Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Yarn Along: Matching Hat, Missing Yarn, and a Project for Me
I have another finished item this week! I made a little coordinating hat to go with my design submission using the lace panel from my design and the same edging for the brim. This is just for Nejat to wear when she is big enough to wear the other garment itself. I've been working on a smaller one that will fit her now, for our windy spring weather. However I have run out of the yarn. And it is discontinued. If anyone has a skein, even a partial skein, of Classic Elite's Posh in hydrangea, color #93051, any dye lot, please leave a comment or e-mail me, and we can work out a way for me to buy it from you. I only have about one eighth of this project to finish.
See how sad it looks, waiting to be finished?
I've also started a fun scarf for myself. I hardly wore scarves until we lived here. Since it gets frigid for about half of the year here, I've taken to wearing them quite a bit. The ruffly yarn is a bit of a challenge for me, but I'm hoping to have this finished in time to wear it at least a couple times this spring, and pull it out again in the fall.
I've made some more progress in Christ in His Saints. Here is some more from it that has given me much to consume and consider.
First, as the initial effect of grace, repentance is not of an order different from holiness. This needs emphatically to be said, because for some few centuries now there has roamed abroad the fallacious theory that God's act by which we are justified remains external to us. This rather recent theory effectively separates repentance from holiness, as though God would declare a man righteous without actually making him righteous, pronounce him to be just without causing him to be a "saint," and convert him but without giving him a new heart. Against this theory, the Bible indicates that the conversion of repentance is not just an act of God; it is also an act of man's free will under the accepted influence of God's grace. Man's heart, his interior, is altered by repentance. . .
Next, judgment was pronounced on the house of each offender in the shape of death (Genesis 3:19; 2 Samuel 12:14). Indeed Adam and David would each be preceded to the grave by a son born of that same woman (Genesis 4:8; 2 Samuel 12:18). That is to say, in both instances sin led immediately to death (cf. Romans 5:12). On the other hand, in each example, a new son was born as a sign of promise and renewed hope (Genesis 4:25; 2 Samuel 12:24). Thus in the circumstances of Adam's and David's sins, we see a narrative sequence of fall, judgment, curse, and mercy. . .
But calling myself "chief of sinners" is not a quantitative statement. It is not a thesis that I prove by demonstrating that I have committed a larger number of sins than other people. To think of myself as the chief of sinners is not an inference based on a comparison of myself with others. Indeed, the notion of "other sinners: here is nearly a metaphor; there are no other sinners right now, at this moment of Holy Communion. Only one sinner, and only one Savior. . .
Convinced that real saints are always in need of real improvement, I suggest the following list of three useful maxims for the life in Christ.
The top of the list should probably read: "I am still a sinner and will be a sinner until the day I die, and the subtler impulses of my heart are quietly conspiring to conceal that truth from my mind." In the life of grace, absolutely nothing is less reliable than my own assessment of my spiritual progress. Indeed, any thought or sentiment suggesting to me that I have made even the slightest spiritual progress should be regarded as a temptation coming straight from the Evil One. I dally with such a thought only at my peril. Temptations to fornication, homicide, and blasphemy are more safely entertained than this one. I should flee such an impulse as I would a fire, giving it not the faintest indulgence.
A second useful maxim of the life of grace may be: "It is in no way required that I feel good about myself." God does not require it; the Bible does not require it, and the entire ascetical tradition of the Church sternly warns against it. Self-approval is expected only within certain very dubious canons of contemporary behavioral sciences. A "positive self-image" is the most overrated of modern commodities and a very bad bargain at any price. Most often, in fact, the price is a concomitant compulsive disposition to pass judgment on other struggling servants of God.
A third useful maxim of the life of grace may be this: "I am just as likely to offend God because of my virtues as I am because of my vices, and if ever I am completely undone, my fall will more probably involve my strengths than my weaknesses. Consequently, in the spiritual life it is highly deceptive and even perilous to 'play to my strengths.'"
I cannot promise to stop quoting this book. It is basically one giant underline and huge set of brackets for me. And I'm only in the second chapter. Please go read it.
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