Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Received today


 
Sarah got a nice home-made card of condolences today from a family called Roess living somewhere in France.

(Though we know several families by that name, the stamp on the envelope recorded neither the date nor the place of posting, much less the address. Never mind, we have our ideas.)

It's the thought that counts and it's a nice gesture.  Thank you, Roess family, for remembering your mother and your grandmother and your mother-in-law at this sad time for her.

It's a funny thing: though we try to hide we cannot.  We tend to think that life will be paused while we're away but it doesn't work like that.  Life—and death—goes on with you or without you.  What will be next?
(The Roess family sends you their condolences on the death of your mother.
The Roess family)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Peace

Every warrior's boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.

(Isaiah 9:5-7)

I can't do better, at this time of year, than echo the line that Peter has sent to us: "May the Lord help us to live these words out in our time!"

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Edith Finn

I just sent out this email to family members most concerned.  This is to share our news with all of you.



Dear family and friends,

This is the email you've been half-dreading and I don't know how to say it myself.  All is well.

Edith Jeanne Crangle Finn is no more of this life.  Born the 27th of April 1922 she went to sleep for the last time at 10:30 this morning the 10th of December 2011.

We could not keep her a moment longer.  We did all we could and she departed in peace surrounded by her family.  We'll talk in more detail later and can reminisce at length.

Today is a day of reflection and sadness to see her go.  We will really miss her.  But there is no question but that she is at last at ease and at peace such as she has not experienced for a long time.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Philippians 4:8

Much love,

Derrick & Sarah

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Overpopulation


Population is still technically growing, but according to the United Nation Population Division’s numbers, that growth is slowing dramatically.

The United Nations Population Division (UNPD) is the most reliable source of population statistics in the world, which is why we use their numbers for our videos.

And, according to the UNPD, population growth will continue to slow down over the next few decades.

In fact, if current trends persist, our growth will halt right around 8 billion by 2045.  After that, our numbers will start to fall off, slowly at first, and then faster.

If you find this whole idea counter-intuitive, don't worry!  You're not alone.  At first glance, it really does seem like the population is sky-rocketing.  That’s because we're still adding a billion every few decades . . . and a billion people is a lot of people.

But the way, we can tell that population is not ballooning out of control is precisely the fact that we’re only adding a billion people each time.  And soon, we won’t even be adding that many.

http://overpopulationisamyth.com/2-point-1-kids-a-stable-population

And just for fun, here's what John Lennon had to say on the subject :

http://www.brasschecktv.com/videos/health-and-medical/john-lennon-calls-overpopulation-a-myth.html


"Le courage, c'est de chercher la vérité et de la dire ; c'est de ne pas subir la loi du mensonge triomphant qui passe, et de ne pas faire écho, de notre âme, de notre bouche et de nos mains aux applaudissements imbéciles et aux huées fanatiques." ( Jean Jaurés, au Lycée d'Albi, le 30 juillet 1903 )

Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Birthdays

We were saying that, although there have always been TWO birthdays celebrated this week, we might have to get used to upping it to THREE now that Junia is among us!

In fact there very reason I'm sending you this picture a week late is simply because of her arrival which, naturally enough, gave us a few more important things to do . :-)

Here they are: 33 and 53 and still happy and healthy, thank the Lord!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Do you feel offended?

We received this very short note from our friend and brother Peter in Tasmania over the weekend.  It's given me much to think about and I wanted to share it with you.


In the mid-1970s, right after my sister Susie and I decided to follow the Lord, we discussed this matter.  Is it ever right, ever permissible, to feel offended by what others say or do about us?

Our conclusion was: No.  Jesus spoke sharply against the rich and the powerful.  He had no time for sin.  But stooping to argue about who said what and how in the right way did not become a part of his life.

Rather than straightening up our supposed grievances, let us pray!  Earnestly praying for the people that say unkind and possibly incorrect things about us rewards us with the inner strength and peace to keep on walking in the Light.

That is what Susie and I discovered years ago and it still works. 

Peter



What do you think?  Any comments?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

junia

Friday, November 25, 2011

Junia Evangeline Neve

Junia Evangeline was born this morning at 3:45 and weighs 4.100 !
 
 
A few hours later we got this little note, with a great picture of the happy father!



Monday, November 21, 2011

Godly Wisdom and Wordly Knowledge

Godly Wisdom and Worldly Knowledge

by Heinrich Balzer
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Live in harmony with one another.  Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited,” (Romans 12:16).
Without a doubt , if you walk with Christ in a humble way, you will discover peace, no matter how it goes.  And if you have food and clothes, why worry?  Why complain?  This is all we need.



The pursuit of greater wealth would only be harmful to all believers, everywhere.  And more prestigious positions in the world, would do nothing but destroy them.

For this reason, Matthew wrote, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).

Everything we have that we do not need is a great problem, a hindrance to everlasting salvation.  Neither do any unnecessary possessions fit to the real simplicity of the Gospel or to those who have gone before us in humble faith.

Once we get involved and interested in the world, the more things you have, the more you will need.  This is a faithful observation: The more you think about the world, the more you will love the world, and the world will love you.  Worldly knowledge will make sense to you then.  It will attract you, and finally the love of the world will drag you away from God. 

We need to stay vigilant and careful so that our young people, the tender plants in our community, will not get confused and forget the foundations of true faith.

In the light of this, it is indeed most necessary for us to teach our children in a thorough and effective way, in the light of Godly Wisdom.  Carefully, with diligence, we need to teach our children to read, to write, to sing, to grasp mathematics, and to understand everything that might be of advantage as they live as humble labourers in the country. 

All practical knowledge is useful and we may study it for the glory of God.  But what we call worldly knowledge, studying things we cannot know about for sure, all sorts of philosophies and complicated ideas, is a completely different matter.

“Knowledge puffs up,” according to 1 Corinthians 8:1, while to obtain worldly knowledge takes incredible energy, thought, resources and time.  Everything that causes us to lose the simplicity of Christ.

For this reason I beg all of you — every one of you who belong to the church-community of Christdo not waste your lives to obtain knowledge that will all blow away when you die. 

Do not waste all of your time for supposed benefits that do not last, and certainly do not throw your precious sons and daughters into that quagmire, from which it would be extremely difficult to escape and be saved. 

My council is, keep your children in practical simple pursuits.  Do not mess up their brains with all kinds of senseless and unnecessary information.  Much worthless knowledge that does nothing other but confuse, corrupt, and eventually destroy all spiritual life.  So much damage and loss, so much trouble and fear, and finally everlasting destruction (1 Corinthians 1: 29-27).
Why should you want a prestigious degree for your children?  Would it do them any good, as far as the Church community is concerned, or as far as eternal life?  Much rather, train up your children in real Christian sincerity.  Pay attention to your children. Spend time with them, work with them from their earliest years, as much as possible, so that they are not woven into all sorts of amusements and unwholesome activities among the unconverted.

Many pleasures, things that take place after dark, in weddings and the like, easily lead the young into the disorder and tragedy of the world.  Sadly not only young people have gotten involved in this.  Yet all of what we believe and what we confess comes from another source. 

Innocent pleasures, if the Lord is not in them, quickly slide into all sorts of problems and sin, leading the innocent captive.  But when we will stand before God we will need to give account for everything we did.     

Without hesitation, many Christians in our day support their country through military service, using the oath, suing others if necessary, and taking on political offices.  They think it all fits together with the Gospel.  They write beautiful Christian things.  They talk much about revival, missions and getting born again.  But if you choose to fellowship with them, if you become one with them in heart, you'd better watch out!

If you love these people and become inwardly bound in friendship, many strange things will happen.  Before you catch on what is happening, you will do one thing after the next to please those around you, while becoming more and more like them in the world.

At the same time, without catching on what is happening, you will begin to look down and criticise the brothers and sisters in the Church who hold fast to the early way.  Gradually, step by step, you will becomes just like the rest, while all sorts of new ways of living become acceptable.  What used to be wrong becomes a part of their lives, while personal convictions get weak and worldly knowledge takes charge.

Sure, very large multitudes continue to profess Christianity.  But they all stand together under the enormous umbrella of popular faith, everyone believing in Christ and wanting to be saved.  Not only saved now, but sure of eternal life, no matter what happens.  What a great promise and security!  Everyone living by faith alone.  But do you have any idea of what God thinks about it?

The devil is not at all worried about this kind of faith.  Sure, he is happy if even the whole wide world decides to profess Christ, just as long as the people continue to walk and live in selfish worldly ungodly ways.

A true Christian never separates real faith and works.  No matter how strongly and firmly he has set his salvation on Christ, he always recognises the danger of error.  Every believer, in a careless moment, could easily and tragically fall from grace.  And for this reason, day after day, we need to look to Christ, struggling further and higher, up the steep road of obedience, following the teaching the master left us.

Without thiswithout obedience and humilityour faith is worthless.  Nothing but an empty shell. 

Let no one get tricked or deceived, thinking, “If everyone else is allowed to do it, I may do it too!” Paul said, “What does not come from faith, is sin” (Romans 14:23).
Yes, we need to allow all people everywhere, to live according to their convictions.  Every person stands and falls before God, on his own.  Along with this, we are responsible to God for what we know and believeeverything we have confessed on bended knees.

No matter what anyone else does, we are totally responsible to God.  It is our duty to obey God according to what he gave us, and this is the obligation of our conscience: Faithful to God, faithful to all that we learn and follow in life as long as we live.  Let everyone take heed!

We believe that salvation and eternal blessedness only comes by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  But judgement, at the end, does not come from grace.  It will come entirely from what we Christian believers have done, or not done, while living here on earth.  The things we do are directly connected with what will finally save or condemn us.

Here is wisdom, and I hope you take it seriously: “One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike.  Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind,” (Romans 14:5).
It is nothing but hypocrisy if I publicly confess what I believe, but act and speak contrarily in private.  Neither does it stack up if I declare what is right but support what is wrong.  If I act like this, what do you expect?  Nothing will come of this but more confusion, more doubts among the weak, and finally the shipwreck of faith.

One way this can happen is through reading.  Reading books, reading papers, reading all sorts of exciting, colourful and very attractively presented stories.  Do not think this only affects the unconverted.   Any one of us, all of us who know how to read and enjoy it, stand in some danger.  You must know what I mean.

Many stories and books that show up, may be in fact based on true happenings.  But the more captivating it comes, the more subtle and powerfully destructive its influence may be. Unless the authors are really Spiritually in-tune with God, their slant is almost invariably into what is wrong, into the world, and away from eternal Truth.

Especially in our adolescent years, all sorts of literature easily sways our impressions and convictions.  All sorts of accounts and ideas easily twist our simplicity into corruption.  And all of this comes from weaving truth into cleverly twisted impressions in our minds. 

Through reading the newspapers, hearing what the world says, everything gets distorted.  Truth and lies all get entangled until all undiscerning readers get snared, needing more and more false information to satisfy their growing appetite for what God hates.  I sincerely warn all of you.  Watch out!

Worldly knowledge is struggling fiercely for an overall victory.  And the enemy will not rest until the last spark of Christ-like simplicity is extinguished, or at least made totally incapable and worthless.  All of this will become apparent when the wicked one will come, revealed at the end of time. 

The teachers and leaders of the Church stand responsible to keep everything firm and upright, steering the Church like a ship through stormy waters.  In this time, in these situations, it is most desperately necessary that the leaders of the Church direct everything in the right way, in love.

Everyone working one with another, with the leaders and all the members, in unity and respect.  Yes, there will be different opinions.  We all have ideas on how to work things out, within the boundaries of Scriptural Truth.  But everything is possible, everything can be done in the peace of Christ, if we love one another.  

The Grace of God is well capable of awakening and warning the Church, providing the members take heed.  One believer notices this, the other one notices that.  Together, they can help one another to stay on track.

Up on the high wall, one watchman may see danger coming and blows the trumpet.  Down in his house, praying in his closet, listing to God, another one will catch on what is happening.  With both of them working together they may stay alert and awake, so above all, watch out that you do not fall into a lack of love looking down on another, not appreciating one another in the Spirit of Christ.


True love produces unity.  Unity produces strength.  Spiritual strength keeps us from falling into disaster.

“I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see” (Revelation 3.13 to 18).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Copyright infringement

If you haven't lived in close proximity to Christopher you might not see that joke in the photo Raph sent from the Paris exhibition he and Pascal are attending this week.

The key to the joke is just that Christopher uses his initials as his trademark and signature and one sees it everywhere around the house.

With this picture Raph writes - Tell Kripper: It goes to show that CDN can mean different things to different people. :-)



Oh, by the way, the show they are at is Funé2011 -- the biannual mortuary exhibition and the biggest in the country!  Apparently everybody who is anybody in the undertaking trade is there. 

We decided to go at the insistence of one of our big customers who is helping us to sell our software, called Neptune.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The 11th of November

You know this blog is a cooperative affair with me filling the role of resident editor, a job to be carried out when no one else is inspired.  Today we have a rare treat: some thoughts from my better half, Sarah.  Simple in content, deep in meaning.  Enjoy and comment.


The background was this weekend's emphasis on reflection as we marked the eleventh of November.  Recently, during an email conversation about Remembrance Sunday celebrations in the UK, she was asked if we have any activities around the 11th of November and, what is called in England, Remembrance Sunday.


Her answer and reflections follow.






Well, yes, we do.  This year we went to the village where Olly, Christine, David and Susanne go to school as Christine had something to read during the ceremonies on the village square.  There was a marching band and all the typical things that are done.

We found out later that apparently Olly had refused to do the reading, and as I was wondering why, the teacher came up and told me that Olly had caused a big debate in the classroom!

With typical candour, he had said it would have been better for us to have all become German than to send all those young men to die in the war!  I realized afterwards that the text was against pacifism, but not knowing at the time I was a bit stunned by Olly's remarks but gave no answer to the teacher.

Well, as the ceremony went on and we all listened to a letter addressed to the nation from our President, I was shocked by what I perceived as an emotive, manipulative speech meant to fall on the ears of foggy-minded people!

Nicolas Sarkozy compared the two World Wars to the most recent wars in Afghanistan, and Libya, (aka peace-keeping missions and humanitarian interventions.)  This is where the foggy-minded people come in.

Doesn't anyone see that he was making such comparisons between things that can't be compared?  During the World Wars, if I understand correctly (and I'm starting to wonder),  we were defending ourselves and each other, whereas now, we are the aggressors against people who don't have the means to defend themselves!

Thinking a bit more about it I realized that in reality, we're losing a war now, in our own countries, and the hidden enemy is getting, or has already got the upper-hand!

It seems to me that today we are living in the aftermath of what people usually experience after losing a war; a loss of their rights and personal freedom, the liberty of speech and free expression.

But most apparent to me are the changes in the school programmes, the suppression of the learning of the national history and of our traditions, the rewriting of the history books, the repression of the Christian faith (except in churches with a new-speak, new world order preacher), the changing of the national character carried out by the schools and producing a nation of young people unrecognisable to their parents and their grandparents!

Isn't that what happened in Russia after the Bolshevik revolution?  So why is it happening to us now?  Did we have a revolution when we weren't looking?

While the powers-that-be allow a display of national feeling in the way of delusive and meaningless salutes and anthems, our world is slipping away from us imperceptively day by day in a war that we, as a people are not fighting, a war of intimidation and falsehoods.  If we are to resurface as a people, I don't believe it will be without many martyrs, real soldiers fighting truly for the futures of our offspring.

That's where the true fight for freedom should be going on, these others are just wars launched by murderers and thieves, blood-thirsty and covetous bullies, sending out believing and innocent young men and women to do their dirty work.

Let's step back and look at things objectively and unemotionally.; doesn't it say on the book of First John; "Be not deceived, he that doeth good is good, he that doeth evil is evil."?  Who did the aggression, the Afghanis or us, Colonel Gadaffi or NATO.  To remain silent is to consent.

I was touched by our son Olivier's integrity in standing up for his belief in the words of Jesus when He said, "Return good for evil" and "Turn the other cheek".  And when our President told us that the nation's sons had fallen so that the French flag would stand, my heart was stirred by the dreadful death of even one soldier.

And at that point I, too, would have preferred to be German.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Two fishermen

Today was so warm and sunny Olivier and David asked it I'd take the to the lake to get in a little late-season fishing.

We had two hours there in this environment.  Quiet and happy; perfect for some reading in the shade. :-)  Glad I went!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Five Maidens Singing

Claire has Alina, her friend from Germany staying with her for a week which fell in quite well with Rebecca's desire to return to Beauregard to see that gallery one more time!

All it took was convincing Christine and Céline (easy) and we were off!  The château and park are just over an hour away and the day was sunny and warm.  This led to two hours of heavenly serenades for the happy driver!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

1000 Churches and 4000 Homeless?

Our friend Andrew Strom sent this short article out on his mailing list and I thought it might be good for you all to read.  There is no spirit of self-righteousness here; we are all part of the rich, Christian, western world.

I don't expect this will be as controversial as my last couple of posts so I'm expecting lots of comments. :-) He starts by saying ...


NOTE: The poor and needy are a priority with God.  The Bible makes this very clear, from the Old Testament to the New.  The widow and the orphan are at the forefront of His concern.  A timely comment on this topic is below.

1000 CHURCHES and 4000 HOMELESS??
-by 'Beres'.

I live in Nashville where more Bibles are printed than anywhere else in the world. We have more Christian publishing houses in Nashville than anywhere else on the face of the earth – more churches per square mile – and, outside the Vatican, a greater percentage of bodies in buildings on Sunday morning than anywhere else on earth. So we in Nashville have a better chance to get it right, wouldn’t you say?

We have 1000 churches and 4000 homeless people living and dying under bridges and in culverts. I know because I have prayed with them and lain with them as they died, and every week I feed
and pastor them. We can’t even get it right enough for every church to reach out to 4 homeless people. And yes, that includes children as young as they get.

Nashville is the headquarters for a swag of church denominations, and para church organizations like the Gideons, and from this buckle on the Bible belt of the richest nation on earth, missions
go out all round the globe. Those missions are funded with 0.01 percent of all monies collected in North American churches.

That’s right! For every $1000 collected by North American churches, ONE Dollar is sent to evangelize those who have never heard the name “Jesus” - but from the latest stats, are probably well aware of the name “Coca Cola”.

And frankly, whereas I once despaired of these manifest failures of the church, now I say, Bring it on! Let the world see forever the rich failures of putting religion before Jesus, ritual before relationship, rules before lives and liturgy before love.

When the world at large finally see that the emperor has no clothes, so also will the light of the real gospel of grace and peace shine the brighter. For where sin abounded, grace did much more abound!

Let it get darker, our Jesus will shine brighter.

What do you think?  I'd like to hear your comments below ...

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Reconciliation

I am in the midst of a difficult email conversation with a family member right now and have an on-going relationship with someone close to me that needs reconciliation.  So when I read the following post (located here) it seemed an unusual coincidence as in many ways it was dealing with similar emotions.

I'd like you to read this. It is well-written and worth reading and comes from a website normally given to health and good-eating issues. This man is a doctor and is someone who seems to be a reasonable and a very nice person. I'm glad to be able to send you there.



To Reconcile or Not to Reconcile
Posted By Dr. Ben Kim

Earlier this year, my wife Margaret and I decided to home-school our boys. We agonized over this decision for more than a year, weighing our options and thinking about how to best support our sons as they grow and mature into thoughtful, service-minded, self-sufficient, and emotionally intelligent adults.

When I first mentioned to my parents about a year ago that we were thinking of home-schooling, my father made it clear that he could not accept this decision. He was absolutely certain that home-schooling would destroy our boys' lives, and he wasn't going to sit back and let this happen to his grandsons. He threatened to never see us again unless we sent our boys to school.

Because of his reaction then, upon making the decision to begin home-schooling this year, I thought it would be best not to discuss this with my parents. I knew that they would be upset, and I thought it would be best if they found out after they could see some of the fruits of our efforts with home-schooling.

After learning of our decision, my mom expressed her belief on kids needing to socialize with other kids, and tried to persuade me to re-think our decision. But after listening to our plans and understanding that we are giving our boys plenty of opportunities to socialize with other kids and adults in a safe and healthy way, she said that she would hope for the best, and that she had to trust our efforts.

My father refused to speak to me. Thankfully, he went on a scheduled trip to Korea, so I had a few weeks to peacefully take Margaret and our boys to my parents' place for our regular visits, and life continued as normal.

When he returned, I felt that enough time had elapsed that he would be receptive to having a conversation with me. So I gave him a call and invited him out to lunch, just the two of us to try to better understand one another.

It didn't take long for me to realize that he would not consider our thoughts on home-schooling. As he lost his temper, he told me that I had destroyed our boys' lives, that he would never forgive me, and that I had cheated him. Just before he hung up on me, he screamed that his two grandsons were walking into a burning building.

Sitting at my desk with a dial tone in my ear, I was shaken. It was nothing new to be at the receiving end of my father's wrath, bewildered by not fully understanding why he was so angry. But this time, for reasons I couldn't identify, I felt like he inflicted a permanent wound.

How could he be so certain that he was right and that our decision to home-school was wrong? Why couldn't he at least consider some of our reasons for home-schooling? And the most difficult thought for me to reflect on: How could he say that he would never forgive me for this decision? As a father of two boys, I simply cannot imagine saying such a thing to either of my sons - to me, it's like telling my boys that I don't care about them.

Over the next couple of weeks, I tried to find peace within. I reflected in solitude and sought counsel from those I'm closest to. I had to believe that there wasn't much I could do about my father's tyrannical approach to dealing with conflict. I had exerted genuine effort to reconcile with him, and he responded by puncturing my heart with his anger. What more could I do?

All of my thinking pointed to one thing: To preserve my health and to protect our boys in the future from my father's inability to resolve conflict in a peaceful and thoughtful way, the right move was to not contact my father and give him the opportunity to make good on his threat to never see us again. Intellectually, this felt right to me.

Over the past two decades, my older sister has been able to approach her relationship with our father with just enough apathy to preserve her health. She decided long ago that her feelings were not a top priority in his life, so she would not make his feelings a top priority in hers. And in knowing her all this time, I can see that this approach works for her. She is happily married, has a fulfilling professional career, and is delighted to be a mom to my treasured niece. She isn't held captive by feelings of sadness or guilt over not having a closer relationship with our father.

This is what I thought I should do as well. To preserve myself and the family that I am raising.

But alas, it didn't take me long to realize that to be indifferent to my father - as much as I sometimes feel his behaviour justifies this - is not to preserve my health, but to more quickly erode it. My hard-wiring is different from that of my older sister's. I don't feel more at peace by giving him a stiff arm. I feel more anguish by the day.

Why my hard-wiring is this way, I don't know. He did give me the gift of being confident in my abilities. As a five or six year old, I remember lying beside him in bed while he would list all of the things I was good at. Our times playing catch in the backyard - even the time when I accidentally launched a ball through a basement window — are bitter-sweet for me — bitter because I was always one mistake away from his disapproval, and sweet because nothing felt as good as seeing my father proud of my abilities. Maybe these and other similar memories that are deeply embedded into my grey matter are responsible for me not having the mechanism that my older sister has to cut off when indicated and move forward.

Bottom line: Indifference wasn't working. So I decided that to care for myself and those who are affected by my health status (mainly Margaret, our boys, and my mom), I needed to find a way to reconcile with my father. With this goal in mind, I turned to the one thing that I have found to be consistently effective in soothing my own hurt feelings: I tried to get into my father's head.

• Physically, he is all of his 69 years of living. But emotionally, he is still the seventh of eight siblings growing up in Korea, emotionally and physically neglected in almost every way.

• When my father thinks of school, I imagine that he remembers sitting at attention with his friends in class, thirsting to please their teachers and earn top grades. I think he remembers being able to talk and joke freely with his peers during recess, something that was impossible at home around his parents, where children of that generation and culture didn't have an open invitation to make requests or bring up their own ideas in front of their father. To him, going to school was liberating. It was a place where he could learn, hope, and dream.

• Being the ultra conservative and oddly sentimental chap that he is, my father assumes that public school in western society today is an oasis that provides the same blend of salvation and guidance that school gave him as a child in post-war Korea.

• And being the father of his own family, though he recognizes that his children grew up in Canada, he expects my sisters and I to show him the same respect that he gave to his parents, which is to say that he tends to get massively offended whenever we don't think to consult with him before making any major decisions, even those involving our own children. As a seventh child who received so little attention, what he craves most is respect, and when he feels disrespected by his children, he loses his temper.

• Even today, Korean culture is such that when all of us sit down to eat together, none of us dares lift up a spoon or chopsticks until our father has eaten his first mouthful. In traditional Korean families, the father is King. Though he doesn't necessarily relish everyday displays of subservience, he expects them and accepts them as normal, just as the rest of us do.

Marinating in these and other thoughts gave me the strength I needed to call him one more time. It wasn't an easy conversation, but a conversation it was.

Ultimately, I knew that he desperately missed seeing his grandsons. I also knew that he would not change his stance on public vs. home-schooling. He made it clear that he knew he was right, and that he had zero interest in hearing our thoughts on why we decided to home-school for now.

As frustrated as I was with his stance, my goal was to make it possible for him and my mom to visit and spend time with their grandsons. So I repeatedly emphasized that I understood that his stance was out of his love and concern for our boys. I stressed that Margaret and I have hopes and dreams for our boys, just as he does. I told him that I understood that he felt that we were going to fail, and I asked him to try to trust us and to hope that our efforts turn out to be good for our sons.

It was an hour-long conversation, one that he tried to end several times. It was almost as though he knew that he could blow at any moment.

And then, close to the end, he blurted out his main grievance. He said that I destroyed his dream.

"What was your dream, dad?"

"It was to move up to your neighbourhood, hold each of my grandson's hands as I walk them to school, watch them go into their classrooms for the day, and then in the afternoon, to go and greet them after class and walk them home. That was my dream, and you took it away from me."

So this is why in our earlier conversation he angrily accused me of cheating him. I had cheated him of this dream.

I felt a wave of exasperation. I wanted to tell him that this was one of ten thousand examples of his self-centeredness. It's good to have dreams, and I'm glad that you love your grandsons this much, but you ripped my heart up because all you could focus on was your dream? These are our boys, and we have dreams, too, dreams for them, and this is why we as their parents are making the sacrifice of home-schooling our sons.

I wanted to holler this. But I knew all too well from experience that if I raised my voice and started with these thoughts, he would hang up on me and we wouldn't communicate until the next time I could gather enough strength to call him.

So I told him that I was really sorry that that particular dream couldn't come true just yet, but I asked him to look forward to other dreams involving him and his grandsons, like going to tennis tournaments, family vacations, and even one day going to set them up wherever they choose to go to university.

I asked him if he was okay if I brought the boys for a visit sometime. Though I knew he wanted this more than anything, his pride wouldn't allow him to say yes. After several seconds of silence, all he could manage was a quiet "you decide."

But I had to know that he wouldn't give our boys pressure about going to public school. So I said, "dad, I just want to know that you won't give Joshua and Noah pressure to go to school, that in front of them, you'll be supportive." He immediately cut me off and told me that this was a great insult. How could I think that he, a 69-year old man, would give his 6-year old grandson that kind of pressure?

I apologized. I explained that I had no intent to insult him, I just had to be sure.

And that's where we are today.

I'm left feeling like I made it out of a field of land-mines, grateful to be alive, but severely debilitated from stress.

How are we to deal with adult family members who, for any number of reasons, don't have the ability to think very far beyond their own perspective? Should we continue to maintain relations with someone who chooses to bully to try to get his or her own way rather than engage in respectful conversation?

To reconcile or not to reconcile, that is the question. And in considering the starkly different approaches that have worked for me and my older sister, I'm left feeling like there is rarely an easy answer.

I suspect that my father is similar to most people whose family members have strongly considered giving up on. He has good intentions. He fully believes in his own righteousness. He feels moved by God Himself to correct faulty life decisions by his children.

As the seventh of eight siblings growing up in a one-room home in South Korea, he was the only one who would help his grandmother to her chamber pot whenever she needed to go. He would wipe her clean while some of his siblings complained about the wretched smell. Why did he do this? Because his maternal grandmother often held him in her lap. She told him stories, mainly about Jesus. She prayed for him. To a boy who rarely if ever received an ounce of physical affection from his exhausted and likely disillusioned parents, the love that he received from his grandmother was probably more life-sustaining than bowls of rice, broth, and kim chi. How do I know this about my father's childhood? My father's oldest sister, my dear aunt in New York City, told me.

The thing is, none of these details likely matter to most of the people that my father has interacted with over the years. Why would acquaintances put aside their hurt feelings and judgements to consider why my father sometimes behaves like a tyrannical dictator? And this is why at 69 years of age, at heart, I believe that my father feels like his life has mostly been a failure. It's also why he feels that many people have committed great crimes against him, like how I cheated him of his dream to walk his two grandsons to and from school.

How do you save a person like my father from his self destructive ways of thinking and being? I hope that I'm wrong, but I no longer believe you can. A person can't change into something that he can't feel. A person can't give something that he doesn't have. Just as you get orange juice when you squeeze an orange, when you squeeze my dad at this point in his life, you get mostly a cocktail of grievances.

I'm relatively certain that our recent rift over home-schooling isn't the last time my father will feel that I have wronged him. It won't be the last time that I will feel like my father doesn't care about my feelings. If this experience has taught me anything, it's that for me and my dad, I need to find a way to reconcile. I don't really know how to handle the alternative.

More than anything else, I write all of this as a release for my endocrine and nervous systems. Yes, my father may stumble upon this post, and if he does, well, dad, you know that I have expressed every thought here to you in person. You know that I haven't asked you for a thing since I was about 20 years old. You know that despite my flaws, I have tried to be a good son. So please forgive me for insulting you and please know that I needed to write this with hope that it will mean something to someone out there.

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Last Word

The other day I found this testament and thought it deserved more widespread coverage than it was getting.  So, without further commentary, I decided to add it to my blog (I am preceeding it by a picture of the GMMR—Gaddafi's pride.)



Recollections Of My Life - Mu'ummar Qaddafi

By Col. Mu'ummar Qaddafi; Translated by Professor Sam Hamod, Ph.D.


Recollections of My Life: Col. Mu’ummar Qaddafi, The Leader of the Revolution.  April 8, 2011


April 9, 2011 — In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful.


For 40 years, or was it longer, I can't remember, I did all I could to give people houses, hospitals, schools, and when they were hungry, I gave them food.  I even made Benghazi into farmland from the desert.


I stood up to attacks from that cowboy Reagan.  When he killed my adopted orphaned daughter, he was trying to kill me.  Instead he killed that poor innocent child.


Then I helped my brothers and sisters from Africa with money for the African Union, did all I could to help people understand the concept of real democracy, where people's committees ran our country.


But that was never enough, as some told me, even people who had ten room homes, new suits and furniture, were never satisfied, as selfish as they were they wanted more.


And they told Americans and other visitors, they needed "democracy," and "freedom," never realizing it was a cut throat system, where the biggest dog eats the rest.  But they were enchanted with those words, never realizing that in America, there was no free medicine, no free hospitals, no free housing, no free education and no free food, except when people had to beg or go to long lines to get soup.


No, no matter what I did, it was never enough for some.  But for others, they knew I was the son of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the only true Arab and Muslim leader we've had since Salah' a' Deen, when he claimed the Suez Canal for his people, as I claimed Libya for my people.  It was his footsteps I tried to follow, to keep my people free from colonial domination—from thieves who would steal from us.


Now, I am under attack by the biggest force in military history.  My little African son, Obama wants to kill me, to take away the freedom of our country, to take away our free housing, our free medicine, our free education, our free food, and replace it with American style thievery, called "capitalism."


But all of us in the Third World know what that means. It means corporations run the countries, run the world, and the people suffer, so there is no alternative for me.  I must make my stand, and if Allah wishes, I shall die by following his path, the path that has made our country rich with farmland, with food and health, and even allowed us to help our African and Arab brothers and sisters to work here with us, in the Libyan Jammohouriyah.


I do not wish to die, but if it comes to that, to save this land, my people, all the thousands who are all my children, then so be it.


Let this testament be my voice to the world: that I stood up to crusader attacks of NATO, stood up to cruelty, stood up to betrayal, stood up the West and its colonialist ambitions, and that I stood with my African brothers, my true Arab and Muslim brothers, as a beacon of light.


When others were building castles, I lived in a modest house, and in a tent.


I never forgot my youth in Sirte, I did not spend our national treasury foolishly, and like Salah’a’deen, our great Muslim leader, who rescued Jerusalem for Islam, I took little for myself.


In the West, some have called me “mad,” “crazy,” but they know the truth but continue to lie. They know that our land is independent and free, not in the colonial grip, that my vision, my path, is, and has been clear and for my people and that I will fight to my last breath to keep us free. 


May Allah almighty help us to remain faithful and free.


(Posted on informationclearinghouse.info)

More info on the GMMR can be found here and here.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

1789, 222 years later

Hello all!

Just heard a very good 5-minute presentation I wanted to share with you.

Listen here and tell me what you think.

Watch it :
World War III : A Foregone Conclusion?

Read it :
http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1323/815/World_War_3_A_Foregone_Conclusion.html

Enjoy.  And comment, please!


Thursday, November 03, 2011

390 kg de pur boeuf

The butcher passed by with his refrigerated van this morning and brought our two buffaloes back to us; all processed and packaged.

We had two freezers cleaned out and ready for the result: three hundred and ninety kilos of steack haché, saucisses, gîte, rôti de boeuf, faux filet, and all the rest!  Enough to get us all through the winter, I reckon.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Trip to Germany

The Mannheim water tower
I think I told you already that Raphael and Jonathan are spending this week in Germany and Italy, being able to combine some work at Ludwigshafen for our big customer with participation at the European Delphi Conference ITDevCon being held in Verona, Italy this year.


It's nice to think about things other than worldly news sometimes so I want to share a couple of pictures that they sent the other night as they did a little sight-seeing prior to getting down to work.



The trip getting over there was quite varied: Up to Le Mans by car from where they took the train to Strasbourg where they picked up a rented car and drove to Mannheim in Germany.


(It was our customer's head office in Germany that had arranged all the travel connections for the trip so everything was first-class and just waiting for them!)

Let's see, what shall we eat?
After their time in Germany is done they'll be driving down to Verona in Italy to speak at the ITDevCon after which they drive up through Provence and leave the car in Marseille as they take the train home—a direct non-stop from Marseille to Le Mans.
 


Guten Appetit !
Both boys are fluent in German, of course, but they know that I am woefully ignorant of the language, never having had an opportunity to learn.  So having a first glance at the menu the other night they thought they'd send me the menu choices followed by this picture of their first meal there.


(In the end they never mentioned what their choice had been—but it sure looked good!)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ruining a country and a people

Did you know that just hours before it was announced that Colonel Gaddafi had been executed by the Al Qaeda linked rebels in Libya, Hillary Clinton was in Libya offering her support for the rebels and openly hoping for the 'capture or killing' of the deposed dictator.

Well, she got what she wanted, and now that Libyans have been liberated from the prosperity of their former ruler, they are free to endure the ethnic cleansing, genocide, and human rights violations without fear of Gaddafi ever coming back to build them hospitals, schools,or even roads.  Don't believe it?  Wait and see.

Oh, how foolish is greed!  They did what they promised they would and they've bombed Libya back to the stone age!  How blind a few Libyans were—obviously people under 40 who didn't know how good they had it.

But how cruel of the west and its lackeys to have treated him the way they did!  When US soldiers were seen on youtube throwing a puppy off a cliff the world was outraged.  But those same people couldn't be heard yesterday above the gloating laughter of watching the brutal murder of the head of state of what was, just six months before, a rich, beautiful, clean, and happy country.

It seems like nothing will stop them.  Our hearts cry out for justice and it is only our belief in God and the certainly of His retribution that quiets our wounded hearts.

Vengeance is mine, I will repay saith the Lord.  (Romans 15:9) The wheels of God's justice grind exceeding slow but exceeding fine.

O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself! (Psalm 94:1)

Here are two pictures of the same scene taken just four years apart.


Once the most prosperous nation in North Africa, if not ALL of Africa, Libya is now a bombed out refuge for Al Qaeda terrorists and other Islamic extremists . All courtesy of the U.N., the United States, and NATO.

Why? Well the current excuse for it is that Colonel Gaddafi had the nerve to stand up to AL Qaeda terrorists inside his own nation.  Of course, they were called 'protesters' by western media.

In the end, NATO forces backed the Al Qaeda overthrow of Gaddafi, leaving Libya a depleted uranium dump-site and a serious power vacuum. 


(This report, and the following news report, courtesy of www.brasschecktv.com)


Thursday, October 20, 2011

This is what we did today

I don't know what to say or how to say it.  This afternoon I heard on the radio that Gaddafi had been caught in his home town.  I knew it had to come someday.  No one could resist the combined armed forces of the West.

Thousands of bombing raids, strafing and destroying and burning and killing.  It took nine months but we did it.  No wonder the rest of the evening's news was full of it—everybody in celebratory mood!

It all makes me feel sad because it is all so wrong.  Even if he were guilty of all they accuse him of, (which people never are), it would be wrong.  But here is a man who stood against the grain, against Israel, and against the Zionist bankers and their oil interests; that's what got him in the end.

(I had to laugh in amazement back six months ago when the new sponsored "leaders" got into Libya on the ground for within a week the very first thing they did was to establish a Libyan Central Bank.  One week!  A central bank?)

Emotive words like "dictator" and "madman" are used all the time; nobody has a kind word to say in his defence.  But his people loved him for what he'd given.  Meaningless words like "freedom" are used by on-site reporters to describe the present situation.  But we'll see.

I'm not so naive and not so young.  I remember the freedom that the white, Christian, Republic of South Africa received in the early nineties.  What was once a glorious and Christian culture is no more and the people apparently live now in stark fear, night and day.

In this world might is right and since history is written by the winners (and proclaimed by the media long before that) then it's easy to see why our history is such a bloody and violent and anti-Christian one.

One thing has always puzzled me and I've wondered why so few others seem to have picked up on it: why is it that, while European nations—and the world in general—is in the throes of a superlative economic crisis, that we always can find money, be it millions or even billions, for war?

Cut back retirement funds, increase taxes on households, but let's overthrow the richest nation in Africa guided by a visionary that has given his people the highest standard of living in the continent.  This will only cost us _________ billions (fill in the blank, it changes nothing).

God judge the poor and bless the falsely maligned and the misrepresented.  God bless the peace-makers and the downtrodden.  Are we Christians in deed or only in word?

Let us speak up and align ourselves in whatever way we can, with those that stand for peace and for the poor and for widows and orphans.  Truth is its own defence.

Jesus is the truth.  And He said the poor were blessed.  Blessed by who?  Not us, that's for sure.  But in the end God almighty will have the final say.  Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Picture I Like

Taken this afternoon here's an un-posed shot taken by Claire of Becky and Christine just being girls together on the swing in the backyard.  (Pay no attention to the wood-shed and resultant mess at the bottom of the garden!)  Their laughing faces say it all!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Today

Our nice fruit basket for the table at noon

The main course (freshly boiled squid, for a change)

Potting honey this afternoon

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thanks, Jay

Just got an email from a German friend who visits our blog fairly recently:

Dear Derrick,

I thought you might find this information interesting:

"Wikileaks cable reveals U.S. conspired to retaliate against European nations if they resisted GMOs"
 

http://www.naturalnews.com/030828_GMOs_Wikileaks.html

By the way, you haven't posted anything at your blog since the 23rd of September. I hope all is well.

God bless you and yours,

Jay

Munich, Germany

which is funny because just this morning I was sent a video link concerning the very same problem : GMO foods (or OGM, as we call them here).

http://www.brasschecktv.com/videos/food/lying-scientists-.html

I have always thought it evil and we've done everything we can to avoid buying them.  They are just the tip of the iceberg and the smelly rag of dirty dollars that we see infiltrating our land every single day.

We found out a couple of weeks ago that they're are now building a new MacDonald's "restaurant" near us -- just ten kilometres away!

What is left for them to take?  I thank God every day that we don't live in the city but our whole lives are earmarked for their pollution and nothing will stop them.  (Where's José Bové now we need him?)

I just thank God that we were able to raise our children in a spiritually healthy environment — we knew it wouldn't last but we made our hay while the sun was still out.

Now that the smell of rain is in the air our children are going to have to face and fight their own battles with our guidance and the Spirit of God to help them.

Friday, September 23, 2011

CopyCat

Several years ago Jonathan developed an ingenious piece of software — initially to meet our own needs — that would keep databases synchronised in real-time.

Starting with our own local customers we've since sold it to nearly fifty customers in almost every county around the world.  Of course we have it all over Europe, but also in Australia and New Zealand.  In North America we have clients in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Washington, Saskatchewan and Mexico.  We've gotten orders from South Africa, Israël, and even Mongolia!

I was really surprised how far this program has spread with no other advertising than it's own web site and word-of-mouth.  It is deployed on dozens of sites — simply because it fills a niche market that is not served by anything quite like it.

Anyway, next month both Jonathan and Raphael are going to Verona, in Italy to attend a development conference (Delphi) where they've been asked to speak and give a presentation of this software, called CopyCat.


As participants in the conference we've taken out some advertising in the brochure to give the participants something to take home with them.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Extreme programming!

Pascal just send around a picture he'd taken while on his trip to Bordeaux with Raph the other day.

He called it "Extreme programming" and the caption was "A picture is worth a thousand words."  And he added, "Note: an iPad, a Blackberry, a Macbook Air, and an HP — and it's all connected !!!!!! at 130 Km/h in the left lane !"


We don't waste a minute around here! :-)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

They nearly got that translation right!

Raph, down near Bordeaux for a couple of days, sends us this sign which was proudly displayed at their hotel:


How do you translate "gourmand" in that context so that it makes sense?

There's no one word that'll do it!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Heidelberg

It's always nice to get a note from Raph so I'm passing it along to you all.  He's working in Germany this week and here are a couple of pictures he sent along.


After work yesterday we visited Heidelberg which is a very beautiful city 15 km from Ladenburg where the plant is.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Visit to Paris

Rebecca and Sebastian (Becky & Bas, to us) were in Paris this weekend for a couple of days of playing tourists.  I want to express a special thanks to the Christian friends in Nanterre who made the visit possible by showing them such kind hospitality!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A hoax

In a further response and closing (I hope!) comment to my post of the other day regarding the 911 commemorations, today I'd like to share with you this little five-minute video which presents a very tongue-in-cheek look at the main facts involved in the event.

Though it's style is what it is, it nonetheless give a quick résumé of facts and shortcomings; questions that need to be answered.  It's called "9/11: A Conspiracy Theory" and purports to give you "Everything you ever wanted to know about the 9/11 conspiracy theory in under 5 minutes."

Let me know how you like it!

video

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Legend of 9/11 -- 10 Years On

Last week I ran across this presentation of the events of 911.  I thought it was so good that I am offering it to you.

Please take a minute of your time and listen to it.  I encourage you to leave a comment, if you have one, for I would like to read it.


The Legend of 9/11 — 10 Years On by Anthony Lawson

This video concentrates on the two major 9/11 issues: The Unidentified Planes and The Controlled Demolitions.  Nothing else.  It does not mention the NORAD stand--down; the don't-fly and don't-go-to-work warnings or the Dancing Israelis or any of the other anomalies and suspicious happenings.  The alleged amateur suicide pilots are not mentioned, either, for obvious reasons, and I do not know what happened to the allegedly hijacked planes or their alleged passengers and crews.

It is my contention that the 9/11 Truth Movement has got to concentrate on the most blatant and provable lies in the official story, and stop trying to be an amateur Police Precinct or a citizen's District Attorney's Office.  The Movement must bring pressure to bear in the authorities for a new enquiry, so that the police, the FBI, the NTSB and all of the other law enforcement and investigative agencies can do what should have been done 10 years ago: Find out who was responsible for the crime of the attacks on 9/11 and bring them to justice.


While I was thinking about a video for the 10th anniversary of 9/11, an English artist named David Borrington got in touch, and asked if I would write and record some voice commentaries to be included in a set of prints that he was making for the same occasion.  When I saw his strangely haunting artwork, I decided to incorporate David's images into my video.  So, my sincere thanks go to David Borrington, whose website is www.davidborrington.com

I would also like to recommend that anyone who is interested in the research done on the Murray Street engine take a look at Christopher King's excellent web page:
http://ckpi.typepad.com/christopher_king/2009/09/murray-street-engine.html

Music: Adagietto - 4th Movement from Gustav Mahler's Symphony No.5

The author would also like to point out that he is not associated in any way with VT: the Veterans Today website.






This topic of course gives rise to numerous questions.  But it has occurred to me that one doesn't have to have the answer to be able to pose the question.  Everyone has the right to question.  We don't have answers, we only have questions.

Here, then, is Anthony Lawson's video.