Rivendell, WIS

O to grace how great a debtor Daily I'm constrained to be! Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Places to buy and sell used educational materials and books

Monday, July 30, 2007

While the world reads Harry Potter Number Seven...

I took a road-trip to LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, last week. To while away the 2,000-roundtrip miles, my two teenage daughters and I listened to a podcast of Allan Smith's new book, Quid and Harmony.

Deliciously delightful! My spirit soared in this fantasy world that Allan's words have woven. More to my taste than Harry Potter... Better writing than Ted Dekker, according to our 18 yodd.

I will write more when time allows. Interested readers can check out a pdf file of the first 10 chapters or an mp3 of chapter one at Smithysbook.com.

Recommended audience: Young adult or older. The lust for power is accompanied by other desires in some of the nastier characters, but Allan tastefully refrains from explicit descriptions.

In grace,

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Book Condition Descriptions

Do you buy books online? If so, you've probably run into the same problem I've had: trying to determine the value of a book you've never seen from a written description of its condition. The Independent Online Booksellers Organization has provided definitions of the terms "New," "Good," and "Reading copy." Perhaps this will help buyers and sellers communicate more accurately.

IOBA Condition Description Definitions

For many years, the grading system defined by AB Bookman (now sadly defunct) was the standard in the antiquarian book trade. IOBA's standards, listed below, do not fundamentally differ from those standards though they have been expanded upon, and defined a bit more specifically.

(Condition normally shown as __/__, i.e., F/F, denoting first book & then dustjacket condition)

AS NEW (AN) or VERY FINE (VF) or MINT (M): Without faults or defects, unread, in the same immaculate condition in which it was published (Note: very few "new" books qualify for this grade, as many times there will be rubs/scuffs to the dustjackets from shipping, or bumped lower spine ends/corners from shelving).

FINE (F): Approaches the above, but not crisp. May have been carefully read and dustjacket may have been slightly rubbed or spine ends slightly bumped from shelving/shipping, but no real defects or faults.

(NOTE: From here on, there may be "+" and "-" in a grade, which will mean that it is above the grade noted but not quite to the next higher grade for "+", and that it is below the grade noted but not quite to the next lower grade for "-".

NEAR FINE: Also used, although not contained in Bookman's Weekly definitions, meaning a book or dustjacket approaching FINE but with a couple of very minor defects or faults.

VERY GOOD: A used book showing some small signs of wear on either binding or dustjacket. Any defects/faults must be noted.

GOOD: The average used and worn book that has all pages or leaves present. Any defects must be noted.

FAIR: A worn book that has complete text pages (including those with maps or plates) but may lack endpapers, half-title page, etc. (which must be noted). Binding, dustjacket, etc. may also be worn. All defects/faults must be noted.

POOR or READING COPY: A book that is sufficiently worn that its only merit is the complete text, which must be legible. Any missing maps or plates should still be noted. May be soiled, scuffed, stained, or spotted, and may have loose joints, hinges, pages, etc.

EX-LIBRARY: Must always be designated as such no matter what the condition of the book.

BOOK CLUB: Must always be noted as such no matter what the condition of the book.

BINDING COPY: A book in which the pages or leaves are perfect but the binding is very bad, loose, off, or non-existent.

Always, if issued with one, the lack of a dustjacket or slipcase should be noted.

Copyright 2000 by Independent Online Booksellers Association


Thursday, April 05, 2007

A New Focus: Amy Carmichael's poetry

God of the Stars

I am the God of the stars.
They do not lose their way;
Not one do I mislay.
Their times are in My Hand;
They move at My command.

I am the God of the stars,
Today, as yesterday,
The God of thee and thine,
Less thine they are than Mine;
And shall Mine go astray?

I am the God of the stars.
Life up thine eyes and see
As far as mortal may
Into Eternity;
And stay thy heart on Me.

The second stanza is a great reminder to me, especially when my heart is burdened with worry about people whom I love. Did you sort out all the pronouns in that stanza (thee, thine, Mine...)? If not, I encourage you to read it again, keeping in mind that "thine" means something that belongs to you, as in "your travel mug" or "your loved ones."

So Near

Below, above, around thee everywhere--
So is My love, like clearness of blue air.

To find the air so high and yet so low,
Tell Me, belovéd, hast thou far to go?
So high, so low--but I had thought Thee far,
Remote, aloof, like glory of a star.

And is the way of love so near to me?
Then by that way I come; I come to Thee.

Watch carefully who is speaking in Carmichael's poems. The capitals on the pronouns are a clue... Did you catch that two different persons speak in this poem?

Empty, We Come

O Love of loves, we have no good to bring Thee,
No single good of all our hands have wrought.
No worthy music have we found to sing Thee,
No jeweled word, no quick up-soaring thought.

And yet we come; and when our faith would falter
Show us, O Lord, the quiet place of prayer,
The golden censer and the golden altar,
And the great angel waiting for us there.

Hope Through Me

Hope through me, God of Hope,
Or never can I know
Deep wells and living streams of hope,
And pools of overflow.

Flood me with hope today
For souls perverse, undone,
For sinful souls that turn away,
Blind sunflowers, from their Sun.

O blesséd Hope of God,
Flow through me patiently,
Until I hope for everyone
As Thou hast hoped for me.

Spirit, Work in Me

Spirit Divine, work in me holiness,
Purity, pity for the world's distress.
But O let hope, Thy quenchless hope, prevail,
Lest I should faint and fail.

Then as the incense from the golden bowl
Rose up to Thee, so from my quiet soul
Let prayer arise--a little, quiet cloud--
To Thee, my listening God.

These last two poems filled me with hope during some dark days this past month. I desperately needed hope as I poured out my heart to God. And He gave me the hope I needed, the faith to believe that He heard and would answer with good gifts, as a Father gives to His child. Thank You, dear Father in heaven.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Speech and Debate Competition

Announcing a Speech and Debate Tournament for NCFCA affiliates in Madison, Wisconsin, on January 4, 5, 6, 2007. :) Further details available at our web site. If you have ever considered getting involved with speech and debate competition, please come to the tournament to hear some great speeches and to be inspired (assuming you live somewhere nearby).

We are in need of volunteer judges for this event. I think homeschool parents would be great judges. No previous experience is necessary to serve as a judge; everything you need to know will be presented in a short orientation at the beginning of each round. In addition to homeschool parents, we are looking for judges from the general public because we want the kids to communicate with a broad audience--so, really, anyone over 18 and out of high school is welcome to judge. It's very easy to sign up right at our site: Christian Communicators of Wisconsin.

This is our family's first year of forensics competition--we are excited. Three of our children, ages 12 and up, will be competing in interpretive speech, apologetics, possibly impromptu speaking, and debate.

Questions? Feel free to ask.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Christmas decorating

This ought to make my blog look a little less neglected. :) This is a photo of the wreath hanging on our front door... and evidence of the one and only bit of Christmas planning/decorating I've done thus far.

Our Lighthouse Speech and Debate Club is selling these Balsam wreaths from Maine. They are guaranteed to last until Christmas. I like it much better than the cheap wreaths I bought from the local high school choir in the past...

If you'd like to order one from us to help us cover our three daughters' speech and debate tournament expenses, please let me know via a comment here or a personal email. Wreaths of Maine will ship directly to you (or your gift recipient--someone who has everything, perhaps?) during the week of December that you specify. Several varieties of wreaths are available, but please order here rather than from the Wreaths of Maine site so that our girls get the credit. Shipping is $7.00 and the last date to order from our family is November 26.

Thanks for considering helping us out.

In grace,

Monday, October 02, 2006

It takes so much more than "a village"

Friday, a school shooting occurred in a small town not even 20 miles from us. Principal John Klang was shot 3 times by a 15 yo student, Eric Hainstock. Klang died at a hospital later.

Reading several articles about the boy's background and containing comments by school employees and community members, I've found one statement (from this Wisconsin State Journal article) that makes sense to me.

Another friend of the family who insisted on anonymity said Hainstock suffered most from being the victim of a broken home, "a situation that made it very difficult for him to feel loved.

"You know the saying 'It takes a village to raise a child.' It's so false," the friend said. "It doesn't take a village; it takes two loving parents, and Eric doesn't have that."

"The village" knew that this child had suffered abuse, that he was the product of a broken home, that he drew troubling pictures as a young boy, that he had a problem with anger, that he boasted of getting into trouble. "The village" found his father guilty of battering him and restricted his father's contact with him for a time. "The village" decided, at the time of his parent's divorce, which parent was more suitable to have custody of Eric. "The village" put him into special education classes and anger management classes. "The village" threatened to put him into in-school suspension when he broke school rules. "The village" kept records on him and held opinions about him.

But, he didn't have two responsible people who loved him above all the other kids, two people who cheered for him in his successes and held him tight in his failures, two people who would give their souls to see him get a good start in life. How can "the village" be a substitute for those two people?