You enjoy living every moment, no matter how ordinary.
You are a person of reflection and meditation. You start and end every day by looking inward.
Caring and giving, you enjoy making people happy. You're often cooking for friends or buying them gifts.
All in all, you know how to love life for what it is - not for how it should be.


Square on!

You Are a Conservative Democrat

Frankly, the way most other Democrats behave embarasses you greatly.
You pride yourself on a high level of morals, and you have a good grasp on right and wrong.
It's likely you think America needs to get back to its conservative, Judeo-Christian values.
Why aren't you a Republican then? Because you believe the goverment helps more than hurts.


huh? Just when you think all the quizes out there will label dissenters from the radical left ultra-right-wing..... btw I am actually an Independent


In a Past Life...

You Were: A Kind Monk.

Where You Lived: Spain.

How You Died: Typhoid fever.


oooOOooooohh.. Is THAT why I like Cadfael so much! ;-)

I don't actually believe in 'past lives' in the reincarnation sense. What I believe is that there are spirits around who remember past lives & who can influence current ones. Yes, the psychic saw an old aura.... hanging over you. Be careful of these things, people!

{ Told you I was an independent!}


You Are 65% Left Brained, 35% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.


Alrighty. I suspect whatever ratio truly belongs to me is not a constant, but changes with the needs and focus in my life. Sometimes I am very creative & spontaneous (and losing stuff constantly) other times I am very analytical ...and I can find my glasses, paperwork, etc.

There is one BIG mistake in this writeup. Formal philosophy uses a great deal of logic, and therefore is a left-brained exercise.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

From France to the Moon in 1950...uummm?

Still no time for a real blog, but I found these fun quizzles stored away in an older draft. I retook the quizes and still got 'the Moon' & 'you are French' but it gave me 1967 for the year the second time. Interesting, as I was too small to have much of an opinion back then. Anyway, Enjoy!

You Are From the Moon

You can vibe with the steady rhythms of the Moon.
You're in touch with your emotions and intuition.
You possess a great, unmatched imagination - and an infinite memory.
Ultra-sensitive, you feel at home anywhere (or with anyone).
A total healer, you light the way in the dark for many.

You Belong in 1950


If you scored...

1950 - 1959: You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!

1960 - 1969: You are a free spirit with a huge heart. Love, peace, and happiness rule - oh, and drugs too.

1970 - 1979: Bold and brash, you take life by the horns. Whether you're partying or protesting, you give it your all!

1980 - 1989: Wild, over the top, and just a little bit cheesy. You're colorful at night - and successful during the day.

1990 - 1999: With you anything goes! You're grunge one day, ghetto fabulous the next. It's all good!

Your Inner European is French!

Smart and sophisticated.

You have the best of everything - at least, *you* think so.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Ernesto, the Pesto


We've been having a break from the 21st century. For nearly a week we've enjoyed campstove & campfire cooking, lovely oil lamp lighting, and beautiful sunsets as we sat chatting with one another until the mosquitos drove us into our shelter ...our darkened house... sans power.

Our impromptu camping experience was courtesy of Ernesto, a tropical storm with unusually powerful winds in it. The forecasters expected it to weaken much sooner, but its feeder bands kept it at near hurricane one strength for at least 12 hours after making landfall. They say Ernesto was only 60-70 miles in hour (sustained) but its gusts bent over many trees in the forest in which we the breaking point. Several landed on lines, though nothing - not even blown debris- landed in our yard.

As the gales blew by, we remained in a gentle, swirling eddy of air (marked by the flying leaves). It just about looked like an invisible angel was flying circles round us - or like a protective forcefield had been set. For this we have properly thanked God, as our neighbors were not so blessed this time and are still clearing up. Several families in the area lost more than possessions or ornamental plantings in the yard and are still grieving their loved ones. We did not even know of these losses, however, until last night when we finally got our power & cable back so - for us- it was a very peaceful period once the inital storm passed. Afterward the weather cleared and the temps remained in the 70's & 80's F (21-28 C). Very nice! We were a bit griped because of the water issues on the last day, as we had used all our buckets & hadn't gotten a turn with the generator yet, but otherwise found we can still adjust back to a more traditional lifestyle & enjoy it. I will admit though that its nice to have the computers back!

I wrote a poem in the first stages of the exceedingly polite arboreal bowing competition & took some pics of lovely scenes that I hope will come out well. At the moment I can't find the transfer cord! Guess I'll share them together when I get that loaded up. The current images are from free sites. Meantime You can see some images of Ernesto's effects from a regional paper.

Right now we're still busy cleaning up thoroughly & using up thawed foods. We were able to save most of our perishables, but not to a frozen state. Some of things we threw away were probably edible - but fish stick mush just isn't very appetizing. Even the kitties weren't impressed by that offering. LOL

We're also replacing used picnic supplies, getting more bottled water, lamp oil backups and such like because of the off chance that we may have another 'holiday' visitor. Florence is spinning away in the Atlantic, but nobody knows yet what yarns (if any) she will make.