the foam arrived and it is GREAT! very firm (which we like) and fits perfectly. adam did have to cut the legs down a bit since the foam made it WAY high to sit on. now it is even with that little ledge beside it and that makes it a great reading spot.
so the next step is to shellac it. adam thinks it will look more finished with a little shine on the wood parts. and then he will have to find a weekend with nothing much going on (ha, that is going to take a miracle) and make the other one for the long wall.
that couch is about 7 feet long and the one on the other wall will be 9 feet long. yes, we like a lot of sitting, lounging room. and we have a lot of people who like to come over and sit and lounge with us. he is also going to build a couple of ottomans that are the same height as the couch and can be moved around on castors for making chaise lounge areas on the couches or for additional seating along the fireplace wall.
sorry, i have been a bad blogger so far this year. just getting back into the swing of school days and figuring out a schedule that isn’t too packed, but isn’t too loose either. always the balancing act between too much and not enough.
a battle i fight in many areas.
starting beth moore’s breaking free Bible study. on wednesday morning with the group of ladies that i have been with for about 4 years now. wonderful mentors for me. they are for the most part all about 10-25 years older than i am and that is good for me.
and we have started teaching the GROUNDED sunday night high school group at our house again. we are going through c.s. lewis’ “mere christianity” with them. this ought to be interesting. they are a really smart (intellectual) group and they can get through the reading IF they choose to do it. we will see... the more they read, the more they will have to bring to the discussion. the less they read, the more i will talk. they might want to read.
speaking of c.s. lewis this is a great story and a really revealing viewpoint of what i was like as a teenager... and it helps me to remember these things sometimes...
BUT THERE IS A HUGE SPOILER ALERT so if you haven’t read lewis’ classic “the screwtape letters” and you don’t want the ending spoiled DO NOT READ THE REST OF THIS...
okay. so if you haven’t read it, here is a short summary...
"The Screwtape Letters" is fiction. But only fiction in the sense that the characters and the dialogue sprang from the imagination of one of the greatest modern Christian writers. Yet in our terrestrial reality the issues confronted in this book play out in our lives every day.
The book contains thirty-one letters from Screwtape to his nephew, Wormwood, who is Screwtape's underling in fiendishness. Screwtape is an upper-level functionary in the complex bureaucracy of the underworld. The "Screwtape Letters" are friendly advice from this elder statesman to a front-line tempter on how to procure the soul of his "patient", a young Christian man just trying to live out his everyday life.
We get the letters only from one side of the correspondence (Screwtape's), yet the story of the meanderings of the Christian "patient's" soul is clearly read between the lines. The letters begin with Wormwood's failure to keep his subject from becoming a Christian. The urbane Screwtape informs him that, although this is an alarming development, his patient is by no means lost to the dark forces of evil.
World War II serves as the backdrop for the Letters. Yet war and strife do not play a significant roll in the work. The book is about more everyday and universal problems. Problems every individual must deal with even today.
Thus, each letter addresses various aspects of the travails of the human soul and how the devil tempts that soul away from goodness and toward evil - not evil on a grand scale, but evil on a petty scale. They show how evil can seep into a Christian's relationships with friends and family, in his views on the church, even in his practice of prayer.
As each letter unfolds, we find the Christian "patient" slipping more and more out of the hands of Wormwood and his temptations. Screwtape's advice to the tempter becomes more firm and yet more subtle. And, by degrees, we come to see the workings of evil in our own hearts. "The Screwtape Letters" is a book that entertains while it instructs. It is a book to be treasured and studied.
we all just listened to the focus on the family’s radio theater version of the screwtape letters and it was AMAZING and it reminded me of my past history with reading this book...
i read the screwtape letters in high school and at the end ...SPOILER ALERT...
wormwood “loses” the patient. screwtape is angry because the patient is gone forever from the grip of the devils. and i thought that meant that the patient had made a SERIOUS commitment to Christ, that he was now a “real” Christian. and therefore was oblivious the the schemes of the devil. ha ha ha. that was what i thought would happen when i was older and wiser and a “real” grown up Christian. ha ha ha. it makes one laugh. it makes me laugh. not sure whether God laughed with me or not. but He is patient. and gives more chances to learn than we deserve.
years later i reread the book and realized... SPOILER ALERT!!!!!
that the patient DIES in the end. that is why he is freed from temptation. that is the ultimate defeat of the tempters schemes and the ultimate victory for his life. he is now gazing upon Him in Heaven.
just a few years and a whole lot more perspective on life and what it means to live as as an imperfect and yet forgiven Christian.
and i have to admit that hearing it out loud in this radio theater version sent chills through me. especially that last chapter. the death of the patient. i told millie that the next time someone died that we loved, we need to listen to this last letter and realize what exactly went on at the moment of death... when we shall behold Him. the beauty. the splendor. the wonder. the gratitude.
it makes me yearn for the day when i will shuffle off this mortal coil. it makes my heart heavy with homesickness for Home. for Peace. for Perfection.
here are some of my favorite parts from that last letter. i hope that someone reads this entire portion at my funeral...
You have let a soul slip through your fingers. The howl of sharpened famine for that loss re-echoes at this moment through all the levels of the Kingdom of Noise down to the very Throne itself. It makes me mad to think of it. How well I know what happened at the instant when they snatched him from you! There was a sudden clearing of his eyes (was there not?) as he saw you for the first time, and recognised the part you had had in him and knew that you had it no longer. Just think (and let it be the beginning of your agony) what he felt at that moment; as if a scab had fallen from an old sore, as if he were emerging from a hideous, shell-like tetter, as if he shuffled off for good and all a defiled, wet, clinging garment. By Hell, it is misery enough to see them in their mortal days taking off dirtied and uncomfortable clothes and splashing in hot water and giving little grunts of pleasure—stretching their eased limbs. What, then, of this final stripping, this complete cleansing?
Did you mark how naturally—as if he'd been born for it—the earthborn vermin entered the new life? How all his doubts became, in the twinkling of an eye, ridiculous?
As he saw you, he also saw Them. I know how it was. You reeled back dizzy and blinded, more hurt by them than he had ever been by bombs. The degradation of it!—that this thing of earth and slime could stand upright and converse with spirits before whom you, a spirit, could only cower. Perhaps you had hoped that the awe and strangeness of it would dash his joy. But that is the cursed thing; the gods are strange to mortal eyes, and yet they are not strange. He had no faintest conception till that very hour of how they would look, and even doubted their existence. But when he saw them he knew that he had always known them and realised what part each one of them had played at many an hour in his life when he had supposed himself alone, so that now he could say to them, one by one, not "Who are you?" but "So it was you all the time". All that they were and said at this meeting woke memories. The dim consciousness of friends about him which had haunted his solitudes from infancy was now at last explained; that central music in every pure experience which had always just evaded memory was now at last recovered. Recognition made him free of their company almost before the limbs of his corpse became quiet. Only you were left outside.
He saw not only Them; he saw Him. This animal, this thing begotten in a bed, could look on Him. What is blinding, suffocating fire to you, is now cool light to him, is clarity itself, and wears the form of a Man.
All the delights of sense, or heart, or intellect, with which you could once have tempted him, even the delights of virtue itself, now seem to him in comparison but as the half nauseous attractions of a raddled harlot would seem to a man who hears that his true beloved whom he has loved all his life and whom he had believed to be dead is alive and even now at his door.
He is caught up into that world where pain and pleasure take on transfinite values and all our arithmetic is dismayed. Once more, the inexplicable meets us. Next to the curse of useless tempters like yourself the greatest curse upon us is the failure of our Intelligence Department. If only we could find out what He is really up to! Alas, alas, that knowledge, in itself so hateful and mawkish a thing, should yet be necessary for Power! Sometimes I am almost in despair.
“if only we could find out what He is really up to”...
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.
i think that might be what He is up to. so glad He lets me be a infinitesimal part of it here. and for eternity. i am never in despair.