Month: June 2008

  • Prayer for France

    Tay, my oldest son who is on a mission team in France, messaged me yesterday with a few items for prayer,
    which I had requested to share at church. He asked for prayer for four things:
    1…..English-as-a-second-language conversations that they are having.
    2…..Surveys that they are doing on the streets of Nantes.
    3…..The campsites that they are moving into this week, where they will prepare their own cooking.
    4…..The distribution of the church’s newsletter Reflexions.

    Today I received a post from the Irish missionary that Tay’s team is working with in France. He wrote:
    1…..Praise God for the safe arrival of the summer team and for the work already
    accomplished. Thank Him that their level of French is such that they have been able
    to do questionnaires and all have been encouraged by having had some good, even
    lengthy, conversations. As well as taking the regular Children’s Club and using
    their musical talent at a social evening for our church family, they have also
    started distributing Réflexions and flyers offering English conversation (in our
    estate 30th June – 3rd July and in our salle 7th – 10th). DV they are to take the
    youth group on Friday 4th, hold an open-air Children’s Club 7th – 10th and put on an
    American evening on Friday 11th. Despite the holiday period pray that these
    activities may enable us to get to know new people of all ages, that there will be
    good openings to witness to them and especially that, in time, the conversations,
    distribution and youth work will produce lasting fruit.

    2……The summer is the time when many short-term teams are at work in France. At least
    three others, to our knowledge, will be in Nantes in July. It is encouraging to know
    that as a result, many will be praying for the city. Pray that all the sowing may
    produce a harvest and that the experience may plant ideas for future vocations.

    3……Give thanks for the presence of some Dutch tourists, a lady staying with
    Christine, and a young lady from the neighbourhood (Elodie) at a recent service -
    all for the first time.

    Priez pour France! Pray for France!

    ||||||| lynard

  • Where’s Waldo?

    We have spent the week in Beaver Falls, Pa., at the Reformed Presbyterian Synod. I tended to the bookstore with Levi’s aid, and Drew covered the proceedings for the web blog and magazine. You can read his reports and that of reporter Brad Johnston here:

    See if you can find Drew in the Synod delegates picture:

    ||||||  lynard

  • The Books of Psalms

    Tonight at church we had a class about the structure of the Book of Psalms, or more exactly, the BOOKS of Psalms. There are actually five books, compiled during the post-exile period of Israel.

    Rabbis theorize that the five books correspond to the five books of the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy). They see a lot of parallels between David and Moses in the psalms. Christians, on the other hand, see more parallels with David and the Messiah King, Jesus Christ. Both Jewish and Christian scholars recognize the psalm book divisions in the same places. Each of the five books ends in a hymn of praise, a doxology.

    Our teacher tonight, Paul Martin, generally characterized the five books this way:
    Book 1 (Psalms 1-40) is about “the seed of the woman,” Christ, being constantly assailed by the seed of the serpent. (See Gen. 3).
    Book 2 (Psalms 41-72) is about the relationship between the Messiah King and the church, including conflict, union, the separation of sin, and the offer of redemption.
    Book 3 (Psalms 73-89) is about the Messiah King (Jesus) leading His people to repentance.
    Book 4 (Psalms 90-106) is about the testimonies of enduring faith in God.
    Book 5 (Psalms 107-150) is a liturgy of praise.

    Jesus quoted from the psalms more than any other book of scripture, often claiming that what was written was about him. The psalms are, indeed, amazing to read–emotional, personal and Messiah-centered.

    Blessings on my brother-in-law who was ordained in the conservative Anglican church this week. (I stole this pic from his wife’s xanga. Hee hee.) The other guy is my father-in-law, a Presbyterian minister.  Grace and peace, Tom!

    ||||||  lynard

  • Swiss Boy

    I don’t want to steal his thunder or snag his comments, so I won’t embed his video here. If you want to see my son’s first video installment from his mission work, go to his xanga and click on his YouTube link:

    ||||||   lynard

  • pronounciation vs. pronunciation

    So how do you pronounce “often”? Do you say the “t” or not?

    This was a discussion we had with my visiting father-on-law. He is always entertaining company because he writes and reads poetry, discusses issues and language, and provides a worthy word game opponent.

    So out came the newer Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and my old Oxford English Dictionary. The latter offers no pronunciation (not “pronOWnciation”) of the “t.” But the newer Webster’s suggests the “t” can be pronounced as a second, less preferred alternative.

    My father-in-law was taught never to pronounce the “t” and he obviously received a superior education.

    I don’t remember being taught that, and sometimes would feel like I was not speaking correctly to spurn the “t.” Here I was doing the right thing. Who knew?

    The following link lists other commonly mispronunciations, such as “prerogative,” “spit and image,”"diphtheria,” and “electoral”:

    Enjoy your language!

    ||||||  lynard

  • Kids Disperse

    My oldest son begins a week in Switzerland today, helping with a Bible conference for US service men and women stationed in Germany. His mission team is in charge of 40 young ‘uns for a VBS-type program. After a week, his team takes a train to France to help missionaries there for a few weeks. Pray for him as he is the leader of the team of eight.

    My other son is preparing for the Theological Foundation for Youth program by reading heavy duty books such as Augustine’s Confessions and something by Gresham Machen. When the TFY program begins, he will leave us for 12 days. He is also making plans to practice with his band and secure some more gigs. As always, he is songwriting.

    My daughter is leaving soon for Philadelphia to visit her dear Aunt Anne and, Lord willing, be helpful with her twins. She will be leaving soon with her dear grandpa who is visiting now.

    I shall miss them all, but yet am excited for their choices and work.

    Guess I’ll be Googling internet recipes for 2-3 in the near future. Weird.

    ||||||  lynard

  • Her Laugh

    My son produced this video in his hiatus between school and coming home. I think it is a tribute, of sorts, to a friend of his:

    |||||| lynard

  • Dha Phone Message

    I was out walking in the evening when two urban girls, dressed a bit preppy, asked me for the time. When I flipped open my phone, the one girl asked me if I paid for my minutes. I thought I knew where this might be leading, so I said, “Well, yes.” (I have a limit.)

    “Could we use your phone to send a text message then? Our phone ran out of battery.” They were very polite, sweet, well spoken.


    When the most talkative girl started pushing my phone’s buttons, she shook her head, “I canNOT do this.” I had the T9 feature toggled to save key strokes. The phone was trying to guess what words the girl was typing. She was frustrated by this feature.

    “Oh, I can turn that off.” I fixed it and her fingers flew, and she smiled sweetly as she handed me back my phone.

    “Thanks so much,” they both crossed the street toward the bus stop, waving.

    I returned to my uphill stroll, and later, when I returned to the bus stop area, they were just boarding and my phone buzzed in my pocket. Yes, a return message.

    It read, “Hurry, the store closes at 9.” Well, it was too late to relay the message, and they were on the bus now.

    Out of curiosity, I punched up the original message that the two girls had sent. It was then I understood why the girl couldn’t use T9, which guessed words. She was using a different language:

    Lisa dis is tosha we on our way we on dha bus

    She wouldn’t want the phone to guess “the” when she meant “dha.”

    I was fascinated. This was not instant message language. This was a distinct urban-speak…deliberate and well crafted. The girls had spoken to me in my language with sound grammar–with a “th” in “the.” But this was not how they talked to each other or wrote. They talked like “dis”:

    Lisa dis is tosha we on our way we on dha bus

    [The funniest thing is that when they messaged, they hadn't even crossed the street to the bus stop. Definitely not on dha bus. They boarded at 8:45, and the possibility of them getting to the mall by 9 a.m. was not likely. Poor girls.]

    Technology and language: I’ve already seen this relationship morphing my English students’ papers. I guess there is more to come. English is always changing, evolving. But cell phones and AIM are going to exponentially accelerate the etymological evolutions, in my humble opinion, I mean, IMHO.

    ||||||  lynard

  • I Spy with My T.V. Eye

    Since we have a full nest this week, we’ve been watching some flicks.

    Last night, it was Scoop with Scarlett Johansson and Woody Allen. A famous investigative journalist (Hugh Jackman) has died and is being ferried across the Styx when he hears a major scoop from another dead companion. The story, which would solve serial killings in the U.K., compels him to outwit the ferryman so that he can give the story to a living reporter. That reporter is stereo-typical blonde Johansson who bumbles her way through the investigation with the help of a vaudeville magician (Allen).

    This movie was dumb-funny and twisted with Allen’s wry sense of humanity. I actually enjoyed it once it gained momentum. Nothing is believable—the premise, the characters, their motivations or the plot—yet that is what is so funny. The incredulity is all played straight-faced.

    For family viewing considerations, it must be said that Johansson’s character has no moral convictions about falling into bed with men she just met that day. There is no nudity or even groping on film, but she wakes up with a sheet around her on occasion. In addition, both she and Allen use Christ’s name. Other than these issues, the flick is fairly clean.

    We also saw I Spy Returns, a 1994 made-for-TV movie, with Bill Cosby and Robert Culp—a reprise of the 1965-68 secret agent serial. It was amusing to see Cosby and Culp yuk it up again in their older selves, but overall the movie is tacky and rather-like Jell-o pudding. The movie prompted me to google some history of the original series. Did you know that Culp himself wrote the pilot and a number of the other episodes? Also, he married a Vietnamese actress that guest-starred on the show. The show was a ground-breaker in that it was filmed in exotic locations (one of the things I enjoyed in re-runs—hey, I was too young to watch it first time around!).  Something that I already knew, but had forgotten, was that it was the first series with an African-American as a lead character. And for that reason, some southern TV stations refused to run it.

    ||||||  lynard