Romanian Grace

The dragon sits by the side of the road, watching those who pass. Beware lest he devour you. We go to the Father of Souls, but it is necessary to pass by the dragon. -- St. Cyril of Jerusalem

16 May, 2008


Well.  It is getting to be that time.  I am nigh on two weeks from leaving Romania, and I am starting to wrap things up, say my good-byes, do all the stuff I have been meaning to do for two years.  Here's one of 'em.

In olden times, when a writer came to the end of his life and looked back over all of his work, he often feared the consequences of what he had written.  I guess they had a better idead of the meaning and significance of words in general back then.  Anyway, they would often write some kind of retraction there at the end that went something like this: 

I have written a lot of stuff in my life.  Some of it has been popular, and some of it not; some has been good, and some of it bad.  If anything I wrote has edified others and exalted Christ, then that should not be attributed to me but to the grace of God working in me through his Holy Spirit.  If, on the other hand, anything I have written has torn down that which is good and has dishonored the name of the Lord, then that's all me, and I therefore beg you to forgive and overlook those things as foolish drivel from an idiotic mind and I earnestly look to the Lord to save me from such foolish sin.  

So.  I would like to use the summary above as my own retraction regarding this website.  Much of what I have written has been silly, meaningless, and foolish; some of it has been sinful and offensive; some of it, by God's grace, has actually been good, true, and beautiful.  For that I am thankful.  

For those of you worried, I do not feel that I am at the end of my life, just at the end of the life of this blog.

More stuff and pictures to come, so my retraction, I hope, will also work in a forward direction.

Love and happiness to all. 

09 May, 2008

Engagement is...

Here's where I am right now, more or less.

Engagement is engagement is engagement is engage…. Like the first hour and twenty minutes of Rocky IV. All we really want to see is Ivan Drago bleeding and worn out and humped in his corner saying, “He is like iron. He bends but will not break” or “He is not a man. He is a machine.” But all the other stuff in the movie (like the context that tells us why he is fighting the Russian in the first place (I mean besides the whole cold war bit, which we are left to fill in ourselves, those of us who grew up in it)) they say is necessary and actually makes the fight itself better. For now I remain a skeptic on this point regarding both the movie and the engagement.

Of course, the philosopher and cultural critic, Avery Mixon, likens engagement to another movie, as follows: “Treat engagement like Groundhog day, get really good at communication and learn to play the piano.”

03 May, 2008


I realize that I have not updated in a while, but now is not time for that, so I have just one sentence to let all y'all know I'm not dead or nothing and to tell you a little of what I have been doing and reading lately, namely, Schaeffer's Art and the Bible, along with The God Who Is There, both of which I have been teaching to Katy, who is going to Ole Miss and who has also become a huge Flannery O'Connor fan this year, due to our reading her short stories and now Wise Blood, which I would consider one of the strangest and best novels I have read, far outdoing, in my opinion, As I Lay Dying, which we just finished and which always underwhelms me, even though I acknowledge it as good, but far less preferred than Luther's Bondage of the Will, say, which Abi and Daniel have been reading and which I have found to be both a delight and a challenge, like many of the books we have read this year, including Dante's Inferno, The Canterbury Tales, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, over which my ninth graders will be tested in a couple of weeks, as we end school for the year May 21, which will leave me a little over a week to dink around Romania and do all those things I want to do here and see all the things I have yet to see before I go home to my precious feeawnsy who will be awaiting me at the Atlanta airport on the evening of May 31 with eager anticipation and whom I cannot wait to marry on October 11, a date that cannot come soon enough except that we lack a little planning still, though we seem to have decided on a location and are getting closer to knowing what kind of food we will have there, and our photographer, whose blog you ought to visit, named Caleb Chancey, has been decided since before I proposed to Melissa, who would want me to use this space also to tell you that I am doing pretty well, all things considered and am happy here in Romania, spring fever and all, and will actually miss this place very very much, since it has been a place that the Lord has used mightily to shape me and grow me and even to break me, the kind of work I have needed for some time in my life and which I will need (and, doubtless, receive) in the weeks and years to come, not that I think the process is fun or even pleasant, but it is good, which I think could be said of most of the Holy Spirit's work, or most of Christ's redeeming work, as Bill Mallonee says, "redemption don't come easy, but somebody's got to foot the bill," which I know I could never do but for which I am more than thankful and not thankful enough.