Flickr Mosaic Fun

flickr mosaic

  1. Valerie Ackerman, ballerina
  2. Caron Simply Soft, lavendar yarn
  3. Liesel Lace Leaf Scarf
  4. Green Apple
  5. Spread o’ Crochet
  6. Rainbow Baby Blanket
  7. Bedroom Quilt
  8. Crochet Hooks
  9. Joyeux Noël
  10. Still Life with Texture
  11. Multicoloured Crocheted Bag
  12. Homework

Here’s how you play:

Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr search.
Using only the first page, choose an image. Copy and paste each of the URL’s into the mosaic maker over at FD’s image maker.

The questions:

What is your first name? Valerie
What is your favorite yarn? Simply Soft
What was the first thing you made with yarn? scarf
What is your favorite color? green
Which crochet or knitting magazine do you like best? Crochet!
Favorite handmade gift you have received? Baby blanket
Dream project? bedroom quilt
Favorite notion? crochet hooks
What will you crochet/ knit next? Baby Christmas outfit for David
What do you love most about yarn? texture
One word to describe your craft. Crochet
Initial inspiration to craft. Biology homework

(HT: Crochet by Faye who rearranged the q’s a bit.)


I was having a bit of fun this weekend playing around with the Winnie the Pooh song “I’m just a Little Black Rain Cloud.” Here’s what I came up with:

I’m just a little matryoshka,

Wandering closer to a birth date.

I’m just a little matryoshka,

Pay no attention to what I ate.

Everyone knows that matryoshkas,

Never make trouble, no not a bit.

They just waddle around, bellies like mounds,

Searching for someplace to sit.


Now I know that realy matryoshkas typically have seven or eight little dolls inside of them, but I always thought they were so cute and reminded me of pregnancy. Hope you enjoyed the song.


Kyle informs me that I must put up a blog about what happened this morning.

We were eating breakfast and Kyle decided to use his coffee press to make some coffee. Now let me preface this with the fact that we actually don’t drink much coffee in our house, mostly tea. So Kyle made a couple of cups of coffee and I decided to drink a bit with milk and sugar in it (have to mask that bitter taste right?)

I poured in my milk and added four lumps of sugar to the concotion and began to drink. Everything tasted great. I polished off the dregs and put my dishes in the kitchen.

A few minutes later, Kyle asked, “so how’d you like the coffee?”

“Great! It was perfect once I put my milk and sugar in it.”

“Um. Didn’t you know that I had put sugar in the pot?”

“Oh no! How much?”

“Well, I figured that there was about two cups there so I put in eight cubes….maybe ten.”

By this point I was hiding my head and laughing. No wonder I couldn’t taste the coffee, I pretty much drank sugared milk with a bit of coffee flavor. Good thing I don’t drink it very often; better luck next time I guess.

Time Change

My CMA pastor friend from Gordon-Conwell is telling his troubles with Daylight Savings Time this weekend:

[I] woke up with a start at (what I thought was) 4:00 a.m. “I forgot to reset the clocks!” I breathed. I reset my watch and alarm clock, depressed to note that I now had to wake up in less than an hour. Sigh.

At church Sunday morning, I was exhausted, and so was the congregation. I had a good sermon that I could barely get through, and seeing all the sleepy eyes was no help.

I had something of an inverse experience: We had bought a new clock after Christmas, and I remembered something about it being able to keep track of Daylight Savings. But people had been telling us for over a week how things were all messed up this year because Congress had moved the dates for daylight savings time and that all automatically updating clocks would be all messed up (my laptop is still wrong). So we set the bedroom clock forward an hour, but I left the alarm off. Instead, I set an alarm on my phone, hoping that at least the phone would properly update, since phones re-sync whenever you replace the battery.

Suddenly, I awoke to what sounded like the ringing of an old Bell phone, and desperately ran to answer my phone. As I realized that it was just the alarm, I looked up at our bedroom clock to see that it was 8:00. The phone hadn’t updated! With only half an hour left to get ready and still get to church on time, I hurried to the shower. Only after I had turned the water off did Valerie inform me that every other clock in the house (the unadjusted ones) said that it was only just after 6:00.

Our bedroom phone had been moved forward twice: once by me as we were going to bed, and once by itself, at 2:00, as scheduled. Everything else was normal, though my wife was given some extra entertainment by observing the fastest shower her husband has ever taken: a laggardly 15 minutes.

God’s choices

It is to no end of my amusement to think that God could have made me into a billionaire. I have a good mind and a diverse set of interests: I think I would have made a great billionaire. Think of the good that I could have done as a very wealthy, committed, evangelical Christian! But God in his wisdom has seen fit to bend me into the shape of a preacher and a teacher of the Gospel. This amuses me to no end. For while I would have made an easy match for a businessman of any number of shades, making me into a preacher has taken some quite violent twisting to get me into shape. I suspect it will continue to require a bit of work on God’s part to force me into this role.

As I said, this affords me no end of amusement. I don’t particularly mind the lack of wealth on my part, but I can already see that, by certain standards, I am quite possibly going to be a very pitiful preacher. Was God so short of willing hands, that he felt obliged to choose me? I doubt it. I was hardly a willing hand myself. Yet something in God’s character determined he would rather me be a preacher than anything else, perhaps like the poor Gipetto, who determined he would rather make a talking marionette than a talking coo-coo clock from his talking block of wood, even though by many standards, a marionette is a silly thing for a poor carpenter to make.

Nevertheless, even though the wood was ungainly for the task, a preacher is what he decided to make of me, because it pleased him. Perhaps it even amused him. And so it amuses me. And this, I think, points to the sovereignty of God: for no amount of badgering could change his mind. And though there are any number of things for which I might have been better suited, I am surely becoming that which he has determined I should be.

What’s up with “missional”?

Speaking of [making up new words]( to signify that you are not only talking about something important, but also that you are part of a special and definable group… what’s up with “missional”?

Who invented this word, and why? Everybody’s using it, but I get the picture that it was coined by your friendly neighborhood post-modern grammar-compromised Emergent Christian. Part of the clue is that they can’t seem to take the verb “emerge” and turn it directly into a noun or gerund: Emergence, or Emerging. No, they have to use the adjective *as if* it were a noun. What’s the name of the movement? Emergent. Hoo boy.

Ok, so what I understand happened is that the folks over at Emergent wanted to defend the position that they were still part of mainstream evangelical Christianity, and yet somehow better at the same time, so they played up the fact that, as emergent, they were outreach and evangelism oriented. Only good solid conservative evangelicals are into outreach and evangelism, right? So they coin a new word that emphasizes their focus on mission. It can’t be “missionary” because everybody already knows that word. So… missional.

My only problem is that I can’t figure out what exactly the difference between mission*al* and mission*ary* really is. The best I can tell is that one is an old word used to refer to people who study for years and then go overseas and preach at people, while the other is a newish sounding word that can give a sense of a clean break with whatever negative things might have happened in the past. Missional is hip, so cutting edge, so… emergent. And *that* is wicked cool.

The odd part is that this plays back upon the conservative Christian circle. Emergent is just evangelicalism with a new face. But they’re still good old evangelicalism, and you can tell that because all emergents are missional. And isn’t “missional” just the very definition of “evangelical?” Conservative churches *are* missional, aren’t they? Well, your best guess to what the differences are between “mission” and “evangel,” but among a lot of evangelical churches the term has taken hold, possibly for fear that word might get out that their church *isn’t* missional. So they’ve had to write it back into the tradition. “Of course! Why, our denomination has been missional since 1783, practically from the get-go!” Excepting back then, they might have said “missionary” (as in Missionary Baptist, soon to be known to as Missional Baptist) or even “evangelistic.”

Now you see “missional” everywhere. In just one day, I saw it mentioned both by [Jollyblogger]( and [Ryan Wentzel]( I don’t know if that’s a broad spectrum of the Christian blogosphere, but the term really seems to signify you’re on the up-and-up.

I’m thinking about mentioning it on my resume.


My wife and I have been married for just under a year. We were dating for nearly four years before that. Which is to say that she knows me pretty well. She can predict my moods. She knows that when I pour myself a glass of milk at night, I’m liable to leave the milk out. She knows that I don’t make things.

Which is why I’m nervous. Continue reading “Trepidation”

And the Amazing thing is…

Just as I was sitting down to write the above piece, there was a huge crack of thunder and a previously unannounced overcast day rolled in and began drenching the countryside. I finished my sentence and made a mad dash outside to roll up my windows.

It was thick. The first thing that might actually count as a “thunderstorm” here in Massachusetts. This gave me even further haste and put wings to my feet as I was sprinting to save my unprotected car.

And the amazing thing is, when I go there, all windows were tightly sealed. I rolled them up after dropping Valerie off at the station.

(And you people wonder why I keep my hands clean of everything “practical”…)

[ps. Said “above piece” is currently on hold pending imminent Greek homework.]