Etiquette Question: What do you buy for the 18-year-old bride who is sweet, but too naive and lacking in life experience to be ready for marriage, and is marrying a young man with a questionable history and unstable personality against the advice of everybody else who cares about her? What kind of dress do you wear to their wedding when you're praying that you won't have to go at all because one or the other will back out before it's too late?
Oh, and by the way, the wedding is tomorrow. *sigh** * *
On a happier note, I finally have time to write about our week at Family Camp, which we all enjoyed very much. We stayed in the Century Lodge, an old mansion that had been converted into fifteen or so guest units, some of which had ensuite bathrooms. The sunroom, where we were staying, offered nothing but a double bed, two twin beds and a lot of windows; but it was only a short trip down the hall to the shared washrooms, and hardly anyone else was using those besides us anyway.
Meals were provided all week in the communal dining hall, and every one was delicious (even the makeshift meals created on Saturday and Sunday in the wake of the power outage, when they'd had to toss out all the perishables and couldn't get more supplies until Monday morning). There were two large playground areas, with plenty of swings and slides and sand to dig in; also a wading pool and a full swimming pool with a generous shallow end, which Nicholas revelled in (though Simon didn't). Since the grounds featured a lot of large trees, it was quite shady and cool compared to elsewhere, and even without air conditioning we slept comfortably.
There were optional meetings in the morning and evening, during which babysitting services were provided, so Hubby and I were able to attend and actually concentrate for a change. The singing was well led by the two couples who were acting as Directors that week, and there were some new hymns and choruses introduced, some of which I only recently discovered myself and have come to appreciate deeply, like "Before The Throne of God Above" (which I can sing solo without so much as a blink, but in a congregation I cannot sing the second stanza* without tearing up -- it just gets
The speaker, as I mentioned in my blog entry before we left, was Dr. John Lennox, a Ph.D. who is presently a Research Fellow at Green College, Oxford, specializing in "infinite soluble groups, subnormal subgroups, group rings, finiteness conditions", and other such pure mathematical ideas that make my eyes glaze over. He also speaks fluent German and Russian and spends quite a bit of time travelling, lecturing and writing in eastern Europe. You might think that this would make him an intolerable egghead, but in fact he was very warm and approachable, and not at all inclined to drone on about concepts above the head or beyond the practical use of his listeners. I imagine he would be a really good teacher of mathematics, but in our case he was there to talk about the Bible. In the mornings he exposited Second Peter, while in the evenings he spoke about the life of Jacob from the book of Genesis. And it was excellent, practical, encouraging, thought-provoking stuff.
He also recommended a number of books on ethics, comparative religion and apologetics, which are on my list for when I stop being too cheap to buy books I haven't already read:What We Can't Not Know by J. Budziszewski
The Universe Next Door by James Sire
Matters of Life and Death by John Wyatt
The Wedge of Truth by Phillip E. Johnson
He further recommended the Christian Medical Fellowship site as an excellent resource for intelligent, well-researched essays on science, bioethics, philosophy and theology. So I'll have to spend some time checking that out...
Anyway, it was a very enjoyable week, and a great chance for me to get a break from household responsibilities and enjoy some Real Grown-Up Conversation with family and friends. We're already thinking of doing it again next year.
*When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free,
For God the just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me.