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Smart Phone Theology and Ancestral Thoughts

I’ve been 45 for 10 days now – still feels good.

I learned today that Easter next year will fall on April 16. That will be nice. Maybe we won’t freeze while hunting Easter eggs like we did yesterday and maybe the girls won’t have to wear tights and long sleeved dresses to church!

But it was still a good a weekend. We were able to go up and see my folks. I always enjoy visiting their church – lots of people there praying for us still. Will voluntarily came, as well, which surprised me. I noted to myself that this might have been one of the last, or the last, trip we all take together up there. The winds of change are beginning to tap at the windows (like they haven’t been gusting to hurricane strength the last four years, anyway!)…


I love my smart phone. I think I have mentioned that more than once. I know there’s a lot of features I probably don’t even know about yet. One of the great ones is that I can carry my music with me everywhere I go. But after more than three months of that, I’ve actually started to tire of my songs a little bit. Inspiration hit about a week ago. I have a handy little app titled, “Podcasts” which I’ve never used before. It occurred to me that I could subscribe to some radio programs that I’ve enjoyed in the past but can’t listen to regularly because I don’t want to be tied to my radio and my house radio only likes one station – conservative talk radio, which is convenient, since I’m a conservative. But other AM stations fade in and out – and forget any FM stations.

I immediately thought of Dr. Adrian Rogers. I came to appreciate him a number of years ago when our ladies Bible study did one of his studies and we’d listen to a tape of him speaking first. He has such a soothing timbre to his voice and is so on-target in his teaching. After Paul died my friend Jenny, who also loves Dr. Rogers, gave me a book on widowhood written by Dr. Roger’s wife (he died quite awhile ago). I was so pleased to find that his organization does podcasts!

I was also hoping to find Dr. David Jeremiah’s podcasts, but apparently, he doesn’t put them out. However, I found an app called One Place and not only do they have Dr. Jeremiah’s programs, but all kinds of others – Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, etc.

So, now I am listening to these programs, too, which is beneficial, of course. Last week, they put out some Easter messages of Dr. Rogers and I really liked one he did on the blood of Jesus. He made the point in one of his messages that Isaac was a type of Christ. I had never caught that before. I really wonder why – it seems like kind of a “duh” thing now. But he pointed out how Isaac was laid on wood – just like Christ – and when the ram was provided, it was caught in a briar bush. Thorns were wrapped around his head. I hear things like this and I just marvel how every part of Scripture works together and consistently points to salvation.

That’s a message, of course, the whole world needs to hear. Another bombing last week by the Muslims…it’s not going to stop. The kids were watching some news coverage of that and a couple of days afterwards, they identified and showed pictures of the bombers with the words, “Dead” on the screen beside them. Sam observed that and commented seriously, “Boy – being a bomb guy is sure a dangerous job!”

I know it’s a serious and sad subject…but that made me laugh!


Will bought a camper – sort of – a few weeks ago. I think the deal is that he will someday pay me back. So, actually, I may have bought a camper. But he did pay for the licensing and registration. He drove down to Knoxville the other day to take care of that and since the kids didn’t have school Friday he took Sam with him. He said that he and Sam got into an intense conversation about salvation. Sam has claimed for a long time that he is saved and he may very well be. I just wasn’t present when it happened. So, Will was encouraging him to make sure of it and it sounds like it was a good conversation. One thing Sam told him that I found highly interesting was that he had gone through a period of time where he just wasn’t sure if God was real or if he was being fed a line. So, he began doing quite a bit of thinking on the subject and eventually decided that, yes, God is real and it was at the point he decided salvation was for him. I have never heard of a child as young as Sam needing to make that kind of decision before. It seems like every other child I know just accepts the existence of God without much thought. It’s not a bad thing and really, knowing Sam and the way his brain works, I shouldn’t be surprised. But I still am.

From there, I guess the conversation got into telling others about Christ and Sam said to Will, “I need to be a ‘servant in shoes’.” Will didn’t know where that came from, but I explained to him that either last year or the year before that was one of the songs taught to the kids at VBS. So, the next day, Sam told me about talking to Will and reiterated to me, “I need to be a servant in shoes, Mom!” He then began throwing out bits of verses he has heard and asking me where to find them. I finally told him I would type him up a sheet of paper with these verses on it – verses designed to point someone to Jesus and tell them about salvation.

It will be interesting to see what God does with his life.

As it will all the kids’. Some of them I fear to see what will happen. Right now my main goal with Ellie is keeping her out of jail someday. The other day Lizzie complained to me that Ellie had called her a “Poopie stinky butt.” Ellie immediately protested with great indignation, “ I did NOT!” Then, “I called her a boobie stinky butt!” Because, you know, there’s a distinction there. I stuck her in the corner and a few minutes later asked her why she had to sit in the corner, facing the wall. She looked and me and sullenly replied, “Because I didn’t call Lizzie by her real name.”

Not quite.

I’ve made the decision to not have the kids ride the bus next year. I’ve been uncomfortable all year with them on there. I really believe the rides kind of have a “Lord of the Flies” flavor from what the kids tell me. They have picked up some terrible things on those rides. Both racial incidents Lizzie encountered happened on the bus. I know for awhile Lizzie was sitting by a self-described, “cutter.” Ugh. The driver is a nice guy, but from what I can tell, has very little control over the students. I’ve heard the school has or is planning to install cameras in the bus – but that’s kind of a worthless endeavor, I think. And then on top of what I’ve personally observed, I’ve been hearing other horrible stories of things that happen on bus rides in other places – like teenage boys using their phone to view porn and then turning around and molesting smaller children.

But…it’s an inconvenience to have to schedule my life around drop off and pick up times. I do not want to ever be part of the pick up line at school – I’ve observed it and it is a scary thing. I’ll have to park across the street and walk the kids into the building. Which would probably be good for all of us, health-wise.

I was talking about this the other day with Will and he said, “Well, isn’t a little inconvenience, time, and gas worth ensuring your child’s innocence doesn’t get stolen?” Well, when you put it that way…I didn’t have to think any longer. I knew what I need to do.

Plus, as I think about Ellie…she will have just turned 5 this summer when school starts the next month. That seems so young to let her ride the bus with all those juvenile delinquents. But then, as I think about who she is…I am very aware that, under the wrong influence, she could easily turn into one of those kids that every other parent wants to keep their child from! She definitely has the potential for becoming a bully.

One nice thing will be that we all get another 30-40 minutes of sleep every morning. That’s almost enough reason to do it, right there!


I’ve recently started doing my Bible reading right before I go to bed. It’s beneficial for a number of reasons. I was having too much difficulty fitting in both reading and prayer in the morning. Plus, it’s kind of nice to drift off to sleep after having spent time in the Word, and it keeps me from watching late-night tv, which is rarely any good. I was reading in 1Corinthians 7 the other night and I was so surprised by the last verse. This is in the Message Bible, which I know is a paraphrase. So, whenever I question anything in there I immediately look at the same verse in other, authenticated, versions.

A wife must stay with her husband as long as he lives. If he dies, she is free to marry anyone she chooses. She will, of course, want to marry a believer and have the blessing of the Master. By now you know that I think she’ll be better off staying single. The Master, in my opinion, thinks so, too.

I was really surprised to read this, especially in light of my more recent thoughts regarding possible remarriage. It’s better if I remain single for the rest of my life? And God thinks so, too?

Well, that’s a bummer…

I did look it up in a few other versions and that IS what it says. So now I’m wondering if it’s even ok to be on the lookout for another husband. I’m not there yet anyway, but the interest is growing. Am I not supposed to marry again? Or is it ok if God drops someone on my doorstep but it’s just not ok for me to go looking? Huh…I don’t know now.


We were up in Waterloo this weekend, as I mentioned. My mom pulled out a box of photographs that came into her possession in recent years of her parents’ growing up years. We went through it and it was absolutely fascinating. I can’t wait to spend some time really going through and reading everything in there. Not only were there pictures, but autograph books (from nearly a hundred years ago!), graduation and funeral programs…so much history. For the first time I read the names of all my grandpa’s siblings (his father was married and widowed before remarrying, so there were a lot of kids). I almost asked to take my grandma’s high school graduation picture because it was so neat and weird to see my own face looking back me. But then I’d have to figure out how to frame it and where to put it…and I just don’t feel like taking on another project at the moment, no matter how small.

The most touching moment, though, was when my mom asked me to record my grandpa’s death in the family Bible (German). He has one remaining sibling, but all the rest of the deaths are recorded. I was so nervous I didn’t write very well! But it was breath taking to record history like that.

There’s just such a sense of connectedness and belonging when you sift through memories and information like that. For some of the time, Lizzie was standing over my shoulder asking who certain people were in photographs and I’d try to explain their relation to her. But as permanent and as wonderful as adoption is, never was I more aware than I was yesterday how unnatural it is, too. I could tell her these people staring somberly in the photograph are her great-great grandparents, but she is very well aware that those people don’t look a thing like she does. She might be related, but it’s not a blood relation. It makes me feel bad and it makes me want to help her make those connections with her own birth family. I don’t know if that will ever be possible, though. That is the one down side to being into family history. Of course, it’s not a reason to not to adopt, though.


Oh, it’s late. I wrote all the above throughout the day. Then I went to my writer’s group for the first time since last fall.

Tomorrow I need to run to town in the morning and then I have to attack my list. I have a big assignment due this coming weekend in my class. Oh, and speaking of my class…

Still not loving it. It’s been especially frustrating to me every week when I turn in a writing assignment and get points knocked off for technical things. I was just beginning to learn MLA citations in my first class and this professor wants APA format – ugh! But, I turned in a paper last Friday and got 20 out of 20 possible points. Yay – finally! I’ve got a 98% in there right now. My goal, once this class started and I saw how hard it was, was just to get a B or higher, which is a 78%. Of course, there’s still five weeks left yet of the class. But I am pleased – and more than a little surprised. My advisor emailed me a couple of weeks ago to congratulate me on my A in my Intro. To Lit Theory class and she also sent me a birthday card.

Online schooling is SO different from how I remember college the first time around. I really, really like it!

All right. I need to get a shower and get to bed. Any more pithy thoughts are going to have to wait.


  1. I meant to comment on your last post that I'm weird about numbers too! I don't like prime numbers so 49 is fine (7X7) but I don't like 47, and of course that is what comes next for me :-).

    I was reading something this week about porn and kids, and how younger and younger kids are getting exposed to porn. I was feeling quite pleased that we have good filters on our computers, and then the article commented that many kids are exposed to porn by other kids pulling it up on their Smartphones. It can even happen at a church youth group. I was horrified at the thought as I know many kids who go to our church's youth group DO have Smartphones. I talked to our eldest son and daughter about it and they assured me it had never been a problem, but wow, another thing to think about...

    Re the bus, I hated riding the bus when I was a kid. My dad was principle of our elementary school and I usually could ride to and from school with him but on those rare occasions I was on the bus, it ranged from sort of Ok to horrible. It was a K-12th grade bus and there was bullying and violence, and our bus driver was totally not in control. He just drove, and ignored almost everything. I hated it. It has been a life goal, honestly, that my children NEVER ride on a school bus. I know some kids have a better experience, and locally the buses are split somewhat by age -- so K are alone, elementary kids are on their own bus, and junior high on theirs, and high school on theirs. That IS better, but I still wouldn't want my 9th grade daughter on the bus with a hulking 12 grade bullying boy.

    I know it is inconvenient but I agree the kids will do better being driven to and from school.

    So very glad the college classes are going so well; you are amazing.

  2. Yay - it's nice to know I'm not alone in my weirdness!

    One of the items on my to-do list this week is to buy filters for the kids' tablets. I have one on their main computer, but I've been disturbed with some of the stuff they're pulling up on their personal computers. It's a scary world we live in.

    And the bus thing is part of that scary world. I don't know if I'll always be able to keep them off, but I'm thinking as long as I am able, I will. It's just not worth them being hurt physically or emotionally.

    Thanks for the encouragement!


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