Well.  I was going to wait to write this review until I had actually finished a sock from this book.  It is looking like this isn’t going to happen anytime soon, and I really should get this review written.  So,  bearing in mind that I haven’t actually finished a sock from this book, so I can’t speak to whether or not there are any pattern errors, here goes.

It is a beautiful book.  The photographs are lovely, and aren’t too ‘arty’ to be able to see how the sock is actually going to fit a real live human person.  Despite the title, the patterns include crew socks and legwarmers, so if knee highs are not your thing, you won’t be left out in the cold.  The patterns are all cuff down, there are no toe up patterns here.  The photos don’t always show the decrease area, which could be helpful, and the patterns for the ‘knee highs’ often won’t reach the knees of a tall person, which could be a problem, but I think it is pretty easy to add a bit of length to a sock pattern, just increase the number of rows between the decreases.  The book has a formula and tutorial for how to knit custom fit knee highs – I wanted to test it out on the needles, but haven’t, so I can’t speak to how accurate it is, but just from reading it it looks ok.

It looks to be a pretty decent book – you might want to check it out of the library first to be sure it will be useful for you, before you buy it.

She Mattered.

Another precious street friend has been murdered in Ottawa.  It matters.

She was 16 or 17 when she left home, and 23 when she was murdered, according to the Ottawa Sun.  It doesn’t matter what she was doing to survive on the streets.  She was made in the image of God, and her life was precious, and someone took it.  It matters.

Caption “Contest”

So, what do you think my dog was thinking?

Book Review: Unleashed

This is a review for Booksneeze.

Erwin Raphael McManus is a new author for me.  (One of the reasons I like being a reviewer for Booksneeze is that I can try authors that I might not otherwise come across).  The wikipedia article on him says he is an “influential American pastor”, whatever that really means.

I like the book.  It is a call to a radical discipleship.  The thesis of the book is that modern western Christianity is too safe;  that it has become an institution instead of a movement.  He calls his vision of radical discipleship “the barbarian way”, and uses the metaphor throughout the book.  A sampling:

 A description of “civilized Christianity”:

…Jesus died adn rose from the dead so that you can live a life of endless comfort, security and indulgence.  But really this is a bit too developed.  Usually it’s mroe like this:  if you’ll simply confess that you’re a sinner and believe in Jesus, you’ll be saved from the torment of eternal hellfire, then go to heaven when you die.  Either case results in our domestication.  One holds out for life to begin in eternity, and the other makes a mockery out of life” (p.32).

A description of what he calls the “barbarian way”:

“God’s ultimate end for our transformation is to unleash the untamed faith within.  When His Spirit is poured into our lives, we are inspired to an extraordinary level of living.  Barbarians never exist simply to survive.  Barbarians never just get through the day.  Barbarians wake to live and live life fully awake.  To be filled with the Spirit of God is to be filled with dreams and vision sthat are too compelling to ignore.  Live or die, succeed or fail, barbarians must pursue and attempt such dreams and visions.  The barbarian spirit dreams great dreams and finds courage to live them” (p.100)

If your experience of the Christian faith is more like the first paragraph than the second one, you should pick this book up and give it a read.  It might enliven your faith and make you think about it in a different way.

This is a review for Booksneeze. 

I loved this book.  Lucado has taken questions he has recieved over the years, from his readers and parishoners, and put them into a question and answer form in this book.  He says that some of the answers have appeared in his other books, but I have read them all, and nothing seemed all that familiar.  I don’t like books that are rehashes of earlier books, so that would be a drawback for me, but it wasn’t particularly noticeable. 

From the introduction: We’ve created a question mark to highlight our questions.  It’s stooped and bent, perhaps because questions can leave us in the same shape, burdened and weary.  We have deep, heavy questions. 

We crave answers.  straighten  this mark, and let it stand.  Replace the cowering curl with a confident exclamation point.

Easier said than done.

Maybe so, but he has done it admirably well in this book.  Questions, especially unanswered ones about evil and heartache, can be very hard to deal with for Christians.   Many of us use the pat “It must be God’s will” or something similar in answer to people’s heartaches.  There is none of that here.  Max Lucado tackles the hard questions, and answers them with tenderness and grace.

Maggie’s Grave

 13But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him  those who have fallen asleep. 15For this we declare to you  by a word from the Lord,  that  we who are alive, who are left until  the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For  the Lord himself will descend  from heaven  with a cry of command, with the voice of  an archangel, and  with the sound of the trumpet of God. And  the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be  caught up together with them  in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thess 4 ESV)

I volunteer for a Christian ministry to homeless and street engaged people.   One of the people I’ve met told me a story yesterday.  Seems someone was threatening him with a weapon.  He complained to a police officer – know what he was told?  “What you are doing [panhandling] is illegal.  This is just the same as if a prostitute complained to me about being threatened”.  That, I believe, was the end of that.  I think some of the constables who patrol downtown need a refresher course on the Charter.

A review for Booksneeze.


This books was ok.  Not really any more than just ok.  I was disappointed in the amount of American content (as in, there was way too much).  Christian history didn’t start in the USA.  It does have some interesting articles, though.

Lesson 1

1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the paper.
5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2

Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their…

1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.
6. Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3

A really good way to discover how the nights might feel…

1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can’t get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive) Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4

Can you stand the mess children make? To find out…

1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5

Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.

1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this – all morning.

Lesson 6

Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don’t think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don’t look like that.
1.Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.Leave it there.

1. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
2. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
3. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7

Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week’s groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8

1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an aplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air. You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

Lesson 9

Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you’re thinking What’s ‘Noggin’?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10

Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying ‘mommy’ repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each ‘mommy’; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11

Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the ‘mommy’ tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

Mercy and Grace, Ingham style

I haven’t given out a “hairy eyeball” in a long time, but this surely deserves one.

From here: (h/t to the Essentials blog)

METRO VANCOUVER — Neither side in a long, bitter war over Anglican Church property in Vancouver and Abbotsford expects any Christmas services will have to be moved elsewhere this December.

But Vancouver-area Anglican Bishop Michael Ingham began moving Tuesday to replace the dissident priests at four congregations that have failed to obtain legal control of Anglican Church properties valued at more than $20 million.

Since the conservative priests have already resigned from the Anglican Church of Canada to work for a breakaway Anglican organization, the diocese said in a statement, those clergy “will need to continue their ministry in other locations.”

After the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled Monday that the conservative Christians have no right to hold on to the four valuable Anglican Church of Canada properties, Ingham will be sending a letter to try to arrange a meeting with the parish trustees.

The diocesan statement emphasized that Ingham is not asking any regular members of the conservative congregations to leave the four church buildings.

Rather, it said the bishop hopes to “confer with the trustees to appoint interim clergy for the short term and [move] forward to work with trustees to seek new clergy to fill the positions of those who have left the Anglican Church of Canada.”

Well, that didn’t take long.  ANiC lost the appeal, and Ingham has moved against the ANiC priests, even though ANiC has 60 days to consider the verdict and decide what they are going to do.  These are the very same trustees that he tried to fire, and now he wants them to cooperate in replacing their priests??  Ingham emphasized that he doesn’t want the conservative parishioners to leave.  Well, of course he doesn’t.  They are the ones who pay the bills for the buildings, after all.  He doesn’t seem to understand that the people have also left the Anglican Organization of Canada.  I give it five years before the buildings are sold off.

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