Sunday, July 20, 2014


I see perfection: the cry of beauty.
I see perfection: the crown of thorns?

I see perfection: the long sought for goal.
I see perfection: a sword-pierced side to nations shown?

I see perfection: the love of God.
I see perfection: the agony of a dying man?

I see perfection: Jesus Christ, He, and He alone loves me so.
I see perfection: 'tis perfection, 'tis greatest love.
I see Jesus, beaten, dying, and alone.

And what have I, what am I, that He should love me so?
What am I, that He would call my name?
What am I that my Savior, bruised and beaten, should make me His own?
© 2009 Bethany Carson

Saturday, July 19, 2014

2014 Iowa Games Table Tennis

This morning I woke up at 6:00 A.M. as usual and subconsciously mentally prepared myself to manage the Daily 5 0, a chess tournament I direct every weekday morning on FICS.  Then it struck me: today was Saturday and instead of playing chess I would be going to a table tennis tournament!
I ate a little cold cereal, and Papa and I started our drive for Ames.  On our way a Ford F650 passed us; it was a big pick-up truck (I don't think I've seen one quite like it before).  We also noticed road work being done.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Liebster Awards

Many thanks to No√©mie and Paige for nominating me for the Liebster Award.  The Liebster Award is a way for bloggers to learn more about each other by asking 11 questions and posting 11 random facts about themselves.

11 Random Facts:
1. Until recently I didn't realize powdered peanut butter was available.  Just add water!
2. I was a 5-time Iowa Girls Chess Champion
3.  As a small child my dream job was owning a doughnut shop
4.  I play the piano, guitar, accordion, and harmonica
5.  I've read the Bible through 14 times
6.  I've seen limestone fence posts in Kansas.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hansen's Dairy

Our time machine today will take us back to June of 2009 when we toured Hansen's Dairy near Hudson, IA.  Hansen's milk comes from cows not injected with rBST/rBGH hormones, and their milk is non-homogenized (the cream floats to the top).  My family has enjoyed drinking their milk for years.

The dairy offers tours at $12 per person for a hands-on tour and $8 for a walk-through tour.  In 2009, when  I think (but am not sure) that it was less expensive; we took a hands-on tour.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Nebraska State Capitol

Today I'd like to take you back in time with me to 2010 when my family and I visited the Nebraska State Capitol on our way to Texas.  It was one stop on one of the most memorable and exciting trips of my life.  At 400 feet high, the capitol is the second tallest statehouse in the nation.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop

We recently visited the Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop in Haverhill, Iowa.  Matthew Edel immigrated to the United States from Germany. He opened his blacksmith shop in 1883.  Until the family could build themselves a house, they lived above the shop in the attic.  They were avid gardeners, growing and preserving food from their own large gardens. This photo from 1915, which hangs in the shop, shows Mr. Edel (center) with his then 16-year-old son Louis on the left and a customer on the right.  

Monday, July 7, 2014

Encroachment of Religious Freedom in the US

The search for religious freedom is what brought the Pilgrims to what is now the US in 1620.  As William Bradford wrote in his History of Plymouth Plantation, they were determined, "whatever it might cost them, to shake off the anti-Christian bondage."  

Still, the colonies, and later states, persecuted believers of other sects.  For example, Baptists in Episcopalian Virginia who preached, did not pay taxes to the state church, or failed to baptize their infants were jailed, beaten with bludgeons, whipped, stoned, tortured, shot, or accused of child abuse.  Rhode Island was founded by Roger Williams after he was exiled from Massachusetts for his divergent Christian beliefs.  Maryland was founded as a safe haven for Catholics who were banned from various other colonies.  
A Virginia Baptist pastor is waterboarded in 1778 by Episcopalian church-state authorities.
The Founding Fathers, descendents of those who fled persecution in Europe, saw firsthand how religious establishment worked in their own states and determined to take extreme diligence and care to ensure the federal government would not make any laws concerning religious establishment or encroach upon religious freedom.  They considered this right so important they defended it in the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

Hence, it is unlikely that freedom of religion in the US will ever be attacked blatantly and directly.  Instead, freedom of religion today is insidiously attacked through attrition.  Two of the most egregious encroachments apparent to me are through:
The Establishment of Statolatry
Tithes to the Established Deity of State